Friday, January 30, 2009

Reports from England and New England

This week Sheri is in Sandwich for work to attend meetings and catch up with colleagues in the UK. The skies are clear in Kent (southeastern England), with good views of the cathedral on trips to and from Canterbury and Sandwich each day. It is "cold" by local standards (+2C, 35F). Meanwhile, snow, rain and freezing rain are clouding the skies in southeastern Connecticut. Bruno is keeping the home fires burning and making plans for the weekend's social activities, including dinner with Peter York, friend and colleague from Bruno's Bradford (UK) days.

The weekend weather is looking good for installing floors in Westerly, RI. Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Grand Opening of Juniper Cafe

No, we don't have any new pets, just five diners at Juniper Cafe here at Hangman Hill. Note the foreground of the last photo! The downside of having snow on the ground for so long is that the "winter interest" plants make a tasty treat for some. The photos are a little grainy since they were taken from inside. Kokee did chase them away, eventually, only to have them come back again. What can we say?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Old Fashioned Winter

We have had snow on the ground nearly every day since before Christmas. It feels like an old fashioned New England winter. The sustained subfreezing temperatures help too! Thanks to Bruno's efforts to keep the wood stoves burning, we are mostly enjoying a winter reminiscent of times spent in Montreal, Madison and Western Pennsylvania. Kokee is also enjoying the winter wonderland. The cats however, well, seeking warmth seems to be their primary focus, see photos below.

After a stressful week at work with the announcement that some of our colleagues are loosing their jobs, we are thankful a warm cozy house, affectionate pets, supportive friends close by, and each other.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ski Report from Vermont

We made our first excursion to Vermont to play in the snow this past weekend. To our delight there was more snow than we expected! We couldn't resist a relaxing start to the day at the Thames Ski Lodge (late breakfast) on Saturday, which gave the sun time to come up and the downhill crowd to get on the lifts. We skied at Blueberry Hill in Goshen on Saturday in bright sun, and very light winds until dusk. The winter storm that hit the Northeast on Saturday evening tracked slightly farther north than expected leaving 5-7" in southern Vermont. Again we were tempted by the solitude of XC skiing on fresh powder and explored a new set of trails, Wild Wings Ski Touring Center in Peru (southern Vermont that is). It was fantastic! There was 7+ inches in Peru, combined with a brilliant blue sky, abundant sunshine and very light winds made it another great day to be on the trail. The trails are narrow and winding so skate skiing is not possible, Oh, and very nicely tracked. The snow from the night before was extremely dry and light, and a lovely adornment to the dark evergreens lining the trail. We met some nice folks who did some trail breaking on a few "backcountry" trails. The only sad part is we forgot the camera.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Painting anyone?

Work continues at Spruce Street to renovate the den. The wooden paneling has been sanded, filled, and primed ready for a final coat of paint (see above). Already it looks so much brighter and bigger! Last night we tackled the closet and half-bath, and we just need one or two more days to paint those paneled walls. If you get the urge to come and help us out, please let us know!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year

The Christmas and New Year Holidays have been terrific, albeit, too short. We have enjoyed time together, sharing meals with dear friends, and catching up with our families by phone. A trip to Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence with Joann and Eric to see the Chihuly exhibit gave a chance to explore a new area. It was great to see the work of Dale Chihuly and the students that were so inspired by him. We will need to return to that area of Providence for further exploration, on a day that is not so bracing. Also, it has been great to see some progress at Spruce Street, so look for some photo updates soon. The pets have enjoyed our company, and we look forward to another day at home to break down the Christmas tree search for our work bags and badges. We are off to enjoy drinks and dinner at the Olympia Tea Room in Watch Hill, an old favorite even in early January

The good news is that the days are noticeably longer (if not warmer!), seed catalogs with colored tabs protruding from their pages are resting on the coffee table, and at trip to Vermont is scheduled for next weekend. Happy New Year! Oh, and think snow!