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