Catching Up

So, how’s your summer been going?

We should probably talk about the weather first. We Canadians seem to be obsessed with weather, so let’s get that over with. Been a hot one, huh? I love it. I’m one of those crazy folks that lives for the heat – probably cause I’m usually freezing most of the time, so whenever I can get extra heat, I’m happy. We do need some rain though….how long has it been since we’ve had a good downpour? I can’t remember the last time we had rain, I’m guessing about several weeks. The farmers and grape growers are really concerned, I’m sure. Let’s hope we get some rain soon.

So we’ve taken care of the weather. What else has been going on? For me, things have been really busy. I love the summer, and it always goes so darn fast.

The first reason for the busy-ness, is Highbrook, our B&B.


We’re in the full swing of the busy season here. It’s been – well – an interesting one so far. We’ve had a lot of repeat guests, and when they’re here, it feels like we’re having old friends for a visit.


We’ve had lots of new guests too, people who really were some of the warmest, friendliest, easiest people to have in our home.


Then, there are the “interesting” ones. I’ll be honest here. Hospitality isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, and there have been a few incidents that just made me shake my head – and reach for the Chardonnay. I’m thinking of writing a book when I eventually retire from the B&B business. There are quite a few funny stories, quirky characters, and things that made me go hmmmmm.

But that’s okay. Ken and I constantly joke about filming a version of Lilyhammer, set in a B&B in a small town. Trust me, we’ve already got enough material, and this is only our third season of operation.

Don’t let that scare you away from staying at Highbrook, though. Not all of the stories are odd and quirky…. there are many wonderful, happy stories to tell too. A mix of everything – just like life.

Plus, Ken’s breakfasts are delicious.


In other news, my little blog just turned two. You guys, thanks so much for reading, tweeting, sharing comments, posts, and just making this whole thing so worthwhile. I’ve loved blogging, even if I haven’t been able to blog as much as I would like. I’ve also loved meeting a lot of you in person, and have made some fantastic new friends because of Niagarafied. As great as the internet is, nothing beats real life.

There will be some changes coming up soon. A website overhaul, and I’m pondering a couple of new directions, but if there’s anything you’d especially like to see here, just send me a message and I’ll see what I can do. You all know how much of a wine freak I am, so you will always see lots of wine and winery related stuff here. But there’s also much more to discover in Niagara.

You may also see some personal posts here too. I know I’ve said that before, and it hasn’t really happened yet. Many of the blogs that I enjoy contain some content about the blogger themselves. I’m curious about people – what are their lives like? What are their opinions, their struggles, their triumphs? Dare I say it, as clichéd and new-agey as it sounds, I’m interested in their “journey”. Not everything in life is a picture-perfect Instagram moment, and I love reading posts that are about the real stuff too.

So who knows where that will go. I hope you’ll come along.


As we’re more than halfway through the year (can you even believe that?), I thought I’d give an update from my New Year post. In that post, I picked five words that represented my goals for this year. I’m happy to say most goals are progressing pretty well.

My first word was blog. I’m pretty happy with my posting so far for this year – except for these last few weeks. I kind of knew blogging would suffer in the busy season, so that’s not really unexpected. That being said, I’m hoping for at least one post a week during these crazy days.

The second word – run. Yes….I’m thrilled with my running progress this year. I haven’t been able to run outside in this heat, but I’ve been getting to the gym instead, and that’s been pretty good. I’m a runner who actually doesn’t mind the treadmill. I just put on some music or a podcast, and think about stuff while I run.

Now the third word – cook. I’ve been doing much better there too, and I’m actually planning a post soon about some of the things that I – yes, I – have cooked myself. I’ll never be a food blogger, I just don’t love to cook that much. But these meals have been so tasty, and I’m proud of myself for cooking even on days when it was the absolute LAST thing on earth I wanted to do. We’ve also made some changes to the breakfast menu at Highbrook, and so far our guests seem to like the changes.

The last words though – laugh and let go. Hmmm….well, I try to find the humour in things, but I can still be way too intense for my own liking, and probably for poor Ken’s too. But I have seen a little bit of improvement here. I’ve recently had several things happen that in the past would have sent me into a frustrated, worried tailspin – even if there was no way I had any control over the situation. However, that tailspin didn’t happen as much, or didn’t last as long as usual, so I guess that’s progress.

Or perhaps it’s because the older I get, the less I give a shit about things that really don’t matter.


And there’s so much more to tell you.

I’ve been to some fun events, had some great food created by talented chefs, and tasted some fantastic wines. But I think I’ll save that for the next post.

Now it’s your turn. How’s your summer been going so far?

  • Erin Million-Carroll

    What did you cook? I’m not down with the the running – so tell me about the food!! 🙂
    Summer has been wonderful- I love the heat as well. Tell ken he & I need to have a cook off next time we’re in town!

    • Glad you’re having a good one too Erin! And I would love to sample the results of a cook-off between you and Ken. Will be posting all about my cooking adventures soon, so I can’t tell you now….have to keep you in suspense 🙂