***The part of “Corky” is now being played by Chet J. Jorgensen, Jr.***

2011 brought about a few changes for the Spatula household.  Here is a nutshell recap.  April marked the ten year anniversary of my sister, Therese’s death.  It is hard to believe that it had been ten years, it still feels like yesterday.  My sister, Clare and I traveled to Columbus, Ohio and met her daughter there for the weekend.  We celebrated her life that weekend with wine, shopping and eating at her favorite Columbus area restaurants.  We miss you T!  I didn’t take a lot of pictures that weekend, but did take this picture of a picture that my niece had with her.

I finished the graduate certificate I was working on from UNC in the first half of the year!  That was a relief.  I worked a LOT over the summer.  Between my summer responsibilities in Jackson and another part time job in Ann Arbor, I often didn’t know where I was going each day until I checked my calendar! It was a great summer though.

My friend David moved back to Michigan from the other side of Lake Michigan.  It is great to have him and his dog Gus back!  Hobart and Gus get along well.  We took them for a walk around Ann Arbor together and they hung out on the side walk outside Arbor Brewing during dinner.

Of course we went to several shows.  I can’t even think of all of them.  Two of the most memorable ones were Elvis Costello in Royal Oak and U2 at Spartan Stadium.  Chet was sick and couldn’t go to Elvis at the last minute, so I took my friend Sheryl.  It was a great show.  Seeing U2 was unbelievable.  Here is a picture of the stage from my seat.

Chet and I took a vacation and visited friends in upstate New York in August.  It was wonderful to hang out with Tia and Ben. Hobart got along well with a dog 1/10 of his body weight!  Of course this was after he hip checked him when we first arrived and accidentally sent him flying off the porch!  We came home with Taylor Pork Roll and lots of Yuengling Beer.

The school year started and at first it felt like part time work since I was only working in one place! That quickly changed, as my schedule became as crazy as ever.

We celebrated my birthday in Traverse City, extending my trip there for a conference.  We were a little scared about Northern Michigan in the first week of November.  The weather was unseasonably warm and I got to show Chet how beautiful Northern Michigan is!  It was his first trip.

On 11/11/11 we met a very nice female springer pup who needed a new home.  We agreed to take her for a “trial” to see how she got along with Hobart.  I am sure you can guess how this story ends.  By Thanksgiving she was a permanent part of the household.  She is a sweet dog and after a “touch and go” start with housebreaking, she is doing great!  She is good for Hobart and for us.  We have gotten a lot more exercise since she has been around!

We traveled to the Chicago area for Chet’s 50th Birthday and attended the NU/MSU Football game Thanksgiving weekend.  I wore purple.  If you don’t know, I am a Wildcat Football Fan.  Go Cats!  It was a very wet game, but dinner out with the family afterwards was great!

My friend Beth gave my blog a little overhaul.  Isn’t it pretty?  Thanks Beth! We got to meet her adorable daughter Ada.

Hobart was a little freaked out with a baby around.  He barked every time she cried or made sound.  Sunday was actually much better with the baby.  Here is a picture of her guarding Ada during a nap.  She also liked to sniff her head.  Who doesn’t like to sniff a baby’s head?  What a smart dog.

We stayed home for the Christmas Holiday and had a relaxing break.  I can’t believe that it is time to go back to work tomorrow!  Chet and I are both looking forward to a happy and healthy 2012!  We have some mutual health and fitness goals.  I will refrain from a laundry list of resolutions and just live.

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