Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Rapping

I wish I had taken pictures of the sweet peas I passed yesterday morning on my way to work.  But it was raining and I was clutching a broken umbrella with my right hand and holding my iPod  in my left as I listened to the Beiber belt it out on  Drummer Boy.  Loud.  Yes, I am 13.

I am having a quiet morning moment here waiting for the shower. Work is threatening to engulf us and my desire to participate in a good old American Christmas is ebbing.  The more black Fridays and Cyber Mondays I hear about the less likely I am to get in the mood.

As of November 30th, 6:30 AM, 31 days smoke free, all I want for Christmas is:

A healthy baby ( due the 25th by the by) for Tini and Nirmal.  And under 9 pounds please. With a smallish head:)

Lots of sleep. Whenever and wherever possible.

Delicious salads full of pomegranate seeds and avocado chunks or sauteed walnuts, apples and feta.  Toasted whole grain bread and chunks of cheese.  Tumbler full of cold cold water.

Christmas tree that stands it's ground. And a stylish front door wreath.

Time with friends and family.

Oh and a new something something to wear to GG's glamorous work holiday party.  She's a medical assistant at a hospital in DC, in their Plastic Surgery Clinic, so since we may be the only people there able to wrinkle our foreheads surely I can have a new frock?

Off to shower/ dry/hair/pack yogurt/catch bus/ ride 20minutes/ turn up iPod walk 25minutes/ blast the Beiber.

Your holiday thoughts and wishes please?  And what are you listening to to get your party rocking?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Aftershock Survival Summit

Swear to God this is this first available moment I have had to myself since I wrote my Thanksgiving post.

And this is what, Sunday?

Tini says she's waiting to see how I sum up our holiday dinner.  I said the best I can think of is " Have you heard the one about what happened when the Englishman, the German and the Indian sat down at the table?

 Can anybody say tower of babel? But the food was delicious and there were no misunderstandings over who wanted coffee and who wanted tea.  And everybody loved the pie. Momentarily all were in accord.

And so I remember next year: it takes 2 and 1 half hours to cook a 14 lb. turkey cut into two.  That's all Jane,  plan accordingly.

And my personal Black Friday?  Spent, as always, in the company of 5 co workers for 10and a 1/2 hours decorating a law firm.  4 trees, miles of stairwells, balconies and walls of wreaths. Shared leftovers, several Starbucks runs, and the rather large disappointment of having a trees lights burn out.  After being decorated. 

Saturday morning 2 of us were back with a new 7.5 ft. tree, more ornaments, a ladder and a  very colorful vocabulary.  Could you hear us, I bet security could.

Meanwhile we had a house guest.  The Hai was staying with us.  Patiently spending the days with the lab and the box cat waiting for conversation, the excuse to pop open another bottle of champagne and the inevitable cry "What's for dinner"?

But now it's Sunday morning and of the advice of several of you I have overslept, and as soon as I sign off we're out for a dog walk and then some quiet time with a  morning coffee and the Sunday papers.

And what have you all been up to while I've been ruining my complexion?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Like To Be In America

In a minute I keep promising myself.  I'll get moving in just a minute.  Empty the coat rack for guests.  Get out the tablecloth and napkins and put them where GG can find them.  I'm a terrible ironer.

Clear the piles of papers and computers off the table and get down more chairs from the attic. Chop vegetables for the dressing, peel the potatoes, chill the champagne, last minute grocery list, what am I going to wear today?

But right this minute the house is full of sleeping females, the sun is shining brightly, my latte is iced, the flowers are done and the turkey has been wrestled into submission, cut in two halves and in resting comfortable in its marinade.

It's beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving, a day of gratitude, family, friends and feasting.

And I am most grateful for the virtual appearance of all of you in my life.  You make me laugh and cry, you've got my back, you've shared recipes, gardening advice, flowers in your homes, your hearts and your souls.

Americans get sappy on Thanksgiving. Wherever you live, what ever your day holds, whatever you're eating, let's remember to be grateful for the food on our tables.  Hell, for the fact we're living under a roof and have a table, and a computer and each other.

Minute's up, I'm off.   xo jane

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.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Dear Cigarettes,

It's been 3 weeks since my lips have touched you.  Do you miss me?  Do you miss the 50.00 a week I paid for your company?

Do you miss the time we spent together?  Outside, irregardless of the weather, rain, excruciating heat, freezing winds, balmy spring days, we were together forever.  Or so you thought.

My friends and family tried to tell me but I didn't want to hear them.  My doctors begged, offered help. I was deaf to their pleas.

Like anyone caught in a destructive relationship I was immune to the dangers of the loved one. But then I had a moment of clarity.  I listened, I believed, I stopped.

You have not made it easy.  My body has missed you.  My mind, yea my very cells, have called out for you.  Sometimes my skin crawls I want to be with you so much.

But I'm not coming back.  I will resist your blandishments and your siren's cry. 

Life is too wonderful to be in an unhealthy relationship.  Forget me.  I'm trying very hard to forget you.

Till death do us part?  I don't think so.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

And She's Dancing Like She's Never Danced Before

I have mere minutes before I'm off to the gym to spend another pleasant hour with Andrew.  Gentle yoga I mutter to myself as I catch a medicine ball mid air in preparation for a grueling bout of side twists.

At the gym I'm called Janiac and forced to make a muscle while my bicep is poked at and (jokingly) admired.
I'm quizzed on my nonsmoking and offered tips on staying stopped. I'm told to lie down on the floor and given deep touch pressure for my lungs.  A treatment I understand is also effective on anxious autistic children.

At the end of my hour, I'm red faced with shaky legs or arms depending on the  targeted areas, slightly nauseated from all the core work, extremely happy and very hungry.

I vaguely remember when my nickname was Princess and my gifts came from Hermes and Tiffanys.

Now I'm a Janiac and my gifts come from short men with over sized muscles who are helping me regain my waist, my strength and my lung capacity.

Better than a bracelet any day.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Who Knows Where The Time Goes

Sunday morning, downing my iced latte and chomping away on an apple.

I have just wasted the better part of an hour writing a post lamenting the lack of time in my life. If you would like to read it go to edit posts and open.

Right? Blah, blah, time change, workload increase, hours at the gym, dinners to be cooked, books read, baths taken, blogs perused, holidays coming, girlfriend time, dogs, friends and family.  Same old story of love and glory. Delete post. Add more images from Wednesday's party.

Today looks glorious with highs in the 60's. We have a baby shower to attend for Tini and Nirmal (sister and brother in law).  There will be champagne, samosas, flowers by yours truly, the usual international community of fencers, climbers, South American beauties and their assorted offspring. Pictures will be taken.

I ask you , when did I have time to smoke?  At 11:00PM tonight it will be two weeks since I last indulged in a lungful of nicotine.  I must admit though, every afternoon at around 4:00 I would murder for a smoke.  That's my time of want, of need.  Do not come by the store then, if you ask me how I am I'll tell you. This is why I fly away to the gym. Burning desire erased.

Enough of me.  Let's all enjoy out Sundays, not worrying about the time that's flying by but enjoying every moment we're living in. Delete nagging thoughts! As our manic dancing machine Zumba instructor says, "Smile, let out those endorphins".

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Random Acts Of Kindness And Senseless Acts Of Beauty

10 days Camel free.  I think it's time to tell you how I came to stop smoking.

How did I  even come to start smoking?  I grew up with a father who couldn't seem to stop.  He switched from pipe, to cigar to cigarettes and back again. I hated the smell, I hated the smoke  But then one year I moved to Nantucket and stayed thru the winter. No boats, no beach, only bars and smokey ones at that.  I caved and eventually craved.

Came to stop: on August 30, a Saturday, I walked out of the shop to have a cigarette. From out of nowhere appeared a man on a mission.  I can help you stop that he said.  I blew a cloud to the side of his head and said oh yeah, how?

Pick a day 3 months from now.  That would be October 30th.  Then start telling everybody that is your stop date, your last day of smoking.  Tell friends, tell strangers, tell everybody, pretty soon you will come to believe it yourself.   And you'll stop smoking.

I thought this was a wonderful idea.  I immediately rushed over and  told my smoking buddy from the frame shop about my stop date.  That guy's a psycho, he told me.  A psycho with a good message I said and I kept telling everyone for 3 months.

The rest is herstory.

And speaking of her story, a big thank you from the lab for all your kind words.  She is healing rapidly, smiling broadly, thumping tail furiously and happily chewing away on her BIG rawhide bone from her good friend Christine and occasionally partaking of a Frosty Paw treat from a well stocked freezer. Today is her last day of antibiotics, Monday her staples come out. 

The Lab and I are two lucky ladies:)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Every Picture Tells A Story

Don't it?

Mission Impossible:  2 months bed rest.  3 five minute walks a day.  On leash.  No playing. 

2 antibiotics every 8 hours.  Pain meds every 12 hours.  Icing 5 times a day for 15 minutes.  No licking. 

Luckily, no time limits on loving.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Heavy Metal Musings

What would I do without you all?  When I run out of words you send me a poem.  When I need a smile you send me pictures of your bunnies and laughing dogs.

You reply on my daily facebook status, you send me emails and write the best comments full of love and laughter.

An Olympic contender should have this much support.

 To honor this I have remained smoke free for 5 WHOLE DAYS!  I've gnawed on endless carrots, crunched into many apples, bit into nut after nut after nut, guzzled bottles of water, lived at the gym and taken a Zumba class, covering myself in laughter and sweat.

Everyone at work has been very kind ( or they're very afraid). I've told my pharmacist, my bank teller and if I had a piano teacher I'd tell her.

Pros: My skin is glowing.  My heart beats strongly.  I have saved 35.00 so far this week.  Autumn smells delicious.  I no longer stand outside of work smoking a Camel and apologizing to the people  walking by from yoga class.(imagine the shame?) Now I'm only outside to take pictures of flowers. Or just to breathe.

Cons: On Monday, my first day of non smoking I signed up for 40 more training sessions at the gym.  40. What the hell?  It was pointed out to me this costs less than my yearly cigarette habit. In my condition this made total sense.  So I signed.

I think that's the only con.

I thank you all. I didn't know if I could do this.  It's unbelievable to me I haven't had one puff in 5 days and I'm happy about it. I don't harbor resentment, I don't feel that something precious has been taken from me, I don't feel as if I deserve something "fun" to do. I have often felt like this in the past and plotted the day I could sneak a secret smoke.  Today I found a cigarette in a jacket pocket and almost tripped over myself getting to a trash can.

This had been edited and written the morning of day 6.  Who know what stresses lie ahead, but i intend to crunch my way through them.  And save another 7.00 in the process.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Much goes missing in the world of nicotine withdrawal. Parmesan cheese is gone until it is found in the drawer with the plastic wrap.

At work the word balloon is gone and replaced with umbrella.

Also a request for pink and purple flowers, I sent oranges and greens instead. 

I'm sorry we are temporarily unable to hold that thought.

But today is the beginning of day 4 and if I don't smoke again I never have to feel as bad as I did on day 1,2 or3. And that seems like a good tradeoff.

Today GG starts a new job.  Hurrah, hurray.  And the Lab goes in for her surgery. (I've been waking up since 4AM worrying about this).

Tini and Nirmal will be taking her to the surgery so she spent the night with them.  And we skyped with her.

She was quite worried that no more food would be available after 8:00PM.

We are quite worried we won't see her until Friday after work.

But not worried enough to smoke.

Everybody hold on.  Drink a lot of water.  Chew endlessly on carrot sticks. Live in the gym.  Take a long bath every night and go to bed early. And send up a thought for Nika.

Remember: if it was easy nobody would smoke.

xo jane