Skip to main content

A Long Overdue Update

Here’s what’s new with us…

Things have been going well for both of us as far as our jobs are concerned. J is still with Learning Tree and very much enjoys it. He will soon be at the tenure level that will allow him additional vacation time each year. My annual employee review was recently and it went well. I think I am going to stick with my current company most likely at least through the end of our current contract (2.5 more years) if not longer, assuming they have additional work assignments for me once this contract is concluded. I’m working on obtaining my SAS Programming Certification which should be a benefit to the company and myself. Outside of my full-time job, I continue to take on small, part-time IT consulting projects through ParJen Consulting (

Outside of work, we enjoy our playtime. J is quite busy with the church softball league. There are numerous practices a week and the games begin Monday. I’m wrapped up in my various Meetup groups planning and attending fun events. Today I led the walking group on a 9.4 bike ride along the C&O canal in DC. The scenery was beautiful. We’ve got a lot of great walks scheduled over the spring and summer as well as some great parties and a tubing trip. The woman’s group has a horseback riding even next month and I’m really looking forward to that. Supper club has our monthly dinners lined up through July and our book club voted last week on the book to read for our May discussion night. A lot of activities and a lot of fun.

Travel plans continue to pile up. Next weekend I’m headed to NYC with a group of girlfriends to see Wicked on Broadway and enjoy the city. Meanwhile, J will be heading south to Yorktown to drop in on his brother’s family. He will get to visit with his mother as she is flying in from NM to see them as well. Mid-May we’re off on another weekend adventure to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary. I’d tell you all about where we are going except that I’m keeping it pretty hush-hush as the exact destination is setup as a surprise for J. The week after that (Memorial Day Weekend) we’re hopping into the convertible and driving down to Smoky Mountain National Park. I’m very excited about this trip in particular. It has been several years since I’ve been to the park and J has never had the pleasure of going. I’m sure I’ll eventually get around to arranging a few day or weekend trips during the summer, but the only other trip I’ve confirmed so far is a sun and sand getaway for myself and a group of girlfriends. We’re flying down to Miami in September, staying at Le Fountaine Bleau in south beach, enjoying a sightseeing weekend and then finishing the trip with a 5 day cruise on a Carnival ship out of the port of Miami. We will be docking in Key West and Cozumel, two places I’ve never been. Should be great! Looking beyond September, there’s a fall foliage trip schedule for Columbus Day weekend, a possibility of heading to Alaska sometime during 2009 and a 3 week trip to Morocco in 2010.

On the homefront it has been quite an adventure. The process of renovating after the kitchen fire in January has been a slow and frustrating one. Our contractor was completely inept and we’ve had to follow behind him constantly with a pooper scooper to clean up his messes. At this point, all of the work has been done except the new flooring (Pergo in the dining room; vinyl in the hallway/kitchen), which goes in Tuesday. Summary of work: The entire house downstairs was cleaned with special chemicals to remove the smoke smell and residue, the downstairs and upstairs surfaces (walls, ceilings, baseboards) repainted, the duct system was cleaned professionally, every fabric in the home was taken away and dry cleaned, the carpets in the entire home were professional steam cleaned, the kitchen cabinets and countertops were replaced. That was a lot! The new kitchen looks beautiful and while I’m sad we had the fire, its pretty amazing we got the whole house spiffed up and redone for only the cost of our deductible. Once the floors are in we are going to invite everyone over for a House Burning party (we never had a house warming party when we moved in, and this seemed like a perfect twist on the concept. The menu will consist of smoked foods, melty-delicious appetizers, fondue, and flaming desserts.) Upcoming projects that we are farming out this week include fixing the heat pump unit (it keeps frosting over outside), landscaping the front yard (have a sense of what we like, but no skills or knowledge to make it happen), and trimming the large tree in the front yard (its branches are overgrown and we don’t have the tools or the knowledge on proper trimming and we don’t want to kill our tree).

Our doggies, Jenna and Julia are doing ok. Jenna is getting up there in age (11) and her body is starting to let her down. She gets overheated easily and the number of non-cancerous but in the way growths under/on her skin are increasing. Julia is only 2.7 years old and has tons of energy. She’s being dragged down a bit this week because of a sore on her leg that she won’t stop licking, but otherwise she can go 10+ miles running without even beginning to tire.

So that’s a round up of everything. Our work, our play, our travels, and our beloved pets. Now it’s your turn. I always ask for the same thing at the end of every update, but I don’t always get it – I want to know what’s going on in your life. How are you filling your days? Any travel plans for the summer? What are your thoughts on the upcoming elections? Tell me, tell me….


Anonymous said…
me? Im taking vacation the week of the 28th and doing day-trips , possibly to the mountains here in pennsylvania and if I dont get lost, to Williamsburg Va and yes, I still wanna visit Washington DC

I honestly am not gonna vote this election so I dont care who wins, they will be my president and I will pray for them
Anonymous said…
WOW! You have your life so much better organized and planned out than I could ever dream! Teach me!

It sounds like much good has come out of a bad thing. See everything happens for a reason!

And I love your idea of a House Burning party! Very clever!

We will be travelling south this weekend after an extended. I admit that I have enjoyed not going to visit in-laws every other weekend.
The spousal unit has to go to Orlando for a work conference in two weeks (we tried to convince my managers that I could work just as well and easily remotely, but they weren't convinced it was a good enough reason to accompany him).

My new job has kept me quite busy and (sadly) absent from posting, so feel priveledged I have paused to comment. I just had to though. Loved the post (as always)!
Anonymous said…
PS - michaelmichael: It makes me sad that you are not planning to vote. It is a rare priveledge and right that you are given as a free citizen. You should exercise your right, even if you don't care. There are millions of people who don't have these rights and would fight you to have them. If you don't vote, then you are not allowed to complain about anything.

Popular posts from this blog

Board Game Review: Brass Birmingham

Here’s a story of a lovely lady (spoiler: it’s me) and her pride and how it has led to the discovery of the single greatest board game I have ever played. It’s probably also a good primer for other reviewers on increasing your reach.At GenCon this year, I was perusing the wares of the various booths and my eyes caught a glimpse of two beautiful game boxes. Each had crisp metallic lettering with an old world feel and artwork that radiated European class. I made my way to the booth and waited patiently to speak to to the team manning it as there were many buyers lined up to purchase the games. I didn’t know anything about the games (Brass Birmingham and Brass Lancashire), or the publisher – Roxley Game Laboratory – but I knew I wanted to review one or both of the games. Almost every board game love story I star in in can be summed up this way: I am seduced by the artwork or theme and then I stay for the right mechanics. When the lead rep spoke with me, he gently rejected my request. He …

Board Game Review: Brass Lancashire

A few months ago, I fell in love with Brass Birmingham (you can read that review HERE). I fell hard. It was an all time top 10 best games ever kind of love and so when Roxley Game Laboratory offered to send me Brass Lancashire to play and share my thoughts, I was a bit hesitant.  Is there even a chance I could enjoy it as much as Birmingham? Lancashire was the original game designed by Martin Wallace, and while it’s been updated for the most recent release, I was concerned it might prove to be an older, tired version that couldn’t compete with Birmingham.

My concerns were unfounded. Brass Lancashire is fantastic. Playing Lancashire after playing Birmingham is a bit like dating someone and then dating their sibling. Sure, there’s a resemblance, but the kissing feels different.
The artwork for Brass Lancashire is beautiful, radiating a classic style evocative of the theme (industrial era production). The artists have shown great attention to detail such as the raised gold lettering on …

Board Game Review: Machi Koro Legacy

Machi Koro  was one of the first games my husband Chris and I played together. It was released in 2012 and when we started gaming together in 2013, it was still a popular game on reviewer blogs and videos as we sought guidance in what to play and what to buy. Once Machi Koro  was in our collection, I spent every game trying my best to outthink Chris and acquire the best combination of establishment types to ensure victory. As we were enticed by other new games coming out and were drawn deeper into heavy Euros, we left Machi Koro on the shelf more frequently, with an occasional wistful comment about how we should play again.At GenCon earlier this year, Machi Koro Legacy  was the talk of the town. Designed by Rob Daviau, JR Honeycutt, and Masao Suganuma (Masao is the original designer of Machi Koro), it promised to breathe new life into Machi Koro through a campaign style series of ten games, revealing new aspects of gameplay in each session at the table. We love legacy games, so we wer…