Sunday, December 31, 2006


Less than five and a half hours before 2007.

My biggest accomplishment in 2006 was to end a 40 year addiction to tobacco. That addiction started after I had graduated from high school, moved to Hawaii and started working at Woolworths Ala Moana at the lunch counter as a sandwich maker for $1.15 an hour. When I went on my breaks everyone was drinking coffee and smoking. So, I bought myself a pack of Alpine menthol cigarettes because I liked the colors on the pack. Now I had something to do on my breaks!

I stopped smoking when I found out I was pregnant with Lucky and limited myself to 5 cigarettes a day when I became pregnant with Luckyzbrother (because that was considered safe at the time). I started right up again as soon as each were born. I have, at times limited myself to ever fewer cigarettes for ever longer lengths of time, never making it to zero. I stopped smoking in every room of the house except the master bedroom. Then I stopped smoking in my car. Then only smoked in the garage, my husbands truck, restaurants with smoking sections, casinos and outside. When we first moved to Reno we had no garage, but we had 3 balconies in our apartment so all the smoking went on outside including during the 2 worst Reno winters in 100 years! Brrrrrr.... Then we moved here to the relative comfort of a three car garage!

While watching the Ellen show sometime around the first of this year, she was talking to a guest who was needing to quit smoking because his wife was having a baby. And Ellen mentioned the book "The Easy Way To Quit Smoking" by Allen Carr. We had received an Amazon gift certificate from Lucky for Christmas and used that to get the book. It sat around waiting for the right time.

I had been good about exercising, walking on my new treadmill, meditating, writing affirmations and eating correctly. And I thought "now's the time," and I started reading. March 3rd I smoked my last cigarette.

Since then I have stopped exercising, walking on my new treadmill, meditating, writing affirmations and eating correctly. I have gained 30-40 pounds. But, I no longer smoke. I thought the chronic sore throat would disappear but is worse. Thought my eyes would stop watering but they're worse. I have started walking like "Festus" in "Gunsmoke" probably from lack of exercise, but I no longer smoke.

Then recently watching the Ellen show I was made aware that she, despite saying how great the book was, still smoked until recently being hypnotized. I felt so deceived.
But more likely blessed cause I stopped smoking before Ellen! Tadah!
So, now I am trying to fall in love with myself. Though I have come to realize the necessity of this, I have already written that book. I find that it is real easy to be able to claim that you love yourself but to fall in love with yourself is much trickier.

I examined the times I felt lovable, the reasons I was lovable with no help. They all sounded like lame things to be falling in love with someone for. Then I asked myself why did I fall in love with my daughter? My son? My grandson? My granddaughter? And it seems that they just had to show up in my life. I fell in love with my children as soon as I knew they were growing inside me, my grandchildren as soon as I knew they were on their way. And I have not stopped loving any of them even though they have all behaved in onerous ways.

So how do I love me the way I love those four unconditionally? They are a part of me! Aren't I the biggest part of myself?!!! This makes sense to me intellectually. I will continue to pray for it to reach my heart so I can spread it to others.


Monday, December 18, 2006


A friend and her 16 year old daughter are spending two weeks in NY city. The trip had been planned for many months. They are having a marvelous time. Many months ago this friend gave us her tickets to "The Spelling Bee" for this past Saturday at the Reno Performing Arts Theater. My husband and I have been looking forward to this with great excitement.

My husband worked Friday night as usual from 5:30 pm to 1:30 am, arriving home a little after 2 to 2:30 am. As is typical, he had something to eat and watched some TV with me and we probably went to bed around 4:30-5 am. I woke up a little after noon and was standing in the kitchen next to the coffee pot waiting for it to finish perking when my husband walked up to me waving the play tickets.

"I was so sure it was in the evening, but it says two. We'll never make it," he said, disappointment clear in his voice.

I looked at the clock on the microwave and thought he was right, but I said, "If we hurry and just throw some jeans on and forget about showers and such we might be able to make it." I knew he was as disappointed to let down our friend who gave us the tickets as he was to not get to see the play.

"You think!" he asked.

"If we hurry," I assure him, even though I was not as sure as I sounded and was feeling disappointed not to be able to wear the clothes I had so carefully laid out the night before in expectation of an evening performance. I had thought that our friend had said that it was a matinee performance and in the past week or so I had kept meaning to check either the tickets (clearly visible on the corkboard in the office) or with my husband, and had not. So, I was feeling responsible.

My husband ran in to shave, I put on deodorant, brushed my teeth, washed my face, pulled on socks, jeans, pushed my feet into my tennies, threw on a shirt and jacket. I would button the buttons and tie my shoes as we drove, I had a comb in my purse I would use for my hair and grabbed the purse, a makeup bag, gloves and the terrific boa type long scarf the friend who had given us the tickets had given to me just before she left for NY. I kept saying, as much to myself as to my husband, "Hurry!"

Off we went. We were in front of the theater at 2:11, found a parking place surprisingly close and I don't think we disturbed more than a couple people or missed more than 15 or 20 minutes of the play before we were in our seats. The play was hilarious.

And coming out of the theater we were greeted with a winter wonderland!!!! The snow was falling in big fat fluffy flakes. You know, the kind that seem to float leisurely with only one delight.

And had we had time to dress we both would have been wearing dress shoes, not our trusty traction tennies, that took us safely to our car.

God is in the details.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Happy Anniversary

....."Now don't forget to get gas", he told me as we left the rehersal dinner the night before our wedding.
.....The next day, my wedding dress hung in the back seat of my car and my hair was covered with hot rollers ( the old kind with pokey things) as I drove on I-5 from Mtlk. Terr. to the church in Seattle. I was walking on air I was so happy.....until I was about half-way there and looked at the gas gauge. You guessed it!!! Empty!!! The car started to slow. I signaled and kept moving right til I came to a stop about ten car lengths behind a parked pickup with its' hood up.
I got out of the car and ran up to the pick up and reached it just as the owner closed the hood.
....."I am on my way to my wedding and I just ran out of gas. Can you help me?"
....."My wife is not going to believe this. I have been broke down here for three hours and am in a heap of trouble. But, sure, get in I'll take you to the gas station at the next exit."
.....At the gas station he called his wife as I got a can of gas. Then he dropped me back to my car and drove off after I thanked him and he wished me well. I put the gas in my car and drove back to the gas station to return their gas can and get filled up with gas. But, when I tried to pay the attendant said,"consider it a wedding present."
.....I thanked him and drove to the church. Late. Of course.
.....Most everyone was there already as I hurried in smelling like gasoline, pulling rollers out of my hair. In the dressing room my maid of honor did the best she could to get my hair untangled from the hot rollers as I dressed.
.....As my husband tells it, when I wasn't there in time he asked my Mom, "What could have happened?"
.....And she said, "I don't know. She was in the bathtub when I left her. Maybe she fell asleep."
.....As I came out of the dressing room my brother who was giving me away made some brotherly comment about lighting a cigarette (cause I smelled like gas) as we waited for our cue to walk down the aisle.
.....The rest was kind of a dream until we were alone together on our way to a ski resort at Crystal Mt., for our honeymoon. We stopped for groceries at QFC and giddy, ran up and down the aisles in our wedding clothes. When we got to Crystal Mt. after a wrong turn or two, there was no way to tell which of the lodges was the one we were staying in. So, we knocked on the first door we saw with a light on to ask. We always laugh when we imagine what the man must have thought when he opened the door to us still in our wedding clothes.
.....This was December 11, 1976, 30 years ago.
.....Today he brought me a dozen red roses!!! I baked him gingersnaps! He had to work. So, I am sharing with you this very pleasant memory.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I remember the Christmas that he asked me to give him a list and he bought me everything that was on the list. I was blown away and amazed. I thanked him profusely and then ...."But, you're not supposed to get everything on the list, cause then there's no surprise," I told him. That was the last time that happened.
Then there was that Anniversary when we had to attend a black tie event and he gave me a gift in the middle of dinner with more than a hundred people surrounding us. It was so romantic. I thanked him profusely and then when we were alone...."That was so embarrassing and inappropriate," I told him. That was the last time that happened.
So now I gift myself. Our anniversary, my birthday and Christmas all come within two weeks of each other. I will buy stuff and give it to my husband to wrap for me with directions for which gift is for which occassion.
Haunting me most though is the Christmas when my daughter was about thirteen and gave me a fabulous knife set. "You spent much too much on this and must return it," I told her. Consequently she forgets me or is late on most gift giving occasions.
Not to leave my son untainted, I pretty much made the choices for him, stood over him while he wrapped them and later wrapped and sent them for him. So, now that he lives in another state, is there any wonder why he doesn't even attempt gift selecting, wrapping or sending.
I've done a lot of examining of my life and I know there are lots of explanations for why I reacted to gifts the way I did. I certainly didn't expect those reactions to have created the results that they have.