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Saturday, December 19, 2009

THE SNOWSTORM- & we still have power!

I write this at the beginning of what is evidently going to be THE SNOWSTORM of the last 7 years. It is Seriously Snowing, as you can see from my "Pokey-in-the-snow" pix, and Weatherbug's been chirping madly on my computer warning that we are due for 12-20 inches before Sunday morning! We haven't had a storm like this since the Ice Storm that hit when we first bought the Inn building in 2002, and it really is something to behold! It's beautiful and wondrous, seasonally appropriate, etc., BECAUSE we are on the inside, toasty-warm and looking out, & because Dan made sure we had enough wood chainsawed into manageable logs for the fireplace, propane, candles, batteries for flashlights, etc. (I had one small "Oh, s***!" moment tonight when the power went out for 10 seconds, and put my head in my hands in despair, but then it all came on again, and life resumed!) And so, with mugs of Chef Dan's turkey gumbo & glasses of red wine at the ready, we were all set when Route 52 shut down & we could take lovely, still photos of the Pocahontas RR chugging by from our front porch! Route 52's been plowed now (gotta keep The Highway open for our coal trucks, dontcha know!), and it's literally a twinkling, snow-covered wonderland out there- right out of a Currier & Ives engraving! It's 1:20a.m, and our Inn guests are tucked up into their beds and the table is set for their breakfast, Pibble-Bear, Lady & Kitty are snug in their bed, and I am winding down: Facebooking (started an album of Pokey-in-the-snow pix for our railfans on the Elkhorn Inn "fan" page) , Tweeting, eBaying, Sweeping, & Blogging... because we still have power! Yay! LOL

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Elkhorn Inn Sweepstakes & Contest Winners!

Last night (Dec 2, 2009) wonderful Dreama Denver (Denver Foundation, Little Buddy Radio, etc.) did the drawing for the Elkhorn Inn & Theatre's "Facebook Fan" Sweepstakes winners, and Elisse (me) announced the winner of the Elkhorn Inn's "Marketing Buzz" contest at Gary Bowling's House of Art in Bluefield, and BluefieldView put it all on YouTube! Check it out:
We've notified the winners, and most have already claimed their prizes! :-)
Dan & I are SO glad that a real, live Railfan won our "Marketing Buzz" contest, and gets the Grand Prize of a $320 gift certificate for a 2-night stay at the Elkhorn Inn & a Chef Dan dinner for two!
We've gotta say it: BluefieldView makes THE best videos! Terry Rowe somehow manages to flatter us all, and flattery will get you Everywhere, dahling! :-) He does an AMAZING job of promoting all the many things southern West Virginia has to offer, and we truly owe him a debt of gratitude, for without his 24/7 work and Facbooking & YourTubing & Tweeting, we'd never know of many of the great things going on right under our noses!

Tonight Chef Dan made us an amazing turkey gumbo- with a 'chocolate roux', andouille sausage, okra, and shrimp- and it was THE best thing to warm one up on a cold, winter evening! Walking into the kitchen at Just The Right Time, I got to help him make the roux, & discovered it really is a 4-handed feat- I've no CLUE how he does it alone! The creamy, rich roux gives the gumbo a smooth, sexy smokiness, and all the different textures of the shrimp, sausage, okra, & turkey, plus the 'zing' from peppers & his secret mix of herbs and spices make for one Very luscious, sexy soup... Yes, soup Can be sexy!

This past weekend, Dan & I threw the puppies (Whiney & Drooley, a.k.a. as Pibble Bear & Lady, pictured, drooling) in the Jeep, & zoomed up to our friend's hunting cabin in Virginia for a quickie getaway. I have NEVER seen a dog drool as much spit as Drooley- I mean Lady- did in the first hour of our trip. I SWEAR she has secret pouches in her face that can hold quarts of spit... Lady's part lab, & this trip gave new meaning to words "water dog"... It was actually rather an amazing thing to witness, albeit in a rather nasty & disgusting way... The Intention of this little jaunt was for Dan & I to hunt together, & so we packed enough camo, long underwear, ammo, & Hunter Orange for a week. In prep for our Saturday Walk In The Woods To Go Get Dinner, I had to make sure I could accurately shoot at least one of Dan's weapons; his rifle having such a long stock that I couldn't even see thru the scope properly, I target-shot his 12-gauge shotgun... and flipped over backwards! Although I (amazingly) hit the target with 3 out of 12, I did it while flipping head-over-arse & evidently put on quite a show... For when I stood up- DEEPLY embarrassed, as I've Never been thrown by a gun- our friend Judy was speechless, & her son was agog; unbeknownst to me, I had blood running down my face! If I'd had that gun braced against my shoulder (as I'd been taught to do), I would have dislocated it & wound up in the ER, but fortunately I listened to Army Dan & tucked it under my armpit! So instead of hunting, Dan & Ms. Puffy-Face (with her "hunting wound") trundled off to Clark's to look for a gun that boo-boo might actually be able to hunt with, and I found the gun of my dreams: a super-light, short stock AR15. For "only" $800! So when we win the lotto... :-)

On the way back to the cabin we stopped at Gray Ghost Vineyards for a wine tasting :-) & to make up for my blueness at not being able to hunt, we bought a couple of bottles for our little "wine cellar" back at the Inn... I especially liked their "Victorian White", a "stainless steel Chardonnay" that has a lovely, light pineapple-y nose, & I think will be great with the Vietnamese foods that Dan & I love to make... We'd brought all the fixings for the spicy Vietnamese green papaya-grilled beef salad, and made it for our friends at the cabin, and the minute I got home I ordered more green papayas (& fresh Thai peppers & coconut milk...) from! Taste Pad Thai Truly has THE best fresh produce & groceries for Asian cooking- delivered right to your door! On top of which, their customer service is Great, AND they now have a 20%-off coupon if you order on-line! YAY!

On another happy note, the Sweeps Queen of Landgraff, WV really Did win an LG Bliss phone in the "Lose Your Ugly, Find Your Bliss" Sweepstakes! I sent in the affidavit, they emailed me that they got it, and I'm now waiting on the arrival of my Bliss! (My True bliss will be if it actually works here in southern WV!) I am ALL excited about this, having given up my cell phone in 2002 when we moved to southern WV from NYC- I couldn't get so much as a message on it here, much less make a call. But Wally World put up a cellphone tower right above the Elkhorn Inn, & l'il Bliss is supposed to take pix and do all Sorts of cool stuff! I have High Hopes for this baby!
So yeah, I really DID hit "critical mass" in the Sweepstakes Department this year! Some people play solitaire on the computer at 3a.m.; I enter sweeps... LOL