Monday, August 30, 2010

Babysitting the Bear

Remember back in the spring when we had bear "evidence" but no bear? And how we've lived here for 2 1/2 years and have yet to see one of the 4,000-5,000 black bears that live in the Adirondack park?

Well ... now we've seen one! Sort of!

Through Wayne's work, he was asked to deliver a ... hmmm... how shall I say this?.... preserved baby bear to one of the job sites. Unfortunately, a torrential downpour made this impossible and necessitated our hosting an unexpected B&B guest overnight!

Because baby bear was mounted on a lovely tree branch complete with a very delicate hornet's nest, we couldn't just throw him in a corner somewhere. He spent the night "hanging out" in the corner of our TV room/library ... much to the amusement of most of our guests and the horror of one dear vegan guest!

The next night, the rain stopped and Mr. Bear Jr. was on his way home. Trust me ... this picture does not even come close to showing how happy Wayne was to have his young charge exit the premises! We have no idea what something like this costs, but we didn't want any disaster happening on our watch!

If you like this sort of thing, you would enjoy a visit to the amazing taxidermist here in Keene, NY. They preserve animals from all over the world. Check out their website at: (Ok... I just checked out their mounted black bear section and I'm really glad the little guy made it through the night $afely!)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

When it Rains...

As I write, I am surrounded by the soothing sounds of a beautiful summer rain on one of those perfect rainy Sunday afternoons that gives you an unspoken permission to take cuddle with a kitten, to curl up with a good book, to nap in a hammock (under the porch roof!), to call a friend, to bake cookies ... or perhaps, to blog!

This rainy afternoon reminds me of a very special guest who stayed at our B&B a few weeks ago. Peter and his wife arrived with plans to hike .... but down came the rains! So Peter proposed a very creative Plan B.

Peter is an artist, specializing in landscape and portraiture. Earlier, he had spotted our two daughters and his artist's eye admired their "beautiful bone structures." (I just knew those girls were beautiful!) He asked if the girls would mind sitting for portraits!

If you know my girls ... and many of you do ... you won't be surprised to hear that we had one very excited young lady and one who said, "NO WAY!" (I'll let you figure out who was who!)

Peter set up his easel on the front porch and while the rain dripped melodiously from the eaves (you can actually SEE the rain dripping from the eaves just above Sodie's head!), he began....

First, a sketch of Sodie's outline

I loved Peter's palette ... such a rich rainbow of colors that he mixed to create just the right hue.

Peter works very quickly ... usually finished with the first "draft" in about one hour.

Finishing touches

"Sodie.... meet Sodie!"

Now it was time for CorrieAnne to take her turn posing.

It was appropriate that Peter captured her wearing her very favorite red sweatshirt!

Getting there....

CorrieAnne checking out her likeness

The finished product!

You can see more of Peter's artwork on his blog

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Things They Leave Behind ....

Scenes from a recent B&B drama...

Scene 1: Woman cleaning guest room at world famous B&B. She casually flips over a comforter to discover a pair of Northface hiking shorts, a Northface hat and a snazzy pair of sunglasses lurking beneath.

Scene 2: Woman thinks quickly. The owner of said items is hiking the mountain behind the house. Car is still in driveway. She will simply place the items on the hood of the car. Great plan!

Scene 3: Woman opens front door just as guest's car begins to roll down the driveway. Losing all dignity, woman dashes down the stairs and sprints across the yard, yelling and waving aforementioned pair of hiking shorts, a hat and a snazzy pair of sunglasses wildly.

Scene 4: Oblivious to her passionate pursuit, the car and its owners turn out of the driveway and speed off down the road.

Scene 5: Woman stands dejectedly at the end of driveway and wonders aloud "How much will it cost to ship these to Canada?"


One of the unexpected amusements/frustrations of our B&B experience has been the variety of items left behind by our guests! Note: This can also turn into a perk if:

1) you don't find the item until you can't remember whose it is
2) you like the item
3) the item happens to be your size!

One of my favorite "left behind" memories occured as I stripped beds. I gave a hearty yank to a sheet and squealed as a furry brown thing skittered across the floor! EEEK!

Looking for all the world like a baby groundhog, it lay curled up on my floor as I circled warily at least three times. Finally convinced that it wasn't alive, I gingerly picked it up and discovered that it was a furry version of a ladies' eye pillow! I laughed so hard that I cried! (Although it was a "one-size-fits-all" item, I did NOT use it!)

One of my NOT so favorite "left behind" moments is depicted in the following photo:

This is what happens when a guest does Sodoku in bed with a blue marker and then falls asleeeeeeeeeeppp....! (This is also what your friendly B&B owner does after you leave!)

This photo shows a few of our recent "hauls:"

In about a two week period, you will note that Wayne has scored a Nike hat, a warm wooly pair of socks, a size 14 pair of hiking boots AND an "unmentionable!" ... while I have a new book to read, a new necklace, a granny nightgown and a hat big enough to keep the sun off of me and my next three generations!

(Sadly, we had to mail back the MP3 player and the brand-new running shoes...)

The moral of this story?

Check all drawers, closets, under the bed and especially under the comforter before leaving your next vacation spot ... OR... someday, when you least expect it, you may recognize something of YOURS on a blog somewhere!