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.

spring-tree-flowers-meadow-60006

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

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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.

gardens3

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

 

Earls Nilo-Making a Statement

 

We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Can one man’s dream make a difference?

 

I choose not to watch the news-especially what is posted on Social Media.  Folks just have such a strong opinion one way or the other; and just because it is written-doesn’t make it true.

single 3

On my way to work today, I overheard a conversation with a young kid, in his twenties, I would assume – and an older gentleman.  Earls Nilo wanted to know the best  place to promote his sign, which said “Single”.  No, he wasn’t looking for a date.  He was making a statement.

As I listened, I started to understand what he was trying to do.

 

single 6

 

I Have a Dream

 

Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 through 1968. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs and inspired by the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.

 

King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, he led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the nonviolent 1963 protests in Birmingham, Alabama. He also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

 

On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and the SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, he expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”.

In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee.

 

single 4

Socialism in the US?

 

The history of socialism has its origins in the French Revolution of 1789 and the changes which it wrought, although it has precedents in earlier movements and ideas. The Communist Manifesto was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 just before the Revolutions of 1848 swept Europe, expressing what they termed “scientific socialism”. In the last third of the 19th century, Social Democratic parties arose in Europe, drawing mainly from Marxism. The Australian Labor Party was the world’s first elected socialist party when the party won the 1899 Queensland state election.

 

In the first half of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union and the Communist parties of the Third International around the world mainly came to represent socialism in terms of the Soviet model of economic development, the creation of centrally planned economies directed by a state that owns all the means of production, although other trends condemned what they saw as the lack of democracy. In the United Kingdom, Herbert Morrison said that “socialism is what the Labour government does” whereas Aneurin Bevan argued that socialism requires that the “main streams of economic activity are brought under public direction”, with an economic plan and workers’ democracy.  Some argued that capitalism had been abolished.  Socialist governments established the mixed economy with partial nationalisations and social welfare.

 

By 1968, the prolonged Vietnam War (1959–1975) gave rise to the New Left, socialists who tended to be critical of the Soviet Union and social democracy. Anarcho-syndicalists and some elements of the New Left and others favored decentralized collective ownership in the form of cooperatives or workers’ councils. At the turn of the 21st century in Latin America, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez championed what he termed socialism of the 21st century, which included a policy of nationalisation of national assets such as oil, anti-imperialism and termed himself a Trotskyist supporting permanent revolution.

 

single6

A Slave to the Corporate Machine

Have we lost focus on what is important?

 

Television Programming- on any given day, I would bet that the average person knows more about the Kardashians than how many homeless people there are in America.

BTW, in 2017 it was 554,000.

single 5

 

People chasing the status quo-fancy cars, name brand purses, shoes, jewelry, make-up for ridiculous prices.  Credit card debt grows higher and higher.  American consumers are over 1 trillion dollars in debt.  The ever growing need to ‘have it all’; and now each and every one of us is stuck on the great hamster wheel of life, the vicious cycle of working for the machine, so we can pay off the machine.

When does it end?

It takes a village to make it work-what happened to love for humanity?

 

Maybe Earls is on to something here…..

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

This story is written from the eyes of Earls Nilo.

 

Information on Martin Luther King, Jr and the History of Socialism were acquired from Wikipedia.

Stats on homeless-motherjones.com

Consumer debt in America-nypost.com

A Healthier Us:  Alternative Protein Sources

It’s easy to impress me. I don’t need a fancy party to be happy. Just good friends, good food, and good laughs. I’m happy. I’m satisfied. I’m content. 

Maria Sharapova

 

Since my week in the hospital last June, I have been experimenting and discovering what food I can and cannot eat.

Of the many changes in my diet and metabolism, one of the things I have noticed, are my protein choices.  I am finding that red meat like beef and pork are very hard for my body to metabolize.  Not only digestion, but the affect overall; I was having to take digestive supplements just to help my body tolerate it.

protein tea

I decided to take a step back and observe what was actually going on; did some research and found more plant-based sources.  Also with some trial and error, I found, that I respond much better to alternative protein choices and I have an overall feeling of wellness and a sense of lightness.

protein 1

This also works budget wise as well.  The price of meat in the grocery store has become astronomical.  It doesn’t matter if I am buying ground beef or some center cut pork chops. I have noticed, the meat section is pretty close to the same price per pound.

protein 2

Speaking of being budget-friendly, it can be so easy to jump on the band wagon of all organic or non-GMO, which I will save for another topic, but today let’s just stick with options and budget.

protein 3

One thing nice about living in this day and age, we do have a lot of variety of choices and information on those choices.  We just need to look at packaging, additives, price and where it’s coming from.  With all the informative blogs out there that talks about all the different ways to incorporate protein into our diet that fit the individual needs of our bodies; this one-  http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/vegan-sources-of-protein  has a wonderful informative list of a variety of tasty alternatives.

protein list

With all the protein food choices, we can shop our local grocer ads and as long as we stick to the original source of food, we can also save on our grocery budget.

We are killing 2 birds with 1 stone here.  Eating better for our bodies AND eating better for our budget!

 

Being mindful is also very important for our overall health.  With the process of livestock that is legally allowed, has to affect us energetically as a whole.  This I will also save for another topic.

Just ‘Food for Thought’

bison

Waking up every day, spending a few moments quieting the mind and going within, our bodies can tell us so much about ourselves.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane