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 batch...today 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.

Monday, September 29, 2008

[My Flowering Crabapple Tree in NC]

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us;
it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
a return to love - marianne williamson
I am grateful for things like Conversations With God, A Return To Love, ACIM. Things that have allowed me to build a relationship with my Creator.
I am grateful for all the little things in life.
I am grateful for the big things too.
I am most grateful for my sobriety and the ability to give and receive love today.
Time for that wonderful cherry sleigh bed with the handmade quilt on it that was a gift from one of my first sponsees. With it's special orthopedic mattress that allows my old broken body to get some sleep in it.
Especially grateful for that!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Scintillating Sunday

This is the new baby Caylee. Of course, she's been with us about a month now, but--animal heirerarchy being what it is, she'll always be Baby Caylee. lol She's a real smiler...

Lots of opportunities for gratitude today. Grateful for a really good meeting this morning on Tradition4. Grateful for the meeting chair with 34 years sober. Grateful for the chance to do a little back handed service by giving someone a ride home from the meeting. Grateful to meet some local artisans at the Heritage Days festival. Grateful to get a link to the local Dulcimer Society and maybe even find a teacher. Grateful and especially blessed to have such a beautiful day in which to do all these things. Clear blue skies and temps in the low 80's. Grateful for a call from Florida from a concerned friend. Grateful for the conversation with my baby brother who had gall bladder surgery earlier this week and is doing well.

Glad to be sober enough to recognize the miracles and the blessings and the spirit all around me.

Really glad to be on this side of the dirt, still sucking air.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

September's final Saturday

Hard to believe it's almost October. This summer flew by and the year as well. Ah...growing older gives the 'Speed of Light' a whole new meaning.

I spent a good part of the day with my grandson. Even now, it's sometimes hard to believe I'm old enough to be a grandma...seems like just last week, I was young and energetic and taking on the world. I think alcoholism really slows down your life too...those days went on forever, and then suddenly in the !snap! of a finger, it was over. Doing crazy things, those feelings of immortality, the times....oh, my. And now here I am--shocked every time I pass a mirror..thinking, holy mother of god--is that really me? I don't feel that different than I did say, 16 years ago. Sure - I have a few more miles on me, but crikey! Inside, I still feel 27 sometimes. It's a scary thing....lol

Today was a day of memory making times with my grandson, and mundane household chores, and everyday miracles. Those ordinary, garden variety run-of-the-mill kind of miracles that I see around me every day. The ones that bless me, and my life and my loved ones. Things like seeing the pool of tadpoles and small baby frogs, the beginnings of life that I could share with an 11 year old. Going to the school fun faire with him, where there were LOTS of grandma's, and meeting his teachers past and present and some of his friends. Watching him interact with the kids, all the little girls hug him and he is so sweet and sensitive. One of his friends was pouty beccause she hadn't won anything, so he gave her some of his tickets to go choose something from the prize table. This is the kind of child I woud choose to have as a grandson...instead, I was blessed with him. We went to the springs to fill the water jugs for drinking, and he was helping me and turned and said, "wow, gram...it's so peaceful here, isn't it? No wonder this water tastes so good."

A couple of calls blessed me today, sober women who are staying sober against all odds. Miracles.

We got a notice that they are finally fully funded with the grant to get city water out here to us. Construction will start in Jan/09..we have been waiting and been promised this for 3 years. That will mean no more hauling water, no more 'no water' when the power is out, no more being unable to water the garden without pumping water up from the pond. Another small miracle.

All my cats are in without me having to try to herd them into the house at night. A major miracle.

Miracles of this sort are everywhere when I choose to see them. Blessing me as I go about my day.

I like this kind of life and however much of it I have left, I want to experience and live it joyfully and fully. I'm going to sleep now....

Thank you, God.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fabulous Friday

(Molly McGee the Jack Russell Terrorist and her sidekick the young Lucy Lou, after we first got Lucy from the shelter, about a year and a half ago. Little Lucy is now 3 times the size of Molly, but Molly is still the boss.)


Ah....the beauty of everyone being gone, all the dishes cleaned up, the grandson asleep and the house silent as a chapel.

We had a wonderful evening. Grandson and the 2 year old played and played. The 13 year old played some too, but stuck pretty close to his momma. He played alot with the dogs and cats, and by the time the evening was over, he shyly said, I'd sure like to come back here sometime... I said, ANYTIME! Asked him if he liked to fish and he lit up like a Christmas tree. lol

After dinner and a nice outdoors walk around the property, we were all down at the pond, where the Grandson was teaching the two year old to find just the right little stick, make a wish, kiss it, and throw it in the water. They were having so much fun. Then we all clomped back up into the house for ice cream sundaes.

I'm that good kind of bone tired from cleaning and cooking all day. Plus the noisy frenetic energy from having a bunch of kids in the house just wears me out. In the past hour that everyone's been gone, I have finished the last 2 chapters of the Joyce Carol Oates book I was reading...We Were The Mulvaneys. It was a wonderful story.

Big gratitude list tonight.

1) Children who hug me and say "I love you-I missed you so much!"

2) Appreciation for simple home cooked meals.

3) Constellations in the bright night skies of the country.

4) Cyber friends who are trudging the road to Happy Destiny.

5) A peaceful home.

6) My husband who loves me, and accomodates whomever I have to dinner.

7) Pets and their unconditional love.

8) Sobriety, in all it's shapes and sizes.

9) Drinking water.

10) Hersheys chocolate syrup in a CAN.

11) My relationship with my Creator.

Wishing you all a warm snuggly night under a quilt....


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Viva la Thursday !!!

(This is the road to Annie's house....)

Lovin' Thursdays. Women's Meeting was wonderful, discussion this week and the topic was emotional sobriety. It was freakin' awesome.

Got to try to get to bed early tonight, and here it is 11:30 already. sigh...not enough hours in the day, it seems.

Had to help a mommy with a whacked out 2 year old tonight. It got unreal...screaming and twisting around and stiffening and kicking ...it would've been funny to watch if the poor mom hadn't been ready to shoot herself in the head. Baby daddy went to rehab, a program that goes for like a year. Baby has been acting out ever since he left. Mommy is at her wits end. And broke, and lonely. It was a real emotional event for her, and I think she's about to snap.

I feel very blessed to NOT have a very young child today. I often think, watching these mothers of young kids struggling to stay sober, that I am kinda glad I drank all those years. (not really, but you know what I'm saying). I feel blessed to be able to help out in a couple of small ways. I am grateful to have sponslings that are committed to sobriety, even if they're a tad suicidal. I am grateful to have the abundance to share to have 2 of the women I sponsor and their kids (1 each) over for supper tomorrow night. It will give them a break and some social life and hopefully a sense of belonging and connection. I am blessed that my grandson will be here for the weekend too, and he loves little kids. I am blessed (dove-o-roni) that I can eat a half a Dove bar. lol And I am blessed to be blessed by my HP...

I am blessed to have the chance to write this blog every night, because I get good feedback from a few people and it keeps my eyes open to the miracles and the blessings around me. It helps me feel connected too. I read other blogs and it recharges my batteries, and gives mne so much hope, knowing that we are all in this recovery thing together.

I am feeling like one lucky duck!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wiped out on a Wednesday

Sheesh...it has been one long day.

Grocery shopped, finished laundry (it finally dried!), went to a meeting, had several emotional and tearful phone calls from someone in her 5th day of sobriety, went to lunch with 4 women from the meeting, made fajitas for supper and filled in all the blanks with various and sundry assorted household cleaning jobs.

I swear--you'd think my house would be spotless for all the time I spend cleaning it, but it never is. There are puppy toys scattered around all the time (I pick them up, put them in the box, and they take them out agaion, one by one). I vacuum daily because when you have 3 dogs, 5 cats and a bird and a husband, there's lots of fur and feathers and tracked in grass and mud to be cleaning up constantly.

And now we're moving into deer season around these parts and every wannabe hunter in the area comes out this way to hunt on private lands. It makes me sick. The sounds of guns going off terrifies me. Then, they field dress the deer, leaving piles of innards and legs and whatnot laying around for my dogs to find and drag home. SO for the next 4 months, my yard will look like a boneyard in a forensics movie. And my dogs will have the most vile breath you can imagine, because believe me, the worse it stinks, the more they'll like it. One time last year, my Jack Russell came backing up the driveway, pulling the entire back leg and shank of a full grown deer. It was 4 times longer than she was, and it was HERS, and NOBODY was gonna take it away. sigh...

SO, Just for today, I'm gonna be grateful that I have 3 happy dogs to clean up after. Grateful that I am willing and able to keep my little cottage clean (mostly). Grateful that I don't ever have to go through that first year of sobriety again. Grateful that the local store had pork loins on sale for .99/lb and chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) for $1.99/lb, and I had enough money in my food budget to go buy about 20 pounds of each to put in my freezer. Grateful that my freezer has lots of my garden veggies in it as well as other meats and fruits and fish. Grateful that I have a freezer. That I do, in fact, have 2 freezers. Grateful that my pantry is stocked with lots of beans and rice and canned goods and pastas.

I'm feeling blissfully blessed tonight....(maybe it's just the half a dark chocolate Dove bar I ate)...Time for sleep....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday's tinkerings

Hee hee hee...That's me on the end. (oh, hell. They're all me--like Sybil)lol

A day full of blessings. Found our wayward lost puppy after a fretful and emotional 5 hours of searching. Made up with hubby and he apologized for "being such a butt". Got my laundry all washed and hung out on the line to dry (which it didn't, because I was too late getting it out. SO--it's still there, and will dry all day tomorrow.) Got the furniture all vacuumed. Had a couple of lovely phone calls from my youngest grandson, who was coming to stay on Friday night, and then it was changed by his mom to Saturday, and then it was changed again to both Friday AND Saturday. lol NO matter what...I WIN!!!! He's such a little Prince. The email from his mom this morning read "I understand that Tristan has arranged for you to pick him up after achool...." He's his own social secretary. He's very excited because he asked could we go this thing at his school on Saturday...it's a Fun Faire...and it will be really FUN, Nana....can we go?? And Grandpa said, well, we could probably use a little FUN! SO we're on for it.

Grandchildren are the reward you get for not KILLING your own kids.

I am blessed. I am now in debt to St Jude and God and Buddha and all the Powers That Be for the safe return of my little Caylee. I had a terrible dream that woke me up this morning...I was holding her, and she was sopping wet and had mud or poop or something all over her backside, and she was whimpering and talking to me...she was hurt, and she kept saying "It's my gut (or my butt--I couldn't be sure.)" Anyway, it freaked me out--and when I got up and came out, I found out she was gone. SO I was tripley menopausally emotional about the whole thing.

Today, I am blessed to be a grandma and the mommy of a new puppy and the caretaker of more animals than I care to admit to. I am blessed to be the person someone called because she's looking for a home for a homeless woman who just came out rehab. I'm blessed to have friends who email and say what's up? I'm blessed to be the go-to girl when people need information about certain things.

I'm grateful to be a sober woman, skidding along the information superhighway on her butt...and loving the ride (in spite of the gravel). lol

Nite all....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday is the one day...

This is a sculpture from the front of the lodge at Pere Marquette State Park, on the Mississippi River (sort of).

Long day. Lots of emotional storms going on around me, and the worst effect it had on me was when hubby decided to join the parade and I got mad and went for groceries. LOL Big change from the days when I would get mad and change states. Or get a divorce. Or commit murder and mayhem. (Well, not murder exactly, but it lends itself well to the story..)

Had a good meeting at noon, reading Chapter 5. A good crowd too, several newcomers with lots of oldtimers sprinkled in. Sobriety ranges from 2 days to 30 years. THAT keeps the conversation lively. lol Much of the reading was on Step 4...and those damned resentments and such. I got to share a couple of my favorite famous AA lines...."Having a resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other guy to die." "Don't believe everything you think." "Feelings are not facts." Most of the newcomers were women, and I believe we may have outnumbered the boys today.

Hubby is angry because I said something, and he heard something else. So he got mad and took off without saying anything--just drove away. That really pisses me off. Then he came back and was acting like a girl and being petulant and pouty, not speaking to me. Then he took off again--walking this time. And so I thought &^%#$%^& !!! I'll just take off too and show you how it feels. So I gets in the car and starts to drive. LMAO. About halfway to the next little town from us, I'm thinking Shit, what am I doing? And start to turn the car around. But then I remember I need puppy chow, so I go into town and the store. And by the time I come back with a frozen pizza, he's already eaten something (this man never feeds himself--I guess he thought I was not coming back). So I go out and throw it in the freezer and storm back in, because by now, I'M mad. The whole thing is ridiculous, like these things always are. He's still not speaking to me, and I'm rather enjoying the silence.

"Just because the monkey's off your back, doesn't mean the circus has left town."

Tonight I'm grateful for a spare room. For running water. For sponslings who are having a terrible day, making mine look insignificant by comparison. For cereal for my supper. (shoulda cooked the damn pizza).

For snips and snails and puppy dog tails. For having the good sense to turn the car around. For knowing that I don't have to get a divorce today because he looked at me wrong. For having a higher power that I can turn my day over to in the snap of a finger. For getting to write a gratitude list every night...just like I suggest my babies do, because this really IS the easier, softer way.

Time to go read a bit before sleep.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chocolate Sunday with a cherry on top

A good thing. A good Sunday.

Picnicked, socialized,and did a little service.

Talked on the phone a couple of times.

Played with my dogs and husband outside in the afternoon sunshine.

Sat out in the fresh air and read.

Said "Thank you, God" at least 35 times today.

Was very grateful to be sober all day.

Remembered that I am hosting Thanksgiving this year. (And it's not even November yet!!)

Didn't watch or listen to any news about the economy all day.

For all these things, I am grateful.

May today there be peace within
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the freedom to dance, sing, praise and love.

It is there for each and every one of you.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Freaky Friday

A long and weird day, finally coming to a close. And so far, I didn't have to put anything in my mouth that affects me from the neck up. So it must be okay.

Watched a really emotional and intense Jodi Foster movie tonight, The Brave One. It had me all worked up, right from the first scenes. I cried more than once, and sat here wondering how does anyone survive that sort of thing? An excellent movie...of course, I am biased. I love that woman.

Trying to think of what I am grateful for, today. Sobriety. Sleep. A warm bed and a cool pillow. Pets and chocolate ice cream. Having most of my bills paid. Hearing a viola recital that my friend Chris is doing with her group. Appreciating beautiful music. Watching the swarms of butterflies in the yard today.

Getting ready for sleep....ah....sleep.

Sayonara, all y'all.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursdays rock!!

...mostly because I get to go to my women's meeting. And it was a great one tonight...honesty, willingness, love...all the ingredients for a truly heartfelt meeting.

I'm off to bed early tonight because tomorrow I have to go with a sponsee to court. She's trying to get custody of her daughter and this is the final hearing (I hope). It's a blessing to be trusted to be part of this proceeding. She's sober 14 years and the daughter is 11. It's ablessing that I can suit up and show up. I'm asking for prayers for K and A that God's will be done here (and not just the will of the father who can afford a lawyer!).

I did some yard work today and things are looking pretty good out there. I did a little service work in the form of making and printing fliers and phone lists. I got to give a newbie with 8 days a ride to a meeting. I got to make a lovely dinner for my husband. I got to play fetch with my recovering JRT. I'm feeling pretty blessed today.

I found this and thought it was apropo...

Steps in the right direction: Tools for balance.
1. Each day, ask the Universe how you may be of service.
2. Cook with intention, and bless all you consume.
3. Do unto others.
4. Take time to center yourself daily.
5. Take time to enjoy the community of others.

I heard a woman speaker say..."Every night I ask God to have people treat me tomorrow the way I treated people today." I like that.

Blessings on all your little bloggerheads. I'm outta here....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday's wonder

The middle of September already. How does that happen? The older I get the faster it goes. It's amazing, really. I used to think it was BS when I would hear really old people say stuff like that...and now I are one. *erk

I'm having some real problems with my attitude today [again]. Top that with a horrendous sinus headache, and it was not a pretty picture. But last night I got to hear some good music outside and see lots of friends, and so how bad could anything be, really?? Just that my ..."magic magnifying mind" can take anything and blow it out of proportion. I nearly had myself divorced and heartbroken today. sheesh...even now(especially after reading the Rabbi-a-roni's serenity advice) when I need to let it go as it was more than 15 minutes ago. I feel like an idiot. It's little stuff and it isn't all that important (except in the moment it's happening), and I have to take a long hard look at myself and get this fear into perspective.

I'm grateful to have tools today to help me thru life on life's terms. I'm blessed to have people in my life who aren't scattering like cockroaches when the lights come on in my life (like it got at the end of my drinking). I'm super grateful that a drink (or 20) isn't the only solution I have today. I'm grateful I don't have to run. Take the geographic cure. Divorce this man who really loves me. Kill him in his sleep. You know....any of the things I would normally do. lol

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Twoderful Tuesday!

(That's just one better than WONderful)...in case you wondered. LOL

I've been thinking alot about blessings today. About the mindset that goes with constantly (almost) choosing to be grateful. About how it has changed me and the life I live.

Each breath is a miracle. Difficulties often bring invaluable lessons. The sun is always shining for us when we are grateful, even if it's hiding behind some dark clouds on a rainy day. I see the miracles of sobriety on a daily basis. I see miracles in the flowers and seed pods of the blackberry lilies growing next to my chicken coop. I feel the miracles of a soft breeze blowing my tensions away as I sit on the swing down by the pond. I feel God as I watch the Great Blue Heron fishing, not 15 feet away from me. I watch my little dog recover and valiantly struggle to walk. I watch this man who lives with me love me, even when I am less than loveable. I see miracles in every blade of grass, every birdsong, every child's laugh.

Gratitude is a gift I choose every day. Blessings abound!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Blessings and prayers to all in Ike's path. These are the times that try men's souls...Wall Street taking a BIG hit, making lots of folks worry about their retirement monies. Political turmoil, weather craziness...where will it end?

Just for today, it's ending right about now. In a little while, I'll be in bed...dreaming of better days. The little yellow card that some guy gave me when I first came to AA said ..."Anybody can do anything for 24 hours" or something like that. So, no matter how crazy the world gets, I know I only have to get through today. That's how it was when I wanted to drink, and that's how it is now, all these years away from a drink. That little card also had a quote from Abraham Lincoln on it that said "I believe a person is just about as happy as he makes up his mind to be." So, daily, I make up my mind to be happy. Gratitude is a gift I choose everyday. It's how I stay happy.

The back is better today. The Puppy is better, too. I cooked brown rice and plain ground turkey and started feeding her small amounts of it every few hours, and she stopped vomiting. She's still really crippled up, but she brought her toy to me to throw today!! And then she hobbled the couple of feet that I tossed it and looked at me as if to say--See?? I can do it!! Bless her little heart. It kills me to see her hurt like this, and I'd love to find the person who hit her and didn't bother to stop...

The baby pup keeps coming to lay down beside her and snuggle. She's being very gentle. The whole energy of the critter family has changed since she got huirt, like they all know and are ministering to her.

That reminds me of a Discovery or Animal Planet channel special I saw once on elephants....when one member of the herd was hurt and could not continue the trek to where there was food, several of the females stayed with her until she died. It was the most moving piece of spirituality I have ever witnessed. They caressed her with their trunks and sprayed her to keep her comfortable all the while murmering softly...it sounded like musical prayers to me. When she finally died they did some ritual covering of the body before moving on.

I made chili today...it was an overcast 65 degrees today. Felt like a chili day. I used ground turkey, which I often do, with lots of onions and garlic and kidney beans and homecanned tomatoes with a can of tomato paste thrown in. Turned out great.

I need to get out to the garden and pick green beans tomorrow. Since the storm smashed the trellis and took down all my vines, I have picked more green beans than ever this year. sigh....

Looking around me and seeing the blessings in my world keeps me on track. I am amazed and blessed that the Universe is abundant and that I always have more than I need and I always have wealth to share. I am grateful to be the girl in the pantry, looking through all the jars of home canned foods, trying to choose which one to fix for dinner. I am grateful to have friends who call to check on me and ask what they can do. I am grateful to be on the mend--OH BOY--am I grateful for that.

My reminders for today:

Hate is not a spiritual word.
Violence is not a spiritual word.
Prejudice is not a spiritual word.

Blessings to all, everywhere.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Frustrating Friday

Long long day. My back is no better so I had to call the doc for some muscle relaxers. In pain and napping alternately throughout the afternoon. The JRT is feeling lousy and sleeping alot, courtesy of the depo-medrol shot from the vet this morning. I wish I could make her better, it's so hard to watch. She's not eating or drinking much, and can't put her weight on her back feet. But she's gone outside on her own a couple of times, that's a good sign.

I'm getting ready to go to bed, but wanted to stop in and remind myself that there are blessings everywhere....even on days like this.

Blessed to be sober. Blessed to have access to medical care for both me and the animals. Blessed to be loved.

So blessed...to be loved and to love.

Good night, all...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Anyone Thursday????

Bada boom....

Home from the women's meeting tonight to find my little Terrorist has been hit by ...maybe a 4 wheeler or a motorcycle?? She has abrasions on both back legs and can barely stand. We have no emergency vets in the area, so first thing tomorrow she will go to our vet. Bless her heart, she hobbled in here and is sleeoping next to my chair. She's whimpering, but doesn't seem to be in acute distress....I pray that she's not badly hurt...(She did manage to eat 2 cookies in her misery...) But she's definitely hurting.

Lots of blessings to be grateful for today... wonderful women at the group tonight, friends and sponsees. 2 newcomers as well...they're always fun. The opportunity to do a little service and discuss the 9th Tradition, all in one night. Blackberry cobbler, with frozen blackberries from 2006. A little girl who whispered in my ear "I love you, Ah-nie..." when I dropped her and her mom at home tonight. My Rose of Sharon bushes that are all planted in a huge clump, 4 or 5 different colors, all blooming like crazy. Finding a new (to me) author that is getting me all excited to read the rest of the things he's written. Watching the blue tailed lizards that climb around on the rock wall out front in the sun.

There is a new Buddhist meditation group starting up and I got the email tonight about the time and place. It's a combo meditation/yoga practice. Hubby and I will both go to this. Really looking forward to it next Wednesday. Will report on how it goes!

Sober life in general is so much more than I expected, and I am still amazed all these years later. I used to hear people talk about how, if they'd gotten everything they expected from sobriety, they would have been seriously short changed. I feel that way too.

Blessed to be alive and sober on planet Earth. It's ALL good.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wednesday on a whim

One of those blissed out, mellow, comfortable like old jeans...kind of a day. Did a little house blessing, then a little yard blessing. Swept the front porch and sidewalk, to keep all that cut grass form being tracked through the house. Played with the dogs and served the cats. All in all it's been a very low key day...

Except for the exciting part where the local grocer had chicken breasts on sale 10 pounds for 10 dollars. Naturally, the harmonic convergence makes this happen just when my freezer stock is diminshed. I am in constant awe of things like harmonic convergences and solar flares and 2 for 1 sales. It wasn't boneless skinless chicken, mind you, but it was all natural no antibiotic chicken, all the same. We have been talking about going vegetarian, but it keeps not happening. I finally told himself this morning that I just couldn't do it. It's too hard, I whined. For the past 6 months or so, I have been cooking a vegetarian meal every other day. And we're not eating hardly any red meat. Mostly chicken and fish. I'll continue doing it like that. But not strict vegetarian...not right now. Just can't do it.

I have followed vegetarianism off and on thru my life. The first time I was 19, and stayed with it for over 12 years. The next time I stayed with it about 6 years. So it's an off again on again thing with me. I love to cook, and being creative isn't really that tough. Maybe I'll be ready soon. Not sure why I'm being such a crybaby about it. Thing is, he doesn't really care, I don't think, even though it was his idea in the first place.

Ah, life....

And for today, my blessings come in the form of this marvelous passage from the Big Book, one of my favorites:

"Perhaps the best thing of all for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations. .......I have to discard my "rights", as well as my expectations, by asking myself 'How important is it, really. How important is it compared to my serenity, my emotional sobriety? ' And when I place more value on my serenity and sobriety than on anything else, I can maintain them at a higher level-at least for the time being."

So blessed to have a new pair of glasses, and more solutions to life on life's terms than I have ever had in my life.

Remembering the hand made paper placard on my fridge that says: YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD--SO ACT LIKE IT.

And so it goes...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Trekkin' on a Tuesday

It was a beautiful day here in this middle part of the country...69 degrees tops and sunny and comfortable. Turned off the air in the car and rolled down the windows.

On two different occasions, I spent some time down by the pond in the swing. I bought that swing in 2 pieces, and refinished the metal frame and then later found a new seat for it, as the one that came on it was shot. It was such a deal...15 dollars!! I am such a thrifty bitch sometimes.... later I found the seat itself for 10. This winter I will put it in the garage and work on sanding it all down and repainting it. I am a thrift store and yard sale devotee...found treasures are my favorites! It was so peaceful down there, with the birds singing and the woodpeckers tapping out their lovely drumbeats. Listening to the fish splash and the frogs jumping from the banks into the water...a very zen melody, in all. I said some prayers for the healing and health of the Dalai Lama, for a friend recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, and for some help in controlling myself. The sun filtering through the lacey tree canopy lulled me into a contentment that fills me with peace. NO where to go, No One to be, Nothing to do.

Today I am glad to be an alcoholic. I have planted a garden of gratitude in my heart that is there for me to get to at a moment's notice. I am blessing my way through life, so watch out, because everyone that crosses my path gets on the list.... I attended a meeting today and the topic was the 3rd step. I'm grateful that I was stubborn at the beginning of my sobriety, not just running with the herd and acting as if I really and truly believed the way you guys all seemed to. I meditated and contemplated and wishy-washed myself into near insanity...trying to decide if I could trust a power greater than myself and turn over everything. I remember whispering to a woman that I didn't know if I believed in God, and she whispered back "It doesn't matter...God believes in you."

And throughout my time here as a sober alcoholic, it has always been the whispers that I hear the loudest. I have been in groups where people seem to be trying to out-pray each other, and I feel my voice getting smaller and smaller. It happened today. At the end of the prayer I looked at the guy next to me and inquired whether or not his god was DEAF. He looked puzzled for a minute....I have heard the whispers about the still small voice. I have heard the whispers of comfort. I have heard the whispers of a touch, a hug, a smile.

When I hear the whispers....I am connected. And I am part of a whole. And life gets more real by the day.

I feel especially blessed today.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rainy days and Mondays...

Early evening, hubby is out to the Sierra Club meeting and I am here with the furry side of the family. I decided not to go tonight because I mowed today and stepped in another Jack Russell Terrorist hole...sigh....turning my ankle and hurting my back again. It's that weird hurt that you know is gonna be a bust tomorrow. Dang...and I was trying to be careful. The man of the house filled in the last one I stepped in, so I guess Miss Molly McGee decided it had to be replaced. See, here's the thing about JRT's...they are incorrigible. NO one is their master. They are runners and roamers. And they can be the sweetest little things in the world, IF you can overlook their obvious character defects. She's my little Aladog...

Had one of those God things happen today. I finally was returning a call to my friend B. as I drove into town to the PO to get some stamps. The phone didn't ring, and I heard the eerie electronic sound of someone dialing. Hello, says I, hello?? And she very slowly says...hello...is somebody there? And I start laughing and she recognizes that goofy gutbuster of a laugh of mine. We talked for about half an hour, and she said some things that I really needed to hear today. She was talking about something she's going through and writing a 4th step inventory about...and it was the absolute perfect thing for me to hear. All the planets were in alignment and the neurons were all firing in order...and I heard it.

My sobriety date is June 12, 1990...and I'm telling you, ever since I put the plug in the jug, I have been witness to more miraculous stuff than any one person wants to see. Some of it is real "garden variety" miracle stuff, and some of it has been BIG stuff. And I am grateful to be privvy to some of this stuff, and I know none of it would be possible without sobriety.

Today, I'm grateful that that veil of addiction has been removed. I'm grateful that I can be grateful, and not be a victim. I'm grateful to have the option of choosing gratitude every day. And like that little weird greeter guy at the door at my first meeting said..."You don't ever have to drink again if you don't want to." The trick is to have a life that makes it easy to NOT want to. The program and fellowship of AA gave me that.

SUCH a deal.....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Serene Sundays

It's been a nice quiet (mostly) Sunday. The grandson was here to spend the night on Saturday and his mom came to fetch him around 11 AM. We had a nice (although short) visit. We made pancakes and scrambled eggs for his breakfast and spent a little time out in the garden as well before she got here, so it was all good.

I harvested tomatoes and green beans and bell peppers from the remains of the garden. There are still a couple of eggplant out there, but they don't look great. Still more bell peppers too. I ground the tomatoes (mostly Romas and yellow Brandywines) and then cooked them down before putting into the freezer. I made stuffed bell peppers for supper and put the rest in the fridge....tomorrow I will cut them into strips and freeze them. The stuffed peppers were delicious. As a side dish, I cooked fresh garlic and onions and green beans in olive oil over pretty high heat. A little cracked pepper and sea salt and they were heavenly. I am ALWAYS grateful for fresh vegetables....

Rereading my last post, I feel a little sheepish. I sound like a petulant child sometimes. Especially when I know that everything will be exactly the way it is supposed to be--so skip the high drama! I am grateful tonight for optimism and for hope and for serenity. For the sounds a puppy makes when it sleeps, chasing some wild and elusive rabbit through her dreams. For the letter I got for Grandparents Day. For love in my life....wherever it comes from.

Here's to brighter days, and answered prayers, and trusting that if the Universe is giving me a sign, I will recognize it. And to feeling especially blessed.

Always that.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Freaky Friday

Chilly here this evening....around 52 now and I wish I had a sweater. Oh well, it's time for bed anyway. Big long day tomorrow and I'm gonna need my rest. :)

P got a call this afternoon telling him his job is over. Now he's unemployed again, and the temp agency said they don't have any openings right now. I'm not ready to have to go through this again. I had a little mini panic this afternoon, and could easily slip into the craziness if I'm not careful. I feel myself going down, and we're going to have to cut back on this, watch that, and just generally bite the bullet again. Who knows how lonbg it will take him to find any work this time? I'm just so tired of it all...so very tired.

I'm grateful to have a home that's paid for. I'm grateful for my disability benefits. I'm grateful to be a survivor.

And that has to be enough for today.

It just has to be.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thursday's child is full of...it

It was a long and rough day in alot of ways. And I know from past experience that this is the prime time to look for the blessings in it all. So...here's my gratitude list for today...

1) A working coffeemaker
2) A pulse
3) The sound and smell of the soft rain falling
4) Making lemon cupcakes with lemon/cream cheese frosting
5) Licking the frosting bowl
6) The smell of sauteeing onions and minced fresh garlic
7) People who trust me enough to tell me their troubles
8) Being trustworthy
9) A relationship with my Creator
10) Getting a call from my grandson

So, that being said, I shall depart from this place and go to bed before it gets any later. I am tired.

Thank you for being an abundant Universe....and bless all people everywhere.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wednesday's puppies

I feel especially blessed to be the caretaker of these 3 dogs at my house. Lately, due to the addition of a new baby puppy, I feel more like a referee. The baby is getting along famously with the lab mix, Lucy. Molly McGee, the Jack Russell Terrorist, is a cranky and bitchy 2 year old that growls every time the puppy comes near her. And is she would be that way all the time it would be okay, but she alternates between playing with the puppy and hating its guts...so the puppy never knows how to respond to her. Sigh...

This year has been really bad for bugs, with all the rain we had. We dose these guys with topical flea stuff from the vet, but the 2 older dogs go in the pond several times a day and it weakens the strength of the stuff (I don't care WHAT the package says). We put flea collars on them as well. And still we have fleas. We put Advantage on the puppy and she still has fleas. SO, we either have super fleas out here, or the stuff I'm paying through the nose for at the vet is old or something. It's one thing that makes me look forward to winter....

I am grateful for my newest sponsee, who has been calling me regularly. Just got off the phone. Talking to newcomers always helps me really see the blessings in my own life, so thanks to ALL of you. lol We talked about how hard it is to ask for help, and how we are affected by stress and how starting a day with your head spinning is not a good thing. Just basic life stuff. I love going through the steps with new women too...it is so good for me.

I am blessed by the way the puppy snuggles up to my neck when I hold her. I'm sure it lowers my blood pressure by 30 points....just that simple act of love and trust.

..."when we accept that we always exist in a state of grace, we are able to live our lives more graciously. Knowing that we are graced gives us more hope, makes us more generous, and allows us to trust that we are taken care of, even when we are going through difficult times. Grace is our benevolence of heart, our generosity of spirit. Grace is unconditional love and the beauty that is our humanity. When we know that we are blessewd with grace, we cannot help but want to live our lives in harmony."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September 2nd...and I still haven't turned the calendar...

Rain has been forecast for the rest of the week, so this morning I did 2 loads of laundry and hung them out to dry. Here's something at the top of my blessings list....freshly washed and dried laundry and the way it smells when you hang it out in the sunshine, standing under the clothesline with the breeze whipping dry, fresh sheets in your face. It was hot today, but I just stood out there, right in the center of my umbrella clothesline, being whipped mercilessly. It was nirvana...

I keep looking up at the calendar which still is on the August page, wondering when I will stand up and turn it over. Maybe tomorrow....

I bought an old Radio Flyer kids wagon today out of a truck that had a sign saying "Treasures for sale". I know the people and their youngest is about 38....so the wagon is at least that old probably. It's all rusted, b ut intact. The wheels are on it and everything. I thought I would sand it all down and paint it all nice and shiny new and use it for a flower planter in the yard next year....fill it full of vincas or petunias or something. It was only 3 dollars. They also had an old iron headboard from a twin bed....but 20 dollars was a little rich for my taste. I once saw someone's yard where they had put one of those into the ground and planted flowers all in front of it, then posted a little sign that said ....."Flower Bed". But...it would take a lot of sanding as it's all rusty too, and all those rounded posts and stuff would be a real pain to do. SO, maybe I'll think about that one. The wagon will be enough of a project for this winter....

I feel blessed to have a huge yard where I can plant gardens of both veggies and flowers.
I feel blessed to be able to raise chickens.
I feel blessed to know that the fruit trees are growing well and the berries and asparagus and nut trees are producing as they should.
I feel blessed to have a healthily stocked pantry.

Praying for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is in the hospital being checked for abdominal pain and fatigue. Blessings for a great man and spiritual leader that this world needs.

Monday, September 1, 2008

September arrives, right on schedule

Winding down a long day. I must be getting old, it's a quarter of 11 and I can barely keep my eyes open.

Was up rather early, cleaning house, cooking, and generally messing about. Looked at a truck that is probably a no-go. Had a little bbq with a young couple and their 2 year old. We've sort of adopted them... the little one is like the grandchild I never had, and that thrills me to no end. It was a very nice afternoon and evening and now I am beat.

Am having lunch with my sister and sister-in-law tomorrow. That will; be nice. I am especially blessed to have such a dear girl for a SIL. She has a heart the size of New York. I don't see her nearly enough.

I was thinking today about the early years when I lived in California and felt so alone sometimes. Really--it didn't matter where I lived. I was alone. I had bricked myself in with a philosophy that if I didn't let you close you couldn't hurt me. I lived across the continent away from my family, and would come visit about every 7 years, whether I needed it or not. I didn't develop a lot of close personal relationships. I kept my head down and my eyes straight ahead. I guess the reason I was thinking about it is that my son and his family live about 20 minutes from me and I rarely see them. They are the reason I moved here, and what a mistake that was. I saw more of them when I lived 10 hours away. It was a 3 day holiday and I never heard a word from them. They are so busy....they both work full time and he works side jobs and she goes to school...I know it's nothing personal, but it feels personal anyway. I guess I probably need to do some writing about it... This dilemma is nothing new, it's been going on since I moved here 3 years ago. I try to find ways to deal with it as best I can, but it hurts my feelings something terrible.

I guess the blessing here is that I don't have to over react and run away (yet) or get drunk and be an ass. I wouldn't ever want to hurt him. I've put him through enough in his lifetime. My living amends to him is to not be that mother I was when he was young. But I don't know what the boundary line is, I guess, between my hurt and his inattention. Sigh....Just for today, I can hand it over to my Creator and just sit. I can look around me and know that I am loved by a lot of people and that my expectations are probably not going to be met by this child of mine. So, just for today, it will all be okay.