Friday, June 24, 2011
This was the responsorial psalm this morning at mass. The actual full psalm is “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” I’m glad that they left the “fearful” out this morning, I’m tired of being fearful. I want to be brave and sure. I want to be confident that I’m doing the right thing because it makes everybody’s life better, mine included, not because I’m afraid of the consequences.
Yes, I went back to mass this morning. Why? I wanted to. There have been few times in my life that I attended mass because I wanted to. I’ve gone out of obligation. I’ve gone because my parents made me. I’ve gone because I needed to for my kids. I’ve gone because I was afraid of what might happen if I didn’t go. This morning when I thought about going I got a pang of that old nostalgic guilt. I started thinking, I really should go. This after attending one weekday mass. Wow, that Catholic guilt is powerful stuff. It may be in remission but it ain’t gone. Then I thought, I don’t have to go. If I’d rather take a walk, that is fine. Nothing bad is going to happen. I’m not a bad or weak person. God isn’t going to punish me. If I want to go to mass, then that’s okay, too. It’s my will. So I went because I want to see what I can willingly learn. I want to see how I can willingly grow.
Why am I trying to moderate or give up my drinking? The same holds true. I want to. I’ve tried before because other people thought I should. I’ve tried before because I was afraid of what might happen if I didn’t. Now I am trying because I want to. Alcohol stole my will. Now I am willing, eager even, to discover what my life can be without it. I am willing to discover how wonderfully made I am. People already tell me quite often that I’m a piece of work. LOL
So today I out there doing my best to just be my most wonderful self and damn the consequences
Thursday, June 23, 2011
The cap'n is back at work which means I am stuck in another hotel room in some little backwater town. Actually, this little Northeastern Colorado town is very nice and I don't really consider myself "stuck" here. To tell the truth, I love exploring new little rural towns. I relish poking around in their antique stores and pawn shops, driving their back roads, and sampling the home-cooked fare at their diners. It reminds me of where I came from. Although this town is in Colorado, the Northeast part of the state is closer in resemblance to my home town in SW KS than the mountainous part of the state that I live in now. It is charming with its town square and its three story courthouse surrounded by coffee shops and antique stores that have supplanted the former businesses that were the lifeblood of a community in the last century. Stately homes with fresh mown lawns and flowerbeds bursting with roses and delphinium populate the oldest part of town.
I also love to poke my nose into old churches, especially Catholic ones since that is also from whence I came and I still have that lingering Catholic fear that I will be struck down with lightening should I dare to darken the nave of a church of another denomination. Besides, old Catholic churches have the prettiest stained glass windows. While I love to poke my nose in and maybe even kneel for a while in contemplation I rarely, like never, attend services any more. Because I am a Dee-Vor-Say. A remarried Dee-Vor-Say that refuses to annul a former marriage that produced three children just so I can say I am now married in the Catholic Church. So the church that was the touchstone of my childhood and young adult life has judged me not worthy. Sure, they say I am still welcome, as long as I don't partake of the sacraments. The same sacraments that I have been taught since childhood are crucial to my admittance into heaven. Am I bitter? No. Because I have a much closer relationship with my God now that I don't have the guilt and fear instilled by the Church. Sad? Yes. Because I do miss the spiritualism and mystic of the mass and the communion of souls gathering to share in a common belief. Oh, and I miss the music. I can sing me the "Hell" out of some Catholic Hymns.
Anyway…After I dropped the cap'n off at work this morning at 6:30 am, I went for a walk around one of the town's parks, with a detour through one of the "stately homes" neighborhoods. Then I headed to Mickey D's for my first sausage burrito since returning to the mother land. I decided to drive around the town while I ate my breakfast. I was passing St. Anthony's Catholic Church (also the name of the church in which I grew up) just as the sun was starting to chase the morning shadows away and I knew the stained glass windows would be at their loveliest. There were several cars parked out front but I thought, "What the heck." I choked down the last of my burrito and went in. Mass was in progress and I fell to my knees on the kneeler and fell right back into the ritualism of my formative years. Even though I was enjoying the familiarity and comfort of being a part of mass, I had no intentions of receiving communion. To me, marching up to that altar and receiving that thin wafer still brooked hypocrisy and earned me a mortal sin to further blight my already blemished soul. All of a sudden like a shaft of sunlight piercing the jeweled hues of the stained glass, I remembered a dream I had last night. In the dream I was receiving communion. (I swear on my all too human and damaged soul that this is the truth) I don't remember the circumstances but I do remember the nervousness and the clumsiness I felt as I partook of the sacrament. They were the same feelings I was feeling now. Of course, I took it as a sign and I did what I haven't done in almost 20 years. I walked up to the altar just like I belonged there and took that sliver of bread from the priest.
I wish I could say I felt a great peace or sense of wonder afterwards, but I really didn't. I find it ironic that the last words the congregation recites before they all file up for communion are, "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed" and then "the Church" has the nerve to go ahead and "play God", so to speak, and decide who is worthy. The "church" may not deem me worthy, but God does. And so do I. I don't need a priest, or a piece of bread to substantiate that. God has forgiven me and I have only to forgive myself. I am worthy.
Uh-oh! That damned burrito! I didn't fast one hour before receiving communion! Now I really am going to Hell.
So today I'm out there doing my best to revel in my worthiness and find me some fine home-cooking that I deem worthy of my very worthy appetite.
P.S. I apologize for going on a rant about religion but I think the concept holds true for drinking also. Some people are going to judge your past and deem you unworthy of their time or affections. Some people are never going to forgive you. You can't let what they believe or remember about you, become you. You are worthy of the blessings of good friends, good love and a good life if you do the work. Don't forget it and don't take it for granted.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Before I viewed the 30 days abs prescribed by moderation management as a time to take a breather from drinking. A time to clear my head and actually think about something besides drinking all the time. Now I also see it as a time to experience a different life. I see it as a valuable experience that I can look back on and compare to whatever life have chosen. Today that comparison is definitely in favor of a permanent abs. I think in the last week I’ve discovered that even if I moderate successfully, I didn’t go over the limit and I didn’t drink two days in a row, there is still a lingering hint of depression the next day. For me, that more than I want. On the mmlist the other day someone used the term “a delicious melancholy”. I’m not finding anything delicious about the way I feel. Now that I have tasted an enriched way of life, I don’t care for the bland flavor of days like today at all. So I’m back to abs’ing.
So today I out there doing my best to dig my smile out of a snowdrift and figure out a way to add a little spice to my day.
P.S. The picture is the view from my deck this morning, the day before the first day of summer.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
R.I.P. Big Man. Thank you for all those times you and your wonderful music lifted my heart and took me places I wanted to go at times when it felt like I was going nowhere. Thank you for the joy and the sorrow you made me feel..
So today I'm out there doing my best not to "Fade Away" and keep "Dancing in the Dark".
I think "Glory Days" are ahead.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
May You Be Blessed
It may be a little sappy but sometimes sappy speaks to me. I also encourage you to go to the blog site link under the movie.
So today I'm out there trying to see everything and everybody as a blessing and lesson to be learned.
Friday, June 17, 2011
We are meeting up with some friends, Phyllis and Not Phyllis (Neil) from the Bahamas today. They are in Denver so we're going to meet in Frisco for the BBQ Cook-Off. It will be so good to see them and catch up. We had so many good times together.
Every Saturday night in Hope Town a bunch of us cruisers would head to Sea Spray Resort to party and dance the night away to the Islanders band. We always called ahead for a van to pick us up at the Post Office Dock but half the time they forgot to send one. We would take off walking across island but it wouldn't be long before we'd hitch a ride on a golf cart going our way. The gals squeezed into the back seat and the guys hanging off the back. A couple of us would have to jump off when we were going uphill. We'd get to Sea Spray, have a few drinks and kick off our shoes, if we had any on, and dance like fools. About 1:00 am we would load into the van, yes we were loaded otherwise too, to be transported back to the docks. We'd climb down into our dinghy's and drift under starlit skies back to our boats. The next morning we'd feel like shit…except for Phyllis and Not Phyllis because they didn't drink that much. Sometimes Not Phyllis didn't drink at all. Yet they danced and had more fun than the rest of us. They set my first examples of being able to go out and have a good time and not get drunk. The problem with me is I'm too much like the title of this blog. One or two is never enough. The truth is I drink to get drunk otherwise what is the purpose? That being said I'm waging an inner battle of whether to have a beer with my BBQ today. I've always had a beer with BBQ. Why? I don't even like it that much and I sure don't like the bloated feeling it gives me. So I think not…but I'll let you know.
So today I'm out there doing my best to not to have "too much" of anything and trying to remember drinking is "Better as a Memory".
Thursday, June 16, 2011
You've probably noticed that I was back at the starting line of another abs stretch. I didn't blow it last night but I did have 1.5 glasses of wine. I was getting ready to prepare a new recipe and it promised to be fantastic. But I was tense and snappish and I decided a glass of wine would smooth me out. It didn't. So I decided to pour another one. I got halfway through that one and I knew that two glasses wasn't going to be enough. I was afraid that I'd hit that WTF mode, plus my disappointment in myself for having that glass of wine was making me even crankier so I threw it out and started trying to figure out why I was so stressed that I felt I needed a drink. I think I figgered it out.
When my grandson came to visit a couple of weeks ago he wanted to squeeze every possible activity into that first day. Likewise, since I have been sober I have been trying to squeeze every second out of every day. Trying to catch up. Trying to make up for all that time lost to drunkenness and hangovers. I've been trying to live a regimented schedule. Up by 5: 30 am, squeeze in a walk, way too much time wasted on the computer, 1 hour to do this blog, 3 hours for other writing, 1 hour of housework, 1 hour of garden work, 2 hours to prepare these gourmet meals I've been fixing since I'm not drinking and have an appetite. …It doesn't sound like much but I've been used to a pretty sedate lifestyle. Oh, I forgot to mention exercising—50 crunches every time I go to the bathroom which reminds me I also need to cut down on my Diet Pepsi intake but then I won't have 6 pack abs by the time I get back to MX and my swimming suits.
Something has to give. I'm thinking it will be the housework. LOL But really I need to try and relax. I can't get that lost time back. I need to take a breath and enjoy the moments I have today and not rush through them. I will have tomorrow.
So today I'm out there doing my best to stop and smell the wildflowers and ignore those dirty windows.
P.S. The copycat recipe of Pappadeaux's Fish Alexander delivered on its promise and was delicious.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Of the 1000's of obstacles that somehow find their way into your life to test you, none is greater than the fear of inadequacy in overcoming them.
2 weeks of abs'ing under my belt. Again. I joined the mmabsers http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/mmabsers/ board yesterday. This is a board dedicated to people who are considering abs on a long term or permanent basis. I went through the usual newbie protocol and introduced myself and said that I was considering permanent ab'sing but, at this time, I am undertaking a project that is very important to me and I knew I had to abs long term for it to be successful. A member wrote back to welcome me and said he also had an important project that required abs'ing to be successful. The project was himself. That really struck a chord with me.
Now I have been involved in many projects in my professional life and I was very involved with the toy drive in my little village in Mexico last year. Most people would say I'm a take charge (some would say take over), get things done girl. I detest sitting around discussing things to death, I want action. I had never thought of myself as a project. Wow! This is a concept I can grasp. I'm going to start on an outline today. It will include areas of my life such as health, spirituality, relationships, self-concept, dreams… There will be goals and deadlines, of course. The hard part comes in between, the steps or plan I will follow to reach the goals and meet the deadlines. This will be a perpetual plan because I'll keep reassessing and adding on. And of course, I'll share it. I'm excited.
Sorry Alcohol, got no room in my life for you today.
So today I'm out there doing my best to not keep procrastinating living the life I want and kicking the shit out of those obstacles.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
It was a beautiful summer day and I was out pulling weeds in my front flowerbed. The cap’n had decided to run into town to run some errands. We have a gate at the end of our drive and he left it open since he would be back in a few minutes. As I said, it was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, and we’re pretty remote out here so I decided the sisters would like to catch a tan. I shucked my shirt and Floppy and her twin, Flappy, were unabashedly out for some fun in the sun. A little while later I heard a vehicle pull into our gravel drive. Thinking it was the cap’n returning, I didn’t even look up…until I heard a car door slam and Stanley the blind killer bichon start barking. Lo and behold, there parked in my drive was a FedEx truck. Yeah, that made for an awkward moment and a Floppy-Flappy dash to the front door. I’m sure the poor guy was scarred for life. I guess that’s just one of the not so perky perks of his job. LOL
So today I’m out there trying my best to laugh out loud at myself (not hard to do and beats the hell out of crying) and keeping an eye (and nothing else) out for strangers bearing gifts.
P.S. Maybe next week I’ll tell you about the time the Mormons wandered up the drive.
P.P.S. Sorry no pic for this one. ;)
Monday, June 13, 2011
For me that banana leaf is alcohol. Anytime I feel a little discomfort I want to pull that leaf over me to shield me. Bored, unhappy, stressed, hungover…I'd better go pick a leaf. Pretty soon I was wearing that leaf all the time. The problem with that is not only does the leaf keep the rain from getting in, it also dims the sunshine just like alcohol prevented me from fully experiencing all the good things in my life. So now I'm throwing off the leaf. I know I'm exposing myself to all those unpleasant feelings but a plant not only needs sunshine to grow, it needs rain. Likewise, those undesirable feelings are necessary for my growth because only after I have endured them can I fully appreciate the wonderful things in my life.
Did any of this make sense?
Oh well, today I'm out there doing my best to let the sunshine in but singing in the rain, if need be.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Walking Miss Daisy and Saturdays Spent With Daisy. Even though I tried hard not to, I fell in love with Daisy and it was hard to leave her behind but it for many reasons it just wasn't feasible to bring her back to the states with us. That being said I was scrambling and writing feverish emails trying to arrange her shipment here as the time was nearing that she was going to have to walk that Green Mile but luckily my prayers were answered and, I hope, a loving family agreed to take her in. So there's one miracle I can check off the list. The next one is that I figure out a way to keep both my cabin here in CO and my casa in Mexico. Here's the blog:
Before we left Mexico a month ago, a friend of mine gave me an assignment. You see, she knew I was beginning to feel the pressure to move to Mexico full time. The cap'n is getting tired of working full time and would like to retire completely. I can't blame him. Thanks to him, I basically retired fourteen years ago. Unfortunately, while we could live like kings in MX on our retirement income, we can't continue to support two households (plus that freaking boat). So the time for making a choice is drawing near. I'm not ready. So my friend gave me the assignment of writing a blog of why I love my home in Colorado.
Several of the reasons are simple:
1. The ease of living in my own country. The familiar language and laws. And if you are an expat from Mexico, the cleanliness and the plethora toilet seats.
2. The music. No, not the stuff coming out of the radio, although I do miss that, too. I miss the gurgle of our stream, the chatter of the squirrels, the scolding of the blue jays and the whisper of the wind through the pines. Mexico has its own music, beautiful and exotic. It's just not my music… yet.
3. The smell. The early dawn air scented with woodsmoke after a fresh snowfall. The musty perfume of sun warmed pine needles on a summer afternoon.
But the BIGGIE, the main reason is harder to explain, but I'll try.
My Grandmother died when I was very young. Lucky for me and multitudes of cousins, we had Aunt Irene and Uncle. Aunt Irene and Uncle Paul had no children of their own but they helped raise hundreds. Their modest country home was a monument to continuity. Through all the years I visited, with the exception of new photographs of great nieces and nephews taped to the glass front of the china cabinet, it never changed. The same pictures adorned the walls, the coloring books were always in the same drawer, the toys were in the closet in the first bedroom and the cookies were in the same Dutch Girl cookie jar on top of the refrigerator. More importantly, the rituals remained the same. Mornings started in the kitchen breakfast nook with the toaster on the table amid an array of homemade jellies and jams to choose from. The day was filled with trying to catch rabbits or fish or each other as we played hide-and-seek in the cornfield. When the stars came out the grown-ups would be on the front porch watching as we chased fireflies. I'm sure I complained many times of being bored but I loved that house and the people that peopled it. There was solace in knowing there was one place in my ever changing, growing-up world that would remain the same. A place where I could expect the expected.
That's what I want for my children and grandchildren and, possibly, their children. I want my cabin in the mountains to be their haven from this frenzied world. I want them to know the comfort of coming up the drive and know that there will be a welcoming fire in the woodstove. The coloring books are in the buffet, the old favorite board games are in the closet in the first bedroom, and the fishing rods are leaning in their corner of the living room. Mornings will start with hot chocolate out on the deck. The days will be filled with trying to catch chipmunks, fish or each other as they play hide and seek among the bristlecone pines. When the stars come out the grown-ups will warm themselves by the fire in the fire pit while the young ones roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories in the night shadows of the forest.
Idealistic? Probably. But more than possible because I've already lived it . I just can't see Mexico with all of its strangeness and its distance fostering these kinds of memories. I worry that it will always seem an adventure instead of a homecoming.
But I'm greedy. I want them both. Good thing I have tonight's winning lottery tickets in hand.
Update: The lottery tickets were bogus!
So today I'm out there doing my best to wage war on the scourge of dandelions in my flowerbeds and waiting on a miracle or two.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Day 11 of abs. Don't you hate grandparents that talk about their grandchildren all the time. LOL I promise this is the last time for a while because mine went home yesterday. I'm proud of myself for not having one drink the whole time he was here. I may not have been the funny wacky grandma that he was used to, but I don't think he missed her. This Grandma was out of bed way before him every morning, ready to go hiking or fishing or whatever he wanted to do. As always he taught me some lessons while he was here. I had to admire how he tried to pack every moment of every day full of adventure and fun. Hey, I could learn to do that.
I want to:
Turn on cartoons when I wake-up and laugh first thing in the morning.
Have my biggest decision of the day be whether I have Captain Crunch or Frosted Flakes for breakfast.
Think that Kraft Mac-and-Cheese is way better than any gourmet meal without worrying what it's doing to my arteries or waistline.
Spend hours performing magnificently goofy jumps into a swimming pool without worrying about what anyone watching might think.
Spend hours running back and forth kicking a soccer ball without getting winded or having my knees hurt.
Run away shrieking and screaming when the lion roars at the zoo.
Think that every person I meet is a prospective friend.
Make a flag out of a stick and be my own parade marching down the street.
Love rain because that's where mud comes from.
Read "Curious George" at bedtime and laugh last thing at night.
Dream dreams that make me smile while I'm sleeping.
I want to be 7 again!
So today I'm out there doing my best to channel my inner 7 year old and cherish every one of the adventures this day holds for me.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
I'm on Day 9 of abstaining and I do great every day until about 3:00 pm when that 5 o'clock somewhere feeling comes calling. On the MM list the other day someone had posted that she thought another member's husband was controlling. In my all-knowing and benevolent manner I responded that we need to cut our significant others some slack. I boldly typed that when we lose control of our drinking we cause chaos and a loss of control in the lives of our significant others and in order to gain back some control over their own lives they have to take hold of the reins and rein us in. When we begin to gain some control back over our drinking it is hard for them to trust us and relinquish that control.
What insight! I have to give myself credit and say I really hit the old nail square on the head with that little jewel of wisdom.
Now I just need to swallow my own medicine.
The grandson is still here and last night we had decided we would all make our own pizzas for dinner. While I was up taking my bath the cap'n prepped everything. He browned the hamburger and mushrooms, cut up all the vegetables….you think I would be grateful, wouldn't you. Instead when I came downstairs and saw that he had rolled out the dough, I blew a gasket. I wanted it round and he had rolled it out in something resembling a square and, of course, it was way too thin. Too summarize, I was a T-total bitch. Was it really the pizza dough that caused my metamorphosis? No, it was the fact that he was having a drink and I couldn't. I better learn to get over that.
So today I'm out there doing my best to practice what I preach and not be too preachy.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I am exhausted. In the last 24 hours I have fished and fished bobbers and hooks out of tackle eating bushes. I have hiked and spent precious moments attempting to skip stones across a previously placid pond. I have roasted marshmallows, hot dogs, pinecones, and any other unfortunate object that happened to be found. I have read 3 chapters of Fudgeamania and watched 5 episodes of Tom and Jerry. I have not had a drink! Believe me, by the third Tom and Jerry I could have used one. But I didn't. Yesterday is a day in which I have no regrets, no shame. My grandson got the grandma he deserves. I am very proud of myself. And I am as buoyant as a bobber (not the one that still adorns the branches of the tackle eating bush) I can have more of these days. Lots more. It's all up to me.
Sorry to cut this short but the fish are biting.
So today I'm out there doing best to stay out of the branches and not hook any regrets.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
In comparison, the baseball game wasn't that bad. There was his soccer game when I had to go to the bathroom and vomit. There was the time it was just him and his Grandma up here on the mountain and I was too hungover to get off the couch and I had him fix himself a bowl of ice cream for dinner. I am so ashamed to write this. Believe me, I really didn't want to write this. But I promised to be honest.
Of course, there are good times, too. But the bad ones are the ones I replay over and over and over. I don't want any more sequels. So today is a day for new beginnings. Actually every hour, every minute, every second, every breath is a chance at a new beginning. I'm taking mine right now. .
So today I'm out there doing my best to make wonderful memories and thanking God for fresh chances.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
A restful night's sleep.
An early morning walk up a mist shrouded mountain.
A hot cup of tea on my sunny deck while I watched the morning battle at the bird feeders.
These simple pleasures are my reward for not drinking for the last 3 days. Not monumental but still miraculous.
For once in life, here's your miracle,
Stand up and fight.