Monday, December 29, 2008
I always like to give an experience as part of a Christmas gift. Tickets to a play, dinner out, a getaway - some memory to be made and shared at this special time of year. And so this year I gave both my mom and husband tickets to 42nd Street at the Fulton Opera House in downtown Lancaster. Of course that meant that I got to go along! Yeah.
This performance was every bit as wonderful as when I saw it on Broadway in New York City. Great music from the 30's, lots and lots of tap dancing and spectacular voices make your feet wish they were up there on the stage. The talent never stops for a second and you can't help but notice a possible similarity between the times - the Great Depression and what we may now be facing - a very real recession. But all that is forgotten by the upbeat music that gets stuck in your head for days as you try to remember the words.
You need only to look around at the little girls (that are no doubt trying to learn tap) to see the thrill of the theatre in their faces. This is the place where dreams are made.
And then there is the magic of the Fulton itself. Restored in 1995 to its original splendor of 1852, what would it have been like to see Mark Twain, W. C. Fields, Marcel Marceau or Sarah Bernhardt? They all played here. The gold is real, the lights look like the first light bulbs, and the rich burgundy of the roping and velvet drapes make you glad you dressed for the event. Of course, there are those stories - most will say that the Fulton is haunted. There are certainly plenty of reasons to think so. But more on that some other time - to find out, join us for our Paranormal weekend on October 30 & 31.
If you'd like to catch 42nd Street you'll have to hurry - the last performance is January 4, 2009. Or plan your visit around future shows. Les Mis is coming in June. Now I just need to come up with a reason to give another gift of tickets...
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
We recently had two different guests, both from California, that reminded me of some of the things that we take for granted. While we may long for southern California weather at times, these guests came to Lancaster County to visit the beauty here. Mimi asked me for some wax paper so that she could collect the different kinds of brilliant colored leaves that were covering most of the grass in our yard. While I do love the fall for the show that the trees put on all around us, I haven't collected leaves since it was a gradeschool project.
Last week, Laura marveled at seeing her first snowflake - she always wondered if they were really different. Our rare first snowfall just before Thanksgiving provided her a close-up look at these little miracles. Such gifts of nature are all around us, we don't have to work for them, seek them out at some shopping mall or stand in line to purchase them.
On this Thanksgiving, as we are bombarded by the onslaught of the Christmas rush, I'm grateful to these guests for pointing out the little things....in the words of Elvis, "Thank you, Thank you very much".
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Having Old Amish and Mennonites as neighbors is truly a blessing. The quiet, uncluttered lifestyle their communities practice keeps them in constant touch with the natural world, in tune with the deeper, spiritual rhythms of life. You can't help but be transformed by their example, because they're daily reminders of what's most important in life: God first, community second, self third.
You even see this in action on the school playground. We have five one-room schoolhouses in our neighborhood. Whenever I see the children at recess (and they seem to be always at recess), the older kids are usually looking after the younger ones. The teaching of compassion and caring starts young.
Cows have lessons to teach us as well. As I approach them along the roadside during my walks, they lock their gaze on me, full of curiosity, and continue to stare as I walk past. But once I've moved beyond them, they immediately go about their grazing and grooming--as if I'd never been there.
Cows keep me humble.
Posted by Bruce
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Like Martha and the Vandellas, we prefer to see those leaves Dancing in the Streets...here they are in the back lane behind the inn.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
the bulk of the pre-ordered books are on their way. If you'd like a copy of your own, give us a call at 888-999-4479. Soon you'll be able to order it on the website as well.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Jack soon charmed Chardonnay
and was even so bold as to sleep with her
They've become inseperable and have run, chased, eaten, and played their way through the private side of our house. Callie is quite patient; Sweetie will take some time to adjust as they walk through her water bowl....
Jack is teaching me to play fetch with him - the other night I threw the mouse at least 25 times (I kept count!). Bruce came downstairs and I asked Jack to show him how he retrieved the mouse, and, in typical cat fashion, Jack took the mouse into another room. But kitty games are important and that is why dinner, confirmations and cleaning will just have to wait. At the end of the day I think I sleep as well as these two....
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Well, the grass was a little bumpy, the hill a little steeper than it looked, and it's a good thing she was with us because we probably wouldn't have ventured that far by ourselves. Needless to say, my car enjoyed a tasting as well.
But we finally arrived and got the picture we were after...
Oh, the lengths we go to - all in the name of research. Remember, though, we are professionals - do not try this at home!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Thank you, Dr. Charles Carroll, for providing such beautiful pictures.
Monday, September 22, 2008
On Monday we tasted our way through four different wineries; lunch was combined with a tour through a winery, and we learned a different component of wine-making all along the way.
Dinner was at Cafe Chocolate in Lititz. Of course, it was closed to anyone but us....
If you look closely, you can see our group at the back table.
On Tuesday, we set out for three more wineries, a gourmet cheese shop and an over-the-top wine-paired dinner complete with our "camp" awards.
As you can see, competition was keen....and these two are married!
Our next wine and cheese tour is scheduled for November 15. Call us or book online to be sure that we save you a seat. We'll visit two Lancaster County cheese farmers - including one who works with the milk from his goats, two wineries and top off the day with a multi-course dinner at Lily's on Main in Ephrata. The grapes are waiting....
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
We all miss him so much - Sweetie is on my desk as I type this, pawing at the mouse, pushing pens and papers off my desk and, if I'm not quick enough, she sticks her paw in my glass of water to get a drink. This might explain why there are usually about 3 glasses of water on my desk....
But Sweetie has been crying for a month now, Callie hides in the closet and Bruce and I keep waiting for Pongo to appear in his usual favorite spots.
If you've ever stayed in the Garden Suite, you know that Pongo felt that was his room. When he was outside (before we adopted him), I would often sit on the very top balcony with a glass of wine at sunset - Pongo would climb up the fire escape and join me and we would survey the Weaverland Valley. He was a great conversationalist without ever saying a word. If guests were sitting out on their balcony he would also visit them - and they, thinking he was our cat, would often let him inside. So he got used to having access to the Garden Suite. Which is why he learned to open the door knob I suppose.
So I should be learning Dreamweaver and trying to add pictures to the website and as I was looking through pictures, I came across this one. And I just knew I had to write my Tribute to Pongo. You'll probably have to click on it to enlarge it to find his little face - he had climbed onto the Garden Suite bed, and squished himself in between the pillows - I remember looking and looking for him that day and when I finally found him he was sound asleep and I was able to run for the camera and get this shot. Then I had to wash the pillow cases before guests arrived!
I am sure that we'll soon be acquiring another cat - they usually find us (it seems the word is out in the cat community that we are a bunch of softies) and hopefully Sweetie will have a new playmate. But there is no replacing Pongo and his antics.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Celebrations always seem to take place on the porch and it has become quite the gathering place for guests....look what happened during our 12th Annual Open House - too bad Bruce was inside working!
Our inn turned 160 this year - and only it knows how many celebrations have taken place over the years...
Incidentally, this picture was taken by our good friend, Richard Ball, who was taking room pictures that day for our website....but the call of the porch was just too much to resist.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
At any rate, here's my favorite recipe for sauce. I've been making this recipe since I worked at Forest City - Pat, if you are out there anywhere, I still use your recipe!
Sauce: Put all of this in a big pot: at least 15 tomatoes - preferably plum - cleaned and seeds and juice removed, 2 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons each of marjoram, and oregano, 1 tablespoon honey, salt and pepper to taste, a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for several hours. Use an immersion blender to incorporate all ingredients - including tomato skins - it will grind them up. (I used to take the time to peel but it's so much easier this way). Taste and adjust seasoning as you like. This sauce will freeze if poured into freezer bags and is a breath of summer in February....if it lasts that long! Enjoy.
We own a three-room bed and breakfast in northeastern Lancaster County called The Artist's Inn. We also own two vacation rentals - The Olde Stone Cottage and The Carriage House - homes that are also located in our little town of Terre Hill.
Through this blog, we hope to share a behind-the-scenes look at life as an innkeeper, life from an artist's perspective, and what it's like to live in one of the most beautiful places we know and love....Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.