Monday, November 21, 2011

The Omen

I'm surrounded.  The shop is full of flowers and berries and leaves and corn.  My kitchen is bursting with potatoes and red cabbage and a 14 lb. organic turkey. The Hai is en route, the guests are calling for dinner time and recipes and GG is getting excited.

And the question that begs to be answered?  Can I cope with all of this goodness?

Many years ago when I stopped drinking I had to relearn my craft.  I literally had to take arrangements apart and start them over again.  I had to learn to design from a different angle. A straight angle so to speak.

And without the nicotine (and massive cocktail of chemicals in each cigarette) to propel me through the day I seem to have to lost both my appetite and my desire to cook.  Want a salad?  I'm your girl.  Turkey, cut in half and marinated in lemon and olive oil and herbs and garlic for 24 hours before roasting?   We'll see. 

 I'm a bit slower and a little awkward at work too. And all the centerpieces waiting to be assembled?  I've taken to going into the shop a little early and taking time just to warm up, hoping to get myself in the zone by the time the game starts.

The good news?  I'm not alone in either arena.  At work I'm flanked by hard working, talented designers, retail staff who juggle phones and customers plus listen to me freak my way through the day without a smoke.

At home in the kitchen I have GG on one side and a hungry trusting lab on the other.

And in the dining room you ask?  A cat on a box of course and a praying mantis.  

Wait, did I just find a praying mantis on the table? 

You're right.  Everything is going to be just fine.


  1. dearest Jane,
    I hope you wouldn't want it any other way. It all sounds like a perfectly wonderful and crazy life.

    I am beyond proud of you for kicking the smoking habit! No more drinking and've got some strength my friend. way to go!

    Have THE BEST Thanksgiving ~ xo

  2. Jane--that's really interesting. I never thought about stopping smoking affecting your work in the ways you mention. Sound like you're handling it okay. Just don't get too stressed out over the holidays. (Easy for me to say...)

  3. Oh you could be in my village! I find all sorts of bizarre creatures in my dining room.
    And I'm sure Mr. Mantis is probably looking for his Thanksgiving invite ;-)

  4. That is the way I felt when I quit drinking..I think it must, literally, be nerves. My motions felt jerky and twitchy. Are you taking a high vitamin B complex? If not, it may help. - You have done such a great are over the hump now, you know, you made it! - A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and GG! xo

  5. Stay strong Jane. This time of year is so stressful when you're in retail like you and I, and you're doing so well mentally, you just need to look after yourself a little more physically. That praying mantis is the best 'sign' don't you think! xx

  6. This from a retired workaholic, now in recovery:


    I suspect your body is desperate for a rest, a proper rest, that is, after years of smoking, a pressurised job, a self-driven busy domestic/social/exercise schedule, and a keen awareness of everyone else's needs and demands.

    What about a real holiday, Jane? No cooking, working, looking after everybody; a real lazing-about holiday with books, late lie-ins, cups of tea, afternoon naps, in hammocks or something, doing nothing but giving yourself a break?

    Meantime, salad is good; easy on the system!

  7. How is that sweet Lab of yours these days?

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  8. well said and well done my dear. you rock no matter what speed you are going. it seems as if you are truly slowing down and smelling the roses. xo janet

  9. Your gratitude and all of us who love you will see you through everything. Now I have to go make a sensational centerpiece for you-know-who: no pressure ! Ha!

  10. Sarah, Well I might want it a wee bit calmer....:)

    Jen, I read that most accidents happen in the workplace on Great American Smokeout Day. This doesn't surprise me! My new stress release? Call all my former smoking friends and let them talk me off the ledge, It works!

    Sara Louise, Wish I was in your village! Mr. Mantis was carefully placed outside. he can feast there.

    Sherri B., No I'm not, what a good idea, thank you. I will add to diet.

    WOW, God I hope so!

    Amanda, Truly I took the praying mantis as a sign from the universe to stay on track. Yes and try to stay calm (ish) during the dreaded I mean holiday season.

    Rachel, OUCH. Check.Correct. My down time comes the week after Christmas when I promise I will lie around in a cocoon of laziness. Promise.

    Connie, She is a little peeved to be left at home every day, all furniture blocked from her presence, only the cat for company. But she is recuperating beautifully and gets to go to physical therapy today!

    Julienne, Thank you. xoxo

    Janet, I was thinking of you when I wrote this. You who don't do busy. Busy is my speed. But I seem to be stuck on awkward right now. Guess it;s the proper speed for the moment:)

    Shelley, Ohhh, better you than me, speaking of stress. I would probably have to make 3 to find one acceptable. Enjoy the house tour and give each other a hug from me.

  11. In another life time I took a course on "Drugs". The most interstesting thing I learned [maybe the second most interesting] was that people who smoke "dose" themselves for what they need. That is, if you need calming - a cigarette calms. If you need energizing - a cigarette is an upper. It varies all day long depending on what you need , and is part of why nicotine is so difficult to kick.

    So .... methinks you are missing your upper. Perhaps an extra cuppa that coffee you love?

  12. I love the community you have going here Jane, they have covered all the bases! I was going to mention how your bod is probably just doggedly re-calibrating, learning to do without ciggie chemicals but Rachel kinda said it straight, and then I thought TEA (my answer to all ills!), and Webb hit the nail on the head. So I am left just to send a big hug, and remind you to be kind to yourself while you are so bravely, determinedly and impressively inflicting all this worthwhile change on yourself! Lawd forgive me for using so many words to say so little. Best love, Bxx

  13. Don't let it get to you, it's probably just nerves. You'll be fine once you stop thinking about it, you've got so many other wonderful things to think about so dwell on those. You don't need the damn cigarette, you were here before IT and you did just fine. Sounds like you're going to have a lovely meal surrounded by people (pets, praying mantisis(?)) who care about you. Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy!

  14. Amazing, isn't it? How many chemicals they put in cigarettes, and what those chemicals do to you? After 15 years I still remember how off-kilter I was for a while. The good news is it won't stay that way. I'm pulling for you and obviously (not surprisingly) I'm not the only one! I'm keeping you in my thoughts. Happy Thanksgiving! Karin

  15. You are a strong woman. I hope you see it. I love the praying mantis. Breathe and remember take it "bird by bird". Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving
    full of happiness and lovely memories.


    x Fiona

  17. You are one tough cookie, an inspiration to us all.