I think we’re going to have a night off tonight.

We’re at that point in the season where we’re all really tired.  Tired of getting up early to make breakfast. Tired of cleaning toilets, doing laundry, making beds, doing dishes, ironing and dusting.  Tired of being on-call.  Tired of being on our best behavior.  (This applies to the kids more than to D’Arcy & me…)

Tonight we don’t have anyone booked, the phone has not rung and we’re almost ready to breathe a sigh of relief – maybe in another hour.

We’ve been really busy with business & life the past few weeks, but by the time the kids are asleep, I’m usually not too far behind and don’t get a chance to record our adventures.

We took Evan, Alex & Sarah to see DRUM! in Halifax on Saturday afternoon.  Our drummer, performer & highland dancer were mesmerized!  I have to admit that their parents were too!  It was worth every penny.  After it was over, Alex asked if we could all go to the Henry House (formerly the Granite Brewery) for supper, which is where D’Arcy & I first met.  We happily obliged and had a wonderful meal together.  My parents had kept Olivia and put her to bed at home, making it so easy for us to get out for a night.

Evan is having a hard time adjusting to school this year and does not like his classroom.  He has told us that he’s not sure whether it’s the bus or his classroom that’s more “chaotic”.  I have started volunteering in his class and had my first morning with them on Thursday.  It was disheartening to me to walk in and see him shrunken into himself during the class discussion.  Literally; he does not seem to want to share space with the person on either side of him.  He is upset everyday and has started to get canker sores which I assume is from stress.  Today was especially hard for him to go to school since it was raining and he knew he would have indoor recess & lunch.  Thankfully, his friends, band, intra murals, and the thought of curling and basketball starting up again seem to keep him going.

Luckily, Alex seems to be enjoying his classroom.  His teacher (substitute – not sure when his assigned teacher will be back…) is the wife of Sandy’s first cousin and they seem to have developed quite a rapport.  He’s loving the choirs he’s involved in and being off the eye drop seems to be making a huge difference in his personality too.

Sarah is coming into her own.  We still call her snuffleupagus since so many guests hear about her but so very few actually catch sight of her.  She loves preschool, library, ballet & highland dancing.  We don’t regret in the least that we kept her out of school this year.  She is thriving.

Olivia continues to be the whirlwind that keeps us all on her toes.  She climbs everything and feels she should be allowed to do anything her siblings do.  Good heavens, I can’t even imagine what she’ll be like as a teenager!!  I assume my parents will tell me it’s all “payback”!

In addition to life this week, we are busy trying to plan for Thanksgiving here with all of D’Arcy’s family.  At the moment, we’re expecting close to 40 for dinner on Sunday.  We have told everyone that it’s far less stressful for us to look after all the food and honestly, with Olivia’s allergies, it is.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I think we have most things under control; in the meantime, please forgive me if I’m not blogging much this week!

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Motorcycle Mama

July 19, 2009

There are some real benefits for kids who grow up in a B&B – things like meeting and getting to know people from all over the world, having your mother at home when you arrive home from school, getting homemade muffins & waffles for breakfast on a regular basis, getting to live in a beautiful home, etc.

I suspect if you asked my children (at least three of them), they would tell you a major benefit is when guests let you pretend to ride their motorcycle – some even give rides around the driveway!!

We had one such awesome couple last night and some pretty happy biker-wanna-bes this morning!

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We had a woman call yesterday afternoon to ask if we had a room available.  We did and told her the rate.  She then proceeded to explain that she wouldn’t be arriving until 10:30pm, so would we give her a discount because she wouldn’t be using the room very long?

I made sure the lights were turned off by 10:00.

Tourist season is in full swing around here and we had a full house all weekend.

Yesterday morning, one room was up & out at 6:30.

Another room was leaving an hour or so later and I noticed from the address on their registration card while they were paying that both rooms were from the same town.  I mentioned what a coincidence it was and suggested  that perhaps they knew one another?  The guest replied, “Yes, those were my neighbours from Hell – you could have knocked me over with a feather when I realized they were staying here too!”

Oops!

OUCH!

June 7, 2009

D’Arcy & I were in one of the guests rooms this morning, while the kids were running wild playing with one another.  My father was here because he had brought down a new quilt, bedskirt, cushions & slipcovers that my mother had made for one of our guest rooms.  We heard a BANG and then a scream; multiple screams in fact.  D’Arcy & I went running and found Evan in a panic, yelling, “Olivia… Window…”

I seriously thought she had fallen out of the second floor window.

As it turned out, the stick holding the window up “somehow” came out and the window fell shut on her right hand, across her knuckles.  (Shudder.)

Her thumb & index finger appear to be fine, but she is favouring the other three fingers.  They do bend, but she won’t bend them, hold anything in that hand, or lean her weight on them.  There is a big black bruise in the bend of her ring finger knuckle, and a blister and spot where the skin broke open on her middle finger.

Poor baby!

She went to bed and I cuddled with her all morning (while D’Arcy cleaned the guest rooms – she’d cry and say she needed me every time I tried to get up to go help him!  I must remember to thank her for that…)

Evan had his band concert this afternoon.  It went very well and he did a great job;  I find it’s always fun to hear a group of elementary school kids play “Tequila!” with such gusto!!  Colin & Suzana were there for Mira and the girls were glued to them.  Another friend of ours, who is a doctor, was there also and we asked him if he thought we should take Olivia out to get her fingers checked?  He felt them as best he could and noted that Olivia was yelling at him in annoyance rather than screaming in pain.  He mentioned that kids’ fingers heal really quickly but that we could go and get an x-ray requisition and they might put a “bunny brace” on it.  I think we’ve decided that we’ll take the wait-and-see approach and if she’s still favouring it tomorrow, we’ll take her in.

In the meantime, there’s no question that it’s hurting her.  She has all the (bad) luck!

Finished floor photos

March 30, 2009

I know the floor “after” photos have been a long time coming.  It feels that way to me too!!  Ta-Da…

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It’s been quite a weekend here at the B&B.

On Friday, I spent the day at the Regional Tourism Industry Association Conference.  I attend every year, but was really pleased with the information sessions this year.  There was some really valuable marketing information given out, and as a result, our B&B has a “Fan Page” on Facebook and D’Arcy can stop rolling his eyes at the tourism blog I’ve added to our website.  (And if anyone out there is a “friend” of mine on FB, please join our fan page!)  We had been told that we were invited to the banquet that evening free-of-charge, so the four kids booked into the “Grandparents B&B” and we went out.  We had a wonderful evening, highlighted by the fact we won the 2008 Accommodation Award!!

Part of the blurb they gave before announcing our name was a comment sent to them from a travel writer who stayed with us last year:

“As an outdoor and travel writer who has visited many places and written about some; I can attest to the fact that this is by far among the best, possibly “THE BEST” B&B in which we’ve ever stayed.  The quality of the lodging, the kindness and hospitality of the owners and the above and beyond touches makes this B&B one of which Nova Scotia – Canada – in fact, should boast.”

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That felt good!

Yesterday was very quiet around here.  D’Arcy picked the boys up and took them to basketball, and Mom decided that it would disrupt the girls the least to just keep them at her house for the day, since they were sleeping over again last night too.  We had a surprise 40th birthday party booked here at the B&B for our pharmacist’s wife. I puttered around re-arranging furniture and cleaning up the kitchen to get it ready for the caterer and then I took our standing Saturday afternoon massage appointment.  (Our massage therapist says that he just looks at the last name on his appointment schedule, and waits to see who “wins the lotto” each week!)  The birthday girl was at the spa, so I was careful not to say anything to her to give away the surprise!

Our pharmacist had dropped off the bar supplies while I was gone, so we got those arranged and D’Arcy ironed & caught up the laundry. (Gotta love a man who irons!) The guests were supposed to arrive at 7:30 with the surprise at 8, but they started to arrive at 7:00.  No problem – we just set them to work decorating with the streamers and balloons which had been dropped off.  

At 8:00, I got a phone call from the pharmacy that the guest of honor was on her way, so we kept a watch out for them.  We saw the truck pull in, so everyone got ready behind the doors.  What a great surprise when they walked in!!  She thought they were coming here to pick up their friends (Olivia’s doctor & his wife who is co-owner of the pharmacy and also our neighbours) to go to the city for the night.

About a half-an-hour later, D’Arcy came into the kitchen and told me to come into our living room, which had been set up as the bar area to see who was there.  It was Olivia’s allergist & his wife!  He hadn’t put two & two together before hand, that they were coming to our house!  What fun!  It was interesting to learn that not only does his daughter have a peanut & dairy allergy, but he himself  has a peanut allergy!!  No wonder he is so wonderful about addressing our concerns!!

The party lasted until after midnight, and we figure there were about 90 people in attendance throughout the evening.  The caterer (a pharmacist at the hospital in her other life) did an amazing job and the menu, which was peanut/nut/shellfish/mango free was delicious!  

We were joking that this was one party we could have kept the kids here for seeing as their family doctor, our pharmacists, our opthamologist & Olivia’s allergist were all here.  (Not to mention at least a dozen other doctors & other medical professionals…)  

D’Arcy & I cleaned up and put the furniture back in its rightful spots before heading to bed around 3:30 am (new time).  Morning came quickly!

Today, we took all the kids to church because I was scheduled to teach the 3 & 4 year Sunday School class, then chilled out most of the afternoon.  We did finish the cleanup, and D’Arcy helped the boys cut out their Cub cars with the bandsaw.  

Our engineer guest who is with us for five weeks flew to Mexico this weekend for a wedding, so we don’t expect him back until midnight.  Tonight is our Amazing Race date night, all the kids are asleep and D’Arcy has lit a fire..  

What a great weekend to bring me out of last week’s funk!