Panama City

 

 

I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.

 Rosalia de Castro

panama 4

 

It was her first trip to Panama by herself since she’s lived here.  She made it through customs without a hitch.  After a $20 taxi, she finally made it to her prepaid hostel at 3 AM- A welcome feeling indeed.

The next day, she got dressed and went out to explore her new surroundings with camera in hand, prepared to take pictures in a light that only she can see.

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I get a phone call from a frantic girl, an uneasy feeling swept over her.  She didn’t feel like exploring any more.  She got swindled her last $40 that she was using to get back home and to eat with.

She had some friends that lived by the border; she was going to take a bus there.  I let her know, I would wire her some cash.  That was the last time I heard from her. For 18 hours.  Silence.   No social media posts.  Nothing.

panama 5

At first, I was just concerned.  Maybe she was just in an area with no signal.  As the hours passed, my mama sense started really kicking in. Later that evening, I sent her a text ‘Please let me know you are safe’

As I paced the floor, I did prayers and mantras all through the night, praying for her protection- the visions that filled my head.

panama 3

What if this person that swindled her cash was a human trafficker and she took the bait.  What if this was the last time, I was ever going to hear or see her ever again?  What if she was going to be just another statistic of the people that go missing each and every day?

At one point, during the night, I message her stepmom to see if her father heard from her.

panama 2

As soon as it was light again, I made myself a cup of coffee and was getting ready to make a game plan to try to locate her.  Do I call the local police? Do I call the Embassy?  Does she have to be missing for a certain amount of time before they do anything?

panama 7

Am I completely overreacting?  Maybe she is safe with her friends and is just in a remote area with no signal.

But, I couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong.

At 7:30 AM, I receive a text.   ‘Mom I am okay, I know you were worried.’  ‘I met a nice lady and she took me in and fed me.’

‘I feel like this is a Liam Neeson movie, what happened?  I was so scared.’  ‘I know you were worried mom’

panama 1

I soon saw beautiful pics of her and breathtaking landscapes once again.  The next day, she was safely  home in Ciudad Cortés, Puntarenas.

I could finally rest.

I still don’t know what happened during those 18 hours of silence……

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I had a dream, she was a little girl going on her first plane ride.  Her, wanting to be a big girl, did it all by herself.  Somewhere between the gate and the tarmac, she got on the wrong plane.  After days of her being missing, I see this girl climbing down from a mountain. Tear streaks running down the dirt on her cheeks.  She runs to me, and we just hold each other and cry. 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

 

 

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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

 

June 1937-It’s all About Perspective

 

 

 

 Amelia Earhart Disappeared

  • Amelia Mary Earhart mysteriously disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during a circumnavigation flight

More Information and Timeline For Amelia Mary Earhart
1. Amelia Mary Earhart started her career during World War I as a nurses aid in Toronto, Canada looking after wounded soldiers ( Mostly as a Cook )
2. 1920 after saving by working multiple jobs including photographer, truck driver, and stenographer she saved the $1,000 needed to take flying lessons
3. 1923, Amelia Earhart became the 16th woman to be issued a pilot’s license
4. 1928, Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the North American continent and back
5. 1932 she became the the first woman to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic
6. 1937 On June 1st Amelia Earhart and her flight navigator Fred Noonan take off from Miami attempting a round-the-world flight.

ritz

Average Cost of Living 1937

Average Cost of new house $4,100.00
Average wages per year $1,780.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 10 cents
Average Cost for house rent $26.00 per month
A loaf of Bread 9 cents
A LB of Hamburger Meat 12 cents
Average Price for new car $760.00
Toothpaste 35 cents
Couple of examples of houses advertised for sale
Port Authur, Texas — 5 room Cottage home and bath in town center $2,250
Mansfield, Ohio —- Colonial Brick Home 6 modern rooms and bath with open fireplace in living room $6,000

 

bus

June, 2017

 

I am sitting on my bed/couch eating some french fries and leftover pizza for breakfast, as my furbabies wait patiently for a bite.  It’s a little overcast outside.  Some commotion from the building across the courtyard.  A day to keep the windows drawn.

I do have more flexibility now that I am within the bus system, just have to learn my way around! The other day  I decided to take the bus to the Post Office to get a key for our mail box.   I checked on my IPhone for the best route, and there were 3 choices.

I picked the wrong one.

As you know, I know no stranger, so I struck up a conversation with a fellow sitting in the row in front of me.  We talked and talked.  Before I knew it, I had turned a 25 minute ride to an over 2 hour ride! I was completely on the wrong side of town!

The bus driver, ever so helpfully, stopped the bus going the other way, so I could head back to my actual destination.  Of course, I forgot snacks and drinks.  Three bus changes later, I found the Post Office, in the middle of some traffic lights and grassy fields. A Temple on the dead end street, with housing.  A sacred space I am sure.

bunny bus

No fast food, no quickie marts.  By this time, I was hot, hungry, thirsty and exhausted.  I just wanted to go home. Four hours was long enough for this excursion.   After waiting 20 minutes to hop on a bus to go 5 minutes, so I can get on another bus to go to the exchange, then the final bus to my humble residence!

I think I will take up smoking!

It’s all about perspective, right?   Just imagine how much money I am saving in car expenses by using the Public Transportation System.  Just $3.50 a day, gets me anywhere the bus will take me.

 

I am going to get started on one of my favorite cupboard cooking recipes now and as always, Hugs and Hope

DTC

 

CC mac

 

 

 

Info on Amelia Earhart and Average Cost of Living

http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1937

A New Beginning

So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit.

Christopher McCandless

 

June; the perfect time to start a new chapter.  My son and I are finally getting a one bedroom apartment!   If we can ever get moved in-it’s been one hurdle after another; but you can’t stop this stubborn red head!

 

The universe always has her own timing, so it is very important we listen to her!

 

This past weekend we planned on moving, but our unit flooded!  We would’ve lost all of  the few things we do own, AND I decided to get very sick.

I spent a few days in the hospital with some stomach issues, which told me it’s time to take my health a little more seriously.   I guess level 50 is the magic number to start thinking about that sorta thing.  The good news is, now I am part of the medical system and I have more options for care.

New carpet, new eating habits and a new outlook, I am ready for my next chapter!

 

So, with all of that life stuff happening, it’s time for me to get back into my handy dandy budgeting skills I am so famous for in unknown circles and get to budgeting!

These are a few of my old school tricks and some new ones that I have picked up along my journey of surviving this world on a budget!

big things

Big Things

Word of mouth works great when gathering things from scratch.  I clean house for a dear friend, she has been so wonderful, and if only everyone had a fraction of her giving heart; this world would be a hundred times better than it is right now.  Not only has she shared her home with my son for the past year, she has a garage full of furniture just waiting for a new home and has generously given it to us for our fresh start.  If only I could return the gratitude to her to show her and her family how this fills my being.

cool shop

 

Little Things

Of course, now I have the perfect excuse, I mean reason, to hit the Goodwill shops!  Oh, how I miss my second hand shopping!  I can do so many magical things with my findings from Goodwill!  Curtains, throw pillows, baskets, odd pieces, whatever my whimsical heart desires!  I have a few blogs on this very topic, since it is one of my many favorites, but check this out for some ideas.

lady in bath

Saving money and the environment

Since I have to watch my budget and my health; I was trying to think of ways to do both.  Since paper towels can turn into a huge expense-what about using finger towels and linens for wiping and drying?  The dollar stores and secondhand stores have both for very cheap and I can reuse them!  I also found bleach tablets where the fabric dye is in the cleaning supplies at your favorite grocery store, so I can sanitize them during each wash cycle.  Not too shabby!  I can use the pretty baskets and dishes I found to display them nicely in my kitchen and bath to add some personal touch that blends with my décor.

pests

Pests

Living in an apartment can make it challenging to keep the infestations to a minimum, so I am going to have succulents that have natural repellent properties. I haven’t actually tried these yet, but there is lots of info in the great world wide web, Mother Nature Network has lots of great info.

pooches

 

Pooches

Since my furbabies have to share a yard with other critters, large and small; I will need to keep an area by the door with wipes and sprays to keep my babies from bringing in unwanted house guests.  This not only is healthier for me, but for them too.  I can use some hand towels to wipe them down so we all can be happy puppies!

 

Since we are also on the second floor, my poochieweenie doesn’t have a great attention span and a tiny bladder, so to remedy this, I can have an indoor potty yard just for her.  Keeps her off the carpet and instills the mindset of grass being the potty place for pooches.  You can find all kinds of grassy yards of all sizes and prices to fit your needs.  So far, I found that Amazon has the most variety.  I found one that is reusable that lasts for about 2 weeks depending on frequency of potty stops.

It is also very important for my babies to be current on their shots and flea maintenance.  There are always clinics to make sure this can be possible.  Check out humanesociety.org  to find out more.  And never skimp on your flea regimen.  For more info on my tips for caring for your fur ones check out my blog here

vintage shopping 2

Pantry

With so many convenient options nowadays in the grocery store and the cost of food items, staying healthy and budget friendly can be quite a challenge.  My cure for this problem is buying fresh fruits and veggies and dividing them up into meal size packages and following food guidelines for proper storing. Good Housekeeping has some very reputable tips.

I could keep on going on and on,  but I do tend to get long in sharing, so maybe another day.

I just got a phone call that the apartment is still being worked on, so just a few more days…….

 

When I do finally get to move in, I am kissing the floor and am going to have a good cry!

Thank you for reading and

Hugs and Hope!

 

Stories We Tell

The way people come into your life when you need them, it’s wonderful and it happens in so many ways. It’s like having an angel. Somebody comes along and helps you get right.

 Stevie Ray Vaughan

srv3

 

So today I was working a double shift at a Tom Thumb handing out my lovely samples of food product.   It was some soda the first half and chicken and rice the second half, which was my 3 day of sampling chicken.  Please don’t make me do chicken and rice any more.

There was a gentleman in the store that visited me for a bit and continued to converse with me; because I have that personality that is so easy going (I must, because I never meet a stranger).  Anyway, this man, Tom, happened to be a drummer and lived in this area his whole life.

He went on to tell me when he was in Junior High and High School, he went to the same  school as Stevie Ray and he was in a band with him in Junior High.   Now, I know what you’re thinking- it crossed my mind too.  Yes, he was trying to flirt with me, but little did he know, I am a writer and guess what?  What a great story!  I did politely decline his offer, but, here I am, writing.  Bad punctuation and all

srv2

Born on October 3, 1954 in Dallas, Texas, Stevie Ray Vaughan played guitar as a child and became lead singer for the Texas band Double Trouble, which led to work with David Bowie and Jackson Browne. Vaughan had hit albums with his band before the 1989 release of In Step, for which he earned a Grammy. He also recorded with his brother Jimmy. Vaughan died in a late night helicopter crash on August 27, 1990, at 35.

Inspired by his older brother Jimmie’s guitar playing, Stevie picked up his first guitar at the age of 10, a plastic Sears toy that he loved to strum. With an exceptional ear, (Stevie never learned to read sheet music) Stevie taught himself to play the blues by the time he’d reached high school, testing his stage skills at a Dallas club any chance he could.

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Well into his junior year, Vaughan had already played with several garage bands. But lacking any kind of academic drive, Stevie struggled to stay in school. Following a brief enrollment at an alternative arts program sponsored by Southern Methodist University, Stevie dropped out of school, moved to Austin and concentrated on making a living as a musician. To make ends meet, Vaughan collected soda and beer bottles for money and couch-surfed at various friends’ houses. The rest of the time he was playing music, jumping in-and-out of various bands that had semi-regular gigs in the Austin area.

In 1975, Vaughan and a few others formed Triple Threat. After some reshuffling, the group was renamed Double Trouble, inspired by an Otis Rush song. With Vaughan on lead vocals, the group developed a strong fan base throughout Texas. Eventually their popularity spread outside the Lone Star State. In 1982, the group caught the attention of Mick Jagger, who invited them to play at a private party in New York City. That same year, Double Trouble performed at the Montreux Blues & Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

While there, Vaughan’s musical abilities caught the attention of David Bowie, who asked the musician to play on his upcoming album, Let’s Dance. With some commercial viability behind them, Vaughan and his band mates were signed to a record deal with Epic, where they were put in the capable hands of legendary musician and producer, John Hammond, Sr.

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Whether or not my new friend actually went to school with Stevie in Oak Cliff or not; one can only speculate,  but, what a nice tribute to a talented musician from Texas.

Info on Stevie Ray Vaughan was acquired from biography.com

 

 

Finding My Way Back

moon

 

Fear is the most debilitating emotion in the world, and it can keep you from ever truly knowing yourself and others – its adverse effects can no longer be overlooked or underestimated. Fear breeds hatred, and hatred has the power to destroy everything in its path.

 Kevyn Aucoin

 

I fell.  I fell down hard.   This past month has been very hard for me. One of the hardest months I have had to deal with in a very long time and it isn’t over yet.  That scared, lost little girl came rearing her head and she wasn’t going away until I hugged her tight, wiped away her tears and told her everything is going to be okay.

Sometimes on this great path of life, we have to face our dark side.  I had to face mine.  I had no choice.  My higher Voice pretty much knocked me off my kiester and force fed it down my throat.  Not fun to say the least.

  I am scared and I cry.  I cry A LOT.

 

So, I am taking my time and slowly working through each demon as they are thrown my way.  Funny, most start with the word fear.  Fear of abandonment, fear of being disliked, fear of being alone; there are more, this is only the beginning.

A new day

Each day I wake up, I have to make myself present in each and every emotion that I am going through.  Anger, sadness, fear, hopelessness.  I have to consciously remind myself of hope, love and happiness and keep working through these emotions like a crazy roller coaster ride.

You see, I am a little hard headed and have to go through these tumultuous emotions so I can grow, so I can experience the ultimate reward- Unconditional love.

I am learning though, for me to experience this love, I have to love myself unconditionally.  Makes perfect sense, Right?

Here’s a New Year’s Resolution if I ever had one!

2017

Anyone who is shedding their old skin and growing new skin is a blessing.  It means we are growing- growing as a human. This reminds me of an old Beatles song that my dear friend showed me; and part of the lyrics go something like ‘with every mistake, we must surely be learning’.  We never stop learning, and if we did how boring life would be!

Thank you for reading my posts on this wonderful journey of mine and if you have comments or insights I would love to hear them! I hope you have a Blessed New Year!

 

The Light at the end of the Tunnel

 

Here it is, two days before my job interview.  I am a little nervous, so much is hinging on me getting this job, and the pay is exactly what I need to get a small apartment and live within means.  It is amazing actually, I don’t remember applying for this particular job; maybe someone upstairs is watching out for me.

morning commute

(Photo by Orville Snider/Getty Images)

I did find a car, another blessing in my book.  I paid cash for it and it runs like a kitten.  I even had just enough money left over to get it registered in my name. The money situation is getting snug, my fur babies are starting to look like little wookies, but they are fed and happy.  We all have a warm bed to sleep in and food for our bellies.

wookie

I keep working on my online courses so I can make something from this blog and website; with some hope and faith it will all come together.  Even though I am completely broke, I am in a much better situation than I was. Don’t ever settle for being abused.  Mentally, physically or emotionally. 

don't

Every day I wake up.  Some days are harder than others, but I keep on trying and with a little perseverance I will succeed.

Please visit my website dianesthriftycupboard.com and leave some feedback or join my email list!