Saturday, July 23, 2011

New Roof for the Llama Shed

When we purchased the house on Hangman Hill it came with a garden shed that held llamas which belonged to the previous owners. We fondly refer to it as the llama shed in spite of the fact it currently houses mice that live in the firewood pile, and some gardening supplies.   "Mouse shed" somehow lacks the same endearing quaintness as "llama shed".

Last weekend Bruno replaced the roof shingles on the llama shed with help from Mark.  We can't quite figure out why Mark agreed to spend a full Saturday in July on a roof with Bruno. This says a lot about Mark and what a good friend he is to us.  We greatly appreciated his help!    

Bruno is finishing up a bit of trim work this weekend in spite of the searing heat that currently blankets southeastern CT.

North Stonington Fair

The North Stonington Agricultural Fair was held the weekend after we returned from our trip to Colorado.   During the week we harvested the produce and herbs from our garden that we had entered into the fair just in time for the opening on Thursday evening July 7th.  The evening was clear and the temperatures perfectly suited for exploring the garden and home arts offerings, the dog dancing and flyball demonstrations from the local AKC chapters and the chickens, cows, bunnies and more.  We did well with rosemary and lettuce this year which won 1st place ribbons.  

We managed to leave without this beauty
Prize money paid for one our entrance fees

Growing collection!

What every dog owner dreams of?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Garlic & rhubarb harvest

One of our over-winter projects was to grow garlic.  It was quite simple really; we just planted cloves of garlic in September and harvested them in July.  It is hard to imagine an easier crop to grow!

We did pretty much the same with rhubarb, and it gave us the best crop in recent years.  Mmm, rhubarb pie and ice cream...

Hot, hot, hot!

We officially hit 99 degrees Fahrenheit today in North Stonington (that's 37.2 degrees Celsius for our European and Canadian friends). Either way it's dang hot, and we are simply doing our best to stay cool for the weekend. Thankfully, we just installed a new home-brew fridge in the basement (thanks to Freecycle) so we are prepared for the circumstances. Perfect timing!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kokee's surprise guest

We had a fair bit of rain last night, so Kokee (our golden retriever) awoke to find an unexpected guest at breakfast time this morning:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cukes on the Hill

July Face of Produce.. Need we say more?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Estes Park, CO Adventure

During the later part of our stay in Colorado we joined DiAnn (Sheri's mom) and Mike, Michael (Sheri's brother) and Janel, Kerry (Sheri's sister) and Brandon, in Estes  Park to celebrate DiAnn's 70th Birthday.  We stayed in a lovely house outside of town which was well suited for relaxing in the Colorado sun, cooking and dining together and serving a launch pad for day hikes, trips to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), fly fishing, oh... and bear watching!  We were joined several evenings by very large black bear who was keen to join in the festivities, but kept a safe distance (15 feet).  During the day time everyone made the most of the local trails in RMNP and the town of Estes Park.  One day all made a hike at Lumpy Ridge just outside of town.  The time spent was fantastic and the setting couldn't have been better suited for our get together.  We celebrated our last evening together with fajitas on the grill and watching fireworks over Lake Estes.  Thanks to DiAnn for suggesting this adventure, to Kerry and Brandon for serving as local guides and hosts, and to Michel and Janel for making the long drive to Bozeman.

More photos at this link

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fun with Kerry and Brandon

We traveled to Colorado for an extended vacation that began in Fort Collins where Kerry (Sheri's sister) and her husband Brandon live.  The week included lots of hikes, some scrambling, climbing and a 3-day backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP).  The weather was all that we hoped for, i.e.,  sunny, hot and arid with cool evenings that made for some great sleeping.  The first few days we stayed close to Fort Collins, exploring the trails to Horsetooth Ridge, and climbing at Duncan's Ridge.  We also had great day hiking to Emerald Lake in RMNP as a warm up for our backcountry trip.  The backpacking in the Wild Basin area of RMNP took us to higher elevations where we had plenty of snow and some cooler temperatures.  We saw lots of wildlife, wildflowers, snow and even got to swim in a spring-fed mountain lake with fantastic views; that is, until we were driven out by a beaver.   We missed Brandon on the backpacking trip, but were glad to have Kerry as a companion and guide.  She did some great route finding when the trail became buried in snow and the way was uncertain.  She was rewarded at Thunder Lake with a cup of tea prepared by Bruno who remembered to "put in the stove".

Horsetooth Ridge in Fort Collins

Hiking to Emerald Lake

Tea at Thunder Lake

View from Thunder Lake (we heard thunder!)

Ouzel Lake

Climbing at Duncan's Ridge in Fort Collins

You can see more photos at this link

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Meet the Mountie

Whilst grocery shopping in the US on July 1st we were surprised (and pleased) to find that the staff of the store were celebrating Canada Day.  They had even enlisted the help of a real Canadian Mounted Policeman!  We didn't see his horse, but Bruno did shake his hand and get his photo taken to show that we were not dreaming. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

We're a day late, but we wanted to wish all of our Canadian friends a happy Canada Day. Many of you will be celebrating in the great outdoors, and we are thinking of you camping, rock climbing, canoeing and the like.

We are also getting some healthy exercise and fresh air over the July 4th holiday in the US. We'll provide more details of how we celebrated Canada Day and the 4th of July weekend in an upcoming blog posting, so stay tuned.