21 February 2016


2015 was a crazy year for us.  It was a year of traveling.  In 2014 we staffed up, and made a fundamental shift in our business.  We hired a store manager, and promoted Mark to service manager.  This was a test to see if we could get Art of the store successfully so he could explore some potential opportunities in the future...
As a result we had spare time.  On top of this we had the desire to spend quality time with Bud and my folks as well.  As a result we had quite a year.  Early in the year we enjoyed going to Boston for our Bruins games, and even got to spend the night for our anniversary.  Art wasn't feeling well, but we had a good time either way.
One of our first trips was down to Mazatlan to see my parents.  We took Bud and Jeanne with us.  The weather was fabulous and we had a great time.  The Patriots made it to the superbowl and we got a kick out of some mis-spelled sports shirts we found in Maz.  Football is tourist important but clearly not that vital to Mexico or Mexican citizens. ;)  But most importantly, we did win the SuperBowl.

In March of this year I finally graduated from college.  I finished mostly for a sense of accomplishment.  It didn't change my job or outlook.  I still love what I do.  But I am glad I finished.  It makes more sense to me that I figured out what I wanted to do, and was going to do, before investing in a bachelor's degree.  Thanks SNHU!  

My amazing husband put together a surprise party for me.  It was a pleasant surprise and the whole family was there.  It was really special.  We had burgers and cake and a great day hanging out together.

Blizzie.  Miss Blizz had a great summer out in the Casita with Bud.  She enjoyed coming up to say hi to us when we were outside.  When Bud went south for the winter and Blizzie had to move back in to the main house her attitude went south as well.  She was so unhappy.  Hiding in the closet all day, growl eating, and not letting anyone get near her.  My friend Jeanne had lost her cat of almost 20 years this same year.  A mutual friend suggested that Blizzie may be happier living with Jeanne.  We gave it a try and I am glad to say it has worked out well.  Both are very happy with each other.  She will gladly let Blizz come back to summer with Bud but Blizzie has a new home that she adores.

We also got chickens and ducks this year.  Bud and Art really wanted them.  Art built a really nice chicken coop that we have closer to the house.  He also built a duck house but we didn't separate them soon enough so they all live in the chicken coop together.  It is nice to have eggs again and they are great to see in the yard.
We did our annual spring ski trip with the Wildes.  We went to Vermont this year as the kids had a robotics competition first.  With all the snow they had a great time skiing and the snowshoeing was pretty nice as well.  I spent a lot of time knitting a blanket for Rachel's baby, Violet, who arrived in the spring.  Rachel and Violet moved with Brent to his home state of Florida.

Many trips were taken this year.  We went to the Hearth Show in Nashville.  They had a couple of inches of snow so the city was difficult to get around in (no equipment?? no experience...) but we had a good time.  We also received another award from Harman and attended the dealer conference in Memphis to receive our sales volume award.
 I went to Colorado in May for a visit.  We went to ComicCon where Peter and Jade were able to catch up with us.  
We were able to take the puppies camping up at Dolly Copp.  BEST. Time. Ever!  They loved it.  We hiked and swam, and had snacks around the campfire.  They definitely want to do that again!
Family trips were also done.  A repeat river cruise vacation started us off.  We flew into Southern France to start our adventure.  We wound our way up through wine country landing in Paris at the end of that trip.  We spent several wonderful days there seeing the catacombs, Eiffel Tower, museums, wandering the streets, and eating delicious food and enjoying delicious wine.  One of the most memorable nights was when the whole family took over the basement lounge in our hotel and had baguette, cheese, tomatoes, and lots of wine!  Great time.
We had a sail cruise planned with my parents in just a short time so we decided to stay in Europe.  Abbie wasn't working so she, Opa, Art and I took a train to Brussels and rented a house.  We went to Bruge and spent a few days in Brussels.  We rented a car and then took a roadtrip to Amsterdam where we also stayed a couple of days.  
We drove back, dropped Abbie off at the airport, and spent a great day playing in a castle in Ghent.  Then we caught a flight to Stockholm where we met my parents.  We spent a couple days in Stockholm before our trip.  Toured the palace, and an old Viking Ship.  Then we hopped our our Windstar sailboat for our next adventure.  We got a suite with Art's Dad which was very nice and worked out well.  We visited Gotland in Sweden, spent a day in Germany, a few days in Denmark, including a couple of days in Copenhagen, then the Netherlands, and ending in Norway.  All told we were gone a month.  It was amazing and exhausting at the same time.  But we had great times, and made great memories.  We took some down time in the fall.
At Christmas we did another travel spurt.  Shannon and her folks spent a week in Las Vegas.  Art flew to Seattle to drive down with Abbie.  We all gathered in Colorado for Christmas, which my Mom and Dad hosted at their house- puppies and all.  Then we drove up to Seattle with Abbie to check our her neighborhood and new surroundings. 

 We enjoyed lots of visits from Teddy and Abbie this year as well.  She made the decision to move to Seattle and her departure was August.  She spent a couple of weeks and drove out with her Dad.  We miss her terribly but she is happy.


2014 was a year that saw many changes in our lives.  The biggest change was that Art's father moved in with us in Temple.  We re-furbished the little cottage by the pond into a special place for him.  Blizzie moved out there with him for the summer and was on cloud nine.

It was a big change for him to sell the house in Stratham and pack up the home he shared with my Mother in law for so many years.  We are thrilled to have him near us and we settled in to a nice routine.

To break up the year we took a big family trip on a river cruise in Europe.  All could come except Pam and Ralph, including Bud's sister Jeanne.  We all had a great time visiting Budapest where we departed from, and traveling up the Rhine and Mein to Amsterdam ultimately.  Castle ping pong was a highlight of the tour, and the locks and bridges were impressive to say the least.


We got a wonderful clock in the Black Forest.  Not a cuckoo clock, however.  I thought the noise would drive me cuckoo, but we got a nice open gear clock that has a gentle ting each hour.

2014 was also a big year at home.  We got a new puppy.  Jackson has an Echo Dog white shepherd mama and an unknown Daddy, but we suspect he is mostly lab since Jax has that look.  He came home just after Thanksgiving.  He has been a joy and a pleasure since day one.  Zdeno gets irritated occasionally but overall loves him thoroughly.  Blizzie was not very happy.  

 He was named after Jackson Teller on a TV Show called Sons of Anarchy.  I had never seen the show but loved the name.  It stuck and fits well.  We later watched SoA and loved that (strangely enough) as well.

 Jackson is a calming force for Zdeno.  There is not much that gets to Jax.  He just wants to be happy and have everyone else happy.  He is a lover.  He and Tuukka get along almost as well.  It was a very snowy year up here in NH.  The puppies got very proficient in snow Swimming!  Zdeno loved taking the lead.  

We got a mini-season package of tickets to teh Bruins again this year.  We got great seats in the Loge behind the tunnel where the Zamboni and Renne Rancourt come out.  It is also the area where Blades hangs out.  Love my Bruins!

We also got to spend a lot of time with Abbie and Teddy.  

In the spring we got to do a repeat of one of our all time favorite vacations- houseboat on Lake Powell.  Karyn, Ralph, Pam, Abbie, Lindsay, Bud, Jeanne, Rick, Kathy, Art and I all got to go.  

I think we got their biggest houseboat and got a little power boat as well.  It was a little chilly but we all had a great time and it was beautiful!

 For the first time in many years we won an award from Harman.  It was a best sales growth award.  This was quite an honor and it was very nice to receive this in our new location.  It really has turned out to be a good move.  Brookline is a very business friendly town and we have great customers and employees.  Ted and Mark have gone above and beyond as managers as well.  Blessed!