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Daniela-3-11-2016 Blog

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Not very present

Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Oct 30, 2020

My apologies, I have not been very active lately, and that might take a while. 


Nothing spectacular happening with family or myself, just very busy times with medical enrollments, Dr's appointments for mom, puppy, myself, and not very funny to be around. And I've been a little "under" lately, call it low energy, lower still emotional states, tired, elevated BP (took care of that one),

Some of you know more than others, but please do not worry, I do not smoke, nor do I intend to go back to that dark age in our lives.

Wishing you all successful quits, better health for you and your dear ones, and will talk to you soon!

Happy Halloween!

Animated Halloween Decorations

This is all paraphrasing, as I am listening to an audiobook, no subtitles, so here it goes...

Believe it and you'll see it!

All behaviors are preceded by thoughts.

Don't full yourself by thinking it is much easier to smoke or eat that chocolate.


In fact it is much harder to smoke: you have to go to the store, buy the pack, put it in your pocket, come home, get the pack out, pull out a cigarette, light it up, then go back to the store again, just to spend more money on it.


When you don't smoke that is all you have to do: simply do not smoke.


As for me, I don't do that anymore.

The Year I Smoked | Sam S. Mullins: a blog about anything


About friendship

Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Sep 19, 2020

If it is one thing I miss the most after I left Romania to take the world on stride, and end up in AZ, is my friends.

Of course our current social media helps us keep in touch, but there is nothing which can replace holding a hand or giving a hug, or offering to help in any other way, when a friend needs us.


I've known her my whole life, she is 2 years older than me, her brother was my best friend. 

She got married, had a daughter, but she was the most fragile of the family. 

Our parents were friends before the 3 of us were born.

She lost her brother, and my best friend, 2 years ago, he was 60. 

Then about 1 year after, her dad passed away; despite a lot of health issues he overcame through the years, the loss of his son killed the dad; he did not want to survive any longer.


Now her mom is bed ridden and my friend is taking care of her.  I've been thinking of her the whole week, but the time difference isn't helping in finding the right moment to call.

I called her today; we spent 30min on the phone, she gave me the details of her struggle with taking care of her mom; about 20 years ago, my friend was the most fragile; chronic inflammation of the discs in the cervical section was causing her horrible migraines, she even had to have surgery to relieve some of them.  The whole family was helping her get through every day.  And now she remains to be the strongest of all.  


Why the story, why today of all days?


Because as we need a support system as EX-smokers, so we need that support in our own lives, and friends are part of it.  Today I wish I could fly and land at her home to help her, one day, one week, relief some of the burden she is carrying alone.


For those of you who have friends, please guard them with all your heart, all your might, because they will be your pillars of support during difficult times. And if you can't do more for them, a phone call might just provide the minute relief they need.

40 Short Friendship Quotes for Best Friends - Cute Sayings About Friends


Quotes about Friendship ⋆ Cards, Pictures. ᐉ Holidays.


Friend ayaat and Hadith about friendship

Since the start of the pandemic, and limiting the outings, I have been watching more Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

Shows I've seen when they were first released bring back funny moments and lighten up my evenings!  Among them, I just finished watching Boston Legal, and now I am back on Ally McBeal. Many times you can't stop laughing hard at the ridicule of the reason someone gets sued!  Last night I watched the episode where a wife lawyer is suing the Firm where she and her husband both work, for having a contribution to the dissolution of their marriage; because of the sexually charged work atmosphere


After watching so many frivolous reasons to sue, some of them gaining a positive reaction from the jury, I asked myself: could we possibly sue the big Tobacco for what they did to us?  We would all have health reasons to sue: many of us have COPD, live on Oxygen, had vein/heart problems, fatty liver, esophagus erosion, chronic gastritis, you name it.


Here is where it hurt me the most: Obesity and fatty liver,

Nicotine induced 


Would it be too "out there" if all of us, a pretty large group, would sue for our medical challenges related to smoking?

Maybe Stac2 would have an opinion?


Just saying...

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup
This 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coiffed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home yesterday. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.
After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice;
I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.”
She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.”
And with a smile, she said: “Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less, & enjoy every moment.

Mask or no Mask?

Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Jul 10, 2020

I know that thoughts, feelings, and actions are split when it comes to wearing a mask.  From the first day we understood what started to happen around us, I was for it; I made them, I gave them away, but mostly I wore one, wherever I go, when outside the home.

Now, more and more stores require to wear one; Fry's has a big sign in the door, please do not enter if you don't have one!

Today is mom's 89th birthday, I had to go out to the store to purchase some stuff to make her a nice dinner, a cake and to get flowers.

Everybody was wearing a mask, except one of the younger employees, who was wearing it around her neck!!!  She was pushing a cart with all kind of stuff on it, talking to people, looking for products to register them, all with her face uncovered.

I am not sure how much you know about how AZ is doing these days, in short 1 of 3 tests are positive, the cases are ramping at an average of 4,000/day, we have over 2,000 deaths, and we are barely 7 million people!  While all Southern states are being impacted more than others, AZ is topping not only USA for new cases, but the world! (and 60% of the hospitalized are in the age range of 20-44).

What would you have done if you were me?  I waited for the unmasked young person to move away from the butter which I needed to buy, all conscious that if she were sick, the aerosols could have been in the air while I walked where she was...

I did nothing, there is already too much hate, and mixed feelings these days, did not want to add to them. 

On the other hand, should I have said something, just to protect others who went to the store today?

We've been playing a game for a while, and there was a time Newbies were winning all the time!!!  The idea is to come back to the site, and get involved, we sometimes exchange jokes, friendly teasing, but it helps one stay connected.  And that is so very important, mostly at the beginning of the quit.


Lately, and for a while now, it seems as Elders (have been quit 1 year or more) have no competition left.


We would like to invite you Newbies, the rules of the game are pretty simple, we would love you know you better, and hopefully help along the way, when quit might get hard...


Here is the link, check it out, and come play against Elders!

Race to +/-20 



Posted by Daniela-3-11-2016 Jun 5, 2020

There are many things from the past I miss: many of them are related to nature, the smell of the park in the spring time, or in the fall, when as  kid I'd roll in the fallen leaves, flowers and fragrant trees, blooming bushes or all kinds, very few of them can grow in Arizona.  Peonies were never appreciated at their true value: they are beautiful and delicate and discretely fragrant, their season is short, they fade fast, and they die as quickly as they bloomed as soon as they hit water when I brought them home today.


I don't know how many states actually have Trader Joe's, a small grocery chain, offering a variety of organic produce, and a lot of European imports.  Obviously the Peonies are not imported from Europe, but they cater to that kind of population, who, like me, are looking for some symbols from their country of origin.  It was at TJ's the only time I was able to buy a very small potted Lilly of the Valley which lasted maybe a week? At home my dad was bringing me huge bouquets when he was coming home from training, in spring time (he was a military man, with a soft side for me, he knew how much I loved their fragrance).


I bought Peonies today, and for now, every time I walk by the vase, I inhale a little more of their so special perfume.

(....And the insert picture feature does not work tonight...Nor does the banner, so no banner for this blog).  I used the attach at the end of the blog to show you the 5 I bought today.


The point I am trying to make is while sometimes the smoking "nostalgia" hits me, I can't get a "fix" like I did with the Peonies today, no way.  I've learned what the addiction is doing to me, I've learned I have to say NO, No matter what, if I want to keep the precious quit.


I can't keep beautiful peonies alive in water for more than 3-4 days, but I have the tools, we all do, to keep my quit safe, no matter the nostalgic thoughts invading my memories at times.  Because that is all the "desires" of smoking left in me, they are just memories.


Have a wonderful weekend!

If you have not seen it yet, it is just an opinion, based on many years of experience; please take what you want, leave the rest. 

It is not meant to start any kind of political debate, but I found it interesting enough to share with the group!

Since the Embed a video service is currently unavailable, here is the link: 

Orange County Dr. Jeff Barke Breaks His Silence on COVID 19 - YouTube 


PS  The add a banner image is not working either  No banner today!


Happy Hump Day to all!

Did you know some of our favorites in terms of fruits and veggies, we better buy organic?

Certainly many of you know, but for those who might not, here is the list:


The 12 Dirtiest Foods In The Produce Aisle Will Break Your Heart 


PS just came back from the market and found some incredibly juicy, dark red, and sweet, and bonus: Organic, Strawberries (already devoured 4, as I type this blog).  They reminded me of the "dirty foods list", which I am sharing with you now.

Who said that was so right!


You quit, you go to the struggles of the first week, then the first month, then NML, and you are looking forward to your first anniversary, then it happens. You can't, but fill your heart with pride for having achieved something you never thought possible.


And you go on with your EX life.  And even if you stay here, almost every day, drink from the fountain of knowledge, support others on their journey, you never actually arrived.  An EX smoker never arrives.  It gets better with every year you distance yourself from the starting point, but you never really arrive.


And when life kicks you in the gut, and makes you lose your breath, and ask yourself if you'll ever breathe again, your thoughts take you back to what you perceived to have been your best friend ever: smoking.

It takes courage to quit, but it takes more courage to stick with it.  1 year, or 4, it seems we are still vulnerable and ready to pick it back up without notice.


And I was there this past weekend; truth be told, I've been there for a while, but did not have the courage to even acknowledge the thought to myself.  But it happened, I recognized it, and was almost ready to go for it.


Then I remembered what I told so many newbies here "please do not smoke before talking to us"; so I did: I blogged about my "plans" the "why" (which are all excuses, no reasons), and how entitled I was to pick up the tool meant to help kick off a weight loss, and help reduce the inflammatory state of my body (there are studies about Nicotine having this kind of impact on mice).


Then you all answered the blog, started a prayer circle, sent me private IMs, called me, and honestly I did not have the heart to disappoint you, or my family; myself did not count too much at that time.  It seems to count more today than it did yesterday, or the day before.


And I am now looking for other ways to stop the self-destructing eating habits, which adds to a permanent state of hypothyroidism set against weight loss.  And please don't get me wrong; I am not so vain to look for a body image at nearly 63; but I care how I die when the time comes; and I want to be able to move more freely, and I want the liver not to have to work so hard, and I need that switch in my head, helping make better choices, similar to the one we used when we quit smoking.


I have an idea, which does not involve smoking, and I will let you all know, once/if it works for me; because it's so obvious my struggle with weight is not the exception in this group, nor is the thyroid issue.


But for now, I am here, I am blogging, for elders, for newbies, for anyone who ever found themselves on the precipice to disaster...picking smoking back.  There is a way back, and this community pointed it out to me.


Happy Monday and even this quarantine shall end, some day, stay strong until then!

Love to all!


Warning: this is going to be a long blog…

It’s been a while, and despite the support system you are all offering here, I’ve been thinking more and more about smoking again.


My body is failing me: never been so heavy in my life, joints are painful and prevent me from walking, diabetes is all over the place (and the doctors are not at fault here, but my compulsive eating), my brain is in constant fog due to Hashimoto’s, and my skin is being covered by big, leopard like spots, due to another autoimmune/inflammatory disease called Granuloma annulare, no treatment available for that.  The stress is unbearable, with being stuck in the house for a while now, thankfully I can work from home, but I lost interest in that too, and scared I might lose the job if I don’t start working properly.  I am constantly tired, while the average sleep/night is about 5h or less.  My liver is messed up (possibly from many years of smoking, the irony of that), and I am lactose intolerant, I have IBS, and gluten intolerance. The liver won’t take any supplements, not even to help with Hashimoto’s, let alone any weight loss supplements. But weight loss is the secret to stop the liver disease from progressing, beautiful vicious circle, right?


Our puppy is been sick for over one year, and under treatment for an autoimmune skin disease (atopic dermatitis), he is on cortisone and an immune depressant (Apoquel), and had gained so much weight, one of his legs is giving in because of the weight.  We’ve been to the dermatologist who put him on injectable immune depressant and a special diet, which he did not eat, I had to use some kind of protein (chicken) to attract him to eat some of the diet kibble, but he did too little of that.  We ended up impacting the kidney, and the derm sent us back to the regular vet.  And he is making me “conduct” the treatment depending on the results I observe.  But the fact is, if I reduce any of the drugs he is on, his skin it turning so red, almost raw.  So I am watching him, and his little body failing him also; he is going to be 13 in September, but that is not that much for a Shih Tzu, he could live a longer life if I could somehow find a remedy to his skin condition.  We’ve tried natural remedies, white fish diet, raw diet, home cooked diet, apple vinegar in water soaks, Clorox soaks (to prevent infections), and many other alternatives.


Mom is going to be 89 in July, and if while working normally (3 days/week in the office, and 2 from home), I was worried when away from home, I found that now, having to be in each other’s way all the time, our depression is worsening, for both of us.  She used to smile when greeting me back home, now she rarely does.


My son, my smart, handsome and caring son, is doing what I raised him to do: living his life, being a good provider, and a good husband, but I miss him from the bottom of my heart; we are speaking, texting, but I only saw him once this year, and I don’t think is fair to share my fears with him.


My long life confidant, my sister cousin, passed away in January.


I have been here long enough to know, these are not reasons, they are all excuses to pick up smoking again.  I have said it way too many times to newbies and I believe it without a shadow of a doubt.


I know there is no such thing as just one, and I am not looking for that ONE.

What I am looking for is an increase in metabolism which we all lose (and it is 10% darn it) when we quit smoking.  Something to get me motivated into a healthier life style, other than drugs.  I’ve attempted an anti-depressant about 1 month ago, and developed allergies, after the very first pill.


The more I think about it, the more it seems to be the answer to my current situation; and if it is going to be the death of me, so be it.  When I can’t stand my body or my life anymore, it is what I see today as a good exit strategy, in order to correct the course of events, and be the support I need to be to mom, hubby, puppy, or our kids (while they don’t seem to really need me anymore).


Maybe there is still hope for me to stick with the quit, maybe that is why I am writing and posting, hoping something in the feedback will click with me.


Please don’t give me what I already know by heart, that this is just the addict in me speaking, that I am romancing the cigarette, that the addiction found me at my lowest and is now taking over, I am seeing it all as clearly as you do. But the increase in metabolism is a fact, documented by all medical reviews about quitting.


There are no cigarettes in the house at this time, and I promise you I will not get out to buy any until I post this and give you a chance to comment.


Maybe I am letting you know because I used to be a very obedient kid; and we say it here, don’t do it before you blog about it.  And maybe somewhere, deeply, I am hoping for the miracle to help me hang onto the quit.  Or maybe is just the feeling of respect for all the time, advice, and friendship you invested in the relationship with me, here on this site.

I will not just be disappearing from the site, because I’d be ashamed of “giving in” but obviously I can’t be here advising newbies, when I’ll be losing the right to do so. Please do not call me, I won't have the heart to speak with you.


So here it is: I am contemplating getting out and buy, not a pack, a carton, because if smoking were to give me what I want, some weight loss, it will take more than a pack of cigarettes to do that!!!


My love to all of you!


PS And please do not suggest diets, or exercise, or therapy, I've tried them all, and I am too far gone to come back using either.  The other alternative I have would be the Bariatric surgery, but I am scared, more scared than to smoke for another 2 years or so, or whatever long it will take me to find some weight balance.




I've been staring at this for a long time, wondering if I should post or just go on with my life, and keep it with me, but you deserve that much in return for everything you've done, and might have to do again, for me...

On an already anxious personality, the isolation, fear for my family, grieving for the strangers, and families who are losing dear ones, are making me feeling powerless, sad, depressed. And as we stand today, I am looking at 3 more weeks of working from home, and that is if things evolve rapidly in the right direction.

In search for tips and tricks to keep my mind from bouncing from lows to highs, and dropping and hitting bottoms again, just to start another cycle, here is something I found makes sense, and might help others, not just me.  Before I list the things to help us get through this with a better outcome, I would like to just say, our EX community is always making me feel better: milestones to celebrate, great thoughts shared by someone, helping a struggling newbie with a comment, beautiful quotes, or family pictures, are all uplifting and healing.

Please keep coming back and write, it is helping the EX community at large, while reinforcing all of us' quits.

Here is what I found today on Google, yes, it is common sense, but it helps me seeing it in front of my eyes:

5 tips to protect your psychological well-being during COVID-19:

  • Conscious consumption of news and social media.
  • Self-care: Eat and sleep well to boost the immune system, integrate exercise and take vitamins, hot baths, as well as what you need for mental and emotional self-care.
  • Sleep hygiene practices: Seven to eight solid hours, if possible, guided relaxations, calming teas, no electronics in bed rule.
  • Uplifting conversations: I challenge us to show up for one another and to stimulate conversations that create hope and calm fears.
  • Create community. Reach out to someone, throw a virtual dance party, watch a movie virtually with a friend, start a virtual interest group, check in on a neighbor, sing from your porch or balcony, take a virtual yoga or special interest class.


As we are all confined at home, we are challenged to occupy our days somehow; some of us are still working from home (I do), but there is enough time left in the day to do something else.  Materials already in the home, I started making the face masks for family and friends, and neighbors.  Made some sweets too yesterday


Image may contain: food


However, when it comes to mail the masks, the self service for priority mail was out of service (my thought is they don't have anyone there to disinfect over the weekend, and they don't want it to be a reason for spreading the virus). 

All I was able to do was pick up some priority envelopes yesterday.


We'll try UPS today, but you know that his pricey if I want them to arrive soon.


Any ideas about shipping without having to go the post office??? 

Making the masks locally, not a problem, people can come and pick them up (someone just asked me to make 8 for the whole family), I can deliver "curb side", but what is my best bet for sending them to friends away?


Do you think the mailman can pick up something like that (they are in the big priority envelopes) ?


Any input will be appreciated!!!

Are there anymore lurkers here, any still pondering the decision if they have to quit smoking or not?


Because many of us here care, I care a lot for those of you still not sure if you should do it or not.


Because we've seen 9/11, and now we are seeing just the tip of the COVID-19. 

Who do you think will have more chances to recover: someone who never smoked, someone who quit some month/years ago, or someone who is still smoking?


If you call it a rhetorical question, you are right, it is because yes, we all know the answer to the question.


And based on the latest developments, if initially it was thought the more affected age category is the over 80, then the 60-80, and it would go decreasingly with age, now it appears, at least in USA that 20% of deaths are of young people, in their 20's or 30's.  And why do you think that is?  It is because somehow their immune system had been compromised.


"Effects of smoking on the immune system

The effects of tobacco smoke on the immune system include:


Then you know when it comes to COVID-19, all the body resources are coming into play to defend against it.

At what level will your immune system work for you?


Please help decrease the devastating impact, we can't all be in the front line of defense, but we can all do our part: you can quit, we can help you navigate the road.  There are tens of thousands of days of freedom on this site, from which you can pull all the info and support you need! Be one of us: be free!

Please let us help,


Please quit smoking today!


Disclaimer: this reflects my thoughts and experience, you take what you want and leave the rest!