Friday, May 09, 2008

Well, I certainly fell off the Blog Sphere..... I haven't posted a word for nearly four months. I have thought about it, but never started to write. Part of the reason I avoided writing was I found myself not willing to write about how I was really feeling. I was very aware of my emotions, but I wasn't willing to share them.

My fire victims finally moved back to their property. They stayed here for four and one half months. What a challenge! I had two people and a boat load of dogs camped out in my living room. Over the four months they spread out into the kitchen, and bedrooms. I tried not to get irritated cause they were in pretty bad shape losing everything in the fires, but I wasn't completely successful. I did more than most people could do, but I expected myself to act like Ghandi. Unfortunately, I lost my temper several times, especially with the guy. Oh well, progress not perfection.......

It took several weeks to get back on track with the house repairs. Part of the problem was all the rain. The weeds grew constantly, the trees needed trimming etc. Now, I am working on my kitchen. I am so excited to have a new kitchen. I can't wait till it is complete, and I can learn how to cook.

Monday, January 21, 2008

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. My fire victims are getting close to moving out of my living room and back to their property. They might be gone by the end of the month, at least that is their goal. They will have a temporary dog building and a motor home to live in while their house is getting rebuilt. Not the best conditions, but at least they will be able to let the dogs bark and run around. And, they will be a lot warmer.

Since I haven't been able to work on my house I have been spending time enjoying some of my passions. The rains have come to Southern California the wild mushroooms are popping up. I have been going on forays for the last 2 weeks. It is so exciting to forage through the forests and find these delectable little morsels. These 3 different varieties are ready for the frying pan.

Another gift happened this week. I went down to my faceting class and my instructor mentioned that some friends of his were trying to get rid of 2 kilns. They weren't able to sell them so they were just going to give them away. I raise my hand, and today I started moving them to my house. I guess it is time to start thinking about sculpture once again.

Sometimes life just works in my favor.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Another year has passed....... I spent the morning sitting outside, enjoying the cool air and quiet sounds of the neighborhood. I am looking forward to 2008, and started thinking about my new goals.

I looked at the goals I had for 2007 and only achieved a portion of them. I still have my ex, NVF in the past. Unfortunately, I have taken her out quite frequently to examine the extend that I was fooled. I am completely amazed at what a sucker I was. On the brighter side, I have finally reached the point where I want to date again. I am actually excited about the prospect.

My dancing partner is in the past. She is still around, but I don't communicate with her at all. It is sad, but she has her own path to follow, and I don't want to be on it.

My house is still not complete. The fires of southern California put a halt to any construction. My fire victims are still camped out in the living room with all their animals. It is really hard to get anything accomplished right now.

On the brighter side, I did start learning sabre fencing, and faceting in 2007. I was able to enjoy some mushroom hunting, and explore my passion for figs, and sculpture.

My goals for 2008 are much of the same. To live a clean and sober lifestyle, and enjoy exploring this wonderful world. I would like to get more focused creatively, finish my house, train my puppies, and of course, search for that "woman of my dreams".

Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments. What are your goals for 08?

Friday, December 21, 2007

This is my new addition. Her Name is Remy the Rascal. Her alias is Little Thief. She looks just like Tango, but is a totally different poodle. Quite a handful.

I haven't been blogging since the arrival of my fire victims. They are still camping out in the living room. For the most part, I enjoy the company, but the barking is really stressing me out. I have been attempting to maintain my perspective in this situation, after all, I didn't loose everything in the fires, but I am still stressed. Especially when too many dogs are barking, or they keep barking and no one shuts them up quickly.

Next Tuesday is Christmas. I don't have any Christmas spirit this year. I went shopping for a few presents this morning. It was fun - I even bought myself a few. Hopefully I will get excited about the holiday soon.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Solstice, and Seasons Greetings to all of you. I hope you get everything you wish for.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

OMG, it has been 2 weeks since my last post. I will have to do better, and get back to weekly postings again. Life has been complicated since the fires in southern California. I still have guests camped out in the living room - 2 humans and a boat load of poodles. I don't know how long they will be here - they lost everything and have a house and kennel to rebuild. There have been a few times when I was pushed to my limits, but overall it isn't all that bad. At least I have a house. I am a bit lost with 'working on the house' since they have spilled into every available room.

The phrase that I have been focused on this week is:

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." by Alexander Graham Bell. This is the first time I have read the entire quote. In AA I have only heard the first portion, "When one door closes, another one opens".

This quote has lifted my spirits, and given me hope this week. After a year and a half I still think about my ex, and wonder how she could be with a man. The thought of it is a bit repulsive, but if that is what she wants..... she can have it. I have spent too much energy thinking about what I lost when she left. Time has changed my perspective a bit and I get glimpses of how personally draining her behavior was. It took a whole lot of energy to get a little bit of companionship. Now, I am excited and ready to look for open doors. I have hope that I will find companionship again.

Monday, November 12, 2007

By the grace of a higher power, a whole lot of help from my friends, and a pinch of good luck, I have managed to stay clean and sober for another year. Today, I have celebrated my twenty fifth birthday.

Life is still a bit stressful, but we are all trying to coexist in the tiny space of my house. My friends are stilled camped out in my living room with all their dogs. For the most part I enjoy having company. The noise from all the dogs stresses me out, but I am trying to get through it. It seems so minor compared to their predicament. I didn't loose everything, I still have a house to go home to..... It's a bit stinky right now, but that doesn't matter cause it's still a work in progress.

Thank you all for your kindness, support and friendship.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The last 2 weeks have been very trying. I lost my "Old Guy", Mr. Kodi. He had tumors on his spleen that grew rapidly, robbed his blood supply, and pushed on his heart and lungs. I haven't grieved yet, partly because I am tired of losing those I love, and partly because Southern California started burning.

Several of my friends were evacuated during this tragedy, and I spent sleepless nights last week waiting to see if it was my turn. My neighbors and I were on rooftops during the early morning hours watching the fires move down the mountains. It is very interesting how the mind works when faced with making split second decisions.

Now, the winds have died down, and the fires are reluctantly surrendering their power. My friends lost their house and all the dog out-buildings. They lost everything except what they evacuated with. Now, they are staying at my house. two humans and a boat load of poodles...... Life throw so many curves.

I haven't had much time to visit your blogs. I hope you are all doing well, and I will visit as soon as I can.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I guess I haven't posted any photos in a long time. So, for my blogging buddies I will try to paint a picture.... There isn't a whole lot that is visibly different with my house. Last Friday, the painters started painting the exterior trim. I just don't have what it takes to paint, so I have to pay someone to do it.

The front trim color.

The rear trim color.

The front color is a greenish gray, and the rear trim color is a grayish gray. I chose a color that was more compatible with the brick deck in the back. After the trim is painted then the stucco guys will come back and put the final color on the stucco.
Last weekend I went up to a friend's greenhouse. I wanted to buy 2 Paphiopediluum orchids. 2 very small orchids. Since I have torn down all my covered porches I don't have anywhere to put my orchids right now, but I thought 2 more wouldn't hurt. Once an addict, always.........

He decided to give me 1-1/2 pallets of orchids. Some had some frost damage, and the box of bulbophyyllums, well, he just wanted to get me started on a collection.

So, now I need to build an overhang to keep my orchids from the sun.......
I will post photos of the white hairy ones next time.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hello friends,

Once again I have put off blogging. I have been trying for days to come up with a topic that is relevant to my current experience, but they all escape me. All I can think of is busy, busy busy...... and that's not really a recovery topic, just a current state of affairs.

I have been working on the house (never seems to end) and trying to get ready for the final application of stucco. Seems I have been doing this for ages, but I am almost there. I have finally settled on the trim colors. I am going to paint the front trim one color and the back trim another. Next week the painters will come to paint. I don't have the patience to paint so I am more than happy to pay someone to do it.

Last week I started contacting kitchen contractors. I am getting really excited about having a kitchen. It's those little things in life, like doing the dishes in a sink designed for that particular activity instead of the bathroom tub. I will be getting 2 bids this week, and will be contacting another contractor for one more.

I was fortunate to spend some time in a fiig orchard this weekend. It was fun tasting all the different fiigs that are in season here in southern California. I am a total fiig nut and I walked away with two different varieties to add to my garden. If anyone is counting that would be a total of 4 fiig trees for the back yard. I hope to add more next year.

I heard through the grapevine that my friend who still chooses to drink is moving back to her hometown. At first I was sad that she was leaving, and thought about approaching her and maybe even dancing with her again. My last memories of interacting with her happened months ago when I asked her to dance (twice). Once she said, "I'm having an important conversation", and the other time she let her hometown friend push me out of the way to dance "one last dance" with her. I thought it would be important to have a final memory that was better than that one.

That lasted for about twenty minutes, then my finely tuned cynicism set in....... It's difficult for an alcoholic/addict to know what balance is. It isn't something that comes naturally, and I never quite know if I've reached it or not. I usually have to rely on feedback from my friends in the program.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I'm back. I had a wonderful trip home to the Midwest. The weather was gorgeous - so beautiful that I actually wondered (several times) why I left. Then I woke up one morning and it was windy and cold. I repacked the shorts and the flip flops, and spent the rest of my vacation in jeans and long sleeve shirts.

The family reunion was a success. It was a pot luck with all those old recipes that peppered my childhood. I don't eat that way anymore, but it was nice to enjoy the memories.

It was a joy to see all my relatives again. I have an aunt that I haven't seen in over 25 years. She was always the family favorite. I worried that I would never see her alive again and that was the impetus to organize this reunion. My oldest aunt is 82 and the youngest is 68 so their years on this planet are slowly becoming fewer. I was so happy to seem them and their well polished quirks.

I was able to see my childhood friend. It was a shock to see her, and see how different our lives have become. Her memory is sharp and we talked about all the crazy things we did when we were young. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. I did make amends to her, but she wasn't willing to drag out all the details of the past, so I didn't push it.

There is something about going home that is comforting to the soul. I love all the attention I get from my family, and I quietly sit there and soak it up. It was so rewarding that we are talking about doing it again next year.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I am heading home for a visit Thursday, and will be gone for a while. My family is having a reunion. I can't remember the last time we all got together, but it has been a long, long time. There will be cousins from California, Aunts and Uncles from Florida, and many more relatives from the Midwest.

I started stirring the pot earlier this year to have this reunion. I believe I started some time in February. It started with my brother, then an uncle, then a cousin or two. We were going to host it in a park, but my uncle insisted on having it at his house.

Last week, I answered a call from one of my cousins. Her husband was at work and started talking about the reunion to several of his coworkers. One coworker soon recognized that she was familiar with some of the descriptions and started naming specific names. My name soon surfaced, and she asked my cousin to contact me.

At first I thought it was kind of funny. One of my childhood friends happens to work with one of my cousin-in-laws (a cousin-in-law that I have never met!). This old friend wanted to get together and catch up on the decades that have passed. At first, I was excited to get together, but as time went on I began to dread meeting her one on one.

As I discussed this dread with an AA friend it became clear that I still have some amends to make. This was a friend that I started drinking and using drugs with long ago. In early sobriety I did make amends to her, but there are still some memories that give me a sense of dread. I need to clean up this particular "wreckage of my past" and heal this relationship. I have reached the point where I am willing, and even looking forward to making these amends.

See you all soon.......

Friday, August 24, 2007

I have been analyzing my life during the last two weeks. When I get into these moods - wondering what I am doing, and where I want to go next, I don't always have a positive outlook about my experiences. Many times I think I have wasted my time here on this planet. That belief is what propels me into living life to the fullest, and packing in as many activities as I can. This introspection is one of the reasons I haven't posted in a while.

I choose to live in many different communities. I walk among the sober community, the gay community, and all the individual communities that gather for a specific interests - dancing, fencing, gem mining, poodles, orchids, mushrooms, wildlife etc. Variety and exploring this world is what makes me happy. Sobriety, and the twelve steps of AA give me the opportunity to live this way, and I am extremely grateful.

The glitch is that many times I just don't feel like I belong, especially in the gay community in my city. I use to think it was just me, but as time goes on I see how our community, especially the women, have little acceptance for one another. Amongst ourselves, bad behavior is the norm, and goes relatively unchallenged. Sadly, bad behavior exists in the sober gay community, and well as with those who are still using.

I can't figure out if I am depressed, old age is settling in, or I am too tired to give a shit, but I find myself lacking the desire to keep trying to be a part of the lesbian group. This is the group that I have spent my entire life craving acceptance from. The straight community has demonstrated more respect for me as an individual than the community that I am deeply drawn to.

At the same time I condemn the local lesbian community, I also condemn myself. Why am I attracting , or choosing to keep interacting with lesbians who who treat me poorly? There was a time not long ago that I was proud to continue to treat certain women with respect when I was not offered the same. Today, I don't feel like spending the energy to keep trying. In fact, just seeing many of these women in my vicinity creates an energy drain.

So, the question is: how do I change this pattern that I have developed? How do I draw people into my life that I am compatible with and interested in? Bloggers, what do you do to attract healthy people into your life?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tango had her first trackking lesson today. It was a lot of fun for me, and I think she is a natural at it. It took about a month to find someone in the area that did this dog sport, and I found a really neat old timer that has been trackking for over 40 years. I had to drive 1.5 hours one way to get to his area, but it was well worth it.

To start off he laid a linear walking track, and put a glove at the end with a treat on top of it. At first Tango, in full puppy fashion, paid attention to everything except what he was doing. She would track the birds in the air, the squirrels on the ground, challenge the geese, and do 360's in the air. On the second track she paid better attention, and actually follow the scent trail, and by the third time she was trackking very well. I am really happy with her progress, and we are going to meet again next week..

A follow up note about my friend that still wants to drink. I haven't written about her lately because it is not very positive news. She basically has not reached her bottom. Using drugs a few months ago was just a false bottom. She doesn't want to stop drinking and no longer wants to attend meetings. Because of her choices, I have pulled back, and don't communicate much with her. I have reached a point where I don't even want to dance with her anymore.

I don't care for the way she treats me, and she doesn't see anything wrong with her behavior. She is consumed by this disease, and her vision blurred by denial. I have to take care of myself, and protect my own sobriety. In order to do that I have detached from her and her bad behavior. I have turned her over to her higher power. I truly hope that she finds sobriety before it's too late.

Tango with her new haircut.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Prride Parade and festival was last weekend. It was kind of disappointing this year, and I have been trying to figure out if it is me, or the event....... I would like to say it was the event, or the folks that put it together, but I'm pretty sure it was me. In fact, I know it was me.

I injured my foot earlier that week so I tried to limit my walking. Usually I walk from the end of the route to the beginning, and stop to say hi and get hugs along the way. At the beginning of the parade route I sit with my sober friends and just before the parade finishes I start walking back to the festival.

This year I stopped in the middle and hung out with some of the girls I dance with. It was a quite group that didn't get out of their seats much or make a lot of noise. When the parade was over we all started walking up to the festival. It is really difficult to get a group of women to walk consistently in the same direction, at the same pace, to the same location. I started falling behind with a group that had to make a stop at the portable toilets. Trying to get them in and out and heading back up the hill to the festival was proving impossible.

While we were waiting someone, I don't quite know who, brought out a pott brownie. They all started sharing and complaining that whoever made it didn't grind up the pott well enough. I was so disappointed to have to see this. I really had no idea that these women did drugs. There were all athletes (not that it makes any difference), and I really only thought they did the social drinking thing.

We finished walking up the hill, and got sucked into one of the parties on the way to the festival. I went in to use a private restroom, but didn't stay for the food. I was already bored with the using, and the length of time it took to walk a quarter mile. I said goodbye to the girls and continued on to the festival alone.

I walked the festival, did a little dancing and went home. It has been a week, and I am still disappointed at seeing the pott brownie. After all this time I still feel uncomfortable around drugs. It's like getting too close to a hot flame. Next year I will have to walk the entire parade route so I can sit with my sober friends at the beginning.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

This is a piece of the tree that fell on my house. It was a section that was approximately 3 feet off the ground. I tried to get the tree cutters to slice off the bottom piece, but my Spanish was inadequate. I have kept this piece of wood from harm for the last six years. I was saving it to....... do something with, but to date, I didn't have any ideas. I am really good at saving things.

Today was the day I decided to wash my truck. For most of humanity this would be no big deal, but for me this was monumental. It has been over a year since I washed my truck. Why? Don't quite know. The last time I washed my truck my ex and I were preparing for a road trip. That was over a year ago. With all the things I have to do, this task always remained a low priority.

I was too lazy to bring both hoses up to the front yard so I could wash my truck in the driveway. Instead I brought up one hose, and moved my truck closer to the water spout. I pulled up close and tried to back in even closer to the water. My truck, for some reason, kept getting stuck, and I couldn't figure out why. I went back and forth, and back and forth on a level piece of ground. Little did I know I was backing over my chunk of wood.

Guess it was time for me to let go of that piece of wood. Now, I need to get my friend over here to collect this little pile.
Priide is coming.......... Yippee