Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday Evening

You know by Thursday evening, I am usually really tired.  Tonight is no exception.  I intend to go to bed really early and get up really early and go to church on my way to work tomorrow.

I am tired of the way my workplace has changed due to the threat of pandemic flu.  I am tired of thinking about this.  And you all can say it is a bunch of hype all you want, but this could get really really ugly, really really quick.  Or it may not get ugly this round, but come back in a couple of months and really wreak havoc.   My hands are taking a beating from all the washing and purell usage.

Today my daughter and I went to lunch.  At noon on a Thursday afternoon, this shopping center was all but empty.  We were literally the only people in the restaurant.  We overheard a conversation between two waitresses, discussing where they were going to apply for jobs.  We both laughed when we heard one tell another "yeah, but they make you take a drug test!" and the other one said "Oh." Like - well, too bad, that one is out!  

I have no kids this weekend.  I wish the weather was going to be better, I would head on out to the Western Slope and visit with my sponsor.  But the weather is supposed to be bad - again - and I am not up for driving across the Continental Divide in uncertain weather.  I have done that too many times in my life.  Maybe I will find a way to relax and enjoy myself this weekend?  It could happen!  I have social events to attend both Friday and Saturday evenings.  One at a sponsee's house, and one at a fellow member's house for a function my group holds once a month (I had it last month).  

Sorry for my gloomy outlook tonight.  I can still thank God that I am sober today, and I will ask Him for another day tomorrow... hope you join me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kris Allen and Raisin Bread

Kris Allen performs in front of the judges on American Idol on Tuesday, April 28.
He might be the sweetest of them all - far sweeter than any confection I could dream up!
Making the dough
Then it needs to be kneaded - and who doesn't?
After rising for an hour
Braided and ready for the oven
Out of the oven, and drizzled with powdered sugar frosting
The finished product on a grandma plate on a grandma tablecloth.  But what the heck, I am a grandma!  The folks at work liked the bread - it tastes so good with a bit of butter.  (not margarine - NEVER margarine!)

I did something today that I have never done before.  In a meeting with my boss, I started crying.  I couldn't stop.  I kept apologizing.  He understood, but it was embarrassing.  And my boss could not have been kinder and more supportive.  

I left work and did what any woman like me would do - I called my hairdresser and told her I needed an emergency appointment.  She found time for me at 7:30 p.m., after having been on her feet cutting and coloring hair since 6:30 a.m.  She wouldn't cut all my hair off, and then she wouldn't take any money from me!  I owe her - big time.  

It's been a strange week, but only two more days of work this week.  And then there is an AA social event to attend on Saturday night.  I am looking forward to that!  

That's enough out of me on this Wednesday night!

I sure am grateful for another sober day, and hope to try it again tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Treadmill Test

I had my treadmill test today.  As a few of you suggested I would - I aced the thing.  I was off the charts for a woman my age - in a good way.  Based on that test, my cholesterol scores, my blood pressure, and the fact that I don't smoke (and haven't since 1991), my risk of having a heart attack in the next 10 years is 1%.  One Percent.  

It was fun when I met the tech, I had a Denver Marathon 2007 jacket on, and she had run it too.  We commiserated about the rainy cold weather for that race.  We chatted and chatted... and then I told her I was nervous about getting on the treadmill after all this talking about running.  She reassured me, wired me up, and I got on.  It was a great experience.  

Anyway, in case anyone was wondering how I found myself in the position of needing a treadmill test to begin with - it was my incident of chest pain and shortness of breath almost 2 weeks ago now.  So, how could that happen to me?   I had migraines like 5 of the 7 seven days previous to the incident.  I took maybe 3 or 4 dosages of the migraine medication I had been prescribed... and therein, I think, lies the problem.  I think it was an adverse drug reaction to Maxalt.  My doc thought that was feasible, and so did the RN doing the stress test today.  I won't be taking that stuff again, I can assure you.  

So, now I am making braided raisin bread to bring to work tomorrow.  I am also taking photos as I go.  I will post them probably later.  

I am so happy and relieved about my treadmill test.

I am also in love with a young man younger than any of my children... Kris Allen on American Idol... wow.  

I got nothing

I just can't think of one single thing to write this morning.  

I am going for my treadmill test this morning.  I am looking forward to it.

Then I will go to work.

Then I get to watch American Idol tonight.

I will keep all of you Houstonians in my prayers, that weather sounds scary.

I am grateful for lots, even though there is not lots to write.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Snowy Monday Morning

A brave tulip, standing tall despite hardship.  It is still snowing outside and there is quite a bit of snow already on the ground.  I am mighty sick of this weather.  My lilacs, their buds already frozen by the last storm, are all bent over under the weight of the snow.  There was a time when I would have gotten my boots on and gone out and knocked the snow off the branches, but I have ceased fighting anything or anyone - even snow.

I have lots of meetings and things to do today.  After work, I will put on my lace mantilla and go to my church for an hour of silent prayer.  Then to Biblical School until 9 p.m.  Mondays are long days but wonderful days.  

And I am bringing some of the posole I made yesterday for a friend at work.  It was good!  I love bringing food to work.  She and I are both good cooks, so we share food a lot.   Thank God for friends...

Thank God for everything.  Even though I have made a request that the snow stop, I still am grateful for every little detail this morning.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Story

I've written my story and it is published here, if you have a second, go over and read it.  (she says very sheepishly...)
Thanks, MC

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Five Mile Morning

What a great day!

I went to a great AA meeting this morning where a man celebrated 5 years of continuous sobriety.

After that, I drove to a nice trail and ran 5 miles.  It was a dreary, overcast, drizzly morning.  This is very unusual weather for Colorado and it is nice for a change... but not on a regular basis.

I stopped at Barnes and Noble on the way home and bought myself a new copy of Atlas Shrugged.  Yeah, really.  

I came home and slept for 2 hours.  On a cold spring afternoon, it was pretty nice to just go to bed and sleep.  Next week I will take off the flannel sheets, but for now, I am glad they are still there.

When I woke up, I got dressed and ready and went to church.  

Came home, ate a steak and baked potato dinner.  Then I wrote for 2 hours.  

Now I am going to go to bed.  

This may not sound like a lot, but it is.  It is happy stuff.  

Friday, April 24, 2009

Swine Flu

One Box Non-woven 3-ply surgical/food disposable face mask 50 per box
This morning, I found a tiny little story that was not yet on the major news outlets... A flu outbreak.  I forwarded the story to the person at my hospital who is in charge of emergency management.   I was hoping that she would say that I failed to understand something or jumped to some crazy conclusion, but as I suspected, she had the same reaction as I.  This could be really bad.  I have been part of pandemic flu planning and drills and it is grim, grim, grim.  

I am tired tonight.  I came home from work and worked in my yard for 2 hours.  I am glad I did it, but it was hard.  I am hopeful that the rest of my weekend will be more fun.  I wanted to get the hard work out of the way on Friday night.  

Tomorrow I plan on going to the 6:30 a.m. meeting and then go out for a 5 mile run.  Just writing that makes me smile.  It has been months since I have run more than 2 or 3 miles.  Long runs are so therapeutic for me... physically and mentally.  I am very much looking forward to it.  It's funny though that a few months ago I would have thought a 5 mile run was a short run.  That's OK.

And now I get to go to bed.  It is wonderful to be grateful for something so ordinary - and wonderful.  Another sober day... Thank God.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Life is busting out all over...

One single tulip is in bloom in my back yard.  It was still in a tight bud this morning.  Tomorrow I expect a riot of color back there.  And in case there is any doubt, the stem and leaves are green, the rock is rockish color and the flower is orange!

It is suddenly summer (you don't need to tell me it is still spring, I know that).  In Colorado we tend to have two seasons, winter and summer.  Last week at this time, it was snowing, this week, it is 70º at 8 p.m., the birds are singing, the grass is green, the flowers are in bloom, and life feels like it just might go on - and that we might want it to!

I just had dinner with my oldest sponsee.  She is a wonderful woman who has now been sober 13 years.  She is one of my dearest friends and one of the most important people in my life.  She took me by a house that she fixed and then didn't flip because of the market.  She is renting it.  I last saw this house 2 years ago, and it was an amazing mess - an old man had moved out (actually I think he died).  He had things like a zebra patterned floor in the bathroom - with a chandelier and a hard wired land line phone next to the toilet.   And all those dark, dark colors.  It is now light and beautiful, with wood floors, new paint, new walls, new windows, and a new 1200 square foot garage!  I am so proud of this amazing woman and all that she is.  She has come so far it is absolutely impossible!  

In my own life, there is not one thing I am dreading right now.  I can't tell you how wonderful that feels.  My job is one of deadlines and big deals.  Presentations to give and volumes and volumes to write.  Lately I have not appreciated my job much.  It has felt like a lot of pressure and not much fun.  I really needed to look at it from a different perspective and all of the sick time I have taken in the last month has provided me the opportunity to get that perspective.  I really love my job.  I really love all the writing I get to do. I really love that I sit on committees just to provide my expert knowledge.  I love that people call me to run things by me.  I love that I write and give these presentations.  I love that when the days of intense pressure come, when everyone else is freaking out, I get an unnatural calm about me, like I am just exactly where I am supposed to be and where I want to be - and these are my best days.  

But right now things have slowed.  And I need them to.  I need to rearrange some things so that I can stick around this old planet.  Maybe if I live long enough, I will be just exactly the person I think God wants me to be.  God knows, the years I have had to practice at being a sober woman have taken me so much further than I ever would have dreamed.  

And now I shall go to bed and read for a while before I drift off to sleep.  I am reading "East of Eden" which I am enjoying tremendously.  I thought I had read all of Steinbeck's books, but recently was in a book store and saw this book and realized I had never read it.  What a treat.  It is like finding a forgotten Christmas package.  

Good night everyone...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oh, Blessed Gratitude

Maybe I needed a week of hell, and a health scare, to just make me so happy to be alive.  It doesn't hurt that last week was snowy and rainy and cold and frozen and nasty.  This week is sunshiney and warm and beautiful.  

I am sitting on my sofa, my screen doors are open, there is a breeze blowing through.  There is a nice ceiling fan above me, which I love.  I am watching American Idol, and as long as Kris Allen stays in the competition, I will be very happy to watch it (I voted for him 10 times last night!).  Juvenile - yes, how wonderful!  Last week I felt like I was geriatric, juvenile is a welcomed change.  

So, now it is Birdie Bedtime.  I absolutely love this time each day - once the windows are open.  The birds make so much noise as they prepare to settle down for the night - I love to listen to them.  

Today was wonderful, starting with an AA meeting at 6:30.  Then I had a presentation to give this morning at work.  Once that was over, I got to breathe a sigh of relief.  I went out for lunch with my daughter and had the wonderful Huevos Rancheros pictured above at a wonderful Mexican restaurant.  Yummmmmmy.

I am so grateful to be alive, so grateful to be sober, so grateful to have the life I have today.  You just cannot get here from there.  There is no way... but for the Grace of God.  But for the Grace of God.  


This is a photo I took with my phone yesterday while running.   It was a glorious morning yesterday and I expect it will be again today.

I am heading out to the 6:30 meeting.  I am excited about the prospect of sitting in that room with a bunch of alcoholics and knitting for an hour.  

I really should continue to blog at night because I have not much to say today.

I am just really glad to be among the living.  The sober living.  I think I will try it for another day and I hope you all do too.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Morning Run

I went out and ran 2 miles in the beautiful sunshine this morning.  The birds were singing, the trees are blooming, and life feels very good.   I ran through the mud for about a half mile - long enough for the bottoms of my shoes to become very very large with mud.  It was fun!

I am sorry that I wrote what I wrote yesterday.   I chose not to publish some of the comments.  I don't want squabbling or politics on my blog.  If I stay close to writing about my own experience, strength, and hope, there is no room for any of that.  I thought I was writing about my own experience of a larger experience yesterday, but perhaps I ought to just leave it alone.

But I am a happy girl this morning.  It is good to be alive, sober, and able to get out in God's sunshine.  

Let's stay sober another day today, OK?

Monday, April 20, 2009

10 Years...

It was 10 years ago today that my community changed.  The day was so horrifying, it can't be described, and doesn't need to be - it has been written about endlessly.  

I was 14 years sober.  I was still in school.  I was working for my current employer, but I hadn't yet moved into management.  I sat down to eat lunch at my desk and checked the news on the internet, as I usually do.  I saw the headline on the national news.  Another school shooting, but this one only a couple of miles away.  Oh Dear, a co-worker, sitting in the next room had two kids at that school!  I didn't want to tell her what was going on, but I had to.  She flew out of there, car keys in her hand....

People set up television sets for parents to see what was going on.  There were so many parents of kids at that school.  It was dreadful to watch them.  It was glorious to hear them say they got a call - their kid was OK.   No one at work lost a kid that day.  

That day, on the highway I take each day to get home from work, I could see evidence of something very weird going on.  On an overpass, I could look and see television trucks and vans for as far as the eye could see.  It was eerie.  

In my AA group there were parents of kids.  There was a man who lost his niece.  There was so much pain and anger.

10 years later, this community is still not the same.  Maybe it never was what it seemed.  

Lives were ruined that day.  I don't just mean the kids and their parents and teachers.  It was like a cancer that spread through the community.  There was so much blame.  It seemed to creep out like a pool of blood that just keeps growing and tainting everything it touched.  

Someone I loved was a public figure and embroiled in the aftermath.  I think it ruined his life.  I really do.  He is now deceased.  So many of those people are.

Morbid, yes.  But that is my experience of it.  

We get to really experience things when we are sober.  Fully alive sober human beings.  We feel things.  We remember things.  

And I thank God that I can feel.  
(probably will post something a bit more cheerful in the morning...)


I had a visit with my physician this morning.  He ordered a CBC, Random Glucose, Thyroid Function, and a Stress Test.  

He said that some people have a high calcium score and have no heart problems, and others have no calcium and have a heart attack.  He felt that I had only one (1) heart disease risk - family history.  That my health is generally very good.  My BP is 110/78.  My pulse ox is 96%.  My heart rate is low.  My weight is 1_7 lbs.  Oh, there's a missing number!  Oh well.  

We shall see what the blood tests and stress test reveal.  I haven't even scheduled the stress test yet.  

I got a new medication for migraines.  

I got some baby aspirin to take every single day for my blood.

Right now I feel really good.  I made some phone calls today to people who could use an encouraging word and didn't know anything about my health issues.   It was good to talk with them.  

I have Biblical School tonight.  And I swear to you, I am going to run tomorrow morning.  

And maybe blog later tonight?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Evening

My daughter and I went shopping this afternoon.  I managed to find a green apron and an orange camisole - how cool is that!  Well, and I purchased an orange tee too, just because it was on sale.  

I just got off the phone with my sponsor.  We talked about all that I am doing.  She said (and I agreed) that it is just too much.  I told her it was just so hard because all the things I am doing are just so good!  I want to do them all!  She said that at a certain point in sobriety, we have to pick between the good and the good.  We have so many good things open up as opportunities to us, it is difficult to say no to any of them.  

I know for many of us, we need to work on learning to say "no."  Truly, I had to learn how to say "yes."  I knew how to say no.  No was my answer to everything.  But in sobriety, good things started happening and I had to learn to embrace them, and not walk away.  I had to learn how to take chances and spread my wings and find out who and what I am.  I had to actually TRY to the best of my ability and then in the process I got to find out WHAT the best of my ability actually is.  The "best of my ability" astounded me, because I always felt that I was somehow less than others.  

I think it is time to back off a bit.  That is a sad realization for me.  I don't want to back off.   I want to be fully engaged in life, not backing away from it.  

Tomorrow I will go talk with my physician.  I will get a better idea of what is going on with my health.  

For now, I need to hit the sack and I thank God for another sober day.  A day when I didn't hurt anyone.  A day when the phone rang so many times because I have friends who care about me.  A day when I got to laugh with my daughter and go shopping for silly, frivolous things.  And that is very good.

Thank you God.  

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Vulnerable is not something I am very good at.  It is not something I enjoy.  I have had a large dosage of it in the last several days.  

First, laying on a gurney with all manner of medical personnel focused upon me... not my idea of a good time.  Then, discharge instructions which state in bold capital letters "YOU NEED TO FOLLOW UP WITH YOUR DOCTOR AT THE FIRST AVAILABLE APPOINTMENT."  Not knowing exactly what the heck is going on.  I will find out on Monday.

Yesterday I left the house to pick up my daughter in a bad snowstorm.  I have lived in Colorado for nearly 25 years, I am pretty good at driving in snow.  And yet, I got stuck.  It was a really terrible, and vulnerable situation to find myself in.  The thought occurred to me that I have a son who is young, able-bodied, 6'5" tall and strong, with a 4 wheel drive vehicle, and he lives 3 miles from my house.  I really could call him for help.  This thought is so foreign to me.  And yet, I did call him.  I told him I was sure I could get myself out of the middle of the street, facing sideways... but that I needed him to pick up his sister because as soon as I got un-stuck I was driving home and no where else.    He happily did that.

And when my daughter got here, I asked her to shovel the driveway and sidewalk.  That snow weighed a ton!  I stood at my door and watched her shovel and chat with my next-door-neighbor... that is MY job, dammit!

I didn't go to my regular Saturday morning meeting because the roads were still not passable at 6 o'clock this morning and I opted not to force the issue.  

My daughter and I went to a movie this afternoon.  I love matinees.  We saw a movie that was billed as a comedy - but was so sad.  It was good, but dark, dark, dark, and sad.  "Sunshine Cleaning."  I would recommend it - but don't go in looking for a rip-roaring good time.  

I am now going to go to bed and hope that tomorrow the sun will show its face.  It has been gloomy and overcast here since Thursday.  That is crazy weather for Colorado.  I have got standing pools of water in my lawn, and all the snow hasn't even melted yet - and it is still pouring rain.  Rain on top of snow is a sloppy mess, but will save millions of dollars on wildfires this year.  

I thank God I am sober and have a sober way of life.  I could not deal with any of this stuff without knowing that God is in charge and that he loves me.  Going to church today was good - today is Divine Mercy Sunday... and I need every drop of it.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I am fortunate to have a great sponsor.  She is eleven years older than me.  She is sober eleven years longer than me.  She has had health problems.  She has had heart problems.  

So, when I called her today, she knew what I was talking about.  She didn't sidestep it or try to make it sound "nice."  

I probably won't write much about this because I am tired of being criticized.  I don't want to be criticized for feeling as vulnerable as I have in recent years at a minimum - maybe ever.  

I don't feel very well.  I don't know whether it is lingering effects of the ativan I had last night or not.  I guess I will know tomorrow.  I will know more on Monday morning when I see my primary care physician.

I am now going to get in my car and drive through a blizzard (complete with thunder and lightening) to pick up my daughter at 5.  I am extremely grateful that she will be spending the weekend with me.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Long and Expensive Day

Today I spent the afternoon in the ER of the local hospital after having experienced chest pain and shortness of breath.  And every time I told someone "I'm a runner," the answer was something like "all the more reason to be concerned."  Runners should not be experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath.

It took all day, but I had a PET scan which showed that my heart is pretty OK.  I can talk about it with my PCP on Monday, but for now I am at home.

My kids drove me home because Ativan was necessary for me to get in the PET scan machine.  

So, this is Mary on Ativan and this thing is really hard to write.

I am going to bed.  


I am grateful that I live in the United States of America, where when you complain about chest pain everyone jumps to attention.  I am glad that some really fabulous diagnostic technology was about 2 miles down the road from where I work.  I am grateful for the excellent care I received.  I am grateful that my two daughters and my daughter's boyfriend came to stay with me.  I am grateful that one of the nurses asked if my daughter's boyfriend was my husband (tee hee).  

I am grateful that I am a sober person with nothing to hide and that I can get some of the most stellar medical care in the world.  It might cost some money, but it is there, and I can get it.  

And tomorrow we are supposed to get 1 to 3 feet of snow.  FEET.  Who cares?  I am going to sleep.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday Evening

Aren't those shoes great?  Unfortunately, they caused an aggravated and angry blister on the third toe of my right foot.  It was nice to stand in church in a pretty new dress, jacket, and black patent leather shoes.  The angle on my leg is not exactly flattering in this photo.

I left work today because I feel not well.  I slept most of the afternoon away.  After I wrote out one big honkin' check to the U.S. Treasury.  I made an electronic payment for my state taxes.  It did not make me happy.  Normally I feel like it is just part of being a responsible citizen.  This year, it seems like being a responsible citizen is not really the best thing to do... but I will do it anyway.  

My day was made better by a phone call from a woman who just wanted to stay sober today despite huge painful challenges.  Talking to her was the bright spot of my day.  

I am going to watch American Idol and go to bed.  In fact, I may not be able to stay up late enough to watch American Idol, but I will have the show on DVR, so I can watch it later.  

You know what is bad about writing at night?  I can't say "let's stay sober today, OK?"  But I guess I can say "let's thank God for another day of sobriety today, OK?"  Yeah, that works.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Friends among friends...

Before I wrapped the above gift for the woman who asked me to be her sponsor for confirmation, I took several photos.  She chose St. Michael the Archangel as her Patron Saint, and I wanted to acknowledge that with my gift.  I thought this plaque was wonderful, not so sure she loved it, I think she will in time.  It really is pretty.  

So, tonight was the confirmation.  It was a glorious thing.  She was the only adult being confirmed.  The other confirmati were 11th graders.  Those 11th graders were impressive.  They were asked questions by the priest in front of the congregation, and they mostly answered admirably.  I am glad they were put on the spot like that.  That is what real life is like.  You don't get to hide and not be embarrassed if you didn't pay attention.

The really remarkable thing for me was that I felt that I belonged.  There were so many years that I felt "less than".  So many years when I felt that if they really knew who I was, they would throw me out.  Tonight I sat with my sponsee, and felt that I belonged.  It was not about me.  It was about me being of service to my friend, being supportive of her and providing guidance.  

I learned that in Alcoholics Anonymous.  Let the detractors say that we hide out in AA and learn nothing, but I know it has taught me how to do almost everything valuable that I do today.  And I do some valuable things, by the Grace of God.  

I am so grateful.

Monday, April 13, 2009

My daughter, my life

(I wrote this on Saturday and hadn't intended to share it with anyone. I may delete it later, it is so raw and hard to share)

Last night I drove my daughter to her home, clear across town.  I live far south, she lives far north.  I picked her up from the facility where she has her weekly supervised visitation with her two children - of whom my ex-husband now has custody.  

I try to pick her up on Friday nights after her visitation.  It is just too terrible for her to leave her children and then sit and wait at a bus stop - to go nowhereinparticular.  It is too much for a person like her who looks so tough, all covered in tattoos, but is as fragile as antique lace.  

She hasn't had a drink or a drug since January.  Oh, maybe you say that is not so long.  And I know that is true.  But it is almost 90 days when I have had my daughter back in my life.  It is 90 days when she has not been close to death.  90  days when she has not put herself into ridiculously dangerous compromising situations.  90 days is a lifetime of wonderful phone calls, text messages, dinners together, conversations, and sitting next to each other at AA meetings.  

I haven't had my daughter this close since before she got "sick" at the tender age of 14.  She is now 30.  It's been a long damn time.

I don't know how she has lived through it all.  I know how I have.  The Grace of God, and only the Grace of God.  

For all the stories she has told me through the years... I am struggling with this last one.  Her last drunk.  I pray God it is her last drunk.  

She got drunk.  She was trying not to use meth.  So she was drinking.  And  shooting heroin.  And on her last drunk, she overdosed on heroin.  She said she knew it, and she didn't want to die, but it was too late to do anything.  

When her lips turned blue, her "friends" told her she had to leave.  She couldn't die at their house.  They might get in trouble if she did.  So they threw her out.  She made it to a parking lot and somehow called her boyfriend.  He came and picked her up.  That is the end of the story as I was told it. Oh, yes, I do know there is more.  And I don't need to know.  I so wish I didn't know the parts I do know.  

This is too much knowledge for a mother.  There is nowhere for this information to live inside me, so it is just bumping around.  It bumps into other things.  Things where it doesn't fit.  I hope in time the edges will get bumped off, and it will be able to live here with the rest.

I have my own stories.   They seem so old.  It has been so long.  Their edges are all gone.  The pain has gone out of them.   And I am grateful for that.   By the Grace of God.  Only by the Grace of God.

So, I drove her back up north.  It was only after 6:00 p.m., so we took back roads.  The highways would be still too congested.  We wound our way through neighborhoods.  I used to live on the north side.  We drove past places that used to be AA clubs, and now are huge shopping centers.  We drove past places where I used to live.  We drove past places where old boyfriends used to live.  So many memories for me.  I kept most of them to myself.  How could she ever know that I am just like her?   I am her mama.  She doesn't know.  She will someday, but for now, she doesn't even need to know.  

She just knows that I am her mother, that I love her unconditionally, and that I am a reliable person.  I am a sober person.  God reigns over my life and showers me endlessly with His blessings.  That's what she knows about me.  

While I have been writing this, her ex, her children's dad, called.  He is also sober.  Clean and sober.  Clean for over 2 years, and sober over 1 year.  And hasn't had a cigarette for 41 days (for someone with COPD, this is pretty important).  We talked. He asked for my support, because he is moving to this side of town.  I told him he could count on me.  

And then I told him how grateful I am that he is sober and that my darling daughter is sober.  I wept as I told him this.  

There is no limit to God's mercy.    

Place Marker

Taking a page from Pam, I am going to try posting at night for a little while.  There is too much to do in the morning if I am going to get back to running regularly.  

Pam and I share a quirk of having different outlooks on life from morning to night.  In the morning I tend to be more optimistic and positive.  By night, when my energy is gone, I tend to be a little bit more critical and sharp edged.  

See you tonight... we'll see how this works....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Morning

Easter is a day about renewal, new life, forgiveness, and God's unfathomable love for us.  

We of Alcoholics Anonymous have each experienced these.  We do not even need to believe that God is working in our lives, God will still create the most beautiful works of healing and love.  He is very capable of working anonymously, never seeking credit.  And that is a good thing because most of us puff up our chests and talk loudly of all of our "work" that got and keeps us sober.  

I am so incredibly grateful for God's infinite mercy and love.  I could "work" for a lifetime and never come close to earning what I have been so freely given.  

Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Back to Bed

This is what a non-running Mary writes on this Saturday morning.  When I am not a runner, I am a slacker with a lack of energy.  I stopped running regularly some time after the last half-marathon in January.  I have run, but not like I used to.

On Monday, I shall get back to doing the things I need to do.  I have a triathlon to train for.  And I have health that needs for me to be running.  Mental and physical.  Spiritual and emotional.  

I have been to a meeting this morning.  I went shopping for the food that needs to be prepared for tomorrow - but I can do that much later.  I will be at church for hours tonight and I am really looking forward to that.  But for now?  Back to Bed.  

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Last night I spent several hours at church.  It was such a wonderful experience.  I ran into several people I know from AA, and it was nice to see them.  The mass was so beautiful, and being a part of it, part of processions, etc., was a whole new experience.   I guess it is like I talk about in AA - the difference between being a participant and a spectator.  I prefer the participant experience.

I feel such peace in my heart this morning.  I feel so relieved.  There have been so many big deals going on in my life so it is so nice that right now I just feel like I have nothing huge to plan, work on, or dread.   I have a regular Friday to work - I am sure it will be quiet, many people have taken today off.  I will probably go to church tonight.  I will probably go to an AA meeting tomorrow morning.  I will do some shopping somewhere along the way for Easter baskets for my granddaughters.  There is Easter Vigil Mass tomorrow night.  And then Easter on Sunday.  I will have my kids and grandkids in shifts.  My family is very complicated, but my love for them isn't.  It is simple, real, and all encompassing.

I hope you all have whatever kind of sober day you would like to have.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


I need to be sitting in a meeting an hour from now.  As it is, I am in my jammies, have no  idea what I am wearing to work today and no idea what I am eating for breakfast.  Normally, in that state, it would take me at least 2 hours to get out of here.  We shall see what I can do today.

Yesterday morning I texted my sponsee "I just woke up, won't be at the meeting.  How about tomorrow?"  About an hour later I got this text "ha ha, I overslept too.  See you tomorrow."  So I have to be there.  

I thank God for the two women I am sponsoring right now.  I dearly love both of them, and somehow know the feeling is quite mutual.  My ex-husband used to say there were two kinds of people in this world - Drainers, and Sustainers.  I have had my fill of drainers.  These women are both sustainers.  Somehow, even when a person is at their nadir of despair, there is a difference between the two.  

I better get going.

Shall we try staying sober for another 24º?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I didn't wake up in time to meet my sponsee at the meeting.  We hadn't talked about meeting this week, but we meet every week... so it is an implied appointment.  I was in bed most of yesterday, and I feel just slightly brain dead today.

I did get up long enough to get a manicure and pedicure because when I have a migraine, for some reason, I am convinced that a pedicure will make me feel better.  Actually, it usually does - the migraine doesn't go away, but there is comfort in a pedicure.  

And I am going to buy a new camera.  Mine is 5 years old.  It isn't charged this morning when I wanted to take a picture of my purple toenails.  It won't hold a charge anymore.  And when I look at others' cameras, it makes me realize that mine is almost as dated as an 'instamatic'.  

Today I should be able to finance my car.  I have leased a new car every 18 months to 2 years since 1999.  In 2005, I leased a new Volkswagen Passat.  I tried to trade it for a Prius 2 years ago, thank God it wasn't feasible at that time because I would rather walk than drive a Prius at this stage (with the political baggage a Prius carries).  I have grown to love my Passat and I hope to drive it into my old age.  I need to finance the residual - and actually have a bank and VW credit fighting over me!  (Believe me, no one ever fought to finance anything for me when I was drinking - or in early sobriety.)

Last night I went to Confirmation practice with my confirmation sponsee.  It was very touching to be sitting there beside her - the only adult in this sea of 11th graders.   This is a very wonderful experience for both of us.  I am so grateful that she chose me to be her sponsor, and she is grateful that I am willing to do all this stuff with her.  I keep telling her it is my pleasure, and it truly is.  Tomorrow night we get our feet washed... and surely this was on my mind when I got a pedi yesterday.   

I am scattered all over the place today.  A migraine is a very weird thing.  The pain is gone, which is almost euphoric, but I know that my brain is just not functioning right.  I can live with that though.  

Praise God! I get to be sober again today.  And I am not alone.  

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

1300 posts

Gee, I guess I have been doing this for a while.

I love that I can do a word search on my blog and find things.  

Like how many migraines I have had recently.

When I was dating someone and when it fell apart.

When he died.

How many times I have said things like "powerless."

How many times I have just been grateful.

Big events in my life (and small) are all here.

Since September 2005.

I sure miss some of the old bloggers.

And I am grateful for those who remain.

Thank you.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Snowy Monday

That's a snow covered tulip in front of my house. I don't know how it didn't lose those tender little petals. But they remain.

I am off to work today. I have a meeting that could get ugly this afternoon. I am praying. I know that if I keep my ego out of things, they tend to work out much better. If I stay prayerful, my chances of keeping my ego out of it increase exponentially.

I think I will also pray that we get some spring weather. I don't mind snow in the winter, but when it is the week before Easter, I would like to have some warmth.

It's a good day to stay sober no matter the weather... I think I will plan on doing that. And hope you all do too.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Morning After

Last night was truly wonderful.  I LOVE having a home full of alcoholics!  There was lots of food, lots of fellowship, and lots of phone calls!  A couple of guys were kind enough to stay after everyone left to help with the phone calls and I was grateful for that.  Usually everyone files out at 8 o'clock, and you are left alone to handle the one or two calls you might get.  Not so last night.

It was good.  I didn't get enough sleep last night because one drunk got my phone number when I called him back and decided to call much later.  I finally turned off my phone because my "shift" was over at 11.  I know there are some people who love getting the calls in the middle of the night, but I am not one of them.  If you have a crisis at 4 a.m., please call me, because I will be awake - but midnight?  not so much.  Oh - and he wasn't having a crisis and did not want help - he just wanted to argue with me because he believed my phone was getting all of his wife's voice mail - very very crazy.

Today will largely be spent at church.  It is Palm Sunday, I will go to Mass at my church this morning.  Then I will spend the afternoon at my confirmation sponsee's church, rehearsing for her confirmation.  

Hopefully I can get home at some point and take a very long nap.

I hope you all have a great sober Sunday.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Looking forward

I am baking 2 pies today, plus making a lot of other stuff.  I went to the meeting this morning and found out that bunches and bunches of people will be here tonight.... unless we get a couple of feet of snow.  

It was "supposed" to snow a lot last night and didn't.  I guess it is "supposed" to snow a lot today, but so far, it is just spitting snow.  

I am greatly looking forward to having folks from my group here tonight to answer the phones for Alcoholics Anonymous.  

Can hardly think of anything better than that!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Winter Storm Warning


I am having a function for my group tomorrow night.  It is supposed to snow like heck tomorrow.  I may be having this function by myself.  I will eat well if that is the case!  I need to go forward with all my preparations today because:
1.  The storm may never happen
2. It may be much less than predicted
3. People may drive through the snow to get here - and there better be food!

My daughter is coming over today and spending the weekend.  That will be nice.

I am heading out of here now to go to a meeting and then to church.

Did I fail to mention that I took a day of vacation today?  Yes, I am not working.  How wonderful is that?!  Very.  I took yesterday afternoon off as well.  I spent that time shopping and painting the door to my upstairs bathroom.  I really know how to live!

It is my plan to stay sober today, no matter what else happens.  I hope I have lots of company.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


One of my favorite non-recovery oriented bloggers is marrying one of her commenters!  People are aghast!  They have only met a few times, but claim to be "in love" and are getting married.    I think that sounds very silly unless you are a true blogger.  

I have "met" several bloggers - and have not had one surprise.  If you read what a person writes every single day, you get a pretty good idea of what that person is all about.  

I went to Galveston, Texas in 2007 for my nephew's wedding.  Well, as soon as I realized that I would be in the Great State of Texas, I knew I HAD to meet some of the bloggers from that Mecca of Sobriety Bloggers.  

I have several quirks about me (I know this is not surprising, but I say it anyway), one of the quirks is that I do not let anyone drive me to the airport when I need to catch a flight.  I also do not go anywhere I do not have the ability to leave - in my own car.  So, my dear friend Daave suggested that I take my rental car to Houston and drop it off, and he would pick me up and drive me around for a day or two and make sure I got to the airport in time.  I actually did that!  
I had never "met" Daave, but I absolutely trusted that he would do just what he said and there would be no problems with that.  I met Daave, face to face, at the rental car return at IAH in Houston.  What a lovely moment that was!  And then we drove away.  

I got to spend some more time with Daave, Scott, and Pammie (and too many other bloggers to mention) in November of last year.  When I get together with them, it is like seeing my long lost best friends.  I just dearly love these people.  

So, although I think it sounds strange to say you know these folks, it is my experience that if someone takes the time to post something every day and you take the time to read it, you get a pretty good picture of a human being.

Thanks for being my friends.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


They say the cockroach will still be roaming the earth, long after evolved life has done itself in. Not so sure I believe that. But I do often feel like a cockroach in that I keep doing things long after everyone else quits or dies.

This morning I am heading out to the 6:30 meeting.  I am meeting a sponsee there.  We have been meeting there for a couple of years.  Years and years ago, I used to meet MY sponsor at the 6:30 a.m. Wednesday meeting.  I have been meeting SOMEBODY every Wednesday morning for a long time.  

After the meeting, I will head to work, just like I have for the last 14.5 years.  Same roads, same parking lot, same door, same stairs.  

I will pull my bowl of plain nonfat yogurt with a cup of blueberries out of my bag, and get the Uncle Sam Cereal out of my bottom desk drawer, and eat my breakfast... just as I do each M-F. 

I could go on and on throughout my day, but I am sure you get the idea.  But you might have gotten the WRONG idea.  

I am so grateful that I get to do the same things over and over.  I am grateful that I am consistent.  I am grateful that I can be counted upon.  I am grateful that I have been able to maintain the same job, house, meeting, friends, etc.  for a while now.  

Every night when my head hits the pillow, I thank God.  And every morning when my feet hit the floor, I thank God.

It's a good thing.