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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Annual Report from the Hinkey-Drobnik Family


Here we are at the end of another year. They seem to be moving along at a much faster pace than they used to, don't they? We're still trying to figure out where this one went to!

Matt looking through the camera
Matt, the way we usually see him!

Ye Gods! A Tale of Dogs and Demons by Lynne M. Hinkey
Lynne with the first copy of Ye Gods!
Work is still the same: Matt at SPAWAR, and working on his photography, especially action/sports photos of agility, roller derby, and surfing! Lynne is still teaching classes at Trident Tech in Charleston, and online for the University of Maryland to support her writing career. Her novel, Ye Gods! A Tale of Dogs and Demons, was released by publisher Casperian Books in April, and she had a number of short stories published this year, too. Between the novel, stories, and book reviews, she's turning into a real, professional writer, i.e, getting paid! (And that makes Matt happy!) See more of Matt's pics at:  
and find out about Lynne's books at

As usual, the fur-kids kept us busy. Lupin is all grown up into a fun, lovable werewolf. He's gone through a number of obedience and training classes to prepare him for agility. He's now learning the obstacles. We know there's an agility dog in there somewhere, we just have to get our wild-man to focus long enough to find it! Our loveable pup is a challenge, but we love how he makes us laugh, and is a buddy to Muggle and Minnie. He's quite a cuddle-bug, and completes our family.

Lupin jumping through a holiday wreath
Lupin showing off his agility moves at the
LCDA Christmas party!
Muggle had an eventful agility year, although he didn't make it easy on his handler, coming within fractions of seconds on that elusive third Advanced Standard Q in trial after trial. Like the action/adventure movies where the clock runs down to the final second before the hero saves the day, Muggle waited until the last trial of the year to get that Q and his Advanced Agility Dog title. So proud of our Eeyore dog!

Lynne and Muggle with his title ribbons
Muggle and Lynne with his Advanced Standard 1st place,
Qualifier, and title ribbons, and his
Advanced Agility Dog (AAD) title ribbon.
Minerva, as always, is the queen bee. She and Lupin have become best buds and revel in chasing and chewing on each other. She's taken over Muggle's crate at bedtime, and he's too much of a gentleman to chase her out, so he sleeps in the hall while she luxuriates in his bed. Now that the cold weather has arrived, she's abandoned the crate for our bed, where she snuggles with Lupin.

Minerva the cat
Our beautiful Minerva.
We had some wonderful trips this year, all in the US, but adventures nonetheless. In February, we went on a writers' retreat in the Georgia mountains with the Gosses. Lynne and Hanna made great progress on the novels they're writing (Hanna finished the first draft of hers!) while Matt and David took care of them, and the four dogs. We visited with the Gosses in Waynesville, NC two more times, once in May for David's surprise birthday party, and again in June for Lynne's book signing Hanna organized at Blue Ridge Books.

Hanna and Lynne writing in the cabin's loft
Hanna and Lynne hard at work on their
Writers' Retreat in February.

Matt, Lynne, and Tony & Mary Drobnik in front of the barn/forge
With Mom and Dad Drobnik at the
John Deere Homestead.
Also in May, we headed to Chicago for a visit with the Drobnik families--always a good time! Mary and Tony took us off the beaten path and instead of downtown, we headed to the country for a tour of the original John Deere homestead, and the boyhood home of Ronald Reagan.

July was a busy travel month, with a road trip to NY to visit the Hinkeys, including a day at Hershey Park, a trip to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame with niece Kristin and nephew Robert, and another book signing for Lynne at RiverReads Books in Binghamton. Later that month, we headed to San Diego to visit Misty and Terry, and attend Comic-Con! Had a blast and could have spent the whole time people watching the Cos-Players dressed in their amazing costumes. Do take a look at Matt's Flickr page for all the great photos from that trip!
Kristin, Robert, and Matt at Doubleday Stadium
Kristin, Robert, and Matt in Cooperstown

Comic-Con convention center hall
Comic-Con (go to Matt's Flickr page to
see loads and loads of great photos!

We finished the year off with an early 10-year-anniversary trip to Universal Orlando to check out the new Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Express. With lots of other geeky-grown-ups running around in robes and casting spells with their interactive wands, let's just say, we found our tribe. Also got to visit with Lynne's major professor from UPR, Baqar Zaidi and his wife, Elsie while in Orlando.

Matt and Lynne in front of the Universal globe
At Universal Orlando in December
The dragon on top of Gringotts breathing fire!
Check out more pics on Matt's Facebook page!

Kim, Lynne, and Cindy painting at Wine & Design
Kim, Lynne, and Cindy at
Wine & Design
Not only did we have some fun adventures out of town, but had lots of company to help us take in our hometown sites. Cousin Kim visited on her spring break in March, and we toured Boone Hall Plantation. Connie and Tom came down from Tennessee in the spring, and she and Lynne had a great time staying up way too late reminiscing about their wild youth. Kristin, Robert and Tom came to visit in August and we went on another paddleboard adventure, this time around Shem Creek. Tom joined us again for Thanksgiving, and we headed south to Beaufort and Hunting Island State Park. Hanna and David, along with Buffy and Willow, came for some low key, relaxing visits that we always enjoy, and we're looking forward to spending Old Years Night, and bringing in 2015 with them!
Lynne and Tom on the Hunting Island S.P. Lighthouse
Tom and Lynne at
Hunting Island State Park

Lynne and Matt sailing in Charleston harbor
Sailing in Charleston Harbor

Thank you ALL for being part of our year and lives! Much love, and wishes for a happy, healthy 2015!

2014 Hinkey Drobnik Christmas Card