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Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Magic Mountain day...

We had THE BEST DAY EVER today! Rode our ATVs up to Miracle Mountain, and then kept going... found a GORGEOUS place to have a Totally Private picnic lunch at the tip-top of a mountain, looking out across the mountains in the sparkling, summer sunshine... A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, roast beef sandwiches with tomato-basil tapenade, and thou! We truly found "our private West Virginia" and had THE most romantic, fun day I can imagine... the kind of "honeymoon holiday" day that makes you never want to live anywhere else...



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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Elkhorn Inn's new Contest & Sweeps- enter now!

Yes, the Sweepstakes Queen of Landgraff, WV has finally launched OUR sweeps- AND a great contest, too! We have some really great prizes from the Elkhorn Inn Gift Shop, & the Contest has a Grand Prize of a $320 gift certificate to the Elkhorn Inn Inn for a two-night stay with a Chef Dan Dinner at the Inn for two on one night! In order to enter the Sweepstakes, you have to be a "fan" of the Elkhorn Inn on Facebook, so the first thing you need to do is click
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eckman-WV/Elkhorn-Inn-Theatre/53453051478?ref=mf and become a fan! Just by being a "fan" of the Elkhorn Inn you're entered in the Sweeps, but you get an EXTRA entry for each new "fan" you get us- so get us lots of new fans to increase your chance of winning! The Contest is to find (and suitably reward) the most creative and enthusiastic "fan" of the Elkhorn Inn for the most successful marketing and promotion of the Inn using "social networking" and other media... You can read all the details for both the Contest and the Sweepstakes in the "Notes" on the Elkhorn Inn's Facebook fan page. Both the Sweepstakes and the Contest end Dec.1, 2009 at midnight EST, so you've got 2 1/2 months to build up your entries! The key is: you MUST LET US KNOW that you've sent us fans, or guests who've made reservations, or if you got us media coverage, or Tweeted or Facebooked or MySpaced or YouTubed about us- we have to know what you did in order for it to count! You can email us at elisse@elkhorninnwv.com, leave a message on our Facebook fan page, or "tweet" us @elkhorninn on www.Twitter.com.

The Best news this week was the article on the Elkhorn Inn in TRAINS magazine, and that another article on the Inn is coming out in the WV State Journal. The wonderful TRAINS article by Alan Byers has resulted in tons of calls & a number of bookings, and even a radio interview on the Tom & Judy & Dan Mid-Morning Show on WMST in Mt. Sterling, KY on Sept 1- Tom is a Big-Time Railfan! Click on: http://www.gatewayradio.net/grwcommon/audiofeeds/TJ/TJ-09-01-2009.ram (You will need RealPlayer, which is a free download), go to 1:31 (a bit after the 10a.m. news) and you'll hear the train music & then my interview with Tom! I talked about Alan Johnston, Stacy Grubb, & South 52 playing at our Theatre, trains, and other things! :-)

I also had a small (humorous) piece that I wrote about my dad published on The Sweet With The Bitter blog about caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's and memory loss: http://thesweetwiththebitteralzheimersblog.blogspot.com/ Those of you who think there couldn't Possibly be anything funny about dealing Alzheimer's should read it. (Those of who are dealing with or dealt with it Know what I'm talking about...) I sent Ms. Diederich a number of funny stories about things that happened during the years my father was losing his memory, and she used one in her latest post. Yes, these stories are all funny in a sad & bittersweet way, but they are funny nonetheless. Alzheimer's & memory loss are so deeply tragic and painful to live with, that if you don't find things to laugh about you'll go mad... I remember late nights playing Scrabble w/my mom & telling "Alzheimer's jokes" to each other until the tears literally ran down our faces from laughing so hard... What else can you do? :-)

It's September, & I'm trying to (sadly) make peace with the fact that summer is just about over, but this does Not make me happy. I am SICK & TIRED of having advertisements for fall & winter clothing rammed down my throat for the last 2 months, while it rained here & we waited for summer to magically & finally appear. Fortunately, the leaves here in the mountains of southern WV are still green, and the weather (finally) has been in the 80s, so I haven't packed away my summer togs just yet, but fall looms... I'd be Fine with fall if fall hung around long enough for me to really enjoy it, but fall is never long enough & segues all too rapidly into Winter, and we get about 6 months of Serious Winter here- & it's NOT my favorite season! I'm a "summer girl", through-and-through! Gimmee the dry, arid heat of the Israeli Dead Sea & Negev Desert any day!

Our garden did Not do great this year- too much rain perhaps- and the other day Dan harvested the last of the corn and a few more tomatoes; we ate the last of the corn tonight. The other night he made a Wonderful pepper/fennel-crusted pork loin with a wine-sage-cream sauce that was dee-vine! He got the idea from the CrazyCanukBlog that I follow- and you should, too (she's on Facebook, as well)- she has GREAT recipes! Last night Dan made his amazing crunchy-on-the-outside-tender-on-the-inside latkes- potato pancakes- and we had them with our sweet, summer garden corn & roast chicken...
At least we were able to freeze a lot of oregano pesto and tomato-basil sauce this summer, as well as some of the wild-blackberry sauce we made, so at least in the dead of winter we (and our guests ) will be able to taste a bit of summer...


















As you know, we've added a Cat to our Animal Family at the Inn: Tiger-the-Pit-Bull & Lady-the-Lab now have Lucky Kitty, the tiny, brave kitten that walked into the Inn like he owned it, & got to stay! Lucky, all 2 lbs. of fuzzy, purring adorableness, has another Sibyl-like side, and that side managed to kill & eat 5 birds last week before I realized where he was getting them from & Dan was able to plug the opening in the chimney & so save the rest of the nest... Finding Lucky in the midst of his, uh, "meal" was none too pleasant, and proved to me that cats really Are different from dogs... Even the tiniest of tender fur-balls has a rather terrifying "killer" instinct within it.... (L is the first cat in my life...) When I called & called him & no cat appeared I got scared- something must have happened to poor, defenseless little Lucky! And then his tiny head popped out of the high chimney opening, with an almost-dead bird in his mouth, & I nearly had a fit. (Having him later mew twice & then puke bird down my computer printer & across desk didn't thrill me, either...) But little Lucky provides hours of amusement for Tiger, who has become "Kitty Daddy", and licks the kitten like a mommy cat would; Lucky whacks at T with his paw and bites him, & chews on Lady's tail- basically doing whatever he can to try and get a rise out of both dogs- but both T & L are so amazingly gentle w/him that it gladdens the heart to watch them play... Lucky's taken to sitting on my shoulder while I work at the computer, and to sleeping on my printer; when he wants attention he simply walks across the telephone, credit card machine, & my keyboard...

Fall brings with it the Jewish High Holidays, and that's my one bright spot. I'm planning a trip to Hair Studio, my fave Aveda Salon in Princeton, WV, & a suitably festive mani-pedi @ the Mercer Mall... & I've gone eBaying for holiday things: a lulav & an etrog, a Havdallah set for Shabbat, & Hanukkah candles for our many menorot, among other things... & then, of course, there are the irresistible "bargains" I stumble across late in the night in the process of looking for "needed" things, such as outrageous Vivienne Westwood shoes with hearts on them, or really expensive cosmetics and anti-aging potions at bargain-basement prices... As I've said before, out here in the 'boonies' eBay is a quasi-shopaholic's dream-store! I follow a gazillion things on eBay daily, sometimes for months at a time: everything from outrageously high-heeled Louboutin shoes (size 38 in case anyone's looking to gift me...) to Obagi Eye Cream, WV mining & railroad memorabilia, ATV supplies, and giant, inflatable outdoor decorations...
Last week I scored Dan a gorgeous new sheepskin coat (his Hanukkah present- don't tell!) for $100, & myself a full-face helmet for ATVing (dust in my eyes while riding drives me & my contact lenses NUTS) for 99 cents! And while I have eBay, feel not sad for Dan, for he has his fave thrift shops, and the other day he came home from Catholic Charities w/yet another one of his amazing deals: a brand-spanking-new 8-bottle wine cooler for the bar room that we hope to some day finish... We've been working on it sporadically now for 7 years, and it'sa bout 3/4 done, and I have high hopes that we both might live to see it open & operating... Anyone wanna help? You help, you get dibs on having that First Official Drink at the Elkhorn Inn Bar!