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Episode #6: A Surreal Serial, Thanksgiving Edition

In the spirit of THANKSGIVING, I present 11 things we are truly grateful for this year…2017

1. In the light of all the recent the natural disasters, the floods in Huston, the complete destruction of Puerto Rico and the devastating fires in Northern California… we can, more than ever before, empathize with the disruption these events are causing for the masses.

We still have our home, it was wounded, but it is still standing and in the process of becoming better than ever. For this, we are truly grateful



AFTER New ROOF in process- No TREE

AFTER New ROOF in process- No TREE

2. It is a torturous process to negotiate with the insurance company, even with our hired guns, The Greenspan Company, private adjusters. With that said, we are grateful to be fully insured for this natural disaster. This gratitude includes our intrepid sales agent and the institution of insurance as it exists, even with its flaws, to help us maintain our level of lifestyle.

Corporate headquarters of Jana Design interiors

Corporate headquarters of Jana Design interiors

3. It is a great relief that the offices of Jana Design Interiors, 20 feet behind the house, past the pool and the roses, is completely unaffected. It is a lucky thing that my home-based business is not actually in our home, but in a Cape Cod style cottage behind it. I think if it had affected my livelihood, I might have …I don’t even want to let myself go there!?! Somehow, even as I became one of our neediest and least organized clients, we have had a banner year designing homes and offices throughout So Cal.

4. I am grateful that I have been working in the interior design field for the last 20 plus years. This vast experience in home renovations and working clients through insurance claims helped me, us, see the falling tree and the events that it set into action as an opportunity more than a disaster. If life drops a lemon tree on your house…you make a TON of lemonade!

5. As a riff on the above, I am beyond grateful that I know and work with a vast array of talented contractors, craftsman, vendors, and trades, so many of whom have given me their knowledge, opinions, and great ideas through the re-build design process. Often protecting me from Imploding during the process. There will be many stories of these amazing humans in the weeks and months ahead. As always, all really good ideas will be ultimately credited to ME.

6. Then there is what I call “The Committee”. Without fail, all my residential clients have a group of family and friends that they consult with throughout the design process, who have a myriad of suggestions and opinions. I rarely get to meet these folks in person, but I always learn a lot about what they think. Some input is great, some truly dubious and some simply wrong but I take it all and take full credit for what is good.  I have been stunned to find that I too have not only a “committee” of taste influencers but I have a body of trusted close friends, and colleagues a “Brain Trust”, who with their diverse backgrounds and life experiences, have been available to brainstorm and guide us through this often-overwhelming process.     You know who you are! And you know that Tobin and I are so grateful to have you in our lives!!

7. In addition to the above “Brain Trust” and with some overlaps, we are blessed to have friends who make sure we are enjoying the finer things in life rather than dwelling on our challenges. Friends who make theater and concert arrangements, select restaurants, share meals at each other’s homes, answer the phone when we call and not mind when we repeat ourselves, a lot.

And we have the organizations we support, The Ovarian Cancer Circle and Soroptimists (women’s organization who work to benefit the lives of women and girls locally and globally) Whose missions, far larger than our own troubles, keeps us humble.

8. We are also blessed with supportive family, on both sides, with whom we have vented and shared horror stories. They have listened, commiserated and advised. We have disagreed on a few strategies but all in all, the support is heartfelt and loving.

babie incognito 2

9. Then there is our LA “family”. We are thrilled to be sharing with Vonnie (Jana’s staff of many years) and husband Mike on the foster (and hoping to adopt) addition of newborn TWINS. Nothing snaps you out of self-absorption faster than watching 2 selfless young adults give themselves over to 2 helpless and adorable infants. We were a 4-some for a long time and now we are a 3- generation modern family.

With the added joy of 2 sets of real grandparents who have been traveling to help, a lot!

(not allowed to show babis faces until adoptend, trust me they are adorable!!)

Look how CHILL we are!?!

Look how CHILL we are!?!

10. And we have each other.  Tobin and I have always made a good team throughout our trials and tribulations (there have been a few doozies in the 30 years we have been married) they have fortunately always brought us closer together. We are now enjoying re-designing our home as a team.

11. Finally, we have all YOU and we wish you all a happy, loving and turkey filled Thanksgiving Holiday!!

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