Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Thursday Tree Love: Between the Pines

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

John Muir

I’ve always loved pine trees. Here near the Carolina Coast, we have loblolly pines and long leaf pines. David and I walked among these evergreens with our dog Marley on my December birthday hike at Carolina Beach State Park. If you stand quietly between the pines, you can feel the doorway to a new world.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur.

For more tree love, visit Parul at Happiness and Food.


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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: Taking the Easy Trail on Thanksgiving Day

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “on your/my plate.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

You don’t have to eat everything on your plate in one sitting. You can save some for later. Put it in the fridge. Maybe even the freezer. This has been a weight loss strategy for me. Sometimes it works. I tell myself I can still have the rest of the food or a second helping. I will just have it tomorrow. (Unless I go back and get it at 9pm as a bedtime snack.)

The exception may be Thanksgiving dinner which traditionally has been a time when a lot of us overeat. I certainly ate more sweets on Thursday than usual since I usually don’t eat sweets… much.

There have been plenty of times when I’ve had too much on my plate and not always food. Responsibilities taken on due to interest, a sense of obligation, or not saying no, may need to be put in the frig, the back burner, or prioritized. Delegated maybe.

We packed a lot into Thanksgiving Day in the Appalachian Mountains and drove back home to the coast on Friday. Thursday morning, we went to Linville Falls and took the short, easy trail since my knee has been bothering me. I got a stretchy sleeve to put on my knee which helped a lot, though it falls down after a while which is better than being too tight. I also wore my compression socks to help with my heel spurs. I’m very thankful I was able to hike the half mile or so to the falls and decided not to continue on to the uphill climb to get the view further along the falls. That will be next time. That hike will go in the freezer maybe for next year.

That afternoon, my son cooked practically the whole dinner of mostly vegan food, while I helped my granddaughter with a school project on temperate forests. We ate too much and then went for a walk along the nearby river trail. Then we went back to the house and had pumpkin pie, macaroons, and vegan ice cream sandwiches. Everything was delicious! My granddaughter and I set up the nativity stable made by my father many years ago and then decorated the Christmas tree. Whew! It was a busy day. But not too much. I’m thankful to have been with family in the mountains. Still, it’s good to be home!

Now, to see if I can find the photos….

In the fourth photo, do you see the profile in the rock on the right? It has bushy hair.

~~~

For more SoCS rules and posts, put Linda’s blog on your plate.

She’s our persevering host.


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Good News Tuesday for September 20, 2022: Hydrogen Powered Trains, Celebrating Sober Anniversaries, Restoring Biodiversity in England, Safer Streets in Portland, and Kelp Forests Growing in Australia

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

World’s First Fully Hydrogen Powered Passenger Trains

The first fully hydrogen-powered passenger train service is now up and running in Germany. The only emissions are steam and condensed water, and the trains run with a low noise level. I found this story in my Good Newsletter. Here are the details.

Celebrating Soberversaries

Staying sober is a big accomplishment for a recovering alcoholic. These days, people are being more open about their recovery and celebrating each year of sobriety with activities ranging from quiet reflection to sober celebrations with friends. Axios has more about this trend.

Restoring Biodiversity Across England

farmers and landowners are working “to restore nature and reduce flooding while still producing food will be supported by the government in 22 locations across England.” The Guardian has details.

A Creative Project for Safer Streets in a Portland, Oregon

Shootings in a section of Portland, Oregon have decreased by 64% in the first three months of a pilot program which redirected traffic and created a park. For details and pictures, click HERE.

Kelp Forests Growing Strong Down Under

A recent global diving survey by the University of Western Australia discovered kelp forests growing faster than land crops and outgrowing “even the mighty Amazon Rainforest.” The most productive forests were found in South Australia and South Africa. This is particularly good news after Tasmania lost much of its kelp forests due to climate change. The Good News Network has more on this story.

Here’s a video about re-forestating in the ocean off Australia’s coast.

Got Good News?

Feel free to share your good news story in the comments!


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Tree Love: A Network of Energy Above and Below Ground

Messages hum from out of the bark she leans against. Chemical semaphores home in over the air. Currents rise from the soil-gripping roots, relayed over great distances through fungal synapses linked up in a network the size of the planet.” Richard Powers, The Overstory

This could be a doorway to the secret underground network:

Look closely. See the door?

Before yoga class at the senior center, I’m just looking for tree shade to park under. After yoga class, I am more aware of the trees themselves. They call to me with an energy stronger than the noise of highway traffic. Their energy is always there, of course. When we pay close attention, we feel the trees hum and allow ourselves to be entranced.

Spanish Moss Swaying in the Breeze

~~~

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month.
For more Tree Love, visit Parul at Happiness and Food.


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My First CFFC Post: Nature’s Beauty

A moth on my back porch

This is my first try at Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, getting in just under the wire for the week. The topic is dear to my heart: celebrating things that remind us of nature’s beauty. The first row of photos below was taken where we live near the coast of North Carolina. The second row photos were taken in the North Carolina mountains.

I hope I’m doing this right. For more info on the weekly CFFC click HERE.


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SoCS: Contact Paper, DIY Lucy, and a Praying Mantis

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “wallpaper.” Use it however you’d like. Have fun!

My parents didn’t have wallpaper that I remembered, because I was probably too young. But I do remember they had “contact paper” in the kitchen over the sink. Contact paper was supposed to be easier wallpaper, I guess. Maybe it was a peel and stick thing. They loved it like the coolest thing since sliced bread. It had yellow, orange, brown, and maybe green flowers, with a 60s look. When we were getting the house ready to sell a few years ago, I peeled it off and painted it yellow. The buyers probably redid all the walls since the house needed a lot of work.

Early in my first marriage, we lived in a duplex that had different contact paper in every room. We had looked at the place in the dark since the landlord didn’t have the electricity on. Of course, that was a mistake, but the rent was low. The living room contact paper was similar to what my parents had over their kitchen sink. The kitchen had contact paper with lemon and lime slices on it. The landlord was proud of it and said, “it came all the way from New York!” He was probably in his 80s and had a thick German accent. Talk about a time warp. The contact paper was still tacky, even in 1985. I hung a lot of stuff on those walls to try to distract from the paper. One thing I hung was a large brown and white tapestry that I bought with the money I saved in a jar when I quit smoking cigarettes. It had a Native American design. I gave it to my son when he quit smoking cigarettes. Who knows where it is now. I still have a lot on my walls, but no contact paper or wallpaper. I do have peel and stick blue and white squares on the wall over my stove. They are meant to be temporary, until I get real tile, but I like them.

Below is a clip where Lucy and Ethel hung wallpaper. Lucy was always worried about Ricky being mad at her, but looking back, he didn’t get that mad. He had some patience. My mom was like a quieter version of Lucy – emotional and zany, but quieter. Come to think of it, Dad was often quiet, though when he used his Gunny Sgt voice, you paid attention and didn’t give him any back talk.

I bet Lucy would love contact paper.

Back to 2022, there have been a lot of praying mantis sightings lately. Besides the one below which I found walking upside down on my clothesline, a big brown mantis was on my shoulder at the sanctuary yesterday. They’re a good luck sign!

Praying Mantis on my Clothesline
I resisted the urge to help and let it be.

~~~

To learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit out host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: The Conservation Kid, Osteoporosis, and Forward Bends

 Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is: “the first 2-5 words at the top of the closest printed matter.” 

There’s a Goodnewsletter open on my coffee table with a story I was thinking about including in my Good News Tuesday post but have not used in the month it’s been sitting there. Now I can use it and move it. Here’s the title on the open page: “Meet the Kid on a Mission to Pick up One Million Pounds of Litter in 2022.” Twelve-year-old Cash Daniels is known as “The Conservation Kid.” Cash and his friends spend “several hours each week picking up trash along the Tennessee River.” Kids like cash give me hope for our future.

(The above is all that would save Friday night when I normally write my SoCs post. The auto-save seemed to be circling, so I had a feeling…. This morning, I’m going back to try to re-create the second part but will try to stay in SoC mode.)

The other printed material nearby is from my medical folder and includes reports on previous bone density tests showing I have osteoporosis. This has not been addressed in a couple of years since my beloved gynecologist who was treating me went and retired. Like my beloved dentist retired. The nerve! Now all my doctors are clearly younger than me. Maybe it’s because I’m retired. (Yay!)

Anyway, I waited 18 months for an appointment with a rheumatologist. 18 months to get in! It gave me time to look up, rheumatologist. They deal with muscular-skeletal stuff and immune system issues, chronic pain, etc. Okay, good.

This rheumatologist said to me, “You’re pretty young to have osteoporosis.”

“Oh, really?”

“Did you ever smoke cigarettes?”

“Yes, in my twenties, for about ten years. A pack or two a day.” (Mostly a pack.)

“That could do it,” he said.

Sigh. “I thought I was over that. I thought my body had overcome that.” I don’t remember my exact words. I felt a bit deflated. He said something about smoking taking years from my bones or adding years. I looked it up. Smoking cigarettes decreases bone density. It just took a long time to catch up with me.

We can’t change the past, but we can do what we can now. (If anyone needs help quitting smoking, I have good experience.) I can look up exercise for bone density on YouTube as the doc suggested. I didn’t find anything that would be good to post here, but what I did find out (from multiple youtube sources) is that people with osteoporosis should NOT do crunches or forward bends. WT? We do forward bends regularly in my senior yoga class “Gentle Yoga for Back and Bones.” It’s not always gentle by the way. I’m good at forward bends. This needs more research and maybe I won’t push the forward bends. Maybe I’ll be more relaxed about them. This needs more research. Has anyone ever heard about this?

Maybe I’ll leave most (not all) of the trash picking up to the young conservation kids, or I’ll get one of those picking up sticks.

Below is one of the roosters at the sanctuary doing a forward bend in front a mirror.

~~~

For more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit our wonderful host,

Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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Thursday Tree Love: A Decaying Trunk and a Pitcher Plant

A few days after the Hurricane

I don’t remember what kind of tree this was or when it died. It lived for many years along the fence in my backyard. Decaying limbs hung on until a hurricane, maybe Florence in 2018, sheared the top off leaving a finger pointing skyward which disintegrated over time. In preparation for working on the fence, I asked David to cut the dead trunk in the shape of a castle or tower. Some of the cuttings reminded me more of castles like the last one in the gallery. The remaining stump still provides a home for bugs, grubs, mushrooms, and who knows what else… maybe fairies!

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Today, Parul shared a young banyan tree in a pot and asked us to share a plant from our home, neighbourhood or surroundings. One interesting plant that came to mind is the pitcher plant which grows wild in the wetlands of North Carolina and other places around the world. It is a carnivorous plant and catches insects.

For more tree love, visit Paurl’s blog: Happiness and Food.


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Good News Tuesday for May 24, 2022: Hot Wheels’ Wheelchair, Coldplay Goes Low Carbon, Equal Pay in US Soccer, and a Dog’s Ashes Take Shape

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Hot Wheels Makes Remote Controlled Wheelchair Toy

The company that has been making toy cars and tracks for 54 years is launching a remote-controlled wheelchair toy with help from paralympic athlete Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham. Here’s more from CNN.

Coldplay Pledges for a Sustainable, Low Carbon World Tour

The band, Coldplay pledges to make their Music of the Spheres world tour as environmentally sustainable and low carbon as possible. I got this from my 1440 Daily Digest. You can read about their their initiatives here: https://sustainability.coldplay.com/

Equal Pay for Women on US Soccer Team

Players on the US women’s soccer team will now be paid the same as men, with the World Cup Bonuses being split evenly. Here’s more from Good Morning America.

Dog’s Scattered Ashes Form a “Miraculous” Shape in the Wind

After her rescued shepherd-collie Biscuit died at the age of 12, Nelie Franko Larason tossed his ashes into the wind at one of his favorite parks. The Good News Network has the sweet story of what she saw. Here’s the short video:

Got Good News?

Feel free to share your good news in the comments!