2019 Rose Family Archives...
      For current events, go to the Rose family website page.

01/01/19: Happy New Year!
Sue felt much better when she got up Tuesday 01/01/19, New Year's Day. The pain medication the doctor had given her was working really good, and so we had a lovely day just hanging out with a fire going in the wood stove, and watching movies.

01/02/19: Sue's Wrist Surgery
Wednesday 01/02/19, I took Sue over to the surgery center in Somersworth for her 11:00 am appointment. The doctor spoke with me after, and he said though she'd probably be in a lot of pain for a few days, the operation itself went really well, and that she should be feeling fine within the normal 6 to 8 weeks recovery period. That remains to be seen as she had to have a steel plate with 6 screws implanted in her wrist to put her back together again....

We had to stop off at the pharmacy on the way home to get her medications, but she was back home and on the sofa by around 3:00 pm. I got her some toast and soup to eat, and then she rested quietly on the sofa until early evening. We watched a couple of movies, and I tried the best I could to keep her arm stabilized and in the proper position to keep the swelling down.

The main pain blocker she was given for the surgery was supposed to last 10 hours or so, but she was feeling extreme pain by early evening. It came on pretty quickly, so it took awhile for the additional pain medication she took to start to do its thing. I snugged her into bed early, pillows and slings and all that sort of stuff to make sure she was comfortable and wouldn't slam her arm against anything during the night. She did sleep really well, and felt better - though sore - the next day.

01/05/19: Tai Chi Class
Though Sue was feeling pretty crummy from her surgery, she still went to our first Tai Chi class Saturday morning 01/05/19 taught by my karate disciple Master Russ Jones of Laconia. I had found out a few weeks before that he was holding 4 introductory class in Tai Chi in Alton at one of the yoga studios, and i had signed us both up to take them. Sue was way too weak to join in, so she sat on some cushions and just watched class.

My exposure to Tai Chi has been very limited, though I've practiced the principles in my karate work since the mid 1970s when I became aware of the depth of these arts. Even though I had never participated in any formal training, I have always advised anyone who didn't want to do karate to investigate Tai Chi.

01/06/19: Nineth Year Hip Replacement
I had a late Sunday night Dr. Jack Daniels toast to myself in memory of my hip replacement 9 years ago today. That was some experience.... er, that would be the hip surgery, not the Dr. Jack!

Fortunately, Sue was feeling so much better. She even felt strong enough to take Beau for a short walk this morning while I went food shopping. Later that afternoon, we both walked him up to the top of the ridge. Man, was it windy and cold! And you could see it snowing in places up in the White Mountains far in the distance. It even spat some snow as we walked back to the house.

For dinner, I baked broccoli and shrimp in a ginger, garlic, orange juice, and other spices sauce that I served over cardamom spiced basmati rice. A wonderful thing!

01/09/19: Winter Storm
When I got up Wednesday morning 01/09/19 at 7:00 am, the sleet and snow mix that had been falling lightly most of yesterday and through the night had dropped about 2 inches of crusty topped mix. But just as I was finishing up feeding Beau, the mix turned to a heavy snow. And, though really pretty, it really started to mount up.

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I went out and shoveled about 4 inches of really heavy snow off of the walkways, but called a neighbor to plow me out when he had a chance. There was no way my blower was going to get through that stuff. I might have tried it, but the tire chains I ordered the other day won't be here for another couple of days. I'm in absolutely no mood to wrestle with that machine through this stuff anyway....

By the time the storm had blown itself out, I would think we got well over 8 inches. But it would have been a lot more if the temperature had been colder. With it in the low 30s, it was such a heavy snow that it just compacted down almost into slush, which with much angst, I discovered as I shoveled out the areas that David couldn't get to with his plow truck.

After spending about an hour and a half of shoveling, I came in just as Sue was attempting to put her snow pants on. She just couldn't take sitting around looking at her cast with such a beautiful hiking day calling out to her. She agreed, thankfully, to keep her wanderings to the woods and field around our house.

There was no way she could have even gone out to get the mail, it was that slippery. She figured that even is she did fall, the snow was so deep that she'd be fine. I did tell her to keep her phone in a pocket easily reached with her good hand as she had wrapped her other arm in the sling and then tucked that inside her jacket.

She and Beau both came back covered with wet snow, but smiles across their faces - well, as good of a smile I guess a dog could have after going for a nice romp in the snowy woods!

01/13/19: Anniversary of Home Closing
Saturday 01/13/19 we celebrated the 2nd year anniversary of the closing on our wonderful new home on the mountain.

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To celebrate, I fixed a scallops in a rich pesto cream sauce with a side of sauteed sweet peas, dried tomato slices, scallions, and herbs. The roaring wood stove took the chill out of the air as we sat at the table sipping our wine and just enjoying being together and celebrating life.

01/14/19: Sue Follow Up Surgical Appointment
I drove Sue to the doctor's office in Somersworth Monday afternoon for her 2:00 pm surgical follow up appointment. The PA Christopher, who we had met for her initial evaluation after her accident, took another set of x-rays, and said the healing was going very well. He removed her cast, and sent us over to the physical therapy building where she had a removable cast put on. Jeff, the PT, then took her through about 10 exercises he wanted her to repeat 4 to 5 times a day. He made an appointment for the 22nd for her to return for her next evaluation and session.

01/15/19: Gail Visits
Our friend Gail arrived around 1:00 pm Tuesday afternoon 01/15/19 for an overnight visit. Though Sue has been taking Beau out for walks, they've been fairly brief and close to home. Gail was excited that she could help, and so off they went.

But it was just a short walk because our friend Sarah brought her son Liam over so he could play in the yard with Beau. Liam had helped us out after Sue's accident and surgery by coming over and walking Beau. But then he had gotten sick, and so this was the first time he had been back in a week or so. He enjoys Beau because Beau tear-asses all around the place whereas his dog is fairly sedentary.

To thank Gail for coming by, Sue and I fixed some great treats for us for dinner, and we popped what turned out to be a fairly nice bottle of Zinfandel. For dinner, I cooked a Tim Ferris meal from his book, The 4-Hour Chef: Sesame Ginger Chicken Over Bok Choy. It's quick to make, and has such great flavor. For a side, I sauteed sweet peas and Hen of The Woods Mushrooms that Sue had harvested this Fall in a butter, basil, and sherry sauce. For desert, Sue had made this great bread pudding that we really enjoyed as we watched the captivating 2014 indi movie, To Keep the Light.

After having scrambled eggs for breakfast Wednesday morning, Sue and Gail headed off for another walk with Beau, this time somewhere into the woods as Gail was there to make sure Sue didn't overdo it. The two of them had a nice visit after they got back from the walk while I worked on one of my projects in the library.

Gail left around noon, and Sue tried to catch up on some things she wanted to get done. But by around 4:00 pm, she was tired of all that and just wanted to relax with some backgammon before having an early dinner. We watched an interesting 2007 documentary movie, The Wild Horse Redemption, and an episode of HGTV House Hunters International before heading off to bed. We were both really tired, and it was good to see that Sue's discomfort level was less from the healing, and that she could get a good night's rest.

01/20/19: Brutal Winter Storm
Winter Storm Harper hit pretty hard overnight Saturday and has raged down on us through today, Sunday 01/21/19. Many areas of the country got hit much worse than us, but with 8 inches of snow dumped in such a short time, high winds, and now temperatures predicted to be very low with wind chills into negative numbers, it hasn't been insignificant.

Saturday morning after Tai Chi class in Alton, we drove up to Ossipee to visit with Sue's brother. There was little hint in the sky that a storm was coming, but the weather reports were filled with dire predictions of 12 to 18 inches of snow overnight, and a possible additional foot Sunday.

It was just starting to spit a little snow by the time we left Ossipee around 5:00 pm. By the time we got to the Alton circle, it was coming down pretty steadily with a strong wind. I got a fire going in the wood stove, and we had a nice quiet evening of pizza and movies.

Sunday morning, though, it was blowing pretty hard. We had about 3 inches down, so those worst case predictions for overnight didn't affect us. However, as we watched the Weather Channel, we could see that wasn't the case for much of the rest of the country as Harper was such a widespread event.

By 1:00 pm when I went out to run the snow blower and shovel, the storm had begun to taper down. It was tough to tell just how much snow had fallen because of the wind, but we figured around 8 inches overall. Because of the wind, I didn't need to rake the snow off of the roof, so that saved me some time.

I had waited a little too long, though, to get out for clean up because the snow had turned to sleet. I was afraid that would make the snow really heavy and overpower the blower, so I got right to it. Took me about 2 hours, but I got everything cleaned up as well as paths to and around the wood piles.

After changing into dry and warm clothes, I got the wood stove fired up, and we just relaxed in the living room watching a movie and listening to the wind driven sleet slam against the side of the house. To top things off was a terrific corn chowder for dinner that Sue had made earlier. It went down so great with garlic bread and a glass of wine.

Though the snow and sleet had stopped by Monday 01/21/19, 30 mph Arctic winds were rocking the trees in the woods through crazy angles and driving the temperature down to -22 degrees F. Sue waited until almost noon to see if things would quiet down. It didn't, and so I helped her bundle up so she could take Beau on a short walk in the woods behind the house. I knew that wasn't going to be a long walk....

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Sue and Beau heading off for a walk in the woods behind the house Monday morning 01/21/19 in the windy, -22 degree temperature aftermath of Winter Storm Harper.

01/27/19: Saturday Night Pizza Party For 3
We wanted to get together with Colin before he gets absorbed in his Fire Fighter Series 2 classes starting Wednesday. He came over at 6:45, arriving about 10 minutes before I got back with the pizza. We had decided to give Alton Village Pizza a try after a couple of not so good experiences with bland pizza at another place, and were really happy with the taste. It was a really nice visit, and we hope to catch up with him again even though he'll be hip deep in class work.

01/30/19: Mia Helping Cook Dinner
Marissa sent me this great picture of Mia helping her cook dinner. What a ham... er, hamburger!

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02/02/19: Visit With Ellie
Sue and I drove down to Concord, MA to visit with her good friend Ellie. I hadn't seen Ellie in years, and it was good to have such a nice visit with her.

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Sue and Ellie saying goodby as we got ready to head back home.

We took Beau with us, and after lunch we all went on a short walk through the fields out behind Ellie's house. Beau had a blast charging way, way ahead of us. But as soon as we called to him, he came flying back.

02/04/19: Snowshoeing With Mia
Sue and I bundled Mia up into her snow suit Monday morning 02/04/19 for a snowshoeing adventure to Wagon Hill Farm in Durham, NH, a 139-acre property owned by the Town of Durham.

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Mia leading the way for Gramps!

I used to take my kids sledding here 25 years ago, Sue and I have hiked all around it, and snowshoed there for years, and now, I can share this with my grand-daughter. How much better can it get?

02/06/19: Sick Day With Mia
I drove over to Marissa's to watch Mia for the day. She had come down with a bad cold during the night, so I went over to take care of her.

It was a long day watching endless episodes of the kids show, "The Octonauts", but between naps, Mia really enjoyed watching them with me.

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02/09/19: Saturday Visit to Ossipee
Sue and I took Beau with us up to her Brother's for dinner Saturday 02/09/19. We called ahead and stopped to pick up Chinese food in Wakefield, and had a great time with Alan and Joanne.

02/13/19: Winter Storm
It started snowing Tuesday evening the 12th, but only dropped about an inch by around 10:00 pm when Sue and I went to bed. However, we woke up Wednesday morning 02/13/19 to probably about 8 inches.

Even though the storm appeared to be over by around 9:00 am, I was in no mood to go out and shovel until I had checked trading positions and had a cup of coffee. Surprisingly, there was no accumulation on the roof, do I wasn't going to have to rake that.

I went out about 10:00 am and shoveled the walks, and areas around the wood pile, figured I'd leave the big stuff to be plowed, and headed inside around noon. Even though our neighbor David had serviced my snow blower, the snow was heavy and I was beat. He came around 12:15 pm and pushed it all into a huge pile over by the barn. Yeah, that would have been a tough job blowing all of that.

Glad I didn't mess with it. Instead, I helped Sue chop up all the ingredients for a Tuscan Sausage and Potato Soup she was making. That I enjoy; pushing snow around with a blower is way down on the list.

02/14/19: Quiet Valentines Day Dinner
Sue still can't drive because of the surgery on her wrist, and so I drove her and The Beau Dog over to Kathy's house Thursday 02/14/19 at 11:00 am. They were all going snow shoeing in the woods through the new snow that had fallen.

Even with plowing yesterday, there was still a lot of snow back at the house that had to be moved. Before going in, I spent about an hour shoveling snow away from the areas close to the barn and car so David would have clearance for his plow.

He came back with his front loader mid afternoon and not only cleaned up, but also moved all of the snow further back alongside the barn. That will give him room to put the snow for the next storm - and there will be a next storm for sure.

For Valentine's Day, I cooked an off the cuff dinner of sauteed shrimp, sweet red peppers, and scallions in a sherry, lime juice, and red pepper flake sauce that I served over a bed of basil infused basmati rice. Sounds weird, but it came out pretty good. I also prepared a side dish of skellet stir fried yellow squash, zucchini, roasted red peppers, and thinly sliced yellow onions. Sue surprised me with a marvelous vanilla ice cream covered cherry cobbler desert that she had made when I wasn't looking. Great evening!

As the day wore on, the temperature started to drop, and, because it had been such a sunny and relatively mild day, the fog started to engulf us. We were all cozy in the living room with a nice fire going in the wood stove, but soon you could barely see the barn through the walkway lights the fog got so thick. When we got up Friday morning, it still hung heavy in the air.

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Heavy fog blankets the woods Friday 02/15/19

02/19/19: Massive Super Snow Moon
I drove Sue over to the top of the ridge at 5:30 pm Tuesday 02/19/19 so she could take some pictures of the massive Super Snow Moon rise. Man, was it big! And beautifully orange as it crested the top of the horizon and broke above the tree line.

Beau and I just stayed in the car and kept the heat going as it was really cold. Sue would run out, take some pictures, and then come flying back to get warmed up before running back across the road to the side of the field. I had started up the wood stove before we left, so when we got back home, Sue just stood in front of it to warm up.

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Just starting to peak above the horizon.

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Man, is it big!

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Just a few minutes into its rise.

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View through the trees back at the house.

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Sue took this shot of Mt. Washington from the top of the ridge when she went out the next morning, Wednesday 02/20/19 to see the moon setting.

02/21/19: Mia's Sleep Over
After taking Sue to physical therapy Thursday morning 02/21/19, we drove over to Marissa's work to pick Mia up for a sleep over at our house.

She was all geared up for that. She was so excited to go out back to snow shoe and then sledding with Sue. I got some great pictures, and even a neat short video of her and Sue flying down the hill on Mia's sled. Not sure who had more fun, Mia or Sue.

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Sue and Mia flying down the hill on Mia's sled.

We all had a great visit. After they came in, we watched the movie Happy Feet while eating dinner picnic style on the living room floor. She was all excited about going sledding again the next morning before we took her to her gymnastics class in Dover, and then back to her mom.

02/22/19: Dinner Out With Friends
We got together with our friends Steve and Kathy Saturday night, 02/22/19. They came over to our house, and then I drove us all over to Dante's Pasta and Vino in Barrington, NH.

It's been awhile since Sue and I had been there, and it was great. After dinner, we came back to the house for a wonderful raspberry torte that Sue had made.

03/04/19: Another Winter Storm
It started snowing Sunday night, and by Monday morning 03/04/19 it was a mess with about 8 inches.

I left a message on my neighbor's phone that I would go out and shovel the areas around the barn and car, and hoped he could come over either Monday afternoon, or Tuesday to plow the rest. I had just about finished up with my shoveling, and was really beat as the snow was pretty heavy when he called me back. He said that he would be out of commission for at least a few weeks from a recent hospital stay, and wouldn't be able to help me out.

It snowed just a little more during the night, but by Tuesday morning it was bright and sunny, though really cold. I was in no mood to go back out and wrestle with the huge piles of snow that I had created from what little clearing that I had done. I told Sue that I would just hope the sun would evaporate most of it. Good luck on that....

I had tried calling a couple of folks to plow me out, but no one was taking new customers; I was on my own. So, Wednesday afternoon I was back outside to deal with it. The snowblower didn't work the other day because the snow was just too wet. Because it had been so cold the last couple of days, I thought I'd give that another go as I was just not interested in pushing so much snow around with a shovel. Fortunately, the blower dug right in, and in just over an hour I had all of the driveway and out by the mail box cleared. Not sure what I'll do for the next storm that's supposed to roll in on Sunday....

03/09/19: Dinner At Steve and Kathy's
Even The Beau Dog was invited over to Steve and Kathy's for dinner! We loaded him into the car, and headed over to their house just after 5:00 pm. We had a really nice visit sipping wine (a nice Apothic Red Blend) while Kathy cooked dinner on her wood stove. Beau just hung out, and got lots of attention.

03/10/19: Sunday Snow
The prediction was for 5 to 8 inches of snow starting Saturday evening 03/09/19 through Sunday. And then there was a late revision that it wouldn't amount to more than an inch or so starting late morning Sunday. But there was nothing when we got up; it didn't start until around 10:30. But when it did start, it really came down heavy. Can't be much more snow coming this season....

03/16/19: Time With Mia
Sue and I picked Mia up for a few hours on Saturday morning 03/16/19. After taking her to her gymnastics class, we drove over to a local farm to see if they were sugaring yet or not.

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Though they were planning on starting later that weekend, because the temperatures hadn't been consistent enough til then, we were invited to walk around and look at the animals.

Mia had a great time patting the horses and seeing the chickens. She also had a wonderful time playing Frisbee with their farm dog Josie, who is a mini Australian Shepherd like our Beau.

03/18/19: Gail Comes To Watch Beau
Our friend Gail came over Monday evening 03/18/19 to stay for a few days to take care of Beau while Sue and I flew down to Maryland to see my brother Alan.

While I cooked up dinner, spicy shrimp and asparagus over a bed of coconut milk infused couscous with a side of sauteed squash, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and herbs, she and Sue had a nice chat in the living room with the wood stove roaring.

We didn't stay up too late because we had to be out the door at 7:30 am Tuesday morning to catch our flight out of the Manchester, NH airport.

03/19/19: Visit With Alan
Sue and I flew out of the Manchester, NH airport Tuesday morning 03/19/19 for a visit to Maryland to see my brother Alan. His son Dean picked us up at BWI and drove us up to Parkville where Alan and Abbie live in the Erickson retirement community, Oak Crest.

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Sue captured this great shot of Alan, me, and Dean at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore on Wednesday.

We had rented a room in the community so that we could be close to them. After checking in, we relaxed there for awhile as Alan was taking his afternoon nap. Around 3:45 pm Sue and I walked over to one of the wooded pond areas on campus that we love, and then strolled back to their apartment.

We had a nice visit that evening, and Alan was even up for going out with us for an Italian dinner at a local restaurant. Wednesday was packed with us drving down to Baltimore for lunch, and then take out pizza for dinner. It was hard to head off that evening, but we had an early Thursday morning flight back home.

03/22/19: Spring Snow Storm
We caught a pretty good snow storm just a few days into Spring. It was a heavy, wet storm that started out as rain and ended after dropping several inches of snow into freezing sleet.

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Welcome to Spring in New England!

Not sure how well you can see the size of the snowflakes in the picture, but they are really, really big. Welcome to Spring in New England!

03/23/19: Birthday Visit to Sue's Aunt Carol
Sue and I went up to fix lunch for her Aunt Carol Saturday 03/23/19. It was her 83rd birthday, and Sue had told her we'd come up and cook a nice dinner for her.

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Sue and her Aunt Carol.

We took Beau with us, and as soon as I pulled the car onto her street, he started to go crazy in the back seat. He knew exactly where we were. When I let him out of the car, he just bolted for the door, barking his fool head off. Too smart....

After fixing a nice pan cooked ham dinner with a side of herb sauteed carrots, we headed out around 3:00 pm and were home by just after 4:00 pm. I got a fire going in the wood stove as it was getting pretty chilly out, and that gave a nice warmth to the living room while we played a few games of backgammon

We stuffed Beau in the car around 10:00 pm, and drove up to an area that had a clear view North to see if we could get a glimpse of the Northern Lights that were supposed to be visible from this far away tonight. Unfortunately, after about 40 minutes, we hadn't seen anything, and just headed back home.

03/24/19: Connecting With Chuck
I was so happy to get a wonderful email Sunday 03/24/19 from my son Chuck. We talked on the phone Wednesday, and had some nice banter going back and forth messaging Thursday eveing while Sue and I were out at dinner celebrating our connection with him.

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Chuck's sons, Graham and Braden, his wife Denise, and him.

03/30/19: Spring Thaw on the Mountain
Well, we had some pretty warm weather over the last couple of days, and that combined with some rain has caused a lot of snow melting. Not only has this brought the deer out, but the brook has overflowed so that we're now on water front property.

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Deer foraging for food.

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Overflowed brook.

03/30/19: Pasta Dinner Party
We had our friends Steve and Kathy over for a pasta dinner party Saturday night 03/30/19. We had been talking about doing this for quite awhile. Now, with our news about Chuck coming into our lives to share, Sue set it up.

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Ready to enjoy our dinner of home made tagliatelle pasta Bolognese.

Steve and Kathy came early at 4:15 as we had wanted to spend some time with them catching up before we got all absorbed in making the fresh pasta from scratch. I had planned to eat early, but that didn't work out because I had forgotten that the pasta had to sit for a half hour before we rolled it out for cutting into nice strips of tagliatelle. But that was okay as that spread out the wine drinking and just built the anticipation of the dinner to a more heightened level!

It was a great meal as we sat down at the table and toasted to now having Chuck and his family part of our family! By the end of the evening, I was totally stuffed. That could be because I had two big helpings (I couldn't help myself) as well as feasting on Sue's terrific desert, a wonderful Sweet Lemon Ricotta With Mixed Berries.

04/03/19: Surprise April Snow
Sue and I woke up this morning to a light blanket of fresh snow. The weather services had indicated a high probability of snow for the area due to the big storm that has been churning up the southern part of the East Coast over the last couple of days.

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Looking out the bedroom window.

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The brook is still running hard and flooding the yard.

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Another picture to the right showing the house.

04/06/19: Brook Clean Out
Sue's great-nephew Ethan had come over Saturday morning 04/06/19 to look at taking down a tree for us. He determined it would require a little more experise to drop it safely, and so spent a couple of hours cleaning out the brook.

The brook had overflowed several times in the last week or so with all of the rain and snow melt. One of Ethan's main tasks was to make sure all of the leaves that had collected around and in the brook from last Fall got raked out. We had such an early winter that we hadn't been able to get all of the leaves up before the snow came.

Once he got the leaves all pulled out, he went back and raked out all of the beds along the banks. Last year there was so much growth that you wouldn't even know that there was a brook there. He used a huge blower, and really cleaned everything out.

We'll have to compare the following picture with one this summer to see the difference.

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Cleaned out brook ready for Spring growth to start!

04/07/19: Sunday Event 1 — Mia Gymnastics Event
Sue and I headed off Saturday morning 07/07/19 to see Mia in her gymnastics event in Dover.

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04/07/19: Sunday Event 2 — Tree Removal
Sue's great-nephew Ethan came back with his friend John 04/07/19 to remove a tree for us.

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I was amazed with the process. John said that the tough part was thowing the line up into the tree to loop around a branch that he would use to climb. But he hit it on the second throw, and was springing up the side of the tree in no time! He was up there for about an hour until he had it down to about 20 feet. He and Ethan cut it around the base, and dropped it right where John said it would go. Done!

04/07/19: Sunday Event 3 — Marvelous Dinner Party For Two
For our Sunday Dinner Party For Two 04/07/19, I fixed a wonderful Italian Hunters Chicken in Rosemary. There was a damp chill in the air driven by a brisk winds that sometimes became quite strong.

But with the wood stove going, we enjoyed a glass of wine in the living room while playing several sets (3 games a set) of backgammon before moving into the kitchen. Food prep time went smoothly, and we sat down to eat just after 7:00 pm.

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04/09/19: Yet Another Snow Storm
This has been quite the Spring! And it's Tuesday the 9th, well into April.

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Sue caught this side of the house during the early start of the storm while heading out to walk Beau in the woods.

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I took this shot just about an hour later.

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And this one an hour or so after that, and you can see the difference in how the storm has gotten subtly worse.

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But what a change Sue caught when she went out to walk Beau Wednesday morning 04/10.

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Just spectacularly beautiful. How great is it to live up here! Love it!

04/13/19: Dinner Out to Celebrate Colin's Birthday
Sue and I took Colin out to dinner for his birthday 04/13/19 to the local 110 Grille. We had a great visit, as well as good food, and service by our server Linda, who made a special effort to make sure Colin had a good time.

Colin's brother, Chuck, had sent the following picture to Colin on his birthday. He was having a meeting with business associates, and they all toasted to his birthday.

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Chuck holding up the "Happy Birthday Colin" sign.

Our small gift to Colin was a custom designed plaque that we were so proud to give to him. He'll be finishing up his Firefighter II certification class in just a few more weeks!

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04/14/19: My Brother Alan's Passing
My brother Alan was taken into the hospice center Saturday the 13th after his health took a very sudden, and severe turn for the worse. By Sunday afternoon, it was clear that his time had run out. I was able to say goodbye to him as his son Scott held his phone to his ear. He passed peacefully just before 6:00 pm.

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Picture of Alan 02/03/19 taken just after he had been "sprung" from rehab.

You are loved, Bro, and you will be missed....

04/18/19: To Baltimore for Alan's Funeral
Sue and I flew to Baltimore Thursday 04/18/19 to attend my brother Alan's funeral. Although the service wasn't until Saturday 04/20, we decided to fly in on Thursday the 18th in order to avoid the severe weather that was predicted for Friday. I'm really glad we did it that way because Friday was a stormy, and very windy day.

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The wake, as well as the funeral service itself, was held at St. Jogues Church on Old Harford Road in Parkville, MD. Saturday morning. Mary Liz did such a super job of orchestrating the service. She had worked with Alan as his health had failed to meet his wishes for a simple, but joyous celebration rather than a somber service.

Saturday was a beautiful day, with a gentile breeze rustling through the just budding branches of the trees, as everyone made their way to their cars after the service concluded, heading over to the Pappas Restaurant & Sports Bar, not far away in Parkville, MD. for a gathering of family and close friends.

We flew home Sunday morning, pulling into our driveway just after 11:00 am. Easter Sunday dinner was just oven baked chicken pot pie, and a glass of wine. I was a saddened because it was my brother's favorite day of the year, Easter Sunday. We toasted to him, and headed to bed early as we were both physically and emotionally beat.

You are loved, Bro, and you will be missed....

04/21/19: Spring Has Finally Sprung!
When we arrived home from the airport today we saw that many of Sue's daffodils had started to poke themselves up through the ground. Spring has finally sprung on the mountain!

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Welcome Spring!

And here's The Beau Dog totally mortified that he has been "foo-foo-fied" after Sue took him to the groomer for his annual Spring shampoo, and trim.

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The Beau "foo-foo-fied."

04/25/19: Chuck and Denise Visit
My son Chuck and his wife Denise arrived late Thursday afternoon 04/25/19 for what would be a wonderful 4 day visit.

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Denise, Sue, me, and Chuck.

Sue fixed such a great meal for Thursday evening's dinner, and then we had a busy day Friday looking through many of the albums of pictures that I knew Chuck would want to see. That evening, we all drove over to Marissa and Gary's to meet up with them and Colin for pizza and beer.

We drove them up to Wolfeboro Saturday for lunch at The Wolfe's Tavern, and back home for just relaxing and talking until we had dinner around 7:30.

After breakfast Sunday morning, Sue and Denise took Beau for a hike up Pine Mountain in Alton, NH, while Chuck and I had some really good discussions in the living room while sipping our coffee. They headed back to the airport for their flight home around 2:00 pm Monday afternoon. We had just the best time, and hope to see them again soon.

05/03/19: In The Fog Again
Woke up to yet another day of dense fog on the mountain.

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05/05/19: Sunday Dinner For Two in 2 Places!
It seems that both Sue and I, and Chuck and Denise both celebrated Sunday 05/05/19 with having Dinner For Two parties!

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Poem written by Sue that she superimposed onto a picture of newly blooming daffodils that she sent to Chuck and Denise.

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Me doing prep work in New Durham, NH

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Chuck and Denise doing prep work in Yorkville, IL

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Chuck relaxing after dinner.

05/08/19: Dinner and Concert in Manchester
Our friend Kathy watched Beau while Sue and I went off for the day to Manchester. Sue had a couple of stops at the mall to make, and then we went to Ignite Bar and Grille on Hanover Street for dinner.

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An exhausted Beau Dog stretched out on the floor at Kathy's

Ignite was really good. We enjoyed the food, as well as the overall atmosphere there. But the real purpose that we came over to Manchester was so that we could attend a Jim Brickman concert at The Palace Theater on Hanover Street.

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Sue got this neat shot of the Palace Theater marquee.

Brickman is such a wonderful entertainer. He's so relaxed and engaged with the audience that it's almost like everyone sitting around in the living room with him, enjoying the evening together. And his music just brought tears to both of us.

05/12/19: Mother's Day
Sue and I started off Mother's Day 05/12/19 taking Beau up Pine Mountain for a hike.

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It was a little overcast, but we just enjoy walking up there, and seeing the spectacular views. Beau loves it as well, and we enjoy watching him blasting up the trail ahead of us, and then back, and then back up the trail, and then back to us, and then....

When we got back to the house, Sue just had a ball working on some of her projects until it was time to pop open the wine, and start the party!

I had bought a nice bottle of Cabernet that went absolutely spectacular with the oven baked ham that I made for dinner. Of course, it wasn't just any baked ham! I made a complex Dijon mustard based sauce with different spices and herbs, oh, and a dash of dry sherry and some other things I can't remember because I was just having the best time.

Just before we had started dinner prep work, I received a couple of pictures from Chuck of he and Denise at his mom Kathy's grave that he had located not far from where they live. It was a pretty emotional period while we all took it in. They can be seen by following the above link.

05/13/19: Gramps Takes Mia To Lunch
I had a chance to take Mia to her gymnastics class this morning, Monday 05/13/19. I told her that if she 'listened to words', and did what the instructors told her to do, then I'd take her out to lunch. She was terrific, and so off we went for 'hammaburglers'!

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05/14/19: Snow Sprinkles in May!
We woke up this morning to just the faintest of snow sprinkles. It was really chilly last night, and the weather forecast said that we might get some snow. We did, but there were pictures of many inches of wet snow falling in the Western part of the state. Fire in the wood stove tonight! *** copy details from chucks weather image in downloads *** indicate wine and fire night as the fog and chilling drizzle envelop the mountain

05/15/19: Beau to Training and Marissa Lacrosse Game
Sue and I took 'The Beau Dog' up to Wolfeboro Wednesday morning 05/15/19 for his 3rd training session with Sarah. What a difference in him since our first visit. Sarah has been so very helpful in showing us exact things to do to help Beau out of his anxiety. Few more sessions and he'll be all set!

Then, we left here at 4:30 pm to head to Spaulding High School in Rochester for Marissa's season ending lacrosse game. We wanted to get there before the game because it was Senior Night, and we wanted to hear some of the things that Marissa's lacrosse students had to say at the presentation. Marissa is the head lacrosse coach, and she was losing 9 of her graduating players, so this was a big event.

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We all enjoyed watching the game, but man was it chilly in the stands! I had 4 layers on, and still could feel the sharpness in the air. And this is May? Really?

We stopped off on the way home, and grabbed KFC in Rochester. We had most of that eaten before we rolled into the driveway! Beau was spastic to see us. It's nice to have that much excitement about just coming home, but this is one of the 'anxiety' issues we're trying to help him overcome.

Because it was pushing 8:00 pm, I decided not to light a fire in the wood stove. That was a mistake. I don't think either of us warmed up even after we turned in for the night around 10:00 pm, tired and chilled.

Before heading up to bed, we got into a texting exchange with Chuck and Denise. Chuck had a really busy day, and they just decided to go out to dinner and relax. He sent us the following picture of them toasting us!

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05/18/19: Full Moon
Sue got this great shot of the full moon 05/18/19.

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05/22/19: Sue Helps Place Flags on Veterans Graves
Sue took Beau out with her Wednesday 02/22/19 to help her friend Kathy place flags on local veterans graves in celebration of the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

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05/22/19: Celebrating Colin's Fire Fighter 2
Sue and I had Colin up for pizza Wednesday night 05/22/19 to celebrate his Fire Fighter 2.

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05/24/19: Memorial Day Weekend
We had a relaxing Memorial Day Weekend celebration. We started off Friday with a kick off spaghetti dinner with wine and garlic bread. Saturday was so nice and cool that, after taking Beau for a walk in the woods, we spent several hours organizing things out in the barn.

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Kayaking on Brindle Pond

Sunday, we had our friend Kathy over for dinner as her husband Steve had to leave for a few days to see his mother. And Monday, Memorial Day, after Sue got back from walking Beau, we headed off for our Annual Memorial Day Weekend Kayaking Adventure.

06/02/19: Sunday Dinner Party For Two
It was a pretty chilly weekend entry into June. The sun had been warming, but as soon as you got out of that you could feel just the slightest of bites to the gentle breezes that swept through the trees.

By Sunday afternoon 06/02/19 I even got a fire going in the wood stove to take the edge out of the air as we sat down in the living room for some backgammon to preface our Sunday Dinner Party For Two.

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Sue, as long haul trucker Sally, growling at me that she's going to hang onto her current 8 point lead.

Around 5:00 pm, I put an Enya CD into the player and headed for the kitchen to start with the food prep. Sue perched into the window seat, and we chatted while I chopped and readied everything for the eventual cooking part.

I was just about through the prep work when a hard rain storm thundered down on us, scaring the crap out of Beau Dog who came flying into the kitchen. He parked himself right in my high traffic area by the sink that I had to constantly step around his quivering body.

After dinner, Sue and I watched the really engaging 2018 movie, Alpha, with the last of the wood burning down in the wood stove as the rain continued to pour down.

06/06/19: Mia Graduates From Pre-School!
Good going, Mia!!!

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06/09/19: Mia Comes Over For The Weekend
Sue and I drove over to Marissa's house Sunday morning 06/09/19 to pick Mia up for a weekend visit. Today is Marissa's 30th birthday (Happy Birthday, Sweetie!!!), and she had asked if we could watch Mia for a couple of days while they took a vacation down to Mohegan Sun. The first thing we did after picking her up at 8:00am was to drive up to Pine Mountain in Alton for a hike!

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Mia on top of Pine Mountain overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee

After the hike, Mia helped Sue in the garden, and then took a nap. After getting up, she and Sue finished watering the garden, and then Mia helped me grill some steaks out by the barn.

Monday morning Sue drove us over to the The Farmington Recreational Rail-Trail. She had told Mia that it was just a short hike from one of the entry points to a beautiful waterfall, and Mia was excited to check it out. So was I! After lunch and then her nap, we had a dinner of grilled hot dogs out in the screen porch. Mia wasn't hearing the hot dogs for some reason, so Sue fixed her some macaroni and cheese.

Mia gathered up all her things, and then I drove her back home and waited until Marissa and Gary got home. I suspect Mia slept really well that night! It had been a joy to have her with us. Sue and I were just thrilled that we had the opportunity to not only hang out with Mia, but to also help Marissa out so she could have a great 30th Birthday celebration.

06/12/19: Hugh Finally Caught!
It's too bad, but we just had to catch Hugh Pine, our resident porcupine. He had been with us since we bought the house, but since getting The Beau Dog we've been trying to catch him.

Well, Wednesday morning 06/12/19 when we got up there was Hugh caught in the trap. And, man, was he pissed off! I called Todd, our animal control person, and came later that day to get him.

But he left another trap because last Fall we had noticed that Hugh had a buddy. And sure enough, the next day we caught another porcupine. But it was small, not big like Hugh.

So when Todd came to collect him up, he left another trap because sure as shit there's another one lurking around here somewhere. In no way do we want to have Beau run into a porcupine. Gotta get him.

06/13/19: Birthday Play and Dinner
For my upcoming birthday, Sue took me out Thursday 06/13/19 to a play and then dinner in Meredith, NH.

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Sue and I toasting to both my upcoming birthday, but what would have also been my brother Alan's 89th birthday.

After the play, On Golden Pond, I had suggested that we try Lago, an Italian restaurant that's part of the Common Man family of restaurants. What a great experience we had. Because we got there around 4:30, and they didn't open the dining room until 5:00, the hostess suggested that we go into the bar. The decor is beautiful everywhere, very comfortable and strongly Italian in motif.

06/14/19: Great Birthday Weekend
Friday night 06/14/19 of my 70th birthday weekend was just really relaxing. The weather was so nice that Sue and I went out into the screen porch to start the weekend off with some backgammon. We had so much fun that we played right through while we ate pizza for dinner.

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Though sore from my landscaping adventures Saturday, I pulled myself out of bed around 7:30 am Sunday morning. Sue fixed a really nice breakfast of eggs, sausage, and fresh made lemon muffins she had just baked that morning. That was a great start to my birthday! She cut me loose for the day, only cautioning me to: "...be at the door ready to leave in the car at 1:00 pm." When I questioned what's up, her reply was that it was none of my business, and to just be at the door ready to go.

At 1:15 pm we were out the door, and in the car on the way to what turned out to be a lovely party at Marissa's. Colin arrived shortly after we got there, and Mia snatched him up to go see her room as fast as she had grabbed Sue's hand and did the same to her when we had just barely walked in through the door.

After dinner we all went into the sitting room. Marissa brought out a platter of cupcakes she had made, and just as Mia and I were getting ready to blow out the candle, Marissa got Chuck and Denise on a video call. How great was that! And we got to see both Graham and his girl friend Julie, and Braden.

06/22/19: Yard Sale!
Sue has been putting together stuff for a yard sale so we can try to thin out the barn. We did a good job last Fall cleaning out a lot, but there is still way too much in there. We figured that we'd tag onto the New Durham Town Wide Yard Sale today, and see what else we could eliminate. After that, I think whatever is left goes to the dump...

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06/22/19: Chuck Visits
Sue and I were so happy to have Chuck come Saturday 06/22/19 to visit with us for a whole week!

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Chuck taking a picture of us at Walters Basin Restaurant in Holderness, NH.

He had decided to drive out, and said that the 2 day trip was just spectacular. The first day was the long one at about 11 hours, stopping for the night in Syracuse, NY. But that only left him about 6 hours, and he was so taken with the beauty coming across Vermont and into New Hampshire.

He arrived at our house just before 4:00 pm, once again to Beau acting like the Huns had just crested the ridge. He was awful for about 5 minutes, and then just wandered around after that, even sitting blandly on the floor next to Chuck out on the screen porch.

His original return date was supposed to be the 29th, but he stayed through until the 2nd of July. He was able to attend Mia's 4th Birthday party on the 23rd, and then for his own birthday on Friday the 28th. Marissa organized a great trip out to dinner at The Ferry Landing on the river in Portsmouth that Friday, and we all ended up closing the night out at Castaways in Dover.

He spent one full day with Colin and another with just Marissa, and had a great time with them, and getting to know them on that so important one-on-one basis. And while he was here, he got to meet Lucas and Rachel who had flown in from L.A. It was a busy time for us all, but so rewarding.

06/23/19: Mia 4th Birthday Party
Sue and I headed over to Marissa's for Mia's 4th Birthday party Sunday 06/23/19.

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Mia's 4th Birthday Party at Marissa's house.

We got there just before noon, and most of the folks had already arrived. There were some little ones that Mia played with, and she seemed to have a good time with minimal meltdowns. She was all over the place.

Though clear and sunny, the wind was really blowing. But that kept the heat down, and there were nice places to hide from it under the trees. Quite a few of the kids and some of the adults took advantage of the raised pool, and splashed around most of the afternoon.

06/26/19: Lucas Comes For Visit!
After dropping Beau off with Cathy Wednesday 06/26/19, Sue and I headed out to pick Lucas up at the airport for a several week visit. Though that was our ultimate destination, his flight wasn't arriving at Logan International Airport in Boston, MA until 8:30 pm from L.A., we had decided to leave in the early afternoon to take a nice drive down along the coast, winding our way into Massachusetts. Once we got to the coast, however, we ran into a pretty thick fog.

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Fogged in along the coast on the way to Boston Logan airport to pick up Lucas.

06/27/19: Road Trip Around Lake Winnipesaukee
Thursday 06/27/19 Chuck and I took a leisurely drive in his Audi around Lake Winnipesaukee (read full discussion of his visit). We drove up the west shore through Alton Bay, Gilford, and down to see the Wiers Beach area. Since we were running just a little behind, we just drove through Meredith, and on toward Holderness, stopping at Walters Basin Restaurant for lunch. We got such a great table overlooking Squam Lake that we just sat there for well over an hour enjoying the views and just chatting.

06/28/19: Birthday Gathering for Chuck in Portsmouth
Friday 06/28/19 was Chuck's 50th birthday, and Colin and Marissa had organized a night out in Portsmouth at the Ferry Landing (read full discussion of his visit). Super surprise for Chuck, and us as we didn't know about it, was that Marissa had been conspiring with Chuck's wife Denise to fly out Friday morning from Illinois to be with him on his birthday. So, while we were sitting out on the deck at the Ferry Landing, in she walks! He was speechless for sure.

07/01/19: Chuck Heads Back to Illinois
When Chuck came over Monday morning, 07/01/19, he met Rachel who had come over Sunday with Lucas. Sue fixed a great late breakfast of fresh homemade lemon muffins with fried eggs over Rainbow Swiss Chard. We all enjoyed just sitting out on the screen porch chatting over a couple of cups of perked coffee. But, Chuck and I had work to do in the library, and so we disappeared until 4:00 pm.

While Sue and the kids chatted for awhile out on the porch, Chuck and I went into the library for our work. We had - well, I thought we had - a wonderful, though busy, discussion. But at 4:00 pm it was time to "Raise The Flag", as my brother Alan used to say, and get on with the party that we had planned for Chuck's final dinner with us before heading home in the morning (read full discussion of his visit).

I had bought a couple more bottles of the Revolution Cabernet-Merlot blend that we had enjoyed the first night Chuck had been with us, and popped one of those open. We just sat out on the porch and enjoyed the wonderful weather, sipping the wine and munching on some snacks that Sue had put out. Sue and I raised our glasses in celebration of our final dinner with him for this visit.

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Toasting to our final dinner for this visit.

We all transferred into the kitchen at 5:30 so I could get going with dinner prep work. I didn't have too much to do as far as chopping, but the recipe did have a lot of moving parts and steps. Doesn't seem to matter what I cook, could be boiling water, but it always takes me an hour and a half, even the complex meals.

After dinner, Chuck hadn't seen the wonderful 2000 Ed Harris movie, Pollock. We didn't get that late a start on it, but I keep forgetting how long it is; Chuck didn't get out the door until after 11:00 pm to head for Marissa's to sleep.

We said our final good-bys out on the walkway after gazing up into the star studded dark sky that we so much enjoy. And then he was off.

Tuesday morning, I texted him: "Happy trails to you, until we meet again... — Roy"

07/04/19: 4th of July
While Lucas worked, Sue and I took Beau up to Ossipee to visit with Sue's aunt Carol. We stopped along the way and got her favorite lunch: a lobster roll. She loved it! And she spoiled Beau to death with all the treats that she gave him.

We took Route 16 going up there, and it was so slow. Not sure what the issue was, but traffic was awful until we got about to Union when it just opened up. But we weren't taking any chances on that coming back. We came down through Tuftonboro along Route 109a, which I think is just one of the prettiest winding roads around.

When we got home, we sat out on the screen porch with the fan going full blast as it was probably in the low 90s and very humid. Very uncomfortable. We played several sets of backgammon until I went in to fix dinner for the 3 of us. Just simple 4th of July stuff: sausage dogs on buns with a side of beans. Yes, of course, I had to mess with the beans, but they came out really good.

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Deer visits us!

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Fire Lillies in bloom!

07/06/19: Dinner Party With Lucas and Rachel
Saturday 07/06/19 Rachel was back with us, and I fixed an interesting Italian Lemon Chicken cooked in a sauce of capers, onions, oregano, fresh basil, diced herb tomatoes served over a bed of basil infused egg noodles with a side of sauteed asparagus, onions, ginger root, sweet red pepper, oregano, and water chestnuts. The bottle of Revolution Chardonnay that I opened really paired well with the meal. Great time.

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After dinner Saturday 07/06/19, Sue kept peeking out of the window at the tree line as dusk began to settle over the mountain. Finally, she couldn't take it anymore and announced that she just had to get up to the ridge to get some pictures of the sunset. Off we went, and glad we did as you can judge for yourself at the series of sunset pictures that she got.

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Summer sunset over the ridge.

07/07/19: Sunday Kayaking and Cookout
We were all up and moving around fairly early Sunday morning 07/07/19. Sue fixed a wonderful quiche for breakfast, and then Lucas and Rachel were off for Westerly, RI for a couple days with Lucas' sister Jill.

It was such a beautiful day that we decided we'd give our friends Steve and Cathy a shout to see if they wanted to join us on a Sunday kayaking adventure. While Sue took The Beau Dog for a short walk, I got the kayaks, and all the assorted gear out into the driveway so we could leave when she got back.

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Ready to load all the gear to go kayaking.

We had such a great time, that we invited Steve and Cathy over for a summer cook out. Got the grill fired up, and we just had a really nice visit and meal.

07/08/19: Chuck's Job Search Intensifies
This is Chuck Looking for a new job....

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He said: "So, I had planned on getting 'a lot' of shit done today... but it's 78 and sunny..."

I replied simply: "Think of this: when you're retired, you don't have to give a shit and can do whatever you want, whenever you want."

07/12/19: Fire Lillies in Full Bloom!
Sue told me to check out the Fire lillies out front. They were spectacular, fully bloomed and swaying in the warm breeze.

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07/13/19: Strawberry Picking
It was supposed to get really hot and muggy today, and so we wanted to get an early start. Overall, the weather has been great for Sue's vegetable gardens by the barn. I got this picture of them as Sue was heading out to take Beau for a walk.

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We've got vegetables!

After Sue got back from walking Beau, we hopped into the car to go pick fresh strawberries at Butternut Farm in Farmington, NH. We really like Butternut, and come here several times a year for different harvests. Even though we got here fairly early, the strawberry fields were busy.

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Picture of Sue way in the distance picking her way up the rows.

07/14/19: Visit With Carol and Everly Birthday Party
Sue and I left mid morning Sunday 07/14/19 for a quick visit with her aunt Carol, and then over to her niece Allison's daughter Everly's 3rd birthday party.

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Everyone gathered around to watch Everly open her presents.

When we got back home, there was a lovely picture Scott had sent with him, Mary Liz, and Austin celebrating with his mom for her 89th birthday at a local restaurant.

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Happy 89th, Abbie!!!

07/15/19: Busy Monday!
Before it got hot Monday 07/15/19, Sue took Lucas and Beau over to hike up Blue Job in Farmington, NH.

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Lucas and Beau resting at the foot of the Blue Job Fire Tower Trail.

Unfortunately, just as they got home, Sue received a call that her aunt Carol had been taken to the emergency room at Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro. So, we jumped in the car, and headed up to see how she was. Fortunately, it was dehydration and some excessive back pain, and after she was released, we drove her back home.

We got back to our house about 5:00 pm, and I got started fairly soon after that doing prep work on dinner. Of course, that was after popping open a bottle of wine, and getting some tunes going!

I did an off the cuff sweet sausage, and asparagus stir fry with fresh savory sprigs, onion slices, and garlic over a bed of basil infused brown rice. Came out just great. We finished off the evening, and the wine, with the 2014 Tom Clancy movie, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

Tuesday 07/16/19 after Lucas finished up some of his work that needed to be done before he leaves tomorrow, we had a great dinner of the specialty meatloaf that Sue had put together earlier. She finished off things with an angel food cake covered in the fresh strawberries we had picked earlier in the week. Another Tom Clancy movie, the really well done 1992, Patriot Games.

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Lucas working in his NH office.

07/17/19: Lucas Heads Back To L.A.
Wednesday 07/16/19 Sue and I drove Lucas down to Logan for his flight back out to L.A. What a great visit it had been!

Traffic going down and returning home was heavy, as expected. It was good to get back home to the "Happy Doggie Dance". But we were so beat that it wasn't long after watching just a little tv that we headed for bed.

07/19/19: Kayaking Gilman Pond
Though it was going to be pretty hot today, Friday 07/19/19, it supposed to be far worse over the next few days. We decided that today was better for a kayaking trip up on Gilman Pond than waiting.

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Kayaking on Gilman Pond

I got up early (well, early for a Retired F.O.P.), and while Sue was out walking Beau, I hopped on the rider mower and got the grass cut. She pulled in just as I was finishing up, so together we got the gear out, and loaded the kayaks onto my car. We were on the water by around 11:00 am, but it did get so hot that we packed back up and headed home just after 1:30 pm.

After showering up, we sat out on the screened porch, and played some backgammon. Just a pizza and wine for dinner that we enjoyed as the day light began to get filtered out as it began to arch down toward the tree line. While we were watching a movie, Sue stood up on the sofa to check the light out. She hopped down, and proclaimed the need to head to the ridge for pictures. Beau and I scrambled to get the car pulled out as she grabbed her camera. She got some really neat shots.

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Sunset over the ridge.

07/20/19: Nora Visits
Our friend Nora came over for a visit and dinner Saturday afternoon 07/20/19. It was such a hot and humid day that even sitting out in the screen porch with the fan going full blast did little to relieve us from the heat.

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Nora and Sue out in the screen porch with Beau.

Nora had brought a really nice bottle of The Prisoner 2015 Red (Napa Valley). It went so good with the Port Salut cheese that Sue had brought out for us. And the longer it breathed, the better the flavors came out.

One of the wine reviews that I read on it had given it a score of 88, and the rather complicated description of: "The famous blend combines Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Charbono, many of the grapes from sites well-known for growing mixed blacks, the wine's inspiration. Wildly feral on the nose, it imparts a baked essence to the fruit in addition to rustic compost, tobacco and game. Thick and rich, it delivers on its style, showing a robust, sweetly ripe tone of chocolate and vanilla."

Really? All that? Sure, listen: it was a really nice wine that we totally enjoyed.

It wasn't long though before I had to start the food prep. I had bought an inexpensive bottle of Spanish Rioja to go with the meal that I was cooking. When I told Nora and Sue, they, of course, wanted to know what was for dinner.

Well, that was my surprise for us all. Nora was my neighbor when I lived in Dover, and it was her who introduced Sue to me back in 2010. In fact, on Sunday 03/21/10, a beautiful Spring evening, I was sipping a Spanish Rioja, and listening to my new CD of Beethoven's Andante favori in F major, played - er, rather that would be 'looped' — too many times and at a volume probably not conducive to building good neighbor relations as I cooked dinner for my weekly Peter's Sunday Dinner Party For One.

Then "...suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. 'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, 'tapping at my chamber door— Only this and nothing more.'" Well, it wasn't Poe, but it was Nora!

"Got any wine for me and Sue?" she said as I swung the door open. "We've been out to Castaways, and figured you'd have something going on." What a great surprise, and I stuffed glasses of wine into their hands as they joined me in the kitchen. While I continued prepping for dinner, we chatted and I got to know Sue. I was, of course, smitten. Little did I know that we'd be married 7 years later!

Anyway, I had tumbled onto an interesting recipe in Food and Wine magazine earlier in the week that I had decided on right then would be an excellent challenge for me. It was a spicy Thai recipe that I could not, of course, leave alone. And well that I didn't as it would not have been as good. Or so I think, anyway. We were just having the greatest of time. I popped open another bottle of Rioja, and insisted they stay for dinner. What a great party, and the start of a wonderful relationship with Sue.

So, flashing forward from that story in 2010 to tonight in 2019, I was cooking pretty much that same meal for us as that night. I say 'pretty much that same meal' because even though I had a recipe in 2010, I didn't keep it, nor did I specifically follow it then. So tonight I was winging it again with only my general description that I wrote out on my web entry for that evening; that's all I had to go on.

That description went something like this: "I marinated thin strips of sirloin in a sherry and herb mix while I cut up the vegetables and got the rice cooking - a great resulting Basmati in a broth of cumin, coriander, paprika, marjoram, and who knows what all else. After getting a good base of garlic and fresh ginger root going in the wok, I stir fried onion rings and sweet red pepper. Then I dumped in the sirloin with a can of peas and let that cook for just a minute or so before stirring in the rice. Then there was some sauce to pour in, and then the finale was to throw in almost a whole head of kale and let that steam together."

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Dinner is almost ready!

We had just as good of a time this evening as we did back in 2010! We should celebrate that again for sure!

07/25/19: Visit to Chuck's
Sue and I flew out of Logan Thursday 07/25/19 for a 4 day trip to see Chuck and Denise.

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The whole crew at Naperville's Riverwalk area! Me, Braden, Denise, Sue, and Chuck.

We had a great time, and the weather was spectacular for the whole visit. I got to meet my 26 year old grandson, Braden, and we all had a nice video chat with my other grandson, Graham, who lives out in Santa Barbara, CA.

While there, we visited nearby Naperville's Riverwalk area, drove into Chicago, saw its Riverwalk area, visited The Bean, and took a nostalgic walk down to the lake front to the Columbia Yacht Club where my dad and I sailed our racing dingy out of when I was a kid, and went on a sunset picture taking adventure with Sue.

We had some wonderful food, great wines, and just a super time!

08/02/19: Dinner Party
We invited our friends Steve and Cathy over for a special birthday dinner party for Steve Friday evening 08/02/19.

I had just opened a bottle of Chardonnay 5 minutes before they arrived. Great timing! Steve had also brought a bottle of Chardonnay, and we popped that open when I started cooking.

Ever since I watched Denise prepare that risotto dish when we were out visiting them, I wanted to give it another try. I've attempted to fix it several times, and not so good.... I mean, how tough could this be?

Well, no one had told me to use Italian Arborio rice for one. What a difference that made. Duh... And then I had made it before with just water sprinkled with herbs. Denise suggested that I use chicken stock, and... well, what a difference. I sauteed up some mushrooms and onions in the skillet before putting in the rice. And then just kept adding the stock, not quite letting the liquid fully absorb before adding more stock. Simple.

Also for dinner that night, Denise had made a baked salmon as well as quick skillet sauteed shrimp. I'm not a salmon fan, but love shrimp and so I did her shrimp dish — yes, yes... with some of my own flair, adding lots of fresh basil from our garden, for example. Well, both dishes, along with a side of sauteed squash, cherry tomatoes, and onion seasoned with random herbs, came out great. Nice party. Happy Birthday, Steve!

08/03/19: Mia Comes For a Sleepover
Sue and I took Beau with us and made a run down to Marissa's to pick Mia up Saturday morning 08/03/19 at 9:00 am for a sleepover.

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Sue helping Mia make a bead bracelet.

Sue had suggested on the spur of the moment a couple of days before that it would be fun to have Mia for the weekend. When I asked Marissa to ask Mia about that, she was all for it.

Our plan was to take Mia on a hike up Blue Job before heading home. However, about half way up the weather started to turn. We got caught in a huge downpour just as we were getting to the car. Everyone was soaked, but certainly happy. Sue had Mia busy all day Saturday until her uncle Colin came over to join us for dinner.

Sunday, she was up early because she could hardly wait to have 'Gram Sue's pancakes'. At 9:30 am, I drove her down to meet up with Marissa and Gary as they were all going out on the boat. We had a great visit with her, and hope to do it again soon before she goes back to school.

08/04/19: Short Kayak Trip On The Merrymeeting River
Sue had been itching for days to get back out on the water, and so after dropping Mia off at home Sunday morning, we loaded the kayaks onto the top of my car, and headed off for a couple of hours on the Merrymetting River.

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Fields of beautiful wild blue pickerel water plants lined the sides of the river.

08/10/19: Night Out in Portland, ME
Our friends Steve and Cathy joined us for a great adventure to Portland, ME Saturday night 08/10/19 to see Cirque du Sole, Crystal, at the Cross Arena on Spring Street, and then dinner at the Tiqa Pan Mediterranean Restaurant just off the Olde Port area.

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Dinner outside at Tiqa just off the Olde Port in Portland, ME

Cirque was, as always, spectacular, and the food at Tiqa was terrific! While everyone else had fish, I had to try the Beef Tenderloin Kebabs. Sooo tender, and over the nicest bed of soft jasmine rice and large button mushroom slices.

08/11/19: Pneumonia Puts Me Down...
I had started feeling a little weak early Saturday 08/10/19, and by the time we sat down for dinner at Tiqa in Portland, ME that evening I knew something was up. I had a nice meal, just one glass of wine, and jumped into bed as soon as we got home.

But as soon as I got up Sunday morning, I knew this was different. I was so weak, and my throat was on fire. I asked Sue to get me over to the local ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care in Alton. We initially thought it might be strep throat, but those tests came back negative. Instead, it was worse: pneumonia. Terrific.

I waited in the car while Sue went into the pharmacy to load me up on meds, and then fell back into bed as soon as we got home. I was a hurtin' unit for a few days for sure. Nothing to fool with. I took the advice to heart: lots of rest for at least a week, probably more, and stay hydrated. The threat was if my symptoms worsened that I was to get to the hospital immediately.

That threat was reinforced by a black belt student of mine, Cindy House, who is a nurse at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. I wrote to her husband, Tim that: "...in no f'n way will I succumb to this shit to end up in some remote hospital on the barren steeps of Portsmouth to feel the steely ice pick finger of hers under my jaw, and the quiet but piercing voice whispering in my ear, 'Is it safe?', to bring images of Lawrence Oliver in Marathon Man. HARK! He has risen and will not be needing any hospital per her comment: 'You are to mean for pneumonia to live within your body.'"

It wasn't until Thursday that I felt some of the weakness lift, though spitting up bloody phlegm every 10 minutes had seemed to resolve itself the day before, just leaving me with chest pains from the congestion in my lungs. Nothing to mess with....

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Sue took this picture of me sprawled on the sofa keeping my feet warm with the pair of sailing sox Chuck had given to me on his first visit out. I thought they were appropriate for the occasion....

Any rapid recovery that I experienced can only be attributed to not only following those guidelines, but also applying breathing and meditative techniques from my martial arts training. Stuff works.

08/16/19: Marion Visit
Sue's cousin Marion had flown up from North Carolina last weekend, and had been staying with Sue's brother Alan, and family. Sue picked her up Friday 08/16/19 and brought her down to the house to spend the night, and then run her over to the airport in Manchester for her flight back Saturday afternoon.

I was still pretty much under the weather, and a lousy host. But Sue had a nice visit with her, catching up on the past years as it had been 07/01/12 since she and her husband John had visited when we lived in Dover.

Since I was so sick I hadn't been able to cut the grass in over a week, and it was getting pretty out of control. Sue called her cousin Ethan, and he came down Saturday with his daughters to cut it for us. We didn't think he'd make it because of the heavy rain overnight, but that didn't stop him! Thanks so much, Ethan!

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Ethan helping cut the grass.

08/19/19: To Hospital For X-Rays
Monday 08/19/19 my doctor called on how I was doing. Though better, I was still running a slight fever, and coughing a little too much for him. Sue drove me down to the hospital for chest x-rays, and the results came back Tuesday that I was fine.

But the advice was this would take me awhile to get through, and I was to take it easy and stay really hydrated. I'm just thankful that I hadn't ended up in the hospital as so many others were. Stuff is bad....

I spent most of the rest of the week either sleeping, or propped up in the rocker out on the porch listening to the little birdies. That was pretty much the extent of my energy, though toward the end of the week, I was catching up with a few books I had wanted to go through. Thursday I forced myself to sit at the desk and pay bills, and balance accounts. But that did me in; I was soooo tired.

08/27/19: Sue and Mia's Girl's Day At The Lake
So, today, Tuesday the 27th, I'm 17 days into this pneumonia struggle and still had to take a nap mid day. Still not feeling well, I stayed home while Sue had a "girls day at the lake" with Mia. She snatched her up around noon, and they drove up to Ossipee to her brother's family camp on the lake.

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Mia on the dock at camp.

08/29/19: Theater and Dinner in Meredith
Got up this morning and felt better than yesterday, so I was encouraged by that. I just took it easy out on the porch reading until Sue loaded me into the car after lunch. We swung by Cathy and Steve's to drop The Beau Dog off for the day while we continued on to Meredith, NH to see the play California Suite, and then dinner at Lago.

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View South from Lago in Meredith, NH of Lake Winnipesaukee.

We had 2:00 pm tickets for the play. Neither of us had seen it before, and are both Neil Simon fans, so we were excited to check it out.

After the play, we headed over to Lago for dinner, and had just the best meals, and time.

08/30/19: New Bookstore in Lee, NH
Friday, 08/30/19, Sue stuffed me into the car for a drive out to Lee, NH. She had seen an ad in one of the local papers for a new bookstore out in Lee, NH, and we were both intrigued.

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One of the aisles at Avenue Victor Hugo Books, Lee, NH.

On the way, we stopped Merritt Chiropractic in Durham. We both needed adjustments, and Dr. Merritt fixed us right up. Since it was just after noon time, we decided to have lunch at the Thai Smile-2 right around the corner on Jenkins Court. From there, we headed over to Lee.

We wanted to check it out as Avenue Victor Hugo Books had just located there last September from many, many years (since 1975) in Boston, MA. Sue wondered if her son, Lucas, who had gone to college in Boston and is a book store hound (as I am!), had ever been there. We had to check it out!

What a great find this was! Super nice folks running it, and I had a great conversation with Vincent.

However, by the time we got out of there I was starting to fade. When we got home, I laid down for just about an hour to recharge.

08/31/19: Cookout at Steve and Cathy's.
Steve and Cathy even invited Beau over to their house for a cookout Saturday evening 08/31/19.

It had been a little chilly during the day with the cloud cover, so we wore sweaters. Beau said he was fine....

We sat out in their enclosed 24 foot diameter screen house sipping wine and savoring the appetizers Cathy had made. I had brought the wine, a couple of bottles of that Primarius, Willamette Valley, Oregon Pinot Noir that Sue and I had at Lago Thursday evening. And it paired so nicely with the trout and organic steaks we had for dinner.

While the girls - and Beau - chatted out in the screen house, Steve did his magic on the grill while I gave as much encouragement as I could. Oh, and I kept the wine glasses full! Great time.

After dinner, we just sat and enjoyed sunset. But when it got dark enough, Sue and Cathy drove up to some ridge somewhere to see if they could spot the Northern Lights. They weren't gone long because they couldn't see anything. That was fine because I was starting to fade. I think we got home around 9:00 pm. We watched just one half hour HGTV House Hunters episode, and then were off to bed. I was so beat, I just tumbled in and that's the last I remembered.

09/02/19: Quiet Labor Day
It's good that we didn't have any plans Monday for Labor Day because it rained most of the day, sometimes fairly hard and steady. And it was chilly.

Sue took the Beau Dog out for a walk early, just before the rain started. I was feeling pretty good, and was in the middle of doing the laundry when I got a call from her. The Beau had run off into the woods, and refused to come when she had called him. That's something he's never done before; he has always come back, even after a full throttle tear ass mission.

I jumped into the car and headed over to a road that ran parallel to where Sue had been on the trail with Beau. Fortunately, I got a text just as I was arriving at the area where Sue had directed me to. She said that Beau had just come bounding out of the woods, she had scooped him up, and was heading for the car. That was a relief. Back home to finish with the laundry....

09/05/19: Sunday Dinner Party For Two
For our Sunday Dinner Party For Two, I fixed spinach ravioli with Sue—sourced Black Trumpet mushrooms sauteed in a parsley butter sauce.

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09/06/19: Outlaw Music Fest With Willie Nelson
I had bought tickets to the Outlaw Music Fest with Willie Nelson at the Gilford, NH Pavilion for Sue and her Brother Alan. I figured they'd have a ball, and they did. They got there about 3:30 pm but Sue didn't get back home until after midnight!

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09/08/19: Dinner Out
Mid Sunday afternoon, Cathy called Sue to see if we'd like to meet them at Shibley's in Alton Bay for dinner with her and Steve. Sounded like a great idea to me even though I had planned to cook. Another great meal at Shibley's!

09/09/19: Sue and Cathy Kayaking Adventure
So, "the girls" had decided that since I was still fighting this pneumonia thing that they'd load their kayaks in Cathy's truck, and head out. Must have had a good time because Sue left here at noon and didn't roll back in until after 4:00pm.

She wasted no time when she got back to get cleaned up so we could start our Dinner Party For Two!

I opened an inexpensive bottle of Artie Sauvignon Blanc as we sat down to play some backgammon. But what an absolutely horrible wine that was. It was so bad, it went down the drain! Awful. The brand had been introduced at the store when we had gone shopping Sunday, and I thought we'd give it a try. Ugh!

I opened another bottle of relatively inexpensive Sauvignon Blanc I had picked up at the same time. Though not anything to jump up and down about - and thus not buy again - it was fine. We had some good backgammon games, playing until just before 6:00 pm.

I hadn't really thought the meal that I was making, a super Moroccan spiced chicken served over couscous, would take as long as it did. But that was fine. Sue sat in the kitchen and helped with some of the prep work, and we had a nice chat. It was just a little chilly to eat out on the porch, so we ate at the table inside.

And after dinner we watched the really lovely 2006 Harvey Keitel movie, Shadows In The Sun. We enjoyed it so much that I ordered the hard copy DVD to have. But, there was just a little sadness to it as well. It was just the kind of movie that I would have sent off an email to my brother to put on his watch list.

09/09/19: Colin Joins Firefighters Honoring 911 Victims
Colin sent me the following picture of him saying, "Yesterday I climbed 110 stories in full gear in honor of 911 victims." Sue and I are so proud of him!

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09/12/19: 2019 Martial Arts Disciple Retreat
I held my 2019 Karate Disciple Retreat in Gilford, NH from Thursday 09/12/19 through Sunday 09/15/19.

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As he did last year, my disciple Wind Lynx Master Carl Parker arrived late Wednesday afternoon 09/11/19 around 5:30 pm after flying into the Manchester airport from Albuquerque, NM. Sue and I had a great visit with him, but it was an early night for us all.

After doing all of the food shopping for the group Thursday morning, 09/12/19, we arrived at the retreat site around 2:45 pm, met 3rd Degree Black Belt Rick Downs, and got all the food put away just as some of the others began to arrive.

Though tremendously satisfying, it was a long, hard 4 days for me as I ran the presentations as low key as I could while continuing my recovery from pneumonia. Interesting, to say the least! But a great success, and lots of time for just open discussions.

09/16/19: Ride in Colin's Boat on Merrymeeting Lake
Colin had called me Thursday 09/12/19 just as I was heading out for my 2019 Karate Disciple Retreat wondering if Sue and I would like to join him on his boat Monday for a ride around Merrymeeting Lake.

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I wasn't sure how I'd be feeling at the time after running a karate retreat for 4 days, but told him it sounded great! And we ended up having a terrific time!

09/19/19: Dinner and Theater in Portsmouth
Mid Thursday afternoon 09/19/19, Sue and I headed into Portsmouth for dinner and to see a play.

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Seacoast Repertory Theater stage set up for Once.

On the way we stopped to look for new glasses frames for me, and then a long stop to get Sue a new cell phone.

We were a little late for our 5:30 dinner reservations at Rudis, but it was Thursday so no problem getting seated right away. We had a lovely time, and from there we walked over to Seacoast Repertory Theater to see the play, Once. What a great production.

But it was a long day for me as I didn't get to bed until just after midnight. I was pretty beat the next day, but I'm getting stronger little by little.

09/20/19: Beau Training Session and Steve Over For Pizza
We drove Beau up to Wolfeboro for another training session with Sarah of Sarah's Corteous Canine. She has been so great with him, and he's made wonderful progress.

On the way back from there we stopped off at the store to grab some beer (Sam Adams Octoberfest was in stock!) and pizza for dinner tonight.

Our friend Steve was coming over at 4:00 pm, and he mentioned the Sam, so wanted to be sure we had that. And it was great! I'm more a wine drinker, but with pizza.... Yeah, a good beer hits the spot. And the Sam Octoberfest was a nice match.

After dinner, we watched the terrific 2012 Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon movie, Arbitrage.

09/21/19: Sue Takes Us On a Short Adventure
Sue loaded both me and The Beau Dog into the car, and took us up to a local remote preserve on one of the mountains surrounding Merrymeeting Lake. Just spectacular. We'll have to come back up as the foliage gets along further in color change.

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09/22/19: Wonderful Sunday
Sue and I had a wonderful Sunday topped off with a good bottle of wine and my version of the Indian dish, Chicken Vindaloo — a terrific medley of far eastern spices served over couscous.

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Chicken Vindaloo out in the porch.

09/23/19: Chuck and Denise Out For Celebratory Coffee
Chuck sent me this shot of him and Denise having coffee in downtown Plainfield at "... a neat little place called Krema Coffee House." I called it a 'celebratory coffee' because he's had such a good response to his recent interviews. Great going, Chuck!

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Was a busy day for me — probably pushed it a little too much. I had to drive to Dover for a dentist appointment, stopped off to visit with Colin at work for awhile, shot back home, and then had to run out with Sue to take The Beau Dog to his annual vet check up.

Poor guy... His heart worm test came back that he needs to go onto meds for a month because he picked up the second most prevalent tick disease to Lyme, a thing called anaplasmosis. Fortunately, it was caught soon and so he might not even feel any effects of it. I guess this one can be as bad as Lyme itself.... Vet said she's seen just a ton of cases of it around the area.

09/26/19: Deerfield Fair
Thursday 09/26/19 Sue and I met up with Steve and Cathy and headed off for opening day of the Deerfield Fair in Deerfield, NH. The fair is New England's oldest family fair.

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Steve, Cathy, and Sue at the front gate. We're ready!

It was a beautiful, warm, early New England Fall day. The drive over had been really nice; some of the leaves were already turning along the road and at the edges of some of the fields. As we walked over to where the old engine display area was, I caught the faint, sweet smell of maple syrup from a nearby barn where they were selling maple cotton candy.

We had a wonderful time, ate some great fair food, and saw what a really well put together country fair should be.

09/27/19: Mia Enjoying Her Vacation at Disney

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Mia Enjoying Her Vacation at Disney

09/28/19: Cookout at Steve and Cathy's
Late Saturday afternoon, Sue and I went over to have a cookout at Steve and Cathy's. But earlier that morning we had stuffed Beau into the car and gone up to Ossipee, NH to be with Sue's brother, Alan.

Joanne had been taken to the hospital the night before, and we just wanted to show our support and make sure Alan was okay. We had a nice chat with him, and he seemed to enjoy having Beau up for the visit as well.

We headed out for home mid afternoon going over Route 153 through Union. While Sue took care of some stuff she wanted to do, I had to lie down for about a half hour just to be sure I'd be okay for the evening party.

We got over to Steve and Cathy's around 4:30, and had a really nice, and relaxing visit with them. Steve cooked the burgers on the grill while Cathy finished up with the potato salad. As we sat down at the table, I poured out the rest of the bottle of Revelation Cabernet-Merlot blend I had brought over.

We got home just after 8:00 pm, and though feeling a little tired, we stayed up to watch a couple of shows we had recorded. But for some reason around 9:30 I started not feeling very good, and got really, really tired. I tumbled into bed, but woke up about every hour until probably 2:30 am. Don't remember a thing from then until 7:30 am when I woke up. Strange.

09/29/19: Wonderful Autumn Day
What a gorgeous day it was when I got up at 7:30 am Sunday morning. A little chilly, but that was soon to wear off.

Jen called and wondered if Sue wanted to take a walk with Beau in the woods, and so while she was gone, I did the laundry and caught up on a few other things. Just after getting back home, Sue and I left The Beau Dog to howl while we went off to do the food shopping.

After a quick lunch, I helped Sue finish her fall window cleaning, and then brought the hoses into the barn for the winter. I thought we'd better get the tarps out and cover the fire wood piled by the barn because it was supposed to rain later tonight, and then next week temps are supposed to drop below 40! And with Montana getting over 3 feet of snow in some parts as a huge blizzard, and the worst weather on record since 1934, I thought I'd better get that woodpile covered sooner than later.

My dinner tonight for us is a simple pork chop dish fixed in a gravy broth and then finished cooking with a covering of yellow onions and kale. Sue spotted an interesting sounding Chilean Cabernet, and so that was the wine for the evening. Terrific meal and not a bad wine for the price either.

Normally, I not only don't turn the heat on until October, but I feel the same about starting a fire in the wood stove. But we've had to have the heat on for weeks now just because of the really chilly nights. And because tonight is supposed to see temps in the 30s, and Tuesday will be October 1st, I told Sue that we should just have our first fire of the season in the wood stove.

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First fire in the wood stove for the season.

09/30/19: Photography Excursion To The Ocean
Monday 09/30/19 I went with Sue on a photography excursion to Bass Beach in Rye. It was a beautiful day, and traffic was light as we headed down the Spaulding Turnpike. We took Lafayette Road south, stopping for gas just outside of Portsmouth. From there, we wandered through some of Rye's most elegant neighborhoods, dropping down onto Route 1A just south of Bass Beach.

The surf was pretty chaotic from the end of an incoming tide whipped along by a mild, but steady onshore breeze. We walked along the top of the storm berm for a short distance, but Sue wanted to get down onto the beach and look for a certain type of pebble for a project she is going to work on.

I enjoyed being out, but didn't want to push it, so while she wandered along the beach, I sat in the car and watched the waves crashing against the rocky shore. I saw Sue turn back from the south end of the beach, and head toward a large area of rocks. I got out of the car and walked across the beach toward her. I snapped a picture of her taking a picture of the waves crashing against the rocks in front of her.

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Sue in the distance to the left against the rocks taking pictures of the surf smashing against the shore.

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An expanded shot showing Sue wedged in the rocks.

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We left Bass Beach, and drove over to Odiorne Point State Park. I was feeling pretty good, and so I went with Sue along the wooded shore trail. While Sue walked a little further, I sat down on a stone bench in a nice open area. From there, I could see the entrances to both Little Harbor, and Portsmouth Harbor, as well as Whaleback Light, and the Isles of Sholes 7 miles off the coast. Loved it! One of my favorite places to go and just sit.

From Odiorne, we headed back for home, stopping for an early dinner at The 110 Grill, and then tonight's Dancing With The Stars.

10/01/19: Foggy First Day of October
The chilly air last night brought fog over the mountain this morning from the past couple of days of temps in the 70s.

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By late morning, Nature added a light rain to really bring the chill out in the air. Our friend Gail had driven over from Londonderry, and she and Sue went up to explore the Meredith area for picture opportunities and some shopping. The Beau Dog and I held the fort down until Sue got back to assure him that all was well.

10/03/19: Beautiful Fall Weekend Activities
Sue and I took The Beau Dog with us Thursday 10/03/19 on a short Fall foliage excursion. We followed a couple of the back roads off of Route 28 along the Eastern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Sue got this beautiful picture of the leaves starting to turn at a park in Alton, NH.

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Autumn colors along the creek in Alton.

This was late apple picking season and the tress were pretty sparse when we stopped at Butternut Farm. But we got 2 pretty full bags, grabbed a few decorative pumpkins, and were off.

Sunday, we drove up to Ossipee to just be there for Joanne. She was staying at her daughter's house, and her brother Alan, and some other family members were there as well.

There was a chill in the air when we got home, and so I got a small fire going in the wood stove.

10/07/19: Damp Monday
It was a damp, and slightly chilly Monday morning when we got up. Well, when I got up. I think I overdid things just a little bit Sunday: I slept, and not so soundly, almost 10 hours. I felt fine, but I just have to take it a little easier, like not hauling a full load of firewood 3 times from the wood pile.... Ya think?

As soon as Sue got back from walking Beau, she was out playing in the dirt in her garden getting that cleared up for winter.

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Sue got this terrific Fall foliage picture while walking Beau in the woods.

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Sue getting one of her gardens ready for winter.

Around noon, Beau and I followed her to the auto service garage as she wanted to have her rear breaks done. On the way back home, we stopped to pick up some copy suey for lunch at a market near the auto service garage. And then after that, and a few final chores, she hopped into the bathtub for a warm soak.

We had invited our friends Steve and Cathy over for a quick "Drive By Dinner". They were both working 6 days a week, and Sue thought it'd be nice to fix dinner for them. While everyone relaxed, I got going on fixing a nice Fall dish: chicken, apples and pearl onions in a great apple cider and thyme based broth served over a bed of basil infused barley with a side of balsamic vinegar roasted Brussels sprouts.

The wine, however — a $13 bottle of Kendall-Jackson Sauvignon Blanc Vintner's Reserve — was a bust; not so good. And surprising for Kendall-Jackson.... One review I read said that it was: "... pleasantly acidic and juicy". Really? We all thought it more harsh, and sharp along with being just a little thin.

10/08/19: Joann Passes Away
Sadly, Sue's brother Alan's wife Joann passed away this morning. Thankfully, her illness took her quickly with little discomfort.

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Joann and Alan visiting us 04/08/17.

We've lost a wonderful, loving person. She will be missed by many.

10/11/19: Foliage Excursion
It was a beautiful Friday 10/11/19 when Sue and I headed out for a Fall foliage excursion.

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Backyard Fall colors have really matured just in the last several days.

Our primary purpose was to get Sue's Aunt Carol out for a nice ride. After winding through Freedom, Sue asked Carol if she remembered the way to the Thurston cemetery. Carol doesn't forget a thing, and took us winding through the back roads, some gravel, to the site where some of her distant relatives were buried.

After running Carol home, and making sure she was okay, we came back to Alan's. Sue had made up a memorial wreath for Alan to hang on his door — a nice Southern tradition he had heard about.

10/13/19: 2nd Anniversary
Sunday 10/13/19 Sue and I celebrated our 2nd Anniversary with a foliage drive and a nice dinner at home.

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We headed out for our drive after lunch. We didn't want to go too far, so set a goal of no more than 45 minutes away. That worked out great because we had a wonderful drive through many of the back roads to the south of us. We even found some really spectacular color areas we hadn't been through before.

We got back home on schedule at 4:00 pm, and played some backgammon sipping on a relatively expensive bottle of Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir I had picked up earlier in the week before we started cooking our special celebration dinner.

10/14/19: Columbus Day
Well, look - being retired I really had forgotten that this was Columbus Day weekend. Gad, no wonder the traffic had been so heavy on all of the main roads!

Sue was up early Monday morning, Columbus Day, and shot up to the ridge to get this great picture of the moon setting.

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Hunter's Moon dropping toward the horizon over the trees.

After I got up and had a cup of coffee, I drove Sue and Beau over to Cathy's. They were going to go on some hiking adventure with Beau, and Cathy said she'd bring them home after they got done. As we crested the top of the ridge, I was stunned by the beautiful canopy of dense fog that completely filled the valley below. I had never seen it so thick or massive.

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Fog fills the valley below us.

Sue sent me the following shot that she took from the trail they were hiking on. Man, that's colorful!

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New England at its best!

10/16/19: Chuck Visits
Chuck came out for a fall foliage visit 10/16/19. Denise and the boys had planned to come as well, but no one could get off of work. Sue had family concerns, and she thought it would be nice for just Chuck and me to have some time alone.

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10/20/19: 2nd Anniversary Dinner Celebration
Chuck took the whole family out Sunday evening 10/20/19 to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary.

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We went to one of our favorite restaurants, The Lodge At Smith Point, in Alton, NH, and, as usual, not only had great meals, but a wonderful time.

10/21/19: Sue Birthday Celebration
We did a lot of really fun stuff Monday 10/21/19 to celebrate Sue's birthday.

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10/23/19: Jim and Chris Nancarrow Visit
My long time disciple and friend Jim Nancarrow and his wife Chris were up in New England from Florida on a visit recently and stopped by the house for lunch 10/23/19.

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10/24/19: Sue's Brother Comes For Dinner
Sue's brother Alan drove down from Ossipee, NH to have dinner with us Thursday 10/24/19. It was just a little chilly out, and so I got a fire going in the wood stove for us.

We had a wonderful visit, and look forward to seeing him in a just a couple of days at his great grand daughter Bristol's 5th birthday party!

10/25/19: Colin Begins Roof Work
Though the air was crisp with the threat of rain, Colin started replacing the roof on his house Friday 10/25/19 with the help of some of his friends.

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10/26/19: To Ossipee For Birthday Party
Saturday 10/26/19 Sue and I headed up to Ossipee, NH to celebrate her great niece Bristol's 5th birthday party.

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It was terrific seeing everyone at the party, which was held at the community center where some of their family live. We packed the place, and there were little ones running all over the place.

10/28/19: Ocean Storm Photography Adventure
Sue and I headed out Monday 10/28/19 to photograph the high King Tide down along the coast in the Rye area.

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10/29/19: Time to Get That Generator Installed....
So, today 10/29/19, I had a generator delivered! I'll post updates to this process as we go, but the full story and pictures will be found by selecting the link.

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10/31/19: Halloween!
Nothing special going on for Halloween, but I wanted to watch The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I used to watch that as a kid all the time, but haven't seen it, or any later version of it, in probably 40 years. And Sue had never seen it. So, that was what we did! How exciting!

11/02/19: November Wind Storms Bring Stick Season
Well, we've had really high winds and cold night temperatures. That all makes for bringing the fall leaf colors to full deep brown. That makes the stems brittle and so the winds have just knocked most of them off the trees. We're officially into "Stick Season" now!

Interestingly, I took pictures of the view of the woods in the back yard for the last several days: 10/30, 10/31, and today 11/02. Look at how fast we got to full Stick Season!

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Wednesday 10/30: Beautiful late Autumn colors with some leaves having fallen.

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Thursday 10/31: Winds have striped the leaves from many of the trees.

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Saturday 11/02: Just 2 days later all the leaves are down, and we're in stick season!

Sue and I decided to take a run up to Wolfeboro for lunch and to just catch the last of the leaves on the trees up there. We stopped off at the town docks, and the white caps were racing toward shore to greet us. The wind was so tough that I was glad I had my stocking cap on because a ball cap would have been blown off and to Pluto.

From the docks area, we drove over to the Bayside Grill & Tavern. We just had coffee for our drink as we were both chilled from the winds. Food was great, and we headed off for home to get some yard work done.

While Sue worked on cleaning out more brush and plants from the brook, I threw a ladder against the back side of the barn and climbed up to replace a broken pane of glass. Some bird had bashed into it a week ago, and knocked it to pieces.

Those windows are really in tough shape so I had to caulk around many of the other panes. I have little ability in such things, and so there's caulking all over the place. Perhaps in the Spring, I can find someone with some skill in such things and make it look nice. But, for now, all I wanted to do was get everything sealed up for the winter. At least I accomplished that!

But after then fixing the tarps covering the wood piles that the wind had blown all over the place, and carrying in a few arm fulls of wood (it's supposed to get down into the mid 30s tonight), I called it a day.

It was after 4:00 pm before I got the fire made in the wood stove, and other stuff squared away. Time to raise "The Flag"e;, and get on with having some wine while playing backgammon. We can raise The Flag at 4:00 pm because we're retired; others have to wait until 5:00 pm....

11/05/19: Scrambling To Get Ready For Snow!
Sue and I were out most of the day yesterday raking leaves off the grass, and bagging them up. I don't know how many bags we packed, but I made 2 runs to the dump with my car stuffed to the roof.

I was out last evening until 5:00 pm as darkness and a hard chill started to fall all around me raking up the last of several huge piles of leaves. I was pretty tired and sore by then, and figured I'd bag them up in the morning.

It's been clear, but cold the last few days, though today, Wednesday 11/05, it not only was supposed to rain, but it did! So, Sue beat me out the door this morning by 20 minutes to start bagging those last piles of leaves to beat the rain. Between the two of us, we quickly loaded up another 4 bags, beating the rain by just about an hour!

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Sue getting the yard ready for winter.

I snapped the above picture of Sue loading one of the bags up. She threw her hands up exclaiming, "No pictures! I haven't brushed my hair or teeth yet! Go away!" Not real sure why brushing her hair, let alone teeth, has to do with bagging leaves, but that's what she said. But she has just been a whirlwind of work around the yard the last couple of weeks getting everything ready for winter. Without her hard work, things would just be left pretty grim. Thanks for everything, Sweetie. And don't worry about 'hair and teeth', okay?

Right after we went back in the house, Eastern Propane arrived to install our 2 new tanks for the generator.

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Beau investigating the new propane tank installation area.

It didn't take them long, and soon after they left, it started to drizzle with the forecast indicating possible snow on Friday.

We're ready!

11/06/19: Beau to the Vet, Some Shopping, and Lunch Out!
After dropping Beau off at the vets in Alton Wednesday morning, I met up with Sue where Colin works in Dover. I left the car with Colin to do some repairs on it and get my winter snow tires on, and jumped in with Sue to head to Newington.

We stopped off at Trader Joes and bought some wine and cheese, and put that into the trunk before going to the Olive Garden for lunch. Had a really nice time.

Unfortunately, when we got home I discovered that I had accidentally set the valet latch (as I later found out) on Sue's trunk. Terrific. I could not get it to budge, and so took her car down Thursday morning to Alton Auto to have it opened. They said it's pretty common, but still a real pain in the butt....

Picked Beau up at the vets around 3:30 pm, and he seemed to be feeling pretty good. They had to knock him out to work on his teeth, so he was a little woozy for most of the evening.

11/08/19: Dinner at Governor's Inn
Cathy had called Sue Friday 11/08/19 and asked if we'd be interested in joining her and Steve for dinner at The Governor's Inn in Rochester. Sounded like a marvelous plan, and we all had a great time.

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It had been spitting snow most of the day, though nothing had accumulated around the house. But Sue had been out hiking with Cathy and Beau, and had taken some pictures of the snow clouds sweeping through the valley below. So, when Steve and Cathy had picked us up to go to dinner, they said they were surprised that there was no snow here as they had a dusting. And Route 11 was an icy mess; we saw 2 cars that had skidded off the road and into the ditch.

It had been several years since we had been to dinner at the Governor's Inn, and were really looking forward to to it. Service and food was terrific, and both Sue and I spotted a couple of other entrees on the menu that will be worth another visit. After dinner, we came back to our place, I lit a fire in the wood stove to take the chill out of the air, and Sue served up a great cherry crisp that she had made earlier for us all.

11/09/19: Down to the Ocean!
While Sue took Beau for a walk, I hauled enough wood in to fill up the log rack on the porch. After lunch, we headed off for the beach in search of neat rocks and sea glass.

We started out at Bass Beach in Rye, and found quite a few stones of the size that Sue was looking for. But it was so damp and cold that we didn't linger. We had a nice drive along the shore road, 1A, and made a couple of other quick stops before heading for home.

11/13/19: Frigid Sunset Over The Ridge
Tuesday night 11/13/19, the sunset was looking to be really neat, and so Sue proclaimed that I should load The Beau Dog and myself into the car for a photography event just up the hill on the ridge.

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Frigid sunset over the ridge.

Well, it was so cold, and the wind was blowing like a banshee that Sue took just a few shots and then wanted to scoot back home to the warmth of the wood stove. That, with spaghetti, a little wine, and some backgammon made for a relaxing evening.

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Backgammon and dinner by the wood stove.

11/14/19: What a start to the Weekend....
Wednesday afternoon I had felt a really large lump in Beau's neck, and called for an appointment at the vet for this morning, Thursday 11/14/19.

Fortunately, it was a treatable infection. Sue was soooo relieved because Friday morning she headed off to Rhode Island to visit Jill for the weekend. So, The Beau Dog and I enjoyed movie marathons Friday and Saturday all afternoon, evening, and night.

Friday, I succumbed to some sci-fi, and an actually pretty good zombie flick. Saturday, though, was 2001: A Space Odessey. That just puts Sue to sleep, and so I spare her by watching it when she's gone. And then later that evening I did Boiler Room. Both nights were really chilly, and so the wood stove kept me and The Beau Dog snug and warm.

Sunday 11/17/19 I was out mid morning to head to the store to shop for a special dinner I was fixing for Sue's return. On the way, as I crested the ridge, I just had to pull over and take this spectacular picture of the view to brilliantly snow capped Mt. Washington far in the distance.

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Snow capped Mt. Washington in the distance from the top of the ridge.

11/19/19: Visit to Master Tim House's Karate Club
Tuesday evening 11/19/19 I drove down to Exeter, NH to visit my karate disciple Master Tim House's club, Tai Chien Dojo.

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It had been the first time I had seen his new location. It's a terrific small space, just right for a small club of dedicated students. Thanks for the invitation, Master House! I enjoyed it, and look forward to more visits in the future.

11/20/19: Mia Comes For A Visit
I drove down to Dover Wednesday 11/20/19 to pick Mia up to stay with us for a couple of days. Marissa and Gary are headed off tomorrow to a business event, and we are thrilled to have Mia stay with us.

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Mia helping Sue make dehydrated fruit Christmas tree ornaments.

After picking her up, we drove up the back way to grab lunch at the Burger King in Rochester. My kind of day for a scenic drive! Foggy, with cold drizzle down in Dover, but up on the mountain it was snowing! We did lots of stuff together when we got home, and by the end of the evening, she was totally exhausted. I caught a great picture of her crashed out on her bed - check out the link to the page!

Thursday morning after pancakes, I drove Mia down for her gymnastics class in Dover. Later that afternoon, Sue's brother Alan joined us for dinner and finishing up a movie we had started Wednesday night. And Friday after breakfast I drove her down to Dover for her day school. It was a nice visit for sure!

11/25/19: Colin Comes Over For Dinner
Well, my total incompetence and patience dealing with anything motorized was brought to a head last week with the dual failures of me being able to start the rider mower to get it stuffed back in its winter area, and the snow blower which had started for me in September, but not with my recent attempts. All each one of them did was puke and click at me....

I was left with no alternative — other than drown myself in the toilet bowl in disgust — than to bribe Colin with dinner and the last of the Sam Adams October Fest I had left. Thankfully, he agreed, and came up late Monday afternoon to work his magic.

It only took him about 15 minutes to get both units humming. We came in, grabbed beers, and joined Sue in the living room to warm up by the wood stove. She had gotten some potatoes cooking when she had seen that we were wrapping up outside, so by the time we finished off the first beer, we headed into the kitchen so I could fix some pork chops - wonderful garlic and sage rub and then seared with a sherry glaze.

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11/26/19: Afternoon View From The Ridge
Sue had gone to run some errands Tuesday afternoon 11/26/19, and stopped off at our friends Jen and Butch's new house being constructed. The post and beam framers had just got the shell put up yesterday, and Sue wanted to get a picture of it.

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Post and beam frame in place.

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This is going to turn out spectacular!

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View from the house.

11/27/19: Sue Taking On-line Water Color Painting Class
Sue has been working through an on-line water color painting class. She's always wanted to investigate this medium more, and I'm glad she has!

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One of Sue's first water color paintings.

Her artisticness carries over so well from her years of work in photography. And it's a lot easier to paint inside during the harsh New England winters than it is to be out with a camera! I've talked her into framing this painting so I can hang it in the library.

11/28/19: Happy Thanksgiving!
We were greeted Thanksgiving morning 11/28/19 with a blanket of snow!

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Thanksgiving morning snow blankets the mountain.

We had a wonderful time visiting with everyone, though I did spend most of my time in with some of the guys watching the Bears and Lions battle it out. And soooo much food! I didn't get too carried away; only 1 modest serving rather than my sometimes "Round 2," and sometimes... "Round 3" episodes. Very well behaved.

Because we wanted to stop off at Sue's aunt Carol's on our way home, we bid everyone farewell at 4:00 pm. We had a nice visit with Carol, and then got home just at 6:00 pm. Beau was crazed when Sue walked through the door, and it took him awhile to calm down enough so that he'd go out and do his bid-ness.

And then Sunday, Colin, Marissa, Gary, and Mia gathered with us for another Thanksgiving Day celebration.

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Sunday Thanksgiving gathering with Sue, Mia, Gary, and Marissa about to celebrate our dinner together. And then more when Colin arrived later!

12/02/19: Major Winter Storm Hits
A huge winter storm rolled over us both Monday and Tuesday. It basically brought everything to a stand still with some areas of the state (and entire Northeast) receiving record amounts of snow. We picked up at least a foot, possibly more here. It's tough to tell because the wind was something fierce. It was a massive Nor'easter.

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Back yard Monday afternoon during a lull in the storm. At least 6 inches of new snow fell by evening.

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Sue and Beau shoveling us out late Tuesday afternoon just as the storm was winding down.

Monday, I spent about an hour and a half shoveling paths to and around the oil fill line, propane tanks, generator, and both wood piles, as well as cleaning off piles of snow covering my car. What a mess! And the snow just kept coming!

Tuesday I was back out with Sue to do it all again. After raking the roof, I shoveled out everything again; another hour and a half or so. And the Wednesday morning I went back out to clean up areas the plow guy had left, and to carry in 6 loads of wood from the wood pile.

12/06/19: Concord Day Trip and Christmas Tree
After walking Beau, Sue and I headed off Friday 12/06/19 for a day trip to Concord, NH and grabbed a Christmas Tree on the way back home.

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We parked along Main Street downtown, and walked around visiting a few of the shops. We hadn't been to Concord in quite awhile, and thought some of the things that we were looking to pick up locally, we could do that in Concord.

We had a nice lunch at The Works, and then headed back home, stopping just outside of Barnstead, NH to pick up some wreaths, and a Christmas tree. Beau was out of his mind with excitement when we pulled back into the driveway around 4:00 pm. A fun day for us, though!

12/07/19: Saturday Night Outside Pictures
Sue and our friend Gail headed off for the day Saturday 12/07/19 in Portland, ME, and didn't get back until after 5:00 pm. After dinner, Sue peaked outside, and it was so dark that she had to grab her camera to get some outside pictures.

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12/08/19: Decorating For Christmas
Sunday afternoon 12/08/19 Sue and I got all of the Christmas decorations up.

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12/09/19: Mia Comes For Overnight Christmas Cookie Making
Mia came over Monday 12/09/19 for an overnight Christmas cookie making event with Sue.

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12/10/19: Cathy Joins Us For Dinner
Since Steve had gone to Florida for a visit with his mom, we invited Cathy over for dinner. I think she had more fun playing with The Beau Dog than anything!

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Playing with Beau on the floor.

She arrived about 4:45, and we all had a nice relaxing time chatting in the living room with the wood stove throwing a warm glow over us.

But I had to get on with the cooking, so left the girls to chat while I got at it. I had done some of the prep work earlier, and it was a pretty easy recipe, Rosemary Pork Chops With Apple Cider Glaze in an apple cider vinegar reduction. Sue brought up the last of our garden carrots that I sauteed in a specialty honey ginger balsamic olive oil, garlic, brown sugar, a splash of sherry, and rosemary. She had also baked some potatoes in the oven that went really nice with the meal.

It was such a relaxing night that we wanted to watch a nice, and equally relaxing, movie. I suggested Under The Tuscan Sun as not only hadn't we seen it in quite awhile, but Cathy had never seen it. Nice evening in the warmth of the wood stove.

12/12/19: Ossipee And Wolfeboro Visits
Thursday 12/12/19 Sue and I headed off to visit her Aunt Carol and Brother Alan in Ossipee, NH. On the way home, we stopped in Wolfeboro, NH so Sue could take some Holiday pictures.

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Christmas tree in front of Black's Paper Store & Gift Shop in Wolfeboro, NH.

We hadn't been up to see either of them since Thanksgiving, and with her son Lucas coming in from L.A. for a couple of weeks we probably wouldn't have a chance to get up there for awhile.

12/13/19: Christmas Tree Tipping
The first thing that greeted us when we got up Friday morning 12/13/19 was our Christmas Tree had fallen over!

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An easy fix, but that's the first time we've had a tree issue in 10 or 12 years!

12/14/19: Overflowing Brook
Because the weather had warmed through most of the day Saturday with lots of rain around, the brook out back was a fury of cascading water down across the rocks. It was so loud you could even hear it inside the house!

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Water cascading down the brook.

It's not the clearest of pictures because it was raining and I had little desire to stand there for the perfect shot.... So, I went out later when it wasn't raining and took another picture.

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Better shot of the brook.

12/16/19: Lucas Arrives From L.A.
Monday 12/16/19 Sue and I drove down to Boston Logan International Airport to pick her son Lucas up. He flew in from L.A. and arrived around 11:00 pm, and will stay with us for a couple of weeks, flying out New Year's Eve.

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Sue giving Lucas a welcoming hug at the American baggage claim area at Logan Airport.

Because Lucas hadn't eaten, but wasn't overly hungry at 11:00 pm, we stopped along Route 1 at a Dunkin Donuts for a couple of their all day breakfast sandwiches — I felt compelled to join him in his snack.

We didn't get back to the house until almost 1:00 am. Sue and I were beat and headed right for bed, but since Lucas was on L.A. time I think he stayed up much later.

12/17/19: Winter Snow Storm
Sue was up early Tuesday morning 12/17/19, but I lingered until about 7:45 before I pulled myself out of bed. I threw some clothes on, and we were out the door at 8:15 into lightly falling snow — the start of a projected winter storm. Beau and I followed Sue down to the garage to drop her car for some work.

On the way back, I stopped at Dunkin Donuts as Sue looked as though she'd like a nice cup of hot coffee. We were pleasantly surprised when we were told at the drive through window that the previous car had paid for our order. It seems that the car in front of them had paid their order, and they were just paying it forward. And so I did the same for the folks behind us. A good way to start a snowy day!

And it was snowing a little harder as we swung out through the Alton Circle. Though cold out (just around 21 degrees), the snow made for a beautiful backdrop for our trip back up the mountain. The winter storm warning projections were for anywhere from 4 to 6 inches with the bulk to fall by early afternoon before tapering off.

Around 10:30, it really began to come down hard — a really pretty view from the library.

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Lucas got up around 11:00, and he and Sue sat in the living room chatting while he had some breakfast and coffee. The shop called at 11:30 that Sue's car was done, and so we were off shortly after that to pick it up as didn't want to wait for more snow to fall!

But it was snowing so hard that the roads were already very slippery. It was slow going all the way there, and all the way back. I took the longer route as Sue asked me to drop off our donation gift card for the local food pantry at the Town Hall. Though a really pretty drive, the roads just kept getting worse.

By the time I headed back up the mountain road, even my snows were slipping on the inclines. The Beau Dog was not impressed, and whined all the way up the hill. And when we pulled into the driveway and saw Sue just getting out of her car, he went berserk. When I opened the door, he just leapt over me and down into the snow. He was slipping and sliding all over the place as he raced toward Sue, and was moving so fast I was afraid that a collision would send both of them into the snow.

I grabbed a shovel from the porch, and cleared the front area by the barn doors, walkways, and then around the wood piles. I decided to stay in from that point! Knocked the snow off my boots, and jacket and called it a day after snapping the next picture of the back yard. Time for a hot coffee!

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12/19/19: Bone Chilling Day For Alan To Come To Dinner
The day started out cold, and it just got colder! Though the temps hung around 15 degrees most of the day, the actual feel was -2 degrees. And it was probably colder than that with the 25 mph to 30 mph wind that howled through the trees.

Yesterday late afternoon, there was a short but heavy snow squall that blew through the area. I think it dropped at least another 2 inches, probably closer to 3 inches of new snow that I had to go out today and shovel before I headed out to the store to food shop.

Sue's brother Alan joined us for dinner, and for the occasion I fixed a chicken, asparagus, mushroom, carrot, celery, and whatever else was around stir fry with all sorts of garlic and herbs, mostly basil.

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Lucas, Alan, and Sue getting ready to dig into my stir fry!

12/25/19: Christmas Holidays
Sue and I had a wonderful time celebrating the Christmas Holidays with our families.

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Jill arrived around 2:30 pm on Christmas Eve after driving up from Rhode Island. She and Lucas then drove over to Concord, NH to pick up Rachel, and got back here at 4:30.

While they were gone, I did all of the prep work on the roast pork loin I was in charge of getting in the oven by 5:00 pm. Colin arrived after work at 6:15 pm, and we enjoyed just relaxing until sitting down to dinner.

Christmas Day, Jill headed off for home, and Lucas drove Rachel up to have Christmas with her and her folks in New London, NH. And then Sue and I were off to Marissa and Gary's new house in Dover for Christmas with everyone there!

A very busy couple of days, but so nice to have been able to share the holidays with everyone!

12/28/19: Christmas Visit to Ossipee, NH
Saturday morning 12/28/19 Sue and I drove up to Ossipee, NH for a Christmas visit with her aunt Carol.

Of course we took The Beau Dog with us as Carol would have sent us back home to get him if we didn't! We also went over to Sue's brother Alan's house and visited with him for a little while before heading back home.

Before leaving, Sue had made up several batches of a special meat loaf recipe that she had found. We took some for both Carol and Alan, and while we were at Carol's she baked it so Carol could eat it while we were there. We had a great visit with Carol, and Beau got totally stuffed with not only all of the treats that Carol gave him, but the sly dog crept up behind her chair and ate the last of her meat loaf and potatoes that she had left on her plate. She had put it down momentarily on the floor next to her. Bad move: Beau was all over that in a heart beat.

We dropped off Alan's meal and spent well over an hour and a half chatting with him. He had hosted the entire family at his house on Christmas, and even baked a ham. Sue and I tried it, and he had done a great job with what must have been his first major meal that he's fixed. Probably ever!

Because it was just turning dusk, we decided to take the long, and more scenic way home. I'm glad we did as it's such a pretty drive down the back way into Wolfeboro. And it's really only about 10 minutes longer that way; more than made up by the quaintness of the small villages we drive through.

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Sue caught this great picture of Venus and the moon over Moultonborough, NH.

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Winter sky over Moultonborough, NH.

By the time we got home, however, it was dark. Lucas hadn't come down from his work area in his upstairs bedroom as none of the lights were on. With the blackness of the sky, it's really dark where we live when the house lights are off. But Beau knew where he was as we pulled into the driveway, and began whining and barking.

Sue popped the oven on, and as the our meat loaf dinner cooked, we played some backgammon as the wood stove warmed the downstairs. That gave Lucas some additional time to finish up some of the work he had to do, and gave him the ability to take the evening off so we could watch a movie.

We started with the new Blade Runner: 2045, but it, in my opinion, was so bad — the sound recording was so horrible that you could hardly understand what the characters were saying, and the plot just seemed to drag on with little goal — that I pulled the plug on that after about a half hour (of a 2 hour and 45 minute run time), and put on the 1971 classic, The French Connection, which we all enjoyed as neither Lucas or Sue had ever seen that, and it had been 15 years probably since the last time I had seen it. Great day, and great evening.

12/30/19: Last Winter Storm of 2019
We woke up Monday morning 12/30/19 to the last winter storm of the year. There was 6 inches of fresh snow on the ground on top of the almost 6 that had fallen yesterday, as well as biting sleet being blown through the trees and against the windows by a gusty wind.

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