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1/1/17

2016 Year in Review & 4th QTR Mileage Report


Another year on the books. Hope you all had a good year and ended it with some fun holiday adventures. We traveled some and did some home improvement projects and spent way too much money, but we want to get some of the big expenses out of the way before we retire some day. This was the year of the fence. Our 23 year old wooden fence was way past its good looking life. We had decided we would wait to replace it after we were done with pets. Our beloved dog Jaz passed away 6 months ago and it was time to get a new fence. Part of the fence project was getting a new shed to store the motorcycles in, and the new canoe we want. The shed is really nice but was really expensive, but oh well. Since we're in our forever home we decided on the Poly Vinyl Fence that will last longer than us. But to clear the way we needed to cut down about 6 trees and prepare a clear border around the perimeter. We lucked out that the vacant house next door was sold and the new owner cut down a row of podocarpus bushes that lined our side yard. And our other neighbors gladly gave permission for us to cut down some Cherry Laurel trees that would eventually be a problem in the future. Now they all have a beautiful white PVC fence to look at. Our neighbors on one side like it so much they are going to replace their chain link fence with a poly fence too.

We also built a queen size murphy bed in one of the bedrooms so we can have guests again. Years ago we converted our guest room into a stockpile pantry to deal with the product that resulted from extreme couponing. We still have quite a stockpile but it is dwindling and we were able to clear most of the room and now we have a spare freezer in there, and Scott got a Roland electronic drum set. Yes! we have a drummer in the house. I'm thankful the sound can be heard through headphones and I only have to listen to the tapping on rubber rather than full blown drum sounds. Our friend Mark plays the keyboard, and some day I'll learn guitar and then we'll have a rock band!

As usual, we attended a lot of concerts this past year - Lynryd Skynyrd, Dixie Chicks, Brad Paisley, Doobie Brothers, Zac Brown, Joe Walsh, Bad Company, George Thorogood, Collective Soul, Huey Lewis, and Gary Puckett.

For Scott's birthday, he got a fitbit and he has faithfully worn it and tried to get his 10,000 steps daily. In the past year he has walked 1758 miles, which is farther than the distance from Tampa, FL to Minnesota.

Marie continues to ride her bike to work 5 miles most days, tallying over 1900 miles this year. Besides walking, we also go canoeing on the Hillsborough River and occasionally go motorcycling.

We did travel a bit this year with a cruise to Cozumel in February where we surprised our friends Terri & Mary by showing up on the ship. We had a great time and now have planned an 8 day Caribbean cruise coming up in April with them. Marie spent 3 weeks in San Tan Valley, AZ staying at her parents Barb & Milts house to help out as they age (both are 81 now, Barb has dementia). Melissa lives in the same community a few houses away. We also had our usual trip to Minnesota to see family and friends, visit the Minnesota State Fair and BWCA. Barb & Milt were spending the month of August in Plymouth, MN to see my brother John. John is disabled since his 2013 brain injury and still has no short term memory. His life is simple and frustrating and it is a difficult situation for his wife and 4 teenage children. We did another BWCA canoe 4 day canoe trip out of Grand Marias in August, canoeing 40 miles, and walking over 30 miles on 14 portages. For our 24th anniversary we went on another cruise to Cozumel with Marie's sister Melissa & her husband Bill. We ended out the years travel with a nice week in Naples, FL at the Charter Club with Melissa & Bill.

That being said, there were a few shitty things that made 2016 a year that I'm glad is behind us. However, one of the biggest disappointments of the year was the election and now the aftermath that we must endure. It certainly has changed our plans for the future as we put off retirement until we know and trust what the health insurance world will look like. We are fortunate to be healthy and well, with steady government jobs (we're both in our 15th year with the State of Florida).

This next year we have no big home improvement projects (unless the AC goes out) so we'll probably travel more.

4th Qtr Mileage Report

We traveled a typical amount on all our vehicles. The truck turns 19 this coming year and is running strong. The 13 year old Camry will need new tires. We are riding the motorcycles less as we pursue other activities like walking and canoeing. Our annual mileage is decreasing to about 12884 miles among all vehicles. An interesting fact is I rode my bicycle more miles than all vehicles except the Camry.

 I did have a lot more pictures but I'm just not that focused to find and insert them all, sorry.
 
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