Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: You Can Count on It

From our host: Linda Hill: Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan the 21st and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “count on it.” Use the phrase “count on it” somewhere in your post. Enjoy!

The sun is up there shining even if you can’t see it.

You can count on it being up there behind the clouds.

Spring will come and things will grow.

You can count on it cause that’s how it works.

When you’re in a grumpy down mood, it will get better.

You can count on it. Feelings aren’t forever.

If you love yourself and others, good will come.

You can count on it, though it might take time.

God listens to our prayers and wants what’s best for us.

You can count on it because it’s happened before.

God’s plan might not be the same as yours or mine,

But God has a plan. You can count on it.

Life will keep giving us chances to learn.

You can count on it, again and again.

One day, each of us will leave our bodies behind.

You can count on it. Let’s make the most of today.

~~~

The last two Thursdays have blessed us with gorgeous 70 degree weather for lunch at the farm animal sanctuary. The goats and sheep enjoy munching on donated Christmas trees. I didn’t actually have any sheep in the video. The last two goats in the video are the old ladies I hang out with most – Delilah is white and butterscotch and then you see sweet old Esther. All the goats came from petting zoos. They ladies were covertly pregnant when they came to sanctuary and for the first time ever were allowed to keep their babies until they weaned naturally. The babies are grown up and live at the sanctuary. Before the video is a picture of Esther and Mira from a couple of years ago. Mira is short for Miracle because Esther was old to be having a baby. She has permanent distention of her stomachs due to improper diet at the petting zoo. The sanctuary staff didn’t even know she was pregnant until they discovered little Mira who is all grown up now and feisty in a friendly way. Yes, you might have heard this story before, but it’s in the stream of consciousness and I could go on and on about the sanctuary…. you can count on it.

Esther and Mira

~~~

For more on Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE!


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Healing a Broken Heart: Shower

Jumping back in with Bee’s “Love is in Da Blog” I went to one of my favorite singer/songwriters, James Taylor and listened more closely to “Shower the People.”

“Tell me how can you stand there with your broken heart, ashamed of playin’ the fool?”

One remedy for a broken heart is to shower the people you love with love.

“Oh, Father, mother, sister, brother, if it feels nice, don’t think twice.”

“If it feels nice,” is important. We don’t have to shower toxic people we love with love, because we don’t want to get that close to them. We can love them from a distance and wish them well. But the people who are good for us – those are the ones we can shower with love. We can extend this love showering to ourselves and the dogs, cats, and divine being(s) who love us no matter what. We can shower with kind words, quality time, a small favor, hugs, smiles, gratitude….. you name it!

How do you want to shower love?

Here’s a shower from me to you:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Love is in Da Blog” is hosted each day in February, by sweet Bee.

Click HERE for details!


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When I Stopped Looking, Love Found Me

Today’s prompt for Just Jot it January is, “Looking.” Thanks, for the prompt, Di. And thanks to our host, Linda Hill, for keeping the January Jotting going!

The first thing that came to mind was when I decided to stop looking for my soul mate. It was the year 2011, in January. What if it was January 20? That would be a hoot. I’d been married for 20 years and divorced for about 10. There were two unhealthy, stressful relationships followed by five years of unplanned celibacy when I wondered why no one interesting was interested in me. I had described to God what I was looking for, but it wasn’t happening.

The on-line dating scene was not working at all, and neither was going to community events where I hoped to find someone with common interests. But maybe the community events were working in the sense that I was going for me and reclaiming my interests as well as meeting new friends with common interests.

So, in January of 2011, I was looking at some on-line dating site and got disgusted with shallow, adolescent minded men my age looking for younger women. I tried to be cynical, but that only worked sometimes. I promised myself that I would stop looking, especially online, until my daughter graduated from high school in June. Then maybe I’d have some adventures of my own.

The two of us took a mother-daughter trip by train to my hometown of Washington DC. We stayed with friends, rode the subway and went to museums. My daughter graduated on the first Saturday in June. On the Monday after that, I found a Facebook message from my long-lost high school sweetheart. It had been 39 years since we’d had any contact. He’d been living in New England all that time and was working as a fire fighter/EMT. More importantly, he had three dogs! Must love dogs was on the top of my soulmate list!

Well, to fast forward, we got married on December 1, 2012. (We thought about 12/12/12, but that was a Wednesday.) Want to read the whole story? Click on my book cover for Trust the Timing, on the right side bar above.

For more Just Jot January posts, go looking at Linda’s blog HERE.


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SoCS: Puzzle Pieces and Loving the Unvaccinated

Today’s Friday excellent prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is…… “puzzle.” Use it any way you’d like!

Puzzles are a big part of life. Big puzzles and little puzzles. Hard puzzles that take years and years to figure out, like, Is there a life partner out there for me, and where the hell is he? What’s taking so long? Oh, I need to work on me first. Finally figured that out. Now it makes sense. Self love and spirituality were pieces of the puzzle. And it wasn’t all about me.

There are easy puzzles, too, like what to have for dinner. What should go in the soup? Some things don’t fit, but must do if you’re willing to be adventurous. And then there are all those in between puzzles.

People could be like puzzle pieces. We need lots of different pieces. The best puzzles are diverse, with lots of different colors. Some of us are on the edges, some in the middle, and there are cornerstones. With buildings, cornerstones are important. And there’s more than one. Maybe even more than four. I don’t know.

What happens when we are missing pieces to our puzzles of life? We wait. We search, or we accept. Maybe we could even make our own piece of the puzzle. Like cut it out of cardboard and color it just right to fit. Maybe it will work. Then maybe we find the other piece. Or not. It’s okay.

It’s puzzling that some people refuse to get vaccinated and refuse or resist wearing masks. Some of them are my family members who I love dearly, and so I worry about them. I can’t just write them off. When I work to try to understand their reasons for not being vaccinated or wearing masks, there is more than one reason. But when I really listen, deep down it is about fear. Misguided, irrational, and confused, in my opinion, but still fear, not selfishness. I don’t know the answer, and I don’t know if I can change their minds. Still, I let them know about my friend who died from Covid and my friend’s son who died from covid last week at the age of 36. Neither were vaccinated. Still, I love them, my unvaccinated loved ones, with a little more distance, but just as much love as ever.

Here are a few photos from my grand daughter’s 10th birthday party. It was all about unicorns!

For more on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit our host, Linda Hill, at :


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Ten Years Ago (A Message From My Long Lost Love)

Greetings to you! After many years, I hope you are well. Take care and be safe!

That was the Facebook message I read on June 14, 2011. The last time I’d seen David was on the last day of school in 1972 when he kissed me goodbye and moved 700 miles away. I’d written him four letters. He’s written back twice and did not answer my last letter that summer. Life went on.

On June 14, 2011, I answered David’s FB message as I tried so slow my hopeful heart:

Wow! I knew it was really you when I saw Jethro Tull in your favorite music. What sweet memories. I am well, for 55 anyway. My profile picture is from the reunion we had in Sept with Sally, Terry and Caroline, after many years of no contact. It’s so nice to get your message. Hope you are well and safe too!

My profile picture back then looked like

His profile picture was an airport runway.

So I pictured him from my tenth grade yearbook:

David 1972. I did remember him!

People can change a lot in 39 years. I wondered what he looked like. He tells me now he was very busy in June of 2011. Maybe that’s why he took six whole days to message me back with:

“Would you mind if I called you sometime? I would really like hear from you. A lot of catching up!”

Want to read more about our true love story? Want to know what happened in those 39 years and what it took for us to be ready to find love again? Trust the Timing, a Memoir of Finding Love Again is written from both our perspectives. Find it HERE on my Amazon author page.

This is us in 1972


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Who But You…

Today’s prompt: “start with who/whom” Begin your post with either “who” or “whom” and go from there. Have fun!

“Who but you

could breathe and leave a trail of galaxies

and dream of me?

What kind of love

is writing my story until the end

with mercy’s pen?

That’s how the song starts that I will be singing Sunday morning in church, God willing. The song is “Alive,” as recorded by Natalie Grant. I hope I can do it some kind of justice and not get lost in the feeling, because I love this song. I love the words and the music, the rhythm and how it crescendos and softens.

Tomorrow will be the first time since Christmas that we’ve been inside the church for a regular service. We’ll be wearing masks and keeping safe distance, though I will not be wearing a mask when I sing. I’ve tried, and it’s too hard to get enough air on the inhale. But I’ll be tucked away in a corner behind the altar, at least 10 to 20 feet from anyone, I hope. All the rest of our music will be instrumental on the organ. I am honored, but mostly I hope people can feel the song.

Imagine the deep sadness, the agony Mary Magdalene felt watching Jesus die. Whether you believe Jesus was and is the divine son of God, or just a man who lived and was killed for his revolutionary ideas about love and equality, it was painful for those who loved him to watch him die. Imagine Mary Magdalene going to take care of his body in the tomb, wanting so badly to see him, but knowing he his dead since that dark day, the darkest day she has ever known.

Then, she sees him, and he is alive! I love how this video with the song shows her joy and the awe of the men she goes to tell about this miracle, that Jesus is alive!

I’m sure I’ve shared this song before, but this is where the stream has taken me today. May you feel joy and awe at this story and being alive!

Death has lost and love has won.

For more streams of consciousness and SoCS rules, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 3, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: California Canyon and Other Family Memories

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was: “starts with cal.” Use a word starting with the letters “cal” as your prompt word. Have fun!

We lived in California when I was a kid. For first, second, and third grade, I went to Santa Margarita school at Camp Pendleton. We lived in military housing, an upstairs apartment, on “Wire Mountain,” next to a canyon. My dad used to go hiking in the canyon. I begged him to let me go with him, and one day, he finally agreed. The only part I consciously remember was climbing back up and whining because it was steep, and I was scared and tired. I can understand now, as an adult who likes to hike in wild places, why he didn’t want to take a second grade girl to the canyon. But he did, and I am thankful, because there are probably things I experienced still in my subconscious mind that are like buried treasures.

After California, dad was stationed at the naval base in Philadelphia where he became the brig warden. He said he liked talking to the prisoners, or rather listening to them which was what the training emphasized. Then in 1966, he was sent to Vietnam.

Yesterday, I finished reading Dad’s letters from Vietnam. There are 118 letters that I’ve counted. Some are missing, because there are gaps, but talk about treasures! He wrote about marking the days off the calendar and keeping track of how many days he had left, but sometimes he stopped doing that, because it seemed to make time go slower. He did a lot of different jobs in Vietnam. The first seven months were in Dong Ha near the DMZ which meant combat. He was a gunny and one of the few enlisted /non officer men to lead a platoon. His nightmares lasted the rest of his life. Then after seven months, he managed the staff and officers club in Khe Sanh and went back and forth between there and Phu Bai and Da Nang which he called, “the rear.” He wrote about losing weight and feeling good physically, except for the heat. Maybe the calorie intake was lower, or maybe he burned up a lot of calories being so busy. In addition to the club management, he did night watches, supervised security, and became the re-enlistment staff NCO. Not sure what all that entailed, but I’m glad he didn’t see much more combat after those first seven months.

Maybe you’ve seen these before, but maybe not.
I never get tired of looking old photos, now that I’m older.

The letters were often written by candlelight and are surprisingly sentimental. He wrote about the heat, the mud, and mostly about how much he missed my mom. I’ve typed them up and have been working on incorporating them into what I’m calling a “Fictionalized Family History” for my kids. Next week, I’m going to be listening to some videos I recorded from the many stories he told me.

Sunday will be my mother’s birthday. He sure did love her a lot. Every letter is signed like this:

All My Love

Forever Your Husband

Jimmy.

I’m glad they are together again in heaven.

My favorite photo of my parents with me on the left –
a picnic in Newfoundland, Canada around 1961.

Yesterday a bad storm was in the forecast, but it never materialized here. Instead we had some interesting light just before sunset:

For more streams of consciousness and rules, visit our host, Linda Hill at:


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One-Liner Wednesday: Nurture Love

The hair salon where I got my hair trimmed (back in the old days) found their windows broken in late May or early June after a night of protests following the murder of George Floyd. The business reopened quickly, with their “hurricane boards” in place, trying to make up for being closed for so long due to COVID.

After a couple weeks of driving by and seeing the plain plywood, I remembered that I had a lot of light blue paint leftover from renovations and asked if I could paint an angel of the boards. Apparently the building’s insurance would not cover the windows, and the business owners had applied for assistance but had no idea when the glass would be replaced, so they agreed.

The wood grain inspired the “Angel with the Heart Hairdo” who later inspired the words:

Nurture the blossoms of love wherever you find them.

Let them become you.

For more one-liners, visit Linda Hill at:

One-Liner Wednesday – Drive Slowly | (lindaghill.com)


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JusJoJan: The Spell was in His Smell

1972

JoAnna’s brain kept nagging her. Be careful! People are on their best behavior when you first meet them.

But this isn’t the first time we’ve met him, said her heart.

A lot can change in 39 years. Yeah, he was a good guy when you dated in high school, but who knows what he might really be like now. For all we know, he could be a —-

“Don’t go there,” JoAnna intervened before her brain’s imagination ran down the dark road. “Let’s just wait and see. What we do know is that he has been working as a firefighter and EMT for the past 15 years. That should at least count for something. I’m taking it slow.”

I’ve heard that before, said her brain.

Shush! said her heart. Last night was wonderful. He was a perfect gentleman. Our second first date…. And that kiss….. our second first kiss…. it was divine. This was meant to be. You know, there’s the timing. And we’ve had all those phone conversations. He drove all the way down here from Connecticut!

Well, just remember, JoAnna, said her brain, “Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.” The brain really should be in charge anyway. You know how much trouble the heart has gotten you in to. Not to mention the body….

“Enough!” JoAnna said. “I’ve got to get some sleep! Big day tomorrow.”

On their second second date, David and JoAnna went to the beach to watch the summer sunset. She leaned back against his strong chest and felt the comfortable security of his well-muscled arms wrapped around her. She kept both her heart and brain quiet as they watched the golden light spread across the horizon and reflect on the intracoastal waterway. David continued to be a perfect gentleman which the brain and heart both liked, though the body was slightly annoyed.

Sunday was their last day together before David returned to Connecticut. After church, they sat on the couch in JoAnna’s living room. They talked very little and mostly absorbed the weekend and each other’s presence. JoAnna placed her head on his shoulder then lifted her nose to his neck. She inhaled deeply. The result was intoxicating.

“You smell good,” She murmured. “Are you wearing any cologne or anything?”

“No. I guess it’s just me.”

She lifted his hand and smelled the inside of his wrist. It smelled good, too, but not as good as his neck. Her nose lingered just below his ear as she continued to breath deeply falling under the spell of his pheromones. It started to dawn on her. He had been her first boyfriend back in 1972. His smell had been imprinted on her brain.

This could be dangerous, whispered her brain.

Just shut up and enjoy it, her heart said dreamily.

We have to stick together, said her brain. Don’t go anywhere without me.

Yeah, whatever.

___

If you’d like to read more about the romance of JoAnna and David and what it took for them to find each other after 39 years, read Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again, or the short version, From Loneliness to Love. Just click on the books in the right sidebar above.

Today’s Just Jot January prompt was the word, “spell.” For more jottings and info, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

#JusJoJan prompt the 21st – “Spell” | (lindaghill.com)


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A Letter to My Past Self About Reasons to Keep Living

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

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

Dear JoAnne, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you always, 

JoAnna

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

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