Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Boogey Down for an Asheville Christmas

Christmas at the Biltmore is bigger and more beautiful than ever. Being America's largest home it is all aglow for it's candlelight evenings. Enjoy the majesty until Jan 3.

Downtown Asheville takes such pride in its independent shops and galleries. I just bet you will find that special present for that special person. Make a day of your shopping adventure and enjoy the many coffee shops and restaurants.

Fireworks will bring your downtown Asheville shopping adventure to a close at 7 PM on December 5, 12 and 19.

Gingerbread Houses at Grove Park Inn from the National Gingerbread House Competition are not to be missed this year. They will be on display until January 3. Just a little fyi...If not a guest of the hotel you can only visit Monday through Thursday.

Biltmore Village is so charming that I often wonder if it is the home of Santa's workshop. In walking distance to the estate this historic district of original architecture and tree lined streets boasts of 40 unique shops and 10 cafes and restaurants.

Antiques can be found in the many antique stores and barns within one mile of the Biltmore Estate.

Hiking is spectacular at this time of the year. In fact we fell in love with Ponder Cove in Winter without a leaf on a tree. The air is crisp and the views are long in WNC. Let us send you on one of our favorite hikes.

Christmas Trees you will find at our favorite Family Farm.Pick up your Cartner Frasir Fir. The Cartners will take special care of you and on your way you can stop at Linville Falls. We make a day of it every year.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Welcome SaraBella

Sometimes it is just worth the effort. My friends Faye and Ken Prewitt drove all the way from NYC to Ponder Cove, spent the night, got up the next morning and drove to Telluhoma, Tennessee to pick up their new Brittany puppy SaraBella. Then back to Ponder Cove for SaraBella to meet and bond with her godparents (that's me and Gary) and back the next day to NYC. (Ken, you may know as the financial reporter from Bloomberg Radio and you can follow him on Facebook) As you can see she got home in time for the big game and is rooting all the way for one more Yankee win. It was sad to see them come and go so quickly but worth the visit and just look at this babe.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Congrats to Rachel and Zachary. Now, this is the way to start a marriage...with good humor and lots of love. We had such a good afternoon watching these two say their "I Do's" right here at Ponder Cove. This job is the best I must say. Good luck kids! xxoom

Friday, October 9, 2009

Grandfather Mountain

Ablaze in color already. Check out this photo that Mark File from Romantic Asheville took yesterday...awesome. xxoom

Thursday, October 8, 2009


The best part about fall color in the Asheville area is the range of elevation in close proximity. Fall color begins at the highest elevations, then gradually works its way down the mountains into the lower valleys. At 6684 feet above sea level, Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River and the leaves at its summit are at peak color. Right now you'll find beautiful fall foliage at areas above 6000'.

Although Fall color at Ponder Cove is around the corner you can still find color within a short drive to nearby mountains such as Mount Pisgah or Craggy Gardens. So, know it is going to be beautiful any time from now until mid November. The season is going to be long and gorgeous. We wait in anticipation the changes here at PC.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


And she is ready to go. Little Miss Sara is a Brittany Spaniel hailing from Tullahoma, Tennesse and is soon to be picked up by two of my oldest friends Faye and Ken Prewitt. Then off she goes to the Big Apple where she will certainly be turning some heads. Faye and Ken are just popping to get their hands on her. Lucky for me Ponder Cove will be their stop over to and from NYC and we all can be properly introduced. Heck...I am as excited as they are.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Friends of Madison County Animals and the Madison County Animal Shelter showed up in true form at Saturday's Heritage Festival.

Of course they brought along the cutest puppies and dogs of various sizes and breeds hoping to find new homes for each and every one. Thanks goes out to the volunteers who spend countless hours giving all they can to these animals. And special thanks for letting me take a shift in time to see this little bugger land in the arms of his new found mom.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Welcome Algadore

We were pleased to welcome this last weekend Algadore and mom, Donna. Algadore won our contest on Dogster.com for a free weekend at Ponder Cove. As you can see from this photo taken on his hike to Max Patch he is divine. Algadore submitted an essay on why he deserved a holiday at PC. His writing style was impeccable but it was his heart warming content that won me over. As he explained mom over time has rescued many a dog. Each time Algadore scoots over selflessly making room for another less fortunate in his house. So, this was his chance to have mom all to himself. He immediately made himself at home and we agreed Algadore deserved his time away with mom.

Hope to see you again soon Algadore, m

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


OK, that is a bit of an exaggeration. Because of course they were going to stay. But Dollie Mae, Buck and Ponder were in serious need of an attitude adjustment. Well, I am happy to say help is here. We just finished our first session with Kim Brophy. Kim is a certified animal behaviorist and I can not tell you what a help she was.

Thank goodness as she explained...My dogs are doing nothing wrong (in their eyes). I just didn't have any tools to handle the situation. Between the three of them they are jockeying for the alpha position at all times. That is usually between Buck and Ponder. Then when guests' dogs show up Dollie Mae being the third man around here tries to dominate them. I was all concerned about my anxiety level but what she made me realize was Mom is not suffering half as much as my sweeties. That hit my heart and I want life to be better for them. So, with some great behavioral modifications for Gary and I and a dose of Melatonin (for them not us... but check with you vet as Kim insisted) I have a new situation on my hands.

Ponder is our aging dude and she made me realize it is our job to insure his position as alpha as he ages. It was a brilliant session and after Kim winning International APDT
2009 Outstanding Trainer of the Year
we can't believe our luck that she is in Asheville.

So, come on down and stay at Ponder Cove and make your appointment with Kim. You will be glad you did.

martha and her happy pups

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Biltmore Set for Spectacular Season

Economy crunch or no economy crunch. The Biltmore House will be as spectacular as ever. And if you ever wondered.......note the "by the numbers" report.

50 decorated Frazier firs from 4-34 feet in the main house.
50 more at other estate facilities
1 55’ Norway spruce on the front lawn surrounded by 8 “islands”
300 poinsettias
500 other plants
1,600 bloomers
340 fresh wreaths
60 artificial
100 kissing balls made of white pine and Fraser fir
10,000 feet of garland
1,200 feet in the House and around 1,000 feet in other areas.
500 Bows
30,000 lights in the main house
125 candles
150,000 mini lights
500 gift boxes
500 ornaments
500 electric lights on the Banquet Hall Tree
12,000 on the trees inside the house
25,000 + on the estate.

There will be a quiz later. m

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Don't you agree....I think the search is over for Ponder Cove's new Fashion Editor. In this video you will find a behind the scenes moment before this divine Diva hits the catwalk. Meet Ms.Zoester

Monday, September 14, 2009


One of my greatest pleasures is coming up the drive and watching the dogs get all excited. "Mom is home! Mom is home!" They bark. Up they run as fast as they can and then plop faster than I can get out of the car, exhausted from the climb, spent from such a burst of energy...but they took it on without a second's hesitation...just because they are glad I am home.

I was reading Raquel Wynn's book today STRETCH YOUR DOG HEALTHY and ran across a great passage. "The life of a dog is high-impact. Hours are spent playing in yards, chasing critters, sleeping on hard floors, hanging out, leading family walks and just trying to get the most out of life. They are ready at a moment's notice, they greet us with complete enthusiasm every time we come home, and they loyally support us--this takes a lot of energy." We can learn a lot from our dogs...but today I learned my dogs deserve a massage for that outpouring of enthusiasm much to the chagrin of their joints.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


How lucky are these two amazing pups? One minute their future unknown as they lounged within the walls of a shelter. But as only fate could determine in walk my friends Gary and Frank to the rescue. Obviously it took no time at all for these kids to adjust to their new home perched on top of their very own mountain. Life is good in Sandy Mush.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Let me introduce you to Raquel Wynn, one of our favorite guests along with her husband Philip. Raquel is the author of STRETCH YOUR DOG HEALTHY, a brilliant book which not only makes you aware but teaches techniques for keeping your dog healthy and happy. Raquel is now featured on Pet Life Radio. Tune in and become a fan.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fall Foliage Asheville

Time to think about your upcoming visit to the mountains. We are thrilled to announce that we have had normal rainfall after years of drought. The trees are gloriously full of foliage. Adding to this wonderment we are now experiencing very crisp nights. So, what does that mean?....... A SUPER LEAF SEASON!!!!! It is suppose to be slow and long. So, when looking at your schedule consider early November as well. See you soon. m

Friday, September 4, 2009

Quilt Trail Road Rally

Does everyone know about the upcoming road rally? It is going to be toooo much fun. The challenge is to track down 15 barn quilts. Its not about speed but about discovering our mountains ablaze with fall color. November 7. Ponder Cove highly recommends it. Call 828-682-7331 for more information.


One of my very best friends and fellow dog lover Faye from New York City turned me on to this site just this morning. We are always looking for more GREAT dog-friendly B & B's to share with our guests. So, it looks like Faye has found us one in the Berkshires and look at their foodie blog. An innkeeper after my own heart. I will be spending time there today seeing what I can borrow. http://www.birchwood-inn.com/blog/

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dollie Mae Featured on Dog Pearls

Note Dollie Mae made the cut...her first big movie role. Go to http://www.littlepearls.org/ourdogstars.html and read about a new film by Little Pearls: "tiny films" that open hearts & minds.

Barn Quilt at Ponder Cove

I must bring everyone's attention to Suzi Parron's new quilt trail project. So many of you have admired our quilt square and wanted to know the significance. Soon it will be all too clear when Suzi's book is published. In the meantime keep up with Suzi at americanquilttrail.blogspot.com.

Friday, August 28, 2009

2009 Biltmore Christmas

This year’s Christmas Theme: A Gilded Age Christmas
Guests can take a step back in time when they visit Biltmore House for the 2009 Candlelight Christmas Evening season. Guests will experience an array of activities and that Mr. Vanderbilt offered to his own family and friends. Guests enjoy a self-guided walking visit that takes them through four floors and the basement. The self-guided visit requires the ability to maneuver approximately 400 stairs throughout the visit. An elevator is available for access between the first and second floors of the House (wheelchair accessible), but the third and fourth floors and basement will require maneuvering approximately 60 stairs (30 up and 30 down) per floor.
November 6, 2009 – January 2, 2010
Entry times vary and may begin as early as 5:30pm
Candlelight Christmas Evening not available on the following dates: Tuesday, November 24; Thursday, November 26;
Thursday, December 24; Friday, December 25

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Just in from Connecticut....thanks to guest Jamie Delaney
"i myself am into tapas lately....
look for pedrone peppers, which i found at whole foods...
toss in olive oil and sea salt and throw into a super hot skillet...
sear on all sides....eat when they slightly cool down...
(the spanish edamame!)

also pit large dates...stuff with a piece of manchego or parmesan cheese...wrap in 1/3 slice of bacon...put toothpick thru....450 oven...5 minutes on one side 4 on the other....let slightly cool then eat!!!!!"

Ponder Cove Newsletter

Don't miss our latest newsletter...tons of good news..Kay Jackson Rocks Mars Hill....Great Dogs visit Ponder Cove...wedding Bells ring. All the news fit to print.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Buck and I Need YOUR Help.

Winter comes and I get fidgety....Two years ago I joined three friends on their cruise uninvited. Last year on the spur of the moment I found myself in Marseilles and then off to Israel . So, I decided this year to think ahead and plan an adventure. Buck and I are hitting the road. But there is more! WE WANT TO BE ROVING REPORTERS COVERING DOG TRAVEL. We are going to have too much fun and we don't want you to miss out on all of our shenanigans. We want YOU to help us design our trip. So, can you give us all your suggestions for dog friendly restaurants, hotels, motels, dog parks, beaches, good cities, bad cities and heh...line us up for a play date (Buck will be ready after he completes charm school).

My first idea was to make a loop Asheville, Charlotte, Charleston, Savannah, Pensacola, Gulfport, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and home. No, I am not closing down to do this. I will wait for an opening in the calendar when you guys are busy at home and I will take off for a city or two or more…whatever time allows.

So, get crackin' and send those cards, letters,tweets and e-mails. Buck would prefer you send your suggestions directly to him at buck@pondercove.com.

I can hear Willie singing now..."On the road again".

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Asheville Bound

On the way into town to see a friend and grab a bite at Tomato Jam...the best little lunch place around...all farm to table...scrumptious bites. I like the black bean burgers. YUMMO!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Napa Style

Have to give credit to Michael Chiorello. This is one of my favorites http://www.napastyle.com/recipe/recipe.jsp?productId=2346. Fixed it along side my tomato, watermelon, red onion, basil salad (dress with a good balsamic vinegar) and a spatchcock chicken. More than YUMMO. Fun sharing good food with friends. Nice night on the porch in beautiful downtown Ponder Cove. Come see us. m

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cheddar Apple Sausage Strata

YUMMO SUCCESS, this was inspired by my very favorite brunch item 25 years ago in Manhattan when I was young and sipping mimosas on Sundays. It came in the form of an omelette. It always reminded me of my Dad who melted Cheddar cheese over his apple pie. So, this comes as a combination of both. I will fondly call it......


Slice and peel 2 apples
Cut 6 croissants in half
10 eggs
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
3/4 lb turkey sausage cooked

Place bottom half of a croissant in each of 6 ramekins
Divide ingredients and place equal amounts of sausage,apple and cheese in each
Put top half of croissant on top
Make custard and divide among 6 ramekins soaking even the tops of the croissants
Spray a sheet of aluminum foil and place loosely on top
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

I served with a bit of apple pie filling on the side.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


This is one of most fun of "THE SUMMER" happenings in Asheville kicking off each weekend.

The Asheville Drum Circle is a regular event on Friday nights at Pritchard Park in downtown. The event usually includes dozens of drummers and hundreds of spectators. It's more fun than you can imagine and sets a great backdrop to Asheville's funky vibe. Enjoy and then walk the funky streets and grab a dang good meal while in Asheville at one of many fab dining spots.

Asheville Goes Funky

Bring home Asheville’s quirky and fun art scene with these two great upcoming bazaars:

The Bizarre Bazaar kicks off on Saturday, May 23, at Lexington Park Courtyard. (The spot is located between North Lexington Ave and Carolina Lane at the gated entrance next to Virtue.) Shop from over 20 local artists, crafters and designers from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rock out to music from local band Now You See Them, and munch on crepes and French fries from Bouchon. Can’t make it this weekend? Don’t stress, the Bizarre Bazaar is held the first and third Saturday through October 17.

Asheville’s Vintage Bazaar is on Saturday, May 30 at The Body at 66 Asheland Ave. The fun lasts from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Local vendors are selling vintage clothing and accessories, artwork, jewelry, an assortment of children’s wares and of other stylish stuff.

Monday, May 4, 2009


If you can't give your pooch a vacation at Ponder Cove....maybe a nice massage will hold them over. Check out our Raquel Wynn's latest TV appearance.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Meet Jules and Tracye, 2 of our favorite guests. Papa Trevor was loading up the car when I snapped this picture. Tracye and Trevor were two of our first guests and luckily they come back each year. Ms. Jules made her debut at Ponder Cove last year and here she is back for a return engagement much to Buck's delight.

Friday, April 17, 2009


1. Gorges State Park: New parking and trails open in May for much better access to rugged river gorges. Hike along the Horsepasture River to see several waterfalls, including Rainbow Falls.
2. Mt. Mitchell: After enjoying the 360-degree vistas from the new observation deck atop the highest peak east of the Rockies, head to the Deep Gap Trail and hike over four more peaks over 6,000 feet.
3. Craggy Gardens: The Blue Ridge Parkway reopens here in May after more than a year of repairs. The Craggy Gardens Trail takes you across a rhododendron bald, and a 1.5-mile roundtrip hike to Craggy Pinnacle offers breathtaking panoramic views.
4. Point Lookout Trail: This new 3.6-mile paved greenway climbs 900 feet in elevation in the Pisgah National Forest. Bike or hike from Old Fort and enjoy great views along the way.
5. Dupont State Forest: The best waterfall hike is a three mile trail to three waterfalls, including the impressive 150-foot High Falls with great places for wading, swimming and waterside picnics.
6. Max Patch: Hike the loop around the summit or continue further on the Appalachian Trail to enjoy breathtaking views from this bald mountaintop.
7. Cold Mountain: This famous mountain offers a strenuous 10.6-mile roundtrip hike to its summit through the wilderness area of the Pisgah National Forest. The hike includes a 2,800 foot altitude gain to the 6,030-foot peak.
8. Graveyard Fields: This highland hike features beautiful views in a mile-high valley filled with wildflowers and surrounded by 6,000-foot peaks. With an easy four mile hike, you see two nice waterfalls.
9. Black Balsam Knob: Hike across more spectacular mountain balds. These treeless mountaintops in the Pisgah National Forest offer sweeping views and alpine-like appearance. Hike three miles without dropping back into the trees.
10. Urban Trail: If you are looking for an urban hike, walk the 1.7-mile journey that showcases the art and history of Asheville, with 30 downtown stops, each with public sculpture.

Easter Morn

Driving on a bright sunny day
I soaked up my Carolina,
Viewing hillsides of Fresh spring green
and a sky so blue not interrupted by a single cloud

little shacks pasted against the hillsides
with satellites dwarfing their size even more
Low slung valleys with homes sunk so deep
I could shiver from the imagined chill

Hot Springs in view
the local diner seemed to call
5.99 Senior Special, chicken livers, pintos and fried okra
Easter dinner complete and on the road again

Our destination came into view
A bald on the Appalachian trail
Max Patch they call it
Seems Julie Andrews was right, the hills are alive

Thursday, April 9, 2009


The sun is shining and all is well at the Cove. We hibernated more than enough and are thrilled to see our guests coming again. Our wedding season has started and what a way to kick it off. We loved having Bethanie and Aaron saying their "I Do's" at Ponder Cove just last week. Congratulations and come back real soon. Hugs,m

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


just a reminder -

tune into Rachael's show "wynn with dogs" on www.petliferadio.com and learn how to win with dogs!

spread the word!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Everyone must go to this video. It is one of the most courageous acts I have ever witnessed.......DOG SAVES DOG FROM FREEWAY!

Monday, January 26, 2009

First Fridays at Grove Arcade

Asheville's Groove Arcade plans to combat the Winter Blues with Motown Music, Great Food and Drinks

The first Friday event will feature music, food and drinks that will transport you to Coney Island and take you back in time. First Friday will debut on Friday, February 6, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. with additional events taking place on March 6 and April 3.

In February, First Friday will feature Motown music from Steve Davidowski & Friends, wine and beer from Santé, cherry cokes and root beer floats from Red Bike, chili dogs from Cats and Dawgs, frozen treats from Kamm’s Custard, Coney Island Iced Teas from Carmel’s, pizza from True Confections and much more. It’s going to be a real party. So grab your friends and head downtown to boogie the winter blues away!