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....
01/01/18: Happy New Year 2018!
Sue was up earlier Monday morning New Year's Day than I was. I rolled out around 9:00 am, but felt pretty good. I hadn't eaten or drank too much, so it was more just being tired from a couple of busy holiday weeks. It still wasn't until after I had a cup of coffee and Sue's sausage and eggs, though, that I felt normal....
Sue caught this terrific shot of a snow capped Mt. Washington as we crested the ridge on our way out to walk Beau
I got a fire going in the wood stove, and then caught a half hour or so of the Rose Parade on tv before Sue, Beau, and I headed out for a picture taking quest, and hike in the woods.
After getting home, I got the wood stove going again, and then watched a little of the Rose Bowl. But I had little time to relax! I was cooking my mother's recipe for ox tails in a rich blend of tarragon, rosemary, onions, and almost a bottle of red Zinfandel.
We wound the evening down with the well done 2017 movie, The Glass Castle. But when it was finished, Sue was beat and so went up to bed, while I continued on for an hour or so with an episode of a series I had recorded.
01/02/18: 4:00 am Photography Call!
Sue was up at 3:30 am Tuesday morning 01/02/18 with the photography sirens calling out to her. Check the link out to see a few of the shots she took.
01/04/18: Slammed by Winter Storm Grayson
After Sue got back from walking Beau Thursday morning, we were 3 hours raking the roof, snow blowing, and shoveling about a foot of snow after Winter Storm Grayson pummeled the entire east coast.
Beau exploring an ice cavern of bent branches on the trail up to Pine Mountain.
And then Friday morning after the storm had passed, we did another two and a half hours of snow removal! My snow blower's auger control was frozen so I couldn't use it. It was a bitch hand shoveling out the 2.5 feet of thick snow piled up by the town plow at the end of the driveway.
01/10/18: Movie Night Out
Sue and I headed off Wednesday evening 01/10/18 to BarnZ's Cinema in Barrington, NH for the 6:45pm showing of the new movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Not only couldn't we resist going out to see this, but we had to anesthetize ourselves with too much butter popcorn. And the movie itself? Well, lots of action, and a better plot than most of these later ones have had, so we enjoyed it.
01/11/18: Lunch Explore
After finishing up with our eye check up appointments in Dover late Thursday morning 01/11/18, Sue and I stopped on the way home in Somersworth for lunch at the new Indonesian restaurant, Bali State House. Man, was that some nice food, though a little on the spicy side. And even if you ask for mild, as Sue did with her rice plate, it's still pretty sharp.
My chicken with kale had the greatest flavors, but again, when my lips burn then it's just a little too much for me. But the owner (I believe he was the owner) who took our order did tell me that I should get rice with it. I'm glad he did, because that knocked some of the heat down.
He came by the table later to ask how I liked it, chuckled, and basically said something to the effect of, "...and I bet you're glad I told you to get rice with it!" We had quite a laugh over that! We have to go back and try some of the other things on the menu. Terrific reviews on Yelp as well.
01/12/18: Photography Quest In The Fog
A dense fog had settled over the mountain when we got up Friday morning 01/12/18, and Sue was keen on taking a drive to see if there were any shots of interest.
Even heading out late morning, it hung so think in the air that not only was it difficult to see, but I had to hit the wipers every now and then. And there were times when it just flat rained!
We started out on Ten Rod Road into the Rochester area, and then winding our way over some really obscure back roads into Milton. The fog was so thick that we got screwed up on our directions and had to back track a couple of times. Unfortunately, it was so thick that Sue's camera couldn't focus on anything; most of the pictures were just blurred by the light reflected back through the lens off of the fog.
This is one of the cleanest of the pictures that Sue was able to get because of the denseness of the fog on our Photography Quest In The Fog 01/12/18, and it was in our own backyard!
01/13/18: The Great 2018 One Year At Berry Road Backgammon Tournament And Ice Melting Spaghetti Bolognese Party!
Sue and I held our first open house backgammon dinner party here in New Durham Saturday 01/13/18, The Great 2018 One Year At Berry Road Backgammon Tournament And Ice Melting Spaghetti Bolognese Party.
I fixed what I termed: Ice Melting Spaghetti Bolognese to push back the frigid temperatures that we had been having for the previous weeks, and Sue made up a bunch of Frosted Velvet Cake Balls as a special desert for us.
We closed the evening with the movie of the night: the 1972 Robert Redford classic, 'Jeremiah Johnson'. We were quick to bed after that as we had to get up Sunday morning at 4:30am to take Sue's daughter to the airport.
01/14/18: Airport Run To Boston Logan
Sue and I were up at 4:30am Sunday morning 01/14/18 as we had to pick up Sue's daughter Jill in Manchester, NH and then take her to Boston, MA to catch an international flight out that morning.
What a great trip Jill was going to have! She'd be gone almost 3 weeks to Australia and then New Zealand with two friends of hers. And for all that time, all she had was 2 bags and a carry-on. Amazing!
From our house to meet up with her in Manchester was about an hour (with no work traffic!), and then another hour down to the airport (again, with no work traffic). After dropping her off at the terminal, we headed back home via I95, though we stopped in Revere, MA at an IHOP for some emergency coffee, and breakfast.
When we got home, I made a fire in the wood stove as it was only about 15 degrees F, but really chilly because of the wind and all the moisture in the air. We're so fortunate that we didn't have to do this in that dense fog Friday! That would have been just an awful trip.
01/17/18: Lecture in Laconia
Sue and I were glad the town crews had been able to clear the roads from the recent storm so that we could drive over to Laconia without a white-knuckle death grip on the steering wheel.
We went to see Master Stone Mason and author Kevin Gardner present the lecture Discovering New England Stone Walls at the Taylor Community Woodside Building. What a terrific talk he gave; really informative not only about stone walls and their construction, but the whole history of how stone walls are woven into the fabric of New England - all 250,000 miles of them!
Our friend Nancy Ramsdell met us there, and we had a nice chat with her after the lecture. Because the snow was coming down very lightly, Sue and I decided to stop off at Patrick's Pub in Gilford.
We originally were just going to have a glass of wine, but got very hungry as soon as we sat down. Because I decided on having one of their fantastic burgers, I went for a Guinness. But Sue stayed with her initial desire for a glass of wine, and had their really tasty Stuffed Mushrooms.
By the time we headed for home, the temperature had stayed fairly mild, and most of the snow on the roads had turned to slush. We still took it easy as there were still many spots that had tightly packed snow. The 2 miles up our mountain road, however, was still covered in snow, and pretty slippery.
01/22/18: Sue Holds Kids Photography Workshop
Sue held her first after school kids photography workshop Monday afternoon 01/22/18 at the New Durham Public Library.
Library Director Cathy Allyn wrote this terrific article for the class that appeared in the local paper.
The class will meet for 4 Monday's after school, and she'll cover some of the key aspects of how to properly compose both landscapes and portraits for the kids.
She said she had a great time, and hopes the kids are looking forward to the next class as much as she is!
01/23/18: Major Sleet and Ice Storm
Living on a mountain in New England is wonderful except when it storms - and then it's more than you really need: Sue and I had to dodge low hanging iced branches across the roads up here as we ventured out the other day for an appointment "down" in Dover. Stay in the flat lands if that seems more like a challenge than an adventure.
Sue just couldn't resist, and was out really early that morning taking pictures!
I took this shot of the back yard later in the day. I thought the contrast of the green in the foreground, leading to the same type of tree covered in ice, to the different trees at the top of the hill behind the screen house was really neat.
01/23/18: Mia's Disney Trip
Gary and Marissa headed off on Mia's Disney Trip a few days ago, leaving us all here to face the huge ice storm while they strolled around in their swimsuits!
Everyone on the dock by the Disney Dream
01/26/18: Friday Night Dinner Party
Our friend Gail came over Friday morning, and she and Sue headed off with Beau for a walk in the woods. They didn't stay out long, though, as it was really cold, and it was slippery going with the hard ice crust that remained from the recent storms.
They dropped Beau off and headed out to do some shopping. He and I kept the wood stove going and enjoyed the day.
When Sue and Gail got back, we popped open the bottle of Pinot Noir that Gail had brought, and chatted for awhile until I had to get going with the meal prep.
I fixed a version of Chicken Piccata that I modified from a 'real recipe', but it came out just super. After dinner, we watched the 2017 movie, Battle of the Sexes, about the 1973 Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs tennis match. A well done movie with a lot of background none of us knew or remembered.
01/27/18: Third Annual Full Moon Snowshoeing Adventure
Sue and I started our Third Annual Full Moon Snowshoeing Adventure meeting everyone at Newick's Seafood Restaurant in Newington, NH. Though a hike for us now that we live in New Durham, most of the folks who initially expressed an interest in joining us live around there.
Though there were 8 of us for dinner, several others had to drop out because of having various colds and flu, which are just awful this year. It was an interesting group as far as where folks lived, in a line from Portsmouth, all the way up Route 16 to New Durham: Tim from Portsmouth, Mike from Dover, Colin and Ren from Somersworth, Carl and Patti from Rochester, and us from New Durham.
We knew we wouldn't be going snowshoeing this year because the snow, where it wasn't bare ground, was mostly a frozen crust still remaining from the previous ice storm. Regardless, Sue and I were determined to as least do something outside, though only Carl and Patti chose to join us.
So, after finishing up with dinner at Newick's, we drove over to Durham, NH to Kingman Farm. When Sue and I lived in Dover, Kingman Farm was one of our favorite places to get out and walk in the woods. It's also been where we've had the other snowshoeing adventures, so we had to go there this year regardless of if we were snowshoeing or not!
The parking area was solid ice, so we carefully shuffled over to the narrow access road leading to the trail system. It was pretty dark because of the clouds, so not only weren't we going to be snowshoeing, but there was little moonlight either! I managed to get just one picture of the moon trying to push through....
There really is a moon trying to get out from behind all the clouds in this picture!
The ground was so uneven, and a mix of wet leaves, ice, gravel, snow, and mud from the recent temps in the 40s that the going on the trail was pretty tough. I managed to slip and take a fall not paying attention to the ground as I was gaping around through the trees. I called it a 'sympathy fall for Carl' because he had fallen earlier in the day at his house.
And then Sue takes us off into the big field, a mix of wet snow and large patches of icy cold squishy mud. Yeah, that was real snowshoeing: more like mud walking....
Carl and Patti invited us up to their house for a beer to celebrate a successful adventure. That was nice warming up around their wood stove, and chatting away into the late evening.
But we had to get home and take care of Beau, so we bid our thanks to Carl and Patti and headed for home around 11pm. And yes, it was a successful Full Moon Snowshoeing Adventure even though there wasn't any snow to snowshoe on, or full moon just yet, or even able to see the almost full moon. It was just fun!
01/28/18: Slow Dinner and Wonderful Movie Night
Sue and I spent a relaxing Sunday after doing a dump run and shopping for dinner. What a combo! After dinner, we watched the totally engaging movie, Goodbye Christopher Robin.
Just as dusk was settling over the mountain, Sue took this picture of a hungry visitor!
01/30/18: Family Birthday Party Lunch
Around noon Tuesday 01/30/18, Sue's brother Alan drove her Uncle Ronald over to have lunch with us. It's been so long since Sue and Ronald have been together that they just chatted for hours.
Sue's Uncle Ronald visits for lunch
It was a particularly special lunch because Sue made a special batch of bread pudding to celebrate Ronald's 84th Birthday. We sat at the table for a long time, exchanging stories and reminiscing over Ronald's experiences and life.
In fact, they chatted for so long that Alan took off for about an hour to check out a truck for sale not far from the house.
It was a great day sitting around the wood stove and hearing Ronald talk about the old family.
01/31/18: Super Blue Blood Moon and Snowy Owl Photography Hunt
Sue was out at dawn 01/31/18 to catch the setting of the recent Super Blue Blood Moon.
Super Blue Blood Moon
Then, around 9:30am, Sue's cousin Debi drove down from Tuftonboro, NH, and the two of them headed off to Plumb Island, MA to go on a Snowy Owl Photography Hunt.
It was a bitterly cold day, with sharp winds that drove the temperatures into the below zero range. But, they both bundled up, and bravely headed out on their adventure about 10:00am. They didn't get back until almost 5:00pm.
And then, around noon, Sue's brother Alan and his wife Joann rolled up to show us the truck he had bought the day before when he and Ronald were over for lunch. It's a thing of beauty for sure!
Sue's brother Alan's new truck.
02/01/18: Snowshoeing After The Storms
Sue and I decided to head out with Beau Thursday morning to go snowshoeing.
We almost didn't go because of the recent snow and then ice storms. But, with a few inches of new snow down, Sue thought one of the places that she takes Beau for walks would be fine.
It was a spectacular hike through the woods. All of the trees were coated with snow and were just picture perfect.
Though Sue did slip on the ice and take a tumble into a snow bank, the three of us had a really nice time. In fact, Sue had such a good time that she went out later that afternoon with her camera to get some spectacular winter pictures.
February winter storm.
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