Monday, June 26, 2017


A family I have known all my life-I went to school and church with them, my kids went to school and church with them, my son's best friend is part of this family-was hit by tragedy last week. On an early summer Wednesday evening two of the boys, 16 and 14, cousins and best friends set out in an ATV, This family is a farm family and ATV's and horses are a routine part of their day. The sixteen year old was driving. They hit some loose dirt and the ATV rolled and the 14 year old who was not wearing a seatbelt was thrown from the vehicle and the vehicle rolled over him. After many frantic phone calls the 16 year old finally got hold of his uncle, my son's best friend, and he and the 16 year old's father rushed to the scene of the accident to find the boy cradling his 14 year old cousin who was dead.

This tragedy is multiplied so many times. Two childhoods lost, that of both the child who died and the child who survived. Great grandparents who lost a great grandchild and who have another great-grandchild severely affected, who are grieving not only for those children but for their children and grandchildren. And on down the line. Grandparents, parents, siblings.

Life is too short not to grab on and hold on to every moment we have with both hands. Too short not to wrap ourselves as tight as we can around every moment with the ones we love. No matter what we tell ourselves, we can't do this if alcohol is stealing parts of our lives from us, if alcohol is stealing parts of us from others.

We have now, who are we in this moment? Are we who we want to be right now if in another minute life forces us to become someone else? Our life will change, that goes without saying. How many moments of perfect serenity will we sacrifice if we don't grab what we can right now?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Willpower? I called and you didn't pick up.

I think I'm getting old. I'm salivating more over that little muffin with the icing on top than the stud muffin holding it! Sorry, The Rock, you're just no competition, sigh.

Well, blew the diet yesterday. I tried, I really did. I used a whole lot of "tools" before I gave in, I walked the dog, I ate some sunflower seeds, a healthy lunch of stir-fry, finished cleaning the house, scoured the tub, then I dived in. I didn't stop at the chips and dip, I went totally bacchanal. Ice cream with Heath topping, popcorn and butter!

Oh well, today is a new day and yesterday doesn't erase every stride I'd made, it may have put those few pounds I'd lost back on in one swoop, but I still remember how good I felt when I was following through on my promises to myself. So, today is a new start, every day is. I'm going to do my best and realize that my best is sometimes more than I'm willing to put forth.

Speaking of keeping promises to myself, I'm taking the next couple of weeks to keep another promise to myself. The cap'n will be gone working and I am going to revel in it because I think this might be my last time to myself for a long, long time. So I'm going to dive deep into ME TIME! I'm going to get up before the sun comes up every morning and light candles and say my rosary. I'm going to feed my critters, the birds, the squirrels and Freddy the Total Shitz-Poo. Then I'm going to write, write, write. 

Oh yeah, And I'm going to fix a big pan of tuna casserole-the cap'n hates it and Mexican cream of mushroom soup is funky so I haven't had any in at least seven months-and gorge on it for three days. I guess this is in my DNA, my dad hated tuna casserole too so my mom would always fix it when he was out of town on a job. She'd also un-ground us-Mom always said grounding was more of a punishment for the parent than the child-and take us to the Ben Franklin Five and Dime to buy paper dolls and army men. So maybe, just maybe, tuna casserole is more to me than a can of tuna, cream of mushroom soup and noodles, maybe it's an infusion of mom and childhood. I need some of dat.

How the Heck Ya'll Doin'?


Thursday, June 22, 2017

I Need A Hangover Day!

I want a hangover day! No, I don't want the hangover but I want a day that I just lay around binge watching TV and eating stuff that's really bad for me. Hangover days always served to compound the guilt I felt from getting drunk and a hangover day today would also make me feel guilty. But not as guilty. I've been eating healthy lately keeping my calories within limits, losing a few pounds and a self-indulgent day would erase a lot of that effort. 

I really want a big bowl of potato chips with a side bowl of dip right now. Don't know how this is going to end up. It's days like this that I remember how hard a time I had talking myself out of drinking, how all those good intentions and enthusiasm would just disappear at certain times and no matter how I tried to conjure them up they were no where to be found. How did I finally quit? I go back to my old mantra, "Don't you want to see what's going to happen?" It was the sense of promise, the air of reward beyond my imagination that would keep me from reaching for that bottle. I wanted a new life, I wanted to see that new life. I wanted to find me and I wasn't going to find me in that bottle of booze, that's where I'd lost me.

So how does that apply now? Am I at the bottom of that bowl of chips or am I outside walking Freddy, the wonder Shi-poodle? I guess it's time to put my shoes and socks on and go find out. The chips are safe for now, I want to find out what happens when I lose 10 or 15 pounds, I want to get to know the me that accomplishes another goal.

How The Heck Are You?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

School's Out!

The results of Carrie Fisher's toxicology tests have just thrown me for a loop this week. See, I'm one of those people who goes around saying every failure, every stumble, every relapse is part of the plan, in each one is hidden a vital lesson we have yet to learn in order to get to where we are meant to be. Obviously, if you quit drinking or drugging and then decide to try again, you had another lesson to learn. Right? That's what I used to think. But what one more lesson did Carrie need to learn? That addiction kills? That you shouldn't waste your chances? That those chances aren't without limit? That we know everything we need to know and we are wasting our lives waiting for that final magical lesson that is going to teach us something magical that will change the path of our life forever? That lesson doesn't exist and if you're waiting for it, you are wasting precious time.

So today I'm out there re-considering some things I once considered true. Sometimes we don't need to have anymore lessons, at some point we have to STOP looking for more education and spend the rest of our lives applying the lessons we have been taught.

The above meme could just as easily say, "Nothing is worse than missing an opportunity that could have saved our life."

Sometimes I ponder drinking again, maybe in 10 years, maybe if I take a trip to Paris or Italy... but you know what? I've learned the "I can quit drinking and be happier than I ever was drinking" lesson, I don't need to re-learn it.

How The Heck Are You?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Recovered Garden

I'm good and I really don't have much to write about this morning. House cleaning and weed pulling is all I have in my plans for today, nothing monumental but a miracle still. Every day that I am sober is like a fertile garden waiting for me to plant something and watch it grow. Yes, there are weeds, but in their own way, they're beautiful too because they keep my hands and mind busy and while I'm out there ripping the little assholes out, I work out my aggression. It's all good.

How The Heck Are You?

Monday, June 19, 2017

How The Heck Are You 6/19/2017: Let's Face It, We're Pansies!

Sleep deprived this morning, I stayed up past midnight binge watching Orange is the New Black. Netflix has become my new addiction.

Beautiful weather weekend up here. We don't plant flowers here at 10,600 ft until Father's Day because it still gets down to freezing at night before that, so I spent the weekend outside finally planting. You'd think after 10 summers here and thousands of dollars in perennials, I wouldn't have any more room to plant, but the thin air and poor soil doesn't encourage plants to show up for return performances year after year. The funny thing is, pansies, the most delicate appearing flower of all, start  popping up through the snow in April and grow like weeds among the rocks and in the poorest soil. Just like us on this journey, neither rain, or snow, or the darkness of night, or stumbles, or hostile environment can keep us from rising up, no matter what the world throws at us, and raising our face up to the sun in defiance. Fuck you, Adversity, we're pansies and we're proud of it!

How The Heck Are You?

Friday, June 16, 2017

How The Heck Are You? 6/16: Falling In Love

I'm in a good mood this morning. The cap'n has really been trying to keep his drinking in check and hasn't been drinking in the morning. Baby steps are good enough for me at this point, trying is good enough. I'm back on track with my goals and following Pierre's lead in writing out my hard and soft goals every day, a simple thing that really does seem to work. I love checking those goals off.

Day before yesterday an acquaintance of mine in Mexico was killed by a hit and run driver while he was returning from his morning bike ride, Every morning I would see Lynn  ride his bike by our house, it was his passion and he participated in several bike races worldwide. He was 71 and he did what he loved daily. People often ask how I quit drinking and I tell them, "I was convinced I was going to die if I didn't quit." That's what it came down to for me, quit drinking or die. But what keeps me sober is the life I've created with my sobriety. I love it. Oh yeah, I gripe sometimes and I'm not always giddy-happy like I was in the beginning, but I f'ing love my life. That's the secret. That's why I can't stop trying to make it better and better, because the minute I fall out of love? Yeah.

My mother died 28 years ago today, she was 57 and I don't think she ever got a chance to do what she loved, I'm not sure she even knew what that was or that it was even a choice. That makes me very sad. I would give anything to spend one more day with her and ask her what it was she loved. To honor both of them today, I'm going to make sure and do something I love-besides eat ice cream.

How the Heck Are You?

P.S.  I read an encouraging blog this morning by the founder of ONYB (One Year No Beer). OYNB is a support community that encourages people to change their relationship with drinking in order to pursue a healthier more active lifestyle. 

While this recent article does seem to slant toward abstaining permanently: there is some great info on the alcohol industry's increasing efforts to offer more NA and low alcohol drinks and to reverse society's belief that you have to drink in order to be happy.