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....
07/01/18: Great Sunday Meal and Movie
Sunday started out hot, and ended hotter. It was pretty tough, and it's expected to get worse as the week progresses.
I was surprised with the crazy shopping crowds at the Hannaford's market. We got there mid afternoon, and there were people everywhere. It was probably because this was a long 4th of July holiday vacation week for a lot of folks coming up to the area.
I had been wanting to fix this simple Lemon Garlic Butter Herb Chicken with a side of asparagus, so the bulk of the shopping was for this. With as hot as it was, this would be a perfect, quick meal to prepare. I'm glad we didn't have too much stuff to find, because all I wanted to do was get out of the crowds!
I followed the recipe for the chicken pretty closely, which is not really normal for me. But, it was just about how I would have done it anyway with the main herbs listed: oregano, thyme, and rosemary. The sequence was a little different than I might have thought, I learned something new, and it came out super.
I did wing it with the asparagus, though. I sauteed them rather than steaming, adding onion, red pepper, shiitake and bella mushrooms, in a white wine, thyme, rosemary, and butter sauce to complement the chicken.
To top of the night we watched the 2018 movie Forever My Girl. What a terrific movie! We both really enjoyed it, but I was particularly taken by it. It was so well acted and done that I wouldn't mind owning it.
07/03/18: 4th of July Fireworks at Ossipee Lake
Sue and I drove up to Ossipee Lake late Tuesday afternoon 07/03/18 to see the 4th of July Fireworks from her brother's wife's family camp.
Fireworks were supposed to start around 9:30, and so as the late afternoon and early evening wore on, a dozen or so of her niece's and nephew's, and great (and great-great!) nieces and nephews arrived.
We had a great time watching the kids splashing around in the water, and running all over the place. The weather was just perfect, and not too many mosquitoes were on the prowl. There was a lot of boat traffic across the lake from the cove that the house sits in, and it was nice to sit on the deck and watch all the holiday activity.
Alan's wife Joann brought cold cuts and macaroni salads for those who were hungry. They were having another party and cookout on the 4th, and so this was just a simple get together for those who wanted to watch the fireworks.
07/04/18: Low Key 4th of July on the Mountain
Because we've had such a busy week, and then great time last night up in Ossipee, we just had a low key Wednesday around the house for the 4th of July.
Sue took this nice picture through the kitchen window this afternoon.
07/07/18: Kayaking on the Merrymeeting River
It had been so hot for the last few days (in the 90s with really high humidity) we were afraid that it would be that way all weekend. However, a couple of good rain storms brought cooling weather, and so on Saturday we loaded the kayaks onto my car and went kayaking on the Merrymeeting River for a few hours.
Sue spotted this American Bald Eagle circling the river looking for food.
She got this great picture of him soaring away.
Sue took this as we crossed under the Merrymeeting Road bridge.
07/13/18: Blueberry Picking at Norland Berries
Since the currency trade I have held for too long now is still not cooperating, and because it was a beautiful Friday morning, I jumped in the car with Sue around 10:00 am to go blueberry picking at Norland Berries in Barnstead, NH.
What a great place. It was my first time visiting there, and they have a beautiful 85 acre spread. We picked for about an hour and totally filled up a 7 pound bucket. At $2.25 a pound, Sue had all she thought she needed to make pie, ice cream, and cookies. We're going to be eating a lot, a lot, of blueberries....
Sue having the best time filling her bucket with blueberries at Norland Berries in Barnstead, NH Friday 07/13/18
And it was such a beautiful day; just perfect. The sun was out but not blazing as it has been with temps just under 80F. I had so much fun, I didn't even think about my open position; that'll do what it'll do and I'll just have to wait this one out over the weekend.
After paying, we thought we'd continue to follow the road and see where it would come out. Sue remembers every road and flower everywhere she's been, and so when we got to some corner by a small lake, she knew right where to go from there. Good thing, as I had no clue. Actually, I didn't really care as she was driving, and I could just gape around for a change.
07/14/18: Everly's Birthday Party
Sue and I went up to celebrate her great-great niece's 2nd Birthday in Ossipee, NH Saturday afternoon 07/14/18.
Mob scene around the gifts!
It was just a perfect day, and the yard was full of kids running all over the place. We ate just way too much food as we watched all the kids gathered around Everly as Allison helped her open her presents.
Everly watching her friend Julia playing with one of the gifts.
And of course there was a great cake to dig into!
07/15/18: Sunday Cookout
Our friends Art and Donna came over for a wonderful Sunday cookout. It had been threatening rain, but that held off.
It was a perfect day to sit out on the porch, and just chat. And then, while Sue took Donna out into the yard to see the brook, Art and I got the grill going.
As a special treat from the burgers and roasted corn from the grill, Sue brought out her homemade blueberry ice cream flavored with cardamom. Donna just could not figure out what the spice in it was, and it drove her wild because she's pretty good at figuring out things in food. But she just couldn't get this one, and was so surprised when Sue told her.
Of course, then Donna whipped her phone out and started reading all about cardamom, and then other herbs and spices as she's really into that. Lots of fun!
07/18/18: Concert Trip
For my birthday last month, Sue had bought tickets to see Lindsey Stirling and Evanescence in concert at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA on Wednesday 07/18/18.
As we were packing for the trip Wednesday morning, Sue mentioned that she had never been to Marblehead, MA and thought it was fairly close. I had never been there either, but friends have always mentioned how beautiful it was.
It took about 2 hours to get to Lighthouse Point in the Chandler Hovey Park overlooking Marblehead Harbor. What a spectacular view that is! We were having such a good time that we stayed a little longer than we had planned, and didn't head out for the hotel until about 3:00 pm. I wasn't concerned as even if the drive took a couple of hours we'd be fine.
But when we got to Route 93, traffic began to bog down. By the time we got to the tunnel, it was a parking lot. We didn't get to the hotel until just after 5:30 pm, over 2 and a half hours of just stupid traffic. Fortunately, there was a 99 Restaurant next to the hotel, so we had a short, but nice dinner, and were at our seats inside the Xfinity Center at 6:50 pm. Whew!
But all of that grief was so worth it! What a show Lindsey Stirling put on, and then Evanescence (Amy Lee) just knocked it out of the park. What a great show!
07/21/18: Busy Saturday
I helped Sue throw her kayak on top of the car Saturday morning. She met our friend Nancy in town, and the 2 of them went kayaking on the Merrymeeting River until mid afternoon.
As she was pulling out of the driveway, I was already tear-assing around the yard on the cub cadet to get the grass cut. The week ahead forecast was looking pretty rainy, and, if not cut, the grass would just get out of control. Even though there was still some dew remaining on the taller areas, the cut went smoothly. And because I had gotten an early start, the sun hadn't hit too hard. But after finishing the mowing and spraying off the cub, it was getting pretty warm.
After running the trimmer over the rough spots, I started in on grinding the grass out from between the stones in the walkway. We had let that grow out a little to see how it would look, perhaps a little more "farm-like". But Sue had mentioned the week before that she didn't really care for it, and so I went at it.
And what a pain in the ass that was.... I went through 3 reels of trimmer line hacking away at it. And then there was so much dirt and debris from it all that after cleaning up I noticed a few spots I had missed. But I was fed up with the trimmer ordeal, and will get the rest of that another time.
After taking a much needed shower, I headed off to Hannaford's to do the food shopping as we had invited Nancy for dinner. Of course, the store was just a beehive of activity. Fortunately, I didn't have a lot to get, and what I did need I knew just where it was located so I didn't have to wander around the place like a lost puppy....
I got the groceries put away, and had a couple of hours to work on a technical analysis of currency price behavior that I've been working on for the last couple of months before Sue got back about 3:00 pm. As soon as she pulled into the driveway, Beau went crazy. He was like a cruise missile as he charged down the walkway and then skidded to a halt by the car.
After helping her put the kayak and gear away, I went back in and finished the current section I had been working on in my analysis document while Sue took a shower and got comfortable. We went out on the porch with some wine and played a couple of sets of backgammon until Nancy arrived about 5:15.
We chatted out there until I started cooking around 6:00 pm. I figured that I could get everything done by 7:00 pm as I had already done some of the prep work earlier. But no. Regardless of what I'm cooking, it takes me an hour and a half. Sometimes I think it'd take me an hour and a half if all I had to do was steam a pot of vegetables. Well, in my defense, there is, after all, wine to be savored during the process, so that's probably the issue....
The meal came out great, and we had a nice time chatting while we ate. After dinner, we watched the pretty well done 2017 Agatha Christie movie Crooked House. For desert, Sue brought out her homemade blueberry ice cream flavored with cardamom. It was terrific, and the sugar cookies we had were a perfect complement to it.
But as soon as the movie ended, Nancy was out the door and off to home to get to bed. We closed up shop quickly and did the same. I don't know why I was so tired, but I know Sue was beat after her busy day. We both slept really soundly.
07/28/18: Relaxing Weekend
Saturday morning, we drove over to the Barnstead Farmers Market. Nathan Gauntt, of Mid State Signworx, had emailed me the other day that the Twilight Farm sign I ordered from him last time we were here 06/30/18 was ready to pick up.
The sign came out just as Nathan and I had discussed, and will look great on the barn. We had a nice chat with him and his wife Chari (who makes custom cakes), and then stopped off at the market to get some ingredients for dinner. Sue was planning on fixing spaghetti squash and other vegetables to keep the meal light, but flavorful.
Later that afternoon as we were sitting out on the scree porch, we had some pretty severe thunderstorms go through. Beau scurried for cover as the thunder crashed all around us. Though all we got was heavy rain, many just west of us lost power and there were many downed trees.
Sue's dinner really hit the spot after I got absolutely hammered by her in backgammon for a record (I think) 30 points down! After cleaning up the kitchen, we went in and watched the really interesting 2014 movie Lambert & Stamp about the formation and career of the 1960s phenomenal rock band, The Who.
After those storms we'd had the night before, Sunday turned out just spectacular. After Sue got back from taking Beau for a walk, we headed over to Sunny Hill Gardens in Loudon, NH as Sue needed to find some additional day lilies for her gardens.
Linda came out to greet us and showed Sue around the gardens, pointing out the selection of early and late blooming day lilies. Sue and I have been out so many times to different places, including here, to get her gardens established with mid season flowers. Now, she needed to fill in flowers that would come out in the spring and some in late July.
We found 4, but will have to come back in a couple of weeks as many of the late bloomers haven't opened yet so we could see what they look like. Sue doesn't need an excuse to come back here!
Instead of heading straight home, we drove into the Alton Circle to shop for the dinner I was creating for the night, a Cajun Shrimp and Sausage dish with asparagus, squash, zucchini, and sweet red pepper. It was a fabulous recipe, the flavors of the Cajun sauce just bursting through the meal. Since I had only done a Cajun inspired meal a couple of times before, I did stick to the recipe.
During shopping a couple of weeks ago, Sue had found an interesting Primal Roots Red Blend that we had for dinner. For the inexpensive price, it was really smooth and complementary to the meal. I'd buy that again anytime. After finishing our dinner, we went into the living room and watched (for probably the 3rd or 4th time) the 2004 Nicholas Sparks inspired movie The Notebook, with the remarkable cast of James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Ryan Gosling, and Rachel McAdams.
08/01/18: Computer Disaster....
When Sue turned the computer on yesterday, the monitor didn't liven up. I called David, A.K.A. The Computer Doctor, in Alton, and he came over the next afternoon to take a look. What I thought was maybe just a bad video card, or connector port turned out to be much worse.
David popped the case, took one look at the age of the computer and all the dust bunnies in there, and cautioned that the end news might not be good. He said even if he could fix it, it might be time to think about getting a new box, to which I agreed, ask him to set that up for me, and pleaded with him to get the data off and onto the new one.
He took the body home with him, and called me later that afternoon with the bad news: it appeared that the mother board was fried, and that it might have whacked the hard drive as well. He had tried a couple of different approaches to access the hard drive, but would have to try again the next day.
While Sue and I were up in Ossipee Saturday the 4th, he called and said that though the good news was that he had a new computer for me, it wasn't looking good at all accessing the old hard drive. I suggested he try to put the old hard drive into the new computer. I thought that maybe the new motherboard and systems would enable him to get in to read the hard drive. He said he'd work on it call me back.
After we got home, he called and said that he had managed to get access to the old hard drive, and had copied all files over onto the new computer's hard drive, a screaming HP 3.5 gig processor, with 8 gig of RAM on the floor, and a 1 terabyte hard drive! Saved! He came over Sunday afternoon, installed the new computer, and then checked access to it from both printer and external backup harddrive. Saved....
08/04/18: To Ossipee to Fix Dinner
Sue and I drove up to Ossipee Saturday afternoon to visit her Aunt Carol. She had been hinting that she'd like a pineapple and brown sugar basted ham, and so on way up we stopped and shopped.
But it wasn't long up Route 28 just outside of Wolfeboro that we ran into some of the heaviest downpour I've seen in a long time. It wasn't so bad that we had to pull off the road, but everyone really had to slow to a crawl.
Friday had been really stormy with severe thunder storms that night. Though it was cloudy most of Saturday, the rain held off until that evening after we got home. Carol had said the rain had come down so hard there that it sounded like someone dumping buckets of water on the roof.
We took Beau up with us, and Carol did her best to spoil him with a constant stream of doggie treats. He loved it, too! As soon as we got there, Sue and I chopped up the carrots, and onions, and got the potatoes in the oven. We gave them a head start before putting the ham in.
It was nice seeing Carol, and she enjoyed her special meal, as well as the chocolate cake that Sue had brought with us. Though Beau had his eyes rolling around as we ate, he only got a couple more of his treats.
The drive back home was interesting because of the really ominous, black clouds coming at us from the south and west. I thought for sure that by the time we got into Wolfeboro that we'd be in the middle of another storm, but everything seemed to pass to the east of us.
Around 6:30 we decided that we'd watch the 2016 movie L.B.J. What a terrific movie. And I just don't understand why Woody Harrelson wasn't even nominated for an Academy Award for his performance. I mean, really, it was just superb. Not sure why the overall ratings were a tepid 6.5 out of 10 as I found it really good. But then, I'm from that era and I suspect younger folks just don't get how critical those events were in our history and the significant role that Johnson had during that period. Many reviews complained that the movie ended too soon, showing how Johnson got the civil rights act passed, but failed to continue on to cover some of his devastating decisions on the Vietnam War. I'm just saying that for a general portrayal of the man, the movie was really good. It wasn't meant to be a full biography....
After yet another heavy rain storm went through the area, Sue peeked outside and saw this beautiful rainbow.
08/08/18: Drive to Sandwich, NH
Sue and I stuffed Beau into the car Wednesday morning 08/08/18 and drove up to Wayside Farm in Sandwich, NH.
Sue had worked for Ben some 20 years before, and not only wanted to catch up with him, but to also get a replacement cherry tree, and some other plants for her gardens.
It was a beautiful ride up, though Beau just didn't seem to care much for it. Not only he just lay like a lump in the back seat, but every now and then would whine. Maybe he would have rather stayed home alone.... One of the reasons that we brought him with us is that there was supposed to be some severe thunder storms rolling through later in the day, and we didn't what him to be alone at home as he's not a fan of thunder.
Sue got some really nice plants, and she and I had a nice chat with Ben. I even picked out a nicely sized potted Rosemary plant. I love the smell of it and thought I'd like to see if I could keep it going in the library all year.There should be enough sun coming through the window I propped it into, so we'll see....
08/11/18: Cookout In The Rain
We had Sue's cousin Jane and her husband Dwight over for a cookout Saturday afternoon 08/11/18. Of course, a couple of hours before they arrived it started to rain.
By the time they got here at 5:30, it was more of a very heavy mist with just sprinkles. But it was muggy, with little breeze.
I got the grill going about 6:30, and while the girls were in the kitchen with Sue making her special fried zucchini patties, Dwight and I went out and grilled the chicken in the rain.
After dinner, while Sue served up a wonderful peach pie that she had justs made, they showed us a couple hundred pictures of their recent trip to Seattle and a cruise to Alaska. That's some spectacular scenary.
08/13/18: Planting New Cherry Tree
When Sue and I were up visiting Ben at Wayside Farm, Sue had bought a cherry tree to replace one that didn't make it last year. She said it was a great day to plant it because all of the rain that we've had over the last few days had softened up the ground.
08/14/18: Sue's Great Mushroom Forage And Dinner Adventure!
Sue was out tromping around in the woods Tuesday morning walking Beau when she stumbled upon a large area of mushrooms. Since she's been studying mushrooms now for awhile, she identified them as the wonderful Black Trumpet variety.
She came flying home with them, and instructed me to stop at the store for supplies on my way back from getting my car undercoated for the winter over in Loudon, NH.
After playing several sets of rather combative backgammon, we went into the kitchen, and I helped her fix a wonderful dinner of the mushrooms, spinnach, and sliced cherry tomatoes sauteed 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 organic butternut squash ravioli.
The flavors were just terrific! We made enough so that we'll get another meal out of what we fixed, and then she's got enough Black Trumpets left to fix several more meals. We're all set, though she's planning on harvesting more Black Trumpets on her next walk with Beau!
Sue's harvest of Black Trumpet mushrooms
Final dinner from Sue's mushroom foraging
08/16/18: Mission to Concord, NH
Sue and I drove over to the Department of Vital Records in Concord, NH Thursday 08/16/18. She needed to get some documents for her son who moved out to California recently.
It was afternoon before we got out of there, and decided after a short drive through the downtown area to have lunch at the Olive Garden. You just can't go wrong at the Olive Garden for tasty food. I was stuffed, and that was only lunch!
From Concord, we went to Sunny Hill Gardens in Loudon. Linda had told Sue to come back around mid August so she could see the selecction of late blooming day lilies. There were so many beautiful plants to choose from. We really had to control ourselves! Sue picked out 5 different ones, we loaded them into the car, and headed off for home.
Not knowing how long we'd be gone, we had put Beau in Doggie Day Care at the Alton Bed and Biscuit. We were running late and had missed the early pick up time, so I drove back over late that afternoon to get him. He was all wound up, and could hardly wait to pounce on Sue when I let him out of the car.
08/17/18: Dinner Out With Friends to Kick the Weekend Off
Sue had told our friend Cathy about the great lunch we had not long ago at the new Eastern Paradise Asian Cusiene restaurant at the Ridge Marketplace in Rochester. So, Friday night after Steve home from work, they drove over to our house, and the four of us headed off in my car to go there for dinner.
And we weren't disappointed in the taste or quality of the food. It's just really good, though it was just a bit noisy as the place was pretty much full. We all agreed that it would be a great place to go anytime for quality asian food.
08/18/18: Cookout at the Lake in Ossipee, NH
Sue and I loaded Beau into the car and headed up to her Brother's family's camp on Ossipee Lake for a cookout Saturday afternoon 08/18/18.
We stopped off for about an hour at her aunt Carol's. As soon as we pulled into her driveway, Beau knew exactly where we were and went crazy wanting to get out of the car. Carol had a ball feeding Beau treats, and playing with him while we chatted.
We were the first to get up to the lake, and Beau just went flying around the place. He followed Sue and Joann down to the dock, running back and forth as they emptied the rain water out a new inflatable raft they had just got.
Though it started out sunny, it wasn't long before a lightly chilling breeze picked up, and large, dark clouds began rolling across the sky.
Storm clouds blowing over Ossipee Lake
It never rained, but as the others began arriving, the air was cool enough that we all had flannel shirts or jackets on while we sat out on the deck overlooking the little cove the house sits on. As soon as her brother Alan finished grilling up the hamburgers and hotdogs, everyone loaded their plates up with food. Joann had thrown a terrific salad together, as well as cooking wide spinnach noodles with a nice mushroom and meatball sauce.
After eating, I just relaxed out on the deck and watched the sun go down while the others laughed and screamed and just had the greatest fun playing bingo in the living room.
Not sure what Beau thought of all that, but when it was time to head out for home, he just flew out the door and disappeared into the darkness. He was over at the car when Sue and I got there. He was tired because as soon as we pulled out of the little road down to the camp, he was crashed out on the back seat.
He didn't pop up again until we pulled into our driveway, and then he went crazy barking with joy that he was home. The Dog....
08/19/18: Our Friend Nora Comes for Dinner
Sue had asked one of her good friends, Nora, to come up for an early dinner with us Sunday. We hadn't seen her in quite awhile, so it was great catching up with her.
Turns out she's planning on retiring next year, and moving out to Arizona. She'll be close to a cousin there, and both her daughter and son said they'd like to move out there with her as well. Gad, if I was her, I'd already be on the road....
While I fixed dinner, the two of them sat out on the screen porch and chatted. After dinner, Sue served up a spectacular coconut and cardamom infused ice cream that she had made early that morning. She had scoops of that over a coconut layer cake I had picked up at the store when I had gone shopping.
But with all the activity of the last few days, both Sue and I were so tired that we just trudged up to bed after Nora left, and slept really soundly. Gee, I didn't even get up until 8:30 Monday morning!
08/20/18: Beau's 4th Birthday!
Well, today, Monday 08/20/18, is Beau's 4th Birthday. We celebrated it with him on the floor of the kitchen as he tried to figure out how to get treats out of the toy Sue had bought for him.
Beau playing with his 4th birthday present.
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