Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: For the Love of Pets

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “a picture from wherever.” When you sit down to write your post, find a picture, whether in a magazine, newspaper, or even product packaging. Write whatever thought or emotion the picture provokes. Enjoy!

My daughter who is 29 has not lived here for years but sometimes magazines, like People, get delivered here for her that she did not order and does not want. I don’t want them either, but sometimes I flip through them. This ad at the back of the magazine stood out to me:

Can you imagine being in a domestic violence situation and not feeling you can escape because you can’t take your dog or cat with you? I don’t want to think about it too much, but this is a project I can get behind. Pets are family.

You can read more about The Purple Leash Project here.

I think if you donate, you get a purple leash. I don’t really need another leash, though I do like the color purple. I have a bunch of leashes along with collars, and other tools that a highly reactive dog needs. I never thought I’d want to try an “e collar,” but after David and I having injuries from Marley’s lunges, we’ve accepted this recommendation from the trainer.

We’ve made progress. Last night I walked Marley to the park by myself. On the way back, we saw a cat on the other side of the street. Marley was intensely interested. I could feel the tension in his body. My job is to stay calm and confident and to remember to use all my tools. He responded well to a firm, “LEAVE IT!” along with a collar vibration. The collar vibe goes to 100. He responds to 10 to 15 in the backyard but needs at least 20 to 30 on neighborhood walks depending on the situation. In time, we should be able to reduce these levels. It’s like a tens machine. I’m learning to be vigilant and avoid high risk situations. Without this tool, I don’t think we’d be able to safely walk in the neighborhood. Marley has pulled me down more than once, and David’s hand is still healing after surgery and ongoing PT after one of Marley’s lunges.

Speaking of healing, David is feeling better after eight days of covid. He still tires easily but is doing a little more every day. Miraculously, I have had two negative home tests and seem to have been spared any significant symptoms. We’ve been keeping our distance and, though we’re living in the same house, have missed close contact. I especially miss hugs which are about to resume. Marley has been getting more hugs lately since I’ve tested negative. I still don’t get right in his face yet.

Last week, I had stopped Marley from bringing his ancient, tattered ball in the house three times before going to get my phone to take this video. Each time he would drop the ball then pick it back up when I opened the door. The ball did not stay in the house.


And let’s not forget Mama Cat on her side of the house…

~~~

For more picturesque streams of consciousness, along with rules, etc.

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


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Good News Tuesday for May 3, 2022: Free Gym Memberships for Teens, Turning Sewage into Green Energy, a Congolese Nun with Special Skills, and the Mysterious Journey of a One-Eyed Cat

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Planet Fitness Offers Free Summer Memberships to High School Students

Teenagers 14-19 can work out for free at Planet Fitness this summer. If they register early, they’ll have a chance to win a scholarship. Younger teens can sign up with a parent. According to their website map, Planet Fitness has gyms all over world. You can read more about it here.

Oregon Town Turns Sewage into Green Energy

Treating wastewater consumes a lot of energy, but a town in Oregon is turning wastewater to green energy. The process “creates heat for five of the buildings on site and an estimated 4,324 megawatts of electricity, providing about half of the facility’s energy usage.” I learned a lot from this article from Reasons to be Cheerful.

Congolese Nun Creates and Maintains Hydro-electric Plant

A Congolese nun became an electrician and raised money so her town would have more consistent electricity.  Through her work, Sister Alphonsine Ciza helps provide reliable electricity for convent, a church, two schools, and a medical clinic. Here’s more from the Good News Network.

One-Eyed Cat Shows Up on an Offshore Oil Rig after Missing for Five Years

Here’s a mystery with a happy ending. A friendly black cat named Dexter went missing five years ago. Turns out he’d been living at a prison in Scotland where he was fed and loved by staff and inmates. Dexter had a habit of hanging out in shipping containers and was accidentally shipped to an offshore oil rig in the North Sea. The folks at the oil rig put his picture on Facebook which got him shipped back home to his original owner who plans to take him to visit the prison.

Got Good News?

Share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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SoCS: Whatever Happens… Sing to the Dog

Today’s Stream of Consciousness post from Linda Hill is:

“….. Use the word “whatever” any way you’d like. Bonus points if you start your post with it. Have fun!” Learn more about #SoCS HERE.

“Whatever,” was a popular response from teenagers in the 80s or 90s. It could be frustrating for parents or teachers who interpreted the word as, “I don’t care.” But now I see it as a useful word when I need to let go of something I can’t control, something I’ve been mulling over or analyzing nearly to death.

On one hand, it could be considered apathetic – a word similar to sin in my book once upon a time. But we can’t care about EVERYTHING. This comes from someone who has cared too much over the years. Oh, I still care, but I need to choose how much energy I’m going to put into caring, cause the energy isn’t what it used to be. Prioritize! That’s my word for this year. I don’t really use the word, “whatever” in that way, but it does have its place.

Some things are priorities, though.

Whatever happens, I’ll always love you, said the mother to the son.

Whatever happens, take care of the children. And the pets.

Whatever happens, life must go on.

Whatever happens, don’t let the gremlins get wet. (Just so we don’t get too serious.)

There’s an old song that goes,

“Wherever we go, whatever we do, we’re gonna get through it together…. “

I looked it up before I started writing. That’s not really planning. I was just curious. Turns out, it’s from the musical, Gypsy originally starring Ethel Merman, I think. I looked it up on YouTube. Her voice is like nails on a chalkboard. Sorry. That was my take on it. Then I thought, what if I could find someone singing that song to a dog? or a cat? Well, I couldn’t find that. But what I did find was people singing with their dogs. Let me see if I can go back and find one now as I drop anchor in the stream just for a moment to take a look in the down below the surface…..

Well, that always takes longer than I thought with diversions and what not. I couldn’t listen to any dogs howling because Mama Cat is next to me as I type this Friday night and she didn’t like hearing dogs howl. Marley, is in the back room with David, and it’s Mama Cat’s time with me.

Anyway, here’s one that came up with no howling. It’s short and sweet:

The girl with a sweet voice is singing, “You Are My Sunshine” to the dog who they are fostering while the dog’s guardian is deployed for a year in the Navy.

Dogs and kids. Gotta love ’em. If not, then…… whatever.

At least be kind.

I found this on Facebook a few days ago. The dogs looks like Marley, but Marley is bigger and has a big head.

Be sure to visit Linda’s SoCS post at the link above for more streams or whatever.


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Good News Tuesday for Feb. 8, 2022: Spinal Cord Implant Helps Man Walk Again, New Museums Around the World, Another City Bans Declawing, and an 8-Year-Old Author’s Initiative Pays Off

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

First Person to Walk after Completely Severed Spinal Cord

Michel Roccati was paralyzed five years ago in a motorbike accident. His spinal cord was completely severed, and he had no feeling in his legs. Thanks to an implant developed by Swiss researchers, he is the first person to be able to walk freely after such an injury. Read more about it from BBC News.

New Museums Opening Around the World

This year, several museums are scheduled to open around the world dedicated to a variety of interests including art, African American history, medieval finds in England, Chinese history, Broadway, and Bob Dylan. The Smithsonian Magazine has details.

Cat Declawing Banned in Madison, Wisconsin

In a unanimous vote, the city council of Madison Wisconsin recently voted to ban the de-clawing of cats which is illegal in many other cities, states and countries. Read about the importance of this victory for Madison cats, HERE.

Eight-Year-Old Author Sneaks his Book into the Library and it’s a Hit!

Got Good News?

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


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Spider Plants at the Laundromat

Today’s Just Jot it January prompt is “abscission,” from Lakshmi. I had to look it up. Here’s what I found:

“the natural detachment of parts of a plant, typically dead leaves and ripe fruit.”

It’s good to learn new words, especially when there seems to be no one word alternative.

Last week we took Marley to the vet to be neutered. That was not a natural detachment, but hopefully it will help calm him down a little and not add to the problem of homeless pets. His previous guardian said he sometimes escaped and was gone for a couple of days, so he may have offspring somewhere. After leaving Marley at the vet for his procedure, I went to the nearby laundrymat, which is technically spelled laundromat, to wash and dry a big comforter that had been in the attic for years.

This laundromat has some very nice plants in a big window. The snake plants and succulents are doing well, but the spider plants are pathetic. They probably get too much sun and not enough water.

dying spider plant

Abscission was not working for these plants. They needed help, and I could not ignore them.

I went outside to the attendant who was in her car on her phone and asked her if I could work on removing some of the dead leaves from the plants and give them some water. She looked at me like I was from another planet, then said, sure, I guess so.

Some of the plants were too high to reach, but some I was able to clean up and water. Later, I sent a FB message, presumably to the management who thanked me. The manager wrote that he or she had been very busy and did not have the much time to take care of the plants. I responded that I might drop by and work on them some more if that was okay and was told that would be fine. I hope this nudges someone at the laundromat to take care of the spider plants.

Sorry I didn’t take pictures of the healthy plants, but maybe will put some in the gallery below along with Marley the evening after his surgery when he was uncharacteristically mellow due to residual medication effects.

Spider plants are one of the few plants not toxic to animals. Fortunately, Mama Cat doesn’t play with them since she tends to be a cave dweller. For enrichment, we’re going to be adding some walking shelves that lead to her cat tree upper level, and I’ll be encouraging her with treats to use them.

For more on Just Jot it January, visit our host, Linda Hill, by clicking HERE It’s still not too late to join in!


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Self-Care, Dog Training, and Star Trek

Your mission if you decide to accept it is to use the word, “mission,” in today’s Just Jot it January post. Thanks to Fandango for the prompt and to our host, Linda Hill for #JusJoJan. To learn more, click HERE.

I wrote a mission statement about 15 years ago. It had something to do with nature, animals, spirituality, and combining my Christian beliefs with my love for creation. I’ve done some of that over the years and hope to do more.

Having a mission is serious. I’m not sure if I want to be that serious right now. My ear is giving me twinges, like tiny shock waves every now and then, and my doctor is closed because it might sleet later. But they were kind enough to call me back and give me an appointment for Monday.

An ice storm is in the forecast here on the Carolina Coast, so many places are closed, including the rescue mission thrift store where David works. He came out of retirement to return to the director position when it became vacant. He says he likes it. As long as he likes it, that’s okay.

Today, my mission is to take care of my health. I’ve also been doing are working with our new dog Marley on leave it, drop it, get it, sit stay, down stay, and walking on a leash without pulling so much. He does well as long as he doesn’t see a squirrel. Squirrels put him into hyperdrive. Marley and Mama Cat still only know each other by sound and smell. I took him out on the catio earlier to smell around as suggested by the trainer. He was very excited, but I was able to get him to lie down stay for several seconds. The training treats help. Training Marley is sort of a mini mission. Home improvement projects, like the catio, are mini missions.

My neighbor is on a mission to save our downtown library. The county wants to shrink it, combine it with a reduced local museum, and add offices and condos to the already congested historic downtown area. The neighbor who is fighting this plan is in her 80s and has a lot of smarts and energy. I’ve helped out some but wouldn’t even try to keep up with her. Same thing with my husband David. Taking care of myself means not trying to keep up with high energy extroverts. I’ll keep working on my mini missions, reading, blogging, painting, volunteering at the farm animal sanctuary, and watching Star Trek. That’s plenty!

When the first episode of Star Trek Next Generation came out and I heard Patrick Stewart say the mission statement as “….to boldly go where no one has gone before,” instead of “no man,” I cheered out loud.


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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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SoCS: Trees! Plus, a New Family Member

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ….. “tree.” Use the word “tree” or write about a tree. Any kind of tree. Enjoy! You can learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday and find more streams at the blog of our excellent host, Linda Hill.

Woohoo! I get to write about trees two posts in a row. So many possibilities, but I’m not to plan. Hmmm. There’s a sycamore in my yard close to the house. Who’s been leaning for years since a hurricane whose name I’ve forgotten. She’s sent up a slender new trunk, there’s probably another name for this skinny spike, not really a trunk, but the point is, for balance. In 50 years, it might be another trunk. The tree leans over my neighbors back yard mostly, not her house, and has survived and stood strong for many subsequent hurricanes. I bet the roots go under my house and her house, maybe even across the street, joining with other roots of the many trees in my urban forest.

I’ve been reading the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Understory. Almost finished. Slow reader. It’s disturbing and beautiful. At first, being trained first as a technical writer (well one class), I thought the book was wordy. I’ve had to look up a word almost every time I pick it up. But now, it’s become poetic. The book is about several people from all over the country/world who come to love trees and desire to save them. The scientist writes about how trees communicate with each other in the air and underground, which brings us back to my urban forest. So many leaves on my pathways now, making them soft and covering tiny animals and plants.

The larger animals, like squirrels, who have had the run of the yard for a couple of years since we have not had a dog and Mama Cat lives inside. Now we have adopted a dog. A big one. Bigger and more energetic than we would have chosen. It’s a longish story and related to the fact that my daughter and her fiancé already have two big dogs in their apartment. Marley is their brother. Their mother, Leilu, my grand dog, just crossed the rainbow bridge at age 7 due to cancer. Marley’s first adopter called Ayla to say she could no longer care for him for financial reasons. Last night was his first night here and he whined enough for David to go get him from his crate (which he supposedly has slept most of his 6 years) and slept with him in the spare bedroom. Marley is going to be a challenge, especially where Mama Cat is concerned. I’m reading about that, scheduling obedience consultations, and we go to the vet Monday.

Yesterday, during his first run in my backyard, Marley rolled in the leaves and something very stinky. I’m glad my daughter gave him a bath. He’s a husky / pit bull mix (a pitsky), very energetic and LOVES to be with people. He’s very curious about the smell of the other animal in the house, but we’re taking that slow. Marley is not allowed in the cat side of the house.


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Good News Tuesday for August 24, 2021: From Mining to Fruits and Flowers, Goodbye Pesticide, Raising Butterflies, and the Cat Who Knew Where to Look

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

An Indian Mining Community is Switching from Coal to Forest Fruits and Flowers

The state of Chhattisgarh in India is moving away from opening new coal mines and toward supporing the harvest of forest goods like tamarind, cashew nuts, flowers, and medicinal seeds. Sushma Netam, who oversees the state program has reported an increase in fmaily incomes since setting a minimum price prompts middlemen and traders to pay a fair price. You can read more about this green economy at Good Good Good.

EPA Finally Bans Pesticide Linked to Neuroligical Problems in Children

After years of pressure, the US Environmental Protection Agency is following the scienc to ban the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos which has been linked to neurological problems in children. The chemical will be banned from food crops, but has not yet been banned for use on golf courses. For details, see US News and World Report.

97 Year Old Encourages Others to Join her in Saving Butterflies

Just a few years ago, Gwen Erickson, 97, of Minnesota started raising and releasing endangered monarch butterflies. She collects the eggs to let them go through metamorphosis in relative safety for a better survival rate. Read more and see her getting a butterfly kiss here in this article from Postbulletin.com.

Cat Helps Rescuers Find 83 Year Old Woman

Piran, a black cat whose 83 year old guardian went missing was meowing persistently by a gate to a cornfield. When rescuers searched the field, they found where the woman had fallen into a ravine. Here’s the video:

Here’s more of the story from the Good News Network.


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SoCS: A Year of Challenge and Hope for Healing

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “day/week/month/year.” Linda also invites us to write about the past year of pandemic, “how we have coped or not, to share our common experiences as a way to connect, to feel a little less alone.”

As a citizen of the United States, these past 12 months have been heavy, not just due to the pandemic, but also with the political divide and the racial injustice of the murders of George Floyd, Breaonna Taylor and others. It has been strange and confusing to have stay at home orders, masks and social distancing recommendations along with protests and demonstrations.

My hope is that with the pandemic calming down and someone less inflammatory at the helm, we can move into healing. It’s going to take a lot of work. A lot of compassion, listening, compromise, and seeking common ground… or higher ground.

I find myself feeling tired as I write this. There are bursts of energy when things get done, but maybe it’s a tired that comes with age. Still, my personal life has not been bad. I’m the oldest one in my family – my parents and siblings are deceased. Even Aunt Ruth in Wisconsin crossed over last year after a full life into her 90s. I am thankful not to have to worry about my parents anymore and feel for those who do. I am thankful to have the luxury of time and the freedom to study my father’s letters from Vietnam, and to write and paint.

Staying at home doesn’t bother me, except that I have not seen my granddaughter, son and daughter in law since October. I miss the mountains. It was in October that I last visited the mountains and first brought mama cat home from the church. She has kept me company when David is at his woodshop, and she has become much less feral.

Mama Cat has a plate of food.
She wants attention while I’m trying to write.

Having a cat has been a big change after being a dog person for so long. The pandemic and people not being at church much was one of two factors that led me to bringing her home. The other factor was the abduction of her daughter, Gray, in June. I still go to the church once per week to see if Gray has shone up, but I don’t think this is likely. I talk to Saint Francis and pray my hopes and thanksgivings.

St. Francis with last year’s hydrangeas

Not going to church and choir practice is probably the biggest change in my personal life. We do zoom church and I’ve sung and played a little guitar for that, because music is my favorite part of church. My voice is way out of shape when it comes to singing anything challenging. My friend Anne, who is in her 80s and teaches singing, is helping me with that. I’m thankful to have had both vaccines, in spite of the side effects, I’m glad to have a little more confidence if I do want to go out. I’ll still wear a mask and avoid crowds.

Hopefully we won’t have as much to protest or demonstrate for or against for a while. Maybe things will calm down and justice will grow. Maybe we humans will wake up, bridge the divides, and focus on healing Mother Earth as we celebrate diversity in all it’s beauty and strength.

Thank you to our host, Linda Hill for the consistency of SoCS through the year.

For SoCS rules and more streams, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 13, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)