New and Improving! Yes, I am working on new and improving me, and often I am progressing well. I hope that is true for you, too.

Today this New and Improving is also referring to my website. It is quite new and improving thanks to the crafty, talented work of my daughter, Grace, who Monty and I just visited in Chicago.

So what's new?

Under Events and Workshops you will find a tab for Archived Events which now contains my NAADAC Webinar in May, 2016, a 2-hour presentation I did for the Farley Center in Williamsburg, VA in April, 2016, and a radio interview done in Richmond, VA in 2008 as Disentangle was evolving.

Then you will see a tab for Upcoming Events. I will be listing my workshops, presentations, and Codependence Camp there. When you open up the date, click on the event title for more information about that event. And that calendar is linked to Google calendar, so if you use Google calendar, you can easily add it to your calendar.

Additionally, I am loading 50+ more blogs under the Blog tab. These blogs date back to 2011 when Central Recovery Press first published Disentangle. I am so excited to have all of my blogging here in one place. The posting of these additional blogs is underway, so keep checking back for more.

I will keep you updated as we add a few more things to this website which is increasingly rich in content from my work. So if you can't come to Virginia to be in a workshop or Camp, you can get much of my material here in my on-line center.

I am an older dog learning new tricks, and I can honestly say I am very pleased with how this is all electronically coming together. This process invites me to study what I have done and said, learn more as I go, and happily offer it to you.

Wild flowers arrive.
My healing room is complete.
All I need is here.
On June 13, 2016 I had total right hip replacement. I had been needing this surgery for a good while. The osteoarthritis in that hip had become "severe" and my physical mobility was tiny.

Now on the healing side of things, I am understanding how much my emotional mobility and health was also affected by that condition, how limited and low my emotional state was. People are telling me how good I look. In talking about that, we are determining that yes, I am more rested now, but also they are clear with me that they saw my stress and unhappiness from my pain and restricted condition.

This is such a living testimony to the importance of remembering that our total health is a product of our physical, emotional, thinking, and spiritual parts.

As my healing progressed, haiku often came to me, capturing these various aspects of my self as I went through my surgery and recovery:

I watch people walk.
Embarrassed by my envy,
I am a cripple.

I have arrived at
Planet Anesthesia.
Letting go. Take off. 

"I feel discouraged."
The nurse smiles at me and says,
"It's just 9am."

He gets me up and
to the bathroom. Benefits
of years together.

 She sleeps on my chest,
her purr radiating down
in my healing bones.

 What is it with shame?
It irrationally keeps 
us from care we need.

 Each day is so still.
Stopping completely brings it
into awareness.

Freed from the walker,
the cane and I proceed on
down the road to strength.

I just want to walk.
I want to walk to the sea
like Mr Gandhi.

 It is a balance
of trust, patience, and action:

healing essentials.

Today, May 18, 2016 at 3pm (ET), my work will be given the opportunity for a national forum thanks to the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) here in the US.

Last November they selected my presentation for a webinar entitled Your Healthy Self: Skills for Working with Codependent Behaviors. Those of you familiar with my work know that I created this electronic booklet in the summer of 2015 for the Virginia Summer Institute for Addiction Studies, and it has been available here on my website under Downloads for anyone's use.

Tomorrow I will be offering a 90 minute presentation on this work.To either attend the event or to look at it at a later time, here is the address:

I have also been busy since this March converting this electronic booklet into a physical book. All year I have wanted to create what I am calling Nancy's "little book" which you can see above. As I am saying, it reads in 30 minutes and takes years to work. The book is $10.00 and is only available through me. I have not figured out how to move it out further yet, but if you are interested in a copy or more, let me know through this website and we will see what is possible.

The book, whether electronic or paper, is to be both quick reference/quick study and fun in its simultaneously introductory and comprehensive ways. I believe that cultivating our healthy self can be the same: both studied and fun.

I hope you will take a look at my "little book" in any of these ways - the webinar, this website, the paper book - and see what may be useful for you.

A neighborhood dog
barks in the distance as I
re-visit that day.


Her name slipped out of
my mouth like she is still here
waiting at the door.


I realize you're
still here and always will be.
These grounds are your home.


Haiku are an active current writing form for me. I am blessed with a number of them coming to me here-and-there. I have mentioned this in my blog before.

I have decided to at least once-a-week post one or two haiku for you. In the same way that Instagram gives us an complete picture of a moment in time, haiku can do the same. So this is my version of an Instagram accounting.

Each haiku I choose to post will hopefully be free-standing and not need my further comments. I am selecting them, because they convey important pieces of my recovery, important ways for me to think, feel, sense, and experience the world, important messages that create a foundation for my healthy self - ever in my consideration.

Amazon does not
sell the things that I need most:
time and space for self.
I like the way I
experience the world with
presence not device.

I am glad that I send Christmas cards. Each year, though, I dread the work that I put into those cards. I can't just sign one and mail it. I want to pick a card that I think is right for the person(s) receiving the card and add at least some sort of special note on it with an update or personal comment to them. As the holidays go on and cards are sent and others arrive here at the house, I bask in the notes, colors, and contact with people in our life. I arrange the incoming cards around the doorway between our living room and dining room, and they will stay there for months, showering us with the messages sent.

This year I had a few cards to write after Christmas Day. I decided there was no rule against that and settled myself again into the thoughts and feelings of that writing. It was a pleasure. As I was writing one of those cards, I was wishing them Blessings and started to talk about Blessings all around us. I caught myself, realizing I did not have to give them a mini-blog on my experiences with Blessings there on their Christmas card. My wishes for them were enough.

But the desire to comment on Blessings remains, and I bring it here - more appropriately - to my blog to share with you, my Christmas card to you. No, my thoughts here are not new, but I believe it is important to remind our self that Blessings are around us every day in all sorts of forms and all sorts of sizes.

It is easy to think of Blessings as those which are large and make a significant difference in life or death, in health or disease, in marriage or divorce. These are true and important Blessings. So is food on our table and warmth in our homes and the beds we sleep in. But Blessings are also in small, unexpected packages: the kindness of a stranger, sunlight coming in a window, a found object that delights, being remembered in some way, remembering someone else in some way, laughing, feeling the breeze on your face.

Two days ago - on the first day of this New Year - my husband and I were out walking Eddie, the black lab. As we were going by one of my flower beds, I couldn't believe what I was seeing in one of the flower pots there among the brown leaves: A hyacinth was blooming! It is pink and has three fully formed plants. My brain at first told me it was an artificial flower. I have no artificial flowers in the yard, but my brain did not think it was possible for it to be real. And it is. A small, beautiful Blessing as we enter the dead of winter.

The hard frosts are coming this week we are told. So I have brought the hyacinth in and have it on our kitchen table to enjoy. Every time I walk by it, I can smell it wonderful fragrance, and I marvel at this most special gift.