Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Parliament Hill Ottawa. A Wordpress Production

Archive for June, 2013

Sunday Sundries …

tumblr_l5x6wiqtIJ1qzt40qo1_500 pipius

Courtesy: Pipius

The second Holiday Weekend is going on. Tomorrow is Canada Day for Canada, and here in Quebec it is MOVING DAY … Most leases run from June to July and every year around this time people are moving.

There will be piles of furniture on the sidewalks, and animals left to fend for themselves, because we see this every year, landlord who do not permit pets so they end up on the street or at the SPCA.

Here in my neighborhood, in my building specifically, folks have been moving for the last week. And there is furniture on street corners all over the place.

Most people here in our building stay put, it doesn’t do well to have to move every year, what a pain in the ass that is. If you like where you live, why not just stay there?

The weather has been spectacular the past two days. There have been banks of clouds that roll over, but no rain to speak of. And tomorrow is the big celebration in the nation’s capitol and fireworks all over the place.

It was an early out day. And the last Sunday of the month is a tradition meeting. Tonight’s reading was Tradition Six.

It was a quick meeting – we ended very early and had our business meeting. All is all it was a good night. Got to see some friends and hang out for a bit afterwards.

That’s about all I got for right now.

More to come, stay tuned…

Not Alone Any More

tumblr_l9jckmnvBG1qab9oro1_500 jack's empty mind

Courtesy: Jack’s Empty Mind …

The rain came. And in the end it was not as bad as they said it would be. No floods or torrential rain, however I did read there were pileups on the highways here. By the time I was up, the rain stopped falling. And the rest of the night was clear of rain.

I left a little earlier than usual, since I was making the trip by myself tonight, I made it all the way to Berri quickly. But we waited 6 minutes for a train heading North. But I still  made the 51 sitting in the bay when I reached Laurier.

It was a full house as usual, however some folks I anticipated on seeing were no shows.

Boooo !!!

Tonight’s reading spoke about The Group and Worldwide Community.

Sometimes when we come in, we stand on the outside looking in, until we sink into our seat and relax into the arms of the group. For some that takes time. The truth one admits to when we come and thereafter, the acceptance that comes also with time.

It is the group who welcomes the newcomer. This is a “We” program. And once you cross the threshold of the room, or walk down those stairs to that church basement, you are no longer alone.

It was terribly important, when I came back, that the group I became part of “Sober on South Beach 10 pm meeting,” took me in and cared for me, because I wasn’t caring very well for myself at that point.

We counted our days. We broke bread, we did everything together. And because I got sober over the holidays, there were folks who opened their homes to us to spend the holidays with people doing something other than drinking …

The mistake I made the first time, that precipitated my SLIP was that I was going to meetings, but I wasn’t GOING to meetings. I was there in body, but not mind or spirit. And becoming detached at four years and stopping communicating, thinking that nobody had to know what I was up to was a HUGE mistake.

Sobriety Lost It’s Priority.

Now I know that in order to stay sane in out of my head, I need other people. I need meetings like I need air in my lungs. And for years I have invested in meetings and to the people in those meetings. You can’t just go to a meeting and not invest. It is a two fold process.

So no matter where you are in the world, there is a room for you to visit with people who share the same issues. For the soldier overseas, the tourist in tourist cities, people who are far from home, A.A. World Group Services exist to welcome you. There are thousands of communities world wide that serve our community. So when we travel or if we are far from home, we are never very far from a meeting room and another alcoholic.

It was a good night. Good people and good words.

More to come, stay tuned…

Out of the Field they Come …


They say the weather is going to change for the worse overnight and into tomorrow. The usual plans are now up in the air depending on whether or not the heavens open up and dump torrential rain upon us like out in the prairies.

Just thinking about torrential rain brings back terrible memories because of what happens to our city when it rains a little too much. Highways flood, streets flood. Our 1800’s drain system of the city become overwhelmed and water goes everywhere.

If we are lucky the church won’t flood like it did some time ago. Hopefully that much rain won’t fall, and we will escape the ills of the city along with mother nature.

It has been a quiet couple of days. Lots going on down south to which I am proud to witness in my lifetime. Not the balance of the U.S. states who DON’T have marriage equality, in my opinion, once the tidal wave begins will fall like dominoes and everybody will be a participant in being “equal” — still Florida does not have marriage equality so it matters not to me or my life at this point. So we can be hopeful of the future.

It was a breezy night and I arrived at the church with plenty of time to set up and enjoy the weather in the garden before the meeting. It is my belief that if we get one, or better yet two newcomers at the meeting, we get to do our jobs and do God’s work well.

As was the case tonight, new faces came and participated. As the meeting progressed and the shares began we learned a great deal about each other. And what we have learned is that there is a whole “other” group of people out there suffering in their addictions and one of our men is part of that grouping.

Sadly, I have to concur that there aren’t many open and affirming A.A. groups that openly support and welcome LGBTQ members. I have seen it in my own life.

And today I ONLY participate in groups that folks are Open and Affirming to ALL and not just Some.

I was sorry for them and inquired at the end of the meeting what I could do to help, hopefully we will see our new friend again and be able to reach out and minister to those who need it and are afraid of coming …

We shared on the run up to Step Three … “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.”

The notion of changing our lives, turning it over, letting go of ourselves and become interested in others, coming to know a Higher Power and allowing him to guide our lives from this point on.

But so many people get stuck here and some never move past the log jam. And this is all down to what the world, society, and religion has forced down our throats about who God is and what he will do to us if we err and sin …

I heard something that resonates … When one of our men came in and got to this point, his sponsor said this to him … God is God is God. However it falls, God is God. Find him in your own way and come to believe that He will help you if you are ready.

Group of Drunk
Going Out Doors Good Orderly Direction

It’s all the same thing. The biggest help that Bill and Bob gave to the fellowship come in one short sentence. “God … As we understood him.”

It opens the door to those who have had such issues with God that they can’t come to believe because of the hang ups. No two powers are the same. No two alcoholics are the same. But eventually we find a power greater than ourselves.

What is His Work, and how do we do it well ???

That line shows up on page 63 of the Big Book. In the beginning it was all down to service to a group. To begin rebuilding your life, you had to give of yourself at the group level and become Part Of so that you can become One Of.

Suit up, Show up and be one of many, instead of alone and lonely.

I’ve said in the past and I repeat it often that “PRESENCE” is the greatest gift we can give each other. The meeting before the meeting and the one that follows the meeting is very important to outreach and working with others.

I come early, I set up and make coffee so that when YOU show up, we can have a coffee and chat a bit and i can get to know you better. That’s the whole purpose of community. Man is not meant to be alone. But there are those out there who are alone, and it is always my hope that one day I could walk out into the field with my fellows and welcome and affirm folks who are out there suffering.

Changing Attitudes, Tuesday Beginners, and Sunday Niter’s, Vendome Beginners and North End English are ALL open, welcoming and affirming.

We will welcome you and be part of your lives. We have all known suffering and pain, and through our groups we will help you heal your souls.

That is what I believe that Jesus would have wanted us to do. Because He always did what was right in front of him, he never really had a plan, it all played out day to day. But he welcomed and affirmed. Loved and cared for the least.

And that is what we do too … What is in front of us.

Tonight we had work come, and show up, right in front of us. Hopefully the words we shared tonight will nest and foster our guys to come back and visit us again.

A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned…

SkinnyFatties Neckties Crowdfund Post

If any of my readers are in NYC or anywhere for that matter, take a look, go make a purchase or get involved with the campaign.
I hope you are having an awesome day. I’m a young gay small business owner in Brooklyn. My company, SKINNYFATTIES, was built by my service of making fat neckties skinny, and now, I’m looking to expand into a full-service necktie company.  I need your support to bring my crowdfunding campaign (http://igg.me/at/skinnyfatties) attention.

For each tie tailored and every tie purchased, a portion of the profits is donated to Career Gear, which helps low income men reenter the workforce, many of whom are gay.

Can you share this initiative? A blog post, newsletter mailing, tweets, newsletter, etc… With a little support, your reach can go a long way.

Campaign page: http://igg.me/at/skinnyfatties
Campaign press release: http://www.skinnyfatties.com/pressrelease.html

SKINNYFATTIES – Redefining the Men’s Fashion Industry with High Quality Products and Social Purpose

Founder of SKINNYFATTIES brings his tie tailoring company to Indiegogo

One year ago, Founder of SKINNYFATTIES, Joshua Adam Brueckner, found himself living in Brooklyn and unemployed. Needing clothes for job interviews, he mastered the craft of tailoring existing clothes he had in his closet. When Brueckner discovered that he could tailor wide neckties into slimmer ones, he launched SKINNYFATTIES, allowing men worldwide to ship their ties in to be tailored. This unique service provides an eco-friendly and money-conscious alternative to buying new skinny ties at retail value. All ties are hand-stitched in Brooklyn and packaged in a round metal tin, which prevents creasing during shipment. SKINNYFATTIES proudly offers free shipping worldwide. For every tie tailored, a $1 donation is made to Career Gear, a nonprofit organization that helps low income men transition into the workforce.

On June 10, 2013, Brueckner shared the SKINNYFATTIES story and unveiled four upcoming neckties part of their first collection. The 2.5” width ties are locally hand-made in New York City and designed by Brueckner himself. On the back of each cotton necktie is a small steal plate branded with SKINNYFATTIES. The ties will retail at $74.00 each. Similar to the tie tailoring service, for each tie purchased, a portion of the profits will benefit Career Gear.

SKINNYFATTIES is proud to support the efforts of Career Gear. Career Gear builds strong families and communities by empowering low-income men to overcome barriers and achieve self-sufficiency. In their 12 years of existence, they have helped over 30,000 disconnected and under-served job seeking men become self-sufficient members of their communities. SKINNYFATTIES is helping fund Careers Gears’ job readiness programming, professional development series and mentorships.

After a year of tailoring and studying hundreds of ties that men love, Brueckner has gained an understanding of menswear design. It’s a project he is very excited about. However, “As a recent college graduate, my student loans limit my ability to fund the project myself,” says Brueckner. Therefore, he has taken the idea to Indiegogo.com in an attempt to raise $20,000 in 45 days. The money will be spent producing inventory, putting SKINNYFATTIES on retail shelves worldwide. In addition to funding, Brueckner hopes to gain brand awareness and international support as they approach the men’s fashion industry with their upcoming collection and existing service.

If SKINNYFATTIES does not reach their projected goal, it might be years before you’ll see their ties on the market. To follow their project, be sure to find them on Twitter (@SKINNYFATTIES) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SKINNYFATTIES) and spread the word to your social media networks. Consider donating as little as $1 to help their project come to life. If you decide to donate more, you might be among the first in the world to sport their unique designs.

If you’d like more information about SKINNYFATTIES, or if you’d like to schedule an interview with Joshua, please email press@SKINNYFATTIES.com or send a tweet to @SKINNYFATTIES.

Joshua Adam Brueckner was born and raised in Ohio, USA. After graduating from Vantage Career Center studying digital media and graphic design in 2007, he moved to Chicago to work with City Year, a national nonprofit organization under AmeriCorps that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time community service. Brueckner assisted in launching City Year in Los Angeles for one more year. His work with City Year involved developing and executing large-scale community service projects to restore homeless shelters, inner-city public schools and community parks. City Year is often referred to as the domestic version of Peace Corps.

Brueckner later went on to study at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) while interning at the Dolby Theatre (formerly known as the Kodak Theatre), home of The Academy Awards, in Hollywood, California. He transferred to the New York City AMDA campus and graduated in 2011. Brueckner took a full-time position with a commercial photography agency in Manhattan. Upon being laid-off from the position, he co-founded bottledBrooklyn (no longer affiliated); bB donates a portion of each purchase to end global hunger. Brueckner developed SKINNYFATTIES in July 2012. He is empowered by his experiences in community service and motivated to support those striving for gainful employment through his work with SKINNYFATTIES.

Landmark day for same-sex marriage after two U.S. Supreme Court rulings

tumblr_mc20joYya81rzdt4io1_500 iheefz

Courtesy: Iheefz – Chicago

WASHINGTON – A marriage made in Toronto was at the heart Wednesday of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act on a historic day that also cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California, the most populous state in the union.

The ruling on the federal U.S. legislation known as DOMA gives spouses in same-sex unions a full array of tax, health and pension benefits.

The challenge to the legislation was spearheaded by 83-year-old Edith Windsor, a New Yorker, who married her longtime partner Thea Spyer six years ago in Canada, where same-sex marriage has been legal for almost a decade. The couple’s marriage was recognized by New York state, but not by the federal government.

When Spyer died in 2009, the federal government cited DOMA to force Windsor, who’s now ailing, to pay $363,000 in taxes on her late wife’s estate — taxes that wouldn’t have been levied against her if she’d been married to a man.

Windsor wasn’t at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, but watched from her lawyer’s apartment in New York, where she was reportedly jubilant upon word that DOMA had been struck down. The law had been in effect since 1996, when it was signed into law by a now-apologetic Bill Clinton.

“Children born today will grow up in a world without DOMA,” a beaming Windsor told a New York news conference.

“And those children who are gay will be free to grow up and love and be married .… If I had to survive Thea, what a glorious way to do it. And she would be so pleased.”

Also on Wednesday, the high court cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California by ruling that defenders of Proposition 8, a ban on same-sex marriage, had no constitutional standing. That means a lower court ruling in California that legalized same-sex marriage is again the law of the land.

The two historic rulings will likely transform the United States on same-sex marriage, an issue now widely considered a civil rights battle — and one that is dramatically winning the support of Americans.

U.S. President Barack Obama, the first commander-in-chief in American history to back same-sex marriage, praised the Supreme Court in a statement on Tuesday released after he personally called the plaintiffs involved in the two cases to congratulate them.

“This was discrimination enshrined in law,” he said.

“It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it. We are a people who declared that we are all created equal – and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

As many legal experts predicted, it was Justice Anthony Kennedy, a libertarian conservative on the panel, who broke partisan ranks on the nine-member panel and voted in favour of striking down DOMA. Kennedy had already written two judgments for the court that upheld the rights of gays.

“DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others,” Kennedy wrote in his decision.

“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.”

The latest polls suggest the majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage, compared with just 13 per cent 25 years ago.

It’s not just a generation gap that explains the profound shift, pollsters are discovering — even some older Americans are changing their minds about gay marriage, as are citizens in rural areas, from religious backgrounds and in traditionally conservative jurisdictions.

Amid that backdrop, the Supreme Court heard arguments in March against both laws. The arguments, made before the panel of five Republican appointees and four Democrats, were heard even as some high-profile Republicans, long consumed with winning over the social conservatives of their base, expressed support for same-sex marriage.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman reversed his stance after his college-age son revealed he was gay. Jon Huntsman, a Mormon and a Republican presidential candidate in 2012, has also backed same-sex marriage and urged his fellow Republicans to do the same.

Even Karl Rove, the powerful Republican strategist who famously brought millions of Christian evangelicals into the party fold a decade ago, says he wouldn’t be surprised if the 2016 Republican presidential candidate — whoever that may be — backs same-sex marriage.

Obama has helped embolden fellow politicians on same-sex matrimony after he reversed his own stance on the issue last year. The White House had urged the high court to rule in favour of same-sex rights.

Hillary Clinton, eyeing a run for president in 2016, has also expressed her support.

Speaker John Boehner, meanwhile, said he was “disappointed” in the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling and suggested states may rule differently in the future. Same-sex marriage is currently legal in 13 U.S. states.

“While I am obviously disappointed in the ruling, it is always critical that we protect our system of checks and balances,” Boehner said in a statement. “A robust national debate over marriage will continue in the public square, and it is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman.”

The religious right vowed a battle.

In a series of Tweets, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer wrote: “Sodomy-based marriage is an egregious violation of the ‘Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.’ May God have mercy on us.”

He added: “In our battle to defend marriage as God has defined it, we will never give in. We will never, never, never, never give in.”

Mike Huckabee, a onetime Republican presidential candidate, also took to Twitter to express his dismay.

“My thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling that determined that same sex marriage is okay: ‘Jesus wept.'”

Joel Fuhrman – Steps to Good Health


I’ve not mentioned that I am on a new diet plan for the last 4 weeks. It is called the Joel Fuhrman Diet – Steps to good health with High Nutrition foods.

You can find the link here: Joel Fuhrman You Tube Video on You Tube.

The main goal is to rid yourself of needless junk food, soda and other foods that won’t help you loose the weight needed and to build up your body with Micro-Nutrients.

The plan calls for this acronym: G.O.M.B.S.

That would be: Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds.

I’ve been off the soda for more than a month now, and people are beginning to comment about my loosing weight and that the change is visible. However at the hospital a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at 185 pounds. But I feel weight coming off by the week.

Aside from these particular necessities, I eat a good dinner at night, a small lunch at lunch time, and foods that rank on the list in between.

I notice that my jeans are loose and I have cranked further rungs on my belt to keep them up, which means I may be stepping down a waist size soon – which would be nice.

My goal is to loose at least ten pounds before my next doctors appointments in September. I am hoping with the elimination of complex sugars, white sugars, white bread and the like I can hopefully reverse my diabetes in a good way.

I’ve been on top of all my medications and with the new tests the labs use today can give a three month span of data on a blood sample instead of a one day number when the blood draw is taken. In stead of relying on one number – they now have two. This also goes for my HIV medications as well.

I’ve dropped the soda, which my body has been on detox for the last month – I’ve added to my diet many micro nutrients, fresh fruit, berries, seeds and lots of greens, which would be salads during the day.

Eating several small meals during the day and NOT eating out of hunger works.

I don’t drink coffee at home, and only at meetings. I have some juices and non sweetened tea to drink during the day and milk to drink with my pills twice a day.

I’ve been listening to folks who have made these changes in their diets as of late and great things came to pass for them. A considerable weight loss for the fall would be a great joy to my doctor.

Take the time to go watch this 54 minute video. It may just change your life.

More to come, stay tuned…

Tuesday – Solutions …


It is Tuesday and the weather has been iffy all day long. We’ve been having rain and totally muggy miserable weather. Feels like Florida weather. There is massive flooding in the Western Provinces, and in the Central and Atlantic regions, it feels more like summer in July.

We usually don’t get these deeply warm trends until later in the summer and they last for a little while. But July is coming and August usually brings cooler temps. Thank God for air conditioners. We were wise to invest in one last season.

I left early this evening because of the possibility of torrential rain, because it was thundering for a few hours prior to me leaving, but no substantial rain fell. By the time I left it was just spitting rain.

The church was open when I got there. The girls were gathering to read their Big Books. And so I set out tables and chairs and made coffee. It was my last week on set up duty for the month of June.

I wanted to be free of any proper commitment to service so that if I decided to go to Vendome instead I could. Sometimes I need to be with the guys over there, instead of with the girls at T.B’s.

We sat fair numbers tonight, after a successful business meeting.

Montreal is in the running to host the 2025 International A.A. Convention and New York is sending representatives to our city in the coming weeks to scout and see just how Montreal can accommodate over 60,000 alcoholics in our city.

Meetings are being asked to send contributions directly to New York, to make sure our individual groups get documented internationally. However Montreal, as a whole sends money to New York, after our needs are met on a monthly basis.

But the individual groups who donate directly to New York prove that there are groups who are financially solvent and can make donations to New York. And with these donations from groups in Montreal, we are saying that we can accommodate thousands of people in our groups while they are here, and the donations also curry favor in our favor as a host city.

The decision should be made by end of summer.

Tonight we read from Chapter 2 in the Big Book. There IS a Solution.

This chapter has been important at many meetings I go to. We keep covering the first few chapters of the book, continuously. We can’t stress enough to newcomers that they too can get sober and become happy, joyous and free too … It may take some time, but in the end life will get better.

As we were reading I went over the graffiti that I have written in my book over the years we’ve read. My book is a jumble of highlights and underlines and side bar notes.

Several items come to mind when reading this chapter …

We are defenseless about the first drink.

That eventually in sobriety you will reach a point when all that stands between you and a drink will be your Higher Power.

ISM is not a Wasm in my head …

It was good that the shares did not get round to me by the end of the share portion of the meeting. But I was thinking about getting sober.

The first time I got sober, I got sober because I needed to because of my health. So there was another motive, other than self that was directly responsible for my sobriety.

I stayed sober for a while, but I wasn’t communicating at the end, and I surely was not rooted in the Big Book. Because had I been on both accounts, I probably would not have drank like I did.

I just walked right into a drink as my slip took place. I really did not think about it when it happened. IT just happened. First it was a drink and then a joint, and insanity ensued.

The second time I got sober, there were no other motivations or concerns. I was getting sober for me and only me and the first thing we did was read the book, and begin with the steps. There were meetings in the same location every night. And every night the format was different. So in those first 5 months, I heard the steps spoken about in a 12 step series. I had enough Big Book under my belt and Living Sober as well.

I think it is imperative that with any amount of time you have right now, that you attend at least one meeting that reads the Big Book and/or the Twelve and Twelve. That you have a sponsor that you currently work steps with. And a home group where you are participating in your sobriety.

Because without those tools. that are laid at our feet, we are just spinning our wheels and warming a chair, until at some point we engage or we go back out and drink.

Eventually we will be rocketed into the fourth dimension …

The rain stayed away and I got home without incident.

A good night was had by all …

More to come, stay tuned …

Sunday Sundries …

tumblr_lbvzzftgHR1qacs5po1_500 everythingsmagic

Courtesy: Everythingsmagic

The weekend has come and is almost gone. The run up to tomorrow’s National Holiday Ste. Jean Baptists is gathering steam. I was greeted by a young man on my way out marching down Ste Catherine’s Street shouting “Vive Le Quebec!” And I was like “yeah, ok … good for you”

Thankfully Canada Day falls the weekend after and us Canadians can celebrate our nation with the rest of Canada. There are flags appearing on balconies across the way from our building.

The weather held off today, after a night of clouds, rain and fog. We missed the Moon last night. Not even a peep.

Hubby installed Windows 7 on my computer a couple days ago. He bought a new hard drive with more space, some more memory which was helpful as well. We are still trying to figure out how this O/S works. I still don’t have access to my email program as we had to download a Microsoft mail program, which we still don’t know how it works just yet.

This system is intuitive, more than XP. It thinks ahead of you. But it comes with its issues. It needs a lot of programs and patches to make it work, Windows Media player is still off line while we figure out how to make sound work on the player, because Windows 7 needs specific drivers, that we found did not work, and folks all over the place have had similar issues.

At least I have a working computer once again. The laptop was useful when needed, but I prefer my desktop to the laptop.

The Sunday meeting was well attended. We finished up The Family Afterwards tonight.

I did my damage to family. But they did their fair share as well. I wonder if they think about me, but in reality at the end, the relationship was toxic. And I moved away to take care of me. I heard tonight that Blood is Blood. You can’t change the family you have, all you can do is recognize their humanity and their individuality of who they are warts and all. And I can do that today.

Is it necessary to have them in my life today, not really. Would it make a difference? I don’t know. I am still persona non grata like my aunt and other extended family so we are all on the off switch position.

Nick Wallenda is about to walk the Grand Canyon.  Hope he makes it.

All is well. More to come…

Second Miracle Attributed to Pope John Paul II; Set for Fastest Sainthood in Modern History

By Stoyan Zaimov , Christian Post Reporter
June 19, 2013|7:55 pm

Pope John Paul II, The popular Polish pope who served from 1978 until his death in 2005, has had a second miracle attributed to his name, setting him on course toward the fastest canonization in modern Roman Catholic Church history.

The Vatican Insider reported on Tuesday that doctors and a commission of theologians agreed to attribute a second miracle to his name, meaning that now the final step for Pope John Paul II to become a saint is for cardinals and bishops to agree on the decision.

The miracle is the healing of a Costa Rican woman, who suffered from severe brain damage before she had an “inexplicable recovery.” According to The Independent, Italian newspaper Il Giornale quoted Vatican officials who claimed that a double miracle had actually been performed, because not only was the woman healed, but the faith of her family had been restored.

While the Vatican has yet to release the full details behind the case, the miracle supposedly occurred in May 2011, the day of John Paul II’s beatification.

The first miracle attributed to the pontiff, which led to his beatification, concerned another healing –a French nun who recovered from Parkinson’s disease in 2005. Sister Marie Simon-Pierre had said that her illness suddenly vanished when her order started praying on her behalf, and she wrote down Pope John Paul II’s name on a piece of paper.

The 2005 miracle left the pope only steps away from sainthood, and if in the coming weeks the Congregation for the Causes of Saints’ commission of cardinals and bishops verifies this reported second miracle, he will become the fastest saint to be recognized by the Church in its modern history, just eight years following his death.

The Atlantic Wire reminded readers that up until this point, the person to go through the quickest path to sainthood was Josemaria Escriva, the Spanish priest who founded Opus Dei, canonized 27 years after his death by Pope John Paul II himself.

Canonizations were a regular event during the Polish pope’s reign. He proclaimed 482 saints which is more than during the leadership of the previous 17 popes put together.

While Pope John Paul II’s canonization is not yet set in stone, The Insider speculated that the fast process suggests that the current pope, Francis, is also in favor of the proposed sainthood.


Death of my computer Thursday update


It is Thursday and you know, it is always something! Things just can’t go according to plan all the time. It is always one thing or another. These past few weeks have been an exercise in futility and powerlessness. Money, my health, hubby’s health, finally things started looking up and we get a couple good days in, and “whooosh!!!”

Two days ago, my computer crashed out and not in a small way, but all the way. Hubby spent the better part of the past few days trying to fix it manually, hopping between the laptop and the PC … We bought more memory today because he thought it was a memory issue, and that proved to be pointless. Now we are downloading windows programs to install and maybe we need a new hard drive, hopefully we won’t loose the data on the hard drive that we had been using all along.

It has been three weeks I am on the Joel Furhman diet. G.O.M.B.S. That would be:

Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds… I also have been off soda for three weeks now. And I went to visit some friends on Tuesday night and they said I should start seeing results soon. The diet is a micro nutrient diet. It’s not so bad. Being off sugar has lessened my hunger, and the goal is to eat during the day, several times, and not to eat out of hunger.

So now I am typing on a laptop. I am not used to this kind of keyboard, it will have to do until we get the pc back up.

It is Jean Baptiste weekend here this weekend. and the following week will be Canada Day Observances countrywide.

More to come, stay tuned …


Sunday Sundries – Choke Edition !!!



And it rained today …

It was a very frightful weekend. After spending all day in the hospital on Friday, I came home and napped before the evening meeting. When it came for bed time, I stood in front of the kitchen sink to take my pills, and as I slugged them back with milk, that odd “once in a blue moon” occasion happened.

I took a breath as my largest pills went down my throat. And I started choking.

Usually, I clear up quickly, but not this time.

I was on my hands and knees trying to dislodge the stuck pills to no avail.

Hubby got involved, hugging, banging and trying to force the pills out of my throat, to no avail. I was still choking.

I was going to die by pill – in no uncertain terms. I couldn’t breathe. Minutes passed and we should have called emergency, but I said no. I was still choking. And pounding myself against the sink and collapsed on the floor in the kitchen.

But for one moment of grace … I spit the pill up by some stroke of luck. I could have died on my kitchen floor.

Needless to say I am a bit wary of taking pills now. I’ve resorted to the one at a time method, instead of throwing them back from a pepto cuppy.

Since the pills were stuck in my throat, my voice is a bit wrangled. And even today my voice is still fucked up. At the Sunday meeting folks thought I was sick or something, but once I tell the choking story, I get the same response.

You should have called an ambulance …

*** *** *** ***

Today was another regular Sunday. And the chair looked back in the history to see when we started reading the Big Book, which we began in October of last year. Today we began reading the Family Afterward, Chapter 9. In nine months we have only read 129 pages. And we still have a ways to go.

It is Father’s Day. Everybody is celebrating the Dad. Whereas, I rarely think about mine. Because I imagine that he rarely thinks about me. So we are even.

Every day I read from the book, he is there, just beneath the surface.

I kind of feel sorry for him. He made his choices and stood his stances on life, homosexuality and family. I was outside those stances, so fuck me.

I wonder if he ever thinks about the man I have become and what I have done with my life? Does it ever cross his mind? I am sure it has.

But let’s not wax nostalgic …

If he wanted to know me he has every opportunity to find me.

It was a grey day and wet.

We sat a handful of folks, some were missing from our usual count.

It was a good day in any case.

More to come, stay tuned…

It’s All About the Heart …



It has been a long day already.

I had a 7 a.m. appointment at Hotel Dieu Hospital on St. Urbain this morning.

I was in bed by 11:30 last night, and sleep evaded me. So I lay quietly until I turned the radio off sometime during the night. I set my alarm clock for 5:30 a.m. and made it to a 6:15 Bus – The 24 all the way to St. Urbain.

I walked up to the hospital and boy what a nightmare. I walked in circles for twenty minutes until I found the Jean Mance Pavillion. I checked in at 7 a.m. and they got me into the flow. There were about ten folks in the nuclear medicine office waiting for tests.

And I have to say that they did a great job at the way they process patients. I had my 1955 Big Book in hand, so the waiting between stages went by quickly.

They hooked me up with an IV line and pumped me full of nuclear isotopes and then I had to wait a bit for the first set of heart scans in this machine that you lay on a table and the scanner comes over you from one side taking pictures.

Then they sent me back to wait for stage two – the Tread Mill. I didn’t do so well, I only made it 6 min. 30 sec. But by that time they had pumped the incline and I was trying to keep up and I had cotton mouth and I wanted a drink, so at that point I said STOP !

My heart rate did not get to the acceptable point for the test so they sent me back to wait AGAIN ! And they devised another test for me instead. But the cardiologist there said my tread mill test was ok.

They took me into the iv room and pumped me full of nuclear yellow liquid poison in a huge pump and syringe and pumped that into my veins and took my blood pressure while the four minute push was on.

I was getting light headed and a headache from it. At the end they made me wiggle my legs for 3 minutes sitting in a chair and observed my blood pressure again.

At the end they pumped me with the antidote to the nuclear yellow poison. And the side effects disappeared.

They sent me once again to wait and finally took a second round of pictures in the scanner. They unhooked my line and told me I was finished.

I walked out of the hospital and just up the block a 55 bus was arriving, and I took that to Pace des Arts and home on the green line.

I did not get to eat my snack at the hospital. I was tired and hungry so I got some food on the way home. Now I need a nap before the evening meeting at North End English.

It was not as bad as I thought it would be. The hospital was very organized and all the folks in that ward were more than gracious and kind. Which made the experience much better.

More to come, stay tuned …

Why Wouldn’t I ???

tumblr_mc20joYya81rzdt4io1_500 iheefz


Courtesy: Heath (Iheefz) Chicago Photography

It rained … all . day . long …

Enough rain to warrant carrying an umbrella. And Lawd knows how I hate carrying my huge umbrella anywhere. But this morning it was necessary because we had to travel in . the  . rain.

A few days ago, hubby mentioned his graduation ceremony was coming up but he wasn’t expecting me to attend because it was, in his words, “long and boring!” The topic came back up the other night and he once again intoned that he wasn’t expecting me to go … and I replied “Why Wouldn’t I??? ”

Two years work. Watching him toil night and day pounding out his thesis and defense for his M.A. I went to his defense. We were all so proud of him. And so today was the culmination of all that work, a 15 second walk across a stage in front of his peers to get his M.A. Diploma.

The program opened with bagpipes, piping in the graduates, then the faculty.

And One very special man – LtGen. The Honorable Romeo A. Dallaire (Ret’d), O.C. ,CMM,GOQ, MSC,CD, B.ES., LLD , Senator.

He was presented with an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Letters.

And he gave a short speech for the graduates and encouraged them to step up and be change in Canada. Because in politics and government, he spoke, they have not risen to their ultimate abilities.

2017, is a special date and there are a confluence of dates and events, anniversaries and commemorations that will come during 2017, and Canada does not have a plan to mark the occasions.

Offering questions in the Senate and to the M.P’s in Parliament, what is the plan and what are we going to do ? the answer was – We Don’t Know !!!

This is our time to rise. To become active in the affairs of the nation be it in your community, your home, your job or your country, He encouraged us all to become change.

He spoke a bit about the children in Rwanda and the deaths and situations he witnessed. He spoke of a young boy, sitting in the road there in Rwanda distended, poor and in need (in a bad way), looked in those boys eyes, and the vision of his sons eyes came to mind.

He encouraged us to go abroad and work in developing countries. To see, witness, feel and participate in the lives of those who need more than they have today. They have very little, compared to the have’s and the have not’s in the developed world.

It was a tall request. But not out of reach. If you know where to look.

I know of people in Europe and the U.K. who actually go to Africa and other trouble spots in the developing world to work for charities helping those who need it most.

It is part of Gap Year work, Charity work, and just a great character building exercise to spend time in a place that will change the person you are, just by your presence.

We don’t often think about traveling so far away – it isn’t a North America thought, just because it is “over there” out of sight, out of mind.

But numbers of Canadians do great work in Africa and areas beyond.

If I could do it, I would. But the time needs to be right.

*** *** *** ***

Once hubby did his walk across the stage, he was in the first two rows of graduates, he texted me. I was sitting about ten rows behind him on the aisle so we could make a quick getaway. The ceremony started at 3 p.m. and I needed to be at the church at 5, so we made our way out shortly after the B.A.’s started their march to the stage.

We took some photos with his cape and gown and degree for his parents, turned in his robes, and we came home. We got back around 4:30. And I was back out the door at quarter to Five.

And . It . Rained …

I arrived at the church, a little damp and the hall was a bit damp and cold. I cranked out chairs and tables. My sponsor showed up a few minutes after I arrived to make coffee and help with set up.

Little gift …

At the roundup a couple of weeks ago, all the shares were taped for mass consumption and sold on site. For quite a chunk of money. So a few folks bought a master copy of all the shares. And now they have been duplicated and are being shared amongst us.

I had mentioned that I wanted a copy of them, and one of our sober women did the duplicates and brought them to the meeting tonight. But there were a few women who have not heard them, like we got to hear them live, so I told her to give them to someone who hasn’t heard them yet before I get them.

I was sitting in my chair waiting for folks to show up and one of my friends came up and handed me a cd, with all the shares and more on it. Just because !

Then I was standing near our literature table talking to some folks, and my sponsor walked up and had a gift for me. He was given a cache of Big Books and other texts we use regularly. And from a private collection, he has already given me a copy of the original manuscript of the Big Book. Tonight he had another book for me … A Second Edition of the Big Book.

Which has an extra large collection of stories in the back of the book.

There are four editions of the Big Book in circulation. First editions are rare and cost a pretty penny. Seconds and Thirds are in circulation. But for the most part, unless you need a 2 or 3, Inter-group sells Fourth Editions, solely.

The Book, Experience, Strength and Hope is a collection of stories from Editions 1 , 2 and 3. We read that book on Sunday Nights some time ago.

But now I get to read all the stories from the book in the Second Edition.

The meeting was packed. Which was good. Lots of newcomers. And great opportunities for our girls to get out there and pound the pavement.

We read from Living Sober, page 10 – Live and Let Live …

A good topic. Lots of good shares. Many people all over the place on the slogans.

Live and Let Live
Easy Does It
But for the Grace of God
Think, Think, Think
First things First

You see them posted at every meeting we go to in the city. Keeping our side of the street clean. Not getting into other folks drama. What people think of me is none of my business. I am powerless over people, places and things.

I can’t change you – I can only change me.

And people are struggling with this slogan. On a daily basis.

It was a good night. Fun was had. I walked home.

A good day over all Me thinks.

More to come, stay tuned…

28,491 days … Millions of lives saved …



Today A.A. celebrates its 78th anniversary. There are millions upon millions of grateful men and women in recovery today because of Bill and Dr. Bob.

I offer my thanks and gratitude. 


The Child of an Alcoholic Becomes One Himself

tumblr_m9ilhg0MTE1rcwwuko1_500 rthompson80


Mother Nature pulled it out today for the Grand Prix. The clouds parted and the sun shone and it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It was a good day to get out and enjoy nice weather for a change.

I was out early and arrived to a hall full of chairs and tables. I sorted out enough space for our tables and chairs. Tomorrow they will clean it all up. It was too much work – the church chairs go in a special closet on the ground floor along with the banquet tables. So we left things where they were afterwards.

We finished Chapter 8 – To Wives this evening.

Funny, in the end, reading chapters pointed at the wives and family of an alcoholic, from the perspective of an alcoholic. Some say the chapter is sexist and condescending to the reader. But we have to admit the times were different in the 1930’s when this book was penned.

We have decades of hindsight to enlighten the text for modern times.

When it came time for me to read I was at:

” The same principle applies in dealing with children. Unless they actually need protection from their father, it is best not to take sides in any argument he has with them while drinking. Use your energies to promote a better understanding all around. Then that terrible tension which grips the home of every alcoholic will be lessened…”

I have the ability to read this chapter as a child of an alcoholic and as an alcoholic myself. And it brings up terrible memories. I saw what my grandfathers did to their wives and by extension our families, on both sides of the family. My father’s father had only his wife and one son to victimize and abuse. Where as on my mother’s side, there were plenty of people to abuse.

My father, as an only child, perpetuated his abusive alcoholism on his immediate family. He was very abusive and violent on me. When he beat me up, my mother did nothing to stop him. But then sometimes he would go after my mother in the same way he went after me. And in order to get him off my mother, I goaded him into coming after me. She never said anything to hint that she appreciated what I had done countless times.

In my father’s world, he imported a wife, knocked her up, and then, marry her, because she was pregnant when they married. I am sure at that point my Catholic grandparents forced him to marry her.

He used to say that “I was a mistake and should never have been born.” And that refrain followed me as he swung what ever implement he had in his hands at the time. He would chase me through the house with a bat and I remember clearly hiding underneath beds and in closets in fear.

My mother did nothing to stop him. But my grandmothers DID. Several attempts later he failed in his attempt to kill me as a child because of them.

The book say to be understanding and gentle and try not to rock the boat.

I can’t begin to fathom what the women in my family thought or felt. They married for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. And whatever situation they married into they made due with what they had.

That is a sad statement of truth. Even if there WAS a solution out there, I never got the inkling that they would have ever sought it out. Because women in the family cowed to their husbands and never complained about their lot.

All I had was friends who took me in over the years. I spent nights, nay, weeks sleeping in other houses so that I didn’t have to sleep in mine. They all knew what was going on in my house. My father did not hide his alcoholism.

He encouraged everyone to drink like he did, because it was natural to drink.

As a child all I wanted was to be like my father. I had enough dirt on him in my life. He left plenty of clues to the man he was around the house. Funny that I became a burdensome alcoholic as a young man. I did a lot of damage to people, be they family, friends or the people I dated.

My twenties is just a blur on the timeline. I knew nothing about responsibility yet I managed to keep a roof over my head, while everything else fell apart. It was a reversal of fortune that in the beginning I was the child of alcoholics, and then as I grew up, my parents and family became those living with an alcoholic.  It was a total role reversal.

I think I did financial damage to the family, where my father did emotional and physical damage to the family. Which is worse? The one who could not pay his bills or the man who beat his wife and children?

You can pay back finances. But you cannot remove the pain and damage that physical abuse does to a child or a wife.

No one won this fight. We were all losers.

At least I broke the chain. I’ve earned my place at the table of life.

It was a good night.

More to come, stay tuned…