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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Trains in the snow... and other signs of spring...

It's been a Very busy train day at the Elkhorn Inn & Theatre...
















Lots and lots and Lots of trains coming and going past the Inn thru the powdery snow... Dan,
with his militarily-honed hearing, can hear a train Long before I do, & yelled "get the camera!" early enough that for once I actually got out there in time! (I actually stood out there in the snow w/my camera muttering ''why?" for a good, cold several minutes until I heard it coming...)
I've gotten so used to ol' Pokey that I don't even hear her most of the time- I grew up in Queens, NY, smack under the plane-path 'tween JFK & Idlewild airports, & my father had an apt. right under the El in Woodside, so I have a long-standing & well-developed ability to tune out Really Loud Noise- I think it's called the "oblivious gene". (In July of 1976 I slept thru the planes flying low over our Kibbutz on their way to Entebbe... no one else did!) But today was truly a Railfan Day if ever there was one- and it continues thru the night as I write this. Tres picturesque, & I finally managed to get some decent pix with our 'toy' camera, at least in daylight... It's now dark, and when the trains go by in the darkness in the snow, the headlights making the wind-swept snowflakes sparkle in the blackness, it is Incredibly cool looking, but our little camera won't take any decent night shots :-( It is still snowing fit to beat the band, as they say, as it did all day; truly beautiful, esp. if you don't have to go anywhere! We have Inn guests arriving tonight, & hope they're okay out there in this picturesque snowstorm...
Segueing from holiday to holiday as we do, Dan deflated Valentine's I Love You Bear, & inflated Mr. Leprechaun, getting him all lit up & on display just in time for the snowstorm... I changed the Inn's tabletop decor from V-Day to St. Pat's, storing away the Valentine's teddy & red-&-white heart napkins, & festooning the green floppy-eared bunnies with rings of shamrock tinsel surrounding a pot o' gold (candies)... Disappointment of the day: WalMart had no green taper candles! ;-) (Believe me, I know- this should be the worst dis of my life!)
The finches have been flocking to our feeders all winter, but they are terribly camera-shy, & so I have yet to get a photo; Dan filled the big feeder w/thistle seed for the finches, as the fat, greedy doves kick the tiny finches out of the way to get to the sunflower seeds... Read a blog about the possibility of poisoning birds w/tainted peanut butter (shades of Tom Lehrer's "Poisoning
Pigeons In The Park???!) & so opted out of proffering suet-peanut butter cakes this year... The spring bulbs have sprouted (yay!), & we pruned back the butterfly bushes & Dan repaired the fence... This morning Dan discovered- just in the nick of time- that a fuse had quietly blown & shut down one of our freezers, & so we managed to save everything in it... but as a few things had defrosted, we had chili for lunch, and tonight I'm making Chicken Mole, Dan is doing a 10 lb. corned beef (& he makes THE best corned beef in the known universe- & I say that as a devout & drooling fan of the 2nd Ave. Deli), and we're both doing something TBD (FoodNetwork.com here I come...) needing several quarts of peach puree- the bounty of last summer's harvest... We've got a Truly roaring fire going in the fireplace AND one going in the potbelly railroad stove in the back of the building, and so periodically I hear the happy sound of Dan mitre-sawing giant hunks o' tree into manageable logs...
The new thing I do when it's too cold to do almost anything else, is to sit on Facebook... & it is fun, esp. when you set it to "Live Feed'' & all the things your friends are doing (or not doing- because they're sitting on Facebook, too...) pop up... We now have a 'fan page' for the Elkhorn Inn on Facebook and we invite you to join it, and share it with your friends; there's a coupon on the page that's good for lodging at the Inn or our on-line gift shop, & I've downloaded railfan photos and lots of other links and cool things... & when we get to 100 fans we'll have a sweepstakes for a nice gift from the Inn's Gift Shop!
Another sign that it's been a Really cold winter is that the dogs have taken to Totally Refusing to go outside when they deem it too cold; after enduring one particularly foul snarl from Tiger when I 'invited' him to go outside, Dan & I simply decided to let them lay in their beds until They decide it's time... And they do let us know, thank goodness... For two foundling strays, trolling the garbage cans for scraps in the cold, they've become awful soft, much preferring now to loll all day in their cozy, blanket-covered bed (preferably on their backs w/their tummies in the air)
in front of a heater... lucky dogs! It is fun to have these two dogs around us all the time, full of cuddles & puppy kisses, & to know that we've given them the Life of Riley... This giant building Truly had an empty, dog-shaped space in it after my old lab, Trapper, died, & one at a time, these two magically appeared on our doorstep & more than filled it :-) Tiger is sitting behind me in my chair as I write this, attempting to slather me w/puppy-spit- the 'Tiger Dog-Spit Facial" as I fondly call it... Nothing fixes depression or the winter doldrums better that puppy kisses!
Well & truly fed up w/winter, last week I jumped the gardening gun & planted the first of our spring veggie seeds in their little peat-pot, table top greenhouse, full of hope that come early April we'll be able to set them out in their Cozy Coats & so harvest veggies 1 1/2 months early! I started watermelons, cantaloupes, pumpkins, squash, herbs, & the Tabasco pepper seeds I brought back from Avery Island, LA in Nov.; we'll buy tomato & other plants as soon as they appear @the garden store... How you get thru the cold of winter w/out going totally ga-ga is by dreaming of spring!

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