Random (but not really)

Monday, September 23, 2019

Hiking WV: Cranberry Wilderness / Cranberry Glades

Location: Cranberry Wilderness
Trail: Blue Knob Trail
Distance: 2.0 miles
Elevation: 3742-4161 feet (423 feet gain)

Oh look! If I stand on this log and peer carefully, I can see the Highland Scenic Highway!


If you remember way back into the spring, beavers had flooded the boardwalk over the winter. Last visit the walk was dry, but still not repaired.

Now, they’ve fixed this section of boardwalk (but others are problematic) but the pond is almost gone.




Also, please enjoy these views:




Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Cranberry Glades

Late September is when the earliest leaves change color in areas like Cranberry Glades and Dolly Sods and Canaan Valley. Since I love Cranberry Glades best that’s where we went.

Not much in the way of leaf color, but a beautiful day nevertheless.







Written by Michelle at 6:59 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Books of August

How is it September already? Where on earth has the year gone?!

I read some good books this month!

I read the rest of the Ravenswood by Talia Hibbert (ie, the first two books and the novella) and really REALLY liked them. In the first book, A Girl Like Her the female main character is on the autism spectrum and is a tremendous geek. I loved her SO. MUCH. The second book, Damaged Goods, I had concerned about, since the main character is the nanny. However, the two characters had known each other back in the school days (and had mutual secret crushes on each other) and he is really unhappy with the idea of having a relationship with his employee. So she did a really good job working out that aspect of the story. I highly recommend the entire series.

If you’ve read any KJ Charles you may already be aware of her new novella, Proper English. If you haven’t, it’s marvelous. It’s set before Think of England which is fantastic.

The final book I really enjoyed was Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy, which had a really nice variety of stories, some of which I loved, one of which I despised, and I found some new authors to look into.

Mystery, Historical

A Murdered Peace (2018) Candace Robb (Rating: 7/10) (Kate Clifford)
In Farleigh Field (2017) Rhys Bowen (Rating: 6/10) 

Mystery, LGBT

Snow & Winter
The Mystery of Nevermore (2016) C.S. Poe (Rating: 7.5/10)
The Mystery of the Curiosities (2017) C.S. Poe (Rating: 7.5/10) 


A Girl Like Her (2018) Talia Hibbert (Rating: 8/10)
Untouchable (2018) Talia Hibbert (Rating: 8/10)
Damaged Goods (2018) Talia Hibbert (Rating: 8/10)

Romance, LGBT

Proper English (2019) KJ Charles (Rating: 8/10)
Bone to Pick (2017) TA Moore  (Rating: 7/10) (Digging Up Bones)
For Better or Worse (2017) R. Cooper (Rating: 7/10)

Romance, Historical

Devil’s Daughter (2019) Lisa Kleypas (Rating: 6/10) (The Ravenels)

Fantasy, Supernatural  

Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy (2015) edited by Jordan Castillo Price (Rating: 8.5/10)
Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds (2018) Brandon Sanderson (Rating: 7/10)

And now: The stats!

All ebooks this month, and two re-reads. Although the second is iffy–it’s the Stephen Leeds story, and I have strong opinions about how it was published.

eBook: 13
Re-read: 2

Mostly mysteries and romance this month. And more than half boinking books.

Fantasy: 2
Mystery: 9
Romance: 10
Boinking: 7
Anthology: 1

Mostly female authors this month. I’ve picked up some hard boiled mysteries on sale recently, but haven’t really been in the mood to read them. But when I do, that’ll might swing me back to male authors for the whole years. :)

Male: 1
Female: 6
Joint + Anthology: 1
Initials: 5
Anthology: 1

And the book characters.

Male: 6
Female: 2
Ensemble: 5
White: 11
Minority: 5
Minority 2ndary: 2
Straight: 8

About half white males, but that’s mostly because I read several M/M mysteries. Otherwise, a decent amount of variety.

Did you read anything worth recommending this month?

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Monday, September 2, 2019

Labor Day

Textile Mills









Triangle Shirtwaist Factory



Chimney Sweeps



Come all of you good workers,
Good news to you I’ll tell
Of how the good old union
Has come in here to dwell.


My daddy was a miner
And I’m a miner’s son,
And I’ll stick with the union
‘Til every battle’s won.

Breaker boys working in Ewen Breaker Mine in South Pittston, Pennsylvania, 10 January 1911, from a 1908-1912 series on...

They say in Harlan County
There are no neutrals there;
You’ll either be a union man,
Or a thug for J. H. Blair.


Oh workers can you stand it?
Oh tell me how you can.
Will you be a lousy scab
Or will you be a man?




Upper Big Branch


child labor today 1

child labor today 2

child labor today 3


child labor today 4




Just a reminder what we’re celebrating today.

Written by Michelle at 6:15 am      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Holidays,Politics  

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Jackson’s Mill

Went south yesterday for the Jackson’s Mill Jubilee. As noted in previous years, there are fewer crafters each time we visit. But lots of live music–and I saw quite a few younger musicians alongside the old bearded dudes.

Since we were wasting time waiting for the start of the game so we could go home, I spent lots of time wandering around the mill.

I love that place So. Much.







Written by Michelle at 4:37 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Hiking WV: Blackwater Canyon

As I mentioned previously, the monitor on my Asus laptop died, so although we did take a lovely hike a couple weeks ago at the Cranberry Wilderness, I did not manage to write about it or post any pictures.

This weekend Michael was still recovering from the start of school (couple weeks of 10-12 hours days. Ugh.) so we didn’t want to go far, so the Blackwater Falls / Canaan Valley area it was.

I remembered that it’d been a couple years since I’d taken any pictures of Douglas Falls, so that’s where we headed, and then continued out the defunct rail trail (it’s private property, so the trail is not maintained for 5 1/2 miles, but it was perfectly fine to hike).

The fun part was our argument as to whether Michael has seen Pace Point or not. I’m pretty sure he didn’t. We did definitely see Lindy Point though. (We’ve argued for years as to whether you can see Lindy Point from Pase Point. I say definitely not.)

Location: Blackwater Canyon Rail Trail
Distance: 6.2 miles (partial, out and back)
Elevation: 2755-2918 feet (410 feet gain)

Definitely Lindy Point, as seen from across the river.


This is what Michael says is Pase Point. I say NOPE.


The old coke ovens along the trail are AMAZING.


It’s actually a lovely trail.



Douglas Falls



Written by Michelle at 8:49 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Blackwater Canyon Edition

The monitor on my Asus laptop died, and although I did use my desktop computer for processing images, if I’m going to spend lots of time on the computer, I’d rather do so upstairs on a laptop, so Michael and I can be in the same room ignoring each other.

Saturday we hiked the rail trail along the Blackwater Canyon, and we did manage to see wildflowers (even if there were (sadly) no snacks along the trail).

Not *quite* UF, but definitely not high fantasy, I do recommend Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos series. I’ve fallen off keeping up with the series, because there were a LOT of delays for about a decade, but I need to pick it back up.






Written by Michelle at 8:24 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  
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