Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year Coming Up

Here it is almost the end of the year. New Hampshire is ushering 2013 out with very cold temperatures, but we are trying to stay all cozy in the house—at least until the boys go back to school on Thursday—and make plans for 2014.

I'm still working on the Creative Challenge, of course, and auditioning for at least one (but probably two) plays this year. Karen wants to finish her trailer in time for Spring camping. I'm still not clear on what the boys want to accomplish in the coming year, but we'll be talking more about it tomorrow, while everyone is home for the day.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sunny Christmas

The sun is shining brightly here in central New Hampshire this morning. So brightly that you expect the snow to be melting. But since the temperature outside is around 13 degrees, there's not much chance of that.

It's okay, though; we're not going anywhere, and we're all nice and snug inside, the boys sporting the new robes they got for Christmas.

And things will warm up to near freezing tomorrow, so we might go take a swim.

In the indoor pool, of course. We're not that crazy.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


The house smells good today. Finding ourselves bumping up against a deadline—the last day of school before vacation is tomorrow—we are all pitching in for a marathon day of baking.

Karen started the day whipping up banana bread batter while I worked on the first of six kinds of cookie dough. I've been baking since she left.

William will make his contribution by making chocolate-covered pretzels when he comes home from school, and then Daniel and Thomas will be making more cookies this evening.

Karen will get back into the swing of things when she comes home from work, finishing up raspberry truffles (that Tom will have mixed after dinner).

All-in-all, a tiring, tempting, delicious-smelling day at the Brooks Bunch home.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Something Like a Date

It wasn't anything fancy, but Karen and I got a chance to spend a lot of time out and about today. First we went to the pool so Karen could get in some swimming (I don't really swim so much, but I like to watch her), and then we had lunch together, and afterwards spent an hour or so at the library, one of our favorite hangouts, especially during this frigid time of year.

Nothing fancy, as I said, but a lovely day with a lovely lady. What more could a guy ask for?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It's Brewing!

A new winter storm is approaching and today is all about storm prep. The first big one of the season always takes us slightly by surprise, especially when it comes this early.

As in, "Oh, yeah, I haven't repaired the pull-starter rope on the snow-thower yet," and "Maybe I should put a handrail on those temporary steps I just built."

And then there are the things we do in case the power goes out. Not as likely for this storm, as the winds will be relatively mild and the snow will be dry and powdery. But with temperatures in the single digits, tree branches snapping over power lines is within the realm of possibility.

So I'm making buns for tonight's hamburgers early because we can cook burgers on a camp stove, but we can't bake bread. Right now I need to take care of that railing; don't want anyone slipping and sliding!

Monday, December 09, 2013

A Bit Chilly

I know that the West Coast is experiencing a cold spell now, and I thank California for putting it off until after we left.

It was actually fairly mild when we arrived here, above freezing the first day, but now it has gotten decidedly nippy. Single-digit overnight temps are expected in the coming days.

So, friends in Southern California: would you like to trade?

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Swimming In December

We are at the Windrifter Resort in Wolfeboro, and Karen and the boys are swimming. The pool, as you might expect, is indoors.

Karen joined the resort so she would have winter access to a pool so she can get some exercise. A side benefit is a week of time in one of the efficiencies at the resort for family or friends to visit (hint) or a quick getaway for two.

Friday, December 06, 2013

A Trip to California

We got home Tuesday night—well, actually Wednesday morning—from a nine-day trip to California, where three us us were born, and where Karen spent 18 years living (and that's all my fault). Only Danny has never lived in the Golden State. William only lived there a little over a year.

But we all love it, and although New Hampshire feels like home, it was very hard to get on the plane and fly away from family, friends, and glorious weather.

There was a lot of driving, in an SUV we rented that was just way too fancy, with keyless starting, and a touch-screen control panel for sound, climate control, and a few other things we didn't bother to learn. The only thing we never figured out how to do was close the moon roof.

We went from the airport in LA to Burbank, where we met up with friends at a local Round Table Pizza before turning in for the night (after having been up for nearly 24 hours straight) with our friends the Forbushes. Then we drove to Fresno to have Thanksgiving dinner with family, but only after a visit to the wonderful Chaffee Zoo.

After Thanksgiving it was back down to LA, for more visiting, and trip to Disneyland thanks to, and with, our friends the Reisches. Then another day of visiting, a day at Legoland California in Carlsbad, and then back onto a plane to Boston. It was 1:00 in the morning by the time we got home.

So, a whirlwind trip, that seemed every bit as short as the description I just gave. We wanted so much to linger longer, visit more friends and more places. But there was only so much time. There was more, and I will have more to say about it in the days to come. And there will be pictures video posted. But it wasn't long enough, not nearly.

It's been four long years since we came to our special West Coast home. But we won't wait that long to come back.

We just can't wait that long to come back.

Happy Birthday Danny!

Danny is 11 years old today. A couple of years from today I will have two teenagers in the house. Yikes! Tonight we are having, at Danny's request, grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. I'm going to offer an upgrade to tuna melts. I think he'll accept. We also have a cake and balloons for the big day.

This weekend we are taking him to see Disney's new movie, Frozen, and out to a special dinner at the Yankee Smokehouse. Danny has good taste in restaurants.

Tonight we are expecting an inch or so of snow, with more coming on Monday, although recent predictions on that score have been, to say the least, unreliable, so we'll play it by ear. But one thing I know for certain: no snow will be falling where we were a few days ago.


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Back In the "Live, Freeze, and Die" State

On December 1st, we were sipping ice-cold drinks, in T-shirts, sitting outside. Obviously, we were not in New Hampshire at the time.

When we got home last light, we discovered, to out chagrin but not much surprise, that the upstairs heater had decided to shut itself down, something it occasionally does. The cats didn't freeze or anything; the basement heater manages to keep things reasonable. For cats. But it was decidedly chilly in the house when we got home, and something of a shock from what we left behind on the West Coast.

But here we are. There will be more to say in my main blog, and lots of pictures to post.

But just now I have to get the kids out of bed, late (we let them sleep in because they didn't get to bed until about 1:30 this morning), and get them off to school.