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

home 9

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.

home 7

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.

home 1

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.

home 3

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.

home 5

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.

home 6

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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Down the Rabbit Hole

A rebirth out of spiritual adversity causes us to become new creatures.

James E. Faust

spring blossom

A beautiful Spring morning.   I woke up feeling that familiar feeling  of fresh air that awakens all of your senses from a long winter’s nap.

I remembered who I am.  Why I am here, right now, in the here and now.

I decided it was the perfect day to spend in the Gardens.  It has certainly been a while.  Too long actually;   My path got distracted.

rainbow

I took my furbabies for their special walk, letting them breathe it in as well, strolled back to the apts for their scooby snack.  Threw on a hoodie and some jeans with flip flops.  Hair in an unwashed messy bun first woke up.  No teeth brushing or breakfast.  It was time to go out.

this way

Time to go see my trees and feel the dirt in between my toes.

Springtime, time to shake off the past and feel the warm comfort of the now and the future.

time

While on the Spur to one of my favorite destinations; the water gardens.  Second nature to home.  This man named Jeff, was in the Navy for 8 years, retired from Social Work and knew Spirit.  We talked the whole way to downtown.  He went on to the Botanic Gardens as I stayed in town for the water gardens.

tea party

As I walked, I kept seeing the number 17.  If that means anything to anyone, I do not know, I am not an expert in this realm…

Being Good Friday; kids are out, the usual spots filled with children and spring love.

Me under an old shady tree, with my shoes off

tree 2

 

Life takes you on journeys, you sometimes don’t quite understand until the journey has ended.

Down the rabbit hole.  My favorite place.  This is where I explore thoughts and meanings.

alice

Memories flood my head as I put together past thoughts, and watch the children on Easter Break, enjoy the flowers, the grass, the waters that flow fast or stand still.

 

Holding on to things that keep me anchored from moving forward.  It was time to let go….time to let go so I can push beyond the fears that kept anchored in a particular place and time.

memory

Time to plant new seeds.  Harvest new fruit and explore new adventures.

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Easter has many meanings in many cultures.  But deep down, no matter our upbringing or influence; it all interprets the same.   Hope, renewal and new life.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

Life is a Journey

I travel, I read, I write, I have other lives. But when I have a camera, I know that’s my country, my island.

Leos Carax

costa rica 3

 

I woke up this morning with allergies in full swing, which let me know Spring is in full progression.  Which means the weather is getting warmer and the Summer months are just around the corner.

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The travel bug has hit, and it doesn’t help that my beautiful daughter, who lives in Costa Rica sends her breathtaking pics and posts them all over my social media page.

costa rica 1

Surviving on a budget like we do, can make the idea of a vacation seem financially daunting, and the  expense of travel can blow our budget through the sky and seemingly out of reach.  Here are some ideas, that might help this dream become more attainable and maybe the trip can be an adventure in itself!

airplane

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 on a budget, 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, and my daughter used Spirit to get to Costa Rica.  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 to get that flight on the cheap.

fly

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.

motor scooter

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.  Airbnb.com is also another option.

hostel

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.

couch surf (3)

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  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.

garden

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!

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.

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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