Sunday, November 26, 2017

11/26/17: Carla's Last Big Weekend at the Bernerhof!

Carla's last day here at the Bernerhof Inn is November 30, so this is her last big weekend.  She is working breakfast this morning with the new innkeepers so I get the morning off.  After she helps them cook breakfast for 24 people, she'll train Lisseth (and me) on how to make chocolate covered strawberries and how to make a dozen rose flower arrangement, then that will be pretty much it for her.  We only have 3 couples spending the night tonight, so I will do breakfast on my own and then for the rest of the week we are empty.  EMPTY!  EMPTY!!!!!  I cannot remember the last night that we didn't have any guests in the house.  It was probably May.  I am off on Monday and Tuesday, so Carla will be covering the  phones, checking emails, etc., but she will be spending most of her time moving out of her room.  Since I am working this evening and tomorrow morning, and we will be empty after that through the 30th, her last guest related activities will be complete after breakfast today.  She's pretty dang excited about that.  I am not nearly as excited about her departure as she is, but I am glad that we decided to make Nov. 30th her last day.  There is already tension developing with J&L, which I think is unavoidable as they want to do things their way and we keep doing things our way.  There is no reason both Carla and I need to work those last three weeks.  We're actually looking forward to spending more play time together, since when I am off she won't be working.  It will be kind of ironic that in the 3 weeks that we don't live together in NH we will spend more leisure time together than we did in the 11 1/2 months that we lived together.  We have not had the same day off since we started on December 19th.  I think we've managed to go out to eat together twice since we started.  It's definitely a good thing that we made this decision.

I'll spend my two days off this week going through the inn and the kitchen collecting all of my stuff, boxing it up, and taking it to storage.  Any essential items in the kitchen that were mine we will replace, but I want to get all of my stuff out of there before they take over.  It will be a lot more awkward once they start.  I'll also make a final pass through my room, taking the last of my stuff to storage that is not essential for my last 3 weeks.  By the time J&L move in, the only things of mine that will be in the inn are the few things in my room and the kitchen that it would be uncomfortable to live without.  Moving out on the 21st & 22nd won't take very long.  The only things left will be my computer and clothes.

I've been doing much better with my food over the last couple of days.  I feel TONS better.  I've stopped ODing on sugar.  All of a sudden I just don't need it anymore.  I think it is all related to the fact that I know I am going to see Jack in 26 days.  I know I won't lose a lot of weight before he gets here, but I sure can feel better.  I feel a sense of relief.  Even though I know this last few weeks will be challenging, after the 30th, running the inn will no longer be our responsibility.  J&L are taking over, Carla is moving out, and I am staying here to finish training them.  I get to take a huge step back and focus on writing the operations manual, getting the books ready to close out for the year, etc.  I'm ready for that.

Don't get me wrong, as much as I am ready for this gig to end, I have no regrets with regard to spending this last year here.  I have learned a vast amount of incredibly important things about myself and about inn-keeping.  I got to spend a year with my daughter and a lot of what I learned about inn-keeping I learned from her.  Jack and I do still plan on buying our own inn, but there are so many mistakes I will not make because of this experience.  I have no regrets at all.  I am looking forward to what comes next with confidence that we are going in the right direction.

I hope you have a great day.  I know my today will be better than my yesterday because I am one day closer to being with Jackie!!

Friday, November 24, 2017

11/24/17: Thanksgiving is done, 29 days to go

We cooked a family style Thanksgiving dinner for our guests yesterday.  Four couples spent the night and 3 of them had dinner with us, so it was a small dinner, when it comes to Thanksgiving meals.  We cooked for nine of us, all together.  After preparing the meal we sat down and ate with our guests.  It was a hectic day, but with help in the kitchen, we got it done.  After dinner we cleaned the disaster area that used to be our kitchen and then played a couple of games.  It was an OK way to spend the holiday, but I am anxious to get home so I can spend my holidays with my family!

Carla's last day at the Bernerhof will be on November 30th.  That is only a week away.  She'll be moving out on that day and Jeremiah and Lisseth will be moving in on the 1st.  It is hard to believe that this is all happening, it seems like it is coming fast, now.  As of the 1st, Dick and I have decided that J&L will be taking over, and I will be here to support and train them on anything they don't know yet.  I'll also be writing the Bernerhof Operations manual and getting the books ready for year end.  This weekend will be my and Carla's last weekend "In charge."  Now, I will need to take charge of this poor body that I have abused so badly over the last 11 months.  This shit gets real, today.

The count down continues. I am cooking dinner tonight and tomorrow night, so there are a couple of long days ahead of us.  We will be very slow next week, as in three days with no guests in the inn and one day with one guest.  Carla and I will use that time to finish packing, get Carla completely moved out, clean the apartment and get ready for J&L to move in.  As of Dec 1, I won't have to get up for breakfast anymore, unless we have a full house or it's a day off for J&L.  Yes, I will probably cover for them for a couple days a week until I leave.  But, in general, work will be almost easy this last few weeks, except for the weekends, when I will have to cook dinner.

We are looking for a weekend chef to replace me.  Haven't found anyone yet.  That could end up being a problem.  We'll step up the search.

It's time to start my day.  Have a good one!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

11/21/17: 31 days and counting!

It's incredible how fast the days are blazing by!!  I pick up the moving truck in 30 days, pick Jack up from the airport in 31 days, and we start driving home in 32 days.  I am ready, so so ready, to be headed home with my husband.  This month will fly by, there is no doubt about that, but it can't fly by fast enough for me.

I have finished my Christmas shopping for all the family to which I need to mail the packages, they got sent out via FedEx yesterday.  That was an accomplishment.  I still need to find my special gift for Jackie and shop for Carla, but those packages don't need to be mailed so I have a little more time. I have 95% of my stuff packed and moved to the storage unit, including my weight room equipment.  The weather has potential to get very nasty between now and the 22nd, in fact we've already had a fair share of snow and ice, so my plan is to get everything but the essentials in storage so that we can just back the truck up to the storage unit and load it.  That way if weather is nasty that day or if there is snow and ice on the steps, it won't slow us down.  I've brought my lawn furniture in and set it up in the spare room where my weight equipment was so that it won't be covered in a foot of snow on moving day.  All in all, I'm feeling well prepared for my move home.

Carla's last day at the Inn will be November 30th, she is moving out on that day and J&L are moving into her room, so we'll be roommates.  That should be interesting.  As of the 1st, this will no longer be our inn, it will be their inn, and I will be here to back them up and continue training them.  The transition is emotionally more difficult than I thought it would be, but we are muddling our way through it.  By the time I leave they will be fully trained and I will be more than ready to get out of their way.

Today is a day off, but I just finished meeting with Dick to go over the transition plan.  He seems satisfied with the way everything is shaping up.  We have a plan for closing out the books for the year, so that's good.  Now I need to drop a few more boxes off to storage and go shopping for Jackie's Christmas present.

Have a great day!!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

11/19/17: It Doesn't seem like I should be too busy to blog - or to take care of myself

Last week I had two days off in a row, which is the first time that has happened since May, when Andrew, Rebecca, and my grandchildren came to visit me.  Today is my second day off in a row, making it two times in two weeks that I have actually had two days off in a row!  Wow, this almost feels normal!!  We should be slow enough and we should have enough help from here to the end of our contract to get two days off every week.

I am getting enough sleep, which is a huge plus, but that is about all I am doing right.  The sugar addiction holds tight and I am still not exercising often enough.  I will never give up, though. I miss Jack terribly and I know that has a lot to do with the sugar, I use it as a drug to substitute for the fact that Jack and I aren't together.  It's not effective, I still miss him and I feel like crap.  While I know this intellectually, the cravings are still strong.  The closer I get to knowing I am going to go home, the stronger I feel, though, so each day I renew my commitment to care for myself properly.  Perhaps, today, it will take.  I feel like it will.

I have been busy with my days off.  Last week I shopped and shopped and shopped.  I have just a little bit of Christmas shopping left to do this morning and then I will spend the rest of the day wrapping presents, getting them ready to mail, and packing up my room.  It'll be a busy day.  I won't get it all done, but I should be able to make significant progress.

Yesterday I went to Brattleboro, VT, to meet with the consultants that will help us find our inn.  I won't say I learned an incredible amount yesterday, but the meeting was useful in that they got to know me a lot better and they have a much better understanding of what we are looking for.  I know this process can take up to a couple of years and I stressed to them that finding the right inn was much more important to us than finding an inn quickly.  Maybe it will take a year.  Maybe two.  But we will find our inn one of these days.

In the meantime, on December 22nd, Jackie will be here and on the 23rd we will head west, back to Kansas City.  I'll spend the next months getting the house ready to sell, getting myself in great shape, and finding an inn.  I am looking forward to it.

While on the surface it seems as if this last 36 days at the Bernerhof Inn should be a cake walk, it is turning out that it is not.  It is incredibly difficult to cede the reins to the incoming innkeepers and watch them start to change some of the things that we were proud of accomplishing.  We are rapidly becoming unimportant in the scheme of things, yet I am still fighting battles (for physical improvements of the property) as if it really matters to me one way or another whether these things get done.  I should just let it go and let Jeremiah and Lisseth worry about such things, but, instead, I keep beating my head against the wall.  My efforts aren't completely in vane, every now and then I win a battle and we make a little progress on inn improvement, but it's a slow and tortuous process.  Why can't I just let it go?  Why do I get excited and peeved about the ridiculousness of it all?  I do not know the answer to that question.  If I could just let it go, I'd be much happier and less stressed.  I'm going to work on that.

At my meeting yesterday with Inn Partners we talked about the importance of reinventing an inn periodically, about every 7 years or so.  Heide talked about how important it was to always have an eye toward updating and refreshing and how 7 years was about how long you could go before needing to completely redecorate and update a room.  This makes sense to me, as all of the Bernerhof redecorating was done in 2010, 7 years ago, and it is obvious that all of the rooms need an update.  We've been fighting to replace bedspreads, carpets, and curtains since we arrived, with some minor success.  I will certainly remember this lesson when we have our own place.

There is news of progress on the Jeremiah and Lisseth front.  They have come to an agreement regarding the terms of their contract with Dick and have a meeting scheduled at 1:30 today to sign said contract.  Also, at 8:30 this morning they will be here with Brenda, one of Dick's partners, to go through the rooms and hallways to asses the need for the carpet and comforter changes that we have been insisting need to take place.  This means Dick is already handing control of these matters to J & L, which really is fine by me, though it does emphasis the fact that Carla and I are becoming redundant.  I'm not sure exactly what we will be doing for the next 36 days.  Once J & L start full time on December 1, it wouldn't surprise if a lot of our time is spent painting rooms and doing other minor improvements.  We shall see.

I'm ready to go home.  I miss Jack.  I want to sleep in my own bed.  36 more days, and he will be here.

Now I need to clean my room and get busy.  I have a lot to do today, before my busy weekend gets underway.

Have a good one out there!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

11/4/17: Murder Mystery Weekend, It's a Family Affair

We are having a Murder Mystery Weekend and it's all one family.  It is the 50th anniversary celebration for Mom and Dad and the 70th birthday celebration for Mom.  It's a big ol' rowdy bunch and we went to bed before they did last night.  It will be interesting to see the condition of the public areas in the morning.  It was somewhat of a relief not to worry about how the guests were going to interact with one another, and not to worry about if anyone was going to make too much noise for the other guests, since it's all one group.  I can't tell yet whether having a group here is going to make it easier or harder.  I hope they don't choose to hang around the inn tomorrow, as we have a lot to do.  We'll need to tell them at breakfast that we need the public spaces empty for a good period of time today.

I stayed on program yesterday.  Carla baked an amazing looking and smelling cake and I really wanted to try it, but I didn't.  I baked an amazing looking and smelling lasagna, and I didn't try that either.  I made a delicious Casear salad.  I ate that, without the croutons, of course.

I had an "ah ha" moment yesterday.  I was looking for some recipes (I still haven't found them, by the way) and climbed up on the mop sink to look on a top shelf.  It's about 2 feet of the ground, not high at all, but my knees have been sore enough that climbing on it in the very recent past was something I had to think about and do carefully.  Yesterday, after only three days without sugar, I climbed up and hopped off of it without having to think about it.  It's amazing how much better I feel after just a few days off of the junk.  I need to remind myself of this hourly.  My knees hurt when I eat sugar.  Inflammation is the culprit in so many human ailments.  Sugar causes inflammation.  I need to just not eat that crap.

So, day four on program was a success.  It's only 49 days until I head home to be with my husband.  It's all good.

Until tomorrow!!  Have a wonderful day!!

Friday, November 3, 2017

11/3/17: Quick Update

I maintained my eating plan yesterday in spite of intense cravings for sweets and an ultra-nasty bought of crankiness.  Everyone lived through the day, though, so no lasting damage.

I exercised outside in spite of the cold and the rain.

I will maintain my eating plan today but I doubt I will have time to exercise.  It is a Murder Mystery weekend and those keep us hopping for the entire weekend.  We will be looking forward to Sunday.

I got a new computer.  This one is so much better than my last one I almost am glad the last one decided to crap out on me.  The Staples tech department was able to salvage the data from my hard drive so I didn't lose anything.  That crisis was averted.

By the simple virtue of going to bed and waking up this morning I got to cross another day off my calendar.  50 days left until we head home!

Have a good day.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

11/2/17: 40 Minute Walk Jog - in the Cold Rain!

I just want to say that in spite of the fact that it is cold and raining I went for a 40 minute walk/jog!  I didn't have to report to work until 10:00AM so I spent the morning packing a couple of boxes and talking to Jackie on the phone.  At 9:00AM I realized it was an hour until I had to go to work and this would be my last time to exercise today, so I get dressed and out I went!!  I am proud of me for getting out there.  Yes, it is becoming a habit, again.  I am so glad that I have the time to actually take care of myself, and that I am using that time well.