Yes, the pool is open, and I’m ready for whatever phone calls might come my way. Don’t worry, though, we’ll keep the crazies at bay!
Just click here to make your reservation. I’ll save you a spot by the pool!
Yes, the pool is open, and I’m ready for whatever phone calls might come my way. Don’t worry, though, we’ll keep the crazies at bay!
Just click here to make your reservation. I’ll save you a spot by the pool!
From the time I entered the boutique hotel to right this very minute, I’ve felt renewed, pumped up, energized, open to new ideas, and awed by the events and people at the American Small Business Championship in Dallas, TX. Thank you to everyone who helped put me here by supporting Olde Square Inn during the contest earlier this year.
Our all-expense paid trip was a gift from SCORE and Sam’s Club, awarded to two Champions from each state. I met two #Bizchampions at the airport, exchanging names and ideas before we even handed our bags over to the shuttle driver. We met later for dinner to continue the conversation we had started in the ride from the hotel, and added other entrepreneurs to our group. We collected ideas like kids collect Pokemons.
Our celebration and training began the next morning at 8am with a beautiful breakfast buffet and registration. The meals throughout the day were exceptional – they definitely didn’t let us even think of being hungry. We sat together at tables of eight and had time to exchange business cards and listen to the outstanding stories of our fellow small business owners. Some people had been in business for less than 12 months, and others for over 22 years!
Our presenters were outstanding: Gisell Champman with Secrets of Top Performers, John Pietro talking on Effective Communication, Hal Shelton, who not only discussed The Secrets to Writing A Successful Business Plan, but also gave each of us his book of the same title. We also heard from Besty Dougert the Communications Manager at SCORE, and one of my favorites – Ron Cates @Roncates, a digital marketing expert.
Energetic, entertaining, and a wealth of information, Ron taught us about the ins and outs of having a digital presence, something important now to all businesses. When he was up on the stage, I kept thinking I knew him from somewhere. It dawned on me that he looked like the guy who used to play Ben on the series Lost. Remember him? I mentioned that to him afterward and he said he gets that a lot. Take a look at the picture. It’s Ben.
Later that afternoon when the speakers had finished, Resa Kierstein, Vice President of the SCORE Foundation, presented each of us with a $1,000 gift card from Sam’s Club. I don’t know how a fantastic day could have been made even better, except for maybe that, right? Well, it did! We all met for dinner at the Iron Cactus, where SCORE and Sam’s Club treated us to drinks and great Tex-Mex cuisine. Our events were coordinated by the ever gracious Naina Vasuveda, event planner for SCORE
Later that night when I sunk into my so-comfortable bed at the Joule, I finally understood how truly great it is to get away, no matter how much you love the work that you do and the family that you call your own. Whether you’re picking up the tab or it’s gift someone has given you, stepping out of your every day environment is truly cleansing. Your mind is invigorated with new ideas and new sites and isn’t focused on those 1001 things that have to be done before you can sleep. It’s like new life is breathed into you. The work I love to do is providing people with that kind of getaway, and I experienced how truly renewing it is.
I have two takeaways here:
Even though you might enjoy eating lunch over the sink, sometimes an occasion calls for something a little classier. Here’s a quick guide on table settings that will let you know which fork to use and which water glass is yours!
See? That was easy, right? Back in my teacher days Etiquette and Table Settings were part of the curriculum for our 8th graders in Family and Consumer Science. Never hurts to know your way around a variety of situations. I always loved how a student would report the next day that he had to instruct his mom on where the forks should go. The kids were so proud of their little selves!
The table is always set at Olde Square Inn to welcome you to a fabulous home-cooked breakfast, and I hope to have you join me in my dining room very soon! (I promise there will not be a quiz at the end of the meal, haha!)
Back in my teacher days about the time spring rolled around, my colleagues and I would start talking about what we were going to do over summer vacation. Each week we’d talk a little more, but not wanting to dwell too much on the upcoming break because we still had classrooms full of kids to take care of. By May, though everyone had a good solid plan in place.
I never had one solid plan in place. I had a long list of things like this:
So little time, so many things to have! Then one day someone said to me, “Are you going to make your gigantic list again? You never do everything you say you’re going to do over the summer.”
Here’s what I say, “Who cares?! So what if I don’t?!”
I love, love, love possibilities, and having a long list of them is like stocking your cupboards and refrigerator full of delicious foods to sample. Some things you try are fantastic, some are okay, others like – no way – but there are always things to try! There are always more! Possibilities are a fresh start every day!
Even though I’m not planning summer vacation ideas, I still conjure up lists of choices:
I still have a lot of things I want to do, and if someone calls me on not completing everything on my list, my answer is still, “Who cares?!! So what if I don’t?” I would rather have a lot of plans and hit some of them than have no plans and make all them, right?
In January I entered a Small Business Championship sponsored by SCORE and Sam’s Club to recognize the best small business across the country. Open to entrepreneurs from all states, 1563 business entered with two champions being selected from each state. Tomorrow they announce the winners. Maybe we’ll be one of them, maybe not, but whichever way it turns out, it was fun to do. We gave it a shot.
Check back tomorrow when I post the results of the contest, but today share with me your answers to these questions: What is on your list of choices? What would you conjure up if you knew you could hit it out of the park? I can’t wait to hear about your possibilities!
Winter is a great time to plan a little road trip or pack a bag and grab the car keys for a spontaneous getaway. Yes, I know it’s cold and snowy and it gets dark early, which is exactly why you need something to boost your spirits. Additionally, it’s the slower season for museums, shops, inns and boutiques, making it the perfect time for your reprieve.
If you need convincing, here are five great reasons for a getaway this winter.
I make the best breakfast in town. I’m just sayin’. You know where to find us.
Who knew you could live longer, be more creative, save money, make memories, and be happier by just taking some time off? Make a step to reconnect with yourself this winter and take advantage of the great opportunities around you. To quote Tony Robbins, “Life happens for you, not to you.” Don’t be afraid to reach out and enjoy all of it. Have a great week everybody!
Aimee and I were sitting in the kitchen last night when she asked, “What’s your blog post for tomorrow, mom? Did you pick your One Word yet?” Well, that was a pretty good guess on what you’d be reading today.
Some of you might know that One Word takes the place of New Year’s resolutions. Since I discovered this great idea, to focus on one guiding word rather than to feel bad about breaking resolutions, has allowed me to achieve lofty dreams and to help others.
The biggest take-away for me, as you will read, is that you don’t have to know HOW something will happen, you just have to know that it CAN. Think big for your new year!
Please enjoy my first One Word blog, originally published January 13, 2015:
No, they haven’t all stayed here – yet – but each has played a part in my becoming Innkeeper of this wonderful bed and breakfast.
It’s hard for me to believe that less than a year ago I was teaching 8th grade. Loved it, yet at the same time knew it was time for a change and wondered how and when I’d launch my second career. While I was home for break on New Year’s Day, I turned on the Today Show to find Jon Gordon, a motivational speaker, telling hosts Al Roker and Natalie Morales that 9 out of 10 people break their resolutions before the end of January.
What he and his family do instead of making resolutions is that each would “choose one word” as his or her focus for the year. He advised that you look in – what do you want to be or do, look up – how will God guide you, and look out – how can you live it?
I chose the word INQUIRE, because it seemed to open a lot of doors without demanding an outcome. I didn’t have to perform or get results because I was just INQUIRING. No pressure! Here’s the short version of what happened.
The next day called my long-time realtor friend Mark Thudium and took a first look at inns for sale. Signed up for an Aspiring Innkeeper’s convention. Got a business mentor through SCORE. Found out how to get a commercial bank loan. Learned how to write a business plan and about the importance banks put on financial projections. Put offers in on three other b&bs and was under contract for one other. Retired. Sold my house (twice). Put in an offer for Olde Square Inn. Every single aspect of this was new to me, but came my way because I was able to just ASK how.
Here’s the miracle of the whole “one word.” About a week before closing my financing crumbled, leaving me almost $100,000 short. My word – my prayer – was “How do I make this happen?” I wasn’t afraid of asking anymore, so I put it out there. A friend of an acquaintance offered to lend me what I needed at a rate better than the banks, and we signed the papers November 11, 2014. Al, Jon, the good Lord, and many, many other people guided me to this lovely and beautiful inn.
Where does Jane Pauley come in? If you’re thinking about your second career read her book, Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life. It’s filled with stories about people like you and me who wonder what could happen next. I’d offer you my copy, but I’ve already given it to a guest!
Two final thoughts:
You don’t have to know HOW something will happen, just know that it CAN.
Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Jon Gordon, and Jane Pauley – your rooms are waiting for you, along with a chat and a glass of wine by the warm fire and a delicious breakfast in the morning. See you soon.
You can find out more about Jon Gordon’s One Word here. Can’t wait to hear what your One Word will be and see how it will change how you think!
Hope so! Out here in beautiful Lancaster County, the Inn was filled with great people all week who were out visiting family and friends for food, holiday shopping and just getting together. But wait, there’s more!
Isn’t it great that this awesome season is upon us? I love the decorating and the preparing and the cooking and the get-togethering – any day is is great for a quick party or something fun and festive.
1. Mount Joy Winterfest December 3, from 4-7 pm. Have dinner at one of our great downtown restaurants, enjoy live music, family activities and even pet a reindeer or visit Santa. Finish the evening with the tree lighting ceremony and caroling. Other than purchasing your dinner, it’s free!
2. Crafter Hours is offering a first-come, first-serve event to make your own snow globe ornament until it’s sold out. You can RSVP on the website to save your spot. The shop is just across the corner from the Inn and you can visit for a little bit of warmth and a whole lot of fun for this family friendly activity. Owner Karen will have all the supplies for you – for $5 each this is a no-brainer.
3. Hershey Sweet Lights offers two miles of beautiful Christmas lights that you can enjoy no matter what your religious practice might be. For a carload of people it’s about $19 and beats the price of a movie any day. They also sell tickets to visit Hershey Christmas Candylane and Dutch Wonderland which is great for the little ones.
4. American Music Theater has begun their 2016 Christmas Show, and they have matinees on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3pm and an evening show on Saturday at 7pm. All of our Inn guests who have attended have loved this show, and because it’s near Rockvale Outlets, they snuck in some Christmas shopping beforehand! Be sure you call in advance for your tickets.
5. Sit in front of the fire at Olde Square Inn and do your Christmas cards. Friends Brenda and Judy come out for a couple of days to get away from their jobs and just take a little time to regroup, address their cards and go through our Lancaster County Best Kept Secrets Christmas Tour. It’s a fun thing where for only $9 you get a list of 12 shops and 2 restaurants that are off the beaten path. When you visit each place you get a little treat and a chance to win a prize in addition to visiting some great shops. By the way, my friends had to cancel their reservation because Judy broke her ankle. So sad for Judy, but that means we have a spot for you. You can book today – just tell me you want Judy’s room. (Sorry Judy. I’ll have it ready for you when you’re better.)
I know a lot of people get jacked up over holiday events about what they’re going to buy and what they’re going to do, and how they have to talk to relatives they’re kind of mad at, but don’t forget that God’s always got your back. Don’t even worry about it, my friend. As they say, if He takes you to it, He’ll take you through it, so don’t sweat. Relax and enjoy all of these great gifts and experiences that are open to you. Merry start of the Christmas season. Love of love to all of you this holiday.
my sisters came from Indiana and Arizona to spend our 2nd anniversary with us. You already know that Jo has been here a million times; she and Ed and friend Gordon helped me set up the place when we moved in.
It was Susan’s first time to see the Inn and to meet the babies. Yeah, I know! Two years! She had already met Taylor who is now 12, but not Parker and Easton who are three and one. I understand how difficult it can be to make time to leave your life and connect with your friends and family. We’ve all been in that spot where we say, “I’ve got to stop in and see——-.” It’s money, it’s work, it’s organization. It’s a lot of things. But friends, waaaaay better to make the trip while they’re living and breathing.
So we did our own little version of holiday entertaining, and our gatherings always involve laughing, eating, talking, drinking, eating, laughing, snorting, drinking. It’s a lot of fun and always turns out to be worth the effort.
And when we get together we talk through our current dilemmas. Here’s what happened this round: Susan decided to sell her house, Jo had no pressing issues since Caralyn’s wedding planning is over, and I needed help with a class I’m doing at the Mount Joy Public Library on November 28, appropriately titled Holiday Entertaining. My question to my fam was, “If you were attending a class called Holiday Entertaining, what would you expect to learn?”
Taylor: How to set a table!
Nicole: What do you do for a centerpiece!
Grahm: No! No one cares about how to set a table! Tell them how to set up a bar!
Me: I’m in the library, Grahm.
Grahm: People who go to libraries drink! Or you could tell them how to set the food around in stations so the party doesn’t clump up in one corner like a feeding trough.
Aimee: You could show them how to set up a buffet!
Susan: Easy recipes for entertaining!
Jo: Who’s your audience?!
Me: I won’t know until they register!
But what I do know is that it will be a lot of fun, a lot of ideas, and a lot of food. You can register for the class and see what else is going on at the Milanoff-Schock library. Hope to see you there. I would love your feed back.
Thanks for the great response to last week’s Gift Certificate and Mug offer (I think I might have to order more mugs!), but that got me to thinking you really like the gift certificate idea.
So here is our Second Anniversary bonus offer. This week when you can take 20% off your $100 or $200 gift certificate order, and there is no limit to the number of gift certificates you can purchase! You can click here for the order form, or can email me at email@example.com or phone at 717.653.4525 if you need some help.
It’ll be great. You can enjoy your family this holiday, then send them to sleep somewhere else at the end of the day, and save some money. You’re a genius – perfect!
I’m looking forward to helping you entertain for the holidays, whether it’s at the library at the end of November, or whether it’s at the Inn when your family comes to visit. See you soon!
Hope you made some happy memories last night whether you were trick or treating with the kids, greeting superheroes at your door, or just reminiscing about your best Halloween costume ever. I know that once the candy wrappers are cleaned up and the kids come off their sugar high, your thoughts will turn to the holidays and the folks on your gift-giving list.
As I approach my second anniversary as Innkeeper, my thoughts turn to the wonderful guests who have walked through my door to spend time here. Their reasons for staying are as varied as the stars in the sky: they came to the Inn to escape their busy routines, to savor a relaxing dinner, to visit family and friends, to tour our beautiful Lancaster County, to enjoy some pampering, to celebrate a life event, to honeymoon, and even to be married in an intimate ceremony surrounded by those they love.
Whatever their reasons, I know they went home with some incredible memories of their time away that they’ll treasure and share for a long time. I am excited to help you become a great memory-maker this holiday season with some great offers I’m going to be sharing with you through the month of November.
Each week there will be a new surprise and a little extra something to make your gift of time away (for you or anyone else!) extra special. While you’re anticipating our first offer, your job is to draw up your Naughty and Nice list. I’m so looking forward to helping you give great memories and to welcoming your family and friends to spend some time with us.
And hey, be sure you’re on the list, too. You pick which side; we’re not here to judge whether you’re Naught or Nice haha!
Monday is the day I usually like to write my blog. I gather the thoughts that I’ve had all week and try to compose them into something coherent. But here’s the thing. I didn’t do it.
We had a great week with so many fun guests and a completely full weekend where I got to make a lot of breakfast for a lot of people, which is one of my very favorite things to do. After everyone had to go, we cleaned up a lot of rooms, another thing I like because I love looking around my own house. (I just really like where I live – makes me happy.) When everything was finished Sunday afternoon, the kids and grandkids came over and we played trains and played with the skeleton dog and played Yahztee and ate pizza and hung out, which also makes me happy.
Anyway, by the end of it, I was really tired and didn’t wake up Monday morning until 7:11. Pretty late for me but secretly fun, and with a clear schedule I felt as if I were playing hookey. I put on my fuzzy bathrobe and made some coffee and ate some of those tiny chocolate covered donuts that you get in a bag for $1.99 and decided that I didn’t feel like doing anything that day.
I read the paper, folded some laundry, unloaded the dishwasher and had some more coffee and tiny donuts. By 11:00 (I know, you’re thinking the same thing I did: when you wake up mid-morning and the productive part of the day is about over, what’s the point? Who cares. I was’t doing anything anyway, right?) I decided I’d take a drive a half hour out to Mother Tucker’s Antiques and see if I could score some Depression Glass plates. I just walked around the joint like I had all day and found some good stuff, then drove home thinking I’d have a few more of those donuts and another cup of coffee.
Before going home I stopped at the library and picked up some books so I could lay around and read since I was planning on just lying around anyway. But by then it was about dinnertime, and I threw some ingredients in a pan for fajitas and called Aimee over. We hung out and had dinner and watched the news and some reruns of Big Bang Theory. It was pretty relaxing, and all the work was waiting in the wings but I didn’t really care because I had decided early it was going to be a vacation day.
That is why you get no blog today that will tell you about the Top Ten Things To Do In Lancaster County This Weekend, or a story about How To Conquer Your Fears, or even The Best Recipe You Could Ever Make For Anyone. I took the day off and didn’t do anything except indulge myself, and I do thank you for taking the hit.
Here’s what I finally know. Just like you, I can work a lot and keep going and truly enjoy it, then suddenly it seems that I’m slowing down, or getting mad at everyone for no reason, or making bad decisions, or complaining about things I otherwise like to do.
Finally I know that it’s time for me to give myself some time off. You need to do that, too, even if you’re a mom with kids who won’t even let you go to the bathroom by yourself, or the dad whose job takes him away early in the day to return spent at night, or the teacher or office worker or barista or banker or whomever, whose efforts help to make a safe and happy place for someone else.
Allow yourself to schedule a break. It’s not selfish, but a very good recharge for you so you can continue to do the things you love and to take care of the people you love. Nobody likes a martyr, truly. The work will be there tomorrow, and you know that when you’re recharged you can be happy about the kids in the bathroom with you and the work and every other thing you have to tackle.
I had a great time not doing anything, everyone seems okay, and I felt pretty happy about not meeting any demands that day . Now here’s your call to non-action: take a break, even if it’s a short one. Everyone needs a little time off, including you. Go for it!