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Monday, August 31, 2009


Nothing quite so empowers one as hitting a fairly small target at a decent distance with a 20 gauge shotgun. :-)
The other night, whilst I was Facebooking & Twittering away at the computer, adding such pithy 140-character-or-less bon mots as "Train Tweets: The Pocahontas RR is chugging past the! #railfans #trains" to the tweeting universe (and patently oblivious to the rest of it), Dan went out back and shotgunned a copperhead snake that was freaking out the dogs.
Totally immersed in the computer, I heard not the dogs freaking out, nor the Boom of the shotgun- Nada. This was Not a good thing. Plus, I later wondered, what if I had? This was not the first time we'd had the dogs freaked out by a snake, but it Was the first time the dogs were freaked out by a Poisonous snake, and the possibility of it happening again at some point is a good one, so Boo-Boo better better be able to Deal, as they say...
And so yesterday I went out back w/Dan & "Li'l Betsy", our antique gift shotgun from NY friends who inherited it, and picked out a couple of targets in the creek (the shadow in front of a piece of drift wood, a sunlit spot on the water) and successfully blasted 'em. Boom! Reload! Boom! Reload! Boom! Reload! Woo-hoo! It is SO nice to be able to step out back of one's home and blast away at things in the peaceful quiet of one's own backyard, with no neighbors to p-o...
Li'l Betsy has a bit of a kick to her, but today my shoulder is neither black nor blue, and I now feel Quite empowered & Much more capable- of taking out a poisonous snake, among other things! :-D
We've had a number of guests at the Inn over the last few weeks, including many Railfans, which has been a lot of fun. Our littlest railfan guest this week (age 6) was enchanted with the inn & all the trains, especially as the Pocahontas' RR engineer's "tooted" him on the RR horn! We've had several guests book the Inn's "Ultimate Railfan" package, too, which includes two nights at the Inn, a Chef Dan Dinner at the Inn, and a signed copy of one of James Porterfield's books- either "From the Dining Car" or "Dining by Rail" The best news this week is that we've just learned the Elkhorn Inn & Theatre is featured in the October issue of TRAINS Magazine, as well as in the Sept. issue of the WV State Journal! TRAINS Magazine is an especially big deal for us, as railfan guests truly are the backbone of our business; Trains and Railfan & Railroad are THE magazines most of our guests read, and for the Elkhorn Inn to have been featured now in both publications is a great thing for us and McDowell County.
We have several upcoming festivals in our area, too, so we've been getting ready for our guests who'll be coming to enjoy them:
Sat. Sept 5th (Labor Day Weekend) there's an "ATV pig roast" and live band up on the mountain, and Dan & I are planning to ride our ATV's up and enjoy that- hopefully with our guests! Sat. Oct. 3 is the October Sky - Rocket Boys Festival in Coalwood with Homer Hickam & the Rocket Boys of book & movie fame, and
Sat. Oct 10 is Oktoberfest in Bramwell, with live music and a microbrewery beer sampling... and the "leaf-peeping" should be Gorgeous all the way through Halloween!
Dan & I Finally got to do a bit of ATVing this week, riding all over the mountain for 6 hours, nice-and-easy, and found a "secret" valley where we had a fun picnic. It was a Gorgeous day, mostly sunny and in the 70s, and everything is still that wonderful deep, summer green... I will NOT LET SUMMER GO! I do not want to hear ONE thing about fall, sweaters, leaf-peeping, holiday gifts, "rich & hearty warming stews", or ANYTHING that even IMPLIES that summer is over! We get 8 $%&*!!$! months of winter here every year and I want to drag summer out as long as I possibly can! We harvested a whole Mess of oregano last week and made several quarts of REALLY good oregano pesto, and we've been harvesting tomatoes, as well, and so cooking up lots of tomato-basil sauce. Like the wild-blackberry sauces & salsas we make, I like to freeze them so we can have a "taste of summer" when we badly need it in the winter! Chef Dan treated me this week to a couple of glorious "foodie" meals: seared sushi tuna one night, accompanied by a truly fine saki our friend Cindy gave us, and the next night tiny scallops sauteed in garlic and oil with almonds over pasta with a Maycas del Limari 2006 Chardonnay from that Dan got from the "puppies" on DogFather's Day! As you can see, it is almost Impossible to diet in this house, but I have managed, over the last 6 months, to actually lose some weight- the proof was getting boots zipped all the way up that wouldn't even Begin to close back in May... The only "trick" I can attribute this to was writing down Everything I put in my mouth (and its calorie count) for over a month, which made me Think about what I was consuming- and cut it down. And I Do try to drink 5 cups of green tea a day, as this truly does help me lose weight more rapidly...
As readers of this blog know, for the past several weeks I was like, you know, Totally Obsessed with the "Huge Lips Skinny Hips" contest on, and whined, wheedled, plead, & otherwise drove all my friends nuts begging them (you) to vote for my entry. Well, the contest ended the other day, and as I have not yet received The Phone Call, I gather I didn't win the fabulous fashionista trip to NYC... Such is life! It was fun, and actually quite a learning experience, vis a vis the promotional usages of "Social Networking" and "Social Marketing" to create "buzz"... I now have another 5 entries on Brickfish (!), and I will add links to my entries on this blog, but I will not (for the moment, anyway) drive y'all crazy with them...

As I write this, Lucky Kitty- the most appropriately named kitten in the world- is asleep on top of my computer printer. Lucky has become, obviously, a House Cat, with all that this implies: he now has a litter box, a cat collar with a tiny bell (that's still too large, & which he pulls off), and store-bought kitten food, it's spoiled rotten already, & is about to get a Scratching Post with the $10 gift certificate to Petco that The Sweeps Queen won on (a great site about traveling with ones pets), before he even Thinks about damaging any furniture. Lucky has spent his first week @the Elkhorn Inn tweaking the Tiger- literally.
One Incredibly Self-Assured Kitten from the minute he strode into the bldg. like he owned it, L has taken to perching on the the back of my office chair & whacking at Tiger-the-Pit-Bull's nose with his paw, while T attempts to lick it like a Mommy Cat! Watching the two big dogs play with the tiny kitten and chase each other around (practically bouncing off the walls of my office...) is pretty funny and incredibly sweet... At night Tiger, Lady, & Lucky all curl up in the big dog box, and T even lets kitten drink from his water dish! They are now a Complete Animal Family: Mommy Lab, Daddy Pittie, & Baby Kittie! And that is IT! The Elkhorn Inn Animal Farm is CLOSED! Note to all strays: It's over! Finito! We're officially Full! Chiuso! No room at the Inn! Go away!

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