In December, we will have been opened for 10 years! Well, in 10 years with thousands of guests per year, comes wear and tear. Fall is our time for repairs, renewing, and fixing up at Bedford Landings. As the summer slows, most of our guests are visiting on weekends so we have some gaps of time to get the work done. Here are a some of the before and after views of our work.
We have had the flower beds weeded, trimmed, and mulched. Then we worked on porch stain.
Re-staining the Front Porch
Last year, we had the rear deck re-stained. This year, we could afford to do the front. Now the paint matches on both sides. Jason with HouseBath (firstname.lastname@example.org) power washed the whole house before he started to stain. It is really a lot brighter. But also feels fresh and clean. I would recommend this guy!
Next we needed to consider the 10 year old carpet. Last year we had wanted to replace it but were not able. So this year, we recarpeted the upper level where the guest rooms are located. The carpet, after 10 years, had become worn and wrinkled. We left the crew from Floor Source to scrape and bang while we went off to my 50th Class Reunion in Blacksburg. Replacing the padding and carpeting makes it feel very soft and plush now. We moved all the small knick knacks, lamps, small tables, etc. We had to unmake all of the beds and it was a mess having to move furniture; but it is done! It took them three days to complete so we were glad to be out of town for most of that time.
Brightening up the Dining Room
Overtime, timbers in a timber-framed house will darken. I have had the same valances in the dining for 10 years. They were a deep navy floral. But it was time to brighten things up.
The very skilled Shelley from Shelley’s Vintage Camper Awnings custom made the new valances. I selected the fabrics, and she designed them just like the old ones. All the way from Tyler, Texas, she shipped them to us. I could not be happier with them! She has a Facebook page by this same name.
What’s next? Our 10-year old sectional in the great room will be moving to the theatre room. We just hope it will fit. We have ordered a brighter color to replace it. We will share that once it is in place. It’s always fun to document changes over time. So how about this for a before and after? Things change!
In the past, I have shared stories about our “girls.” That’s how I address our brood of chickens. We started out with 5 sisters.
Their breed was called Easter Eggers and they laid lovely green or blue eggs. Honeybun was the first to leave this planet as she was egg-bound. Then there were 4 left. During the Pandemic lock down, we added two new Australorps. They were also sisters. We raised them for a time in the laundry room which was a stinky process so they became named Stinky and Stanky. We slowly integrated them into the outside yard.
The Australorps laid pretty brown eggs. But one morning, we found Stanky dead in the chicken yard. Our chicken yard is very secure and the rest of the girls were ok so we didn’t suspect that another animal hurt her. Sometimes you just don’t know!
To make the long chicken story shorter, I will skip to the Spring of 2022 when our loving housekeeper, Patty gifted me two chickens for my birthday. One of them died before even being able to produce eggs. The second one, we called Daisy. We had high hopes for Daisy as the three remaining original sisters had hit chicken-menopause and were no longer laying.
We checked the egg box every day and finally one day, we heard almost a scream from the chicken yard. I thought, ‘finally Daisy has laid an egg!’ Then it happened again; but this time it sounded more like a cock-a-doodle-doo! Oh my word, Daisy was a rooster! Funny, not funny at the same time!
I had already found great homes for the non-laying three remaining sisters. The Booker T. Washington National Park ranger agreed to integrate them into the farm there. It was rather sad but I know they will be taken care of well there!
So now “one (little rooster) is the loneliest. But still crowing and the guests are noting it. We have never aspired to have a rooster. I made this little video of Daisy crowing.
I think I have located a nice family for Daisy. Stay tuned! Cock-a-doodle doo!
She has arrived! Well let me tell you what I mean.
Jack and I like cruises and when we first happened upon their art auctions, we had such fun! Drawing you in with champagne, we started learning about their artists. Park West Galleries, who holds these fun art auctions on cruise lines (Carnival and Holland American in particular) are a gallery that features artists from Thomas Kinkade to Michael Chevall to Peter Max. We have gotten caught up in their presentations in learning about their artists. If a painting really speaks to us both, we bargain for it and use any coupons they have dropped by our room. We certainly wait until the last minutes to be sure we can get the best deal!
About 18 years ago, we purchased out first piece of art by Emile Bellet. I have blogged about our fun art collection in the past.
Over 16 years ago, Jack and I were on a cruise for our honeymoon and spotted a lovely piece of artwork that we could not afford. Jack, in particular was quite smitten with the woman at the piano. The piece is entitled Diminueo by Tomasz Rut and she is stunning. Each time we check with the Gallery manager and describe her, they have not been able to locate one for us. Not that we could afford it now, but we kept checking.
The last cruise we took in March 2022, the art auction expert was able to locate a Diminueo (woman at the piano) Giclee on canvas. Rut signed it on the lower corner. Park West does a fantastic job of framing to set off the work. We have been tracking the Fed-Ex delivery and today she arrived!
We hung her and our eyes are now drawn to this piece that we have been looking forward to owning for over 16 years! Yes we bargained and we got a pretty good deal. Merry Christmas and Happy birthday to us!
Bedford Landings does not allow pets to visit along with their owners. We are happy to refer people to pet boarding at Little Ponderosa. We have even offered that the pet can stay crated and on the hangar porch or inside the hangar (in a crate). Why don’t we allow pets?
When we were researching building and operating a B &B, we did our own research with our little dog Kramer. There was an inn that hosted us with our dog in their “pet friendly” room. As soon as housebroken Kramer sniffed where other dogs had trod, he also marked the territory. Also we know that many humans sleep with their loving pets. Well, it’s not really fair to put the next person in that bed after a dog has slept there. Allergies, etc. come into play. So we made the tough decision, no pets. That being said, we do understand how therapeutic a pet can be. They indeed provide a level of understanding and emotional support beyond belief. There is an abundance of research literature driving home this point.
One study examined pet and adult interactions. There are recorded changes in blood pressure and heart rate before and after a pet therapy visits in an adult community when compared with (human) volunteer-only visits. Relationships among stress, pet attitude, social support, and health status were also examined. Study findings supported that pet therapy significantly decreased blood pressure and heart rate (Krause-Parello & Lolassa, 2016).
When Kramer passed on, we got Bella. When Bella passed on, we got DooLittle and I must say that their loving presence beside me or on my lap are truly fulfilling. We laugh as they play and the chemical reactions to our bodies is healthy! Of course holding a sleeping infant does the same to me. Jack, not so much! He loves just hearing a radial (airplane) engine.
In 2020, we experienced the death of three close family members and then Bella. Jack boo hooed greatly over Bella as we set her in the ground next to Kramer. But DooLittle has won our hearts and also of those who visit. You can’t bring your own pets but you can interact with ours! We see how helpful it is as many want to take Doo with them as they leave.
Just this morning, we had a guest leave because their dog back home (about 7 hours away) was having seizures and they needed to leave. Lois and Leon inspired me to give some thought to this pet effect. As she kissed Doo goodbye this morning, I said a little prayer hoping that their dog back home would be miraculously better when they arrived home because indeed, they need us too!
Share your pet stories and pictures with us!
Cheryl A. Krause-Parello & John Kolassa (2016) Pet Therapy: Enhancing Social and Cardiovascular Wellness in Community Dwelling Older Adults, Journal of Community Health Nursing, 33:1, 1-10, DOI: 10.1080/07370016.2016.1120587
Some of you know the story of our mellow, tasty Bedford Landings blend coffee. When we first opened in 2013, we were serving Sam’s Warehouse Breakfast blend coffee. We had a lot of compliments on it and so we kept purchasing it. Whatever coffee we serve, we buy the beans and grind it fresh for each pot. Jack drinks his coffee black. He likes it that way and consumes a great deal throughout the day. I drink my coffee with about 4 T. flavored non-dairy creamer and I like about one cup a day! BUT, Sam’s discontinued this tasty coffee. We tried Sam’s substitute and it was too bitter. We bought locally and it was not a good fit either.
We had a small bit of Sam’s coffee left and were lamenting to our guests one day that we were having a tough time replacing this particular coffee blend. Lo and behold, this couple had a son who had recently opened a coffee roastery in Floyd, VA. We noted the man’s name and made an appointment. We ventured over to Floyd. My brother lived there so we could stop for a family visit along the way! We met the owner and coffee roaster of Red Rooster Coffee.
We took a gallon of our tap water to the roasters. The taste of the local water effects the taste of the coffee, of course. We also took the little bit of sam’s coffee with us so they could match the taste. They took on the assignment to blend a similar taste. They mailed us samples and we tasted them. Jack and I agreed that they nailed it with Sample #2. Now we order exclusively from Red Rooster Coffee.
What coffee should I order?
What I am still confused about, however is how to order coffee that I would like when I order it from a coffee shop. I noted this cool list in the New York Times today and want to share it with you in case you have the same difficulty. Here is an A-Z list of coffee terms. Enjoy (over a cup o’ java!) while you work your WORDLE!
A Glossary of Coffee Terms
By Oliver Strand
AFFOGATO – Ice cream (traditionally vanilla) “drowned” with a shot of espresso.
AMERICANO-A shot of espresso diluted with hot water.
BARISTA – The person who prepares coffee at a coffee bar.
CAPPUCCINO – An espresso shot combined with foamed steamed milk. Five to seven ounces total.
CHEMEX- The classic hourglass-shaped filter coffee brewer. Chemex filters are denser than other paper filters, and many believe that this creates a sweeter, well-balanced cup of coffee.
CLEVER COFFEE DRIPPER- Recently introduced, a filter cone with a stopper that lets coffee steep before dripping, extracting more flavor.
CLOVER- High-tech single-cup brewing machine. Company was bought by Starbucks in 2007.
COLD DRIP COFFEE- Coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for about 12 hours, then strained to make a concentrate that’s used for iced coffee and cut with milk or water. It’s associated with New Orleans.
CORTADO- Espresso topped with flat steamed milk, 4 to 4 1/2 ounces total.
CREMA- Thick, caramel-colored emulsified oils that sit on top of an espresso.
CUP OF EXCELLENCE- A competition to determine the best coffee bean grown in a particular nation. The top Cup of Excellence (C.O.E.) lots fetch significantly higher prices at auction.
CUPPING- Tasting method used by coffee professionals. Coarsely ground coffee is steeped with hot water in shallow bowls, then slurped from flat spoons.
DARK ROAST- Coffee beans roasted until they exude oils. The style has fallen out of favor among many artisanal roasters who think it overwhelms certain flavors.
DIRECT TRADE- When coffee roasters buy directly from farms rather than from brokers. Proponents say it increases coffee quality and gives farmers more power.
DRIP COFFEE- Coffee made with a filter, a press pot, a percolator or a countertop coffee maker. Flavor is extracted by contact with water not under pressure.
ESPRESSO- Concentrated coffee made when hot water is forced at pressure through fine coffee grounds. Usually slightly less than 2 ounces total. Baristas prefer 8 to 10 bars of pressure and 15 to 25 grams of coffee.
FLAT WHITE- Espresso with flat, steamed milk, about 5 to 7 ounces.
FRENCH PRESS- Coffee made by steeping grounds with hot water in a vessel with a plunger and metal filter that pushes the grounds to the bottom. Often used in coffee bars for limited-edition coffees. Also called a press pot.
GREEN BEANS- Unroasted coffee beans.
LATTE- Espresso with steamed milk, 8 ounces or more total.
LATTE ART- The pattern formed by rhythmically pouring steamed milk into an espresso drink. Decorative and demonstrative; only properly steamed milk will hold a form.
MACCHIATO- Espresso topped with a dab of foamed steamed milk, about 2 to 3 ounces total.
MICRO-LOT- Coffee from a single farm, or a specific part of that farm.
MOCHA- Espresso mixed with chocolate syrup and steamed milk.
NEL DRIP- Short for “flannel drip,” it’s a form of drip coffee that uses flannel filters imported from Japan. The filters are temperamental, and must be washed by hand and kept chilled when not in use.
EXTRACTION- Drawing flavor from coffee grounds. Coffee can be underextracted and taste sour or overextracted and taste bitter.
FAIR TRADE- A private program that certifies that farmers or coffee growers are paid a minimum price for coffee.
FILTER COFFEE- Drip coffee made with a ceramic, glass or plastic cone lined with a paper filter. Favored by professionals because it gives them control over water temperature ideally 200 to 210 degrees. This coffee is sediment free, though some believe the filters add unwanted flavor.
PORTAFILTER- The filter basket and handle on an espresso machine.
POUR-OVER COFFEE- A method of drip coffee developed in Japan in which the water is poured in a thin, steady, slow stream over a filter cone. One cup of coffee takes as long as three minutes to brew. Some coffee bars have pour-over setups with several cones and distinctive swan-neck kettles from Japan.
PUCK- Spent coffee from a portafilter or Clover.
PULL- Espresso shots are “pulled.” The term is a holdover from when machines were lever operated.
REDEYE- A cup of brewed coffee with espresso.
RISTRETTO- Espresso pulled short with less water for a smaller, more concentrated drink.
ROAST- Unpalatable green beans are heated to create complex flavors that are extracted during brewing.
ROAST DATE- Most small-batch roasters print the roast date on bags of coffee. The rule of thumb is that coffee should be used within two weeks, and some coffee bars won’t sell beans more than a week after they have been roasted.
SEASONAL COFFEE- Coffee beans ripen at different times of the year in different regions, and can appear in markets and coffee bars for limited times.
SINGLE ORIGIN- Coffee from a particular region, farm or area within a farm.
SIPHON- A coffeemaking device, using vacuum pressure and a series of vessels, that originated in the 19th century. It recently gained popularity in Japan and is being used more in the United States. Despite its complications, it is known for producing fruity, bright coffee.
SLOW DRIPPER- Unusual devices imported from Japan with a glass sphere and a series of tubes and valves that make coffee with cold water in about 12 hours.
TRIFECTA- A high-tech single-cup coffee brewer introduced this year.