Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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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.

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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!


37 Comments

Animal Souls

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Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was “soul/sole.” Linda said to use one, use both, use ’em any way you like and to Enjoy!

I’m reminded of that kid in high school English class who said, “Animals don’t have souls.”  I have no idea how it came up. Maybe animal souls were in a poem. But it still makes me angry. How the hell does he know?

I thought about this soul issue back then in high school. Being all into science at the time, I developed a theory that the power of the soul corresponds to the conscious awareness of the individual. Or maybe that was in college when I took the psychology of consciousness. Anyway, how do we measure conscious awareness? We can only judge by human standards, unless we can somehow step outside those standards – open up to the possibility that beings who’ve lived in a very different environment, like dolphins and whales, would likely have a very different way of perceiving, or being aware of their own consciousness.

Elephants grieve for their dead. They stand watch for days or longer. I believe elephants have big old souls.  There’s this video of an elephant saluting or waving (human/cultural perspectives) after one of the herd’s young was saved by some humans. I’m going to look for the video. Be right back! The video title is:

“Wild Elephant salutes the men who rescued their baby elephant from a ditch”

There are actually at least two salutes at the end of the video. It’s unmistakable. An expression of gratitude. The humans pushed dirt into the ditch for the baby to stand on and climb out. They’re trying to be careful. Notice the communication between species at the end. At the very least watch the last 2 minutes.

 

 

Quite a reunion! Makes me want to hoot and cheer and maybe get a little teary eyed. But then, I get teary eyed easily sometimes.

So does this mean elephants have souls? What difference does it make? But I believe that if humans have souls, elephants do, too. And dolphins, cats, and dogs. Anyone who doesn’t think dogs have souls can stay away from me to put it nicely.  I bet if we spent a lot of time with elephants, we’d all believe in their souls. I mostly know about dogs. When you look in a dog’s eyes and see them smile, and they sleep on your bed with you, you know they have souls. Crazy souls some of them. But maybe bigger souls than some people. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. Except that it’s a good thing my soulmate loves dogs. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be my soulmate. And it’s a good thing for him I love dogs because this crazy soul hound is my step-daughter.

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And then there’s trees….  But that’s another post.

To learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday or join in the fun, visit Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/03/15/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-16-19/

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!

 


23 Comments

Critical Issues Around the Globe and at Home in Doodle Land

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Today’s prompt for the SoCS is: “critic(al).” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

Thinking of this prompt, not planning mind you, but thinking, I’ve gotten into a somewhat serious mood. I ask whoever wants to be asked, what are the critical issues we face as a species, or as individual nations? How about climate change?

I was listening to the radio in my car yesterday – the local public radio station since I didn’t like the song on the oldies station – and they were talking about how the barrier islands on the east coast of the US would become uninhabitable in the next 30 to 100 years. That’s where most people I know go to the beach. A lot of people live there, not to mention animals, which I am mentioning. The ice at the poles is melting more rapidly than we thought. This is a critical issue. This is, shall we dare say, emergent.

A critical issue in the US is health care. I know plenty of hard working people, working over 40 hours a week to support families, who cannot afford health insurance because the premiums are ridiculously high. And I live in a state that chose not to expand medicaid which some of my friends are going to Raleigh to protest. I can’t leave the dogs that long which I’ll get to in a moment. But my point is that the lack of affordable health care is critical in my country. For some people, it truly is an emergency. A national emergency. Along with education, homelessness…

I know I’m dancing close to the edge of a political rant which I generally or maybe never do on my blog, but that is the risk adventure of venturing into the stream of consciousness.  But let me take another branch of the stream. Maybe a broader branch. Maybe the big, overall critical issue is that we, and by we, I mean the media and popular culture of our culture, oooh that was a little whirlpool, now I’m dizzy. Where was I? Maybe the critical issue is that we’re too critical of others who we believe are so different from us. Maybe we need to focus on our similarities, what we have in common, and solutions for the common good.

Okay, lest I continue into a rant, let me share a personal critical issue we’ve faced/are facing in our home. I’m somewhat in denial about it. A few weeks ago, we found out that our crazy coon hound Doodle has a mast cell tumor which is malignant. Blood work showed she also has kidney disease. The denial comes from the fact that while Doodle is at least 12 years old, she’s always had a lot of energy. She kinda still does, but has not been as crazy enthusiastic about her walks lately. A couple weeks ago, the tumor spread and swelled her whole right rump, and her right back leg swelled to twice its normal size. The vet said this is a sign it’s probably gone into her lymph system and surgery might not help. Plus she’s 12 and the kidney disease. He put her on prednisone which quickly alleviated the swelling so that now she looks normal. Then she became more obnoxious than usual because steroids can do that. She actually had tremors. So we cut back on the prednisone (cut the dosage in half), and she’s doing okay. We have to watch her closely. Maybe she has a few weeks or even a year. I’m still a little in denial because she’s still crazy-ish. I have been more prepared for our other dog, Marigold, to cross over the bridge because she is almost 17. But Marigold keeps on plodding along.

Well, this is a little bit of a bummer of a post. But Doodle is not currently “critical,” and we are spoiling her rotten. And that’s kinda fun. Dogs. Gotta love ’em. Cats too. They help us get through all the other critical issues.

Doodle in recliner

Doodle when she wasn’t feeling good.

Doodle the Queen (2)

Doodle the Queen

For more information on SoCS, visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-23-19/

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!


22 Comments

Good News Tuesday: Lego Arm, Compromise, Suicide Prevention, and Labs on a Mission

Prosthetic Arms Made from Legos

Lots of media outlets are sharing this story about David Aguilar who used Legos to build himself a series of prosthetic arms when he was a teenager. He tells his story in this video:

 

Compromise is Possible

In hopes of avoiding another government shutdown, US negotiators have reached an “agreement in principle” regarding the issue of the border wall. Whether the US administration will accept this bipartisan deal negotiated by members of congress remains to be seen. But the point is: compromise is possible and, regardless of how I feel about the wall, I want to applaud their efforts.  Here’s the story from Good Morning America.

Golden Gate Bridge with moon

The Guardian of the Bridge

Kevin Briggs has “talked” over 200 people off the ledge of the Golden Gate Bridge in his job with the California Highway Patrol.  What he did most was listen. Click here for the story from CBC Radio.

Labs on a Mission

Two Labrador retrievers race outside and get the attention of a neighbor who helps their mom who had a stroke.

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Got good news? Please share in the comments, or link your post below!