Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Progress, Not Perfection

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm not crazy, just a bit weird at times

for the Memorial Day picnice yesterday sponsored by Lambda Center; there were about 60-70 of us and waaaaaaaaay too much food

that most AA events have more than enough food

that I get more and more fixed, almost every day

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.
- Leo Buscaglia

Monday, May 30, 2011

Ain't it the TRUTH!

I saw this today and wanted to post it ..........

It is the VETERAN,
not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN,
not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN,
not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN,
not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN,
not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN,
not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

Memorial Day

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't have to work today (well, I'm retired anyway)

that I have let go of many old ideas and replaced them with new ones

that I have the steps to guide me through my low spots and high spots

for the countless men and women who have served their country

Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.
- George Washington

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Cat & the Dolphins

This video is really amazing.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's what you scatter ...

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes... I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.

Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

'Hello Barry, how are you today?'

'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good.'

'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'
'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.'
'Good. Anything I can help you with?'
'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.'
'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.

'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'

'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'

'All I got's my prize marble here.'

'Is that right? Let me see it', said Miller.

'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'

'I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.

'Not zackley but almost.'

'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr. Miller told the boy.

'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.

With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.

When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket.

Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.

They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt.'

'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho ..'

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband... Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral:
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Did I say awareness?

todAAy I AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for time spent with friends

that I don't live on a derseted island. I used to wish I did at times, when I wanted to isolate. I had to learn how NOT to isolate. With that knowledge, I was rewarded with a new freedom.

for the people who trust me enough to share their life with me

for awareness, awareness and awareness

Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.
- Swedish Proverb

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wisdom comes in many forms

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for awareness (this seems to be the single-most important aspect of recovery)

for the principle behind step 10 -- perseverance!

that I'll never be a politician; I am committed to being an honest person

that I'm a rule follower even when I don't agree with the rule

for awareness, and then some

Security is mostly a superstition.
It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
- Helen Keller

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Things on my brain cell...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my life is rarely as serious as it may seem; it helps to remember Rule 62

for the evolution of my concept of my Higher Power; I don't try to define or even describe it because that would only limit my concept

for patience and the rewards that come with it

that my mom-in-law is here visiting for 3 weeks. We get along great, probably because I'm sober! She's not legally my mom-in-law because my partner and I are not allowed to be married like most of the population. In fact, if I were dying in the hospital, he would not even be allowed to visit me. Oh well, don't get me started. LOL

Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman,
before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.

- John Quincy Adams

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'm back!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm back online.

I could not gain access to my Blogger dashboard until a few minutes ago. I brought a computer expert over to diagnose and fix the problem. Of course, as I showed him what was wrong, the problem fixed itself. This was after 5 days of it not working. I had done everything I could think of, but my solutions were as bad as the problem.

Hopefully, you can find a message in all this.

I can.

We Learn...
10% of what we read,
20% of what we hear,
30% of what we see,
50% of what we see and hear,
70% of what we discuss,
80% of what we experience,
95% of what we teach others.
- William Glasser

Thursday, May 19, 2011

striking out

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am I'm almost always willing to be an ear for those who need to talk. This is NOT the dAAve of old.

that I no longer give out I'm a little better about not giving out unsolicited advice

that I rarely never drink alcohol any more

that I went to my Al Anon meeting last night for the first time this month in weeks

for Abraham Lincoln. He was has been my hero during my growing up period, which happens to be continuing.

To go against the dominant thinking of your friends,
of most of the people you see every day,
is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform.

- Theodore H. White

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

this is a test

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that there's always a next right thing and a next wrong thing for me to do. It's my choice.

for the ability of Mr SponsorPants to put his experience, strength and hope into words that I can understand and identify with

for change -- in all its forms

for the truth

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Laying it out in front of me

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that it only took about 3 months (50 AA meetings?) to realize that alcohol just might be part of the reason for the mental breakdown I was experiencing in the summer of 2003; I thought that my drinking to oblivion every night was the only thing getting me through my problems

for some new ways to respond to old triggers

that I know the best and most efficient ways to do just about everything, but I no longer have to claim it outloud (just pretend you didn't read this)

for the radio announcers who taught me the game of baseball every night when I was a kid. I didn't play on a team; instead I learned the game by watching and listening. Those guys (Gene Elston and Loel Passe) were the best I've ever heard at describing the action and explaining why a particular player did a certain thing.

May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours.
- Irish Blessing

Monday, May 16, 2011

Look at us!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the little things
and the big things

for the new people I meet, nearly every day

that I'll get to experience more sobriety today; I'll probably learn something about recovery that I need to know

that we had another highly successful fundraiser for the Houston Roundup

for friends that I get to enjoy time with at Astros games (that's baseball)

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.
- Marianne Williamson

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A very sweet Marine story

Orville Smith, a store manager for Best Buy in Augusta, Georgia, told police he observed a male customer, later identified as Tyrone Jackson of Augusta, on surveillance cameras putting a laptop computer under his jacket... When confronted the man became irate, knocked down an employee, drew a knife and ran for the door.

Outside on the sidewalk were four Marines collecting toys for the "Toys for Tots" program. Smith said the Marines stopped the man, but he stabbed one of the Marines, Cpl. Phillip Duggan, in the back; the injury did not appear to be severe.

After Police and an ambulance arrived at the scene Cpl. Duggan was transported for treatment.

The subject was also transported to the local hospital with two broken arms, a broken ankle, a broken leg, several missing teeth, possible broken ribs, multiple contusions, assorted lacerations, a broken nose and a broken jaw ... injuries he sustained when he slipped and fell off of the curb after stabbing the Marine.

That was one well-written police report.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Like others, I have experienced blogger.com difficulties these past 2 days.

I notice that my Thursday post has disappeared. No big deal. Hopefully, all is well and back to normal.

Have a lovely weekend!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

some people I know ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm grateful. In my drinking days, I thought I was lucky because I had such a great life. Today, I'm just grateful for all of my experiences and that I'm still around.

that I get to do things that most alcoholics (not in recovery) don't have the opportunity to ever do

for all the guys and gals in my life who have made an impact on me. How could any of us ever know how many have had an impact on us?

that I know myself a little better than I did just a few days ago

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.
- Seneca

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am able to be consistent with the recovery meetings I attend

for the wisdom and experience of the people with whom I choose to surround myself

that I can give back to others so easily, but I have to show up in order to do that

that I am able to be consistent with this blog

If we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.
- Anthony Robbins

Monday, May 09, 2011


Size does matter.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that when everything is taken into account, there is absolutely nothing wrong in my life today. There are, however, somethings that need (more) adjusting.

that after getting sober and more clear-headed, many facts have become (more) obvious to me

that I get to learn (more) about my friends and acquaintances every week when I attend speaker meetings

that I know there is rarely enough of want I want; I nearly always need (more)

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.
- Marianne Williamson

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The debate goes on

Though Minnesota politicians voted to put a gay marriage ban on the ballot in 2012 yesterday, the eloquent words of one of the measure's detractors have caught the nation's attention.

Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-St. Louis Park, gave an impassioned speech asking lawmakers on the House committee not to place a gay marriage ban in the state's Constitution. (Gay marriage is already outlawed in the state.) He also objected to the religious tone of the debate, as most of the people testifying in favor of the ballot measure were faith leaders or using religious arguments.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Friday, May 06, 2011

Silliness on 5+6=11

There. It's fixed.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that it happened for me when it happened because it was finally time to happen

that I don't know what today will look like until it's tomorrow and then it won't matter

that the new people I meet today will be my old friends tomorrow

that I can just sit here and think of these silly things or else get up from the computer and get ready for my 6:30 meeting on my 2,800th consecutive day of living sober.

Life is too important to be taken seriously.
- Oscar Wilde

Thursday, May 05, 2011

read below ...

There. It's fixed.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't have to understand why things work the way they do; it's more important to know that things DO work

that often, all I need to do is listen

for peaks and valleys

Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself.
- Robert Foster Bennett

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

a different slant

There. It's fixed.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another gentle reminder that I'm not getting any younger; intellectually of course, I know this. But sometimes I need physical evidence and usually my HP is more than willing to provide that evidence. Damnit.

that we read Bill's Story yesterday morning. A timeless piece of writing. If you have not read it in the past, let's say 6 months, pick up your book and read it again. It's even better if you read outloud in a group of more than one. If you don't know what I'm talking about, don'tworryboutit.

that awareness of my flaws really cuts down on my denial of them

for my sponsee who get it. I am working with some guys who are willing to do whatever it takes and it's a real pleasure to know them and watch them.

The key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness. - Dalai Lama

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


There. It's fixed.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have yet found an excuse to drink alcohol since the day I got sober in 2003

that my little illness only lasted about 20 hours. Amazing how quickly the human body can recover.

that it took me a day to sort my feelings about the killing of America's number 1 enemy. I have no problem in the killing of bin Laden because this IS a war in which we're engaged. But I can't bring myself to celebrate the event. The following quote was passed around Facebook yesterday and it pretty well sums up how I feel ......

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation. - Bertrand Russell

Monday, May 02, 2011

I'm OK, I'm OK

I attended a collector car event this weekend. This car belonged to Bobby Darin back in the day. It's obviously a one-of-a-kind.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful and thAAnkful

that I have no need nor desire to go to bars and clubs any longer. I spent several decades going to bars. I'm constantly amazed at the number of my recovery friends who still spend time at bars. Many of them have one or more relapses as part of their history. hmmmmmmm.

for a lovely night of sober birthday celebrations on Saturday.

that even though I'm sick with flu-like symptoms, I am sober with recovery-type symptoms

Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Sunday, May 01, 2011

How Great Thou Art

by Carrie Underwood