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My little muffin chose to do a quiet weekend in the country, playing with a friend’s cats (and Louie) for her long MLK weekend birthday.  She has a new interest in karaoke and singing, so we added a mic to the scene and had a lot of fun.  Today is really officially her birthday, and she is toting 20 gluten free cupcakes to school to celebrate with classmates (and may even convince us to have a 3rd party with ‘the Hazels’ as well).

I am so proud of this fearless, funny, constantly surprising little gal who is growing too fast!  We love you Zoe!

thx for the Mia and Zoe pix,  Ina Seow!Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 11.16.26 AM.pngScreen Shot 2018-01-16 at 11.16.57 AM.pngScreen Shot 2018-01-16 at 11.16.41 AM.pngScreen Shot 2018-01-16 at 11.17.23 AM.png

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We tend to like to wander ‘off the beaten path’ and get away from where the throngs of tourists are (even though we are in fact tourists too!) We strolled Cayman Island to find a very very fresh fish market – so fresh that sharks and a giant stingray were right behind the booth, eating up all the fish scraps that were tossed back into the sea!  Then ran into some cool cenote’-like shore edges where we could do some more snorkeling without many people around:

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Then while at another stop at Castaway Cay, my husband tried his hand at shooting with an underwater camera while we snorkeled.  Why is Minnie at the bottom of the sea you may ask?  We’re not sure either – but it was fun to find! (thx gregkessler.com for the pix!)

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Ours was a quiet start to the year – just being back from the cruise and all, we simply gathered with a small group of friends and rang in the year.  Then headed home for some much needed Zzzzzs.  Let’s hope this upcoming year is as sensible as that night!

 

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dads chatting

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Elliot the lead singer for the band, gets ready to pop!

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based on all the spray paint cans behind Ezra, it’s easy to tell a graffiti artist lives here

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5-4-3-2-1…

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Happy Holidays

 

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I hope you and yours enjoy a wonderful holiday season.

(and if you want a great family shot like this, contact http://www.justasmallaffair.com)

I also hope you don’t mind that I use ‘Happy Holidays‘.

I see so much hullabaloo lately on social media :  asking for “Merry Christmas” to make a fierce comeback, and where did all the Merry Christmas Go?  I don’t know about you… but I can’t walk outside in December (or Nov, or some of Oct – see this funny post) without getting slapped in the face with Christmas.  I hardly think it’s a holiday that will disappear.  It’s too loud and bawdy for that.  All the other holidays still recede.  They don’t want the top spot anyhow.

There must be a reason why December is so chalk full of ‘festivals of light’.  Chanukah (which we celebrate), Christmas, and Kwanza all entail adding light to a dark month by lighting a lot of candles, or tree lights, or North Star over baby Jesus.  Throw on New Year’s Eve at the tail end and – well – I’d like to offer you all a greeting for the entire winter solstice month of all that cheer and imbibing.  It’s easier and quicker to pack all that into one quick phrase, right?  And perhaps it’s also a little kind and inclusive – especially in this season of ‘giving’ –  to simply say:

Happy Holidays!

 

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Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray were excited to open their doors in the spirit of the season for the Gracie Mansion Conservancy Family & Community Holiday Open House.

New York City families and residents were invited to visit Gracie Mansion to learn about the history, view the “New York 1942” art installation, and see the Mansion dressed for the holidays.

A new exhibit, New York 1942 is the second in a series of installations and includes artwork, documents and objects focused on 1942, the year Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia moved to Gracie Mansion.

We loved the Christmas trees filled with hand cut paper ‘people’, and another that was made entirely out of books in the book room! The gingerbread version of the mansion (and free cookies and hot apple cider) wasn’t too shabby either.  My favorite however are the cityscapes cut from black paper and put on the mantel pieces of all the fireplaces.

01gracie1-web-master675Gracie-Mansion

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Remember the last time we did this?  We were back at it again, using an old painting and replenishing it with our own creative paint strokes. This time we bought some glitter so that Zoe could make it shiny. We are pleased with the way it came out and how it looks near our dining room! Next time you get to a flea market or estate sale, pick up a cheap ugly painting and try your hand at this yourself! In this case we used some old house paint (quite dried out and clumpy as you can see in the details) to mingle with the glitter!

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Our neighbor had the brilliant idea of having a show where parent bands and kid bands play .. in a duel to the death!  Just kidding – it was a peaceful playoff, with a surprising amount of ‘sportsmanship’ and I was tickled that mamma Dana even did a few songs with her band.  She had a song titled “I Don’t Want To Feed You Anymore” about how hard it is to find foods that your kid will eat.  Some of the lyrics were ‘why won’t you eat the yolk?!”  Young ones Potty Mouth and then Duchess performed, leading up to Ezra’s crew (now called ‘After School Special’) – check out this link and share it… and notice we have a new bassist (Andrew in the green tee!)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCha8hq9mndSIvQiKoaZRnUg

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6-8 year old Potty Mouth

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mamma neighbor Dana from No Fun singing about feeding kids..

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and about growing old and creaky

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and our band with their new member Andrew (in green) on bass!

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