Sunday, 23 March 2014

I can smell it

That rain a few days ago and a few hours of snow yesterday morning soaked the soil nicely and today in the sunshine I can smell Spring in the air.  It is an earthy, loamy smell, some from raking up the leaves and exposing the damp dirt and buds pushing up.  I can identify the different shoots after all these years of gardening.  The hostas
and lilies and irises as well as the bulbs like tulips and daffs are easy to identify.  I stole a peony too, from our house in the next village, to bring here and it survived the winter.  Evidently hosta shoots can be gathered when young and stir-fried with bacon bits or steamed wrapped in prosciutto.  It is sort of like asparagus, which I like best just steamed with butter.

The sap hasn't started to run yet in the bigger trees, but that is always a delightful day in spring when I get the first whiff, usually from cottonwoods or willows that tells me the sap is running in the local trees.  It should happen soon.


  I have been spending time raking the dead and decaying leaves off the sidewalk beds that go to the back door of the house where we usually come inside as our mud room and sun porch are there.  

We agreed a few weeks ago to look after the B/B while the owners went to Vancouver to get a kit for a small gazebo.  They want to put it in the shade by the fish pond and for the whole village to use as they pass by out front.  Below is an autumn photo.
The fish pond is to the left out of the picture.  

So here is how our weekend went:  We were running a business we knew almost nothing about.  We did survive.

Their Friday night guests didn't show up but called at 8 on Saturday night to say they would be late.  So I quickly changed the owner's bed and cleaned the ensuite bathroom and changed the towels, and closed all the blinds so they could sleep in.  The bedroom windows face east.  Those guests arrived at midnight.  So I got up to say hello and locked the doors.  The other group upstairs were all related as the father/grandfather lives a block away in a small cottage on the river, and is dieing from cancer.  He has been in the local hospital this last week.  His ex-wife has been coming about every 7 days to stay a few days here and support him as too many visitors wear him out.  I have become friends with her.  
I call her "The Angel, Sheila".  The first time I met her (as she checked in here), she had a broken collar bone, but was still willing to look after a former husband/father of her two children.  This weekend one of the daughters and her family are also here to say their goodbyes.  They will stay 3 nights in this B/B.  So Old Man Watching had 9 people to feed for breakfast, but that is counting us and a baby who was picky and still doing finger food.  

He made blueberry pancakes, fried eggs, and sausage rounds.   I called it the "Cholesterol on a Plate" Special.  But there was also whole wheat toast and jam and muffins, all homemade by the landlady, not me.  I just  warm them and serve them.


The biggest problem was working on a new stove where Old Man kept turning it down instead of up when the pancakes weren't cooking.  Also the grieving family wanted to eat at 8:30 but the late night arrivals didn't get up until I went to church.  I had to leave before 10:00 as I do the Sunday School lesson, so their breakfast was left up to Old Man to do on his own.  But the first group had eaten all the sausage rounds.  We didn't even get any and neither did the late folk.  One of the guests was a celiac but she could eat this kind of sausage that Old Man really likes to cook (and eat) as there is no wheat added to it. 

 She also can eat eggs and berries and yogurt so I did up a plate with blueberries, kiwi, pineapple etc.  It was fun watching the baby in the high-chair just scoffing up those chunks of fresh pineapple.  
It was a new taste sensation for him.

But |I must admit I am eager for the owners to get back and turn their job back over to them.  By the time I reset the table and put the flowers back in the middle, washed the laundry and changed the beds and towels, and cleaned the showers and sinks and toilets, I was ready for a nap.  I took a walk first just to get some of today's glorious sun in my retinas.  Now I am sagging but it has been good to just relax and write about this weekend.  I am blessed to still be able to do this kind of thing.  The guests are superb and there isn't even a screening process.  They all seem so accepting and non-judgemental.  It is refreshing.


  1. I'm happy to hear your experiences, so far, have been good while you take over the
    B&B duties. It is a huge job, and would wear me out real fast!! It helps when the people are nice, and appreciate what you do. The breakfast looks delicious!! Glad spring is in the air, there! I've never heard of eating hostas stalks. Interesting!

  2. Don't envy you doing that at all! The customer, even the really annoying one, is always right. I also sympathise on raking the lawn - been doing mine for a week so far . . . But, yes, spring is in the air! Enjoy!!

  3. No spring here yet, just more snow storms.
    I've worked at a small hotel in the past so I know exactly how last minutes or late guests and special requests for food can be very important in this kind of business. I didn't know about the young hosta shoots were edible... one more thing on the list to try out.

  4. That sounds like fun but tiring indeed. Glad to hear green shoots are popping up somewhere. Still snow on the ground here, so tired of it! But we are grateful we are not in Ontario.