Moving in the Right Direction

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

Melody Beattie

home 9

Somewhere in the middle of Somewhere, Texas, watching the redbirds, squirrels and lizards.  Off in the distance, you can hear the Peacocks feeding and strutting their stuff.    This is Paradise.  I don’t want to be anywhere else.

The occasional passerby walking their dog on the gravel dirt road that surrounds our home.  It’s a little hot today, we had to close the windows and door and turn on the A/C.  The furbabies are napping.  Mama, next to me, Olive on the couch and Peanut making sure my feet and toes are clean.

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It was time for a change.  I don’t belong in the city.  I don’t belong in an apartment.  It felt like concrete jail.  I felt like life wasn’t going to get better than that.  Staying on high alert 24/7 for the safety of my babies and me, can’t trust anyone.  Everyone seemed to have a personal agenda.   I was intent on living out the rest of my life, being mom to my kids and furbabies.   My circle of friends becoming smaller and smaller; lashing out on social media, my job that didn’t quite turn out like I had hoped.

home 1

I knew something needed to give, I really thought it was going to be me.  In one of my wine therapy moments- my best friend of 20 years reached out to me.  Damn near demanded to know what the hell was going on with me.

We talked and decided I should come down and visit for a bit.  So, I bought a train ticket.

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He picked me up from the train station about an hour and a half away from his place.  Not seeing each other for about 10 years or more, he was there at the gate with a beautiful Lilly flower.   We hugged; it felt like coming back home.

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For the next 5 days, we toured the beautiful region of Hill Country.  Everything so lush and green, you could see nothing for miles except mountains, trees and sky.

 

We kindled a spark neither one of us knew we had. 

 

Talked about the messes I managed to get myself into over the last decade, I could see the love and concern in his compassionate caring eyes.

We both knew, my current situation was not a healthy one.  I needed a safe place.  I needed comfort and guidance.  I needed to be home.

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He took me to the train station when it was time for me to go back.  It was storming that morning and the train was over 4 hours late due to a tree falling on the tracks.  Even Mother Nature herself didn’t want me to leave.

 

I arrived at my apartment that evening.  Back to overpopulated apartment buildings, stray dogs, the homeless.  Back to the area of divergence.

Within a week, me and my furbabies were back home.  Back to Hill Country.  Back in the arms of my best friend.  My soulmate.

The only thing I need to worry about now are stickers and rattlesnakes.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

 

 

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Crossing Borders and Boundaries

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

Ernest Hemingway

find comfort sunrise

It’s been quite a year.  It’s only April.  My furbabies are curled up on either side of me as I sip my coffee and write these words.

It’s been quite a week.  I am ready for a new one.  Blame it on the planets or the ocean waves or the storm that just blew through.

riptide

My daughter lives in Costa Rica.  The adventure she is living is enough to write a book all on its own.  She keeps this mama on her toes-She went to Panama by herself for the first time.  Nothing stops this girl

costa rica 1

I spent the entire week hunkered in from the storms brewing outside.  Just like the days gone past living in the mountains of California.  Sometimes even going days without electricity.

 

At times like these, the best place to play, is in the attic, pulling out relics from the boxes of memories that are stored there. Good memories.  The best memories.   Since I also have a penchant for good wine, this was the perfect opportunity.

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Sometimes people show up in our lives to show us how strong our boundaries are.  Mine were not set in place like they should be, and the Universe was screaming at me, telling me.

You give someone an inch, they take a mile. 

The storms outside were whipping and hollering…calling out to me….begging me to get caught up in the eye of the hurricane.

adventure

No.  I am safe in the attic, with my memories.  They fill my mind, my heart, my soul of the promises of the sun and warmth that comes when the storm finally passes.

I could faintly hear the scratching of the fingers of treacherous winds that were retching and seething outside my door.  But, my door was securely locked and bolted from such storms that cross this path.

The hours became days, the days became a week.  Finally, it gave way.

find comfort blankie

I survived the storm with the comfort of my fondest memories wrapping their arms around me like my favorite blanket.  The clouds have cleared. The sun is shining.

For today anyway…

Until the storm shows itself once again.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

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

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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

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…..

b friends

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

 

 

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.

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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