Before we headed off to join Steve and Cathy at their house for New Year's Eve, I had some snow shoveling to do, and then we drove Lucas down to Boston's Logan airport for his flight back to L.A.
We had a fun evening with Steve and Cathy, and just a really lazy day New Year's Day, watching a couple of Hallmark Channel movies.
01/02/20: Doctor Check Up For Sue's Wrist
Today is the 1 year anniversary of Sue's broken wrist surgery. She's been having a tough time of it even with many, many months of physical therapy. She had made a consult appointment with the surgeon early last month, and so I drove her down to the office for that.
She's glad that she went in as she got some actionable advice from the doctor. He gave her a cortisone shot to relieve the pain from what he said was tendinitis. Over the following days, that seemed to have started to help with the pain, and we hope will help with the healing.
We got out of there around 3:00 pm, and headed to a couple of shopping stops around the Dover area. Though it was early, we decided on stopping in Rochester at the Lilac City Grille for dinner, and a special Margarita for Sue that she had been looking forward to.
01/03/20: Movie Night At Alan's in Ossipee
We loaded The Beau Dog into the car Friday afternoon 01/03/20 at 4:00 pm and headed to Sue's brother Alan's home in Ossipee.
We had given Alan an Amazon FireStick, and so the first order of business was to set that up for him. We needed that working in order to have a Movie Night with pizza, of course! After getting the FireStick loaded, we all hopped into the car, and drove to one of the local pizza shops to pick up our order.
We ate while watching the selection of the night, the 2019 Judi Dench spy thriller, Red Joan. Both the movie and the pizza were pretty good, but by the time all that was done it was late.
On the way home, we stopped off at a store in Ossipee to get some batteries for our smoke detectors. A couple of them had started beeping in the middle of the night. I had to pull the unit out of the wall because you can't just remove the batteries because it gets really pissed off if you do that — threatening carbon monoxide gas, fire, low battery and all sorts of evil crap.
Sue snapped this picture of Beau watching me intently as I came out of the store in Ossipee carrying the bag of batteries I had just bought.
We got home around 9:45, watched a quick recorded show, and tumbled into bed.
01/05/20: Snow Clean Up and Great Sunday Dinner For Two!
While Sue took Beau for a snowshoe walk in the woods, I spent about 40 minutes shoveling another 2 inches of snow that had fallen during the night.
I wanted to get right to that. Temps were supposed to rise during the day, and then go down later in the night. If I just let that all sit there, then we'd have ice all over the place.
I didn't use the snow blower as it was still very light and powdery. Though, in some places where the sun had hit it, it was getting pretty heavy. Besides, if you're not crazy doing it, shoveling is fun, and great exercise. Well, as long as it's light as it was for the most part today. When it gets heavy, that really sucks.
After I got in, I snatched Beau, and brushed his teeth. Poor guy is very susceptible to tarter. This is easier than the vet bill for cleaning them....
Beau is just not interested in having someone messing around in his mouth. What a sad face that is! And the paw on my arm is supposed to make me feel sorry for him. Sure....
And it did get cold! The wind picked up around noon, sometimes blowing 30 mph or more in strong gusts that rocked the trees around us. The wind just howled through them, and slammed into the side of the house.
At 4:30pm, I popped open a bottle of a nice red blend that we enjoyed by the wood stove as we played backgammon for awhile. Dinner prep was fairly easy, and I had it ready in no time. I fixed Mandarin Chicken over long grain rice with a side of sage steamed broccoli. Simple, but really good!
I usually have some sort of party to celebrate this, but we just got so busy with the holidays that it just slipped by....
01/08/20: Another Storm Cleanup!
We had more snow than I thought we'd get last night. I was out shoveling about 4 inches in some places, and just an inch in others. The high winds just howled through the trees an just blew shit around all over the place. The wood stove kept us warm as we watched the pretty good Renee Zellweger film, Judy, for which she won an Academy Award. It was really worth the price of admission just to watch her performance.
01/10/20: Bland Dinner Out With Friends
Cathy had called earlier in the week to see if Sue and I wanted to go with Steve and her to check out the new opening of The Dockside Restaurant in Alton, NH Friday 01/10/20. It was a sad disappointment for all of us as depicted in the following Yelp! review I wrote.
When we got back to our house, Beau went berserk when we walked in the door. He was soooo happy to see not only us, but Steve and Cathy. He was all over the place. Very funny.
I got a fire going in the wood stove, Sue brought out some great lemon and thyme flavored cookies she had made, and we just sat and had an enjoyable time chatting.
01/12/20: Winterscapes on the Mountain!
Saturday the 10th, it was so mild out, in the 50s, that we stuffed Beau into the car and took a scenic drive over Route 140. We drove all the way out through Pittsfield before looping back. Really nice, relaxing excursion. On the way home, we swung by the store to do the food shopping.
But the night skies then, as well as the night before on the 9th, were just spectacular, Sue couldn't pass up using her night view lens for some pictures of the backyard.
The lens made it look like a day shot, but the sky was really was black. It's soooo cool the way she caught the long shadows of the trees against the snow from the full moon.
I snapped this shot with my phone camera to catch the contrast of the barn flood lights against the snow. The lights kept going on from the motion of the trees being buffeted by the strong winds.
Again, it's pitch black out there but the lens just picks up the faintest of light that you can clearly see the stars.
Another night shot, this one showing more stars.
As we sat watching a movie in the living room Saturday night, we could hear the wind howling through the trees. Both front and rear barn motion lights kept getting triggered.
By Sunday morning when we got up, it was pelting rain against the side of the house. The rain got so heavy for awhile that you could hear the water in the brook out back crashing down over the rocks. And then all of a sudden, the skies cleared, and the sun popped out. Amazing.
Later in the afternoon, I got a fire going in the wood stove to take the chill out of the air. The temps had started to go down around 3:00 pm, and were supposed to drop to 19 degrees by midnight. While Sue finished up some things she was working on, I got a jump on some of the food prep for the Herb Seasoned Mediterranean Vegetables over couscous I was fixing for dinner.
We played some rugged backgammon over a very nice bottle of Chateau St. Jean Sauvignon Blanc for an hour or so, and then headed into the kitchen to put dinner together. The meal came out quite good, though, of course, the flavor profile was different than I've used before. The basic ingredients were the vegetables: onions, leeks, yellow summer squash, red, yellow, and green sweet peppers, black olives, mushrooms, and garlic. That all paired nicely with the spices I used, which had quite a collage of flavors: ground black pepper, rosemary, coriander, parsley, cilantro, and oregano with crushed red tomatoes and Port wine. It all went together amazingly. We finished off the night with the great 2013 Martin Scorsese movie, The Wolf of Wall Street.