Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thank God I'm a country girl

You Should Live in the Country
You are laid back, calm, and good at entertaining yourself.
You don't need an expensive big city to keep you busy.
You'll take the peaceful life over the stressful life any day of the week.
Where Should You Live?

All I gotta say is AaaaaaMen!
Ok for some reason the link won't work - girrr! But this will :)

Lunch with D

I got to meet a bloggy friend in person yesterday...what fun!

I've been following D's blog for some time now. She is a sweet lady who loves the Lord (and her family) with passion & takes some pretty great pictures to boot.
She and her hubby work with
Transport For Christ, a neat ministry that serves truckers. I don't know too much about them other than I've learned at D's blog so I've borrowed this info from their site.

Mission: To lead truck drivers as well as the trucking community to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith.

Vision: To provide an effective ministry to truck drivers throughout the world wherever there is a significant trucking industry.

Goal: That no trucker should have to drive more than a day without being able to find a TFC Mobile Chapel.

Neat huh?
C, (D's hubby) just outfitted a new chapel, made from an old semi-trailer, and they delivered it to Chilliwack B.C.
As I was belatedly following their trip Westward (through D's fantastic photography) I discovered that they had gone right past my town, how bout that? I left her a comment about it & she replied that they would be returning the same way & it would be nice to meet me.

Heck yeah!!
I immediately gave her my e-mail & the rest is history.
We had a lovely lunch together & then they let us climb around in the cab of their truck - the kids had a BLAST! (Did I say kids? I've always had a hankerin' to ride in one of them thangs so sitting in the cab was more for me - yup, I'm 5 at heart!)
She took some pics of us while they were here so go check out her blog not only cos it's great but also to see me & my dynamic duo :)

Sunday, April 20, 2008


This band is fun, my kids really like this song. They are like a Christian version of Weird Al (who actually likes the band) & are very creative.
I don't like all their stuff, a lot of it is heavy-metal & I'm just not a metal head kinda gal. But a lot of it is good & funny with some great lyrics. If you would like to check them out further click
here & visit their website.

Here's a couple more that I like...enjoy!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My very own anniversary

Today is a special day for me. 9 years and 1 day ago I had my last cigarette ever, which means that 9 years ago today was my first smoke free day. "My name is Alane & I'm an ex smoker." "Hi Alane!"

It was HARD to quit smoking. Me, my boss & my boss's boss were going to quit on the same day & support each other through it. I however, am the only one who even tried.

We had done this in the past , "we are going to quit on (insert date)." So on said date, we would be at work, all grumpy & gritchy, growling at all who crossed our paths. Then one of us, wracked with guilt, would give in & head outside to get some smoky relief. Then slink back in, trying to keep the other 2 from finding out lest she tempt us. Of course at some point we would discover
the culprit & run out to join her, killing ourselves an inch at a time, suckin in those noxious fumes that felt oh so good.

But this time was different. I don't know why, I had tried to quit many times in the past & I never stuck with it but this time I was determined.

It helped that Chris hated my smoking. He grew up in a houseful of human chimneys & hated it. Still hates it! Every time we visit his family they air out the house for a couple of days & only smoke outside while we visit but the house just reeks. They can't smell it, they think it's like, mountain fresh or something but we are practically gagging (ok that's an exaggeration but it is pretty bad.) Chris put up with me but would never buy my ciggys for me or make any extra effort to accommodate my habit. Made me mad at the time but God bless him for it!

To quit you need to address both types of addictions. A smoker is physically addicted to the nicotine & habitually addicted to when/where & how they smoke. To battle the physical I used the patch & it was a lifesaver. The patch gives you a low dose of nicotine through your skin to keep the receptors in your brain happy. You gradually step down your dose until you can go it on your own & completely cut out the drug.

~We interrupt this blog to bring you this public service announcement~

Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years.
20 Minutes After Quitting

Your heart rate drops.
12 hours After Quitting
Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting
Your heart attack risk begins to drop.Your lung function begins to improve.
1 to 9 Months After Quitting
Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
1 Year After Quitting
Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
5 Years After Quitting
Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s 5-15 years after quitting.
10 Years After Quitting
Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s.Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases.
15 Years After Quitting
Your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker’s.

~Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging~

To help me with my when/where & how addictions I mainly used two strategies, avoiding & substitution.

The main places I smoked were at work & in the car. I avoided the smoking area at work like the plague. Our building was cut in half by a large foyer/hallway & at the back of the hall was the back entrance...aka the smoking area. Whenever I had to see someone in the other half of the office I would use the doors furthest from the back, and look toward the front doors while I was in the hallway. I also tried to ignore when my boss & my boss's boss (or anyone else for that matter) would go out to smoke. NOT an easy task in our small office!! Unfortunately I could not use tactics like that in my car, (#3 from
this post) I just had to suck up & get through it. It smelled like an ashtray, poor thing. I kept a little cup of baking soda in there to help with the smell which s.l.o.w.l.y got better but never completely went away.

That brings me to substitutions. I'm sure your wondering (as I would) what the heck I mean by that. I kept
tootsie roll pops & stir sticks/pen caps/anything-plasticy-I-could-chew-on with me at all times to distract me from cravings. I had to have something to keep my mouth & hands busy. I don't know how many bags of Tootsie roll pops I went through but I'm sure I should have bought stock in the company...I ate a lot of those things! And I think our office manager was a tad confused at how many stir sticks we were going through. (smile) These both helped me immensely when I got hit by a craving.

Cravings for cigarettes are intense. I would get this feeling in my lungs that I needed smoke in them...NOW! I would breathe as deeply as I could to make it go away but it felt like something was missing. Which of course, it was! (funny, writing about it now is bringing the feeling back - weird.) Sometimes I would have to get up from my desk & hop up & down, kind of like when you stub your toe? When that happens to me I make up nonsense words to keep from swearing & I did the same thing when craving a ciggy. Every once in a while you could find me pacing the hallways, muttering to myself, trying to keep from thinking about cigarettes.

Eventually the cravings got easier to deal with & I relied less on the patch, tootsie roll pops & stir sticks. After about a year or so I could actually go out with the smokers, sniff the second-hand smoke for a minute, and be fine with it. Sometimes doing that would help with a craving, oddly enough. It still happens from time to time, but now it's more about liking the smell & nostalgia. Most of the time I'm repulsed by the it but every now and then...yummy!

I think my worst time for wanting a smoke came after Sam was born. I was stuck at home without a car, dealing with the day to day stresses of a new baby. There was a store just 3 blocks away & more than a few times I sat on my back porch, contemplating how easy it would be to stroll on over & buy some. Nobody would have to know, just me, all I wanted was just one little drag. But then I'd think about all that hard work (it had been 3 years) and how it would be completely wiped out by one puff on a cigarette. Yeah, SO not worth it!

Do I still get cravings? Yes. But they are few & far between & now & not very strong anymore. I do have dreams about it sometimes. Usually when I'm going through a lot of stress. (go figure) The dreams are very vivid, you know, the kind when you wake up & think it was real? They freak me out! Every time I have one I think "all that work for nothing!" Then slowly I realize that I would never do that again & then I can calm down & bask in my non-smokiness.

To the non-smokers out there who desperately (and rightly) want a loved one to quit, I have one thing to say...DON'T NAG!!! That is the single most irritating thing to a smoker. Most of them want to quit & have tried to quit many times over. Please do not hound them, it only makes them feel worse. Just a few days before my quit date my parents lovingly sent me a message with tips on how to quit. This was a regular occurrence. They regularly gave me articles clipped from the newspaper, advice columns and other 'helpful' stuff. I got so irritated with them that I didn't tell them I had quit for more than a year! Yes, it is that irritating.

To all you smokers out there, you can do it! Maybe not now, maybe not next week or next year but when you are really ready, you WILL do it. I urge you to get information on how to quit, the good changes that will happen to your body after you quit & any other info you can get your hands on. I Googled quit smoking & came up with 9,480,000 results. I'm not going to give you any links here because I don't have the time to research them. But I know there are many, many resources out there to help you. Get support, through friends, family or a group but make sure you have support. And remember, when you are ready you CAN and you WILL do it.

I'm sorry this post is so long but I very much wanted to share my story with you. I believe it's an important one to tell. I hope that it will help some 'nons' to understand smokers better & maybe, just maybe it will help a smoker get to the point at which they are ready.

God bless y'all!

Friday, April 18, 2008

How do they do that?

I've got a question for y'all. Anybody have much experience in the fundraising arena? Our Elementary School is trying to raise money for new playground equipment & I want to help but have no $$ and no idea where to start. Keep in mind there are only about 40'ish kids in the entire school & well under 500 people in our town.
We very much need new equipment, I don't know when the current stuff was installed but it's completely outdated & I'm sure does not meet current safety codes. We have one of those dome (shaped by triangles) things, a set of twirling bars, monkey bars, a swing set & 2 teeter-totters. They are all metal with no coatings or anything - very reminiscent of what I played on as a kid.
I found an online magazine fundraiser that might work & I also like the lollipop idea (cheap & easy) but I have a hard time taking the first step.
Any ideas?

Love that chocolate

What Your Taste in Chocolate Says About You
You are sweet, mellow, and easily satisfied.
You don't like anything too intense and dramatic.
Deep down, you're a kid at heart... and you're nostalgic for the past.

You are down to earth and lovable.
A true friend, you're very tolerant and understanding.
In fact, your friends' biggest problem is that they don't like each other!

You love the feeling of accomplishment. You enjoy doing what's important.
You feel lost when you have to do frivolous tasks or hang out with shallow people.
The Chocolate Oracle

You Are Country Music
You are friendly, down to earth, and fairly conservative.
You are true to your friends and your upbringing. Change is hard for you.
But beneath your old fashioned attitude, you are expressive and artistic in your own way.
Very few people can express pain and pleasure as eloquently as you can.
What Kind of Music Are You?

Both of these are true to my character but as I LOVE chocolate, I'm not a huge fan of country music. It's ok & I've gone through phases when I couldn't get enough of it but generally not a fan. But the description is just about right on.
So how bout you?


Twas brought to my attention the links don't work for those quiz's so without further ado...



There ya go, much more helpful, eh?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The tooth

Sam has had a loose tooth for the past week or so. He's been showing it to me a few times a day & even lets me wiggle it. Such a big boy thing, a few of his classmates have lost teeth so this is a very big deal for him.

So today he comes home from school & announces like every other day "Mom, I lost a tooth!" This is how he's been talking about it, as though the event has already occurred.

"Mom, I lost a tooth!" "Yes I know honey, your tooth is loose. Can I see it?" "No Mom, it came out and I blooded a lot!" I look in his mouth and behold, there is the empty space. My baby is officially a kid now. (sniff, sniff) "Cool Sam, when did it come out?" "At recess." "So where's your tooth? Is it in your backpack?" (Eagerly awaiting my first look at the pearly lil thing.) "No Mom...look I got a ball!" "So did the teacher look for your tooth?" "Yeah, but it was in the gravel & we can't find it. Mom, Mrs. L. gave me a ball cos I lost a tooth!"

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAH, my baby lost his first tooth & it fell in the gravel. That's SO not fair!!

I am so very sad about this. I've been looking forward to holding my first child's first tooth in my hand. I wanted it to happen at home, where I could wipe up the 'blooding' and comfort him if he needed it. What is it about the teeth that makes us want to save them? My mom has a little box with a few of mine in it. But if you really think about it, isn't it a little gross? Ah well, it's not the end of the world, he has a few more teeth to loose, right? And I have Adah's first tooth but that was over 2 years ago & a whole nother story! Hmmm, blog idea maybe?? :)

And what did I get done?

Not much!
Yesterday my to do list lay forlornly on my desk, forgotten, while I sat at my computer, completely absorbed in the reading of blogs. Ok, so I managed to do a couple of loads of laundry & figure out what to make for dinner but otherwise zip, zilch, nada. Today I'm looking around, wanting to cuss out the lazy bum who did nothing yesterday. Oh wait, that's me...whoops! At least I'm caught up on my blog reading & can't use that as an excuse.

I really have a hard time getting off my butt. I've used various systems & read all the books but I always fall off the wagon. I did discover one method a couple of years ago that really works but that's for another post because I DON'T HAVE TIME to sit at my computer today. (you can see this is really motivating me...really, I mean it!) The fact is I'm simply lazy. So anyway, I'm going to quit telling you about this & go do something about it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Random thoughts & and an Eli'ism

I made ravioli a few days ago for dinner & this is the conversation I had with Eli about it.
"What you makin Mom?"
"I'm making ravioli, rrrrrrrravioli." (rolling the r's)
"Can you say that Eli, rrrrrrrrravioli?"
Over the weekend we went to my sisters to visit for a night & get our hair cut. My kids love seeing their older cousins, in their eyes B & L are the coolest kids on the planet. L is almost 12, B is 9 & they are both boys so there was lots of rough & tumble. They played basketball, ran around the backyard & pretty much blew up the basement.
I got my hair trimmed & my highlights fixed. The kids all got trimmed. The boys now look like boys instead of wild animals & Adah looks "so prrrreaty" after being sprinkled with aunt Margaret's princess glitter. She was in heaven!
I love to visit with Margaret & Trevor. Margaret & I hated each other most of our childhood & I used to beat her up on a regular basis. Come adulthood, Margaret & I are like best friends. We talk on the phone at least once a week & visit each other as often as we can. Trevor & I have a lot in common, so I very much enjoy hanging out with him & giving him a hard time.
Good family, good times.
It's raining today & I love it! This weekend was very warm. I'm told it was about 75 here, at my sister's it was 85 & I'm not ready for that yet! I grew up in Kirkland, across the lake from Seattle & had lots of rainy days. I don't miss having them for months on end, don't get me wrong, but I love me a good gloomy, rainy day every now & then. Great time to curl up with a blanket & a book, all cozy in my home.

List of things to do today.
Take a shower.
Call to get prescriptions refilled
Find an eye doctor & get Chris an appt.
Find a dentist. Been putting this off for a loooong time.
Make appt with vet for Gihli - he's been funny about his ears lately.
Do 43 loads of laundry.
Clean the kitchen.
Figure out what the heck to make for dinner.
Plan my menu for this week.
And the most important...read blogs :)
Have a great day y'all!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Geez & random stuff

I'm back y'all!
We were gone an extra day due to having to replace the water pump in my van but home safe and sound now. I thought gas would be the most expensive thing on the trip - HA! But thankfully our taxes came through so we actually had the money for it - A very novel event for the Michels family.
Mom & Dad took us out to see Horton hears a Who. It was a great movie & the first time the kids went to a theatre. We were a little apprehensive, you never know how they'll react to that huge screen & the volume & all, but they did great & loved it. I was glad that I had checked out the movie on pluggedin a couple of weeks ago & didn't have to worry about the content.
Every time I visit my parents I remember why we moved away from the Pacific NW. (And no, it has nothing to do with my parents :).) We moved because of the horrendous traffic, condos everywhere, cost of living, and just too many dang people. Did I mention horrendous traffic? It's funny, when Chris & I got married I used to laugh at his driving. He came from a rural area in OR & had such a hard time driving in Seattle with all the crazy & rude drivers - if you don't shove your way in you won't get anywhere there, you must be aggressive. Now we've come full circle & I'm the one who's freaked about it. I'm so used to rural driving, I hate traffic & cannot believe I used to drive in that mess every day.

Geez! I started this post on the 4th but have not had any time until today to finish it. And it's not actually finished cos there was a whole nother topic I wanted to blog about but NO TIME to do it ... girrrr!
Chris hogs the 'puter evenings & weekends so updating last weekend was out. Believe me I tried & was dE-nied time & again. This week I have been busy all week. I have a goal in life people, a goal to not be busy but it fell apart on me this week (sigh). I hate being busy, I mean I've always got the kids to run around after & the house to take care of, yada yada yada, but I'm talking go there, get this, drive here, bla bla bla stuff. I hate being on the run & avoid it like the plague. So far this week I've had to drive into either Spokane or Cheney on 3 different days. 3 DAYS! That's like, half a week I was draggin around the big city - not fun for this small town girl! I usually plan so I only drive that far once a week - otherwise it just wastes too much dang gas - but I had SO much to do that I didn't have a choice. Oh well, this too shall pass & all that jazz.
Hopefully I'll be back to my normal blogging schedule now. Didn't realize that 4 days out of town would throw me this much out of whack!
I missed y'all while I was gone. No time for blogging means no time for blog reading & I'm jonesin bigtime. MUST.READ.BLOGS.NOW!!!

Have a dandy day everybody :)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I'm not a road I'm A....

There are 1,519 people in the U.S. with the first name Alane.
Statistically the 4019th most popular first name.
More than 99.9 percent of people with the first name Alane are female.

There are 7,291 people in the U.S. with the last name Michels.
Statistically the 4951st most popular last name.

LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

http://howmanyofme.com">How many have your name?

Did you like my punny title?
Header image by sabrinaeras @ Flickr