Sunday, July 31, 2011

A.A. is not ....

(this is a reprint)

1. AA is not for everyone.

2. AA is not for people who need it (it is for people who want it).

3. AA is not selling anything.

4. AA is not cool.

5. AA is not in the business of diagnosing anyone as an alcoholic.

6. AA is not "against" anything -- it is not against any other method of treating alcoholism. It is not against anyone who views AA unfavorably. It is not even against drinking.

7. AA is not a quick fix.

8. AA is not always a bastion of mental health. People come to it because they are sick, and often they have issues in addition to their addiction, and it can take a long time to address some of them (but at least those folks are in a place where they can try).

9. AA is not regulated. There is no governing body as those things are generally defined in other organizations or fellowships.

10. AA is not a profit-making enterprise. Books are sold at cost, meetings collect donations from those attending on a purely voluntary basis, and then only to cover the expense of renting a space and providing literature and sometimes coffee, cookies, etc.

11. AA is not too good to be true, but it can look that way sometimes.

12. AA is not only the foundation of my life, it is a source of joy and fellowship, and I am grateful that all of the things it is not help make it what it is.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Haircut

I'm not gonna comment on the current budget mess in Washington. Well, not directly.

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, 'I cannot accept money from you, I'm doing community service this week.' The florist was pleased and left the shop. When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you , I'm doing community service this week.' The cop was happy and left the shop. The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I can not accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The Congressman was very happy and left the shop. The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.

And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.


Friday, July 29, 2011

on this Friday morning ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I attended my 2nd yoga class last night; I'll keep going back

that I have so much less resistance to change as compared to previous years

for miracles, honesty, faith and hope

Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever,
even if your whole world seems upset.
- Saint Francis de Sales

Thursday, July 28, 2011


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all of the things I no longer participate in

for the aging process; it's amazing how one's priorities change just by adding some chronology

for the significance of perseverance; this came up in a discussion regarding Step 10. Speaking of Step 10, I am much better about not continuing to take your inventory and then pointing it out to you. Still happens occasionally though.

that we may get some nice rainfall this weekend from Don, the Tropical Storm

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

- Seneca

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I rarely need to make life-changing decisions, but it's more common to have life-changing experiences

that I find it easy to acknowledge that I have a disease; a disease of addiction and addictive behavior

that we re-read Dr Bob's Nightmare in the Big Book yesterday. It provides me with a subtle reminder of the reasons I go to meetings and why I stay sober

that I want to experience recovery in all its glory

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain.
- Vivian Greene

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Domino Effect

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my health, which I have because I decided to take better care of myself once I got sober

for more clarity of thought, which I have because I got sober

that I got a sponsor early in sobriety; someone who already had a sponsor

that I worked the steps with my sponsor in the order in which they are listed

I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize.
The first is gentleness;
the second is frugality;
the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others.
Be gentle and you can be bold;
be frugal and you can be generous;
avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.

- Lao Tzu

Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Monday

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for more understanding of words that I often hear;
ie: if he were sought. I see with greater clarity how significant this is if any of us are going to "get it".

for fun in sobriety. It's terribly important.

that my involvement in AA/Recovery-related activities is an easy replacement for all the time I spent in bars

that my friend Mary Christine (Being Sober) celebrated 27 consecutive years of sobriety and recovery yesterday; drop in and give her a howdy!

You can't change the past,
but you can ruin the present
by worrying about the future.
- Anonymous

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cleaning the cage

I may need to go back to work to supplement a declining income.

But this is not one of my job options.

Friday, July 22, 2011

something new

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I made my first-ever attempt at Yoga last night. We have a combination yoga/A.A. meeting at my recovery center. One hour of simple yoga stretching and then 1/2 hour of an A.A. meeting. The facilitator had us go round the circle and pick a letter of the alphabet and come up with a word beginning with that letter and then talk for a minute or two about that word and its relation to recovery. Comprehend? Very interesting.

that I'm changing as a person; not sure how or where it will take me, but I know I'm changing. For the better, I hope.

Forgiveness does not change the past,
but it does enlarge the future.
- Paul Boese

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Over and over again

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a Step 10 meeting in AlAnon last night -- I can't seem to get away from this step, and that's a good thing!

that I'll never have to be a teenager again

that terror, bewilderment, frustration and depair are rarely part of my daily life (well, maybe frustration is)

We cannot choose our external circumstances,
but we can always choose how to respond to them.
- Epictetus

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
for the courage to change the things I can
for the wisdom to know the difference

the little prayer above is very helpful to me in finding the ability to let go of "stuff"

for the people who return to the rooms of A.A. after conducting more research;
they provide some of the best lessons I can hear and see

that I'm able to help others, even if in very small ways;
sometimes an listening ear, sometimes a ride, sometimes by sharing my experience

You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Perfection? I don't think so.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

I can't be perfect ..... but today, I WILL CAN be excellent.

for restraint of tongue and pen (and keyboard)

for fewer emotional hangovers than I used to have, but yes, I still have them

to know I have absolutely no skill whatsoever in differentiating justified from unjustified anger

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.
- Voltaire

Monday, July 18, 2011

Setting the tone for the week

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for spiritual progress, not spiritual perfection .........

I hear some people (in recovery) use this phrase as an excuse for inappropriate behavior. Their thinking seems to be that it's OK to do the next wrong thing because their behavior is not as bad as it was when they were drinking.

I could not disagree more. I do not believe this is what Bill W. had in mind when he wrote this phrase. I think we're supposed to be the best we can be and not beat up on ourselves when we fall short. Today, I strive for excellence, knowing I am not a perfect human being. No one is.

My own spiritual progress has been amazing, considering I had virtually no idea of a spititual life in 2003 when I stopped drinking. Today, I do my best to follow a set of spiritual principles every day of my life.

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
- John F. Kennedy

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Law of the Garbage Truck

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport.
We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.

My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.
My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.
So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!'
This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment.

As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally.

Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.
Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets,
so ... Love the people who treat you right.
Pray for the ones who don't.

Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


One afternoon a lawyer was riding in his limousine when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate.

He asked one man, 'Why are you eating grass?'

'We don't have any money for food,' the poor man replied. 'We have to eat grass.'

'Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I'll feed you,' the lawyer said.

'But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over there, under that tree.'

'Bring them along,' the lawyer replied.

Turning to the other poor man he stated, 'You come with us, also.'

The second man, in a pitiful voice, then said, 'But sir, I also have a wife and SIX children with me!'

'Bring them all, as well,' the lawyer answered

They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine was.

Once underway, one of the poor fellows turned to the lawyer and said, 'Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you.'

The lawyer replied, 'Glad to do it. You'll really love my place. The grass is almost a foot high.'

Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm just a grateful old ....

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I attended 2 meetings yesterday that centered on Step 1. "We were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable." It took a few months of a clearing detoxing brain before I realized that alcohol had been my master, had managed my life for many years. I had conveniently overlooked that part of my drinking life. I thought I had been a functional alcoholic since I held a good job and was financially responsible.

that today, as I type this, I AM a functional alcoholic.

that a few friends of mine offer such hope and inspiration to so many of us. I have 2 friends who are both 33 years old, one with terminal colon cancer (he will die any day) and another who was just diagnosed with lymphoma and began chemotherapy this week. Another friend who's about 50 is going through a second round of colo-rectal cancer and just came out of major surgery. All these people are sober and recovering alcoholics and show me how to act when the times get really tough. Whew!

that my problems ain't shit!

The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal.
The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.

- Benjamin Mays

Thursday, July 14, 2011


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm a little less

self righteous
verbally abusive

than I used to be.

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.
- William James

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Houston at Night

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have a Higher Power that knows me so well; a Higher Power from which I cannot hide nor be dishonest, a Higher Power that gave me the opportunity to stop drinking
(something I could not do by myself)

that I live in such a wonderful city (Houston) that has so many opportunities to offer to so many people. We are leading the country in growth and there's a reason for this

to be able to be aware and recognize when my experience is of help to someone else although most of the time, I am surely NOT aware of these times

Resistance creates suffering.
Stress happens when your mind resists what is.
The only problem in your life
is your mind's resistance to life as it unfolds.
- Dan Millman

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

about relapsing

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have not relapsed since I first got sober (yet)

I can't help but wonder about some of my recovery friends who still go to bars and then relapse. What part of "stay away from the bars" don't you understand? That's what I want to ask them, but the few times I have done so, people seem to be offended. hmmmmmmm...

Looking at my own behavior and my motives behind that behavior is possibly the most important part of my recovery. I have to do it continuously. I think this is called Step 10.

The ego lives by comparisons...
The ego cannot survive without judgment.

- A Course in Miracles

Monday, July 11, 2011

no title today

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my experience tells me that I can stay sober through anything, so far

for AA meetings when we talk about the first 3 steps, fear, and gratitude

to recognize that I'm going into another phase of my sober development; I don't know where it will take me, but I'm ready to go

that my friend, Scott W., had a successful gallery opening on Saturday; he says there were over 700 attendees viewing his wonderful art. Many of you know Scott through his former blog, Attitude of Gratitude.

Gratitude is an attitude that hooks us up to our source of supply.
And the more grateful you are, the closer you become to your maker, to the architect of the universe, to the spiritual core of your being.
- Bob Proctor

Sunday, July 10, 2011


A very important person is watching your every action, listening to your every word, and knows your every thought. That person is you.
Imagine yourself a year from now, looking back on today. Imagine your future self being exceedingly thankful for the way you lived this day.
Then step forward and live today with that in mind. Think, speak and act in such a way that the person you will become inherits many positive benefits from the person you are right now.
Confidence, integrity, strength and effectiveness do not simply appear out of nowhere. They are built by the way you live your life.
And now is your opportunity to live in a powerful, positive way that will benefit your life for a long time to come. Now is your chance to make your future self thankful for the empowering paths you choose to take.

-- Ralph Marston

Saturday, July 09, 2011

3D printer

3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing technology where a three dimensional object is created by laying down successive layers of material.

Friday, July 08, 2011

peek-a-boo !

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that life is so different when I'm not drunk

for love and tolerance, a spiritual way to live

for the spiritual tools I'll use today as my day presents itself

that I began this day (about 1/2 hour ago) with verbal contact with my Higher Power

I get to attend 3 A.A. meetings today before lunch with more recovery friends

You must not under any pretense allow your mind to dwell on any thought that is not positive, constructive, optimistic, kind.
- Emmet Fox

Thursday, July 07, 2011

leading a colorful life

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we all have different personalities; otherwise, life would be so dull and boring!

that good things just keep happening in my life especially when I don't expect it

that so many of my life experiences can help me today, if I only keep it all in perspective

for honesty and integrity in myself and others

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;
an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
- Winston Churchill

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

2 blogging buddies

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to have my 2 of my favorite girls blogging every day -- Mary Christine a.k.a. Being Sober and Pammie a.k.a. Sobriety is Exhausting

Through the commonality of our blogs, we have all met each other. I have stayed at Mary's home in another state and she has stayed at my home here in Texas. We've done things together and I even know her daughter. I know Pammie (she lives here in Houston) and her daughter also. We've gone to meetings together and eaten together. I really missed them while they were not blogging. But now they're back and the world is a better place for it.

to be able to see friends whose recovery is progressing nicely

The difference between school and life?
In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.
- Tom Bodett

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I've learned, and sometimes remember, how to process anger -- in recovery.

Anger is a form of FEAR. Either I feel threatened about something or I'm afraid I'm going to lose something I already ahve or I'm not going to get something I want.

Once I recognize which direction my fear is coming from, I can begin to let it go.

Anger is like a thorn in the heart.
- Yiddish Proverb

For every minute you remain angry,
you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Anger is often more hurtful than the injury that caused it.
- English Proverb

He who angers you conquers you.
- Elizabeth Kenny

Monday, July 04, 2011

Have a happy 4th !

This week, I will post some pictures of aircraft paint jobs. There seem to be a few creative painters out there.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for this little tidbit that I heard in a meeting over the weekend .......

God is a verb.

In the comment section, explain what this means to you. I'll be interested to read some of your answers.

Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.
- Zhuangzi

Sunday, July 03, 2011


These are attributed to Maya Angelou .........

'I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.'

'I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.'

'I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.'

'I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a life.'

'I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.'

'I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back...'

'I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.'

'I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.'

'I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back....'

'I've learned that I still have a lot to learn..'

'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Insanity etc...

To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity

1.. In the Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write 'For Marijuana'.
2. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.
3. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is 'To Go'.
4. Sing Along At The Opera.
5. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You have a headache.
6. When Leaving the Zoo, Start Running towards the Parking lot, Yelling 'Run For Your Lives! They're Loose!'
7. Tell Your Children Over Dinner, 'Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.'

And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity...


Friday, July 01, 2011

Going into the weekend .......

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that some of the things that seemed so important just a few years ago (before I stopped drinking) rarely even cross my mind these days

that my life is no longer about drinking OR not drinking; it's about living sober

for the new challenges that pop up, often without my asking

for The Promises on pages 83 and 84 of The Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous)

The greatest discovery of any generation
is that a human being can alter his life by
altering his attitude.
- William James