Do you have a Gladys Kravitz – that neighbor who loves to know what’s going on?
Do you have a Gladys Kravitz – that neighbor who loves to know what’s going on?
So, what do you do when your day blows up in your face? You know what I’m talking about – those times when everything you touch is an automatic disaster, and everything you once enjoyed has become insipid, and everyone you know is temporarily stupid. It doesn’t happen to me very often, but one day last week I came down with a bad case of the Crappity-Craps.
Not a worrier by nature, I somehow let myself believe that I personally had to come up with the answers to the 78 perceived problems that were clamoring in my brain, many of which belonged to Other People. That was part of it right there. I can do 77 problems, but that extra one put me over the top, and it was too late to effectively distract myself. I tried, though.
My go-to distractions are to create and organize, so I decided I would put a shelf up in my office and get rid of the clutter. I went downstairs to get the things I needed. I couldn’t find the drill I wanted and got mad and yelled, “Where are you, you stupid tool?!” and picked up the box of tools and hardware and dumped everything out on the basement floor. I should have stopped right there when I became possessed, but angrily carried on instead.
Up in the office I positioned the brackets, but was short one wall anchor. I went back downstairs to where I dumped out all my tools and hardware to find another anchor so the shelves would be strong enough to support my books and my ire. In that time I had been diligently working, Grace Kelly had decided the tools were invading her cat space and had peed all over them. Really? Now I had 81 issues: tools I had to pick up that were now whizzed on, no wall anchor I was going to touch, and a floor to disinfect. I should have stopped right there, but angrily carried on instead.
Got the brackets up, screwed the shelf into the brackets like Tom taught me, and breathed a sigh of relief and accomplishment. It looked pretty good, I must say. I arranged my books and Important Things on the shelf and went to make myself a cup of coffee and have some pie in celebration. I had just pressed the Keurig button when I heard a crash in the office. This isn’t hard to guess, right? Right. I needed that extra wall anchor after all. The weight of the books had partially pulled the shelf out of the wall and everything was all over the place and the lamp was broken. I should have stopped right there, but angrily carried on instead.
In a fit I dramatically swept everything from the desk space to the floor, yanked and twisted and pulled the stupid shelf the rest of the way out of the wall and yelled, “There, you stupid thing! That’s what you get!!!!” Well, that’s actually what I got and now had 86 issues: books and papers to reorganize, damaged shelves and brackets I could no longer use, big holes in the wall created by pulling out the anchors, a lamp to fix, and a mess in the kitchen. It seems in my distracted state I had neglected to put the cup under the Keurig and coffee was brewing all over the stove. I stopped right there.
By that point I had spent more than half my day angry and unproductive. I cleaned up the coffee, but left everything else where it was and went to Little Dippers for butter pecan ice cream. In that walking-away space I dropped 54 perceived issues that were Other People’s Problems and not mine to have to fix after all. I would like to say that I cheerfully returned and righted every peed-up thing that happened that day, but I didn’t. I shut the door on the tools and the office, picked up a book and a glass of wine and sat on the porch to read. I straightened everything the next day after I had taken some time off and returned to a state of Normal.
Here’s my point:
Take a breather. I am wishing you a week filled with grace and understanding and projects that work out. And drop me a response – I would love to know how you deal with a case of the Crappity-Craps. I might need some new techniques some day.
A couple days ago I was bidding safe travels to Jennifer and Mark who had stayed with us for several days. Jennifer commented, “We’ve stayed at B&Bs before, but they were always out in the country. I just didn’t know how this would be in the middle of a little town, but I LOVED it! We’ll be back!”
They loved that they could walk to restaurants. They loved that they could enjoy the pool, and that the Inn had lots of little places outdoors to sit and hang out. They loved that the town had sponsored a car show. They loved that everything was so close, but that the Inn was like their private oasis.
This place feels like the little town of Griffith where I grew up. People ask me what they should see while they’re in Mount Joy. There’s nothing to see and there’s everything to see, but next time you’re here, take in these tiny treasures that make Mount Joy, well…Mount Joy.
What are some of your favorite things in Mount Joy and Olde Square Inn? It’s time to come out and enjoy!
You know how you can be calm one minute and everything goes smoothly, then the next minute you can’t keep your head in the game and you’re like someone possessed?
This story is from last summer titled “Sometimes I’m Gordon Ramsey.” Surround yourself with positive people and refuse to be sucked into Other People’s Problems. You down w’ OPP?
Who doesn’t love those oldies tunes? I’m a sucker for a Bee Gees song. Around here, though, “staying’ alive” and “holding out for a hero” are more than just oldies tunes – they are our way of life. Here’s the thing: July 12 marks 4 years that my daughter Aimee went into renal failure and became a dialysis patient, and I’m on a mission.
Renal failure means her kidneys no longer function, and she relies on a machine to remove toxins from her body that ours eliminate naturally. The procedure takes seven hours every night, where a glucose solution is pumped into her abdominal cavity, dwells for a period of time, and is pumped out again for a number of cycles. It’s imperative that the body site where the tube is implanted is kept impeccably clean to keep infections at bay.
In addition to nightly treatments, it’s important that the foods she can eat contain a huge amount of protein, but don’t include things like nuts, seeds, dairy, and of course sodium. She also has to maintain certain mineral levels in her diet and has blood drawn routinely with her clinic to monitor the levels. All of this has to be structured while still balancing a diabetic diet that keeps tabs of carb intake, while making sure the meds she takes don’t interfere with one another. It has its challenges, definitely.
In the past four years Aimee’s had at least a dozen surgeries for various and sundry complications, 7 of which occurred within a 13-month period. She contracted Hepatitis-C from equipment at a dialysis center in Florida before she moved back here, but thanks to new drugs, that’s been eliminated. When we’re not at the doc’s or the hospital or the ER, life goes on pretty normally around here. Go figure.
What’s my mission? My mission is to find a living kidney donor for my daughter. Aimee is on a list to wait for a deceased donor, but the list is years long. People can live complete, full, and healthy lives with only one kidney, and you have two – one for you, and one to potentially share.
Here’s what we’re looking for in a possible donor:
Here’s how it works:
Here’s how you become a hero and completely change somebody’s life:
Even if you can’t donate, I’m shamelessly asking you to like this post and share it with everyone you know. Tell your friends, your church groups, your card clubs, your neighbors, your associations – whomever.
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother (Ha – do you get that bit of levity I snuck in there?!), you can be a hero! Ready? Share!
One of the great bonuses of owning a bed and breakfast is that I get to help couples celebrate one of the most memorable times of their lives. Whether it’s an elopement, an intimate wedding, or a vow renewal, I get to make things nice!
I get to make arrangements for the bouquet and boutonniere, order the cake, get the champagne, help line up the photographer and minister, create a beautiful setting for a ceremony, and provide a romantic room for the honeymoon night. The bride and groom to be can enjoy their perfect day without the stress and expense of a huge wedding.
More and more couples are choosing to focus on what’s important – their commitment to one another – and are ditching the pricey party for an elegant celebration with a few others who are close to their hearts. Hmmm….that means money left over to start your lives as a couple or to put a down payment on a home. There’s a plan, right?
Money Talks News discusses the trend of finding unique and inexpensive ways to have a memory-filled wedding day without investing the $35,000 that the average wedding runs. Don’t worry about that, though. I can help you with everything you need including saving you tens of thousands of dollars.
Check out our Weddings and Events Packages and relax. I’ve got everything covered. You’re free to enjoy your day and one another. I like to tell our couples that all they have to do is add the intended spouse and say “I do!”
Can I tell you how happy I am right now? I’m tripping over the shoes on the steps, the firetrucks on the side porch, and I’m picking glow sticks out of the baked oatmeal. Dishes are always piled in the sink and someone always wants to eat. The little kids are arguing over Rescuebots and at the same time are thrilled with having one another to play with. The big kids are talking, playing games, and reminiscing about the big wheel races they had 30 years ago in Nana’s driveway.
I love that now I’m the Nana and everyone’s at my house – which just happens to be a seven-room Bed and Breakfast Inn. I am lucky enough to be host to my sister and husband, all her kids and their spouses, all their babies, and my own kids and grandkids.
What’s going on? It’s our first family reunion! When we’re not in the pool or eating (which is really all day haha!), we’re hanging out on the porch. Yesterday we had our very first family photos done – 19 people in 95 degree weather – taken by our Inn’s wedding photographer and my former colleague Shareen. She was great and was willing to spend a lot of time with us to get things just right. Can’t wait to share some of those with you soon.
Today we’ll be making the trip that we’ve been doing for thirty-some years since all the cousins were little. We’re going out to pose by the giant pretzel outside of Sturgis in Lititz, and will be hitting up Wilbur Chocolate. After that, we’ll be heading out to Strasburg Creamery where they have the best homemade ice cream anywhere. If tradition has any say in it, Eric will trip and fall as he’s running from the parking lot into the store.
We’ll likely spend the rest of the afternoon in the pool and maybe order pizza tonight. Who knows? What I do know is that it’s great to be surrounded by my family. It’s also great that at the end of the day everyone’s got his own room, his own bed, his own bathroom – his own little place to retreat and regroup and be ready for the next event. We’ve decided that this is going to be an annual affair at the Inn for my family. I want the babies to grow up with the same kinds of fun cousin-memories that their parents and aunties and uncles have.
Some vacations are meant to be private get aways from your families. Some are meant to be spent with your families. A season for each, right? Call me if you want the Inn for your family so you can make some great falling-down fun, or call me if you just want to leave everyone at home and have your own recharging time. I’m now pretty good at planning both. I’ll catch you later. The side porch is beckoning, the coffee is hot, and Grahm, Eric and Bill have just returned from Achenbach Bakery with donuts. Gotta hurry. Bill’s a cop and you know how they are with the baked goods..
Last week was Career Day at the Middle School where I lived most of my teaching years. I was invited to be a presenter and spent that morning in my former classroom to talk about Innkeeping, starting a business, and living life.
I have to confess that I experienced the first school-dream that I’ve had in the three years since retiring. Teachers know what this is – it starts happening to them in August and flares up intermittently throughout the term. Anyway, in my dream I was in a classroom of 30 girls who wouldn’t stop talking and texting, and whom all wanted to use the bathroom at once. Happily, it didn’t turn out like that at all. I was ready.
Amazing Joan, who assists me here and worked with me at school, came along. Again we were in front of the classroom as if we’d never left and had the kids making scones, answering questions, talking about SCORE.org, and tallying up points to win prizes. There’s a lot you can do in thirty minutes, and you’d better know that your kids’ teachers pack it in every day.
With every lesson, there is some idea you want the kids to walk away with – the point of the whole thing. This was my advice to Middle Schoolers on How To Live Your Life presented under the guise of business and entrepreneurship:
I began by handing out playing cards every time a kid answered a question, right or wrong, to ultimately reward some with a prize. Point: You need to participate in life and be part of the game.
Nothing comes for free! If you want good grades, you have to study. If you want friends, you have to talk to people. Point: If you want to succeed, you have to put in the work.
Any time we try something new our defenses go up and we try to talk ourselves out of it. “What if I fail? What if I lose all my money? What if it’s not a good idea? What if nobody comes?” Point: You need to answer yourself back with, “What if you don’t fail?! What if you make a million dollars? What if it’s the best idea ever?! What if everybody shows up and tells their friends?!”
You already know that you will try to talk yourself out of it (see above), and other people will also. Usually the advice is couched in good intentions with advice like, “I don’t want to see you get hurt. Nobody succeeds in business these days. You’ll never get there at this point in your life, blah, blah, blah.” Point: Keep going. If you’ve done the research and have prepared, ignore them.Rest but don’t quit, which leads into the next point.
We never have all the answers to anything, and when even life tries to stop you, hang in there. You may be familiar with my own story, which was featured on motivational speaker Jon Gordon’s website. Point: When you’re down to the last answer to your problem, there are more answers and there is more help. You just don’t know them yet.
I actually said that to the kids, preceded by “I don’t work here so I can say this.” What are they going to do, kick me out?! On top of that in the last session I got bold and added, “And when you don’t know what to do next, pray.” Really, I should have told them to begin by praying. Point: Look in, look out, look above.
I had a lot of fun at Career Day and hope the kids enjoyed it, too. So loved seeing all of my former colleagues and miss their company. Maybe I’ll be return next year with another message. Maybe I’ll just sit on my porch, enjoy the world and wave to the school bus as it passes.
Come join me on my porch for a glass of wine and a chat. I have a beautiful getaway and lots of advice free for the taking. See you soon!
I am SO ready to get my summer on I can hardly stand it! It’s the middle of May, Memorial Day weekend isn’t that far away – and you know it’s full blast after that.
This is a big week for us at the Inn as we prepare to welcome our summertime guests. I love to have everything fresh and ready, so when people step out of their worlds and into mine for some time off, they have wonderful and relaxing experiences. Part of the fun of owning a beautiful place like this is sharing it with other people and helping them renew their spirits.
Here are some both the fun jobs on my list so far:
Don’t know if I’ll get every one of those finished this week, but Awesome Tom is coming in with reinforcements and I know I’ll get pretty close. Maybe I’ll save the windows for my brother-in-law Ed. He’d like that, don’t you think?!
I am so looking forward to seeing you again this summer or welcoming you into our B&B family. Plan your escape. Pick your favorite room, choose your adventure, then catch the morning on the porch. We’ll be right out with breakfast!
When my sister Jo and I were kids, maybe 9 and 11, we disobeyed our parents so we could sneak over to Topps Discount Store and buy the most beautiful gift a parent could ever want. I’m pretty sure it was a Mother’s Day because we had some walking to do and I don’t remember the weather being bad, but it could have been Easter. I just know that it was such a grand purchase and it was a very special celebration.
Topps was kind of like a Kmart, and back in the ’60s is was a pretty great thing. It was within walking distance of Community (kind of like a Walmart) where my parent were driving out to do some shopping. Jo and I had saved a couple of dollars between us and wanted to buy something big to help express our Mother’s Day love. We were allowed to walk through the store by ourselves, but warned not to leave the place. That was great, but Community didn’t have what we wanted, so we took the hike to the better discount store.
That’s where we found the beautiful snake. It was six feet long, yellow and fuzzy, and stuffed with some cheap scrunchy stuffing that would allow the proud owner to coil it up, stretch it out, or even shape it into a heart. It had big white plastic eyes with painted on pupils, and the snake had a blue bow around it’s “neck.” It was so big and fun – we had enough money to get it.
After paying, we lugged it back over to Community where our parents were. Since we weren’t supposed to have been sneaking out of the place, we asked the cashier for a store bag and ditched the one that had Topps printed on it. Now they would never know we’d left the store. So clever of of us! Don’t ever think your kids aren’t devious.
On the Great Day we put the beautiful snake of their beautiful bed and waited for my mother’s cries of happiness. I’m sure she thanked us, but I was to too wrapped up with petting the snake and adjusting it’s bow and straightening out its eyes to and wrapping it around me to really notice anything. I do recall my father, though, saying something like, “I think you bought that for yourselves,” which I vehemently denied. It did eventually find its home in the room my sister and I shared. Don’t judge: I know there are many of you out there who blessed your mom with gifts you wanted!
Here’s the thing. If you’re old enough to read this, you’re likely old enough to get your mom something better than a snake or a Fidget thing for Mother’s Day. Really. Go get some flowers, or a gift certificate for dinner someplace so she doesn’t have to cook (that’s like money in the bank!), or tickets to a show, or a massage, or my favorite pick – some time by herself, a night away! I didn’t remember how refreshing it could be to leave everything behind until I had that little stint in Dallas. To step away for even a night or two was a total reset.
It’s not too late to book this weekend for your mom at Olde Square Inn. I had a gentleman call to reserve a room for his wife. He asked if there was a special Mother’s Day breakfast or if we just served bagels. ??!!! What?!! If you’ve ever had breakfast here, you know he won’t be disappointed. (And of course we’re serving mimosas for Mother’s Day, but don’t tell him. It’s a surprise!)
If Mom can’t make it away this weekend, you can get a gift certificate on-line and she can choose the room and the weekend she wants. If you prefer, you can call me at 717-653-4525 and I can help you with that. Either way, I think you’re past the point of fuzzy yellow snakes. I’m looking forward to welcoming your mom – or your lovely wife – for a snake-free, relaxing and refreshing stay. Happy Mother’s Day! See you soon.