Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Boxes, Boundaries, and Cat Dentistry

Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “out of the box.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think “out of the box.” Enjoy!

So many ideas swirling around the stream which is not a box at all, but there could be boxes of ideas riding along on the stream of consciousness bumping into one another.

The first thing I thought of what how my grown kids are still and always have been outside the box type of people. Can’t imagine how that happened. The things their father and I had in common were art and science fiction. But that’s a tangent to paddle back out of.

I’d rather eat Chinese food out of the box than the plastic. Boxes are easier to recycle as some plastics don’t recycle as easily. I have quite a collection of plastic. You’re supposed to flatten boxes first. That’s one of my soapboxes within the box of recycling. But the Chinese food I prefer comes in plastic mostly with the rice in the white box which I open, rinse and recycle. Been saving those wire handles for some kind of project. Actually used one to hang something once.

Boxes make me think of boundaries. Boundaries can be good protection. But some of them need to be flexible. Negotiables like swearing and non-negotiables like no hitting. We have lots of boundaries to keep Mama Cat and Marley separated. Marley is learning to respect those boundaries. One of the most important boxes in our house is the litter box. Well, there are other boxes that are also important, like jewelry boxes and boxes up in the attic with treasures or junk, depending on your perspective.

Mama Cat was happy to get outside the box – her carrier – after she came home from dental surgery a week before Christmas. She had five teeth removed! I was worried about the procedure and the possibility of having to give her pills post surgery. So I wrote a note to the vet when I dropped Mama Cat off. The vet ended up giving her long-acting pain meds and antibiotics, so I didn’t have to worry about giving her pills. It’s been a long time since I gave a cat a pill, like 30 years ago, and Mama Cat is skittish anyway, but getting better.

The long-acting pain medication was a form of buprenorphine which is prescribed at the facility I used to work for. Mama Cat was practically bouncing off the walls, very hyper, and very affectionate for four days. She also started eating a lot more and is more active since having her teeth pulled leading me to realize she must have been uncomfortable with bad teeth. It’s hard when animals and babies cannot tell you what hurts. She will still go into her carrier to get the food I place in the back, so that’s good, though I hope we don’t have to go back to the vet for a while.

Some cats love to get in boxes, but having spent most of her life feral, Mama Cat doesn’t seem interested. She does like her lean-to cave and small table we added sides to so that’s like a boxy cave. Small children sometimes like to play in boxes, too. When my son was a toddler, he’d sit in a box, and we’d pull him around on the carpet. Do boxes make us feel safe or are they confining? Depends on the situation. It’s usually good to step out of the box, but not roam too far, unless you have a tent or a camper trailer which I’ve been casually looking into. Mama Cat would probably prefer to stay home as long as she can go out on her catio and watch the squirrels.

Well, I’ve rambled on long enough. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for riding along on the stream of consciousness.

Here are some photos which may be related or not…

~~~

For more streams and rules,

visit out host Linda G. Hill

by clicking HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for January 3, 2023: Dog Therapy in Ukraine, Cellular Glue, Humpback Comeback, 2022 Good News Review, and Surviving the NY Blizzard in a School

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Dog Therapy for Kids in Ukraine

A special dog named Bice offers positive distraction and comfort to kids affected by the trauma in Ukraine. This story reminds me of how well dogs (and other animals) bring us back to the present moment. Click here to learn more.

New Cellular “Glue” Helps Heal Wounds

Scientists at the University of California have engineered molecules that act like a “cellular glue” to bond tissues. The research has implications for podetial of regeneration of nerves and tissues. The Good News Network has details.

Humpback Comeback

Humpback whales were almost wiped out by commercial whaling in the 19th and early 20th century and were one of the first species to be protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1970. But with global conservation efforts, the current population has rebounded from 10,000 to 80,000 in 2022. Here are the details from GoodGoodGood.

Good News Stories from 2022

Many news services are publishing a look back at last year’s good news. A short one from my 1440 email has a quick overview of ten topics including medical discoveries, earth work, the declining death penalty, LGBTQ rights, and more. (I opted to decline cookies and X’d the pop up and could still read the article.) Here’s the link: https://www.france24.com/en/environment/20221228-top-10-good-news-stories-yes-really-from-2022

If you really want to delve into the good news, a longer list of stories arranged by month is available HERE from Good Good Good

“Merry Christmas, Jay” Saved Lives by Breaking into a School in the NY Blizzard

A man named Jay broke into a school to survive the recent New York blizzard. Then he went out rescue more people who were stuck in cars and brought them inside. He saved 24 people and two dogs. Here’s the story from ABC News.

An unfolding story I’m following for next week:

A family of four apparently survived a crash after their car fell 250 feet off a cliff in California.

Got Good News?

Feel free to share in the comments!


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SoCS: Cozy Candles, Music, Movies, and Cats, Plus a Sheep, Rooster, and Dog in the Mirror

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “cozy.’” Use it any way you like. Have fun! (And Merry Christmas if I don’t come back before then!) Linda was worried about losing power due to a big storm up there in the great white north as I think Canada might be known (as dubbed by a comedy team in the 80s). I have to interfect that even if we lose electricity, we still have power of some kind or other, like the power of prayer, song, laughter, lighting candles (but not near smoke alarms…) I hope Linda keeps her electricity and everyone else does too.

Lighting candles has always been cozy for me. My fireplace doesn’t work as it would need a lot of repairs to be safe, but I light candles in there to give the illusion of a fire. There will be candles tonight and Christmas night, especially since the lows will be in the teens and twenties which is unusual for the Carolina Coast. Where my son lives in the mountains, the low was -6 F last night. That’s minus 6 degrees Fahrenheit. Burr. Maybe I don’t want to live there year round.

I hope everyone who has animals keeps them warm and safe inside. Up North, it might be a three dog night, meaning that’s how many dogs to sleep with. But all dogs should be inside the house. Period.

Back to cozy. I’ve been listening to cozy music on Youtube. Sometimes it makes me sleepy. I’ll share some in a bit. Or why not now? You can always come back to it when you want to relax. I especially like the picture that goes with this one.

At the sanctuary where I volunteer on Thursdays, the sheep and goats were in the barn because of the heavy rain. I’m sure they’ll all be in there tonight. The pigs, too, and some of the chickens. Other chickens will be in their coops. I still wonder how birds survive the cold. Must be some miraculous design. And they can fly! Pretty amazing when you stop to think about it.

Here are pictures of Bennie, one of the sheep, staying cozy in the barn and studying his image, along with a rooster, Marley in the mirror before I donated it to the sanctuary, and Mama Cat being cozy on the couch.

Speaking of CATS, I saw some hilarious/cute photos of cats getting cozy in nativity scenes. Here’s a link from Bored Panda.

David said tonight after church he wants to take Marley for a walk around the neighborhood. He took Doodle for a walk on Christmas Eve years ago and it was wonderful, so he wants to revive that tradition with Marley. It will be cold, but David’s from Connecticut and Marley is half husky, so they’ll be fine. I’ll probably be watching a Christmas movie.

Watching old Christmas movies and singing Christmas songs makes me feel cozy. It’s a bit weird how often I can watch the same movies over and over, like Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, and more recently, Last Christmas which I just discovered this year. Last Christmas was inspired by the music of George Michael and Wham who I have paid little attention to until this movie enchanted me. I also like the starring actress Emilia Clarke who was in Solo, a Star Wars Story. It’s comforting to watch familiar movies again and again. They become like background music (like Star Trek) as I blog and do other stuff on the computer.

One of my favorite old Christmas songs was redone by James Taylor. I like how he’s changed the words just a tiny bit.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

May your heart be light

In a year our troubles will be out of sight…

Merry Christmas ~ Happy Holidays!

For more cozy streams of consciousness,

visit out host, Linda Hill’s blog

by clicking HERE!


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SoCS: Birthday Hike and Pizza

 Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “start your post or one paragraph with the word ‘anyway.’” Bonus points if you start your post with “anyway” and regular points if you use it in a paragraph somewhere else in your post. Enjoy!

Anyway, is a useful word for getting back on track after tangents, so it could be useful in SoCS since tangents are common. Now, that I’ve mentioned tangents, none are coming to me. Stream on. “Anyway you want it” reminds me of a song. Not a song I love, but it’s nice to have options. Any way you want to go is okay, as long as no one gets hurt. There is more than one way to salvation, nirvana, happiness. Different pathways. Which reminds me that I have a lot of photos to share from my birthday hike at Carolina Beach State Park.

It was great to be back on those trails that used to be a traditional birthday adventure for me in years past. Not sure why I haven’t gone in a couple years. Maybe it was weather or maybe my feet hurt. Monday, which was my birthday # 67, we hiked for about an hour. We didn’t go to the giant sand dune overlook, but we did enough. The air was crisp and invigorating. It was Marley’s first time there. He was not interested in the water at all, but oh the smells! I think most dogs need to be introduced to water at a young age to be interested in it.

Anyway, my feet didn’t hurt and neither did my knee thanks to Nanosocks and my compression knee sleeve. It was a good day. After the hike, which was in late afternoon, we went out to dinner. My favorite birthday Thai restaurant is closed on Monday which was disappointing. BUT if it had not been closed, we would not have gone to Blaze Pizza for the first time which I liked a lot. It’s set up like subway, but the pizza is good, and they have lots of interesting toppings including vegan cheese, roasted garlic, and toppings like arugula after the pizza comes out of the wood stove. I love seeing a fire that gives the impression of a fireplace. Blaze Pizza is one of my new favorite places to eat.

Anyway, back to the hike which started along the intracoastal waterway and went into the maritime forest.

~~~

For more on the Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our persevering host, Linda Hill

by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Twin Flames, Soulmates, Dogs, and Cats

I had a great time collecting and arranging these leaves

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “twin/tween.” Use, “twin” or “tween” any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Enjoy!

A twin flame is a person (could it be an animal?) who shares your soul. Like the soul split into two bodies. That’s what I read somewhere. No scientific evidence to support this. Sounds kind of mythical. That doesn’t mean it’s not true. Afterall, anything is possible. Twin flames are said to share many qualities mirrored in one another. They also may share past traumas.

Excuse me, but I don’t really want to share a soul with someone. I much prefer the concept of soulmates. One difference between twin flames and soulmates, besides soulmates having their own souls, is that soulmates are not twins. They definitely have a lot in common, but not like twin flames.

My soulmate David and I just celebrated our ten-year wedding anniversary on December 1st. This is my second marriage and David’s third, so ten years gives me hope. Of course, the fact that we were high school sweethearts reunited when the time was perfect also gives me hope. I appreciate how he supports me and also gives me space, how he loves dogs and has come to love Mama Cat, too. We have a lot in common, but our differences complement each other well.

Meeting your twin flame could be exciting and helpful. A twin flame does not have to be romantic. It can be platonic or intellectual. To be honest, I’m no expert on twin flames, so feel free to add alternative information or ideas. From what I recall, a person only has one twin flame, but can have multiple soulmates (maybe not at the same time which could be complicated.) I’m okay with not having a twin flame, but I’m very happy to have a soulmate.

As I type this, Mama Cat is lying next to me on the couch making me wonder if a person could have a cat or a dog as a soulmate. They certainly can be good companions. When David and I reconnected in 2011, we had five dogs between us. That was quite a pack in our little bungalow. That’s what happens when you manifest your soulmate “must love dogs.” In our ten years together, each member of the five pack has crossed over the rainbow bridge. We’ll see them again and won’t need leashes.

Soulmates with the original “Five Pack.”

We’ve had Marley for one year now and brought Mama Cat home from the church about two years ago. They are part of our family, though they have limited contact with each other under close supervision.

It’s unlikely that a dog and a cat could be twin flames, but soulmates maybe. Anything’s possible!

~~~

For details on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, and lots more streams,

visit out host, Linda G. Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Feed Your Hopes

 

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “your favorite word.” Decide on your favorite word and use it in your post any way you’d like. Enjoy!

It’s not easy to decide one ONE favorite word. For a moment, I thought my favorite word could be, “possible.” Then I thought of hope. The meaning behind the word, hope, is one of my favorite things. Hope does not have the certainty of faith, but it can lead to faith. If you don’t have faith, look for hope.

I have a bumper sticker that I never put on my bumper. It used to be on a mirror. Now, it’s on my kitchen counter propped by the window. Maybe I’ll stick it on something one day. It says,

Feed your hopes, not your fears.

That’s where the top meme above comes from. Fears can roll around in my head like a crazy dance I don’t want to go to, but end up going anyway. Even knowing how to stop them and rethink takes remembering to do it. Questioning your fears would be like, what evidence is there to support that thought of a cataclysmic meteor hitting the planet? Sure, there are plenty of sci fi movies about it, but what are the chances?

Fear: But I want to be prepared just in case!

Hopes: Okay, so prepare some, but don’t dwell on it, especially at 2 AM.

Let’s hope it never happens. Let’s hope for the best, prepare for the worst, but not make a hobby out of preparing for the worst.

Let’s focus on things we can control or change. Like the serenity prayer says, “Courage to change the things we can.” We can change our own thoughts and actions.

Ten years ago, I quieted my fears of falling back into a sick relationship and focused on myself. I began to hope that there was a partner out there for me that would be a good fit. Not someone who had fits, but who would be compatible. In December, David and I will have been married for 10 years. He doesn’t have fits. He is compatible as in open minded, spiritual, practical (which I need) and he loves dogs.

I hope my dog Marley doesn’t catch the snake I saw this morning. It was a black racer. David says we won’t have a rodent problem with that guy around, meaning the snake which is not poisonous. I’m glad I spotted the snake before Marley did. My daughter suggested I put some big rocks out there the snake can hide under. There is already an old rain gutter embedded in the vines as you can see in the photo. I’ve tried to remove that old rain gutter many times, but it was too hard. Now, I’m going to leave it.

Black Racer

I hope the old rain gutter will provide refuge for the non-poisonous snakes and skinks that Marley likes to hunt.

I hope there are no poisonous snakes in our yard. Changing that to be positively stated, I hope the snakes in our yard are all harmless to people, beneficial to people would be even more positive.

Stating our hopes positively is important. I wrote about this in my very short how to book: From Loneliness to Love. (See sidebar.)

Instead of saying, I want a partner who is not crazy. I would say, I hope for a partner who is reasonably sane, stable, and dependable. Nobody’s perfect, but compatibility is possible. First, we need to get compatible with ourselves. God has a plan for when we are ready.

I hope we humans learn to respect planet earth and help her heal. I hope we clean up our messes. I hope we can learn to live in peace and work things out safely. I interrupted the stream briefly, like a nanosecond, to change the negative words in my head to positives. Flipping that switch gets better with practice. Not perfect. Better.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend full of hope!

For more hope, drop by on Tuesday for some good news!

~~~

For more streams of favorite words, along with the SoCS rules,

visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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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.