Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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CFFC: The Presence of Animals

This week our topic for Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge is celebrating what Connects you to the present moment.

Yesterday’s history

Tomorrow’s a mystery

Today is a gift

That’s why they call it the present.

All of nature connects me to the gift of the present moment, but animals are especially good at drawing me in. Maybe it’s because they are experts at being in the here and now. Walking and training my dog, Marley requires that I be present and vigilant as he is constantly wanting to chase or smell something. We’ve made progress. Stroking the formerly feral Mama Cat is soothing as I listen to her purr which gets louder over time.

The residents at the Farm Animal Sanctuary where I volunteer are always doing something interesting to help me focus on the now. At least once a week, I go there to cut produce and feed the two pigs and 11 roosters, then I hang out with the goats. There are also three sheep at the sanctuary who graze at will.

For more on CFFC, visit our host, Cee by clicking HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for August 9, 2022: 400 Children Reunited with their Parents, Two Lifeguard Stories, Growth in the Great Barrier Reef, and Two Paralyzed Pilots Fly Over the NC Mountains

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

400 Children Reunited with Parents

A US task force has reunited 400 children with their parents after they were separated as migrants crossing the border from Mexico to the US. Most of the parents were deported during the previous administration and finding them has been a challenge. Families are offered mental health counseling before and after reunification. This article from NBC News has details.

Eighteen-Year-Old Lifeguard Helps Deliver Baby at Poolside

Read about how 18-year-old lifeguard Natalie Lucas in Colorado helped deliver a baby born at the YMCA pool in this article from Good Morning America

A Drone Lifeguard Helped Save a Teen Struggling in Strong Current

In Spain, a drone lifeguard delivered a flotation device to keep an exhausted teenager afloat until the human lifeguard could reach him. The Good News Network has the story and a video.

Growth in the Great Barrier Reef

The Australian Institute of Marine Science reports that the northern and central Great Barrier Reef have shown their highest amount of coral cover in 36 years. The Good News Network has more.

Two Paralyzed Pilots Fly Over the North Carolina Mountains

Listen to Alex, the “Wheelie Good Pilot” talk about overcoming adversity as he flies over the mountains with his friend, Johnny. Want more? Here’s the backstory.

Got Good News?

Feel free to share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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My First CFFC Post: Nature’s Beauty

A moth on my back porch

This is my first try at Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, getting in just under the wire for the week. The topic is dear to my heart: celebrating things that remind us of nature’s beauty. The first row of photos below was taken where we live near the coast of North Carolina. The second row photos were taken in the North Carolina mountains.

I hope I’m doing this right. For more info on the weekly CFFC click HERE.


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SoCS: Contact Paper, DIY Lucy, and a Praying Mantis

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “wallpaper.” Use it however you’d like. Have fun!

My parents didn’t have wallpaper that I remembered, because I was probably too young. But I do remember they had “contact paper” in the kitchen over the sink. Contact paper was supposed to be easier wallpaper, I guess. Maybe it was a peel and stick thing. They loved it like the coolest thing since sliced bread. It had yellow, orange, brown, and maybe green flowers, with a 60s look. When we were getting the house ready to sell a few years ago, I peeled it off and painted it yellow. The buyers probably redid all the walls since the house needed a lot of work.

Early in my first marriage, we lived in a duplex that had different contact paper in every room. We had looked at the place in the dark since the landlord didn’t have the electricity on. Of course, that was a mistake, but the rent was low. The living room contact paper was similar to what my parents had over their kitchen sink. The kitchen had contact paper with lemon and lime slices on it. The landlord was proud of it and said, “it came all the way from New York!” He was probably in his 80s and had a thick German accent. Talk about a time warp. The contact paper was still tacky, even in 1985. I hung a lot of stuff on those walls to try to distract from the paper. One thing I hung was a large brown and white tapestry that I bought with the money I saved in a jar when I quit smoking cigarettes. It had a Native American design. I gave it to my son when he quit smoking cigarettes. Who knows where it is now. I still have a lot on my walls, but no contact paper or wallpaper. I do have peel and stick blue and white squares on the wall over my stove. They are meant to be temporary, until I get real tile, but I like them.

Below is a clip where Lucy and Ethel hung wallpaper. Lucy was always worried about Ricky being mad at her, but looking back, he didn’t get that mad. He had some patience. My mom was like a quieter version of Lucy – emotional and zany, but quieter. Come to think of it, Dad was often quiet, though when he used his Gunny Sgt voice, you paid attention and didn’t give him any back talk.

I bet Lucy would love contact paper.

Back to 2022, there have been a lot of praying mantis sightings lately. Besides the one below which I found walking upside down on my clothesline, a big brown mantis was on my shoulder at the sanctuary yesterday. They’re a good luck sign!

Praying Mantis on my Clothesline
I resisted the urge to help and let it be.

~~~

To learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit out host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for August 2, 2022: Progress Toward HIV Cure, Solar Panels Raise Teacher Salaries, California Beach Returned to Black Heirs, and a Seven-Year-Old Saves Toddler in Pool

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Progress Toward HIV Cure

Two new cases presented at the International AIDS Conference in Montreal give hope to the possibility of remission from HIV. A 66-year-old man appears to have been cured by a stem cell donation, and a woman is in remission after immune boosting therapies. NBC News has details. (via 1440)

Solar Panels Save Arkansas school enough Money to Significantly Raise Teacher Salaries

In Batesville, Arkansas installing 1,500 solar panels saved the school about $600,000 yearly. This money was then funneled back to the teachers for up to $15K in raises. Here’s how they did it.

California Beach Stolen from Black Couple Returned to Heirs

Los Angeles County returned prime California oceanfront property to the heirs of a Black couple who built the resort for African Americans when beaches were segregated. Bruce Beach was stolen from entrepreneurs Charles and Willa Bruce nearly a century ago. Their great-great-grandson, Anthony Bruce, received the deed last week. Read more and watch the video from CBS News HERE.

A Seven-Year-Old Saves Toddler at the Bottom of a Pool

Messiah saw a toddler six-feet down at the bottom of the pool and swam down to get him out. His relative, 9-year-old Savannah, helped pull the toddler out of the pool. The mom says the toddler is doing well. Here’s the story from GMA with a video below.

Got Good News?

Feel free to share your good news (personal, local, or global) or a GNT link in the comments.


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SoCS: Washing the Woes Away with a Musically Inspired Meditation

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “wash/awash.” Use one, use both, use ’em any way you like. Bonus points for using both. Enjoy!

Wash is one of those words that sounds funny if you say it over and over. It’s fun to say…. washhhhh… extending the sh sound.

Washing machines are good. Can you imagine life without them? Banging clothes on a rock, using soaproot, maybe going naked would be easier, or at least keeping it simple.

When I was about four years old, maybe five, we were staying with my grandmother in Washington, DC. In the basement was a wringer washing machine with two rollers above my head that squeezed the water out of the clothes after they were agitated below. My mom got her thumb caught in the wringers once, feeding the clothes through the wringer, and it was never quite the same. Another time, I tried to help and put a whole box of powdered detergent in the washer. The soapsuds came to the basement steps. It was beautiful and amazing to my young eyes. That’s how I remember it, anyway.

The prompt also took me to this song: “I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta My Hair.” It’s from the musical, South Pacific, which I’m embarrassed to say, I have never seen even though I like musicals. It’s one of those odd gaps that I never saw it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if washing your hair got rid of unwanted thoughts, unwanted addictions, and uncomfortable feelings? They could all just go down the drain. Hopefully they would not get clogged up along the way down.

That could be a guided imagery thing while washing your hair, taking a shower, dancing in the rain, swimming in the ocean, or floating along the stream of consciousness, and letting the water wash away what we don’t want. Get out of my hair, you thoughts and feelings who shall not be named! I will let go of the negative thoughts and feelings, but the lessons learned from experience will remain. Everything will be all clean and fresh – at least for a few minutes, anyway – opening a path to something better.

Clean and open to possibilities

So, I went and looked at videos of the song about washing the man out and thought I might want to watch this movie some time with Glenn Close. Well, not with her unless she’s interested, but the movie starring Glen Close. After reading the synopsis, it sounds like the story contains layers of depth. Do you have a favorite version of South Pacific or a favorite song from a musical? “Singing in the Rain” comes to mind.

~~~

For more on SoCS, visit out host, Linda G. Hill by clicking HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for July 26, 2022: Agreement to Resume Ukraine’s Grain Exports, Botswana’s Progress in Reducing HIV Transmission, India Bans Single Use Plastic Items, and “Rowdy” Cat Caught in Airport after Three Weeks

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Russia and Ukraine Sign Agreement to Resume Ukraine’s Grain Exports

Ukraine and Russia have signed an agreement for Ukraine to resume grain exports. Though the agreement was signed in separate rooms, it was backed by the United Nations and is the first agreement between the two countries since the Russian government started the war. CNBC has more on this story

Botswana Cuts HIV Transmissions from Mothers to Infants from 40% to Less than 1%

Botswana once had the highest HIV rates in the world, but a national program has reduced their mother to infant transmission of HIV from 40% to below 1%. The program included increased testing for all pregnant women and administering antiretroviral therapy to those who tested positive and to their infants. For details, click this article from the Good News Network.

India has Banned Several Types of Single-Use Plastics

India recently imposed a ban on single-use plastic items including straws, cutlery, ear buds, packaging films, and cigarette packets, as well as other products. CNN has more in this story from Reuters.

Cat who Escaped in Boston Airport for Three Weeks has been Caught

A cat named, “Rowdy,” escaped from her carrier in the Boston airport over three weeks ago. After a “massive search” Rowdy finally allowed herself to be safely trapped. Here’s more from HuffPost. and Here’s a video:

Got Good News ?

Feel free to share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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SoCS: The Conservation Kid, Osteoporosis, and Forward Bends

 Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is: “the first 2-5 words at the top of the closest printed matter.” 

There’s a Goodnewsletter open on my coffee table with a story I was thinking about including in my Good News Tuesday post but have not used in the month it’s been sitting there. Now I can use it and move it. Here’s the title on the open page: “Meet the Kid on a Mission to Pick up One Million Pounds of Litter in 2022.” Twelve-year-old Cash Daniels is known as “The Conservation Kid.” Cash and his friends spend “several hours each week picking up trash along the Tennessee River.” Kids like cash give me hope for our future.

(The above is all that would save Friday night when I normally write my SoCs post. The auto-save seemed to be circling, so I had a feeling…. This morning, I’m going back to try to re-create the second part but will try to stay in SoC mode.)

The other printed material nearby is from my medical folder and includes reports on previous bone density tests showing I have osteoporosis. This has not been addressed in a couple of years since my beloved gynecologist who was treating me went and retired. Like my beloved dentist retired. The nerve! Now all my doctors are clearly younger than me. Maybe it’s because I’m retired. (Yay!)

Anyway, I waited 18 months for an appointment with a rheumatologist. 18 months to get in! It gave me time to look up, rheumatologist. They deal with muscular-skeletal stuff and immune system issues, chronic pain, etc. Okay, good.

This rheumatologist said to me, “You’re pretty young to have osteoporosis.”

“Oh, really?”

“Did you ever smoke cigarettes?”

“Yes, in my twenties, for about ten years. A pack or two a day.” (Mostly a pack.)

“That could do it,” he said.

Sigh. “I thought I was over that. I thought my body had overcome that.” I don’t remember my exact words. I felt a bit deflated. He said something about smoking taking years from my bones or adding years. I looked it up. Smoking cigarettes decreases bone density. It just took a long time to catch up with me.

We can’t change the past, but we can do what we can now. (If anyone needs help quitting smoking, I have good experience.) I can look up exercise for bone density on YouTube as the doc suggested. I didn’t find anything that would be good to post here, but what I did find out (from multiple youtube sources) is that people with osteoporosis should NOT do crunches or forward bends. WT? We do forward bends regularly in my senior yoga class “Gentle Yoga for Back and Bones.” It’s not always gentle by the way. I’m good at forward bends. This needs more research and maybe I won’t push the forward bends. Maybe I’ll be more relaxed about them. This needs more research. Has anyone ever heard about this?

Maybe I’ll leave most (not all) of the trash picking up to the young conservation kids, or I’ll get one of those picking up sticks.

Below is one of the roosters at the sanctuary doing a forward bend in front a mirror.

~~~

For more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit our wonderful host,

Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for July 19, 2022: 988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Oil Companies Cancel Leases in Artic Wildlife Refuge, 4000 Beagles Rescued, and A Young Man Saves Five Minors from a Burning House

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

988 Suicide Prevention Hotline Launched Saturday in the US

The 988 “Lifeline” simplifies access and provides free 24/7 confidential emotional support to those in the US experiencing mental health distress. People can call, text, or chat. Here’s the 988 Website and here’s a report from NBC News.

Three Oil Companies Decide Not to Drill in the Artic Wildlife Refuge

Three oil companies have canceled leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an area considered sacred by the Indigenous Gwich’in people and home to 45 species of mammals including polar bears, bowhead whales and caribou. EcoWatch has details.

4000 Beagles to be Rescued from Research Facility

A federal judge has approved a plan for 4000 beagles to be rescued from Envigo, a research facility in Virginia. The conditions at the facility were horrible, but the good news is that the Humane Society of the US will be transferring the dogs to Humane Societies across the US, and the parent company plans to close that research facility. Thank you to the Virginia senators who advocated for these dogs and to the federal investigators. For more of the story, click here.

Young Man Saves Two Children and Three Teens from Burning House

Nicholas Bostic, a 25-year-old pizza delivery driver, saved two children and three teens from a burning house at around 12:30 a.m. on Monday. This is one of the most dramatic and moving rescue stories I’ve ever seen. Huffpost has the details and the bodycam video. The video below includes commentary and Nicolas being interviewed later.

Got Good News?

Feel free to share your personal good news or GNT link in the comments!


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SoCS: My Personal Bag Boy, Mundane Tasks, and Wonders of the Universe Far and Near

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “bagged.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

I don’t remember exactly when it was that David first bagged the groceries. Maybe it was during the beginning of the pandemic that he started bagging regularly. It’s a habit now. An endearing habit. Some cashiers are still a little caught off guard by reusable bags. Some automatically go to the plastic out of habit. So, David heads to the bagging position before they can even get started. He enjoys the challenge of organizing groceries in one bag. Sometimes we bring two, but not usually.

Remember when they had bag boys in grocery stores who bagged the groceries and took them out to your car hoping for a tip? When I was a poor 20 something year old, I had to tell them I could take the groceries out myself, even a 50 lb. bag of dogfood. That was back in the days of youth. Now, I’m thankful for my own personal bag boy.

Every now and then, I’ll get a plastic bag if I forgot the reusable. I have a few blue or yellow plastic bags (from Food Lion or Dollar General) since those are my kitchen colors. Plastic bags can be reused for picking up dog poop, though I suppose I could carry some kind of scooper. Thankfully they are making biodegradable dog poop bags. When I traveled more, I used to put my toiletries in a plastic grocery bag, then I realized I could put them in an old (clean) pillowcase. Maybe someday, we won’t use plastic bags anymore. Except for dog poop. Until we get a waste shark for dog poop. That comes from my Good News Tuesday post which included waste sharks in the water picking up trash. Now I’m imagining a land shark going on walks with us to pick up poop. The stream is getting weird now. It would have to be a small shark. Not a shark. Something else. This is going nowhere fast. Quick take that fork in the stream to ~~~

Now I’m lost in the stream of consciousness. No, I am not going back to the waste sharks bagging dog poop. Stop it! Think of something profound. This post started out nice. Sigh.

Oh! how about those pictures from space?

From my friend Jana’s post

My 1440 daily digest brought the story to my inbox with this article from the Washington Post, about beautiful nebula where stars are born. What knocked my socks off were the labels showing how HUGE the universe is and that there are all these other galaxies! Seeing that perspective opens up so many possibilities. In one of those galaxies far, far away, could there be a woman (or some other being) picking up dog (or some other being) poop? Going about mundane or grand tasks – different, but somehow similar? Are there constants of life and death? Maybe on another planet, the trees are in charge, served by birds, connected by mushrooms in an underground network…

There are A LOT of mushrooms around here lately, thanks to the rain and steamy temperatures. That brings us to pictures of fungi including some strange things growing things in my little urban forest and a few roses from my dentist’s office below in the gallery.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, rules, etc. check out our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.