09 December, 2014

News Flash - This Just In

News Flash - This Just In

A raucous turf war, with unseen provocation, erupted in Hiawassee, GA on December 7. No weapons were brandished, but tail feathers in full-fan were in full view. There was much bobbing and waddling and non-verbal, but audible accusations were hurled like spears.

Rabble 'rousing hecklers (and Jecklers) seized the diverted attention of usual adversaries to get in a few fowl kicks of their own, with no fear of retaliation. (Crows are smart that way.)

After the requisite amount of gesturing and posturing, conflict ended abruptly like a rogue summer cloudburst and harmony returned to the 'hood.

An on-line search explained the turkey-trot rumble as a preseason mating ritual that toms are compelled to do.

Men. Go figure.


11 November, 2014

Halloween Ain't for Sissies

Murder at the Old Cadbury Mansion

A chicken, a pig, and three cast-iron mice walked into a bathroom. This is not the start of a joke. It was the start of turning the guest lounge and dining room of Chancey Hill Inn into the Old Cadbury Mansion for our Murder Mystery Weekend. We put the unneeded items in the half-bath of the innkeepers' quarters. A few changes of pictures on the wall and props in place, the dinner to honor the Golden Grove Historical Society was launched.

Four of our mayhem-seeking guests had stayed with us before. Six were unmet friends. Oh boy. We all had a bang-up good time.

As the murder was unscripted, our cast used their intelligence and their eerily good senses of timing and humor to keep us laughing in fun and amazed at the talent of all. From the lovely Victorian dress of Mrs. Cadbury to the almost Quaker-like attire of the nanny, each and every outfit was smartly constructed to add realism and fun.

We're already scheming our next caper.

27 October, 2014

Selected Sister

Selected Sister

Business blogs probably shouldn't be too personal. Please indulge me this one. We're sort of a mixture of Lucy and Ethel, but we don't do no "splainin" to Ricky and Fred, aka Jody and John. We're a little like Thelma and Louise. Up for a good road trip with shopping and festival sprees, but without the blowing up of trucks, murder, and driving off a cliff. She comes through with kids' umbrellas, and powerful purse-sized flashlights, when we're caught by rain in the dark*. 

She gives and takes comfort to and from me, and I to and from her. We don't really know each others religious or political leanings. We don't care, and our pasts are just that. World Peace is a lofty wish. Attainable? I'm not sure. But I also wish for all people a dear friend like mine. To borrow the message from a greeting card, "She always has my back without once mentioning the size of my butt."

"Happy Birthday, Cheri, my selected sister. I love you"


* Always hang with a former elementary school teacher. They can do anything and keep their cool while doing it.

11 September, 2014

New Year's Eve Celebration 2014

New Year's Eve, 2014

One of the most enjoyable times we had last year (both our guests and us) was attending the First New Year's Eve Wine Dinner at Crane Creek Vineyards. And we're headed that way again this year. The great people at Crane Creek exceeded everyone's expectation.

Last year we experienced a winederful five course dinner, wines with each course, live entertainment (we didn't go "dancing in the streets," just inside the event center), transportation to ease everyone's concerns about driving on such a busy night, and wine.

Because everyone had such a great time, we've put together an Events package for the evening. You'll enjoy the dinner, including the wine, music and entertainment, transportation, gratuities, lodging with us, and of course breakfast New Year's morning. See our Events page for details. The dinner sold out quickly last year, so book this event soon.

I wouldn't be surprised if the crew at Crane Creek doesn't have a unique way to ring in the New Year. 


04 September, 2014

Murder at the Old Cadbury Mansion : October 31 thru November 2, 2014

What better time for a murder than Halloween – or the day after?

Who, or what, is the killer?

Join us October 31 – November 2 for “Murder at the Old Cadbury Mansion,” and play a part in the act that threatens to disrupt the dinner party given in honor of The Golden Grove Historical Society.

We’ll gather after Trick or Treat on Friday evening to meet the fellow guests over wine and nibbles. And Saturday evening the homicidal festivities begin at the Cadbury Mansion. This is a new mystery for us, and I’m sure everyone (except perhaps the victim) will have a fantastic weekend.

See our Events page for the details.

04 June, 2014

Taste of the Southern Highlands

Yesterday evening was the 9th Annual Taste of the Southern Highlands here in Hiawassee, a food competition for local restaurants. This is a fundraiser for The Towns County Family Connection, a partnership of organizations that work together to help meet the needs of children in our community.

Dale has been one of the food judges the last two years, but unfortunately was not feeling well, and asked me (of all people) to fill in for her. I felt completely out of my league compared to her and the other culinary experts.

The other judges for the competition were surprised when Judge Johnny arrived to participate. After carefully listening to their suggestions, and feeling overwhelmed, one of the others calmed me with "Just tell us what tastes better to you."

The food samples began arriving, and the tasting began. While I certainly don't have  a very educated palate, I do know what is good to me and what isn't. While I didn't want to sound like a complete doofus, I was surprised when, upon tasting the second offering, I blurted out "Not for me."

One of the others responded, "Why? Too bland, too subtle a taste, too what?" My response, "Not very good." I then began to learn the lingo of food judging. "Not quite enough salt," or "A little heavy on the sour cream."

As I relaxed I really began to focus on the foods. And I was surprised at how I began to experience the subtleties of the taste. Sure I still blurted out some very gourmet thoughts. "This is out of this world." "Has to be the best I've ever tasted." "I could gorge on this three meals a day." "Are you going to eat the rest of that, or can I have it."

Needless to say, I really enjoyed the food. Wouldn't mind being the "Taster of the Southern Highlands" again next year.


14 May, 2014

Quick Takes on Fun Dates

Quite a few happenings and events here in North Georgia over the next month or so.

First on tap is the Georgia Mountain Eggfest, a cooking competition for chefs and the Big Green Egg cookers. For a last minute trip you can't go wrong this weekend, with activities both Friday evening and all day on Saturday. Meet the 120 chefs in Friday that will be cooking on Saturday. Taster tickets are only $20 per person. At the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee.

Next is Memorial Day Weekend, and we'll be celebrating in style. Swine and Wine til Nine on Friday, May 23, at Hightower Creek Vineyards in Hiawassee. Barbeque pork with the trimmings and a glass of wine. What a great way to start the long holiday weekend.$15 per person. 6 - 9 PM.

Saturday brings the Second Annual Mountain Wine Country Festival to Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris. Taste the fruits of the vines from several local wineries in North Georgia and Western North Carolina, listen to the music and enjoy great food. $25 per guest. 11 AM to 6 PM.

How about our Second Annual Games and Grub day. Compete with Hula-Hoops, Frisbees, Jarts, Cornhole, and enjoy a great cookout at our B&B. And the price is right for our guests - included with a two night stay.

I just want to mention some really exciting events on tap next month. First is The Appalachian Wine and Jazz Festival, June 13 & 14 here in Hiawassee. Enjoy some wonderful jazz, taste wines from over a dozen area wineries, and enjoy the food and artwork. $30 per person, per day.

And the 11th Annual Scottish Festival and Highland Games in nearby Blairsville are June 14 & 15, 9 AM - 5 PM. $10 per day, or $15 for two days, per person. A gathering of the clans with food, music, and of course the competitions.

The John C. Campbell Gala and Benefit Auction is June 28, 6 - 8 PM. Hors d'oeuvres, live music, and amazing arts and crafts auctioned to improve the school's classrooms and studios.

Check www.chanceyhillinn.comwww.chanceyhillinn.com for more info.

29 April, 2014

Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

Woo Hoo! I can mark another item off my bucket list. Even though it was a throng (please note the r in the word) nameless, my picture has been in the Towns County Herald!

I do believe until now I was the only citizen or visitor whose picture had not been printed in our local paper. Except for the getting richer and thrills parts, I was beginning to feel like Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show's  song, The Cover of the Rolling Stone.

The now famous,


20 March, 2014

Spring is Here, Let the Festivals Begin

Spring is here, along with some warmer weather. In addition to the weather, there are a few events taking place over the next few months that will be great.

The Georgia Spring Wine Highway Weekends are March 22 & 23 and March 29 & 30. You can enjoy wine tastings at 14 North Georgia wineries, as well as special activities at each. And take home a commemorative wine glass as well. Let us be your base of operations for the weekends. We'll even reduce our rates to cover the cost of two tickets to the Wine Highway events.

The Hamilton Gardens Rhododendron Festival is April 18 - May 18 here in Hiawassee. Stroll through the grounds and see some of the most amazing rhodies around. Also enjoy hot drinks and warm sweets, as well as checking out the Gardens' greenhouse for the annual spring plant sale. Tickets to the Festival on us.

April 25 - 27 is Arbor Day Our Way Weekend here at Chancey Hill Inn. Participate in recreational fun on Saturday afternoon, followed by a buffet dinner party in the evening. Only $25 per person in addition to our regular room rates.

Combine Arbor Day Our Way with the Bud Break Weekend, sponsored by the Mountain Wine Country wineries of North Georgia and Western North Carolina. April 25 - 27.

And stay tuned for details about the Second Memorial Day Weekend Festival at our Inn.We hope everyone has as much fun as last year!


28 February, 2014

Fringe Benefits of Innkeeping

The hospitality industry. That's John's and my line. We're innkeepers. Been at it almost 5 years. Knew going in it would be a lot of work, and that meeting new people would be fun. Just didn't know how many friends we'd make.

Their first visit at Chancey Hill Inn was for one night. We must have passed muster because they've since been back three times for two night stays. I do not take this trust lightly.

When Joe made a reservation to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary here we felt honored. And humbled. John and I happily anticipated seeing Joe and Pat again. During their visits with us our friendship has evolved. A slow and steady learning and appreciating each other. We're so lucky they gave Chancey Hill Inn a chance.


14 February, 2014

The Day of Love

My daughter sent a text today that wished me a Happy Halloween. It's a long standing joke between us because John always calls Valentine's Day Halloween. He is not kidding. Just sort of Freudian slipping.

John's mother was not the reason I married him, but she certainly sweetened the pot. I adored her. She told me before John and I married that he's a wonderful man, but that there "isn't much romance in Harmon men's souls." She meant hearts and flowers and trilling birds. And in that regard she was right.

John don't do mush. He does, however, check the tread on my tires, let's me out of the car by the front door when it's raining, and asks if I have money when I go someplace without him. I can count on the front outside light being on when I come home after dark, and his using tact when I ask a question whose answer I won't like. No, John is not romantic, but he is caring and thoughtful.

The word romance comes from "of Rome." And really, feeding folks to lions doesn't seem all that loving. I like him just the way he is.

Happy Halloween, Johnny.


07 February, 2014

Cheap or Cheep

When you call someone a bird-brain you might want to be specific. Crows, I've observed, are smart. Not very ethical, but smart.

They steal the shiny little tea light candles from my bird bath every chance they get.

They taught me not to lay my gardening gloves on the ground unattended during a work break. I lost two pairs that way (slow learner I am). Two left feet are one thing - two left-hand gloves are another.

Bullies of the avian world, crows destroy the nests of smaller birds. Some nests are shaken into a pile of sticks. Others are air-jacked to who knows where.

Aesop, the Greek of fable fame, brought home the lesson that "Little by Little Does the Trick," with his tale The Crow and the Pitcher. He, too, must have observed those crows in action. 


27 January, 2014

Stay & Play Game Nights

While planning Stay & Play Game Nights for the inn, I was reminded of some crazy evenings when John and I were newlyweds, and so were our friends. Just beginning our careers, none of us had what I later learned was called disposable income. I thought we were like most couples just starting their adult lives.

Most weekends would find us with pot-luck suppers at one or another's house or apartment. Meal eaten, dishes cleared, we'd retire to the "game room." Cards or board games sometimes, but mostly it was Charades. The charades were always friendly, but the more often we played, the more intricate the plots became, and the hammier the actors acted. Talk about emoting. This was also true the more wine was poured.*  Armed with Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (that title is false, by the way), I studied more for those games than the SAT's.

Kids, job transfers, spouse changes - life happened and those game nights became less frequent, and then stopped. I still have contact with some folks from the long ago get-togethers, but all who were there are dear and fondly remembered.


*We did not swallow. Just ask former President Bill Clinton.

Personal notes:
K.W. - It isn't the game, it's the gamers.
T. I. - The answer is Ellen Corby. What's the question?

15 January, 2014

Love and Accomodating Presidents

Dear Sweethearts,

Love is not only blooming at Chancey Hill Inn this Valentine's Weekend, there's a bumper crop. Cupid's Quiver is practically bursting with goodies.

There's bubbly with two Chancey Hill Inn wine glasses (yours to keep) for toasting your good fortune and good taste in having chosen each other. The arrow of love points to a cheese and fruit board to share with the object of your affection. And, of course, there's sweets for the sweet.

Isn't it incredible that Mr. Washington and Mr. Lincoln, both born in the month of February, had the foresight to plan a three day Valentine Weekend in 2014? We love you, dear Presidents. Check our Packages for complete details.


John & Dale

08 January, 2014

Goodbye and Hello 

It can't be a new year already! I still have two resolutions from 2013 to break.

This has been a fun year at Chancey Hill Inn. It started in February with a Mardi Gras celebration, complete with masks, doubloons, lots of food, and our revelers. The revelers were the best part. The food wasn't bad either. Must be why we ate like we were going into hibernation and needed to pack in enough to carry us for months (actually, that should read I rather than we).

March just seemed the perfect time for a murder, so by Hannah, we had one. The Murder Mystery Weekends continue to entertain. The corpus delicti must have been delectable as resuscitation attempts were administered by several female suspects. The attempts were only red herrings and the crime was solved.

The April showers of Spring (which lasted through August) held off long enough for us to have some al fresco fun on Memorial Day Weekend. When's the last time you ate and played games outdoors with friends? We looked like competitive kids as we tried to win at hula hoops, lawn darts, frisbee flings, and bean bag tosses. And there were fantastic prizes for the winners such as bird whistles, frisbees, and even whoopee cushions. Playing outside is great for body and soul. In my exalted opinion we should all do more of it.


Vine to Wine Weekend in August found us starting a Pinot Grigio, and finishing a Zinfandel-Cabernet blend. Everybody helped to get the new wine started and the Zin-Cab bottled. Pairings, winery tour and tastings, as well as plenty of food and friendship were also on tap (Yes, I know beer is what's on tap, but it's the best I could do).

If not for it raining buckets on the day of our First Summer Scavenger Road Rally in September we might not have been able to stand the excitement. Riddles and clues, relics and Points to Ponder as You Wander, led us to the secret destination for rewards, repast and trivia. Actually a different type of beautiful day in the neighborhood.

The New Year's Eve dinner at Crane Creek Vineyards was eagerly anticipated by our guests, and by us. It far exceeded all expectations - great food, great band, great wine, and a wonderful way to bring in the new year. Four of us have already reserved our spots for the end of this year.

But in addition to all of the events, we were fortunate to spend time with a host of interesting, friendly people who stayed with us throughout the year. Both those with us for the first time, and our returning friends, made 2013 the greatest. We can't wait to see them again and to make new friends in 2014.