A New Beginning

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.

Carol Burnett

I started this blog in 2015 not having any idea of what I was doing or what direction it was going to go.  Two years ago my life changed dramatically.  This forum helped me discover who I truly am and helped me work through the lessons the Universe has thrown my way.  My higher self pretty much grabs me by my hair and drags me kicking and screaming in the direction I am supposed to go and see the potential I possess inside of me.  I still get lost and wander in the wrong direction, but Spirit hasn’t given up on me yet, and the lessons don’t get easier; but, my awareness of them has and as long as I know I have G-d and those few that truly support me, I might just make it.

As I grow into the person I want to be, it is time to put Diane’s Thrifty Cupboard to rest.  She has served her purpose in helping me explore and share my life experiences.  It is time to take my writing in a different direction and it is my hope, it grows along with me.  I have been working on some projects and it is time to explore this new adventure.

I want to thank those, from the bottom of my heart, that have supported me in my exploration of my writing style and my growth in this wonderful experience called life.

 

With Hugs and Hope,

Diane

 

 

 

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California

Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong.

N. R. Narayana Murthy

 

I could feel the sun peaking over the mountain range in San Simone Arizona.  We were pretty cramped for room in the 2007 Kia Optima with over 315k miles on her.  All she needed were some fresh spark plugs.  Kali found a spot on Justin’s back pack in the back, in between us and Olive slept in the center console.

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Opening my eyes with that familiar urgency and knew the pooches did as well.  I opened my car door and saw a welcoming rest area with vending machines, facilities and a marked off doggy area for my babes.  Looked off to the left and witnessed a most beautiful sunrise just off the mountain peak.

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Just 850 miles ago, we were being evicted from the apartment on Beaty Street.  It hadn’t quite sunk in yet.  Made some sliced hard boiled egg sandwiches on croissants from the bakery and some Starbucks in a can and continued on to our destination.

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Crossing the Kumeyaay Highway and over a mountain range that topped out at 4100 feet above sea level, Ms. Kia made it without a hitch or a hiccup to our first destination-San Diego.

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The Ocean.

The Pacific Ocean.

My girls, being Texas born, never saw the ocean before, the California Ocean.  Ocean Beach to be exact.  There is something about being here, the vibe, the energy-you have to experience it first hand to understand it fully.  My granddaughter, whom I have never met, lives here.  She will be 8 next February.

Exhausted from the 1100 miles we since drove, we found a park in the Military Housing to rest for the night, I found a hoodie and rolled it up for a pillow.  The 4 of us didn’t make a sound for a solid six hours.

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I woke up the next morning staring at some palms as the morning sun kissed the tips of the fronds creating almost a halo or a glow around the proud trees;  such a welcoming way to start a new day.

 

That last 8 hour stretch that separates Southern California from Northern California, the foothills being our final destination.  Times like these, is when you know who your soul family tribe is.

The place, the familiar place where I grew up, where my siblings grew up, all the memories came flooding back in, the place where my oldest was born, and my other mom that helped raise me.

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Here I am, on the side of a mountain with the smell of the pines, my dogs rolling in the excrement of wildlife.  Dear Olive has had 3 baths already, since we’ve been here.  Sitting on the steps with my cup of coffee, still wondering what happened.

I just let go of the wheel, and someone much bigger than me, took over and drove us home.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Is this all there Is?

Love myself I do. Not everything, but I love the good as well as the bad. I love my crazy lifestyle, and I love my hard discipline. I love my freedom of speech and the way my eyes get dark when I’m tired. I love that I have learned to trust people with my heart, even if it will get broken. I am proud of everything that I am and will become.

Johnny Weir

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It’s another one of those mornings, you know, you wake up discouraged;  wondering if this is all there is.

So I started exploring in the deep well of my mind.  What if this is all there is?  Our tiny one bedroom apartment, me, sleeping on borrowed mattresses on the living room floor.  Since I have been home, I have been working furiously trying to get the bills paid, paperwork filled out and turned in, vision boards of a better future, holding space for better outcomes.

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But, what if this is all there is?  I got up, started the pot of coffee, filled the sink with dish water to wash the remaining dishes from last night’s meal and thought to myself, I have clean running water for coffee, I have coffee, I have dirty dishes from a meal that I prepared for us.

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Thought about the small gifts the Universe gives me on a daily basis, found pennies, feathers, and the overly friendly apartment kitty.  A passing thought came to me when my daughter was a little girl, I would be having a stressful day, and she would bring me a picture that she drew of mommy, daddy and her siblings, our family dog Tosha; a smile would come to my face.

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I hopped in the shower and used a deep conditioning mask that my sweet friend from work gave me extra samples of.  I combed it carefully through my hair.  Using one of the two bath towels I own, it’s a good thing I don’t have more, since I wash my clothes in the bathtub until funds come back in on a regular basis.

Took my pooches for their morning walk around the complex, said good morning to the neighbors, afterward gave the pooches their treat and began making my fruit salad breakfast.  Just last week, we didn’t even have the ingredients for a salad, it was rice and beans and peanut butter sandwiches.

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I have been so hyper focused on a big miracle; I forgot to see all the small miracles that are happening all around me every day.  Like the samples of dog food that were left from a previous event, so my dogs can have daily meals.  A shower, even if the tub doesn’t drain right.  A kitchen, though small, that I can cook in even bake chocolate chip cookies if I wanted to.  We even have air conditioning, 2 small window units and a fan, but it keeps us comfortable against the blistering summer heat of Texas.  Sweet hugs from my pooches.

Today my friend is coming over and we will visit our favorite metaphysical shoppe, look at all the trinkets and rocks, visit with the lady that works there, and just have a good time.  Maybe have some tea and talk about our lives.

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Then this afternoon, I will go to the gardens and visit my favorite tree and recharge my batteries.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

The Mirror and the Butterfly (part one)

Our lack of forgiveness makes us hate, and our lack of compassion makes us hard-hearted. Pride in our hearts makes us resentful and keeps our memory in a constant whirlwind of passion and self-pity.

Mother Angelica

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She woke up that morning in a different part of the world.  The world she didn’t want to come back to.   At first it was okay; a clean bed with pillows and blankets, a bath tub with lavender scented Epsom salts to soak away the last few months; they were glorious and treacherous at the same time.

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She saw the most beautiful landscapes that filled her soul and washed away all the darkness.  She preferred to stay there; why not, even she deserves true bliss.

So, here she is in a hotel room in a different city;  surely he is of her soul tribe.  But, no, he seems to have lost his way.

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Her mother and father; the 2 people she has been running from since high school.  Going off to College, then the big city, then another country; as far away as she possibly could.  After the divorce, both parents were too busy hiding from their truths; they buried themselves into work or drink.  The more she talks to her mother, the more she sounds like her father.

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The conflicts with her parents match the conflict within her soul.  She screams out in frustration and rage, “It’s your fault I am this way!”    You only think of yourself, what about me????

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Completely disengaging from her mother for betraying her one last time

 

I comply with tears in my eyes, as I read those words.  We have been challenging each other for quite a few days now;  we both feel betrayed.  As I retreat myself away from her life, once again, occasionally checking her media posts, to make sure she’s okay.  I can only do what any mom would do when I can’t reach her.  I set out a prayer table with candles and trinkets that represent our tribe and I hold space for her safe return.  Maybe I did learn a few things while she is on her journeys.

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I knew down deep in my heart she would be safer and in better care at her father’s; our boat was too small, and in the back of my mind, I felt betrayed by my only butterfly, more than once.  She reminded me too much of her father; She needed to experience the encampment of his  nature.

Now more than ever, she needs her family.

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Why are we on the opposite ends of this crawl space?  Is it time for this butterfly to go and find herself?

I do those things in which that keep me busy while taking care of other much needed things; she makes her presence known inside my head.  I pause and connect with her as the tears stream down my cheeks, promising myself, everything is going to be okay.

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Maybe It’s time for both of us to look into the mirror and face the darkness; we both have been hiding from for so long…..

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

The Sid Richardson Museum

History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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I had a fantastic day today. Nothing excites me more than when I discover a new gem in my favorite city.  I took my preferred transportation of choice, The Spur.

Sundance Square, in the middle of downtown Fort Worth, Such a fantastic city; a perfect blend of old and new, rich and poor with the grand buildings of the early 1900’s, with its art deco styling and new businesses and facades built up and around from storms and money that land in this wondrous municipality.

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Today I decided to visit The Sid Richardson Museum, Across from the Worthington Hotel burrowed in between shops and restaurants.  It was the perfect summer day to be downtown, the temperature was just right.  As I walked from Molley the Trolley to my destination, you could smell all the different café’s and nearby restaurants.  It was like walking through the fair, even the hot dogs smelled delectable.

I walked into the grand building and was greeted by very friendly staff.  She gave me a brief history of the museum and informed me of upcoming events.  I eagerly  signed the guest book and entered into a world of early American history so exquisitely articulated by Frederick Remington and Charles Marion Russell.  Each picture told its own story of how life was in the old west.  Every detail of every brush stroke gave life all its own to each and individual art piece.

According to the gallery guide artist biographies, Frederick Remington, born in 1861, produced a huge body of work, illustrations, paintings, sculptures, fiction and non fiction. His influence in creating the myth of the Wild West cannot be overestimated.  His father’s tales of action during the Civil War inspired a passion for the military, while the death of General Custer, at Little Big Horn in 1876, focused his attention on the West he had always longed to see.  Mr. Remington died in 1909.

Charles Marion Russell born 1864 in St. Louis Missouri. A boy of 16, being captivated by the dream of the wild west, joined a cattle drive wrangling horses while living in Montana.  He quickly became the likable cowboy that loved to draw.  His deep love for Indigenous American culture, sense of humor and flair for portraying action were evident even in Russell’s earliest works.  Russell passed in 1926.

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Though the museum only consisted of 2 rooms, I spent quite a while admiring and consuming each painting as I felt what I would assume what the artist saw in each composition.

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I left the museum with a new perspective and a gratitude, how lucky I am to live in such a wondrous  area full of history and personality.  The pictures I took, don’t do these pieces of art any justice, but I enjoyed the experience.   If only I could make money at this.

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And I didn’t get in trouble for touching the artwork.

 

As I left, I saw a Thomas Kincade Gallery.  I will save this for another day.

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With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

 

 

A Box of Hope

 

Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.

 Bradley Whitford

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It’s been a rough few months.   Running away from your problems is never the answer, though; I don’t think I was running away; just taking a break.  My dear friend of 20 years promised me safety.

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He did exactly that.  I was locked away safely in the middle of Nowhere, Texas, away from everything.   No internet, no friends, no social outlet whatsoever.  At first it was nice, the hummingbirds, squirrels, deer, peacocks, watching from the window, every day.  Just that, every day, except for the walk (only on the paved roads) that I took my pooches, you see, everything in the world is dangerous; from chigger bites to people we don’t know.

Not from my eyes anyway.

 

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My son and I decided I needed to be back home, in the tiny one bedroom apartment, where the kids play in the courtyard when it gets cool enough outside.  The spur, that takes me to the gardens or anywhere else I need to go around town.  Even the pooches remembered which apartment was ours.

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Since I was gone, the income got severely cut in thirds,  I hadn’t worked since I was in my hiding space.  The bills were due and the grocery budget got spent on pizza rolls and Campbell’s soups- Fine for one, but not two.

I immediately scheduled myself back to work and pushed all the due dates out for the bills as far as I could so I could come up with a game plan.  Time was running out and fast, dealing with Social Workers and the VA trying to get temporary help while we get our ducks in a row.

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My daughter came back from Costa Rica the same week I came back from my reclusion, with no money on hand and only half a tank of gas, I was not much help getting her settled.  We finally put our heads together and got her back home safely to her father’s.  My predicament was no place for a 3rd person to carry with no immediate income.

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The weight and worry really started sinking in.  No matter the mantras, meditation, yoga or any other self-care ritual I tried would work.  I haven’t even had a glass of wine in 14 days.  The hopelessness was winning.  Our food pantry consisting of soup cans and rice and beans; oh and a box of steel cut oatmeal.  Food rations for sure.   I would handle what I needed to and then go back to bed.  Our phones got shut off yesterday, which really added to the desperation, the dark shadow of failure was ever consuming.  This morning it won.

A last ditch effort to drive to the VFW unannounced with no appointment was a no-go.  At this point I stopped pretending everything was going to be alright.  Because it wasn’t, we are riding on fumes. maybe we might get a boost to keep us going, but then what?  Right back where we are now.

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I suggested to my son, let’s go to the food pantry, maybe we can get some staples to stretch until we get our grocery budget for the month.  With no GPS, we manage to find the facility.  The line isn’t so long and As I wait my turn, the feeling of hope started creeping back into my bones- The young mom of 4 in front of me, the homeless man and his dog, the young couple just starting out.  The volunteers were super friendly and entertaining, there was even music playing from a nearby parking lot.

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When it became my turn, the box of food was so heavy a young man had to help  carry it to the car.  Sweet potatoes, fresh ears of corn, salad mixes, chicken and fish; such a sight after living on beans and rice the last few days, even a few cans of dog food.

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As we headed back home, a fresh new game plan showed up in plain sight.  My son gets his little benefits check tomorrow, we can pay what we can and keep on trucking, with a phone getting turned back on I can start making phone calls to get things lined back up again, and I go back to work next week.

Everything is going to be just fine; I just needed a box of hope.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

The Eye of the Peacock

When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others.

Dalai Lama

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Every afternoon as the sun begins to set; I receive the gift of seeing elegant peacocks gracefully gliding across the ranch in which I live.  Their majestic blue hue sets off the stately tail feathers that emulate every prism color of the rainbow.   Just by observing these beautiful creatures it is obvious they are a gift from the heavens.

I had to know where these divine creatures come from and their significance of their existence.

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In Greco-Roman mythology the Peacock tail has the “eyes” of the stars. In Hinduism, the Peacock is associated with Lakshmi who represents patience, kindness and luck. In Persia the Peacock is seen as a guardian to royalty, and is often seen in engravings upon their thrones. In Christianity the Peacock represents the “all-seeing” church. The Peacock also represents resurrection, renewal and immortality within the spiritual teachings of Christianity. Themes of renewal are also linked to alchemical traditions too, as many schools of thought compare the resurrecting phoenix to the modern-day Peacock.

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The Peacock has been linked to Kuan Yin and it is this deity that is supposedly the creator of the beautiful colors of the Peacock’s signature tail feathers. Legend tells us Kuan Yin could have been immortal but stayed because she wished to aid humanity in their spiritual evolution. Kuan Yin taught people, through her own compassionate spirit, to live together as friends. When she decided to go to the heavens she appointed a guardian to keep the earth peaceful. She called a bird, with dull brown feathers, to her. She rubbed her face and brushed her hands down the length of its feathers, which created a kaleidoscope of colors and beautiful eyes on the end of each long feather. The Peacock feathers remind us that Kuan Yin is compassionately watching over us.

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In ancient days, it was believed that a male peacock doesn’t have intercourse with a female peacock (peahen to be precise) for progeny. Ancients observed that instead, the peacock only sits on peahen and brings its eye closer to peahen’s eye, and it was believed that perhaps the peacock’s eye drop lands in peahen’s eyes and that is how pregnancy is conceived. Consequently, the peahen is unsullied by the peacock, and the peacock remained ‘pure’ since it had no intercourse. Sri Krishna always maintained a peacock feather on his hair/helmet to highlight this fact that his 16,000 wives were always unsullied by him and he is always pure and beyond the bodily pleasures of humans.

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Modern science discovered that peacocks do not have a penis. Instead, their behind (called cloaca) kisses the behind of the peahen for peahen to become pregnant. Ancients observed the meeting of heads & eyes, and we now know that it was really meeting of the behinds (called a cloacal kiss), but either way, the male does not enter the female, and as such the peahen is unsullied, unlike in mammals and other species of life.

 

These tail feathers, or coverts, spread out in a distinctive train that is more than 60 percent of the bird’s total body length and boast colorful “eye” markings of blue, gold, red, and other hues. The large train is used in mating rituals and courtship displays. It can be arched into a magnificent fan that reaches across the bird’s back and touches the ground on either side. Females are believed to choose their mates according to the size, color, and quality of these outrageous feather trains.

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Peacock symbolism: Vision, Royalty, Spirituality, Awakening, Guidance, Protection, & Watchfulness.

It is no wonder the Peacock has the pride of no other bird.  Their noble presence speaks volumes no words could ever describe.

I shall accept my gift of their presence and hold dear in my heart what this gracious animal means to me.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

Info on the peacock: nationalgeographic.com and mindbodyspirit.com