Reflections 2013 from the nowlan's

2013 was another year of a snow-free winter in Florida, a fun warm sunny summer at the lakehouse and busy spring and fall at Scott Drive. We have joined the Canadian Snowbird Society so we are now official Snowbirds!  So exciting.  We will be attending the annual picnic for Nova Scotia Snowbirds and the Canada Snowbird Fair in Lakeland Florida.   

As I write this letter on December 12, I am late this year. The weather has been exceptionally warm/hot in November and December; in 80sF most days. And we were still swimming in the Gulf of Mexico on Dec 10th!  We will spend Christmas here as Evan and Crystal are moving into their new apartment in Plano on Dec 26 so we are not going to Texas.

Evan, Crystal, Sadie and Aleysa came to Largo for American Thanksgiving.  We enjoyed our week with them. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate so lots of our plans were cancelled.  But we were together and that was so great.  We miss them so.

We have a new family member with us, Jake, our 1 year old rescue cat.  Joey rescued him in June when he found him living under our front door step at home. Jake had been abandoned but was not ferule.  We took him to Cornwallis Vets to get checked out, immunized and neutered.  He fit into our family very easily and has added joy, love and laughter to our lives.  Jake and Joey play together, sleep together and enjoy each other. Kirby and I are so thankful Jake is a part of our lives.  He is a great traveler and was no problem at all. He'll be coming to Florida with us each year!

We have our Florida cottage decorated inside out for Christmas.  It's a little sparse compared to what we used to do at home. Kirby has started a trend in the park; many more lights showing up than previous years!

Yes, Evan continues to play Canada's national game! We took in a couple of Evan's games during our visits last year. Crystal keeps us up-to-date on his hockey games via text messages. Before we departed for Florida on November 5 we attended several of Acadia's home games. Debby's new favourite player #63 Brett Thompson plays with such passion and skill and has fun while doing it all. When in Florida we listen to Len Hawley's play-by-play of Acadia's games on AVR via internet!

                Evan is on the right in the team picture, and is still wearing his number 19 in the picture on the right

We continue to attend our favourite church Calvary Episcopal in Indian Rocks Beach and are becoming attached to their new priest Father Jon.  Father Bob retired in September and we wish him a healthy happy retirement.  I miss him so that my heart aches for him and I have shed a few tears. We plan to connect with him and PT sometime in the New Year.  We celebrated both Christmas and Easter at Calvary with Father Bob.  He has touched my heart and soul in a way I can't explain.  I was very moved by his Easter services and have a closer relationship with Jesus.  Thank you Father Bob.

Home improvements in our Florida Cottage....  Kirby (single handed) removed the carpet from the master bedroom and installed laminate flooring.  He did a fabulous job and we are so enjoying it!  Much easier to keep clean. We also had the 4 bedroom windows replaced by professionals and hope to replace the den/guest room windows sometime in 2014.\This week Kirby completed my Christmas present...My kitchen renovation!  I now have a dishwasher, more cupboards and countertop to bake cookies, roll pastry, make biscuits, etc, etc.  And he did it all himself (with a little help from me and lifting help from a neighbor).  I am so excited with my new kitchen; it's more than I dreamed of!  And we managed to keep the costs to a minimum. 

Speaking of neighbors.  We are so blessed with wonderful neighbors in Golden Triangle Park...Wanda, Ron, Marie, Ellen and Charles.  There have been incidents with dog owners and their dogs from the nearby apartment building; last year and this year. Recently Joey and I were threatened by a young man with his boxer off leash. I was very afraid. In the end the Largo Police became involved, met with the man and advised him to stay away from our park.  Kirby and I are overwhelmed by the support, help and care from our neighbors.  Charles now accompanies Joey and me on all of our walks, as our bodyguard. The others keep a watch for the guy.  They are my guardian angels!

In September Joey tore his ACL in his left back knee.  Dr Kim Barkhouse at Cornwallis Vets surgically repaired it and after weeks of massage therapy and physiotherapy all is well. Joey has returned to his Florida daycare and loves it!  He does prefer Pineos Pet Spaw in Centreville though. We also continue to take him to the great leash-free dog park near by where Joey quickly made new doggie friends and loves to play there.  He also loves the dog-friendly beaches and played in the water.  He is still not fond of the taste of salt water!

Florida State Fair and the Strawberry Festival were highlights of 2013 and we plan to do it again in 2014.  My favourite were the baby piglet races and the livestock barns.  Guess I am a country girl at heart. Farming is in my ancestry.

Just prior to departing for home in April Joey got sick with kennel cough.  We had planned to detour to Texas for a visit with Evan, Crystal and grand-dogs.  Those plans got cancelled because we didn't want the girls and Lucky to catch the cough.

On May 29 I had arthroplasty surgery at QEII on my left thumb and wrist to correct the source of chronic pain.  The procedure went well and all was healing until I fell on it in August.  I will be seeing the surgeon again in April 2014 on return home.  The pain continues and I still cannot knit.

We were happy to be home again and settled back into our Nova Scotia lifestyle. Both Debby and Kirby continue to be involved at Aylesford Lake Yacht Club: Debby as Membership Chair while Kirby is on the ALYC Executive as a Director and webmaster of website .  They both participate in a senior's aquatic program for water exercise twice weekly.

Debby is active with Red Hat Apple Blossoms in Kentville, enjoying the sisterhood, the red/purple bling and fun! Go Red and Purple!

Once home again Joey returned to doggie daycare and was delighted to be back with his fur friends and human friends. "Pineo's Pet Spaw & A Dog's Day Inn" is an amazing place and we thank them for their great care and love for Joey!     

Aylesford Lake "The Lake house"    Florida Cottage, Largo

Living close to the cottage we were able to open early.  Our cottage neighbors Maureen and Ivan have retired from Fort McMurray and are now living in their new home. And Mary and Glen have purchased a cottage in the cove! Our cove has grown into a happy network of friends and pets that enjoy each others. We are so blessed!

Lights at Largo Central Park

The Nowlans wish their family and friends a BLESSED MERRY CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR!  MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL

The neighbourhood  pet, Largo nature park.













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