Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday for September 27, 2022: Author Reconnects with Teacher, Blood Test for Early Cancer Detection, Regenerative Agriculture in Mexico, and a Special Police Dog

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Author Reconnects with Teacher Who Taught Him to Read

Jamil Jan Kochai was a baby when his family moved to the US from Afghanistan. Due to his family’s moves, by second grade he was having a very hard time with reading and speaking English. His teacher, Ms. Lung worked with him every day after school teaching him to read. As an adult, Jamil who is now an author, spent decades trying to find his second-grade teacher. I hope you will read this moving story and find out how they reconnected.

A Blood Test Can Detect Multiple Types of Cancer in Early Stages

A recent clinical trial involved 6,621 adults over 50 who took the Galleri blood test looking for early-stage cancer. In the 92 patients who tested positive, none had symptoms though 35 had solid tumors which were either too small to be detected normally or are not routinely tested. The Good News Network has details.

Regenerative Agriculture and Agroforestry Improve Yield While Restoring Nature in Mexico

In the Mexican State of Chiapas, farmers, ranchers, and conservationists are working together to restore natural processes. Maria Luisa Gordillo Mendoza stated that with technical assistance and working to boost soil health, her corn yields have grown. One strategy used was growing beans with the corn to fix nitrogen and create organic cover to maintain moisture and reduce the need for herbicides. You can read more from goodgoodgood.com.

Police Dog Awarded for Lifesaving Retires to Run on the Beach

A German Shepherd named Luna was honored with the Thin Blue Paw award after saving 38 lives during her 8-year career on the Scottish Police Force. Luna retired in June and now gets to run on the beach. You can read about Luna in this article from the Good News Network. Plus, here’s a video of Luna with her handler and guardian, Linda McBride.

PS. I wish all police and military dogs only did search and rescue and got to retire safely to live with their handlers.

Got Good News?

Please share your good news in the comments!


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SoCS: Staying Home and Watching Christmas Movies

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “home.” Use it as a noun, a verb, an adjective, or an adverb. Enjoy!

The first thing I thought of was the song, “Home,” by Cat Stevens, from the album, Numbers. I’ll share that at the end of the post because that’s where it traditionally goes. Not that tradition is the be all and end all of everything. In the episcopal church tradition is one leg of the three-legged stool, along with scripture and reason. That reason part is part of the reason I go to an episcopal church as my home church.

I haven’t been to church in three weeks since I’ve been home sick. I like staying home most of the time, but I do miss singing in church. It will be a while before I can do that because of this nagging, dry cough. I got a new medication for it, so maybe it’s on its way out. Ricola cough drops have come in pretty handy.

Yesterday was the first cool day we’ve had here in a very long time. The high was in the 70s! It was wonderful! I love autumn. I got so excited to put in my orange, glowy, flickering light bulb on the front porch. I think I’ll make soup today. Looking forward to pumpkin or sweet potato pie and feeling well enough to walk Marley to the park. When we come back home, and walk through the gate, I tell him, “GO HOME,” at least twice, so if he ever runs off and someone tells him to GO HOME, he will know what that means.

I wish everyone had a safe home, a place where they feel comfortable, at least a safe, comfortable room or corner. Home really should be safe. If it’s not, get help. Please. Everyone deserves to have a safe place.

It is very possible that I have shared Cat Stevens’ “Home” here and not that long ago. Well, maybe everyone didn’t see it or hear it. I don’t mind listening to it again. Here it is: https://youtu.be/OmnIOc3WN5o

I was checking my photos and had taken some of the TV when I watched the Home Alone movies, 1 and 2. They are two of the many movies I can watch over and over again, along with Elf. When my son was about five or six, people were always saying, “He looks like that kid in the Home Alone movie.” He actually did. Now, not so much.

Here’s a picture of my son, age 7, with his new baby sister in 1993: (That was almost 30 years ago!)

1993 Time flies!

Here’s the feel good ending of Home Alone 2. Kevin is giving a gift to the homeless lady who became his friend and saved him from the bad guys.

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For more homey streams of consciousness, visit out host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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One-Liner Wednesday: The Best Years

“These, believe it or not, are the very best years of my life.” _ Mike Fremont

Mike Fremont is a 100-year-old runner. When he was 69, he was diagnosed with colon cancer and given three months to live. In response to that diagnosis and his research, he went “cold turkey” becoming100% vegan on a whole foods diet. I hope you’ll watch as much as you can of the inspiring interview below. Plus there’s an article from People here.

For more one-liners, visit out host, Linda Hill, by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Changing Thoughts on Diamond Rings, The Rings of Power, and Home Security, plus the Moonhaven Dance and my Latest Artwork

Today’s prompt for SoCS is, ring.

In my first engagement and marriage, I didn’t get an engagement ring. We were poor and that was okay with me, being a rebellious, nonconformist. I picked my own flowers for the first wedding. Having grown up in the 70s, I did not care about such things as fancy store bought flowers. A friend made my dress. Over the years, there was a shift. Not a big shift, but I loved getting an engagement ring in my second engagement ten years ago. The funny thing is that I don’t wear it a lot. I take it off when I go to the beach or the sanctuary where the roosters peck at it. The single diamond is set high and tends to scratch things. I wear it for dress up and leave it on till I go to the beach or sanctuary. And now, it’s not important to me as I seek simplicity and have my favorite thrift store jewelry for dress up. Though it is important to me that David was able to provide an engagement ring for me.

I got Amazon Prime for a free month to watch The Rings of Power. Being a huge fan of LOTR, I was excited to see the young Galadriel who I’ve learned is obsessed with finding and killing Sauron. I probably would have appreciated that more when I was younger and desired to save the world. After watching two episodes of The Rings, I have discovered that the orcs scare me more than they used to. Maybe it’s because they were living under someone’s house. I’ve decided not to watch any more of The Rings until I am recovered from my mystery virus. There’s still a nagging cough and feeling tired. It had become more important what I put into my body and mind. I want the pretty stuff with the elves. BBC has the first episode of Moonhaven, and I’m enjoying that. It’s not all pretty, but there’s a lot of pretty in the first episode to tickle this old hippie’s fancy.

Home security is something that’s been on my mind more. I’d like to have a camera and motion sensor at the front door at least. Don’t need a big complicated system. Maybe Ring would work. I don’t know. We got a motion sensor light with a battery and put it up over the front door, but it didn’t work, so I returned it. That was several months ago, so I guess it’s not that important. I just won’t think about the orcs. I need to focus on getting better and stronger. Maybe I’ll get a sword. (Just kidding.) Until then, there’s a baseball bat, a fenced yard, and a big dog who is secretly friendly to everyone.

Happy, healing thoughts. That’s what I need. The mysterious dance looks nice. But Moonhaven has plenty of secrets.

Here’s some art I did inspired by a cloud:

“Rising” by Joanna of the Forest

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For more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit out host Linda G. Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Not Knowing and Being Thankful

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “a word that contains a silent letter.” Choose a word that contains a silent letter and use it in your post, or write about words with silent letters in general. Enjoy!

I just don’t know why so many words have a silent k at the front. We could differentiate no from the knowledge know with noe. Wait Why does knowledge have a k in front? You know what? I don’t care. Much. We have to prioritize our cares.

I still don’t know why I was so sick over the past week. Thought it must be covid, but nope. Two negative test results. I’m about 75% better now, thank God. But there were a couple days of headaches and chills when I got in touch with my own mortality. Thank you, God that the mysterious rash did not itch. It’s the rash that made me heed the suggestions of friends and go to the doctor Friday for further investigation in spite of feeling better – ish. We decided I will go back Monday for tests since the West Nile Virus antibodies take 8 days to show up. I look forward to getting my energy back to where it was. I miss walking Marley. I used to complain about being tired. Now, I’m looking forward to that level of energy which was good compared to what the mystery virus took from me.

Enough of that! I am thankful for what I have. Not knowing can be okay. Some things might even be better not to know. I didn’t used to believe that. But now, there is only so much room in this brain.

Not knowing much about Queen Elizabeth, it was nice to learn she worked on vehicles during the war and worked to help pay for her wedding dress. Plus, she loved animals, at least dogs, especially corgis. And here’s a humble quote from the queen:

Let us not take ourselves too seriously. None of us has a monopoly on wisdom.

— Queen Elizabeth II

Speaking of not taking ourselves too seriously, when I was about five or six years old, I asked my mother if Queen Elizabeth and Elizabeth Taylor were the same person. Mom laughed out loud and told me no, they were two different people. I didn’t know why it was a funny question. Now, I kinda get it.

Please feel free to join me in taking a moment to pray and/or send strength and comfort to the people and animals suffering from disasters around the world, especially in Pakistan, Ukraine, California, and Kentucky.

We are all part of the web of life. “Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.” (Chief Seattle)

Below is one of the many golden webs around my home made by what I call banana spiders. This one was well over my head. I cropped it to see it better.

Banana Spider

~~~

For more streams of consciousness and to learn more,

visit our host, Linda G. Hill, but clicking HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for August 16, 2022: Treating Tinnitus, Help for Endangered Salmon, Lyme Disease Vaccine Update, and Compassion in Little League Baseball

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Study Shows Improvement in Treating Tinnitus

“Encouraging results” have come from research in New Zealand where a smartphone ap was used to treat tinnitus. Out of 61 people studied, sixty-five percent reported improvement. “For some people, it was life-changing….” The treatment helps the constant ringing or buzzing noise fade more into the background. Here’s more from IFLScience.

Endangered Salmon are About to Swim Upstream Again after 80 Years

“Whatever happens to the salmon happens to us,” Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader

Since the construction of the Shasta Dam in 1942, endangered chinook salmon have not been able to swim upstream to spawn in the cold mountain waters of Northern California. Wildlife officials collected about 20,000 eggs from a National Fish Hatchery near Redding, drove them three hours north, then “lugged the cooler down a rocky slope to the riverbank….” This story includes the Winnemem Wintu Tribe’s moving ceremonial blessings for the salmon and their importance to tribal culture.

A New Vaccine for Lyme Disease is Almost Ready

The Lyme disease vaccine is now in the final phase of a clinical study in humans. NPR has details.

Little League Batter Consoles Pitcher Who Hit Him with the Ball

At a little league baseball game, the pitcher Kaiden felt noticeably upset after accidentally hitting the batter in the head, knocking off his helmet. The batter, 12-year-old Isaiah, seeing that the pitcher was upset, went to console him and let him know he was okay.

Got Good News?

Share your good news in the comments!


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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.


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SoCS: The Conservation Kid, Osteoporosis, and Forward Bends

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh, really?”

“Did you ever smoke cigarettes?”

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

“That could do it,” he said.

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

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

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

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

~~~

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

Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Produce and Productivity

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “product/produce.” Use one, use them both, use them any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Have fun!

The first thing that came to mind was produce. As in strawberries, squash, and little orange tomatoes from the farmer’s market that taste soooo good! Produce = fruit and vegetables – gifts from earth, from Creator. And from bees. Gotta have bees.

Every Thursday, I chop up produce for the animals at the sanctuary. Lately, I’ve been practicing cutting produce with my left hand, because my right arm is giving me some trouble. It’s gotta be a good brain exercise but takes longer. I would not want to be a waitress, but don’t mind doing this for the animals.

I hope I get a few more grapes out back since I have tried to cut back and drape the grapevine around a fence and keep the other vines from taking over. Of course, the birds and squirrels will have some, too. We’ll see.

Nurturing the grape vine and going to the farmer’s market are much happier forms of what some might call productivity. When I used to work in an office, the measurement of productivity changed in the last 5 years of my 30-year counseling career. The measurement changed to expect more direct services in spite of mountains of paperwork/computer work being added… Oh stop it! That’s history, and I’m soooo thankful it’s history. I don’t even like the word productivity anymore. How about creativity!

Now, I can feel productive if I make cookies from bananas, peanut butter, and oatmeal, or if I give Marley a bath – which is a lot of work! Taking down the old shower curtain was productive. I’ve washed it and scrubbed it enough times. Now, I have a new one. David can put that up. It’s supposedly “biodegradable and eco-friendly.” I have not thrown the old one away. It’s hanging on the clothesline because I might wash it. Might not. I don’t have to decide until I want to decide. More important things to do. Like getting ready to go to the mountains! More on that later!

Semi-random photos that may or may not be related to the topic:

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For more streams of consciousness, rules, etc.

visit out host, Linda G. Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Fancy Hats, Plain Hats, Funny Hats… Improvise if You Have To

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “hat.” Use it literally or metaphorically. Have fun!

Nothing is jumping out at me, yet, except that I’ve never been much for fancy hats – the big ones ladies wear to church on Sundays some places but more so in the olden days. I don’t want to be snob about something I perceive as snobby sophisticated. I should be more accepting. If someone gets joy from wearing a fancy hat, that’s nice. I should leave it at that.

I should also wear a hat more often outside because I have fair skin. So far, so good. The cap I’m wearing in my profile pic is more my style, though it does sometimes leave my ears and jaw exposed. Sometimes I wear sunscreen, but most of them have chemicals that are harmful to the environment, so the free stuff from Medicare OTC store, well, it will last a while.

Speaking of the environment, our water here has PFAS contamination. Thankfully, I got a reverse osmosis system for the kitchen sink last year, but lots of people can’t afford that. Three private wells are contaminated in our area, and I hope the wells at the farm animal sanctuary are okay. They need to be tested, but the testing and research is being done by consultants connected to the company, Chemours, doing the polluting. I went to a hearing Monday about the well situation to speak for the sanctuary. Then I asked a question about how we can stop the release of contamination at the source. What I meant was, alternatives that don’t create PFAS chemicals. These are created in the manufacture of non-stick cookware, water repellant clothes (probably like my windbreaker) and I think sunscreen. The panel from the state didn’t get what I was getting at.

We do what we can with the things we can control. Eat healthy, exercise moderately, don’t stress too much, and wear hats outside. Fancy hats, plain hats, aluminum foil hats, cowboy hats, whatever. Here’s a very old picture of my husband David wearing something on his head that looks like a hat, but I think it’s a planter that sticks into the ground. Hats. Improvise if you have to.

Circa 1958

And let’s not forget my dad’s M*A*S*H hat.

~~~

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by our famous and fearless leader, Linda Hill. You can read more about it and find more streams by visiting Linda, HERE.