Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Feels Fine

Oh my....what a day!! I am, feeling like the luckiest girl in the world tonight.

I went to a meeting that I was asked to be the speaker at tonight and spoke in front of about 60 people. That's more than 3x the normal size of it. We had 2 birthdays, one 24 and one 39 years. I felt so honored to be part of it and to have been asked to speak. It was wonderful, and I am hoarse. lol I said "You keep offering me a podium that you know I can't possibly see over the top of...yet not once have you offered me a MICROPHONE!!!" Everyone laughed. I had a good time and I think everyone else did too. Afterwards, when people were coming up and thanking me, a drunken woman made her way up to me and threw her arms around me. She was crying and said she couldn't keep living like this and that I knew exactly how she felt...I gavce her my phone number...we'll see if she remembers and calls me. Sobriety is awesome...and I am especially blessed.

I don't know if anyone else is having the problems I've just had, but my blogroll on Wordpress went away. Poof! I logged in and it was gone....I finally contacted tech support and they said something about replacing my widget or something. lol Anyway, it's all back now, but it was weird.

My 2 sponsees came out today and brought their daughters with them, one 7 and one 3. IOt was a great day, we got the studio cleaned out, the shed cleaned out so we could store some of the studio crap in there.. It went really well and quick and then we took a trip up town and had burgers outside at the Village Drive-In. I'm so grateful--I could never have done this by myself.

Really beat tonight and have been up since 4:45 AM.

I'm heading off to the sandman....

Thanks for helping me stay sober...


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Rocks!!

Just home from a womens meeting. A little late because I stopped to talk awhile...

It's been a good day, with me being lazy and a tiny bit productive and mostly just looking at the possibility of a nap. lol I slept later than usual, and it was overcast and cool all day today. I wore sweat pants and schlepped around all day with big socks on and a long sleeved shirt. Odd day, altogether...

Tired and have to be up early to take himself to work. I have the girls coming over at 10:30 tomorrow morning., and I have to drop by the DMV and get the tags renewed for my car. Also need to get more groceries...and the store I love to shop for all my produce doesn't open til 9. much to do, so little time.

One of my sponslings is cooking up a secret family recipe mostaccioli for a potluck tomorrow night, so I won't have to cook dinner at least. Then I'm speaking at my pal's birthday meeting at 8. It'll be a full day. And weekend. Another friend is speaking Saturday night, and we've been invited for an early supper Sunday up to another sponslings home. Life is good and full in this fellowship...

All the goggies are home and ready for bed, so I'm thinking I should follow suit. I came home, fed the baby kittens, made husbands lunch and scooped the litter boxes. All I need now is some sleep. *grin

Blessings abound. A short list would include:

*Being a useful member of society
*NOT being bitten by that snake (thanks PG!)
*Healthy wonderful pets
*Being able to ask for help today (Wasn't always so)
*Losing 15 pounds so far!!!!
*Having satellite access tonight
*The storms are finally over
*Hearing my dear (((Gabi)))'s beautiful voice on my voice mail
*A loving husband who will celebrate 17 years with me on the same day that I celebrate 19 years of being with Alcoholics Anonymous
*Getting to share that day with other people I love,too
*ALMOST sharing that date with another favorite blogger, the chicken joke lady
*Knowing, beyond all shadow of a doubt, that God has a plan for my life today, and that I don't HAVE to know what that plan is

Feeling especially blessed to have 12 Steps in my life.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday near the end of May...

I've been hard at work in my gardens and on my yard. Everything is looking really grand and I couldn't be happier. The weather has been atrocious the past few days...tornado warnings and horrific thunderstorms that dumped over 5 inches of rain on us in a few hours. The creeks are flooding and the whole 3 county area is under flash flood watch. We took a walk down the road after supper tonight to see how things were looking. Water, water everywhere...none of too close to us, thankfully, though there is standing water in the yard and driveway. Checked to make sure none of the last of the seeds we planted had washed out. Thank God for raised beds. Today it was alternately muggy and hot or raining furiously. Have had the computer unplugged about 3/4 of the day....

2 days ago I was cleaning the chicken coop and putting fresh straw in when something caught my eye, and I jumped back instinctively. Patrick walked over and said, what? I pointed to the floor of the coop at a baby snake wriggling around. He whistled and said--watch it, it's a copperhead. It was apparently in the chunk of straw I grabbed [with my bare hands] from under the coop where we always keep 3-4 bales. And if there is one, there are probably many more and an adult or two. So I guess I'm back to wearing my leather gloves when I clean that coop and keeping my eyes peeled for company! Yikes!!

Today I planted my Egyptian onions. I googled them, and they're also known as winter onions or walking onions. I like the sound of Egyptian onions. lol I took some pictures of them today and will download and post them tomorrow. They are absolutely the coolest looking things I've ever seen.

It's been a long day, and I'm getting ready to lay my head down for a good sleep. My blessings list for today goes something like this:

*Another day sober
*The place and ability to plant a garden and grow my own food
*Good friends and neighbors
*Egyptian Onions *grin
*Sponsees who are coming to help me spring clean my house and touch up paint
*12 Steps that help me live in an imperfect world
*A relationship with a Power Greater Than Myself
*A rock solid, happy marriage
*Good AA meetings within half an hour of my house
* Love, Patience and Tolerance
*Being asked to speak at the birthday meeting of a good friend of mine
*Enough. Enough food, enough money, enough love
*An end to the torrential rains


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Blessed Tuesday...

A view of the front yard from behind the rock wall....

It has been a good day today, all around.

I got a lot of housekeeping chores done today, had a sponsling come over for some intensive 4th step work (her words*grin*) and got a massage, and got some killer deals on ribs, pork steaks, chicken breasts and ground chuck. Doesn't get much better than this...

My gardens are looking good, my yard is looking great, and I am feeling especially blessed to be where I am and who I am and everything that goes with it.

One of the things I love about talking with new people is revisiting all the things I know about living sober. Things I take for granted all the time. It's such a rush to be able to once again see that stuff in my life, through a new pair of eyes. It's awesome.

Things like, no matter what, having this feeling that everything is going to be okay.
~Like, feeling pretty sure I don't have to ever get drunk again, if I don't want to.
~Like, knowing that I have tools and people to help me make it through any kind of bad times that may come along.
~Like, trusting people and not being afraid all the time.

I'm blessed to be full of gratitude for everything that has happened to me, drunk AND sober.
To be able to see the beauty in the world today, and the beauty in all my experiences. To be able to see things in someone else that they cannot see themselves, and be able to tell them about it. To be able to honestly say that I do not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it. On ANY of it. To be able to see how my experiences can help others. To feel useful and needed and loved today.

It's just been that kind of day, today.

Here's wishing all of you good things. Love, life and laughter. The stuff real lives are made of....


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday... Sunday

Wow. What a Sunday it has been. Hit the 10 AM meeting and then had lunch at our favorite Mexican joint, Los Tres Amigos. Then we stopped by the park to take a little walk and kill an hour or so. Actually, hubby walked and I spent most of that time returning phone calls that came in while I was in the meeting. My knee has been killing me and it's pretty inflamed and viciously sore. I'm sure it's the meniscus again...they said it would probably be good for about 10 years last time they did the arthroscopic surgery on it, and it's about 10 years exactly. sigh...Of course, all this garden and yard work isn't helping it a bit.

We got home around 4PM and then spent the next 4 hours working outside. Well, let me rephrase tht: I spent the next 4 hours doing that, while he took another walk. He did at least get the 4- 7 foot posts in the ground, that we are going to jury rig the green bean trellis with. I need to get those beans in the ground.

This afternoon I planted nasturtiums, parsley, rosemary, sage, lemon balm, basil, and a pot with 2 spider plants in it. I put the rosemary in a pot on a stand that I can easily take in when the weather turns cold again. Rosemary does not over winter here. I love having fresh rosemary to cook with...

Today we let the kittens outside for the first time. You should have seen them...they were in absolute awe over the big world! They are over 10 weeks old now and too adorable for words.

I am especially tired tonight and will sign off for now. Tomorrow I will post new pictures....well, wait. Maybe not. I forgot I have a very tight schedule tomorrow... I am meeting a new sponsee for lunch and then after I pick himself up from work, we are going to a potluck for the last class. That means I have to whip up something wonderful to take...sheesh...not sure where I'll fit THAT in. lol It also needs to be vegetarian. Guess I'd better get looking at some recipes....


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday in the winds...

It was a long and productive day today. Peppered with light winds and sunshiney brilliance and cool temperatures. A good day to accomplish lots of manual labour.

We headed off to Carlinville, which is the county seat 'round these parts. It's a lovely town, actually, with a historic courthouse and central square. We headed for a nursery called Kahl's that also does a lot of landscaping and other stuff. As we took the drive in through the backroads, we saw a fox trotting along the edge of the woods, as well as several wild turkeys and a small herd of deer. It was delightful...the road we take there is called the Shipman Cutoff, and actually takes us less time than the other routes. By the time we left Kahl's, we were 60 dollars poorer and ready for some lunch. The good news is that I got a lot of stuff, including a 20 dollar gallon jug of fish emulsion fertilizer. It's my favorite fertilizer to use, but you can't hardly find it anymore. Well-now I know where I can get it!! WooHoo !! I also got marigolds, zinnias, sweet potatoes, rosemary, oregano, and a couple of other herbs. I bought marigolds in 3 colors: bright yellow, a beautiful orange, and a mix of dark orange and yellow. I use these to border my garden beds and interplant among some other plants, as they are a good deterrant to bugs. I still have nasturtium seeds to plant for the same reason. I got them all in the ground this afternoon. We planted corn and more beets, trellised the peas, planted okra and icicle radishes. Hubby and the neighbor hauled in 3 or 4 tractor scoops of leaf compost --really beautiful stuff!-- and we have to figure out where to plant the popcorn now. The gardens are looking really good. I'll try to get out there sometime tomorrow and get some new pictures.

Tomorrow will be a busy day. We have the usual Sunday morning meeting we go to and then a district meeting at 2 pm. I will be filling in for the secretary , so I hope I can keep up. Oh well--I'll do my best, and that'll have to be good enough, won't it?

I'm sure blessed by the simple life we live. The dogs were playing and swimming and running today, making me realize how much we could all learn from our pets about living in the moment. And don't get me started on the unconditional love!! lol

Being part of the cycle of life by gardening and feeding us with the products of our labour is a thing that has to be experienced to be understood. The connection I have with the earth and with my Creator on these days is beyond description. I have little moments of clarity, realizing that I am part of a great something, and I am blessed by it.

Mndfullness is a part of my existence today. I never want to return to those days of letting life slip through my fingers. never knowing what's happening or where I am. Missing all the magical moments that never come again. I am in love. In love with life, in love with myself, in love with the world and it's Creator.

Happy, Joyous and Free...what a way to be!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Fridays are for lovers....

I love this picture. One of the first times I went out with my dearest husband, we saw a double rainbow over the ocean. I thought then that it was a

We had a very old married people kind of a day today. The kind where we worked in the yards and gardens side by side, talking and making some decisions about some things, thinking about the future... looking around at our little piece of heaven and being really grateful that the tornadoes yesterday passed us by. I love my life. I love my dinky little home with the beautiful trees and flowers that I have planted. I love watching my dogs escape the heat and humidity by splashing around in the pond. I love seeing the beautiful tiny eastern bluebirds that are here now, and trying to distinguish them from the indigo buntings, which are an even more brilliant shade of blue.

I am blessed by sitting on the porch of my house and reaching over on the table there for the Big Book that is always there. I am blessed by phone calls from women who trust me enough to tell me their problems and let me help them explore solutions. I am blessed by their very presence in my life.

I am grateful that my husband is long time sober and loves me and isn't afraid to show it or say it. I am grateful to be able to share this great life with him. I am grateful that we have the kind of marriage where we don't say ugly things to each other or hurt each other...that we have one rule in our house. That is: To Be Kind. In 17 years together (next month, on my AA anniversary) I can count on one hand the number of arguments and disagreements we have had.

I am grateful for our wonderful neighbors, and that we have had wonderful neighbors everywhere we have lived. I hope they know how much I love them...

I'm feeling a little sappy tonight. lol I'm afraid I am going to have to have surgery on my's hurting real bad lately. Tonight hubby was massaging my feet and legs (I did way too much mowing today...sigh) and when he touched my knee I cried out. He said -Hey, your knee feels really's inflamed. I had arthroscopic surgery on it about 10 years ago, and they said it would be good for about 10 years. argghhhhh....

On a brighter note, I have now lost 12 pounds. Thanks simply to juicing and eating more vegetables. Steveoroni...does that medifast really work? Do you buy the whole meals or just the shakes? I know that all this extra weight I'm packing around is not helping my joints one iota.

I'm grateful to be blogging and grateful to be sober and just darn grateful to be grateful.

Well, all my doggies and kitties are in, so I guess I can go to bed now. Hope everyone has a great weekend....


Thursday in mid May

**I put this in the draft box last night becasue I was so sleepy I couldn't finish it.**

It's been a great couple of days for me out here on the Prairie. Had some good one on one time with a sponsee and watched a tornado pass us by (tore up the town 12 miles NE of us though). Planted 2 kinds of squash seedlings in the garden. Went to a couple of wonderful meetings, including my beloved womens group. Had 3 new women in attendance. It was really a good night.

Planning a Saturday (the 23rd) of grilled hamburgers and game night with some folks in the program. Several new people, to show them that you can have fun sober. lol
I'm blessed to be sober and to have new people around me to remind me just how precious this program is.

I'm blessed that people took me by the hand when I was new and said, Come on-let's go ride the roller coaster and have some fun!
That they said, Come on, lets have a picnic!
That they said, Come on...just COME ON !!!!!!

And that I did. I got swept away in a flurry of fun activities that helped me learn how to be social, even in those trembling twitchy days of early sobriety. From greeting people at the door, to washing coffee cups at that big sink with another newcomer next to me drying, I have learned how to be a functioning member of society again. I have learned that you can have fun, no matter what.

Ah...blessings, plain and elegant.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Mild Mannered Monday

I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open...

Didn't sleep last night but for maybe an hour and a half. And then I had weird dreams the whole time. I didn't get a chance to nap this morning after I got back. I cleaned the house, and performed assorted and sundry housewifely duties before getting dressed and heading off to coffee with my friend. Talked to several sponsees, made some plans, and generally bustled off to my "date".

I bought a juicer, got one on sale for 50 bucks. It's a powerful one with a large feed tube and pitcher. I can't wait to fire that baby up in the morning. lol

I have to attend a noon meeting and give a sponsee her 12 year coin. I have to get my nails done. It'll be a little tight...then there's class tomorrow night. I really wanted to go to a speaker meeting and group anniversary bbq potluck, but I guess I can't do it. Man--times like these I HATE not having a second car. I have always had a car, since I was 17. This sucks.

OKay--blessings. Gratitude. sheesh...

Grateful to be sober, as usual. Grateful to have a place to blog and read other people who are travelling the road that I'm on.

ESPECIALLY grateful that the poison ivy is drying up and going away. I am dealing with minimal itching!!

Grateful for friendships.
Grateful for family.

Looking forward to tomorrow.....and going to sleep in my big comfy sleigh bed now!! Blessings are everywhere, when I open my eyes and my heart and just LOOK.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day Sunday

Today I watched in fascination as people who were out and about celebrated a day set aside to honor their moms. There were little girls all dressed up carrying presents with ribbons streaming. There were young men standing in line buying hanging baskets full of colorful petunias and begonias and all sort and sundry flower combinations. There were young girls with babies on their hips, obviously enjoying their very first holiday. The restaurants were all filled to capacity.

All this for the women who gave us life. Who attended to our every need and whim for a whole lot of years. Who [hopefully] guided us and taught us and encouraged us. Seems like a small payment in return for a lifetime of service. lol

I have cried through a lot of Mothers Days in my time...either because of the situation with my own son or because of the loss of my own mother. It's one of those holidays that for me was always a double edged sword.

The past decade or so has seen a big change in my Mothers day, although it's surely never been as bad as I seem to remember. Mostly me, getting carried away in an emotional typhoon...

I'm blessed today to have a relationship with that son. A good relationship. And never mind that I don't get to see him as often as I would like...the time we do spend together is quality time, and I am seriously grateful for that. And I know I have AA to thank for it.

I'm blessed to have made peace with and forgiven my long dead alcoholic mother. Again--I have AA to thank for that.

I'm blessed to have a husband of 17 years who said to me one Mothers day, way back...I wish you were the mother of my children. (He has none). A husband who said to me a couple of days ago, Do I need to call your son and remind him it's MD ? I met this boy in an AA meeting and fell instantly head over heels in love with him. No wonder....

I realize that every thing good in my life is thanks to this blueprint for living we get in this Alcoholics Anonymous program. I thank my Creator and I thank you, all the members of these 12 Step Groups everywhere, for teaching me that I was lovable, and that I could repair the relationships in my life, and that I never had to live like that ever again...If I didn't want to. You truly loved me until I could love myself, and you took this drunk by the hand and walked her through her life, saying "If you want what we have, then do what we did." And by that grace that saves us all, I haven't had to pour booze into this hole in my face for a really long time.

Thank you for my life.


Saturday, May 9, 2009


Saturdays are my favorite day, depending on what I get to do. lol Today I got to do lots of stuff around my yard, and that's always good. I got to spend some time with a sponsee. That's always good. I got to eat a quickie Chinese lunch at my favorite little place and talk to the owner about how business goes. That's always good too.

Right now, I need to get sleepy, because I have to get up early and get all prettied up and let my baby boy take me out for a Mothers Day brunch. But my heads going a hundred miles an hour and I don't see sleep on my immediate horizon.

Mommie Cat (dearest) is trying to wean the kittens I think. Everytime they try to nurse, she barks at them and moves away. They are almost 9 weeks old now and are eating kitten chow nicely. I'm sure she's fed up with the little beggars hanging off her tata's all the time. She's staying outside for longer and longer times and hiding from them when she can. It's time.
I will call the vet about having her tested for feline leukemia and if she doesn't have it, we'll get her spayed immediately. If she does have it, I'm afraid we'll have her put to sleep. It's a miserable way to die, that disease, and she will die from it. Saddens me, but there's nothing else to do. I thought I was doing the humane thing once by letting a cat we adopted live out its life with that, but it was horrible and I vowed that I would never do it again. It's better just to get it over with and let her go to sleep and not wake up than to suffer the debilitating symptoms of fe-leuk.

I think of the blessings, elegant and otherwise, that permeate my life these days. Some of them are quite magnificent...others are equally mundane. Yet I treasure them all, and I know that the beauties of the lives we lead are balanced out like this. The good and the not so good, the happy and the sad, the love and the apathy, the abundance and the leaner times. And it's all good. There are no failures, only lessons...a fortune cookie told me once. I believe that matter what comes down the pipe, if I can learn from it, how bad can it really be? When I look at all it took for me to wind up [finally] could I have missed any of it? When I think of the experiences that have made me the woman I am could I not have wanted them to happen? People have come and gone through my life like a parade. A few have stayed in my life for a lot of years. I am grateful for all the teachers who have chosen to contribute to my life...whether they taught me how to be or how NOT to be. It's all useful information. Just like I'm grateful for every drink I took.

Today, I am a mosaic of people, places and things that have indelibly burned life into me. And I like it that way.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday is Fabulous!

While the rest of us fight our way upstream....


It's been a lovely rainy Friday here on the Prairie. The power was off a couple of times this morning and I finished the Lawrence Block book I was reading, since I had to turn the power off to the computer. It's amazing how much reading I get done when my computer is either down or the power is off. lol

Block writes mystery thrillers about a main character Matt Scudder who is a recovering alcoholic. So the book is peppered with AA meetings and slogans and different things alluding to 12th step life. It's really pretty cool, and he is a great writer. I've been reading him for about 15 years.

I found some leftover turkey soup with homemade egg noodles in it in the freezer, and we had soup and peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. Rainy days are always good for soup, even if the temps are in the low 70's while it rains. Then we got cleaned up and went out to go to a meeting at a treatment center about 45 minutes away, but when we went to pick up the girl that wanted to go, she didn't have a babysitter, so we'll just go next week. Instead, himself and I went to a local park and walked for awhile, and then went to a meeting there in town. It was a lovely day all 'round.

I came away from the meeting tonight grateful one again to not be a newcomer. Listening to people talk about what it's like in the early days brings back memories that are becoming faint. I remember thinking "I NEVER want to go through that again!!!" Hearing some of the sharing tonight had me thinking that again...that not going throuigh that again is a great reason to not take a drink, even if I couldn't think of anything else.

Here's the list of things I have to be grateful for tonight, on a Friday in early spring:

* The hamster wheel has been put out of commision.
*I don't live in fear of getting drunk today.
*I don't have to look over my shoulder anymore.
*I feel REALLY good.
*I am no longer restless, irritable and discontent.
*I can make promises and keep them.
*I'm not afraid to walk into any AA meeting, anywhere.
*Most all the people around me are trustworthy.
*I am trustworthy.
*Life is good.
*I have gratitude and blessings in my life today...and I KNOW it.

Time for me to lay this head down on a nice pillow, on my nice bed, and get some rest.

The Sandman beckons....


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

WHAT ?!?!?!?! Wednesday already?!?!?!?!

From a cave somewhere in Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley....


I don't know how I have lost 2 days this week, but there'll probably be more times like this. I get so busy this time of year that I start falling asleep at the keyboard ! So, I'll just apologize ahead of time and hope for the

It's been a lovely day of taking a meeting to a woman who's just had a surgery. Got busy early and made a big salad with all sorts of wonderful ingredients, garnished with eggs from my Rhode Island Reds and pickled beets (from my garden, of course), and radishes and cucumbers. We had a wonderful time and she was delighted to have company. I remember how it was when I got hurt, and was so blessed by women coming by with lunch and a Big Book...I am grateful to be able to return the favor.

The itchies are abating, I think. I still have a handfull of blisters on my right hand, but the neck and face are clearing up, thank goodness. I just hope I learn my lesson from this little incident...
never again will I weed without gloves -- at least not along the fencline like that. (Made a solemn promise, with and without an oath...)lol.

We are having a dessert potluck tomorrow night at the women's meeting monthly open speaker meeting. I think I will make the pie again, only blackberry this time, with the fancy crust. I still have quite a lot of blackberries from last year in the freezer, as we had a record crop. I hope they do as well this year, and I'll make jam again as I'm about out. We always have lots of different desserts that people bring and it's always fun trying other peoples recipes.

Little Caylee is asleep here by my desk (her favorite place at night). She is growling softly in her sleep and her muscles twitch as she chases the elusive rabbit in her dreams. She is a very good dog...always comes immediately when I whistle for her and stays close to home. As opposed to the other 2 dogs, who roam the world over and are often outside of earshot.

I was thinking today about how easy it is to not notice all the blessings around easy it can be to take life for granted and not appreciate the subtle graces and gifts that surround us every day. I think it was Einstein who once said "There are 2 ways to look at the world. One is as if nothing is a miracle and the other is as if EVERYTHING is a miracle." I choose the way I look at my world today . Like gratitude, I get to choose this every day, if I so desire. I look for the miraculous in the mundane, the joyful simplicity in the details of my life. I can experience the awe and wonder every minute, if I want.

How cool is that?


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday in spring

Whew. It's been a crazy few days, and now I sit here with poison ivy all over me...poor me. Like a twat, I worked along the fence line pulling out vines and weeds so I could plant the tigerlilies...with no gloves. Because I'm superwoman! Because no ivy would dare tangle with me! Because I am a fookin IDIOT !!!!! And now I am suffering like crazy. I can barely use my hands, because I have the rash all between my fingers and the hands are swollen and tight. It's on my neck and crawling up past my jawline. It's on my arms, making me scratch like a junkie in need of breakfast. Sigh...If it doesn't calm down by tomorrow, I may go to the doctor for some kind of antihistamine shot. I'm having this fear of it getting into my eyes... I have been in bed off and on today because I took Benadryl and it knocked me for a loop. I thought I had some allergy capsules, but cannot find them. Even one Benadryl (last night I took 2 before bed, like the box says, and it dropped me where I sat!) made me loopy and sleepy.

But I got lots of yard work done the past couple of days. Even got the mud room cleaned out and organized. That's one of those areas that is a catch-all for everything all winter long. It's disgusting. And it's the size of a small bedroom, so---more room=more crap. sigh...But now it's all orderly and swept out. I have 2 large garbage containers to put out tomorrow. The garbage man will go into shock! We usually can barely get 2 tall kitchen garbage bags a

Friday night I had a spiritual experience as a huge buck sailed over the top of my car as I was driving into a small dip. I saw him on the bank and started slowing down, thinking he was going to come down the side of the hill and go across the road. Instead, I see him kick his back legs and jump from one embankment to the other!!! I was yelling and didn't know whether to speed up or slow down. He couldn't have been more than 12 inches from my windshield. Hubby and I just stared at each other, and started laughing. It was quite the experience!

I was thinking again about how blessed I am to be alive, right here, right now. How grateful I am to be living one day at a time. And sober enough to think about it.

All the people walking through my life teach me, time and again, that this is NOT a dress rehearsal, that I need to live life to the fullest, and not ever take anything for granted. To be grateful for everything and everyone around me...even the ones who seem to be here to teach me how NOT to be.

Next month I will celebrate (God willing) my 19th year of sobriety. I will celebrate with another friend from Floriduh who has the same day as me, with a group of cyberfamily and local people who have all helped me, over and over again, to stay on this path. That the hand of AA is always out for me to grab, all I have to do is make the first move. I'm grateful to be having all these people in my life and at my home the weekend of June 12th. If anyone here is interested, drop me an email and I'll snd you an Evite.

It's always fun to gather with kin. And that's the coolest part: AA is my family. They took me in when I was desperate and sick and ugly, and they loved me back to some semblance of health. They showed me a better way to live. They said that I never had to drink again if I didn't want to. And they showed me how they did it, one day at a time.

And today, I am one grateful drunk, one dopeless hope fiend.

Thanks, guys.