Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday for September 27, 2022: Author Reconnects with Teacher, Blood Test for Early Cancer Detection, Regenerative Agriculture in Mexico, and a Special Police Dog

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Author Reconnects with Teacher Who Taught Him to Read

Jamil Jan Kochai was a baby when his family moved to the US from Afghanistan. Due to his family’s moves, by second grade he was having a very hard time with reading and speaking English. His teacher, Ms. Lung worked with him every day after school teaching him to read. As an adult, Jamil who is now an author, spent decades trying to find his second-grade teacher. I hope you will read this moving story and find out how they reconnected.

A Blood Test Can Detect Multiple Types of Cancer in Early Stages

A recent clinical trial involved 6,621 adults over 50 who took the Galleri blood test looking for early-stage cancer. In the 92 patients who tested positive, none had symptoms though 35 had solid tumors which were either too small to be detected normally or are not routinely tested. The Good News Network has details.

Regenerative Agriculture and Agroforestry Improve Yield While Restoring Nature in Mexico

In the Mexican State of Chiapas, farmers, ranchers, and conservationists are working together to restore natural processes. Maria Luisa Gordillo Mendoza stated that with technical assistance and working to boost soil health, her corn yields have grown. One strategy used was growing beans with the corn to fix nitrogen and create organic cover to maintain moisture and reduce the need for herbicides. You can read more from goodgoodgood.com.

Police Dog Awarded for Lifesaving Retires to Run on the Beach

A German Shepherd named Luna was honored with the Thin Blue Paw award after saving 38 lives during her 8-year career on the Scottish Police Force. Luna retired in June and now gets to run on the beach. You can read about Luna in this article from the Good News Network. Plus, here’s a video of Luna with her handler and guardian, Linda McBride.

PS. I wish all police and military dogs only did search and rescue and got to retire safely to live with their handlers.

Got Good News?

Please share your good news in the comments!


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Cure for Boredom: Be Excited about Small Things (or Just Take a Nap)

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “board/bored.” Use one, or use them both for bonus points. Enjoy!

Board: We still have plenty of lose boards in our fence we need to replace. Thankfully, Marley is not aware of our temporary reinforcements.

Bored: Boredom is rare these days. There’s always something to do or watch on TV or read, and naps! It’s wonderful to be able to nap at will now that I’m retired.

Marley our pitsky keeps me from being bored, though sometimes I think Marley is bored. Fortunately, he likes naps, too. He gets two long walks every day in addition to short potty breaks. I usually walk him in the evening and David walks him in the morning. But David walked him twice yesterday because I’ve been feeling run down by a UTI. It’s getting better, but my energy is low. Also, I didn’t realize that feeling dizzy or sleepy could be a side effect of the antibiotic till I looked it up.

Last week, I mentioned in SoCS that I was looking into alternatives for our compost so we don’t attract little animals that could become prey for Marley. The compost bin is fenced off, but animals can apparently get over or through the fence. So, the cool thing is that I just found out the nearby Food Co-op I’m a member of is offering members the opportunity to bring compost there on Saturdays! There might be a discount at the farmer’s market if I bring a pound or more of compost. Today will be my first compost deposit.

Being excited about having a place to take my compost explains why I’m rarely bored anymore. The most exciting thing is the timing. Sometimes we have to wait a while to get what we want, but this happened within two weeks!

Is there something that excites you that doesn’t excite most people?

Here are some other things that have excited me lately:

We have an abundance of these spiders. I hope they’re eating mosquitoes.

~~~

For more streams and to learn all about SoCS, visit our host, Linda Hill, by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: My Personal Bag Boy, Mundane Tasks, and Wonders of the Universe Far and Near

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “bagged.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

I don’t remember exactly when it was that David first bagged the groceries. Maybe it was during the beginning of the pandemic that he started bagging regularly. It’s a habit now. An endearing habit. Some cashiers are still a little caught off guard by reusable bags. Some automatically go to the plastic out of habit. So, David heads to the bagging position before they can even get started. He enjoys the challenge of organizing groceries in one bag. Sometimes we bring two, but not usually.

Remember when they had bag boys in grocery stores who bagged the groceries and took them out to your car hoping for a tip? When I was a poor 20 something year old, I had to tell them I could take the groceries out myself, even a 50 lb. bag of dogfood. That was back in the days of youth. Now, I’m thankful for my own personal bag boy.

Every now and then, I’ll get a plastic bag if I forgot the reusable. I have a few blue or yellow plastic bags (from Food Lion or Dollar General) since those are my kitchen colors. Plastic bags can be reused for picking up dog poop, though I suppose I could carry some kind of scooper. Thankfully they are making biodegradable dog poop bags. When I traveled more, I used to put my toiletries in a plastic grocery bag, then I realized I could put them in an old (clean) pillowcase. Maybe someday, we won’t use plastic bags anymore. Except for dog poop. Until we get a waste shark for dog poop. That comes from my Good News Tuesday post which included waste sharks in the water picking up trash. Now I’m imagining a land shark going on walks with us to pick up poop. The stream is getting weird now. It would have to be a small shark. Not a shark. Something else. This is going nowhere fast. Quick take that fork in the stream to ~~~

Now I’m lost in the stream of consciousness. No, I am not going back to the waste sharks bagging dog poop. Stop it! Think of something profound. This post started out nice. Sigh.

Oh! how about those pictures from space?

From my friend Jana’s post

My 1440 daily digest brought the story to my inbox with this article from the Washington Post, about beautiful nebula where stars are born. What knocked my socks off were the labels showing how HUGE the universe is and that there are all these other galaxies! Seeing that perspective opens up so many possibilities. In one of those galaxies far, far away, could there be a woman (or some other being) picking up dog (or some other being) poop? Going about mundane or grand tasks – different, but somehow similar? Are there constants of life and death? Maybe on another planet, the trees are in charge, served by birds, connected by mushrooms in an underground network…

There are A LOT of mushrooms around here lately, thanks to the rain and steamy temperatures. That brings us to pictures of fungi including some strange things growing things in my little urban forest and a few roses from my dentist’s office below in the gallery.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, rules, etc. check out our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Making Notes and a Strangely Beautiful Movie

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “make a note.” Do with it what you will. Have fun!

Making notes tends to become more important with age. It’s something I was good at in school. Even if I didn’t read my notes again, just writing them down on paper reinforced what I was trying to learn. “Is this going to be on the test?” determined if I should write it in my notebook. Now, I can understand how annoying that question might be to a teacher. Thank you, teachers!

Making mental notes is another matter. I don’t know if I was ever good at that and would not want to trust something important to a mental note unless I said it to myself 100 times. There’s only so much room left in my brain.

I made a written note on scrap paper (I have a lot of those) of quotes from a movie I watched earlier this evening on TV. (It’s Friday night.) Don’t know if I’ll share them, because I might use them for a One-Liner Wednesday one of these Wednesdays. The movie is called Wendy, and I’d never heard of it. Or maybe I did and just forgot perhaps after having made a mental note that it looked interesting. Wendy is kind of the Peter Pan story with a Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome feel at times. Wendy is the hero and there’s a lot about “Mother,” who lives under the water and lights up in hints of Tinkerbell but looking nothing like Tinkerbell. It’s kind of a gritty, bizarre movie about hope and believing.

They didn’t make notes in Never Land where thinking too much is discouraged. No, wait, they DID make notes – as in singing notes, not really words, but ohs, and oos, to a tune. Singing – making notes – saved the day!

Here’s a trailer for Wendy.

Here are some recent Photos starting with Marley who keeps me young: The first photo is him with his trainer’s dog who showed him how to get into the scary metal bathtub at the pet supply store on Wednesday. Next is the new toy he got for letting me give him a bath there yesterday.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, rules and such, visit our host, Linda G. Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS and Lessons Learned from my Pitsky’s Mountain Escape

 Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “—amble.” Add letters to the beginning of “-amble” to make another word or use it as is in your post. Enjoy!

I used to have a cat named, Ramble. She was the first animal my son lived with. One of his first words was what he called her, trying to mimic her meow. It sounded like, “avoo?” He called Ramble, “Avoo.” That was thirty something years ago. Longer ago than that, when I was five years old, my dad had a yellow Rambler. It was the first car I remember. Seems like it was a station wagon. I’m guessing a 1958 Rambler.

Rambling is common in the stream of consciousness. That’s what makes it fun. You never know where you’ll end up. Rambling is something I enjoy in the woods or on a walk through the neighborhood. Rambling is not what Marley did on his ten-minute escape, unless you can ramble fast. He did not have a plan that I’m aware of but saw the opportunity to slip through the door past my daughter in law on his first trip to the mountains.

Marley took off down the road at top speed. If I wasn’t so terrified, it would be cool to watch him run. I was terrified because he was 300 miles from home and had NO COLLAR on! I’d given him a break from the e collar. From now on, I will never have a dog collarless away from home. Dogs need to have ID if there’s any chance they might get outside. Like being scared of the fireworks. Lots of dogs get lost during fireworks and thunderstorms.

I don’t recall ever praying so hard as when Marley escaped, though I probably did when my kids were teenagers. As I followed him with the car, trying to keep up with him, Marley ignored my calls. I prayed, “GOD, I NEED YOU NOW MORE THAN EVER! PLEASE HELP ME!” It was intense to say the least. When almost to the main road, Marley turned on to a side road in the quiet neighborhood. I caught up with him at the top of a hill when he stopped to pee. Opening the driver’s door, I said, “Marley! Let’s go home!” He got right in and got stuck under the steering wheel/dash, so I had to move the seat back for him to climb to the back. (I had not wanted to take the time to open the back door.) Then we went to pick up David who was at the bottom of the hill – having set out on foot he’d walked up a previous hill to point me in the direction Marley had run.

My heart is beating fast just remembering this event. There’s always a lesson or two to learn.

  1. Always keep a collar with I.D. on a dog if there is ANY chance he or she can get out, especially away from home.
  2. Always let host families know if you have a hyper, escape prone dog.
  3. There’s no place like home.
  4. Oh, and I have been thinking if a dog escapes, it might be better to pass him in the car and stop ahead of him to offer a ride. That way, he doesn’t feel like you’re chasing him. (Just a theory.)

Good news besides being home safe is that Marley can see Mama Cat through the pet gate and stay in “PLACE” (with supervision) without going crazy.

Friday evening, on the way to the mountains, the clouds looked like castle mountains:

(Slightly edited for more color)

Saturday:

Husky tail

~~~

For more Streams of Consciousness, rules, and more, ramble on over to Linda’s blog by clicking HERE.


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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!