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Bonnie Blog

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Posted by Bonnie May 23, 2018

So...I missed the bonfire this past weekend but still wanted to find out how many cigarettes I could have thrown in the fire. I tried to find the link that ShawnP so kindly posted to figure that out, but I couldn't find it. 

Went back to the Quit Counter I put on my laptop desktop and opened it up...OKAY! 


Today I have 137 days and smoked 10 cigs a day back in "the old days"...

Gee, I needed an app to figure out how many cigarettes I haven't smoked????????????


I don't think I'll ever need anything but my own brain to figure that out.....

I learned how to multiply by 10 a long, long time ago




Maybe this old brain of mine IS on the mend! 


Have a great SMOKEFREE day, my friends! 



Posted by Bonnie May 22, 2018

After getting a hot stone pedicure this morning (yes, I splurged a bit, but my feet/legs deserved it after working a

7.5 hour shift yesterday and the back massage chair was lovely, I had no idea how sore I was!)...

then a nice lunch out before the crowds,

this is the afternoon I have planned....If I was a cat I'd be purring right now...

The billpaying, floorwashing, laundry, and yardwork

can wait 'til tomorrow!

Have a great SMOKEFREE day!


Monday, Monday

Posted by Bonnie May 21, 2018

Had a great staycation without much media (except old Westerns on antennae TV).  Yes, I missed the royal wedding...wasn't going to get up at 1 am on Saturday morning and watch it live, but I did see some video clips on the 'net.  Got my patio furniture set up, bought some veggie plants to try this summer, and even got out my little Weber bbque.  The weather is just gorgeous here and yes, I did hang out by the pool to catch some rays and soaked in the jacuzzi.  Today is my long day at work--please pray for me as 7 hours on my feet is a lot.  I'm bringing my tennis shoes just in case--we're not allowed to wear them on the sales floor but if it comes to crying "Uncle" or putting them on and finishing my shift I'll put them on for the last few hours.  


I only had one smoking memory, and that was after my second glass of wine on Friday evening.  Youngatheart.7.4.12 's weekend warnings to skip the alcohol early in your quit are wise words...I want to lose a few pounds to help my back and knees and am not going to imbibe again until the Fourth of July.  Other than that I DIDN'T THINK OF SMOKING AT ALL OVER THE WEEKEND, even with all the physical "chores" I was accomplishing and the historical "ciggie breaks" I would take in the past between them.


I AM SO GRATEFUL AND HAPPY!!!!  Thank you for helping me so much with your support, encouragement and words of wisdom.  I am facing the day ahead unafraid--I really don't think I will smoke today


Love you all,


135 DOF


Three Day Vacation...

Posted by Bonnie May 18, 2018

I have three days "off"...haven't had a phone since last Saturday...can you imagine? IT'S BEEN GREAT!  I was off FB for awhile and then reactivated my profile today because I have a dear friend on the Big Island where I used to live and Madame Pele is busy over there, so I got back on FB today and then being "active" here, and, and...I'm NOT a "social media" person (lived off the grid for awhile and was very happy)'m signing off for the weekend...sorry I'm gonna miss the bonfire but I need to take a "vacation" anyway I can and not having a phone for awhile made me realize how I REALLY do better with as little "technology" as possible...yeah, I worked at Intel (InHELL we called it) for 9 years) you all and I know you'll be here when I get back from my "breather"...the weather here is great...gonna clean house, plant plants, eat well, sleep a LOT (I hope), swim in the pool, catch some rays, soak in the jacuzzi, and TAKE CARE OF MYSELF AND NOT SMOKE...I've got a long shift at work on Monday and I'm gonna be prepared, see you next week! 


For the Record...

Posted by Bonnie May 17, 2018

I will never smoke again because of those horrible wrinkles around my mouth (there were a couple posts recently about "what would you give up"?).  Well, I took a good look in the sunlight in my car vanity mirror before I went into work this morning to make sure I didn't have anything socially unacceptable (you know, lipstick on the teeth, booger in the nose, etc.)  And THERE THEY WERE (the lighting in my bathroom is poor so I can pretend I'm 20 years younger )


I'd love to "give them up", but they're here to stay and they are ugly and the only reason I have the deep ones is all the times I sucked on a cigarette....Don't mind the laugh lines around my eyes, but the wrinkles around my lips belie my history...N.O.P.E.  Vanity alone will keep me away from the cancer sticks...LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!


Feelin' Groovy

Posted by Bonnie May 17, 2018

Gotta get ready for work, but hotdang I feel good this morning!

   Simon and Garfunkel at Central Park


Happy People Don't Smoke

Posted by Bonnie May 16, 2018


I downloaded this years ago from a friend I made on the "old" EX website...I thought about all the smokers I knew (including myself) and it just seemed to be true...I certainly know that exsmokers are happier than those who still smoke...I hope everyone has a great SMOKEFREE day...

Happiness may be fleeting, and life is full of challenges, but a quit can ALWAYS make you feel better, no matter what else is happening in your life.  Love, Bonnie


130 Days...

Posted by Bonnie May 16, 2018

And if I'm supposed to be out of No Man's's just not true for me...I want to smoke...oh...not really...I want to do SOMETHING!  I am so frustrated with my life right now...yeah, I can do the gratitude gig, and I AM grateful, but honestly I am MORE restless and frustrated and so feeling that I am NOT where I'm "supposed" to be. Not asking for advice, just sayin' I do believe I'll be wandering around in the desert for awhile.  I'm going to reward myself after work tomorrow (I know I'll be totally fried because my workplace is a friggin' zoo, not because of the peeps but because of the new "business model" and the expectations on new and old employees alike and everybody is so stressed, I can feel it when I walk in the door..oh my, what a mess)...let's see, I was going to go for a swim but it's supposed to rain?  Who knows...I'll think of something that doesn't cost $$$...


Meanwhile, I thought of this prayer from my 12-step was my favorite and it came to mind on the drive to work.


You can't be "calm, serene and gentle" when you're sucking on a may THINK a cig makes you that way, but it doesn't.  I have an image somewhere and the words on it say "Happy People Don't Smoke"...I'll find it one of these days but meanwhile I need to get to sleep.


Thanks for being life might be a conundrum right now (actually it's been that way for way too long), but at least it's a SMOKEFREE conundrum these days...and that, in itself, is an improvement.


Mom and I

Posted by Bonnie May 13, 2018

Were good friends.  This is a photo of us in Kona on a Mother's Day long ago.  She's wearing the double chrysanthemum lei I made her (I worked at Emma's Flowers at the time).  She loved to come visit me when I lived in Hawaii.  I am not from a family of smokers.  My two sisters never smoked.  Just my brother and I ended up being smokers, and he died when he was 23.  My dad never smoked and my mom smoked in college, she said, because she didn't like the taste of beer.  She didn't inhale and I believed her.  During a very stressful time in her life I saw a opened pack of Tareytons in her purse.  I was surprised, but never saw her smoke and never saw another pack of cigarettes. 

      I miss her, but know I'll see her again.  She would be so happy that I finally kicked the habit. 

                              I hope all you mothers have a wonderful day! 



Acute Anxiety

Posted by Bonnie May 11, 2018

is so awful.  You can't eat, you can't sleep, your stomach is upset, you are hyper-vigilant, and can be very reactive emotionally.  It's a constant feeling of "flight or fight" when you know to do either is not in your best interests. 


Yesterday was a stressful day for me.  I wanted to get my girls' Mother's Day cards in the mail and the postman came to my house earlier than usual and they weren't ready yet.  I thought about dropping them off at the little post office at the grocery store near my house on the way to work but I was concerned about being late to work.  Can't predict how long the trip will take on a normal day, and with the additional task, who knows. Made me nervous just to think about trying to time it correctly,  so I decided to mail them beforehand.  Got them mailed but on the way back home heard a funny car noise.  Checked it out when I got home and I had a flat tire.  I had a couple hours before I had to get to work.  Called a friend in the park if she could give me a ride...She didn't have a car either but said she could change the tire.  She came over with a cigarette and lighter in hand, which I proceeded to hold for her while she started changing the tire.  She was struggling and I was getting nervous she would hurt herself.  I had already called my roadside assistance (wow what a process these days--you don't call to a person, all done through text messages, links to an app, etc.  Stressful for this old lady).  Another neighbor stopped by who said he could do it...lots of discussion...I decided to go with the professionals and told my good neighbors to stop, even though the towing place could only give an estimated time.  After he left, she lit up her smoke on my patio.  I was a mess by then...haven't been sleeping well, nervous about work, etc.  We used to smoke together--I had bummed smokes from her in the past, bought her packs when I had borrowed a few from her (during my last few "quit attempts").  I have to say that the thought of just asking for a drag DID pass through my mind, but that's all...a passing thought. Called work to say I might be late..I got ready for work, tire got changed, all good on the outside, but I wasn't good on the inside.


I wasn't late to work, but was still an internal mess when I got there.  Had multiple people telling me different things I was supposed to do besides "just" cashiering...we were off-and-on busy.  I didn't calm down, really, until after my break two hours later.  Couldn't remember how to do things...coworkers seeming critical to me...and my boss telling me my hair looked good (which I took to mean she doesn't like it when I wear it in a ponytail).  Anyway, I was close to tears a few times but was able to hold it together.  So anxious when one of my managers was talking to me that I could hardly get the words out...Deep breaths... 


Stopped at Subway after work because driving home as I started to relax I realized I was hungry and hadn't had hardly anything to eat all day. I had a gift card from a neighbor for taking in their mail (whoo-hoo, big treat for me, a Subway wrap and I have to say it was delish!). Talked to the darling manager there about working retail and she gave me the names of two places where she thought I might like to work--one where her grandma worked for awhile.  I am going to look into both...


Got home and remembered my phone had rung while driving to work.  It was someone from my medical HMO saying they had filled my prescription for my anti-anxiety med (which I hadn't taken in years).  I had sent an email Wed morning requesting a refill but had received a response from someone in my doc's office saying she was not in and that I needed to come in for an office visit to get it refilled. The first office visit wasn't for a few weeks.  I was upset and wrote another message  (couldn't respond to that one) saying I made the appointment as requested but wished I had kept the expired scrip because maybe it would have helped me manage the anxiety in the meantime. The med takes a few days to kick in...I have an 8 hour shift coming up at work and I'm afraid I will have a meltdown if I don't get some relief from the anxiety (haven't worked that long a shift before).  I need to work to eat these days and the job is very challenging for me--both mentally and physically.  I am a HSP (HIghly Sensitive Person) and may also have some ADD.  I dislike labels but I react to things differently than most people...the HSP book saved my life when I read it, but since it's not recognized as a "medical" condition if you tell peeps about it, it just sounds like you're making excuses for your behavior and that you're "special".


I am rambling on and this isn't exciting stuff. I just wanted to put down in words in my blog what happened yesterday, so that I can remember it and maybe my ramblings can help another, I don't know...


To recap:

1)  Stress and an available opportunity to smoke:  I didn't

2)  God was with me, for sure:  If I hadn't gone out before work, I wouldn't have known about the flat and would have missed work and impacted my place of business (we are routinely understaffed).  I didn't fall down, didn't have a car accident, and was given other possible options for work that would be better for me.  My script for medicine was filled, even though at first I was told "no".  It will make a big difference:  I will be able to sleep, eat, get off the high-anxiety rat-wheel (you know what I mean) and be able to cope better at work while I pursue other opportunities.


Oh, and I bought a book at work on "Writing What You Know"..I saw it on a display table as I was leaving and it was discounted and with my employee discount it was only $5.  It's a gift I've been given and never pursued..I rewarded myself for not walking off the job--the thought passed my mind more than once yesterday--by buying that book...who knows what the future brings? 

More SMOKEFREE days, for sure.


Thanks for "listening",


For an emotional day after a pretty sleepless night..Just checked my antennae TV guide (which I get online...remember when you could look at a hardcopy TV guide about what's on TV and decide what you want to watch?) and I'm watching THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960): Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Yul Brenner, and my secret heartthrob of my younger years, Horst Buchholz...ok , don't know who the seventh is, but I gotta go...can't tape and replay when all you got is rabbit-ears (retro is still in fashion, isn't it?)...have a great SMOKEFREE evening!


           Grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
And the 
Wisdom to know the difference.


I remember seeing this framed on my grandparents' wall when I was a very young child.  Interesting memory to recall; I want to remember it as being cross-stitched, my grandmother was a wonderful seamstress and handwork artist...she made me a dress once, Black and white woven checkered satin, with a red petticoat, and it was loaded with french knots...does anyone even remember what a french knot is? I wish I had just one piece of her handwork, the quilts she handstitched for our beds, etc., but my mother was a "modern" woman and not sentimental...


My grandfather drank and smoked (only did both after 6 pm) and my grandmother didn't smoke or drink.  She died from lung cancer when I was in elementary school, in the third or fourth grade.  My mother and I travelled on the train to Chicago, sleeping in our seats in coach...a wonderful memory that began my love of trains. I can still remember the nice train man telling me how to sleep to be comfortable: kneel on the floor and rest my head on my folded arms on the seat.  I was young enough that it worked...can you imagine?  Since the trip took 3 days it was great to get a good night's sleep!


At the funeral I remember looking down the aisle at the funeral home and seeing my grandmother in her coffin. I did not recognize her. She looked so unlike the grandmother I had known--the generous, loving buxom German woman who would hold me to her warm, loving chest and who cooked such wonderful Sunday meals for all the family.  She was pale in her casket...and soooo thin...probably one of the reasons I avoid funerals to this day but enjoy memorials.  It was quite traumatic for me...I remember wetting the bed at the relative's home we were staying at...a reaction to the stress, I'm sure, but how embarrassing for the young child I was


I think of all the years my handsome, tall and successful businessman grandfather smoked around his loving wife (He was so successful in his sales work that the Depression didn't touch them). She adored him...she was a widow when he married her...her first husband had been hit by the EL in Chicago...back then widows did not often remarry, but my grandfather chose her and she took excellent care of him and their home.  She had the old-fashioned housewife schedule:  Monday: Laundry, Tuesday: Ironing, Wednesday: Whatever...those traditions are long lost...


I believe she got cancer from his secondhand smoke.  After she died, he never was the same.  He died from a heart attack after marrying another woman, who my mother always said drove him to his grave with her "partying" lifestyle.  I just know he never looks happy in photos after my grandmother died.


I don't think they even knew about "secondhand smoke" back then...and my grandfather was such a gentleman, who "controlled" his smoking until after he got off work, until he got home, to mix his Manhattan(s) and smoke his cigarettes, held in his elegant fingers--he had the most beautiful hands---and spend time with his loving wife...


Ahhh, memories...and this one I don't feel like smoking over.



120 Days Today...

Posted by Bonnie May 6, 2018

So...I THINK that means I may be out of No Man's Land...but I'm not going to wipe the desert sand off my boots until after Mother's Day...the last of the "hurtful holidays" that start with Thanksgiving...thank GOD it's on a Sunday and I can go to church in the morning and I've got two beautiful Mother's Day cards at work on discount to send to my daughters, and my granddaughter made a present for her mom yesterday at my house and I will think of my mom and know that she is with me even though I can't see her.  It's all good and work's going OK (didn't make any mistakes the last two days I worked) and I DO think I have some form/version of ADD which is why I self-medicated with various substances, including nicotine, and I ordered a book to read up on it more.  


I want to thank you all for being here, I couldn't have done it without you.  It's been a journey of self-knowledge this time, for sure, and it is comforting to know that the feelings and struggles I have been through are just part of the deal, and I even "confessed" to a couple of church friends today that it's been 120 days. My goal is to be the same person in all circumstances (the essence of moral behavior, I read once) and my "closet-smoker" days are over....I do believe my "any-kind-of-smoker" days are over


I couldn't have done it without means more to me than I can put into words...


oldbones-larry a special thanks to you as my first EXer friend  and for your wisdom, strength and wonderful imagery in guiding me through this perilous part of my journey.  God's Peace Be With You....


What a Ride...

Posted by Bonnie May 4, 2018

Today is day 118...almost through "NML"...I dislike acronyms immensely...everywhere you go they've got their own acronyms and assume that you "get it"...I am going to celebrate leaving NML with a pedicure..not this week, but when I have the funds...writing this down so that I remember that is what I'm rewarding myself with...It's been quite a ride, this quit, actually my whole life has been quite a ride, and I don't regret one minute of it...but this quit has been special because:

~I got involved with this support group, to the best of my ability and energy.

~I could no longer afford to smoke (organic American Spirits: $10/pack @ .5 pack a day = $5/day)

~I was tired of it all.


So, I got on the horse and took off.  Doing OK at 118 days, won't smoke today, hope to never smoke ever again.  It's been quite a ride this time around...needed to find a job to eat and I did, within two weeks of looking (a God thing, for sure, at my age). Working retail, lots to learn, minimal training, standing on my feet for hours at a time (I healed a broken leg 3 years ago, first broken bone of my life, happened while working at my granddaughter's preschool, blah, blah, blah)...anyway, I'm doing OK because I HAVEN'T SMOKED...decided I didn't want to die a smoker, and so the decision was finally made, the VOW like another Exer said (sorry, can't remember her name or do the @ thing)....

Well,  I just "discovered" I "may" have ADD...or whatever label...splurged and bought a used book online today to find out more...I think my "addictions" were perhaps a way of coping with life for me...I already read "The Highly Sensitive Person" and answered most of the questions "YES"...and that was the first time in my life I felt that I wasn't crazy....I mean, who do YOU know who really dislikes escalators?  They scare me TO DEATH!

Ok, I'm another ramblin' rose, but I just want to thank you all for being here, because I'm NOT smoking....working a parttime retail job that when I walk off the job I am NUMB from the overstimulation (I'm working a very busy cashiering position with minimal training), and I just know I don't want to smoke to center myself...I won't smoke, but I may have had "reasons" that I slipped back into addictive behavior...More will be revealed 

Love you all, thanks for "listening",



Taking a Big Step Today...

Posted by Bonnie Apr 24, 2018

I'm washing my's a pretty little pottery bowl my daughter made decades ago...don't know how it ended up being my ashtray, but over all the years of stopping smoking then starting again I didn't have a "real" ashtray.  Washing it is a big deal since the last times I stopped smoking, I would wash it and then promptly relapse.  This time, I wanted the nasty smell of the old ashes to remind me of how yucky smoking was, but when I ran across it today way in the back of my kitchen cupboard, I don't want that smell anywhere around me or my belongings.  So...I'm taking the big step to wash it today and I'll put it back in the cupboard for when my two smoking friends occasionally come by.  It just proves that I feel good about this quit...I guess after "winning" last night, I'm going to move forward...Clean ashtray=nonsmoker lives here