Patti’s Desk

It’s almost New Years (again!)


I ran across this quote by Ann Landers and felt it was worthy of sharing:


Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t find the time. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make a promise you don’t think you can keep. Walk tall, and smile more. You’ll look ten years younger. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I love you’. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.”

Good advice. I always make a few New Years Resolutions, and this year I’m making a list again. It’s a small list of promises to myself that I truly intend to keep. For everyone, I wish you a contented heart and a warm home with someone there waiting for you.

It’s Christmas in Our Little Town

Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas gift lists, or the cards to be written, when Christmas Day finally gets here, we still get that same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.

It seems we are always busy here at Trinkle Mansion, and December brings a whirlwind of activities with guests, teas and parties. We are busy, but it’s all good and we are thankful for a good business. We are also thankful that we live in a sweet community where we all keep Christ in Christmas, and the town truly nurtures that all important sense of belonging.

Our Christmas parade will be held tomorrow night, and afterwards there will be hot chocolate and cookies served to onlookers, and carolers will stroll the streets to keep us ever mindful of those wonderful old Christmas hymns we have loved since childhood. I wish everyone could experience the wonder and genuine warmth of this little town. At Christmas, Bernie and I wish you much happiness, the company of friends and family, and the warmth of a good home where someone is waiting for you. But most of all, we wish you peace, love and contentment. Not just for Christmas, but always. May God bless you richly.

Oh, the pleasures of a porch. . .

The very idea of a porch evokes vivid, nostalgic images from our past. We recall an earlier, slower-paced era – a time before computers, pay-per-view and i-phones, before “workaholics” and long-distance relationships. I grew up in a family who loved to sit on the porch after supper in the cool of a summer evening. There was always talk and laughter and good times. And sometimes there was no conversation at all, just the sweet bond of being together. In the height of summer, we always broke up our string beans and shelled peas out on the porch. On rainy days, my sister and I brought out quilts and made forts with the swings and chairs. And sunny days saw us whiling the heat away with pitchers of sweet tea or fresh lemonade. I can still recall the slow, steady creak of our old swing keeping time with my mom’s rocking chair. Sweet memories.


Here at Trinkle Mansion Bed & Breakfast, we are blessed with wonderful porches and, of course, porch swings – one swing is wide enough to lie down on and take a delicious afternoon nap or immerse yourself in that great book you’ve been meaning to read. Our porches provide the perfect place to sip early morning coffee as our songbirds wake up and announce another day. And what could be more romantic than whiling away an evening in our cool mountain air with the gentle to-and-fro of the swing? We invite you and your loved one to come, sit a spell and unwind on one of our porches, spend some time just “being” with absolutely no agenda – and make memories all your own.

As Welcome as a Virginia Spring . . .

Finally.  Our daffodils are in full bloom, and the forsythia has scattered a yellow carpet across the sidewalk.  The cold and dampness of winter have reluctantly retreated, and spring’s warmth is a friendly welcome.

I love watching the trees, flowers and grass emerge from their sleep, and  I want to stop time and walk through my yard, examining every single bud, each tiny little leaf, and watch the robins as they hunt down lunch right here in my back yard.

I can hardly wait to open the kitchen door each morning and invite the sweet music of our songbirds inside to keep me company as I prepare breakfast. Within the week, the mountains will come alive with wide swaths of red buds with ribbons of white dogwoods laced throughout, then the colors will be gently eased out by emerging green.   This area is so spectacularly beautiful, and I feel so blessed to live here.  I do not take my good fortune for granted,  ever.

Spring’s arrival brings a feeling of exhilaration and a burst of energy. I fully engage myself in spring cleaning and getting the porches set up for leisurely afternoons.  I plant new flowers, try new recipes for our guests and simply spend precious time outdoors soaking up the sun. It is during this time the dreary days of winter become but a distant memory, and the time has arrived to enjoy the outdoors and focus on summertime guests.

Bristol Motor Speedway NASCAR Race Fans


World’s Fastest Half Mile – Bristol TN

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Bristol action in the Jeff Byrd 500 for the first short track racin.’    Our inn is a short, one-hour drive straight down I-81.  And with a house full of race fans, there’s great conversation and stories — and just a bit of rivalry.  After all, everyone has their favorite driver and racetrack experiences to share.   Tickets are still available through Bristol Motor Speedway.  Book your room here at our bed and breakfast and relax in the beautiful surroundings  before and after the race.  Tickets:  call Bristol Motor Speedway (423) 989-6900



Recipe: Sausage/Onion Casserole Bread

This colorful and delicious breakfast bread is actually the main event.  Just pair with a simple egg dish and fresh fruit.

Sausage-Onion Casserole Bread

1 pound mild bulk pork sausage

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups biscuit mix

¾ cup milk

2 eggs

1 ½ cup sour cream

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon paprika

Cook sausage and onion until sausage is browned and onion is tender; drain well.  Combine biscuit mix, milk and 1 egg; mix well.  Spread mixture in a greased 13 X 9 inch baking dish, top with sausage mixture.  Lightly press sausage mixture into base.  Combine sour cream, salt and 1 egg; blend well.  Spread over sausage mixture and sprinkle with paprika.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Cut into squares.  Yield: 12 servings.

11-11-11 — The perfect date for a wedding!


What a great date to choose for your wedding — and as an added benefit, it’s on a Friday.  For those of you who have a difficult time remembering special occasions, this date is a must for your wedding.  That way you’ll have an easy time remembering your anniversary.

Just had a wedding here this weekend, and the bride brought this funny little piece to add a touch of whimsy to the reception table.  We all had a good laugh, including the groom!

Happy 2011!

Bernie and I wish all of you much happiness for the new year.  I only made one resolution this year – one I think I will be able to keep even though it is virtually the same as last year with a slight modification to keep  me on track.   This resolution process took me back to my childhood years when my sister and I would concoct huge lists of resolutions for the new year.  We each would have 75 or so resolutions which we would meticulously write on notebook paper and tape up on our bathroom wall for each other to view — so that we could police each other’s list. As we broke each new rule, we would cross that one out until each list dwindled down to our last hold-out.  It became a contest to see which one could keep at least one of  the resolutions going.  Those were fun times, and I (almost) regret we abandoned this practice as we grew older.

We have been busy here at Trinkle Mansion putting away our Christmas decorations and preparing for the year ahead.   We have had more snow this winter than we would prefer, but this makes for snuggly evenings by the fire.  The mountains are so beautiful with their white coats, and I am reminded again of how fortunate I am to live in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Happy new year to everyone.

At Christmastime . . .

We will have another white Christmas here in southwest Virginia. Several inches of snow fell last week, followed by an ice storm, and temperatures have been just low enough  such that we have had no melting. While it looks like a Currier & Ives scene, the ice layer makes it quite slippery in places. Bernie has been diligent with the snow shovel so that guests won’t have to worry about falling. I have been baking (and eating) cookies and goodies all week.   Our sweet little community makes cookie bags for some of the truck stops and the visitors center for travelers – just Wytheville’s way of saying Merry Christmas to those on the road. Some of my goodies goes to the little bags, others for family and friends.

This time of year reminds me especially of the reason I wanted to be an innkeeper. When I was in fourth grade, my teacher had our class memorize a poem which has the line, “…let me live in the house by the side of the road and be a friend to man.” This wonderfully engaging thought stayed with me through the years, and now I actually have the “house by the side of the road” and strive each day to be a “friend to man.” Bernie and I feel so blessed to live our dream and wish to provide a stable, comfy environment for our guests.


Our faith in God and the love we share with one another – these are the things that mean the most to us.  May Christmas remind you of all the things in life that really matter.    We wish all our friends the  merriest Christmas and the very best for 2011.

We wish you a merry Christmas . . .

We are in the midst of another winter storm, and I awoke this morning to discover our little town blanketed in white, and predictions of snow for the next five days has definitely put me in the Christmas spirit – and it feels good to feel that Christmas excitement again. It has been a wonderfully busy year for us, and we would like to say thank you to all the guests that stayed with us this year, some for the first time. We especially appreciate those who have returned and now have become friends.

I hesitate to put a damper on my Christmas spirit by turning on the news or even thinking of the state of our nation and economy this time of year. So join me and let’s not make the world’s problems take main stage right now.

Bernie and I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. May God bless us all, everyone, and may God bless America.

Trinkle Mansion Bed & Breakfast
525 W. Main Street
Wytheville, Virginia 24382

Listed on National Register of Historic Places and Virginia Landmarks Register