Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Today, I'm not full of s_ _ _

CLICK HERE to see The World Clock

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have a very effective program of resentment avoidance, because I have almost no ability to say NO or to set boundaries with most people

for new ways and suggestions on how to deal with old feelings

that I feel so cleansed today (LOL)

that I'm having a colonoscopy later this morning / a friend mentioned that maybe I'll finally find those keys I lost a few years ago

for all the recovery bloggers I have had the opportunity to meet; many people who live here in Texas, but also in Colorado, Massachusetts, California, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota and Great Britain.

"The most heated bit of letter-writing can be a wonderful safety valve -- providing the wastebasket is somewhere nearby."
Bill W.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Just So You'll Know

In my formative years between about ages 7 - 14, I was fascinated by everything Abe. I read at least a dozen books about Abraham Lincoln; his life and family, his Presidency and all the circumstances surrounding his death.

Just so you'll know.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another very spiritual birthday night @ Lambda on Saturday; there were 28 human alkies celebrating 316 years of life without drinking alcohol

that I am cleansing my innards today in preparation for a colonoscopy tomorrow (well, I'm not really grateful for this, but just thought I'd mention it). Just so you'll know.

for a nice touch-base meeting with my only active sponsee yesterday; I have 2 others who don't call any more so I don't count them as active sponsees.

that I am a garden-variety drunk and not a spoiled, young female celebrity who parties too much but is in denial about my drinking and drug problems

that my hair grows so slowly; yesterday, Pam asked me if I have ever had a pony tail and the answer is NO! It would have taken too long to grow. That was always my thinking. Of course, if I was going to have my hair in a pony tail, I would not be getting it cut anyway, so it would not matter how long it took to grow. Damn, I'm an alcoholic!

just so you'll know.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

No Secrets

TAB tagged me (along with several others) to tell you guys
8 Things About Myself That I Have Not Already Told You.

1) I love bad weather. The worse, the better.

2) I have insomnia.

3) I have zero mechanical aptitude. Maybe a negative zero. Even simple things, like hammering a nail or screwing in a screw, can be overwhelming for me.

4) 4 years into sobriety, I have now self-diagnosed myself with Attention Deficit Disorder

5) I have always been attracted to guys with long hair. Especially pony tails.

6) I have never dressed in drag. Yet.

7) I did not eat a pizza until I was 19 years old because I hated mixing foods.

8) If I had it to do all over again, I would.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Space Center Houston

We went down to the Johnson Space Center a couple of days ago.

If you're ever in Houston, it's worth the half day to get down there and tour the facilities. If you like that sort of thing. I had never been and I'm a lifelong resident of Houston.

I suggest, however, that you go on a non-rainy day. Part of the tour consists of going from building to building over a 1600 acre campus. One rides on a tram and when it is raining, one gets soaked. Our experience confirms this.


The 2 pictures above are in the astronaut training building where mockups of the shuttle and the Russian Soyuz program are located.

These are some actual capsules on display.


Space Shuttle Cockpit.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Have you a sufficient substitute?

We've had a lot of rain lately. Lightning. Thunder. You know the bit. This event happened earlier this week when a nearby tree was hit by lightning and a huge branch came crashing from an old oak tree. This was about 300 feet from my front door. I'm glad I don't park on the street (all the time).

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the serenity that comes with acceptance

that the spiritual program I've learned in AA has become a part of my life; it's not just something I know about

that Scott introduced me (us) to a new recovery blogger -
Byron @ All My Affairs

for days that stay so full I may need to take a vacation from retirement

that Hayden and I took the tour of The Johnson Space Center (NASA) yesterday (pictures to follow soon, undoubtedly)

If man can take a piece of moldy bread and make penicillin out of it... just consider for a moment what a loving God can make out of you.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

My sister has 2 English Bulldogs.
This is Casey. He's about 2 years old now.

GO HERE to see another view and all the other HNT pics for today.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the discussion topix of the 2 AA meetings I attended yesterday; one was about the God of my understanding and how that has evolved during my recovery, and the other topic was about where I am at in my recovery today

that the more often I attempt to do the next right thing, the more comfortable it seems to be

that if I want to feel good about myself, I can't be an asshole to other people

that my life seems to be following some sort of a plan of which I have little control

We are not punished for our sins, we are punished by our sins.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Following the path

It's been raining a lot (more than usual) in England this past week.

Here's the latest in designer shoes for the well-prepared woman.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a really thought-provoking meeting yesterday morning about remaining teachable

that Hayden and I had a quick visit to see my Mom and then a long lunch with my sister, her significant other, their 2 dogs, 3 cats and 6 ducks

for a reminder from SYD that I don't always have to be busy; it's OK to just do nothing sometimes. Damn, I even need to be reminded of this!

that Step 10 of AA's twelve steps allows me to be OK with me

for 2 days without any rain

that my HP doesn't have to pay taxes

Procrastination is the gap between intention and action.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It's YOUR day, M.C.

todAAy marks the beginning of the 24th year of continuous sobriety for one of my favorite HIR's (humans in recovery).

Mary Christine (blog = Anonymous Alcoholic) lives near Denver, Colorado. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet her earlier this year when she visited Houston. We ate together, drank coffee together and attended a couple of AA meetings together along with a few other of our bestest blogger friends at Lambda Center.

I can tell you this, with no reservation ... she is genuine.
She works her program 24/7.

Here's a cake for MC. What can you bring? Navigate your way over to her blog and take some goodies with you. Like most of the rest of us, she loves to eat!!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the fellowship we have in Alcoholics Anonymous; it's unlike anything else in this world

that my fellow drunks usually know just what I'm talking about (no details needed)

for people who can talk about feelings and really make me understand

for these pictures taken when MC was here in Houston ...

Life takes on new meaning in A.A. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends --
this is an experience not to be missed.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Back to Business

If you have the time, please sign my new little recovery guestbook. It's the TV set on the sidebar to the right. CLICK "view all guests" then fill out the information.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I fat fingered the phone book on my cell phone while trying to call my therapist. I was having a "moment" and needed to discuss it with him. He has asked me to call him at those times; when it's happening. Instead, I called JJ. I could not help but laugh.

for a peaceful weekend with lots of quality time spent with Hayden; we even went bike riding together for the first time ever (before it began raining)

that we have a new topic on SOBRIETY SOCIETY.
Drop by and throw in your two cents worth.

that tomorrow is MC's 23rd AA birthday.
Let's get ready to rumble!!

"I'd prefer to have an edge than go over one."

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Please take the time to sign-in on my guestbook. It's on the right, on the sidebar. Just scroll down a couple of inches and click on the TV screen.

It is not my original idea (of course); I stole it from both Lushgurl and Todd.

Otherwise, I have little to write about today, so I think I'll just leave it until tomorrow. I hope all of you have a great Sunday, if it's not too late already.
Well, since you're still awake, it can't be too late.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Where do I find this stuff?

Kris walks into his bedroom with a sheep under his arm and says:

"Darling, this is the pig I have sex with when you have a headache."

His girlfriend is lying in bed and replies: "I think you'll find that's a sheep, you idiot."

The man says: "I think you'll find I wasn't talking to you."

Friday, July 20, 2007

Could and Would

Have a GREAT weekend!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the importance of Step 6 in my everyday life and the intricate ways in which it's tied to being the best person I can be

for a very helpful meeting with my therapist, who really does come up with viable solutions

that I continue to attend to health issues -- yesterday, I consulted with a Gastroenterologist about my upcoming Colonoscopy
(and no, I doubt I will take potential HNT pix during that episode)

that I will soon have a consultation with a vascular surgeon concerning my Peripheral Artery Disease -- it appears it is serious enough to require a "procedure" -- but at least there is a solution

for memories of watching men walking and working on the moon -- on this day, 38 years ago, I sat in front of the television with my parents as we witnessed Neil Armstrong take "a giant leap for mankind"

"The fear of feeling the pain is worse than the pain itself."
Denial Is Not a River in Egypt

Thursday, July 19, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

Massage Therapy
is only one of the many
therapeutic techniques at my disposal

see more people who could probably use some therapy HERE

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a friend who had a fortune cookkie that read, "All your problems are self-made." It provided a wonderful hour of discussion at an AA meeting.

for all of the people who played a part in getting me to where I am now;
the good AND the bad!

that here in Houston (so far) we've had a mild summer, trading high temps for a whole lot of rain

for a very pleasant day with Hayden as he joined me for AA fellowship during a meeting and after for lunch, then we did some good old fashioned shopping after which we visited with neighbors until nearly time for bed -- this is sooo different from my days and nights alone

"I once knew an alcoholic who, having read about the evils of drink, gave up reading."
Denial Is Not a River in Egypt

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Jump in, the water's fine

"We are sure God would like to see us happy, joyous and free. Hence, we cannot subscribe to the belief that this life necessarily has to be a vale of tears, though it once was just that for many of us. But it became clear that most of the time we had made our own misery."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I often don't understand the dynamics of living this life, but it's usually because I don't need to

for a new-found ability to keep my damn mouth shut; I don't know where this has come from, but it really comes in handy!

for AA meetings that focus on acceptance; a subject that I can't get enough of

that I am sober

if I am going to put myself out there, I have to be willing to take whatever criticism comes my way

"Worry doesn't prevent disaster.
It prevents joy."
Denial Is Not a River in Egypt

Monday, July 16, 2007

I am not perfect

click on the pic for more detail

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the principles of Honesty, Open-Mindedness and Willingness

that my high-class problems are problems nonetheless -- to me

that I can see my part in those problems, thanks to the steps of AA

that all of those problems have solutions, although I may not like those solutions

that I can take credit for my successes and blame for my failures

that my sometimes turbulent relationship with Hayden remains pretty much rock solid in spite of me -- this relationship is by far the most difficult thing I have ever attempted

"Self righteous anger is character assassination."
Denial is Not a River in Egypt

The Eyes Have It

In London last week, we thought about taking a ride on the London Eye (pictured here).
After gathering our thoughts, that excursion was declined. But we did walk past it on the Waterloo Bridge so I snapped this photo.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to hear the AA story of a 21 year-old man. He is a mature and responsible man, not a kid. A guy who lived to drink - from ages 8 until 13, when he got sober. Next month, this 21 year-old man celebrates his 8th year of life without alcohol and it is truly a miracle.

even though my low self-esteem weighed heavily on me this past weekend, I dealt with it as you guys have suggested and I came out on the other side a-OK (once again)

that I can go through a lot of emotional turmoil (created by moi) and have no thoughts about drinking, smoking or entertaining other life-threatening addictions

tha my eyesight is not getting any better (I have to use reading glasses) and it may soon be is time to see a professional about my options

that Kenny's eyesight has stabilized, with medication

for the power of observation coupled with the gift of silence

"Stop doing what you always did and start doing what you never did."
DENIAL is Not a River in Egypt

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Maude and Claude, both 91, lived in The Villages, in Florida.
They met at a singles club meeting and discovered over time that they enjoyed each others company. After several weeks of meeting for coffee, Claude asked Maude out for dinner and, much to his delight, she accepted. They had a lovely evening. They dined at the most romantic restaurant in town. Despite his age, they ended up at his place for an after-dinner drink.

Things continued along a natural course and age being no inhibitor,Maude soon joined Claude for a most enjoyable roll in the hay. As they were basking in the glow of the magic moments they'd shared, each was lost for a time in their own thoughts.....
Claude was thinking: 'If I'd known she was a virgin, I'd have been gentler'.
Maude was thinking: 'If I'd known he could still do it, I'd have taken off my pantyhose'.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Craig Ferguson

Craig Ferguson has a late night talk show. The following clip is from that show and it's over 12 minutes in length. Believe me, it's worth it. Watch it if you have the time and if you don't agree with me, I'll give your money back.

Friday, July 13, 2007

the thirteenth

On our recent visit to London, we stopped in at Westminster Abbey. Normal tourist visiting hours were done for the day, but we were allowed to sit in on a non-Catholic service.
It is one of the most amazing places I have ever had the opportunity to be.
Simply breathtaking.
Without the simply.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my most comprehensive and difficult and thus, rewarding, workout yet

for Step 3

for the good stuff that happens when I let go and the good stuff that happens when I don't try to stay in control of everything

that Hayden made it home safely

for soups and salads and a place called Souper Salad

for all of the things that Houston has to offer; do any of you actually know what Houston has to offer? HUH? ~~~Click here~~~

for the silliness of Pam @ Sobriety is Exhausting -- pay her a visit when you can

Hearing is one of the body's five senses. But listening is an art.
-Frank Tyger

Thursday, July 12, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

There's not much nAAked about this picture, but that's just as well since we're inside a London pub.

This is Kenny and me last Saturday. After reading each other's blogs for 2.5 years, we finally got to meet.
(that's got to be the worst picture I've taken in a while, but I am using it anyway)
see more pix at HNT

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

laughter, acceptance and low-fat foods

to get back into my regular meeting routine; it's absolutely necessary for my peace of mind

for all the things I don't need

that Hayden arrives today for an extended stay

for the beauty left by
Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson

One is taught by experience to put a premium on those few people who can appreciate you for what you are.
-Gail Godwin

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Glad to be home

I got back from London last night.
Safe & sound.
Sober & serene.
What more can I ask for?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that somehow, I can still make sobriety the most important aspect of my life while tending to other matters

for the meetings I attended while in the UK; they are very much like the meetings I attend each day here in Houston, although I didn't see anyone I recognized

that because of some things that have recently happened inmy life, I can now understand the phrase "it is what it is" to a much greater and more detailed degree

for so many reminders of why I live in this country

that I finally got to meet Kenny (Recovery Road) although we didn't get to spend much time chatting nor did we attend a meeting together

that I got to see Liz while in London; we've known each other and been bestest friends since 1989; an amazing woman!

that I even worked out at the gym a couple of times while on vacation (with Hayden pushing me a bit) and managed to remain on my new diet

"We only go around once. There's really no time to be afraid. So stop. Try something you’ve never tried. Teach it. Do it. Risk it."
-Jon Blais

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th from the UK

I may be in England,

but I still like ....


Monday, July 02, 2007

I CAN go back again

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the great! AA birthday night celebration on Saturday @ Lambda -- there were 30 celebrants with a combined 320 years without drinking alcohol; there were many very inspiring words being tossed about

that I witnessed a great example of needing to hear something I don't agree with as it gave me a different perspective from my own

that I am off to London today to join up with Hayden for some touristy-type stuff. Although I lived in and around London for 5 years in the 90's, I didn't see a lot of the sights. But I have seen the inside of many of London's best and worst pubs.

This will be my first time there as a sober man.

that no matter where I go or who I am with, sobriety must always remain my number one priority; from that point, all things are possible

that Steph (soberInsanity) has begun posting again on her blog.
She's 25 years-old and now has 18+ months in recovery.
Quite a young woman who's been through a lot.
Drop by and say howdy if you get the opportunity.

that I have a kit and a kaboodle

for my ClustrMap (see the map near the bottom of my sidebar) which shows geographical locations of my visitors

I'll post from the UK when I get the chance.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
-T.S. Eliot

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Another personal triumph

It first began 2 years ago. I was walking in downtown Houston when my calves suddenly tightened up on me. I could barely walk. Instinctively, I knew to stop and rest; a minute later I resumed and my legs were much better.

That was the first time.

It got worse. As the months passed, I noticed the pain more often. A 5-minute walk would produce sore legs. Going up and down stairs would lockup my calves. The pain could be excruciating, but a short rest would make it go away. Until the next episode. I knew it should be checked out by a doctor, but I had no insurance and decided to just live with it. So I walked less; that was my treatment. I'm an alcoholic with alcoholic thinking.

Then, about a year ago, I saw a commercial (public service announcement) on TV which described my ailment perfectly. They called it Peripheral Artery Disease (click for more info). It was akin to artery blockage around the heart, except it affects the limbs instead. Not good. So, I decided it was finally time to get a health insurance policy. I did a lot of research and made that purchase. Then I went to visit a real doctor for a professional diagnosis. My suspicions were correct and I asked the doctor about treatment. She told me PAD was caused by smoking (I smoked 3 packs/day for the past 36 years). She said my ailment could be cured by stopping smoking and getting proper exercise. Failure to do so could have tragic consequences. I had no intention of stopping smoking. So I joined a gym and went a few times for some leg work on the eliptical (bicycle-type exercise) but did not take it seriously. My legs just got worse.

Fast forward to last October when I finally decided to stop smoking. yeaaaaa!!! Then I put on a quick 25 pounds. This was my motivation to get some exercise. I got a bicycle. I wrote to you guys about this, just a couple or three months ago. It didn't seem to help my legs, but I enjoyed riding. Then, finally, Hayden talked me into hiring a personal trainer and committing to regular workouts at the gym. This would enable me to lose the extra 2 inches I had put around my waist. I hate the extra weight and size as much as the leg problems.

So at the beginning of June (a month ago) I began working out with my new trainer. (I'll admit that he's certainly a pleasure to look at.) Each workout was proceeded by a warmup session which included time on the treadmill. At first, I could only go 5 or 6 minutes before my calves would lock up. I set a goal of adding 1 minute to each session. This seemed to be working and I could sense some tangible improvement. By the start of last week, I was up to 12 mintues. Not much to most of you, but huge to me. Then, on Wednesday, my goal was to make 13 minutes. But my legs felt just fine at 13 minutes and I stopped at 15 minutes so I could get on with my other exercise. Friday was the same; no pain in the legs. Yesterday, the same. I stopped at 20 mintues but could have gone on indefinitely.

I have a lower extremity stress test scheduled later in July as part of my physical exam that has not been completed. But as I sit here and type this, I am pretty damn sure that my artery disease in my legs is cured. Stop smoking. Get exercise. That's the medication.

Just another miracle in a continuing series.