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....
09/30/16: 2016 Annual Karate Disciple Retreat
My 2016 Annual Karate Disciple Retreat started Friday morning 09/30/16 at 8:00am and continued until Sunday at noon.
As usual, it was a pretty intense and demanding series of presentations and discussions.
Friday night we had a simple spaghetti dinner, but Saturday night, everyone pitched in starting around 5:00pm to help prepare a lemon chicken meal on a bed of thyme steamed rice with sides of sauted mushrooms and green beans with onion and squash.
Because of the scope of discussions that I wanted to have over the three days, I had created and printed up a 30 page study guide for everyone. That way, they could all follow along as I worked my way through the material.
10/07/16: Columbus Day Weekend
Sue and I headed out around 9:00 am Saturday morning 10/07/16 to check out the foliage. Though it began to cloud in late afternoon,
it was a bright sunny day while we were out.
We didn't have any particular agenda for the trip in mind when we set out; just to "...head north". We took Route 4 out to the Lee Traffic Circle to get coffee - a critical component of any trip - before continuing through Northwood, up Main Street, and north on Route 107 into the Pittsfield, NH area.
We wandered around on the back roads through Gilmington, down to Loudon, and then back up through Canterbury where we stopped at the Shaker Village for lunch. From there, more wandering the back roads until we ended up in the Belmot area. From there, we drove Route 140 East, eventually hooking up onto Route 126 and 9 back home to Dover just after 3:00 pm; about a 6 hour adventure!
Sunday broke with a chilly drizzle that kept up most of the day. Sue was off early for a yoga class, and then to meet up with Lucas for lunch in Epping. After shopping for the pork roast with vegitables in a curry cream sauce I was fixing for dinner, I hauled in some wood from the garage and built a fire in the fireplace; our first of the season.
After catching up on getting some of her photography ready for a show at the Dover Library this coming November, Sue wanted to get an early start on our weekly backgammon series. The fire was a nice touch as a cold drizzle continued through the night. I'm not so sure about my vegitable dish, but at least the movie of the night, the 2016 Me Before You, was good!
We woke up Monday, Columbus Day (and from what I'm hearing, there's a movement on to rename this day to People's Day), to clear skies and bright sun. At 39 degrees, though, just a little cold to be
rushing out to go kayaking. So, we had eggs and sausage with coffee while we waited for the sun to warm things up a bit.
By 1:30pm when we hit the beach at the Piscassic Street boat launch in Newmarket NH the temp was up to a nice 55 plus degrees. We hadn't been to the left of the launch, so we first paddled over to and then under the old railroad bridge before reversing and heading up river.
Though it was really windy, the wind was up in the trees so paddling was fairly easy going both out and then back. We only stopped briefly at the active railroad bridge about half way along. We were surprised that none of the leaves had changed along that branch at all! Last year when we paddled up there at this time, they were spectacular!
Somewhere around 2:30pm we just coasted along and enjoyed a small sandwich, fresh grapes, and some water that Sue had packed for lunch. Again, just surprising how few leaves had changed. More surprising was that some of those had almost even browned out. Very strange. But a great day on the river on a spectacular Fall day; just perfect!
We got home around 4:00pm, changed up, and then sipped a little wine and played backgammon, watching another fire that I had lit in the fireplace. The temps were dropping, and by evening were probably in the mid 40s. A nice relaxing evening!
10/14/16: Out To See Play
After swining out to Newmarket, NH to look at a cute (but in need of major renovations) farm house, Sue and I drove over to Rollinsford, NH to the Garrison Players Playhouse to see their marvelous production of Little Old Ladies In Tennis Shoes. I just love community theater, and this was a wonderful play.
10/15/16: Hunter's Moon Photography Adventure!
Sue came flying home from her trip up to Ossipee, NH 10/15/16, threw her camera gear into the car, and announced a great new full Hunter's Moon Photography Adventure!
Off we went, down to almost the end of Back River Road at Route 4. She had me pull over, almost opening the door before the car had stopped.
And off into the weeds she went, camera and tripod slung over her shoulder, flapping obligingly behind her.
After about 10 minutes, just as the sun was setting and the moon was fully crested over the tree line, she came running back to the car. "Wagon Hill!" she chirped. "Quick!"
We skidded into the parking area, Sue jumped out immediately, and we were off! After taking quite a few shots, she wandered back to join me on the path. "Okay, that's it," she sighed. It's always fun to go on a photography adventure with Sue because you just never know what you're going to get into or see!
We came back to the condo, had some wine, and played backgammon until we grabbed some dinner.
10/29/16: Dinner and a Play
Sue had spent the day framing about 8 of the remaining photographs she will be exhibiting at the Dover Library starting next month. There's still more work to do, but she stopped around 4:00pm so we could relax with a glass of wine and play some backgammon, which is a good thing.
She had humiliated me last week with 2 days of keeping me 30 points down. Though I'm seeing some respite this week as I'm up about 15 points, it's been a struggle. These are huge scores as we're usually only putting up 4 to 6 points over about a dozen games a session. So, a little wine and backgammon to work my way back up from despair was welcomed!
We went to an early dinner at Telly's Restaurant & Pizzeria in Epping, NH Saturday evening. It was the first time that I had been there, and I'm glad that Sue suggested it. I had a wonderful Veal Saltimbocca, and saw some other entries on the menu that I'd like to come back for.
We had gone to dinner early as I had got tickets for us to see Frank Kapra's terrific play "It's A Wonderful Life" at The Leddy Center in Epping, NH. I've watched the TV/VHS/DVD James Stewart and Donna Reed version every year for as long as I can remember, but this is the first time that I've been to a live performance of it. And it was... well, wonderful!
11/05/16: Annual U.N.H. Walkabout!
Every Fall for the last 40+ years I've taken a Fall walk around the U.N.H. campus in beautiful Durham, NH. With Sue and I looking for a new home to possibly move to, this may be
the last year I'm able to do this.
Each year for far longer than I can find pictures for, I've taken a shot of the big tree out in front of the Old Main building. Sometimes it's been very sunny, others it's been cloudy or raining. Sometimes, I've even walked around in a little snow, which is rare because I usually make this trek right after "Full Leaf Season" so that I can kick through the piles of beautifully hued fallen leaves that cover the campus grounds.
I was a little late this year by just a week. We had some very hard storms with high winds that knocked a lot of the leaves down last week, so many of the trees were fairly barren. But Sue and I really enjoyed our short, but leisurely casual, walkabout.
11/08/16: New Business
I have been a student of the financial markets for over 30 years. This has been mostly from a programmatic view, writing thousands of lines of computer simulation and analysis code, though I've done my share of trading along the way as well.
However, in 2007 I discovered the FOREX Foreign Currency Markets, a $5 Trillion Dollar a day market that absolutely dwarfs all other markets combined. I actually started live trading in 2012, successfully blowing up 2 real accounts and many simulated accounts since.
I had to build a web site a couple of years ago for managing my trades and doing metrics analysis of all of the transactions. It was just for my own use at the time, but it has since blossomed into a rather substantial, full-featured, business application. I also built a few page website for the company I had formed for my trading, Longwood Currency Trading.
I've had an enormous amount of fun, particularly over the last 4 years, building my skills in currency trading. So, I just decided that instead of keeping all of this to myself, I'd go ahead and formalize my new business by publishing the Longwood Currency Trading site. I'm sure that and my continuing work with the Rose School of Karate will keep me quite busy in retirement!
11/13/16: Super Moon Photography Adventure!
Sue and I piled into the car late Sunday afternoon 11/13/16
to catch the Super Moon, a moon larger than any since 1948!
Our original plan was to drive out to Adams Point. But as we drove across the Route 108 bridge in Durham, the moon was quite high in the sky.
We figured it would take us too long to get all the way out to Adams Point, and so we swung around and drove to Jackson's Landing just past the Route 4 and Route 108 overpass.
Good decision because the moon was still tucked below the tree line in the distance, just radiating itself through the branches as it rose in the background.
It was fairly chilly, and we sort of stomped around waiting for it to start its crest of the tree line so Sue could get the shot she was envisioning.
But the wait and the cold were well worth the experience of seeing this amazing site!
11/19/16: Visiting Sue's Brother
Sue and I drove up to the Lakes Region Hospital in Laconia after Sue got out of work on Friday to see her brother Alan. He just had surgery, and we wanted to be with him for a couple hours.
We had been kidding him about food because he wasn't allowed any. Sue tried to distract him, but no matter what she said, he'd come back relating the word or topic to food. It made us so hungry, that after leaving the hospital around 7:00pm we had a marvelous dinner at the Italian restaurant Fratello's in downtown Laconia.
Though things had gone well, the doctors had decided to keep him a little longer, and so we drove back up to see him again on Saturday as well. It was evening again when we left, and Sue suggested burgers at The Holy Grail in Laconia. Neither of us had been to that one; only the one in Epping. So, that was not only a nice change, but I had what I think is one of the best burgers I've ever had!
On both trips, we took the more scenic drive up on Route 107. Though the leaves had mostly browned and fallen, it's always a beautiful drive that way. No matter the particular stage the leaves are in, Fall in New England is just magical!
We went up to join Sue's family in Tamworth, NH for Thanksgiving. For me, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It combines all of the best things about life:
family, great food, and wiling away several hours watching football.
This was a particularly important family gathering because of the recent passing of Sue's mother, and a serious surgery that her brother had just been through the week before.
It was a marvelous drive up. Just as we headed north on Route 16 out of Dover, it began to spit just a little snow. The further north we got, the more it snowed. It was just beautiful, and a perfect backdrop to the start of our Thanksgiving day!
By the time we stopped for coffee and gas at the Irving station in Union, there was just enough snow coming down to coat the sides of the road and grass. I hadn't expected this, but it just gave the trip a special sense for me, as well as the meaning this particular holiday had for us.
This was an important gathering for us because of Sue's mom's passing not too long ago. But rather than dwelling on the loss, everyone cherished the memories and celebrated a day together.
While Jeff and I, and a changing cadre of others passing in and out, watched football, Sue and most everyone else worked their magic creating crafts on the dining room table after the food had all been cleared off and put away.
11/25/16: Friday Night Pizza Party!
After Sue got home from work Friday, Colin and Ren, and Ren's mom came over for a pizza party!
It's not like we needed pizza after having stuffed ourselves the day before! The point was just to get together with them, and share some time for the holiday.
11/26/16: Another Thanksgiving Dinner
I had wanted to fix a turkey this year for Thanksgiving, and so we decided that Saturday 11/26/16 would be a good day to do it!
As I didn't have to start my prep work until around 1:30pm, Sue and I drove over to Wentworth Gardens in Somersworth, NH to get some greens for a project she had in mind. The air was crisp outside, and so the warmth of the greenhouse and its smells were so inviting as we pushed through the entry doors. I always enjoy wandering around there, looking at all of the clever designs and beautiful plants.
As I got the butter, garlic, and herb rub for the turkey ready, Sue put the stuffing together so that it could go into the turkey for the first searing. She also readied the butternut squashes and wrapped them in aluminum foil. They would go into the oven for the last hour the turkey cooked.
I was doing the turkey the way Master Chef James Haller from the former Blue Strawberry Restaurant in Portsmouth, NH had taught me back in the late 1970s: 45 minute uncovered sear at 525 F, then a few hours sealed in aluminum foil at 450 F after soaking a layering of cheesecloth with Burgundy, and hitting it again about every 45 minutes or so. It's a wonderful recipe, and the turkey comes out so moist and tender.
Well, we got that all going successfully just before Sue's brother Alan, his wife Joann, and their daughter Tracy arrived. They scooped Sue up, and off they went to see Sue's photography exhibit at the Dover Public Library. They had wanted to come down to see it before her month long show ended in a few days.
I stayed home to monitor the turkey process, take care of the periodic basting, and sipping the wine to make sure it was not going bad or anything.
When everyone returned, the girls dropped Sue and Alan off and then headed off shopping. We had invited everyone to stay for dinner, but they were so stuffed from Thursday that they opted just to shop. But continuing the party with us was no problem for Alan, so we set a place for him at the table, and had a lovely chat with him until dinner was ready at just after 6:00 pm.
It was a long day, but I had such fun cooking! But still a long day. After Alan left, Sue and I dropped onto the sofa and watched the really wonderful 2016 movie, Genius, staring Colin Firth as Max Perkins's, the book editor at Scribner who oversaw the development of the works of Thomas Wolfe, played by Jude Law.
11/27/16: Casual Sunday Afternoon Visit to Hamilton House
Sue and I thought it would be nice to take a drive out to the historic Hamilton House in
South Berwick, ME 11/27/16 just to catch the last of the late fall views.
We love the Hamilton House with it's beautiful grounds, gardens, and trails into the Vaughan Woods Memorial State Park. The house itself is the former home of a merchant ship captain, and can be toured in season.
We must go out there 4 or 5 times during the year. Sometimes just to wander around, and other times where Sue will power walk the trails while I sit in a chair on top of the hill overlooking the Salmon Falls River.
On this particular day, there was a remaining veil of mist and fog that clutched at the tree tops; just spectacularly pretty to be a part of. We didn't stay long as there was a nip in the air and we really didn't have time to walk the trails to warm up.
Instead, we headed home where I got a nice fire going in the fireplace, and we settled into the warmth it threw off into the room.
12/03/16: To Laconia With a Touch of Snow
Up at 5:30am Saturday morning to get up to Laconia. I had asked if I could be any help at my student Russ Jones grand opening of his Sachem Health Center in downtown Laconia, NH. He invited me to teach an adult karate class at 9:00am and then assist with his kids class at 10:00am.
Well, the drive up was really pretty.
I took Route 9, branched off onto Route 126, and then worked my way onto Route 107 North. And going through Gilmington, NH around 7:15am there was frost on the sides of the road and just a little snow accumulation on the ground.
There was a good turnout for both the adult and the kids classes, and we were pretty busy all morning. Russ had some lunch brought in for everyone, and I stayed until 12:30pm when I had to drive over to Gilford, NH (about 20 minutes) to take a look at a house for sale.
I got home around 3:00pm, got some business busy-work done, and then chatted with my brother Alan about a recipe from our mom that I was fixing for Sue and me for Sunday night.
By the time all of that got squared away, I wasn't really in a mood to fuss over dinner, so I just poured a glass of Cabernet and heated up spaghetti left-overs from Friday evening.
I was pretty beat though from an early rise and busy day, and so I started the movie of the night, Stanley Kubrick's 1968 classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey. I have to watch this movie once every 3 years or so, and since Sue had headed off Friday after work for RI to spend the weekend with her daughter Jill, it was an opportune time for this as she is just not a fan.
12/04/16: Dinner From the Past!
For dinner tonight I fixed my mom's recipe for Chicken Tetrazzini. When I was growing up, this was a huge favorite of mine. it's surprising because I was such a picky eater until experiencing the joys of dorm food at college.
I had searched through all of the recipes that I had from her, but couldn't find it. I called my brother Alan, and he had it. He read it to me over the phone Saturday evening, and then Sunday I created it here for Sue and I for the first time. Well, my mom's version of it, anyway. And it was terrific and just about as good as I remember hers! Just about....
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