Moving in the Right Direction

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

Melody Beattie

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Somewhere in the middle of Somewhere, Texas, watching the redbirds, squirrels and lizards.  Off in the distance, you can hear the Peacocks feeding and strutting their stuff.    This is Paradise.  I don’t want to be anywhere else.

The occasional passerby walking their dog on the gravel dirt road that surrounds our home.  It’s a little hot today, we had to close the windows and door and turn on the A/C.  The furbabies are napping.  Mama, next to me, Olive on the couch and Peanut making sure my feet and toes are clean.

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It was time for a change.  I don’t belong in the city.  I don’t belong in an apartment.  It felt like concrete jail.  I felt like life wasn’t going to get better than that.  Staying on high alert 24/7 for the safety of my babies and me, can’t trust anyone.  Everyone seemed to have a personal agenda.   I was intent on living out the rest of my life, being mom to my kids and furbabies.   My circle of friends becoming smaller and smaller; lashing out on social media, my job that didn’t quite turn out like I had hoped.

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I knew something needed to give, I really thought it was going to be me.  In one of my wine therapy moments- my best friend of 20 years reached out to me.  Damn near demanded to know what the hell was going on with me.

We talked and decided I should come down and visit for a bit.  So, I bought a train ticket.

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He picked me up from the train station about an hour and a half away from his place.  Not seeing each other for about 10 years or more, he was there at the gate with a beautiful Lilly flower.   We hugged; it felt like coming back home.

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For the next 5 days, we toured the beautiful region of Hill Country.  Everything so lush and green, you could see nothing for miles except mountains, trees and sky.

 

We kindled a spark neither one of us knew we had. 

 

Talked about the messes I managed to get myself into over the last decade, I could see the love and concern in his compassionate caring eyes.

We both knew, my current situation was not a healthy one.  I needed a safe place.  I needed comfort and guidance.  I needed to be home.

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He took me to the train station when it was time for me to go back.  It was storming that morning and the train was over 4 hours late due to a tree falling on the tracks.  Even Mother Nature herself didn’t want me to leave.

 

I arrived at my apartment that evening.  Back to overpopulated apartment buildings, stray dogs, the homeless.  Back to the area of divergence.

Within a week, me and my furbabies were back home.  Back to Hill Country.  Back in the arms of my best friend.  My soulmate.

The only thing I need to worry about now are stickers and rattlesnakes.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

 

 

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Crossing Borders and Boundaries

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

Ernest Hemingway

find comfort sunrise

It’s been quite a year.  It’s only April.  My furbabies are curled up on either side of me as I sip my coffee and write these words.

It’s been quite a week.  I am ready for a new one.  Blame it on the planets or the ocean waves or the storm that just blew through.

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My daughter lives in Costa Rica.  The adventure she is living is enough to write a book all on its own.  She keeps this mama on her toes-She went to Panama by herself for the first time.  Nothing stops this girl

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I spent the entire week hunkered in from the storms brewing outside.  Just like the days gone past living in the mountains of California.  Sometimes even going days without electricity.

 

At times like these, the best place to play, is in the attic, pulling out relics from the boxes of memories that are stored there. Good memories.  The best memories.   Since I also have a penchant for good wine, this was the perfect opportunity.

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Sometimes people show up in our lives to show us how strong our boundaries are.  Mine were not set in place like they should be, and the Universe was screaming at me, telling me.

You give someone an inch, they take a mile. 

The storms outside were whipping and hollering…calling out to me….begging me to get caught up in the eye of the hurricane.

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No.  I am safe in the attic, with my memories.  They fill my mind, my heart, my soul of the promises of the sun and warmth that comes when the storm finally passes.

I could faintly hear the scratching of the fingers of treacherous winds that were retching and seething outside my door.  But, my door was securely locked and bolted from such storms that cross this path.

The hours became days, the days became a week.  Finally, it gave way.

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I survived the storm with the comfort of my fondest memories wrapping their arms around me like my favorite blanket.  The clouds have cleared. The sun is shining.

For today anyway…

Until the storm shows itself once again.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

Thursday Afternoon

 

 

I got off the Spur, looking for the Post Office from the wild goose chase Google Maps sent me on.  I went into the Enchanted Forest and asked the owner, Mr. Walker,  if he knew where my location was.  I showed him my phone and across the street was the Gas Station Google insisted was where the federal building was supposed to be.

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I headed downtown to catch the Number One to the actual place I needed to go.  This grand building, opened in 1933 and composed of Cordova limestone, the three-story rectangular building was designed in the Beaux Arts style architecture.

It was like going back in time.

 

I decided to walk back to the Transfer Center and of course I don’t know north from south;  ended up on Main and 8th near the Hilton.

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I have lived in Texas since 1995 and Fort Worth since 2011 and I never knew we had a JFK monument.

Nestled safely between the Convention Center and some fine downtown restaurants was the bronze statue of our 35th President.

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President Kennedy was assassinated November 22, 1963 in downtown Dallas in a Lincoln convertible.   The rare occasion First Lady, Jackie Onassis, was by his side.

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I sat on one of the benches, closed my eyes and I could feel the history of this monumental event.

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I continued my journey to the station, purchased a vitamin water and my favorite BBQ baked Lays and thought to myself,   not too shabby for a Thursday afternoon.

 

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 Freebie Finds in Fort Worth

sundance squareI have lived in the DFW area for almost 20 years and I never took the opportunity to explore what this great area in Texas has to offer.  Since I am beginning another chapter in this wonderful life of mine and my lack of budget; I decided it was high time to see what is out there and better yet, what I can explore for FREE!  First thing I did was check out the local website and to my surprise there is tons of stuff to do and it costs almost nothing.  My price range for sure!  Here are just a few gems I found around town…

museumAmon Carter Museum; Nestled in the art district of Fort Worth is now in its sixth decade of operation. The Museum of American Art offers a diverse array of exhibitions, publications, and programs that connect visitors to masterworks of American art.  If museums are your go to place to explore there are many museums scattered about town.

gardensBotanical Gardens; The oldest garden in Texas, established around 1929, with 110 acres and 22 specialized gardens, found off of University in Fort Worth.  If you get hungry on your journey, you must visit the Gardens Restaurant; with excellent staff and the fare is reasonably priced and comes with a nice wine list.

opryCowtown Opry; A nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of country music as a part of Texas heritage, the Cowtown Opry provides one of the most authentic Western experiences in the area. With free weekly concerts held outside on the steps of the Livestock Exchange Building, it’s almost like taking a time machine back into the days of cattle driving and saloons.

stockyardsStockyards Station; Located in the heart of the Fort Worth Stockyards, Stockyards Station provides an exciting blend of old and new Texas with historic walking tours along the Texas Trail of Fame, The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and more. The Station’s two dozen shops offer wine, cowboy boots, leather goods, jewelry, arts and crafts, and the best of Texas grub: barbecue, burgers and sizzling fajitas.

trinityTrinity Trails; Parks and trails along the Trinity River and its tributaries allow for a variety of outdoor activities. Trinity Trails offers 40 miles of running or biking trails, 17 trailheads for picnics and rest stops, five boat launches for canoes, kayaks and sculls, equestrian trails for horseback riding, a water-ski slalom course and fishing in a number of spots.

This is just a tiny list of all things Fort Worth has to offer for the occasional visitor or for the local; with so many things to do for every type of adventure.  Even the budget minded like myself can enjoy the lovely amenities this town has to offer without breaking the piggy bank.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my website and happy exploring on a budget!

*information on Fort Worth tourism can be found at http://www.fortworth.com

 

Traveling on a Budget Bohemian Style

 

Summer is in full swing and vacation fever has hit.  The expense of travel can get quite overwhelming.  I have come up with some ideas to make your travels inexpensive, and a chance for some new and different adventures.

The flight:   The cost of flying can be so unpredictable, and does require planning and shopping around for the best deals.  Spirit Airlines offers very low rates, the planes are smaller, so you are sitting closer to your neighbor, and if you are checking in luggage, they charge for every bag.  This is a good way to fly if you just have a carryon.  And since we are traveling bohemian style, who needs all that luggage anyway?  Also, Spirit is a fairly new airline, and has minimal destinations, but they are continually adding new stops.  I actually used Spirit in the past to get to Chicago.  The flight is a little rough, but the staff is very friendly.

I also came across Cheapoair.com.  It works basically like Cheapflights.com or Priceline.com.  Just put in your destination and dates and it spits out a list of airlines and prices.  Speaking of Priceline, if you aren’t committed to a time frame for your vacation, you can use the Name your Price option on Priceline.

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Getting around:  Renting a car can get expensive and inconvenient, and taxis run up the budget meter in no time flat; check schedules for local transportation, like the bus or transit system, it can be exhilarating!   In some areas they offer moped or bicycle rentals for short journeys, much easier to maneuver especially in an unfamiliar town or country.   Each town is different as far as local transport.  I couldn’t find a one stop shop for this, it all depends on where you are going; just look up local transportation for that area.

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Where to stay:  This can be an adventure on its own!  There are many options out there for the thrifty traveler; Hostels can be a great way to meet new people. In Europe, this is very common; sharing a room and facilities with others.  They can be same sex or mixed, depending on your preference.  Hostels.com, Hostelworld.com and KAYAK.com are some of the websites I found to reserve your bunk.

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If you really want to be boho chic, there is couch surfing.  This is basically staying in someone’s home and ‘sleeping on their couch’.   I know some hippie chicks that have done this.  Just carry your back pack and travel across country and couch surf on a student’s budget.  There are websites you can register to be a host or to find a couch to sleep on.  Of course, safety is a priority.  Sites like couchsurfing.com have a page dedicated to safety.

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If you plan on staying somewhere for a while and want to save your pennies; there is the option of house sitting.  You basically stay at their house for free while they go on vacation, and take care of their animals, garden, etc.  I also know a retired woman who does this and has for years.  She has stayed all over Europe and parts of the States.  Each job can last a week up to a few months. Housesittersamerica.com is a good place to start if this is the way to go.

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There are so many options out there to travel on the cheap.  Just a little creativity and an adventurous spirit can send you on your way to a memorable vacation!

Share your comments or ideas on my contact us page!