Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Christmas

The quote for the day is...
There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.~~Erma Bombeck~~

Now, when you read that do not think, oh dear, that is so right. Think, I am a child. A child of the Most High God, and I deserve to believe that I am a beautiful, wonderful, worthwhile individual with so much to offer myself and those I love. The most important things I have to offer have nothing to do with the house being spotless, or the decorations being Martha Stewart worthy, or the Christmas dinner being course after course of delicious. What I have to offer is the heart of a worthwhile person. A heart that knows that I am intelligent, and caring, and worthy of treating myself well. A heart that is able to be a better mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend because I know my value.

Take time today to rest, even though you have things to do. Take some time to get at least a few moments with yourself, and remind yourself that a confident, loving smile is worth more than anything you can possibly accomplish today. Remind yourself that when we wake up on Christmas morning we are all someone's child, and relax and enjoy the day, no matter the circumstances. CHOOSE to believe in yourself, CHOOSE to hear only the truth about yourself from yourself and others, CHOOSE to remember who you are and nothing else can take that wonder away from the day. Relax, refresh your spirit, and wake up Christmas morning with the eyes and heart of a child!

Peace and Blessings,

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Holidays are Coming...

Does it seem as if all of a sudden every where you turn you are encountering rude behavior? If so, believe me you are not the only one. I think it is just a stressful time of year. We have entered the 'holiday' season. Since time began, humans have had celebrations during the winter season, and for good reason. When the winter is upon us, we sometimes need to be reminded that it will not always be dark and the light will return.

So here we are, just three weeks from Thanksgiving, and we are already starting to see people running around getting stressed out and being rude and unkind to each other. It is not easy to remain calm when someone is rude, but if we are to reclaim civility and peace for our society, we have to start by reclaiming it in our own lives.

The holidays are hard for us sometimes, in that the reality often doesn't match up with our expectations. We want so much to create either the holidays of our memory or the holidays of Norman Rockwell's imagination. For those of us who don't have halcyon memories to draw on, we think we will make up for it by making sure our loved ones do. For those of us with great memories we compete with trying to accomplish all of those things in a different time. And so we are worn out, frazzled, frustrated.

I think the first place to start to reclaim some peace and tranquility at this time of year is to acknowledge that the Norman Rockwell holiday was a figment of Rockwell's imagination. I love Rockwell's work, but honestly those illustrations were just that- illustrations. Yes, I am sure that there are families and celebrations that look like that, but I am also sure that there are families that don't. So I think we have to allow ourselves to relax and to create what works for us. No more 'keeping up with the Joneses'!

Now my maiden name was Jones, so I have always found the thought of 'keeping up with the Joneses' absurd. Believe me, we weren't worth keeping up with. Holiday dinners at our house were fraught with difficulty.When all of the siblings and their families got together there were bound to be arguments, fights, and just general mayhem. I don't remember a time when everyone was speaking to each other, there was always some point of contention somewhere. One of the memories I laugh at was the year Thanksgiving dinner was at the home of one of my brothers instead of my parents. That brothers wife did not care for me (her loss) and she very cleverly made that known! I happen to have food allergies,in particular coconut and walnuts. On that table there was not one dish that did not include coconut or walnuts. NOT ONE! From the salads to the stuffing to the gravy, some form of coconut or walnut had been included in every recipe. Then she whined because I excused myself from the table without eating anything. My brother yelled at me that I was disrespecting his wife, and as I left the room my family started arguing. Just another family gathering at the Joneses!

So, as we start the countdown to the end of the year, my advice is to relax. All you can do is all you can do. Perhaps it is time to simplify anyway. As we encounter rude people who are stressing out, smile, perhaps say a little prayer that they will be blessed, and remain calm. That guy that just cut you off on the freeway, ask God to bless his life and keep him safe. That cranky neighbor, ask God to pour out blessing on her. That frazzled cashier, thank her for working hard and wish her a blessed day. Whatever you do, do not repay rudeness with rudeness. You only make yourself unhappy when you do that, and the truth is rude people are unhappy people, no need to add to their numbers.

Perhaps remind yourself of the first few lines of the prose poem Desiderata (Latin for desired things)

"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit..."

Who knows, perhaps we can reclaim good manners and civility in our time, and if not we can certainly reclaim it for our life!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Social Media

So, I don't get out much. I'm not well, I'm broke, I'm actually an introvert, I'm a bit depressed, or all or none of the above. Social media has become my way of keeping in touch with my friends and family and the rest of the world.

Now, as much as I enjoy social media--facebook, message boards, etc.--I understand that it can be a minefield of hateful, hurtful opinionated people. Some folks seem to think the anonymity gives them the courage to say all the eejit things they might be thinking. That can be a problem for some. On one of the sports pages I hang out at there is a young person who posts who quite frankly has no business using social media--and if I knew how to reach his parents I would gladly teach them about parental controls.This young person is just not equipped to handle the eejits, and that is sad.

On the other hand, on this same sports page I have met and made friends with other like minded fans. We have moved from the page to a group. They are my buddies. 

So, the last few days I have been a bit down in the dumps, and haven't participated in the conversations. This morning, I am sitting here reading some stuff on facebook, and I get a message from one of my buddies. 

He is concerned because I have been quiet. How cool is that. We have a nice conversation and he makes me smile. Can't ask for much more out of any friend than that. 

So, this is for my Nascar buddy...

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.~~Jane Howard~~

We need others. We may at one time or other stick our noses in the air and sniff "That's OK, I don't need anyone else." But it's a lie, we know it's a lie when we say it, we only say it so that some other person is not allowed to see how badly they are hurting us by leaving us or rejecting us. But, the truth is we need others. We need some people just for a season, and that is OK. They may move into our lives and move out again. But we need others, because we have a need to be loved, but more importantly I think, we have a need to love.

Today, a 'stranger' on the internet made me feel loved and cared for, and for that I am truly grateful...and you can't continue to feel sorry for yourself when you are feeling grateful.

Thanks, B, you know I love ya!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Did you see the moon?

Did you see the moon? How glorious was that. In the midst of worrying and fretting, to have the chance to just look up at the wonder of the universe!!

The quote for today is...

Letting your mind play is the best way to solve problems.~~Bill Watterson~~

Sometimes when we get a problem in our life we worry that sucker to death. We look at it, and dissect it, and second guess it. Sometimes we make elaborate plans to deal with it. Sometimes we decide to ignore it, and we have to construct wieldy ways of pretending it just isn't there. Like the elephant in the living room, we have to find ways to live around it without acknowledging it. We spend tons and tons of energy without accomplishing anything. Sometimes we just try to hard. Perhaps we need to let our mind just relax, and play for a while. This is not denying a problem, we are aware that there is a problem, we are just allowing our self a time of relaxation, so that we can come back to the problem with renewed energy. Sometimes when we allow ourselves to relax a bit, and we all know this is true, the answer comes to us, seemingly out of the blue. Perhaps, out of the blue, is just us having let go long enough that our higher power could get the message through. Sometimes when we are in crisis worry mode, we make so many plans in our own power, that the answers we have been praying for can't get through. Our Higher Power is calling us, but the line is busy, our inbox is full.

So, no matter what is going on is your life, always, always remember that taking time to relax and take care of yourself is not a selfish act. It is a necessary act for your good and the good of those you love. If I didn't spend my hours meditating and praying, my life would be much more complicated. And we all know my life is way too complicated as it is! So here is to letting go for a few minutes today. Let your mind play, let your spirit relax so that you are able to make the best choices you can from a place of renewed energy. Choose to let go for awhile, it's a good choice.

Peace and Blessings,

p.s. the donate button is to the right, I hate saying that, but when you are behind on things you never ever know whom might be led to share..

Friday, September 26, 2014

This is a MOM brag

I have a son who is blessed with autism. He is also a BIG guy, all 6'7" of him.

Because of his autism, behavior issues are interesting to say the least. Unfortunately he is also my child, and inherited my weight issues.Getting him to eat better has been a challenge, not only does he have an autistic really picky palate, he has Crohn's disease.As his mom, I have to gently guide and steer and quite frankly just hope for the best most times.

So...this happened...

When we were out running errands I noticed he was having problems keeping his shorts up. Now, I have noticed he has lost weight-I've been working towards that- but it's not something I can actually directly discuss with him.

So, when we got home from our errands, he had both hands full as he tried to open the door to the building. One of those hands had been holding up his shorts, so his shorts fell down. Thank Goodness he had on good underwear (and no one else was outside) when he mooned the neighborhood.

Now, I have been aware that he had lost weight, I just didn't know how much weight he had lost--and in the grand scheme of things it wasn't important enough to talk him into getting on the scale, which is something he has an aversion to.

BUT, while I was tightening the elastic on his shorts, I-in my, I am not new at this mom of a person with autism stuff-coerced him into getting on the scale.

NOW, comes the Mom brag. Without putting him on a diet, without nagging, or discussing his weight, with modeling healthy eating and being open to discuss my own journey I have managed to help guide my son to healthier habits.

My son got on the scale...and even he was impressed...

He has lost 79 pounds in the last year and a half.

He is still a big guy, but like his mom he is no longer obese!!

I am in awe of him. One more reason why he is my hero!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Good Bye August

and quite frankly, good riddance. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Hello September, please realize that August was just a meanie that hung around way too long and kicked our butts and we would like you to be especially nice to make up for it.

September already? How did that happen? AND Labor Day is on the 1st this year, so not only is it already September, it is unofficially the end of summer. Good. Summer has been a bitch lately. In fact, it would not hurt my feelings if we just struck the last week of August from the calendar. It's a hard week, it's the week I buried my husband. This year it's the week a dear friend lost her mother and another dear one her mother-in-law.

It's the week I ran out of money and had to tell my son we couldn't buy groceries. But, he's a trouper, this is how part of the conversation went...

Me: It's hard the last week of the months some months. Sometimes it seems like it takes a while for the universe to provide.

Son: Did you tell the universe we have paypal?

Hey, you can get through anything when your kid makes you smile! I posted that on facebook -we call these snippets of conversation Williamisms-and I got to share with another friend who is also struggling with money issues. 

Being poor is hard work sometimes. No matter what anyone tells you (and I try to not pay attention) poor folks are not living like kings. We are managing as best we can, and we are scared to death most weeks that there will be an emergency. When something breaks, we learn to live without it. When the computer that is your lifeline to the outside world is on its last leg you hold your breath every day. When you lose 270 pounds, you just tighten the elastic and keep wearing the same old clothes. Because that is what poor people do. We just tighten our belts until there is no more space for new notches.

But, it's OK, because there are far more important things in life than things and there are always reasons to smile. My friend with money problems and I got to laugh with each other, because when I posted the Williamism, she shared her struggle. Her last week of August need. She  managed to scrounge up enough money to buy butter and toilet tissue. 

Of course, my  mind immediately smiled,and I got to laugh. Immediately wondering what recipe you could come up with for buttered toilet tissue! Then that reminded me of days working as a cashier and remembering other incongruous items that people bought together.Yes, your cashier might talk about you, but we aren't judging, we are smiling. Like the time the Mayor of our fair city came through my line one Friday afternoon and purchased a couple of bottles of wine and several packages of light bulbs. I admit I did ask what kind of party they were having at the Mayor's house.

So, even though we all struggle, there are always moments to share. The important things in life are always available. A son with a quip, a friend with a story you can smile at.

So, bring it on September. Even if we have to choose whether to buy groceries or pay bills, even if we have to lay hands on the computer and pray it keeps going, we will always be able to find something to make us smile.

"The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it.You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache."~~Marjorie Pay Hinckley.

So, welcome September! I am ready, I will greet you with a laugh and a smile.Be nice, because August just needed to leave, it's not nearly as lovely as you are.

Oh, and if you have a recipe for buttered toilet tissue...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Choices Have Consequences

Today is the anniversary of my husband's death.

My husband was killed by a drunk driver.

Quick, what picture did your mind flash when you read the words 'drunk driver'?

In our case the words 'drunk driver' mean a 22 year old girl. A lovely young woman with her entire life before her. Recently graduated from college, with honors. From all reports, she was a goal oriented, studious college student.She is very close to her family, she goes to church on Sunday. After her May graduation she went to work, as an accountant and moved into her own apartment.

After she got off work Friday night, she reportedly went out with some friends. Young people, enjoying themselves on a Friday night. Laughing, talking, drinking. Then she got into her car to drive home. Her blood alcohol level was around .118, well over the legal limit. In her intoxicated state she drove up a freeway off ramp, past the signs that said WRONG WAY and drove northbound in the southbound lanes for a couple of miles at freeway speeds until she hit my husband's car head on, killing him instantly I am told.

This is on my mind because my friends and I have children in this age group. Children that are stretching their wings. I remember reading somewhere about how a butterfly struggles to exit the cocoon. If we were to help the butterfly, the butterfly would not be able to fly and would die. It seems that the struggle to break free creates the strength necessary to fly. Those of us with growing children know the truth in this. We watch as our children struggle with the silken constraints, and we want so much to help them, but the most we can do is hope that we have taught them right from wrong, and that life is always about choice, and every choice has consequences. We watch our children stretch their wings, and hope they know that there is nothing they can do that will make us stop loving them. We hope they know that when we see them struggle, we will do our best to make sure they learn how to fly.

My husband and I were always very open with our son about our youthful struggles with drugs and alcohol. We felt that since genetics may play a role in addiction, we had a responsibility to tell him our stories. He knows about our 12 step programs, and why we attend. He knows that we celebrate 2 birthdays a year. In fact, he has been quite proud of our milestones over the years. He will tell you that we choose not to use alcohol at our house. He will tell you that we choose not to use illegal drugs at our house. He will tell you these things with pride in his voice, because he knows that in life there is always a choice, and every choice has consequences.

Being a parent is a hard job. We watch our children stretch their wings with such pride and fear. What if we see them struggling, when do we help, how do we help. Have we talked to them about the embarrassing stuff? Kids will groan when the subject turns to sex, drugs, alcohol. They will roll their eyes, but we must tell them anyway.

Do your children know your stories? Do they know that you were their age once, and that you made choices and lived with the consequences of those choices. Sometimes the consequences are benign. You are 22 years old and you choose to celebrate the end of the work week by going out with friends and laughing and talking and having a good time. Since you are choosing to have a drink, you need to have chosen whose turn it is to be the designated driver.

Sometimes the consequences are tragic, and you have too much too drink and you choose to drive drunk, and you drive up the off ramp past the WRONG WAY signs and you kill a man, and nothing is ever the same again.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Today's quote...
Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.~~Mark Twain~~

Instantaneously in the moment of the crushing, the violet has forgiven and blessed the heel that crushed it. Wouldn't it be nice if we as human beings could come anywhere near that kind of forgiveness. How awesome if when we are hurt we just automatically extended forgiveness, and a blessing to the one that hurt us. It would keep us healed and whole and moving forward in our spiritual journey. In our weight loss journey, it would help us to immediately move from the less than healthy choice we might have made back to making healthy choices in the very next bite.let us take a lesson from the violet, let us release the beautiful fragrance of forgiveness and blessing whether the person that has hurt us is someone else, or our self!!

The dictionary says forgive is to give up resentment of or claim to requital for... to cease to feel resentment against.
I think that to forgive is to let go of any claims we have against the one who offended us. I think it is human nature to want to be the one who is right. To forgive means we let go of the need to be right, to let go of the need to prove our claim. To forgive means that we no longer expect to be compensated for our hurt or loss. AS in the forgiving of a debt, when we forgive our claim to compensation no longer exists.We no longer need to be right.By forgiving we choose to no longer live with the feelings brought on by the offense.We choose to no longer be weighed down by anger,or shame, or embarrassment. No more guilt or denial. You can choose to live in the moment and forgive in that moment.

I need these reminders, constantly that every day is a new day, a new opportunity. I forgive myself and let go of the regrets of the past, not projecting worries to the future, and  live in today, this moment, which is ripe with possibilities and opportunities to make the best choices I can make. Living in the moment, being present in the here and now helps us to let go of the things that would harden our heart or tire our tempers. Letting go, offering forgiveness frees us from the non productive emotions and allows us to keep our hearts tender towards ourselves and others. So, start by forgiving yourself, letting go of anything that would harden your heart, and accepting healing for yourself and extending it toward others. 

Peace and Blessings,

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Today's quote...
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.~~Ambrose Redmoon

We are each of us some of the most courageous people I know. We get up every day and judge that no matter what we may fear we have the mental or moral strength to venture out, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty- so we set forth on our day. What? you may be saying. I don't do that , I just get up and get ready for work, or to take care of my family. Well, when we choose to get up when the alarm goes off we are preparing to VENTURE forth into a new day.We have no idea what that day will bring, perhaps it will be a routine day, or perhaps we will stumble into a grand and glorious miracle or a difficult obstacle, and yet we Venture forth. 

Each of us has some challenge in our lives, and we never know what challenges the people we are interacting with through the day are dealing with, and yet we PERSEVERE in the face of those challenges. Whether we are dealing with health issues, mind issues, or spirit issues, we choose to go about our day and accomplish what needs to be accomplished we are persevering in the face of difficulty.

From the time we choose to put our foot on the floor and get out of bed, until we lay our heads down to sleep, there is always an element of danger in our lives; and yet, we put those thoughts behind us and WITHSTAND DANGER as we climb stairs, drive on the freeway, go through the kitchen without eating the brownies. We overcome our FEARS, navigate the DIFFICULTY in every day and go through our lives caring for our family, or work, our homes, our friends, ourselves. Ah, there is an issue, do we have the courage to care for ourself? We must, for when we CHOOSE to care for ourself, our courage grows and we are better able to care for all of those others.

WOW, what an incredible person of courage you are. Look in the mirror, you will see that not only are you beautiful, you are strong and courageous!! I am humbled by each of you!!

Peace and Blessings,

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Step Away from The peaches

So, if you read my Father's Day post where I looked up the origin of the colloquialism "nuttier than a peach orchard boar." You will get it when I say, some folks seem to get in the peaches more often than is good for them.

Honestly, now that we can all be connected with strangers on the internet in facebook groups and on message boards it seems like the ones that have been in the peaches are getting more prevalent. Probably not, but in the old days we just didn't seem to run into them as often.

I've been using this quote a lot...

"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now, I love social media. I don't get out of the house much, and the computer gives me the means to interact with people every day. In fact, the  computer has been to the repair shop recently, and we are hoping to be able to save up money to replace it as its days are definitely numbered. One of the main problems with being poor is not being able to replace things when they break. :(
 But, I digress.

Where did all the crazy people come from?

A weight loss group I belong to on facebook got a new member yesterday. She's a bit overeager, and apparently if you have a different opinion than her you are picking on her. She messaged me this morning to tell me that since she once weighed 500 pounds she was more of an expert on being overweight than the rest of the group. I messaged back that she wasn't more of an expert on being overweight, she was just an expert on her experience-that from what she wrote my experience of weighing 500 pounds was totally different than hers, but that's OK. Her response was "P*ss the f*ck off."

Seriously. Made me laugh, then made me sad.I belong to several different groups in order to get more than one viewpoint on a subject. Different opinions are just that, different, and I like thinking about things from different angles.

So, as one who depends on online communities, let me give some advice. I am not an expert on anything-just my opinion.

When you join a group or community, hang around a bit and get a feel for the way the community talks to each other. One of the boards I participate on is full of amazing wit, sarcasm, and tough love. Another is very spiritual. If i jumped in without seeing that it would probably not be conducive to becoming part of the community.

Don't complain about another community in this one. Honestly, it just makes you look petty and childish.

Participate. Sharing your experience of life is what community is all about. Common interests can be great fun. Holding yourself out as an expert however, doesn't usually end well. If my experience is different than yours that in no way invalidates yours.

Stop trying to impress. If you only join a community in order to impress people, you might need to look at why you feel the need for validation from complete strangers. In every community I participate in there are people from all walks of life. It may be difficult to impress a community that contains some very accomplished people. Usually there are posters from SAHM to CEO, teachers, retail clerks, doctors, lawyers-GED to PhD. That is one of the beauties of online communities. The opportunity to interact with a diverse group of people.

Don't engage. Once you have determined that you are dealing with someone who gets in the peaches, step away. Engaging will just take your time,and will unfortunately fuel their narcissistic personalities. You can't support or encourage them in anyway that won't fuel that, and that is sad because most of us who participate in online communities really do want to help.

Cyber friends are some of the best friends I have ever had. I have met many people via online communities. I am nurtured, supported, encouraged on a daily basis online.

But, every now and then I still have to step back and chuckle as I think "What the heck is wrong with you. Step away from the peaches!"

Peace and Blessings,


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Things My Father Said

So, it's Father's Day and like most of us I'm sure my thoughts have been full of my father today.

My father was just on old Missouri farm boy. Born at the turn of the century-1903. Born a week after the Wright Brothers made their little flight at Kitty Hawk. Born of a different time and place.

So, I was reading something, and the person involved in the conversation is at the very least a rather strange person. So, having my father in my head I could hear him. "This one is nuttier than a peach orchard boar." Now, that is a colorful colloquialism, and I grew up hearing him say it,and while I knew what he meant by it-today, I went off in search of why that was a saying, because most sayings come from somewhere.

This one has several variations I learned on the internets. Crazy as a peach orchard boar, drunk as a peach orchard boar. It turns out that quite often farmers used pigs to help in the orchard. Pigs root, so pigs would be useful to help keep the ground around the trees from becoming compacted. Trees grow better. Pigs eat, so fruit that dropped to the ground would feed the pigs. Fruit that had been on the ground a while ferments and pigs who ate too many fermented fruits would behave in crazy, humorous ways. I knew what the phrase implied, I just don't think I ever knew why, and now I do.

My father was a soft spoken man, but he always got his point across. If you were someone he considered worthless, or someone who had perpetrated something he considered heinous he would say "That one should have been drowned as a pup."

If the weather was cold and raw-it was "Colder than a well digger's ass" , which made sense. But his "colder than a witches teat" I had to look up, and it is fascinating.
..there's some history behind this wisecrack. A witch's tit (or witch's teat, to use the older spelling) supposedly left a marking
that witch hunters and courts would look for on the body of an accused person. Supposedly, witches would suckle their
familiars, and sometimes the Devil himself, from this "unholy" body part. To find these marks, as well as insensitive spots on the
skin called devil's marks--caused by the Devil's claws or teeth--the suspects were stripped, shaven, then closely examined for
any blemishes, moles, or even scars that could be labeled as diabolical. To find marks invisible to the eye, the examiner would
poke the victim inch by inch with a blunt needle (called a bodkin) until they found a spot that didn't feel pain or bled. Discovery
of these marks or spots--one supposes they would be considered cold since they were a sign of communion with the
Devil--would be "proof" of the person's dealings with Scratch, so they would be shown in full court before the execution.

Now as I read this, it dawned on me, that had someone accused me of witchcraft a few hundred years ago, I would have been executed. I have a polyneuropathy in my legs, feet, and hands. The 'bodkin'  would have found lots of spots on me that could have been used in court.

So, happy Father's Day Papa, and thanks for the lessons. A day is never lost when you have the opportunity to learn something. Only people who die young learn all they need to know in kindergarten.

Peace and blessings,

Friday, June 13, 2014

Just needed to remind myself

The quote for today is...

Letting your mind play is the best way to solve problems.~~Bill Watterson~~

Sometimes when we get a problem in our life we worry that sucker to death. We look at it, and dissect it, and second guess it. Sometimes we make elaborate plans to deal with it. Sometimes we decide to ignore it, and we have to construct wieldy ways of pretending it just isn't there. Like the elephant in the living room, we have to find ways to live around it without acknowledging it. We spend tons and tons of energy without accomplishing anything. Sometimes we just try to hard. Perhaps we need to let our mind just relax, and play for a while. This is not denying a problem, we are aware that there is a problem, we are just allowing our self a time of relaxation, so that we can come back to the problem with renewed energy. Sometimes when we allow ourselves to relax a bit, and we all know this is true, the answer comes to us, seemingly out of the blue. Perhaps, out of the blue, is just us having let go long enough that our higher power could get the message through. Sometimes when we are in crisis worry mode, we make so many plans in our own power, that the answers we have been praying for can't get through. Our Higher Power is calling us, but the line is busy, our inbox is full.

So, no matter what is going on is your life, always, always remember that taking time to relax and take care of yourself is not a selfish act. It is a necessary act for your good and the good of those you love. If I didn't spend my hours meditating and praying, my life would be much more complicated. And we all know my life is way too complicated as it is! So here is to letting go for a few minutes today. Let your mind play, let your spirit relax so that you are able to make the best choices you can from a place of renewed energy. Choose to let go for awhile, it's a good choice.

Peace and Blessings,

p.s. the donate button is to the right, I hate saying that, but you never ever know.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


When did we lose the ability to empathize with people?

Last month when the weather should have been spring like, and we were still in the grip of what felt like Narnia winter I posted on facebook what I thought was a joke about being behind on the gas bill...

Dear Mother Nature,
It's the middle of MAY-I don't care how many shares of Missouri Gas Energy you have in your retirement portfolio-I am NOT turning the heat on today. 
Shivering under a quilt

Dear Mother Nature,
It's May 16. 36 degrees and a frost advisory, seriously? I'll need to find a corner and a cardboard sign to ever catch up on funding your retirement.

One of my 'friends' messaged me that they would be unfriending me because I was 'whining about being poor again.' Granted, I am not always as funny as I think I am, but 'unfriend' me for a couple of jokes about the weather?

Recently, on a message board I frequent a woman who is being treated for breast cancer vented about the paperwork needed to apply for medical financial assistance, and another poster went off on her. How dare she whine about wanting charity. She called her an ingrate and churlish. Seriously. Of course in the resulting conversation we find out that the one calling the cancer patient out had received 'financial assistance' in the past. So, for her it was 'financial assistance', but for someone else it was 'charity'.

So how did we get to the place where I can't joke about the weather or my financial problems without being considered a whiner, or a cancer patient can't vent without being shamed for needing help?

"Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It's the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else's pain is as meaningful as your own."~~Barbara Kingsolver

Empathy goes many directions. When we lose the ability to empathize, we not only lose the ability to understand and share when people are having hard times, we lose the ability to be joyful when they are being blessed. And I think that, leads to what Barbara Kingsolver describes as spiritual meanness.

So, do I need to not make jokes about my hard times? A sense of humor (and some awesome friends) helps me get through the days. Do we need to censor and not share our frustrations for fear that some else in our community has lost the ability to empathize? That won't work for me.

What will work for me is to remind myself and others that even though life is hard, I will get caught up some day because my list of blessings is longer than my list of troubles-even on days I can't see that.

So, I am sorry to have lost a friend. I wish I could have taught her to laugh with me. Because the truth is being behind on the gas bill, or having a really bare pantry because money is tight may be a problem. But, losing the ability to empathize is a far worse affliction.

The truth is in that old saying...Shared joy is joy doubled. Shared sorrow is sorrow halved. THAT is empathy in a nutshell!

Peace and Blessings,

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Balm Dealio!!

So, the other day on a message board I visit, someone called out to tell me "Can I just say that you rock?" I really hadn't done anything special, just share some thoughts, but this person appreciated them enough to let me know. I thanked her nicely, and said "Kind words are a balm." Which prompted the phrase "The Balm Dealio" from another poster. All very life affirming, and for someone who is struggling with so much-health, finances, etc.-a welcome balm.
A balm is usually defined as a fragrant ointment or preparation used to heal or soothe the skin. But, so many times our healing needs are more than skin deep, and so it seems to me, that words-which can reach our mind and spirit can indeed be used as a balm. In this day and age where all too many feel the need to use negative words, it is always a welcome balm to receive positive thoughts.
Today's quote...
The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.
--William James

Everyone has this need. No matter what we do we need someone to notice. We don't need some big parade (but wouldn't that be fun) we don't need to win awards (but there is a space on the shelf for them) we don't need billboards on the highway. We just need someone to say they noticed, or say thank you once in a while. The best way to attract this to your life is to practice this with others. Try it, you will be amazed at the response you get. If a coworker does something for you, say thank you, I appreciate that. If you are standing in the line at the grocery store and you see someone wearing a fabulous pin, say something. I guarantee you will receive a smile in return, and someone will say thank you to you.They may just say Thank you, but what they will really mean is thank you for noticing, thank you for appreciating my taste in jewelry. It will make them feel better, and you will feel appreciated in return. Most importantly, look in the mirror and say thank you to yourself. Appreciate who you are. Appreciate the choices you are making to become healthier. Appreciate the choices you are learning to make to become stronger. Appreciate that there isn't another person on the earth like you . You are unique. Unique in your experiences, unique in your talents, unique in your infinite possibilities. Appreciate that. Say thank you to yourself by making the best choices you can in this moment. Do something spectacular for yourself, no one deserves it more.
So to everyone who reads my thoughts, I appreciate you more than you can know. You are my rock stars, and THAT is indeed the Balm Dealio!!!
Peace and Blessings,

Thursday, May 8, 2014


My son is in his room, playing video games, and apparently has hit a difficult level. So, what do I hear from him? Do I hear "I'll never get this" or "I screwed up" or "This is too hard"?


I hear, "I am capable." Then I hear "I can do this, I am capable".

Isn't this a great lesson for life?

When things don't go the way we planned, instead of throwing up our hands and getting defeated we should always remember "I am capable".

If we are working on a problem, and encounter an obstacle we should always remember "I can do this. I am capable".

No matter what is happening in your life today, remember to remind yourself often...



Monday, March 24, 2014

Dear Mother Nature...

...It's March 24, and I sit at the patio door watching snowflakes. Seriously? Girlfriend, we need to talk. Your behavior is worrisome. But, you know what, that's OK. No one knows better than me that it won't always be like this. In my mind, as I sit at the patio door, listening to the morningsong of the birds it is always sunny and glorious on March 24th. So, there! You might as well straighten up and let spring come, because you can't take spring out of my memories!!

This is what March 24 looks like...

It was a beautiful day. The kind of spring day that we wish they all could be. Bright sunshine, about 60 degrees. I had been to a meeting and after my friend dropped me off I remembered that William needed something for school the next day. It was the perfect day for a walk, so I decided I would walk to the neighborhood store. As I was walking down the street I looked up and this tall thin man was cutting across the street diagonally. He was going to end right in front of me. My mind immediately started searching for a reason, but this was not someone I knew. He walked up to me and said "I have been trying to get up the nerve to talk to you for six months. You're the most beautiful woman I have ever seen." I laughed. It definitely was not a pick up line I had ever heard before. But when I laughed I saw his eyes, and he meant it! "Excuse me?" was all I could say. He said it again, "I've been trying to get up the nerve to talk to you. You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen." I am still kind of speechless, and I say "Thank you, I guess." He goes on to explain that he lives at the bottom of the hill and he sees me walk my son to the school bus every day. He has tried a couple of times to speak to me, but he was too nervous. But when he saw me walking down the street today he told himself it was now or never, and he crossed the street. I was prepared to continue walking, but he kept talking. He told me how he had just got out of rehab 4 days earlier, and that he was on his way home from putting in job applications. Well, I had been clean and sober for 16 years and the friend of Bill W. in me wouldn't let me just ignore him. I told him I had to go to the store, but if he was still in the park at the end of the street when I got back I would talk to him. He was there, we talked for 2 hours that afternoon, and every day after that.
Such a simple act, crossing the street. No big deal. But in that simple act of walking across the street the world would never be the same. In that moment our lives became eternally joined, entwined. We would never again make a decision without discussing it or considering the impact it would have on the other one.We would never again think of ourselves as Bill or EstherBelle. From that moment on we were BillandEstherBelle.

So, give it up, girlfriend, it's sunny and glorious in my heart. In Springtime love is carried on the breeze--even if it's accompanied by a snowflake or two!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Signs of Spring

So, it's the first day of spring. Surprisingly, the weather is spring like (yes, the 's' word is in the forecast on Monday-nut it could change) with 68 degrees and a bit windy. It's about time. It has felt like Narnia around here-and that may be part of why I was busy having a pity- party of one this morning. I'm behind on the gas and electric, because as my son has suggested we think Mother Nature has probably invested her retirement funds in utilities and is gleeful at the huge bills we have racked up this winter.

But, anyway, I was sitting in my kitchen feeling very sorry for myself. It's hard being stressed over things sometimes. So, there i am-having mopped the kitchen, and opening the patio door to let the fresh air in-sitting, feeling decidedly sorry for myself when I look up and see a teeny-tiny little spring miracle.

I have an orange tree in my kitchen. I have been really worried about it living through the winter, the former upstairs neighbors drenched it with bleach water last year,and it looks pretty dead. It is the orange tree my son grew from a seed, so I have kept watering it, watching the branches die, and the few remaining leaves fall. I'm kind of stubborn that way. I honestly felt it was a losing cause, but this is my son's orange tree that should not have grown from that seed anyway.

So, sitting there, feeling sorry for myself, and I look at the tree. The mostly dead, sad looking tree. and there amid the dead branches I see it, new growth. Teeny tiny new leaves, 6 sets in all.

So, thank you universe for adjusting my attitude. I am still worried about money, still worried about a lot of things, but Spring has SPRUNG!!! New leaves have grown, our orange tree hasn't given up yet--and so I guess neither will I.

So, even if it snows on Monday (or like last year in May) I choose to believe in the signs of Spring!!

I Don't Eat Kale...

..I know you're shocked, right? Seeing as how I am a vegetarian and I've lost 265 pounds and everything and it's supposed to be some magic food and all. But, I don't like it, so I don't eat it. Besides, it's not anymore more magic than any other food. NOW, toss some collards, mustard, or turnip greens in a pot and see me line up for seconds. When the Swiss Chard is in season ask me for my favorite recipe. But, I like those equally healthy greens so I eat them.I don't eat celery either. It's nasty. I don't make slimy things out of chia seeds, and I don't 'detox' my body with a juice fast. I know people who do,and whatever works for them is fine with me, but stop telling other people that this is what they HAVE to do.

Here's something else...I don't drink much water. A little when I take my medication.  I certainly don't drink half my weight in ounces every day, and I still manage to remain well hydrated and healthy.Of course I do drink a pot of coffee, and half gallon of tea and I eat lots of water rich fruits and veggies.

While I'm at it, let me address some other things I have seen people say recently...

Don't eat carbs after 2 p.m. your body immediately stores them as fat. UM, no, that isn't even how your body works. Your body doesn't really care whether you ate at 2 or midnight. Oh, yeah, I eat at midnight. Often I eat cinnamon toast as a bedtime snack. The only peer reviewed scientific study about eating carbs at night showed that the men they studied lost more weight while eating most of their calories and carbs at night.

Avoid all white food. OK, we know how I feel about food. Food is NOT the enemy. No matter what color it is.

Eat this, don't eat that, only eat at certain times. Oh, and take this magic pill, or that magic potion.

So, here is my advice...

Relax, learn to eat well. Give food it's proper place in your life-food is fuel and nutrition, but it is also meant to be enjoyed. Remember, the only thing in your life you are in total control of is what, when and how much you choose to eat.

Oh, and don't eat what you don't like no matter how good it is supposed to be for you.

Oh and when I weighed in this week this happened...


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Never too old to learn

The quote for today...

Youth is the time for the adventure of the body, but age for the triumphs of the mind.~~Logan Pearsall Smith~~

As I contemplate the obstacles and challenges of late middle age, and my mobility has become an issue, I take great pleasure in this quote. I did have amazing adventures in my youth that required me to be physically able. I have done everything I ever wanted to do, been places that I never dreamed I would go. I may not be as able to do things physically, but my mind has never stopped taking me on adventures. As I continue in my journey, it is my mind and spirit that allow me to rise above a body racked with pain and disease and continue to soar and grow and experience. It is my mind and spirit that keep me studying and learning and growing in my journey. The triumph of age is that we are never to old to learn, to seek new adventures of spirit, no matter what is happening with our physical bodies. So, it is important that we take the best care we can of ourselves. Make the healthiest choices we can everyday, so that we can continue in our journey, meeting the challenges of our physical needs in such a way that we will be able to live triumphantly!!

Well, that's what I'm telling myself anyway!!

Peace and Blessings,

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It takes a while

So, sometimes when we change things about ourselves, it takes a while for it to soak in to our mind.

I have been sharing about my weight loss. My last post was about my realizing that I had an emotional reaction to the words obese and overweight. I surprised myself. I love when I learn something new about myself.

We can always choose to perceive things differently. You can focus on what's wrong in your life, or you can focus on what's right.~~Marianne Williamson~~

If I were to focus on what's wrong in my life, I would never get out of the bed, in fact, I might be tempted to just end it all! But, there is so much more that is right, that when I focus on that it overrides any pesky little problem. Changing our perception is where the secret lies. If we grew up believing that there was something wrong with us, we have to unlearn  that and replace those thoughts.

It may be hard to believe, but when I look in the mirror I rarely see a matter how much I weigh or whether I have gained or lost weight. I just don't see much of a difference. Perception is often reality.

Now, even when I weighed 490 pounds, my perception of myself was not negative. I have never considered myself any more or less attractive based on my size. I was blessed to have a great teacher when I was a child that taught me that my self-esteem is not based on my size. I firmly believe that we are not the nu8mbers on a scale and should not measure our worth based on those numbers or the numbers on a clothing tag, I am human and use those numbers as a tool to gauge where I am in my journey. Especially since when I look in a mirror I just don't see me differently.

I am nearing my goal weight. Then of course the real work starts-maintaining that weight and not having to lose this all again. I wish I had learned that lesson 50 years ago!

I will not be successful at dealing with my weight issues because I reach some 'mythical' goal weight. I will be a success when I have learned to be faithful to making the healthiest choices I can make every day. When I have learned to UNLEARN the things that cause me to use food in unhealthy, inappropriate ways.I was never successful in the past because like most of us, I believed the wrong things. When I thought this journey was about NOT eating-when in fact it is about learning to eat well, day after day.

Like I said, it takes a while. But, boy is it ever worth it!

Peace and Blessings,


Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Day

Valentines Day. Such a lovely holiday, let's all celebrate love.Yada Yada Yada. (can you see how I feel about it?) But Valentines day can be a minefield for those, like me, that have mixed experiences of the day.

Oh, I hated Valentines day as a child. The Fat Lady started out as the Fat Girl, you know. Back in the dark ages when I was in elementary school 'self-esteem' wasn't a part of the psycho-babble yet. So those of us who were outcasts for whatever reason hated Valentines day. Oh, it was all so innocent. For a few days before we would spend our art class time creating a receptacle for the valentines. There was red and pink construction paper and paper doily scraps everywhere, and the Elmer's glue residue stuck to your fingers. At least that was fun, peeling the Elmer's glue from your fingers.

Then the big day arrived, and we were allotted time to deposit our valentines in the boxes. A mimeographed list of names had gone home with us,and we were free to create to our hearts content. If you were lucky your Mom would let you buy a box of school valentines, 32 to a box back then plus the bonus teachers card. So, every one went around and put their little cards in the box. Then of course we had the treats our room mothers dutifully provided and everyone looked at their valentines. As you reached in your box and took out 2 or 3 cards, after all the teacher had to give you one, and maybe you had one friend, and then some dumb boy had to tell you why you were outcast, you did your best to make sure no one else saw. But it seemed like they all knew anyway. But, you knew that if you showed any emotions they would have power over you, so no tears. You bravely told everyone that you wanted to wait and look at them at home.

Fortunately all of those classroom Valentine parties were in elementary grades, and you didn't have to repeat that particular little piece of Hell again once you reached middle school. But, Valentines day was still an empty day, void of love, and rife with bad memories.

Decades pass, and one day a tall thin man crosses a street in a small town in Missouri. He teaches you, among other things, that yes, you are able to love and to be loved. He manages to surprise you every year with a lovely expression of love on Valentines day. You give him a small plush animal for his collection. A collection that he started when you gave him his first one. A silly little collection for a big tough Marine, but a collection that is cherished by him.

Then circumstances change again. The love of your life is taken away from you by a drunk driver, and you get thrown into the long, difficult act of grieving. Every special day, every holiday is another reminder that you are alone again. That no one will make you smile, and tell you you are loved and ask you to be their valentine. Valentines day is a difficult, difficult day for those who are on the outside looking in. Those who have never had a love, and there are many, those who have lost their love and are all alone again.Valentine's Day is hard.

The other holidays are difficult, but there are ways to get through. But Valentine's Day, that is hard. Everywhere you look, from the aisles of the grocery store, to the restaurant ads in the paper, the commercials on TV you are reminded that this is a time for love and a time for lovers, and you feel all alone. It seems as if the whole world is operating two by two, that no matter which way you turn you are surrounded by couples, and you no longer have the person that made you part of a couple. Valentines day is long and lonely.

If you know someone who is alone this year on Valentines day, please reach out to them. A note, a small card, a phone call. Let them know that they are not alone in this world. Let them know that another human being cares about them. See, we all need a human touch. We may be rooted in faith,and know that there is a Creator,and that that Creator loves us. We may know that there is in us a part of the Divine, and that there is no where we can go that the Divine is not with us. But, the love of Most High, as wonderful as it is doesn't have the human touch unless we provide it. We are made in the image of the Creator, we are told,and so we must be the arms and hands and voice of love. We must be the human touch. There is someone out there in need of your voice, or a hug, or just the touch of your hand on their sleeve. So, make sure that you do something special for your sweetheart. Do not ever let a day go by, and especially on the holiday that is about love, make sure the one you love, the one who loves you, knows that you never take one moment for granted. But, please, if you have an extra moment reach out to one of the lonely ones. They will appreciate you more than you can know.

Love Is Stronger Than Death

Love is stronger than death.
So I must be content to know that
love is not affected by death-- ...
it doesn't end, it doesn't diminish,
it doesn't change.
Instead, love is immortalized
and eternalized through death.
And the possibility of that love ever
being damaged or broken
is eliminated forever.
I'll put my trust in love.


Monday, January 27, 2014

It's just a word...

...or so I thought.

So, Monday morning is my weigh in day. Hey, all dieting efforts start on Monday's--it's a law, right?

This morning, I lost 1.25 pounds--and that is my 53rd weekly weigh in in a row with a loss. I have no idea who this body belongs too, but she ain't getting it back! Actually, I've kind of figured out that being post menopausal has been good for my weigh loss efforts. I no longer have hormonal gains every 3 or 4 weeks, and it really is nice to think that being an old crone has benefits!

So, anyway, here i am working hard to deal with my weight, and it is working! I am glad something in my life is working, it might s well be my weight loss efforts.

Now, I have been overweight since I was a few days old. My stature has always been that of one of those few who are genetically programmed to gain weight easily and hold onto it. Truthfully, we are the reason the species survived the cave man days. In paleolithic times we seem to have been venerated--and there are wonderful little statues that look just like me.

So imagine my surprise, when I got excited over my weight--and more specifically my BMI-this morning. Now I really don't put much stock in the BMI as a rule of thumb for what we should weight. AND, my goal weigh is well outside of the BMI parameters. But, there are lots of different ways to measure what a healthy weight is, so why did I look at a BMI chart this week?

Well, on one of the forums I take part in a woman was asking about her BMI-so I looked at the charts so I could make sure I was giving accurate information. Casually, while checking her BMI, I input my height and weight, and I'll be darned it caught my attention. If I lost a half a pound this week I would move from OBESE to OVERWEIGHT.

Now, when I saw that, it made me think, really this is why I don't care much for charts. A half a pound would make a difference in whether I was OBESE or OVERWEIGHT--seriously? Who came up with this stupid plan? My doctor and I have set a goal weight for me, and I am 4.5 pounds away from it. We think it makes a lot of sense, considering my history, my health, and other factors-such as my waist to height ratio, etc. But, if I went to another doctor, last week he or she would have described me as OBESE, this week as OVERWEIGHT, based on some arbitrary number on a scale and some arbitrary chart.

Now, I truly believe a scale is just a tool that we use in measuring our journey. We are not the numbers on a scale, and should not measure our worth based on those numbers, since a scale is a mechanical device that can be wrong.Fortunately,my success is not based on the numbers on a scale. I will not be successful at dealing with my weight issues just because I reach some 'mythical' goal weight. I will be a success at this issue of dealing with my wieght when I have learned to be faithful to making the healthiest choices I can make every day.I will be successful at this weight thing when I have learned to UNLEARN the things that cause me to use food in unhealthy inappropriate ways. I will never be successful if I think this journey is about NOT eating when in fact learning to eat well, faithfully, day after day, is the goal I should be pursuing.I truly believe this.

BUT, I will admit that when i weighed in this morning and saw that number, knowing that it changed one word in my life touched some part of me i didn't know was there. SO, it just goes to show that you are never to old to learn something about yourself!!

That, and  whether I am OBESE or merely OVERWEIGHT...
 I am still a goddess!

Woman of Willendorf


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Another Year

Oh my word, I haven't had a drink in 33 years!

Today is my birthday. Not my belly button birthday, my day I got clean and sober birthday. Today I am celebrating 33 years of sobriety. Celebrating 33 years of choosing to deal with life and all its challenges, obstacles, defeats, and victories without using drugs or alcohol. The last few years have been challenging, but this past year I managed to quiet some of the demons, the depression, and even deal with the struggles with less angst.

I don't remember when alcohol wasn't available to me. My older brothers-14, 18, and 21 years older than me- were the kind of guys that thought it was cute to give a baby or toddler a sip of beer, or whatever cocktail they might be drinking. There was always a bottle of whiskey in the kitchen cupboard, and when my dad wanted a glass of wine in the evening, he sent one of us to get it.Alone in the kitchen, no one was there to see me take a swig for myself. If there were family gatherings, not much attention was paid attention to what you were grabbing out of the cooler. After all, the men usually sent a kid to get the beer out of the cooler. So I developed an enjoyment of the taste and effect of alcohol at a very young age. It was an easy way to make life stop hurting for a little while.

Of course,as soon as I left home it was no problem. I looked older than my age, and was never carded. Really, the first time I was carded was on my 21st birthday. There was a new guy at my liquor store, and he carded me and wished me a Happy 21st birthday. The owner was shocked, since he had been selling me alcohol for 4 years. But, he didn't make a big deal about it. I was a very good customer. By the time I was 21, I was drinking every day. I had started down that road as a teenager with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. I was self medicating with drugs and alcohol for several years. When I was diagnosed, I started letting go of the drugs, but consumed more alcohol to make up for it.

I drank my way through college, and 5 years into my working life. I managed to get good grades, and do good work while I increased my drinking. I had good jobs, but my drinking caused me to make some really, really stupid decisions about men and relationships.Just like the song says "Looking for love in all the wrong places."

I knew that eventually I would have to quit drinking. I knew that it was impossible for me to drink in moderation, and I hated that, because there were things I truly enjoyed and did not want to give up.I truly enjoyed choosing the right wine for a good meal. I truly enjoyed a cold beer on a hot afternoon.But, as much as I wish I was, I am not the kind of person who can stop with one glass of wine, one cold beer, one mixed drink. So, I had to listen to the small voice and quit. The last time I got drunk was on a Sunday night. I had been to a party. I don't remember much about the party, I had been drinking all weekend of course, but for some reason I got really drunk at that party. I think that I totally embarrassed myself, and a friend suggested we leave and go somewhere else. We ended up at her Mother's house. I don't remember how we got there, but I do remember sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee and talking to her mother until 5 o'clock Monday morning. I drove home and got in the shower and then I decided to call in sick and get some sleep. I had never done that before, I always went to work. In fact, I got in the shower intending to get ready for work, but while I was in that shower I started getting quiet, and when I get quiet I can hear the small voice, and the voice said "It's time to heal."

So, I called in sick, went to bed and slept for a couple of hours. When I woke up I felt like crap.I never got hungover, but that day I was hungover. I spent some time feeling sorry for myself, but then I remembered hearing the voice. I knew that it was time to stop numbing the pain, time to stop dulling the memories and to start healing the wounds. I called my doctor, and went to see her. I had a good talk with her and she referred me to a therapist. She called him right then, and he saw me that afternoon.It was Monday, January 19, 1981. The therapist said that he would work with me, but he also suggested that I go to AA. He got out the phone book, and handed me the phone. I made the call and found a meeting that evening. That was the beginning of my journey to health and wholeness, a journey I am still on. It is not an easy journey to start. It is not an easy journey to continue, but it is a journey I believe we must all undertake.

So, here I am. I haven't had a drink, oh how I have wanted to, but I have not had a drink.My Higher Power and I are taking a journey. One day at a time.

Peace and Blessings,