December 2020

Well, 2020 is nearly in the rear-view mirror. Hip-hip hooray! This year was certainly unexpected and quirky. We didn’t even leave the state for an entire year - oh wait, does that quick trip to Lowe’s in Carson City, NV count? Given our newfound stay-at-homeness, we managed a multitude of mansion makeovers – with some "2020" surprises. And, just as we started to enjoy the summer outdoor weather, here came the horrendous California fires. Even with all the challenges, we are thankful to be healthy and gainfully employed.

This PITA pandemic resulted in a plethora of vacation cancellations. We scrubbed our May SCUBA trip to Bonaire. Our Big Basin camping trip was voided because the park was closed. Unfortunately, the campground was severely scorched by the summer inferno, so it will be some time before we can reschedule. We missed celebrating Lori’s Mom’s belated 80th birthday on an Alaskan Cruise, and our 26th anniversary didn’t involve diving – booooo!

Our "vacations" thus required some Janz creativity. The backyard was repurposed for "glamping", and we escaped multiple times to our Tahoe abode. While in Tahoe, a few more projects were stricken from the multi-decade To Do list – closet baseboards, mirror frames, and a myriad of other minor mods. When a snow storm was in the forecast, we went up "just because". We are fortunate to have a retreat that provides a variation of landscape.

With more time homebound, we completed a few dwelling enhancements – not all were planned. We replaced the 20+ year old dishwasher with a new (significantly quieter) one, updated the shelves and storage in the shed, and installed a nearly silent fan (with light!) in the Master Bath. When the steam from the master bath fogged up the main bath, we root caused it to the shared external vent cover being painted closed from last year. FIXED! With Lori working from home, we installed a whole house fan to cool down our abode without the expense of constantly running the AC. Prepping for the house fan involved new recessed ceiling lights in the hallway (had to make room for the new duct), which rippled to the entry way, kitchen, front bedroom, and den. However, not all improvements were "rosy".

We budgeted roof and gutter replacement this year, but …late one night, shortly after lockdown, water started backing up into the shower, tub, toilets, etc. Long story short, we are now the proud owners of a brand-new sewer line. We won’t bore you with the 48-hour experience sans sewer service. Creativity was critical since using the neighbor’s bathrooms or park restrooms was a no-go (literally) in the midst of a global pandemic – "OH WHAT FUN!". After weeks admiring the cavernous canyon in our front yard, we were SJ’s 3rd ever Zoom sewer inspection. Canyon closed.

For Mike’s B-day, he received a PRUSA 3D Printer. Need organizers, print it. Parts are no longer available, print it. Chapstick rolls all over the car and need a custom holder, print it. Need new clips for the Christmas Deer, print it. WOW! This segmented dinosaur is reallllly cool, print it. You get the idea – it is a gift that keeps giving.

On a positively charged note, after a measly 12+ hours converting 6 deer to LED lights, our Christmas Light extravaganza (18,500 lights, 2+ miles of wiring) is powered by a single, 20A breaker. Next year’s target is 15A. We are drawing huge crowds to our nightly light shows and continue to receive positive response and applause.

We are both fortunate to still be employed during this time. Mike just finished his 27th year with Lockheed Martin. Lori reached 20 years at Intel, and has moved back to the Server Engineering side. Since work isn’t busy enough, she also joined the HOA Board for our home in Tahoe. She leads the website rebuild effort and is on the Finance Committee (math degree is finally being used!).

Marleau and Murray turn 16 this year and have become finicky eaters. Marleau sometimes prefers the fountain water, other times it is the water in our glass. Murray has rejected hard food, and now only eats canned. With Lori home all the time, they demand extra pats and attention; if ignored, they sit in front (or on) the keyboard so she can’t work.

For next year, we will double down on our "work to live" philosophy. Two weeks in Bonaire for our 27th anniversary is already on the books – we expect the COVID Vaccine will be required before departing. Mike will be cancer free for 22 years in January and 4 years removed from his heart surgery (but who is counting….)

We hope you had a safe, healthy, and wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Feel free to email us at or visit us (inluding non-dive pictures!) at


Mike, Lori, Marleau, & Murray