Must act fast .. scroll thru all months to find the $65 flight .. bring one carryon and taxes are included!
Click here .. no joke
Must act fast .. scroll thru all months to find the $65 flight .. bring one carryon and taxes are included!
Click here .. no joke
Today’s scripture was “with God all things are possible” but I wanted to read the full chapter so I could see the context of what this snippet was written about. I’ve noticed that it’s easy to pull half a sentence from the Bible and put it on cards and bracelets and other material items to sell to Christians who want to shine bright that we love Jesus. I’m a frugal person but I’ve sure bought 2 or 3 cross necklaces already… so I find it interesting that the context was referring to selling every material possession and giving to the poor.. houses and everything and then follow Jesus. That’s pretty much how I was living before I started attending church.. I just called my higher power the universe at that time.
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
Yesterday’s scripture was this…
And I kid you not… knowing there would be homeless people in New Orleans, rushing to get dressed because I was late meeting a friend, something spoke to me and said… clean your closet .. you have a closet of clothes that just sit there.. sweaters that could keep people warm.. give them out while you’re out and about. So I grabbed 3 sweaters.. that still fit.. that aren’t old… that I spent good money on and that I even liked.. because I don’t wear them.. it doesn’t get cold here to wear them often enough to have that many sweaters and I have a way to stay warm. I have a home. I have a van with heat. Even though we have nice weather.. the temp drops at night and even at 50 degrees.. while staying still sleeping on a bench .. it’s cold. I didn’t want it to be the focus of our day out.. but if the occasion came up I’d like to have them with me to hand out.. so I packed my day pack and set out.
But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad, for he was one who had great possessions.
One of my sweaters was a really thick warm wool gypsy sweater. I bought it thinking I’d back pack Europe in it. It was too thick to take up that much room. I’ve never worn it but I love it and it cost way more than I usually spend on clothing for myself. I kept it because I didn’t want to admit I’d wasted my money on that impulse buy.
Jesus said to his disciples, “Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into God’s Kingdom.”
This may become my favorite scripture. I know from experience that when I stopped chasing money and material things.. I gained so much happiness and love for life. I started seeing beauty in the smallest things and having so much more time to just be in the moment of that beauty. I see people chasing more money, more stuff, more more more… and I wonder what it’s all for… they really seem to advance.. I’ve never met a single person that chased all that and became a millionaire that didn’t have to work… if anything they work harder to maintain the level they grow accustomed to… and still come out stressing money. It’s a very vicious cycle that spends all of our precious life… causing it to fly by.
Wednesdays scripture talked about what we bind on earth shall be waiting for us in heaven. If we spend all our time chasing money.. we will never feel like we have any to just give away.. or time to sew seeds of love… spending time with people. We don’t even have time to spend with people that we do know and love. Quite crazy really.
When the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” Looking at them, Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
And there we have it.. Jesus was referring to the fact that with God.. we can give away our possessions.. we can reduce ourselves to nothing but time to follow Him.. we strip ourselves of all these other worries because He will take care of us. If you read my frugal blogs.. you’ll see plenty of testimony supporting this. Where I traveled 10 countries and 24 states on a wing and a prayer… just knowing that no matter what.. I would be okay.. shedding the fears that imprisoned me in the symptoms of my ptsd… and here I am .. still surviving.. still clothed… still well fed… too well fed… loved by many and now giving glory to Jesus Christ. I still stress paying my bills to keep my house… if I became a complete nomad I wouldn’t worry about the house.. I’d be completely at the mercy of Him… and carefree. It seems like the disciples did just that… became nomads and followed Jesus…
Then Peter answered, “Behold, we have left everything, and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Most certainly I tell you that you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on the throne of his glory, you also will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Everyone who has left houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive one hundred times, and will inherit eternal life. But many will be last who are first; and first who are last.
The Bible tells us that this is the will of God. Mother Theresa dedicated her life and everything she had to serving Him thru her movement within time help others. To love complete strangers.
As we were driving down canal st to go home.. we stopped at a light where a man in a wheelchair held a sign. We handed him Amber’s last beignet and I frantically pulled the sweaters out the backpack while sitting in the driver’s seat before the light turned green. I handed him the thick wool hoodie and wished him well… I watched as the faces above him sitting in the street car looked down and smiled… and I prayed that they were moved to touch one person before the day was over. That’s all it takes to be the change I want to see in the world. One act at a time.
Jesus.. help me see the way in which I can be a blessing to others today. Lord continue to direct me. Give me the courage to live with the action that supports what I believe your will for me is here on this earth. Thank you for the treasures that I received from giving yesterday.. the fullness in my heart and the desire to do more. Thank you for the confirmation that you moved thru me to do your work. I had no idea it would be 30 degrees this morning. God please be with all those that are homeless thru this winter. Change the hearts of those who pass them and feel resentment because they had to feel guilty for not stopping and helping. Those that shun and look down on them.. or form their assumptions about what led them to be where they are in order to justify why they don’t offer a hand or an ear. For all we know.. they could be homeless because they already shed all of their worldly possessions in order to follow you… God.. thank you for this 21 day plan of reading scripture that is teaching me to love like you. Thank you thank you thank you… for I am finding the real message… not just parts of scripture that sound good or feel good.. but your whole message and desire for me. I love you. Amen.
Matthew 19:21-30 WEB
Luckily for me, I do have family in this country, and my first initial destination was to my Aunt’s house. In some ways, there was comfort in knowing that, and in others there was a different kind of fear. The last time I had seen my aunt was when I was 15. We’d had very limited contact even when we were in touch, and next to none for the last 20 years. My cousins are grown adults, and I knew almost nothing about my Uncle Paul. Being invited to stay with them in Christchurch was financially supportive of my traveling frugal blog, but emotionally, it was a risk that I really didn’t talk much about.
Hattan Hostel has been pretty successful so far, and I’m extremely grateful for all of Jackie’s hard work on site. The bookings in Mississippi have slowed down, I assume because it is winter time, but I did expect some traffic for snowbird season. The weather there is in the 70s.. maybe people aren’t sick of the cold yet. The price point is as low as it could possibly be, so at this point its time to turn it over to my higher power, and know that there is a reason for it to be vacant.
So far England has been amazing. Better than I anticipated. Spending a day in London was something I have done with my dad as a small child, but I don’t remember anything about it. This trip was with my cousin, and her first time sight seeing the city also. We woke up around 5am to catch a bus into Bournemouth from Christchurch. From Bournemouth we took a coach for 2 hours into the City of London, and began our rainy but fun day seeing the sights. I’ll write a specific guide to seeing London on a Dime once I have finished writing this overall update.
Altogether I stayed in the south of England for a week. I got to spend quality time with family, see London, spend a day at Durdle Door .. a BEAUTIFUL landscape of cliffs at the Southern end of England, and become acclimated to the British way of life.
The total out of pocket from NYC to the end of my first week in England, flight cost included is:
Flight – $286
Snacks for traveling – $7.25
England socket converter to charge my electronics – $10
Bus from London to Bournemouth – $22
Wok and Roll lunch – $6
Train fare from Bournemouth to Christchurch – $5
Breakfast before London – $4
Lodging with family was free
Food for the most part was free – we brought lunch and dinner with us to London and to Durdle Door
Return trip to London via coach – $35
Sight seeing hop on hop off bus tour of London – $45 (something I usually wouldn’t pay for, but given the rain, it was well worth the free bus rides to each attraction, and the free River Thames cruise that allowed me to get some amazing photos while having shelter to duck under.. not to mention the dry comedy of the boat guide)
Teatime – $4
Shopping for a scarf and hat – $12
Postcards and stamps – $20
Week 1 – $456 ($170 without the flight)
On August 13th 2016, Louisiana received 7.1 TRILLION gallons of rain in less than 36 hours causing the worst national disaster since Superstorm Sandy. Just to compare, Hurricane Katrina dropped 2.6 Trillion. The unnamed storm flooded 11% of the state, leaving 144,000 homes a ‘complete loss’. The media has failed to cover the magnitude of devastation here in Louisiana where help is still so desperately needed. People are still being found, living in make shift housing… our volunteer group of about 10 rotate days, continuing to send people out into the field in order to meet the needs of so many.. but it is overwhelming, and we certainly need more help.
We first learned of Mrs Diane while posting in a FB group asking where the tent cities were. We learned of 8 communities where people are still living in tents, 8 weeks after the flood… and these are the fortunate ones that have been found, and given an alternate living space than the black mold infested home that still needs gutting. Storme’s Shelters was born when we continuously found human beings living inside of the flooded homes. “We’d tell them they can’t live in these conditions and they’d respond with ‘what choice do I have?’ and we didn’t have an answer, so we created one” says Storme. An Amazon Wishlist of camping supplies was created, initially looking to home people in 3 and 5 man tents, but when returning to check on those rehoused, they’d find the residents back in the homes because the AC still worked, or because they couldn’t crouch under the doorways of small enclosures. The wishlist was revised to accommodate people in 8 and 10 man tents where they could walk around.. a real home outside of their home. Extension cords are ran to the tents providing power for phones, crockpots to cook, air mattresses, and in some lucky cases, real beds.
Mrs Diane was by her neighbors living in a dog kennel with a tarp over it, here she had been for 4 weeks. Shelters had closed down, and bounced her around until the last shelter finally provided her a ride home to a completely condemned mobile home. She did what she had to do while she sat and waited for FEMA. Inside her dog kennel she had put a box spring that she found on the neighbors trash pile, covered it with a few blankets, and called it home. The following video is a compilation of footage from that day. September 29th, 2016.
Video is Copyright by Storme Hannan XOXO 2016.
By the end of the day help had shown up to pitch a ten man tent. People watching the initial facebook live video responded, conspiring together to bring a variety of needs and help raise the tent. People from many volunteer groups. Lousiana Flood Relief, The Cajun Navy, The Cajun Army, #FillTheseTrucks, #BeSomeonesMiracle as well as individuals that just had to come and help.
The help continued on thru the next couple of days when Mrs Thibodeaux went on a hunt for an affordable camper, picked Mrs Diane up, and drove her to Lafayette to look at it and bring it home.
Mrs Diane is one of thousands here in Louisiana who still need help. In the past week we have discovered over 2,000 hungry people displaced in motels, fearing homelessness when their vouchers run out on 10/19/2016. They are sitting waiting for Marshall Law. When we asked them what they needed, they asked for shoes, toothbrushes, water and food. Many people ask me.. “where’s red cross?” “where’s FEMA?” “don’t they get foodstamps?”
If a person doesn’t own their home, they received one deposit of rental assistance. Anywhere from $800-$1800 in some cases. They are thankful for that, but want people to understand.. there isn’t many properties available to rent. They were flooded. They don’t have transportation if they only had liability insurance, so they are homeless with no transportation, one initial allotment of food stamps (7 weeks ago) and jobless because they can’t get to work, or their workplace was also flooded. At this point they are back to having nothing. Lots of people haven’t received any assistance, and are paying out of pocket. The full story on what we are finding at the motels is coming soon. Please join our FB page Storme’s Shelters to get involved. Please consider donating to help us help them! We accept PayPal donations firstname.lastname@example.org or you can use Site To Store on the Walmart Wishlist
Six months sober, and divorced… A few days after my final goodbye to my four year old son, I hit my knees.
the second cocktail of chemo drugs caused a reaction and hair loss
|Pictures from the initial surgery|
A symptom of PTSD is unmanaged dissociation. Everyone does it on some level whether it’s entering auto pilot while driving, and you end up wherever you are going but you don’t remember getting there. That’s the mild side of the unmanaged dissociation spectrum. Extreme sides of the spectrum are cases are dissociative identity disorder or DID (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) where the psyche completely splits into separate identities to perform various roles to the host. There are many stops along the way of that spectrum, and I fall in at about the 60-70 range. If you want to know more on this feel free to ask! The point is, my ability to separate from the feeling of physical pain was so fine tuned that the magnitude of the symptoms weren’t registering. There was a disconnect.
It wasn’t in a foxhole prayer, “God, please save me… ” it was real faith.. It was where I stopped bartering with the “if there’s a God” and started accepting the current moment exactly as it was. I had been working on my third step in AA, “we made a decision to turn our will and our life, over to the care of God as we understood him” and I was almost all in.. The only reservation I had about staying sober was “if I lose my son I’m getting fucked up” and then I’d lost my son, and stayed sober.
Truth be told, I was secretly in love with another recovering alcoholic and I wanted to prove how committed I was to sobriety. She had so many years sober, and I had only months. I thought if I could tackle these monsters of reasons to drink, without drinking, we could bypass the “sober for a year rule”.
I was so scared that while I was resting, the cancer was taking over. No imagined it to be like a black cloud that I’d dispersed with my light of my sun, but crept back over when I wasn’t looking. If I stopped, my body would get weak and I’d lose the fight.. And that just wasn’t an option. Most breakdowns actually served their purpose in bouncing me back for the next round…
I spent many manic nights awake. I began painting. I didn’t want to watch tv, and so I started painting and found that I could paint! I had no idea. I was pretty amazing at it too!!
|Painted from a photo of Chicago that I found online|
What could I sell to generate money? I started painting sand dollars, and furniture, and whatever else came my way. I sat out on Saturdays at the farmers market, hoping to sell a piece. I went to galleries and talked to the managers, showing my portfolio.. I read blogs on how photographers make money with their pictures.. And the majority of the money is in portrait photography.. It wasn’t something I felt I was good enough for, having seen others work. I didn’t have the money for the equipment I really needed, but I took my Panasonic LUMIX camera and did the best I could.. Watching YouTube videos on how to edit portrait pictures. Touch ups etc. I had the eye, I just didn’t have the knowledge, but I learned!
|Adorable little girl and her mother that responded to a FB ad|
I posted questions in fb photography groups, and they came back with all the answers to help me improve. It provided the money to travel some more, but I didn’t care for it enough to pursue it further.
I took on a couple of website gigs, rehashing skills from my earlier years, and hustled flipping a broke down car.
|Changing out the brake calipers – gotta trust the Universe to learn this on YouTube!|
There’s never an easy answer to “how do you afford to travel” I just do whatever the moment presents itself with, and I am always provided for. The Universe takes care of me as long as I allow it to. I never thought I’d be a paid blogger.. $5-$12 a day, but it’s something! Every little something adds up and creates opportunity for more experience, and with more experience comes more opportunity. It’s an amazing circle of life.
Then I want to donate it to everyone fighting a terminal illness, so that they can dissociate into the story and maybe get a little relief from the reality of the pain and treatment that they are going thru. I hope it inspires them to fight, to really see the world, or whatever their bucket list things are, and if that’s no longer an option, I hope I get to help fulfill at least one of them by having this experience to share.
I decide to head for the first tourist attraction on my list, backpack in tow, after-all, I cannot check into my airbnb until 5pm. Who cares tho? $18 a night, how can I complain? Airbnb has really changed my life! Goodbye tents, and hello wifi, electricity, shower, and a real bed!
September 24, 2014 (2 years ago in Miami Beach, Florida USA)
It’s amazing how quickly my comfort zone is expanding. I am no longer afraid or self conscious about saying hello. It started with a passing stranger, a quick “good morning” and a smile. The return smile enhanced my day, the returned shocked “hello” even better. It’s funny how many Americans here are shocked by the pleasantry that is displayed in the South, even here in Miami. Sure, there are upper class people, some of whom look like they are scared to be infected by poverty, just by acknowledging a blue collar person, but for the most part, people are friendly, and will return whatever is projected to them. Yesterday I entered the W hotel to find an ATM machine. I immediately felt out of place with the obvious wealth of the place, and fort knox, security guarded entrance.. the one of a kind cars parked in the front, and various other “toys”. As I walked around, somewhat lost, it was my own self conscious, “less than” thinking that separated me. I eventually had to ask for help locating the cash machine, and was treated quite pleasantly, guided to the machine and wished a healthy day. Another encounter that I discovered a new path to self worth.
In the hostel, I am meeting some amazingly beautiful people from all over the world. Last night I asked Jette and Yana if they’d like to join me in a walk to a little spot i’d found the day before, where the Miami skyline looked quite beautiful. I wanted to see it at night, and take some pictures. Ironically I forgot my camera with all the talk while getting ready.. I forgot all that is involved in getting ready for girly girls. 🙂
I should’ve known when Jette (from Denmark) let me know that she is traveling to celebrate her weight loss, and how beautiful she is, and feels. She is a princess who loves Pink (which i noticed as she picked out every pink travelers guide from the tourist rack). Yana (from Israel) hasn’t claimed to be a princess, but definitely wins the award for the most time spent in the bathroom of the 12 of us.