Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Just Jot January: Vegan Cheese, a Work in Progress

Today’s prompt for JusJoJan is “cheese.”

Cheese is one of the things that makes it hard for me to be vegan. That and seafood. I can be vegan for lent, but so far, not forever. There’s a book called, Breaking the Food Seduction, by Dr. Neal Barnard, MD which explains the addictive nature of cheese. I heard Dr. Barnard speak about this at a convention years ago.

There are many vegan cheeses, and I have not tried them all. Some are better than others. I believe they are getting better. My husband David doesn’t like the vegan cheeses I’ve tried, but he’s okay with this cheesy vegan chickpea sauce I’ve been experimenting with. It tastes kinda like cheese and works well for casseroles, pot pies and scalloped potatoes.

Chickpea Cheese Sauce:

¾ cup    Chickpeas (canned or home cooked with liquid)

¾ cup    Non-Dairy Milk (almond milk, oat milk or other, plain and unsweetened)

¼ cup    Nutritional Yeast

1 clove  Large Garlic

½ teaspoon        Salt

½ teaspoon        Turmeric

¼ teaspoon        Black Pepper (ground)

1 tablespoon     Fresh Chives (snipped)

Mix it in a food processor or blender.

I tend to be creative and relaxed about measurement and use one can of chickpeas, extra garlic or garlic salt, and added a few tablespoons of olive oil. I used this sauce inside my Christmas lasagna and it worked well. But I confess to using real cheese from whole foods on top of the lasagna. I asked the whole foods cheese person about the most humane cheese they had since they didn’t have any that was “humane certified.” She said she’d visited the farm of the brand I used, and they seemed to care a lot about the cows. I am a work in progress.

My daughter might have taken this picture in Virginia

My next venture is to figure out how to thicken the chickpea sauce for a pizza. (no oil?) I’m not going to use tomato sauce, but plan to put sliced tomatoes on top of the chickpea cheese sauce. We’ll see….

For more information on Just Jot January, visit out host, Linda Hill at the link below. Linda has shared some fun fictional tidbits for JusJoJan. It’s never too late to jump in!

#JusJoJan prompt the 10th – “Cheese” | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Time Out, Petting the Cat, ASMR, and Shoe Size

The prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “in the corner.” Write about whatever the image or thought of “in the corner” brings to mind. Have fun!

Interesting prompt. I might just try #JusJoJan this year, too. No promises. If I miss a day, I won’t put myself in the corner. I don’t recall being sent to the corner as a child. There was usually furniture in the corner. But I was sent to “sit in the chair” for a time out. It was not a bad chair, just a normal chair. Now, I wouldn’t mind that at all – taking a time out in the chair.

There’s a comfortable chair in Mama Cat’s room which is a smallish room with a cubby and a window seat made from a pillow and blankets. She has a lot of blankets. A couple of days ago, I sat in the chair in Mama Cat’s room and she hopped up on my lap as she has started to do over the past month. I sat there in the late afternoon, or maybe it was evening, I don’t recall, stroking her soft fur as she fell asleep, and I almost fell asleep. Petting Mama Cat put me in a sort of trance. I can feel the brain waves changing if someone rubs my head or an ASMR thing – the tingle, which I find fascinating and easier to get to the more it happens. You can read more about ASMR here. I can imagine how it could be addicting. But on a brighter note, I’ve read that cat purrs can be healing like meditation.

“Stop playing with that thing and pet me.”

But I can’t spend too much time there in the chair petting the cat. I need to get some energy. There’s that thing about inertia.

My main goal for 2021 is to improve my health. It’s not bad, but I fear I’ve gained some weight and feel tired more than I want to, so I’m going to be exploring joining a gym or/and other ways to increase my exercise, like walking and hiking more regularly. That will involve getting some better shoes.

Here’s a question for my older followers. No, more mature followers might sound better. Wise and experienced readers…. or anyone who might know. Has your shoe size gone up over the years? I think my feet might be feeling uncomfortable because I need to go up to a 8 and a half. Maybe even a 9? I haven’t changed shoe size in a lot of years, so maybe that’s it. Seems like I wore a seven in my 20s. That would be better than going to a foot doctor. Anything to keep me from getting totally hooked on sitting in the chair and petting the cat… or TV, but let’s not go there. I can always do some yoga stretches while watching TV.

SoCS and Just Jot January are hosted by Linda G. Hill. You can read all about it at:

Stream of Consciousness Saturday | (lindaghill.com)

Happy New Year!


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Good News Tuesday for Dec. 8, 2020: Vaccines in the UK, Paris Climate Agreement, Saving Rainforests, Reducing Restaurant Trash, and Elephant Companionship

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Vaccines Against COVID 19 Begin in the UK

The United Kingdom starts it’s first wave of COVID 19 vaccines today with people over 80 and front-line health care workers. Here’s more from Good Morning America.

Major US Businesses Support Rejoining Paris Agreement

Amazon, General Motors, and Walmart were among the 42 companies that signed a letter stating they “view climate action as a business imperative,” and urging President-elect Joe Biden and lawmakers to re-enter the US into the Paris Climate Agreement. Here’s more from Good Morning America

Indigenous Leader Recognized for Work to Save Rainforests

Nemonte Nenquimo won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, also known as “The Green Nobel,” for her work in saving 500,000 acres in Ecuador’s rainforests from oil companies. Her leadership set a legal precedent for indigenous rights. Read more from the Good News Network.

Restaurant Close to Zero Waste (Seven Months Trash Free)

I’m proud of my hometown restaurant, Sealevel City Vegan Diner for their commitment to reducing waste and recycling. They reopened with new owners right before the pandemic hit, but have stayed open doing lots of curbside take out. This article in Port City Daily reports Sealevel hadn’t emptied a trash bin in seven months.

Lonely Elephant Rescued

Kaavan, a 36 year old Asian elephant spent years in a Islamabad “zoo,” where he “suffered from a lack of exercise as well as cracked and malformed nails due to living in an inappropriate structure.” After Kaavan’s partner died in 2012, he became known as the “world’s loneliest elephant.” Singer, Cher has been part of a social media campaign to save him. Kaavan has been transported to the Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary where he is slowly being introduced to new friends. You can read more about Kaavan in this article from CNN

Got good news?

Whether it’s global, local, or personal,

Feel free to share your in the comments!


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Good News Tuesday for Oct. 27, 2020: Teen’s Research to Fight Covid 19, Conservation Progress, Drones in the Rainforest, and a Teacher Saves Grandma

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Middle School Student Wins 25,000 for Research to Help Fight Covid-19

Anika Chebrolu, a 14-year-old from Texas, won the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge, which has been described as “the nation’s premier middle school science competition.”  In her research, “….which included analyzing close to 700 million compounds,” Anika discovered a molecule that can bind to the spike protein of COVID-19. You can read more in this article from Good Morning America.

Conservation Efforts Have Made a Difference

Up to 48 species would have become extinct without reintroduction programs, zoo-based conservation, and legal protections enacted since 1993 when the UN Convention on Biological Diversity came into force. Here’s more from The Guardian

Drones Help Indigenous People Spot Illegal Logging in the Amazon Rainforest

With help from the World Wildlife Fund, indigenous Andean tribes are starting to use drones to help protect wildlife and collect evidence on illegal logging in the rainforest. This article from the Good News Network includes an informative video.

Teacher Saves Grandma

On September 22, first grade teacher Julia Koch was teaching her virtual class when she got a call from grandparent Cynthia Phillips about technical difficulties. Ms. Koch noticed Ms. Phillips was having trouble speaking and knew something was wrong. It turns out Ms. Phillips was having a stroke. You can read about how Ms. Koch got help for her student’s grandmother and also sign up for CNN’s Good Stuff here.

Plus, here’s a video!

Thank you to all the teachers on the front lines, virtually and in person!

Got good news?

Please share your good news in the comments or create your own Good News Post and link it back here!


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Good News Tuesday for June 30, 2020: COVID Treatment, Free Books for Kids, A Dog Rescue, and a Compassionate Carry with a Song from 1969

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

COVID 19 Breakthrough: Affordable Steroid Reduces Risk of Death by One-Third in for Patients on Ventilators

Earlier this month, Oxford University researchers announced that a low-dose, affordable steroid can reduce the risk of death by one-third for COVID-19 patients on ventilators…” Here’s more from the Good News Network.

“Literacy in the Hood”

Chrishawndra Matthews, a single mom in Cleveland, Ohio, has been giving away thousands of free books to kids over the summer. You can read more about her and her non-profit in this story from Good Morning America.

 

A Park Ranger with Strong Shoulders

Kris Salapek, a park ranger in the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area in the eastern US, carried large dehydrated dog down a rugged mountain trail. Here’s the story from the Good News Network. 

 Protester Carries Injured Counter Protester to Safety

The anti racism event in London was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration for police reform, but fights broke out after counter-protestors gathered in opposition. Patrick Hutchinson told CNN he “saw the man lying on some stairs in the fetal position surrounded by protesters.” Patrick picked the man up and, with protection from friends, carried him over his shoulder to the police for safety.

 

Mr. Hutchinson’s compassionate carry reminds me of the old song, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” which had a significant impact on me in 1969 and beyond.

 

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!


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WATWB: Mother – Daughter Nursing Team Goes to New York

We Are The World Blogfest in white

In the first week of April, Ona Onyia and her mother, Uchenna Onyia-Murphy, traveled 1200 miles from Arkansas to Elmhurst Hospital in New York “the epicenter of the epicenter” of COVID 19.  They saw how overwhelmed the hospital staff was and wanted to help. They also wanted to learn as much as they could in case things got bad back home.

They each work 12 hour shifts, Onyia overnight, and her mother during the day, sometimes for six days straight.

“It has been mentally and physically exhausting, but rewarding in so many ways,” Onyia says. “…..I feel like I can work anywhere after this.”
In spite of the hardships, they both extended their contracts for another six weeks.
Thank you to all nurses, doctors, and medical care workers who go where they are needed most, even in their own hometowns or their own homes.
WATWB is a monthly event on the last Friday of every month bringing to light positive stories good work, hope and encouragement to our world. The goal is to infuse social stories that show kindness, compassion, hope, overcoming challenges and the resilience of the human spirit.  Our five co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are  Susan ScottLizbeth HartzShilpa GargMary J. Giese and Damyanti Biswas.  
To learn more about WATWB or to join us click here.
For more Good News stories, please join us on our FB page here .


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SoCS: Changes

Here’s the prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ch.” Find a word that starts with “ch” and use it as your prompt word. Bonus points if you start your post with that word. Enjoy!

 

Ch ch ch ch changes.

“Turn and face the strange.” __David Bowie

 

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I think I spent too much money on this mask. But it is fun. There’s also one with a dog nose.  It’s rare for me to order stuff on line or impulsively, but some of the money went to animals.

But back to the prompt and changes.

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of change. I like routine. I’m not often spontaneous. I like comfort. But I also know that some changes can be good. Even better than good!

I hope that some of the changes that have come as a result of COVID become permanent even after the virus is long gone. For example, cities have made more streets car-free permanently as I wrote about in one of my “Good News Tuesday” posts.

I hope we permanently drive our cars less to give the planet more time and space to heal.

I hope we keep taking walks around the neighborhood. Me and my guy. It’s good to know your neighbors and the lay of the land within walking distance.

I hope we keep focusing more on healing and wellness instead of fighting wars.

I hope there will be no more “live animal markets” which have contributed to illness and suffering, and we realize that in most communities meat is not essential.

I hope we keep loving each other and helping each other and our communities.

I hope we keep appreciating health care workers, teachers, trash collectors, and essential services and remember the value of these people and what they do.

What changes do you hope will stay with us after COVID is history?

 

For more Streams of Consciousness, visit Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/05/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-23-2020/

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!


16 Comments

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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SoCS: A Different Kind of Courage

Today’s mission is to find a word that starts with or contains, “val,” to use it any way we like, and of course to enjoy.

The first word that came to me was, valiant.

When I was still a child, probably and older child, I used to read the comic strip, Prince Valiant in the Sunday newspaper. It was a series that started maybe in the 1930s, and I think it might still be going on. Prince Valiant was around in the times of King Arthur, so there was a lot about honor and swords, chivalry and horses. I had a thing for horses in my late childhood and beyond, even to this day, so horses might have been part of the draw.

It seems I got a little bored with reading Prince Valiant as I got into my teen years and just started looking at the pictures as my attention became focused more on basketball and eventually boys. I don’t remember much about Prince Valiant, but maybe it set the stage for my love of The Lord of the Rings which I’m watching as I type this on Friday night.

The word, valiant reminds me of courage. Sometimes, especially in today’s world, we need a different understanding of courage. Being valiant isn’t always about charging in with swords drawn or guns blazing. As Yoda said, it’s not wars that make one great. We are now fighting an enemy that will not be killed with arrogance or belligerence.

 

“Courage doesn’t always roar.

Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says

I’ll try again tomorrow.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

We now need the kind of courage that helps us stay put and wait. There’s a courage in patience, the courage to face what comes up when we are still – the demons and dreads that we may have been covering up with busyness. But we can have the courage to find healthy ways to wait. The courage to try new things, to be creative, to learn who we are deep down and not run away. We are finding the courage to love ourselves and others enough to wait and be wise, to wait until the coast is clear and learn from this time of quiet waiting, to trust the timing.

And then we will have the courage to be valiant in fighting for the health of the planet and her people. But first we must live to fight another day and in a new way.

I went looking for some visuals of Prince Valiant and found this cartoon from the early 90s which I don’t remember seeing, (I was pretty busy then) but now, I want to. Watching the intro, I remembered the characters. You can see LOTR similarities. There are some interesting names in the opening credits, like Tim Curry who was the voice of Sir Gawain. You can read more about the animated series, The Legend of Prince Valiant, here.

For details on SoCS and more streams, visit our host, Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/04/24/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-25-2020/

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!


20 Comments

WATWB: 13 Year Old Makes Medical Masks Less Painful

We Are The World Blogfest in white

Thirteen-year-old Quinn Callander from Canada saw photos of doctors and nurses with injuries from long hours in medical masks. Then he saw a plea from hospitals asking for ear guards to help relieve some of the pressure on health-care workers ears and faces.

For his birthday, Quinn had gotten the 3-D printer he asked for and made some ear guards from an internet design.  After Quinn’s mother, “Heather Roney, posted a couple of photos of her son and his ear guard project on her Facebook page… requests came flying in.”

Quinn’s printer is now going 24/7 and he’s made more than 500 ear guards that help ease the pain of medical care professionals around the world.

I hope you’ll read more about Quinn and his project in this Washington Post article. 

We Are The World Blogfest is a monthly effort to bring positive stories of hope to the world. We share these stories on the last Friday of every month. Thank you to this month’s co-hosts:

For details on WATWB, visit:
And be sure to visit the WATWB Facebook page for more stories of light and hope.