Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday Morning

I am going to take a run in the dark this morning.  I am training for a race that will be run in the dark.... therefore, it is good for me to run in the dark.  Something I am afraid of.  I have my pepper spray and my cell phone.  And God.  I try not to take Him into dangerous places anymore, but I guess suburbia pre-dawn isn't exactly like the bad places I used to take Him.  

Today I think will be the day when I finally get the nerve to call the phone company and cancel my land line.  I do not use this phone anymore.  I pay $53. a month for something that I do not use.  I have felt that I needed it in case of a disaster, but maybe I will just have to communicate by internet in case of disaster and cell phones don't work?  And I was proud of the fact that I have had the same phone number for 10 years.  But I have actually had my cell phone number for longer than that!  I really need to re-think what I am doing with my money since I am losing it at a great rate.  I think I need to cinch my belt and get used to a more spartan lifestyle.  

Went to the noon meeting again yesterday.  I am really starting to like that meeting.  And what a wonderful feeling at about 11:50 to pick up my car keys and leave my office for an hour.   And sort of picking up on something Pammie said this morning... yesterday there was a woman at the meeting with 30 days.  She was crying about getting drunk for 3 days when her son returned from Iraq.  She hadn't seen her son for 2 years, and when he got back, she just drank and drank and drank... had black-outs and disgusted her family.  She was crying - I was crying just listening to it.   She looked straight at me while she was sharing and said "I need to get a sponsor."  I made eye-contact and nodded - like "yes you do, and yes, I will be your sponsor."  Then I prayed.  Because last year I ended up with 7 sponsees and it about drove me nuts.  I am down to 2 now, which is wonderful because I actually have time for them.   After I talked to the people I talked to after the meeting, I walked towards the woman, who was surrounded with other women.  And I said "bye, have a nice day!"  It was really a wonderful feeling.

I am planning on having a nice day today and I hope you do too.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Morning

I am heading to work.  I only worked 3 days last week so I am sure I will have plenty to do today.  I am well rested and ready to face it.  

The above photo was taken on my run yesterday morning.  I am training on trails since I found out about a race in October that is 4 miles - at night - on trails!  How fun does that sound?  I love that I have found a trail for foot traffic only - no bikes, no horses, no motorized vehicles.  It was a wonderfully peaceful sunrise run yesterday morning.  

So I will go today and try to be useful to my employer for 8 hours.  I will go to an AA meeting at lunch.  Then I will go to church on my way home from work and sit for an hour in silent prayer.  After that, I will go to Biblical School until 9:00 p.m.  Monday is a big day for MC.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lovely Sunday Morning

It is 56º, dark and crisp outside.  I can hear the newly fallen leaves blowing in the slight breezes.  What a wonderful morning to head out for a run.  

I will drive to a nearby park to hit a trailhead and run for a while.  I will end my run at the park where I am meeting a sponsee at 8 a.m.   We will talk for an hour or so then I will head home and cook dinner for my son.  My son usually comes over on Sunday for an early dinner and to watch the football game.   

There just couldn't be a better day to be alive and sober and one of God's creatures on this earth!  

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Morning Run

Enough of this, I say!  I am sick of being sick!  I feel rested, slightly sick, but not too bad, and I am ready to get back to my normal life that I really do love so much.

I went to the 6:30 meeting this morning.   It took everything I had when I got home to get into my running gear and get out the door for a run.  Oh, I am so glad I did.  I ran 3.1 miles on a clear, cool, beautiful-blue-sky, Colorado morning.  I meditated a bit on where I fit in the scheme of things.  It is good to do that now and then...

I am a "slow" runner.  I actually came in last place in a half-marathon in April of this year.  There were 800 participants and I was 800/800.  I was thrilled to finish.  I always had a fear of being last.  I found out it was OK.  I could blame my age, I am 56, and that is old for a runner, but there is always some octogenarian who finishes ahead of me and ruins that argument!  I could say, and I do, that in half-marathons there are probably few people who drank daily for 18 years and smoked 2 1/2 packs of cigarettes a day for 25 years.  I won't say none, because there are probably some, and I am one, but there are not many.  

But I think of my mother, who at my age was laying in a hospital bed approaching death.  She didn't want to die, but death did not heed her wishes.  The 40 years of Pall Malls didn't help her.   She was 57 and I was 19 when she died.

On the day my daughters were born, I promised them that I would not leave them.  And then I continued to smoke and drink.  They were only 5 when I got sober.  It took another 7 years to quit smoking, but I did.   They are now 29 and cannot imagine a mother who drinks.   My son has some vague memories of my drunken behavior, he was 7 when I got sober, but he still relies on his mother to be sober and reliable.  (If all I got out of my sobriety was that, it would be quite enough, thank you very much.)  

I am so grateful to a Loving God who tenderly brought me to the people in Alcoholics Anonymous to save my life.   If I worked diligently for the rest of my life to repay this debt, I could not come close to breaking even.  

Friday, September 26, 2008

Chicken Soup

I am so grateful that I made up a big pot of chicken noodle soup (with homemade noodles!)  in August and froze some of it.  I am still sick with this cold, and will enjoy a steaming hot bowl of homemade soup.  Fortunately, today I had nothing on my schedule since I had planned to take today off to drive to the western slope.  Since both of us are sick, there will be no drives going on today.   But I was able to stay home today, and I am glad.  

Yesterday I attended an all day training.  Imagine my chagrin as I sat through "infection control" training while blowing my nose, coughing, and being a general snot-fest.  Equally uncomfortable was the training on "pandemic flu."  I am glad to be at home alone today, not sharing my germs.

I will get to a meeting tomorrow.  I may meet with one of my sponsees tonight.  

I am grateful that I am sober and don't have to feel guilty about staying home from work.  It took many years of sobriety before I could do this comfortably.  

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Early Fall Morning

I just walked around my yard and took photos of all things I thought were pretty.  I took lots of pictures.  I just go wacky over the sight of the climbing rose bush in front of my house, all the beautifully perfect red roses in bloom again - it is almost more beauty than I can stand.  

The photo above is pampas grass in front of two aspen trees.  I chopped down a huge blue spruce that used to stand in front of the aspens... and put in the pampas grass instead.   My neighbor thought I was nuts, but she likes it now.  

What has this to do with anything?  I fear that of late I have assumed that you are all tired of hearing my story, so I seldom reiterate it.  I walk around my yard and see the things I have planted and see them actually bloom and thrive and I can't help  but be overwhelmed with how different my life is today.

Saturday will mark 7 years that I have lived in this house.  When I was a child I once lived in one place for 11 years, from the time I was 3 until I was 14.  Since then, never more than 4 years in one place.  Most of the time I have lived somewhere for a year, and then moved on.  

In my sobriety, I have been homeless twice.  The first time at five years of sobriety, the second time at nine year of sobriety.  That is a desperate place to be.  Homeless.  But I learned a lot.  I learned to trust God.  It suddenly became easy for me to "turn it over" when there was no longer anything that I was clinging to.  The lesson that I took from these experiences is that the stuff is stuff.  The important things are things that cannot be repossessed.  And once I was able to let go of the old ideas, the stuff I had desperately needed earlier came back to me.  At 14 years of sobriety I was able to buy my first home.  At 17 years of sobriety, I was able to buy this home, which you may have been able to tell, I really do enjoy.  

Although I enjoy my home and hope I can continue to stay here and admire my roses for a very long time, I really could walk away from it today.   It is not what makes me who I am.   

As I was writing this, a sponsee called.  She is in despair over some really serious problems in her life.  I got to sit and talk with her.  I got to make a few simple suggestions, like PRAY.  I got to tell her I care and that I have faith in her.  I got to tell her that I have time to get together this weekend - since my sponsor and I are both sick and I won't be driving over to the western slope to see her.  

The house and flowers don't make me who I am, but the phone call of a desperate woman does. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I have got the worst cold. I feel miserable. I worked for 10 hours yesterday, but I am hoping to only work 4 today. I have to give a presentation at 11:00 that I have been working on since February. Maybe the dripping nose, the package of kleenex, and the gravelly voice will induce sympathy for me? And thereby get my proposals approved? It could happen.

I went to a noon meeting yesterday and really loved it. There was a woman who talked about all the "work" that one needs to do to stay sober. She went on and on in this vein. After her, a haggard looking man shared about all the years he came in and went out of AA, and the people who told him what to do, and the lectures he had to endure. Then he found a group who told him that if he wanted to stay sober, he would do certain things. If he didn't want to do them, "don't let the door hit you in the ass." He responded to that approach and has been sober for 6 years. He was in and out for 16 years prior to that.

I think I forgot what it was like to sit in a room where there are business people sitting next to ragged looking street people. It has been years since I have regularly attended a noon meeting. I got sober at one! I think I shall continue to attend this noon meeting because it is diverse and little rough around the edges, and that is the kind of AA I like.

The pink thing above is the baby blanket I hand knit for a doctor at work.  Today is her baby shower, and I shall take this to the shower and then leave.  No pregnant person needs me coughing on her!

"Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built."  -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 21

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kleenex and Coffee

Last night at church, I started coughing and sneezing - and just like that, I have a cold.  So I guess that is why I felt like I was getting sick all weekend.

A sad thing?  My sponsor is also sick, so I will not be going to stay with her this weekend.  I am sad because I haven't seen her for over a year, but I am somewhat relieved that I now have a weekend without one single thing planned.  Woo Hoo!  

If you have read this for a while, you know that I frequently look at my site meter to see how people arrive at my blog.  Some of the searches break your heart, like "my daughter is an alcoholic and is not taking care of her children," or "why are alcoholics mean?" but recently I got one that really had me scratching my head - it was "how to dress like an alcoholic."  My blog came up because I occasionally write about clothes and I always write about being an alcoholic.  So, I thought - who wants to dress like an alcoholic?  The only thing I could come up with is some kid looking for a halloween costume... any other ideas?  

I am going to work, this afternoon I will come home from work and stay in bed if I possibly can - but I have another project that needs to be done and ready for approval by a committee by 10 a.m.  I will get to a noon meeting one way or another.  

"Regardless of worldly success or failure, regardless of pain or joy, regardless of sickness or health or even of death itself, a new life of endless possibilities can be lived if we are willing to continue our awakening, through the practice of AA's Twelve Steps."  -- As Bill Sees It, p. 8

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pre-Dawn Autumn Moon

The moon this morning, from my front porch, and through the trees.  This morning I still haven't decided whether I want to go into work early or whether I want to run.  The problem is that it won't be light for another hour and I don't think I want to wait that long, and I really don't like running in the dark.

The huge deadline of last week is over!  I know I wrote that yesterday, but it is just hitting me now - it is over.  I have already told my boss that I am taking this Friday off, and I will head over to the western slope and visit my sponsor for the weekend.  I am so very greatly looking forward to that!

I have hope in my heart again this morning.  The last month has been incredibly difficult.  I am so grateful that no matter how difficult life seems to be, I don't have to pick up a drink.   No matter how dark things seem to get from time to time, I know that the light is around the corner.   The light is peaking in right now.  This is one of the tremendous advantages of staying sober day after day, year after year, decade after decade... you learn to trust that "this too shall pass."  

Oh, and I don't think I was truly "sick" this past weekend.  I think I was so tired that my body was just telling me to lay down!  Too bad I couldn't honor that.  

"Believe more deeply.  Hold your face up to the Light, even though for the moment you do not see."  -- As Bill Sees It, p. 3

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Is it Autumn?

Today or tomorrow?  I really don't know.  I love autumn.  My ex-husband, the australian, used to say that Americans were too stupid to use a big word like autumn, so they used the simpler word "fall."  Does this give you a tiny glimpse into reasons why I am no longer married to him?  
Yesterday I woke up with the same headache I have today.  I thought it was a migraine so I took migraine medication (Maxalt) and the headache went away enough for me to realize that my throat hurt and I felt generally bad.  This morning I opted not to take the migraine medication because it makes me feel crappy (and it is really expensive), and I felt crappy anyway yesterday.  But this head really hurts.  

We didn't even go to church, and I virtually NEVER miss that!  

So, the kids are watching TV, and I am sitting here with this computer.  My son is coming over at noon to eat and then will take the kids back to his dad, my other ex-husband, my grandchildren's grandfather, and their custodial guardian.   

Feeling bad and just wanting to sleep while children are watching cartoons is just an awful feeling.  Reminds me of far too many days of my kids' early childhood.  Before I got sober.  When all I wanted to do was sleep all day.  

On a positive note:  the huge project at work got done at 5:30 on Friday afternoon.  I had to run it by my boss before I clicked the "submit" button... and expected him to change things at the last minute as he normally does.   Instead he listened to me review it with him.  He asked a few questions, and I had to explain the data to him.  He didn't change one thing!  He thanked me!  He said it was a good job!  He is not a demonstrative person, so this is a big deal for him.  

Have a good first day of autumn or last day of summer... whatever it is, make it the best you can.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

6 Things

Kathy Lynn tagged me to write about 6 things about me.  In 2006 I was tagged to write about "6 weird things about me."  Here is a link to that post.  

Obligatory Post

I committed to posting every day, most of the time that is a joyful part of my day.  

Today I feel sick and all of my energy is going towards taking care of my beautiful granddaughters.  

Headache (thought it was a migraine, maybe it wasn't)
sore throat

Say a prayer if you have a second.  Thanks.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Deadline Day

Big project due today.  Tomorrow I will be on to other projects, other deadlines.  For instance, there is a major one on Wednesday... but I digress.  

Tonight I shall pick up my granddaughters and we will spend the weekend together.  

I gained back a little money yesterday.

I need to be out of here in a half hour - and I am sitting here in my jammies.

I got nearly 11 hours of sleep last night.  At 7 o'clock last night I was walking around my house, getting ready for bed, and saw a man walking up to my door.  Since it is a glass storm/screen door, he could see me too, so I had no choice but to answer the door.  We both said at the same time, "I know you!"  He is an AA member from a group near my house that disbanded a couple of years ago.  We stood and talked (me in my jammies) about people who had moved away, some who had died, and others who are still around.  It was a nice mini-meeting and when we were done, I asked him why he had come to my door.  He was selling siding, windows, and gutters.  I told him I don't need any of those... and he left.  

Now I shall go to work and put in a good day of work for a good day's pay.  

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I lost even more money yesterday.  Suddenly I am so happy that I have 10 more years to work before I need to retire.  Last week I was so unhappy that I needed to work for another 10 years before I could retire.  Weird the way things change.  

I spoke with my sponsor yesterday and she suggested I go to meetings to see what I can bring to the meeting instead of what I can take away.  Darn it!  I knew that!  She does understand what I am complaining about but says I have no other choice but to persevere.  I knew that.  

I went to a noon meeting yesterday.  The good part?  That a handsome young man I know from other meetings came in, joyous at seeing me, he ran across the room, kissed and hugged me. Yes, that was nice.  The bad part?  The rest of the meeting.  Oh well.  I caused a bit of a flap when I said I thought people who go in and out and drink when the rubber hits the road are "a dime a dozen," and I really don't care what they say.  Oh, that was kind of fun.  

I am going to go run this morning and then go in for a long day of work.  I canceled every single after work activity this week.  I am simply working too hard trying to meet my Friday deadline to do anything after the work day is over.  Of course, yesterday it didn't end until 10 p.m.  And after Friday?  At least this deadline will be over and I will not have to read or write anything about suicide for a while.  

Lets be kind to one another today, OK?  
"Let brotherly love continue.  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."  Hebrews 13:1-2

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Old Time AA

Several people have asked me to talk about what is different about AA now, or what was different a generation ago.  It would take a lot longer than I have this morning to do this, but I can start...

When I got sober, the treatment "industry" was relatively new.  So, most of the AA members had not been to treatment, they had sobered up on people's couches, drinking lemonade with honey in it.  Puking, sweating, shaking... with another alcoholic nearby.  Not a physician with a prescription pad.  (I realize that some people really do need detox, I am not minimizing that, but most don't).  We knew how to do a 12 step call.  We stepped into some of the most dangerous places on earth because someone called and said they wanted help.  

We used to talk about the "step before the first step."  That's the step where you hit your bottom and decide you want to be sober.  We really can't do anything for you before then.  But don't tell that to all the folks sitting around meetings talking like used car salesmen, trying to convince people that they "don't get to AA by accident," that if they are there, they must have a problem, and how freaking great it is to be sober!!  Woo Hoo!  And just keep coming back, no matter if you are drunk today, were drunk yesterday, have no desire to get sober, whatever, just keep coming back and we will praise your "courage."  Oh yes, it do take guts to raise your hand - BULLSHIT - it takes guts to stay sober, day in and day out.  

I don't want to hear someone who just had a drink when things got tough.  They love to come in and lecture us on how it can happen to us.  Well, yes, I know that, that is why I am sitting in an AA meeting.  Perhaps if you had gone to a few you wouldn't be raising your hand.  

Courts?  Yes, we used to get the occasional person who was court ordered to attend AA.  And the wise chair persons would tell them to get their slips signed first, and then they were free to leave.  Really.  We Do Not Want People Sitting In AA Meetings Who Don't Want To Be There.    The courts don't understand what AA is or what it does, and that is fine, that is not their job.  They send people there because it seems to work.  But it has rarely worked for someone who doesn't want to be there, and it has never worked for someone who doesn't belong there.  We as AA members ought to know what AA is and what it does, and we ought to be able to communicate that to people who show up... and yes, they DO get to AA by mistake.  One DUI does not an alcoholic make.  

A drug is a drug is a drug?  Nope.  Not so.  Read the long form of the 3rd tradition.  (its on page 563 of the big book)  "Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an AA group..."  Alcoholics.  It is in the name.  It is in our traditions.  We used to kindly go outside and talk to people who showed up at closed meetings and identified as something other than an alcoholic.  

Recently I told someone that I was shocked (SHOCKED!) that no one from my old group has bothered to call me to see if I am OK since I stopped attending a month ago today.  She said that she was shocked (SHOCKED!) that someone who is sober for 24 years needs a phone call.  WHAT?  

I remember leaving meetings in tears and having some old crusty creep from an AA meeting call me to see if I was OK.  I can't count the number of people I have called to see if they were OK.  They don't have to be sober any particular length of time.  We are supposed to care about each other.  We used to.  We used to be keenly aware that we are in a life and death struggle.  Now it seems that most of the people sitting around AA meetings are there for a social club and cheap entertainment.  If you leave they might miss you because you were funny, but the idea of picking up the phone to see if you are OK never pops into a head.  

I will be OK.  But this is a devastating loss to me.  I will keep going to my "other" meeting.  I will try to be of service to alcoholics in any way I can, and that will ensure that I will survive.  The "other" group is very grateful that I am there.  

I will keep talking about AA.  I will keep doing what I am supposed to be doing.  

Let's try to care for one another today, OK?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Let me just tell you, if you are looking for someone to candy-coat their life to make it sound good, you are in the wrong place.  If you are looking for distant commentary on what others are doing wrong, picking on people, laughing at the expense of others, you are in the wrong place.

If you want to read about a woman who is staying sober, one day at a time in Alcoholics Anonymous, through the ups and downs of life, and trying to live by spiritual principles in a sometimes treacherous world, keep it right here.   As someone said at the meeting where I celebrated 24 years of continuous sobriety "if you don't want to know what Mary thinks, don't ask her."  I would extend that out to - if you don't want to read about what is going on with me, don't read this blog.

My life is not always a pretty little bowl of cherries.  Most of the time it is.  I am a person who is supporting myself through my own contributions.  I don't have a husband, anyone else (including Uncle Sam) who is supporting me, or an inheritance.  That means I work for a living.  Every single day.  I have a very challenging job.  Sometimes it is more difficult than others.  This is a difficult time.  I also have a very full plate of other activities.  Most of the time this does not feel burdensome, right now it does.  I have a deadline that I pray I meet on Friday.  After Friday things should be calmer.  

I have begun to think that I need to either retire (which I cannot afford to do, and losing 1% of my 401k yesterday didn't help) or find another job.  The challenging times at work have been getting a lot closer together.  My ability to handle them seems to be growing thin.   I am normally a person who is very very good at the big big challenges, not so good in the daily grind (I think this is an alcoholic trait).  In June 2007, there were several events at work that have set off a cascade of regulatory scrutiny, I expected a year of it, but it continues, and there is no end in sight.  The pressure is nearly unbearable.  I can handle this sporadically, but not constantly for over a year...

Heeding the advice of my sponsor, I left my homegroup in August.  If you don't know what the heartbreak of this is, keep coming back.  That group was family to me.  I have moved on and found another group, but this is a huge loss and I feel very sad about it.  

I am also mourning the loss of AA as I know it.  I look around and see very little evidence of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous as I thought it was.  I see something entirely different.  We used to care about each other.  We used to actually know each other.  We used to talk with each other.  We used to care.  We used to come to Alcoholics Anonymous voluntarily and be grateful to be there.  We used to hit the doors of AA after all else failed.  We used to be pretty washed up.  Now we are nice clean shiny people who happened to have a little bit of a drinking problem... and now we take anti-depressants and we are nice happy people who go to an occasional meeting.   And we sit there and expect to be entertained by the people sharing.  I have heard people actually say that AA is cheap entertainment, where else could you get so much for a buck or two contribution?  ha ha.  Very funny.  People's lives are on the line... I don't think it is funny.  

I have written this instead of running this morning - and I think it was probably a bad decision.  

Monday, September 15, 2008

So many big days

I need a small day.  I need a day with nothing to do.  I feel bad complaining when my friends in Houston are so busy cleaning up and some still hunkered down with no power.  But still, I am ready to tear my hair out here.  

I have a medical appointment this morning so I will be late to work.  I worked on Saturday and Sunday.  This makes eight days of work in a row, with no day off scheduled until this Saturday.   I used to work like this all the time, but I used to be younger and I used to like my job a whole lot more than I do now.  

My sponsor asked me if I could add in a "fun" activity.  I don't know when.  Today I work all day and then go to my first class of the 2nd year of Biblical School tonight.  Tomorrow I work all day and then attend the board meeting of my homeowners' association.  On Wednesday, I work all day and then go to yoga.  On Thursday, I work all day and then attend a party, celebrating 85 years of a local "faith-based" home health care agency.  On Friday, I work all day and then go to yoga.  And in the midst of this, I shall attend AA meetings and run 3 times.  

Something has got to give and I will tell you, it is not going to be me.  I will cancel one or two things this week because I cannot do all this stuff.  

Sorry to be complaining.  It is just where I am today.  

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Morning

It is raining and 50º outside.  I stopped at the store on my way home from church and bought the stuff to make chili.  It is now cooking.  I need to go to the hospital and do some chart audits for a few hours.  When I get home I will plant myself on the sofa and watch a Broncos game.   I am just done canning peaches.  I still have some left, but cannot muster the strength to peel one more peach.  I feel wasteful, but I have only so much energy and so much time...

So much comfort when so many people are suffering.  How I wish I could do something for my friends (and family) in Texas.  I keep checking their blogs, hoping for an update.  I pray their electricity is back on soon and they can carry on with their lives.

And I don't even worry that any of my sober friends got drunk.  I hope they had some fellowship to comfort them and that maybe they could get to a meeting or two.  But even in the absence of fellowship or meetings, we tend to stay sober in the crises of life.  Thank God.

3:32 PM MDT Update:  Scott W. just called from Waco.  He is safe and sound and comfortable there, waiting for the power to be restored to his home in Houston before he returns.  He thanks everyone for their prayers and sends his love.  

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lack of Power....

That is the dilemma in Houston apparently.  Trailboss posted a comment about a phone call from Scott, and her blog also has an update.  I got a text message from Pammie, she is fine.  Just tired and hot - without power and therefore no air conditioning.    I'm still praying...

I went to a meeting this morning and then for a 5 mile run.  I have so much to get done this weekend it is absolutely scary.  My daughter brought over a huge box of peaches.  I made a batch of jam last night and barely put a dent in the supply.  I have a lot of work to do and not a lot of time to get it done.  The peaches are very ripe.  And I have much work to do here at home and also at work.  I had intended to work all weekend.  Not getting a very good start on it, am I?

I better hit it now.

Friday, September 12, 2008


This is a photo I took while running along the beach in Galveston, on a peaceful calm day in 2007.  This is a beach that is now being battered. 

I have often called Houston "Sober Blogging Mecca," because so many of our stellar bloggers are from Houston.  They are now  in the path of Ike.  All I can do is pray for their safety.  

They are showing the stuff that tough people are made of.  Doing what they need to do and leaving the rest to God.  Sober people, I have found, are much better able to ride out the storms, both literal and figurative.

Let's all say a prayer for our friends.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2008

I will fly my flag today.
I will go to work today.
I have prayed for all those who lost their lives seven years ago today.
I will go to an AA meeting this morning.

And thank God that the dream that interrupted my sleep wasn't true.  I dreamed I was a young woman, still married to the father of my three children.  He was taking me to our "new home" which was a 2 bedroom apartment.  I sat in that apartment and cried for the loss of my pretty little house.  I sat in a rocking chair and wept.  And then I woke up, a happy older woman in my pretty little house.  

Grateful to be where I am today.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I am at home gratefully.  My flight was many hours late yesterday.  I got to the airport many hours early because I really had no where else to go.  I sat at that airport for so long I felt like Tom Hanks in a movie, I think it was called "The Terminal," where he was stuck in an airport for months... he was living there.  An airport is no place to live.  The overhead announcements get to be so annoying it is almost unbearable.  The hum of nerves is fatiguing.  Watching people rushing, rushing, rushing just makes you tired.   By the time the plane got there hours late because of weather on the eastern seaboard,  no one was in the mood to hear that the plane had mechanical problems.   I didn't get home until nearly 1 a.m.

I remember when flying was so glamorous.  It was really for "rich" people.  Other people drove where they needed to go.  Now I think it is so luxurious to drive somewhere.  I wish I could afford the time it takes, but I can't.  

So I am at home.  I am going to work as soon as I can get ready.  I will get to an AA meeting as soon as I can, it might be tomorrow though.

I'm beat.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Yesterday I took a walk in the early evening.  It is hot and humid and a very different place than I am used to.  I found this beautiful church and took some pictures with my cell phone.  I think I shall walk down to this church and attend mass at 12:10 this afternoon.  The conference is over at noon, I shall try to leave a minute or two early.  And this morning, I am going to run.  

I am attending this conference with a colleague who is a hopeless self-promoter.  We had dinner on Sunday night and everything she said related in some way to how much money and "stuff" she and her husband have.  She sometimes talks about her friends and mentions (not casually) their homes, and their wealth also.  I am SO not about money, it is hard to relate at all to her.  She does also talk about how competent and smart she is.  I like to think I am competent and smart too, but I really try to avoid talking about that - it is such a boring topic of conversation.  I am anxious to get back home.  

But MY shameless self-promotion?  Gosh, I would really like to have some "followers".  I signed myself up to follow a couple of others' blogs to see how it worked, and frankly I thought they would return the favor, but it did not happen.  I love they way the little follower faces look - my "other blog" has followers and that one I barely ever post on!  Please? Sign up to follow me?

Thank you.  

Next post will be from dry and cool Denver, Colorado!

Monday, September 08, 2008


Have a nice $6.00 sip of water.  No thanks.  Does anyone other than me think this is just offensive?  

I traveled yesterday.  I am staying in a lovely hotel room.  I need to be downstairs for a conference at 8 a.m., which is 6 a.m. my time.  I need to rush.  I wanted to run this morning, but it is nearly 7 and still too dark to run.  So, no time for running.  

I wish I had time to go over to an AA meeting and walk around this great old city, but I am only here until tomorrow afternoon - and most of that time I shall be sitting in a conference room... might as well be anywhere else in the world.  Oh well.  This is how most of us see other cities these days.  What a pity.

Let's all stay sober no matter where we are, OK?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

My Third Bloggerversary

Three years ago today I started this blog.  I did it just to have a conversation with another sober blogger who was driving me crazy on my other blog.  I didn't want to write anything about being a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous on the other blog which was political (10th tradition).

I really didn't see the point in having this blog until Trudge found my blog on November 28, 2005 and spread the word.  Within a few hours I had comments!  People had put links to my blog on their blogs!  It was incredible!  Suddenly I found myself in a sober blogging fellowship.  It was much smaller then, we all pretty much knew each other, now I can't keep up with all of them.  

I have met some of you and the most surprising thing about that is that there were no surprises.   I have found that if you read a person's blog for years, you get to know that person even though you have never met.  

I have found blogging to be an incredible blessing.  Thanks to all of you.

Now I am flying off to North Carolina.  I really dislike flying.  I went to confession yesterday afternoon because to me that is how you prepare to take a trip.  What a wonderful thing confession/reconciliation is!    I will take my computer with me, so you won't have to miss a day of Mary Christine!  Have a great Sunday everyone.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Saturday Morning

I just got home from a 6:30 a.m. meeting and then breakfast.  It ended up being only me and my friend Charlie at breakfast.  Charlie has not always been my favorite person, but I have known him for 14 years and he is a good AA member.  We had a lovely breakfast, talking about the things that people who have known each other in AA for a long time can talk about.  At one point, while I was trying to pay off my child support, I went without a car so that I could save that money and be able to pay the child support.  My nephew was graduating from college and I wondered how I could get to Wyoming for his graduation.  Charlie loaned me his brand new Honda for the trip.  It was very very kind of him.  He does things like that on a regular basis.  

Yesterday I went to Grandparents' Day at my granddaughter's school.  The look on her face as I walked into the room was priceless.  I cannot imagine how I could live long enough to ever be worthy of a beautiful young girl loving me that much!  There were only 4 grandmothers (including me) and 1 grandfather in the room.  I felt so bad for the kids without a grandparent there.  It was wonderful.  It is wonderful that my granddaughter only knows me as her nice Nana, not a drunken lunatic.

After the school trip, I stopped by a Starbuck's because I had a minute to kill.  This is NOT normal behavior for me and I wondered why I was doing it as I was pulling into the parking lot.  The woman behind me ordered a grande non-fat, caffeine-free, pumpkin spice latte and I had to turn around to see who would order such a thing.... she looked familiar.  I looked again, and she said "I know you."  I said "Gina?"  And then introduced myself because she still didn't know who I was.  

What a wonderful thing.  She recognized me as my professional persona, and I do appreciate that.  But I recognize her as the lawyer who represented me in my child support case.  I told her I think of her often and appreciate her.  I told her that I realize she practically worked pro bono for me and I will be forever grateful.  Then she remembered!  She had totally forgotten that she did that and didn't even remember what the case was.  She just remembers me for what I do for a living.   I am so thrilled that I ran into her.  

There have been so many people in my life who have helped me so tremendously and unselfishly.  I don't spend a lot of time remembering some of the dark days of my life, but maybe it would do me some good to remember them more often.  

It is amazing what can happen to your life if you stay sober and practice these principles in your affairs... one day at a time.  But it is easy enough to start believing that you have "worked hard" and "earned" the blessings in your life once you have stayed sober for a while.  And it is my personal belief that this is a BIG MISTAKE.

So today I shall strive to be grateful for the life I have and grateful for all that brought me to this point.  All of it.  

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Morning

I am sure I looked charming walking around my front and back yards this morning taking pictures, wearing my pajamas. There are lots of flowers just dying to have their pictures taken, so I felt it was my duty to take them. I only have to work a half a day today. I am going to a doctor's appointment this afternoon.

I am leaving on Sunday for a quick trip to North Carolina for a conference. Three hurricanes are on their way to NC along with me. I have never experienced a hurricane, and I hope I can still make that claim this time next week.

Today is Daave's 5th AA birthday.  Go over and wish him a Happy Birthday!  I am so thrilled to report that I have read his gratitude lists every single day for nearly 3 years now.  (My bloggerversary is later this month, I need to figure out exactly when.)  I sure am grateful that I have gotten to know folks like Daave through their blogs and also to have met a few of them.  Last April I was blessed to find myself in Houston and Daave was kind enough to drive me around for a few days.  What a great experience that was!  Happy Birthday my friend!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Happy Heart

My yoga class was great last night. I left there without pain. That is an amazing thing for me. I slept all night, straight through, without getting up once. That is an amazing thing for me.

I feel happy this morning. I love when the joy starts coming back into my heart. I feel that it is coming back after a tough several weeks or month.

I have also been reading this journal I have found from my first couple of months of sobriety. It is amazing to read this. There are many things I have forgotten about. There are decisions I made back then that I have come to regret. Reading about it reminds me of the real reasons I made the decisions I did. I am thrilled to say that I realize I made the right decisions. I am amazed that I stayed sober through all of that. I was so new. I had no huge commitment to staying sober, and yet, time and time again, I would say that I wanted to be sober and I was grateful to be sober. Even though my life was crumbling around me.

God is so good to us.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I found it!

I am meeting with a financial planner today to try to figure out how I am going to retire a few years earlier than I had planned... we shall see.  I spent the evening searching for a file I compiled a few years ago... a financial future file.  I cannot find it, dammit!  I did, however, find the journal from 1984 I have not been able to find for several years.  So, here is what I wrote on July 24, 1984 after returning home from my first AA meeting.
"Tuesday, July 24, 1984
I went to my first AA meeting.  I was a nervous wreck, but I loved it.  Its so nice to talk to people who understand the way I feel, and want so much to help.  I want to someday be able to help people like that.  So, I feel I can make the first step.  I will admit that I am powerless over alcohol - and that my life has become unmanageable.  I feel at this time that the next three steps are easy.  Until I get to the moral inventory.  that just might be hard.  

I woke up Ken to talk to him, but he's tired and doesn't want to talk.  So, here I am, excited and a nervous wreck, and I know I have to go to bed, but I also know I won't be able to go to sleep.  But I also know I have to get some sleep so that I can take proper care of my chillens tomorrow.  I have to go to a meeting tomorrow.  90 meetings in 90 days is their motto.  I don't know how I'll do it with the kids.  But like Denny said, do it, or lose the kids.  It's hard for me to believe that would happen, but I guess it would, or could, I should say.

I have a feeling this is a new life for me.  A real life.  I just wish I could get Ken in on it with me,  because I also have a feeling it could break up our marriage.  But I shouldn't have that attitude.  I should be a lot more positive.  

So, I'll find a meeting in the daytime tomorrow, and maybe drag the kids with me.  I don't know what else to do.  I'll call Bitsy in the morning and figure out what to do from there.  I'm a nervous wreck about Ken.  I wish I could have talked to him today."

I am so grateful to have found this.  It is amazing to me how many things I got right from the first day.  I knew it would break up my marriage and it did.  I knew it was a new life for me and it was. I wanted to be able to help people in AA and I have.  

What an amazing journey this has been!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tuesday Morning

I took this picture while running yesterday.  Before I went to yoga.  I signed up for a 3 months membership to a nearby yoga studio.  I had my first one-on-one session yesterday.  I am excited and nervous about this.  

I am off to a meeting and then to work all day.  I am happy to get out of this house and get away from all that cooking, canning, cleaning, and then some more cooking, canning, and cleaning.  It was a very productive weekend, and I need to get back to work to get some rest!

Blogger has a new process for reporting violations of their terms of service.  Hate speech is specifically prohibited.  If you happen to know of a blog that posts our pictures and then calls us things like fat satanic pigs, you might want to report it to blogger.  Just sayin'.

Have a Happy Tuesday y'all.  

Monday, September 01, 2008

September Morn

I went to bed early enough last night that getting up at 4:30 works today.  Sleeping until 8:30 is not a good way for me to start a day.  I never felt well yesterday.  I not only slept until 8:30, but then I took a nap!  

Inspired by Pammie's Jazzercise, I made an appointment for an introductory session at a nearby yoga studio.  I go at 9:00 this morning.  I am pretty scared to do this.  I have pretty good cardio fitness - running is good for that - but flexibility? strength? not so much.  I hope I can do this.

Yesterday I spent most of the day making more salsa.  Now I have a quarter bushel of tomatoes left over.  My sponsor's favorite ever is tomato preserves, so I will make her some today.  That is, after church and yoga (eeek!) and before a 3:00 meeting I have never before visited.  Oh, and then back to church for my one hour of silent prayer.  

I am so grateful that today is a third day off work.  I am also grateful that I am looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow.  I am grateful that I live in the United States of America, where keeping abreast of politics is very entertaining.  And mostly?  I am grateful to be a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous, which makes everything in my life possible.