Author Archives: bubblescubed

The Holly-n-Ivy

My great-grandmother seemed to be called Aunt Lilly by everyone.  Growing up, I always heard this room referred to as “Aunt Lilly’s room”.  She loved her dogs, and was a talented painter (check back later for a post on her paintings).  Here she is on the driveway side steps of Bayfields sometime in the 1960’s.

 

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Aunt Lilly and her beloved dogs.

I always thought Aunt Lilly’s room was the most wonderful room in the entire house. Later, when we moved into the house, we noticed that the only way to get to Aunt Lilly’s room, one must pass through another bedroom.  For a while, my daughter and her husband lived in this room and used it as a 2 room suite.  One room for the bedroom, and the other as a sitting room with a TV.  My sister’s name is Holly, and when our daughter was born on Christmas day, we named her Ivy.  My favorite Christmas storybook fairy tale was the story of Holly & Ivy, so I thought to keep with the fairytale-room-naming-theme.  I named these rooms “The Holly-n-Ivy”.

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My favorite Christmas fairy tale.

After Ivy and her husband moved, I began renting it out as a 2 room suite that sleeps up 4 people.  Since those sleeping in the queen must pass through the sitting room to come and go, I think it’s best that it be reserved by families or good friends who know each other well enough to share.  The sitting room faces the driveway and has a barnyard/dock view with a 22″ TV. The couch has been replaced with a daybed that can convert into 2 twins or one king bed.

 

The main bedroom has a memoryfoam queen mattress with a slanted ceiling, a wrap-around balcony with a view of the barnyard, dock, creek, river, beach, and Chesapeake Bay.

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Queen bed in the Holly-n-Ivy

To add comfort for our guests, in these 2 rooms we’ve installed 2 ceiling fans, bedside lamps, 4 new vinyl windows (that actually open, ha ha), a fresh coat of paint, refinished floors, and a new doorway leading out onto the balcony.

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Holiday Memories at Bayfields

Some old Bayfields Christmas cards of long ago remind us of the changes to Bayfields; a greenhouse added in the 1940’s, 2 bay windows added in the 1960’s, extended porch and balcony…   

   

For ages my grandparents held a neighborhood Christmas party each year, but it’s been over 35 years since Bayfields has invited the neighbors in to see it decorated for the season. 

This year, thanks to an invite from the Galesville Holiday House Tour, Bayfields was inspired to deck the hall, the tree, the sleigh, the mantles, the bedrooms, and even our grandfather’s old Santa suit made an appearance!

 

My sister, Holly, collected greenery outside to create window swags and dozens of vases filled with fresh cut greenery.  While Mom and I decorated the tree and bedrooms, Kurt cleared the lawn of leaves and carried the ladder around.  

I had wrapped empty boxes to load up the old sleigh(yes, we still use it on snow days) and we even put the garden gnomes to work.   

We had several dozen visitors for the house tour, here below is 30 second speed tour of the house from that night.  

  
Since the house was already decorated, we hosted a dinner party for a church group caroling to the homebound the following weekend. Of course we’ll have a big family gathering here for Christmas dinner so they can also enjoy the old family home with a few new traditions. 

  

A feast, birthday wishes for Ivy, and of course, singing Christmas carols into the evening as my brother Rick plays the piano.  

 

From our house to yours, have a very merry Christmas!  
 
    
    
    
 

  

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Love Potion (Wedding) #9

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A blog about a recent Bayfields Wedding:

A special thanks to photographer Erika, and the newlyweds for sharing their photos and blog with us!  Bayfields has had many weddings here over the years(at least 9* so far)

1984 #1:  sister’s wedding 

2000 #2: my 2nd wedding

2012 #3: my daughter’s wedding

2013 #4 & #5: two guest weddings

2014 #6: one guest wedding

2015 #7,8,&9: three guest weddings

and already has several booked for 2016 and 2017!

***2017 Update***

This is the final year of weddings at Bayfields.



 

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Croquet on the Bay

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In the garage was an old forgotten croquet set. Covered in dust, its many colors were nearly indistinguishable. We cleaned up all the pieces to find a variety of colors. The storage rack was missing only one ball, probably chewed by the blades of a hungry lawnmower long ago. Aside from a few missing wickets(probably also lost to a lawnmower), it was almost complete although one of the remaining balls looked as though it may have been used as a dog toy.

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Thankfully there was a freshly mowed flat area that had seen many ball games of soccer, lacrosse, softball, and volleyball. There were many picnics with egg tosses, three legged races, tug of war, horse shoes, badminton, and obstacle courses, but I cannot remember ever having the croquet game set up here. This was a great spot for the croquet game, smooth, flat, and the view was perfect. There were 4 of us, the day was not too hot, and we had access to a phone to Google up the rules to set up for an official traditional game of croquet.

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Of course, it was important to hydrate with a pitcher of iced tea at the end of the game as we sat and studied the course for our next round.

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Life is good at Bayfields. Come join us for a weekend. www.bayfields.org

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Our Forestry Management Plan

The lawn surrounding Bayfields used to be pasture for sheep and cattle  Long before that, there is evidence that Native Americans used to hunt along these same shores. In 1921 the house was built, and later a fence was put up around the house to keep livestock from eating the missus’s flowers.
In order to preserve the property for generations to come, we’re working with the DNR(Department of Natural Resources) in order to follow a forestry management plan. This will enable us to help sustain native wildlife and preserve our shoreline, just by reforesting some of the open lawn here at Bayfields. At the advice and recommendations of a DNR approved professional forester, we’re planting about 150 seedlings using trees native to the area.

Reforestation project plans showing approximate positions of where we'll plant seedlings.

Reforestation project plans showing approximate positions of where we’ll plant seedlings.

Above is a mock up of our reforestation project plans showing approximate positions of where we’ll plant seedlings.

Volunteer tiny little baby oak seedling.

Volunteer tiny little baby oak seedling, with it’s very own flag.

On your left is what often happens when I neglected to mow a patch for a while.  As you can easily see, there’s already evidence of tiny trees trying to sprout.  Last fall, we marked off the areas that we planned to NOT mow.  This spring we’re discovering many clusters of volunteer seedlings popping up all over. It’s like an Easter egg hunt with tiny little prizes all over.  As we discover new ones, we mark them with little green flags.

DNR Seedlings from left to right, Sycamore, Black Locust, White Pine, Flowering Plum

DNR Seedlings from left to right, Sycamore, Black Locust, White Pine, Flowering Plum, and Dogwood from Jug Bay Native Plant Sale.

We ordered some seedlings and saplings from the DNR; 25 sycamore, 25 flowering plum, 50 white pine, and 25 black locust.  The prices were very reasonable, averaging 85 cents per seedling for a minimum order of 25.  The exception were the pine saplings, which were 50 cents a piece with a minimum order of 50.  I ordered late, so the beech, oak, dogwood, and redbuds were all sold out.  They all came together UPS just a few days later. We had to sign an agreement that these trees would be planted in Maryland, not sold for profit, and wouldn’t be chopped down and sold as christmas trees.  The bargain 500 dogwood and redbud seeds that I ordered from Amazon required much too much preparation time to have ready to plant this spring(soak, chill, scrub, scratch, soak, chill, plant), so we picked up 25 dogwood seedlings from a Jug Bay native plant sale this past weekend.  Perhaps we’ll create a little grove of redbud and dogwood next door in Mom’s forest next spring.

two year old volunteer oak and dogwood

These are several two year old volunteer oaks and one dogwood

In the photo to your right,  you can see  a few seedlings that have gotten a 2 year head start where an old stump was difficult to mow around.  There are several oaks and one dogwood.  Our new forest will go from the beach to the flagpole and over beside the porch, but should be spaced far enough apart that we can stroll across the grounds and not get lost.

3 year volunteer oak, already showing promise of shading St. Francis yet not blocking view.

3 year volunteer oak, already showing promise of shading St. Francis yet not blocking view.

This last photo above shows a 3 year old oak seedling that I pruned the lower branches off of last year.  It’s already showing promise of growing up to be a great strong shade tree. For now, it will be the protector of our grandmother’s little St. Francis statue, protector of the animals.

Come stay for a weekend, I’ll hand you a shovel.  You can become part of the tree planting!

Thanks for reading,
-Robin

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Hansel and Gretel

As children, while visiting with our grandparents, we'd go up to the 3rd floor to look in the costume trunk.

As children, while visiting with our grandparents, we’d go up to the 3rd floor to look in the costume trunk.

The Hansel and Gretel was the second room in Bayfields to get a name.  My brother’s bunk beds came to me years ago, adorned with goofy stickers (Wacky Packages Topps bubblegum stickers) that looked like they were straight out of Mad Magazine.  I liked the warped sense of humor of the stickers, many were spoofs on advertisements from that era, and I can almost hear my brothers chuckling as they placed each new one up on their headboards.

The room in which I assembled the bunk beds is also on the 3rd floor, opposite from the Rapunzel. I remember playing there with my siblings, digging through an old trunk filled with costumes, masks, and hats.  Later, my own kids would climb up there for games of Hide and Seek, or to play Sardines(reverse hide and seek).  The thought of playful siblings makes me think of Hansel and Gretel, giving me the idea for it’s name.  I should clarify that although both Hansel & Gretel(as well as Rapunzel) were stories of captive children, you will not be captive, only captivated:

For the view from the Hansel -n- Gretel, through the newly installed vinyl window overlooks the beach, kayaks, dock, flagpole, and the balcony off the two rooms below.  You can see both the creek, river, and bay from this one little window.

I decorated the room with some old children’s books, a collection of ancient post cards, wooden carvings of my grandfather and his uncle, plus a handmade U.S.A. wooden wall puzzle that can be taken down to play with.  Each bed has a two new pillows, matching plaid blue/green down comforters, and the assortment of unusual stickers(since this post, we’ve replaced the bunk beds with one twin maple bed, and one full memory foam maple bed).

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Hansel-n-gretel

To add comfort for our guests, in this room we’ve installed a lighted ceiling fan, extra outlets, as well as one outlet with USB ports for charging your portable electronics.  The high speed internet is available even on the top floor, making it easy to remain connected.  We refinished the hardwood floors, and gave the room a coat of paint.  Each bed has it’s own lamp for night time reading.

Click here if you would like to reserve a room.

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Rapunzel had a room with a view.

Bayfields guest rooms have storybook names and we include a copy of the matching story in each room.

Bayfields guest rooms have storybook names and we include a copy of the matching story in each room.

My grandparents often enjoyed weekend guests here at Bayfields because it’s a lovely place, a peaceful retreat, and a beautiful getaway spot.  Upon moving back home, I’m inclined to agree.  I’ve had visitors from as far north as Watertown, New York, as far west as San Francisco, California, and as far south as Orlando, Florida.

One such weekend, I gave up the master bedroom to a visiting couple and I stayed on the 3rd floor.  At that time, I had cast and crutches, so as I crawled on hands and knees to the very top floor, I envisioned myself climbing to the top of Rapunzel’s tall tower.  With a leg in a cast, depending how I felt those days, I was either the witch or the princess.  Of course, as soon as I would lay back in the bed, far from the noises of the rest of the world, I certainly felt like a princess, resting on her pile of mattresses high above the kingdom.

Rapunzel, the 3rd floor guest room at Bayfields Bed and Breakfast, showing off it's red and white theme, has a warm glow at dusk.

Rapunzel, the 3rd floor guest room at Bayfields Bed and Breakfast, showing off it’s red and white theme, has a warm glow at dusk.

The view from up there is like no other in the house; the beckoning pool, my childhood home next door, the field where summer games were played, where horses sometimes graze, view overlooking my grandmother’s once prize-winning flower garden, plus a sparkly glimpse of  the Chesapeake Bay.  Even after the guests were gone and I had the house to myself again, that summer I’d often sneak up there to get away for a while. A secret nook, a private tower.  The name Rapunzel seemed fitting for our first official guest room.

During the holidays, it was exciting to have the entire stairway twinkling with lights.  Bayfields Bed and Breakfast has two guestrooms on the 3rd floor.

During the holidays, it was exciting to have the entire stairway twinkling with lights. Bayfields Bed and Breakfast has two guestrooms on the 3rd floor.

Bayfields has 5 bedrooms, the Rapunzel is the only bedroom with a view of the pool, garden, game field, pasture...

Bayfields has 5 bedrooms, the Rapunzel is the only bedroom with a view of the pool, garden, game field, pasture…

From the Rapunzel, the 3rd floor guest room at Bayfields Bed and Breakfast, looking down the hallway to Hansel and Gretel, the other 3rd floor guest room.  The cat you see on the floor is Kiki, our elusive cat, who only shows up when we have guests.

From the Rapunzel, the 3rd floor guest room at Bayfields Bed and Breakfast, looking down the hallway to Hansel and Gretel, the other 3rd floor guest room. The cat you see on the floor is Kiki, our elusive cat, who only shows up when we have guests.

The park-like setting of Bayfields Bed and Breakfast is so peaceful and quiet.  The two Arabian horses(Dusty and Sweetie) enjoy the golden morning sunlight as they snack in a nearby field.

The park-like setting of Bayfields Bed and Breakfast is so peaceful and quiet. The two Arabian horses(Dusty and Sweetie) enjoy the golden morning sunlight as they snack in a nearby field.

Rapunzel, the 3rd floor guest room at Bayfields Bed and Breakfast, showing off it's red and white theme.

Rapunzel, the 3rd floor guest room at Bayfields Bed and Breakfast, showing off it’s red and white theme.

To make this room more restful and inviting to guests, I added a Sealy® memory foam mattress.  We installed a new ceiling fan/light fixture, plus extra outlets. The hardwood floors were refinished and the walls were painted.  I discovered two mismatched white dressers from other parts of the house, plus an old red table I found tucked away deep in a closet.  I painted the dresser knobs red to match the table, and without leaving the house, I found a burgundy carpet, red lamp, white night stand, red flowerpot, and a white bookshelf, creating a cosy uncluttered feel with a red and white theme.  As we know that there’s nothing more comforting than a fresh set of sheets and towels, so between guests, we launder each room separately, using the sanitize feature on both washer and dryer.

Click here if you’d like to reserve a room.

-Robin Heintz Anderson

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