Friday, November 29, 2013

All In A Year or So

Recently I downloaded all the pictures I had taken over the past year or so off of my Ipad. I don't usually use my Ipad for taking pictures unless it happens to be what I have in my hand when a picture-worthy moment comes along. Because of this I don't really take much notice to the pictures I take on it until I download them onto my computer...which I don't do often.

I came across more than a  few that I want to make sure never get lost somewhere along the way so I'm posting them to my online life journal.

Oddly enough when I look back on the pictures of my daughter in her trying to look like a boy stage I miss the innocence that propelled her to explore her inner being. As hard as it was for me at the time I now look back on them with fond memories. I'm glad that I opted to to just let her be who she wanted to be....

Growing out of the "boy" stage

Whatever it was it was hilarious


Making fun of FB "duck faces"

Getting a pedicure from sister
Lucas. LOVE him and luckily he loves me for more reasons than I'm worth......

Bo. As much of a pain in the ass he was when we first adopted him he has grown up to be a mighty fine albeit (lazy) companion....

I'd rather be chasing cats

Houston vacation

Houston - Bed Boss

Monday, November 18, 2013


Up until eight months ago I was a smoker. A closet smoker. Only my hubby, kids, other smokers and people that I trusted would overlook my bad habit and not judge me if they knew I was a smoker knew about my naughty habit. I have never been a heavy smoker so it's always been pretty easy to hide from those prone to judge or give unwanted opinions of the effects (I already know them all, thank you) of cigarette smoke on my health.

The first time I ever smoked a cigarette - a Marlboro Red - I was with my best friend Julie crouched down behind some cars in the parking lot of Sage Park..  I was 16 years old and it was Julie who taught me how to properly smoke a cigarette. Julie was two years younger than me but more mature in more ways than I care to share.

Even though I choked and gagged on my first cigarette, once I got the hang of it I found it felt natural and enjoyable to me. Smoking became one of the few things that gave me pleasure in my teens.  It eased my anxiety in my personal life, in social situations and gave me something to do with my hands when I felt uncomfortable. It also made me feel grown up, something I desperately wanted to be at 16.

Smoking for minors was easy in the late 70's and early 80's. Cigarettes were .50 a pack and no one ever scrutinized you or asked to see your I.D at the checkout. Those were the days of ultimate freedom for teens.

My friend Julie's parents smoked so it was easy for her to hide the smell of nicotine in her hair and on her clothes. Neither one of my parents smoked nor did they associate with anybody that smoked unless they were the occasional visiting smoker relatives or my grandfather (Pop) who lived with us many years. Understandably, Pop was asked to go outside when he smoked. I can remember him spending a lot of time outdoors on the front porch steps puffing his life away.

Growing up my family strictly shunned smoking (and drinking) and let us kids know from an early age that it was unacceptable from us or anyone else. I can remember many times as a child seeing strangers smoking and tattling on them into my mom's ear with my whispering voice. Little did I know much I would enjoy the nasty habit one day.

During my teens smoking was a sporadic thing. I smoked when I had money to buy them or when friends had cigarettes to share (bum).

I found great satisfaction in smoking and smoked on and off for years. Mostly my off times were during the times I was pregnant with each of my kids. Only a year or two after each of my kids were born would that old habit would weasel its way back into my life.

Only after Skye was born in 2001 did I see the decline in how much I craved cigarettes.  Smoking in public places was beginning to have its limitations and cigarettes weren't so cheap anymore. I also felt uncomfortable smoking in the house or my car because I was more aware of the effects and smell of cigarette smoke. I was odd in the fact that even though I was a smoker I hated the smell of cigarette smoke on myself and in my surroundings.

Towards the end of my pregnancy with Skye I also had Congestive Heart Failure that caused some heart damage. Ever picking up a cigarette again should not even have been on my agenda, but old habits die hard. I know, you are judging me now. Go ahead if it makes you feel better about your own shortcomings and weaknesses.

Anyway, I greatly limited my smoking habit to outdoors and only smoked after dark. I secretly liked putting limitations on my smoking as a way to eventually get the monkey off my back. Although I enjoyed smoking, after many years of smoking I was mentally determined not to spend the rest of my life toting that monkey around.

In my 40's I still enjoyed smoking the occasional cigarette when I was having a drink or two...or three. I kept my bad habit in the closet and had managed to work my addiction down to a pack of cigarettes a week. I called it my 3 cigarette a day bad habit.

Then along came Bo. I started jogging with him in an attempt to keep his hyperactivity to a minimum. Even though I still had a minimal smoking habit I managed to run every morning without too much ill effect. That said, I could always tell those morning runs that I had slipped up and smoked more than my 3 quota of cigarettes the night before.

Then one day...Skye's birthday of this year to be exact....Toby brought home this contraption he called an Electronic Cigarette. One of his clients that he does business with on a regular basis owns a business that sell "electronic cigarettes". I had never heard of them before but apparently they have gained popularity in Austin.

I was intrigued enough to give it a try and found that it was a satisfactory replacement for my Misty Lights. It took a little getting used to but it did stave off my craving for regular cigarettes - plus they smell much better. I also found that with the e-cigs my lungs felt much clearer when I run. Physically, I don't feel like a smoker anymore.

I've been smoking e-cigs for eight months now and find that I am slowly losing interest in inhaling anything. Because I'm old fashioned when it comes to cigarettes, the e-cig just doesn't give me the satisfaction a real cigarette does. It mostly gives me the hand to mouth sensation that I craved from regular cigarettes.

Although there is a lot of controversy about the e-cigs I don't really care. It's the lesser of the two evils in my opinion. I don't think I would have been able to kick the habit if it weren't for the electronic cigarette.

This is the first time I have ever kicked the habit and absolutely KNOW that I will never return to smoking the old fashioned cigarettes again and it feels pretty damn good.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Glimpsing OCTOBER

I got this palm from the dump (Austin landfill resale store) a couple of years ago. I brought it home and Lucas helped me plant it. I hate weeding around it because I always get pronged, but it produces the prettiest flowers in the spring and fall.

Skye took this pic of this spider with babies on her back. I don't really like varmints, but I do my best to live and let live....especially mother's with children.

I spotted this praying mantis stalking a grasshopper. I wondered if he wanted to eat the grasshopper or was letting it lead him to the food source.

Halloween Decor

A bird of Walmart....

My latest quilts. I was feeling creative but wanted something that didn't draw me into a whole lot of time so I made baby quilts from gently used sheets, pillowcases, and pajama pants from the thrift stores.

Dinner. It was simple, healthy, and also very good!!

A rose from my rose bush. I've never been a rose fan until I moved to Texas. Apparently they are popular here for whatever reason....maybe the soil ?....and most everybody has a bush or two, or three in their yard. My friend Robin tells me they are supposed to be pruned a particular way but the simplistic side of me just lets them grow wild and free.

On the way home from errands one day Skye spotted this rainbow. I had her take a pic of it from inside the car. 

An October sunset

The many poses of Bo....

Begging Mode

Yes, I think I am a God.

Sphinx Pose
Halloween Eve. Carving the pumpkin is always the highlight of the holiday...

Prepping for roasted pumpkin seeds

Oh! And Toby and I went to Halloween haunted house this year. Skye has never been interested in going to a haunted house after we took her to one the Coast Guard put on on a boat docked at the Mobile Bay when she was around 3 years old. I think we traumatized her because that thing was even scary to me!!

So now that she is old enough to stay home alone Toby and I did the haunted maze at the J. Lorraine Ghost Town close to our house. I'm not sure about Toby, but I had a BLAST!