June 11, 2012:About 4 years ago, we decided to test the waters with Gillum House mugs. We are a distinctive bed & breakfast patronized by discerning guests who do not want to use or purchase “junk” or things that can be found “everywhere”. So we contacted Larry Riffle of Riffle Pottery in Cowen, West Virginia with a request. We wanted a mug big enough to be a
CUP OF COFFEE, not a teaser. The other parameters were a handle big enough for a MAN to grab and the Gillum House predominate color is burgundy. They were such a hit that they “flew” off the shelf! Each mug is signed by Larry. By the time I re-ordered, Larry had pneumonia and family illnesses and deaths and had stopped potting for a while.
The while stretched into 3 years and I am so happy to say Larry is back!
Gillum House Bed & Breakfast got a new car!! We have had our 2011 Honda FIT for almost a month now. The other half of this operation is like a teenager with his first car! So Saturday, June 9 a certain person in this house was ready for a Road Trip! “Call Larry and ask if the mugs are ready.” I did and they were. So away we went to Cowen in Webster County. South on I-79 to Exit # 57 (US Rte 19) to the Birch River Exit, turn left and drive 16 miles to the right turn into the Riffle Pottery driveway.
What a collection of antiques and interesting items and photos decorating the walls and display areas of the showroom! And the wonderful pieces of pottery! All colors, designs, plates and platters, teapots, cups, and mugs, his Face Mugs, pitchers and bowls! The craftsmanship is awesome and the beauty of his designs entice you want one of everything, Although he has neglected to get a web site, Webster County native and well-known travel writer/photographer Thomas Fletcher wrote and posted an excellent article about Riffle Pottery. Larry also holds pottery classes.
Come to the Gillum House to use a Riffle Pottery Gillum House mug. Make your reservations online at www.gillumhouse.com or phone 888-592-0177.
May 19, 2012: Today was the Harrison County United Way Bocce Tournament. I was playing on the WAJR-FM team at 9:00 AM. BUT I had to perform innkeeping duties before I could go. I love innkeeping and cooking but Reuben was counting on me.
I have in-house a lovely lady named Liz who is a vegetarian. It is interesting to make new things – and I tried out a new recipe in Liz this morning. I must admit, the second I put the platter on the table, telling her what it was, I was grabbing the car keys and heading to Ferguson Memorial Park. Our Park has 2 tournament grade bocce courts – under roof and with lights. Before I took the platter in to the dining room I grabbed my camera to take a photo of the new dish on the breakfast rotation.
Liz is a vegetarian, not a Vegan, and I have enjoyed preparing breakfasts for her. So far she has had my sour cream & chives with 3-cheese egg bake with my herb bread and our baked oatmeal with vanilla yogurt. This morning was a brand new recipe that turned out VERY nicely. It is Spinach & Potatoes with fennel seeds Hash. Since I grabbed the camera just before taking the dish into the dining room, you do not see the honeydew and papaya fruit bowl with a sprig of mint from our herb garden. She also had herb bread toast.
The teams scheduled to play today were: WesBanco Bank, Fairmont Federal Credit Union, WYK Associates, WBOY-TV, WAJR-FM, Pepsi, City of Shinnston, and United Way.
Reuben Perdue of WAJR-FM usually manages to put his body through discomfort for charity but this time it was to be pure fun. Since the WAJR-FM staff bailed on him, Reuben recruited Steve Hamilton, a member of Reuben’s Facebook Morning Edition Fan Club, Carla Hinerman, Municipal Judge for the City of Shinnston, and Kathleen Panek, innkeeper.
In our first game, we were surprised to win over the WesBanco Team led by Joe Flynn who drove down from Pittsburgh to play. Thank you, Joe! Then we beat Fairmont Federal Credit Union in the second winners’ round. Then we lost to WBOY and to the City of Shinnston, placing third in the Tournament. Marie Battles of the United Way presented the Trophy to WBOY-TV who had a helping hand from one of the ladies from WKY Associates to replace one of their ladies who had to leave to cover a story. It was a fun day that raised money for a great Cause.
Bocce leagues in Shinnston start on Monday, May 21. The next scheduled Tournament is the Italian Heritage Festival Bocce Tournament on August 25. Come play in Shinnston!
Pssst!!! Tonight Liz told me the breakfast was VERY good!!
Tags: Bocce, Bocce Tournament, City of Shinnston, Fairmont Federal Credit Union, Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Pepsi, Reuben Perdue, Shinnston, United Way of Harrison County, WAJR-FM, WBOY, WesBanco, WYK Associates
May 6, 2012: Shop Shinnston is hosting an event GIRL’S NIGHT OUT! on Thursday, May 10 from 6 to 8 PM. Shops in Shinnston are offering specials and discounts.
Shabby Chic Sisters are having FLASHBACK! Go back in time to the hats and gloves no respectable woman would go anywhere without. Try on the hats and gloves and BLING! Remember the costume jewelry of that time? They will be serving cupcake samples and discounts throughout the store.
Home Style will have discounts, surprises and Lambert’s Winery of Weston for a wine tasting. Treasure Chest will have a special Pink Tag Sale – items with a Pink Tag are 30% off. Godfrey Girls Consignment Shop will have specials and have invited herbal specialist Anne Romance of Green Heron Gardens to speak on Women’s Health. Godfrey Girls will also have a drawing for a basket valued at over $100. Visit our newest shop, Sacred Heart Christian Book and Gift Stoppe.
Get your entry card at the first shop you visit, get it stamped or signed at each participating shop, and qualify for a drawing of a wonderful basket of goodies.
Advance reservations are required at the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast to complete the Girl’s Night out. Say (or post in comments when booking online) Girl’s Night Out when booking a room and get the Girl’s special rate of $75 + tax, sumptuous breakfast included. Valid May 10, 2012 only. Cannot be combined with any other offers.
Tags: Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Girl's Night Out, Godfrey Girls Consignment Shop, Home Style, Lambert's Winery, Sacred Heart Christian Book and Gift Shoppe, Shabby Chic Sisters, Shinnston, Shop Shinnston, Treasure Chest
May 3, 2012: The Bice-Ferguson Memorial Museum has brought programs from the West Virginia Humanities Council to Shinnston, West Virginia in the past. I was able to attend the programs with presentations of Colonel Ruby Bradley and of Mother Jones.
The Bice-Ferguson Museum is bringing a wonderful treat to Shinnston on May 17, 2012. Thursday, May 17 at 7:00 PM, Karen Vuranch will bring Hallie Marie to life in a performance of “Coal Camp Memories” appropriately at the UMW Hall on Charles Street in Shinnston. And admission is free, courtesy of the Bice-Ferguson Museum and the West Virginia Humanities Council. I have been fortunate to have seen Karen Vuranch as Mother Jones and Pearl Buck and to have seen “Coal Camp Memories” twice. I will be seeing it a third time on May 17!!
I sincerely hope folks from all over will take this opportunity to see this riveting performance.
May 2, 2012: Spring is almost sprung!!! The tulips, forsythia, daffodils are gone. But they bloomed early this year. Guests coming in May are in for a treat. Blooms are everywhere!!
Rhododendron and azalea usually bloom the middle to the end of May. Our red azalea and white azalea are almost in full bloom (the purple azalea next door is in frll bloom). I went out and took some photos this morning of two of the bushes in our yard.
Tucked into the corner of Walnut Street and Davis Court at the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast inside the hedge, is a bush I was certain was dead. It was just sticks reaching up to the sky. This morning as I came out of the kitchen, I looked over at it. To my wonder, it has buds all over it getting ready to burst into bloom! Going over for a closer look, I found one that has burst forth!
They are so lovely when blooming – but this bush does not bloom for long.
We have two very large rhododendrons, one on each side of the driveway. Both are the pinkish purple in color. We did have a white one at one time but I do not know if John’s penchant for burning yard waste at the end of the driveway – WAY too close to the poor white rhodo – or the large rhodo next to it overshadowing, but the poor thing gave up the ghost and was removed. One of them is taking its time but the one has been budding for a week and now looks as if it will be in full bloom in another week.
Visitors to Shinnston are in for a beautiful sight if they come to visit in May!
42698 – Then end of the line! Today was the last time Engine 42698 left the Station. It was a tribute to the memory of Drexel Westfall and his wife Martha Jane who both passed away last month.
In 1998, Candy Fiorito and her “partner-in-crime” Lexie Barnes had an idea of a way to spread GOD’s message. They took their idea to Drexel Westfall with a paper cut-out and notes of what they needed.
Drexel not only made it, but made it so the set disassembled into compact, easy to carry sections with carrying bags for each section plus put handles into the weght blocks to stablize the set because 6 women were going to be setting up and taking down. Then John Panek was enlisted to paint the Hallelujah Express 42698. That Easter, the Paneks and their friends had a picnic Easter dinner because the dining room table was otherwise occupied.
The Hallelujah Express was blessed as the service the morning of 04-26-98 was the first performance of the Hallelujah Express ministry. Candy Fiorito, Lexie Barnes, Leigh Merrifield, Patty Vincent, Lexie’s daughter Dee, and Candy’s daughter Holly then took their puppet ministry on the road. They not only performed at their home Church, First United Methodist Church of Shinnston and churches in the area, but to surrounding states and as far away as Maine. People donated puppets in honor of and in memory of their friends and families. Each puppet became a person and was treasured.
The program starts with the conductor calling All Aboard! as the people with tickets for good works, tithing, etc try to board the train to Heaven only to be told their ticket will not get them to Heaven. Only the person with Jesus in his heart can board the train. “Jerry Lee Lewis”. “Hank Williams Jr”, “Elvis” (“Elvis has left the building”), “Dolly Parton”, and many others perform.
Life (including grandchildren, parents, schedules, and knees) has indicated it was time to bring the Hallelujah Express back to the Station for one last performance. And that would be the theme of the 2012 Mother/Daughter Celebration.
The ladies followed the tracks up to the Ticket Booth to receive their Boarding Pass (table assignment – Mama Lucille Anderson and I were seated at Wondrous Love) and then shown to the correct tables.
The Railroaders and Hobos (men and boys of the Church) served Hobo Stew in tin cans, tea, lemonade, and water were served in pint Mason jars, and each person received a “Hobo Pack” with bun for “build your own sandwich”, chips, and cookies tied up inside.
The Hallelujah Express brought much joy to the audiences and I can say without equivocation, to the ladies and everyone involved with it. It was a day of joy and sadness – the joy of performing and the sadness that all good things must come to an end, on 42912 – 14 years later, almost to the day!.
Thank you Hallelujah Express!
April 21, 2012: In September 2010 there was a coast-to-coast motorcycle endurance run from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to Santa Monica, California. This run was called the Cannonball and ALL motorcycles had to pre-date 1916. One of the participants was Jim Petty of South Carolina riding his 1915 Indian.
Jim Petty came to Morgantown, West Virginia in July 2011 for the MountainFest 2011 Vintage Motorcycle Show, exhibiting his 1915 Indian ridden in the 2010 Cannonball and the 1927 Indian Chief he was going to ride in the 2012 Cannonball (all motorcycles must have been manufactured between 1917 and 1929). Last night, he arrived at Gillum House to pick up the painting of his 1927 Indian Chief.
After an evening of conversation with artist John Panek followed by a restful night at the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Jim sat down to a breakfast of blueberry muffins, orange juice, pear juice, Sour Cream & Chives with 3 Cheese Egg Bake and Kathleen’s English muffin bread straight from the oven. This breakfast started with a fruit banana split.
More conversation about the flat track motorcycle racers of the late 1950s and early 1960s (John’s era of flat track racing in the Midwest and Santa Fe Speedway in Willow Springs, Illinois) took place at breakfast. Then it was time to put the painting in the car and start back to South Carolina. Jim said the painting was going to be displayed for a while at Indian Motorcycle Charlotte (a sponsor of Jim in the Cannonball 2010) while they do some work on his 1927 Indian, getting it ready for the 2012 Cannonball.
To see more of John Panek’s paintings, come visit the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast.
April 12, 2012:
I have noticed people are looking for Ramp Dinners in West Virginia.
Ramps grow wild in West Virginia. Everyone knows Spring is here when they start seeing signs posted: RAMPS. For those who do not know what a ramp is, it is of the onion family but have a flat rounded green as opposed to the usual green onion top. I have been told by those who love green onions that ramps taste wonderful. My personal opinion is that GOD took the worst of green onions and married it to the worst of garlic and called it a ramp. From personal testimony I can say if one person in a couple is going to eat ramps, they both should. Do not breathe on me for a couple days after eating a batch of ramps! (I must admit to making a great ramp potato soup!)
Jimmy’s Diner on Hood Avenue in Shinnston (on US Rte 19 on the north end of Shinnston) will be having a Ramp Dinner Buffet on Saturday, April 14 from 2:00 PM to closing fr 10.95 + tax. Come to Jimmy’s for your ramp fix.
April 07, 2012: What is more important for a family than making memories? 30, 40, 50 years later siblings and cousins gather together for a reunion and tell stories to their children and each other – “Do you remember when…..”
Today was one of those days in Shinnston for some families. It was a bright, sunny crisp day – perfect for a morning at the Park with the children. Today the City of Shinnston’s Recreation Coordinator Nathan Drain and his Activities Committee held the Easter Egg Gather although the grass did give a bit of a Hide & Seek to it. The Easter Bunny came hopping out to each group of children (3 separate age groups came for their designated times) to entertain, pose for photos, and help “find” the eggs. Most of the eggs were filled with candy but some held passes to the pool for this summer and some had a ticket to be redeemed at the Prize Table. Approximately 75 children came for the fun. In addition to the eggs and music, there were Inflatibles from Cartoon Headquarters for the children to enjoy – a Bounce House and a hit the ball and toss the ball.
The Park is a center of activity in Shinnston with the walking trail going around the perimeter, pavilions for picnics and reunions, tournament-grade bocce courts (May 19 there will be a fundraiser tournament for the United Way), horseshoe pits, and coming this summer – Cornhole!! The zero-grade entry pool with water slide is very busy all summer. On July 1the Shinnston Community Band will assemble before a crowd of several thousand for the annual Independence Concert followed by Fireworks. Shinnston is a City that knows how important it is to create memories of fun and family.
March 30, 2012: I was blessed with an advance copy of the Spring 2012 issue of WV Living, a wonderful magazine that is published quarterly and focuses on the people, places, interesting things about West Virginia. The Spring 2012 issue says Travel to Shinnston and we hope you will!
Spring 2012 has a photo of the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast and is kind enough to mention us in the article. There is an interview with lifelong resident John Rice, author Meredith Sue Willis who grew up in Shinnston, former President of WVU David Hardesty, and covers some of the history of Shinnston. The photography by Carla Witt Ford and the article by Laura Wilcox are wonderful. Read the article and then come visit Shinnston yourself to see how correct it is.
March 20, 2012: SPRING IS ALMOST HERE!!!! I know it is true! No, I have not seen any ramps for sale yet, but the marquee at the Sunset-Ellis Drive-in proclaimed :
Drive-in opens April 20
Flea Market opens April 21
Need I say more?
March 10, 2012: MountainFest 2012 will take place as usual in July. However, it pains me to inform all there will be NO VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE SHOW at MountainFest. John Panek’s paintings will not be exhibited.
Tom McKee, the organizer of the Vintage Motorcycle Show will be holding some Vintage Events at his McKee Sky Ranch in Terra Alta, West Virginia – just a few miles from Morgantown. Go to this new web site for details of events and contact information. It is a beautiful place. I have been there and can attest to it!
March 09, 2012: Today the sky is blue, the sun is out, and the American flag on our porch is waving in a gentle breeze. This is a day to turn one’s thoughts to the up-coming Arts & Crafts Festival in Shinnston. The second annual Arts & Crafts Festival will take place on Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 10 AM to 3 PM in Downtown Shinnston. Crafters and artists should contact Nathan Drain, Recreation Coordinator, at 304-592-6058 for more information and to register for a table. Registration fee for a table is $10. (In case of liquid sunshine, everything will be in the Lighthouse on Rebecca Street.)
The turnout for the first annual Arts & Crafts in Shinnston was such a rousing success of showcasing area crafters, artisans, and artists – in spite of the liquid sunshine we were blessed with (read about it on our previous blogs) – that we expect bigger and better in 2012. A request has been submitted for a warm, sunny day on April 28. We hope to see YOU there!
March 4, 2012: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 there were torrential rains, high winds, and flash floods all around north-central West Virginia. By Saturday, March 3, people were cleaning up the mess, the rain had stopped, the sun was out, and the water levels of the rivers and lakes were receding but the water was muddy brown and COLD! The temperature was 51 degrees but it felt a lot colder due to the steady breeze that was blowing – and this was so for people standing around in jackets – dry jackets!
The fourth annual Polar Plunge fundraiser for the Clarksburg Mission was held at Maple Lake yesterday. It was not as bad as a few years ago when they had to use a chain saw to cut through the ice so they could plunge, but it was to quote Laugh-In, “nippy on the bippy”! This year the theme was “Freezin’ For a Reason” and once again, Reuben Perdue was putting himself on the line for charity.
Reuben has Chugged for Charity, chugging 64 oz. of root beer in 15 minutes, twice he has downed hot Buffalo Wings – these for Untied Way of Harrison County, and now, for the second time, he was doing the Polar Plunge for the Clarksburg Mission.
Today, on his 36thbirthday, Reuben has a smile on his face because he made his goal of raising $1300 in pledges. He announced that the person with the highest pledge could “dress” him for the plunge. Candidate for the Harrison County Board of Education Tina Canon stepped up to the plate. Although there were others who pledged more later, they ceded that to Tina.
Reuben went down to the locker room with the outfit Tina brought and then returned for the completion by Tina, posing for a few photos when she was finished.
There were several interesting costumes – a cowboy, a man in a tutu, Reuben in his (he was so cute), and Minnie & Mickey Mouse.
Wave after wave of jumpers went in, monitored by the Bridgeport Fire Department for safety. Gillum House was on hand, as Reuben put it – his people – standing by with a robe as he emerged and then posed for the cameras.
There was a nice lunch for all present in the Club House after everyone got out of the lake. The pulled pork was excellent!.
It was a very successful day of Freezin’ For a Reason. We will look for you in February 2013 at Maple Lake for the next Plunge.
February 29, 2012: Through the centuries and right up to current times, there have been religious wars. Countries and towns divided by the religious of residents. What brought this to mind? An observation of a Shinnston tradition today is what.
In the book, The History of the City of Shinnston by Lena Poling Golden, it is documented that in the early days of Shinnston all the various congregations used one building for their services prior to building their own churches. They did not have “religious wars” then nor now.
Today is the second Wednesday of Lent. Each year either the First United Methodist or the First Baptist Church (located side by side in Downtown Shinnston) hosts the Lenten Services due to their central location and ample parking. The Community Good Friday Service is held in a different church each year. For Lent 2012, the First Baptist Church is host.
Rev. Bart Wheeler, a Nazarene minister who lives in Shinnston but pastors a church in New Martinsville, WV has the Bible Study in the Library of the Baptist Church at 11:00 AM every week. Ash Wednesday, Pastor Kevin Nuzum of the First Baptist Church did the Noon Lenten Service and his congregation provided the crock pots of soups for the soup & cracker lunch after the Service. Today, the second week of Lent Father Karl Wohinc of St. Ann’s Catholic Church did the Service and the soups were provided by his congregation. Next week, Rev. Tammy Phillips, a Methodist minister will do the Service. There is a different minister every week with citizens of Shinnston and surrounding area attending the Service every week. Good Friday, all will gather at Family Life Fellowship Church in Enterprise, WV.
As President of the Shinnston Area Council of Churches (no one else will take the job), it is my duty to get the schedule filled. Being relatively new to Shinnston at the time and never being involved with the Council prior to saying OK to being President, I scheduled Father Karl for the THIRD WEEK of Lent. He did it, BUT he let me know he ALWAYS does the second week – so he can correct what was said the week before. (It is a funny for those who do not know Father Karl.) I have never made that mistake again!
You may ask, what the heck does this have to do with a Bed & Breakfast? What it has to do with is one of the many reasons I am so proud of my City of Shinnston, West Virginia! It is the only City in West Virginia with a Chapel of Perpetual Adoration, now in its 12thyear, which in itself is remarkable, but to illustrate the uniqueness of this Chapel let me tell you the Saturday night schedule I am aware of.
At 9:30 PM the city’s Optometrist (a Methodist) will relieve the person who has been keeping vigil since 8:00 PM. He will be there until 11:00 when this Presbyterian relieves him. At Midnight a Catholic will relive me and keep the vigil until 2:00 AM. There are also Baptists and several other religions keeping the vigil for something we in Shinnston consider too important to let it go – the hours WILL be filled. Come visit our Chapel – it is a place to pray, meditate or just sit down and say, “Ahhhhhhhh.” There may be religious wars elsewhere, but not here in Shinnston.