Wow, about 6:45 this morning, as I rolled up the window treatments overlooking the side yard, I saw three blobs on the ground. Took me a minute to realize the blobs were three sleeping deer. I have seen deer out there before, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a deer lying on the ground except in Cades Cove. I did a few chores looking out every five minutes and about 7:15, they decided to get up for the day. Not much of a picture. I had to take it through the screen, window and with no flash. Mizkathleen @GracehillRead More
It’s been a week since our April 6 snow and freezing temps at Gracehill. The wisteria and redbud tree lost their blooms. What a shame, it’s what I see from my office window. The candy tuff and phlox made it, as you can see by the picture I took today. After Inn guests checked out yesterday, I ran some errands including getting some hostas for the backyard rock garden. Will get them in the ground tomorrow. Mizkathleen @GracehillRead More
Easter was lovely! Mom and I went to Easter Vigil Mass Saturday evening. I had four out-of-town friends arrive that evening to stay at the B&B from Illinois and Indiana. For brunch on Sunday, we had mini sticky buns, fresh pineapple and our award winning Lemon Goat Cheese Blueberry Pancakes with sausage and roasted red peppers on the side for the main course. Friends took off for Cades Cove, and Mom and I hunkered down in the kitchen. Guests from Townsend, Maryville, and Knoxville arrived around five-ish along with our Cove trekkers. Had a great time and lots of help in the kitchen for clean up.
On Friday Kane had taken the foil coating off of 16 chocolate eggs and dipped them in white chocolate. When they were dry, he decorated them with icing to look like little Easter eggs. Auntie Kathy put them on the cheesecake a little too soon, and as they slowly melted they kind of looked like a pregnant chicken dropped her egg before she and not the egg made it across the road! Oh well, it’s the thought that counts, right? Mizkathleen @GracehillRead More
I had guests checking out today, Good Friday, and none checking in till Monday which is a little unusual. My six-year-old nephew Kane was out of school, so my sister-in-law dropped him off for the day. He was just in time to collect guest keys and swipe a credit card through the machine as our guests were leaving. I told him he was the innkeeper for the day, put an apron on him and headed to the kitchen. After clearing the breakfast table, we got down to work, and Kane made from scratch a key lime cheesecake and an amaretto cake for Easter on Sunday. We had invited 17 friends and family.
I asked him if he had ever cracked an egg before. He said, “YES!” I said, ” You did???” and he said, “Yes, when I dropped it on the floor!” We practiced cracking them into a separate bowl before dumping them in the mixing bowl. I was a little worried about Kane getting the spatula caught up in the beaters, but he did a great job. The only thing I did besides checking the measurements was zesting the limes and seperating yolks from whites when we needed them. We colored Easter eggs, did flower arrangements for church and the Inn, and helped clean up the backyard and parking lot when the last of the mulch was spread. I don’t know who had a better time, Kane or Auntie Kathy! Again, one heck of storm (tornado warnings) blew in the last hour we were working outside. Grandma took Kane home, and I contemplated the timing of the storm and the Crucifixion of our Lord. Mizkathleen @GracehillRead More
Our elevation at Gracehill is 2500 feet, the highest house in the county. The ten Aprils I have had the privilege of living here we have had snow almost every time. It usually falls slowly and melts quickly, but you can’t count on it so we watch the conditions closely and get out and spread urea, environmentally friendly, on the road when needed.
This April was no different. The bad weather moved in yesterday, Monday, April 6, 2009, in the middle of spreading 18 cubic yards of mulch. The crew, Brandy, Hans and Mike, aka, “Dog,” had started on Sunday and managed to hang in there till quiting time Monday but still had a good size pile left.
I was hoping we could finish today, Tuesday, but everything except the road was buried under four inches of the white stuff. It has been snowing off and on all day today. Mom and I are going to go spread the road before dark. I have a meeting I need to be at tomorrow and would prefer to drive the whole way instead of hiking down the hill to where I have a backup car parked at the bottom! The good news? Finished my taxes late last night and emailed the remainder to my accountant. Preparing now to lead a discussion tomorrow on search engine optimization to the Smoky Mountain Bed and Breakfast Association. Mizkathleen @GracehillRead More