Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Perfection Will Not Have My Soul. I’ve been to the Grace Street Garden.

Ah, perfection, you devil,

driving dedicated dudes to delusions of grandeur,

or to early graves from stress.

Not me, though.

Perfection, you will not have my soul.

I will redefine you.

Not a hair out of place becomes wild and free ~

catching the wind and the sun.

The manicured lawn goes native,

A natural home for bugs and birds.

Business casual has become

Hoodies and yoga pants with clogs.

Take THAT perfection!

You have no power over me.

There’s a yard on Grace Street I often pass on my way home. Over the years, the person who lives in the house has collected more and more yard art. I suspect people in the community have also contributed. Some unenlightened people might consider this an eyesore. I think it’s perfectly magnificent! Recently my friend was driving and offered to stop so I could take pictures. That’s when I discovered this was not just a collection of funky yard art. This is the Grace Street Prayer Garden! Who needs perfection when you can have Grace?

~~~

To learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our host, Linda Hill

by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Resting is Not the Same as Giving Up and Why I Gave Up on The Rings of Power

Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “throw in the towel.” Use the phrase “throw in the towel” somewhere in your post. Enjoy!

To “throw in the towel” means to quit something, maybe give up on something, after having worked on it for a while. Where does this phrase come from? Is it a football term? Don’t those football guys carry towels around? lol. I’m not a big fan of football. Maybe that’s un-American to some folks. Okay, the sport itself is okay I guess, okay. Stop saying okay. But I never really got the huge national extravagant $$$ part of it. But I didn’t really want to go there.

In general, where does one throw the towel? In the laundry basket? If a towel is dirty, then you should throw it in. That brings me back to what I really wanted to write about, and that is that sometimes it’s okay to quit. If something is not healthy, if it’s not working, and you’ve tried to the point of insanity or toxicity, and the fate of the world does not depend on your endeavor, then throw in the towel.

As a side note, resting or taking a break is not the same as quitting. I made a meme for that a while ago.

But sometimes, you just need to throw in the towel. About a week ago, I made the decision to throw in the towel on Amazon Prime which I got for the sole purpose of watching The Rings of Power. This was not an easy decision, because I am a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings (like some people are huge fans of football.) I can watch those movies, and The Hobbit movies over and over again, usually while doing stuff on the computer and stopping to watch when my favorite parts come on, like the parts with the elves.

After much consideration, including the cost of Amazon Prime and that I still want to watch Season 2 of Picard and Star Trek, Strange New Worlds on Paramount which costs less by the way, I decided that The Rings of Power was too dark for me. There were some characters I liked okay, but the orcs seemed a lot scarier, and the series just felt continually heavy. The final decision was the episode (still in season 1) where things happen to horses. I will not go into details (except to say there is fire involved), and I know it’s just a movie and those things didn’t really happen to the horses, but when you love animals and have a good imagination, it can be traumatic. And sometimes horses do get hurt on movie sets. So there. It’s done. There are plenty of other things to watch and books to read, and when the old LOTR and Hobbit movies come on cable, I’ll watch them again.

I had to look up the origin of throwing in the towel. It comes from boxing. The trainer throws in the towel to save his boxer when it is clear he’s not going to win. That way, he can live to fight another day, which brings us back to the idea that it’s okay to take a break and rest a while before going back into the ring of life.

And now, a message from Gandalf.

~~~

To learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our host, Linda Hill

by clicking HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for Nov. 15, 2022: Mindfulness for Anxiety, Baby Born at 1.18 lbs. Goes Home, CNN’s Top Ten Heroes, and a Senior with Alzheimer’s Has a Special Fan Club

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Study Validates Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Therapy

A study published recently in JAMA Psychiatry found a structured course in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction to be as effective as Lexapro in reducing the severity of symptoms of anxiety disorder. Of course, a person should never stop taking such medications suddenly, but the study gives validation to alternative forms of therapy with the hope of insurance reimbursement. NPR has details.

Baby Born Weighing Just Over One Pound is Home

Baby Isla was born weighing just 1.18 lbs. with a 10% chance of survival. Now, she’s finally home after 4 months in the Hospital in England. Here’s more from the Good News Network.

CNN’s Top Ten Heroes

CNN has announced their top 10 CNN Heroes for 2022. Each will receive a $10,000 prize, and the public can vote for hero of the year to be announced in December. Thanks to CNN for honoring hardworking heroes. You can find a video overview and highlights of each hero in this article from CNN.

A Senior with Alzheimer’s has a Very Special Fan Club

Gene McGehee has Alzheimer’s. His short-term memory resets every 15 minutes. Every weekday afternoon, he waits outside his house without consciously knowing why. Then a bus arrives with kids who greet and spend time with Mr. McGhee. They enrich each other’s lives. This heartwarming story from Upworthy includes lots of photos and a sweet video at the end that you don’t want to miss.

Got Good News?

Feel free to share your good news int he comments!


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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

~~~

For more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit out host Linda G. Hill by clicking HERE.


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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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One-Liner Wednesday for May 4: Focus

Lately when I’m driving, I’ve been telling myself out loud to FOCUS. That turns out to be the theme for today’s post. It’s May 4th so I looked up some Star Wars quotes, and narrowed it down to two:

“Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

and

“Your focus determines your reality.” – Qui-Gon Jinn

Then I remembered the focus quote on my refrigerator.

That’s my bucket list on the right.
Need to add Northern Lights.

May the Force Be with You!

For more one-liners and rule-ish things, visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Listen for the Lions, but Don’t Worry Too Much

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “too/to/two.” Use one, use ’em all, bonus points if you use all three. Extra bonus points if you start your post with one. Enjoy!

Two ears and two eyes would be an evolutionary advantage over one eye and one ear. Two ears makes it easier to tell where the lions are. With only one ear, you’d have to turn your head, always wondering where the lions are. I’ll come back to that. Two eyes and two ears look better, or is that just a cultural thing? What I was getting to, in a round about way, is that we have two ears and two eyes, but only one mouth which would suggest that we should listen and watch more than we talk. That’s sorta how the saying goes. Are there any animals that have more than one mouth? A Venus fly trap, but that is not an animal. Would more than one mouth be too many? I’m not going to worry about it.

Recently, I had another example, a lesson, reminding me not to worry too much. You might remember that I mentioned needing to step back from a group I was in, a weekly zoom meeting. It wasn’t a good fit anymore for my schedule or my energy. I worried about what and how to tell the friend who ran the group. I constructed an email with limited explanations of why I wanted to take a break from the group. I ended up texting or emailing something more simple – just that I was taking a break from the group. She didn’t ask why as I thought she would. What she wrote was that she had been getting tired of the group too (!). I didn’t need to explain anything! She has since decided to disband the group. The lesson (without the codependent notion that I caused the group to end) is that I spent way too much time worrying about how she would react to my absence.

How many times have I worried about something that never happened? Too many. Maybe writing this will help me remember, not to worry too much. Or maybe not to worry at all!

I think I’ll take a break from worrying. Maybe it’s a privilege some don’t have. But I hope there will be moments of peace here and there for everyone.

There are plenty of metaphorical lions, but I have nothing against actual lions. I just want to know where they are. Coincidentally, but not really, my CNN Good stuff newsletter has an article this morning about Tanzania’s Lion Defenders who just want to keep track of where they are. That might pop up in my Good News Tuesday post.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness and guidelines, visit out host, Linda Hill HERE.


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Tipping Points for Self Care, Peace, and Planet Earth

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “tip.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!

So many possibilities for “tip.” That’s why Linda is the hostess with the most-est, and best-est prompts.

The tip of the iceberg can seem to be what caused the tipping point, but there was a lot more underneath. Lots of straws under the last straw. It’s like when you are in a relationship that’s not a good fit, but you stay there because there are some good things. Maybe he makes you laugh, but not as much as he used to, because he makes you cry, too. Maybe he has a good heart, but a crazy mind – not good crazy – paranoid, jealous, controlling. And then finally, something happens to make you realize, it’s not worth it. You deserve better.

The tipping point can happen in a job, or any toxic relationship – one too many criticisms, one too many late nights, stomachaches and other signs of stress…. Our bodies tell us if we pay attention. Eventually the time comes to get out, and you realize you can.

(From Pixabay perhaps?)

Forgiveness can come later. But forgiveness doesn’t mean we have to have lunch. We can forgive from a distance.

What a relief when we step away from something that has felt like a suit that didn’t really fit. That’s happened to me recently. I felt obligated to be part of something that became more restrictive (mentally and spiritually) over time. Now that I’ve stepped away, I feel more authentic.

A tipping point can also go in the direction of something good! What’s it going to take to get me to take that bike sitting on the catio to get fixed so I can ride it? What’s it going to take to get me back to a gym, or maybe a physical therapist, for my occasional back spasms? Those back spasms (almost gone now) were the tipping point to get me to pay someone do a little yard work instead of trying to do it all myself.

I’m hoping for a tipping point that will make Putin really back off and give Ukraine the power to be free of tyranny. Can there be a tipping point for peace?

I’m hoping for a tipping point that gets us to take care of planet earth. Not another crisis, but maybe that’s what it will take. It could go either way.

From Facebook

Speaking of nature, I greatly enjoyed the perfect weather and company when my friend met me at Airlie Gardens to take pictures last week.

~~~

For more streams, rules, and tips for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit our host, Linda at:


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Peaceful Joy

Painting cup and Joy detergent

I know the photo looks like I might have a cup of Joy dishwashing detergent, bleh. It’s really a couple things that bring me joy. The handle broke off the cup, but I keep it for paint brushes. Blue is my favorite color, so I did my kitchen in blue and white, but it was too cold. Yellow brings me peaceful joy, so I’m constantly adding splashes of yellow. As time goes on, I have come to appreciate the little splashes of peaceful joy more than the jump up and down clap your hands joy, but those are nice, too.

Here’s to wishing you many joyful moments!

Thanks to theindieshe for this joyful prompt and to Linda Hill for Just Jot it January!

For more info visit Linda HERE.


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Holding On and Letting Go

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” – Rumi

Linda’s post on clutter got me to find this Rumi quote in my drafts. Most of my Christmas decorations are still up because they’re pretty and bring me joy. I’m putting them away a little at a time and thinking of letting go of the red Christmas lights I haven’t used in two years. But it’s too late to donate them and I won’t throw them away. They gave me joy two years ago. Plus, I might use them again someday. (The cluttered person’s trap.)

The question came to me: If I organize it better, does that count as decluttering?

Things I want to let go of are those I don’t use AND that do not bring me joy. Emotionally, we need to let go of things that get in the way, harm us, or take up too much space, like grudges, shame, and emails that are a year old.

What do I want to hold on to? Things that I use or want to use if they will be good for me. We want to hold on to the constants in our lives that give us joy, strength, or serenity. For me that would be nature, art, healthy relationships, and God’s love. I write about these constants in From Loneliness to Love.

As far as the red Christmas lights go, I’m going to let go of worrying about it and put them in a red tin can (new clutter) with a note attached to donate before Christmas.

What do you want to hold on to?

~~~

For more one-liners, #JusJoJan jottings, and guidelines for each, visit our host, Linda Hill here.