Weekdays in June have been surprisingly busy with guests while weekends relatively slow, which is a little odd. Have had a few drop-in one-nighters, but most of the reservations have been three to five-nighers. Almost all of our guests these last 16 days have been hikers, rather than the shop until you drop variety! Cades Cove has been busy with numerous bear sightings. Weather continues to be beautiful. Gardens doing well and the dog fur has kept the rabbits away. Ta Da!!! (See my previous post.)
We put up a bat house. Bats (five or six) had started roosting under the eave on the front of the house in an area that wasn’t ideal. They showed up last year in the same spot and we ran them off. This year I decided I wanted them as permanent tenants, just not in that spot. They appear to have found the bat house. We rubbed a little bat guano on the house hoping that might help them find it. It can take up to a year or longer for them to find a house, could I be so lucky to have the bats find it that soon?
On a personal note, I woke up one morning ten days ago and decided I needed to start painting again. I mean right then, like, serve breakfast, clear the table, and pick up a paint brush. Don’t know where the urge came from. I haven’t done much in the way of art these ten years I have been inn-keeping. A dear guest who has become a good friend shamed me into a little painting last summer but it is always easier for me to find work to do around the B&B. I finished one painting, worked on another, and started two others in the last ten days. Today is my first day without guests in a while and I thought I would paint all day. Thank the Lord common sense prevailed and I have been a good girl working through the piles on my desk today.
I have been trying to submit/claim my blog on www.Technorati.com for the last three weeks and today it took me one step further than before. I need to post the following number- ynvcjgiqrd, for it to find me. We’ll see if it works. mizkathleen @GracehillRead More
Have been busy these last ten days doing catch up on lots of small jobs, mostly in the office, but outside also. On Thursday Brandy, Hans, and I got in 3.5 hours each, outside, before the heavens opened back up with one heck of a storm. For as small as the rose garden is (80 bushes?) I don’t know where the time went between dead heading, spraying, & tying a few of them up.
Hans has continued to put in some time on Friday and today. For some reason, this year has been a constant battle against the forces of nature in the form of small critters. We always have the occasional bear, boar, turkey, and deer, but have never really had many squirrels and such. This year the rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks have made a tossed salad out of everything we’ve planted. The birds tore up the moss garden for nest building so we put netting over what was left of the moss to anchor it down. You don’t really see it unless it is raining and the water beads up on it.
I tried sprinkling this rabbit/deer away stuff around. It has worked some. It is supposed to irritate their noses so they stay away. I could deal with the tops being eaten off the zinnias, but Mom went out one morning and all the parsley was eaten down to the ground. I’m surprised that the shriek that came out of her mouth didn’t scare them off permanently. We tried using a small trap to relocate them but they didn’t like Kroger brand carrots, I guess. I’ve tried a liquid that you spray on the foliage and it killed the May Night Salvia. So option four- I went to Pet Smart and asked them for all their dog fur out of their vacuum. Hans spread that around in and out of the plants and we’ll see if that works. Anybody have any suggestions other than expediting their trip to heaven I’m open to suggestions! mizkathleen @GracehillRead More
The Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center Guild presented the 6th annual Heritage Happening: Landmarks of our Heritage, on Saturday May 30th, 2009, at the Heritage Center in Townsend, Tennessee. This annual event is the biggest fund raiser the museum has each year. 1,770 invitations were sent out with a near capacity crowd of 325 people. There is both a silent auction with 9 different categories, and a live auction which is, yes, always lively! The event grossed around $90,000 with the auction bringing in $54,040 of that. The live auction items that brought the most attention this year all had to do with food, no surprise: an evening boat ride for 12 complete with a gourmet dinner, a progressive dinner in Laural Valley, and the like. Besides paid help, it takes roughly 30 volunteers to pull this off each year. Of course you have the one night a year volunteers like me, and then there are the “a hundred++ hours a year” volunteers like some of my friends. It’s a lot of fun, particularly when it is over. :-) Thanks to Cam King, Doris Gorman, and Betty Jones for letting me pick their brains, and the photo’s taken and provided by Louise Presley. mizkathleen @GracehillRead More
This article was linked to our Gracehill website for awhile and I decided to repost it in a blog format. There were eight photos that appeared in the original format, seven of which are already on our website so we are leaving them off the blog. Since this article was written, Gracehill won the award for a third year in a row, and added an additional bedroom.
Gracehill- Townsend, Tennessee
by Sharon Sweetser Pound
in Arrington’s Inn Traveler
One glance into the guest book at Gracehill in Townsend, Tennessee hints at this bed and breakfast’s distinct character. Comments include “a magical place,” “a wonderful refuge,” “couldn’t resist one more night,” “a little piece of heaven,” and “where we renew our spirits and restore our souls.”Read More
Tony Barbarette, the owner/operator, of Smoky Mountain Kayaking and I met today. He is a retired Army Intelligence Officer. He recently took a hobby he was passionate about, and turned it into what is becoming a full-time business. There are a handful of white water kayaking/tubing businesses within a two-hour drive of Gracehill Bed and Breakfast; Tony’s, is for the most part, the only lake kayaking and tours on flat water. He is based out of Maryville, Tennessee. Tony does tours on Douglas, Tellico, Chilhowee, Norris, and Calderwood Lakes, in the Fontana Dam and Abrams Creek area, and the Tennessee and Little Tennessee Rivers. One of the trips, if the water level is correct, you can kayak through an old train tunnel, or take a history tour of Fort Loudon State Historical Area. See the Sequoyah Birth Place Museum where Sequoyah invented the Cherokee Alphabet, and the Chota Memorial and Oconostota Burial Site.
His comments from a kayaking trip a couple of days ago– “What a beautiful Smoky Mountain day on Abrams Creek it was! Clear blue skies, cool breezes, and not another boater in sight! Ann and Roland Long from Texas were my companions. The mountain laurels were in full bloom along the water’s edge, and we all took advantage of the great photo backgrounds. I’m gearing up for the Memorial Day weekend with paddle tours scheduled for Fort Loudon Historical Area on Tellico Lake, tours to Chilhowee Lake, and Abrams Creek. Folks need to book early to get their first choice of the trip and time they would like.” The photo’s about sum it up! mizkathleen @Gracehill.
Have been working almost two months on a redesign of my website www.GracehillBandB.com with Beka from Etherion, Inc. We decided to put it in Word Press to facilitate blogging. We went live today. Now starts the process of working out all the kinks. It will be a joy when it is over. Next project??? either a redesign of my brochure, or starting a newsletter. In between I’ll do a little cooking, laundry, and greeting my guests for the Memorial Day Weekend. Life is good……. and the bed tonight will be even better! mizkathleen @GracehillRead More
Mom and I drove to Buckhorn Inn today located in the Arts and Crafts Community of Gatlinburg for our monthly B&B association meeting. Lee provided a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach! Main topic of conversation was: link policies to the Smoky Mountain Bed and Breakfast website, what we are all paying for credit cards fees, and the definition of a bed and breakfast/inn (not easy). Sterling and Rick from Wahoo Zip Lines were our guests. They claim you can be as young as 5 and they have had folks do this who are in their 80′s and 90′s. Surely as creaky as I am at 55, I can give it a shot with my 6-year-old nephew.
The mountain laurel is blooming all along our driveway. The photo was taken coming up the drive of a Kousa Dogwood with some flowering plums as the reddish foliage in the background. Kousa Dogwoods are not native like the dogwood photo in my May 4th blog of Cornus florida, but they have a later and longer bloom period with virtually no disease or pest problems. It’s common for me to still have this tree still blooming at the Fourth of July and one year they lasted almost all summer. Amazing. mizkathleen @GracehillRead More