Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dancing in the Streets

Fall in Lancaster County is perhaps the most beautiful time of the year. There's frost on the pumpkins, a chill in the air and the leaves are putting on a show of their own. Our grand old lady behind the inn (a Norway Maple about 150 years old) provides plenty of leaves for our back yard and most of our neighbors....and, as you can see from this picture from a few years ago, we are a bit more laid back than our neat neighbors - whose yard appears to the right in the photo below.

Like Martha and the Vandellas, we prefer to see those leaves Dancing in the they are in the back lane behind the inn.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Secret Life of a Published Artist

Several weeks late, several false delivery times, and after mistakenly beign trucked to Long Island, Bruce's Garrabrandt's coffee table book, Cattle Drive (And 153 Other Random Acts of Artistic Nonsense) has finally arrived at the inn. Of course, it was another "drop ship" arrangement. That means that the semi slows down just enough for you to jump on and unload your shipment. We learned that lesson pretty well with the mattresses for the Cottage, so this time Bruce was prepared...

and borrowed a cart from neighbors, Carl and Glorine. It came in handy when piling boxes on the porch...

All 72 of them.

Then it came time to haul them inside - where they have taken over the attic, family room and what precious little space is left in the basement. Bruce pulls a near all-nighter trying to get them labeled and some shipped before leaving for a three-day show in DC.

Next, it's off to the post office.

This didn't seem quite efficient enough, so my car got drafted for the job.

Almost done....

Thanks to our buddy, Postmaster Bob...

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

And Then There Were Four

8:45 a.m., September 24, at the breakfast table of The Artist's Inn - there's six guests eating and talking and a mournful cry comes from the windowbox outside....first one window and then the other. We investigate and find a kitten - about 4 months old who looks amazingly like our neighbor's cat Mittens. He demands that we feed him - we do. He works his way into our arms, hearts, and the house and has now "upped" the kitty count to four. Introducing Jack, showing off the family jewels:

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


Lancaster County has the richest non-irrigated soil in the country, so we grow a lot of food. But I suspect the farmers here have some fun when they plant pumpkins - I have never seen so many different varieties. So, if you think they have to be orange, come with me today as I visit with Luke Martin, owner of Red Barn Produce, just north of Terre Hill on Route 625. He was happy to share his knowledge. The Jarrahdale are the pale green striped, the Buckskin are taller and butterscotch colored, Fairytale are the squat ribbed ones that look like they are bursting with pride and are almost brownish-green, Cinderella are low and wide and so orange they are nearly red, One Too Many are the red and white striped, Red Warty Thing and the Peanut Pumpkins look like they've been attacked by warts and peanuts.. several of the Iron Man weighed in over 100 lbs. Of course you probably know the Hubbards, Turkish Turbins, the Mystic, New Moon and Full Moon, and Jack-be-Littles. There were also Gladiators, Wolfs and World of Color, but to be honest, I can't remember what they are! See how many you can pick out in these pictures... But you better hurry - as you can see people are pretty serious about their selections. And that's just the pumpkins....we haven't even started talking about the gourds...Be sure and tell Luke we sent you!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

In Search of Grapes

The time has come to work on our new website and for that we need pictures of the two tour coordinators, Carl and me. Did we think of this two weeks prior when we were at wine camp and there would be plenty of people who could have easily taken a quick picture? Noooooo. So we set out to Twin Brook, a local winery and Elaine was good enough to oblige. She even provided the "props". The only problem is that most of the cabernet sauvignon grapes were already picked....except for one vineyard way in the back, up a hill. And it looked like rain. So, off we drove.

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!