Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gratitude (again)

"Sometimes I feel as if life is prodding me, poking me, pushing me. It hurts sometimes. But then I think ' Oh, I get it. I'm not supposed to ignore the pain. Pain can motivate me to change.'"
Prayer: Guide me into taking the action you want me to take.

Melody Beattie. 52 Weeks of Conscious Contact.

I had a friend in the program who was a gratitude junkie. He talked about being grateful for the people who made it possible for him to have a hot shower in the morning, the people who gathered the ingredients for his food and so on. He also used to say that we were not living in a box in Calcutta, and we should be grateful for that since there was no particular reason why we shouldn't have been born there instead of here. Taking the action to be grateful especially when things are not going quite right (in my opinion) is one of my favorite tools of the program. Today I am grateful for the cooler weather. It didn't even wait until September. I love fall.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Texas Skies

I might be a little bit in love with the Texas skies. I scared Liz to death with my picture taking while driving. But it's surely not as bad as texting while driving which I never do.

Rusty and I had some lovely lazy days together.
Bec with new boyfriend, Josh. I think Bec is getting tired of being the subject of so many 365 Project pictures.

Bright vehicles

We were on the way somewhere when we saw this bright yellow car and bright blue motorcycle. A little bit of beauty on a bright Texas day.

365 Project - Pics from Texas trip

The mall that we ate lunch with Aaron in has a wonderful skylight.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Little Bit Cool in Texas

It was so cool outside this morning that I sat on the back porch to do my meditation time. Rusty the dog could not figure out what in the world I was doing. He stayed with me for awhile but then went back inside. It is cloudy and sprinkling but not really raining. It is so lovely and quiet in this big, beautiful house all by myself. I remember a time when this much quiet and alone time would have sent me over the edge. Now I love it. As a helper, there's not a lot to do so I've taken the opportunity to do a lot of writing and reading. A luxury!

Here's why a helper should be invisible: A guest is someone who needs attention and entertainment. A helper is someone who doesn't need anything and stays out of the way (what I call invisible). I'm bad at invisible! But I'm giving it my best shot.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


It is lovely to be in Texas. Although I'm missing the cool weather in Tulsa, I've been able to spend time with two of my grandchildren and, of course, my daughter. We're not vacationing. We're dealing with the first week of school for Rebecca, a trip to D.C. to visit his brother and his girlfriend for Aaron, a trip to Tulsa to visit family and for work-related classes for Fred, and the first week of Liz's new job. My role is to try to be invisible, not make any messes, take Aaron to the airport, pick up Rebecca if she misses the bus and cook dinner. So far, so good. Mostly that is. My **** stinking energy levels still get in my way. But I triumphantly found my way home from the airport with only one mistake where I ended up in a parking lot. However, the nice lady parking attendant let me back out and start over.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Being Powerless

Courtyard in office building where my hairdresser is
It's as peaceful as a church in the woods
I'm running out of ideas and energy for the 365 project. All my ideas for pictures seem boring. But since my life motto is "never, never, ever give up," I'm not giving up. Be prepared for bad pictures!

I am powerless but not alone. One of my recent readings had something in it like this. The basic idea was that the more I feel my powerlessness and smallness, the greater my spiritual growth. I interpreted that to mean that most of my fear, anger, stress, etc. comes from not being in touch with my powerlessness and my need for guidance and power from God. If I were living moment to moment in contact with the truth, my fear/anger/stress would disappear. It's my new spiritual practice. It seems unlikely to me that I will - even sometime in the future - be able to consistently live like this, but I seems very likely that giving it my best effort every day could transform me and my life.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Drop the Rock

"We fear becoming invisible if we quit practicing our faults." Drop the Rock.

Change is hard. The book, Drop the Rock, is about practicing the opposite of our faults. It doesn't cut us any slack. It just says to work at it one day at a time. (In other words, never, never, ever give up.) Gradually, in fits and starts, two steps forward and one step back, we change. It has to be gradual or we feel like we're disappearing, since we see ourselves in terms of our faults. As I'm working on making changes, I keep having the feeling that I won't be myself anymore if I don't have my wonderful bad habits. The other night, I dreamed that I was chasing wild kittens that I had discovered living under a house. They were darling, but scruffy, dirty and in need of food. I was trying to help them but they kept running away. There are some ways of interpreting dreams that say that animals in dreams represent your habits. My habits are definitely like cute, scruffy kittens - very much in need of help but constantly escaping my grasp. Never mind - I will never, never, ever give up!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dinner at Tei Kei's

Eric came to town Thursday night. Friday we had fun, plus he helped me run errands. We had dinner at Tei Kei's after we saw "District 9." Here's the carved wood Samurai at the entrance of Tei Kei's.

I liked the movie - it had enough social commentary to satisfy me and enough hand-to-hand combat, weapons and people being blown to bits to satisfy the testosterone crowd.

My Digital Camera is Happy at Last

My camera doesn't like the batteries I've been providing. It complains and uses them up like crazy. So, I went to a special store and bought the batteries they suggested. It stopped complaining so I must have done right.

Thursday night at Utica Square

Thursday night was almost balmy so my friend, Karen, and I went to hear jazz at Utica Square 5th night. The kids will dance when no one else will. One of the little ones - maybe 3 or 4 - said they were "mixing" which I thought was a pretty good description of dancing.

Cisco goes to the vet

It was check up time again so here is Cisco in his carrier. He really is fairly cooperative (for a cat). But after having blood drawn, temperature taken, blood pressure taken, etc., he was very stressed and threw up in the carrier on his tail on the way home. Poor baby. They tell me he is fairly healthy for a senior cat (age 13).

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Two of my friends from when I worked for the Alzheimer's Association. We had lunch on Tuesday. I now volunteer for an event and work with these two beautiful ladies. I am even more blessed!


Here are some of the beautiful women who gather on the second Sunday at my house. I am so blessed.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


It was the third time I've eaten at Applebees this week - thank to my Discover cash back $50.00 gift cards that I paid $40 for out of cash back - making all three times totally free. Lunch with a friend on Wednesday, dinner with a friend on Friday and dinner last night with Lynn and Kristin. Lynn is back on some of her medication and doing better (in my opinion but she's not sure) and Kristin is getting to be sooo grown up.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

One Day at a Time

"...I learned how to set realistic goals and achieve them step-by-step. I learned that success is irrelevant. Failure can be an opportunity to grow, not to beat myself up. This is how positive self-esteem is built." Hope for Today.

Birthday night at New Haven group. 74 years of sobriety among the three people celebrating - with the least amount being 17 years and the greatest 34 years. That "one day at a time" thing works! Success built on failure.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I found the meeting...

Sometimes it's hard to figure out where a meeting is. There aren't any signs (usually). A long time ago they told me to look for bumper stickers. This time it was a license plate that clued me in that I was somewhere close to where the meeting was. I hadn't been to it before and was meeting a sponsoree there. Lots of new women were there who were still in treatment. It was a good meeting and a good way to end the day.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


This will probably be the last visit I have with Dr. Dreamy for awhile. I had some left over questions - like, "Should I have the hardware in my leg removed eventually?" The answer is that there are very few advantages compared to the disadvantages, which makes me happy since I'm not crazy about another surgery. I took a picture of my two granddaughters, my middle daughter and myself dancing at 5th Night at Utica Square so he could see that I could not only walk but dance too, and then took this picture for posterity - declaring myself cured!

Monday, August 03, 2009

My Life in Pictures Last Week

Since I was out of it last week and didn't take pictures, I thought I would at least take a picture of where I spent most of my time.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Mary Ann VanWinkle has been sleeping a lot again this week. I'm really sick of it. So I've decided not to do it anymore. I'm going to continue the new therapy for now, but it had better start making me feel better instead of worse pretty soon.

The 365 project has not been implemented, but at least I've done the basics so that my life wasn't destroyed. I'm still exceedingly sleepy but so what. Today I went to a meeting at the glass house in the park and then to eat at an Tei Kei's (the Asian restaurant pictured here). Right now Eric and I are working on our writing. I'm editing old blog posts and having a good time with that. The dishes are done. My bed is made. I'm clean and well dressed. I've done my meditation. I'm doing something productive. I'm back in the world.

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