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Our Pet Family:
As a pet-friendly inn we enjoy providing the atmosphere that allows pets and their owners to have fun.
In addition to allowing people to bring their well-behaved furry members of their family, we have our own beloved pets.
We have two dogs – Charlie and Angel.
Charlie, our little black dog, is 8 years old now. He likes to have fun with people when he comes up to them and asks to be petted. If he is sitting or laying down, just leave him be – it is his quiet time.
Angel, our big dog, is almost 5 years old now. She is Charlie’s Angel because she helps keep the attention away from him when he wants to be alone. She loves to play Frisbee, but doesn’t often give up her toy.
Our dogs have a special duty – to be watchdogs for us and for the inn.
Our dogs bark to let us know that guests have arrived – that is their job – to keep us safe and aware. So don’t let the barks bother you, they are just a doorbell/alarm for us to hear over the noise of running an inn or when we are in another building.
Our new additions: Sammy 3.0 and Mr. Big(glesworth) They are indoor Siamese that we adopted as kittens (now 1 year old). For the most part, they remain out of the way except when we are relaxing in the Main House which is our home. We bring them down to meet guests that like cats and keep them out of the way during meals or when guests are visiting us. If one happens to be at the door when you leave or arrive, please don’t let them out!
Our Gardens – “Ruins” or Wild? Keeping up with important Eco-friendly gardening for rural Vermont
We have always gardened organically, but now more than ever. Instead of formal gardens (which are lovely to look at) we have opted for free-style gardening which is more in keeping with rural Vermont and our farmstead.
It is a much more eco-friendly practice. We do not mulch with imported or fabricated mulches – we use the leaves from our trees. We cover our beds in winter with the leaves and then in spring we mildly cultivate the ground and spread wildflower and bird seed grasses between plantings – this usually keeps a flow of color through-out the season, but this spring with a late frost in June very few wild-flowers appeared but the bird seed grasses flourished!
Anyway, this practice cuts down drastically on water usage and increases the wildlife and beneficial insects’ habitat. We allow our flowers to go to seed – to feed the birds and to promote plant growth – new seedlings are allowed to flourish – perhaps not in the best place, but once they are large enough they are moved to another area. These “natural” seedlings are healthier, hardier, and happier. Some good examples are the peonies by our pool – these bushes started from seed 6 years ago and they are the healthiest I have ever seen anywhere. We encourage and keep local wildflowers that are being pushed out of existence in other areas, for example Queen Anne’s Lace, Rue and Colt’s Foot.
We keep our lawns mowed at a higher level, and we let areas of our fields stay wild – the change in grasses and flowers every year is amazing! We don’t scoop up our leaves until the last one has fallen (cutting down on pollution noise and air) and we use all of them as mulch.
Having wild gardens makes it more comfortable for our wild-life as well as our guests. Our guests with pets and children aren’t afraid to enjoy the grounds to their fullest and have fun exploring.
We don’t just talk about the environment – we work every day towards making it better!
Kraig and I are in our 50’s now. It is hard to believe that just 10 years ago our children were ages 15 and 12. At times it seems just like yesterday. We are so very proud of our girls. It was very hard for them to move here – away from all that they had known before. It was the right decision for us, as the schools here and the environment were beneficial in helping us raise our children. Now they are adults – independent, caring and hardworking – they have forged their own paths with grace and confidence.
Once upon a time in there was a handsome young man who happened to swim like a frog (Kraig). He wasn’t a prince, but as in the fairy tales, he fell in love. Not with a princess, but a kindhearted farm girl (Dorenna). The first time he took her swimming, she giggled with glee – you see frogs were to her special creatures – symbolizing rejuvenation and mystery. She dubbed him Frogge. Like the fairy tale frog prince he married his love and they began their life together – collecting many frogs along the way.
Like any young couple (even those who lived in fairy tales), they dreamed and struggled, rejoiced and wept, fought and loved, but most of all they learned. They had many wonderful teachers along the way: Parents, siblings, friends, bosses, co-workers, children, and some people they never even met – in fact they came to believe, like the purpose behind fairy tales, that there were lessons to be learned everywhere and that everything that touched them had the capacity to teach them an important lesson – the hard part was deciphering each lesson. Admittedly, there are many lessons still left to be figured out!
Fairy Tale Beginning with a Real Life Story
After many years of growing, learning and refining our goals, we began our search for a Country Inn. It wasn’t easy. You see we worked at a fabulous National Historic Landmark Resort – Mohonk Mountain House - in New Paltz, NY. Kraig worked there nine years & I worked there for 13 - both of us in different jobs gaining lots of experience. Established and operated for over 130 years by the Smiley Family, this wonderful property is a testament to the Smiley’s dream, and their dedication to preservation of an historic property and lands. Working at Mohonk Mountain House gave us an insight into what goals we wished to pursue and the style of property we wished to run, but we found it very hard to find. At first we looked near Mohonk – our family and friends lived there and it would be hard to leave. After ten years of searching (five extensively) and visiting over 450 properties in five states, Kraig stumbled upon this property via the Internet. It looked promising but we had been disappointed before and did not at first make a special effort to view the property.
We decided in March of 1998 that no matter what, we would move to an area with good schools for our daughters by September. Since September was a landmark year for them both (with Alanna entering High School, and Adrienne entering Middle School) we felt the time was now or never to begin our dream. After a disappointing trip to New Hampshire to view five properties, on a whim, we stopped in Londonderry and found our new home. What made our search so difficult? Every single broker said we would not be able to find a property even remotely matching the criteria we presented.
A home for us, good schools for Alanna & Adrienne, a friendly and helpful local community, a property circa 1900 or earlier, 15 to 20 guest rooms, a restaurant, an unfinished property waiting for us to put our dreams in motion and LAND! Land for flower gardens. Herb gardens. Vegetable Gardens. Land for animals and walks in the woods without tripping over, seeing or hearing a neighbor. A place for us to create a sanctuary for our guests, for the local wildlife and for ourselves. A retreat from the day-to-day world. A simple country home that evoked memories of “Grandmas House” not a museum. A place where people could & would remember the simple yet essential courtesy of being kind - to each other, to the environment, and to their hosts who have opened their home to them. A place where we would all try to remember to “first do no harm.”
We found such a place here in Londonderry, Vermont. It hasn’t been easy, but anything worth having is worth the struggle and sacrifice. We’ve made errors and will continue to do so. And hopefully we’ll learn with each error we make. We’ve learned to take each day at a time and to be thankful that we have that day to live, work, and play. We’ve had fun improving the grounds – creating gardens inch by inch and one shovelful at a time. We paint, we repair, we cook, we clean. We have the wonderful satisfaction of doing much of the work ourselves – it may not be perfect, but we did it! We are blessed to have wonderful support through our employees, local vendors & business professionals. We are thankful to be living and working for our dream.
We took Frog’s Leap (of faith) when we purchased this property and we will continue to strive to create a haven “where angels love to tread.” We hope you will come visit us someday to Escape (your every day world), to Explore (the myriad delights of Vermont), to Retreat (to a peaceful sanctuary), to Restore (your faith in yourself and in others), to Share (with us and fellow travelers your insights and lessons learned).
Our Family of Pets:
Frog's Leap Inn
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