This is how it works for me…

Remember my indecision last month about the travels? It just felt like it wasn’t the time.

Later in the month, my daughter who has been planning a May 2018 wedding for over a year now finally decided on a venue. After maybe 10 different decisions. She and my soon-to-be son-in-law decided to go to Hawaii. I wasn’t initially convinced that I should go. I thought it was ghastly expensive.

She kept calling for my opinions on which beach? Which flowers ūüĆł? What color leis? How should she have her hair done, etc. Now, mind you, this is my sober daughter, not her twin sister who has been all over the world.

After a week or so of these phone calls, I asked myself a question that seems obvious… why are you not going to her wedding?

I actually went to their home so I could see their plane tickets with my own eyeballs. And then I started planning my trip!

Something tragic happened on March 3 (which I will write about in a later post), and I realized once again that life is truly short and uncertain and I better live to the fullest while I am alive and have four working limbs. I sat down last Sunday and bought tickets, with upgraded seats, to Hawaii. I booked an oceanfront room. On the beach. And I cannot wait to go to my daughter’s wedding- at my 50th State!!!

I gave up shopping for clothes and shoes for Lent, so I shall not be shopping for a dress and shoes and swim suit and sundresses and sandals, ad infinitum, until April 2.

I am so excited and grateful. I actually really like my daughter’s fianc√© and I’m looking forward to him being a part of my family.

God is so good, if I will take the time to look and listen.

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This is a lovely winter scene I went and tried to paint last Sunday. ¬†My daughter and I took a Nature Journaling Class last month, and I have decided this may be a lifesaver for me at the moment. ¬†Long ago I quit painting because I realized my paintings were mediocre (at best). ¬†I didn’t want to be a mediocre artist, so I just quit altogether. ¬†Which could be an analogy for my early life. ¬†Anyway, I have a little kit and tiny sketchbook and can go out with my little folding stool and do little watercolors. ¬†And if they are little enough, who cares what they look like? ¬†They are cute, they are evocative of the moment, and it is good for me to get outdoors and to paint again.

I am very tired from the job. ¬†I am enjoying it, and the money is a miracle. ¬†But holy cow, I am tired! ¬†I am working full time between work and the one day I take “off” and work at church.

In my e-mail box a couple of weeks ago was a note from an iconographer who lives in Greece.  It listed his classes for 2018.  One is in a small town in Ireland.  I decided I really could go there.  I reserved a small room at the monastery for a pittance.  The class is a pittance, and the airfare is even reasonable right now.  And then I tried to actually figure out all the travel stuff.  And then my best friend who lives in England decided she really could meet me in Dublin and we could spend a couple of days together.  And then I tried to figure out how to get to this tiny place from Dublin.  And then I tried to figure out how to tell my best friend that I am NOT sharing a room with her as she is assuming.  I do not share a room with anyone.  Not my BFF, not my daughter, not my sister, not no one.  I just can not.

And then…. ¬†a woman from church told me about a trip to the Holy Land another parish is taking. ¬†So then I went into fantasy land about a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. ¬†Which has been a dream. ¬†It is probably $1,000 or $2,000 more than the trip to Ireland, but to go to Israel! ¬†And I actually have the money.

And then…. I looked at the growing balance in my savings account and realized I don’t want to even touch it.

And then… I thought about all my travels in 2017 and how very much I loved every second of my “domestic” trips. ¬†What fun and what adventures I had!

My sane and reasonable daughter is coming over this afternoon to help me to sort this out.  I hope.  I asked for her help.  She is so level headed and sane.  She also knows me well and most of the time has a much higher opinion of me than I do.  When I start freaking out, she always reminds me that whatever it is is just small potatoes compared with X that I sailed through before.

I am worn to a frazzle from work which makes it extremely difficult to think clearly.  I have a huge deadline next week and I am hoping to take some time off after that.  Just a day or two.  And then hopefully I can shrink my days at work to 2 or 3 a week.  I can handle that.  This 5 days is killing me now though.

I have no idea how I ever did this for enough years to earn a retirement.  Seriously.  Only by the Grace of God because this is impossible!

Any opinions about the trips would be appreciated, even if I ignore them…. thanks!

Posted in Family, Fear, History, Icons, Travel, Work | 8 Comments

Monthly Update?


This tree is on the campus of the hospital where I work.  I love the tree, but unfortunately, they made this a little smoking area, as you can see by the trash can and the cigarette disposal thing.  I am enjoying afternoon walk breaks at work, I love the campus and its old trees, buildings, and flagstone sidewalks.

After the first month of work, I have finally found my energy again. ¬†It was shockingly difficult to start working again after a year off. ¬†I was physically exhausted. ¬†It was a little bit scary. ¬†I think I am ok now. ¬†I don’t know how long this gig will last, but I hope to enjoy it most days until it is done. ¬†I am certainly enjoying the money.

Last week I got to meet one of my favorite bloggers, Dr. 24 Hours.  He is a young man, almost 10 years sober, living a great sober life, moving from one side of the country to the other, with an equally wonderful young woman at his side.  I feel like I know him from reading his blog for over 9 years.  I am absolutely never surprised when I meet a fellow blogger, we really do manage to tell the truth about ourselves on a daily basis.  So grateful to him for taking the time to stop here on his journey home.

Life is very good for me right now. ¬†And it pains me to realize that the largest influence in that happiness is having some money in the bank. ¬†I really don’t make enough money from my retirement to be comfortable. ¬†I can squeeze by, but it is a little frightening to not have the money to paint the house AND install new windows AND buy a new dryer or whatever I may need. ¬†Yesterday I drove by a little shack for sale on my rounds and checked the price. ¬†$295,000. for a 725 square foot shack in an iffy neighborhood. ¬†Granted, I can make a lot of money on my house should I sell, but where would I go? ¬†And if Amazon picks Denver for HQ2, I am selling and getting the heck out of town!

I’ve managed to remain very involved in my church. ¬†I am so enjoying that. ¬†Just after the first of the year, I started praying the Liturgy of the Hours on a daily basis. ¬†It is beyond wonderful. ¬†I do not have words to describe the experience, but I am so glad that my little bit of windfall from working afforded me the opportunity to purchase that lovely set of 4 books.

And an overseas trip will probably be in the future months. ¬†I am so excited about it, but it is a totally different topic… More to follow….

Posted in Faith, Fear, Friends, Gratitude, Prayer, Retirement, Travel, Work | 4 Comments


Gigi is kind of cute when she isn’t hissing or biting, huh?

Just thought I would pop in and post a tiny post about working. ¬†I last wrote in my first week of work, when it all seemed so glorious. ¬†Then the second week came, and all I could think was “what the hell was I thinking?” ¬†The third week was OK because I had to go back to the drawing board and remember that I swore I would “wear this job like a loose garment.”

I walk around the hospital a lot. ¬†I also work a lot, but I try to get up about once an hour and walk around. ¬†Sometimes I see people who are happy to see me and hug me and we chat and that is lovely. ¬†Sometimes I walk by offices where I used to work. ¬†Some are happy memories, but the last several years there were mostly not good. ¬†The memories of the situation that necessitated my leaving have come back to me, and I have become angry that it was handled the way it was. ¬†But I mainly tell myself that I cannot afford to go there. ¬†I really can’t. ¬† I spent absolutely no time “processing” this after I retired. ¬†And I am convinced that was and is a good decision.

Processing was a big thing in the 60s and 70s, and I was all in. ¬†But as my focus turns from “recovery” to “faith,” many of my old ideas are changing. ¬† Expressing rage and plumbing its depths has never been productive in my life. ¬†Seriously. ¬†Screaming and “blowing off steam,” for me, has only been fuel for the fire. ¬†I have found that if I quietly pray for God to help me and try to turn my thoughts to others, I am so much happier.

This is sort of the approach I am now taking with work.  I am good, but I am only so good.  I am not perfect.  I work hard and I believe I am uniquely suited to do what I am doing and that is a great asset to the hospital.  But staying later, working more days than I had intended, coming in earlier instead of going to Mass, all these things are not necessary and not productive.

I am profoundly grateful for this opportunity to make a fair bit of money.  But I am willing to let go of it today if needed.  And that helps me to be happy and peaceful and  closer to God.  And in the end, that is all I want.

Posted in Cat, Gratitude, History, Peace, Prayer, Retirement, Work | 5 Comments

Work and Winter Snow

Just because “work” alone sounded stupid. ¬†It is snowing though. ¬†After an extremely warm autumn, it is almost universally welcome.

I finally started back to work on Monday of this week, December 18.  It is very nice to be making money.  It is also very nice to have that nice feeling of competency which has eluded me for the past year.   I honestly thought I had lost my good brain.  But I was able to pick up and just go at work Рon a project that is extremely complex.  I was even able to hold forth at a meeting yesterday.  After only two days at work.

I am extremely excited about being back at my workplace of 21 years. ¬†I’ve seen so many people I didn’t realize I missed. ¬†Lots of hugs. ¬†The Medical Director, my favorite psychiatrist in the world, gave me a little Christmas gift yesterday with a lovely card which meant the world to me. ¬†It is so nice to be in a place where I understand the culture. ¬†I took a walk around the ¬†hospital on my first day back. ¬†I was amazed at how I still could walk those hallways blind-folded. ¬†They are so familiar. ¬†A lot has changed, but a lot has stayed exactly the same. ¬†I feel comfortable there.

It is so good to have a second chance to write an ending to the story of my career there.  The way I left was really pretty awful.  The fact that they asked me to come back and give every appearance of being very happy to have me already changes that story.

I am still able to go to Mass every morning on my way to work, which is wonderful.

And I am looking forward to my NEXT retirement! ¬†I must write a list of rules for retirement…. much like the rules I wrote on Monday morning for my work life. ¬† Such as, Remember this is temporary, Do Not Gossip, and No One Cares What Happened in 1994, so don’t tell them!!!

Thank you everyone for your loving comments, they are very much appreciated. ¬†And if I don’t get a chance to write before Christmas, I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

And since I am now being ordered to use that particular greeting, I would also like to say:

Happy Holidays!

Posted in Retirement, Weather, Work | 7 Comments

The Post that Shouldn’t be Written

33.33 years

I noticed last week that my sobriety was heading into the third of a century zone. ¬†I happened to open this app the other day and see this. ¬†One Third of a Century. ¬†I had no one to tell save my daughter. ¬†And even so, she didn’t respond to my text.

I took a quick trip to Montana to see my younger grandkids. ¬†Actually when I left home, I thought I was going to see all of my grandchildren. ¬†When I was half way there, I found out the older ones were not coming because their grandfather (my ex-husband) was having a health emergency and needed all hands on deck. ¬†He had a miraculous recovery on Thanksgiving. ¬†Isn’t that wonderful? ¬†(as your screen drips with sarcasm)

I got to spend Thanksgiving with my son, his wife, their 7 year old daughter, and nearly 5 year old son. ¬†My little grandchildren haven’t been fed a steady diet of disparaging comments about me from birth, so they actually like to see me and cry when I leave. ¬† And I have cried plenty on the two day drive home.

I got to Colorado and cried. ¬†I have always loved to come home, but this time I asked myself in despair, “what am I coming home to?” ¬†It was the worst feeling. ¬†I cried and cried and cried.

I need to make some changes in my life and they have to happen now.  The last couple of years have been a whittling away of all that is good in my life.  The grandkids leaving, my career ending, my AA group turning into a hostile environment.

As I came into Denver, that is what really hurt. ¬†To think that my AA life is now reduced to one meeting a week at my old homegroup with my old peeps. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for that, but it is not what I thought would happen as I aged and stayed sober.

Apparently I still can’t write about this. ¬†I thought I could tonight. ¬†The hurt feels so fresh. ¬†But I consider the one or two people from that group who used to read this blog and I really don’t want them to be privy to my private thoughts. ¬†Oh, yeah, I will tell the whole internet, but not anyone from that group. ¬†I don’t trust that they would care at all, I feel that they would just gossip with the info provided. ¬†And I don’t want to do that.

I am horribly lonely and feel desolate.

I really thought that at this point I would have a host of old old friends. ¬†I did in earlier years. ¬†But that was when I conformed more to the AA dogma. ¬†I was AA’s, my heart, brain, and soul. ¬†As time went on, my soul started to need something much deeper, and it found its home in the Catholic Church – which is routinely mocked in AA circles. ¬†ha ha ha. ¬†My heart would like to have friends who are not as shallow and fickle as my friends in AA have turned out to be. ¬†My brain would like more than a 164 page text to learn from. ¬† When I engage with people, I would like to hear more than cliches and disrespectful insults that people in AA have a tendency to feel entitled to use.

Now my old trusted friends are either dead, demented, or drunk.

If you would like to throw a cliche at me, please just skip it, OK?  Thanks.

I have been in AA and sober continuously for one third of a century and I am pretty familiar with them.

Posted in Family, Friends, History, Regrets, Retirement, Sobriety, Truth | 15 Comments



I am knitting so much that my right hand is painful and virtually useless, and I have knit holes into my left index finger. ¬†The photo above is the beginning of a sweater for my grandson… which will be for my older granddaughter because the gauge was so wrong. ¬†I’ll knit another for my grandson, using better, more expensive yarn.

I went in for my physical last Tuesday.  I was shown my new office.  I have computer access and an e-mail address.  I got a call on Friday morning.  One of the big shots who had signed off on the approval for the position changed his mind.  So there is no job.  I was supposed to start yesterday.  I was so excited about it.

Hospital management is still holding out hope they can demonstrate to this guy that there is money in the budget for me. ¬†This lovely thing called “vacancy savings.” ¬†All the positions that are empty and are not going to be filled. ¬†It’s a lot of money and they always play games with it. ¬†Maybe this time the game will work out for me, but I am not counting on anything right now. ¬†I will tell you that my heart broke a little about this.

I said all the right things to my friends.  It must not be meant to be.  There must be something better God wants me to do.  Etc.

But my heart is broken just a little bit.

My family is in turmoil and that hurts a bit too. ¬†Both of my daughters call me and I commiserate with both of them because I understand both of their points of view, but this sucks. ¬†For any parent who believes that everything will be OK if only their addict stops using, I am here to disabuse you of that delusion. ¬†Thank God she is sober, I thank God every day, but even 9 years of sobriety don’t undo all the damage that was done.

So it is Halloween.  I am writing this between answering the door and giving kids candy.  My sober daughter and her boyfriend are on the way over for dinner.   And I feel horrible that the other daughter is not going to be here.

And the grandkids are in Montana, far, far away.

I’ll snap out of it. ¬†I know I will. ¬†But right now, it just kind of feels icky.

Yes, I am articulate Рicky.  That is the best word.

(and you know I have the best words.  I am very intelligent!!!!)

Posted in Family, Knitting, Sobriety, Work | 4 Comments

Life Goes Fast


Sober Daughter and I canned tomatoes last week.  It was a lovely day.

I’ve had a whole bunch of lovely days. ¬†Amazing days don’t lend themselves to blog posts as well as not so great days.

The weather has turned.  It is suddenly cold rainy fall weather.  I usually like this kind of weather, but after three days of it, I am finding it oppressive.  I tend to spend a bit of time outdoors so I feel a bit like a caged animal.

Last week I got a phone call from my former boss at my long time career job. ¬†It seems they need my help with something and would like me to come back. ¬†She begged me. ¬†Seriously, begged. ¬†She said I could work whatever days and hours I wanted, as much or as little as I wanted. ¬†That I could stay in my office and not talk to anyone or go to any meetings, that I could just tell her what to do and she would do it. ¬†Oh, isn’t this music to my ears? ¬†yes. ¬†I told her there was a large part of me that would like to say “I told you so. ¬†Good luck.” ¬†But a larger part of me would LOVE to come back in a limited way and work on my favorite thing. ¬†And so I said yes. ¬†It will probably take a month or more to get all the bureaucratic I’s dotted and T’s crossed. ¬†We’ll see.

But I immediately feel vindicated.  Like I have a chance to change the ending of that story.  I get to add another chapter.  And I get to earn a lot of money.   I had prayed that morning that it would be nice if God could find me more money.

I am very excited and happy about this. ¬†And anxious to get going. ¬†I think that is why I am feeling so caged now. ¬†There are so many things to get done and I don’t want to sit in this house and knit the project that I have come to hate. ¬†Hate. ¬†Hate. ¬†And I have two of them to do. ¬†Before Christmas.

I guess I will go back to my chair and knit.  And wait for an adventure.

Posted in Food, Gratitude, Knitting, Nature, Prayer, Weather, Work | 4 Comments


IMG_3006.JPGWhat a wonderful trip I had! ¬†Yellowstone National Park is phenomenal – the real meaning of that word. ¬†So many beautiful things to see and experience. ¬†The above is the Grand Prismatic Spring. ¬†I thought I was taking the trail to the place with an “arial” view, but I didn’t and didn’t have time to take the several mile hike to the other place.

fullsizeoutput_94a.jpegThe yarn store in West Yellowstone had this yarn which was exclusively hand dyed for them.  It is the Grand Prismatic Spring color way.  I cannot wait to knit a shawl out of this!

IMG_3071.JPGThere’s my tent in Yellowstone. ¬†It was really an awesome experience for me. ¬†I was so afraid of animals, and afraid of my body and how it would live through a night in a tent. ¬† It is so good to have done this and realize that I CAN DO IT. ¬†I was so worried and some of my worries were realized, but I lived through it and I can say I truly enjoyed myself. ¬†I did wake up freezing the first night in spite of my sleeping bag, air mattress, and very good Smartwool long underwear. ¬†I put on a hoodie and a hat, and covered the sleeping bag with everything else I had in the tent. ¬†The next night, I wore more layers which may have helped. ¬†My back was really bothering me, so I wrapped my back in one of the ThermaCare wraps I had packed, and was warm all night!

I got to see all four of my grandchildren. ¬†The older two are teenagers and very difficult to get to see as they live with my ex-husband and are very busy with school and sports. ¬†I would say the ex made it difficult. ¬†I choose not to spend a lot of time on that. ¬†Those girls are old enough that it won’t be long until we will be able to visit freely. ¬†But that time is not now.

The little ones just make my heart sing.  To be able to spend three days with them was just heavenly.  When I got there, they were out in the driveway jumping up and down, they were so excited to see me.  When I left, they hung on my legs crying and begging me not to leave.  My son told them to knock it off because I was crying, but I told him it was a wonderful kind of crying.  What a loving, kind, peaceful family.  No sniping, no sarcasm, no yelling, no tension crackling in the air.  Just love and caring.  Amazing.  I have a bedroom there and I sleep better there than anywhere else.  I just feel so comfortable and safe Рand loved.  It is sad to leave there, but I am oh, so grateful that I can go there.

I was feeling like my life was over before I went on this trip. ¬†I felt that my body had betrayed me and was making me old. ¬†I was truly expecting death in a few years. ¬†That may truly happen, no one knows the hour, right? ¬†But I feel alive now. ¬†After a night at my son’s house, my back had stopped hurting so bad. ¬†Many of my ailments have gone away. ¬†I think that is because I stopped taking that terrible medication. ¬†But it was so reaffirming to go do something kind of hard and kind of daring. ¬†It was good for me to push the envelope if you will. ¬†I feel strong and capable right now. ¬†Not a feeble old woman.

And now I shall start to study the Latin textbooks that arrived in my absence.  When I look at them, I realize how little Latin I retained from high school.  But I am about to learn again.  So exciting!

Life feels good again.  God is so good.

Posted in Family, Fear, Gratitude, Health, Travel | 10 Comments

Heading Out

That’s a whole bed full of stuff I am taking on my trip. Believe me, there is a lot more than this!

I was so stressed about trying to get to Yellowstone in one day, I decided to book a room. ¬†My young neighbor coached me through signing up on Airbnb, and helped me find a place to stay in Wyoming for tonight. ¬†Someone’s basement for $45. ¬†Sounds funky, but I didn’t want to spend over $100 for a room just so I could sleep for a few hours. ¬†The reviews are all good for this lady, so it should be ok? ¬†I’ll let you know what I think.

Yesterday I purchased a sketchpad and some fancy colored pencils that you can use with water if desired.  I did a little sketch/painting of a rose last night and I am super excited about trying some landscapes on my trip to YNP.

I am just super excited all the way around.  I will probably post a couple of times while I am gone because I will be alone a lot and I am thinking I might have some time on my hands.  To hike, pray, paint, knit, and blog!  When I am not hanging out with my grandchildren!!!!

Please say a pray that none of the bears find me particularly appealing.  Thanks!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments