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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Autumn (I mean winter...) is here...





















I love fall, don't get me wrong. It's REALLY pretty here in the so. WV mountains when the leaves turn, and they turn late here and usually hang around for quite awhile- it's still pretty here come Halloween. As you can see from the photos, two weeks ago Dan & I had a magical day, ATVing and having a picnic up above Miracle Mountain, seeing the leaves start to turn in the glorious summery sunshine... But I personally hate Cold, and we had our first frost the other night... Having "Weatherbug" chirping madly on my computer to let me know what was in store, Dan & I managed to pull in 6 Tabasco pepper plants totally Covered in tiny peppers, all the herbs, and one window-box full of flowering geraniums at The Last Minute, before everything else got whacked by frost. I am SO bummed, as the marigolds & geraniums were totally covered in flowers, & the roses still had buds! And now everything we couldn't drag inside has frozen :-( So for me, winter is now here- 6 months of it! :-P We have a fire in the fireplace every night now, and the aromatic oak smells glorious & makes the Inn all "cozy", but I'm now wearing Layers, and will be doing so until April, and as an Official Summer Girl, this doesn't thrill me to the core of my being!
The Good News is that for the first time in 7 years, Dan & I went to Yom Kippur services- at the Bluefield, WV Synagogue- and it was wonderful! Dan finally got to hear Kol Nidre done Right! I was literally in tears throughout the service- the familiar prayers and music opened up a great well of loneliness in me, I guess... It's been WAY too long since I was in shul! I got my lulav & Israeli etrog on eBay, and so was able to do Sukkot right- and right here at the Elkhorn Inn! :-D I got a lovely porcelain Havdallah set from Israel (made in China- LOL) on eBay, too, complete with the braided candle, cup, spice box, and tray, and since I can get Manischevitz Kosher wine for Kiddush @the Kimball, WV Walmart(!), I basically have everything I need to do Shabbat the way it's supposed to be done- even up here in the rural mountains! :-D

We've had lots of happy railfan at the Inn this past month, with more again tonight enjoying the trains, our scanner & new ATCS Monitor, and ATVing couples and Foodie Guests arriving tomorrow for Chef Dans Prime Rib, and our hand-crafted WV coal statues are flying out of the gift shop... and so everything is really great & we have been truly blessed... but we've evidently lost our wonderful Tiger-dog, and this has broken both our hearts. Tiger & Lady managed to run off about a month ago, and tho' Lady returned 2 days later, Tiger didn't. Dan's driven all around the mountain, day after day, but no one's seen him. Tiger was my "baby"; we raised him from when he turned up as a pitiful, emaciated puppy, and losing him was like losing a piece of me. :-( We posted "reward" posters all over the place, and got calls from someone who claimed to have our Tiger and then hung up on me. Dan and a police officer ransomed & rescued him, (he was badly hurt), but it wasn't Tiger. And so we now have Bear, a darling, lovey-kissy pit puppy, and he's healing up nicely. He and Lady and Lucky Kitty all sleep together nestled in a box, and he's full of puppy-kisses... But we miss our Tiger SO bad, & I haven't slept right for a month. We still pray that by some miracle he'll come home safe, and also that someone is loving on him like we are loving on Bear...
To try to cheer myself up one night when I couldn't sleep, I visited http://www.dartagnan.com, http://www.VeryAsia.com, http://www.igourmet.com, and http://www.ebay.com and went Gourmet Food Shopping to give Chef Dan something to do & his Foodie Wife something glorious to eat! The fruits of my midnight shopping spree have started to arrive (bless you, FedEx & UPS! What Would we do in these rural mountains without you???): Wild Boar Tenderloin, Buffalo Fillet Mignon medallions, duck & boar bacon, and lamb sausages from d'artagnan, and Korean, Japanese, & Vietnamese foodstuffs from VeryAsia... The igourmet Italian truffle cheese I adore & a batch of condiments are due to arrive tomorrow, & the Sushi ginger, panko bread crumbs, and black & golden sesame seeds, next week. (I'm about to get us the little Japanese plums- umeboshi?- & hopefully some Vietnamese pho rice noddles- tonight on eBay...) I ordered a batch of used books off http://www.amazon.com/, including one of Mai Pham's excellent Vietnamese cookbooks, and so I'm in the process of gathering all the bits & pieces we need to make Korean and Vietnamese dishes & "real" sushi & maki rolls, so the next time Dan brings home sushi fish or scallops from ab fab Food City in Bluefield we can make the "real McCoy"! Up 'til now we've always eaten it as sashimi- simple & utterly sexy-wonderful- but I thought it'd be fun to try to actually make maki rolls and such, and to do it w/the "right" kind of rice, nori, and condiments. Chef Dan will be doing his herb-rubbed smoked lamb chop racks for the Inn's Gourmet Guests this Sunday, and is planning to smoke some of the wild boar tenderloin, too...

While hunting for wild boar recipes on-line, I wound up on http://www.epicurious.com, and saw one of those keyword Google ad links for a "free wild boar hunt", and I HAD to check that out! Dan's an experienced big game hunter, but I'm a newbie; I've been Dreaming about "really" going hunting with him since we did a little pheasant hunting on Jeju island in Korea on our Honeymoon last year... and so we've both registered to win a free wild boar hunt in Texas on http://www.huntinghoghunting.com! I figure our chances are pretty good, since how many epicurious.com visitors would actually want to hunt their own boar? LOL

BTW, the Sweeps & Contest Queen of Landgraff, WV recently won a couple of great things: a pair of (sorely-needed) eyeglasses from Eye Buy Direct http://www.eyebuydirect.com via the great Born2Impress Blog http://kidzborn2impress.blogspot.com/ I follow; she always has great info, showcases great products, and hosts some Very cool contests! I haven't had a Real pair of glasses since I got contacts at the age of 16 (34 years ago! AAAUGH!), and so this is Truly a great win! Eye Buy Direct has some Very cute glasses, including ones with rhinestones which are Just My Thing! LOL You can even download a photo of yourself & virtually "try on" all their glasses, so you can see how they'll actually look! Without that option I'd be REALLY afraid to order glasses on-line, but I easily uploaded a face photo of myself, and tried on a mess of glasses, finding that the ones with the rhinestones I so admired will actually look good on me! :-D (And now I have to go get a prescription!)

I also won a fairly fabulous and elegant $75 freshwater pearl sterling silver necklace from http://www.MyJewelryBox.com via Steal The Style http://stealthestyle.com/, another great website and Blog I follow (and I follow them on Twitter, too @StealTheStyle). Remember my rule of thumb: only enter for things you REALLY want to win! :-)

I Didn't win the "Huge Lips Skinny Hips" contest from Purple Lab NYC http://www.purplelabnyc.com on Brickfish (http://www.brickfish.com/), and got Seriously bummed (LOL), but then I got back in the fashionista saddle and entered 4 more Brickfish contests, so yes, you can go on http://www.brickfish.com/ RIGHT NOW and vote for me (elisse) and help "Boomer Babe" win a Macy's shopping spree in NYC! (Even my 87 year-old mother is voting for me every day!) I am Determined to somehow win a makeover in NYC, so I can get back up there to see my eye doc (Dr. Farkas, who's been (along with his dad), my eye doc since 1975, saved my sight by catching both my detaching retinas in 1993 when I had NO symptoms, and is the ONLY eye doc I trust), wander about my old stomping grounds, and meet my BFFs & new Facebook friends at Marty O'Brien's on 2nd Ave., and take 'em all to Macanudo's for scotch and cigars! So PLEASE click, vote for me, & Share! :-)

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