Monday, October 31, 2011

Flowers In The House Of Horror

 Well hello there.  You say your car has broken down and you need to use my phone?  Please come in, I've been waiting for you.

Cue creaks shrieks and music.

Let me take your coat, have a seat. Those flowers?  Black dahlias and black pearl chili peppers.

And one perfect persimmon.

Oh, it's a voodoo rose.  Do you believe in magic?

It's just a caterpillar spinning some silk.  Can you guess my name?

Bugs make you nervous? I make you nervous?

Even lightening bugs?

Well then come into my parlor kitchen then.  It's brightly lit.

Don't touch the cat!

Better now?  Good.  Treat?

Hey where you going?  Don't go yet.  Your glass ain't empty and we just met......

Happy Halloween to all my favorite ghouls and guys.

P.S. I just hooked up with the happy UK Homemaker, she has a great post on the origins of trick or treating.a

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cats And Dogs And Snow In The Forecast

Well the world famous Lab and her mom are in Connecticut helping to throw a birthday party for The Hai.

I am home alone with only the cat for company and she's worse company than usual. But she still deserves equal billing.

As the light changed she moved back indoors. Apparently her boxwood bower is not winterized..

( Glamor shot of Pokie, subdued lightening and all)

The first several winters after Nika moved in, the cat moved into the attic for the winter. She would come down to eat and to do several vaudeville like starts of surprise upon seeing a DOG.  This went on for months, several times a day.  I'm hungry, feed me, OMG a DOG!

Last winter she moved into our bedroom closet.  Happy to have her near we bought her a comfy bed and padded it with a few pieces of our clothes.  She came out only to eat and freak, because as you guessed, there was a DOG in the house.

This fall she headed straight for our bed.  After several sleepless night (sleepless on our parts) we got a system in place.  Place an extra pillow high on the bed, up against the wall and place a worn piece of clothing on it.  Here she can curl up quite comfortably and purr v. loudly while cleaning herself seemingly all night long.

But then everything changed.  GG put a box on the floor in the dining room.  She'd been sorting papers and this is their storage spot. The box came from the Container Store and is reputed to hold up to 200 lbs. of weight on its lid.  200 lbs. and a tiny cat who only moves from the box to eat.  She is there when I go to bed at night and there when I get up in the morning.

Tonight I went  out after work with a friend and when I got home she met me at the door and stared and stared and stared out into the night waiting, I realized, for the DOG to come in.

No dog in sight, she yowled, waited to be fed and then went back to the box. Excitement over.

That's it folks, that's all I've got. A cat, no hat and a box. It's a glamorous life but somebody has to lead it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

For The Love Of Dog

Things I thought I'd never live to see:

A dog bed in my house.  Actually for years a dog was out of the question but then I met and fell in love with the Nika-ness.  Black lab with a dash of pointer and a heavy sprinkling of angel, she stole my heart about 4 years ago and has lived with us happily ever after.

GG found her at a pound in New Haven, surrounded by rottweilers and pit bulls barking, growling and rattling the bars of their cages. One cage was strangely quiet and when GG went to check it out, she found a shivering, 3 month old puppy with a tongue as big as her body and a tail wag that could propel a helicopter.

Thus began a 11 year love affair. 11 dog years remember = 77 human years.

 So,she's not as young as she once was but she's as good once as she ever was.

Well, we hope she will be now that she's been to the vet and has been put on a serious dose of opiates and anti-inflammatory meds to help her survive what looks like a ACL tear.

Next stop, a specialist to see if surgery is necessary.  

To watch GG lift up 70lbs of dog and place her in the truck is to see emotion turned into action.

The love and adoration in both of their eyes brings tears to mine.

If you want encouragement and support :write a blog.

If you want to experience unconditional love: get a dog.

If you want a truly full life: do both.

xo jane

Monday, October 24, 2011

Let's Get It Started!

I have just realized the last Monday in October is Halloween! It will also be my first Monday in a million years without a cigarette. So, let's do this one up right: Flowers In The House Of Goth.

Think of all the possibilities.  Freaky little Halloween themed bouquets.  Your front stoop, loaded with pumpkins or covered in spiders hanging off cobwebs. Maybe a picture of your dog dressed up as a witch- or a flapper, who cares? It's Halloween.

This will be the Monday that anything goes. Add some spooky noises to your post.  Put lipstick on a pig. Paint a mum plant black and cover it with glitter.

If you've never joined us before, be brave. You can wear a costume, we won't judge.  If you do it every month, thank you, now join us again.

Trick or treat.  We're coming to your house.  Better get your boos on and have the chocolate ready.  I'm going to be hungry:)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ch Ch Changes

It's uncomfortable busy at work so I would like to spit those words right back up ( see previous post).

But I do have these monochromatic bridesmaids bouquets from Fridays wedding to show you so perhaps all that work isn't for naught.

My body is also a wee bit uncomfortable after 2 more sessions with my sadist trainer Andrew. Add to that an hour massage with a man I can only imagine went to the same boot camp as  Andrew and you have my week in a nut shell of pain. But I am now able to haul the 5 gallon buckets full of water and roses up and down the stairs without a whimper.  To the amazement of my coworkers and myself.

Our v. loud and large second driver just found out yesterday about my stopping smoking and was so obnoxious about it and his perceived notions of what my behavior will be like, that I went out to the parking lot, smoked a cigarette and sobbed uncontrollably the entire time.

Then I shook it off, splashed my face with water and led the team to two touchdowns. (  AKA: Got the next weddings finished).

Makes me wonder thought, why are people so resistant to change?

Isn't that what life is about?  Facing the strange?

xo Jane

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eating My Words

I had another post in mind to write, pictures edited and computer ready to roll ,when I read a new comment from Camille on my last post.  And it made me stop and think about how lucky I am to do what I do in an unstable economy.

 TheVintique Object wrote:
I've only ever made corsages and boutonnieres for weddings, so I can only imagine the scrutiny and hand cramping over homecoming flowers. Goodness.

On the other hand, it's nice to have the business, no? My friend has a flower shop in San Francisco and reports that more than half have closed in this recession.
October 18, 2011 5:34 PM

I work in a company town, and that company is the government and those jobs come with many benefits. Benefits for both government employees and those who serve them.

Because of the "company" I  can work in a small shop with excellent, albeit expensive, health insurance half of which is paid for by the owners. I can have 2 weeks paid vacation and  other bonuses too numerous to mention.  But that birthday cake from my favorite bakery is a big one.

I get 2 lattes from Starbucks delivered to my work table daily.  One AM, one PM.  

I get to do arrangements with the freshest flowers and order what's new from around the world.  If a customer brings in containers for a party I can say " I don't know how much it might cost to fill these, do you just want to leave your credit card number and I'll run it through when I'm done"?  And the customer says"Sure".

I can own a little house on a florists' salary, though I do rent out the 2nd bedroom to keep the balls spinning in the air.

The last two times we have been crazy busy at work I've said to our flower cleaner, Celinda, " Esta loca" and Celinda says to me " Good, Jane".

Celinda and Camille are both right.  It's good to be busy.  And now all I have to do is keep repeating this mantra when the 3 wedding, 1 BIG homecoming dance hits us this weekend.

 Buena. Bon. Prost. Good. Words to live by.

Thank you for the gentle kick in the rear.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Ides Of October

Come October, with every moment of darkness, every drop of rain, every gust of wind, our work load increases.

Multitudes of weddings, baby showers, bridal showers and the dreaded homecoming dances.

What do other countries have to equal these?

The shop is filled with 9th graders, faces painted in their school colors, wearing clothes in the same shades, ordering boutonnieres while texting madly away. We had two different schools this week, so sometimes they were red, sometimes blue. Hats to match.

Mothers come to discuss in great detail the tie their son is wearing and the exact color of the date's dress.  Pics are shot of the different colored sweet heart roses, ribbon samples are poured over and apparently painful decisions are made.

Then on Saturday they come to pick up their masterpieces.  In droves.  Each piece of work is inspected with great care, freshness of the flowers is discussed in excruciating detail, and occasionally they are rejected. 

And my coworker Alicia, fingers covered with tiny cuts from twisting hundreds of pieces of wire, begins again, changing a ribbon color here, an entire new corsage there.

I do all the other work.

And then we stagger home, the cut, sometimes bleeding, often bruised floral warriors.

And what makes it better?  Flowers of course.

I brought home 3 new friends.


High and Orange.

And Mathilda, GG's new best friend.

The roses went into a vase, I went into a bath, a pizza was ordered and a salad tossed.

Peace reigns, at least for the next two days.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Hell With Chanel #5

Indulge me please as I write just one more gym post.

I misread my contract I signed up for 8 training sessions, not 6. Are you sobbing or laughing?

And with my second one down, I have come to understand the subtleties of Stockholm syndrome.

There I am, trapped for an hour, with Andrew.  And even though my muscles are screaming ""I can't hold this pose for one more second", I do.

Because I want Andrew to like me.

Picture me with my back against a wall, knees bent at a 45degree angle, arms stretched straight out in front holding a 10 pound weight.  Now picture me holding this post for 45 seconds, calves and quads starting to tremble at 30, turn into jelly by 40 and then  just holding on for the final 5,4,3,2,1.  At one I collapse into a small pile on the floor, then scramble up to go on to the next set of something hellish.  We repeat this exercise 3 times.

When I finish a set of calve raise and my right calf is cramping unbearably do I say no when he suggest "just one more"?  Of course not, I take a second to stretch out the muscle and do that extra lift. Andrew is my friend.

Then when the hour is up and I am red faced and drenched in sweat, do I lay on the floor in a bundle of pain as my body suggests?

Of course not, I shake his hand, say great workout, then set up a time for the next circle of hell.

Immediately after I rush out and buy some Ben Gay, soak in a hot bath with salts and sleep like a baby.

Because for all this complaining, I must admit to being in a wonderful mood today, mind and body overflowing with energy and endorphins.

Just call me Tania.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sore And Sorer

So I've started working out with a trainer.  He's my height, less than 1/2 my age, and a wrestler.

He loves Bridesmaids ( not to flog a dead horse ) by the by.  Saw it opening weekend with a buddy and just watched it again with a date Friday night.  Cooked her dinner, then the movie. He's seen it numerous times he assured me. ( I'm just setting up our instant rapport here)

I had hoped for gentle introductory session working out chest, triceps and core, taking into account my age, the fact I haven't lifted a weight in about a year, and the 4 hours I had spent working in the garden before going to the gym.

 He showed no mercy.  GG was training by herself and later told me I was making strange noises. Grunts, groans, whimpers I'm not sure but yes, there I was, making noise in a gym.

Tonight my pride is hurt, tomorrow it will be my chest, triceps and abdomen.  Please don't make me laugh for the next two days.

No, really, I mean it.

Then Wednesday I'll be back for legs and cardio.

Thank God I could only afford to sign up for 6 training sessions.

Please send no money.  6 sessions are plenty.  Trust me.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

This Is No Place Like Home

For those of you who appreciate my honesty, here's a little more.

We have had the most cranky making weekend ever.

Last night we made the mistake of watching Bridesmaids.  Who thought that bathroom scene was funny?  Not us.  We spent half the movie cringing with the sound turned low and by the end I just felt dirty and had a bit of a migraine.

Today was a beautiful warm sunny day.  Much time was spent going from gas station to gas station.  Is there no more gas to be bought? Also from Starbucks to Starbucks: the Army 10 miler starts and end in our hood.

We hit several overpriced antique stores and an understocked Whole Foods. ??? 
"Home GG",I cried and off we flew with the dog crushed against my rib cage. 

And indeed there is no place like home.  Weeding, hoeing, mowing, not quite sowing but getting ready for it.

I have dirt encrusted fingernails, a wild head of hair full of dust and possible spiders and that much sought after attitude of gratitude.

Nice to be able to start your day over at 3:00PM.  And v. important point: even though I'm still smoking ( 2 more weeks) a cigarette does not make a bad day any better. Please remember this.

Now I'm off to soak in a delicious honey bath.

And to hide the remote:)

Please tell me your weekend has been blissful.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Off To England, Wanna Come With?

  First a ginornomous thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the heartwarming, funny and heartbreaking responses to my stopping smoking post.

I cannot tell you how much every word means to me.  And I guarantee I will return to those comments over and over in the smoke free days to come.

I have had one of my favorite co workers beg me not to stop for fear of my erratic behavior upsetting the applecart that is the flower shop.

See why I need all of you?

 And secondly I'm over At Wild Acre today visiting the beautiful Belinda.

She asked me to share a tip or two about flower design  Actually she suggested ten but apparently I only have two to my name.

So use them sparingly and if you can think of any others write them in the comments.  I'll try and pass them off as my own if I'm ever asked to guest post again.

 xoxo Jane

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And Nothing But The Truth

Much ado at the 912.  At the end of this month I'm giving up cigarettes.  

I can hear you all gasp audibly.

Who smokes in the perfect world of blogland?


So we're planning my exit strategy.

Last night we joined a new gym, close enough to the house that I can walk there.  One excuse gone for the non driver.  I also booked a few sessions with a trainer to get me back on track so to speak.

I have a  prescription waiting to be filled at the pharmacy for one of the many non smoking aids available to us sinners.

And I have told everyone my plan.

 Now I'm telling all of you.

I work better when I'm held accountable. And I need all the help I can get.

My co workers are frightened.  Our roommate is hoping he can get out to town for work the first week of  November.

Me?  I'm hopeful. 

And GG? She's jubilant.

It's going to be a particularly scary Halloween this year, me thinks.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Hesitant Bride And The Reluctant Guest

I'm sure any florist would tell you how extremely difficult it is to do the wedding flowers for one of your best friends.  You love them so much you want the flowers to be perfect, expressing your love for them and echoing the beauty you find in their very being and the joy you experience in their company.

And if after a long and tiring day, you have to rush home, attempt to glam up in an hour and attend the wedding itself: double stress and trouble.

I had already had a vivid nightmare that the flowers weren't done, the driver didn't come to work, yadda-yadda-yadda...

Last week I found out the shop owners would be out of town for the weekend, our driver had put in for the day off, and the bride was experiencing panic attacks. Dreams can come true.

Somehow I got in the zone and the flowers flowed freely.  Even I was happy with the results and I'm extremely critical of my efforts.

Unfortunately I had not one minute to get a picture of anything other than an urn arrangement that moved from room to room to room.

The heart stopping moment for all of us was when the bride went to say her vows. There was a very pregnant pause that lasted for minutes, not seconds, minutes.

GG said I almost broke her hand.  But then the spell was broken and the bride said " I ----  ------ take this man". 

The room visible relaxed. As did the groom.

The rest was all champagne and cake and dancing.