Happy Anniversary!!!

It was one year ago today that I smoked my last cigarette!  Wooo Hooo, can I get an Amen?

This is the thing, I’ve stopped smoking many times before January 4, 2016 but never had I quit.  I now understand the difference.  I can honestly say that I will never smoke another cigarette.

It wasn’t easy quitting, as a matter of fact it was very hard.  See, those cigarettes had been my best friends for a long long long time.  They were always there for me, for the good times and the bad.

It came down to one thing…  I had to want to quit more than I wanted to smoke.  I say that because even now I still sometimes get a craving but it passes quickly.

I had a mantra that I would say out loud when I got one of those cravings and it was “It’s NOT an option”  and it truly wasn’t an option.  I was quitting the cigarettes so smoking was not an option.

Savings:  Each week I put the money I would’ve spent on cigarettes into a jar.  I knew if I didn’t separate and put that money aside that it would get absorbed into other spending categories.  I wanted to be able to see and physically touch the money for motivation.

Weight gain:  Well honestly I didn’t worry about it, and yes in the past year I’ve gained three pounds.  I don’t know if I can even blame that on the smokes.

Triggers:  being in the car was a huge trigger for me.  A good friend suggested audio books to keep my mind occupied rather than thinking about smoking.  What a game changer that was!  I was thinking about someone elses story instead of mine.  This was a huge part in the success of quitting.

Cravings:  I found that hard cinnamon candy worked well for my cravings.  I suppose it was the little bit of burn from the candy that I liked.  It also helped that it was right after Christmas and I had a big bag of it.

Anxiety:  There was definitely some anxiety associated with quitting smoking and we just did the best we could to recognize what and why it was and moved past it.  I had another dear friend tell me that she used to bake bread and give it away while she was quitting smoking.  It was the kneading and punching the dough that gave her some relief from the anxiety of quitting.  What a clever idea, and she had the wonderful smell of bread baking filling her kitchen.

Talk About It:  Talk openly about your effort to quit.  Seek motivation from others, and if those others don’t motivate you then find different people that do.  Trust me, for all the cravings and desire you have to smoke a cigarette there is a smoker out there buying a pack of cigarettes wishing that they weren’t.

I thought I loved every cigarette I smoked.  I really thought I enjoyed smoking.  But honestly I only liked the first couple of draws and then it seemed like the cigarette smoked me.

Quitting smoking was one of the best things the Z Man and I did for ourselves and I’m very proud that we have kicked those nasty cigarettes to the curb.

Perhaps you are in the midst of quitting something right now.  Just remember to take it easy on yourself, be kind to yourself and remind yourself why you truly want to quit.  It won’t be easy, buy you are strong enough and you are worth the effort.

You can do it, I know you can and I am right here cheering you on, friend!

Or, perhaps you’ve already quit and have kicked it for even longer than we have, I’d love to hear your story too.

Take care,


Ps.  Here is what we did with my quit smoking money.  Football Baby!





2017 Resolutions

It’s almost that time of year again.  A time of reflection and a time of new beginning.  A new slate, a new piece of fresh, clean, crisp, bright white paper to start writing on using your best pen and best handwriting.  Can you smell the freshness of it?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the changes I’d like to implement in my life for 2017 and my thoughts keep leaning toward peace, forgiveness, pleasure and beauty.

Those thoughts leave me interested in learning to let go of everything that I have no control over.   And, if I really break that down further I have to ask myself, what do I really have control over?   Nothing.

So in realizing that in truth, I have control over nothing, except for my actions or perhaps my reactions, this is what I’ve come up with.



Letting go of………

  • the hurt feelings
  • the regrets
  • the wish I had done this or that back then
  • the I wasn’t treated right
  • the I wish I hadn’t done that
  • the I did the best I could
  • the I’m not good enough


There is a reason the days of the past are called the “good old days” and I’m sure that I’ve never seen “I wish I had worked one more day” engraved on a headstone.

For a long time now I’ve been trying to be uber conservative and frugal and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, until it becomes extreme and you realize that your happiness isn’t being considered in that frugal conservative process.

Now, I’m not saying I’m going to start spending money willy nilly or not continue to make mindful frugal decisions.  As a matter of fact I intend to become even more detailed in tracking our finances and expenses because retirement is a year closer and we need to be ready.

What I’m saying is I want to find a balance.  I’m not going to quickly pass on the fun, the events or opportunities for pleasure simply because I don’t want to spend the money.  I’m not going to make money the ultimate reason for doing or not doing….


  • I’m going to plant the flowers even though we can’t eat them
  • I’m going to buy the great pair of shoes because I just love them
  • I’m going to buy the red lipstick
  • I’m going to get my hair done
  • I’m going to do my Yoga
  • I’m going to wear out those new exercise shoes
  • I’m going to eat the chocolate cake and the ice cream
  • I’m going to dress myself in my style, not just for my comfort
  • I’m going to give thought to my wants to understand why I want…..

While I was succesful in 2016 with quitting smoking and quitting a 20 year use of Prilosec, which I am extremely happy about.  2016 was still a bit of a crappy year.  I’m not going to whine about it, because nobody likes a whiner.  I’m just going to say that I had a lot of illness and injury and even battled with a bit of depression.  With all of that, I lost sight of what is most important to me.

I am loved by the most amazing Man and I am completely head over heals in love with him.  He is the love of my life and all he wants is for me to be happy.   It took us a long time to find each other and I don’t intend to waste one more single minute on anything less important and EVERYTHING is less important than my husband.

What about you, do you have any resolutions you want to share.  I’d love to hear about them.


wedding pic 1












Happening On The Homestead

It’s been over a month since I last blogged and the simple reason for that is….  I burned out and I got sick.

Between working a full time job six days a week, putting something in jars (canning) almost every night till late (sometimes till early morning), helping the Z Man take care of our homestead and all the animals, it just all caught up with me and I came crashing down.  I went to the doctor because I wasn’t feeling good then came home and went to bed and slept for two days, then I got up and laid on the sofa for three days.

A couple of weeks later and after a few more visits with my doctor,  I’m feeling better, but still not 100%.

Time for some soul searching into what’s most important for us and weed out the rest.  I get so caught up in an idea or a project I want and it’s 100 miles an hour until it’s done.  The thing is that sometimes it’s never done.  I want more and more and more….

I have to admit that during this time, my diet was awful, just grabbing something here and there and grabbing all the wrong stuff.  This is one of the main reasons I got sick.  For someone who is six months coming off of Prilosec after having taken it for over 20 years, I can not neglect my diet.

The discomfort of my reflux and indigestion had become so bad that I went to urgent care thinking I was having a heart attack.  The EKG was normal, and the bariatric cocktail the doctor gave me to drink worked, and I am feeling much better, about 90% better.

But it’s time to slow down and get back to taking better care of myself, eating better, working less and Yoga begins this week.

In the meantime, here is what’s been happening on our little homestead.

Our beautiful Maddie delivered 6 perfect little puppies, three girls and three boys.



I was there with her while she was delivering and it was amazing.  She is such a good mama.

They are growing so fast.  I mean is this just not cuteness overload?


We got three new chickens.  Three Leghorn hens and they lay white eggs.

I kind of like getting white and brown eggs.


We harvested three of our older hens, which was the first time for the Z Man and I to do that.   I don’t have pictures, but it went very well and peaceful.

Back when I quit smoking on January 4th I started saving my weekly cigarette money.  By saving the money specifically for a “treat” for the accomplishment of quitting it not only motivated me to get through the cravings and over the habit of smoking, it gave me something to look forward to as well.

So, the Z Man and I had a little fun with my quit smoking money…


We went to the Redskins season opener against Pittsburgh.  I am a Redskins fan and the Z Man is a Pittsburgh fan, so it was perfect that this year they were playing each other.  Unfortunately, it didn’t end well for my Redskins.

It’s amazing to me that by quitting smoking I was able to pay for a little mini vacation for us.  Now, that’s some good motivations right there.


So, that’s whats been going on around here.   I’ve really missed blogging, but I’ll be talking to you soon 😉

Till next time,



Friday’s Frugal Five

Last week I hit a deer and the insurance company totaled my car.  While the damage wasn’t extensive, the repair cost exceeded the value of the car, well the value of the car to them (not me).



We are buying the car back and the Z Man will make the repairs and we’ll bank the balance of the pay off.  How is this frugal?

  1. Not using the money from the insurance company to buy a new (to me) car.
  2. Buying the car back from the insurance company because we have taken care of the car and know it’s a good car and has more life left in it.
  3. The Z Man will find the replacement parts at a salvage yard, saving a lot of money instead of buying new parts.
  4. I will get a rental car (provided by the insurance company) to drive for 10 days while the Z Man fixes my car, instead of driving our truck that doesn’t get the best gas mileage.
  5. Realizing how fortunate I am to have a husband that is more frugal than I am and is also a Mr. Fix It.
  6. Also realizing that I am much more fortunate than the deer. 😦
  7. Dinners cooked at home, laundry dried on the clothes line, money in the pickle jar and still breathing fresh air (quit smoking).

The things I like about my car are:

  • It’s paid for
  • It gets great gas mileage
  • It’s paid for
  • Insurance is reasonable on it
  • It’s paid for
  • Personal property taxes are low on it
  • And, it’s paid for

I really don’t want a car payment ever again.  A car for me (now) is to get from point A to point B safely and as economically as possible.

What about you, what frugal fun have you had this week?

Till next time,