Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Thursday Tree Love: Sycamore Survivor

tree sycamore thru leaves

Every year she sheds her bark

And often leaves me gifts.

Heart in Bark on green

She’s survived many hurricanes

Diana, Bertha, Fran, Floyd, Florence…

Bertha, or maybe Fran, in ’96

Stretched her roots

And lifted her skirt,

But she reached down deep

And held on for dear life.

She’s leaned westward ever since –

Not over the neighbor’s house

More over the backyard.

She grew a second trunk for balance.

Tree sycamore trunk

When I lay hands on her

I can feel her humming.

If experts say she must come down

I will have to go away.

But she is safe for now.

She releases her round stars

And waits for another spring.

sycamore

sycamore tree seed balls

Thursday Tree love is a photo feature at happinessandfood.com hosted on 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month.

Learn more at: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-58/


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Good News Tuesday: Diversity, An Inspiring Teenager, A Teacher’s Support, and Animals

Diversity in the Oscars

Though I don’t watch movies much these days, I was happy to see progress in this year’s Academy Awards recognizing and celebrating diversity.

A New House

John Hudson Dilgen was born with epidermolysis bullosa, a rare skin condition that brings challenges like open wounds, pain, sensitivity to cold, and limited mobility.  In one video, his father said 50 to 70 % of John’s body has no skin on it. His family asked the Tunnels to Towers Program if they would build a bath tub in their kitchen. Instead, they got a whole new “Smart Home.” John’s gratitude in the following video is very moving. In watching other videos with John, I was impressed by his maturity, intelligence, humor, and caring personality.

Homeless Dog Becomes a Star and Moves in with Trainer

Shelby was a stray digging for food in a Tennessee Landfill near heavy traffic when an animal control officer found her. With her friendly personality, she was happy to get in the truck. Shelby’s adoption photo was spotted by Teresa Ann Miller, an experienced dog trainer looking for a dog to play “Bella” in the movie, A Dog’s Way Home.  The movie is based on a novel who’s author “insisted that the canine actor be a rescue dog in order to properly advocate for the novel’s message.”  Ms. Miller found Shelby’s temperament and intelligence to be perfect. Shelby now lives with her trainer and works as a therapy dog.

 

Kindergarten Teacher Cuts Her Own Hair to Support Student

After five year old Priscilla had to get her  hair cut, other students made fun of her. They said she looked like a boy. She felt school wasn’t fun anymore and started to wear a hat all the time. Over Christmas break, her teacher, Ms. Grimm cut her hair waist-length hair short like Priscilla’s to support her student.

Sea Turtle and Marine Mammal Populations Recovering in US

Whale leaping

Image from NOAA via Global Citizen

 

“When animal habitats are protected, animals tend to thrive.”

Global Citizen reports on research published in January showing the positive effect of the US Endangered Species Act (which may be in danger.) “A team of researchers looked at 31 marine populations and found that the populations of 78% of marine mammals and 75% of sea turtles rebounded after receiving protections under the law.”

Read More: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/sea-turtle-populations-increase/?mc_cid=bdfb9d403e&mc_eid=16420dc8f1

 

Sunflower w address

Got good news? Please feel free to share in the comments!

It can be global, local, or personal.


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Critical Issues Around the Globe and at Home in Doodle Land

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Today’s prompt for the SoCS is: “critic(al).” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

Thinking of this prompt, not planning mind you, but thinking, I’ve gotten into a somewhat serious mood. I ask whoever wants to be asked, what are the critical issues we face as a species, or as individual nations? How about climate change?

I was listening to the radio in my car yesterday – the local public radio station since I didn’t like the song on the oldies station – and they were talking about how the barrier islands on the east coast of the US would become uninhabitable in the next 30 to 100 years. That’s where most people I know go to the beach. A lot of people live there, not to mention animals, which I am mentioning. The ice at the poles is melting more rapidly than we thought. This is a critical issue. This is, shall we dare say, emergent.

A critical issue in the US is health care. I know plenty of hard working people, working over 40 hours a week to support families, who cannot afford health insurance because the premiums are ridiculously high. And I live in a state that chose not to expand medicaid which some of my friends are going to Raleigh to protest. I can’t leave the dogs that long which I’ll get to in a moment. But my point is that the lack of affordable health care is critical in my country. For some people, it truly is an emergency. A national emergency. Along with education, homelessness…

I know I’m dancing close to the edge of a political rant which I generally or maybe never do on my blog, but that is the risk adventure of venturing into the stream of consciousness.  But let me take another branch of the stream. Maybe a broader branch. Maybe the big, overall critical issue is that we, and by we, I mean the media and popular culture of our culture, oooh that was a little whirlpool, now I’m dizzy. Where was I? Maybe the critical issue is that we’re too critical of others who we believe are so different from us. Maybe we need to focus on our similarities, what we have in common, and solutions for the common good.

Okay, lest I continue into a rant, let me share a personal critical issue we’ve faced/are facing in our home. I’m somewhat in denial about it. A few weeks ago, we found out that our crazy coon hound Doodle has a mast cell tumor which is malignant. Blood work showed she also has kidney disease. The denial comes from the fact that while Doodle is at least 12 years old, she’s always had a lot of energy. She kinda still does, but has not been as crazy enthusiastic about her walks lately. A couple weeks ago, the tumor spread and swelled her whole right rump, and her right back leg swelled to twice its normal size. The vet said this is a sign it’s probably gone into her lymph system and surgery might not help. Plus she’s 12 and the kidney disease. He put her on prednisone which quickly alleviated the swelling so that now she looks normal. Then she became more obnoxious than usual because steroids can do that. She actually had tremors. So we cut back on the prednisone (cut the dosage in half), and she’s doing okay. We have to watch her closely. Maybe she has a few weeks or even a year. I’m still a little in denial because she’s still crazy-ish. I have been more prepared for our other dog, Marigold, to cross over the bridge because she is almost 17. But Marigold keeps on plodding along.

Well, this is a little bit of a bummer of a post. But Doodle is not currently “critical,” and we are spoiling her rotten. And that’s kinda fun. Dogs. Gotta love ’em. Cats too. They help us get through all the other critical issues.

Doodle in recliner

Doodle when she wasn’t feeling good.

Doodle the Queen (2)

Doodle the Queen

For more information on SoCS, visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-23-19/

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!


35 Comments

WATWB: A Fatal Birth Defect and a Gift of Love

Welcome to WATWB #21, a monthly celebration of positive news stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. Sharing these stories increases our awareness of hope.

My offering this month is a story that moved me in powerful ways I cannot explain. It starts with a young couple expecting a baby.  In her 18th week of pregnancy, Krysta Davis found out the baby she was carrying was diagnosed with anencephaly, “a fatal neurological defect that occurs when parts of the brain and skull are missing. In most cases, babies diagnosed with it live between a few minutes and a few days.”

A doctor told Krysta that if she decided to go full term with the pregnancy, they could donate baby Rylei’s organs to help other babies.

In Krysta’s words:

“Derek and I looked at each other and knew what we were going to do. I may have not been able to take my baby home, but I could maybe use her life to give other mothers the chance to.”

Baby Rylei was born on Christmas Eve and lived for one week. She was miraculously stronger than anyone would have imagined.
We Are The World Blogfest in white

You can find more #WATWB stories on the Facebook page.

For more information on #WATWB visit:

 

Our cohosts for this month are:  Inderpreet Uppal Shilpa Garg Sylvia McGrath , Peter Nena, Belinda WitzenHausen. Please link to them in your WATWB posts and go say hi!


14 Comments

Good News Tuesday: Trees for Australia, More Mental Health, Public Lands, New Inventions, and Neighborly Sign Language

Australia to Plant 1 Billion Trees

Australia plans to plant 1 billion trees by 2050 as part of the country’s plan to meet Paris Agreement climate goals. The new forestry plan would support jobs and help the economy.  My Goodnewsletter led me to this article in The Straits Times.

Australia (2)

Mental Health Treatment Facility Replaces Old Jail house

“Los Angeles County supervisors … approved a plan Tuesday to tear down the dungeon-like Men’s Central Jail downtown and build at least one mental health treatment facility in its place.”  The new facility would be run by the Department of Health Services instead of the Sheriff’s Department and would be staffed by the mental health workers with deputies providing security. You can read more in this LA Times article.

Hope for Public Land Protection in the US

The U.S. Senate voted to support a bipartisan public lands package that protects more than 2 million acres of land and adds more than 1.3 million acres of new wilderness in western states. The Good News Network reports “The bill was passed in a 92-8 vote, and White House officials have divulged that the president has agreed to sign it, according to The Washington Post.

 

 

 

 

New Inventions from Africa

The following article from The Guardian highlights inventions by contenders for the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa prize. Designs include gloves that translate sign language into speech and a system which captures water from the air and converts it into drinking water using solar technology. I love it when  technology is used for good.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/jan/01/africa-inspired-inventors-royal-academy-of-engineering-prize

You can listen to the article in this video:

 

 

Neighbors Learn Sign Language

The neighbors in this Massachusetts community got together and organized a sign language class so they could communicate with 2 year old Samantha. Steve Hartman reports this touching story for “On the Road”

 

Sunflower w address

Got good news? Feel free to share in the comments!

 

 


37 Comments

Yawns, Sighs, and Sunsets

stream-of-consciousness-saturday-2018-19

Our mission for this Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness was:

“… “yawn.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word “yawn,” when you sit down to write your post. Enjoy!”

We think of a yawn as implying boredom, but it’s also a way to reset our breathing or something like that – like a sigh which is somewhat more voluntary than a yawn. Have you ever tried to yawn on purpose? It’s just not the same. I just tried it. And try to suppress a yawn. You can keep your mouth closed, but the yawn is in there. Did they see it? There’s this guy in choir who yawns really loud. He doesn’t really try to suppress it. The choir director says, “No yawning in the choir loft!” (It’s not really a loft.) But it doesn’t matter. We all chuckle.

Now, a sigh is different. A sigh can be voluntary and also a reset. In yoga class we were encouraged to sigh out loud. Or yawn or whatever. Just let it all out.

Yawn rhymes with dawn. Dawn’s early light which I rarely see, because I’m not a morning person. I have nothing against dawn or early mornings, but much prefer sunset when I’m more awake and can take it all in with a sigh instead of a yawn. But yawning and sighing are both okay. Dawn and sunset are both beautiful blessings.

I typed dawn into the search bar for my pictures. Nothing. Then, I typed sunset and got 900 and something items. Really? I probably take more sunset photos than anything else. Let’s see if I can find some of my favorites. Without planning.

sunset behind trees from the road

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surf w pink sky.jpg

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reflections of sunset.jpg

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(All the photos were taken in North Carolina with the last 2 from Beech Mountain.)

Minimal planning or something like that.  We’ll see below.  I got the “have fun” part right.

For more information on #SoCS, or to jump in the stream, visit our host, Linda G. Hill at

https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/15/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-16-19/

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!