Inn Quirkiness

Posted on March 30, 2023 by Bedfordlandings

“Quirkness” is a quality of being slightly peculiar or unconventional.   It is similar to eccentric. Have you felt as if you have met quirky people?  Have you observed quirky art or quirky décor?

While traveling for 6 weeks this past winter, we took two cruises plus traveled by land in Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii.  We observed food and housekeeping practices on the ships but also we tried to stay in as many bed and breakfasts as possible so that we could observe them to improve our own practices. 

While on the cruise ship all day (called a Day at Sea), we generally get sucked into the art auctions.  And very often and very mindlessly, our bid card flew into the air and before we knew it, we own a new piece of art.  We have recently been looking at a sort of quirky artist.  His paintings are certainly pieces for discussion and wondering!  Here are two examples of Michael Cheval’s works and his website. What is your interpretation?

In New Zealand, we stayed at an Inn called Lake Tekapo Lodge. First of all, when we arrived, we broke a rule about knocking.  As B & B owners who live on our property, we prefer guests knock instead of walking right in.  Well, we walked right into the front door.  We didn’t notice the “Welcome Karen and Jack. Ring the Bell” sign, nor the big finger pointing the bell! We wandered around until the innkeeper’s dog barked alerting her we were there.

Front door
Please ring the bell!
Stephanie at Lake Tekapo Losge

Innkeeper, Stephanie, had some really cool, interesting, quirky décor!  I asked her which was her favorite piece in the house and she signified this one because of the energy and movement.

But I also loved this hanging dress- origami-type of art created from a road map and the curious collection of images below this.

And this fine trio of interesting characters.

Fine looking trio!

This was among my favorite!

Speak to the Hand!

Her property was overlooking beautiful Lake Tekapo. This little man gets to peer out the window at the view all day long!

What a view!

On the way to this Inn, we went through a curious little spot called Burkes Pass. Not much there but this:

Creative looking gas station
Burkes Pass, NZ

And this…

Picker's paradise
Picker’s Paradise

And here’s an idea for those jeans that the kids outgrow!

planter in little jeans

After leaving the Hawaiian cruise, we spent one night in Honolulu to see Pearl Harbour before heading home. We stayed at the (historic) Manoa Valley Inn. Our flight didn’t leave the next day until midnight so we vacated our lodging room so they could clean it but then stayed in their sunroom as long as we felt appropriate. We called an Uber about noon then we we hung out in the airport for 12 hours!! It was a nice sunroom.

Cheery sunroom

Then there were a few items of interest at the Manoa Valley Inn like this collection of frogs!


The frogs were sitting right across from this very ornate (period?) piece.

It’s a lamp

And that was sitting right next to this sort of scary dog!

Dog statue
Guard Dawg

But they indeed had a nice fish tank!

Fish sucked right to the tank!

We learned soooo much on this trip and saw such amazing places! Maybe in the next blog you will get a wildlife tour!

But let me leave you scratching your head about this one! We found these cheerios in the grocery store in Hawaii. Think that’s quirky? We didn’t purchase them!

Hotdogs labeled cheerios

Eleanor Pigby and Petunia the Pig

Posted on January 5, 2023 by Bedfordlandings

Ah, look at all the lonely people, where do they all come from?  

Eleanor Pigby confided that she has never seen so many people come and go.  They come with suitcase in hand, timidly knocking at the door, then upon departure, they act like old friends giving hugs and exchanging contact information.  Where do they all come from? Some come by car, some by airplane!  Where do they all come from? Eleanor has sat in the same position on the front porch through all seasons.

Where do they Come from and Why?

Bedford Landings has hosted people from as far away as Canada, Curacao, France, Germany, and Hungary.  But, why?  What brings them to Bedford Landings?  Some are visiting family.  Some are just passing through and want an overnight off the beaten path. Some are on honeymoons or a get away from the rush of day-to-day life while others know that Smith Mountain Lake is a beautiful place to be any season of the year!  

Eleanor has seen them all.  She looks and listens but never judges.  She watches and learns.  She tries to look pleasant and welcoming but watchful; always watchful.  She sees planes land, motorcycles and, hears noises coming from the hangar.  Sometimes late at night, guests tiptoe up the steps and sometimes late at night she sees a raccoon sneaking around.  She’s seen it all!  

Look at her next time and hear her singing quietly to herself very softly, “Ah look at all the lonely people, where do they all come from?!”  Eleanor has been standing watch for nearly 10 years. She has a crack in her ear, mended with a visible streak of glue. Her ribbons fade and we replace them, yet she always appears lonely.  Spotting the perfect companion on Facebook, we ordered another porch pig.  It took well over 6 months for Petunia to arrive, but don’t they look so joyful in each other’s company as we enter the year 2023!

Two sone pigs

Come visit our Porch and our Pigs in 2023!  Don’t they both look happy now?

Before & After

Posted on November 10, 2022 by Bedfordlandings

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 ( 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!

old color boardwalk
stained porch


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.

old carpet
new carpet

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.  

old valances

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. 

new valances

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!

house in 2013
2013 Just before we opened.

A chick chick here, a chick chick–wait, WHAT?

Posted on October 22, 2022 by Bedfordlandings

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.

Five little 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.

The Lonely Rooster

I think I have located a nice family for Daisy. Stay tuned! Cock-a-doodle doo!

She has Arrived!

Posted on July 26, 2022 by Bedfordlandings
Curacao cruise

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!

Artwork in box
First reveal
Artwork by Rut  hung
Didn’t take long to hang it in the chosen location
artwork location
She can be seen from both floors

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!

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