Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September's last Wednesday

(As you can see, the 45 degree nights have caused me to get the big quilt out!!) Brrrrr...

Had a lovely stay at home day of rest and relaxation. I did very little--read, computed, cooked. Baked some bread. Baked my sweetie an apple pie (his fave). Made chicken breasts in a creamy dijon and chicken broth glaze for supper, served over jasmine rice with early peas. Went out to an 8 o'clock meeting to meet up with 3 of my sponslings and had a great meeting as well as good fellowship. Stopped at the grocery to buy great northern beans to use in tomorrows white chili and headed on home. So, it was almost 10:30 by the time I got here. It's 12:30 now and I need to get in bed.

One of my sponslings lost her job yesterday. One has a child in trouble. One has a grown child in big trouble. I got a call from one of us who has lost her way, not drinking but isolated and getting angrier by the minute. I am hooking up with her tomorrow night at our meeting and she is coming out here to the house on Saturday. I suspect she is at that jumping off place the BB talks about...I am grateful that I be sober enough to help them by listening to their fears and [sometime] hysterics. To be able to offer some advice because I have been in every one of those places. To realize that I do not regret my past nor wish to shut the door on it...and this is exactly why. To be able to remind them what that book also says...that we CAN stay sober, no matter what happens. Job or no job, wife or no wife. That if we maintain our spiritual equilibrium, the God of our understanding will walk us through anything that comes down the pike.

I got a GREAT email today that said :

I have heard it said: "The death of sobriety is rarely an assassination. It is usually a death by slow starvation. We need to keep feeding our sobriety." Gratitude and formal Meditation is one sure, time honored, practical way to do this.

I thought it spoke volumes.

Gratitude is a gift I choose every day. Life is good...when you know the Steps!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009


The St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans...

It's been 2 weeks since my last post. A hiatus from all things bloggy....for the most part. From time to time, it's important to take a break and I did.

I have been busy with lots of and friends, getting things taken down and ready for the approaching winter. It's 46 degrees tonight...the nights are getting cooler and cooler and so are the days...barely cresting 60. I have had the air conditioning off for a while, but even had to close the windows ! Fall is beautiful in these parts, but I hate to see the summer go, in a way. On the other hand, winter is a time of rest, and I'm surely ready for that. lol

There's lots of viruses going around far (knock wood) we haven't had any of them. Taking echinacea faithfully and lots of Vitamins B and C too. Drinking rooiboos tea as well...getting plenty of fresh air, washing the hell out of my hands and staying away from sickies as much as possible. Not getting a flu shot...haven't had one since about 1977, and have no intention of starting now. Too much controversy over it all...

Sitting here tonight feeling grateful for this life of elegant blessings I am graced to live. A modest home in the country, more love than I could have ever imagined, health, enough food and [finally] water. Getting to live sober and attend meetings and be of service. Having an office full of books that I am able to (and have!!) read. Having a computer and the necessary skills to operate it. Having a house full of pets and being able to feed them. Having enough extra room to share with someone who needs a hand up from time to time. Being blessed with grandchildren. Getting to live my own day at a time, sober, and happy.

It doesn't get much better than that.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday's Tidbits

A beautifully laid back kind of a day...and I should have been in bed hours ago, yet here I sit.

After the craziest weekend I've had in years...I decided today was an "Annie" day. I talked to a minimum of people, listened to music, played on the computer, made pesto with some organic basil someone brought me, baked bread and made soup.

One of my dear sponslings celebrated 6 months today. She is ecstatic. Anothers 14 year old son wound up in the ER with alcohol poisoning on Sunday night. Another went on a short spree. All around, I'm grateful to be me and to be pretty much past all that early sobriety hell. lol

Found out last night that Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea) is coming here to Alton in October. I think I will go see him. Such an endeavor...if you haven't read his book about building schools in Pakistan, do so now. Incredibly inspiring. If you still think that one person can't make a his book. He has been nominated for a Nobel Peace prize too, and should hear the same time he will be here. I'm excited...can you tell?

My pesto turned out wonderfully....followed a recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook (Molly Katzen). I cooked portabella mushroom stuffed rigatoni with the pesto on it for supper. Along with a piece of warm from the oven bread with butter. It was heavenly. There's enough left over to have a cuple of more meals, or a lot of slices of bread with it all schmeared on top. YUM...

The Festival of Faiths and Cultures was phenomenal. No other word for it. The stage performances were magnificent...African drummers and dancers, Bulgarian folk dancers, Hula dancers, German dancers. Native American storytellers. Childrens programs galore. Booths and tables from everything from the St. Louis Museum of Art to Kenya wood carvings. Every relligion you can name in attendance. Beautiful people in native garb, smiling and chattering and loving the perfect weather on a perfect day. A man handing out copies of the Kabbalah newspaper, women from the Taiwan Buddhist booth handing out vegetarian food and recipes. A table of nuns from the Franciscan Sisters order with a table full of green cleaners and printouts on everything from composting to compact flourescent bulbs. I was in heaven.

Sunday I was at the Area 21 Assembly in Vandalia all day...acting as DCM, giving our report, bidding for the next fall assembly. We had a great time arguing about stuff and visiting with each other and eating a great catered lunch. I came home with all kinds of goodies to take to next Sunday District Meeting. lol

Enough...I have to get in bed. Last night it was 3 AM before I made it....I swore to myself that wasn't happening tonight. I really meant to be there an hour ago! lol

I am blessed to have this sober life of mine.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Fridays Foolishness

Slumber and dreams...

Home from a meeting that I attend regularly. Tonight was a small meeting, with only about 10 in attendance, but there was about 165 years of sobriety in that room, and 3 of the people there had under 6 months. THAT'S a pretty awesome deal. It was in rooms like this that I learned about living sober in my early days. Where the oldtimers would still "suit up and show up". Sadly, there are a lot of places where that isn't the case, and newly sober people are left on their own, flailing about with no experience , strength and hope that only oldtimers can provide. I try to always remember that when I don't feel like going to a meeting...that I am responsible for a few very important things in Alcoholics Anonymous. One is to be there, present, to show that people like us really can recover and live happy lives. One is to make sure the doors are open, so that when the new person does get here, there's somewhere to be. And one is to be a walking Big Book, and show that these principles that we practice in all our affairs, really do make a difference. Trust God--Clean House--Help Others. Pretty basic stuff, really.

It's been a good day. A little while ago, I went outside calling for my kitty Junko Taibei. When I looked up, I saw a gazillion brilliantly shining stars in the night sky, and was awed by the sight. I had just come home form the city. In the city, you almost never see the stars. I am especially blessed to live out in the country, where the stars are so numerous and hang so heavy it's almost as though you could touch them.

I had an incident with a sponsling last night and have felt a little unsettled by it all day. I have cleaned my side of the street, and after a long talk with my sponsor, feel that the ball is in her court. She is a newbie who has a problem with prescription drugs and alcohol, less than a week sober and clean after her last little episode (A sorry tale of margaritas and 40 Xanex), and was telling a newcomer older lady that she needed to see a psychiatrist. Sigh...I interrupted her and said let's go...once in the car, I said (gently, I thought...but she exploded) You have no business giving anyone advice about anything and especially not about seeing a psychiatrist. She immediately got reactively defensive and started accusing me of stuff (being mean to her mostly) ...and I said--enough. She got out of the car in a huff and told me she didn't need me or anyone else in this F*&%#ng program, that she would do this by herself. She'd show me! And I said "Good Luck" and drove away. Later I called and left 2 messages on her voice mail, she isn't calling me back. So that's that. I will keep her in my prayers.

Tomorrow we will be gone all day nearly, at the Festival of Faiths and Cultures, where the CSA is having an information table that we will sit at for about an hour or two. Then after we tour the Festival we will attend a bbq at some friends...a house warming thingee. Sunday I have to be at 5 AM so I can be ready to leave by 7 to attend an Area Assembly in Vandalia. It's about an hour and a half from my house. I am the Alt. DCM for our District, and the real guy is in Texas. So I get to read the report when they call on my district. I actually like this seamy side of AA, lol, and have been involved in service at this level from my early days. I am considering standing for the Grapevine Committee Chair, as it has been vacated by the guy who has done it the past few years. I don't think there's a whole lot to the job, which is why I think I could manage it. I am (by way of being the Alt.DCM) the Workshop Committee Chair, but that's a matter of putting on a few workshops , no biggie. Thinking about it...haven't committed to it yet. lol

I am blessed to be sober and useful and present. All gifts of sobriety.

God's got a deal for drunks that don't drink.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Willy Nilly Wednesday

It's been a long day today. Did quite a bit of cleaning and such around the homestead. Transplanted some flowers. Had a sponsling over for the afternoon for some step work. Did a load of laundry and changed my bed linens. Went on a 12 Step call. Roasted a turkey breast. Made soup stock afterwards with the bones and skin and juice from the turkey. Tomorrow I will make a turkey noodle soup with the fat homemade egg noodles in it. Busy busy.

I have twisted that darn knee again. I'm back on the naproxen and wearing a brace sometimes and trying to keep it up as much as possible. It's quite bothersome this evening.

We are going to attend a Festival of Faiths and Cultures on Saturday at the Lady of the Snows Shrine. I am really looking forward to it...a big event, with an international food court, crafts and gifts from around the world, stage performances of folk dances... I can't wait.

Our next class starts this coming Monday as well...a class on Deep Ecology. THAT should be interesting.

My life just never seems to slow down much. But soon winter will come and then things will grind to a halt. I love the winter season..a time to renew and rest and change gears. I am blessed to have the life that I have, and eternally grateful.

I am grateful for all the gifts around me, and grateful that my bed beckons. Grateful to be sober. Grateful to have so much love in my life...somedays it just overwhelms me.

Sleep well, fellow travellers.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Monday

[This looked like a serious conversation...a melding of minds...] lol

The long weekend is over. Grandson back home and today in school. Sister and husband back on their way to Florida. Husband back to work. Me...breathing a sigh of relief at having my quiet home back. I have a few errands to run today and am thinking i should get them done this morning so I can sit back and enjoy the rest of the day. Patrick had 4 days off in a row....yikes. lol It was all good though.

I tried blogging here last night after I got home from the meeting, but the power went out and I lost the satellite signal. Never mind. I just turned it off and went to bed, where I proceeded to sleep soundly for about 7 and a half hours. And this morning I am refreshed and ready for a new day. I have juice to make and bread to bake, and a tiny bit of straightening to do around my house.

I feel so blessed these days. As my friend Mary said so succinctly, "Abundance is everywhere..." If I can shift my paradigms even the tiniest bit, I can find prosperity in everything I see. If I can move from the errant ideas that wealth is in bank accounts and new things and more, more, more. If I can open my heart to abundance instead of always looking thorough my eyes. When I can do this, I see a world full to the brim. The value of a simply lived life is astronomical for me. The lack of stress, the absence of constant competition, the loss of those feelings of never having enough. Because that's what they are--just feelings. Not facts. The facts are made plain by the removal of lots of extraneous clutter, whether it's in my life reality or in my mind. I am not hungry, like 2/3 of the world. I am not homeless, like so many are. I am not alone. I have an excess of clothing, baubles, books and pets. (lol) I may not have much deniros in the bank, but my needs are met. I have lived a lot of my life wallowing in I do know this terrain. I have also been blessed to have lived in some times of scarcity, so I know that terrain as well. Today I am somewhere in the middle. Poor by some standards, wealthy by others. Resting here, in the middle.

I am blessed to have been given the chance to live a sober life. Many never get this chance. Some days I wish I didn't get so much of the experience, but mostly I am blessed beyond measure. I witnessed a man about my age last night who got sober the same year as I did, but drank again after 7 years and has been coming in and out of sobriety ever since. Cannot find his way back to stay...just getting little snatches of peace every now and again, only to fall back off the path and be lost...again and again. It shook me. He looked so lost and so miserable. I remember being told in my early days that it wasn't rocket science...I just needed one thing. To want to be sober more than I wanted to be drunk. That it wasn't enough just try--I had to DO. It wasn't hard to stop, they told me--staying stopped was the tricky part. That I had to build a sober life that was better than anything I had ever known drunk. And I started out on that road of discovery, love and service back in the early 90's and haven't had to drink since. I feel relatively secure in sobriety today, even when I watch people with some time drink again. I'm not stupid about it though. I still do almost all the things they told me back then. And mostly, I NEVER forget what it used to be like, what happened and what it's like now. And I dig in, and I put my hand out one more time, no matter how tiresome it gets sometimes. And no matter how many times I watch them stumble back out there, I know that I stayed sober through it, and that's enough. I don't have to analyze, rationalize or justify my life today. I just have to live it. Fully.

For these things, I feel especially blessed.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wednesdays wandering

LOL...Remember this? I had to post it again when I saw it in my pictures because it never fails to make me laugh out loud.

The end of a productive day. I am grateful that I am a list maker...there's nothing so satisfying as marking a line through things I have accomplished in the course of the day. Today I cleaned carpets and changed sheets and dug potatoes. I did a little grocery shopping too. And now it is late and I am ready for bed.

I got a call at about 11PM...a sponsling wanting to know if I had a recipe for a Gooey Butter Cake. LMAO...she wants to make one in the morning. I didn't, but I do have a computer, so I found a recipe on Paula Deen's website that looked pretty good. While I was at it, I looked up the recipe for gooey butter cookies as well, and printed both of them out for ME. Nopt sure when I'll make them, but at least I have the information. lol

Tomorrow will be a full day....the speaker /potluck is at 6...a Mexican Fiesta! I only have to chop tomatoes, lettuce, onions...bring sour cream and shredded cheese. Because it is one of my sponslings' birthday (4 years Yippee!!) I will also be baking her a cake. So...I really was going to bake it tonight, but I'm too tired, so it'll have to be first thing in the morning. And then while it is in the oven, I'll finish straightening up the house a bit and get some French Onion Soup going. Have a sponsling coming at noon to do a bit of step work for a couple of hours, and then we'll go on to the meeting. We'll have some soup and bread for lunch. As weird as the weather is for this time of year....I love it because soup's a perfect meal. Today was about 72 again.

My sister is coming from Florida this weekend. It was supposed to be Friday, but now she's changed it to Saturday. It will be what it will be. One of the best gifts I have gotten from sobriety is that my happiness is never contingent on someone else's actions. LOL. I think I will get one of the turkey breasts out of the freezer (I bought several when they were .99 cents a pound!!) and put it in the roaster on Friday night. We can have sandwiches or whatever...whenever she happens to arrive. Voila! Problem solved. lol

I am feeling a lot of gratitude today. (And not just because we have water!!).
  • Grateful that I have a house that's just the right size that I can manage!
  • Grateful that I have family that loves me.
  • Grateful that I have food to share, an expression of love for me.
  • Grateful to have a social life.
  • Grateful that I have hobbies, and that my life is NEVER boring.
  • Grateful that I don't have to drink today (this is huge!).
  • Grateful that I know that I can do ANYTHING for 24 hours.
  • Grateful for the 5 gallon bucket of lovely fingerling potatoes I dug in my garden today.
  • Grateful to live a life of elegant blessings and grace.
  • Especially blessed to have found friends in recovery who blog!!
  • Grateful for the good nights sleep I am heading off to.......


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday starts September

(Life's a Dance...when you know the Steps!)

It's been a beautiful start to the month. I happily washed about 5 loads of laundry, which included couch covers, rugs and bath towels. I was home all day, taking it easy. Sort

It was about 72 today and sunny and clear. The plumbing brothers came and finished their cleanup, and I just laundered and computed and chatted and read. I didn't even really cook...pulled some bbq'd pork out of the freezer for sandwiches and threw some tater tots in the oven. Made open faced sandwiches with the honey oatmeal bread I baked yesterday. It was yummy and filling and that was that. lol

I found something I thought was cute, so here it is;

12 Signs of a Spiritual Awakening (source unknown)

  1. An increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
  2. Frequent attacks of smiling.
  3. Feelings of being connected with others and nature.
  4. Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
  5. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experiences.
  6. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
  7. A loss of ability to worry.
  8. A loss of interest in conflict.
  9. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
  10. A loss of interest in judging others.
  11. A loss of interest in judging self.
  12. Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything in return.

Here's wishing you a life filled with spiritual awakenings....