Thursday, July 31, 2008

Record Breaking Heat

Five Day Forecast
This is hot stuff for the foothills of the Rockies.  Hot.  And I am weary of it.  And I dread the arrival of my utilities bill.  AND, I thank God I was able to get AC installed in here 4 years ago, because prior to then, I would have had to live in a house that was incredibly hot in this kind of weather.  (update:  this weather is always current - so although it said at the time it was expected to be over 100º, it will now say whatever today and tomorrow, etc., temperatures are expected to be.)

I have a triathlon on Sunday - in 100º heat.  There will be people dropping like flies - hopefully one of them will not be me.  Well, actually I am pretty sure that one of them won't be me.  

I am going to go out and run right now.  I am actually really looking forward to it.  It is *only* 68º outside now, which will feel like heaven.

It is just an ordinary work-a-day day... and life is good.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I haven't posted a picture of my feet for a long time.  Last night I took off my shoes and walked outside in my bare feet and it was an amazing feeling.  You can see the marks from my shoes that I had on all day.  Sometimes it is just good to take off your shoes and let your feet feel grass and dirt.  

I am off to meet a sponsee at a meeting this morning, then we will meet for a while afterwards.  I look forward to this every week.  I am so glad.  I had begun to believe I was just too selfish to sponsor anyone - they all frustrated me so much.  But I am now down to 2 women, and they both want to be sober.  They both listen to what I have to say.  They both really do the deal.  The one I am meeting this morning wrote me a beautiful message on my birthday :

"Happy Birthday Mary!  Thank you so much for the time and energy you've given to me.  You are a great sponsor and I love you dearly.  Love you, ______" 

Well, hell, I have waited all my sober life for a note like that!  What a blessing it is.  I will have to remember that the next time I am having the life sucked out of me by some newly sober crazy woman - just like I used to be.

Have a great sober day everyone.  XXXOOO, MC

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another Tuesday

I am heading out of here for my first bike ride (or workout of any kind) since the car accident on July 19.  My triathlon is on Sunday and I am sure I am not going to set any personal best records.  I have barely trained at all.  Hopefully the bike ride will go well this morning.  It will be nice to get out there in the early morning air regardless of how I feel or how fast I pedal...

I talked with my friend's daughter yesterday evening for about 45 minutes.  What a blessing this was.  I got to tell her about her dad.  It was so sad to hear her talk about how she will never know him.  I feel sad for her, and also for him.  I really probed a bunch of damaged brain cells to remember everything I could about him.  As we talked, I remembered more things.  We both laughed and we both were on the verge of tears most of the time.  When I get a second (which won't be any time soon) I am going to go through my old journals to see what else I can remember about him.  It is over 20 years since George and I broke up - remembering things is easier than I thought it would be, but still pretty hard.   The thing I would like most to remember?  His sister's last name.  Why do women change their names when they get married????? It makes it impossible to find them!

I better get dressed up in my bicycling clothes and get out of here.  Have a great sober day everyone.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Oh my goodness.  I have just had an experience.  I am crying.  I have chills.  And it is about my blog... again.  But oh, so much more. (and I need to be out of here in a half hour, so I have to make it quick)

I got an e-mail from a woman who was searching for her biological father.  He was my first boyfriend in sobriety.  I wrote about him here once.  I used his full name for some unknown reason.  Sadly, she learned that he is dead by reading my post.

He had twin children and he missed them every day of his life.  Their mother left him and took the children and he never saw them again.  He always hoped he would.

Now his children have "found" him by finding my blog.  I sent her an e-mail with my phone number.  I hope that she will call me.  I can tell her that he indeed was an alcoholic, but he was a wonderful, funny, intelligent, loving, and kind man.  

The fact that he could never get sober ruined all of that.  It ruins so much more than just our lives.  It affects the lives of others so profoundly.  

Let's be kind to each other today, OK?  Thank you.  

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Keep Coming Back

Keep coming back, it gets better. That's what a woman at my old homegroup told me yesterday. I laughed uproariously over that one.   The good thing is, she has the experience to tell me that, because she has been coming around longer than I have.  It was a wonderful thing.

Someone else said:
Suit up and show up.
Sit down and shut up.
Sober up and grow up.

Oh, yes.  That is the kind of AA where I feel comfortable.  I wrote my name on the calendar to celebrate my birthday there next week.  It is nice to be with my old pals.  It was nice that yesterday I got to sit next to the man who took me to my first meeting.  What a wonderful thing it is to know someone for 24 years.  

Then I picked up my granddaughters and had a severe lapse of judgement when I took them to the quilting store and let them pick out fabrics for their own projects (quilted pillow covers).  The 8 year old did a pretty good job, but I am afraid all those teeny little hand stitches are not up a 4 year old's ally... she ended up crying in frustration.  They chose beautiful fabrics - really beautiful, and I didn't even try to influence them (too much).  We will finish those projects today before I drive them back home this afternoon.

Life is pretty darn good today.  Sober.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday Morning

Those were the pizzas I made for dinner last night... cooked on the grill.  I thought they were pretty.  They tasted pretty too.

I am off this morning to my old homegroup.  It is about 20 miles away from here.  I need to go there.  I need to go be with some people who have known me since I got sober.  I need to go be with people I have known for decades.  I need to sit in a group where people, like me, who are celebrating 24 years of sobriety get told "that's a good start, keep coming back."  I am going to write my name on their calendar and come back next Saturday morning to celebrate my birthday.  I can't do it today because I will need to leave the meeting early to go get my granddaughters!  Yay!  

Yesterday was a wonderful day.  I talked on the phone a lot.  I laid around in bed a lot.  In the afternoon, I got up and went to my nail salon for a pedicure and manicure.  They were busy, so they parked me in one of their pedicure chairs... soaking my feet, and enjoying the massaging chair.  I swear to you, it worked the kinks out of my back from the car accident.  I feel so much better!

So, I get to be nana this weekend.  I am excited about that... even though those little girls wear me right out, it is good.

Blessings to all.  Let's all stay sober this weekend, OK?

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Morning After

I wish I had written this post last night or this morning before the meeting.  I had such a nice birthday yesterday.  The meeting was wonderful.  I got a chip with "XXIV" on it - 24 looks pretty cool in roman numerals.  I had a lovely day at work, followed by a lovely evening spent with my recovering daughter.  All in all, it was just a nice, low-key celebration of the gift that God, in his mercy, has bestowed on me.

Then this morning I went to a meeting because I thought I knew who the speaker was.  I thought it was a dear old friend of mine who has been sober about 20 years.  So, even though I have taken the day off of work to try to recover from my car accident, I got myself up at 5:00 a.m. to go to this meeting.  When the meeting started and C. wasn't there, I was puzzled.  But when the chair person gleefully announced that she was thrilled that a man who is now sober for 10 days would be speaking this morning.  I was horrified and my face showed it.  He got up and said "Do you have a problem with that Mary?"    I just said "no", but I should have said "yes," because I DO have a problem with that.  

He talked like a guy who has been sober for 10 days (but has been around our group for a couple of years).  Like a guy who has pancreatitis.  Like a guy who has aged 10 years in the last 2 years.  Like a guy who knows he needs to get sober, but still is full of good ideas.  And we listened to him for 40 minutes.  The format is that the speaker shares for about 20 minutes and then the meeting opens up and rest of the people share.  Well, for the remaining 20 minutes of this meeting, people picked on him.    And some of them gushingly declared how helpful it was to hear the disease.  How some people will never get sober.  It was fucking horrifying.  I am sorry for the language, but it was awful.

He just called while I was writing this and we had a nice chat.  He is very upset as well he should be.  He said he should have declined.  I told him that I didn't think someone with 10 days should be put into the position to make that kind of decision.  And he shouldn't have been put on the spot like that.  It was and is unfair to him.   

I am sure it will all turn out the way it is supposed to be, but I wish we had a stronger ethic about what is OK for a meeting and what isn't.   I wish our culture in AA was such that a person who picks a speaker would know that it isn't OK to use someone to show us what the disease looks like.  It is not fair to him.  He is wounded and vulnerable and sick as shit and this wasn't good for him.  

Oh hell, what do I know?  

I know that I was blessed to be desperate when I got to Alcoholics Anonymous and that I am grateful that I have always been grateful.  Where do these things come from?  They are not self-generating.  I cannot generate gratitude or desperation.  I believe they are gifts from a Loving God.  

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I am celebrating 24 years of continuous sobriety.  I thank God for these days of sobriety.  I will go to a 6:30 a.m. meeting and then to work.  I will probably reflect all day on what a blessing it is to be a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

24 years ago today, I woke up hungover, nothing new there.  What was different about that day was that I did not go to the refrigerator and grab another beer.  I got out the phone book and looked up Alcoholics Anonymous.  I called the first number listed, and there was no answer.  I called the second number and a young man named Danny answered the phone.  He was a 17 year old recovering alcoholic and was working at the club before he went to high school that day.  He listened to me for a while and then he suggested it would be better for me to talk to a woman.  He said he would have someone call me.  Well, I was pretty disappointed about that.  

Until she called me.  It probably wasn't more than a couple of minutes later.  Her name was Bitsy.  She talked about how she struggled with believing she was an alcoholic at first because she lived on a "tree lined street."  Somehow I related to her.  I am not so sure why now because I certainly did not live on a tree lined street.  But she had a soft sweet voice and she listened to me for over an hour before she "closed the deal" by asking me to go to a meeting with her that night.   And let me tell you, that sweet little lady with the sweet little voice was not going to take no for an answer and I thank God for that because that night I went to my first meeting and I have never taken another drink since that day, July 24, 1984.

I have written a lot about my first day of sobriety.  It was scary.  I was shaking.  I wanted that beer in the refrigerator.  But Bitsy made me promise I wouldn't drink before the meeting, and so I didn't.  And by the time I got home from the meeting, I didn't want the drink anymore.  The next day, I got on my knees and prayed and asked God to help me and told him I was willing to do anything he wanted me to in order to stay sober.  

It would take hours to write about the years in between.  I can tell you that I did not get to AA and clean up my life and get all shiny and glittering in my first years of sobriety.  I went to AA and listened and I am grateful they told me that I had to change everything.  I did have to change everything and sometimes it wasn't pretty.  I went through a divorce in my first year.  I lost custody of my kids at 6 years.  I married a lunatic I met at a meeting.  I learned what it was to be a victim of domestic violence.  I moved to Canada.  I moved to Washington.  I moved back to Colorado.  I spent years unemployed.  I got thrown out of an AA group!  I beat up a 300 lb. clown!  No - it wasn't pretty.

But through it all, I kept going to meetings.  I kept reading the big book.  I kept praying every day - asking Him in the morning and thanking Him at night.  I have always had a sponsor.  I have nearly always sponsored someone else.  I have done my stint in the service structure of AA.  

My life today is indescribably wonderful.  I still have problems, anyone who has read this for a while knows this.  But something changed when I got 10 years of sobriety under my belt.  I got divorced from the lunatic.  I got a decent job - I had to start at the bottom, but I have made it to pretty near the top in the last 14 years.  I went back to school.  I started college at 43 and had a master's degree by my 50th birthday.  I graduated with honors from a very good university.  And now I am affiliate faculty at that same university.  I am about to compete in my 5th triathlon.  In the last 2 years I have run 4 half-marathons.  I have had the same sponsor for 12 years and we just absolutely adore one another.  I sponsor women who I absolutely love.  I have a host of friends in Alcoholics Anonymous.  I have my family in my life.  And I have my self-respect back.  

These things all a gift from a loving God.  I am clear on my contribution.  Yes, I have had to cooperate.  Yes, I have had to do some stuff.  But to think I somehow "worked" for this is  inconceivable to me.  I think the steps are something God gives us to keep us busy... something like a mother handing a toy to a child to try to occupy the child while the mother does something for the child... and the child thinks the toy did it.  

Blogging has enriched my sobriety immensely.  I thank all of you for that.  Including anyone who may be reading this for the first time today.  I love the folks I have come to know (with one exception, sorry) and I love the folks who drop by.  I love that I have met a few of you.  I love that I can go to Houston and have a host of friends there!  I love the folks who comment and the folks who send me a sheepish e-mail about how they want to quit drinking but don't know how.  I have loved blogging.  Thank You.  

"Now that we're in AA and sober, and winning back the esteem of our friends and business associates, we find that we still need to exercise special vigilance. As an insurance against 'big-shot-ism' we can often check ourselves by remembering that we are today sober only by the grace of God and that any success we may be having is far more His success than ours."  -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 92

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

24 Years Ago...

On this day, just before midnight, I had my last drink (ever please God) of alcohol. It was a beer. It was a Budweiser. In a can. My husband and children were in bed and I was sitting at the dining room table, drinking. I wanted a couple more beers before I went to bed. There was nothing whatsoever outstanding about that day.

I had a normal day with the kids and me at home (I was a housewife). When my husband came home from work he mentioned that one of the managers at his new job had mentioned to the president of the company that he had no faith whatever in my husband. We were both pretty upset about that. I was particularly upset about it because this manager and I had drank together - a LOT - down in Raton, NM. He didn't like me. It seems he didn't approve of a young wife and mother spending every second she could in a run down bar on 1st Street in Raton, New Mexico. Oh, how I wanted to tell this man that I had changed my ways... but the problem was that I hadn't changed my ways at all. I just had gotten too afraid to go to bars anymore. I just sat at home and drank every day. For years.

We hopped in the car, the whole family, with me at the wheel - I have no idea why I was driving, unless my husband was drunker than I was... who knows? We drove to the public library in our new town. We had just moved to Denver on July 5, 1984. The library was closed, so we just drove around on a hot summer night. We got to a town that is now a full-fledged suburb of Denver, but at that time was a little town... we were thrilled to see that it had a liquor store with a drive-through window. Thrilled I tell you.

Some people celebrate their AA birthday on the anniversary of their last drink - I don't. I celebrate on the anniversary of my first day of sobriety. And that is tomorrow. Thanks to the Grace of a Loving God and the program and fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

24 Years Ago...

On July 22, it was the 2nd to the last day of my drinking.  I was miserable.  I kept a journal for about a year and a half before I got sober, so I had a journal entry the day I called AA, and I wrote in my journal as soon as I got home from my first meeting.  That journal was so precious to me, I put it in a very special place a few years ago, and have not seen it since. 

I resurrected my search for it this morning.  I still can't find it.  I did however find the journal from the year before.  On this date in 1983 I wrote this:

"This past year of isolation and loneliness has not been good at all for me.  I feel about the looniest I have in a long time.  I'm so depressed and full of hate.  So K. picks this time to assert his independence.  He hasn't been home at night for a week.  He's been to bars, golfing, bullshitting in parking lots - anywhere but here - with the bitch.  
So, I'll drink my beer, and write my stupidness and live another day on this earth.  Why couldn't I have been born a normal person?  Why have I become this person I don't like?  I used to really like myself - but now - what is there to like?  I just cook, clean, drink, and scream.  What a way to go. .."

Wow.  How I remember those feelings.  I knew there was something drastically wrong with me, and I knew drinking was a part of it, but I had no idea that drinking WAS THE PROBLEM.  

I am so grateful that I have not written anything like that for very many years.  I am so grateful that I have found a way of life where I can find gratitude, where I can take responsibility for the things I can, and not take responsibility for the things I can't.  I am so grateful that I have a life with God at the center.  

Monday, July 21, 2008


Maybe a serious car accident could be compared to an earthquake?  With aftershocks?  I feel all shook up.  Physically, spiritually, mentally.  It is probably good.  

I went to a meeting yesterday morning and then church.  Folks at the meeting already knew about the accident and I was greeted so warmly, it really touched my heart.  At church, I just cried.  I am so profoundly grateful to be alive and sober and healthy and happy.  

I spent literally hours on the phone yesterday.  I am so blessed to have friends who deeply care about me.  Years in AA will do that for a person.  

I am off to a meeting now and then a full day of work.  Gladly.  Gladly. 

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Hand of God

My friend and I walked away from that crash yesterday.  He lost control of the car on a mountain pass and hit a wall at a pretty high rate of speed.  I do not know how we didn't get killed.... well, yes I do actually.   The seat belts and airbags were very important, but I feel like there was divine intervention involved.  Everyone who came upon the scene was looking for victims laying along the side of the road - but my friend and I were standing up, talking, hugging, and thanking God for his mercy.  

As you might imagine, we both have got some bruises, but they are pretty insignificant.  The car is totalled.  And it was pretty little Camaro.  

The people who stopped to help us were incredible.  It really restores your faith in humanity.  A woman who was a witness stayed with us for the several hours until we left in the tow truck.  She got blankets out of her car for us to sit on, and a couple of diet squirts!  An off duty EMT stopped and evaluated us before the on-duty EMTs got there.  They get right in your face to evaluate you, and I couldn't help but think - over and over and over - thank God there is no booze to be smelled, no dope to be disposed of.   No attitudes to deal with.   

Life is so different when you are clean and sober and trying to live right.  I don't believe that nothing bad will ever happen again - see photo for evidence.  But I do believe that things are very different when you aren't drunk or high or being a jerk.   I feel so loved by God, I just can't adequately convey that right now.  

I kept telling my friend that through the whole experience something was running through my mind.  It is my favorite reading out the the Twenty-Four Hours a Day book.  It is the July 16 reading:

"We can believe that God is in his heaven and He has a 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, 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."  

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday Morning

I am headed out of here to the lake for an open water swim, followed by a bike ride.   My triathlon is in 2 weeks.  I am not at all as ready as I would have liked to be.  But every time I tell someone this, they just point out to me that I just ran a half-marathon, I must be in pretty good shape.  Well, I am - but sometimes running shape doesn't translate into swimming and biking shape.  

Later today I (and a friend) will take a short road trip to a nearby town to go to dinner and a speakers meeting at the rehab my daughter recently "graduated" from.  It is a pretty mountain town, the dinner is decent (prime rib for $6!) and a meeting is always good.   I am looking forward to this.  

My daughter went on a backpacking trip last night.  When she left the house, I felt like a kid whose parents just went out of town.  I really don't understand that.  This morning as I made my coffee, I stomped on the kitchen floor just for fun (hey, there is a song like that, isn't there?)  Maybe I have just lived alone for too long.  

I am thrilled that I have another AA birthday coming up on Thursday.  I love this time of the year.  

Have a nice sober saturday y'all.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Good Morning World

I hope you can pardon the influence of endorphins on this post.  I just returned from my first run in a couple of weeks, and although there is sweat literally dripping off of me, and my sciatic nerve is already revving up to cause me a day of discomfort - I feel fricking GREAT!

I love to be out in God's creation early in the morning before the sun is even shining.  And I certainly got to do that this morning.  

And now I need to toddle off to work.  I need to get some shopping done at lunch time.  And I need to leave at 2:45 so that I can get my Economic Stimulus Storm Door installed!  Yipeeee!  Oh, and I have a new dress to wear to work today.  Sheesh.  Can it get any better than this?  Well, I could mention that the dress was originally $138. and I got it for $20.  Yeah.  I like that.

Have a great Sober Friday everyone.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Carry the message - not the mess

My homegroup is going through a strange little phase.  It makes me very uncomfortable.  The group is usually pretty stable.  There are a couple of folks with long term sobriety, and lots with good lengths of sobriety (between 5 and 10 years).  There are a number of people who are in their first few years.   We historically have always had newcomers, who usually turn into the people with long term sobriety.  

Lately it seems we have a higher than normal number of people who just can't seem to get sober.  I understand that this happens.  However, I am concerned about the message I am hearing in meetings.  
  • Keep Coming Back
  • So Glad You Came Back
  • It takes REAL courage to raise your hand and be honest
  • You don't really lose your sobriety, you just have a new sobriety date
  • You don't have to be afraid to come back, we will love you until you can love yourself.
You know what I say?  Bullshit.

They told me:
  • Go to meetings and don't drink in between them
  • Don't drink even if your ass falls off
  • Take the action necessary to stay sober
  • Sit down and shut up and listen
  • You have two ears and one mouth for a reason
I could go on and on with this.  But I am sure you get the idea.  I understand that some alcoholics will die alcoholic deaths.  I understand that some folks come to AA and don't "get it."  But I am concerned that we are watering down our own message to try to make it more comfortable for them.  

Screw that!  Our message is one of Absolute Abstinence.  And a means to achieve that.  Wow.  Why would you want to water that down?

So, let me tell you what they told me at my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous on July 24, 1984:  "You never have to drink again if you don't want to."  And so far, one day at a time, that has been true.

Thank you God!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


It's Wednesday, which means I go to the 6:30 a.m. meeting.  However, I just woke up.  I still have fragments of that headache floating around.  If I were not so busy at work, I would stay at home sick.  But I am so busy at work I really cannot afford to do that.

So, today I will head off to the meeting and work and be grateful for both places where I belong and feel needed and loved.

I hope you all feel needed and loved today.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I woke up at 3:30 this morning with a migraine.  It was a few minutes before I could get up to take the migraine medication I have been prescribed.  I took it, went back to bed, and woke up at 7 a.m. without a headache.  How cool is that?  I do, however, feel sluggish and dull.  

I am grateful this isn't a hangover.  I marvel to think that I used to feel this way or worse on a daily basis - voluntarily?!!!  Or was it voluntary?  

I personally don't believe that I really had a choice in drinking.  I think that if you are an alcoholic you are pretty powerless over alcohol - I think there is a step about that.... but most of us get to AA and talk about how powerfully we have QUIT drinking, and how we CHOOSE to be sober today, etc.  OH, and then we say "It works, IF you WORK it!"  Oh, we think we are some powerful people!  

"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

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday July 14

I told you I would be posting pictures of Alaska for years to come!  This one is from the train, you can see a bit of reflection in the window - darn it!

I am off to an AA meeting this morning and then to work.  I have a (work related) meeting at 9:00 that I had intended to bring a stack of papers home on Friday so that I could spend the weekend reading and preparing for this meeting.  However, I did not do that.  When I remembered that I forgot the papers I still did not drive to my office to get them.   I didn't want to!  So there!

I was invited to my son's house for lunch yesterday.  It was his first weekend in his new and first ever owned home.  What a thrill it was to allow him to walk me through and show me all the stuff he thought was cool.  And there is lots of cool stuff in that house.  Like the plum colored pool table,  the marble bar, and the flat screen huge ass TV with surround sound speakers everywhere.   We sat on the patio in his lovely back yard.  I just had to hold myself back from crying the entire time - tears seem to be my favorite response, whether happy or sad.   I am very happy that my son is able to buy a lovely home and that he is happy about it AND that it is only 4 miles from my house!!! YAY!

I better get going.  I have some 4 inch heels to wear to the meeting and to work today.  I will throw my flats in my bag and drag them out later.  When I want to be sensible.  

I don't wanna be sensible!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Morning

It's a glorious Sunday Morning in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. I'm sitting here in my church clothes, all dressed up and ready to go to church. For some reason, today I "slept in" until 4:30 a.m. I don't know why I am waking up so early, because it keeps me in a pretty much constant state of feeling tired.

The little ones are asleep downstairs with their aunt. My daughter. The other daughter. The good daughter. Their mother is spending this weekend with her ex. Her current is out of town fishing and she felt she needed someone to babysit her (which is true) so she went to spend the weekend with the ex... the father of the children downstairs who is clean and sober a little over 18 months. They only have "supervised" visitation. My daughter hasn't seen her daughters since Easter Sunday. She hasn't done what she needs to do to see her kids. If it were up to me, she would be downstairs with them right now, but it is not up to me. It is up to her and MY ex and judges and lawyers.

What a mess it is when a person goes off the deep end. They tend to take a few people with them. Hopefully my sweet daughter will allow herself to get clean and sober and the other recovery will follow. But for the people who think they fine - all the problems are the fault of the "problem" person - they may never recover.

Lucky for me, I am a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have a program, I have a fellowship, I have a Loving God in my life. This doesn't guarantee that every day will be paradise, but I absolutely do NOT have to drink, and I don't have to go crazy, and I don't have to be miserable - no matter what is going on. That's a pretty good deal.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday Morning

I have a hard time sleeping with the air conditioning on, so I have been awake since 3:30.  It is now 57 degrees, I have the windows open - it would be a wonderful opportunity to go back to sleep, but I need to get moving.  I have so many things to do today that it doesn't even sound like fun.  

I think I will go take a walk before the meeting.  Then my 6:30 meeting.  Then an open water swim.  Then a baby shower - where I will wrap an unfinished christening blanket that I have been knitting for months - the shower was supposed to be in August, but due to family things got scheduled for July.  Then the annual meeting of my HOA... I am on the board and have to go.  

Tomorrow I have nothing to do but go to church.  I will try my level best to enjoy each moment of today as it comes along, and hope to get a nap in there somewhere.

Have a great sober day everyone.

Friday, July 11, 2008

New outfit to wear on a Friday

Yesterday I went to physical therapy.  Once again, my physical therapist pointed to my high heels and told me it was the worst thing I could do to myself... well besides running.  She pointed to her own orthopedic looking things and told me I ought to be wearing shoes like that!  I told her "NEVER!!!"  But I did go shopping after I got out of traction, to look for some cute flat shoes.  I didn't find any, but I did find the above outfit.  I do have a couple of pairs of flat sandals, I will wear a pair of those today - with my new outfit.  I love wearing new clothes!

While I was shopping, my sponsee called me and as soon as I saw her name on my phone I figuratively hit myself on the head.  I had told her I would call her as soon as I got out of PT and we would have dinner.  Sheesh!  I totally forgot.  We met and had a deliciously evil mexican dinner - including dessert.  

When I got home, my phone rang.  It was another AA buddy - we talked for an hour and seventeen minutes!  What a wonderful way to spend an evening.   I love the fellowship.

Today I have several things to do at work that are big deals for me.  I better get to it!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sweet Thursday

I get to go to Physical Therapy today!  Yay!

I am going out for a walk this morning - instead of run.  I will see how this works out.  I don't know when I last set out to take a *walk*.  

Yesterday I went to a memorial service for someone associated with my workplace.  I am glad I brought plenty of Kleenex.  I sure did cry.  When I looked around the room and saw all the people there, people from far and near, lots of folks who have retired and have moved on, it really made my heart glad (and sad at the same time).  I am so blessed to work where I work.  

There is a new blogger on the block.  He is a 75 year old man who lives in Florida.  He has been sober for 34 years!  He is very excited about blogging his experience, strength and hope.  It would be great if you could go over and welcome Steve E.  

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wednesday Morning

I am off to a meeting.  To meet a sponsee.  To see my pals.  To be where I belong.

I bought a new storm door for my house last night.  I am grateful that my daughter went with me.  I got a great door for under $300.  But by the time I paid for installation, delivery, and carting away the old door, it was nearly $500.  Had my daughter not been with me, I think I would have said that I wasn't going to pay all that money and just stick with my old door.  But the screen/storm door is one of the many items I have wanted to replace since I bought this house - nearly 7 years ago now.  And my daughter just assured me that it costs money to buy things - who knew?  Funny - I would have no problem at all spending that much money on a new outfit to wear to work.

My other daughter, recently out of rehab, got a job offer yesterday, but needed to find her ID so that she could drop a UA, among other things.    You know, once your life starts spiraling out of control, it is really hard to get it to stop spinning.  I hope she can do that.  

I gotta get ready and get out of here.  Let's all stay sober another day today, OK?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Waiting for daylight

It's light outside, but not real sunshiney bright yet, so I will wait a minute before getting on my bike.  I ride through areas that do have mountain lions and other wildlife that scares the crap out of me.  Did you know that the dusk and dawn hours are when most wildlife attacks on humans happen?  Too bad, because dawn is my favorite time of the day.  

It was great to get back to work yesterday.  The couple of miles on the treadmill yesterday morning really hurt my body and by noon, I was singing a song about how much pain I was in.  My next door office neighbor exclaimed "Yay, Mary's back!"  She said it was almost unbearably quiet while I was gone.  I do make a lot of noise.  I sing songs, I swear, I talk to my computer, I talk to people who aren't in my office, and then I sing more songs... some of which I compose on the spot, like my ode to pain yesterday.  

So, I made a couple of decisions yesterday.  I am going to quit running for a while.  I have got to get this sciatic nerve to quiet down.  I will go out and walk instead of run.  I will walk the 3.1 miles of the run portion of my triathlon.... after swimming 1/2 mile, and biking 12 miles.   And I called my prayer partners from my church and told them I would not be coming back on Thursdays anymore :(  It was sad, but I needed to do it.  I left that church in February, and I need to stop going back once a week.  I can do the one hour of prayer at my new church on Monday evening.  It will not be the same, but who knows? maybe it will be better.  I don't know.  

One of the most liberating things about getting sober was learning that I could change my mind.  I thought there was shame in it and that I needed to have a good reason  - usually a fight that I would create.  It is nice to be able to change my mind, adjust my plans, talk to people, end things on a good note.  Nice?  No, really it is a big fat miracle for me to be able to do these things.

Have a Great Sober Tuesday everyone.  (that kind of sounds like a Charlie Brown title, doesn't it?)

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Birds are Singing...

And I am so intensely grateful to be going back to work today.  Two and a half weeks of vacation was too much.  I started getting so sluggish, I would barely get anything done in a day.  When I am working, I can get more done before noon than I got done on my whole vacation.  I definitely needed the down time, but now I am anxious to get back to my real life!

I am going to the gym this morning to run on the treadmill.  I have a triathlon coming up on August 3 and I have got to get some speed into my running.  When you are training for a long distance event, the training is very different.  But for a little three miler, I need to work on some speed.  

I checked my work voice mail last night just to see what kind of messages were there.  Well, they were messages of people telling me how much they have missed me!  Imagine that!  I am so happy to be going back to my workplace today.  Also very happy to realize that I am not at all ready to retire.  I have worked for this same employer for nearly 14 years - before I got sober, the longest I ever lasted with an employer was a year and a half.  This is sure good.

YAY!  It is Monday!  And I get to get back to my Life!!!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

How Micky Ruined Blogging

Okay.  I have tried reaching out to him.  I have tried confronting him.  I have tried ignoring him.  But what I really hate is what he has done to blogging.  The quality of our sharing is crap and I think it is because he has created a hostile environment.

We are talking now about how we have an "issue" we are dealing with.  Or something bad happened.  Or something good happened.... but we don't say what.  In other words, we aren't talking at all.  

I don't care to have my personal stuff used against me by some insane lunatic from down under, and I am sure no one else does either.  I have never seen anyone who is so impervious to truth or reason.  He is just pure hatred.  And he uses the Sacred Scripture that I love with my life to beat people over the heads with.  It makes me sick.  

I know that this post will cause him endless joy and I am really sorry about that.  But our common welfare should come first and I think our common welfare is being willingly surrendered to a madman.  

Can we try to be bigger than that, or has the time passed?

Sunday Morning

This is a picture of Seward, Alaska.  I will probably be posting the pictures of my Alaska trip for years to come!  

I wonder how many posts I have named "Sunday Morning" -probably scores of them. Seems like an appropriate title, as I sit here at my little desk and look outside at the early summer morning world on a Sunday morning.

My daughter's shingles have taken a turn for the worse, say a prayer if you will please. Thank you.

Yesterday a friend called to tell me about a spiritual experience he had just had. It was wonderful to listen to him. It was super wonderful that he called me to share this experience. I listened to a 5th step yesterday morning and was struck again by the honor that we are bestowed when someone asks us to be their sponsor. We have such honors because we are part of the wonderful fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

I am off to church now. I love driving to church early on Sunday mornings with all the other grannies!

Made possible by the Grace of a Loving God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Have a sober day y'all.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


What a blessing it is to be part of this wonderful fellowship.  Yesterday I went to a meeting, an AA picnic, spent time on the phone with some fellow AAs and generally had a nice day full of AA people.  

This morning I went to a 6:30 meeting and then to a park to hear a 5th step.  If nothing can make you grateful, hearing the 5th step of another sure can.  

The daughter who is living with me has shingles.  She is really hurting.  Yesterday I bought a bag of lemons and made lemonade for her.  I don't know why lemonade sounded to me like something someone with shingles would want, but it did.  I think she appreciated it.

I am going to take a nap now - then I will bake another pie - because I have another AA function to attend tonight.  

Life is so good, it just astounds me.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day

My beautiful granddaughters playing in the sand.... it is good.

I got to go to a meeting this morning... it is good.

I get to bake a pie to take to an AA picnic today... it is good.

All my children are within a 100 mile radius this year, and I am in the same radius... it is good.

No one in my family is serving in a war this year... it is good.

That we live in a country where young men and women are willing to voluntarily defend our freedoms... it is good.

That we get to be sober, alive, functional human beings... it is incredibly good.

Happy Independence Day to you all.

"The more we become willing to depend upon a Higher Power, the more independent we actually are.  Therefore, dependence as AA practices it is really a means of gaining true independence of the spirit."  Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 37

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Early Bird - Night Owl

The longer I am off work, the more my timing changes.  I am normally an early bird - like to be up early and have my most productive time of the day early in the day.  When I have extended times off work, I tend to get up relatively early and putter around.  I get chores done.  I get home and eat lunch and then take a blessed nap.   After the nap is my productive time.  It is weird because this runs so counter to the way my working life is arranged.  I am getting into this groove just in time to get back to work next week.

I just returned from church.  I said I was going to stop doing this hour of prayer at this church and start going to my new church.  But on my trip, I realized how important this time is to me.  I have two prayer partners, we have been sharing this hour (5 to 6 a.m. on Thursdays) for a year and a half.  They sat with me for the time my son was in Iraq.  Now their daughter is in Iraq, and I think I can sit with them until she is at home.  So, that is my plan.  

My granddaughters are asleep downstairs with my daughter.  I think I shall take this opportunity to go back to sleep.  I sure had a good day with them yesterday.   I hope to have another one today.  You all do too, OK?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Wednesday Morning

I am really enjoying this time off work.  I am really enjoying having nothing that I have to do.  Though I really do have plenty to do.  This morning I met my sponsee and we put the finishing touches on her 4th step.  We are scheduled to 5th step on Saturday.  

This morning at 10:00, I will pick up my granddaughters who will stay with me for a couple of days.  I find this tiring usually.  I think I will endeavor to not get so tired.  They are sweet little girls.  My ex-husband (their legal guardian) is having surgery on his thumb today, so I offered to take them.  

Since I watch CNN all the time, I have developed a crush on a 60 year old overweight man from Houston.  I have also fallen in love with a grand jury who chose not to indict him for shooting a couple of thieves.  If there were more Mr. Horns in this world, there would be far less crap going on.  Sorry to get all political on you, but I just love that guy!  Do you think he is single?

OK.  I have said quite enough this morning.  Have a nice sober day everyone.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Home Home on the Range

Oh, how I love my home.  Yesterday when I got to Denver, I even loved my dusty car sitting in the parking lot.  I loved how happy my daughter was to see me when she got home from work last night.  I love cooking my own food.  My own Diet Pepsi in my own fridge.  My own velvet drapes.  My own ceiling fan above my own bed.  In my own mailbox was a letter from the IRS saying my own money is coming!  

This morning I went to my own home group.  I got to see my own little sponsee - chairing the meeting.  I got to give my own friend Larry a ride home.  We got to talk.  I got to talk to my own peeps.  They were wondering how I have been.

I have been great.  But now I am greater because I am at home.  And I still have another week off of work.  How great is that?!

I am so full of gratitude this morning.  I think I shall go back to bed in the comfort of my own air conditioned home (it is 90º today).  

Last night was the first time I saw darkness since June 18.  It was wonderful.   It is good.