Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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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?

Share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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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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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 24, 2022: Hot Wheels’ Wheelchair, Coldplay Goes Low Carbon, Equal Pay in US Soccer, and a Dog’s Ashes Take Shape

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Hot Wheels Makes Remote Controlled Wheelchair Toy

The company that has been making toy cars and tracks for 54 years is launching a remote-controlled wheelchair toy with help from paralympic athlete Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham. Here’s more from CNN.

Coldplay Pledges for a Sustainable, Low Carbon World Tour

The band, Coldplay pledges to make their Music of the Spheres world tour as environmentally sustainable and low carbon as possible. I got this from my 1440 Daily Digest. You can read about their their initiatives here: https://sustainability.coldplay.com/

Equal Pay for Women on US Soccer Team

Players on the US women’s soccer team will now be paid the same as men, with the World Cup Bonuses being split evenly. Here’s more from Good Morning America.

Dog’s Scattered Ashes Form a “Miraculous” Shape in the Wind

After her rescued shepherd-collie Biscuit died at the age of 12, Nelie Franko Larason tossed his ashes into the wind at one of his favorite parks. The Good News Network has the sweet story of what she saw. Here’s the short video:

Got Good News?

Feel free to share your good news in the comments!


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Good News Tuesday for April 12, 2022: Resort to House Ukrainian Refugees, Bi-National Park on the US – Mexico Border, Adoption Letters for Shelter Dogs, and the First Black Woman on the US Supreme Court

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Canadian Couple Converts Resort into Ukrainian Refugee Housing

Owners of a nature resort in British Columbia were planning to create an event space and gallery, but renovations are on hold to prepare housing for 100 Ukrainian refugees.  The first 19 people are expected to arrive in about two weeks. Here’s more from The Good News Network.

A Bi-national Park is Planned for the Border of US and Mexico

Instead of a huge concrete and steel wall, a bi-national river park is planned for the US – Mexico border. The sister cities of Laredo Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas will be working together to create an ecological restoration project along each side of the Rio Grande River. GoodGoodGood has the details HERE.

..

Adoption Letters for Dogs, and one Cat

Second grade students wrote persuasive letters with drawings to help shelter dogs (and one cat) get adopted. I’m glad these kids are learning about adopting pets from shelters. Here’s more from Good Morning America.

First Black Woman on the US Supreme Court

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed Thursday to become the first Black woman to serve on the US Supreme Court. The following video highlights the significance of the confirmation. It’s a very inspiring video except for the negative questioning by opponents from 5:30 to 7 minutes in case you want to skip over that part and focus on the good news.

Got Good News?

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


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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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SoCS: Trip or Trek ~ Going Boldly into My Own Backyard

What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Trip is our prompt for today.

Have you ever tripped over your own two feet?

I have.

Mostly, I trip over vines in my urban forest of a backyard.

Working on clearing the paths now that we have a crazy dog.

I want to be able to see him and make sure he’s not trying to escape.

Plus, I don’t want to have so many hiding places for snakes that could bite him.

We’ve wanted to take a trip for a while, but it’s hard with a dog.

Did I mention he is crazy?

Oh, he’s a sweetheart in the house.

But if he’s outside and there’s a squirrel, or another animal, or a person, he goes crazy wanting to get at it mostly in a friendly way. He wants to be everybody’s friend. But maybe not so much the squirrels and outside cats. He needs work on his manners outside, as in calming down a few notches.

But maybe we will take him to the mountains one day.

David gets his stitches out from the dog walking injury on Monday.

He’ll still have to wear a brace for like ten more weeks! Really? That’s a long time for a pinky tendon.

No trips until after that. Unless they are short trips.

Meanwhile, my goal is to try to not trip over anything.

Mindful steps. That’s the idea.

If you have a good imagination,

You can go on a trip without leaving your home.

You don’t need drugs either.

There’s always Star Trek.

There’s a character on ST Enterprise named, Trip.

The thing I like about Star Trek bloopers, aka, gag reels, is that people who are usually serious (in character) get silly. I could watch them all day. But I won’t. This one has ?Spanish subtitles in case you want to learn Spanish whatever language that is. Or in case the subtitles are your primary language.

I wrote that last night. This morning is VERY windy, and limbs are coming down. A cold front is coming in. Guess I really will be going

….the electricity went out so i lost internet on my laptop. I didn’t realize my sentence got cut off til i just looked here with my phone which is acting wonkY. The wind has calmed but the electricity is still out. Time to get out the guitar or paint something.

For more trippy streams of consciousness, rules, etc. trip on over to our wonderful host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.
Oh, and the temperature is predicted to plummet to 24 tonight. Trippy weather.


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SoCS: Saved from Ranting by the Ukranian President, Mama Cat, and Marley

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is “way to go.” Way to go, Linda for selecting an interesting prompt with many ways to go.

When we don’t know which way to go, we can check GPS on the phone. I miss the days of maps, folded up with red lines drawing the route on a trip. But GPS can be handy on a day-to-day basis. When we don’t know which way to go in life, we can ask God. Or we can wait. Waiting is okay. Except in traffic when other people want to go. Lately, I prefer to stay home.

The people of Ukraine cannot all stay home and stay safe. They have to go and become refugees. Thank you to Poland and other countries who are taking them in. “Way to go,” can be a confirming statement, as in good job. I’d like to say this to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who I am just starting to learn about. What I know so far, I admire. In the face of a horrible crisis, he is, from what I’ve read, doing a good job as a leader. To Vladimire Putin, (leaving that spelling as is) I would like to say, “Way to go to hell.” Just saying, cause, what goes around, comes around. You know, Karma will get you.

How can we still have morally corrupt people, so called leaders, like Putin in power at all? I don’t usually get political like this, but I just don’t understand why we are not further along by now as a species.

~~~

I had to step out of the stream momentarily, because it was time to play with the cat. No, really, I have been neglecting her, and it was her time. Maybe I should not have started the SoC, but my mind was streaming. I did not like where it was going. I’d rather feed my hope and acknowledge what I like. Good leaders are leading somewhere. Where’s that meme I just saw…..

~~~

My husband David is a good leader. He went to work Friday with his hand all bandaged up after getting his tendon repaired Wednesday after having got his finger twisted in Marley’s harness last week. David is one of those leaders who gets his hands dirty in a good way. He’s not afraid of hard physical work, though he’s supposed to be an “administrator.”

He did not go get the Rx pain medication called in to the pharmacy. He didn’t want it, preferring to use over the counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen. The nurse called and said that he might want to go get the opioid pain medication to have it on hand. WTF. Have it on hand? This could be another rant. But if someone says they don’t need or want an opioid pain medication, why push it? He says it doesn’t hurt that bad.

Okay. Enough of that. I’ll just say, I’m proud of David. But he does tend to work too hard. We secured the back fence enough so that Marley can run “free” in the backyard with supervision and does not need to be walked for a while, while David’s hand heals. In fact, it’s time for me to go supervise his backyard zoomies – Marley, not David.

Here are some Marley photos taken by my daughter a couple of days ago:

Marley and Neighbor friend:
There must be a way to get through!

For more streams of consciousness and SoCS rules, visit our host, Linda Hill HERE.

It’s the way to go!


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Good News Tuesday for March 1, 2022: Ukraine Updates, Two Ukranian Doctors, Organizations that Help, and Saving 150 Beagles

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Updates on Ukraine

I’m reading the bulk of my news these days from my 1440 Daily Digest, an online news service with a goal to be impartial and comprehensive. The news of Russia attacking Ukraine is horrible. Good news headlines are still hard to find, but the following articles picked up by 1440 include balance, for example:

Yesterday, I read: Ukraine is holding their capital of Kyiv….. Reports suggest Ukrainian resistance was greater than anticipated by Russian officials. As of Monday morning, “Ukraine and Russian delegations were set to hold talks at the Belarusian border. See updates here.” President Volodymyr Zelensky declined evacuation offers… rallying troops by joining forces on the ground in Kyiv.

Today’s news from 1440 include that Ukrainian and Russian delegations met yesterday and both sides reportedly agreed to continue talks. Countries and businesses around the world are implementing sanctions, and boundaries to let Russia know the attacks are unacceptable.

Two Ukranian Doctors

Ukrainian doctors Kateryna and Oleksander decided to stay in their country and help. Oleksander has enlisted with the army and Kateryna is helping at the local hospital. She talks about treating Russian soldiers in the following video. I hesitated to share this video, because there’s a fair amount of sadness and frustration. Oleksander finds is hard to speak due to the loss of his friends. But I felt compelled to share it anyway, because I found it moving and inspiring. If you want to skip some of the sadness, you can skip to about three minutes.

Organizations Helping Ukraine

NPR has published a list of organizations asking for assistance to help the people of Ukraine. Click HERE for more information.

Kindness Ranch Rescues 150 Beagles Destined for Research Labs

Kindness Ranch in Wyoming was able to rescue 150 beagles from a breeder before the dogs were sold to research labs. You can read more about the rescue and Kindness Ranch HERE, plus, watch the video:

Got Good News?

Please share your good news link or story in the comments.


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Marley and Dave (It Feels Like We’ve Adopted a Teenager)

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, is…..  “rest” to use any way we like and enjoy!

Rest has become more important to me as I get older. That doesn’t always mean I get enough of it. There’s always something to do, but that’s nothing new. Rest, as in stretching my back out flat, is in some ways more important than sleep. But I’ve read that sleep is important, too.

The two “men” in my life, David the husband, and Marley the pitsky (husky/pitbull), have more energy than I do. They are often “on alert” and busy when awake, but they sleep well. Marley has made slow progress in his training. In the house, he’s a sweetheart – well-behaved and loveable, though even my golden retriever didn’t shed this much.

We are still keeping Marley and Mama Cat separated. Marley has a high “prey drive.” He’s getting better when I walk him in the back yard as we reinforce the fence and only occasionally lunges at squirrels out of his reach. I watch him closely to anticipate a lunge by planting my feet and holding on to the leash with both hands, but like I said, he’s getting better in the yard. He LOVES to play ball on the long leash, throwing the ball in the air and starting to let me get it from him if he gets a training treat.

A few nights ago, David was taking Marley on his nighttime walk and right out of the gate, Marley lunged at a neighborhood cat, catching David off guard and catching two fingers in the leash. The next day, David went to the doctor. They had to cut his wedding ring off. 😦 But that can be fixed. His ring figure has a small fracture, and his pinky finger popped a tendon. It’s good it’s his left hand, but still. On Wednesday, he’ll have surgery,

Apparently, Marley needs more serious training. I’m watching a video program for “reactive dogs” but I’m also researching more local training. We did five sessions with a woman who I like, because she is laid back and not bossy, but maybe I need someone more serious without being bossy. I bet dogs think we are bossy. No, we are just pack leaders. Huskies are notoriously headstrong, and pit bulls are tenacious. Both breeds are loyal and affectionate. Good thing David loves Marley. When I asked him how he felt about Marley after the injury, David said, “It wasn’t his fault. I wasn’t paying attention.” I’m sure glad I got my “must love dogs” wish from my soulmate wishlist. It makes me love him even more.

David is going to have to give those fingers a rest. Marley will probably chill out in a few years when he’s ten. Even though he’s six, he acts more like a two-year-old dog. I feel like we’ve adopted a teenager. At least I don’t have to worry about him going out and partying, especially since we got him neutered and keep close tabs on his whereabouts. Marley keeps us from becoming too sedentary.

Mama Cat, now she knows how to rest.

I’m trapped on the couch by MC while Marley and Dave are back in the man cave

I love this picture of Marley waiting for Dave to come home and take him for a walk. It was a few weeks ago. You can see the Christmas tree lights reflected in the window. I finally took the tree down.

~~~

For more on Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.