Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Barn Inn Gardens

We’ve added a new feature to The Barn Inn, a European-style, two-tiered water fountain featuring a base of century old moss-covered sandstones, topped with heavy urn planters.  The fountain’s 10′ x 10′ base utilizes remnant barn stones from another barn that for a long time, were hidden in high weeds behind our barn.
My inspiration for the water fountain and natural-material walkway resulted from a web search for a unique water feature.  I was inspired by a marble water fountain that had an enormous price tag of $15,000!  Far too pricy for me!  Remembering that we had extra barn stones in our back yard, I began sketching my plans to make a European-style fountain on “the cheap”.

To complete my feature, I purchased and faux stained concrete statuaries, including a pair of lions, a peasant girl, a bench, and urns.  My faux sandstone creations are quite pleasing and realistic, resulting in a bargain-priced project.  The greatest expense was in the cost of a contractor to set the stone and for electricians for lights and power to the fountain.
Additional landscaping of perennial beds beckon guests to the footbridge and into the backyard park and gazebo.  Stop in some time to see our gardens, fountain, and backyard park.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Duggar Family Stays at The Barn Inn

There was much excitement at The Barn Inn when TLC’s Duggar family with 10 boys and 8 girls along with parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, Jim Bob’s mother, and their oldest son’s wife, Anna along with Anna’s sister stayed here on Sunday, May 31.
The Duggars made the decision to come to Amish Country on Friday, May 29, while en route to Ohio. I think I lost two night’s sleep over the excitement.
The Duggars large motor home with 23 people on board pulled in at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday night, and our first order of business was to show them through the inn so that Jim Bob and Michelle could decide who should sleep where. Everyone filed through like a giant follow-the-leader game, older siblings holding the hands of younger siblings, very orderly and very quietly. Two youngsters, like serious professionals snapped shots of nearly every room in the inn. After touring the barn, Paul and Michelle planned where everyone would sleep.
The Duggars, who home school their children, have been communicating with a local Mennonite family, so they visited them before retiring for the night. Monday morning met us with sunshine, 23 Duggars, and the film crew from TLC eating, shooting photos, feeding Matilda (our goat), and preparing to visit a local Amish family.
Monday they were filmed as they spent the day with Noah and Mary Yoder and their children. They enjoyed fellowship, comparing life’s experiences, enjoying buggy rides, and a traditional Amish family meal of mashed potatoes, roasted chicken and strawberry pie.
Memories were made and a good experience was had by all.
“18 Kids and Counting” airs on TLC Tuesday night at 9 p.m. For more information visit: www.duggarfamily.com. Look for the Amish Country visit to air late summer, 2009.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Carrot Cake Pancakes
2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
4 T. finely chopped pecans
4 t. baking powder
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground ginger
Dash nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 C. packed brown or granulated sugar
2 3/4 C. buttermilk
3/4 C. milk
2 C. finely grated carrots
1 1/2 C. golden raisins
Cream Cheese Spread
8 oz. cream cheese-soft
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/3 C. milk
1 t. vanilla
Dash ground cinnamon
In a bowl, combine flour, pecans, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sugar, milk, carrots, buttermilk and milk; mix well. Stir carrot mixture into dry ingredients until moistened. Pour batter by ¼ cupful onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on the top of pancakes; flip and cook until golden brown. For topping, blend cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve with pancakes.