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.

single6

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

 

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Some Not So Interesting Facts about Tax Time

 

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Benjamin Franklin

ben franklin

 

Every year about this time we have to mentally prepare ourselves for tax season.  For some, a refund is in your future; for others, a chunk of change is doled out to the dreaded IRS.

tax checklist

This got me thinking, when did this yearly chore begin, and why?

 

So I went to IRS.gov and researched a little history about this annual affair.  Maybe with these tidbits of information, April 15th won’t be such a stressful event.

1862

A brief history

The roots of IRS go back to the Civil War when President Lincoln and Congress, in 1862, created the position of commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted an income tax to pay war expenses. The income tax was repealed 10 years later. Congress revived the income tax in 1894, but the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional the following year.

16th amend

16th Amendment

In 1913, Wyoming ratified the 16th Amendment, providing the three-quarter majority of states necessary to amend the Constitution. The 16th Amendment gave Congress the authority to enact an income tax. That same year, the first Form 1040 appeared after Congress levied a 1 percent tax on net personal incomes above $3,000 with a 6 percent surtax on incomes of more than $500,000.

In 1918, during World War I, the top rate of the income tax rose to 77 percent to help finance the war effort. It dropped sharply in the post-war years, down to 24 percent in 1929, and rose again during the Depression. During World War II, Congress introduced payroll withholding and quarterly tax payments.

IRS

Today

The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 prompted the most comprehensive reorganization and modernization of IRS in nearly half a century. The IRS reorganized itself to closely resemble the private sector model of organizing around customers with similar needs.

tax prep

Well, there you have it in a nutshell.  Income taxes are still a stress factor in our lives, but to be an upstanding citizen (and not go to jail) we must do our part to participate in this event.  And maybe this was interesting to the history buffs and Tax Preparers’ out there.

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

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

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

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

Finding Me (Again)

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

Thomas A. Edison

find me 1

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.

find me 2
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”.

find me 3
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.

find me 4
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.

find me 5
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.

find me 6
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!

find me 7
Giving back to the universe, because after all, that is when the magic happens.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane