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Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

table set for dinnerLast Sunday was one of the most challenging days we’ve had here at Casa Baer. We’ve been very, very busy, which is a good thing. Saturday night we had a full house; someone in every room. That means fourteen for breakfast Sunday morning. The table was set, the casserole was ready to pop in the oven, the coffee was ready to perk. Everything set for the perfect morning at the inn. (more…)

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My life as an innkeeper is never dull. Most of the time my work is very rewarding. The average guest is very nice and respectful. And every day I see or hear something that makes me go:

bewildered-face

Being an innkeeper has challenges for sure, but there’s an amusing side as well. And an even larger amazing component that most people probably don’t even think about. (more…)

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Things are hopping here at the inn and I’m not just saying that because Easter’s right around the corner. And, I am in no way complaining. Keep them phones a ringin’ and keep them doors opening.

Since we’ve been here, my husband and I have developed somewhat of a routine that seems to be working. At least we’re not tripping over each other as often as we were. We’re able to work as a team to get done what needs to get done.

 

you should be writing

But the other stuff, the other important stuff, like writing, often falls by the wayside when days go sideways, which happens quite often. I’ve tried really hard of late to make writing a priority and to sit down at my computer every single day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Every minute puts me closer to the end of the project.

However, I don’t do well in the writing arena when I’m interrupted. I’m interrupted quite a lot these days, which makes for some frustrating writing sessions. Most times the interruptions are in the form of inn related stuff, which makes them a priority. When the phone rings, you have to answer it or you risk losing income. That can’t happen. When guests are in the house, they often wander and wandering brings them into my office, which doubles as the gift shop. I want them to browse the gift shop, so . . . I deal with the interruption.

don't interrupt meme

Yes, I know I can take my writing elsewhere, but it’s not always a good thing to leave the house empty. I don’t want guests to wander that much. If they want ice, I need to get them ice, since the kitchen is an “off limits” area here. If they need extra towels, I need to get them extra towels because the laundry area is another “off limits” area. And the list goes on. I’m working on finding a different set-up for my writing, but I love my office and I have it all set up the way I like it and I’m comfortable.

Let’s just say, I’m still making forward progress on my book, but it requires a good deal more patience then I’m used to.

I’ve also had to hone my flexibility skills as an innkeeper. Stuff happens. Things change from hour to hour, schedules are only suggestions at this point. As long as it all comes together at the necessary time, that’s what’s important. It can be challenging though.

For example, yesterday morning I planned on serving breakfast for 2 this morning. I shopped and planned my menu accordingly. By 8:00 last night, I needed to completely throw that plan out the window because I now had 11 for breakfast.

day planner

We also planned on moving some furniture around and doing some painting yesterday afternoon, but at 10:00 the phone rang and someone wanted a house tour. So much for painting yesterday. And I had prepared to serve appetizers for one couple during social hour; turns out the folks who originally said they’d be arriving late, arrived right at 5:00 when social hour started. Back to the kitchen I scampered, threw on my apron and whipped up another batch of goodies.

And then I forgot about the napkins. I had about a dozen clean ironed ones left in the drawer. Do I have enough for these extra people or will I now have to do laundry. And, ooops, I didn’t run the dishwasher yesterday because there was still room in it for today’s breakfast dishes, too. Well, that was when I was only serving 2. With these added folks, there is now not enough room in the dishwasher for all of the breakfast dishes. And the list goes on.

dirty dishes

It’s fun to be hopping around like the energizer bunny on steroids, but it requires a lot of patience and sometimes creativity. I only wish I could harness that energy and creativity for those quiet moments when I sit down to write and my brain shuts off.

Oh well, another opportunity to be flexible and switch gears. It’s a rewarding challenge.

What do you all do when plans unexpectedly change? Are you prepared to handle last minute switch-ups? Are you good and dealing with interruptions?

Word of the day: Epilimnion

Fun fact about me: I’m a much better cook than I ever thought I was.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, March 2016. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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Photo courtesy Baer House Inn

Photo courtesy Baer House Inn

Here it is – my new abode! Come on in, take a look around. While you explore, I’ll share some of the history of the home. Let’s start in the ballroom:

Baer House parlor

The Baer House was constructed in 1870 by Leona and Lazarus Baer from an existing site with a brick structure dating prior to 1850. Most of the original house was destroyed during the siege of Vicksburg in 1863. Leona Baer (formerly Bloom) began reconstruction with the goal of building a Victorian home guaranteed to impress with elaborate woodwork in the Eastlake architectural style, made popular by Charles L. Eastlake in the 1870’s and common among the elite in New York.

If you’ll turn around, you can see the other end of this large room, which is where guests enjoy a hearty breakfast, complete with a variety of hot dishes, juice, fresh fruit, homemade breads, hot black coffee, and made-to-order specialty dishes.

Baer House dining room

Back to the home’s construction. Leona Baer, was quite the revolutionary woman, insisting on overseeing every aspect of the home’s design and monitoring it’s construction. She was very forward-thinking for her generation, insisting that the kitchen be inside the home (an unheard of idea at that time) and that there be privies on the first and second floors. That’s right, this home sports a two-story outhouse. Don’t believe me? You’ll have to make a reservation and check this out yourself. The structure is still standing and still attached to the house. Makes for interesting conversation among tour guests.

Let’s step into the hallway for this next portion.

Baer House hallway

The head-turner here is, obviously, the grand staircase, complete with solid walnut balustrade. Notice the floors? They were painstakingly constructed of black walnut and American chestnut, highly sought after for it’s durability and rot resistance. Yes, the chandelier is quite impressive as well, as are the crown moldings and ceiling medallions. However, what is spectacular about this floor is that it is irreplaceable since the entire American chestnut population in Mississippi was wiped out by the blight around the turn of the 20th century.

Up those stairs are 6 guest rooms, 4 with private baths, 2 with a shared bath. Most have either a King or Queen bed, 2 are mini suites. The upstairs, while still quite grand, does not boast the fancy trimmings of the downstairs. You see, Leona believed that the family, children in particular, should not socialize with guests until they reached a proper age, thus the need for upstairs privies. Until such time, children were to remain upstairs and out of sight. There are still 14-foot doors with glass transomes up there, but they are plain, not decorated with the fancy Eastlake trimmings. After all, family does not need to dwell among such lavishness; luxury is visible only to esteemed guests.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Perhaps next week, I’ll treat you to some photos of the guest rooms and share some more of the fascinating history, including mysterious activity that happens in certain areas of the home. For now, this was a smattering of the fanciness of my new digs. I might also tell you about some of the goings-ons (that sounds weird) here in Vicksburg. Yes, stuff happens even in the heat. I know, I was shocked, too.

How have you been managing the summer heat? Have you traveled anywhere fun this month? What cool old houses have you visited? Curious people want to know.

 

Word of the Day: Xerostomia

Fun fact about me: I’ve yet to find a dishwasher that removes egg from anything.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, August 2015. Photos courtesy TripAdvisor.com and Google Images.

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It’s time for the next installment of What Haven’t I. I can sense your excitement all the way over here.

Question mark

As some of you know, I recently celebrated my birthday and my ten-year wedding anniversary. My husband was generous to a fault with gifts this year, and we were able to arrange our work schedules so that we could spend three entire days together doing nothing but fun stuff.

Day one found us in San Francisco doing everything touristy and cheesy. Yes, we ate crab cocktails on the wharf, we stopped and watched the sea lions lounge in the sun, we explored the wax museum and ate an awesome dinner at Scoma’s on Fisherman’s Wharf.

zamboniFor day two we went the opposite direction and spent a idyllic afternoon at the south shore of Lake Tahoe. We relaxed on the paddlewheeler around Emerald Bay and drank Tahoe sweet teas. We played a little Let It Ride poker and craps and then enjoyed a lovely buffet dinner at the top of Harrah’s while we watched it rain.

On day three we enjoyed a delicious breakfast, went to a matinee and had an awesome dinner complete with chocolate martini and creme brulee for dessert.

So in honor of three days of relaxaing fun, I’m devoting this episode of What Haven’t I to random experiences I have enjoyed, or not enjoyed, thus far in life. It’s up to you to decide, which thing I haven’t done. You all know the rules by now, just post your guesses in the comments section below and check back on the 23rd to see how many you got right. The luckiest guesser and the fastest responded will both receive a fantastic prize (if they check back and post another comment)!

So, here are the random things:

1.  What have I never experienced: a) Flying first class; b) Don Perignon; c) Box seats at a sporting event; or d) Riding in a limo?boxing gloves

2.  What haven’t I ridden on: a) A double-decker bus; b) A zamboni; c) A stagecoach; or d) A golf cart?

3.  What haven’t I seen in person: a) Niagra Falls; b) the Grand Canyon; c) Mt. Rushmore; or d) Old Faithful?

4.  What haven’t I eaten: a) Grasshopper; b) Alligator; c) Turtle; or d) Snake?

5. What haven’t I ever tried on: a) Hoop skirt; b) Boxing gloves; c) Bulletproof vest; or d) Football helmet?

I’m anxious to read your guesses. And I ask you, what silly random thing have you experenced that would surprise your kids, your parents, your high school teachers, your neighbors? Let me know. I won’t tell anybody – I promise.

Word of the day: Vulpine

Fun fact about me: My brother and I used to dare each other to jump off the roof of our house. Yes, we each did it. More than once.

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