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My Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

February Woes

Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017 1:13 PM

While I'd have to say I'm a pretty darn positive person but I must admit February is a challenge, especially with the cold weather for so long. It is easy to focus on the weather and lack of life growing outside. Oh gosh, and I'm tired of hearing the furnace run - whoa, regroup - thank God the furnace is running.

It's the time of year I get the least calls for our business. You start to wonder if you should continue to pay for the marketing. Then, like yesterday, you get three calls, one booked a B&B stay and a culinary class. Another wants to come in the spring with her friend of 40 years, a special time!

So, what do we do here on a day so cold - no guests to fill this particular day? We headed to the Craft and Antique Mall in Painesville, Oh. It was so busy. They are a collection of many-many vendors with the most unique items to add interest to our home. I found an adorable tiny lamp to put in the chifferobe I just finished in chalk paint. It looks perfect! I also found a wall hanging of a beautiful framed quilt square. Just the right touch for the parlor.

When we got home we whipped up a big pot of broccoli-cheese soup and a batch of Morning Glory Muffins, invited our daughters and their families for a quick and chaotic supper. It wasn't perfect. It was noisy and the kids grumbled about eating healthy stuff, but hey, they were here! And I got hugs. So it was more than good.

After they left I settled into a comfy chair to read. I heard the plow go by a couple times but didn't even give anymore thought to more snow coming. The warm feeling of having our family here drove off the cold for another day....


Chris Martello: Posted on Saturday, November 25, 2017 10:28 AM

We still has five weeks to go before we call it another year. I cannot believe all the joy and surprises so far in 2017. Sometime you just can't imagine the twists and turns.

Our B&B occupancy has increased 42% over last year. Our guests have been some of the most interesting people - from artists, leaders (in both public & spiritual avenues), over achievers, travelers and a wealth of enjoyment.

We did a few culinary classes and a few special event dinners. Memories of good food and soft breezes out on the porch still linger. Our breakfast chats can last a couple hours, especially when there is a group out under the arbor on a sunny morning with a view of the gardens and horses grazing.

Paul and I work hard, we are the main staff here (with a helping hand from both daughters, Heather & Maegan and our son-in-law, Ron) . We take no shame in a 20 minute nap in the afternoon when there are no guests. We felt it was important to enjoy a little travel before the weather got nice here so we visited the desert, the ocean, the mountains & Disney. Each trip included some family. It's been a good year!

Much thanks to our local friends who put up with our spontaneity. So many

times you have invited us out for an evening and we show up when we can,

after checking in guests and sending them off for their evening in our beautiful county. Each meal we share together and chats have meant so much. Oh, and thanks for coming to my birthday party I moved from December to June. 

Around the Bend

Posted on Thursday, April 05, 2018 10:09 AM

April 5, 2018 - While much of the conversation around here lately is about the weather (which isn't very positive), I have tried to focus on what's around the bend. I'm pretty confident we will have spring soon and then summer. We'll forget how we had extra time on our hands and weren't driven by what needed to be done that day. 

     So, this is the time of year we plan, paint, start seeds, organize, and learn. Earlier this winter I attended a fabulous class - Go Biz Grow, about starting and growing businesses. It was a life changer!

     On a recent trip to Arizona my friend taught me how to track expenses and have better control of finances on Excel. Another life changer. As my husband tells me "It's time to get rid of the wringer washer." We always remember how reluctant my mom was to advance with an improved appliance. Now if he can just learn to set a table.

     Along with the planning, I took advantage of some super shopping yesterday. We'll be freshening things up with new dishes and bedding.

I can't believe we're starting our eighth year as a bed & breakfast already!

This week we had a lovely group of ladies from the Wooster area. Each one of them had been here before at different times with their husbands. This time the purpose was a birthday and to celebrate their friendships. We are so honored they chose to come here. I know we will see them again. It's guests like them that make us want to be a better B&B!

We still have those farm-fresh eggs to enjoy with our guests. Yesterday I was proud to serve a beautiful Cheddar Cheese Quiche for breakfast. Just by replacing a portion of the half & half with 2% milk and using Crisco Baking Sticks instead of regular Crisco I trimmed loads of extra fat calories.

Along with those fresh eggs we always serve some kind of fresh fruit. One of my favorite combinations is fresh pineapple with mango and banana. Pretty easy to find nice selections all winter long. I'm still on the search to pluck up some fresh mint for garnish. Perhaps in another week.

Off to go see if that last piece of quiche is still in the frig...... 

A Simple Note

Posted on Wednesday, June 06, 2018 9:30 PM

  I just have to share a note I received from a client today. Last weekend I taught a culinary class at her beautiful home for twelve lovely baby- shower guests.

     "Chris, I can't thank you enough for making our shower event such a success. EVERYONE replied how much fun it was and as you know, the food was delicious and interesting." 

     Even after eighteen years of teaching culinary classes sometimes at the end of the day I still wonder how it went from their perspective. Years of being a member of Toastmasters International has actually made me more cautious with regard to my presentation skills. Cooking is one thing but presenting it to my best ability is another.

I have a basket on my cookbook case and in it I keep special messages like these. Sometimes my granddaughters ask my why I keep all those old note cards. I tell them "because it reminds me of all the nice people that have passed in and out of my life!'