Thursday, December 18, 2008


Enjoy this little tool as a gift from Ponder Cove. I hope you take advantage of this on-line calendar. I have used this for years and just love it. It's an easy download, doesn't take much space and can be forwarded to all of your family and friends. If you missed it go to for the Dog Contest winner calendar and celebrate all of these cutie patooties.

Then there is our gorgeous nature calendar featuring Gary's photos that I have reissued......

Just in from our frequent guest Christine. Just in time for your e-mailing card list. Save a stamp and give your friends a big dog lick instead....
HO HO HO....martha and critters

Thursday, December 4, 2008


There is no better place than the Design Gallery for your Holiday Shopping. Wendy Reid has brought a flare of sophistication to the mountains featuring the best of craft, a kitchen corner that waaaay outdoes Williams and Sonoma and then there is her infamous Knitting Nook featuring lessons and all of the latest in yarns. Sitting pretty in downtown Burnsville which is one of our favorite small towns within close proximity to Ponder Cove.

Also note this new film I just picked up from the Yancey County Chamber of Commerce. It will cool your blood pressure and just let you feel the wonder of our mountains.

Come see us...and the Design Gallery.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Gorgeous, or what???? We went out and would you believe it stopped a mile down the road. We went on to Asheville and enjoyed a sunny afternoon and came home to 5 inches. So, we have our own little private winter wonderland.

Sunday, November 30, 2008



1-Dec Service Industry Appreciation Night with D Mack
Fabulous House Music & Great Drink Specials all night !

2-Dec Chuck Lichtenberger's "Evening Of Jazz" with Special Guests
Theme: Sonny Rollins Tunes

3-Dec Ms Jones and The Velvetones
Celebrate Mid Week Ladies Night with Dance and Martinis

4-Dec LIFT with DJ's Joshu and Friends
Delicious Music for Body and Soul

5-Dec Gashouse Mouse
Blues and Dance

6-Dec Ruby Mayfield and M-Pride
Celebrate with Fun and Dance from Blues to Rock'n Roll

8-Dec Service Industry Appreciation Night with D Mack
Fabulous House Music & Great Drink Specials all night !

9-Dec Chuck Lichtenberger's "Evening Of Jazz" with Special Guests
Theme: Wayne Shorter Tunes

10-Dec Ms Jones and The Velvetones
Celebrate Mid Week Ladies Night with Dance and Martinis

11-Dec Peggy Ratusz' Invitational Blues Jam
A great Night of Fun with local Artists

12-Dec Peggy Ratusz and Daddy longlegs
Fun, Dance, and Blues

13-Dec Jazz The Ripper Christmas Show
Enjoy an eclectic Mix of Jazz and Funk

15-Dec Service Industry Appreciation Night with D Mack
Fabulous House Music & Great Drink Specials all night !

16-Dec Chuck Lichtenberger's "Evening Of Jazz" with Special Guests
Theme: Thelonius Monk Tunes

17-Dec Ms Jones and The Velvetones
Celebrate Mid Week Ladies Night with Dance and Martinis

18-Dec Free Flow
Ol' Skool Soul and Funk

19-Dec Ms Jones and The Velvetones
Start your weekend with Dance and Martinis

20-Dec The Nightcrawlers
Fun, Dance, and Blues

22-Dec Service Industry Appreciation Night with D Mack
Fabulous House Music & Great Drink Specials all night !

23-Dec Chuck Lichtenberger's "Evening Of Jazz" with Special Guests
Theme: Miles Davis' Favorites

24-Dec Club closed in Observance of Christmas Eve

25-Dec Closed in Observance of the Holiday

26-Dec The Levi Douglas Blues Band
Start your weekend with great Texas Blues

27-Dec Ruby Mayfield and M-Pride
Celebrate with Fun and Dance from Blues to Rock'n Roll

29-Dec Service Industry Appreciation Night with D Mack
Fabulous House Music & Great Drink Specials all night !

30-Dec Chuck Lichtenberger's "Evening Of Jazz" with Special Guests
Theme: Miles Davis' Tunes

31-Dec Our 12th Annual New Year's Eve Bash!
Get down to the funky sound of Free Flow!
Complimentary Champagne in both bars, Party Favors, Soul Food Buffet upstairs!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Don't miss the Gingerbread Houses at Grove Park Inn. This is an amazing display of gingerbread houses from the National Gingerbread House Competition at the famous Grove Park Inn on November 19-January 11. Non guests must visit on Mondays-Thursdays. The tour is free and you can enjoy the elaborate decorations at the grand hotel, enjoy a cocktail at the beautiful and festive bar and soak up the site of these culinary masterpieces. And don't forget to go down the hill to the Grovewood Gallery, voted the Number 1 gallery in the country for a little shopping.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


OK...I have never made this one but can't wait. I will let you know after next Thursday if you don't beat me to it. m

1 pie crust
2 cups hazelnuts (divided) , toasted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon arrowroot (or cornstarch)
1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree (not sweet stuff)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 extra large eggs PLUS one for glaze, lightly beaten
1 cup coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the middle.

Puree 1 1/2 cups of the toasted hazelnuts in a food processor until they turn into a hazelnut paste, past the 'crumble' stage. Set aside. Chop the remaining 1/2 cup of hazelnuts and set aside separately, these will be sprinkled on top after the pie is baked.

To make the pumpkin pie filling, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice blend, salt, and arrowroot. Stir in the pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Now stir in the eggs and coconut milk until just combined. Set aside.

Before filling the pie crust, crumble the hazelnut paste on top of the pie dough into the pie plate, quickly and gently press it into a thin layer across the bottom creating a layer of hazelnuts that will sit between the dough and the filling. Using the last egg gently brush the decorative edges of the pie dough. Use a fork to prick the pie dough a few times to prevent air bubbles. Fill the pie crust with the filling and bake for about 50 minutes - the center of the pie should just barely jiggle when you move the pie - the edges should be set.

Let the pie cool a bit, this makes slicing less messy. Serve straight or with a dollop of bourbon-spiked, sweetened whipped cream or creme fraiche, and a sprinkling of chopped hazelnuts.

Makes one 9 or 10-inch pie.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This is waaaay too good of an idea for December. Come on to Ponder Cove and hunker down by a warm fire and I'll serve up a toasty breakfast. We have had 3 little snows so far and we are hoping for a whopping good one before long. Then go into Asheville one night to enjoy all the citified festivities. Toooooo much fun. Enjoy the below off the press...

"Holiday nights in downtown Asheville get a glitzy makeover this December with Asheville Seasonal Sizzle: 21 days of not-so-silent nights. Merrymakers will enjoy free fireworks, live entertainment, seasonal appetizer specials at local restaurants, and extended hours of evening shopping in downtown Asheville's eclectic boutiques and craft galleries.

Included in the festivities, visitors will find:

* Weekend firework displays sponsored by The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa -Seasonal Sizzle at Seven - will take place on Saturdays, Dec. 6, 13 and 20 at 7 p.m. in downtown Asheville.
* Participating independent restaurants will feature "Appy Hour" appetizer specials on Thursdays, Dec. 1 through 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. Local restaurants will also offer "Sizzle Specials" on the Saturday evenings with fireworks (Dec. 6, 13 and 20).
* Asheville visitors will receive a warm holiday welcome as "Downtown Docent" guides walk the downtown streets directing guests to Seasonal Sizzle festivities, holiday happenings and other points of interest."

The Dog Can't Come?

My ears stung and my heart sank as I took in the simple words….”the dog can’t come”. I was devastated. I was definitely from the school LOVE ME, LOVE MY DOG and I just couldn’t imagine why my dear friend of 25 years did not want my 90 pound weimeraner bouncing through his Sonoma Valley home and garden. Hmmmmm….now lets’ analyze my dog Henry’s last trip. I had just moved back to San Francisco and Gary and I decided to surprise our old friends, Bob and Fred. We had a delightful afternoon enjoying the beautiful weather, speaking of old times and trust me……I was not paying attention to my one year old bundle of joy, running amuck, digging in their garden and crapping in the vegetables.

Then night time came and before we could settle into our designer sheets, Henry proceeded to start gagging. I jumped up and ran down the stairs and got him outside just in time for him to throw up. Of course the dreaded diarrhea followed. He always reacted to new water and this was a problem we suffered through his entire life. So we were up and down the stairs no less that 4 times during the night. Not to mention….Henry had a terrible habit of swallowing rocks. So, if he wasn’t throwing up he was gagging long enough for rocks to spew across the floor in an exorcist fashion. I am sure if our friends did not hear us running up and down the stairs they certainly heard the rocks rattling across the floor.

Now is the time to note. My friends had never owned dogs and never wanted to own a dog. They lived in a gorgeous designer home which was their pride. Each and every new wall constructed, garden designed, veggies planted or fountain placed was meticulously thought out and built over 30 years. It was a beautiful retreat, their hobby and their life. They were the most generous of fellows and had shared it with all of us through the years.

Flash forward 12 years. Well, being a bit more mature and having owned a dog-friendly B & B for 5 ½ years I must say….I owe them a serious apology. After my noted experience as an Innkeeper, trust me I have a list of dogs I would like to say “the dog can’t come” but this is our business and we work around the very few troublesome cases. But as they say…it is not the dog it is the owner.

So, let’s get shakin’ and make this a very successful Holiday season. I will attempt to lay out the perfect formula to make you the best house guest ever WITH BOWSER IN TOW.

1) Make sure Bowser gets a bath. He will shed less while being a guest and he certainly will smell better.

2) Make sure you pack Bowser’s much needed supplies in an appropriate box. I own the big Rubbermaid tubs that I buy from Target. Mine are the size of my dog crates. So, when we arrive it is stored on top of the crate. A tidy guest is a happy host.

3) Make sure you have the much needed supplies. a) Blanket or sheet to cover bed if Bowser is a bed buddy. b) food c) bottled water. (It can be from your tap but it will prevent stomach problems if your dog is sensitive and used to your tap water) d) water bowl....Hosts hate being asked for kitchen bowls. It is just not sanitary... e) if you use canned food, bring the can opener f)place mat for water and food bowls g)your own paper towels and h) NATURE'S the case of emergency there is no better product. You can buy it at any pet supply store. The stain and smell are taken care of immediately!

4) Make sure you take the crate if he is crate trained. He or she will settle much better on arrival in his own bedroom versus a strange house.

5) Make sure Bowser is comfortable in the car before the journey. Give him plenty of room. Take along his favorite blanket and allow him to settle in nicely.

6) Make sure he gets plenty of pee breaks and exercise. You are taking him along on your trip. He is not taking you on his. So, be mindful of his needs. He will arrive much less stressed.

7) Make sure upon arrival you give a call to your host from the car and tell them you have arrived but you need to walk the dog first. Yes, everyone is excited to see you and you are dying to throw your arms around grandma. But what happens in the mayhem is stressful for Bowser. Don’t open up the opportunity for Bowser to sneak around the corner for a much needed pee while the hellos get to a feverish pitch. Maybe someone will join you for the walk.

8) Make sure you DO NOT GO INTO THE HOUSE UNTIL THE DOG HAS RELIEVED HIMSELF. I had a huge lab squat as soon as she got in my door recently and release a good quart. Trust me the guest was embarrassed, although they did flee back into the garden expecting me to do the cleaning. As you can see I am still holding a grudge….hmmm…if I was family what do you think I’d say the next time they called.

9) Make sure you put the dog back in the car and give yourself the luxury of receiving all the hugs and kisses you deserve and then let the excitement subside.

10) Make sure to ask the host if it is OK to bring in the dogs crate and supply tub. Set up Bowser’s new digs.

11) Make sure to ask….last but not least ….”Can Bowser come in?” The answer is going to be, “OF COURSE”.

This is nothing but good common sense but at times common sense escapes us with times being so hurried and stressful. All of the steps above are the normal procedures but doubtful you would have thought it through so meticulously if not reminded. So, pack the bags, fill up the car, grab the dog and head out for the best Holiday Season ever.

Last but not least….if you have had a not so good visit with a pooch of recent. Send this article along with an apology and tell them you are much better prepared. Because truth be told...grandma wants to see the grand dog too.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Got bored yesterday and decided to whip up some cookies. Pulled this one out of my mom's file and I had forgotten how good and easy it was. They melt down while cooking to a thin crispy cookie which I really like....I hear tea time calling me...So, I can enjoy a few more...Now it is your turn. xxoxoxom

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar ( I use part brown)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup nuts or coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar and then add egg and vanilla and beat some more. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoonful 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes. YUMMO!


Things are winding down after a somewhat strange Fall. It has taken forever for the leaves to change. A cold front is on the way and I am sure that will take care of what is left and make way for a splendid winter. It is so pretty here no matter the time of year and we just pinch ourselves still that Ponder Cove is our home. Looking forward to a couple of special guests showing up any minute. For any of you dogster fans.....Lisa and Horst are coming. They are the infamous bloggers from It is Lisa's birthday and Horst is surprising her. Can't wait to meet them. In the meantime enjoy the view from the deck today. I swear I didn't photoshop the blue sky but I do believe the camera did something magical. m

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Ok....this is a new website just kicked off today. Send to all of your friends. Not that there is reverse discrimination going on between mutts and pure breeds. But it is true that this would do wonders for the adoption movement in this country. Let's embrace the homeless. We have to save more dogs. And thanks to Sasha and Malia we can say ...YES WE CAN. Go to and join this fun campaign site where you can add your name to a letter telling our next President, that you can find a non-allergenic hound in a shelter. A copy of the letter and all the signatures will be delivered directly to the White House. You can check out the youtube video here:

As Buck and Dollie like to say...."we got real lucky" once being embraced at Ponder Cove. So, they hope that another homeless creature will find such luck as they disembark from the limo with their security in sight to take their first steps onto the White House lawn.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


You are not going to believe it the mild summer?...the drought?....the early but brief snow....???? Whatever.... the leaves have not peaked at Ponder Cove. Normally at this time of the year Ponder Cove is of a bright yellow as the Poplars turn and begin to fall like confetti to the ground. As you can see from the picture they are going in that direction slowly but surely. So, again another enticement to come and visit.
hugs, m

Christmas at the Biltmore

It's that time again and no better time than NOW to think about a visit to Ponder Cove when you can enjoy the Holiday festivities at the Biltmore as well. November is the best time to avoid the December crowds. Roam the house and just imagine how it must have been.... oh so long ago.

lthough George Vanderbilt moved into Biltmore House in October 1895, the house did not officially open until Christmas Eve of that year. Great efforts were made to ensure all would be ready by the special day. Correspondence between Vanderbilt and his staff indicate that planning was intense concerning the best holly and the most desirable mistletoe. While staff scouted for the perfect tree for the Banquet Hall the estate manager, Mr. Charles McNamee wrote: “ I quite agree with you that we should have a very large tree for this occasion; in fact, I think a twenty foot tree in that large Banquet Hall would be rather dwarfed.”
Guests can help Biltmore commemorate the start of our Holiday season with the Raising of the Banquet Hall Tree on November 5 at 10am. The 34-foot Frasier Fir will arrive in style as a team of Belgian draft horses pulls it to the front of Biltmore House. Guests will be able to watch as Biltmore staff carry the tree into the Banquet Hall and set it up. The Fraser Fir was the most popular type of Christmas Tree in 1895, and continues to be so today because of its fragrance and long-lasting needles.

New this year, during the evening hours for the Christmas Illumination, is a lit tree on the front lawn of Biltmore House. The tree is a 55’ Norway Spruce, weighing 6000 pounds. The Spruce tree was chosen because it grows to a greater height than the Fraser Fir. Earlier this week, the tree was set and placed on the lawn by a crane. It will be surrounded by other lit trees and shrubs on the front lawn of Biltmore House.

see you soon, m

Thursday, October 16, 2008





$165 per night...FIRST COME FIRST SERVE!


Monday, October 6, 2008


What happens to naughty dogs at PONDER COVE?? Just Kidding!!! This is just our buddy Mack checking out his big dogs in his barn. His mom and dad just can't get him to "utter" the words COW! Mack will soon be featured in our upcoming on-line calendar. When it is ready for download we will spread the news.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Now that is rude! Noooooo! Not the Pepsid kind. Asheville has gas as well as Mars Hill and the relying areas. So, no excuses now....hit the road.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008



You don't need to spend an arm and a leg to have a good time for your mountain getaway. Why not look at this as your green vacation. That's right. You are going to enjoy the green of the mountains and bask in the fresh air. Check out all the "funness" you can have and save a dime at the same time. We are in an amazing spot for you to partake in all of this FREE "funness". We are a mere5 miles from the I-26. South we are 30 minutes from Asheville. East of us and 15 miles you will find Burnsville, a little further down you can enjoy Spruce Pine. Go west and check out Mars Hill and Marshall. And straight North beautiful East Tennessee. We really feel we are in the center of the universe. So, come explore with us.


YANCEY COUNTY is a great place to start. Check out the Ranger Station in

Burnsville to gather a load of information outlining all of the great trails in Yancey

and Mitchell County. FREE!

PENLAND SCHOOL OF CRAFT is just up the road a piece. This wonderful

treasure dates back to 1920 as a national center for craft education dedicated to

helping people live creative lives. It is a wonderful experience to wander through

the studios and gallery on this amazing knoll deep in our hills. FREE!

BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY is as green as you can get and it definitely doesn't

cost a dime. Considered one of the top ten drives in the nation you will find

breath-taking vistas. Don't just drive...stop and take in one or two of the trails.

We will even share our favorite ....SKINNY DIP FALLS. FREE!

MOUNT MITCHELL is the highest point on the east coast. Most people think

it is Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, but not so. Meet up with the Blue Ridge Parkway and let it take you to this wonderful spot for the sheer pleasure of taking

in these magnificent views. FREE!

WATERFALLS are a delight in North Carolina. Most are south of us but we are

lucky to have Looking Glass Falls and Linville Falls within an hour's drive. This

drive will take you into Mitchell County and more exploration of these hills. FREE!

MADISON COUNTY is our county and one of the most rural of the counties in

close proximity to Asheville. We are still lush with amazing country landscapes.

We can provide you with a our little map of drives and send you on your way to

soak up some local color. FREE!

MAX PATCH is my favorite spot in all of Western North Carolina. You will not

believe the gorgeous vistas all the way to Tennessee. You know the scene in The

Sound of Music where Julie Andrews sings "The Hills are Alive".....well, you

would swear they filmed that scene here ...AWESOME! FREE!

MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC is alive and rich in these mountains. Right here in

Madison County you can appreciate our new tradition of enjoying Bobby Hicks

every Thursday night at ZUMA. Of course there is the long standing tradition

at the Depot on Fridays and El Dorado on Saturdays. FREE!

FESTIVALS, so many you can't keep up. Belle Chere, L.E.A.F, and check out

the Arts Guide. FREE!

BOTANICAL GARDENS are a well kept secret here close by. Part of the

University of North Carolina, this hidden treasure boasts of 10 acres of native

flora of the Southern Appalachians.

PONDER COVE........or hang with us and do absolutely NOTHING!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Welcome the Wigleys....uh oh....Pops got cheated out of his mugshot being on the blog. But let me introduce you to the most important member of the family, Tiny pictured here with his lovable mom. Here goes another amazing rescue story. Tiny first belonged to great grandparents....they passed. Tiny took his tiny broken heart and moved on to the grand parents...they passed...Tiny took his broken heart and moved on to parents...Thank goodness they didn't pass but look where he landed, a perfect ending for a perfect pup! I can attest that there are no remnants of a broken heart and all is well. So many little time. Today TINY is the DOG OF THE DAY!!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fall Foliage

I just had to share this amazing 07 photo of my friend Kay's. She is a master photographer and uses her photographs to create the most wonderful collages...two of which I have displayed at Ponder Cove. The weather is fabulous here with crispy cold nights. So, we know the changing of the leaves is soon to follow. This photo is a sampling of what is just around the corner.

For those of you that have heard rumor of a gas shortage, it is true but it is also rumored that it will be over next week... just in time to welcome you here at the cove. And if not...I'll send the horse and buggy.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Foliage

I know it is crazy out there and everyone's financial outlook is in question But let's hunker down together and get creative. Come visit Ponder Cove and I guarantee a comfort breakfast to start your day. Then there is always wine and cheese for dinner while relaxing here and doing nothing in the evenings. doesn't that sound good. But you must travel a bit to take in what we know to be the most beautiful of seasonal events.....the changing of the leaves in North Carolina.

In the Asheville area, fall foliage season lasts from late September to early November due to the region’s varied elevations as color begins at highest elevations and creeps down the mountainsides. One of the most diverse biological regions in the world, the Blue Ridge Mountains are home to hundreds of deciduous tree and shrub species that create a vibrant palette of colors in the landscape.

The Experts Say...

Fall is definitely in the air and the cool weather trend in recent days is a good recipe for fall color, according to Dr. Gary Walker, biology professor at Appalachian State University. If the region continues to see warm, sunny days and cool, crisp nights, visitors can expect to see nice fall foliage this year. It is predicted to be 46 degrees at night this week.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


WOW! All of you wild and crazy furry friends went crazy at the last minute posting comments faster than American Idol or a last ditch effort to grab that coveted item on E-bay. I could just imagine your fluffy paws banging at the keyboard in hopes of being our guest of honor here at Ponder Cove.

To remind everyone of the rules, the cut off point was August 30. So, some of the comments could not be counted. But it is with great pleasure that I announce the Grand Prize Winner and her court of 11 dynamic canines. Trumpets please......drum roll.....

the royal Chinese Crested Powder Puff

and her court
Aspen, Hunter, Ginger, Sierra, Georgia, Digby & Gryphon,
Molly & Coby, Reece, Mack, Shala, and Ginger


I promised my buddy Sam that I would post a picture of his new best girl....MEG. Lucky for Sam...his mom and dad moved him from London to New Zealand where the first call to order was the acquiring of the promised dog. Of course Meg is a working dog. Rumor has it she is working them all with her demands for attention and walks. But what a wonderful life and family she has adopted. So, Sam here is a hello from all your buds here in North Carolina....
Martha, Gary, Ponder, Buck, Dollie Mae and Tommy Rice the cat. We hope to see you soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


This is a must to see...the Biltmore has built the most amazing carpet of flowers. Come soon and come often and take advantage of our mid-week special at

Monday, September 8, 2008


NO MORE GALVANIZED DRINKING BOWLS for your dogs. Thank thank you for the tip! The Bower family of hounds just took the time to let me know as they were worried we had one outside for the dogs. We have stainless and glass. But good to know. So, everyone take heed.


CIRO, GARY and SANDY caught us. Gary and I were without guests for a day and we decided to play hooky and treat ourselves. Our favorite river guides, Ciro, Sandy and Fritz spun off their own rafting company this summer. This is what rafting is all about folks. There we were on the gorgeous French Broad alone with Sandy to guide us thorough and share local lore with us......not your corporate, sign me up and sit me down with the rules of the day dictated by an insurance company. This is a hands on company with safety at the top of their list but Sandy was great. As she explained the do's and don'ts she also explained the why's. I came off the river much better educated and for the first time felt like I had a rafting lesson...not just a float down the river. You know we are bullish on supporting all of our small business take it from me. BLUE HERON WHITEWATER IS TOPS FOR YOUR NEXT RAFTING ADVENTURE!

Sunday, August 31, 2008


That Georgia says the seetest things....from her IPHONE....trendette and glamour puss that she is. We miss you Ms. G
"had a great time at ponder cove! thanks. love, Georgia"


We used to have the DOG OF THE MONTH...but with all of our fab guests and these amazing photos coming looks like we are going to have to have the DOG OF THE DAY! Check out these two on such a lazy day.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Little Pearls

When first coming to North Carolina Gary and I were fortunate to attend our first fund raiser supporting a wonderful non-profit organization called LITTLE PEARLS. We were so impressed with the quality of these tiny films with so much impact that we sent copies to lots of friends in an effort to support this organization. One of their new "Little Pearls" centers on what precious canines can teach us. Enjoy and read more about Little Pearls and meet Katie and Gracie .


September 9, 6:30pm

Dr. Anne Rogers, Anthropology Instructor at Western Carolina University, will be the guest lecturer for the evening and will be presenting a program on, "Native Americans and Their
Use of the Environment." This lecture is part of the Ramsey Center's Fall Event and Lecture Series.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Well, don't say we don't get our share of celebrities. You won't even believe this video. This is the infamous Saba who has caused quite a stir on YOU TUBE....Click here and you will know why.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


As we have said before there is no bad time to come in this direction. Due to the variances in elevation there is something going on everywhere, a change of color, a sprinkling of leaves falling, the crispness of the new fall air. In the early fall, the best scenic drives are at the highest elevations. Here is a list of great fall scenic drives for late September and early October.

Grandfather Mountain

Visit Grandfather Mountain to view native animal habitats, enjoy hiking and picnicking and test your courage on the mile high swinging bridge which also provides a great vantage point for viewing autumn’s rich colors.

US Highway 19

From Ponder Cove, follow US 19/23 north from downtown, taking US 19E to Burnsville. Continue your drive along 19E to the town of Spruce Pine, stopping along the way to take in the spectacular views of the Black Mountains and Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak in the eastern U.S. at 6,684 feet.

Pisgah National Forest/Cold Mountain

Take the Blue Ridge Parkway south from Asheville toward Mount Pisgah, where you will find picnic areas, hiking trails and a restaurant. Travel north on US 276 through the magnificent Pisgah National Forest, which affords a spectacular view of Cold Mountain, made famous by the novel and motion picture of the same name. Continue on US 276 into Waynesville. Take US 23 north to US 19/23/74 east, which will return you to Asheville.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Meet Alex and Maya...two local lovelies hailing from Yancey County. Their proud owners Steve and Jose can't get enough of these two and I just had to share this pic as they stare lovingly into their Pops camera.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


A Little Visit with the “Shoeless Cabinetmaker” of Ponder Cove

Gary Van Rawlins is a fine furniture maker and a great teacher! I say he is a “fine” furniture maker because I have very limited experience in designing and hard crafting really unique and beautiful furniture. The furniture I saw at Ponder Cove created by Gary is really something to admire – subtle curves, incredible details, wood full of wonder, and impeccable craftsmanship.

I say he is a “great” teacher because I have studied, watched, and hopefully, helped develop teachers most of my adult life. I spent three days with Gary in August of 2008 at his workshop in Ponder Cove. It was a great learning experience. Gary’s style of teaching incorporates many of the design principles of “great instruction”:
o Clear and compelling quality standards,
o Presentation and use of truly remarkable exemplars,
o Instruction designed to enhance the student’s level of understanding of the principles of furniture craftsmanship;
o Product orientation,
o Practical skill development,
o Protection from the adverse effects of initial failure;
o Student Choice,
o Affiliation, and
o Affirmation.
I would heartily recommend to anyone who aspires to create beautiful things that he or she spend some time with Gary.

The old adage is that there are those who can do and those who can’t do and those who can’t teach. Gary is living proof that the old adage is sometimes wrong. He creates truly beautiful furniture and provides meaningful learning. His work and his teaching are a result of his principled practice, his patience, his perseverance, and his willingness to seek perfection. I am really glad I took the time to meet him and, I suspect, his teacher, James Krenov, would be proud of him for both reasons.

Michael Short
Atlanta Georgia

Monday, August 25, 2008


BURNSVILLE, NC: "The Game is afoot!" Opening in August 28 at The Parkway Playhouse is thriller, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure by Steven Dietz. The production is running through September 6 with performances scheduled Thursday through Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and a 2:30pm matinée on Sunday August 31. Tickets for the August 28 performance are $12.50 Tickets for the remaining performances range from $18-$23 with discounts available for students, groups, and active military. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Parkway Playhouse box office at 828-682-4285 between 1-5pm Tuesday through Saturday or by visiting the Parkway Playhouse website at

Friday, August 22, 2008


Visit the Biltmore on Friday, August 29, for the newest extravaganza- Flower Carpet! Come see the vivid, living carpet on the South Terrace at Biltmore House. Over a ¼ of an acre will be devoted to more than 144,000 brightly colored flowers to form the live tapestry.
The Flower Carpet is a larger-than life combination of natural beauty blended with creative inspiration. The intricate pattern of colorful plants is drawn from architectural elements of Biltmore House, and interpreted in a grand size and style. Click on the following link to see a video about Flower Carpet!


LOOK WHO'S IN TOWN....Ms. Georgia ....all the way from Savannah. She is one of those beautiful blonde babes you only find in the deep south and that drawl of hers is to swoon over. Welcome Georgia.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Michael Short was a very happy camper at Ponder Cove....not to mention a very happy woodworker. Michael spent three intense days with Gary learning the basics of tuning equipment, cutting, sanding, polishing, dove-tailing and 'gluing up' and left here with a beautiful maple box to prove it. I keep telling you girls. This is the perfect present for the boys. Remember all PC guests get Gary for 30% off.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Tastes of Summer
Asheville City Market!
Thursday, August 28
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) and the Asheville City Market
Enjoy live music and shop local goods at the special evening market.
All proceeds go to ASAP and the City Market’s community healthy-living programs.

The market is at the corner of Eagle and South Charlotte Streets in downtown Asheville. Tickets are $20 with RSVP or $25 at the door and include food by The Market Place, microbrew beer from Catawba Valley Brewery, and wine. There will be a raffle of locally-produced items with winners drawn at 8:30pm. To RSVP contact Mike McCreary at

Monday, August 18, 2008


How lucky for us to witness the renewal of vows by Jason and Melissa Berry. It was an honor to share in their rededication to each other. Melissa, I am sure was just as pretty as the day she took Jason to be her husband 19 years ago and Jason was as proud to take her as his wife once again.

We can only thank them for sharing it with us. Good luck you two. Your are very special people and we feel lucky to have made your acquaintance. hugs,m


Of course we'll share our secret spots with PC guests

To quote Dr. Gary Walker who specializes in Cliff-Face Ecology and Plant Population Genetics at Appalachian State University.......

"The environmental conditions leading into autumn are the best we've seen in years here in WNC, possibly setting the stage for the brightest leaf color show in recent history. Comparatively, the high country has had a wet summer and now temperatures are beginning to cool. Dry cool weather from here on out and, ideally, an early frost in September would produce intense, widespread fall color at all elevations."

Friday, August 15, 2008


Meet Mulligan, Tyler and Sage....all packed up and ready to go. But heh you guys...get out of the car. You're not due to Ponder Cove until October. See you then. In the meantime enjoy a nice Fall in NYC.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Speaking of big dawgs....Check out these little dudes. The baby is a mere 6 months old. SUPER DUDE weighs about 160 lb. I love the rules in hotels about only small dogs. These guys blow that theory out the door. They were the BEST guests ever in the Bungalow. You boys are welcome back anytime you want. We love you. m

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Thank you Ian, Cathy, Carol and Bob. You graced us with an absolutely wonderful visit. You are an entertaining foursome and we sooooo enjoyed meeting you. And about that smart carpooling idea of yours. You jumped in the car together reminding us that every little bit helps. You definitely are the best. Happy carpooling to you too.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Ponder Cove is featured on the main FOR THE LOVE OF DOGS Blog. Join today and you just might win another opportunity to scoop up a couple of free nights at the Cove. Well, your dog might win and if you behave I bet they will bring you along..."Sit owner...fetch owner....Feed me owner...take me to Ponder Cove owner". Good luck.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


A good time was had by all last night at El Dorado. Steve Alley and Constance Jackson, the dynamic duo known as TWO OF A KIND, rocked the house. These two have been together off and on for 15 years and trust me they were ON last night. It was a full house and by the time we left everyone was on their feet DANCIN' in the aisles. For those of you not native to these mountains you will find it hard to believe but this was an earth shattering event. So, Keep on truckin' Mars Hill. We are on the move.

Saturday, August 9, 2008



Typical of a Madison County mutt this little dude showed up on our doorstep a few short years ago. A tiny guy of some Pit heritage he always held his own with our cayote mix....another stray and my brother's dog Sandler. The three set out on adventure day after day, looking for fun in the mountains. But one sad day no one came home. Finally Spike and Shala, the cayote dog made their way back. Sandler was never seen again. Spike lost his sense of adventure and now is the best, most lovable house dog. As you can see he has joined the witness protection program and prefers to live in disguise, fearing that whomever or whatever took his little buddy Sandler might return to kidnap him. It's OK Spike. You are safe now.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Another great rescue story from our guests Jeanie and Stan. "We are SO delighted to report that our pack has recently grown to three schnauzers. Amy and Zelda--our two seven-year-olds who came to see you twice in recent years-- have a new little brother that we literally picked up on the highway along the Florida Gulf Coast. His owner subsequently gave him to us because he was no longer able to care for him in a way that he thought the little dog deserved. He is five years old and adorable! We so love Ponder Cove and think you guys are great."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Aspen (aka Aspen Y), Lab/ Border Collie
Mike, Maria and Cameron Olski, Owners

Hi, My name is Aspen. I am a 2 year old Yellow Lab and Border Collie mix. My family adopted me in November 2006 from LFS when I was only 14 weeks old. I never had a chance to thank my foster family and all the great people from LFS for taking such good care of me until I was adopted, so I’ll use this opportunity now to say “THANK YOU.” I have a wonderful 2 legged brother named Cameron. He’s 6 years old and we play together all the time. My favorite game is grabbing one of his stuffed animals and making him chase me all around the house trying to catch me. I have learned how to do all the basic doggy stuff and then some. I’m exceptionally masterful at manipulation. It’s amazing the treats I can get just by making those cute puppy faces. I have to go now. Mom and Dad do not want me on their computer that long. I hope you enjoyed reading my little story.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Nancy Tracy, Owner

Spencer, star of stage, screen and Las Vegas recently finished his tour as Harry Pupper. Sold out audiences across the land were left spellbound with his amazing wizardry. POOF...your a dog bone.


Bret Marquis, Owner

Her future is so bright she had to wear shades.


Lisa and Horst
Hoefinger, Owners

I am a dog in appearance only. I’m 110 and weigh 63 lbs. Although I’m a mutt on the outside, I’m a purebred on the inside. My good nature comes from the Golden Retriever side of the family while my stubbornness is clearly from my Chowchow bloodlines. I’ve got Rastafarian ears, or used to in my youth, a black tongue for licking and paws that should be on a dog twice my size. I’m adorable and I play that angle every day of my life. In addition, I type 60 words a minute. My name is Bo.


Maizey Grace, LAB
Karen and Meredith Hall, Owners

My name is Maizey Grace and my humans caught me in the middle of one of my beauty treatments! A girl has to work hard to maintain her looks you know! A Southern lady tries not to let her secrets out but I was ambushed! I am another LFS dog. I am originally from the great state of Texas and was brought to Georgia as a Christmas gift. While my original family loved me, my parents both worked full time and crated me for 12-15 hours a day! That does not make for a happy puppy! Fortunately they found Labrador Friends of the South and asked them to find me a new forever home! My first and only adoption event was on a cold,sleety Saturday in February of 2006. I was under the table when a sweet young girl named Meredith found me. Her first Labrador Grover had passed away after ten years with her and she was looking for a new friend! We fell in love with each other immediately! Her Mom saw the love and gave in pretty easily! I joined Meredith, Divot her brother dog and her two cats Uba and Peaches! I was so happy and while I had some bad moments--what's a girl to say? I have now settled in and also have another brother Hank the Tank --another LFS friend! I am living proof that blonds really do have more fun!!!

Love, Maizey Grace and Meredith

Monday, August 4, 2008

Raquel Wynn's Book Release

We are excited to announce the release of
Raquel Wynn's first book.

Raquel and her husband Phillip are two of our favorite PC guests and
we are thrilled with Raquel's completion and publication of this book.

If you are in the Nashville area don’t miss this chance to meet Raquel

Saturday, August 23rd, 1-3pm

Davis Kidd Bookstore, Green Hills Mall

We look forward to making STRETCH YOUR DOG HEALTHY available for sale at PC

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Easy Riders Hit Ponder Cove

Welcome Richard and Sue. Looking for a breath of fresh air away from the maddening crowds of Asheville, Richard and Sue hopped aboard their Suzuki 600 and sped through Madison County all the way to Ponder Cove. How easy was that......a mere 30 minute ride but a world away. I used my best stress reduction techniques on these two. I prescribed a good dose of country air, a cozy night's sleep and a yummo breakfast. Seemed to be just what they needed to recover from their busy working lives. Sue is an amazing web designer and Richard is my hardware guru. It was great having you guys.....see you soon. m

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Hunter, Boxer
Neena Gulley, Owner

My name is Hunter but this past December, my parents decided to name me Rudolph the Big Nosed Boxer. I was very unhappy with the new moniker. You see, my parents decided to bring a screaming, ear-pulling baby into our lives this past November. Not that anybody asked me what I thought about that. We were all just humming along happily, and suddenly this horrible red screaming thing arrives and ruins everything. Except, around Christmas I decided to finally give her a chance, very reluctantly, mind you. Turns out, she's not so bad, although please don't think that I like her or anything. Because I don't. I really don't. Except for sometimes, when no one is looking, I like to sneak over to her and give her a few kisses. Definitely not because I like her or anything, but us red-nosed boxers like to stick together. Happy year, everyone! The holidays are long over, but the celebratin' is just beginning.