My 60 Days without Alcohol

I decided on August 24th that alcohol and I were no longer friends. It had done a number on myself and my relationships, and when someone said, “You, can’t stop drinking! That will never happen!” It pissed me off. I’m stubborn and hate being told I can’t do something. I can do anything I want to damnit! So I quit.

60 days later, I’m not going to tell  you it’s been easy. It hasn’t. I was using alcohol to not deal with a myriad of problems going on in my life. Some I created, some I didn’t. Most of them I had absolutely no control over, and my drinking had become daily.

Almost without thinking I would pop open a bottle. This use to occur when I got off of work, but then I quit working in October of 2016, so I had an abundance of time to do whatever I wanted. And apparently I wanted to drink.

Sunday brunch drinking turned into Monday day drinking. Why not? It’s not like I had anywhere to be. And since I was divorced, I had a week at a time to myself. Before I knew it I was drinking all the time. Sometimes I didn’t even really want to, but I’d think, meh, it’s there, why not?

Here’s another thing about me… well a couple of things. One, I’m an only child, and two, I’m never wrong. Or so I thought.

Everyone always comments how nice and sweet I am. That is… until you piss me off. I’ve been told by some of my best friends, who pissed me off, that my tongue is ruthless and cuts to the bone. This was a quality I knew I had and frankly, I liked it. Especially since I was never wrong. I felt like since I was speaking my truth, I could say anything I wanted. This fueled with lots and lots of drinking was a deadly combination. I alienated many a friend. My two best friends said they no longer recognized who I was as I drank more and thought more highly of myself than I ever had.

I thought I was invincible.

Turns out, I don’t possess that super hero quality. I only discovered this after losing my best friends and gaining legal issues. Hello DWI. I spiraled quickly in late 2016 and the first 8 months of 2017. Until that one person made the comment that changed everything. Telling me I couldn’t quit.

The hardest thing that has happened since quitting has been facing my fears without any numbing substance. I have many fears. Most are about things I can’t control and the unknown. I worry and worry, and worry about things that may or may not happen, and that fear was paralyzing.

I was also in a very unhealthy co-dependant relationship that I told myself I had to be in, because I could not face the fear of being alone. Not drinking allowed me to see just how destructive that relationship was, and I ended it.

And it was freeing. Absolutely freeing. I love being free. I forgot somewhere along the way that when I’m free, I’m happy. What a sobering slap in the face. Now, 63 days  in, I’m happier than I’ve been in over 20 years. Yep. 20 freaking years. That’s a long ass time.

Stopping drinking has taught me to look my fears straight on, and walk through them alone. I am no longer afraid. There are still problems and issues, but I’ve learned to not sweat the things I cannot control. And to not tell myself it would be horrible if ‘this’ or ‘that’ happens, because frankly, I don’t know. Maybe it would suck, maybe it wouldn’t. I won’t find out unless that said event actually occurs. I’ve learned in the last 63 days that the reality is often not what I thought it would be. Not at all. And I’ve realized I’m a pretty bad ass bitch. And I’m okay with that.

I don’t know if I’ll repair the relationships I’ve ruined, but I’m okay with that too. I’ve made it a year without the two people I cherished most in this world as far as friends go, and I’ve survived. Of course I miss them, but if they can’t forgive me that’s okay too. I’ve made some new kick ass friends and life goes on.

My outlook to the future is bright. It’s almost downright blinding. And I cannot wait to see what the next year brings. Challenges, ups, downs, life… I’ll take it. And I’ll survive. And I’ll be just fine. 

Win it Wednesday’s are Back!

Yes, every Wednesday until Christmas {which is only 8 weeks away, eek!} the Blue Sparrow blog will be giving away something amazing each week. This week, I am giving away a piece from Kendra Scott! Yes, that’s right, Kendra Scott! Jewel tones are huge this season, and who doesn’t love a little KS bling, am I right? So let’s get this season started off right with an amazing giveaway worth $110. That’s right. $110 smackers, for FREE. Just follow the rules below.

To Win you must…

  1. Leave a comment below telling me why you love Kendra Scott.
  2. Share this blog post on your Facebook page.
  3. Tag a friend who loves Kendra as much as you do.

Good Luck! Winner will be drawn next Wednesday, November 1st. You must have done all three things in order to be entered to win.

And here they are… The must have Darci stackable ring set in a size 7.

kendra-scott-darci-stackable-ring-set-in-jewel-tones_00_default_sm.jpg

To shop Kendra Scott, click here.

And if you live in Fort Worth check out the new Clearfork location. The store is gorgeous and the staff, lead by Emily Bailey, is amazing! They {or the University location} can take care of all your Christmas shopping needs. One stop shopping? Yes please!

Now, share to win!!!

And be sure to check back weekly to find out what the giveaway will be. I’ve got some amazing stuff to give out. Everything from an REI gift card to one of my favorite items from The Woodhouse Day Spa. Target and American Express gift cards and gift bundles from Young Living and Rodan + Fields. Prizes range from $25 to $400. And I can ship them anywhere in the world you may be, so keep checking in. I look forward to sharing great stories and great gifts.

 

xo,

The Blue Sparrow Blog

Excuse Me?

The one thing I cannot stand {being the stubborn person I am} is someone having the audacity to tell me I can’t do something. Excuse me? I can do whatever the hell I want too, and I will. Try me.

So when someone said to me that they doubted I could quit drinking, naturally, their reverse psychology worked. I was all, um… Of course I could, I just choose not too. I like alcohol, I don’t need it.

See, when I was 18 months old, I told my mother I wasn’t going to suck my fingers or use my blanket anymore.

I took my blanket and threw it in the trash can. We lived in Houston at the time. My mom ran and got the blanket out of the trash knowing her sweet {haha} baby girl would surely be wanting it soon.

That night I went to bed without my blanket. My mom watched me sleep. She said I would take the two fingers I sucked and hold them down by my side. Then my lips would start making the sucking motion in my sleep and my fingers would make their way to my lips. She said every time they so much as touched my lips I’d jerk my entire arm back down to my side.

I never sucked my fingers again, and I never ask for my blanket. Which killed my mom, who still has the blanket to this day.

So bring it on. I’ve decided to take all the money I normally spend on alcohol and going out and I’m going to use it to travel with, because I love to see the world. And I can see a lot more of it if I’m not spending $12/drink.

World… here I come.

And to the person who said that to me, just watch me.

Eight days in I feel great. The satisfaction alone of knowing I am proving someone wrong is worth it all by itself, and yes, there are other benefits. I’ll keep you posted on the journey.

xo

Design. Build. Adventure. 

I’ve heard there are three ways you can create new brain cells. One is to learn something new. I forgot the other two…

Anyway.

For years I had seen a friend from middle school’s post on his company, Design Build Adventure, and I had always been intrigued.

Here is an example…


I mean… aren’t you intrigued?

I signed up and packed my bags for the high desert of West Texas.

I can’t weld, but I was so excited to learn, and Captain Jack and his crew, Will and Parker, were excellent teachers.

The workshop consisted of consulting with two local artist, Nick and Maryam, who generously have donated part of their land to a playground. It’s called Eastside Playground and you must check it out when traveling through Marfa.

Nick and Maryam wanted a sign for the entrance and a table with benches for kids and parents to sit, play, and gather on.

We had two days to design, build, and make it happen.

The collaboration of the group was magical. Mystical. An experience I’ll never forget.

This is what we made.

Photo credit above to the amazing Nick Terry.

We also made this welcoming sign.


I left with a great sense of satisfaction, although I’m not exactly sure how I contributed other than a willingness to learn and an abundance of enthusiasm for the project.

Thank you Jack and your team, your amazing wife and kiddos, Terry and Maryam, and all who signed up for the class for making this an experience I’ll never forget!

Check out more about Design Build Adventure at http://www.designbuildadventure.com

Letting Go

I wanted to title this post “burying the past” but I thought “letting go” sounded more positive. 

In a way though, I had to bury the past to let go. Metaphorically speaking. I had to come to terms with fact that life as I knew it was over. It was gone, it wasn’t coming back, no matter how much I wished, or prayed, or slept, every time I woke up the world was still completely different. And there was nothing I could do about it. Not a thing. 

The only thing I could do was pause. For a long time. 

Pause. Process. Cry. Repeat. 

After months and months of digesting everything that was happening, it was like I’d come up for air, and as soon as I felt myself catching my breath I was drug back under into the murky abyss. 

Dismal. For months. 

After deciding to take control back, I got angry. 

Angry at the people I thought loved and cared about me. 

But that fire stoked a passion I was missing. One I had and needed back. 

And now I’m ready. Ready to let go, ready to move forward, ready to love life, pursue passions with new outlooks. Ready to live authenticity and just be me. 

I can’t believe it took me this long, but here is to never looking back. 

Bring.It.On. 

This candle was in a small shop I came across and is called “letting go of the past” so as cheesy as it is, I bought it, burned it, and blew it out. 


Bye Felicia. 

Skid Row

When you hit the bottom… You fly to San Diego to see your Unicorn Twin, who promptly tells you she has purchased tickets for us to go to LaLa land the next day. 

My jaw drops because, when I think of LA I think of tan, thin, horrible people who have all gathered in one spot to try to out ego each other. 

“It’s gonna be awesome!!!!” Unicorn twin screams as I shake my head no. 

“We’ll be back Sunday. Monday at the latest.” She nods yes. 

We head to the beach. Which naturally turns into an all night bond fire followed by, hey, it’s 6 am, Let’s go to Lucy’s! (Surf bar) 

At 10:00 the twin realizes we have to leave. 

“How are we getting there?” I inquire as I try to throw things into a smaller suit case. 

“Ummmm…. we’re taking the bus.”

Now, the only buses I have ever taken are in Aspen or Vail, so I think, meh, no big deal. 

We arrive, get our tickets and board. It wasn’t exactly like Vail or Aspen, but I’m pretty good at making friends. Even with walls, so I knew we’d be fine. 

We laugh and talk and drink Gin and Juice that the lovely gentleman next to us shared with us, listened to Easy E, and rapped for two hours. 

When we are about to arrive, I ask where our stop is. 

Unicorn trim mutters something about Downtown, she thinks third street. 

The Gentleman next to me goes, “Shit darlin! You didn’t know where you are going?” 

The look on my face clearly indicates a strong No. 

“You going to Skid Row!” He bellows. 

Twin says something along the lines of “Oh shit, really?!” 

Everyone around us begins laughing. And twin says something about getting an Uber, no big deal.

More laughter. 

“No Uber comes to Skid Row!” 

More laughter. 

I look at Twin with a serously-fucking-really stare. 

We get off the bus and twin sets her purse down to find her bag. On Skid Row. Shocking not shocking, it was gone two seconds later. 

So, we walked seven blocks with our new friends, drank a beer, I bought them all pizza, and Twin and I walked seven more blocks to get an Uber. 

Cause we got friends In low places. Jenny from the block ain’t got shit on me. 

Golden Dawn Arkestra

The only fight me and my friend, let’s call her Holly in case she doesn’t want to be named, have ever been in was over music. Let’s just say she’s a little country and I’m more rock and roll.

After what seemed like 10 hours I politely ask if maybe we could listen to something other than the Turnpike Troubadours, and she agreed.

I put on Golden Dawn Arkestra, and my ears were instantly grateful and happy.

“You know,” Holly says after less than one song, “It’s sad a band like this will never make it.”

“Excuse me?” Certainly I had heard her wrong. “They have an entire horn section. Multiple drummers. The most talented musicians in the ‘live music capital of the world’ play in this band.”

“Right,” Holly continues, “but it’s not Texas country, that’s whats popular. Only those musicians make money… I’m just saying it’s sad, I mean, they sound talented, but will never be as popular as country music.”

And this is where I lose my shit…

“I don’t think they want to be as popular as country. They aren’t country. They are musical geniuses, all in their own right. Let’s just start with Matt Hubbard,”

“Oh, is he Ray Wylie’s son?” Holly ask.

“No. He’s not. His dad invented the crash test dummy and his father’s face is the mold of the crash test dummy which was on the cover of a George Harrison album, so technically his dad is on a Beatles cover.

Matt is one of the most talented musicians I have ever heard. He plays keyboard and horn and runs… what’s that country dude’s name… oh yeah, Willie Nelson, he runs Luck studios for Willie. He’s also married to Willie’s granddaughter Martha and they have a child together.

Now, moving on, Brad Houser, you know he and Matt record with Edie Brickell, so clearly they aren’t talented,” I say sarcastically and roll my eyes.

“Then you have John Speice IV, drummer for Grupo Fantasma, and Brownout… Grupo Fantasma has won a grammy, and Alex Marrero, also in Golden Dawn is the frontman for Brownout. Ozzy Osbourne said on the radio that ‘that dude sounds better than I ever did!’

I haven’t even mentioned the amazing creators of the band yet, Greg Rhodes, Laura Scarborough, and frontman Topaz McGarrigle, whose concept was mythical and magical and undeniably funky, soulful and just delicious.

“Um… John Branch has opened for Sting. So… yeah, no talent there. 

And then there are the other amazing members,  Josh Perdue, who most members claim is the most talented, Robb Kidd, who I cannot possibly keep up with all his gigs, Zumbi… to see that guy play a horn…”

I drifted off knowing I had made my point and Holly just nodded up and down. Well, I’d either made my point or she was sick of listening to my argument…

“I’m not saying John Fullbright and The Turnpike Troubadours aren’t fabulous, but don’t you ever try to tell me Golden Dawn isn’t the shit.”

And with that, the one and only argument ended.

If you have the luxury of being in Austin, you can check them out tomorrow, June 17th, at the Solstice Festival in Pan Am Park. 

The Psychic

It’s no secret I have been going through one of the roughest patches of my life. And as all people who have been through some serious shit say, it’s amazing those who stick close by you and the ones that drop you. It truly shocked me the people in my life that just walked out, but onward and upward. Moving forward, only way to go.

One of the friends that stuck by my side and called and texted and checked in had just had a baby a few months ago. She knew I was feeling down and ask if she could come visit with the baby for a few days.

When she got here we threw our arms around each other and shrieked and jumped up and down in excitement to see each other.

I got to coo and goo over her baby, who is seriously the best baby. So adorable, easy-going, sweet, alert… and oh so handsome! You just want to hug and squeeze on him all the time.

A few hours later I am inevitably spilling my guts and crying about what is going on in my life.

She says she totally understands, but that she didn’t want to see me so sad.

Wanting to just do something fun my friend suggest going and doing a psychic reading.

“It’ll be fun, come on… ”

We find a place and they can take both of us at the same time, multiple “readers.”

I immediately giggle inside at my guy. He is in his seventies and has a bad toupee and a great southern accent. I secretly roll my eyes in my head wondering why I let my friend talk me into this.

He sits down, and tells me he is going to record the session and put it on a CD for me.

I nod and shake my head up and down and he ask to see my palms.

“Well… Good life lines, good health, signs of management, prosperity, wealth, you’re sensitive, you can literally feel other people’s pain, and very intuitive, all good, all very good. Stubborn. Very very stubborn. Which can be good, until it’s not, mmmhmm…”

He looks at me and I smile and laugh and say, yeah, dead on.

He continues, “You’re so stubborn you jump out the frying pan into the fire.”

More laughter from me, and more nods from him.

“No one can tell you anything. You have to figure it out for yourself. You have to get burned at the stake and then you learn your lesson. At least you learn it though.”

I cannot believe how dead on this guy is.

“When is your birthday dear?”

I tell him and he says, “Ah, a Sagittarius. Lucky lucky sign. You’re like a cat with nine lives, always landing on your feet. See this?”

He points to a spot on my palm.

“This is your mound of Jupiter. You like to travel don’t you? When you speak people see pictures. Extremely visual. What do you do for work dear?”

I told him I was currently looking and he reassured me it would fall in my lap.

He read my cards and said the next few months would be tough, but I’d come out smelling like a rose and 2018 would be my year.

He told me to love myself by just being “who you already are, a bright, shinning intelligent human who deeply cares for others.”

He told me a bunch of other cool stuff which I couldn’t believe, and won’t bore you with.

As my friend and I shopped around I found this… which I now wear around my neck.

My friend commented how much calmer and relaxed I seemed just minutes after our reading, and I said something like this, you know… I just took back control. And I found the key I’ve been searching for my whole life.

*We went to the psychic for the sole purpose of entertainment, and entertaining it was.

The Louie Chronicles 

After laughing with a good friend over a recent post, she suggested I start “The Louie Chronicles” or… tales from the perspective of my purse. 

I thought it was a brilliant idea because my purse always gets better treatment then I do. 

Mind you I drop it and leave it to fend for itself… but some nice, usually lad, picks it up and cares for it. 

So here begins… The Louie Chronicles. I’m dedicating this first tale to the lady who gave me the idea, and without further ado… here is the story of the Lipstick Knife Incident, as told by my purse…

It was a chilly February evening. I was minding my own business enjoying the comfort of the floor in my owners apartment when my owner and her very thin blond friend bounded out of the bedroom talking about some boy in a band and swooped me up. 

I was no stranger to my owner and her friends talking about bands.  Music and boys seemed to the topic of most conversations, with occasional references to food or work of some sort. 

I was thrown in the back seat and the blond mentioned something about not eating in awhile.

They stopped and I was whisk out of the backseat and dropped on the floor of some restaurant. 

The girls laughed and ate and made some commitment to each other to “be Totally and fully crazy” no more bullshit, no more walking a fine line… They had made a line in the sand and crossed it. They drove over the line at 100 miles per hour. 

Frankly this conversation scared me as a purse. I’d already been left on the streets of San Francisco and a not so shabby hotel bar in Aspen.  You should have seen the other purses there… little did I know, in a few short years I’d end up on Skid Row. That’s no place for a Louie, I can assure you of that. 

Back to the night at hand… the girls apparently picked at their dinner because before I knew it a box full of French fries had been non chalantly thrown in me. 

Like I had room for that. I may be big, but that doesn’t mean I want to carry every item that could have ever been called for on Let’s Make a Deal either. 

After a short ride in the car more things were thrown in me. I heard the skinny one ask if she could put HER PURSE AND COAT IN ME. I’m a purse for the love of all things holy, not a bellboy. And it’s not like I wasn’t already at capacity. 

We arrived at some place my owner frequents for loud music and after I was rummaged through looking for the poor over used wallet, I was thrown on the floor as My Owner and The Thin One started to dance. 

What seemed like, and I’m sure were, hours later I was being torn through and my guest purse was violently taken out and gone through. After watching that, I decided I didn’t have it as bad as I thought. 

The thin one pulled out what I thought was lipstick… and attacked the one who had been singing. Even as a purse I gasped out loud. 

Instead of helping the singer, My Owner started laughing hysterically. 

To be fair, the singer seemed to be taking it in good stride. He was wearing the thin one’s coat and even took the to go box out of me and started eating the French fries and talking and laughing with blondie and my owner. They seemed to be getting along fine. 

And thanks to that singer taking the to go box out of me and the blond carrying her own purse, I could finally breathe again. 

The Ripped Pants Incident

Sometimes, when you are going through a hard time, and one of your sister soul mates from Oklahoma is also going through a rough time, she gets in her car at 5 p.m. and says to have wine ready when she arrives.

Neither of us realized how much crap we had to tell each other and the bottle emptied quickly. I mentioned that Baker Street Pub was in walking distance and we walked to the bar. We drank. We laughed. We laughed so much I swear we did an ab work out just catching up.

Then it was time to go back to the apartment and since I had recently moved in, the gate code I was given wasn’t working.

Curse words were said here.

We had no idea how we were going to get back in the apartment. And… it’s not in the best of areas, backing up to lovely Como. So Laney and I go searching for our best mode of entry and find the lowest level gate I feel I can scale.

I’m so glad Laney wasn’t filming.

As I swung one leg over the pointy iron gate and looked down I remember saying, something to the effect of, this doesn’t look good.

And I jumped.

And there was a ripping sound.

My shorts had caught on said pointy gate, and I hung for a second in the air, I like to think like an angel…

Then my pants ripped and I busted ass on the other side of the gate, also known as the concrete parking lot, while Laney fell over laughing hysterically.

It’s these friendships that mean the world to me.

Laney… the only friend I know who has a lipstick knife, threatens a boy with it, stabs him with it, and instead of offering help I toppled over laughing hysterically and ask where the hell she got such a fantastic item.

I love you Laney girl. Can’t wait to make Backstreet Boy videos with you on the beach in a few weeks.

xoxox