This is a blog for "people". You're not defined by your latest & greatest. You are you and that's great enough.
By: ricderr, 6:12 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
When the Germans Settled in "sandfly" PA they brought with them a Candlemas Poem:
For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until May.
For as the snow blows on Candlemas Day,
So far will the sun shine before May.
We know good old Sandfly as Punxsutawney, the Delaware Indian name and thanx to an editorial by Clymer Freas Feb 2, 1886 in The Punxsutawney Spirit: "Today is groundhog day and up to the time of going to press the beast has not seen its shadow." Groundhog Day began.The following year the first legendary Groundhog Day trip to Gobbler's Knob was made by a raucous bunch of guys calling themselves the "The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club." It was on this day that Clymer proclaimed that Phil, the Punxsutawney Groundhog, was the one and only official weather prognosticating groundhog. Phil's fame, spread by newspapers from around the world, grew and people took notice of his predictions. Each year more and more fans started making the trek to Punxsutawney every February 2, and after the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, numbers would total in the tens of thousands. Next week you will be able to see the event live on many stations and taped on almost every news station around the country and globe. It will even be shown live on the big screen in Times Square and Phil's prediction will be included in the Congressional Record.
How did Phil get his name?
The groundhog's full name is actually "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary." It was so proclaimed by the "Punxsutawney Groundhog Club" in 1887, the same year they declared Punxsutawney to be the weather capital of the world.
How do you know it is really Phil at Gobbler's Knob?
For most of the year, Phil lives in a climate-controlled home at the Punxsutawney Library. He is taken to Gobbler's Knob and placed in a heated burrow underneath a simulated tree stump on stage before being pulled out at 7:25 am on Groundhog Day, February 2, to make his prediction.
How old is Phil anyway?
Phil is reputed by townspeople to be more than 100 years old, surviving beyond a marmot's normal life span thanks to the strong constitution of his wife, Phyllis, and a steady diet of Groundhog Punch.
Was the 1993 film Groundhog Day really filmed in Punxsutawney?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Columbia Pictures decided to film the movie in a location more accessible to a major metropolitan center. Punxsutawney is located in a very rural area with few highways, so Woodstock, Illinois was chosen as the site for the movie. As a result adjustments had to be made for the production. The actual Gobbler's Knob is a wooded hill with a beautiful view; the Gobbler's Knob in the movie is moved to the town square though it is recreated to scale based on detailed notes and videos the crew made on its visit to Punxsutawney.
What can I expect at the Punxutawney Groundhog Day celebration?
Plan to arrive in Punxutawney no later than 6am in time to catch one of several shuttles providing transportation to Gobbler's Knob (there is no parking at the Knob). Or, arrive a day or two earlier for a weekend of action-packed events including a chili cook-off, ice carving exhibitions, trivia contests, a Prognosticators Ball, groundhog day weddings, sleigh rides, woodchuck whittling, the Phil Phind Scavenger Hunt, music, food, fun and games. If you happen to be celebrating a birthday on February 2nd, then you are invited to join others who share the special day for Phil's Birthday Celebration and a free souvenir.
Thanx to groundhog.org for the info.
By: ricderr, 5:28 PM GMT on January 15, 2007
OK...you've quit...it's hard.....one smoke..just one..would feel so good.....here'e s reasons to stay a quitter....
Did you know?
20 minutes after the last cigarette: blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal
2 days after stopping: your senses of smell and taste begin to return
After 1 year: your risk of heart disease is reduced by half
Within 3 years: your risk of heart disease is the same as someone who never smoked
Within 10 years: your risk of lung cancer is reduced by half
AND JUST A REMINDER...EVENTUALLY...EVERYONE QUITS!
Updated: 5:58 PM GMT on January 25, 2007
By: ricderr, 5:49 PM GMT on January 14, 2007
1. Believe in yourself. Believe that you can quit. Think about
some of the most difficult things you have done in your life and
realize that you have the guts and determination to quit
smoking. It's up to you.
2. After reading this list, sit down and write your own list,
customized to your personality and way of doing things. Create
you own plan for quitting.
3. Write down why you want to quit (the benefits of quitting):
live longer, feel better, for your family, save money, smell
better, find a mate more easily, etc. You know what's bad about
smoking and you know what you'll get by quitting. Put it on
paper and read it daily.
4. Ask your family and friends to support your decision to quit.
Ask them to be completely supportive and non-judgmental. Let
them know ahead of time that you will probably be irritable and
even irrational while you withdraw from your smoking habit.
5. Set a quit date. Decide what day you will extinguish your
cigarettes forever. Write it down. Plan for it. Prepare your
mind for the "first day of the rest of your life". You might
even hold a small ceremony when you smoke you last cigarette, or
on the morning of the quit date.
6. Talk with your doctor about quitting. Support and guidance
from a physician is a proven way to better your chances to quit.
7. Begin an exercise program. Exercise is simply incompatible
with smoking. Exercise relieves stress and helps your body
recover from years of damage from cigarettes. If necessary,
start slow, with a short walk once or twice per day. Build up to
30 to 40 minutes of rigorous activity, 3 or 4 times per week.
Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
8. Do some deep breathing each day for 3 to 5 minutes. Breathe
in through your nose very slowly, hold the breath for a few
seconds, and exhale very slowly through your mouth. Try doing
your breathing with your eyes closed and go to step 9.
9. Visualize your way to becoming a non-smoker. While doing your
deep breathing in step 8, you can close your eyes and begin to
imagine yourself as a non-smoker. See yourself enjoying your
exercise in step 7. See yourself turning down a cigarette that
someone offers you. See yourself throwing all your cigarettes
away, and winning a gold medal for doing so. Develop your own
creative visualizations. Visualization works.
10. Cut back on cigarettes gradually (if you cut back gradually,
be sure to set a quit date on which you WILL quit). Ways to cut
back gradually include: plan how many cigarettes you will smoke
each day until your quit date, making the number you smoke
smaller each day; buy only one pack at a time; change brands so
you don't enjoy smoking as much; give your cigarettes to someone
else, so that you have to ask for them each time you want to
11. Quit smoking "cold turkey". Many smokers find that the only
way they can truly quit once and for all is to just quit
abruptly without trying to slowly taper off. Find the method
that works best for you: gradually quitting or cold turkey. If
one way doesn't work do the other.
12. Find another smoker who is trying to quit, and help each
other with positive words and by lending an ear when quitting
becomes difficult. Visit this Bulletin Board and this Chat Room
to find a "quit buddy."
13. Have your teeth cleaned. Enjoy the way your teeth look and
feel and plan to keep them that way.
14. After you quit, plan to celebrate the milestones in your
journey to becoming a non-smoker. After two weeks of being
smoke-free, see a movie. After a month, go to a fancy restaurant
(be sure to sit in the non-smoking section). After three months,
go for a long weekend to a favorite get-away. After six months,
buy yourself something frivolous. After a year, have a party for
yourself. Invite your family and friends to your "birthday"
party and celebrate your new chance at a long, healthy life.
15. Drink lots of water. Water is good for you anyway, and most
people don't get enough. It will help flush the nicotine and
other chemicals out of your body, plus it can help reduce
cravings by fulfilling the "oral desires" that you may have.
16. Learn what triggers your desire for a cigarette, such as
stress, the end of a meal, arrival at work, entering a bar, etc.
Avoid these triggers or if that's impossible, plan alternative
ways to deal with the triggers.
17. Find something to hold in your hand and mouth, to replace
cigarettes. Consider drinking straws or you might try an
artificial cigarette called E-Z Quit found here:
18. Write yourself an inspirational song or poem about quitting,
cigarettes, and what it means to you to quit. Read it daily.
19. Keep a picture of your family or someone very important to
you with you at all times. On a piece of paper, write the words
"I'm quitting for myself and for you (or "them")". Tape your
written message to the picture. Whenever you have the urge to
smoke, look at the picture and read the message.
20. Whenever you have a craving for a cigarette, instead of
lighting up, write down your feelings or whatever is on your
mind. Keep this "journal" with you at all times.
Good luck in your efforts to quit smoking. It's worth it!
** Article © Copyright Fred Kelley of QuitSmoking.com. Visit the web site at http://www.quitsmoking.com
for great information and products designed to help you quit smoking.
By: ricderr, 6:53 PM GMT on January 12, 2007
We finaly had to say goodbye. After a week and a half extra we got to spend with him Wednesday evening he had to have pain medicine. Thursday night you could tell something was wrong when he didn't meet Becky at the door after being gone a week and then not making the early morning race for the door when Tim got up today we knew that our time with our friend was up.
My Happiest Memories
Tim at age 5 wrestling with Cowboy and the dog would race behind him and knock him over and lick his face...
Cassie as a toddler grabbing Cowboys fur and hanging on while he dragged her across the floor. Never a whimper, never a growl, tail wagging as he played with his girl.
6 days after having his leg amputated and he wanted to wrestle with me.
Kyle, our youngest this morning with cowboy in the van, they on their way to school, Cowboy in the van and Kyle saying goodbye to him as he got out to head to his class.
How could you not love that big dumb face and just by noticing him his tail would start to wag!
Updated: 7:24 PM GMT on January 12, 2007
By: ricderr, 3:51 PM GMT on January 08, 2007
I came across this in my internet pusuits searching for info about stopping smoking...whoever EB is..well..they say things much better than I can..so let me share.....
My Reasons to Quit Smoking
In the past few years I have begun to feel the physical effects of smoking for over 25 years. These symptoms include:
A pressure, heaviness, and often pain in my lungs in the morning.
Loss of my singing voice.
Breathlessness in my reading voice.
Unpleasant irritation of the mucous membranes of my mouth.
General tiredness and loss of energy.
I realize that I need to take naps to combat the tiredness I feel because my body has to process all the poisons that cigs have.
Cigarette hangovers after late nights out.
The need to exercise early in the day, before having smoked a lot.
Waking up at night coughing or with tickles in my throat.
These reasons are varied. When I smoke I feel like I live behind a literal curtain of smoke or inside a cave of smoke.
It creates a condition in which I am separated from life and the people that I love. It is a barrier. I also feel:
Complete self-hate and loss of self-esteem.
A constant feeling of guilt at what I am doing to my body and the consequences that my smoking might have on my children, i.e. the care they might need to give me later in life.
Smoking has also affected my enjoyment of life. For example, because of my work, I have to travel and I love to travel. Now, however, that smoking is prohibited everywhere, I no longer enjoy traveling because cigarettes are more important.
I realize, because of the above, that cigarettes are more important to me than anything else and that this is the life of an addict. I find this sad. I realize that cigarettes have made me lose myself.
What I am doing to help myself: I swim, I started a yoga class, and I do the bicycle and treadmill three times a week. There is not a single day when I do not do at least one hour of exercise, but sometimes it is as much as three hours. I know that I need these endorphins and that this is a huge part of my quit. I also have one massage a week to keep the stress down and I take steam and sauna baths several times a week. I have not gained weight, although I could lose 5 pounds.
I have recently(two months ago) visited my OB/GYN and all is well(cholesterol is 150 - one thing to be proud of). I have not been to see a lung specialist. I plan to do this when I am 6 months free of cigarettes.
I started with a quit partner, but she caved in after two weeks. So, I am alone in this. However, due to this forum, I now have a lot of quit partners.
What I feel after not smoking for a month: I can already feel a sense of self-esteem returning. My lungs feel a lot better and I can sing again, although I still don't sound like I used to. It is still very hard and I am now on 14 mgs on the patch. I no longer feel as if I am in the minute-to-minute survival mode that lasted for two weeks. Now, I feel a deeper and more complex battle taking over.
Key things that motivate me:
I want to quit on my own and not because a doctor has told me that I have to.
I am terrified of all of the health consequences of smoking.
I want a clean life and I no longer want to be a slave to cigarettes.
I want my self-esteem back.
I want to feel better physically.
Updated: 12:55 PM GMT on January 10, 2007
By: ricderr, 1:03 PM GMT on January 02, 2007
to my email quitter....hopefully today is easier than yesterday..you still have all your hair...friends..and wits about you
OK....DAY 3......TIME FOR THE RUBBER TO MEET THE ROAD....
i hope you're following your plan...you've had two days of success..if you've quit cold turkey..after day 3..you no longer have any nicotine in your body..it's all mental from now on..and that's the hardest...so..you need to find soemthing to do with your hands....when i quit..i started biting on a pencil..looked like hell...but it was effective...do not forget to reward yourself..of course.if you trade a chocolate sundae for each cigareete you give up..you'll soon be on a diet...but find something that will reward you for your effort...and lastly...know that you can do it..you can get through it...you can succeed
DAY 2 is let's get going, your plan should be done..someone should know you're trying to quit and be there to help you and for you to be accountable to and today regardless of your timetable.... one time when you want a smoke...say no to yourself...do it just once..and you've cut back on your smoking...day two is another easy success day..and that is our goal..to build success upon success...and if you made your plan yesterday...and you can just say "NO" once today...you're well on your way to starting a new habit, one that makes cigarettes a thing of your past!
Remember..there are no losers in this effort to quit smoking....there are only winners..you win by just stepping up to the plate and trying..those that can kick the habit totally...win the most....
We change the dream of quitting to a goal with a plan of action. Qutting makes for a nice dream. We feel good thinking about how we'll feel once we've quit, but all to often we easilly let things come between our dreams and doing soemthing about them. So, we must turn this from a dream to a goal and not just some pie in the sky goal but a goal with a plan. First listing out the steps nd timetable..you're willing to do to make quitting a reallity in your life. How long do you give yourself to quit? Can you go cold turkey, right now tossing out the pack of smokes? Do you need to spend 6 months cutting back until you can quit? There's no right or wrong way to do this. Just make sure you set out a realistic plan for yourself.
You must become accountable to someone and expect that someone to support you. We all do better, when we know there's some way for what we do to be measured and there's very few people that don't enjoy hearing the crowds cheer for them when they've done a good job. It's no different in this endeavor. Let someone know. You can write it here in this blog, or send me an email if you're not comfortable with that public of a display. You can tell your spouse, coworkers or neighbor. As Nike says, "Just Do It.!" And the non smokers that are reading, you're enlisted as cheerleaders. If you've quit, you know how hard it is, you especially need to cheer. If you've never smoked, chances are then that when you smell smoke it makes your nose wrinkle, you cheer, you help your nose out at the same time.
START!! Do steps 1 and 2 and you've just become a winner, you've just taken the first steps to quit smoking!! It's that easy, it won't always be this easy, but you can do it and we're here to help.
Updated: 4:43 PM GMT on January 04, 2007