Prospect Hill Bed & Breakfast Inn TN|NC
Can we all get along? 14 Jul 2012, 7:52 amIt continues to be an uneasy truce between myself (Tiger Lily, the long-time cat of the inn) and Michelin, the newcomer. I ran across this video
which shows some great fun between a young barn owl and a young black cat. I'll grant you it is so nice they get along delightfully. But, geez, look how that kitten wants to rub on the owl! Michelin tries that, too. He isn't getting anywhere with ME!!
Below is what Michelin likes to do...
The Virginia Creeper Trail (biking or walking) is so beautiful this time of year-- just 17 miles from the inn.
The Innkeepers can tell you where the new hiking and walking trail is. They can direct you to scenic rides and farmer's markets.
Frankly, I don't know why I'm hanging around here messing with the hosta plants on the chance there is vole under there when there are so many great things to see and enjoy in the mountains near Mountain City, TN.
In conclusion, Give Peace a Chance, Play Nice with Your Neighbor and take the time to getaway to a bed and breakfast. Reserve a room at the inn.
Are you boxed in? 7 Jul 2012, 11:26 amToday started out busy and crazy and it hasn't gotten any easier as the day wears on. I'm sure you also have days like this: Just too much on your plate.
Let me tell you, from a cat's point of view (that would be Tiger Lily telling the inn cat's viewpoint), being boxed in is not a bad thing. Here's what she has to say on the subject:
A cat's eye view is very different. I believe in setting boundaries. I set boundaries with the other cat in my life and I set boundaries with inn guests (oh, yes, when I appear to be sleeping and letting you pet me I'm setting boundaries!).
My advice: Live you life in a quiet place you choose when living outside is just too hard. In fact, FIND a box and crawl in. Allow yourself to rest and renew in this safe place. Don't answer the phone. Don't raise an eyebrow. Now THAT is a cat's way of dealing with stress.
If you don't believe I do this in MY life, take a look at my rest period in the inn's kitchen corner yesterday. (Oh, that rustling you heard is not ghosts--just ME in the bag, in the box with extra liquor bottle bags moving around a bit. Hey, a girl has to make herself comfortable!)
Anyway, if you don't happen to have a spare liquor box in your size at home, consider a short visit to a B&B inn. Bed and Breakfasts pride themselves in creating a safe, quiet, nurturing environment, ideal for when the rat race has gotten the best of you. You really don't need a special occasion for this. Any day or two will do. Give it a try!
I'm around when guests check out. I assure you that the people leaving out of here have left their cares somewhere as they really look rested when they go home. I call that "the magic of the box and bag." I hope you get some in your life soon.
Never as hot as where you are!! 7 Jul 2012, 9:12 am
As a cat, you'd think I would get tired of lounging under the hosta leaves on the patio. Not so. It's great. Some days have had 40% humidity which makes even an 85-degree day quite lovely. We've also had rains (sometimes some windy storms) spaced out just enough to keep things growing beautifully. The innkeeper took this photo of the Wedding/Inn Garden as the morning fog starts to burn off.
Let me also add that I can't be responsible (what cat is???) for the crows and all that recent nastiness in the parking lot. [Ed. note: the crows did NOT like Michelin, the young cat, sitting under a tree near the parking lot, perhaps NEAR a baby crow. When we went under a car, all was good.]
From now until October there will be many interesting festivals in the High Country, many opportunities for hikes in the woods and many great nights' sleep in the inn's bed. but don't ask me! the innkeepers keep the room doors shut so I have to make do with sleeping next to the vacuum cleaner in the attic! Meow.
"Cougar" Romance at Prospect Hill 10 Jan 2012, 8:01 am
Winter has been a bit strange this year with snow off and on (mostly off) and odd spring-like days like today (nearly 60 degrees and sunny). I've had the opportunity to prowl the patio and enjoy the fresh mountain air.
Christmas is over and I've had to give up my perfectly wonderful resting area on the heat duct behind the Christmas tree. The Rotary Christmas tour was a success. (I slept through it). People were especially good about traveling this New Years; I found several real cat lovers among them. Now Martin Luther King holiday is fast approaching but people seem to be staying home. Could it be the lack of snow? Or could it be that they are saving their time for the Valentine's holiday ahead? If so, maybe I'll be seeing them at the inn next month!
Meanwhile, I must share this secret. I'm in love.....
Just about a year and a half ago a half grown classic tabby kitten showed up at the inn. They called him Michelin because of the tire stripe pattern down his back, rather than naming him Target since he has a bullseye on his side (per the classic patterns). I was not amused since I've been the ONLY cat since 2001. Call me a cougar, call me an old fool, but I'm beginning to like the youngster. Sure, I still take a swing at his head now and then. But let's face it, his food bowl tastes just as good as mine and on a sunny day like today I don't mind sharing the party room with him. (See photo).
Let me be clear. He's my first so he certainly is NOT going to get in any serious snuggling any time soon. I'm not that kind of girl.... I will leave that to the inn guests who are likely to enjoy it during February when the fireplaces glow, the candles on the whirlpool tub edges twinkle and the guest rooms feel all snug, safe and romantic. I think there will be a special treat for each guest staying at the inn, too.
One more thing: IF he wants to propose I'm up for it. He should check on the special packages the inn provides since I wouldn't mind finding the ring in a box of brownies (with tuna juice on the side, thank you very much!)
One more thing. Least you think I am not romantic.... there's photo proof I attend weddings. Just take a look at me as I leave the receiving line of Liz and Mike's wedding last summer. I am directly to the right of the sign. LINK
Light Up Mountain City 5 Dec 2011, 12:34 pm
Rumor has is (you KNOW how cats deal in rumors) that the 20 donated Christmas trees are all up along West Main Street in Mountain City. Light Up Mountain City is a success thanks go our friend Aleta Higgins, of Tributary Restaurant.
I think today will be the test of just how well everyone tied their ornaments on. The wind--even here on the inn's patio where I've been enjoying fresh air--has been kicking up to at least 20 mph. (It sure can howl; glad I'm equipped with my own fur...)
Meanwhile, back at the party room, I've had my choice of boxes for a week! There is nothing more wonderful in the world than a brand new box to crawl into. I've especially liked the big one left over from the artificial tree.
It appears The Innkeepers will eventually get all their decorations arranged around the house. They are keeping all the guest rooms shut so I have had a chance to see them. The 11-foot fresh tree is glorious and I've enjoyed sleeping on the heat duct right behind it. I've also added the "official" living room portrait photo which goes along with the Rotary Christmas House Tour publicity, this Saturday, Dec. 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come find me and give me a pat if possible.
I'm dreaming of all those NEW boxes for cat napping coming in just a few weeks. If I don't have a chance to tell you:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Come Enjoy the Dec. 10 Rotary House Tour 28 Nov 2011, 9:15 am
This year we've volunteered to open our inn for the Mountain City Rotary Club Christmas House Tour (and do the PR, too). Today Tiger Lily slept under the tree (pictured) while Judy shot photos for the newspapers.
Tiger's Quote of the Day:
I have no idea HOW they thought all that mess was going to turn into a great looking room. I've been walking around it since Saturday....[meow]
Innkeeper's explanation: Takes a lot of little stuff, carefully arranged, to make the place look great. Tiger, get back on your heat duct or in your box and chill while we put on the finishing touches! Here are the results (interim) since I can always find MORE to put on the tree (silver beads are not on yet).
Many of the houses on the tour this year will have theme trees. For myself, I like standing snowmen (for winter) and owls (all year). But no theme for our tree other than ornaments we have selected and loved through the years. Plus ornaments our friends have given us.
Crafts are important to us. Our party room at the inn will be used to display an assortment of locally-made crafts by a half dozen individuals. The items will be for sale with the suggestion that you support the artists AND find some nice gift items. Some members of the band Onefoot Onearth, will perform throughout the tour. Other houses will have cookies and beverages available.
This is a self-guided tour (done in any order you prefer) Saturday, Dec. 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in and around Mountain City, TN. Free light breakfast 10 a.m. to noon at Tributary on Main (118 W. Main St.) with tour ticket. Log cabins, modern and new homes and two historic homes plus log cabin rentals and ShayBrey, the go-to store for Christmas florals, will be on tour.
Tickets: Buy online at the inn's reservation page (Christmas tour tab), at Tributary, 423-727-4150, ShayBrey and at the Welcome Center on Hwy. 421. Prospect Hill is handling the credit card sale of tickets. (email@example.com). 423-727-0139. $12 in advance; $15 day of tour.
Benefits: The Rotary Club Scholarship Fund for high school seniors.
Heavy rain/snow date: Sunday, Dec. 11.
A note from Tiger:
I know things get hectic this time of year so I want to wish you a joyous season and also share with you what I consider to be the JOY of the season: photo below. Hope yours is just as fine a day!!
Seasonal Transformation and Other Changes 7 Nov 2011, 1:46 pm
Hello, Stuck Up Cat Lovers! Tiger Lily checking in...
I have had a wonderful summer. The patio, the warm weather, my nest in the leaves near the back patio doors have been fabulous. Now fall is drawing to an end; some really wintry weather might turn up later this week. I'm prepared with a new perch (shown in the photo).
In light of seasonal weather changes, The Innkeepers decided it was finally time to (1) clean the gutters (simply made a mess out of my leaf nest!!!) (2) spray paint the wicker end tables in Rose/Romance Room 2. Pictures can tell the story, so here they are.
Step 1: Bring them downstairs and be sure they are clean
Step (2) - Get out the spray paint given to my by my decorating buddy, Susan..... months ago!!!
(3) Go outdoors when the wind is not blowing and the temperature is closer to 60
(4) Find something to sit the legs up on
(5) Find Goof Off and Mineral Spirits because the first of two cans of spray paint kept clogging
(6) Painted underside first and let a bit of the sage color show through
(7) Let dry a bit then turn upright, sit on cans or 2x4 scraps and paint the top side.
(8) Let dry thoroughly, or until the sun goes down and it is rather cool/cold. Bring indoors and put back into the guest room.
(9) Take photos.
I just read that RED is the hot designer color for the coming season. Well, here we are, ahead of the trend. The red is intended to pick up some read in the bedspread in Room 2/Rose Romance, not that anyone lets me (the cat) into a guest room!
The tables seem more cranberry than bright red. Nice.
Fall Wedding With Lantern Light 10 Oct 2011, 8:01 am
VIEWS OF THE INN CAT [TIGER LILY] - Liz and Mike Poston got married here Saturday. It has long stuck in my craw that "the other cat" attends these affairs. So this time I showed up. Well, I went out on the patio, slept under the rose bush and rolled out on the patio for a few well placed pets. This worked out well (not kids around). What's the deal, anyway (there was no tuna involved!)
By way of details: on Friday the bride and her family and friends set up the party room and decorated the gazebo. I checked the flowers out on the sly and enjoyed some of the fall leaves and the views. The weather has been great--in the 70s with the leaf color getting more and more intense by the day. As some of you know, I was fed filet mignon and bottled water during one of my illnesses a decade ago. I am sorry to say, the wedding party went to The Peddlar in Boone and did NOT bring me any steak!!
Wedding day was pretty quiet until later in the afternoon so I enjoyed a snooze on the warm, sunny patio. The bicycle with the basket on it to hold programs was cute. I stayed out of sight when they photographed the happy couple riding the bike down the hill. Did they look at how steep that was before they started??? It all worked out. Cute photos. Local musicians known as Fidder's Grove played the music for the ceremony and the reception. Very nice. Even the Smashing Pumpkins tune was quite the thing.
I mentioned no tuna... there was, however, a seafood dish by Tributary on Main in Mountain City. That looked good, too, but by 5:30 I was tired of the attention and had retreated to the B&B kitchen to stay away from Chef Shaun's big feet!
The party went on a few more hours. I heard the talk about the sparklers. See the album on Prospect Hill B&B In's page on Facebook.... It was cool, all it up, with both ropes of light and lanterns high above my favore
But, if you must ask about ghosts, here's what I know or have heard, in Judy's words:
This is our story. The house was designed by an architect, built by a former Union Army officer who also served in the state legislature. The style is Shingle Style Victorian. The roof was put on Nov. 22, 1889.
Former tenants in our house told us that the back door would open and close by itself. Yes, we've heard the handle and latch turn, many times.
I've felt an energy field inside the hall and outside the original master bedroom door. That is now our Room #5 - The Wagner Bedroom, named for
Maj. Joseph Wagner, who served in the Civil War, on both sides, ending as a major in the Union Army. He then built this house in 1889.
One guest saw 'someone' in a military uniform in the Room 2 window as she arrived at the inn.. Another guest--one who says he often sees ghosts in hotels-- said he saw a man in old fashioned clothes in his room during the night. (Wagner died in 1910 of old age and the house was sold).
At various times guests have smelled peanut butter cookies or muffins baking in the middle of the night. Another got out of his bath in the first floor guest bath (once the
family room and family bath). He smelled spilled bourbon for quite awhile, long enough to dry himself off, dress and go fetch his girl friend from the front porch swing so
she, too, could smell it. It was the middle of the afternoon so I trust he was neither asleep nor drunk.
Another time, rose-flavored perfume was smelled in the same room. The second owners were Mr. and Mrs. Stacy Issac Rambo. We believe Mrs. Rambo lived in this room
in her waning years. A guest who 'feels' ghosts everywhere sensed a woman's presence in this room. Her son may have been the one who spilled the bourbon. The room was HIS bedroom in HIS last years.
The first indication I had of this sort of thing was when we were renovating. My husband, Robert, and our dog arose early and left the house to walk to the mail box for the newspaper.
While they were gone I heard the steady rhythm of a man's leather-soled dress shoes on the front stairs, coming up, walking in the hall, going back down. The thing is--due to renovation--the hallway was filled with buckets of paint and Sheetrock mud, a vacuum cleaner, extension cords and such. No mortal could walk in a straight line down that hall with such consistent footsteps!
In this digital age we sometimes capture odd things on disk (such as fire leaping out of one fireplace). I found orbs on only one of three photos I made of a couple walking down the drive after their wedding. We believe the groom died in a motorcycling accident 6 months later! Out of over 100 weddings performed here, that was the only photo to ever have anything out of the ordinary on it.
A current employee, Angela Norris, says she smells smoke in the house sometimes and wondered if we once had a fire burn the house. No, it never burned. I think it might be the remains of fires in the 10 wood burning fireplaces throughout the house or it might be, well, who knows what?! Children heard scratching and dropped items in the living room ceiling years ago. We are fairly certain that was an invasion of squirrels in winter. However, we have yet to explain away the knock on the door and the "force or pressure" which one guest says pushed her into the mattress and would not allow her to move for at least 15 seconds.
I always expected the ghost of Mr. Rambo to show up when I removed part of a wall he erected to turn the back porch into a bathroom. When we did it, all was quiet. Apparently our ghosts do not arrive on demand. Given the smells and sounds, we think they are still the happy people who very much loved living here after having their funerals conducted in our living room, which was the old rural tradition.
So, that's the story. But, if that ghost really does open the back door, why haven't I been able to slip out???
New Bureau While I'm Napping 19 Sep 2011, 8:56 am
What goes on while I'm sleeping happily in the sun during the last days of summer.....The Wagner Bedroom/Room 5 at Prospect Hill contains a bureau Judy the Innkeeper bought at an estate sale--for her first BandB in Atlanta. Over time, wet glasses and drinks made rings. Frankly, it was unattractive.
This weekend and on into this week Judy has been decoupaging the bureau top using striped brown paper bag type wrapping paper (from WalMart) and Modpodge adhesion and sealing material (from Michaels). Add a 1 1/2 inch paint brush, a razor blade, scissors and a sanding block (Lowes) and you have the tool kit. Here's what the process looked like:
(1) lightly sanded the messed up top. Note that the irregular shape of the top made it too difficult to get glass cut. This room is popular so there is never enough time to carry it down one flight, sand, refinish, air out and move it back upstairs. Bureau is in Room #5/Wagner Bedroom.
(2) Cut straight edges on the paper. IF this paper had not has a distinct line pattern, the factory edge of the paper would have been OK up against the back edge of the top.
White streaks are the modpodge "glue and sealer" which Judy painted on the back of the paper with a paint brush. It was easiest to lay the paper on the bureau top and coat it there, then smooth out the excess (white streaks you see).
Ripping the paper's edges makes a more interesting pattern for this bureau. All irregular squares or perfect squares are also possible. Judy wanted this job to move was fast as possible so paper was ripped randomly but making sure the stripes would go "every which way" when assembled.
The humidity was low at the start of this project so Judy had to work quickly. She poured a small amount of modpodge on a disposable plastic plate then closed up the bottle and worked from the "glue" on the plate.
Where the edge of the bureau rolled over she stopped the paper and cut it with a razor blade as needed.
To finish up the initial install, she coated the top.
a) the paper bubbled slightly because she was unable to get the paper perfectly saturated with modpodge (rush to not let it dry too fast). Some bubbles remained. She popped some of them with a pin and cut a few with the razor blade. For this install a few imperfections are OK. IF you are doing carefully cut squares or geometric s (especially for 1950s-1960s furniture) you need to get it perfectly flat. Use a better quality paper and TEST it by gluing a piece to an old wall or board (very smooth surface) to check for any wrinkling/bubbling issues.
When it dried the effort was certainly worth while. Because the furniture was dark brown, any spots not covered show up dark brown (three in photo at right) which is OK. Totally unanticipated were the brown edges which form a nice pattern
Also unanticipated were the grey/black spots randomly all over the top which seemed to leak through the paper. We think it had to do with the original (restored) finish OR maybe some way or Endust product used on the bureau since we bought it in 1992. Anyway, it looks even more aged, which is fine.
In two days, Judy will have added a total of five top coats, slightly sanding in between. This will give the top a thoroughly waterproof and matte finish. (Modpodge also comes in gloss. Since glossy finisihes show all imperfections, she didn't choose that one!)
Here's a photo of it finished, with the last coat curing.
That was a pretty fun project but NOT one Tiger Lily and Mich were invited to join in (too much hair!)