Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Thursday Tree Love: A Morning Hike in Southern Pines

trees tops above

I’ve been wanting to share the photos from our Christmas morning hike and realized I could do it for Thursday Tree Love  a photo feature hosted by Parul Thakur on 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. Yes, I know I’m at least three holidays behind, but I do love trees. The Christmas hike was important since we were away from home and I needed to be reminded of the constants in my life, my love for nature, and the grand design of a power greater than myself. It was a beautiful morning to walk the easy winding trail through southern pines with David and Doodle.

Dave walking Doodle stretching (2)

 

trail through trees w blue sky

Dave looking up

tree tops above

 

JoAnne smilingin the trees

trees in blue sky

For more on #ThursdayTreeLove visit   at


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Good News Tuesday: Lego Arm, Compromise, Suicide Prevention, and Labs on a Mission

Prosthetic Arms Made from Legos

Lots of media outlets are sharing this story about David Aguilar who used Legos to build himself a series of prosthetic arms when he was a teenager. He tells his story in this video:

 

Compromise is Possible

In hopes of avoiding another government shutdown, US negotiators have reached an “agreement in principle” regarding the issue of the border wall. Whether the US administration will accept this bipartisan deal negotiated by members of congress remains to be seen. But the point is: compromise is possible and, regardless of how I feel about the wall, I want to applaud their efforts.  Here’s the story from Good Morning America.

Golden Gate Bridge with moon

The Guardian of the Bridge

Kevin Briggs has “talked” over 200 people off the ledge of the Golden Gate Bridge in his job with the California Highway Patrol.  What he did most was listen. Click here for the story from CBC Radio.

Labs on a Mission

Two Labrador retrievers race outside and get the attention of a neighbor who helps their mom who had a stroke.

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Got good news? Please share in the comments, or link your post below!


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Lonely Hearts Healed

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Today’s SoCS prompt from Linda is:

“ends with -ly.” Start your post with any adverb (oops) that ends in “-ly.” Bonus points if you end with an adverb too. Have fun!

I choose lonely. It’s not that I choose to be lonely. I’m not lonely anymore. I like to be alone with the dogs, writing and puttering around the house. But I was lonely for a partner, oh, ten or so years ago. Except that I didn’t want a partner who added stress  to my life, so I waited and learned to trust the timing. I’m still learning that with other things in my life and realizing what a gift it is to have this time to work on my parents’ old house while our house gets finished and we get to paint the walls!

I’ve been reading the letters my mother wrote to my father when he was in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba after having served 13 months in Vietnam. Her letters are very enlightening and sometimes uncomfortable since they are personal. She writes about how lonely she is and how much she misses him and how she (and us girls) can’t take more separations. I’m learning about how she would find me up reading at 2 am on a school night and how my sister and I were, “sassy.” We were 10 and 12. I was a big tomboy 12 year old. I know now that most 12 year old girls are sassy.  Sorry mom.

My mom was sick a lot and so was my little sister. Mom writes about a cough that won’t go away. I’ve gotten through January and part of February 1968, and she’s still coughing to the point of exhaustion. I resented my mother being sick so much with migraines and nervous break downs when dad was in Vietnam and I was 11. These letters are giving me more compassion as I read her inner struggles of taking care of a home and two sassy girls and missing her man. It also dawned on me that the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune/Tarawa Terrace probably didn’t help her get well. There’s a big thing about that now, but I’ve read many claims have been denied. My parent’s died of “natural causes” in their eighties, but I bet that water contributed to some health problems even if it didn’t kill us.

Dad used to talk to me in his later years about Vietnam and GTMO. Awful stuff. Horrible stuff that gave him nightmares for the rest of his life. After Vietnam, he came home for three months, and then they sent him to GTMO for five months. He told me he drank a lot while in Cuba. He had PTSD before they called it that. A chaplain helped him. I wish I knew his name and could thank him if he’s still alive. Thank you anyway, Chaplain who served at GTMO and helped my dad. I think he needed this time in Cuba maybe to begin to process Vietnam – a job that would never be finished. It was so hard on my mom and him. The separations put a lot of pressure on their marriage.  ( I didn’t know this until I started reading mom’s letters.)

And yet they made it through. Their deep love and their strong faith helped them through the maze and mess of PTSD and all the other challenges life threw at them. I did know that they were very much in love. They were married for over 50 years and still got smoochy sometimes. Dad used to sing to mom, “I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”

Love and faith and time overcome loneliness. When we are lonely, God loves us no matter what. And dogs too. 😉  I’m reminded of one of my favorite poems from Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese.”

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination….”      Mary Oliver

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

I’ve probably shared the lonely people song at least a couple of times before on this blog, but it means a lot to me, so here it is again with different pictures.

 

 

 

 

PS: I now realize that I didn’t follow the prompt corrrectly since Linda asked for an adverb and lonely is an adjective.  Letting it be is my goal here. This is progress for a recovering rule follower/people pleaser.

To learn more or join in the stream,  visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-9-19/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


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Good News Tuesday: Warm Rooms, Free MH Crisis Clinic, A Law for Animals, and Solar Batteries

A Warm Place in Chicago

Volunteer, Candice Payne used her personal credit card to get hotel rooms for homeless people during a record-setting freeze in Chicago. Then, other volunteers joined in and followed her lead.

 

 

Nashville Opens Free 24 Hour Mental Health Clinic

Designed to streamline assessments of mental health patients in crisis, this clinic is open to the public who can come in any time. You can read the Nashville Public Radio post or watch the video below of the grand opening.

Having worked in the mental health and crisis fields, I know how important it is for people in crisis to have easier access to services. The Nashville program sounds to be compassionate and well thought out.  If you don’t have time to watch the whole video, at least listen to the first few minutes.

 

 

Dog behind fence from pixabay

Lawmakers Aim to make Animal Abuse a Felony in US

Representatives Ted Deutch and Vern Buchanan — a democrat and a republican, respectively — are introducing the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act  a new bill that will make animal cruelty a felony in the United States. Let’s hope it passes. Click here for details in Green Matters.

 

sun softness

Solar Batteries on the Way

A research group in Sweden has developed a storage system that uses a special molecule in liquid form to store solar power.  They hope the system will be available for commercial use within the next ten years. Here’s how it works:

“First, the liquid captures energy from sunlight in a solar thermal collector on the roof of a building. Then it is stored at room temperature, leading to minimal energy losses. When the energy is needed, it can be drawn through the catalyst so that the liquid heats up. The warmth could then be utilized in, for example, domestic heating systems, after which the liquid can be sent back up to the roof to collect more energy – all completely free of emissions, and without damaging the molecule.”

(source below)

Click here for the article from The Good News Network.

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Bringing balance one Tuesday at a time

Got good news? Please share!


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Words of Affirmation

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Affirm. That’s today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt. It’s a good one – that I can affirm. In my counseling career, I was big on affirmations, partly because they felt good to me, but also because I heard so many people putting themselves or others down. The brain makes pathways that are easier to go down the more we go down them, or up them. Negative thoughts repeated enough become ruts hard to get out of. But we CAN get out of them. We can train our brains and our mouths to state positives affirmatively. Whatever we practice, we get better at.

I had a boyfriend a bunch of years ago who said if you give too many affirmations, kids will come to depend on them. I suppose that’s possible since the name of this blog is “Anything is Possible,” I have to affirm that possibility. However, most people don’t get enough affirmation. Most people I know, and certainly myself included, tend to criticize ourselves enough that we need affirmations for balance. It’s like the news, but don’t get me started on the media. To affirm, they are trying to do better and have more good news in some special places.

“Words of affirmation” is one of  The Five Love Languages. It’s one of my favorite. Is it my primary love language? I don’t know. I don’t usually or consciously think of “acts of service” as a way to express love, though I do appreciate it when my husband helps with the housework. I like doing things together as a team. I think that’s “quality time,” another love language. What’s left? “Physical touch” is a good one, especially caresses. I think there must be dialects within each love language. There are probably more than five anyway.  The last one is giving or receiving gifts. If we’re talking about material gifts, this is the least important one to me. But if someone wanted to give me a gift that is material, DARK chocolate would be okay. I can always use some dark chocolate.

It’s been a while since I looked in the mirror and said, “I love you.” I got past the awkwardness of doing that years ago, but I’m out of practice. Here are some I might try:

You are doing a good job on the house.

You will get back to your art and painting.

You can stretch every day. You DO stretch every day!

You deserve to take good care of yourself.

You are worthy of good, healthy love.

You are deeply and profoundly loved by your Creator.

A lot of affirmations start with “I.” “I can…” “I am…”, but if you’re doing the mirror thing, it can be I or you.

I’m in good shape for 63. Maybe that’s not PC, but it helps me, because my weight is up from age 25 or 35 and my muscle tone is down. That’s a fact. But it’s okay. I’m more aware of so many things. Like they say in That 70s Show, “We’re all alright! We’re all okay!” Hello (whoever!)

Oh. It goes, we’re all Aright! We’re all Alright! Well, that’s okay. Here it is from my stream of consciousness to you.

 

The Stream of Consciousness Saturday post is brought to you by our way more than alright host, Linda Hill. You can find her and more information about SoCS at the link below:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/01/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-2-19/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


26 Comments

I Don’t Usually Do This, But….

I’m making an exception on this Pass it Along Getting to Know You questionnaire, because

  1. I only have to tag two people (I don’t want to impose) and
  2. The  questions are interesting
  3. There are only 7 questions

When M. Oniker tagged me, I first thought I’d decline as usual. But after reading her answers and thinking of some of my own, I started to reconsider. If you’ve tagged me on this same questionnaire already, I apologize. I still don’t do awards or anything where you’re supposed to tag a bunch of people, or if I just feel overwhelmed…. Why do I feel like I have to explain? Anyway here goes!

1. Name a moment in your life when you felt you were most courageous.

There were many moments of courage in the 30 something years I worked as a substance abuse counselor. It’s amazing to me now that I even did that job for so long, especially since I’ve retired and my inner introvert has come out of the closet. I don’t recall one specific moment, but I often had to assert my truth and confront the voice of addiction coming from clients who were angry and rude because deep down they hurt like hell. Sometimes I faced the monster with gentleness. Other times, I had to be firm and practice boundary setting. But I could not run and hide. I must’ve gotten better with practice, but it was never easy. Thank God for the moments of rejoicing and the privilege of witnessing recovery.  It took courage to leave that job, to say, enough, to the growing bureaucracy and red tape and trust that I’d be taken care of – just like it took courage ten years earlier to say enough after the post-divorce rebounds and trust that God had a plan for my life.

2. If you had to choose only one breakfast cereal for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

Oh good. Now we get a light and easy question. Every morning, I eat oatmeal with apples, bananas and walnuts (plus pomegranate, blueberries or peaches when in season) The every morning part might sound boring, but it’s really good and my husband makes breakfast, so I’m okay sticking with that. Occasionally we go to IHOP for dinner and order pancakes and omelettes.

3. When have you felt the most scared?

I’m sure it was when one of my kids was in trouble, like when the police called about my son when he was 15 or when my daughter was going through something scary. Nothing grabs hold of my heart like when one of my kids (or dogs) is in trouble. It was worse when they were young. I’ll never forget that feeling of being in a public place and losing sight of my child even for a few seconds. They’re grown now, but I still get a gut/heart blip  when they’re going through something hard.

4. If you could sing like any musical artist, who would you choose?

I love to sing, especially when I can experiment with harmonies. Not to brag, but I used to have a good range. Now it takes more work to keep the old vocal chords in shape. The high notes are harder to reach these days. I love listening to Celtic music and wonder if I could’ve been a Celtic Woman. But other paths called. When I read this question, Sarah McLachlan came to mind.  I also like Pink. And then there’s Loreena Mckennitt. Take your pick!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Do you collect anything?

Yes. Too many things, so I’m de-cluttering. The things I collect that give me joy are snow globes. Plus, I’ve inherited my mother’s angel collection and will keep many of them. Oh, and blue and amber glass bottles. But that’s it. And rabbits. And candles for hurricanes. That’s it.

angels

6. If you could live inside a TV show or movie, what would it be?

If you’ve been reading my posts lately, you might think I’m going to say Star Trek. If it was the 60s, I would definitely say that cause of my old crush, Mr. Spock. But now I know I get motion sickness too easily, and beaming any where would probably make me faint. Plus I love old mother earth, so I’m going to go with Northern Exposure – as long as I can fly south for the winter after I’ve seen the Northern Lights. There’s something about that quirky little town and being close to nature. But I have a feeling I’d get tired of it about mid-winter.  This video gives the best overview of the show, though I wish Ed and Marilyn could have made it.

 

 

7. Have you ever had a reoccurring dream? If so, what was it?

Water has been the most common element in dreams I remember. In my twenties, I had a lot of dreams about tidal waves – trying to get out of the way, and OMG Where did we park the car? Then there were the dreams about going over steep, high bridges. Later things calmed down, and I dreamed about water covering the path ahead of me. My favorite water dreams are about stepping out in faith as a stepping stone rises to meet my foot and the dreams where I was able to breathe under water. I love to swim, so those were the best. I could stay under water as long a I wanted to. But I’ll never forget the dream where I was flying low and fast over the marshy intra-coastal canals just inches from the sparkling water.

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There. I did it. That’s all the questions. The hardest part is tagging two people. There is absolutely no obligation of course.

Joey at https://jolenemottern.com/ does these things sometimes, so maybe I could tag her. Joey has some hilarious real life posts. I like how she makes up her own version of words that flow naturally.

Then there’s Laura from https://riddlefromthemiddle.com/  where you’ll find a diverse range of topics like social justice, family, and lots of fun stuff.

Anyone who wants to answer these questions, consider yourself tagged and feel free to link your post in the comments!