Friday, May 10, 2013

What else is there?

This is a special blog article for Mother's Day from your Innkeeper at The Claiborne House B&B. I am sharing this little bit about what makes this innkeeper tick, being a Wife, Mother and Innkeeper!
My camera has motivated me in many different directions
A couple of life's lessons I have learned as a mother are:
 You never know the right thing to do in advance, it is always an up to the split-second decision you will have to make.

Of course, being a Mother, large and in charge, this makes us crazy! We like to have things planned, organized, nothing willy-nilly. We need to have control of the situation to ensure the best for everyone. Every decision we make has consequences.


But apparently God has other plans

He tells us to rely on him and not to lean on our own misunderstanding. So this means, we gotta have faith! We can't just jump when we feel like it. As a parent, oh boy is this hard to sustain! I am more of a reactor, and sometimes reactors can have meltdowns, if you get my drift!

Living in your business 24/7 is a totally different scenario to going to the office and leaving it at the office. So a parent who is an innkeeper, who has their family living at the inn has a totally different bag of potatoes to fry.
Our daughters have been  part of an innkeeping family for 10 years now, basically growing up at the inn. But the positives have greatly outweighed the negatives. It is not an easy life, but it is a fulfilling one! 

I need to take care of myself, to take care of my family and my business.

The above statement is another one of the things I have finally learned. As innkeepers are a community minded bunch, we like to get involved, we like to participate, even if we are run-ragged and at times stretched way to thin! I have found that participating in tourism related events ONLY, is not the way to live. I am involved with many different avenues relating to tourism, but I need not be consumed by it.

As I write this, I am marketing this B&B near and far. We have wonderful guests from all over the country and world who visit The Claiborne House, that is what it is all about! But for my own personal gratification, I need to not "be the business" let go of the 24/7 reigns and experience involvement that has absolutely nothing to do with tourism or hospitality.
This is a social media marketing award I was given in my efforts for Virginia State Parks (another hobby of mine)
While we put so much of ourselves into our business - so much caring, time, effort, sweat, hopes and dreams - it's still not us.  We must keep it separate. Us and our business = different. -Larry Janesky

Since moving to Virginia from the PacficNorthWET, prior to that living in Australia where Tony and I were wed 25 years ago, and born and raised in San Diego, I found the flora and fauna of these Blue Ridge Mountains an enigma! I grew up visiting the majestic Redwoods of Northern Calf, the Great Sierra Nevada, and Volcanic glaciers of Washington State, but knew nothing of these Appalachian Mountains.

I decided to become a Virginia Master Naturalist

This is a citizen scientist program, who are also educators and stewards of this great commonwealth of Virginia. For me personally, I am not an environmentalist, but a conservationist. I want to continue the effort to maintain what we have for future generations.  You can learn more about it here, and visit our Blue Ridge Foothills and Lakes Chapter blog here.

Virginia, being one of the first colonized regions in the New World, is a very rural state. We have mountains, Piedmont and coastal plain (5 regions altogether geologically speaking - click here to view them). Each as diverse as they come. We are also the located on the mid-Atlantic of the eastern seaboard, so we have flora and fauna from the south and the north of us, and even from Asia. These mountains have the largest population and variety of salamanders and newts in the world, to temperate deciduous forests that entertain all 4 seasons. 

All newts are salamanders, but not all salamanders are newts
Photo of eft newt taken by Shellie at Booker T Washington National Monument
This Red-Spotted (or Eastern Newt) in its eft stage (terrestrial) lives 12 to 15 years on average! Born in the water, lives on the land as a juvenile eft (pictured above) and then returns to the water to live and an aqautic adult. The dots filled red on their back are their chemical defense warnings that they are toxic "Don't eat me or else!"
My love of photography, hiking, waterways (both lentic and lotic) helped to decide to cut my time at the inn and pursue certification in the Virginia Master Naturalist. This is something that makes Virginia so unique, all the water! This is why we have so much diversity here.

Secondly I have taken on the Franklin County Sheriff's Citizen Academy 

This is also a volunteer program, although unlike the Virginia Master Naturalist basic training, volunteer hours, continued education, there are no tests! We are coming to the conclusion of this new fascinating program and have had an enlightening experience to our local law enforcement from the Commonwealth Attorney on down to the deputies on patrol. It has been a privilege and an honor to go on ride-alongs, experience a SWAT take-down, K-9 live demos and meet the people who give all for our safety and security here in Franklin County.
Yes that's me (you know I can't help myself!)
So when you visit The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast I would love to hear some of the things you, as a Mom are involved in. This is what it is all about, no two Mothers are the same, we are all as different in the roles God has given us!
God bless you Moms this Mother's Day, and if you aren't a Mom I am thankful for your Mom who gave you life!