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

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!

e. lan

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.

love

 

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.

spur

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.

church downtown

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

 

Lauren Bacall

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.

Haile Selassie

Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924 to a working-class family in New York City. Her father, William, was an alcoholic who left the family when Bacall was six; Bacall and her mother later changed their last name to her grandmother’s maiden name, Bacal, and added the second “l.”

lauren bacall 2

Enthralled by the theater from an early age, Bacall started working in high school as an usher, and then performed in plays both on and off Broadway. However, it was her work as a model, and in particular her appearance on a Harper’s Bazaar cover in 1943, that caught the eye of Nancy Hawks, wife of Howard Hawks, a powerful Hollywood director. At Nancy’s encouragement, Hawks gave Bacall a screen test. Hawks then brought her to Hollywood, taught her to speak in a lower register and convinced her to take the first name Lauren to deemphasize her Jewish heritage. For that reason, Bacall had never been entirely comfortable with the name the world knows her by.

lauren bacall

Bacall died on August 12, 2014 at the age of 89.

 

I remember as a small one, my mother, was very devoted to the Holocaust and the cataclysmic treatment of the Jewish Peoples.  Watching movies such as ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ and both of us gazing through tear stained eyes as we both were disheartened by the tribulation….

anne frank

My mother also played the accordion. It had the most beautiful inlays of Mother of Pearl and keys.  I remember climbing into the case while she played various polkas, klezmers and such.

 

 

 

Between 1945 and 1951, the United States and Great Britain ruled occupation zones in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Czechoslovakia, which housed more than a million displaced persons (DPs), including 250,000 Jews, in late 1945. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and various private relief agencies assisted the Western Allied powers in meeting this enormous challenge. Until September 1945, Jewish and non-Jewish DPs lived together in the same camps, which sometimes required Jewish Holocaust survivors to reside with former perpetrators or with other non-Jews. Jewish DPs, many of whom felt unsafe, protested these living conditions, as well as harsh treatment by US military personnel and searches for contraband conducted by German police.

 

thinking

 

It has taken me several days to write this piece.  I almost didn’t do it.

This time in history is very close to my heart.  As long as my mother was alive, we learned of this horrible act of humanity.

There is a message here somewhere……..

 

Lauren Bacall had to change her name to ‘fit in’ to society.

 

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

Lauren Bacall -biography.com

Holocaust-history.com

 

 

The White Dove

 

Out of difficulties grow miracles.

Jean de la Bruyere

 

I was taking my pups for their outside adventure for the last time for the evening, as I was opening my door, the pooches started barking frantically.  I look up and there is a white dove on my balcony and he didn’t seem to mind whatsoever that there were 2 tiny dogs yelling at him.

dove 2

When we were done with our trip, I didn’t expect him to still be on my stairway.  The dove nestled himself on my neighbors cooler unit and stayed there through the night.  In the morning, I had noticed my neighbor giving him some water.

I could see the twinkle in my neighbor’s eyes as he knew this was a message from the Divine.  He shared with me he had lost his mother and brother as well.  Even their ages were the same.  I also met my neighbor down the hall.  She is a nurse and has lived in this building for 5 years.

dove 5

My son came to visit, and was also touched by our visitor.  He took beautiful pictures of our special friend.

The Dove stayed for 3 days.

dove 3

In that time, he would let us get close, but not touch.  He would look into your eyes all the way to your soul.  There are no words to describe the warm comforting wisdom coming from this lovely creature.

dove1

 

The evening of the 3rd day, he was gone.

My neighbor was saddened by the Dove’s departure.  He tells me “I guess I missed my sign.”  I responded by telling him that maybe it will take a couple of days to present itself.  Or maybe, the sign was simply the gift of having a White Dove come visit us.

 

Ray’s Flag

 

Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.

Rabindranath Tagore

unpacking boxes

 

I got the opportunity to get some more of my stuff.  It’s pretty cool, I open up all the boxes and it’s like a celebration all over again!

Among my boxes, was my step-dad’s flag in a broken box and stained with cigarette smoke from a relationship gone.

 

I met Ray when I was about 11 or 12.  He not only accepted my mom and me into his home, but also his heart.  He loved us like I’ve never felt love from another being.  To him, I WAS his daughter.

 

USA Corps

 

Somehow managing to get into the Army before his 16th birthday spent his entire working life in the Military.  Ray was a Surveyor for the Army Corps of Engineers until he was medically forced to retire because of Emphysema.  He left this world in December of 1992.

The last time I saw him, my daughter was only 3 months old.  We took a trip to Marysville so my daughter could meet her grandfather for the first time……..

 

 

Pulling out this flag was like unleashing all the memories as they were yesterday; supporting me through my summer softball years in Junior High all the way to my College graduation and beyond. Through the worst years of a teens life; this man gave me his encouragement and love only that of a true Dad.

ray 2

I remember going to fine restaurants for dinner with he and my mom, and me ordering ravioli, no sauce with ketchup and saltine crackers.  I really knew how to live it up!  He never said a word; he would even order me a Shirley Temple so I could have a cocktail with my dinner too.

 

When I was about 20, a mom to my son and being too young to be married and starting a family; Ray would let me mow his yard and clean his house so I could earn some grocery money.  I didn’t have to earn it; he would’ve just given it to me.  But, I would insist, I had too much love and respect otherwise.

 

ray n me

My graduation from Lassen College,  my step dad drove over 3 hours to be with me and family as I received my Diploma.  He treated all of us to dinner and gifted me with a pearl necklace and matching earrings.  I still have one of the earrings, I will cherish forever.

 

fold flag

I completely opened the flag and carefully hand washed it in my tub.  Washing away the bad memories and making sure it doesn’t touch the floor and hanging it gingerly to dry.

 

flag

My son spent 4 years in the Navy.  I think it would be an honor if we both fold it back together and place it in its new home.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

Katharine Hepburn

 

Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was devastated at age 14 to find him dead, the apparent result of accidentally hanging himself while practicing a hanging trick their father had taught them. For many years after this, Katharine used his birthdate, November 8, as her own. She then became very shy around girls her age, and was largely schooled at home. She did attend Bryn Mawr College, however, and it was here that she decided to become an actress, appearing in many of their productions.

After graduating, she began getting small roles in plays on Broadway and elsewhere. She always attracted attention in these parts, especially for her role in “Art and Mrs. Bottle” (1931); then, she finally broke into stardom when she took the starring role of the Amazon princess Antiope in “A Warrior’s Husband” (1932). The inevitable film offers followed, and after making a few screen tests, she was cast in A Bill of Divorcement(1932), opposite John Barrymore. The film was a hit, and after agreeing to her salary demands, RKO signed her to a contract. She made five films between 1932 and 1934. For her third, Morning Glory (1933) she won her first Academy Award. Her fourth, Little Women (1933) was the most successful picture of its day.

 

Women’s Fashion In The 1930s

 

Clothing styles were less extravagant for the most part during the 1930s. However, you could still tell between the “haves” and “have nots” of this time. Some of the more affluent type of dress was presented by models in issues of the women’s magazine Good Housekeeping.
You can see some of the businesslike influence in these simple outfits if you go back to the April 1930 issue. Models in some of the photos displayed simple-yet feminine outfits of two-piece V-neck cardigan, simple blouse, and button-down wrap skirts.
Other photos presented in this issue of Good Housekeeping showed off long free-flowing dresses with moderately low V-necklines. These dresses are known often as the “1930s Trousseau”.
These particular outfits are what many people would perhaps associate in times past with tea time or luncheon in high society. These particular elegant yet simple lines of clothing or in the ever-growing middle class social circle.
The shapes of these dresses were designed to show off a woman’s most feminine features-tight or snug at the waist and then bowing slightly out. Most of these dresses are either slightly gathered and/or pleated. The pattern for many of the early 1930s dresses that were made is known as the “cross cut bias” style.
Some of them are one-piece while others are accented with a short elegant jacket. Today (the year 2007) many people would consider wearing these styles of dresses to a formal or semi-formal dinner.
All though women did cut back on the number and style of clothes, Ladies Hats were still an integral part of any Ladies wardrobe
Ladies Newport Matinee hat $1.59 The sleeves of most of the 1930s dresses and outfits referenced in this article are of ¾ length or shorter. The Hem line of most of the outfits during this time was cut between the knees and the shin. Colors of fashionable ladie’s wear in the 1930s were of different colors such as red, navy, white, and black.
One of the most famous fashion influences of the 1930s was Coco Chanel. Another one of this time was Madeleine Vionnet, who was a French Designer

 

Men’s Shirt $2.50 Ohio 1932
Ladies Wool Flannel Robes $3.95 Nebraska 1934
Ladies Winter Coats $16.00 Indiana 1937
Men’s Quality Overcoats $15.00 Indiana 1937
Ladies Oxfords Shoes $2.44 Indiana 1937
Men’s Slacks $3.98 Indiana 1937
Women’s silk hose 49 cents Ohio 1933
Boys overcoat wool 8.69-11.98/each From $ New Jersey
Boys pants and breeches, corderoy From $1.98 New Jersey
Boys school suit, From $7.94 New Jersey
Girls hose (tights), woolen, From $25 cents per pair New Jersey
Men s shirt, Arrow, From $1.45 New Jersey
Men s sport coat, /each From $19.98 New Jersey
Women s dress shoes, From $3.45 New Jersey
Women s suit, 2 pieces, From $6.98 New Jersey
Men’s Sox 10 cents ohio 1933
Ladies Sandals 98 cents Maryland 1939
Boys and Girls Underwear 49 cents   Maryland   1935

Men’s 2 Piece Suit Double breasted $19.75 New York 1935

Howard Deluxe Quality silk lined hat $2.85 New York 1935

Sheeplined Moccasins 79 cents Ohio 1935

Fancy Broadcloth Pajamas $1.89 Indiana 1937
Men’s Lined Gloves 98 cents ohio 1935

 

 

 

metro

 

I worked yesterday.  Now that I have my strength back, I am ready to work full time.  This one day here, one day there, is certainly for the birds.  Even though I live where the buses run now, they don’t quite take you everywhere.  You can get there, but it’s through 3 different transit systems.  I am not quite ready to figure that out yet.

I Demo in Target Stores in my area, so I get to check out the clearance rack quite frequently.  If only I had cash to purchase a piece.   But, if I had the money, I love the Krishna Hippie line.  (must be the female in me)

 

Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

Katherine Hepburn is sourced from IMDB.com

Ladies fashion is sourced from peopleshistory.com

 

tomatoes

Then and Now

I don’t know why I am so fascinated with the Great Depression; I guess it has a little to do with my living situation as of late.

My mother was born in 1934.  I remember growing up (we didn’t have much then either), of her telling stories of what it was like living in that time.  From using cereal box cutouts for soles of shoes to her mother having to use Rations to buy food for her family of 9.

ration book

Depression Glass.  When I was in college I remember having to do a public speaking project on artifacts and I chose a cake plate that I still had that belonged to our family.  I remember it as a young child.  It had a small chip in it and it was green.  I don’t have it anymore.  One day, I will build my collection up again.

Depression glass is clear or colored translucent glassware that was distributed free, or at low cost, in the United States and Canada around this time.  Much depression glass is uranium glass. The Quaker Oats Company, and other food manufacturers and distributors, put a piece of glassware in boxes of food, as an incentive to purchase. Movie theaters and businesses would hand out a piece simply for coming in the door.

depression glass

S&H Green Stamps were trading stamps popular in the United States from the 1930s until the late 1980s. They were distributed as part of a rewards program operated by the Sperry & Hutchinson company (S&H), founded in 1896 by Thomas Sperry and Shelley Byron Hutchinson.

green stamps

Quoted from allabouthistory.org; most characteristic of life during the Great Depression was the widening gap between the “haves” and “have-nots.” Unemployment rose from a shocking 5 million in 1930 to an almost unbelievable 13 million by the end of 1932. It would be rural America that would suffer the greatest. Unemployed fathers saw children hired for sub-standard wages. In 1930, 2.25 million boys and girls ages 10–18 worked in factories, canneries, mines, and on farms. Children left school to support their families.

The harsh reality of life during the Great Depression is vividly recalled by Travis (12 yrs) who found his father behind their Massachusetts house, crying and heartbroken. “My dad was the strongest man I knew, but the Depression brought him to his knees.” While starving children in the Appalachians chewed on their hands, nearly drawing blood, nursery school children in Philadelphia played an “eviction game.” Toy furniture would be piled up in one corner of the room, then picked up and moved to another corner. “We ain’t got no money for rent, so we move. Then we get the sheriff on us, so we move again.” 

children 1930

I look out my kitchen window, I see children playing with the mouse trap boxes and collecting grass hoppers with them, eating a hotdog on a piece of white bread with ketchup; using the Diet Pepsi cans as soda bombs for some kind of childhood game.

kitchen window

We’ve come along way, haven’t we……

I did finally get my Food Card, and took my bus trip to the grocery store. I will save that story for another day.

I am also learning how to make wine from grape juice.  I will tell you how that goes.

Hugs and Hope

DTC

 

cc 4

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.

soup kitchen

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.

dep3

 

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.

dep2

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.

poor

 

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.

dep4

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