Versailles transplants Alder and Gillian Blackburn thought they were living the good life upon their retirement to a life of relaxation. The couple quickly learned, though, that their lifestyle lacked excitement, challenge, and, most disturbing of all, financial freedom. To solve these problems, the Blackburns decided to pursue running a bed and breakfast and are now the proprietors of Versailles’ 1823 Historic Rose Hill Inn.
After answering numerous guests’ questions of how the Blackburns came to their decision, Alder tells the story in his novel, Semi-Retirement: Finding, Buying & Running a Bed and Breakfast Inn (Rose Hill Inn, $14.99, www.amazon.com). The novel, based on the Blackburns’ experiences, chronicles fictional couple Derrick and Doris Anderson’s search for a property, transition into the business, and humorous tales of bizarre situations that happen when one lives and works in the same place.
“It seems there are as many people interested in what makes innkeepers tick as people interested in the background of the house,” reports Blackburn. “I thought I would write a brief history of us as well as that of the inn, and maybe incorporate that story onto our Web site.”
As he began to write, though, Blackburn says, “A novel based on our experiences started to emerge. The story got longer and longer, individuals became composites of different people, and some were made up altogether. Situations were curtailed, exaggerated, or fabricated, until eventually the book took over, and I became merely the instrument for words being committed to paper.”
Blackburn further describes the novel as more of a how-not-to than a how-to guide to those who might be considering becoming innkeepers. And to those who aren’t, the stories will provide a good laugh.
For information about staying at the 1823 Historic Rose Hill Inn, call (859) 873-5957 or visit www.rosehillinn.com.
Using compact fluorescent lamps in outdoor lights can save money and energy because these lights stay on the longest. ENERGY STAR-qualified CFLs use 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. To save even more, look for fixtures designed for outdoor use that have automatic daylight shutoff and motion sensors.
The energy solutions for the 21st century will be found in the minds of people around the world. And that resource base is growing.
â€”Daniel Yergin, The Quest, Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World
Two Kentucky towns won top spots in the Rand McNally and USA TODAY‘s search for the five Best Small Towns in America: 2012.
Bardstown in Nelson County was chosen Most Beautiful in this 2nd annual Best of the Road contest, and Murray in Calloway County was chosen as Friendliest. Danville in Boyle County was a runner-up in the Most Beautiful category.
A total of 650 towns cross-country were nominated with 30 finalists, six each in five categories: Most Fun, Most Patriotic, Most Beautiful, Best for Food, Friendliest. “Road Rally” teams visited the towns before making final selections. Winners will be featured in the 2014 Rand McNally Road Atlas.
Dawn Ballard Przystal, vice president for Tourism Expansion/Marketing in Bardstown, says, “It’s a tremendous honor and the exposure we receive will be a wonderful boost to our marketing efforts.”
Stephanie Butler, director of Marketing/Communications for tourism in Murray, says, “It’s had a huge impact on the town and we’re seeing results already.”
A fishing license does more than give you permission for sport and relaxation with family, friends, or just yourself. It also helps protect, preserve, and enhance the experience of fishing for today and for future generations.
Kentucky license fees help pay for fishery and hatchery management, habitat development and protection, endangered species programs, fishing and conservation education, and publications like lake maps.
Get your license and be a part of keeping a strong fishing heritage by going to www.TakeMeFishing.org, clicking on “State Info” at the top of the page, then clicking on the state of Kentucky.
“Diana: A Celebration,” an exhibition chronicling the life and work of the late Princess of Wales, will be on display at the Frazier History Museum, Louisville, September 15-January 13. Diana’s life is explored through nine galleries containing 150 objects. Items from the Spencer family’s 500-year-old home, Althorp Estate in England, include: her royal wedding gown, designer dresses, family jewels, personal mementoes, photos, heirlooms, and more. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance because large crowds are expected and some dates might sell out. A portion of the proceeds will benefit charitable causes, including the Princess’ Memorial Fund. For more info including ticket prices visit www.Fraziermuseum.org
, or www.dianaexhibition.com.
He was born in the Lincoln cabin
Ivy Davenport, of Hodgenville, is the last living man born in the traditional birthplace cabin of Abraham Lincoln now located at the Abraham Lincoln National Historical Birthplace Site near Hodgenville. Davenport, now 72, was born in 1890.
If hot and dry weather cramped your summer gardening, here are some tips to extend your home growing season, from nationally known gardening expert Melinda Myers:
Lettuce, spinach, radishes, turnips, and beets are quick to mature from seed to harvest. Plus, cooler fall temperatures enhance their flavor. Simply count the number of frost-free days left in your growing season and compare it with the number of days from planting to harvest listed on the seed packet.
Protect these late plantings and other vegetables from chilly fall temperatures with cloches, coldframes, and floating row covers.
Convert gallon milk jugs into garden cloches for individual plants. Remove the bottom of the jug and slide it over the plant. Use the cap to capture heat or remove to ventilate your homemade cloche on sunny days. Or purchase reusable cloches with built-in ventilation.
You can make your own coldframes. Many gardeners convert discarded windows, a bit of lumber, and nails into a homemade shelter for their plants. Just make sure you can reach all the plants inside. For best results, your frame should be higher in the back than the front so water and melting snow can drain off. And if possible, they should face south for better warming. The Internet and garden books are filled with plans.
I prefer the construction-free, all-purpose garden fabrics. Simply drape these floating row covers (season-extending fabrics) over your crops. Anchor the edges with rocks, boards, or wire wickets. The fabric traps heat around your plants, but allows air, light, and water through so there is no need to uncover the plants during the day or for watering.
For more gardening tips, visit www.melindamyers.com.
Tater Knob Fire Tower in Bath County, a historical landmark built in 1934, was closed due to arsonists in 2008. However, the fire tower lives on in the hearts of local residents who continue to seek volunteers interested in renovating the tourist attraction. Landon Dickerson, community activist, explains, “My mom and dad took our family members there to show us where they fell in love. It’s the highest point in this part of Kentucky, you can see for 30 or 40 miles.”
Kentucky Forest Fire Association President Danny Blevins remembers “taking my children, grown now, to tell them about their great-uncle who was a tower-man in the 1930s. And it’s the last remaining fire tower in the Daniel Boone National Forest.”
Blevins and Dickerson are hoping to recruit volunteer engineers, interested parties, and additional funds for this project.
The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky, located on the campus of Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, was named “Best High School in America” from a list of 1,000 by Newsweek magazine. The academy admits 128 high school boys and girls to the two-year program to take college courses during their junior and senior years. The school, funded by the Kentucky General Assembly, is the Commonwealth’s only state-supported residential high school with an emphasis in math and science.