Garden Cottage back porch

Willis Graves: We’re Back!

Hey there, sorry for being MIA. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking… just kidding. We have been busy, extremely busy. Most importantly taking care of our wonderful guests, and some new projects as well. Not that any of this is a good excuse for not staying in touch, but I must say I do have lots of stories. I hope you have a few minutes.

Before I move on, for those of you that have been here since I took ownership, you have all heard me speak about my Dad. He will be turning 103 this August and once again, he will be here to celebrate. He will be entertaining any one who will listen as well. And we will have cake on the night of his birthday! Hope you like chocolate cake, that’s his favorite. 

The Garden Cottage


But now, for some news about the B&B. Let’s start with our new room, The Garden Cottage. Its my baby, well not a real baby, but the room I have now developed twice! It was the previous owners workshop and originally a garage built in 1940. The first remodel I planned was going to be a social room, a gathering space of sorts where guests could go and meet other guests, maybe have an iced tea, a glass of wine or some little nibbles — Cheese and crackers, homemade mini meatballs, spinach pie.

All sounds great right? Until no one came. I would drag a couple guests out to see it, convince them to sit a while, but for the most part I was out there in my new beautifully renovated room entertaining myself.  After a month or two of this, a dear friend came for a visit. He was asking me how it was going, and I became speechless. I know, speechless, me? Well, after many attempts to say something positive he said, “this would make a great guest room”! After I stopped crying a few tears I realized he was right. I admit it was not an easy pill for me to swallow.

So, after a few sleepless nights, I called an architect and we started planning. After many months of construction, and quite honestly not the easiest months of my life, it is finally finished. Open two weeks and it has really taken off. It’s a stand-alone cottage, very private and appointed with all the great amenities like our other rooms — a king bed and double air jet tub. I’m happy to say it feels like its been here forever, and I am in love with my newest baby. I’m sure I will be writing more stories about the construction of the cottage, because as we always say, you just can’t make this stuff up! And, we have some stories to tell.

Garden Cottage

Is There a Cookbook in My Future?


Folks are always asking me if I will ever write a cookbook. The answer is probably not. Let me explain. I love to cook, to talk about food, restaurants, the food channel, all things food. I am a good teacher as well. I love to teach and show people how to cook. Mostly I like to get people excited about cooking. I think teaching techniques is far more beneficial then a “recipe”. I love good recipes, and if I teach you how to sauté, you can apply that technique to so many recipes.

I am also extremely hard on myself; each step in a recipe is important. There are many techniques in a single recipe and therefore I never know which to highlight when giving out recipes. I think a cookbook would be very long and boring for me to focus on. I think where I could be heading is a book on the behind the scenes and the truth about Innkeeping. Trust me there is a story there. In fact, I think it could be a good sitcom!

On The Farm


Did I mention I love to cook? I’m off to my favorite farm now to pick sweet tomatoes and maybe fresh corn. I will be obsessed with farm fresh for the next few months. We had a very wet spring and now a very hot summer. Produce is late and farmers are struggling. I love hanging with farmers. They are such interesting hard-working people. They too have great stories!

It’s very difficult for me to sit. I don’t mind a few moments here and there. In fact, I started writing this many days ago. I get a paragraph done and decide I must go to the grocery store, or I must make another quiche. Or frankly laundry is even something I’d rather do.  I think I’m off to clean out the pantry just about now!

Okay, back again. I think my chores are all done, and I really do want to finish this and connect with you all again!

Self-Check-In


We also have moved to self-check-in. It’s been awesome for everyone. Arrive when you want, meet us around the property at some point, but no more stress trying to get here between certain hours. Let’s face it, things come up, plans change, and no one wants to be stressed out when they can’t get here on time. It’s been well received, and we are so dang lucky, we have the best guests ever! It can be a little odd for me at times. I’ll wonder, “Is everyone here? Do they know they can call me for something they might need”? But, I do think this is the way lots of B&B’s will head. It makes plain good sense.

The Ark & The Creation Museum


We have formed a partnership with the Ark Encounter and The Creation Museum. They have listed us on their website as a favorite, convenient local place to lodge, and they are working on a way for us to be able to sell you your tickets. It will be fantastic. You will arrive and your tickets and wristbands will be here waiting for you. No waiting in lines!

Back to School: Teacher Discount


Last but not least, back to school is around the corner. Hard to believe I am saying that, school starts mid-August around here. From August 1st-18th if you are a teacher who is going back to work soon, we are offering you a 20% discount. So, if you need a night or 2 to rejuvenate, give us a call and we will get you all set up – 859-689-5097.

And keep an eye on the website for updates. We will be posting our winter cooking classes soon.

As always, many thanks, I am extremely grateful.

Your Inn Keeper,
Jennifer