Giving Thanks

The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.

William Blake

tgiving2

I was walking my fur ones for their outside visit and I could smell feasts cooking and baking from all over the apartment complex; with anticipation of family and friends gathering around the harvest table to give thanks for the abundant year.

tgiving1

Thanksgiving has so many different meaning to different cultures and lives.  Oddly enough it has nothing to do with what they taught us in school.  Thanksgiving in the United States was first fixed in 1863, when US President Abraham Lincoln inaugurated a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”.

tgiving7

According to Wikipedia, Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, and around the same part of the year in other places. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well.

tgiving 8

Thanksgiving is one of the numerous harvest festivals that are celebrated around the world, not only in Christian societies – at different times, but roughly connected to the end of the harvest, and generally in autumn. Actually, the word “harvest” itself comes from the Old English hærfest, a word that could mean both autumn in general or “harvest time” in the agricultural calendar

tgiving3

Obviously, harvest festivals are very much dependent on the region you live in (and the crops you harvest). The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is held in late September or early October, the German Erntedankfest on the first Sunday in October.

In other cultures, Samhain would be the equivalent of Thanksgiving, as it celebrates the end of the Celtic year and the beginning of winter.

tgiving9

So, regardless of how you give thanks to the many blessings that have been given you, from my heart to yours, Happy Harvest Thanksgiving!

tgiving4

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

Advertisements

Finding Beauty

Because you are women, people will force their thinking on you, their boundaries on you. They will tell you how to dress, how to behave, who you can meet and where you can go. Don’t live in the shadows of people’s judgement. Make your own choices in the light of your own wisdom.

Amitabh Bachchan

woman 3

I was coming home from class today riding my favorite bus, the Spur.  I overheard a conversation from a woman in her 20’s, mentioning her husband requiring her to have dinner promptly prepared when he gets home from work.  She also has a full time job AND has sole responsibility of taking care of the children.

woman 2

I was thinking to myself, I remember those days 25 years ago, working full time, taking care of 4 children and having dinner ready promptly every day when my husband came home from work.

I also remember, when I had a day off from my outside job, I did laundry, cleaned toilets, caught up the dishes, mopped, vacuumed dusted……and my husband on his days off, went fishing, hunting, and whatever else his heart desired.

And I remember we were moving to a different house down the street, and he decided on moving day, he needed to take the boat out to go fishing; Left me in charge of moving the rest of our things.  I thought to myself, “I don’t think so”, and took the kids to the lake to go swimming.  I don’t need to tell you what happened that evening.

woman 5

When did society decide that women were not equal to men?  When was it decided that women were expected to behave a particular way?

This brings me to today.   I friended a person recently, and he immediately assumed I was going to be his Barbie/Trophy.  Had no interest in my intelligence whatsoever; even had the nerve to tell me to shut down my blog.  HA!  I don’t think so buddy.  Very short friendship indeed.

woman 4

When that person who sees the true light that I am; my intelligence, my strengths as well as my weaknesses; and appreciates all of it, as I him, and only then. ….

home love

Obviously, men and women have strengths and weaknesses; but, we are both equally capable of loving and caring and sharing the joys and burdens of life.

woman 1

We have jumped leaps and bounds in technology, science, communication, and physics.  But, co-habitating  in society has come to a slow crawl at best, when it comes to appreciating male and female equality;  Equality, meaning, appreciating a females’ boldness, or a males’ sensitiveness, appreciating that person as a whole.

m-w

We are human.

All of us.

Each day, we should look in the mirror and remind ourselves; We are all strong.  We are all loved.  We are all worth it, the same.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

Finding Me (Again)

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Thomas A. Edison

find me 1

I haven’t written in a while. Sometimes we have to sit in the dark, so we can see the light again.

 

We meet people, thinking they are like minded; and sometimes they end up being wolves in sheep’s clothing. Over the summer months, I have experienced this on several occasions.

find me 2
I started feeling really drained and heavy. All I wanted to do was retreat. I couldn’t figure out why. It is really devastating what negative words can do for a person’s self-esteem.
I am currently doing course work so I can be full-time employed. My poor furbabies need a grooming session severely.
I remember instances in my childhood, where someone non -suspecting, without realizing the impact a negative sentence can do. “You’ll always be lazy” or you’ll never be anything but a (fill in the blank here)” Or recently, “Your grammar in your blog is terrible, I have a hard time reading through it”. “Your dancing is embarrassing, please stop”.

find me 3
Even with my coursework, that has been so graciously gifted to me by the Universe; I was unconsciously sabotaging my success, with random illness and excuses.

find me 4
I laid in my bed under the blankie’s wondering why I can’t succeed. Why I am I always destined to fail. Why aren’t I good enough to have the things I don’t have? Why can’t I find my happiness?
I cried out to Spirit and begged, why???
She told me to quiet my mind and listen to my heart. The answers are there. They are always there.

find me 5
No one or thing has the power to control me but me. I have to remember that.
So, I am taking back my power.
I am spending every morning, quieting my mind, doing Kali-Yoga with my furbabies and finding my happiness. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes.

find me 6
Being mindful, getting back to basics, eating the right food, drinking plenty of water, simplifying my routine and centering my soul; And hugging trees whenever possible!

find me 7
Giving back to the universe, because after all, that is when the magic happens.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

True Friends

 

I hung out with my bestie this weekend-you know the one, Sasy.

Her and her man had a lovely time at the nearby Casino.

We totally need to go- we would kick some BFF  Casino ass!

The same weekend, her daughter turned 21, so,  her gift  was the “gramma takes the kids so momma can get her party on’. present.

In between all of that, she picks me up and takes me to my job that is outside the bus range.  Now, she lives about 20 minutes away from me, and my job was another 20 minutes in the opposite direction.

best friends 3

After work, Sasy picks me up and we go to the cell phone store so she can do an upgrade.  Well, they have this awesome deal, if you add a line you can get a free phone and the second line is dirt cheap.

She immediately asks me if I need a phone, knowing full well my situation.  So, here we are, grandkids and me at the phone store.

I can’t accept the phone.

Is it pride?

Is it, obligation?

 

Or is it because, I don’t know how to accept gifts and I don’t know  what true friendship  love really means.

Yes, I have friends.  Not very many.  But the ones I have had, I have had for life.

best friends title 2

My childhood friend from grade school, since we were 7 and we lived on the same block.

She taught me how to dance to Barry Manilow.

My other  bestie that I’ve known since Junior High. We experienced life  together the only way 13 year olds know how.

Yes, and I have had friends here and there, and they come and go.

best friends 4

My 23 year old Elfin Girl, that dyes her hair purple and yet, she is an old soul….and I love her

I still have far away friends that I keep close to my heart.  And they are still part of my life.

But, those rare friends, that stick to you…..

And if you are fortunate enough, you know what I am talking about.

Processed with VSCO with c6 preset

Processed with VSCO with c6 preset

Okay, so, Sasy and I are kindred spirits.  WE KNOW EACH OTHER.  Like it was meant to be.

I was meant to have this great opportunity to know what true friendship love really means.

When we were at the store, she insisted on getting the phone for me, and matching phone covers too,  and I am like, ‘but we’ve only been dating for 2 months.” My sarcastic sense of humor…..

b friends

I have never been very good at accepting love, or gifts.

Whether it is a sisterhood, a best friend, or that of a  true lover.

But, today, I am learning.

 

 

I am so grateful for the love that is opening up for me in all shapes and forms.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

 

Central Meadowbrook

 

 

I really am fortunate to be where I am right now you know.  My mind is NOT filled with the busy-ness of the rat race and the matrix of society.

I am so grateful the experiences that I have- I get to see so many things.  I have seen the worst in humanity and I have seen the best.

my sunset

I live in an area, the town Mayor or some city official decided to call Central Meadowbrook.  It’s in the eastern central part of town.

 

In a low income apartment building, with the faint smells of the overflowing dumpster behind us and the sewer line that seems to keep plugging up.  I take a small trash bag with me whenever I take the little ones for their walk and pick up as I go along.

overflow

My babes haven’t been to the groomer in a very long time; they are looking a little shaggy, but Olive wouldn’t have it any other way.

olive 2

I have learned to use natural remedies to keep the fleas at bay, and they actually welcome being sprayed down.  It soothes their skin.

I have made best friends in a very short amount of time.  We are a village-we take care of each other and share what we got.

share

 

The Spur always takes me to a new adventure.

I am seeing so many things and meeting so many people.

 

I know I will have to go back to work the 8-5 – and when I do, I hope I don’t forget how to really live.

 

For those that read my stories, Thank you.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

Elizabeth Joy

 

 

I was feeling off when I got up this morning.  I woke up at 5 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep.  It was still dark outside, so I did an early morning meditation in hopes to re-ground myself.

pups

When it was light enough out, I took the furry ones for their walk and continued to make coffee and get dressed so I could make my bus by 8:20.

It was threatening rain, so I grabbed my rain jacket, my lunch( I made extra for those that I would be sharing with), my tea and my bag with all of my other goodies that I carry with me.

spur bus

The bus driver got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and decided to take it out on my knee.  As I was looking for a place to sit, she punched the gas pedal and I fell into the metal frame around the seat.  Ouch….

At my transfer, I asked the next bus driver if she could tell me when we would be at the number 4 transfer so I could make it to my doctor’s appointment; she gave me a blank stare.  I sighed…climbed on the bus and hoped maybe I would see it.

When I realized I had gone too far, I felt that uneasy feeling climb up my insides.  Yep, I was going to miss my appointment.

smoking

I got off the bus, and asked a gentleman for a smoke and that is when the tears fell from my eyes.  I sat there for a minute, regrouped, called to let the medical office know I wouldn’t be there, she was very nice and rescheduled for me.  Since this was my last bus pass until I get paid, I would have to wait until next week.

I decided to go ahead and get my lab work taken care of at the clinic I was at and continue on to see my new friend at the Goodwill to see about job offers.

She wanted me to go back that afternoon to talk to another lady about an office position, so I agreed and then decided to go to my favorite water gardens to eat my lunch(literally) and maybe some fresh air would do me some good.

I took some more pictures and found a nice serene spot that was cool and peaceful.  I closed my eyes and let the wind wash away my irksome morning.

reflections

When I was finished eating, I headed back to the bus station and sitting on the ledge was a lovely young lady playing the violin.  The sounds of the bow caressing the treble strings flowed through my soul and I had to sit and listen as the calm washed over me.

violin case

I dug through my wallet only to find enough change that equaled maybe 50 cents.  I put them in her case with the rest of the change.  She stopped playing, stood up, faced me and belted the most beautiful song A Capella.  The tears streamed down my face as her expression filled my very being.

When she was finished, she gave me a hug and said “Everything is going to be alright, you are a strong woman”

I smiled and asked for her name.  Elizabeth Joy.

I wish I knew the song…….

I went back to the bus depot and as I was waiting, there was a car parked across the street with the words ‘Hope’ on the side of it.

hope

I went back to Goodwill with a smile on my face and a knowing-

Everything IS going to be alright.

And I did share my lunch with the young lady that is going to classes to get her G.E.D.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

The Spur

To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

 

I was waiting for my bus Sunday morning to go my little job.  I am finally getting more weekends-yay!

e. lan

There was a gentleman talking with another and in the distance I could hear the beautiful chimes of a nearby Church; just loud enough to drown out the sounds of the cars and voices that were happening around me.  I closed my eyes for a brief moment to let the countenance of the nearby Sanctuary wash over me.

love

 

When I opened my eyes, my attention drew nearer to the man standing by the bus stop bench preaching to the other sir.  I agreed with what he was saying; because, after all, it is what we have conviction for is what defines our Faith.

spur

We climb onto the Spur and venture on our way to our destinations.  The bus was getting pretty full, so I shared my seat with a young man in his 30’s dressed in a very nice suit, wearing a handsome tie, with the poignant tie tack so strategically and properly placed.

We travel through the area of divergence, and I notice a fellow fixing himself up on the curbside, just so he can get through another day.

My mind wanders off deep in thought of things I no longer remember, and this dear old man, my guess in his late 80’s dressed in a suit- I would assume he was of Scotch-Irish decent by the fading red hair.  He wore his Crucifix, St. Christopher pendant and another that I couldn’t quite recognize with his Rosary Beads firmly gripped in his fingertips.   He carefully placed a newspaper down on the seat and chanted the Mantra of the Catholic.

church downtown

My mind focused on this gentleman, completely out of place and I wondered why he had no family to take him to the dated Cathedral downtown.

 

 

As I arrived at my place of employment, I smiled within myself.  Even with all the dissemblance happening in the world, we still have a chance of coming together under the Grace of Divine Spirit.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

Lauren Bacall

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.

Haile Selassie

Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924 to a working-class family in New York City. Her father, William, was an alcoholic who left the family when Bacall was six; Bacall and her mother later changed their last name to her grandmother’s maiden name, Bacal, and added the second “l.”

lauren bacall 2

Enthralled by the theater from an early age, Bacall started working in high school as an usher, and then performed in plays both on and off Broadway. However, it was her work as a model, and in particular her appearance on a Harper’s Bazaar cover in 1943, that caught the eye of Nancy Hawks, wife of Howard Hawks, a powerful Hollywood director. At Nancy’s encouragement, Hawks gave Bacall a screen test. Hawks then brought her to Hollywood, taught her to speak in a lower register and convinced her to take the first name Lauren to deemphasize her Jewish heritage. For that reason, Bacall had never been entirely comfortable with the name the world knows her by.

lauren bacall

Bacall died on August 12, 2014 at the age of 89.

 

I remember as a small one, my mother, was very devoted to the Holocaust and the cataclysmic treatment of the Jewish Peoples.  Watching movies such as ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ and both of us gazing through tear stained eyes as we both were disheartened by the tribulation….

anne frank

My mother also played the accordion. It had the most beautiful inlays of Mother of Pearl and keys.  I remember climbing into the case while she played various polkas, klezmers and such.

 

 

 

Between 1945 and 1951, the United States and Great Britain ruled occupation zones in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Czechoslovakia, which housed more than a million displaced persons (DPs), including 250,000 Jews, in late 1945. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and various private relief agencies assisted the Western Allied powers in meeting this enormous challenge. Until September 1945, Jewish and non-Jewish DPs lived together in the same camps, which sometimes required Jewish Holocaust survivors to reside with former perpetrators or with other non-Jews. Jewish DPs, many of whom felt unsafe, protested these living conditions, as well as harsh treatment by US military personnel and searches for contraband conducted by German police.

 

thinking

 

It has taken me several days to write this piece.  I almost didn’t do it.

This time in history is very close to my heart.  As long as my mother was alive, we learned of this horrible act of humanity.

There is a message here somewhere……..

 

Lauren Bacall had to change her name to ‘fit in’ to society.

 

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

Lauren Bacall -biography.com

Holocaust-history.com

 

 

My Day in the Park

A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.

Gertrude Jekyll

 

I was trying to budget bus fare and schedule 2 appointments in one day.  I packed a lunch and filled my PowerAde bottle with my raspberry tea.  I left my apartment with plenty of time to make both.

 

 

At one of the stops, this mom with her 2 year old and baby in a stroller hopped on and the 2 year old was giving mom fits.  She set the car seat down without strapping in the baby and gave the wriggly boy a Dr. Pepper in hopes of distracting him.

tantrum

Knowing how bumpy the bus ride can be, all I could see was this baby seat flying across the bus.  I offered my assistance to hold the infant carrier in place as she struggled to keep little Mason seated.  I offered up my crackers and he obliged.  At one point, I am holding the baby seat from tipping and Mason in my lap.  I remembered a time, when my son was about that age and didn’t react very well to sugar or red food dye, so I offered up my knowledge of cutting out these things for this sweet boy.

sitting cafe

I managed to miss my transfer stop and ended up downtown.  There was certainly not enough time to back track to make my first appointment and have ample time to make it to my second. So, I sat at the Subway near the station and bought a $1.40 bag of Baked Lays- BBQ, because those are my favorite.  I found an empty table, ate my PBJ sandwich and chips and sipped on my tea.  I noticed the local Molly Trolley drive by, so when I was finished eating, I hopped on the free bus with no destination in mind and rode around downtown until she mentioned the Water Gardens.

molley

I climbed off the Trolley and walked across the street and ventured into the majestic water displays.

Everywhere there was a pool of water, there were locals bathing and cooling off in the aquatic alcoves.  It is summer time in Texas.  It’s hot….

There was one gentleman looking pretty hungry so I offered him the rest of my tea.

I strolled around and breathed in this lovely sanctuary and after a bit, I regretted giving away my drink.

After I was finished, I walked back to the transfer station so I could catch the bus to my next destination.

I made it to my doctor’s appointment early and they took care of me right away.   I now have more appointments and have reduced bus fare.

Slowly but surely, I am getting back on my feet.   I can use these tools to help me get there.

I guess next time I venture out, I should pack 2 lunches- one for me and one for the less fortunate that I will be sharing with.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane