Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Oh Baby, Baby It's A Wild World

I was thinking about love actually.

I was thinking about all the people I have been in relationships with and left.

I was thinking about GG leaving.

I was thinking that each time I left for someone new, and there was always someone new ( I was a good square dancer) there was always an implicit promise that fueled the move.

That this new person would make my life better.

Maybe I would drink less, save more, find my place in life, stop being afraid they would leave me before I left them once the knew the real me.

Adopted children can carry quite a bundle of abandonment around with them.

But my bags just kept getting heavier and heavier as I carried this load from person to person.

One day, I had a moment of grace.

Twenty some years ago, I stopped drinking. No one could do that for me. And as that part of my life got better, I was able to handle the smaller things and eventually the larger with a newborn confidence.

I was able to make my own life changes without changing partners.
They weren't the problem, it was me all along..

This was my first solo Christmas in so many years.

And I'm so happy I decorated and lit candles and baked cookies with no other reason but to make my life full of light and comfort and goodness.

And to have something to blog about of course.

Funny that the person who made my life the way I wanted it to be was me.

Out with old, in with the new.

Wishing you all peace, love and understanding in 2014.

xo J

Happy New Year from Gus and Lucy too!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Post Bomb #1

 I went to a VIP birthday party today where someone we all know and love was celebrating his 2nd birthday.

It was all a blur, or at least my pictures are, of children and dogs and people I haven't seen much of this year.

"You look good" they told me with surprise in their voices.

Well duh, as we all know, I've been down, but I haven't been down and out. 

Mr. B had the best time, his grandfather was there along with the requisite smoked salmon and champagne and he and his partner's new dog Daisy.

 What a love. I would have taken her home if I could, but my heart was already spoken for.

 By the other dog. The one who followed me around all day not only because she misses me, but because I dispense expensive German cold cuts to her like they come from a pez machine. She was the loveliest creature of all.

And I could have taken her home, her mom is out of town, but then I thought of the grieving look she would give me when Gus took over her bed and she had to settle her aching hip on the floor and I gave it up for the greater good.

But I miss her. What a good dog.

( and if she was here she wouldn't be sitting next to me on the vintage Swedish table runner cleaning her very dirty foot, would she Gus?)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

It's A Wonderful Life

You know, I've been off since Christmas and I thought I'd be post bombing you.

But to your delight, this has not happened.

I promised myself I would let myself relax and the promise seems to be coming true.

Yes I still get up at 6:00am to let Gus out, but then Lucy and I go back to bed and sleep for another hour and a half.

(If this is your first time here, this may sound like I lead a very exciting life what with two bedmates...)

Then I make my latte, take it back to bed and read for another hour or so.

This is sheer heaven.

By then, the caffeine has kicked in and I do whatever projects I have planned for the day, shower and hit the road.

There might be shopping (there's always shopping), the gym, the library, coffee with a friend then home for a nap.
 I get to walk everywhere again, music blasting in my ears and my feet almost dancing down the street in pure enjoyment.

I've finally watched the last two episodes of Downton Abbey. This was finishing up last February just as GG and I were wrapping it up and I was unable to continue what had been a Sunday night date for the two of us by myself.

I am now ready for Season 4, on the TV at least.  I'm still in personal timeout. But that's okay.

I have always loved the post Christmas season when I stop being a pair of arms and eyes who seem to exist solely for the purpose of rapidly creating winter wonderlands for others enjoyment,
9 hours at a stretch. Ouch says the torn rotator cuff.

My only regret is that I was left alone after Christmas dinner with 3/4s of a loaf of the most delicious Stollen I have ever eaten and sometimes I find myself, as if in a dream, cutting slice after slice of it.

I try to break up the binging with clementines but I'm just fooling myself. My body wants that Stollen.

You can't always get what you want but we will always have butter, sugar and flour.

Happy post Christmas. Hope you're all enjoying the aftermath.

Gus is.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Merry!

Sending Christmas love your way from a very tired florist who wishes no creatures were stirring, not even a cat.

But that's not how we roll at my casa.

So let's get this party started.

Mr. B is coming for dinner, there's a beef Bourguignon shepherd's pie to make, presents to wrap and coffee to get us through. 

Joy to the world.

 Peace on earth.

And naps all around..

xo Jane

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday Supper

 The sun rose on the winter solstice of 2013 bringing with it temperatures in the 60's.

I did not hate this.

Today is in the 70's with rather startling outbursts of rain.

In between the storms the cats are prowling the grounds.

Gus is enjoying the sled.

And Lucy is squirrel hunting. Again. 

And here I was mulling over what to cook for dinner.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Word To The Wise

On a cold, dark December morning you may feel you have the world by the tail.

You've gotten up an hour earlier (5:15am, thanks Gus) and the house is lit by the tiny Christmas tree,  oatmeal quietly cooks away on the stove, laced with dried cranberries and chunks of apple and you sip your latte and read the food section of the NYT.

You're showered, dressed and a lunch of homemade potato soup with chunks of ham is packed and ready to go.

Yes, all is good until until you take that first bite of oatmeal drizzled with honey and realize you're spiced it with chili powder, not cinnamon.

Rethink day.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Let It Go, Let It Go, Let It Go

OHG I need a massage. I bet we all need one.

 Flowers for parties, flowers for a wedding, interviewing potential roommates both over the phone and in person, takes it out of a girl.

A word to the wise to the guy who came by yesterday: mentioning that you have never cheated on your wife but you've thought about it is TMI.

And gets you ushered out the door very, very quickly.

I may be small but I'm fast.


Back to the wedding.  Though the Northeast corridor may have been hit by a blizzard, we were only hit by highly alarming weather warnings. I arrived home about 7:00pm on Friday to this:

"Snow, ice, freezing rains starting at 5:00am Saturday and lasting till 10:am Sunday."

The bride's last frantic email came in at 1:15am.

I read it at 6:00am, cloudy skies, not a trace of SEVERE WEATHER.

It did rain at 2:00pm just as we were leaving the venue.

Her dream was whites and silvers, crystals, a glam winter wedding. Inside not out.

There we go. No snow boots needed.

Your weatherpeople need to chill.

It wasn't enough to shut down the government on Tuesday, you had to mess with my bride?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Man Out

 He's gone. He packed up and swept up and drove off Thursday.

Two bikes on the back, kayak on the roof and everything else sandwiched in between.

He said it all fits, like a clown car.

The cats are puzzled, the room is open for cat business, but there's nothing to sniff or in Gus's case, steal.

There's no one to let them in and out all day while I'm at work, feed them lunch, and play with them.

Lucy lays on the radiator, arms stretched over her head waiting for the underarm stroke.

Gus lays on the table hoping for an ice cube in the water bowl.

And me?

Well, I'm going to miss him too.

And this.
I've been spoiled.
And I'm def going to miss living with someone so play task oriented, that on the first snow day of 2013, with the government shut down, schools closed, buses barely running, work cancelled, suits up and heads off to a sliver of beach, down a cliff, somewhere in Southern Maryland, to hunt for shark teeth.

And you thought they didn't make them like that anymore.

You go boy.

But come back when you can.

xo Jane and the kittens.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

He Knows If You've Been Bad Or Good

 Lucy, don't post these pictures. We're not supposed to be by the tree.  What if some of Jane's imaginary friends tell her we were here?

She"ll hold back on the kibbles! Wait, is that a mouse? Never mind.

Well then Gus, we'll just tell them how she ran out of duck/green pea dry food over Thanksgiving week and had to bring us home a box of Purina cat chow from the 7-11. She'll be so embarrassed.

Oh man, Lucy, I loved that stuff.......crack for cats that was.

And we can tell them how crumbly her Chocolate Sable cookie dough was and she couldn't even roll it out without it breaking into pieces.

Chocolate Sahara cookies is more like it.

Stop it Lucy, I'm laughing so hard.

Those Chocolate Crinkles cookies came out nicely though. Good suggestion imaginary friend Terri.

Yeah but did you see the recipe she used? It was cooking for kids!

The directions said: Before you begin be sure an adult is nearby to help.


Oh God, here she comes, roll over Gus, pretend you're sleeping.

 And not a peep out of you peeps, you hear me?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Let It Snow

I have an extra day off thanks to the government shutting down and the weather forecasters predicting
inches and inches of snow.

We've had inches but nothing to get crazy about, she says from the comfort of her own home while butter softens in preparation of cookie baking, cats sleep and the world's tiniest tree sparkles.

I'm praying the rock filled vase is heavy enough that the two cirque du soleil performers can't knock it over while practicing their routines.

And most of the (few) ornaments are paper or yarn or metal with just a few glass birds and pinecones hung at the top.

Last year my tree wore 1000 lights, this year 150. So I felt free to bedeck the bookcase.

Pretty blingy for me, with acorn garland, lights and a few clusters of vintage or vintage inspired ornaments.

Thank god I had S-man around, because even standing on a step stool, and using a pair of tongs to get an extra couple of inches I just couldn't reach high enough.

And the garland outside? If no one got a video of that adventure I'm very grateful.

Though it would have given you all a big laugh. Luckily help[ was on the way.

Yesterday my friend Ann and GG showed up, busted a moved or two and now I am lit up like high mass, as my mother would have said.

Damn, the butter is ready for use. I have already (tried to) made a batch of chocolate sables from Smitten Kitchen and they are all sand and no shape.

Why oh why did I have to start with a cookie even Deb finds difficult to make?

Fool proof cookie please?

Friday, December 6, 2013

I Wish I Had A River....

What the well dressed florist is wearing this season:

Sap on her fingernails, glitter on her face, a layers of tshirts, a sweater, a scarf around the neck and often a vest because the heat works when it wants too, and it doesn't seem to want to until about 3 in the afternoon. She must be also sporting a shorter then usual haircut because when all the regulars and friends show up they scream " Oh, your hair is so short, I love it".  Trust me, the well dressed florists' hair is a tangle. Or as tangled as a short bob can be.

The well dressed florist also wears 12 year old Uggs or wellies to keep her feet warm, a necklace, some gold bangles and eyeliner. None of the jewelry can be seen because of all the clothes on top, but she tries folks, she tries. The eyeliner is usually smudged by lunchtime,adding a slightly raccoon effect. Then, when she gets a tiny bit of cedar in the eye, she ends up with a lovely reddish hue where once there was white, not to mention the visual hallucinations that continues till she finally gets the fecking cedar/pine/glue/glitter out of her eye.

The WDF is listening to " Donde Esta Santa Claus", eating dried fruit, apples with peanut butter and drinking loads of lattes. She is also waiting for those customers who come bearing gifts, preferably those with butter and sugar.

The WDF has participated in the decorations of every know customers house/ office/ retirement home  all finished by today, December 6th, because it's a short holiday month and there was only one week to do it all. Tomorrow starts the parties.

The WDF is tired and going to bed now. There's still a good 9 or more hours to work this week and she wants to participate in none every one of them.

Rumor has it there will be sleet and freezing rain on Sunday. The WDF rejoices and plans to spend the day inside, cooking something delicious, doing a little of her own decorating and watching football while wearing flannel pajama bottoms, fleece lined slippers and her favorite sweater with the hole in the sleeve.

Be here now.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Soupcon Of Praise

On Monday I had two Doctors appointments. One with my Orthopedist about the rotator cuff tear. And yes, it's still there and yes, it will require surgery. We're thinking after Valentine's day.

There was plenty of time between the two so after I downed a latte, skipped through the newspaper and listened to the people name's being paged for surgery, I decided to find something delicious to cook for dinner.

I grabbed my phone and started browsing. I remembered Amelia going on about the black bean pumpkin soup she made for a started on Thanksgiving.

The recipe, natch, was from Smitten Kitchen. I should get paid to do her PR, I'm always singing her praises and linking her up.

I had a sufficient  number of ingredients. Sure I'd have to switch out beef broth for chicken, could also have used vegetable. I had 1 can of black beans, I liberated a second from S-man, and apparently if I was tall enough to see in the back of the cupboard there would have been a third, which you should definitely use.

I had a can of pumpkin puree, shallots, garlic, cumin and grabbed some ham on my way home.

I have no doubt this would be equally delicious without the ham.

S-man gave a shudder when I told him what I was making. Having just had some outpatient surgery his own self, he went to grab a nap before he worked his 12 hour shift. ( What's wrong with this picture)?

After making the soup, letting it simmer for about 30 minutes, I grabbed 2 cats, 1 book and my reading glasses and went off to take a nap of my own.

Though there's not a lot of room for me on the bed.

When I awoke he was packing his food supplies for his shift and I said don't forget to take soup.

That was unnecessary, he had already sampled and packed some.

 And how good was it? It was that good. Even Gus was intrigued. And he' s not a big bean eater.

 I had it for dinner with a dollop of sour cream. I had it for lunch with a cheese enchilada.

S-man said it was so good he put down his spoon and just drank it from the bowl.

That's one damn fine soup.

Thank you Amelia. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Suffer The Little Children

While I'm dying to write a post about the Christmas decorations in the yard right across the street from me, I'll play nice.

Not one word about the flashing mailbox with the letter that goes in and out (rather like Gus) or the light up ferris wheel with different stuffed animals in every seat, nor will anything about the musical Christmas trees pass these lips, the deer, the train, the penguins, the ginormous blow up Frosty the snowman with a snow globe of Santa and the North Pole in his stomach, you'll never hear a peep from me on these subjects.

As I was in the middle of the merriment, madly snapping photos for Instagram, tripping over extension cords and cables, one of the children asked me which one was my favorite. This gave me pause. She said she liked the train the best, it's so colorful. And then they were swaying and dancing to the music.

I put my phone away, danced with them for a minute and went home.

They're not doing this to drive me crazy. They're doing it for the children.  I like it better already.

It's only for a month.

And Thanksgiving you ask me?  It was just lovely.

When a front door is opened by a sari wearing hostess, I'm happy.

What a treat to graze at an extensive buffet neither prepared by nor cleaned up by me. I adore being a guest.

Anytime you need a chair filled and a side dish give me a holler.

I could bring the Brussel sprouts.

 I used 3 stalks of sprouts from Trader Joes. This gave me about 16 cups of vegetable. Enough for dinner for 20 and a container packed and ready to go for our shared lunch at work on Friday.

I have a co-worker who does not enjoy sweet and savory combined. At least she didn't until she ate these. Highest recommendation I can offer.

But don't take her word for it.Give me a holler :-)