Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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More Than Surviving at the Farm Animal Sanctuary

Esther and Mira

Today’s prompt for Just Jot it January is “surviving.” Thanks to Wendy for the prompt and to our host, Linda Hill, for keeping us going! You can learn more about #JusJoJan at Linda’s post HERE.

Until I started volunteering at Blueberry Lane Farm Animal Sanctuary, I hadn’t had much personal experience with chickens, goats, or pigs. Now, the menagerie is like extended family. At the sanctuary, they are not just surviving, they are thriving, and they are loved.

Every Thursday, I prepare lunch for the sanctuary residents. I cut up produce and feed it to the pigs and roosters and check to make sure the goats have plenty of hay. The pigs were rescued from factory farms and the roosters from kapparot where live chickens are twirled overhead. The roosters get along fine for the most part. After feeding, I like to hang out with the gentle old lady goats. The goats were rescued from petting zoos or breeders where they were not well cared for. Esther is one of my favorites. It’s taken a while for her to trust me.

Esther’s stomachs are permanently distended because she was not fed properly. When she arrived at the sanctuary, Esther was secretly pregnant. Her daughter, Mira, short for Miracle, was a sweet surprise. Mira, being born on the farm, is friendly and assertive. Now, Esther gets different kinds of hay, forages in the yard, and gets lettuce and other greens as a treat. She loves it when I pick an occasional green leaf off of a tree for her.

Surviving is usually better than not surviving, especially if there’s the hope of something better. Animals living in small cages, enclosures where they cannot turn around, as with veal calves and lactating pigs, or living in terribly crowded conditions on factory farms, may be surviving, but their lives are miserable. We humans can do better. This is why I’ve progressed to being about 95% vegan and why I volunteer at the sanctuary. If you’ve thought about reducing your meat consumption, it’s now easier than ever. Vegan alternatives and restaurants are popping up in most cities. Consider meatless Mondays. It’s a great time of year for minestrone or lentil soup!

‘The most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest’ – Dr Michael Gregor (quote found here.)

Don’t forget to check out Linda and Wendy’s posts at the links above!


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Good News Tuesday for Jan. 11, 2022: Man Reunited with Family after 33 Years, Stranger Returns Wallet, Nurse Adopts Patient’s Dog, an Amazing Bee Whisperer, and a Cosmopolitan Request.

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Man Abducted as a Child is Reunited with Family Over 30 Years Later

Li Jingwei was four years old in 1988 when he was kidnapped and taken to another province China, but he never forgot his family or home village. Abductions have long been a problem in China, but recently, technology, social media, and law enforcement have helped reunite abductees with families. The detailed map Li Jingwei drew from memory of his home village also helped. After 33 years, he was reunited with his original family on New Year’s Day. Here’s the story from CNN’s Good Stuff.

Stranger Delivers Wallet He Found in the Snow

Jake, a college student from Maryland, lost his wallet full of Christmas money, college money, and ID. He and his mom looked for the wallet in the snow but couldn’t find it. Early on the morning Jake was to head back to college, a man named Juan came to their home and returned the wallet. Here’s more of the story from the Good News Network.

Nurse Takes Care of Patient’s Dog

 When John Burley was hospitalized for pneumonia and lung problems just before Thanksgiving, no one was available to take care of his 12-year-old dog, Boomer who had been picked up by animal services. Responding to John’s pleas for help, nurse Jennifer Smith searched for and adopted Boomer. Now she takes him to visit John. Here’s the story and a heartwarming photo from CNN’s Good Stuff.

The Bee Whisperer

Erika Thompson doesn’t just save bees in Texas, she’s the “bee whisperer.” You can watch her fascinating work below:

Got Good News?

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

Today’s prompt for Just Jot it January from Willow is “cosmopolitan” which means, “including or containing people from many different countries.” Though a lot of my good news sources lean toward US news, I make an effort to find good news stories from other parts of the world. The Good News Network has a world news tab, so that sometimes helps. If you know of a good news source outside the US, please let me know.

For details and jots on #JusJoJan, visit our host, Linda Hill here. Linda’s post contains a link to Willow’s blog, too. Thanks to Linda and Willow!


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No More Tempestuous Relationships!

Today’s prompt for Just Jot it January is: tempest. Thanks, Liz, for the prompt, and thanks to our host, Linda Hill for #JusJoJan! For details, click here.

There was a tempest in my gut, and in other parts of my body, too. It was almost 20 years ago, but I still remember how the tempestuous rebound from hell affected my body. Working a stressful job while being a single mom didn’t help either. Why didn’t I listen? I was wounded, vulnerable. But not anymore. Now I listen to my body, most of the time.

The older I get, the better my body gets at telling me, “Hey! chill out!” It might be acid reflux, or tiredness, or a spasm somewhere or other telling me to check in and examine my habits, particularly when it comes to stress. (Or eating too much sugar which happened over Christmas.)

Some stress is good, like steady regular exercise where we push a little harder depending on the day, again listening to the body. A little stress makes us stronger. Problem solving, watching Jeopardy, crossword puzzles, these are some of the brain exercises that stretch our skills. I want to keep doing those.

Training a new dog, who is both headstrong and physically strong, can be stressful, but David and I are in control of that. Sort of. Our first professional training session is Monday.

Marley is a big baby, most of the time.

Here are some good relationships I am grateful for at home and at the farm animal sanctuary:


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A Few More Sips

We saw bees out on New Year’s Day taking a few more sips.

Photo by JoAnna of the Forest
Photo by JoAnna of the Forest
Photo by JoAnna of the Forest

It was unseasonably warm on New Year’s Day. Below freezing temps are on the way to the Carolina Coast. I hope the bees have a warm place to buzz. That’s how they keep the heat on, by buzzing in place.

This post is for One-Liner Wednesday and Just Jot it January.

For details, visit the post of our host, Linda Hill.


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Good News Tuesday for Jan. 4, 2022: Housing Rights, Food Waste Recycling, Glitter from Fruit, Elk Rescue, and a 14-Year-Old Runner Pushes Her Brother in a Wheelchair Cross-Country

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Today I have two videos! They are both about generosity through hard work. Generosity happens to be the prompt for today’s Just Jot it January. Thanks, Sadje for the prompt, and thanks to Linda Hill for hosting Just Jot it January. Learn more about #JusJoJan by clicking here.

Housing Rights Protection in Lebanon

The nonprofit Housing Monitor in Lebanon offers support to tenants facing eviction through a hotline, legal representation, and community organizing. The service brings together refugees, migrants, and vulnerable Lebanese. Here’s more from GoodGoodGood.

California Launches the Largest Food Waste Recycling Program in US

This month, California will implement the “largest mandatory residential food waste recycling program in the US.” The program will cut down on organic waste in landfills and reduce methane emissions. (This encourages me to keep on composting.) The Guardian has details

Glitter Made from Fruit

Check out the story from GoodGoodGood on glitter made from fruit. It’s biodegradable and way less harmful to the environment.

Families Save Six Elk on Christmas Eve

As a 95% vegan lover of animals, I find this story interesting. It happened Christmas Eve when a hunter alerted his friends about 12 elk that had fallen through the ice on a river. Families were able to save 6 out of the 12 elk, and the six elk who died will be food for the rescuers. The story clearly shows that the hunter families felt compassion for the elk, particularly for a special calf. I am thankful for their compassion. It makes me wonder about the possibilities.

14-Year-Old Runner Pushes Brother in Wheelchair in Cross Country Races

Susan Bergeman, a fourteen-year-old from Wisconsin, pushes her brother Jeffery who has cerebral palsey in a wheelchair in cross-country races. Her strength, love, and generosity are phenomenal. Take a look:

Got good news?

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


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SoCS: What Ifs, Wildlife, and the Revenge of the Pokeweed

Thanks to Linda Hill for today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday : “if.” Start your post with the word “If.” Enjoy!

If you’ve ever read Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If,” you will know it is inspiring. It inspired me when I was in my early teens. Then, when I was in my early twenties, I saw an “If for girls” and an “If for boys,” in a gift store. It made me really mad. You see, the original “If” by Rudyard Kipling ended with the words, “You’ll be a man my son.” I overlooked that and took to heart all the ifs he listed, like, “If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too, ” which I remember by heart. The idea that those “ifs” by Kipling could not apply to me, and that I had to have a separate If poem about sugar and spice and everything nice, (I really don’t remember what it was about, but it must’ve been something like that) really irked my feminist spirit in the 70s. I’m glad I haven’t come across it since, so maybe I should let it go for now.

Here’s a practical warning: If you ever come across pokeweed, with it’s strikingly beautiful, dark magenta berries and stems, BEWARE! Here’s a picture or three.

Those of you who’ve been here regularly know that I’ve allowed an urban forest to grow in my backyard. I thought the pokeweed berries were pretty. Such an interesting color. So I let them grow, mostly where they wanted. I’d read that the berries have been used for dye, but to be careful, because they are also poisonous.

Since the pokeweed dies off in the late fall, I decided to cut or pull up about half of it on Sunday. I wore gloves, but did not wear long sleeves. The pokeweed is the only thing I can imagine that has caused an awful, itchy rash on my arms from where I carried the cut stems and leaves to the curbside plastic trash can for pick up. I won’t show you the photo of my rash, because, well, this is not Facebook, so I’ll spare you those details. But it’s weird that the blisters continue to emerge after five days. Thank God for benadryl and prednisone. One for night time and the other for daytime. I bought a long sleeved men’s shirt at the thrift store for when I cut (or more likely pull up) the remaining pokeweed after it’s all brown and dried out. Maybe I should wear a mask.

On a more positive note, lets imagine good what ifs. What if we all start learning how to get along better? What if we start protecting the planet better? What if we get a fun surprise? What if I make it to 90 years old and still have all my teeth? What if your dreams come true? What if you fly?

Speaking of flying. I took some photos of an egret yesterday at the lake with my friend. It was hard to get close without the bird flying away. But that’s okay. It came back. Plus there were alligators!

Egret incoming

~~~

For more Streams of Consciousness, rules, etc, visit our host, Linda Hill and join me in sending prayers or good wishes for her son Alex to feel better.


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Good News Tuesday for October 12, 2021: Australia Gives Back Rainforest, Equal Property Rights, US Monument Protection Restored, and a Sheep Rescue

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Australia Returns Large Rainforest to Aboriginal Owners

Daintree National Park, over 600 square-miles of rainforest, was returned to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people who lived there for generations and are one of the world’s oldest living cultures. Click here for details, hopes, and beautiful photos.

Victory for Equal Property Rights in South Africa

The South African parliment recenlty passed a bill which reverses discrimination against black women seeking equal access to matrimonial property. Apartheid-era law giving the husband total property rights for black couples married before 1988 was declared unconstitutional in April. Read about the four women whose cases led to the bill and its significance in the Good News Network.

US Monument Protection Restored

In the US, the Biden administration has restored protection for The Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments as well as a marine conservation area off the New England coast. Here’s more from PBS News.

Sheep Rescue Video

I detest barbed wire, and I’m still a little concerned for this sheep, but I keep watching this happy ending video over and over again. Maybe it’s the pleasant scenery… at the end of the video.

Got good news?

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


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SoCS: Art Inspiration, Vegan Aspirations, Expiration Dates, and a Road Trip

Today’s prompt is from Dan who’s filling in for Linda. You can visit both of them over at the virtual bar at Dan’s blog today. Here’s what Dan came up with:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “inspire/aspire/expire.” Use them in any form you like. Use one, use two or use them all if you want. If you use two, you get bonus points! If you use all three, Cheryl will put your next drink on David’s tab. Enjoy!

I hope to inspire, but more naturally than in the past. Because I like to be inspired, too. In my art folder here on my laptop, I have a folder named, “inspiration.” It has ideas from nature and other people’s art that I want to, not copy, but be inspired by, taking my own spin on them. Clouds inspire me, like this one:

If you know a lot about clouds, you might be able to tell I turned this upside down. Originally it looked like a bird or angel diving down to earth. Turning it upside down makes it a rising mermaid or angel or something. I like rising better than diving, though I do love diving under water. So I’m going to paint it rising, whatever it turns out to be. The head will be different. We’ll see what happens. Do you notice the face near the very top a little to the right of center? It’s kinda eerie/cool. The face seems to be looking over a shoulder or wing.

Aspire. I have aspired to be and do many things. Maybe the best is to aspire to be ourselves. Our true selves, not what others expect. I think of myself as an aspiring vegan, inching closer and inspired by the vegans at the farm where I volunteer. Been doing better on not eating fish. Gave up chicken a couple years ago (the chickens on the farm reinforce that) and stopped eating mammals in my early twenties. Cheese though is sneaky. Dairy productus show up unexpectedly in granola bars or veggie burritoes. Anyway, I’m not perfect, never have been, never will be.

Expiration dates are subjective. My husband will eat (almost) anything that smells okay even if it’s expired. I might go a couple months out from when something was said to expire. Maybe six months. A lot of food is wasted because it’s expired or looks funny, but it’s still good to eat. I’m glad people are starting to rescue and redistribute some of that. I got some free almond butter that had expired at the new food co-op down the road. Almond butter is something I don’t usually buy, because peanut butter is so much less expensive, and there’s something about almonds production that’s a problem, maybe with bees. I don’t remember. But it was a nice gift, the expired almond butter.

My energy level expired Saturday when David drove home from southeastern Connecticut to southeastern NC. He’s a tough guy. Just riding in the truck all those hours was hard on my body. We took the scenic route close to the eastern shore, because it was less traffic and less stress, though more time (15 hours with our stops.) We had considered stopping for the night halfway, but David seems to have an amazing ability to keep going which only inspires me to take a nap or take pictures. Oh, the reason for the trip – we had gone to visit David’s mother who is 86 and doing very well except for some vision problems. (We have all been vaccinated.) She was very happy to see us after five years and told me all about her volunteer work at the elementary school when her kids were little. I’m going to write another post about that sometime – about how she helped start a kindergarten, school library, and got things done as a mama bear back in the 1960s. But that’s enough for now. Here are some photos from our trip. I hope to stay home for a while.

~~~

Happy October!

For more streams of consciousness visit Linda’s blog HERE. Be sure to look for Dan’s contribution at “No Facilities” in the comments.


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SoCS: Thanks for the Vaccination Nudge

My friend Mary who is a pediatrician nudged me to get vaccinated early this year. I wasn’t in any hurry and might not have even been vaccinated if she hadn’t nudged me early on with a link to a local clinic. I wanted to see what happened. I knew from my side effects to the flu shot, that my side effects to the covid vaccine were likely to be significant, and they were. But now, I’m glad I got the shots.

Saturday I dropped some school supplies off to a community organizer. We chatted in her living room without masks. I had mine in my pocket, but knew we’d both been vaccinated. She offered me a hug as I was about to leave, and I accepted warmly. Not sorry about that. But maybe it wouldn’t have hurt to wear a mask. I found out yesterday that she tested positive for covid. I think she’s okay, but her daughter is in the hospital.

I’ve heard of a lot of people who were vaccinated testing positive for covid, but their symptoms are mild compared to people who have not been vaccinated. My friend who tested positive but was NOT vaccinated has been in ICU for three weeks and on a ventilator. He is ten years younger than me. He’s also a wonderful person who has done a lot for the community. God, I hope he’s going to be okay. Lots of people are praying.

I am thankful for my doctor friend nudging me to get vaccinated. I’m feeling okay, recovering from plantar fascitis and a pulled muscle in my back. My body is good at healing, if maybe slower than it used to be. Still, I think I’m going to lay low, take it easy, and wear my mask when I go anywhere. Life is precious.

Some of these photos are from the farm animal sanctuary where I prepare lunch on Thursdays.

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was: “my.” Start your post with the word “My.” Bonus points if you end your post with “yours.” Enjoy!

For more streams of consciouness along with rules visit out host, Linda Hill at this link.


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SoCS: A Lucky Pig’s Lullaby and Angel Clouds in the Sky

Here’s our prompt for today from our host, Linda Hill:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “luck.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

Is there really any such thing as luck? Anything is possible. But I think more times than not, we make our own luck. Regardless of whether we have good luck or bad luck, God can help us use the situation for something good. It might take a while. Was I lucky that my high school sweetheart found me so many years later at the perfect time? I don’t think it was luck at all. I believe it was meant to happen just that way and that my hopes and prayers nudged it along. Sometimes our prayers aren’t anwered. Or maybe they are and the answer is no, or not yet. Or wait and see. I had work to do to become ready and so did he.

Maybe animals can have good luck or bad luck. I don’t know. But the animals at the sanctary where I’ve been volunteering were lucky to be rescued from factory farms or petting zoos. Tuesday, I sang to a pig named Francis. He was trying to take a nap, but I think he liked the singing.

Do you rememember this song from the movie, Babe? It’s a sweet movie about a young pig who learns how to herd sheep. Maybe some day, more pigs will get lucky.

Was it lucky to see these angels shapes in the clouds at the beach? Maybe.

I enhanced the color to make it easier to see.

Sometimes they look like birds or angels, maybe even clouds.

For more lucky streams of consciousness, rules, and more, visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2021/08/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-aug-14-2021/