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John and Marion Visit 02/01/20

Sue's cousin Marion and her husband John flew up from North Carolina Saturday evening 02/01/20. They were lucky that the weather held off from the huge storm that had been predicted to rake up the east coast. It spat just a little snow Saturday morning, but then it just got cold. The wood stove took care of that.

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Relaxing Saturday Evening in the living room.

John hadn't been able to come up with Marion in last summer 08/16/19 when she visited, and so it was great to see him.

Their flight didn't get into Manchester until 6:00 pm. Sue and her brother Alan had gone over to pick them up, and they grabbed dinner before heading here.

We had a lovely chat with them in the living room with the wood stove warming us all up. But it had been a long day, and it wasn't too tough of a decision to get to bed.

Sunday 02/02/20
After Sue's great Sunday breakfast of fried eggs over a bed of Swiss Chard with muffins she had baked, they all headed out with Beau to hike through the woods behind the house.

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Beau has already scampered off into the woods.

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John and Marion on the hike. Sort of different weather than North Carolina!

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Sue caught this shot of us through the back door window. Not sure why, but we thought it would be fun making faces at her from inside the warmth of the kitchen.

Fairly soon after they all got back from their hike, I got the turkey out of the fridge to finish off defrosting. Sue had plans for it and had already baked the stuffing in the oven while they had been out. My primary job in all of this was to fix the beans just before 5:00 pm.

Later that afternoon, Sue's Brother Alan arrived with their uncle Ronald from Moultonboro so we could all celebrate his 86th birthday. I had got a nice warming fire going in the wood stove earlier, and that was a nice contrast to the chill of the late afternoon as the sun set through the clouds over the tops of the trees to the west.

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Alan's legs, John, Marion, and Ronald sitting in the living room after dinner.

We had a wonderful visit with Ronald, but after he and Alan headed out, we were all so tired that it was an early night.

Monday 02/03/20
John is a huge fan of Cabela's outdoor and sporting goods chain of stores. There's one up in Scarborough, ME that he had visited the last time he was out, and so we all piled into the car late Monday morning 02/03/20 and headed out for the hour and a quarter drive.

We met up with Alan just outside of Sanford, ME, John jumped in the car with him, and we convoyed from there.

On the way, we stopped off to have lunch at the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in Scarborough. It wasn't crowded, and so we got right in, had a really nice meal.

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Sue, Marion, and John at the Cracker Barrel in Scarborough, ME.

After finishing lunch, Sue insisted on a couple of group pictures outside the Cracker Barrel in some rocking chairs out on the porch.

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Marion, John, Alan, and Sue outside the Cracker Barrel after lunch.

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Because Marion had her eyes closed in the previous shot, Sue took a better picture of us.

After the photo op, we were back into the cars, and off to Cabela's.

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John and Marion posing with the moose outside of Cabela's, Scarborough, ME.

Well, John just loves Cabela's, and so he and Alan dashed off in one direction to the hunting sections, Marion went another, and Sue and I headed off on a hunt for a new pair of boots for me.

We didn't leave Cabela's until almost 3:30 pm, and weren't home until well after dark. We could hear Beau howling for us as we came up the walk, and it took awhile for him to settle down.

I got a fire going in the wood stove, while Sue and Marion fixed up great tacos for dinner. I grabbed a Sam Adams Winter Larger, and fully enjoyed myself. We topped off the night with the totally entertaining 2004 romantic comedy movie, 50 First Dates.

Tuesday 02/04/20
John and Marion headed off at noon to Ossipee, NH to meet up with Alan, and then they all drove over to North Conway, NH to visit with other relatives.

Sue had a late morning appointment, and so Beau and I held the fort down while everyone was gone. When Sue got back later that afternoon, we just hung out playing backgammon and watching some tv until they arrived back around 7:30 pm.

Wednesday 02/05/20
Sue met up with Alan, and they drove John and Marion to Marion's aunt Mary's in Hill, NH for a family gathering lunch. I stayed home with Beau, and got about 60 pages read in a book on currency trading that I just started reading last week.

When everyone returned, I started getting dinner ready. It was sort of an off the cuff, no recipe, chicken thighs in a curry sauce over a bed of brown rice. It came out excellent, and I'd try that again any time. Just as we were sitting down to dinner, Sue's brother Alan arrived. He had originally planned to just go home after leaving Hill, but decided to join us for the evening.

Sue had made a great desert that we had while watching the really good 2009 movie Star Trek with Chris Pine as Captain Kirk. Boredom must have set in for Sue as after the movie was over, she and John grabbed the sled, and took a couple of runs down the hill in the dark. Marion wanted in on the fun, scrambled up the hill, and did a couple of runs with Sue as well. That was all quite something to see, and The Beau Dog just couldn't believe it.

Thursday 02/06/20
Thursday morning 02/06/20 we woke up to a little over 3 inches of freshly fallen snow. It was beautiful.

I got up really late for me, probably the result of the 9 runs I did hauling wood in from the wood pile yesterday. Sue was just heading out to walk Beau through the snow on one of the trails out behind the house. The roads were too tough to head anywhere, but it's such a nice, peaceful hike back there, and Beau gets to romp all over the place.

While she was gone, I jumped on the trading desk as the currency market was all over the place — probably because there's an NFP report coming out tomorrow. I did really well and just shut things down after locking in a 2% profit over many small trades. Good thing I did, as prices turned violently, and I most likely would have been caught for loss of most of that gain.

By the time Sue got back, there was at least another inch or so of fresh snow that had fallen. While Beau watched with great anticipation, I helped her with all the prep work for the lasagna that she was making for dinner. I could hardly keep from plucking out samples as it cooked in a large Lodge cast iron skillet on the stove. By the time Sue finished up with the lasagna and some other things, it was time for a light lunch.

Sue just couldn't stand it watching the snow coming down without her out there in it. The logic was that now was the time as it was supposed to turn from snow to sleet later that evening, and continue through Friday. We knew she was serious when she pulled her snow pants and boots on.

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Yup, Sue's serious about this — heading out the door with her sled.

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Heading way up the hill for her first run! Beau thought she was taking him for another walk out back, and so he dashed off ahead of her and into the woods.

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She had a couple of good runs, but it was cold and the wind was pretty stiff, so here she is heading in.

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Despite being cold, that's a pretty triumphant smile on her face!

It was still snowing by the time we started our afternoon movie, Avitar. I had a nice fire going in the wood stove, and we just had a really nice time.

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John hamming it up as we settled into the living room to watch Avitar.

After the movie finished, we just sat in the living room and chatted for quite some time as the lasagna finished baking in the oven. We decided on an early dinner as today was movie day, and we wanted to get on to the next one.

It had been a long day and evening for everyone yesterday, and the thought was to wrap things up early tonight and get to bed. We watched the really nice 2010 Martin Sheen movie, The Way and enjoyed some wonderful ice cream and brownies that Sue had made earlier.

Friday 02/07/20
It had continued snowing all night, amounting now to over 6 inches, but had turned to a fine sleet by morning on Friday 02/06/20 by the time Sue headed out to walk Beau. She went in the woods behind the house again because it was really nasty out.

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Tree limbs hanging with the weight of the snow and ice around 10am Friday morning.

While Sue was out walking Beau, I was pretty busy trading through the NFP announcement period. Because the U.S. employment figures came out far, far better than expected, and continued pressures against the Pound due to the recent Brexit separation the currency pair that I was trading, the GBP/USD, should have plummeted. But it didn't! It was literally roaring strongly higher and higher. I just couldn't believe it.

The price action simply was not right. I suspect some major institution had a lot of clients that need the Pound higher, and that they were responsible for price moving in the opposite direction. I figured they were trying to clear their books for the weekend, and that price was sure to reverse dramatically.

Well, I started scalping short-side as I saw price start to hesitate, chatter, and then reverse. I only took a couple of small losses as I did try to enter too early — one of my worst trading habits, which I refer to as making "anticipatory trades", trades taken too soon. But I was convinced that the market had to break, and it did. And when it did, it really broke. I was able to pull almost a 5% gain before I just closed out my last trade and pushed back from the desk. It's really nice when it works out to that extent.

I was really disappointed again with the plowing service last night. They left a huge snow bank across the right side of the driveway. I had to go out, knock it down, and shovel it out before we could leave to go to lunch. And by then it was a really heavy and wet snow. Unacceptable.

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Snow bank left by plow service.

We jumped into Sue's car after I got done shoveling the snow bank out of the way. We had wanted to leave earlier, but the snow was just so heavy that I had to take it really slow. We wanted to take John and Marion out to lunch for seafood at The Windjammer Restaurant in Rochester, and debated whether the roads would be okay from the storm. I had received a text back from Marissa that it was more rain and sleet down lower than it was frozen snow on the roads up where we were.

It was pretty slow going down the mountain as the road was really slick. I slid a couple of times, but we just took it slow. By the time we were down on Route 11, it was as Marissa had said it would be: somewhat snowy, but warmer and so a very wet sleety rain smashed against the windshield as we drove into Rochester.

We all had pretty good meals at The Windjammer, which is a nice, basic family style restaurant. We had a really nice waitress, which makes the experience nice, and all had a nice time just talking while we ate.

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John and Marion enjoying themselves at The Windjammer Restaurant.

We were all stuffed, but Sue and Marion got deserts to go as it was part of their meals. On the way out to the car Marion wanted to get a picture of them by the Windjammer sign. That was interesting as the wind was still whipping sleet around. Sue held the camera as steady as she could, and got a great picture of us all.

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Me, Sue, Marion, and John in front of the Windjammer sign.

The main roads on the way home had improved quite a bit in the short time that we had been at the restaurant. But as we turned onto the road leading up the mountain to the house, things got progressively worse. The temperature dropped from 32 degrees in Rochester to 28 degrees by the time we got home. That's quite a difference, and made the roads much worse than when we had come down.

In fact, about half way up we got stopped while 4 work crews cleared a fallen tree from across the road. I was down to 20 mph by the time we slid to a halt at the Stop sign, and just crept down the back side of the mountain the short distance to the house. I eased into the driveway, and was glad the roads hadn't been much worse.

Later that afternoon as we were sitting in the living room watching the entertaining 2011, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the sleet started pelting the side of the house, and the intensity of the snow storm was so impressive that I went out and took a picture.

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Though the picture doesn't do the storm justice, it hopefully is good enough to tell that things were roaring!

Just as the movie was ending, Sue's brother Alan arrived. We had invited him up to have dinner with us, as Sue had made what turned out to be a marvelous left over turkey soup. I had been tasked with picking part of the turkey apart while she was out walking Beau, and then had been smelling it cooking all day.

Even as much as we had eaten for lunch, we were all ready for the soup, and a half grilled cheese sandwich. We sat around the table for quite awhile just chatting, but by 7:00 pm I had to get everyone into the living room so we could start the evening's movie, the excellent 1972 Robert Redford movie, Jeremiah Johnson.

As we were clearing the table though, Sue stepped outside and snapped the most spectacular shot of the full moon through the trees.

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February Full Moon through the trees.

About half way through the movie, Sue served up another round of her home made brownies with ice cream, and that is the way to top off any night! After the movie, we all headed for bed as we were pretty tired from the day.

Because of the weather, Alan decided he'd camp out on the sofa. He had wanted to come down tomorrow anyway, and drive over to the airport in Manchester to see John and Marion off. So, this worked out great. I loaded the wood stove up, and shut the flue down to keep it warm through the night for him.

Saturday 02/08/20
It was sad to see them have to leave, but around noon Saturday 02/08/20 everyone packed into Alan's truck for the drive over to the airport in Manchester.

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Saturday morning breakfast before John and Merion had to head for the airport home. Marion, John, Alan, and Sue.

I stayed home with Beau and finished up with the shoveling. We had gotten another inch or so overnight to add to the several from the storm the day before.

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Alan signaling that he, John, and Marion were ready to head for the truck to go to the airport.

I thought that even though there wasn't much new snow down that I'd better get it up anyway. The temperature was supposed to warm just enough to melt it and then get really cold during the night I didn't want it to freeze on the walkway or in front of the barn.

Sue and Alan got back here to the house at 3:30pm. Alan hung around for awhile before heading home, and then Sue and I played some backgammon until fixing up a pizza for dinner. We started 3 movies, but remembered having seen each one after about 10 minutes each. What a bust.

Tonight is a full moon, and not only did Sue catch a spectacular couple of pictures of sunset, but also another picture of the moon rising through the ice coated tree limbs from behind the barn.

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Sunset behind the house.

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Sunset through the trees behind the barn.

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Full moon rising through the ice covered tree limbs.

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