Wednesday, February 21, 2018

BPM Movin on...Ground Hog Part 2

Good morning! I could not finish the first post because I had to work. Work...a little four letter word that has me reconsidering my career.....more about that later....

Back to to Punxy.....Image result for groundhog day gif

Fade to black.....

We found seats on a yellow school bus in the middle of the night. The heat was on but I could still feel the chill of the air. I knew that I was in trouble but I was not going to complain because I made the decision to go and I was going to be fun BP mom and not dour BPMom.Image result for groundhog day gif

The bus let us out at Gobblers Knob and we walked through the gate. Dr. G took a selfie with the three of us. We looked eager and excited to be there. Yes, I was excited. I was actually in Punxy and was eager to see the groundhog. All we had to do was get through the next three hours.Image result for groundhog day gif

The air was electric as people stood by bonfires, the stage show was going on, there were bands, singers, comedians, tee shirt vendors, and port a potties....If you know me, you know that I never, ever use those things, so I did not drink for 24 hours in preparation.Image result for groundhog day gif

We stood on the hill and watched the festivities. There are ground hog calls and all kinds of songs and poems dedicated to Phil. Yes, it was all ground hog.....

I made it a point to meditate through the shows. Deep breaths....visualizing a warm beach and palm trees rather than whipping winds and frigid temperatures. My hand a feet warmers were not working which made me breathe deeper.

If I could move my arms, I would have been looking at my watch, but my mind went numb and I just stood there shivering.....then it was 6:30 am, it was not sunrise yet, and the lights went out. Suddenly, there were fireworks. The fireworks were so close, I was hoping one would hit me and warm my immobile toes. The fireworks were pretty cool and took my mind off my frozen digits for a while.

After the fireworks, all of the singers and dancers returned to the stage for a was getting close.

I looked at the sky and could see dawn....yes! This means Phil is coming out of his stump soon!

Then it happened...everyone in Gobblers Knob hushed....we looked up the hill and there was the PA state police escorting the Men of the Inner Circle....yep, they needed a police escort to get down the they were rick stars and not school teachers, plumbers, or funeral directors.....Image result for groundhog day men of inner circle gif

We cheered as they assembled around Phil's stump. There were more speeches...a ground hog call....pledge of allegiance...then the President spoke about how he can speak ground hog-eese. Yes, with his magical cane in his hand, he has the capability of communicating with Phil.Image result for groundhog day gif

When Phil emerges, they place him on a red carpet remnant on top of his stump. The President looks at Phil and speaks to him carrying his magical cane, of course. Then the President asks Phil if he saw his shadow.Image result for groundhog day gif

It was time....we held our breath in anticipation.....6 more weeks of winter? spring? Come on, man! What is it??Image result for groundhog day men of inner circle gif

The President finished his conversation with Phil and picked up a scroll. He read it to the throngs of Phil lovers and announced...."Six more weeks of winter!"Image result for groundhog day gif

We booed and hissed and waddled back to the buses.

it took us 45 minutes to actually get on to a bus wince everyone was in the same predicament that we were...frozen solid and going to do anything to get off Gobblers Knob. After jockeying for position, we finally got on to a bus and were whisked away back to Wal Mart.
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And so, my friends, that ends the story of our trip to Punxy. After thawing out at our hotel with lukewarm coffee and oatmeal, we headed home.....

One last note....Dr. G wanted to go with us and I thought it was because he had such a great time when he went with our cousin. Yes, he had a great time but never made it to Gobblers see...they partied all night at the Burrow pub, passed out and never made it to see Phil.

All's well that ends well.....

Got to hit the gym!


Monday, February 19, 2018

Movin on....BPM meets the groundhog Part 1

Good Sunday morning! It snowed last night in the northeast and I am happy to say that it was not enough that we need to shovel. Scoob and I have been considering attending  the Fire and Ice Festival a few hours away. The ice is actually ice sculptures that have been strategically placed throughout a little Amish borough. I am a sucker for ice sculptures since there is no way that I could possibly pick up a chain saw and start to create something beautiful out of a block of ice.....except chipping it down to add to a drink or two....

Speaking of blocks of ice, that is exactly what I was a few weeks ago in Punxatawny, Pennsylvania.....that's right....Punxy....home of Phil, the prognosticating groundhog.....I kid you not....

Fade to black......

Last year (2017) Big Sis came to me with one of her crazy ideas...."hey, BP mom...." she says...."Do you want to go to Punxatawny with me next year."Image result for gif groundhog day

Looking at her as if she was nuts, it took me less than 1 second to say: "sure." And that was it. Sometimes she does not follow up on things, so I figured I was safe.....


She did follow through, got a hotel room and paid a hefty deposit. Then I forgot about it.

 Now it is November 2017, Big Sis says: "Remember,we are going to Punxy. You're in, right?"Image result for gif groundhog day

Yeah, right. I'm in.....Definitely. Sounds fun. After all, we can go the night before, walk to the stump, watch Phil be pulled from his home, check the impending forecast, then glide done the mountains in the car with heated seats. Not complicated, right?


At Christmas, she mentioned that there was a two day minimum at the hotel so we are to go two days before Phil is unleashed. Ok, two nights and three days in Punxy....this is a movie, right?Image result for gif punxsutawney

As the time came closer, I began to check the weather forecast. It has bee a fairly mild winter, so I figured 30-40's...some frost....hat, coat, gloves....standard groundhog watching attire, won't you say?
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The day approached and the weather forecast began to fade from cool breezes to whipping winds, freezing rain, and wind chills below zero. This was definitely not my idea of groundhog watching weather. I began to perspire.....yep....thinking about below zero wind chill factors made me rethink my sanity. But I made a promise and by jingo....I keep them!
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And so, we drove through the mountains to Punxy. Dr G was going to meet us there. He had been to the festival before and was ready to go back. This is another story for the, we drove around the mountains stopping every now and then for food, bathroom, or gas....then we see the signs....

Every Punxatawny sign had a groundhog on it.
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100 miles......50 miles.....20 miles....we were getting excited.....10 miles.....2 miles....yipppeee.....

Then we arrive.

Where is Punxy? There were a few stores, old buildings, abandoned store fronts, a side walk, and a few groundhog statues.
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Is this it? Where is Bill Murray's quaint town? This place was a ghost town with groundhog statues and tee shirt stores. No bustling little was sad and somewhat depressing.

We found our hotel outside of town across from a Wal Mart....yep, we had found something to do. Just like West Virginia and part of Ohio, I knew that we had a place to go....

The hotel was modern and did not smell (2 requirements for me). As we checked in, we were handed two vouchers for happy hour at the little 4 seat bar next to the reception desk. I was starting to like this little drinks....that's what I am talking about.

After unpacking, Big Sis and I went to happy hour with our vouchers and sat with the television crew from the PA cable network. These guys were pretty nice and we had a great time chatting with them. This was their tenth year covering Phil and our first year, so I had questions.....Image result for gif groundhog day

BP Mom: "Cable guys....what time should we get to Gobblers Knob (Phil's second home...a one story tree stump located in the woods).

CG: "Most people get there at 3 am for the festivities...."

BPM: "Are you freaking kidding me? It's going to be 40 below tomorrow....3 am? You cannot be serious!"Related image

I needed my head examined....STAT! Where was the closest shrink? Not in Punxy...they don't even have a Dunkin Donuts. Who doesn't have a DD? This is madness! Breathe BPM...breathe!Image result for gif groundhog day

Then I looked at Big Sis, who was not surprised.

Hey, did you know about this 3 am business? Did you leave a little detail out when casually asking me to go? How about: "Do you want to go with me to Punxy? By the way, we have to be a Gobblers Knob by 3 am?" She left the second sentence out.....
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I took a big gulp of my first free drink then asked for my second with my voucher....Back to the cable guys....

BPM: " 3 am? What could we possibly be doing for 4 hours before Phil appears?"

Cable guys: "Well, there is a show that goes on during the night. It's pretty good."

Again, trying to sugar coat my lack of wanting to pull myself out of bed in the middle of the night in subzero temperatures, I could not think of one person that I would make this acceptable to me.

Billy Joel? Nope
Elton John? Nope
Jon Bon Jovi? Maybe
Bruce Springsteen? Getting warmer....
Michael Buble? Absolutely not!Image result for gif groundhog day

Again, I was feeling squeamish.

BPM: "Cable guys....really! 3 am? Give us the real scoop...."

Cable guys: "If you get there by 5:30, you will see what you need to see...."

Acceptable answer. Sorry, Big Sis....3 am...whipping winds in the mountains of PA waiting to see a groundhog....not doing it. Someone would throw a net over me if I had agreed to it.

Now it was time for dinner....asking at the desk which was one foot away from the bar, the attendant went through 3 possible places to eat....

Place A...."Naw....I wouldn't go there...."

Place B...."Nope...."

Place C...."Family food...not bad."

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We went to Place C, thinking not bad was an OK adjective. it took less than 3 minutes to drive to Place C, I ordered a spinach salad which according to the menu had Parmesan cheese. When it came out (without dressing), my faux Parmesan cheese was splattered all over the spinach leaves. not being able to catch my waitress, I ate the Kraft faux cheese loaded salad dry and almost gagged.Image result for gif groundhog day

Big Sis was a champ...."Isn't this great?" she said.....

Yep, super.....

The next day, it began to drizzle, sleet and snow. We took a walk through the borough and began to groundhog shopping frenzy. I bought earrings with groundhogs on them (not for me, I don't look good in groundhog....), little groundhog finger puppets, a ground hog hat, two Phil tee shirts for kids, a coffee mug, and a pen whittled by one of the local men. With all of my purchases, I did not spend more than 30$.

There were decorated Phils all over town, then we saw some of the men in their tuxes and top hats walking around. Big Sis had to have a photo with them. I refused. I did not want my image captured with a random guy in a top hat....a ground hog maybe, top hat result for gif groundhog day

It took us 90 minutes to see all of the sights....then we went back to the hotel to have our own private happy hour and wait for Dr. G.

He finally arrived and had tickets for the groundhog banquet at the high school. Yep, we went to the banquet and met some of the other crazys who had this on their bucket lists. At our table was a family from Ohio who brought their mother to Punxy since she had long desired to meet Phil. They were delightful. The presentations an awards ceremonies were terrific and we had a great time. The only problem was that there was no booze....yep, we did this without a single sip of schnapps....Image result for gif groundhog day

We got back to the hotel and set the alarm for 4:30 am. To get to Gobblers Knob, we had to leave the hotel, drive to Wal mart, pay for a bus ticket,then be dropped off.
Image result for gif groundhog day
As I lay awake all night, I could hear people scraping their windshields off and leaving the hotel. Then I got nervous. This is a huge deal for Big Sis. I don't want her to miss it. Yeah, it's cold, but she really wants to see Phil.....

Guilt got to me even more so.....3:30 am.....I got up...Come on. We gotta go....

I handed out hand and feet warmers from my days of watching baseball in subzero temps, had long underwear on, two pairs of socks, foot warmers, scarf, hat, minus 20 degree LL Bean coat, boots with faux fur, sweater and turtleneck. I could barely move, but I was warm standing in my hotel room. Then I went outside to scrape the ice off the car....dang it was cold. I knew I was in trouble and short of setting my pants on fire, I was going to be a very cold spectator.Image result for gif groundhog day

We drove to Wal Mart and could NOT find a parking space. This was getting crazier....Image result for gif groundhog day

After creating our own spot, we waddled to the yellow school buses and bought our tickets, found seats, and were on our way to Gobblers Knob....
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I gotta work.....more later!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Movin on....I am such a loser

Greetings! Special shout out to MK who has encouraged me to continue to write. She's a remarkable person who juggles and keeps all balls in the air. I don't know how she does it, but she has my deepest admiration, respect and love. Keep it up, MK! You got this!

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It's Sunday afternoon and I was asked politely by the family to make a few dinners before I leave for the south. In other words, laundry, shopping, cooking, cleaning, and packing are the goals for today. Looks like there will be no time for happy hour although I think I am off the sauce.
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You see.....

Fade to black....

Two years ago, I was in the Biggest Loser contest at the gym. Believe it or not, I came in third. I felt that it was an amazing accomplishment since I like to eat. Did I say like?

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No, I don't just like to eat. I love to eat. Did I say love?

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No, I mean I live to eat and when I finish one meal, I am thinking abut the next. So the right word may be 'obsessed.'

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Ok, so I came in third. I bought new pants and gave my fat pants away. I lived with a sense of accomplishment and was happy with myself. For a year, I kept most of the weight off. Then the gym did something new. Instead of having large teams of losers, they made the contest into a partnership. So, Tink and I decided to partner up.

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Big mistake! I mean really big loser mistake.
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We started out with momentum, then she fizzled out. She began to gain weight and I knew that my third place finish was in the record books and I would not medal that year.
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And with that, I began to eat and developed my hearty appetite back. I still worked out but had a few physical issues like problems with the knee....then I rolled my right foot playing tennis, kept playing, and the docs felt that it was broken. Fortunately, it was severely sprained, but I was out of the gym for a while.
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OK, I have lots of excuses. Now it is go time. Biggest loser begins. I have a new partner and am ready to hit the treadmill. Naturally my Smart watch is thrilled to have something to do like count my steps, calories, and torso twists. I aim to please, including the smarty pants watch.
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Interestingly enough, Tink also entered the contest. So, we are now competitors rather than partners. Bring it, Tink. Challenge accepted.
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I think she is serious about the competition this year because she threw out her cookies and lemon squares. She works in a bakery, so it has to be difficult to be exposed to sweets for 8 hours each day. If she loses weight, I'll throw a party with a non fat angel food cake and fat free Cool whip with fruit.

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Speaking of food, got to start making casseroles and lasagna for the week.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Movin on...smarter than my watch

Greetings....this is a very late post as I did not write during the holiday season. Today, I took down the tree and some decorations. I felt like I worked out and it was evident on my new super watch.Image result for smart watch gif

Super watch? You mean a Rolex? A Cartier? A Movado? A Timex with a second hand?Image result for diamond watch gif

Nope, I got one of those work out watches that also has email, texts, weather, steps, calories, news feed, and time of day. I could do more with it BUT I do not want to learn anything else.Image result for smart watch gif

You see, I am a fairly simple girl. I don't wear a watch since I have a cell phone that is stapled to my right hand. So, there is no need plus I don't like the feel on my wrist. I don't wear much jewelry since I like the freedom of not worrying whether it broke and has been lost. Too many "what ifs" with some types of jewelry.
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So, when I saw the watch box under the tree I was not surprised. You see, dad likes to buy electronic gadgets for me. Not for himself....for me.....Why?Image result for smart watch gif

Why not?

Maybe he likes watching me try to figure out the rationale for owning the aforesaid technology. Last year, he gave to me a Google home, which I have not mastered yet. This year, I was destined to be given a Surface computer which is a tablet and laptop computer. Once he saw the price, he realized that I was not worth the expense.

So, I landed up with a Smart watch. This gadget gives me feedback like "hey, it has been an hour since you have moved. Do some torso twists!" I kid you not. Here I am trying to help BP Grandmom purchase a cell phone and my wrist is telling me to do some torso twists. Imagine, I have a Jiminy Cricket on my wrist. Who needs a conscience when you have a Smarty pants watch?
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So, I learned how to use the watch over the week and feel at peace. I know enough now to read my feeds and dress appropriately for the weather.Image result for smart watch gif

The next piece of holiday history also deals with technology. It was time for us to switch phone providers and therefore we needed new phones. Aghast, I had to figure out which phone I wanted to learn and attach to my right wrist since Smarty pants watch is on my left wrist. I also had to help BP Grandmom choose a phone that she could use. Our customer service rep was no help. When asked the difference between a $145.00 phone and a $240.00 phone, her reply was "the cost."  Yep, "the cost" and 95$. Her manager heard our exchange and his head spun around like a top. He ran over to us and directed her to the more expensive model. Naturally,  Grandmom liked the bigger screen, hot spot, and ability to text (which she does not do, but will consider learning). The manager looked at her old flip phone and chuckled. Yep, BP Grandmom has to learn how to use the phone and take a photo or two. When I left her house yesterday, I downloaded the user manual and turned on a how to take the phone out of the box video. she has to do her homework before her texting lesson.Image result for learning to text message gif

As far as my phone selection was concerned, the store had a huge sale before Christmas, so I selected the cell phone turbo. It does everything from speak to me, to doodling, web searches, hot spots, and
wax the car  if you buy the extra liquid glass to protect it. Yep, here I bought the turbo phone  knowing that I had another learning curve to figure out how to turn it on. After turning it on, I then had to figure out how to transfer files, photos, apps, and contacts...soooo, I have been a busy beaver trying to figure out my new technology.Related image

On to work, my first class is scheduled for Mondays. The other two classes are on line. I like this schedule. After I meet with the class on Monday, we have the following Monday off for MLK day. Guess what? Big Sis asked me to go to Florida with her, so I am going. Yep, road trip with Big Sis. Will also stop to see BFF Daisy as I drive down the west coast. Then Dad is headed to Tampa and I will pick him up as we drive to South Carolina to check on the house's progress....or lack thereof...Image result for lazy construction worker gif

This week, the south was hit with snow and ice. They cannot handle it so everyone stayed in. Uh huh. This means that the construction workers have three days off from putting up the walls in the house. First, they had Christmas week off, then the storm hit yesterday and they actually closed the roads! Needless to say, the house is still wall-less. It's a first world problem, so I am not worried or upset.Image result for lazy construction worker gif

OK, I am going to change and go to the gym. The big leftie left a few minutes ago. Yes, it snowed but he has Tink's SUV. I will meet him there because the Biggest Loser starts this week. Got to get my doughy body moving before my Smarty pants watch sends a shock wave through my arm telling me to do a torso twist or ten.Image result for lost earring gif

I hate being insulted by an inanimate object, how about you?Image result for lost earring gif