The Spins

Spin and swirl…preparing for gatherings, visits, holidays…fun spins. Singing, cooking, decorating, working, buying the perfect little something for someone special, baking, moving furniture…spectacular spins.

Then it’s over…and the backward, uncomfortable and wobbly, what do I do now spin begins. It is dark. I never know if it will last a day or a month. I am off, a bit blue…it just is…it will end when ends. I try and find joy in the holiday cards and the plans ahead, but I know to just go on with life…and wait.

Growing up we had crazy high ceilings which meant a ridiculously tall tree covered in grandma’s “good” ornaments (swoon), some 70s plastic prism ornaments (hung low as bait for the cats to play, but not break), and plenty of homemade God’s eyes, glitter doves, and painted playdoh painted beauties. A mishmosh. Martha Stewart would have hated it, we loved it, perfection is overrated. Rumor is staff at Martha used to get an extra tree or two…and then with a saw, glue, and twine…make the “perfect” tree by adding branches. Insert eye roll here, I think they completely missed the point of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

We have taken the idea of a mishmosh tree a bit further in our love of quirky…as represented in this cluster of goodness…a COVID-19 (virus? cell? what are they called?), a pussy hat egg, hand-painted fun done with Girl Scouts, a felted robot (purchased), a felted flamingo (made), an action figure with a missing head turned into a gift to dad (perfection), a duck missing one flipper from Grandma and Grandpa, a wooden Dorothy purchased at a sample sale in the toy district for my first tree, and a favorite from my sister-in-law many moons ago…Judy Garland, get it, garland on the tree. Immediately memories of 15 girls giggling doing crafts on my porch, tree-trimming parties, relatives, and neighbors with more creativity than should be allowed in one body come to mind. My brain explodes with joy and longing…the switch is flipped.

I am spinning in the right direction again. My little guy and I danced to the Elf soundtrack this morning…the dog sported her Rudolph sweater making kids smile on their walk to school…I took deep breaths, the smell of snow in the air, smiling the whole way home.

I think this is less of a swoon and more of a public service announcement…and a reminder to myself. The gloriously beautiful family pictures, the perfect trees, the menorahs with smiling kids lighting candles…they are blips…when the spin stops long enough to get the shot…the crazy is not recorded. The spin into darkness so many feel this time of year (hello, winter solstice, the reason for all these bells and whistles) is real, and I think most of us feel it.

Here is a bit of love to those in a dark spin and a reminder to those in a swirly spin to enjoy every moment…you never know how long it will last.

Wishing you peace where ever you are.

Elf on the Shelf…no more

Today I am finding amazing amounts of joy knowing that Elf on the Shelf is no longer a part of my life. I might have a month of thankful Swoons to write…but I will not be hiding an elf around our home. Gone are the days of channeling every bit of creativity in my body to do something fun and original, feeling a bit guilty that I just never really cared enough to work hard at this new custom. We always fell short to the pinterest-insta-fb moms who must have spent a LOT of time coming up with new adorable things to do night after night.

Hanging from the shades like a rock climber, stirring a pot of hot chocolate, sorting the laundry in the basement…not us…we were low key elf stylists, our elves did not drive the car or shave…no accoutrements, they were just hidden around the house.

We failed at Elf on the Shelf and you know what?

Our kids survived.

I am ridiculously thankful that I have no elf hiding in my near future…I wish peace to those that still do.


Sammy, Lionel, Olivia, and Jacob… better known as SLOJ…grabbing the ABBA model of using first initials to create a band name.

I would have forgotten all about the Thanksgiving band SLOJ if it were not for a memory popping up on my husband’s fb account. Unfortunately, unlike ABBA, SLOJ lasted about 2 hours. They broke up due to school commitments…and having the collective attention span of…about 2 hours.

I love these moments. End of a celebration, vacation, reunion…the lovely period when most people have left, and you can just savor those still around. This bit of genius between cousins went like this, as noted in the fb post:

Jacob (orange shirt): We’ll be the biggest band of all time! Bigger than Oasis, who said they were bigger than the Beatles!
Lionel: (red pants) And the Beatles said they were bigger than Jesus!
Sam (hat): So we have to start small, and get bigger than Jesus.

Out of the mouths of babes…babes who have since turned into men…who are able to look back and appreciate the brilliance of an innocent moment. I am thankful for memories from others, things I would have forgotten if they had not found them special enough to save.

SLOJ…Olivia on drums, Sam on base, Jacob lead vocals, Lionel on guitar.

Too tired…

I am too tired to Swoon, which is ridiculous because I have lived 3 days of swoon-worthy experiences. I am thankful this month is almost over and I will once again swoon when I am feeling it…instead of it feeling like a chore. I am thankful for Swoons, I am thankful for you. I am thankful.


the mini vacation from work…being together again…surviving the day two, back together again, family explosion of misunderstandings…baking many pies…shopping then shopping again…mourning those we have recently lost…mourning those who have been gone for a while…celebrating with extended family and friends in our midst…chatting over wine…baking with my Olivia…setting the table with my Jacob…watching mom cook her speciality items…reworking the menu yet again…visiting the NYBG train show…smelling cool air…a revolving door of people, thankfully all who believe in science and are multi vaccinated…preparing for tomorrow which will be over in a flash…

for all of this, and more…I am thankful.

Staten Island Ferry and Terminal at the NYBG Train Show

Bathroom Buddies

Each day I am thankful for the five minutes of peace I get while in the bathroom. My pretty pretty bathroom. Lately Jasmine has decided she can not live without me for those five minutes, so I often have the dog with me. Today, both cats decided they wanted to join the party. Because you know, what is better than one pet in the bathroom with you when you could have three. Somehow they closed the door behind themselves and spent the rest of the time pacing and trying to figure out how to open the door again. I guess it was not as much of a party as they thought it would be.

When my kids were little, alone time, even in the bathroom just never happened. It was a family affair…answering questions, opening markers, prying apart legos…there are some things that just can not wait. I guess the bathroom zoo is my new reality.

It could be worse. I am thankful my fur babies love me.


Countdown to Thanksgiving…a repeat thankful post previously on FB with a few added sprinkles.
I am thankful for my brother and sister. We are brilliantly different and we don’t all interact often…we but when push comes to shove we are like the Avengers and use our individual talents to take on any issue. Super powers are so much stronger when combined. Fire Island, Key West, 140 Hollywood, the Club/Dock, Bohjalians, Drewes, and Muenches…the three of us are the only ones who get it…I adore that we had those experiences together. I am thankful for my new siblings…talking, cooking, working, celebrating, adoring, and parenting with you makes my life so full and joyful. I am thankful for the siblings I created. May you always love each other enough to be patient and kind, you two are a dynamic duo when you choose to be.
I am thankful for siblings.

Fire Island 1975?