Tired of being sick!

It has been a very rough couple of weeks. Besides the shoulder healing and causing some pain, I have also been dealing with extreme allergies and one heck of a cold. I’ve been so exhausted that I have not even felt like writing. But I will have some posts pretty quick. I’m hoping to write tomorrow.

This is what is in My Rattled Cage today! Thanks for stopping by!


The Daily Post – Lecture


This post is part of The Daily Post – 2/13/2018.


As a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict I cannot tell you how many times I heard the lecture from my husband,  family, friends, my infectious diseases physician and mental health professionals about my needing to quit.

My husband’s lecture was always the normal ultimatum and threat of kicking me out of our house or sending me to jail.

My family and friend’s lecture was always about how I have so much to live for and all the things I would miss if I were to die of an overdose or alcohol poisoning.

My physician and mental health professional’s lecture was always about, you guessed it, how the alcohol abuse and cocaine abuse were affecting my physical and mental health. Along with this was the added reminder about how my alcoholism and cocaine addiction were going to take their toll on my HIV/AIDS viral load and T-Cell count. Which for all the abuse my body has taken just in the last 6 years, I am still non-detectable and my T-Cells are still above 700 – so I have been extremely lucky!

Do you ever lecture yourself? I bet you do, either aloud or silently. For me, my lecture to myself this time around was the best lecture of them all. You see I am a very faithful Catholic who truly believes that I have the best life coaches in my corner in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. While yes my faith has faltered at times, I always find my way back.

The most important thing that I can share in regards to recovery of any addiction is this. The individual entering into recovery can not be doing it for the wrong reasons – even though they may seem like the right reasons. For instance, we cannot enter recovery to please our family, friends, physicians, or our mental health professionals. We cannot enter recovery because of what we are afraid of losing. We must, as I did for the second time in 4 years, determine that we are “tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired”.  Then we must take the ever painstaking steps to work on our recovery. I am a proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous  as well as being a member of Global Steps AA a video AA meeting group on the hosting site In The Rooms. These groups and programs continue to guide me through my continued recovery – because I want them to.

Four years ago today I began my first journey through recovery because of every single reason above six months after losing my job that I loved with the University Career Center at The University of Texas at San Antonio. I loved being clean and sober. My life was coming back together and I even went back to work at my beloved University of Texas at San Antonio with the Institute for P-20 Initiatives. In May 2016 I threw away 2 years and 3 months of being clean and sober because of life. The downward spiral just continued to through the summer. I was still working and loving my job of over one year and then on September 14th, 2016 I turned 50 and I have no idea what happened to cause the hurricane that was a comin. I visited my old haunts and got drunk off my butt and bought a whole mess of cocaine and then I was off to the races. I didn’t return to work until mid October because of continued illnesses being caused by my being off to the races.

The craziness continued and of course I lost my job with the university on February 16, 2017 for a different reason other than my addictions but in essence caused by them. Does that make sense?  I continued to enjoy, as I believed, all the drinking and drugging I was doing. In early April 2017 I attempted suicide by swallowing thirty trazodone pills while drinking heavily and doing coke. The attempt obviously did not work because folks are reading my writings. My Higher Power whom I choose to call God had and has different plans for me that are not meant for me to know.

I do know this, when I attended the ACTS Retreat 11/30 – 12/3 I meditated, I prayed and when it was all said and done I left my alcoholism and cocaine addiction on the Alter of the Tabernacle. This was on Saturday December 2nd. When I came home on Sunday I did walk to my store. I bought two 24 oz. cans of beer and a six pack of O’Doul’s Amber non alcoholic beer. That was the last day that I drank. On  the night of 12/3 I meditated and prayed for guidance and help with remaining clean and sober everyday moving forward. I am so proud and happy to say that the daily obsession and need to drink and or get high have left me. I am currently two months and 10 days clean and sober. I do it by reminding myself that JUST for TODAY I WILL REMAIN CLEAN and SOBER!!!

That is what is in My Rattled Cage today!!!!



The Daily Post – Conjure


This post is part of The Daily Post 2/12/2018.


I love this word conjure because it helps me to conjure up recipes, blog post ideas, and the best thing is I am also able to conjure up many different routes to take my seven dogs on their walks. But of the above I must say that conjuring up new recipes makes me feel like Winnifred Sanderson from the movie Hocus-Pocus played by Bette Midler.

Winifred Sanderson HocusPocus

When I was a teenager I moved out at the age of 17 and of course at that point if I was going to eat I had to teach myself to cook. Over the years as I have grown older, I am now 51, I have learned to conjure up and cook many more things in my repertoire. I can say that one of the things I like to do is make soups. Now most people have cookbooks which I do, or recipes that have been handed down for decades from grandma’s and aunts. I do have all of those, the only thing I use a recipe for is my banana bread because if you don’t follow it just right it will not come out correctly.

Often when I make my soups whether it be my cream of potato, my chicken and vegetable, or just a vegetable soup I tend to conjure it up in a very large pot like Winnifred because I also share with my neighbors. The other things that I’m known for are the different marinades that I conjure up for pork, chicken, beef and vegetables. I am a firm believer that you can use soda as a marinade on anything. My go to sodas are Dr Pepper, root beer, and any citrus type such as Sprite and orange soda. I also use fruit juices – orange juice, lemon juice and some of the kind of blend juices like pomegranate orange or something like that for pineapple orange juice. The marinades I conjure up begin with the base of either soda or juice and then whatever goes in goes in. I do have one particular spice blend that goes in and on every thing. It is Bolner’s Fiesta Uncle Chris’ Gourmet Steak Seasoning. It is absolutely the best and adds the best umami to anything you are conjuring up in your kitchen.

Uncle Cris

So as I was writing this I asked my husband Cruz, what is your favorite meal that I have made you over the years? Now mind you, this Wednesday on Valentine’s day we will celebrate our 17th anniversary. His first answer was pineapple upside down cake. I said that’s not a meal that’s dessert. He said it falls into a meal category. I said no, what is your favorite meal that I make you? He said meatloaf and mashed potatoes. That brought a smile to my face because this is another thing that I never used a recipe for to conjure up my moist delicious meatloaf. Sometimes I flip the switch and do something unusual. I like to add chorizo into my meatloaf. I have even made a Florentine meatloaf where the spinach was mixed in and baked in the meatloaf, this one was absolutely delicious although it was one time Cruz did not like it so much – but his mama did.

And yes, I am known for my pineapple upside down cake even though I do use a box mix and it comes out more delicious and does not taste like a normal box pineapple upside down cake. The secret is don’t use oil, use butter instead and no water as is on the box, but use the pineapple juice from your slices and Sprite or some other citrus soda.

Pineapple Udc

So yes I do like to conjure up delicious dishes and desserts in my kitchen and I tell you the best feeling is when my mother -in-law calls me after she gets home from picking up dinner from our house and tells me how good a particular dinner was for her. If Cruz eats seconds, then I also know I have hit the jackpot with dinner!!

This is what is in My Rattled Cage today! Thanks for stopping by!

The Daily Post – Mnemonic



This post is part of The Daily Post – Mnemonic.



So, I have to admit that I did not know what this word meant. Once I looked it up I knew exactly where I was going with my post today. My mnemonic devices are dates – not the fruit or ones I go on with my husband, but calendar dates.

You see, I really do not remember hardly anything from childhood, from my teens and some of my adult years. Heck, I can’t even remember what I had for dinner yesterday. Just kidding I do remember that but not very much from my life. So, because of this I use calendar dates and pictures to help me remember many things both good and bad, or should I say sad.

To give you an example. Today is the fifth anniversary of my grandma Wanda’s passing. She was 89 when she passed. Grandma Wanda and I had a daily ritual. She lived in Lamar, Missouri and I lived in San Antonio, Texas. Every morning I would call her at 7:30 AM and we would have our morning coffee together. She was not just my grandma she was my friend and my confidant. I have always said that she was my biggest fan.


My Grandma Wanda and Papa with me and my sisters!
First picture me and Grandma 1994, the second picture is last picture my sisters and I took with her on 12/31/2011.

 Of course, there are other dates that bring up memories. I spoke of turning 21 Again on the 4th of February. This post spoke of my celebrating 21 years of thriving and not surviving with HIV/AIDS. The two dates that I celebrate my anniversary for this important part life are January 23rd and then May 27th. The 23rd of January is when I was informed by the doctor at the plasma location center. May 27th is the day that it was confirmed by the Metropolitan Health District of San Antonio and faced the true fact.

Then there are the dates that Cruz and I have had a new addition join our pack over the years. All but three of the 18 dogs we have over our 17 years have been rescues.  There also the dates that we have lost one of our many different dogs on over the years. Each one has left us in a different manner, but have left a different kind of hole and memories within our hearts.

February 14th is not just Valentine’s Day in our house. It is also our anniversary and this year we are celebrating our 17th. I could not have asked for a more loving, caring, and patient man to be my husband!!

So, these are my mnemonic methods for keeping my memories alive and well!! This is what is in My Rattled Cage today!!

 While I carry grandma Wanda in my heart and mind every day as there are pictures of her all over our house. On the day that she passed as well as her birthday which is August 10th I always have a flood of different memories come back of her and I when I would go see her in Lamar, Missouri.

This is what is in My Rattled Cage today!!




Daily Write – Insist


This post is part of Daily Write.



While the above statement is true, there are often extenuating circumstances. In my case for at least 15 years I struggled with my alcoholism and cocaine addiction off and on, causing me to insist on making my life difficult and very complicated. It wasn’t until early 2014 when I started seeing a psychiatrist that through our first session I learned that my ups/downs/constant manic states were not a making of my own accord. I was professionally diagnosed with bipolar affectation disorder and depression. I began just on Lithium which did help with the manic states of up and down and all over the place. In 2016 after the loss of 5 of our 10 dogs in the period of 5 months (all under different circumstances) I began drinking again after almost 2 years and 4 months of recovery.

On September 14, 2016 I turned 50 and self sabotaged myself by hitting all my haunts getting drunk and doing a mess of cocaine for the first time in over two years. After this debacle of an experience I became very depressed which the lithium is not necessarily meant to treat was only helping with the manic episodes because I was only in one state – DEEP, DEEP, DEEP depression. We then put me on Zoloft with Trazadone . The Zoloft just caused me to have really bad suicide ideations of which I acted upon in early April by swallowing 30 trazodone while drinking heavily and using cocaine. Obviously my Higher Power God had and has other plans for me.

I insisted that my psychiatrist take me off the Zoloft and the Trazadone. I stayed on Lithium only for a few months but the depression was very much still there. Late 2017 I started on Bupropion which is assisting greatly. The depression is still greatly at work but no suicide ideations and my manic states have disappeared. I insist that the combination that I am on is doing it’s job and that there are other extenuating issues that are still causing my depression. Specifically some chronic health issues and extreme chronic pain for which I cannot take painkillers for due to my addiction issues.

I also insist on telling you that my husband of just about 17 years has been a Godsend for his patience, love, understanding and support. So my hats off to Cruz!!!

Finally I insist that this is what is in My Rattled Cage today!! Thanks for visiting!

#SoCS Feb. 10/18 – tail/tale


This post is part of #SoCS Feb. 10/18.

So this is a tale of why my shadow Stitchy follows me around constantly.


Full disclosure a large portion of this post comes from the linked article 4 Reasons Your Dog Follows You Everywhere written by Cheryl Lock on PetMD.com. While I love the constant companionship, I do often wonder what in the world is going on and why is he so clingy. In my defense or against my defense, Stitchy is my favorite because he is my only boy and I already told my husband Cruz – no matter what we will not have any more boys because of our previous experience.

Why Your Dog Is Following You, Scientifically Speaking

If your dog follows you around constantly, you’ll likely either find it incredibly endearing or you’ll be tired of almost tripping over him all the time. Either way, it helps to understand some of the science behind why your dog might be constantly at your side.

  1. Imprinting. Early ethologist Konrad Lorenz showed how baby geese imprinted on him — or came to recognize him as a parent or other object of trust — by following him everywhere, including into the water. “Puppies can imprint on people, as well,” said Burch. “The imprinting period for puppies is between three and 12 weeks old.”
  2. Reinforcement. Often dogs will follow their owners if their bond is paired over time with a great deal of reinforcement. For example, “if a dog learns that good things — such as food, pats and fun activities — come from a particular human, they may be more likely to follow that person,” says Burch.
  3. Breed traits. Some breeds, especially those that have been bred for centuries to work with people, are more likely to be what Burch calls “Velcro dogs” (or those that stick by your side).
  4. Companionship. Perhaps the most obvious reason, some dogs simply prefer the companionship of their human friends. “Over the process of domestication, natural selection has shaped dogs to become companions for humans,” said Laurie Santos, PhD, a professor of psychology and director of the Canine Cognition Center at Yale University. “Domesticated dogs are now ‘bonded’ with humans in some of the same ways as human children. In this sense, our bond with dogs is one that has evolved over the course of domestications.

So my tale is that because I rescued Stitchy and his sister Sadie from being abandoned when they were just about 12 weeks old my boy has imprinted himself upon me. Yet, as mentioned before I am the dada that does all the reinforcement in our house, it is a never ending battle trying to get Cruz to do reinforcement as well. Of course Stitchy loves his dada Gregory because he is the best dada in the world!!! P.S. – he does love his daddy Cruz also!!!

This is what is in My Rattled Cage today!

Daily Write – Simplify


This post is part of Daily Write.



There is nothing like having shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and displaced bicep tendon to make you simplify everything in your life especially if the shoulder is your dominant shoulder/arm.

I will say that every year in either late December or early January of the new year I declutter to simplify cleaning. If I haven’t used or wore it in 6 months or more – out it goes. My husband doesn’t like that too much because I always do it when he is not here so he cannot protest. 

This is what is in My Rattled Cage today!! Thank you for stopping by!

What has me rattled today!