Monday, March 24, 2008

love can make you happy

If you look closely at Meg's hand in the photo above, you'll see a beautiful brand spankin' new engagement ring on her finger! At our wonderful Easter brunch at The Peabody Hotel
yesterday, Hunter proposed to Megan and she tearfully accepted -- it was a joy-filled moment for the whole family. No date has been set yet.

We like Hunter a great deal and are so pleased and proud that our daughters have done such a good job in selecting their husbands.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

chantix: another month bites the dust

Family obligations have kept me a bit busy lately but my narcissism will permit me to pop in and pat myself on the back in recognition of my third month quit-smoking anniversary. If only the first weeks had flown by as breezily as the months do now.

I've actually finished my required 3 month Chantix run, however, my doctor told me that studies show that hard-core long-term heavy smokers (like me) have a better success rate staying on Chantix for 6 months. I'm not going to argue with what obviously seems to be working.

All along I've said that I don't have any of the negative side effects that so many folks seem to experience. Granted, I have about 5 minutes of nausea if I take my morning Chantix on an empty stomach and some of the worst gas I've ever had in my life ..... but otherwise I've pretty much sailed through. However, I'm actually starting to re-think some of that.

As a life-long dieter, I'm familiar with hunger -- I'm quite certain that I've experienced it in all of it's possible permutations. There's one type of hunger -- a grinding, gut-churning hunger -- that I hadn't experienced often but I paid attention to it when I did -- I always felt that it was my body's way of telling me, "I'm not screwing with you: eat something now." I actually call this type of hunger "core hunger" because it seems to go beyond the routine "Is it time for dinner yet?" hunger I experience daily while on a diet. It's extremely uncomfortable and makes me feel very antsy.

Ever since I quit smoking, I've been experiencing that type of hunger on a daily basis. At first, I attributed it to my quit -- the body adjusting, the addiction demanding attention, the brain demanding a distraction -- and I either gave into it or fought it. I kept telling myself it would get easier. But I'm three months into this and I'm still experiencing this extreme hunger on a daily basis -- even when I haven't been dieting strenuously -- and I'm starting to wonder if it doesn't have something to do with the Chantix. We know it affects the digestive system -- perhaps it creates just enough havoc in my stomach that regular hunger feels like "core hunger?"

Either way, it makes no difference. I'm in this for the long-haul, hunger or not.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

my guy(s)

My son, Morgan, had his first heady taste of the limelight last night -- he was prisoner John in his middle school's production of "The Lady Pirates of Captain Bree." Here he is with his proud Dad. Arrrrr, matey!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

i hear a symphony

I look forward to American Idol every year even though it's largely a crap-shoot for me. If I get into the current season, I get really, really into it (bordering on obsession). If I don't get into it, I could truly care less about who wins and that's always a disappointment to me.

I think that this year is going to be in the former category since I'm already half in love with 17-year-old David Archuleta and I haven't even seen the Top 12 women perform yet. This kid is an incredibly talented seasoned performer AND an awkward teenage manchild and the combination is charming beyond belief.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

happy anniversary to me

I'm a member of the great quit-smoking community QuitNet and this morning they sent me a happy reminder that it was two months ago today that I quit smoking. I plan to celebrate my "smobriety" today.

I can vividly recall that first week, when each hour felt like a full day and I couldn't begin to imagine being two months into it. One sign of progress in this very long process is that my not-smoking time goes by much more quickly now -- I know that I'll be at three months smoke-free before I know it.

One small additional achievement for me is the weight issue. I've battled a weight problem all of my life and having recently lost 30 pounds (with 10 more to go to my goal), I was scared to death that I would gain it all back when I quit smoking. Since I quit on December 19th when the house was full of Christmas goodies, I did initially gain 10 pounds (yikes!) but I've already managed to lose 5 of that. I'm anxious to lose 5 more so I can just concentrate on maintaining until my smobriety is easy enough that I feel up to tackling the final 10 pounds.

A nice thought: I weigh 25 pounds less than I did a year ago today AND I'm a non-smoker as well. That feels good.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Friday, February 8, 2008

good golly miss molly

My youngest daughter turns 17 today -- when she left for school this morning, she discovered that her friends had snuck over during the night and decorated the car for her!

This age milestone means it's just one year before she takes her first fledgling steps out into The Big World.

Molly is a force of nature. She's smart, passionate, stubborn, tenacious and beautiful -- there isn't anything she can't accomplish once she sets her mind to it. I hope The Big World can handle her.

Happy Birthday, Mollster!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

blowin' in the wind

When I made my daily check-in on the Chantix GetQuit website this morning, this is what was waiting for me! Woo hoo! Those who know what a deeply-entrenched cigarette-loving smoker I was will understand what an accomplishment this is. I truly believed that I would smoke until the end of my life (even if smoking hastened the end).

During the extremely early days of "my quit," I watched the very clever "Welcome Aboard, Chantix Users" over and over again created by the very clever Stan. It lightened my mood and reinforced my goals. I've also enjoyed all three episodes (so far) of Meg & Brent Quit Smoking. As their struggles testify, quitting with Chantix ain't easy ..... it's just easier.

There's been much in the media lately about some Chantix users suffering severe psychological problems. Just as some people are allergic to penicillin, I don't doubt that there are some people who should not take Chantix. Speaking solely for myself, I'm doing fine and any anxiety I feel (and I'm anxiety-prone to begin with) I attribute to this dramatic lifestyle change and not the medication itself.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

kabuki colors

Both of these ads are from the same 1959 issue of Mademoiselle. Although they're both for different products from different companies, they both use the Asian term "kabuki" to describe the bright colors of their respective products.

I thought this was rather interesting so I did a quick search on Wiki and learned that kabuki is a form of traditional Japanese theatre. I'm guessing that the Coro jewelry company and Merle Norman are using the term "kabuki" to compare their colors to the bright stage make-up used in traditional kabuki performances. Odd nonetheless.

While I don't see much of a connection between Kabuki theatre and Coro pearls, I think the ad is brilliant. I want a strand in every color!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

chantix dreamin'

This not-smoking thing is a very convoluted process. According to the experts, I am waaaayy past physical withdrawal from nicotine -- that's over after the first 72 hours. What I'm still struggling with on a day-to-day basis is the psychological addiction which is a different animal altogether. It's gettting easier but it's still not easy. I rarely actually crave a cigarette anymore -- instead, there's just kind of a constant vague low-grade anxiety and the feeling that something's just not quite right. I'll gladly take that over the near-panic I experienced the first couple of days. I can't imagine how much worse this would be without Chantix.

It will be 40 days tomorrow. I'm even impressing myself. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

baby love

You see the little arrow in the picture above? Do you see the little gray blob it's pointing toward? That's my grandbaby! Yes, Erin and Lee have announced that they're expecting their first child in September!

This might be the appropriate time to be pensive, introspective and contemplate the circle of life -- after all, my senior years are approaching just as this new life is beginning ........

Naw. I think I'll just go out and buy a whole bunch of cute baby stuff instead. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

can't you hear my heartbeat has long been included in my links so I was thrilled when they asked if they could use some of my flickr 60's cosmetics magazine ads in a slideshow presentation on their site. I almost feel hip! Thanks, Bella!

pretty woman

I don't know that anyone defines the 60's better than Twiggy. Just look at that face. I vividly recall pulling my long hair back and pinning it up and if I twisted and turned and stood just so while looking in the mirror, I could sorta maybe kinda see what I looked like with the short Twiggy cut.

Of course, the amount of time I spent doing that pales in comparison to the amount of time I spent with brown Maybelline cake eyeliner and an eyeliner brush creating arc-shaped creases in the hollow of my eyes and painting teeny tiny little lower eyelashes beneath my real ones. Truth is, I still love this look and would wear it again in a hearbeat if it came back in style (and if I were 20 years younger ........ ).

Twiggy, of course, is still beautiful ..... and still skinny.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

This ad for Cairol's Great Body Conditioning Shampoo created all kinds of frustration for me during my high school years. I had long poker-straight hair and became completely obsessed with achieving this hairstyle in which only the very ends of the hair were curly. Mind you, this was before hot rollers and curling irons were in vogue and the only hair dryers we had came with a bonnet and a long plastic hose.

Not comprehending that there was probably at least one highly-paid hair stylist on this photo shoot whose job was to lovingly create and carefully position each curl in between every shot, I spent hours trying to duplicate this look and never came close. I even tried a bottle of Clairol's Great Body Conditioning Shampoo. Nothing. Zilch. Nada.

Eventually I gave up and returned to my old stand-by for giving my limp hair some life: pulling my slightly damp hair into a ponytail on the top of my head and rolling it on an empty orange juice concentrate can before hitting the sack. As any formerly long-haired 60's girl will tell you, it worked!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

ice ice baby

It was 4 weeks ago today that I smoked my last cigarette. For decades cigarettes were my constant companion. If I was leaving the house, I made sure I had a pack with me. If I was going to another room for an extended period of time, I made sure I had a pack with me. If I was going out of town, I made sure that I had a lot of packs with me.

Meet my new constant companion: Dentyne Ice Arctic Chill sugarless gum. These days you'll rarely find me without a piece in my mouth or a couple of packs in my pocket. I can't say that I enjoy feeling so gum-dependent but it sure beats my previous addiction. As John Lennon said: whatever gets you through the night is alright ........

Monday, January 14, 2008

just like romeo and juliet

This ad from the November 1969 issue of "Seventeen" gives me all kinds of pleasant memories. It depicts two things that were near and dear to my romantic adolescent heart at the time: my beloved Yardley cosmetics and Franco Zeffirelli's incredible 1968 film "Romeo and Juliet."

"Romeo and Juliet" remains one of my favorite films of all time and former Juliet Olivia Hussey is still gorgeous!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

happy together

My beautiful daughter, Erin, on her wedding day: November 17, 2007

All my girls. From the left: my stepdaughter Caitlin, my daughter Megan, Erin, Erin's best friend Brooke and my daughter Molly.

Erin and Lee, the couple of the moment at their wedding reception.

It was an amazing day and photographs could never come close to representing the beauty and the emotion of the day. I hope that Erin and Lee cherish the memory forever. I know I will.

Friday, January 11, 2008

hang on sloopy

24 days. Amazing. I know it's just a drop in the bucket of the rest-of-my-life as a non-smoker, but I never, ever would have dreamed that I could go 24 days without a cigarette -- I had a hard enough time going 24 minutes without one!

There are no miracle fixes .... this is outrageously hard work .... but there isn't a doubt in my mind that Chantix has made this much easier than it would have been otherwise. I have had a disturbing smoker's hack for years and years and it's almost gone now. I still get significantly strong urges to smoke but they're usually in connection with some activity I used to associate with smoking -- and I had many -- but they're gradually diminishing.

No, I don't own any stock in Pfizer, but I just can't recommend this product enough. Believe me, if it's working for me, it can work for anybody.