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

Advertisements

Finding Comfort

The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness.

Norman Cousins

 

It was a beautiful sunrise; she could feel the warmth creeping over her makeshift bed from the comforter with red and gray flower designs of a trend gone past.  Her backpack that was filled with her most prized necessities, made a perfect pillow.

find comfort sunrise

Wondering what day it was, got up-put her shoes on, rolled up her bedding and wandered to the nearest gas station, so she could rinse off the days gone past.; feeling the urgent, familiar gnaw in her belly.

homeless

 

She walked to the area of divergence as the bite of the morning chill overcame her.  She pulled her jacket around her with more intent to ward off the frosty morning.  She found her usual perch, saw the familiar faces of those that come looking for a fix, or the schizophrenic carrying on, or the walking man, that just walks, all day long.

woman 5

 

She waits patiently for night to come.  Maybe she will get lucky today, and enough passersby’s will give her enough change, so she can get 4 tacos from the nearby taco stand.  Those damn panhandlers that stand on street corners and gas stations- they ruin it for us folk that just want a bite to eat.

She doesn’t dare go to the mission or outreach-they just take without permission.

Finally, the sun is setting.  She walks over to the usual lamp post on the corner and waits for just the right one.

find comfort lamp

Here he comes, in the light blue Beamer, head to the usual motel, where this is common.  She devours her fish and chips and asks, as he stares at her in awe, “Are you gonna eat that?”  She finishes both plates, proceeds to the shower.  As the water runs over her malnourished body, she washes away the hunger, cold, sadness, even if only for a few moments.

find comfort bath

Hangs her freshly washed garments on the towel rack to dry; takes a long whiff of the clean bathrobe while memories briefly flood in.

find comfort blankie

She shakes it off, walking reluctantly and climbs into bed as the robe falls to the floor.

For a night, she will find comfort.

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

Giving Thanks

The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.

William Blake

tgiving2

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.

tgiving1

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”.

tgiving7

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.

tgiving 8

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

tgiving3

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.

tgiving9

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

tgiving4

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

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

woman 3

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.

woman 2

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.

woman 5

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.

woman 4

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. ….

home love

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.

woman 1

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.

m-w

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

coco 1

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.

doggy

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)

coco 3

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.

coco 4

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.

cw add in

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.

coco milk

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.

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