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It’s cold out. I’ve had a pretty chill day, but haven’t been very busy which meant I had time to get inside my own head.

So dangerous.

I took on a new sponsee, who was supposed to come to a meeting this morning with me, and didn’t show when I arrived. So instead of going to the meeting anyway, which is what I should have done, I went home. I’m not feeling great physically, and had things to do but ended up hanging out and thinking about what I wasn’t doing. 

Never a good idea.

However, my sponsee called, and arranged for a later meet up. Which is how I ended up at the Alano club where my home group is, going to a meeting. 
I’ve called a lot of places home before. I’ve lived in many places (although they were all in the twin cities) but I feel like the term home has a different meaning to me now. When I go to my alano club, I feel like I’m home, in a way I haven’t felt like since I was a kid growing up. I don’t feel like that when I go to my residence, or my mom’s house, or even to the place I grew up. I get that feeling when I’m with my kids, or my lover, or with my best friend, but most intensely when I’m going through the doors of that alano club to be with other sober alcoholics.

I think it comes down to home being where you know you are loved unconditionally by people who know who you truly are and love you anyway.

1. Slept in, and made myself eggs on toast. Mmmm…

2. Bought new glasses. They’re on order. I’m scared shitless of the price…I never spend that kind of money on something and I’m debating taking them back. But… I look so good. Hmmm…

3. Made daiya mozzarella garlic toast for lunch and ate it with spaghetti sauce. 

4. Meeting and working with my new sponsee. If you havent done it, it’s amazing. Like nothing else in the world. 

5. Adulting is done for the day. Laundry folded and put away. Dishes done. Apartment (relatively) clean. Its beautiful.

That time of year

When it gets colder, thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Caillou’s holiday movie is on. Yes, I said the c-word. Parents everywhere are crying in their coffee mugs, counting the minutes until their next glass of bourbon or their AA meeting. 

And not even thanksgiving yet. 

I haven’t truly looked forward to a thanksgiving meal in some time. I’ve wanted to host one for years, pretty much since I’ve been diet challenged. My ex MIL made an effort, and I always appreciated it but I’d always feel like I brought half my kitchen over. This year, I was informed I was obligated to attend my sister’s meal. Ok, fine. I live in a small apartment, not conducive to ten kids and 8 adults. It makes sense to not host it. But I asked for the menu, and I’ll get to eat turkey, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, which I will have to bring my own margarine. That’s it. Probably no gravy, even. I got snark from another sister about how dairy free mashed potatoes aren’t real mashed potatoes. Lord in heaven. If I didn’t have my kids that day, it wouldn’t even be a question, I wouldn’t go.

So I invited Lover over the night before, and will cook a wonderful dinner to my liking and needs. I’m pretty excited about that. Here is the positive in this whole thing, I get to host a small meal, for the two of us. We get leftovers. And then, I’ll go to my sister’s, and will enjoy the family time. No worries about eating. I don’t expect anyone to accommodate me, but it’s unbelievably hard to sit at a table and watch everyone eating food that looks and smells amazing while you can’t eat it.

I know, thanksgiving is about gratitude, not the food. I am so grateful I have a family I can spend thanksgiving with. I love my sisters dearly. I have a wonderful life I only hoped for, but never thought I would actually have. I want to be the person who finds the way to make it happen, whatever “it” is. Who won’t bitch about a meal she can’t eat most of, because she’s with a family who wants her there.
Anyway, I survived one round of Caillou. 2 days, 22 hours, 20 minutes and 46 seconds til my next meeting. 

My song of the day and other things

Its a music day. I have these days from time to time where I find really awesome songs, download them, listen to the shit out of them, then wonder why I’m not hearing anything new. It seems to only happen at random too…I can’t just go out and look for it. It has to find me. 

My downloaded song today is called Unbuild It, by The 2 Bears. I heard it on the local underground college radio Lover got me hooked on, and it is so good. I was a little surprised because it has kind of a pop sound to it and this station doesn’t generally seem to play pop sounding songs (but, I’ve been listening to it for only a few days…so…). In any case, love it.

Also, Line of Fire by Junip. I had the treat of hearing some of their other songs, and I kind of love their sound. Slow and dreamy. 

To kick it up a notch, Sports, by Fufanu. I could see myself working out to this. If I worked out, that is. Nice even tempo. Definitely getting added to the hula hooping playlist.

Lover and I took another dance class last night, Tango and Hustle. The Tango was hard, I do not have the steps down for that, but the Hustle….ooooo. I like that one. I have that one down pretty good I think and it’s SO FUN getting spun around. I’m hoping we’ll get to do more with that. Or even just adding on our own stuff to it. Since we started dancing, half the songs I hear now I’m thinking about dance steps to. I think that’s a good thing. 

Lots of good things going on. I’m pretty appreciative of them all.

A letter to you.

I came home tonight, two tired hungry children in tow to a clean sink. I knew when I left this morning that you’d do the dishes. But I still didn’t expect you to. 

I just don’t think you truly know what this means to me. 

Over the last 13 to 14 years of life, I took care of things. Sometimes tired or sick, but there they always were, waiting for me. The dishes. Being a mom and making food for your family means there’s never a shortage.

Even when my sister and niece lived with me, I still was responsible for all of them. Occasionally a friend or relative would help out after I cooked a meal for them, but mostly, still. I did the dishes. 

Moving out on my own has been a wonderful thing. I’ve never been resentful towards my sink since I’ve had my own place. I’m so happy and grateful for everything I have now. I love cooking with you and for you. When you make me breakfast, it’s like fucking Christmas. Every time. And even though you’ve been around a little while, and I  guess not all that long in the scheme of things I still am shocked and amazed you want to do them. 

When I came home to a clean sink today, it made my entire day. I want to cry. I feel so touched and loved, and for the first time, taken care of. I love taking care of the people in my life. It’s what I do. I’m not used to anyone wanting to take care of me in the same way, and this is completely unfamiliar to me. 

I don’t really know where this is going. I just really wanted you to know how much that one thing meant to me today. 

You are amazing. And, I love you.

That’s all.

Day 102

Homemade pizza. Dare I say, all things wonderful come to mind? Paired with Stranger Things 2, a warm cat, and snuggly Lover, and all is set for an amazing cold November evening.

I use a recipe for crust coming from Bette Hageman’s cookbook, The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread. I have no permissions to post that recipe, but you can get it if you choose by buying her book. 

I also make mine amazing by brushing the crust after par baking with olive oil infused with garlic, Italian seasoning and some salt. It gives it that extra crunch and sooo good. Tonight, since my dairy eating Lover is over, I made two crusts, one which will have fresh mozzarella and the other with Daiya mozzarella. Toppings include diced green pepper, onion, mushrooms, garlic, pepperoni. I’m so stoked. Almost as much as I am to watch Stranger Things. 

First we par bake the dough

Then we add the toppings

Then we bake it

Omg. So. Amazing. 

1. Woke up in my favorite way. Slept in. Had an amazing breakfast of egg scramble with oatmeal that had cranberry sauce mixed in.

2. A long hot shower. So lovely. Apartment living has it’s benefits. There is unending hot water. 

3. Dance lessons. I am now learning ballroom dancing. Learned the foxtrot, the ballero (?), the hustle and a few steps on west coast swing. It was so fun! Practicing at home after as well. I’m really into it. Lover and I are working out more lessons.

4. Dessert. Still working on finishing off that lovely dessert A and I made. 

5. Snuggles and Stranger Things. Plus daylight savings made it seem to me like I got to stay up later. That’s a huge plus.

Also, got a refresher on Sandy B. on one of the car rides. I forgot how good he is. I’m hoping I can listen to more of it soon. Those are available from the Gopher State tape library…and possibly from other AA sources but I know for sure Gopher State. It’s worth a listen. 

Day 101

November…cold…cloudy…cold…

I like how November brings things I love. Like Thanksgiving. (Food) Christmas cookie baking after thanksgiving. (More food) Inevitable weight gain from all the food. (An extra layer of warmth from the food? A girl has to stay warm)

Today I did some online grocery shopping, and started buying some of the essentials I will need when I start making cookies. I freaking looove making Christmas cookies. I make all of them to my dietary standards, then give them out to my similarly restricted friends. The feeling I get when I can give delicious cookies to people who would ordinarily not get to eat them because of the ingredients is phenomenal. This year, I made a new vegan friend, and it has me thinking…how much would it change things to remove eggs from the cookies? Or at least, some of them. My goal for the next week or two is to try out a new recipe or two that is eggless, in hopes I can bring holiday cheer to the vegan in my life.

So, apparently A was thinking the same thoughts I was, and asked if we could bake tonight after I picked her up from daycare. Well, of course kid. So I ask her what she wants to make. Cookies? Brownies? Cake? She asks for chocolate and vanilla and cherries. Huh. Ok. So then we start brainstorming. Can we make brownie layers with cherries in the middle? No, she says. Vanilla layer, then chocolate then cherry. 

At first I thought about vanilla cake on top of a brownie layer, but then I got to thinking…what if there is such a thing as vanilla brownies? Googled. They exist. Damn! I had NO idea. So I grabbed a recipe for them, and layered it up with a brownie recipe, slapped some cherry pie filling on top.

Omg.

I don’t even know what to call this. I don’t know if it’s been done before. Neapolitan brownies? Maybe?

So effing good. A thought it needed whipped cream on top. I think she’s correct, but I don’t have any right now. If there are any left tomorrow I’m going to make that happen. No question. That’s my kid. I couldn’t be more proud.

Vanilla layer:

2/3 c rice flour

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

3/4 tsp baking powder 

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 c earth balance

1/3 c white sugar

1/3 c brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

Mixed, spread in 13×9 pan, greased.

Chocolate layer

2oz bakers chocolate 

1/4 c earth balance, melted with the chocolate in the microwave (because that’s how I roll)

1 c white sugar

1 egg plus 1 egg white

1tsp vanilla

1/2 c rice flour (I use Flying Horse brand. It’s so fine it’s like powdered sugar)

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

Dash salt.

I layered this on top of the vanilla layer, baked at 350f for 30 minutes. I feel like it needed an extra 5 though, because it was a tad undertone in the middle, but as you wish. Cooled, then slapped the can of cherry pie filling on top. Next time I might whip the pie filling in with some coconut whipped cream. 

Day 100

So many things. 

Today has been productive. My poor kitty can’t seem to get rid of his fleas so we got the vet treatment this morning, as well as forking it over for pest control. I’m done. DONE with fleas. So, after dropping my kids off, I spent the whole morning getting everything off the floors, vacuumed until the vacuum broke (insert poop emoji) swept, mopped, and gathered all bedding and clothes into the car. Kitty and I go off to the laundromat. 

30 dollars and 6 loads of laundry later, now we are parked in front of the building, waiting another 30 minutes before we are allowed back in. Kitty is very unhappy, and it’s fucking cold so we are stuck in the car. But! I have all sorts of clean laundry.

1. My lover is bringing a vacuum over later so I can finish the vacuuming. Then, grilled food and Stranger Things 2. Oh God I can’t wait.

2. I finally got curtains. This is very overdue, I’m pretty excited about putting them up. They’re supposed to be coral in color, and I’m hoping they won’t look excessively pink. 

3. Getting 6 loads of laundry done in 2 hours. I’m impressed. Not impressed by the cost, but happy with the time savings.

4. A flea free apartment. I can’t emphasize this enough.

5. Not having to go anywhere after I get back in to the nice warm apartment. This is a huge plus, with it being 30 degrees and windy, cloudy, and fuck Minnesota weather.

In spite of being very cold, kind of rainy, snowing here and there kind of day, I’m content with how it’s turned out so far. 

Here is a random picture of me with my new chicken, Dinner. She should lay me lots of eggs before fulfilling her name.

Day 99

Everything seems more brilliant lately. The music more powerful, the food tastes better. I’ve been so happy the last couple months but it’s magnified in the last couple days. Life is truly beautiful right now.

The whole purpose of this blog was to continue seeking positivity even when I felt like there was none to be had. 5 things each day. It worked, and my life has grown so full. Not perfect, by any stretch. I can find things to bitch about so easy. But my focus has changed. 

I’m still going to blog, and do 5 positives. It just won’t quite be so frequently. Unless life changes again and I need to again. God I hope not but who knows.

1. Got out the door, showered, with both kids and was at work on time. I didn’t meditate but I ate breakfast. Trade offs, but being at work on time felt great.

2. Potent pink sunrise this morning. Just this intense pink at the skyline for a minute before it disappeared behind a hill but it was amazing.

3. Leftover gf, df, sf lasagna that my sister made me last night. She loves me. ❤

4. Remembering the groceries in the work fridge before I left the parking lot in my car. The building would have been locked 5 minutes later and my dinner plans for tomorrow wouldn’t have happened! 

5. A delicious dinner of salmon, eggplant parmesan (my youngest sister made it and I feasted…she made it to my restrictions with love) and fried potatoes. So good.

Day 98

It’s been a long time since I packed so much into a single day. I’ve been up since 6, and went non-stop up until an hour ago. Now I have another hour and a half of free time before kickball and I don’t know what to do with myself.

So, I write. 🙂

1. A smooth morning getting out the door. I was even able to do the dishes!

2. Caribou was out of almond milk. I was devastated. I really wanted a latte but it was ok..i would settle for a house blend and an apple juice for A. Then…it was free. The staff felt bad that I wasn’t getting what I wanted and wouldn’t take my money. So a free coffee! And it was delicious.

3. A successful run at the courthouse getting all my papers.

4. Lunch at my favorite stand in the St. Paul skyways. It’s been 6 or 7 years since I’d been there and their tamales are to die for. So. Good.

5. Sneaked in a meeting at a treatment center in between the madness of government bureaucracy that I spent my day doing. It felt great.

The meeting was on the Promises. Which is apt, as my life is a testament to it. I dont regret my past. The happiness and freedom I’m experiencing now are a result of working the steps. I have the life now that I always wanted. Albeit it looks different than I thought it would but it’s beautiful, and mine, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Day 98

This has been honestly the best weekend with my children that I can remember. Only two small incidents, one on each day. I’m still holding my breath but the day is almost over.

1. The apartment never got too out of control today. Any parent knows the mess level gets out of hand easily. I acquired more toys and books yesterday than I would have liked, and they got all over the place but I got the kids to pick them up. The kids are in bed, and it’s not completely trashed. So awesome. 

2. Got to see my friend and went for a walk. I made her a vegan cake for her birthday and I might have been more excited than she was. But we walked, got coffee, and it was good to see her. It’s been like a month and feels like a year.

3. Reading my new book, Area X by Jeff Vandermeer. It’s creepy and addictive. I like it so far. 

4. Spaghetti with homemade French rolls. Omg. I haven’t made spaghetti in awhile and forgot how good it was. I’m hungry again just thinking about it. The girls tore it up too.

5. Quiet. At this moment right now, the only sounds are the clock ticking and my stomach growling (why did I bring up the spaghetti?). It’s peaceful and perfect.