Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Winter Hike at Blackwater Falls State Park

It was a really gray morning the day we set out to hike along the ridge of the Blackwater River canyon out to Pace Point.

The trail started at Pendleton Lake, used for boating and swimming in the summer.

It's a manmade lake.  West Virginia only has one real lake.

The trail crossed the spillway.

When the rhododendron bloom this trail must be beautiful.

I was surprised we didn't have ice to walk over but it was water and mud.  I packed my snow boots expecting snow on the ground and they worked fine on this trail - warm and waterproof.

Only ice I saw was icicles from this log above my head.

The trail is well marked with blazes nailed high on trunks.

Dan walks faster than I do.  He was waiting for me at the point viewing the canyon.

We couldn't decide what that horizontal line was through the trees on the hill to the right.  If it was a road we thought we'd see it.  Maybe an old road?

The hike back went much faster.  Isn't that always the case?

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Out of the Mouth of Babes

So youngest granddaughter was here at the beginning of the month.  She is a joy to have around by the way.  She lives in Buffalo now.

Anyway not sure where she learned to be so good at the quick retort.  She sounds like she's a teen not two and a half.

Here are two gems.  Both with Dan who is Papa.

Papa: Granddaughter where are your shoes?
Response: where is your hair?

Now you can see from the photo below that Dan is bald.  He's not completely bald but he got tired of the little hair he had on the sides and retired me as his barber of 46 years.  He started shaving off the rest in the fall.  Don't know why granddaughter just noticed but her response was so quick we had to laugh.

When granddaughter visits she knows where to find the toys.  She loves to get them out to play and they get scattered quickly.  Here's another zinger.

Papa: Granddaughter don't throw your toys around?
Response: They're not my toys!

She's correct of course.  They aren't her toys but for her to come up with that quick retort floored us.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Sled Run at Blackwater Falls

We went to Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia expecting to experience more winter than we have had here.  Well, it was warm there too but fortunately they have had temps cold enough to make snow for the sled run.  We had booked two spots online for Thursday morning 10-12 slot.

We thought we would have the place to ourselves because that's they way it was at the Lodge where we were staying.  At the sled run the parking lot was jammed.  There was a school field trip there of kindergartners, parents, older siblings, grandparents, etc!

Here's the snack bar/registration area.

It was a dark and rainy morning with temps in the 40s.

The piles of toboggan type sleds.

To get to the top you sit in your sled and ride the Magic Carpet.  A 6 minute ride.  For me the ride was agony on my hip bones.  Don't know why.

It's a slow climb to the top of the run.  Dan is ahead of me in the green parka.

It's 1/4 mile ride down.  

Here's Dan,

I managed one trip.  I was proud I did that because it was a bit scary for me especially with slush covering my glasses and filling my sled.  I'd put my feet out to slow down and the angle of my feet dug up the slush and sent it back at me! 

Dan went down 5 times.  By the end he was soaking wet and needing to be warmed.  We headed back to the lodge and he stood in the shower for quite awhile warming up.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Q & As - Sharing a Bit About Me

Sue at My Quiet Life in Suffolk posted these Q & As.  I thought I'd give some answers, too.

1. Who are you named after? 
My first name came from a book at least that's what I remember my mother saying.  My middle name from a close friend of hers.

2. Last time you cried?
I think it was a result of a sermon at church describing conditions at the Mexican border.  My pastor went there recently.

3. Do you like your handwriting?
Only when my hand isn't shaking and I can write neatly.  As I've aged Essential Tremor in my hand has gotten worse.  When I taught school I liked my handwriting on the chalkboard.

4. What is your favorite meat?
Toss up: chicken, ribs, bacon, etc.

5. Longest relationship?
46 years this March 30th

6. Do you still have your tonsils?

7. Would you bungee jump?
Of course not.  I did manage to go down a 1/4 mile sled run last week one time.  That was enough. Jumping from a plane- no, scuba diving - no.  You get the picture.

8. What is your favorite cereal?
Now it's hot oatmeal with cranberries or raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon and milk.  Growing up -Cheerios.

9. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Depends on how much of a hurry I'm in if they are sneakers.  My boot shoes I have to untie.

10. Do you think you're strong?
Not as strong as I once was.  I have no hand gripping strength so must ask Dan to open jars for me.  Didn't used to be that way.  But I can carry granddaughter on my back and she weighs 30 lbs.

11. Favorite ice cream?
Every evening when server announces dessert choices there are 5 or 6 ice cream options.  They are all good but trying not to eat much.  The last one I succumbed to was Heavenly Hazelnut.

12. What is the first thing you notice about a person?
Maybe their height.  Since I'm 5'2" I'll usually remember if I can look them in the face or have to look up.

13. Football or Rugby?
American football

14. What color trousers are you wearing?
I have black sweat pants on because later this morning I have exercise class.

15. Last thing you ate?
Last night I had black bean soup that I'd made for us for a light supper.  Haven't had anything this morning because have to wait to eat after taking a thyroid pill.

16. What are you listening to?
The sounds of morning traffic even though it's Presidents Day people still headed to work.

17. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Pink or light green.

18. What is your favorite smell?
Cookies baking. First thing that came to my head.

19. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
I don't think my call last night to make dinner reservations for tonight counts because I spoke to a recording, so must be daughter Sarah who called to tell us how the potty training was going for granddaughter.

20. Hair color?
Used to call myself a dirty blonde but it's more brown and gray now.  I get highlights to tone down gray.

21. Eye color?
Green or brown I think.

22.  Favorite foods to eat?
Asparagus, a good salad, eggplant parmesan, the tapas we had in Barcelona.  Too many choices.

23. Scary movies or happy endings?
The latter, please.

24. Last movie you watched?
Turner Classic Movies is having 31 Days of Oscar.  Dan has been recording them and the last we watched Saturday night was a 1935 version of David Copperfield.

25.  What color shirt are you wearing?
Aqua, a free shirt from the fitness center here for  walking a marathon in a month's time.

26.  What is your favorite holiday?
Holiday as in celebration? Christmas.  Holiday as in vacation? the week we spend with both daughters, sons in law and granddaughters.  This summer we will return to Oneida Lake in NY.

27. Beer or wine?
Reisling (sp?) is preferred these days though have an occasional beer.

28. Night owl or morning person?

29.  If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Closer to either daughter both are 400-500 miles from here.

30.  Favorite day of the week?
Can't say I have a preference now that I'm retired.  Weekends for sure when I was teaching.

Wow, this took longer than I thought to retype and answer.  

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Blackwater Falls State Park

Wow.  February is half over and I haven't posted since January.  Chalk that up to having youngest granddaughter here until February 6th and then who knows what else took precedence.

Dan and I escaped to West Virginia on the 11th hoping to have a winter interlude for four days but snow was nowhere to be seen except a few little piles melting.  The sled run had snow because they make it.  What snow the area has had has melted with warming winter temps.

Blackwater Falls State Park in Davis, WV is known for its falls of course.  There's not much to Davis anymore.  It was once a large lumber town.  Old photos show logs floating down to the sawmill and paper pulp factory on the banks of the Blackwater River up river from these falls.  Now that is all gone and summer tourism seems to be the major employment.

The river gets its name from the tannin in the water.

This view of the falls was by way of the handicapped access.  There are steps down quite close to the falls on the other side but because of slippery conditions those were closed.

Enlarge the video before starting it.

I'll share sled run and a hike photos another time.