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Wild and wonderful West Virginia

The title of today's post also is my state's motto. I sometimes question the wonderful part – shopping opportunities are few and far between, and very limited (six Targets in the entire state, the nearest Kroger – 12 miles away – doesn't stock cilantro, no Whole Foods at all, but if I drive for an hour I can find a Wal-Mart). It's wonderful to have finally have wi-fi, but it took a heck of a long time – 13 years – to get to my neck of the woods.

Also? The closest gym is in Virginia, a 25-mile drive. I have gym equipment, and I use some of it when the weather is bad, but there's something about being at a gym that makes me want to work harder. I haven't picked up a dumbbell or barbell is who knows how long; I'm simply not motivated to do so. Or disciplined. Whatever.

There are wonderful parts about West Virginia, especially my home and property. I have a lot of room for a garden (including cilantro), the landscaping project is coming along, my house is just the right size to store everything we have and want, without being too much to take care of, the apple trees haven't died or been eaten by deer. Yet.

Can't say the same for the sedum and daylilies lining the driveway. Hershey poked her nose outside this morning and was off like a shot, chasing four deer away from the perennials. The raccoon I saw at work last week turned out to be rabid after all, and two more were seen and destroyed and sent for testing over the weekend.

I didn't take the photo, but this is
about how big it was.
And last night, if you want something really wild, a young black bear ambled across the road in front of me as I drove home from my volunteer gig at Alderson Federal Prison Camp. In all the time I've lived here I've only heard about bear sightings, but never been a witness. A couple years ago one was reported to be walking up my road, and a neighbor took photos of it walking up his driveway.

Most black bears in West Virginia live in the eastern mountains; I am in the southern part. But the nearby state parks are equipped with bearproof trash cans, and I'm sure the state wouldn't go to the trouble and expense if it weren't necessary.

Anyway. More wildlife excitement from the Middle of Nowhere.

So where are all my knitters? Only two comments, one anonymous and one asked not to be part of the giveaway because she already has the book. Thanks to both of you for speaking up. Maybe I should sweeten the deal and throw in some yarn, too. It's not like I don't have enough! I don't, however, have any of Elsebeth Lavold's brand in stock. I'll see if I can find enough of a substitute yarn to make this a better giveaway. Spread the word!


So sad about the raccoons, I hope your co-worker is doing well.

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The dieting portion of this blog is temporarily suspended. Continue reading at your own risk.

If you’re going to throw a party, be sure to have good food and plenty of it. That’s my daughter’s philosophy, and I think it’s pretty good advice.

The members of the group who will be here Thursday night are middle-aged and older, so I think mostly traditional appetizers are in order. We’ll have Swedish meatballs and those little sausages cooked in a sweet-and-sour sauce, along with artichoke dip, hummus with vegetables and crackers, a bowl of cinnamon-spiced nuts and a fruit pizza.

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Mine are plain old chocolate, and will be decorated with the words “Yes We Can” on top. I think some will be iced in blue and some in white, with red lettering.

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