Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Resting is Not the Same as Giving Up and Why I Gave Up on The Rings of Power

Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “throw in the towel.” Use the phrase “throw in the towel” somewhere in your post. Enjoy!

To “throw in the towel” means to quit something, maybe give up on something, after having worked on it for a while. Where does this phrase come from? Is it a football term? Don’t those football guys carry towels around? lol. I’m not a big fan of football. Maybe that’s un-American to some folks. Okay, the sport itself is okay I guess, okay. Stop saying okay. But I never really got the huge national extravagant $$$ part of it. But I didn’t really want to go there.

In general, where does one throw the towel? In the laundry basket? If a towel is dirty, then you should throw it in. That brings me back to what I really wanted to write about, and that is that sometimes it’s okay to quit. If something is not healthy, if it’s not working, and you’ve tried to the point of insanity or toxicity, and the fate of the world does not depend on your endeavor, then throw in the towel.

As a side note, resting or taking a break is not the same as quitting. I made a meme for that a while ago.

But sometimes, you just need to throw in the towel. About a week ago, I made the decision to throw in the towel on Amazon Prime which I got for the sole purpose of watching The Rings of Power. This was not an easy decision, because I am a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings (like some people are huge fans of football.) I can watch those movies, and The Hobbit movies over and over again, usually while doing stuff on the computer and stopping to watch when my favorite parts come on, like the parts with the elves.

After much consideration, including the cost of Amazon Prime and that I still want to watch Season 2 of Picard and Star Trek, Strange New Worlds on Paramount which costs less by the way, I decided that The Rings of Power was too dark for me. There were some characters I liked okay, but the orcs seemed a lot scarier, and the series just felt continually heavy. The final decision was the episode (still in season 1) where things happen to horses. I will not go into details (except to say there is fire involved), and I know it’s just a movie and those things didn’t really happen to the horses, but when you love animals and have a good imagination, it can be traumatic. And sometimes horses do get hurt on movie sets. So there. It’s done. There are plenty of other things to watch and books to read, and when the old LOTR and Hobbit movies come on cable, I’ll watch them again.

I had to look up the origin of throwing in the towel. It comes from boxing. The trainer throws in the towel to save his boxer when it is clear he’s not going to win. That way, he can live to fight another day, which brings us back to the idea that it’s okay to take a break and rest a while before going back into the ring of life.

And now, a message from Gandalf.

~~~

To learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our host, Linda Hill

by clicking HERE.


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Thursday Tree Love: Between the Pines

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

John Muir

I’ve always loved pine trees. Here near the Carolina Coast, we have loblolly pines and long leaf pines. David and I walked among these evergreens with our dog Marley on my December birthday hike at Carolina Beach State Park. If you stand quietly between the pines, you can feel the doorway to a new world.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur.

For more tree love, visit Parul at Happiness and Food.


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Good News Tuesday for Jan. 24, 2023: Argentina Protects Southern Peninsula, Uganda Declares Ebola Outbreak Over, Animal Testing No Longer Required by FDA, Students Make Leg for Dog, and an Uber Driver Donates a Kidney

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Argentina Protects the Southern Peninsula of South America

In December, legislators in the province of Tierra del Fuego voted to permanently protect the land and sea of the Mitre Peninsula. The protected area is Argentina’s most important “carbon sink” and includes a range of peatlands and giant kelp forests. Read more and see beautiful photos in this article from Mongabay.

Uganda Declares Ebola Outbreak is Over

After no new infections were reported in more than 42 days, Uganda has declared the 4-month ebola outbreak is over. The Guardian has details here.

FDA No Longer Requires Animal Testing on All Drugs

The US Federal Drug Administration no longer requires drugs to be tested on animals. While the law doesn’t ban the testing of new drugs on animals, it lifts the requirement that pharmaceutical companies use animals to test new drugs before human trials. Hopefully this will increase the market and fine-tuning for alternatives to animal testing. For details, see this article from NPR which came in my goodnewslestter.

High School Students Make Prosthetic Leg for Teacher’s Dog

High school students are refining their work on a prosthetic leg for a golden retriever who lost his leg due to cancer. You can read more about the project from this NBC News Charlotte affiliate.

Uber Driver Donates Kidney to Passenger

Bill Sumiel was on his way to dialysis when his Uber driver, army veteran Tim Letts, offered to give Bill his kidney. Here’s the story:

Got Good News?

Feel free to share your good news in the comments!


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SoCS: You Can Count on It

From our host: Linda Hill: Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan the 21st and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “count on it.” Use the phrase “count on it” somewhere in your post. Enjoy!

The sun is up there shining even if you can’t see it.

You can count on it being up there behind the clouds.

Spring will come and things will grow.

You can count on it cause that’s how it works.

When you’re in a grumpy down mood, it will get better.

You can count on it. Feelings aren’t forever.

If you love yourself and others, good will come.

You can count on it, though it might take time.

God listens to our prayers and wants what’s best for us.

You can count on it because it’s happened before.

God’s plan might not be the same as yours or mine,

But God has a plan. You can count on it.

Life will keep giving us chances to learn.

You can count on it, again and again.

One day, each of us will leave our bodies behind.

You can count on it. Let’s make the most of today.

~~~

The last two Thursdays have blessed us with gorgeous 70 degree weather for lunch at the farm animal sanctuary. The goats and sheep enjoy munching on donated Christmas trees. I didn’t actually have any sheep in the video. The last two goats in the video are the old ladies I hang out with most – Delilah is white and butterscotch and then you see sweet old Esther. All the goats came from petting zoos. They ladies were covertly pregnant when they came to sanctuary and for the first time ever were allowed to keep their babies until they weaned naturally. The babies are grown up and live at the sanctuary. Before the video is a picture of Esther and Mira from a couple of years ago. Mira is short for Miracle because Esther was old to be having a baby. She has permanent distention of her stomachs due to improper diet at the petting zoo. The sanctuary staff didn’t even know she was pregnant until they discovered little Mira who is all grown up now and feisty in a friendly way. Yes, you might have heard this story before, but it’s in the stream of consciousness and I could go on and on about the sanctuary…. you can count on it.

Esther and Mira

~~~

For more on Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE!


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Good News Tuesday for Jan. 17, 2023: Decrease in US Cancer Deaths, a Helper Wins a House, Community Center Replaces a Polluting Factory, and Successfully Stopping Traffic for a Koala

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Death Rates from Cancer Decrease 33% in US

US death rates from cancer have decreased by 33% since 1991 according to a recent report from the American Cancer Society. The decrease is attributed to early detection, treatment improvements, decrease in smoking, and the HPV vaccine. Here’s more from CNN.

Man Who Helped Disabled People Find Houses Wins a House

What goes around, comes around, and sometimes karma works within a person’s lifetime. Such is the case for Grant Carson who spent 27 years helping disabled people in Glasgow find homes and who recently won a £2.5million country house in a charity raffle. The Good News Network has details.

Town Opens Community Center Where a Factory Used to Pollute a Black Neighborhood

For years, Ruth Reed and Mary Sue Rich worked to shut down a charcoal plant that polluted the air over Black homes in Florida. Finally, in 2018, after the city bought the property, “…Mrs. Reed sat on top of a Yellow Cat excavator and knocked the first wall of that charcoal plant down.” Earlier this month, the community celebrated the opening of the Mary Sue Rich Community Center at Reed Place on the site now containing a gymnasium, a branch library, a gathering place for seniors, a banquet hall and meeting rooms. NPR has the story.

Stopping Traffic for a Crossing Koala

Will Thorton was sitting on his balcony in Queensland, Australia when he saw a koala bear trying to cross a busy highway, so he rushed out barefoot to stop traffic to help the koala cross the road.

Got Good News?

Feel free to share your good news in the comments!


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SoCS: Once Upon a Time in Newfoundland, The Moody Blues Song, and Animal Sanctuary Pictures

Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan the 14th and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “once upon a time.” Start your post with “Once upon a time,” then write whatever comes to you, whether it be fact or fiction. Have fun!

Once upon a time we didn’t have phones. Or even TVs. Computers were barely imaginable by the average person. In the 1960s, we had a party line and a phone that sat on a table with a chord. We knew the important numbers by heart. There were three TV stations in black and white. And we thought it was pretty cool.

Lassie and Captain Kangaroo were my favorite shows when I was barely walking and later in kindergarten. Except in kindergarten when we were stationed on the Argentia Naval Base in Newfoundland, Canada. There was only one TV station, and a lot of French was spoken. When my dad got orders to go to Artentia (pronounced Argencia) mom thought he said Argentina. For a city girl from Washington DC, my mom found Newfoundland remote, a bit boring, and of course, cold.

Cold reminds me of the “Cold War” that was going on then. It seemed like everyone was talking about The Russians. I must have picked up on the tension and said, “I hate the Russians.” My dad stopped what he was doing, probably spit polishing his boots, and said, “Honey, you shouldn’t hate the Russians. You should feel sorry for them.”

That was one of the things my dad said that stuck with me. Like “Nothing is impossible” when I was 13.

Don’t hate. and Anything is possible.

Well, mom made the best of being in the frozen wilderness by making friends with the other military wives. The men used to play pinocle. I remember going sledding down a hill out back and that there were wolves howling at night. We used to go on picnics and go out to see the blue icebergs. I would have appreciated the remote location more if I had been older.

Stepping out of the stream, or maybe the stream took me there, I looked up Argentia to make sure I was spelling it right. The base was decommissioned in 1973 and the land returned to the Canadian/Newfoundland government.

One of my favorite photos of that time and place was this picnic photo. I’m wearing saddle shoes.

Me with my parents 1961 or 62

Mom must be wearing Dad’s jacket. Probably a Marine Corps jacket of some kind because it’s red. But that’s just a guess. We went on a lot of family picnics when I was a kid. Why don’t we do that anymore? I wonder what lead me to write about this time and place which I tend to romanticize. These are some of my earliest memories.

And then there’s this nostalgic Moody Blues song and video about remembering an old romance.

More recent memories include the residents of Blueberry Lane Farm Animal Sanctuary where I prepare and serve lunch on Thursdays. Jake, the sheep had a peculiar way of smelling something interesting in the air. Once upon a time, most of these animals were abused or neglected. Now they are living their best lives. Ed, the big rooster in the third gallery picture, had been confined at county animal services (near barking dogs) and had attacked a woman to the point of her needing hospital care. Now, Ed has learned he can trust Debbie and the caretakers at the sanctuary.

~~~

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by author, Linda G. Hill.

For more streams and details, visit Linda HERE.


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Thursday Tree Love: Autumn Amber by Ayla

“We never fully move on,
We leave a piece of ourselves behind
Like leaves and trunks molded into the earth
And forest floor, we give what we know
And others take it up and use it to grow.

I stand under the shade of giants.”

― Eric Overby, Legacy

Photo by Ayla Likens

This photo was taken a few months ago by my daughter Ayla who gave me permission to share it. She has become the family historian working to discover the branches of her family tree. The tree in her photo lives on a hill near Hanging Rock State Park in the foothills of North Carolina.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursdays.

For more tree love visit Paurl at Happiness and Food.


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One-Liner Wednesday: Back to the Trees!

When I saw Linda’s post included a squirrel, I remembered this photo I took just after dawn last weekend. Being up close to dawn is extremely rare for me, but I was pet sitting the neighbor’s 17-year-old yorkie and had to get up early. The squirrel in the neighbor’s backyard seemed to be hurrying away from the utility pole back to the trees.

One-Liner Wednesday is hosted every week by Linda G. Hill.

For more one-liners, visit Linda’s blog HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for Jan. 10, 2023: Brazil’s First Indigenous Woman Chief in Key Position, Pledges for Pakistan, Miraculous Survival, and Two Bird Rescues

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Brazil to Have First Indigenous Woman Chief in Key Position

Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will appoint Sônia Guajajara to head a new Ministry of Indigenous Peoples. She was elected to congress in October and included in Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people. Read more from AP.

Over Nine Billion Dollars Pledged for Pakistan

Dozens of countries and international institutions pledged more than $9 billion to help Pakistan recover from devastating floods. The pledges came at a recent UN conference. AP has details here.

Four Survive Plunge Off 250 Foot Cliff

Last week, I mentioned an emerging story about a family of four who survived going over a 250-foot cliff in their car. In a disturbing twist, police took the driver into custody after determining he intentionally drove off the cliff. Still, it’s miraculous that all four passengers, including two children, survived. Here’s more from NBC News.

Kayaker Rescues Bald Eagle

Volunteer Jim Tibensky used his kayak to rescue a young bald eagle from the ice near Chicago

New York Residents Rescue Birds Stuck in the Ice

Buffalo residents Seamus Gallivan and Alex McArthur helped free 16 birds stuck in ice after the recent winter storm. They used a hammer, chisels, and screwdrivers. One had ice stuck to it, so they took it home in a box to warm up by their fireplace. “After a few hours … the bird looked more alert, so they took the bird outside and it flew away. That inspired them to keep looking for more birds to save.” ABC News has the details.

Got Good News?

Feel free to share in the comments!


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SoCS: Boxes, Boundaries, and Cat Dentistry

Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “out of the box.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think “out of the box.” Enjoy!

So many ideas swirling around the stream which is not a box at all, but there could be boxes of ideas riding along on the stream of consciousness bumping into one another.

The first thing I thought of what how my grown kids are still and always have been outside the box type of people. Can’t imagine how that happened. The things their father and I had in common were art and science fiction. But that’s a tangent to paddle back out of.

I’d rather eat Chinese food out of the box than the plastic. Boxes are easier to recycle as some plastics don’t recycle as easily. I have quite a collection of plastic. You’re supposed to flatten boxes first. That’s one of my soapboxes within the box of recycling. But the Chinese food I prefer comes in plastic mostly with the rice in the white box which I open, rinse and recycle. Been saving those wire handles for some kind of project. Actually used one to hang something once.

Boxes make me think of boundaries. Boundaries can be good protection. But some of them need to be flexible. Negotiables like swearing and non-negotiables like no hitting. We have lots of boundaries to keep Mama Cat and Marley separated. Marley is learning to respect those boundaries. One of the most important boxes in our house is the litter box. Well, there are other boxes that are also important, like jewelry boxes and boxes up in the attic with treasures or junk, depending on your perspective.

Mama Cat was happy to get outside the box – her carrier – after she came home from dental surgery a week before Christmas. She had five teeth removed! I was worried about the procedure and the possibility of having to give her pills post surgery. So I wrote a note to the vet when I dropped Mama Cat off. The vet ended up giving her long-acting pain meds and antibiotics, so I didn’t have to worry about giving her pills. It’s been a long time since I gave a cat a pill, like 30 years ago, and Mama Cat is skittish anyway, but getting better.

The long-acting pain medication was a form of buprenorphine which is prescribed at the facility I used to work for. Mama Cat was practically bouncing off the walls, very hyper, and very affectionate for four days. She also started eating a lot more and is more active since having her teeth pulled leading me to realize she must have been uncomfortable with bad teeth. It’s hard when animals and babies cannot tell you what hurts. She will still go into her carrier to get the food I place in the back, so that’s good, though I hope we don’t have to go back to the vet for a while.

Some cats love to get in boxes, but having spent most of her life feral, Mama Cat doesn’t seem interested. She does like her lean-to cave and small table we added sides to so that’s like a boxy cave. Small children sometimes like to play in boxes, too. When my son was a toddler, he’d sit in a box, and we’d pull him around on the carpet. Do boxes make us feel safe or are they confining? Depends on the situation. It’s usually good to step out of the box, but not roam too far, unless you have a tent or a camper trailer which I’ve been casually looking into. Mama Cat would probably prefer to stay home as long as she can go out on her catio and watch the squirrels.

Well, I’ve rambled on long enough. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for riding along on the stream of consciousness.

Here are some photos which may be related or not…

~~~

For more streams and rules,

visit out host Linda G. Hill

by clicking HERE.