Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


6 Comments

A Quick Update: JoAnna of the Forest is Back!

 

Lantern hill trail (2)

I’ve been wanting some anonymity on my blog, so I’m returning to my blogging roots as joannaoftheforest. One reason for the change is that I’ve decided to publish my memoir under my maiden name to protect the privacy of several individuals. It might make marketing a little more complicated in other places, but it will give me more peace of mind. For updates on the book, you  can sign up for my monthly newsletter and/or like my Facebook author page via the side bar to the right.

I appreciate the loving support of my blogging family, and as joannaoftheforest, I’ll be able to let you know when my book comes out.


15 Comments

Sewing Memories and Off-Grid Fantasies in the Stream of Consciousness


foot-pedal-sewing-machine-from-pixabay

Photo compliments of Pixabay

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is: “so/sow/sew.” Use one, use ’em all, use ’em any way you’d like. Bonus points if you start and end with any of them. Enjoy!

So, I use the word “so” a lot. I suppose it could mean, therefore, but sometimes it’s just one of those words that allow me to gather my thoughts. So, I used to sew a lot, I use “a lot” a lot, too…. In junior high school (which we not call middle school) I took home economics just so I could learn to sew and make my own clothes. I made a couple dresses and a scooped neck shirt/blouse that I wore in tenth grade to the party where my high school sweetheart and I met. I still remember that blouse. It was white with green print. And I think it looked good with my red hair. So he said when I interviewed him for the book.

I started out sewing on one of those old, black, iron pedal machines that use foot power on the pedal instead of electricity. I flexed both feet back and forth on the flat rectangular foot pedal which made the wheel turn and the needle go up and down. They had a few electric sewing machines, and I eventually got to use one of those. I know this sounds like I grew up in the dark ages, but this wasn’t that long ago – in the late sixties. The pedal machine was actually kinda fun.

I like the idea of a machine that doesn’t use electricity. Just imagine: years ago, people made all their clothes by hand. Sewing by hand can be fun, though time consuming. Once I made some curtains by hand. Where did I find the time? It was before we had personal computers, so I could watch TV while sewing on the couch. Yeah, I always liked TV, though the computer has taken the place of that for the most part.

What would it be like to live off the grid? With no TV and sewing by hand, reading books by a river, or by candlelight. Sowing seeds and reaping a harvest of potatoes, corn, beans, and lettuce? I think I would like it as long as I had toilet paper, clean, fresh water, and it didn’t get too cold. And if I had my own space, and a shower. And if it didn’t last too long. I’d like to try it for a week and see if I really liked it. But off the grid doesn’t mean without electricity, does it? Maybe having a little electricity, from an alternative, sustainable source, would be the ideal living situation. I could sow seeds, sew buttons, and sing songs like: do, re, mi, fa, so……

Bonus points!

SOCS

If you’d like to join in the Stream of Consciousness or just watch it flow by, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/02/10/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-1117/

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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 simply a single word to get your 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 everyone’s! 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 right 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!


4 Comments

Awesome Stories 302

Brad has a way of collecting the most awesome stories. No rubbish here! But I’m jotting about it for Just Jot It January. 🙂 One more impressive reason to give up beef, a powerful video on peace, increased awareness of food waste and how to stop it, and creativity are all topics dear to my heart. Thanks, Brad!

just-jot-january+

Thanks to Wendy at Wendy’s Waffle for today’s prompt: rubbish.  You can read more jots at Linda’s place: https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/19/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-19th17/

writing to freedom

This week Awesome Stories brings you less beef, mothers for peace, food waste, and creativity for kids.

Bailing on Beefenvironmental impact beef, Awesome Stories

I’ve been all over the map on eating meat, from meat lover growing up to vegetarian for 12 years in my 30s, and then in my 40s returning to meat in small quantities. It might be time to completely ditch the beef. From an environmental perspective, growing and eating beef is a disaster, especially modern day methods of feeding them grains instead of natural grasses. Compared to other meats, beef is far worse on land use, water use and emissions from the methane gas they emit. And compared to eating the grains directly instead of feeding them to cattle, the numbers are really bad. Beef uses 160 times more land and produces 11 times more greenhouse gas. Scientists estimate that giving up beef would have a greater environmental impact than giving…

View original post 348 more words


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Warning

slimy-water

I’m not big on warnings

Especially in the morning

So I don’t watch the news

Don’t wanna blow a fuse.

But we really need to listen.

We need to pay attention

To what the earth is sayin’

Or we might not be stayin’

Within her grace forever

In this place of gift and treasure

Where our job is to protect her,

Love her, and respect her.

just-jot-january

“Warning” was today’s prompt thanks to Dan Antion at https://nofacilities.com/

Just Jot it January is hosted by Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/03/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-3rd17/


15 Comments

Not Gonna Grin and Bear It.

socsbadge2016-17

The first thing that popped into my head when I read the Saturday Stream of Consciousness prompt: bear/bare, was that I can’t bear to watch the news anymore. But that’s not true. I can bear it. I just don’t want to. I get my news from the internet, where I have some control over what comes at me. I can bear a lot of things if I have to. Like the critical X boyfriend who constantly talked about what was wrong with the world. I could bear that if I had to, but I didn’t have to, so I stopped.

That boyfriend and the news both focused on what was wrong. They didn’t spend much time looking at the good or giving compliments. Oh, yeah, maybe a small percentage of good news or compliments, not that I need compliments, but I want some balance. I want some good news. And it’s out there. You just have to be willing to see it.

Focusing on what’s wrong in the world makes it seem like the world is a bad place. And yeah, my house needs some work, and our world needs some work. Okay the world needs a lot of work. But what we focus on gets bigger. So if you’re going to criticize, also bear in mind that it helps to make suggestions or look at people who are trying to help.

If the cupboard is bare, what can you do to help? Just don’t put any bear meat in the cupboard. Don’t even want to go there. I don’t want to look at polar bears stranded on ice flows with no where to go. I do need to know about global warming melting the ice, but tell me what to do about it. Give me stories about people who are trying to help. Encourage me to go one day a week without driving my car, like Smilecalm’s latest post did. Can I bear to not drive my car one day a week? I bet I can do that. Maybe I’ll get that bike fixed so I can ride it on my no car day. When the weather is warmer. Until then, I’ll stay home. If I can get someone to feed my feral cats at church, I can stay home now since I’m leaving the job I’ve had for thirty years. I could have stayed that job longer if I’d had to. I could have grinned and beared it for a few more years until medicare kicked in, but I don’t have to, because I have been blessed with the chance to do something different.

We can bear a lot of things if we have to, if it’s going to do some good to bear witness to pain, but I’d rather focus on doing what good I can in my little corner of the world and look for people to hold up to the light, people bearing gifts.

Now, I’m thinking about those polar bears….  But at least I’m feeding the feral cats I got fixed so they can’t bear anymore feral cats. We do what we can.

Here are some pictures I took yesterday of my Mama Cat and her daughter, Gray, enjoying the sun.

mama-and-gray-closer

It’s taken a long time for Mama Cat to let me close to her. Food helps.

mama-and-gray-dec-2016-2

Is she going to give us more food?

And here’s Gray when she was a kitten this past spring.

img_4756

Gray’s sister, Patch, had her eye surgery and was adopted by the vet-tech who fell in love with her. That was good news!

Linda G Hill bears the responsibility of hosting the Saturday Stream of Consciousness. You can find out more at her blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-1016/https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-1016/

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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 simply a single word to get your 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 everyone’s! 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 right 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!


8 Comments

Being Strong

Tree roots walking

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” Bob Marley

I discovered this quote at Behind the White Coat: https://doctorly.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/%e2%80%8bwho-knew-a-broken-blue-sky/ 

I like that Bob Marley quote. But I believe we always have a choice. There are many times when I’ve felt like I had to be strong, like for my kids after the divorce. I could have fallen apart, but I didn’t, at least not in front of the kids. I didn’t give up because I had a responsibility to my children. And I didn’t want to hurt my parents.

Deep down, I knew there was the possibility that things could better though I did not know how.

I could have been stronger and not gotten involved in that rebound from hell, but in my grief, I made some poor choices. There were may points of choice along the way. Ultimately, thankfully, I made better choices.

Recognizing that we choose to be strong, even when we think we have no choice, is a way of giving ourselves credit for not giving up, affirming our strength.

Being strong often means asking for help from people who have our best interests in mind, those who will build us up with love. I’ve read that trees with roots entwined with other trees are stronger in storms, that trees help each other.

sugar-loaf-back-hill

Carolina Beach State Park

In October, I went hiking in the mountains with my son who is now 30. The trail was “moderately strenuous” with plenty of steep elevations changes.

“This is kinda scary,” I said at one point trying to figure out where to put my feet to walk across a curved rock next to a steep bank. If I made the wrong step, I might have fallen down into the rocky creek.

img_4985

A Beech Mountain Trail

I believe I could have eventually traversed the rock by myself if I’d had to. But I didn’t have to. I asked for my son’s  hand. He reached out giving me the courage to step onto the rock.  I felt his strength as I crossed over. What a strange feeling to know he is physically stronger than me.  I’d love to know he is becoming wiser than me… maybe in another 30 years.

img_4991-2

This is part of the trail. The tree roots are growing on the rock I crossed over to the left.

Sometimes it feels like things are falling apart. We wonder how things got to this point of scariness. It feels like chaos. In these times, we need to reach out for help. We need to support each other.  And we need to remember the things that make us stronger.

If I had read Lisa’s list of “Ten empowering thoughts to hold on to when it’s all falling apart” 15 years ago, I would have taped them on my refrigerator, and my bathroom mirror, and my bedroom mirror.

Believing that things could get better, focusing on the constants in my life, and surrounding myself with loving, caring people helped me continue to put one foot in front of the other, to find a path out of the darkness.

And things did get better in time. Better than I would have ever imagined.

Dave and Doodle on bridge

 

Because God can write straight with lines that don’t look straight at all.

good sunset

 


26 Comments

Spider Plants, Avocado Trees, and Critters who Belong Outside

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Post is brought to you by Linda G. Hill, author of

All Good Stories, “a romantic comedy with a twist.”

Soon it will be time to bring my outside plants inside. They are really indoor plants, but they like to be out in good weather which we have a lot of here. I just hope they don’t have spiders hiding in them when I bring them in.

spider-out-front

For the past two days, I saw a small gecko/lizard/chameleon hopping around my avocado tree on the back deck. I’d rather not have to try to get these little critters outside because I’m always afraid I’ll hurt them. Except for the water bugs, aka Palmetto bugs. Not afraid to hurt them. Yet, they are living things too, so why…..

But back to he plants, because I don’t want to talk about bugs. I have so many spider plants (there I go again with spiders) which some people call airplane plants, though their babies do look like spiders, that I have planted some of them outside. They die off in the winter and come back in the spring. Once I had a poinsettia do that, but only once. Usually the winters here are too cold for a poinsettia to survive. But there was the time when I planted one from Christmas out in my backyard in the spring, and the next spring, a year later, I saw something red out in the yard and had no idea what it was. Lo and behold, it was the poinsettia I had planted a year earlier. It must have been a mild winter. I have one that’s doing very well in a pot outside, but I’ll probably bring that one in and put it in the dark in November to see it it will turn red.

I have two avocado trees in pots that I planted from pits. I’ve had them for many years and cut them back so they will fit in the house. They drop a lot of their leaves, even in the house, in the winter. I’ve been tired of lugging them back in and out of the house, since they like to be outside on mild winter days, so this year, I planted the leggier one outside in a semi sheltered area. I’m going to see it it will survive. I’ll probably cut it way back and cover it on freezing days like people do with banana trees around here. Who knows, with climate change/global warming, maybe I could grow avocados.

(Not saying climate change is good. It’s bad. And it’s real. But that’s another story.)

socsbadge2016-17

Today’s prompt was “in/out.” Linda directed us to “use one, use both, use ’em any way you’d like.”

Here are the SoCS 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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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 simply a single word to get your 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 everyone’s! 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 right 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!