Giving Thanks

The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.

William Blake

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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With Hugs and Hope

Diane

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. ….

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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.

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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.

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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

Coconut Water; Another Nutty Trend?

 

Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed… I think food is, actually, very beautiful in itself.

Delia Smith

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I tried coconut water for the first time yesterday- from the actual coconut.  Now I need to figure out how to get the nut open to get the pulp out.  I don’t have a hammer.

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My pooches, Kali and Olive LOVED it!  So, I of course had to make sure it was safe for them to drink.  (They took over my cup, which Kali never does)

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As I researched, I found out I was pretty lucky.  The older the coconut the worse the water tastes.  It starts losing its flavor and properties.  The shell was pretty brown.

The best tasting coconut water should come from a green nut. As the coconut ages, it loses taste and nutrition.

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According to Webmd, the water from a coconut has the amount of potassium as 4 bananas.  It is also a great way to replace electrolytes and minerals after a workout or a hard night of partying! Adding a little sea salt can also help replenish lost sodium.

Once you open the coconut, though,  the water must be consumed within 24 to 48 hours.

If you are not too keen on the taste this site has great ideas for add-ins.

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It has also been said the nutrients in this nutty water can help with decalcification of the pineal gland.  The pineal gland is inside our brain, between the two hemispheres and controls the chemical production and release of melatonin which helps our circadian and seasonal sleep cycles.

 

Of course, the coconut has so many other benefits; the oil and milk are great for our bodies.  Livestrong.com   has a wonderful article on all the benefits of the milk from this magical fruit.

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Going back to my pooches, this tasty treat is perfectly okay for the little ones, as long as you only give them a little bit.  Too much of a good thing can cause tummy upset and diarrhea.

Maybe after a session of Kali-Yoga, I will treat my pups to a little coconut water.

Remember to take some time for yourself and go within to listen to your body’s needs.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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’

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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

 

Finding Me (Again)

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

Thomas A. Edison

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

Dystopia

 

 

We are standing watch.

My dogs and I…

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I’m not sure what time it is because it is always dark.

I can’t tell you when it exactly happened-it just did.  Time turned left instead of right.  The gods and the angels are crying….

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People started turning against each other for what, I don’t know.

Fighting for TV’s, electronics, cars….

Don’t they know those things mean nothing?

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Here we are, we have free will and we choose this.  We choose to blame, accuse, and fight

For things that mean nothing

So, we are standing watch, the few that remain sane in an insane world.

We wait

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For the darkness to clear,

For the rain to come,

For the sun to come out again

We wait

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We wait for the angels to show a sign

That the light will return

The fighting will stop

The blame will stop

We wait….

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And keep our faith that the heavens and the earth will be balanced once again.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…..

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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

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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