Living proof that the Universe has a sense of humor.

It was fall, and the sun set, and it was beautiful.

Posted September 13, 2015 | Clouds & Sunsets, Photos & Photo Galleries, Skies, Today I'm Grateful for..., Welcome to My Life | One Comment

September 13, 2015 Sunset, Roanoke, Virginia

September 13, 2015 Sunset, Roanoke, Virginia

September 13, 2015 Sunset, Roanoke, Virginia

September 13, 2015 Sunset, Roanoke, Virginia

September 13, 2015 Sunset, Roanoke, Virginia

September 13, 2015 Sunset, Roanoke, Virginia

September 13, 2015 Sunset, Roanoke, Virginia

September 13, 2015 Sunset, Roanoke, Virginia

Category: Clouds & Sunsets, Photos & Photo Galleries, Skies, Today I'm Grateful for..., Welcome to My Life

New V-Kit e-Cig: Great for both newbies and long-time vapers.

Posted August 7, 2015 | E-cigarettes, Products Mentions & Reviews | 4 Comments

When Brian from Vapor4Life asked me if I’d try out its new V-Kit and write a product review, I was all over it. I switched from traditional cigarettes to e-cigs with Vapor4LIfe five years ago, and I’ve never had the desire to go back to the mess, smell, and smoke of regular cigarettes.

I’ve tried many different types of e-cigs – from cigarette-sized batteries to tanks with large, rectangular batteries. The new V-Kit from Vapor4Life is now one of my favorites. Here’s why:

The kit is all-inclusive. It comes with everything you need to get started: battery, USB cable, USB to AC adapter, a pre-filled V-cart, enough e-juice to refill it twice, and a carrying case.

Vapor4LIfe WowVapor V-Kit

My new V-kit, fresh out of the box.

The battery charges fast. The first time I charged the battery, it took less than 45 minutes to charge fully. When it’s completely out of power, it takes about two hours to charge. The good news is that you can use it while it’s charging, although it doesn’t charge quite as fast when you do that.

V-kit charging

You can charge the V-kit battery when it’s in its case.

Fully Charged V-kit

It’s easy to tell when the V-kit is fully charged.

A new, fully charged battery lasts me the better part of a day. In my experience, the longer you use an e-cig battery, the shorter its battery life gets. I’ve used my V-kit mine for three weeks, and it hasn’t shown any sign of doing so yet.

The V-kit is easy to carry and comfortable to use. The “Ming vase” mouthpiece is made of medical-grade silicone, so it’s easy to clean. It fits into my mouth more comfortably than a cigar-shaped mouthpiece does. The assembled V-kit is sleek, light, and easy to carry in the back pocket of my jeans.

The V-kit has a GREAT throat hit! The first time I took a puff from the V-kit, I was delighted with the throat hit. This isn’t something you can take for granted when purchasing an e-cig, and it makes a big difference to me.

Me and with my V-kit.

Me and with my V-kit.

As much as I like my V-kit, there are a few things I think could use some improvement:

There isn’t any warning when the battery is going to need charging. If you’re depending on your V-kit for your nicotine fix, you might want to get a spare battery to or use it with the charging cord when you’re near a power source.

The case isn’t my favorite part. First, it’s shiny and likely to get scratched. Second, you have to take the e-cig apart to carry it in the case. Everyone has a different way of keeping track of her gear, so this may or may not bother you. I carry mine fully assembled in my purse or the back pocket of my jeans.

There’s a trick to filling the V-carts. See my post “Advanced vaping: A sure cure for your nicotine jones” to learn more about that. The pre-filled carts, while a bit more expensive, are a great solution if this is a problem for you.

My Conclusion

When it comes right down to it, I find that the positive qualities of the V-kit far outweigh any of the other issues I’ve mentioned.

  • For the person who wants to switch from tobacco to vaping, this is about as easy as it gets, and it gives you a great vaping experience.
  • If you’ve been vaping a while and want something compact but with a great throat hit, I’d definitely recommend that you try it.

. . .

Disclaimer: Vapor4Life sent this product for me at no charge to review. I am receiving no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own. They were not influenced in any way by Vapor4Life. If you decide to try it, your mileage may vary…but it’s certainly worth a try!

Category: E-cigarettes, Products Mentions & Reviews

The tenderness of scars.

Posted July 27, 2015 | Lessons I've Learned, My Family - Past & Present, Photos & Photo Galleries, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life | One Comment

Scars: A love storyYou’ll have to go way back to my September 13th, 2010 post – “Scars: A love story” – for the photos below to make sense.

And even if you do, they still might not, not really. It’s just that I saw the movie Southpaw yesterday, and the scenes where the boxer got his eye cut open so he could see reminded me of the scars I have.

I didn’t win any medals for getting them, though.

The Scars

Click on an image to view a larger version in a new window.

Scar, right brow bone.
Scar: Right brow bone.
Fist punch to the right eye through glasses resulting in a very bad black eye, a cut that bled like crazy and was left to heal on its own, and a broken right glasses lens.


Scar: Left brow bone.
A result of a head butt that left tiny bone fragments where little pieces broke off my left brow bone and stayed under the skin. A little bit of a black eye, and a broken left glasses lens.

Scar: Upper left “laugh line.”
The scar on the left between the outside of my nose and the corner of my mouth left from a punch in the face is cleverly concealed by my nasolabial fold. The cut was the only injury that time.

The Lessons

Can you read this story, look see these photos, and imagine yourself in my place for just a little bit?

Black EyeIf so, maybe you’ll understand why I have trouble letting go of hurts – even ones that don’t leave marks – and why I need someone to notice, admit, and care if he hurts me or my feelings – even if he (or she) didn’t do it on purpose.

It makes me seem fragile and demanding. Sometimes I am.

And I’m very, very sorry, for more reasons than you’ll ever know.

Category: Lessons I've Learned, My Family - Past & Present, Photos & Photo Galleries, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life

May The Force Be With You: Turning from The Dark Side to The Light.

Posted July 10, 2015 | Lessons Learned, Personality Tests, Random Observations, Welcome to My Brain | 2 Comments

Yesterday I took the online quiz “What does your name mean in French?” Here’s the answer I got:

Janeson the Force

Find out what your name means in French here.

I don’t know about the “tower of strength” or “confidence” part, but I do have a very strong force field under certain circumstances.

The Light Side.

I can be an advocate, a protector, a rescuer. Need someone to give you first aid and make sure you get medical care? I’m all over it. Want someone who will stand beside you in a fight? I’m in.

The Dark Side.

However, if I interpret something someone says or does in a way that makes me feel disrespected or bossed around, the Janeson Force can be brutal. Those feelings were evoked in me at such an early age that my first reaction to anything not overtly positive has often been instant – fear, closely followed by anger – and…uh…forceful.

I’ve hurt a lot of people with that force, and I regret that I didn’t learn much earlier how to channel that energy more positively.

Moving Toward the Light.

How others see you is not important. How you see yourself is everything.I’m still learning that people don’t usually do the things that light my fuse on purpose.

Few people are mean, condescending, or disrespectful intentionally. And when they are, it says more about them than it does about me.
May the Force Be With You
I’m learning to take the time to identify my feelings and separate them from the event that triggered them. When I do that, I can respond with The Light Side of The Force instead of The Dark Side.

Turning that sequence of behaviors into a habit is a work in progress. Happily, the Janeson Force helps me with that, too.

Category: Lessons Learned, Personality Tests, Random Observations, Welcome to My Brain

Fun with kids: Chapter 4

Posted July 4, 2015 | Photos & Photo Galleries, Welcome to My Life | 2 Comments

Chapter 4: Family fun on the 4th…and shrimp burgers.

Kara’s in-laws and Dan were nice enough to invite me to join them for their 4th of July picnic. Dinner was delicious, with Evan’s first attempt at shrimp burgers being a big hit with me. Oz was in fine form, and Dan took pictures of darn near everyone, including me.

Evan, Dan, Maddie & Oscar Smith

Three generations of Smiths.

Maddie & Me

Me & Pampa’s best grandgirl.

Evan Smith's Shrimp Burgers

Evan Smith’s newly famous shrimp burger on the right.
I ate two of them.

Me & Oz

Oz actually likes watermelon. And he likes me. Sitting for a picture? Not so much.


Category: Photos & Photo Galleries, Welcome to My Life

Fun with kids: Chapter 3

Posted June 28, 2015 | Beloved Friend, Kayaking, Photos & Photo Galleries, Welcome to My Life | Leave a Comment

Chapter 3: Out on the Cove

Dan decided he wanted to take Maddie out on the cove, so I invited Buffy along and off we went: four kayaks, four people, three vehicles. Okay, not very energy efficient, but lots of fun.

Dan tows Maddie

Dan is towing Maddie, although for all the world it looks like they’re trying to go in opposite directions.

Buffy & me

Beloved friends.

Maddie & Me

Ssssh! We’re trying to hide from Photographr Pampa Dan.

Buffy, Maddie & Me

Maddie and her new friends. She even gave Buffy a hug when we left. (Although I think she may hug everybody, just on principle :-)


Category: Beloved Friend, Kayaking, Photos & Photo Galleries, Welcome to My Life

Fun with kids: Chapter 2

Posted June 27, 2015 | Photos & Photo Galleries, Welcome to My Life | Leave a Comment

Chapter 2: Dan, Maddie & Janeson’s Big Adventures.

Click a pictures to see a larger version in a new window.

Maddie & Stripey

New furriends.

Maddie meets Stripey.

On Saturday, Dan invited me to join him and Maddie on hike to Roaring Run. When they came by to pick me up. I invited them in and got to introduce Maddie to Stripey and vice versa. Both were their usual charming selves.

The hike and the swarm.

Maddie and I leaving the loo.

Maddie and I leaving the loo.

Even though it was cool and rainy, in good spirits we toured the pig iron furnace and walked down the trail admiring the rushing torrent of post-rain Roaring Run.

Then we arrived at a bridge where Dan wanted to pose with Maddie. Dan sat on the bridge step with Maddie standing behind him, and after one click of the camera a swarm of yellow jackets attacked them. I got to practice my first aid “training.” [Helpful hint: The hand sanitizer in the loo disinfects stings.]

The troops regroup.

Maddie & Me at Wendy's

Fine dining with Dan’s grandgirl.

By unanimous vote, we left the hike for another day and headed down to Wendy’s for lunch.

Much refreshed by our tasty and nutritious lunch – and with a surprise introduction to my favorite youngest niece, Ally, who was also at Wendy’s with some friends – we headed off to do the Most Important Thing.


No outing with a young lady (or with Dan) is complete without some thrift store shopping. Maddie and Dan’s friend Leah had developed a tradition out of picking out dressy clothes at Goodwill and having a fashion show in the dressing room. Maddie wanted to keep up the tradition, so while Dan ravaged and plundered the men’s and housewares departments, Maddie and I ran through the women’s department and picked out some outfits. Then we headed to the dressing room to prepare for our fashion show with Photographr & Pampa Dan at the ready to take photos.

The Fashion Show

Madeline Smith: Future Cover Girl

Madeline Smith: Future Cover GIrl

Janeson & Maddie Modeling

Fashion buddies.

Dresses at Goodwill

Maddie all decked out.

Tricolor dress at Goodwill

I almost bought this.

Who knew we could wear the same size?

Maddie in Blue

Blue, Maddie-style.

Janeson in Blue

We do not wear the same shoe size. Ouch! Cute dress, though.

And when it was all over and it was time to go home, a very good time had been had by all.

Especially me :-)

Category: Photos & Photo Galleries, Welcome to My Life

Fun with kids: Intro & Chapter 1

Posted June 26, 2015 | Photos & Photo Galleries, Welcome to My Life | 2 Comments

Evan, Dan, Maddie & Oscar Smith

Evan, Dan, Oz & Maddie

My friend Dan’s son Evan, daughter-in-law Kara, and their kids Maddie (properly Madeline, age 10) and Oz (property Oscar, age three, going on four) are visiting from Spain.

Dan has been kind enough to invite me along on some of their adventures. As a result, I’ve spent more time playing over the last 10 days than I have in the past 20 years, and I’ve enjoyed every minute.

Click a picture to see a larger version in a new window.

Chapter 1: I meet Oz.

The first Friday after Evan, Kara, Maddie, and Oz arrived, Dan invited me to join the family at the City Market for lunch. I got to reintroduce myself to Maddie and to meet Oz for the first time. Maddie was a delight, as always, and Oz and I became buddies.

Janeson & Oz

Me and my new buddy.


Category: Photos & Photo Galleries, Welcome to My Life

Walking on the edge of the weather.

Posted June 23, 2015 | Beloved Friend, Clouds & Sunsets, Photos & Photo Galleries, Skies | 2 Comments

Beloved friend Buffy and I went out for a walk this evening. The sunset was to our backs on the way out, but on the way back only half the sunset was visible. The other half was covered by one of those “isolated showers” we’ve been having so many of lately.


Look! Weather!


And it’s coming closer…


…and closer….


We just made it to the breezeway of the building across the parking lot from mine before the big drops fell.

And two minutes later the pavement was very wet, and it had quit raining.

Welcome to summer weather in the Roanoke Valley!
(And it’s just June. * sigh * )

Category: Beloved Friend, Clouds & Sunsets, Photos & Photo Galleries, Skies

I didn’t have to lift my arms up.

Posted June 13, 2015 | Hiking, Kayaking, Photos & Photo Galleries | One Comment

I can’t lift my arms up.

After kayaking: Day 1

Kayaking Day 1:
I can still lift my arms.

I set a new record this week: three consecutive days of kayaking.

The first day I went in happy solitude, paddling at my own pace. The second day I went with beloved friend Buffy, and I paddled at his pace. On day three I got an unexpected invitation to kayak from my outdoor excursion buddy Dan, and I paddled at his pace.

Kayaking Day 3: The arms are limp.

Kayaking Day 3: My arms are limp.
Pic by Photogaphr Dan, who takes me along to take pix of him.

At the end of day three, I felt like Randy in the movie A Christmas Story, except that it wasn’t so much that I couldn’t put my arms down as I couldn’t lift them up.

An excursion involving legs.


The legs still work! Look at that stretch!

With arms muscles worn out by upper body activity, I was happy that today’s excursion involved a hike on North Mountain in Rockbridge County.

Intrepid Photographr Dan took me along as assistant camera wrangler, amateur photographer trainee, and disheveled model. Credit for photo composition and editing go to him. I take credit for the dishevelment.

There are pix on his blog post about the hike. I’ll post the other ones he sent me, but there is one I have to duplicate because I’m so impressed with myself (photo right).

At the top of the rock.

Made it to the top!

Me trying to look "sultry."

Me trying to look “sultry.” #modelfail

After comin’ down the mountain (with stops to pick up litter along the way), a stop at KFC for lunch and a bit of shopping at the Goodwill in Lexington completed a lovely afternoon.

My arms are a bit more rested and my legs feeling less neglected, and all is right with the world – with one exception.

Litter. Just don’t.

Beer can on tree

No. This is not appropriate tree decor.
(Pic by Dan.)

To the people who like to decorate the lovely trails with cigarette butts and empty cigarette packs, the trees with empty beer cans, and the road with empty 12-pack boxes, I have a suggestion:

If you think those things look good in the forest, just think how much more attractive they’d look in your living rooms.


Category: Hiking, Kayaking, Photos & Photo Galleries

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    JanesonThanksgiving 2014

    You'd think that with all the time I spend working on the computer, I'd pick another way to spend my time. Alas, that is not the case. I've noticed - in my advancing age - that my brain is getting full. Since I don't want to take the chance of forgetting anything interesting (if only to myself), I thought it might be nice to have a place to offload the stories and minutiae that are filling it up so I can make room for more stuff.

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