26 July 2008

Three times the fun!

Our summer ends a little earlier than most. This is the (usual) beginning of our busy season, the end of travel season, and time to put our nose to the grindstone. This is also when we have evening time to watch movies, play games, and veg in front of the tube.
On that front it is a big week for me. Yes, the new season of Stargate Atlantis is very exciting- I like Woolsey more than I thought and miss Amanda Tapping but look forward to Sanctuary- but that was three weeks ago... The first on the list is, of course, Stargate related though. The final movie- Continuum comes out on DVD July 29. This is a time travel story that has the new SG-1 crew
plus old favorites like Jack and the Ba'al's.
The next is also a skiffy production- Eureka.I love this show. I am also glad that it has survived all that skiffy has done to it. Long breaks between seasons, only 12 eps per season, no reruns for months on end... But it is back! Rumor has it they will have a real season this year with twenty-something episodes instead of twelve. Yay! Tuesday night- I'm there!
Last, but certainly not least, is an old favorite. X-files.
The show that taught us to Trust No One and that nothing good ever happens in the dark! I am probably dating myself but I was soooooo addicted to this show when it was on. Well, until they got rid of Mulder- I waivered a bit there, but I have all the eps on vcr tapes, and the first movie. We might have to freshen up our knowledge before going to see this. My all time favorites include Dod Kalm where Mulder and Scully are investigating an old military ship that is stuck in a time warp, and How the Ghosts Stole Christmas with Lily Tomlin and Ed Asner.

23 July 2008


We went down to Hilton Head South Carolina for an industry conference this week. Why? Why? do they put fast paced meetings in slow laid back places that think of productivity as a character flaw?? Turtles stomping through peanut butter get things done faster!
I had it all planned out. We would leave on the earliest flight Sunday so we could be there for the day but wouldn't have to spend Saturday night. Then we would leave on the latest flight Tuesday avoiding another night away from our beds...
Our flight out of Boston was on time, but getting out of North Carolina was like pulling teeth. The plane that was supposed to take us to HHH from Charlotte was late arriving, so they gave our gate away to someone else, leaving the arriving plane on the tarmac to wait for the gate. Then after we finally loaded up 40 minutes late we got our chance to sit on the tarmac for about an hour while we waited to take off. Many of our peers were stuck in Charlotte overnight including... No, more on that later.
We stayed at the Marriott Resort down there that they spent an hour selling to us at the hearth show in March. We had a discounted price for the conference but it was still a couple of bills a night. We were pretty surprised to find such an outdated room, with a broken sliding door (that overlooked a dilapidated parking garage missing tiles), a broken tv (no news except the USA Today they automatically gave us and charged us $0.75 a day for), a toilet that was not bolted down (don't ask!), and a 'Welcome' 3" long cockroach who greeted me in the bathroom.
Good times...
We missed the group gathering on Sunday so we headed down to the beach for a couple of hours before the evening reception. It is the ugliest, most boring beach I have ever seen. It is long and straight with packed sand, umbrellas and resorts as far as the eye can see. The air had a quality of slime that didn't leave you and the ever present haze sucked all color from the sky. The water was tepid, murky, and waveless. Lake Michigan has more wave action on a calm day. Heck, my little stream has more action! Warm water creeps me out, too. Like finding the warm spot in a pool. Not right. Not at all! A couple of our friends were stung by jellyfish when swimming in said murk.
We were surrounded by golf courses, but we largely ignored them as I can't stand golf and the attitude that prevails with many participants. My Father-in-law said it best, "I'll play golf when I am too old and feeble to play a real sport."
So we froze our butts off in a conference room during the day, ate catered chicken meals, and attended to business. The beach party reception was moved indoors due to the haze, heat, and humidity... Business was more of the same. Shortages, fighting over raw materials, losing market and ground to Europe, focus on our markets being lost to others...
Time to go home!
I remember making a mental note of a Hampton Inn about a mile and a half from the airport thinking we could spend the night there if they cancelled our flight. A bit of a risk when you take the last flight of the day. I kept saying out loud "I can't wait to get home." "We get to sleep in our own bed tonight..."
We got out of the airport with little trouble. Then a little over an hour into our 50 minute flight we noticed that we were flying in a circle. Then a little turbulance. Then the pilot came on and said there's a thunderstorm over Charlotte so we are in a holding pattern for fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes later he comes on again and repeats. Twenty minutes later we break our circle and take off while starting to drop in altitude. Could it be?? Are we cleared to land? Pilot came on and said we're out of gas, storm is holding steady, so we are diverted to bfe North Carolina to refuel.
A few people are not used to being on a small plane much less in turbulance. I do have to give credit to an extremely overweight lady that I thought would whine, panic and be a pain in the rear. Her dh was the one freaking out and she was trying to make light of the situation by comparing it to an amusement park ride. Good for her. It didn't help the guy across the aisle from me release his white knuckled death grip on his chair, unfortunately. He looked pretty horrified. I have traveled so much, and been in way worse situations, so I just hunkered down to take a nap. We landed, refueled, and waited for the 'all clear' to head back to Charlotte.
No snacks on the plane btw, and no beverage service. Our little hour flight was approaching three hours at this point.
Cleared to head to Charlotte. About thirty or forty planes were diverted or delayed so chances were good that most of us would still make our connections.
Yeah, right. Not in my world.
Boston was one of the handful of flights that made it out on time.
No flights until tomorrow. Using the term tomorrow loosely as it is about 11:45pm. I called the airline to re-book for first available morning flight. Then we stand in line to get tickets re-issued. We get a hotel voucher and Art called to try to get a hotel room with a shuttle. We quickly settle for hotel room, period, as they all seemed to be getting booked fast! We move outside and stand in a ridiculous line for a taxi to said hotel. Pay $24 to cabbie, and $60 for hotel. We get to the hotel and reserve a taxi for five hours later when we would have to head back to the airport. $24 for cab back to airport after 4 3/4 hrs sleep and a quick shower.
When we got to the airport we realized we were lucky to get a hotel room at all as we see bleary eyed travelers with red cross blankets and cots strewn all over who toughed it out in the airport all night.
I also want to give a little credit to US Airways for helping people with reservations, hotel accomodations, and giving out food vouchers to displaced passengers. It wasn't their fault for the storm, and they among all the other airlines are having difficulties with finances...
Thank heaven it was our last (planned) trip of the year. I am fried. I just wanted to be home the whole time we were away. I am glad to be home. My dog was "in the doldrums" for half the time we were gone. Zoi was mad at the babysitter, and Izzy was clingy. They didn't like us being gone either.
There is no place like home!

19 July 2008


On my parents last day we decided to head out to the seacoast for some r and r. I did a quick deposit for the town and off we went to Hampton Beach. NH only has about 18 miles of coastline and I swear half of that is Hampton Beach. You have an area that is right out of the seventies with boardwalks, arcades, and ice cream stands. Hubby says it is the only place he knows of in NH that people still "cruise." Of course, he is well past cruising age but I digress... At the other end of the beach, past the B&B's and hotels, is the State Park.

This is where we set up camp. The beach was full of people but not too crowded thanks to going on a Tuesday as opposed to a weekend or holiday. We laid out our towels and promptly took a nap. Snores and all... A little sun, a little walk, more snoozing then we packed up to head to Maine.

I still love that about New England. Where I grew up in Colorado it was a big deal to go to a different state. It would take hours to get there so it wasn't likely you were just going to make a day trip to Nebraska or New Mexico. Here in New England it is all so compact that it is closer to go to Boston than it was to get to Denver in CO. So off to Maine. We stopped in Kittery first. A whole fifteen minute drive from where we were in NH. The outlet malls are there. Mom found a great outfit at Liz, and I got a skirt for a business meeting at the Kittery Trading Post. I don't know why I bought it there- you have to pay sales tax in Maine!! We in NH get cranky about it when people try to take sales tax from us since we don't have to do it at home. If it is $1.99 and you pay with two dollars you get your penny back!
After a little shopping we headed up to Ogunquit to meet up with Art's oldest sister and bil.
We went on a great sunset cruise, walked around Perkins Cove and had a great dinner on the porch by the sea. Great day! Way too short of a visit, but a good one :)

18 July 2008


...ot. Weellll, I do believe we have a rooster in the coop.
His sister Frannie...
One of these is not like the other one...
A mere ten days ago when I posted introductory pics in Meet the Girls you could not tell. Although Ellie(ot) always had a bigger beak than his sisters. My Mother got to re-christen him Elliot. He seems to be perfectly sweet and social- at least at this point. As long as he plays nice (and quiet) his middle name won't be dinner!

16 July 2008


This last weekend we celebrated our ten year anniversary- for our store. We rented out the local athletic club for the afternoon, and invited our friends, family, employee's and their families for a bbq and pool party. We were placed at the central decks between the shuffleboard court and pool, the pristine croquet course and tennis courts with a view of the distant volleyball and basketball courts. The kids painted their own t-shirts and had a great time making their own sundaes. It went way too fast but we had a blast!

13 July 2008

Lazy Daze

I love this time of year. The business slows down (ha!) the lakes are warming up, and even though the days are getting shorter they are relaxing and warm :)

My parents are visiting from Colorado. They haven't been out here in almost two years! We are eating lobsters, shopping, playing Mexican train, kayaking, and other fav' activities of theirs.
We went over to MacDowell Lake the other day for some kayaking and walking. Polar was so excited that he was invited! He had the biggest dog smile on his face when he was boosted into the truck with Art. He is an old boy now, but he still did his best to keep up with the kayakers. We didn't tell him that we kept it slow and near shore just for him ;)

Enjoying every minute!

They are here for raspberry time! Two weeks of succulent bliss. I LOVE raspberries! When I pick them it is so hard to fill a bowl quickly, because two go in my mouth for every one in the bowl! We have raspberry ice cream, raspberry muffins, raspberry pancakes, raspberries with cream. I make a mean raspberry mouse, and of course smoothies... Even though we have been pretty neglectful of the raspberries they are giving us a good crop. I love these hardy plants!
Here is a quick recipe for my (rightnow) favorite-
Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream:
4 eggs lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup cream
one cup whole milk
1/2 package chocolate pudding
1 tbps. cocoa powder
5-10 drops stevia (sweeten to taste)
3/4 cup raspberries
Mix pudding pack and cocoa with milk and add to beaten eggs. Add cream and stevia. Add to ice cream maker. After about ten to fifteen minutes (about 3/4 way through) add raspberries. YUM!

Our greenhouse guru did a few somethings to our apple tree and for the first time since we've lived here we have baby apples. Our pear tree is doing great as always- we should have an abundance of pears this fall :)>

08 July 2008

Meet the Girls

The Buffs- (Buff Orpingtons) Abbie and Bobbie. Abbie seems to be the boss. They are the biggest chicks and both fairly sweet.

Dorrie (blonde) and Corrie (tan) Aracaunas- The mutt of chickens. aka- Easter Eggers since they lay blue and/or green eggs. Smaller and very sweet chicks. Corrie is my little snuggler.

Ellie and Frannie- Silver Laced Wyandottes. Big strong girls with attitude. Love to peep loudly if you pick them up.

Black Australorps. Ginnie and Hallie. Pretty docile, but big chickens (in the scaredy cat kind of way not sizewise). Polar tried to eat Ginnie on day one so he is not allowed in the chicken coop currently...

Things I have learned about having chicks:
Boy are they dumb! You have to teach them to eat, drink, sit on a perch...
Chicken is the right name. They are afraid of everything!
They like it hot! I don't need a sauna! Just spending time in the 95 degree coop "socializing" the girls is more than enough for me!
They are fun. Just like my other birds they have individual personalities and quirks and have a great social network amongst themselves.

03 July 2008

Recipe Box Swap

On the first Thursday of every month, Randi, at i have to say..., which I found through Renna, hosts The Recipe Box Swap on her blog. Here is my contribution.
This months theme is BBQ. I love to barbecue.
We have a wood pellet grill and I just LOVE it! You can smoke, you can bake, you can grill. They have flavored pellets, but I usually just use a cup full out of my stove...
Today I am posting a recipe for Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs. These are a family favorite on a hot summer day. It is also the cover star of our Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary's Cookbook. (speaking of shameless promotion, Renna...) I had the task of creating the cover since I had the software, the camera and the time last year. This was the best pic I could get, and the recipe is easy and delicious to boot!

Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs
2 Tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime- juiced
salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves- cut into 1 inch cubes
1 green bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 onion cut into wedges and separated
1 red bell pepper, cut into one inch pieces

In a shallow dish, mix together olive oil, cumin, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken, and mix well. Cover,and refrigerate for one hour. Preheat grill for high heat. Thread chicken, green bell peppers, onion, and red bell pepper onto skewers. (If you like crisper veggies you may cook meat separately starting the meat first) Cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through turning to cook evenly.

If you would like to purchase a cookbook, it is $15.50 for US mail delivery.
Thanks and happy bbq'ing

Dog Days of Summer

Dog Days Begin (July 3)
The Dog Days (a period of 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11) are named for the Dog Star, Sirius, which is visible with the rising Sun at this time of year.
Named in early times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean, the period extended 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) and the sun.