Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stress Relief

We recently had guests from Istanbul, Turkey. Each morning that they were here, Charles was up and out before I had the table set for breakfast, catching the great morning light. He was trying out a new camera that he had purchased in New York City and I could tell it was going to take some dynamite pictures. I simply suggested several places to photograph, and, with his keen eye he caught some terrific pictures, which he has sent to us. Sometimes it takes the eyes of a visitor to remind us of the beauty all around. So take a little vacation from stress and enjoy this glimpse into our corner of the world. Or, better yet, come for a visit and capture your own memories.

Thank you, Dr. Charles Carroll, for providing such beautiful pictures.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Lancaster County Wine Camp is now history - from September 14 through the 16th, a good time was had by all. It all started on the porch of The Artist's Inn with plenty to eat and a chocolate/wine pairing by our friend, Selina Man. She took one look at our new kitten and said she was the color of chardonnay. Well, maybe it was the wine, or the full moon, or the festive atmosphere, or the way the kitten likes to play with corks, but the name stuck. Here she is sleeping with one of her "toys".
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

My New Office Assistant

Seems I always end up writing on Saturday nights. Bruce is usually away at a show, guests have arrived and are out to dinner, I set my menus and then try to prep for breakfast and checkouts. It's one of my favorite times - when I try to unwind and settle things before turning in for the night.

This past Wednesday night, we took in a little kitten that we found outside. A bundle of energy, we managed to keep it away from Callie and Sweetie until we could get it to the Vet to have it checked - no small feat. Bruce took it yesterday, and it got distemper and rabbies shots and de-worming meds. The good news was no fleas, no ear mites, no feline leukemia. We found out it's a female, so we've named her Jackie, in honor of one of Bruce's favorite profs at college who loved red cats.

Today, Jackie seemed to have had a reaction to the meds - she was very lethargic and hadn't eaten or had any water since we brought her home from the Vet, had developed an upper respratory infection and both her eyes were runny and she seemed very sick. After going through this same thing with Pongo, Bruce won the toss to rush her to the kitty hospital downtown. After some antibiotics and other meds, she seems to have come around. She did drop some weight - from 3.3 lbs yesterday to 2.9 today. That is quite a bit for a tiny little thing. We think she may be between 2 and 4 months old.

Tonight I'm happy to report that she is back to running around underfoot and loves to help me at work. We need to work a bit on her manners as she thinks nothing of stepping right into Callies food bowl if it is in her way. So far Callie is not impressed with Jackie, and Sweetie is terrified. I took these pictures of her earlier - she's now fast asleep dreaming of mice or birds or whatever kittens dream of.....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Getting Ready for Wine Camp

Last week, we set out to do some final research for our first-ever Wine Camp - to be held Sunday, September 14 through Tuesday, September 16. We'll be exploring two regions - Lehigh Valley and Brandywine, as well as enjoying hors d'oeurves on the porch Sunday evening to kick off the event. Selena Man, from Cafe Chocolate will be on hand for a wine and chocolate pairing presentation. It all sounds great, but takes a bit of coordination and planning. So we set out for the two wineries that we had not yet visited, ate some cheese, and enjoyed the beautiful Lancaster County scenery. Here's my partner, Carl Kosko, from Harvest Moon B&B (we work together on our tours) enjoying a tasting at Manatawny Creek Winery. I think he either had a lot more than I did or suddenly decided it was time for a nap. So, I ask you, is this a great job or what? If you need an excuse to get out of work Monday or Tuesday, give us a call and we'll try to convince you that you should be with us drinking wine. There's still room on the bus!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Tribute to Pongo

Most of you don't know, but we lost our beloved cat, Pongo, last month. He had some tests done and made it through with flying colors. The tests had shown great results and then, suddenly the next day, he must have had a delayed reaction to the anesthesia --and although I rushed him to the vet and they started aggressive treatment on IV -- we lost him that evening. At least that's all the vet can figure out.
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


Some guests come and go and need their time alone. Other guests we'll get to know a little more....Abbee and Kevin have been visiting since 2001 every year for Labor Day and we were thrilled that this year they celebrated their honeymoon with us! Congratulations and we wish you many years of happiness together.

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.