Thursday, October 30, 2008

Do Not Speak French

I've been thinking all day about this weekend with our first immersion student, Alexia. Actually, I have being doing a countdown this week...hmmmm, perhaps I am overly eager? Okay, I started having some feelings of worry and doubt and then I heard Min say, ''Mom, would you scrape your esteem off the pavement, puh-lease?'' Scraped, done and dusted. By the way, when did she become the Mother?
The only rule I was given for the weekend: Do Not Speak French. um, can we all say FAT CHANCE? As if I'm going to speak French!Unless of course years of study suddenly kick in this weekend and I can't stop myself. You know how it work hard at learning something and then CLICK, you ''get it'', it all makes sense. So now I'm thinking, please-don't-CLICK-with-French-just-yet. But it is highly likely I'll greet Alexia with my sing songy bonjour...can't help it, really I can't. bwah ha-ha!
Next post: all about our American Weekend - and find out if I followed that one rule...

Monday, October 27, 2008

12 Steps

I went to university to study addiction - to become a Drug and Alcohol Counselor. I thought that the 12 Steps for Alcoholics Anonymous would be contained for addiction recovery. HA! Turns out it applies to Life. Every Day Life. And life as a B&B proprietor, a hostess? Yes, that too. Amazing.

This evening, as I prepared our dining room for a French lesson group, I was also preparing for B&B guests to arrive and a 4 course dinner. We admitted we were powerless...oh yeah, over How Do I Pull This Off and our lives had become unmanageable...double oh yeah, this is feeling unmanageable.

So. Step Two. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. That is exactly what I need, sanity! I'm dashing around the house doing waaaay too many things at the same time and feeling a wee bit of insanity and looking for that Power greater than! The doorbell rings and my Hostess with the Mostess self kicks in, Hello Group and oh Hello B&B guests and oh my goodness now what?! I have to juggle 'you lot' (I love British jargon!) with ease and pleasantries and yes, that gorgeous bouquet of flowers from B&B guests DOES help!

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Amen. I'm arranging the flowers, making tea and arranging cookies on a plate...thinking about the 4 course meal ahead, it's all going to be fine, right? Get that dinner going now for B&B guests!

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Not exactly, but I did check and double check the dinner to do list. Sort of an inventory, yes? And I did manage to eavesdrop a bit on the French group. (not very moral, but what the heck)

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Well, I did admit to B&B guests that all was rather hectic at the moment and not exactly right for entry into their B&B stay and I might have said Oh gawd a couple of times. oops.

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. I was ready to have something remove tea from the dining room and replace with 4 course dinner. I was looking for an instant fix. For sure and Ready.

Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings. Remind me not to do this again! Humble?

Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. Did I harm anyone this evening? Probably not. But, if I had to repeat this evening on a regular basis it is highly likely someone would be harmed. Dreadful.

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Note to self: do not schedule hosting more than one social event at a time. Amends to self, hmmmm.

Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Yep, right-o and prompt-o, this was not a good thing to do. Yikes, wrong wrong wrong.

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. Did I mention saying oh god a few times?

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Voila! Here is the message: Do not host or entertain two different groups of people at the same time. Not good. Or all that easy. I did it, yes, and actually I didn't complain. (much). My name is Pam and I am a Hostess...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

If You Want...

to receive an e-mail message when a new post is written here, leave a request in comments and I'll set it up for you.

Meanwhile, I'm getting ready for Halloween. Or playing with Mindi's clothes. Or something like that. oy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Minus Two Beds

But I am not changing my blog title! Not yet anyway. As many of you know, I often embrace change in life (also change of life these days) and at home (ask Rosemary how many times I rearranged the sitting room in a month) so here are the latest changes...

First, the B&B. The Family Suite is now the Salon Suite. The Mindi Anne Suite has been moved to the Elsie Marie Suite which meant the elimination of two single beds and a new space for a sitting room! This idea came from having a number of long stay visitors and our desire to provide additional space, comfort and amenities for our guests. Also, the two rooms as they were had not been used much over the past year.

And then, a new adventure on the horizon took us from an idea of change to definite change...

An international organization based in Brittany had been looking for an American to provide American English immersion for their employees. C'est moi! It took me approximately three seconds to say Yes and then a ba-zillion hours more to create an immersion program. I also wanted to make a space at home for the immersion student that would include a quiet study area and a space for All Things American. Et voila, minus two beds but plus an American room. The Salon Suite means no need for the French to schlep to America!

If all goes well with this immersion program, it is highly likely that our B&B will take a back seat to that. The timing could not be better as we have been considering reducing the number of B&B reservations in 2009. The immersion program would be one, perhaps two, weekends per month - allowing more time for us to be with family, friends and our hobbies - assuming we do cut back on B&B. Theory and practice may differ, as evidenced by...
Some weeks ago I decided No More B&B for 2008. HA! Since then I have accepted a few more reservations and now I'm realizing how difficult it is to Just Say No. Is there a support group for this? Sign me up.
Many things may change but many more stay the same. As always, I am eager to start a different adventure. If only I could stop my inner child playing with matches*...
*aka hot flashes

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On Hold

What happened to my Sunday return here? We've been spinning with guests and eating and touring and eating and entertaining and going shopping and did I mention eating? Debbie was here two weeks, she departed on the 12th and Grace and Jeanette arrived on the 13th, staying with us until tomorrow. Georges, Michelle, GĂ©rard and Yvette arrive on the 19th for our annual Le Levran Fete...and somewhere in between this we'll celebrate Gilly's birthday and also have dinner with Keith and Joan...then John and Anne arrive and we'll smash glasses (inside joke) with them at La Maison Rouge. So. More eating. I have put posting on hold and hope to write a more informative post or two later in the month!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Still Here...

but leaving soon for St Emilion! See you again on Sunday.