Saturday, July 31, 2010

dinner from the sea

After a bit of a health complication required me to stay in the hospital for a few nights, my mom and sister flew up to New Hampshire for several days to provide some love and support (and lots of hugs and kisses to Aidan!).

It's been so nice having them here, and letting them go back to Texas is something I'm not at all looking forward to. But in the mean time, we've been trying to squeeze in a little bit of fun while they're here.

Part of the low-key festivities was a fresh lobster feast. Mom, Ty and Aidan picked out the critters at a local lobster pound, so I guess you can say it was a custom-made dinner. Unfortunately my tummy wasn't exactly up for copious amounts of crustacean like I'd hoped it would be, but it was still fun enjoying everyone else ... enjoying!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

my [indoor] herb experiment

Here's my first stab at growing herbs indoors. I'm starting with my two favorites -- basil and cilantro. So far, they love the big bay window in the kitchen. I'm kind of stunned at how well they're doing!

It's been a lot of fun to watch them sprout and grow -- especially the cilantro. We just planted a handful of seeds in a tin container, and voila!

I would love it if they exploded in potential salsa productivity. I've never been too successful growing cilantro in the ground for longer than a month or so. At that point, the Texas sun has always fried the beautiful, tender green goodness. So hopefully, the indoor variety will be kinder and gentler.

My dream would be to have to re-pot it in a ginormous "just for my cilantro" clay pot. A girl can dream, anyway.

We shall see.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

a long rest

I didn't plan on ever blogging about a cemetery ... that is, until I drove by the Pine Grove Cemetery about a mile from our house in Hampton, NH today.

The sign in front of the cemetery lists the original date as 1654 -- allowing that number to sink in took some shaking of my head -- totally amazing.

Friday, July 23, 2010

pretty little houses

... and by "little," I mean quaint, of course. ;)

I've really enjoyed looking at all the different types of homes and architecture up here on the 18-mile New Hampshire seacoast. I think they're particularly beautiful in the summer, complete with bright flowers out front and American flags waving in the breeze. But I'm sure the view in the fall will be totally different ... with another transformation taking place once the snow begins to fall.

But for now, here are some summer shots that I've been snapping along the way.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

sunday exploring

We've been in New Hampshire almost a month now, yet due to a hectic move, the extent of our "venturing out" has been limited to daily trips to Lowe's and Walmart. We live in a beach town and before today, hadn't even made the 2 mile trek down to the beach. Unforgivable.

So I was thrilled when Ty suggested this morning (on our way back from Lowe's and Walmart, of course) that we take a quick drive along the coast. We drove from Hampton, where we live, up to Portsmouth (about 10 miles away), enjoying the sights of the picturesque towns of Rye and New Castle in between. I have a new appreciation for the seacoast (as the locals call the New Hampshire beach) -- it's truly quaint and beautiful.

I'm sharing a few of my favorite shots from our Sunday morning jaunt -- my spirit needed the rejuvenation, and my soul smiled in the sunshine.

Friday, July 16, 2010

a little bit of normal

Who blogs about a normal, plain ol' salad?


But it's not really the salad that's worthy of praise -- it's the fact that I was finally able to use my own bowl, in my own kitchen, with my own knives and cutting board to make it.

It's been a very frustrating move from Texas to New Hampshire, and I'm not talking at all about the geography. Due to more red tape mistakes and mishaps than I even have time (or the desire) to mention, our movers were over a week late in delivering our household goods (we sat, and waited, and sat, and waited ....). And once they finally arrived, things were a mess. Furniture was damaged and broken, unwrapped pictures were stacked on top of other pictures (resulting, of course, in broken glass), personal and irreplaceable items (i.e. artwork of Aidan's that I've been collecting since he drew his first picture) were carelessly crunched and crammed into boxes. Again, I could go on and on, but I'm hoping the worst is now behind us.

So, as we continue to open boxes and begin to put our lives back into some semblance of order, I was thrilled and so appreciative when the owners of the house we're renting in Hampton dropped by to check on us, as well as deliver some fresh produce from their garden. My first and only thought was, "Salad!"

We've been eating at restaurants (many of them of the fast-food variety) for the past several weeks. And to be honest, I don't know when, if ever, I'll be able to eat another McDonald's breakfast again. But in the mean time, I don't think I've ever enjoyed a salad so much as I did my fresh, homemade concoction in our new home. And it was a huge one, so I was able to nibble on it for two days. Ty kept laughing at me each time I dished up another bowl -- it just kept getting better and better.

Hopefully my little salad will be the first of many yummy meals in our new home over the next few years. But above all else, I'm just glad that we're together as a family again, happy and healthy -- even if I can't find my favorite wrought iron candle wall sconces.

Friday, July 09, 2010

al fresco

Dinner tonight was at BG's Boat House in Portsmouth, NH.

It was a beautiful evening -- the weather was picture-perfect.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

clams & lobster

We've been craving seafood since we first arrived in the northeast, and it seems sort of sacrilegious that it's taken us almost a week to finally take the plunge and have some. But Aidan isn't too adventurous in that realm yet, so we've pretty much been forced to stick to the basics (as well as make him EZ Mac in the hotel microwave more than a time or two). It's pretty shameful, actually.

But Ty finally reached his limit tonight on the amount of time he could continue to go without having a lobster roll, so he made a take-out run on a quest for an open restaurant on the 4th of July that serves a decent, authentic lobster roll.

I navigated from the hotel room with my cell phone and laptop (googling for lobster rolls), and low and behold, together, we found a damn good place. So good in fact, Guy Fieri of Food Network fame (Diners, Drive-ins and Dives) recently visited and did a show -- Bob's Clam Hut in Kittery, Maine.

Holy crap, was it good.

Our dinner tonight: a lobster roll for Ty (hopefully that'll shut him up on the subject for a while), fried clam strips for me, and clam fritters for the both of us.

We -- Ty, me, and Guy Fieri -- chose well.

independence day in new england

Even though we spent this year in the cradle of American history, we decided to skip the patriotic festivities in Boston, opting instead for some slower-paced (and less populated) celebrations in New Hampshire and Maine.

We enjoyed an afternoon with [new] friends at a BBQ in South Berwick, Maine (a picturesque town settled in 1631), surrounded by thick [Maine] accents trying to teach Aidan how to properly say "lobstah", and hot dogs served on rolls, rather than buns (also how Fenway Franks are served, correct?). Ty and I joked about how different it was to the smoked brisket and ribs-filled events we're used to on the 4th of July in Texas, but we appreciated the hospitality very much -- it was great to meet new people.

We ended the day by stopping near the border at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on the Maine/New Hampshire border, where a fireworks display lit up the sky over the water. There's something about being on a military base, surrounded by those who voluntarily serve our country, that makes celebrating American independence that much more special.

God bless America -- both the North and the South. :)

give a veteran a piece of the high life

I'm sure most of us will be picking up some cold beer between now and September 30th. Please consider buying Miller High Life and saving your caps in order to support they're current campaign of supporting veterans.
For every High Life cap or tab you drop off at select retailers or mail in, Miller will donate 10-cents toward High Life Experiences for returning vets. Up to a million dollars will go toward paying soldiers' way into sports events, concerts, outdoor adventures and more.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

a different kind of petting zoo

We stumbled across this Marine Conservation Society Petting Tank by the docks in Portsmouth, NH today -- a fun way to spend some time on a Saturday in July.