Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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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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Good News Tuesday for Dec. 21, 2021: Home for the Holidays, Biodegradable Batteries, Student with Perfect Score Helps Others, and Henry the Hero Dog

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Home for the Holidays

After 100 days in the hospital fighting covid complications, Autumn Carter is home for the holidays. Autumn caught covid while pregnant with her third child who was healthy. She had no pre-existing conditions and had been advised previously not to get vaccinated. Her husband Zach spent most of the 100 days by her side at the hospital while grandparents took care of the three children. Autumn went home on December 1st. Here are details and family photos from Good Morning America.

Biodegradable Batteries

Scientists at a Singapore University have developed durable zinc batteries made of electrodes printed on cellulose paper. After use, the batteries reportedly biodegrade in soil within one month. Learn more about this remarkable invention at the Good News Network.

Student with Perfect ACT Score Works to Level the Playing Field

High School senior Dia Chawla, who goes to a private school in Mississippi, got a perfect score on her ACT test. But Dia believes the standardized test used for US college admissions is a test of preparation, not intelligence. She’s created the ACT Diversity Preparation Club where she helps minority students prepare for the test. Good Morning America has more about this extraordinary young woman and her work.

Henry the Hero Dog Saved Baby’s Life

A Boston Terrier knew his 9-month-old baby “sister” needed help, so he insisted on going into her room and waking her up to alert Mom and Dad. Here’s the story:

Got Good News?

Please feel free to share in the comments!

May your holidays be holy, safe, and filled with many joyful moments!

(from one of my favorite Christmas cards)


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SoCS: There’s Still Good in this World.

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “opposites.” Use the word “opposites” or write about things that are opposites. Have fun!

It’s a good topic. Thanks, Linda. Though yes, I know, it’s a prompt, not really a topic in the SoC world. I don’t really believe in opposites. Oh, I know they exist – up/down, in/out, black/white…. But most things are somewhere in the middle. I don’t really like the opposite ends of the poles. We have enough polarization.

You might say, “but middle of the road is boring.” I don’t mean we all need to be smack dab in the middle. There are lots of colors in between black and white. Lots of places between up and down. It’s all relative. A person can be an antivaxer and still be a good person. Like maybe they like dogs for example. Dogs are a great uniter. I know people on the other end of the political spectrum from me who like dogs. It’s a bit baffling, but then, dogs are great. Unless you’re one of those people who don’t like dogs which I don’t understand. But maybe you have some good quality that I like or can relate to.

They say opposites attract. I’ve written about that before, about how David and I are opposite, or very different in some of our personality traits. But opposite isn’t the best word for that. We complement each other in that he is more of an extrovert, very practical, precise (except when he uses sarcasm which I kinda hate) and not very imaginative when it comes to seeing dogs in clouds. But he has a lot more energy than me, we both love dogs, and he’s learned to like Mama Cat. He’s a good guy. We have similar values when it comes to spirituality, politics and lifestyle.

Going back to in or out, maybe we want to sit on the fence, though that is not always comfortable. If Santa comes down the chimney, I hope he doesn’t get stuck in the spiderwebs. Yuck. That happened in the Hobbit movie. (Spiderwebs, not Santa coming down the chimney.) That’s one of the parts I don’t pay much attention to till the Elves come. I always watch the elf parts. What does that have to do with opposites? Are elves and dwarves opposites in LOTR? (The plural could also be dwarfs.) They are very different, but they fought together against the orcs. I don’t watch the orc parts either, until the elves come.

The point is, we can always find some kind of common ground whether it’s dogs, or fighting the dark side…. But what if someone is on the dark side? They probably don’t know it. Or maybe they do. Darth Vader was on the dark side, but there was still good in him, and the good won.

Speaking of good, I should rap this up and wish you peace on earth and good will to all, as in everyone being blessed. God bless us all, everyone!

Here’s Sam’s speech about there’s still good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for. Not fighting with violence, necessarily, but fighting to find the good, working for peace, or just putting one foot in front of the other, or giving a kind word of encouragement.

For more Streams of Consciousness, rules, and such, visit our good host, Linda Hill by clicking here.


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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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SoCS: Gratitude and Angel Art

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “close eyes and point.” Grab the closest printed material to you when you sit down to write your post, open it up (if it’s a book, flyer, etc.), close your eyes, and point. Whatever your finger lands on, use that as your prompt. Have fun!

Thanks Linda!

It’s Friday morning, earlier than I usually write my post for SoCSaturday. I’ve got a busy day getting ready for tomorrow’s artisan fair at my church. It’s a big deal to me. The forecast is for a lot of rain, but it’s an indoor event, so I hope they don’t cancel it. This afternoon will be clear skies, or at least not much chance for rain, so that will be good for the set up. I’ll share some more later about that if the stream takes me there.

So, sitting at the table which doubles as my desk, there is a pile of papers to my left. The one on top is a green piece of scrap paper that I’ve written notes on from one of my organizations – Northside Food Co-op. I live near the northside of town which is part of a large food desert that includes my neighborhood. We’re starting with a Saturday farmers market and the plan is to have an affordable grocery store in the area. I signed up to be on the community engagement committee. (This was after telling myself not to sign up for anything new.) Anyway, there was a zoom meeting and a guest who is a former resident of the northside. The young African American woman talked to the committee about growing up without regular access to food, the poverty of not knowing, watching her mother struggle, and some personal trauma that she experienced. I asked her what helped her get through these things, and she said she just did – she got through it. She shared a spiritual awakening as an adult that has given her enthusiasm to go back and help those in the old neighborhood.

I didn’t point with my eyes closed, because when I looked at the green piece of scrap paper trying to decipher my notes, I was pulled to the word, “gratitude” in the middle of the paper. The young woman who grew up on the northside said,

“I have a purpose. Gratitude is a big fire inside.”

That would make a nice one-liner for Wednesday. But here it is in the stream. A big fire inside makes me think of heartburn, so I don’t normally think that way. But for some people, a fire inside is a motivator for enthusiasm, a warm glow that gets things going. I could use some of that. I’m pretty busy right now, but I need more exercise as I get older. There is a tendency to want to be a couch potato which is okay sometimes. Good thing I have all these ideas that get me off the couch and nice weather of the autumnal kind to get me walking outside.

This morning David texted me that he has known me for 50 years. The party where we met in 1971 was on November 6th. That was so cool that he remembered, even if he remembered it a day early. He is the farthest thing from a couch potato. It’s interesting how partners compliment each other. I’m a night owl and he’s a morning person…….

I am filled with gratitude that God brought David back to me when the time was perfect. I’m also grateful that I have the flexibility in retirement to be busy, when ignited by the fire inside, or to sit on the couch and watch the Lord of the Rings or whatever I want to watch.

Here’s my favorite recent piece I’m taking to the artisan fair Saturday. I believe I already have a buyer!

“Blessing the Whales” ~ Acrylic on Wood Panel

Here are some other projects I’ve been working on for the artisan fair. David drilled holes in the mimosa cookies so they can be ornaments. We had to cut the mimosa way back when we had the roof redone. It grew back well.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, rules, etc. visit our host Linda Hill by clicking here.


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Good News Tuesday for Nov. 2, 2021: Climate Summit, Students Save Bus Driver, Top 10 CNN Heroes, and a Dog Who Saved Koalas

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

World Leaders Meet for Climate Summit and Promise to End Deforestation

Last year’s world climate summit was cancelled due to covid. Now, over 120 leaders have come together in Glasgow, Scotland to reduce the negative impact of humans on planet Earth. BBC reports that over 100 leaders from around the world, including Brazil, have promised to sign a pledge to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. Read more about the two week COP26 Climate Summit and the deforestation pledge here.

Two Middle School Students Act Quickly to Save Bus Driver

Conner Doss and Kane Daugherty are two Atlanta middle school students whose quick thinking saved their bus driver. Read more about it here.

Top 10 CNN Heroes

CNN is in its 15th year of celebrating heroes. On December 12, they’ll be recognizing their top 10 picks for 2021 who each receive $10,000 and announcing who received the most votes for hero of the year. Read more about the top 10 heroes from CNN.

A Dog Named Bear has been Recognized as a Hero for Saving Koalas

A dog named Bear recently won an award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) for saving 100 koalas from Australia’s bushfires last year. Before being trained to rescue koalas, Bear had been rescued himself from a shelter where his former family gave him up due to behavior issues and his “boundless energy and obsessive enthusiasm for play.” You can read more from the Good News Network and watch the video:

Got good news?

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


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Good News Tuesday for Oct. 5, 2021: Scientists Win Nobel Prize for Climate Work, The Lost Wallet, When Slower is Better, and a Dog Rescued from A Cave

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Three Scientists Win Nobel Prize for Climate Work

While climate change is not good news, it is good news that the Nobel Prize was awarded to three scientists who have worked hard to clarify how humans have impacted climate. It’s hoped that these insights will impact our behavior with respect toward planet Earth. Learn more about the work of Sykuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi from The Guardian.

The Lost Wallet

George, a migrant worker from Jamaica, lost his wallet in New York. Laurie found the wallet but had trouble finding George until someone suggested she ask at “a little store that is known to have many Jamaican migrant workers as clients.” Laurie found George and gave him his wallet, but there’s more. Read the story from the Good News Network.

When a Slower Line is Better

The Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo is expanding its initiative to decrease loneliness, especially in the elderly. In 2022, they plan to add more “chat checkouts” in 200 stores across the country where people can go, not just for groceries, but also for conversation. Read more about this innovative program here.

Dog Rescued from Cave after Two Weeks

A dog, named Hawkeye was missing for two weeks before being rescued by cavers and reunited with his family. Here are the details.

Got Good News?

Feel free to add your good news (it can be personal, local, or global)

or a GNT link in the comments!


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SoCS: Angel Wings, Caladiums, Fairies, an Owl, and my Old Dog

Here’s our prompt: “the last photo you took.” Take the last photo you snapped. What’s the first word that comes to mind when you look at it? That word is your prompt. Enjoy!

The last photo I took was…. No wait. What’s the word? It’s a toss up between, Fairy, and What, as in What is the title of this piece of art that I’ve been working on for the past year and a half?

It all started when David was making a cabinet to store more canned goods at the start of COVID. He brought home the door of the cabinet, and I said, “Wait a minute! Look at those angel wings!”

Here’s one section

Unfortunately, it’s a bit heavy, but I couldn’t let it just be a cabinet door. Here are some enhancements below inspired by the wood grain. I was looking at caladiums a lot. Then the owl just showed up.

This was maybe a year ago.

Well, it’s closer to being finished. It might even be finished. I don’t know. And I don’t know what to call it. Tree fairies and friends? Caladium Angels, Fairies and Friends? Any ideas? Here’s where it is now:

What’s the first word that comes to your mind?

I didn’t plan the painting much. Some things just emerged, like my Golden Boy, Jesse who’s in heaven. Maybe he’s hanging out with fairies and owls.

For more streams of consciousness and rules, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS July 31, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Hope for the Best and Trust the Timing

Linda picked my favorite word for today’s prompt: HOPE!

If you can’t find faith, look for hope. Hope will lead you to faith.

About 15 years ago, I was afraid to hope. Romance was not working out for me at all, so I tried not to want a partner. I tried to become cynical about men. I decided to focus on myself and my daughter, friendship, and of course my most loyal companions, the dogs.

But hope snuck back in. I read about manifesting, and visualizing. Of course, this was AFTER I had worked on myself some. For five years, I hadn’t dated anyone beyond a coffee shop visit. No one interesting seemed interested in me. Now, I know that was all part of the plan created by God, the Universe, my guardian angels who were tired of my dating messes and lessons. They all knew I had work to do on me first.

At the same time I was working on me, licking my wounds, and finding my footing again, my high school sweetheart and long lost first love was doing the same – working on himself. We were becoming ready.

Have you seen my wild woman photo? It was taken around that time when I was working on me. My daughter and I had gone on a trip to the mountains. I love this photo.

It was comfortably dark in the forest, and I’m resisting the urge to edit this photo.

I see that I posted it back in 2013. Well, here it is again. I thought I was lonely, but I was finding myself. My authentic self. I’m guessing this was taken around 2006, but that’s just a guess.

Well, here we are in 2021. David and I are coming up on the ten year anniversary of our second first date which was July 15, 2011. We were so nervous and excited. He says he wasn’t looking for a relationship. I told my heart to calm down! But we both knew this was extra special. In October, the company he had worked for in Connecticut for 35 years told him it was time to retire. That spring he moved in with his 3 dogs to make our five pack. In December of 2012, we made it official. I know you’ve seen that photo before. But maybe the five pack one not as often.

David and I walking the five pack.

The five pack is gone now. They’ve all crossed over the rainbow bridge in the past ten years. I miss them and hope to see them in heaven. That’s more than a hope. Do I have faith that I’ll see my dogs in heaven? Yes. God knows how important this is to me.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst if it’s likely to happen, but don’t spend a lot of time on that. It’s like with tropical storms and hurricanes. We knew Elsa would not do as much damage as a big hurricane, so we didn’t spend much time preparing. Just a little.

We can strengthen ourselves for the difficult times as we hope for the best. Like my favorite quote goes:

I hope you are well and at peace as much as you can be. Enjoy the hopes that come your way. Nurture them and they will become exactly what they are meant to be when the time is right.

For more streams of hope, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS July 10, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: It’s Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood, featuring Raggedy Ann, Flo and Eddie

The Prompt:

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

My mom grew up during the Great Depression. I don’t know if that contributed to her depression as an adult, but she got better after menopause. She told me that when she was a child, she had to put pieces of cardboard in her shoes to cover the holes. As an adult she had a lot of shoes.

“We don’t throw away food,” was her mantra in restaurants. I remember her wrapping leftovers in a napkin and putting the bundle in her purse to take home. Did they not have “doggie bags,” in the 60s?

One of the things my mom wanted as a child was a Raggedy Ann doll. She never got it during her childhood. One year my dad got her one for Christmas. Seems like I was about 9 years old, so that would’ve been in the 60s, too. When she opened the present containing Raggedy Ann, she cried, because she had always wanted one. Maybe she got both Raggedy Ann and Andy from my dad. They both had red yarn for hair and red and white striped legs and Ann wore an apron if I recall correctly. Maybe they had red triangular noses like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.

Personally, I don’t see the appeal, though my mom and I both had red hair. Mine’s still reddish, blond with a little grey blended in. I’m trying to imagine wanting a doll that badly and not getting it until you were in your 40s. Maybe they were expensive, or maybe they were just that poor and the dolls were an extravagance. When I think about all the toys I had as a child and that my grand daughter has, it makes me wonder if we had/have too much. But I’m glad my mom got her Raggedy Ann doll later in life.

I only wanted a pony as a child, and did have my own horse for a while in my twenties. Horses are a lot of work, but they gave me a little stability during a crazy time of my life. Speaking of horses, my grand dog went to the dog park and met a couple of great Danes. Leilu is a husky, so she’s big, but not as big as the Danes, named Flo and Eddie, or was it Eddie and Flo? – They were named after the leaders of the old rock and roll group, The Turtles back in the 60s?

First I’m going to share some photos of Leilu, my grand dog, with Flo and Eddie who I could not tell apart, though one is bigger than the other. Leilu looks crazy because she has blue eyes and a big smile which is real, not enhanced. She just got her stitches out from being spayed, so we didn’t have to worry about any hankypanky from the boys. She lives with her two sons who are also bigger than her, but that’s another story, or maybe it’s a yarn.

And here’s a video of the Turtles, including Flo and Eddie, from when they were on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1967 singing, “Happy Together,” a song on the playlist for my wedding reception.

~~~

For more streams, yarns and rules for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS June 5, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)