Monday, April 2, 2012

Calendar for April 2012

April Calendar for Hastings Area gathered by your friends at Classic Rosewood Inn

Every Friday and Saturday in April Live jazz 

Saturday April 7  Beer and wine tasting plus silent auction to benefit March of Dimes 6 - 8:30 PM Event Center at Schoolhouse Square, 101 E 10th Street, Erin Malucci 651-382-8508  $25 in advance or at the door. 

Saturday April 7: Meet the Winemaker~-4 p.m. 

Tuesday, April 10 Friends of LeDuc of Historic Hastings Meeting 7-9 PM Following a brief business meeting Dennis Nygaard, Red Wing Pottery collector will give a presentation. Dennis has recently been inducted into the Red Wing Archaeologists Hall of Fame. He will explain his work and show samples of some of the most unusual Red Wing pieces.FREE and open to the public

Saturday April 14 Relax with Yoga & Wine~ 6-8 p.m.  Cost: $20, Call 507.263.7400 to reserve your spot.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday April 19, 20, 21 Inver Hill Community College Fine Arts Festival  with more than 50 sessions presented by the college’s Art, English, Music and Theatre departments. Participants can attend glass fusing, acting and flash fiction workshops; sit as a model in the portrait photo booth; view improv performances, student-directed one-act plays and a student film project; learn bookbinding, pinhole photography and how to play steel drums; and much, much more. The event also includes a solo song contest, concerts, and lectures and demonstrations from visiting photographers, artists and authors. Additionally, all participants are invited to make their mark on the Inver Hills campus by helping to paint a large-scale mural that will remain in the college for years to come. Free and open to all, however some sessions require preregistration

Friday April 20  The Gallery Gala in Hastings by Hastings–Prescott Area Arts Council will be the most spectacular arts event our communities have ever experienced. Live music, delicious food, wine & beer, an art exhibit & sale, silent and live auctions and a raffle will  celebrate the Arts & Honoring Prominent Arts Supporters: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 2035 15th Street, Hastings, MN 55033. Tickets for this event are $50 per person and are limited. 651-437-7055  

Saturday April 21 Spring Chocolate Cheese and Wine Tasting at Alexis Bailly Vineyard and Winery 11 AM-5:30 PM $10 each.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A great gift book just released "Animals and the Kids Who Love Them"


Recently I was inspired to write a story about our daughter Brittany and her relationship with our dog Maya. The story won inclusion in a collection of stories just released by Linda and Allen 
Anderson from Angel Animal Network. It is called Animals and the Kids Who Love Them

      Britty and Maya have a very unique relationship. You see neither  of them talk but they sure communicate with each other. Britty is autistic and Downs. Maya is a German wire-haired pointer and a bit obsessive complusive (not only puts all her toys away but also everything she finds on the floor she tucks into her dog bed). Some who see them together assume Maya is a Service Dog for Britty as they have such a magnetic connection. The book has many touching stories in addition to my story about our two darlings.  
Just to mention a few:  

• Ricochet, the golden retriever who surfs in charity events to raise money for children with disabilities
• Casper, the rabbit who helps a boy sleep through the night in his foster home
• Sparkles, the Dalmatian whose fire-safety lesson saves the lives of a five-year-old and her father
• Snazzy, the black pony who helps a boy learn to talk
• Cocoa Puff, the guinea pig who loves hearing children read
• Frankie, the dachshund with “wheel legs” who helps a boy with a leg brace find hope

If you buy a copy at the Inn, we donate proceeds to the Hastings Animal Ark. We also have another book for sale at the Inn with one of my stories about our springer spaniel Gracie. That book also by Linda and Alan Anderson is Angel Dogs. Linda and Allan have 14 books related to human connections with animals. One of our favorites to give to friends when they have suffered the loss of a pet is Saying Goodbye to your Angel Animals
They are available at most bookstores and Amazon but we recommend you buy right from their website and enjoy an autographed edition and a nice discount up until December 15th on their new release.    

Monday, November 21, 2011

Making B & B travel an annual tradition at Classic Rosewood in Hastings

Long story short ……Glad to say, The "Kids" loved it here and we loved having them!
Short story long........A gathering of three couples, all friends from the same church, stayed at Rosewood this past season. We were honored to be their latest celebration location of the last 30 some years. Anyone younger than Dick and I we call “Kids”. I think they liked that. We shared stories and we were thrilled their B & B adventures were with many of our friends in the industry. I loved journeying through the reminiscing scrapbook they brought along with two pages dedicated to each year and inn. (They had to ask for it back)

We are B & B travelers ourselves when we can and trade overnights with other innkeepers. We were in fact B & B advocates before we started our inn and I worked for Northwest Airlines. It was inspiring and great fun to get to know an area from community spirited owner-operators. We have a favorite in Duluth, Minnesota (Olcott House); Bayfield, Wisconsin (Rittenhouse); Cedarburg, Wisconsin (Washington House Inn); Lake Wales, Florida (Chalet Suzanne) and even St Thomas, Virgin Islands (Cocoa House- sadly no longer open). We loved Anchorage and Seattle too but often had to stay at hotels as their B & B industry was not established back then.  

Some of our Minnesota favorites were also some of their favorites (Whistle Stop Inn, Red Gables, Park Street Inn, The Bohemian). Sadly two of these are no longer operating. There were many in their scrapbook we have not stayed with YET but some of those innkeepers I knew personally from my work for the Minnesota B & B Association. Not all were B & Bs –they had some historic inns thrown in the mix including the Calumet in Pipestone and the St James in Red Wing and Fitgers in Duluth. Historic Inns are fun too especially when combined with great in house restaurants. Our two local favorites are Afton House Inn (Afton) and Water Street Inn (Stillwater).

One of the things we love about being innkeepers in fact is hearing of guests’ adventures and love of B & Bs. It is indeed the diversity in the industry and locations that inspires B & Bers to continue to choose a new destination and feed the industry.

So here we had these fun loving “kids” who sought out the local adventures in the Hastings area.  We like to think the golfers, the shoppers, the foodies and the wine connoisseurs in them were all satisfied. We were even thinking our section in the scrapbook should earn more than the two pages allotted each year’s pick. But I am sure all  innkeepers think the same.

We are sure many know about visiting state B &B association websites to find a Quality Assured property and learn of special packages and and And often times if traveling with friends, innkeepers will give you a package deal like we did for this group (free in house supper one of the nights since they booked three rooms for three nights)

We so enjoyed serving this bunch and hope our friends in the industry will have as much fun as we did with them. Or selfishly we hope the “Kids” might come back and break their rule of a different spot each year and return to make this short story even longer.  They might even choose our other inn --the Thorwood  as some groups of friends have. The Lumber Baron Condo at Thorwood can be arranged for three couples or a gathering of girlfriends. It has five fireplaces, gourmet kitchen to do your own Top Chef Challenge, private elevator, patio, gas grill. Or enjoy the Penthouse with its two bedrooms and beautiful Solairum (see above photo). We would even invite you over to Rosewood for breakfast one of the mornings and enjoy a chat about your favorite B & Bs.      

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wine and Chocolate Harvest in Hastings

      I can't think of anything more splendid this time of year than shuffling leaves with each step on the waterway trails of Hastings and somehow ending up at Alexis Bailly Vineyards. But there is a special stop downtown first --Creative Confectionaire.

   Pick up some truffles (at least six) that were just made fresh. You can often peek in the kitchen window in this delightful Second Street shop and watch them being made. You need their darkest of truffles to pair with your wine tasting. Personal favorites are Chocolate Silk and Key Lime. Cindy and Dave, owners of our small town chocoalte shop have just this summer started making caramel corn drizzled with white chocolate and snuck candied almonds into almost every bite. You better pick up a bag of that too - yes made fresh daily. Then on the way out to the vineyard, one more quick little stop will refresh --that is a real cream malt at the Hastings Dairy Store. There is only one flavor (Chocolate of course) and you fill your own cup.  Don't go too fast down Vermillion Street or your will miss it. It is just past the LeDuc Estate on your left heading south. The malts are $1 and most of us locals are still whining about that. They were 85 cents for years until someone in the "Cities" raved about them in the St Paul Pioneer Press. Hope this is not dangerous blogging about them. The townfolks could not bear another price hike. So just another couple miles, turn right on 170th and follow the curving gravel road to the grape farm.  

     This is for certain a time to celebrate the harvest and there is no better spot than Alexis Bailly Vineyard and Winery. This coming weekend, November 5th and 6th, they will introduce their 2011 Nouveau. Each year Nan Bailly commissions a piece of unique art for their Nouveau label from the clients at Lifeworks in Hastings. Dick and I are especially pleased that Nan has committed to this organization in such a creative way because our daughter Britty is a very lucky client there. Every year it is quite a celebration when the limited edition of art and grapes meld so beautifully on and in a fine bottle of wine. 

    So now imagine yourself settling in on the vine covered terrace on the patio attached to the magnificent barn enjoying your truffles with perhaps a glass of Country Red accompanied by the Chocoalte Silk truffle or the dry crisp finish of the Seyval Blanc with the Key Lime truffle. Mkae it last. A sip -a small bite. Wait. Another sip. A little bigger bite. Hold it in your mouth. Make this taste, this day last. Maybe you will indulge in a game of bocce ball or not--- just watch. Put your feet up on the picnic bench. Sip. Breathe. Can you think of anything more splendid? Toast yourselves and the harvest. Here's to Hastings Trails, $1 chocolate malts, divine truffles and a very fine glass of wine (or two) and a perfect fall day.           


Monday, August 29, 2011

Honoring soldiers at Classic Rosewood beyond Veterans Day

August 2nd, 2011 
At the Hastings Chamber Board of Directors’ meeting this past month, awards were presented by the Hastings Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee by Dean Markeson. We were honored to receive the Seven Seals Award which is the highest award given to businesses who Support the Guard and Reserve. The award was created we were told “to publicly recognize companies who provide outstanding patriotic support to soldiers who have been called to serve and their families.”

We were humbled through the meeting because Dick and I could not help but think it should not have been so much about us but rather about those who are so committed to serving our country. We are so proud to have a strong committee in Hastings planning activities and raising awareness about our soldiers’ needs. We feel very lucky to have a means to plug into something that will help serve THEM.

We received the award because we started a program of giving free midweek room nights to local soldiers. We also encourage their spouses to come and enjoy the inn when they can even when their husband is away serving. Life is stressful “holding down the fort” alone. Sometimes a few wives of soldiers will take turns watching each others’ kids and a few of them will come for a short getaway together. We love serving them too.
Last November we participated in the National B & B Veterans Day gift to soldiers. Hundreds of B & B s throughout the country joined in offering free rooms the Wednesday before Veteran’s Day. We were asked to donate one room. We donated all eight. It was a time we will long remember. We had a Marine who served in Vietnam who came by himself, a war widow and her daughter, two couples who knew each other since the guys served in the same regimen during World War II and a few young soldiers and their wives. These soldiers had just returned from Afghanistan and were assigned to go back soon. There were tears and hugs and lots of great story telling that night and the next morning. It was like we were all at the same camp and found out the war was over.

We flew every flag we had not just on the front porch. Each bedroom door was adorned with the red, white and blue and the breakfast fruit was strawberries, blueberries and white melons and— yes we even stuck flag toothpicks in the bread pudding We wanted to demonstrate that we really truly appreciated them.
So after that special day, Dick and I reminisced about that opportunity we had. We were inspired to “crack it up a notch” as Emeril says. So now we open it up to donate to as many local soldiers as we can —midweek overnights of R &R and not limit it to one day to honor them. And like I said — the honor bestowed upon us by the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Campaign belongs to our service men and women and their families. Back at ya!

Chorus of Chicks with Sticks at Rosewood

July 28th, 2011  
It was a hot summer night and a group of eight or was it nine (who call themselves “Chicks with Sticks”) invaded Rosewood. No generation division here as mothers, daughters, sisters and friends sellled in for a night of chatter and creating. Projects dribbled off their “sticks” in beautiful colorful form. Although I hear they are all mitten experts they also delve into sweaters, socks and “clog” slippers.

One might imagine the equal pleasure ladies of the era of this house (1880) likely had in equal measure to this bunch with their domestic creativity. They for sure were knitting, doing needlework, tatting  or hand quilting in these same spaces. And perhaps like this bunch could not decide: should we convene in the front parlor, the library or the back porch? Might their refreshments  also have been a spot of tea or glass of wine with green tomato pie?    

What was most pleasing was the laughter that tumbled into the kitchen where I was prepping breakfast for the next morning. Funny how there is no need to know the point of the joke, just catch the “music” of it and join in even from afar with  hands in the dough. And i of course recognized my own dear sister’s laugh who time and time again leads the chorus with the heartiest longest lasting “song” of all!

And so before adjourning for the night, with the utmost respect for history, the Chicks with Sticks each chose an eclectic hat from our house collection and posed with the portrait of the lady of the house Mrs. Rudolph Latto (Marie) center stage. We know Marie would have been, or perhaps knowing as I do the positive energy of the past in this home, IS pleased to have this gathering of like minds and busy hands in her home some 100 years since her passing. I was pleased and hope the Chicks with Sticks will invade again with projects and their “songs” and green tomato pie.

Chicks with Sticks and Marie

 PS. I hear that the recipe for Green Tomato Pie will soon appear on the website of the Borner Farm Project This wonderful nonprofit in Prescott, Wisconsin by the way is tied to the heartstrings of the Chicks with Sticks.. And again the ladies of the era of this house we now call Rosewood would be most pleased with the Chicks’ preservation efforts and respectful dignity they give to the past. With much gratitude to them and their work, Marie and I are honored to host them here.

Happy Spring from pussy willows to grapevines

May 7th, 2011 
Our lovely pussy willow bush in the front yard of Rosewood was sprouting the little gray furry blossoms a few weeks back and then we got the snow. It looked so sweet with snow covering the blossoms but we worried. But then Spring came again and more blossoms. But then some of the blossoms had opened in to the green foliage. We always do some cutting to add to our bouquets around the inn but this year it was such an unusual display with some branches having blossoms and some about to burst into foliage, we decided that was dramatic on its own. Did you know pussy willows are extremely easy to multiply by softwood cuttings?  In fact, they root so easily that stems of almost any size can simply be stuck into moist soil in the spring, and they will be well rooted within a few weeks. The cutting must be set with the correct end up as it originally grew. So when you come as a guest,  if you would like to start your own “Welcome Spring” bush as we call it,  we would be happy to share a cutting or two with you. As our welcome sign says, “come often, sit deep –you’re one of the folks”.

We look forward to welcoming you to Spring happenings around town including the early opening of Alexis Bailly Vineyard. So every weekend in May they are open from 11 AM to 5 PM. Then their regular Open House weekend of the season is the first two weekends in June. And new this year –bring your dog to the Winery the first two Fridays of June from 5 to 7 PM.   Terry Ann, the Dog Whisperer, will be there to talk to your dog; Stacy Eng from Grand Paws in St. Paul is bringing her nail clippers; Treats from Sojos; and Toumie the Winery Dog will be giving dog tours in the vineyard!  You might want to check out our winery package on our site The two night package is all inclusive with vouchers for up to four winery visits nearby and dinners both nights and of course you have chosen a wine during your tastings to go with your in house dinner here at Classic Rosewood. We are so looking forward to seeing you here soon.