Tuesday, February 28, 2006


I just checked my site meter and thought it was very ironic that someone found my blog by searching for "misspelled word". Last week I deliberately misspelled a word so that my blog would NOT come up for the term I was typing. Someone also got to my blog today by searching "Australian Lingo homegroup." Wow.

I went after work tonight and signed up for the class I am going to deliberately misspell again... the Icon Wrriting Class. I may not be able to get into it, there are only 20 spots. But I brought my check for the payment in full in hopes that I can get in. I am so excited about this. I want to make paintings of Saints with golden halos (how do you pluralize halo?)

Tomorrow is the birthday of my twin daughters. I am in the process of baking a chocolate cake for that event. I will make pizza tomorrow after work. This is what they asked for.

I am thrilled that my daughters are even in my life today. At one point, I not only lost custody of them, but there was a time when there was a restraining order prohibiting me from even seeing or contacting my children at all.

Life is very very different today. Thank you God and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous (that means YOU!)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Springtime in the Rockies

OK, it is only February, but it is 5:35 p.m., and still light outside and it is 64 degrees! Sixty-Four Big Fat Degrees! It is heavenly out there.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sunday Evening

The kids just left. All three kids, one son-in-law, and two grandchildren. It was a lovely afternoon. I made barbequed ribs. I made too many barbequed ribs. When my daughter came in, she threw her NA key chain up on the kitchen counter - it felt fairly significant, even if staged, but no one said a word. I talked with my son-in-law for a while as he was sitting outside smoking. And I talked with Megan for a while as she sat using my computer. They are doing better. They are planning on staying together. The kids seemed to be fine - I am really relieved.

I went to a great meeting this morning. I took a painful but good anyway bike ride after the meeting. It was the first time I got back on my skinny tire bike after my accident last August. I was a bit afraid, but I think I will get used to it again.

The weather is gorgeous. It is 57 degrees now at almost 5:30 p.m. I don't know how warm it got this afternoon, but it was wonderful.

Tomorrow I will go back to work. I am grateful for my job - even if I don't always like it lately. I am grateful that my back isn't hurting as bad. I am grateful that my kids and grandkids are OK. I am grateful that they will all be back over here on Wednesday night for my daughters' birthday. I can't believe that my little baby twin daughters are going to be 27 years old. I am so grateful to say that I got sober when they were 5 years old and they don't remember their mother being drunk. What a miracle that is!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

What a difference a sober person makes

Having just bid my sponsor and her husband farewell, and having spent almost a whole day with them, having had a house full of sober alcoholics last night, and a few here this morning, having had Peter (the fellow shadow on my profile picture) drive me home from the spot on which Maureen and Tony embarked on their new journey, sitting here already on the edge of tears....

I read about AAwoken's challenges, and his love for his wife, and I read about dAAve's challenges and his devotion to his mother; I am just dumbstruck with gratitude for the program and the people of Alcoholics Anonymous.

As alcoholics, we are "problem people", I put that in quotes because it is something that Marc up in Washington used to say all the time. We are basically fuck ups, sorry, that is my own terminology - (see JJ? I really do cuss like a sailor!) We are people who normally hurt people and don't show up and don't do what we say we are going to do, and we do what we say we will never do. And for some of us, by the Grace of God, and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, somehow we get sober. And little by little, day by day, we start to be people who don't hurt others. We start to be people who show up and do what we say we are going to do. We also don't do what we say we aren't going to do.

In our families, we end up being the people who come through when Mom or Dad are sick. We end up being the people who understand the wife or husband who is having terrible problems. We end up at work being the person who others can talk to. We end up being the neighbor that the other neighbors just inexplicably gravitate towards.

I can't help but think that the world is extraordinarily better for the couple of million sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am so blessed to count myself among you. Thank you and God Bless Everyone of You.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Thursday Night

I came home from work today because my back is totally jacked. I woke up that way and then went out and ran, thinking it would get better. By the time I was driving to work this morning, I was actually yelling in my car it hurt so bad. I had a couple of meetings this morning that I didn't want to miss, so I went to work anyway. One of them was so bad, I left in tears. Trying my hardest to get to my office before I started sobbing. I managed to do that. Closed my office door and just wailed. Jesus. I still had another meeting to go. I managed to get through that one without crying and then came home. I was in bed (thank God for a heated mattress pad, which is like a huge heating pad) all afternoon.

Tomorrow I sincerely doubt that I am going to work. I hope to be able to get my back to calm down over the weekend. My sponsor and her husband are staying here tomorrow night. Then they are hitting the road. I am sincerely happy for them because I know they are happy about their decision to leave Denver. I am very sad for me because they will now be 300 miles away. I will visit them. In these days of cell phones, I can call just as much as I do now. But I won't see my Maureen once or twice a week, and she will not be just up the street.

I am extremely grateful that I have had the same job for 11 and a half years. They know me and know that I am not a wack case - so if I act like that for one day, it is not life threatening. I have an abundance of accumulated sick leave if I need it. I have good insurance and a good relationship with my primary care physician.

And most of all, I am grateful for a woman who has been my sponsor for over 11 years - over half of my sobriety. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever known. She is kind, and tough, and foul-mouthed, and prayerful. She is incredibly spiritual, and has both feet planted firmly on the ground. She is soft-spoken and sometimes has gravel in her voice. She is childlike, but is embarking on her retirement. She and I have gone head to head and argued and even yelled, but she has always told me she loves me and I know that she loves me, and I have always known that I love her, and told her so.

How can you ever ask for more than that?



Wednesday, February 22, 2006


There is an Icon Wrriting class in March that I want to attend. It is six full days. They don't call it painting, because it is not supposed to be a creative process... more of a transcribing process. You learn to make egg tempera and pigment, and gold leaf and it sounds so so so cool. But it is very expensive. I could do it, but it really would be my vacation. No trip to Puerto Rico. I could probably take a vacation somewhere "domestic" later in the summer, but the big trip would be off.

My sponsor says "do it," my sponsee says "do it," but it seems strange to me to take a week long, very expensive class, instead of going on a tropical vacation. Not that I can really schedule the tropical vacation because that thing at work still hasn't happened.

It is too freaking cold outside to run this morning. Maybe I will go to the pool at lunch time and swim laps. Yeah, that's it. That's what I'll do. Now what about the Icon Wrriting class? (I have deliberately misspelled the term because I don't want my blog to come up when someone is doing a search on this topic.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


This is how my tulips look now. I admire them for springing up through the ground when it has been below zero.

This is how they looked last year. I am anxious for spring to come. This has been a long winter.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Presidents' Day

Happy Presidents' Day everyone. Today is like this: I slept until 7:00 a.m. - really really late for me. I took a nice 2 mile run. I am home from my run. I need to get out and about and purchase a few things that will make my sponsor and her husband's stay here on Friday night nicer.

My daughter says she wants to come over today, but she told me that yesterday. She went home and slept all day instead. I am glad she was home anyway.

My son is packing up all his belongings to put into storage for his upcoming deployment. First to Texas for 6 months, and then to Iraq.

To escape, I went to see "Brokeback Mountain" yesterday. I didn't expect to like it much, but I was surprised by how much I disliked it. I just thought it was so sad. Missed opportunities, broken hearts, and dishonesty.

I am not in the best place. I am so sad that my sponsor is leaving. I am so sad that my daughter is being so awful. I am fighting fear about my son leaving.

Being somewhat practiced in living by the principles of AA, one day at a time, not picking up a drink... I know what to do. What I will do is pick up the phone and call someone who is really struggling. I am not really struggling... I am just facing life on life's terms, which isn't always pleasant. But there are those out there who are really struggling with their inner demons. Thank God that is not me today.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Insists on looking at Daave's blog every single day! I don't know WHAT to do with her.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

What's the point?

It is a rather morbid Saturday Morning. It is ice, ice, ice cold outside, so I didn't go to a meeting as I usually do on Saturday mornings. I cleaned my guest bedroom so that my sponsor and her husband can stay here next week - on their last night in town before they move. I am so sad about them leaving. I am making Boston Baked Beans for their going away party tomorrow. That's what they asked me to bring. If it were up to me, I would have made a festive cheesecake, or baked a fantastic bread, or something more fun than a stupid pot of beans. I am sure the beans will be good though. I soaked them all night and they will bake all day today. And with enough molasses, anything is good, right?

My daughter is out running - not a morning run, but you know, "running." Her husband is at home with the kids and their phone is disconnected. Shit. Shit. Double and Triple Shit. The apple does not fall far from the tree. I was doing some of the same stuff when I was 27 years old, like she is. But this is not about me. For now, I am butting out because her step mother is on her way to get her and they are going to have a family meeting. She is a lawyer and very good with figuring out what to do and managing others... something I need NOT to do. I will be standing by to hear how I may or not be involved in any future planning.

In cleaning out the guest bedroom, I came across years of accumluated stuff. I put out some pictures of my parents, a cute picture of me and my dad with matching hats, pictures of me with my kids when they were little, etc. I don't want to sound TOO morbid, but it really has been a good life. Amazing what happens when you stay sober, one day at a time, as the months, years, and decades accumulate.

There is heartbreak where there is joy. When you allow yourself to love someone else, you open your heart to pain. But I can be grateful to be fully alive and able love and feel pain as well as joy.

Friday, February 17, 2006

4 degrees

But with wind chill, it is -5. Five Degrees Below Zero. That is cold. It is supposed to snow later today, and there is still frigid snow on the ground, and on the street. I am not running outdoors today.

It is Friday and I have a three day weekend ahead. I was going to take today off so that I could have a four day weekend, but I have too much to do. I will try to make today an enjoyable one at work.

7:00 p.m. Update: It is -1 degree. -17 with wind chill factor. It is freaking cold. I went swimming after work, which was wonderful. Then I went grocery shopping. (scintillating, isn't it?) When you step outside, you can feel the snot in your nose freeze up. It is really, really cold. I am writing this for the benefit of certain people from Puerto Rico and Houston who long for winter.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Shoveling Snow

Shoveled the snow in my driveway this morning. It is 16 degrees outside. Very stimulating. I wish I could run, but that stuff is extremely slippery. I am grateful that I am a responsible homeowner today.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Busy Day

It was kind of a hard day at work. I don't want to go into details, but it was hard. People were upset and crying. I am glad I can be a listener and hopefully a helper to my colleagues. When I was drinking, it was always about me, I never could have listened to others and tried to be of help to them. I am grateful that I can do these things today.

I didn't even have time to write anything this morning. I had a nice run and got dressed quickly and got to work.

Can I ask a question? I am thinking of changing the name of my blog. The "Anonymous Alcoholic" may be a little too close for comfort to sounding exactly like "Alcoholics Anonymous". It gives me the creeps how many people arrive at my blog through searches that are obviously driven by a need for help. Then they get to my blog and I may have pictures of my flowers, or my bandannas, or it may be half nAAked Thursday, etc. I almost removed the blog after the first entry I put on it. I had the creeps then about seeming to be posing as THE anonymous alcoholic, like I am the paragon of sobriety. As anyone who has read this for a while knows, I am just a person with many flaws - but I happen to be a member of AA, and sober, by the Grace of God, since July 24, 1984. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

There is a nice history of Valentine's Day on Daave's Blog . We have a nice tradition at work... for a fund-raiser, we sell flowers. So in the days before Valentine's Day, we buy these cards, and write them out and return them. Today they will be attached to flowers and delivered to their intended recipients.

I also usually get 2 dozen red roses from my former b.f., I doubt that I will this year. And that is OK. Last night the man at the tanning salon gave me a package of Peeps hearts. Oh YUMMY. Pure sugar. I love it and it was nice of him.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

Update: These are the flowers I got at work today. It is a happy thing. I love flowers.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Monday Morning

On this Monday morning, I am glad to be getting back to work. I had a nice weekend and I am looking forward to a nice week. My son and daughter came over yesterday and we had a nice spagetti dinner and sat and watched "Mythbusters" all afternoon. It was great fun. Here's a picture of the clogs - as promised to Aawoken. I wish I could wear those shoes every day, they are so comfortable.

Here's a non-sequiter: I spoke with my ex-husband (on the phone) on Friday night. He is in Los Angeles for 6 months - he normally lives somewhere in Asia. I was happy to get a call from him. But almost immediately, he threw one of his zingers at me. Right after "hi, how are you, what are you doing, etc." he asked "so, how long's it been now since you have been back on the piss?" I asked WHAT? because, for one thing, I have forgotten his Australian lingo. The other reason I was incredulous was that in AA we NEVER joke about drinking. We laugh about everything, but never do we joke that we are drinking, that we might drink, that we did drink - these are not jokes. So, my ex said that he was joking. I told him immediately that it was not funny. We went on to have a conversation for over an hour. We even talked about meeting somewhere to have lunch.

But on Saturday morning, all I could think of was that ridiculous question he asked me. And I don't want to see him and I haven't returned his calls. He was abusive when we were married and he is still the same person. I do not want to see him. I will have to call him to tell him to stop calling me. I don't even want to talk to him.

I still don't know how I ever left him... with nothing but a backpack. But I thank God every day that I did. I always have the hope that I can remain friends or at least on amiable terms with all the people who have been in my life. But I think after all these years, I can just say that this one will not work out in any way, shape, or form.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Tag Again

Others are doing this one, so I will too.
Four jobs I’ve had in my life
  • Cleaning Houses
  • Flipping Burgers
  • Writing Professional Liability Insurance for lawyers (before I had a nervous breakdown)
  • Medical Records Director at a Hospital
Four movies I can watch over and over
  • Miss Congeniality
  • Fargo
  • Raising Arizona
  • Sound of Music
Four places I have Lived
  • Poland, Ohio
  • Abbotsford, British Columbia
  • Sedro Woolley, Washington
  • Denver, Colorado
Four places I have been on vacation
  • East Hampton, New York
  • Key Largo, Florida
  • Martha's Vineyard, Massachussets
  • San Francisco, California
Four websites I visit daily
  • rockymountainnews.com
  • denverpost.com
  • marychristineg
  • many websites I need to visit for my work
Four of my favorite foods
  • sushi
  • vietnamese noodle bowls
  • cheesecake
  • big, juicy, blood-rare steak

Four places I would rather be right now

  • On a Beach ANYWHERE warm
  • Floating in a clear blue-green ocean
  • On the Amtrak in a private room
  • In an AA meeting at my old home group
People I am tagging: The hAAlf nAAked ThusdAAy bunch.You have already done it!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Tag! You're it!

From Trudge:
-Worst Job I Ever Had: Counter help at an AA club - it was awful!
-3 Favorite Childhood Toys: Any baby doll, little bunk beds for my dolls, the little quilts that went on the bunk beds.
-College I attended: Regis (Jesuit) University, Denver, Colorado
-Ethnic Heritage: English, Irish, Scottish, Dutch, Welsh, German
-Father’s Occupation:Mechanical Engineer
-Mother’s Occupation: Insurance Claims Adjuster
-People I am tagging: Anyone who reads this blog!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Snowy Friday Morning

It is 18 degrees and there are a couple of inches of snow on the ground. Which is as it should be in Colorado in February. The last couple of days have been so nice and warm. But the nice and cold and snowy is good too.

I have a quiet day at work to look forward to. I think I will go swimming after work. (It is time for the triathlon training to begin in earnest.) There is a meeting tonight at 7:30, where my friend Ray is celebrating 34 years of sobriety. I went to that meeting last week and it was good to be with a bunch of people I have known for many years.

Last night I went to a good meeting and had pizza with my sponsee. It was nice.

Do I sound like a broken record? I am grateful to be sober. I am grateful for my life today, no matter what is going on. I am grateful that I can fully participate in life today. Or like the 12 & 12 says (loosely paraphrased) a neighbor among neighbors, a friend among friends, a worker among workers. And a blogger among bloggers? I am grateful for this community of sober bloggers.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Running with no hAAt

That spot of day-glo green is me, running away, with no hAAt on!
It was a beautiful sunrise this morning. And a beautiful run. And I thank God I am sober to see it and experience it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

My bandannas

Yes, they are ironed. The yellow one is new, and has not yet been used or washed. I cannot find my pink or lavender one.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Unique and Priceless

"For, to these people, I am truly related. First, through mutual pain and despair, and later through mutual objectives and new-found faith and hope. And, as the years go by, working together, sharing our experiences with one another, and also sharing a mutual trust, understanding and love-without strings, without obligation-we acquire relationships that are unique and priceless."
Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd edition, p. 312
Just like an alcoholic to feel BETTER after a funeral, huh? I went to Eddie's funeral this morning. It was terribly sad, but incredibly wonderful too. There were so many people there. Even the priest made a comment about the fellowship of AA and how many people were there. They also let us say the Lord's Prayer as a closing instead of the way it usually is. We all held hands and said "keep coming back" and then we all laughed - because it was so crazy to say that at a funeral.

There were so many people I hadn't seen in so long. Former lovers, many friends I had lost touch with, a couple of old sponsors, even my drunken former boyfriend you have all heard me talk so much about. We were all kids together. We were kids when we were already supposed to be grown ups, but we grew up together because we got sober together. Most of us there were around 20 to 25 years sober. Some older, some newer, some not even sober (like my former boyfriend).

Eddie touched a lot of lives. He never gave up on people. He never gave up on my former boyfriend - even though every one else has. There was another guy I sat with at lunch, he is from my new home group and he didn't know anyone else there. I asked him how he knew Eddie, and he told me that Eddie saved his life in the last year as he has been going through a divorce. Eddie was relentless. And he helped a lot of people. I am honored to have known and loved him.

If you are new to AA, please keep coming. The relationships you make in AA are unlike any others you have ever had. I kept thinking about the big book quote I put on here. "For to these people, I am TRULY related." I would have never chosen these people to be in my life, but God chose them for me, and they are infinitely better than anything I might have dreamed up for myself. Thank God for the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.


I still have the migraine. When I get them, they usually last for 3 days. Sometimes only 2. I went to bed last night praying for 2 instead of 3. Maybe it can be 2 and a half?

I am going to go into work for a couple of hours and then go to my friend Eddie's funeral at 11:00. Unless there is something big going on at work, which I don't anticipate, I will come home from Eddie's funeral instead of going back to work.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I had a teeny headache when I woke up yesterday. Then it blossomed into a migraine. By yesterday afternoon, I was reduced to laying on the sofa, watching ridiculous TV and crying. Anyone else see CMT's Cowboy U? Imagine watching that and CRYING!?! Crying does not help a migraine, but I couldn't stop.

I still have the migraine. I didn't go to church. I didn't go for a swim at 6:30 this morning like I planned. I am so grateful that I didn't make any plans for watching the Super Bowl.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Saddy Mornin'

I slept late today, which I consider a minor miracle. A nice thing. It is 8:15 a.m., and I am sitting here in my jammies. Drinking coffee. Reading blogs, writing mine. Considering my plans for the day. Have already asked God to direct my thinking, asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.

Yesterday I went on a bit of a shopping spree. It is hard for me to do this. I have a bit of difficulty with money. Right now I am fine, but I need to be careful not to drift back into debt.

So, I bought the above dress. I tried it on last week and it looks really fabulous. Well, then I realized that I have no shoes that would look nice with that and I went out to purchase a pair of "Keen" Mary Janes. But when I tried on the Mary Janes, I thought they looked a little wacky on a 54 year old woman. So I purchased a pair of Dansko clogs. Which will look a little wacky with a little dress, but I wanted the Danskos. Because I have plantar fasciitis and they are supposed to really help with that. And while I was at REI, I purchased a travel and fitness towel... and a bandanna....

OK I will stop now. No one reads my blog over the weekend, so I guess it is safe to just do this rambly, rambly stuff.

Friday, February 03, 2006

A Good Night's Sleep

is what I got last night. It is almost 7:00 a.m. and I just woke up! Although I could say that I need to get to work, etc., I am going to sit here for a moment and savor the cup of coffee and to contemplate what an honor it is that people actually read this!

I went to a meeting at my home group last night and then went for pizza with my sponsee, her partner, and my sponsor. It was really nice. It is good to be with people to whom I feel such a deep connection.

Here's something from my morning reading:
"But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child-our own two eyes. All is a miracle."
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I need to wAAke up!

See my pals over at half nAAked thursday
I am not awake. I truly need to drink this coffee. And get to the gym. And get to work. I hope this Groundhog Day isn't like the movie.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Wednesday Morning

Grateful for:
A beautiful sunrise as I was running this morning.
That orange, pink, blue, lavender, and red are a lovely color combination on God's pallette.
Stiletto heels, they feel so dang good!
A silk skirt - I am so sick of wearing suits!
Old Friends and new friends.
Sponsor and sponsees.
A beautiful life as a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous.