Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wacky Wednesday

It's counting down to the beginning of the New Year, and I'm so excited! All the prospects of a new day, the fresh start. Looking back at the past year, I can see how I have crippled myself by not taking advantage of opportunities, of letting fear chart the course of my journey sometimes. I can strive to do better.. I can certainly look at the 3 fold path: physical, mental and spiritual. And I can address issues and take more time for meditation and treat myself more like a precious child of God.

We opted to stay in tonight forego the local AA festivities. They're having a dance and stuff. We are both tired and really prefer the quiet of home. HUbby worked all day and was ready to just put his sweats on and his slippers and watch tv.

We are blessed to be sober on this, New Year's Eve. We are blessed to be loved and to have familky nearby and friends to support us. We are blessed with furry family and feathered family and that everyone is home, safe and sound.

Bless you all. And bless the world. And embrace the beauty of the day, wherever you happen to be.

"Awaken each morning in gratitude for another day of limitless possibility!"


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Twoderful Tuesday...

(That's even 1 more than wonderful!!!!)

What an evening. What a day all the way around, actually. It was gorgeous out and the pups spent the majority of the day chasing monsters out of the yard and running and playing and jumping in the leaves that are trying to compost on the garden beds. The cats were in and out, but mostly out. I finished all my chores, except cleaning the office. But, hey! that's okay. 'Cuz, I'm F-L-E-X-I-B-L-E... *grin* and so I'll just put that on tomorrow's list.

Tonight I wanted to go to a meeting in a town about 20 miles from here. I hadn't been to a meeting there, but I've always been the adventurous type. So, I phone up a newbie and say "Let's go!" She agrees, because she's askeered of me. Later she calls and cancels, because she's so tired and wrung out emotionally...been to a funeral today. I let her off the hook, and think maybe I won't go, because it's getting cool out there and windy. I hem and haw a little, and feed husband, and IM a friend and hem and haw some more. I suddenly think--I need to go. (Be aware that I had just spent 40 minutes locating and trying to download the software to hook my printer up to this old, slow loaner computer. And it went all the way through the long drawn out process before it slaps me with a little message that says "Fatal drive error. This program was NOT successfully installed." ) SO, I hear the still small voice saying "GO TO THE MEETING, SISTER". And I did.

But when I get there, I can't find it. I have the address. I even looked it up on Mapquest (and had to write the directions down by hand because the stoopid computer won't let me hook up the printer). (Not to mention how mad I got when I got to the Mapquest page and saw that the directions were only 3 sentences. arrggghhhhhh) I drive up and down the street looking and see no sign of it. Then I realize that the house numbers aren't in order. I circle around about the 5th time, thinking, screw it-I'm going home. I pull into a parking lot to try to call someone (who, naturally, wasn't home) and think...what the HELL.... and I look up and right directly in front of me is the New Song Fellowship Church! It's a huge yellow brick OLD building. Turns out, St. Louis Street SPLITS in half and runs two ways, and it was the back side. AHA!

It was unnaturally dark. There were no cars there. Anywhere. I drove all the way around it. Nada. Zip. Nunca.

But, standing in a doorway, was a young woman, shivering, with her coat pulled tightly around her to keep the cold wind off. I rolled down my window and said--Is there a meeting here? She said "I guess not." She looked exhausted and scared and pitiful. I said...Hey, get in and I'll give you a ride home. She looked a little doubtful, and then walked over to the car and said, "Well I'm staying at the Mission." I said , get in. When she got in I could see that she was tired and I said there was supposed to be a meeting here, and she said, I know. I called the hotline and they told me to come here. I asked her if she'd like a cup of coffee or something to eat, and she said she had missed supper and was sure hungry, but didn't have any money. I said I had some, let's get something. We wound up at a little hole in the wall Chinese place where we shared a plate of Vegetable Delight with rice and some Crab Rangoon. We had hot tea and we sat there and talked for almost 2 hours. I dropped her off at the Mission just before the curfew, and gave her my phone number.

I don't know if I'll ever see her again, but it sure was an interesting experience. Sometimes I forget that I have to listen carefully, because I never know what the Universe has in store...

One cranky old lady, one cold windy night, one scared little drunk and some good hot tea. And the meeting that never was.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Murky Monday

Hola amigas...

I am stopping in for a quick post. Am on my way to bed and am yawning like crazy. I've been up since 5 AM...that could be part of it. :)

The pups are sleeping at my feet, the kitchen is cleaned and the lunch is made. I am looking forward to a nice day here at the farm tomorrow...just me and the critters. Birds to feed, laundry to finish (yes, the water is finally back on--YIPPEE!!!!) and floors to vacuum. And loving every minute of it.

I grateful to alive today.
And that about covers it all.

Sweet dreams, all y'all...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Silly Sundays

Ahhhh...just another silly Sunday. I can see that, now that it's almost over.

We arrived at the meeting hall this morning to find all the tables and chairs folded up and put away. What?? Then when I went in to check the bathrooms, the men's room was a disgusting mess and so, twisted serpent that I am, I cleaned it. That was bad enough. Later we took one of my sponsees and her son home from the meeting. After dropping them off (14 days clean and sober and chatters like a herd of squirrels-nonstop-without taking a breath), we decided to run a little errand and have a little lunch. Not in that order. We went to the Mexican place that we love and had a fine lunch and then off to errands. On the way home we pass a sign on a road that says (I am NOT making this up) WE DON'T RENT PIGS. Now, I've seen this before (may have even posted about it) but today it just struck me as the silliest thing I have ever seen. I started laughing, and I swear to you, it was like I was taking psylicibin. I could not stop giggling, and I was snorting and choking and turning all the colors of the rainbow. And my darling husband is trying his best to be all serious and looking at me like I've lost my mind. And it just made it worse.

And the whole day was like that. And I was powerless to stop it.

I am so blessed by laughter and humour in my life, but this was ridiculous.

It was like God had decided to do a new stand-up and schtick routine. We pulled up in the driveway and the dogs had been frolicking in the mud and the black dog was brown, and the white dog was gray and the tan dog was black. And the little one just kept looking at me, and cocking her head from one side to the other. And the paroxysm of laughter started again.

A few hours later I got a wonderful phone call from a friend on the other side of the country and spent a lot more time laughing.

Later still, I called another friend who has a tough time this time of year. She had a son who commited suicide and got sober around the same time. We spent a lot of time giggling like teenagers.

And a little later still I was IM'ing with a friend from FL and laughing even more.

Silliness. Laughing. All things that are so good for my soul. There are a lot of people with nothing to laugh about in the world, and thanks to my sober life, I am not one of them. So, it's okay to be silly and to laugh until you pee your pants.

Just don't rent pigs.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stark Raving Saturday

Boy oh boy, we had every weather known to man around these parts today! Woke up to 60 degrees, around 1 it started raining and thnderstorming with tornado warnings, then it was a flooding mess out there in my front yard. Tonight it has dropped to about 34 degrees.

Naturally, the rains and meltoff commingled to flood my well. The water came up over the pump housing again. SO I have had no water since about 4. It happened really fast--there was a lot of water out there!

Blessings today were But we are all healthy and happy and the animals are all well and safe. The chickens are magically laying again. The gardens are resting. We are sober. Life goes on in this little corner of the world.

Tomorrow morning we will attend a 10 o'clock meeting. Maybe we'll hit a movie. I'd like to see 7 pounds (Will Smith) and I'd also like to see Doubt (Meryl and Philip Seymour Hoffman). I need to get by the local Dollar Tree to, as they once again (still, hopefully) have jars of fire roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes and pickled garlic in stock. They don't have this stuff all the time and it's very high quality, so when I find it I like to stock the pantry. Routine day, mundane errands. I like this boring life I lead today. I am blessed to not be that girl who couldn't stand to be home, who was always out in the bars, looking for the next adventure. Chasing the next thrill. Running, running, running.

Blessings abound....if you just know where to look!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday's fantastic...

It was a good day today. I suspect there were people out still doing the crazy shopping thing, but I wasn't one of them. I have never gone shopping on the day after Christmas OR Thanksgiving in my entire life. And I probably never will. I am blessed to NOT be blessed with that shopping gene. And I know people (mostly women) who live for this stuff. Not me. Uh-uh.

The weather here is ridiculous. Earlier in the week it was 4 degrees and today it was 60. It's so warm in our bedroom that we're having to turn on fans. Tonight we attended a speaker meeting that was also our friend's 9th anniversary. It was a great time, and we rode home through the countryside withthe windows down. IN DECEMBER !!!!!!!!! It's just crazy, I tell ya...

I was blessed to have a nice lazy low key kind of a day. Hubby had to go to Edward Jones to sign some papers and I elected to stay home and straighten up a little and get online and have several long lovely phone conversations. I even got in a little reading. It was awesome.

The pups are all surrounding me in here, one snoozing, one chewing a Christmas rawhide, and one looking so adorable I could eat her up. The cats are placed in assorted and various places, couch backs, window sills, corners and cabnets. Chico the birdboy is settling in for the night and seems to be okay today. I was a little concerned about him yesterday as he seemed lethargic and kept fluffing up his feathers. He wouldn't sing or respond when I talked to him. He'd just look at me. I guess he had a sniffle or he is back to his old belligerant noisy self. That's a relief.

My life out here in the country is simple and just the way I like it (most of the time). I'm blessed to have enough. I'm blessed to be sober. And mostly I'm blessed with the kind of people in my life today that help me trudge the road somedays, and skip merrily on others.

May you find the blessings in your life.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thoroughly Thursday

Well, it's all come and gone and all that awaits me now is that nice queen sized sleigh bed in the other room....sigh....

I'm especially grateful for the gifts of sobriety today. The grace and the program of AA has saved me and countless others from lives of desperation and hopelessness. My sponsor died yesterday of a heart attack. Her daughter said it was quick and that she didn't suffer. She was a sober woman til her last breath, and with your help, that can happen to me too. She lived and breathed the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and knew that Big Book better than anyone I have ever met. She was a delightful human being and I will miss her so much.

I am crying off and on, not because of anything but how much I will miss her. She is better off and had been talking about death alot recently. I suspect she knew it was coming. She was always afraid that Altzheimer's would get her first. So dying of a quick heart attack is a blessing. Godspeed, Marion.

IN her honor I will post the poem I read at my father's service when he died. It is called
"Do not stand at my grave and weep" by Mary Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at mt grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Wicked Good Wednesday

Ah...just realized I can't post a picture on here because none of my photos are in this 'puter...
And yet...I am blessed to be back online. I am blessed to have all my baking done (finally). I am blessed that my husband just brought me a big cup of hot cocoa.

Mostly I'm being majorly blessed with a break in the weather. It rained some today, but there were periods when the sun shone through as well. It wasn't quite as cold as it has been, made it up in the 30's today! Hooray!! Supposed to stay like this tomorrow too, cold, but dry. No white Christmas this year...

I'm going to try to get a few more things done tonight and then I'll finish up in the early hours.

I have a couple of new sponsees has 12 days today and is wound up like a top. She's a cute little thing, and is right on track. Everything is a major event and she doesn't know what to do. I can remember feeling like that...whew. It makes me tired just watching them spin sometimes. lol

I got a call from a friend in southern Missouri. He's sober about as long as me and has come up here to visit on 2 occasions. I adore him and it was so good to hear from him, and that life is rolling along. Am hoping to see him this summer when I host my next gathering of cyber-sober folks. It will be in June this year...the same weekend as my AA birthday -the 12th. Anybody interested in coming drop me a line. They're always a lot of fun...

Okay...Santa is on his way and if I don't go to bed I won't get any presents.

THAT ain't happening...

Merry Christmas blessings to you all....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blessed Tuesday...

Well. Here I am, finally back online and raring to go. lol. Truthfully, after almost 2 months away, I can barely remember what to do. My computer is still not repaired, but I was sent one by a very dear friend and it arrived today. She doesn't use it anymore, and kind enough to mail it off. I have had to do some computer geek stuff (that I figured out all by myself!!) and am trying to get it all cleaned up and arranged so I can use it.

She is a recent non-smoker...I cannot believe how much my eyes are watering from the thing. lol I am NOT complaining...I am very grateful for her generosity. I took windex to the box because the smell was rather pervasive. It got worse after being turned on and heating up some. It's still pretty bad....and I am just very sensitive to it.

I am trying to clean out about 3000 emails and after the holidays I will make an effort to catch up with y'all...

I'm so glad to be home!!!!!! Hope all is well for you all and that you have a very merry merry and happy ho ho.

Tomorrow I will be back on track, but for tonight let me just send a bunch of big old hugs and kisses....XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday, again ????

[The view across my front yard, 2005]

Well, here we are, another day come and gone. I could wax philosophic about the passage of time, or my place in the Universe, but instead I'd like to talk about something near and dear to my heart. (ahem.)

Yesterday morning at the meeting, my glasses broke. I've had a feeling they were about to, as they just felt fragile. I was cleaning the lenses and they pretty much just came apart in my hands. The weld that holds the nosepiece broke. Luckily, I had my prescription sunglasses, so I could still see (plus, I looked totally incognito and cool.). Fast forward to later in the day, and I'm trying to find any kind of old glasses that I can still see out of, to no avail. Finally I found a pair that didn't give me an instant headache. They aren't quite right, but at least I can see the keyboard. I don't like the way they look, or the color of the frames (a dark bronze), or the way they fit. But hey, I can use them. I really cannot afford new glasses right now. So....drumroll....the other day the Medicare book came in the mail. I'm thinking, I'll find out what Medicare covers and maybe I can get new glasses. OR something. I's like the book is written in Chinese.
Now, I'm a relatively intelligent human being. I can figure out lots of stuff. The only place where it talks about eyecare is under A) Diabetes or B) [this is a direct quote] "Eyeglasses(limited): ONE PAIR OF EYEGLASSES WITH STANDARD FRAMES (OR ONE SET OF CONTACT LENSES) AFTER CATARACT SURGERY THAT IMPLANTS AN INTRAOCULAR LENS.

Does that mean that I can only get glasses if I let them implant a lens?

How do seniors on Medicare afford glasses?

I'm bewitched, bothered and bewildered... (that reference is for you, 'roni. Happy Homecoming!)

Sigh...oh well. I still have lots of things to be grateful for today.

*All my critters are in house, safe and loved
*I have a wonderful marriage based on mutual respect and good humour.
*I have most of my family living within a hundred miles of me or less.
*I am over 6000 words into NaNoWriMo
*I am geting to know more and more great folks in the blogger community
*I am sober. Just for today.
*Listening to others problems make mine feel small.
*I have a huge share of meetings close enough to attend any time I want.
*The 12 Steps have absolutely changed my life.
*Today I have a faith that works.
*I have a nice warm bed to climb into, I am not homeless, and am well fed.
*My health is relatively good.
*Tomorrow I get to vote my conscience and exercise a right that a lot of people don't have.
*Today, I am a child of God, and I try to act like it.

Sweet dreams, all y'all.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Settle down, it's Saturday!

[The late, great Augie...aka Octavio Augustus]
Just a quick post to say that I'm feeling pretty darn blessed today. All the stars were in alignment and all the little synchronicities fell into place. Made for a very pleasant and comfortable day.
Someone said once, "It's impossible to be hateful and grateful at the same time, so I choose grateful." I loved that. Took it to heart, in fact. The more grateful I am, the better I act. The more grateful I am, the more I have to be grateful for.
Today I am grateful:
*For my family
*For my animals
*For my home
*For my blogging community
*For friends
*For NaNoWriMo buddies
*For friends in general
*Most especially, for my husband, who loves me unconditionally
Life is good.

Friday, October 31, 2008

'Fraidy Friday

[One of those cool caves, in Virginia, I think]

Glad this day is over. My back hurts from standing in the kitchen for about 6 and a half hours slaughtering pumpkins. I froze 12 pounds of cooked pumpkin. That should be enough pies and breads for the year. The crazy thing was, all through the process I kept thinking "Aldi's has this stuff for .89 a can" Arrgghhhhhh......

I roasted all the pumpkin seeds too. The main batch, from 2 pumpkins, I just roasted with canola oil, worcestershire sauce and sea salt. The second batch, I made spicy roasted seeds with granulated garlic and cayenne and sea salt. They are wonderful. Got about 6 cups, at least, of roasted seeds.

We had no trick-or-treaters. Never do. But that's okay. I buy candy anyway (whatever my favorite kind happens to be in any particular year) and then I just eat it all myself. Brahahahahahaha....

Nothing exciting today, puppy played outside a lot and always came back in the house to check in with me. Got an email from an old friend in California that I have known for about 30 years and hadn't heard from in a while. That was nice.

My gratitude list today is based on all the things I don't have today. No high drama, no rages, no chaos, no screaming fights with anyone. No hangover, no "where the hell did I put my car?", no fear of what I did or did not do last night.

The blessings in this life just keep on coming. It's all good!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Threatening Thursday

[My favorite bandit in the whole wide world]

For Halloween this year, she's a pirate--just got a picture message on my phone this morning. When I took the picture above, and showed it to her, she said it was a stupid picture. I said --I love it! She said, very matter-of-factly: Then you like stupid things. It isn't easy being a 5 year old, almost 6 prima

In the cities tonight around here was trick or treat night and one parade, but the big parade is tomorrow night, I guess. I opened the women's meeting, but apparently all those mothers had princesses and spidermen and skeletons and pirates to take around, because there were only 2 of us there. Like good soldiers, we kept the meeting open the whole time anyway, just in case someone od'd on candy and needed a meeting at the last minute. lol It was a chance for some good one on one time with my sponsee, so it wasn't a wash at all.

I baked that peach pie today and it turned out beautifully. The peaches were off our tree (and it's only 3 years old!!) and the thing was superb, if I do say so myself. We also had the brats and kraut. Tomorrow I have 3 pumkins set for slaughter, lol, and that will be canned. I have no idea how much it will make as I would never bother with them in the past--way too much work. We'll see how it goes. I may never do them again.

Tired tonight. I'm grateful to be a card carrying member of AA. I'm blessed to be walking upright. I'm blessed to have morals and ethics today. I'm grateful to have so much love in my life.

We had an invasion of lady bugs today. The temps warmed up into the 70's and the little buggers came out in hordes. I hate them in my house, and love them in my organic garden. I went around after I got home tonight and sucked them up in the vacuum cleaner. Every fall and every spring we go through this. YUCK! But I don't want to call an exterminator either. Ladybugs are a beneficial insect. IN THE GARDEN !!!!!! lol

I have to get up early and go feed the neighbors dogs while they are in Florida the next few days. Guess I'd better get to sleep--they don't like to be kept waiting. lol

It's after midnight here already. sheesh....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wacky Wednesday

[Click to enlarge] Baby brother's 46th birthday

A homey kind of day today. I puttered. Started putting the garden beds to rest for the winter, pulled out the tomato cages and picked the last of the green tomatoes. Cleaned the chicken coop. Straightened the house and (naturally) vacuumed up enough pet hair and feathers to build my own zoo. (Or at least make a really cool Sasquatch-birdman suit).

I baked butternut squash for supper with a walnut and stuffing filling, with a side of pan fried carrots, onions and cabbage sliced really thin. Threw a dollop of home made applesauce on the plate too, just for fun. It was a very deliciously satisfying meal. We had some butter pecan ice cream for dessert, since I didn't get a pie baked like I'd planned. I promised it [again] for tomorrow though. I think tomorrow we'll have bratwurst and sauerkraut, and I have some left over mashed red potatoes with the skins on and added garlic. And peach pie. yum. Peaches from our own trees too...makes it extra special.

Tomorrow night is the women's meeting too. And after, over to my friend's Halloween extravaganza. Apparently her neighborhood looks forward to her little soiree every year. I'm excited...

Everything's done that needs doing before bed, so I'm about ready to head that direction. Hubby's lunch is made, dishes are done, animals are fed and watered and have been outside for their last hurrah.

I'm just grateful for almost everything about my life today. Love, troubles, joys, and family. Trying to live in the anticipation of the next great miracle coming my way....

Dream on, fellow travellers....dream on....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tender Tuesdays

[A boy and a dog]
{Tristan and baby Lucy}

Winding down a chilly and productive Tuesday. Kept the car and went to town...picked up some groceries at the market, got some cat food and rice milk at the dreaded Wally World, went by the CSO and picked up new where and when's that just came out as well as about 20 newcomer packets for my homegroup. Then I went to a noon meeting , which just happens to be where my home group meets, so I was able to drop off the goods in the cabinet that our stuff goes in and enjoy a meeting on the 10th Step. It was a small meeting, but had diverse perceptions and varying amounts of sobriety, so it made for lively discussion. From there it was home to put things away and start some chicken breasts thawing in the microwave, and then off to pick himself up from work.

We briefly considered going to a speaker meeting tonight, but it was just too much to get going again once we were home. We are so lame.

I made a nice supper of chicken fajitas with red, yellow and green bell peppers from the garden, as well as lots of onions.I cooked the 2 breasts in the electric skillet and then tore them apart. For some reason I had one package with just the 2 small breasts in it, so this was a good way to use that up. I made a pot of a texmati rice I had in the is Texas red rice, white rice and lentils all together. Then I sauteed some finely chopped bell pepper and onion and garlic, ground some cumin seed with my mortar and pestle, and put in a can of black beans. It made for a satisfying simple supper, and after that, believe me--we weren't going anywhere, lol.

I'm chock full of gratitude tonight. For a loving spouse, for a sweet little homestead, for all my furry babies, for grandchildren, for relative health, for my handosme son and his adorable wife, for a sister-in-law (2 of them, actually) who are like sisters to me (and maybe love me MORE than my own sisters, lol). I am grateful that I found onions on sale at 3 lbs. for a dollar and bought 9 pounds. I'm grateful that the price of gas has come down for now. I'm grateful for a sober life that is beyond my wildest expectations.

Hope you are all finding a streak of gratitude in your lives too...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Madly Monday

[Lily...the little Halloween Cat]

A cold and windy Monday here in Corntown. The farmers are fighting to get the corn and beans in before it freezes (tonight-estimated temp22). Hubby went off to a job and me and the furbabies all stayed home. Spent the bigger part of the day inside, either on the computer or huddled under the big flannel comforter reading. Made a spaghetti with putanesca sauce for supper with garlic bread and a lovely coconut cake for dessert. Hubby is out to his food class and should be home any minute. I was getting up to make popcorn, and remembered that I needed to make birthday cards for his dad and brother. Then one for a 37th AA anniversary for a friend. Then thought I might as post and just turn the computer off for the I am.

Grateful to be snug and warm in this 38 degrees tonight. Grateful to have a full tummy. Watched a documentary about the ANC and the underground and apartheid called "Memories of Rain". Grateful to live in this time on this planet.

Grateful my husband had work today and probably the next 2 weeks.

Feeling blessed to have popcorn to pop and butter to dress it with, along with sea salt and brewer's yeast. Yum.

Blessed that my food co-op carries rooibos tea.

And that brings me to goodnight....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Silly Saturday

[The Visiting Clown, making a house call....]

Quickie post tonight, as it's after midnight. I have guests and we are going to an early meeting tomorrow. We have had a fun day of playing outside and eating yummy stuff and making monster noises, while hidden underneath an Afghan. Chamomile teas and hot chocolates with tiny marshmallows and assorted and sundry relaxing and comforting things.

I am blessed today. I am grateful today.

The doggies are in for the last time, the kitties are all posted around the house in their sentry postitons and I am ready to go to sleep.

All is well in my world.

Friday, October 24, 2008

'Fraidy Friday

[Cats in the windows, cats on the bed, cats everywhere you look]

A low key kind of day today...the kind of boring day that would have sent this alcoholic out in search of some real "FUuuun!!!!" back in the day. I did some housekeeping and some cooking. Baked a chicken and rice casserole for supper, the kind that you put in the oven at 250 degrees and leave there for about 3 hours. The kind that smells up your house to the point that you never want to go out again. The kind that makes you think of when you were a kid and used to go to granny's place and she'd be cooking up all that wonderful old fashioned real food. THAT chicken and rice casserole.

Was supposed to have guests, but at the last minute there was a shift in plans and so they're coming tomorrow instead. She was worried I'd done all kinds of stuff, and she was going to cause a real problem by not coming. I said no, honey child, you're family now. I don't do extras for family. And I am absolutely flexible.. not a problem. I just wanted her to make it easy on herself-that is the whole point of the little getaway.

Talked to a neighbor. Bad news, his 401k has lost over a hundred thousand dollars, which is putting the kibosh on his retirement plan. He thinks he will have to go back to work. We are thinking about taking our IRA out as well, and just pay the taxes and penalties and put it into a savings or CD. We've already lost a lot of it, and Alan Greenspan says this economic tsunami is just beginning.

It's a hard call to make...I am feeling just a little pessimistic about the nature of investment banking these days.

At any rate, pantries are stocked. We have the means to survive....although I am, nearly out of toilet paper. *grin

Lots to be thankful for as we round the corners into November. I am grateful to have family close by, something I did without for years. I am blessed to have a loving home to live in, not like the war zones of years past. I'm grateful that there are 12 steps to help me live my life one day at a time. I'm grateful that, at least in my little family, the chain of alcoholism and addiction has been broken. I'm blessed to have a fuzzy little puppy asleep at my feet. I'm grateful that there are meetings close by, that I can attend AA almost any time I want/need to. I'm blessed by the spirit of sharing and giving that I find everywhere I look.

Time for a nice hot shower and off to see the Sandman....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday, Thursday

[My handsome boy....Leo de of stage and screen]

It's been a marvelous day and evening. I had a lot of time to myself today, and it was softly rainy the whole time. I made soup and cheesy biscuits for supper (comfort food--yum). The meeting was great, our little new mother came back after birthin' that bruiser (8lbs15oz), we had a newcomer/retread, and a spirited discussion on the story Freedom From Bondage, which I chose because I can. Because , as I explained to the group, I AM the queen of everything. I love that story...and BTW, the Queen of Ice Cream brought her newest creation to the meeting.Punpkin Ice Cream. It was so good, it left me speechless!!!!

And on the way home, I had another spiritual experience on that back country road. As I came up over a hill, and the road straightened out, a huge grey owl swooped down right in front of my car and flew along almost a quarter of a mile in a straight line, right in front of me. Then he swooped off to the right and was gone. I could see him plain as day, and he was huge! And gorgeous. Was it just last week (or the week before??) when I saw the comet or meteorite?? It was out on that same back road.

I was jazzed by that experience, and couldn't wait to get home and tell hubby the birder what I had seen. I didn't think he was nearly excited enough, though he did say "Wow. Cool." (I think he was just jealous).

*Blessed by a really serene day.
*Grateful for friends that are sober.
*Blessed by the rains.
*Grateful that the cheese biscuits were so good.
*Blessed by owls.
*Grateful that I have found another magnificent sober blog to read (TRC)]
*Blessed to have a warm bed to go to, and soup to fill my belly.
*Grateful to be grateful.

Oh's ALL good....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

[My "East Coast Chickens"...Rhode Island Reds,
with the meanest rooster in the world.]

NO CHICKEN JOKES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (That's just for you, Pammie *grin)

I'm home about an hour from a wonderful llittle meeting, where we celebrated C's 2nd birthday. The cake was marvelous and everyone raved. My little knucklehead rode with me (she had 30 days yesterday) and we had a lovely chat there and back. I just love newcomers! And especially this little girl. One of my friends there offered to teach me to knit. She said she couldn't believe I didn't know how to knit--she thought I could do everything! lol I'd really love to learn to knit...I think it could be a very useful skill. SO, I shall call her and get to it. When I lived in Portland ,OR there was a woman in the meetings who was always knitting socks. It amazed me...those big soft rag wool socks that I pay over 8 dollars a pair for! I would be in heaven if I could learn to knit socks...

Anyway, it was a great evening. I picked up hubby and stopped and bought some tofu for dinner. I made a sesame teriyaki noodle dish that I added asparagus and bell pepper and onion to. It was great. I browned the tofu slices in olive oil and seasoned them with granulated garlic and black pepper. Then I cooked the whole wheat udon noodles sauced them and threw it all together. By the time I cleaned up it was time to go. But I accomplished a lot today: 2 loads of laundry, 17 jars of canned applebutter, straightened the house, baked and frosted the birthday cake, and made cards.

I am so way grateful tonight, it feels like it's bubbling out of me. lol The topic at tonight's meeting was complacency, and Creator always gives me just what I need just when I need it. We had several newcomers, 2 relapsers that made it back, and 3 old timers. And several folks in the middle. It's a good thing to talk about. When times are good, it's easy to get complacent. When times are tough, we hustle around doing all the right things, hoping to change what's happening to us. Living today, mostly in the middle of that is a good thing. As I strive for balance in my life and in my world, I can see how easy it is to tip one way or the other.
Keeping my footing on the straight and narrow requires a certain amount of effort on my part. And when I stay sober, I can do these things.

It's all good.

My gratitude list tonight:

*Sober birthday celebrations
*Laughing and feeling so much joy.
*Seeing newcomers, and remembering what that felt like.
*Getting to sleep in tomorrow and have a take-it-easy day.
*Not having to drink myself unconscious tonight.
*Living in a sober marriage.
*Loving a sober man.
*The rain that's coming tomorrow.

Off to see the Sandman....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Terrific Tuesday

[My two guys on the apple wagon, with the lost kitty]

Oh my goodness. I'm "aching in the places where I used to play". What a long day...way too much time standing in the kitchen, my neck and back hurt and my hands hurt from all that chopping. But--the apple butter is made, almost all the pie slices are in the freezer (4 gallons), I made an apple crisp for supper, with oven-fried pork chops, stuffing, green beans with onions and bacon and a side of apple slices sauteed in butter to go with the pork chops. I have about 8 pints of applesauce. The apple butter is all cooked and run through the blender and is now simmering away in the slow cooker. It will be done by morning. The house smells heavenly--apples and cinnamon and nutmeg. I am guesstimating that I'll have about 20 pints of apple butter. Maybe a little less. Surely enough for the two of us and then some. Hubby's lunch is packed and I am ready to drop.
I didn't get the birthday cake for tomorrow night made because I was shy one egg. (And apples took up all my time, lol). SO-- I'll take hubby to work in the morning, stop by Wally World at my favorite time to shop (6AM), and come home and bake the cake. It's a wonderful cake...5 eggs and 2 sticks of butter, coconut, nuts, cream cheese frosting. It is a very labor intensive cake, but so worth the effort. You have to separate the eggs, beat the whites until stiff and then fold them into the batter. Add the egg yolks one at a time, alternating with the buttermilk mixture. and whip,whip,whip!! It's a really beautiful cake.... Maybe I'll take a picture of it tomorrow and show you.
I'm grateful that I know how to do stuff like this.
I'm grateful that I have the means to do so.
I'm blessed to have a friend worth going to all this trouble for.
I'm blessed to be able to contribute to my family's food experience.
I'm grateful that NANOWRIMO doesn't start until November. lol
I'm especially blessed to know that I am loved, that I can let go & let God.
I'm grateful for all the blogs I read every day....
You guys really teach me so much .
Sweet dreams.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monkeyin' around on a Monday...

[Seamus the wonder dog....]

A contemplative and reflective daay today, for the most part. Ran some errands, talked to some alocholics in recovery, checked up on some family. All in all, a good day.

It's midnight already, and I'd hoped to be in bed early tonight. lol I have been up since 4:30 AM and can barely think. I can remember the days when staying up for 20 hours was no big whoop. Not anymore...

Lots of gratitude for my life today. And lots of gratitude for new beginnings.

Hope everyone out there feels as blessed as I do.

Must sleep.....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday's Surrender

[A cannon at Gettysburg]

I thought the cannon picture from our vacation one year would make for a great intro into a blog on surrender. lol That must have been 2003?? We took a trip from NC to the Poconos, to meet up with a bunch of sober folks who get together annually at least, and that year it was up in the beautiful mountains of Pennsylvania. We got to travel the Cumberland Gap, Shenandoah Valley, Lancaster,PA where the Amish are, Gettysburg (hubby was so happy he nearly died--Civil War freak that he is), Woodstock (visited dear dear friends in Bainbridge NY, and they took us on a day trip to Woodstock and through the Alleghenies. It was a delightful trip. First time I'd ever been to New York or Pennsylvania. Bainbridge, BTW, is the home of Elmer's Glue. lol It's their claim to fame.

Sunday is winding down. My gratitude list goes lilke this:

*Grateful that you can't be hateful and grateful at the same time.
*Grateful to have had the LP for 4 days.
*Grateful he went home today.
*Grateful for sober friends.
*Grateful for AA birthdays.
*Grateful for the role models who show me what to do and what not to do.
*Grateful for the opportunity to be a grandma.
*Grateful for apples and hickory nuts.
*Grateful that tonight I am going to bed early.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday for the memory books

[The Little Prince, picking Jonagold apples]

This afternoon we took a trip out to a local orchard for U-Pick apples. It turned into one of those really wonderful times and the LP said "I will never forget this day!" This particular orchard grows about 20 kinds of apples and 48 types of peaches. And pumpkins, of course. I had no idea there were even that many kinds of peaches! When you go there, they have a petting zoo with goats and sheep for the kids. There are a couple of playgrounds. Today there was a program, a Suzuki class from Edwardsville (strings) and they played from 1-3pm. My guess is that they were about 9 year olds. It was marvelous. They have a bakery and a little food court, we bought a tray of apple slices with warm caramel drizzled over them. We used to always get that at the street fairs and the Apple Festival in Hendersonville, NC when we lived there. It's a heavenly treat. The LP had never tried it before and he was so surprised by how good it was. We shared that tasty treat and then later, after we picked apples, we had a giant chocolate chip and a giant flaxseed cookie. We all tasted them both--lordy, they were easily 6 inches across. That flaxseed cookie was one of the best things I have ever tasted---I MUST have the recipe!!!!!! lol

SO, you wait for the guy (one of the sons-it's a family operation) to pull up on the tractor. He pulls 3 wagons, they all have straw on the floor, one has bench seats all around, one has a platform in the center and you sit on it, and one is just a wagon like a hayride. He asks what kinds of apples everyone wants to pick. People start hollering out what they want, and I think there was only one couple that wanted something that wasn't available. We wanted Jonagolds. Ours was the farthest pasture, and when we got there, (as he did at each stop) he got off and told us exactly how to pick an apple, twisting until it comes off in your hand so you don't destroy the little bud on the branch directly above the stem, because that's where next year's apple will grow. He suggested that we try the Winesaps that were a couple of rows down. He also explained about how we should take an apple, shine it all up and clean on our shirts, and bite into it and taste and make sure it's what we want. So we did. They were some of the best apples I have ever had... we picked about 10 pounds of Winesaps and 40 pounds + of the Jonagolds. I will make apple butter and can some for pioes, and keep a few for eating. Then he circles around and comes and picks us up again to take us back to the sheds. They have 2 dogs, Molly and Oscar, a German Shepherd and a Lab, that follow the tractor and play with the guests and eat apples. They both also have company nametags on. LP got a real kick out of that.

It was a wonderful day, and I took some pictures and the LP wants some pictures. He is asleep now, and I thought I would take a couple of the photos and print them out tonight and send them home with him tomorrow. We have an early day, leaving here around 9 to pick up someone who needs a ride to the meeting and there we will celebrate Pat's 28th AA birthday. My son is coming too.

It was a day full of blessings. Too many to count, and just enough to reinforce my gratitude for my sobriety, without which none of this would be happening.
*Blessed to be a grannie
*Blessed to be a wife.
*Blessed to have a world in which love is the most important thing.
*So blessed, that those "feelings of uselessness and self pity" have disappeared.

Blessed to be a part of this community of recoverybloggers.

Night all....

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fantastic Friday

[My summer home in New Orleans(just kidding) the famous Corn Mansion]

The story goes that a wealthy man married a farm girl from Iowa or Nebraska or some corn state, and moved her down to Nah'lens. She was so homesick for the cornfields that he had this gorgeous wrought iron fence made with all the corn stalks and ears on it, so she could look out the windows of the big house and see her beloved corn.

What a guy!

LOL..we had a lovely day here in corntown. The farmers have started harvesting corn and soybeans, the road crews are putting last minute tar and gravel on the township roads, and I am starting to clean up my flower beds and vegetable gardens. Putting everything to bed for the winter. I have a 3 bin compost set-up, and one of them (the last one) is the one all the cleanings from the chicken coop go into. It's nothing but straw and chicken poop. It will go on top of the garden beds after I tear out the remaining plants and lay them down on top of it. The rest of the compost pile will continue to cook throughout the winter, and then by early March it will be ready to spread out along the beds as well. When you just throw everything that isn't animal products onto the beds and let it compost naturally it works well. Layered composting, we call it. The chicken stuff is way too hot to be around any growing plants, it will burn them because it's so high in nitrogenm and ammonia. But after it has set in the bin for several months and then lay on the beds throughout the winter, it makes some pretty good stuff. Black gold, they call compost. It's a beautiful sight to see, even though it's not so easy on the nose while it's breaking down. All those little microbes in there, breaking things down so they can decompose like crazy. It's magic.

I have a lot of things to be grateful for today, but let me narrow it down. lol

* A really loving family, mixed and blended and real.
* A lot of sober friends.
* Beautiful autumn days
* Plenty of time to spend with the Little Prince.
* Knowing the difference today between my needs and my wants.
* Having at least 4 copies of Big Books in my possession.
* A great reading list that has quite a few books crossed off.
* Sobriety, love and joy.

I'm pretty tired and need to hit the hay. Tomorrow morning we are having pancakes and scrambled eggs for breakfast. The LP has been sacked out since about 9 o'clock. All this fresh air and outside adventures tucker him plum out...

All y'all...have a good night!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday Theater

[Japanese gardens]

It has been a very long day. The little Prince is sacked out in his favorite spot, the hideabed in the living room. All the critters sleep with him, and he is in heaven.

Getting him today was a giant clusterf*&k...after all the emails back and forth, changing th e days, changing the times...I went down to get him (his mom said he had a half day and was getting out at 11:30. Surprise! Turns out he wasn't getting out til 2, so it tied up the better part of my I live too far to go home and then come back again in 2 hours.

Once again, the opportunities for growth come hard and fast some days. Staying in the moment. How important is it? Nowhere to Go...No one to be...Nothing to do...kept filtering through my ego based anger.

SO...when I hit too many roadblocks, I just change where I'm going. I killed the 2 hours by picking up a few groceries, stopping by Auto Zone, and grabbing a much needed bite to eat. By the time angelboy got to the car, I was all smiles and grannie. Just what he needed!

I am grateful tonight that I can be trusted with such precious cargo as an 11 year old boy.
I am so so so grateful that he has never seen me drunk.
I am grateful that my puppies are all safe and sound tonight.
I am grateful for a husband who loves me, even when I am not particularly loveable.
I am grateful for my amazing and outstanding man of a son: he "graduated" officially last night at an awards dinner from the union apprenticeship program. He had the highest GPA in the whole class, and won a plaque and certificate for "Practical and Academic Excellence in Ceramic tiles" and was given about 200 dollars for the GPA, as well as a nice coat, a heated coffeemug that he said "Heats up to about 150 degrees when you plug it into the lighter", a couple of really expensive tools and something else, I can't remember.'

I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams....and with that, I am going to bed.. Have a big turtle hunting day ahead with the Little Prince.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wet Wednesday

[View of the Mississippi River from New Orleans-2005]

It's been a beautiful wet Wednesday here on the Prairie. Started raining around noon, right after I was out picking green beans and bell peppers and tomatoes. I guess in the next week or so I'm going to have to harvest the oregano and sage and parsley and basil and get it hanging to dry.

I had an easy going relaxed kind of day. Read a lot, had 2 cups of nice hot tea. Made a vegetarian dinner of cheese raviolis with mushroom sauce, sauuteed fresh green beans with fresh chopped garlic, and garlic bread. It was yummy. Talked on the phone a couple of times. Listened to the rhythms of the falling rain...(isn't that a song??).

My dog Lucy was hit by the same (I suspect) 4 wheeler flying down our road as hit the JRT. I am furious. At both dog and driver. They are not supposed to even drive those damned things on the road, and the high pitched whine they emit makes the dogs chase them every time. She isn't hurt nearly as bad as the Jack Russell was...mostly just abrasions and a few cuts. She isn't limping at all...I didn't even know she was hurt until she got off the couch and there was blood everywhere. (Yes...all over the slipcover on the loveseat. sigh....Thank goodness I had out a sheet across the seat when it started to rain and both dogs were outside.) I'm going to start calling the sheriff every time I see them out on the roads. It will take them too long to get here, I'm sure, but maybe their presence will be enough. I'm really fed up with these guys.

Breathe in and Breathe out....

I'm full of gratitude tonight that my goggie isn't hurt.
I'm grateful that I didn't watch the debate.
I'm grateful that we're still eating fresh veggies out of the garden in the middle of October!
I'm grateful I just mailed the last payment for my most recent propane bill which was over 900 dollars.
I'm grateful that my husband has work this week.

I'm feeling especially blessed to have stocked pantries and plenty of food and electricity and running water. To have friends who love me and people who don't (keeps me humble).

I'm grateful to have blogbuddies, meet new people all the time., and find really funny brilliant people around the blogosphere.

Life is good and I am happy to be alive today...wasn't always the case.

Here's to nursing hurt puppies, chopping fresh garlic and sitting in companionable silence with my sweetie, reading and sipping chamomile tea.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just another Tuesday in Paradise...

[Some gorgeous giant turtles at a zoo in Decatur]
Today (14th) was my beloved's 28th sober anniversary. He will actually celebrate at his home group this coming Sunday. We'll have cake and his sponsor will give him a coin. In this part of the country, they also have cards...a gold card for one year of sobriety with a gold star placed in the card for each ensuing year. SO, since moving here, we have become card carrying members of Alcoholics Anonymous. lol
I spent the day at home, while he was out running about. I did laundry and straightened up the house and did some spot cleaning of the carpet. I had 4 loads of laundry (ohmygosh!) because I changed the bed and changed one of the loveseat covers as well. It is always good to have it all caught up.
I read something really funny today, that I am going to try to copy and paste here. hang on....

1. I will have a cup of coffee in the morning and read my PAPER newspaper like I used to, before the Web.
2. I will eat breakfast with a knife and fork and not with one hand typing.
3. I will get dressed before noon.
4. I will make an attempt to clean the house, wash clothes, and plan dinner before even thinking of the Web.
5. I will sit down and write a letter to those unfortunate few friends and family that are Web-deprived.
6. I will call someone on the phone who I cannot contact via the Web.
7. I will read a book... if I still remember how.
8. I will listen to those around me about their needs and stop telling them to turn the TV down so I can hear the music on the Web.
9. I will not be tempted during TV commercials to check for email.
10. I will try and get out of the house at least once a week, if it is necessary or not.
11. I will remember that my bank is not forgiving if I forget to balance my checkbook because I was too busy on the Web.
12. Last, but not least, I will remember that I must go to bed sometime... and the Web will always be there tomorrow!
(I got a good chuckle out of this.)
I'm grateful to be married to another sober alcoholic.
I'm grateful for friends with a sense of humor.
I'm grateful for another day to be of service.
I'm grateful for sober birthdays--whoever they belong to!
The Sandman cometh....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Columbus Day Monday

[The Montmorency Cherry tree I planted 3 years ago]

I have 5 fruit trees in my front and side yards. One 5-in-one apple, one 2-in-1 pear, 1 cherry and 2 peach trees. I also have hickory nut and black walnut trees. And here's the deal: it makes me feel like a farmer to have these things. To have my asparagus bed, my strawberries, blackberries, 6 25 ft long raised garden beds planted with assorted and sundry vegetables. My chickens. Makes me feel like no matter what comes down the pike, I can survive. Such a feeling of security!

I'm feeling really blessed right this minute. Just talked to baby mama, and everyone is doing well. They are weaning baby off the ventilator, mama is out of the hospital so she can be at the children's hospital with him, and she called and updated me on what's happening. This little new family has had a bit of a rocky start, but lots of people are praying for them. It's such a blessing to be a part of a community (AA) where so many people care about each other.

Got some things marked off the to-do list today, and for that I am grateful.
Had chats with several friends-for that I am grateful.
Spent some quality time with hubby- BLESSED!

Gonna keep this short so maybe ((Pammie)) will read my blog. After all, she is the blogdiva this week. (Congratulations, Miss DivaPants!!)

I am grateful to be sober....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Simple Sundays

[Natural Bridge State Park in Virginia]

Whew....what a Sunday. A beautiful day with a high of about 83. Sunny and clear.
We started the day out with the 10 o'clock meeting. It was a great meeting, got to give a friend who made a surprise visit his 9 year coin. He has moved north of here about 2 hours to be in a union apprenticeship program, and he said his birthday was last week, but they don't celebrate birthdays with coins up there. Craziest thing I ever heard of. lol SO I dug around in my purse and found my old nine year coin and gave it to him. It was a great step meeting on the 8th step, and lots of good stuff was shared.

Then hubby and I headed off to the Old Settlers' Days celebrations up in Calhoun County. That was a lot of fun. On the way home, I got a sponsee had her baby!! She called me an hour after he was born. He's having some minor problems, so they shuttled him over to St Louis to Children's Hospital. But he is okay, and she is fine but exhausted. The little beggar weighed in at 8lbs15 ounces. YIKES!!! That's half grown!! I can't wait to see him... I told her, I'm probably gonna get all stupid...I love babies....

I got a beautiful green swirled stone mortar and pestle today at the flea market. It's new and from India...I've been looking for a cheap one (they can get really expensive!) and this one was 7 dollars. I need it for grinding herbs. I'm tickled pink to have it!

Everybody's sacked out and asleep but me. Guess I'd better think about going to join the ranks.

My gratitude list of blessings is long tonight:

Blessed by healthy new babies and new first time mommies.
Blessed by friends.
Blessed that my cousin is doing well after having 2 stints put in.
Blessed that I can walk around outdoor events.
Blessed to be a faithful member of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Grateful that I can be there for someone else in their time of anxiety.
Grateful that I found this blogging community.
Grateful that tomorrow's a holiday.
Grateful to know my Higher Power.
Grateful to be able to trust people, when for years I couldn't.
Blessed to be me, where I am, now.
Blessed to be able to look on the bright side...most of the time.
Grateful that today, I don't have to overreact to things.
Grateful that today I don't HAVE to act out. (Even tho I do sometimes)
Grateful to be on this side of the dirt.

Sweet dreams, all y'all....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Satisfying Saturday

[ 2 pals, just posing for the camera]

I am amazed when I watch the dynamics of my household. I have a cat that sleeps atop the birdcage, a bird that plays with the cats, whistles for the dogs and generally sings his little heart out any time the Allman Brothers are on the stereo. I have dogs that protect their cats (all 5 of them) from other dogs and from anything that goes bump! in the night. I have cats that take care of each other and me. They will play with the dogs, comfort anyone who's blue, and generally make themselves available to young children and insist on sitting on those freaky people who do not like cats. 2 of the cats play games with the bird, swinging their paw or their tail through the bars to see if he will catch it. The picture up top is the youngest cat and the cockatiel.

Why can't people get along as well????

We had a great visit today, and good food and lots of wonderful conversation. I love my baby brother dearly, warts and all. He is a good man inside, a very good man. He's a loving husband and father, and the best brother a girl could ask for. When he was born, he was pretty much MY baby. I took care of him all the time, and taught him how to read, and we have always had a bond I don't have so much with my other siblings. He's one of, if not my favorite of the other 5 kids. His little girl is 6 and in kindergarten now. She told me proudly, "Auntie, I am in the 100 club!!" The only 2 kids in her class that can count to one hundred are "me and Cole". I adore this child, a late pregnancy that could not have been more of a blessing to her mother OR me. When she comes, I am a little girl again...we pick berries and catch firefllies in jars and tonight we played hide&seek into the dark. Then we sat on the back deck in the sparkly twinkle lights and told jokes. Kindergartener jokes are the best. She hugs so tight I can barely breathe. Tonight she said "You know what?" "What" says I. "I still have the quilt you made for me when I was a tiny baby, and it's hanging on my wall now in our new house, 'cause my new bed got too big for it to fit." I said, " was a quilt for a crib, so I guess it would be too small now." She nodded wisely. Maybe, says she, you need to make me a new one. A BIG one. Big girls NEED big quilts, she says, so they can pull the covers over their heads.

I said "I think you just might be right." So...I guess my winter project has been decided. I was going to make some rag rugs with the loom hubby built for me, but maybe quilt first. Her birthday is January 11th, 5 days after mine. Maybe a birthday quilt is the ticket.

I have a gazillion trillion things to be grateful for, things like:

A five year old hand that holds mine when we skip around the yard.
A loving family.
A serenely sober Saturday.
Fur babies.
A stocked pantry.
That I don't feel the need for armament.
That my husband took a five year old girl fishing, and when she caught 2 blue gill in a row, pronounced her "Princess of the Pond".
That my life is relatively balanced today, and full of gratitude.
That this Tuesday (14th) hubby will celebrate 28 years of sobriety!
That God's got a DEAL for drunks that don't drink.

Sweet dreams, bloglets everywhere!

Friday, October 10, 2008


[At Cahokia Mounds State Park: Indian Burial Grounds]

This is a pretty cool museum and grounds to tour, if you're ever in this neck of the woods. ((Alkyseltzer)) Have you been there? They have some reconstructed village stuff and huge mounds to climb. I always wonder what the spirits are thinking, with all those clop-clop feet stomping around all the time. lol

I am whipped tonight. I have been cleaning--shampooed carpets and mopped wood floors and vacuumed and dusted and scoured showers and cleaned toilets. AND I shopped and put stuff into serving size pkgs for us and froze them. AND made a confetti cole slaw, a Meditteranean pasta salad, a Pina Colada cake (no run--only pineapple, cocnut, mandarin oranges...yum) , and 2 dozen devilled eggs and got the 5 pounds of ground beef pattied and the brats ready to grill. All for my baby brother and his family coming. My son and daughter-in-law are coming too. I have been up since 5 AM and it's now almost 12:30....


I am grateful to be blessed with family.
I am grateful that I have a big old bed in there calleng my name.
I am blessed to have fouond some great sales on some freezer stockin' stuff.
It was a beautiful day today, and I am grateful that I got to have all the windlows open to help dry the carpets.

I am grateful that tomorrow will be around 80...sunny and beautiful.

I am grateful to know that I am going to sleep like a baby.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thursday's thriller

[Le Poulet Chalet...home of the world's meanest rooster]

I had a tussle with the world's meanest rooster again today. I swear, some days it's like WMR has a bad case of PMS. I keep threatening to make a nice dumpling dinner outta him... He scratched me up as he came flying out of the henhouse at me when I opened the door to let them out. He hit me right in the middle of my back again, and I swung around with the half full gallon of water in my hand and cold cocked him. Knocked him silly...long enough for me to make my escape. Of course all the dogs were there, going crazy outside the pen. It was a 3 ring circus. lol World's Meanest Old Woman 1: World's Meanest rooster 2.
I had a good day otherwise. Slow and sweet, and was taken out for dinner by a long lost sponsee who has returned (maybe) and then on to a meeting. It was small, but it was good. It was a 10th Step meeting, and we read from the BB and from the 12&12. There were several newish women there, so it was good to talk about inventories and all that good stuff.
I am grateful for newbies who have their first "really good day!!"
I am blessed by the upcoming visit of my baby brother and his little family. My sister and husband are coming too and maybe a cousin and his family. We'll do something simple like bbq burgers and brats, and just have a great visit. Family is good.
I am blessed that I could surprise a young woman with a couple of carnations and baby's breath in a vase and some cupcakes for her birthday tonight. It's her bellybutton birthday, and it was actually yesterday.
I am blessed and awed by the sighting of a huge comet on my way home tonight. It was so low, and it was fiery yellow-orange. The head and the tail were so distinct it had to be close. I was driving home through the farm countryside, a lonely dark windy road, when I saw it. I was so excited. I have seen lots of shooting stars, but never a comet like that...I'm trying to find some informnation about it, but so far, nothing. I KNOW I wasn't hallucinating...
I am off to bed early tonight, so I can get up and take hubby to work. I'll have to shop for some groceries, and get some stamps, and clean my carpets tomorrow. Full day---good thing I'm sober!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wednesday wobblies

[1st day of spring in my front yard, 2007]

(Not the picture I was trying to post--it flat would not load. hmmmm)

I'm having a time uploading a picture for some reason tonight. I guess that I will write a bit and then try again later.

A peaceful nice day at home again today. The weather was beautiful, I accomplished just enough to feel productive, but not enough to break a sweat. *grin Played with the critters in the yard, cooked a lovely Soy ginger chicken and wheat noodle dinner, read a bit, and altogether took it easy.

Tonight I am tired and thinking I will be in bed within the half hour. I meant to be in bed before now, but you know how that goes.

Just got an IM from my pal, asking if I was going to the funeral tomorrow. I am not. I have been to entirely too many funerals this year. I didn't know the deceased and am not really that good of friends with the daughter. SO I'm taking a pass...I am going to dinner before the women's meeting with an absentee sponsee who called yesterday. I have been concerned about her...she relapsed after over 2 decades sober and has about 9 months now, I think, but won't stay in touch and doesn't go to hardly any meetings...this is one reason I don't like to take on sponsees after relapsing after being sober a long time. They know all the things to do, but don't do them. I talk and she nods and says, Yeah, I know, I know...and then it's just more of the same. I don't know how she stays sober...she said she doesn't pray, etc etc... but--she called and wants to get together. I think she just had a scare....

I'm grateful tonight that I haven't found it necessary to take a drink in 18+ years.

I'm grateful that it's a cloudless super starry night out there.

I'm grateful that my pets are all healthy and happy.

I'm grateful for my family.

I'm grateful I get to host Thanksgiving this year--for all 40 of us.

I'm grateful to be reminded by the Dalai Lama that ..."Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive."

So...let me be more loving and compassionate, God. Give me the opportunities, and not just the capabilities.

I'm grateful that I have a God of my understanding today, and that she reads my blog. lol

I'm grateful that God has a sense of humor. (Look at armadillos!)

I'm grateful to be on this journey...and striving to be the Annie that God dreamed me to be.

Night, all...
*****************Edited to add--there were 3 comments on this post, and I [thought] checked them all, but only 2 appeared. And now the 3rd is gone into the ethernet. Help??????????

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Two-fer Tuesday

[Molly the Jack Russell terrorist, doing a little light reading]

It has rained all day here. Never hard or stormy, just a nice rain. NO power outages, no windstorms...just water. Very nice.
I had a lovely lunch with M and the food was great...I had a beef and pork filled homemade tortellini with peas and prosciutto and fresh quartered mushrooms in a light creamy garlic sauce. Magnifique! I even had enough leftover to bring home, and I shall devour it at lunch (or maybe breakfast) tomorrow.
M has almost talked me into coloring my hair again. I stopped about 4 years ago, because I am just too lazy to keep doing it all the time, frankly. It requires a commitment--ugh! lol But now " hair is grey...and I ache in the places where I used to play..." (From a Leonard Cohen song--any fans out there?? I ADORE LC)... Anyway, now my hair is almost all grey and I'm starting to look like my mother. That does not work for it might be time to rethink the color issue.
This year I am the same age my mother was when she died of cirhossis of the liver. That's a sobering thought, in more ways than one. She never got out from under the whip of alcoholism...the only reason she died sober was that she had been hospitalized with a cerebral hemmorhage 2 weeks earlier.
I am grateful that my son (God willing) may never have to have his mother die in his arms from alcoholism at the tender age of 55....
Why I am the one in my family of alcoholics that got to get sober is beyond me. Half my siblings drink, half don't. The family dynamic is interesting to say the least. Whatever the reason...I'm grateful.
Blessed to be able to get through the day without a drink.
(Wasn't always the case)
Blessed to be able to look at my part in things.
Blessed to be a blogger....have a great night all....I'm sleepy and it's time to go.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday's in the country

[Me, on a bad hair day]

Just off the phone with an old friend from California. A wonderful treat, and we only talked half an hour, but will hook up again later this week. Made my night!

I'm sitting here surrounded by the critters. They are my best friends at night, and rarely leave my sight when I'm on the computer. I'm getting up early to take hubby to work so I can keep the car and go out for lunch with a friend. Unless she has to cancel. One of her sponsees' mother died tonight. I just talked to the girl at the fish fry...she is getting married in 2 weeks. What a tragic event. The mother was only 67.... She is 5 years sober...(the daughter).

It has been a week of sad of our local members succumbed to cancer on the day of his 19th birthday. My friend whose husband just died lost his mother Friday, her MIL. One of my sponsees called today hysterical. Her neighbor, who came over all the time and loved her kids, apparently murdered his father and attacked his mother at their rural home not too far from me. He is in jail, naturally. The paper said he called 911 and reported himself about an hour after he did it. They found him there at the house.

The circle of life. And on top of that, my friend that called from CA said that she has lost over 1/3 of her portfolio in the market crash. She said that a year ago she was getting nervous and wanted to pull her money out, but the guy said no, that would be a mistake and convinced her to leave it alone. She doesn't think she will ever recover any of it. She is a child therapist, and does a lot of pro bono work, as well as her job work. She had healthy inheritances from the loss of her mother and then her father. And now a lot of it is gone.

Sometimes it isn't nearly so suckey to be poor as it is to be well off, I guess. When you don't have anything to lose, maybe you win. That's sure something to think about.

My gratitude list tonight has got to start again with the fact that my house is mine, free and clear, except for taxes.

And we are still eating out of the garden.

And I have gas and a few dollars to go to lunch.

Then there's the beautiful weather lately.

The flowers that are still blooming.

And me and my family are relatively healthy.

And thanks to AA, I can be a friend when someone needs me.

And thanks to AA, I can be pretty sure I'll still be sober tomorrow.

And thanks to my Creator, I am at peace in my head and in my heart.

If I stay rooted in my AA program, I don't have to worry about spinning off the planet in the face of all the uncertainty and fear in the world today.

If I stay where my feet are, I'll be okay.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Indian Summer Sunday

[The giant hostas along my back deck]

It was a beautiful day today, temps in the low 80's, blazing sun and clear blue skies. It might rain tomorrow, but for today, it was perfect.

We attended a fish fry today at the home of a friend. There were probably 40 people there, and I knew almost all of them. That's pretty amazing to me. It was really nice and fun being with that many sober people. The food was great, they provided the fish and drinks and everyone brought a dish. I made the slaw last night. It was all gone.

Then we gave a ride to a couple of people who wanted to attend the weenie roast/bonfire/speaker meeting across town . We stayed for a bit and I hooked up with 2 sponsees and got a chance to chat with both. Didn't stay for the speaker though...we are a couple of old farts who can only take SO much fun in one day, lol. We left this morning around 9 and hit a meeting, and we got home tonight around 7. That was a long day.

I'm feeling especially grateful for the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous tonight. I have lived here for a little over three years and it's like I have been here forever. I know a lot of people, thanks to meetings. I have a lunch date on Tuesday with a woman I really like, and it will be fun. She's someone I haven't known very long, maybe 6 months, but we have really connected I think, and I hope we become great friends. I could use a friend--someone who's not a sponsee, or a sponsor. Just a pal.

I'm grateful that life is what it is: a continuous learning curve, as one of my good friends always says. And knowing that if I don't grow, I go, keeps me active and vigilant and connected.

What a deal!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday --straight up

[In a Japanese Garden in Decatur, IL]

That guy looks like I feel somedays. lol

Had a relatively quiet day today. Went to a meeting, went to lunch with 2 of my sponsees. Came home and played with the dogs. Hubby is out tonight with a friend who had won 2 tickets to a comedy club. They went to a Happy Hour meeting and then to dinner and then the show. I stayed home and grilled myself a beautiful NY Strip steak and baked potato for supper...all nice and rare the way I like it. Grabbed a couple of Roma tomatoes out of the garden and cut 'em up with some sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Yum.

I vacuumed and sprayed some stuff on the carpets to get rid of any errant fleas that may still be hanging around. It looks pretty good--I think we have won the war. lol

I had probably 5 phone calls from AA'ers. That was nice. I played some computer games. I mostly play word games, with an occasional Zuma thrown in for good measure. *wink

I made a big bowl of cabbage confetti salad to take to a fish fry we've been invited to tomorrow. We'll go to the 10 AM meeting and then from there to the soiree. I realized I wouldn't have time to make it in the has red and green cabbage, red, yellow, and green peppers, chopped fine. I also ALWAYS chop my cabbage-never grate it. It's just one of those things. Then it has carrot and red onion (both grated) and celery seed. The dressing is a vinegar and oil, horseradish,sugar salt and pepper with just a touch of mayo thrown in. Then I blend it well and pour it over. I sometimes put garlic granules in it, but I just bought the garlic and it is SO strong, I decided not to risk it. When I was bringing it home, I had to put it in the trunk because it was making my eyes water. lol I get it at the health food store...where I get most of my spices.

I'm blessed with friends. I'm blessed with contentment.
I'm blessed with sobriety. I'm blessed with discernment.
I'm blessed with relative good health. I'm blessed with a love of all music.
I was blessed today with a 2 1/2 year old who called me gramma...I had taken her out of the meeting to give her mommy a break. We walked across the street to the DG and I bought her a Unicorn pony (the kind with the long stick that you ride), a pink feather and diamond tiara, and a smiling pink and red dinosaur. And some vanilla pudding. And we bought little Caylee a new stuffed toy--a little black lab that looks just like Lucy.

My life is good. I heard a woman say one time that "God's got a DEAL for drunks that don't drink."

I think she was right.

Nitey nite......

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fruitful Friday

[Junko Taibei in one of her favorite baskets]

This is the youngest of the cats. She's the puppy's best friend. She sleeps quite often on top of the cockatiel's cage, which blows everyone away. She washed up in a terrible rainstorm one night, about 8 weeks old. I thought I heard a crying outside, and the dogs ran to the door. When I opened it, there was this little tiny drowned rat looking baby huddled up against the storm door. Of course, I brought her in. The man of the house got THAT look on his face, and I said"Well, I can't leave her out there! She's wet and cold and hungry." He rolled his eyes, I fed her, and she's been firmly entrenched in the family ever since.

When I count my blessings, I always count my pets. (and that takes a while, lol). I used to have a little cocker spaniel named Sophie, she was all black and had cataracts as a result of birth defects from the mother being overbred. She was a beautiful little black dog, with the biggest heart in the world. I made the mistake of working for a veterinary office for one year...she was brought in by a rescue organization because nobody wanted her because she was about 75% blind. We never gave her that prissy cocker cut...she was always a little wooly bear, except for twice in the summer we'd shave her down short so the sticks and twigs wouldn't get all tangled up in her hair on our walks, and also because she got hot easy. She was the best dog I have ever had. She was with us for about 10 years, when she contracted a liver tumor and I had to take her in finally and have her put to sleep. I cried for days. The vet tried to talk me into letting them take her in the back, but I couldn't. The least I could do for my sick little dog was to stay with her til it was done. When I got hurt and was hospitalized for a couple of weeks, P said she wandered the hgouse every night looking for me. When I finally came home, hospital bed and all, she never left my side. All those months when I couldn't walk, she never abandoned me, and I wasn't about to abandon her now. When her little valiant spirit left her body, she was as light as a feather and felt like a ragdoll in my arms. I will never forget her, or that day, or any of it. I was a better person for having her in my life. I will always be grateful to the people who threw her away, and to the rescue folks who knew me from the office, and to God, for sending that little angel to me. Even now, 2 years later, I'm sitting here crying like a baby telling this. Sheesh...
Anyway, I am grateful to be an animal caretaker. I am grateful to have these guys teach me about unconditional love. (The dogs are all here, licking and nuzzling me when they heard me crying...the cats are looking in too , just to make sure everything's okay). I am grateful to be, as the little thing on my fridge says: "Caring for pets, and feeding wild birds in winter, makes us partners with God."
Enough for tonight.... Bless you all....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thankful on a Thursday

[The coffeepot in the kitchen at Dr. Bob's House in Akron]

Ah.....winding down after a VERY successful speaker and potlkuck. We had over 60 people and the speaker was great. Did not run out of chili, but it was almost all gone (a total of about 8-9 gallons of chili!!!!!) We had to scurry around digging up extra chairs and were filled to bursting. It was great.

I am exhausted. lol And almost ready for bed. Last night I didn't post my blessings as I was having terrible muscle spasms and when I took the muscle relaxer it sent me to bed. I was asleep (on a heating pad--I know, I know) by 9:30. I still had things to be thankful for, even though I was crying a couple of times there. And I missed not posting!!

Tonight I am grateful for all the sober people who helped with this shindig, the putting out, the putting up and the eating. I am grateful for friends. I am grateful for not hurting too badly today and getting through tonight with a modicum of discomfort. I am blessed watching new people come in the doors and watching us having fun and fellowship SOBER !! I am especially blessed by all the laughter tonight.

One of the guys that came with the speaker (from across the Big Muddy) tonight got his 1 year card and coin too. After he got all choked up talking a bit and sat down, I said "Hey! Now you can go back and tell everyone you got your 1 year coin at a WOMEN'S MEETING !!!!!!! You'll never forget this birthday!!" lol

So, along with all the food and a great speaker, we got to celebrate 3 birthdays. WOW. I just doesn't get any better than this.

OKay.. I'm off to bed. Sober and happy.
Thank you, God!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesdays in the country

[Leo de Catrio]

It was a long and busy day today. I just finished cleaning up the kitchen from supper and the remnants of the chili endeavor. Tomorrow afternoon I'll start the big I made a lovely white chili. It's made with cannelini beans and ground turkey, onions, garlic and chopped [mild]green chilis. The spices are breathtaking as well....cumin and oregano and cinnamon and of course, cayenne pepper and white pepper. Sea salt. It makes a great soup, and you puree about half the beans to thicken it and give it a rich full body. It is a little time consuming, but well worth it in the end. I made about 4 gallons of it, maybe a little more. Tomorrow the real chili gets made. I'm using about 20 pounds of ground beef and it should make my water bath canner full. That's probably the best pan I have for making it in. I'll make a batch or two of cornbread as well, and K's German Chocolate birthday cake.

Had a good day, all in all. A couple of phone calls, but mostly just me and the critters, here in the Peaceful Valley. lol We went outside and played for a bit, Caylee and Molly and Lucy and Junko Taibei. Caylee can only go out with an adult present, since the great escapade. Just until she's a little bigger and a little older. I did a little house straightening, a little chicken tending, and fed the cats and dogs. I worked on the story I'm writing some too.

These are the days when all the blessings are so obvious, I don't even feel like I have to write them down. The days when I feel confident and present and serene. The kind of day that you wake up with a 'thank you' on your lips.

I love the green of the grass and the golds and reds of the trees and the blue blues of the sky. I love the purring of my cats as they deign to honor me with their presence. I love that my husband and I are both sober and that no matter what, we are there for each other.

I am feeling especially blessed tonight. Off to bed...5 AM comes early.