Sunday, November 22, 2009

Got my $411..Now Trying To Win MORE!!

Yesterday, I told you about winning $411.00 by calling 1-800-free411 and asking for a phone number (just like your phone company's directory assistance, but it's completely free) Well, suprisingly, I got my check late yesterday!! Wooohoooooo!!

I would run right out and go shopping, but since the husband has been unemployed since September, I think we'll use it for bills. It's kind of difficult to keep warm and function without heat and electricity...and don't get me started on the "humans need water to survive" thing! *rolls eyes*

Anyways.....I learned more about the NEW 1-800-free411 contest...and now I'm addicted! Hold on.....I gotta call again.......... I didn't win a $50 WalMart gift card on THIS call...but maybe on the next! You gotta try this one because it's fun! Call the number 1-800-free411, listen to the brief ad, say "CONTEST" at the main menu then you're off! You get to pick any 4 numbers and you;re told right away if you win or not.

Though I'd love to go through the phone and strangle the sympathetic (recorded) crowd saying "Awwwwwwwww" when I lose, it's so much fun and so easy, I gotta pick up the phone and do it again. I don't's kinda like a slot machine and lottery draw rolled up into one......except I'm not shoving quarters into my handset.

OK....gotta go! If you play....and you really should.....I hope you win!

PS) Did I just sound like an advertisement? LOL! OMG! I did! But hey, least I'm not the Glade lady.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Winning Money For The Holidays!

Who couldn't use some extra cash during this economy? And with the holidays screaming up on our heels, any extra cash would certainly come in handy! Sure you can attempt to sell things online, have a garage sale or play the lottery, but how about a chance at winning some cold hard cash by using the phone?

I just won $411.00 doing just that!!

I had heard about the sweepstakes, and even though I'm a hard core sweepstakes junkie, I didn't enter at first. But when I did, I actually won!! And here is how you too can win $411.00 INSTANTLY, well as something new...$50 gift cards!

Just like using your telephone company's directory assistance (which COSTS you money), you can call 1-800-free-411 and not only get directory assistance (and much more) for FREE, you can be one of two daily winners of $411.00!! And even better, every 5,000th call wins a $50 gift card!

You can can as many times as you like...there's no limit. Those are better odds than any lottery I've ever heard of!

In addition to the gift cards (which just started today at 1 pm EST here's what else you can win:

•60 Cash Prizes of $411, 2 drawings daily throughout the month of November;
•One random drawing for a Blackberry Tour will be picked during the first week in December.
•One Grand Prize: 3 day/2 night trip for winner and 1 guest to Boston, MA PLUS THE CHANCE TO WIN $411,000!

While in Boston, the grand prize winner has the opportunity to select one (1) cell phone out of 411 cell phones displayed on a game board. Each cell phone will contain a number that is matched to a sealed envelope number.

◦One (1) envelope will contain a $411,000 cash prize;
◦Ten (10) envelopes will contain a $41,100 cash prize;
◦Four-hundred envelopes will contain a $4,110 cash prize

For more details go to:

And when you're finished reading, start dialing!!! I can you!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Hypocrites

It's no secret that I've been a wee bit bitchy it early PMS, cigarette withdrawal or whatever....but for some reason, my bitch filter has disappeared and everything is getting on my nerves.

Which leads me to Earth Day. Lovely concept. Except for one thing.........

Earth Day Hypocrites.

I understand that every little bit counts......even if you do the curbside recycling thing, yet drive an SUV the size of a small city. Yes, every little bit counts......but there is a certain breed of Earth Day Hypocrite that drives me absolutely insane.

These particular type of Earth Day Hypocrite buys the energy efficient light bulbs, they might recycle, never buy bottled water and may even unplug all of their appliances at night.....but they are destroying their very own environment....killing wildlife and disrupting the simple balance of life. You know them, they might be your neighbor, your friend or even you.

The person with the perfect front yard. The yard with no dandelions, not a hint of crabgrass and the most beautiful flowers your eyes have even beheld. Yes, they are the ones you see toiling away in early spring, spraying their lawns, pushing their spreaders or writing a check to the local ChemLawn guy. They spray and they treat and then they stand back proud of the perfect greenness they see spread out before them.

Pretty yes......but incredibly destructive to our environment.

What some see as "weeds" are actually beneficial food to many creatures who share our space. Those cute little wild bunnies who like to nibble from your vegetable garden actually eat dandelions as a diet staple. Some grasses that people deem as "not soft enough" or "not green and pretty enough" seed at certain times during the season. These seeds are are beneficial food for many species of birds. Ground insects are there for a reason.....not just to destroy Mr Smith's perfect lawn...they are there to feed the very circle of life that sustains us all.

And those beautiful flowers in perfect vibrant colors.....the ones that need chemicals and "plant foods" to look their best. Ahhh, pretty on the outside, lovely to look upon.....but destroying our very native environment. You see, many, many plants you find in nurseries aren't native to our area. They have been introduced to this country and become a main stay. They need all of the extra help to grow because THEY ARE NOT NATIVE TO THIS AREA. And when they do grown and begin to thrive, the become invasive and destroy the native plants which are needed to sustain our own eco system.

Would you like to really, honestly and truly go green? It doesn't cost anything extra. It will actually cut down on your gardening and yard work and you'll be recycling at the same time!

First off.....relax! You aren't going to hell for having dandelions in your front yard and you won't lose your county club membership for having crab grass. Relax....mow your lawn when it needs it, water when it needs it and be proud that you aren't polluting our groundwater, poisoning our pets and destroying the circle of life that exists in your own neighborhood.

Hop online and research native plants in your area. Here in Indiana, there are many stunningly beautiful plants, flowers, trees and shrubs that have been here from the beginning....some of the very plants you may see growing along side the freeway and call "wildflowers". Plant native plants in your gardens and relax. You see, native plants thrive with very little care, no pesticides and zero chemicals. And an added bonus.....these plants will draw wildlife into your yard.....birds will flock to your yard and feast on seeds and insects, bunnies with find a safe haven and butterflies will dance through your gardens all spring, summer and fall long.

Use natural things to make your lawn and gardens more fertile. Home composting works as well as coffee grounds, egg shells and so much more! It may be garbage to you, but the wildlife and pets in your neighborhood will thank you.

And finally, enjoy your natural setting with your family, friends and children. You will find the most amazing species of insects, birds and wildlife flocking to your little piece of Heaven. And trust me, with all of those beautiful things going on, no one will notice crabgrass or dandelions. No one will talk about grubs in your lawn or that three inch diameter brown spot. Everyone will just notice the pure and simple beauty of nature...............and when you take everything else away (plastic bottles, junk mail, automobile emissions and regular light bulbs) what is left besides our beautiful Earth?

If you want any tips on native gardening, please, don't hesitate to contact me! I'd be more than happy to steer you in the right direction! Thanks for reading my Earth Day rant.....and I hope you enjoyed the photos taken in my own "little piece of Heaven".

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Stop Smoking Update and the Roller Coaster Ride!

Wow........I have been on so many ups and downs the past two days, I feel like I should hang a sign on me that reads, "You must be this tall to ride".

Day 7 of my stop smoking quest, started well. I coped with my cravings, enjoyed my Electronic Cigarette a few times and then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I get hit with this enormous, absolutely crushing depression.

I wanted to cry.
I felt like screaming.
I wanted to smoke a cigarette so badly.
I felt so sad.
So frustrated.
So aggravated.

Was this worth it? All I had to do was smoke one cigarette and my symptoms would ease. My mood would lighten, I'd feel stomach would stop hurting, my lung pain would ease. Why was I doing this to myself? Why?

But then, almost as fast as the depression fell over me, it lifted. I didn't smoke......I didn't need to.

So today, I wake up to a wonderful gesture from my loving husband.....a McDonald's sausage biscuit with egg and cheese. I ate breakfast, had some coffee and then.....crashed. I had no energy. I just couldn't get up.....I didn't want to. But this time, I was determined to tell the withdrawals to shove it, and get moving.

So I washed my face, got dressed and made my way outside to garden and clean up the yard. I felt so awkward and those "Become an ex" commercials where the guy can't put on his pants. Once I thought of it that way, this little light bulb came on and I realized that what I needed to do is relearn my day to day activities......minus the cigarettes.

And from that moment on, I had an incredible day!! I spent the day getting torn to shreds by my rose bush, on my knees with my hands in the dirt, pulling weeds, trimming shrubs and trees and loving every moment of it. My shoulders are sunburned, I desperately need a shower, my arms sting from all of the tiny thorn cuts but...I feel amazing! I went ALL DAY without one gnawing craving for a cigarette........not one!! I enjoyed the fresh air, the birds singing and the sun shining....without once stopping to light up a cigarette!

Life is good without cigarettes.

I'm sure I'm not entirely out from under their iron fisted hold, but I think I am conquering them...I am now stronger than the cigarettes, more powerful than the cravings and more capable of separating the bad moods, frustration and physical symptoms from reality. I am actually doing this!!

I am becoming a non smoker!

"Technically" It was Trespassing....But.......

Sometimes my curiosity gets the best of me and I end up in all sorts of strange situations....last night was one of those times.

You see, several months ago, my neighbor passed away. Her house has been empty since, however, lately there's been a lot of activity......appliances being moved, things being packed, the pool being disassembled. And of course, me being the curious one, I wondered if they were going to rent the place out (which taking out the appliances wouldn't make sense) or sell it (again, removing the appliances wouldn't make sense) or it was going into that would make sense.

So, I was chit chatting with my neighbor on the other side of me, and we both felt the house was probably going into foreclosure.....but, we were both even more curious as to what type of shape the house was in and if we could tell more about the state of the house (sell-rent-foreclosure) by peeking inside. Ahhhhh, time for a bored housewife, nosey neighbor, after-dark covert operation!!

Last night, after dark (of course) my neighbor and I (dressed in dark clothing and wielding flashlights) creep out my back door, intending to climb over the fence and slip into the back yard of the empty house....quietly. Right!

My daughter's two dogs, who are happily house in our back yard, decided we shouldn't be there. Coaga, who is half pit bull and half coon hound let out the most horrific howl-bark that could have woken the dead....and Asuka joined in with her demented-goose honk-bark. So I'm trying to get the two of them to hear me and shut the heck up......"Coaga! Asuka! Hush! It's me! Shhhhh! Shut UP!"

Baroooooooo, Bark, Bark, Bark!
Honk, Honk, Honk, Honk!!

Ignoring the dogs and hoping other neighbors aren't alert to our covert ops tactics, we attempt to climb the ancient, rickety fence between my yard and the yard of the empty house. I stick my flashlight in my pocket, put my foot up on the top board of the fence and hoist myself up.....fully INTENDING on hopping right over.

BUT......the board broke and I went over the fence head first......grabbed onto the fence for dear life with my thighs and sort of "boinged" into an upright position, rusty fence swaying under my weight. My heart is beating so loudly for fear of crashing onto my head that I did notice right away that my neighbor was in hysterics, laughing at me. "Are you alright?" she chokes out between peels of laughter........."Yeah, I'm alright." (Tell that to my thighs)

I finally pull myself off of my rusty, jagged horsey ride and wait for my neighbor to follow me over the fence (as she's still laughing...which I can actually hear over the barooooooo, bark, bark, honk honking) We creep to the back of the abandoned house and we see that there is a light on. Immediately my ballsiness waivers and I freak, thinking someone is in there. My neighbor assures me no one is there and proceeds to peek through the windows with her flashlight. We then go back around to the front of the house and look inside. (By the way, my neighbor is still snickering)

Junk strewn about in one room, boxes scattered about, cabinets ripped from the walls, appliances gone.......yes, it looks as if the house is in foreclosure and they are stripping it clean, hoping to recoup any amount of money they can. You can't really blame them in this economy. You can barely take care of your own family these days without having to take up the mortgage of the deceased relatives home.

Our curiosity is satisfied....and our sneaky little operation in the dark of night was fun....except for the enormous scrape and black and blue bruises on the inside of my thigh.....pretty. And of course, today, as I'm in the yard gardening, another neighbor stops by to chat and immediately says.....

"I heard the house next to you is in foreclosure.....saw it in the paper."

Yeah....could have saved myself a few bruises.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 6 With My E-Cigarette....Need Laughter and Sex Pronto!

Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things I've ever done. I knew when I saw the Electronic Cigarette that it was the right tool for me to use to become tobacco free. I just never realized how easy this tool would make it for me.

Yes, I still get cravings and yes, sometimes they are extremely POWERFUL cravings. I just need to be stronger than the tobacco....wait it out.....and if it's just too difficult, I pick up my Electronic Cigarette and take a few long draws...and the craving just disappears.

My chest still hurts, but my cough is becoming more productive. My digestive tract is still wondering what the hell is up and not sure how to work without all of the extra nicotine and chemicals. I can't really eat a big meal right now, but that's OK! Gaining weight was one of my big worries when it came to becoming a non-smoker....after all, I still want to get into my bikini this summer!

The strangest withdrawal symptom I have has so far has been emotional. I sometimes get these fleeting feelings of loss and depression, like something important is suddenly gone from my life. I believe that comes from that trigger experts say you get when you smoke cigarettes, that release of "feel good" hormones, much like those which are released during laughter or orgasm. Since I consciously know what's going on, I can reason myself out of it.......or I could just remedy it with more sex and laughter! LOL! "But Honey, it's for therapy.....smoking replacement.....I NEED it for my well being!"

Yeah right, like that will work! LOL! (Ahh, it was worth a try!)

Two very important things did happen to me today, day 6. The weather was beautiful here in Indiana, so I grabbed one of the dogs (Rukia, my best walker) and headed out for a brisk walk around the block. Usually, I'm huffing and puffing and beginning to pace myself and slow down by the time I get to the entrance of our edition. By the time I'm around the block, I'm exhausted and ready to put my feet up and take a nap! But this time, not only did I make it all the way around the block, I did so at the same brisk pace I started out with! I could feel the air filling my lungs....and they didn't feel like they were going to burst! Rukia knew it too! She just looked up at me with her excited Shih Tzu smile, tail wagging, as if to say, "Good mom, good, good, good. You get a treat now. Treat, bone, treat, yes, yes, yes. Good mom, good girl!"

Secondly, my neighbor, Jennifer, told me I "looked better". She said my skin looked much brighter and overall I looked healthier! Really?? So, of course, as soon as we were finished chit chatting (neighborly gossiping), I ran in, flipped on the bathroom light and gazed into the mirror above the sink. Wrinkles still there, laugh lines, crows feet,....check......but Jen was coloring is skin really does look brighter. I have color in my cheeks and my overall coloring isn't so "gray" anymore! Yes, smokers, we look gray! I'm definitely impressed and really starting to realize the physical impact that cigarette smoking has had on my mind and my body, inside and out. I mean, you can read about it, hear about it in the news and even listen to your doctor yammer about it over and over......but seriously, you have NO IDEA what cigarette smoking is doing to you until you quit.

I say, if you've been considering kicking the habit, go for it!! I don't care how you do it....with the patch, gum, cold turkey, medications or with the Electronic Cigarette.....just do it. You will be absolutely shocked and surprised at how much of a hold cigarettes have on you as well as how quickly your body will start repairing itself! You will start feeling almost immediately and you'll start looking better too!

This is awesome......I'm feeling good (though I really need more laughter and sex...Honey, are you reading?) and know now that I am not turning back! I like being a non smoker and I enjoy the comfort my Electronic Cigarette is giving me. I am proud of myself......and so happy that I have all of you cheering me on and supporting me! Thanks a're saving my life.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 5...and I Didn't Kill Anyone

Day 5 on my journey to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes using my new Electronic Cigarette and I feel like I'm coping well.

I have yet to kill anyone.

I woke on day 5 feeling like I'd taken a horse tranquilizer the night before.....groggy, slow, unable to think clearly. I mentioned to my oldest daughter how I'd been feeling, sort of wondering out loud how long it would be before I felt normal again. And what she answered stunned me and got me thinking....

"Maybe this IS your normal, mom. You have been smoking for almost 30 years, your body doesn't remember what normal is."

Wow. OK......first off, I certainly HOPE my normal isn't a drooling, slow, depressed, spaced-out, sleepy, groggy, achey, hacking, coughing recovering addict! If that's the case, it's no wonder I started smoking! I'm kidding.........I understand what she meant and I know my body has alot of changes to go through...............and boy, is my body changing!

At night, seems my body wants to purge the toxins via my pores. I wake up with my hair stuck to my neck, bangs plastered to my forehead and fight to peel the damp blankets from my body. I'm still sleeping alright, though it seems I'm dreaming more. My upper chest has gone from discomfort to out and out PAIN and my cough is much more productive. The dizzy spells are still there, but less frequent and much less severe.

The new symptom I'm suffering through is stomach pain.......kind of like sharp, stabbing cramps. Nothing alarming, but definitely something I read I should expect.......not fun. As a matter of fact, I got this fleeting thought to start smoking again just so I could stop the withdrawal pains and misery. I said "fleeting" I quickly told myself I was insane to even allow that thought to cross my mind.

I did have a comforting picture in being put in a drug induced coma, tied to a bed and sleeping my way through the rest of these withdrawal symptoms. Ahhhh, that would be nice, but of course, who would feed my dogs, take care of the house, run the errands, find everything my family has lost for the day, cook the meals, do the wash etc, etc, etc, etc? Again, my mind trying to find comfort kicking these poisons out of my body.

The good parts of this quest are starting to reveal themselves and I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel! My "fog" cleared early in the afternoon and I felt pretty good (aside from the stomach pains). I have found myself automatically reaching for my Electronic Cigarette now rather than thinking about tobacco first. My skin is starting to look brighter. I'm beginning to get my normal appetite back. And most importantly, I beginning to feel pride in what I'm doing! I'm actually proud of myself! YAY ME!

Soooooooooo, I'm now off to have a great day 6. Am planning on walking my dogs today and enjoying the warm sunshine, Let's see how my lungs react to some exercise and fresh air!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Days 3 & 4..The Good, The Bad and The Meltdown

Nobody who said that quitting smoking was difficult lied.....oh, it's tough alright...especially when you're an emotional smoker, like me and you have a meltdown.

My youngest has been's been one of these, "Hmmmmm, is it a virus or an infection?" I broke down Monday morning and decided to take her to see a doctor. Since her pediatrician is a pretty long drive into Indianapolis, and we were having stormy weather, I decided I'd just take her down to Minute Clinic. Yeah....not such a good idea after all.

The Nurse Practitioner diagnosed the little one with a sinus and ear infection and proceeded to write a prescription for antibiotics.......this took over 30 minutes! YES 30 MINUTES TO WRITE A PRESCRIPTION!

This woman couldn't figure the dosage, that is, after she spent a full 15 minutes trying to figure out which antibiotic to give her. Amoxcicillin doesn't work on my kids (so mark that one off) they "don't give Keflex for ear infections" (which I knew to be total and complete BS) this woman was driving me nuts! So we finally get out of there, prescription in hand, and all I can think about is smoking my Electronic Cigarette.....................

.............and the battery isn't working!!!!!!!!!!!!! The doggone LED tip just keeps flashing at me...mocking me...letting me know, "No nicotine for you!"

So I get home, change batteries and puff away as I speak to the pharmacist on the phone. He proceeds to tell me that not only is the dosage WAY OFF on the antibiotic, the total cost is going be to the tune of $179.00!!!! WHAT? I'm still puffing away. I just doled out $77.00 for an office call and a strep test!

So I call my daughter's pediatrician, literally in hysterics babbling about an "idiot Nurse Practitioner", "wrong dosage" and a "cost that we cannot afford". Luckily, my daughter has one of the best pediatricians in the world and the office called in a prescription for Keflex which DOES treat ear infections and happens to be free at our pharmacy. Deep more puffing at the Electronic Cigarette...........I'm calm....and relieved.

Come to find out, one of my Electronic Cigarette batteries is defective and works when it wants to. So, I bang it on the coffee table, unscrew it, screw it back on, puff......puff.......get one drag and start all over again. I still have one good battery and the owner of Sharp Smoker has assured me that he's sending me a replacement battery right away. Ahhhhh, if only Minute Clinic could have such good service!

So day 3 ended with me still only having 4 tobacco cigarettes and learning that I really enjoy the flavor of apple smoke juice (which I used to refill one of my cartridges as well as adding a little drop to the atomizer) and learning NOT to be caught out with a dead battery, especially during this crucial transition time.

So here it is day 4.....and I'm REALLY feeling the effects of giving up tobacco cigarettes. Now, I went to quite a few of those stop smoking support sites and while they tell you about uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, they really don't give you the REAL TRUTH.

I feel like I'm walking in this haze....I'm dazed confused and feeling really funky. The light-headedness has turned to full blown dizzy body doesn't know what to do with all of this oxygen it's been starved of for almost 30 years. I almost feel high and doped up at the same time. My family can talk to me and it takes me a moment to slowly look up at them and said, "Huh?" It's difficult to concentrate on more than one thing at a time.

I have a sore throat and one heck of a deep cough....there's stuff working it's way out that I don't EVEN want to know what it's gonna look like! My chest feels tight and my extremities tingle from time to time. It's hard to think straight....or should I say, it's hard to think quickly. I do have a wee bit of a headache from time to time, but nothing to even take a pill for. I do feel tired and want to nap...not sure if it's less of the nicotine stimulant in my bloodstream or just the fact that it's easier to cope while I'm asleep!

I still don't have much of an I suppose my Electronic Cigarette is keeping my hands and mouth busy. That's a good thing...I'm going to Florida in June and certainly don't want my daughter to have to roll me down the beach! I'd really like to prance around in a bikini WITHOUT a cigarette!

I really do feel attached to my Electronic Cigarette feels more like a tobacco cigarette and has almost completely replaced them. I know they "say" that nicotine is the only addictive portion of tobacco cigarettes, but I'm not so sure. I crave the taste and I crave the tobacco....or "something" that's in them. Odd, because my Electronic Cigarette gives me the nicotine I need......though I know I'm only taking in a small fraction of the nicotine I used to take in daily.

This is a struggle for me....but one that is well worth it. In all honestly, though I am struggling, this is much easier than I thought it would be. I'm not nearly as grouchy as I thought, not eating everything in sight and so far, I'm not having any problems sleeping. Let's see what tomorrow brings.....I'm hoping that this is the peak of feeling bad.

This is all worth it. Every bit of it!! Stay tuned for day 5.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 2 With My E-Cigarette

Well, it's actually day 3 and I'm sitting here with my morning coffee and REALLY wanting a tobacco cigarette. I spend times like this kicking myself and asking just what it is that makes me want a tobacco cigarette.

After all, my E-Cigarette gives me the nicotine my body is craving. The taste of tobacco cigarettes is far from pleasant....probably reminiscent of licking a charred, wooden door. Why would I crave that?

Will power.

That's the one thing I need. See, no matter how well my E-Cigarette fulfills my nicotine needs, I need every ounce of will power to get off the tobacco cigarettes completely. Those things are killing me...and they have controlled every aspect of my life for nearly 30 years!!

Eat a meal...smoke.
Get on the computer.....smoke.
Drive the car.....smoke.
In pain....smoke.
Kids in bed.....smoke.

So, day two was an alright day. I still had 4 tobacco cigarettes, but I have to admit that the very taste of them is making me kind of nauseous! I'm making the transition where my E-Cigarette is the taste I prefer. Though it has very little taste, my E-Cigarette doesn't leave an after taste in my mouth....actually, it doesn't leave any smells or taste behind.

It didn't bother me, at first, to have smokers around me......but now I'm noticing how much the smell of tobacco smoke bothers, oh man does it STINK! And I was perfectly fine walking around smelling like that?! Tobacco smoke really does dull your senses.....your sense of smell and taste are shot to hell...........really!

I took my E-Cigarette on a little trip my parent's house. I love showing this thing E-Cigarette really is a brag-worthy piece of technology! My parents thought it was extremely dad was very encouraging of my quest to be smoke free...and my mom took a Sharp Smoker business card think my brother and his girlfriend might want to order one. (Yeah, right, mom smokes too and she hides it from my dad......he knows. LOL)

As far as habits go, my E-Cigarette is becoming more like a tobacco cigarette to me. I actually, unconsciously went to "flip an ash" and once, in the restroom, actually laid my E-Cigarette down on the the counter, with the cherry end hanging over the very edge. Both times, I immediately caught myself and said, "Duh".

I'm still feeling a bit light headed and my lungs are beginning to clear out (in other words, I'm hacking and coughing and my lungs are asking where all the pollution went....very attractive! LOL!) I just keep telling myself that my lungs are beginning the process of healing. At this rate, by summer, I should be able to walk around the block without huffing, puffing and feeling like I just climbed a mountain!

Something I'm finding unusual about using the E-Cigarette though is that my appetite hasn't increased at all! If you've ever tried to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes in the past, you know all to well that you'll shovel anything remotely edible into your mouth...Doritos, chocolate, cereal, that questionable leftover Chinese in the back of the fridge. But I'm not having any appetite increase whatsoever! So I'll be a non-smoker without a spare tire, love handles and a be-dunka-dunk! HA!

Alright.....that about wraps up day two......I'm gonna continue on with day 3. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow. Remember, if you want to join me, you can get a great deal on a top of the line E-Cigarette from Sharp Smoker! Visit Kevin's site and he'll take good care of you!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day One on the E-Cigarette

I got my E-Cigarette and refill cartridges today in the mail (two days, now THAT'S service) from Sharp Smoker. I needed to charge the battery for 8 hours, so decided to start on my stop smoking adventure Saturday morning. I opened the box, read all of the instructions and plugged the battery in to charge.

Fast forward to Saturday morning...........

I got the coffee on and prepared my E-Cigarette for it's first go-round. Putting it together was easy.....the battery compartment screws onto the tiny atomizer and the nicotine cartridge (looks like the filter of a tobacco cigarette) pops onto the end. The first time you use it, it's supposed to sit for about 5-10 minutes before use. So while I sipped on my first cup of of my favorite times to smoke.....I just stared at the E-Cigarette.

My first draw was strange......the E-Cigarette is the same size as a tobacco cigarette, just a little heavier. My E-Cigarette did make a little air whistling noise when I drew from the filter end (but I got used to the sound).....and it delivered. I got the throaty, smoke feel as I inhaled and the total smoker's satisfaction as I exhaled and blew out the vapor. My younger daughter couldn't believe how much it looked like tobacco smoke.....but there was no smoke smell, no stench you often associate with tobacco smoke. (And I might also flame, so secondhand smoke danger, no staining etc) This didn't "taste" like my tobacco cigarette......but I did get the same nicotine rush and satisfaction.

I didn't realize how psychological this whole process was until my husband left the house to run an errand and there were no tobacco cigarettes left in the house. I realized this and started freaking out.....running ashtray to ashtray looking for a decent sized butt. Why? I don't know.....but I NEEDED to have one of those nasty tobacco, cancer sticks nearby.....just in case. I really that weak? You betcha! So I ended up keep a tobacco cigarette in the empty cigarette pack along with my E-Cigarette.

I shared my new E-Cigarette with my older daughter (she's 27 and a smoker) and she was quite impressed. She enjoyed the experience and the way she could inhale and blow the vapor out like a tobacco cigarette.

So all day on day one, I used my E-Cigarette each time I had a deep in the gut nicotine craving as well as during those times my brain needed a tobacco cigarette (computer time, after a meal, with coffee) It worked.....and it worked well.....the E-Cigarette delivered the nicotine my body craved....without all of cancer causing agents.

I did cheat on day one......which is normal for a person's first day on the E-Cigarette...actually, it's encouraged in the instruction manual. HOWEVER....I went from smoking a full pack of cigarettes to.....drum roll please.......4 tobacco cigarettes!!!! And not once did I get edgy, grouchy or feel out of control like all of the other times I tried to quit!!

Physically, I feel a bit light headed all the body is now taking in more oxygen and I sometimes get this surreal, dreamy feeling....especially when I start thinking about the enormous hold tobacco cigarettes had on every aspect of my life. It's say the least!

All in all, day one is a success!! Thanks to the E-Cigarette!

Want to join me in my journey to a smoke-free life? Visit Sharp Smoker to order your E-Cigarette.....Kevin will take good care of you!

Breaking My Addiction Using The E-Cigarette


The word stirs up images of junkies robbing convenience stores to get money for their next fix, wide-eyed tweakers and alcoholics stumbling about, sloshing their beverage on your carpet. Now, take a look at my profile photo...........

Hmmmmm, my eyes aren't the size of cannon balls. My breath doesn't reek of stale beer and I have never stolen someone's pocket change from their dresser top.....yet, I am an addict.

This is addiction is medically confirmed as being worse than alcohol, cocaine and even heroin. It's the most difficult addiction to break as well as being the most universally used drug.

I am a cigarette smoker. I have been smoking cigarettes for nearly 30 years. Yes, I have tried to quit....and failed. And now, out of the sheer NEED to stay with my children.....the heartfelt desire to grow old with my husband.....and for the health of myself, my family and my home....I am again embarking on the road to becoming smoke-free.

I have tried cold turkey and because of my emotional, high-strung nature, it was not possible for me. I wasn't strong enough. Nicotine gum upsets my stomach and the patch scares me. (Vivid dreams? Heck, I have enough problems sleeping, thanks) And as far as drugs go....they are expensive and I have no health insurance to offset the cost. Also, I have heard SO MANY horror stories about nausea and other side effects......not for me!

My saving grace came one day, while enjoying my second addiction...television. During the television show "The Doctors" I saw the E-Cigarette. The doctors gave it to a woman who had been smoking for nearly 20 years and within a week, she was off of regular cigarettes completely. I was impressed......and intrigued. Could this finally be MY answer? MY road to a healthier life?

I immediately jumped online and started researching. The Electronic Cigarette, or "E-Cigarette" is a battery operated "cigarette" that looks like a cigarette, has a nice little LED light on the end (that lights up when you draw on the device) and delivers a dose of nicotine to the user through a vapor (much like that of an asthmatic's nebulizor) that the user can inhale and blow out, much like smoke.

I was impressed and knew that since cigarettes are as much of a psychological addiction as they are a physical one, this would probably work for me. You see, I'm not only addicted to nicotine, I love the feeling of drawing in the smoke and blowing it out.

Well, after some waiting and reading about how well it has worked for some online friends of mine...I took the leap....and ordered my E-Cigarette. I ordered it through a link posted by a friend of mine who boasted about amazing customer service and an even more amazing price....she was not exaggerating!!!

Mr. Kevin Sjodin is Director of Sales and Marketing for Sharp Smoker and has given me the best customer service I have ever experienced, not to mention the fact that he offered me an amazing price of a normally expensive E-Cigarette kit. Sharp Smoker got me on the road to better health for the cost of about 10 packs of cigarettes (here in Indiana) That included the E-Cigarette kit (with 2 batteries, charger and 5 nicotine a very nice box, I may and I also bought 4 boxes of refill cartridges. I got my package in just two days!!

Now for the fun stuff.......I'm going to blog my progress....for myself and my well as for all of you. I want you all to read of my journey and my impending success so you know you can do it to!!

If you're interested in joining me and would like more information on the E-Cigarette, please visit Sharp Smoker at Kevin will be happy to hook you up!

Next up.......Day one...............

Saturday, January 17, 2009

2008 A Year Of Discovery & Disappointment

If nothing else, 2008 proved to be a year of discovery and disappointment for me. Most importantly, I learned that you are never too old to learn lessons on life, the human spirit and relationships. (The more lighthearted stuff is at the bottom....LOL)

Second chances played an enormous role in my life and the lives of people I love this year.
I watched my daughter's life crash and burn at the hands of someone she felt deserved a second chance.......from this I learned many things.......

1) Though I have always been one to believe people are capable of changing, I now believe with my entire heart and soul that SOME people are not capable of matter what they are faced with, how many chances they are given or how they are punished for their wrong doings. Some people just lack the inner strength and maturity to say, "You know what? This is no one's fault but my own. I screwed up and now it's time to suck it up and move on." It's sad for me to admit, though people like this deserve no compassion or pity.

2) Try as I may, I just don't have all of the answers. Why do some people act the way they do? Why do some individuals cling to something for no viable reason whatsoever? Why must some people's heart be so full of malice and hatred when there is so much out there are is good and sweet and wonderful? Why do some people obsess over another....especially when the other person has moved on and has not a small inkling or glimmer of feeling left for them but pure pathetic pity and hatred? Why does this type of person's brain work the way it does? I've learned that relatively sane and analytical people, such as myself, will drive themselves to that very same brink of insanity trying to figure that out!

3) We are all walking a predestined path. Now, this is nothing new to the way I believe, but it still amazes me each and every time I see it happen. Especially when two people end up together who are RIGHT for one another. And if you look back at the path that they have each walked, it seems to cross over and over again.....almost like God is dropping that person in front of you and saying, " he/she is it time?" It's truly wonderful and fills me with this sense of awe when I'm lucky enough to witness it happen in front of me. I'm blessed to have been given the opportunity to watch this new found relationship blossom and grow. This has definitely healed my shattered heart!

4) Fear and intimidation, though very real to many people, can be used to try and crush someone's spirit and manipulate them. This year I learned that though there are many things in life to fear, threats like this should never be one of those things. This is a sheer waste of time, energy and emotion. The only thing good that comes from this type of fear is anger and awareness. (Yes, anger can be good if channeled I learned to stop fearing and worrying and become proactive. I took a stand and I fought and along the way, I saw someone I love become strong and determined. I saw this person take destiny into their own hands and say, "Come what may....but I'll stand strong and defeat it! Even if it does take a camera, a cell phone, a baseball bat and a gun" LOL!

During the madness this year, I had the opportunity for my own second chance. The chance to finally have closure on an old relationship that has haunted me for over 25 years. It was tragedy that brought about this chance.......see, good can come from just about anything............and from this I learned some valuable lessons as well.

1) Love can take many different forms....the love of a mother for her child, the love of a friend, the love you feel for the very first time in your young life. Love never leaves us, no matter what. But when loves just stops, without being allowed a means to the "end", it may waver or even make you think it's gone, but it never leaves.

2) I knew there were things left unresolved, but I was rocked to my core when I realized that these old feelings still existed. However, I learned that though those feelings were still there, they were exactly the same as when I was a mere girl. Love can't just pick up where it left grow it needs constant nurturing. Without that, or without that "end" it just stays stagnant.....but it remains.

3) In addition, I learned that as we grow older, we change.....A LOT. I am not the same person I was at 30...or even last year!! I have grown and changed and I still do, every year of my life.....and that's a good thing! I realized that sometimes we change so much that we just can't see why we were ever a part of someone's life..........WOW, just wow. Yes, I still had those old feelings in the deepest reaches of my heart, but they weren't for him as he is now, no way. He's different as well and definitely not someone I could ever carry that kind of love for again. I just wish he could see that....and realize that within himself......but he can't. So though I got the closure and answers I needed, I lost a potential friend......because he couldn't handle that.....nor could some people in his life. (And for the, I don't want him back.....never did, never will. HELLO, I got the sun, moon and stars right here at home!!) Yes, it would have been nice to have a civil relationship, but not with someone who is not trusted by those he loves....and someone who can't even trust himself.


1) I hate the Glade lady...........she's a poser and lies to her friends. (But you already know that)
2) This little Hoosier girl LOVES New York!
3) Friends can be found during the most trying of times.....I love you, Jason! You kept me sane and focused....... Welcome to my life, Yumi!.......... DJ and Shannon, what can I say? You're part of the family!
4) My daughters are waaaay cooler and funnier than I ever knew and have taught me alot. Their friends are pretty incredible too!
5) Indiana's stalking law was written by morons and needs to be changed. Did I mention that is one of my 2009 goals? hee hee!
6) I REALLY hate the Glade lady..."It's French...from France" RRRRRRRR!
7) Spelling errors and stupid people go hand in hand...yet they think they are smarter than the rest of us. I mean, c'mon, do you really think someone wants to do business with someone who can't even spell the word business? Typos and the occasional misspelling doesn't count, so I'm not picking on everyone! LOL!
8) Even Fergie farts.
9) Female dogs are scary when in heat....not to mention a little slutty.
10) Dogs are even scarier when giving birth!
11) Good people die, nasty people live. Why?
12) I am a full fledged anime geek.
13) My husband is obsessed with ghosts and the paranormal, so if he shows up at your house with a KII meter, EMF detector and a digital voice recorder, just humor him.
14) Law enforcement is open to each officer's interpretation and individual personality....sometimes it sucks, but sometimes it can work to your advantage. *wink*
15) A prosecutor can only work within the law the way it's written and they can get angry and frustrated too.
16) Even when cooked, cream cheese should never be eaten after being at room temperature for more than 5 hours.........TRUST ME ON THIS!
17) I STILL hate the Glade lady..."Oh it's this little boutiquey fragrance I picked up."
18) A picture is worth a thousand words. (Referring to my daughter's pics of her ex stalking her)
19) Sex changes when you get older.....if you're my age you understand, if not, talk to me when you're over 40.
20) Bill collectors don't like Japan
21) It should never matter if your friends believe differently than you or raise their children differently than you, they're still your friends.
22) I really am capable of madness when pushed beyond my limits....scary.
23) Crying with your daughter can be a good thing.
24) Laughing with your daughter....even better.
25) Compared to other people, my life really IS insane.....yep, I'm just now realizing this.
26) People who obsessively hit my MySpace page give me the creeps. Yes, you, down there in Florida...I know who you are and you should be ashamed of yourself.
27) I am a Blingee addict.
28) Some parents are absolute clueless, blind, ignorant idiots and have set their adult children up for failure.
29) I'm getting old.
30) I still love life....through it's trials, tribulations, lessons and difficult times...I still love life. It's worth it.
31) Puppies are amazing little creatures.
32) My youngest daughter is amazingly intelligent and insightful.
33) Some people just aren't worth it.
34) Even I can play a Wii
35) Be yourself....don't be the Glade lady.
36) Even the most demure, modest women can ooze sex appeal from every pore (Yes, "M" I'm talking about you)
37) Confidence can really change a person.
38) Even after you scoop the yard, your child will always step in the ONE MISSED TURD!
39) DO NOT feed your dog Thanksgiving dinner unless you're ready to face the repercussions.
40) My kids are amazing and really know how to love and support one another through anything. I'm blessed.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Yee Haw....Wrangle Them Doggies!!

I found my inner Ceasar Millan...........I'm now calm and submissive. But that certainly wasn't the case an hour or so ago!

So here's the deal.....we live in a very modest 1,900 square foot ranch with a big yard, four bedrooms (3 that are extremely tiny and a master). In this house is myself, my hubby, my son and my little one. We have 3 dogs, two labs, Stewart and Sophie and a Shih Tzu named Rukia. Back in March of last year, as many of you know, my older daughter moved home after an abusive marriage. It was one of those urgent "get out now" we got her out.....along with.......

Arthur and Guenivere (Shih Tzus and Rukia's parents), Bella and Shinji (Rukia's siblings), Buster (a rescued pit bull), Ausuka (a rescued lab wiemerimer (sp?) mix) and Coga (a rescued pit bull-blue tick coon hound) Now since the Shih Tzus and Buster are crated in her room, we keep Guenivere out along with Rukia, Stewart and Sophie. (Are you following me?) Ausuka and Coga are kept outside (which we absolutely HATE) So that brings me to tonight.

Here in Indy, it was 6 below zero this morning. I was terrified that Ausuka or Coga were dead, even though their dog houses are crammed full of hay and blankets and anything else they've drug in. Well they were both OK...just not willing to come out of their houses. But tonight they are predicting -10 to -20 with -30 degree wind chills.

Nope, I didn't want them outside tonight. Ahhhhh, saddle up, it's time to wrangle them doggies!

We borrowed a crate from a neighbor and began the switch.

Step one.....put Stewart, the I'm-gonna-chew-your-face-off senior, in the bedroom. Put Guenivere in the whelping pen with baby Masaharu and get Rukia in the bedroom with Michaela (she loves to bark, bark, bark, bark,bark at the other dogs) OK.....ready, set, GO!

Step two....Out go the Shih Tzu boys.........Chara cleans their cages....lets them back in....while Arthur jumps up and down, up and down, "Hi gramma, hi gramma, hi gramma...gotta say hi before mom puts me up, gotta say hi before mom puts me up! Got a bone to share? Huh? Huh? Can I like your face? Your hand? Anything?"

Step three...send out buster....the hyper-pit bull-on-too-much-crack-caffeine-sugar...he bolts through the house....runs in a circle about 25 rotations and disappears outside into the darkness, while Chara cleans his crate. Outside, Ausuka (who sounds like an injured, demented goose) and Coga are barking their heads off because the hyper pit bull is outside running back and forth, flaunting his freedom in front of them. Buster returns and is let back in the house just as Chara returns with the crate from next door.

In the meantime, Rukia is whining and barking at Michaela's door, wondering what the hell is going on out here. Stewart is drooling and scratching at the bedroom door, just dying to get out here and show Buster who the boss is. And Buster is in the middle of the living room with a pink winter scarf in his mouth going round and round and round at about 20 miles per hour. Guenivere jumps out of the whelping pen to see what the craziness is all about, sees Buster, growls, snaps and jumps back into the pen on top of Masaharu.........."YELP, YELP, YELP"

Holy hell, she's broken the puppy!!!!!!!! Nope, false alarm, just scared the hell out of him....and me. He's still got all extremities, he's moving....he's alright.

And Buster is still turning circles in the living room with the scarf.

Step four....bring in Coga...the biggest dork-dog on the planet!! He's jumping around on the leash, "Dur...I'm in the house! Why am I here?! What's that smell? Gimme that squeaker! I'm in the house! What's that? Where are we going?! There! On the plate! What's that?!" Chara disappears down the hall with him..........and Buster is now outside with the demented goose (Honk, honk, honk).

Step five.....bring in Ausuka...the one who barks like a demented goose. She slinks through the house, belly near the ground, eyes darting back and forth...she snags the dog Frisbee on the way through the living room and drops it in her nervousness. Close behind is Buster, still jumping and hopping around in a hyper terrier frenzy. He again grabs the scarf and starts running in circles.

I'm posted at the whelping pen, keeping the new mommy from tearing through the pen's walls and eating Buster for annoying her. She's quite nervous, although Buster was around her first litter of pups and terrified of them. (Yes, picture the big, bad, murderous pit bull backing into a corner and wetting himself after being accosted by three 6 week old Shih Tzu puppies)

OK....dogs are in place. Ausuka and Coga have a warm place to sleep for the night and Buster is still running amok through the living room and den. Chara emerges from her room in time for me to let Rukia out....she just growls at Buster and sits down quickly to avoid the typical doggy-butt-sniff-hello. Letting Stewart out, however, was another fun activity! See, he turns back into a six month old pup whenever he's around Buster.

The two are jumping around, growling, shaking the pictures on the walls, scurrying here and there. Rukia is in the midst, running circles around the boisterous boys, barking her little head off. I'm chasing Rukia round and round the room, trying unsuccessfully to grab her tail, back of her sweater....anything to get ahold of her and stop her yapping before one of the bigger dogs steps on her. Chara is trying to get one of the boys and give him a good neck poke and a Ceasar Millan patented "Tssshhhh" It's mass chaos....once again.........only in my house!

After a few minutes, all is well and we are back to our normal business of relaxing and watching television. Nearly an hour and a half of dog wrangling and I'm now pooped! Now I can look forward to tommorrow's potty-time escapade! This should be fun!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Catching Up With A New Baby In Tow!

I know, I one of my followers reminded me, I have been MIA since November! I'm sorry....but I'm finally slowing down from chasing my tail and ready to blog on.

The holidays brought the normal mania in our household (Are we gonna be able to afford the gifts? What the heck and I gonna buy my mom that she won't complain about? Who ate the last piece of pie?)The holidays also brought out the best and worst in our lives.

Take my little one. She turned 11 on the second of December (another time of mania for our household)and she informs us she suspects we are indeed the "Santa Claus" culprits. We hesitated, but eventually came clean about the whole childhood scam. After mulling over the lies in her head, my way-too-smart-and-savvy daughter looks at me and says,

"Wow, you and dad really work your butts off making sure we had a good Christmas every year. I got alot of cool stuff over the years. Thank you."

But that's not all!! We decided to take a left over portion of a big win I received earlier in the year and donate it to the local food pantry (which also gives out misc. donated items as well) So we wrap stacks of My Little Pony toys, take them over to the church and hand them out.

The next morning, while getting ready for school, the commercial came on saying, "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." My daughter suddenly spins around, hairbrush in hand and yells, "I GET IT!"

Nearly spitting coffee out my nose, I just look at her like she's nuts and she finishes...."Santa isn't real, but he's an idea, a thing that lives in our hearts and anyone can be Santa! We were Santa last night! I get it now."

I was humbled.

So, in addition to my younger daughter's revelations, my older daughter got more than her fair share of *crap* Her ex started his creepy stalking stuff. Though the idiot was TOLD by the judge that there is a no contact order and if he violates, he goes to PRISON. How hard is it NOT to call someone repeatedly and hang up? How hard is it to NOT drive by someone's place of employment obsessively? Geez!

Well, as the prosecutor predicted, he got sloppy. In the wee morning hours on January 2nd, my daughter's cell phone rings half a ring and wakes her. She flips it open to see a number rather than they typical "unknown". She jumps online, reverse searches the number's her ex's phone number! And here we thought he only had a cell phone!

To make a long story short, he was arrested that morning and charged with invasion of privacy and resisting arrest.....and the prosecutor added felony probation violation. Yes, my friends, the idiot is going to PRISON!! The only bad part is that his 500 + pound mother is on the war path.....after all it IS all my daughter's fault *rolls eyes* At least she doesn't move very quickly.

But there are some shining lights in the madness. My older daughter is dating a wonderful guy now (nothing like ANY guy she's seen in the past) I absolutely adore him and his family! Plus............there's a baby in the house!!!!

No, not me! Are you kidding? I think my eggs have retired and moved to a home somewhere in Miami where there's shuffleboard and Canasta. We have a brand new puppy....and he's such a chubby little joy!

Meet little Masaharu...... you've met the baby and I've rambled on enough! Stay tuned for my "Things I Learned in 2008" blog!