Random (but not really)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday

Just got back from a lovely hike in the woods, and as happens when I hike, I think about things.

Today, one of the things I was considering was the term “Black Friday.”

The other “Black” day of the week that came immediately to mind is:


That’s pretty much the opposite of Black Friday.

So… English is weird.

Written by Michelle at 4:02 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: History,Holidays  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day and Remembrance Day

Thank you, to those who have served, who are currently serving, and to their families.




Ben Klishis WWII



Thank you.

Written by Michelle at 9:49 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Books of October (Or: Re-Reading Commissario Brunetti)

The books of October were almost all re-reads of Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti series. I’d fallen behind on reading the series after Grandmom died, so I decided to go back to the start and re-read straight through.

I did have one audio book–Faith Hunters Raven Cursed, from her Jane Yellowrock series, which I am thoroughly enjoying as audio books. I actually have the last Jane book waiting for me–I started it, saw the character that looked to be involved, and decided I wasn’t in the mood for that and put it back down. (I have an embarrassing number of new releases waiting for me.)

I also re-read Patricia Wrede’s A Matter of Magic which is a YA Historical Fantasy that I really enjoyed. That’s probably my big recommendation from this month: if you haven’t read Patricia Wrede, you should change that ASAP. Most of her books are Historical YA fantasy, which means they’re really good fantasy without the boinking. I’ve given her books to some of the larger small people in my life.

Commissario Brunetti
Death at La Fenice (1992) Donna Leon (8/10)
Death in a Strange Country (1993) Donna Leon (8/10)
Dressed for Death (1994) Donna Leon (8/10)
Death and Judgment (1995) Donna Leon (8/10)
Acqua Alta (1996) Donna Leon (8/10)
Quietly in Their Sleep (1997) Donna Leon (8/10)
A Noble Radiance (1998) Donna Leon (7/10)
Fatal Remedies (1999) Donna Leon
Friends in High Places (1999) Donna Leon (8/10)
A Sea of Troubles (2001) Donna Leon (8/10)

Fantasy, YA
A Matter of Magic: Mairelon the Magician and The Magician’s Ward (1991/1997) Patricia C. Wrede (8.5/10)

Historical Romance
The Sword Dancer (2013) Jeannie Lin (5/10)

Raven Cursed Audible version (2012/2012) Faith Hunter narrated by Khristine Hvam (8/10)

As far as stats go, I read 13 books, all but two of which were ebooks, only one of which was not a re-read, and 11 of which I own in multiple formats.

I read 11 mysteries, two fantasies, one romance, and one YA.

And every single book I read in October was written by a female.

Written by Michelle at 7:11 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

Woke up this morning to blue skies and cool weather, so we jumped in the car (after layering up) and headed out to Coopers Rock.

It was beautiful.

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Rhododendron, Mont Chateau, Ridge, Rock City, & Eagle Trails
Distance: 5.1 miles
Elevation: 1391 – 2347 feet






Written by Michelle at 5:56 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Friday, November 6, 2015

University Avenue Is Reopened!

University Avenue reopened today–at least partially.

It’s still a construction zone, it’s a rough asphalt job, and the sidewalk is supposed to be closed. But you can drive down University again.

Here’s what we saw:

First view coming around the corner:


Sidewalk closed! (I ignored this.)


Here’s where you can see the drop.


Panorama of Beverly & University.


Some new, nice wide sidewalk!


Oooh! Metal barriers to separate the pedestrians from the traffic! And they’re not ugly!


The garage is open! (At least the upper floors are.)




Many more pictures if you click through to Flickr.

Written by Michelle at 6:06 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Morgantown,Photos  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cran-Apple Crisp for Two (or Three)

Cran-Apple Crisp for Two
(Minus the Cranberries, which I Forgot)

(Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours)

Serves 2 generously, or 4 if you want to be more healthy.

1.8 oz flour
1.9 oz light brown sugar
.875 oz oats
.75 oz coconut
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
4 tbsp cold butter

2 medium or 3 small apples
1/2 cup cranberries
2.3 oz sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 tbsp flour

Preheat the oven to 375 F

Mix the ingredients for the topping in a food process, or cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or your fingers.

Core and slice the apples (I don’t peel apples for desserts), mix with the sugar, cranberries, and spices.

Put the fruit mixture in the bottom of a small, square pan, or a small loaf pan, or a small round pan–whatever will hold it and is oven-safe.

Ready to go into the oven:

Apple crisp ready for the oven

Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes.

Awaiting ice cream:

Awaiting ice cream

Top with vanilla ice cream.

Written by Michelle at 7:53 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Food,Photos  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hiking WV: Harpers Ferry

Our primary destination on Saturday was Harpers Ferry.

There is a lot here to do:
Hiking the WV portion of the Appalachian Trail (and visiting the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters)
Hiking the old B & O Canal
See the site of John Brown’s Raid (and all attendant historical stuff)
Wandering Harpers Ferry
Enjoying the Shenandoah and Potamic rivers
Hiking the Maryland Heights trail

Location: Harpers Ferry Historic District
Distance: 5.1 miles
Elevation: 229 – 590 feet (yes, that’s the lowest point we’ve hiked in ages)


I remain fascinated by the remains of this church.








I also took a couple pictures of the burned buildings–there is a Go-Fund-Me site for those wanting to donate to the rebuilding of the historic buildings.

Written by Michelle at 6:05 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: National Park/Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Traveling WV: Berkeley Springs

Saturday we went to the Eastern Panhandle, where the leaves were just reaching their peak colors.

As is our habit when were anywhere near that area and have the time, we stopped at Berkeley Springs on our way home.





Written by Michelle at 3:09 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hiking WV: Canaan Mountain Wilderness

Since we were at Canaan, we decided to go back to the Canaan Mountain Wilderness and hike back out Table Rock Trail, assuming correctly it would be a nice view.

If you are thinking about taking this hike, there are two things to note: 1) it takes 30 – 45 minutes to drive out the gravel Canaan Loop road if don’t have a 4-wheel drive (it’s rumored to be unpassable past the Table Rock Trail) and 2) it is muddy–even after a dry spell there were muddy patches. After a rain, it’s nigh near swampy.

Location: Canaan Wilderness
Trail: Table Rock Trail
Distance: 2.3 miles
Elevation: 3031 – 3511 feet





Written by Michelle at 6:14 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: National Park/Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Canaan Wildlife Refuge

We hiked this twice, on two different mornings, and it was gorgeous both times.

Location: Canaan Wildlife Refuge
Trail: Beall Trails
Distance: ~2.2 miles & 1.7 miles
Elevation: 3137 – 3323 feet






Written by Michelle at 5:30 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park/Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hiking WV: Spruce Knob

After hiking up Seneca Rocks, we then went to Spruce Knob.

Spruce Knob is the highest point in WV, at 4,863 feet. As it’s so high, it’s also windy and much colder than anywhere else in the area. We saw snow flakes while we were there. (But they didn’t amount to anything.)

Location: Spruce Knob
Trails: Whispering Spruce, Huckleberry (partial)
Distance: 2.9 miles
Elevation: 4735 – 4887 feet





Written by Michelle at 7:25 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park/Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Traveling WV: Seneca Rocks

Since the weather was so nice, we took and extended weekend to hike and enjoy the landscape.

Sunday started with Seneca Rocks.

Of course we hiked to the top of the rocks. And of course we went up without stopping.

What was surprising was just how many people were there–it was quite crowded by the time we started down.

Seneca Rocks





Yup. Beautiful.

Written by Michelle at 7:00 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: National Park/Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Monday, October 19, 2015

Traveling WV: Cranberry Wilderness

On our way back from Bridge Day we went through the Cranberry Wilderness and stopped at the Falls of Hills Creek.







Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: National Park/Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bridge Day 2015

It was a gorgeous day–perfect for everything but jumping (because it was very windy), apparently.





Written by Michelle at 9:29 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: National Park/Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hiking WV: Dolly Sods

Location: Dolly Sods National Wilderness
Trail: Rohrbaugh Trail (partial)
Distance: 3.0
Elevation: 3790 – 4120 feet

As is par for the course for every visit we’ve made to Dolly Sods, it was wet and muddy, which is part of the reason we only hiked a third of the Rohrbaugh trail (the other reason was that I’m still somewhat exhausted from this never-ending cold).

The trails are nowhere near as scenic as Bear Rocks, but it was still a gorgeous hike.

Written by Michelle at 8:04 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park/Forest,West Virginia  

Beautiful WV: Dolly Sods

Saturday was unbelievably gorgeous, and we were lucky enough to be able to spend part of it at Dolly Sods–even if there were, like, a zillion people there. (But not as many people as we at Coopers Rock on Sunday.)






I hope you had just as much beauty in your weekend.

Written by Michelle at 7:47 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park/Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Monday, October 5, 2015

World’s Slowest Slide

This was perhaps the slowest slide EVER. And the more you weighed, the slower you went.







Written by Michelle at 8:21 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Family,Photos  

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hiking WV: Cathedral State Park

If you want a flat place to hike, then Cathedral State Park is your best bet in WV. Which is why we took a meander despite the fact that I still feel pretty crappy from this cold.

Cathedral took a substantial amount of damage during hurricane Sandy, but the trails are all clear–and the uprooted trees are fascinating.

Location: Cathedral State Park
Trails: Cathedral, Giant Hemlock, Partridge Berry Trails
Distance: 1.8 miles
Elevation: 2438 – 2626 feet

If you’ve ever tried to photograph the woods, you know it’s pretty difficult to get a pictures from within the forest that shows the majesty of what you’re seeing. It’s that old–you can’t photograph the forest for the trees.


Doesn’t mean it isn’t worth visiting, it’s just very hard to photograph and give you an idea of what it’s like.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Traveling WV: Cheat River

The WV leaf reports started this week, so since I am still tired and miserable from this stupid cold, we decided to take a scenic drive.





Written by Michelle at 2:45 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,West Virginia  

Friday, September 11, 2015

Traveling WV: Abandoned Bridge

We had to stop at this bridge on our way back from Jackson’s Mill.




Written by Michelle at 7:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,West Virginia  
Next Page »

Powered by WordPress

books main pictures cats e-mail