Breakfast Updates at Dungeness Barn House at Two Crows Farm

Grab and Go Sign for Breakfast

Photo by Brian Taylor on Unsplash

The Dungeness BarnHouse has undergone significant changes in recent years, including a lengthy renovation. However, unexpected challenges like Covid, divorce, and financial difficulties put the BarnHouse at risk. To adapt, the business model had to change.

Now, instead of a sit-down formal three-course served breakfast in the dining room, the Dungeness BarnHouse offers a convenient “Grab and Go” breakfast option. Embracing simplicity, this choice allows guests to enjoy farm-fresh delights without a formal dining experience.

For guests staying in the Private Waterfront Studio, a well-stocked kitchen is available to prepare their own breakfast. Clare, the owner, provides eggs from the farm’s hens, fresh pastries, homemade granola, yogurt, milk, coffee, and tea.

The “Grab and Go” breakfast includes a variety of options, from boiled eggs sourced from the farm’s chickens to homemade granola paired with creamy yogurt. There are freshly baked pastries, flavorful fruits, energizing bars, and instant oatmeal for those seeking a quick and nourishing start to the day.

Guests can curate their breakfast just the way they like it, enjoying their meal in a comfortable seating area with a mesmerizing water view, providing a tranquil and fulfilling start to their day at the farm retreat.


Photo by Brian Taylor on Unsplash

Home for the Holidays – Celebrating Who We Are

Who does have that perfect “nuclear family?”
The holidays can present some tricky social situations to navigate through… Who does have that perfect “nuclear family?” Even though it may look that way from the outside – but who really IS that? Every family has their quirks behind the picture perfect Christmas card photos.

There is no “normal”

Blended families have always been a part of our culture and recognized in pop culture for almost 50 years with the Brady Bunch show being a significant watershed. The classic nuclear family is becoming the exception rather than the norm – with so many people choosing alternative lifestyles, same sex partners and even the lines of gender have become blurred with the transsexual movement. Perhaps the “new normal” is that there is no “normal” – and that’s a good thing. That never existed anyway, even in the most “normal” looking nuclear family.

family of choice

There is the family that you are born into, and the people that you choose to be in you life; your “family of choice.” Sometimes these are blood relatives and sometimes not, sometimes they include both.

The Grandma’s

We believe that the best way to move through life is to show up as our most authentic selves – without explanation or apology. Clare and Su are excited to be grandma’s in the year 2019. They are “The Grandma’s” to their families – they show up as the married couple that they are – and it’s that simple.

The one gift we all want

The holidays are a time in which loss and celebration are entwined… “the first year without a loved one…” when the one gift we all want is the one thing that you can’t have which is to have that loved one back…


Clare’s father recently passed away. He was 88. He enlisted when he was 17, served in the Korean War and was one of only a few people from his platoon who made it home. He survived alcoholism. And she was his adored daughter. From when she was first held in his arms as a newborn, she was his girl. He lit up when she entered the room – and in his eyes, she could do no wrong. He would do anything for her. At the age of 8, she brought him to his first AA meeting – and he became sober for the rest of his life.

Hoodie People

They shared so many of the same quirks – one of them both being “hoodie people” in that they both wore hoodies even in the house to fend off the cold – and friends commented upon seeing them both in their hoodies “My God, you look just like him!” 

I don’t understand all these strange terms

He was always willing to try and understand, even when it was hard. Clare’s niece Mee-ya became  angry with him at a family dinner when he made a comment about not understanding what all this new terminology was and not knowing what to say when addressing  people.   “Male or female how are you suppose to know? Are Clare and Su both wives?  I don’t understand all these strange terms, why is it now necessary!?”   Mee-ya was  so frustrated with her grandpa she left the table and went outside . He followed her and said: “Mee-ya I am sorry I upset you. I’m just a  old man. I’m confused and need help with the new ways.”

Loved Ones

He died surrounded by loved ones, his extended family. Including his adopted daughter which he adopted when he was 80 and she was a few months old.

Love is a bridge

It’s a bittersweet holiday remembering a lost father. The gift of life that a parent brings and the closure of their life ending. Love is a bridge to span the gaps between our differences. Love motivates us to reach out and understand more about the people who we love. Love can heal wounds.

May your holidays be a celebration of love with your loved ones.

An Informal, Opinionated, and Brief History Of The Business Of Bed & Breakfasts

The 1980s

The 80’s saw the rise of Bed and Breakfast’s as home owners who enjoyed entertaining, decided to earn some extra cash by opening up their homes as B&B’s. Hallmarks of the owner’s quirks included staying in a room with pictures of the owners family on the wall – or worse – their dolls on the beds. While some did an excellent and professional job, a huge part of the charm was that it was run by amateurs and “not corporate.” Travelers sacrificed convenience for a unique experience.

The 1990s

As the rise in popularity of B&B’s continued, they became more organized – and corporate. “Homes” were built specifically to be B&B’s and they became more organized as income-generating businesses. In some cases, they were also seen as a tax shelter for upper middle class people who were looking for a write off for whom it didn’t matter if they were a viable business or not.

2000’s and beyond

Corporatization and technology came to B&B’s. Booking became more sophisticated – and online booking became an expected part of even a very “low key” B&B operation. Public ratings from Yelp, TripAdvisor and similar crowd source reviews became extremely important. Google search placement and Google Maps meant the difference between a successful business and failing. It became harder for small B&B’s to compete without having a strong online presence. All of these conveinances come at a high price for a small B&B. The advent of added a new player to the field.

“Those little soaps that you saw… those are cookies!”

Portlandia: Bed and Breakfast – Inspection

Businesses that facilitate travel, and work as liaisons between hotels/B&B’s and their customers have also consolidated and become much larger and – own many smaller online travel agents such as  Airbnb .com,  Trivago and Home Away. If a small business wants to compete, they need to work with these huge companies which take a hefty percentage of any room that is booked.

At the same time, savvy travelers also became more wary of “fake positive reviews,” photographs that looked “too professional” and obviously paid for advertisements by large companies to boost their web presence. The internet had transitioned from being a level playing field for all businesses to compete with equal access to an increasingly corporate environment with priority given to the paid advertising and those who could pay to optimize their website to be found by search engines.

Dungeness Barn House’s location on search pages had become buried. It was past time for an update. An update on every level and to make it a more streamlined process for our customers, and let us focus more on offering great experiences for our customers – like gourmet breakfasts. And tend our organic vegetable garden.

The website needed to not look like “Grandma’s B&B” and more modern, yet rustic to reflect what the Dungeness Barn House looked like now.

Clare researched different designers and options… Should we go DIY – “Do it yourself” That was quickly ruled out as a “Do it yourself – DON’T” or what Melissa likes to call a “DIYD.” Should we try and slowly update what we have just by swapping out old pictures for new ones? No. The format isn’t right… and it would have to be redone sooner or later. Sooner much rather than later.

Trina Packard of Packard Design Works was clearly the best fit – she understood that we wanted something clean, but warm – to reflect the “high touch” elements of the Barn House. Modern, but also honored the traditions we value. She and Clare did a deep dive into educating Clare about all of the elements that needed to go into the revamp. Clare’s brother Michael Monnin who is a competitive photographer and avid birder supplied many of the photographs. Terms that were initially unfamiliar but now roll easily off of Clare’s tongue: SEO (search engine optimization), OTA (online travel agent), VBRO (vacation rental by owner). She says: “Acronyms… It’s been painful…”

We also wanted the website to be a resource for both locals and visitors to the Olympic Peninsula. While the beauty of this location is breathtaking – many people are not aware of all of the hidden gems and options for inexpensive – and creative day trips.

Some transitions happen gracefully…

Trees turning color in the fall are a beautiful example of that…

Daisies are not…

But in the end…

totally worth it.
Just make sure that you have plenty of chips, candy AND the right designer!

Cultivating Land, Body & Soul

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” -Alfred Austin
“Sustainability” is a buzz-word these days usually applied to either environmental issues or to managing one’s time and work/life balance so that “it’s sustainable” (when it usually isn’t).
What creates true sustainability?
Supportive communities and individuals who contribute to those communities. As much as it is appealing to follow the “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” model, and “do everything yourself,” that’s the path to burnout – and is a fallacy. To realize the dream of being independent entrepreneurs with our own bed and breakfast, took the cooperation and support of many people who have become a part of our tribe.

Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade. -Rudyard Kipling

One member of our tribe is Israel – who maintains the gardens and helps with all aspects of the grounds. He brings a wealth of information about the plantings of the property from having worked for the previous owners for the past 20 years. Israel is a legal immigrant who started at 16 years old, knocking on doors in the area and offering to work on people’s yards. From that humble beginning, he now runs a successful business and employs three people. His former instructor for English classes is also a long-term client.
Our gardens are a major feature of Dungeness Barn House – in addition to vegetable plantings, we maintain an ornamental garden with roses inherited from the former owners who transplanted the roses from their parent’s garden. Israel’s favorite feature of the garden is those roses – whose fragrance permeates the air. These traditional plantings are integrated with more modern gardening concepts – including vegetable plantings as ornamental beds.

“Garden as though you will live forever.”-William Kent

Being a part of a community is a long-term commitment – and requires an investment of time and energy over a span of years. Gardening is an art form that evolves over time – and encompasses a wide range of variables from seasonal changes to the maturity of individual plants. The metaphors between communities and gardens are interconnected.

There is a bond that happens between the property and the people who put their love, blood, sweat and tears into it. The land binds us together across generations of owners and caretakers who collaborate to create a beautiful and functional garden. We are joined by a common love of the land. A thriving garden is a reflection of the community and our mutual understanding and respect. In caring for our garden, we also care for ourselves.

“Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.” -Richard Brinsley Sheridan