Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Thursday Tree Love: A Bowl and a Bend

I can only begin to imagine what might have given this tree such an unusual shape with a bowl at the bottom and a slender trunk bent back into an arch, yet still growing leaves. We discovered this unique individual on my daughter’s May birthday hike through a nature preserve in southeatern North Carolina. I do not know what kind of tree it is, perhaps some kind of laurel, but I do know that it is a survivor. Here are some close ups:

The Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve contains a variety of habitats and diverse terrain:

~~~

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the secon and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-115/


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Good News Tuesday for Sept. 21, 2021 ~ Happy Peace Day! : Lawn Chairs for Peace, Restoring Coral, Italy’s Old Homes, and A Good Sign in the Hosptial Parking Lot

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution. To learn more about peace day, visit: https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-peace.

Lawn Chairs for Peace

In Minneapolis, Minnesota , community and church folks are helping decrease violence by “seating themselves in lawn chairs on street corners in the most dangerous neighborhoods, and acting as “violence interrupters.” Police statistics show it’s working! Here’s more from the Good News Network.

Restoring Coral

Hoi Ha Wan, near Hong Kong, is now a protected coastal reserve. Past coral mining left nothing for coral to grow on and made restoration unlikely until a team working with Hong Kong university’s architecture department developed an artificial reef using a 3D printing facility. The reef is made from clay tiles. Learn more and watch an interesting video from CNN here.

Old Homes in Italy are Selling for One Euro

Towns in Italy are are selling abandoned old homes for one euro with the agreement for restoration. Read more about this innovative program at the Good News Network.

A Good Sign

Every day Donna was in the hospital for covid with no visitors allowed, her husband Gary stood outside her window with an I ❤ you sign. Donna is back home now and doing okay.

I’m following a story about firefighters working to save the oldest tree in ? California. Hopefully I’ll have good news on that soon. In the meantime, THANK YOU to all the firefighters, first responders, teachers, nurses, doctors, and medical workers doing their best to save lives all over the world.

Got Good News?

Feel free to share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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SoCS: Puzzle Pieces and Loving the Unvaccinated

Today’s Friday excellent prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is…… “puzzle.” Use it any way you’d like!

Puzzles are a big part of life. Big puzzles and little puzzles. Hard puzzles that take years and years to figure out, like, Is there a life partner out there for me, and where the hell is he? What’s taking so long? Oh, I need to work on me first. Finally figured that out. Now it makes sense. Self love and spirituality were pieces of the puzzle. And it wasn’t all about me.

There are easy puzzles, too, like what to have for dinner. What should go in the soup? Some things don’t fit, but must do if you’re willing to be adventurous. And then there are all those in between puzzles.

People could be like puzzle pieces. We need lots of different pieces. The best puzzles are diverse, with lots of different colors. Some of us are on the edges, some in the middle, and there are cornerstones. With buildings, cornerstones are important. And there’s more than one. Maybe even more than four. I don’t know.

What happens when we are missing pieces to our puzzles of life? We wait. We search, or we accept. Maybe we could even make our own piece of the puzzle. Like cut it out of cardboard and color it just right to fit. Maybe it will work. Then maybe we find the other piece. Or not. It’s okay.

It’s puzzling that some people refuse to get vaccinated and refuse or resist wearing masks. Some of them are my family members who I love dearly, and so I worry about them. I can’t just write them off. When I work to try to understand their reasons for not being vaccinated or wearing masks, there is more than one reason. But when I really listen, deep down it is about fear. Misguided, irrational, and confused, in my opinion, but still fear, not selfishness. I don’t know the answer, and I don’t know if I can change their minds. Still, I let them know about my friend who died from Covid and my friend’s son who died from covid last week at the age of 36. Neither were vaccinated. Still, I love them, my unvaccinated loved ones, with a little more distance, but just as much love as ever.

Here are a few photos from my grand daughter’s 10th birthday party. It was all about unicorns!

For more on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit our host, Linda Hill, at :


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Good News Tuesday for Sept. 14, 2021: College for 9/11 Children, Education Reforms in China, Mexico Bans Cosmetic Testing on Animals, A Boy and his Dog, and a Special Chandelier

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Bank Pays Tuition for Children of 9/11

In the aftermath of 9/11/01, the banking firm of Sandler O’Neill that was on the 104th floor in the World Trade Center started a foundation to pay the college tutition for the children of employees who died in the attack. So far, 54 young men and women have had their college tuition paid, with 22 still eligible. The ones who’ve attended or are attending college have gone to many different schools “from Stanford to Notre Dame to community colleges and technical institutes.” The Good News Network has details.

China’s Educational Reforms Aim to Reduce Unhealthy Pressure

China’s Ministry of Education’s published sweeping reforms on Monday such as banning end-of-year exams for 6 and 7 year old children.  It is hoped that the reforms will close educational and finanacial gaps between schools which have led to social distortions and financial burdens for parents. This article includes insights from a reporter who worked in the Chinese private tutoring industry.

Mexico Bans Cosmetic Testing on Animals

Mexico had become the first North American country, and the 41st country worldwide, to ban consmetic testing on animals. Here’s more from Tree Hugger.

13 Year Old Boy Saves Sisters from House Fire (and the Dog Saves the Boy)

When his parents were at the grocery store, Briar saw that the house had caught on fire. He got his four sisters outside to safety, then Mandy, the family dog, led Briar out. Here’s the video:

Nurse Creates Beautiful Chandelier from Vaccine Vials

After working for seven months as part of a Covid vaccinating team, retired nurse Laura Weiss repurposed 300 vaccine vials into a beautiful chandelier. See the best photos of her creation, “Light of Appreciation” in this article from NPR. Here’s a preview:

Got Good News?

Please share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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SoCS: Birthday Plans, Strange Clouds, and Rainbows

Today’s SoCS prompt from Linda Hill is, “where.” Use it any way you’d like!

Where am I?

In the mountains of NC, but not exactly, because I’m in the city/town of Boone which is in a valley, so I can see the mountains. We are here for my granddaughter’s 10th birthday which was yesterday and my son’s birthday is today. Yep. His birthday is on 9/11. It was his birthday 36 years ago, when 9/11 was just 9/11 and his birthday. So we are having a party at the park this afternoon, mostly for my granddaughter who is 10 years old! Oh, I said that already. But it’s double digits! She’s still into sparkles, rainbows, and unicorns.

Thanks to my husband David driving us here, I got to take pictures of clouds. What do you see in the sky today? What do you see in these pictures? It’s open to interpreation. I hope all you see in the sky today is clouds, birds, butterflies, and maybe a rainbow. Oh, and the sun, but don’t look at it directly or too long.

This is an older photo that I just like.

I spend my fair share of time reading the news and remembering, analyzing, and certainly in gratitude. Sometimes we just need to look at the clouds. I hope you get to be somewhere nice, peaceful, and safe today.

~~~

Where do you go for more streams of consciousness and to find out the rules?

You go to Linda’s blog!


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Thursday Tree Love: A Poem and a Willow

WHEN I AM AMONG THE TREES
by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

I love weeping willows and looked for at least a year for one to accompany Mary Oliver’s poem that mentions them. What a surprise when I noticed this one hiding in plain sight behind my pharmacy which is located on a busy street. The willow, along with a water loving cypress, seem to be part of a small retention pond and drainage system created behind the pharmacy. There’s an auto repair business to the right, so this system probably filters a lot of city waste.

It looks like somebody’s mowed the grass recently near the cypress.
I wonder if the cage like structure could be a trash collecting device.
One day, I’ll investigate further.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and forth Thursday of each month. For more tree love visit Paurl at the link below:


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Good News Tuesday for Sept. 7, 2021: Solar Apartments, Tree House for Rent, Living Donor Liver Transplant, Silver Medal Donation, and Underwater Sculptures

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Solar Powered Apartments

St. Peter Residential, the first net-zero emission apartment complex in Louisian, has kept the lights on (and more) after Hurricane Ida with solar power. The Good News Network has more about this exceptional and inclusive community.

Boy Rents Out Tree House to Help Support Mom and Others

Nine year old Eli Sylvester has put the tree house he built on Airbnb. He splits the profits 50 -50 with his mother Rachel to hlep with her medical expenses from a traumatic brain injury. Eli also plans to use some of the profits to help feed children this Thanksgiving. Here’s more of the story

Daughter Donated Part of Her Liver to Dad

In 2018, Mike Maudal was told he would need a liver transplant to survive non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) an aggressive liver disease. While waiting for a donor, his condition deterioriated steadily. Then his daughter Molly found out she could give her dad part of her liver. The living donor liver transplant happend last year. Reading this interesting article from Good Monring America, I learned that the partial livers regrow and restore normal liver function in both the donor and the recipient.

Making the Most of Her Silver Medal

Polish javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk auctioned off her silver medal to pay for an infant’s heart surgery. A Polish supermarket won the auction and told her she could keep the medal.

Underwater Sculptures Stop Illegal Trawling

Sustainable fisherman Paolo Fanciulli has placed 39 large sculptures on the ocean floor off Tuscany’s Maremma Regional Park to stop illegal trawling from decimating the fragile ecosystem. Read how it works here, and catch a glipse of the scuptures below.

Got Good News?

Please share your good news or link in the comments!


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SoCS: Pins, Buttons, and What NOT to Drink

 Here’s today’s prompt: “pin.” Use it as a noun, use it as a verb, use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

Remember bobby pins? My mom had a lot. There might even be one around here. They were for your hair, like mini barrets. She would put her hair up in little pincurls and sleep in them overnight with an x of double bobby pins in each curl. Better than those big plastic curlers in the days before curling irons or whatever people are using these days.

Straight pins could be (and still are) useful for sewing a hem or keeping two pieces of fabric lined up while you sew them together with a needle.

Pintrest is so full of everything. I don’t keep up with my account. There are only so many hours in a day and so many other things to do.

I don’t wear many pins. My mom had a lot. I pinned her angel pin to the lapel of my black blazer which I used to wear a lot but have not worn in a long time. Maybe I’ll wear it this Christmas.

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? I guess it depends on the size of the angels, and several other factors that have something to do with divine magic.

There are also pins that I have called buttons – campaign buttons, cause buttons, save the whales buttons – but they are really pins, because they have pins and you can wear them on your shirt or purse, or whatever. I had a big collection once. Now it’s smaller and kept in a glass container in the kitchen. Why in the kitchen? I have no idea. One button/pin says, “Get stoned. Drink wet cement.” When I was a substance abuse counselor, one of my clients gave that to me. It was funny. And weird. (Do NOT drink wet cement!)

Now I’m going to my pictures and type in “pin” and see where that leads.

For more streams of consciousness, rules and stuff, visit our host, Linda Hill at her blog here.


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Get the Damn Shot

This came from the Facebook post of my friend and former supervisor.

On an even more sobering note, my friend Wayne who was in ICU, died on Monday. I am still having trouble believing it. He was ten years younger than me. After years of addiction, Wayne worked hard on recovery then went back to school and got his masters degree in psychology. He led by example and from his heart to help countless numbers of people on the journey from addiction to recovery. During his final weeks in ICU, Wayne posted that his health care team was begging him to tell people to get vaccinated. The vaccine might have saved his life. He leaves behind a loving, grieving family and a huge recovery community who will always remember him.

Rest in peace, Wayne. Enjoy those heavenly beaches!

One Liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda Hill. For more one-liners and guidelines visit Linda’s blog:


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Good News Tuesday for August 31, 2021: Teachers Make a Difference, Airbnb Helping Refugees, Rescued from the Bayou, and an Edible Coffee Cup

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Teachers Make a Difference

I’ve been thinking a lot about teachers as in person school starts back in the US. Teachers have a lot to deal with. Today, I’m highlighting two examples (there are many) of teachers doing good work.

Erin Castillo became famous two years ago with her mental health check in chart for students. This year, she’s added an Affirmation Station where students can recognized other students strengths and good works. Erin also encouarages teachers to set a good example by taking care of themselves and showing kids that it’s okay to take a breath and ask for help. You can read more about Erin Castillo in this article from Good Morning America.

Kristen Driemeier and Heather Steighorst, two fourth grade teachers from Missouri, have implemented a simple but great idea for students who might be struggling. They sent a note home encouraging parents to text them, “Handle with Care.” This story also comes from Good Morning America. Thanks GMA for recongizing teachers.

Thank you to all teachers everywhere.

Airbnb to Provide Temporary Housing to Afghan Refugees

Airbnb says it will provide housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees for free.  The housing will be funded through contributions to Airbnb.org and CEO Brian Chesky. Here’s more from NPR.

Rescued from the Bayou

Bryson Byrd of New Orleans was out on a food run when he saw a crowd of people looking at the water. It turns out an elderly man had driven his truck into the bayou. Bryson jumped in and pulled the man out of the water. Here’s more of the story from nola.com/news.

Edible Coffee Cup

A Scottish company called BioBite, makes an edible coffee cupt. It’s a 100-calorie vegan biscuit made with wafer and will stay leak-proof for 12 hours and crunchy for a full 45 minutes. I think they’d be great for smoothies, too. Here’s more from the Good News Network and a short video.

Got good news?

Please share your good news stories and links in the comments!