2011 Rose Family Events Archives...
      For current events, go to the Rose family website page.
01/01/11: Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! Saturday morning, Sue fixed up a great breakfast and then we watched the Rose Parade on HGTV. After that ended at 1:00pm, HGTV had their special on the free house they give away each year. This one was in Stowe, VT so we had to watch that, of course! Movie of the night was 2001: A Space Odyssey.

01/08/11: To Boston For Cirque Du Soleil Dralion
Sue got us tickets to see the Saturday 3:30pm Cirque Du Soleil Dralion at Boston University's Agganis Arena. We headed out of Dover around noon in slight snow showers, which got progressively more involved the further south we got. It had been predicted that the area could get significant snow, so our backup plan had been to take the C&J Trailways bus. But, current weather just had possible 1" to 2", so I opted to drive down as that was just over an hour trip vs. a two hour bus trip.

I parked the car at Government Center and we wandered around looking for somewhere to grab a quick lunch. We stumbled on Paddy O's on Union Street, which ended up being a great choice as we both had the best corned beef and cabbage sandwiches ever.

After lunch, we dashed through the snow to the Haymarket T stop and hopped onto the Green Line to Park where we got the Green Line B train out to the Plesant Street stop. We were running pretty late because we had unknowingly wasted a lot of time at the Haymarket station waiting for a B train until someone got some info and told us it wasn't running and we had to go to Park. Anyway, we made the show just as it was starting.

I had never seen Cirque before and was just blown away; so good, in fact, that Sunday we went to Best Buy and used the gift certificate that Colin had given me for Christmas to buy the CD.

After the show, it was snowing pretty good as we walked to the train stop. Sue had mentioned that someday she'd like to check out one of the Tradder Joe's markets. Before we left, I had scoped this out and there was one in Saugus on the road home, so we stopped there to check it out. We had intended to grab dinner at the Border Cafe nearby, but Trader Joe's had a special on precooked vegetarian lasagna, so I bought that and we headed back to the condo.

Though the roads were snow covered most of the way, we made pretty good time and were home by 8:00pm. I popped a bottle of Cabernet and we took our glasses and dinner into the living room and watched The Terminator, one of the few remaining infantile movies Sue needs to be introduced to - she got the first of the Resident Evil series Friday night in preparation for next week's backgammon party where the movie of the night will be the fourth in that series.

01/14/11: Portsmouth For Dinner and Play A Street Car Named Desire
To start the long weekend off, Sue and I went into Portsmouth for an early dinner at The Chef's Table and then walked over to The Player's Ring for their production of A Street Car Named Desire

01/15/11: The Great 2011 One Year Hip Replacement Ordeal Memorial Backgammon Tournament And Easy Pizza Walk
Started day with helping Sue pack for her move and rearranging the studio after having it and bathroom painted this past week by Sue's nephew Derek. Around 5:30 folks started arriving for The Great 2011 One Year Hip Replacement Ordeal Memorial Backgammon Tournament And Easy Pizza Walk which was to celebrate the Jan 6 one year anniversary of my hip replacement. Since we sent out for pizza, I didn't have to cook and was able to play quite a few games before we watched the movie of the night, the moronic but entertaining 4th in the Resident Evil series, Resident Evil: After Life. Unfortunately, I was so busy playing backgammon and eating pizza, I didn't take any pictures!

01/23/11: Sunday Sue Moving Day
I was able to recruit Colin and Rick Downs who both have trucks to help with the major part of moving Sue's things from White Cliffs. We lucked out on the weather and managed to get just about everything done that we had wanted to do. She's just left with a few small items and the standard clean up. But, everything went very smoothly.

01/28/11: Busy Weekend and Dinner At Cartelli's
Weekend began Friday night when my disciple Rick Downs came over for dinner with us and then we watched the great movie The Kingdom of Heaven. Saturday afternoon, Sue and I rambled all over the place looking for wicker storage baskets for the newly decorated upstairs bathroom as well as bookcases for the studio. After that, we met my disciple Jim Nancarrow and his wife Chris for dinner at Dover's Cartelli's Bar and Grill for a great Italian meal. Sunday, I went over and took a seminar at Unity in Rollinsford and then fixed a dinner of rosemary pork chops with steamed kale, and we finished of the night with the movie The Hurt Locker, which, though high drama and was good that way, was just not our kind of movie.

02/02/11: Huge Snow Storm Wednesday
We got hammered pretty good with about 6" of snow over the weekend, but today a huge secondary storm rocked not only Current Picture us here, but all over the east coast.

It was pretty evident to me Tuesday that travel would be really bad Wednesday, with whiteout conditions predicted. I told my PM at work that was all I needed to hear and that I'd be staying out of it.

So, I just stayed home in bed until 8:30 and had a lovely day sitting in the living room watching some of the Treasure Quest dvds that Marissa had dropped off earlier in the week, sipping coffee, and reading.

The storm ended up dumping about 14" here, and at times it seemed like it would never stop. It fell so thick and heavy that you Current Picture almost couldn't see the trees across the field behind my condo. I've only seen such heavy fall a few times before. It was beautiful.

The two pictures that I took out the front door really don't do the storm justice. At the time, the snow was falling really heavily, and I thought that would show in the picture. But then, I've only got a small 3 mega pixel camera so I don't get those sort of details. Suffice it to say that the snow was really coming down. At least you can see how stacked up the snow has gotten over the last few storms, coupled with this storm so far, about 11:30am with another several inches to fall.

02/08/11: Seminar on Release
Sue and I went to an excellent seminar in comparative religious thought on the concept of release.

It was presented by Revs Phil and Mary Ann Boynton at Unity in Rollinsford. They ended the class guiding us through a long meditation set with Mary Ann playing her crystal singing bowls highlighted by Phil's Tibetan bronze singing bowl.

They hold some very nice and informative meetings. I think in their next one, Phil - a musician in his own right - will be playing some American Indian long flutes.

02/12/11: Excellent Weekend
Friday night after work, I drove up to Rochester, NH and met my disciple 4th degree black belt Russ Jones Current Picture at the Governor's Inn for dinner. It was a nice relaxing three hours discussing a range of topics and work that he is doing as part of his study to move to the Master level.

Saturday night, Sue and I went for an early Valentine's dinner in Portsmouth, NH to Mombo. It was not only one of the nicest dining experiences I've ever had, but the food was as good as I have had anywhere, and I've been to a lot of nice restaurants.

Sunday morning, Sue and I went over to Unity in Rollinsford and then had a relaxing afternoon reading in the living room and listening to music until we went shopping. I fixed an Italian beef stew and we watched the movie, My Best Friend's Wedding to wind things up.

02/26/11: Movie Night At The Garrison: Red Cliff
It was a great excuse to have a party! It was Saturday Night, fer gosh sake! Movie Night At The Garrison featuring Sue's great chili feast and the less than well received movie, Red Cliff - an otherwise from male viewpoint, engaging martial arts extravaganza. Not so with the women. But as you can see from the pictures: a good time was had by all!

03/01/11: Posted New Tech Article: 'Simple Struts Example'
After snatching 20 minutes here and 30 minutes there between all the other stuff that I am doing, I finally finished a new technical document Simple Struts Example.

I began writing this back in November when I started writing a personal business application that I wanted to do to better understand the Java Struts web framework that I have been using since 2005 at almost every job I have had. As I state in the article: "The problem was that I always entered a company with a pre-built infrastructure that I wrote my code on top of; I never really looked under the hood to see what all those tags meant that I was using. I just used them, things worked, and all was good."

I have to say that I just marvel at other folks who write articles like this in their spare time. Well, maybe their jobs allow them the flexibility to do this type of thing - flexibility that I simply don't have. I come home dragging my sorry self in the door and sometimes it's a real effort to write something like this.

So, mostly it's catching a few minutes on weekends, though on this one I did spend pretty much a whole weekend awhile back on the mid part of it because I was on a real rush actually learning new stuff and then turning it around and appling it directly into the application that I was (and still am) building.

It's a lot of fun, but at this point I just want to focus on the application and foget writing about it!

03/04/11: Portland Museum of Art
Friday after work, Sue and I drove up to Portland, ME for an early dinner at Emilitsa Rustic Greek Fare restaurant before heading over to the Portland Museum of Art as she had wanted to see the exhibit of Edward Weston's Leaves of Grass photography series.

We had actually planned to go last weekend, but the storm was so intense either we wouldn't have made it there or we would still be up there digging out of a snow bank somewhere along I95.

But the weather was just super; smooth drive up. And the food at Emilitsa's was surpurb. Very nicely decorated with a friendly warm feeling. I had a wonderful chat with one of the owners, John, who I had spoken with earlier in the day to make reservations.

03/05/11: Spur of the Moment Saturday Dinner Out
I spent the day working on projects and "stuff", and by the end of the afternoon, I was chomping at the bit to get outta Dodge! So, we drove over to Newmarket, NH and had a nice, leisurely dinner in the tavern at The Riverworks restaurant. We came back and watched Working Girl for the movie of the night.

Sunday, we spent the afternoon reading in the living room and then watched two of the segments of a dvd of the 1988 Bill Moyers interview with Joseph Campbell: The Power of Myth.

Then we headed out to the Market Basket food store in Epping, NH to try that for the weeks shopping. I fixed a marvelously great chicken and broccoli garlic stir fry that we had with a nice bottle of Cabernet, finishing off the night with the movie The Bucket List.

03/07/11: Soup Cooking Class
Sue had bought tickets for us to attend Maria Induisi-Richardson's soup cooking class Monday evening at the Spring Hill Conference Center in South Berwick, ME where she is the banquette chef. It started at 6:00pm and lasted until almost 9:00pm. We chose to do a white bean chili that was more a soup than a 'real' chili, but it came out great. Having completed that early, Sue opted to also learn how to fix a honey corn bread that was just out of this world.

03/11/11: Seminar in Exeter, NH
Friday after work, I took Sue over to Exeter, NH to the Blue Moon Yoga Studio for a lecture by one of their instructors and one of my brown belt level students, Brian Serven, about his recent 6 week trip to India to study at the Yoga Institute in Mumbai. It was quite an enlightening presentation, not only about the yoga studies that he did, but also of the culture that he experienced. After that, we came home and Sue fixed spaghetti in a great garlic, basil, lemon, and arugula sauce that we had with a bottle of Sutter Home Merlot.

Saturday I pretty much spent working on programming projects and helping Sue move some furniture around in the studio before we broke for the third in the Moyers interview series with Campbell. We just ate dinner in from stock and then watched the movie Patriot Games.

Oh! But Sunday dinner was a bust. A total bust. My first bust in quite awhile, actually. I attempted... attempted to fix a spiced a Moroccan bean and spinach main course with mushroom and spicy sausage couscous but it was all horrible. I admit it. Out went the couscous for sure; though the main course was not so bad it couldn't be eaten. But it was not very tasty and will not be attempted again. The only saving grace to the night was Sue's movie pick: Phantom of the Opera with the Andrew Lloyd Webber's score, which is just so spectacular; I even ordered the CD of it.

03/18/11: Dinner With Henderson
After Sue and I finished up at Dr. Shulde's (Hampton Family Chiropractic), we met my friend Henderson Holman at The Galley Hatch restaurant. It had been awhile since I had seen him, and we all had a nice time.

03/19/11: The Great 2011 St. Patricks Day Backgammon Tournament And Deep Pot Irish Stew Surprise!
Time for a backgammon party and what better excuse than St. Patrick's Day! Current Picture So, on Saturday 03/19/11 I held The Great 2011 St. Patricks Day Backgammon Tournament And Deep Pot Irish Stew Surprise.

There were 10 of us, most getting in quite a few games through the evening. Not much trash-talking though. What's up with that?

And the Irish stew came out super! Unfortunately, for some, the same can't be said for the movie of the night which none of the girls like at all.

03/26/11: An Evening With Aoife Clancy
I had heard that Irish folk singer Aoife Clancy, daughter of Bob Clancy, was holding a concert at the Nottingham Community Unitarian Universalist Church in.... well, Nottingham, NH Saturday evening at 7:00pm, so I got tickets for Sue and I.

I got out of work early so we could grab a bite to eat at Zampa in Epping, NH. Very interesting place, Zampa. I got the 'beet' strogonof and it was unbelievable! We'll be going back there for sure!

The concert was terrific. Aoife is a compelling performer, and really shines in the depth of emotion that she puts into her craft. I also saw and heard for the first time a bodhram drum. Now, that is an interesting instrument; very indigenous to Ireland.

04/08/11: Out For Colin's Birthday Dinner
Spent most of Friday at work trying to tie up loose ends in the event the threatened government shutdown occured this weekend. Met up with Sue at Barnes and Noble bookstore at the mall where I got Jared Diamond's new book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed . From there, we drove down to Hampton for a 5:00pm much needed chiropractor's appointment with Dr. Shulde.

We got back to the condo just as Ren was arriving at Colin's, so we had a few minutes before they arrived here. Sue and I took them out to The Riverworks Restaurant and Tavern in Newmarket, NH to celebrate Colin's upcoming 23rd birthday. He couldn't pass up the prime rib special! Great night, but both Sue and I were pretty beat from a busy week, so we turned in pretty early after that.

04/10/11: Robin and Eric Over For Lunch
We had Rev. Robin Clark, spiritual leader of Unity of the Seacoast in Rollinsford, NH, and her husband Eric Current Picture over for a nice lunch Sunday afternoon the 10th.

We had some great discussions, particularly surrounding a seminar which Sue has been attending Thursday evenings that Robin is assiting with on The Hero's Journey, a philosophical inquiry into some of Joseph Campbell's works.

We got to talking so much, that we didn't get to have lunch until after 2:00. I had made a potato and leak cream soup, and Sue made a terrific mixed greens salad, so that took the edge off.

04/14/11: Trip to Towson, MD
Thursday the 14th, Sue and I flew down to Towson, MD to see Current Picture my brother Alan and his wife Abbie. We got in early enough that we were able to have a late lunch and relax on the porch to practice some of my brother's Southern Porch Sitting techniques.

While porch sitting, we all agreed on a dinner menu from a book on Greek food, and then Alan, Sue, and I headed off food shopping.

Friday, we took Alan and Abbie down to Baltimore to see Cirque du Soleil's performance of Totem. After the show, Alan took us to dinner at The Helmand, an Afgan restaurant in Baltimore. Saturday was almost a tornado with downpours of rain. But, it was a great day to tour the Baltimore Museum of Art.

During the day, we had selected a Spanish beef stew recipe that looked marvelous. We ended off the evening, after a couple of mis-starts, with the movie My Cousin Vinnie. And Sunday afternoon, we flew back getting home about 4:00pm, both beat.

04/22/11: To Community Theater One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Sue sent me a note the other day that The Player's Ring, a local community theater, was performing One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, so I got tickets for Friday night's performance. We left early to grab a quick bite to eat and then I had a tux/suit fitting for Marissa's wedding before we headed over to the theater.

04/23/11: Easter Weekend

Saturday I worked through until early afternoon on a programming project. Around 4:30, we headed off food shopping for both tonight and for Easter Sunday. Tonight, just a bottle of wine and simple spaghetti alfrado, and ended up with the movie of the night: Barry Lyndon.

Easter Sunday after service went to Wentworth Gardens to look at ideas for deck. When we got home, Sue fixed Eggs Benedict. That afternoon we went out on the deck and did some reading until it clouded over, got cool, and started sprinkling. So, we just pulled up stakes and finished our reading inside in the living room, and then cooked a James Haller inspired ham with cranberry and sherry sauce with bottle Louis Martini 2008 Cabernet. The movie of the night was the okay Burlusque.

05/15/11: Sunday Trip Up To Tamworth
Sue and I drove up to Tamworth, NH to take her mom out to Jake's for a late Mother's Day lunch. From there we drove over to her brother Alan's to see them and Ashley and Tim's new baby daughter.

I was glad that while Sue was working all day Saturday that I did the shopping so that when we got home from Tamworth we had a few minutes to relax before I started cooking.

Well, actually as soon as we hit the door I put together the Moroccan marinade and let the shrimp absorb that for a couple of hours while we played a set of backgammon. And damn, if Sue isn't getting better at this. And other than me falling onto the floor and knocking myself out, I was barely able to throw the dice it went so badly for me. For the weekend, I'm 2 down with her.

Movie of the night was the touching, but not really my kind of Sunday relaxing entertainment: "First Do No Harm". I'm writing this on Tuesday, and it hasn't stopped raining since Saturday. Great....

05/21/11: The Great 2011 Mr Rogers Cinco De Mayo Memorial Backgammon Tournament And Lose The Sweater Fiesta!
We lucked out Saturday eveing the 21st as the rain and cold weather we had been experiencing ceased for about 6 hours Current Picture so we could all sit outside on the deck for the first part of The Great 2011 Mr Rogers Cinco De Mayo Memorial Backgammon Tournament And Lose The Sweater Fiesta.

As last year, this party was a combination of celebrating both Mr Rogers and Cinco De Mayo, complete with my Santa Fe Rice And Beans: a tradition now. The Corona was flowing and Sue had a pitcher of Margaritas going, though I didn't dare mix the two of those! We topped it all of with the really fun movie RED.

05/28/11: Memorial Day Weekend
Even though I got out of work early Friday, we didn't really do much of anything except just relax. We had a bottle of wine and sat out on the deck playing backgammon until around 7:00pm, grabed dinner out of stock, and watched some mindless tv.

Saturday morning and afternoon was wrapped up with preparations for next weekend's Garrison Summer Garage Sale. If I had to cart one Current Picture more box of stuff out to the garage I think I would have expired right there on the hot top.

Enough! A quick shower resolved all that, and then Sue and I popped a bottle of wine and went out on the deck to play some backgammon until Jim and Chris Nancarrow arrived for a casual Chinese food delivery dinner and movie RED. Now, that's a great way to live! Good friends, good wine, good food, and an entertaining movie!

But Sunday was back to garage sale prep and so much other stuff that neither of us got a chance to even catch our breath from about 9:00am until dinner time. We just dropped everything and went out on the deck to relax.

05/30/11: Memorial Day Explore to Gloucester, MA
So, neither Sue or I have been to Gloucester, MA area and we both have always wanted to go. So, we decided that Sunday Current Picture June 30th we'd do a Memorial Day Winnie-The-Pooh type of Explore down to Gloucester, MA for the day.

We got up early and hit the road, stopping briefly for coffee and breakfast sandwiches. Because Sue wanted to hit the mid morning sun in Rockport, we went there first, taking the 127A shore road up and winding back down on 127 around noon.

It was well after noon that we got back to Gloucester because we decided that we should also investigate every little cove and side street along the way, and then made a trip into Annisquam on the way.

We spent some time exploring Glocester, had lunch, and then walked up and down both sides of main street, popping in and out of several of the shops that were open. We headed back home via Rt. 133 and made a long stop in Essex, MA at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum. From there, we drove through and took some side roads around the Ipswich, MA area before connecting back onto I95 in Newburyport, MA and heading home.

06/04/11: Garrison Garage Sale and Dinner At The Williams
Finally! We participate in my first Garrison Garage Sale Saturday 06/04. What an ordeal! I will never do that again. What a huge pain in the ass getting ready for it and then it's just all day sitting in the sun hoping someone will buy a paperback Current Picture for a dollar or dvd for three or office desk for a hundred (which we did sell; nice desk, too....). But, please spare me of that again.

At least Sue and I had some fun playing backgammon between negioating the sale of unneeded powered glow night lights. Whew! But, it was all done by 2:00pm.

We relaxed for awhile, took showers, and then headed over to Scott and Linda Williams home in North Berwick, ME for dinner with them and some of their friends. It was a really nice evening and we enjoyed chatting with everyone in a more relaxed and less crowded environement than when we usually see everyone at the Williams' annual Christmas party.

06/11/11: Marissa and Gary Wedding
Saturday June 11th, Marissa and Gary had their big wedding day on the Sagamore Creek at the Portsmouth Elks. It was a good thing at Friday night's rehearsal Current Picture that we had planned for both an outside ceremony as well as inside one in case of rain because it poured most of the day. But that was okay. We had a wonderful get together at Dover's Blue Mermaid restaurant for all of the wedding party and relatives.

And as if getting married wasn't enough to flatten Gary, the best man and Marissa had cooked up a major plot to surprise Gary.

It turns out that Sig Hansen of the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch fame and his crew were performing down at the Hampton Beach Casino that evening.

Knowing this, they called Hansen's publicist to see if he made special appearances, explaining that life and the world stopped for Gary when Deadliest Catch Current Picture was on and that he was such a fan.

To their joy, Hansen said that he'd love to come up to the wedding! And Hansen totally surprised Gary by coming up behind him while the best man distracted him with a signed picture of Hansen. Quite an end to a wonderful day.

06/19/11: Father's Day On The Water
Our friend Roger invited us and Colin out on his 42' Duffy for a Father's Day Cruise out to the Isles of Shoals Sunday afternoon, June 19th.

And the weather was just perfect with a gentle breeze to keep the air moving. The ocean was calm under an almost cloudless sky. Current Picture We left the dock at around 12:30pm and had lunch out at the Isles of Shoals.

The trip back in, even against the tide, was less than an hour and a half. So, just a perfect day.

Sue and I got home around 6:30pm, had some wine and played some backgammon out on the deck after throwing a pizza into the oven.

We finished off the evening with the very funny and cute movie, Danny Deckchair.

06/25/11: The Great 2011 Seven Years At The Garrison Backgammon Tournament And Spaghetti Bolognese Celebration!
Every year I have had a backgammon dinner party get together to celebrate being here at The Garrison. This year marks my 7th year and so on June 25th I held The Great 2011 Seven Years At The Garrison Backgammon Tournament And Spaghetti Bolognese Celebration! And what a great time we all had!

Lots of folks turned out for it, Current Picture and lots of games got played. And as You'll see from the pictures: lots of great food was had by all.

Not only is the Spaghetti Bolognese a tradition, but the movie of the night, Top Gun, is one of the highlights of the whole night - tiring for some who just-don't-get-it. But for those, we just smile and allow them their opinion.

06/26/11: Native American PowWow in Rocherster, NH
We had a really nice time visiting and wandering around the Native American PowWow at the Rochester Fair Grounds Current Picture on Sunday the 26th.

This was the first PowWow I have ever been to, and was impressed with the seriousness of their presentation of their culture.

Sure, there were it's commercialized aspects and the 'show' parts of it. But very nice.

I'm so glad that I was able to see this prior to our upcoming trip out to New Mexico. I've had a long standing interest in Native American culture and thought, and mix it into my martial arts teachings with the I-Ching and Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching.

06/27/11: Author Paul Doiron at Dover Library
Sue and I went to the Dover Public Library for a lecture by Maine author and Downeast Magazine editor, Paul Doiron, who talked about his new thriller, Trespasser. Doiron’s first Mike Bowditch novel, The Poacher’s Son, was nominated for an Edgar Award in 2010.

07/02/11: Boston Museum of Fine Arts: Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass
Sue wanted to see the Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Current Picture and so Saturday 07/03 we drove down.

Chihuly's exhibit was astounding! That's an understatement that even the pictures that Sue took fall far short of.capturing.

After going through the Chihuly exhibit, we wandered around through many of the other exhibits that either we hadn't seen last time or were new. But by 4:30, I was 'museum'd out' and we headed for the car and road home.

07/10/11: Garrison Neighbors Over For Deck Party
Sue fixed 'Salty Chihuahua' and some great bruschetta that we enjoyed out on the deck from 3:00pm to 5:00pm with Nora, and Nancy. Ann was off to Florida, but we get to water her plants instead. So, that's a good thing too....

After everyone left, Sue proceeded to whip my ass in backgammon over 2 or 3 miserable sets. Grrrrr.... The saving grace after that was the great Clint Eastwood movie, Unforgiven - I mean, how can you go wrong with Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, and Richard Harris?

07/16/11: Vacation to New Mexico!
Sue and I had a marvelous vacation to New Mexico 07/16/11 where we visited my disciple Carl Parker and his now wife Sheina in Current Picture Alburquerque, back road over Rt. 14 up to Santa Fe for a couple of days, and then up to Taos for a couple of days as well.

It took me quite awhile to get these pictures posted because Sue took 600 (yes, six-hundred) pictures, and it was quite an adventure culling through them to get the most representative shots.

Regardless, we have some spectacular memories of our trip. And here's the day by day travalog for your entertainment.

07/29/11: Calm Summer Weekend
Got home Friday after work, opened a bottle of Chardonay, and headed out onto the deck with Sue to relax and play some backgammon.

Saturday morning I was so beat that I didn't get up until almost 10am! That's rare for even me! I guess the bustle of vacation and then back to work just caught up with me. After food shopping later that afternoon, it was back out onto the deck for more backgammon and then a relaxing dinner prep of balsamic chicken with curry basmati rice and a nice bottle of Pinot Noir.

Up early Sunday morning 07/31 for coffee and several hours work on my Shop programming project before heading out with Sue to her brother Current Picture Alan and his wife Joanne's camp on Ossipee Lake. It was just a spectacularly beautiful, warm day. I had brought a laptop with me so Sue could show everyone pictures from our trip to New Mexico.

We all gathered around it out on the enclosed porch while Sue narrated the entire trip for them. I was mah-vo-lous at clicking through the slide show....

Before we headed home, Sue took some great shots of her family. One of them (the shot shown) shows five generations of the family!

We ended up the evening back home with a couple sets of backgammon on the deck with a bottle of Fume Blanc and salad before winding down with the movie 84 Charing Cross Road (1987).

08/01/11: Kids Visit for Dinner and Pictures of NM Trip
Marissa and Gary, and Colin and Ren came over Monday eveing for a visit. While we sipped Midori Margaritas that Sue had made, Marissa fixed her special linguini and scallops in creamy pesto sauce for us. After dinner we ran the pictures of our New Mexico trip through the tv so they could see what we had been talking about. But it's really tough to convey the grandure of all of that in a two dimensional picture, though Sue got some really, really great shots.

08/05/11: Dinner and Seacoast Repretory Theater for Hairspray
Got out of work early and headed right home to pick Sue up so we could get into Portsmouth to the Harbor's Edge restaurant at the Sheraton for an early dinner.

It was a beautiful night, the sun staying up well past 8:00pm so our view from our window seats in the restaurant was just great. It was really nice to sit there and sip on the marvelous 2008 Louis Martini Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon we had ordered while looking out over the Piscataqua River. We even got to see the Isles of Sholes Steamship Company's Harbor Sunset Tour embark at 5:55pm and head down river.

After dinner, we took a leisurely stroll over to Seacoast Repretory Theater for the 8:00pm performance of Hairspray, a delightfully entertaining production.

08/06/11: Saturday Dinner Party For Two Instead of on Sunday
As I would be tied up until late Sunday giving pending black belt exams to some of our association students, we decided to have our party Saturday instead! I worked most of the morning on my Shop programming project and then Sue and I headed out to shop.

We got back in plenty of of time to open the wine and go out onto the deck where we played two full sets of backgammon (6 games) before coming in to start the dinner prep work. I had decided to cook my mom's version of Spanish Rice but, of course, with my own twist with the spices. It came out just great! We ended the night with the stunning movie The Fighter (2010).

08/07/11: Peter On Pending Black Belt Exam Board
I was up around 7:00am Sunday morning and ready to head out to Northwood, NH to participate in giving Pending Black Belt exams to several of our C&S Self Defense Association students.

My long time disciple Jim Current Picture Nancarrow had offered his club for the event, and my disciple Scott Williams picked me up at my place at 8:00am to drive up there - only about 25 minutes.

Though the exam was long - 9.5 hours - all three testing: Richard Mozier Jr., Sachem School, Scott Plessner, Sachem School, and Brian Serven, Rose School - came out just fine.

08/12/11: Friday Night Explore
I got out of work early Friday and picked Sue up so we Current Picture could get some errands done before heading out for another Friday Night Explore.

First up, we headed into Portsmouth to take a tour of the Moffatt-Ladd House. It's probably been 20 years since I've seen that and Sue had never been. It was a wonderful experience and we both really enjoyed it.

The weather was just perfect: bright, sunny, in the low 80's. We took full advantage of that and walked around downtown Portsmouth and then over to State Street where many of the art galleries are.

We went down by the water at Prescott Park before driving over to BG's Boat House on the water on Sagamore Creek.

As the sun was just beginning to set, Sue suggested that we head over to Fort Stark for sunset so she could get some pictures.

08/17/11: Colin Closes On New House
Wednesday Aug 17 Colin closed on his new house! Sue and I went over after work to get the tour Current Picture and share pizza with everyone.

The day before, we had gone to Stratham and bought a bookcase at a yard sale for our library and I had picked up 3 bar stools for Colin.

They came in handy at the party as seating was sparse.

08/24/11: Sue's Great Michigan Adventure
Sue left at 5:30am Wednesday morning to get to Boston Logan International Airport for a flight out to Grand Rapids, Michigan where the photography company she works for sent 10 of their employees to assist with a series of major school shoots. She came back exhausted and and so sick Friday morning that I drove down to her office in Seabrook to meet her when one of the other employees drove her back. She was a hurtin' unit for a couple of days, so slow weekend for sure while she rested up and shook of whatever it was that had got her so sick.

08/27/11: Hurricane Irene Weekend
Hurricane Irene started impacting us up here in New Hampshire late on Saturday night the 27th. It howled all night, Current Picture but not so bad as to keep us awake. But even though we got very lucky right here, hundreds of thousands lost power for days.

Our lights started flickering around 10:00am Sunday morning, and I just figured it wouldn't be long before they went out. Since it was really starting to blow hard and rain steadily, I suggested to Sue that we grab some lunch at Burger King up the road from us and then head down to a spot she knows about in Rye to see the surf and get some pictures. Well, she was all over that and we were off!

The whole beach was gone; covered with water with three foot chop smashing against the far beach wall. And then there were the ten or twelve foot monsters that surged against the rocks along the roadway and sent sheets of spray 20 or 30 feet in the air only to be blown horizontally and down on us, soaking us like someone was dumping out a bathtub over our heads. Man, that was some spectacular stuff, and the heaviest storm waves I have ever seen. It was more than awesome.

08/29/11: Off To Chiropractor
Even though it's been over a year and a half since my hip replacement surgery, my spine and hips have still not come back into full alignment. I am constantly fighting lower back muscle issues and ended up really straining them Sunday as I was pulling the last of the screens out of the windows. I mean, I really must have torn the crap out of myself because Monday I could barely walk. I called Dr. Shulde and was able to get a 5:00pm appointment, so drove down to Hampton to get fixed up. It was better Tuesday, but still sore. No more screen pulling for me!

09/02/11: Labor Day Weekend Kicked off With B.B. King!
Sue and I both got out of work early and headed off to Hampton Beach for an early dinner at The Sea Ketch on the boardwalk. After walking the boardwalk for 40 minutes or so, we headed over to the Hampton Beach Casino for the 8:00pm B.B. King show. The guy is 85 years old and you'd never know it the way he still makes Lucille cry out The Blues! It's just an awesome honor to be able to witness such a legend demonstrate his craft.

09/03/11: Lunch at Great Bay Marine
Saturday 09/03, I took Sue over to Newington to show her Great Bay Marine and have lunch at the restaurant there. Current Picture

It was a beautiful, bright, sunny day with a crisp breeze blowing in off of the water.

Just some 'tourist shots', but it's such a pretty view across the river.

09/04/11: Dover Greek Festival
Sunday 09/04, Sue and I went over to the Dover Greek Festival and had a marvelous time looking around and eating a full dinner of mixed Greek food. Sue had her first taste of Ouzo, but I couldn't finish mine as I had forgotten how liquorishy it was; don't care for it. Since the night was young, we stopped off on the way home at The Top of The Chop for a glass of wine at the bar. That just made us silly, so when we got home, I poured us shots of Dr. Jack Daniels and we sat down and watched Kill Bill Vol1 - a truly epic restraint on Sue's part. She was such a good sport about it that I'll be sure when the memories of it leave her to introduce her to Vol 2....

09/10/11: The Great Kayak Full Moon Adventure
Saturday night 09/10, Colin and Ren, and Sue and I packed up kayaks into the back of Colin's truck and headed over to the reservoir Current Picture off of Rt. 9 for The Great Kayak Full Moon Adventure. We launched them from the public launch area and were on the water by 6:30.

The idea behind this whole adventure was to be out on the water for the rising of the full moon. We paddled under the Rt. 9 bridge and into the other basin and then over to the little island.

We beached the kayaks, broke out the sandwiches and some beer and had a grand time until 7:45pm when the sun started to drop. We got back into the kayaks and paddled all over the place as the full moon rose over the pond.

09/11/11: Sunday Walk At Odiorne Park
Sunday afternoon 09/11, Sue and I drove over to Odiorne State Park to take a walk Current Picture along the shore.

We came at it up from the South to go past the Wallis Sands area where we had been not too long ago bracing against the fury of Hurricane Irene.

Things were much calmer there as we drove up to the park where Sue got some terrific pictures.

09/17/11: The Great 2011 Talk Like A Pirate Backgammon Tournament And Caribbean Party Stew!
Saturday 09/17, I held the 5th of what has become an Current Picture annual The Great 2011 Talk Like A Pirate Backgammon Tournament And Caribbean Party Stew!

14 showed up to see if this year's Caribbean Party Stew could beat last year's effort. I think it did!

And Sue ended up making 2 huge pitchers of her Pissin' Parrot Pirate Rum drink as it was such a hit. There was a lot of backgammon being played and we had to pull the plug on a couple of the games so that we could eat dinner.

8 of us stayed to see the creepy, but really entertaining, movie Priest that Steve Shackford contributed.

Sunday was just a relaxing day out on the deck. I got quite a bit of Drumond's Collapse read and am really enjoying it.

09/18/11: Apple Picking At Butternut Farm
Sunday 09/18, Sue took me out to Butternut Farm in Farmington, NH Current Picture to go apple picking. I don't think I have ever been apple picking before, and I had a blast.

We got a 9lb pumpkin for the front stoop as well. On the way back home, we stopped off at a farm stand in Lee, NH off of Rt. 4 at the circle with Rt 125 for smaller pumpkins for inside, mums for here as well as for Colin and Marissa, and a huge corn stalk for the front stoop.

09/19/11: Karate Analysis Meeting Dinner
I met my disciple 4th Degree Black Belt Tim House for dinner at The Olive Garden in Newington, NH after work Monday evening. Periodically, I meet with advanced students to discuss various aspects of their current study. And that's a marvelous time to slow down a little and do it with a nice glass of wine and dinner.

09/29/11: 2011 Disciple Retreat
My advanced students and I started my karate 2011 Disciple Retreat with class on Thursday 09/29. Current Picture

I didn't get to bed until after midnight because, after the others left, I kept 4th Degree Black Belt Yondan Russ Jones and Sandan Parker up discussing what we'll just call 'stuff'. Oh, and I pulled out the Kruskovac (a marvelous Yugoslavian pear liquor) so we could have a real excuse for staying up so late....

But, I was up at 6:45am Friday morning and into full swing with working breakfast carried in from Dunkin Donuts by Yondan Tim House and Nidan Rick Downs followed by the formal start of the morning session at 8:00am.

Up again Saturday morning at 6:45, the morning session proving to be pretty intense, but we broke for a nice dinner at the RiverWorks Tavern in Newmarket; not closing the evening session until well after 11:00pm, and again, Jones, Parker, and I stayed at it until after midnight again.

Normally, the Sunday morning session goes until about noon and deals mostly with summarization and some goals setting. But because of the depth of material that I had undertaken for this retreat, I never got to the wrapup until 12:30, taking the retreat close until just after 1:00pm. Long, demanding session.

Sandan Parker and I settled into the afternoon with some discussion topics that he had wanted to cover in person as stuff like that is tough to do through cassette tape or email from Albuquerque, NM. We got so involved that to save time from going to the store and fixing a big dinner, I just had subs delivered, and we worked through until about 11:00pm that night. Though I felt bad that Carl had to get up early to drive up to a business meeting in Lewiston, ME, spend the night there, and then truck south to Boston's Logan International Airport Tuesday morning, I'm glad that we took the time to chat.

10/07/11: Columbus Day Weekend
Our main goal for the Columbus Day Weekend was to go Current Picture on a great explore over the back roads and around Bow Lake, which we planned to do on Sunday.

Saturday 10/07 I was up early programming until the Ross Furniture delivery guys came with our new mattress. We had lunch, went out to Wagon Hill Farm and hiked around for about an hour, and then did a Fall Explore around the Durham and Barrington areas before coming back to the house and getting ready for my disciple 2nd Degree Black Belt Rick Downs to pick us up to go to the Hampton Beach Casino and Ballroom for the George Thorogood concert.

Sunday morning Sue and I headed out on a Fall Foliage Adventure at 10:45 and didn't get back until 3:00pm. I had decided to fix a different kind of chicken piccata so did most of the food prep really quickly before Sue and I went out on the deck to play some backgammon over a glass of wine. We played 3 full sets, had dinner, and then watched one of my favorite movies: Jeremiah Johnson.

Monday, Columbus Day, Sue and I did some shopping and then took up with the backgammon again when we got back around 3:00pm, with a little Pinot Noir to soothe my ego from still being down 14. Through brute force and lots of trash talk I was able to get back to only 3 down. I have until Thursday, when scoring starts all over again, to get ahead. There will be no mercy....

10/14/11: Solo Weekend
Sue was off Saturday morning visiting her daughter in Westerly, RI for an early birthday celebration, so I just worked on some programming until 6pm when my long time karate disciple Rick Downs came over. He brought subs, which we ate while we played a set of backgammon before ending off the night with the movie Thor which I had borrowed from Steve Shackford for just that purpose.

Sunday, more programming and some reading out on the deck until mid afternoon. Then off to the store to shop. I fixed up a wicked broccoli and mushroom creole and then washed into the night with yet another viewing of Star Trek.

10/21/11: Fall Foliage Trip To Jackson, NH
I took Friday the 21st off so Sue and I could get an Current Picture early start on her 60th birthday celebration fall foliage adventure up to New Hampshire's White Mountains. We grabbed coffee and pastry on the way out Rt 4 from Dover.

We were able to check into the Eagle Mountain House when we arrived, and then went for a short walk along the river, played some backgammon on the veranda, and then I took Sue to The 1785 Inn again this year for a 60th birthday dinner.

Saturday morning we were up and down to breakfast so we could get a mid morning start on our great planned adventure drive to the Sugar Hill area. When we got back, we just changed out of our day clothes into dinner gear, grabbed the backgammon board, and headed downstairs main lobby by the fireplace. We got a glass of wine and played so many sets of backgammon I can't even remember it was such a blur, and then had a wonderful, leisurely dinner at the hotel.

Sunday morning we decided to take a short jaunt over to Echo Lake, and ended up walking around the entire shore before heading home the long way via 153 and then onto 202.

10/29/11: The Great 2011 Halloween Backgammon Tournament And Graveyard Maggot Stew Surprise!
What a great time to have The Great 2011 Halloween Backgammon Tournament And Graveyard Maggot Stew Surprise! Current Picture We had the first snow of the season (though we did get some heavy wet snow fall that didn't stick on Thursday night) and it was a huge snowstorm.

We got through dinner and two of the movies before the power went off. Most went home, but Sue, Rick, and I went over to Linda's to watch the movie of the night, The Night of The Living Dead.

We ended up getting about 2 inches of really wet heavy snow. The power was on when we got back home, but we could hear the sound of the heavy snow falling off of the tree limbs onto the roof.

11/05/11: Saturday Sunset Photography Excursion
I tried to get up early Saturday morning but having been sick most of the week I was really just beat. Didn't make it up until well Current Picture after 9:00am so late start to programming. Around 3:30pm, Sue and I headed out to drive down Rt. 1 to Odiorne Point State Park for a walk and some picture taking.

Sue got a great shot of Rye Harbor just as the sun was setting in the distance. That was the shot of the day, as far as I was concerned, and suggested that maybe we should celebrate with dinner and a glass of wine somewhere. Sue suggested we head over to Renaldo's in North Hampton and we were quick to it.

11/06/11: Sunday Annual U.N.H. Walkabout
Sue and I headed out about 3:30pm Sunday afternoon and drove over to the University of New Hampshire's Durham Current Picture campus for my Annual U.N.H. Walkabout. I've been doing that every year at around this time for 38 or so years.

In fact, if you look back in my archives, you'll probably see a picture I take every year of the same tree out front of the main adminsistration building; it's become sort of a ritual in the last 10 or 15 years.... This year was no different.

From there, we drove over to Hannaford's to do our food shopping and we both got flu shots.

I poured some wine, and Sue and I spent an hour or so chatting and playing a set of backgammon before we heated up dinner. We finished off the night with the entertaining movie Erasing David.

11/19/11: The Great 2011 Thanksgiving Backgammon Tournament And Spare The Turkey Substitute!
It's been a great New England Fall! What better time than Saturday 11/19 for Sue and I to host The Great 2011 Thanksgiving Backgammon Tournament And Spare The Turkey Substitute! Current Picture

Since the weather was getting cool, I thought I'd fix oven roasted chicken drumsticks with potatoes, onions, and covered with a blanket of kale and herbs.

Because it was so close to Thanksgiving, the group was smaller than our last get together. But everyone had fun playing backgammon and then chowing down on the dinner. Another success! We're glad so many took the time out to join us!

11/24/11: Thanksgiving
Sue and I were up early Thanksgiving morning to get a start on our Thanksgiving Day party preparations; I had turkey prep to do and Sue had a bunch of projects she had lined up. Current Picture She was a whirlwind of activity preparing a sweet potato casserole with a thick pecan crust, a rich home made cranberry sauce, and a great on-the-fly stuffing creation.

Marissa and Gary came over a little after 10:00am just as Sue was finishing up the stuffing.

Colin and Ren showed up a little after 11:00am or so, and everyone headed into the living room to watch the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on tv.

We ate just after 1:30pm as planned and it was great to have them all here, though Gary had to leave before we ate to be with his family at their dinner.

Sue and I cleaned up after they left, went for a brisk walk out around the middle and high schools, and then just settled into some reading in the library. About 6:30 we grabbed some of Sue's apple-crisp and watched the last hour or so of Angels and Demons that I had recorded from the other day before calling it a success and heading off to bed.

11/25/11: Thanksgiving Weekend
Both Sue and I had Friday off from work but Sue got up early to troll the Black Friday online sales for awhile before we headed off to Portsmouth to look at a new commercial development. On the way in, we stopped off at Home Depot and bought Poinsettias for the condo and one each for the kids. Then we were back up to the bank in Dover for a meeting to refinance my condo - great 3.25 15 year rate that equals the payment I had at 6.25 30 year.

After taking care of some stuff around the condo, I popped a bottle of Cabernet and we played out 4 sets of backgammon where I was finally able to regain the lead - but only slightly.... The movie of the night was the awful The Boy With The Striped Pajamas that got over early enough that we just watched some HGTV House Hunters episodes in Costa Rica and another in Ecuador.

Saturday morning Sue was off to take a family portrait for one of my students, Tim House. When Sue got back, we took a short walk through the woods over by the high school to burn more calories from Thursday. After that, we drove over to Wentworth Gardens to buy Christmas wreaths for the door and for the kids doors. On the way back home we stopped off to get our wine stock back up as it was getting a little low.

We had a lot of fun playing several more sets of backgammon (Sue is getting way too competitive in this) before ordering out for Chinese food. We then closed out the evening with the movie Super 8.

12/11/11: Christmas Tree and Decorating
Sunday, Colin and Ren met Sue and I over at the tree farm where we picked out a nice tree for the condo. Current Picture

Colin got the tree into the stand and set up, and then installed the two new kitchen ceiling lights that Sue had picked out for us on one of our shopping adventures.

While he was doing that, Sue and Ren got a start on the tree decorations while I shagged equipment, flipped breakers, etc. for Colin.

Sue and I spent the rest of the afternoon putting some electric candle in the front windows, arranging the furniture, and getting the basics of dinner ready.

12/21/11: Heading Into The Holidays
I had started my vacation Wednesday, though got up at 6am with Sue as she was trying to get into work early. That didn't happen at all because there had been an ice/sleet storm during the night and she ended up turning around about 40 minutes into her drive as it was just too dangerous; the roads were iced over with cars off to the side everywhere. In fact, parts of 95 and 93 were actually shut down for awhile.

So, we just spent the day working in the library here and she was running around doing whatever it was that she needed to do, But then around 1pm the roads had cleared and we used that opportunity to go out and do ALL the Christmas shopping - that's how far behind we are on this stuff. Didn't get back until around 4:30 and just had to relax a LITTLE. Poured a glass of wine and played some backgammon until, the power went out! Who knows why....

We just jumped into the car and headed up into Dover to The 99 restaurant for dinner. By the time we got back, the power was on. But we were both really beat. We just watched some tv and then to bed as she had to be up at 6 this morning.

Thursday, Sue rushed out the door at 7:15 o'dark clock in the morning, but it wasn't too long before I got a call from her that it had taken her 30 minutes to drive what is normally an 8 minute non-event; the traffic was just nuts. As a result, she ended up working late and didn't get home until about 6:30. We had a glass of wine with some leftovers, and then watched the really interesting and well done movie, The Ghost Writer.

Friday morning when we got up it was snowing lightly. We worked on some projects during the morning and then wrapped presents for a couple of hours in the afternoon before going food shopping for the weekend. The movie of the night

12/24/11: Christmas
Up early. Marissa and Colin came over at 8:30am Christmas Day and Marissa fixed us all breakfast. Unfortunately, because of other family commitments, Current Picture neither Gary or Ren were able to join us. And because both Marissa and Colin had a similar situation, they left around noon.

Sue and I packed up presents and food and headed north to Ossipee, NH and Sue's brother Alan's house for their family gathering.

What great fun with the snow sputtering outside and the 13 of us inside having a wonderful gathering. We didn't get home until around 7:30pm, but not ready to finish the day off so we watched the first of the Tom Cruise Mission Impossible movies, which was great fun as Sue had never seen it.

12/26/11: Vacation Week!
Both Sue and I had the week between Christmas and New Year off and so we just slept in Monday 26 morning until the smell of the brewing coffee that I had put on the night before drove us up. Unfortunately, more bad news when my former student David called to tell me that his wife Kerra (and former black belt student of mine) had been rushed to the hospital in serious condition. Sue and I drove down to Portsmouth Regional Hospital just to see him and take him to lunch.

At 3:15 Sue and I headed over Rt 4 to Rt 236 and up Rt 91 to The Nubble Lighthouse in York Beach, ME as Sue wanted to take pictures of the Christmas lights. Man, was it cold! That wind coming off the water was miserable as we stood out on the rocks for about an hour as the sun went down. After that, we drove up along the coast just a ways to take a picture of the lighthouse back across Cape Neddick Harbor.

Tuesday 27 I was up early to work on my research programming project. That got way more involved than I had anticipated and I didn't come up for air until about 1:00pm. Enough of that! We had lunch and then Sue wanted to check out a preserve area that she had seen coming back from York along Rt 91. What a neat place Highland Farm Preserve is! We did one of the longer hiking trails and, though pretty rough going with some steep rises and drops, had a good time exercising.

By the time we got home it was getting dark. So... the only thing to do was pour some wine, light a fire in the fireplace, and play enough backgammon that we were both sick of it by dinnertime. We had received a couple of movies from NetFlix, but they were both awful after just 10 minutes for each. I had just received a movie I had bought through Amazon, Margin Call so we watched that, and it was a terrific drama. So good, that we stayed up late to watch the special features and then about the first half of the movie with the director's commentary.

Wednesday 28 I was up early again and on the computer doing more project research for the morning. Sue and I played some backgammon, had leftovers for dinner, watched some recorded HGTV House Hunters episodes, and called it a day. Very relaxing.

Thursday 29 through the early afternoon I worked on my research project again and then we were off to Portsmouth to The Meat House to get 6lbs of ox tails for the New Year's Eve dinner that I planned to have - based on a recipe from my mom. Then on a real whim, we went to the early showing of the new Sherlock Holmes movie, A Game of Shadows and then to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner.

Friday 30 I completed a major piece of the Forex technical pricing analysis coding that I was working on. We were going to try to get Sue's Skype working but before we got a chance to do that, I got on and lo and behold but my nephew Dean was online at my brother's in Towson, MD., and so, we all chatted for awhile.

After that, Sue and I headed out for a hike through the woods at the Bellamy River Preserves before doing all of the food shopping. We got back in time for some backgammon in front of a warm fire and ended off the evening with the movie Atlas Shrugged.

Saturday, New Year's Eve Day, I started in on preparing dinner which was going to be my mom's recipe for ox tails. I know, I know... that sounds strange. But they are marvelous. Basically, I coat them with flour and sprinkle some spices on them and then brown them in a large baking pot. I then add beef broth, burgundy, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, oregano, tarragon, thyme, and other 'stuff' that then gets baked in the oven at 350 for 3 to 4 hours, getting stirred every 30 minutes or so just because I like to.

While that was all going on, Sue and I went at it over the backgammon board for I don't know how many sets - even playing another couple of sets after dinner while watching some of Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve broadcast on TV. Neither of us see much need in staying up late to watch the ball drop, so I just set the recorder on the cable, and we went to bed around 11:15pm.

Sunday, New Year's Day, we just slept in until about 9:00am. After putting the dishes away from the night before, we lazily sipped coffee until Sue happened to notice through the window the thin layer of ice glistening on the smaller tree branches and got all fired up to go on a picture taking explore. We had planned to go down to the Portsmouth Urban Forestry Preserve in the late afternoon anyway, and so we poured our coffees into travel mugs and were off.

It was good that we went early rather than waiting because the ground was still pretty frozen in the marshes where we hiked over to a promontory of wooded land on the Sagamore Creek. When we looked across the creek, Sue immediately realized that we were looking over at the Elk's Lodge in Portsmouth where Marissa had married Gary in June. We'll have to send them the picture Sue took.

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