Milford, New Hampshire


I’ll show off some photos I took while in Milford over the weekend! Milford, New Hampshire, is a nearby town which can boast of having the best toy store in the area, it happens to be next door to the best hardware store in the area too. So whenever I say that I need to go to the hardware store, Mr. C knows that he’s probably going to the toy store too. They know us at the toy store and don’t mind that we usually don’t buy anything. I suppose they know us at the hardware store too. That’s what happens when you have a 100+ year old house.

It’s an old mill town on a river, hence the name, with a nice town square known as ‘The Oval’. It’s really shaped like a triangle. Apparently it was oval shaped many years ago but with changing traffic patterns it is now more like a triangle. ‘The Oval’ sounds better anyway. The Oval is a large grassy area filled with old shade trees. There is a bandstand at one end and several memorials and statues. It’s surrounded by small locally owned shops, restaurants, and city services like the library and town hall.

Here’s a difference between New Hampshire and neighboring Vermont. A town like this in Vermont would be a top tourist destination, with The Oval surrounded by expensive restaurants. But it’s in New Hampshire, so you can get an inexpensive breakfast at one of the many diners, which is why we were there this time.

I find The Oval hard to photograph. There is usually a number of cars driving around it, so any photos will tend to look like just any other traffic circle. The bandstand at the north end makes for a good photo op. Unfortunately, my photos of the bandstand are filled with the blur that is Mr. C as he raced around the center of the bandstand pretending to play an invisible trumpet. I suggested that he start the Milford Pretend Orchestra and Chorus and present weekly concerts. I’d play the pretend tuba. Here’s the best photo I could get, which at least gives a sense of the greenery and the old civic architecture of the old town hall.




Here’s an old house which is now being used by a local church as a community center. That tree may look like an huge old Oak tree, but it’s actually a Maple tree. A maple has to be pretty old to get that large.



Next to this house is a large memorial recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Rotary organization. It’s in the shape of a large brick and brass wheel walkway surrounded by a garden. Mr. C used the walkway to demonstrate the paths of the planets of the solar system. Running around the circle while also turning in a circle. This was at 8:30 am. Where does he get the energy, I have no idea.

Oh wait, I know where he gets the energy from. We had just finished breakfast at one of the five places serving breakfast. When we go out for breakfast, I used to be able to finish my breakfast and get a taste of Mr. C’s too. As he’s gotten older he now finishes all of his breakfast, and then takes forkfuls of what I haven’t finish from mine. Hey, where’s my second pancake?

Heres the car that was parked in front of the place where we were having breakfast. The arm on the left belongs to Ms. J. This is as close to a photo of Ms. J as we’ll be able to show here, oh well!





And here’s Mr. C fitting in with a sculpture on The Oval. It may look like he’s exhausted, but no, it’s about 9:30am, he’s just getting started.


Introvert or Extrovert ?

I guess it’s part of parenting to be interested in seeing how your child’s personality develops.  Recently I’ve seen some articles on the personality traits of introversion and extroversion.  Here’s one from Scientific American.      And here’s one from Slate.     We had been watching things like eye color, hair color, and all the other genetic traits, and he’s pretty much a clone of me.   As he gets older, both Ms. J and I have been interested to see wether Mr. C will turn out to be an introvert or an extrovert as well.

A few years ago, I took the Myers-Briggs personality assessment test and I am apparently just barely an introvert.  Ms. J is as well.  We’re both perfectly happy to attend parties and any other social gathering, but we might end up just talking to a few people, and probably will leave early.    So it’s been a bit of a surprise to see how much of an extrovert Mr. C is.    I’m not sure how much genetics influence personality traits like this, but he’s not taking after me in this area.    He is definitely an extrovert.

Just yesterday we were in Trader Joe’s ( a chain of markets here in the US).  The store has a game for the kids where they can get a lollypop if they find a stuffed duck named Hugo,  somewhere in the store.  Most of the kids I see in the store just wander around and look for the duck.  It’s usually not too hard to spot it, so the kids will find it eventually.  Mr. C though will actively find employees and ask them ‘Maybe you can give me a hint where Hugo is ?” ,  which of course they will all do.  “Hooray!  Hooray!”  he shouts at the top of his voice as he finds the stuffed duck.   They move the duck around the store, so the kids can have a challenge.  That just means that he asks more employees the more often they move it around.  ‘Where is it this week!’ he’ll say as he grabs someone in the dairy section.

When we go to places like the zoo, local farms,  or the historic sites in our area, there will often be someone giving a demonstration on  something or other. If there is a large enough crowd, especially if there are some kids in the crowd, the demonstrator will ask if someone from the audience would like to try what they are working on ?   I’m not sure how he does it, but 95% of the time Mr. C is that kid who is chosen from the audience to try it out.  He’s worked a millstone in an historic mill,  fed the pigs and goats at a local farm, fed elephants at the zoo,  and done all sorts of other things as well.

We were dropping Ms. J off at a local bus station when we saw a team of mechanics with a tow truck working on a bus.  He just walks right over, starts asking questions, and ends up using a remote control to raise and lower the bus on the tow truck.  This is a four year old, and he somehow charmed the tow truck operator into letting him control a very large, and very expensive tow truck in order to lift a very large and expensive bus.  (All done with a remote control device, so don’t worry, he wasn’t behind the wheel of any machinery.)

This may all be just business as usual for all the other parents out there, I don’t know.  All I know is that I never did anything like this when I was a kid.  A call of  ‘Can I have a volunteer ?’ would prompt me to sink down into my chair or look around and hope they picked someone else.  Apparently not Mr. C though,  he’s front and center.  Where does he get this from, I have no idea.  It’s not from either me or Ms. J.

When we go to restaurants he will charm the wait staff and will get all kinds of free treats.     Here he is making friends in a restaurant during our trip to Seattle earlier this year.



On the playground he will just pick out kids and assign them things to do.  ‘You be a dinosaur, and I’ll chase you!’.  Doesn’t matter if they are three years old or ten years old, most of the time they will then run around, act like a dinosaur, and Mr. C will chase them around.

‘ You should come over for dinner!’  he’ll say to parents of kids he’s just met on the playground.

When this happens, I think,  ‘Uggh,  Now I have to go over there and socialize with people!”





Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

I usually take photos outside, so this was a tough challenge, but what better photo than the best interior in architectural history ?

Can anyone guess where this is ?


Now for something a bit more local. Here’s a view inside one of our favorite restaurants. The Friendly Toast in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Can you tell that we are there for a very early dinner ? It’s something of a hipster hangout, so I don’t think they get a lot of families there as we were the only people in the place at about 5:30pm.




And here is a second photo from inside The Friendly Toast.  They have quite the collection of art work.

And here’s what happens when your 4 year old gets ahold of your iPhone.

This is a Lego house, with what looks like a family of dinosaurs living inside.


Where Did We Go ?

I’ve been away from the blog for a few days since we took an almost vacation trip for close to two weeks.  ‘Almost Vacation’ since the first half of the trip was me and Mr. C tagging along with Ms. J for a conference, and the second half of the trip was to attend the wedding of Ms. J’s sister.

So, where did we go ?  Can anyone guess where we went based on this photo ?


This is a huge fountain that randomly shoots massive jets of water through 40 or so spigots while “world music” plays in the background.   Hours of fun for Mr. C.   I have no idea how many hundreds of times he ran towards the water to see how close he could get without getting wet.   I also have no idea how he was able to not get wet at all, except for his shoes.  I got soaked trying to keep up with him, yet he was completely dry.    How about guessing from this one  below?


Yes, anyone who guessed Seattle would be correct!

A delightful city of wonderful restaurants and a variety of other things to do, especially for kids.   Wish we could have spent more time there, but all we had was 3 days.   So, me and Mr. C spent quite a few hours on the monorail in the mornings, and then we would go over to the “Children’s Museum” for an hour or two before meeting Ms. J for dinner.  I say “Children’s Museum” because as nice as it is, I would not call it a museum, it’s really more like a nice educational indoor playground.  But I guess you can’t really call it the “Seattle Indoor Somewhat Educational Indoor Playground” and still charge $8.25 to get in.

Something else we found out was that Mr. C is starting to not believe us when we make things up like calling it the “Space Noodle” instead of “Space Needle”, and saying that the round thing on top will take off into space once we get out of the elevator.

Our trip was way too short, there’s a lot of things to do and so many great restaurants in Seattle that we wanted to try, but we’ll have to go back some other time.

The rest of our trip was spent in another exotic destination that will have to wait for the next post since I now have to spend the rest of the evening on a call to Southwest Airlines to complain about one of the worst flights back that we’ve ever had.  Which will be great material for another post, but was not so much fun at the time.