Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday for Dec. 1, 2020: Alternative Arthritis Treatment, Free Moves to Safety, Indigenous Owned Solar Farm, and a High School Grocery Store

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

New Treatment for Arthritis

A study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America presented a significant reduction in pain for patients with moderate to severe arthritis. The procedure involves “a low-grade current known as radiofrequency that ‘stuns’ (the specific nerve site) slowing the transmission of pain to the brain.” This article from the Good News Network gives a good overview.

Free Moves for Victims of Domestic Violence Leaving Unsafe Homes

College Hunks Hauling Junk recently announced the company will move domestic violence victims referred by agencies at no cost. You can read more about this awesome company and how they were inspired by another moving company in this article from GNN.

Indigenous Owned Solar Farm Opens in Alberta Canada

“Canada’s largest indigenous-owned solar farm has just been opened in the Northern Alberta community of Fort Chipewyan.” Here’s the story from GNN

Grocery Store in a Texas High School

A high school in Texas turned an extra classroom into a grocery store. The store does not accept cash. Instead, students earn points for positive work done in the community and helping with chores and clean up in the classroom and around campus.

Got good news?

Whether it’s global, local, or personal,
Please share it in the comments!


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SoCS: Family Options, Letters from Vietnam, and a Thanksgiving Day Hike

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “opt.” Use it as a word or find a word with “opt” in it and base your post on that. Have fun!

Have fun, because misery is optional.

We opted out of family Thanksgiving with extended family. It was me and David and Mama Cat who slept through dinner. (Mama Cat slept, not David and me.) We made an almost vegan dinner with stuffed acorn squash and a roasted cauliflower. David made an apple pie. There was a little butter somewhere which was not vegan and humane certified hard boiled eggs in the stuffing.

But that is not what I was going to write about. I was going to say that we always have options. But some people have fewer or more options than others. I was going to write about mask wearing options and how it annoys me when people wear a mask below their nose, but maybe they have a chronic respiratory illness….. I don’t know.

I’ve been reading my dad’s letters from Vietnam for NaNoWriMo research which has slowed considerably to a trickle, but has not stopped. And will not stop for more than a day, because I’m rolling slowly along. Gathering no moss so far.

My dad had options in Vietnam, but not many. Most were about attitude and whether to pray. Mom was having nervous breakdowns while he was there. It was an awful year, and we moved a lot that year. My dad did have the (illegal) option of deserting, or “bugging out.” But that option was so distasteful, so full of way worse consequences of shame and dishonor, that it probably felt he had no choice. He chose to make a commitment to the Marine Corps and to honor that commitment, to do his job well. But it was so hard. He had also promised my mom he would come home to her and us kids. He had orders to return fire, not knowing who might be killed. He was the only enlisted Marine (a Gunny, not an officer) in charge of a platoon in his company. He was a natural leader who would be haunted by nightmares for the rest of his life by what happened in Vietnam. I’m so proud of him and my mom who were half a world apart on Thanksgiving and Christmas when Dad was in Vietnam. They did a lot of good service work together after Dad retired.

My dad in Vietnam (1967) He lost about 40 pounds there.

I feel like I’ve spent more time lately with my deceased parents, through Dad’s letters, than other family members living outside of my household. Maybe for now, that’s okay. For now.

What happened to having fun? Fun is different now than it was when I was a kid, or a teenager, or in my twenties or thirties. Fun can be relaxing and watching a movie. Or taking a hike on Thanksgiving Day. Like this one at our neighborhood creek:

A pair of ducks
Graffiti on a drainage pipe

A pair of old hikers

For more Streams of Consciousness, rules, and maybe even some options, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Nov. 28/2020 | (lindaghill.com)


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Good News Tuesday for Nov. 23, 2020: Mental Health 911, Zoom On, Solar Schools Raise Teacher Pay, Solar Windows from Vegetable Waste, and TWO Animal Videos!

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

New York Program to Deploy Mental Health Experts to Mental Health 911 Calls

A pilot program to begin early next year has started training mental heath workers and EMTs to be the first responders in mental health 911 calls instead of police. The goal will be to de-escalate the crisis and help get people the help they need. If there is a weapon or imminent risk of violence, NYPD officers will respond alongside the mental health workers.

Here’s more from NBC New York .

Zoom On for Thanksgiving

CNN reports that Zoom is lifting its 40 minute limit for free calls on Thanksgiving.

Schools Save Money with Solar Panels and Raise Teacher Pay

“An Arkansas school district saved so much money from switching to solar power for their buildings, they were able to bump up their teachers’ salaries and eliminate their budget deficits.” Here’s more from the Good News Network.

Student Makes Solar Windows from Vegetable Waste

A University student from the Philippines, Carvey Maigue, invented solar solar windows that transform crop waste into renewable electricity. Further fascination for me comes with noting this process is related to the phenomena creating the Northern lights. Learn more from this article from Esquire which I originally found in my Goodnewsletter.

Walter Made it Home!

Walter was missing for almost a year. He got away while Kate Olson, who lives in New Hampshire, was visiting St. Louis with Walter. Kate extended her stay in St. Louis to look for Walter, but had to return home and continued to search through social media. After missing for almost a year, Walter was caught by Lost Paws Trapping. Here’s the reunion:

Bonus Video: Rescued Swan Rides to Safety on the Subway

Ariel Cordova-Rojas carried a 17 pound swan in one arm while walking her bike with the other for a mile until she found help. Then they took the subway to a bird rescue where it was discovered the swan had lead poisoning, but is doing okay now. Here’s the video:

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!


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SoCS: Butternut Squash Soup with Peanut Butter, Our Neighborhood Creek and a Slow NaNo

This should be a fun prompt: “the last thing you put in your fridge.”

The last thing I put in the fridge on this Friday evening after dinner was the leftover butternut squash soup made my my sweet husband who offered to do the dishes even though he was tired. (We wash dishes the old fashioned way.) I thanked him, but it was my turn since he cooked. Though I did make some roasted asparagus to go with the soup. We make our butternut squash soup with peanut butter, a little garlic, a dash of red pepper flakes, and of course butternut squash. This was a really good squash – orange and lots of flavor.

It will be strange to have Thanksgiving with just me and David. Mama Cat will be here, but she’s likely to be hiding since she is still a little scared of David. I hope we get to go for a hike, at least to the creek which is about a half mile from our house.

The city gave the banks a crew cut a few years ago.
They’ve since gotten better about leaving a buffer.

If I have seemed distant from WP, NaNoWriMo is my excuse. I’m still writing every day on the novel based on my parents, though not likely to add 50,000 words as reading letters from Vietnam is slowing me down. I’m going to have to move it along though because we are heading into, barreling into, the end of November. One would think that staying home and being retired would make time slow down. But time just keeps zooming along. I guess I’ll just have to trust time and make the most of the moments we have. And be thankful.

I’ll be here for Good News Tuesday, but if I don’t “see” you, and even if I do,

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Today’s prompt and the whole SoCS shebang is brought to you by Linda G. Hill. For more info, rules, and streams from the frig, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/11/20/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-21-2020/


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Good News Tuesday for Nov. 17, 2020: A COVID Recovery Story, Roaming Rhinos, Muslim Men Guard a Catholic Cathedral, and A Very Special Ironman

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Mom returns home after 100 days of battling COVID-19 

Soon after giving birth, Reyna Lopez tested positive for COVID-19. After more than 100 days in the hospital where she had to be sedated for much of that time, Reyna is finally home with her family. Here’s the rest of the story from Good Morning America

How the San Antonio Zoo Increased Habitat

 “What if we just leave those doors open and allow the animals on each side to roam back and forth?” Tim Morrow as new CEO of the San Antonio Zoo.

In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need zoos. In an idea world, all animals would have plenty of natural habitat. Still, I commend zoos where they try to increase natural habitat. That’s what happened recently at the San Antonio zoo which created a “savanna crossing” between habitats. I found this at J-Dubs Grin and Bear it. You can read more and see a video of rhinos exploring their new space and neighbors in this article.

Group of Muslim Men Guard Notre-Dame Basilica After Attack

After a deadly attack on the Notre-Dame Basilica in Nice last month, a group of French Muslims coordinated with police to help guard the catholic church for all-saints weekend. They plan to do the same for Christmas mass. Here’s more of the story from The Good News Network.

First Ironman with Down Syndrome

Chris Nikic didn’t walk until he was four years old. “But, for Nikic, who has Down syndrome, anything is possible.” Earlier this month, he completed the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run known as the Ironman triathlon with 14 minutes to spare. Here’s the rest of the story from Good Morning America and here’s the video showing Chris and his guide on all three parts of the triathlon.

For more good news, check out the Instagram page below:

https://www.instagram.com/globalpositivenews/

Got Good News?

Please Share in the Comments!


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SoCS: The Lord of the Rings and Letters from Vietnam

Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check,

but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday

deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay…

small acts of kindness and love.”

Gandalf in The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

Today’s prompt is the word, “ring,” to be used in any form and to have fun with.

Fun comes in many forms. One way I have fun is to watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit movies. Being a huge fan, I can watch these movies over and over again, especially the parts with the elves.

LOTR is about heroism, good winning over evil, sacrifice, fellowship, loyalty, natural magic, and more set in a place that allows me to escape the things I want to escape from that I will not mention. But the qualities and messages are still relevant in reality.

There’s a scene toward the end of the trilogy when Sam and Frodo are exhausted and don’t know if they will survive. They reminisce about their sweet home, The Shire. Sam imagines the goldilocks girl, barmaid he would like to marry. The reminiscing starts at 1 minute. Be sure to watch til the end when the Eagles come!

Coincidentally, but not really, I’ve been reading about all these things in my dad’s letters from Vietnam since Veterans Day.

I’m reading them for research for the novel I’m writing for NaNoWriMo. Reading the letters is slowing me down, but it needs to be done this way. So what if I don’t write 50,000 words by Nov. 30? It will be okay.

My dad’s letters show how much he adored my mother. He writes of dreaming of her constantly while asleep and while awake in Vietnam. It almost seems like he puts her on a pedestal. The dreams and images of her keep him going, keep him sane, and give him hope to stay alive to come home to her.

I watched a video about another guy talking about doing this in Vietnam, dreaming about his girlfriend kept him going, sane, alive. Let see if I can find it…. The speaker, Dr. Earhart, was a high school teacher after he got back. Toward the end of the video, at around 13 minutes, he talks about the girlfriend that had sent him a “Dear John” letter. The whole video is eye opening.

My dad’s letters mention that a lot of guys got “Dear John,” letters. Maybe that’s why he expressed so much love for my mom in his letters and always signed them,

All My Love,

Your Husband Forever,

Jim

When things are going badly, when we don’t know what’s going to happen, even when it seems like we might not make it, dreaming of a better future, imagining holding our loved ones in our arms, being with family in our homeland, these are legitimate coping skills. Valuable survival skills. And so we keep on doing those small acts of kindness and love to keep the darkness at bay whenever and wherever we might be.

For more Streams of Consciousness, rules, and such, please visit our host, Linda Hill at:


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Thursday Tree Love: My Favorite Sycamore

I’ve shared about the sycamore in my backyard before, but I love this tree so much, I wanted to share her beautiful fall colors.

This tree is very close to my house and has been leaning a little bit over the backyard (and my neighbor’s backyard) ever since a big hurricane maybe 20 years ago. Her deep roots have held firm ever since. From her base, she’s grown an additional slender branch or trunk? for balance.

When I thought my recently adopted semi-feral cat had escaped, I spent a good amount of time outside lying on a blanket hoping and praying she would show up. That’s when I took the following video looking up at my favorite sycamore. The cat had been hiding in the house the whole time and is fine.

The windmill is made from box fan blades hung on the old fence post.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more Tree Love, visit:


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Good News Tuesday for Nov. 10, 2020: Vaccine Progress, Hope for Whales, Solar Success, and Political Civility

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Progress on COVID -19 Vaccine

Though more safety data is still needed, Pfizer reports the COVID 19 vaccine they’ve been working on has shown to be 90% effective in early phase 3 tests. Proving safety and going through FDA approvals could take up to four weeks. Here’s more from Good Morning America

Good News for Whales from Iceland

“…..commercial whaling may be one step closer to a permanent end in Iceland and possibly the world. For the second year in a row, Iceland, one of three remaining whaling nations, will not hunt any whales.” Source: National Geographic

Solar Energy Success

In October, South Australia met 100% of its electricity demands with solar energy with most of it coming from rooftop panels. This article from the Good News Network has details including that “Solar is now the cheapest electricity in history.”

Political Civility

NBC’s Today Show reports on two candidates who ran for governor of Utah. Together they released a short video about civility and working together. The good news within the good news is that their video has gone viral. I believe that’s because people are getting tired of rudeness and hungry for civility and cooperation.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!


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SoCS: Bonjour to the Journey

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “jour.” Find a word containing “jour” or use it as is. Bonus points if you start or end your post with that word. Enjoy! (Thanks Linda Hill!)

Bonjour!

I took three years of French in high school and loved it. Thought about majoring in French even. Then, biology, then psychology…. a journey of revelation. Such is life.

Spanish would have been more practical. Maybe someday, I’ll learn Spanish. But the older I get, the more I realize my time is limited and I must prioritize.

This month, I’m prioritizing NaNoWriMo. Not that I’m knocking myself out, but I’m doing it. Writing a novel is work. Incorporating my family history, or rather basing the novel on my parents, requires some research – just to try to get the timelines accurate. At least when I’m done with the first draft, I’ll have a family history for my kids, plus some fiction to fill in the gaps.

Writing a novel is a process. A long one. Like this election in the US is a process, not an event. Like recovery. The process will hopefully prompt ongoing recovery. A healing I hope.

It might take a long time for my country to heal from the damage that has been done, for us to bridge the divide that has grown at the hands of so called leaders, a divide widened by media’s focus on our differences and conflicts. But it is a journey we can decide to take in faith, or at least in hope. Because if you can’t find faith, look for hope, and hope will lead you to faith.

One step at a time.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” LaoTzu

Sometimes we don’t know how many steps the journey will take, but we can start taking them anyway. Maybe it’s better not to know. Just keep moving toward the light at whatever pace works for you.

Rest when you need to, but don’t give up!

For more streams of consciousness and rules, please visit Linda Hill at:


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Good News Tuesday for Nov. 3, 2020: Chile Votes for Constitution Rewrite, Nuclear Weapons Ban, A Drop in Crime, and a KKK Leader’s Change of Heart

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

It’s a good day to take care of yourself. Get outside, do some exercise, consume nourishing food, drink water, pray for peace, watch a funny movie, and remember, good news happens!

Citizens of Chile Vote For a Constitution Rewrite

After a month of protests against inequality, “Right-wing President Piñera” agreed last November to hold a referendum on rewriting the outdated and “divisive” constitution. Due to the coronavirus, the referendum was delayed until October. BBC News reports An overwhelming majority of 79% … voted in favour of the new constitution.”

UN Ratifies Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons for Affirming Nations

On the 75th birthday of the United Nations, Honduras became the 50th nation needed to ratify The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which makes the creation, sale, maintenance, and use of nuclear weapons illegal for nations that have signed the treaty. This article from the Good News Network includes a moving account from 88 year old Setsuko Thurlow, one of the last survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima.

Crime Drops Significantly in the Philippines During COVID Quarantine.

In the Philippines, from March 17 to October 2, cases of robbery and theft decreased by 60 percent, and serious crimes, including murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, and theft, were reduced by 46 percent Read more from The Good News Network.

Former KKK Leader Works for Peace and Compassion

Army veteran Christopher Buckley is a former KKK leader who now volunteers with Parents 4 Peace helping others open their minds and hearts with empathy and kindness. You can read more about his journey here and watch the video:

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!