Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance

Mini Vacations, Assertiveness, Forgiveness, and Catching Bugs



Our instructions for Stream of Consciousness Saturday are as follows:

…”instructions.” Write instructions for anything you know how to do. As detailed or as rambling as you’d like. Enjoy!

There are a lot of things I could write about. None of them are mechanical. I shy away from mechanical things. I will not write about technical things which I have forced myself to learn.

First vacations. Linda said she needs a vacation. While I’ve never taken a glamorous vacation or been on a cruise, I know how to take mini vacations, which in some ways are better because then you don’t need a vacation from your vacation.  If you can’t get a week off, take a weekend. Until you can get the long vacation, take a day, or even 4 hours. Three might work, but, nah. 4 is a minimum. That might not seem like a vacation, but when I was a single, working mom, four hours off to do something I loved was very important. I wish I’d taken more “mental health days” when I worked in the mental health field.

Anyway, the first step is to schedule it. Well maybe you need to make arrangements for child care or pet care first, then schedule it. Write it on the calendar and put it in your phone. Put stars around it. Don’t let anything get in the way of it. This time is sacred. Plan to do something you really love or enjoy. You could take a nap, but then you might miss your mini vacation. Read a book. Put on some of your favorite music. You deserve this! Pretend you are a tourist in your own town. I read this thing once that if you have three days, pick a direction. Drive the first day, spend the second day exploring and drive home the third day. I’d rather pick a place. Something with a body or water. Be mindful of all the things around you in a beautiful place. A garden maybe would work. Not a garden you have to tend, unless you really love that.

Okay, enough of that. You get the idea.

I know how to be assertive, though sometimes I forget. The steps to assertive communication I used to teach in my groups were:

1. State the facts.

2. State your feelings.

3. Say what you want or need.

Of course you can be assertive with yourself about why you / we deserve a vacation for example:

I’ve been working x number of hours per day for x number of days per week. I feel exhausted/tired/worn out/ (whatever the feeling) and I want/need you to watch (child’s name) for a couple two days.  Be specific. If you’re talking to someone who is not a friend or who may be difficult, you can skip the feelings part, maybe even just state #3.

I know it’s not always easy, but I’m open to questions.

I was going to write about forgiveness, because I know how to be in that process which, for me, might not ever be finished. I’ll cut it short and say first I had to pray for the willingness to forgive.  I focused on compassion, kindness, and gratitude for my ex husband and his spouse for about a month before I saw them at my son’s wedding. Then I went right up to my ex husband who I hadn’t seen for many years and shook his hand and introduced him to my husband. I wasn’t trying to be anything. I asked how he was and wished him and his spouse a safe trip home two days later in the parking lot….. I am convince that God was with me during these encounters, prompting me, nudging me, because I asked God to do that.

Lastly, here is how you catch a spider or other bug you don’t want to kill and take it outside.

  1. In advance get a clear or semi clear jar or cup with a mouth about the width of your hand.
  2. In advance get a stiff piece of thin, slick cardboard or thick piece of paper (I usually use junk mail) bigger than the jar or cup mouth.
  3. Put the jar/cup and paper/cardboard in a place you are likely to need it.
  4. When you see the bug you want to catch, try to make sure your back door is unlocked. Quickly place the cup/jar over the bug. (Flies are really hard.) Be careful if it’s on a window. Don’t hurt yourself. Try not to hurt the bug, but you have to be quick with some of them.
  5. Slowly and carefully slide the paper/thin cardboard under the cup and under the bug. Sometimes I move the jar/cup at the same time.
  6. Carefully carry everything to the door. I usually put the bottom of the jar on my stomach if I have to open the door.
  7. Once outside and at least a couple steps away from the door, let the bug go in an appropriate habitat.
  8. An alternative that sometimes works for small lizards is to throw and old towel or sheet on them and carefully gather it up and hope they’re in there when you carry it outside.

Good luck!

Here are some bugs I’ve caught and released:

better yellow moth


glass wing moth with tail (2)

Glass wing moth on a dusty lamp. The posterior end was moving back and forth like some kind of alien.


spotted moth in bathroom

Sweet visitor in my bathroom.


spider on the ceiling

Spider on bedroom the ceiling. That was a tough one.


big mosquito in bathroom

This was on my brand new bathroom wall. No way I was gonna squash it.

SoCS is hosted by Linda G. Hill who will soon or now be on vacation. For more streams of consciousness and related rules, visit Linda at:

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

30 thoughts on “Mini Vacations, Assertiveness, Forgiveness, and Catching Bugs

  1. Vacation is coming up in one week, Joanna. I can hardly wait. It’s a Stay-cation, so I can do whatever I want for nine glorious days. 🙂

    I am giving you big kudos for your willingness to forgive and being able to be nice and respectful toward him. God really does take care of us when we need it most.

    In regard to the spider instructions, well, I’m just going to pass by this one… :-p

    • A big part of vacation is anticipation. I know you’ll have a wonderful time. As for the forgiving, it only took about 18 years to get to this point. Thanks for the kudos. God does take care of us, and the spiders. 😉

  2. Amazing the number of species of creepy crawlers there are in the world, isn’t it?

  3. We have adopted the practice of figuring out how log we need/want to be in a place and adding on the travel days. I don’t like to rush around travel arrangements.

  4. Thanks so much for coming up with and sharing a bevy of interesting tips and tricks. I’ve got a handle on how to reap the most value from vacations, I’m good in the forgiveness department as well. Catching and releasing bugs back to the outside will take a bit more practice. A moth or butterfly release I can do pretty well, but the leggy bugs not so much. They are fragile, and wish they’d stay outside so that I wouldn’t have to break them to get them back there. Promise to keep trying however.

    Happy Weekend!

  5. Have enjoyed this “catch all” post! The theme was definitely “catch and release” and very interesting tips. Forgiveness. All very good ideas. What a lovely place to visit for a few moments and enjoy some of your world. I’ve been enjoying family time, and before that my spouse was sick and it was very, very hard… but the “help from beyond” I asked for, well, it did come. I consider your words here and appreciate them. I could always use the refreshing reminders on assertiveness. I thought it was great the way you gave an example, as well. Also… I’m glad that you had your release!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and that help from beyond came (it always does eventually) and that you got through that very very hard time. One of the good things about getting older is knowing we will get the help we need to get through things. Wishing you and your family peace, joy, and good health. ❤

  6. It is so important to forgive and your description of your intention prior to meeting your X shows what a lovely lady you are.. I too am all for mini breaks… and often take them.. The mental health field can as I know be very stressful . At least these days I think that is being recognised more and more by employers in the mental health field.
    I agree with you about making some time even a few hours for yourself..

    As for the spider and insect catching, I use a large glass and card, have for years, and put them outside somewhere safe..
    I dislike killing anything and often when gardening tell the insect kingdom to beware! and often unintentionally may end an insects life or worm.. And I am often heard saying sorry to them.. 🙂 LOL

    Have a great week JoAnna.. sending so much love your way and thank you so much for your lovely comments and responses to my posts I really appreciate you ❤

    • I appreciate you and your support, Sue, and how you care about insects. I say or at least think, “I’m sorry,” when I hurt one and the plants I have to pull up to maintain pathways through my yard. Sometimes it’s hard to care, but it’s good to care, too. I wish you peace, joy and all the rest you need. ❤

  7. I remembered The Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. I hope I can write a book review about it someday. It stands as one of my favorite memoirs. –Kloyde

  8. Your stream-of-consciousness makes me smile. 🙂 I love your thought process and the idea of a mini-vacation. I love traveling (just got back from the Four Corners area a couple weeks ago) and it was incredible. Worth every moment. But yeah, I needed a bit of recovery time before returning to work – we had a “buffer day” as I call them. Hehe.
    But the days to “just be” are just as important. I teach mindfulness and I don’t take enough time to just be. I suppose that’s part of building a business at teaching mindfulness and meditation. I did, however, take a “just be” day on Saturday. I felt “off.” Not bad, just “off.” I figured I’d spend the day coloring mandalas and I finished 4 of them.
    I am also completely on board with your catch and release method with regard to the crawly creatures. I have an irrational fear of bugs (not butterflies or ladybugs) but anything that I don’t know what it is. Still, I will not kill them – I will usually call husby to come and help me release these little critters. They have their place in the world, too.
    So fun to read this post. I hope you have a wonderful week!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed my post! Just being for a whole day might be a challenge for many of us. But it’s nice to experiment with. Coloring sure helps. I’m afraid of roaches. Maybe I learned that from my mom. If they’d just stay outside, I’d be okay with that. You have a wonderful week, too, Cynthia, with plenty of butterflies and ladybugs. 🙂

  9. Exactly my way of catching spiders, bugs, etc… 🙋‍♀️🐝 have a lovely evening 😚

  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have tendency to bring living, at its last moments or passed over insects or bugs (even a tiny frog recently) downstairs to lay in the reserve which my apartment’s porch faces. As of late, the past week or 2, while I usually find them outside my front door (4 apartments to each floor, never one at any other door, just mine, or directly on the wall that faces mine), the most magical and unexpected thing has happened. 3 mornings in a row a beautiful moth appeared on my fulled screened in, no holes whatsoever, porch in the wee hours upon waking and opening it. Those were difficult to capture, but I finally did. A few days later, a tiny little baby frog (I live on the second floor, and again, there isn’t even one area of my screened enclosure that anything can squeeze through). And then this afternoon, a extremely young in “stage” caterpillar? I keep telling everyone I shall now be called Noah! 🤣😁 But I’ve had the most difficult time figuring out how to capture them without harming them and I did just locate a jar in the far back corner of my shelf, which after this post I’m going to put out on the porch floor with a small piece of cardboard. THANK YOU!!!! I’m always so afraid of harming them, hurting them or killing them using the methods I’ve been using, including the past few years of the many who seem to be waiting in the hallway for me.

    You’ve had some absolute beauties come to you, you’re blessed and while I do realize most will think me nutty (I am what I am and where it proudly hehe), I’m quite sure you are definitely of the Fae folk. 🙂 I love butterflies, dragonflies as well, heck I love all things nature, animals … domestic and wildlife, insects and more, though that spider would have freaked me out some, though I venture to guess that you’ve never woken to a freshly hatched spider nest on the ceiling right over your bed … what looked like hundreds of baby spiders falling toward me on the bed lol. I froze, then screamed for my ex-husband (that was in my early 30s long ago). However, I think the one in your picture is more a Daddy Long Legs? I recall them in my tents during camping trips in my childhood, they aren’t as concerning to me as other spiders.

    Is the orange one a prometheus moth or a butterfly? I’ve only ever seen 1 prometheus moth, touched it as well, it was like suede; however, that’s a story for another day, that too was quite magical. The butterfly by your wall jar decoration seems to be seeking nectar from the fake flower. Ah, life among life, isn’t it lovely! Again, THANK YOU for the very obvious, yet totally escaped my ideas, though I’m with you on the lizards, that’s what I usually do.

    • That spider nest would have freaked me out, too! (Unfortunately I struggle with roaches which scare me.) The other recent visitors to your porch know where to come – what gifts! Thank you for taking so much care with them. I don’t know what the orange one was, but I do enjoy them. Thank you for including me as of the Fae folk. I have always been enchanted by nature. Just as long as I can follow and love Jesus, too. I’ve looked for ways to connect my love for nature and my “Christian” faith. Saint Francis is a bridge I have discovered. Would love to know our thoughts on this. I know you were a friend of Natalie’s and I loved how she embraced God and fairies.

      • I’m not a fan of the roach myself lol … and luckily haven’t had to see one in over a decade or more. Thank you for thanking me for taking care of those who come to me … I can’t help it, I feel them – empathic to them more than to humans at times, and I’m far too empathic at times for my own good, but it is who I am. I have 6 bird feeders out and care for an extremely large family of cardinals, blue jays, squirrels, raccoons, an opossum here there (they’re clearing thousands of acres of trees near me by the year, it’s like a razor to my being – I can feel and see in my mind’s eyes, the cries and chaos of the animals as well as the trees). I also feed stray cats, do my best to befriend them to catch them and try to get them into rescue – I spend a lot of time with that, and across the street from my reserve is a pond where the water birds live (mostly American Moorhens), but also ducks, Anhingas, cow bells and more. The Moorhens are like my family – I’ve been caring for them (they live in marsh areas) for oh about 10 years now and with each new generation born I do my best to protect them while still so small. I also find myself literally surrounded by butterflies and dragonflies and greet them all. I dear JoAnna am definitely connected to nature and likely a Fae. 😉😊

        Natalie and I were like family, like sisters, like mother and daughter, and like 2 little playmate friends, we were uncommonly close, though we shared different perceptions on religion and spirituality. Even with that difference, we both honored and respected each others different viewpoints and strong passionate beliefs, although she would throw a you must go through Jesus at me every blue moon, she had to, it was her passion and nature to try, but she knew I would I shake my head at her and giggle some at her tenacious attempts. ❤ I miss her dearly. I still post to her WP comments and her FB page.

        I am likely one of the most spiritually connected people you may ever come across, aware of my deceased grandmother who passed when I was a year old by the time I was 7 or 8. I didn't see or hear her visually or audibly, but I knew she was there and still is – and I can feel her (it's very hard to put into language how it is I communicate). Before I was 10 years old I was debating and questioning my mother, and trying to teach her LOL about life before and after life and life on other planets and how is it possible that we could be the only life in the vast multiple universes and countless dimensions. Mind you, there was no internet, 5 channels at best on TV, I didn't read comics and I didn't like science fiction, this was all coming from a factual knowledge that I felt very strongly about. I have a very strong faith, an extreme faith and innately born belief and knowledge in "connection of all things that do live" … as well as a very strong connection to the creator, God, universe, angels, my ancestors, guides, life before and after this existence or classroom if I may that we're in now. I believe so very strongly that all that lives is energy – us, a blade of grass, an insect, a dog, a lion, butterfly, water, etc … so since crystals are mined from mountains and elsewhere, and mountains are part of earth and earth itself is alive, then crystals themselves posses energy. I've read many different bibles from several religions over the course of my lifetime, mostly as a child and young teen and nothing every fully resonated with me, aside from the fact that everyone's passionate about their specific religion beliefs, that their religion is the one and only religion that's true, yet there are countless religions so how can that be … which to me always sounded/felt like "how do you know yours is the right one" type of thing … and it all felt like separation to me, whereas I think there is no separation between any living being and that we all come from the same source/God. I've never imposed my beliefs on others, nor disregarded the beliefs of another, and am always open and willing, at times enjoy, hearing about the connection between someone and their religion. For me, there is one thing, one thing above all else that exists in all religions, as well as my spiritual beliefs without religion (and btw I don't subscribe to any spiritual type group or anything, my beliefs, connections and more are unique and very personal to me) … and that's LOVE. Love and all that encompasses that umbrella is to me, and for me, all that there is. Back to Natalie for a moment, she was so adorable, she was beyond passionate and strong in her belief of Jesus as her savior, yet you're right, she also believed in fairy folk and other things that we have been programmed by many a millennia to be blinded or closed to. That was in opposition to her faith, so she was more than just her faith, though her faith was her priority. She saw and felt it all.

        I just googled Saint Francis and I think he's a wonderful bridge, especially for you, it feels like the perfect fit. A devout Christian, which you are, who possessed a deep love of nature and animals and is known as the patron saint of the environment and animals. The perfect bridge for you. Then again, only you will know what's perfect for you, you'll not only feel it, you'll live it, it will embody you and become your reality in this reality.

        Well, now that got a bit long and deep huh? hehe.

        • Thank you so much for sharing about your thoughts and the profound connection of all things. I agree with much of what you wrote and also feel a connection with angels and my parents and sisters whose bodies are not longer here. I do miss Natalie. Thanks for reminding me I can still visit her blog and her spirit as well as appreciate her love which inspires me still. Thank you for your affirmative spirit, dear Kimberly. ❤

          • You’re welcome … Thank you for everything you said. Natalie, ugh, expected yet so unexpected, it still stings, but not nearly as much. I still write to her on her blogs, on her facebook, and I’m pretty sure she’s with me when I create on WP, which isn’t often … something drew me to create recently in the midst of a bit of chaos going on, and she always got so overjoyed when I created, so I’m thinking she was behind the nudge. 🙂 Her love surely was, and is, miraculous to so many. You have a beautiful spirit too JoAnna. ❤ Have a blessed rest of the week.

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