02 July 2017


2016 is a year that started with promise.  Our new managers had been in place for a half a year and we thought we were good to go.  Alas, in hindsight it all fell apart.  We had what could arguably be considered our worst year of business ever.  Much was due to a natural downturn that our industry experiences way too regularly.  But, it was extremely exacerbated by an inept, prig of a manager who had no problem lying to us day in and day out while neglecting his job pretty much completely.

We started the year on a positive note having come back from a good Christmas 2015 trip where I met my parents in Las Vegas for a few days before heading to Colorado, while Art flew to Seattle to drive to Colorado with Abby and Teddy.  We had a great Christmas in CO Springs and Loveland with my family and nieces and nephews Linday, Jimmy, and Peter and Jade.  After the holiday we drove back to Seattle with Abby and spent a few days checking out her new home.
We were enjoying our Bruins mini-season package by going to Boston for an overnight visit to see a Bruins game.  We love staying in the North End.
In February we had our 20th Wedding Anniversary.  We splurged a little and took a trip up to the Mt. Washington hotel.  It was very icy and rainy/sleeting while we were up there but we had fun hiking around Dolly Copp and a few other areas.  Beautiful hotel and grounds set the mood for a romantic getaway.  We had massages and hung out in the spa, and enjoyed the bars and eateries on site.  Too warm to go ice skating, though...

The Hearth Show was in  New Orleans this year.  We took our managers with us.  It was like pulling teeth to get Mark to come.  In hindsight we should not have brought them.  They only piece of information we could verify them walking away with was another dealer (messing with them) telling them his sales people made six figures.  HA! Owners don't make that, much less sales people.  So that soured them and was passed around to other employees making a bad year worse!  We did enjoy New Orleans though.  Fun town and very walkable.

Later in March we headed South of the border with Dad, his sister Jeanne, her daughter, and Pam to Mazatlan.  My brother and his family met us down there and we had a great visit with my folks.  We rented a house in a nearby neighborhood on the beach and within walking distance to my parents.  We had a fabulous time as always.

We were on a budget this year as business was not going well, and our pups are getting older so we decided to stay closer to home this year and camp for our personal trips.  Art did get to take a last minute trip to CO to meet up with friends to go skiing.  That was a good splurge for him!
One of our favorite places to visit is Pillsbury State Park.  We can canoe in to a remote site and the pups can play in the water.  We went here twice this year.  Once our friend Teddy came with us.  Very relaxing.  We also took a pilgrimage up to Lake Umbagog and stopped at Dolly Copp on the way home.  Jackson does NOT like the water but he does love the canoe and loves camping.  Zdeno is just in heaven when we go camping.  I think he stayed in the lake for 90% of all the time we are camping and is passed out from exhaustion the rest of the time.

They love campfires and having us there 24/7.  We also got a great Halo tent from Marmot that can fit us all comfortably and an air mattress.  Jax always ends up sleeping on the mattress with us so we are glad he does not like the water!  We set out on a mission to visit waterfalls this year.  I think we made it to seven, including waterfalls on the Kancamagus, Diana's bath, Methusela Falls to name a few.

 We decided to do a family trip closer to home this year.  Art's Dad set it up so we could all do a morning hot air balloon ride over Amherst and down into Hollis.  It was spectacular and the weather was perfect.  We then headed up to Bethlehem, NH to a rental house.  The Kelley family less Lindsay, Jimmy, Natalie, Kevin, Jamie, and Jade were able to come.  We also had Aunt Jeanne and her son David.  We had fun hiking around Dolly Copp and just hanging out at the house.  Very relaxing.

There was also a great deal going on with the town offices and my job as Treasurer.  We have a Select(wo)man who was and is wreaking havoc on the office and causing major upheaval at every turn.  In March four people submitted their resignations.  We agreed to try to work through the problem with a mediator but it quickly disintegrated.  The Town Clerk resigned first in May and I followed in September after selecting and training my replacement.  I had the job for 9 1/2 years.  My Deputy also resigned so they wouldn't put her in my post.  Fast forward to spring of 2017 and two more people have resigned.  The woman is a nightmare and we are all pretty certain has mental issues.  God help the town.
Our "big" trip for the year was to head to Nova Scotia on the CAT with my parents.  We stayed the night in Portland, ME the night before and then took the Volvo on the cat.  We went to Digby and Halifax, bumping along up the coast.  We had a great visit, took some great hikes, and had overall good weather for our visit.  Dad was a little disappointed that it wasn't more "Scottish" but we had a great time and a good visit.
Each September we get the privilege of visiting Newport, RI with Dad.  They have been going down there for over 30 years!  So much fun and relaxation!
That was about it for travel.  Life got hectic with Art teaching at Sunapee and we did not make it out for Christmas this year.  

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