Category Archives: Winter

Good Riddance 2017


Good riddance 2017. Scram. Beat it. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

So much happened this year, I feel the need to jot it all down. Like so many, I’ve felt a  that started with Trump’s bellicose inauguration speech and hasn’t let up since. This year has felt like 10, simply exhausting.

Though so little of it has touched me personally, I know my country will be digging out and rebuilding and repairing for generations.
Let’s recap, just the public stuff.


  • Comey firing and the absurd dishonesty of Jeff Sessions’ congressional testimony
  • The travel ban for Muslims (and Venezuela)
  • Strategic un- or underfunding of Obamacare to hurt the most vulnerable
  • The alienation of allies in Germany, France, China and the U.K.
  • ICE raids, deportations, and mass fear in the immigrant community
  • Nuclear brinksmanship with North Korea
  • The massive tax reform that gives it away to corporations and the wealthy


  • The Paris Climate Accord
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA, shmacka. Bye bye, dreamers!)
  • Net Neutrality
  • Tel Aviv as capital (and any hope of Middle East peace)
  • Fetus, vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, and science-based (and our faith in government)
  • Vital sub-cabinet posts and government advisory staff
  • The individual health insurance mandate that supported affordable healthcare for all
  • Frederick Douglass (no doubt rolling in his grave)

Mother Nature

  • Hurricane Harvey floods in TX
  • Hurricanes Irma and then Maria devastation in the Caribbean and Florida
  • Puerto Rico, an act of God made 500 times worse by government incompetence and neglect
  • The earthquake in Mexico City
  • Massive, historic wildfires all over California

Trump Nation

  • Charlottesville and neo-Nazi rallies
  • White nationalism as a rebrand of white supremacy
  • Mass shootings like the Texas church shooting and the one in Las Vegas
  • The rise of cyber bullying, personal attacks, and partisan news
  • Whataboutism hit its prime

Me Too

  • The fall of Al Franken…
  • …Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Louis C.K., Mario Batali, Garrison Keillor, George HW Bush…
  • Half the population over age 20 revisiting some sort of painful memory
  • Oh yeah, and Harvey Weinstein

Farewell 2017. You’ve overstayed your welcome and left us with very few bright spots.

Silver Linings

  • The firing of Steve Bannon
  • Roy Moore’s narrow defeat by Doug Jones
  • The Silence Breakers and a brighter day for working women
  • The arrest of Paul Manafort and Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia investigation
  • SNL and John Oliver are crushing it
  • Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa is here, reminding us to embrace joy and be good to each other (photos to follow)

What did I forget? In a shit storm as epic as 2017 there were bound to be other big things. My next entry will be brighter.

Keep the faith, and cheers to a happy and healthy and sane 2018! It can only get better.


Entertaining Parents

“When are the first customers arriving?!” Robin’s question came right on time, at noon.

“Honey, they’re guests, not customers. And no one shows up at the beginning. People are shy about being the first ones here.”

And so began the litany of questions. An avalanche of chicken nuggets slid from the oven. A dozen people descended at once, and our house turned into a happy, chaotic hive of convivial conversation.

Even at 78 guests, there were people who couldn’t come or came stag. When we set a guest list these days, we count by fours and fives, so numbers add up quickly.

What a wonderful mix! The living room buzzed with talk of city politics travel while new neighbors and old friends mixed in the family room. Travel, Trump, and the ham were all hot topics.

Kids were everywhere.

A neighbor texted to say she would come with their 5 but stay only briefly to leave room for the “out of towners.”

I told her to stay as long as she could stand. “We wanted a bigger house because our old place couldn’t hold all of our friends. I never imagined we would double our circle when we moved. It’s a blessing, not a problem!”

“Talk to me again after you’ve had 30 kids tearing around your house for 2 hours.”

Though it was too cold to be outside, the kids stayed busy upstairs and down.

Our friendships have multiplied mostly because of Robin and the high quality adults who come with his playmates. As the kids scatter for school and lose touch, I want to keep their parents around!

Five pounds of chicken tenders, three bandaids, and a little insanity is a small price to pay.

So we survived our big party and enjoyed the chaos of wrestling and coloring, snacks and wine. We cleared a few juice boxes from the guest room and a tater tot from Robin’s nightstand. Two kids lost teeth.

Here’s the lost and found below. (One front tooth still at large, possibly swallowed! )


Snow Day Craftiness


It’s a little like The Shining, I tell my mother. She’s in Florida for the week, and we are on our weekly snow day, the first of two in a row this week, the fifth in a month of heavy snow and ice storms. This is before the thunder snowstorm starts.

Swearing off the hysteria of local TV news, I’ve elected to get my updates from social media instead. Everyone seems to have power, and apparently all of my friends are closet pastry chefs, eager to photograph their creations. They make more beautiful cookies than we do. Some of the heart-shaped ones belong on magazine covers. It’s scary outside, but the world is rose colored on Facebook. It’s like Martha Stewart hijacked my news feed.

I am tempted to post the art project Robin improvised from the contents of our under sink cabinet (above). He was in the bathroom for a long time, wasn’t he?

Oh, he made valentine cardImages too, some downright precious ones. I was so pleased with myself for remembering to stock up for his classmates. The one time I don’t blow off this vital Pre-K ritual is the V-Day when School Is Cancelled Due To Inclement Weather. F-ing figures.

I’m snowbound at home with 10 homemade, hand-decorated and cut hearts taped to the coolest heart-shaped plastic straws to give as gifts. (You know, the kind that are all curled up and trap stagnant water in them that grows bacteria. The kind you would neeeeever let your kid drink milk from and would be unwise to reuse more than a couple times, even for water?)

The boys made cookies, but they are too embarrassing to photograph: curiously hard M&M studded peanut butter lumps, inexplicably gluten free. The dough was so unwieldy, they didn’t even get a dozen, so none to share with neighbors.


On the day before this 12-inch snow dump, I’d stocked up at the craft store. Pipe cleaner hearts are on the list for later, along with bear mask making and a big glass of prosecco. (Adults only.) Previous favorite snow day pairings include safety trampoline and Afropop. And my personal favorite, Pixar and a growler. (Child optional.)

We are all a little insane here, but getting better at managing all this unwanted free time. Randy’s home and we are fighting for work shifts on the computer. I stagger a 3.5 hour work session with shoveling and his internet conference call with the state. An angel neighbor takes Robin for a play date, but we are both too busy to even consider romance.

I guess with all the zigging and zagging, we are not so sick of each other yet, even on this second snow day in a row. No one is homicidal. The lights have stayed on. We’ve shoveled snow with and for friends. Out front there are swelling snowmen two storms old, a few inches taller than when we went to bed last night. It is all starting to feel normal.

When a thunderous crash startled my reading yesterday, I was relieved to realize it was merely the thunder they had predicted with our second round of snow. Not another gutter-breaking rooftop snow slide. Just thunder and lightening. Funny times when this realization calms you.

pipe cleaner heartsValentine’s dinner is Indian take out. Though we should have had time to cook today, Randy got out for a run and I passed time hanging out with neighbors, watching Robin and his friends climb the freakishly tall mounds of snow piled into our tiny front gardens. When I caught Robin licking the snow off of a neighbor’s car, I knew it was time to head in for dinner. Prosecco and sag paneer. Belgian chocolates for dessert. (You know, the kind you grab with some reticence from the stack of orphaned gourmet food near the check out line at TJ Maxx.)

A happy holiday indeed.