Some updates not anything fun or exciting, but important read nonetheless

March 31, 2020 by katy

We hope everyone is staying safe, healthy and sane. I think sanity is key here. My sanity has left me completely, but I sometimes wonder if I had any to begin with. Before I get to the updates and important information, I would like to suggest to folks needing distraction a few things.

  1. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has become my number one distraction. Amazon Prime.
  2.  Tiger King. No words. None.
  3.  Follow Bastille on Instagram. Seriously.
  4.  Take up running.


Ok, now on to some changes we are making.

The first change I am mentioning is definitely NOT something I wanted to do. I bought this place to run it as a Bed and Breakfast, not a vacation rental.  I like interacting with our guests and hearing about your plans and the things you saw in the park.  Due to a few factors, through June (at least) we will be offering grab and go breakfasts only.  I say at least because I do not believe that this will miraculously go away. And the situation is constantly fluid. But I cannot expect people to sit next to complete strangers in close contact. I think it would be best to allow people to grab food and eat it wherever. We will offer breakfast sandwiches and wraps. The sandwiches will be made with either homemade English muffins or bagels or biscuits (maybe, that might be a bad idea). The wraps will not be made with homemade tortillas, as I can’t make those. We will still offer a baked good of some sort, as well as fruit, and yogurt parfaits. I can make anything gluten free or vegetarian/vegan. I think this is a good balance between the quality I expect from myself and what is being dictated to all of us due to the situation at hand. I will still have coffee and tea out by 7:00 AM, and you lot will still have your coffee makers in your rooms. With, I am told, much better coffee. This is the only update that will affect current reservations. The other updates affect future bookings.

We are no longer allowing 3 people in ANY of our rooms.  Our rooms are set to allow for 2 guests each. We will keep the twin bed in the Roosevelt and the futon in the Yellowstone suite, so two people traveling who don’t normally sleep together still have an option.  This decision was made for a number of reasons. We simply want to mainline things a bit. For the future, I will be running the day to day operations by myself, as the Boo will stay on full time at his job year round.

Our last change is that we will no longer be allowing children. Anyone under 18. Obviously if you have already booked you are fine, but going forward we won’t be. This was a tough one for us, as this is a family destination (sort of). But we have found in the past that the definition of well behaved is a bit subjective. It isn’t fair for other guests to have to hear other peoples children. As well, our place is small. It doesn’t take much to hear your neighbors.  This also applies to babies. And those of you that have stayed with us with your babies know I LOVE babies. But again, I can’t expect our other guests to want to hear crying babies. And they will cry, that’s what they do.


I apologize for all of these updates. This year has made me redefine my own vision of how I wanted our place to be run. I’m not sure what the future will bring, but for now I am trying to do my part to make sure our guests feel safe, while also ensuring a quality stay.

This post really isn’t about Bastille

October 10, 2019 by katy

It’s not. I swear. It may seem like it, and as some of you know, I have posted blogs about them before. But this isn’t about them. It’s about our long weekend to Salt Lake City to see them in concert.

We have had a very busy Summer. I am definitely not complaining. It has been a good Summer. I think this has been our best Summer to date. I don’t mean that in a monetary way. I think we have had great guests, and we have developed a pretty good menu (minus the French Toast situation I find myself in, but I will spend the off season working on an acceptable brioche recipe-until than no French Toast). We have developed a comfort with this business that has allowed us to both produce something that people seem to like and also let our hair down a bit more. We have a good balance that I think we didn’t have in the past. So it’s been a good, busy Summer.

Now leaving Yellowstone sign

Now leaving Yellowstone

Anyway, as many of you may know, I am a huge HUGE Bastille fan. I’ve liked them since I heard Pompeii on the radio whenever that came out. Maybe 2014 (or 2013), I think that’s when we saw them in Chicago. I may have the year wrong, and I’m certainly not going to look. Anyway, this year the closest they were coming to the Monty was Salt Lake City. I was NOT about to miss my favorite all male band (possibly the best band ever-haven’t decided between them and Concrete Blonde).  So me and the Boo planned a four day weekend to SLC. Mostly just to see Bastille, but as it happens this trip was a two-fer combining two of my favorite things; Bastille and Halloween.

Katy in a skeleton dress in Salt Lake City

Me before the concert.

I would just like to note right here, I tried entering a contest for some VIP experience.  I played the same three videos three times a day for many days. I did not win this prize-worth about 180.00$. I am going to assume that part of this prize was meeting this band. I could be wrong, but why else would there even be a contest? So I still have not met Dan Smith. And if anyone who is reading this knows him please pass along that I would like to.(meet him).  Seriously, I am pretty sure my mom and my aunts are the only folks who read this stuff. But on the off chance, I put it out there into the universe. Kind of like the Secret.

Now, all I can say about this concert is… OMF*ckingG!@!! I am pretty sure at some point I had an absolute out of body experience. It was just that good. I’ve loved their previous two concerts, especially the one in Chicago, partly because it was Chicago and partly because it was at a beautiful venue (The Aragon). But this one was definitely better then both of them. By far. Even though some clown ran up on stage and took his shirt off and then dove into the crowd. That was uncool and that guy is a jagweed. But they handled it like pros, cuz they are just that cool. So yeah, I’m not a groupie yet, but I definitely believe I could be. So also, if anyone (Mom?-Also I’ll need enough to take the Boo with) would like to contribute to that fund, by all means, I can set that up on Gofundme.  LOL

So we did not just see bastille while we were in Salt lake City. And I will be honest in saying I really really liked SLC. It was not at all what I imagined it would be. I had no idea how diverse it is, as well we ate at some really great restaurants. Red Iguana is of course my favorite Mexican food west of the Mississippi. And I do tell our guests about it if I know they are heading to SLC.  Now I have even more restaurant suggestions. We went to the zoo one day and also Thanksgiving Point. The zoo was very cool and they had a Halloween lights thing that we didn’t get to see in the dark. But it looked pretty cool.

The Boo standing in front of a blow up dragon

The Boo with this scary dragon thing!!

Thanksgiving point was what it was. I personally didn’t care that much for it, but they had a butterfly zone and we love our butterflies. Me and the Boo met at the Milwaukee Public Museum and they also have a butterfly zone. I will always remember the two of us in the butterfly room and him telling me about where he lived. I’m smiling as I write this. I thought he was so cool because he lived in Chicago. Just north of Wrigley field. He still is very cool. Also, this blog is not about him so I’m gonna move the story along. So, the SLC zoo is cool, Thanksgiving Point, meh. They do have the largest man made waterfall in the western hemisphere. That was kind of cool. But that’s what we did on Saturday since I didn’t win that VIP experience.

On Sunday night we went to Fear Factory. A few months ago we had guests staying with us who operate a haunted house in Tennessee. Right near the Alabama border I believe. I wish I could remember what it was called. But they are the ones that suggested we go to Fear Factory. Now, I am not one who can easily suspend my disbelief for these things. They generally don’t scare me. We went to Screams in the Park in Rosemont one year and I really did not enjoy it at all. Apparently this one is in an already really haunted building. Which did not amuse me when I found this out. I’m not interested in real haunted anythings. I’ve never had a ghostly experience so I don’t believe or disbelieve in them, and I would just as soon keep it that way.

We also paid an extra 3 dollars to allow the monsters to put there hands on us. I am all about hugs, but other than that the only person allowed to really put their hands on me is the Boo. Aside from him and hugs for anyone, please folks, keep a space around me. LOL. I figured I would be more scared anticipating someone grabbing and groping me. I’ll be honest here, it was definitely worth the extra 3 bucks. It didn’t necessarily scare me, but it did add to the experience. Although some of those monsters bordered on manhandling me, and one forced me and the boo to hug each other, I believe in an attempt to stab us together in one fell swoop. My back was to the guy and the Boo said he pushed the guy’s knife out of the way before he could stab me. What a hero my Boo is.  One also pinned me up against a wall. Another monster kept grabbing my legs. I am fairly ticklish so that just made me laugh.

What was so scary about this haunted house (and it was scary!!) was what they were able to do with the lighting and fog etc. Just terrifying. They somehow managed the lighting in one hallway to resemble a swap.  It was terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. I don’t want to describe the ending in case someone reading this is going to go to this, but let me just say the last room was horrifying. I really did entertain in my mind that they were really going to kill us with poison gas. I swear I smelled ammonia or bleach. John did not, but I don’t know. Common sense told me that no one is being killed there, but also I guess I can suspend my disbelief under certain circumstances. Anyway-please, if you are in the SLC area this month GO TO THIS HAUNTED HOUSE!!!! SO WORTH IT!!!!

Me and the Boo in front of a clown picture

What the WHAT?!?

Me and the Boo in front of a window witha haunted thing in it.

Scary Stuff!





So that was our little trip. I think it was a success! But as always, I am so happy to get back to the 406. Before we moved here we always went to more rural areas, and national parks. Now, when we get the chance we go to cities.


But really my heart just does this:

when I see this:

Montana sign

My home

It’s my birthday!!

June 16, 2019 by katy

Wedding day picture with John and katy

Our wedding day!!

44 years ago today at either 8:22PM or 9:11PM on a Monday night yours truly was delivered into this world. I’m not 100% sure on the time. One is my time of birth the other is my brothers, albeit two years apart. We aren’t twins. Frankly this world can’t handle two of me, and it certainly doesn’t need two of my brother. I could have asked my mom which time belongs to which of us-if anyone knows for sure I would think it would be her. But I really didn’t feel it was that important.

If I’m honest, (and I always am) I don’t care for birthdays. People that know me know I generally dislike any and all gift giving occasions. (see my dislike for Christmas-LOL).  I’ve never been that person who takes off of work to celebrate my birthday. I don’t quite get what there is to celebrate. Seriously. Celebrating that I’m still breathing? When there’s about 7 billion other people also breathing it just makes it less special for me. (just joking about that, but it puts things in perspective doesn’t it?)

As well, for whatever reason, I have been rather sad about getting older this year. To celebrate another year gone just isn’t my thing.Yes, I realize that is a very negative way to look at things. I’m pretty sure one of the reasons I started running this year was to outrun old age. That’s probably not going to work in the long run, but I am having fun doing it, so there is that.

Really, I just wanted to write about some of my birthday memories. As it happens I don’t have that many. Because I’ve avoided all celebrating of my birthday, rather successfully at that. But there are a few that stand out for me. My 30th birthday comes to mind. It was Star wars themed. I had an R2D2 cake, and someone made tie fighter hot dog wraps. Just to reiterate this was my 30th birthday party (not my 3rd, which it kind of sounds like it should be.)

My 40th birthday was another one that stood out. I guess I celebrate my birthdays about once every ten years. Me and the Boo were camping near the Sand Dunes in Colorado. I remember thinking, maybe I should have had a party or something, but whatever. There we were grilling hamburgers and eating cake in a very beautiful part of the country. I remember having to get up in the middle of the night to use the lavatory and looking up at the sky and seeing tons of stars. Now we live in an area where you can see all kinds of stars, and the milky way, but not like what I saw that night. It was simply stunning.

My favorite, FAVORITE birthday was 8 years ago. June 16, 2011. My wedding day. I already had the day off of work for a long weekend so when we set a date to get married that seemed like a good idea-since I already had the time off.  I am nothing if not practical. 🙂 I really just wanted to elope with the two of us, but that wasn’t going to happen. We literally had 7 people at our wedding. We got married in Sycamore, IL. (I think that’s what the town was called. It was near Woodstock I think.) It was a small chapel on someones private property. It really was beautiful. We honeymooned in Galena, which is a super cute town.

So that’s about it for my birthday memories. This year we are going out to dinner at Chico Hot Springs-we go there for all our special occasions. They definitely have great food. As an anniversary gift to each other we bought a subscription to a food box called Universal Yums. So once a month we’ll get snacks from a different country.    So that’s pretty cool. And Bastille released there new album on the 14th so that was like a birthday present except I haven’t actually gotten it yet. Luckily with the internet I can still listen to it, until I get it. (It’s coming in the mail, so who knows how long that will take. LOL)

Downsizing our properties, finally

May 4, 2019 by katy

Christmas tree at Condo in Arlington heights

Christmas tree at Condo in Arlington heights

As most of you know, me and the Boo moved here from the Chicago area. We had a very well thought out plan when we decided to purchase a Bed and Breakfast. It was by no means a rash decision. Having said that, when the opportunity to purchase our old girl in Gardiner arose we jumped on it. We didn’t put much thought at first into what we were going to do with our condo in Arlington Heights. Through all of 2016 it sat empty except for a few plants we left that a friend was nice enough to water for a while. I still have one of those plants, the rest passed away but this one was a trooper. It looks a bit rough now because I am not very good with plants, but I expect it to bounce back at some point.

We drove out to Chicago in November of 2016 with every intention of selling our place for a loss. We were not, however, prepared to hear exactly how much of a loss we would have to take and so we decided to fix it up and rent it out. We ended up with a very nice tenant for two years until the place was no longer under water so to speak. At that point we couldn’t keep our tenant (stupid by-laws) and we had to think about selling. It was on the market for about 2 months and this last Friday we finally officially sold it!

While I am happy that we no longer have our condo (which we never went back to after that November in 2016) I’m also a little sad. For a few reasons. I love Chicago. I always will. That was our last connection to that area, as neither of us has family there. (But we do have friends still there). When I married the Boo, I moved to Illinois from the Milwaukee area. That was in 2011. While that area has never been my “official” hometown, I came to view it as such. I never felt like I fit in where I grew up. I don’t go out of my way to find old classmates, and were it not for my family I would never go back to the Milwaukee area at all. I am not fond of taking strolls down memory lane. It’s nothing with Milwaukee I just think that where you’re born and raised isn’t necessarily where you are meant to be. (Having said all that, I am so happy to see the Bucks having a great season).

I remember when the Boo bought our condo. When we met he was living in Uptown near Wrigley Field (This, my friends, is why I thought the Boo was so cool in the first place). After dating for maybe a month or so he bought out in the suburbs to be closer to his job. I was the lucky sucker that got to help him move in high Summer. It was hot as hell, and as anyone from the mid-west knows it was NOT a dry heat. It was the first time I ever saw his crabby side. And he was a definite crab ass. But we got him moved and I was happy because I wouldn’t have to drive in the city anymore. As it happens while I love Chicago, I can do without all the traffic.

When we were dating we had a routine. Every other weekend I would go down to the AH to see him and every other weekend he would come up to Milwaukee to see me. I always had a day off midweek, so I would drive down there during the week as well. (I actually started to enjoy the drive, if only because I could listen to music uninterrupted for an hour or so).  Even before we were married I considered the AH my second home. Within roughly a year we were married and I moved in with my two cats.

Most of my memories of our condo and my time in the AH are good ones. We ate out all the damn time-something we do not do here. And we ate good. Even the bad food was good. Anyone in the general area of AH should at least try Wappaghettis pizza. So horrible, but so good. And I can never say enough about Lou Malnatis pizza. We still get pizza from there, almost always it is sent to us from my Auntie Pam. This is why we love her. One of the first places we ever ate at in the AH was a Greek syndicate called the Continental. It wasn’t actually owned by Greek people I’m just not sure what else to call this type of restaurant. But that is where we coined the phrase “mediocre at best.” And yet we ate there all the time. BTW folks, Arlington Heights has an outstanding downtown area. There are many great restaurants, including Salsa 17, which is one of my favorites. The downtown area also has a really nice theatre. We used to go there quite a bit. And they put on a terrifying version of a Christmas Carol if you can believe that.

As I was writing this and looking for a nice picture, I came across this pic. We used to do gimmick road rallyes. These were so much fun. And the guys who planned them out were geniuses.  We met at the parking lot of Woodfield mall and were given a set of directions. But there were gimmicks in them. So maybe a direction would be to turn left at the T in the road, but the instructions were very clear that in no circumstance were you to go any way but right. Or something like that. If you followed the directions word for word, you still got to where you were supposed to end up, but you would have taken an entirely different route and answered all the questions incorrectly. And thus, you would lose, as we did most times. One year they did an amazing race themed race that went all afternoon. We had to stop at specific locations and do goofy tasks. All in all not a bad way to spend a Friday night, or a Sunday afternoon. They also had races designed around Halloween decorations and Christmas decorations.

Trophies for road rallyes

Road rallye winners-ish

Three cats on a couch

Three cats on a couch and Leo with Hex vision.

Upon yet further reflection, and because I was looking through old photos, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our cat Picasso. As I stated earlier I brought two cats with me when me and the Boo married. Salvador lived long enough to make the move to Montana with us, but my other boy, Picasso died in 2013.  I had never lost anything more than a pocket pet before this, and to say I was devastated would be an understatement. We had to take him to the emergency vet at around 11:00 PM one night and we spent about two hours, and one phone call crying to my mom before we made the inevitable decision to put my boy to sleep. Since we moved out here we lost three of our four cats, all to old age. None was as hard as losing Picasso.  I took this picture of our three oldies a day or two after Picasso died. It will always be one of my favorites of them.

When we first moved here I actually thought it would be awesome to spend part of the year here and part of the year in the Chicago area. But after a while I started making friends (not an easy thing for me) and I discovered a community that I loved just enough to not want to leave. Plus we adopted Lou and and he would have nothing to do with living amongst too many people. So we never did pursue that route. And now we are just down to our old gal here in the 406. I hope that the guy who bought our place makes great memories of his own.  It’s a nice complex in a nice neighborhood.

As I reflect on all my memories from when we lived in Arlington Heights, and I think about the home we have now, one thought comes to mind:

Arlington Heights is where I found my happiness and Gardiner is where I found my home.


International Women’s Day

March 8, 2019 by katy

As I was perusing the twitter feed of a certain indie rock band, I saw that it was International Women’s Day. And while they failed to mention Concrete Blonde on their strong women’s playlist, I will not. 😉 They happen to be probably my favorite female fronted band.  Having said all that, I thought I would take this opportunity to make a list of my own, of women I love and who have inspired me.

My niece would definitely have to top my list. Hands down. I love her. I’ve loved her and admired her from the second she was born. The first time I saw her smile, crawl, walk… whatever it was she was learning how to do, I found it amazing.  She is and always will be my favorite person in the world. (The Boo is quite aware that he comes in a very close second.-But my niece has had my heart since she took her first breath).  She has grown into such an intelligent and beautiful young woman, I have no doubt she is destined for great great things. Dare I say it, I could see her being president one day. (she is very politically active, and smart-if I haven’t mentioned that.)

On the topic of politics-which is controversial, and not at all what I intend this to be-I put Angela Merkel on my list of women I admire. I have no clue in reality what effect she has had on Germany. I don’t live there, so I won’t pretend to say she is good or bad either way, for that country. But she is a powerful woman. Some may have said, the most powerful woman in the world. I love that. I have, myself, no aspirations to hold any more power than I do(which is basiclly none), but I love that she is who she is. I love that she carries herself with integrity and self respect. Something we should all strive for, but many of us fall short at.

I will add Michelle Obama and Laura Bush into the mix here as well. Both women I highly admire. For vastly different reasons.

On a final note about politics, one women I greatly admire, who is actually a fictional character is Leslie Knope. I think she embodies the ideals and principles that I love. And that I would like to see real politicians embody. She is intelligent and carging and well aware that we all need a team to be who we are, and to get where we are going. She boosts people up. We need more of that in this world.

Moving away from politics (sort of) one of my favorite ladies in history, hands down, is Mary Queen of Scots. I base my opinion of her from one text and one text alone. That would be Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles by Margaret George.  I’ll admit this is a novel, however I believe it is based on solid research. Maybe some day I’ll do my own research, but until then, my opinion remains firm, I’m team Mary all the way. On a side note, Maragaret George  is, by far, one of the best female authors I know of. Sicker than cancer, and that is the truth.

In college I took a course on Poverty in the US. It was most definitely an eye opening class, and really highlighted, among other things, the contribution women have always made in regards to the social fabric of this country (and many other countries, I’m sure). The one woman that stood out to me was Dorothea Dix. I loved that she gave voice to the mentally ill. This is a topic very near to my heart.

So thats my little blog for the week. I hope it was entertaining. I for one was entertained for a while writing it.

My International Women’s Day playlist-on spotify no less. Yeah, I know what I’m doing.


Katy’s long awaited (not really) reading list

February 26, 2019 by katy

So we are about three months into the off season. To say I am at all impressed with this lovely late arrival of Winter would be a lie. For having always (ALWAYS) lived in cold weather climates, I can truthfully say, I am so over the snow.  It’s about 58 degrees in London today. 58. That’s about 14ish for Celsius folk.  I won’t even mention that it was 70 in Phoenix. (Well, yes, I guess I will mention that). It is currently a brisk 2 here in Gardiner. (disclaimer-these were temps all gotten from the interwebs, if they aren’t accurate, oh well-it won’t change the fact that I am not even close to living in the warmest place on earth right now.) But, this blog was NOT intended to be about my distaste for cold-that would be a very long blog indeed. Because we are in the off season, I have a fair amount of time on my hands. Don’t get me wrong there will never be a shortage to the amount of stuff I could clean, fix or organize around this old house, but I’m also a procrastinator, so that stuff will get done when it gets done. I thought I would put out a reading list. Sort of like what Obama does, but really mine is way (WAY) less heavy hitting in subject matter. I’m not so much of a non fiction reader, so whats on my list is actually entertaining. And mostly fun.


First of all, my favorite book of all time is (and always will be) A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY. I love that book. When I was 19 I tried to move to Canada because of that book. Canada didn’t want me, btw, which left me with bad feelings towards our Northern neighbor for years. I have since gotten over it. I also (almost) became an Episcopalian because of that book. And while I found the Episcopal church in Greendale, WI to be very welcoming, I am not what you’d call a church goer. I’d reconsider if churches held their services at any time but in the morning. But I digress. I read OWEN MEANY about once every 3 years. I cry every time I read it. I am not a big fan of John Irving, but damn, he sure did hit it out of the park with this one.  So I HIGHLY recommend this book. To everyone.


I am currently working my way through a book list. I started this list at the beginning of 2018. I have read about 17 books on this list so far.  It’s actually pretty cool, it doesn’t assign specific books, but criteria instead. So, for example, I read ARE YOU THERE GOD IT’S ME MARAGARET for the “book from my childhood” category. I don’t necessarily recommend that book. Maybe to children or preteens. I could have used that book to fulfill the “Book I could read in a day” category, but I read Siddhartha for that. And I will state, it took me about a week to read it, but I could have read it in a day if I wanted. I am currently reading THE NARRATIVE OF ARTHUR GORDON PYM OF NANTUCKET by Edgar Allen Poe. This probably makes me sound pretty darn smart.  LOL That book will fulfill the “book written over 100 years ago” category, and it sets me up for the next book I’ll be reading called PYM. Which relates back to the Edgar Allen Poe book.

List of books for a reading challange, 2018

2018 book list

This leads me to the 2nd book on my reading list. THE BROTHERS K by David James Duncan. I hadn’t even heard of this guy until I decided to read this book. It fulfills the “book I own, but never read” category. It is one of the Boo’s books. He hasn’t read it himself. (He will read it when he finishes “THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRE(A)Y) Anyway, I went into this book barely half heartedly. It’s fairly heavy with baseball talk, and because I hadn’t heard of the author, I didn’t know what to expect. Needless to say, OMG, what an outstanding book. I laughed (a lot) I cried (a lot). I would have balled like a baby towards the end, but I was distracted by the Boo and Lou having an altercation over bedding. But I definitely recommend this book to anyone. And this author lives in Montana somewhere. That’s pretty cool.


My 3rd recommended book is actually a book of non-fiction. It’s called EMPTY MANSIONS and it’s about Huguette Clark and her many houses. As many of our guests might know, I love Butte. A lot. And Huguette Clark is the daughter of W.A. Clark, who built the Copper King mansion in Butte.  A house I have toured no less than 3 times. It’s my second favorite house, next to our old girl of course. Anyway, Huguette owned a lot of homes, that she never lived in, and an apartment (or two) in New York City that she did live in. She led a very interesting and odd life. And honestly, if the folks in Santa Barbara still don’t know what to do with Bellosguardo, I’d be more than happy to move in for a while.  If you read the book you will learn that Bellosguardo was her home in California that she never lived in. But for years the staff were supposed to always be “at the ready” for her to visit.


The 4th book on my list is COMMONWEALTH by Ann Patchett. I heard of this book from someone in my book club. And if I remember correctly she didn’t think it was as good as other Ann Patchett novels. I will be honest, I had never heard of Ann Patchett until this person mentioned this book. And I hadn’t really thought much about it, except that Overdrive (the ebook, audiobook extension of the library system) had it available as an audiobook. I tend to listen to books while I clean and hike. So I decided, what the hell. I fell in love. Both with this book and with Ann Patchett.  I will always associate this book with the Garnett Hill hike in the park, because I listened to it the whole 8 or 9 miles. I have since read RUN (LOVED IT!!), and I started PATRON SAINT OF LIARS, but my mind isn’t quite focused enough to listen to books right now, and the library will be taking that one back soon. I am pretty sure I won’t be able to renew right away. Sad for me for sure.


So there you have it. A small list of books I totally recommend.  And (for the record) a few books that I don’t. A trilogy actually. It’s the Discovery of Witches trilogy. I sort of liked the first one, but as I started getting through the second one, I was not enjoying it at all. But, unless a book is super horrible, I’ll finish it. But I mention Discovery of Witches, more for this reason. I was having a hard time checking the last book out from the library. I would put it on hold, but I couldn’t get out to Livingston within a week to pick it up. So I posted on the community page if anyone had this book I could borrow. Someone I didn’t even know had it on her Kindle and she lent her Kindle to me, and that was a very sweet thing to do.


Rewiring my Brain Through Gratitude (and other such nonsense)

February 8, 2019 by katy

So, it’s been quite a while since I last updated this blog of mine. If I’m honest, I really do not have the most exciting of lives. Most recently, me and the Boo went on a whirlwind tour of the US. We (by we I mean him, I didn’t drive at all) drove to the 414, and than on to Holland, MI. Sorry, we only drove through my favorite city, but a part of my heart misses Chicago like mad. From Michigan we went on through several states to Las Vegas where we renewed our vows in front of Elvis.

Me and the Boo with Elvis

Viva Las Vegas!!

That was a blast.  I got to see my niece, who has and always will have a sizable piece of my heart. I got to eat at all of my (two) favorite MKE area restaurants.  An all-around damn fine trip.


Aside from that fun adventure my end of 2018 beginning of 2019 has consisted of me losing BOTH another dollhouse contest and a chili cook-off. I’d like to say I handled both like a pro(because I have tried to rewire my brain to think more positively), but the sad fact is, when I didn’t win the chili cook-off, I shot a VERY negative text to the Boo (who was at work) regarding both the other contestants as well as all the people present at this function.


In an effort to “rewire” my brain (as I mentioned above), I have decided this year that I was going to start journaling and writing 3 things I am grateful for every day. I used to journal quite often as a child/teen/young adult. I’ve kept every one of my journals. Occasionally I look through some of them. My initial response is almost always (forgive the French here) “The f*ck?” Needless to say I was a bit depressed as a child, and than a lot depressed as a teen/young adult.  Than I got over myself and found a sense of humor, and that seemed to be the end of my journalling.


Until now. My journal entries are far less depressing. In fact they are basically non-existent. As it happens, I find it more gratifying to just tell all my thoughts to the Boo than to actually write them down to no one.  It’s like our own private version of Tuesdays with Maury, and I will henceforth refer to it as Everyday Complaining with Katy. And frankly, once I have voiced my thoughts it seems redundant to then write them down. As well, the universe probably doesn’t need to hear my opinions more than once.  And I don’t really see the purpose of writing things down anymore. Whats going to happen to this stuff? In a hundred years is someone going to go to an archives somewhere and read about what a loon I was? Do I really want people to know my deepest and darkest feelings and thoughts? Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that journaling is not all that.


I am however really enjoying writing down things I am grateful for. And it certainly isn’t all that easy to do. After listing the big ones, (in no particular order, the Boo, Lou, Batsugi and Bastille) I started having trouble thinking up 3 things every day, that didn’t include any of the four just mentioned. I’m really a very simple person at my core, but my mind tends towards darker places. To focus on positives is just not a natural thing for me, but I’m always game for mind experiments. For this blog I looked back at some of what I have been grateful for. Some stuff is really silly. After binge watching Netflix one afternoon the TV show Friends made the list. Another day, I ate an entire bag of peanuts, and so peanuts made the list for that day. Some things seem silly, but they really aren’t. Concrete Blonde made a list one day. And for good reason. Their music always reminds me of two friends I had in high school. Neither of whom I talk to now, but both of whom I miss.


One day my brother made the list (even though the asshat won’t come visit us). But seriously what a great thing it is to have a sibling.  They are probably the most likely people to share the same common backround. Maybe this isn’t as true with siblings farther apart in age, but me and my brother are only two years difference, so basically we’re pretty much the same age. But how great it is when I am nostalgic about something that I can just text my brother and be like “OMG, remember this…” and he’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.


They really do say that writing out gratitudes can rewire your brain in 21 days. I’m not sure who “they” are. This could (and probably is) a bunch of bunk. Around the end of January I asked people closest to me if they thought I was different than I was on January first. No one really gave me a definitive answer. The boo says I’m not as angry, but to be fair around the same time I started writing gratitude lists, I also stopped reading/watching the news and have essentially stopped looking at social media. So he couldn’t say what that was from. But I think it has made a difference. No, I’m never going to be a Pollyanna. But when I do visit my darker places, I now have over 100 (and growing everyday) reasons that I can physically see that remind me that I have a fair amount of light going on in my life. I have the Boo, I have my furbabies, and Bastille really is the best band ever. And yes, maybe I wasted an afternoon watching Friends on Netflix, but it was an afternoon I spent laughing, and how can that possibly be a bad thing?

To wrap up what I hope was a (sort of) inspiring post, I will leave pictures of my not award winning dollhouse. I admit, I didn’t expect it to win anything. The outside was not that great, but the inside was very cool. At least I thought so. This year’s kit is a smaller kit that they call the Serendipity Shed. I am going to take that and add onto it and make a recreation of the entire B and B. I’m sure it will be a disaster, but what the hell… go big or go home.

Miniature shrin to Lil' Sebastian

Miniature shrine to Lil’ Sebastian

Exterior of my dollhouse.

Note the green and gold at the very top.

Intrerior of my dollhouse side facing Interior of my dollhouse, facing back wall, and the cool tree bookcase Interior of my dollhouse. Front facing wall


Mini Pub update

December 19, 2017 by katy

A while back (a long while back) I mentioned that I was making a mini British pub for a contest.  I received the kit in March and it is finally finished and submitted. I just wanted to share some of the pictures with you. I really liked how it turned out.

This is what the original kit looked like. It was a craftsman cabin. For the contest we had to use this kit.

This is a photo in progress, but it shows where I moved the door and window on one wall and created a new door and window on the other wall.

The front of the pub almost done.

This is the finished exterior of the pub. I didn’t have time to put a sign hanging from the corner, and I’m not sure how that would have looked. I made the flowers, and everything in this scene EXCEPT the phone booth.

The back wall and pool table. I made the pool table and the dart board. The pictures are all black and white photos of my pets (both past and present).

A picture of the pubs resident lush.

A view of the bar and my bartender Clizby (pronounced Clithby). I made all the food, the bar, most of the bottles and the Paddington bear doll. And the drapes.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. I’m crossing my fingers that I place somewhere in this contest.  But even if I don’t I had fun making it. I am waiting to hear what their next contest kit is. I already have an idea of what I want to do, but that all hinges on what the kit is.


Introducing our tasty to go lunches

June 15, 2017 by katy

IMG_7035 IMG_7036

We are excited to announce that we have started offering to-go lunches. One of our sandwiches is a chicken salad made with grapes and walnuts. The other sandwich we are offering is a peanut butter, jelly and brie sandwich. Both are offered on our homemade bread, with homemade granola bars, Goldfish crackers, fruit and a drink.

The inspiration for the chicken salad was from a sandwich I used to get at a restaurant called the Chancery. People from the Millville area might remember the Chancery. We used to go there a lot when I was in high school, and they had a chicken salad on croissant sandwich that had grapes and walnuts. I was very sad when they took it off their menu. I think they are no longer around, but I always loved this sandwich, and our version is just as delicious! The granola bars are also delicious. The Boo makes those, and they will change in flavor depending on what the Boo makes. We hope our guests will enjoy them as well.

We also rent out bear spray for $5.00 dollars a day (with a $15.00 dollar maximum) for guests staying multiple nights. If you rent it out for more than three days we only charge for three. For people that fly here, its a good deal, as you can’t bring bear spray on a plane. Its also a money saver as bear spray is expensive. And bear spray should be a priority for anyone hiking in the park. Bears are definitely no joke.

I also want to use this blog to do some updating on our policies. I am never quite sure what people expect when they visit us as far as what housekeeping we do for multiple night stays. I know that I have been at B and B’s that never came into our room, not even to change out the garbage. Some came in every day and made the bed. Our policy here is to change out the garbage and replace the towels. If a guest wants turn down service, we are more than happy to do that. If a guest requests that we not replace towels, etc, we are fine with that also. We are pretty flexible either way.

Finally, I just want to reiterate our smoking policy. There is no smoking on the property. At all, anywhere. I never want to come across as a meany or a stickler, but this is one policy I will not budge on. For several reasons. One is that we are in a semi arid area. We don’t water our grass, and I personally do not want a fire. As well, we have no ash trays so there is no where to dispose of your butts.

That wraps up another one of my soon to be famous blog posts.




the blog with the 2nd shameless plug

May 6, 2017 by katy

Fair warning before we get too far into this blog… it’s pretty senseless… it’s not about the inn or us or our fur babies or even about Gardiner-although all of these things rock…. it’s really about my love for music, and specifically my obsession with one group in particular. So if this sounds boring to you-and really I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be boring-stop now. For the rest of you… 

Music has always played an important role on my life. When I was a kid I remember listening to Barry Manilow and Luciano Pavarotti. If I had to trace back to the first song I actually remembered as a cognizant being it is probably Mandy-still a favorite. I also have memories of my mom listening to love songs with Rick Morales. Anyone who was around in the 80’s in Milwaukee knows what I’m talking about. I still love the song When I Need You by Leo Sayer. It says a lot about my character that I am absolutely NOT embarrassed to say I like ANYTHING by Leo Sayer. And on that note, Wildfire was and always will be in my top 5 songs of all time.

I remember the first album I ever owned-Men At Work. And spending hours-quite literally hours-watching MTV with my brother and a neighbor waiting for the video of Mr Roboto to play. Growing up in the 80s sure was a blast! 

 By my teenage years I was into the Smiths, the Cure and REM… I still love R.E.M… and I’m still waiting for the Concrete Blonde reunion tour. As a teenager it is so easy to see yourself in every song. Anyways, most of the music I listened to from my teenage years was depressing. And ya know that’s cool. I think teenage angst is great. At least for me, I have something to look back on and laugh at. 

By the time I was transitioning to adulthood, I was all over the place. I saw Michael Bolton in concert several times. We were in the second row for one of those. I had a friend who was absolutely obsessed with Michael Bolton.  Than there was my country faze (in the 90’s).  I saw Clint Black at the Wisconsin State Fair, and I still maintain it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. And basically after that I listened to a lot of Italian rock. And no I don’t actually speak Italian, so who knows what any of those songs was about… well people that speak Italian do… I like to think they are singing about stuff so wonderful it can’t be put into words.

Now I basically just listen to stuff I’ve always listened to. I’m not really into new music. Shawn Mendez is ok, but seriously I have no clue what is popular.

I make an exception with Bastille.  I liked them since I first heard Pompeii. And having been a huge fan (one of the biggest) of Twin Peaks, how could I not love a group who names one of their songs Laura Palmer? Right? I remember as a teenager driving way out to this restaurant in Oak Creek and thinking “my god, we’re in a David Lynch film.” The restaurant was John Busslers, the food was good, and the company was my crazy friends.  And seriously, Oak Creek is not that far out.

In 2015 me and the Boo went to see Bastille at the Aragon ballroom in Chicago. And while I was a little unhappy with the lack (complete lack) of seating, I was blown away. I hadn’t been to a concert since…probably Michael Bolton…that’s sad really…

We have all their albums and EP… even the one that they have floating out there for free… 

So fast forward to last week. We went to see them in Bozo… now I consider myself a one off kind of person… I rarely go to the same place twice on vacation-Memphis is the exception here, as is Yellowstone, although really I didn’t vacation here twice. We vacationed here once and than moved out here. And there’s those two Michael Bolton concerts… but honestly, what were the chances that Bastille would be playing in Bozo and we’d be living here. They’ve been to Chicago a few times, but that’s not a surprise. Maybe I’m not giving Bozo enough credit, Sir Elton John played there a few months ago, and I’m pretty sure me and the Boo were the only people left in Gardiner that night. Basically, that I have been to see them twice is a big deal for me. And it’s cool that I saw them in the two places I consider home. 

bastille2 bastille3So, this is kind of abastille1 shameless plug. But I don’t always have inn related things to talk about. And I think it’s ok to plug something your passionate about… remember my Victory Taco blog? I’m very passionate about tacos… but-I never did go back there after that first time. Like I said I’m a one off kind of person…