Frodo Loses a Finger, And Saves the World

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I’d rather not think about Frodo getting his finger bitten off by Gollum at the end of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s one of those things you’d rather not think about, but you can’t really forget it once it’s recalled.

The Lord of the Rings series is one of my favorites. It certainly fits with the “Anything is Possible” theme.

After all those trials – mountain climbing, orcs, giant spiders – Frodo gets his finger bitten off (so Gollum can get the ring) but he keeps going and even reaches up for his buddy Sam’s hand to be saved from falling off the cliff. And, in spite of Frodo’s hand and wrist being slippery with all that blood, Sam – good, decent, loyal Sam – is able to pull Frodo up to safety. But they have to run fast, because the whole place is falling apart!  And they do all this on a few crumbs of bread. You almost never see them eat, and Gollum threw their food over the cliff. I can’t imagine doing all that with my blood sugar issues. I suppose adrenaline would help.

It just goes to show you, anything is possible when the stakes are high and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

I’ll try to think about this next time I go to the gym. Or next time I don’t feel like going to the gym. Whenever I watch an exciting adventure movie, I always want to move, run, and jump afterward.

 

 

And let’s not forget the happy parts! Here’s a much prettier scene:

 

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: “finger.”

If you’d like to join in the Saturday Stream of Consciousness, visit Linda Hill’s blog:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 6/16

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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 simply a single word to get your 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.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! 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 right 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!

Placebo Effect (or More Fiber?)

granola-787997_960_720.jpg from pixabay

I’ve had annoying, but relatively mild, pain on the right side of my abdomen for the past four days. The four days part is unusual, because I’m used to my body working through things faster than that.

So, yesterday, I finally scheduled an appointment at my doctor’s office for this afternoon. Wouldn’t you know that I’m starting to feel better now. Does that ever happen to you? You schedule a doctor appointment, then  get better before the appointment. Maybe it’s the fiber I’ve added to my diet. But this NPR story, about the how the mind influences the body, makes me wonder if there is some kind of placebo effect going on.

The article is full of interesting explanations about the placebo effect, how distraction can help us cope with pain, and the power of mindfulness meditation. I knew a lot of this stuff, but it helps to be reminded. I’ve been telling my clients, “What we practice, we get better at.” So, I really like the example, at the end of the article, about how practicing the violin for 8 hours a day is going to make a person better at playing the violin. (I’m trying not to think about potential neck pain. Quick, move on to something else! Like beautiful violin music!)

If we’ve practiced worrying enough to get good at worrying, it’s going to take some times to  strengthen the hopefulness (or mindfulness) pathways in the brain, so that we get better at hopefulness, positive thinking and enjoying the present moment.

I’m definitely feeling better – not 100%, but better. I’ll probably keep my appointment, because I’ve blocked out the time, and I like my PA. I bet she tells me to eat more fiber.

Now, back to that beautiful violin music:

The Souls of Animals

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Today’s stream of consciousness Saturday prompt is “-an.” I appreciate that Linda lets us use it however we want. I had to look back at it a couple times to make sure it was just “-an,” And nothing else.

The first thing that popped into my mind was – animals. That’s probably because I’ve loved animals for as long as I can remember. Another thing I remembered, in relation to animals, is that guy in my English class in 12th grade, saying, “Animals don’t have souls.”

I was rather shy in high school, subdued verbally, but I sure did think a lot. And I’ve always had a good imagination. I imagined all kinds of things to say or do to that guy who so blatantly said that animals don’t have souls, like he knows, or knew.

What is the soul? And  where does the word “animal” come from? How does it relate to the word animate? So many questions in this stream of consciousness.

Animate means alive. We are all alive, to varying degrees. We are members of the animal kingdom. Do some people have stronger souls than others? We talk about “old souls,” perhaps having depth and wisdom.

When you look into an old dog’s eyes, or when I look into an old dog’s eyes, I see depth and love and wisdom that is different from our own human type of wisdom. One of the dogs my husband brought to live with us is now 15 years old. She is probably the most animated dog I’ve ever known. Even though her hind legs are not working very well, so she falls down a lot, she is still full of life. She still tries to prance around at dinner time, and when she wants something, she will look at us and bark like we should know what she’s talking about. She has started barking at my husband in the evenings when he’s on the computer and it’s time for her nightly cuddling on the couch.

When you look into an old dog’s eyes, or a horse’s eyes, or a cat’s eyes, or a whale’s eyes (don’t I wish), if you know what to look for, you will see their soul.

Beep

Waiting by Ayla

The photos of our old girl,”Beep,” are by Ayla Likens

If you’d like to join in the Saturday Stream of Consciousness, visit Linda Hill at:

http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/29/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-jan-3016/

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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 simply a single word to get your 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.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! 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 right 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!

Tree-Hugger’s Confession

tree roots closer

First, the confession, inspired by Natalie Scarberry’s enchanting post on trees.

The fact that I am a tree-hugger, is not the confession. That’s something I’m proud of. The dilemma is what to do about the trees growing too close to the house. I waited several months for a hard freeze, hoping that maybe the trees would be sleeping and dormant, before removing several young trees growing right next to my father’s house. My husband couldn’t do it for me, because he was recovering from hernia surgery. My father is 84, and I wouldn’t want him to do it with his health challenges. We borrowed a tree-puller, an amazingly powerful, yet simple tool. Still some of the oak roots were deep and required considerable digging, clipping, and pulling.

It was dark by the time I finished the job. Even though the temperature had dipped below 40 degrees, I’d worked up  quite a sweat. Yet, the job was harder for me emotionally than it was physically, because I love trees. It was like those jobs I learned to set my jaw at back when I was single and had to do the hard things myself- or thought I did anyway.

I chopped up most of the saplings and seedlings, hoping they wouldn’t suffer so long that way. I decided to save the smallest sapling, a four foot pine, and two seedlings by wrapping them in a plastic bag and driving them home. They are doing okay in my kitchen, in a bucket of potting soil, until I plant them in my backyard – maybe Saturday if the weather feels right.

Along with the sapling, I’m collecting homeless poinsettias.

My church always has a lot of poinsettias leftover from Christmas Eve. Even after people have taken home the plants they want, there are usually 10 to 20 left unclaimed.

I worry that many poinsettias just get thrown in the trash after Christmas. The very least we can do is compost them. I’d heard poinsettias were poisonous, but have learned they’re not as toxic as I thought, according to this Mayo Clinic article.

Of the 15 or so poinsettias left behind at church, I brought the four worst looking plants home to compost, unless I can hold out until warm weather and plant them in the back yard. At least that way they have a chance. I left several other poinsettias (the ones with leaves still attached) at church with the plan to plant some in the church yard when winter is done.

Normally, outdoor poinsettias do not survive the winter here in the Carolinas, but anything is possible. One spring, I noticed something bright red along the fence in my backyard. I had no idea what it could be. When I got closer, I realized it was a poinsettia I had planted the previous spring and forgotten about. That winter must have been a mild one, or the poinsettia was a tough one.

Maybe I’ll pot one or two poinsettias and keep them inside, like the three year old below. I’d heard that if you keep an older poinsettia in the dark for about a month it will turn red. I put the one in the photo in our church utility closet for about two weeks in November. When I brought it out, tiny new leaves were light red. All the new growth since then has been a pinkish-red. Like magic!

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This three year old poinsettia bloomed red leaves when it came out of the closet.

I wonder if we will be able to use any of last year’s poinsettias for Christmas Eve of 2016!

 

 

 

Oddities

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Is it odd that people who seem to be, or are just labeled odd, odd balls, odd birds, as in “She’s an odd bird,” often turn out to be accomplished at interesting things? They don’t just turn out to be, often they are interesting.

Wasn’t it Einstein who didn’t speak until a relatively ;) late age. It seems like I remember he didn’t learn to tie his shoes until he was older than most kids who learn to tie their shoes. He was busy with other things!

It reminds me of that quote about misfits, the crazy ones, the ones who think differently. I wonder if it will interrupt my stream of consciousness if I hunt for that. Well, I’ll just  put that at the end.

Both of my kids are odd. I might have mentioned that before. Outside the box is what I sometimes call them. In an earlier, earthier culture, say hundreds of years ago, my son would probably be a shaman, or something like that. They are creative types, extra-ordinary. Did they get that from me?

On the surface, I do not seem all that odd. But if you could read my mind…. But maybe that’s true of many of us. Especially us writers.

I’ll tell you a couple of odd things about me. I’ve never lived in a house with an automatic dishwasher. I don’t even want one.  And I’ve never used an ATM, though I did get my husband to do it for me once. It didn’t look that hard, but I just don’t like the though of it. I don’t even like to make financial transactions on line and try to avoid that when possible.

Care to share anything odd about you?

As I was thinking of a title for this post, I thought of the word, oddity. Now I wish I’d written about David Bowie and his song, “Space Oddity,” which I’ve always liked. So here it is:

I also liked the movie Labyrinth, which he stared in. I saw an article in which David Bowie was criticized by one of those old evangelical people who give Christians a bad name and who said all kinds of really stupid things about him. But here’s an article about Bowie kneeling and saying the Lord’s Prayer:

https://pjmedia.com/faith/2016/1/14/why-david-bowie-knelt-and-said-the-lords-prayer-at-wembley-stadium/

And here’s that video about the misfits, or rather, the crazy ones, from a speech by Steve Jobs :

If you’re crazy enough to want to join in the fun of the Saturday Stream of Consciousness post (and I mean crazy in a good way) visit Linda Hill’s blog at the link below:

http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-jan-2316/

Oh, yeah. Today’s SOC prompt was: “odd/even”

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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 simply a single word to get your 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.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! 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 right 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!