Friday, March 20, 2009

The New "Pad"

Ryan and I finally moved into our new "Innkeepers' Quarters," and the place looks FABULOUS! Hats off to our two very talented contractors! Here are some pics of the place as we were moving in...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Moving Day Approaches...

I can't believe that we are going to be moving into our new (downstairs) Innkeepers' Quarters this weekend! It's finally happening!!! - And it sure feels surreal...
The downstairs looks REALLY gorgeous! When I walked down there the other day, I stared around me in open-mouthed wonder. "This is NOT my house!" I cried out to Ryan, "This looks like something out of one of those fancy remodeling magazine pages!!!" It really is beautiful...the dark wood flooring, pastel-hued walls, white beadboard, and Victorian rosette mouldings really just MAKE the room! We picked the paint colors to match the patches of light blue found in the bathroom tiles. Speaking of tile, my contractor is taking some of my beloved fossil fish (that I dug myself many years ago in Wyoming!) and incorporating them into a band of tile in the shower...I think that is just so cool!!! :) Of course, if we ever move, I am going to be heartbroken over the loss of my fishes...Ryan will have to take me fossil hunting so that I can collect some more!

Now that Grandma and Grandpa have moved into their place (privacy! hurray!), and our quarters are almost done, Ryan and I finally have some time to spend just being young and in's been a whirlwind of activity lately (revolving around either remodeling or farm chores), and we haven't had time to just BE together. We both miss that, and have determined that this next weekend, we are going to take one day to just HANG OUT! Ryan is my husband and my best friend, and I miss spending quality time with him.

Next week, the contractors will finish tearing out the kitchen and the upstairs bathrooms...dum dum duuuuuuuuuuuuum! ;P

ABOVE: Beginning to tile walk-in shower

ABOVE: Bathroom tile design (raised platform is where clawfoot tub will rest)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Opening up a bed and breakfast has been a dream of ours for many years. We love cooking, and were excited to try out a business that would allow us to utilize that particular skill (without dealing with the insanity of a full-blown restaurant). We had so many good ideas that we wanted to implement into our own B&B, and when we made the decision to move to Oregon three years ago, we could barely wait to get this business up & running. However, after losing two houses in the search for an Oregon residence, and "settling" on this place as a last resort, we never fully realized the amount of work that would be involved in fixing it up (not to mention the memorable fiascoes such as geysers in the front yard, snakes in the walls, etc.). The first year we moved here, we were FAR too busy making the home livable and setting the property up for our animals to truly open up our bed and breakfast. In the second year, we were only about halfway finished with our remodeling (doing bits here and there as paychecks would allow). Still, we were trying desperately to open up the B&B in May of '08, even "half finished." And then, tragedy struck, one blow after another: in a long string of hardship, I lost my job, we experienced the death of a wonderful (and pregnant) goat that I had been excited to welcome into the herd as an "early birthday present," and several other events that simply killed our desire to do anything that summer...Then, my grandparents finally sold their home and managed to move up here, and we learned a whole new level of hardship and sacrifice. The entire reason we moved to Oregon wasn't to merely open up a bed and breakfast - it was to take care of my grandfather (who has early Alzheimers). When Ryan and I made the decision to do this, we knew it would be difficult, but we truly didn't understand what living with a person who has dementia would be like. It has been a huge learning experience since Grandpa moved here, but I would never change our decision. It's not so much that my grandfather needs us (he does, but that isn't my point), it's that we need to be here as a system of strength and support for my grandmother. I haven't seen my grandparents in ten years, and this past year has been a period of learning and adjustment. In the end, we have all come out stronger for it, and we have grown closer as a result. The animals have been truly therapeutic for my grandfather, especially baby Comet (the "problem child" llama), whom he adores. My grandmother has been enchanted with the goat babies, and loves being able to putter with me in the garden and around the property. Though all of us have made sacrifices to be here, I think we would all agree that living here has been worth it. Watching my grandfather's eyes light up when he looks out over the mountains with his binoculars, or coming around a bend and finding my grandmother elbow deep in dirt as she happily weeds, makes my heart fill with joy. After three years of adjustments, three years of hardship, this place is home; this place makes us all happy.
When I lost my job a year ago, it made the B&B dream even more of a pull - what a perfect way to earn a little extra income, while allowing me to stay home and continue to help take care of my grandparents...not to mention that running a small ranch/farm (especially in the spring) is a FULL TIME JOB! After much examining of our financial options, Ryan and I were finally able to obtain a loan for half the remodel in January of this year. It allowed us to finally begin the true (and necessary!) structural changes that we would need to open up our dream business. And now, we are so close to being finished, and the changes are amazing! Except for the large structural parts (that we needed a professional for), Ryan and I have done a large portion of the work ourselves, and we are so proud of what we have accomplished! And now, as our dream is finally being realized, and our grand opening is fast approaching, we have come to understand that it's not about having your own business and making a ton of money - it's about realizing a dream, working hard to achieve that dream, and about the crazy curve balls that life throws at you (the ones that, in the end, only make you stronger), and finally, it's about finding happiness and peace in the most unlikely situations.