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 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: Produce and Productivity

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “product/produce.” Use one, use them both, use them any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Have fun!

The first thing that came to mind was produce. As in strawberries, squash, and little orange tomatoes from the farmer’s market that taste soooo good! Produce = fruit and vegetables – gifts from earth, from Creator. And from bees. Gotta have bees.

Every Thursday, I chop up produce for the animals at the sanctuary. Lately, I’ve been practicing cutting produce with my left hand, because my right arm is giving me some trouble. It’s gotta be a good brain exercise but takes longer. I would not want to be a waitress, but don’t mind doing this for the animals.

I hope I get a few more grapes out back since I have tried to cut back and drape the grapevine around a fence and keep the other vines from taking over. Of course, the birds and squirrels will have some, too. We’ll see.

Nurturing the grape vine and going to the farmer’s market are much happier forms of what some might call productivity. When I used to work in an office, the measurement of productivity changed in the last 5 years of my 30-year counseling career. The measurement changed to expect more direct services in spite of mountains of paperwork/computer work being added… Oh stop it! That’s history, and I’m soooo thankful it’s history. I don’t even like the word productivity anymore. How about creativity!

Now, I can feel productive if I make cookies from bananas, peanut butter, and oatmeal, or if I give Marley a bath – which is a lot of work! Taking down the old shower curtain was productive. I’ve washed it and scrubbed it enough times. Now, I have a new one. David can put that up. It’s supposedly “biodegradable and eco-friendly.” I have not thrown the old one away. It’s hanging on the clothesline because I might wash it. Might not. I don’t have to decide until I want to decide. More important things to do. Like getting ready to go to the mountains! More on that later!

Semi-random photos that may or may not be related to the topic:

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, rules, etc.

visit out host, Linda G. Hill by clicking HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for June 21, 2022: Refugees and Dogs Safe in Poland, “Eco Mermaid” Sets Record, Teacher Teaches Father to Read, Teenager Saves Woman in Car, and “A Wild Hope”

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Ukranian Refugees with Dogs Safe in Poland

Two women and 17 dogs are starting a new life in Poland after spending 40 days in a Ukranian bomb shelter. Read about their amazing story and the shelter that took them in this story from CNN.

“Eco Mermaid” Sets New World Record and Picks Up Trash

Merle Liivand, also known as “Eco Mermaid,” broke a Guinness World Record in May by completing a 26.22-mile swim using a mermaid monofin. She could not use her hands or arms for swimming, but she did use them to pick up trash along the way. Read more from CNN.

Pre-School Teacher Teaches her Father to Read and Write

Luciana Flores had a rough childhood and never learned to read or write. He eventually moved to the US and has been working in the construction industry for most of his life. His daughter Lucy, a preschool teacher, has been teaching him how to read and write. Lucy is the first person in her family to graduate from college. Enjoy the full story from Good Morning America.

Teenager Saves Woman Who Drove Car into the Water

High school senior Anthony Zhongor dove into a New York bay to save a woman who drove her car into the water. (I guess it’s not just old ladies like me who’ve accidentally confused the gas and brake pedals, especially in parking lots where I now drive very s l o w l y.) Learn more about Anthony in this video:

Spix’s Macaws Released Back into the Wild

Spix’s Macaws are being returned to their natural forest home in Brazil after two decades of being extinct in the wild. You can read all about these rare and beautiful birds in “A Wild Hope,” from Science Magazine. The following video shows their release earlier this month.

Got Good News?

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SoCS: Marley, the Bunny, and the Cat Under the SUV

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “iron(y).” Use “iron,” use “irony,” or use both. Use them any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Have fun!

First of all, let me get this out of the way: I don’t iron anymore. Period.

Now, to the story.

The bunny was just sitting there on the corner near the house that has been vacant for many years. I was surprised that Marley, my pitsky with a high prey drive, did not see the bunny. We crossed the street and waited. We’re supposed to be working on recall, still on leash, with all our training tools. Still, the bunny barely moved. He or she munched on some weeds. It vaguely occurred to me that God was doing me a favor, but my growing confidence led me to be less vigilant. There’s some irony in here somewhere.

The bunny looked like this
(from Pixabay?)

We moved on, heading back toward our house. I (again vaguely) knew there was a cat who lived in the vicinity, but I was confident and pushed the envelope. A cat would be an opportunity to practice recall. Marley realized before I did, that the cat was hiding under an SUV parked close to the sidewalk. Before I knew it, I was pulled to the SUV Marley stuck his head under. The cat’s hissing just excited him more. At some point, Marley must have suddenly responded to my commands, because I ended up falling HARD on my butt. Thank God I did not let go of the leash. And thank God I did not break a hip since I have osteoporosis. But that didn’t stop me from cussing which I rarely do in public. I’ve had coccyx issues in the past so falling hard on my butt is an “Oh —-,” experience.

The young couple of the house came out to see if I was okay, distracting Marley from their cat who had since run up a tree on the other side of the SUV. Eventually I got up and made my way home. That all happened last Saturday night. My butt still hurts, but not as much. I trust my body knows how to heal.

Lessons learned: Don’t push the envelope. BE VIGILANT. Beware of parked vehicles near our path.

The good news is that yesterday, when Marley accidentally got out of the kitchen while Mama Cat was in her safe corridor, he did not go crazy. We’ve been keeping them separated, though I’ve been thinking it might be almost time to let Marley see her on the other side of the pet gate while he is in PLACE on his cot – a command he is learning. While I was doing something on the computer, with Mama Cat in the dining area with me, I noticed Marley was whining and pacing on the other side of the gate.

What?! He’s supposed to be in the kitchen!

I called David to get him back in the kitchen, but at least Marley didn’t go crazy. He acted more like he does when he wants to make friends with another dog or person. So that’s good news, especially since Mama Cat and the SUV cat are both tuxedo cats. I’m hoping Marley will clearly understand that Mama Cat is part of our family.

“I was here first.”

Marley resting in PLACE.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, rules, and more, visit out host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for May 31, 2022: An Amazing Recovery, The Rights of Water, Growing Rhino Population, a Bus Driver Helps Family to Safety, and a Baby Sloth is Reunited with Mother

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Young Girl’s “Incurable” Hydrocephalus Disappears

At just a few months old, Evie-Mae Geurts was blind. With the continued pressure on her brain, Doctors said she would be blind forever and that she’d probably never learn to walk and talk. But her sight returned when she was a toddler. Normally, hydrocephalus cannot be cured and requires shuts to relieve the pressure, but today, seven-year-old Evie Mae is free of shunts, is at the top of her class, and can see perfectly without glasses. Here’s the story from the Good News Network.

The Rights of Water

In Florida, legal advocates are empowering bodies of water to have rights for self-protection.

“If you can grant (rights) to a corporation, why not the Great Lakes? Why not the Mississippi River? Why not the many waterways across our planet that we all depend on to survive?” Kelsey Leonard

Read more about this revolutionary movement in this article from Good Good Good.

One-Horned Rhino Population is Growing

At the start of the 20th century, the greater one-horned rhinos were close to extinction with only about 200 existing in the wild. Now, there are 4,014 of these rhinos in India and Nepal. The recent population growth is partly due to a “baby boom” during the pandemic, when protected areas were closed to visitors. Here’s more from CNN.

Bus Driver Helps Woman and Children Escape Abusive Ex

Kyle Caswell, an 18-year-old bus driver from Swindon, England helped a mother and her three children escape from her abusive ex. Kyle got permission from his supervisor to go “off route” at the end of his shift to take the woman and her children to safety. Here’s more from BBC News.

Baby Sloth Reunited with Mother

The staff from the Jaguar Rescue Center in Costa Rica saw a baby sloth become separated from its mother. The Good News Network has the story of their reunion. Here’s the video:

Got Good News?

Please share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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Good News Tuesday for May 10, 2022: Sea Lion Pups, Decarbonizing Scooters, AI Testing, and Prosthetic Arms (x2)

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Watching Sea Lion Pups in New Zealand

Volunteers in New Zealand are “babysitting” endangered sea lion pups. Meet one teen volunteer and read more about sea lion history in this article from CNN.

Decarbonizing Scooters

The Taiwanese company Gogoro has created a system to convert polluting scooters to electric with battery swapping stations. Here’s the story and podcast from Voltz.

Artificial Intelligence is Gradually Replacing Animal Testing

The company Smarter Sorting realized they could use a computational model to determine substance toxicity, “…which is not only faster, more cost effective, but also more humane,” says CEO Jacqueline. Claudia. Read about how AI can help reduce suffering from animal testing from FAST Company.

Teenager Invents a Mind Controlled Prosthetic Arm

High school student Benjamin Choi created a “non-invasive, mind-controlled robotic arm … able to withstand weights up to about four tons…. And it only costs around $300 to manufacture.” Read this fascinating story from Smithsonian Magazine.

And in related news….

8-Year-Old Beknur Gets a News Prosthetic Arm made from Legos

Got Good News?

Please share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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SoCS: Things my Parents Said about Possibility, Goats, Food, Wishes and Spit

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “a phrase you grew up with.” Include in your post a phrase your mom/dad/grandparent/sibling used all the time when you were growing up, or just write whatever inspires you based on that phrase. Enjoy!

I have to start by honoring my father, Jim, who would have been…. 91 on May 2 if he was still in this world. You may have read that my father inspired the title of my blog by telling me when I was 12 years old:

“Nothing is Impossible.”

He was told that by his scoutmaster, probably in the 1940s and passed it on to me in the 1960s. He didn’t make this statement a lot, but the tone of his voice and the state of my impressionable mind made it stick. “Nothing is impossible” became “Anything is possible.”

My dad also said,

“Outstanding!”

I think that was a common military word. It felt good to hear that one. He also said things in what sounded like Korean or Vietnamese (he served as a Marine in both those wars), but I think they were curse words, so I’m not going to try to guess how they might be spelled.

Mom often said,

“Kids are baby goats,”

She said that whenever someone would call children kids. Dad picked that up, too. Sorry, Mom, but I sometimes say kids. Mom also said,

“We don’t throw away food.”

That came from growing up during “The Great Depression.” The other thing mom said a lot was,

“Wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one gets filled up first.

There are other versions of that saying which Mom would not want me to share. Still, I think there is some value in wishing as long as we do the footwork to make our wishes come true. Not that we can MAKE them come true every time, but we can manifest our dreams. We can move in the direction of our hopes and dreams, one step as time. Sometimes we manifest something even better!

As I look at that word, manifest, it conjures up all kinds of trash in the stream of consciousness. It’s not a pleasant-sounding word, but it has a powerful meaning. What would be another word that means nurturing dreams into reality? Well, I don’t know. But I know this:

Dreams do come true!

Reading these sayings from my parents, it sounds like my dad was more of a dreamer and my mom was stern. That was not the case at all, at least not on the surface. Dad was practical and hardworking. Mom was more romantic, though dad had his romantic side, too. Just for the record.

I could write a whole other post about goats. Summing it up: Don’t take baby goats away from their mamas.

Esther and Delilah came to the sanctuary pregnant. It was the first time they were allowed to keep their babies. I don’t have a good picture of Delilah, but Jack and Henry are her sons. Esther’s daughter was named Miracle, aka Mira, because she was a complete surprise, and her mama is so old.

Happy Mother’s Day to goat mamas, dog mamas, cat mamas, llama mamas and

all the mamas everywhere.

~~~

For more sayings, streams, and rules, visit our most excellent host, Linda G. Hill HERE.


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SoCS: Healthy Relationships and Dog Treats

 Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “how.” Use the word “how” in your post. Bonus points if you start your post with it. Enjoy! Thanks, Linda!

How to read a “how to” book:

  1. If it’s a long book, skip to the chapter that actually tells you, how to.
  2. If it’s a short book, go ahead and read through.
  3. Come back to the other sections of the long book as needed.

That’s how I read a “how to book,” anyway. Maybe it’s not the best way, but that seems to work for me.

A short how to book that’s easy to read through would be my book, From Loneliness to Love, Five Steps for Finding a Healthy Relationship. (You can find it on the right sidebar.) And that’s all I’m going to say about that, unless I come back to it, because this IS after all stream of consciousness writing.

How to get up earlier: Go to bed earlier.

How to go to bed earlier: Turn off the TV.

How to turn off the TV: Push the off button.

How to push the off button: Set an alarm to tell you to. Nope. Not gonna do that.

How to get more exercise without hurting myself: Go to a physical therapist (appointment scheduled) and keep doing yoga, stretch regularly while watching TV and on the computer. Like right now….

How to strengthen a healthy relationship: Do fun stuff together.

David and I went to the beach last week. It was nice. We need to go more since it’s only 20 minutes away. I’m hoping we can walk the dog together in the evening, but he still needs more training to make it an enjoyable experience. (The dog needs more training, not so much David.)

I’ve been watching a lot of “how to” dog training videos and have scheduled a consultation with another trainer recommended by a friend. They use e-collars, though this is not required. At this point, I’m willing to give it a try since it’s a vibration I will try on myself first of course. If there was ever a dog that needed something like this, it could be Marley. His lunges make me worried concerned about things like shoulder dislocation. David has to wear his hand brace for several more weeks due to a Marley lunge.

Marley is making progress, but those squirrels still drive him crazy. A few days ago, there was a turtle or tortoise just on the other side of the fence minding its own business, and Marley went nuts over a turtle! He even barked at it, and he rarely barks. I was able to get the leash on him and get him to take some training treats for moving away from the turtle and get him back into the house. Fortunately, the turtle tortoise was not there when we went out back again. The videos I watch (from two different programs) use A LOT of training treats. So far, he still likes them.

I’ve been working hard in the backyard urban forest to get ahead of the vines and thin things out so I can keep an eye on Marley and hopefully nudge wildlife to move elsewhere. Oh! That reminds me, I learned at the farm animal sanctuary where I volunteer that hanging a paper bag up that looks like a wasp nest will discourage wasps from building nests. I need to put one on both of my porches.

Maybe I can find some related photos without going too far out of the stream.

Healthy Relationships include having fun together and recognizing strengths in spite of challenges. Marley is very sweet and well behaved in the house where there are no squirrels. He probably thinks I’m a nag for dragging him away from interesting things and not letting him eat the lantana or dig to China. But I’m the one with the training treats.

~~~

To read more streams and find out how to join in, visit out host, Linda Hill HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for March 22, 2022: Elephant Sanctuary Benefits Community, New Technology for People with Paralysis, Salvaging Pieces of Old Buildings, and Amellia Anisovych sings the Ukrainian National Anthem

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Elephant Sanctuary Benefits Community

Supply chain issues dried up the flow of baby formula for orphaned elephants at the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in Kenya, so the staff started to feed the baby elephants goats milk from local herds. Survival rates improved and the money that used to buy formula is now staying in the local community. If fact, Reteti is the first elephant orphanage in Africa to be owned and run by members of the local community. CNN has heartwarming photos and more about this special sanctuary.

Paralyzed Patients Use Smartphones, Computers and Control Wheelchairs with New Technology

A new device enables patients with paralysis use head and tongue movements use smartphones and computers and to control their own power wheelchairs. Georgia Tech shared the results of a study involving 17 wheelchair users living with tetraplegia—a spinal cord injury that affects the arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs. Here’s more from the Good News Network.

Salvaging Old Buildings to Build New Ones in Ohio

Too often, old buildings are demolished quickly and loaded off to landfills, but in Cleveland, Ohio, people are carefully dismantling old buildings to re-use the materials in constructing new buildings. Read about how they’re doing it at Good Good Good

Amellia is Safe in Poland and Still Singing

Amellia Anisovych, the seven-year-old who sang “Let it Go” from a bomb shelter in Ukraine, is now safe in Poland. On Sunday night, she sang the Ukrainian National Anthem, “Shche ne vmerla Ukraina” (“Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished”) at a concert to raise money for her country.

Got Good News?

Please share your good news or GNT link in the comments!