Monday, August 31, 2009

The Last Day of August, 2009

Oh, my.....just LOOK at all that water. Know where else you can find water?....In EVERY SINGLE FAUCET IN MY HOUSE!!!!! And the toilets. Oh has happened. The city water is at my house as of about 6:30 this evening. And by "at my house" I mean every pipe is in the ground, every trench dug and covered, and water is flowing like manna from heaven RIGHT INTO MY HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!

Am I excited? (Oh yeah, you betcha). Finally, finally. Tonight I did the dishes, singing the whole time. It was so much less work than it has been that I actually enjoyed it. Paddy O'Kelley took a long hot shower after work. I filled dog and cat dishes. I washed my hands A LOT. I'm going to take a long hot shower too.

It wasn't that long ago in this country that showers and baths stopped being considered such a luxury. Now we take it all for granted.

As you can imagine, I am feeling particularly grateful today. I am blessed to be sober and alive. I am blessed to be blessed, and to KNOW that I am blessed.

I had a wonderful time at the Saturday night bbq and meeting up on the tip top of Pere Marquette State Park. It is incredibly beautiful up there, and was even more so this year. There lots of new "friends of Bill" to meet from across the river, one very nice couple from up Springfield way. When I got there, someone hollered "THERE she is!!!!" and I felt like the prom queen, lol. I was wearing my Expect A Miracle t-shirt too, just in case, lol It felt good to be there and see some people I don't get to see real often. The meeting topic was on humility, which seemed to fit perfectly. Lots of lovely honest shares, and it was good.

Sunday was a bit of a laid back day, after the morning meeting. We came home and just lay around reading and puttering. Very restful, just the way it should be. I was asked to come tell my story at an Alanon meeting, so I did. It was good.

One of the girls I sponsor drank again. It breaks my heart to watch her. She is so arrogant and so sure she is "strong" and in control. And there's no talking to her...she bobs her head up and down, I know, I know...until I want to scream. People die from this stuff. It's not a joke, and it's not a game. I want to shake some sense into her....and yet I know that all I can do is keep the doors open so that when she finally is finished (if she lives) she can walk again into the sunlight of the Spirit. So I go sit in the quiet and ask for some guidance about what to say to her this time. And once again, I am so grateful to be me with my life and my troubles and my blessings.

Here are the 12 steps, in plain English:

1. Alcohol will kill me.
2. There's a power that wants me to live.
3. Do I want to live or die? (If you want to die, stop here.)
4. Write about how I got where I am.
5. Tell another person all about me (Let God listen).
6. Want to change.
7. Ask a power greater than me to help me change.
8. Write down who I hurt.
9. Fix what I can without hurting anyone else.
10. Accept that I'm human and will screw up. Fix it immediately.
11. Ask a power greater than me to show me how to live.
12. Keep doing 1-11...and pass it on.

Blessed Be!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Freaky Fridays

~~~Frankie Figgs~~~~Generally one of the least user- friendly cats we have. But recently he has been all over me, wanting pets and treats and hugs and kisses.

Just had the most wonderful IM with a friend from Down Under. I adore her. It was everything spiritual, practical and loving...what a perfect combination ! I am so blessed to have such people in my life.

It's almost 2 AM and my house is filled with the aroma of fresh baked bread. It's about ready to come out of the bread machine. I forgot to stop and pick up a loaf on my way home thought I'd throw a loaf in the old whiz bang bread maker. The unfortunate part is that once it's done (a matter of minutes now) I will be OBLIGED to eat a chunk of it hot, with butter. It's a honey oatmeal bread...and OMG, does it smell like heaven!! And I know it will probably do one of two things. Either I will eat that hot yeasty bread and it will give me a stomach ache....or I will sleep like a baby. LMAO!!! Either way--I don't care. I'm willing to risk it for that soul comforting feeling that you can only get from warm homemade bread.

OMG. It's delightful. It's a beautiful caramel brown, the crumb is perfect and the taste is outta this world. I'm eating the end piece....It has whole wheat flour and unbleached flour, and flax meal, oatmeal, honey and butter in it. And water and yeast. And salt. Is there really anything better on this planet??????????

I'm home from a birthday meeting, so I'm feeling pretty grateful tonight. Watched someone get 35 years. Wow. By my best guesstimate, there must have been over 300 years of sobriety in that room. It was flat out AWESOME. I feel very lucky to be living in a place where there is so much sobriety and so many meetings.

My gratitude list for today could easily be a gazillion items long. lol I love counting my blessings instead of my problems. I love knowing that no matter how I might be FEELING at any given moment throughout the day, the facts are these: I am especially blessed.

Lets put it like this:

  • I will have running water on Monday.
  • I have all my needs met today.
  • Today I know that joy is the blood and heartbeat of God.
  • I am a strong sober woman.
  • Those feelings of uselessness and self pity have disappeared.
  • I know how to keep my thoughts positive.
  • 63 degrees is good sleeping weather.
  • Tomorrow I get to have food,fellowship and fun (and a bbq!) in one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.
  • Today, I got a new sponsor!
  • The trigger finger problem I had seems to be going away. By itself!
  • I know love.
  • All kinds of love.
  • Cat and dog and chicken and bird and man and woman love.
  • I can live in a state of grace today. No matter what.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Mornings Sure Feel FIne..

Didn't post last night, as I got home late from a meeting and then a foray into the big grocery there in town. Needed apples and Good and Plentys. Yes. I needed licorice. And then I ate it until I wanted to puke. lol Somedays are just like that. This morning I feel a little hung over from all the sugar. When I used to have presents of the wonderful Kookaburra licorice lovingly sent me by a friend, it never made me sick. lol Now I can't find it anywhere...a lovely soft licorice, mmmmm....
I slept a little late and then puttered around a bit. I need to get some beans the crockpot. I've been hungry for beans lately...I think my pantry has several bags to choose from: Great Northerns, Pintos, and Black Beans. What I really want is Butter Beans..those big limas that melt in your mouth and taste so right piled on a slice of buttered whole grain bread in the bottom of a bowl, with chopped raw onion on top. And fresh ground black pepper. I seem to have a food obsession going on here. lol At my age, and at this point on my life, I find it amazing that I can have so much passion about something so primal. lol I just made a smoothie from 3 overripe bananas, a splash of half and half, a cup or so of water, a few ice cubes, some nutmeg and some Kashi Energy shake mix. It tastes delish! I'm blessed to live in a world where there are so many things right at my fingertips. Bananas, and nutmeg, for instance. And a blender. That works when I plug it in. A phone to be able to call and check on a sick friend. A computer that works (most of the time). A love for the planet I live on that keeps me thinking and mindful of my actions. And mostly for the body I've been given...a body that is resilient and healthy and capable of doing things like carrying me to the back yard to feed the chickens and check the garden for errant veggies and sweeping the back deck. For a body that houses a brain that can read and write and love. That can draw a little and write a little and understand and have empathy for other human beings. That can take simple steps that lead to grand epiphanies. It's the little things that all add up to all the big things. It's my Creator, the wind in the willows, the stars blazing across the night's fresh clean water and air that is breathable. I'm going to end this with a poem by Hafiz that I found when cleaning my desk this morning. It says it all for me:

Child Has known God.
Not the God of names,

Not the God of Don'ts

Not the God who ever does

Anything weird.

But the God who only knows four words

And keeps repeating them, saying: "Come, dance with me."



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The last Tuesday in August...

I know...I know.... it's looking like the only photos I can find today are the ones...


Am I giddy with the thought of doing laundry at home again? Oh, yeah.
Am I especially blessed thinking of being able to wash dishes in nothing flat? Uh, huh.
Am I delirious just contemplating shampooing my carpets???? I certainly am !
Am I dreaming of shampooing my dogs?? hmmm....they sure need it!

Tonight I will no doubt dream of the lovely sound of flushing toilets....

Miss Molly McGee has managed to hurt her back leg again. I'm not sure if she got herself into a tussel with another dog (not likely) or has jumped down into one of the water trenches and bruised it. I can't find anything stuck in her paw. There don't seem to be any broken bones. But she's walking around (and running!) on 3 legs and so something has obviously happened. She's such a little adventuress that it could have been anything, anywhere.

I got the juice made today (Cleanup is a nightmare!). I filled all the hummingbird feeders. I swept the front porch and walls down. Did a tiny bit of gardening and spent a short amount of time reading as supper cooked. I made a vegetarian dish tonight with quinoa, carrots, red beans, garlic, onions, okra, green beans and peppers. It was quite tasty, if I do say so myself. Trying to get back on the track of eating more and more vegetarian meals. Purposeful eating.

Blessings abound today. Stayed home all day and tomorrow will be a different story. Need to stop and see my sister, pick up some stuff for husband, and pick up a few groceries. I'll go to the 8PM meeting I've been attending. It's a good evening mtg for me to go to, since about 4-5 of my sponslings always go to that one. We have a lot of fun. I want to get out in the studio and make a thank you card for the woman in the class that hosted the potluck last week, too. It'll make for a busy day. I also have a sponsling who had surgery that I need to try to see. Sigh...just not enough hours in the day sometimes...

I've started reading the Stephen King book that my friend sent, Dumas Key. It's good so far....only about 70 pages into it.

Life's a dance...when you know the Steps.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday is the One day...

The beautiful pipe organ at the St. Louis cathedral in New Orleans...

I was thinking today of how blessed I am that I finally got to New Orleans. AND that I beat Katrina there. We were on our way back from Texas/Mexico in February of 2005 and took a day trip through on our way back to North Carolina. We rode one of the horse and carriage tours and that was alot of fun. We walked through parts of the French Quarter, and I remember thinking that I was kinda glad I never made it here at Mardis Gras. lol It was one of those mecca things that all drunks talk about doing, and I talked with the best of them, but never actually made it there. I would have either died there, or moved there. lol

Just finished cleaning up the kitchen. Lunch is made, his breakfast is made, and I am ready to put my feet up. I made a supper of pork steaks with red potatoes and steamed asparagus. Simple, but filling. I'm reading a mystery/thriller (Secret Prey) by John Sandford, and spent a lot today with my feet up and a glass of iced Earl Grey tea. As I am finishing up the book (about 2/3 of the way through it), I am thinking I've read it before. Doesn't matter- it's good and I'll probably finish it tonight. Then I'll be starting Duma Key by Stephen King. Sent to me by a friend,though I'm not a big voracious King reader, everything of his I have read I have enjoyed. Not sure why I don't read him more....curious.

I sat out in the yard this afternoon and thought about all the reasons I'm grateful to be living in this little ramshackle place with no running water. I looked at the flowers and the trees, and felt the clean cool breeze on my face. I listened for road noise, and there wasn't any. I listened for birdsong, and there was lots. My big wind chime (a birthday gift from one of my dearest friends) which is tuned to the key of D was playing a beautifully haunting melody in the front part of the house, and the sounds of it carried around the corners and over the roof of the house, and spilled over into the treetops. The chickens were scratching in the dirt and cluck-cluck-clucking softly. It was a symphony pulled together by the leaves of the trees gently playing their own percussion, tickled by the breeze. I thought about people who have never lived anywhere but cities and in apartments. Who would never know the love song that plays out here. Who had no idea what they were missing. lol

And then I was reminded of a song by Sweet Honey In The Rock, about "There were no mirrors in my nana's house...." and it talks about the sounds and smells of city/apartment life. And how..." the beauty of everything...was in her eyes...." It is one of the most beautiful songs by some of the most beautiful women I have ever known. If you aren't familiar with them, a great place to start is their cd Still On The Journey. Their music is almost all a capella, accompanied by some hand claps and such. Absolutely Amazing.

So I guess really, it's all relative. Whether you live in the city or the country, in Africa or a tenement or a mobile home or a farmhouse. Beauty lies within us. We only have to look within, and the journey will be short.

I am grateful to have a grateful heart. I am blessed to be blessed.

I am grateful to have a spirit which sometimes sings.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Suddenly Saturday

This is one of the places we took the oldest grandson to pan for gold,when he came to visit for 2 weeks in North Carolina.

How blessed am I ???

Let me count the ways...

  1. Sober as a judge today.
  2. Happy, Joyous and free.
  3. Not regretting my past.
  4. Living out in God's country, in the peace and quiet.
  5. Grateful as all get out, for almost everything.
  6. I have a house full of happy pets that love me unconditionally.
  7. I am married to a kind, sober man.
  8. Not to mention handsome!
  9. And smart!
  10. I have enough food to eat.
  11. I have a roof over my head.
  12. I have satellite connection for my computer.
  13. I'm getting water...SOON! Like, next week, maybe!
  14. I have a Higher Power that loves me and wants the best for me.
  15. I have friends who love me, warts and all.
  16. I have a peace in my heart that I have never known before.
  17. I have a spirit inside me that sometimes sings!
  18. I am blessed with family and with more love than I can possibly need.
  19. I can make a list like this, and it makes me feel better.
  20. I can go to sleep tonight, knowing I've lived my best, loved my best, and be ready to do it all over again tomorrow.

"I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning." ~J.B. Priestly (1894-1984)


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thoroughly Thursday

One of the many beautiful waterfalls near Brevard, North Carolina....

I was thinking today of how blessed I am to have had the life I have lived. I've lived around the country quite a bit, and met lots of really great people, and seen some of the most fantastic scenery a person could ever hope to witness.

I'm from the midwest farm country, here where I am back living again. The plains have a beauty all their own, the lush green and lots of trees. The skies are wide open and the air is clean. I grew up here with a good work ethic and a solid foundation for surviving whatever life decided to throw me. As a young person...I couldn't wait to get out! lol I live here across the river from St. Louis, in Illinois, in a place I like to call Corntown lol

I've lived in America's Dairyland, Wisconsin. When I was about 19 years old I lived for a year in Lake Geneva. It was gorgeous. A resort town and sweet and the famous Wrigley's moored their boats there. I met a beautiful soul named Gary Micheal, he nicknamed me Sunshine. It was a year of falling in love and getting my heart broken and growing up. My memories of it (and the people I met there) are all warm and fuzzy....

I lived in Denver, Colorado for a year or so... Rocky Mountain High. The summers were hot and the winters were cold and I loved it. I spent some time working in a place that housed teen aged runaways. I met a guy named David who was going to college to become a psychologist and we became great friends. I met a lot of very cool people from all over the 1975, Denver was Mecca for a lot of us. I still have a lot of pictures from there and lots of great memories. A woman named Maya became my very good friend...she lost her husband in a work accident, he was electrocuted moving irrigation pipe one day. Good times and bad times...

I lived in California...first in a resort town called Clear Lake for about 6 years or more and then on up to the North Coast in Eureka/Arcata. I stayed for about 20 years. Northern California is maybe the most stunning place on earth. While there I got to see things like Yosemite and Cannery Row and Monterrey and Disneyland and San Francisco. I got to finish my drinking (finally!!) and get sober there. My heart is there. I would go back in a blink if I thought I could afford it these days. When I got settled in California...I was home. My whole being, right down to the cells, sighed in relief. There was Randy and Polly and Jake and Marcia. There was Carl and Katie and Nancy and Barbara. There were so many many faces and lives that intercepted mine. All of us on a journey somewhere. So much love. So much life. I found my partner there. I found myself.

My job sent me to Portland, Oregon for a year to work. I missed California, but Oregon is nice too. I am not a city girl, and wasn't crazy about Portland. I did love the Columbia River Gorge, the Rose Gardens, and Powells--the biggest bookstore I have ever seen. I went up on Mt. Hood in the snow in July. THAT was pretty cool. I travelled to Astoria and on up to Seattle and did lots of sightseeing the short time I was there. I was ready to leave when it was time though.

I lived in Western North Carolina for 10 years after that, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was heavenly. I had a bit of a time trying to live in the South, but I was in love with the countryside. The mountains are sacred to me. I did lots of travelling those 10 years...everywhere from Key West in the south to the Allegheny Mountains in the north. I visited Gettysburgh, Savannah, the Poconos, Nashville, New Orleans, Texas, Mexico, the Florida Panhandle. I had friends across the border in Knoxville, Tennessee. I had friends on the Cherokee Reservation in the beautiful Maggie Valley. I felt a great spiritual impact on my life there. My fathers mother was a Cherokee, maybe that was part of the connection. I spent lots of time hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway, picking wild blueberries up there and taking pictures and just soaking it all in. I saw Carl Sandburg's home in Flat Rock, NC and spent a good amount of time on Table Rock. I fished in the French Broad River and watched the minor league baseball team play. I picked apples and grew organic gardens and went gold panning. It was good. I made so many good friends there...all moved there from somewhere else. Karen from NY. Dave and Jules from Florida. Marv and Joyce from Ohio. Jeff from Virginia. Debbie from Ohio. Kathleen from Colorado and K'Sitew from the Yukon.

And now I am back home. Older and greyer, maybe a little wiser. And full of the blessings of this sober life. I am on a little piece of ground that is my own, making lots of new friends in this land where I grew up as a kid. Sometimes it feels eerie being here again. Sometimes it feels just right. Back in this place where, in 1977, I swore I would never come back to. Back home.

Thomas Wolfe once wrote, "You can never go home again..." Maybe it's true. It's never the same. But in this part of the country there are lots of things that have remained unchanged, and the spirit finds its place...and settles back in, until time for the next great adventure.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesdays Treat

Whaddaya think?? High Alert Guard Cats??

Tonight was our potluck for the last class of the Sustainability early evening soiree at the home of the ballet teacher in the class. It was a lovely cozy little place with all kinds of exciting things to look at and I felt right at home there. She had a gazillion little icicle lights up in the yard, draped over branches and in between trees and across was really lovely. She has a stove that I old gas ring/ wood of the little ones that are so adorable. We had a great time, and as usual, the food was marvelous. We had fresh peach pie and hpomemade ice cream. We had ratatouille. There was a yellow squash, onion and parmesan cheese casserole that was to die for. A gorgeous veggie lasagna. 3 kinds of homemade bread, with herb butter, a pesto spread, and a spread made with garlic, feta cheese, and roasted red peppers. An orzo salad. A chicken salad. A tortellini pasta salad. And, of course, my green beans. We ate like royalty...and way too much!

We have decided the next class is to be Deep Ecology and will meet on Monday nights, starting September 14th.

It's been a long fruitful day. Tonight, I am, especially grateful for:

  • Spending time with my baby sister. And helping her with stuff.
  • Food, friends and fellowship.
  • My own organic gardens.
  • The love of puppies when you come home after being gone all day.
  • Sponslings...of all sorts and places in sobriety.
  • Watching the bottle of Lambrusco being passed at dinner...and NOT thinking "Wouldn't it be nice..."
  • Knowing that Fred the Dog has a good home at last.
  • Getting 3 good books for 50 cents apiece at Pappy's Market. Lawrence Block, Iris Johansen, and John Sandford.
  • Knowing that tomorrow, I don't have to do a darn thing! Mostly.
  • Having a blog and having a computer and having some rudimentary skills.
  • Accidently having "locked" my cell phone in my back closet in my pants pocket...
  • Knowing that if I do tomorrow what I did today...there's a really good chance I will stay sober.
  • Being Happy, Joyous and Free.
Off to see the Sandman!!!!


Monday, August 17, 2009

What's in a Monday?

The storms have passed for today, I think. Leaving a trail of destruction, the whipping winds knocked limbs and branches off trees and scattered things around the yard. I was lucky to finish filling the 50+ gallons of spring water and pulling in the driveway this afternoon just as it was starting. My son was here earlier and said it is supposed to rain the next 4 days. wowsa.

  • The world always feels so clean and fresh after the storms. I love that.
  • Fred the dog has a new home. (See my other blog, akannie@wordpress) Yippee. Spread the love!
  • Tomorrow I am lunching with my baby sister and then hitting a potluck for supper. WooHoo!! No cooking all day!!!!
  • I am having a time with something, and a drink hasn't even entered my mind.
  • I have been weepy all day, and the tears feel cleansing.
  • I'm glad I know that This too Shall Pass.
  • I'm grateful to have friends I can lean on sometimes.
  • I'm blessed to be a pretty healthy old girl.
  • Other people are living life on life's terms, and showing me how it's done.
  • I'm obsessing over a follower on this blog who has removed their name. Can't figure out who it is...or why. lol
  • I have NEVER been good at MYOB.
  • My sister is coming in a couple of weeks. I haven't seen her in a while.
  • I have a niece who is drinking like crazy, and I want to hit her upside the head.
  • I haven't done it.
  • But I want to.
  • I read about a wonderful place near where I used to live in California. I want to go there.
  • Just for today, I'm not running away.
  • Just for today, it isn't necessary for me to drink away my problems.
  • I'm especially blessed....and I need to remember that.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Small town Saturday...

A picture of Dr. Bob's Kitchen in Akron, Ohio.

It's been a day of housecleaning, grandson coming to spend a couple of nights before school starts on Tuesday, and one of the local "homecomings" ...a small fair in a small town. They always have a fish fry, they always have carnival rides, and they always have a beer tent. Usually a local church will do the fish fry and food stands. They use this opportunity as a fundraiser for their church activities. There are usually hometown bands playing music over bad PA systems, drunken dancing, and bingo. They always have a parade, and the parade always has tractors and firetrucks in it. Some horses, a few floats, and the ever present politicians.

Today we took the little Prince to the fair in Prairietown (I kid you not). We had bad fish, he had a hotdog and fries and they were good. The fish was just not up to par this year. We had lemonades and we rode a couple of rides with him and we played a couple of the arcade games on the promenade. He won a picture of a kitten and a blow up ukelele, lol. You'd have thought he won the lottery. These things get chintztier every year.... Prairietown is a little farm town with a population of maybe 250-300. maybe. Scattered out around about 4 miles. The banner across the main street read: Prairietown World's Fair. lol

The we came home and made popcorn and watched the first Harry Potter movie. Got about 2/3 through it before both he and Pat were asleep. So, I turned it off and put everyone to bed. We'll finish it tomorrow....

Tomorrow will be a busy day, we have our usual meeting at 10, and the District Meeting at 2 and then off up the River Road to a friends house in Elsah for a bbq. I'm going to skip the morning meeting and stay home and get food ready to take to the bbq. Hubby will come home after the meeting and get us and we'll all go to the District Meeting and then pick up a woman and head up the road. I'm really feeling exhausted....and I need a break. Can't wait til I love my grandson, but I have had a sponsee here for about 6 days (until Thursday evening), and then Tristan here. I really need some downtime...and then I think...winter will be here soon enough. And I'll be dying for things to do. So I will get through the next day or two with a smile, because I am blessed that he still (at 12 going on 13) wants to come stay with his old won't be long before he'll be too busy for old folks.

I am especially blessed to be sober today. This is one thing I know for sure.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday, fulfilled...

These are the clematis flowers that grow near my front door. I have lots of flowers around my place and I'm really grateful for the beauty and peace they bring to my life.

I'm blessed to be out in the country, away from the air and noise pollution of city life.

I'm grateful that I can walk out my back door and pick enough food for dinner.

How cool is it that there are over 30 hummingbirds around my front porch at any given time this time of year?

I'm ever so grateful that they told me to write a gratitude list every day when I was new.

I'm ever so grateful I listened to them.

I'm glad there's a queen sized bed with a pillow topped mattress waiting for me at the end of the hall...and all I have to do is turn off this computer and walk there.

Right now.

Good Night.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tweakin' Tuesday...

My little Aladog...Miss Molly McGee....

Lordy, what a day. A day full of people in trouble, crises, and tears and heartbreak.

Thankfully, I have been able to be there for them. One ensconced in the lavender guest room. One in jail. One sleeping off an emotional hangover. One day of this is enough to last me a lifetime... I am very tired, but so wound up I can't sleep. I have been in a position to hand out everything from Kleenex to hugs to BB pages to read. I have prayed, I have held hands and I have watched movies and ate macaroni and cheese comfort food. I have extended my hands and my heart and my home to some people in need.

I can't ever recall a day quite like this one. Lots of talk of patience and acceptance and trusting that things will turn out exactly the way they are supposed to. Undoubtably things that I needed to hear as well.

I went to a meeting last night with 4 of my sponslings. One was a shaky, hurting relapser. The topic was out of As Bill Sees It, on A New Life. Certainly glad I was there for it. Tomorrow night I will go to another meeting where a friend of mine is getting her 6 year coin. I wouldn't miss it for the world. On Friday at noon, another good friend is celebrating 20 years. Miracles and blessings abound.

Sometimes my life gets almost boring...everything on an even keel, no waves, sailing smoothly along. And then there are days like this, where I pray for guidance and hope I can say the right things and do the right things and not make anything worse than it already is. Emotional distress is almost harder for people to deal with than physical trauma, I think. I know it is for me. But if we can just hold on and not drink or use to ease the pain, we have half a chance to get through it. And more than once today I said "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." I have a lot of prayers to say tonight for a few people. Prayers for acceptance, prayers for relief from fear, and prayers for patience.

I am grateful to be sober today. To have MY life and not somebody else's. To know that if I am in trouble, there are things I can do. To share my Experience (I have lots!), my Strength (I have that too!) and my Hope (and this is the big one!). To touch another human being and let them know that, no matter what, if they can get through the trials and not drink, everything WILL be alright.

I am so thankful for every last drink I took. For every big mistake I have ever made. And for the truth of my life today: I never have to do this alone. Ever.


Monday, August 10, 2009

MIndfull Mondays

On my 14 th AA birthday, we went to Founders Day. My sobriety date is June 12, 1990. That year(2004), they were preparing to open the Gate House on the Seiberling Estate, to the public. We went up and took pictures sitting on the stoop of the place where Bill W and Dr. Bob met for the first time. It felt like an historic event, at least for me. Going to Akron, Ohio for the first time is something no one should miss. For me it was almost like a holy day, lol...there were thousands of people there for Founders Day. It was crazy. Luckily, I am blessed with good friends who live in Akron, so we got to see everything from the perspective of residents. Sober residents, mind you. All the back streets and the cool stuff the week before everyone showed up, so we were free to peruse the city. The hospital and the Sister Ignatia wing. Dr. Bob's house. The Akron Intergoup Office. The cemetery where his grave is, where the big bikers parade goes every year on FD. Later on the weekend, we got to look at the archives display that was up. It was all so incredible. I celebrated my birthday there at a meeting in Akron, and got my coin. I will never forget it.

When I was about 15 minutes sober I went to an AA campout. It was so much fun being with other sober people, doing one of the things I dreaded because I always did it so drunk. I had a ball. When I was 2 years sober, I went to the 32nd annual AA convention in Hawaii. I felt God in that room at the Waikiki Sheraton, when about 3000 of us stood in a circle and held hands for the Lord's Prayer. Every year I attended conferences and conventions, dances and potlucks, campouts and picnics. I have traveled around this country attending AA functions of various kinds. I have met sober friends of Bill from all over the world. I start almost every morning chatting via internet with a sober friend from Australia. As I'm starting my day, she's getting ready for bed. She's physically housebound for the most part, and it is imperative that she be in contact with other alcoholics, just like it is for me. I adore her, and consider her one of my favorite people, even though we have never met face to face. We have a common bond. I am actively involved in my own sobriety. I have been able to stand by friends going through severe health issues, deaths of spouses, loss of children. I have been able to be there for struggling newcomers and open my heart and my home to them as well. I have had crowds of sober people in my home for spaghetti dinners and board games, bbqs and Christmas parties. I have been able to provide a place for people in a recovery home to go during the holidays, when they had nowhere to go, and be family to ones who have no other family.

I have been blessed beyond measure with a richness and fullness that I would never have believed possible. Today someone called me up just to say how much they loved me and how blessed they were that I was their sponsor. Understand this: these kinds of things DO NOT happen to people like me. None of this stuff. It is the absolute gracious blessings in my life that make it possible for a low bottom drunk like me to live a life of joy and usefulness. A desperate, hopeless condition of mind and body has been transformed into a loving and helpful human being that sits at this keyboard tonight. This was made possible by the love of a bunch of drunks for another drunk. It was made possible by these 12 Steps. It was made possible by the peace of God which surpasses ALL my understanding.

Today, I am glad to be the woman I am. I don't care to be anyone else, I am not jealous of any other life.

Today I am grateful. And today, I am Especially Blessed. And I am in love with Alcoholics Anonymous...forever.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Simple Saturdays's been a long day! Nothing really extreme going on, just a long day. Those things happen from time to time...
Having to face the fact that I am totally addicted to eating Good&Plentys while I am on the computer at night. I love those things! And before I know it, I've eaten the whole box. Guess I have to stop buying them...I love anything black licorice... Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. Morning meeting, 4:30 meeting to see a friend pick up his 3 year coin, and then possibly another nighttime meeting. Have a sponsling at the house this weekend. She needs some good old fashioned dunking into meetings while she has 3 days off. We're also meeting a new sponsling I have just agreed to take on...a sweet young gay man who is having a time of it. I generally adhere to the women with women unspoken spoken rule. But this boy is about as female a female gets, except for his paraphenalia. lol Anyway, he asked me and I agreed. We'll meet at the meeting tomorrow evening. I've been talking with him on the phone awhile now....his last sponsor (and first sponsor) is unavailable to him now, due to health problems. SO, we'll give it a whirl and see how it goes. As always, I am quite sure that God has a plan. I was thinking today of the blessings in my life. A friend has an underage daughter who flipped a car with 3 passengers in it, driving while drunk. The law is throwing the book at her. This kid has been getting into scrapes and brushes with the law, and getting her cute little butt bailed out over and over. Not this time. I told her mother, this is a mixed blessing. She will probably lose her license forever this time...3 counts of drunk driving, one Class 4 felony, and reckless endangerment. She is pretty beat up as well, a broken collarbone and bruises and sprains. God bless all the little drunks out there that still think they are 10 ft tall and bulletproof! 2 of the kids are still hospitalized, 1 has been released. Luckily, no one was killed. The folks who live back behind us, across the pond, have a son 25 who was driving drunk and killed someone. He is in prison and will be there for a long time. And for the rest of his life he will have to live with that woman's death on his hands. The miracle is that of the thousands of times I was driving while intoxicated, I never hurt or killed anyone. Well, I hurt myself a few times, but no one else. And here's the thing: I never ever would hurt another human being. But over and over again, without even considering the possibilities, I got behind the wheel of a car thinking I was okay to drive. And I'm sure that both of these kids above feel the same way. But it's too late now for them both. There are commercials on the radio here that say "Buzz driving IS drunk driving." Emphasizing that if you just had a couple to give you that buzz, you are over the legal limit to drive. It says something like: It's easy too tell when you've had way too much to drink. But not so easy when you just had a few and are barely buzzed. The legal limit for drinking and driving is a lot lower than you think. Maybe it'll make some of these kids think. Hey--it could happen... I'm grateful to have a kid that's sober and clean. I'm blessed to be sober myself. I appreciate the fact that I only have to stay sober today. I am grateful for all those "scouts"...the ones coming back in with all the arrows in their backs, telling me that it hasn't gotten any better out there. I'm really really grateful that I don't have to be one of them. I'm blessed to be a sober mom and wife and sister and aunt. I have a niece who seems to be training for her seat in AA these days. I'll be here to open the door for her. Life's a dance....when you know the Steps! Namaste.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Another Wicked Wednesday


I am being nibbled to death by the 7 Dwarves of menopause, for some reason...especially itchy and sweaty. And I cannot sleep and so I guess I'm gonna try one of those over the counter remedies for the insomnia and hot flashes and night sweats. First thing tomorrow. This is crazy.

Maybe it's TMI (too much information) but I don't care. lol For crying out loud, I had a hysterectomy over 20 years ago. Is this s&^t EVER going to stop ???? I've been going through this for 2 decades. There oughtta be a law....


Ah....and back to the pleasant part of our program.....teehee...

There are now NO signs of the blue's all been laid to rest and covered up. My husband moved the stake so that they will dig a straight trench to the water hookups for the house. Apparently they will actually bring it to within 5 feet of the house. That will save us a LOT of $$ with the plumber. I guess he talked to the water people today on his lunch hour. However...I am skeptical about it, as you have to really look to see where he moved it, and the guy has already been up and down our driveway several times. I hope that I'm home the next time he comes, just in case. The thing is, I KNOW men....they can't even find their clean socks in the clean socks drawer. And I am afraid he's hidden it too well out there...even if the guy is an engineer type. *grin

I made juice today for the next 5 days. And made an incredible mess as well. lol It's just a messy job, there's no getting around it. Cucumbers, celery, carrots, red apples, pineapple and lemons. Tastes quite yummy. The clean-up afterwards is especially tough with no running water. But, as usual, I managed it. Supper tonight was....rice and romano cheese and oregano and butter stuffed baked zucchini with a medley of garden veggies: green beans, okra, carrots, peppers and mushrooms. I also dug and steamed some fingerling potatoes, served hot with butter and fresh ground black pepper. I'm still full....and it's almost midnight. lol

Lost my checkbook back on the first of the month, and didn't realize it until today. It dropped as I was getting in the car at Pappy's Market, and only had my old house phone number on the checks, so he couldn't figure out how to call me, he said, and was just waiting for me to come in again for dogfood...he knew that wouldn't be long. lol We only have cell numbers now, and they aren't listed anywhere...

Time for me to count my blessings, count some sheep and try to get about 5 hours sleep before I have to get my day going. Just got a call from the hysterical mother of the hysterical sponsee (who, according to mom, is drunk again and off on a motorcycle with some guy). I said, Uh, excuse me--it's 11:45 PM...what do you think I am going to do? I'm going to bed, and suggest you do the same. lol

Thank goodness, I don't have to live that insane drunken life ever again. Thank goodness I have built a support system of women that I listen to and can talk to when life gets crazy. Thank Goodness I have solutions that exceed the power of scotch.

Thank goodness....


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesdays twitterings

Several days of stormy and not quite raining days. We need a drink badly...the gardens are looking stressed, and we've no way to water them just now. Today, however, is looking promising. I see spatters of drops even now, and should probably be considering unplugging the electrical stuff.
I am blessed--they are laying the water pipe along our road. The serenity out here is cut short by the equipment they have brought to dog trenches and unload pipe. But I can live with it for a bit. One Day At A Time I can stand the noise to have running water. It's my new meditation. lol

I forget how quiet it is out here...until it isn't....or until I go into town to visit a friend. I am awed by the way people who live in cities don't even hear all that racket. Immune to it, I suppose, as a result of being hammered at constantly. It offends my sensibilities. lol

I've been searching my bookshelves for a book that I KNOW I have..and cannot find. I only have 6 bookshelves, for crying out loud. You'd think I could find one little book. It's called the Ken of Atta.... I have to do an opener at the class tonight and the session is on community. That's what I recall a great deal of that book being about....(though I could be mistaken-I haven't read it in 15 years.) lol I have some nice jazz playing on the stereo and am going to do a bit of sweeping up before I bake a peach pie. I have about 7 softball sized peaches off my tree and need to use them. They're gorgeous. Sweet and juicy.

Yesterday and this morning, I have been listening to a relapsed(ing) drunk cry and sob and be totally hysterical. As much compassion as I can muster, I nonetheless told her that she needed to grow up and that nobody ever died of a broken heart. For godssakes--she's been in an on again off again relationship with this guy for maybe 4 months. Maybe less. And she can't "take the pain"...And last night she hung up on me. This morning she called all apologetic, said he still hasn't come home, and started the sobbing all over again. She has to work at her new job this afternoon. I hope she doesn't blow that--jobs are hard to come by in these parts. I asked her if she was drunk, and she said NO. But I don't know if I believe her. She has an alcoholic habit of lying alot. lol I gave her some very explicit instructions about getting on her knees and asking God for help, and she said something like The darkness of Satan is covering me...(all the while sobbing hysterically) and I said NO--the darkness of DRUNKENNESS is covering you. STOP DRINKING!!!!! OR--do whatever you want. If you want to throw away everything you were just telling me yesterday morning (before the fateful event of HIM being 20 minutes late coming home from work) that God has given you since you got sober, by all means, keep drinking. You are grown and ou can do whatever you want. All the while she's screaming IT HURTS SO BAD!!! Until I wish I had the car today, so I could go over and slap her. (And that, dear friends, is God doing for me what I cannot do for myself! lol) I just told her again to pray and ask God for help, and call me later this afternoon.

It's exhausting.

And I am grateful. Grateful for people who told me things like they didn't care what I was FEELING--they only cared what I was DOING. Grateful for the women who told me I wouldn't die because my marriage of 18 years was ending. Grateful for the people who said "God never closes one door without opening another." Blessed beyond measure for the people who showed me the way, no matter how stupid I acted. lol

Maybe I can help this one get back on track. Maybe I can't. But I will stay sober today.
And that's the miracle happening in my world today. That no matter what, I never have to drink again, if I don't want to. That there's nothing so big that my Creator and I can't manage it.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday in the rain...

This picture is entitled "JOY".

I can feel that....the joy oozes out of vibrant colors. Joy is a companion of mine these days...and it sneaks up on me sometimes. Sometimes it is a subtle joy and sometimes it's a shout-out-loud joy.

The coolest thing about living a life of joy, is that you are always making exciting discoveries. Certain music evokes joy in my heart, like Handel's "Water Music". And "Suite for flute and jazz piano" which I adore. Sometimes it's a painting, or an old carefully crocheted doily that someones great grandmother made. Sometimes it's the blue of the sky. A few days ago I was sitting in the car waiting to leave when I saw a shooting star. I am always awed by those things. The sound of children laughing brings on a rash of joy for me. The velvety feel of a small puppys ears or the smell of lavender. The intricate dance of words in a poem or crafted into a book... Things that are somehow connected to my feelings and trigger a reaction almost every time I encounter them. It amazes me always the way the human mind works.

It's nearing the end of another day here on the Prairie. I have to get up early to go to a meeting and I am tired from a full day. I have a guest slumbering in the room next to me here, and Ifeel blessed to be able to provide a respite from time to time.

I have cats sleeping on my desk, doggies snoring at my feet. All well with the world...