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.