A Medley of Musings

Serious health and life changes, call for a serious name change to this blog. In the past I tried to research my blog name, so it wouldn't be a duplicate blog name that someone else might have. I won't be researching it this time around, so the name is subject to change without notice. Life is kind of like that.

The hand made toys, Mini-Me Jan, and Rolly the Octopus are also something I have a passion for. Making hand made items, especially toys.

Thank you if you're sharing this journey of written blog words, and various assorted written musings, with me by reading my blog now.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Secret Ingredients Please!

So what exactly is in them? Exactly what kind of ingredients, chemicals, tars and nicotines, and addictive substances do cigarettes actually contain that I've been inhaling into my body for over 30 years? I'm sure I could do extensive research, to actually find out, those ingredients, but humor me here. Go take a look at a pack or carton of cigarrettes.

There is NO ingredient list whatsoever on them! I've searched and searched. There's the surgeon generals different health warnings. There's a UPC code, there's the location where they are produced in West Virginia. There's some small stamps on the plastic outer wrapper, thanking me for the monetary contributions I've been making to my state and counties taxes by my buying cigarettes.

There's even a description, that one pack contains 20 Class A Cigarettes. Well thank God for small favors. I sure wouldn't have wanted to have been spending all those years smoking some kind of inferior Class B or Class C addictive substances, now would I?

There's even a description that tells me what smooth rich taste these cigarettes have, and a polite request asking me not to litter. But I can't find an ingredients list anywhere!

Doesn't that seem kind of odd to begin with? No ingredients listed whatsoever? Cigarettes have to contain something don't they?

A box of crackers, a jar of peanut butter, a can of soup, all list some kind of list of ingredients on their labels. Many of those might be some kind of preservative. Many I might not have ever heard of, or know what they are or what they're supposed to do or not be doing for me.

I might not ever make those kind of radical eating life changes where I will never again put emulsifier soy lecithin into my mouth, but at least I know that pack of hard candies, I've been substituting for cigarettes contains that emulsifier soy lecithin, whatever that is. But at least I can still choose not to ever have a butterscotch hard candy again, knowing, that emulsifier soy lecithin, is included on the ingredients label. I might not have a clue what emulsifier soy lecithin actually is or what it's doing or not doing for me, but at least I know they're part of those butterscotch candies, and hopefully emulifier soy lecithin adds to the taste and flavor of those hard candies, I'm enjoying.

I have to wonder how did the makers of Cigarettes get away with listing no ingredients whatsoever on their packaging for so long? Even things that aren't supposed to be swallowed or ingested contain a list of ingredients or poisen control centers or places to contact or things to do if someone swallows that diswashing detergent by mistake.

But Cigarettes have no ingredients listed at all. None, nada, zero, nothing. So you don't even have any idea at all what you've been inhaling, or even if you've been been inhaling the same things over time. Those chemicals could have been removed, replaced, revamped, remade, revoked, reoffered, and I wouldn't know what was in my cigarettes from 10 or 20 years ago, anymore then I know what ingredients there are in cigarettes today.

I know good cooks have their secret ingredients, they might not ever reveal in their recipes, but how is it, that every single ingredient in a pack of cigarette appears to be a secret ingredient? What's up with that?

That original cook, must be some high up official or something, with a whole army of security and intelligence people, hanging around them all the time. All those cigarette ingredients must fall under some sort of category like, "Stricktly Classified Ingredients". You don't have high enough clearance for a "need to know basis", or maybe it's just the tobacco industry's way of saying, "You really don't want to know... what we put in our products. So stop looking for silly things like a list of ingredients on the side of the pack or carton. We aren't about to tell you anyway!"

I haven't ever researched this either but I wonder if any politician in history has ever just flatly refused to accept political monetary sponsorship from tobacco companies, simply because there are no ingredients listed whatsoever on their packages? Or for other areas that produce things of questionable value, such as alcohol, tobacco, or guns.

I'm sounding too much like my late father. Tobacco, alcohol, guns, big money industries, that politicians badly need to fund their political campaigns. But as this old former hippie of 55 years of age, I might not ever get another chance in my life to protest these kinds of things, so I'm taking this blogging opportunity to protest them now!

Even a cleaning product that isn't supposed to be be swallowed, inhaled, or consumed by anybody, contains a list of ingredients, in case that mistakenly happens to somebody. But Cigarettes somehow remain exempt from having to list any kind of ingredient list at all? How did that ever happen, through history, and why does it stilll happen today?

I hope that alone, might give someone something to think about the next time that temptation sneaks up on them to light up a cigarette. So what kind of ingredients did you say are in a cigarette? Oh yeah that's right, you didn't say, did you?

It's not like cigarettes are like a box of cracker jack with a toy surprise inside of them or something. Some unknown surprises we would all be better off living without, especially when we don't have a clue exactly what kind of wonderful chemical surprises that pack or carton of cigarettes contains?

Hope that makes somebody pause for a second, while it's becoming harder for me not to preach from the pulpit about cigarette smoking.

Oh those twisted, tempting, evil, masquerading things known as....

I'm not going to go into preaching mode about the hazards of cigarrette smoking. Most people are aware those health hazards exist, without my having to say a word about them. Most of us so called "adults" don't generally learn much from the mistakes others make before us anyway. Many of us are still stubborn or stupid enough, that we end up having to learn it all the hard way ourselves anyway.

When I first started smoking at 19 years of age, there were no cautions on the packs and cartons of cigarettes back then. There were no indications of just how addicting tobaccco can be, and how hard it can be to quit smoking. There were no dire indications, no warnings from the surgeon general back then as to what kinds of future health problems smoking cigarettes could cause anybody.

I'm not even sure I knew who the surgeon general was, when he did make his presense known to me, or what his words of warning exactly meant to me anyway back then. I wouldn't have listened to him, or to anybody else either at that point, if someone had told me back then the things I'm paying the price for now! So now I'm one of those who is having to go through all of this the hard way. The very hard way!

But maybe I'll say one thing here that will somehow reach somebody out there! Maybe somebody, some young person, someone out there, might read this. Someone might be thinking about trying cigarettes, or maybe someone wants to quit before they reallly get started and get addicted to them, will read something I'm writing here, that gets their attention, that strikes a responsive chord with them. That at least gives them serious "food for thought" about this addictive substance.

Speaking of "food for thought" maybe someone will decide it's better to trade that phyical demanding need for nicotine, for something like a banana, a tangerine slice, or even a chocolate chip cookie, instead of the chemicals that cigarettes provide.

Oh the amazing cravings I'm having now. Cravings for truly "exotic" foods, like baked potatoes, with sour cream, cheese, and green peppers, or apples dipped in carmel. A junk food junkie like me? Suddenly having these cravings for things that might actually have vitamins, minerals and other good things in them, that might actually be good for me to eat? What in the world is going on?

I guess so many years of smoking on those twisted, tempting, deceptive, masquarading little cigarettes must have left my body having these strange physical cravings for all those vitamins, minerals and nutrients, my body must have not ate for way too long a time.

Who knows what will happen if I should start going through some kind of green pepper withdrawal, or I just can't seem to get quite enough of those little cherry tomatoes, that I just want to keep popping into my mouth and devouring. There might be even more "exotic" foods I've never even tasted before, that suddenly sounds good, or even just tempt me to give them a try for the first time ever.

The grocery stores are on alert now! They have been warned! Security is standing by, armed to their eyebrows with avocados or lentil beans.

I might be seen browsing grocery aisles, I never dared to venture into before. I hope those stores can supply with me some kind of lesson plan? Because I might now find myself having to learn for the first time ever, how to actually cut a kumquat, or the only proper way to participate in eating pineapple.

It boggles my mind, at the foods I might have some kind of craving for, that I've never had before, and don't even know how to eat it, let alone how to cut it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Cats Know

My cats know. I don't know how they know, but they know, that something's different. Something's changed with me. But I've often felt animals were smarter then people to begin with.

Skitzy seems like she's gotten her fur trimmed up somehow. And Cole doesn't seem to protest so much if he's left in only the one room with me. Neither seem to protest as much now that they don't get to run through as much of the house as much as they did before. Now it's becoming a daily rotation of what cat is left in what room, instead of an hourly rotation. Somehow they seem to know that's the best I can do for them right now. They don't complain. They just know. I don't know how they know, these things but they do.

Skitzy seems to have more different kinds of protests, as if to say to me, if something happens to you, what happens to us? Maybe it's her way of pleading with me, to try to get better, healthier, stronger. To do what I'm supposed to do, even when I don't want to, don't feel like it, when not doing it seems easier, or not worth the fight ahead for me.

Cole seems to accept it. Sometimes only wanting to put his dignified black head upon my knee, and to watch me carefully and often with his ancient and wise green eyes. He watches me close. They both share their cat blinks with me, guardingly and lovingly.

And I cannot control the splash of angry messy tears, that so often now needs to fall upon my face, unbidden, unasked for, but I certainly cannot say these tears are uncalled for or unwarranted. And not from even a point of needing to feel sorry for myself, but just to get the pain out, the tears out. Because they are there too, and they need to come out of my eyes, to be communicated like so many uncontrolling splashes on my face, just like my words need to pour out of my brain and my heart now. So I write, so I cry, so I blog, and sometimes I smile and laugh, and sometimes there's a glimmer of hope, no matter how small or insignificant it might now seem

My two cats, they know all this. I don't know how they know, but they do.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Birthday Blog Message

Today is My Birthday. Today I'm 55 years old. Today I don't take it for granted any longer that I'll make it to 56 or 65 or 82 years old. Today I'm just happy to have made it to 55 years old so far. Anything beyond that might just be icing on my birthday cake of 55 years old or young depending how you look at it.

In some ways I think I was born to blog. I wrote poems, short stories, and various journals of my thoughts, long before it was popular to call it blogging. Starting at about 16 or 17 years old. I still have those notebooks. Can't bear to throw them away.

Some of those life laments I had at 16 seem so trivial now. I wonder why I was bothered by those things at all back then, but I was. Some of the writing seems poor and trite, and certainly needed growth and development. Has my writing improved in 39 years? I'd sure like to think so. :-)

But my writer's ego probably won't let me view it any other way, though, even if my writing hasn't improved with age, like fine wines and words are supposed to with time.

Here's a poem I wrote about this need to write, to "blog" through the years as I've done, before "blog" was even a recognizable word.


Old and dusty notebooks
That I took down from the shelf
My old forgotten writings
From my younger, yearning self.

Scribbled penciled musings
Of what my life had been about
Words faded now so much with time
That I can barely make them out.

Words in inks of different colors; black, green, red and blue
I’d used to write at different times
Notebooks filled with colored words
To write my youthful prose and rhymes.

Stories and poems from so long ago
The times I felt so misunderstood
Before my older eyes, they seemed so trivial to me now
Back then I must have thought those poems were good.

I look back on those writings
And a pattern now appears
Loneliness, heartache and loss
How often love had left me through the years.

The people that I once had known
In time we grew apart
Reflected and forgotten in those notebooks
They held the secret writings of my younger heart.

Angry letters I’d written
Rants and rave I never sent
Accumulated years of worn out words
I read in awe, surprised, amused
At all the time I’d spent.

My life’s recorded episodes
heartfelt musings, angry feelings, even wit
Pages filled with badly sketched out sweaters
That someday I had planned to knit.

Classroom notes and cartoon faces
Lists of things I’d planned to do
Written reflections that time erases
Were captured in those pages too.

The things I’d forgotten, the names and the places
How my writing had changed over time
Like a lost treasure found, those notebooks held
Forgotten gems of my prose and my rhymes.

Old and dusty notebooks
That I put back on the shelf
Years of written memories
From my younger, yearning self.