Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


24 Comments

SoCS: Happy Places and Change on Planet Home Sweet Home

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “happy place.” Write the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “happy place.” Have fun!

When someone says, “Go to your happy place,” it could mean a real place, or a place you imagine in your mind. It’s nice if we have a happy place in our home. Mama Cat is sitting on my lap as I type this, watching Return of the Jedi on TNT. I don’t think Mama Cat is really watching, but my lap seems to be her happy place. In the evening, when Marley is in the back bedroom with David, Mama Cat goes between the couch and her catio. It’s her free time to wander the eastern side of the house.

Sometimes, our happy places can change. The ocean used to be one of my happy places, and I still love it, but not quite as much lately. Maybe it was the jelly fish sting from last year or the tiny organisms sometimes called “sea lice” that get caught in my swimsuit and make me itch for days. Still, the ocean is powerfully refreshing – just breathing the ocean air helps.

Here are some ocean photos. The last one is a painting I did many years ago:

Now, my happy place is likely to have a lot of trees. Even if I’m in the house, I want trees around the house, you know, outside. Not necessarily growing IN the house, though that is possible. A tree house would be nice, like the ewoks have, as long as I can build it without hurting the trees….

I went to look at videos of ewok village trees, like in the ending of Jedi, but the ending has fireworks. My happy place does not include fireworks unless they are quiet. Fireflies would definitely make me happy. Fireflies make me want to dance.

Speaking of happy place and sci fi, I read something surprising about William Shatner’s reaction to going into space for real. Stopping the stream to go find it. It came from FB. I hope it’s really true that he said this. FB didn’t sensor it, so maybe it is. If so, I admire his honesty.

Okay, so I started looking this up which took me way out of the stream of consciousness. Let me just mention that I have read elsewhere that he still has hope. I think the quote above came from his new book, Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder. Sounds like a great title.

Quotes taken out of context can be misleading. I guess the main point for this post is that your happy place can change. That’s a good thing. If we have plenty of imagination, our happy place can always be with us. Still, I hope we can create more happy places on the real planet Earth. Because right now, there is no planet B. And even if there was, Earth is our home sweet home.

Fireflies still exist somewhere… Next time I see them, I will dance.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness about happy places,

visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


26 Comments

SoCS: Kinder, Gentler Motivation

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is starts with “u.” Find a word that starts with the letter “u” and use it however you’d like. Bonus points if it’s the first word in your post. Enjoy!

“Use it or lose it,” was the first thing I thought about after reading the prompt. I believe this is true, up to a point. There’s a fine line between use and overuse. With osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, scoliosis, plantar fasciitis, and heel spurs, I have to be careful and look for the right kind of use (exercise) without overdoing it. All those ailments sound like a lot, but they’re not that serious if I find the right self-care balance.

I’ve figured out that if I do my foot exercises (mostly flexing), wear shoes with lots of cushioning (love my Oofos) and don’t walk on pavement much, my feet are able to take me on walks around the neighborhood and maybe a little hiking in the woods or walking on the beach. If I overdo (overuse) my feet, I have to ice them and rest some.

The back balance between use and overuse is a little trickier. Regular exercise is important, but it’s easy to strain a muscle, especially doing yard work which I really enjoy. My daughter just started selling essential oils and I’ve found I love the Deep Blue stick which is a roll on with gentle cool/warmth instead of the burn of some popular topical analgesics. But enough on that. I don’t want to do a commercial.

Another motivational quote I’m reminded of is “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.” That may be true up to a point. Stress can kill over time. Stress can cause stomach and other gastrointestinal problems, all kinds of physical problems over time. Cortisol…. you can look it up. A little stress is good. A little stress here and there does make us stronger if we learn how to cope. That applies to both physical and mental stress, but too much can kill us. Being in an unhealthy relationship or toxic job can take years off our lives. In 2016 I had been saying for years, “I’m not going to let this job kill me.” Thankfully I got out in 2017. Now, I’m healing, reclaiming those years.

The “motivational” quote I really hate is, “Go big or go home.” Maybe I’m hearing that wrong, but maybe I did good to just show up. Have you seen this on a T shirt? I want one.

Sorry I’m late.

I didn’t want to come.

So far, I’ve never actually said this out loud, but I must want to, because it’s so funny. It’s an introvert thing.

I no longer have to make A’s on my report card. Thank God I don’t have job evaluations anymore.

It’s okay if some people want to go big and excel at a sport, or job, or talent, but we don’t need to make ourselves sick or crazy. Sometimes, I’m on time. Sometimes I’m late. Sometimes I leave early. Sometimes I don’t go. Sometimes, I do.

Instead of “Go big or go home,” how about,

Be nice or go home.

Be nice or apologize.

Okay, you don’t have to be nice, just don’t be mean.

Play fair or take a time out.

I like time outs. I can carry a blanket in my car for time outs. Or I’ll go play with the dog. Any dog. Or the goats and chickens….

Here’s a video of me at Blueberry Lane Farm Animal Sanctuary with Delilah and Amos who I keep calling Simon, but doesn’t care. I showed up and brought him lunch.

There are 2 pigs, 3 sheep, 9 goats, 11 roosters and one hen at the sanctuary. The chickens have various levels of rehabilitation and housing. Amos has a foot handicap and currently lives with matriarchal goats, Delilah and Esther. He can see and crow with the other roosters.

Photos from my walks with Marley:

For more on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit out host, Linda G. Hill by clicking HERE.


19 Comments

SoCS: Eyesight Declines as Hindsight Improves with Age

A true fortune

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “clear.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

I like things to be clear. But sometimes we have to wait for the mud to settle. Clarity can take hours, weeks, months, or decades. It took almost 20 years for the clarity that my divorce that happened around the turn of the century turned out to be a good thing. Or maybe God turned it into a good thing. Twenty-two years ago, I was in shock. Devastated. Confused. Now, I am thankful. Everything worked out for the best. Not perfect, but the timing was perfect.

Hindsight is often much clearer than foresight or present sight. Physically, my sight is not very clear at all. Between the floaters and the early cataracts, plus scratches on my glasses, it’s a wonder I can get from point A to point B. But the brain is good at adapting – looking around the cloudy patches.

“All Clear,” is what I want to hear about Ukraine. So, people don’t have to hide, flee, or fear for their lives. I’m just shaking my head and praying for: All Clear all over the world. Anything is possible.

My first decade in the 21st century was a painstaking process of grieving, healing, and learning. Though it sometimes seems like it happened in the blink of an eye, I know that was not the case.

This became my song in the second decade of the 21st Century.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness and all the ruly and unruly things, visit our host, Linda Hill, who is clearly the best, by clicking HERE.


19 Comments

Holding On and Letting Go

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” – Rumi

Linda’s post on clutter got me to find this Rumi quote in my drafts. Most of my Christmas decorations are still up because they’re pretty and bring me joy. I’m putting them away a little at a time and thinking of letting go of the red Christmas lights I haven’t used in two years. But it’s too late to donate them and I won’t throw them away. They gave me joy two years ago. Plus, I might use them again someday. (The cluttered person’s trap.)

The question came to me: If I organize it better, does that count as decluttering?

Things I want to let go of are those I don’t use AND that do not bring me joy. Emotionally, we need to let go of things that get in the way, harm us, or take up too much space, like grudges, shame, and emails that are a year old.

What do I want to hold on to? Things that I use or want to use if they will be good for me. We want to hold on to the constants in our lives that give us joy, strength, or serenity. For me that would be nature, art, healthy relationships, and God’s love. I write about these constants in From Loneliness to Love.

As far as the red Christmas lights go, I’m going to let go of worrying about it and put them in a red tin can (new clutter) with a note attached to donate before Christmas.

What do you want to hold on to?

~~~

For more one-liners, #JusJoJan jottings, and guidelines for each, visit our host, Linda Hill here.


20 Comments

SoCS: Nerves ~ Correlation is not Cause ~ Peace ~ Dreams ~ and the Wizard of Oz

The prompt: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “nerve.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

The first thing that popped into my head was the expression, “You’re about to get on my last nerve.” It isn’t exactly logical, but it’s fun to say. One thing that gets on my nerves, is when someone posts something that suggests a correlation is a cause, like the meme I just saw that had a photo of gas prices in November and gas prices in January with the heading/comment: “Biden’s America.”

To my credit, I did not try to engage in debate, but neither did I pass it by and ignore it, which is sometimes the best thing to do. Here’s my comment:

“In statistics class, we learned that correlation does not necessarily mean cause. There are likely other variables/factors to be considered.”

I do not need to engage in any further discussion that would irritate my nerves. This is why I try not to scroll on FB. I actually want to reduce my time on FB, but every now and then, these things come up. Then I was happy to be able to like and love some photos of her grand daughter.

I’m in training. Besides having a personal (exercise) trainer, I am in training to “practice peace that overpowers darkness.” I know that sounds somewhat presumptuous, but it is practice. I don’t always get it right, especially when things get on my nerves. This idea for peace training comes from the February 11 reading from the daily meditation book, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I certainly can’t do this practice on my own. But if I connect with the guidance and strength of Jesus and my Creator, I can do my part.

“Nerve” can be used in so many ways: nervous energy, nerves of steel, a bundle of nerves, “You’ve got a lot of nerve!” Then there’s the nerve cells I learned about in college with axons, dendrites, synapses, and all that fading knowledge that I don’t use much, though it could be helpful in cellular imagery for the purpose of meditative healings…..

Where was I going with this? There was something I didn’t want to forget. Oh, in college – The Psychology of Consciousness, all those years ago, was my favorite class. I do recall the dominant theory of dreams being that our sleeping dreams are created by random nerve cells firing while we sleep. But what part of us assigns meaning? And what meanings that mean something important? Though maybe sometimes, they are just random, like the stream of consciousness. But is it really random? There is also a not so dominant theory that when we have a deja vu, we are experiencing something we dreamed since we dream so much that we don’t remember. I mentioned this in my college class. The professor was not impressed. But hey, anything is possible.

The “cowardly lion” in the Wizard of Oz, didn’t believe he had much nerve. But he really did. Or at least he found it.

And Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn’t already have.

I love this song and the mellow sound.

~~~

For more on the Saturday Stream of Consciousness,

visit out host, Linda Hill at:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 20, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


19 Comments

Feelings From My Eleven Year Old Self

Writing my family history from my parents’ perspective is emotionally hard right now. The idea that it could some day become a novel is distant. I’m writing about the time when my dad was in Vietnam and my mom was trying to cope with her anxiety and depression and what do to with the family dog. That is the gigantic issue for me. Hoppy.

Hoppy 1967

I was 11 years old. Hoppy, a Newfoundland/Shepherd mix was my confidant. We had moved from Philadelphia to Michigan to New York staying with other families while Dad was in Vietnam. That summer we would stay in Quantico until dad finally got stationed at Camp Lejeune again.

Hoppy had been with us through each move. But something happened to him that spring in New York. I don’t know the truth. My mom made up as story about a sick little girl who needed him more than I did. I believed it. I suppose it could be true. Now, at the age of 65, I wade through my dad’s letters from Vietnam with fear as I approach the possibility of more clues. Any day now, I could read a letter that tells me more about what happened to Hoppy. My parents loved each other very much. It was a terribly hard time for them. I’m trying to look at the big picture and have compassion for all. I wrote this note to myself in my work in progress:

Note to self: Step back and look at the big picture with compassion for all. Allow your feelings. The truth is you don’t know what happened You might was well imagine something good.

So I tried to imagine Hoppy being adopted by a loving family. Then the grief broke through from that 11 year old girl who was me.

I LOVED HIM.

The sobs came and I prayed for guidance, for comfort. All I can do right now is reach back across the 54 years to that eleven year old girl whose body was changing in crazy ways, whose father was in Vietnam, whose mother was on the verge of another nervous breakdown, the girl whose dog was gone – and wrap my arms around her and hold her and tell her she is going to get through this.

In 1967, that eleven year old girl learned to shut down her feelings. She focused on school work and escaped into Star Trek. But she still had that pain and confusion buried all those years ago trying to accept the story her mother told her about her dog.

I guess that’s enough writing for today.

Here’s a family photo from happier times. Probably right after Dad got back from Vietnam since he’s pretty thin.

I’m the big girl on the right wearing hushpuppies.

I wrote this before checking the prompt for Just Jot January which is “button.” I guess we never know when we’re going to bump into a button that takes us back to our childhood, for better or worse, offering an opportunity for healing.

Linda’s Just Jot January story looks interesting. Click the following link for details:

#JusJoJan prompt the 15th – “Button” | (lindaghill.com)


10 Comments

A Letter to My Past Self About Reasons to Keep Living

This post is inspired by Eliza at: https://elizajourneythroughlife.home.blog/

I’m sending this back in time to myself whenever it’s needed most, sometime in my late teens or early twenties when I had thoughts about suicide. 

Dear JoAnne, 

It’s me, your future self, writing this to you when I am 65 years old which doesn’t feel as old as I thought it would back then when I was 20. Believe me, there is plenty of life to live. 

I know this is hard time for you. I know you are confused and lost trying to figure out what to do with your life. I know your heart aches and that you’ve had thoughts of giving up. Don’t give up!  It’s very important that you know life will get better. There will be hard times ahead. There will be times when you feel your heart is breaking, but the good times will vastly, surely, and greatly outweigh the bad. When I look back at all the good times over the past 45 years, I am so grateful that I didn’t give up.

You will gradually gain the skills to navigate and overcome the hard times. Things that seem impossible now, will someday be easier or less important. 

There are good times, wonderful times, ahead with the constants in your life: nature, art, writing, dogs, horses, cats, learning, and spirituality. These are the things you need to focus on now – the true loves of your life that always nurture your spirit and feed your soul. There will be love. Love from men, friends, and family. Your parents love you very much, even more than you can realize right now since you haven’t had children, yet, but you will. The love of family and friends is important. For now, don’t worry about the men, especially the ones who act like boys. You deserve love that is kind and caring, mature and strong. It might take a while, but you will have it. For now focus on loving yourself. 

You are valuable! You are worth so much more than you know. You have so much to give to this world with all your gifts, gifts that are still being developed. 

I know you might not want to hear this right now, but God loves you deeply, profoundly and forever. Just trust me on this. Your family is praying for you every day. Let this knowledge strengthen you. I know your ideas about religion are eclectic and nontraditional, and that’s okay. That’s part of who you are. But understand that there is a Higher Power who loves you dearly and has a wonderful plan for you! Trust the timing.

So, forget about men for now.  Remember your dreams. Your dreams may change, but they will always be about helping others and Mother Earth. For now, focus on loving yourself and learning. Cut down on the drinking. Be safe. Go back to college. Feel free to explore different classes, different interests.

There’s a whole world of possibilities waiting for you!

I’m sending big hugs and abundant love across time to you. Be still for a moment and feel it. Then move forward with you wonderful life. I promise your life will be will be interesting, beautiful and full of wonder.  

I love you always, 

JoAnna

Today’s Just Jot January topic was, “Letter.” I’m thankful to E for her nudge and patience on this letter and to Linda, our JusJoJan host for getting me to go through my draft ideas to get it written.

For more on Just Jot January, visit: #JusJoJan prompt the 11th – “Letter” | (lindaghill.com)


29 Comments

SoCS: Life is Precious with Old Dogs and Dogwoods

72530873-4C03-4E67-80E2-39270B3FC76F

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was “beside you.” Linda says: “…write about whatever is beside you when you read this prompt. Not when you sit down to write, but whatever is beside you right now. Take note of it if you think you might forget. Enjoy!”

Well that’s different! When I read the prompt a few minutes ago, I was sitting on the couch by myself, so there was nothing beside me but the couch cushion. I had been thinking about picking up Mary Moo and putting her beside me while I was looking to see if there’s anything I want to have on the TV while I do this SoCS. The TV is often background noise because that’s how I was brought up, though I’ve had it off all day since Star Trek was not on BBC today.

I’m breaking the rules now and re-writing from this point the post I wrote earlier, before I read the sobering statistics which are more than just statistics. I’m still trying to do the SOC thing, though. I wrote about my old dog Mary Moo and getting up with her Thursday at 2am when I heard her whining. She was standing in her bed with her head bent over on the floor and couldn’t figure out how to get out of this position. It’s like “head pressing” which is where a neurological problem makes a dog stand with head pressed against the wall. I think it’s comforting for them – gives a sense of security. Mary is almost 18 and losing strength in her back legs. She’s also deaf and almost blind. Any day now it might be time to say goodbye.

I think I’ve been trying to escape from the reality of the coronavirus. But tonight, after I typed up my first SoCS post with too many details about my old dog while I was feeling a little sorry for myself, my perspective changed when I read about how many people have died in such a short time. It was like my heart dropped into my stomach.

Deep breath.

Life is precious. Every moment is precious, even getting up with an old dog or a baby in the middle of the night. Every day is precious whether rainy or sunny. Every dogwood blossom is precious.  Every bee and every bird.

For those who have not met Mary Moo, this is one of my favorite photos of her:

Mary Moo in the jungle

Mary Moo in the Back Yard Jungle

Here’s another picture of Mary Moo from years ago when we were on a road trip.

mary moo

Oh, yeah. Saturday (tomorrow as I write this) is Earth Hour is at 8:30 PM. Turn off the lights for an hour for the earth. Oh, I have to turn off the TV too. Maybe I’ll play my guitar.

Here are some photos I’ve been taking around my yard lately. Wait, I have to find something you haven’t seen already. I’ll be back. In the mean time, stay well and stay safe.

Dogwood blossoms abundant 2

Dogwood blossoms with sun

 

For more streams of consciousness, more info, or to join in,

please visit our host, Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/03/27/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-28-2020/

Here are the rules: (which I usually follow)
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!


15 Comments

Good News Tuesday 3/17/20: Benefits of Slowing Down, Compassionate Utility Companies, Nuns Create Urban Wetlands, and Singing in Italy

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

How the Coronavirus Offers a Chance to Slow Down and Shift Values

“The recent pictures of the air above China showed how two months without production cleared the skies and allowed people to breathe again,” she said, referring to the fact that carbon emissions and pollution from Chinese industry have declined since the virus first hit the country.     Li Edelkoort.

This article explores how the coronavirus provides opportunities for new beginnings.

Keeping the Water On

Due to the importance of handwashing, many utility companies are keeping the water on regardless of payment.  My own city announced last week that no one’s water will be shut off due to delinquent fees. Even the electric company is suspending shut offs.

Nuns Create Urban Wetlands in New Orleans

The sisters of St. Joseph are turning their New Orleans convent into urban wetlands.

“When complete, the Mirabeau Water Garden will be one of the country’s largest urban wetlands, managing stormwater and easing the workload of the city’s current drainage system. …The Mirabeau Water Garden will have the capacity to store 10 million gallons of water, diverting a deluge of stormwater from hitting the city’s drainage system all at once.”

Here’s the story and photos from Fast Company. 

 

When Life Gives You Lemons, Sing!

Italians are singing from balconies during the nationwide “lockdown”. Listen to their beautiful voices and encouragement from people in China.

Got good news?

Please share!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

For my Star Trek friends, it’s Happy St. Patrick Stewart Day on BBC America!

 


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.

Sunflower w address

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