Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday for Jan. 19, 2021: Germany’s Renewable Energy Success, City’s De-escalation Training Pays Off, US Capitol Clean UPs, and High School Senior Opens Email at Mom’s Grave

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Germany Used More Renewable Energy than Fossil Fuels in 2020

In 2020, the world’s fourth largest economy used more renewable energy than fossil fuels. Here are the details from the Good News Network.

Newark, NJ De-escalation Program: No Shots Fired in 2020

In the city of Newark, New Jersey, no police officer fired a weapon while on duty in 2020. City leaders credit a de-escalation program implemented two years ago. Overall crime was down 6%. Learn more here.  

US Capitol Clean Ups by a Congressman and Veterans

Congressman Andy Kim was cleaning up litter in the US Capitol at 1:00 on the morning after the attack on his Capitol. Representative Kim was in a separate office building during the attack, but when he saw the awful mess later that night, he felt compelled to help clean it up. With tears in his eyes, he told Congressman Dean Phillips, who spoke last week at a Braver Angels event, that he couldn’t stand seeing capitol that way and wouldn’t rest until it was cleaned up. Here’s more from NBC News.

In a related story, a group of veterans volunteered in a clean-up event near Capitol Hill Sunday picking up trash, debris and graffiti after last week’s riot. Here’s more from The Hill.

High School Senior Opens Email at Mother’s Gravesite

Skylar’s mom passed away in 2016 on the last day of 7th grade. When Skylar saw the email from Duke University, she didn’t open it right away. Not knowing whether she was accepted into Duke, her first choice, she took her laptop, and her dad, to her mother’s grave, to open it. You can read more about Skylar here at Good Morning America. Watch what happened at the gravesite and be ready to be moved.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!

It can be global, local, or personal!

Thanks to the cities of Newark and Washington, I included today’s Just Jot January prompt: “city.” For details on Just Jot January and fantastic stories from our host, Linda Hill, visit:

#JusJoJan prompt the 19th – “City” | (lindaghill.com)


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JusJoJan: Wishes and Dreams, MLK’s Words: “I have dream…”

Today’s prompt is the word, “Wish.”

What’s the difference between a wish and a dream?

Making a wish seems somewhat passive, whimsical maybe. Nothing wrong with wishing, though my mom used to say her father used to say, “Wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one gets filled up faster.” (There are other versions.)

A dream seems more long term, deeper, something that calls to be nurtured and nourished.

Martin Luther King had a dream. He worked hard for his dream. He prayed. He envisioned it. He spoke about it. Below is part of his “I Have a Dream” speech:

…Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

You can read the entire speech here.

Or listen below:

For more on Just Jot January, visit out host, Lind Hill at:

#JusJoJan prompt the 18th – “Wish” | (lindaghill.com)


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JusJoJan: Update on Tahlequah, Grieving Mother Orca

I found a note in my drafts to “Check on Tahlequah, mother orca” who two years ago carried her deceased infant for 17 days. The orca population has been in trouble due to difficulty finding food which is primarily salmon. In July, CNN’s Good Stuff reported Tahlequah was pregnant again along with several other orcas..

So I checked and here’s the update: In September Tahlequah gave birth to a healthy baby boy. I hope he and the other orcas do well.

Today’s prompt for Just Jot January was, “check.” For more jottings and rules, visit our host, Linda at:

#JusJoJan prompt the 17th – “Check!” | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: On Being a Night Owl, Listening Skills, Dogs in Heaven, and Making Christmas Last

Here’s the prompt:

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “first thing.” Start your post with the words, “first thing” and go from there. Bonus points if you end your post with the last thing. Have fun!

First thing in the morning…. it would be nice if I said I pray before I get out of bed. But I don’t usually. It would be a nice habit. To be honest, the first thing I do in the morning before I get out of bed is hit the snooze. I am not a morning person. I am a night owl. The husband is a morning person. Good for him. Lately, I have started listening to music on Youtube to help me wake up – James Taylor is my favorite, but yesterday, I listened to a Ted Talk. I have to find a good Ted Talk, and one might wonder that if I’m going to go to all that trouble to scroll and find a Ted Talk, I might as well get up. But I’m a night owl. Listening to a Ted Talk helps even if I drift off a little.

First thing we need to learn is how to listen to each other to understand. I’m thinking about the political divide problem. But some people are good at listening and need to be more assertive which means being honest with RESPECT. If someone talks a lot, goes on and on, like one of my old boyfriends used to do, I cannot hold that many ideas in my head to be able to process. It can be overwhelming.

That’s why, when I was working on bringing my soulmate to me, I made up a song to the tune of Janis Joplin’s song about “Oh, Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV.” I changed the words to, “Oh Lord, won’t you find me, a man who can listen.” David is a good listener when I need to talk about something important. When it’s a more mundane thing about household chores, well that’s another thing. But nobody’s perfect.

First thing I want to see when I get to heaven is my dogs, especially the dog I wrote about yesterday. I’m sorry Jesus. Maybe the dogs should come after Jesus. Yeah, unless Jesus is busy and wants to let me get settled in at the cabin in the woods with the dogs.

First thing to do when we have a list of things to do might be the most important thing unless it’s something really hard and you have to break it down into small steps and maybe it would be okay to do something easy on your list so you can check something off.

My Christmas tree is still up. Don’t laugh, sometimes I’ve left it up into February because I love Christmas lights. I took down the lights outside except the ones on the fence, because they are pretty, and things look so bare when the Christmas stuff is down. I took the decorations off the tree and put them in a box. It still has the colored lights, because they are attached. I took down the Christmas cards. This is actually good for me to have this stuff done before MLK day. Taking down the Christmas tree and getting it up in the attic this weekend will be the last thing. But there’s usually something that I have forgotten to put in the attic in which case, that will be the last thing.

Oh, yeah, let’s have cats in heaven, too.

For more streams of consciousness and Just Jot Januarys, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

The Friday Reminder for #SoCS & #JusJoJan 2021 Daily Prompt – Jan. 16th | (lindaghill.com)


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Feelings From My Eleven Year Old Self

Writing my family history from my parents’ perspective is emotionally hard right now. The idea that it could some day become a novel is distant. I’m writing about the time when my dad was in Vietnam and my mom was trying to cope with her anxiety and depression and what do to with the family dog. That is the gigantic issue for me. Hoppy.

Hoppy 1967

I was 11 years old. Hoppy, a Newfoundland/Shepherd mix was my confidant. We had moved from Philadelphia to Michigan to New York staying with other families while Dad was in Vietnam. That summer we would stay in Quantico until dad finally got stationed at Camp Lejeune again.

Hoppy had been with us through each move. But something happened to him that spring in New York. I don’t know the truth. My mom made up as story about a sick little girl who needed him more than I did. I believed it. I suppose it could be true. Now, at the age of 65, I wade through my dad’s letters from Vietnam with fear as I approach the possibility of more clues. Any day now, I could read a letter that tells me more about what happened to Hoppy. My parents loved each other very much. It was a terribly hard time for them. I’m trying to look at the big picture and have compassion for all. I wrote this note to myself in my work in progress:

Note to self: Step back and look at the big picture with compassion for all. Allow your feelings. The truth is you don’t know what happened You might was well imagine something good.

So I tried to imagine Hoppy being adopted by a loving family. Then the grief broke through from that 11 year old girl who was me.

I LOVED HIM.

The sobs came and I prayed for guidance, for comfort. All I can do right now is reach back across the 54 years to that eleven year old girl whose body was changing in crazy ways, whose father was in Vietnam, whose mother was on the verge of another nervous breakdown, the girl whose dog was gone – and wrap my arms around her and hold her and tell her she is going to get through this.

In 1967, that eleven year old girl learned to shut down her feelings. She focused on school work and escaped into Star Trek. But she still had that pain and confusion buried all those years ago trying to accept the story her mother told her about her dog.

I guess that’s enough writing for today.

Here’s a family photo from happier times. Probably right after Dad got back from Vietnam since he’s pretty thin.

I’m the big girl on the right wearing hushpuppies.

I wrote this before checking the prompt for Just Jot January which is “button.” I guess we never know when we’re going to bump into a button that takes us back to our childhood, for better or worse, offering an opportunity for healing.

Linda’s Just Jot January story looks interesting. Click the following link for details:

#JusJoJan prompt the 15th – “Button” | (lindaghill.com)


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Thursday Tree Love: Perfectly Twisted

“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.”

– Alice Walker

Quote discovered here: the art of perfection – #1linerWeds – Riddle from the Middle

Bent and twisted by coastal winds, this tree adapts. It grows in the sandy soil near the bottom of the giant sand dune at Carolina Beach State Park which I shared about in my previous Tree Love post. So this twisted tree is a neighbor of those trees. Below is the broader perspective of the habitat along the intracoastal waterway:

This is an old photo from when Doodle was still with us.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month.

For more tree love, visit:

#ThursdayTreeLove – 101 – happiness and food

Today’s Just Jot January prompt was “neighbor,” so I worked it in! For more Just Jot January, visit:


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A Vision for a Great America

I want to share a vision written by Mary Melange in her Stream of Consciousness post this past Saturday:

“…Think of what we could be if we became united instead of divided; if we ended systemic racism; if we got a grip on the pandemic so people could go back to work and small businesses could thrive again; if we took care of our planet and loved each and every one of our neighbors; if, by enlightenment, we changed people’s hearts from being selfish and hateful to selfless and loving; if, by education, we formed intelligent, thoughtful opinions that led to great discussion; if we value civilized dialogue instead of hate speech; if we ended poverty and provided health care for everyone. Wouldn’t that truly make America a promised land, one of respect and greatness?”

Mary’s post gives a heartfelt summary of what’s been going on in America as well as the historical roots. You can read Mary full article here: #SoCS: Reaching Past the Sky | Mary J Melange (wordpress.com)

I offer this vision as part of One-Liner Wednesday and Just Jot January. For more jottings, one-liners, and inspiration, visit:

One-Liner Wednesday/JusJoJan the 13th, 2021 – Snow Carolers | (lindaghill.com)


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Good News Tuesday for Jan. 12, 2021: Democracy Prevailed, Women in the Catholic Church, Rice ATM, A Returned Wallet, and Food from the Heart

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Democracy Prevailed

After domestic terrorists attacked the US Capitol building on Wednesday in an attempted coup, members of congress evacuated to safety. The coup failed. Lawmakers returned to their posts that same evening and finished their jobs. Working through the night, they certified the Electoral College votes confirming Joe Biden as the 46th US president. The announcement was made at 3:40 AM on Thursday. Later that day, Donald Trump stated for the first time that “there will be an orderly transition on January 20.” We don’t know what the future holds, but on the morning of Thursday January 7, democracy prevailed. This article from MSN provides details and historical perspectives.

Pope Francis Gives Women More Opportunity to Serve in the Catholic Church

 Pope Francis, “in another step towards greater equality for women in the Roman Catholic Church,” decreed on Monday that women will be allowed to serve as readers at liturgies, altar servers and distributors of communion. These things have been happening in some churches, but the decree formalizes and ensures the opportunity to be allowed even in conservative Catholic parishes.

Rice ATM

In India, Ramu Dosapati has spent close to $61,000 of his own money to create a ‘Rice ATM’, giving out rice and other necessities 24 hours a day, to those in need. Here’s more from the Good News Network.

Girl Donates Birthday Money to Homeless Man who Returned Grandma’s Wallet

Sean Curry, who has been homeless for five years, found a wallet in a dumpster behind a coffee shop. He found no cash, but there were credit, debit, and medical cards in the wallet. Sean arranged to have the wallet returned to the owner, Evelyn Topper. Evelyn’s grand daughter, Mikayla had planned her 12th birthday party to include a drop off for charity donations. She gave the several hundred dollars in birthday money, to Sean. For more details and a video from the Good News Network, click here.

Food from the Heart

The Sakina Grill has served rich and poor alike. When the pandemic threatened the business, the community rallied in support with over 65 donors contributing more than a quarter of a million dollars. You can learn more about the Sakina Grill and be inspired by owner/chef Kazi Mannan here.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!


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A Letter to My Past Self About Reasons to Keep Living

This post is inspired by Eliza at: https://elizajourneythroughlife.home.blog/

I’m sending this back in time to myself whenever it’s needed most, sometime in my late teens or early twenties when I had thoughts about suicide. 

Dear JoAnne, 

It’s me, your future self, writing this to you when I am 65 years old which doesn’t feel as old as I thought it would back then when I was 20. Believe me, there is plenty of life to live. 

I know this is hard time for you. I know you are confused and lost trying to figure out what to do with your life. I know your heart aches and that you’ve had thoughts of giving up. Don’t give up!  It’s very important that you know life will get better. There will be hard times ahead. There will be times when you feel your heart is breaking, but the good times will vastly, surely, and greatly outweigh the bad. When I look back at all the good times over the past 45 years, I am so grateful that I didn’t give up.

You will gradually gain the skills to navigate and overcome the hard times. Things that seem impossible now, will someday be easier or less important. 

There are good times, wonderful times, ahead with the constants in your life: nature, art, writing, dogs, horses, cats, learning, and spirituality. These are the things you need to focus on now – the true loves of your life that always nurture your spirit and feed your soul. There will be love. Love from men, friends, and family. Your parents love you very much, even more than you can realize right now since you haven’t had children, yet, but you will. The love of family and friends is important. For now, don’t worry about the men, especially the ones who act like boys. You deserve love that is kind and caring, mature and strong. It might take a while, but you will have it. For now focus on loving yourself. 

You are valuable! You are worth so much more than you know. You have so much to give to this world with all your gifts, gifts that are still being developed. 

I know you might not want to hear this right now, but God loves you deeply, profoundly and forever. Just trust me on this. Your family is praying for you every day. Let this knowledge strengthen you. I know your ideas about religion are eclectic and nontraditional, and that’s okay. That’s part of who you are. But understand that there is a Higher Power who loves you dearly and has a wonderful plan for you! Trust the timing.

So, forget about men for now.  Remember your dreams. Your dreams may change, but they will always be about helping others and Mother Earth. For now, focus on loving yourself and learning. Cut down on the drinking. Be safe. Go back to college. Feel free to explore different classes, different interests.

There’s a whole world of possibilities waiting for you!

I’m sending big hugs and abundant love across time to you. Be still for a moment and feel it. Then move forward with you wonderful life. I promise your life will be will be interesting, beautiful and full of wonder.  

I love you always, 

JoAnna

Today’s Just Jot January topic was, “Letter.” I’m thankful to E for her nudge and patience on this letter and to Linda, our JusJoJan host for getting me to go through my draft ideas to get it written.

For more on Just Jot January, visit: #JusJoJan prompt the 11th – “Letter” | (lindaghill.com)


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Just Jot January: Vegan Cheese, a Work in Progress

Today’s prompt for JusJoJan is “cheese.”

Cheese is one of the things that makes it hard for me to be vegan. That and seafood. I can be vegan for lent, but so far, not forever. There’s a book called, Breaking the Food Seduction, by Dr. Neal Barnard, MD which explains the addictive nature of cheese. I heard Dr. Barnard speak about this at a convention years ago.

There are many vegan cheeses, and I have not tried them all. Some are better than others. I believe they are getting better. My husband David doesn’t like the vegan cheeses I’ve tried, but he’s okay with this cheesy vegan chickpea sauce I’ve been experimenting with. It tastes kinda like cheese and works well for casseroles, pot pies and scalloped potatoes.

Chickpea Cheese Sauce:

¾ cup    Chickpeas (canned or home cooked with liquid)

¾ cup    Non-Dairy Milk (almond milk, oat milk or other, plain and unsweetened)

¼ cup    Nutritional Yeast

1 clove  Large Garlic

½ teaspoon        Salt

½ teaspoon        Turmeric

¼ teaspoon        Black Pepper (ground)

1 tablespoon     Fresh Chives (snipped)

Mix it in a food processor or blender.

I tend to be creative and relaxed about measurement and use one can of chickpeas, extra garlic or garlic salt, and added a few tablespoons of olive oil. I used this sauce inside my Christmas lasagna and it worked well. But I confess to using real cheese from whole foods on top of the lasagna. I asked the whole foods cheese person about the most humane cheese they had since they didn’t have any that was “humane certified.” She said she’d visited the farm of the brand I used, and they seemed to care a lot about the cows. I am a work in progress.

My daughter might have taken this picture in Virginia

My next venture is to figure out how to thicken the chickpea sauce for a pizza. (no oil?) I’m not going to use tomato sauce, but plan to put sliced tomatoes on top of the chickpea cheese sauce. We’ll see….

For more information on Just Jot January, visit out host, Linda Hill at the link below. Linda has shared some fun fictional tidbits for JusJoJan. It’s never too late to jump in!

#JusJoJan prompt the 10th – “Cheese” | (lindaghill.com)