Minus 11 degrees

EDIT – if you are seeing slow performance, apologies for that – it seems like my hosting provider, for unclear reasons, moved my website to a server farm in London UK.  I have no idea why

A cold start to 2018 for sure – today (Sunday Jan 7) it is negative eleven fahrenheit outside as I am typing this.  Below are some pictures from sunrise at my house yesterday morning

We had Winter Storm Gayson blow through fast and hard on Thursday.  About a foot of snow, but lots of wind and continued drifting as it has been very cold for the past several weeks – so the snow is dry.  Now things are generally wind packed down and layered – which is neat.

I am trying to get back into the flow of regular posting – the last half of 2017 was busy and tumultuous – I also had my job change (and it is still changing) as my subsidiary started the process of merging with two other subsidiaries under my parent company.  It has been crazy as we have all been groping around trying to figure out how to make it a success.  Things are coming together better now, which is good, since the legal join up happens on 1/31/2018 !   (to give you an idea, we don’t have a name yet )

So – since my last post – what has been happening?

In August, something that the Carlisle Fohls have been looking forward to for a long time actually happened – the driveway at my parent’s house got regraded/rebuilt.  It had turned into a definite country lane over the last 4 years – a high center line and deep slopes /ridges on each edge.  It had become a bit of gymnastics exercise to keep it mowed properly in the summer and it had become very difficult to snow plow in the winter (the ridges prevented the plow from pushing the snow off to the side for long stretches – he had to just blast ahead which was very hard when there was a lot of snow).  My Dad finally was able to track someone down who would actually show up and they did a wonderful job – raised the bed up, knocked down the sides, filled in holes – everything

In September we did some nice outdoor stuff – we took a trip one weekend to the Acton Arboretum – which is a really, really neat place that is right near us but I was not even aware it existed.  Some really cool plants and clearly a LOT of love and energy has been going into it for a long time.  I ended up only taking pictures of their grape arbor however to get ideas for building something like it myself.

My Dad and I also, as part of the get moving around outdoors campaign, a short walk over at the Carlisle Cranberry bog.  The bog is now shutdown primarily due to the extreme price depression for cranberries – Farmer Duffy can’t make any money farming them and has decided not to renew the lease (the vines are 100 years old and not super productive and the prices are very depressed – not a winning combination).  The town is trying to figure out what to do with things.

Both my parent’s and I on another weekend, took a trip over the Minute Man National Park and walked in over to the Hartwell Tavern on the original Battle Road.  It is restored and they have an onstaff re-enactor staffers who interpret the site for visitors – who was a very interesting person.   We walked down the Battle Road to Samuel Hartwell House.  It is now only a frame structure because it was destroyed by fire – but it was an operational restaurant up into the late 1950’s or early 1960’s – my parent’s both have memories of eating there.  The whole place is pretty neat – I want to go back again once the weather warms up!



here are photos of the Samuel Hartwell house

In late September, I went to the Microsoft cloud computing conference in Orlando – man was it hot and humid.  It was in a giant convention center – each day was about 5-7 miles of walking for an event where you are supposed to be sitting in presentation sessions!


October was a blur, but I finally got to take a vacationy vacation – Tom McGillvray and I rented a small house on Nantucket.  Pat Clouthier, her sister and some friends also stopped by over Halloween – it was chilly but very fun and much needed

we were in walking distance to the main town – which was nice – and the Halloween celebration was really fun.  Great costumes by everyone and extremely family oriented – lots and lots of kids.  We saw one adult costume which was a Mexican Pinata with two people in it – they were walking along throwing candy out the bottom.  It was really funny and popular as you might expect.  The next day, we went to a local yarn shop and got talking to the owner about the costumes from the prior night and we mentioned the Pinata – turned out it was her and a friend in the costume!   They showed us video they took from inside.  They had cheesy mariachi music and margaritas too !  very fun

We also spent some time at the Nantucket Winery / Whiskey distillery / Nantucket Brewery.  Despite what you might think about such a combo organization – they do a VERY nice job with their products and have a great outdoor tasting setup.  We had a very good time sitting in the sun, tasting and then having someone else (Uber) pick us up and take us back to town 🙂


And some more photos after Halloween

And finally December 2017 and year end – snow and ice

up until late November and early December, it was deceptively mild here in New England.  It has been COLD since then however – we had an ice storm around Christmas and it has snowed a lot and stayed very cold to very, very cold since then.  Well below zero overnight and some days very windy, creating a strong wind chill.  Lots of hot chocolate

and finally – everyone please stay warm!


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