Working Lunches filled with Dream Work fueled by Team Work

Broccoli and Asparagus Soup with Juniper Berry Sausage

Our trip to Italy marked the end of play time around these New Hampshire parts for awhile.  We knew that time wouldn't stand still for us back home as we carelessly strolled those cobbled stone streets of Florence...pretending as if everything were relaxed and carefree as we sampled silky gelato, sweet cold vin santo, and velvety salty proscuitto.

Winter in New Hampshire fueled by pots of energy rich soups

On our journey home, life quickly reminded us, with a little icy smack, that a determined winter was to be reckoned with not only back home in New Hampshire, but in Europe as well. As we left the land of soft romantic overlapping Italian hills and brisk temperatures, we returned to the equally beautiful soft romantic overlapping New England hills, but currently layered in feet of downy blankets of white snow and downright frigid below zero temperatures.

Our journey promptly started by getting stranded in the Florence, Italy airport for a day. This was followed by getting stranded in Germany for another day and then night. As we were focused on the incoming blizzard bearing down on Boston, Massachusetts, little did we realize the same conditions were swirling around in Germany.  Due to a blizzard in Munich, all flights were canceled for a day. We enjoyed yet another airport stay and overnight hotel stay in Frankfurt, Germany as winter decided to howl all over Europe.  

A quick bit of hay before heading back to the barn!

After finally arriving days later in Boston, we drove slowly and carefully out of snow caked Boston into the hills and then up into the snow capped mountains of New Hampshire.  

A drive that normally takes a little over an hour...extended over 2 hours as we sipped strong cups of Dunkin Donuts (thank goodness for Dunkin Donuts!) and gripped the steering wheel with eyes wide open and bum warmers on full blast.

Broccoli and Asparagus Soup with Juniper Berry Sausage

But the 4-5 feet of snow that fell in gorgeous fluttering sheets of millions of swirling flakes continued to dazzle and delight us as soon as we opened our eyes the next morning.   

We are determinedly moving through what most locals are calling the coldest and snowiest winter in the Northeast... in decades.  For us, this is what we now know as "normal".

The Wintertime New Hampshire landscape after a night time Blizzard.
Patrick...trying out "roof raking" as we get feet of snow off of the roof

Patrick woke up, bundled up, and then painstakingly carved out a deep path of fluffy snow from the barn to the house so that we could get much needed wood stacked under the porch.  We secured a wobbly bundle onto our makeshift sled and then hauled it up and over a little snowy hill to a dry spot under the kitchen porch.  

Lately, when we drive through the countryside around here, we can't help but notice how perfectly stacked the locals pile up their wood.  Perhaps it is a status symbol to have a meticulously layered pile of wood that looks like a well patterned piece of knitted dark wool.  We are starting to get "wood pile envy".  Perhaps there are professional wood stackers that come to your farm and for a fee...interlace your wood pile just so perfectly and symmetrically so it can impress newbies like us to dream of future stacks of our own award winning wood piles.

The view of the field across from our kitchen window

Try as we might, with our thick and cumbersome mittens, our crooked and wobbly wood pile most certainly won't be winning any awards this year.  We managed to get about two layers of wood stacked and perhaps worthy of an honorable mention award in the "newbie" category.  

However, as the snow swirled in our eyes and visibility around us diminished, the stack became more like a wonky structure that might fit better in a children's zany Dr. Seuss book scenario.

Working Lunches...Planning and Dreaming for a future in New Hampshire

But inbetween weekends learning to ski on Ragged Mountain, braving our back hills learning how to walk incredibly awkwardly through the back woods on snow shoes, and making making mental notes to ourselves to plan better for future stockings of our wood pile...we are hard at work planning out the next potential move for this Kenney family.

4-5 feet of snow fall on New Hampshire over night.  In the morning...a winter wonderland

As the calendar flips a page, we feel the crunch of decision making time that is approaching.  Our lease on this dear old farmhouse will soon be up.  Do we build our dream home?  Do we consider renovating this historical farmhouse? Do we brave the barrage of blizzards and do something difficult at this time of go house hunting? 

Broccoli and Asparagus Soup with Juniper Berry Sausage

So we've decided to roll up our sleeves and get to work.  We've ushered into the farmhouse kitchen: designers, architects, contractors, landscapers, painters, contractors...and all manner of people who fit a little piece of a bigger puzzle together for us to analyze, ponder, and imagine this house, that house, and any future house.

And what better way to get everyone's creative energy flowing in this beautiful frozen landscape... but with bowls and bowls of hot soup.

I made sure that as we flip through drawings and prop up design boards...whoever comes into our kitchen is handed  bowls of hot soup.  After all, just getting out to this farmhouse often means a snowy drive over bumpy icy roads.  A hot steaming bowl of broccoli soup studded with juniper berry Italian sausage is just the right deep winter tonic for taking the edge off of a bitterly cold journey.

We're getting closer to decision making time.  We're lining up our [frozen] little ducks in a row...making overlapping plans for the upcoming months...dreaming big of future cozy winters days in a future cozy dream home...flowing with pots of energy rich soups, big crackling fires...and quaint New Hampshire scenery  that is so rich with this country's early American history.

Play time is over, working lunches are on order...

Swirling Snow drifts over the New Hampshire hills

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