Friday, June 22nd, 2012
When I was setting up the Kismet Inn, I had a vision which was first it would not be just a bed and breakfast or an inn or a spa or a retreat. I intentionally looked for a place that would have five rooms not more because more guests will mean less individual attention to each guest. I also wanted to start everything from scratch as appose to taking on an already established inn simply because I wanted to set it up the way I thought it suitable for my vision and intentions. I wanted both the inside and outside to feel like you are stepping into a sanctuary and I intentionally wanted to do all of this on a slow pace. Slow pace because I want to go against the perpetuating fast pace of ‘American’ life style where everything is measured by time efficiency. I wanted ‘time’ not to have a sense at the inn.
I knew it would be a long and hard road to take the journey, it would involve a lot of sacrifice in many ways i.e., being away from my beloved family, husband and only child (daughter), financial hardship and immense financial risk, a full dedication of many years of not traveling which I have done throughout my life, it is a passion of mine because I believe traveling and living in different parts of the world whether it be a different country, a different state in the U.S., even a different town within the state can expand my horizon and vision in life.
Nothing is ever complete so if I say that the inside is complete it is not real, it is beautiful and awing however, there is still art works that I am looking for to put on the walls. More plantation shutters for dinning room and a few other things.
This year has been the year where the concentration has started on the gardens simply due to Brandon Adams. I am grateful for him contacting me. Brandon is a friend of my daughter who stayed at the inn before it was renovated, in 2005. In the interim he got married to a beautiful woman called Jessica and they have a son called Wyatt who was born while Brandon was deployed to Afghanistan. He has finished his services is now attending college, he has also become my gardener. I call him a gardener not a landscaper because he is beyond that. He is a gardener with old type gardener’s sensibility and very creative. He likes to work with natural things and be all organic just what I want. Together we are designing and working on the gardens.
The first part is ‘Golestan’ which means ‘Gol’ means flowers in Farsi, ‘Estant’ means the place of in Farsi. So this area of the garden is called ‘Golestan’ a name given by my husband. I had Mark Donovan a brilliant wood artisan from Bowdoinham who has made four beds, two armoires, three coffee tables, a library for me, make two arched trellises, a swing and a gateway. With the help of my husband, a friend called Catherine and Brandon I was able to design ‘Golestan’ into a beautiful oasis of flowers and think of it as the beginning of the gardens at the Kismet Inn. Now we are waiting for you to come for a stay to see the beauty of it grow with a pond, waterfall, trees, flowers, stone walls, herbs, ferns, mosses and wild flowers ~
The photos below are the preparation of the area and making of the pieces ~
Sunday, June 17th, 2012
Today, the father’s day of 2012, Kennebec River started misty which felt magical. The river is just a block away from Kismet inn Bed and Breakfast, inn, restorative retreat recognized as best restorative inn in the entire state of Maine and top ten (third) in the entire country on cnn.com.
The river was really misty this morning, it was kind of surreal walking along the river on paved brick paths along the ‘Water Park’ that was just renovated with benches to sit and enjoy the view. I like to take my morning walks along the river, sometimes I go over the bridge which is a great walk specially early morning before the cars start showing up, it is quieter this way + clearly less pollution.
I often suggest the early morning walk to guests either just a stroll and sit on the bench to watch the sun rise, an excellent meditation to start off the day. This morning was perfect for it since it was misty, I watched the mist lift off gently and slowly as I breathed in fresh air. Once the sun was up I took a walk along the river and over the bridge.
Friday, June 15th, 2012
The other night I had my gardener, his wife and 20 month old son for dinner. They said, they love haddock and that his wife loves cooking and learning how to make international dishes. I promised them a dinner which would be made with haddock.
I never follow any recipes accordingly and never add the same ingredients to a particular dish, always try different spices and herbs while keeping the major ingredients the same such as the tamarind fish dish. This dish always has a white fish often haddock because it is local and fresh, tamarind, tomato paste, onions, garlic and ginger, the herbs differ each time depending on the season, the spices are used according to my mood.
This time, I made the saffron rice with potatoes at the bottom ~
Soaked two cups of long grain white basmati rice for a few hours in cold water and salt. Boiled water, poured the soaked rice in the boiling water, drained it when it was a la dante, added ghee and local canola oil with saffron to the bottom of the pot, put sliced potato at the bottom then covered it with the drain rice. Brought some ghee, saffron and water to boil which I poured over the rice then put the lid on with a cloth, left it to cook on low heat for an hour.
The stew, cut the haddock into big chunks, soaked it in salt, cold water for about 10 minutes, rinsed out the water thoroughly, added salt, turmeric, paprika, curry while making sure the spice mixture is mixed well with all the fish. Poured local canola oil into the stainless steel wok and sauteed the spiced haddock, removed it from the wok, added onion, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, then tamarind, a cup of water, then the haddock and finally fresh herbs from the garden such as chives and tarragon.
My gardener, said, “I just can’t stop eating this because it is so good” his wife, said, “I have never had haddock this good” and 20 months old could not stop eating it. As for me, I loved seeing them enjoy it so much specially the little boy was adorable, he literally could not stop eating:)
Monday, June 4th, 2012
The Kismet Inn, bed and breakfast that has come to be known as a restorative inn, actually recognized as best in Maine by ‘Yankee Magazine’ and third best inn in the entire nation on cnn.com sits right across the town green and only two very short blocks from the Kennebec River which can easily be seen from the inn.The other day I decided to take an early walk by the river on the ‘Waterfront Park’ that has recently been done beautifully with brick pavers, a great dock built for boaters, number of stone benches installed to sit and enjoy the view ~ I started my walk early before 5 a.m watching the sun dye the river and the sky with its magnificent colors of deep orange, red, yellow, hues of purple, pink ~ all the colors calming and settling getting me ready to start the day. A day that I enjoy immensely offering yoga to the guests to start their day followed by the organic breakfasts that are highly popular.
Here are some photos of the sunrise ~
Saturday, April 28th, 2012
This year the tulips at Kismet Inn bed and breakfast, Spa, Retreat have come up earlier due to the unusual warmth in the Spring. It was lovely and warm couple of weeks ago however, it has turned out a bit cold and rather windy today. The wind is quite strong, I woke up this morning to see one of the leaf bags, I have put on the grass to be picked up, blown by wind across the town green, ‘The Library Park’
I also found a few tulips kind of cut off from the stem and hyacinths drooped to the ground. So I picked them up and put them in vases around the inn. The hyacinth smell great and tulips look beautiful.