Week 24 – More

We are back in New Hampshire for a couple of weeks (with one quick trip to Canada overnight) as we are holding down the fort while Katie is traveling in Spain for work. It is actually fun to be back here and catch up with the news and with friends. Our pansies this year are all self-seeded from last year’s batch and they are beautiful. Katie received this fun centerpiece of vases from a good friend. It is the perfect way to display the pansies in the center of the table. Such happy flowers.

Wood Splitting

Last fall we had some very large trees taken down behind the house. The folks who took down the trees cut up the trunks in fireplace log length for us. We had a huge pile of wood that was taunting us every time we walked past the wood shed. So, John decided we finally needed to split the wood and stack it in the shed. John and our friend David drove to David’s son’s place and picked up the wood splitter. We spent the whole weekend hauling the logs and splitting them and then stacking in the shed. We finally got to the point where we couldn’t lift the bigger logs so Jack and Libby joined in the fray. I was very determined that we would work for a half hour then rest for a half hour but once the kids joined us we worked for an hour and half and finished the whole thing. What a feeling of accomplishment. You can see we actually had fun. Towards the end Libby’s best friend Kaylee joined us and helped finish it off. I am hoping/thinking we won’t have to buy wood for next winter. Fingers crossed.

The wood pile is three levels deep

Wabun Bound – First One

Early this morning (Sunday) we saw Jack off to meet a fellow staff in White River Junction. They are headed north to Lake Temagami for the next eight or nine weeks. This will be Jack’s first year as staff. Because of the pandemic the camp did not operate the last two summers. Libby missed camp and some of her trips but will make it up this summer as she paddles on The Bay trip for 42 days. She drove him to meet his fellow staff who, as it turns out, will be Libby’s staff on The Bay trip. She has major WABUN envy but will be heading there in exactly two weeks from today. Can’t wait to hear about all their adventures.

Update on Jenny Lane

Our wonderful painter has been here quite a bit this week. He has finished the first coat on the whole house and started on the second coat. He is methodically painting the trim including around the windows, doors and the overhangs. We decided to try a pop of color for the front door. It is quite subtle when it is behind the screen door but you can still see it. This is after two coats and I am informed that it will need at least one more. It used to be dark green.

We all love the trim color and the door color. Did someone mention blue? Just didn’t appeal to us.

Walking The Rail Trail

My walking here is quite different from Canada. Mostly I do village walks and some hill walks when my brother is around. Here I do the Rail Trail. The dogs and I had a great couple of walks there this week. In the summer I really like these walks as the dogs get to swim quite a bit and they do get hot. We had a lot of rain so the river was very high. Wyke is standing where there usually is beach. The water is practically up to the road but they had a fun swim. We ran into a couple of friends too as well as a porcupine. I was incredibly proud of both dogs. The porcupine was crossing the road in front of us. They did not bother him/her but sniffed where it had walked. I asked them to leave it and they did. They were just curious not at all aggressive. Our training has paid off. No quills were exchanged.

A Recipe to Share

Photo from Half-Baked Harvest Every Day

If you like shrimp as we do this recipe is one John made this week. It was delicious.

Creamy Bacon and Tuscan Shrimp from Half Baked Harvest Every Day


2 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds jumbo raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
Fine pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, chopped or grated
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained and chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream
3 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy, drain
Add the olive oil to the bacon fat and heat
Pat the shrimp dry
When the oil is shimmering, add the shrimp and a pinch of salt and pepper
Cook flipping once until the shrimp is opaque. Add the garlic, rosemary, oregano, paprika, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cook until their oils release, about 1 minute.
Pour in the wine, scraping up any browned bits and bring to a simmer
Cook until the liquid is reduced slightly. Stir in the coconut milk, spinach and Parmesan. Return to a simmer and cook until the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice. Sprinkle the bacon and basil over the top.

We served it over rice but you could serve it with bread or pasta.

John’s beautiful lupine