It’s fall so we are working on various projects at Bedford Landings to continue to make our B & B unique, fun, and worth your stay!
I am most excited to show off the Flying Room artwork in the loft. The loft has a trundle bed to sleep two plus a queen bed and a fold out queen in the same room for families or friends to share. With the Flying theme, I wanted to place something creative in the loft that would just be whimsical and fun. Check it out!
If you can envision and describe it, Lisa Floyd (Floyd Artworks) can transform any wall into that vision! It looks like Jack’s airplane, the Pietenpol, is passing by outside and the wall has a giant crack in it! Jack was so thrilled; he wired a spotlight on the artwork!
The rest of this season’s chores pale in comparison to the artwork! Mulch, pruning, painting the stairwell, changing décor to Fall and wreaths from summer to Fall.We had a little issue with the towel rack in the Fourth Room so we restructured the towels to hang a little less traditionally.
Guests continue to call for reservations so despite the humid and warm weather, we are gearing up for a busy Fall complete with our first fire (which has not happened yet!). We have added a feature that guests can purchase; a Fire pit package complete with a fire log for the outdoor fire pit and the makings for S’mores. Add a bottle of wine and you have the perfect Fall evening!
Coming soon at Smith Mountain Lake is the Bridgewater Fall Festival (Oct. 14) and the ChiliFest on November 10th. The wineries do wine tastings each Saturday afternoon and the Sunken City Brewery is still making special brews. We can help you plan your weekend get away. Once you are here, we will give you a map and point you in the right direction based on your interests! See you soon!
It’s been a tough week. Last Sunday, Jack was deployed to Puerto Rico with the Virginia Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 2 team. They are based in Virginia Beach with trainer rescuers, fire fighters, dog handlers, and engineers making up the team. Jack is one of two structural engineers on this team. Of course he was a career mechanical engineer (designing things like cell phone and medical devices) But about 6 years ago, he trained to be part of FEMA. The training was no cakewalk including scenarios in rubble piles, confined space drills and more.
My brother made a career of firefighting and First Response work including FEMA and IST command work. He was been a part of disasters and rescues, but generally was the Captain in charge including disasters such as the Oklahoma City bombing, 9-11 Twin Towers, Hurricane Floyd and Katrina, Haiti and even when the space shuttle Columbia crashed over Texas killing seven astronauts. He was the first to approach Jack about this work. This was Jack’s first deployment so we both had some things to learn—including acronyms!
Usually the first responders are not deployed to the disaster area prior to the event but this team was able to deploy pretty fast since their cache (trucks, pallets of gear, etc.) were already in PR because they had been delivered as part of Hurricane Irma the week prior. They hunkered down with many residents who fled their homes in the Hotel Intercontinental. Keeping the team in the stairwells for hours during the worst of the storm and continually checking the roof and basement flooding was part of the day’s work while Hurricane Maria pounded this already vulnerable island.
So its been a week of me explaining to guests why Jack is not here at Bedford Landings and me twice miscounting how many bacon pieces to put in to the pan to feed the guests. Jack usually does the bacon and coffee in addition to waffles, Eggs Benedict, biscuits, and a few others dishes. While he was gone, I mowed, pruned, mulched, went to the dump, hosted the B & B association here, volunteered for the wine festival, took his truck for inspection, and the dog to the vet. I experienced lower back pain totally due from stress (I didn’t think I was stressed!!) and contracted poison ivy on my FACE! After a shot of cortisone and a round of prednisone, however, I am feeling fine now and FULL OF ENERGY! We both thank all of you from the bottoms of our hearts for your support and prayers during this time!!
After Hurricane Irma, my sister, who was visiting her soon-to be-retirement home at SML, left a week early from the lake to return to her one-bedroom apartment in Jacksonville, FL. It had been flooded causing trauma for the 16-year-old cat that was homebound atop the refrigerator and with 4 feet of water, her Prius was totaled; mold already growing on the upholstery. We have had guests who came to stay with us instead of their (cancelled) cruises and reports from guests who have experienced damage to their Florida homes. So much devastation. So much speculation about what it means! We can’t know. We can’t predict. We all just help each other out and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep your hearts light!
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!