Thinking (and thinking) About Drinking

Back yard Birding
Cardinal Perched On Cedar

Yes, I am totally getting the hang of Lightroom. I figure if I bring you one image a day, I’ve got enough to last many lifetimes. So eventually, I’ll have to step it up and share several images at once. But today, I bring you just one: a male cardinal taken from my garden with my Nikon D3200. It’s a tiny little area—amazing the birds (and squirrels!) you can attract with a few feeders, a bird bath with mister, and a fountain.

In other news, I made it through Day One of 100 Days of no alcohol. It’s interesting how I was thinking more about drinking last night than when I allowed myself to do it. First there is the half-full wine rack. What am I going to do with all this perfectly good wine? What about the lovely bottle of Cain Five I’ve been saving for a special occasion? Maybe I should have drunk that first before I took on this challenge. Maybe I’ll drink it on my birthday. That’s after the 100 days are up, after all. What about the half-open bottle of tonic water? And the remaining unopened bottles? What about all the lovely wine glasses in my china cabinet? If I quit drinking forever, what am I going to do with those? And the unfinished bottle of gin? And the Courvoisier I could be sipping during these cold winter nights? What about the fact that nearly all my friends are drinkers? Even the new book club I’ve joined involves many bottles of wine.

I know I’m not the first person to deal with these issues. And in the big scheme of things, they are pretty silly. In fact, I think you can put sparkling water in a wine glass without being cited for a wine-glass infraction. And honestly, this will save me from having to figure out which freaking glass is the chardonnay glass, and which is for Pinot, and which is for Cabernet. I can put sparkling water in whichever-shaped-glass I fancy at the moment.

Yes, I’m sure it will all be fine.

I don’t know if it was anxiety, but I had a bit of a burst of energy last night. I’d ordered a modem/wireless router combo to replace the Time Warner rental equipment, and it arrived yesterday. Normally I’d procrastinate on the task of installing it. But since I wasn’t lazy and zonked in front of the television, I decided to give it a go. Buying the equipment, instead of renting it, is in keeping with my newish frugality. Recently I’d cut the cable cord, saving nearly $200 a month (amounting to $45,000 in fifteen years if invested conservatively). When I learned that Time Warner was increasing the rental charge for the equipment to $8.00 a month (plus tax), I decided it was time to buy my own. Granted, the one I selected was quite pricy and will take over two years to pay for itself. But I bought the latest and greatest thinking it will keep up with technology longer—Netgear C6300. Seeing as I’ve been renting their equipment for ten years at my current abode, I think I’ll get my money’s worth. An hour and a half later, with the help of a really nice Time Warner tech, I had the equipment installed and all my devices up and running. With this additional savings, I expect my next bill might drop below $60 per month.

Also in the frugality department, and back to thinking about booze, not drinking alcohol will save some additional cash. Last year, according to my app, I spent $1200 on alcohol. This includes only booze bought at liquor stores and bars; if it was included in my grocery tab (wine) or restaurant tab, it doesn’t show up in the “Alcohol & Bars” category. I’m guessing I could bump that total up to at least $1500 to account for the latter. This savings would pay for a large chunk of the annual cost for my cleaning lady (all but $900), an expense I’ve been struggling to justify.

Just one more reason to stick with the 100-Day No Booze Challenge, and perhaps beyond.


  • Ella, I no longer drink and I do not miss it. To wake up without a hangover is something I am so used to that I do not wish to change that. And about LR I am just learning so wish me luck. This program is HUGE and there is SO much to know. I have LR Mobile which is simple to use compared to LR5. I LOVE this image, and I say great job to you!!! (((HUGS))) Amy

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are many downsides to regular alcohol consumption, “alcoholic” or not. I don’t have hangovers often, but even occasionally is too much. And I definitely think it’s dragging me down overall. LR is huge. I’ve only tinkered with the tip of the iceberg. And I haven’t even opened Photoshop. So good luck, Amy! And thanks. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

  • Alcohol is a very dangerous habit. One can live without the stuff or drink only occasionally – begin the new year with a glass of champagne, just not every new day or even worse every new hour … but avoid daily or weekly rituals around it. Consume it for taste alone, not because you cannot think of another way to celebrate something.
    And if you want to know what to do with the wine? There are several recipes around, tasty, a nice sauce or a dessert or even a cake … There you use wine to add to the taste.

    Liked by 2 people

  • love the Cardinals! I’m not commenting on alcohol too much right now, as I am thinking??? I’ve developed a gut! hate it and I know why it’s there & I know what I have to do…so I’m not thinking about it. playing tricks with myself of course, doing more ab workouts, eating less, but I know what I need to do! at least I know that when I’m going to a set yoga class or I will do yoga at home I do not ‘indulge’ until after yoga…who am I kidding? # one guess…me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I especially love that the cardinals usually show up in pairs. I should have an image of a female in my pile. Playing tricks is so easy to do, Gert. Like how I couldn’t figure out why I kept dozing off while reading—the book was boring, that’s it. It’s certainly not because I’d anesthetized myself.

      Liked by 1 person

  • I love the male Cardinal! It looks like he was posing for you in the photo. 😊

    I understand so much of your obsessive thinking about alcohol and all its trappings. I didn’t dump the liquor bottles until about a year sober. I still dust the wine glasses and put them on the table for guests. But, I will not drink anything out of those familiar glasses. It would trigger too many good memories, like being able to escape from the very thoughts you’re talking about. 😊 Things do get easier.

    I’m proud of you for getting through one day! And for hooking up the Ethernet. Two great accomplishments!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m fairly certain he was posing for me. πŸ˜‰ So far the thing that makes me want to drink is getting home after work. Work is my greatest stress producer. It takes no time to have a drink so it seems an efficient stress reducer. Unlike exercise or meditation, where you have to actually stop what you’re doing to engage in it. I’m guessing in the big scheme of things, it’s really a time thief.

      Thank you, Fern! Another day done.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Beautiful nature photo, Ella. I love that you put a feeder in your backyard and captured something so professional-looking. It’s a reminded to stop and look around for the hidden treasures. I feel confident that you are ready to heal and I’m so happy I get to share your adventures and successes via your blog. xoxo


    • Thank you! I adore birds. I have hundreds of images from my garden. I expect I’ll be sharing a few now that I’m finally taking the time to learn the photo editing software. It does seem like a good time to begin earnestly working on healing. Thanks for coming along πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  • As a recovering addict and addiction counselor, I tell my clients that I can guarantee there is life after abstinence. It feels great to have control rather than having a substance control our lives. As far as Lightroom…it would make me use again….


    • It does feel good, Ryeder. You’ve described why I quit smoking years ago–I felt so silly standing outside in the cold sneaking a smoke. I feel pretty good not drinking alcohol. I’m curious to see how things unfold over the 100 days. Lightroom is a bit overwhelming. I’m taking it one day (and one photo) at a time.


  • Best of luck, you sound like you have your head screwed on tight, you are strong enough to follow through with this. Just take it one day at a time. Or if it is a really bad day, one minute at a time.


    • Mint is simple. It takes a little time to link all your accounts (bank, credit/debit cards, student loans, mortgage, 401(k), etc.), but once you do that, it’s practically autopilot. You do occasionally have to tag a transaction to put it in the right bucket, but it catches on pretty quickly and starts doing it automatically. The iPhone app is great. You can see what’s going on with your finances all in one spot. I cannot recommend it more. It’s the #1 tool in turning around my financial life. That and MMM’s site. He’s is so inspiring when it comes to getting your mind right. As for my site: and for starters. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  • My english is not so good but tommorow I take the translater. ..I thank da 3 yes ago I have the same problem like you but am not sure I take my lessen from the past and now I am feeling very good ☺

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