Welcome May

May is the fastest moving month of the year. It is always that way. As soon as the sun shines and the trees and flowers start blooming again we rush furiously into summer. The leaves come off the garden, the soil gets turned over and we shed our sweaters and jackets at the same time as we switch over our wardrobe from winter to summer. It is the same this year. I thought nothing could top last year with two graduations within two weeks of each other. We have one graduation coming up with Jack graduating from the Fire Academy on May 31st and still the days are flying by.

A Big Accomplishment

There are so many steps to becoming an EMT. I had no idea. Jack started his course back in September/October and participated in classes both on-line and in person. He took finals from the course and passed them. Then he had to take the State Written Exam and he passed that. Each time I thought he was done but NO there was another step. He needed to take the State Practical Exam which is not given everywhere all the time. He joined a group in Laconia on Saturday and took his Practical and passed it. He is now recognized as an EMT but must still apply for his State License but he is official. It is just that each state has its own licensing procedures. We are incredibly proud of him and the effort that he has put in to getting to this point while at the same time working and now going back to school at the Fire Academy. He is perpetually exhausted. I don’t begin to understand all that he is doing but he sleeps non-stop when he gets home. He said something about hauling filled hoses while fully kitted out for hours this past week. I’m guessing he was exhausted.

Saturday, May 4th was International Firefighters’ Day. I didn’t know that but I am glad I do now. This past week our nieces husband, who lives north of Vancouver, BC, graduated from his Fire Training Program so we are truly a family of International Firefighters and we are very proud of them.

Outdoors in Spring Time

greening up

The dogs and I have been walking most days this past week. I have a fabulous new book to listen to (You Can’t Catch Me by Catherine McKenzie) and have been marching out there with my sticks and the dogs for a couple of hours most days. The book keeps me moving and the sticks are giving me what my watch calls an “Elliptical Workout” so it has been a very good week. Lots of swimming and a few times playing with other dog friends. I ran into a gentleman who has two border collies and had a fascinating discussion with him about how he goes to the sheep trials with the older dog and how he learned to train her. You just never know who you will run into out there.

The Bears Are Back

This was Percy’s first sighting of the bears and he didn’t know what to make of them. Of course the dogs barked but it didn’t seem to really bother the bears. I’m not sure if this is two juvenile cubs or a mama with a juvenile. Supposedly there is another young one around too but we didn’t seem him or her. Ah, love living in New Hampshire!

One in the tree and one crossing the road and Percy looking quizzical

Cinco de Mayo

We are having a gathering and I have been putting together some decorations. John is making Margaritas (with and without alcohol) and we have selections of Mexican beers. Katie has made a cheesy chorizo dip and I made a White Chili. I used the Slow Cooker Recipe and have to say it is delicious. Here is the recipe:

Creamy White Chicken Chili from Half Baked Harvest

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oi
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded, if desired and chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breasts or thighs
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 can white beans, drained
½ cup salsa verde
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
avocado, cheddar cheese, and yogurt, for serving
lime zest and juice, for serving

Stove

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, poblano peppers, cumin, paprika, chili powder, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook 5-10 minutes, until very fragrant. Add the chicken, then stir in 4 cups broth. Season with more salt and pepper. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
2. Melt the cream cheese in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
3. Pull the chicken out and shred using 2 forks. Stir in the cream cheese until smooth, then stir in the shredded chicken, white beans, salsa verde, and cheddar cheese. Cook 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. If needed, thin with additional broth.
4. Ladle the chili into bowls. Top, as desired, with yogurt/sour cream, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and green onions. Zest lime over each bowl. Eat and enjoy!

Slow Cooker

1. In the bowl of your crockpot, combine the onion, garlic, poblano peppers, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Add the chicken, then stir in 4 cups broth and cream cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
3. Shred the chicken using two forks. Stir in the white beans, salsa verde, cheddar, and cilantro.
4. Ladle the chili into bowls. Top, as desired, with yogurt/sour cream, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and green onions. Zest lime over each bowl. Eat and enjoy!

    Our weeping cherry blooming this week
    This entry was posted on May 5, 2024, in journey.