personal


…..Deep breath……Yea, its been since July since Ive blogged – buuuuuuut

One of my New Years Resolutions was to resurrect this blog with at least one new post a week. For starters, I do have alot to say, but since I am left without a physical voice at least half the year, this is where Im forced to ‘say’ it.

So, here are my scattered thoughts on wrapping up 2014 and looking forward to 2015.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS?

Anyway, as of today (January 4, 2015) I am 669 days smoke free because I switched to ecigs. My health has somewhat improved….I havent had to use the rescue inhaler for quite some time.

Obviously vaping isnt going to improve actual chronic conditions….and the act of quitting combustable tobacco takes time to actually show improvement – and there is reducing your mg of nicotine (Ive gone from 24 mg to 0-3 mg).

Ive increased how much water I drink and only drink a cup of hot green tea a day (I used to be able to down a pot of coffee plus drink sodas all day).

I also spent my Christmas week completely news free. Granted that wasnt exactly a New Years resolution but it was something I needed to do for my own sanity. I believe that may turn into a tradition -depending on the severity of what is going on in the world, of course.

I cleaned up alot of my social media feeds. This covers removing people I dont speak to, inactive accounts, and just otherwise negative folks. I have also kept my exposure to these social networks to a minimum, which actually has made my life alot more peaceful.

REALIZATIONS

2015 was also the year I found out who my real friends are and just how fake others have been.

See-when you have a chronic illness, and your health deteriorates, and you cant travel or even get out of your house – you dont expect your friends to ‘trade’ you in for another person who can do those things. Real friends just dont abandon you like that…..they just dont leave you hang. And they certainly dont just stop talking to you. So goodbye to those people.

CHANGE?

At the end of last year, I asked people to send me suggestions of things that I might have missed…..(music videos, youtube channels, podcasts, Netflix shows/movies) So, everyday in 2015, I will be stepping outside my ‘comfort zone’ to watch things I would have otherwise missed. I also suggest you do the same. Its already been eye opening as to what I have missed simply because it wasnt in my radar.

This is also going to be a year of personal change. Because of my illness, Ive been very inactive this year. I wont go into the details in this post as to what has been going on, but its been difficult to go more than 10 minutes from my home without huge issues. I will be setting a weekly goal to ‘move my body’ so I get in some resemblence of normalcy back in my life.

A continuing goal of mine is to reduce the clutter. This includes clothing you wont ever wear again, papers you wont need, and other belongings that you just dont love/need/want. I personally donate what I can, recycling what I can and tossing the rest.

LETS WRAP THIS UP NOW, SHALL WE?

I have other goals for this year, but those will be mentioned in other posts where they will make a little more sense. But thanks for reading and I hope you stick around for 2015!

As I stated in my last post, we are now electronic cigarette vaper-ers….

1300mah-ego-t-stainless-steel-vision-clearomizer-ce4-add2

When I first began to vape, I thought I would not like flavored nicotine. I started vaping Tsumani brand tobacco at 24 mg. I should also add that it is 100% pg. This was extremely harsh on my throat. The first day on pure tobacco e-liquid was not pleasant. I got a harsh throat hit and coughed ALOT.

I thought I made a huge mistake.

After reading many forum posts, I thought we should give some flavors a try. My boyfriend wanted to try a blueberry flavor and our sales lady at Safe Smoke told that Pink Spot Vapors had pretty great juice. While Frank really liked this flavor straight, I still thought it was too harsh on my throat but decided to mix it with the tobacco juice…..I had a winner. Not only does it taste good, it makes the room smell fantastic.

I did purchase the Safe Smoke brand coffee at 18 mg that I have vaped straight. This stuff tastes just like a cup of black coffee! I love to vape this after dinner. It doesnt produce too strong of a throat hit, but it does produce a good amount of vapor.

I mentioned in my last post about Fuzion Vapor and the crankberry. I LOVE this juice. LOVE. Seriously. Its described as cranberry/rasberry flavored, but I think its more of a soft watermelon. Even at 24 mg of nicotine, its smooth and produces a ton of vapor. I also mixed this with my tobacco. This strengthened the throat hit and really enhanced the actual crankberry flavor. I also mixed this with Franks US Menthol 24 mg (just a few drops) and created a wonderful minty watermelon taste.

We have been vaping these mixes for about two weeks.

Last night we decided to purchase some additional Fuzion Vapor juices based on reviews I read online. Unfortunately taste testing at Safe Smoke is not doable using clearomizers, but one of the customers let us use his set up that uses similar cartridges as the testers. Whew!

After tasting some of the flavors we settled on 2 additional flavors. One of the flavors I initially wanted to buy was not as good as I thought it would be (the banana one).

Fuzion Vapor Ectoplasm – Oh my! This is like a citrus fruit lemonade. It has one taste on the inhale and another on the exhale and then the vapor smell….Its a good thing we cant drink this. It seemed a little thick in my clearomizer, and Ive let it steep a bit since last night and it seems it has gotten better consistency-wise. I cant tell a difference in taste yet. Some reviewers have said this is hard on equipment, so Im watching carefully. I might rinse the clearomizer out every couple refills though. I got this in 24 mg strength and there is no throat hit. The after taste is good but unless you are chain vaping, it can leave a little chemically taste. Im not sure if it needs to steep longer to get rid of that tho.

Fuzion Vapor Starscream – Words just cant even describe how good this juice is. Ive read other reviewers saying this is like a Cherry Starburst candy, but its so much better than that. I steeped it last night and most of today and it has gotten so much better. I admit I mixed some tobacco (just a few drops tho) and it has enhanced it greatly. The vapor smells so good. The after taste is like youve actually ate a fruity candy. Nothing chemical. I got this in 24 mg also, but I think when I get it again, I work down to the 18 mg because I like to vape it too much!

Both Frank and I wanted to try a stronger watermelon. We decided on Pink Spot juicy watermelon at 24 mg. Both of us chain vaped this on the way home from the store. It tastes fabulous and the smell is too good. It left a great taste in our mouths. I did end up mixing mine with the Fuzion Vapor Starscream and Jeez. Wow. It was like vaping cotton candy. I almost could not stop vaping this last night!

I definitely LOVE the new juices we have. Earlier today I had been out of the room we had vaped in, and when I walked back in, it smelled SOO good. I can only imagine how good the vehicles will smell! Changing over from cigarettes to these electronic cigarettes has definitely been a great thing.

So many of my friends have been asking about electronic cigarettes, that I decided it was easier to post this blog, rather than typing this out each time I responded……

Right around the middle of February, Frank came home raving about electronic cigarettes. He brought home this ‘kit’ and some e-liquid. He smoked menthol cigarettes so I really wasnt in the mood to try it. (I occasionally smoked menthol, but Im a non-menthol smoker) But after a few days, he stopped smoking and was exclusively smoking the electronic cigarette, so I thought, hmm if hes successful, I should really try em. (We have both quit numerous times, but have always gone back to smoking)

So he took me up to a place in the local mall called Safe Smoke (Westminster MD). The sales lady asked me how much I smoked and let me try a few different ‘strengths’ of tobacco.

After choking myself, we settled on 24 mg e-liquid. I mention choking myself because you cant inhale these things the same way you smoke a regular cigarette.

I was using one of the batteries from Franks kit, so I wouldnt have to plunk down $75 for my own kit, not knowing if I would care for this electronic variety. But after two weeks, I HAD to get my own.

Its been almost a month now since Ive went the exclusively electronic route and we have done a little experimenting…..

We are using the ego-t battery with vision clearomizers.

This is what it looks like assembled: l_900mah-ego-t-battery-ce4-atomizer-e-cigarette-kit-59dd

Frank has a green battery and a black battery, while I have a brown battery and a white battery.

We both have four vision clearomizers. (They come in different colors and several different sizes fit on the ego-t battery) We both like variations in flavors so four clearomizers work for us. Clearomizers also seem easier to work with when filling and refilling. They are also pretty simple to clean (we sort of messed up cleaning one, so despite what you see online, do not remove the wick when cleaning).

How to Clean a Clearomizer

The best part about ‘vaping’ is the flavors!!!!

No matter if you smoked menthol OR regular tobacco, you will not have the same taste with an electronic cigarette. Thats probably a good thing.

But…..

We found some really great flavors. They taste great on the inhale and exhale and produce great vapor.

Frank really likes the Pink Spot Blue on the Berry. Its a fabulous blueberry and the vapor smells fantastic! It produces an excellent throat hit.

Im privvy to the Fuzion Vapors Crankberry. Its a rasberry/cranberry mix. Its very smooth, but it doesnt produce a great throat hit, but the flavor way outweighs that. (Buy Crankberry here) Ive heard that the guy who makes these e-liquids was a chef, so most of his flavors have great reviews.

Both of us mix these flavors with our tobacco. I like a few different variations. The sales person at Safe Smoke turned us onto mixing our e-liquid.

But I have to say….the best part about vaping is there is no cigarette smell! Depending on what is in your clearomizer, you can have a fruity smell or no smell at all. You and your home will no longer reek of cigarette. Your breath will not smell like you ate an ashtray. AND, you will be able to actually taste your food!

And, there are several forums online where to get e-liquid reviews, support if you want to wean to ZERO nicotine, and also some pretty neat do-it-yourself mods.

I have to say, my biggest issue with smoking was the hand to mouth action, so I carry my ego-t EVERYWHERE! Frank has the nicotine to overcome. Both are big obstacles when quitting this habit. But electronic cigarettes do fulfill both of these issues and so far, so good. We havent smoked a regular cigarette in over a month!

This is ‘Part 2’ of my last post: I see what you did there…

In this post I will talk about how seeing abuse and getting abused affects relationships. I sort of did a ‘quick and dirty’ over view in my prior post but I wanted to go a little more in depth, especially concerning the abandonment and trust issues.

*****

Some days when Im looking thru my facebook stream, I see my friends posting how wonderful their parents are, how much they help them, etc…I did not have this luxury, EVER.

Not only have my parents never helped me, I havent even spoken to them in some time. I may be irrational in my line of thinking, but its my thought that are still abusing me.

You may be thinking ‘how is that abuse?’

Im going to call what they continue to do, neglect.

Even tho I saw them at my grandfathers funeral a few years ago, I did not really speak to my parents beyond the initial sympathies upon arriving at the funeral home. When my grandmother passed away back in 2011, I got a phone call from my mother the day before her funeral telling me she died. I wasnt even told where her funeral would be held.

Other than that phone call, my parents have never called me in close to 20 years.

I dont get birthday cards and neither have any of my children. We dont receive Christmas cards either.

*****

When I first started to flare back in December, I attempted to call them for some assistance. Quite honestly, I did not expect them to help, but I also did not expect to be told that I was a whore because I gave birth when I was a teenager.

I still cannot understand why something that occurred in 1988 is still being used by my parents as an excuse for them not being parents. Believe me, I havent forgotten getting pregnant in 1988.

What bothers me the most is that they have lost out on being around their grandchildren by maintaining this ‘blame’ for the past 20+ years. Instead of loving and getting to know my children, they refuse to have anything to do with them. Not only have they missed out on my childrens lives, they have two beautiful great-grandchildren that they are missing out on knowing.

As a parent and grandparent, I cant see how they can justify this in their minds OR hearts.

*****

This brings me back to non-emotion as a result of this abuse in my early life. I can see these non-emotional tendencies in me towards others. And I can see how this cycle goes on.

Granted, I have never been like this towards my children,  just in my other relationships….As ‘social’ as I am, I can also see how anti-social I am.

 

Many people see how many people I know, or talk to in general when in a social situation and try to tell me that Im not anti-social. Im talking about close friendships, not short term social situations.

Obviously, this only assures me that I have no one close to me. And, well, this obviously puts me in a position where even the things I need to talk about to someone else doesnt occur.

At this time in my life, I have so much baggage that its hard to even make a new friend, let alone continue an ‘established’ friendship. Most of what friendship consists of has to be put in place small piece by small piece, and without a ‘bond of trust’ you feel you cant share some of the things that have gone on in my life. And then, if you DO share, I can imagine that it could be pretty unsettling to hear.

And I found out that I tend to be non-emotional because at least in my mind, it saves me from being hurt.

*****

Ive broke up with guys because theyve told me they cared about me. Ive broke up with guys who wanted to take the next step in our relationships. All of this ‘reasoning’ was to save myself from becoming potentially hurt.

In truth tho, it caused more pain. It caused me to lose people that did truly care about me. I think about one person in particular who told me straight up that if I didnt stop this ridiculousness, I would be left alone, without no one around me to care. At the time I told him (actually yelled) that he wasnt old  enough to make that observation. If he were still alive, I would tell him that he was right.

*****

My current relationship has held ‘steady’ at nearly 13 years. But in the beginning, I wouldnt allow him to have a relationship with my children. I made it clear very early on that I would not be re-marrying. I also made it clear that there were to be no ‘I love yous’ exchanged.

(We would say elephant shoes instead of I love you)

And they say men have commitment phobia?

And obviously 13 years later, he does have a relationship with my kids and love yous have been exchanged, but I do hold tight onto that re-marrying part.

I feel extremely lucky that he stuck with me thru alot of that mess. And, Im still a mess. I still have a fear that he will abandon me. I still have a fear that if/when we break up, he will abandon my kids.

He tells me that Im being irrational, and on one hand – it hurts my feelings to hear him say that, but it also puts me off guard. As someone who has heard this before and been let down, its hard to trust someone when they say they wont leave.

And I can guarantee that its easy to leave me.

*****

As it stands right now, I only have three people who know me. And quite honestly, they really dont KNOW me. Ive omitted talking about certain things and at this point, an omission for this long, is a betrayal. Or it could be misconstrued as a betrayal.

Some of these omissions are a minutia – others an avalanche.

I stand now in fear that I will be left alone.

Which happens to be just where most abusers want you.

Apologies for the long and rambling post….

So, Ive been seeing a counselor to deal with some issues. I think everyone has issues and should talk with someone – someone who isnt involved with those issues.

Its no big secret that not only do I have health issues that I have to deal with, but some major emotional issues as well. Ive been ‘non-emotional’ for a better part of my adult life.

Marriage Schmarriage

Ive said at one point in my life, I never wanted to be married. I actually had it in my mind that this stemmed from having parents who are tremendously unhappy in their marriage.

And despite the issues with my own marriages, some of my thoughts regarding why they didnt work out was that I should not be happy. That I didnt deserve it.

However, during a recent counseling session, I found out that my thought was only partially true.

Witnessing a parent being abused

  • Ive seen my father beat the crap out of my mother, all while blaming her for a number of assorted things.
  • Ive seen my father throw the dinner she cooked across the room because he changed his mind about what he wanted.
  • And, Ive seen my mother make up lame stories about what happened to her when shes been caught with bruises.
  • Ive seen my father and grandfather call my mother horrible names. Ive seen them screaming into each others faces.

Being abused by a parent

Ive actually been scarred by my parents by their actions towards me when I was a child. Now, some of you may be thinking, ‘Yea-havent we all?’

While some of you believe that they were abused as children due to discipline ‘abuse’, I was living with a mother who woke me up every morning screaming obscenities at me. We arent talking about a parent who is cursing because their child is being uncooperative getting up for school here, we are talking about a parent who screams that their child is a *bitch* or several other words. Every. Single. Day.

My mother would slap me across the face for disagreeing with her. If my opinion differed, I would get slapped.

My behavior

At one point, I became completely defiant. Not only was I hostile towards my parents, I would openly defy whatever they said to do.

My parents put me in religious counseling. I dont know what ‘they’ told that counselor but I was told to do what my parents told me or Id go to hell for not listening. Some counseling, huh?

Results?

I made some ‘bad’ choices as a result of viewing this abuse, being a victim of this abuse, and feeling unloved.

I had met this guy who showed me the attention I had craved. You know where this one is going tho, right?

Long story short, I found someone that would help me escape this hellish life at my parents home. I found myself pregnant at 16 and being forced to choose between marrying him or getting an abortion. I choose to marry him.

At the time it didnt matter that we had nothing in common besides a physical attraction. It didnt matter that he was possessive of me. None of it mattered. It only mattered that he was willing to marry me and ‘save’ me.

Short lived

Its not surprising that this relationship was short lived. It didnt even last a full year passed our wedding day.

I basically just went from one abusive place to another.

And when that relationship was over, I was the one blamed. Not only did he, his family and my own family blame me…..I blamed myself for this failure.

The ‘I told you sos’ from my family were bad enough, but I wasnt able to maintain any type of custody for the newborn child I had given birth to only months earlier. I had to give custody up to her father.

From one to another

I ran into someone I knew prior to my short lived marriage. And we began a nearly 10 year relationship. These were a tumultuous decade.

We both ‘gave as good as we got’….

I had a rotten attitude and he couldnt keep his genitalia to himself. A rotten combination. And a vicious horrible circle..

It wasnt until the birth of my third child that everything came to a head.

I became seriously ill after giving birth and the betrayal of my husband was too much. Not only did I almost die, but while I was fighting for my life in ICU, he was out running around with a local slut.

The proverbial last straw had arrived.

That man disappeared off the face of the earth. He abandoned not only me in the process, but my two youngest children as well.

Moving on?

My children and I moved into his mothers apartment. (yes, HIS mother). And she and her husband helped me take care of my children for a number of years.

Why does this all matter?

It has been about 17 years since my second marriage broke up. In those 17 years alot has occurred.

Ive been dealing with the diagnoses of lupus, fibromyagia, COPD along with many other health issues. I have had a long term relationship with a wonderful guy. My kids have grown up, with my youngest now almost 18 and getting ready to graduate high school. My oldest two daughters have given me the best gift, grandchildren.

Which brings me to the vicious cycle of abuse.

I havent been a perfect parent. Ive said things I probably should have never said to or around my children. I am ashamed of that.

Ive spanked my children. With a wooden spoon. Sometimes in anger.

I feel like I was abusive.

My children dont act like I was, but I feel that somewhere within them, they have those memories of their mother acting like a jerk. And I feel that somewhere within them they will feel the way I feel towards my family, towards me.

I wanted to be a different type of parent. Once who would not repeat what I had seen or been thru. I believe that I failed.

 

I have more to say about this, but this post has already taken me half the day to compose.

Bill OReilly really shouldnt talk to atheists, because every time he does, he looks like an idiot.

The last time he did this, (Feb 2011) it was in reference to the tides, saying ‘you cant explain that’

This ridiculousness happens at 1:50 into the clip.

And, Im by no means any type of science scholar, but a quick visit to wiki can give you this: tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun and the rotation of the Earth.

*****

But, Ive veered off the topic I wanted to cover in this post…..

Once again, Bill OReilly brings David Silverman in for an interview – this time, calling atheists fascists for fighting the separation between church and state. (11-2-12)

You see, Bill OReilly and many other conservative people want you to believe that there is a war on Christmas.

The simple fact is that they are attempting to have public facilities not endorse ANY religion over another. You dont see this man arguing about whether a church or someones personal property can have certain Christmas displays, just equal time for ALL (or none) on public property.

And, while we are on the subject of the wrong-ness of Bill OReilly, lets just inform him that Christianity IS a religion, NOT a philosophy.

Being a Methodist, Catholic, Baptist or whatever are DENOMINATIONS of the Christian faith.

But, watch the video for yourself:

Oh, and before I forget, the ‘Christmas’ tree adorned in silver and gold, as well as several other traditions Christians use to celebrate, are not in fact Christian in nature. They are pagan. (Some Christian churches have openly refused to put up Christmas decorations due to this fact)

See Jer 10:2-4: “Do not learn the ways of the nations . . . For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. 4 They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter.”

(Please refer to the section on decorations: Christmas & Did Christians Steal Christmas?)

*****

And that, is where the line is drawn.

As I stated in my earlier post this afternoon, early voting began here in Maryland today. Reports are that over 50,000 people took part in this process. (This number came around 5 pm this afternoon. I do not have current totals now that polls are closed)

Statistics show that 7 out of every 10 people have facebook profiles, which brings me to the topic of this post.

During election ‘season’ (meaning the time from about one year prior to an election to election day itself) most of us will see our newsfeeds filled with ridiculous statements regarding any number of politicians. Some of these statements may be 100% true, but most of the time, all you will see is some ‘meme’ thats going around.

This election my feed has been filled with insanity. I decided to put all my political posting friends in their own lists and I only click on that list when I want a ‘good’ debate.

However, most posts that I see from my facebook friends, are not those that inspire a ‘good’ debate. On most posts, I need to give my friends facts – substance. And in the process, some of those debates become quite ugly.

Its almost funny what gets said to me in response to a comment. Ive been called alot of different things. There are some similarities in response to some of my comments, depending on their political affiliation:

  • If I post that I wont be voting for Romney, they claim Ive drank some Obama koolaid.
  • If I post that I wont be voting for Obama, they claim Ive drank some Romney koolaid.
  • If I post that Im thinking about voting 3rd party, they claim Im giving my vote to Obama.

You just cant win when these arguments are made. Those posting these replies already have an idea about the opposition in their minds. Nothing you say can, or will change their minds.

Today, brought a new low in comments tho.

One of the local grassroots volunteers I know, posted some photos from the early voting location here in Carroll County. Among his comments were that the opposition did not have volunteers, that only their signs were present. This was a fact. (Mostly because here in our state democrats outnumber republicans at least 2 to 1) However, someone (who I actually know as well) posted that they couldnt find enough gays to volunteer for their ‘platform’.

This comment made me incredibly angry.

To assume that gay people can only be democrat, or that only democrats support gay issues…..or even to ignore that several conservatives have gay children or other family members ??

Thankfully this other persons comment was removed by the person who posted the photo. They, as well as many other conservatives, do realize, that to win an election as a republican, you NEED democrats to vote for you.

It makes me very angry to see people I used to associate with post hurtful comments regarding the other party and their members.

One such post Ive seen actually said that she didnt know where she went wrong, because her daughter is a liberal.

Are you kidding me? Just because your child doesnt agree with you politically does not mean you went wrong somewhere. It means that your child is their own person with their own thoughts. And thats a GOOD thing, whether you agree with them or not.

I also get angry when I see the total disregard for someone just because they disagree with a statement someone posts.

Even, if for the sake of argument, you act as ‘devils advocate’ attempting to get those people to look at the other side of the argument, its like those people cant see because they have blinders on.

Ive played this devils advocate role on the argument to having identification to vote. Suffice it to say, I was attacked by the conservatives during this ‘debate’.

These types of conversations turn very ugly, very fast. And while some of the people I have these conversations with I know personally, their responses have me shaking my head.

While words do not offend me, I am offended at both sides whose supporters have decided that those who support the ‘other’ side arent too smart. I dont care who the politician is, they arent stupid, they just dont agree with your views on a certain topic. Maybe, they actually DO agree with you, but they happen to have a different party affiliation. In any case, party affiliation does not determine ones stupidity.

People who disagree with you on these hot button issues are not stupid either. They just simply have a different view that you.

***** Just some background information *****

When I became able to vote, I registered as a democrat…..because thats what I was told to do. You see, my family (minus my father who has never voted) were all democrats. They were pretty moderate, but there were some issues that they were extremely conservative about.

Later, I would become a republican. I thought, well, the democrats werent changing anything. I became a pretty active republican, even becoming an alternative member and then locally elected central committee member.

There were definitely some issues I didnt agree with, but I never spoke publicly about them, since I was representing the republican party at the time.

About 4 years ago, I had it with the hard line conservatism that infiltrated the republican party and became a registered Independent (Or Unafilliated).

Im still pretty upset at our ‘two party’ system. Neither one really wants to work with someone across the aisle. Its ludicrous to think that good legislation will fail because it was crafted by someone with either a D or an R behind their name.

We, the American people, lose out over these petty party affiliation fights.

I do not vote for someone based on their affiliation. I take a look at what that candidates platform is, and if applicable, their voting record. Im not a single issue voter.

I have yet to meet or vote for someone I agree with on all issues. I also do not vote for someone in a particular office on issues they will not have an impact on. (i.e. council/commissioner members views on abortion)

I just wish that some of my friends would take a good long look at what they post online regarding politics and stop being so nasty to those who see things differently than they do.

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