Sunday, March 31, 2013

Days 46-48: "First Time In 16 Years" And Easter!

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Days 46, 47 and 48:  Happy Easter everyone!  Welp, I made it, no not to my ultimate goal, but I have made it to and through my first in holiday in SIXTEEN YEARS without nicotine!  I feel great and it feels great not needing/wanting a dip when I am spending time with my family during the holiday! If you read my last blog, you know how important today is to me since realizing this Easter was my first holiday in sixteen years that I wasn’t chewing. I truly believe I missed the most valuable time with brother during the holidays because I was always getting up and “going out” to chew.  I missed a lot of good times, good laughs and good conversations with my brother because I just HAD to chew.  I will never, and I mean NEVER miss valuable time with my family again because of f’n nicotine!  FU nicotine!

Today the kids had off, so naturally, they were up at the butt crack of dawn.  Hey mom, remind you of anyone?  We decided to get some breakfast, get the house cleaned up and then go to the playground to blow off some steam.  It was a blast!  I forgot how fun it was to climb on things.  Yes, I know I sound like a gorilla when I say that, but it’s true.  Next time you are near a playground, go down the slide, do the monkey bars, hell, just climb something!  It felt great!  Technically, there is no age limitation on who can and can’t play on the equipment! Plus, you instantly gain “street cred” with your kids if you can climb things.  Just saying…
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Our first Easter stop was my parent’s house, which the kids love because Grammy Carol seems to think they ALWAYS need something new lol.  Crafts, markers, crayons, toys, clothes, treats, sugar, etc.  Oh don’t worry, it gets worse lol.  She feels the exact same way about our wiener dog to!  To be honest, I’m pretty sure she believes our dog is another grandson!  Today during our Easter visit, as always, my mom cooked enough to feed 75 people, including a giant ham, which is one of our traditions on Easter.  I’m pretty sure a lot of people have ham on Easter, right?  All I know is that after everyone ate, and we packed up about 20 slices of ham to bring home, there was still at least half a ham left!  I love a cold ham sandwich during the next day, or in Stacy’s and my case, later that night! 

We also dyed eggs, made icing/cookie bunnies, had an Easter egg hunt, and of course the Easter Bunny brought baskets to Grammy’s house, and our house, and Nana Roush’s house to!  We didn’t even make it to Nana Roush’s yet!  So far, I think the kids had a pretty good Easter! Just at Grammy Carol’s house alone, the kids ended up with enough sugar to last them until next Easter and that was only the first stop!  It’s going to be a long few days for Stacy and me.  When does school start back up again!? Lol
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This morning, even though the Easter Bunny already visited Grammy Carol’s house, we noticed he also visited our house!  The kids were extremely excited and it’s so awesome to see.  Pretty soon, holidays like Christmas and Easter will still be great, but they won’t be priceless anymore.  Before we know it, the kids won’t believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny.  They’ll always have a smile on their face during the holidays ( because that’s Stacy’s and my job), but a sincere childlike grin and smile when they see that Santa and the Easter Bunny came only lasts a few years so I’m going to enjoy them while I can! 

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We’re just about to head to Wal-Mart, because in a few “special” eggs, the Easter Bunny left a couple of bucks for Auden and Beckett.   Plus, it’s always nice for all of us to get out and enjoy some fresh air, especially after a 48 hour sugar high!  We won’t be out too long because Stacy isn’t feeling that well and we need to get her better for her birthday tomorrow! Ask her age at your own risk!

Ok, I’ll ask again, how are your NCAA brackets looking?  Keep in mind, you are reading this with the Final Four teams being officially set.  I believe I have two teams left, which isn’t bad, but it wouldn’t win me any money, unless both my teams play in the title game, and of course my champion becomes the real champion.  If ANY of you had Wichita State in the Final Four, you’re both an idiot and a genius!  Although it’s a not a huge surprise to see Syracuse in the Final Four, I bet most of us do not have them playing in the Final Four.  Oh, not to mention, the ‘Cuse is dominating!

Happy Easter from my family to yours!  Good night all…

Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 45: My Big Brother Would Be Proud...

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Day 45: Happy almost but not quite Easter!  Speaking of Easter, I just realized something out of the blue.  I never, in my life realized this until Stacy and I were just sitting around talking and it popped into my head.  This Easter will be the FIRST holiday in SIXTEEN (16) YEARS that I have gone through without nicotine!  SIXTEEN YEARS!!!! That in itself is enough to make me go “holy crap!”  However, it gets much deeper than that…I’ll explain later. 

We did our new but already fun family tradition tonight.  We went and got Chinese take out!  The kids absolutely love it.  You would think we are taking them to Disney World every time we do it.  They sincerely enjoy taking the container and putting their OWN food into their OWN container.  I don’t know why they love it so much and I don’t care.  I guess they feel like “big kids.”  I just know it puts a large smile on their face every time we do it and I also know in a few years they won’t ever want to do anything as family so I’m enjoying it while it lasts!
Ok, back to the “serious Brian.”  You know how I have mentioned before that if just one person quits smoking or chewing because of this blog, I’ll consider it a success!  Well, here’s the time to listen up if ANY of you are seriously considering quitting.  Hell, if any of you have any habits that you think you need to quit, listen up! 

As some of you know, I lost my oldest brother in 2009.  He was 32 years old when he passed away.  No ONE ever thinks they are going to lose their brother at the age of 32.  I’m sure you’re wondering how his death and my chewing are connected, right?  I’ll tell you.  I lost a lot of valuable brother time with him because of my chewing.  I would never chew in front of my grandparents because I always found it disrespectful to them.  They were at my family’s house for almost every holiday growing up.  Looking back on it, I walked out of a TON of fun family hang outs and conversations because I needed to dip.  I chewed often so I’d always make an excuse to go dip, missing many laughs and jokes with my family, ALL of which involved my brother Andy.  Now do you see the connection?  If I hadn't chewed tobacco, I would have gotten to hear my brother laugh several more times, hear his voice, see his smile, feel his hand shake, take his older brother jokes, and all the things you do with your family, especially my oldest brother.  Andy has been irreplaceable, obviously, and I’ll always regret the times I could have spent with him, where instead I was having a dip by myself.  I’m sorry Andy.  I’m doing good now and I know you’d be proud.

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I think about my brother on a daily basis.  Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I’m pissed off, and sometimes I want to beg for him to come back.  All I know is that I wish I would have never chewed for many reasons, but specifically for the reason I missed the time with him because I was being selfish and making sure I took care of my own addiction.  The funny thing is, my brother was giving and caring and always put others before him.  He’d forgive me in a heartbeat and tell me it’s never too late to quit.  He’s right.  I now have a family of my own and I’m quitting now so I NEVER again have to miss someone’s laugh, smile or touch that I love…

Good night all…

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 44: Pizza Fail And A Healthy Easter...

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Day 44:  And the days just keep on going!  For the first time in our journey, I feel like the paces of things are on my side.  Usually, it feels like each day is stuck in a giant bowl of molasses.  Days when I get a lot of cravings it feels like a giant bowl of molasses in December! But recently, when I get a craving I’ll have a snack, drink some Gatorade, drink some coke zero, talk with Stacy, etc. and the cravings go away.  I know I’ll continue to get cravings for a long time, but I also know that each day I go without caving, I will continue to get stronger and stronger. Like I said yesterday and many other times, having a strong and willing support system is HUGE!

Tonight we had a pizza fail.  It’s very rare that Stacy and I have a pizza fail in this house hold.  It’s even more rare that it comes from our favorite frozen pizza brand; DiGiorno.  Tonight we had the pizza from their “Italian Style Favorite” brand called “Chicken Parmesan.”  The toppings on this pizza are white meat chicken, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese.  How could it be bad?  We thought the same thing!  It just wasn't good.  The crust wasn't good, the chicken wasn't good and it just didn't go well together.  However, in DiGiorno’s defense, that is the FIRST time I have ever had their pizza and disliked it.  We will continue to buy their products for sure! 

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We also got the kids their Easter goodies for the class parties at school.  By the way, sending kids to school is EXPENSIVE!  I’m not just talking about the necessities like clothes, lunches, shoes, etc.  I mean all the extra stuff!  Fundraisers, snacks, parties, special days, field trips, pictures, and so on.  It seems like we’re sending in cash on a weekly basis for the kiddos.  What makes it worse is the fact they don’t know any better and they have done nothing not to deserve it so we just keep forking it over lol. Anyway, for Becket’s Easter party we got 2 dozen plastic eggs and enough candy to put some in each egg.  For Auden’s class, her teacher went with a healthier theme and asked the kids to bring in healthy snacks, which I think is a great idea.  We (also known as Stacy) chopped up two cantaloupes and added a big bag of pretzels for Auden’s class.  The funny and EXPECTED thing is Auden was a little bummed that her little brother got to take in eggs with candy in them and she had to take in fruit.  All I can say is this, I’m glad her teacher went with a healthy theme!  Hopefully we’ll only have ONE kid with a sugar today instead of two. Wait, who am I kidding, I’m sure Auden will find some sugar at school today!

Alright folks, it’s time to go, my fantasy baseball roster is a mess and I NEED to get it straightened out before the starts!  Good night all…As Stacy says, “you need win your fantasy leagues, momma needs new shoes!” 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 43: Reached A Milestone!

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Day 43: I forgot to mention something yesterday.  Remember how I failed two times before?  Once was on day 42, the other was on day 17.  Well, if today is day 43, what do you think I’m going to tell you?  That’s right; I have officially made it further than I have ever made it before!  Woohoo!  Failure is now without a doubt in my rear view mirror!  However, I also know that failure, aka nicotine is always lurking!  I have learned that nicotine cravings never fully go away, especially after only 42 days that’s for sure!  I have talked with people who still get cravings after several years of no nicotine.  They still randomly think about cigarettes or dip and you just never know what will trigger one of those cravings.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, having a sincere support system (our family) is absolutely the greatest thing that has ever happened to me with this chew stuff.  They don’t judge me, they don’t yell, they don’t tell me I can’t do it.  They just continue to believe and offer any help at any time that I may need.  They are truly life savers.  Mrs. Roush, my mom, my brother Dan and Stacy have done NOTHING except bring me encouragement.  I know it sounds silly, but words of encouragement and proper support are the recipe for success when it comes to quitting nicotine, at least I believe so.

The kids are finally over their sickness….Just in time to give it to me!  Yes, that’s right, I’m sick.  I rarely get sick and I have now been very sick two times in the last three weeks!  Stacy had her flu shot and I refused to get one, so you can imagine the ribbing that is going on.  Ah hell, I deserve it though.  All I had to do was get a flu shot and maybe I wouldn’t feel this way. Damn it!

We made quesadillas for dinner tonight.  Stacy and Auden had their cheese quesadilla’s and I had a ham and swiss cheese quesadilla. It tasted GREAT!  Well, except for the fact I couldn’t taste it because of my damn head cold! We really like our quesadilla maker, with one exception.  You can only fit a minimum amount of ingredients inside of it.  If you want to add anything extra, it’s a huge pain the butt to get it and keep it closed.  Just close you bastard!

And for the bed time movie, I….Wait, WE watched “The Collection. “  Stacy loved it!  Yes, my girlie girl Stacy, she loved it! First of all, in order to completely enjoy what this movie has to offer, you had to have seen The Collector, which is “part 1” of the series.  Without seeing part 1, you can still enjoy the movie, but you won’t fully know the characters the way I think you need to.  I truly felt The Collection was the best horror movies I have seen in a long time!  He (the “bad guy”) is by far my favorite serial killer since Michael Myers.  His mask is awesome, so is his demeanor and his “style” is 100% original and bad ass.  If you like horror movies, this is a MUST SEE!

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Time for bed…Good night all…

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Days 37-42: Sick, Hoops And Movies!

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Days 37-42: Where have I been!? Often times I’d try to keep you in suspense, you know, so you keep reading. However, I want to let everyone know I have not dipped! I didn’t stop posting because I failed again, thank God lol. I wasn’t posting because the kiddos were sick, very sick. They both missed several days of school, they could barely sleep most nights, one night poor Becks woke up at 1am and couldn’t fall back a sleep for the rest of the night. We found out once we got to the doctor why he was complaining about an ear ache. The doctor told us it was so bad that he had a blister on his ear drum. He’s been having throat issues and he continues to clear his throat many times each day. Auden had upper respiratory issues and her poor little body is so tiny, it just kicks her butt. Needless to say though, they are little kids so they are taking full advantage of being better now! 
I guess I should have a ton to write about but I really don’t. We’ve been taking care of the kids and trying to get them better and for everyone out there with kids, you know how much time that takes. Oh here’s one for you! We went to the grocery store, yes all four of us, which makes it tough on its own, but what happened made it even worse! We had a cart full of groceries and two kids with us. That means we were at the grocery store for WAY too long. So then we scan ALLLLLLL the damn groceries and the girl says “Our credit card machine is down.” What!?!? She then told us it would be down all day. It would have been ok if the card machine took a dump right when we tried, but why couldn’t she warn us!? Dude, it’s 2013, MOST people use their card when they buy almost $200.00 worth of groceries! 
 As we left the grocery store I did see something that I now look at differently. I saw a giant pile of dried up dip and spit lying in the parking lot. Oh, don’t worry, I’ll be posting a photo below lol. I saw it differently because I obviously don’t chew anymore. When I chewed, I would have avoided the pile and hoped and prayed the kids didn’t see it. When I was chewing, if the kids saw it, they would have said how gross it was, blamed it on me and then ask me why I do such a gross habit. I know this because they have done it before, many times! It was just another “thing” in a long line of “things” that control your life when you are addicted to nicotine. Yes, even when you are walking in a parking lot you can be consumed by nicotine! These are all little things that I never realized in the 16 years I was addicted to chewing. Well, maybe I did realize it. Perhaps I just blocked it out. Either way, nicotine won for the last 16 years and it will not win any longer.

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 Yesterday was a weird day. We got a TON of snow, or so it felt that way. It snowed at a consistent pace all day and into the night and the roads, sidewalks, etc. were perfectly fine. I didn’t even have to shovel or put out salt. I guess it just wasn’t cold enough to stick or freeze. This morning when we looked at outside, it looked like it didn’t even snow at all! No snow in the grass, no snow anywhere! Weird, just weird. 
 We also had Stacy’s spaghetti and homemade sauce! It’s SOOOOOOOO good! She puts several things in it. Not too many, nothing incredibly challenging, right? WRONG! It’s challenging and probably impossible to duplicate. Not because of the ingredients, because of the amount of the ingredients! She does it perfectly, hence the reason it’s HER sauce. Damn, I love her spaghetti sauce! No, you can’t have it lol. I’m going to have as many left over plates of that spaghetti and sauce as I can. I’ll fight you, you and you to the death for it too!
 I watched a movie called Cherry Tree Lane a few days ago, and boy was I disappointed! Almost NOTHING happens until the last 7-8 minutes of the film. The very few things that do “happen” aren’t seen, just assumed and the ending was horrible! In my opinion, it was one of the movies where the people behind it (writer, director, producers) thought the ending was brilliant. They probably thought the viewers would turn this into the next great horror movie cult classic. Sorry guys, it won’t happen, at least I don’t believe so. 
 Oh and by the way, how are your NCAA Brackets going? If they are still looking good, you’re a liar! Lol One of my final four teams, New Mexico lost right off the bat so I haven’t looked at my bracket since lol. Now I’m just watching for fun, which is what I should be doing every year!
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Time for some sleep, much needed sleep. Good night all…

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 36: PA Turnpike And Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza!

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Day 36:  Today was a day of travel as we headed to Philadelphia for a round of doctors appointments for Stacy.  It takes about three hours each way and we always try to make the best of it, by that, I mean we have a good time.  Plus, it gives us an opportunity to stop at Sheetz and that’s one of our favorite places to grab some grub! Anyway, more about the trip in a little bit…

Usually when we would drive for an extended period of time I would chew, chew, and chew some more.  I would be willing to be you smokers know what I’m talking about too!  I’d also be willing to bet that ZERO smokers would drive for three hours without smoking. Anyway, I’d have a spitter that is ¾ full by the end of the trip and that is DISGUSTING, not only for me, but for anyone who is in the car with me.  That person was almost always Stacy.  Stacy, I’m sorry. Imagine a 20oz soda bottle ¾ (or more) full of chew and chew spit.  There is no justifying how gross that is.  Don’t forget the part where my finger nails have chew in them (looks like dirt) and how my fingers tips would be stained at the end of each day. And none of that is including the health factor!  I could go on allllll day about that part.  Once again, it just goes to show you powerful nicotine is!

Now back to our road trip.  Guess who drove in the wrong lane on the way home and made us miss our toll ticket?  I’ll give you a hint…The name is NOT Stacy and it starts with a B.  Yup, it was me!  If I would have gotten our toll ticket, it would have cost us $4.80 when we got off the turn pike. Instead, the law is, you must pay the highest current toll if you show up to the booth with no ticket.  Instead of paying $4.80 we had to pay $35.60!  Atta boy Brian!  YOU IDIOT! Thank god Stacy is so cool and understanding.  Instead of smacking me, she just made jokes and had some fun with it.  Hey, at least we had the $35.60 to pay for that instead of me spending it on chew, right?  Yup, that’s a good excuse.  Lol

We did make good time because all of our attention was focused on finding different ways off the turn pike without having to pay a toll.  As you now know, we did NOT find a way without paying lol.  We did make it fun and she let me live even after I made the bone headed mistake. We were expecting to get home around 8ish but we got home at 6:15 or so.  We’ll take it!  That allowed us to get the kids in bed without them being up too late. It’s always nice avoiding grumpy kid syndrome lol.

We tried a new kind of pizza made by Digiorno for dinner.  It’s called Stuffed Crust Bacon Cheese Burger.  Because of the toppings and crust, it was a shoe in that I’d love it.  The real test was to see if Stacy would like it.  Survey says……SHE DID!  According to her it was great!  That’s good for me because that means we can get it again and again!  Woohoo!  And yes, in case you haven’t noticed, pizza with bacon and any other meat on it ALWAYS makes me happy!

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Alright folks, it’s time for bed.  I need my sleep so I can keep up with my NCAA March Madness brackets tomorrow.  Oh and don’t forget, “March Matness” is also starting, which is the NCAA Division I Wrestling National Championships.  Penn State will be going for their third consecutive team national title.  GO PSU! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 34/35: Lessons Learned And A Weigh In!

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Day 34: One week from today and I’ll officially surpass the longest dip quit “streak” I have ever been on. Many months ago I “quit,” or should I say stopped chewing for 40 days and then failed.  As you all know I failed again when my “streak” reached 17 days not too long ago.  Since then I've had an attitude adjustment (thank you Stacy and and no longer see this as a streak.  It’s a life style change in every possible way; mentally, physically and psychologically. Streaks end, this cannot and will not.  Not again, not ever, because my support group and I will NOT let it happen. 

I have learned to never take a day off from quitting.  I have learned the nicotine monster is ALWAYS right around the corner.  I have learned that letting my guard down and becoming over confident is a recipe for pure disaster.  I have learned that listening to nobody except myself has failure written all over it.  I have learned that making it a week or two weeks without nicotine means almost nothing in the long run.  Yes, it does mean you are two weeks further than the person who has made excuses not to quit and that DOES count for something.  I have learned that nicotine is BRUTAL and it’s not complicated as to why the tobacco industry is a billion dollar industry.  I have learned that a ton of people chew tobacco and even more people smoke.  MOST of them will give you an excuse as to why they can’t or won’t quit.  How do I know that?  Because I have done it!  I've made the excuses and I justified it to myself.  Some of you reading this blog are smokers/chewers and while I’m not going to call you out, I think you should look in the mirror and ask yourself what good your addiction is doing you and your family.  We all know the answer but we hide from it…I certainly did.

Speaking of excuses, it’s time for another weigh in!  I think I’m a little bit late this time around but it doesn't really matter, I can still make my point.  My point is, the biggest excuse out there is what? Yup, the “I’ll gain too much weight” excuse!  I started this journey at 189.2 lbs.  I have been all the way down to around 182 lbs and recently I have been right around 184-185 lbs.  Today, I officially weigh 185.2 lbs!  My point?  My point is, I've been doing this almost two months and not only have I managed to keep my weight under control, I have lost almost five lbs!  Your weight gain excuse is just that, an EXCUSE! 

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Now that I’m done “lecturing” you, although I don’t regret it because it’s something I wish I had in front of me a long time ago, I can now tell you about the early dismissal the kids had today.  I’d say we got between 3-4 inches of snow, which is a pretty typical day in PA during the winter.  It doesn't make it any less annoying though.  Hey  Phil, you’re a damn liar! Go back in your hole!

Tonight for dinner we ended up making a great pizza out of a loaf of garlic bread we didn't want to waste!  Stacy threw pizza seasoning and garlic powder on hers and that sounded good to me so I did the same, along with pepperoni.  Besides pepperoni and bacon, my favorite kind of pizza is any pizza with meat on it!  Anyway, they came out great, we had a full belly and we didn't waste anything! 

Good night all…

Monday, March 18, 2013

French Onion Soup....My new found love!

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So.... this is one of life's little treasures that I hadn't ever known about until I met Brian. You know "those" foods that you "just know" that you don't like. You've never tried it, have never even looked at the recipe, or ingredients but for some reason it just never sounded appealing to you? Well this was it for me. In fact, I remember a day when Brian said "just try it" and I was like "ahhhhh, nah thanks" (yep, snobbing sounding JUST like that), because I just "knew" I wasn't going to like it. 

 Fast forward a few months and I was at a local eatery with a few of my friends and wouldn't you know the forbidden French Onion Soup came with my meal. I'm a very frugal person by nature so I was NOT going to waste the soup. In fact it even smelled a little good when the waitress brought it to me. So I decided to give it a try.... WOWZA, WOW-WEE! I WAS IN LOVE! I couldn't stop raving about it and couldn't wait until I got home to tell Brian how much I loved it! Oh yeah and to swallow my pride a little in telling him that I was wrong and should have listened to him and tried it MONTHS before that! From that moment on my search was on for a good recipe. Brian told me how many times it was hit and miss with this soup and recipes and that it might be downright difficult to find one that tastes as good as most restaurants serve, BUT tell a woman that it can't be done or might be not be possible and it WILL become her life goal to find one that defies the odds! This soup recipe might just be IT! Brian agrees and we have made it twice since finding it, it is THAT good! It comes from an original recipe located on the page and can be found here. The best news of all is that aside from the prep work it's a slow cooker recipe so you can go about your business (like online shopping - oops did I say that out loud?) while it cooks! I modify it slightly and will share the recipe with you all below! Enjoy! 
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Slow Cooker French Onion Soup (my version modified from

6 TBSP of unsalted butter 
4 Large Yellow Onions (I used 6 medium yellow onions) cut into slices and rings separated
1 TBSP of white sugar
2 cloves of minced garlic (I used 2 TBSP of minced garlic in the jar, because you see I'm lazy like that..)
1/2 Cup of cooking sherry
7 Cups of beef broth (the original recipe calls for reduced sodium but I just bought the generic and then omitted the salt)
1/4 tsp of dried thyme 
(Original recipe calls for a bay leaf which I didn't have and we honestly didn't miss it)
8 slices of French bread
Provolone, Swiss, mozzarella and freshly grated Parmesan to taste (and to garnish on top).


Heat butter in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat; cook and stir onions until they become translucent, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle onions with sugar; reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until onions are soft and browned, at least 30 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir sherry into onion mixture and scrape bottom of pot to dissolve small bits of browned food from the pot. Transfer onions into a slow cooker and pour in beef broth. Stir in thyme (as well as bay leaf and salt if desired). Cover cooker, set on High, and cook 4 to 6 hours. If desired, set on Low and cook 8 to 10 hours.

About 10 minutes before serving, set oven rack about 8 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet.

Bake bread slices until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Combine Swiss, Provolone, Parmesan, and Mozzarella cheeses in a bowl, tossing lightly. Fill oven-safe soup crocks or bowl  3/4 full of onion soup and float a bread slice in each bowl (I chose to chop up my bread slices into cubes but whatever tickles your fancy will work!). Top with about 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture per serving (or more if desired... and I do!). 

Place filled bowls onto a baking sheet and broil until cheese topping is lightly browned and bubbling, about 2 minutes.
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Day 33: Grammy Carol's Hulk Hands and FOOD!

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Day 33:  It's Sunday Funday and we're doing it family and food style!  My mom is coming to visit us today and we're making home made french onion soup and apple crisp.  It's another awesome feeling knowing I don't have to schedule when I eat around when I had my last dip, or when I'll need my next dip.  I can go out in the snow with the kids without worrying if I just spit in the snow in the same spot where the kids are playing, I don't have to worry about anyone in my family (especially the kids) running into, knocking over or just plain having to look at one of my spitters. I assume people who don't chew RARELY think about these things. However, I can assure you, that's pretty much all chewers think about. Hence the fact I have told you many times that chew ran my life. I meant it. It owned me, ran my life and controlled my way of thinking about almost everything I did through out my days...

We got up bright and early and started chopping the onions. We made a double batch so there would be enough for my mom to take home with her. The cutting and sauteing of the onions takes about an hour, depending on how many onions you use. We used a lot of onions so it took us awhile. Plus, you have to strip each layer of each onion off before you put them in the pan; another time consuming part. Then we cooked all of it together in the crock pot for four hours on high! Yes, overall, it takes awhile but it's sooooooooooooo worth it! Stacy will be blogging about the french onion soup IN DETAIL: photos, recipe, notes, etc. Below is a little tease photo...

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Next up was Stacy's famous home made apple crisp! It's goooooood! And guess what is ironic about this recipe? It's a Weight Watchers recipe! When you eat it, you would NEVER think so! It's fantastic! The tartness of the Granny Smith apples balance perfectly with the topping of the crisp. It's a VERY well made dish and it's even better because my girl makes it!

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We had a lot of fun today, that's for sure. How could you not have fun when Grammy Carol gets photographed wearing (and loving them) hulk hands! No one believes me, but this is what Grammy Carol really did look like when I was younger and did something bad lol. Grammy Carol did NOT mess around! It's funny though, Auden, Beckett and Stacy can do no wrong in her eyes lol.

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Alright folks, I'm going to lay down and checkout a movie called Cherry Tree Lane. Perhaps that will be my next movie review on We'll see! Good night all...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Day 32: Sex Cake, Meat, and Horror Movies!

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Day 32:  Today has been a day of awesome food and family time!  It sure does feel good having good food and valuable family time knowing I didn’t need my spitter and can of dip every 45 minutes.  I just wish I could truly write on this blog in an accurate way how great it makes me feel.  I really, honestly, sincerely believe if I could make all of you smokers/dippers feel the way I feel right now, it just might be enough on its own to help motivate you to quit. It feels good every single day, hell, every single hour and minute that I go without a dip, but NOTHING and I mean NOTHING makes me feel better than knowing my family is proud of me and I’m proud of myself.  Call me arrogant, call me an idiot, call me whatever you want, it won’t change the wonderful feeling I have every time we do something as a family and I don’t have to worry about being a negative influence on the kids or taking a chance on my health.
Today, Stacy and I made Pulled Pork and Stacy made a cake called “Better Than Sex Cake.”  I’m lucky enough to say, with sincerity that the cake isn’t better than our sex, but it sure is better than a lot of the sex I’ve had in the past lol.  I’m kidding mom, I never had sex before!  Ever…
For the Pulled Pork, we just throw the slab of meat in the crock pot, mix up the McCormick Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Spice Rub, dump and spread it around on the meat and let it go!  Several hours later, you have meat so tender that it literally pulls a part with minimal effort, hence the name “pulled pork.”  We eat it in sandwiches, but you can eat them in pork tacos, just on a plate or anyway you want to really.  It’s common to add cole slaw to your pulled pork sandwich, which I do.  Stacy doesn’t.  She likes cole slaw on the side, but I love to throw it right on the sandwich.  Stacy enjoys putting cheese on hers.  To each his/her own!  Either way, if you cook the meat right, it’ll taste goooooooood! Don’t over cook it!  Over cooking it is pretty much the only way to screw up pulled pork.
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Then, Stacy made her “Better Than Sex Cake.” Holy sh!t this stuff is good!  It’s truly the best cake I have ever eaten….ever….in my life…since I was born…It’s not really even that hard to make either!  You just make chocolate cake, poke holes in it, and then add caramel, chocolate syrup, Heath bar bits (or whatever candy bar you prefer) and cool whip.  As you let it cool, the caramel seeps into the holes of the cake and it makes the cake even more moist!  I personally believe the longer you let it cool, the better it is.  Then again, there’s really NO possible way this cake could be bad.  NO. WAY. IN. HELL, especially if Stacy is making it.  I’m drooling just typing about it! Perhaps it’s just fat kid in me though.
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I also wanted to tell you all about a friend of mine who I met through the site This website is to help people when they are serious about quitting chew and they support you every step of the way.  The same guy who runs this site, also runs a cool horror movie website called I was lucky enough to be invited by him to write a movie review about a movie (“The Woman, 2011) I have recently seen and publish it on his site.  It’s now officially up so go check out his site!  The site is growing and it’s all about people who truly enjoy horror movies.  Again, his website is, and he has a page on Facebook as well.  Help him allow the page to grow and go support him!
Alrighty, it’s been a long, but VERY satisfying day in the kitchen and with family.  Good night all…Here’s to 32 days with no dip

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Day 31: Pure Motivation and Dominos Pizza!

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Day 31: Happy St. Patty’s Day!  Sort of.  The kids are “celebrating” it at school today and alcoholics are celebrating it tonight and tomorrow night.  The kids celebrated it by wearing green shirt to school and the school rewarded them with a “prize” for wearing that green shirt.  What was the prize you ask?  Green ice cream!  I actually think that’s a pretty cool prize for small kids.  However, the catch was, you had to purchase a school lunch, but like I mentioned yesterday, its pizza day so I’m assuming a lot of the kids purchased a school lunch. 
I always talk about motivation; who and what motivates me to not only stop chewing tobacco, but to go day in and day out without dipping.  I’m motivated by many things: Myself, my soon to be wife, Stacy’s mom, my mom, and to be honest, the people who don’t believe in me motivate me as well, A LOT.  With all of that being said, what might motivate me as much as anything else in the world is Auden and Beckett. As you know, Beckett is five and Auden is seven.  They BOTH know that chewing tobacco is bad for you, just like they know smoking is to.  They even said to me, “Please stopping doing “Grizzy” (their name for “Grizzly,” my OLD brand of chew) we don’t want you to die.”  Imagine if a five and seven and year old said that you.  It was very tough hearing that from them.  It also goes to show you how tough nicotine is on your mental and physical well being.  The kids said that directly to my face, yet I have failed two times.  IT’S THAT TOUGH.  Look below at the photo from today in their kick ass St. Patty’s Day shirts.  Meet the mini princess and the mini stud!
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Tonight we ordered Domino’s.  We did the two medium, two topping pizza special for $5.99 each.  The kids got extra cheese and Stacy and I made our own combination.  Instead of tomato sauce, we got BBQ sauce and our two toppings were onions and chicken.  It was our own version of BBQ chicken pizza!  We absolutely love it! Nom nom nom…
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It hasn’t been a great night for my sports teams that played tonight.  Notre Dame lost to Louisville in the semis of the Big East Tourney, and Team USA lost to Puerto Rico in the World baseball Classic (WBC).  Team USA has been eliminated and finished in a disappointing fashion in yet another WBC.  As for Notre Dame, I wouldn’t say losing in the semis was disappointing; Notre Dame is a football school with a decent basketball team.  ND will do what they normally do, win their first round game and then lose by 10-15 in the second round of the NCAA Tourney.
Alright folks, it’s that time.  Good night all…

Friday, March 15, 2013

Day 30: Boston Market And Bingo!

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Day 30:  Hello day 30!  I have officially made it 30% of the way!  What does that mean?  Absolutely nothing!  Would you be happy if you got a 30% on a test, or if you only finished 30% of a book, or if you only got 30 out of 100 things done on your to do list?  No!  Therefore, I’m not happy or in any rush to celebrate! I’m happy to have made it 30 days, but not happy enough to celebrate anything.  We’ll celebrate when we make it to day 100, then we’ll be shooting for day 200!
Today is the first day our kids are riding the bus home.  I’m super nervous for them.  I just want to make sure they get on the bus ok, find friends to sit with and behave while on the bus.  And, naturally, I hope they don’t get picked on or pick on anyone else.  You would think kindergarten and 2nd graders are too young to know what bullying is, but let me assure you, bullies and victims come in ALL shapes, sizes and ages!
They made it!  Picking them up at the bus stop was a blast.  Beckett got off the bus screaming “I did it!  I did it!”  Auden got off the bus with the attitude like “yeah, of course I did it, I’m a big kid.”  But, you could see how much fun she had.  Don’t worry Auden, your “big kid” secret is safe with me.  It just cracks me up that Auden has days where she believes she’s old enough to be a “big kid,” then there are days where she acts her age, which is seven. 
We just did something simple for dinner tonight, Stacy had a Boston Market Salisbury Steak Dinner and I had the Boston Market Country Fried Steak Dinner.  Both were terrific!  You should check them out next time you go to the grocery store.  I’ll be honest though, I had the Boston Market Chicken Parmesan the other day and I didn’t like it.  I like the cheap “Banquet” Chicken Parm better than I like Boston Market Chicken Parm.  The Banquet is $1.00 and the Boston Market (yes, much bigger serving size) is $3.00, maybe more.
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Now it’s time for us to play our all time favorite App. Bingo Bash!  If you haven’t checked it out yet, do it!  You’ll be addicted in no time.  It’s the only App. that has kept our attention for longer than a month or so.  
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Good night all…

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Day 29: St. Patty's Day and Sushi!

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Day 29: The cravings subsided today, which is always a good thing.  Yesterday was just one of those days, I suppose.  I also suppose I should be prepared for many more of those days filled with random cravings.  The most important thing is that we handled the cravings well; No failure of any kind.  I truly believe it had a lot to do with Stacy and how she has taught me to be positive and remain positive.  For the 7,657th time, THANK YOU Stacy!
I know you can do math, but we’re one day from 30!  Day 30 isn’t really a big day for me, it just for some reason sounds like I’m starting to put a dent into this 100 day journey.  I’ll be 30% of the way done.  It sounds a lot better than 25% of the way done lol.  All I know is that I’ve gone almost 30 days with no nicotine and that’s the goal!  One day at a time, day by day. 
Today we went to Walmart so we could pick Auden and Beckett up a St. Patty’s Day shirt.  If they wear a green shirt to school, they get a “prize” during lunch.  Oh, and you have to purchase a school lunch as well.  Tomorrow is pizza day and every kid loves pizza, even school pizza!  Wait until you see the shirts we got the kids.  They’re great! At least I think so. We’ll be sure to take a photo of the kids wearing them. 
As promised, we made sushi tonight!  Well, like I said, Stacy made sushi, and she did GREAT! Yesterday, I was saying I was hoping she could duplicate how great she did last time.  She did MORE than that this time.  The sushi tonight tasted even better than last time!  If you actually do follow this blog, you would have seen that we got a “sushi set” at Ollies.  It came with a 64 page book, bamboo rice paddle (fancy name for rice scooper), bamboo rolling mat and a two pairs of chop sticks.  The reason I’m telling you about this again is because tonight was the first time we were able to use it.  It worked great!  Therefore, it turns out the deal was a GREAT one!
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Alrighty folks, time to watch Notre Dame and Rutgers in the Big East basketball tourney. Good night all…

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 28: Cravings, BLT's and Haircuts!

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Day 28:  For the first time in about two weeks, I had several cravings.  By several, I’d say eight or nine cravings.  Although you’d have to ask Stacy to know for sure, I’m 99.9% sure I handled them well!  Most importantly, however, I did NOT chew.  Come to think of it, although I had cravings, chewing actual dip never really even popped into my head.  Eating, exercising, staying busy and talking all did though.  I did pretty much all of them and they worked.  Hell, just sitting down and talking with Stacy helped me!  Where as in the past, I probably would have gotten grumpy towards myself or Stacy, wined, moaned, or just flat out would have given in….Like I did two times before!  Not this time!  Woohoo!
Today was also hair cut day for the kids.  They did well!  Today was the first time I have ever seen Beckett behave perfectly while getting his hair cut from anyone other than Uncle Dan.  As a matter of fact, he was so well behaved, he actually surprised me!  He went from flipping out and crying to being PERFECT all in the span of two trips!  To reward him, I took him over to Turkey Hill (our little convenience store) and got him his favorite- a giant hot dog and a bag of chips.  It’s hilarious watching him eat one of those hot dogs.  The hot dog is as big as his arm.  He hammered the entire thing to.  I guess sitting in a chair while someone cuts your hair is hard work and it makes you hungry lol.
For dinner we made BLT’s, one of America’s most underappreciated sandwiches, at least in my worthless opinion! And, of course what’s the secret to a GREAT BLT?  Extra B!  It’s that simple; add a little more bacon and BAM!  Perfection! On a serious note, they really did hit the spot tonight.  I’m not sure why and I really don’t care about the reasoning behind it, they just did.  Great choice Stacy!  Then again, usually anything with bacon would hit the spot for me.  Tomorrow night is Sushi night for us!  We’ll be making our version of home made Sushi!  When I say “we” will be making it, I mean Stacy will be making it and I’ll stay the hell out of her way.  We (she) made it before and loved it! We’ll (she’ll) find out if we (she) can duplicate it.
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Have you followed us on twitter yet?  How about Instagram? If not, what are you waiting for!? Get to it!  Starting on Monday, March 18th we’ll be very active on Instagram, Twitter, and and
Twitter: @lifegonelive
Instagram: lifegonelive
Alright folks, we’re inching towards day 30 of no chew and I’m feeling good!  Good night all…