>Monday, Masons, Evan’s Iris Issue & Contractors


>Did you know that contractors make so much money, they don’t have to return calls?  Or show up for scheduled appointments?  I need a career change.  Out of 6 contractors I made appointments with to come and look at the porch, one showed up.  That’s right one.  And he stayed for all of 30 seconds.  I am getting very tempted to just call the Vo-tech and see if the Masonry teacher needs a project for his students.  I am betting they would show up.  It would probably take 2 years to get the job done, but at least they would show up!
I’ll call more Masons today and see what I can do.  I’ll stop complaining about that, for now.
Evan picked out some Midnight blue Irises.  They came in the mail Saturday.  He really wants to plant them.  Problem is, where can we plant them???  I wanted to put them in the front, along the front porch, but that isn’t going to work.  I guess we are going to have to pot them for now, that way we can at least keep them from being trampled.
Today, Evan and I will attempt to transplant some of the yarrow, just to insure some of it survives.  But, we’ll wait till this afternoon.  This morning we have inside chores to do.  He was so helpful yesterday!  Helped me with the laundry, dusting & even picked up his room without me asking! 

Tomorrow I have my last followup from the surgery, hopefully! I still haven’t completely regained feeling in my right thigh, but its not a big area so I imagine its not life threatening lol.  I am feeling pretty good overall, rarely any pain around in incision and the pain up where my gallbladder was is pretty much gone, only a twinge now and then.  So we’ll see what he says tomorrow.
The smoking thing is pretty much the same.  I still occasionally cheat with a real cigarette, but that seems to be only when Bill is around and then only a puff or two.  But I am really not using the e-cig all that much, which is pretty weird I think.  I use it more in the evening after Evan goes to bed.  Bill ordered more cartridges.  I am not sure why.  I still have 3  1/2 left. Maybe he got them for himself.  I hope so 🙂
Anyway, sitting here on my ass isn’t getting anything done and I do need to get to the post office this morning and do some Zumba!
See ya.

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>Stopping Smoking Day 12, Allergies, Neti Pot, Masons & Zumba in a Haunted House


>Its like day 12 or so of the stop smoking saga, I am having a hard time keeping track lol. But, I am doing pretty good.  Now I am to where I can go without a real cigarette, but, I still occasionally want one.  Or just a puff or two of the real thing. It appears that my little experiment is working.  I switched the cartridge to the chocolate flavor, and it it so yummy.  I like it better than the vanilla one.  The vanilla one was great too.  The tobacco flavored one was pretty good, but I still don’t think it is tobacco flavor.  What flavor it is, is a mystery to me, but it is pretty good too. I have given myself one more week to cheat if I want to with real cigarettes and then no more. 

 One of the companies that we had set up to give us an estimate on the columns showed up yesterday.  Ninety minutes late and no call.  I hate that, I really do.  Before I get side tracked and start ranting about why I dislike tardiness, I’ll just get to what he said.  He said it can’t be done.  Simple as that.  Mudjacking will not work, Better fine a good mason.  Then he left.  He only looked briefly at the front of the house.  I would have preferred a bit more of an explanation.  The only reason I can think of, would be how the columns are made.  They are hollow inside, we think, and sitting on pillars of brick.  So, injecting  concrete under the pillars wouldn’t work.  But then, I don’t know, I am just guessing.  We do have a few other companies scheduled to come out, so we’ll see what they say.  I will in the mean time go ahead and call some masons to see what they have to say.  I already know that by going the mason route, its going to be pricey and very time consuming.  I do not want to wait 3 months for the roof.  I want it done now.  So I had this idea for Bill.
Use house jacks to jack up the porch, next to each column to get the porch roof up to level.  Then we can have the roofers do the roof and worry about the columns after.  We can’t wait on the roof, nor can we wait too long on the columns.  If we do the roof, before the columns, then we will be wasting money having the porch roof done.  Once we have the columns fixed, it would end up pushing the roof line up.  We’d have to have the roof rebuilt. 
I really think it can be done, as long as the roof is pushed up where it should be, before the roofers start.  Then the mason can take his time, rebuilding the pillars under the columns.  We already own 3 or 4 house jacks.  We had to have them when Bill first started working on the house and had to bring a couple of floors up to level.  Some idiot had sawed through a floor joist in the basement.  So that is where we stand on the roof/column/cluster F***. 
Have I mentioned that I am not all the fond of contractors????

Moving right along.  Aden was absolutely miserable yesterday!!!  I wasn’t too back until about 4:30 pm then the pollen started kicking my ass. Then I was miserable for the rest of the night.  It was so bad, the neti pot didn’t even work, but that was probably because I waited to long to use it. I am praying for rain today.  Just one day, with rain, so we can breath for a little while.

Nana & Papa should be here about dinner time to fetch Aden.  Evan is so excited that Aden is leaving, He packed Aden’s bags yesterday.  Brotherly Love, its such a beautiful thing. Evan thinks they should come and get Aden this morning.

About 3 weeks ago, the boys started telling me that there projector was coming on by itself.  Its this thing for babies that projects stars and moons on the ceiling or wall and play lullabies.  I’ve kept it because they really like it.
Anyway, so this projector appears to have taken on a life of its own.  I have even heard it start playing when no one is in their room.  I thought maybe since it was getting old, maybe the wiring was loose or something inside it.  Or that maybe it was playing if someone jumped or something to close to it.  The boys and I tried jumping next to it to see if it would start playing, it didn’t.  Sam doesn’t have thumbs so I am pretty confident that she isn’t turning it on.  Who knows maybe the ghosts just like Brahms.  Whatever the cause it is pretty amusing.  It goes off at the strangest times.

I am still doing the Zumba.  I still love it.  I have decided though, that while I love salsa music, I am not all that fond of HipHop.  Some of it is okay, but it just isn’t something I get all excited about.  So, I thought I would figure out my music to do Zumba too.  I have settled for now on Santana, because I have always loved Santana.  A little Aerosmith, I was pretty surprised that Walk this Way, works for Zumba. Those are my additions for now, other than those I’ll stick with the music that is typically used. 

I have started working on a new knitting project.  I am working on a hat with cat ears.  Dark gray with pale pink inside the ears.  The knit is very tight and I am worried that the hat may end up to small for the person I am making it for.  I might get to see this person in a couple of weeks, so I wonder how tacky it would be to go up and measure his head?  It seems a little strange, but since i am the one running around with a measuring tape, it may not seem that odd to the people I assault with it.  They all know  I am prone to odd behavior.  I am also having a little trouble with the band for the hat.  The light gray I had picked out looks a bit stupid, I may need to get another color or just do the band in the same gray as the rest of the hat.  I am sure I’ll figure it out, eventually.

Still haven’t been able to find out if Bill will be able to take off for Passover.  His mom wants to do it the 19th, but Bill has to work.  Somehow Fran has it in her head that she has to have the first or second day.  I can’t seem to convince her that it does last 7 or 8 days depending, and we could easily wait until Friday or Saturday to have the dinner.  Bill is off on Fridays, we could actually attend.  I would hate to miss passover, it is by far my favorite of all the Jewish holidays. 
I am sure we will figure that out too.  Its going to be a really long day.  The boys are going nuts waiting for Nana & Papa.  I should go work on laundry and get the rest of Aden’s stuff packed. 

>Stop Smoking Day 4 and Gravy


>I have Decided that Bill is a very bad influence!!!!!  I did horribly yesterday.  I smoked 3 real cigarettes and only used the e-cig twice.  Wait, maybe that isn’t such a bad thing…3 is less than 5, or it used to be, so maybe I did pretty well and I just didn’t realize it.
So, much for Bill spending the day with us.  After the boys got back from speech we did the Wal-Mart run, the cover charge was more than usual. After that, Bill had to go to work, four and a half hours early. 
I actually got the entire downstairs vacuumed, mopped and dusted.  I was pretty proud of myself.  But it was a complete waste of time.  Within 15 minutes Evan dumped a cup of juice on the floor.  Then while I was upstairs with the boys cleaning their room, Sam decides to use the dining room as her own personal toilet.  Nice, Just Lovely.  She doesn’t have accidents in the house.  So why did she just have to right after I mopped?  I have a theory.  She hates the smell of pine sol.  That has to be it.  Ha HA. I got her, I had to re- mop everything, so I used pine sol again!  That will teach her.
I was very surprised that I actually got to mop in the first place.  Trying to keep the boys still for more than 30 seconds is practically impossible.
I still ended up with foot prints & paw prints on the floors, but at least they were clean for a minute or two.
Moving right along, Gracie has decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps.  When we got Mama fixed, she was about 8 years old, right after we brought her back home, within 3 days she had brought home some stray kitten she found, Dart.  Dart has his own little story somewhere else on the blog and I’m not going to get into that now.  Anyway, we noticed a small gray, very adorable kitten hanging around the porch about 3 days ago.  Normally, Gracie and Monkey won’t allow another cat on there porch so it seemed a bit odd.  The kitten looks to be about 3 or 4 months old , maybe.  Yesterday evening, I looked out the window and there was Gracie, bathing this kitten.  Then I watched her scoot it over to the food dish.  Dammit! We do not need anything else that eats! Or needs Shots, or medications of any kind!.  I didn’t say anything, I didn’t chase it off.  I was kind of hoping that she would get bored with playing mommy and the kitten would wander to someone else’s house.  No such luck.  Aden & Evan saw Sam sniffing like crazy at the door, so they had to investigate.  They saw the kitten.  Dammit Again! For about 1 hour, it was referred to as Gracie’s baby.  They wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl and when Gracie had the baby.  After explaining that I have no idea if it is a boy or girl, because I haven’t tried to check, they insisted on knowing when Gracie had the baby.  They do understand that babies come from the mother’s belly. But I can’t seem to make them understand “fixed” lol.  I kept trying to explain that Gracie can’t have babies and she probably found the kitten and brought it home, or the kitten wandered over and she kept it, or she might have even stole the kitten.  Wrong choice of words.  Aden said we should call the Animal police, right then, Gracie should go to kitty jail. That took about 20 minutes to explain why that wasn’t going to happen.  But, it was decided that the kitten’s name is Gravy.  I have no idea why, that’s just what they came up with.  We will have to see if it sticks around.

I decided yesterday that I would do Pilate’s.  Another poor choice.  Today I’ll just a little yoga. Tomorrow, I am not doing anything other than walking.  The boys and I will probably make a library run:)
Okay the natives are getting restless, I’m off to play referee.

>Day One…The Stop Smoking Saga Begins


>Yesterday, the United States Postal service was kind enough to deliver the electronic cigarette kit I ordered, on Tuesday.  Outstanding.  Because I am female, immediately after opening the package, I read the instruction manual, all of it, word for word, cover to cover.  I am mentioning this, because if I was male , I would have just winged it, without reading anything. Anyway, So I read it, and plugged in the battery part to the wall charger and figured I had about 2 1/2 to 3 hours to wait until the battery was fully charged.  Surprise, it took about 1 1/2 hours to fully charge.

Step two.  I unplugged the battery thing and tried to decide which flavor pack I was going to try first.  I decided on Vanilla. So I put that part where it was supposed to go and it appeared that I was ready to go.
For some reason, I just put it back in the holder part of the package.  And looked at it.
I just wasn’t sure if I really wanted to put that thing in my mouth.  It has a battery, I have always been told you don’t put batteries in your mouth.  It it plastic and metal, with a microchip and then a little plastic thing filled with poison (the nicotine, glycol, water stuff).  None which sound like things that you should put in your mouth.  So I took the dog outside to pee and I lit up a real cigarette while I contemplated this electronic thingy and any possible consequences of putting it in my mouth.

After much contemplation, well okay it was about 3 minutes worth, I decided that I would actually use the thingy and see. 
But, not right that minute, I just had 1/2 of a cigarette.

About 2 hours later, I needed to get dinner started so, I picked up the e-cig and gave it a quick, little pull.  Hmmm not too shabby.  It didn’t really taste like vanilla.  It tasted more like a swisher sweet. Which I have been known to enjoy on occasion.  The little red light lit up like it was supposed to, and there was just a little bit of the smoke stuff, which isn’t smoke at all, its a water vapor.  It was like your breath, outside on a chilly morning, not much at all. In fact if you aren’t watching closely you will miss it.  But, I noticed the hit of nicotine immediately and after one hit, not 1/2 a cigarette.  I can see how this would work. Well for some people.  I am not now , nor have I ever been a heavy smoker.  Maybe 5 cigarettes a day, that’s why I chose to go with the lowest dose they carried, that still contained nicotine.  They have flavor cartridges that are just flavor and no nicotine. 
So I tried to do just use the e-cig for the rest of the day.  And I did do pretty well, except I did have the rest of my real cigarette about 8:30 when I took Sam out. 
This morning, I didn’t use it I had a real cigarette.  The e-cig is still in its little holder.  I will try to use it most of the day.
There are couple of things I don’t like about it.  Its @$#%ing heavy. I can’t hold it like a regular cigarette, my hand aren’t big enough.  When I say heavy, I am not joking, it is also  a bit bigger than a regular cigarette. 

Real Cig on Left- E-cig on the right

As you can see the electronic one is alot bigger.  I am not saying I don’t like it.  I just have to use it more than I am.  I still haven’t just sat down and smoked it like a real cigarette yet.  Maybe that is my problem.  I rarely can just set down and smoke.  I stand outside, take 2 or 3 hits and come back in.  But I also don’t want to use the e-cig in front of the boys.  Maybe I should start doing it in the laundry room 🙂

So that is the update for today.  I would like to switch over completely by Monday.  But of course I would also have to use the thing more than once or twice. 
In case I haven’t mentioned it,  I am using the South Beach Smoke Premium Starter kit. 
Let’s see how today goes.