Thursday, December 31, 2015

Boxing Day Hike to Mt Pierce

Warm temperatures and crystal clear skies afforded the opportunity to hike one of the 4000 footers. We took a familiar and favorite drive to Crawford Notch to hike Mt Pierce (4311 ft). The temperatures were in the high 50's when we left the parking lot just opposite the AMC Highland Center. We followed Crawford Path to the summit of Mt Pierce.  Crawford Path is the oldest continually maintained hiking path in the US and is popular approach to many of the Presidential Sumits. The summit of Mt Pierce offered amazing views and we enjoyed the company of a few fellow hikers.  We returned to the car via the Mizpah hut which is closed in the winter but offered an open sheltered spot for lunch.  We rejoined Crawford Path for an easy return to the car.  While we hoped to be skiing, a 4000 footer in September-like weather is not a bad way to spend our Christmas vacation!

Crawford Path: Approaching ridgeline to the summit of Mt Pierce

Just below the summit of Mt Pierce with views to Mt Washington

Summit of Mt Pierce

Lunch at Mizpah hut

Kokee taking a cleansing swim before heading to the car.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas in New Hampshire

Merry Christmas!  We celebrated a quiet Christmas in New Hampshire with record breaking temperatures and clear skies.  

Fueled by pastries from the Vintage Baking Co we traveled to Gorham NH to hike Pine Mountain. The description of the short loop hike goes something like "incredible 360 views with very little effort". Indeed it was a great little hike, and a perfect return to hiking in the White Mountains following seven weeks of recuperation for Sheri.   We had incredible views to Mt Washington and to Mt Moriah.

We spent Christmas afternoon opening gifts from friends, family and each other while drinking mulled wine.  We had a simple dinner of salad, Christmas quiche (new tradition?), and Christmas cake (Sheri's first attempt at an old tradition). Many thanks to our families for the thoughtful, creative and useful gifts and best wishes to all. We hope you are enjoying some special time with friends and family and doing what you enjoy.

Monday, December 21, 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We have had unseasonably warm temperatures in the Northeast with high temperatures in the 50-60's for most of December.  While it is tempting to start planing seeds in the garden, we have been making preparations for the holidays.  Warm weather has made outside decorating a breeze, so Santa and the flamingos keeping the neighbors amused. Sheri is making a tradition English Christmas cake which involves lots of sherry, fruit, marzipan and royal icing.  Even the cactus seems to know Christmas is coming.  The only thing lacking is a little of the white stuff.  

Santa and his team of flamingos
Adding a little sherry to the Christmas Cake 
 The Christmas cactus flowers for Christmas

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Real Ale Thursday

Enjoying my prize from our department Christmas party - a growler of "Lonesome Boatman Ale" from the Outerlight Brewing Company in Groton (just down the road from Pfizer)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Beer and cider rmaking

What better to do than to spend a Saturday afternoon upgrading my beer and cider making skills?  So....a few weeks ago I went to our local home-brew shop to learn about "boil-in-a-bag" full grain brewing and apple pressing with locally picked apples.  As you can see a fun time was had by all and some very fresh apple juice made its way back to Hangman Hill Road.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Season In-Between: Rest, Recovery and Preparations for Ski Season

After some fantastic late fall hikes in New Hampshire we are spending a few weekends in Connecticut.  Sheri has been recovering from abdominal surgery (nothing serious, but a slow recovery) and Bruno has been taking care of the pets, the garden and Sheri.  

We are grateful for all of the encouragement, gifts, cards and well wishes for Sheri's speedy reocovery.  Special thanks to DiAnn and Mike for the lovely plant and flower display and the fresh fruit bouquet!

Sheri has enjoyed two books from our friend Denise.  Grandma Gatewood's Walk tells the story of the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine at age 65. She then then repeats the walk two more times.  The second book, Following Atticus, is the story of Tom Ryan and his miniature schnauzer Atticus as they hike the forty-eight 4000 footers in the White Mountains in all four seasons.  Both are inspiring reads and make us eager to get on the trails be it on foot, ski or snowboard!

It has been nice to spend time at home with the cats and enjoying some warm sunny skies.  The garden is winding down and Bruno had been tidying things up for winter so that in the first warm day in spring we can start planting.

Essential tools for Sheri's recovery

Hary is a good companion for the patient

Colorful flowers are welcome this time of year!

Monday, November 9, 2015

November Face of Produce: Fennel, radish and beet

The leaves have mostly come off the trees which means it is time for fall clean up in the garden.  It is always a little melancholy packing up hoses, cutting back the asparagus fronds, putting the pots in the shed and cutting back the remnants of sunflowers, beans, and other garden fruits.  It is for this reason the disovery of big red beets, crisp radishes and bright green fennel that you forgot you planted in late summer is so very sweet.  We have a tasty face of produce this November.  The taste of garden fresh veggies, and visions of fresh powder on the trail, keep us smiling.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

North, Middle & South Carter via the Imp Face

Last weekend we were in New Hampshire enjoying unusually warm weather and clear skies.  We hiked in the Carter range and enjoyed views far and wide in every direction.  The hike up to the Imp face was steep, but once we were on the ridge we were able to take it easy and enjoy the scenery.  Mount Washington was in the clear and we think that we may have spotted Marty the summit cat with our binoculars!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Award for Bruno

We both recently attended the annual meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (APPS), where Bruno was honored with the "AAPS Achievement Award in Manufacturing Sciences & Engineering".  This award is given in recognition of outstanding scientists who have demonstrated significant impact in their respective fields.  In addition to lots of interesting science and renewing some old friendships we were fortunate to enjoy a week of warm weather in Orlando FL.


First winter hike of the season

It was late October, and we set out for a short hike on the Davis Path towards Crawford Mountain.  The temperatures were a little chilly, but we werent expecting to be caught out in a snowstorm!  The hike started gently, but as we approached the summit we started to see signs of winter; frozen puddles on the trail and a few snowflakes in the air.  As we reached the top, a big storm coud blew in and we were hit by a snowy squall.  Fortunately we had our hats, gloves and down-jackets with us, and a thermos of hot tea too.  We had a great hike but we didn't manage to snap any pictures on the summit because of the unexpected cod snap.


Hedgehog Mountain

A few weeks ago we hiked to Hedgehog mountain, a peak off the Kancamagus highway in New Hampshire.  It was a superb hike with lots of views, and we had great weather for the whole way around the loop.

5 x 1 Relay Race

Each year we participate in a 5 x 1-mile relay race at Pfizer in support of the local United Way charities. Part of the fun is to run the race in costume, and prizes are given for the best dressed team as well as the fastest (and the most money raised).  This year Bruno's team were dressed as the "Village People" and Sheri's team were elements of the periodic table,

Banjo Players On-Stage

In September we were lucky enough to be able to see Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn at Connecticut College in neaby New London.  The are virtuoso banjo players and truly masters of their instruments.  A great time was had by all!

Fryeburg Fair

Near our chalet in New Hampshire is the small town of Fryebrug (Maine).  Every year this is the venure for an extrordinary and enormous agricultural fair.  The fair lasts for a full 8-days and includes everything from cooking demonstrations, blacksmithing, plowing competitions, horse racing, steam engines, ox-pulls, sheep shearing, a best christmas tree competition, and, of course, lots of country music and fried food.  We went on 'woodsmans day' which features various competitions for male and female lumberjack-types (cross-cut sawing, tree climbing, axe throwing, etc).  It was a wonderful family atmosphere and the fair is extremely well run.  We were especially impressed by the cleanliness of the rest rooms and the piped music therein!.  I suspect that we will return in future years because there is so much to see and we barely scratched the surface.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Pumpkin People Return to New Hampshire

The Pumpkin People have returned to Jackson, NH and neighboring towns.  This event is sponsored by local businesses that participate by creating "people" made from real pumpkins.  During our travels with DiAnn and Mike around the Jackson area we were able to see many of the Pumpkin People displays.  This year the event offered some really creative uses of pumpkins, gourds and more.  We included photos of some of our favorites below.

Bruno, Kokee and Sheri as Pumpkin People

 Alice and Wonderland (Backcountry Cafe)

 The Presidential Range (Wentworth Hotel)

Rudolph and Friends (Snowflake Inn)

 Muppets (J-Town Deli)

 Donald Trumpkin (The Puzzle Box)

 The Band (Wildcat Inn and Tavern)

 Laundry Lady (Jackson Art Center) 

 Rapunzel (E-SKImos Ski Club)