Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


14 Comments

Good News Tuesday for April 6, 2021: Reparations, Hope for Blindness, Vaccines for UN Peacekeepers, Student Invention, and the Dog Who Loves Unicorns

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

First US City to Pay Reparations to Black Residents

The city of Evanston, Illinois has pledged to distribute $10 million over 10 years as reparations to black residents or their descendants who “suffered discrimination in housing because of city ordinances, policies or practices” between 1919 and 1969. Each qualifying household will receive $25,000 for home repairs or down payments on property. Here are additional details from NBC News.

Blindness from a Rare Genetic Disorder was Reversed with One Injection

A single injection of RNA therapy, sepofarsen, showed significant improvements for a patient living with a rare form of genetic blindness since infancy. The improvements were evident after one month and “remained when tested over 15 months after the first and only injection.” Here’s more from the Good News Network.

India Donates Vaccines for UN Peacekeepers

India donated 200,000 COVID vaccines to be distributed to UN peacekeepers serving in various mission around the world. The Good News Network has details here.

High School Student Invents Color-Changing Sutures to Detect Infection

Seventeen-year-old Dasia Taylor has invented a way for sutures to change color to show infection. She tested a variety of different sutures using beet juice in her experiments. Dasia is a finalist in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors in the US. You can read more about Dasia’s project in this article from Smithsonian Magazine. Her natural good spirit and intelligence shine in the following video where she talks about her project and a fun fact about herself.

Unicorn Stealing Dog Is Adopted

Did you hear about Sisu, the stray dog who kept stealing a toy unicorn from the Dollar General? The animal control officer bought him the unicorn before taking him to the shelter. Now Sisu has a furever home!

Got good news?

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


35 Comments

SoCS: On Being a Night Owl, Listening Skills, Dogs in Heaven, and Making Christmas Last

Here’s the prompt:

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “first thing.” Start your post with the words, “first thing” and go from there. Bonus points if you end your post with the last thing. Have fun!

First thing in the morning…. it would be nice if I said I pray before I get out of bed. But I don’t usually. It would be a nice habit. To be honest, the first thing I do in the morning before I get out of bed is hit the snooze. I am not a morning person. I am a night owl. The husband is a morning person. Good for him. Lately, I have started listening to music on Youtube to help me wake up – James Taylor is my favorite, but yesterday, I listened to a Ted Talk. I have to find a good Ted Talk, and one might wonder that if I’m going to go to all that trouble to scroll and find a Ted Talk, I might as well get up. But I’m a night owl. Listening to a Ted Talk helps even if I drift off a little.

First thing we need to learn is how to listen to each other to understand. I’m thinking about the political divide problem. But some people are good at listening and need to be more assertive which means being honest with RESPECT. If someone talks a lot, goes on and on, like one of my old boyfriends used to do, I cannot hold that many ideas in my head to be able to process. It can be overwhelming.

That’s why, when I was working on bringing my soulmate to me, I made up a song to the tune of Janis Joplin’s song about “Oh, Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV.” I changed the words to, “Oh Lord, won’t you find me, a man who can listen.” David is a good listener when I need to talk about something important. When it’s a more mundane thing about household chores, well that’s another thing. But nobody’s perfect.

First thing I want to see when I get to heaven is my dogs, especially the dog I wrote about yesterday. I’m sorry Jesus. Maybe the dogs should come after Jesus. Yeah, unless Jesus is busy and wants to let me get settled in at the cabin in the woods with the dogs.

First thing to do when we have a list of things to do might be the most important thing unless it’s something really hard and you have to break it down into small steps and maybe it would be okay to do something easy on your list so you can check something off.

My Christmas tree is still up. Don’t laugh, sometimes I’ve left it up into February because I love Christmas lights. I took down the lights outside except the ones on the fence, because they are pretty, and things look so bare when the Christmas stuff is down. I took the decorations off the tree and put them in a box. It still has the colored lights, because they are attached. I took down the Christmas cards. This is actually good for me to have this stuff done before MLK day. Taking down the Christmas tree and getting it up in the attic this weekend will be the last thing. But there’s usually something that I have forgotten to put in the attic in which case, that will be the last thing.

Oh, yeah, let’s have cats in heaven, too.

For more streams of consciousness and Just Jot Januarys, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

The Friday Reminder for #SoCS & #JusJoJan 2021 Daily Prompt – Jan. 16th | (lindaghill.com)


19 Comments

Feelings From My Eleven Year Old Self

Writing my family history from my parents’ perspective is emotionally hard right now. The idea that it could some day become a novel is distant. I’m writing about the time when my dad was in Vietnam and my mom was trying to cope with her anxiety and depression and what do to with the family dog. That is the gigantic issue for me. Hoppy.

Hoppy 1967

I was 11 years old. Hoppy, a Newfoundland/Shepherd mix was my confidant. We had moved from Philadelphia to Michigan to New York staying with other families while Dad was in Vietnam. That summer we would stay in Quantico until dad finally got stationed at Camp Lejeune again.

Hoppy had been with us through each move. But something happened to him that spring in New York. I don’t know the truth. My mom made up as story about a sick little girl who needed him more than I did. I believed it. I suppose it could be true. Now, at the age of 65, I wade through my dad’s letters from Vietnam with fear as I approach the possibility of more clues. Any day now, I could read a letter that tells me more about what happened to Hoppy. My parents loved each other very much. It was a terribly hard time for them. I’m trying to look at the big picture and have compassion for all. I wrote this note to myself in my work in progress:

Note to self: Step back and look at the big picture with compassion for all. Allow your feelings. The truth is you don’t know what happened You might was well imagine something good.

So I tried to imagine Hoppy being adopted by a loving family. Then the grief broke through from that 11 year old girl who was me.

I LOVED HIM.

The sobs came and I prayed for guidance, for comfort. All I can do right now is reach back across the 54 years to that eleven year old girl whose body was changing in crazy ways, whose father was in Vietnam, whose mother was on the verge of another nervous breakdown, the girl whose dog was gone – and wrap my arms around her and hold her and tell her she is going to get through this.

In 1967, that eleven year old girl learned to shut down her feelings. She focused on school work and escaped into Star Trek. But she still had that pain and confusion buried all those years ago trying to accept the story her mother told her about her dog.

I guess that’s enough writing for today.

Here’s a family photo from happier times. Probably right after Dad got back from Vietnam since he’s pretty thin.

I’m the big girl on the right wearing hushpuppies.

I wrote this before checking the prompt for Just Jot January which is “button.” I guess we never know when we’re going to bump into a button that takes us back to our childhood, for better or worse, offering an opportunity for healing.

Linda’s Just Jot January story looks interesting. Click the following link for details:

#JusJoJan prompt the 15th – “Button” | (lindaghill.com)


20 Comments

Good News Tuesday for Jan. 5, 2021: Homeless Man Rescues Shelter Animals from Fire, Tribe Reclaims Ancestral Lands, A Grocery Store on Wheels, and Inspiration One Step at a Time

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Homeless Man Rescues 16 Dogs and Cats from Shelter Fire

Keith Walker is homeless. He has arranged for his dog, Bravo, to spend nights at an animal shelter in Atlanta run by W-Underdogs – an organization that helps animals as well as underserved youth. When Keith arrived at W-Underdogs on December 18 to see Bravo, the building was on fire. Keith rushed in and saved all the animals in the shelter. Here’s the story from The Good News Network.

Nez Perce Tribe reclaims 148 Acers of Ancestral Lands in Oregon

Though the land was rightfully theirs,  the the US Army forced the Nez Perce to leave in 1877 in violation of a treaty.

“It’s not just some place our people visited. The very ground we walk on is made up of our ancestors. That’s how deep our connection is.” __ Nakia Williamson-Cloud, cultural resource program director for the Nez Perce Tribe

Click the link below to read the story:
https://www.opb.org/article/2020/12/25/nez-perce-tribe-eastern-oregon-reclaims-ancestral-land/

A Grocery Store on Wheels

A bus in Missouri makes the rounds with groceries and household items. Watch the grocery bus in action by clicking this link: Grocery Store on Wheels .

Step By Step

Paralympic International Medalist Blake Leeper was being fitted for his new running legs when he met 2-year-old, KJ, who was trying out his prosthetic leg for the very 1st time. Watch Mr. Leeper encourage KJ one step at a time.

Got Good News?

Please share in the comments!


25 Comments

SoCS: Ready for Miracles

Today’s SoCS prompt is to find a word that starts with the letter, M, and base our post on it. At least that’s what I remember.

The word I’m going with is, Miracle.

I looked it up before I started typing this, because I was curious. The word comes from Latin among other languages of origin meaning “wonderful.” Some people think “wonderful” is overused. It’s one of my favorite words, and I’m going to use it whenever I feel like it.

We need some miracles in the United States and across the globe. Miracles seems to have to do with divine intervention, but there can also be an element or factor of manifestation, another M word.

It felt like a miracle when my high school sweetheart found me 39 years later when the timing was perfect. But I also worked hard to manifest a partner who would be compatible, while taking into account God might want me to stay single, and the compatible partner could have ended up being my dog.

I believe we will be successful in at least quieting Covid 19 and maybe even squashing it. Will that take a miracle? Maybe to get people to take precautions like distancing and wearing masks. But that brings me to a bigger concern: the political divide in the US.

It will be a miracle when we learn to listen to each other and accept our disagreements with respect. I am not neutral on very many subjects, though there may be a couple. I have made it clear on my personal FB page, and maybe slightly less clear here on WP, who I support for president. But I try not to call people names, like “idiot.” Though I occasionally give descriptions and might make a comparison. Here’s a hint of what I was watching Thursday night along with the debate.

I won’t say who Smaug reminded me of.

But I also try to post positive stuff and good news more often.

We need a miracle to bring our country together. And I don’t want it to be an attack from outer space. Let’s NOT manifest that. We need a miracle of understanding, compassion, and willingness to consider other points of view.

I admit, that if my candidate loses, I will be devastated and afraid. Very afraid. But I would like to be understanding, of my neighbors at least – the ones with the TRUMP banner in their yard. I have often shied away from intense political debates, though not in the format of Braver Angels where respect and listening are key components.

Right before I sat down to write this post, I listened to a podcast on NPR about this guy who is riding a bicycle across the continental divide of the US. He’s a journalist and wants to talk to Americans in rural areas. It’s called Facing West by Nate Hegyi.

One thing that stuck with me from this podcast was that Nate said we have more in common than we think and need to pay more attention to our own backyards (or neighborhoods) rather than the national politics to see the common ground. What I’m thinking that means is having, cultivating, grace and acceptance for my neighbors, even the ones with the T…. banner.

I’m reminded that one of my former colleagues used to say, “acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like it.”

We must have some common ground, even if it’s sharing the same sidewalk and living on the same street. I know my T banner neighbors like (or at least tolerate) trees, because they have a big magnolia tree in their little front yard. They also have dogs. One thing I’ve noticed is that a love of dogs seems to transcend politics. I only have a cat for now, but I will always love dogs.

Maybe dogs are part of the miracle. They don’t care about politics. Certainly cats don’t care about politics. They teach us to be in the moment, here and now.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill. For more streams and SoCS rules, visit:


10 Comments

Good News Tuesday for Sept. 15, 2020: Firefighters, Canada’s Progress, Dog Rescue, Water from Air, and Music for Plants

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

California Legislature Passes Bill to Allow Ex-Inmates to Become Firefighters


California lawmakers passed a bill last month that would allow former inmates to pursue careers as firefighters after their incarcerations…….The bill gives nonviolent offenders who have spent time fighting fires the opportunity to have their records expunged so they can become firefighters….inmates are only paid between $2 – $5 a day, and an additional $1 per hour while fighting fires. (Source)

 The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom to be signed. 

Here’s more from Spectrum News.

Canada Reported No New Covid Deaths

In Canada, deaths from COVID started to plateau after July. This article from CBS reports on a day of no new deaths and Canada’s progress in fighting the coronavirus. Good job, Canada!

Oil Rig Worker Rescues Dog from Ocean

Vitisak Payalaw was first to spot a dog swimming 135 miles off the coast of Thailand. He and his coworkers rescued the exhausted dog who was later transported to a shelter. Vitiskak had to work ten more days on the rig, then went back to adopt the dog they named Boonrod. The Good News Network has the story with a sweet video.

Water From Air

In Arizona, solar-powered hydropanels are getting water from the air for 15 Navajo households who previously had no basic access to water. According Zero Mass Water CEO who manages the demonstration project with Navajo Power and Public Benefit Corporation, “A standard, two-panel array, produces 4-10 liters of water each day…” Read more from The Good News Network.

Music for Plants

When Spain lifted it’s state of emergency, they still weren’t ready for large gatherings, so a Barcelona opera house opened with a concert for plants. Over 2000 plants were brought in with each plant having its own seat to listen to a string quartet. After the concert, the plants were given in gratitude to health care workers.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!

Feel free to write your own Good News Tuesday Post, to use the sunflower badge and link it back here!


31 Comments

SoCS: Dog Collars, Feral Cats, and Classic Trek

Today’s prompt: “collar.” Use it as a verb, a noun, or metaphorically. Bonus points for using it in all three ways! Enjoy!

Add a couple letters to collar and you get collards. Collards get better after they get cold in the ground. I wonder if it’s too late to plant them. They do take up a lot of room. I like them raw in salad or steamed lightly.

Before I started adding letters to collar, I thought about the dog collars handing in what used to be the dog room. We have no more dogs now. They’ve all crossed over the rainbow bridge. But their collars, at least three of them, still hand in the dog room with tags and leashes attached.

Dogs probably would prefer not to wear collars to bed. I used to take them off when we were in for the night. But if you only get out the collars when it’s time for outside or walks, then collars would be very good things!

The dog room might turn into a cat room if I bring home Mama Cat from the church. She’s been there for over 4 years and will go crazy if/when I trap her, but she misses her daughter Gray who is still missing. I worry about Mama who has become less feral in her loneliness. I bet she would really hate a collar. It’s going to be a process, taming this feral mama, but we’re making progress. I might trap her and bring her home at the end of September or early October when I’ll be home for a while. She will probably hate the smell of the dog room. But I hope she will grow to like being here. I’m getting ahead of myself. Time will tell.

I haven’t given up on Gray. Must think positive thoughts that she is safe and loved, somewhere out there. When I get depressed about Gray or politics, Star Trek helps. I believe there’s a Star Trek episode about collars.

That James Kirk. A shock collar won’t stop him from kissing a woman. Or knocking her gently on the chin so that she falls into his arms unconscious. He could’ve talked her into helping him….. But it all worked out. And nobody really got hurt.

I don’t think I would ever use a shock collar on a dog without testing it on myself. Since I wouldn’t want to test it on myself, I wouldn’t use it on a dog.

Remove your collars! Run free!

For more Streams of Consciousness, visit our host, Linda G. Hill at:

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


15 Comments

Good News Tuesday for June 30, 2020: COVID Treatment, Free Books for Kids, A Dog Rescue, and a Compassionate Carry with a Song from 1969

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

COVID 19 Breakthrough: Affordable Steroid Reduces Risk of Death by One-Third in for Patients on Ventilators

Earlier this month, Oxford University researchers announced that a low-dose, affordable steroid can reduce the risk of death by one-third for COVID-19 patients on ventilators…” Here’s more from the Good News Network.

“Literacy in the Hood”

Chrishawndra Matthews, a single mom in Cleveland, Ohio, has been giving away thousands of free books to kids over the summer. You can read more about her and her non-profit in this story from Good Morning America.

 

A Park Ranger with Strong Shoulders

Kris Salapek, a park ranger in the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area in the eastern US, carried large dehydrated dog down a rugged mountain trail. Here’s the story from the Good News Network. 

 Protester Carries Injured Counter Protester to Safety

The anti racism event in London was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration for police reform, but fights broke out after counter-protestors gathered in opposition. Patrick Hutchinson told CNN he “saw the man lying on some stairs in the fetal position surrounded by protesters.” Patrick picked the man up and, with protection from friends, carried him over his shoulder to the police for safety.

 

Mr. Hutchinson’s compassionate carry reminds me of the old song, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” which had a significant impact on me in 1969 and beyond.

 

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!


11 Comments

Good News Tuesday May 19, 2020: Gifts for Health Care Workers, Car-Free Roads, Bella’s Back Home, and Sunshine for Grandma

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Free Gifts for Health Care Workers

Free vacations, crocs, and free rides are some of the gifts companies are donating to health care workers.  For example, JetBlue is giving away 100K pairs of roundtrip airline tickets to healthcare heroes. You can read more about the gifts here. 

Cities Around the World Make More Roads Car-Free

Bogota, Budapest, Paris, Milan and Seattle are among the cities designating more car-free roads and pathways for biking and walking and making many of these initiatives permanent. Read more about these “eco-silver linings” at the Good News Network .

Bella’s Back Home

Australian Shepherd Bella woke her family up the night of the tornado, but they couldn’t get her to come into the bathtub with them for safety. Maybe she was hiding under the bed. After the tornado, Bella was nowhere to be found. After 50 days, a church friend and dog rescuer spotted her in an alley and put out some really good food which led to the family reunion. Watch this video for details about Bella.

You Are My Sunshine

For mother’s day, a family sang “You Are My Sunshine” to their 87-year-old grandmother from outside her assisted living apartment. Other residents came out and joined in from their balconies.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!

*Update: Please see the link in Maggie’s comment below about portable sinks for people experiencing homelessness.


23 Comments

Five Spirit Dogs

I started this poem many months ago after Doodle crossed over and updated it last week for Mary Moo. The waves of grief come further apart now. I no longer check Mary’s room every day. David and I reminisce about the pack, their antics, and individual peculiarities. Fond memories are starting to match the sadness. Maybe some day fond memories will prevail.

back cover painting (4)

Mary Moo, Jesse, Doodle, Beep, and Oreo.  (Back cover painting for Trust the Timing.)

 

Must love dogs, she said.

Be careful what you wish for.

My soul mate’s three joined my two

For a crazy blended family.

The five pack struggled to mesh.

Who was in charge?

The humans of course!

So we thought.

 

Little Mary Moo had been the boss.

Doodle, food-obsessed coon hound,

Taught her otherwise.

Possessive Beep and Neurotic Oreo were buds.

Golden Boy Jesse shared guard duty.

The five pack adapted.

Dog love flourished,

With episodic bedlam.

 

My golden boy was the first to leave.

He used to love to run on the beach,

But his old legs wouldn’t work anymore.

Then there were four.

 

Quiet Oreo left us next.

His lovable heart gave out.

No more thunder storms to terrify.

Then there were three.

 

Beep missed Oreo,

But she still had a pack to herd

Until she could walk no more.

Then there were two.

 

We thought Doodle would be last,

Being so loud and full of life.

I bet she took that rainbow bridge in a single bound.

And then there was one.

 

Mary Moo was once a feisty girl.

Almost 18, deaf and blind,

She kept looking for something she lost.

Maybe that squirrel she caught long ago.

 

Our five spirit dogs

Now live on the other side

of the rainbow bridge,

Not waiting idly.

 

Jesse swims in mountain lakes.

Oreo doesn’t have to be scared anymore.

He’s running with his friend, Beep.

Doodle is friends with everyone.

Mary Moo chases squirrels like lightening.

 

Jesse swimming (2)

Jesse

oreo (2)

Oreo

 

Beep

Beep

Doodle w foot on head

Doodle

 

Mary Moo at the Boone Dog park (2)

Mary Moo

 

Rainbow Bridge