Thursday, July 13, 2017

Day 420 - Thankful Thursday - Overcoming Fear

As a part of active recovery, a gratitude list is paramount for me.
What I want to do here weekly is not just be thankful for the easy stuff (although that does have a place)...but I want to take the negative and spin it positive.

So, no negatives here.  
Only positive.

1.  AA - we talked about fear last night.  The fears we all discussed were illogical fears...fears that have no substance...the what ifs...the fears our brains use to scramble us up.  I have lots of these and am working hard in therapy to deal with them.  I just assumed once more that I was the only one who had these kinds of fears, and my fears are just another way I'm "messed up."

Once again, I was wrong y'all.  
One by one, the women around the table talked about fear.  Many of our fears were the same.  Some of the fears were new fears, and some were from the past.  
Some of the women feeling the fears were new to sobriety, and some were more settled and comfortable with their sobriety...but they still felt the fears.
One of the younger members who was just returning from a night in jail after receiving her first DUI said what she feared most was that somehow she would be unable to "get it"...a night out with a plan of "just a drink or two" ended up in jail.
There is no "just a drink or two" for an alcoholic.
It just is what it is.
It's not fair.
It's not easy.
It just is.
A more season woman in the group told her that even with 7 years of sobriety, she remembers vividly the rawness of new sobriety...the ups and downs, the getting to know yourself all over again...because all you know is yourself drinking.

Fear of the past.
Fear of loved ones leaving.
Fear of relapse.

We vowed to stick together as we battle these illogical fears.
Step 1 is to admit that we are powerless.
It's really just that simple.
I am thankful for AA.

2.  Friends - A friend of a friend saw me leaving an AA meeting.
She asked me, "What are you doing??"
I answered, matter of factly, "Attending the ladies' AA meeting."
After she sputtered for a minute, she finally very quickly told me about a family member of hers who needed to go to AA.  I don't know if there really is a family member or if she was just trying to find something/anything to say after my blunt admission that I was attending an AA meeting.
The friend of a friend called the friend and asked what was going on with me.
My husband said, "So much for 'anonymous'.
I said I wasn't sure why she needed to ask our shared friend since she had asked me and I had told her up front.

**At this point, you're wondering how in the heck I'm going to find a positive in this story**

Our shared friend called me a few days ago...a couple of weeks after I "had been seen leaving the AA meeting."
She called me to share that she too has a  problem.
She is getting help.
She wanted me to know that she knows right where I am and supports me.
She wanted me to know that she loves me.

The husband of the friend who reported my AA attendance stuck his head in the meeting room last night.
I can think of no other reason for him to do this except to see if I was there.
I raised my hand tall, smiled a toothy smile, waved, and called him by name.

The stigma ends with me.
I'm thankful for friends and even friends of friends and their husbands.

3.  Summer school - summer school classes are small.  It is within these small classes that I actually get to know my students, I know their names, I very quickly get to know their strengths and weaknesses, and I get to know how much they need and/or want to be pushed or not pushed.  I also have time for revision essays.
I teach composition.
I believe very strongly that we learn to become more strategic readers and writers by reading and writing.
My job is to facilitate learning for my help them build that bridge between what they already know and what they need to know.
In summer school classes, the students who work quickly and don't need me as much can be on their merry way as quickly as they please while the others stay behind and get the help they need.
Isn't that what learning and teaching are all about?
Summer school reminds me of why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place.
I'm thankful to be a teacher teaching summer school.

4.  Air conditioning and my electric bill.  I live in Mississippi.
Mississippians melt in July and August.
4 showers a day are normal.
If you live in MS, air conditioning should be free.
My church has an account with money just to help the elderly and disabled in our community pay their electric bills in the summer.  The heat and humidity are that serious.
I am neither elderly nor disabled...but I am a 48 yr old woman.
Hot flashes are real.
AC is a necessity if I am not to burst into flames from time to time.
I am thankful for air conditioning :)

5.  The Southern Black Racer that lives in my backyard.
Not only am I thankful for her, but I am also thankful that she stays pretty curled up and hidden in the railroad ties that surround our pool.
I'm thankful that she eats rats and any other rodents and insects that might be piddling about in my yard.
I am thankful that she has not tried to swim in our pool.
I am thankful that she is outside and I am inside.
I am thankful for you, Mrs. Snake.  You stay out of my way, and I will gladly stay out of yours. ;)

No, this is NOT the snake in my backyard.  When I said I am thankful that she is outside and I am inside, I meant it.

What can you find today to be thankful for?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Day 419 - Can't Wait Wednesday - The Captain's Daughter by Meg Mitchell Moore

Linking up with Wishful Endings today. 

Every week I skim through the "Coming Soon" list at Barnes and Noble for the following week.  
I love looking at the covers and selecting my upcoming favorites.  Yesterday, I picked 10 of those covers without looking at anything else for my Top Ten Tuesday list.  
Today, however, I skimmed the blurbs to see which ones I really couldn't wait for...and here it is:

The Captain's Daughter by Meg Mitchell Moore

Here's the synopsis and first remarks from Amazon: 
(I've highlighted in red the parts that yell at me loud and clear that I must read this book!)

For fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Emma Straub comes an emotionally gripping novel about a woman who returns to her hometown in coastal Maine and finds herself pondering the age-old question of what could have been

Growing up in Little Harbor, Maine, the daughter of a widowed lobsterman, Eliza Barnes could haul a trap and row a skiff with the best of them. But she always knew she'd leave that life behind. Now that she's married, with two kids and a cushy front-row seat to suburban country club gossip in an affluent Massachusetts town, she feels adrift.

When her father injures himself in a boating accident, Eliza pushes the pause button on her own life to come to his aid. But when she arrives in Maine, she discovers her father's situation is more dire than he let on. Eliza's homecoming is further complicated by the reemergence of her first love--and memories of their shared secret. Then Eliza meets Mary Brown, a seventeen-year-old local who is at her own crossroad, and Eliza can't help but wonder what her life would have been like if she'd stayed.

Filled with humor, insight, summer cocktails, and gorgeous sunsets, THE CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER is a compassionate novel about the life-changing choices we make and the consequences we face in their aftermath.

Have you heard anything about this author or this particular title? 
What do you think?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Day 418 - Top Ten Tuesday from the Archives - Favorite Covers from Next Week's "Coming Soon" List

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish who are away on maternity leave till August.  
Choosing my own topics is harder than I thought, y'all! 
I think I know what I'm doing next week, but it will take a little more time than I had tonight. 

Top Ten Top Covers from Next Week's (week of July 17) New Releases: 

My favorite "Coming Soon" list is the one published on Barnes and Noble's website.  
I'm a cover fiend.  
There are some books I know I'll buy because of the author or because it's the newest installment in a series I read...but if those two things don't come into play, what makes me pick a book up to examine closer...or the cover.  
I purposely scrolled through the Barnes and Noble list for next week, looking ONLY at the covers.

Here they are:

Which covers would pull you in??
Anybody know anything about any of these selections?

I'll choose one of these for my Can't Wait Wednesday choice for tomorrow after I investigate more what they're actually about :)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Day 417 - Meal Plan Monday

I'm linking up with Organizing Junkie
Big Bear's Wife this to get ideas from their menus :) 

This week's menu is a little off for sure.  Blue Apron didn't deliver yesterday, we have VBS this week, and we have tons of Back to School errands to get started on.  I can't believe I just typed that.
Blue Apron sent me a notice to say that Fed Ex shipping was confused in some way and that if I did receive my box, that I should not try to eat the food,
No problem there.
But, it sure was nice of them to tell me :)
Blue Apron is still my favorite of the boxed meals I've tried.  I am ready to give Marley Spoon and SunBasket a turn as well :)

Monday - I started the 2nd semester of summer school today so I knew today would be youngest daughter starts soccer practice tomorrow, needs school shoes and underthings...oy...and my middle daughter needs a pantsuit for a job interview.  Needless to say, there was nothing else to do today except eat out.
So we did.
Mandarin Express in the mall...I know...I know...

We didn't even get home in time for VBS...but we did get some things done.  
Tomorrow we should be ok to take things a bit easier.
Fingers crossed.

I've been meaning to make this one for a while.

Y'all this is the easiest recipe in the world...and probably costs all of about $15.00 to make. 
My people haven't stopped raving about it and asking when we're having it again, so guess what?
We're having it again.
Wednesday nights are my AA meetings so I may move casserole night to Wednesdays.  I can just put it in the oven when I leave and they can eat without having to wait on me.
My youngest daughter has also requested I add fried okra to this meal, so we shall surely give that a whirl.


Individual pizzas w 5 min. pizza dough from Organized Junkie.  I had this on the menu 2 weeks ago but plans changed and didn't get to it.  I really think homemade pizzas could be a weekly staple for us if I could get the dough figured out.

Breakfast - the middle daughter leaves for a bridesmaid weekend so only 3 of us will be home.
Pancakes, biscuits, bacon, maybe grits...

Grill - if the weather cooperates, barbeque chicken


Mississippi Pot Roast

I've made Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast many times since first discovering it, but my husband has developed quite an aversion to thyme :/  I have no clue.
Anyhoo, PW uses a good bit of thyme in her recipes so I have to watch out for that.
I was born in Mississippi and have lived most of my life here...but have never made this social media famous recipe.
That's happening Sunday.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Day 416 - Slow Southern Sunday - The Week in Review

I'm linking up this week with Caffeinated Book Reviewer's "Sunday Post" 

On the Blog Last Week

Menu Monday
Classics Favorites this week :)

Can't Wait Wednesday
The Almost Sisters by Joshlyn Jackson

Thankful Thursday
AA, spaghetti, budgets, the library, and summer reading

Blog Hop
Describing my reading passion...

What I was doing when I wasn't here...

grading papers, napping, washing dishes, ordering uniforms for Back to School, weekend in Birmingham, Eating, Disney's Newsies!!

Reading Progress - Books in the Sidebar

Self-Esteem - I read the 2nd chapter on "The Pathological Critic"...I was supposed to read the next chapter as well, but Chapter 2 hit me hard.  I've found my critic no doubt...but I'm going to have to work hard on turning her around.  I have an exercise to complete and read Chapter 3 before our next appt.  My research brain wonders how many women would read Chapter 2 and react just like I did...Sadly, I'm betting on many.

Braving It - I've replaced Therby Hangs a Tail with Braving It for now. I gave Braving It to my father for Father's Day and then was sent a complimentary copy from the publisher for review, so it's calling my name.

E-book - I finished Cold Hearted River just last night and will start that review soon, so I've got to pick my next Ebook tonight...I'm still scrolling...I pick up discounted Kindle books all the time from various blogs and websites I follow...I have plenty, but choosing is hard sometimes.

Library pick - I've been working on my review for Hillbilly Elegy and really need to get it back to the library tomorrow.  I would love to find a copy of Wild, so I can get started on that review as well as something else interesting off the NEW shelf :)

The Handmaid's Tale - I haven't started this audio yet...I'm not sure why.  I'm very slow with audio which is why it's not worth it to me to join Audible...the last thing I need is a backlog of audiobooks to listen to.  I have a few leftover from the time a few years back that I gave it a try...I usually end up buying a print copy as well which is sortof silly...but it is what it is.

Social Media Favorites


July 4 wouldn't be the same without a retweet of the Declaration of Independence :)

Patti Rasberry Smith

Becky Bishop trains dogs and other trainers to help schools use Kindles to read with kids.
Oh my.
I love this stuff so much.
Reading with Rover


My kid has to read The Hobbit before school starts...
guess what??...


Back still hurts but it's put up or shut up time. Tomorrow I'm ordering the cushiest shoes I can find...the Brooks Ghost...supposed to feel like I'm walking on clouds...we shall see.


I was able to get some podcasts in on the way to Mom's Friday in the car.
Jamie Ivey's "The Happy Hour" is one of the most approachable, listenable podcasts out there...when I listen to Jamie, I seriously just feel like I'm sitting around talking with friends.  Of course some weeks are better than others...that's a given.  This week, however, Jamie talked with Lisa Harper.  Lisa's new book The Sacrament of Happy: What a Smiling God Brings to a Wounded World was just what I needed to hear this week.
Did you know God doesn't just love us?
He DELIGHTS in us.
Lisa's humor meshed in the most serious and real conversation with Jamie is done in such a way that the listener has to smile too.

Since my reading mojo is back in full swing (see what I did there?), I can't get enough of people talking about books!  I love this little podcast I've just recently discovered..."From the Front Porch"...Chris and Annie were talking about so many good books in this podcast that I had to pull over and open up my Amazon app on my phone...true story!  I marked the place where I left off so I can finish it tomorrow :)

Posts from the Past

July 9, 2012

 Media Monday - Dallas, 2012