Yes, I’m still alive and mostly well!! I started grad school two weeks ago, and have been absolutely overwhelmed. I knew to expect a lot of work, but this is a bit much! My life outside of work has been dedicated to school—no blogging, no writing, very minimal sketching, and even less exercise (boo!).
I feel like I’ve managed my time a bit better this week so I’m going to take a moment to relate some of my recent activities.
On the reading front…
- I’m almost caught up on Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series. I’m holding off on the next book because once I finish that one, I will have to wait until July to read the next one.
- I have gone back to the Scot Harvath series, written by Brad Thor. I’m reading Blowback now, and while it is good, Scot isn’t Gabriel, and Brad’s writing doesn’t have the in-depth, smooth flow that Silva’s does.
On the movie front…
- I went to see London Has Fallen in the theater. I know, it got pretty crappy reviews, but if you’re in the mood for lots of action, this is the movie for you! Also, it doesn’t hurt that two hot guys in suits do an awesome job of staying alive and taking care of the bad guys.
These past two weekends have been outdoorsy weekends for me. Lots of hiking and exploring new trails. One of the reasons for that is my love of fall. It’s my favorite season. During my last hike, I pondered if I could name just 5 things I love about fall. I quickly decided it’s not possible. There are so many more…how could I pick just 5??
With that decided, I’m going to have a Top 10 List. Hopefully, I won’t leave anything out…
So, you ask, what’s so great about fall?
- Cool, brisk mornings that warm into pleasant afternoons (after a steaming latte, of course)
- Beautiful sunsets…love the pinks, purples, and oranges
- Apples–anything and everything! Mom’s homemade apple dumplings are the best!
- Hiking. Not only are there beautiful colored leaves, the views are that much better due to no humidity
- The scent of smoke in the air. Whether from a campfire or a woodstove…love it
- Curling up in a fleece blanket and watching a movie. Of course, there’s usually hot chocolate involved.
- Sweaters and comfy fleece! I’m so done with shorts and tanks. Bring on cozy-wear!
- Pumpkins and fall decorating and food (can I combine all of these into one??). I love orange! And how can you not like pumpkins…or iced pumpkin cookies or pumpkin spice coffee?
- Growing up, we called them “woolly worms.” I think they’re better known as woolly bear caterpillars.
- Last but not least…I’m not a huge snow fan, but I do like snow flurries. You know fall is truly here when you see a snow flurry. Old man winter has to wait his turn, but before he takes over, I’m going to enjoy all that fall has to offer.
Did I miss anything you would have added to your list? Let me know if I did!
It’s been an outdoorsy weekend for me. Yesterday was hiking the Pole Steeple circuit in Michaux State Forest. Today was catching up on a run on the C&O Canal. Unfortunately, I was overdressed for my run, and if I have to admit it, I was a tad sore from the hike. My planned 4 mile run turned into a pathetic 2.5 mile plod. Nope, nothing fast about it. At least I got out, right? That has to count for something…I hope!
At least during my cool down, I noticed a particularly nice reflection and snapped a picture. I hope you enjoy it. I’d have to say it was the best part of my workout!
I recently returned from exploring parts of Morgantown and Elkins, West Virginia, on my Salsa cyclocross bike. The below photos are shots from several rails-to-trails and state parks we explored.
View from the Mon River Trail South, outside of Prickett’s Fort State Park in Fairmont, WV
Deckers Creek, near MP 7
Deckers Creek Falls off the Deckers Creek Trail
Deckers Creek, near MP 7
Valley Falls, Valley Falls State Park in Fairmont, WV. Rainy day.
Leaf in water…playing around in the rain.
Leaves in water…more photography in the rain.
Bridge at Valley Falls State Park
Wildflowers along the Allegheny Highlands Trail, outside of Elkins, WV.
Pastoral view along the Allegheny Highlands Trail.