Announcing Orelia Mary Slavik, beautiful daughter to Nick and Amy. For those of you taking Notes from the Iron Mangle, Nick recently painted The Bohemian. I had the pleasure of watching Nick and Amy’s graceful dance of pregnancy and expectation, a very true mid summers night dream….here she is “Come True”!
Being a casual practitioner of Feng Shui, the landscaping project here at The Bohemian became somewhat of a personal event. As the old nostalgic shrubs, bushes and plants were wrenched from their foothold both of the earth and my sentimental soul, it became instantly apparent that we invent reasons which prevent us from moving forward. This can be reflected with our houses and the environment surrounding them. Just as a house may require painting for example, a great deal of work needs to be done causing the majority of us to postpone such tasks, silently restricting us from moving on. In my case, to remove the vintage spirea, or bridal wreath (even the name evokes beauty) was a daunting hurdle to overcome. The second they were gone, taking minutes balanced against the 6 years I have pondered about them, I knew it was the right choice. Instantly I felt a reprise from regarding life, joyful as it is, as an occasional uphill struggle. The overgrown unmanageable maintenance, which I incurred every spring and fall was a constant reminder of what I was not able to successfully accomplish, and frankly, not welcoming, however majestic, original and true to the original landscape. For years I have walked around the yard visualizing classically formal gardens interspersed with whimsy that guests might enjoy and a colorful style that would showcase the integrity of the house. I thought often ‘instant landscape’ as much as I wanted to do it myself. That law of attraction is no secret, so what we have now at The Bohemian is pretty much as close as one can come to what I have been hoping to evoke throughout the last several seasons. The gentle beauty of gardens long lost, the kind with blossoms and surprises that create a sense of space in which you want to linger and breath easy again. I am happy to be the recipient of another of life’s graceful gifts, meeting Heather & Lynn Hacker, who with their honorable crew whipped up a delightful outdoor wonder I invite all to enjoy.
This past weekend was like a smorgasbord for me, I didn’t even eat with the guests and I am stuffed! Lasagna gardening?!? which doesn’t have anything to do with being Italian, but it certainly added to the fun that someone in the party used to have a pizza joint. Since half of what I do here is all about food, this layer technique for the garden sounds right up my alley. I’ve got the first draft of landscaping plans, from A to Zinnia, and I am going to embed this carefree breezy style into the earth around here. Where else can the enchanted garden I am envisioning spring from? A lot of ideas served up here over the weekend,including dessert, on the menu?: Cakes by Barb, we even plated a side of sitcom: a slice of life from a guest job: “The Regulator”, hey, we figure it could air along side ‘World Championship Poker’ (and it ties nicely to all the sugar running, cat house piano player antics my Great Grandpa Bockus was involved in when he ran the New Ulm Grocery Company, which is still around, as is The Still, pushed in the Cottonwood River by the old prohibition regulator.) Real History Reality TV, right here in New Ulm. Good Morning America, History Detectives all just in August, all for your viewing, but why aren’t YOU here?
Last year on this date I was still manuevering my girth around tables. Thank goodness I am tall, as the unborn and I were still able to clear the chairs. Just like everyone else, I fret, and wondered what I would do with ‘an infant’ here at the B & B. It has been a piece of cake, in no small part to all of you, and I now look with magnificant wonder at this beautiful child who miraclously belongs, right where she is. Just like all of us. Savvy Grace indeed: how one smile, small kindness or act of comfort can bring peace to our restless souls. Happy Birthday to all who have been part of The Bohemian this year.
Or maybe it is just my tears! The Bohemian missed the boat, and when you are spotting for Lakemaids, this my friends, is a baaad thing! So when the summer soltise, the perfect window for spotting these fine aloof freshwater creatures, came and went with nary a bottle besides regular Schells in the house, well, you can imagine my dissappointment at missing a potenial party! So mark your calenders for the 2009 soltise…and keep your eyes peeled, we’ll see if the guest this weekend will download his encounter with the National Lakemaid Reporting Center!
The Bohemian secures a painter. For many who have experienced the serendipity here, his name will come as no surprise. Nick Slavik will be tackling the delicate work of restoring 304 South German to her 1899 glory. Only here, in New Ulm, could a Slavic paint a Bohemian. As ‘Nick Slavik Painting & Restoration’ continues the detailed scraping and fine workmanship that this house deserves, I invite you to join our “Forever Stay” program. It is because of your thoughtful choice of lodging that you play an important role in preserving the architecture of America’s heartland. Time and again Historic Preservation proves to enhance community by maintaining identities that are held within the walls of our older buildings. Your patronage guarantees that our histories are not lost and that we ensure interesting places to live and work for ourselves and future generations. Purchase a $100.00 gift certificate while we paint and it is valid for one night in any room, no matter the rate, forever. Room rates today from $89.00 to $199.00. Based on availability, a pretty good buy. I can’t offer relief at the pump, and there may be a ladder to walk around for a while but I can reward you with a purchase that matters. You make a difference, a big one.
Two summers ago I built my very own composter. I have used a spinner one, plastic tower and a nice 3 bin wood unit at Higher Ground, the co-housing community in Oregon where I used to live. They were all nice, but I was after the lowest maintenance composter that I could build with my bare hands. No tools and no money down. I found a model on line that used pallets and bailing wire. Pallets are never a problem to rustle up and I got some wire from my friend Penny. I had seen a really neat bin while out walking the alleys (a Midwest event for exercise, but primarily to check out peoples gardens!) that had encased the inside with black liner material. That seemed like a neat idea to keep things hot inside so I lined mine with used garbage bags. The back pallet was higher than the others so it looks like a throne. One of the goals was that a person didn’t have to turn it much, you could just pick it up and move it over after a while. Well, try telling that to the backyard BBQ gang. They could not get there was no bottom to the bin! I couldn’t do it myself, but finally with a couple of extra hands, move it over we did! Was it ever the Midas touch: that throne served me well, Black Gold! Which is of course true and honest ‘green’. Sustainable practices having always been used at The Bohemian. This first batch of composting will go in the shade garden as I transplant the hostas and native grasses away from the house in anticipating of painting!
New Ulm’s May Basket is full again this year! Morgan Creek Vineyards celebrates their 10th season! Hat’s Off to them! And you: for the 50 first visitors to the vineyard, ya get one free! There is also music and dancing from 6:30 to 9:00 pm and great options for their ever popular case club. The Wanda Gag House and Putting Green Eco Center begin their summer hours and there is Shakespeare in the Park. Not to mention, as far as openers, the Brewery offers their extended tour hours for the season. Believe me, they need ‘em! Most of my guests run up and get tickets after breakfast for an afternoon tour cause those tastings sell out! And with the new Schell’s Stout available all year, the bacon here is even better. Well, you know The Bohemian, always full of surprises, call for our stimulus packages to stretch those anticipated extra dollars. 866.499.6870.
That’s what I think of as I trip over another fly away of over flow from the recycle box in the kitchen (which should really be called the living room, cause that is truly what goes on in there amidst all the cooking!) Pictures are worth a thousand, in this case: dollars. Generated from the pounds of paper waste collected from people willing to put up with the mess, these budding artists have, not just a few, more bucks for their future. Our earth just keeps putting out, and still offers us a way out to give back. Honor her today, by making a commitment to recirculate and reinvent that paper waste. Imagine…where we can be putting those dollars instead of the landfill? In the New Ulm area, Hy-Vee has a big green dumpster from waste management in the parking lot for collection of paper waste, with a different designee every couple months.
Everything at The Bohemian is a ‘happening’. Like Warren repairing the radiators to get me through spring, only here could a major mechanical problem be spiritually healed in order for me to budget for it’s physical repair in the fall! Well, the same goes for the delightful new touches of whimsy and talent added to a couple suites in the carriage house! It was a Craig’s list happening! I inquired into a gentleman artist wishing to build his portfolio, so with New Ulm roots he was serendipitously on his way. Andy even looks suspiciously like Anton Gag, who in addition to being Wanda Gag’s father was New Ulm’s foremost decorative house painter briefly at the end of the 18 hundred’s. Maybe with this new interior artwork, some of the old stenciling will now surface…It wouldn’t surprise me.