For this year's events from January to now, see this year's archive page
I'm sorry, but many times I get far behind in creating and posting the detail page and corresponding pictures that go along with an event entry. Bear with me as I try to keep up with these postings....
08/25/18: Mushroom Identification Class
Sue and I drove over to Moore Farm in Alton Saturday morning 08/25/18 to take a mushroom identification and foraging class. Sue knows Kim of Moore Farm, and learned about the class on one of her visits over there.
When we got there at 10:00 am, we were glad to see that our friend Cathy was able to join us with the small group assembled. Paul Lewis, our instructor, was so descriptive of how you identify mushrooms, and of the medicinal qualities many of them had, as well as those that were either inedible or poisonous.
After spending well over an hour hunched over the table going through the specifics of identification, we all paraded out into the woods behind Kim's shop. Paul led the way, constantly pointing out different mushrooms for us to check out. Most times, he'd stop and discuss the particular characteristics of one, comparing it to some of the previous types we had come across.
We didn't get out of the woods until almost 1:30, about an hour and a half longer than the class was supposed to have bee. But everyone had so many questions, and were having so much fun, the time just slipped away.
08/25/18: Continuing the Day With Friends For Dinner
After we got back home from the class, and then Sue got back from taking Beau on their little mushroom exploration, we just sat out on the porch enjoying the late afternoon slight breeze that came rustling through the trees. We had invited our friends Rick and Linda over for an early dinner, and they arrived around 4:30.
Rick has been a karate student and disciple of mine for well over 20 years, and because of his chaotic work schedule and absorption in all sorts of dog training classes and shows, I haven't seen much of him since Sue and I moved up on the mountain here. Both he and Linda had been regulars at our almost monthly backgammon dinner parties when we lived in Dover.
We had a great time just chatting about all of their activities with the dogs; not sure how they have time for anything else. In fact, the early dinner was set up because they had to have the dogs up in Meredith, NH at 9:00 am the next morning for a show.
Based on some of the classes that they got their dogs involved with was part of the motivation that we decided to run Beau through this K9 Nose Work class that we had just started him in. It was interesting to hear them sort of lay out the framework of the class, and how that sort of training could blend well into other work.
Around 5:30 I went into the kitchen to get on with dinner preparation work. The key ingredient was Black Trumpet mushrooms that we had picked. I used the recipe we had liked so much on the 14th: I sauteed them in a rich sauce of fresh sage from our garden and infused into butter with paprika, ground black pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes served over a bed of ravioli. For desert, Sue served up a terrific peach pie that she had made earlier that morning, covered, of course, with a couple of scoops of ice cream. We were all stuffed, but happy!
08/26/18: Kayaking and Mushroom Feast!
So, off Sue went into the woods with Beau to forage for more Old Man of The Woods. There weren't enough of them from our class, and so she took Beau out to find more.
Not only did she find some, but she brought back several Crown-tipped coral mushrooms, a coral shaped variety. So, that was going to be dinner!
After Sue got a small snack lunch packed for us, we loaded the kayaks onto the car and headed out to try Rollins Pond in Gilmington. We had seen it on one of our drives and thought it looked like a nice area to explore.
There were only a couple of others on the small pond, but that didn't matter because it's such a beautiful location. We were out there for a couple of hours, and enjoyed it fully. Though it's about a half hour from the house, we both agreed that it was well worth the trip, and we'd for sure do it again.
After we got back home, and cleaned up, Sue sauteed the mushrooms up in a butter, Oregano, and garlic sauce on the stove. Meanwhile, I was outside grilling up both corn on the cob and cut up cauliflower drenched in garlic oil and paprika.
Sue's mushroom find for dinner.
09/01/18: Sue Off to Rhode Island for Labor Day
Sue headed off to visit Jill in Rhode Island Saturday morning 09/01/18. Beau and I held up under the pressure until she returned on Monday.
The temperature was brutal every day. I didn't feel like even going outside as the humidity was so bad. But I did go out with Beau for a quick walk up around the back of the house through the woods on Sunday afternoon. I snapped this picture from the tree house of him looking up at me, and the other one of the back of the house.
It was just too hot to take Beau with me shopping Monday morning as the car would have been a coffin. And it was. I didn't have a lot to get in the store, but when I got back into the car it seemed like an oven.
Sue got back in the early afternoon. While she got unpacked and caught up with some things, I got a lot of the prep work for dinner done. I wanted to have an hour or so before I had to start cooking to just sit on the porch, play some backgammon, and sip the BV Cabernet that I had opened.
For dinner, I fixed a few things. First, I used a new recipe for mushroom risotto I had found. I wanted to incorporate some of the Black Trumpet mushrooms that Sue had gathered in the woods last week. So that I didn't use up too many of them, as we want to save them for this winter, I had bought a box of Shiitake mushrooms as well.
The main course was pork chops rubbed down with a mixture of sage and rosemary from Sue's garden along with oregano, thyme, and parsley. Before cooking the chops, I sauteed carrots, onions, and sweet red pepper strips in some of the herbs. Everything came out just super, and it was the best risotto I've done yet.
It was an early evening for Sue, though. She was really beat from not only the heat, but the long drive in holiday traffic, though that wasn't too bad as she was going against the main traffic flow. It's still a long way, and that just drains you. She slept really, really good for sure!
09/03/18: Off For Ice Cream!
Though not as hot as it has been, it was still really humid on Tuesday. I suggested to Sue that we should just go out and take a drive. She had some things that she wanted to do at home, though, but suggested that a short ride down to the ice cream stand was in order!
We stuffed Beau into the car, and off we went. But tooooooo much ice cream, and we both got the "kiddy" size! Man, that just slowed me right down....
We drove over to one of the area's small ponds, let Beau out to run around, and just casually slurped our quickly melting ice cream down.
And it's so wonderful that we're able to do things like this now that we're retired. No one was around, it was peaceful, and we had a lovely time - just because we could!
09/05/18: More Teeth Out For Poor Beau Dog
When we had Beau in to the Alton Veterinary Clinic last time to have 2 badly damaged teeth removed, the doctor saw another one that had cracked. She suggested that it be removed also at some point.
We've just had so much going on since then that we had to wait until now. I ran him over there this morning, a bright and sunny Wednesday, and got the call around 1:00 pm that he was fine. Unfortunately, some dogs just have dental problems, and that was the case with Beau. They found a tooth that had decayed severely, and the doctor took that one out as well.
Poor guy, he was still circling the rim a little from all the druuuuuugs when I picked him up around 4:00 pm. He seemed happy, though, and by Thursday he was eating up his softened food just fine.
09/06/18: Antiquing Explore!
She had heard about an antique shop in Northwood that she thought would be interesting to see, and so we headed out around 10:00 am on Thursday to see if we could find it.
Unfortunately when we got there, the sign said they were only open on weekends. Not to waste a beautiful day, we decided just to take the long way home. We actually stopped off at a couple of other shops along Route 4. Though lots of nice things, nothing grabed our attention, and so we just came back home.
As we drove along, we could see some pretty ominous black clouds rolling across the sky to the northwest. The weather report was for possible severe thunder showers around 2:00 pm, but it looked like we'd be driving into something soon, and it was only around 1:15 pm.
Sure enough, by the time we got just a little way along Route 28 it hit. The heavens just opened up and dumped water by the bucketful with thunder and lightening as well. Though a really hard rain, it never got to the point where you couldn't see anything or had to get off to the side of the road. But it was bad enough that all traffic slowed way, way down.
Beau was not impressed with the whole thing when we got home, and stayed pretty close to Sue for the rest of the afternoon.
09/07/18: Pine Mountain Hike
Friday morning was so brisk and sunny that Sue suggested we take Beau for a short hike up Pine Mountain in Alton. It was so nice walking up the trail through the rich greens of the woods.
When we got to the top, the Belknap mountains in the distance were just a little hazy from the air and ground temperature differential as the sun began to warm the air. We sat on the rocks at the top while Beau romped around. We were glad to see that he didn't appear to be in any discomfort from the dental surgery the other day.
By the time we headed down, the temps had come up enough that I took off the flannel shirt I had put on over my tee shirt. Beau was still all fired up and running around by the car that Sue suggested we walk a ways down the Alton Woods Trail so he could blow off a little more steam.
It was pretty cute because every time he'd get too far ahead and Sue was stooped over examining some mushroom or plant, he'd come flying back down the trail wondering what was going on. He's pretty damn cute, bouncing around like that.
When we got home, the grass had dried out enough that I decided to get it cut. We were planning on kayaking the next day, Saturday, and so I knew I wouldn't want to do it then. It was an easy cut as the grass hadn't grown up too much in the pretty severe heat that we've had over the last week. I suspect if I hadn't cut it then, that the heavy rain from the day before would have caused it to sprout way up and then it would have been a mess.
Though it got quite chilly later in the afternoon, Sue and I still played a few sets of backgammon out on the porch, and then had a pizza before going inside to watch some tv. We were both pretty tired, and after just a few shows called it a night and a day.
09/07/18: Blueberry Picking and Setting Headstone
It must have been down in the low 50s overnight, and when we got up Saturday morning it was overcast, and there was a fairly brisk chilly breeze that just didn't seem like good kayaking weather. Pass.
After Sue got back from taking Beau for a little walk in the woods, she directed my efforts at trimming some of the bushes around the house that had gotten just a little out of control. But it was still long pants and long sleeve shirt weather.
What a contrast to the 90 degree days we had the week before! It had been so hot and humid that all I wanted to do was nothing! And now, we're looking at each other thinking that if tonight's weather prediction for temperatures in the low 40s occurred, then it just might call for a fire in the wood stove here pretty soon!
Sue wanted to drive over to Butternut Farm and pick late blueberries, and to check some things out at Home Depot, but when I went to start the car, the battery was dead. I think I had left the rear door ajar just enough overnight to flatten it. We took her car, and when we got back, I hooked the cables up and ran the engine for about 30 minutes while we cleaned up some brush from the trimming.
While we were out shopping, Sue's brother Alan called and asked if we could make it up to the cemetery where their mom was buried. We had been trying to get everyone together to lay the headstone they had gotten for the grave.
So, after we finished up in the yard, we stuffed Beau in the back seat of Sue's car and off to Effingham, NH we went. There were quite a few family that were able to make it to the cemetery, and it was wonderful to see everyone. Everyone had a turn at digging out the topsoil over the grave for the headstone, and helping in putting it into place.
Sue's brother Alan watching her clear out the headstone area.
Everyone gathered around the just placed headstone.
Alan and Sue by their mom's grave.
After cleaning up the area around the grave, everyone went over Alan and Joann's for way, way too much pizza and snacks. Beau was a little over stimulated from not only everyone being there, but the little ones dashing all over the place. He just collapsed in a heap in the back seat on the drive home.
09/09/18: Hike up Blue Job Mountain, And First Fire of the Season
After Sue fixed up some marvelous blueberry and einkorn flour pancakes from scratch using blueberries that we had picked yesterday, we loaded Beau into the car.
It had been down to the low 40s last night, and we thought we'd take advantage of the crisp morning air to hike up Blue Job. It was so beautiful up there, a bright and warming sun with just the faintest cool breeze. But even with the cool air Sue took her fleece jacket off and I unbuttoned my flannel shirt as it was just warm enough to shed some layers.
After dropping Beau off at home, we headed to the store to do some grocery shopping. Well, we started to head out in my car, but the battery was dead again. I don't think that my charging it just stationary yesterday was sufficient. Regardless, I think I'll take it in and have a new battery put in for the winter as that's the last thing I need to worry about is having a battery flat line on me in a snowstorm....
And speaking of winter, as the afternoon wore on it got really chilly. We've been playing backgammon in the living room now for the last week because it's just been a little too raw to sit out on the porch. But it had cooled off so much by late afternoon that inside was not comfortable.
This is September, and it was harsh enough to get the wood stove fired up for the first time this season. In September! That's not even the start of the season for that! But it was just to cool to sit comfortably in the living room. That fire was really nice to have going, though.
I got a late start to organizing myself for dinner prep. Fortunately, not much to do other than get some garlic and fresh basil from the garden chopped. While I was doing that, Sue shucked the fresh farm corn that we had bought, cut up 5 sweet potatoes into quarters, and got that all cooking. Actually, some of the sweet potato was for Beau as he's not supposed to have anything really hard for the next few days because of the teeth he had removed.
I sauteed cut up chicken pieces in butter and olive oil after letting the meat marinate in a garlic, oregano, and black pepper rub. After removing them to a separate holding bowl, I cooked more garlic, and 6 ounces of mushrooms in a butter and oil base until everything softened up. As I threw some flour in, I kept adding milk, and the fresh basil. The trick was to keep whisking as it thickened until I had a nice sauce to add the chicken back into. Turned out just great! Another successful Sunday dinner adventure.
After dinner, I threw another couple of logs into the wood stove, and we settled in to watch a movie - which turned out to be so awful that I shut it off, and put another one in.
09/16/18: Kayaking Salmon Falls River
Sunday afternoon, Sue and I loaded the kayaks on top of my car and headed over to the Salmon Falls River Reservoir in Acton, ME. We parked at the dam, and were on the water by just after 1:00 pm.
It's unfortunate, but the river has become fairly overgrown which means we couldn't gunk-hole along the shore. We saw quite a few blue herons which was nice, but other than that, it was just a relaxing couple of hours on the water.
09/17/18: Mia Gymnastics Class
Sue and I went down to Dover and met up with Marissa and Mia at Atlantic Gymnastics. It was Mia's second class of this session and we hadn't seen her training last year or during the summer camp Marissa sent her to. She was all smiles, listened to the coach, and worked hard at what she was asked to do. Lots of fun, and we were glad that we could share that with her.
09/18/18: $5 Burgers at The 99
Okay, so we just couldn't pass up the $5 burgers at The 99 Restaurant in Dover. We waited to head out until around 1:30 pm as it had been raining pretty steadly since last night from the after effects of Hurricane Florence hitting the Carolina coast this past weekend. And, yes, the burgers were mah-vo-louse....
Before we left, we got some cute pictures of Mia at her first day of pre-school. She looks all set to hit it, doesn't she!
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