Sunday, August 24, 2014

Damsons galore!

A few years ago we planted three damson trees so we would be able to enjoy damson preserves and desserts. Yesterday we picked about a third of the fruit on one tree, and we ended up with fifty-pounds of fruit. This will probably make enough jam for the next ten years! If you know anyone who would like some damsons please let us know......

Yoga on the beach

We got up early this morning and headed to the beach for a yoga class. It was a beautiful morning and we enjoyed a refreshing swim after our sequence of sun salutations and downward dogs in front of the waves. A great way to enjoy summer in our part of the world!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Herding Cows at the Cool Breeze Farm

One of the fun aspects of being neighbors to dairy farmers is being asked to help move cows from one field to the next. Kokee stepped out of her retriever role today and was a herding dog.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Adam & Nicole's wedding

Yesterday (Saturday) we attended a beautiful wedding at Whispering Pines Conference Center in Rhode Island.  Adam (the groom) is the son of our good friend and neighbor Mark Panosky, and we have known he and Nicole for quite a few years.

The wedding was a US-German affair and incorporated traditions from both cultures.  We especially enjoyed the open air venue, the lakeside ceremony, and the fun elements injected at regular intervals during the ceremony and the reception.   You can see one of these (the German log sawing tradition) in the picture below.

We wish the bride and groom all the best for the future, and hope that the next wedding we are invited to is just as enjoyable.


Sip and paint....

During our latest trip to New Hampshire we spotted a flyer from a local art gallery that promised an evening of fun by learning to paint whilst enjoying a glass or two of wine.  What could be better?!

So after saying goodbye to our guests (Eric and Jo; see previous blog post) and before heading home to Connecticut, we spent an evening at the Jackson Arts Studio polishing off a bottle of wine and trying to paint a local woodland scene.

The instructor took us through several stages that can bee seen below, including masking off an area for the trunks of the trees, painting the background, creating a few tree 'forms'  in the mid-ground, and finally adding details to the trees in the foreground.  The class was a lot of fun and everyone ended up with a very respectable painting to take home.

If you have the chance to try this in the future we'd thoroughly recommend it!

Vacation in New Hampshire

We spent the very last week of July on vacation in New Hampshire with our good friends Eric and Jo.   They travelled all the way from Wisconsin to stay with us at our mountain chalet (many thanks!) and to enjoy all of the fun activities in the area.

We started off on the first day with a short hike up to Black Cap mountain to enjoy the views, on a bug-free sunny day.  This was followed by dinner out at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

The next day was a little rainy so we went out for breakfast in North Conway, caught up on news, did a jigsaw puzzle, drank cocktails, made several trips to the hardware store, and planned the rest of the week's activities.

Once the weather cleared we had fun taking a zip-line ride and a gondola trip to the top of Wildcat Mountain (we clearly need to return with snowboards later in the year).  The day was completed by taking the easy way to the top of Mount Washington (by driving) and eating ice-cream at the Willey House near Crawford Notch.

By this point in the week we were fully warmed up, so we hiked the Moat Mountain ridge finishing up at a local waterfall (Diana's Baths) for a cool swim (for Kokee mostly).  We ate lots of blueberries on the way and enjoyed fantastic views.

A rest day followed, with homemade blueberry pancakes, another trip to the hardware store (!), re-stacking for the firewood left over from last winter, and a few games of cards in the evening.

We finished up the week with a great hike to Arethusa Falls via the Frankenstein Cliff path, and a round of golf at the local mini-golf.  For the record, we all played under-par rounds and Kokee got to come along with us (although she wasn't allowed on the greens).

In amongst all of this we found time to take a yoga class, explore numerous local bagel shops, and finished installing a downstairs bathroom sink.  Overall, it was a very relaxing week and a real treat to spend time in the mountains with good friends.

We have a floor!

Renovations at the chalet in New Hampshire have been progressing at a steady pace with help from numerous local tradesmen and handy-people.  The latest big happening is that we now have a finished floor in the main living area and we have some furniture to sit on.  Thankfully all this happened about 24 hours before our friends Eric and Jo arrived for a vacation stay at the chalet (more of this in a separate blog post).

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Early morning gardening

What a great way to start the day! Maybe this is the year of the cabbage at Hangman Hill?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How to unwind after work...


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Back home in Connecticut

It's amazing what happens in the garden when you go away for a week!