Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Evolution didn't happen overnight

... and neither did this year.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I lived another calendar year, my 54th

that I was sober and present for my mother, who died in August at age 85

that I can cross of a couple of items from my Bucket List ...

  • to skydive
  • to be in a stage play
  • to buy a new home

for my new mantra (see the title) that I made up

that I have so many wonderful examples of recovery in my life every day


Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past.
-Landrum Bolling

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Don't get wet



an abandoned pool in India



todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful


that I'm learning how to live sober, one day at a time

that I get to discuss Step 1 with my newest sponsee today

that our friend JJ posted again after a 5 month absence. CLICK HERE to drop by and visit. She's really cool but is going through a tough period in her life. We all do. She needs our support today.

that my therapist thinks I can take a few weeks off from visiting her. WHEW!!

that today is a workout day with my trainer

that I'm neat and organized

I gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which I must stop and look fear in the face...I say to myself, I’ve lived through this and can take the next thing that comes along.
-Eleanor Roosevelt


Monday, December 29, 2008

Harmony





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my inner compass points me in the right direction more often these days

for a really quick birthday night at Lambda where only 18 of 25 celebrants showed up, two of whom were Rodney W. and Jeremy M. -- At Lambda Center, we celebrate annual sobriety birthdays just once per month, on the last Saturday of the month. I know that many venues celebrate each week or even every day with a cake, but not here.

for my good friend Norris L, who is going through a most difficult illness with grace

that we don't have to deal with snow where I live (hurricanes & frequent floods yes, but no snow)

The world steps aside to let any man pass if he knows where he is going.
-David S. Jordan

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Doghouse

Stay out of the doghouse.

CLICK HERE to find out why.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rudolph

Video courtesy of Bill (Life on Planet Bill)



Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day

Boxing Day, December 26th, is a public holiday in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Europe and countries in the Commonwealth of Nations with a mainly Christian population. It is based on the tradition of giving gifts to the less fortunate members of society. Contemporary Boxing Day in many countries is now a "shopping holiday" associated with after-Christmas sales.


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my recovery takes no holidays

that my "recovery program" seems to just kick-in when I least expect it

for a fine gratitude meeting on Christmas Day followed by the food and fellowship of many friends at Lambda Center

that I'm a day older than yesterday and still sober!!

for the lifetime of entertainment given by (Santa Baby) Eartha Kitt, who died Christmas Day (very appropro) at age 81

He who wants a rose must respect the thorn.
-Persian Proverb

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Day for Kids ...

This was sent to me by Boston.

video



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that today is my 6th sober Christmas although as a sober adult, it has lost much of its appeal

that although I am not at all religous, I respect the religous traditions practiced by others

that I felt no guilt staying home last night while my partner and his Mom went to midnight Mass

for the compassion I sorta felt yesterday when we had a relapser appear drunk at the 6:30am meeting; he was obnoxious and disrupted the last few minutes of the meeting, but we did our best to ignore it. He has been a regular attendee of that meeting for nearly 2 years.


Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
-M. Kathleen Casey

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I am learning







todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a very powerful noon meeting yesterday -- a good friend lost him Mom after her long battle with Alzheimer's; he shared about his loss which prompted many shares about those who are at various stages of losing a parent to illness, so the meeting was essentially about grief and how to handle it

that we will see how our experience will benefit others

that I can often be of help to others just by being present

that I actually remembered to do the next right thing that I'd rather be happy than right and avoided a big argument difference of opinion


It's never crowded along the extra mile.
-Wayne Dyer

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

pertinent information

Watch this video. It's all about Santa Claus. Yeah, right.

video


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we discussed Step 3 in the Monday Step Study meeting -- of all the steps, its practice is most often on my mind, as in --- turn it over, baby, turn it over!

that my daily inventory includes some good things too

that my specialist dentist followed up my Friday surgery with a phone call on Saturday, then I visited him for a quick look-see yesterday morning. He pronounced me a very lucky patient.

for my 3 cats

The opposite of love is not hate but indifference.
-Elie Wiesel

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Week



a table full of Christmas presents at Lambda Center shortly before our gift exchange event Saturday night




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to hear Anthony F. relate more of his AA story; I can soooooooo identify

for the progress that I've made since I first came to Alcoholics Anonymous

that I had oral surgery last Friday morning. It appears to have been successful. For those who are interested, I had dental implants installed. It consisted of drilling 6 titanium rods into the lower bone so that new teeth can then be screwed into those rods. I have worn dentures for several years and this was simply the next step. The fun never stops!

that I rather enjoyed being f_ _ _ ed up for the surgery, as Scott W can attest. LOL


When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.
-Helen Keller

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The human body



  • It takes your food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.


  • One human hair can support 3 kg (6 lb).


  • The average man's penis is three times the length of his thumb.


  • Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.


  • A woman's heart beats faster than a man's.


  • There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.


  • Women blink twice as often as men.


  • The average person's skin weighs twice as much as the brain.


  • Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.


  • Women reading this will be finished now.


  • Men are still checking their thumbs.

Watch this video. It's all about Santa Claus. Yeah, right.

video

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Moses

I think this is a British TV commercial ...


video

Friday, December 19, 2008

another week just about gone...

You might find a message here --


CLICK HERE to see a short video called, "The Black Hole."



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for sobriety (I have it all the time)
for serenity (I have it much of the time)

that I no longer go to the bar to vent and rage to people who could not care less about my problems; I have AA to go to instead LOL

that Hayden and his Mom made it here safely


Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.
~~ anonymous

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Schemes & Dreams

WARNING FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS ...

BEWARE OF PAPER ON THE BACK WINDOW OF YOUR VEHICLE--
NEW WAY TO DO CARJACKINGS (NOT A JOKE)

Heads up everyone!


You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. You start the engine and shift into reverse.

When you look into the rearview mirror to back out of your parking space, you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So, you shift into Park, unlock your doors, and jump out of your car to remove that paper, or whatever it is, that is obstructing your view. When you reach the back of your car, that is when the carjackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off. They practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.

And guess what, ladies? I bet your purse is still in the car.
So now the carjacker has your car, your home address, your money, and your keys. Your home and your whole identity are now compromised!

BEWARE OF THIS NEW SCHEME THAT IS NOW BEING USED.

If you see a piece of paper stuck to your back window, just drive away. Remove the paper later. A purse contains all kinds of personal information and identification documents, and you
certainly do NOT want this info to fall into the wrong hands.


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to be sober and serene, once again

for the power of prayer, even though I am not at all religous

that I sleep so much better as a sober person and my dreams are almost always good ones

that every day I remain sober is one less day of humiliating myself

that Hayden returns today after being out of the country for the past 7 weeks


The more a man knows, the more he forgives.
-Confucius

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

one of those days ...




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my spiritual awakening happened like a flash, although it took decades of drinking and months of AA education to get there

that I do my best to remain learnable

for people I can confide in with trust

that I'm not a violent person now or in the past

that I rarely have one of those days any more because I possess the tools to make things right

Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.
-Alexander Solzhenitsyn



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

just thinking ...






todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another meaningful 1st step meeting with a newcomer

that another person asked me to help them through the steps -- someone with 9 months of sobriety who was looking for a new sponsor

that I've never been convicted of a crime, although I have been arrested twice

that I don't have to know or understand every new technical gadget

Kindness makes a fellow feel good, whether it’s being done to him or by him.
-Frank A. Clark


Monday, December 15, 2008

from my keyboard





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I was reminded that this will be my first ever Christmas without my Mom & Dad alive. I spent many holidays out of the country working, so that makes things a bit easier.

for the fun, food and fellowship I got to experience at a Christmas party Saturday night. Scott W. and I went together and I enjoyed our time together, as always.

that we had our cast party for our little Roundup play -- it came off beautifully with plenty of food and fellowship. We all (30 of us) watched the DVD of the play for the first time.

that I removed the "followers" from my blog. There was something that just didn't seem right about it. Because it is not all-inclusive, someone might well cop a resentment over it. Although that would be "their problem" and not mine, I don't need to fuel their fire.

I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.
-Laura Ingalls Wilder


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Another True Story ...

Santa had a bad day

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more. When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where. Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.
Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drank all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.
Just then the doorbell rang, and irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said very cheerfully, “Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?”

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The True Story

The four Goldberg brothers, Lowell, Norman, Hiram, and Max, invented and developed the first automobile air-conditioner.

On July 17,1946, the temperature in Detroit was 97 degrees. The four brothers walked into old man Henry Ford's office and sweet-talked his secretary into telling him that four gentlemen were there with the most exciting innovation in the auto industry since the electric starter.

Henry was curious and invited them into his office. They refused and instead asked that he come out to the parking lot to their car. They persuaded him to get into the car, which was about 130 degrees, turned on the air conditioner, and cooled the car off immediately.

The old man got very excited and invited them back to the office, where he offered them $3 million for the patent. The brothers refused, saying they would settle for $2 million, but they wanted the recognition by having a label, 'The Goldberg Air-Conditioner,' on the dashboard of each car in which it was installed.

Now old man Ford was more than just a little anti-Semitic, and there was no way he was going to put the Goldberg's name on two million Fords. They haggled back and forth for about two hours, and finally agreed on $4 million and that just their first names would be shown.

And so to this day, all Ford air conditioners show Lo, Norm, Hi, and Max on the controls.


So, now you know!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Traditionally





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Tradition 5 of Alcoholics Anonymous -- "Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers." We spent a full hour discussing this in our small early morning meeting yesterday.

that our home is the venue for a cast party on Sunday -- Josette B. is directing the party as I am traditionally not a party aficionado.

that it's not too painful to realize that I'm not as good as I would like to believe -- at spelling!CLICK HERE to try this spelling test of the 25 most commonly misspelled words. I got 8 wrong. UGH!
Let me know how you did in the comment section.


The best way to predict your future is to create it.
-Unknown


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Moments




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my friend George S. told us a little bit about his AA story yesterday

for all of you guys who keep coming back, one day at a time

that we actually had some real snow yesterday and throughout the night (maybe an inch), although the temperature wasn't quite cold enough to let it make a giant mess. Snow is a big deal for us here in Houston. The last time it snowed was on Christmas Eve, 2004. Typically, we get a significant snowfall about every 8-10 years.

that I didn't accept that job when the Governor of Illinois called me

Life isn't a matter of milestones, but moments.
-Rose Kennedy

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Finding my way ...


My GPS System




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we completed reading the Big Book yesterday at the 6:30am meeting -- it took about 15 months to read it, reading a few pages every Tuesday morning

that I have read the Big Book all the way through 3 times now

that I have sufficient clothing to stay warm today -- it's very cold here (well, cold for us)

that I have been slowly decorating the house (for Christmas and the cast party too) over the past week and it's just about done

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
-Martin Luther King Jr



Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Perception





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Laurel K. is chairing the 12:15p Monday meeting this month -- it's a step study and she is the best I've seen (yet) to lead such a format

that I am not as sub-standard as my mind would sometimes have me believe

that I am rarely as busy as it seems like I am

for my health

Do or do not. There is no try.
-Yoda The Empire Strikes Back


Monday, December 08, 2008

Faith, Freedom & Fantasy





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a couple of really spiritual meetings about Faith and Freedom

that I can do and I can have just about anything I want --- if I practice the principles in all my affairs

that we have now raised enough funds to buy all new chairs at Lambda Center - that's about 200 chairs costing over $5000

for perfect weather over the weekend that allowed me to get a lot of work done outdoors in the yard

that O.J. Simpson can now discontinue his search for his former wife's killer, at least for the next 9 years


Hope is like a road in the country; there wasn't ever a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.
-Lin Yutang

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Prop 8 -- The Musical

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

NOTE: - If you can't play the video, CLICK HERE


borrowed from Todd, my favorite blogger in Hell's Kitchen
If you're offended by this, talk to your sponsor.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Bargain Children's Books

1. You Are Different, and That’s Bad
2. The Boy Who Died From Eating All His Vegetables
3. Dad’s New Wife, Robert
4. Fun Four-letter Words to Know and Share
5. Hammers, Screwdrivers, and Scissors: An I-Can-Do Book
6. The Kid’s Guide to Hitchhiking
7. Bobby Was So Bad His Mom Stopped Loving Him
8. Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence
9. All Cats go to Hell
10. The Little Sissy Who Snitched
11. Some Kittens Can Fly
12. That’s it, I’m Putting You up for Adoption
13. Grandpa Gets a Casket
14. The Magic World Inside the Abandoned Refrigerator
15. Garfield Gets Feline Leukemia
16. The Pop-up Book of Human Anatomy
17. Strangers Have the Best Candy
18. Whining, Kicking and Crying to Get Your Way
19. You Were an Accident
20. Things Rich Kids Have, But You Never Will
21. Pop! Goes the Hamster...And Other Great Microwave Games
22. The Man in the Moon is Actually Satan
23. Your Nightmares Are Real
24. Where Would You Like to be Buried?

25. Eggs, Toilet Paper and Your School
26. Why Can’t Mr. Fork and Mrs. Electrical Outlet be Friends? A See-for-Yourself Book
27. Places Where Mommy and Daddy Hide Neat Things
28. Daddy Drinks Because You Cry

Friday, December 05, 2008

Honestly,



OK. I got tagged to list 10 honest things about myself. However, I am not going to tag anyone else or provide any links. So, here goes...


  1. I have never been a good liar.

  2. I have never been a good poker player (because I'm not a good liar, I suppose).

  3. I was never in denial about being an alcoholic.

  4. My mother and I were always very close, even throughout my drinking years. Since she died in August (4 months ago), I have not shed a tear. I don't know why.

  5. I have always been anal-retentive.

  6. I'm afraid of horses and snakes.

  7. I sucked my thumb until I was about 10 years old.

  8. When I wrecked my Mom's car at the age of 16, I lied and said I swerved to avoid a dog. Of course, I had been drinking.

  9. I had the hots for a camp counsellor. At church camp. I was 14. He was grown.

  10. I almost became a professional baseball umpire, but my instructors said I was too nice to be an umpire.

Always hold your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.
-Max L. Forman

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Time to stay sober



It's correct twice each day!




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I completed another 24 hours without my former favorite liquid (alcohol)

for better instincts than I used to have

that my story did not include the consumption of illegal narcotics after I was in my early 20's

that I was outside in my Jacuzzi last night when a cold front was blowing through town; it felt great!!

that Scott's new shirt is very pleasing to the eyes


If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
-Steve Bartkowski


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Still wondering



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the miracle that occurred that left me not wanting to drink alcohol anymore

that I sometimes wonder what my purpose is for the rest of my life; I think I'm still around for a reason, just not sure what it is --- until it's clear, I'll continue doing what I'm doing (whatever that is)

that I am usually dependable; I've had several occasions lately when friends said they were going to be somewhere and never showed up or showed up a lot later than promised.
Wassup wid dat?

for a small Roundup hangover (that's a good thang)

There are men who hate me;Let me love them.There are men I have wronged;Let them forgive me.
-Saying Of The Dinka Tribe


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Life






todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that our noon Monday meeting is a "step" meeting; yesterday was about Step 1 and there was some great sharing

that we're having the cast party from the Roundup play at our home; Hayden won't be here and I'm not an accomplished party thrower, but I will have help

that I got about half of my outdoor Christmas lights put up




Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.
-Maori Proverb



Monday, December 01, 2008

a brand new month





So much has occurred these past few days it would be impossible for me to list everything, but
todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for 4 really nice days of recovery-related activities -- the Thanksgiving Gratitude meeting followed by a potluck dinner for 200; then the beginning of our local GLBT A.A. Roundup (A.A. Conference)

that our sobriety play, "A Brand New Day", went very well and all of us in it did our best

to sit with my favorite bloggers at dinner Saturday night, before an AA speaker meeting

for relief from many of my major character defects

that Mary Christine made it home safely yesterday evening after 3 lovely days here in Houston


The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.
-Samuel Johnson


Today is WORLD AIDS DAY. Read about it HERE or make a donation.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Zen Thoughts

A Few Zen Thoughts For Those Who Take Life Too Seriously:

Save the whales. Collect the whole set.

A day without sunshine is like, night.

On the other hand, you have different fingers.

I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.

42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

I feel like I’m diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

Honk if you love peace and quiet.

Remember, half the people you know are below average.

He who laughs last thinks slowest.

Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.

Support bacteria. They’re the only culture some people have.

Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7 of your life.

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.

Get a new car for your spouse. It’ll be a great trade!

Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.

Always try to be modest, and be proud of it!

If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.

How many of you believe in telekinesis?

Raise my hand...OK, so what’s the speed of dark?

How do you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlookedsomething.

When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.

Everyone has a photographic memory; Some just don’t have film.

If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.

What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.

Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened.

Enjoy your day!!!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why men don't write advice columns

Dear Walter:


I hope you can help me here. The other day I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn't gone more than a mile down the road when my engine conked out and the car shuddered to a halt. I walked back home to get my husband's help.

When I got home, I couldn't believe my eyes. He was in the bedroom with a neighbor lady. I am 32, my husband is 34 and we have been married for twelve years. When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted that he'd been having an affair for the past six months. I told him to stop or I would leave him. He was let go from his job six months ago and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant.

I don't feel I can get through to him anymore.

Can you please help?


Sincerely,

Mrs. Lisa XXXX

Dear Lisa:
A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the jubilee clips holding the vacuum pipes onto the inlet manifold. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the carburetor float chamber.


I hope this helps.

Walter

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Day After




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a fun-filled day of recovery yesterday just as I anticipated it would be

for the Al-Anon and AA speakers I got to hear last night

that Mary Christine will join us today at the Houston Roundup

that the play I have been in rehearsal for will all be over by 11pm tonight


The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
-Walter Bagehot

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Much Thanks

A group of alumni, all highly established in their respective careers, got together for a visit with their old university professor.

The conversation soon turned to complaints about the endless stress of work and life in general.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went into the kitchen and soon returned with a large pot of coffee and an eclectic assortment of cups: porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal - some plain, some expensive, some quite exquisite. Quietly he told them to help themselves to some fresh coffee.

When each of his former students had a cup of coffee in hand, the old professor quietly cleared his throat and began to patiently address the small gathering. ''You may have noticed that all of the nicer looking cups were taken up first, leaving behind the plainer and cheaper ones. While it is only natural for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is actually the source of much of your stress-related problems."

He continued ''Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In fact, the cup merely disguises or dresses up what we drink. What each of you really wanted was coffee, not a cup, but you instinctively went for the best cups. Then you began eyeing each other's cups.''

''Now consider this:
Life is coffee. Jobs, money, and position in society are merely cups. They are just tools to shape and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not truly define nor change the quality of the Life we live. Often, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee that God has provided us. God brews the coffee, but he does not supply the cups. Enjoy your coffee!''

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have So please remember: Live simply. Love generously. Care Deeply. Speak Kindly. Leave the Rest to God.

And remember - the richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am sober today and have many friends and acquaintenances to celebrate this special day with

that I've been sober for 1910 days

for the 12:15pm Gratitude meeting today at Lambda; it's the single, largest AA meeting annually there and I get to co-chair it this year alongside Bob S.

for the 2008 Houston Roundup which begins this afternoon and runs until noon Sunday

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A changing life





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that for the last 5+ years, I've been making changes in my life; sometimes slower than I might like, but at least I've made those changes

for the story we read yesterday in the Big Book --- "A Late Start" --- which reminds me that A.A. is not just a project but an opportunity to improve the quality of my life

for small miracles

for the anticipation of great fellowship at our Houston Roundup which begins tomorrow afternoon


Anger or hatred is like a fisherman's hook. It is very important for us to ensure that we are not caught by it.
-Dalai Lama


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

no quick fix

Two fishermen were in a boat by the lake, when one of them stood to catch a fish in a net. As he scooped up the carp, his wallet fell out of his back pocket. As the seemingly doomed billfold started to sink to the lake bottom, the carp slipped out of the net and swam after it, re-emerging with it on his nose.
However, instead of returning it, he tossed it to one of his fish buddies, who balanced it on his nose. More and more fish-buddies emerged from the water, and all of them played this strange game of keep-away with the man’s billfold.
The first man watched, slackjawed. He said to the other “Have you ever seen anything like this before?”
The second man answered “Sure I have. Haven’t you heard of carp-to-carp walleting?”



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Step 12 and the infinite number of ways to give back to this program

for a clever concept that is new to me -- when I pray to my HP, I am NOT reminding him/her/it of the things I want done or people I want helped. I am reminding myself.

that the next right thing just sorta happens these days with little thought on my part

that I play by the rules

that I am one lucky SOB


Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway.
-Harper Lee

Monday, November 24, 2008

Turkey week





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for commitments and consistency toward those commitments

that we had another wonderful AA birthday celebration night at Lambda Center, including the 5-year presentation to our own Scott W.
However, I'll have all of you know, he didn't mention one of you!

that we (I) are ready to perform our one-hour play this Friday night at the Houston Roundup. We've been rehearsing for 3 months.

for more absolutely gorgeous weather

If I try to be like him, who will be like me?
-Yiddish Proverb


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Drug Problem

I didn't write this but I sure appreciate it.

The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a Methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, ''Why didn't we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?"

I replied: "I had a drug problem when I was young: I was drug to Church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.

I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn't put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.

I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four-letter word. I was drug out to pull weeds in mom's garden and flower beds and Cockleburs out of dad's fields. I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.

Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today's children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place."


~ reprinted without anybody's permission ~

Saturday, November 22, 2008

GeoTest

Are you smarter than a Lufthansa pilot?
See how much attention you paid to your High School Geography Teacher.

Click HERE to find out.

My best score (so far) is 21445. How 'bout you?

Friday, November 21, 2008

But seriously, folks,




the dessert table from our housewarming party



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we discussd Tradition 4 yesterday and I was reminded of its profund effect on me when I wrote about Rule #62 -- "Don't take yourself too damn seriously." About 2 1/2 years ago, my sponsor gave me the assignment to do that writing. Little did I know that the resulting paragraphs would prompt some actions that would change my life.

for two 1st-time newcomers at the noon meeting yesterday -- at Lambda Center AA meetings, it is tradition to have a 1st step meeting when there's a newcomer. I probably love those meetings more than any others.

that I live in Houston. Boys & Girls, this is a big city and is a very easy place to live. I have spent a lot of time in many big cities throughout Europe, Africa and Central/South America. Houston is the place to live for the best overall quality of life (in my humble opinion).

that I've done a majority of my Christmas shopping and won't have to deal with big crowds unless I choose to

If you're already in a hole, it's no use to continue digging.
-Roy W. Walters

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nothing awesome here, but ...





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the plethora of recent meetings in which spirituality was the main topic

that I don't have to be perfect today no matter how much I may want to be

for Steps 6 & 7 and their potential in my life

that God could and would if he were sought

for the following words ...

One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody, everything, every night before you go to bed.
-Bernard M. Baruch


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

just hangin' round






todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful


that these days I surround myself with sober people just like I used to surround myself with heavy drinkers

for this journey

that every day is different and they can't be repeated

that I'm going to my doctor today to discuss the results of my recent physical exam (I know my cholesterol levels are out of range, damnit!)

Don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.
-General George S. Patton


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Beam us up, Scotty ...



todAAy is the 5th A.A. Sobriety Anniversary of Scott W., my first close friend in recovery.

Partially through his blog and daily gratitude lists, Scott teaches me about attitude. But mainly, he shows me about attitude because I see him several days each week. After some exhausting searching, I found a video of Scott when he was young. It's self-explanatory.


And I found this little writing that I will dedicate to Scott today, his special day.

Attitude

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes. . . . than what other people think. . . . . or say. . . . . . . . or do.

It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home.

The remarkable thing is ….. that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day.

We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play the one string we have … our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. And so it is with you.
We are in charge of our attitudes!



HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCOTT!!!!!!!


Monday, November 17, 2008

a late start




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that for most of my life, I've recieved mercy instead of justice

to see the return of a guy to the rooms of recovery, a guy who started this sobriety thing about the same time I did and now he has 2 days sober (again)

but for the grace of God ...

that I got this much written this morning -- I'm running late!

He does not believe who does not live according to his belief.
-Thomas Fuller

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ribit

Who needs pockets?

video

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Here's lookin' at ya ...





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the revelations I got when I first completed my 4th step

that I have saved so much recovery material on my computer -- it comes in very handy for friends and sponsees

my new sponsee expressed concern about staying sober during the holidays; I printed and gave him 7 pages of material I collected at an AA seminar on the subject

that I don't have hate in my life -- this guy does (click here)

that one of my kitties is OK; she was coughing incessantly for over a day and when I took her to the vet yesterday, she suddenly stopped and has not coughed since - LOL

I have accepted fear as part of life--specifically the fear of change. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says turn back.
-Erica Jong

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Global Gratitude

If you like geography, CLICK HERE
If you don't like geography, do it anyway.



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a morning meeting (yesterday) about serenity and acceptance -- just what I needed!

that we got to hear a small portion of Robin's 30 year AA story yesterday

for the conscious contact I keep with my HP -- who'd of thunk it?

that I looked outside my kitchen window last night and saw a great, big full moon

for the years I spent in foreign lands, which makes being home in Houston even more special

that I got a really cool back massager that fits sungly in the chair in which I currently sit while testing it out

Don't let the fear of striking out hold you back.
-Babe Ruth

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Drunk Returneth


This picture has nothing to do with anything, but I kinda liked it and wanted to share it with you.


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got home safely after travelling 2568 miles in 5 hours and 2 minutes. I drove straight from the airport to the cafeteria where many of us eat lunch after the noon AA meeting at Lambda. I had lunch with 3 recovering friends.

that I am back home where I belong

that it's time to reinvigorate myself with my recovery program

that my cats get along OK at the kennel but love to get back home too

that we're getting some much needed rain here in Houston


I know God promises not to give me more than I can handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much.
-Mother Teresa


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Comin' home




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that even though I have not attended an official AA meeting since leaving Houston, I feel serene and at ease with myself and my sobriety. I have prayed more than usual and have tried harder than usual to practice the Steps, especially Steps 3 & 11. I also brought AA literature, although I left it with someone who wanted to read it since I can replace it easy enough.

that I leave Trinidad this morning, headed back to Houston and home!

that Hayden and I stayed in a small hotel last night where we stayed 6 1/2 years ago when we first met; it's at a marina and is very peaceful

that I have learned (sometimes the hard way) that the grass is not always greener on the other side. It always has to be mowed.

for hotel buffet breakfasts --- I've always enjoyed them


One of the oldest human needs is having someone wonder where you are when you don't come home at night.
-Margaret Mead



Monday, November 10, 2008

Good morning...



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful


that as my recovery grows, my dependence on others for my serenity, lessens

that I'm still learning how to live with another person; I guess this will always be part of my life?

that after reading ALKYSELTZER'S blog, I called my sponsor to let him know I was out of the country

that I strive for a laid-back, no-drama life
(well, it's a nice thought)

that I attended Hayden's university graduation Saturday. Some very good speakers (professors and valedictorian's). One of the graduates who spoke told of his gratitude to be sober the past 9 years after a 20-year addiction to drugs. His family attended the ceremony and were cheering him on with glee, understandably.

that I had a battery of physical exam-type tests run here in Trinidad because it's a whole lot less expensive and the doctors are just as good as in Houston; apparently, I'm still kinda healthy. The lobotomy has been postponed.

They who give have all things; they who withhold have nothing.
-Hindu Proverb

*** The picture is one I took last year in Hayden's Mom's front yard. That is not me in the picture!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

SUNDAY Life in the 1500's (part 2)

Part 1 was posted last Sunday, November 1.



In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, 'Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.'


Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could 'bring home the bacon.' They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and 'chew the fat.'


Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.


Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or 'upper crust.'


Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a 'wake.'


England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a 'bone-house' and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the 'graveyard shift') to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be 'saved by the bell' or was considered a 'dead ringer.'



Enjoy your day. Please.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A man's game

I am a fan of both soccer and rugby, although I've never played either sport.



video

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday morning laugh

The title of this video might be ...
"Don't raise your baby with a parrot in the house"

video


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Tradition 3 -- AA can't lower its standards much more than that

that I got to Trinidad in one piece


You have two hands. One to help yourself, the second to help others.
-Unknown

Thursday, November 06, 2008

grrrrrrrrrrr





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful


that Daniel G. told us a bit of his early AA story yesterday; he's really passionate about his program

for the awareness I get from prayer (sometimes)

that I learn every day
that I forget every day
that I learn again, everyday

that I'm off to Trinidad later today; I should be able to post from there, but if not, see ya next week

that I'll get to find a meeting or two in Port of Spain (the capital of Trinidad

that my cats get to stay in the Fat Cat Flats (a cat kennel)

Men stumble over pebbles, never over mountains.
-Emilie Cady

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Day After ...



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful



that it's over



The miracle is this--the more we share, the more we have.
-Leonard Nimoy


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Today, it's one or the other




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a really insightful meeting on Step 9 yesterday

that I was amazed before I was halfway through

that my sponsor was so thorough with me as we worked our way through the twelve steps back in 2003/2004

that home is where the heart is

that unless there's a very serious screwup, the election is finally over!

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.
-Elizabeth Foley


Monday, November 03, 2008

Monday morning





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to hear Eric C. on Saturday night -- he has 16 years of sobriety and had never told his story at this forum, and he did a great job!

that I saw Pam's daughter at that meeting

that I (we) seem to be experiencing history in the making although I think I have electile dysfunction
pun courtesy of Creighton

that 730,000 Harris County (Houston) citizens participated in the early voting for tomorrow's election

that Hayden made it safely to Trinidad & Tobago. He'll be there for about 6 weeks. His university graduation ceremony is this weekend and I will fly down to attend it also but will only be there for 5 days. To be very honest, I will embrace this time alone here in our new home. I'm that way, ya know.


On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.
-Aldous Huxley


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Life in the 1500's (part 1)

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, 'Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.'

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip off the roof. Hence the saying 'It's raining cats and dogs.'

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying 'dirt poor.'

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a 'thresh hold.'

... more next Sunday

AND DON'T FORGET TO CHANGE YOUR CLOCKS, IF NECESSARY WHERE YOU LIVE!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Post # 2000

A father passing by his son's bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then, he saw an envelope,propped up prominently on the pillow.
It was addressed, 'Dad.'
With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope and, with trembling hands, read the letter...'Dear, Dad. It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mum and you. I've been finding real passion with Stacy, and she is so nice, but I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercings, tattoos, her tight motorcycle clothes, and because she is so much older than I am. But it's not only the passion, Dad. She's pregnant. Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods, and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children. Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone. We'll be growing it for ourselves, and trading it with the other people in the commune for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want. In the meantime, we'll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS, so Stacy can get better. She sure deserves it! Don't worry Dad. I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself. Someday, I'm sure we'll be back to visit, so you can get to know your many grandchildren.

Love, your son, Joshua
PS. Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at Jason's house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the school report that's on the kitchen table. Call me when it is safe for me to come home.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The W(b)itch is Back






todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Step 3 -- "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him"

that the practice of Step 3 in all hours of every day gives me a much better chance of living happily and with much less drama

that I couldn't really care less that tonight is Halloween party night

that tomorrow's post will be my 2000th post on this blog which I began in December 2004

One man has enthusiasm for 30 minutes, another for 30 days, but it is the man who has it for 30 years who makes a success of his life.
-Edward B. Butler


My name is dAAve and I approved this message.