On Being a Caretaker of history

May 24th, 2016 by katy

Every now and then I rummage through the drawers in this house. I don’t know what I am expecting to find. Possibly a treasure map…the meaning of life…who knows. I have yet to find much of note. The other day I did come across a second dustpan in one of the cabinets in the laundry room. That was a bit exciting.

Today, I was cleaning the Roosevelt room. I looked in one of the drawers and began paging through the old journals that we leave out for guests to sign. I had been planning to throw the old journals out. I like to think I am a firm believer in starting new, on a clean slate. But I realized something while I was reading through one of them. These journals really aren’t mine to throw out. Yes, technically they are in my possession, they belong to me. But in a way they belong to this house.

Journal pic

I was able to to look back in one of them and find when Julie bought the B and B. There were notes wishing her good luck and much success. A lot like the notes people are leaving for us. I feel like throwing these out would be like breaking a circle of sorts. These are part of the history of the house.

It’s not only that. These journals are a reflection on the people that have stayed here. They are a reflection of the diverse group of people that chose to visit-both us and this area in general. The most recent entry in the Journal in the Roosevelt room is in Chinese or Japanese.(I’m not entirely sure. I am pretty sure it isn’t Korean, only because I saw a lot of Korean writing when we lived in the AH). I don’t know what it says, but it is nice to know that someone took a few minutes to write something, even though they probably knew we wouldn’t understand it.

The year before last, I entered a contest to win a B and B in Maine. I had to write an essay and send in 125 dollars. Obviously I didn’t win, but that’s a whole other story. In my essay I wrote about being a caretaker of history, of the old bones of a solid house. Since we took on the responsibility to care for this place, it is important for me to know and preserve it’s history. I plan to do that, even if that history is something as simple and recent as a few guests book.


Just a few notes-May 28th is The Hells-A-Roaring horse drive. I am so excited we are making big bold breakfast burritos and a side for our guests.

And an update on our planting (from last weeks blog)-Our Petunias are meh. They are alright. The Boo never did use his jewelry box to plant anything. It is currently unusable as both a jewelry box or a planter. And the popcorn never even germinated. I know this because I dug it up yesterday. Watch for updates on a planned fairy garden in that space.

Adventures in Gardening

May 16th, 2016 by katy

     To say I like gardening is a bit of an overstatement. I love gardens. I like flowers, I like plants and I like trees. I enjoy seeing butterflies and birds. I love the smell of my lilac bushes.Lilac Bush I’m just not all that interested (or good at) creating garden spaces. I try though, and that really is what counts.

When me and the Boo lived in Arlington Heights we had a vegetable container garden. The first year we planted tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, sweet peppers, hot peppers, cucumbers and summer squashes. Oh and little teeny round carrots. That year we had crops of what can only be called micro vegetables. Aside from our tomatoes everything else grew in miniature. One night for dinner we ate our entire harvest of teeny weeny carrots. We got about a fork full each. Later that fall we had a two fork harvest of Brussels sprouts. The next year we decided to go with cucumbers and tomatoes. Really tomatoes are pretty reliable. If its a good year anyone can be successful with them.

The third year we transitioned our fourth floor balcony garden to mostly flowers. I bought a Yellowstone flower seed mix(Or what I like to call pretty weeds) the year we vacationed out here. They grew great and they were very colorful. We also bought marigolds, snapdragons and petunias. I also planted Mexican sunflowers. The flowers were a much greater success than the vegetables. And they were darn pretty.

So this year, I have planted several things. I have some calibrachoa hanging flowers. They are just little guys now. I put them outside a week ago, only to bring them back in because it was too cold. I have some petunias also. We are actually mildly excited about planting the stuff we bought. I am still trying to learn what “zone” we are living in. I know it’s different than Milwaukee/Chicago, I just don’t know how. I do know to plant nothing in the front yard, as the elk will eat everything they can reach.

For our petunias me and the Boo even bought some fun and odd things to plant them in. He found a tall jewelry box (which he has been fighting with for about an hour-there are no plants in there yet). And I found some blue wooden thing. It looks like a tiny bench. (You can see them both in the pictures) I also planted some petunias in the ground.

Hopefully the boo will work something out with his planter.

Hopefully the boo will work something out with his planter.

Crossing my fingers that my petunias grow.

Crossing my fingers that my petunias grow.

The birthplace of my corn.  We hope you join us in about 145 days to enjoy it.

The birthplace of my corn. We hope you join us in about 145 days to enjoy it.

The last thing I planted was popcorn. This place came with a raised bed. I was going to plant tomatoes, but lost interest in that. Than I was going to plant kale, but I don’t eat kale fast enough to justify growing large quantities of it. At the grocery store I found seeds for popcorn and that just spoke to me. I hope that in about 130-150 days I can treat our guests to some fresh home grown popcorn! I will certainly keep everyone updated.

Greetings and Salutations from your Innkeepers

May 10th, 2016 by katy

It has been a month since me and the boo purchased Yellowstone Suites Bed and Breakfast. We have posted quite a bit on Facebook, and I have even attempted tweeting. But I have held off writing a blog. It is much easier to scribble out a few words, or post a picture. But here I find myself ready to start my blog. This first one is just an introduction. I might start to wax sentimental, and it might get wordy. But that’s me.

If I wanted to make a long story short I would say that me and the boo had a five year plan to own a B and B. We came out to Yellowstone on a vacation in 2014 and fell in love with the area. When Yellowstone Suites came on the market it wasn’t an option at the time. We looked around a little bit and almost pursued a few B and B’s in Canada. Things eventually fell into place and here we are today, innkeepers in one of the best places on Earth.

For those of you more interested in flights of fancy, this is the long version.

I wanted to live out west since I was 19 years old (For those keeping score, I’m almost 41). I went on a trip to North Carolina to see Biltmore Estate-a house that comes in a close second to this one on my list of houses I love. There I was, 19 years old, driving from Raleigh to Asheville. It seemed like out of the blue in the distance there were the Appalachians. I loved the Appalachians. The colors were at peak(it was fall). But in the back of my mind, I wanted to see the big boy mountains. The Appalachians are an old mountain range, I think they are shrinking. I wanted to see snow caps.

20 years went by before I was able to get out west. It was absolutely worth the wait. The first time I saw the snow cappers out in the distance I cried. I was speechless. We spent that vacation at Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. We both fell in love with the area. To be able to say we live here is an absolute blessing. I look outside my window and I can see mountains, a river, elk, deer. We go for a hike and see snakes and marmots. I love it. And I love talking to our guests who are seeing this stuff for the first time. I’m probably just as excited as they are.

So that’s a little background on how two people from Chicago and Milwaukee ended up running an inn in Gardiner MT.