Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday, November 30th, 2009


I'm so blessed to have friends today, and they're almost all the "good" kind of friends. Not the kind I used to have, the ones who were always there for you as long as you were buying the next round. The ones who were there when they needed something from you (which was usually the case). I'm talking about the kind of friends that are there when you're hurting, and are there when you need them, no matter what time of day or night. The ones who care about you, even when you're not at your best. Or maybe it's ESPECIALLY when you're not at your best. People in my life that I don't have to lie to, or worry about what they think of me. The kind who love me just as I am, warts and all. The kind who love me even when I'm acting like an ass.

I guess what brought this on was a conversation I had today wiith someone who has no friends except the people he drinks with. He has no self esteem, no identity apart from partying, and no self respect left. He has started lying about everything all the time, and it breaks my heart. I know he's in a lot of pain, and yet he refuses to even consider that there might be another way to live. And today I had to give him the old spiel...the one about I only care if I don't drink. I don't have any business with what you do. The one about, if you aren't finished drinking, then you're wasting your time here. And as brutal as it sounds, it's the truth and we all know it. Each and every one of us has to drink until there's no reason to drink anymore. And then we can set aside our perceptions and misconceptions about sobriety, and open our minds that tiny crack to let the willingness in. Be beaten up enough to let the hand of AA reach out to us and to grab on for dear life. And some of us grab it and many of us don't. And that's just how it is. No one an get any one else sober...each of us has to make the choice to not pick up that drink. I'm so grateful to have gotten sober in a place where they hammered into me in the beginning...JUST DON'T DRINK! NO matter what, we have to want to be sober more than we want to be drunk. And if we can't find that, we are not done. Period.

But as for me, I am grateful to be past that awful first year of not drinking, no matter what. And into the part where it doesn't even occur to me...not even when my ass is falling off. lol

And I'm grateful to have people in my life who support me and this decision not to drink. They not only support me, they love me. And I am happy. And for the first time in my life, I like being me. I don't fantasize about being you. I don't constantly wish I was someone and somewhere else.

And life is a dance.....


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Novembers last Sunday...

Oh. My. God. I did it. As of about 11:30 PM (11/29/09)I finished my novel with 50,666 words.

I am simultaneously exhausted and exhilarated. I did it, I really did it. And I know lots of people do it, lots of bloggers here have done it. But this is my first time, so let me gloat a bit, okay? LOL

Last year, in early November, my computer crashed, if you recall. I was 7000 words into nano and was having a helluva time making it there. It was almost a relief when it crashed. This year I got really behind a couple of times and then I managed a couple of surges and suddenly the words were pouring out of me like crazy. And after being stuck for a little bit at about 24K words I was sudden;ly off and running and it just is now over. IT'S OVER!!!! woohoo...

I have had a wonderful holiday weekend, spending time with friends and family and feeling the blessings of gratitude wash over me again and again. There was lots of good healthy food, good not so healthy food (lol), and the feelings of family that can be so scarce in so many lives these days. I was taken back to all the holidays like this that I have missed because I lived on the other side of the continent, and because I was drunk and because I was ashamed. And I am sooo grateful that that isn't the deal anymore for me.

I got to have a wonderful day on Friday with my most beautiful niece who is 6 years old. Earlier this month she started writing me letters, sometimes she inserts poems or songs that she has written for me. When I get one, I send her back a card or a postcard, and we are having great fun with it all. She writes and reads very well for a 6 year old. What blessings.

I am really tired and my eyes hurt from staring at this computer screen so long the past 30 days. lol I am pumped. I bought myself a motivtional gift--Barbara Kingsolver's new book The Lacuna-- as a bribe for finishing I get to read it. Hurray!! But not's after 1 AM and this puppy needs to hit the hay soon.

I love you all and have missed being here. I am so glad to be back!

Love and blessings, Anniek

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday Morning...

THE EAGLES ARE BACK!! It's that time of year here along the Mississippi River, and the eagles have returned to the nesting grounds. It's a thing of beauty...


The mercury dipped below 30 degrees for our first hard frost of the year last night. I can feel every bit of it in my back this It's crisp and sunny out there though and should be a beautiful day in the mid to upper 60's. I'm on a house cleaning tear and hope to get some carpets cleaned today, if my back holds out.

I woke up yesterday with a resolve to do something about this mop of long grey hair. It's only been long for a little over a year, but I am sick of it. So, I went in and had about 12 inches cut off and I feel like a new man. Well, you know what I mean. lol However-- I had hoped that cutting it would rid me of some of the grey, instead it looks like she cut MORE grey into it. Sigh...I might just have to color it now. I just got tired of feeling like I look like an old woman.

Been staying busy with sponslings and such, trying to catch up on my woefully behind NaNoWri Mo word count, and keeping my house so that the health department won't condemn it. lol I am writing everyday, but sheesh!! But not giving up. So...if my posts are a bit spotty this next month, rest assured that I am at the keyboard pounding away...just somewhere other than here in my blogs. But I'm going to try and stay connected as best I can. On top of this, of course, it is the beginning of the holiday season and that's another whole story. I have lots of artsy fartsy stuff to do as well. Good thing I'm a talented multi-tasker! (Imagine-it used to be considered a BAD thing that I couldn't just focus on one thing at a time!! lol) Plus, I'm reading two new books. And writing to an AA'er in prison as a penpal thing. And Sunday is the District meeting, where I'm supposed to have come up with an idea for a workshop for the beginning of next year, and haven't even thought about it. rest for the wicked, my grandmother used to say. *wink

Turned on my 'puter this morning and got 2 simultaneous IM' from a sponsling and one from my darling girl in instead of getting to work, I spent a lovely half hour dually IM'ing these two beautiful sober women to start my day with love and gratitude. I am indeed especially blessed.

Especially blessed to:
  • Have a life that I once only dreamed of having.
  • Have the kind of love in my world that I always craved and never had
  • Know that those feelings of uselessness and self pity have disappeared.
  • See that even though it's 30 outside, it's toasty warm in here.
  • Realize that my fresh pot of coffee is done.
  • Be able to wake up sober.
  • Be 12 inches shy of hair!
  • Have a plan, and be able to stick to it.
  • To know that I don't have to be perfect, and that my best is good enough.
  • Have a great Oreck vacuum cleaner to clean my furry floors with.
  • Get to wake up and "visit" friends in faraway places like Africa and Australia and Canada.
  • Have another chance at a better day than the one before.

Alrighty then...I'm off into a new day...hope yours is the best ever too.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday on the run...

Waterfalls...North Carolina

I am whipped! Just home (11pm) from picking up a girl out in the middle of nowhere...and taking her to a meeting. She's got 9 months and just moved here...about 19 miles from me. So, I guess I'm opn the contact list from this area. She's a sweetheart and we had fun, even if I did get an adventure...on the way out. Then after I dropped her off, I took a wrong turn again. Luckily for me, I have an innate sense of direction. LOL....the worst part was that it is pitch black out on those old country backroads. Makes it hard to read road names or see landmarks. Looks like I got me a new sponsling...she's very shy and knows no one. God is good!!

Had a nice day at home again today...Wrote a little, baked some bread, and did a little reading. Tried to take it easy...back is still acting up. The nice garbage guy came to my backyard and got the can that didn't make it to the road because I slept til 8:30. I didn't even hear him!! Good thing had twice as much garbage as usual. Then 2 guys on tractors came and surveyed the sinkholes in the water line trenches. They hemmed and hawed, put some chew in their mouths (YUCK!), walked and looked and drove away. I made a nice teriyaki shrimp stir fry with Jasmine rice for supper. This is the exciting life I live. lol

A friend of mine celebrated his birthday tonight at the meeting...That's always good! Another friend is celebrating tomorrow night, and I want to be there for her, but I will have to see how I feel. Tomorrow is looking to be a busy day.

Just realizing that my sister called and left a message today and I forgot to call her back. oops!

It was an amazing meeting tonight...the topic was from As Bill Sees It, and was about a full and grateful heart. One of the guys said something that was exactly why I was there, so I could hear. He said, "I am grateful for my prayer life. Before AA I had nothing like a prayer life, and today I cannot get through my morning without taking time to pray. To be thankful for everything in my life...good, bad, and indifferent." I never think about how grateful I am for a prayer life! I take it for granted all the time. But it is one of the things that I am so blessed with today. I used to believe that praying and depending on God was some kind of a cop out. That I got myself in this mess and I am accountable kind of mentality. That it's my job to just deal with this, by myself..kind of mentality. How much easier my life is when I can pray. How much less stressful things are when I just talk to my Creator about them, and put them smack in Creator's hands. I suggested to one of my sponslings today that she make a God Box and place a couple of her family members in there. Just hand them over and walk away. Sometimes it's all you can do. That little trick saved my butt a few times. Write the name of the person, or a description of the problem on a piece of paper, fold it and put it in the God Box. My first sponsor had me do this, and said "In 2 months take them out and look them over and see where things stand now." It taught me a lot about what a waste of time worrying is, for one thing. And it showed me how most of the things that I fear never come to pass anyway. I am maiing God Boxes for a couple of people this year for Christmas presents. maybe for everybody. I'll paint some flowers or something on them and each persons name. I'll let you know how they turn out.

I am grateful that I got to talk to the girl I picked up tonight about my sponsor M- who died this past March. I cried a little, remembering how much I loved her and how much she helped me. I can just see her now...slapping her forehead and saying "Oy--get off the cross, we need the wood!!!" She was a hoot.

Well, all this gratitude has made me even more sleepy so I guess I better get going. 5 o'clock comes early, and it's midnight now.

Sweet dreams....


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Sun

Chimney Rock, NC. This is where they shot a good portion of the movie, Last of the Mohicans

A beautiful day with temps close to freaking 80 degrees. Gorgeous. I spent most of it laying around the couch on a heating pad. I was online off and on, did some Nano writing, then tried to get outside and move some...having back spasms that make it hard to do much of anything.

I have had a quiet and restful day. Not inspired to write much, and then I read the entry for November 8th in my book called Simple Abundance~ A Daybook of Comfort and Sarah Ban Breathnach. The entry today is called Everyday Life is the Prayer. Here it is:

"Some women know they pray. Other women think they don't because they aren't down on their knees morning and night. But they're up in the dark with sick children, visiting an elderly parent on thei lunch hour, supporting the dreams of those they love with with their work, helping a friend bear grief or rejoice, nourishing bodies and souls. This,too,is prayer.

For whether we realize it or not, with every breath, with every heartbeat, women pray. We pray with desire, longing,hunger, thirst, sighs, remorse, regret. We pray with disappointment, discouragement, despair, disbelief. We pray with anger, rage, jealousy, envy. We pray with pleasure, contentment, happiness, exultation, joy. We pray with gratefulness, acknowledgment, appreciation, acceptance, relief. We pray when we comfort, cheer, console. We pray when we laugh. We pray when we cry. We pray when we work and play. We pray when we make love or make a meal. We pray when we create and when we admire creation. One way or another, we pray. Everyday life IS the prayer. How we conduct it, celebrate it, consecrate it. ..."

This really got me thinking. This short excerpt from the words for today holds me holds my life to a higher standard. It celebrates life. It makes me partners with God on so many levels. It gives great value and immense grace to the lives we lead. When Meister Eckart said...If the only prayer you said was "Thank YOU" it would suffice...I began to think of my relationship in the Universe as a gift from and to my Creator. When I thought of myself as a gift, my value increased in my own eyes. When I think of prayer as conversation in every day life...why it opens all sort of possibilities to me!

Love is the dialect of the Divine. When we reach out to one another, when we care for one another...when we make our lives an arena for service in this world, then and only then are we truly dancing the cosmic dance. I dance with God. God dances with me. And then I am able to know love. (I sound like Rumi...or And this, I think, is prayer. A whole body conversation with the Divine, a dance, a golden leaf, floating down on the breeze and falling falling falling.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Fridays Fun

View from the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina...


Ah.....a minute to myself. Wanted to write a Flash Friday, but think I will do it on the other blog...Akannie's Weblog

I want to write today about the magnificent blessings in my life. About the way I have been changed from a person who was never okay...never satisfied. Always discontent, always irritable...always on the run. If I wasn't on the run physically, I was on the run emotionally and spiritually. I couldn't sit in one place for very long, and every where I went, there I was. I was never good enough, in my own mind, and certainly never enough in the lives of the people where I inserted myself. I have had a couple of really fulfilling days lately, and I feel the need to talk about this a little.

I truly believe that I can have experiences and never talk about them to anyone...and not feel that they are valid. I can share the miracles that occur in my life today, and in the sharing, the magnitude of them cannot escape me. It's at times like this that I really believe my Creator speaks to me...and cares for me....and takes care of me. I learned all kinds of things in early sobriety about going to any lengths and getting out of my own way, and putting in a teaspoonful and getting back a truckload.

What is a life?? An event of constant change and joy and sorrow. It's learning how to not anticipate the worst and (GAD!) even be hopeful that things are going to be good. It's learning to be useful and happy and free of the tyranny of my own mind. It's being open to the possibilities of life...admitting that I don't possibly know what's around every corner and what extraordinary things might be on their way to me. And finally...feeling that I am still on the journey. That I can be hungry enough for the good things and keep trudging. That I can be awestruck by magic and mystery and delighted by things like a sweetpea growing up strong and green after a frost has all but killed everything else. That mums thumb their noses at weather. That kittens love to jump and chase butterflies.

I realize how blessed I am today that...
  • I can read and write.
  • I have food enough in my house to feed Cox's Army.
  • That there are days when the people in my life blow my phone up with their calls.
  • That people trust me, because I am trust worthy.
  • That I can be counted on to be a balance of truthfulness and loving intention.
  • That I found out that LIFE IS NOT A RACE --just in time.
  • That I am in love with my life and with my sobriety.
  • That I have a family that didn't know me when I was at my worst.
  • That I have a second family that did know me then...and loved me anyway.
  • That I am slowly learning some discipline.
  • That no matter how old I get, I can still learn new things.
  • That I am on fire with NaNoWriMo this year!
  • That it doesn't matter if my hair is grey and my skin isn't 24 anymore.
  • That you love me. And I love you. And that helps me love me.

The class was extraordinary last night and the potluck was wonderful, and the people from the other potluck (that I missed) were raving about my food!

Life is a beautiful thing.... I am going to go clean a closet and move some things around. Already spent party of the morning on some 3rd Step stuff and will go to a meeting tonight.

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


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday wocks!

Had a lovely day, went to a speaker meeting and am back home and getting ready to turn in. I have a 13 pound turkey in the roaster on low, and will let it go all night. Tomorrow is the conflicted interests and I am going to the class. I am also cooking the turkey for the AA dinner. I'll take it out to the meeting room in the afternoon and leave it there. I have to make a pasta dish for the potluck for the class too...thinking a nice ziti casserole. It has to be vegetarian, but that's no problem. I have lots of cheeses and black olives and onions and garlic...maybe I'll look for some artichoke hearts too to throw in. I probably have some in the pantry. I'm trying to decide if I want to make a garlic bread to go with it. I'll have plenty of time to do it, I guess.

I am reading a new book...written in 2001 by a New York author named Jonathan Franzen the back flap says ..." A comic, tragic epic stretching from the Midwest of the midcentury to the Wall Street and Eastern Europe of today. The Corrections brings an old fashioned world of civic virtue and sexual inhibitions into violent collision with the era of home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental health care and globalized greed." Even the jacket blurb sounds frantic, doesn't it? lol I'll let you know if I can finish it. I hope so.

It's chilly again tonight...41 now. I am getting up to take himself to work in the morning, so I do need to hit the hay soon. I'm trying to decide whether to turn the heater on again....maybe on low. The roaster will heat things up some too.

Today I got some things cleaned up, but I still don't have those damned pumpkins out. I did sweep out front though. Maybe tomorrow....I need to make some soapy water and wash down the little table out there as well as the green rocking chairs. Everything is muddy. The ashtray (a small aluminum bucket of sand) is filled full and needs emptying. There's a dead pansy sitting there. The windows need cleaning. Maybe

I got most of my list done, but still haven't found the glue gun. Guess a trip to Walmart is in the works. I'd like to get my wreath done and hung.

I'm finding myself living right in the middle of the third step a lot lately. This is a very good thing.

I found a little quote that says: There is no key to happiness. The door is always open.
I like this!

Alrighty...I'm trundling off to bed. Sweet dreams to you all....


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday night is right

Oh me oh my. It has been a busy day of cleaning and laundry and going to the home of a sponsling. A young salmon who continually swims upstream in the waters of his discontent. I am tired and I am probably not going to finish this until morning.

I got a very sweet and nice present today from the mother of the young gay man that I sponsor. She made me a beautiful wreath made up of dahlias and mums and cattails...I love the sentiment, and I know that she supports her son and is so very worried about him. I spent a lovely couple of hours in their home last night, and he and I went over the first step again. Something seems different about him this time, I can only pray that he is really ready this time. I am blessed to get the chance to do this kind of stuff...yesterday I got a phone call from a woman who sounded either very drunk or like she'd had a stroke. Said that she got my number from someone who said I could maybe help her. She needed information about the ..."A and A classes and the books that go with them." When I returned her call, it went straight to voicemail and she never called back. I'll try her again tomorrow, and it amuses me the things people seem to think that AA is...or isn't. lol I remember looking at that Where and When the judge had the bailiff hand me, and thinking OGod...what now?? I had no idea what it was going to be like. I had no facts about AA at all, but plenty of prejudice and skepticism. And lots of boiled down fear. And baby, look at me now. lol

Okay--it's tomorrow.

Tuesday. I have some chicken and rice soup simmering away in the kitchen. A sponsling that was supposed to be here 15 minutes ago. I am going to go ahead and make the salad and get that ready, and maybe it will just be tonight's supper. This same girl and another were supposed to be meeting me last night at a meeting and called and said they decided not to go. One is a year and one is 15. They were just going to hang Fine by me. I just changed where I was going. I can do the same my life and getting on with the hundred things I'd rather It's a lovely morning here on the Prairie, with temps just below 50 and brilliant sunshine and blue skies. I want to get my front porch cleaned up, wipe all the cat tracks off the table, clean the rocking chairs, put up some fall decorations. A good way to spend an autumn day.

A friend of mine is celebrating 11 years tonight at a 7PM meeting and I will go. She has lots of ups and downs and I guess we all do. But staying sober 11 years in a row, one Day at a time, is no mean feat. And it deserves a celebration!!

I'm off to stir soup.


This blog got lost in space!! It was gone and then it reappeared... Yowsa!!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Novembers first Sunday

Late late and I should be in bed...but I have 2 very naughty dogs outside that won't come in the house. I've called them 3 times...there's something out there and dogs far and wide are all barking...and of course, the Kelley dogs don't want to miss anything! It's about 40 degrees outside and I can't believe they are still out there. The bad news for them is this: they are about to be left out all night.

Had a good day today, mostly. I still haven't found my glue gun though. It's starting to annoy me...there are only so many places it can be. I can't finish up my wreath until I find the damned thing. Arrgghhh...

We watched Good Night and Good Luck...Clooney's film about newsman Edward R. Murrow taking on Joe McCarthy...that crazy commie hunter. How different the world is now, eh? And that man struck terror into the hearts of so many and trashed so many people's careers...can't help but be reminded of a certain set of circumstances in recent years...God help us. Maybe some things are not so different after all...

I have a very busy week ahead. I made out my November desk calendar this's pretty full. I am blessed to have a good busy life and to be able to do what little I do. I was thinking I need to pencil in a day for shampooing my living room I also have closets that need cleaning and arranging and cupboards that are in the same boat. All things I keep putting off doing...the pantries need inventorying and straightening. The mud room needs an overhaul. Makes me tired just thinking about it all. I hope I can find the energy to get some painting done this winter. Especially this office and the hallways. Things are starting to look like they are 5 years lived in by now.

Patrick is down with a bug...sore throat, stuffy head and congestion in his chest. He has taken it pretty easy this weekend...hopefully he'll be able to shrug it off quickly. He said he feels better after napping a lot today, maybe it will be enough. I saw the bedroom light on a minute ago though and it's after midnight. Could have been from the dogs barking...

I'm off to bed. Looking back over my day and seeing a few places where I could have been kinder and more tolerant, and certainly more patient. Thanking my Creator that I was able to make all my mistakes today sober. Grateful to get another chance tomorrow to be better than I was today.

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