“Breakfast with strangers/new friends.” Someone asked me the other day “if all my guests were tourists?”    I guess I never think of them as having that label.  One thing I can say about my guests is they are all looking for a different lodging experience and that’s what a bed & breakfast like Oaklawn is all about.

In the past two weeks my guests have included:  parents of Stout students, a long range planning facilitator, a surgeon, business travelers, missionaries, wedding attendees, cross country travelers, and folks visiting friends.  Quite a mix.  The conversations at the breakfast table can vary from finding a good steak, to how many grandkids one has, to discussion of the chemical make up of concrete.

One thing is certain, a bed and breakfast stay offers guests the opportunity to share a laugh, talk with strangers, learn something new, sleep in and be, well….human.

Breakfast conversation

It usually takes about 30 seconds after guest introductions are made for breakfast table conversation to erupt into a 90-minute non-stop discussion among friends.
Its not uncommon for emails and business cards to be exchanged. A true sign of a successful bed and breakfast stay.

March 15th, 2013

Posted by on Mar 15, 2013 in Meanderings | 0 comments

“Porch Sitting”
Spring fever isn’t just for school kids rejecting the wearing of a jacket for one more day.  It’s universal.   Well, at least for those of us who live where the earth goes to sleep under a damp gray blanket for several months.  Then comes that one spring morning when the sunrise is golden, the chickadees are practicing their summer song and the air has the smell of damp leaves and mud.  On Oaklawn’s east side is a porch.  I’ve always called it the morning porch because it’s perfect for the first cup of coffee.  The trees are bare, with leaves still to emerge.  The morning sun is building up its strength.  In the chill air,  it pops up over the horizon to send shafts of warmth to melt the sheer film of frost on the glass top table.

This morning I’m watching it snow…again.  Last year, March held a different scenario.  Early riser guests, Lorri Mitchell and Rhonda Christians took advantage of the comfortable porch to chat and enjoy magical warm temperatures and a few  moments before the first text messages begin to dictate the day’s events.
Can’t wait to enjoy a spring morning on the porch.  Some guests come each year, just to sit and breathe.


February 15, 2013

Posted by on Mar 2, 2013 in Meanderings | 0 comments

Oaklawn is a haven for birds of all kinds. I mention them quite often because they take turns making their presence known as the season might dictate. A flash of movement caught my eye the other day. With a fresh blanket of new snow, the ring-necked pheasant was easy to spy, but not necessarily easy to follow. I ran from window to window, watching Mr. Pheasant sprint from one protective tree or shrub to the other. If you crack the door in hopes of getting closer with the camera, he’s gone. I’ll take my “country peacock” as a lesson in mindfulness. I will attempt to be present, enjoy their beautiful and striking feathers, and admire an untamed creature trespassing to harvest a few remaining seed pods dangling in the flowerbeds.


November 12, 2012

Posted by on Nov 13, 2012 in Meanderings | 0 comments

“I’ve got to get out more.” I heard that from several business folks last night at the Greater Menomonie Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business Expo.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day that we don’t leave our “post”. Curiosity is a trait we too often set aside, until our chores are done. However, stepping out to meet new people, learn about a different way to do something or explore places we haven’t been can be so energizing.

I learned about several new businesses springing up. Had chance to talk with people I might not have crossed paths with and got to eat some fantastic, yummy Love & Butter Bakery brownies!

Take a curiosity break. Drive the long way home. Eat lunch at the other restaurant. Listen to a different radio station. Walk on the opporsite side of the street.
Amazing what you’ll find.

July 2, 2012

Posted by on Jul 8, 2012 in Meanderings | 0 comments

These middle-of-the-night thunderstorms have cut into my beauty sleep!
Recent winds had snapped the top off a tall Poplar tree. It had tall trunks that reached 60 feet into the air as it towered above the roofline. A few days later, a second storm had broken the other trunk. Sadly, I decided it need to be removed. All day I watched experts meticulously work from-the-top-down deciding which branches to cut and where the limbs should fall, so they wouldn’t get hung up. When the last few sections of trunk were felled, the house literally shook. I now have a mountain of wood chips to get my flowerbeds into shape. After a recent garden tour excursion I’m ready to incorporate a few ideas.

June 9, 2012

Posted by on Jul 8, 2012 in Blog, Meanderings | 0 comments

The bride and groom planned a casual post-wedding ceremony dinner to enjoy Oaklawn’s grand screened porch and visit with their friends and family. Oaklawn Inn, Menomonie, is perfect for weddings, family reunions and get togethers. Plenty of room for everyone. Guests are always pleasantly surprised that in less than 90 minutes you can be from the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport to Oaklawn’s relaxing comfort. I love the laughter of folks kicking off their shoes, catching up, and telling stories.

gathering discussion at Oaklawn Inn

May 19, 2012

Posted by on Jul 8, 2012 in Meanderings | 0 comments

Whoever created a coffee pot with automatic timer should be nominated for sainthood. Freshly brewed and waiting for me early every morning. Today, I sensed something was watching me and I was right! Two antenna were positioned to take in all that might be happening in my kitchen. This large moth (probably with a body 2.5-3 inches long) sat as if ready to share in a conversation. He stayed for several hours and then was gone. I wish I knew more about him. I need a lepidopterist to stay at Oaklawn and help me identify my visitor.

April 30, 2012

Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Meanderings | 0 comments

An early spring has splashed bright spring colors across the hillside south of Oaklawn. My desk is positioned for a panoramic southern view. I get my daily dose of sunlight and the opportunity for glimpses of Mother Nature at her best and sometimes her worst. I have a frequent guest that is documenting the change of colors each time she visits Oaklawn.