I don’t often flat out promote my books on this blog. I always have some links and refer to my stories with some regularity, but I’m rarely so blunt as to remind you that, well, you can buy my books. Yesterday was the start of the six-month countdown to the release of my next story–When Silence Sings. So, I’m taking […]
When Dad told stories about hunting in Kumbrabow State Forest I assumed the name was Native American. Not so. The story I’m currently writing (due out in late 2020) is set in Randolph County not far from where I grew up in WV. As I’ve researched the area I inevitably found some information about the state forest there. Turns out it was established in 1934–the year of my story. The land was purchased in December of that year and the name was in honor of Governor Brady KUMp, businessman Spates BRAdy, and attorney Hubert BOWers all of whom were key in the area becoming a state forest. Here are a few interesting facts about the forest: It covers nearly 9,500 acres. It’s the highest forest in WV at more than 3,000 feet above sea level. Logging and wildfires ravaged the forest in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but thanks to a conducive climate there’s been rapid regrowth. The Civilian Conservation Corps built many of the parks facilities including rustic cabins and picnic shelters. The forest today is rich in black cherry stands. My hero, Creed, lives in a cabin on Rich Mountain in Kumbrabow State Forest. Of course, he started living there before it’s naming. One more intriguing detail I’ll get to work into my next story! I just may need to book a writing weekend in a rustic cabin . . .
I’ve always loved to bring wildflowers in the house. As kids we’d pick daffodils and forsythia, then wild azalea and lilacs, then daisies and black-eyed Susans. I even got in trouble for breaking off a branch from my mother’s redbud tree! But we never cut dogwood. It’s a holy flower–especially around Easter. I worked the legend of the dogwood into […]
April is National Poetry Month. You probably knew that 😉 I think MOST of my poems fall into the Appalachian category in some form or fashion. Here’s one inspired by a walk in the woods with a dog and some turkeys . . . Sure do miss my Sammy . . . HOLDING BACK He’s an old dog. So, when he spies the turkeys he tries to run like a nightmare of running with leaden feet and his goal fast receding. I hold him, make him sit and watch the turkeys fade into the forest with a rustle of leaves and soft calls of indignation. I rub his head, massage aching hips, scratch his panting, heaving side. But his bright eyes are on the trees and he would gladly give chase if only I would let him. I call him to my side and head home. He limps beside me because it’s what I ask. But he does not choose, would never choose, this holding back.
My older brother and his family came to the mountains from their home on the coast of South Carolina for spring break. Of course, dogwood winter showed up to greet them with a blast of cold air that pretty well froze their thin, southern blood! Nevertheless, we got out to enjoy a hike with some spectacular views. Then, having earned […]
It’s ramp season once again! The patch on my neighbor’s property is flourishing. I dug a few ramps Sunday and added a few to a tomato and avocado relish last night in place of green onions. That’s my preferred way to use them–as a seasoning or embellishment. But there are plenty of other ways to use them to add some zing to your spring menu. Goodness knows all the trendy restaurants are doing it! Which put me in mind of that scene in the movie Forest Gump where Bubba is listing all the ways you can eat shrimp. So I thought I’d compile a ramp recipe list for your Appalachian edification! Ramp pesto Ramp carbonara Ramp omelet (one of my favorites–see picture) Ramp focaccia Pickled ramps Ramp-aroni rolls (see Fish Hawk Acres in Buckhannon for these!) Ramp dip Creamed ramps Ramp kimchi (hmmmm) Fried eggs and ramps Buttermilk-fried ramps (yes, please!) Ramp chimichurri Potato ramp soup Ramp jam Ramp pizza Bacon and ramp vinaigrette Ramp aioli Fried ramps and potatoes And, of course, boiled ramps with a splash of vinegar There’s more, but I expect you’ve got the idea. Suffice it to say ramps are almighty versatile! (And if you want to see a menu that weaves ramps throughout, check out this one for a ramp dinner to benefit the library in my home town.) What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?
Autumn used to be my favorite season, but as I get older I’m enjoying spring more and more. Maybe it’s the relief from the cold. Maybe it’s more hours of sunlight. Or maybe it’s the wildflowers! As kids we’d keep an eye on the daffodils growing above the house so we could pick them for Aunt Bess or Grandma. Although […]