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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Shooties, Wine, Railfan Throwdown, Bling-Bling, & SERIOUS Weather!

As readers of this blog know, Dan and I are planning two very special events at the Elkhorn Inn for May: our "WV Wine-tasting Weekend" May 14-16, and our "Dueling Dining-Car Chefs" Weekend May 28-30 with railroad historian and author of "From the Dining Car" & "Dining By Rail" James Porterfield! I've spent most of this last week working on both, researching wineries and sourcing foods, and asking our "fans" on Facebook and Twitter (Tweet us @elkhorninn) for wine reccomendations. (A desert of West Virginia port with WV chili-chocolate was the lastest & greatest!) Dan and Jim have been working up their menus for our "Railfan Gourmet Throwdown", and we'll post the menu under "Events" on the Elkhorn Inn's Facebook fan page: as soon as it's finalized!

We had a great & busy week at the Elkhorn Inn: guests all week, and grand guests they were! Teachers, photographers, and railfans! Chef Dan outdid himself this week, making several truly smashing dinners, including his signature herb-stuffed Cornish Game Hens & tortellini with our homemade pesto, but the REAL glories were his homemde pumpkin pasta with sage & pinenuts, almond-crusted pan-fried trout, and seared buffalo steaks with a balsamic reduction and figs! And then he made me proscuitto & figs! And now he's gone and whipped up- literally, in the blender- Margaritas- in our souvenier Royal Caribbean cruise glasses! (Ask me again why I can't lose that 25lbs...)

As readers of this blog Also know, last week I won a pair of fabulous Santana shooties (shoe-booties) on Princess Dominique's fashion blog. I follow her "tweets" on Twitter, too ( @MissPrincessDom
They arrived today, & I must say that they Are pretty damn fabulous, and WAY better in real life than the photos! I have a tendency to buy "classic" clothes and shoes, i.e. things that are either never going to go out of style (cashmere sweaters & Ferragamo pumps, for example), or things that are SO "out there" (1940 & 1950 vintage dresses, for example, or nutty stuff like Vivienne Westwood shoes with plastic hearts on them, or 5" spike-heeled sneakers) that they CAN'T go out of style. But these shooties, with their hidden platform & punched leather patchwork, I thought of as Trendy (& maybe a tad jejune, too...), and thus probably not something I would have otherwise bought for myself. And I was wrong- they are really & truly Great- and I'll be wearing them with jeans, a cashmere sweater, & a leather jacket (and big, dark sunglasses, of course!) as long as they last! And when I finally have The Outfit all put together I shall post more pix!   (The proof that my husband Truly loves me is that he seriously suggested I wear them with the pair of Miley Cyrus leopard leggings he brought home from WalMart last week. That, at 50, I have a husband who buys me Miley Cyrus leopard leggings (okay, they were on sale for $2.00, but still...) is proof enough, I grant you, but that he actually thought I would wear them outside the house (much less with these shooties) was the icing on the cake. Yeah- I am blessed. The man is blind. :-)

My 51st birthday is coming up (April Fool!), and so I've been thinking about what with which to treat myself.
Louboutins on eBay? But inevitably we come back, of course, to Blig-Bling, and my quest for a ring to replace the engagement ring I lost doing laundry. So I again went to DiamondNexus and spent a bit of time perusing their great (and affordable) stuff.  As I've made clear, I'm a lover of Big Rocks, but Boo-Boo wants a big REAL Rock, & if she can't (afford to) have that, she wants a TRULY REAL-LOOKING big rock! LOL
And so on my Big Rock Quest I found:
Virtuoso with Champagne & Chocolate
which is Just my thing! (I love colored diamonds far more than clear ones. And I've always felt that diamonds were rather a rip-off, as the mark-up is ludicrous & the supply is controlled to keep the price up...)
 But THEN I found the ring I think I REALLY want:
a Wisdom of the Heart" ring like Nobility with Champagne (see below for a photo). And these are NOT "big rocks"! But they're hinged, and OPEN UP like lockets, and you can have someting unique engraved inside! This is (to me) a Totally unique concept, and I WANT ONE! I want Dan to engrave something special inside it!! Something sexy and funny and "just us"! Wouldn't that be cool?!

On a closing note, I want to talk about the Weather. We live in what is known as "Four-Seasons Country", and we have Weather. Sometimes we get all four seasons inside a week! Up until about a week ago it looked like White Christmas here, and I was busilly shooting "Pokey-in-the-snow" pix of the Pocahontas railroad chugging by the Inn through the snowflakes, & the cardinals at our feeders backed by drifts , but then, in seemingly an instant, it warmed up to the point that the bulbs sprouted, the pussy willow budded, Dan was out there choppin' wood in only one layer of clothing (!), and the crocus flowered...
And then the rain came tumbling down....
Last night the fog set in so bad it took Dan nearly 3 hours to get home from Bluefield (normally a 30 minute drive), and the rain was coming down in buckets in intermediate spurts. (In between which, our Guests enjoyed the Inn's hot tub!) But it Wasn't raining here this morning, and so I didn't think anything of it... until I learned that Bluefield's flooded, and a friend of ours in Mercer County is literally trapped in his house, the floods having washed away a concrete bridge, roads, his driveway and doors... It's BAD out there!
But not, oddly, here in Landgraff, where Elkhorn Creek- right behind the Inn- isn't even all that high...
I Swear that we live in our own little weather system, trapped, as we are, in a valley between two mountains. What's happening in Bluefield or Welch is usualy VERY different than what's happening at the Elkhorn Inn!

As you may surmise from this long post, we are having a "Lazy Day" today, and after our guests left this morning, filled to the brim with Chef Dan's fresh fruit blender "smoothies", Dan put on his DIY cap & began happily working on repairing a vintage bed! And so the joyous sounds of drill, saw, and various other things bonking together has filled my ears for much of the day! There is Nothing so happy as a workaholic Tool Guy with a Project!
Go- find a project! :-)

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