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....
09/27/17: Our Friends The Parkers Arrive For A Visit
My 40 year karate student and Disciple, 5th Degree Black Belt Wind Lynx Master Carl Parker and his wife Sheina arrived at our house Wednesday 09/27/17.
Master Parker, Sheina, and Sue enjoying the Fall afternoon out on the porch.
They had flown in from Albuquerque, NM earlier in the week, and had been visiting the New Hampshire White Mountains. Master Parker was here to participate in my annual Disciple Retreat, and had brought Sheina so she and Sue could go exploring the Seacoast. Prior to arriving at our house, they had visited relatives in the Boston, MA area, and had then toured the New Hampshire White Mountains for a few days.
Master Parker, and Sheina.
After enjoying the afternoon chatting out on the porch, I fixed a marvelous spicy Shrimp Fra Diavolo for dinner that we enjoyed with a couple of bottles of Edna Valley Sauvignon Blanc. It was nice to have them visit us after they had shared their hospitality with us when we flew out to Alburquerque to see them during our 07/16/11 vacation to New Mexico.
Me, Sue, Master Parker, and Sheina Friday morning 09/29 just before Sue and Sheina headed off exploring and we started with our retreat.
09/28/17: Visit to Castle In The Clouds, Moultonborough, NH
Thursday morning, Sue and I took the Parker's over to Castle In The Clouds in Moultonborough, NH. We spent a couple of hours enjoying this truly spectacular home overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. It was such a clear day, that we could see all the way down the lake almost to Alton Bay.
Castle In The Clouds
10/01/17: 2017 Rose School of Karate Disciple Retreat
I held this year's 2017 Rose School of Karate Disciple Retreat at my home in New Durham, NH from Thursday 09/28/17 through 10/01/17.
Friday morning coffee to start the Rose 2017 Disciple Retreat in New Durham, NH. From left to right: 2nd Degree Black Belt Nidan Marty Richter, Tai Chien Dojo, Portsmouth, NH, 2nd Degree Black Belt Nidan Eleanne Solorzano, Rose School of Karate, New Durham, NH, 5th Degree Black Belt Wind Lynx Master Carl D. Parker, Albuquerque, NM, 9th Degree Black Belt White Cobra Grandmaster Peter M. Rose, Rose School of Karate, New Durham, NH, 6th Degree Black Belt King Snake Master Russell G. Jones, Sachem Health and Fitness, Laconia, NH, and 6th Degree Black Belt Spirit Eagle Master Timothy A. House, Tai Chien Dojo, Portsmouth, NH
Friday morning, everyone met at my house for coffee and breakfast before my introductory comments, and getting into the retreat material. It would end up being a long day....
10/05/17: Full Moon On The Mountain
I thought I'd post just a few of the pictures that Sue took of the house and the full moon 10/05/17.
Sun setting to the West
House in the full moon
Moon peaking out from the clouds
10/07/17: Columbus Day Weekend
Despite the rain and chillyness, it was a really typical Fall weekend in New England. The leaves here in the Lakes Region are now really starting to transition into their Fall colors. It's just beautiful!
To celebrate, Saturday night we watched one of my favorite movies, the 1981 Henry Fonda masterpiece, On Golden Pond. I don't know how many times Sue has watched it, but I've made it an annual Fall tradition almost since the movie came out.
Sunday downpours and fairly brisk winds continued into the late afternoon. The sun broke through the clouds from time to time, but the weather was predicted to continue with even more storms for Columbus Day. And it poured most of Monday. Sue and I took a brief drive to check out foliage changes along some of the back roads on our way to pick up some things at the store she needed for the week.
Sue and I usually close up our kayaking season by taking day trip on some river or lake on Columbus Day. But that won't happen this year, and, we'll be just a little busy for the next couple of weeks to be kayaking....
10/10/17: The End of a Tradition: My Annual UNH Fall Walkabout
I arrived here in New Hampshire in 1972 to start graduate school in physics at UNH, the University of New Hampshire. My path soon changed, however, and I moved from Durham, NH to Portsmouth, NH.
But, short as my time at UNH was, I never lost my fondness for Durham or for the campus. Each Fall since 1973 in either October or November I always went back and did what I called my "Annual UNH Fall Walkabout". I'd park my car at one end of the University or the other and walk the student pathways around campus, circiling back from the far end to where I had started.
Though starting this website back in 1999, I didn't actually start logging my walkabouts until 10/23/04 where I took the following "picture of my favorite spot" on campus on a spectacular October 23rd Fall day.
"2004 picture of my favorite spot"
And I took that same "picture of my favorite spot" every Fall after that until this Fall, the Fall of 2017.
In January of 2017, we purchased our home on the mountain in New Durham, NH, restored and renovated it, and moved in full time in March. And since this starts a whole new chapter in my life away from the Seacoast area, just as 2004 started a different chapter in my life, I think it's now time to let my "Annual UNH Fall Walkabout" just become a wonderful memory chronicled every year in this web site from 2004 through 2016, 12 years.
I'm happy that Sue was able to join me on many of those walkabouts, even being the photographer of the "picture of my favorite spot" and sharing the experience with me. She not only captured that spot each year, but took so many wonderful pictures of the UNH campus as well. With our final 11/05/16: Annual U.N.H. Walkabout, she captured the "picture of my favorite spot" for the last time....
"2016 picture of my favorite spot"
10/13/17: Wedding on the Mountain
Sue and I were married on Friday October 13th 2017 in a lovely backyard setting attended by our immediate family. The ceremony was officiated by our very close friend, Reverend Robin Clark.
Everyone started arriving at 2:00 pm! First to arrive were Sue's kids, Lucas and Jill, quickly followed by Robin and her husband Eric. Colin and Ren were next. As everyone was chatting away in the kitchen, Sue and Robin headed up the hill to the screen porch to discuss the ceremony. Then, Marissa, Gary, and little Mia arrived with Sue's brother Alan and his wife Joann not far behind them.
We had planned to start the ceremony around 3:00 pm, and by then everyone had wandered up to the screen porch. Robin told Sue and I to head back down to the house, and when we were ready to come out and rejoin everyone at the screen porch.
I think it was around 3:20 pm then that Sue and I, hand in hand, walked up the grassy hill. Our smiles, and the smiles of our family as we reached the gathering area couldn't have been any brighter than the beautiful Autumn sun that warmed the brisk air at the top of the hill.
Robin's ceremony was so touching and interwove the readings that we had selected so seamlessly into her own presentation. The service took about 40 minutes, and consisted of several major sections of thought, after which we all enjoyed some nice warm cream squash soup that Sue had made, chili, some cheeses and snacks that Lucas and Jill had so kindly brought, and bottled water and tea.
10/14/17: Dinner Party Celebration
Sue's long time friend Gale came over mid afternoon 10/14/17 to spend a few days at the house. She's going to take care of the-Beau-dog while Sue and I go on a Fall Foliage vacation in Jackson, NH.
And then around 4:30, our friends, and another long time friend, Jen and her fiancee Butch joined us for a celebration dinner of spicy basil shrimp over a bed of herbed couscous with a side of steamed cardamon spiced broccoli.
It was a great Autumn evening sharing our time, a wonderful dinner, and some nice wine with our friends. Not sure about the message the girls were trying to convey from the below pictures.... Maybe something like, "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil?" Or, maybe just too much fun!
10/15/17: Fall Foliage Trip to Jackson, NH
Sue and I took off to the Eagle Mountain House in Jackson, NH Sunday 10/15/17 to immerse ourselves in the beautiful Autumn colors in the spectacular New Hampshire White Mountains.
Because Sue grew up in the White Mountains and I've been going there for over 40 years, we had no agenda of time, where we'd go, or what we'd do. Basically, it was to drive around an enjoy the beauty that Nature displays during this spectacular time of year here in New England.
Monday morning we headed off early for a long drive. First, we stopped off at the Glen Ellis Falls area and hiked back into the woods to see the falls. Then we drove up to Gorham, over to Jefferson, and up to Lancaster. What spectacular views of the mountains and foliage! And so many old but picturesque farm houses and barns created such a tremendous foreground to the pastoral landscape of the associated working farms. Just really great to experience.
From Lancaster, we took Route 135 all the way down into Littleton where we stopped, walked around, and had a bite to eat for lunch. We picked up Route 302 out of Littleton and took that all the way back to the hotel. After playing some backgammon and sipping hot apple cider in one of the rooms off of the lobby, we had another great dinner.
Tuesday we came back home by going 113 to 25 and over 171 and 109a down to 28 which took us right into the Alton traffic circle. Such a good time!
10/18/17: Visit to Canterbury Shaker Village
On Wednesday 10/18/17 Sue and I drove over to Canterbury, NH to visit the Canterbury Shaker Village.
We had stopped there for lunch last year on a Columbus Day Weekend 10/07/16 Fall Foliage drive. We wanted to come back and take a tour of this really historic American village.
We had lunch and then joined in for the 1:00 pm tour. Our guide, Daryl, took us a wonderful hour and a quarter historical tour of many of the key buildings in the village.
Interestingly, not only was Daryl a history buff and teacher, but he had grown up and spent over 30 years living in the village. His insights just made our experience so much more fulfilling, and gave us such a deep appreciation of not only the village, but of the Shakers themselves.
10/19/17: Karate Student Tom Toye Receives Promotion
My congratulations to Tom Toye of the Rose School of Karate, New Durham, NH for successfully demonstrating the skills necessary for promotion to 4th Degree Purple Belt in C&S Self Defense Association. I evaluated Tom at a RSK class held Thursday 10/19/17 at Master Timothy House's Tai Chien Dojo at the Mill Pond Center in Durham, NH.
From left to right: 5th Degree Green Belt Mike Palczynski of the Bear Den Karate Club Eliot, ME, 2nd Degree Black Belt Marty Richter of the Tai Chien Dojo Durham, NH, 4th Degree Purple Belt Tom Toye of the Rose School of Karate New Durham, NH, 6th Degree Black Belt Master Timothy House of the Tai Chien Dojo Durham, NH, 2nd Degree Black Belt Eleanne Solorzano of the Rose School of Karate New Durham, NH, and new student of Grandmaster Rose, Peter O'Rourke, a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Kempo Karate.
Despite being extremely busy with his business interests and not being able to attend class on a regular basis, Tom has displayed the disciple to train on his own, ask questions when needed, and work hard on his art. It is for these reasons that I have approved Tom to participate in the upcoming Brown Belt Exams to be held 11/30/17 (separate announcement of this exam will be forthcoming).
Tom obviously has a lot of work ahead of him to hit that target, and will need all of our help. So, let's all jump to it in our own work as well in helping Tom get ready for his goal.
10/20/17: Hike Up Pine Mountain and Late Night Under The Stars
Friday morning 10/20/17 Sue and I took Beau for a walk up Pine Mountain over in Alton, NH. It was a beautiful Fall day, but as we came out of the woods at the top, there was a crisp bite to the air. But the views from up there are just spectacular!
Beau rounding back toward us as we come out of the woods onto the top
Views toward Gunstock Mountain
Sue and Beau in the crisp breeze that was blowing across the top
After we got back, Sue had some outside projects that she was dying to get to. She took Beau out with her, but had to tie him up as the town road crew was digging new water swales along the side of the road opposite to us.
Town road crew trucks out front
Around 9:00 pm Sue and I walked up the hill in the backyard and sat down in the chairs facing toward the house. I had dimmed all of the lights inside, and only a soft, warm glow poured gently through the windows.
We sat there in the darkness of the mountain, a light breeze rustling the invisible leaves all around us. As we leaned back in the chairs, we just let the Milky Way and all of the stars splashed across the blackness of the night sky capture us in their grandeur.
It's a humbling experience to know how small we are in relation to all of Nature. And yet, it's refreshing to know that we have the choice to enjoy and benefit from our environment, and that we take the time to do so, whereas so many are too occupied with themselves to notice or care.
We have to care, and we have to notice. Otherwise, what value is there in life....
10/21/17: The Birthday Girl and I Have Dinner at the House's
It's been a busy couple of weeks for us! And today, 10/21/17, we get to celebrate Sue's 66th birthday with my 36 year karate disciple, 6th Degree Black Belt Master Tim House and his wife Cindy, also a 1st Degree Black Belt student of mine.
Before that, Lucas came by early in the day, and they drove up to Tamworth. She spent the day with him, her brother Alan, her niece, and grand nieces!
After she got back home, we drove down to Portsmouth to the House's where they popped open a special bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape that they had been saving for us, and we acted as the cheering section for Cindy during the dinner preparations.
It was a great meal, shared with wonderful friends. A terrific way to celebrate not only Sue's birthday, but her 66th where she becomes fully vested for Social Security. A wonderful thing, and soooo well deserved!
10/25/17: Beau Goes to Alton Veterinary Clinic
Well, the-Beau-dog had to go into the Alton Veterinary Clinic today, Wednesday 10/25/17 to have some dental surgery.
He had 3 teeth out and some scaling work done. Because he'd been having a lot of trouble getting up after laying down, he also had a Lyme test that came back negative, full blood work tests negative, and xrays that didn't show any damage. So, he's on anti inflammatory meds for 10 days to see if that can knock things down for him.
Man, was he glad to see me when I went in at 3:30 to pick him up! But he was still circling the rim from all the drrrrrrugs...
10/28/17: Backyard Cookout!
Sue and I had Steve Chorba and his wife Roxann, and Art Hamilton over for a backyard cookout. Donna wasn't able to make it because she was pretty ill, but we sent a care package for her home with Art.
It turned out to be the perfect late Fall day. It was so nice out that we sat out on lawn chairs up the hill by the screen house. The sun was warm, and just the gentlest of breezes rustled through the now browning leaves on the trees around us.
I fixed up a bunch of hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill which we had with some potato salad, veggie salad, and chips. And for desert there was pie Roxann had brought, and Halloween cookies that Sue had made. They were like the ones she did last year: looked like cut off fingers with the nails almond chips and some red dye 'blood'. For some reason they had baked a little flat, but they were really good. And the warmed up pie with some ice cream that Art had brought were terrific.
All a great time!
10/29/17: Major Storm Pummels New Hampshire
New Hampshire was hit with the 4th most powerful and damaging storm late Sunday and through to Tuesday morning. Fortunately for us, other than a lot of branches down we only had the chimney cap blow off.
We started out Sunday just fine. We drove over to Concord, NH to meet up with Sue's son Lucas and his friend Rachel for brunch. Though we had a wonderful visit with them, it was cold and rainy by the time we got back home. In fact, just as we drove up the final stretch of the mountain, it began to literally pour buckets.
That was the start of what would become quite a weather event for New Hampshire....
The wind probably hit 60 mph at points. Between this storm and the one that hit last week, we must have got 10 inches of rain or more. And man, did the brook fill up fast and flood the backyard. You could just hear the water surging down the rocks, even over the wind howling through the trees.
Power went out Monday morning around 2:30am, and the storm just raged around us until late morning, but NHEC got it back up Tuesday morning around 6:00 am. We had the woodstove going all day Monday through to Tuesday morning to keep things warm as it was only around 38 F out at night.
Fortunately, temps during the days have been in the high 50s and even in the low 60s, otherwise it could have been a whole different problem. After driving out for the very important cups of coffee Monday morning, Sue and I put our waders on, and spent an hour or so picking up all of the downed branches.
After getting warmed up and a bite to eat for lunch, we parked it by the woodstove and read for most of the afternoon until the sun began to set behind the trees. It got quite chilly, too. A couple of more logs in the woodstove, and a glass of wine to go with some rowdy backgammon took us to dinner heated up on the woodstove and eaten by candle light.
We sat and chatted for awhile, but decided to get to bed early and just read by candle light for awhile. Sue had to get up and out to work at 6:00 am Tuesday morning, so we wanted an early night. It was a really early night....
11/03/17: Dinner Party With Lucas
Lucas came over for dinner Friday evening, and to spend the night with us. Sue fixed a great meat loaf for dinner with my contribution of carrots and onions sauteed is a blend of herbs. She had also made an apple pie earlier that day, and we had that warmed with a scoop of Vanilia Bean ice cream on top.
11/04/17: Sue and Lucas Off To Hike Mt. Washington
We were all up early Saturday morning to take advantage of a great breakfast. Sue cooked fried eggs wrapped in rainbow swiss chard with some fresh pumpkin bread she had made Friday. A little hot coffee with it just got the day off to a super start.
Just a little after 8:00am, Sue and Lucas were off. They were driving up north to hike Mt Washington from the Pinkham Notch trail-head up through Tuckerman's Ravine. 'City Boy' will sit this one out at home....
Lucas and Sue taking a selfie with Tuckerman's Ravine in the background.
The picture shows them taking a break on the Lion's Head Trail just above Tuckerman's Ravine. As it was mid afternoon, the air was getting a little crisp, and they could see piles of previous snow glistening through the trees in the woods. The folks at the base lodge had said to be really careful at the higher elevations as the recent rain run-off would probably become a slick, icey coating on the rocks that would be dangerous navigating in the dark.
They had already met one couple coming down where the man had slipped and they later learned that he had dislocated his shoulder. Regardless, they had a choice at that point as to hike the last 3/4 of a mile to the top, or to head back. They decided on the safe decision to turn around, particularly because, if they went to the top and even immediately turned around, they'd be doing at least the last hour or more of the walk back down in the dark. Good choice because they both said that last hour down their leg muscles burned and knees hurt.
I am so incredibly proud of Sue, her zest for life, her determination to do things people half her age would have to think twice about, and just how spiritually connected to the Nature around her that she is, that, not only was this a hike with her son, but a communion with that Nature few have experienced.
Back here, though, it was such a great, late Fall day. Though chilly, the sun radiated warmly off of all of the deep rust and gold colors of the leaves remaining on the trees. Being here on the mountain is such a treat this time of year. I can sit at my desk in the library and look out into the woods as the leaves transition through their Fall color medley.
Around noon, I loaded Beau into the car for a little adventure. I had some things to pick up at the hardware store in Alton first, but thought I'd continue on through town to Alton Bay just to see the foliage changes around the Lake.
But it was so beautiful out that Beau indicated he'd be fine taking a run in the woods. So off to Pine Mountain we went. Though the parking lot was full, everyone must have been in the town forest because we only saw a few folks on the trail as we climbed to the summit.
Beau on Pine Mountain
The view from the top splayed out before us an incredible blanket of muted colors from the leaves on the surrounding mountains. We stayed on top for enough time for Beau to check things out before walking back down. I took a final gaze around and just wondered how much more majestic the view was for Sue and Lucas up on Mt. Washington.
I got a call from Sue about 5:30pm that they had just got down the mountain and were on the drive back. And... they were hungry! I was requested to get some spaghetti and meatballs ready for their projected arrival of around 7:15pm. After Lucas dropped Sue off, he still had to drive back over to the Bedford, NH area. They wanted to hit the door, and get something to eat so Lucas could get going as soon as possible.
11/06/17: Late Fall Overcast Monday Morning
Beau and I had some Monday morning errands to run and I thought this shot of the back yard was just such a beautiful representation as to a late Fall day here in New England.
11/07/17: Snow Showers!
When I went outside with Beau around 9:00pm, I was met with a very light, fine snow fluttering through the barn lights.
Though beautiful, it does signal a significant change in seasons and weather. Temps have been in the 50s during the day, and 40s, and even into the mid 30s, at night.
11/11/17: Sue Takes The House's Christmas Pictures
Sue and I headed down to Wallis Sands State Beach in Rye, NH Saturday afternoon. We were heading off to meet up with my 35 plus year karate disciple, 6th Degree Black Belt Tim House, his wife Cindy (a 1st Degree Black Belt), and their son Austion. This would be Sue's 7th year taking their family Christmas pictures.
When we drove over the ridge to head down to Rye, we saw Mt. Washington in the distance capped in snow. Sue had read online that winds had reached 106 mph on top of Mt. Washington last night, and had dropped the temperature to -40 degrees F below zero. We just knew it was going to be cold down at the beach...
As expected, as we walked toward the beach from the parking lot, we were met with a sharp and bitterly cold wind blowing off the ocean. Despite the cold though, Austin seemed to enjoy it, and was very patient during the picture taking.
Sue got this great shot of the three of them walking toward the water.
Though the adults were griping about the cold after awhile, Austin seemed to thrive in it. But he got bored, and so we decided to take a few more pictures up on the rocks. We drove the short distance to a parking area overlooking the beach, but when we got out of the car, Austin insisted that no one wear heavy coats. Sue got some great pictures of them against the rocks with the surf in the background. But it was pretty brisk out therel, so we headed for the cars and for home.
Tim was nice enough to take this picture of Sue and me by the rocks.
11/12/17: Late Fall Leaves Down
What a difference a few days makes up here on the mountain. Just back on Monday 11/06/17 it was foggy when I took a similar picture of the back yard with only some of the leaves having fallen.
A few days makes a big difference.
But there had been fairly high winde over the last few days that had stripped almost all of the leaves from most of the trees. Also missing are the table and two chairs; time to store those away for the winter as well.
11/13/17: Quick Weather Change On The Mountain!
I captured how quickly the weather can change up here on the mountain Monday morning 11/13/17.
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