February 24th, 2013
February is not even over, and we’ve had all kinds of excitement in addition to the usual snow, freeze, thaw, snow, etc.
Yoshio and I attended the national inn keeping conference in Las Vegas. It was our first, and was a lot of fun. To preserve our dignity, we can only show you one photo from this trip.
From Las Vegas, we went to San Francisco for the biggest event of our year: the birth of our first grandson. Owen Kai Endo was born on Feb 5. He is amazing, and his parents are amazing, too.
We returned in time for Valentine’s/President’s weekend, and had a wonderful time helping people with their plans for extreme romance. I’m happy to report smiles, good cheer, and an abundance of flowers.
Although not really a February event, planning is well underway for our first, and only IOH pop-up picnic, being held Saturday, March 9 from 6-8 pm. We will serve some of our favorite Japanese foods in a casual buffet style. Please call us if you’d like to reserve a spot. The cost is $40 for two people.
We did not receive snow from the latest New England storm, although the mountains had better luck. February will continue on it’s fickle path, and we can only guess what March what March will do.
January 16th, 2013
I hope everyone had a good start to this new year. After our first big snowfall, it has been seasonally cold except for two glorious spring teaser days. It is snowing again as I write, so the weather is behaving appropriately, just in time for the upcoming holiday weekend.
At the inn, we are all about cookies, coffee, and comfort. Candi, Courtney, and Yoonie have been baking away to ensure we have plenty of cookies; ten varieties right now, including a dairy free, gluten free blueberry mini bite, and gluten free banana bread. If we get snowed in, or we all have a simultaneous snack attack we will be covered.
Ten varieties for your snacking pleasure
Our brand new Mocha Joe’s Coffee service is active as of today. Mocha Joe’s is a Brattleboro, VT coffee company with incredibly knowledgeable staff, and a business ethic that includes kindness and generosity of spirit. The computerized Fetco brewer was precisely calibrated to our coffee choice. We will order our beans, they will be roasted that day and shipped to us the next day. We will grind the coffee each morning before brewing. Your morning cup will be coffee shop fresh.
This coffee will never touch a burner.
Our new coffee
For your comfort, we are now offering winter special rates in Thompson Purdy and Tower. We have a new “midweek two night stay” special, and a “two night suite getaway.” Check out our “Specials & Packages” page for more details.
Hope you can come to see us soon. We’ll be here with cookies, coffee and comfort.
December 30th, 2012
This is the view from my kitchen desk
We have just had our first major snow storm in Manchester, VT. The Inn at Ormsby Hill has been transformed into a winter paradise. The view from my kitchen desk is truly remarkable. That being said, I can already envision a different scene out this window: green leaves on the crab apple, a soft breeze blowing through the screen, multi-hued green on the Taconic mountains…in other words – SPRING! The days are already getting minutely longer; the darkest days are behind us. I am celebrating the new year with beautiful cymbidium orchids purchased at Equinox Valley Nursery, the place I sneak off to when I need to feed my soul.
Mini white with blush
So, when you visit us here, you can enjoy the actual climate outside, or you can join me inside for a hint of warmer days to come.
December 9th, 2012
No cook Sugar Plums
Candi and Courtney were at it again – making holiday cookies for the Inn, that is. The biggest hit with our guests and Inn Tour visitors were the Cranberry Orange Sugar Plums. These surprisingly light and refreshing treats are a breeze to make.
Combine the following ingredients in a food processor until minced, and the “dough” sticks together:
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup orange juice
3 teaspoons spiced rum
Use a tablespoon sized scoop to make balls. Roll balls in sparkling sugar and place in mini muffin cups. Refrigerate until balls are firm.
This recipe makes about 35 cookies.
November 2nd, 2012
Yoshio and I were wondering how we would switch gears after an insanely busy six weeks. We didn’t have to worry because nature nudged us to a solution. It’s getting chilly here in Southern Vermont. I want to spend time in the kitchen, puttering. Puttering inspires creative tweaking. Creative tweaking leads to tastier, more efficiently prepared food. For instance, making and serving maple butter with our Japanese milk bread is both yummier and more efficient than serving one bowl of cut butter and one bowl of jelly. It is also way more Vermonty. Another idea that came to fruition in the last week is healthy homemade maple sausage, half ground turkey and half ground pork. Our taste-tester guests gave both the thumbs up.
Yoshio has also spent some time being creative. How do we keep enough ceramic mugs in the dining room while encouraging guests to use the Keurig machine and the instant hot water dispenser for tea and cocoa? He (with the help of our daughter, Kelly) designed an Ormsby Hill take out cup. They are a big hit, and a stress buster for us.
Ormsby Hill take out cups
We are both looking forward to the ebbs and flows of inn keeping; finding the balance between doing and thinking.
October 30th, 2012
We are very fortunate to report no damage at Ormsby Hill from Sandy moving through southern Vermont.
After losing power for eight hours in a September thunderstorm, we ordered a stationary generator. It will power our well pump, hot water heaters, furnace, and lights at the inn. You can be assured a comfortable stay regardless of the weather outside. This mind-easing machine should be operational by the end of the week.
Tucked behind the shrubs…our new generator.
October 25th, 2012
Yoshio and I completed the first right of passage for innkeepers in Vermont – foliage season.
Leaves began changing colors in early October
We are tired, we are proud, but mostly we are grateful. Grateful to our wonderful staff for working so hard, day after day with their signature cheerfulness, professionalism, and good will. Grateful to our guests, who came for pleasure, and also gave us great pleasure and great company. Grateful for the Manchester, VT community of inns, restaurants, and shops, who offered support and advice when we needed it most. Grateful for our service providers, especially our plumber and electrician. We are also grateful for the spirit and energy of this amazing house and property, the catalyst for all these connections.
Fire sky at dawn
There is no time to rest because another season of inn keeping is beginning. Fireplaces, snow, holiday tours, winter food, and cozy, warm spaces are our challenges and our stage to work some innkeeper magic.
August 27th, 2012
A spectacular view of the Green Mountains from our new patio tables and chairs
We finally received our new patio furniture, just in time for quintessential summer days. Guests immediately took advantage of our spectacular views from early morning breakfast, to late afternoon reading, writing, and wine sipping. Yoshio added lanterns for romantic ambient lighting; perfect for after dinner star gazing.
Ambient lighting on the patio is very romantic
Ormsby Hill guests are often amazed at the wonderful mountain views from the back of the Inn, thus our emphasis on the patio. Other places to enjoy the best of Vermont are the porch, gazebo, our Frances suite, the Tower, the deck off Ethan Allen, and of course, our Conservatory dining room.
View of mountains as rain threatens
Early Monday morning clouds
If you come visit us as the glorious days of fall unfold, and we don’t come to the front door right away, we might just be sneaking a few awesome moments on the patio.
August 12th, 2012
Before we could comfortably move into our owner’s quarters at the inn, we needed something to move out. It was a collection of approximately 100 year old taxidermy specimens perched on the walls and ceiling beams of our living area. According to the previous owner, they were historic to the house, and thus belonged there. I just could not warm up to sharing our space with those guys. We had yet to begin researching relocation possibilities, when Rocky appeared at our door bearing glass tops for our new dining tables. Being acquainted with the property, he knew about the creatures and asked if they were still there. Yoshio told him we were trying to find them a new home, and Rocky offered to take them. On Saturday the move was completed. Thank you Rocky and family. Your respectful removal of the elk and birds assures us they will be in good hands. That very day, with the help of our daughter Kelly, we began setting up our new home.
The birds in our owner's quarters
The elk after it was removed from our living room
The eagle in need of a good cleaning