Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Thanking All Body Parts

Here’s our most excellent prompt from our most excellent SoCS host, Linda Hill:

….“body parts.” Pick a body part and talk about it. 

I can tell you right now, I can’t pick just one. But I can say thank you to all my body parts:

Thank you to my gut for telling me when I’m stressed and need to run away or play, or just rest.

Thank you to my heart for being strong and steady.

Thank you to my feet. I know now you have bone spurs in the heels. I am trying to take good care of you. I hope you like the TLC cushiony shoes. I will not walk long distances on pavement or go barefoot any more. I’m grateful the plantar fascitis is finally getting better.

Thank you to my legs for letting me know I need more magnesium and not aching so much at night since. And water probably helps.

Water. Thank you water. I know my body needs more water, more often. Thank you, body for letting me know by getting tired.

Thank you to my hips, flat and wide as you are, you have made room for babies and make my waist look smaller, even though it seems to be getting bigger. Oh well.

Thank you to my back. I know I complain about you, but you’ve had a lot of work to do over these 60 something years, and you let me know when you really need to stretch out and decompress.

Thank you for my neck and shoulders, what a work out you’ve had. Holding up so much weight. I hope you like the stretches, too.

I can’t forget the breasts. Such a mixed relationship we have. Yes, gravity has taken its toll on you ladies, but you have served me well and fed two babies. Thank you.

Thank you for my lips. I know you seem to be disappearing, but we have had many nice kisses over the years and you still know how to sing and speak well when the brain cooperates. Thank you to my throat and vocal chords and the fun with songs.

Thank you to my cheekbones, known as one of my best features.

Thank you to my freckles. I know I didn’t like you when I was young, but now I know they are angel kisses.

Thank you to my skin. I’m sorry I have abused you in the sun for so long. Thank you for teaching me acceptance with all these lines and wrinkles.

Thank you to my soft, hazel eyes that came from my mother. You’ve taught me acceptance, too. Aren’t you glad I don’t use mascara any more? Thank you for teaching me to see the beauty all around us.

Thank you to my nose and ears giving me delightful smells and sounds to enjoy, or warnings when needed.

Thank you to my hair which still has some red in it. Thinner, but still long and wavy.

Thank you to my old bones, thinner too, but still strong. I’m doing better at taking care of you. Thank you for supporting me still.

Thank you to all my body parts I haven’t mentioned, like the private ones. You ….. What can I say…. Thank you for warning me, or trying to, during the stressful relationships of the past that were not right for me. You knew all along. Thank you for letting my babies out and for holding things together all these years.

Thank you to my lungs. I’m sorry for what I did to you in my twenties. Thank you for still helping me breathe well. You like the yoga right? I know, deep breaths beyond yoga.

Thank you to my brain. I know I need to work to keep you in shape, but you still got it when it matters most. Thank you for being flexible and open minded, but helping me along the way.

Oh, how could I forget! Thank you to my hands and arms. You have worked so hard and rebelled during the hardest years, but you healed enough to be able to keep on expressing my thoughts here on this computer. I know you have hated it at times, but it’s better now. Thank you! I’ll try to take it easy on the yard work, pace myself, and wear gloves! What’s that? Okay, I’ll give you more lotion.

Freckles, wrinkles, and all.
Resting body parts

The pokeweed rash is get better thanks to an updated prednisone Rx. Since my plantar fascitis is finally almost gone, I’ve been able to walk more. Here are some places we’ve walked lately:

For more streams of consciousness, rules, etc. visit our host, Linda Hill here.


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SoCS: Thanks for the Vaccination Nudge

My friend Mary who is a pediatrician nudged me to get vaccinated early this year. I wasn’t in any hurry and might not have even been vaccinated if she hadn’t nudged me early on with a link to a local clinic. I wanted to see what happened. I knew from my side effects to the flu shot, that my side effects to the covid vaccine were likely to be significant, and they were. But now, I’m glad I got the shots.

Saturday I dropped some school supplies off to a community organizer. We chatted in her living room without masks. I had mine in my pocket, but knew we’d both been vaccinated. She offered me a hug as I was about to leave, and I accepted warmly. Not sorry about that. But maybe it wouldn’t have hurt to wear a mask. I found out yesterday that she tested positive for covid. I think she’s okay, but her daughter is in the hospital.

I’ve heard of a lot of people who were vaccinated testing positive for covid, but their symptoms are mild compared to people who have not been vaccinated. My friend who tested positive but was NOT vaccinated has been in ICU for three weeks and on a ventilator. He is ten years younger than me. He’s also a wonderful person who has done a lot for the community. God, I hope he’s going to be okay. Lots of people are praying.

I am thankful for my doctor friend nudging me to get vaccinated. I’m feeling okay, recovering from plantar fascitis and a pulled muscle in my back. My body is good at healing, if maybe slower than it used to be. Still, I think I’m going to lay low, take it easy, and wear my mask when I go anywhere. Life is precious.

Some of these photos are from the farm animal sanctuary where I prepare lunch on Thursdays.

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was: “my.” Start your post with the word “My.” Bonus points if you end your post with “yours.” Enjoy!

For more streams of consciouness along with rules visit out host, Linda Hill at this link.


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SoCS: When There’s Too Much Pepper in the Soup

Here’s are prompt: ….. for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “oop.” Find a word with the “oop” sound in it and use it in your post. Enjoy!

Oops. scoop. goop. soup. I like soup. Vegetarian, please. I like to experiment in cooking. Over time there are fewer, oopses, in cooking at least. We bought some cumin that is exceptionally strong and can only use like an eighth of a teaspoon, a pinch at most. Even if a recipe calls for a half a teaspoon, that’s too much of this particularly powerful batch of cumin. We learned this from experience.

Every mistake teaches us something. It was a big mistake to date a creep after my divorce. It was an even bigger mistake to keep on dating him for a year. But I learned more about codependency and how low I cold go. It brought me to my knees even more than the divorce. It gave me compassion for people who stay in unhealthy or abusive relationships. When it finally ended, it was like waking up from a bad dream. Where had I been? I had lost myself for a while there. Now, I appreciate being in a healthy relationship.

But first, I had to appreciate me. I had to learn to love myself again. Was that rebound from hell really a mistake? Could I have learned to love me without it? I don’t know. I wish I had not done it. I regret that rebound. But God can take a messy mistake and turn it into something good.

It’s like if we put too much cumin, or pepper, in the soup. God can put in other spices, other healthy vegetables, sweet nourishment, to counteract the mistake. The soup becomes rich and hearty.

Do we need to make mistakes in order to learn? Or to appreciate the good things in life?

Let’s hope we learn enough to not make more big ones.

Let’s hope we can heal the mess we’ve made of the planet, mend relationships, bridge the divide.

God help us. I know imagine you’re tired of our mess and want us to learn on our own.

Maybe we will. But could you just give certain people a nudge. You know, the ones who put too much pepper in the soup. Help them, help us, help me, be careful with the pepper – my irritability and critical thoughts….

Add some sweet corn, sweet peas, sweet potato, maybe even some mango. Nudge us to use a dash of compassion, a spoonful of empathy, a cup of kindness.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda Hill. For more streams and rules, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 24, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: A Year of Challenge and Hope for Healing

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “day/week/month/year.” Linda also invites us to write about the past year of pandemic, “how we have coped or not, to share our common experiences as a way to connect, to feel a little less alone.”

As a citizen of the United States, these past 12 months have been heavy, not just due to the pandemic, but also with the political divide and the racial injustice of the murders of George Floyd, Breaonna Taylor and others. It has been strange and confusing to have stay at home orders, masks and social distancing recommendations along with protests and demonstrations.

My hope is that with the pandemic calming down and someone less inflammatory at the helm, we can move into healing. It’s going to take a lot of work. A lot of compassion, listening, compromise, and seeking common ground… or higher ground.

I find myself feeling tired as I write this. There are bursts of energy when things get done, but maybe it’s a tired that comes with age. Still, my personal life has not been bad. I’m the oldest one in my family – my parents and siblings are deceased. Even Aunt Ruth in Wisconsin crossed over last year after a full life into her 90s. I am thankful not to have to worry about my parents anymore and feel for those who do. I am thankful to have the luxury of time and the freedom to study my father’s letters from Vietnam, and to write and paint.

Staying at home doesn’t bother me, except that I have not seen my granddaughter, son and daughter in law since October. I miss the mountains. It was in October that I last visited the mountains and first brought mama cat home from the church. She has kept me company when David is at his woodshop, and she has become much less feral.

Mama Cat has a plate of food.
She wants attention while I’m trying to write.

Having a cat has been a big change after being a dog person for so long. The pandemic and people not being at church much was one of two factors that led me to bringing her home. The other factor was the abduction of her daughter, Gray, in June. I still go to the church once per week to see if Gray has shone up, but I don’t think this is likely. I talk to Saint Francis and pray my hopes and thanksgivings.

St. Francis with last year’s hydrangeas

Not going to church and choir practice is probably the biggest change in my personal life. We do zoom church and I’ve sung and played a little guitar for that, because music is my favorite part of church. My voice is way out of shape when it comes to singing anything challenging. My friend Anne, who is in her 80s and teaches singing, is helping me with that. I’m thankful to have had both vaccines, in spite of the side effects, I’m glad to have a little more confidence if I do want to go out. I’ll still wear a mask and avoid crowds.

Hopefully we won’t have as much to protest or demonstrate for or against for a while. Maybe things will calm down and justice will grow. Maybe we humans will wake up, bridge the divides, and focus on healing Mother Earth as we celebrate diversity in all it’s beauty and strength.

Thank you to our host, Linda Hill for the consistency of SoCS through the year.

For SoCS rules and more streams, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 13, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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How Do We Heal as a Nation?

 We have much deep healing work to do in the United States. The tension that has been building for years has revealed itself at the level that I hope it wakes us up. What might help us heal as a nation and ultimately, as a human society? Here are a few possibilities I want cultivate in my own attitudes and actions:

1. Try to state facts without exaggeration. Don’t twist facts. For example, whole cities weren’t burned down during the 2020 “riots.” Maybe whole city blocks, but not whole cities. State opinions with words like, “I think,” or “I believe….” rather than facts. It’s a fact that Joe Biden was confirmed as the next president of the US. If you believe there was voter fraud, that is an opinion that was not substantiated by the courts.

2. Be respectful. Resist the urge to resort to name calling or write things that will increase division. I can resist the urge to “like” posts on social media that reinforce division. Try to speak and write words of healing and understanding. Part of healing can be to express our feelings and grief which can include denial, fear, and anger. Can we express our feelings without tearing down those that feel and believe differently? Yes. We can. it might be a challenge, but we are writers. We can figure it out.

3. Look for common ground. We can do this as individuals, asking questions for understanding. It might simply start with a love for animals or nature, or a common hobby, but we have to start somewhere. Look for the bipartisan issues.

4. Support media stories about healing and the goodness of humanity. I know they’re hard to find, but good news happens. Encourage media to make healing a priority. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to make healing a conscious effort, every day.

5. Find the courage to change the things we can, namely, our own attitudes and actions. Ask questions with the goal of understanding rather than debate. We can find the bridges that unite us, places where we can meet each other – sometimes in the middle, sometimes compromising at different points along the way.

For more information on healing division, visit Braver Angels.

Today’s prompt for Just Jot January was “twisted,” so I included the word “twist.” For more on JusJoJan, visit:

#JusJoJan prompt the 8th – “Twisted” | (lindaghill.com)


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My Debate Speech on Confederate Statues

In Saturday’s stream of consciousness, I mentioned my participation in a local Braver Angels zoom debate. Below is my three minute speech opposed to the following debate “resolution”:

“Removing statues and monuments will erase important parts of our nation’s history.”

I was one of three people speaking the “con” side of the statement. We had fewer speaking in favor of the statement. One interesting point made by an African American woman disagreeing with the statement was that relocating statues to museums would likely give more opportunity for learning and discussion by visiting school groups, etc. She also talked about subliminal messages and healing.

Braver Angels seeks to depolarize America with workshops and debates intended to foster respect and understanding. We are encouraged to say what we believe and to speak from our own experience. After each prepared speech, people can ask questions of the speaker and responses can be up to one minute. If there’s time, we have “flash speeches” and share what we learned.

This first debate by our local group went well. There was concern from some that if we start removing statues, that other statues and monuments, like the Lincoln Memorial, could also be removed. My question to this was to ask if the speaker thought some statues could be more harmful than others, and that seemed to be a point of agreement. All statues are not the same.

Now, for my speech. (Respectful responses from your own experience and feelings are welcome. )

Hello, thank you for the opportunity to speak this evening

If we remove a statue or monument, we are not erasing history. We cannot change what has already happened. History will still be available…in books, films, and on the internet. Many statues and monuments can be re-located to museums where a much of history is saved, or to private historical sites, cemeteries, or to the families of the artists who created aolstatues.

When I first read the debate resolution, I thought of the confederate statues I’ve seen in downtown Wilmington.

I’ve lived in Wilmington since 1980. All that time, I’ve felt very uncomfortable with the confederate statues glorifying men who fought for slavery. One of the things that bothers me most is the prominence of the statues. If you live anywhere near downtown, you’ve seen these statues on a regular basis. What kind of message do they send?

One example is the prominent 8-foot-tall statue of George Davis recently removed from Market Street. George Davis was the last attorney general of the confederacy.  The pedestal describes George Davis with glowing words like “stainless integrity, virtue, refinement, and the true heart of chivalry in southern manhood. Is this an accurate portrayal of history?  It leaves out the fact that George Davis gave a “… public speech1861 in which he argued that North Carolina should secede from the United States …. to protect (in his words) the economic interest in “chattel slavery.” Chattel slavery in which human beings are bought and sold as property.

I am deeply troubled that this man has been celebrated and honored as a hero for so many years.

When I’ve passed by this statue, and the one on third street honoring the soldiers of the confederacy, my feelings of discomfort and embarrassment linger. I want to cringe at what they represent…..

 I can only imagine what black and brown citizens think and feel when they’ve passed these statues. 

We need to ask ourselves, what people and ideals do we want to honor? Do we want to promote the ideals of the confederacy? Do we want to honor men who fought for slavery and the oppression of a whole race of human beings?

Or do we want to promote values of equality, equity, community, and inclusivity?  ……

The statues representing confederate soldiers and statesmen have stood for many years in prominent positions in our city. But times are changing.

 Maya Angelou wrote: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

It’s time now for our city to move forward, and to honor positive and inclusive ideals.

Thank you for listening.


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Good News Tuesday 5/5/20: Sudan Ready to Outlaw FGM, Shifting Away from Fossil Fuels, a COVID Recovery Story, and Captain Tom Update

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

Sudan to Outlaw Female Genital Mutilation

Sudan’s council of ministers approved a new law criminalizing female genital mutilation on 22 April. The law is expected to be passed by the members of the sovereign council, which was created after the removal of the former dictator. Under the new law, anyone inflicting FGM will face up to three years in prison. You can read more in this article from The Guardian. 

Investors Shifting Away from Fossil Fuels and Artic Exploitation

US Investment bank Morgan Stanley will no longer fund oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Morgan Stanley is the fifth largest funder of fossil fuels in the United States and also the fifth major U.S. bank to stop arctic oil financing.

“The updated environmental policy also prohibits direct financing for new and expanded coal-fired power plants and new thermal coal mines. Additionally, Morgan Stanley has committed to phasing out funding for thermal coal mining companies that “do not have a diversification strategy within a reasonable timeframe.”

This article from The Planetary Press reports on the policy change and signs that world banks are “beginning to recognize the need to shift away from fossil fuels and towards sustainable alternatives”

“This man came home from the hospital to die. His son found a way to keep him alive”  CNN

81 year old Suryakant “Suri” Nathwani had contracted COVID 19 and was not expected to live. He pleaded with his son to go home, to not die in the hospital.  Raj Nathwani took his father home to the outskirts of London to try to make him comfortable.  But that’s not all Raj did. He researched, collected data, and consulted with a family friend who was  a general practitioner. While many families do not have the resources to do all that Raj was able to do, we can still celebrate this son’s efforts and his father’s recovery. I hope you will read this inspiring story as reported by CNN 

You can also listen to the story here:

 

Captain Tom Update: You’re Never Too Old to Dream Another Dream

Happy Belated Birthday to Captain Tom Moore who turned 100 on Thursday! He’s raised 40 million dollars for charity and is being well recognized for his perseverance.

Got good news?

Please share it in the comments!


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One-Liner Wednesday: Earth Day 2020

 

“We are called to assist the earth, to heal her wounds,

and in the process, heal our own.”

                                                            Wangari Maathai

Mother Earth is a living organism

Happy Earth Day Every Day!

This year’s Earth Day theme is “Climate Action.” You can learn more about the importance of climate action and find links to virtual Earth Day 2020 from Rosaliene at Three Worlds One Vision

Love-tree-with-heart-shaped-branches-and-birds

2019 1linerWeds badge

 

One Liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda G. Hill. For details, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/04/22/one-liner-wednesday-april-22nd-2020-some-truths-dont-age-at-all/


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Good News Tuesday 4/7/20: Recovering from COVID, Koala Release, Walking Against the Odds, and Shifting Focus

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Recovering from the Virus

It’s emotionally staggering to read how many people have died from COVID-19. Reading about recoveries offers hope. 292,188 people have recovered from the virus. John Hopkins University has a dashboard showing the numbers of cases, deaths, and recoveries around the world.

104-year-old William Lapschies is one person who has recovered. A World War II veteran from Oregon, William recently celebrated his birthday with a socially distanced party.   Here’s William’s story.

First Koala Group Released Back in Australia

The non-profit group Science for Wildlife released 12 koalas (plus one pouch baby) back into their natural habitat in the Blue Mountains in late March. The release happened after the group studied the area and determined enough growth had taken place to support the animals. Here’s the story from Independent. 

Ten Year Old Walks with Spina Bifida

John Harvey was born with spina bifida. Against the odds, he worked hard to learn how to walk. The following video  shows John’s determination and perseverance. Enjoy!

(There might be a brief ad.)

Companies Shift to Make Health Care Supplies at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

The 300 acre space known as the “Can Do Yard” during WW2 is earning that name again. Over 500 companies responded to New York City’s call for help to manufacture face masks. I heard this story on NPR and hope you enjoy listening:
https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2020/04/06/navy-yard-brooklyn-medical-factory

Got good news? Please share in the comments!