Random (but not really)

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Goodbye Dad

Michael Joseph Klishis, 78, of Morgantown, died Thursday, April 22, at his home.

Michael was born in Baltimore MD on July 26, 1942. He was the son of the late Albert and Lillian (Laukaitis) Klishis.

He graduated from Catonsville Community College, then Frostburg State College, where he met Lesley. He then went into the Air Force, where he served primarily in Fayetteville, NC. After his honorable discharge, they moved to Morgantown, where he received his Master’s and eventually PhD in psychology from WVU.

Never knowing quite what he wanted to be when he grew up, he had a passion for teaching, and worked at WVU first at the Mining Extension Service, and then as a professor for the Department of Safety Studies, until his retirement from the University in 2015.

After retirement, he and Lesley traveled and volunteered and enjoyed each other’s company.

He loved jazz and science fiction, the Baltimore Orioles and WVU sports, aquariums with fish and ponds with ducks. But above all he loved—and was loved by—his family.

He was never on time, and he never did clean off his desk.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, Lesley (Cave), his daughter Michelle (Michael Hyde), his son Brian (Stacie Klishis), one grandchild, Julliene, in whom he delighted; his sister Christine Horne (Gary), and his nieces and nephews and many great-nieces and great-nephews.

The family wishes to acknowledge and thank the doctors, nurses and staff at WVU Family Medicine and The Cancer Center for their care and compassion throughout Michael’s illnesses.

A memorial service will be held at some point in the future when we can safely gather.

In lieu of flowers the family asks for donations to Doctors Without Borders or UNICEF, or to the WVU Foundation to support the Michael and Lesley Klishis Graduate Support Fund. And remember to hug your loved ones.

Written by Michelle at 8:47 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Family  

Friday, April 9, 2021

Maybe Not Today, But Someday

It’s been years since I talked about mental health, because things had been going ok. I had some struggles, but I was able to change the things that were problems (get a new job) and it got better.

But this past year has been rough. Really rough. Honestly, from 2016 on things were difficult, with so much hate and racism and sexism right out in the open everywhere you looked, but 2020 was just the worst. All the racism, all the sexism, all the hate AND a pandemic.

But I kept going, thinking, “once the election is over, things will get better” or “once we get a vaccine approved, things will get better” and “once we have the inauguration, things will get better.”

Except that all those things happened, and it didn’t get better.

Not really.

So I finally had to admit that my anxiety was out of control, and pushing me into a bout of depression, because all the tools I’ve used for decades to stay healthy were suddenly no longer working.

I’m not sure I can explain how hard it’s been to have a situation beyond my control go on for so long, and about which I can do absolutely nothing.

When I can get out hiking, it’s not bad. But last spring I broke my foot, which meant no hiking–no walking. That took a big chunk out of me, and really started the downward spiral.

I just kept hoping that after event X happened, things would get better. But they never did.

My depression is insidious. I’ve always thought of it as being functionally depressed. Work is never a problem–I’m on time and I get my work done. So from the outside everything looks perfectly normal. Except that work is almost the only thing I can manage to do, and once I’m done for the day, I am incapable of accomplishing anything else.

I can manage to go to the grocery store every week at the normal time, and I put away all the fridge and freezer items, but once the perishable items are away–it’s too much struggle to deal with the rest of it.

I can do wash and try and fold laundry (because I actually find laundry calming). But putting it away? Nope.

Forget making dinner. Or cleaning the house.

It’s a stupid thing. “How hard can it be to (do simple task)?” you ask yourself. Yet it is hard. Things that were once simple to manage become overwhelming. Everything is too much effort, too hard. All tasks are Sisyphean–undertaken as if they were to be done uphill, across an icy terrain, while carrying an awkward heavy package. Any single misstep brings everything crashing back down.

And asking for help is out of the question when things get bad. “It’s just your brain, you can get over it.” “You’re just being lazy; you don’t deserve help.”

These are, of course, things that I know are lies. But that doesn’t make them any less powerful. And fighting those lies is exhausting, which just gives us a nasty little vicious circle. After all, if I don’t want to be around myself, why would I want to subject anyone else to me?

So, that’s where we’ve been.

The future? I’ve got a change in meds–which takes time. And little things to look forward to. Things I am going to hug to myself and cherish. And hopefully one day I’ll realize that I’ve eventually reached the top of the hill, and that the ice has melted and although it’s not necessarily smooth sailing, it’s okay.

For now, I just keep reminding myself that it will, eventually, be okay again. Eventually.

Written by Michelle at 10:35 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Depression  

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Hiking WV: High Falls of Cheat

For years now we’ve been meaning to hike to the High Falls of Cheat, but never managed to get there. So we decided to check another trail off our list last week.

High Falls of Cheat Trail
Distance: 7.6 miles (out and back)
Elevation: 2927-3701 feet (1469′ gain) ~10% grade on the mountain

See that ridge-line in the distance? That’s we we’re going up and over.

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It was a bit chilly when we set out.

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And even cooler along the ridge-line.

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Down the other side of the mountain, and after a 2/3rds mile walk down the railroad tracks (which kinda sucked, to be honest), we came to the falls.

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Shavers Fork River

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Here’s the the graph of the elevation.

High Falls of Cheat Elevation

Written by Michelle at 8:14 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Hiking WV: Blackwater Canyon Trail

Last year we went hiked past Douglas Falls several times but it was incredibly busy, so I didn’t bother with the scramble down.

Distance: 4.8 miles
Elevation: 2327-2648 feet (383′ gain)
Trail: Blackwater Canyon Trail

For some reason, we didn’t see anyone on this hike. Funny that.

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If you go far enough down the trail, and peer through the trees, you can see Lindy Point.

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Unexpected finding.

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Written by Michelle at 8:05 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Hiking WV: Cacapon State Park

We took time off last week and did some hiking, which was marvelous (and desperately needed).

One place we went was Cacapon State Park.

Location: Cacapon State Park
Distance: 4.2 miles
Elevation: 1079-2287 feet (1311′ gain), 20% grade on the uphill, 23% grade on the downhill
Trails: Ziller Loop, Ziller, and Central Trails

Up up up!

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And now down!

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Also, I managed to find the bog on the way back to the car. (“This looks like a shortcut!”)

Cacapon State Park Ziller Elevations

Written by Michelle at 7:53 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Friday, April 2, 2021

The Books of March

Rogue ProtocolI read some books last month! Actually, the shock is that I read some newly published books last month!

What Abigail Did That Summer by (2021) Ben Aaronovitch was as delightful as I was hoping it would be. Lisa Shearin latest entry to her SPI Files series, The Solstice Countdown wasn’t as good as her previous books, but I still enjoyed it. And the more I think about Patricia Briggs‘s latest Alpha & Omega book, Wild Sign the unhappier I get about it. (It’s already dropped from a 7 to a 6.)

Dahlia Donovan‘s Cosplay Killer was good, although it suffered a bit after reading it immediately following her Grasmere Cottage series, because both have autistic main characters so it was impossible not to compared them.

Roan Parrish‘s newest book in her Garnet Run series, Best Laid Plans was lovely as expected, and continues with this series being much lower angst that one expects from her. And K.J. Charles‘s newest book,
The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting was as lovely as you’d expect, despite being an enemies-to-lovers.

Also: MURDERBOT!

The Hanged ManSupernatural Fantasy

What Abigail Did That Summer (2021) Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London) 8.5/10
Family Matters (2018) Angel Martinez (Brandywine Investigations) 9/10
The Hanged Man (2019) K. D. Edwards (The Tarot Sequence) 8.5/10
Tarot Sequence novellas & stories (2020) K. D. Edwards (The Tarot Sequence) 8/10
The Solstice Countdown (2021) Lisa Shearin (SPI Files) 7/10
Wild Sign (2021) Patricia Briggs (Alpha & Omega) 6/10

Mystery

The Mystery of Nevermore (2016) C.S. Poe (Snow & Winter) 8.5/10
The Mystery of the Curiosities (2017) C.S. Poe (Snow & Winter 8/10
The Mystery of the Moving Image (2018) C.S. Poe (Snow & Winter) 8.5/10
The Mystery of the Bones (2019) C.S. Poe (Snow & Winter) 8.5/10
The Bellingham Mystery Series Volume 2 (2015) Nicole Kimberling 8.5/10
The Bellingham Mystery Series Volume 1 (2015) Nicole Kimberling 8.5/10
Grasmere Cottage Mystery (2018) Dahlia Donovan 8.5/10
Cosplay Killer (2020) Dahlia Donovan (London Podcast Mystery) 8/10
The Whispered Word (2018) Ellery Adams (Secret, Book, & Scone Society) 7/10
Death by Dumpling (2018) Vivien Chien (A Noodle Shop Mystery) 5/10

What Abigail Did That SummerMystery, Historical

A Dangerous Madness (2014) Michelle Diener (Regency London) 8.5/10
Banquet of Lies (2013) Michelle Diener (Regency London) 9.5/10
The Emperor’s Conspiracy (2012) Michelle Diener (Regency London) 8.5/10

Romance, LGBT

Waiting for the Flood (2018) Alexis Hall (Spires) 9.5/10
Best Laid Plans (2021) Roan Parrish (Garnet Run) 8.5/10
After the Scrum (2014) Dahlia Donovan 8/10
Sin Bin Series: Box Set (2020) Dahlia Donovan 8.5/10
The House in the Cerulean Sea (2020) T.J. Klune 8.5/10
Off Base (2017) Annabeth Albert (Out of Uniform) 6/10
Wheels Up (2017) Annabeth Albert (Out of Uniform) 4/10

Romance, Historical

The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting (2021) K.J. Charles 8/10
The Reluctant Widow (1946) Georgette Heyer 8/10
Friday’s Child (1944) Georgette Heyer 8/10
Just a Little Wickedness (2020) Merry Farmer (The Brotherhood) 6/10
The Lotus Palace (2013) Jeannie Lin 6/10

Digger Vol 2Science Fiction

Rogue Protocol (2018) Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries) 8.5/10

Graphic Novel

Digger, Vol. 2 (2006) Ursula Vernon 8/10
A Flight of Angels (2011) Holly Black, Louise Hawes, Todd Mitchell, Bill Willingham, Alisa Kwitney, Rebecca Guay
Bloodlust & Bonnets (2019) Emily McGovern

Written by Michelle at 7:52 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading,Monthly Round-Up  

Thursday, April 1, 2021

WV State Parks: Tu-Endie-Wei

We visited Tu-Endie-Wei several years ago, but somehow I failed to take any pictures. So we went down again so I could get some pictures for the hiking class I’m doing for OLLI.

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We saw some other stuff too, including this really disconcerting mural.

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But more importantly, we got more pictures at the Mothman statue.

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Written by Michelle at 7:36 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  
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