Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sizzlin' Hot Summer

Ok, so let's catch up! We endured a very busy June here at Reagan's Queen Anne. Thank you to all the guests who crossed our threshold and allowed us to host them here in this grand Queen. As most weather watchers know, the midwest has been scorching this summer. Following a very wet spring, we've been hot, hot, hot here in the nation's middle.

July was not as busy as we've become accustomed to in years past. We're sure that the economy is mostly to blame. A delight in spite of all this heat and the slower July and typically slower August, is the nearly 3 dozen hummingbirds we have battling for food at our numerous feeders. We purchased larger ones this year, so that we were not refilling 10 feeders daily. All of the 8 oz feeders we have are drained twice a day, and 20 ouncers are the way to go. I believe we've used 50 pounds of sugar this year already and they are nowhere near migration yet. I'm guess-timating that we'll use in the neighborhood of 60-65 pounds before they leave. I sure do love watching them and will miss the air show, and even the daily making of the nectar when they depart. We've never had this many birds all at once and they've been here since the 3rd week of July, so it's doubtful that we have any migratory hummers stopping by for a "To-Go" meal just yet. We also enjoyed a visit at the end of July from Gina, Haley and Karen. We've always had fun when Gina and Haley come and can't wait for them to return! We took a ride on the Mark Twain Riverboat and saw one of the resident Bald Eagles in a tree on the island on the east side of the river. What a cool sight!

Continuing with the heat, August has been brutal. Now I did (personally) get a bit of a break from the 1st-9th, as I was in Florida with Tim, Kathy and the kids. I really enjoyed my visit and wish it would have lasted longer. Norm was a real trooper while I was gone. He fed the fish daily, watered the plants daily, and fed those hungry hummingbirds daily as well. He learned how much work it is to care for those little jewels. He also hosted guests while I was gone for 6 of the 9 days I was away. He did all the cooking, cleaning and handled everything while I was enjoying myself. He came through with flying colors, and plates came back CLEAN! I owe him big time for sending me to Florida for our grandson's SECOND Birthday!
Kaden's 2nd Birthday!! Yummmmmmmm, CAKE!

Shortly after I returned from FL, we made a huge change in the Victorian Rose Chamber. Our talented woodworker, Don, made some new sideboards for our mid 1800's Walnut Eastlake bed in that room, and we converted it to a queen! A brand new Sealy mattress set and our "new" room is open for business. The first guests who stayed in the "new" Victorian Rose said that the bed was heavenly. Our next project is to put the shower in on the 3rd floor Captain's Quarters. That will be completed soon! We're also making changes to abide by safety and fire regulations. That is so important in any business where the public is served. We're happy to provide this enhanced security for our guests.

So, it's back to the kitchen to make more hummingbird nectar. They are absolutely
c- r- a- z- y  today! This is the time when hand feeding them is possible. It is fascinating to be so close to these little miracles of flight.

More next month! Until then...This is one of our male Rubythroats who has claimed the spiral staircase feeder as "HIS". He guards it sitting just above it it on a Hummingbird windchime. They will entertain, in more ways than one!

It's off to the mountain of laundry awaiting me, following a full house last night.

Friday, June 03, 2011

A May to Remember!

May was a busy month! On the 3rd, Norm and I left by train and headed to Chicago. We then flew from O'Hare to Honolulu on May 4th, to attend oldest son Billy's wedding!! It was great to finally meet Kacey's family and celebrate such a beautiful wedding in breathtaking tropical surroundings. That is NOT a big poster behind them! The flora and fauna surrounding this historic Hawaiian Fish Pond, which connects to Kaneohe Bay and the Pacific, was paradise at its finest.
Billy & Kacey Shreve - Moli'i Pond, Kaaawa, Hawaii
The wedding party!
Don't you feel sorry for these two? They are forced to live in the beauty of the tropical paradise called HAWAII!! I keep thinking how I could grow my tropical hibiscus "outside" year round. Currently, the dozen potted hibiscus bushes and tree we have, are yet to be set out for the summer.

Ahhh, the sweet aromas stay with you for a long time. The plumeria and tuberose were not only beautiful, but sweetly aromatic and heavenly. I can almost smell them now. The bridesmaids wore yellow plumeria leis, and the Moms' leis were tuberose and roses. The men wore tea leaf and kukui nut, traditionally.

So we arrived home on Friday the 13th. Though I'm not a superstitious person, somehow Friday the 13th was not the luckiest for us. Norm was not feeling well a couple days before we left Hawaii and suffered on the flight back. He's well now, but he passed it on to me!! Thanks, buddy! :0) I've had bronchitis twice now this spring! I'm on the downhill side of it now, thankfully, and am feeling about 98% now! We came home to a hail damaged vehicle too...bummed about that.

Something else we did was to bring the rain along with us. No, not really, but it seems that way. Hawaii was unseasonably wet for this time of year, and it seemed to follow us home. We've been waiting and waiting to be able to paint the porch and can't manage more than a day at a time without rain here. I won't even mention the severity of weeds with all this rain. we're doing our best to work outside when weather permits. Maybe a few more appeals to Mother Nature would help?? So if you're so inclined... Thanks! I'm hoping to get the waterfall working again this week, and am hoping I won't need to replace the pump. Those babies are expensive and it seems that about every 4-5 yrs, they need replacing. Ugh...

Our hummingbirds are back in full force!! I've seen 8 of them that I counted all at once. I'm sure the 2 dozen or so will be here after the babies hatch. We have 4 males and 4 females at the least, so that bodes well for having at least 8 more this summer. They are eating a LOT of our home-made nectar. I'm thinking that we'll go through another 40+ pounds of sugar this year.

Business is good, in spite of being closed for about 18 days from the beginning of May, while we were gone and then recovering from colds. So don't delay in making reservations for the summer. It's filling fast! Not much left for Tom Sawyer Days around July 4th, and weekends in general are pretty full already. Our Fall Folklife Festival still has openings, so be sure to reserve your room in a timely manner.

HANNIBAL IS NOT FLOODED! We have a levee system which keeps our downtown dry, and business as usual. Though the flood gates may be in, our Riverboat still runs from a location just a few hundred yards up river. Retail shops etc on Main Street remain open when the gates are in, so don't let that deter you from making your trip to Hannibal this summer. Hannibal is OPEN FOR BUSINESS as usual.

Hope to see our repeats and new guests soon!
Judy and Norm

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our Stormy Midwest Spring

Thankfully, Hannibal has been spared when it comes to severe weather. So many places around us were hit with tornadoes and ENORMOUS hail! I saw some photos of hail, which was larger than a baseball! The damage that does to the windshield of a vehicle is phenomenal. We hope that all of our guests have been safe throughout April thus far. Hannibal flood gates are in as of today, Wednesday, 4/20. Not to fear, Hannibal is still OPEN FOR BUSINESS! The Mark Twain Riverboat is still cruising too. Don't let the media scare you into thinking Hannibal is flooded. We have a sturdy and BIG levee, and it protects all things tourism.

As the story goes...April Showers bring May Flowers. Well this year our flowers are EARLY! The spring rains and warm(ish) weather has encouraged things to pop! Our Lily of the Valley(normally flowering in May) is blooming and the aroma is heavenly. We have some beautiful RED tulips and Paper Whites, which are also producing a wonderful sweet smell in the air. We are still waiting to see our first Hummingbird. I'm sure they will be earlier than last year. Cinco de Mayo was the date last year...more than 3 weeks later than usual. I've put 2 feeders out, just in case.

The work continues on the yard and maintenance of this old girl. We began a porch deck project this month, and have been "patiently"(not so much), waiting to finish the painting. Last year I painted most of the porch ceiling and will put a finish coat on in May. We have several porch posts which need to be reset as well. Water wreaks havoc on wood, wherever it has opportunity to sit. Ah, one of the most common maintenance issues with an historic house made of sticks.

Timing...Here's the trick: Work when guests are not disturbed, when cleaning and inside housework is complete, and when rain does not inhibit the work. We're glad that we have so many guests scheduled. That makes it easy to put noisy projects on hold. But we sure would like to get the painting done if the rain would just hold off for a few days at a time. I guess it could be mid May before we can get that accomplished, from the looks of the extended forecast! We are booked full the next 2 weekends, with several guests peppering the calendar on weekdays, and we're thankful! Maybe if it's too wet to paint, I can get some of the yard work done. We killed sections of our yard to get rid of some very annoying and hardy weeds. Now the plan is to reseed and get that nice carpet of green down. Some areas will become flower beds, rather than grass. I'll be setting some plants out in current beds in the next week or so. I have hostas, coral bells, Stella lilies, Peony, hybrid daylilies, bleeding heart, liatris, and various other things that are just right for planting now. I'm excited about what things will look like this summer. Norm said he was buying me some Hydrangea bushes this year too...RED ones! We'll put them in the front where the bushes were removed. We planted some ornamental grasses and hybrid daylilies last year and they look GREAT. I have been contemplating putting some grasses in the median between the sidewalk and the street. We'll see how that goes. Seems that there is never a dull moment here. If it's not maintenance, or getting my hands dirty, it's my role as laundress for the mountains of sheets and towels.

Stay tuned for news about our summer special which will be in cooperation with McDonalds! We'll update you when it goes live.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One of Our Favorite Celebrations and SPRING!

                 It's soon to be SPRING!  I look forward to celebrating the Irish heritage of our last name! This is one of my favorite times to celebrate. Now since I was adopted and can't truly identify my heritage, I can claim whatever I want, right? With a last name like "O" 'Reagan, I guess it's ok for me to be Irish in March. There is no question about Norm whose parents' surnames were Mcguire and Reagan, so celebrate we will! Why don't you join us at Reagan's Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast in Hannibal, in March!?
Spring Crocus!

         I LOVE Spring, all the newness of plant growth and G R E E N !
Following a long snowy winter, it's always a welcome sight to see the green sprouts peeking through the soil. Within the past few days, I have seen crocus, daffodil and hyacinth leaves poking through, and I just can't wait to see the wonderful colors of spring flowers. The floral aromas wafting through the air make things feel all fresh and clean.  And...when Spring arrives, I know that soon we'll see our little GREEN jewels, our Ruby-Throated hummingbirds. I hope they are not late arriving this year. We didn't see our first until MAY 5TH of 2010! Cinco de Mayo is about 3 weeks later than usual for our hummers to reach northeastern Missouri. I mentioned last year that we served up over 40 pounds of sugar to these magnificent and amazing little feathered friends. It's quite a job keeping up with them! We hope you will consider a visit to our little slice of heaven here.
One of our Females enjoying a morning snack, 8/9/08
 We've had a local flock of about 2 dozen hummers for the past few years. It's not easy to count them, but I have seen 18 all in one place here on occasion.

And I know that having 9-12 feeders out in different parts of the yard, will draw some to the areas I can't see when I'm in the front, side or back yard. It's possible that we have more than 2 dozen. Oh, I just can't wait to see them again!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Two Thousand Eleven

  A new year begins... We are working on projects in places much more snuggle-y warm than it is outside, and we're excited about what's new for 2011. We've been testing new recipes over the winter too. And that is always fun for our guests, who don't seem to mind being our guinea pigs. Thankfully we haven't had a "thumbs down" to a new item on the menu, and hope 2011 will follow that same trend. We worked on a muffin with bacon inside today, but it needs a bit more tweaking before we bring it to our breakfast table. I know exactly what it needs, so in a couple weeks we'll try it again. This is something I enjoy doing. Of course Norm would love being the taste tester more, if everything we made followed the CHOCOLATE theme. But I have to keep reminding him that not every breakfast tastes good with chocolate. I hear you Chocoholics out there, and not to worry, we have no plans to eliminate it from the menu. :^)

Eagles congregate along the Mississippi River
  Our weather this year has been perfect for Eagle watching. The last weekend of January brings Eagle Days to Clarksville, MO.Click the following for the Eagle website-- Eagle Days There's no better way to learn about our nation's symbol, than to have an up close encounter with these beautiful and magnificent birds. Bring your binoculars and cameras and dress warmly. On Saturday or Sunday night, following or prior to your day of Eagle watching, come stay in our own "Eagle's Nest", our third floor suite. We'll warm your insides with hot chocolate, tea or coffee, and provide a place where viewing the river is one of the suite's various amenities. Occasionally, we've seen Eagles soaring from the windows in our Captain's Quarters. **UPDATE! Captain's Quarters is reserved. We do have our Victorian Rose Chamber available. Just click the following to make your reservation: Reserve Here

  We still have some availability for Valentine's Day. As always, we love giving our guests gifts on Valentine's Day too. So make your reservation for a Valentine's getaway and we'll treat you to chocolates, candles and our special "thank you" for trusting us with your special Romantic Escape with a loved one. Click here to make sure that you have beautiful accommodations for your sweetheart. Reserve here for Valentine's Day

  Just click a link above and make your plans to spend a night or two in Hannibal together. We can't wait to meet you!