This summer John was able to get me some decking for around the fire pit in the back yard. However, that meant I needed a larger fire pit. "No problem" he says. "I will build you one". He's such a dear. He welded together some framing and added a draft to each corner. 
John also helped me level the decking using a water level and then we added the fire pit. Once that was set we added stone to surround the pit. Later, I dug post holes to set the deck on posts.
It has turned out to be a nice area to sit around a warm fire on cool nights.

On the "Inquiry Form & Deposit Info" page I have included a calendar that will show which rooms are booked. 
If a room is not shown booked on a certain day, then it is available. However, the exception to this rule is the first and last days of a booked room. A room showing not available on the first day, that only applies from 3pm to 11:59pm. Likewise, the last day a room is showing not available, that only applies from 12am to 1pm. 
I hope the added feature will be a convenience to guests. Please report any problems you might have with this new feature so that I can address the issue immediately. 
Spiced Tomato Jam

3 cups peeled & chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp each allspice, cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1 box regular pectin
4 cups sugar

To make jam: Use jam instructions inside pectin box.

Deer Hunting Season


Yesterday was opening day of rifle season on the local deer population here in Michigan. Nestle Inn welcomes deer hunters as well as other seasonal hunters. Breakfast is provided as early as needed so when hunters are out there in the field they will hear the surrounding noises instead of their stomachs.
I am looking for any information about the Welker house (Nestle Inn Bed & Breakfast). If anyone has anything to add  to the history of Nestle Inn Bed & Breakfast, it would be greatly appreciated.
I have adjusted the area for making a deposit. I added a space for guests to put in the reservation dates and guest rooms needed.
I finally published the website for the Crippled Chicken. It was something I eventually was going to do, but circumstances presented me with the task to do now rather than eventually. So, it's out there and time will tell how it will do. 

Sun & More


I woke up to sunshine after a million years (ok, maybe, three days) of gray and clouds. A perfect day to get all the grass mowed in an eight-hour time frame. I love to mow grass. That has to be the first thought in anyone's mind when they see how much grass I mow each week. Start with a rough surface, and end with a smooth one. Kind of like sanding, but I hate sanding. I'll stick with mowing. After I get done mowing it is a wonderful feeling to step back and see how nice things look. And especially if I get the push mower out and detail mow around the spruce trees and buildings. When I'm really feeling ambitious, and when it needs it, I'll get the weed wacker out and do that for a couple hours.
After mowing I did step back to enjoy the fruits of my labor, and found myself wandering over to sit down by the chicken house where the kittens were playing. Mama cat, Miss Kitty, loves attention.  So, while she relished having her ears rubbed, my attention was drawn to the birdhouse on the corner post of the goat yard just 25 feet away. There the swallows were taking turns feeding the babies inside, even though the "babies" looked as big as the adults and just as capable. Swallows are fun to watch. They are like chickens. I could sit and watch them for hours, which I will probably do when I'm a lot older, and I find my semi-permanent spot in my favorite rocking chair.
The early evening sun was perfect for sitting and watching the goings-on all around. The kittens crawled out from under the chicken house to check out why their mom was purring so loud. The goats bleated every now and then between mouthfuls of grass when they looked at me as if to say "got food?". You could tell the chickens were about ready to call it a day, because as the day gets longer the chickens get slower. They don't run, they waddle and hang low from heavy crops of all-day foraging. Glory was in her pasture enjoying her evening graze. Her reddish coat shining in the sun.
I know what it is like to enjoy a country setting  with a variety of animals and birds to keep my attention. I don't do it often enough, but when guests stay here at Nestle Inn and I see them sitting on the deck relaxing and watching the sights, I feel what they feel.
I have updated the website to include a section where guests can make their reservation deposits online. You can find this on the tab titled "Information" and then clicking "Inquiry Form & Deposit Info".

In The Morning


As I sit in the kitchen rocker drinking a cup of coffee and looking out the window I realize how much I have missed. And it's not even seven o'clock yet. The morning flights of hummingbirds have quickly dwindled the feeder of sugar water. I notice the woodpeckers have eliminated the suet. I mentally make a note to put out more of both. Rose Breasted Grosbeaks and Baltimore Orioles are in need of more grape jelly. (Another note). The House Finches, Chickadees, Red Wing Blackbirds, Morning Doves, and American Goldfinch are down to the last of the sunflower seeds. (And the list continues). The nests of Robins situated on perches at the front of the chicken house and one in the tool shed are full of babies waiting to eat as their parents search for food in the thick, dewy grass. The Swallows fly about and land on the posts near their nesting box at the corner of the goat yard. I look out to see where Glory and Apache are eating and a swan flys along the lagoon taking to the sky. Miss Kitty comes around the corner of the rabbitry to go inside; hopefully after catching a vole. Rooster and his Ladies are at the gate waiting for me to let them go in search of bugs throughout the yard and pastures. My list of things to do grows with each passing minute and I may be ready for a nap already, but I wouldn't trade this morning for anything.