Friday, December 31, 2010

Zero degrees outdoors, 100 degrees in my heart

We have received our first blast of winter. The bitter wind rolled in yesterday, we have received only a bit of snow though maybe 3". Generally it seems we get our worst winter weather after the first of the year, Jan, Feb and March tend to be nasty. We have been lucky and anytime I have heard someone complain I remind them how worse it has been in West Virginia, Minnesota and Michigan. As bloggers we live beyond our own front doors. This afternoon I will venture out, put gas in the vehicle for weight as much as need, visit with mom and shovel her walks, get movies and a tad bit of groceries and head home. I have a ham bone, ham pieces left over, they are going in the crock pot with beans, so a nice pot of ham and beans is my New Years Eve supper.

Christmas was nice and small. Mom expected my cousins to show up but they all had things going on with their families, so it was just a couple of aunts, an uncle, my sister and her husband. Mich, Matt and the babies showed up in the afternoon. Later they came over here and we watched a movie. I kept Angel over night and we had a great time together. I really miss her smiling face, active mind and good nature. She played with some of Grandpa's decorations, ones she couldn't break easily, I have some miniature trinkets from around the world and she was having fun with them, I also have a few cool rocks sitting around which she loves to play with. Her main food consisted of baby dill pickles and black olives, using a tooth pick for a fork, figured it wouldn't hurt her to much for 1 day. I was really sad when I got home from dropping her off. Her presents was strong in the house and I miss having her presents consistently around the house. Anyone who has a loved one not close at hand knows what I mean. Not something to dwell in just a part of our lives we aren't able to connect with as often as we would like. It makes me get out of self and focus on being in the present for her, same goes for being with Mich and Carter.

So 365 days have come and gone, 2010 leaves and 2011 begins. 2010 has been a year of highs and a few lows for me, as you all well know. I don't know or care to know what 2011 has in store. I have few things on the horizon, taking my mom to Idaho to see my favorite aunt in April and of course doing some camping, going to Soberfloat but all this could change in the blink of an eye. 2010 was a teaching year, it taught me big time about impermanence. About accepting the things I can't change and doing the footwork to change the things I can. I learned to walk hand in hand with suffering, to find peace and serenity in crappy situations. I grasped non-self a bit more clearly and embraced selflessness a bit more strongly. The law of Karma worked in my life without me work towards it or against it. I have been "busy being born" because I have kept my mouth shut enough to hear the awareness and use it for good, sometime this has come after using it wrongly and correcting my actions and thoughts. There is plenty of room for more growth, this is the beauty of being fully alive in the world.

I am 1 misdirected thought away from destroying everything I just talked about. One misdirected thought and I am standing in front of a cashier with a six pack of tall boy Bud Light. One misdirected thought and I am lashing out in anger and someone who doesn't deserve to be emotionally abused. One misdirected thought and I set the stage for being an enemy to others. One misdirected thought and my mother no longer has a reliable person to assist her. The list can go on and on. Recovery is about being spiritually and emotionally aware of the destructive nature within my thoughts. My old nature is alive and well within me, just as my alcoholism is. I do my best to keep the daily reprieve in my life, to know the only thing between me and the first drink is a power greater than I. I may back slide into being a selfish prick on occasion but so far not far enough back to pick up again.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Has anyone else experience the inability to sleep in as they grow older? It use to be on a day off I could sleep 10 hours easily but now no matter how tired I am I still wake up close to the same time I do on work days, might get in an extra hour but nothing more, which means I am still up by 8:30am. Not really complaining, just at times it would be nice to sleep in like days of old, since I have no real reason to be up early. I remember thinking how people were nuts for getting up at the usual time on their days off, now I know it isn't a choice, by body clock has changed and I am getting older and doing things older people do. This is really evident when I am camping with my younger friends, they sleep in and I am up at the crack of dawn, part of this comes from being old enough to enjoy and celebrate the peace and quiet of the new day, where as they wake up chatting away. Just saying.

Today will be filled with baking cupcakes, have this easy recipe for pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon chips. I also bought the fixings for peanut clusters and will make them. I will take advantage of the day and clean the house. I have a few presents left to wrap as well. All this will be done to the sound of Christmas music, the Indigo Girls have a wonderful Christmas album, plus my old standby's TransSiberian Orchestra and Jethro Tull Christmas album.

My mom asked my yesterday if I was alright spending Christmas Eve on my own. I told her , it was no biggie since I have done it a lot over the years. She then tearfully said she wasn't, since the kids and dad are all gone she finds Christmas Eve very hard. We decided to have supper together tonight and then I will drive her around town to look at Christmas lights/decorations. It is the least I can do her help her through a tough time. She is 81 years old and may not have many years left. I thought she was worried about my sanity due to the break up and kids being away from home, you know it is all about me. I never thought she would be sad being alone on Christmas Eve. To me it is just another day but to her it still has special meaning, so I will honor it for her.

Tomorrow mom is having Christmas dinner and the gathering at her house. She said this would be the last time, since she fears not being able to handle it in the future. My mom and sister are doing the turkey and I am doing a ham plus the honorable green bean casserole. My aunts and cousins will all being food, so there will be plenty to eat. I will help set things up this afternoon and again tomorrow. My plan for tomorrow is to get up, put the ham in the oven, then drive out to visit with my dad and give him his Christmas coffee, the cemetery is only 15 miles from here. Mich and the kids should be down about 2pm, they are spending the morning with her boyfriends family. We will open presents in the afternoon.

My gratitude goes out to being sober and awake. If not for these factors I wouldn't be "present" to do these things. My Dickensian Christmas Past is filled with being foggy headed, holding off until mid afternoon to start drinking, waiting for the cold elixir to calm my nerves and clear my head, to bring a false sense of merriment to the day. Like Scrooge, I woke up from a Hell filled dream to understand the true meaning of Christmas.

My thoughts and prayers of positive energy go out to those struggling this Christmas, which includes my blogger friends. A friend of mine in Kearney is spending the last Christmas with her terminal ill son, his days in this life are numbered. She has wrapped herself with the love of God and Fellowship and is doing the best she can to be strong for him. Two of the families we work with have experienced tragedy in the last few days. One was the death of a surrogate grand daughter from child abuse. If there is a God and Jesus I hope this 3 year baby is bring cradled in their loving arms, along with all the other babies who have suffered at the hands of sick adults. The other death hits closer to home. The husband/father of a family we work with died from alcoholism, mom was on the road of recovery but dad was caught in his addiction. He choked on his own vomit in his sleep. I have been praying mom has a strong enough connection with the fellowship and other supports to make it through this horrible time in her life and those of her young children, from what we know she is staying with her mother and given free counseling. Next week the Partner who has been working with her will non forcefully see what additional supports we can offer.

I know Jesus is the reason for the season but I feel the Buddha would appreciate it too. Any time or occasion when people go out of their way to show an extra bit of love and compassion would be approved by him. I may not pray to Jesus but I honor his true message of peace, love and compassion. His message of treating all equally, riding ourselves of intolerance and prejudice. My favorite story is of the Good Samaritan, it was one of his most powerful messages for our world today.

Well my friends, I hope everyone has a peaceful and loving Christmas, one celebrated in your heart of hearts. For those who might of missed in the previous post it has pictures of our new office.

My the God of your understanding Bless each and every one of us!!!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

I am Single Again

Started to write this last night but my computer is infected by a virus McAfee can't remove, it is some kind of Security virus, these warnings keep popping up, telling me to start my anti-virus and it isn't from McAfee. I will just have to take the laptop in tomorrow. I am writing this from work, thank God for backups.

Lady B broke up with my yesterday. I have had a gut feeling all week and even last weekend something was up. During the week none of our conversations end with her saying "I love you". I was hoping she just wanted a break for awhile, thought she was having some seasonal depression. Her reason was she just doesn't think it will work out, we have too many differences, she said I am not ready to be a dad and she isn't ready to be a grandma. I never wanted to be a dad to her boys, they have their own dads, just wanted to be on friendly bases with them, especially the youngest since his dad isn't a very good dad, tried to a role model for him. As for her being a grandma, I never her asked to be, think maybe this is just something that bothered her with the age difference. She started trying to explain herself then stopped and said she didn't have, which I agreed with. Basically we are moving in different directions.

On the way home and of course last night, I thought a lot about all of this. From my view what I see happened was, I was able to accept her for our differences but she wasn't able to accept mine. I suppose I didn't mind the difference because it was nice being in a relationship, we also didn't live together so our difference didn't get in the way of daily life. Another thing was the miles between us and neither one of us willing to move to the others town any time in the future. She is very close to her family in Kearney. I have my job here and plan on staying with it because my heart is in it. Also my mom is here and I put myself in the role of taking care of her needs, it was too hard living in Lincoln and trying to do this.

So now for the differences. I have over 500 CD's, she only has one, she listens to contemporary pop, hip hop and I don't, I don't really like most of it and will call certain stuff crap, yeah my arrogant intellectual pride showing its self. I have a book case plus filled with books, she owns 4 books, 2 Big Books, a Daily Reflections and an Al-Anon daily mediation book. I know stuff about movies, directors, actors and like some of the off in left field drama's whick leave you thinking. She enjoys watching these with me, but doesn't know actors by name for the most part and doesn't think past what was just watched. There is also the spiritual difference, she can't grasp my spirituality which in turns leads to her not understanding how I have become more dependent on spiritual practices than AA meetings. There are difference in work philosophy, I love of helping others and not the money, she feels I am way under paid. She isn't materialistic but maybe my nonchalant attitude about money bothers her. I recently did one of those "about me" things on Facebook, when I was doing it I realized a lot of what I was putting down where things she didn't understand or know about, nor did she want to.

I have worked hard at being humble with her and her kids. I never tried to force my interest on them or understanding them. I must admit I have made some comments about kids now days being so dependent on video games they have forgotten how to read. And I have made comments about the violent nature of video games and her youngest being mean spirited at times. So yes I have made snide comments about their interest, my bad.

During warm weather we spent a lot of time outdoors. Now with winter we are inside, being inside probably made her start to think about the difference. I don't know and it isn't for me to know. I do know at times it got quiet or if I started talking about certain things she didn't have any feedback.

Rationally with these amount of differences I probably should have known it wouldn't work out in the long run. I took this journey because we are attracted to each other, because we enjoyed being in each others company. I don't feel the attraction went away, just other things stepped in. I do feel that people with opposite interest can have a relationship. Reality check here, we can have a relationship based on seeing each other on weekends but when the time came to move in together would it work? Could I have my space for books and music, for writing, for spiritual time alone? Could I handle the daily noise of having a bipolar kid, with the ups and downs? Maybe, maybe not.

During this relationship I put my spiritual practices where my month is, most of the time. When I was upset, I checked what my selfish nature was up to, I accepted the things I could not change and changed what I could, mainly my thinking my ways were best. I worked on being compassionate and understanding. When I didn't get my emotional needs met, I accepted she didn't see the need the way I did and I couldn't control her feelings or actions. I was hurt when she didn't help with bouts of grief over my dad, she hasn't lost anyone, so she doesn't understand how at certain times the grief comes rushing back and it is nice to have someone sooth the sadness with kind words or a simple hug. I didn't bow down to her, I didn't go over board on people pleasing with her, I saw and see her as an equal. Maybe I compromised some of me because of having live without someone for so long but I was alright with those compromises.

Last night I was very sad and still am a little bit. There will be a grieving cycle just like any other time we lose something special in our lives. I am thankful for the growth I was allowed to experience in this relationship. I was able to work through feelings of fear, fear of rejection. I was able to work on my self esteem, to know someone can love me, that I am not always just a male good friend. I was able to really look closely at the desires which bring on suffering and not just sexual, sex was a part of what we had but not a major part. I was able to further pin point what I need in a partnership. Granted we had our differences but we also had a lot in common, like working hard, being pragmatic about religion, politics, society in general. She is open to trying new things and so am I, with the exception of jumping out planes or off bridges. We both love the outdoors. She didn't wear a lot of make up nor was her hair done in the newest fashion, I like women who have a natural beauty and she does. I am grateful for the season we spent together, she will also be a part of me and have a place in my heart.

All along I have told myself, if the relationship ends all will be alright. Nothing is permanent, we can't control others and it isn't always about me. I am moving on, this is a new day, a new moment in time. I am sure I will find another lady to have in my life down the road, cause I see the friendly smiles of women all the time. Lady B and I hooked up when I finally stopped craving a relationship so bad. I am not in a hurry to find a bed mate, even though last night I did go there for a few minutes but knew it was a sick notion.

The bright side of all this and this is not a put down on Lady B. I can start putting more time into the local AA meetings. I have been mostly absent from them, due to work, being home at night for our nightly conversation, she goes to bed early so if I attended an 8:00pm meeting she would be in bed when I get home, she didn't stop me from meetings, I stopped me. I can also spend my weekends at home, so even if evening meetings don't pan out I can catch weekend meetings like I was doing in Kearney, time to move on, leave Kearney AA in Kearney and find my fellowship here in my home town. I can also spend more time working around mom's, still a lot to be done, I was doing good when the sun was out until 8:00pm or later but now all I have is weekends. Since I can't stay at Mich's house on weekends, I will just have to give her gas money so she and the kids can come spend the night with me once in awhile, I will also have to just start making day trips on weekends to see them every once in awhile. I will only go to Kearney to see the kids when I can, if something else needs done I will take care of it. I bought the Ford Explorer, so now with not spending money on going out to eat every weekend, I will be alright with the added expense of the vehicle and not have to pinch my pennies so close. Honestly we split a lot of the eating out cost, but being one who likes to cook, I always ended up buying food, my choice not something which was expected. I got through this without drinking or drugging, I felt the pain and know it is only human, I understood the pain will pass and there was no need to kill it with beer, wine, gin or drugs. Alcohol would only destroy all the other wonderful things in my life, there are too many to list but regular readers know them.

Thanks for letting me share this with all of you. Writing always helps me see things, mediation wasn't in the plan, this has provided the calm which will allow for mediation later. I need to go get a few cleaning supplies, yup going to clean the house. I also have to go tell mom what has happened. She will be upset but she is a praying woman, she believes God answered her prayers once and will again.

Until next time campers.

Peace Love and Light

Saturday, November 27, 2010

4 years on, well almost.

The house is quiet, Lady B had to work and took the youngest with her. Later we are picking up the oldest then going to a hotel for the night. Her roommate is having her family Thanksgiving here, it is a whole dramatic event, so the best thing to do is get the hell out of Dodge. Mich and the kids plus some other friends will come over to the hotel and take advantage of the pool and hot tub. We will probably go see a movie tomorrow, my choice is Harry Potter but I am out voted on this one, have to go see it on my own.

I think I am safe in safe in saying Monday I will have 4 years sobriety. November 29th 2006 I walked into a treatment center. Mentally I wasn't ready to quit drinking, just needed to get the heat off and get my ass out of a lot of trouble. Sanity returned within a couple of days and I was willing to do the footwork again to pursue a sober life. My life was filled with unhappiness, hopelessness and unease at this time, within a short few days hope and a glance of serenity started filling up my heart and head. I reconnected with the joy I had once had before when I was on a spiritual path void of alcohol and drugs. Call it what you will, miracle or good karma but I survived a 10 year relapse and found recovery once again.

I have weathered many changes in these 4 years. The first was my daughter being removed from my home and going to live in a group home for troubled girls. Next was her being pregnant at the age of 16. I am grateful to say the birth of Angel turned her life around considerably, though she still makes big mistakes but most 19 year old's do. I have learned not to enable her too much, to be there for her as best I can. She once hated me and today she says I love you when get done talking. I am a part of her life and the life of my grandchildren.

A spiritual path was opened to me about 9 months into recovery. The path of the Dharma has been a wonderful learning adventure, it has brought me inter peace and mindfulness I never had before. I never built a spiritual foundation during the previous 9 years of sobriety, probably why I drank again. My spirituality is like a lot of peoples some days strong, some days weak. Today I have a sense of awareness about my inter suffering, which is a pain in the ass sometimes because I really don't want to take spiritual actions, I want to be a baby and wallow in my pity or anger. I work a lot on knowing life isn't about me and my needs, if my partner is upset it doesn't always mean it is something I have done, same goes for other important people in my life.

I have written a lot about my dads death and will only say it has been a big opportunity for growth and self awareness.

I have learned and am learning about close relationships. I tried to force someone into loving me, chewed up a lot of money but it was money well spent because I learned you can't do it. My relationship with Lady B is good. I have learned I have no control over her feelings and like I said if she is upset it isn't always about me. I have learned to not be such a people pleaser with her, I don't need to do things just to try and force her to be happy. In my previous marriage what came out of my 4th step was I was a big people pleaser and enabler, doing this would send my serenity out of balance. For the most part Lady B is too independent to allow this to happen, her pride is equal to mine in this area. I am learning healthy relationships aren't always lovey dovey, we have periods of quiet time. I crave to know everything is alright when the quiet sets in, I want my fear of rejection to be removed, my crazy mind whats to run in case hurt is forth coming. All of this is just screwed up perceptions, false fear, and my old friend low self esteem messing with me. I am learning I really need to make it clear when I am joking, this was evident yesterday, especially when Aunt Flow comes to visit. My joking is has a dark or cynical side to it, when she isn't mentally in good spirits she takes it personally, this is my bad because I sounded critical when I wasn't. I honestly think it is a good thing there are 90 miles between us. If we had jumped into this by moving in together, I doubt neither one of us would be taking the time to think things out. Even though we talk daily we haven't felt the need to put on false faces to keep the house from being in turmoil if one of us is having a down day. I am sure she is learning about herself as well.

I have changed careers in this 4 years also, another thing I have written plenty about. Changing careers has been an exercise in footwork, mental and spiritual. I have had to chance my way of thinking and doing things. I have learned more about acceptance and living in the moment. I have learned to use my voice, to stand up for myself when need be, to check my motives before I speak. The people I have and do work with are so much different then those who work in manufacturing, I have had to learn how to take a different approach to handling situations. Smile moment; we will intuitively know how to handle situations which use to baffle us! I don't take for granted my insights nor my other gifts, what I have is blessing. What I have has been there all along, it was hidden from view for the most part and needed a spiritual kick in the butt to come out. It needed a spiritual path to be use properly, for me to see my strengths and weakness and work on both accordingly.

I have started taking care of my mother, it started with both of my parents because of dads dementia. I have no ill feelings over this. I am grateful I am able to do this. I chalk this one up to Karma, paying back for when they took care of me and living life correctly. Oh sometimes I get up set with my sisters, my brother has never been attentive or said he wanted to be towards my parents needs so I accept him, my sisters have both said they would help out and not followed through. I accept they have their own lives, they do what they do and it is not my job to judge them.

I humbly owe I all am today to my Higher Power which I choose to call the Dharma and the fellowship of AA. I have my disagreements with AA and some of the people at meetings. Over all when AA's message, the steps, the traditions and service work are kept simple the way Dr. Bob intended it to be, AA is the best way for people like me to get and stay sober. People who needed to know it was alright to believe in a God of our own understanding, people who need to be around other ex-drunks to remember they were once hopeless drunks and can return to living in Hell with one sip. I feel the message of selfishness being the root of all our troubles, seeming to get side tracked by a lot of mumble jumble; too much prayer without footwork and sometimes making AA an Idol to be worshipped. I am grateful for those who see this also, stay around and make damn sure the message is carried on as intended. If AA didn't exist I like others would either be dead, in prison or a mental institution. I am grateful for the fellowship of friends in recovery, those I know in person and online. I am grateful for camp outs and bonfires with fellow travelers on the road to happy destiny!

I am grateful for this blog, it has been my journal and a healthy outlet. It has also been a way for me to stay productive when I had too much idol time on my hands. I am grateful for the fellow bloggers I have met along the way. Some are gone and I miss them and hope they are well. To those who are still here, thanks for being my friend. We may never meet in person, but you have touched my life, you are a part of the journey.

Well campers, I need to get something in my stomach, then off to a noon meeting.

Peace Love and Light!!!!!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Yesterday and Today

Hey wasn't that the name of a Beatles album:-)

Yesterday was good, Lady B, her mom and I made some of the food. We were given the task of making sweet potato casserole, irony is none of us like sweet potatoes, so we laughed as fumbled our we through making them but those who ate them said it was good. Mich's boyfriend/Carter's dad show up to my surprise, I don't hate the kid nor is he not invited to spend time with us, just don't like that he is a lazy pot smoker who spends too much time playing Magic cards and not enough do things around the house. Carter was in a really good mood, he was laughing, smiling and talking up a storm. Angel was her usual busy body self.

I knew the uneasiness would lift once I got to town and around Lady B. Her mom is really nice and we get along well, same goes for her sister.

I stopped at the cemetery on the way to Kearney, poured some coffee on my dad's grave, mediated for a few minutes and smiled. My dad was like me in he liked his coffee. I also poured some coffee on the grave on of one of the best characters I ever met in AA. George was something else, he chained smoked, drank a lot of coffee, teased the women in a harmless way and grunted when he talked. He died while I was back out drinking, feel bad I didn't to tell him how much he meant to me. His grave is a short walk away from dad's, when I visit dad I also pour some coffee on his grave and if the wind isn't blowing leave a cigarette in memory, he was friend of my dad's too so it is cool their stones are close together. George didn't have any family AA was his family, his sobriety date is on his stone, kind of cool.

Today I woke up hacking bad with drainage again, not sure if it was caused by the dry air in Lady B's bedroom or the junk just flaring up again. But after a couple cups of coffee and a few cigarettes, yeah I know shouldn't smoke but the chemicals in the cigarettes help at least that is my rationality, I was better. I did the Black Friday thing. Went and bought some fuzzy sleeper socks for $.99 for the ladies who work for me, figured I could give them the socks with candy attached, not much just a way to show them I appreciate the work they do. Lady B had to work but she had me buy some jeans that were on sale for her youngest. I bought her youngest a sleeping bag and battery operated lantern. I didn't find anything for Angel or Carter but got some ideas. I am going to get Lady B a garnet necklace, not sure if I will buy locally or see what I can find on line. Mich is going to get her rent paid up plus maybe a little something, need to find out how much back rent she owes first. I didn't go shopping early, 9am so the stores weren't too bad.

I took Lady B's youngest out to lunch then to buy groceries. He wanted spaghetti taco's for supper, so that is what I am making him, made lasagna for Lady B and I. Since Lady B works retail figure she would be having a very long day, so making supper and doing laundry is a simple way of saying I love you.

All in all it has been a good day, relaxing even with all I did.

Have a sweet one campers!!!

Peace Love and Light

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Illness and Confusion

I hate it when I get a head cold/sinus infection. My head gets all cloudy, buzzy and for some reason depression and confusion set in. Started out Tuesday morning, woke up with nasty drainage, headache and head pressure. Tried taking over the counter medicine again but that crap makes me even more fuzzy headed, I have zero tolerance for mind altering substances. Yesterday the drainage had let up, it just stayed put causing minor congestion plus confusion. The worst thing of all was the depression it brought on, like a freaking freight train. We got off work at 2 and by 2:30 I was home in bed trying to sleep it off which somewhat worked, I tried doing some housework but it only helped a bit, was still tired/foggy and laid down once more.

A large part of my mind was telling me the depression was due to Thanksgiving and fears associated with the holiday and holiday season at hand. I admit there is some truth to this, I don't like family gatherings. I identified the dislike as a feeling of being caged in, summer gatherings are fine, I can move around outdoors, breath the air, focus on nature. My past experiences with holiday gatherings are one of always feeling like an outsider when sitting with the other men or women. I lack key interest in conversations; don't like sports, don't know much about engine or transmission specifics, don't know much about detailed mechanics or building stuff, don't kill things,I am a Liberal. My old friend great expectations kicked me squarely gonads, I place expectations on myself that I need to be like them, that they are looking down on me, all of which is utter bullshit. My inter fight is to understand and accept all of this. The past has no hold on the Reality of the present, the past is the past just as impermanent as everything else, if I cling to the past I cling a non-reality based notion. This is a case of minor PTSD for me. I can't blame my dislike of gathering on a dislike of crowds, I am perfectly fine at AA events and accept my limits on what I can and cannot converse about maybe because at recovery functions where there is always an underlying sense of commonality and unity, there is no ego telling me I need to prove I am worthy. Hell of it is, I am not even spending Thanksgiving with my family, dad is dead the one person I was comfortable talking with, my mom is going to my cousins house with my aunts people I have zero in common with, 2 of my siblings live out of state and the other is going to her step sons house up north. I am going to Lady B's family gathering, I get along with all of them and am accepted, it just all comes back to old fears and the pressure of having to try and fit in. The gathering starts later today, Mich and the grand babies will be there. So once again I will visit with people who could care less that Elton John and Leon Russell just released a brilliant collaboration album, Eat Pray Love is a must see movie one to be viewed over and over to catch all the wisdom laid out, Tom Delay was convicted and hopefully will spend time in prison and not mention any of this. I will listen to talk about football and NASCAR and other things I find boring. I will accept it isn't about me, it is about others. I will find my pleasure in being with people who care about me because I am who I am and I care about them.

I woke up this morning feeling clear headed as evident by my writing this post. I know much of what was messing with my head yesterday was just the illness screwing with me. I did my best to focus on just allowing the anxiety/depression to just be what it was, to stop fighting it which has helped with my acceptance this morning. I also focused on the Buddha and cause of suffering. The Buddha wasn't a God but yesterday I used him as a Higher Power, a way to refocus and bring reality back. The craving which was causing the suffering was a craving to feel the perceived sense of magical family, the one which is pounded into our heads during the holiday season. I believe I put too much stake in this sense, my sense of family isn't very strong and never has been. I love my family, even the extended family who I rarely interact with, I would drop what I am doing to assist them in an reasonable way I could if asked, even my Fundamentalist sister who sees my spiritual belief's as a gateway to Hell. I reflected back to the time when I was in meetings, feeling insecure because my concept of a God didn't fit with the Christian concept people where so profoundly testifying about. I have to not compare my insides with others outsides, dangerous place to go. My feelings about God and sense of family just are what they are, nothing is permanent, maybe one day the joyous sense of family others have will come to me but for now I don't feel it and it is alright to feel this way.

Another hiccup I have with Thanksgiving is the hatred of gluttony. I have a very ugly selfish side which wants to blast people for gloating about all the damn food, constantly talking about how much they are going to eat, making sure they are stuffed. I personally find this spiritually wrong on many levels but I would be wrong to use my anger in a selfish attempt to ruin their enjoyment.

On a different note. Shadow the reason for a young peoples AA meeting, is that in rural Nebraska, young people haven't built a peer group. They don't stick around long enough to meet others like themselves. In Lincoln and Omaha due to larger populations young people find meetings they congregate around, then go and do things together afterwards or before, plus create their own events. Our hope is to take the model of the bigger cities and use it here. Even if 2 kids connect and go to other meetings together for peer support it will be worth it. Just as I cling to the preconceived notion this Thanksgiving isn't going to be wonderful because my past experiences weren't wonderful, so do young people cling to the notion they can't relate to older alcoholics and addicts. It is all a crap shoot but one worth rolling the dice on.

Well campers I need to take a hot bath, let the stream wrap itself around me. I will stick around the house until noonish then load up and head to Kearney. I hope all of you have a great day and weekend whether you are with family or not. I am smiling at stubbing my spiritual toe, the pain is residing and it is time to move forward.

Peace Love and Light until next time

Saturday, November 13, 2010

First Taste of Winter

We are getting our first taste of winter and it isn't too bad. Been cold and rainy last few days, thought I would wake up to ice yesterday but we were smiled on and the over night temps weren't too low. Last year at this time we had snow on the ground and lots of it. My chariot is now a Honda Prelude, so I hope we don't have a ton of snow, not sure the car sits high enough to get around the streets. Not really worried, what will be will be, just have to figure it out when it happens.

Worst thing with winter is adjusting to the lack of light and the chill in the air. The lack of light brings on slight seasonal depression for me. I am such an outdoor person I have to mentally prepare myself for staying inside and laugh if you must but to wearing shoes again. I don't get bad depression just get low for a few weeks. I am fortunate in that I understand what is happening, can work with it or at least tell others what is going on.

Working with mental illness is a big part of my job. My understanding of mental illness increases daily it seems. This understanding is helpful in my personal life as well as professional. I have more patience and empathy than I did before. Lady B's youngest, who lives with her, is Bi-Polar, my understanding allows me to know what is illness in action and not get angry so easily. Mich is also having bouts of depression not to mention bouts of ugly co-dependency. There are a lot of people we associate with or who are in our lives, that have mental illness. I have always been empathetic with people with mental illness but now I understand a great deal more about how it effects them, how they can cope with it and live fairly normal lives given the right treatment.

Getting fired from the treatment center sucked. The door that was closed by the firing opened a door to a wonderful new career. My levels of living experience, my insights from them and my drive to find resources for myself and the organization, is something I can put to use at this job, something I wasn't allow to do at the treatment center because I wasn't college educated. I am not blowing my horn here, by Divine Providence, Karmic law or whatever, I have been given a gift. Some of the gift comes from practicing Mindfulness daily. With mindfulness I stay calm, I don't over react, much, I can See what needs to be done, or listen to others and see their words. We alcoholics and addicts have so much to offer the world once we get sober. Sad truth is many who suffer with alcoholism and addiction never make it to the place of seeing what their full potential is.

The reunion was alright, Lady B was bored but a trooper. We didn't stay very long, it was mostly standing around and talking, I didn't want Lady B to feel left out so I talked to most of my old friends then we headed back to the hotel. We had a good weekend together which was the main thing.

I am at Lady B's right now, we just finished breakfast. Later I will see Mich and the kids. Not sure if Angel will spend the night or not. One of the things Lady B had to point out to me was I was assuming it was alright for Angel to come and spend the night every time I was in town. She pointed out it would be nice if I asked first because sometimes she is too tired from a long week at work to have another active kiddo under foot. Mich was also taking advantage of us always watching Angel too. Mich has to learn when you are a parent part of the gig is you have your kids 24/7 and the fun nights out just don't happen as much as you want them to.

Have a great weekend ALL.

Peace Love and Light

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Reunion Weekend

It is 10am and Lady B is still sleeping like a rock, no kids this weekend, hers or Angel. She has had a stressful few days and really needs the sleep, as for me, well something about growing old has stopped me from sleeping in the way I use to. There was a time when I could sleep in until 10 or later but anymore I am usually up by 8:30 even if I didn't get to sleep until after midnight, kind sucks but that's the way it is.

Later on we are taking the 5 1/2 hour drive up to Sioux City Iowa. My old Air Guard branch is holding a reunion. It has been 9 years since I have been up there. 9 years ago I was fully into my Alcoholism. In those years I never made the drive without beer in the car and between my legs, I drank on the way up, I would start drink on Saturday as soon as drill was over, usually 3pm. My deployments with the unit were one big drinking vacation as well. None of my friends know what a sober Scott is like and to be honest it will be a challenge for me interacting with them sober, not sure how much we have in common with being sober and them drinking. Not many of my old friends are heavy drinkers, for most it is just part of the escapism that comes with being a Weekend Warrior.

We have a hotel room for the night, if it starts getting too crazy we will head on back to it. I know both of us could use some hot tub therapy. There has been a lot of drama at work, so the hot tub will be a good way to message the drama away.

I am glad I have Lady B to go with me. I am sure I could have handled this without her and without drinking but it is nice to have another in recovery there. I am spiritually fit but like I mentioned the guard was a big drinking event in the past. I want to be there because the unit and the people in it are a big part of my past, one I enjoyed to the fullest, even without being drunk. When we worked together we were like a well oiled machine, there was great camaraderie. It will be nice to hear what has happened in my friends lives.

Well the bear has awaken and is in the process of transforming into a lamb, I made a second pot of coffee to assist since I drank the first one. Really she isn't that bad just takes a few minutes, cigarette and coffee for her to get fully awake and clear headed.

Have a great weekend my friends
Peace Love and Light

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More on What's Happening

This is Sioux lookout, located about 10 miles south east of North Platte Nebraska, my present home, the water in the foreground is an irrigation channel that goes for at least 150 miles. This is the highest peek for many miles, the Lakota Sioux and probably the Araphoe used this peek to watch the migration of settlers along the Oregon Trail, plus watch US Army movements. When I was a teenager you could still climb to the top, you can't anymore probably do to people trashing the pasture land and messing with cattle, not sure but there is a big No Trespassing sign on the fence now.

We did a few camp outs this summer, not as many as last summer because Lady B works on some Saturdays. Spent Memorial Day weekend at our little hide way in the canyons. Lady B and her oldest son went with myself and a few others tubing down the Niobrara on the 2nd annual Soberfloat, they both had a blast and Lady B was thinking about the next summers float when we left, whether to tube or canoe, plus different lodging. We borrowed her dad's RV and the cost of gas was more than a cabin rental. I have hopes of buying good used pop up camper and Suburban for camping season next year. Lady B and her youngest aren't tent dwellers. Lastly we rented a cabin at a really lovely state park outside of Omaha in late August, we used this as base camp for going into Omaha for the air show at Offut Air Base. This was my birthday present for her youngest son. Made brownie points on this venture and now it is going to be an annual event for youngest birthday according to him. Neither Lady B or youngest had been around fighter jets before and the Thunderbirds were the main attraction, total rush for them, did my old Air Force heart some good also.

My relationship is good. Some days I worry when the conversations a bit bland or overly quiet, wander if I am doing something wrong. I just remind myself, it isn't always about me and also I can't take her hostage nor she me. Healthy relationships are just like this, not every weekend is chipper, we humans just don't function like that 100% of the time. We see things from different lights, so what may be of major importance to me may not be to her and this goes the same with her. I don't always give her the feedback she expects the same as I don't get the feedback I expect. We both take the relationship a day at a time, no future plans of moving in together, one both of us have ties to the towns we live in so moving either direction is out of the picture for now. We accept each other for who we are, blemishes and all, don't try and change the other. She is very independent in a lot of ways and I like this. I have been around way too many Co-Dependent people and it bothers me. We found out her youngest is Bi-Polar, he is 9, this has been a challenge but now know why he behaves the way he does makes it easier to deal with him, he was also placed on a med the equals things out for the most part, so the highs and lows aren't so drastic.

Michelle's relationship with Carter's father is a roller coaster. She has some Co-Dependency issues going on. There is a lot of verbal abuse, sure both parties are to blame, he is a control freak also. I try and stay out of their lives unless I see it is effecting the babies. She is like a lot of young women and men too, when she is ready and willing she will do something about the conditions of her life but not until the pain is enough to finally say enough is enough. Every time they break up I hope it is for good and she finds a strong and stable relationship, with a good hard working and fairly sane man. I recently learned they are both drinking and partying which is out of my hands, once again just have to keep my ears and eyes open.

I am extremely grateful to be sober and that I have a spiritual path to walk on, without it none of what I have written would have taken place I still use the Dharma as my guide, it fits my soul like a old pair of sandals. I stay in contact with old AA friends and go to meetings in Kearney most of the time when I spend the weekend at Lady B's house. Still haven't connect with a group here. My lame excuse is been busy at work or at moms, truth be told when I get done in the evenings I am exhausted, still lame excuse but I have serenity and awareness of my disease, recovery plays a great deal in the work I do, I carry the message in a very subtle way.

Well my spiritual kin, I hope this has satisfied your curiosity for now.

Peace Love and Light

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Boo I am BACK

Photo's were taken in June and July; my mom, Angel, Carter and me; Lady B and me, cattle in south central Nebraska.

O.k. Campers am back. I haven't had my own internet service up until yesterday. I have gone on line at work but only for basic stuff, work related resources and brief ventures onto FB. I have been busy enough this summer to not need internet at home. With the days getting shorter keeping me inside more I how have the time to blog again, plus need something more creative than watching rented movies to do in the evenings. I am keeping this post short since I am at Lady B's house watching Angel and just hanging out. Below is the website address to where I work, I am the Program Manager and will explain more about that later. I will say that I am still sober, didn't relapse, I am still able to walk on the middle road of interpeace and serenity 95% of the time, my relationship with Lady B and her family is solid, loving and a big part of my life. Angel and Carter are both doing well. Angel has entered the terrible 2's, she has an attitude plus, Karma for her mom cause Angel is just like Mich. Carter's health is fairly good, is immune system isn't very strong so Mich has to pay close attention to his breathing, he has been in the hospital a couple of times due to fluid in his lungs, plus he catches viruses easy. Mich is a roller coaster, I do my best to detach with love and help out here and there, I can't stop her from making mistakes or repeating mistakes, like all of us she has to learn on her own.

Well campers, you have all been in my thoughts and prayers and I hope all of you are rolling with the flow of life, finding acceptance in the unpleasent. I will write again very soon. Please go to and check out the wonderful organization I work for.

Peace Love and Light

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Move is Done

Well Lady B and I got everything moved Saturday. The weather was the shits to put it bluntly, rain off and on and nasty winds. We left Lincoln at 5:30pm and got into North Platte at 10:30pm finished unloading just after midnight. My old truck was a bugger to drive, she didn't like the wind and finally I got tired of the interstate and we took a 2 lane highway the last 90 miles. The old truck made it without any troubles for which I am grateful!! She looks rough as hell but runs great, minus no gas gauge, cruise control and a flaky speedometer. I finished getting the stuff out of the shed on Monday and the last cleaning done also, spent Monday night at Lady B's and have been in North Platte since Tuesday. I have most of the unpacking done, just have my cd's left to unpack and alphabetize again. Glad mom has the nice shed, I have a bunch of stuff in it with a bit more to go.

Still nothing on the job. I dropped off job apps at some of the motels in town, they need front desk help so maybe with my people skills I can get some work for a while. I also applied for food stamps, figured I have been paying taxes for over 30 years so I might as well take advantage of what I have contributed too and get a bit of assistance. It might take another 4 weeks for the exemption to be approved or denied. If it is denied I will start pounding the street for a long term job.

Oh yeah I am using the public libraries WiFi, feel much more comfortable in here and it is quiet also.

Mich and the kids are doing well from what she has told me. Carter will probably go home next week. He will need to be on a heart monitor. As far as they can tell he is seeing normally. Angel is alright also. I miss my little girl something fierce! Once Mich moves back to Kearney I will take Angel for the weekend, we have some cuddling to catch up on.

Lady B and I both commented on how strange it will be with me not living with her. We have really got along well, only a couple of hiccups and that was just a misunderstanding of how we react to certain things. We complement each other, something her sponsor commented on. I calm her down, keep her focused on living in the now and not worrying about the future. She in turns pushes me to ask for assistance's from agencies and where to find free things. She also doesn't want anything from me and pays for our meals sometimes because she knows I can't afford them.

My inter peace is good. When the anxiety hits I just stop and breathe as soon as I can, look at the fear, see what footwork I can do if any and move on. Once again the 12 steps are a plan for living and just not about putting the bottle down. If I am living the steps I can handle all the crazies life gives me with relative peace and serenity. Nothing is overwhelming, which is a switch from the drunken daze when everything was overwhelming. I will go to a meeting tonight and hopefully within a few weeks I will start finding meetings I really like and can be a part of.

Well campers but get back to business. My prayers are still with you all. Tomorrow I will post some long past due comments. May your God bless and keep you safe, may you find serenity in the storms, may you love each other and show compassion.

Peace Love and Light

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coming Together

Hey campers, I hope each and everyone of you is going well. Sorry I can't post comments on your post like I use to but hopefully in a few weeks I will be back to regular routines.

I just got back from Omaha. The court hearing for Mich and the babies was this morning. For now she gets custody back, she will be watched 24 hours a day for now under the supervision of a case worker. This is a compromise deal made between her public defender and the state. What her PD is trying to do make this a case about a young mother under a lot of pressure due to having a special needs baby and not always being able to focus on the toddler. Which in essence is what is really happening. With Carter in ICU, it is hard to take Angel with her all the time and sometimes Angel gets mad about going in there and throws a temper tantrum. Mich is having a bit of a hard time with balancing them both. If all goes the way it was outlined this morning, Mich will be back in Kearney in a couple of weeks with both kids, she will be getting special aid from DHHS to assist her with taking care of both babies. The case will be review in a couple of weeks and the final descion made at that time, contingent upon how things go. This was a "win win" compromise, the state still gets to monitor and see if Mich is neglecting Angel and Mich gets to have the babies with her instead of them going into a foster home. I am unable to provide the daily contact the state wants Mich and Angel to have since I am moving 80 miles away and am with out a steady income at this time. Angel also needs to be with her mommy and even grandpa instead of living with a stranger. I get very sad when I thinking about my baby and how confusing this must all be to her.

Carter's father Matt is out of the picture as far as getting custody is concerned. Besides his criminal record, he would fail a UA, his parents house where he lives would not be approved for children because it is a nasty mess, also his parent and him work long hours. It isn't that we don't want Matt involve in his son's life it is just not in the best interest of Carter.

I will be loading the car up shortly. I took one load down last Saturday. Thank God for a station wagon because I can load quite a bit in it and also on top. It looks Beverly Hillbillies as hell but it works. This weekend Lady B and me are coming down to do the last load and finish cleaning.

I moved my mom last week. She is happy with her new home. She has given me rein over the yard and shed. The shed is awesome, with plenty of room for my stuff and hers, so me moving into an apartment isn't biting too hard. This will be the first time since the late 80's I haven't had a yard. Mom's yard is wonderful with nice flower beds and a spot for a vegetable garden, this will be my baby and I will take good care of it.

Well I am still in limbo on the job. Since I will be transporting kids all over the state of Nebraska, the agency I will be working for has to file an exemption due to having 2 DUI's in a short period of time. They want me and I want to work for them so we are proceeding, it could take 4 to 6 weeks for the exemption to be approved. If need be they will contact AA members for references, people who will vouch for me and my dedication to recovery and helping others. in the mean time I will have to find a part time job because the money is running out. There are a lot of hotels in North Platte so maybe I can land a job working at the front desk. There are also temp agencies and stores looking for help. Just another case of trusting my God and doing the footwork.

All is good with Lady B and me. I realized yesterday driving down how nice it has been living with someone again and how I am going to miss the daily contact. It made me understand that as much as I don't care for it I have a codepent side to me. I still do the happy house husband gig, keeping dishes, laundry and cleaning up while she works and cooking. Doing this during this time of not working has been a God sent, if I was staying alone in Lincoln I would be smoking way too much and blowing money I don't have just to stay entertained, granted the weather is finally nice enough for me to spend time in the parks and there are meetings but not enough to keep me busy on long dazes.

I admit I am stubborn about wanting to work in the social services field and holding out a bit longer than I should but since I am able I don't want to start a job to turn around and quit because a job in a field I really want to work in comes along.

On the recovery front. I have a speaking gig tomorrow night with a couple of ladies. We are talking to the nursing college about alcoholism and recovery. This is an informal panel lecture that I started a couple of years ago, so since my schedule is open I was asked to speak again with my friends who have done the past lectures with me. This is an honor and I love talking to the students. Nurses are on the front line in the medical field and really need to understand alcoholism. They need to understand the insanity of it, the selfishness of the active alcoholic and also how the alcoholic can get better.

Well I better get may ass in gear. Take care me friends. Remember nothing is permanent even if we feel the storm is going to last forever it never does, even rocks change over time.

Peace, Love and Light in fellowship of the Spirit

Thanks for all your prayers, positive energy and what ever mojo you are sending my way and those in my life!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A little sadness

While Lady B lays sleeping, catching up on some much needed rest I will peck out a quick post and free my head a bit. I talk things out but writing seems to help a lot too. The more I let things out the less power they have over me, the more I see the emotions for what they are and the easier it is to find the middle path with them.

We are in Lincoln, we came down yesterday afternoon. We have packed up about 3/4 of the house. Lady B took on the kitchen while I worked on the shed. All the books are packed, all the nick knacks and keep sake, now just the music and odds and ends. I am going to load up the car with something to take back to Kearney, then on to North Platte Thursday when we move mom there, she has a nice big shed I can store stuff in. Lady B talked me into dumpster diving for boxes, I bought some from U Haul and she freaked out, told me to go to the recycle bins and get them, which I did. Some reason I really hate asking for boxes at stores, just feel ashamed to ask for them, there is a sickness with my pride and low self esteem in there somewhere.

Yesterday between 5-6pm we got a call from Mich. The cops where called on her for alleged child abuse. Angel had a couple of unusual bruises and a bit mark that Mich couldn't explain, so the police and child protective services where called. One of the bruises was over a week old from when she took a tumble on the concrete, the other one was from her having a temper tantrum and banging her head on the floor. Mich thinks the bit mark comes from one of the kids she was playing with. When Mich called she was upset and they where taking Angel to the ER to check her out. At around 10pm Mich called again and said they were going to take Angel into protective custody. Lady B and I throw on out clothes and hauled ass to Omaha. When we got to Omaha the x-ray's and cat scan had all been done and didn't show anything. One would think that this would be enough to allow Angel to go back with Mich but it wasn't. CPS had an emergency foster care lady there and would not allow Angel to come with Lady B and me or return to Mich's care. They said they need to do a background check on us first and also since I was in between house that I didn't have a stable home right now. Also that they wanted Angel and Mich to see each other every day, which isn't easy with what I have going on this week. Lady B and I asked and suggested everything question possible to try and find a way for Angel to go with us. We told them Angel was going through some hard times right now and she was just showing her confusion and anger the only way a 20 month knows how. None of this worked and Angel was taken, it broke my heart big time. Monday Angel will be examined by a doctor who specializes in child abuse to determine if Mich was telling the truth which I believe she is because Mich isn't violent and also she is very protective of Angel. If the doctor says the bruise our just normal toddler bruises then Mich gets Angel back but still has to be monitored until a judge makes his final ruling, which could take a couple of weeks. Because of this Mich is also limited on seeing Carter and has to be monitored when she is with them.

I can't worry too much about all of this. I can do the footwork needed though. Lady B and I both gave the CPS worker all our information, so that they can run a background checks on us and Lady B's house can be checked out as a place for Angel to live if need be until I have my apartment in North Platte. We just have to trust that this is a mistake and CPS will see this. Mich is livid with the over zealous nurse who turned this in, the nurse was just going her job. Mich has to keep her mouth shut during all of this, she was F-bombing all over the place last night, which probably looked bad. I am sure that when Mich dumped Carter's father and then started hanging out with another guy this gave a bad impression on the nursing staff. Mich also has an attitude about the assistance they are trying to give her, she says she knows how to take care of an infant and doesn't need their advice.

Even though it doesn't sound like it, we where there for Mich also. She needed our presents and support. We gave her all the love and strength we could.

I am grateful that Lady B and I where in Lincoln yesterday when all this went down, so that we where able to make it to Omaha in 45 minutes instead of 3 hours. Like Lady B said we need to be there as adult voices for Angel's best interest even if we didn't get our way, at least we tried and made a presents, one the young CPS worker note and wasn't able to bully like she was going with Mich. We where calm but assertive. Lady B and I both know people in CPS in other counties and will be in touch with them Monday as well as pressing to get the report from the doctor ASAP so we know what is going on. The lady I am going to start working for can help me also.

So even if I am a bit said to see my baby Angel under more confusion and stress, I am somewhat at peace. I know she is safe, that this shouldn't last very long. Mich only has a couple more weeks in Omaha, so even if for some reason Angel can't return to her, Angel can come live with me. I will bust my butt to make sure of this.

Still waiting for the official job hiring, plus there was a hiccup with the apartment, I had to have my mom co-sign, my old landlord was pissed because I broke the lease and said some negative and untrue things about me being late on rent, I was never over 6 days late but he said I was 10 days late a few times. Pissed me off but nothing I could do about it. If all goes well I will be in North Platte in 2 weeks. I have mom's move Wednesday and Thursday. I just keep pulling myself back to living in the moment whether it is the mess with Mich and Angel, the delay with the job or hiccups with an apartment.

Well Lady B is up and she has started cleaning, so I need to get my butt in gear.

Peace Love and Light to ALL

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Short update

These are photo's from the upcoming movie "Lawn Ornament Hell". This is an actual apartment complex in North Platte Nebraska. I had made an appointment to see an apartment here over the phone, Lady B and I pulled up 10 minutes early for the appointment and spent those 10 minutes laughing our asses off. We had never seen so many lawn ornaments in our lives in a yard, there were small creatures, cartoon and TV figures, bridges, benches and all kinds of stuff. The inside was just as bad, there were cherubs on the walls leading up to the apartment, also the walls were covered with all kinds of stuff, every inch of the hot water heater had a frig magnet on it, the laundry room was painted purple and yellow. The only way to describe this place was surreal. There is no way an active alkie or doper could live there, they would just freak out. The landlady was very sweet and I am sure it is good place for someone to live but not me.

I am still in limbo, waiting for the background check from the state patrol to come back so I can get my job officially. This delay has worked in my favor because I have been able to help mom out with getting ready for her move. I have an apartment locked in, probably move the last weekend of the month. My days are up and down, I try to stay busy, cook, clean and do laundry for Lady B. Also hitting a meeting every couple of days.

Things are still going well with Lady B. I am having to remember how selfish a spoiled 8 year old can be. Lady B's son isn't that much different than Mich was at this age, basically Lady B made some of the same mistakes I did in compensating for having the other parent be still messed up and having spent time being messed up also. Lady B is doing her best and working on correcting some of the problems in a consistent but slow manner, not going over board and creating more troubles.

I had a good Easter. I had Angel over the weekend, Mich and her new boyfriend came down Sunday afternoon. We had Easter at Lady B's mom's with her sister and kids. It was a good time and I like her family.

Nothing really else. I keep stopping when I need to, breathing and reflecting, seeking awareness and a connection with the God of my understanding.

Hope all of you are well. I will try to comment on post and messages as soon as I can. I don't like hanging out at Lady B's work for too long and I am still not into this going to a restaurant and going on line, just seems strange to me plus I am uncomfortable stilling alone in a restaurant typing on a laptop, guess this is just one of those fears I am unwilling to face and do something about.

Peace Love and Light

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Carter and other things

Here are some pictures of Carter. Sunday was the first time I was able to hold him, he is very sweet. He smiled at me while I was talking to him. He is so tiny it is rather strange holding him, he is light at a feather it seems like. As far as we know he has no health problems. As of right now he will be coming home around April 21st which is his original due date. There are a lot of people who can't wait to see him.

I am still spending most of my time in Kearney at Lady B's house. Things are going really well with us. We are finding that we are very compatible together. We respect each other and accept that if one of us is having an off moment it is nothing personal. As for her son, we talk about him and how his father is effecting his behavior. It helps me to understand him better knowing that his father is very sick and selfish and this is mimicked by him. For the most part he is a good kid, I just have to remember how an 8 year old acts. I don't correct him a lot, most of the time I wait for Lady B to correct him if she feels it is needed, when I do say something it is done in a calm but assertive manner, just enough for him to know that what he is doing is wrong. I talk to Lady B about him and she does the same, once again this is done with respect and an openness that allows for understanding.

I have the job as a family advocate, right now we are waiting for the background check from the state patrol to be returned. There shouldn't be any troubles with the check. I will probably start working 19th of April. I am very excited about starting work, this period of unemployment has sucked, I am just not use to not working. Thank my God literally that I have Lady B and moving my mom in my life right now, they give me a purpose and something to keep me occupied. I see Mich once a week and take Angel every other week also, I am going to pick her up tomorrow for Easter weekend. Mich will come down on the weekend and get her.

Lady B and I checked out apartments yesterday. I found a nice one in my price range and in a good neighborhood. I now have to wait for the application to be accepted.

Waiting has been a huge part of this whole out of work gig. Breathing and living in the moment has helped but I still get a bit down. I know this whole situation has made and is making me stronger. Most of us know that growth periods are things that make us stronger but aren't always the most fun to go through. This period of time has been a chance to put awareness into more action from a different direction than before. There are so many areas of our lives that we need to be aware of but for me I am not aware until the need for awareness arises.

Well campers, my brain is starting to run down. I hope you all are well, smiling at the beauty that is living in this day.

Peace Love and Life

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rainbow in the Clouds

You are all in luck I am using the laptop key board instead of my regular keyboard so I won't be typing a great deal since I am not the proficient with it and can't type fast, so the post won't be my usual length (-:

I am writing this from Lady B's backroom at her work. We had a great weekend at the speaker event and at my house spending time together. I brought her back to Kearney Sunday and am staying at her house because I have no real reason to be in Lincoln. We enjoy the time together, her son is warming up to me also. I am not forcing myself on him and Lady B is making sure she is available for him, basically I am just another body in the house, plus I help her out around the house and cook for her a bit too. Really being here is just giving me something to do, plus I spend time with my mom.

Monday I took mom and my aunt to North Platte, the town where mom bought her new house. We looked at the house some more, got an idea of which bedroom she will sleep in and which one will be her sewing room and spare room. I also took some measurements for stuff and checked out some minor repairs that need to be done and lawn work.

Monday I also had 2 interviews in North Platte. The first one was for an apartment complex manager. The company took over 2 HUD complexes in Kearney and need a manager here for them. The interview went really well. The pay is good and they offer an apartment with employment. I am not sure this job will keep me motivated over the long haul, it is a lot of paperwork processing, background checks, apartment inspections and handling tenant problems and reprimanding tenants. The last bit I don't mind it is the doing paperwork all the time which may get to be a drag and non challenging enough. Having said that if the job is offered and I don't have an alternative I will gladly take it.

The second job is in North Platte. It is a family advocacy agency. The agency works with kids who are wards of the state via DHHS and their families. They provide support via, helping families meet the goals of re-unification as directed by DHHS (department of health and human services) and the court/judge. They education the kids and families on different areas thae need improvement, work on the family strengths and suggest ways to correct weaknesses. They go to court with the families as a support person. They work for the family, this is a voluntary program, sometimes it is suggested with a push from the caseworker but once the family understands the agency works for them and not DHHS the family is fairly comfortable with the assistance and suggestions. The agency also works as a go between or added support voice for when the family is having troubles with DHHS or even the schools. The woman who is the director use to be the director of a similar agency in Kearney and knew me from an AA presentation I did with her and also an interview when I applied for a job there. She really likes me and was excited when she got my resume. She told me I have the job if the background check comes back good which it should. The pay is less than the manager job but this is a job that will be challenging and rewarding. My daughter was a ward of the state so I know the system plus my own experiences as a parent with alcohol/drug problems, this is a benny that the director likes. She also likes the passion I have for wanting to help others.

North Platte isn't the nicest city in Nebraska, not quite the arm pit of larger cities but it is in the top 5. I will just have to accept living there. I may have to pay a bit for a decent apartment or house but that is alright. I will be able to help mom out, take care of her yard work, assist with her paperwork so that is a plus. North Platte is an hour and 15 minute drive from Kearney so it won't be too hard for me to see Mich, the babies and Lady B. If this is were my God wants me to be then this is where I will go.

Mich, Angel and Carter are all doing well. Carter is on track for being released from the hospital on April 21st. He is gaining weight and is healthy. Mich has broken up with Matt, too long of a story to post. Basically she is tired of his games and attitude. She also met a guy in recovery and has been hanging out with him. She likes living sober and clean and Matt has put a strain on that. More later about all this. I have told both of them that their troubles are theirs and dad isn't going to get involved other than to take care of Angel on occasion.

Well campers that's a rap for now. I am meeting a buddy for lunch. I hope all are doing well. I send you my love and prayers/blessings.

Peace Love and Light

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


In his book "Peace is Every Step" Thich Nhat Hanh writes a lot about the benefit of smiling, more specifically, stopping and taking a moment to smile. He writes about instead of getting mad about the red traffic light that is preventing us from getting somewhere NOW, the rush for the next whatever, we need to stop and smile. We need to take this moment of stopping and smile for the moment at hand, to pause, to breathe and live in the moment of this wonderful life, to not worry about where we are going and when we will get there. Thay gives other examples of how we need to use every day perceived inconveniences as a time to stop, smile, live in the moment, breathe and remember how good life really is.

This is something I have really been working lately. Even though it has only been less than 2 weeks since I was fired, I can find myself getting impatient with life. I have not received any correspondence back from the resumes and job applications I have sent out. The rational me knows that the hiring departments for these jobs probably have quite a few apps, and they review them in batches and the selection process takes time, plus they have a closing date which is out in the future, so the interviews will be taking place a few weeks from now. But I don't like sitting around waiting on them, I want to know NOW dammit! So I practice smiling at red traffic lights, at being stuck on the interstate in a mess of cars and semi-trucks trying to get around the slower drivers who don't like or are having problems with the 30mph side wind. I use my music, well not mine, my musical talent involves hitting the play button on the CD player, to take me out of me and into the world of the artist. I also step outside and listen/focus on the sounds of nature, the birds are starting to get very active and the Canadian geese are migrating over head. I notice the bits of green grass peaking through the brown top coat. The other day we had a lovely snow, big wet white flakes and I smiled at them, yes we have had a long winter but spring and summer will come it always does, so why get angry at the Master when It is painting a beautiful picture for us to enjoy if we only open our eyes to it.

I picked up Angel Thursday evening, Mich needed a break. I had Angel with me all weekend. She and I went to Kearney to spend the weekend with Lady B, plus see my mom and also my sister was back from Oregon so there was a get together for her. Angel is the ultimate channel for getting out of self and smiling. She is all about the moment and takes grandpa with her, whether she is happy or sad. She isn't high maintenance but being a toddler she keeps you in her world. Lady B and Angel both love each other, so neither one fights for grandpa's attention, they share him equally, Lady B knows Angel is a part of me and Angel doesn't need grandpa's attention constantly. I was also allowed to have a bit of me time as well.

The reason all of this is important is that life could be very stressful right now but it isn't for the most part. I don't feel stressed out or overly anxious, yes a bit impatient but I reel that back in by looking at things rationally and also seeing where "self" is causing the suffering. Right now I am keeping my job searching to things that I am interested in, I have applied to the State Boys and Girls home for different jobs involving assisting young people and their families. I have applied for jobs which relate to my background in purchasing and inventory management. Yesterday I applied for a job as an apartment complex manager, the job hours are only 30-36 hrs a week but they offer housing which if the pay is right will compensate for the hours of pay. I will start applying for low end jobs, such as work in retail stores the next few weeks but I want to see what happens with the jobs I am more qualified for or more interested in first. Thanks to my God I am not hurting of cash.

The buying of mom's new house has been given to me along with dealing with a rather rude Realtor. The Realtor is a friend of the family via a marriage to my mom's cousin. She thinks mom has more money to spend than she is spending on the house mom has chosen to buy thus when troubles arise she keeps saying we can always look for another house. I know she is just doing her job and her job is to make profit for herself and her company, but her attitude is rough and rattles my mom and sisters feathers, mine also. By staying calm with all that is going on in my life, I am able to work with this lady in a civil manner. There were somethings on the inspection of the house that mom is buying that don't look good, the Realtor basically wanted to jump ship and try and find a different house, my sister also was jumping to conclusions. I let the whole thing ride over the weekend, talked to mom about how we wanted to handle this and came up with a few options. The first option is in play now and waiting for the sellers to get back to me on; there are a few things I would like them to fix, mainly 2 pads in the floor supports that have cracked and settled, then a couple of small things, all in all not a lot of money, maybe $500-$1000.00 at the very most. If this doesn't work we see if they will split the difference and last mom is willing to pay for the repairs herself because she likes the house, the bathroom is setup for elderly people which is a big bonus for her. There are a few minor things that I can do myself, like re-chalking windows and repairing some cracks, plus building up a low spot in the yard that gathers water and allows water to run into the foundation. Nothing to really worry about, just have to see what the sellers are willing to do, they will have to face these same issues with anyone who wants to buy the house.

Matt (Mich's BF) started work and is whining about have to work 50hrs already only after 1 week. He also pulled a dumb one with not leaving Mich much money and then complaining that she didn't have the money for gas to come and visit him over the weekend, he is back in Kearney living with his parents, 175 miles away from the hospital. Basically the kid is complaining because he isn't getting laid over the weekend. I have big concerns about him and him being able to hold down a job, that he will quit and be back to relying on Mich and what she is getting in state aid. This is something that is completely out of my control and like Lady B and I talked about something that Mich as a young woman will have to figure out on her own.

I have been keeping myself busy with keeping the house clean, watching movies, doing things online and a bit of cooking and baking, plus I have found myself taking naps in the afternoons since I have been waking up between 7 and 8am for no reason. I tie dyed my first shirt last week. I had bought a cool Blues Brothers print t-shirt but it was white, I don't do white because I inevitably spill coffee on white shirts, so I tie dyed it purple and it came out very cool, Lady B really liked it. Yesterday I bought some more dye and a couple of cheap T's and will do a shirt for Lady B, I will also buy a couple of toddler T's and do a couple for Angel.

You know campers I could be going crazy right now, I could be caught up in "self" and self pity because truthfully my pride and ego have been bruised. I told Lady B it was humbling for me to stay at her house, even though I did buy some groceries and did cook some meals and we all shared doing things around the house. I am so use to being the caregiver and not the receiver, this is just a perception, the fact is we are equals in the relationship. What I am going through is very healthy for me, it is spiritually healthy. I am really applying the principle of living in the moment to my life, to take it a minute at a time, to smile, to pause, to see, to breathe. I am accepting the situations for what they are, just a part of life, the not so nice things are no reflection on me, they are things that happen to others as well. Being calm has allowed me to be Here for my mom and also my sister, being calm has also allow the spirit of my Dad to enter into me and do things the way he would have done them to the best of my ability. Being calm has allow me to be Here for Mich in her struggles and Angel. I see how the instability of what is happening with Mich effecting Angel, Angel was very clingy at the get together, she didn't have much to do with anyone other than me and Lady B, I think she was afraid someone was going to take her away from me and have her stay at their house. The calm has kept the thought of drinking or using far from my mind, even though I haven't made as many meetings as I usually do, no excuse just backed off and need to get back at them. I am still in constant contact with people in recovery and this weekend is the AA speaker event in which Lady B, her sponsor, grand sponsor and I are all attending. Maybe it is my pride but I am serene and don't miss people bombarding me with questions and concerns, maybe I just need a bit of time alone with me and my God or maybe this is just a messed up perception, whatever it is I am alright with it and have been on my guard against fleeting notions of tall cans of Bud Light.

"Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power."

Well campers, time to get shower, wash some dishes, maybe do a bit outside since the wind isn't blowing, also do a tie dye. I hope all is going well for each and every one of you, you are all in my prayers.

Peace Love and Light

P.S the Realtor called, the sellers are going to do the work I asked for, so no need to worry about the repairs. Our God work's in our lives when we use the tools, when we become channels of calmness and peace, well just for this moment anyway, who knows what the next moment will bring.

Namaste to you and yours!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Living by My Words

Hey all and hope everyone is surviving the amusement park ride called Life.

Well things have differently changed on this end of the blogsphere. I lost my job on Wednesday. I was fired for boundary violation, their words not mine.

We had a new client Monday, March 1st, he was an older black man, very stereotypical, large man from the projects of Chicago, shaved head and big earring. His counselor asked me to help him since he couldn't write do to a stroke, she warned me he could be intimidating, which is no big deal to me because his type are a dime a dozen in the military regardless of race. He tried to impress me with his criminal behavior but I kept refocusing him on his addiction. I treated him as an equal and did not patronize him, thus I earned his respect. I worked with him again Tuesday night. Tuesday when it was his turn for med's, he asked if he could talk to me, out of making him feel comfortable I shut the door to the nurses office almost completely. He told me he didn't think he could do treatment anymore, that he felt out of place, that staff had told him he was intimidating and that he didn't mean to be, that since he was older he didn't have anything in common with the younger people, he said he didn't feel safe because he was with a bunch of young white people who were a bit on the redneck side, he also said the treatment center felt like jail and he was use to being free. I told him to think about all the positive things treatment would do for him and also how his experience could help the young people, he appeared to be a bit calmer when he left. All this I wrote down in my progress note for him.

Well having a one on one with him behind closed doors was a no no. I honestly don't remember anyone telling me it was a huge no no. My thinking was, about making him feel comfortable enough to confide in me. My boss told me this wasn't something techs where allowed to do for his safety and mine. For what it is worth neither of us felt threatened by the other. My boss also told me that after only 2 days there is no way the client could have started trusting me and if he was acting that way there were alternative motives behind it, which there may have been but he wasn't trying to manipulate me, he just need someone he felt comfortable with listening to him. I never lived this guys life but I have known enough people in my time who have, so I had enough knowledge of hard street life to be understanding. My sponsor, the counselor, told me that my boss was wrong about this, that trust can be earned in a short period if by nothing else than being friendly and compassionate. I was wrong for what I did and accept my part in the offense. One bit of snotty comment, alcoholics and addicts can read patronizing and fearful attitudes like a well worn book, we dislike it and those that use it on us and yes we will use it against others as a defense for self protection, most of the treatment center staff were doing this to this guy, thus the other clients were feeding off it too. The other thing I did wrong of late was I held the hand of a woman who was having a seizure and didn't report it, I had watched a co-worker do this with her and it help her calm down and feel comforted, unknown to me the co-worker reported that he had done this. The treatment center is a "no touch" facility, which means we cannot touch the clients under any circumstances, my co-worker acknowledged breaking this rule. I felt that I was under such close scrutiny that I need not report this for my own well being, the guy that was with me when the seizure happened must have told the boss what I did, not to get me in trouble but to explain the whole incident to him. Once again my wrong and I accept responsibility. This happened Wednesday afternoon at 2pm.

To say this didn't upset me and make the squirrel cage in my head shift to turbo drive would be a lie and over the days since it has happened, I keep going over the time spent in the bosses office getting the news I was being terminated over in my head periodically but it is happening less often now. What I did after I got the news was contact Lady B and talk to her about the sadness I felt. I then got a hold of my sponsor, thanks to my God he was available for a change. Next I loaded some clothes and the pup in the car and headed back to my home town, where Lady B, my mom and my support group live. I told my sponsor I needed a couple of days to process what had happened and also be with people who know me best and have always been there for me, he agreed and thought it was a good idea.

It just so happened that on Thursday, my sister had made appointments for my mom to look at houses. I met my sister in the town mom was moving to ahead of meeting with my mom, told her what had happened and we both agreed that mom had too much to worry about already and that my being fired would be kept secret for the time being, as far as mom know I just had the day off. My God was working again because mom was very grateful I was there, I have a calming effect on her and she trust my judgement. We were able to find and purchase a house that day that mom really likes and was in her price range. Over the last few days I have been available to handle all the paperwork since I didn't have a job to go to, another little blessing.

I spent the weekend at Lady B's house. It was the first time we had spent that much time together and it was comfortable for both of us. She had a couple of previous commitments and when to them. I did a bit of job searching while I was there. Other than my little dog getting anxious about the new environment we had a great weekend together and grew from it. It cemented the compatibility that we have with each other some more. Neither of us put on fronts to please the other, if there were minor things that we didn't care for both of us accepted the other for being who we are. Lady B and my mom also got a chance to get to know each other better and they get along well. I know there may be squabbles down the road but for now we have a strong bond with each other and growing that bond will assist keeping it when and if the squabbles happen.

When I did tell my mom about the job situation she took it really well. She isn't worried too much about me since I have always worked and have a solid work history. She also said she thinks this could be a blessing in disguise.

I agree with my mom about the blessing in disguise. First off it was probably only a matter of time before I got fired. I was under a close magnifying glass. I tried really hard to follow the guidelines, I put my awareness on 10 but still there were just differences between treatment and recovery that created small hiccups on my part. My sister put it best when she said "it sounds like they wanted you to be a robot and not act out the compassion for the sick and suffering that is inside of you". None of the counselors or management are in recovery and only 2 tech are and one of those only works over nights. I was doing a fairly good job and staying anonymous with the clients, they could tell by what I said I was in recovery without me saying so and assisting them with meetings and suggestions about sponsorship. My sponsor told me and he may have been correct in this, that the counselors felt threatened by knowledge of the Big Book and 12 and 12 and my pressing the importance of these 2 books, along with other GSO approved material on the clients. AA saved my life and AA literature is a part of the life preserver, I feel it is for most people who are living in recovery. Did I knowingly break some rules yes but none that I consider biggies but there goes justification, plain and simple I broke rules. I thought I could make small changes within the treatment center to improve it and the treatment of the clients. I did have an impact, I won't cut myself short on this but the impact comes from my God via my voice. Hopefully I left a mark on some of my co-workers, giving them a better understanding of life in recovery, how the mind of an alcoholic and addict works, maybe they understand the difference between religion and spirituality better now. I will probably never know and trust God that I did my best in the 6 months I was there. I am richer for having spent time in this job, I have a bit of experience that may help me get another job in human services which is where I want to be career wise.

The positives about the timing of losing the job or losing the job in general are. One I still have most of my tax refund in the bank so I am not broke. It came at a time when my mom needs my assistance and I can now be there for her without conflict. That Lady B is in my life and I can't begin to express the gratitude for her love and support, for her sound reasoning a couple of times when I wasn't thinking straight. Granted I could have done this without the support of a companion but it did make it easier. As much as I love Lincoln, I am looking for jobs back home. Mom and Lady B are both right when they say Mich, Angel and Carter need me closer, not to enable but for support and stability. If I do move back home Lady B and I will establish boundaries at that time. My mom said she would be happier with me closer, just to be more available to help her with the little things and also so she can see me more often.

I am looking for jobs within an hour drive of my home town, Kearney. We have a regional clothing store chain that is putting in a new office, production plant and distribution center, I applied for a couple of opening there, in fields related to purchasing and inventory control which I have 15 years experience in. I have also applied for a job with the Nebraska Boys and Girls home, they are needing people to assist young people with independent living and also reunification and meeting reunification goals as set by the state. My work at the treatment center may help here and also the fact that Mich was a ward of the state for a number of years, so I understand and have practical experience in this field. I will also apply for clerical jobs and even medical aide jobs at assisted living facilities. It would be nice to have a full time job again and get 40 hours of work a week and sorry to say this 40 hours of income. I have enrolled for unemployment insurance, first time im my life, hopefully I won't need it for very long, it takes about 6 weeks to get your first check.

You may not believe this but I haven't let this situation get me down that much. The first night was the worse and I had a hard time shutting my brain down and mediating but since then I have been fairly able to refocus on the moment at hand. I have accepted what has happened, looked at my part in it. Have listened to God speak through Neil Young, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the voices of my teachers both in and out of recovery. As PG put it, I am standing in the hallway waiting for another door to open. I am doing the footwork to the best of my ability, using the spiritual tool kit which was laid at my feet when I put the bottle and the shovel down. Thick Nhat Hanh just taught me to smile at the red traffic lights and think of it as a way to pause and live in the moment at hand and not be worried about rushing to the next thing. Thanks Thay for being the greatest teacher on earth for this ex booze hound who in his hurried life of projecting the future and reliving the past can sometimes miss the Moment at hand.

I also owe a big thanks to all you bloggers, you share your experience, strength and hope with me. We are interdependent on this amusement park ride called Life. What you are going through and what I am going through may be different on the surface but under that is the need to stay peaceful, happy, loved and safe all without reverting back to our old self destructive selves. Take a look around you, life really isn't that bad because we have Hope because we have formed some kind of connect with a Power Greater than ourselves because we have people in our lives that are on the same path and dig us for being fellow travelers.

My love, blessings and prayers for all of you.
Peace Love and Light