Sunday, September 26, 2010

A New Beginning

I went outside because i heard a weird bird calling and as i was looking for it, i saw a beautiful monarch butterfly that had just left its cocoon. it was so cool. i grabbed my camera and i am hoping that i got some great shots of it.

i think the camera is teaching me patience. in this day and age, everyone seems to have digital cameras. well, i don't, and i have to wait to see the pictures. i guess it would be cheaper to have a digital camera since i wouldn't have to buy film and pay for it to be developed. oh well, i am happy for now! patience is a great virtue to have and i could use a lot more of it in my life.

I wanted to see the monarch fly away, but i missed it. i can't find it anywhere, so hopefully it's on its way to Mexico! Safe trip beautiful creature!

Morning pictures

I got up fairly early today and went out to take pictures. It was lovely! I stayed in Granby, and took some nice landscape views. I came upon an immature red tailed hawk hanging out by Red Fire Farm's giant compost pile. There were probably hundreds of chipmunks for him to hunt! I first took some pics of him in a giant tree, then he swooped down and back up on to the power line where he sat for quite a while. That's when i noticed he was still a baby! He had dots on his wings and he was quite fluffy. After about 10 minutes he swooped back down and attacked something in the bushes about 10 feet away from me! He wasn't scared of me at all, but i am not even sure if i got any shots of him in the bushes. I was enjoying the exciting moment of the hunt. Then he flew back up to the power line and that was when i left him alone.

It was quite exciting and i can't wait to get back out there!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

www.quitnet.com post for my one year quit anniversary

Hey everyone! Hard to believe that in a few hours i will have officially been quit an entire year.
It's UNBELIEVABLE!!!!
But it is TRUE, and it is DOABLE. For all you folks out there struggling, please believe in yourselves. Life is totally worth living, and none of us are really living while we are smoking. Cigs take us away from true life. True life is not easy sometimes, that is for sure, but i will take real life over stuffing problems down with a cig anyday.
I started here at the Q last summer, searching for my forever quit desperately. I failed a few times and then i tried Chantix and it helped me. It wasn't magic, but it definitely helped me. I stayed glued to the Q for months. I ate Redhots and Lemonheads like crazy. I drank a lot of water. I sang in the car, really badly, but it took away my cravings in the car!!! God i love ABBA!!!
Then something happened. I don't even remember when, but maybe around the 3 or 4 month mark. I stopped visiting the Q as often. I felt like i could go out on my own and take some big baby steps.
The more i did that, the more confidence i gained and before i knew it, i hardly ever even thought of smoking at all!
It's truly amazing how the cravings and thoughts kind of melt away after a while. It took a lot of patience and tears and screaming, but i am finally FREE!!!
To all you quitters to be and newbies, please see enough value in yourself to take the bull by the horns and find your forever quit. It is possible. I am proof.
Now i am living life as never before. "Live like your dyin" as Kris Allen sings. I have been doing so much lately that i started my very own blog because i have so many things to share about what i am learning in life. Please visit if you would like.
It's just a new way for me to share with people.
Please stick with your quits. It's the BEST thing you will ever do for yourself.
jaime
d 364

Thoughts on the BIG QUIT

Tomorrow, September 23, 2010, marks a very important day for me. I will have been quit smoking for an entire year! I am pretty excited to celebrate this milestone because I feel like I have been through ALOT of emotional ups and downs the entire time. Not all of it was bad, but it wasn't always fun either.

I am not positive on how I feel about the whole thing, but I do know that I am so much happier now that I am not attached to cigarettes at all. They completely took over my life. If you can call it a life! I didn't do a whole lot of living for two whole years while I was sucked in to addiction.

Now I am happy, calm, yet energetic, and confident. My whole body feels 100X better in almost every way. My outlook on life is one of hope, instead of constant gloom.

My friends over at quitnet.com helped me tremendously for the first and crucial few months and they continue to be supportive when I have the time to go on there and hang out! But I am so busy now that I barely go on there. I feel like I should make more time to do that, so I can help out other quitters in their journey.

That's what it is. A journey. I am through the worst of it, and now I am continuing on and finding out more about myself. It is getting more and more incredible as time goes on! I gain more confidence and learn new things and it just fuels me along the road of life.

Ok, blah blah blah right? It sounds corny but that's really how I feel now! I just want to make my life the best it can be. I am making up for lost years. I had smoked 11 total years of my 33 lived. One third of my life gone to smoking. Ugh. But I am definitely making up for it now.

Life is great and it's smokefree. I am so happy!!!

Margherita Pizza

At 11:09 PM tonight it will officially be autumn. YAY!!! I love clean air and cool nights after a long, hot summer. The growing season was insane this year, which is great for the farmers and in turn, us. There's lots of produce out there for cheap!

So I made my own margherita pizza the other night and boy was it easy! I got a package of dough at Big Y and put it in a bowl on the counter for over an hour. Once it was stretchable I shaped it for the pizza. I put on just a small amount of sauce, then a layer of fresh mozzarella slices, thinly sliced fresh tomato and basil leaves. I baked it for about 20 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees. The crust was a tad dry so next time I will brush the dough with olive oil first.

It was very satisfying and I can't wait to make it again!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Camera

I took the scenic view to work today. It was so beautiful!! The colors are changing, the sun was rising, and there were interesting clouds. The whole scene made me want to take pictures! Well, my wonderful mom and dad bought me a new camera for my birthday a couple years ago and sadly, I have barely used it :(

I decided that I am going to get a new battery, some film, and get up early on Saturday to take pics as the sun comes up. I have to then get them put on disc and then I can start posting pics! I am pretty excited about it. I have always loved to take pics, but for some crazy reason I stopped.

More to come.............

Monday, September 20, 2010

A nice recipe for a beautiful fall day....

It's Monday and I am slow to start the week. I am excited about cooking though. I found a recipe for Butternut-Apple Bisque that looks really easy and delicious. It probably only costs about $5 to make too, which is great. I did change this quite a bit from the original based on a plain Butternut soup I have been making recently. So this is my take.

****Please make sure to wash your vegetables with soap and water or Veggiewash. Even the squash. As soon as you cut into it or peel it, anything that was on the outside contaminates the flesh. This includes e coli from people who work in fields and you don't know if they wash their hands. Also, all those people in the grocery store or market that are touching the veg before you. Yuck!!!!

1 large butternut squash
olive oil or butter
2 onions (i will only use one probably)
3 apples
5 cups of stock- (4 will be enough i am sure)
1 cup of cream or coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste.

Chop onion and saute in butter or oil until translucent. Peel squash and then cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Chop into 2 inch chunks. Core and peel the apples and chop up. Add to pot with onions and also add the stock. Bring to a boil and then drop to a simmer until veggies are soft, about 20 minutes. Take off heat for 5 minutes, then puree in two batches in a blender or processor. Add back to original pot to reheat and then stir in cream and season with salt and pepper.

I like to make some toasted bread with garlic with my soups. All you do is toast a piece of bread and as soon as it is done and still hot, you wipe a piece of peeled fresh garlic over it. Then chop the bread. The bread is flavored with garlic and you have instant garlicky croutons!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saturday's Hike

I have realized that hiking is one of my favorite things to do. On Saturday I went to the Notch in Amherst and first climbed Bare Mountain and then continued on the MM trail to Mount Hitchcock. I was kinda scared because the land is much rougher than the Mt Norwottuck side. There was loose rock, steep cliffs and some minor rock climbing. But the payoff at the top was great. The views are wonderful. Being from VT, I think I am just naturally inclined to like high places. Who knows?!

So it took me about 3 hours total with all my stopping, viewing, and chatting with other hikers. The weather was perfect, even a tad chilly. I was still sweating though, so it's all good.

Not sure what I am hiking next Saturday yet, but I am itching to do the whole Seven Sisters hike from Norwottuck to Skinner.
Well, hello everyone out there in the blog world! I came up with the idea of creating my own blog so I can share my ideas and experiences with anyone who cares to read. I feel like I have a lot of things to say these days and I want to pass on what I have learned to people.

A bit about me- I am 33 years old, married with 2 stepsons and live in Western Massachusetts, USA. I grew up in Vermont and moved here 10 years ago. I work in a medical office and do the patient billing. I have been there for 8 years and have the best boss and co-workers ever. I am so lucky to be there.

Recently I went through a rough patch in life and now that I am moving past it I have been learning to enjoy every minute of the day. I never thought I would feel this great, but I do!!! So I just want to share what I am doing now- hiking, cooking, meeting people, etc. I love to cook, so I will be posting recipes and tips on saving money.

Well, that's all for now! I hope this is as great as I think it's going to be!