Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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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!


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Good News Twosday for 2-22-22: Iceland to Stop Whaling, 80-Year-Old Rescues People from Blizzard, Seal Nudges Man to Keep Swimming, and Marcus Gets a Kidney

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Iceland to Stop Whaling for Good

Iceland has announced that there will be no new commercial whaling permits after the current permits expire in 2023. Contributing to the decision were decreasing economic demand and The World Wildlife Fund’s “Meet Us, Don’t Eat Us,” campaign. Here’s more from The Good News Network.

80-Year-Old Man on Foot Rescues People in Three Cars from Blizzard

Andre Bouvier Sr., a retired rescue worker in Canada, walked through a “Saskatchewan Screamer” to rescue people in three cars. He then led the people to his home. Read this remarkable story from The Good News Network including a video from CBC.

Seal Nudge Inspires Man to Keep Swimming

Scott Thompson thought he was going to die after falling from his boat into frigid water wearing only a T shirt and shorts. Then a seal nudged him from below inspiring Scott to swim five more miles to reach help. Read more in this article including a video of Scott telling his story

Marcus Gets a Kidney

In 2019, Marcus Edwards held up a sign at Chicago Bears football game. The sign said, “I need a kidney, O Positive, with his phone number. Jennifer Michel saw the story and couldn’t help but shake the feeling that she was the one who could help. In October of 2021, Mr. Edwards got Jennifer’s kidney. Sometimes things take longer than we hope, but they can still work out for the best.

Got Good News?

Feel Free to Share Your Good News Story or GNT Link in the Comments!


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Good News Tuesday for February 1, 2022: Japan’s Zero Waste Center, South Australia Goes 100% Renewable for One Week, No-Kill Strategies for Wolves, and Monarch Butterflies Rebound

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

New Zero Waste Center in Japan

The new Kamikatsu Zero Waste Center in southern Japan was constructed with recycled materials including 700 donated windows. The center will help with collection and sorting to aid in the town’s goal of achieving 100% zero waste. Learn more from CNN.

South Australia “Smashes Renewable Record” Going 100% Renewable for One Week

The territory of South Australia, with a population of around 1.7 million people, broke records by spending the last week of December generating 100% of its power from wind and solar. The Good News Network has details.

Alberta Rancher Uses No-Kill Strategies to Protect Cattle from Wolves

A Cattle rancher in Alberta Canada is having success with no-kill methods of protecting livestock from wolves. Ranch manager Joe Engelhart uses strategies based on prey and predator behavior, reducing stress to keep the herd together, and spending a lot of time on the range. His methods are being studied by the University of Wisconsin. Read more about the research and strategies from CBC/Canada Radio.

Monarch Butterfly Population Observed to Rebound in the US

A significant increase in western monarch butterflies has been observed in the US compared to recent years. This CNN article gives details and includes suggestions such as planting milkweed and reducing use of pesticides. The following video reports that the total population of western monarchs is estimated to be 100,000 this year compared to only 2000 last year.

Got Good News?

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


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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.