Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Cake

March 14th, 2014
Vegan breakfast everyone can enjoy

Vegan breakfast everyone can enjoy

This is a nice breakfast option if our guests are vegan, or can’t eat eggs and/or dairy.

Ormsby Hill Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Cake

Serves 8

½ cup canola oil
½ cup applesauce
1 cup evaporated cane juice
4 ripe, bananas, pureed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 can coconut milk
1 cup almond (or soy) milk
6 cups rolled oats (not quick cook)
1 pint blueberries
1 cup sliced almonds
More sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)

Combine all the ingredients except the oats, blueberries, almonds in a blender and pulse until mixture is smooth. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the wet ingredients with the oats. Gently mix in the almonds and blueberries
Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with evaporated cane juice if desired. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove oatmeal from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.

Not Stymied by the Storm

February 14th, 2014
It stopped snowing at twilight

It stopped snowing at twilight

Hooray for our guests! Braving blizzard conditions, guests are arriving for their Valentine getaway in Vermont. May you be rewarded with more love, joy, and romance than you could possibly imagine.

Valentine Treats

February 13th, 2014
Romantic snack from New England Hot Fudge Company

Romantic snack from New England Hot Fudge Company

I am not a sucker for chocolate, but I can’t stop thinking about the rich, luscious, silky goodness in a jar of New England Hot Fudge (www.newenglandhotfudge.com). Especially when it is paired with small pretzel logs, that are just the right size for dipping and double dipping.

Look for the special Valentine treat in your room this weekend only!

Manchester Merriment

November 12th, 2013
Back yard after snowfall on November 12

Back yard after snowfall on November 12

Manchester Merriment is just around the corner, and the weather is cooperating with our first snow accumulation. Join us in Manchester from November 30 through January 1 for ongoing activities to support 7 community food cupboards. A highlight of these festivities is the Holiday Inn Tours, held on Saturdays, December 7 and 14 from noon until 4pm. Fourteen area inns are participating this year, including Ormsby Hill. Each inn will be decorated for Christmas in their unique style. Tickets are available for purchase ($15 per person or $25 for two people)here, or at businesses in town. See visitmanchestervt.com for more details.

Merriment

Our Etch A Sketch Artists

November 5th, 2013

A guest leaving an Etch A Sketch drawing is still a random act at Ormsby Hill, but it is one of the most exciting events. Every room at the inn has an Etch A Sketch, and mostly it is ignored or erased before the guests leave. Occasionally, though, a masterpiece is propped up on the mantle, or casually left on the coffee table. We reverentially admire the drawing, applaud the artist, and reminisce about our artful attempts in the olden days. We take a picture with our iphone, and then someone has to shake the drawing away because the next check-in is expected soon. All that work gone in a few flicks of the wrist…so sad.

Here for your enjoyment (get ready to be amazed) is a photo collection of Etch A Sketch art made by our guests since July 11, 2012.

On Our Second Year of Inn Keeping

July 13th, 2013

Our first year of inn keeping went by neither too slow nor too fast. It was just right. We now have, under our belts, some very important information for this business: the seasons with their respective number of visitors. Foliage season brings the most visitors, while mud season in April seems the least attractive to our guests. Winter is called stick season in Vermont. I always thought of trees in winter as skeletons; a bit more dramatic than sticks.

A list of changes we made in the last year, big and small, would fill a sheet of paper, I’m sure. Each and every change was made to either improve your experience at the inn, or to make it easier for us to help you feel welcome and at home. Most projects are ongoing, inherited from the previous owners, and will probably have no end, like painting, and stacking wood. Other projects have been thought up and realized, like our upgraded patio and porch seating. Bigger projects, like our labyrinth meadow, are still evolving. This area is now slated to incorporate most of the area beyond the parking lot. I’m dreaming of a garden with perennials, vegetables,and pathways which will flow beautifully into the wildflower labyrinth. I do go on and on about this labyrinth; it has become very meaningful to me for reasons yet unknown.

Labyrinth on July 13, 2013

Labyrinth on July 13, 2013

Wildflowers growing amongst the grass

Wildflowers growing amongst the grass

Seat in the labyrinth center

Seat in the labyrinth center

Yoshio and I, along with our amazing staff, feel a tremendous responsibility to honor Ormsby Hill with love and care. We feel this is the best way to honor you, also.

Summer

June 25th, 2013
More rocking chairs for relaxing on the patio

More rocking chairs for relaxing on the patio

Happy summer everyone!

Summer is only five days old and we have already had the best and the worst of the season. The best was one day in the upper 70s, no humidity, and the smell of flowers, earth, and greenery in the air. The worst has been this spell of hot, humid days with violent thunderstorms crashing in and whimpering out. Yesterday’s storm brought flash flooding and lightning damage to our area. A giant tree in our front yard was partially skinned by lightning. Yoshio and I, along with our guests and staff, huddled and hovered (not too) near the windows in anxious fascination.

Our wounded oak tree

Our wounded oak tree

Yoshio in clean- up mode; staff inspect the damage

Yoshio and staff inspect the damage

All of us at Ormsby Hill have worked very hard over the last (almost) year to make this inn a place you can feel special, yet comfortable. We learn something new everyday that helps us help you relax and enjoy your stay. We have also replaced and repaired, planted and painted, welcomed and well-wished…and we don’t see the end of any of these endeavors in the near future.

Our repaired north gates

Our repaired north gates

Repaired south gates

Repaired south gates

Our Garden Projects

May 14th, 2013

This time of year I am full of inspiration for garden projects. I know I have to edit and prioritize, but it is fun to be full of ideas. Here are some changes (I hope) you will see this year at Ormsby Hill.

Pick a sweet strawberry on the patio

Pick a sweet strawberry on the patio

'Rebecca' clematis, moon flower and morning glory near the patio doors

‘Rebecca’ clematis, moon flower and morning glory near the patio doors

The patio is getting two more sets of Adirondack rocking chairs, along with pots filled with edibles like mini tomatoes and strawberries. New perennials will border the patio, including a few new varieties, like the ‘Oso Happy Smoothie’ thorn-less rose.

Our labyrinth is in year two of its existence. Jimmy Colvin worked his magic getting the field ready for the wildflower seed, which will transform this unused space into a tranquil spot for serenity and contemplation.

Labyrinth meadow ready for wildflower seed

Labyrinth meadow ready for wildflower seed

We love the outdoor spaces at Ormsby Hill, and hope you will find a spot to call your own while you are here.

April – Vacation Month for Vermont Inn Keepers

May 3rd, 2013

April is a quiet time for inn keepers in Southern Vermont. The ski slopes closed, and mud season/stick season has not yet given way to spring greenery. Yoshio and I took advantage of this lull, and went to San Francisco for our first bonding visit with Owen, our grandson.

Diane with Owen Kai, 10 weeks old

Diane with Owen Kai, 10 weeks old

Yoshio relaxing with Owen

Yoshio relaxing with Owen

It was heartbreaking to leave Owen, Lisa, and Jesse, but our return to Ormsby Hill couldn’t have been better. Green grass, clear blue skies, and temperatures in the seventies lifted our spirits. The forecast still calls for night temperatures in the thirties, but screens are in place, plants are popping up, and our patio is open for mountain viewing. Hope you’ll join us in our celebration of the season.

Magnolia about to bloom

Magnolia about to bloom

Green grass and gold mop cypress

Green grass and gold mop cypress

A Lag in Our Blog

April 16th, 2013

I apologize for the lag in our Ormsby Hill blog. We are very diligent Facebook posters, and we love it because of the immediate feedback. We have never received one comment on this blog. I realize that doesn’t mean it isn’t read, so I will take greater care to post more frequently.

Spring is giving us all kinds of opportunities to indulge our senses. Flowers, bird feeders, and views of the yard make a cheerful setting for breakfast.

"Bird" table set for breakfast

“Bird” table set for breakfast

Cupcakes are our new weekend tradition – always seasonal, and always delicious.

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On April 12, this was our outside situation. More than an inch of sleet and snow fell that day.

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This is the scene we are waiting for:

MtnView2

If you would like to see our Facebook page, click the “f” button on our website, or go to: https://www.facebook.com/theinnatormsbyhill.

I promise to write again soon.
Diane