Sunday, October 30, 2016

fat squirrel

There are several big, fat (thanks to me) squirrels who hang around our yard, getting into mischief, tormenting the cat, eating top shelf bird food, and generally being nuisances. They are fun to watch, though. There is one in the tree right now, making eye contact with Woodrow. He is sitting on a branch of the apple tree, staring into the cat's eyes. Just like this.

I just mentioned to Regis that he has quite the pessimistic demeanor today. He told me that it didn't matter that PHC was getting good reviews because it is a dying market. When I looked disturbed, he comforted me by saying I will most likely be dead before that happens. Oh, boy.

It's easy to get sucked into the rabbit hole of anger and pessimism. It's why I avoid the colors my view of the world.

There's a robin sitting in my redbud tree. Now there's optimism.

fun run and disgust with politics

I love this event. Where else can you see a thousand people running down the street, most in costumes, many with either a dog or a baby carriage? It's a blast.

I took pictures and Facebook turned them into a video. Now I can't post the video here and I'm too lazy to get my phone and find the pictures again. Here's the link to the video.

I can't even begin to describe how tired and frightened I am of the current political scene. Aren't those assholes in the government supposed to work together? The Affordable Care Act...nobody wants to do anything constructive about it. They only want to blame the POTUS. What a horrible thing...wanting people to have health care. It's like communism. And those f***ing emails. Can we get past the emails? Can we put away the pitchforks and stop acting like loons?

The racism is truly painful to read about. Racism in a small school in North Dakota. Racism against Amish people.

I can't even write articulately about it. It's crazy and it's making me crazy.

I've worked really hard in the past months to avoid television ads. I don't read much about it on social media because it's easy to post a stupid meme that has nothing to do with the truth.

It's disgusting. I saw one photo of a rally where someone had a big poster of the woman running for POTUS with a target on her face. Regis saw a sign yesterday that said this woman should be in jail. Apparently some people think we live in a third world banana republic where they throw their opponents in jail after the election.

That's my rant.

Monday, October 24, 2016

my path, less traveled

I'm not sure how this will go. One of the things I am aiming for in my life is to merge my recovery life with my real life. This is an attempt to do that.

I have a blog on an online support site that I use. My posts there are recovery focused. My posts here tend to mention recovery from time to time (I sort of hate that word but that's another topic. I hate labels.) but most often are about something else.

I realized some time back that the more I thought about other people while I was writing here, the more difficult it became. It's what Natalie Goldberg calls the monkey mind. The critter that sits on your shoulder reading as you go and making judgments like this: That's not true. He might laugh at that. Don't say that. You could be pissing someone off. It makes it hard to write freely.

Hahaha! Like this.

I have been writing a blog post in my head the past few days. Couldn't gather my thoughts enough to get it down on paper but I think these two photos summarize it pretty well.
I have been walking a lot. Fall is my favorite season...and all the things that come with it. Cooler temps, dry breezes, no bugs, beautiful leaves, a fire on the patio in the evening.
I wrote a while back that I was starting to feel more connected but I couldn't describe why that was. It is definitely true and I am starting to realize the reasons. For the first two months of sobriety, I felt like an actor on a stage. I knew what to do and what to say but it didn't feel authentic. I felt like I had to think about every word. Now, things are coming more naturally. I am more relaxed and peaceful. It's a good feeling.
I felt a edgy for a while. Not afraid that I would start up drinking again, exactly, but like I wasn't sure this was real. Again, an actor on a stage.
I feel more comfortable now with my homegrown recovery plan and with where I am. I know it works for me and I'm not afraid to talk about it in my aftercare group. At first, I felt like I must be some kind of fraud or rebel and I was afraid to speak up when the leader said things like you can't have the same friends once you get sober that you had before. Oh, yes, sometimes you can. I feel comfortable admitting that I don't have a sponsor and that I have no plans to do the fearless moral inventory. I am confident. I am vigilant but I am not afraid.
We often have a small fire on the patio in the evening. I can stare into the flames and think about all that has happened in the last 100+ days. People puzzle me when they hear I quit drinking and they want to say they're sorry. Sorry I developed an addiction? Sorry I went to treatment? Sorry I struggled for so long? I'm not sorry. This all, painful as it was at the time, dangerous as it was, brought me tthis point and I am loving my life and looking forward to my future. Not everyone gets there.
So. That is the blog post copied directly from my other blog.

Heading off to the gym. Then going for a walk with Regis and Gus. I made chili yesterday so dinner is easy. We subscribed to Netflix and I have a page of notes so I know how to start it up and choose something to watch. If not that, I have two books to read. I'm launching into a pile of Ian Rankin books for the winter months. Nothing better than a heated mattress pad, a big cup of coffee, and a good mystery.

Friday, October 14, 2016

dragonfly kind of day

I went for a walk with Regis and Gus this morning, just as the sun was coming over the horizon. If it had been up to them, they would have gone 30 minutes earlier but then we might have missed this great cloud formation. A dragonfly in the sky. A symbol of transformation. Perfect.

I went to yoga this morning, then to coffee at River Rock. I feel like I have been to a really good church. Good friends sharing that namaste thing, then dark coffee and oatmeal cookies. Perfect.

It's been a fabulous fall, so far. I went to the fall festival at Gustavus with Tiffany and the little boys. The whole bunch of us went to the pumpkin patch last Sunday then came back here for soup and birthday cake to celebrate Zoey's 6th birthday. I love those family things.

I can't remember what came in this box, maybe the flame genie. We gave our chimnea away because it was too much work and we are basically lazy. The flame genie lights up using wood pellets and has a nice flame going in about five minutes. Nice. We love to sit on the patio in the evenings as the sun goes down.

One day this week, the day before it turned cold, I went up to the Arboretum and walked around the paths, taking pictures. I like the kind of photography where I just snap what I find appealing. I don't care about the damn exposure or the rule of thirds. I guess I really don't care about getting better. It's how I feel about my writing, too. I am not too interested in a critique. I just like to do it. That day, I was into patterns and shadows and chairs and close-ups of colorful things.

I'll take a few hours this afternoon to do some of the tasks of daily living. Like cleaning the cat box and doing dishes. Not my favorites. I'll make short bread cookies and chai at the end. In celebration of this day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

100 days of wicked recovery

We have had a minor shift in the weather since yesterday. I was sort of inclined yesterday to do some projects in the house. You know, like the dishes and maybe some laundry. But the weather was so beautiful and I just had a feeling we were coming to the end of it so I went to the Arboretum instead.

I sat on the swing for a while, walked the paths, took some pictures, and stared at the clouds. It was warm and peaceful and perfect.

This morning, Regis went for a walk at 6am. He said he heard the wind and rain slapping the window and decided that I would probably not want to venture out. He was right.

I am going to write this post and then go to the basement to forage for a winter coat, hat, and mittens. My exercise options this morning are to go swimming or to walk, inside or outside. I am choosing outside. What better way to blow some cobwebs out of the mind that a cold and windy walk.

Tomorrow will be the anniversary of 100 days since I last let liquor touch my lips. Well. except for the accidental taste at the Hooligan's concert. Tim said that doesn't count. So, happy 100 days to me.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

bad week for rodents we know

The other day I was tidying up on the patio. I found a garbage can filled with water and when I started to dump the water out, a fluffy tail floated to the top. Uh oh. I abandoned that task and reported to the dead rodent manager in our family. He investigated further and discovered a squirrel must have dropped in there and been unable to escape. I know squirrels are rodents, but it made me sad to think of the poor thing scrambling to get out of there.

This morning on our walk, we saw these beautiful cloud formations. I think they are called mare's tail clouds but none of the pictures I found on google were quite this nice. I love the frames around them.

As we passed one of the buildings on the edge of town, Gus got interested in a rat poison thing. We hollered to get him to leave it alone but he sure was curious. As we got closer, we saw a poor rodent (maybe a gopher but I don't want to start that controversy again) was stuck in it up to his shoulders. He had probably been eating the poison pellets so to liberate him would have done no good.  Damn. A very bad week for rodents we know.

We're having a very nice Sunday. Tom and Betty are coming for dinner. I made Cuban bread, we have ribs on the grill, and new red potatoes ready to roast in the oven. Happy October!

Saturday, October 01, 2016

early saturday morning october first

I'm drinking my favorite coffee, Wake the Dead.

Gus has been out and has been fed. Woodrow has been fed and has had his treats. He reminded me by politely knocking the container off the counter and then giving me the evil eye. You dare not forget or make him wait.

I spent Friday night watching a program on television about tiny houses, then one (several) about people buying vacation homes on the ocean. Both could make you crazy. If you want to be reminded of the great diversity in human beings, this is a good place to start. 

There was a young couple with three kids under the age of six, and one on the way. They were planning to take their entire family in a house of less than 300 square feet on the road to tour the country. Everything she said, he responded with, "That would be a lot of work." That would have been enough for me to commit an act of verbal violence. They finally settled on a moldy old school bus that had been made into a camper where they would have to shower while standing in a small galvanized tub. I don't see this ending well.

The other show illustrated the other end of the spectrum. These people could not possibly live with black appliances or granite counter tops. I told Regis we would be fairly boring contestants on this show. Yup, that's fine. Yup, that's fine. No tantrums over paint color or flooring. I guess this is why HGTV doesn't come knocking.

It's October 1st. I thought it would take me the month of August to get my feet on the ground after my unfortunate incarceration. (I don't view it that way but the phrase tickles me greatly.) Turns out, it has taken me the month of September, too. I know people who have gone back to full-time work. One of my friends is leaving for Thailand next week to tutor monks and refugees, I am trying to get my dishes done every day and not take a three hour nap. Another case where I just have to lower my standards.

I have accomplished a few things but not much that shows. I have yard work to do, house projects to do, things to organize and sort and delete. Sigh. Maybe a tiny house wouldn't be such a bad idea.

It must be hunting season for some poor critters. I am awakened every morning to the sound of gun shots. A friend of ours, Marie, said to duck when we are on a walk. You never know when one of us could be mistaken for a goose. 

Bill Murray was asked what it's like to be him. I love his answer.