The Birthday Party

Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.

Robert Frank

My furbabies have been over stimulated with the new sounds of their new home.  I know they are only doing their job to protect their alpha dog.  (Me)

The first few days were a little rough for me and my poochies.  They have been barking at everything and everyone, making me nervous and them as well.  I would take them potty and try to introduce myself, but the dogs were in protect mode, which made it difficult.  I was really starting to think this situation wasn’t going to work.  I even had a neighbor tell me to keep my nasty dogs away from her.  I was really feeling like I wasn’t going to fit in.

Wine Roses 5AB

I decided to walk across the street to the family dollar and buy myself a six dollar bottle of Liberty Creek wine.  You know the good stuff.

As I was getting my drink on, there was excessive laughter and screaming from the neighbor kids in our courtyard, so I peeked out my kitchen window to see what the raucous was all about.  There were about 20-30 kids playing on a Slip-n-Slide and kiddy pool and water balloons.  Child hood memories came flooding in.  So, I grabbed my glass of wine and sat on the steps and watched with delight.

I asked the kids if they minded if I took pics, they thought that was cool.  I sat and watched as they carried on without a care in the world, wearing whatever clothing and it didn’t even matter.  They were having a blast!

The mom of 9, saw me and told the kids to say hi to the new neighbor.  They all in unison said HI! Really loud!  It warmed my heart.  I am sure it was with sarcasm, but hey, it’s a start.

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Later that evening, the mom with the birthday boy knocked on my door and invited me over for some cake and ice cream.  I obliged.  As it turned out the mom and I have a lot in common and we talked about racism and  that we naturally fear the unknown.  One of her daughters pulled out some braids and she was showing me, and I took my hair out of my pony tail and showed her my hair.  The mom exclaimed, ‘you have  hair like we do!’  We laughed!

I told her about my blog and she showed me some music that she and her mate recorded together.  She has this amazing voice, so I shared it on my social media.  Maybe one day, she will be heard and she can share her talents with the world.

As I reflected on this special night, how here we are from all different walks of life,and that we aren’t really so much different after all.   We have our unique ways of expressing ourselves through music, writing, painting, drawing or whatever.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet such wonderful people and their babies.

Now, if I can only get my fur children to relax a little, we will be all okay.

With Hugs and Hope

DTC

The Other Side of Poor

 

I am still not completely moved in but today I had to go to my little weekend job.  I carefully planned out the bus trip to downtown from the East Side from which I now live.  As I waited for the bus, there was another lady waiting as well.  Since I have to spark a conversation with anyone around me, I learned a little bit of her story.

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She was happily married for 16 years, her husband owned his own business and she helped him with books and such.  About 3 months ago, he suddenly passed.  Left her with nothing; she now lives in a broken down van parked by a mini mart.  She has resorted to trading favors for things she needs.

I found a spot on the bus, and another lady sat in a seat near me.  She had an infected cut with still stitches.  She can’t afford antibiotics to help it heal.

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We drove past an area, with people of all race and creed, with knapsacks, and everything they owned waiting for freebies from an outreach center.  I would guess 75-100 folk.

A man in his late 50’s hooked his bike to the front on the bus and hobbled on with shoes that barely stayed on his feet.  By the look in his eyes, he was in a very bad way.

I had to look away; the tears welled up in my eyes. …..

The bus continued to drive past some under passes with men, and women hovering for shade as the heat of the day pressed on their desperate lives.

 

Another, a diabetic, can’t afford his insulin……

I made it downtown to my job location, and had a few minutes to spare.  All I could think about was how fortunate I am.

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As I got to work, I searched for my demo products and of course they weren’t there, but I didn’t seem to mind, I winged it like I always do and prayed to God how grateful I am.  When I was finished with my shift, I cleaned up the back area and bagged up the leftover demo product that was collecting dust and took it with me.  I got on my bus to go back home and I handed out some of the product samples to those that would take it.  The rest I am going to make care packages for the folk that live in the buildings around me.

I am going to keep on collecting leftover samples and give what I can to the people that I come in contact with that are in need.  It is only a tiny fulfillment of need, but maybe it will give someone a smile.

I messed up purchasing my ticket, so I had to purchase another.  I didn’t have exact change, so at the transfer station I ran over to a McD’s to buy a “cheap” bacon biscuit for $5 to make change.  The dollar store across the street costs more than any high end grocery store.  Price Gouging.

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Here, we have the poorest of poor, and they are being robbed by corporate A-Holes.  No wonder the moral stinks.  You’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.

I don’t have an answer, and I don’t know how to fix it, but if I could wave my magic wand, I surely would.

This is all I have today…..

 

With hugs and hope

DTC

 

Coincidence?  Or Serendipity

 

 

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

 Helen Keller

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Life is full of ups and downs, good opportunities and sometimes not so good opportunities.  I believe in trying to make the best of every situation, learn from my mistakes and take those lessons and try to apply it in my life somehow and sometimes reach out to others in hopes to inspire them to better themselves or at least take a deeper look inside their soul.

 

As you know, I never meet a stranger.  When I was working my real job (giggles) a few weeks ago, another employee was having a rough day.  It also happened to be her birthday, and like my birthday, hers was forgotten too.  I knew exactly how she felt.  I reached out to her and we immediately became friends.   Without losing her anonymity, I won’t give out any more information, but she reached out to me and wanted me to share this inspiring story with the hope of  touching another life that is struggling with demons of their own.

The following are her words.

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I am a recovering methamphetamine addict. Clean 5 years now.   I stay away from people or situations that could cause me to interact with addiction type lifestyles for my own sobriety.

This weekend I was sitting in my patio when a young guy was walking by below, He hollered up at me asking for a cigarette, I obliged, of course. I had my grandson here & my boyfriend left shortly after. About 30 minutes later the young man came to my door asking if he could use the phone to call a ride on up out  of here he says.

I measure him up real quick & gather than he’s been actively using & has reached a point of regret. I came to the conclusion that he was harmless as he was too focused on being upset with himself so, I let him in.

He uses the phone & starts taking to me about his situation, fishing for approval for his decisions but not really saying why he was away from his girl & his kids.  I just listen.   After a bit he was seriously needing some sign if approval, as he’s unsure if himself at this point.  I didn’t share anything with him about me or my recovery journey & nothing about his actual actions was mentioned.

I just looked at him & said, “I can see you’re struggling with your choices.”   He says yeah…

I said “well no judgment here & you don’t have to tell my why; I’ll just say your face is a bit thin & your heart is heavy.”  He says,” I think you know more than you’re letting on.  It’s like you’ve been where I am at.”

About that time his ride arrived. I told him that with age comes experience. He asked what have I learned. I told him that I learned my actions were my own & so were the consequences that come with my actions.   And what my children saw when they were young molded them into their perceived life now.

I felt like God put that kid in my house.

I just hope he does better with himself, I hope my words helped.

 

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I believe nothing happens by chance.  I believe Spirit put that young man in front of her so they can inspire each other and pay it forward to touch someone else that might need it so desperately.

 

We all have our crosses to bear and our demons to fight.   When we are at our lowest of lows, remember, our Guardian Angels are always with us and they are wrapping their loving wings around us and protecting us.

If this inspires you or if you know someone that can use some inspiration, please share.

Thank you.

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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

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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

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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

 

 

Cinco de Mayo – What Does it Mean?

fiesta wreath

 

I grew up in a very multi-cultural neighborhood.  What I remember most was the Celebration of Cinco de Mayo.  The whole neighborhood would get together and share their favorite recipes, the grill would be going with any type of food you could think of!  Lots of music, dancing (and drinking) and everyone seemed happy.

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I loved enjoying the food and music and celebration that was going on in my childhood neighborhood and still do today!

Since this weekend is  Cinco de Mayo, it got me thinking about why the Hispanic culture get together to celebrate.  I always assumed it was like our 4th of July- boy, I was completely wrong.

I don’t want to bore you too much with a history lesson, so I will give you the short version.    According to history.com; Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—commemorates the Mexican Army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867).

A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals in cities and towns across Mexico and the United States.

So, as you are wandering around the streets this weekend, remember to help celebrate culture and enjoy the many talents and foods Mexican-Americans have to offer.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!