Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February and Valentines

February marks our second month of celebrating our building's 100th birthday, here at the Miller Tree Inn.  Our featured "Charity of the Month" is the Caring Place.  The Caring Place is a faith based organization that provides, food, clothing, counseling, etc, to families.  Most of their clients are women and children.  They specifically try to help pregnant women in crisis due to finances, abuse or social and/emotional circumstances.  This month we are accepting donations from guests and friends for this very worthwhile cause.  As with last month, the Miller Tree Inn will match any donations received up to $100.  Last month we were able to give the Forks Food Bank more than $300 in donations!

If you would like to donate to this charity, please make your check out to the Caring Place and mail it to us at the Miller Tree Inn, P. O. Box 1565, Forks, WA 98331.  For every donation made, we will enter your name in our quarterly drawing.  The drawing will be held on April 1, 2016 and the prize is your choice of $100 gift certificate to the Miller Tree Inn or Breakfast for 4 at the Miller Tree Inn.

There are 2 other ways to get your name in this drawing during the month of February.

1.  Send the Miller Tree Inn a Valentine with your full name and either your email address or phone number (so we can let you know if you win.)  One Valentine per household, please.

2.  Stay with us a night in February and we will have you fill out a ticket for the drawing.

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and we still have rooms available for that weekend.  We would love to see you!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Red Velvet Pancakes

We made these for Forever Twilight in Forks weekend and also for Valentine's Day 2015, so we thought we had better get the recipe up for Valentine's Day 2016, so all can enjoy.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons red liquid food coloring

Soft together the first 6 ingredients into a large bowl.  Whisk together the buttermilk and next 3 ingredients in another bowl.  Gradually stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture, just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto a hot buttered griddle or large non-stick skillet.  Cook 3-4 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look dry and cooked.  Turn and cook 3-4 minutes or until done.  Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, and keep warm in a 200 degree oven up to 30 minutes.  Serve with Sweet Cream Cheese Butter.  No syrup necessary!  Though I do garnish with both white and dark chocolate syrup and powdered sugar.

Sweet Cream-Cheese Butter - mix the following ingredients together
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 cup softened butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To serve put one pancake on the plate and a generous dollop of the Sweet Cream Cheese Butter, then top with another pancake and garnish.  I use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut a heart in the top pancake, just for visual interest.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The 100th Birthday Party of the Miller Tree Inn

On Wednesday, January 13, we had an open house at the Miller Tree Inn to celebrate the building's 100th birthday.  Friends, neighbors and members of the Forks business community came to tour the house, socialize and have a variety of food.  It was a great night, and the rain even held off, so that people were not getting wet, coming and going from the Inn.

We had a drawing for prizes for those in attendance and we were honored by the presence of Oscar and Wilma Peterson.  Oscar is the grandson of the original homesteaders and builders of the house.  Oscar and Wilma are our wonderful neighbors and were able to share stories of the house and the family with our guests.

In addition to the food and fellowship, we were able to raise funds for our local Food Bank.  We know that the holidays can stress the resources of food banks, so we collected food and cash during our open house.  We are happy to say that a box of food and more than $200 was donated on Wednesday night.  We are always humbled by the generosity of our small community.  We will continue to collect cash/checks for the food bank until the end of the month.  Since we have decided to match the money raised up to $100, we will be able to give Forks Food Bank more than $300 at the end of January!  That should help fill up those shelves a little bit.

We plan on continuing the 100th celebration all the way through 2016.  Our charity for the month of February will be the Caring Place.  Stay tuned for what we have in mind for that!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 2016!

2016 is going to be a special year at the Miller Tree Inn.  Our building is 100 years old this year and we are going to have a year long celebration.

The Miller Tree Inn started out as the Peterson family homestead.  It then became the home to first the Liebold family and then the Chamberlin family.  In 1984, Ted and Prue Miller purchased the home and turned it into the Miller Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast.  The current innkeepers, Bill and Susan Brager, purchased the inn in 1998.

We will kick off
 the 100th birthday celebration with a birthday Open House on January 13, 2016 from 5PM - 7PM.

We are also going to have quarterly drawings.  This quarter, the drawing will be for a $100 Miller Tree Inn gift certificate or Breakfast for 4 at the Inn.  You will receive a drawing ticket for each night that you stay at the Miller Tree Inn.  On April 1, 2016, we will draw the winning entry and award the prize.

We also have special mugs for our 2016 celebration.  Come on over and stay with us!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Yesterday afternoon the Miller Tree Inn was filled with life, laughter and friendly competition, as our current and former housekeepers and innsitters gathered for a Christmas Party. 

The party was organized, planned and hosted by 2 of our "girls".  We think that everyone had a good time, gauging by all the talking, laughing and gingerbread house making that went on in our dining room!

It fills us with warmth to see our most special young women stop by year after year to say hello and catch us up on their lives.  In the 17 years we have had the inn, we have had an incredible number of beautiful, smart and talented young women work for us.  We are truly blessed that they have let us share a little bit of their lives and it has been wonderful to see them grow up.

2015 was a good year for the Miller Tree Inn.  We continue to have the best guests in the world and we thank each one who stayed with us.  All of our guests enrich our lives in some way and we are lucky.

In 2016, the building that is the Miller Tree Inn will be 100 years old.  We are going to have a year long celebration starting with an Open House and 100th birthday party on January 13.  We will be blogging about things as they come up, so follow along with us in wishing this grand old house a "Happy 100th!"

From all of us at the Miller Tree Inn to all of our family, friends, guests, and guests to be, we wish you Merry Christmas and a very Happy 2016!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

New Cullen Family Christmas Stockings

As usual, we have hung the Cullen family Christmas stockings by the chimney with care.  They hang proudly on the fireplace mantle under the picture of the barn, with the Christmas star hanging brightly above it.  On the mantle itself, is the nativity set that Susan's parents lovingly made and painted and gave to Bill & Susan more than 20 years ago.

This year, the stockings are a bit different.  Our friends, Mary Beth and Trent, gifted us with beautiful new stockings that match the character personalities and are lovingly embroidered.  We would like to thank Mary Beth and Trent for this thoughtful gift and post the first picture of our new stockings.

Christmas comes with many traditions here at the Miller Tree Inn.  For the last few years, we have purchased a decorated tree at the Festival of Trees auction sponsored by our local Soroptomists.  Hanging the Cullen family Christmas stockings is another tradition that we enjoy and a newer tradition is the making of Egg Nog French Toast.  We try to have this special holiday treat several times throughout the season, from Thanksgiving to New Year's.  We hope that we will get to make you some this holiday!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Inside the Miller Tree Inn Christmas

The weekend of December 4, 5, and 6, 2015 was a busy one in Forks.  It started with Cherish the Children on December 4, an annual seafood buffet, silent and live auction to raise money to give the needy children of LaPush and Forks a very Merry Christmas.  We understand that around $20,000 was raised at this event.

Saturday brought breakfast with Santa, a Christmas Bazaar, a Choral Concert, viewing of the Trees at the Festival of Trees, the Twinkle Light Parade and Moonlight Madness.

On Sunday was the auctioning of the beautifully decorated trees from the Soroptomists' Festival of Trees.  There were a large selection of trees and wreaths sponsored by local businesses and individuals and auctioned off to a room full of enthusiastic bidders.  The Miller Tree Inn sponsored tree was beautifully decorated in a snowman theme by a talented member of our community.  We purchased a tree sponsored by a local physician and decorated by the Forks Abuse Center.  We were happy to be able to contribute to this worthy cause.  Soroptomists provide a variety of services including transportation for cancer treatment, weekend food filled backpacks for children, scholarships and many other things.  This charitable cause raised $15,000 at their Festival of Trees. 

The Cherish the Children event and the Festival of Trees, together raised more than $35,000 in a single weekend!  We are so proud and humbled to be a part of this little community that many people see as depressed and economically disadvantaged.  That may very well be true, but the members of Forks and the surrounding area have the biggest hearts and that is truly beautiful.  The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Forks.  Come on over for a visit and make your plans for the first weekend in December next year, so that you can experience the magic that happens here.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Holiday Season Has Begun

We hope that everyone had a very happy Thanksgiving.  Ours was extra nice this year with family, friends, exchange students and guests.  It was the first American Thanksgiving for one of our guests and it was a joy to have her participate with us.

Today, we began digging the holiday decorations out from where we stashed them
last year.  Santa and the wreathe are at the front door and slowly but surely, things will start appearing inside.  This year we have new Cullen family stockings to hang up by the chimney with care in thanks to our friends and special guests, Trent and Mary Beth.  They are beautifully embroidered with the names of all of the Cullen family characters and will be among the first decorations to go up this year.

We plan on getting our tree at the annual Festival of Trees.  This year, the Festival will take place in the new Rainforest Arts Center.  We are thrilled to have this beautiful facility in the heart of Forks and are very happy that it is being well used.  The Festival will have viewing on Saturday and the auction on Sunday of this week, December 5 & 6, 2015

On December 5, the Northwest Choral will be performing at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.  It will be a great way to break into the holidays, so if you happen to be in Forks, be sure to come.

We believe that there will be a host of other activities and bazaars in and around town this weekend.  For times and places, be sure to check out the Forks Chamber of Commerce Events page at:  www.forkswa.com

And finally, the Miller Tree Inn building will be 100 years old in 2016. We have an order of 100th anniversary mugs being shipped right now and should be here any day.  We are celebrating with a pre-birthday special.  From now until December 23, 2015 any available room for 2 people is $100 plus tax.  Rooms include a full breakfast, of course.  So what are you waiting for?  Come on over and relax with us this holiday season.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Travel On

We attended a Bed and Breakfast Conference earlier this month.  One of our guest speakers encouraged us to start writing blog entries twice a week to help us market and be more relevant.  We also undertand, that Google and other search engines would find us more easily.  It sounded like a daunting  task when we heard it and is still does. 

Prior to this, we thought that keeping our blog posts short and sweet, with a picture was enough.  We thought blogging once a week or even once a month was enough.  We weren’t sure that we would have enough to say to keep the interest of the folks reading our blog and we weren’t sure we could come up with enough ideas to keep everything fresh.  We still think those are valid points.  However, something happened a week ago in our world that shook us up our  and we find that we do have something to say about it.

About a month ago, we spent 6 days/nights in Paris.  The weather was a bit cold and a little rainy, but we had a wonderful time.  We saw beautiful things and had wonderful meals.  We soaked up the atmosphere and enjoyed our interactions with the friendly people.  We left that place feeling refreshed and renewed and had lovely memories of Paris.

The apartment we were renting was a few blocks from where all the violence happened last week.  We were shocked, as we listened to the news and looked at the scenes flashing by on the screen.  These were places we had just been, maybe even  people we had passed on the street.  We felt an overwhelming sadness.

Soon afterward, we started hearing rumblings from people about not wanting to travel.  They were anxious and afraid.  Though we understood, it further saddened us.  We believe now as we did after the horrors that took place in our own country that we need to keep traveling.  We need to keep experiencing other people, places and cultures.  If we turn into ourselves and do not look outward, evil wins. Fear wins.

You may be thinking that it is easy for us to say this.  After all, we operate a lodging establishment, we need people to travel.  It is true, we do need people to travel.  However, we take the safety of our guests very seriously.  We are totally understanding when snow, ice and winds make travel dangerous.  We believe in using good sense and precaution.  But we also intend to keep going places, seeing new things and meeting new people.  It enriches our lives.

So, you will find us on the road again at the end of the year.  We will be heading to see family for Christmas and Bill’s University Football team is headed for a bowl game.  We intend to be at that game, wherever it is.  We are currently talking about when and where we intend to for vacation the rest of this year and are debating about if we will go to Europe again in two years or three.  In the meantime, we hope to see you in Forks.  We promise to take good care of you at the Miller Tree Inn.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Red Chair Travels Near Forks!

We have had a busy week with our famous Red Chair, whom we affectionately call, "Red".  Red checked out our rooms, visited Dr. Cullen's Office, went to first beach in

La Push, got a tour of the Forks Timber Museum, had lunch with the Chamber of Commerce, was interviewed by Forks Radio and the Forks Forum, hiked in the Hoh Rainforest, walked the beach at Kalaloch and went fishing on one of our world class rivers.  We have also dressed Red up for Halloween and he is having trouble deciding which costume he is going to go with.

Tomorrow, we will leave Red in the capable hands of the Innkeepers at the George Washington Inn of Port Angeles, WA.  We know he will have a great time there and we will miss seeing his cheerful color.  Godspeed, Red!