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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.

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 89

My oven broke today. I literally cried. A was playing with the latch, it’s stuck and the door won’t close. So no baking until maintenance comes to fix it.

I keep telling myself it’s no big deal, and going 2-3 days without the oven is fine but I’m in withdrawal. And I wasn’t even home most of the day to bake anyway. Now, it’s dinnertime and 90% of the time I make skillet meals but tonight all I can think of is oven meals.

Funny how that happens.

1. Got my kids for the weekend. Parenting is a struggle. Big time. But I miss them terribly and I’m happy I have them with me.

2. Finally hung the curtain in the girls room that’s been sitting there for two weeks. Yesssss….

3. Made oat almond chocolate bars. Daaaaamn are they good. Who needs an oven? Not this girl.

4. AA picnic…super fun! There was an incident during the meeting involving a toddler running, tripping, and sending a loud bracelet flying across the room towards the speaker. I may have ran out of the room with a scarlet face carrying a laughing J without the bracelet while 50 plus people stared at me. A person may have chased me with it to return it. But there was food, other kids for A to play with, and I think fun was had by all. 

5. Fell asleep early on the couch with A. Like 830pm early. Something about those sleeping angels makes you all tender and less homicidal. It was super sweet.

Day 85

I’m feeling incredibly claustrophobic at the moment. 

I’m good at compartmentalizing. Especially with the people in my life. And I’m so good at it, that it never occurs to me that this is a small town and people know each other. Or that people from the past that I don’t expect to ever be in my life again pop up.

So last night, I’m in bed, sorting mentally through information I’ve gotten in the last few days and weeks and I feel suddenly claustrophobic. All these separate people are popping up in places I don’t expect knowing people it never occurred to me they knew. And I’m not sure why it makes me uncomfortable. It shouldn’t, but it does. It’s not like I have anything to hide, I don’t. 

I’m also seriously considering not going to a party I was really excited about going to because I found out a person would be there that I dont want to have any interaction with. I have two alternate sets of plans for that night, it’s not like I’d just sit at home with the cat and Netflix. I should shut up…a year ago that would have been me on a Saturday night. 

1. No Doubt, Spiderwebs. I SO wanted to be Gwen Stefani back in 1999. But, let’s be honest, who didn’t? Love that song. 

2. Back in March, I think, I was bitching that I never had time or money for a yoga class and someone suggested you tube for doing yoga. And it was amazing! I started doing it at home and it was great, my back pain was completely gone and weight loss plus body sculpting. A month or two later, I was talking to a girl I work with about her struggle with weight loss after her second child and I passed along the suggestion. She stopped by my office today, visibly smaller, and told me it was thanks to my suggestion because she was now doing the you tube video yoga exercises at home. I feel like I can’t take all the credit, but it feels so good that someone made a very positive change in their life because of something I said. 

3. Got my donut pans! I’m making donuts tomorrow and I’m soooo excited for it. Pictures and recipe to follow.

4. My weekend is filling up with plans fast. I’m pretty happy about this. In January, I was very isolated and lonely. I had very few friends, and made the decision to leave my husband with very little support. I had lots of friends before I started dating him, but slowly became more distant and over time only a few remained. I decided that needed to change and started making the effort to go out after meetings to meet people and make friends. And I did. I’m building a network, where I had only a couple close friends that I didnt see often before. I’m getting invited to events, have multiple text conversations going. Planning tea dates and baking adventures. I am so grateful to God for this. And when things got really hard, these new friends (along with my old close friends) were there for me, letting me cry on the phone and taking me out to do things. AA didn’t just get me sober, it saved my sanity over and over again. The people I’ve met and made friends with loved me when I needed it the most. I truly hope I can pay it forward.

5. Board games and the new Beauty and the Beast movie with A. These are the moments that make parenting worth all the struggles.

Day 80

Parenting a kid with oppositional defiant disorder is no joke. No one really understands what it’s like if they don’t have a kid like that themselves.

I did some reading up online about parenting ODD kids today. Nothing really that I hadn’t heard before, but a refresher on basic skills was good. It’s been hard though. When your kid comes in for a hug and tries to bite your stomach I tend to react negatively. I want to take the kids out, but I keep getting swung at so we don’t make it out the door. 

I’m going to conquer today. I’m going to make this day my bitch and own it. Or at least I keep telling myself that. 

1. I almost dodged the pickle J threw at me. Some reflexes are better than none.

2. It’s sunny and nice out. It looks divine through the windows. I have them open and the fresh air coming in is wonderful. 

3. Lovely conversation with my friend where I was able to give her driving directions randomly when she needed it. I felt useful.

4. My niece is back from living with her dad as of today. We got to go see her, and it was wonderful. Both kids napped on the way home and it was peaceful afterwards.

5. I made candy bars. Peanut butter oatmeal almond honey filling covered in chocolate. So good. I’m so full. And yes, I  actually ate a real dinner too. Working on better taking care of myself.

Decided for today to quit quitting. It’s been hard. And it’s just for today. I’ll decide what I’m doing tomorrow, tomorrow. 

Day 79

1. A peaceful parenting day. Sure, I caved a bunch, but there was very little fighting. It was nice.

2. A helped me clean, make dinner and bake muffins. Awesome mother daughter time.

3. Rented Rock Dog. I’m a sucker for music and kids movies and this one is pretty awesome. 

4. Walked around downtown St. Paul exploring. Discovered a garden at the hospital and a church I’d like to see the inside of sometime.

5. Went to an awesome concert with a person who is becoming an integral part of my life. The music was amazing and I completely lost myself in it and my companion. Just when I think something can’t be topped, it gets topped.

Day 76

I *may* have a baking problem.

Yesterday I baked bread. And a triple berry crisp.

Today, I did this:
Apple pecan pie.

It’s under cooked.

I had exactly 1 hour before I had to leave before it came out. But, it’s all good. I consulted with my baker friend who told me there are no rules against par baking, so in theory, it should be fine. It’s in round two in the oven right now so we will see. God it smells so good.

1. Yoga, meditation, and breakfast. I only vaguely recall the first two, as I may have still been asleep. But it happened! It was an amazing start to my day.

2. Plan of action regarding my stomach. Blood work, food diary (which I was supposed to do before and didnt), and meds to treat my attacks. Wait and see, I guess.

3. Chickens. My sister’s bought some, and I went to see them on my lunch break. Super cute.


4. Kickball. I got on base 3 out of 4 times which is good. I also umped a themed game, hippies versus hipsters. It was entertaining.

5. Piano practice is going better. I’m learning to play chords with my left while the melody on my right. It’s difficult, but it’s getting better and I’m rather proud of myself. I just have to keep practicing!

Also, fog over the fields was beautiful.

Day 73

Today I was contacted, along with other people by a person I know with a request to share the worst of the drinking stories on an anonymous blog. I immediately said yes, because that’s what I do, but now my thoughts are going.

I’m not particularly concerned about this person knowing the dark and dirty, I told him a few stories already and I firmly believe he’s a trustworthy person. I trust that I would be held completely anonymous in the blog. I don’t trust other people who were involved in those stories to not read them, and either out me or present themselves back into my life in a bad way as a result of reading.

Fear of the unknown.

I guess the only questions I should ask myself are: how much power do these experiences still hold over me? Could my professional life be impacted? And if they don’t hold power over me, do they have the power to hurt other people involved? 

I don’t know the answer to this.

1. I slept completely alone for the first time in I dont even know how long last night. I realized this last night when I was driving home. I have always had another human or two in the living space every night for an indefinite period of time. I slept well, except for waking up several times to the cat trying to lie on my face. Tonight I will shut the door. Maybe. He does snuggle well for the most part.

2. Winter Rehab by Battle Toys. Also, Breathe in the Light/Breathe out the Light by them is really good. I’ve listened to the album twice, and I’m enjoying it immensely. But those are my two favorites.

3. Two whole days now without a cigarette. I want one. God I want it bad. But I don’t need it. I’m feeling my early sobriety days all over again. I’m trying to remember that and treat this like my addiction to alcohol. One day at a time. And two days without a smoke is huge for me. I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long since I became a daily smoker half my life ago.

4. All On My Mind by Anderson Easton. I can’t get enough of this song. 

5. Snuggles with my girls. They’re having a hard time with the move and they’ve been difficult tonight. But when they calmed down and snuggled up to me on the couch the whole world became better.