A little archaeology while I hunker down from the snow.

Morning all, hope you are well. The fellers are being adorable again, dagnabit. Definition: Dagnabit aka FFS or Dammit, or the like. It’s against the rules to be that damned adorable. IE, huggable squishable etc… Heck, they know this. THEY KNOW THE RULE. They break it often.

I can’t hug, because of the whole ripped rotator thing. I know, I whine about this quite a bit. I’m so sorry. Sighs. Nothing I can do about it. Life happens. Meanwhile, the snow version of the apocalypse is going on this week outside according to the weather channel. Thing is, for us, it’s just winter.

I don’t understand the need for the weather channel to make news of every storm. Storms happen. It is our climate to have winter weather. However, as much as I kvetch about the weather, you would think I hated where we live.

I’ve even whined about my direct ancestral units not moving to like Hawaii. Yet, they didn’t, and I didn’t. So, I live in the upper midwest. In talking to one of my daughters, I realized what I would miss living somewhere else.

We have these wheatgrass oceans here. When the wind blows through them, the waves of grass roar. At the road sides, wild roses grow. Cottonwood trees shed their fluff every year, yet have the most beautiful leaves.

Nothing is more fun than sitting by a certain river, with a cooler and wetting a line, or knitting while my brother fishes. Watching the ice fishing huts sink in the spring is my favorite sport. Also, walking on those wheat grass fields in the fall after they have been mowed and the crunchy sound they make.

Foggy mornings where I swear we are in middle earth can’t be beat. There is a river nearby that I swear is always foggy in the morning. Driving to the parks near that river with a cuppa coffee and sitting on that river bank reminds me of scenes from Morte De Arthur.

The best garden tomatoes grow nearby, and the best asparagus as well. The frost in the winters make this a wonderland to behold. This, crazy insane place is home. It always will be. The thing is, home is truly where the heart is.

Now for the archaeology portion of the post. I Love archaeology. I love learning about our ancestors, and how they survived in weird places. I want to know how our family got through. By our family, I mean all of humanity. We’re all related, according to the DNA experts. I believe them. I’m currently listening to archaeonews, the archaeology channel podcast. I’ve listened to the Pettigrews for years, and this podcast has been going on for over 20.

It’s amazing how a small piece of pottery shows which people lived where. Or a small piece of flint can expand the knowledge of a whole people. Where I live, the original residents spoke a different language. They hunted, fished, and gathered their food. They had different rules to live by than we currently do. What gods they worshipped and how they worshipped is so fascinating. I want to know more about them.

Where my direct ancestors came from, they also hunted, gathered, and fished. They spoke a different language than I do. They definitely had different rules to live by that we currently do. I want to know more about them as well. Most of our ancestors, we can’t learn their names. We don’t know who their friends were. We don’t even know if they liked brussels sprouts or not. 😉 I certainly don’t.

It’s a lifetime of learning. And I want to know so much more about our people. All of our people. It’s a thing, I suppose. My ability to go to college was gambled away by my former step mother. That’s okay, she didn’t destroy my love of history and learning. She only destroyed her relationship with me.

Hugs my friends, take care. Stay safe and comfortable please. I will pester you again tomorrow. -L


Tag, You’re It!

Morning all, been settled in at the desk for a bit. I’ve got a cigar lit, and am comfortable.

Earlier this week, I spent the afternoon playing Tag with my sister. When we were much younger, we never played. I’m 12 years younger than she is, and it just never came up. She would read books to me, we would watch tv. Or I would color and she would do school work.

However, a few years have gone by since the 1970’s, and in 2021, we play tag all of the time. We live about 70 miles away from each other. A few times a month we will call back and forth, and since we are both very silly busy people, we have to just catch the other one.

On Friday, we plan to meet up and be brats together. There will be a campfire involved, and chairs. We will sit under the stars and give each other crap. We are still planning the festivities. So, I called, no answer. Then I called the next person on my list, and she called back. I was busy. So, I called her back. No answer.

Finally, I tagged her in a facebook post saying, “Sister, Call me.” Chuckle.

So, I challenge you, call someone you care about this weekend. Get in touch and bug the sheet out of them. Hugs, -L

The only Big Book some will ever see

I confess that I pull these topics off the top of my head most days. Sometimes, I am able to tie them to other topics I have shared on, usually, it is just random thoughts. This is another one of those random thoughts.

I heard, when I first came to AA that I needed to behave as I could be truly the only Big Book that someone would ever see. I’m still confused by this, especially since most people do not know that I am an alcoholic, let alone in recovery. Yes, close family and friends know, as does my medical team. Yet the broad public does not know and does not need to know.

So breaking down this phrase a little bit more, I take it as if I am supposed to behave as if God is my new Employer. I am to behave as if God is my director. I am to be helpful to others if I am able, and to pray for those that I am not able to help.

If I am requested, on those rare occasions that it happens, to help another alcoholic outside of the rooms, I am to give the information and to share my experience strength and hope with others, especially alcoholics.

I try, when working with strangers, to keep my alcoholism off the topic list, and yet to act with the best manners I can. This is a huge change from years ago. I was an entitled brat. The world owed me, or so I thought, and I was to be catered to.

Ironically, as the daughter of a hard-working man and woman, I was owed nothing. I had contributed nothing to society, and yet…

By working the steps, especially step 3, and changing my will and life, I don’t believe that anymore.

Today, I am just grateful to be alive.

That’s all I have for now, may God be with you in the fellowship of the Spirit.

Family problems and recovery

As I have stated before, I am an alcoholic and have been attending meetings for almost 20 years now. It has been an interesting ride. My family accepts my sobriety as it is, since I am much more pleasant to be around as a sober alcoholic versus a rabid drunk.

It was not always the case though. I have had many reactions to my sobriety over the years. Before AA, I was asked many times by a step mother, “Are you sure you are not an alcoholic?” “You’ve got to be an alcoholic, both your biological mother and your father are.” I am paraphrasing to remove profanity here. Once I arrived at AA, and began working the program, I moved in with my parents for awhile. My step mother decided that I needed more drugs and went to my psychiatrist for samples. I ended up flushing them down the toilet. In a house with young teenage men, she accused me of drinking out of Dad’s bottle. 

Once I moved out though, I got a different song and dance from her. According to her, I was not an alcoholic. I backed away from my family completely at that time, simply because I needed to focus on my sobriety. My relationship with that person has drastically changed over the years, and she is no longer married into the family. Thank God.

My brother was estranged from the family from 1984 to 2004. At one point I had moved in with him. I had about 6 years sober at the time. He told me that I did not need meetings and was using them as a crutch. When that household became too much for me, I wanted to leave. I was told that I was running away. Yes, actually I was, I had placed my sobriety ahead of living with my family. 

These situations were difficult and I did the best I could with what I had. By putting my welfare first, I was going against a lifetime of training and alcoholism. My choices are not the popular ones.

Other family members are and were awesome when faced with my recovery. When my birth mother died, I had been estranged from her since I was four years old due to my step mothers influence. I did not know her well, and had only gotten to know her during the last week of her life. I met some of her siblings, and many of my cousins that week and at her funeral. Of my Dad’s 7 children, 3 of us are hers. 

I was told to speak at her funeral, and I had no clue what to say. So, I introduced myself to my family there this way. I said, “My name is ——, and I am an alcoholic.” I gave a short talk about my Mom, some of my memories, and what my relationship with Mom was. I had been speaking publicly for years by that point, and that was the most comfortable way I knew to share anything with a church filled with a couple hundred people. The whole family said, “Hi ——” when I introduced myself. I felt love and support from most of my family at that moment.

One of my aunts, who I miss with all my heart, said to me privately, “You have a cousin in sobriety as well. I am proud of both of you. I know how hard it is for you to stay sober.”

Memories flood back, while I write this post. Another aunt had tears in her eyes when I gave her the only thing I treasured on the last time I saw her alive. I gave her my ten year medallion. She said, “I know how hard you worked to get this. I will make sure it gets back to you after I am gone.” We hugged, and held each other for as long as we could. 

It is life that stymies us alcoholics. Yes, I go to meetings, and they can be a crutch. I have made many mistakes in life and recovery. Yet I do not have to internalize the worst things that family members do or say about me or my sobriety. I am fully aware that I would not have any family at all without my sobriety. 

Some other time, I will discuss romantic relationships and sobriety, I just do not think that it is possible today.

Thank you for reading, feel free to leave a comment below.

In the back yard for awhile

It’s a gorgeous morning here in South Dakota. I’m settled in on the back deck, the dogs are being good for the moment. I’ve been working on my homework, and I realized that I hadn’t written here in much too long. I’ve been importing almost a thousand pictures from my Droid for awhile now.

The good news, is that my G’Nephew’s little types picnic table works well as a laptop stand. I had recorded the last podcast on a tv tray, but with doggy people, I need something sturdier.

English: Acer Aspire 8920 (with 18.4 inch scre...
English: Acer Aspire 8920 (with 18.4 inch screen) showing its desktop on Windows 7. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The dogs are as follows, Marco and Marley, brothers. They are lab mix dogs, lean, fun, and very sweet. They are my Sister’s dogs, and I’m Mama Pro Tempore till she gets back tonight. Their favorite hobby is cuddling, and chewing on everything. Bandit, Cookie, and Mojo are my Brother-in-law’s dogs. They are small, smaller than a laptop bag, and of mischievous breeds. Their favorite hobbies involve escaping the yard, and various cat tormenting techniques.

The cats, oh, how I missed the cats. My Sister Tina has been Mama Pro Tempore to my 2 hellions Issues and Tom J. Her cat Solomon is Issues’ twin, but of different heritage. All 3 will be returning to Minnesota with me when I return. I’ve been Jonesing something fierce for kitty snuggling moments. I had not heard a decent purr, or had a kitty nose kiss session in months. I was fiercely in mourning, missing my 2 silliest sons, and now, the 3 are so close, we don’t dare separate them. Tina and I have worked out a deal where the kitties are going to board with one or the other of us. That way we can stock up on snuggles, and know that our kids are safe with the other one as needed.

I have had a great 10 days! I’ve eaten at mysterious places, strange and delicious foods, and visited so many family members that it was almost impossible to keep track of them all. I’ve met with Aunts, Uncles, my Dad, Cousins, 2nd Cousins, and various nieces and nephews. I haven’t even touched the top of the list that I’ve corrupted, and I haven’t even met 5% of the family this week. It’s been much fun, and I am happier than a clam in mud about it.

I love my family, and I thrive the best when I’m able to visit and relax sometimes with coffee involved.

English: General map of the US state of South ...
English: General map of the US state of South Dakota. Shown are the state’s topography, major cities and roads, boundaries, and bodies of water. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A good friend, a delivery driver, passed through South Dakota early last week, and my Sister and I met them at a small restaurant for some late night laughs and friendship.

The fair was so much fun, and I took many more pictures than I perhaps should have. Like I said earlier, I’m transferring many photos from the phone, and I can’t post those pictures till I get that chore done. 819 pictures at last count… ;o)

It’s almost time for me to grab some breakfast, but I have so much to talk about.

Now, I’m thinking about a couple of things, that I need to talk to others about. On the last weekend of the month, is the Lifelight music festival. It’s being held very close to the town I’m staying in. I’m sorely tempted to stay a few more days, so that I can attend. Like I said, I need to talk to some people, and make my decision. It’s all good, but I have responsibilities. I think that the best option would be if I go back home next weekend, and come back for the festival. I don’t know. I’ve got alot of re-organizing to do. Then again, I also need to get so much done back home that the past 10 days set me back. It’s 10 days till the festival starts…. I’ve got to working some things out.

Meanwhile, I’m writing myself into a corner. I had better get the rest of my computing chores done.

Take Care,

Louise Ann Benjamin

Temporarily at Worthing, SD


John Reuben on LifeLight tours in Huron, South...
John Reuben on LifeLight tours in Huron, South Dakota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)