So Much to See in Dutchess County

LensesCloseupI’m not surprised, but I’m always happily delighted when I find a display of someone’s creative re-purposing. Some call it junking–coined by expert junker, Mary Randolf Carter, who lives up in this neck of the woods.  Making good of cast-offs is good for all of us; it produces less trash in the long run. (Read here, junk=good, trash=bad.) These two photos are of things I found for sale at last year’s Country Living Fair, held at our fabulous Dutchess County Fairgrounds, about a half hour north west of Hilltop House B’nB. FairSignThe bracelet links above are made from old optometrist lenses–“do you see better now? how about now? and now?”–with nostalgic images secured inside. We made the photo big so you could see how wonderfully involving they are.

LidsCropThis photo above, shows a whimsical wall decor of pottery lids which have lost their bottoms long ago. I always thought that the lids were the first to break, “Auntie Em, I love these sweet potatoes, oops! Hot lid! Sorry.” but someone somewhere pulled all of these beauteous pieces together and they made for a compelling display.LidsSignage And you know, there’s money to be made in them thar lids, even if you don’t have a bottom seeking cover, they’re very handsome just on the wall (come to think of it, I wonder if any of those were used for chamber pots?).

There is so much to find and be inspired by in Dutchess County and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut. I hope you can find a little piece of summer yet, or then again, leaf-peeper timing is just around the corner. Come on up and see us!

Happy Labor Day Weekend,  Sandy

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Updates from Hilltop House

So just to keep you updated, we keep on keepin’ on here at Hilltop House Bed and Breakfast in Amenia. The major construction on the porch is just about done. RedoScreenedPorch

We are rebuilding the screened-in part of the screened-in porch where we serve breakfast weather permitting. It feels great to have the stone topping off the porch wall. It’s so impervious!!!!

Still not 100% on the outside

Still not 100% on the outside

For those of you who have embarked up renovations, there are those little dangling issues that are more like chipped fingernail polish than broken nails, but they still need fixing none the less. Still the plantings around the porch have come in well and that makes me smile.

The Amenia Drive-in Still Up and Running

We also got a few pictures from the drive-in down at Four Brothers on Route 22. We see more of these pocket drive-in theaters popping up around Dutchess County and the Connecticut/Massachusetts/New York tri-state. They are doing a lot to promote a sense of family night out–“Throwback Thursdays!” and nostalgia, nostalgia, nostalgia.

DriveIn1There are folks who swear by their menu. The girls love the mozzarella sticks! And just to give you as sense of how close we are, The greeny-blue Hudson Valley hill in the back of the screen, directly below, is the same blue hill less than a mile away, peeking through the trees in the photo, below/below, of the corner of Hilltop House porch taken recently. Just another way of showing off the profusion of flowers that happily fill our days here.

DriveInScreenCornerPorchCome on up soon and see them for yourself!

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Water Feature: O, Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling…

GirlsJust Wanna Have

GirlsJust Wanna Have

Deep into the porch renovations, when we were planning the foundation plantings with the garden designer, I mentioned maybe putting in a water feature. She said why don’t you just put a small one on the porch? She didn’t mention it again, so the foundation planting went ahead without a water feature.
I love houzz.com, which had an article on how to make your own water fountain. While we may be a Bed and Breakfast off the beaten path (that’s a big part of the appeal, right?) in northern Dutchess County, the web keeps us connected to all the best of the best. We picked out a nice pot, got a fountain kit, followed the simple directions and built our own water feature. Which now sits nicely on our new stone porch cap. As you can see, we all love it! Especially the small ones, there’s something fascinating about water.
I think part of my job as an innkeep is to look for little ways to make our guests’ experiences as wonderful and relaxing as possible. We all know how soothing the sound of water can be. So now along with the pleasant experience of eating a homemade breakfast on the porch, our guests can also hear the soothing sound of our hand-crafted water feature in the background.
fountainPackfountainpumpFountainPink

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