Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday: Green Progress, Help on the Run, and the Subway Soprano

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Carbon Emissions Dropping in 30 Major Cities

We have a long way to go, but this article from Good News Network shows what can happen when cities make a commitment.   The C40 analysisshows that these 30 cities have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 22%.”

Here are the cities: Athens, Austin, Barcelona, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, Heidelberg, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, Montréal, New Orleans, New York City, Oslo, Paris, Philadelphia, Portland, Rome, San Francisco, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver, Venice, Warsaw, and Washington, D.C.

Plastic Bag Use Down 90% in England

“Sales of plastic bags in England’s largest supermarkets have fallen by 90% in the four years since the government introduced a 5p levy.”  Francis Ball/Economia

I don’t know if an added fee for using plastic would pass in the US, but I do like that some health food chains are giving a discount for bringing your own reusable bag. This article from Economia tells more about the UK’s progress in reducing plastic bags.

Runner Helps Exhausted “Rival.”

At the World Track and Field Championship last month in Qatar, Braima Suncar Dabo of Guinea-Bissau saw that Jonathan Busby of Aruba was near collapse. Dabo slowed down and helped Busby finish the race.

This brief story includes a moving video.

Homeless Opera Singer and Musician Gets Recording Offer

Emily Zamourka had been paying her bills by playing violin in the street. But after the violin was stolen, she became homeless. A California police officer shared a video of her singing opera which dubbed her the “Subway Soprano.” This recently led Grammy nominated record producer Joel Diamond to offer her a recording contract not to mention a successful Go Fund Me campaign.

Got good news? Please share in the comments!

It can be global, local, or personal.


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SoCS: A Chant, A Folk Song, and Wildflowers

Today’s prompt for SoCS is:

“ground.” Use it as a noun or a verb in any tense (i.e. grind). Have fun!

Where we sit is holy

Holy is the ground.

Forest mountain river,

Listen to the sound.

Great Spirit circle,

All around us.

 

I learned that at a meditation workshop. We sang it as a chant. Then I found it in my Earth Prayers book.  I miss chanting and drumming. Maybe it will happen this weekend. If not, some day. This weekend, I’m in the mountains with my son, daughter, and granddaughter. Other grands are coming with their mom tomorrow. It’s going to be a full house full of energy.  Maybe we’ll sing. I sang with my daughter on the way here, harmonizing like we used to years ago on road trips.  We sang “I’ll Fly Away.” And she’s teaching me a ?bluegrass song? “Wildwood Flower.”  Let me see if I can find it.

My daughter wants you to know this traditional Appalachian folk song made famous by the Carter family in the late 1920s.  We give it a more Celtic Women flare. Just to give you an idea of the big picture, my daughter also likes heavy metal.

Grounding music about wildflowers while in the mountains with family – it doesn’t get much better than that.  I was going to write about grounding as a technique of dealing with overwhelming thoughts and emotions about the past or future by focusing on what’s going on in the present moment, but I guess the singing works just fine.

Here are some wildflowers.

flower-meadow pixabay wild flowers (2)

This one might be from pixabay.

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace in the mountains

Daisies and yellow flowers

It’s gonna be a busy weekend, so be patient. I have not totally forgotten your comments or posts and will catch up soon…. eventually. 🙂

For more information on the SoCS, visit Linda at

https://lindaghill.com/2019/10/11/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-12-19/

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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Thursday Tree Love: Survivors

Trees at K Park

Guardians of the playground.

Three separate oaks

Or all from one acorn?

In decades past,

My children played hide and seek

Peeking around their trunks.

Trees at k park (4)

 

Two years ago

The city marked the middle one,

The one that leaned low.

We neighbors tried to save it,

Talked about a tree sit.

The city said it was diseased.

It could fall on someone’s child.

So we gave in.

And they cut down the middle oak.

trees at K park slide

 

The survivors stand strong,

But surely they miss their friend.

We learn to let go

Remembering the fallen.

 

Trees at k park (2)

Love-tree-with-heart-shaped-branches-and-birds

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

https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-74/

 


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Good News Tuesday: Forgiveness and Perseverance

Sunflower w address

Just two stories today, but the first one is pretty powerful. It starts with bad news and offers hope for something better.

Brandt Jean Asks to Hug His Brother’s Killer, and the Judge Lets Him

After a long shift, Dallas police officer Amber Guyger walked into the wrong apartment and killed Botham Jean who was in his own apartment eating ice cream.  It was a horrible mistake that could have been easily prevented. I’ve been thinking a lot about this case. What would I have done as a juror? As the police officer? But I think what Botham Jean’s brother did was more important. After Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison, Botham’s 18 year old brother,  Brandt Jean, made a statement of forgiveness. Then he asked if he could hug his brother’s killer. Judge Tammy Kemp broke with protocol by allowing the hug and later by giving Amber her Bible. 20 years ago, I would have been objecting strongly to that act, now I admire Judge Kemp’s compassion.

This first video moved me to tears and the hope that maybe greater good can come from this tragedy.

In the second video, Brandt talks about what made him ask for the hug. There is an important distinction made between forgiveness and justice.

Jimmy Carter is Amazing

At the age of 95, Jimmy Carter is the oldest living former US president. He lives in a modest house and shops at Dollar General. After a recent fall, he was back to volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. What a role model!

Got good news? Please share in the comments!


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SoCS: Stepping Away from Toxic News

stream-of-consciousness-saturday-2018-19

Welcome back to our SoCS host, Linda, and thanks again to Dan for filling in last week.

Here’s today’s prompt: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “-tast-.” Find a word that contains “tast” and use it in your post. Enjoy!

The first word I thought about was “fantastic.” But I haven’t been feeling all that fantastic lately. Not awful, nothing serious. But why am I so tired sometimes for no apparent reason?  I can rally to get the basics done, but sometimes I feel drained.

Sue Dreamwalker writes about how our energy is affected by what’s going on in the world, and sometimes we need more rest to cope. Maybe that’s it. I generally don’t watch much news. I’m picky. But lately, I’ve been getting sucked into the news about the impeachment inquiry.  Then on Wednesday,  I took my car in for maintenance, and though I had my computer and worked on yesterday’s post, the TV in the car dealer’s waiting room was on Fox News. It got toxic after awhile. Other people were there on their phones or with books and didn’t seem to mind. I kept thinking Fox News would move on to some other topic, but no, it went on and on with clips of 45  that one political issue.

It turned out I need to go back for two tires they had to order. The staff person asked it I wanted to wait on Monday or drop off the car. I asked her,

“Do you always have Fox News on your TV?”

“No, we usually have it on HGTV.”

“That would be better. I can tolerate the news for a little while but after awhile it gets…..”  I shook my head indicating crazy.

“I understand. There’s a remote there for anyone to use. If you decide to wait Monday, I’ll make sure it’s on something else.”

My plan is to have my husband take me to lunch while they put tires on the car. AND not to watch the news. I need to go back to being more choosy. Using the internet allows me to check the headlines, and I have to resist the urge to watch certain clips and also seek the balance of good news.

But back to fantastic. It’s related to the word fantasy. We can all use a little healthy fantasy, especially when the fantasy is about something we want to happen, and it’s realistic, or at least possible, which everything ultimately is. I fantasized about a soul mate who would be a good fit, and eventually, that’s what I got.

What if we fantasize about world leaders who have intelligence and compassion, who care about the environment and realize that it’s crucial to take care of the planet. A Department of Peace, imagine that. Imagine/fantasize/dream about a world that puts more energy and resources into peace than war. Imagine all adults acting like grownups.

I’m expecting fantastic weather this weekend. We’ll be going from the upper 90s to the 70s for a high. I bet that will give me some energy. And not watching any news this weekend. That’s my plan.

For more information on SoCS, visit Linda Hill’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/10/04/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-5-19/

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!


8 Comments

Prayer for a Lost Dog

Today is the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment. You can read my favorite Saint Francis story in this post about Saint Francis and the wolf.

The following events happened just a few days ago.

dogs running Pixabay (2)

 

On the way to the laundromat to wash my 17-year-old dog’s favorite bed, I saw a dog running down the busy street in the opposite direction. It was a dark grey dog, maybe a hound/pit bull mix, running with that panicked, I’m lost gait. Without thinking, I pulled onto a side street to turn around and fished out the leash I kept in the console. I couldn’t see the dog, but traffic had slowed considerably, and people were honking ahead of me.

I prayed out loud: “God please help that dog! Please get him off the road! Help him Now! (I had no idea if the dog was a male, but that’s what came out.) Within a few seconds I saw the dog, several cars ahead, make a right turn into an apartment complex. Okay, he’s safe. You have things to do, I told myself.  But somehow, my car turned into the apartment complex. He’s not safe; he’s scared.  Maybe he’ll come to me, said my other voice, brushing aside thoughts of then what are you going to do if you catch him?  I parked my car and started walking through the apartment complex carrying the leash. A guy near the pool house asked if I was looking for a dog.

“Yeah but it’s not mine. He was running down the street. I thought I might be able to catch him.”

“He went that way,” the pool guy said pointing further into the complex.

I kept walking, past the dumpsters and around a corner, seeing no sign of the dog.  He’s gone. Let it go. At least he’s not on the street. Maybe he’ll find his way home, I told myself. But for some reason, I kept walking through the unfamiliar apartment complex.

Then, I saw a young woman walking toward me. She must have seen the leash. “Are you looking for a dog?”

“Yes, but he’s not mine. He was running down the street,” I said pointing in the direction of the busy road.

“He’s in my apartment. He came right to my boyfriend.”

“Oh, good. Thank you. I’m glad he’s safe.”

“I work for a vet,” she said. “I’ll take him into work so see if he has a microchip.”

“Thank you so much for taking him in,” I said bowing slightly with praying hands.

“Thank you for looking for him,” she said.

“Of course.”

I walked back to my car feeling grateful that the dog found a safe place and someone in a position to help him, and that I’d kept walking long enough to find that out.

Back in my car, I said to God, “I didn’t mean to be rude with that, now! part.

God just smiled.

(The photo from pixabay reminded me of the dog.)

 

Happy Saint Francis Day!

st-francis-of-assisi-and-birds from Robert Kennedy's book

This picture is from the book Saint Francis of Assisi, A Life of Joy,

by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.


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Good News Tuesday: Banks on Board, Bus Driver Initiative, Tree Top Barbie, and Brain Implant for Blindness

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

130 Banks Commit to Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Banks responsible for one-third of the global banking sector committed to aligning their business with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals. This was part of the “newly-signed Principles for Responsible Banking, which was launched one day ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.  Here’s the story from the Good News Network.   

 

School Bus Driver Comes Back to Mow the Grass

Jerry Martin drives a school bus in Texas. When he saw students waiting at a bus stop in weeds and tall grass, he took it upon himself to return with a lawn mower.

Thank you, Mr. Martin!

Here’s the the story also from the Good News Network. 

 

Meet the Woman who Started Tree Top Barbie

Nalini Nadkarni has a passion for studying the canopy. In the early 2000s Mattel turned down her idea for a tree top Barbie, so she made it on her own. 15 years later, after telling Nalini she was infringing on their brand, Mattel reportedly started to include tree top Barbie in their explorer series. When I did a search for tree top Barbie, I didn’t see her, except on International Canopy Network which said they are no longer producing the doll. So, I’ve sent a message to Mattel asking how I can find Tree Top Barbie to buy  for my granddaughter. We’ll see if I can find her. In the meantime, please watch this video about Nalini Nadkani. I think you’ll enjoy it.

 

Brain Implant Restores Vision Perception

Jason Esterhuizen lost his sight in a horrible car accident seven years ago. Now, the native of South Africa is the second person to receive a new brain implant developed at UCLA which helps him see light and movement. He is now able to do things like sort laundry and cross the street more safely. This video explains how the implant works.

Got good news? Please share in the comments!

It can be global, local, or personal.