Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Thursday Tree Love: New Life

Sometimes it seems like things are in ruins. But life has a way of surprising us. Trust the timing.

This photo was taken by my amazing daughter, Ayla. It’s a young cypress growing from a stump at a nature preserve here in North Carolina.

Photo by Ayla Likens

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur. For more Tree Love, visit Paurl’s blog Happiness and Food.


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SoCS: Eyesight Declines as Hindsight Improves with Age

A true fortune

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “clear.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

I like things to be clear. But sometimes we have to wait for the mud to settle. Clarity can take hours, weeks, months, or decades. It took almost 20 years for the clarity that my divorce that happened around the turn of the century turned out to be a good thing. Or maybe God turned it into a good thing. Twenty-two years ago, I was in shock. Devastated. Confused. Now, I am thankful. Everything worked out for the best. Not perfect, but the timing was perfect.

Hindsight is often much clearer than foresight or present sight. Physically, my sight is not very clear at all. Between the floaters and the early cataracts, plus scratches on my glasses, it’s a wonder I can get from point A to point B. But the brain is good at adapting – looking around the cloudy patches.

“All Clear,” is what I want to hear about Ukraine. So, people don’t have to hide, flee, or fear for their lives. I’m just shaking my head and praying for: All Clear all over the world. Anything is possible.

My first decade in the 21st century was a painstaking process of grieving, healing, and learning. Though it sometimes seems like it happened in the blink of an eye, I know that was not the case.

This became my song in the second decade of the 21st Century.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness and all the ruly and unruly things, visit our host, Linda Hill, who is clearly the best, by clicking HERE.


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Thursday Tree Love: Tolerating Human Intrusion

Tree in the median near the Basilica of Saint Mary

In the older parts of my city, including downtown and my neighborhood, electrical/utility lines still crisscross overhead. The branches of old trees are cut away from the lines in what often appear as grotesque deformities. Still, most of the trees seem to adapt. In newer neighborhoods, the utility lines are buried underground which looks better from a human perspective and reduces storm damage. Who knows what the trees and mycelium network prefer? They would probably prefer we let them grow naturally without intrusion. I am grateful for these trees putting up with us as they continue to provide shade, habitat, and oxygen.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more tree love, visit Parul at: https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-129/


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Swing to the Ledge and Wait for Dragons (A Naturally Trippy SoCS Ramble)

This might be from Pixabay. Who knows?

“If you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” So goes the encouraging encouragement.

If the rope is taut, it might be hard to tie a knot. But I guess it’s supposed to be more figurative than literal. I’ve never been good at tying fancy knots. I have to practice stuff like that over and over to learn it. More than the average person. But I did learn to tie a figure 8 knot on a bite.

I may have been a basket weaver in a former life since I like to make wreaths out of vines, but don’t do much after that. Maybe glue on a few shells and stick one of my mermaids in it, like this.

The most I’ve done with a wreath.

But getting back to being at the end of your rope. How about swinging? Yeah! Swing. Don’t ask me how to start. Let’s put a cliff in there to push off of. Swing around to a ledge, pull up on a root or a tree. Camp out on the ledge. Eat some grubs. Oh NO! I can’t do that, I’m vegan. Good thing you can make up whatever you want in the Stream of Consciousness.

There must be something to eat on the ledge besides grubs…. Looking around….. Mushrooms!

I like mushrooms, but never did the trippy kind. Just being on a ledge eating any kind of mushroom would be trippy. What would be even more trippy would be if one of those big bird-like creatures from AVATAR came a long and gave me a ride. But wait! I’m afraid of heights! But no, this is the stream of consciousness, and I can be brave and get over it.

Dang. They’re not birds. They’re DRAGONS! Youtube doesn’t want to show the video on this post. But maybe you can see it by clicking HERE.

If you didn’t see the movie Avatar, the color is one of the most amazing things. The dragons are multicolored – blues and greens, oranges and purples. They are bigger than horses but not huge, sleek with wide wings. I love it when they sort of peel off the ledge, swoop, and glide around the fantastic places with floating rock islands. The jungles of Pandora are lush green and turquoise with plenty of fluorescent purplish flowers. Who needs trippy mushrooms when you have imagination?

I was going to write something serious about being at the end of your rope. Something realistically inspirational. I still like the swinging to a ledge idea. Just chill for a while and see if a dragon comes along to be your friend. But then, after you rest a bit and have some mushrooms (or grubs if you prefer) you can climb up to the top or find a path down. There’s aways a way. Maybe not right away, but a way. You could even climb the rope. Personally, I’d go for the ledge and catch my breath first.

Now, I’m going hunting in my photos for dragons…

PS, if you’re a LOTR fan, wait for the Eagles! They’ll be along.

~~~~

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is…. “rope.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!

For more streams, rules and stuff, visit our fantastic host: Linda Hill by CLICKING HERE.


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SoCS: Saved from Ranting by the Ukranian President, Mama Cat, and Marley

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is “way to go.” Way to go, Linda for selecting an interesting prompt with many ways to go.

When we don’t know which way to go, we can check GPS on the phone. I miss the days of maps, folded up with red lines drawing the route on a trip. But GPS can be handy on a day-to-day basis. When we don’t know which way to go in life, we can ask God. Or we can wait. Waiting is okay. Except in traffic when other people want to go. Lately, I prefer to stay home.

The people of Ukraine cannot all stay home and stay safe. They have to go and become refugees. Thank you to Poland and other countries who are taking them in. “Way to go,” can be a confirming statement, as in good job. I’d like to say this to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who I am just starting to learn about. What I know so far, I admire. In the face of a horrible crisis, he is, from what I’ve read, doing a good job as a leader. To Vladimire Putin, (leaving that spelling as is) I would like to say, “Way to go to hell.” Just saying, cause, what goes around, comes around. You know, Karma will get you.

How can we still have morally corrupt people, so called leaders, like Putin in power at all? I don’t usually get political like this, but I just don’t understand why we are not further along by now as a species.

~~~

I had to step out of the stream momentarily, because it was time to play with the cat. No, really, I have been neglecting her, and it was her time. Maybe I should not have started the SoC, but my mind was streaming. I did not like where it was going. I’d rather feed my hope and acknowledge what I like. Good leaders are leading somewhere. Where’s that meme I just saw…..

~~~

My husband David is a good leader. He went to work Friday with his hand all bandaged up after getting his tendon repaired Wednesday after having got his finger twisted in Marley’s harness last week. David is one of those leaders who gets his hands dirty in a good way. He’s not afraid of hard physical work, though he’s supposed to be an “administrator.”

He did not go get the Rx pain medication called in to the pharmacy. He didn’t want it, preferring to use over the counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen. The nurse called and said that he might want to go get the opioid pain medication to have it on hand. WTF. Have it on hand? This could be another rant. But if someone says they don’t need or want an opioid pain medication, why push it? He says it doesn’t hurt that bad.

Okay. Enough of that. I’ll just say, I’m proud of David. But he does tend to work too hard. We secured the back fence enough so that Marley can run “free” in the backyard with supervision and does not need to be walked for a while, while David’s hand heals. In fact, it’s time for me to go supervise his backyard zoomies – Marley, not David.

Here are some Marley photos taken by my daughter a couple of days ago:

Marley and Neighbor friend:
There must be a way to get through!

For more streams of consciousness and SoCS rules, visit our host, Linda Hill HERE.

It’s the way to go!


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Good News Tuesday for March 1, 2022: Ukraine Updates, Two Ukranian Doctors, Organizations that Help, and Saving 150 Beagles

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Updates on Ukraine

I’m reading the bulk of my news these days from my 1440 Daily Digest, an online news service with a goal to be impartial and comprehensive. The news of Russia attacking Ukraine is horrible. Good news headlines are still hard to find, but the following articles picked up by 1440 include balance, for example:

Yesterday, I read: Ukraine is holding their capital of Kyiv….. Reports suggest Ukrainian resistance was greater than anticipated by Russian officials. As of Monday morning, “Ukraine and Russian delegations were set to hold talks at the Belarusian border. See updates here.” President Volodymyr Zelensky declined evacuation offers… rallying troops by joining forces on the ground in Kyiv.

Today’s news from 1440 include that Ukrainian and Russian delegations met yesterday and both sides reportedly agreed to continue talks. Countries and businesses around the world are implementing sanctions, and boundaries to let Russia know the attacks are unacceptable.

Two Ukranian Doctors

Ukrainian doctors Kateryna and Oleksander decided to stay in their country and help. Oleksander has enlisted with the army and Kateryna is helping at the local hospital. She talks about treating Russian soldiers in the following video. I hesitated to share this video, because there’s a fair amount of sadness and frustration. Oleksander finds is hard to speak due to the loss of his friends. But I felt compelled to share it anyway, because I found it moving and inspiring. If you want to skip some of the sadness, you can skip to about three minutes.

Organizations Helping Ukraine

NPR has published a list of organizations asking for assistance to help the people of Ukraine. Click HERE for more information.

Kindness Ranch Rescues 150 Beagles Destined for Research Labs

Kindness Ranch in Wyoming was able to rescue 150 beagles from a breeder before the dogs were sold to research labs. You can read more about the rescue and Kindness Ranch HERE, plus, watch the video:

Got Good News?

Please share your good news link or story in the comments.


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My Review of The Twisted Circle by Rosaliene Bacchus

Spiritual Courage in the Face of Toxic Harassment

The Twisted Circle tells the story of Sister Barbara, a nun who has just transferred to a convent in the northern jungle region of Guyana to teach school. Like the other nuns, she cares very much about the students. Her sudden promotion to the position of headmistress of the school infuriates the antagonist, Sister Francis, a white woman from the US, who believes she has more experience. Sister Francis has an inappropriately close relationship with the priest, Father Goodman. She thinks of him as more than a friend and is very possessive of him. I find the choice of names (Francis and Goodman) interesting, perhaps supporting the realization that people are not always as pious as they appear.

It’s helpful that we get to read the thoughts of both Sister Barbara and Sister Francis. The additional perspective allowed me to see Sister Francis as more than jealous and spiteful. Her journal entries reveal that the antagonist is overcome by paranoid delusions. This of course does not excuse her behavior as she attempts to destroy Barbara’s reputation. Reading as a white woman from the US, it was humbling and enlightening to experience Francis through the eyes of Barbara who is of East Indian and African heritage and often referred to, by herself and others, as Black.

Barbara struggles with self-doubt but shows admirable courage as she strives to do the work God has given her to do in a toxic environment of conflict, betrayal, and sexual harassment from men in religious and political authority. We feel how sad and frustrating it is that her colleague, Francis, craves the attention of a man at the expense of integrity. If Barbara and Frances could have been friends, they would have been able to support each other, but Francis’ twisted delusions prevented this. Meanwhile, the nuns in charge of the convent do not want to challenge the patriarchy or reveal its secrets.

Despite the lack of support from the church, Barbara remains faithful to God and finds comfort in the beauty of nature. When she stops to admire a velvet rose, she thinks, “God had to be a woman to create such beauty.” She also finds comfort in the forest spirits believed to live in the surrounding jungle. She shows spiritual maturity in her devotion to God while being open to the message she receives from the forest spirit to “walk in the light of the moon goddess, … feel the wind caress (her) weary body” … and “refresh (her) wounded spirit in the bosom of Mother Earth.”

While Sister Barbara, being a well-developed character, is not perfect, I greatly admire her strength and perseverance and enjoyed cheering her on as I read the book. I also admire the author Rosaline Bacchus, a former nun and a native of Guyana, for bringing us this story with compassion and courage. It is an enlightening story that nudges spiritual growth.

To see more about The Twisted Circle on Amazon, click HERE.

Visit the author’s blog HERE.


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One-Liner Wednesday: It Still Might Happen.

“Just because it didn’t happen then, doesn’t mean it will never happen.”

Monyay Paskalides

This goes with my “Trust the Timing” book title. Let’s apply it to good dreams coming true, answered prayers, and things working out for the best.

~~~

One-Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda Hill every single Wednesday. For more one liners and guidelines, click here.