Sunday, January 19, 2014

Winter at the Morning Glory

What a winter we have had so far and to think most of the cold weather so far was actually in the Fall! Oh well, it is slowly getting warmer - that is, above zero for more than a day at a time- and the Northland is gorgeous!  Ron and Billy the Dog have been running everyday, well sometimes Ron sits in the truck listening to the news while Billy runs circles around it and I am a fair weather friend who watches HGTV at home while they are out freezing their toochies off!  

We do have a couple of favorite trails we like to hike/snowshoe. One is right on the edge of town at Itasca Community College. There is an old growth pine forest planted behind the experiment station at the back of the college. It is beautiful - most of the plantation is around 75-100 years old and you feel very far away and peaceful in there. The snow hanging on the trees....ahhh.

The other trail is the John RoweMemorial Forest Trail about 10 minutes northeast of town. It is a mix of pines, balsam and hardwoods and we love it all year round. In the fall it was ablaze in orange and red from the maples and birch. The trail is nice and wide and you may even see the occasional critter- deer, coyote, mink.
We have soooo many trails here that we love, those are just two.  

A highlight this winter for us was the hosting of our first guest wedding! It was supposed to be an outdoor ice candle, tree lights, bonfire-lit wedding but with actual temps in the teens below zero made it quickly become an indoor candlelight ceremony in front of the fireplace. Still beautiful! Congratulations to Mike and Jess! Hopefully I will have some pictures for you in the near future.



In the next couple of months I hope to be blogging from the southern regions of the US. We are leaving for a 2 month trip in the motorhome currently waiting for us in Hot Springs, Arkansas and headed to Louisiana, over to Florida (to do some seashell hunting, of course), up to the Charleston area and back home. We have our wonderful inn sitters lined up to take great care of everyone, so head up here to cross country ski, snowshoe (we have 2 extra pair) or take in a wonderful performance at the ReifArts Center. Check out our Theatre Package on Visit Grand Rapids for ticket/room package discounts! This will be the first time we have ever been away from home this long and I know I will miss you all terribly, but I will try to have fun anyway!

Happy Winter!
Karen

Monday, October 28, 2013

Summer Recap - Looking Ahead

It was a very busy summer and fall, thank you to all our wonderful guests! We had people from all over the US, Canada and Europe and it was great to meet or revisit with all of them!

Our summer season started with a vacation for Ron and I and our kids going to Seattle to witness daughter, Jenna’s, graduation from the University of Washington, Tacoma, with a masters in Social Work. We had purchased a motorhome in Pasco,WA last April so we took this opportunity to pick it up and drive it home pulling a trailer with all of Jenna’s worldly possession while she drove her car. But first, we all took a 3-day vacation in the San Juan Islands to unwind and have a good old family time in a great house on the beach! It was so fun!

Jenna has now moved back to Minnesota and works for the Alzheimer’s Association in St. Cloud. It is so wonderful having her so close to home again.

Fast forward to this week after spending a great weekend here with the grandboys, Ron dropped them off and picked up his sister, Jan, to take “the big behemoth” to Hot Springs, Arkansas where it will be stored until we come back to pick it up in February and tour the gulf coast for 2 months. No worries, our wonderful in-keepers Cal and Bonnie will be here to welcome and take care of our guests during our absence. 

Ron left just in the nick of time as the snow started flying up here! Nothing is sticking to the streets yet and hopefully won’t for quite a while. The dalias were gorgeous this year and were flowering profusely right up until yesterday when the 30 degree temps got them. Now time to dig and store. Planted garlic yesterday from bulbs received from some wonderful California guests a year ago. Actually I planted them last winter and these are from the bulbs picked this summer. I was able to plant twice as many this year!

Quick sidebar for a craft idea: I saw the cutest checkerboard painted pumpkins on Etsy the other day. They used artificial pumpkins but I bought a real white (ghost) pumpkin and thought I would paint black squares on it like a checkerboard. Then decorate the stem area with fall leaves, etc, How cute would that be?!

Okay, 2 rooms to clean, pay some bills, take the dog for a walk, do some yard work and craft – maybe not in that order! Have a great day and always be ready to see the surprises and beauty around you!

Karen