Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday: Helpers, Food Choices, and Peace at the Ocean

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Helpers During Hurricane Dorian

Airbnb has activated their “open home policy” listing houses that are free during the hurricane in Florida and surrounding states. From my GoodNewsletter, here’s the link.

Airlines like Delta are waiving pet-in-cabin and baggage fees for hurricane evacuees and capping fees for flights out of Florida and other states. If you and your pets are evacuating the area, consider this opportunity and keep your pets safe.

Chella Phillips rescued 97 dogs in the Bahamas. They’re all at her house. She manages The Voiceless Dogs of Nassau, Bahamas.

Food Choices for the Environment

A survey commissioned by Sweet Earth Foods and conducted by OnePoll found that of the 57% of millennials who follow a special diet 44% do so because it’s better for the environment and 37% because it’s more ethical. It’s the environment that I want to focus on today, though ethics plays a large part in my own diet. Consuming a more plant-based diet is better for the environment for at least two reasons. One is that it takes less land and less energy to grow crops than it does to raise and process animals for food. The other reason is that rainforest destruction is often committed to make room for beef cattle.  I don’t know why they only surveyed millennials. Anyone can move toward a more plant-based diet. Eating local is better for the environment, too and something I want to work on. You can read more about the survey in this article from The Good News Network.

Israelis and Palestinians at the Ocean

Some Palestinians who live less than an hour away from the ocean have never seen it. That’s because they need a permit to travel across the Israeli military border. So, for the last four years, Robby Berman, with help from fellow Israelis, has been organizing trips to bring Palestinian families to the beach at Tel Aviv. Think about this: We are all made up mostly of water, so it makes sense that sharing this experience with the ocean helps create friendship and peace.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!


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SoCS: Writing from the Couch with a Side of Star Wars

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The couch can be a wonderful respite, a therapeutic venue, or a trap that sucks you in and holds you captive. Well, that might be a little dramatic. It’s Friday night, and I’m sitting on the couch with my computer watching Star Wars, The Phantom Menace, as I type, except when I switch to Harry Potter. I wanted to watch Valkyrie, a true story about a nazi who tries to assassinate Hitler, which I’ve never seen, but we don’t get that channel in our package.

I sit on the couch a lot with the computer. Too much because it’s not good for my back. Better to sit at the table. The couch is really a love seat we brought from my parents’ house. Their big gold couch was just too big. We’ve had used furniture as a regular thing for years because of the dogs. It’s odd not to be sharing the couch/love seat with a dog after so many years of doing so.  When we had the five pack (my two plus three step dogs) the dogs were on the couch more than the humans. We tried to keep Beep off the couch once by putting stools and chairs up there, but it didn’t stop her. So we gave up and let the dogs have the couch which at that time was a This End Up one from the old days. Maybe the only one I’ve ever bought new.

Beep on couch chairs.jpg

Beep was tenacious.

(Star Wars is easier to watch than Harry Potter. For me anyway. Maybe cause I’ve been watching star wars since I was about 20. )

Anyway, sometimes I paint small pieces of art sitting on the couch. I like to paint on discarded wood with acrylics. But I can’t paint big stuff sitting on the couch. For the big stuff or something that takes close attention to detail, like one of the mermaids I’m working on, I go to the kitchen and paint on the washing machine that is right under the window. Good light there, and I can stand up.

Speaking of mermaids, I’ve just created a new website for my art. https://angelsmermaidsandwordwork.com/  Building it has been more complicated than when I first started this WP blog. I hope it’s more complicated and not just that my mind is less sharp. They have so many plug ins and things that they’re trying to sell…. I hope the the subscribe button works now. Thank you to Sue Dreamwalker for encouraging me in my art and the website. Sue is an artist, too.

Pretty soon, at least by the next commercial, I’m going to get off this couch/loveseat and stretch. If I don’t, it will be hard to get up, and I’ll be walking funny. Maybe I’ll do a little yoga while watching Jedi, Qui Gon Ginn.

Today’s prompt was “couch.” For more information on SoCS, visit Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/08/30/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-31-19/

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!


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Dog Love: It’s Still Worth the Heartache of Goodbyes

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Where, oh where has my little dog gone?

She ‘s still here in body though her mind wanders and takes her body in circles when she’s not sound asleep. Little Mary Moo is the last of the 5 five pack. She’s a medium sized dog really, but the smallest one of the pack that was. She’s almost blind and virtually deaf and at the age of 17, slowly and steadily declining. She used to be a feisty girl, full of life. Her obnoxious bark and enthusiasm for catching little animals suggests a beagle/terrier mix. But she doesn’t bark anymore, and the only thing she catches is her bed which she attacks sometimes still to try to make it into a nest.

Mary and David

David is helping old Mary Moo settle down from her pacing.

The thing I’ve been avoiding writing about (besides politics) is the passing of Doodle Bug. She crossed over the rainbow bridge a few weeks ago. I’ve started two other posts about her passing. Maybe I’ll actually publish this one. Doodle was full of life, too. You might have read about her here on my blog – the crazy coon hound who learned how to open the refrigerator. We still have a lock on the refrigerator so her ghost won’t get in and eat the leftovers.

We found out several months ago that she had kidney disease and a mast cell tumor. The tumor shrank significantly with oral Prednisone pills which made her even crazier. I was still in the mountains taking care of my granddaughter when David called me and told me the tumor had grown to the size of a grapefruit and had opened up. The Prednisone wasn’t helping anymore. David had to say goodbye to Doodle without me. It seems unfair because she was so full of life until the last couple of days. But she was about 13 and a big dog, so maybe it’s more than fair that she went downhill quickly and didn’t suffer long.

Here’s a picture of Doodle being good.

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When Mary crosses over, there will be no dogs in the house for the first time in 30 something years. For most of my adult life, there has been at least one dog in the house, usually two, and for a while there was the 5 pack. It will really feel like an empty nest. Yes, there will be more freedom, but it will be strange. We’ll have to travel more. We’ll get to travel more. Sigh.

One thing I know for sure is that dog love is worth the heartache of saying goodbye. Every single time. It’s worth it. The happy joy, the unconditional love, the unquestionable honesty, the spontaneous antics, the comforting snuggle, these things make the heartache bearable.  I can’t imagine a world without dog love, or a heaven without dog love. So I’m counting on seeing them all again, some time, some how,  some where.

sun dog with dogs

Sun dog and dog shaped clouds. A Rainbow Bridge?

Here’s the prompt that got this post started:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “where.” Start your post with the word “where” and write whatever comes to you. Bonus points if you end your post with “where” too. Enjoy!   __ Linda G. Hill

To learn more about the stream, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/08/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-10-19/

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!


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Good News Tuesday: Diversity, Salt Battery, Therapy Dogs, and a Good Catch

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

Diversity Growing at West Point

This year, West Point Military Academy graduates it’s largest class of black women ever!

 

Salt Battery Offers a New Form of Alternative Energy

This story from Associated Press explains how a special type of salt (quicklime) releases large amounts of heat when exposed to water. “The pilot  project in Berlin can currently store enough energy to heat about 100 large houses.”  One advantage to this type of renewable energy is that it does not depend on weather.

dog golden retrriever (2)

Parkland Students Honor Therapy Dogs

CNN and others report that the dogs who helped students after the Marjorie Douglas Stoneman high school shooting have been given their own yearbook page. I like that they’re giving these helper dogs the recognition they deserve.

See their pics and read about it here.

Grabbed In the Nick of Time

This NY bus driver is paying close attention.  We all need to pay close attention to school buses and their lights.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!


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Good News Tuesday: Adopting a Deaf Puppy, Determined Voting, and Opening Minds with Books

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Nick and Emerson: A Puppy Adoption Story

When Nick Abbott saw a Facebook post about a deaf puppy needing a home, he had to go see him. Nick and Emerson are both deaf. Now, they are family. Nick adopted Emerson and is teaching him sign language.

I found this story first on Good Morning America:

https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/living/story/deaf-man-adopts-deaf-rescue-puppy-teaches-sign-62700366

Making Sure Everyone Gets to Vote

Indian officials traveled nearly 70km (45 miles) to make sure one man got to vote in the Indian general election. Four election officials accompanied by a police officer set up a special polling station for Bharatdas Darshandas, a 69 year old priest who lives at a temple in the Gir wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat.  You can read more in this short article from The Guardian

books of color

From Graffiti to Books: Opening Minds of Teen Offenders

Five teenagers were arrested for painting racially charged graffiti on a historic Virginia schoolhouse that had been used by black children during segregation.

The offenders were ordered to read 12 books chosen from a list of 35 and to write an assignment on each of the books they chose. Here’s an excerpt written by one of teens:

I thought a swastika was just a symbol and it didn’t really mean much – not any more. I was wrong and it meant a lot to people who are affected by them. It reminds me of the worst things – losing family members and friends, of the pain of torture, psychological and physical, among that it reminds them how hateful people can be and how the world can be cruel and unfair. Swastikas are also a reminder of oppression, not being heard and being kept down on the ground. Swastikas are also a sign of white power, that their race is above all else, which is not the case.

People should not feel less than what they are and nobody should make them feel that way. I feel especially awful after writing this paper about how I made anybody feel bad. Everybody should be treated with equality, no matter their race or religion or sexual orientation. I will do my best to see to it that I am never this ignorant again.

For more information, please read this article from BBC:

https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-47936071


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Good News Tuesday: K-9 to the Rescue, Robocalls, & Two for the Planet

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

K -9 Bane from Powhatan Va

K-9 Finds Missing Children

Parents looked for the two 8 year olds for 45 minutes. Then as daylight faded, they called for help. It took “Bane,” 15 minutes to find the two children who got lost while playing in the woods.  Here’s the short and sweet story from msn.com containing a video from WTVR-TV Richmond.

Good Work FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has shut down four major robocall centers for illegal activities. In doing so, they are protected the vulnerable.

 

 

Converting Plastic to Fuel

Renewlogy, a company in Salt Lake City is turning plastic into diesel fuel. Boise has a contract with the company just in time. China has stopped accepting plastic since being inundated with it. The video below has a funny clip from an old movie that shows how relatively new plastic is in the grand scheme of things and how quickly it has become a problem. Make no mistake: We still need to reduce and reuse plastics.

 

… and one more for the planet (It is earth month after all) :

The Great Green Wall

It might not be new, but it’s news to me and it’s good. More than 20 countries in Africa are joining together to build a “wall” of trees across the continent, and they’re making progress! We still must continue to change the habits and policies that harm the earth. What if, like the people planting trees along the desert, we all focused more of our efforts on healing the planet? You can read more about the Great Green Wall in this article from The Good News Network.  Plus check out this hopeful video.

Got good news? Please share in the comments!


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My “Dangerous” Yet Healthy Banana Bread Peanut Butter Bars

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Our prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “dough/d’oh.” Linda said, “Use one, use both, use ’em any way you like. Enjoy!”

Okay. Here goes. I’ve had plenty of d’oh moments if I’m reading that right. Too many to count. I’d rather talk/write about dough. If you take the u and the h out, you’ve got dog. I write about dogs a lot, because I love dogs. Know what else I love, besides dogs and trees? Cookie dough. It’s one of my favorite things. Raw cookie dough is better to me than cookies baked, unless they’re warm and doughy.

Right now, if I were to eat cookie dough, it would have to be vegan since I’m being vegan for lent. Doing pretty well on that most of the time. I have to read labels though since a lot of things have milk or eggs. I was going to buy some granola that said, “May contain  milk or eggs.” What does that mean? Then there are times when I don’t want to read the label, but we won’t go there.

Do you like to experiment with food? I’ve been experimenting with what to do with very ripe bananas. I’ve created a recipe except I haven’t written it down and don’t measure. That’s the experimenting part. I mash up a ripe banana or two and add peanut butter (crunchy) and almond milk if I have it, sometimes apple sauce, and mix all this together. Then I add in flour (sprinkling baking powder and baking soda on top of the flour and mixing that on the surface and/or oatmeal. Raisins might be good in there. Hmmmm. I add the flour and/or oatmeal until I like the consistency.  Am I forgetting something? Who cares? I don’t think so, but you could add any kind of fruit. Then I bake it. Yesterday it turned out like very moist banana bread brownies, and I got this idea to put peanut butter in between two brownies. I guess they’re more like bars than brownies because there’s no chocolate. Though I have used cocoa before, but then I can’t give any to the spoiled dogs. Anyway, so they turned out like banana bread peanut butter bars. And they were really good! My husband said they were dangerous (as in dangerously good.) Not exactly dough, but batter I suppose. That’s where my stream of consciousness flows.

peanut butter banana bars

JoAnna’s Banana Bread Peanut Butter Bars

 

If you want to join in the fun Stream of Consciousness Saturday or learn more about it, visit Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/03/29/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-30-19/

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!