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Unread 12-08-2014, 01:59 PM   #251
Tryntryagain
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Good evening Susie. Bright blessings to you.

A very, very happy birthday. Thank you for you.

Congratulations from the bottom of my heart.

Loveness to you Susie.
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Unread 12-08-2014, 05:26 PM   #252
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Thanks to both of you, Nancy and Tryn, for your part in my sobriety.

Love, Susie
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Unread 12-08-2014, 09:47 PM   #253
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Susie, Congratulations on 3 months of sobriety. You have been an inspiration to me. Thank you for helping others here. Keep up the great work.
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Unread 12-08-2014, 11:45 PM   #254
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RLee, the feeling is mutual! Thanks.
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Unread 12-20-2014, 09:00 AM   #255
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Good afternoon Susie. Bright blessings to you.

I am catching up and wanted to pass by your place with a great big thank you for the support you are giving me on my journey. Your words and experience a blanket i wrap around myself when i am feeling sorry for me.

I was wondering now 3 months sobriety has come and gone, how you feel now, and what you have noticed in sobriety you wouldn't have noticed whilst drinking? I ask that because although modesty, (apart from Tryn) runs through this family, i am always astonished at how much insight and life changing advice can be given here as if it was the easiest thing to do. Whether or not the post is from someone struggling or doing better, every one always comes from peoples hearts. The support and guidance you have given me keeps me sober. I also have to say that as a chap in Blighty i am rather "star struck" from where you all live and whatnot. I mean Kentucky? My experience is a luke warm piece of something in a soggy box. I ache for my roots. Instead of only being able to see 60ft ahead and then 1000ft straight up, i want see an horizon and everything before it. The idea of Missouri, Texas itself..oh, oh, oh, Susie i meant to ask you....is this true? Is it true that if Texas decided to be "its own country" it would be the 5th largest country in the world?....(I have a bag of sweets on this with my kids....answer very carefully!)

Anyways!, i wanted to pop by to offer my love and support and to thank you for yours.

Be peaceful. Loveness to you Susie.
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Unread 12-20-2014, 11:57 AM   #256
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Tryn,

Although Texans would like you to believe the myth, my research shows that Texas is about the size of Myanmar, somewhere between the sizes of Afghanistan and Chile. That is approximately 696,000 sq. km, nowhere near #5 in size.

At its widest point, it is 879 miles across, which at our elderly speed (I'll be 67 tomorrow) takes two days to cross. That is, I believe, approximately 1,406 km.

I have never been to Kentucky, although I grew up in Missouri. The family history tells that my grandfather (Scotch, Irish, and Dutch ancestry, as many Americans are) left his pregnant wife in Missouri, and went to Oklahoma to homestead when land was free. When my eldest uncle was born, she (Grandmother)sent a photo (1902?) of herself in her best suit with mutton sleeves, bustle and matching hat with ostrich feather, nursing the newborn (I have the original photo). He took one look and gave up the homestead, went back to Missouri to live out their days.

You asked about 90 days sobriety. While drunk, I blamed all my daughter's and grandchildren's problems on my son-in-law. I can now see that she loves him, and he is doing the best he knows how. He just had a 1/2 meter section removed from his large intestine -- result of drinking, smoking, and unhealthy eating at the age of 45. The children are 13 and 16, straight A students, both training on Olympic Development Soccer teams. I guess he can't be all bad. My daughter is an underemployed Certified Public Accountant, so that she has time to manage family life, while he (with his college degree) sells oil well equipment, eats, drinks beer, and grows fatter. Do you detect a bit of disgruntlement on my part?

I guess the greatest revelation (which I have taught my students for years) is that the only person I have any control over is I (sometimes good grammar sounds awkward even to an old English teacher). How can I teach that for so many years without the truth revealing itself to me until I'm 67? In general, I am not judgemental towards others, but I have carried that resentment toward son-in-law for 18 years. I carried the same resentment toward my mother, OCD and very controlling, for my whole life, until she died a couple of years ago at age 101. The thing I most appreciate about 90+ days of sobriety is that I no longer have to be angry with either one of them. Although I attend a 12-step meeting, the best guidance I have found to maintain sobriety is the serenity prayer:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

My observation of you and your journey with Larry (and events of the last 2? years) is that you are learning the same lesson I am. I am glad that you are able to learn at a much earlier age than I am. Humbling to me, but lucky for you.

Sorry I am rambling.

Love, Susie

Last edited by gmasusie; 12-20-2014 at 12:12 PM..
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Unread 12-20-2014, 04:02 PM   #257
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You are growing in strength with sobriety from reading your posts. That is so nice to see and thanks for sharing.
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Unread 12-20-2014, 10:28 PM   #258
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Susie, You are growing. A lot of us stopped growing & maturing as we continued to drink. When sober we can look back & see what we were like.

Keep it up!
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Unread 12-21-2014, 07:43 AM   #259
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Good morning Susie. Bright blessings to you.

Firstly....(to the tune)

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Susie,
Happy birthday to you.

I can relate to alot of your last post. Resentment. Hmmmmm, resentment used to be my very bestest friend. When resentment was out shopping i would drop in to see anger, and if he wasn't in, self pity was always about. I often found myself popping in and out consistantly.

Yes Susie, you are right in that i am learning the same lesson. I am learning that sobriety becomes me although it is something i am always aware of. I try to use mindfulness to empower me when historic resentments come my way. I learnt that i was someone whom through circumstance while young felt i needed to control situations for survival purposes. When those purposes were no more, my need to control everything did not abate. How bizzare the one behaviour, drinking, i chose to keep control was the very thing that would guarentee i could not possibly have any control. I found as a drinking alcoholic i was always straddling contradiction. My sobriety has created a warm sense of honesty and thus security, although self doubt and anxiety will be bed fellows, 1 day at a time i will overcome that.

The serenity prayer is, and will always be a guiding light for so many. I have a similar phrase i go by which is

if i always do what i have always done,
i will always get what i have always got.

For me, it says very much the same. I am constantly adjusting my sails and shimming up the mast to the lookout point to watch for any hazards ahead. That keeps me sober. Admit, accept, adapt, adjust, commit.

My love and birthday wishes to you. Have a wonderful day.

Be peaceful. Loveness to you Susie
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Unread 12-21-2014, 08:29 AM   #260
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Happy Birthday Susie! On winter solstice no less!

I hope you have a wonderful day and do something just for you.

Nancy
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Unread 12-21-2014, 02:18 PM   #261
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Happy Birthday Susie Wow a sober birthday!!
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Unread 12-21-2014, 02:36 PM   #262
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A special birthday to you!
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Unread 12-21-2014, 04:18 PM   #263
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Happy Birthday Susie! I am so proud of how far you have come. Enjoy your day! Jenm
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Unread 12-22-2014, 11:16 AM   #264
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Thanks to all of you for the greetings. My husband and I had brunch out with my sister and b-in-law, then came home and decorated the Christmas tree (which I have not done in several years) with our son. In the evening I wrote Christmas cards for the first time in perhaps six years. My husband says he thinks our 37-yr-old son thinks we're boring. I am just grateful for a peaceful, productive sober day. I didn't have to worry about whether I embarrassed myself or anyone else, or wonder what I did or said. That is progress. Thanks to all of you for your support. At the request of adult children and their children, I am baking Christmas cookies, again for the first time in 5 or 6 years, so that will keep me busy until Christmas eve.

I wish I could send all of you cards and cookies to let you know how very grateful I am for this "family."

Love, Susie
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Unread 12-22-2014, 06:05 PM   #265
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Thanks Susie. Enjoy the fruits of your sobriety!!
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Unread 12-23-2014, 11:17 AM   #266
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Enjoy your sobriety Susie. I love my peaceful days, even when they are not productive. You are teaching your son the best lesson of all for an alcoholic. That one can get sober and enjoy it!

Merry Christmas!
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Unread 12-23-2014, 11:31 AM   #267
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Thanks, RLee and Saint. Enjoy your holiday.

Love, Susie
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Unread 12-25-2014, 01:41 PM   #268
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Good afternoon Susie. Bright blessings to you.

I wanted to pop by and say Happy Christmas to you. I want to share my courage and love with you at this time.

Merry xmas and thank you.

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you Susie.
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Unread 12-26-2014, 11:16 AM   #269
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Thank you, Tryn.

You know we are all with you in spirit.

I wanted to report on my Christmas Eve. We went to family Christmas dinner: red chili enchiladas, green chili chicken enchiladas, posole (hominy), ham, turkey mole (chili chocolate sauce), natillas (pudding), biscochitos (anise sugar cookies. Over 50 people, but no anxiety. Nieces argued about whether "Tia (Aunt) Susan" drank red or white. I said, "I'll just go with water right now." Nobody blinked an eye.

My contribution was lebkuchen, traditional molasses cookies with allspice, cinnamin, cloves, ginger, pepper, and chocolate frosting from my grandmother from Switzerland. Talk about a global holiday!

It was a wonderful New Mexico Christmas decorated with farolitos (luminarias -- paper bags with sand and candles inside to light the road for Mary, Joself, and the Christ child). JenM, you and the boys would have loved it. Check the internet for NM Christmas, if you've never seen them. It is spiritual and, yes, magical.

OK, it's amazing how much more I noticed, participated and enjoyed being sober. Not a moment of anxiety among loved ones. Thanks to all of you here.

My wish now is Dr. MLK's: not just peace in my soul, but peace on this earth.

Love, Susie
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Unread 12-26-2014, 05:03 PM   #270
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What a beautiful message! Way to go Susie enjoying the life you deserve. Happy new year!
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Unread 12-26-2014, 05:49 PM   #271
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Susie, Aunt Susan had water. Way to keep it simple & have a good time observing others.
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Unread 12-26-2014, 09:24 PM   #272
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Congrats on a magical Christmas Holiday with family. I am drooling!!

Good work. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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Unread 12-26-2014, 11:26 PM   #273
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Thanks to all of you.
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Unread 12-27-2014, 12:04 PM   #274
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Oh Susie I wish the boys and I could have seen it! We are here with no snow, but 30 degrees F and supposed to get colder. Winter in the midwest. The boys and I went to a beautiful Christmas Eve service at church filled with beauty and the message of the Gospel, the Good News! I wish everyone would take this free gift of eternal life - my hope is just that. Now my house is trashed with toys everywhere, the cats are knocking around Lego pieces (those things are kind of hard to build!) and I am just enjoying my boys. Now off to the store so the oldest can browse around and use one of his giftcards. It is time for me to work on my patience! Love, Jenm
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Unread 12-28-2014, 09:47 AM   #275
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Good afternoon Susie. Bright blessings to you.

What an inspirational post! Maybe i will dance today after all.

Just 1 thing, when i am asked if i drink red or white now i say, "i drink and think clear. That way i dont see or think red or white!"

I had a true sense of "joining in" with your Christmas as you described it so eclectically. I am sure i was there with you for a moment. Beautiful.

Aunt Susie is it now? Welp, i can tell you that the wisdom Auntys hold i have had the grace and fortune to be on the end of.

What a wonderfully holistic human being you are.

Thank you.

Be peaceful, be healthy and keep enjoying your strengths. Loveness to you Susie.
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Unread 12-31-2014, 11:42 AM   #276
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Good afternoon Aunt Susie. Bright blessings to you.

You are in my thoughts, and i thank you for your enablement and wish you a very Happy New Year.

Be peaceful and strong. Loveness to you Susie
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Unread 12-31-2014, 05:56 PM   #277
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Tryn

I think of you several times each day. I wish for you a happy and sober New Year.

I wish peace for you and Larry.

Thanks and love, Susie
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Unread 01-01-2015, 01:18 PM   #278
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Susie, Hope your year is bright and wonderful, like you. Have a safe, sober day.
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Unread 01-01-2015, 05:16 PM   #279
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Susie - Happy New Year! I am so thankful and grateful to "know" you. Jenm
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Unread 01-01-2015, 05:56 PM   #280
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Happy New Year Susan. I am glad you found your way to this family!

Peace,
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Unread 01-18-2015, 10:54 AM   #281
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Good afternoon Susie. Bright blessings to you.

Susie, over the last week i have had many internal struggles. Gosh.....feelings and auras have been flying off me like fireworks...but inside. Both Emily Dickinsons poems that you shared with me allowed the "inside - out".

Let me pop some humour into this.

I used to have 2 skunks. 1 was called "In".....the other "Out. One day "In went out, and Out stayed in".

Well Out was getting worried about In, so Out, went out, to look for In. Goodness me, Out was calling..."Innn?....Innn?".....of course In was out, without Out, having so much fun being In.

Eventually Out found In....how?....Instinct.

The point of that nonsense?......perspective. The gift you gave me through Larrys passing was perspective and love. Follow my instincts, i will not go far wrong.

Thank you Susie.

Be peaceful, be Susie and be strong. Loveness to you Susie.
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Unread 01-18-2015, 01:12 PM   #282
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Tryn,

Your sense of humor will stand you in good stead! Thanks for the belly laugh!

This week is a new beginning for me. I will begin volunteering 10-12 hours a week with adjudicated youth, tutoring them to pass the GED test (for high school diploma) and counseling. I am one of those lucky people who had a career that I loved. I did not work to live, I lived to work. I taught high school English and psychology and then was a high school counselor. The alcohol really dragged me down when I retired to care for four little old ladies. The last one, my mom, finally passed away a couple of years ago at the age of 101. I just thought life was over, I guess.

Makes no sense. I am 67. If genetics have anything to say about it, I have 30+ years to go, if I lay off the sauce. When I got sober and realized that, I finally decided, "Why not go back to doing something I love, working with adolescents." My husband says I am a case of arrested development, Ha ha. I guess I am because I really enjoy them and connect with them.

When I was teaching and counseling, I never drank on the job. However, I needed two or three or more to get through Open House with the parents. I have chaired a couple of the substance abuse support groups I attend here, and that old anxiety comes back when I face the grownups!

I have done my grieving...it almost killed me. I am so grateful to all of you. I discovered you while I was recovering from heart surgery. The synchronicity, synergy, and support here literally saved my life and gave me a second chance. It's your turn, now, Tryn, to reinvent yourself.

I feel as proud as a parent of your sincere thank you notes to all of us here. Tryn, you are a different man now than the one I first met who cursed the world and everyone in it. You are such a big part of the journey of every one of us here. Thank you.

Love, Susie
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Unread 01-19-2015, 08:42 AM   #283
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Susie, that sounds like a wonderful, worthwhile thing to devote some of your time to. Those young people are lucky to have you.

Good luck!
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Unread 01-19-2015, 09:14 AM   #284
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Oh Susie you are such a blessing! This is exactly the work that I love. I know you are and will be fantastic at this. It takes a special heart to work with these kids, and I know that you have a VERY special heart. Love, Jenm
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Unread 01-19-2015, 11:46 AM   #285
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Tiger and Jenm,

Thank you. Today will be catching up with laundry, housework, etc., so I am ready to start tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.

Oh, yes. I will attend my noon meeting since I will miss it for the next 3 days.

Susie
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Unread 01-19-2015, 12:53 PM   #286
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Good evening Susie. Bright blessings to you.

I know tomorrow holds treasures for you....you know what?.....it holds far more treasures for the young'uns you will be working with.

When i try to raise the quality of anothers life, young, old or in between, i do what could be construed as the "worst thing to do"....i hand responsibility.....with support back. I have had my fill of thinking i can change things....i can't.......but we can.

That is the "mantra" 0f life. If you are alcoholic, if you are vulnerable, if you are lost and lonely, if you feel alone, Susie you are what Addiction Survivors are all about, sharing why taking our lives as our own, can be so very, very difficult.

I do some work at young offenders prisons, there is 1 particularly known here in Blighty that is frankly a war zone. (680 young offenders.......28 gangs) and affiliation is key to survival.

Hello? Is that not the case for an individual? To find oneself in a hostile environement and survival means "fitting in".

I know you will empower the youngsters to have faith in that they can shape their own futures.

When young and frightened, i can remember looking to others to enable me. Eventually i learnt to enable myself. I did so through luck, not my ability, and certainly not the interventions of the state.

Susie, it takes individuals to facilitate change in individuals. No "State", no focus group has the answers, the answers lay between the individual that wants to guide, and the other individual that wants it. How can you make that happen?....emotionally safe environments. The treasure that exists for us all here.

At first with young people i went into the game knowing i was one once, and that my time was most definately an experience many could relate to. I thought that was enough. Not only was it not enough, it was completely to miss the point. I tried to show these kids how to survive in their enviroment, maturity taught me that i couldn't. I could only produce trust, belief and confidence, just like all of us here, the rest is up to them.

There is nothing that these kids in prison ahve done i haven't. I thought that was enough. I thought that would mean they would listen.

No one listens to tough guys, anyone...wherever they come from, only listen to love, compassion and understanding. Folk want to know they are ok.

6 or 600.

If i was young, misguided, and losing the plot was the best part of my day, i would want to talk to Susie.

You mention those you loved living to a ripe old age and that you could have another 30 years Susie!........I am as guilty as the rest of us when looking back and thinking......"how old am i???"....how did that happen? I do not feel proud staying alive, but trying to make a difference. I doubt i will, but trying...for me...is life.

I am sending you Blightys finest oil for your elbow Dear Susie. (I am not being patronising.....but....).....Go for it girl!!!!!

My thoughts will be with you tomorrow.

Be peaceful, go get'em, let solutions come from them. Loveness to you Susie.
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Unread 01-19-2015, 01:27 PM   #287
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Susie, Good for you. Giving back any way help the alcoholic stay sober. We get out of ourselves.
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Unread 01-19-2015, 05:34 PM   #288
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Thanks, Tryn.

I hear you, RLee.

I'll keep you posted.
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Unread 01-20-2015, 05:20 PM   #289
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Good evening Susie. Bright blessings to you.

Absolutely dying to know.......How did it go?

Loveness to you Susie.
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Unread 01-20-2015, 10:02 PM   #290
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Tryn,

I loved it!!!! It felt like a fish back in the water. 10 boys, aged 16-18. It is a GED program for them to work independently to get their high school diploma. When I was introduced, I stepped right up and said, "So, are you here voluntarily or are you court-ordered?" Nearly all said they were here voluntarily. Then one quiet boy said, "Yeah, if we didn't volunteer to come here or go back to school, we go to jail." Then we all laughed, and I said, "Yeah, I would have volunteered, too!" From then on, we were fast friends.

I spent three hours working with each individually on writing skills. It gave me a chance to begin to assess both their capabilities and personalities. Afterward, the Director said they want me to do an assessment of one boy in particular who, from what they describe, is probably suffering from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. That will probably happen on Thursday.

I did tell them (the boys) I had smoked for 37 years (because one of the readings was about tobacco), but I have not yet talked about alcohol. I will keep you posted.

The President is about to deliver the State of the Union. I'll touch base tomorrow. These are fascinating boys. They make me think of Oliver Twist!!!.

Thanks for asking.

Susie
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Unread 01-21-2015, 09:19 AM   #291
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Great job Susie. I can tell that you are happy doing this.
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Unread 01-21-2015, 10:22 AM   #292
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nice to read your adventures Susie and sounds fun
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Unread 01-21-2015, 11:10 AM   #293
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Thanks. The reading about tobacco said that smoking can cause hearing loss in young people. I said, "Wow! I have never heard this before. I guess it explains why I am going deaf! I know it is why I have lost my sense of smell." They all had quite a chuckle. They have reminded me that it is therapeutic to be able to laugh at ourselves. It also helps break the ice with youngsters.

It sounds crazy that working with tough boys in trouble with the law is fun and makes me happy, but you are both right.

I have tried chairing meetings at the support group I attend. It's not good. It reminds me of Open House when I was teaching. I had to have two or three drinks to face the parents! I get panicky and forget what I am supposed to do. I think I'll be of more service here.

I feel 10 years younger.
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Unread 01-21-2015, 02:51 PM   #294
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Good evening Susie. Bright blessings to you.

I am grinning like a Cheshire cat. My heart warms to what this new journey holds for you. Moreover, the emotional landscape you can create for these youngsters.

I was one of those youngsters once. I was in some kids home or another, (as an aside i have been in 12 "childrens homes", and never been in any of them more than 2 weeks).

Now, Susie.........There was a Susie at all the kids homes i have been in. I remember 1 i was at.....within...Oooo, 24 hours, we all realised we could have "Susie". She was the officer in charge that night.....we "cosied her up", drew her attention, and nicked the keys. We opened the office, emptied the safe, got into lots of trouble, and Susie was so understanding.

Be firm, be fair. Most of all be firm. Your heart you know is good, your experience is extensive, take the lead, and keep it.

The world is not today as we experienced it, none would disagree. I would just like to share that a 16 year old is a 192 months old.

What you are doing Susie is what you were meant to do. Your wisdom has been a part of my life, and therefore, when you find your feet, you will find that what you have given me, you can give to anybody.

Give it time, and dont take your eyes off them for a minute.

Be peacful, i am so proud of you, Loveness to you Susie.
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Unread 01-21-2015, 04:49 PM   #295
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Great news gmasusie!!
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Unread 01-21-2015, 04:55 PM   #296
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Thanks, Saint.

Tryn, you make me laugh!!!. I worked with these kids for 30 years. I know a con when I am the connie!!!! Don't worry about me. I can be tough when I need to be. I stuck with you, didn't I? But I love your story. We have all been there!!

Love, Susie
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Unread 01-21-2015, 07:52 PM   #297
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Great job, Susie! These kids are amazing and they have my heart. Whether they are in New Mexico or Iowa, they have had a tough time and they need to be loved. Great work! The learning comes with trust. Jenm
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Unread 01-21-2015, 08:36 PM   #298
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Yes, Jenm. It is rewarding. It is my life's work and I have been away for 6 years. That is one of the excuses I used to drink...I missed them. So why did I wait until now to find a way to give back?

Oh, well. We all know why. Thanks, Jenm
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Unread 01-22-2015, 08:41 PM   #299
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Susie, that sounds great! Those kids are lucky to have you and you sound like you're not only already having a positive effect on their lives, but you're enjoying it too.
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Unread 01-23-2015, 10:25 AM   #300
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Thanks! I am.
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