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?
This is so easy that by tomorrow morning you’ll be open for business and setting up a table next the the neighbor kid’s Kool-Aide stand. Make sure your avocados are ripe!
To enjoy great food like this without lifting a finger, just book your room at the Inn. Ha! So easy! I’ll be happy to serve you up something delicious!
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?
I’ve been friends with Karen for a long time. We’re about the same age, we are both homeowners, we consider ourselves successful career women, we both lead independent lives, and we both like antiquing and Cosmos. We like where we are in life.
But every two years or so when we forget how much we enjoy our independent lives, we go on eHarmony or Match or some such site and inevitably both have the same results. This is in no way a man-bashing story – we like men – it’s just a story about Adventures In On-Line Dating. It starts like this.
One of Us: I think I’m joining such and such dating site.
The Other: Really? Don’t you remember? Everybody is old but lies about it. And it’s the same people all the time.
One of Us: I know, but maybe there’s someone new who is honest. Besides, such-and-such just met so-and-so and seem to be working out.
The Other: It’s a waste of time.
One of Us: You’re right.
The Other: It’s dumb.
One of Us: True that. I don’t know what I was thinking.
The Other: Okay, so call me when you join and we’ll look at their pictures?
One of Us: Right. See you Thursday.
We got together Thursday at my kitchen table. The site gives you Hundreds of Perfect Matches, so you need to set up some solid elimination factors with solid reasons behind them. As hostess for this round, I did that before we went through the list. If you were a potential suitor, in my book you could be eliminated at first glance for these reasons.
Well, that wiped out 85% of the pool right there. Karen reminded me that with the remaining 15% we’d have to deduct at least 3” from their given high-school height, and add at least another 4 years to their ages. We were exhausted after the preliminary round. Further, the whole thing is a long, drawn out ordeal that sucks up your time when you could be doing other activities like pulling weeds, folding towels, or reading a book. It is painful, but we try to encourage one another to finish the process.
With that in mind, the next step at some point would be to begin typing messages back and forth to someone you chose to contact or who contacted you and appeared to have friends, was wearing a shirt, lived within wine distance, etc. My short correspondence:
Potential: Hi, I’m Michael! I loved your picture!! I’m looking for someone I can bring home to my two adult sons who live with me! I want someone I can snuggle with who will be my lifetime companion! What do you want in a relationship?!! What are you looking for?!!
Me: Umm. Wowee…I’m really just looking for someone to help me take the cover off the pool….
Michael: Hahahahahaha! You’re a kidder, I can tell!! When can we get together?!!
Me: Oh, well…we can’t, sorry. I just noticed that you’re outside my 20-minute wine radius.
Michael: Oh. They say love has no limits, but I guess they were lying.
I know many of you have met the love of your life on line, but I think my tolerance for serial dating expired a long time ago. So many other things to do – I have a business to run, people to see, contracts to sign, wine to drink, grandkids to play with, and books to write. There’s not a lot of extra time I want to forfeit.
You know how that goes, though. In a couple of years either Karen or I will come up with the brilliant idea of testing out online dating. By that time it’ll be her turn to host and we’ll be reporting from her kitchen table. Check back in 2019 for the surprising results!
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!
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.
Happy Easter to all of our former and future guests. Hope you’re having a great day with family and friends. I’d also like to invite you to join me tomorrow in my 10-day Countdown to Dallas for SCORE’s American Small Business Championship!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
I have a great giveaway for you even while I’m still having a hard time believing that this week marks my second anniversary as Innkeeper at this beautiful Bed and Breakfast.
Sometimes it feels as it was just Monday last week that I was showing eight graders how to make strombolis and tacos and cupcakes and omelets and telling them a million times to stop scratching and go wash their hands before they cook. Although the two years flew and one career led to the next, I know this Inn is a great cozy place for me, my family, my friends, and all of my awesome guests. So much fun to have all of you here in my home. I am very lucky to be surrounded by loving people.
But enough of that sappy stuff; let’s get down to the real deal. Remember last blog I told you that we were going to offer you a new surprise or a little extra something each week this month to make your gift of time away – for you or anyone else – extra special? Okay, here’s our first one (so excited!) and it is available from Tuesday, November 8 through Monday, November 14.
1. One beautiful free mug per household.
2. Gift certificates under this offer are good until December 31, 2017.
3. November weekly offers cannot be combined during one stay.
Click on this Gift Certificate link that takes you directly to the order form, or you can click on the “Gift Certificate” tab on our site to get there. All you have to do is fill in the information and I can email or snail mail your certificates to the address you provide. The certificate will include the extra surprise that your giftees get to pick out a mug when they stay with us, because you are just a loving and giving person like that.
Then all you have to do is have your second cup of coffee and your second breakfast as you check your friends and family off your finished list. Wowee! And you’re not even out of your softie pants yet.
Call me (717-653-4525) or email me at email@example.com if you have any questions. Remember, this offer is good for one week only to the first 50 gift certificate purchasers. And of course, if you’re not one of the first fifty, you’re still welcome to gift someone you love with a great night away at Olde Square Inn.