I started this website back in the late 1990s as a way for friends to keep up with my activities. The site has expanded since then in many ways beyond the few, simple pages of content I began with. I've met a lot of great folks from all around the world because of this site, and look forward to meeting many more.
The web in general has grown and changed considerably as well. Static personal web sites such as this one have mostly been replaced with interactive blogs, and other online social media and social networking sites such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.
As a senior web based business applications software engineer, I watched all of this development over the years with great interest, seeing what a remarkable change this was for building communicative relationships on a huge scale. When I started this site, not only wasn't that possible, it was unheard of.
But I had, and still have, no interest in broadcasting my activities to the world through these social media venues. Rather, I simply chose to continue with this basic, straight forward format.
The businesses I have, and have had, as referenced here are not social media type entities, anyway. They're simply activities that I engage in. Clients find me either by stumbling onto (er... that would be referred to) this site, word of mouth, or through standard marketing and advertising methods.
This isn't a web blog with interesting things being written about. It's just a way for me to record the ordinary things going on in our lives, as well as a central listing of the other activities I'm engaged in. I enjoy writing, and so this was more of a relaxing escape for me from my busy work life, and now a relaxing enhancement for me in retired life, than it is to provide witty entertainment for casual visitors.
Pitiful Disclaimer.... 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....
10/01/18: Mia Gymnastics Class and Furnace Fixed
I talked with Darren at 8:45 am, and he said he wouldn't be able to get parts for the furnace, and over to the house much before noon. Sue and I jumped into the car and raced down to Dover to watch Mia at her gymnastics class.
Mia's Pre-School Class Picture
That was a lot of fun, and we enjoyed chatting with Marissa while Mia was led through her routines with the pack of other little ones. After having a bite to eat when we got home, Sue took Beau for a walk in a break from the constant rain that had been falling with the humidity fogging everything in.
While she was gone, Darren arrived and put the furnace back together again. He also had to pump anti freeze into the lines to replace what was lost when the pipe split and drained the system. $1,200 later we're all set with heat and hot water. This with the car expenses is going to be a really expensive weekend....
10/02/18: Mushroom Foraged Dinner
Sue was out wandering around in the woods walking Beau and stumbled onto a patch of Chicken Of The Woods mushrooms. She gathered them up, and I fixed them in a marvelous light cream sauce infused with fresh rosemary from Sue's herb garden. For a side, I sauteed asparagras in butter and seasoned with fresh basil from the garden.
Mushroom Foraged Dinner
10/05/18: Drive to Moose Mountain Recreation Area
Neither of us had been to the Moose Mountain Recreation Area in Brookfield, NH, so we stuffed Beau into the car Friday afternoon and headed off. We took Route 153 over because even though it took longer, it's a prettier drive, and we thought we'd see more of the changing leaves along some of the back roads.
The mountain was a ski area years ago, but couldn't make it as it's just too low and couldn't compete with the many other ski areas around. However, the owners have rented it to a disk golf group, and they have been pretty active. Only one other couple and their dog was there when we arrived, and they left almost immediately. So, I let Beau loose, and he just tore-ass around the grassy areas.
Me taking a picture of Sue taking a picture at the Moose Mountain Recreation area.
Interesting shot I took at the Moose Mountain Recreation area.
We had a nice drive, but it's just a little early yet for the leaves despite the fact that this is Columbus Day weekend. The more major roads had lots of north bound traffic, so staying off of them allowed us to appreciate what off the main trek foliage changes there were.
To start things off, we stopped by the 16th Annual New Durham Civil War Encampment at 8:45 as they were setting up. We had such an interesting time that we didn't get started on our foliage excursion until almost 10:30!
Our thought was to head over to the Canterbury, NH area, going through Loudon, and then winding our way north and then east back home - what we thought would be a nice, relaxing drive through some of the prettiest smaller roads in that area. Though we had visited the Shaker Village last year, we had wanted to drive past it as the entire area is lovely. But we got off onto some side roads to explore, and found ourselves too far past it to warrant going back.
We didn't get home until around 2:30, but that was fine because Derek and Christine didn't show up until just after dusk around 5:30 with a cord of wood for us from a job he was working. I held a flashlight as he backed in and dumped the 6 foot logs by my existing woodpile.
10/09/18: Foggy Climb Up Blue Job
It was a typical Fall day, chilly, breezy, and the fog just swarming through the trees. We decided to take Beau on a hike up Blue Job as the fog was supposed to clear and we thought it would be a great view.
As we got to the top, we could see just a few areas down below across the tops of the trees where the sun was fighting its way through the fog. What a difference in the fall colors the leaves were all beginning to display.
Fog gently blowing away across the top of the woods.
10/10/18: Terrific Movie and Dinner Out
Sue and I wanted to see the new A Star Is Born with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, and so went to a 4:00pm showing at BarnZs cinema in Barrington so that we could then just shoot down the street after and have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Dante's Bistro Bar & Grill.
We sooo enjoyed the movie that I'd go see that again in a heartbeat. I'm tempted to even buy the Blue-Ray, but man, with all this new 4K stuff coming out and all the streaming going on, I'm not sure.... But it was that good of a movie for us!
And, because our meal and overall experience at Dante's was so wonderful, I wrote the following Yelp! review on it:
We started out at around 8:30 am, stopping in Alton for the important coffee fix, and then headed up Route 28 along the western shores of Lake Winnipesaukee into Wolfeboro. Our goal was to make a huge loop up through Moultonborough and into Sandwich, across the top of Squam Lake, and then come back down through Holderness and Meredith, and then down the eastern shores of Lake Winnipesaukee into Alton.
We got off the beaten path onto some of the prettiest back roads in Moultonborough you can imagine, and in Sandwich, we went back to hike over to Beede Falls where we had been this past April in the snow, and really enjoyed that.
We didn't get back to the house until almost 5. I lit a fire in the wood stove, we played some backgammon, and just had pizza for dinner. Busy day, and an early turn in for us both!
10/13/18: 1st Anniversary
Sue and I just wanted to have a low key 1st Anniversary, and so we just hung out at the house most of the day Saturday enjoying the beautiful Fall weather and views out back.
We did go out to do some shopping mid afternoon, but the main reason was to go to the Alton Circle Store to buy two containers of their chili. We had that chili for our reception here at the house for our wedding, and think that will be an annual treat! It's that good!
We also stopped off at the liquor store to get a bottle of Edna Valley Chardonnay, which we had also had at the reception. Though relatively inexpensive, it's a nice, smooth Chardonnay that we really enjoy and have had several times in the past.
After getting home, Sue got some snacks out while I got a fire going in the wood stove. Temps were supposed to get down in the low 40s, and they did, so the fire was really nice to have going. Before we got started playing backgammon, I gave Sue a wooden plaque I had Nathan make up for us. The quote is from Chief Dan George which I had read to Sue at our wedding:
And the chili for dinner was marvelous! Great time, and ended up the evening watching one of our favorite movies, the 2003: Under The Tuscan Sun.
10/14/18: Hike Up Pine Mountain
Sunday morning was chilly but the sun was bursting through the woods, the leaves now turning their brightest. It doesn't take long for them to go deep into full color, and so Sue and I decided to load Beau into the car and take a quick hike up Pine Mountain.
We weren't disappointed either: when we got to the top and looked out over Lake Winnipesaukee, the surrounding shores sparkled in the sunlight; yellows, oranges, reds - through the full fall spectrum.
Because it was chilly mid afternoon and forecast for that night was for temps in the mid 40s, I got a fire going in the wood stove before we started playing backgammon. When we had been out shopping Saturday, I bought a bottle of Villa Pozzi Nero d'Avola. We had that for dinner at Dante's and had really liked it. And it went so good with the special dinner I fixed: a combination of Hen of the Woods and Chicken of the Woods mushrooms that Sue had foraged in the woods during a couple of her walks this week with Beau.
I substituted the Chicken of the Woods for actual chicken in an Italian Hunter's Chicken that I made. I used lots of rosemary from Sue's garden as the main herb for that, and for a side I steamed a bunch of baby Brussels sprouts in cardamom and thyme.
10/15/18: Short Driving Explore in the Fog to Barnstead
Sue wandered into the library around 3:00 pm wondering if I wanted to go on "an explore in the fog to Barnstead". That sounded just great as currency price action had slowed down such that I just had 1 limit order out, and didn't feel like watching the screen anymore.
Of course, Beau was excited beyond control at the prospects of going for a ride in the car, and he almost knocked me over bolting out the door. We took one of the back roads out of the house, and stopped off at some friends to drop off apple cores for their chickens. Yes, chickens.... No chickens for City Boy. Nope. Okay to visit them, I told Tatiana, but no chickens for City Boy.
Sue had mentioned to them that she had heard that Mount Washington had gotten snow the night before, and they said that they had seen it as they have a clear view from the back of their property. And today is the closing of boating season! Wow! How's that for timing?
Once we got into Barnstead, we ran into constant patches of pretty heavy fog on the gravel roads we were investigating. It was beautiful because most of the roads we were on the trees branches formed a fogged in canopy that rolled down on us.
One of the roads that Sue had wanted to see was Pineo Road. As we were bumping along on it, we found a short gravel road down to a large cleared area at the water's edge of Brindle Pond, a small but pretty water body that might be a nice, quite spot for kayaking on a hot summer day.
Brindle Pond, Barnstead, NH
We continued on Pineo Road out onto Route 28 South into Barnstead itself on Route 126 where we picked up another road Sue had wanted to investigate: Shackford Corner Road. And that led us onto Holmes Road into Strafford, NH. She said that she had heard that Holmes Road ran into and became Barn Door Gap Road, a dead end with hiking trails on some huge tracts of land that someone had donated to the town.
We thought Holmes Road was a little rough, but Barn Door Gap Road is the classic example of what a Class 5 Road is: manageable only because the town has to maintain it minimally. We dodged ruts and pot holes for about 20 minutes before reaching the end, Barn Door Gap: just a couple of houses (of only about a half dozen we say on the whole road) in a cul-de-sac type terminus.
Though we had spotted a few possible areas where there might be trails, I don't think this is the place you want to be wandering around in walking a dog; the woods are very, very dense, and the whole area is so remote that you'd be sure to stumble into some sort of animal bigger than you.... Naw, I don't think so.
It was a long 20 minutes back to Strafford where we picked up Hennessey Road. That took us over Pitman Road, and then North Barnstead Road; all really pretty roads to travel on.
Our flight out was pretty bumpy, particularly landing in Baltimore because of the 150 mph headwinds that we had to fight all the way. But it was so good to see Alan and Abbie who picked us up. And the beltway wasn't too bad driving up to where they live in Parkville, MD. My nephew Scott joined us that evening for dinner at one of the restaurants in the complex, The Oak Room.
Sue at the end of one of the docks at Rocky Point Beach and Park.
Thursday, Alan had wanted to take us to his favorite place for coffee in Baltimore, Artifact Coffee, and it turned out to be great not only for the coffee, but for lunch as well. And we had dinner at another restaurant at the complex, The Fireside.
Friday mornting, we had a big breakfast at the hotel before meeting up with Alan and Abbie at the apartment, and they drove us down to BWI for our 2:45 pm flight back to Manchester.
10/21/18: Celebrating Sue's Birthday!
To start Sue's Birthday Celebration off properly, we loaded Beau into the car and headed off for a hike up Blue Job mountain in Farmington.
Sue and Beau bearing up under the blasts of cold wind on top of Blue Job mountain.
It was a really windy and blustery Fall day. Temperature was only 38, and with the wind blowing, we both took jackets with us. And good thing we made that decision as it was really cold on top of the mountain.
Later that afternoon, I got a fire going in the wood stove, and we settled into some fierce, trash-talking backgammon over a wonderful bottle of William Hill Chardonnay. For dinner, I was fixing Shrimp Fra Diavolo, and it came out really good.
After dinner, we watched one of our favorite movies, the marvelous 1981 movie, On Golden Pond with Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn.
10/23/18: First Snow
We just totally bypassed the first frost and went right to the first snow. It had been raining all day, though the air was quite crisp. We drove over to Gilmington and picked up a baker's rack that we had seen at a barn sale several weeks ago. It started to sprinkle just as we were arriving, and then picked up to a pretty steady drizzle on the way back home.
As the afternoon progressed, the rain was steady, but by early evening it really ramped up to a down pour. And it got really cold fast so we were glad that I had started the wood stove earlier. And then as we were sitting in the living room we could hear the sleet begin to slam into the side of the house as the wind really picked up. I just threw another log in the stove.
There was a break in the wind and sleet around 9:00 pm, and so I decided to take Beau out early for his nightly "bid-ness". As soon as I opened the door I could see that the walkway and ground had a coating of snow. Amazing this early to get a full ground covering of snow. But, we're 2 miles up on the side of a mountain, so the weather can be a little different at times.
By morning, the temperature had gone up into the upper 30s and melted the snow. Even though there was still a chilling drizzle coming down, Sue bundled up and headed off to walk Beau in the woods. Wet dog....
Later in the day it cleared up and was just a beautiful Fall day. I took this picture on a walk up the road that we took Beau on around 3:00 pm. Just beautiful....
We also learned later that on Wednesday Mt. Washington got slammed with a huge storm that dumped 18" of snow. Here's a link to the weather.com article article describing it.
And Friday, when Sue and I took Beau on a Dump Run (Beau loves to go to the dump) she got these two pictures of the snow on Mt. Washington.
Sue took this picture from our friends currently underconstruction barn. You can just make out the peak of Mt. Washingto over the closer mountains.
This is the view we see every time we drive over the top of the ridge.
Our first stop was in Conway at 10:00 am, and by the time we left an hour later, it was snowing and sleeting hard enough to mount up to about a half inch on the ground. And it got worse as we took Route 113 West to Tamworth and then over to Ossipee.
We had come up for Sue's great niece Bristol's 4th birthday party, and it was really pretty raw out, and the wind was blowing hard.
Happy chaos at Bristol's birthday party!
For an early dinner, we stopped in at Nolan's on the way back through Wolfeboro, and had a really nice experience. Though the wind was still pretty brisk when we left the restaurant, we only hit some light sleet and rain on the drive home. But the wind just kept up and was so strong that we lost power for about an hour. Brief, but aggrivating anyway.
10/28/18: Fall Walk In The Woods
We loaded Beau into the car and took him for a Fall walk in the woods. We were originally thinking of hiking up Pine Mountain, but then decided against that. With all the sleet and snow that had come down yesterday, we figured it would be both wet and slippery.
Instead, Sue thought of hiking out to a large clearing that we had found on another hike 06/15/2017 with what's known as The Silent People of New Hampshire." What the article calls "... Life-size stick figures dressed with shirts and hair pieces." I didn't get a picture this time because my hands were really cold!
On the way back through Alton Bay, we stopped at the public docks so Sue could see if there were any good pictures to take. We didn't hang out there too long because the wind was really bitting; even Beau wanted to go home!
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