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