Sunday, December 30, 2007

Weekly Winners Sunday 12/30/07

Weekly Winners time once again - all thanks to Lotus!



Click for larger images (because they do look better full-sized) or take a peek at the entire album at once and/or watch as a slideshow at this link.

Uncommon White Christmas
(or see video posted previously for full effect)


Cold Outside, Warm & Sleepy Inside
(aka why I want to be born a well-loved cat next time)


Dump Pepper Lime Chicken
(Click title for recipe)
So easy, so freezable, so yummy, from my freezer

(with Cilantro Rice = rice, salt, fresh chopped cilantro to taste)


Waiting for Hygienist
(Paperwhites, I think?)


Still Waiting = Camera Playtime
(until other people were around, and I got shy)


New Year's Resolution
(to seriously take care of my teeth/gums for real now that I'm no longer a smoker -thank you Chantix - and the whole Paying the Perio Piper issue thing due to 20+ years of smoking damage coupled with my very short-lived resolve back when I adopted my anthem and was revved up back in July but then did jack-all means, in short, my gums pretty darn angry and full of hate).

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Yay My Dad

Today is Smoke-free Day 194 at the end of the longest short week I've ever had.

I don't talk much about family here because while I used to tell total strangers all of my business and fling dirty laundry at them (figuratively only, usually, unless something went wrong), I've scaled back quite a bit on even that, and it's so different on a blog that is written for all the world to see. Finding the right balance sometimes keeps me up at night (OK, not that much), and it's another area where people are just different; different folks are comfortable with different levels of sharing publicly, just like I think people quitting smoking, while similar, each will walk his or her own path along the way to becoming a non-smoker (or at least someone who used to smoke but no longer does).

All this to say how thrilled I am that my dad (who just got online, probably doesn't know what I blog is and certainly doesn't read mine) quit smoking on October 22, 2007 (back when I wrote a vague post about being Busy and scared of heart stuff - still am). It was like an almost unfunny joke that day that he had his last couple cigarettes as he was driving himself to the hospital with chest pains and difficulty breathing (and a history of more than one open heart surgery behind those shirt buttons) because he is stubborn like that. My dad smoked plenty of his 70-ish years, but he also quit at various points, too, long before Chantix or the advent of new fangled contraptions like computers and internet. My dear old dad, who I hope knows how much I love and miss him, is still just simply hanging in there and not smoking since then, not entirely convinced that smoking is related to some of his heart and lung or other health issues, but also not so convinced that it's all *that* darn tough to quit and seeing no good reason to keep smoking. Sure, he admits to missing smoking sometimes, but he doesn't need to whine about it or obsess about it or blog about it or find some community of others (online or other) who are also quitting smoking or take some pill (thank you, Chantix, again, thank you!) to help make it easier or do most of the things (like all of the above) that I consider pretty much vital to the amount of success I've had in reaching the 6 month mark so far.

I have to laugh at how differently my own dad and I are approaching the same thing. At least I appear to have been born with an undiluted version of his stubbornness. That's probably the only thing the same about our quits, but personally it's one of my favorite tools.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Rarity

Today is Smoke-free Day 193.

It continues to be nutty crazy busy where I am. Oddly, smoking right this moment doesn't even appeal to me. At all. Now *that* is rare, before, during or even after Chantix, even. I don't expect such joy to continue endlessly, but bits and pieces and parts and little scribblets are still just enough.

Back to hell with me.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Long Day Silliness Meme Thingy

After a long day of a long week (I know, how could that be possible since it's such a short week - trust me), some silliness. Lotus was over there doing a bunch of memes, and I got tagged for the hardest one, I think, and then I felt the need to comment excessively on each point because that's how I do. Innywho, here goes:

Your Month Meme

Tagged by: Sarcastic Mom (Lotus)

1. Mention the person who tagged you and create a link back to them.
2. Copy-paste the traits for all the twelve months (see below).
3. Pick your month of birth (see below).
4. Highlight the traits that apply to you.
5. Tag 12 people and let them know by visiting their blogs and leaving a comment for them.
6. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve done it!

My birthday is in April, and I think best in bullets. Highlighting as simply yes/no is entirely to difficult for people like me, so I just answered them all with more commentary than they needed.
  • Active and dynamic. Um, I actively visit my refrigerator in round trips, and I do eat a variety of foods depending on mood. Otherwise, no.
  • Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Absolutely *not* me on the decisive. I can stand at Target tired to the bone staring at variations on the plastic container theme for 15 minutes yet leave empty handed. Without regret.
  • Attractive and affectionate to oneself. I have somewhat attractive and decidedly not attractive moments (sometimes at the same time), but I do not discuss affection with myself publicly, unless that's related to treating myself to lattes - then yes.
  • Strong mentality. Is this like stubborn, strong-willed, opinionated and obstinate? Maybe we are finally getting somewhere.
  • Loves attention. Ha, me? Never. OK, always, from way back. You got me. Except when I'm shy and sincerely don't. This is too complicated to explain.
  • Diplomatic. I try to be, but it's hard when my voice gives away that I'm irate, irritated or just happen to think someone is just dumber than stupid (I don't want to be like this, really, I don't, but it's like my face is a mood ring).
  • Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Yes to the first two. Really. But no to the last part. I have entirely too many problems of my own to run around pretending like I know what's best for anyone else. I'll console you and be your friend while you sort out your own crap. That cool?
  • Brave and fearless. I believe that bravery (and courage for that matter) are all about doing something in spite of your fears, so the two words are almost opposites in my way of thinking. Sometimes I'm brave, but mostly I really am more afraid of my own shadow than most people (though not entirely without reason).
  • Adventurous. To a degree, yes. Living in Japan, traveling to Hong Kong all by my lonesome and *always* wanting to go explore places probably fit, but putting myself in danger or too high off the ground or in a bunch of water or going skiing doesn't thrill me.
  • Loving and caring. If you meow or quack, you have it made. Otherwise there are a lot of variables with better chances if I don't think you are an ass.
  • Suave and generous. Huh? No and not as much as I want to be. Am I done yet?
  • Emotional. I'm *not* emotional, damn it. I just feel things deeply, you insensitive prick.
  • Aggressive. Only passively. So I'm told.
  • Hasty. Didn't I already answer this above? Can we move on already? OK, sometimes. If the question was patience, then no. But hasty is different.
  • Good memory. I have a lot of good memories. I just can't recall where I put them.
  • Moving. I *really* hate moving. We just did it about 6 months ago. Blech.
  • Motivates oneself and others. Motivating others motivates me, especially if the others are quitting smoking via the Chantix route, but otherwise this is a mixed and variable bag.
  • Sickness usually of the head and chest. I do have a feeling I'm sick in the head now that someone was brave enough to ask the question. Not so much in the chest, thankfully, now that I've quit smoking.
  • Sexy in a way that only their lover can see. I'm leaving this one be because I'm not even sure where to go with this, but I did finally shave my legs after longer than I care to admit for the world to know (in case that's related in some way).
Here's where I'm supposed to tag 12 people, but I don't know which 12 people might want to play, so I'm doing my own thing here that might or might not be against the rules (I don't meme much, clearly), and I'm opening this silliness to anyone who wants to play. If you do, please drop me a comment with a link, and I'll edit this post to add you here as if I'd done it the right way all along. Come on, it was kind of fun, and I'm always curious to see how others answer this kind of stuff.

Brandie will be joining this silliness. Come on - anyone else?

All Months:

JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.

FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH: Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

JUNE: Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

SEPTEMBER: Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people’s mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.
DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

Trite, True

Today is Smoke-free Day 192.

There really was something special about Christmas this year knowing that I'd finally quit smoking. It sounds so trite to say that it was the best present I could have given myself (and Tom, too, since I'm not afraid to involve other people in my reasons to stay quit), but sometimes trite has just been said enough to become trite only because it's true. This is one of those cases, I think. Of all the gifts given and received this year, I can't think of any with such wonderful implications.

To remind myself of the good implications (sometimes I need reminders - some days are tough!), I periodically like to look at this bit of inspiration my lovely Tom sent me shortly before I was ready to quit (meaning before I heard about Chantix and then was ready to give this thing another go). Currently in the 3 to 9 months where I am, the coughing and wheezing should be gone, and thankfully, yes, it is, plus a 10% improvement in lung capacity. I'll take it! I'm looking forward (one day at a time, of course because that's the only way I can do this - never is not for me because I get all panicky) to the year mark when my risk of heart attack (very real concern for me, very, scarily real) drops by half.

Copied directly over from my Linky Loos posting in case any of my fellow Chantix bloggers would like to see more about this gift we gave ourselves, here are my favorite inspiration and celebration links related to how our bodies react to such a thoughtful gift:
And I thought my cast iron skillet combo pan thingy, cookbook, other best cookbook I've ever seen (amazing book, that one), tons upon wonderful ton of cookng utensils (did you know a peeler could julienne?), Curious George collection and lots (and lots) of other wonderful gifty goodies I received were super awesome! Turns out they are, but pink lungs are still tops!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Snow

After trying several times to upload to YouTube without success, I remembered that Blogger now lets you add video through their interface. Off and on, this was our rare treat of snow on Christmas. It so rarely snows in my part of Oregon, and even less often on Christmas day. It's just a quick video, but it brought me lots of joy and even some small hope of a snow day for a longer weekend (even less likely).



Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry, Merry and a Belated Linky Loos Add

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas or at least an enjoyable and relaxing time doing whatever it is you are doing if you aren't doing Christmas.

I have another Linky Loo to add to my list for my fellow Chantix bloggers:

Current, Regularly Updated Blogs I Read Daily:
  • Life Rushes By - Lynda's blog. Lynda gave Chantix a try and quit smoking on December 4, 2007. Though we've commented back and forth on each other's blogs, somehow I hadn't added her until now, already well into her quit.

Progress (and Some Cheer)

Today is Smoke-free Day 190.

I'm smack dab in the middle of a long and glorious and wonderful and happy and blissful 4-day weekend (the world needs more of these), and I'm not even doing my usual long weekend "me-time" wanting to smoke thing that has plagued me so many times since quitting (sometimes even just on regular all too short weekends). It's like I forgot again for a bit that I used to smoke. I'm delighted. I like it when I have stretches like this sometimes.

Merry Christmas to me. Here, please enjoy this no agony involved smoke-free day and a set of pinker lungs. Enjoy! Love, Santa and Me!

Hope all of my fellow Chantix bloggers, non-Chantix bloggers, used to Chantix bloggers, never blogged or took Chantix readers and everyone else have a Super Merry Christmas. Our Christmas was over Saturday morning, but we still have leftovers, and I'm still playing with my new toys and still have just enough spirit left for approximately one more day, so it all works out.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Weekly Winners Sunday 12/23/07

Weekly Winners time
once again because Lotus started this
thing.

Click for larger images (because they do look better full-sized) or take a peek at the entire album at once and/or watch as a slideshow
at this link.

Been a very busy week since last weekend, so there are two themes going this week.

Since we winter camped in the yurt last weekend and got back on Sunday, technically half of the pictures (those taken that morning) belong in this week's Weekly Winners (also because I didn't have the energy once we returned).

Then we celebrated Christmas early because it made sense in front of a long 4 day weekend to be able to eat and play with our toys instead of waiting until the last day of the mini vacation. And so, I bring you this week winter camping and early Christmas pictures.





















































WINTER CAMPING,
YURT STYLE

(no, not the
fancy kind of yurt I want to own in
this post
- where we stayed was "rustic")

Yurt Village Yurt Above

Yurt Village

Yurt Above






Scrabbling in Yurt Winning Words

Scrabbling

Winning Words






Sundial Two are One

Sundial

Two are One






Campfire... ...with Marshmallows

Campfire

Campfire with Marshmallows






























Inside the Yurt Self-Portrait In
Yurt
Pondering Winning Scrabble Hat

Yurt

Self-Portrait

Pondering

Scrabble Winning Hat
Butt Kicking More Evil Bush (apparently these
are in

a lot of places
)
One Leaf

Butt Kicking

Evil Bush Again

One Leaf














































EARLY CHRISTMAS
AS THE HOUSE OF US
Santa Pin Santa Come Soon Santa Wuz Here!

Santa Pin

Santa Come Soon

Santa Wuz Here!
Mashable + Makings of Heaven
(half recipe amt) =
Heaven (aka
Southern Sweet Potato Casserole)

Mashable

Makings of Heaven

Heaven - Sweet Potato Casserole









My First Ever Pumpkin Pie New Twist -
Deviled Eggs Gone Eastern Rim

Poinsettia
(in a glass, since the plant is poisonous to my catties and
because it tastes better this way)

My First Pumkin Pie

Deviled Eggs -  Asia Version

Poinsettia in a Glass


Saturday, December 22, 2007

More Busy, More Not Smoking

Today is Smoke-free Day 187.

More busy (like yesterday extended a day), more not smoking, more breathing and being OK - it all continues today. I woke up with an odd cough that I hadn't felt since I can't even remember (actually, I can - back somewhere early Chantix days around June or so), but it went away as soon as it started, so that's a nice thing. Even if it turned into a cold or some other unpleasantness, at least today I know I didn't cause it by smoking. Simple things bring my heart much joy, and not ruining my health so deliberately puff by puff is one of those simple things. Happy. Joy.

Back to busy. Again. Santa comes tonight (we are special). Then no more busy for several glorious and won-tacular days. Well, other than cooking all that goodness tomorrow. I love early Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Breathing

Today is Smoke-free Day 186 (even if it's almost bedtime).

What a very long and very crazy day. About a million times today the old me would have stepped out to pace in a square while I smoked and mentally organized (stressed out). That was a favorite of mine. Maybe the lack of pacing is another element of my weight gain since quitting smoking (still better smoke-free, just saying, is all). Instead of smoking or pacing, I found myself automatically taking some deep breaths today. I mean really Deep Breaths. All the way into my lungs, even, I'll admit, pretending at one point that it was a nice big drag from a nice... but it wasn't; it was just good ol' plain not bad for you air. And it still filled that void where I used to feel like I "needed" a cigarette and "had to" go suck poison into my lungs. This trick of breathing that I learned a few quits back, long before Chantix and almost as effective (almost), still works every single time.

It makes sense, I suppose, since breathing is calming and centering (or whatever fancy term) all on its own, in addition to being a nice substitute for people who used to smoke. Turns out those times I thought I "needed" to smoke, I probably just needed to stay put, stay focused on the task at hand and simply take a deep breath. Or ten. I'm sure it's more productive, too, than running away and thinking about an issue to death while outside pacing instead of just working on it. No wonder I got so damn much accomplished.

Blah, goodnight. Is it Friday yet? Santa is almost here!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Super Quick Linky Loos Addition

Today is Smoke-free Day 185, and my world is still smoke-free and still kind of nutty crazy busy, but there is always time to add someone to my crazy list of fellow Chantix bloggers on my list of Linky Loos (by the way, there are other links to other smoke-free goodness, too, if you are looking for a little boost). This new addition link is over there on the side, and eventually will make it onto the actual Linky Loos posting list (the list that I know needs to be weeded and sorted out since many really aren't so up to date - another project for another day because today just not smoking and treading water are plenty enough).

Current, Regularly Updated Blogs I Read Daily:

  • The Chantix Experience - Brandie's blog. Brandie has started her Chantix and has picked out a quit date of December 24, 2007. I can't think of a better present to give oneself.
Is anyone else excited that Santa is coming soon? He will be arriving at our house late, late Friday night once we are in bed because we do stuff however we want (and at the start of a long weekend), and I cannot even contain myself. I also won't have to interrupt my own fun by going out to smoke.

Gah, back to busy I go.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

6 Months (Really)

Today is Smoke-free Day 184.

I know that back about, well, a month ago, I kind of jumped the gun and thought it was 6 months since I quit smoking, but back then it was actually only 5 months. This time, it really is 6 months.

Today has been absolutely nuts, and when I re-read the post I posted in error that day a month ago, it sounded pretty much exactly where I am today, so I'm "recycling" it instead of posting nothing, which was my other option for today.
Yesterday was 6 months since I quit smoking back on June 18, 2007. Lots of thoughts occurred to me in the shower this morning ranging from "wow, 6 months is a chunk" to "wow, and there are still moments I'd like to smoke." Don't get me wrong, I've said the same a million times, it's still way better now day to day than it was at the start in the early Chantix and just post Chantix days, and I can remember my last real meltdown. It will be awhile probably before I'm comfortable around certain triggers, and I'll take my time. I just really, really want this to stick this time for good. I don't ever want to have to go through the whole quitting smoking thing again, even if Chantix and fellow bloggers made it a much easier path. I still hold with the thought that this process, like most in my life, actually, is not a straight line from "hard/difficult/bad" headed diagonally up on a graph to "easy/no problem/who me? I used to smoke?" and that there are peaks and valleys, ups and downs, all along this worthy path, still always headed in that direction even when it appears that there are minor downturns. Lately, the downturns have become fewer and further, and I'm delighted and thankful for all of my fellow Chantix bloggers.
Yep, all still the same. Today I'm too busy to devote much time to thinking about the fact that I used to smoke. Sometimes too busy isn't too bad of a thing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Campfire

Today is Smoke-free Day 183.

After previous attempt at winter camping in a yurt were sidetracked a couple weekends back (actually, thankfully we did not go, because we would have been stranded or even much worse, and so many people are still recovering from losing everything that weekend in places like Vernonia, Oregon), we finally made our yurt dreams happen this past weekend.

We had a blast. Yurts are as awesome as I thought, and I want to own and live in one of the not canvas camping kinds (who knew they could be so deluxe? - **note, no, ours was not even remotely as deluxe as those in the picture - that's just what I would love to actually live in someday**). There was heat, but it was still chilly. Since I no longer smoke, in theory, my circulation is better, so my hands had a better chance of being warmer. That was welcome since I needed my fingers in order to beat Tom's butt at Scrabble.

The funny thing about the campfire, and I *love* campfires, was that I always used to enjoy being able to sit around and chat with Tom while still being able to smoke because it blended in well enough or something that it was just different and less annoying. Even in the earlier Chantix days of my quit over this summer (I quit smoking June 18, 2007), I marveled when fellow Chantix bloggers talked about camping and not smoking. Fast forward to now, and this time, I found myself kind of avoiding the smoke from the campfire and even concerned about breathing too much of it into my lungs. And then I had a little chuckle at myself because it wasn't so long ago that I willingly and (approximately hourly) deliberately breathed in smoke along with lots and lots and lots of chemicals and poison. I guess today I just care more about my body and don't want to go out of my way to be so abusive to it as I was as a smoker. Thankfully, I think there is plenty of room for a little campfire once in awhile. And a toasted marshmallow.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekly Winners Sunday 12/16/07

Sunday and Weekly Winner time, thanks again to Lotus and her very good idea.

Click for larger images (because they do look better full-sized) or take a peek at the entire album at once and/or watch as a slideshow at this link.






























Welcome to My Desk

Welcome
Add it UpClippyFavorite Clippies


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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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Worker BeeCall MeLove LineStaples


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Welcome to My Kitchen




















(some items from Girly Night In and the Menu posted earlier in the week)

Avocado Happiness
Fusion AvocadoBaked TofuMeatball Sub


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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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Welcome to My Randomness

Elf Self Portrait
Get A Way


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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Winter camping in the Yurt

Winter camping in the Yurt is all I hoped it would be, but just a bit colder than I love.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Giggles

Today is Smoke-free Day 180.

I love giggling about as much as I did when I was about 11 (and if you've ever been around 11 year old girls, you need to explanation). Turns out that the Chantix GetQuit folks agree with me.
I still loosely follow the GetQuit progam (meaning I turn up at the website once in awhile and read the new stuff). As I've said pretty much all along, I find some things helpful, some things more corny than helpful, but certainly there is no harm. Whatever little bit of help and support I can get is a good thing for someone like me that still doesn't do smoky situations even almost 6 months quit, still having both great days and sometimes not so great days. The daily checking in emails from GetQuit went from daily at the start (which I kind of liked because each day I found an odd satisfaction clicking the button saying I didn't smoke), then to a couple times a week at the end of the 12 weeks on Chantix, and then to fewer and further between so that now I think they are about once a week (not quite sure - seems I've missed some weeks or just don't remember the topics).

This week, the message was about finding humor in life and laughing. I suppose they mention it because it is a great coping strategy, but I've never been one to have any trouble laughing at myself or the rest of the silly and crazy world full of fools.

What the good GetQuit folks didn't mention is how absolutely thrilled and delighted I am that I can laugh my ever loving tooshie completely off in peels of giggles until my stomach hurts and my eyes are full of tears and I'm unable to speak or barely even breathe and have eggnog latte coming out of both nostrils (OK, not really that - too wasteful), but...

...it doesn't all have to end with a really nasty and very uncomfortable coughing fit.

I've talked about it before plenty, but the joy of laughter and my re-claimed ability to do it with the kind of gusto I believe real laughter deserves has to be one of my top favorite things about my brand new life as a non-smoker. Guess that's because I'm a giggler from way back.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Not Smoking at People

Today is Smoke-free Day 179.

I had a good cry last night (gawd, I do sound like a girl) because my good Tom let me pound on his chest like a toddler and have a little tantrum about things out of my control on a day that had me just angry to the point of tears and seething (livid, irate, enraged, furious and incensed are probably more accurate - anger synonyms also happen to be my personal favorites, personally). I haven't been quite that outraged since I quit smoking, and at one point the thought of smoking at the offending party didn't sound all bad.

You know, get really pissed off and use it as an excuse to smoke, as if it even matters at all (doesn't) to the person that's supposedly the object of your vengeful smoking (who we'll call the smokee)? From past experience, the smokee that gets smoked at doesn't care, and the smoker that smoked at the smokee is just left minus $5 (give or take) and with a couple lungs full of re-gunked cilia, a sense of failure and still madder than a hornet. Similar types of not so great results with eating at, drinking at or doing other stuff at people in anger, I hear.

So, nope, I'll not be smoking at anyone. I do, however, reserve the right to be irate. Thankfully, I woke up not wanting to bother doing that, either, so my spirits are in decent shape, I regret nothing and my lungs are loving me big time. Not smoking at someone who "deserved" it paid off for me, and that's what matters.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Survived Girly Night In

Today is Smoke-free Day 178.

Tom doesn't go out much, so it's really rare for me to have a whole night to myself to just be a girl. Don't get me wrong. I miss him when he is gone because I actually like him, and I hear every little noise with super suspicion, but I do still enjoy just doing my thing once in awhile all by my little lonesome (well, with the meow-faces). Historically, this has been wrapped into my whole "me time" thing where smoking was much a part of the night and seemed guilt-free since there was no one to see how often I lit up or do that nose thing at the stench when I came back inside. In fact, not once, but *twice* I've ended decent-sized non-smoking streaks on such Girly nights. Once was the "big one" after quitting for my longest at well over a year (quite a few years back) and another time (last November, I think) was after about 2 or 3 months quit or something. I suppose having "Girly Night" is almost as much a trigger for me as alcohol (and casinos, particularly me in Reno, where I'm still not sure we will go in February), but not only did I make it through the night no problem, I even had fun and look forward to next time.

In honor of my big night, I made this yummy little menu (update 12/16/07 - pictures here) for myself (all simple and non-Tom things but all stuff I love: avocado, tofu, pears - next time including the zucchini), worked some more on Christmas surprises that have sort of swallowed my existence lately but that I cannot discuss because one certain beloved family member does read (will share with all after Christmas if I remember or if a curious someone asks), and then my dear friend J called, so we talked for about 3 hours. He was recently traveling on business in Puerto Rico and came oh, so close to lighting up, but he didn't. Smart, smart guy. He survived, I survived, today we both have happy cilia (been awhile since my favorite topic of the freedom of the cilia), and life after Chantix is good for both of us. And lots of you all, too, which is beyond won-tacular!

Oh, and Santa's coming soon, even earlier to our house the night of the 21st because he likes us best and because we are both 3 year olds without (sadly) our own 3 year olds.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Doesn't Sound Good

Today is Smoke-free Day 177.

This morning, in a rare moment of rarity, for a few brief moments, not only did I pause and realize that I didn't want to smoke, but it also kind of made me think "ick" as if I was not only OK with not smoking, but it actually didn't even sound at all good or appealing. This does happen sometimes, especially while smoking those last ones while still on the Chantix (though that was more actual nausea), and sometimes since, I suppose. Of course, this far into the process is a bazillion times easier than at the start, but most of the time I still feel like I would love it if I could smoke (could meaning if I could smoke and not smell bad, waste money, ruin my health and worry about it or give up my kisses and ability to laugh without coughing - doesn't work that way, though, and I'm no longer willing to trade that stuff for poison). The feeling was fleeting, but it was there. I felt it. I know some folks have been feeling this not interested thing since about week one, but people are different, and time takes its sweet time with me so I'm just now getting around to it here and there once in awhile like today for a quick bit. And I gotta say, I kind of liked it having smoking not even sounding remotely good, so that elusive feeling is welcome back anytime. Door's open. Coffee is on.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Met Fellow Chantix Blogger

Today is Smoke-free Day 176.

Yesterday was super fun because I had the pleasure of meeting, in real life, fellow Chantix blogger Chris of My Chantix Experience, who was passing through my part of this crazy world. Chris is indeed as cool in every way as I thought he would be (plus is a real foodie, not an impostor like me who just likes to eat), and we enjoyed a cup of coffee, chatted much (because that's how I roll, you know), wandered around much, froze outside much, and I hope he had as much fun as I did.

It think it's really great that quitting smoking now is probably easier than ever, even if you still won't catch me quite calling it easy and still just almost easy. Not even all that long ago my past attempts at quitting involved support in the form of a little booklet inside the package of nicotine patches which really didn't seem to help all that much. Now there are options like Chantix which helped me so very much more plus tons of support from other bloggers all running around talking about their experiences similar, different and other. It's no longer just nameless and faceless support in written one time booklet form, but sometimes people share bits of their lives and how things are really going, and sometimes you are lucky enough to actually meet a real person behind a blog.

All of this is just plain cool to me. I love my fellow Chantix bloggers (over there, linked on the side).

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Weekly Winners Sunday 12/9/07

Sunday again means it's time for my favorite pictures from the week because Lotus had a good idea.

Click for larger images (because they do look better full-sized) or take a peek at the entire album at once and/or watch as a slideshow at this link.

FOOD
No wonder I've gained weight since quitting smoking (but thank goodness, and Chantix, that I'll be greeting the new year as a non-smoker). It's not my fault that the Easy Italian Sausage and Peppers recipe was so damn good. Or the Crockpot Clam Chowder, for that matter.


OUT & ABOUT
Self-portrait, passenger-style and why I think fog is just plain cool (the fog picture really does look better if you click for larger image, but you do what you want)

"My Happy Tree" (Scientific Name) and my giggle when cars still hesitate to stop on these tracks


MEOWS
Patient kittens know Santa will come and the long view from the toepad perspective

Prettiest girl, ever. Bonus if you call now: tidy toes will be included.


Sibling. Rivalry.


And more greetings of the seasonal variety
Ho, Ho (and couldn't find another Ho)