What do we do at Bedford Landings in the OFF season?

Posted on November 7, 2023 by Bedfordlandings

Being a seasonal destination, we wait until our guests list has been significantly pared down to do maintenance.  I have blogged about this in the past with other maintenance projects. Recently, we finished many tasks with the help of the contractors listed below. We would give them all five stars!

Bedford Landings Bed and Breakfast home
Bedford Landings Bed & Breakfast

Chinmeys Done Wright

Top Notch Lawn Care

Matress by Appointment at SML

Gus Wells Paving

We re-surfaced the blacktop for the driveway, had the chimney swept, painted the mailbox, replaced a mattress set, had a lawn company trim and mulch, and painted the front steps and boardwalk.  And, yes, it does feel good! The mulch will be fresh (and fresh smelling) for a few weeks. The boardwalk paint will not be chipped until someone drags their heavy luggage bumping it up the steps and the blacktop will look good for awhile!

Enjoy this little video of some of the work. It’s time for YOU to schedule your visit!

Bedford Landing’s Proud Gramma

Posted on October 29, 2023 by Bedfordlandings

Since Bedford Landings opened 10 years ago, each summer and spring break, Karen’s granddaughter has spent the summer at Smith Mountain Lake with “Gramma and Jack.” We are very close and now that she is 18, we have a little story about how proud we are as her grandparents.

When I grew up, my family lived in college communities. I have never known much about the military except from the news. But now I am learning about the Army.  After she graduated high school in June, 2023, our granddaughter joined the United States Army. This is a whole new world to me.  I have a son-in-law who has been in the Army now for 20 years.  All I do is worry about him (now stationed in Syria). But now, my girly girl granddaughter has followed in her dad’s footsteps and joined the Army.  

Girl and dog

After 10 weeks of crawling on her elbows and belly under barbed wire, jogging with a 40-pound ruck sack on her back, digging a hole, then sleeping in the hole for several nights, learning to shoot a gun, and more, she earned the right to call herself “Soldier.”  She is now in AIT (Advanced Individual Training).  The Army has many acronyms!

For the next 22 weeks, she will be trained for a position that will become her Army job. Her mother (Karen’s daughter), died in 2020.  With her dad deployed to Syria until May, her little (4-year-old) brother is living with his God parents. That leaves a bunch of encouraging and proud family members supporting her.  Many of us who attended her recent Army graduation witnessed a precise, controlled, and organized ceremony.  

soldiers in smoke
Part of the ceremony

There was formality, parading, music, saluting, and many rules!  There were proud parents, grandparents, spouses, aunts, uncles and more in attendance. 

flags & smoke

The total brigade composed of 1200 soldiers in five companies, stood at attention while the announcer said to “go find your loved one.”  A sea of people flooded the field. It was mass confusion sprinkled with shouts and shrieks. Not until she was “tapped” out could she move from attention.  But then the hugging and cries of relief began!  She had completed Basic!

With pride, I just want to remind those of you who never have imagined an Army (or military) life, that there is a whole ‘nother world in operation.  For those who are familiar, I thank-you and I have a growing appreciation for the work you have put in! 

Sister and little brother hugging
“I missed you!”
Hard to let her go!

Doolittle, The Flying Dorky

Posted on October 9, 2023 by Bedfordlandings

In a blog posted a few months ago, I shared the beginnings of a new children’s book that I am writing. Anyone who has been to Bedford Landings in the last two years, has met the house pup, Doolittle. He is so (overly) friendly and affectionate. We have to check guest luggage before people leave to be sure they did not pack this 9.5 pound bundle of joy.

I am happy to report that the book will be released right after Thanksgiving. It is still in draft form (as seen in the photo) but it is very close!

Cover Doolittle book
Cover for Karen’s new book

I will share the link once I have it but it is designed for children ages 5 (to have parents read with the child) to age about 12 when a child can read independently. There are ten chapters and most of the stories are true! I have done all of the photography for the book. There are several boxes with questions to create conversation with children.

We have a great time with Doolittle and he has spread so much love to those who visit Bedford Landings B & B! Stay tuned for more details! This will be a must have gift in time for the holidays!

Tips and Tricks

Posted on September 3, 2023 by Bedfordlandings

We have been running our B & B for 10 years now.  Along the way, we have picked up tips and hints relative to efficiency, recipes (that is not what this blog is about this time) and tips to just make some jobs easier.  Some are easy to explain and others a bit more difficult to describe. Let’s start with household tips.

Bedford Landings Bed and Breakfast home
Bedford Landings Bed and Breakfast

Trash Bags

One of my favorite efficiency tips is to put 2-3 trash bags in the can under the bag  we are currently using.  That way when in a hurry, take the full bag out and voila-there is another bag to use.  Not everyone in my household abides by this so often I do have to go hunting another bag.

White trash can
Trash can with liner

Mopping without a mop

Our housekeeper is now 77 years old and (like an energizer bunny), won’t quit/retire.  She has been with us 10 years and is quite good natured and dependable. But as it is with many of us, she can no longer get down (on her knees) on the floor where you can see drips, splashes, and hair.  This is especially true on tile bathroom floors. I saw her doing this one day.  She had attached an absorbent, but damp rag to the broom to use on the floor. No pail of water nor mop.

Mop with cleaning rag attached with rubberband
Mop/broom

Nasty Bug Bites

If a biting bug is going to bite anyone, it will be me. Is it my (O+)blood type? Years ago, my mother showed how to just paint a dab of clear finger nail polish on the bite. It seems to smother the itch! 

mosquito cartoon

What Friends Suggest

I asked friends through our Bedford Landings Facebook for ideas. Some shared their favorite tips so I am sharing these tried and trued methods with you. These are real people, smart people who are sharing!

Eggs, dishwashing liquid and scrubber

Vickie – a brilliantly organized woman I have known about 28 years says: When I make deviled eggs, I mix the filling in a bowl, then spoon it into a small ziplock bag. Cut the bottom corner of the bag off, then squeeze the filling into the egg halves.

Emily – a past guest says: I like to keep a scrubby cleaning item in the shower and a little cleaning soap so after I’m done washing up, I can do a quick wipe down without need of a bunch of chemicals or a lot of extra hard scrubbing energy as the steam/hot water has already done a lot of that work for you!

Nancy – a fellow alto says: Put a squirt of Dawn in your load of laundry (along with your detergent). Your washer will sparkle like a new one, with no soap film and no effort on your part!

Jessie – a storytelling friend says : If you over-salt the soup, throw in a potato and fish it out when it’s back to taste instead of watering it down. To get rid of hiccups, dissolve a teaspoon of sugar on your tongue while you do long division in your head. 

AND: Fold the pillow in half lengthwise to get it into the pillowcase without using your chin. Also, store sheet sets in the pillowcase for an easy grab-and-go changeover.

Old tales that seem to work

I play in a rock band (Yep!) called the SML Boomer band. That means we are a older than 60.

During and after a show, we were comparing notes about how to relieve cramps in fingers (drummers and guitar players) and leg cramps (Me singing and dancing). We discussed electrolytes, hydration, and stretches. Then, off the cuff, our keyboard player said he always heard that a bar of soap put in the bed works for leg cramps. <Silence> “What?” I had tried pickle juice, mustard, and a prescription for Vitamin B6. But soap? In between the sheets near the cramp.

Boomer band on stage singing
The Smith Mountain Lake Boomer Band

Maybe it was worth a try. Maybe it is psychological, but I can’t figure out why it seems to work. I have googled it and even People’s Pharmacy is researching, trying to nail down more than anecdotal explanations. Apparently the bar has to be refreshened now and again since the perfumes in the soap may be part of the magic! 

Dirty dishes in the sink
Let the Magi happen!
soap on a wash rag
SOAP?!

What did Jack suggest? 
I asked my loving husband and business partner what his tip or trick was so I could add it to this blog (You’re gonna love this). He says he thinks it is am amazing that when he puts his dirty dishes in the sink, that they magically hop into the dishwasher. 

To that, I revealed my magic and laughed hysterically! It seems to work that away with the clothes in the dryer too! (But enough domestic discussions!)

Karen laughing hysterically
Karen laughing hysterically!

What’s you magic trick?

If you have a suggestion to share, please comment on the blog. Carry on!

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Doolittle The Flying Dorky

Posted on June 17, 2023 by Bedfordlandings

I don’t necessarily want to be THAT pet owner who adores their pet so much that – but I do adore Doolittle and so does everyone else who comes to Bedford Landings B & B. A couple of weeks ago, two Nashville songwriters were staying with us. Of course, Doolittle made friends with them. Laughingly, they said they thought they should write a song called “Doolittle the Flying Dorky.” Then, dreaming on, they said, then you could write a children’s book and it would even become a TV show. LOL!

So having a few moments, I played around with the first chapter. Now I have 5 chapters and I want (your) reader input. Let me know if you want to read more chapters and I will post them! Here is Chapter One.

(Doolittle The Flying Dorky (c) by, Karen DeBord Phillips)

Chapter One – Those Ears!

Since I was just a little pup, I have had big ears.  My 3 sisters and 4 brothers often would tell big earjokes about me. They said I was “all ears” or say I was half bunny rabbit.  But I am not a bunny rabbit!  I was born a Dorky just like they were.  My mama was a Yorkshire (Yorkie) terrier, and my Daddy was a Dachshund. Put it together and that makes a Dorky.  

I didn’t stay with my birth family for very long before I was adopted. And my, do my new people love my ears?  They pet them and stroke them.  I love my new place.  I love to snuggle with them at night and follow them all around the house and yard. 

Pup

We play outside… but outside, there are loud noises that I don’t like.  Sometimes, the Mister gets into his big noisemaker and leaves.  He is usually not gone long but in leaving, he makes big rumbling noise!  I watch him disappear into the clouds. He floats up into the air.  Then he goes far so far up that I can’t see him in the sky.

What is that loud noise?

Once the Mister and the Mistress took me with them in this loud thing and we went up, up, up.  We were flying.  The Mistress covered my ears, so it wasn’t too loud for me. 

Airplane
Doo in plane

My ears continue to grow and people that visit us say, “those ears!” then they laugh.

I love it when people visit. I sit pretty to let them pet me (and my ears).  Everyone seems to love me.  They tease and say they want to take me home with them!  

I love to run and play.  I almost caught a squirrel one time.  I am very fast! I can catch a ball and even rollover. My life is good.

One day I was running in circles outside letting a little boy chase me.

Then I had an idea.  Wonder if I could use my ears for more than being cute?

That night, I dreamed I was flying.  I must have twitched in my sleep because the Mistress woke me up using a soft voice. 

I liked the dream!  In it, I was the Famous Doo!

I could do something no other dog could do!  I had special powers! I could fly!

In my dreams, I could hear a crowd cheering and people singing!

Doo… littleDoooooo LittleDoo the flying Dorky

Doooo littleDoo Little

He’s always been quite lucky

He runs so fast then jumps up high

Then look what happens, he reaches the skyyyy!

Doooo Little, Doo!

The famous Flying Dorky!

End Chapter One. If you want more, you gotta tell me. If that was totally enough, it’s ok!

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