Friday, September 30, 2011

Aiding and Abetting Guests With- Asheville Bed and Breakfast Pain at the Pump Special

In the full and certain knowledge that most folks like to get out of town for a bit sometimes, most especially in the most beautiful fall months,  we are here Aiding and Abetting Guests With-Asheville Bed and Breakfast Pain at the Pump Special.

That said, there are other ways to save gas that we need to become well versed in in America as we strive together to minimize as much as possible our dependence on foreign oil.
 Not only can some of these tips save you money at the gas pump (always lovely) but further they can actually prolong the good years your car serves you.  A BIG MONEY SAVER TO DELAY BUYING ANOTHER ONE.

1.  Change your air filter= Failure to do this can create reduction in engine efficiency of 20%.
2.  Plan your errands ahead of time and make them count by "grouping" errands located in the same place.
3.  Change your oil and filter regularly.  Get good advice about the grade and weight of oil that will allow your specific vehicle its' best function.
4.  Oxygen sensor replacement:  This device tells your engine how to adjust the air/fuel mixture.  Faulty ones can really waste gas.
5.  Tires are like your car's feet.  The performance of your car, particularly its safety rests on them being aligned properly, inflated to the right pressure and having enough tread to do the job they are designed for. 
6.  Spark Plugs that are old and may be misfiring can cost you big gas consumption. 
7.  After fueling be sure your gas cap is on well, not mis-threaded and tight.  Not to be too cynical but a locking gas cap is not a bad idea either for obvious reasons.  Gas is an expensive commodity.  Don't allow it to be stolen or vaporized into the air from an ill fitting cap.
8.  We have all heard that when packing for a vacation to put everything you plan on taking our and take only 1/2 of it.  I hear you crying ladies but truthfully, we all know we come home with much of what we brought with us unworn.  For every 100 pounds of weight in the car fuel efficiency is reduced by 2%.  Doesn't sound like much but when you actually get everything you plan to bring in the back of your vehicle and seeing out is no longer an option....Re-think....Both for safely and for economy.  
9.  Lastly, just because your car CAN go from 0-60 in a heartbeat doesn't mean this is a great idea.  It is, in fact,  an expensive one and in city driving where most of us will be stopping and starting with reasonable regularity...A foolish choice.  Wouldn't you rather spend that money in a more fun way than racing to the stop light at which you must stop?   

Ok, lastly, another nice savings for your "gas budget"on holiday. 

10.  At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn's Fall Pain at the Pump - Save Cash for Gas Special: Stay 3 nights - 5% discount. Stay 4 nights - 5% plus a bit of romance & celebration-  Complimentary hand dipped chocolate covered strawberries! This package is requested by phone reservation only.  Black out dates apply. May be discontinued without notice. 828-253-4085 / 888-743-2557. Must be mentioned and requested by phone reservations only.

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast declines to accept Cesspool of Sin Designation

Before moving to Asheville 12 years ago Gary and I resided in Monroe County in the Florida Keys.  Everyone's concept of sinning would be likely to include different things but our Asheville Bed and Breakfast declines to accept "Cesspool of Sin" designation proclaimed by Rep. Senator Jim Forrester in his discussion of Asheville.

To the minds of some declaring oneself a Christian, attending worship services and having enough familiarization with the good book to quote it signifies a " righteous" person with a right attitude in harmony with God.  I take a more ecumenical view than that.  One Sunday while we were living in the Keys sometime around Christmas we were attending a local church. The minister, unbelievably enough was actually late for the service. At about 11:12 a.m. he straggles out to the podium and commences the start of this particular Sunday service with an interesting revelation.  He profusely apologized for his delay and stated he'd started from home in plenty of time but  that as he was driving toward the church on Overseas Highway (the only main road in town) he began passing bars. After passing the first several and noting the profusion of cars in the parking lot the wheels of his mind began turning. He said he felt compelled to stop at the next few bars he passed, go inside and wish the happiness of the holidays to the dwellers within and invite them to church.  He continued in explanation that Jesus did not "hang out with" only scripture quoter's & declared Christians.  He frequented anywhere he could best offer his servants heart. He was often found helping outcasts and those society deemed unclean, unfit and ostracized.

So, to Asheville.  One of the most impressive things I noted upon arrival was our sense of community and the very obvious dedication to social conscience and assisting those who have experienced a bad patch.  There is also a firm dedication to assisting in recovery from drug abuse, alcoholism and domestic abuse. I am not one to offer blank checks to folks not trying at all to improve their own circumstances but anyone, particularly in these economic times, could have a temporary downturn. To anyone saying we shouldn't be concerned about that and it's not our problem I say..... Begin immediately praying that you never have a down day or that if you do- Others will be more mindful of your problems.

  Asheville has its problems as does anywhere else.  I am not painting, nor wishing to extol Asheville as Nirvana- but Asheville tries.  They try in the very concrete terms described above and if it is true as Mother Teresa believed that
“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.
We will be judged by "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”
Mother Teresa
Asheville is not a cesspool of sin and can be a shining example of a place that doesn't always get it right but is still in the game trying.   

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Monday, September 26, 2011

Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast anxiously awaits Halloween Haints!

One of the glories of the southern experience is their penchant for language.  Their "turn of the phrase" is diverse and extends to all speech and in keeping with this whimsical tradition, our Asheville Nc Bed and Breakfast anxiously awaits Halloween Haints!  For those of you who have never experienced the glories of "southern speak" please absorb the following definition of Haint= Southern colloquialism
def., ghost, apparition, lost soul!

We love Halloween At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn and part of the allure of living in a historic neighborhood is that children from all parts of Asheville both near and far generally find their way to N. Asheville to pursue the age old activity of "trick or treat." 

It has been a long time since I have trick or treated and frankly in those days....costumes were usually found in small boxes with rather pedestrian little plastic masks attached to your head vis a vis a rubber band.  Not really too cool.  Asheville kids are creative and that is no lie.  We have had every kind of haint, apparition, demon, angel, celestial being, inanimate object, plant species and even costumes connotative of character-  e.g. pure evil, confidence, honor, humor and responsibility. How creative is that?  Full disclosure requires that I also tell you we have also had more than a few that have no costume at all, no face paint, and basically arrive to extort candy completely exclusive of any effort to honor this so fun holiday at all.

This brings out "the mother" in me.  Last year I basically told some kids that if their expectation of their visit to my house and the ringing of my doorbell was to call forth my responsibility to see to it that they got "good candy" than this was a two way street...I too had expectations and that is I want to see effort, fun costumes, creativity and energy invested in their active participation in Halloween. All things considered, I think they took this request very well....I mean just because they left laughing hysterically while chomping up the candy I went ahead and gave them anyway could not possibly mean that they were not giving some consideration to the request.    

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Friday, September 23, 2011

Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast-The Fallings Leaves Drift By My Window

The official first day of fall is not until this Friday, September 23 2011 but I can tell you for sure  here in Asheville, The Falling Leaves Drift By My Window.  Having spent the last three hours in my garden amid the flora and fauna- everything about the day felt fall.  It is a bit damp here At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn and we are so grateful. It been a very, very dry summertime leaving both my mature established plants as well as the "new kids on the block" in varying shades of stress. 

Funny how the season of fall comes in.  I have noted for the very nearly 12 years I have lived here that signs of fall arrive in different parts of the city at different times or strangely that one lone branch on a tree will exhibit vigorous color even while the remainder of the tree has experienced no change at all.  A few of the rather smaller trees that I encounter daily have already experienced their color, subsequently shed their leaves and only the barren tree remains in wait for the winter to be in companionship with the trees surrounding it. 

We are one with nature in that way, humans I mean.  The same experience can be shared by two people and the reactions differ widely.  Two groups of reasonably intelligent, rationale people can be provided with the exact same set of facts and come to vastly different conclusions.
It is often said that what joins us is greater than what separates us but at this time in our history I am no longer sure that is a recognized truth.

Patti and Gary Wiles , Innkeepers 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Have you experienced Mountain to Sea Trail?

One of my very favorite things to do when At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn does not require my presence is revel in the vast natural beauty that Western North Carolina is noted for.  So now,  the innkeepers pose the query - Have you experienced the Mountain to Sea Trail? 

Yesterday, we took the drive to Craggy Gardens area.  MTS Trail  to experience a bit of this trail for ourselves 382.0 on the Blue Ridge Parkway skirts the southern side of Craggy and extends from the Smokies to the North Carolina Coast. It has access points at the Southern end of the Visitors Center parking area, the N. end of Craggy's picnic area & at Greybeard Mt. Overlook (1 mile N. of Visitor's Center where we picked it up).  Encompassing 1,000 miles with 500 miles of actual footpaths ending in Jockey's Ridge on the Outer Banks of our fine state- it is such an experience.

Great views, recent designation as a National Recreation Trail, it's ability to be enjoyed in short segments and the peace, quiet, exercise opportunity and gorgeous cool weather we have been experiencing all couple to make this trail worth a bit of exploration whether just for a brief respite or for days of hiking enjoyment.  Hope to see you out there.  I assure you a bit of time in the brisk air, exercising some not used enough muscles, gazing at the sheer majesty and beauty of these ancient mountains can help you find both perspective and gratitude for all this earth has to offer. I don't know anyone who can't benefit from that. 

Patti and Gary Wiles, Innkeepers

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast-Most Perfect Brownie Ever

Everyone loves Brownies and as I have always believed there is something about Brownies and fall that are like Ozzie and Harriet (now there's a statement that dates me big time) I thought our Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast-Most Perfect Brownie Ever is something I should share with my readers. 

I would tell you to enjoy but save your not liking chocolate....Well, it would simply be redundant to state the obvious!

Prepare your 8"X8" metal pan first.  Line with foil pressing it firmly against pan leaving a two inch overhang for easy removal after baking.  Coat with non-stick spray covering all foil that will come in contact with Brownie. 

Most Perfect Brownie Ever          Bake 325 degrees

10 T. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cup of white sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa
1 vanilla bean cut bisected and scraped of vanilla
1/4 tsp of salt
2 tsp water
2 large eggs
1/3 c. plus 1 T. of all purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or for a wonderful flavor-the "out of the box Pistachio) The salt with the sweet is out of this world.

Melt butter in pan over medium heat waiting until the browning occurs being careful not to burn.  Remember, I said brown....Not Black.  Remove from all heat immediately adding sugar, cocoa and 2 Tsp. of water, vanilla and salt. Stir until well blended and after allowing to cool a bit, add eggs one at a time blending vigorously after each addition.  When mixture looks both thick and shiny ...Add flour and stir until well blended about 50 strokes.  Stir in the nuts.  Transfer batter to prepared pan. 

Bake on 325 degrees approximately 25 Min's until toothpick, once inserted, comes out with only a few crumbs.  Cool on rack before cutting.  Your reservations to heaven have just been confirmed! Find more scrumptious recipes like these by clicking the link!

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Friday, September 16, 2011

Asheville North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inn Loves Asheville Symphony

Many things go into making the decision of where to call your home.  For many of us, a job or lack of one is the primary stimulus for deciding where your heart is-- but even then, there are an array of other factors that figure into a complete package so not surprisingly, our Asheville North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inn loves Asheville Symphony. Truly, our love of music, theater and performing arts of any kind and the plenty that Asheville always has on hand for those fortunate enough to live here provided a big input into our decision to call Asheville our home. 

Save the dead of the winter when not even the creatures are stirring and are all in search of a warm, cushy place to stay out of the cold, our street musicians (buskers) bust it out in downtown Asheville to everyone's delight, visitor and local alike and we have a very active community theater.

Many of our guests here at the inn feel exactly the same way and take advantage of this plethora of varied talent even scheduling visits to our inn in accordance with performances, musicals etc.  So, wanted to take a moment to let you all in on the Asheville Symphony 2011-2012 Season.  Daniel Myer remains their director and his magic is ever present as he and the symphony deliver performances that always make us blessed to live here.

Asheville Season 2011-2012  Masterwork Series

September 17 Opening night-Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5
October 15                           Sorcerer's Apprentice
November 19                       Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony
February 11                          Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony
March 17                              Brahms Symphony No. 1
April 14                                 Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony
May 12                                 The Pines of Rome

These performances will take place in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium within walking distance of our inn and  wherever you hail, ...N.Y, Chicago, L.A. I think you will be wowed. 

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Shivering in the Cold with the new Release of Farmer's Almanac 2012

Today, is a completely beautiful day in the mountains of Western North Carolina here in Asheville expected to reach 80 degrees. If the predictions are accurate however, it seems we will see, our Asheville Bed and Breakfast shivering in the cold with the new release of Farmer's Almanac 2012 and we'll have a lot of company.

Weather prognosticators see colder than normal temperatures on the Eastern Coast with our West Coast neighbors faring better with milder temps than they normally enjoy.  In the middle of the country it would appear to be "business as usual." 

At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn is a garden property so it with interest that we learn that Asheville should be on path for one of the three storm tracks expected- so hopefully we won't have to languish without one pathetic drop of rain for months as we did this year causing all of my garden charges a great deal of distress and my husband a few more gray hairs as we pull out those hoses again. 

Tell me, Caleb Weatherbee, (a pseudonym for the real live person that makes these predictions-having made its way through many prognosticators past) will we be wilting praying for rain or thriving in rainfall in 2012?  Just trying to plan for the amounts of gray hairs we will both be seeing as well as budget for the water bill I'll owe the city of Asheville.

If it is not better than last year's rainfall, myself and another neighborhood innkeeper may have to make good on our promise to do the "raindance" on a corner in the neighborhood we both share.  Now, those of you familiar with raindances know about the perameters of "the raindance" being most successful when done in the buff.  Join both of us in a fervent prayer for rain as I assure you...that would be a scary sight. 

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast is Sure to-Get them to the Greeks

My regular blog readers know that Gary and I purchased At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn in 1999 and believe me when I tell you that our Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast is Sure to -Get them to the Greeks-Festival that is!  We made our initial incursion to this fine festival the year we purchased the inn on a beautiful day as we were in exploration of our new city and it has become our tradition.    This year's festival will be held September 23, 24 & 25 from 11:00 a.m. -9:00 a.m. on Friday-Saturday ending at 7:00 p.m. for Sunday, the last day of the event. 

The Greek Festival will be held at the Church, blessedly very close to our Asheville Bed and Breakfast as it is a welcome Montford historic district event with full neighborhood support and applause.  Without fail, our guests and all of Asheville follow their senses as they absorb both the lively musical notes and the aroma wafting through the air.  They offer new definition to the word- sublime.  It would be a dastardly mistake for you to leave the festival without choosing to have lunch or an dinner there.  My yearly favorite main entree Chicken Riganto or my husbands constant choice, Moussaka are a treat for the palate not be be missed.

Ashevillians are feeling a bit of brisk in the mountain air, the weather clear and beautiful and a great day to learn to dance with the full hearted abandon of the Greeks. To watch the kids there is an entertainment opportunity not to be missed.  Jewelry, cooking classes and food for sale as well.
Hope to see you there.  Get thee to the Greeks!

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ashville Bed and Breakfast-September 11, 2001 Remembered!

In September 2001 Gary and I had owned the inn for slightly over 2 years but, like the rest of the nation, watched in disbelief as the world all of us knew went down in flames just like the World Trade Center in Manhattan. September 11, 2001 Remembered.

We were cooking for our guests when our land line rang.  On the other end of the phone was my daughter.  You Mothers will identify when I say the moment I heard her voice I knew something was very wrong.  She asked where I was.  I told her we were cooking breakfast and she immediately asked if our first floor room was booked knowing we did not have a television in the kitchen.  Then, in a trembling voice, pre-empting my question as to what was wrong, she said, "Mom, I think you and Daddy better go to a television set."
The t.v. was on only moments as we watched, she in Kentucky and I here in Asheville when a second plane approached and then hit tower 2 of the World Trade Center. 

In my life, I have lived through several of those moments of unreality.  President John F. Kennedy's assassination, Martin Luther King's shooting and subsequent death and finally, Bobby Kennedy at only 42 gunned down and each time there is a sense of complete unreality. 
It was very clear even as it was happening that America was under attack and all  the implications of that had yet to be understood.

As fate would have it in bed and breakfast land, a couple staying with us called Israel their home.  They immediately called it terrorism and began to share how this type of activity affected their daily lives in a way making them much more acutely in tuned to the job of living.   She shared how when she and her husband had a snit or disagreement... perhaps if they lived in a country where going to an open air market always meant they were coming back home that day-- they might be less inclined to immediately make up.  She shared how they NEVER left the house completely sure that a terrorist would not bomb the cafe they were having lunch in and so they said the words, "I love you."  They said them often always in awareness that the opportunity for later might never come. They held each other in embrace before parting as their normal, everyday existence could render the opportunity to "do that later" an opportunity missed.  She said this behavior extended to her children and all her friends and family.  Wisely and with genuine sadness she also acknowledged that this could be a challenging and difficult period for America but did not hesitate to recognize the opportunity for growth from this horrible occurrence- both personal and as a county.

Horrendous as this day was, the lives lost, the families shattered and destroyed, the children who will grow up always missing their dads, the wives who will cry for the love of their life never coming home again- there were countless acts of bravery and self sacrifice.  There were many who rose high above their fear to help others using their last breath trying to save a friend, loved one or co-worker. The United States of America lost its innocence that day but in the new day that dawned New Yorkers and much of the world moved forward in complete solidarity against a force that would kill innocents.    

We face different challenges now but that same solidarity that walked this country through the darkest days most of us have ever known in our nation must be called upon now as we face another kind of peril.  We must call upon each other to work together, Democrat and Republican alike to find the best each of us have to offer government because nothing short of that will prove successful. Our failure to do this could prove our true undoing. 

Patti and Gary Wiles, Innkeepers 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast Engage in Rainy Day Movie Trip-The Help

Rarely, in these cinema days of no content, no characterization but high tech crash scenes, special effects that boggle the mind and 3-D mayhem does our Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast engage in Rainy Day Movie trip.  The Help was a notable exception!

Set in the south (though save the specifics of this back story, unfortunately not relegated to south of the Mason-Dixon line- as their Pullman Porter counterparts could relate in detail), the story contained in this film will keep you riveted to your seats.

Those not having lived through any part of this time period may gain a more visceral and complete understanding of the tumultuous racial times experienced by persons of color.  Go see The Help.  Witness up close and personal our very highest angels and the kindness they enable in us as well as the heinous and unspeakable cruelty the duality of our natures allow.

No artsy backdrops, no 3-D, no special effects...Just a poignant story of real live people, often in untenable circumstances in search of a way to live their lives in triumph, respect and equality.  

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast Invites you to Labor Day Concert

Labor Day is Monday, September 5 this year.  Our Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast Invites you to a Labor Day Concert that will be held in Pack Park at 7:00 p.m.  

The first celebration of Labor Day in the United States of America was in 1894 following the Pullman strike which resulted in the deaths of several of their membership at the hands of both the United States military and U.S. Marshall's.  In an effort to stave off further conflict, six days after the end of the strike President Grover Cleveland and Congress hurriedly pushed this law through.  Currently it is a federal holiday in every state in the United States, D.C. and all U.S. territories as a testament to the contribution of labor in the United States. As a side note, it is also recognized traditionally as the last weekend of Summer.

No matter what meaning this holiday brings to you, we hope you will join us at Pack Park.  Your choice, you can either choose reserve seating for $20 with a bird's eye view of the orchestra and celebration or feel free to bring a blanket or lawn chair  to enjoy soloists from Lyric Opera and the magic of Daniel Meyer, conductor and curl up to listen to some fine music as we all enjoy summer's last hurrah!

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

Thursday, September 1, 2011

From your Asheville Bed and Breakfast - Is your "Techie" life driving you crazy?

Long ago, in a far away land there lived a girl who had friends, could return a missed call, never heard of Facebook and Twitter and could actually go to a movie and even to the powder room in the absence of the constant barrage of contact.  Those days could be gone forever -"Is your "Techie" life driving you crazy?

I wonder as I move through my day answering email after email from guests and friends alike, while the "alert" message on my phone is trilling in my ears indicating the receipt of yet but another text and shortly thereafter the cellular phone commences to ringing and while running to answer that...the land line at the inn also sends out its desperate pleas for attention "right now"....... how it ever got to this place.

It seems there is not one place in your home or mine; even the powder room, not one time of the day, not one single space where we are not expected to be available all the time....ready at a moments notice to receive whatever tech communication has been sent to "seek us out."

I cannot speak for others but I vote for "a more sane time" when if you were having dinner out or at home and your phone pause the ringer and when the meal and all the cameraderie of friendship enjoyed during that meal has been enjoyed, the phone call is returned.
If nature calls no one is pushing your cell phone under the door because even this space is no longer sacrosanct. If a phone call arrived and found you not at home, a message was left and when you got home...the call was returned.   Friends were not in the hundreds because the joy, intimacy and responsibility of real friendship is really not possible in that forum. When one took a walk- it was a time for communion with nature or a fun discussion if one had company on the walk.  Now, it is another source of "cell phone interaction" because....Well, you are only taking a walk.

Being connected is a good thing.  Being a slave, blessedly is a practice abandoned a long time ago. We may all want to re-think just how much tech is enslaving us and where possible....cut some of those chains lest we spend so much time connected that our time to enjoy and experience "real live living" runs out.  

Patti and Gary Wiles, Innkeepers