Our Year in Review 2005

The Big Trip

In September, we took an amazing three week trip to Israel with my parents. Check out our web journal at www.Oreet.com


Of course we visited the Old City of Jerusalem to pay our respects at the Western Wall.


Here we are at the fortress of Masada near the Dead Sea.

Golan Heights

Enjoying a moment of reflection on the Golan Heights in the north of Israel, on the Syrian border.

Fun & Games

In terms of hobbies, we're continuing the old ones and have picked up a few new ones to occupy our copious amounts of spare time.


John continues to explore the mastery of baking, and dreams of building his own hearth oven. Here he is frosting his own birthday cake.


I've picked up a new creative outlet in the form of basket weaving - and yes, you have to soak the reeds, so in that sense it is 'underwater'.


Brewmaster John


On the workfront, there has been some shifting of employment for both of us this year. In January John began a new position as a senior software engineer with Perigrine Systems. He enjoyed his work there, but was made an 'offer he couldn't refuse' and in December again changed allegiance to become Lead Software Engineer (and Employee #8) at RoyaltyShare. In April, I gave up the roving life of a registry therapist to begin a 'real job' with Sharp Healthcare Corp. Since then, I have put in roughly 40 hours per week at Grossmont Hospital, mostly working with geriatric patients on the Transitional Care Unit. The 10 minute commute is lovely.


As Hanukah and Christmas fell on the same day this year, we had an eventful combined holiday celebrated with both our families at John's mother's home. The day included brunch featuring ham, mounds of presents, afternoon naps and bocce ball, dinner with homemade latkes and brisket, the dreidel game, and lighting the Hanukah candles.


We've had several births to lengthen our list of 'adopted' neices and nephews: On the Ides of March, we welcomed Lucas Blakeslee to the world. In May we rejoyced in the arrival of Anya Gingery. And in August, we celebrated the birth of Nichole Payne.

In addition, we are proud to report that we now have two level sixty characters on Destromath server in World of Warcraft. Astara is a night elf druid who specializes in tribal leatherworking. Khronos is a dwarf warrior armorsmith.

In April, we traveled to Phoenix for the grand event of the joyous wedding of our good friends Ken & Mary Hale, where John was privileged to be a groomsman.


In June, we attended a Midsummer Night's Wedding where Jason & Jessica Naylor were joined in matrimony before the Faerie Court. Brewmaster John branched out into mead to provide ten gallons of homebrewed fermented honey beverage for the wedding toast.

In November, we suffered the loss of John's Grandmother Evelyn Smith. She was greatly loved and will be missed.

House & Garden

Gardening continues as a nonstop process as we continue to (attempt to) bring order to the chaos that currently rules our homestead.


Our front 'lawn'.

Back Lawn

Our back 'lawn'.


The farmers bring in the mighty avocado harvest.


John and his weedwacker out on the back forty.

Bulb Garden

Our spring blooming bulb garden.

In terms of 'house', we are still planning a major remodel in the near future. We have an architect we love and are working with a contractor on estimates for our dream, to determine what we can afford to do and how to get the best bang for our buck.

We're wishing you a year filled with health and happiness!!
Keep in touch!!