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Middle of the night choices

13 Nov

Just woke up from a bad dream. There were drugs and alcohol, fighting and conflict, crying and heartbreak. Definitely not much happiness. In the end, I had to choose between the most important things in the world to me. So what if I chose wrong. What if the choices I made condemned us all to a life of pain, misery and heartache?

In the end of my dream, just before I woke up, maybe its WHY I woke up, I refused to choose. I couldn’t do it. So I guess I DID choose in the end. And the thing is? I felt as peace with my decision. I knew that no matter what, things were going to be OK and that it would work out.

The funny thing is, in real life, I did choose between them. And I have lots of guilt about it. But in the end, I believed it was the best choice available. The lesser of two evils.

So what is the reasoning behind my dream? Maybe if I had to go back and do it over, would the outcome be any different? I don’t know. I DO know that I’ll never know how it COULD have been. I just get to know how it is. And I get to learn to be at peace with my decision. And to realize that everything will work out the way it was supposed to.

So will I go back to sleep with a peaceful heart and mind. No, not yet. I will probably think about it some more and hope I did the right thing. But I will practice giving it over to my higher power and praying for peace. And knowing that for now, I AM at peace with the knowledge that choosing to not use will only help in the long run. And that I will eventually get peace with the other decisions I’ve made in my past. Just need to remember to breathe. And to just keep swimming.

  • I AM grateful to have a nightmare because it offers me a chance to think and ponder. I AM grateful to have my writing so that I can organize my thoughts. I AM grateful to my Higher Power. I know that if I listen to that still small voice, I will hear the promptings to help choose the right in my future.

Night all. At least in a little while. LOVES


Missed a day and the adventure behind it.

6 Aug

I missed writing my gratitude list last night. So much happened yesterday that it completely slipped my mind. And it is an interesting story.

Yesterday started out really early when my daughter-in-law showed up to take me grocery shopping and to complete some errands. Other than starting early things were going reasonably normal. We went to the pharmacy and then to the grocery store. Fred Meyer has started a new shopping system where as you shop, you scan the item, bag it in your bags, and when you get to the self checkout, you input the scanner, pay and go! It’s the neatest thing! And if you go to the website before you go, you can preload all the digital coupons onto your rewards card and it automatically adds/subtracts them to your total. Because I had some manufacturer’s coupons also, I saved almost $20 off my groceries! Well worth the 20 minutes I spent the night before going through the hundreds of digital coupons on their website.

After we had brought the groceries home, my daughter-in-law decided she was going to do plasma. They are running short this month and she wanted some extra money. I decided because I had nothing better to do, I would go with her because its her first time. And so real the adventure began.

She needed to have several pieces of ID, including a current photo ID, a piece of mail with her name and address, and her Social Security card. If you don’t have the actual card, you can bring a check stub or tax form with your name and number on it. Off to the kid’s house to find said items. She doesn’t have a SS card so she was looking for a check stub. She couldn’t find one with the complete number on it. Only partial with the numbers crossed out. So she calls her mom in another state to have HER send a copy or picture of said documents to an email. Off to the library we went to get a copy off the internet.

After all documents had been obtained, the plasma center was next on our list. She is a first time donor, so the process took forever. I think we were there almost FOUR HOURS! I had let her use MY phone while she was in the back to have something to do. I have games on it. I had my old phone that I use as a kindle.  When she was finished, she was upset because of the time and stresses of the last several hours so we got into the car and left. But she accidentally left the phone on TOP of the car. We were several blocks away before we realized it. We went back, but couldn’t find it. So we headed home. I was praying the entire way. Not so much to find my phone, but for her to have some peace of mind. She was so upset before the phone was lost and that just made it worse. I just wanted her to be ok.

When I got home, one of my friends helped me do a FIND MY PHONE. And it located it in a church. So I found a ride to go back across town. But by the time we got in the neighborhood, the phone had moved to some backyard. Its 10 o’clock at night and we’re knocking on stranger’s doors asking if they had my phone. Because the phone was shut off, we couldn’t get an exact fix on it. So I went home dejected again.

As I was getting ready for bed and just finishing my prayers, my kindle phone beeped. My phone was on and pinging where it was. I messaged my son to call and see if he could get in touch with whoever had it. He messages me back saying he had talked to the guy and I needed $50 to get my phone back. My son came to get me, we went to a midnight ATM and we’re off across town a third time in 12 hours.

While en route, my daughter-in-law called the non-emergency police line, explaining the situation and asking if an officer could go we us to get the phone. They were more than willing and said to call back when we were a couple of blocks from the meeting site. The next couple of hours involved phone calls and texts to the police, to the guy who had the phone, and hanging out in vacant parking lots doing lots of waiting.

The meeting was arranged. The policewoman was on speaker, so she could hear the conversation. As soon as the guy showed us he had the phone, she pulls up in her unmarked car, hopping out and saying, “Hi guys. What’s up?” The guy with the phone is speechless and doesn’t know what to think. His friend comes running up from the other end of the parking lot, yelling that it was a setup and that we had no right. After lots of “discussion”, I had my phone and my $50 and the two guys were off on their way. I was happy, the cop was alright with the situation, and the two were very disgruntled but walking down the sidewalk. We immediately went to a gas station because all the driving had used up a tank of gas. The car was so empty, it probably wouldn’t have made it to the second gas station. When I finally was able to get the phone plugged in and turned on, the dude had put a password on it! I looked up and low and behold, there are the two dudes walking in front of the car. My son goes over and asks for the pass code, saying he would call the police back if they didn’t tell us what it was.

By now its 3am, we’re all tired and hungry, so we stop at a Shari’s for breakfast and a piece of pie. Then its home to bed. I say my prayers again and fall into bed, waking up 4 hours later to get ready for church. End of adventure.

  • I’m so grateful that FIND MY PHONE works so well. Until the dude turned off the location finder. I’m grateful for a Gorilla glass screen protector and Otterbox phone case because the phone is in reasonably good shape for falling off a moving car and going on an adventure. I’m grateful to my Higher Power for his help and comfort during a stressful evening. I’m grateful to the Portland Police department for their help and support during the whole adventure. I’m grateful to the to tweaker dudes who decided that giving my phone back was a great idea. And I AM SO grateful to be clean and sober. I am too old to be hanging out in deserted parking lots dealing with tweaks in the wee hours of the night. It was almost like old times.

Night all. LOVES


2 Jun

Today started out busy and didn’t stop for most of the day. It started like it always does on a weekday. Trying to get my son up in time for the school bus. I usually start at 6am. The bus comes at 7:09 and he finally starts crawling out of bed at 6:55! But it was late today. It finally came at 7:50. There was a problem with the bus. I really wish they would call parents instead of just letting us stress about it.

While waiting for the bus, I got my 10 minute walk in. I did my circuit around the parking lot and listened to my scriptures while I did it. And drank my protein shake. Productive before 8am.

I had a therapy appointment this afternoon, picking up my prescription, allergy and vitamin pills while there. Have I said how much I love that my clinic has an in-house pharmacy?!

Then it was off to Fred Meyer for money orders for my bills. I also bought stuff to eat for the weekend and a new battery for my glucometer.

I also picked up a cheap water bottle. I lost mine while adventuring today. I thought I left it at a bus stop or something. Nope, he was sitting on the table by the door waiting for me and feeling forgotten. Now we have an extra bottle hanging out in the fridge.

I’m not sure what the rest of the day holds for me. Or the weekend either for that matter. Although my bed is really calling me. And my book too. Just have to wait and see.

  • I’m grateful to get some constructive stuff done this morning while waiting for the bus to show up. I’m grateful to get most of my errands done without forgetting anything, except my hydroflask. I’m grateful it has been a mostly up day. I needed one. And I’ve lost another FOUR POUNDS!

Night all. LOVES

Happy birthday to me

5 May

Today I am 52! I was trying to figure out how to celebrate my birthday and still sort of stay on my diet. I mean, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting just isn’t doable at the last minute. THAT would take planning and preparation that I wasn’t willing to invest after the week I’ve had. So what’s a girl to do? I made a pie! A mostly sugar-free pie.

I started with gingersnaps. I know, they aren’t on my diet but I couldn’t find any diabetic/sugar-free options at my grocery store in the time I had. So I picked up a box of some that sounded good. I pulverized them into crumbs in the blender with about 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 squeezes of my liquid stevia. Then pulsed in some melted butter. Put it all in a pie pan and baked it for 6 minutes at 350°F. Then stuck it in the freezer because I have no patience to wait until it cools.

Then into the blender, no I didn’t wash it, I added 3 cups almond milk and a package each of sugar-free Jello instant pudding, 1 vanilla and 1 cheesecake flavor. After blending, scraping the sides once, I poured half into the baked shell. Then I added half a container of lite cool whip to the remaining pudding in the container and mixed until mostly combined with my spatula. Then spread it over the pudding in the pan.

I stuck it all in the freezer again for about an hour. I then spread the remaining half of the whipped topping over the pie. Then drizzled sugar-free caramel ice cream topping in an interesting pattern.

Store in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Or until you can’t wait anymore. I’m sitting on my hands right now so I won’t go eat it. It looks amazing! And the bit and pieces that I tasted during the process of making it were delicious.

  • I’m grateful for ham and a ride to the store from one of my good friends this afternoon. I’m grateful that my headache has mostly gone away tonight. I’m grateful for another year. It’s had its ups and downs, but I’ve ended the last one and started this new one mostly happy with where I am.

Night all. LOVES

A dream and growth

7 Apr

I had a strange dream last night and it taught me something. It taught me who I am and what I have done with my life. I won’t go into details because then you will know how crazy I really am. Let’s just say it involved a carnival and Oprah. But that’s a different story.

I lost my children to foster care the first time in 2004 when I escaped a domestic violence relationship. I had exposed my children not only to violence and terror, but also drug addiction, homelessness and a host of other things. I was resentful at first because I felt victimized all over again because I finally got brave enough to leave a really bad situation. But it helped me in the long run. It helped get my youngest get the diagnosis and help he needed. I knew he had problems but nobody would listen to me because I was just a drug addict mom. I won’t talk about everything that happened because that would take way to long. Let’s just say that through ups and downs, growth and hard work, in June of 2008 they closed my case.

But that isn’t the end of my story. I didn’t learn enough. Because by February of 2009, my kids were back in the foster care system. I was using again and in another destructive relationship.

This go around took me to an inpatient treatment facility, tons of therapy, more ups and downs, lots of crying and laughter, more extremely hard work, and a whole bunch of changing everything I had ever done in the past and learning how to live differently.

There IS a happy ending to this story though. In 2012, my child welfare case was closed. My youngest son lives with me and is growing and learning so very much. He has a whole different future than I ever expected him to have when I started this journey. I have a good relationship with my other adult sons. We still have our ups and downs, but we’re in a much healthier place than we ever were before.

And me? I have almost 9 years clean and sober. I am a great advocate for my children. And I’m able to offer good advice about my journey to others who are starting on the same path. I have become someone to follow instead of someone to avoid and hide from. I am becoming someone who I am proud of and I like. Now to enjoy a new day.

  • Today, I’m grateful for the journey that I took to get where I am now. No matter how long it took, I have continued to learn and stick with it. I’m grateful that my kids still talk to me, at least most of the time, after all the stuff I drug them through. I’m grateful to that person who showed up on my doorstep that day to ask me to take a drug test that started this latest leg of my journey. Thank you!



My mom, Carroll Kay

3 Jan

Today would have been my mother’s birthday. So she’s been on my mind lots lately. It will be 4 years in March since she’s been gone and I still miss her very much.

I think about all the things she did for me that really annoyed me at the time. And all the things that I learned from her. She was always working. I don’t remember a time that I ever saw her just sit. Even watching TV she was doing something else too.

I learned to be a mom from her. She taught me that moms do things for their kids to make the kid’s lives easier. There was the time she taught me how to bake a cake in a coffee can and some juice cans so it would look like a teddy bear when we frosted it. And I remember the look on her face when my aunt came in with a professionally decorated Teddy bear cake. I would like to say that I made as big of deal about her cake as that professional one, but I didn’t. I was a very self-centered kid. But she never said a word.

There was the time that we packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches into the car and went on a drive through the wilds of Idaho for Thanksgiving one year. We thought it was great. Found out later it was because she couldn’t afford a turkey dinner.

I remember the day my daughter died. My mom drove all night from San Francisco to the central Willamette valley to be at my door when morning came. She took me to buy a new dark dress and made sure everything was taken care of for the funeral. I still don’t know who paid for it or how much because she never would say other than that my dad helped. And the day we buried her. She sat there as I dressed my baby girl one last time. And then SHE kicked me out of the room so that I didn’t have to put my child in a box.

Moms do the hard stuff. She put up with kids telling her they hate her. She’s the one who taught me to say, “Good! That means I’m doing my job right!” And makes sure the bills are paid when no money is coming in. She taught my son that everything is palatable if you have enough ranch. She made sure my kids had Christmas every year. She would answer the phone day or night and listen to me whine, and moan and groan about how my life sucked. And she was also the first one I called when something awesome had happened.

There are so many more memories but I don’t want my phone to rust as tears fall upon it. I really miss calling her every Monday morning. Happy Birthday! I love you!

  • I’m grateful I had her as a mom. I’m grateful I learned to be a mom from her. I’m grateful that she knew how much I loved her when it was time for her to go.

Night all. LOVES

Late night phone calls

2 Jan

I remember when I found out about my second grandson. It was a phone call in the wee hours of the morning. I wasn’t quite awake yet when I answered the phone and it took me a few moments to realize that my son was saying he now has 2 sons. We didn’t even know they were pregnant.

I think, as a mom, anytime the phone rings after midnight, your first thought is who died or what’s wrong. Most good news moments wait until morning.

I’ve also received a few recovery calls in the middle of the night from friends wanting me to help them stay sober through a rough patch. Those are always very difficult, but I learn so much about myself and my recovery by trying to talk to someone else over a phone line. It’s different if they’re sitting right next to you.

Ever since I’ve gotten out of treatment, my phone sleeps next to my bed so I can hear it ring. It also makes a really good alarm clock with lots of different sounds programmed into it.

  • I’m grateful that I am at a place in my life where I can be a help on the other end of the line during a late night phone call. I’m grateful for cellphones so I don’t have to get up and walk into the other room to answer the phone. Remember when they were attached to a wall? I’m grateful someone knows that they can call me at anytime and I’m usually there.

Night all. LOVES