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Showing posts from August, 2014

3 Years Sober

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Today I am three years sober.  Anyone who knows me is aware of my story.  I came out of the alcoholism closet here and wrote a bit on recovery here.

Essentially, I'm an add-water alcoholic.  From the time I started drinking (around 15) I never wanted to stop.  It filled up a void inside me.  I protected and justified my drinking with doing well in school, in university (two degrees), being successful and appreciated in my career, never losing a job due to drink, never being in an accident etc.  But the mental torture was killing me and I was drinking more and more, (at the end, around the clock) so eventually, at the age of 31, I limped into recovery.  That was way back in 2003.

My experience in recovery has had both ups and downs.  I got married while sober (great!), I was pregnant and had my daughter while sober (awesome!), my marriage didn't work out (not great!), I went back to work full-time while being a single mom (stressful!).  For a two year period between 2009-2011…

Knowledge My Gran Passed Down

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My gran was born on 27 August, 1919 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She passed away at the age of 92, three years ago.  I was lucky to have spent a lot of time with her growing up.  These are some of the things she taught me...

There's no excuse for being racist.  My gran led a girl scout troop in the 1950s which two of her daughters were in.  As she started to desegregate her group (part of a national movement) she received angry, threatening phone calls from white parents.  This did not stop her from integrating the troop.  So whenever I hear white people excusing racism in older white people, I get a cramp from my eyes rolling back into my head. People have always had a choice whether to be racist or not, regardless of the decade they were born in.

You should raise your girls just as you would your boys in regards to education, chores, and accomplishing their dreams.  She also taught me that in regards to having sons, when they are grown you should be happy for and accept the woman …

Debunking the Myths: Living in Ireland 2

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A great amount of traffic I receive on this blog is from Americans curious to live in Ireland.  I hope you enjoy this, on dispelling myths and imparting a sense of what its really like to live in Ireland.

1) This is not the Ireland your Famine ancestors left.

Not only are we a highly educated & technologically advanced country but we are much less homogenous than we used to be (I would argue that people have always traveled and migrated). According to our 2011 census, 766,770 people residing in Ireland at the time of the census were born abroad (myself included!).  That's out of a total population of 4,588,252 (over 16%). There are more Polish nationals (122,585), Nigerian nationals (17,642), Indian nationals (16,986), and Filipino nationals (12,791) than US nationals (11,015) living in Ireland.

We are (wonderfully) becoming more and more diverse. At my daughter's school I have heard other parents speaking to their children in Farsi, Polish, Hebrew, French, Italian and K…

The Poetic Soul

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I'll admit it - I strive to have the discipline to sit down and write more often so that I can focus on the two works of fiction I am creating. This rarely happens.  Its not only a question of discipline, but that fiction writing doesn't come easy to me.  Poetry does.  Of course, I don't really want to write poetry. *shakes fist at Universe* But it is what it is.

I've decided to come out of the poetry closet and include some of the bits I wrote a few years ago here. Just because it comes easily to me doesn't mean its any good.  But these I quite like.

[No Title]
little girl
its not easy growing up
the pressure to conform
                    to be skinny
                    to be dumb
whatever hurdles you must jump
whichever battles you win or lose
your mama is there
holding up your true self to you
you can be a woman and be strong
you can be whatever you want to be
Because your mama loves you for who you are
Because your mama believes in you as you are
there is n…