This has been an active weather month! Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma threatened friends and family. High winds, rushing water, and unpredictable weather knocked at the doors of many who didn’t need that upheaval in their lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with the thousands recovering and who, in the future will have that heart palpitations each time it rains and storms are forecast. Having lived through the floods of the Midwest in the early 90’s and North Carolina hurricanes (complete with trees through my roof), I realize that weather-related PTSD is no laughing matter. Those revisiting feelings are real. Belongings can be replaced, but in that process, there is a great deal of emotional stress. I used to write about disaster-related stress in my professional working days. If you are part of a support system for recovering families, help them think through their next steps and realize that the emotions can override their otherwise rational thinking processes.
Many of us north of the flooded areas are welcoming the rain, having just seeded our lawns. It will be time to trim and rake before long. My Cleome plant (some call it a Spider flower) was beautiful and is in the process of going to seed. As well, I finally had “Agnes’ little yellow flowers” identified.
My friend, Agnes helped me plant much of the gardens at Bedford Landings the year after we opened. The Coreopsis we have is some (unknown) variety but the pollinators love them while we still just call them “Agnes’ little yellow flowers!” I love the August and September pop of color the provide, for they will be gone soon!
For the next two months, we will enjoy the art of Linda Murray Atkinson. A member of the Art Visions Gallery at Smith Mountain Lake, Linda’s lovely work now adorns our walls. I am really curious about the work she has done on yupo. “Yupo is a synthetic surface that can be unpredictable and exciting,” according the Linda. She says that she loves experimenting with all medium and techniques. She is a member of the League of Roanoke Artists and lives in Stewartsville, VA with her husband and dogs. She is retired from Appalachian Power and says that “just seeing beautiful art fills my soul in a way that I cannot put into words.” Come by and check out her work.
I know many of the readers of this blog were concerned that Jack would end up Bar-B-Q-ing the chickens. But now they are producing 4-5 eggs a day so it’s all good!
There is grace in this world. There is beauty, there is hope, and there is recovery. And it’s all good!
Where were you during the eclipse?
We were right here at Bedford Landings. It didn’t get totally dark but our 90% darkness midday was sort of eerie. For posterity, I took the photo of the partial coverage through my colander over a map depicting our location.
Of course about 4pm the day before the eclipse, I decided to try to come up with a creative menu for breakfast. We will probably get horrible reviews from these four fine people who dined that morning because we broke a cardinal rule. We generally TRY recipes before we serve them. Instead I did a quick Facebook poll. Sunny sides and moon pies were the best that my peeps could suggest. So, we had Sunny side Breakfast casserole (other yummy stuff under the Sunnyside) and Moonpie bread pudding. We won’t make that again for another 7 years (April 2024), but it was great fun to plan!
Oh- and we had eclipse cookies…
On the day of the eclipse, apparently there were many pilots who had flown their planes to see the darkness. But then the actual evening crept in cutting their flights home short. Stopping for gas, they realized they could not make it home and we thank the folks on the other end of the runway for referrals to our bed and breakfast for their stay. We ended up with a sudden full house of pilots! No moon pies for them though!
Hooray for producing chickens! We can now brag that we have really fresh eggs at Bedford Landings B & B! We are now getting one egg a day from our chicky-poos! With five chickens, that nearly equals the three dozen per week we use during the busy season! Jack will have to select another delicacy for his BBQ!
We have had a really busy summer and have had some fantastic guests! With cooler temperatures, it seems as Fall is just around the corner so that’s what we are looking forward to next…plan your get away now!
Upcoming Fall events:
Sunset Saturday Sept. 2
The last Sunset Saturday of the year. Bring a chair and a picnic. $10 Admission for wine tasting. Purchase their wine and enjoy entertainment.
Stand up Paddle Board Race – Sept 16
A new event.
Antique and Classic Boat Show – Sept 16
Great display of boats.
The Wine Festival – Sept 23-24
Choose when you attend during this two-day event to taste wine, greet friends, bring a chair, buy bottle of wine and a snack, peruse vendor booths and enjoy music.
Bedford County Fair – Sept 20
In it’s third year, a growing event and fun for the family, see their full schedule.
The Charity Home Tour – October 6, 7, 8
Visit and tour 8 lovely homes around the lake, learn about their features and the contractors.
SML Oktoberfest and 5K Trail Race – October 14
German food, live entertainment, and more.
The Chili Fest – November 4 (11-4)
Sample and vote for the best tasting chili, also crafts and music are a part of the day.
Enjoy the rest of the summer and book now for Fall at Bedford Landings.
I know readers may be tired of hearing about them, but we are having fun with our chickens! Macaroni, Cupcake, Honeybun, Blackie, and Red have become part of our daily routine. Up with the sun and to bed with the sun is a true statement! They love treats after breakfast preparations such as ground up fruit peels and egg shells or popcorn. But their favorite is watermelon!
We have been collecting their eggs which seem to appear about mid morning. We have collected about a dozen in all so far and yes, we have cracked and eaten them. Quite good eggs I must say! But, this week, I had to laugh! The chicken that laid it must have been kind of embarrassed. The one I found was so small it looked like a malted milk ball or a robin egg! A friend told me these are called Fairy Eggs! There are other names too. You can read more about them in this link.
Besides the chickens, we have been busy with wonderful guests. Tomorrow (August 4) we are having a cookout for guests who have stayed at Bedford Landings and who have purchased homes to live at Smith Mountain Lake. If you are one of these and I was unaware of your purchase, please let me know and you too can come!
Jack continues to work on the RV-10 (the plane he is building). Fiberglass work leads to lots of dust! Here is a photo of his arm after a day of work. Can that be healthy? He is striving to have it completed by next summer. Stay tuned on that!
Last weekend, we re-entered our boat in the cardboard boat regatta. You may recall that last year we came in third. Engineer, Jack felt sure that with a little rowing practice he and Bill could row to victory this time. They did practice in the boat about a month before the race, but the little boat took on water. Drying it out and repairing it, Jack towed it to the 4-H Center. There were 11 boats in the regatta this year. They ran two heats with the best time winning. The objective was to row to the outside of the red buoys. The problem is the red buoys were about the size of baseballs and the steer man in the rear of the boat could barely see them. They missed one and had to backtrack making their first time 3:17. The second heat, Bill donned his lucky pink sunglasses and they rowed their way to the best time of the day 2:40. We won the award for best time, as well as best display, and best in class. Wow! We can never top all of this acclaim so next year we will turn it over to our youth to row!
Super grand daughter (12-year old) has been here this month and has visited Luray Caverns, been to Kings Dominion, attended a (rained out) Salem Red Sox game, had friends spend the night, and been out in the water as much as possible. Photos show some of these experiences including LOVE LETTERS at Luray Caverns. I blogged about the Love Letters across the state of Virginia earlier this year.
Destiny’s visit is coming to an end next week as it is nearing “Back to School Time!”
If it is back to school time then that means Fall is around the corner. Already? Hard to believe! Enjoy the 86 degree water and what is left of summer while you can!
Happy summer, 2017! We always have a lot going on. We don’t always tell all..but we do share some. I (Karen) am generally the blogger for Bedford Landings. Occasionally do I get Jack, our resident pilot and biscuit maker, to add a few words for us. But Jack’s brother George – now there is an admitted blogger; consistent and interesting. Today, he even addresses blogging! Not so lowly, George, you even get race press passes!
Summer is in full swing complete with potential thermometer readings of 100 today! I hear that chickens don’t lay eggs if it gets too hot so that’s this week’s excuse! They are nearly 22 weeks old and I actually enjoy letting them out each morning and locking them in their coop each night. But with the heat, I felt sort of sorry for them locked up in their coop last night. But it was precautionary. I hear there have been black bear sightings not far from here and one of our guests saw a red fox run across the runway so I still locked them up!
I took this photo last night. Remember last blog I said that their combs and waddles get redder when they are ready to lay? What do you think of me now?
My friend Wendy (Hickory Hill Vineyards) says to blow out the insides and keep the shell. It is relatively small compared to the eggs that I buy from our little friend down the road. In the photo, you will see our little gem is on the left! Kristian delivers us three-dozen a week and was not all that impressed when I told him we had found out first egg.
As motivation, I purchased them a handsome peacock/rooster chicken sculpture made from recycled car and airplane parts (that is the part that sold me!) from the General Store in Moneta. They had a lot of other great yard art!
We have maintained a five-star trip advisor rating for three years. Last week, one of the guests mentioned how pleasant and what a good job, Patty, the housekeeper does for us. Patty is dependable and works hard for us. So, we took her on a boat ride this week. She had never been out on Smith Mountain Lake and loved it. Patty didn’t want her photo posted, so we are posting two of Bella instead!
We celebrated my brother’s 60th birthday at the lake complete with his kids (my niece and nephew and their families) and my sister. Since the B & B was full, we spent most of the time at my sister’s across the lake (10 minutes by jet ski and 40 minutes by car). Yes we have funny hats on in the group photo. We also had pinatas, family jeopardy, food, boats, and even tried our hand at Stand Up Paddle boarding in my sister’s cove.
My sister, who promises to permanently move here at some point, has become involved in volunteering at the Booker T. Washington National Monument and even portrayed a plantation wife in the summer Juneteenth play (last in the line in the photo below). She was fantastic, far more dramatic than I could be!
Destiny, our beautiful grand daughter, is visiting for the summer. Last week she was part of the music team working at Vacation Bible School. Next week, she is helping teach swimming lessons with the Bedford YMCA at Mariner’s Landing and in between, we plan to go to Luray Caverns as well as take in a Salem Red Sox game. Over the past summers, she has met friends and has several social engagements planned in the coming weeks. We have even let her be in charge of the kitchen (dinner only) from time to time and is getting the hang of cooking as well as cleaning up, which makes me happy!
We continue to have very interesting and engaging guests flying and driving into Bedford Landings! Summers are our busy time and we so appreciate them choosing Bedford Landings for their vacation time! We had three fly-in guests last weekend which made an interesting array on the ramp out front.
I am becoming more cognizant of the reasoning behind several of the catch phrases about chickens…
…up with the chickens,
…to bed with the chickens,
…ya big chicken,
… chicken in every pot (ooops! We hope not!)
Stay tuned for more summer updates from us (and the) chickens!
We know our Bedford Landings Blog readers are waiting with bated breath to see a photo of our first chicken egg. We are too! I even have a special little box to place it in for it’s photo op!
Our five chickens are 17 weeks old now. The books and articles indicate that they begin to lay between 16 and 24 weeks. Age isn’t our only clue, however.
I did a little more research. Here is what I found and what we are observing.
But the deciding factor is if their pelvis bones are ready. We would need to first catch one and then check the three prominent bones to see if they are close or separated. Jack told me to “get right on that and he would get the video camera ready!”
Many of you have advised that we need a rooster in order to get eggs. Really? At a Bed & Breakfast we can’t have cock-a-doodle-dooing! So we will not have a rooster. But think about it, girls! We have eggs without roosters don’t we? Hens don’t need roosters. Enough said about that!
I have learned is that chickens get bored. And bored chickens start pecking at each other resulting in feather loss and egg eating. Yikes! So we entertain them! I put a mirror in their chicken yard! They like that!
I hung a swing in the yard but I have yet to see them on the swing! There are many boredom busters. I have added a few stools for them to get on, one right next to the swing to encourage them to hop on the swing! I also make treats for them. Using the food processor, I grind up fruits, veggie skins, and leftovers with egg shells. They love it. After scooping it into a platter for the chickens, I set the bowl down and have also discovered that our dog has taken a liking to the ground-up treat as well!
We have joined the state innkeepers association called StayVA. This is a place you can search for a place to stay in Virginia. As part of that association, we are working with Aspiring Innkeepers. We have hosted one potential innkeeper as she job shadowed us as we welcomed, cooked, cleaned and more.
We are really busy. Each day we have 2-4 guest rooms full. Many of the reservations are from folks who find themselves at the lake having not reserved a place to stay. So, this year’s trend is…late night arrivals. There are always interesting people arriving on motorcycles, by plane, or pulling a boat, all with stories to tell! Jack as been averaging about four flightseeing rides each week. Guests at Bedford Landings, as well as others visiting the lake, enjoy taking in the beauty of Smith Mountain Lake by air.
Upcoming events at the lake include the Fourth of July fireworks (July 1 and 2), Pirates Day (mid July), sunset Saturdays at Hickory Hill, The Embers will be at Mangos, the Cardboard Boat Regatta and more.
Come visit, watch the chickens, enjoy the porch, sip a glass of wine, wander around, and let us pamper you!