Stir crazy? Tired of the cold? 

Whether you're looking to stay indoors or brave the chill, consider this your guide to beating cabin fever this winter. 

Plug into screen time

Emma June's Top Picks

Gossip Girl (The CW, on Netflix): As someone not uncommonly blessed with affluence, I adore this mid-2000s-era show about the lives of a group of rich, privileged, fabulous NYC teens who deal with all of the heartache and angst of growing up and falling in love, all while draped in designer duds. The show, with its decadent 6 seasons, is a perfect show to binge if you’re in it for the long haul. 

Chopped (Food Network, on Hulu): A simple concept makes this cooking show a classic favorite. I love watching chefs scramble to prepare dishes using bizarre combinations of foods and test their culinary limits for a panel of judges. After 3 rounds and subsequent eliminations, the winner gets $10,000. I mean, if you can make a tasty dessert using kumquats, red pepper flakes, chocolate mousse and cucumbers, you deserve it.

Outlander (STARZ, on Netflix): If you love historical dramas, travel back in time to mid-1700s Scotland with Claire, the protagonist of the 2014 show Outlander. The series, based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, has a plot thick with historical accuracy, Scottish brogues, steamy romance and, of course, lots and lots of kilts.

You (Netflix original): For the fans of thrillers, this Netflix original series, which made its debut in 2018, keeps you on edge as it follows the story of Joe, a nondescript, bookish fellow with stalker tendencies. Netflix just added the second season, so if you’re interested in psychological thrillers with a touch of romance and a hint of gore, then You is the show for, well, you. 

Jim's Top Picks

The Repair Shop (BBC, on Netflix): Each episode has 3 people bringing family treasures — from clocks to teddy bears to stained glass — sorely in need of attention. You’ll learn the backstory, see the shop’s experts work their magic and share the joy of the reunions at the end.

Hot Bench (Channel 7, DC, 3 and 3:30 M-F) How much do I like it? I DVR all new episodes to watch when I get home from work. The extra fun above and beyond Judge Judy or any of the others is watching the 3 judges deliberate.

The Andy Griffith Show (TVLand) Only the black-and-white episodes; after they added color — and subtracted Don Knotts — the show lost its flavor. Each episode is a 30-minute walk through a gentler time. Episodes like “Barney Can’t Sing” are still some of the funniest bits ever.

The Great British Baking Show (PBS, Netflix) Forget any cooking competition American television has ever concocted (I’m pointing a finger at you, Food Network). This brings real amateur bakers from across Britain together over a series of weekends, each devoted to a different baking skill (like breads or pies) and holds them to exacting standards from judges who are there to judge, not showboat. It’s low key, heart warming and sometimes heart breaking.

Forensic Files (HLN or Netflix): Yeah, they’re aging to the point of being history lessons, but the step-by-step story of how police solved each case is always fascinating. 

Get out and unleash your innermost Mountain Mama

If you are looking for a place to stretch your legs and take your dog for a long walk, check out the C&O canal. You can access the C&O towpath trail by simply crossing the Oldtown Bridge near Green Spring and start your journey heading northwest towards Cumberland or southeast towards Paw Paw. Perhaps the best part of hiking on the C&O during the wintertime is the lack of people on the trail. You can spend hours exploring the beautiful nature and scenery all to yourself.  

No idle hands here

Sarah Hughes from Fort Ashby is a registered knitter for Knitted Knockers, a program designed to provide handmade breast prostheses for women who have undergone breast procedures.

Hughes said that she is a self-taught knitter, and her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in October, so it’s a cause that’s near to her heart. 

“Knitting is my therapy. It’s cheaper than a counselor and more effective than popping bubble wrap,” Hughes said.

Ciro Grassi of Capon Bridge says that as far as indoor pastimes go, he and his wife host the monthly Trivia Night at the River House.

“We’ve been doing it for about a year and a half,” Grassi said. “It is so much fun.”

Grassi said that there’s a different theme each month, and the theme for the next Trivia Night, Feb. 15, is Toys.

“People come out with their whole family or meet up with friends,” Grassi explained. “And there’s great locally sourced food and beverages (at the River House).” 

Josh Gochenour, who grew up in Capon Bridge, dabbles in candle-making, fermentation, brining vegetables and making pickles, kimchi, beets and more.

“I really like old-timey things and learning about the way people used to get by,” Gochenour said. “My dad makes sauerkraut and I guess that’s the main reason I started trying to learn about (fermentatio some more.”

Gochenour, who grew up in Hampshire County and now lives just outside of Winchester, said he has a small side business making soaps and candles called “J. Gochenour Handmade,” and he hopes to be adding fermented vegetables and honey to the product list soon.

Nancy Stickley Bushby, who lives near Columbia, Md. but spends lots of time in Romney, said that one of her hobbies is looking into the past and researching her ancestors, many of who lived in Hampshire County.

“It has become an obsession,” Bushby said. “I spend countless hours researching and writing narratives about my ancestors.” She also said that she often spends time in the Romney Courthouse and visits her mother’s grave in Indian Mound.

Bushby said that 19 years ago when her granddaughter was born, she started thinking about all of the people in the past whose lives had crossed over time to result in the blessing that was her granddaughter. After that, she picked up the hobby of researching bits and pieces, organizing old family photos, interviewing elderly relatives and more.

Consider your schedule...booked

We have some great books coming out this month: new releases from Joann Fluke, James Patterson, Susan Mallery and Rhys Bowen. We’re also expecting Mountaineers are Always Free: Heritage, Dissent, and a West Virginia Icon from WVU Press this month; this non-fiction book will explore the history and symbolism of the West Virginian mountaineer.

For our younger patrons, we’re very excited about our recent nonfiction additions, as well as the following additions for February.

We will be adding Kenard Pak’s latest book, Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring, the 3rd installment in his seasonal series. Also look out for Dandelion’s Dream, by Yoko Tanaka, in which a dandelion transforms into a lion and has a series of adventures.

And on the social-emotional side, we’ll be adding Ruby Finds a Worry, by Tom Percival — in this book, protagonist Ruby learns how best to cope with her worry. We’re also looking forward to the newest installment in Libba Bray’s The Diviners series, The King of Crows.

We haven’t forgotten about our movie buff patrons. Our top 3 DVD additions for February are A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Doctor Sleep, and Knives Out.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is based on the real-life friendship of Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. Doctor Sleep is the movie adaptation of Steven King’s novel with the same title and the sequel to The Shining.

Knives Out is a comedic whodunit from the director of Brick. And don’t forget to take a look at the selection of movies available through Kanopy. All you need to access them is an email address and an HCPL library card.

Lastly, if you just want to get out of your house and do something, we’ve got you covered.

Feb. 14 is Library Lover’s Day, so stop in for a treat and let us know why you love the library. Our Snuggle and Read program will be held from Feb. 10-15 and will include reading to stuffed animals, flashlight reading, a pajama night and hot cocoa. A complete schedule of events will be available online.

Feb. 22 from 4 to 6 p.m., we will be holding our 2nd Family Night program; this month; we will be swimming at the Hampshire Wellness Center. Attendance is limited, so call 304-822-3185 to register for this event.

We will also be offering a valentine-making station through the first half of the month and a blind-date-with-a-book station throughout the month, so stop in and check those out. 

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