I have to hurry to review this year before it ends tomorrow night! For ease of posting I’m breaking it down into parts. The latter part of the year I have pictures but for the first months not so much.

In January John, Mathew and I went to see Jeff Dunham’s show, “Controlled Chaos”. It was one of Mathew’s Christmas presents.

Jeff Dunham Controlled Chaos

Jeff Dunham Controlled Chaos

You can link to his site here: http://www.jeffdunham.com/shop/controlled-chaos-dvd

For the most part Jeff Dunham’s show was funny. His opening monologue is hysterically funny. Those pictures of him growing up and showing his long path to his career? Priceless! During the rest of his show each puppet is featured for its segment. Some were funny others not so much although every puppet had at least a portion of the audience in stitches. Jeff Dunham’s talent is amazing and Mathew thought it was the best.night.ever. Enough said.

In January I also found new homes for our two dogs. Or so I thought ~ forces greater than me were at work to bring them back to their rightful place with us. I was feeling overwhelmed and felt they would do better in homes that would give them more attention than we can. Here are the precious pooches:

Bosco aged 8 years

Bosco aged 8 years

Jasmine aged 8 years

Jasmine aged 8 years

Yes to answer your question, they are still with us. Bosco went first and returned after 3 weeks. He came back with an added bonus…Fleas. He was infested with them. We had no idea; in fact I repeatedly bathed him to get the funny black-soil-which-turned-red-in-the-water off. About the same time I started getting bites I mentioned this weird dirt to a cowork who informed me (to my utter horror) that it was flea dirt. In layman’s terms flea dirt is poop also known as excrement. Oh the horror of it! The poor dog! So we shampooed the dogs, continually washed their bedding and furniture and vacuumed. (Remember this was after the fall where we had our outbreak of scabies and during the extensive cleaning procedures of Mathew’s wound. Throw in snow, shovelling, work…you get the picture. It was depressing.)

That wasn’t all folks ~ guess what else Bosco had? Worms. Fleas give worms to dogs. By the time we discovered that Jasmine was back from her second home. All the animals had to be treated for worms.

Jasmine’s story included trying out 2 new homes before she returned to us for good. The first home accused her of biting their other dog however it was more like the hyper bouncy, yippy dog got into Jasmine’s face and she snapped at it to warn the dog but happened to catch the animal’s nose. The dog got a nosebleed that looked bad until it was cleaned up and the owners discovered it was just a teeny, tiny scratch. When I picked Jasmine up the 2 dogs were hanging out together although Jasmine looked tired of all that energy…she immediately glued herself to my leg and gave me that beseeching pleading eyes that dogs do so well! It was worse the second time she went away and I felt horrible. Never fear, Jasmine had other plans and soon put them to work. The second home bounced her back after 2 days because she cried the whole time and also went after their cats. That smart cookie figured out how to wrangle her way home. After that our hearts couldn’t take the parting anymore so now they are home until the end.

Only Spook wasn’t so excited to see the dogs return. He enjoyed his vacation from them and had to return to sleeping up on the furniture and out of their prying noses. He enjoys accompanying us on the daily dog walks though so their return benefitted him too. Hey Spook? And we won’t mention all the extra treats you get because you get some every time they go and do their “business”.

In February John went skiing at Sugarloaf, USA for a couple days with an old high school friend of his and Kristen turned 18 at University.

In March Mathew had his first real birthday party in a long time. He and three friends hung out in the rec room, snacked on party foods and watched television. Before the party in the afternoon, Mathew and I went to see “The Ugly Duckling” at the local theatre.
Ugly DucklingThis is a family show really aimed towards children but it was awesome. It is done with actors in black suits with lights on them. The theatre is darkened for the actual show and the actors move to the pre-recorded story and music. Along with The Ugly Duckling, “The Tortoise and the Hare” also played to great delight. The special effects were amazing and I highly recommend this to anyone who gets the chance to see it.

Even in this innoculous setting life smacked me in the face. There Mathew and I were, front row and centre. The Tortoise and the Hare was first and it was spectacular. Then The Ugling Duckling started. Well I started crying. Over xmas I stopped taking my “happy pills” and now I was really going to pay for making that stupid decision. The tears and runny nose started as trickle then speeded up when the ugly ducklings little siblings rejected him and turned on full faucet when he was cast out and sent out in to the big, scary world all by himself. Then he saves one of his little nasty siblings (seriously, buddy ~ letting that scrawny predator eat the fluffly duckling would have shown that family a thing or two!) followed by his real mother finding him. She is HUGE and majestic and all the creatures are in awe of her – especially our ugly duckling who can’t believe someone loves him and is HIS mother!! Yes, I’m sure the correlation between the duckling’s situation and Mathew had something to do with my waterworks but did they have to show that one last? I was still bawling my eyes out when the lights came on! Getting out of the theatre in broad daylight past the ushers was….miserable. Just miserable.

For the record? It was right around then I went back on my medication and am back to my bonny, little self. *whew*

John and I also joined a local gym in March. We had enough of the aches and pains, stiffness and overall *blah* feeling! I’ve joined the gym before but this time was brutal; my body just isn’t what it used to be. I worked with a personal fitness advisor who developed a fitness plan to follow. In 9 months I haven’t progressed much from 2 lb weights or walking a slow pace on the treadmill but I feel much better. There is no morning stiffness anymore, the joints move smoothly and all those pains are gone. It is replaced by muscle soreness as I work out shocked muscles (what do you mean I have to move? I’ve been inactive for years, bitch!). Warning to you youngsters…use it or lose it. My mojo is long gone replaced with the creaks of an older, slower body.

Kristen finished her first year of University with Honours. Her summer job immediately followed, working for the Town on their trails crew. That consisted of maintaining the trails and grounds. Quispamsis has a large network of trails which I didn’t fully appreciate until Kristen worked on them. Moving rocks, raking crushed stone, building up the drainage areas, putting in sod or taking out cement blocks. It was physically demanding work that injured her shoulders and caused her a lot of pain. Naproxen and massages, plus time to absorb the shock of manual labour and develop friendships got her through the summer.

In our Province (New Brunswick) Mathew became an adult when he turned 19. That means he/we had to apply for government funding and adult programs. Without Mathew’s approval we no longer have access to his records nor the rights to his care. As a parent of a disabled child a trusteeship can be set up to oversee matters on behalf of the disabled individual. We are working on that but even so it is more complicated than you would think. The process itself, what forms are needed and who has to declare what have yet to made clear to us… it is awful. One day you have all the rights to take care of your child but very next day, by virtue of a single important date, all that is ripped from you and your dependent. Suddenly you have to jump through all the bureaucratic hoops to keep protecting and aiding your child both financially and emotionally while at the same time realizing that your child has probably reached his or her full potential. As if that weren’t enough to deal with on its own.

In May/June John built the dog run. It was desperately needed since the dogs tend to wander (read: merrily escape) away from the property. Bosco is easy to hunt down as he snuffs and snorts like a little pig while he blunders through bushes and announces his prescence wherever he is. Jasmine on the other hand, is awfully quiet for a 60lb dog. She disappears until it suits her to come back and that can be a loooooong time. For whatever psychological reason the dogs get down to business in their run whereas out in the big open it takes them a lot longer. In Bosco’s case…forever. He turns in so many circles getting into that perfect spot that I get dizzy watching him! No tree, rock or blade of grass is suitable until every last conceivable spot is checked and re-checked. If I didn’t live on a lake that bounces and echoes noise back and forth I would have lost my voice to screams of frustration many, many times.

After all that June was quiet. We all worked and enjoyed the nice early summer weather. To end the first six month review, I’m putting in a couple of pictures from the area close to where I work.

The cruise ship season kicks off in Saint John in May and June. This city is a port of call by accident. Some years ago a cruise ship needed safe harbour when a severe storm closed in. Saint John had the only harbour deep enough to accommodate the keel and size of the ship so it docked at our port city. While here the visitors explored and shopped and enjoyed the experience so much that Saint John was added to the list of ports to visit. Now we just opened our second cruise ship terminal and the tourism industry caters to our out-of-town visitors.

Here is a photo of one of the ships that docked this year. My vehicle is in the parking lot in the foreground and I work one little block from this street.
Cruise Ship

The last pictures are of the cutest (but deadly!) cupcake shop just a few doors from my building. Some days I have to cross the street and shield my eyes from the sheer temptation and smell of this store. The shop, “Piece O’Cake” opened over a year ago and appears to be doing very well. I stop in occasionally and sigh over all the wonderful cupcakes before selecting a few to bring home for dessert. This is the sort of wonderful store located in the vicinity of my work and often I will peruse the shops on a lunch break.

Cupcake shop

Cupcake shop2

So ends the first half of 2012. I hope you enjoyed the tour and I’ll see you for the next half!