Friday, December 31, 2010

Bye Bye 2010 ........

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful for 2010 ...

I stayed sober for all of 2010
my sister and I remain in relatively good health
Hayden and I are still together
my sponsor is still around and we are a little closer than a year ago
I have 4 sponsees that are sober
my understanding of the 12 steps increased tremendously
Lambda Center thrives
I get to co-chair the 2011 Houston Roundup
my Al Anon program is really changing my life
my hobbies of gardening and collecting cars continues
our home is a little more comfortable, although the mortgage is difficult
I got to attend the International Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous in San Antonio
I made so many friends in 2010 I can't possibly count them all

Celebrate endings - for they precede new beginnings.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

just pluggin' along ...

this is NOT Houston

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that things happen in life when they are supposed to happen

for a design for living that grows daily, as long as I don't return to my drunken instincts

that I got to lead another Al Anon meeting last night; we discussed boundaries and limits

for the good times

and the bad times

Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.
- Bill Cosby

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The miracle continues

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a sustained increase in attendance at our (formerly) small 6:30am Eyes Wide Shut group. For years, we drew an average of about 8-10 members. For the past 2 months that number has doubled and we've had over 20 a number of times.

for a reminder that I should never give up 5 minutes before the miracle happens. I almost did this in 2003 when I was about to give up on getting sober. My miracle happened. Very unexpectedly. The miracle continues to this day.

for an awesome concept of a power greater than myself. I don't attempt to define it because I would only limit it, but I know it's there.

for a lovely hour-and-a-half drive to my sister's home yesterday with my partner. She's a fabulous cook and we relaxed and chatted over lunch before sharing a few holiday presents. Since our mom died in August 2008, we don't see much of each other but we will always be close. She's an untreated heavy drinker but seems to be pretty much in control of her actions these days.

There is a road from the eye to heart that does not go through the intellect.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for an awareness that I don't always know what's best for me. If I feel a need to doubt this, all I have to do is look at my track record for the past 50+ years.

for a good meeting about Step 7 - "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."

that if I am to acheive some progress towards humility, Steps 6 & 7 must be part of my daily life

that the coffee shop at which I'm a regular is frequented by many other recovering alkies where we can sit back and relax and talk about our lives

Forgiving is not a gift to someone else - Forgiving is your gift to yourself.
~~ unknown

Monday, December 27, 2010

back to .........

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't have to explain myself to anybody unless I want to. That's not to be confused with defending myself.

that my domestic problems with my partner are largely behind me/us

for altered perceptions, largely because of fewer expectations

that Christmas season is drawing to an end; it's a shame that I feel this way, but it's the truth

for the small-ish parties I attended this season and that I didn't stay at any of them for more than about an hour

I get by with a little help from my friends.
- John Lennon

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day explained (sorta)

The exact etymology of the term "boxing" is unclear and there are several competing theories, none definitive. The tradition has long included giving money and other gifts to the needy and those in service positions. The European tradition dates to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown. Some claim it dates to the late Roman/early Christian era when metal boxes placed outside churches collected special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen.

A clue to Boxing Day's origins appears in the Christmas Carol, "Good King Wenceslas." Wenceslas, who was Duke of Bohemia in the early 10th century, was surveying his land on St. Stephen's Day — Dec. 26 — when he saw a poor man gathering wood in the middle of a snowstorm. Moved, the King gathered up surplus food and wine and carried them through the blizzard to the peasant's door. The alms-giving tradition has always been closely associated with the Christmas season, but King Wenceslas' good deed came the day after Christmas, when the English poor received most of their charity.

In the United Kingdom, it became a custom of the nineteenth-century Victorians for tradesmen to collect "Christmas boxes" or gifts on the day after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.[5] Another possibility is that the name derives from an old English tradition: in exchange for ensuring that wealthy landowners' Christmases ran smoothly, servants were allowed to take the 26th off to visit their families. The employers gave each servant a box containing gifts and bonuses (and sometimes leftover food). In addition, around the 1800s, churches opened their alms boxes (boxes where people place monetary donations) and distributed the contents to the poor.

To protect ships...

During the Age of Exploration, when great sailing ships set off to discover new land, A Christmas box was a good luck device. It was a small container that priests placed on each ship while still in port. Crewmen, to ensure a safe return, dropped money in the box. It was then sealed and kept on board for the entire voyage. If the ship came home safely, the crew gave the box to the priest in exchange for the saying of a Mass of thanks. The Priest kept the box sealed until Christmas, and then opened it to share the contents with the poor.

To help the poor...

An 'Alms Box' was placed in every church on Christmas Day, into which worshipers placed a gift for the poor of the parish. These boxes were always opened the day after Christmas, which may be why that day became known as Boxing Day.

A present for the workers...

During the late 18th century, Lords and Ladies of the manor "boxed up" leftover food, or sometimes gifts, and distributed them the day after Christmas to tenants on their lands. Many poorly paid workers had to work on Christmas Day and took the following day off to visit family. As they prepared to leave, employers presented them with these Christmas boxes.

The tradition of giving money to workers continues today. It is customary for householders to give small gifts or monetary tips to regular visiting trade people (the milkman, dustman, coalman, paper boy etc.) and, in some work places, for employers to give a Christmas bonus to employees.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Little Christmas Story

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 drunk 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 an 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.

Not a lot of people know this.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas, Adam & Eve

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the specialness that is today and tomorrow

that my sobriety has zero tolerance, but my compassion has much (well, it's getting better)

for the little things in life

for Step 10 -- some of my favorite reading is about this step, especially ...
... love and tolerance of others is our code
... continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear
... we have ceased fighting anything or anyone
... alcohol is a subtle foe
... our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness

Every thought we think is creating our future.
- Louise L. Hay

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The truth and nothing but the truth

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I go to a bunch of recovery meetings every week

that I don't drink between those meetings

that I have a concept of a Higher Power

that I have set-aside times for conscious contact with my HP

that I read recovery literature, albeit in literature meetings and not at home

that I have a sponsor who knows me better than any other human except my partner

Real excellence and humility are not incompatible one with the other, on the contrary they are twin sisters.
- Jean Baptiste Lacordaire

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's the REAL thing!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I get to see life with a new pair of glasses as often as I choose

for this quote from the Big book story entitled ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER: "When I focus on what's good today, I have a good day, and when I focus on what's bad, I have a bad day. If I focus on a problem, the problem increases; if I focus on the answer, the answer increases."

for an awareness that I have so many things to work on but I can't do it all today. Or tomorrow.

that I didn't stay up to watch the lunar eclipse yesterday - it was mostly cloudy and from the video I saw, I didn't miss much anyway

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
- Thich Nhat Hanh

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Grat ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I can pace myself - for the rest of my life

that I now have a design for living that works instead of a design for dying

for fun in recovery -- if you haven't found it (yet), do it asap!

that the holidays don't trigger me to drink (although I eat way too much)

that I've rarely been a conformist

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall.
- Nelson Mandela

Monday, December 20, 2010

Less than 2 weeks remaining in 2010

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another recovery/birthday night at Lambda Center, followed by our little Christmas gift exchange event

that I still feel the need to stay on top of my gratitude via this list, using this medium

for other ways of expressing my recovery gratitude

for Step 12 and that I try to carry this message to alcoholics (this message being that of the first 164 pages of the Big book of Alcoholics Anonymous)

that I got my computer repaired - $200 but cheaper than getting a new one

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

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dance of the lights ...

Click HERE for some Christmas cheer.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tough to watch - but necessary

This is a PSA video from Australia. It's quite powerful but you shouldn't watch it if you have a queasy stomach.

Don't Drink and Drive!

click here

Friday, December 17, 2010

Have a GREAT weekend!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that all is well. I still don't have my computer AND I got up late and gotta go.

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

Thursday, December 16, 2010

see below ......


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my partner and I had a very positive meeting with a relationship counselor; I'm not going to write much else about that here because it's much too personal to speak of in this medium

that we got to listen to a very passionate speaker yesterday, a man with 33 years of sobriety and some interesting insights

that I rarely needed an excuse to drink

that I am writing this post on my partner's computer because mine bit the dust yesterday; hopefully it can be repaired

When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor.
It's to enjoy each step along the way.

- Wayne Dyer

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

no h8

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have no hate in my heart. Several years ago, I realized how negative this emotion is and made a commitment to myself to eliminate it from my life. With the aid of the steps, practicing all of them daily and an honest appraisal of myself and others, I have no hate. For this alcoholic, it's a wonderful feeling.

for an awareness of many things I don't like or approve of, but there is no hate!

that we read my favorite story in the 4th edition of the big book yesterday .....
ACCEPTANCE WAS THE ANSWER --- I feel that I could talk/write all day about this story and its revelations. I'll share more later in the week.

that honesty and faith can take me a long way

If a man does not know what port he is steering for, no wind is favorable to him.
- Seneca

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Say "Cheeeese!"

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Easy Does It, Live & Let Live, First things First and all the other slogans we use in recovery;
What's your favorite?

for the benefits of doing Step 5, including the practice of telling my sponsor everything I don't want to tell him

for the Game Show Network -- I love it!!

for a few days of gorgeous cold (30's & 40's) weather we're having, although the temperature is supposed to be in the 70's tomorrow LOL

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

Monday, December 13, 2010

Nature, naturally

This week I'll be posting some pictures of nature at work. Enjoy!!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a good attitude

that I never have to hit another alcoholic bottom; one was plenty!

for the honor of working closely, one-on-one, with 4 recovering alkies on a weekly basis

that a former sponsee is getting ready to celebrate 5 years of continuous sobriety; I am so happy for him!

that when I briefly became sick over the weekend, I took care of myself and limited my activities; it worked.

We may not always be aware of it, but we all create and repeat affirmations constantly. The problem is, we typically don't pay attention to exactly what those affirmations are saying. Often we go through the day giving ourselves all sorts of contradictory, or even negative messages. We may project confidence to the world around us, while our inner dialogue says... I hope this works. I am so nervous about this. I hope I don't blow it. Affirmations are self fulfilling prophecies. If we say, This is never going to work... then chances are excellent it never will.
- John Assaraf

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Patty Cake Patty Cake ...

Turn on the volume!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Taking my own inventory

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for these excerpts from Step 10 (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions) ...

... when a drunk has a terrific hangover because he drank heavily yesterday, he cannot live well today. But there is another kind of hangover which we all experience. That is the emotional hangover, the direct result of yesterday's and sometimes today's excesses of negative emotion -- anger, fear, jealousy, and the like.

... Our inventory enables us to settle with the past.

... It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.

... We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.

... Few people have been more victimized by resentments than have we alcoholics. It mattered little whether our resentments were justified or not.

... Nor were we ever skillful in separating justified from unjustified anger. As we saw it, our wrath was always justified.

Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.
- Marianne Williamson

Thursday, December 09, 2010

This above all ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to be aware of different levels of honesty. In recovery, I have learned that there's more than just "cash register" honesty.
Denial, exxageration, little white lies, manipulation of the facts are just a few of the means by which I can get my way.

for a clearer understanding of an unmanageable life

for those who step up to the plate when asked

for the life of John Lennon

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

- William Shakespeare

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

mid-week potpourri

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I like to laugh at myself and my mistakes; this wasn't always the case

that I seem to find more similarities than differences in every AA meeting that I attend

that one of my recovery mentors shares that every AA meeting is God's meeting and this relieves me of the burden of needing to control it; this really comes in handy at times

for the good old days and the good new ones too

Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.
- John D. Rockefeller

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Big things, Small things

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for some awareness of patterns of my thinking and my behavior that comes to me because of Step 4 inventories

for day long calmness (serenity)

for knowledge that things will be OK as long as I closely follow the design for living that comes to me as a result of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

that answers will come but I must be more open-minded if I am going to appreciate them

for those who gave their lives 69 years ago at Pearl Harbor

We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
- George Bernard Shaw

Monday, December 06, 2010

6 years of blogging

Today marks the 6th anniversary of this blog. I have posted consistently since then and this is the 2,764th post. . I have also stayed sober consistently since September 2003.

Below is my first post from December 6, 2004.

Still trying to get this blog stuff down. Scott did his and he ain't no more computer literate than me so I know I have a chance. LOL Maybe I will even figger out how to get some pictures on here.

I am waiting for word about a potential job in Nigeria. May come today or this week. I just don't know, but am trying to let it go.

Feeling quite spiritual today after 3 str8 AA meetings of spirituality. This is all so new to me and is an interesting thing to go through. I never liked the term "reborn" but now understand it completely. The only spirit I knew before September 5, 2003 came in a bottle of rum.

todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Robin C. got to share her experience with us on Saturday

that I saw my goodest friend Rodney star in a play last night; he was superb, of course

that I sometimes have a stiff, upper lip

that I'm so lucky

Just smiling goes a long way toward making you feel better about life. And when you feel better about life, your life is better. With an optimistic, positive attitude toward life, the possibilities for your second prime are tremendous.
- Art Linkletter, who died May 26, 2010 at the age of 97, expressed these thoughts on smiling, positive attitude and a second prime when he was 94.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sister Strikes Again

Click HERE for some Sunday funnies.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


I hope you're not offended by this. If you are, talk to your sponsor, please.

Whether or not you are a country music fan, these are truly the words of a deep thinker, and a highly intelligent person. So simple, yet so profound! Read the words of wisdom from that famous philosopher Willie Nelson, iconic country and western singer, on his 75th birthday below his esteemed portrait. Only a man with such wisdom and maturity could be so concise and succinct in phrasing his feelings at this turning point in his life.

"I have outlived my pecker."
The Penis Poem

My nookie days are over,
My pilot light is out.
What used to be my sex appeal,
Is now my water spout.
Time was when, on its own accord,
From my trousers it would spring.
But now I've got a full time job,
To find the f***in' thing.
It used to be embarrassing,
The way it would behave.
For every single morning,
It would stand and watch me shave.
Now as old age approaches,
It sure gives me the blues.
To see it hang its little head,
And watch me tie my shoes!!

Friday, December 03, 2010

A happy Friday to you!

todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have been so busy lately; it's been a huge help in keeping me from swimming around inside of my head and maybe drowning!

that I had an appointment with my psychiatrist yesterday and she confirmed a lot of things for me; she stopped a bit short of telling me I'm not crazy as a loon, but she did say my thinking was pretty damn right-on. Whew!

for faith that my life will unfold in front of me in ways I probably can't imagine; that has been true for these first 56 years

that I'm still passionate about service work

My Mama always said you've got to put the past behind you before you can move on.
- the movie Forrest Gump

Thursday, December 02, 2010


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for everyone

for everyone in recovery

for everyone I know

for everyone that has participated in my life

for everyone that will participate in my life

for a good breakfast

Live boldly. Laugh Loudly. Love Truly.
Play as often as you can
Work as smart as you are able.
Share your heart as deeply as you can reach.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day, observed December 1 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. It is common to hold memorials to honor persons who have died from HIV/AIDS on this day. Government and health officials also observe the event, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day. Governments of other nations have followed suit and issued similar announcements.

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm still HIV negative after all these years and intend to remain that way

that I'm not responsible for my first thought, but I am responsible for my second thought and the action after that thought

that my home life/relationship still sucks but I still think I'm just about the luckiest person I know

that my experience tells me that life goes on (so far, that's been the case)

for a really good noon meeting yesterday about self-care

Most of us love, to be sure. Yet far too often our love is passive.
We must be proactive in our love in order for it to change our lives.
- Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Don't do it, Tiger!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I almost always do my best

that I no longer live life in the fast lane

for the miracle that happened in my life when I accidentally practiced Step 3 -- the obsession to drink alcohol was removed!

for so many volunteer activities, especially this time of year

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
- Marilyn vos Savant

Monday, November 29, 2010

A full weekend. Check.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I no longer think about drinking and I no longer think about not drinking

that I survived 3+ days of 24/7 AA-related activities in damn good shape, albeit a bit worn out

that we had 287 registered participants in the Houston Roundup

that I was elected to co-chair the 2011 Houston Roundup; this is a big deal for me as it will sorta be like having a real job

for a little reminder that I am constantly working the steps when I have sponsees that I'm working the steps with. Make sense?

A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.
- Joseph Joubert

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Do, Rem, Mi

I may have posted this before but, what the hell ..........

This video was made in the Antwerp , Belgium Central (Train) Station on the 23rd of March 2009.. . . with no warning to the passengers passing through the station,
at 08:00 am a recording of Julie Andrews singing 'Do, Re, Mi' begins to play on the public address system.
As the bemused passengers watch in amazement, some 200 dancers begin to appear from the crowd and station entrances.

They created this amazing stunt with just two rehearsals!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

He said to me ...

He Said To Me!

He said to me . ... . I don't know why you wear a bra; you've got nothing to put in it. I said to him .... . . You wear pants don't you?

He said to me ... . ......... Shall we try swapping positions tonight?
I said .. That's a good idea - you stand by the stove & sink while I sit on the sofa and fart

He said to me. ... What have you been doing with all the grocery money I gave you?
I said to him . ..... Turn sideways and look in the mirror!

He said to me. ..... Why don't women blink during foreplay?
I said to him ... . They don't have time.

He said to me. . How many men does it take to change a roll of toilet paper?
I said to him .. .. I don't know; it has never happened.

He said to me. . Why is it difficult to find men who are sensitive, caring and Good- looking?
I said to him . . . They already have boyfriends.

He said..What do you call a woman who knows where her husband is every night?
I said. . . A widow.

He said to me.... Why are married women heavier than single women?
I said to him .. . .. Single women come home, see what's in the fridge and go to bed.
Married women come home, see what's in bed and go to the fridge.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Car of the Future

I am attending the Houston Roundup (AA) and don't have my computer with me.
I'll tell you now that I'm as grateful as ever and will just leave you with this enlightening video.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Every day, I'm Thankful & Grateful!

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
- Melody Beattie

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.

May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for red flags

for green lights

for yellow sunrises

for pink roses

for blue cats

for orange cars

Laugh when you can,
apologize when you should,
and let go of what you can't change.
Life's too short to be anything... but happy.
- Anonymous

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm very lucky .......

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to be a novice at this recovery thing; I have SO much to learn

that I stuck around the rooms of AA long enough to begin to develop a Higher Power

that my HP has evolved into a concept that I'm very comfortable with; it continues to evolve and I think it will continue as long as I don't start drinking again

that I have a formidable defense against taking that first drink -- my Higher Power!

that sometimes this sober thing seems pretty damn easy

You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, November 22, 2010

47 years ago

I was only 9 years old, but my memories of the day President Kennedy was murdered are vivid. I found out at school (he was pronounced dead at 1pm) and my Mom picked up my sister and I at 3pm as usual. I sat in front of the television for hours and hours over the next several days.

I found the experience fascinating.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my life has happened just the way it has

that I don't regret the past nor do I wish to shut the door on it

for the constant reminders of how my life could have ended up

that I do my very best to show respect to others in all aspects of my life

that this crazy Houston weather amuses me -- it's gonna be 80+ degrees today

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
- Melody Beattie

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

another Friday in the hood

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my friend, Scott W. (Attitude of Gratitude) celebrated 7 years of sobriety yesterday. Drop by and give him a great big wet kiss! Scott exudes a gentleness that only a serene and spiritual life can produce.

for the following excerpt from page 27 of The Big Book ...

Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them.

that today is Friday and I get to go to 3 AA meetings before dark

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children,
to leave the world a better place,to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, November 18, 2010

out and about

(left) the coast of Morocco

(right) in Dakar, Senegal with 2 friends

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to lead my first Al Anon meeting last night; I brought up the topic of Attitudes. I shared honestly about my domestic problems and others shared too. I thought it went pretty well.

that my friend, Scott W. (Attitude of Gratitude) celebrates 7 years of sobriety today. Drop by and give him a kiss.

for the decade of foreign travel and living that was bestowed upon me. I got to spend 4+ months in over 20 countries and had the opportunity of becoming part of the culture of many African nations along with European and South American places.
These experiences have undoubtedly shaped my thinking forever.

that I live in Houston, Texas and have no desire to live anywhere else.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
- Mark Twain

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

... from both sides

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have just enough to be satisfied (I always did, I just didn't know it)

that I feel a lot better about myself (today, at 7+ years sober) than I ever have before during my 56 years on this planet

that the only reason I drank too much (daily, for 33 years) is because I'm an alcoholic. I didn't drink because I thought life sucked or because life was good.

that I know that I'm not quite ready to make some difficult decisions that I hoped I was ready for. It's OK, those things can wait until I'm ready.

that I think, feel and act differently today than I did yesterday or anytime before then

Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe,
dreaming more than others think is practical,
and expecting more than others think is possible.
- Anonymous

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to see my good friend, Jessie J. yesterday morning after about a month of absences from our morning meeting. He is to undergo major surgery today but the prognosis is good. He's a fine example of recovery and this experience will add to his 29 years of sobriety.

for Step 1 and all its implications; it's amazing how long it took me to recognize how unmanageable my life had become during my 33 years of alcoholic drinking.

for the principles of honesty, faith, integrity and compassion. Now, if I can just remember to practice them.

for others

Real excellence and humility are not incompatible one with the other, on the contrary they are twin sisters.
- Jean Baptiste Lacordaire

Monday, November 15, 2010

Staying clean

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my sponsees are really keeping me on my toes

for some meeting/discussion about the concept of fight or flight. I can somehow identify with this but have not yet given it the thought it deserves. Do you have some experience to share on this?

that I seem to stay so damn busy on any given day, even when I have no plans

for Step 3

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
- Mother Teresa

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Unseen Sea

Just enjoy this for the next 3 minutes.

The Unseen Sea from Simon Christen on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday morning stuff

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a great! Step 8 meeting yesterday. There can be soooooooo much more to the steps than just the words as they're written.

That I got to work with 2 of my sponsees yesterday. They keep me straight.
Wait. Maybe I should re-word that.

that strange words come from my mouth when I work with another alcoholic one-on-one. Ideas, suggestions and overall comments that come from somewhere deep inside of me. Does this happen with you too?

that this seems to have been a very productive week. I am due to close the deal on my home re-finance this afternoon. Over the course of my mortgage, I would save over $100K.
We'll see how that works out.

To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.
- Kofi Annan

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Broiled chicken breast

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for some awareness of how easy it is to fool myself into wrongful thinking -- otherwise, called a mis-perception

that I have been pretty damn forthcoming in a couple of meetings about my domestic problems; I've probably said enough though

that solutions to just about anything is in the Big Book

that my friend Jessie seems to have a pretty good attitude about some new, serious health problems -- Love ya Jessie!!

for the efforts and sacrifices of all servicemen and women throughout our history without whom I would not have had the freedom to drink in all the bars that I drank in

Those who believe they can do something and those who believe they can't are both right.
- Henry Ford

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nasty Peach!

todAAy i AAm grAAtful & thAAnkful

that doing the next right thing never involves hurting someone and rarely involves criticising them either

that my home life is challenging me to practice these principles in ALL my affairs and that is a good thang!! Very difficult too.

for the continuing evolution of my higher power

that if you're going to talk badly about me behind my back, you're in the perfect position to kiss my a_ _.

Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
- Lao Tzu

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I'd rather be happy than right.

I'd rather be right. Which probably explains why I'm so miserable today.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the slogans I've learned in recovery. Today's title hits me between the eyes because I am currently taking some drastic action regarding my partner and my home. I'm not particularly happy about these actions, but I know I'm doing the right things.

I guess it will all come full circle.

I know this -- I have absolute faith that everything will work out the way it is supposed to work out. Of this, I have no doubt.

It is hard to do what you fear, but harder to keep thinking about it.
~~ unknown

Monday, November 08, 2010


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I get to learn more about people and friends every day, especially when they relate their experience, strength and hope in AA meetings

that I have changed so much since September 2003 (my sobriety date).

for some patience in dealing with some important life decisions

that my sponsor is right on top of things (in my life)

that I don't live in Mexico nor do I need an armoured vehicle just to feel safe when travelling

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
- Mark Twain

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Old vs New

CRASH OF 1959 Chevy With 2009 Chevy

Stay with this 'til the end as there are several camera views.... A 2009 car vs. a 1959 car in a crash test.... Guess which one wins. No sound but the video is enough.

How many times have you heard: "I wish they would make cars the way they did in the old days."

This video dispels that myth.

You know how we always think about what big huge tanks the old cars of the 50's and 60's were for size?

And how we talk about how there is so much plastic on the new cars that if one of the old tanks ever collided with a new car, the new car would be demolished?

Well, someone in the insurance industry put that theory to the test. Be sure to watch toward the end to see the overhead view - and the assessment of driver injury.

Friday, November 05, 2010

end of week

I hope you like Johnny Carson.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that it's not my job to keep you sober, or anybody else sober

to be reminded that life is not getting any shorter

that I got a second chance to do my life and I'd better not waste it

for AA's Tradition 7 -- it's not just about finances but about service to one's group as well

Gardening is all about optimism.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Thursday, November 04, 2010

it passed

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my sobriety opens me up to so many possibilities and opportunities

that I'm not stuck on a barstool, wondering when tonight's blackout will begin

for the years I spent travelling, living and working in Europe and Africa. I could never duplicate those experiences as a tourist. My exposure to so many cultures has provided me with a unique (I think) perspective on the human condition.

that I have something to offer when I'm willing to give it

The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.
- Benjamin Disraeli

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I've had better days, but I'm still sober

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the practice of pause when agitated AND restraint of tongue and pen.

I was told, in no uncertain terms, to go f _ _ k myself when I defended my right to anonymity on Facebook as regards the program of A.A. This was from a person who just got out of rehab after 6 months in prison from dealing drugs.

that my home life sucks right now, so I'm hoping that this too shall pass

for friends (besides my sponsor) who will listen to me when I need to vent

for the concept of courage to change the things I can

It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.
- Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Gratitude -- what a concept!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to substitute-chair the 6:30am meeting yesterday and started the new month of November with a gratitude meeting. I'm sure it's the first of numerous ones this month and that's a good thang!

that I picked up on the tools to stay sober after about 6 months in the program. First, I had to develop some honesty I didn't want to face, then I had to become open-minded enough to allow the concept of a higher power into my life and finally I had to become willing to try something different.

for all those people who just keep coming back, for whatever reason

for some rain here in Houston - finally! It's been a record-breaking dry run here - 41 days without measureable rainfall.

Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect.
It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.
- Anonymous

Monday, November 01, 2010

Back to ...


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another day to practice the principles, as I understand them

for hope and faith, in everything. Well, I wish I had it all the time, but it may always be a work-in-progress.

for a nice weekend, weather-wise and recovery-wise

that my little game show project was successful; but mainly that it's finished. It was something in planning for almost 2 years (in my mind).

Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.
- Epicurus

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Step 7

I'll post some great! photos of Halloween pumpkins this weekend. Drop by and see 'em.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for those days when I remember to actively practice Steps 6 & 7. We read and discussed Step 7 yesterday. Here's a few of my favorite parts ......

... the attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of A.A.'s Twelve Steps. for without some degree of humility, no alcoholic can stay sober at all.

... never was there enough of what we thought we wanted

... we never thought of making honesty, tolerance, and true love of man and God the daily basis of living.

... The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear, primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded.

the quote below. My kind of humor.

In order to fly, all one must do is simply miss the ground.
- Douglas Adams

Thursday, October 28, 2010

change & awareness

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that it's OK to be angry and that I know a method to prevent that anger from becoming a major resentment

for Step 4 and the freedom it gives me -- awareness

that I finally learned last night in my Al Anon meeting that I don't need to keep protecting my partner from his own behavior. I allow him to make his mistakes and live his life, but I have always tried to keep those things a secret and I am the one who suffers when I do that.
Hopefully, I can remember to stop protecting him. (this is HUGE for me)

that I'm so blessed and fortunate -- I must always remember to pay it forward.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.
- Elbert Hubbard