Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


18 Comments

SoCS: Art on the Wall

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Today’s prompt is “art.” We are to write about something handing on our wall or in a museum. First let me say a big THANK YOU! to our hostess Linda Hill for picking one of my favorite topics as a prompt and also for all you do in the SoCS world.

I’ve loved art since I was about ten and drew dogs and horses all the time. Didn’t think it had as much value as science so went that way, sort of, in college. But now that I’m retired I can do more art. Except that art is more on the back burner with the house stuff going on. I have a sketch pad sitting on the coffee table and have sketched stuff for the house. That’s going to change.

Normally I have too much art on my walls, if that’s possible which anything is. But since we had to take “everything” out of our house for re-wiring which was supposed to start a few days ago but hasn’t….. Grrrr, the walls in our Wilmington house are bare. I do not like bare walls at all. I do not like them Sam I Am.

I’ve brought a few things from the house that is in renovation to the house that was my parents and hung them on the walls. There’s the painting I did  years ago right in front of me right now as I type.

reaching for horizon w frame

Do you see the two figures reaching for each other? Can you tell what they are? I didn’t plan them, they just appeared, then I enhanced them. I love it when that happens.

Another piece of art on the walls here at the house that was my parents’ is a reproduction my mother loved. It’s not really my style, content wise, etc. But I know she loved it, so I hope I can find a good home for it.

wall art mother and child

I mean, it’s beautiful and sweet, but it’s not something I would normally hang on my wall. I am really working on de-cluttering and have sooooo many family photos, etc. and art to consider hanging when we get back home. I will give this away to someone who loves it. Or I could donate it to the church for the spring yard sale. It’s not a big problem though. It’s a joy.  But it’s one of those things that meant a lot to my mom, so letting it go will be one of those griefy things. There’s another wave. But I can handle it.

ART is such a blessing. Can you imagine… no don’t. I am thankful for art, for color, paint, sculpture, drawing with a stick in the sand, photography…. it just goes on and on with all its possibilities. Infinite possibilities of color combinations, shapes. I could go on about it for hours. Thanks again, Linda.

My sketch pad waits patiently, calling softly.

Wanna  see more of my art? There’s a tab above for that.

For more information on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit Linda’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/11/the-friday-reminder-for-socs-jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-12th/

Here are the rules for SoCS:

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!


28 Comments

One-Liner Wednesday on Writing Goals

Don’t Worry, Just Write!

While reading a newsletter from my Trust the Timing editor, Andi Cumbo Floyd, I realized my writing has gone to the back burner. I’ve worked a few measly hours here and there on the novel based on my parents, but I give way more attention to household issues which are primary.  One thing that has discouraged me from working on the novel is the research it will likely take on Washington DC and Vietnam. But I need to stop worrying about that and just write a first draft. Okay, maybe there’s some anxiety related to thoughts like, I’ve never written a novel before, and this seems like it’s going to be a long one.  Then there’s grief. January 21st will be the second anniversary of my father’s death. I must be processing grief as I write about my parents. Deep sigh. However, my goal is to finish a first draft by the end of this year. There. It’s in writing. But I don’t need to worry. I just need to write the first draft, feel my feelings, and breathe deeply.

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One-liner Wednesday is brought to you by Linda G. Hill who has written a bunch of novels! Visit her and read more one-liners.

https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/02/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-2nd-and-one-liner-wednesday/

 


18 Comments

SoCS: Rejoice! Conditions and All

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Here’s something new! Today’s prompt for Saturday Stream of Consciousness is:

“ask someone else.” Either ask someone for a prompt word or, if you can’t, turn on a TV or a radio and choose a word from the first sentence you hear. 

(Linda Hill)

It’s new to me anyway. Stepping a little outside the box, I decided to ask for prompts on my Facebook author page. It was an experiment since I believe FB suppresses business and author pages so we’ll buy ads which so far have not worked well enough for me… but I did get two prompt suggestions, so I’m happy.

My first prompt for which I am thankful was, “Rejoice.”  It’s the word in one of my favorite Christmas hymns. That word I often/sometimes have trouble hitting the high note on. O Come, O come, Emanuel….. REJOICE! REJOICE! Emanuel shall come to thee o Israel. Emanuel means God is with us. REJOICE!

The second prompt, for which I am also thankful, was “Conditional.” Hmmmm. Interesting. Go ahead and REJOICE, as long as no one gets hurt. Rejoice all you want, but the dishes still need to get done and the trash needs to get put out. But wait! what if we can and do rejoice whilst we are taking out the trash? Like I rejoice when I donate stuff. Rejoice to be lightening the load. Jesus lightens my load. Why not rejoice in the midst of conditions? I rejoice that I know how to be conditional.

I knew that if I ever married again, it would be conditional upon finding a partner who loves dogs. Okay, he loves me, too but that kinda goes without saying. He also had to respect me.  Respect was a big issue when my daughter was a teenager. I would listen to her on the condition that she not yell at me and speak with a respectful tone. My love for her was and is unconditional, but my listening had conditions. My presence had conditions. If someone yells at me or is disrespectful, now I can walk away if only to another room. I can limit my time with people who are toxic depending (conditional?) on how toxic they are. I can love someone from a distance.  Occasional distance if they are a little toxic. Big distance if they are frequently toxic. I rejoice that my daughter is respectful and doesn’t yell at me anymore (not that I can tell) cause she’s grown and out on her own.

One of my goals for 2019 is to buy a house in the mountains so I can visit my son and his family more often. This is somewhat conditional on selling my parent’s house (the house that was my parents’). It’s a flexible condition. An ideal. Some conditions are negotiable and some are not. When I sell the house that was my parents’ I will be a little sad. I will probably cry. But I will also rejoice! When I buy a house in the mountains, I will rejoice!

Feeling how you will feel when you get your heart’s desire worked for me while I was looking/waiting for my soulmate.  I imagined comfort and joy.  Rejoice for all the blessings coming your way – with or without conditions. Rejoice anyway!

 

 

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you by Linda G. Hill. For more information, and more streams, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/28/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-29-18/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

 


7 Comments

Good News Tuesday: Sibling Adoption, Marathon Sanctuary, & a Special Donation

I hope you’re all having a lovely holiday. I didn’t completely forget about Good News Tuesday. I had most of this post done a few days ago, back when I remembered that Christmas was on Tuesday. After this morning’s hike and some veggie lasagna, I was just settling in for a nap when I realized, it’s Tuesday! The good news doesn’t stop! So here we go….

Sunflower w address

 

Seven Siblings are adopted After 1,035 days in Foster Care.

Michael and Terri Hawthorn’s four biological children were mostly grown up. In April they adopted toddler twins. On December 3rd, they adopted seven siblings. I think you’ll enjoy their story:

 

 

 

On-Going Marathon Mass Provides Sanctuary for One Family

A Church in The Netherlands has been holding a 24/7 around the clock church service for over 6 weeks to provide sanctuary for an Armenian family.  It was a special treat for me to hear them singing some of my favorite Taize chants.  I love how volunteers from many denominations are helping.

 

 

Donating instead of Shipping

This couple is moving from California to North Carolina. But instead of shipping their stuff across the country, they’re donating  almost all their possessions to California Firefighters.

 

 

May the Holy Days bring and Abundance of

Peace and Joy

to You and Your Loved Ones.

Merry Christmas!


38 Comments

Marriage, Renovations, & Practice

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Marriage can be a very good thing when two people are compatible. Same with any long term relationship. Compatible doesn’t mean the same, it means a good fit. My husband and I have different personalities. He’s got a lot more energy than I do. He’s a morning person, and I’m a night owl. He gets energized by being around people. I get tired after about an hour – five minutes if there’s a lot of talking, bright lights, and extraneous noise.

But we have similar values. We both love dogs. We’re spiritual. And wonderfully, we are both conservative in our lifestyles, but liberal in our beliefs. Used to be not conservative in lifestyle, and I’m glad we lived to tell about it. He says it would not have worked if we had kept dating and gotten married from that high school romance. Maybe he’s right. We needed to grow up and learn stuff. LOTS of stuff. We learned a lot from out previous marriages.

Guess what! Today is our anniversary! Six years since we said, “I do.” It’s been a good six years, and I am very thankful to have had a solid, dependable partner through the death of my dog and then my father. His dogs and father died, too. Now, we are facing a smaller but more drawn out challenge.

As you may know, our house in Wilmington is getting renovated and we’re staying the the house an hour away that I inherited from my parents. We’ve had to nudge the workers to move along with the bathroom and kitchen floor. The mental roof should be in Monday, so they say, but that’s just the materials. We were hoping to be home by Christmas, but it doesn’t look like it. We found out that the electrician condemned our wiring! So they got another electrician for a second opinion. He condemned our wiring, too. It’s an old house. David says he’s in agreement that we need new wiring on most of the house.

When I first found out, I was frustrated and disappointed. Now, I’m wondering, realizing, that this is God’s way of keeping us safe. I’m very thankful we have another house to stay in and that I can work on clearing out the clutter and stuff my parent’s owned. Sorry Mom and Dad, it’s not all clutter. Plus I get to clear out some of my own clutter in the process of moving everything away from the walls in the Wilmington house. Good thing I don’t have  a job, because this IS my job. And I’m getting better at it with practice. Kinda like marriage.

Bride & Groom framed by doors

December 1, 2012

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was “ma.” We were instructed to “use it as a word or find a word with “ma” in it. Bonus points if you start your post with that word. Enjoy!”

Ta da! Bonus points!

To find out more about Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday magic, visit

https://lindaghill.com/2018/11/30/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-1-18/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


28 Comments

#SoCS: Family Roles and Beyond

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Hero child, hands folded.

Lost child staring into space.

Scapegoat telling it like it is.

Mascot spewing comic relief.

These are the classic roles in dysfunctional families I learned about in workshops when I started working with families of addiction. In one workshop – one of the first – we were each given a big sheet of paper and told to draw a picture of our family of origin at the dinner table. Not much more instruction than that. Just go for it. Then we were asked (though I’m sure it wasn’t required) to share our drawing in front of the group of about 20 other counselor at the workshop.

I can get flashes of the drawing and remember wearing a striped dress with a belt. I remember hesitating when it came to my mother. I’m sure my dad had USMC somewhere on his visage. I said I didn’t want to be like my mother. I was afraid of being like my mother. Afraid of having nervous breakdowns. I wanted to be strong like my father. Though now I know my mother had a different kind of strength that saved my father. I was the hero child and the lost child combo. My sister was the scapegoat after she was the mascot/clown. Then after she died, I became the scapegoat.

But after all the families I’ve encountered, we weren’t that dysfunctional. We are all learning how to cope with what got to us. And we can all move to different places at the table, or move to a different table of our own choice or creation. We can step out of our assumed roles. The hero can roll in the aisle laughing a belly laugh and dance around the living room. The lost child can become grounded and focused if she chooses to. The clown can learn to cry and be okay. The scapegoat can save the day or save himself.

Or they can embrace their favorite parts of their best roles. The hero can lift herself and others may follow. The lost child creates stellar colors of music. The clown amuses those who need laughter most. The scapegoat cuts through the crap.

Each role, each component, is inside each of us. The child remains within and comes out to play in the warm sunshine. Nurture him. Hold her. Sing to him. Guide her with love. We are survivors. Strong yet fragile. Imperfectly wise. Hungry for healing, each at our own pace. Even if that pace is standing still and breathing air. Sometimes recovery is all about resting on the earth and watching the clouds. Other times, it’s dancing and leaping in faith into an ocean of love or mystery.

Be happy now

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was roll/role.

To learn more, visit Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/11/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-17-18/

 

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


27 Comments

My Sisters on the Other Side

Yesterday was the birthday of my older sister, Linda. She’s been gone from this world now for almost ten years. Just a year less than Mom. I don’t remember her being in my life when I was very young, but there are pictures that tell a different story.

Infant joanne w Linda and mom

Linda is holding me as Mom plays with her hair.

Little JoAnne and Linda

I remember those wooden shoes hurt my feet. Maybe Linda is trying to comfort me with her hand on my knee.

She was ten years older than me, technically a step sister, but the father who adopted her when he married my mother was much more of a father than the first one.

Linda got married at 16. We saw her now and then, usually during a crisis, like when her son died, then the  few months we stayed with her and her husband and daughter when Dad was in Vietnam, and later when my younger sister died.

After my divorce, Linda and I talked on the phone more. Her love and acceptance reached all the way from California to the Atlantic coast. She was a welcome comfort during that dark time of my life. I kept saying my daughter and I were going to come visit her, but I didn’t realize how sick Linda was, and that sometimes we don’t have as much time as we think we have. Still, I’m grateful beyond words for her love and I know she is in a good place, probably singing hymns with Dad like they did when my parent’s visited her church.

A few days ago, I had all the loose the old family photos laid out on the table so I could add them to the family history album. That’s when I realized how much Linda cared for me when I was young.  I also studied the photos of my younger sister, Mary Kaye.  It’s one thing to die when you’re old – whatever old is… I’m not so sure anymore – But Mary Kaye was young. It was on her 16th birthday, in March of 1975, that Mary Kaye was killed by a drunk driver.

Mary Kaye was not interested in school. She smoked cigarettes and ran away from home once. But she also volunteered with handicapped children and helped with fundraisers for their group home.

Mary Kaye in candy spiper uniform with Lobo

Mary Kaye in her candy striper (volunteer) uniform with Lobo

Mary Kaye at bake sale and with Lobo

Left: MK is putting the hamster on Lobo’s head. Right: she’s wearing the smiley face T shirt and volunteering at the bake sale for the  Carobell children’s home.

We were very different in many ways. She was more of a free spirit. I was more serious about school and had bigger plans for saving the world.  We were just starting to get beyond our sibling rivalry when she died. I often wonder what she would be like today. I wish my kids had been able to know her. These were my thoughts when I started sobbing at the table full of old photos. My husband was there to comfort me and suggested I take a break from the photos since I’d been at it for a while. I picked up my journal and went to the couch to write my feelings. A few minutes later, I felt Mary Kaye’s presence. I have not felt her presence much like I have my parents who died more recently, but it was very much the same feeling of intense JOY. No clear words, like my father gives me, but clear and unmistakable JOY.

dandelion sun through trees (3)

This evening, I stopped writing this to go for a walk with David and Doodle. Breathing in the cool air, I reached out to Linda and felt the gentle joy of her spirit. Then lightening flashed in the distant clouds. Maybe that was Mary Kaye.

If you have sisters or brothers, parents or children, beloved family by blood or by choice, still living in this world, treasure the moments you have with them. And also know this, our loved ones who have passed on are alive in spirit and in love on the other side.