Friday, November 30, 2007

Winter Storm Warning

At this time of the year, I get excited about every snowflake. We are expecting more tonight. By the end of December last year, having already gotten 5 feet of snow in the last 10 days of the year, I was not excited about snow. But for now, I am.

Last night I received the packet of information for faculty of the University from which I graduated (both my bachelors and masters degrees). I will likely start teaching in January. I will retain my current job, this will be only part time teaching.

Fourteen years ago I was an unemployed homeless woman with a high school diploma. BUT I was 9 years sober, and there was hope, as long as I was sober. At 10 years of sobriety, I got a job, got a nice apartment, and started college - at the age of 43.

So here I am, these years later. Looking at the packet of information for faculty. Faculty. At the prestigious University I only dreamed of ever attending. The day I went there for my admission interview, I was so terrified, I thought sure they would find out who I really was, and they would never let me in. And now I will be teaching there.

God certainly can work miracles in our lives if we let him.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Trying Times

These are trying times. Some of the reasons I have mentioned here, most I haven't. I try not to write very much about work, so I haven't written very much about work - but it is very trying right now. I am also having a relationship issue, which hurts very much. Hurting my back on Sunday affected my mood in 2 ways. 1. pain - it colors a person's world. 2. running is one of my major mental health measures - and now I can't run.

The good news? I am sober and have been through all of this before, so I know that I will be OK. I have lots of good friends who put up with me. I sponsor 4 beautiful women who are a joy in my life. My children will help me with things if I ever realize that I am not 20 years old anymore and actually need help from time to time.

By staying sober, by the Grace of God, one day at a time, for a little while, my life has changed dramatically. I have stable relationships. I am well-plugged into an AA community. I am well-plugged into my church community. I am even well-plugged into my work community. I have support everywhere I go. I just realized it was 2 years yesterday since Trudge found my blog and I got hooked into this blogging community. It is all good.

"Therefore, the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than in his body." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 23

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chain Laws

The Chain Laws are in effect this morning. Does anyone know what that means? It just started snowing here and there is already quite a bit on the ground. It is pretty.

I am going to head out of here to a 6:30 meeting.

I am knitting cool things for Christmas gifts for people at work and I am actually excited about that.

This snow is so pretty!

I am out of here, man!

"My observation is that some people can get by with a certain amount of postponement, but few can live with outright rebellion." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 322

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Another back injury

See that cute little tree with the pretty little lights? It's cute, isn't it? I really like it. I have two of them in front of my house. They were formerly on my deck, in the back of my house. They got to the front of my house by me picking them up and carrying them from the back to the front. Did I ask my 6'5" son, in the peak of health and fitness, to pick them up and move them for me? No, I did not think to do that. Some day I will learn. My back is killing me. And I can't run with a back like this, so it throws my world asunder.

I just erased two paragraphs of how tired and busy I am. As my friend Larry would say "fuggedaboudit!" Pain is a challenge and colors my world. This too shall pass....

"We have found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 7

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Morning

It will be a big day at work. I brought work home with me so that I could get it all done over the weekend and waltz into work today without pressure. Guess what I never touched over the weekend? yep. my work. So it is very important that I get to work on time so that I can finish this project prior to the 10:00 meeting where it will be dissected, critiqued, and finalized.

Yesterday I did phase 2 of my Christmas decorations for my house. I moved two ponderosa pines in pots from my deck to my front yard, then wrapped them in Christmas lights. Oh, they are so pretty. And, oh, how I hurt my back!

Yesterday I also ran 7 miles. I ran a route I have never taken before. I actually ran from the town I live in to another town, which is a mountain resort-y town... which on Sunday morning is fairly sickening with the smell of restaurants cooking greasy breakfasts - yuck. It was pretty to run on a trail along a partially frozen creek ( wish the picture above was better, but it is a cell phone photo - I particularly wish you could hear the creek rushing under the ice).

So I will get on with my day and pray that I can keep my ego out of the way and just try to do the best job possible with whatever God puts in front of me today.

"The wise have always known that no one can make much of his life until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until he is able to admit and accept what he finds, and until he patiently and persistently tries to correct what is wrong." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 88

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Spiritual Awakening

I am an alcoholic. I was unable to quit on my own. I got to Alcoholics Anonymous on July 24, 1984 and have not had a drink since. I have only wanted to have a drink on a couple of occasions since I got sober and still did not have a drink. I give the credit for this to a loving God who could do for me what I could not do for myself.

Someone (I forget who, sorry) yesterday suggested that you are doomed to drink again until you have had a spiritual awakening. This is my story and it is the story of many others. But I must say, it is not everyone's story.

One of my dearest friends in AA claims to be an atheist. Years ago, I was sure this would change in time, and I still am sure it will. However, she is now sober 17 years, and still ducks out of the meeting before the Lord's Prayer each day. And yet! she has not had a drink, nor has she had many cravings for a drink. The other wonderful thing about her is that she owns a liquor store, and works there. When I first met her, I was sure that she would either drink or she would get out of the liquor business. And yet! she continues to sit in a liquor store a couple of times a week and she has not had a drink, nor has she had many cravings for a drink. She sponsors people, she is very active in AA, she is someone everyone knows they can call - and she truly will "be there" for you. She has "been there" for me many times. She was particularly helpful in the year that my son was in Iraq... and although our politics are polar opposites, it never came up. I thank God for her. One time she told me that she doesn't believe in God, and I told her not to worry, God believes in her. I have since stopped saying things like that to her because they make her want to be sick.

So, what does this have to do with anything? I lose my judgment when I see how flawed it is. I just don't know what God has in mind for each of us.

None of us are the same, I believe that God created each of us in His image, but we are all different a bit. Each of us have our own gifts and challenges to bring to the table. Thank God for the diversity of us.

"The minute I figure I have got a perfectly clear pipeline to God, I have become egotistical enough to get into real trouble. Nobody can cause more needless grief than a power-driver who thinks he has got it straight from God." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 38

Saturday, November 24, 2007

13 degrees

It is very cold outside. 13 degrees fahrenheit. It's really kind of nice. I really enjoy the changing seasons.

I am going to my 6:30 a.m. meeting this morning. My kids are coming over later for a nice game of Risk. Actually one of my daughters doesn't understand why we want to play a game of world domination and get so competitive over little color coded continents. I love it. Some really fine childhood memories of mine involve games of Risk - the whole family sitting around a table, rolling dice, arguing over rules and strategies. I think it is a good time and 2/3 of my children do too!

At this meeting I may run into someone I have been avoiding. I hope I don't. But I need to not be avoiding people. I talked to my friend Holly for about an hour last night and she encouraged me to come to the meeting. I wish I were a stronger person, I would not need to avoid a person I love but need to not see anymore. In time, In time.

That is a good thing about long term sobriety. No matter what I am going through, I have deep faith that all will be well, it just may not feel really great right now.

"We can believe that God is in His heaven and that He has purpose for our lives, which will eventually work out as long as we try to live the way we believe He wants us to live. It has been said that we should 'wear the world like a loose garment.' That means that nothing should seriously upset us because we have a deep and abiding faith that God will always take care of us. To us that means not to be too upset by the surface wrongness of things, but to feel deeply secure in the fundamental goodness and purpose in the universe." - July 16 reading from Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Friday, November 23, 2007

Seven Things

Furry Chocolates tagged me to list seven things facts I have learned in recovery. There was a list of rules to follow, and (surprise! surprise!) I am not following them.

1. Very few things are about me (I used to worry about what people thought of me until I realized how seldom they do.)

2. Recovery from alcoholism requires surrender - not more self-will.

3. I cannot improve my self-esteem by willpower. I must become a person worthy of esteem. (even at my lowest point, I knew I was intelligent - tricks like telling the mirror I am wonderful are not going to work!)

4. One of the best ways to feel better about myself is to help someone else.

5. Learning how to say "no" might be a big problem for others, but I have had to work diligently on learning how to say "yes".

6. If I am feeling guilty, it is probably because I am.

7. Sobriety is a miracle every day, no matter how many days you string together.

I am not tagging anyone else because I realize some of you don't like being tagged. Others have been tagged. Consider yourself tagged if you want to do this.

"Our entire AA program rests upon the principle of mutual trust. We trust God, we trust AA, and we trust each other." -- Twelve Concepts, p. 16

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Going to church this morning was really wonderful. I was concerned that my prayer partners wouldn't be there - it is easy to forget that today is Thursday, and I need to be at church at 5 a.m., even though it is Thanksgiving. But I was there, and they were there, and the people who are there from 4 to 5 were there, and the people who come at 6 and stay till 7 came.

I am now going to go back to bed for an hour or so. My children will be over at 9! We are having brunch here - then they will go to their dad's. Although I would like for them to stay here - I am so very grateful for the changes that have happened in my family in the last year.

A year ago my son was in Iraq. That is a special kind of heartache I wouldn't wish on anyone. I am so grateful he is home.

A year ago one of my daughters was using meth. She had just gotten into a car accident with my unrestrained, sitting in the front seat, 7 year old granddaughter -- who got an airbag in the face. She only had scrapes on her face, thank God, but she got to watch her mother being handcuffed and taken away. My daughter had a broken sternum and got to recouperate in jail.

A year ago, my "other" daughter and I were quite lonely for our family. This year we have them back. Praise God.

I may go down to the club later and have a Thanksgiving dinner... and I may not. I am going to just relax and do whatever I feel like. And that is a good thing.

Thank God I am sober today. I thank God you are sober today too. I thank God for the wonderful people I have come to know through blogging. I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving.

"How much better it would have been had I felt gratitude rather than self-satisfaction - gratitude that I had once suffered the pains of alcoholism, gratitude that a miracle of recovery had been worked upon me from above, gratitude for the privilege of serving my fellow alcoholics, and gratitude for those fraternal ties which bound me ever closer to them in a comradeship such as few societies of men have ever known." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 133

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Two aspen trees - right beside my front porch. I wanted to take a picture of the snow, but not actually get dressed and put on shoes. So I stood in my pajamas and flip flops, in the little patch outside my front door with no snow (yet).

I love the changing of the seasons. Last night I woke up at about 1:00 a.m., and looked out the window and saw snow. I was so excited it took me a couple more hours to get back to sleep.

I am grateful this morning that I am a sober woman living in the free world. I am grateful that I am gainfully employed and that I am very busy. Due to unfortunate circumstances, my expertise is particularly needed and appreciated right now at work. I am glad that I can bring competence, compassion, and humor into a dark situation.

My first sober Thanksgiving was in 1984. I had no idea how I could stay sober on a holiday that had formerly meant drunken gluttony. I found that I could instead think of the real meaning of the holiday - to thank God for all we had. And I could try to bring some peace and joy into the lives of others. I could start right away by amazing my nephews by not drinking that day. My nephews stared at me all day - it was as though I was walking on my hands instead of my feet - they were astounded that Aunt Mary was not drinking! My kids did not have to worry about fights breaking out, and no one had to worry about whatever chicanery I was going to bring to the table (as it were) that day. Since then, Thanksgiving has been one of my favorite holidays. Not for the food (I don't even like turkey), but for the rich meaning of the day.

I am grateful to live in a country where our founding fathers dreamed up the idea of a national day of thanksgiving. What a place!

"Gratitude should go forward, rather than backward. In other words, if you carry the message to still others, you will be making the best possible repayment for the help given to you." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 29

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday before Thanksgiving

I like this week. I like Thanksgiving. I like the fact that I am not traveling for Thanksgiving. I like that so many people are on vacation at work - I can get a lot of work done this week! I like that it is supposed to snow later today!!!

Last night I met the sponsee who has recently been drinking at a meeting. It was a wonderful meeting and just the thing the doctor ordered - I think. A new woman brought up the topic of "what are the rules around here?" There was an altercation at a meeting last week and she was very upset about it. Oh, how I remember when I was new and I thought that "they" ought to kick this guy and that guy out of AA. Who "they" was, I had no idea, but "they" needed to fix a lot of stuff about AA!

Someone suggested to me at that time that I read the traditions in the 12 & 12 - so I did. I learned that AA is "benign anarchy" and I came to love it! I later realized that we are all a bunch of drunks and sometimes we behave like a bunch of drunks. Imagine that!

So, last night at the meeting, a few of us talked about AA meeting etiquette. It was great. We got a chance to say that one person talks at a time. That we don't argue with each other during the meeting. That we should not give advice unless asked. That we share our own experience, strength, and hope - and there is not much to argue about there! We even got a chance to say that it is a good idea to get to the meeting on time, and stay until it is over. AND not get up 45 times to go to the bathroom or get coffee, or whatever, during the meeting! I swear I learned how to sit still for an hour by sitting in AA meetings. I was told that I could hold my pee until the meeting was over. Seriously.

It was great that this newly sober again woman was at this meeting. She is really mad at AA for supposedly failing her. It is hard for me to listen to. I tell her it is up to her to stop drinking. We can be there to help, but we cannot do it for her. But I want to hang up the phone and tell her to get screwed. Really, I do.

I really thank God that I was done drinking when I got to AA. That I was ready to listen to things I didn't want to hear. That I was willing to listen to people who didn't look like me or act like me, or wear the finest clothes or drive the nicest cars - or use the nicest language. I was willing to get on my knees and ask a Higher Power to help me - when I thought that Higher Power had turned his back on me so many years before.

And in exchange for "humbling" myself in this way? I have gotten a life grander than anything I ever imagined. Just another AA paradox...

"We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator. We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness. Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 68

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday Morning

This is my now four year old granddaughter - with her princess adorned ice cream cake.... the center of attention, the recipient of great love, and a precious little girl.

I am grateful that I get to be a part of my family today. It is indeed miraculous. I get to watch my daughter's disease affect her family - especially her children. I get to watch what I must have looked like at her age... drunk or sober. I was consumed with selfishness.

I thank God these children have a very actively involved extended family. And I know that God has no grandchildren.

I am going to church this morning. I am in the middle of some pretty intense stuff that I have not been writing about. My audience has expanded to those who are hateful, so it is difficult to write about deep stuff - which I probably shouldn't write about anyway. I think the struggle is over, I think I have finally reached the point of surrender, and that is a good thing. So, going to church on my way to work is probably a good idea this morning.

"We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 85

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Birthday to Scott!

Daave, MC, and Scott - on a lovely April Day in Houston Texas. I just wish Pammie was in the picture - because she was there too! (I wonder how sorry she is that she doesn't get that lovely white blob over her face...)

Happy Happy Birthday Scott. Four years of continuous sobriety! Four years of being a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous! I am so glad I have gotten to meet you, and Daave, and Pammie and other bloggers. You have added immensely to my sober experience.

"Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends-this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives." Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 89

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday Morning Meeting

I went to the 6:30 meeting this morning. For some reason, I sat like an old curmudgeon this morning and nearly everything pissed me off.

The meeting started with a woman who has not been sober very long - talking about going to a party tonight - where there will be lots of booze. And she is looking forward to showing everyone that she is sober! She is impervious to the temptations of booze!

And everyone said "oh, goodie goodie for you".

I said "the big book says we are neither cocky nor are we afraid." That if all the people who GOT sober in that meeting were still sober, we would have to hold the meeting at Mile High Stadium.

Maybe I have seen too many people go out recently. Maybe I am disturbed by the woman I sponsor who is lying again. She is drinking - and still going to meetings, and still talking to me. She is in her 60s, has a bad heart and a bad liver, I do not want to go to her funeral.

I am sober by the grace and perfect mercy of God. That's it. I am more grateful than words could begin to say. I wish everyone who got to AA was done drinking. I wish everyone who was done drinking could realize that they are out of good ideas. I wish everyone who was done drinking had already lost everything they needed out of their lives in order to stay sober. But that, unfortunately, is not always the case.

So I will go out and run this morning and by the time I have run 8 miles, I won't be worried and frustrated anymore. I will be a happy girl.

"If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that some day we will be immune to alcohol." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 33

Friday, November 16, 2007

Good Friday Morning

There is a beautiful sunrise brewing out there and I think I will get out and run in it! I will post a picture if I take a glorious one.
It was pink and gorgeous when I got outside. I got to see the sunrise, which was beautiful - and bright! At 3 miles, I saw the bird's nest. I thought it was so pretty. A little thing hidden by the leaves for 6 months, and now exposed.

I have no great wisdom today. I am just grateful to be alive and sober and part of God's beloved creation. I will go forth and try to live up to this glorious gift.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday Morning

And I get to go to church to sit in silent prayer for an hour from 5 to 6 a.m.

Then I get to come home and go back to bed for an hour or so before I get up and quickly put my clothes back on and get out the door to work.

I get to go to my nice office today.

I get to crunch numbers this morning, figuring out means, standard deviations and confidence intervals ( I Like This!)

I get the chance to show if I have any recovery at a weekly meeting at 2:00 p.m. that weekly tests my serenity, peace, self-esteem, patience, and love.

I don't regularly meet with any of my sponsees on Thursday night, so I get to come straight home from work and do whatever the heck I feel like doing (and what I feel like doing might be to go to a meeting and dinner with my oldest sponsee!)

I have new glasses with a new prescription and I get to see better than I have for a while!

For all these things, I am grateful.... well, maybe not the 2:00 meeting at work. Some Thursdays I wish I could disappear just from about 1:30 to 3:30. Fall off the face of the earth.... but the rest of it? I am grateful, happy, and thankful!

"Can we actually carry the AA spirit into our daily work? Can we meet our newly recognized responsibilities to the world at large? And can we bring new purpose and devotion to the religion of our choice? Can we find a new joy of living in trying to do something about all these things?" -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 112

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Today would have been one of my sponsees' first AA birthday. She called yesterday to tell me that she had been drinking for about a month. Drinking and going to meetings, and still calling me. She was so full of shame it was awful. She was so afraid to tell me that she was drinking.

I told her that she did what alcoholics do. We drink. I told her that I do not judge her and no one else has the right to judge her either. I told her she is an adult woman and I cannot force her to do anything, but I have attended enough funerals and I believe I will attend hers in short order if she continues to drink. She said she would go to a meeting and raise her hand. I will find out today if she did that. I pray she did. Literally, I pray she did. I pray for her every single day. She is such a beautiful person.

I told her that we are not able to keep ourselves sober. Only God can keep us sober. We have to cooperate a little, but that is about it.

That is why you will never ever hear me say....
Keep coming back, it works, IF YOU WORK IT.


It just works. God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. If I was able to WORK to stay sober, I would have gotten sober years before I ruined my marriage, caused trauma to my children, and withstood years of alcoholic misery.

In surrendering to God, and allowing Him to work in my life, I have been able to do things I could never have dreamed. God has fashioned me into a woman I had no idea even existed.

I pray that this beautiful woman can surrender to God and allow Him to work in her life.

"The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 43

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yay! Back to Work!

No more mid-morning runs. No more mid morning, mid afternoon, and mid evening naps. No more snacking all the live long day.

I am back to work today! Yay!

I have enjoyed my vacation, but I am happy to be going back to work. I stopped into my office yesterday afternoon because I needed something. It looked so pretty. My desk chair was so comfortable.

If only I could just appreciate the job for what it is and not worry about what everyone else is doing, my work life would be much happier. In the last couple of months, I have watched someone else get promoted around me... the job I have been hanging around waiting for years for it to open, certain that I would get it. Then I applied for another job and didn't get that either.

My sponsor keeps saying a big change is around the corner for me. I thought it was nursing school. Then I thought it was teaching. Maybe the big change is in my own psyche.

"Happiness isn't having what you want, it is wanting what you have." (I don't know who to attribute this to, does anyone?)

Today I want what I have. I am so incredibly grateful for this life I have today.

"We know that God lovingly watches over us. We know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us, here and hereafter." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 105

Monday, November 12, 2007

The less I do...

The less I want to do. When I was a teenager, my uncle told me that if you want something done, ask the busiest person you know to do it. That made no sense to me then. But I have realized the truth in that as I have aged.

This is my last day of vacation. I am glad. I have enjoyed it immensely, but I have watched my energy level decrease by the day. Last night I went to bed at 7:30 - and slept until 5: 30 this morning. I miss my normal self who does so much and still has time to do some more.

I am now off to an AA meeting, then I will go to the gym, then I need to finish my homework for my class tonight.

"True humility and an open mind can lead us to faith, and every AA meeting is an assurance that God will restore us to sanity if we rightly relate ourselves to Him." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 33

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Grateful Grandmother

This is a candid shot of my granddaughter taken yesterday on our hike. She was looking out at Denver and finding landmarks and thereby figuring out where her grandfather, her uncle, and her aunt all live.

This morning I went to a meeting where there was much reality. A woman's son had a serious car accident... the man next to me had fallen asleep at the wheel last night and gone off the road at 75 mph - and was there to talk about it... a man has separated from his wife of 30 years. And I know what I say next is what people don't understand about AA, and indeed, some even HATE AA for this... but we were all so very grateful. Her son lived! He is in serious condition, but he has a mom he can count on to be there today - that was not always the case. His truck didn't rollover - even though he was going so fast and he is alive and sober to be there today. He is sober - heartbroken, hurt, devastated, but sober. He has a chance if he remains sober. If he drinks, he loses all.

Today I will take a run, and then get ready for my son coming over for lunch. After he leaves, I need to finish my homework for Biblical School. The assignments are getting harder every week, and I am really spending a lot of time reading scripture... something I never realized how much I would enjoy.

Today is Veterans' Day. I am so grateful for all the men and women of the all volunteer armed services of the United States - who have been willing to put it all on the line for what they believe in. I am particularly grateful for my son, the fact that he is home, but also for who he is. He is a wonderful man, a veteran of a foreign war, who gladly went off to do what he thought was right. I am so proud.

"On the day that the calamity of Pearl Harbor fell upon our country, a great friend of AA was walking along a St. Louis street. Father Edward Dowling was not an alcoholic, but he had been one of the founders of the struggling AA group in his city. Because many of his usually sober friends had already taken to their bottles that they might blot out the implications of the Pearl Harbor disaster, Father Ed was anguished by the thought that his cherished AA group would probably do the same. Then a member, sober less than a year, stepped alongside and engaged Father Ed in a spirited conversation--mostly about AA. Father Ed saw, with relief, that his companion was perfectly sober. 'How is it that you have nothing to say about Pearl Harbor? How can you roll with a punch like that?' 'Well,' replied the yearling, 'each of us in AA has already had his own private Pearl Harbor. So why should we drunks crack up over this one?" -- As Bill Sees It, p. 71

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday Morning

Oh! What a glorious thing it is! It's Saturday morning. It's going to be a beautiful November day. My granddaughter spent the night with me. We just ate breakfast and will soon take a hike up a nearby mountain.

What a joy it is to live as a sober woman! My entire family was here last night for dinner. Then we realized that the Wizard of Oz was on television. We turned out the lights and watched the movie. The little one was so afraid of the Wicked Witch of the West... she ran to my son, her uncle, every time the witch was on... it was so dear.

So, I will give little Miss a bath and then bundle up for a hike up a mountain! Fun at Nana's!

"It is not always the quantity of good things that you do, it is also the quality that counts." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 11

Friday, November 09, 2007

Comment Moderation

I apologize to all but one... I have enabled "comment moderation". Our sexually abused, orphaned, bipolar disordered (manic phase), hyperreligious, delusional friend from down unda has crossed the line and I cannot have this stuff polluting my blog.

I am a Roman Catholic woman, my faith means more to me than anything. To distort the face and words of Jesus Christ to make a point about your loathing of AA is just more than I can bear.

I turn on electric lights every day. This does not mean I am "idol worshiping" Thomas Alva Edison. I just use what God enabled him to discover, or invent. I don't even think about it, and I certainly don't need to figure out what his beliefs were. I am thankful that God gave us intellect and we have been able to do many things with it.

I am a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous. I do not worship Bill Wilson. I just use what God enabled him to discover, or invent. I don't need to pick Bill Wilson apart. I thank God that he put Bill and Bob together when he did and they were able to find a way to recover from a "seemingly hopeless state of mind and body." Then they passed that on to others and now we have approximately 2 million recovering alcoholics.

Alcoholics Anonymous does not ever enter into religious debate. That does not mean its members are not religious. Many of us are deeply religious. But we of Alcoholics Anonymous are free to find our own paths. We are not the arbiters of anyone's religiosity or spirituality.

I know as I write this that I should not post it, but I will post it. I am a human being. I have been wounded by these cruel and idiotic comments on my blog. To cloak your hatred in supposed Christianity is so incredibly hurtful to me and gives us all a big fat black eye.

"Judge not, that you not be judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get." Matthew 7:1-2"

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Vacation Activities...

I went shopping yesterday! My sister had sent me a gift certificate, and there was a sale, and there was an additional 25% off sale items... so I got $601. worth of merchandise for $229., $29. of which I had to cough up. Oh, it was delightful! 2 pairs of shoes, 1 handbag, 1 sweater, 1 cashmere wrap, and 2 pairs of stockings!

Then I went to see a movie. The Movie (Bella) was good. Eduardo Verastegui is so good looking it is unbelievable.I am off to church now. Then I will go to a meeting. Then the rest of the day is free for me to take a run, take a nap, have lunch, have dinner, go to another movie, do what I want! I am loving this vacation.

"Thank you so much for your letter of criticism. I'm certain that had it not been for its strong critics, AA would have made slower process. ... The unreasonable ones have taught me, I hope, a little patience." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 326

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wonderful Wednesday

On Monday, I actually considered going back to work and forgoing this "waste of time, not going anywhere" vacation. Yesterday I had a great day, and frankly this morning I am enjoying sitting here in my jammies, drinking coffee, not worrying about being anywhere.

Yesterday morning I went to a meeting, then I went to church, then I came home and ran 3 miles, then I had lunch with a dear friend. I came home and took a 2 HOUR NAP! Then a sponsee came over, after she left I watched my fave TV show (House), and then I went to bed! It was a great day!

I haven't spoken to my sponsor about my big career decision yet. I think I have made my decision though. I think it is tempting to go back to square one with my career and start something new. That is what I like to do. I would like to start in an entirely new direction. However, I think it is more responsible to progress in the career I have already devoted most of my career to. I am good at it, I have the skills, knowledge, and ability - and I have creativity. I can bring all that into teaching others. (I talked about this briefly at the meeting yesterday, and afterwards a new woman came up to me and told me she didn't care WHAT I was teaching, she wanted to be in my class!)

Today I think I will go shopping. I still have a movie I would really like to see... either this afternoon or tonight. It is Bella and is supposed to be very special.

I am so glad I decided to just take this time to just be at home. It is good.

I am considering discontinuing my AA literature quote at the end of each post - it seems I pick the same quotes over and over.... any opinions?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Third Step is Forever...

Forever, since that day in July 1984, to this day, my life is in God's hands. When I have tried to pry it back it has been disastrous.

So, I sat on my dream of going to nursing school, not telling anyone - thinking it would go away. It hasn't gone away, but yesterday something else got inserted into the equation.

I had a call in to the director of the program at the University from which I graduated. Yesterday she called me back. She said she had been thinking about me and was going to call me anyway. She offered me a job teaching. I told her I would have to consider it and call her back, but it was very exciting.

I would rather go to nursing school. But the truth is - it would be far wiser for me to grow up and teach in my own field - in which I have considerable experience and knowledge. I still haven't made a decision, but I think I am leaning toward making the "wise" decision. I have always wanted to teach and it would increase my income quite a bit. (It is a program for adults, so it is nights and weekends - I would keep my current job and add this on.)

So, since I am on vacation - I am going to a meeting this morning, then to church, then I am going to go to a movie this afternoon, and this evening I have a sponsee coming over. Sounds like a great day to me! Hope you all have a great sober day!

"True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the profound desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 46

Monday, November 05, 2007

Cool November Morning

Today is my first day of this week of vacation. Unfortunately, I have to go to court. My homeowner's association is suing someone who refuses to pay their dues ($100. a year!) and the president of the board has asked all of the board to show up for moral support. So I will go and be morally supportive (?) and hope this doesn't take all day. - and as you might guess, there is more to this story than just the $100. a year... but it isn't even worth the space to type it.

I hope that today I will get more information about the nursing school I hope to attend. On Friday I put in some phone calls and some requests for mailed information . I could conceivably get some answers today. I am still praying and still very very excited about the idea.

The picture above is from my run on Saturday morning. A cell phone photo barely begins to do it justice, but there it is anyway.

I don't seem to have much to say this morning. I am just feeling very happy and peaceful. I had a wonderful weekend, full of people I love. Night watch on Saturday was just wonderful, yesterday my son came over, and later someone came over and we sat on the sofa and watched a football game. My house is immaculately clean from all the preparations for Saturday. It is beautiful outside. I still have a lingering cough, but I am not sick like I was just a few days ago. Life is good.

"Such is the paradox of AA regeneration: strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one's old life as a condition for finding a new one." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 49

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Standard Time

This is one of my favorite days of the year... It is 5:44 a.m., but feels like 6:44 a.m. to me. So, I can go out and run before church this morning! By noon, it will be time for a nap, and heck, I just might take one.

Night watch was spectacular! It really was a spectacle to see so many people in my tiny house. We ate almost all the food, which I have never seen happen at night watch - and believe me, there was a LOT of food. We only got three phone calls, 2 looking for meetings, and one real live 12 step call.

Do you know how risky it feels to be telling you all my dream? I hope that it will become reality, so I better start saying it out loud (or writing it out loud)...

I want to go to nursing school.

There is a program at the University where I got both my bachelor's and master's degrees - it is for people who are already working full time in healthcare, who have bachelor's degrees, but not in nursing... who want to get a bachelor's in nursing. It is a 2 year program... the classes are at night and the clinicals are on the weekends. I know it has to be expensive, this kind of wonderful program does not come cheap. What I don't know is if there is a wait list. As a woman 5 weeks away from her 56th birthday, I do not have the luxury of a year or two wait.

There are prerequisites, 2 of which I have already completed - Anatomy and Physiology I and Anatomy and Physiology II. I would need to take Chemistry and Microbiology before admittance. I could easily get that done before next summer.

So, I feel so excited just because I am moving forward on a dream. I thought I was too old. I thought my lot in life was cast. But I am going to put one foot in front of the other and move forward with this. If it is possible, it will happen. If it is not to be, it will not be. But I feel so very excited.

"We are privileged to communicate with each other to a degree and in a manner not very often surpassed among our nonalcoholic friends in the world around us." -- As Bill Sees It, p.231

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saturday Fabulousness

First of all, I love Saturday morning - any Saturday morning. Second of all, I love to have night watch at my house, and I am doing that tonight. Third of all, I love this time of the year. I love, love, love it. I am heading out of here in a minute to the 6:30 a.m. Saturday meeting. I love that meeting too!

Last night I got all the scrubbing, scouring, waxing, and dusting done. All I have to do today is cook! I love to cook! I am making something different - I made a sample last night for dinner and it was quite good. It is a chicken sour cream burrito casserole. I don't normally make casseroles, and I normally REFUSE to make any recipe that calls for a "can of cream of something or other soup" YUK. ..... However, I decided to change my mind. And I think I like it. I don't have to be a food snob, I can change! (I am also making a pumpkin pie, and an apple cake, oh, and a salad - and others will bring whatever they bring, such fun.)

It is now about 3 weeks ago, I had a radical new idea. I decided to just sit on it and do nothing. I thought it would go away. It did not go away. I have prayed about it, and it persisted. Yesterday, I finally decided to talk to a few select people about it. They were all delighted, excited, happy, and encouraging. I thought they would tell me to get my head out of my a** and realize I am an old woman. Ha! No one said that! I did some research, requested information, put out some inquiries, and I continue to pray. If I am still thinking along these lines tomorrow, I will put it out here - into the blogosphere - for all to see.

Now I better get ready for the meeting. Oh, Glorious Saturday Morning! I am well again. I can breathe again. I may actually go out for a run this morning for the first time in over 2 weeks!

"But when, now and then, we could gladly make the right choices without rebellion, hold-out, or conflict, then we had our first view of what perfect freedom under God's will could be like." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 124

Friday, November 02, 2007

Run, Run, Run, Run, Run....

And I don't mean the kind of running I like! I am a busy girl. It is good. I am having an AA function here tomorrow night, and I am trying to get everything ready. This has involved even buying new dining room chairs - which I needed anyway.

Spending lots of money causes me anxiety. There it is. I have been a spendthrift most of my life and I am trying so hard to be more responsible with my money. So, yesterday I went in the morning for an eye exam - which cost me a co-pay. No big deal. I need a new prescription, which is why I went. I went later to order new glasses, and since they had a sale, I ordered my first ever pair of prescription sunglasses. That cost a few hundred dollars. I returned my most extravagant purchase of the year (the Garmin GPS, watch, heart rate monitor, all around whiz bang runner's wrist machine) because it stopped working on Wednesday... but I exchanged it for a new one. While I was at one of my favorite stores on earth (REI), I purchased a new shirt... not a big expense. Then I went to the Party Store to get plates and napkins for the thing on Saturday night. Probably I could get by without "pretty" stuff, but I think pretty stuff makes all the difference between niceness and ordinariness. Anyway, I think I need to keep my wallet on a chain for a day or two - well, after buying food and beverages for Saturday night anyway.

I am looking forward to spending a day at work today wrapping up loose ends. I have taken a week of vacation next week. It is a week just to chill. I might go over and visit my sponsor later in the week, but actually I kind of doubt that I will even do that!

I am so thankful for the life I have today. It is incredible to me that I get to live this way after the many ways I have lived in my life... this is just too good.

"In praying, we ask simply that throughout the day God place in us the best understanding of His will that we can have for that day, and that we be given the grace by which we may carry it out." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 102

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Eyeballing the candy

What a fabulous night was had by all last night! I had all three of my children and all two of my grandchildren here for dinner. Then they went out trick or treating. The little ones got lots of candy and the big ones went with them. Unlike last Halloween, there were no fights, no pouting, and no scenes.

I thought it was marvelous that my twin daughters were dressed as they were. The one who is a college graduate and stable as can be dressed as Snow White. She was so pretty! The one who is hopefully recovering from a devastating addiction to meth dressed as a witch - complete with fishnet stockings and high heeled boots... some of her cleavage (with tattoos) is in the above photo. I took so many photos. It was priceless.

I am so grateful that things can change. I am so grateful that I didn't butt in (too much) last year when no one wanted anything to do with the "darker" daughter.

"Only God is unchanging; only He has all the truth there is." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 76