What happens...

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Alibi Ike's picture
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08/08/2010

You're sitting around thinking things are ok when life happens...

  • Boiler blows up sometime in the night, spraying hot water all over the cellar floor all night long;
  • Hot water tank goes, too;
  • All guests asked to vacate premises, find them alternate lodging, lose 5 nights' income and anything we could have gotten for the next 3 days;
  • Getting electric heater out of storage in the attic break full length mirror in guest room;
  • Try to buy new mirror, nothing in the same size;
  • New download on accounting software locks up and won't allow entry into books;
  • Trying to relax, mouse runs by into kitchen;
  • But, the worst for today by far, is our dog needs to be put down, most likely tomorrow. And with all the other crap going on, it's hard to have a nice, quiet last day/evening with her.

Some days/weeks/months/years it feels like we just can't catch a break. (This all on the heels of last weekend's debacle with no power.)

Alibi Ike's picture
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Thank you to everyone who sent cards. We've received condolences from around the world from guests and innkeeping friends. It has really meant a lot to us.

We got a really nice (!) oak 'casket' back from the vet with ashes and a paw print in clay.

Everything else around the house is back up and running. The new furnace is a dream. Quiet, effiicent and the heat actually seems warmer, if that's possible. And, the company we bought the furnace from is financing it, interest free! So, no big cash layout at this point.

Mice have been banished.

 

Joey Camb's picture
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woo hoo!!!! I am glad it isn't as bad as it could have been and I hope that frees up some cash for renovations!

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Generic's picture
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This is awful and all at the same time. Our sympathies and hope things start to get better soon.

The silver lining is that your heat bills will go way down and unlike a lot of other people, you had the money. Just think of how much worse it would have been without it.

We have been talking about changing our boiler as well. We are thinking of also installing an indirect-fired water heater, provides more hot water, cheaper, more effeciently and the tank never needs to be replaced because there are no moving pipes. (Basically the boiler heats water that goes through pipes heating the water in the tank, so the boiler is the heating element)

Good luck and hold on... things get better.

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Ike: every time we get a new animal, something inside me reminds me, "You know, it's gonna rip your guts out when you have to put her down in 8/10/12/14/whatever years. But somehow I always come around to choosing to love, as you have. It's sure better than running from that sort of pain. I'm so sorry for your loss. 

Regarding the boiler, I was reminded about the time, right after we bought the Lodge, that I went down into the shop underneath the kitchen to discover water dripping from all the joists and the rotary iron half underwater. 

It had been a couple of stressful weeks with repairs, upgrades, you name it. I looked at that dirty water dripping on the Miele, and I said a quick prayer: "Lord, you promised that you'd never give us anything we couldn't handle, but right now, Lord, you're pushing your luck."

Since then, Julie and I have toughened up significantly. Or maybe we're just numb. Anyway, we all get through this stuff. (Though secretly, we fantasize about putting an exquisitely slow and excruciatingly painful poison in the drink of the Steel Magnolia playwright who came up with that sententious line, "that which does not kill us only makes us stronger.") Yeah, right.

You take care, Ike. 

Tom

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Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... 

Tom
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Ouch!  Our sympathies, also.

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 I am so sorry. Tomorrow always seems like a brighter day. Well maybe next week or month. 

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 Sorry to hear about your difficult week also but I am most concerned about your boiler.    I mean.....replacing ours costs a small fortune.

We are presently having ours replaced and it is costing us over $25,000 so that is why I am so concered about yours.

 

 

 

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Alibi Ike's picture
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Not quite that much, but it was every dime we made in profit this year. At this time of year reservations are slim so no chance of even making up enough to cover other expenses. That's the killer. We had money in the bank and now we don't. And, this weekend last year our sewer backed up so repeat guests who were here for that last year are staying for free. As are the vets. So, essentially, this weekend is a complete giveaway, almost all 3 nights. I think I calculated that 21 room nights will generate 5 room nights' income. Which will cover nothing. Not even the food, heat and water for the weekend.

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  Sorry, Ike....

 

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OMG - How did I miss this????  I'm so very sorry.

Similar (but nowhere near so horribly hectic) thing happened with our cat .... went down hill very fast - obvious what had to be done and done soon.  I needed one more night with her - it was New Year's Eve and a full house.  It took everything I had to be nice the next morning and not just burst into tears and ask them all to "please go away - NOW".

All my love and sympathy.

Alibi Ike's picture
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Thanks kiddo. It was rough. I didn't want anyone to be here but we had to keep one room because the past 2 weeks blew the entire bank account. We're hand to mouth again, just as it was getting easier.

Threw all the winter reno plans in the trash. Almost cancelled my family coming to visit so we could open up to make money. But, plane tickets for 5 people to fly cross country ain't cheap and we were past the point of no return on that.

So we put up with more bad reviews based on 'dingy furnishings' and 'outdated TV's and amenties' for another year.

Sorry, it's all starting to hit now.

Joey Camb's picture
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Was going to message you but it says link error we were were you are now about 2 years ago so believe me I know how it is. Step 1 the basement had to be sorted when we first got here and to save money we did it while open but it is quiet December/jan so we wern't worried plus the old boiler was straining at its capacity so we new it had to go or blow up. So new basement £XX then New Boiler £XX making another bedroom on the ground floor as part of the project so with the basement developed meant two new big double bedrooms. However the rest of the building needed tons of work 8 or so new bathrooms all the rooms had 14inch tv's of the old style (owners new they were going so were not spending any money). Put the boiler in 8 days later stopped working middle of Jan absolutely freezing! luckily didn;t have that many people in so could put them in rooms that have electric showers (ie make their own hot water) and electric heaters till a chap could come out. Have also just 2 months ago they set it all up wrong and it used 3 times as much gas as it should so the bill was humumgous! then just as the builders about 2 weeks before they were finished (4 weeks before the rooms were let) they just stopped turning up. Turns out they went bust and the boss's wife had a stroke but we didn't know this they just didn't answer calls or anything. So we got someone else in to finish up but it was ruddy close! Plus the previous owners had made a mistake with the diary and double booked us by about 3 rooms by not putting them in the diary. However I am making progress with the rooms and televisions but we need a whole new roof next year so that going to be £11,000 which knocks us back again. However the way I like to think about it is now all the majour structural stuff  is done it will never need doing again

1- Windows - £33,000 never needs painting again which at £3000 per 3 years even without the heat and noise efficiency.

2- New boiler - £5,000 lasts 10-20 years

3- New roof - £11,000 (current roof is 106 years old so hopefully 60 years)

4 - basement - £40,000 - 60 years minimum.

really want to get at least 2 more bathrooms done next year which means I am fighting for every penny especially in the face of they are building a premier inn 107 bedrooms pretty much opposite me and are trying to get planning for a travel lodge of 78 bedrooms accross town as well to be open  2013. So I puts me in a time squeeze as everything has to be top notch to compete.

 

gillumhouse's picture
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Saved my ((((((HUGS))))))) for now. It is after the fact that needs it too. Life is not easy, not is it fair. We just have to "keep on keeppin' on" as they say here in West Virginia.

birdwatcher's picture
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Ditto from us-for all that has happened. Keeping you in out thoughts-havent been in for a while but its been nice catching up!

Alibi Ike's picture
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Well, looks like the new boiler will save us 40% and be immensely quieter. I went out and took pix of it to hang up on my bulletin board. "My Italian Vacation."   

And we get a completely relined chimney to boot, so that's a good thing.

Whacked that mouse as well.

We were able to save one reservation in a room that shares the heat & hot water with the innkeeper apt, so that's a mixed blessing. Not sure how I will cope, I pretty much abandonded the guests this morning after I served them.

Thanks for all the kind words good friends. We're off to the vet's now. I think I'll come back, crawl into bed and get up tomorrow. It'll be awfully quiet without her snoring all night, but the pain will be over for her.

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omg, Ike!  What a cascade of events.  I know how hard it is with your beloved pet.  We lost both of ours in the same year.  {{{{{{big hugs}}}}}}

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omg, Ike!  What a cascade of events.  I know how hard it is with your beloved pet.  We lost both of ours in the same year.  {{{{{{big hugs}}}}}}

Alibi Ike's picture
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Thanks everyone. She's proving to me we're making the right decision at the right time.

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So sorry for all of your troubles, but especially for your special furry family member...  

Joey Camb's picture
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I know this is the least of your troubles but with the mirror if you get a bigger mirror piece any glass cutting company can cut it to size or sometimes do mirrors to order so thats worth looking into as they are always cheaper than the high street. Sorry about your dog its awful and the bookings and everything its the last thing you need

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Thinking of you.  So sorry.  I hope you can find some private time to deal with your sadness.  As Swirt said, it's hard to grieve as an innkeeper.  Especially if you'd like to keep the details to yourself a bit.

I hope knowing this community of folks-you-know and folks-you-don't-know is helpful...We're all wishing you well.

 

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egoodell's picture
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 So sorry to hear about your problems, bus mostly about your sweet little dog. We lost Sasha about 3 months ago and still walk downstairs to walk him. It's an awful experience and so hard on your kids too. Our hopes that all resolves quickly and more bookings come in after all is back up and running.

Riki

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EmptyNest's picture
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 Oh I am so sorry to hear all of this bad news especially about the dog Sad Hang in there, things can only get better. I am thinking about you.

 

Proud Texan's picture
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  Hang in there.  So, sorry about everything. We're all thinking about you. 

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 We love you. Sorry for this difficult time.

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swirt's picture
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 Sorry to hear about all the mechanical failures.  And most of all sorry about your dog.  That is sad.  Greiving is bad enough,  greiving as an innkeeper is the worst.

Innkeep's picture
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Oh Ike,  I'm so sorry to hear about all your troubles.  Wish I could do more for you than send an e-hug

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I am so, so sorry to hear about your dog; and that there is so much else going wrong at the same time. I hope that most of the other things can be put on hold for a day and that you can have some quiet time together. My heart aches.

seashanty's picture
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i am so sorry.

(( hugs )) really ... (( hugs ))

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gillumhouse's picture
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I am so sorry about your family member- she IS a family member. The other things will go on. Losing her will still be there. Having had to say the goodbye, I do know how it hurts.

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Alibi Ike wrote:

  • But, the worst for today by far, is our dog needs to be put down, most likely tomorrow. And with all the other crap going on, it's hard to have a nice, quiet last day/evening with her.

 

SO sorry to hear this... I feel your pain. Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables has the best line when it comes to grieving: "the tears don't hurt like the ache does".

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