national recovery month

pot luck

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i am still adjusting to having mondays off work. it is strange, but it is becoming part of the routine. i went to cardio class this morning, fell during class and sprained my foot. i hit the cleaners, the grocery store, and watched a really sweet gay hip-hop film titled “bashment”.

we are having a pot luck at the peer recovery group on wednesday so i bought the goods to make sausage, peppers, and onions. i may need to cut everything tonight as i have theater plans tomorrow. strangely, i will be going with a catering friend to see “priscilla” at dpmc with dinner first. thought i would do the cooking in a slow cooker on tuesday night.

Sausage, Peppers, and Onions re posted from foodnetwork.com
Ingredients
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
2 red bell peppers, sliced
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup Marsala wine
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
4 to 6 fresh Italian sandwich rolls, optional
Directions
Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on both sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain.

Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, basil, and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the Marsala wine, tomatoes, and chili flakes, if using. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the browned bits. Bring to a simmer.

Cut the sausages into 4 to 6 pieces each, about 1-inch cubes. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.

Serve in bowls. Or, if serving as a sandwich, split the rolls in half lengthwise. Hollow out the bread from the bottom side of each roll, being careful not to puncture the crust. Fill the bottom half of the roll with sausage mixture. Top and serve sandwiches immediately.

i worked a hella lot last week. regular work week plus 4 parties. i was pooped today really. i trimmed some bushes, did some laundry, and am planning on re potting about 10 plants i got at paulino gardens. i have a busy week finishing with 2 parties this weekend. rosh hashana on saturday signals the end of the crazy holiday month. but i do love spending time with other communities and circles. i prolly long for a life that includes these circles, and this may be as good as it gets.

september is recovery month and this will be the 7th year that i actually recognize this.. in  2006, i spoke at a rally for recovery in downtown denver and have been involved in some sort of recovery celebration  this year, is kinda special as i have been working with people in recovery on campus. the pr department seems to have taken a liking to our efforts. they produced a 9 foot banner to hang in our entrance way, have produced brochures for the peer recovery network- with some mention of treatment options, and are featuring one of our group on the company intranet each week throughout the month. so much to do and it’s only september 9th.

last week, i posted jacob arnold’s article about medusas music hall. please read it if you get the chance. it happened 30 years ago and i still find myself musically travelling down memory lane.

welcome to the weekend

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i spoke with a friend yesterday about some ideas i have for developing a stronger sense of community among people in recovery. this guy is a networking nazi and very well known around town. he and i met after i had become a drug and alcohol counselor. he was a fairly high profile client. he had been instrumental in bringing crystal meth anonymous to denver and had been working as a peer navigator at denver’s drug court. additionally, i was walking and talking with him when he hatched the idea of “surrounded by recovery” which evolved into 2 years of recovery celebration at the capital which lead to a hand holding event each year around the gold dome with the intention of raising awareness that recovery works. when i met him, i had been clean only 2 years- he had been struggling for 5. i told him that i didn’t believe i could really be an effective counselor for him, but that it seemed he might need a good honest friend.

sadly all of his amazing and ground breaking efforts resulted in relapse for him. this humbled him and threw back each of the efforts he generated back several years. but this is life and this is how the brain operates. it likes dopamine. it bends and reshapes synapses to allow the dopamine release process to flourish and take over. if it were uncommon, our culture would not have many of the problems it does. he has again built time and has been dancing with humility which looks good on him.

as i spoke with him yesterday i ran down the basic concept of a recover resource and networking event in september and trying to market this. it includes using and developing a radio program- probably using blog talk radio. it’s a big task, but i think i am ready for a new project. and it would be beneficial to be able to reach more pockets of individuals.

funny- i feel a familiar sense of excitement in my gut. fear, hope, wonder usually accompany my muse. definitely excited to see how this unfolds. came across some web-based recovery support programs yesterday which i am hoping we can beta with some younger patients at my workplace-exciting. i have 2 interns starting on tuesday – this is my first mentoring gig as a counselor. i work 2 parties this week and hope to catch up on a couple of outstanding bills.

 i am planning to restart cardio classes this weekend and see the star trek -in 3d-. i am ready for some fun.

with fun in mind, i remember a time in the late 70’s that i could throw a b52’s vinyl album on the turntable and let the whole thing play through- all the while dancing, bopping, and having a blast. today i find the same joy with nicolas jaar. he is a composer, dj, producer that creates a rhythm pattern that makes my heart and soul smile.