Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Learning About Autism

Sunflower w address

Personal News: A Good Visit with Family

My trip to the mountains was one of the best ever. I got to see all of my grandchildren!  It’s no coincidence that good news stories about autism jumped out at me last night after I got back. My grandson, L, has autism, and I want to learn more. On Sunday, we all had lunch at Daily Bread, a wonderful, cozy restaurant in Boone, NC. We got there just in time since the place filled up quickly. As we waited for our delicious food, the noise level increased steadily and my grandson covered his ears – a good coping strategy for him to signal the noise was starting to overwhelm him. His 14 year old sister left the restaurant to look for ear muffs since his were at home. Big sister came back about ten minutes later with a handsome and comforting cap with soft ear flaps that wrap under his chin.   I was so proud of them all and loved spending time with my family in the mountains.

Liam looking

L really likes his new cap.

Now for Good News in the world…..

Clonakilty, Ireland Goes Autism Friendly

To learn more, check out this article from the Good News Network:

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/this-entire-town-became-autism-friendly-after-every-business-agreed-to-apply-four-specific-measures/

Todd Gets a Big Nod of Appreciation from his City

Todd Kirnan, is more than just a delivery man, he also has autism and is well-loved by his city of Gresham, Oregon. He’s a clear example of helping others simply and directly by doing what he can. Watch what the city of Gresham did to show their appreciation for Todd.

Going back to personal news, on Sunday night at the mountain hotel, I watched one of my favorite TV shows which happened to be about an autistic boy.  God Friended Me reminds me of Quantum Leap, but with God directing from social media. Sunday night’s episode was about a non-verbal, autistic boy who discovers piano music. It ends with the boy playing John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy.”

 

After lunch at Daily Bread, we went to Blowing Rock. The air was chilly and the sky cloudy, but I loved the feeling of autumn and the misty mountains.

misty mountains behind rocks at blowing rock

mountains view from blowing rock with lichen

flowers growing in rock pocket

At Blowing Rock, we discovered these tiny flowers growing in a pocket of rain water. 

Good News is all around us!

Please feel free to share yours in the comments.

 

 


35 Comments

The Miracle Flower

Moms Red Flower

It sure is good to be back in the Stream of Consciousness! We still have a lot of clean up to do at the house in Wilmington, but mostly big branches and the back fence. The house is mostly okay. Mostly. The house we’re staying in an hour north belonged to my parents and now belongs to me. I’m typing that because sometimes it’s hard to remember that the house and all this stuff I have to, get to, go through now belong to me. I can do whatever I want with it. I’ve been going through hundreds and hundreds of old photos. Being here at the house my parents lived in for so long brings me to the miracle flower pictured above. It is one thing I will not throw away.

The story that I included in Trust the Timing as well as a chicken soup story I just submitted goes something like this:

My mother was getting foggier and more confused in her late 70s. I had always wanted my mother to be clearer in her thinking. I’d been reading a lot about mental health and zeroed in on this quote my Scott Peck about mental health being a dedication to reality at all costs.  This was about 15 to 20 years ago, and I no longer believe that now. Not the “at all costs” part.

But when my mom showed me this artificial red flower in a clay pot and went on and on about what a miracle it was because she hadn’t watered it in weeks and it was still alive and so beautiful, I said something like, “Mom, I think that flower might be plastic.”

“No it’s not! It’s a miracle!” Mom said and then she changed the subject.

I still beat myself up for not going along with her miracle flower and joining her journey as my husband says. Now I know better that miracles are in the believing. And reality is subjective. Maybe this flower which is actually made of silk, has taken on a life in some ways. I’m writing about it, so maybe I’m giving it immortality.

Do you think “inanimate” objects have something like life. An energy maybe? Do we give our cars or computers energy when we talk to them?  Well, that’s getting a bit deep, so I guess I better back off and come back to earth. At least long enough to move the laundry along. We just got electricity back yesterday after a week of candlelit nights, so I’m washing towels. Thank God! We were almost out of towels. But really, I am very thankful. It could have been much worse and was for some people.

Thank you for all the prayers and good energy during the hurricane!

PS. I just thought about my childhood stuffed animals, supposedly inanimate objects who I thought of as real, and remembered this part of The Veleveteen Rabbit.

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: flower/flour

stream-of-consciousness-saturday-2018-19

For more information on Saturday Stream of Consciousness, visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/09/21/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-22-18/

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!


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GRRRRR. Needing Time Off-Line

SOC winner 2017

The prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness is “3-letter word.” We’re supposed to start our post with a three-letter word, and we get bonus points for ending with a three-letter word.

Did I just do that with the word, “The”? Or did, “Did” do the trick? Either way, thank you, Linda Hill, for giving us an easy peazy prompt! I have a habit of looking back over my SOCS posts and noticing I started so many paragraphs with the word, “I.” So this is good. Maybe I’ll try to start every paragraph with a three-letter word, though that could impede the flow of the stream of consciousness. We will see.

One reason I appreciate the easy prompt is that I’m really needing a break from the computer, or rather, computer technology as well as Facebook, but we’ll get to that later. GDPR is the Grrrrr factor at the moment. I don’t know by heart what it stands for, but the D is for Data. I could think up something GDPR stands for but I don’t like to take the Lord’s name in vain so I have to be careful.

GDPR is probably a very good thing on some level. It seems to be designed to protect privacy and let people know they can opt out of things. That’s why we have to accept cookies lately on WP blogs. I hope I at least did that right. I thought I had the GDPR steps done for my little, modest, cozy email list, steps that mailchimp explained. I was very proud of myself for working on it. But when I went to send an email to my list, there were no recipients in the GDPR segment! I want to give up. Throw in the towel. But I’ll probably get back to it eventually. If you’ve signed up for my list, thank you.  Hopefully you’ll get a newsletter one day, but it might be quarterly instead of monthly.

But that’s enough of that! Facebook is wearing me out, too. Sometimes I like Facebook. It’s become sort of a love/hate relationship. Being off Facebook by midnight has not always worked. I don’t even scroll anymore! Scrolling gets me in trouble. But I might miss something! Too bad. I lived most of my life without FB.

Now I’m getting ready to cut back on computer stuff for a while. Sundays might even be computer free. My plan is to continue with Good News Tuesday here on WP, cause it’s important to me, and also continue with SOCS, cause it’s fun. But I’m probably not going to do any more posts besides those two for a couple weeks, maybe even the month of July, which is probably two weeks. As far as FB goes, I’m going to check my messages, my kids pages (resisting the urge to comment on every post)  and maybe check one of two people who always make me feel good. Almost always. There’s good stuff on the internet.

But Twitter, Ugh.

Why am I all of a sudden getting FB friend requests (and Twitter followers) who are unknown single men with no mutual friends? I’m happily married! Leave me alone! Yeah, so you can see why I want to take a break and cut back on my computer time. There are plenty of household projects to do. Who knows, maybe I’ll take a trip! 🙂

See ya, Tuesday with some good news!

The End.

 

PS: The mini rant about FB is about my personal page and not my author page. Everyone is free to follow and like that one!

For more Streams of Consciousness starting with 3-letter words, visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/07/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-14-18/

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!


30 Comments

Highly Sensitive

Touch lamp

I’ve been writing about my mother lately (maybe for a Chicken Soup story) and found this post by Trini Lind about highly sensitive people which made me realize that my mother was a HSP, too! It helps me appreciate her more, even though she’s no longer in this world.

“Overly sensitive,” was the phrase back when I was a kid. I fought against my sensitivity my whole life. I didn’t’ want to be like my mother who had nervous breakdowns and migraines. I loved my mother, but I wanted to be strong like my father. Since I couldn’t fix my mom, I watched Star Trek and developed a huge crush on Mr. Spock. Calm, cool, logical Spock. Someone had to stay calm. So I suppressed. I did well in school, drew pictures, and made up stories in my head. And I watched a lot of Star Trek.

Somehow, I managed to become tough enough as an adult to work as an addictions counselor for 30 years, with only occasional meltdowns on my kitchen floor after a hard day.  With all the counseling skills I applied to myself, I guess I became a moderately sensitive person – on the outside at least.

As a retiree, I have begun to embrace my sensitive nature.  I love staying home with the dogs, writing, doing a little painting. At home, I have plenty of time to recover from the times I do go out and interact with people and plenty of time to think about my parents.

Now that I understand more, I wish I’d been nicer to Mom. I wasn’t mean to her. But she tended to bring out my logical side which might been cold sometimes.

I finally painted over the hearts that mysteriously appeared on her bedroom ceiling after she died in 2008. I try to go to my deceased parents’ house at least once a week to sort through their things. There’s a Tiffany style touch lamp on my mom’s old nightstand. On two separate visits in the past month, I was sure that lamp was off before I left the house.  But when I returned on the following weeks, the  lamp was on. Maybe touch lamps are highly sensitive, too. But I have to wonder.  Was that you, Mom?

On my last visit, I unplugged the lamp. If it’s on again when I go back, I’ll know something’s up.


42 Comments

Getting Real About My Mess

Window w Blue with Stars

“Don’t Compare Your Insides to Other People’s Outsides.”

The other day, I was listening to an interview on public radio with Peter Sagal, host of “Wait, Wait… Don’t tell Me!” “Wait, Wait” is a comedy quiz show I’d never watched or listened to, so I checked it out on youtube. In the recent interview, Mr. Sagal talked about mental health challenges and how looking at social media sites like Facebook can make a person think: everybody else is so happy. What’s wrong with me? Am I the only one with problems? 

I got to thinking about that and realized that if you look at my Facebook page, or read my book, you’d think I must be pretty darn happy these days. Most of the time, I feel moderately happy.  Yeah, I got to retire from my stressful job, and I’m married to the love of my life, so a lot of the big challenges (stupid mistakes, divorce, more stupid mistakes, and the death of my parents) seem to be behind me. Knock on wood. But life can still be messy.  So, in the interest of being real, here are some of my current messes:

Codependency is still part of my life. After years of recovery meetings, step work, and reading daily meditations for codependents, I still worry too much about other people’s mess – what they think about me, how I might be able to fix help them, etc. But I’m making progress. I don’t let codependency run my life like it used to. I’m a “Recovering People Pleaser,” but some days, I’m still too nice. Or when I’m not nice, because I’m tired of being nice, I feel guilty. The good thing is I feel guilty for minutes or hours instead of days and weeks.

I struggle to let go of my adult children. Not as much in my actions as in my thoughts. Their lifestyles and beliefs are not what I imagined for them. I worry about them. I know some of that’s normal. My parents must have felt the same way about me. But it sure is uncomfortable sometimes. I’m slowly learning to let go.

I’m still more sensitive than I’d like to be. My feelings can get hurt by little things which don’t seem little and which I dwell on too long. Intellectually, I can tell myself all kinds of reasons not to let it get to me, but it’s a struggle.

With all this residual sensitivity and codependency, I get to work on issues with the love of my life. We both have issues. Now we get to work on them together. That’s why we are in the relationships we’re in. And to support each other and have fun. Let’s not forget that!

I have lots of conversations in my head. Thank God and my guardian angels for protecting me when I drive. I’m working on this. I tell myself to focus on the road ahead, to practice mindful driving, and it works for a while, then I realize I’ve been rehearsing a conversation that probably won’t ever happen.

My house is messy. I have a lot of dog hair in my house, and my 16 year old terrier/beagle has incontinence issues. I need to brush the dogs more and buy some air freshener.

It’s been a while, but I like to look at photos of stars with no make up.

So that’s my current mess without touching on the bigger messes of my past, or the mess I don’t even see, because we don’t always see all of our own mess.

I’m thankful that my life is mostly good now, but it’s not a bed of roses.  Okay, there are  are roses, slightly wilted with thorns. Everybody has thorns. Everybody has messes. We all have stuff to work on. And God’s grace is always available.

pale pink rose with thorns


16 Comments

Letting Go: An Adventure in Acupuncture and Beyond

girl on the edge of a boat

A few weeks ago, I went to see my acupuncturist for for abdominal cramps that had been irritating me for a few days. My stomach felt constricted, tied in little knots. Maybe I’d eaten too much heavy food and needed more exercise.

Lying on the table, I listened to the gentle music with needles in my feet for grounding and a couple in my tummy and  wondered why she had put needles in my right hand and not my left.  An  image came to me of a boat on the water. The acupuncture table became the boat. A parcel of trash floated by and I reached into the water and  picked it up. I saw myself carrying the trash around wondering what to do with it. Then, back on the table/boat, I  imagined a trash can to my left, physically reached over, and held the trash over the side.

“Just let it go,” came the voice. So I  opened my hand and released the trash.

As my mind came fully back into the room, I thought about how much stuff I need to let go of, like the issues that belong to my grown up ADULT children, the clutter in my parents’ house which belongs to me now that they’re gone, and all my own clutter, both physical and mental…. The list goes on.

I moved my left hand, the one left free of needles, over my belly as if gathering whatever I needed to let go of. Then I carried it to the left of the table and let it go on the floor beside me shaking my hand a little. I did this a few more times, saying, “Let it go.” Then, I held my open hand out to the left to receive whatever gifts God wanted to give me.

Let Go

Let Go

Let Go

Receive.

That day, I fasted with water, apple juice, coconut water, and vegetable broth. In the afternoon, I meandered in my back yard and did some lite yoga. I felt something on my right hand thinking it might be the first mosquito bite of the year. But it was a lady bug walking on my right hand, the one that had the needles in it that morning. It seemed like the lady bug was biting me. But then I realized it felt more like tiny electrical impulses moving in my hand as if the lady bug activated remnants of the acupuncture. I took the lady bug to a tree branch. It climbed briefly, then flew away.

I’m feeling much better now, but years of experience have taught me that letting go is an ongoing process. Maybe this song will be a reminder, along with lady bugs.

 

I borrowed the picture of the girl on the boat from Pixabay


28 Comments

Being Assertive

SOC winner 2017

Hey, it’s good to be back home again. That line comes from a John Denver song. Speaking of John Denver, I just spent five days in the mountains. The Appalachians. Sort of got lost, but that’s another story. I need to get to the prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness, which is “passive/aggressive.”

It’s a loaded prompt. Loaded with possibilities. The safest thing would be to go the clinical route. In my old job, I learned that passive/aggressive behavior is taking a dig or doing harm to someone indirectly, like putting something nasty in their food without them knowing it, or saying something mean and saying, “I was just joking. Can’t you take a joke?”

I am rarely passive/aggressive. But then often we don’t realize we are. Oh, I’ve had thoughts – fantasies about doing such and such… haven’t we all? But I usually catch myself and recognize that would be passive/aggressive.

I tend to be more passive than aggressive. Most people would say I am rarely aggressive. I’ve tried to move toward more assertive communication my whole life. Assertiveness is being honest with respect. Standing up for yourself without trying to hurt the other person, with I statements about your wants and needs. To a shy, mild-mannered person, being assertive can feel aggressive. Even saying, “I need some time alone,” or “I need you to stop yelling at me,” or “I will listen to you when you talk to me with respect,” can be a challenge. But it is possible and gets easier with practice.

Here’s another way to be assertive:

Say what you mean,

mean what you say.

but don’t say it mean.

 

Enough of the clinical. How do I work this prompt into what I really want to tell you?

I was not being passive when I submitted my story to Chicken Soup for the Soul for their book, The Miracle of Love, coming out in June. I was assertive! I believed I had a chance, even though I have submitted stories to them before that were not chosen. I figured, what have I got to lose?

And guess what! My story was selected! It made the final cut! It’s titled, “I Almost Gave Up on Romance.” Happy dance going on in my head.

Chicken soup for the soul_Company_Logo

Assertiveness can be standing up for yourself with yourself enough to take a chance on something good happening. And sometimes, it does. Just the act of submitting a story, or writing a story, or painting a painting, anything that feels good and right to your authentic self, is worth the effort, even if no one buys it. If it feeds your soul, do it anyway.

 

 

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Prompt is brought to us by Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/04/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-7-18/

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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 simply a single word to get your 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 everyone’s! 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 right 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!