For three years in a row, the blue birds have attempted to raise a family at the top of one of our porch fence posts. I say attempted, because the sparrows will not allow it.
The blue birds get to the point where they have the nest built, eggs laid, or even young born — and the sparrows attack. One year, I attempted to help guard the nest, but I could not be as diligent as the sparrows. Another year, I collected the young tossed ruthlessly out of the nest, and hung them in a basket nearby. The sparrow threw them out of the basket as well.
It’s traumatic. There’s a lot of chirping and squawking and commotion. Violence is violence – even if only the size of a sparrow. It’s a sad and terrible experience I share with them every year. It upsets me.
The blue birds try raise a family on our porch every year and every year, lose the battle.
Well, not this year.
This year I remembered ahead of time, and bought a “sparrow-proof blue bird house.”
I’m going to fill the space where the blue birds usually build their nest at the top of the post, and I’m going to mount the bird house right next to that spot. Hopefully, the blue birds will take to it, and hopefully the sparrow-proofing works.
I’ll keep you updated as spring progresses.
It’s hard for me to believe I haven’t been smoking now for four months. To be honest, until I discovered the nicotine vaporizer, I had resigned to smoking the rest of my what I knew would be shorter life.
I didn’t go to the vaporizer store (an RV in Spencer) to quit smoking. I went to try something to at least help me cut down. I never imagined that I would set my cigarettes aside permanently, immediately. But I did.
I am quite aware that there are those who feel it’s a cheat. “You’re still addicted to nicotine,” they say, and it’s true. “You should just have quit cold turkey,” they say.
Some people just want to cut you down. Some people just don’t want to recognize any improvement.
But it is an improvement.
Long time smokers know about phlegm. It’s a part of the smoker’s life. But three days after I switched to my vaporizer, I didn’t have to go through the morning cough and hack routine. Within a few weeks, that routine was all but gone from my life.
Within a week, my sense of smell came back full force – and I began to realize just how much smokers smell like smoke.
Mid-winter, I realized Daisy was packing on the weight, and we started daily walks again. Usually, by the time we reach the end of the far field, I’m out of breath. But when we got there this fall, I was fine – and we kept right on going. Daisy seemed surprised to find we weren’t turning back as usual.
Apparently, each person has an ejuice flavor that works for them. Mine is Mocha Hazelnut, although I also use Burley Tobacco. Frank likes the Brandy, Whiskey and the tobacco. I once met a man who said only the chocolate/peanut butter worked for him, while another man struggled adapting to the vaporizer until he found the Turkish Tobacco flavor. Others like fruit flavors, or candy flavors. You have to find your own.
I read today that more than 700,000 U.S. smokers have reported switching to nicotine vaporizers. I often think if Daddy had the chance with a vaporizer, he might still be with us.
But no. Even though vaporizers have been around for years, their import into the United States was banned for years. Even now – all vaporizers are made in China, but the e-juice used in them is available from American sources.
If you’ve tried to quit smoking, or not… If you’ve tried e-cigarettes, gum, or other devices that didn’t help…. If you like smoking, but would like a healthier habit…. Try the vaporizer. It’s the way to quit smoking that smokers love.
You can purchase vaporizers and all kinds of flavors locally at Nimblefingers in Spencer (the RV in SavALot parking lot), and supplies and a few flavors are available at Talliesduck in Normantown. You can also purchase supplies on Amazon. I’ve provided a link to the vaporizers like we use below.
I got my nicotine vaporizer (like the one above) in early November. Frank got his about a month later. Immediately, we both quit purchasing cigarettes (for me) and snuff (for him.)
It’s been three months now, and we still have not purchased any tobacco products. We both use our vaporizers on a regular basis; I use mine perhaps a bit more regularly than Frank, but I was a smoker and he rubbed snuff. The original habit was different.
When we first started, we were tempted to try different flavors, but it wasn’t long until we settled on favorites. We both use the Burley tobacco. Frank will rotate this with Brandy and Whiskey, while I switch between the Burley and Mocha Hazelnut or Caramel Cream.
After about six weeks, we started making our own nicotine juice, which cut down a lot of running to town and money. We make our flavors and store them in glass bottles, and use eye droppers to fill our vaporizers, which we call our “puffers.” We are more able, this way, to control the nicotine level in the juice we use, diluting it over time to wean ourselves slowly from the nicotine itself.
We are more than thrilled with the vaporizer process, and are happy to have tobacco gone from our lives. No dirty ash trays, smoky clothes and furniture, no spit cups, no morning cough. It really has made a difference in our lives.
However, it is challenging to find quality hardware. While nicotine juice and flavorings are available from the United States, France and other locations, vaporizers themselves are all made in China. Knock-offs are rampant. Leaking cartomizers, fried batteries – are common. But even with the regular upkeeps, maintenance and replacements – vaporizers are still cheaper than smoking a carton of brand name cigarettes a week, and the health benefits are immeasurable.
For some folks, the e-cigarettes (as those presented on the right of this page) are enough to kick the tobacco habit. But for many, the nicotine vaporizer is the magical key to quitting.
If you’ve ever even considered quitting cigarettes, I encourage you to try a nicotine vaporizer. For us, it’s been life-changing.
Over the past ten years, as I have learned more about natural remedies and homeopathic alternatives, I have come to depend on a few - what I call – my first aid basics. One of the things I always keep around the house is activated charcoal. It was one of the first natural healing treatments I was introduced to, and one that I have kept handy ever since.
I get activated charcoal in the powdered form, but you can also purchase it in capsules. The capsules keep the process of dealing with it much cleaner, and taking oral doses is more pleasant. However, I use activated charcoal for other than oral treatments, so the powdered form is my preference.
What is it?
“Activated charcoal” is similar to common charcoal, but is made especially for use as a medicine. To make activated charcoal, manufacturers heat common charcoal in in a way that causes the charcoal to develop lots of internal spaces or “pores.” These pores help activated charcoal “trap” chemicals. Activated charcoal is 100% alkaline and is spinning with electrons making the substance highly electrical. Also called carbon, its negative ionic charge attracts positive ionic charges (of toxins and poisons) causing them to bind to it.
What’s it good for?
The main use for activated charcoal in our house is for digestive issues. Gas, bloating, diarrhea, stomach bugs, the flu, food poisoning, you name it. Activated charcoal absorbs toxins in your body as it passes though your system. It’s a great detoxifier. I have a friend who takes a tablespoon a week, just for good measure.
Frank and I use it most for stomach issues. Seems now that we’ve taken most processed foods out of our diets at home, we too often regret when we dine out. Although it may seem unpleasant to swallow a spoonful of black powder – the relief is certainly worth it.
Charcoal can also be used to help in cases where poison has been ingested. Add a teaspoon of activated charcoal to a small glass of water, stir it well, and have the person who ingested the poison to drink the glass full. DO NOT USE WITH THE FOLLOWING: cyanide, mineral acids, caustic alkalies, alcohol, or boric acid.
Activated charcoal will also absorb infection in cuts and wounds. Pour a little of the powder into a cotton cloth or paper towel, and bandage the bundle over the wound. I’ve used this method on several pet wounds.
Today doctors and medical centers use activated charcoal to: eliminate toxic by-products that cause anemia in cancer patients; disinfect and deodorize wounds; filter toxins from the blood in liver and kidney diseases; to treat poisonings and overdoses; to treat some forms of dysentery and diarrhea; to treat poisonous snake, spider and insect bites.
Mushroom poisoning, bee stings, poison ivy reactions, and many other illnesses can be helped with activated charcoal.
NOTE: Ingested charcoal may adsorb and inactivate other medications.
Although it’s rather messy, I use activated charcoal to whiten my teeth on occasion. It’s slightly gritty, and its absorbent nature pulls some stains out of the teeth. No chemical teeth whitening solution or product on the market comes close to the whitening and brightening action and power of activated charcoal.
All you have to do is put a little toothpaste on your toothbrush, then dip it in the charcoal, add just a little bit of water, and begin to brush. Your mouth will be black, and your sink may get messy, but your teeth will get a good cleansing and a good shining.
Charcoal can be used much like baking soda for absorbing odors. In fact, you can use charcoal briquettes for deodorizing large spaces. For a large room, fill baskets or brown grocery bags with charcoal briquettes to absorb dampness and odors.
In sanitary places, use activated charcoal wrapped in a paper towel or in a small open bowl. Just be sure not to spill it.
* * *
If you just keep the activated charcoal around the house, you’ll find yourself using it more and more. Any time you think “tummy trouble” you’ll think of it, for sure.
I’m confident any natural health food store will have activated charcoal in the capsule or powdered form. Personally, I’m an online shopper, and I get my powdered form of activated charcoal at Amazon.com. Here’s the link if you wish to check it out:
Since I quit smoking cigarettes, and Frank has quit rubbing snuff, we’ve had a lot of people ask about how we’ve done it and about the nicotine vaporizers.
So let’s start at the beginning.
A nicotine vaporizer is NOT an e-cigarette. It doesn’t look the same, doesn’t work the same. I tried e-cigs. They didn’t help much.
Basically, the personal vaporizer does what it sounds like: it vaporizes a liquid nicotine “juice” creating a vapor that is drawn into the mouth. You don’t have to inhale it. The body absorbs the nicotine through the membranes, (or skin if you touch it).
Now non-smokers and cold-turkey cigarette quitters will say that vaping is cheating. I suppose, since you re still getting nicotine, that could be true. But I would hate to think that anyone would discourage someone who has given up cigarettes, no matter what the method used.
THE NICOTINE JUICE
The liquid nicotine syrup used in personal vaporizers has only five ingredients: distilled water, glycerine, pharmaceutical nicotine, a preservative, and flavoring (if you choose flavored). Some people may still scoff, noting that the nicotine addiction still exists, but nicotine itself, is not a poisonous compound. It’s the multitude of other carcinogens in cigarettes that are poisonous.
The juice also comes in different nicotine levels – most often a high, medium and low. Unless you are a two pack a dayer, the medium level is plenty. If you truly intend to give up your addiction to nicotine, you can adjust the level in your juice to get it lower and lower until you quit completely. But even if you never give up vaping, it’s good to know that you are no longer killing yourself with your habit.
THE TOOL ITSELF:
There are a million different types of vaporizers out there. Already, within 60 days of adopting the vaporizer, I can honestly say – quality counts.
A vaporizer is a mechanical tool. It has a battery, wick, atomizer (also called the cartomizer), mouthpiece. Each of these pieces needs maintained, cleaned, replaced — just like any other piece of equipment.
My “generic brand” cartomizer lasted 4 weeks before it needed replaced. My generic batteries lasted just over seven weeks. Wicks need replaced (for heavy vapers like me) about once a month. If you don’t invest in quality, you’ll be nickle and dimed by the maintenance.
THE BASIC USE:
The vaporizer is a different method for absorbing nicotine, and thus, it “hit” differently than a cigarette. When you hit the button on the battery, it take a second or two for the heat to rise enough to create the vapor. If you hit it immediately with a short drag like a cigarette, you won’t get much, and will feel dissatisfied (and withdrawal). The key is to hit the button, wait a second or two, then take a long, steady drag. You can hold the vapor in your mouth, there’s no need to inhale. You body will absorb the nicotine through the mucous membranes of your mouth and throat. It won’t hurt to inhale the vapor, but you don’t have to.
After consistent use, you’ll start getting a burnt taste instead of your flavor. Time for a cleaning. The mouthpiece, the cartomizer, even the wick need cleaned. In fact, every time I add liquid to my cartomzer I clean my mouthpiece. Every time I charge my batteries, I use a Qtip to clean the connection area.
There is a vast variety of flavors available. Frank and I have noted that dark colored flavors will “gunk up” the cartomizer and wick more than clear colored flavors. While caramel and coffee with cream may serve your sweet tooth as well as your nicotine craving, in the long term, they will cost you more money in maintenance.
I can’t even begin to calculate the financial savings from better health. In three days, you will have less phlegm in your life. In two weeks, food will taste better. In a month, you’ll find you have better lung power, and greater endurance. Put a price on that if you wish.
But, let’s say you smoke more than a pack a day – almost a carton of cigarettes a week. If you are smoking the “premium” brands, you’re spending about $45 a week on cigarettes. For two weeks worth of smokes – you can get started with your vaporizer – and be set for a month of vaping. Thus, in your first month, you’ll save about 90 bucks.
In your second month, you’ll want to purchase some extra wicks, and more juice – an expense of about $40. So, in your second month, you’ll save about $140.
Batteries (of quality) are good for about 500 charges, and you’ll need to charge your battery about once a day. Frank and I both bought 2 batteries, so we’d have a spare available when one is charging – they take about 2 hours to charge fully.
Cartomizers, after a while – cannot be depended on NOT to leak. If you discover bubbles inside the cartomizer, you have an air leak. A coat of clear nail polish around the seams where it comes apart to service it will work. But, about every 2-3 months, you’ll need a new cartomizer. Even with cleaning, they get a little nasty after a while.
WHERE TO GET ONE LOCALLY:
If you live in Central WV, there is currently only one place to purchase vaporizers: Nimblefingers in Spencer WV. Nimblefingers is located in an RV parked in the Sav A Lot parking lot. When the open flag is flying, she’s there. Please tell Lori that Two-Lane Livin’ sent you. Be sure to ask for the Joyetech brand.
If you pass through Normantown, Talliesduck has a small inventory of vaporizer supplies. Ask for Erlina.
If you prefer to purchase online - there’s a link to Amazon.com for to the vaporizers like we use just below. Or, go ahead and google the Vappo Vetta. I have not tried them yet, but they do claim to address some of the air leak issues that is typical with all other brands.
(P.S. I realize that there are likely several typos and errors in my blog entries lately. I am trying to adapt to the keyboard for my tablet – which has the end key where a shift key should be, has the apostrophe and quotations flipped on the key, and other issues that challenge my old-school typing skills. In addition, the wordpress app for the tablet does not include a spell check. So please, pardon the mistakes.)