Thursday, December 31, 2009
Ahhhhhh... here it is...the end of the year at last. I was feeling pretty good about it until some buttwipe sent me a horoscope overview for 2010 that said this year would be full of travails and opportunities to show everyone how well I can weather hardship...not exactly the glittery new year I was hoping for, lol.
My first thought for the new year is to start the rewrite on my novel. I haven't touched it since the end of November, when NaNo was over. I think it's a good start for a read, and don't want to just let it fall by the wayside. So it's a matter of developing the discipline that I KNOW can be there (I finished, didn't I ??) and setting a routine to make it happen. Nothing overly worldly about that. Even a resolution breaker like me should be able to manage.
My second thought for the new year is to stop thinking about the New Year. LMAO...
Another 365 days of living in the moment, of staying present in my life. No matter what, no matter how. One Day At A Time has saved me over and again, and continues to be the single biggest gift of my sobriety. I have to gather up the blessings of my life and look them over on a regular basis. Especially this time of year. It's a powerful time of year for Capricorns like myself, born at the tail end of this string of holidays. As always, the pendulum can swing either way. It can be depressing or it can be joyful, and either way, it is my choice. Generally I land in the middle of it all. Some days are good and some days are less so. In the end, I make it through and land on my birthday with a sigh...grateful to have made it through another year and to be beginning yet another adventure. So here we are, leaving 2009 and entering 2010, and with a blue moon to top it off. That is grand. A blue moon, as most of you know, is when we have 2 full moons in a month. I stood out in the backyard last night listening to the snow and ice in the trees...the sky was clear and brutally cold, the silence was deafening. The moon was brilliant. It was amazing. In the far distance I could hear coyotes howling and yipping faintly. The chickens were snuggled in their coop, the local dogs were all snuggled in somewhere too. And it was beautifully quiet, with the sounds of cracking branches and snow falling through the tree limbs every now and then. I stayed and listened until I couldn't take it anymore and then came back in and made a cup of tea. I was in bed before midnight for a change.
The blessings I would send along on this last day of the year are hopes for abundance and prosperity for us all, however we happen to define those things, Blessings of peace in our homes and our hearts, and blessings of love and hope in the coming new year.
And so it is.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
..."I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age,I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A peoples dream died there. It was a beautiful dream... the nation's hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead." ~~Black Elk (From "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown 1970).
If you haven't ever chanced to read this book, you might want to. You might not. It is as scathing and disgusting a report on the policies of the government of this country as any I've read. And yet, it is written without malice, in clear and concise terms. The tragedy is breathtaking. The callousness and greed described here is enough to make any person step back and take a look at the way our beliefs and entitlement permeate our culture.
This morning has been a foray into my library of all books Indian. The stories, the teachings of the Elders. My grandmother was a full blood Cherokee woman who told stories and planted gardens and passed things to me because I was the first born granddaughter. I was young when she died, only 12. I have been a student of Native history most of my life, and have hundreds of books. Today I am reading a book called "Growing Up Native American", an anthology of writings by native writers from the 19th century to the 1990s. It's essays and fiction about childhood. Some of the stories are tragic and some are informative, and all are beautiful.
Anniversaries of events like Wounded Knee are sadly horrific and looking back on the history of our country is a frightening view of how little things have changed in all these years. We still go places to fix people and show them the "truth" about the way they live. Lots of this is done under the guise of mission work in some of the churches and under the even worse disguise of our democracy. I am constantly amazed by the arrogance of anyone who thinks they can go somewhere else and try to make people be like us...by people who think they can go anywhere and take anything they please. The entitlement and hypocrisy are staggering. I have read stories of Native children taken from their parents and sent to boarding schools to "civilize" them, where nuns would beat them and shave their hair off and call them heathens and savages. Where they would be punished if they spoke their own native language. Where they were forbidden to talk about or practice any of their spiritual tenets. Where these children would run away again and again...only to be brought back and beaten and locked up like animals.
If you are interested in any of this (and you're probably not, because why would you be?) google some names like Vine Deloria, Jr., Leonard Peltier, John Chewie, Wilma Mankiller.
It's a bitter cold and sunny day here in the midwest. Much the same as it was on the day of the massacre at Wounded Knee. Blessings on the ghost dancers...blessings for the dead....
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I certainly set myself apart from God. I would spend years reading everything about every religion or spiritual endeavor I could get my hands on. I had just enough information to be dangerous, as they say. I would ferret out lots of info, and abruptly walk the other direction. I railed against the God of my misunderstanding. I envied people with religious backgrounds, because they seemed to have something I wanted, but thought I could never have. They had a safety net, was what I decided. I used to tell people that I lived my life on the high wire, with no net. And I believed it. I could not imagine a deity that would allow as much suffering as I saw in the world. I couldn't imagine praying like people did, or believing like they seemed to believe. It was a bunch of crap to me. Opiate of the masses. I never once attempted to have a personal relationship with God. Never thought it was possible OR practical for somebody like me. I would look at those other people and then I'd have to make fun of them or tear them down in one way or another. Fear is a curious thing.
After I got sober and started looking for a way to change this miserable existence I lived, I started having to work really hard to find my way back to God. As Rumi says:
Has Known God.
Not the God of names.
Not the God of don'ts.
Not the God who ever does
But the God who only knows four words
And keeps repeating them , saying,
"Come Dance With Me."
And some days I worked very hard. And some days I worked very little. And some days I just sat in my shit and cried. And slowly but surely, I began to feel the hand of God reaching for my hand, and the thing I learned was that all I had to do was reach out a tiny little bit, and there God would be. And I began to read the poetry of people like Mary Oliver and Rumi and Gibran, and I learned a lot about God. I would sit by the ocean and watch the waves crashing and the birds that walk bravely into the surf, knowing they will find food there, no matter how high the waves. And they would scamper out and scamper back in as the tide washed up and I would laugh at the show. And I saw, one day, that I was that bird. That I was that ocean. That the love of God is the dance. And something washed over my soul. And I knew that it didn't matter if I understood the concept of God. It didn't matter what I believed. It didn't matter how I believed. The energy that runs from the rivers of Gods love to the tiny streams of the human soul runs no matter what. It is everywhere. It is vibrant. It is there no matter what I think or see or feel. And I can relax and live in the details, where God lives.
And that I must see the other people on my planet through the filter of God's love as well. And then I can stop expecting them to be anything other than what they are. Because they ARE perfect. Perfectly IMperfect. Deliberate flaws, like the ones woven into the Persian rugs, meant to remind the talented weaver that he is not God. And then I can breathe a sigh of relief, and trust that all is exactly the way it is supposed to be. That I can be a child of God and be the best me I can possibly be, and it will be enough. It will be enough.
I had some experiences this week that have nudged me into some reflection, as you can see. None of them were earthshattering (well, except to me), but the planets have lined up and it must be time for one of those shakeups that we all love so much. A lot of it has centered around my ego, in one way or another. And my heart. And it has caused me some pain, and some tears, and mostly (eventually) some joy. Because I know it is that hand of God reaching out for me one more time.
Reaching for me, saying, Come. Dance.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Mine turned out to be a pleasant time filled with family and friends and food...just like it is meant to be.
We have had so much rain that the creeks were flooding. On Christmas Eve night, it was 51 degrees when I went to bed. In spite of this abnormal weather, we did wind up having a minimally white Christmas as the rain turned to snow at about 9AM on Friday morning. It was a dry pretty snow, and the asphalt was still so warm from the week of crazy temps that nothing much stuck to the roads. That's what I call perfect snow...all the beauty and none of the hassle.
We had about 12 people at the house Christmas night for soup and freshly made (by me) french bread and tomato,basil, garlic bread. Big platters of cookies and candy and hot chai teas and cocoa and coffee. The first of the guests arrived around 4 and the last of them left around 10. It was really nice, lots of conversation and laughter and love in that room.
Today husbandman is gone to his Saturday ritual of meeting, hiking and whatever it is he does. I am truly blessed to be loved by that man. These past few days he has been off work for the holidays, and he stepped right up to the plate and helped with all the cleaning and cooking and whatever I needed him to do. He is a gentle and loving man....and a true gift in my life today. He told me this morning that he would like to have a birthday party this year (he usually hates them, lol). He said that it didn't have to be like the 50th surprise party he had for me (when one of my sober friends drove her 1982 Mercedes [tank] through the front wall of the restraunt where we were having the party). I told the policeman that came that it had been a long time since I had a party where the police were called. I turned 50 in 2003, and I was 13 years sober. lol He turns 50 on February 8th...he's an Aquarius, like my dad, whose birthday was February 2nd. I wish my dad and he could have met...they would have absolutely loved each other.
No plans for today besides recuperating from the day of cooking and being on my feet all day yesterday. I'm sitting up now with alternating heat/cold on my knee and some warmed up creamy potato soup in my belly. Tomorrow morning at the 10 AM meeting one of my sponslings is celebrating 1 year. A magnificent milestone of a miracle that I have been honored to witness and be a small part of. I am constantly blessed in this program to witness the miracles of recovery. My own included.
I'm going to read and sip tea and just have an all around low key day.
Wanna join me????
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I needed to write it and I feel a little better. Not a lot..but a little.
Today I put up a different curtain rod here in the office and put some old lined drapes up over the top of the ones that are hanging there . Trying to winterize the rooms a little better, as it is always cool in here. I need to put something up in the kitchen too...it is very drafty around that old window. I realized earlier that I needed to renew my drivers license before Jan 6th, and started rummaging around looking for the form that I put in a safe place. So safe I can't remember where. As some of you may know...that's a perfect recipe for getting a room cleaned up. lol I am gimping around badly, so it is a slow process. Ai yi yi....
Are any of you making New Years resolutions? Getting better organized is one of mine.
Tomorrow I will spend cleaning and making breads and getting ready for our little gathering on Christmas night. I am making 3 soups...French Onion, Cream of Potato and a Minestrone. Or maybe a chicken and rice, just so all the soups aren't vegetarian. It won't be a large crowd...just a small group of people that have no family here or anywhere else to be on Christmas.
We will have breakfast with my son and his family and watch the grandsons open their Christmas. I will make a sweet bread to take.
Tonight we watched Julie/Julia. Meryl Streep was magnificent as Julia Child, and what can I say about Stanley Tucci--I ADORE him!-- and we both loved the movie. It was an outstanding film. We laughed and laughed.
I am exhausted. Went to my MD for some pain medication for my knee. It is excruciating. I have a January11th appointment with the orthopedic doctor from last summer. I suspect I will have surgery immediately after the appointment. It has been hurting so bad I can't sleep for several days now.
I am signing off...more tomorrow when (hopefully) I will be in a much better place and not be as troubled as I am right now.
This isn't a very uplifting or happy post....but it's the best I can do. For now.
Feeling blessed to have the ability to even say that...
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Feeling sick at my stomach all day, nauseous and dizzy, actually. A stomach bug of some sort. Slept a little while and still don't feel well. Yuck.
Made a chicken and rice casserole for supper, with a side salad of organic romaine, walnuts and gorgonzola cheese. It was yummy and I was famished. Husbandman brought home some ginger ale for me and I've been sipping at it all evening. I had a long To-Do list for today and got almost none of it done. I have things to do tomorrow (chiro and lunch with a sponsling) that I will not be doing if I still feel like this. I feel like going to bed now.
Supposed to be a storm front coming in tonight, but it's still almost 40 degrees out there. Hoping it will pass to the north of us.
I really should go to bed....it's just that I haven't posted in so long I hate to go. lol
I'll be back tomorrow....
Monday, December 14, 2009
11 days til Christmas...in case you were wondering...
Long day, starting at 5 AM after only 3 hours of sleep. I cannot believe I am still awake. News from the bone cruncher was not all good, but it wasn't the end of the world either, and for that I am grateful. I do have a degenerative disc in my cervical vertebrae, as well as a bulging disc just below that one. The bulging disc is likely caused by the degenerative one. This is why my hands and arms are going numb every night and the tingling in my fingers is so bad.It may also be contributing to a couple of other things. My lumbar vertebrae are extremely subluxated (I knew this, I can tell) and I have a serious curve in my lower spine that is due to a couple of factors. One is that I am overweight since the accident when I couldn't move as much anymore and the other is from having a drastic hysterectomy where they cut through my abdominal wall from hip to hip The abdominal wall doesn't cotton well to such trauma, and is a big component apparently in helping keep the spine straight. So most of this can be fixed, except the degenerative disc. But he thinks he can stretch the spine enough to take the pressure off enough to make it much less painful. We sat for 20 minutes while he went over my xrays and showed me all this. It was freakey.
Then I went to a meeting and afterwards had lunch with a lovely young woman I rarely see as she lives in a town about 45 minutes away. Then I came home.
I am ready for sleep. Feeling a little beat up by the chiro treatment, but hopeful that things will get better soon.
I am grateful today to have medical care and grateful to be in good hands. I am grateful to have a place to go where I can tend my soul and nourish my spirit.
TTFN...I'm off to that warm comfy bed.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
It's been a long weekend and I didn't post anywhere. It was a time of being on the run or laid up completely. lol
BY the time the chiropractor finished his extensive exam, I was feeling like I'd been beaten. He then sent me to a local hospital for xrays, and they finished the job. He wanted about 20 films and they were twisting me and turning me and it nearly killed me. I came home and was useless for the rest of the night. Hubby (AKA assmaster, lol) took me to a Chinese restraunt so I wouldn't have to cook and then we came home and I went to bed. I pretty much laid around all day Saturday, hoping I'd feel good enough to attend the Christmas party we'd been invited to by my newest sponsee. I was better and so we did go. By the time we were driving home though...I was almost crying. I wore sensible shoes and everything...but I did climb up and down a couple of sets of stairs to look at some artwork done by our host.
I did feel better today. Tomorrow morning at 9:45 I go back to the chiro, films in hand. And hopefully he will be able to do something for me. He did tell me that the knee is bad and needs to be repaired-there's nothing he can do for it. But the hip and pelvic problems are another matter. Hopefully he can get me fixed up, and after the holidays are over (if I can make it that long) I'll get the knee done. I am just looking for a little relief right now, and I'll take whatever I can get.
The dogs are in and about half of the cats (maybe less) are out and refusing to come in. It has been pretty warm the past 2 days. A good thing, but a bit of a shock to the system after all that cold.
Had a good morning meeting on the 6th step. I had an epiphany of sorts about some of the stuff going on in my life...or really, my reactions to that stuff. Something about humility and ego and what "hurt feelings" are really all about. It was quite informative (to me, about me). I am so grateful for the tools in this program that allow us to clean up our side of the street and then let it go. We can only do so much. I felt a sigh of relief go through me.
I'm not sure why I posted the picture of the cathedral...it was incredibly beautiful. We were going to Texas/Mexico in February of 2005 and planned to come back (we still lived in North Carolina at the time) through Louisiana. My sponsor Maureen (who died last year) told us to be sure to stop and see the St Louis Cathedral. She thought it was one of the most beautiful things she'd ever seen. It really was breathtaking. I guess I was thinking about her today...and how much I miss her. She taught me an awful lot about living sober, often whether I wanted the lesson or not. lol She had about 38 years when she died of a brain aneurysm...and she had led a good life, completely immersed in service to Alcoholics Anonymous, and she made no secret of it. I can only hope to be the person and the grateful member of AA that she was. It was she who gave me a copy of a poem, smiling and eyes twinkling, as she said, "I promise you, no good deed goes unpunished." Here's the thing...guess you can call it a poem. An essay, anyway...
Do It Anyway
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies,
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you.
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people may forget tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough...
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you
and them anyway.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Remember when they were so sweet??? NOT ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!!
I have had an interesting day, to say the least. The last part of it has been amazing and the first part of it was, well…horrendous. I was a screaming maniac for a few hours there.
First of all, the assmaster of the house locked one of the cats (*remember the cats that wouldn’t come in last night??–one of those) in the entertainment center when he closed it up last night. This morning when I got up, I hear this pitiful crying and several other cats are sitting around the cabinet, laughing and making fun of the one trapped inside. You know how cats are…they can be so cruel. One is pawing at the door, and when I open it, out pops my Junko, glaring and hissing at me, like it was all my fault. She is furious and takes on all the other cats that are there. They scatter and I nearly fall over one who darts beneath my feet.
Now, if you’ll remember from yesterday, I have a pinched nerve in my back and my knee is screwed up again, so stumbling is not really a recommended event. I trip, I swear, and cats laugh as they dart away. I grumble and mumble. Then I find that some cat has broken my little crystal rocking horse that is one of my Christmas decorations. I am furious. Then I find that someone (cat) has taken a dump in the corner, beside the aquarium, in about a 6 inch square space. Of course, I have to try to get on my hands and knees and twist around to get to it to clean it up. I am nearly crying with pain now. 15 minutes later, someone (cat) has taken a dump AGAIN, on my carpet beside the entertainment center. By now I am yelling as I clean up another mess. I suspect it is the cat who is mostly an outside cat, as I see her pee in the litter boxes, but have never seen her poop in one.
Then I discover that (naturally) the cat who was locked in the entertainment center has pooped in there. So, once again, screaming in pain, I am on my knees trying to clean out the little space below the tv, where she has pooped. Once again, little cats are hiding around the corners watching me, laughing silently with their little paws over their mouths.
It was a whole morning of this stuff. In between I would sit in front of the computer and lay on the heating pad. Then I got a call and someone was coming, so I tried to put up the rest of the Christmas decos and vacuum up 500 tons of dog and cat hair…stopping every 15 minutes to lie on the heating pad. I actually got almost everything done.
Tonight we went to the group anniversary and had a delightful time. A man with 50+ years sober who helped start the group was telling a little about what AA was like here 50 years ago…how you had to drive either to St. Louis or to Springfield to go to a meeting. It was fascinating. Saw a lot of people we hadn’t seen in a while and had a good dinner.
Then we came home and now….I’m going to bed.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
It is just plain cold. 15 with a wind chill factor of -3 now. I have 2 cats outside that won't come in and I guess I just have to leave them there to ...do whatever cats do in the bitter cold. I am powerless over cats... every so often, I go to the door and open it to see if they've changed their
minds. The house is relatively warm, but I can see we're going to have to get the insulating plastic up on the windows this weekend. I have big heavy drapes in the living room and that helps a lot. But the bedrooms need them too and so does the kitchen window need a covering. It needs an old fashioned window quilt. It's a big square window.
I have stayed close to the heating pad today, and taken it very easy on myself. Things are still icky, but not quite as bad as yesterday. I only went outside twice today, as the cold is certainly a mitigating factor in all this. I had to get out there this morning and water the chickens and try to manage a way to keep that coop door open in this horrific wind. We have had 35-45 mph winds all day. And I paid some bills and got those out in the mail box. Did all that in one roundabout. Then later I was out again becasue my idea didn't really work all that well with the coop door and it closed again. The last time I got it good. And it was time to pick up the mail, so I trudged down to the mailbox and then came in for good. It's brutal out there.
I made a wonderful Indian dish for supper tonight. Vegetarian nights always require a little more thought and imagination. I have a recipe for an Aloo Gobi that I make from time to time, especially on cold nights, as it's a great comfort food. It is also a carbohydrate extravaganza nightmare (thus the comfort part). But it's lovely...you heat the oil and toast whole cumin seeds to start, and then put in cauliflower broken into bite sized pieces. You stir it, letting the cauliflower get a little golden brown here and there. You put in a little water and cover, letting the cauliflower cook to a crisp-tender stage. Then you add cooked diced potatoes, ground cumin, turmeric, coriander, chopped green chilies, fresh ground black pepper and sea salt. Cook it just til the potatoes are heated through, and serve. Tonight I also added a little lemon curry and the result was marvelous. I served it with a side of organic romaine lettuce with some thinly sliced fresh mushrooms, sliced white and red radishes from our cold frame box, a few pickled green beans and a tiny bit of dressing. I used a Caesar dressing tonight. It made for an appetizing and satisfying supper, for me and the working man. And the house smelled wonderful...
Tomorrow night we will attend the anniversary of a group around these parts that has been going strong for 47 years. What a testament to the program! What a blessing. I have to make some kind of a salad to take...something/anything to go with sloppy joes for the potluck. I have lots of pasta...maybe I'll do something along those lines.
I'm sipping a cup of honey chamomile tea and getting wound down enough to head for bed soon. I changed my chiro appt to Friday with different Chiropractor. One recommended by a friend, who does cold laser therapy for joints. It's an interesting concept, and I'm game to try anything. Her fiance had gone to this guy and he worked wonders. So....I'm a gonna try him out. It's only one day difference....and this weather is treacherous, so I'd rather not be driving at 5 AM anyway to take hubby to work so I can keep the car.
It's been a long and emotional day. I am hanging in there and am thinking about going to an Alanon meeting next week. One of my friends thinks it might be good for me. I shall give it a go...
Hopefully tomorrow I will get some more things done here and get busy working on a couple of the gifts that I need to make. I am making herbal dream pillows for a couple of people and some God boxes that need painting. The pillows are pretty cool...I am also making a couple of those lovely heating pads that are filled with rice and then you heat them in the microwave. A dear friend gave me one a couple of years ago, and I love it. You just sew a tube of cotton material and fill it with rice and sew it shut. Then you take a lovely print flannel and make a long rectangle to fit the tube of rice and put it in. Mine is removeable so you can wash the outer wrapper. It also has an aromatic rice, like jasmine or basmati in it, so it smells wonderful when it heats. Almost all of our gifts this year will be homemade... getting back to the basics of gifts with love, from the heart.
Alrighty. I am off to the warmest room in the house. Under the big comfy quilt and flannel sheets, with my infrared husband next to me. That man puts out more heat than a wood burning stove!
Sweet winter dreams, and blessings on you and your house!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
It has been a rough couple of days...this past week I started having a lot of pain in my knee again and by Sunday I was starting with the hip pain from walking all gimpy. Yesterday and today I have been hurting so much I can barely walk. It's not so bad if I'm sitting or lying with my leg up, but when I'm on my feet for more than about 10 minutes, the pain gets unbearable. It feels like the stuff I used to have to get trigger point injections for...but maybe it's a pinched nerve. At any rate--I DON'T LIKE IT!!! lol Honestly, I brought stuff in from the storage to put up for Christmas and by 1 PM I was nearly crying. I would get up and put stuff up for about 10 minutes and go lay on the heating pad with my leg up for the next hour. Needless to say, I didn't get a whole lot done. But, I did get some of it up, so that's something. I thought I was going to have to have Patrick take me to the ER when he got home. I have a chiropractor appointment for Thursday morning, if I can hold out that long. I'm going to try to hold out on the knee repair until after the first of the year when the holidays are over. We'll see... Rainy and cold here today, and it was only after sunset that the temperature rose to over 40 degrees! Weird. Supposed to be getting a wintry mix tomorrow though, with temps in the high teens. I really wish I lived somewhere warm and balmy... We have a Christmas party to attend on Saturday. A speaker/anniversary (group celebrating 47 years!!) on Thursday. I hope that my wonderful Doc Stu can fix this hip. We are going to have a little get together on Christmas night...a few friends and some soups and goodies. It will be fun. Then we are invited to an after Christmas bash on the 27th. In between will be all peppered with family stuff. I love this time of year... I'm really tired and will be in bed soon, even though I took a couple of naps today on the heating pad. I feel worn out from it all... Have started reading Lacuna...it's an interesting departure (I think) from her usual style, but I am loving it. I also got the email today from NaNoWriMo with the code to get a proof copy of my novel published. I cannot imagine how it will feel to hold an actual copy of it in my hands....even if I'm the only one who will ever see it, lol. My pups have just come back in from their evening constitutional, so I am free to go to bed now. My life is blessed by my love for these critters and their love for me. By the men and women in the world who, on a daily basis, teach me how NOT to act. By the grace and beauty of the world in which I live. Life's a dance....
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I have had a most wonderful evening, and am dying to tell you about it. lol
One of the women at our meeting recently moved here from another state. It was one of those moves we have all made, where you haven't much choice than to leave almost everything you own and GO. She was staying with family, and now she has a new apartment and was stoked about that, but had no furnishings. Tonight at our women's meeting we had a little surprise shower for her new place, and the generosity of these women in my life just knocked my socks off. And she was so overwhelmed that she could barely speak, lol. Afterwards, a couple of us followed her to the new digs and helped unload the cars of all the stuff. We filled her pantry with food, gave her dishes and glasses and silverware. We gave her a bed and a couch and a television. We gave her things she really needed and some things, like napkins and napkin rings that our souls just need. She got some candles, some sponges, a gift card, and lordy...you name it. It was wonderful to be a part of and to watch.
I never cease to be amazed (and grateful!) at the generosity and courage of the women I have met in AA. We are really something...and I am so blessed to be a part of it all.
The endless compassion that some people have has been on my mind a lot lately. Over and over again, in my years on this planet, I have seen miraculous things happen as the result of the small acts of kindness that come from the most unlikely sources. The people who have the least are often the most generous. The ones who are suffering from incredible maladies (be they physical or spiritual or emotional) are the ones who are there first, putting out a hand to help someone else. The miracles happen daily. When we can open up to give, we are opened up to receive. When we think of someone else first, we step back into riches we never imagined. Something magical happened tonight in that little room, and I could see it on the faces of everyone present. And I am so thankful today that I get to witness these things firsthand, because I am right in the middle of them.
I am especially grateful and blessed by the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, for changing me in ways I could never have known possible. For opening my heart and my eyes. For giving me the opportunity to be a part of such a group of people. For taking this worthless, useless shell of a human being, and turning her into a woman of substance. A woman who can be generous and can be courageous and can be filled with a love so marvelous that she shines. I feel , sometimes, like I am radiating this stuff that you have all given me. And I will be thankful every day for my life, for my sobriety and for love.
Thank you all for making me the woman I get to be today.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
This was me this morning. After one night of less than 2 hours sleep and then last night with only about 4, I was whipped. It is barely 11 PM now and I am falling asleep at the keyboard.
We are having or first snowfall of the year tonight, it started around 7 and has been falling ever since. However,the ground is still way too warm for it to stick really, although the weather guys were insisting it would be our first accumulating snow. Jokes on them.
I had a rough day, had to take my cat to the vet and have him put to sleep. He's been sick and the vet diagnosed him with cancer. It was the best thing to do for him. Not so much for me. But today I can do the right thing and I just have to feel blessed to have had him as long as I did. He was a very sweet cat, and the sicker he got, the sweeter he got. Then when I got home from that, I learned that my lab Lucy has hurt her foot/leg and is limping badly. At first I wanted to cry, but managed to pull it together and check her out. I think it's only a sprain, and if it isn't better by Friday, I will take her to the vet. I am blessed to be an animal caretaker...
My sponsling has moved into the little studio apartment on the back of my house. So far, so good. She'll stay there until she can get back on her feet. Hopefully not more than a few months. :)
Another sponsling moved into her own apartment today. She is sober quite a while and is especially grateful. It's a cute little place too, I went over this afternoon and took her a shower curtain and rod.
God is good.
We watched a movie I ordered from Netflix and it was a French film called The Vanishing. I didn't see that it as in French with English subtitles. We had a good laugh over that and watched it while we ate dinner. It was a freaky film about a psychopath.
I think I really am going to have to hit the hay. Pooped. Have a grand day, all y'all... or evening. Or whenever it is that you're reading this. lol
Monday, November 30, 2009
I'm so blessed to have friends today, and they're almost all the "good" kind of friends. Not the kind I used to have, the ones who were always there for you as long as you were buying the next round. The ones who were there when they needed something from you (which was usually the case). I'm talking about the kind of friends that are there when you're hurting, and are there when you need them, no matter what time of day or night. The ones who care about you, even when you're not at your best. Or maybe it's ESPECIALLY when you're not at your best. People in my life that I don't have to lie to, or worry about what they think of me. The kind who love me just as I am, warts and all. The kind who love me even when I'm acting like an ass.
I guess what brought this on was a conversation I had today wiith someone who has no friends except the people he drinks with. He has no self esteem, no identity apart from partying, and no self respect left. He has started lying about everything all the time, and it breaks my heart. I know he's in a lot of pain, and yet he refuses to even consider that there might be another way to live. And today I had to give him the old spiel...the one about I only care if I don't drink. I don't have any business with what you do. The one about, if you aren't finished drinking, then you're wasting your time here. And as brutal as it sounds, it's the truth and we all know it. Each and every one of us has to drink until there's no reason to drink anymore. And then we can set aside our perceptions and misconceptions about sobriety, and open our minds that tiny crack to let the willingness in. Be beaten up enough to let the hand of AA reach out to us and to grab on for dear life. And some of us grab it and many of us don't. And that's just how it is. No one an get any one else sober...each of us has to make the choice to not pick up that drink. I'm so grateful to have gotten sober in a place where they hammered into me in the beginning...JUST DON'T DRINK! NO matter what, we have to want to be sober more than we want to be drunk. And if we can't find that, we are not done. Period.
But as for me, I am grateful to be past that awful first year of not drinking, no matter what. And into the part where it doesn't even occur to me...not even when my ass is falling off. lol
And I'm grateful to have people in my life who support me and this decision not to drink. They not only support me, they love me. And I am happy. And for the first time in my life, I like being me. I don't fantasize about being you. I don't constantly wish I was someone and somewhere else.
And life is a dance.....
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I am simultaneously exhausted and exhilarated. I did it, I really did it. And I know lots of people do it, lots of bloggers here have done it. But this is my first time, so let me gloat a bit, okay? LOL
Last year, in early November, my computer crashed, if you recall. I was 7000 words into nano and was having a helluva time making it there. It was almost a relief when it crashed. This year I got really behind a couple of times and then I managed a couple of surges and suddenly the words were pouring out of me like crazy. And after being stuck for a little bit at about 24K words I was sudden;ly off and running and it just is now over. IT'S OVER!!!! woohoo...
I have had a wonderful holiday weekend, spending time with friends and family and feeling the blessings of gratitude wash over me again and again. There was lots of good healthy food, good not so healthy food (lol), and the feelings of family that can be so scarce in so many lives these days. I was taken back to all the holidays like this that I have missed because I lived on the other side of the continent, and because I was drunk and because I was ashamed. And I am sooo grateful that that isn't the deal anymore for me.
I got to have a wonderful day on Friday with my most beautiful niece who is 6 years old. Earlier this month she started writing me letters, sometimes she inserts poems or songs that she has written for me. When I get one, I send her back a card or a postcard, and we are having great fun with it all. She writes and reads very well for a 6 year old. What blessings.
I am really tired and my eyes hurt from staring at this computer screen so long the past 30 days. lol I am pumped. I bought myself a motivtional gift--Barbara Kingsolver's new book The Lacuna-- as a bribe for finishing NaNo...now I get to read it. Hurray!! But not now...it's after 1 AM and this puppy needs to hit the hay soon.
I love you all and have missed being here. I am so glad to be back!
Love and blessings, Anniek
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The mercury dipped below 30 degrees for our first hard frost of the year last night. I can feel every bit of it in my back this morning...lol. It's crisp and sunny out there though and should be a beautiful day in the mid to upper 60's. I'm on a house cleaning tear and hope to get some carpets cleaned today, if my back holds out.
I woke up yesterday with a resolve to do something about this mop of long grey hair. It's only been long for a little over a year, but I am sick of it. So, I went in and had about 12 inches cut off and I feel like a new man. Well, you know what I mean. lol However-- I had hoped that cutting it would rid me of some of the grey, instead it looks like she cut MORE grey into it. Sigh...I might just have to color it now. I just got tired of feeling like I look like an old woman.
Been staying busy with sponslings and such, trying to catch up on my woefully behind NaNoWri Mo word count, and keeping my house so that the health department won't condemn it. lol I am writing everyday, but sheesh!! But not giving up. So...if my posts are a bit spotty this next month, rest assured that I am at the keyboard pounding away...just somewhere other than here in my blogs. But I'm going to try and stay connected as best I can. On top of this, of course, it is the beginning of the holiday season and that's another whole story. I have lots of artsy fartsy stuff to do as well. Good thing I'm a talented multi-tasker! (Imagine-it used to be considered a BAD thing that I couldn't just focus on one thing at a time!! lol) Plus, I'm reading two new books. And writing to an AA'er in prison as a penpal thing. And Sunday is the District meeting, where I'm supposed to have come up with an idea for a workshop for the beginning of next year, and haven't even thought about it. Sigh.....no rest for the wicked, my grandmother used to say. *wink
Turned on my 'puter this morning and got 2 simultaneous IM's...one from a sponsling and one from my darling girl in Oz...so instead of getting to work, I spent a lovely half hour dually IM'ing these two beautiful sober women to start my day with love and gratitude. I am indeed especially blessed.
Especially blessed to:
- Have a life that I once only dreamed of having.
- Have the kind of love in my world that I always craved and never had
- Know that those feelings of uselessness and self pity have disappeared.
- See that even though it's 30 outside, it's toasty warm in here.
- Realize that my fresh pot of coffee is done.
- Be able to wake up sober.
- Be 12 inches shy of hair!
- Have a plan, and be able to stick to it.
- To know that I don't have to be perfect, and that my best is good enough.
- Have a great Oreck vacuum cleaner to clean my furry floors with.
- Get to wake up and "visit" friends in faraway places like Africa and Australia and Canada.
- Have another chance at a better day than the one before.
Alrighty then...I'm off into a new day...hope yours is the best ever too.
Monday, November 9, 2009
I am whipped! Just home (11pm) from picking up a girl out in the middle of nowhere...and taking her to a meeting. She's got 9 months and just moved here...about 19 miles from me. So, I guess I'm opn the contact list from this area. She's a sweetheart and we had fun, even if I did get lost..er..had an adventure...on the way out. Then after I dropped her off, I took a wrong turn again. Luckily for me, I have an innate sense of direction. LOL....the worst part was that it is pitch black out on those old country backroads. Makes it hard to read road names or see landmarks. Looks like I got me a new sponsling...she's very shy and knows no one. God is good!!
Had a nice day at home again today...Wrote a little, baked some bread, and did a little reading. Tried to take it easy...back is still acting up. The nice garbage guy came to my backyard and got the can that didn't make it to the road because I slept til 8:30. I didn't even hear him!! Good thing too...it had twice as much garbage as usual. Then 2 guys on tractors came and surveyed the sinkholes in the water line trenches. They hemmed and hawed, put some chew in their mouths (YUCK!), walked and looked and drove away. I made a nice teriyaki shrimp stir fry with Jasmine rice for supper. This is the exciting life I live. lol
A friend of mine celebrated his birthday tonight at the meeting...That's always good! Another friend is celebrating tomorrow night, and I want to be there for her, but I will have to see how I feel. Tomorrow is looking to be a busy day.
Just realizing that my sister called and left a message today and I forgot to call her back. oops!
It was an amazing meeting tonight...the topic was from As Bill Sees It, and was about a full and grateful heart. One of the guys said something that was exactly why I was there, so I could hear. He said, "I am grateful for my prayer life. Before AA I had nothing like a prayer life, and today I cannot get through my morning without taking time to pray. To be thankful for everything in my life...good, bad, and indifferent." I never think about how grateful I am for a prayer life! I take it for granted all the time. But it is one of the things that I am so blessed with today. I used to believe that praying and depending on God was some kind of a cop out. That I got myself in this mess and I am accountable kind of mentality. That it's my job to just deal with this, by myself..kind of mentality. How much easier my life is when I can pray. How much less stressful things are when I just talk to my Creator about them, and put them smack in Creator's hands. I suggested to one of my sponslings today that she make a God Box and place a couple of her family members in there. Just hand them over and walk away. Sometimes it's all you can do. That little trick saved my butt a few times. Write the name of the person, or a description of the problem on a piece of paper, fold it and put it in the God Box. My first sponsor had me do this, and said "In 2 months take them out and look them over and see where things stand now." It taught me a lot about what a waste of time worrying is, for one thing. And it showed me how most of the things that I fear never come to pass anyway. I am maiing God Boxes for a couple of people this year for Christmas presents. maybe for everybody. I'll paint some flowers or something on them and each persons name. I'll let you know how they turn out.
I am grateful that I got to talk to the girl I picked up tonight about my sponsor M- who died this past March. I cried a little, remembering how much I loved her and how much she helped me. I can just see her now...slapping her forehead and saying "Oy--get off the cross, we need the wood!!!" She was a hoot.
Well, all this gratitude has made me even more sleepy so I guess I better get going. 5 o'clock comes early, and it's midnight now.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
A beautiful day with temps close to freaking 80 degrees. Gorgeous. I spent most of it laying around the couch on a heating pad. I was online off and on, did some Nano writing, then tried to get outside and move some...having back spasms that make it hard to do much of anything.
I have had a quiet and restful day. Not inspired to write much, and then I read the entry for November 8th in my book called Simple Abundance~ A Daybook of Comfort and Joy...by Sarah Ban Breathnach. The entry today is called Everyday Life is the Prayer. Here it is:
"Some women know they pray. Other women think they don't because they aren't down on their knees morning and night. But they're up in the dark with sick children, visiting an elderly parent on thei lunch hour, supporting the dreams of those they love with with their work, helping a friend bear grief or rejoice, nourishing bodies and souls. This,too,is prayer.
For whether we realize it or not, with every breath, with every heartbeat, women pray. We pray with desire, longing,hunger, thirst, sighs, remorse, regret. We pray with disappointment, discouragement, despair, disbelief. We pray with anger, rage, jealousy, envy. We pray with pleasure, contentment, happiness, exultation, joy. We pray with gratefulness, acknowledgment, appreciation, acceptance, relief. We pray when we comfort, cheer, console. We pray when we laugh. We pray when we cry. We pray when we work and play. We pray when we make love or make a meal. We pray when we create and when we admire creation. One way or another, we pray. Everyday life IS the prayer. How we conduct it, celebrate it, consecrate it. ..."
This really got me thinking. This short excerpt from the words for today holds me enthralled....it holds my life to a higher standard. It celebrates life. It makes me partners with God on so many levels. It gives great value and immense grace to the lives we lead. When Meister Eckart said...If the only prayer you said was "Thank YOU" it would suffice...I began to think of my relationship in the Universe as a gift from and to my Creator. When I thought of myself as a gift, my value increased in my own eyes. When I think of prayer as conversation in every day life...why it opens all sort of possibilities to me!
Love is the dialect of the Divine. When we reach out to one another, when we care for one another...when we make our lives an arena for service in this world, then and only then are we truly dancing the cosmic dance. I dance with God. God dances with me. And then I am able to know love. (I sound like Rumi...or Hafiz...lol) And this, I think, is prayer. A whole body conversation with the Divine, a dance, a golden leaf, floating down on the breeze and falling falling falling.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Ah.....a minute to myself. Wanted to write a Flash Friday, but think I will do it on the other blog...Akannie's Weblog
I want to write today about the magnificent blessings in my life. About the way I have been changed from a person who was never okay...never satisfied. Always discontent, always irritable...always on the run. If I wasn't on the run physically, I was on the run emotionally and spiritually. I couldn't sit in one place for very long, and every where I went, there I was. I was never good enough, in my own mind, and certainly never enough in the lives of the people where I inserted myself. I have had a couple of really fulfilling days lately, and I feel the need to talk about this a little.
I truly believe that I can have experiences and never talk about them to anyone...and not feel that they are valid. I can share the miracles that occur in my life today, and in the sharing, the magnitude of them cannot escape me. It's at times like this that I really believe my Creator speaks to me...and cares for me....and takes care of me. I learned all kinds of things in early sobriety about going to any lengths and getting out of my own way, and putting in a teaspoonful and getting back a truckload.
What is a life?? An event of constant change and joy and sorrow. It's learning how to not anticipate the worst and (GAD!) even be hopeful that things are going to be good. It's learning to be useful and happy and free of the tyranny of my own mind. It's being open to the possibilities of life...admitting that I don't possibly know what's around every corner and what extraordinary things might be on their way to me. And finally...feeling that I am still on the journey. That I can be hungry enough for the good things and keep trudging. That I can be awestruck by magic and mystery and delighted by things like a sweetpea growing up strong and green after a frost has all but killed everything else. That mums thumb their noses at weather. That kittens love to jump and chase butterflies.
I realize how blessed I am today that...
- I can read and write.
- I have food enough in my house to feed Cox's Army.
- That there are days when the people in my life blow my phone up with their calls.
- That people trust me, because I am trust worthy.
- That I can be counted on to be a balance of truthfulness and loving intention.
- That I found out that LIFE IS NOT A RACE --just in time.
- That I am in love with my life and with my sobriety.
- That I have a family that didn't know me when I was at my worst.
- That I have a second family that did know me then...and loved me anyway.
- That I am slowly learning some discipline.
- That no matter how old I get, I can still learn new things.
- That I am on fire with NaNoWriMo this year!
- That it doesn't matter if my hair is grey and my skin isn't 24 anymore.
- That you love me. And I love you. And that helps me love me.
The class was extraordinary last night and the potluck was wonderful, and the people from the other potluck (that I missed) were raving about my food!
Life is a beautiful thing.... I am going to go clean a closet and move some things around. Already spent party of the morning on some 3rd Step stuff and will go to a meeting tonight.
Life's a dance...when you know the Steps!!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Had a lovely day, went to a speaker meeting and am back home and getting ready to turn in. I have a 13 pound turkey in the roaster on low, and will let it go all night. Tomorrow is the conflicted interests and I am going to the class. I am also cooking the turkey for the AA dinner. I'll take it out to the meeting room in the afternoon and leave it there. I have to make a pasta dish for the potluck for the class too...thinking a nice ziti casserole. It has to be vegetarian, but that's no problem. I have lots of cheeses and black olives and onions and garlic...maybe I'll look for some artichoke hearts too to throw in. I probably have some in the pantry. I'm trying to decide if I want to make a garlic bread to go with it. I'll have plenty of time to do it, I guess.
I am reading a new book...written in 2001 by a New York author named Jonathan Franzen the back flap says ..." A comic, tragic epic stretching from the Midwest of the midcentury to the Wall Street and Eastern Europe of today. The Corrections brings an old fashioned world of civic virtue and sexual inhibitions into violent collision with the era of home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental health care and globalized greed." Even the jacket blurb sounds frantic, doesn't it? lol I'll let you know if I can finish it. I hope so.
It's chilly again tonight...41 now. I am getting up to take himself to work in the morning, so I do need to hit the hay soon. I'm trying to decide whether to turn the heater on again....maybe on low. The roaster will heat things up some too.
Today I got some things cleaned up, but I still don't have those damned pumpkins out. I did sweep out front though. Maybe tomorrow....I need to make some soapy water and wash down the little table out there as well as the green rocking chairs. Everything is muddy. The ashtray (a small aluminum bucket of sand) is filled full and needs emptying. There's a dead pansy sitting there. The windows need cleaning. Maybe tomorrow...lol
I got most of my list done, but still haven't found the glue gun. Guess a trip to Walmart is in the works. I'd like to get my wreath done and hung.
I'm finding myself living right in the middle of the third step a lot lately. This is a very good thing.
I found a little quote that says: There is no key to happiness. The door is always open.
I like this!
Alrighty...I'm trundling off to bed. Sweet dreams to you all....
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I got a very sweet and nice present today from the mother of the young gay man that I sponsor. She made me a beautiful wreath made up of dahlias and mums and cattails...I love the sentiment, and I know that she supports her son and is so very worried about him. I spent a lovely couple of hours in their home last night, and he and I went over the first step again. Something seems different about him this time, I can only pray that he is really ready this time. I am blessed to get the chance to do this kind of stuff...yesterday I got a phone call from a woman who sounded either very drunk or like she'd had a stroke. Said that she got my number from someone who said I could maybe help her. She needed information about the ..."A and A classes and the books that go with them." When I returned her call, it went straight to voicemail and she never called back. I'll try her again tomorrow, and it amuses me the things people seem to think that AA is...or isn't. lol I remember looking at that Where and When the judge had the bailiff hand me, and thinking OGod...what now?? I had no idea what it was going to be like. I had no facts about AA at all, but plenty of prejudice and skepticism. And lots of boiled down fear. And baby, look at me now. lol
Tuesday. I have some chicken and rice soup simmering away in the kitchen. A sponsling that was supposed to be here 15 minutes ago. I am going to go ahead and make the salad and get that ready, and maybe it will just be tonight's supper. This same girl and another were supposed to be meeting me last night at a meeting and called and said they decided not to go. One is a year and one is 15. They were just going to hang out....lol. Fine by me. I just changed where I was going. I can do the same today...living my life and getting on with the hundred things I'd rather do...lol. It's a lovely morning here on the Prairie, with temps just below 50 and brilliant sunshine and blue skies. I want to get my front porch cleaned up, wipe all the cat tracks off the table, clean the rocking chairs, put up some fall decorations. A good way to spend an autumn day.
A friend of mine is celebrating 11 years tonight at a 7PM meeting and I will go. She has lots of ups and downs and I guess we all do. But staying sober 11 years in a row, one Day at a time, is no mean feat. And it deserves a celebration!!
I'm off to stir soup.
This blog got lost in space!! It was gone and then it reappeared... Yowsa!!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Late late and I should be in bed...but I have 2 very naughty dogs outside that won't come in the house. I've called them 3 times...there's something out there and dogs far and wide are all barking...and of course, the Kelley dogs don't want to miss anything! It's about 40 degrees outside and I can't believe they are still out there. The bad news for them is this: they are about to be left out all night.
Had a good day today, mostly. I still haven't found my glue gun though. It's starting to annoy me...there are only so many places it can be. I can't finish up my wreath until I find the damned thing. Arrgghhh...
We watched Good Night and Good Luck...Clooney's film about newsman Edward R. Murrow taking on Joe McCarthy...that crazy commie hunter. How different the world is now, eh? And that man struck terror into the hearts of so many and trashed so many people's careers...can't help but be reminded of a certain set of circumstances in recent years...God help us. Maybe some things are not so different after all...
I have a very busy week ahead. I made out my November desk calendar this evening...it's pretty full. I am blessed to have a good busy life and to be able to do what little I do. I was thinking I need to pencil in a day for shampooing my living room carpet....lol. I also have closets that need cleaning and arranging and cupboards that are in the same boat. All things I keep putting off doing...the pantries need inventorying and straightening. The mud room needs an overhaul. Makes me tired just thinking about it all. I hope I can find the energy to get some painting done this winter. Especially this office and the hallways. Things are starting to look like they are 5 years lived in by now.
Patrick is down with a bug...sore throat, stuffy head and congestion in his chest. He has taken it pretty easy this weekend...hopefully he'll be able to shrug it off quickly. He said he feels better after napping a lot today, maybe it will be enough. I saw the bedroom light on a minute ago though and it's after midnight. Could have been from the dogs barking...
I'm off to bed. Looking back over my day and seeing a few places where I could have been kinder and more tolerant, and certainly more patient. Thanking my Creator that I was able to make all my mistakes today sober. Grateful to get another chance tomorrow to be better than I was today.
God's got a deal for drunks that don't drink.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Then end of another month finds me nursing a sickish husband who has a congestion/sinus-y sore throaty kind of bug. Everyone around these parts seems to have it...not me. Yet. lol I'm faithfully taking the Vitamins B&C&D and Echinacea and Goldenseal and a little zinc thrown in for good measure. And washing my hands A LOT. And staying away from sickies wherever I can. Got a call from my youngest sister this morning. She's pretty upset about her daughter who was calling her crazy drunk at 5:30 AM begging her to come get her. She was at home, and was in the floor so drunk she couldn't get up. This is the second major episode of this...my sister (naturally) is terrified and doesn't know what to do, so I said I'd call and see if she will talk to me. I've called twice now and she isn't returning my calls. The kid is only 23 years old...was sobbing that she has no friends, she hates her life, she drinks every day before work. Please keep C- in some prayers if you have extras. Maybe this will be a bottom for her, but I'm skeptical. One of my sponslings has relapsed again as well. Has been lying about smoking pot and went on another good bender a few nights ago. I wish I could spoon feed this sobriety thing to people, but I can't. If only they could believe that this is the easier, softer way! But they cannot and will not. So, I sit on the sidelines and I wait. Maybe they will have a flash of clarity before it is too late for them. Maybe they won't. I'm so grateful to be sober today, and to have that excruciating first year behind me. I'm grateful that I was 37 when I got here...and not so young that all I could think was "I need to have fun..." By 37, I had drank all the fun out of life. By 37, I was an empty shell of a human being. I read a really lovely meditation on Thursday that I wanted to share here. It is titled : I am a radiating center of peace. Heat emanates from the core of the sun, where particles bump and collide, radiating energy and warmth. When I turn my face to the sun, I feel the power that is released from deep within it, benefitting me and all of the planet Earth. Deep within me, Divine Light radiates love and energy throughouot my mind, body and spirit. Loving expressions emanate from the core of me, from my Divine nature. I have within me all I need to radiate love and peace into the world. Outward expressions of peace begin with inner peace. I focus and center myself on the Divine Light within, and every thought I hold and every word I speak are bathed in peace. I am blessed beyond my understanding today by the life I get to live. To be a grain of sand on the most beautiful beach in the Universe, to be a droplet of water in a gorgeously wild river. To be in a position to put out a helping hand every now and again and make a difference in someone's life. To look through the pain of this life sometimes and know...that behind every opportunity lies a lesson to help me on the path to Dharma, to understanding, to love. Namaste.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Monsoon weather here...relatively warm and pouring rain. The front yard looks like a rice paddy, creeks are overflowing their banks, and all everybody wants to do is sleep. I keep losing my satellite signal and am having a hard time downloading sites or pictures. It's very annoying.
Tonight we will go to the home of a friend and have chili and dogs and I'm taking all the stuff to make Mexican Hot Chocolate. It's a wonderful concoction of chocolate, almonds and vanilla...piping hot and finished off in a blender to make it all frothy and good. I have some wonderful memories of early sobriety all mixed up in Mexican hot chocolate...
Husbandman is feeling a little under the weather...bit of a scratchy throat. Think I'll make some french onion soup for lunch. We had a late breakfast as we slept in, so I still have time, even though it's almost noon already. There are some horrendous bugs making the rounds in this part of the country. I keep faithfully taking my echinaca and goldenseal and Vitamin C and D. So far (knock wood) it has missed me. I know personally at least 6 people that are sick though. yikes! A couple have landed in hospital emergency rooms. There seems to be a lot of pneumonia and bronchitis attached to this bug. Neither of us get the flu vaccines, so...we'll see.
It sounds like maybe the rain has stopped for a minute. last night when I was driving to the meeting it was coming down so fast and furious that I had the wipers on full tilt and slowed the car down to about 15 miles per hour. It was yucky out there. I have a few more chores to do when I get off here, and need to get that soup started. I wanted to stop in early becasue I suspect we'll be out a little late tonight...
I'm grateful to have friends who do fun stuff. I'm grateful I'm not one of those people whose life is over because they don't drink anymore. The truth of it is that when I stopped pouring booze into this hole in my face and deadening my heart, my life began. I have done more fun things sober than I ever did drinking. When I opened my soul to joy...everything shifted.
I'm going to try to post my picture again on this post, but if it won't, it won't. lol I finished the autumnal wreath I was making, but I wanted to post the Halloween wreath I had made for my daughter-in-law a few years ago,...because it seems apropos.
Weather weather everywhere...Grateful to be inside where it's warm and dry.
Happy weekend to all you spooks and goblins...
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I am grateful for an especially wonderful day. I am long tired and worn out, but it was a good day, all in all. I got to pass on a message of hope, attend a meeting, have lunch with nice people and learn some important lessons. It doesn't get any better than that...
Tonight we had a blazing orange sunset that hung low beneath a horizon of cloud bank. It was spectacular. I love sunsets. I am absolutely head over heels in love with color this time of year. Look at that red maple...it's brilliant. The golds and oranges of the sugar maples are breathtaking. The brown of the dirt getting ready for a winters nap is earthy and satisfying. I was listening to the radio this morning in the car, and they were playing a song called Everybody has a hungry heart...I have a hungry heart for beauty and for nature and for love. I wouldn't have it any other way.
I pulled off the road to watch a flock of cattle egrets in a field today. They are in the process of harvesting fields around these parts and the weather is not cooperating. Our one day of rain has turned into 3...so far. The stubble of the cornfields full of crows and egrets moves me. This time of year, we get to see streaming flocks of blackbirds, sometimes in a swath a hundred feet wide and 2 miles long. Bazillions of them, gliding and swooping and doing their graceful acrobatics just for me. I pull off the road to watch them sometimes, they are so amazing. Our winter birds are slowly reappearing and I need to see how much suet I have to put out. I am going to try making homemade suet this year too...
Feeling grateful and blessed has made a world of difference in the way I look at everything from my life to the world around me. What a gift, eh?