Although there aren’t many of us, I am a true Floridian. I grew up in Ormond Beach, Florida, and attended the University of Miami. During college, I worked seasonally at Walt Disney World. Side note — I am a bit of a Disney addict. I live in Parkland with my husband, Brian, and two children – Madden and Randi. In the past few years, Mah Jongg has become a very important part of our lives. My mother taught me the game as a child, and in more recent years, she taught my children, and my closest friends.
Setting up a weekly Mah Jongg game is something my mom urged me to do at 40 because I was “at the right age,” to do so, and I’m grateful she did. In 2020 when my mom passed away suddenly, I needed an escape, and Mah Jongg was the answer. On April 1, 2020, I launched MahJonggWipes.com giving players a way to protect their sets and themselves by keeping their hands and tiles clean and germ free. Then I met Susan. Combining our loves (and businesses) of Mah Jongg and travel, we formed Crak Your Bags.
I live half the year in Coral Springs with my husband, Jay, and we spend the other half the year in Asheville, North Carolina. My three passions are Mah Jongg, tennis and traveling. I was introduced to the game about 15 years ago while on a girls’ trip with my tennis team. One day when we were rained out, a friend pulled out her Mah Jongg set, and from that day forward, I was hooked. I taught my teenage children how to play, then my husband (who became our reluctant fourth). We have traveled all over the world, and everywhere we go, we bring our Mah Jongg set and have made many new friends along the way. During the pandemic, when everyone was socially isolated, I had the good luck of meeting Jill and we came up with a plan to bring people back together by fostering new social connections through our shared love of the game. We have since taught hundreds of people how to play and cultivated opportunities for people to play together socially and on trips that we plan. We live by the motto, “Okay, one more game…”
I live in Parkland with my husband, Rob, and our two children. Although I have an accounting degree and practiced law for a short time, my real passions are Mah Jongg and travel. I was taught to play Mah Jongg in 2019 by Jill's mom, and I was immediately hooked. My mom plays, my grandma plays, and I even taught my daughter, Sloan to play the game. Now, when I travel, I always have my Mah Jongg card in tow. Occasionally I help Jill teach, and I recently joined the Crak Your Bags team as a travel planner.
I have been married for 37 years to my biggest supporter, Guy, and have one son, Alex, who I love dearly. I was brought up in upstate New York. My mom started to play Mah Jongg in 1956, which was my first introduction to this marvelous game. Yes, I was young, but allowed to sit and watch the ladies play. It would be many years before I would learn how to play. In 2003, I took my first class. It opened my world as it has done for so many others. I was fortunate to meet wonderful people that brought me into their games and thus, began my journey along a path that has expanded over the years. My main goal was to teach others and instill in them the love of not only the game, but the people we all meet because of it. As a teacher, I became passionate about explaining the rules, and the importance of incorporating them into our home games.
Eight years ago, I was asked by Johni Levene, who created the Facebook group Mah Jongg, That’s It! to be her administrator. It has been an honor to interact with members and explain the rules of the game. I participate in Mah Jongg tournaments, and I am a rules moderator for one monthly tournament. I am the proud owner of way too many sets, said nobody, and enjoy creating custom made joker stickers.
Out of curiosity, I learned how to play American Mah Jongg about 10 years ago. It is noteworthy that I am from a family of card, game and puzzle players. After some generous and patient friends helped out, I learned the game. It was clear that I found something super special! The combination of socializing, camaraderie and unique challenges with each game had me hooked. I have since had the honor of teaching close to 100 people how to play and continue to teach locally in Cherry Hill, NJ. I am also the Admin for “South Jersey Mah Jongg Players” on Facebook.
I posted Mah Jongg Haikus during the height of the pandemic on “Mah Jongg, That’s It!” on Facebook. I moved on to Mah Jongg memes, then the puzzles! It seemed like a natural extension of WORDLE to have a Mah Jongg WORDLE, which posts each Friday morning. Mah Jongg Wheel of Fortune was, and remains my passion and it posts each Saturday morning. I am delighted that the puzzles have been well received and are used for teaching and education purposes as well as just for entertainment and fun! I am extremely grateful, and have been blessed with meeting some of the kindest, generous, brilliant and creative people and my journey continues…