Thursday, June 18, 2009

Greater than 70...

Well as you all know David and I have been getting ready for our trip to Hamilton, Ontario this summer where we will be biking about 70mi a day for 7 days straight. Well yesterday we got serious and David came up with the idea to bike to Twist of Fate Farm (check out their website at, it has their wonderful story on it). This farm is who our house has decided to support by buying all of our meat there. They are a small local farm located just northwest of Manchester, NH, who care for their animals, raise them on grass and medicate them only when they are sick. They also spent a lot of time deciding where to have their animals butchered, visiting many different placing and choosing a place in northern MA where Twist of Fate felt the butcher respected the animal up until the return of the meat. This farm is a great source to know about and support, starting out by raising animals for their own table it quickly became a small business for them providing meat for their friends, neighbors and now parts of MA.

We have loved all the products we have purchased from them and enjoy each visit
we make, which is about once every 6wks. This past visit it was David and I on our bikes. We had been sitting around the house the previous day, David being in between paint jobs and I patiently or not so patiently waiting for my license to show up. David thought it might be a good idea to take advantage of the good weather and get some riding it.

It was wonderful, the terrain was intense, with wall like hills that were longer than a mile and sections of pothole roads, but also beautiful landscapes. The weather was beautiful, the sun out and the breeze at our backs. Of course it was heartbreaking to show up at the farm, 36mi later to find out they aren't even open on Wednesday...ahhhh! Seriously, I was heartbroken, the ride there was hard enough but to not even achieve our goal, to bike all the way home empty handed. What a bummer. So we decided to stick around, it was about 11:15, we could realistically wait until 1pm to see if anyone showed up, there are a lot of animals that need taking care of so someone has to show up. So we did, and while we waited we checked out the animals who are so cute.

Baby Pigs, so small they have to sit in their dish to eat, I wanted to steal one.

Thankfully about an hour after waiting the owner of the farm showed up to feed the animals. Which I guess was pretty lucky for us because she now works full time outside of the farm so it's not often she shows up in the middle of the day like that. But we did get our meat, and successfully carried home 30lbs of frozen meat. David carrying most of the load on our trailer in a cool and I carried a small amount in my panniers, making the ride home that much harder but making us that much more proud of our feat!!!

David with the trailer filled with meat!

A Vacation

Hi everyone, as many of you know I have been studying frantically for the last few months for my licensure exam, well I took it last week and as of yet no word on pass or fail but I did take some time to go to Cape Cod over the weekend with David, which was wonderful. We played and relaxed with biking, mini golf, ice cream, wiffle ball, reading, good food and drink, sleeping in, afternoon naps, late night walks. All in all it was great!!!!

We biked 50mi on Saturday, exploring the awesome rail trails and saw a lot of Cape Cod wild life: a chipmunk which David sadly hit with his rear wheel after avoiding him with his front wheel, baby bunnies, a turtle the size of a silver dollar, a family of swans, lots of different birds and a house cat who had caught a full grown bunny. It was quite the eventful ride. We also visited some different small towns.

Downtown Chatham

Enjoying the sunshine in Chatham
The local Chatham beach that I also enjoyed a couple years ago with my family and grandparentsDavid looking like a babe at Oyster Pond where we ate lunch and went wading

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Paint 2009

Just yesterday David was a part of the New Paint Auction raising money for the Essex Art Center in Lawrence, MA which was so much fun. The auction has two components, a silent auction that artists can enter any of their pieces they've done in the past and a live auction also that has a very unique twist, 50% or 100% of the profit is donated to the essex art center. All the art in the live auction isdone the day of the auction. So artists were spread across Lawrence and the eastern half of MA painting local scenes of the unique New England Landscape we all love and David was working all day literally as the only photographer. He actually got up at 2am to make sure he had enough time to find the scene that was perfect, then process the negative, let the negative dry, print the photograph which can take a number of hours when working in the dark room making minor adjustments to the light to make it perfect and then working frantically with a hair dryer to dry the print to be able to matte and frame the piece all before 4pm and he did it.
The piece was absolutely beautiful, taken from a fire escape of the oldest mill in the nation, being sold for over $600 to one of the Eagle Tribune photographers who later came up to David complimenting him on his work. He also put one of his pieces taken in the White Mountains in the silent auction that also was bid on and sold, raising more than $400 for the Essex Art Center where David has printed all this year. All in all it was a successful night for him.

David's silent auction piece being hung right in the center of things

I also had a wonderful experience because I decided to volunteer to help prepare decorations set-up New Paint which took place in Jackson Lumber lumber yard. It was quite the transformation and a great way to connect with residents, employees and volunteers of the Lawrence community. All day we worked tirelessly to put up the monopoly themed decorations to transform the lumber yard into a elegant venue for an art auction.
Silent auction had over 40 pieces in it including painting, sculpture, photography, jewlery, and wood carvings

Hanging the entrance archway took about 9 of us and it took a while but we did it and it looked awesome!!

Location for the live auction

The entrance on both the left and right were the bios of the artist put on monopoly money

Henry and I were responsible for hanging all signs from the ceiling since he knew how to drive the lift and I was one of the few not afraid of heights. It was a great job.

5 "monopoly" pieces that were 5x5ft hung from the ceiling of the main live auction room