Coming and Going

I’m wandering around in a bit of a cloud, but as the Sondheim song goes, “I’m still here.”

Lot of disorienting stuff all in the same week. Nothing too shaky, just one of those weeks where there’s so much going on, you frequently have to stop to think about whether you’re coming or going.

There’s a chill in the air. It’s dark early. Halloween is big and busy at our place. The weather changed and we’ve been getting snow. I have a cold. I had my new group start singing this week. I have a lot of work planning for Christmas to get done. We had a service Saturday as well as Sunday this week. I have orchestra rehearsal for two different concerts a few nights a week. I left (resigned from?) a little side job I had. I still have Winter’s-Comin’ chores to get done around here. As I say, nothing too terrible, and some of the busy-makers are downright awesome. It’s just a lot.

Hey, look! Halloween! I didn’t get any great photos, but I took a few. Less kids than last year – it was sleeting – but we had a great time, and a few neighbors came over at different points in the evening to hang out with us and have hot cider in the cabin, with a fire going. Here’s a few shots of the graveyard. Boo!

My new choir group sang for the first time in church today, and I was super proud. This group sings more contemporary music, lighter pieces. For this first time, we warmed up with a unison piece. Lots of dynamics and tempo changes though. Went off without a hitch! The group’s ability to follow is uncanny.

As I said above, I left/quit/resigned from a side-job that I’d had. Another church meets at St. Luke’s after we finish up, so I was playing for that congregation too. In the best way, it was a few more bucks and I liked being available for them. In the worst way, it was preventing me from going to St. Luke’s meetings, attending coffee hour, and really getting to know the St. Luke’s congregation at close range. As St. Luke’s is my I-chose-it-and-it-chose-me church, and because I am a salaried employee, I felt like my attention was being taken away, to some degree. So – although I don’t like to use the Q-word –  I quit the other church. I felt bad for doing it, but I felt deep down, it needed to be done.

What I didn’t mention above? My quit smoking date is tomorrow. Actually it was tomorrow, but I ran out, so it’s technically now. I had a visit with my doc, have my box of patches ready, and I’m motivated. I suppose that’s about all there is to say about that, other than wish me luck. I’m not looking forward to it, but at the same time, I’m looking forward to it. I’m considering keeping my eyes open for a treadmill for the tiny cabin. Celebrating the Winter with health.

So many changes.

As the cold season comes upon us, I start to cook. Fried zucchini yesterday. Snickerdoodles today. I have a really interesting Fried Pasta recipe ready for this week. (You heard me correctly – Fried Pasta.) I’m also obsessed with Cornish Pasties lately. So, needless to say, I see some English meat pies in our near future.

Speaking of meat pies, that brings us full circle. Since we started with a Sondheim lyric, let’s close with one.

Well, ladies and gentlemen
That aroma enriching the breeze,
Is like something compared to its succulent source,
As the gourmets among you will tell you, of course.
Ladies and gentlemen you can’t imagine the rapture in store,
Just inside of this door.




Filed under adirondacks

9 responses to “Coming and Going

  1. I always enjoy reading your posts.

  2. Boy I am glad you posted again! I was worrying about you. The pics are awesome–looks like fun times at your place. As for quitting smoking–if you want to bad enough, it will happen. If it doesn’t work this time, you’ve begun the process of breaking the addiction. Most people I know quit several times before it finally works so don’t be discouraged. We’ll all be out here pulling for you.

    Last thing–send me your email addy and I’ll mail you some apple butter. Good for all that ails you!

    With love,

    The ol’ Granny

  3. Herbs

    Yea, Phill! For quitting smoking and for posting again. I was beginning to get worried. And the Q word is a good thing in this sense. I think you made the right choice with it in the other time too. Seems that you have been busy, busy. Seems to happen to all of us this time of year. Maybe the cold will be here to stay soon, and we can all snuggle down and relax.

  4. Sandy

    Thank goodness you’re back. I was checking every day and…no post! Got worried. Glad it’s just one of those busy times in life.

    Tip to quit smoking: it’s partially the deep breathing that you do when you smoke that relaxes a person. So…roll up post-it notes into a cylinder, sit down in your easy chair—and take a deep drag on that post-it note cylinder. Hold your breath a bit; then let it out just as you would with cigarette smoke.

    By the time you’re done—just do this for about 3 minutes—your pulse rate is down, your blood pressure is down, you are calmer–it really works like a cigarette, just due to take slow, deep breaths and sitting and relaxing.

    I actually tried one of these a few months ago, when everything was just “too much.” And I don’t smoke. But this was very relaxing.

    Nowadays I just sit and do the deep breathing.

    You need some kind of substitute for your cigarette breaks. I recommend the post-it cylinders as one substitute.

    And you can also think of a few more–like instead of buying cigarettes, buy that great book that you always passed up because it was a bit expensive. I’ve just discovered the poetry of John Clare which I recommend (not sure how I missed it before). Buy that CD that you’ve thought about now and then.

    Also the old standby, buy some excellent chocolate and gain just a pound or two, while you’re quitting.

    Once you quit, you might want a cigarette when you are around others who smoke, but you’ll be able to resist.

    As years go by, you will become one of us—those irritating people who hate cigarette smoke! (I smoked for 2 years as a youngster, way too many cigarettes a day, and once I quit, never started up again.)

    And don’t forget to post! We worry about you when you don’t.

  5. Yes, I will add my “where were you?!? I was worried about you!! Thank goodness you’re back!!” to the pile of them already posted, LOL. I knew you always put up a cool Halloween display and figured, oh he’s GOT to post about that soon…kept checking and checking…. Was glad to finally see you back today. 🙂 Don’t keep your loyal fans waiting so long if you can help it, eh? 😀 Sounds like you made just the right decision at your church – I agree it’s important to invest yourself in your church. “Church” is truly a relationship in itself – it’s a family – and you benefit the most when you give and receive, and fellowship. So, as bad as you feel, as you know in your gut, surely you did the right thing.

    I would love another round of pictures around the homestead now that winter is imminent. How are the “ladies” doing?

  6. Mary Lawthers

    Hey Phill, Congratulations on quitting, both the job and the cigarettes.! I went through the struggle with the cigarettes over twenty years ago and am now one who can not stand the smell of smoke. The deep breathing helps; also the urge to have a cigarette goes away in about 30 seconds whether you have one OR NOT! We stopped by to see your decorations, awsome!

  7. themac

    YES! Quit those smokes!!! Expensive, life-zapping, silly habit that stinks! I’m so proud of you!!!

    You’ve got this – you can do this! Be strong and even if you slip, keep going forward.

    Meat pies!! MMMmmmmm!

  8. Great Halloween pics – and congratulations on quitting smoking! I quit 29 years ago, cold turkey. Of course I’d quit twice before that, but that was the last time. Good luck to you!

  9. I like the way you describe the out-of-sorts, overlapping changes currently underway. I often wonder how much the slide into the winter equinox is responsible. But of greatest importance is your decision to stop smoking. Well done. 50% of people who smoke will die of smoking-related diseases. Be the survivor. You might struggle to keep off the fags, and start smoking again. No worries. But never stop giving up smoking. Keep at it, and keep blogging.


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