27 October 2011

40

This year I turned 40.  A few days ago in fact.  To be honest it rather feels the same as 39 although it has a different weight if you think about it too long.  No longer a kid.  I am doing what I am going to do as an adult.  There used to be so many options and questions in front of me.  Not that I would change a single thing.  I love the town we live in, our home, our friends and family (not that you can really change that), I love what I do for work and that we volunteer.
We worked pretty hard in our thirties.  We owned our business and it was my primary job for the entire decade.  That seems a little odd when written down.  Makes one wonder if it will be another decade?  Time does seem to be accelerating, so another decade could pass in no time at all.  I still think we are in a good industry and provide a product and service that is helpful.  It is an alternative energy, but more than that it is a local energy that provides local jobs and supports the communities around us.
We have spent almost 9 years in our little farm house.  We have been renovating it since the day we moved in.  A process that is not likely to end any time soon.  This year we took the front part of the greenhouse that was falling down (and by we I mean our contractor friend :-/) and put in a concrete pad and a higher roof so that it can be used to park our tractors and bobcat.  Inside I spruced up a bathroom that had an ugly beam in it, Ody-bird chewed wood trim, and some dilapidated drywall.  I also updated the countertop and sink in the bar.  Little things but it is nice to have many of the big projects out of the way.
It is my third or fourth year with chickens.  I need to go back through my blog history to find out for sure.  We still have Abbie and Dorrie, two chickens from our first group.  They no longer lay but they are both very sweet and have a forever home here.  Mama (Cuddles) has been busily sitting on three eggs for almost three weeks now.  It is really late in the season but for many reasons she never was able to hatch a chick this year.  I am hoping for one for her at least.  If not, that would probably be o.k.  We are supposed to receive our first snow today.
It is amazing to me how I adapted to New England weather.  When we first moved here I was always cold!  I couldn't imagine what the crazy people who were running around without a coat were doing in the rain or on (what I thought) was a cold day of 60 degrees or less.  Each year I wear my coat less and less, turn the stove on later and later, and get grumpy when it is hot.
We stayed locally this year, both due to cost and because we have a wonderful new puppy that we were training and wanted to have around.  We did take what is becoming our annual ski trip with our friends.  The guys and kids ski while us girls go shop or snowshoe.  We enjoy the friends we have made in our town.  It makes it a home.  We also rented a beach house with my sister and brother in law.  That was fabulous since it was so close.  Hubby's folks could come by and other family members and even a visit from our friends.  This coming year we have a few more ventures in store.  Our fifteenth wedding anniversary was last year and we have yet to take our trip for that.
One of the most memorable trips I will have from this year is the surprise trip my wonderful husband took me on to celebrate my birthday.  He has been so busy at the store this fall that I don't get to see him much.  He has been working seven days a week.  Even when my folks were here for almost two weeks he was only able to take a couple of half days and one full day off.  I was a little disappointed but glad my folks understood.  We have just come off of a few really lean years at the shop and this was our first opportunity to pay off some of the costs incurred from our move and property purchase.  So the trip was very unexpected.  He held the secret until the Saturday before when we were on the way to the Bruins game.  He had actually planned to take me to Quebec City as I had missed a trip a few years back and have always wanted to go.  But once I knew that it was really just for a day I wanted to go closer to home.  I didn't want to drive twelve hours to enjoy a day when we could drive two and enjoy two half days and a full day.  So we searched around and settled on Portland, Maine.  Neither of us had spent time there exploring the city.  I liked going somewhere new and so did hubby.  We picked a hotel down in the heart of the city on the waterfront.  It was a couple hour drive and then we were checking in.  We immediately headed out and walked around and around and around.   Up and down the waterfront and some cozy streets with cobbled stone.  What a great little city.  We stopped at a floating restaurant for a drink then went off to find some dinner.  We ended up at Bull Feeney's which is a little Irish pub and restaurant.  They actually had a really great menu.  I ended up with a lamb-hamburger which was incredible.  Hubby had fried Camembert cheese which is a favorite of his at a German restaurant we like in Massachusetts.  We walked around more before heading back to turn in.  We started the next morning at a spot called Breakfast in Paris then spent the day exploring Portland more.  We also took an excursion North to my absolute favorite LL Bean.  The real one with five different stores.  So much more selection that the outlets around us.  Such fun.  We then did a couples massage in the afternoon.  Hubby's first massage.  It was very relaxing and decadent.  We shopped around a little bit and finished the night talking with a couple visiting from the UK and Scotland at a cozy little place called the Chocolate Bar.  The next day we took a leisurely morning walking around a bit more but heading home before noon.  Hubby was back in work mode, on the phone and stopping at the distributor.  I ended up with a flu so it was a bit of a long ride home for me.  At the end of it all a wonderful trip and fabulous memories with my love.  So thoughtful of him.

17 October 2011

Visitors

I am not the only sad one in the house this afternoon.  Blizzie is on the bed in the guest bedroom and will not leave.  Zdeno looks at me with sad eyes and sighs.  Then he goes to the back bedroom and back to me to whine and sigh again.  So quiet.  My parents just left after their annual fall visit.  This is a visit I always look forward to with great anticipation and a visit that saddens me when they have to go.
They flew in last Friday night and we hit the ground running.  We had the family over on Saturday for our annual fall get together.  Food, family, and fun.  It is also a last time we can all get together before Art's folks head South for the winter.  Art's sister, four of our nieces and one nieces boyfriend stayed the night and we took a great hike over Pack Monadnock the next day.  A six mile trek with great vistas of the changing leaves.  It was a spectacular day.  It must have been 70 degrees out and was sunny and beautiful.
Monday we headed down to Boston to see our first hockey game of the year.  They weren't in our mini season package but they were playing the CO Avalanche so I thought we would all enjoy it since my parents still live in Colorado.  The Avalanche won 1-0 so Art and I were a little disappointed, but my Mom was pleased as punch.  It was another gorgeous day so we walked around for a while and saw some sights and went to Durgin Park for lunch.
Tuesday we didn't slow down but Art did have to go back to work as he had already taken off more time than he probably should have.  Fall is such a busy time, and especially this year for some reason.  My folks and I headed up North.  We hit the outlet stores in Tilton, then had lunch at one of my favorites the Yankee Smokehouse.  Best barbecue in my memory.  Then we did a little more shopping in North Conway before heading to our condo in Bartlett. 
Wednesday- the one day I had my camera :-\ we drove to the top of Mount Washington.  This is a mountain with 4000 foot rise in elevation.  It has some of the worst weather recorded, including a top wind speed of over 230 mph.  It was, again, a beautiful day though.  It is a mountain that is frequently enveloped in the clouds yet it was 54 and mostly sunny.  The clouds that were there were down below in one valley creating a stunning vista.
Thursday we shopped a little more and took our time heading home.  We then headed out again to ManchVegas to have dinner with Karyn and Ralph.  We went to Firefly Bistro.  A cozy little place in downtown Manchester.  It was good to catch up with them.
Friday we took a bit of a down day and walked Zdeno up to the Ledges here in Temple.  He was such a good dog.  We took him off leash once we left the road and he stuck right by us.  It does crack me up how he dashed up and down the marble ledge with ease yet he won't go up or down stairs.
Saturday was a rainy day so went to see a movie.  Footloose.  I hadn't seen the original with Kevin Bacon so I enjoyed getting the opportunity to see this one.  It doesn't strike me as a movie Art would see with me but we all had fun.  My Mom then made enchiladas for dinner- YUM!  Then we taught them the hand and (in?) foot card game.  Good day.
Sunday was the last full day and we had ambitious plans to go to Maine for the day.  However, it was a little windy and we were pretty tired from over a week of busy activity.  So we hung out in the morning and watched a movie on tv, played angry birds on the ipad and iphone, then headed over to Karyn and Ralph's for dinner.  We picked up some $4.99/lb. lobster at Market Basket on the way.  We had a great dinner and enjoyed sitting outside by their fire pit.  My Mom also picked up a cake from Frederick's Pastries for my impending birthday next week.  Great day again.
This morning we went to one of my Mom's favorites- Parker's Maple Barn for pumpkin pancakes before heading out.  Now, it's just me and sad little Z and Blizzie again.  I cleaned out the coop for a distraction and will get to work making up for all that I didn't accomplish last week but I did want to take a moment to secure my memories from a wonderful visit!  I can't wait for the next one :-)
Of course, all week, Zdeno got to play ball with his Grandma and Grandpa.  They brought him a bag full of tennis balls and he was in heaven.  Inside ball, outside ball, nonstop ball.  He is going to miss then most I think!

06 October 2011

Newport 2011

video

Each year we go down to Newport to visit Art's parents during their timeshare week.  We really look forward to the trip.  Our favorite activities are often done over and over again and we look forward to revisiting our favorites.  This year we spent both days out on Breton Point flying kites.  Art got a new kite this year in hopes that he would be able to go out there to fly kites with his Dad.  They both have stunt kites but Dad also brought a fun airplane kite.  It didn't seem air-worthy but on the second day they got the flappy little guy up no problem.  We had a great lunch at Flo's Clam Shack the first day.  The gals had fish and chips while the boys had fried clams.  Delicious!  We also walked up and down Thames street for a little sightseeing and window shopping.  We did get Art's Dad some fudge for later on.  We also were able to catch up on our card playing.  Art has been so busy this fall at the store that we haven't been able to go over to their house as much as we'd like.  Hand and foot is our game du jour.  We have a great time playing.  We also made a stop at the Brick Alley for burgers on the way out of town.  It was a short visit but one that I am so glad we were able to make!