Category: This New Hampshire Life

Last Lunch

Fish went to an overnight camp recently. She was a little nervous, but mostly excited. This is her third year going to camp so she really knew what to expect.

One of the things she expected was the food. It’s, well, it’s camp food. She’s been to this camp before, so she was looking forward to the spaghetti and maybe hot dogs, oh and breakfast was usually pretty good. Other than that, well, it’s camp food ya know?

I offered to take her out to lunch before I dropped her off and she chose Boloco. Not a bad choice, but then I reminded her about the clam shack not too far from camp. Now we’re talkin’!!

So, what’s on the menu for the last lunch before camp? I’m glad you asked! Steamed Maine clams, lemonade and carmel, chocolate peanut butter cookie dough ice cream. Hopefully those memories lasted her the week!

Fish barely tolerating me taking a picture of her eating her steamers.  STEAMED CLAMS, Fish enjoying her chocolate, carmel peanut butter cookie dough ice cream



Weir’s Beach

“What Are We Going to do For FUN today?”

That is the question I hear most mornings during summer vacation. Some days it is pretty cut and dried. 99 Degrees? 100% humidity? We’re heading to Aunt Jane’s and swimming in the pool.

Top A Winnepesauki Railroad car, Row FunSpot Sign and Token Cards, Third row, me playing PacMan,Fish playing Pin ball and Mim riding a motorcycle video gameLast Friday was less clear. It was a beautiful summer day, a few puffy clouds, minimal humidity, highs in the low 80’s and a light breeze. I had a deadline in the morning, but the afternoon was ours. I lobbied for a bike ride on a local bike trail, but I got out voted. After consulting our list of things we wanted to do this summer, my son proposed Weir’s Beach.

I grew up with the Jersey Shore, within reasonable driving distance. So, the beach and the boardwalk are not foreign too me. Weir’s Beach is kind of like a mini Jersey Shore. There is a beach, the MS Mount Washington sails from the pier and there is a boardwalk and arcades.

Before our trip, I scouted things out and identified a specific location for treats and also found a coupon for FunSpot, a year round bowling/mini-golf/arcade located just up the road from the boardwalk.

Fish kiboshed the beach right off the bat apparently we’d been swimming too much this week. I didn’t realize that was possible. We got a late start so her brother & I agreed to this condition and we set off (A-Man had to work). We explored the boardwalk and were able to just glance at the arcades because I promised a full service arcade at FunSpot. While at the board walk, the Winnepesauki Railroad pulled in and we agreed that would be a fun trip for another day.

We picked the perfect time for Fun Spot. Everyone else was enjoying a perfect beach day (not such a great thing for a family with albinism). Between the  WOKQ Buyers Club and an online promo code, I was able to get $50 worth of tokens for $22. We played video games, skee ball and air hockey. I got my annual Pac Man fix and we still have tokens left! The kids cashed out their tickets for the requisite junk and we headed on to the Kellerhaus for treats.

My daughter hit the sundae bar and Mim & I hit the candy shop. The Sundae bar looked amazing, but my logic was that a Pecan Turtle was fewer calories than an ice cream sundae with all the fixin’s. My caloric math, might be flawed, but the Turtle was yummy. 🙂

I like being a tourist in my own backyard. I can imagine we’ll head back to FunSpot when the weather turns cold. They offer two kinds of bowling (candlepin AND ten pin) and we still have about $25 worth of tokens burning a hole in our collective pocket.

Escape From Skeeterville

Last week when I heard my slider open, I was a little startled. Both kids were in the house (one still in bed) and my Mother-in-law (the only other person to come through my sliding door during the day), was away. Turns out it was Dave, my husband’s cousin with interesting news.

Two chickens in the coop many more outside the coop. “Are your chickens supposed to be out?”

“Well, yeah, they have the automatic chicken door.”

“No, I mean out as in all over the yard out.”

“Um, no.”

We think it was a combination of things, when the coop door is closed, there is er was a gap just wide enough for a curious chicken to squeeze through, but we’re not 100% sure that the coop door was 100% closed. I headed next door and with Dave’s help, herded the wandering fowl back inside the fence. A quick head count and we determined everyone was fine, no harm no well, you know.

Eventually, we hope to let them free range some, but they need to be a little bigger to hold their own with the dogs. That said I swear they are doubling in size every day!

Life is never dull in these parts!

one bird looking in from the outside.
We think this guy is a rooster. I picked him up but as we got close to the door, he flew out of my hands. Once everyone else had made their way inside, he went willingly.

Pedal, Pedal, Pedal!

To: Jeff Elrick, It’s Ability Pediatric Physical Therapy Center

From: A Proud Mom

Dear Jeff:

A year ago, my son Mim, could not ride a two wheeler. He was afraid of falling and we were both very frustrated. His vision and some coordination issue weren’t helping either. He spent three mornings with you and your wonderful staff at Bike Camp and when we parted ways, he was wobbly, but he was on his way.

Last week he and I rode 6.2 miles, a circuitous route from our home to his school and back. His starts and stops are still a little rough, but he improves a little every time we ride. Most importantly, his confidence is through the roof.

This is all your fault!

Thanks so much!



Time Flies

We recently went to let the chicks have some time outside pecking at the ground and enjoying the fresh air. The only problem was somebody had sprinkled our flock with grow dust. Overnight it seemed they’d doubled in size! We moved a few of them outside and quickly realized this wasn’t going to work as they’d grown enough to fly out of the fenced in pen we’d used in the past.  We quickly rounded up the supplies we needed to move them to their permanent home. Finally, it was moving day!

Just like the commercial airlines, we packed them in a tote like sardines. We made sure to bring the food bag, and then it was just a short limo ride next door and we released them into their permanent Casa De Poultry. It didn’t take long for them to ahem, make themselves at home.

Three photos, 24 chicks in a rubbermaid tote, the tote in the back seat of my car and chicken poop in the wood shavings.

They hung out inside for a few days while A-man made their run predator proof (or as close as he could get). When the day came to open the door and let them roam, there was some trepidation on their part. Three of them stood in the door way and peeked out, then looked at each other and the rest of the flock and back outside. The conversation seem to something along the lines of

“After you.”

“No, after you.”

“Oh no, I insist, after you.”

Eventually they all made it outside and decided things were acceptable. We’re letting them get use to their new surroundings and grow enough to stand their ground with the dogs. Once their a little bigger, we’ll let them free range and see how everyone adjusts to that. In the mean time, their living the good life!

We go back at night to make sure everyone made it inside before the chicken door closed and without fail, they are inside, snuggled up and sharing pillow talk by about 8pm. They are sound sleepers too, if we go in to fill food or refresh water, no one makes a peep (literally).

So far so good!!

A few chicks like to sleep on the cross beam of the knee wall, but most are huddled in the corner softly peeping.

Little Things

Last week was back to back insanity, just flat out nuts with a side order of completely off the deep end. It was like being at the beach at high tide in a hurricane. The waves were big and they just kept coming and coming. During those times, it is the little things that are life preservers helping you ride out the REALLY big waves. So, I bring you last week’s little things.

The Scarf – Wednesday night was by far the hottest and most humid day of the summer. It was also Cub Scout Family Fun night, the annual end-of-year celebration and recruitment night for the local Cub Scout Pack. While there I was gifted with a beautiful, hand made, scarf as recognition for work I did to raise funds to purchase t-shirts for the boys. We raised double the amount we needed, but that had more to do with the awesome generosity of the businesses in our town than it did with the letter I wrote. Still, I got teary. It was especially meaningful because the woman who made it for me is more involved than I am in local activities. She’s flat out too and she’s making a scarf for me!

'Valet Parking' photo (c) 2011, Britt Reints - license: Valet Parking – On Friday, I drove to Boston to take my mom to the hospital for a medical procedure. This promised to be a stressful day from start to finish. We were late arriving (not my fault). We opted to use the valet parking service to expedite thing but realized we forgot to grab my mom’s handicapped parking placard. When we pulled up, we were immediately assisted by 2 valet parking attendants and a greeter. When one of the attendants saw my mom’s wheelchair, he took back the regular valet parking ticket and gave me the discounted handicapped parking ticket even though we didn’t have the placard. As I got on the elevator to take my mom upstairs, I realized I was still clutching the man’s tip in my hands. Argh!! Eight hours later, post procedure my mom was resting relatively comfortably, and I facing an hour an a half drive.  It was time to search for my car. Valet parking was closed and I was directed to the parking garage across the street. I had visions of wandering the 12 floors with my key fob clicking the panic button looking for my car. But no, the kind valet parking attendant who didn’t get a tip, left my car right by the door.

Knowledge Sponge – When all was said and done, I grabbed some down time with my husband and daughter on Sunday afternoon. After some fun, we ended up visiting family, which resulted in an impromptu barbecue. Towards the end of the night I went in search of my daughter and found her inside watching Fox News. I pointed out that she could probably find The Disney Channel, but she said “No, this is interesting.” Closer investigation revealed she was watching “Millennials Speak Out”, a show where 20 somethings shared their concerns with former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Man I love this kid.

Cub Scout Camp

Mim with his day pack and his Blue peaking out of the pocket.

Mim is off to his first Cub Scout Camp adventure this week. It five nights and four days of non-stop action. He was mostly excited, but I think a small part of him was nervous too. In other words, he was a typical little boy.

He’s there with his pack, so he knows the leaders and the other boys he’s camping with. I have no doubt, that both he AND the leaders will come back with some wacky tales to be told.

It rained like Noah was about to show up yesterday and a I cringed, and prayed that my not-so-detailed-oriented little boy remembered to put the top back on his rubbermaid bucket and close his tent flaps. Alas, I guess that what’s overnight camp is all about, experiential learning. 🙂

Mim packing his tub.  Ready to go and  a picture of their site

Summer Vacation Sangria

'Sangria' photo (c) 2010, TheCulinaryGeek - license:
This is a photo of generic Sangria. We drank all of the Summer Vacation Sangria before I could snap a photo

Last Friday was the first Friday of summer vacation. WHOO FREAKIN’ HOOOO! Summer vacation, no more crazy schedules, no more needing to be three places at once, no more homework.

Summer vacation, lots and lots and lots and LOTS of unstructured time. Wheeew Boy! Yep, Summer vacation (are ya gettin’ the mixed vibe?).

In honor of summer vacation, I whipped up a batch of Sangria for FNA. Most Friday nights, my neighbors host a gathering known as FNA – Friday Night Awesome. Someday I will try to blog about the awesomeness that is FNA, but for today, I’m going to blog about Sangria. This sangria, was, well, awesome. *AHEM* Maybe a little too awesome, but that’s my fault, not the sangria’s. There may have been a Facebook post or two about the almighty sangria, so to all those who asked for the recipe, here it is.

Summer Vacation Sangria

Note: This is the party version. If you aren’t serving a crowd, you can half the recipe.

2 lemon

2 lime

2 orange

1 1/2 cups rum (I used Captain Morgan’s Tattoo, Dark Spiced Rum)

1 1/2 cups blackberry Brandy

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 (750 milliliter) bottle red wine (I used BareFoot Sweet Red)

2 cups orange juice

Cut the fruit in to thin slices and place it to a 64oz. container

Add everything to the container except the brown sugar and mix.

Pour 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of the liquid into a microwave safe measuring cup, add the brown sugar and stir. Warm briefly in the microwave to fully dissolve the sugar (I used my beverage reheat setting).

Add the sugared liquid back to the container and mix.

Chill for at least four hours.

It’s a powerful little brew. I brought ginger ale for those who might want to thin it some. I should have taken my own advice. The third glass did me in, but it sure did taste good!

For me personally, the mixture of wine and hard liquor isn’t always a positive thing. Next time, I think I’ll try substituting unsweetened grape juice for the wine and call it rum punch 🙂

However you enjoy it, I strongly recommend moderation but a designated driver is a non-negotiable requirement. Never drink and drive. Don’t mean to get preachy, but please be careful out there.

Happy Summer Vacation!

They’re HERE!!!

We picked up the chicks on Friday!

Their new home in a bed of wood shavings in a big plastic bin. Three pictures of kids holding chicks.

They were really cute balls of fluff. I say were because they are growing like mad and are beginning to enter that awkward teenager stage. They are eating/drinking/pooping machines! But they are super cute.

This is a cooperative project between four families. Almost everyone has met our feathered friends and some have even been initiated (ahem pooped on). I think the award for most excited for their arrival goes to Becky. We’re pretty sure that K, (Becky’s youngest girl) has handled each of the 24 chicks at LEAST once :). It is cute to watch the kids take to them. We are carefully handling them so that they will become very used to humans. Before you ask, we instituted strict hand washing policies!

Fish is super excited and has requested that caring for the chickens become a permanent chore of hers. Mim hasn’t shown a ton of interest, but he’s held a few chicks and that’s good enough for me. A-man keeps asking them when he’ll get some eggs.

Last weekend we went away for one overnight and Becky and her husband stepped up to care for them. It really is pretty straightforward but they do require regular attention, so the only way this would work for us is if it is a group effort. We’re lucky to have such awesome neighbors!

This will not become exclusively a chicken blog, but watch for more chicken posts in the near future.