Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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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.


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SoCS: One Good Thing and Being Authentic with Betty

Our prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “resolve.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!

One of my Facebook friends, one who I greatly appreciate, asked a question something like,

What’s one good thing you accomplished, experienced, or learned in 2021?

It’s a good question to ask when a year’s been hard and we want it to be over and done with. Some good things happened. Just check out my Good News Tuesday posts. We need to recognize our accomplishments and learnings and carry that good energy over into the new year. As they say in 12 step programs, take what you can use and leave the rest.

In January of 2021, I started working with a personal trainer almost every week. I did not lose any weight. But I must be stronger, because I can do more squats and hold a plank much longer now than I could in January. Not that the end result is much to brag about, but I’ve made progress which is way more important and realistic than perfection.

In 2022, I resolve to continue that progress. Some years, I’ve had very specific goals. Lists even. Not this year. Just progress and being careful about my time. Before I commit to anything ongoing, I’m going to give it a lot of thought. Volunteering at the farm animal sanctuary feels right to me and sits well with my soul. Other things I signed up for, like being on a community committee for a cause I care about, took too much time away from other things, like writing and just being me. Our new dog, Marley, takes a lot of time, and that’s okay. He’s family.

What this is really about is being authentic. Being true to my soul. Being retired means, no one can make me do anything. I’m gonna listen to God’s nudges. Well, I’ll feel the nudges and pay attention and listen to God’s whispers. But God knows I’ve paid my dues, and it’s okay to enjoy life. I resolve to make time for R&R : rest and recreation/relaxation, even if that means watching reruns of Star Trek, Big Bang, or The Golden Girls or Mary Tyler Moore in honor of Betty White who just died at the age of 99. I don’t think she ever really retired, but she sure did have fun.

Before she was a Golden Girl, Betty White was on the Mary Tyler Moore Show which I loved. Or at least liked a lot when I was single watching reruns. This clip shows Betty White playing Sue Ann who wants to be more authentic.

If you remember the MTM show, you’ll remember the lyrics to the theme song:

How will you make it on your own?
This world is awfully big, girl this time you’re all alone
But it’s time you started living
It’s time you let someone else do some giving

Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can have the town, why don’t you take it
You’re gonna make it after all
You’re gonna make it after all

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthemes/marytylermooreshowlyrics.html

Who knows? Maybe we’ll make it after all.

What’s something good you accomplished, experienced, or learned in 2021?

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, resolve to visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking here.

Happy New Year!


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SoCS: Ode to Joy

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ode.” Find a one- or two-syllable word that rhymes with “ode,” or use the word “ode.” Have fun!

Ode. Mode: most frequently ocurring score (from statistics) which I guess is what makes the hill in the bell curve. “Ode to Billy Joe.” Maybe someone else will do that. How about “Ode to Joy?”

Here’s a flash mob.

I’ve been in small dance mobs, more like acting mobs or mime mobs. I bet I have a picture somewhere……

Very improv. That’s me on the right with the red hair about 10 -15 yrs ago.

It was a fun time when I was much more social, not romanticly, and finding myself while focusing on friendship with a very accepting group of people.

I’d like to sing in a flash mob some day. I would want to enunciate because I can’t really hear the words in the “Ode to Joy above.” I worry about that in choir – that the organ could overpower the lyrics. Maybe it’s my hearing? Anyway, I’m going to find the words to “Ode to Joy…”

So there are many differernt versions. There’s the original poem written in German, the hymn, and here’s a simpler version, well, the lyricis are simple, the music not so much. (Maybe I couldn’t understand the words in the flash mom version bc they were singing in German?)

In all the mess and confusion of the world,

I hope you find many moments of joy!

For more stream of consciousness posts, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2021/08/20/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-aug-21-2021/


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SoCS: Hope for the Best and Trust the Timing

Linda picked my favorite word for today’s prompt: HOPE!

If you can’t find faith, look for hope. Hope will lead you to faith.

About 15 years ago, I was afraid to hope. Romance was not working out for me at all, so I tried not to want a partner. I tried to become cynical about men. I decided to focus on myself and my daughter, friendship, and of course my most loyal companions, the dogs.

But hope snuck back in. I read about manifesting, and visualizing. Of course, this was AFTER I had worked on myself some. For five years, I hadn’t dated anyone beyond a coffee shop visit. No one interesting seemed interested in me. Now, I know that was all part of the plan created by God, the Universe, my guardian angels who were tired of my dating messes and lessons. They all knew I had work to do on me first.

At the same time I was working on me, licking my wounds, and finding my footing again, my high school sweetheart and long lost first love was doing the same – working on himself. We were becoming ready.

Have you seen my wild woman photo? It was taken around that time when I was working on me. My daughter and I had gone on a trip to the mountains. I love this photo.

It was comfortably dark in the forest, and I’m resisting the urge to edit this photo.

I see that I posted it back in 2013. Well, here it is again. I thought I was lonely, but I was finding myself. My authentic self. I’m guessing this was taken around 2006, but that’s just a guess.

Well, here we are in 2021. David and I are coming up on the ten year anniversary of our second first date which was July 15, 2011. We were so nervous and excited. He says he wasn’t looking for a relationship. I told my heart to calm down! But we both knew this was extra special. In October, the company he had worked for in Connecticut for 35 years told him it was time to retire. That spring he moved in with his 3 dogs to make our five pack. In December of 2012, we made it official. I know you’ve seen that photo before. But maybe the five pack one not as often.

David and I walking the five pack.

The five pack is gone now. They’ve all crossed over the rainbow bridge in the past ten years. I miss them and hope to see them in heaven. That’s more than a hope. Do I have faith that I’ll see my dogs in heaven? Yes. God knows how important this is to me.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst if it’s likely to happen, but don’t spend a lot of time on that. It’s like with tropical storms and hurricanes. We knew Elsa would not do as much damage as a big hurricane, so we didn’t spend much time preparing. Just a little.

We can strengthen ourselves for the difficult times as we hope for the best. Like my favorite quote goes:

I hope you are well and at peace as much as you can be. Enjoy the hopes that come your way. Nurture them and they will become exactly what they are meant to be when the time is right.

For more streams of hope, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS July 10, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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One-Liner Wednesday: More At Stake

Unity Dove in Alcohol Ink by Joanna of the Forest

“But, you know, there’s more at stake than our party and our political fortunes in this moment. If we lose faith in the Constitution, we won’t just lose elections. We’ll lose our country.” Mike Pence msn.com

While I don’t agree with Mike Pence on many things, I admire his courage in regard to this statement and his role on January 6. I am always drawn to stories where people struggle with good and evil, light and darkness, trying to figure out the right thing to do in complicated situations, and where someone has the courage to step outside the box or beyond party lines. It reminds me of when Darth Vader turned and saved his son from the emperor because there was still good in him.

In reality, things are rarely so clear. There are a lot of colors between black and white. There are even a lot of colors between red and blue.

One Liner Wednesday is brought to you by our host, Linda G. Hill.

Please visit Linda’s blog for more one-liners and guidelines.


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SoCS: Balancing Growth and Rest

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: to use the word, “growth” any way we liked, and to have fun!

Personal growth was a big deal once upon a time. I’m still growing, but I want to enjoy life, too. If you’re enjoying yourself are you wasting time? I don’t think so.

My energy level fluctuates a lot. The only thing even close to predictable is that I tend to have more energy at night. David is a morning person. He gets sleepy at about 10 pm. That was a good thing when we had the five pack of dogs. I could let them out at night and he could let them out and feed them in the morning.

When I was a mom, I had to get up early. Same with work. But now, I’m RETIRED. I can do what I want, mostly. Naps are a wonderful treat. I’ve earned them. Paid my dues. Left to my own devices, I’d probably keep vampire hours. But I do my best to get up and have breakfast with David.

Lately, there are times in the afternoon that I can barely keep my eyes open. Maybe 7 hours of sleep is not enough. Fatigue seems to come from nowhere. My bloodwork is “normal.” I guess I could just go with the flow and be grateful. I am SO VERY GRATEFUL I don’t have to go to a job at a scheduled time. However, I do need a schedule to get me to write and do art, so I don’t watch too much TV. Usually the TV stays off until after noon. I have a yoga class at the senior center plus silver sneakers exercise classes at the gym about twice a week. There are times when I get really into yard work and overdo it.

I like doing yard work – clearing the pathways through my urban forest where things grow lush and thick in the summer. Actually, they’re pretty thick right now. Not a lot of flowers, though. The amaryllis that gets the most sun is done blooming. The others haven’t bloomed yet. The Hydrangea has more blooms coming than usual on the way and the lantana is just starting. I guess that’s what happens when you let the trees do their thing in the urban forest and make shade. The good thing about tree shade is that it keeps the house cooler.

I guess I’m missing the Thursday Tree Love post. Unless I got the day wrong. It’s normally on the the second and fourth Thursday, but I didn’t see it. I hope our host Parul is okay. She lives in India. Feel free to join me in sending good thoughts and prayers to Parul Thakur and India.

Hydrangea Blooming

My urban forest is only on about one quarter acre.

From my kitchen window

Some of the wildlife visitors to my urban forest include hawks, geckos, squirrels, and an abundance of birds. Yesterday I saw a rabbit which surprised me because I don’t know how it got through the fence. I think the neighbor’s dog motivated it to find a way. Anyway, it was too fast for me to get more than a glimpse. Here are some old photos of backyard wildlife:

Challenges help us grow, but we need rest and relaxation, too.

~~~

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to us by Linda Hill. For more streams and rules, visit Linda’s blog:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 15, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: When There’s Too Much Pepper in the Soup

Here’s are prompt: ….. for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “oop.” Find a word with the “oop” sound in it and use it in your post. Enjoy!

Oops. scoop. goop. soup. I like soup. Vegetarian, please. I like to experiment in cooking. Over time there are fewer, oopses, in cooking at least. We bought some cumin that is exceptionally strong and can only use like an eighth of a teaspoon, a pinch at most. Even if a recipe calls for a half a teaspoon, that’s too much of this particularly powerful batch of cumin. We learned this from experience.

Every mistake teaches us something. It was a big mistake to date a creep after my divorce. It was an even bigger mistake to keep on dating him for a year. But I learned more about codependency and how low I cold go. It brought me to my knees even more than the divorce. It gave me compassion for people who stay in unhealthy or abusive relationships. When it finally ended, it was like waking up from a bad dream. Where had I been? I had lost myself for a while there. Now, I appreciate being in a healthy relationship.

But first, I had to appreciate me. I had to learn to love myself again. Was that rebound from hell really a mistake? Could I have learned to love me without it? I don’t know. I wish I had not done it. I regret that rebound. But God can take a messy mistake and turn it into something good.

It’s like if we put too much cumin, or pepper, in the soup. God can put in other spices, other healthy vegetables, sweet nourishment, to counteract the mistake. The soup becomes rich and hearty.

Do we need to make mistakes in order to learn? Or to appreciate the good things in life?

Let’s hope we learn enough to not make more big ones.

Let’s hope we can heal the mess we’ve made of the planet, mend relationships, bridge the divide.

God help us. I know imagine you’re tired of our mess and want us to learn on our own.

Maybe we will. But could you just give certain people a nudge. You know, the ones who put too much pepper in the soup. Help them, help us, help me, be careful with the pepper – my irritability and critical thoughts….

Add some sweet corn, sweet peas, sweet potato, maybe even some mango. Nudge us to use a dash of compassion, a spoonful of empathy, a cup of kindness.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda Hill. For more streams and rules, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 24, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Buttercups!

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is “butter.”

We are not going to write about, wait, who’s we? Me and the cat? She’s not interested in writing. She just wants to cuddle since she hid most of the day yesterday in the bedroom where maybe she was trapped. I don’t know. But I don’t want to write about the first thing that popped into my head, the butter in the refrigerator and object of my cheating in my endeavors to be vegan for lent. I’d rather write about the second thing that popped into my head:

Buttercup!

Photo of buttercups my daughter, Ayla, took in the mountains

Then, I thought of Princess Buttercup in The Princess Bride and found this commentary about how she is not just a typical, helpless, fairy tale princess. She is not in love with the prince. She loves to ride her horse. It made me like her more. I didn’t realize until recently that the same woman who played Princess Buttercup, played Jenny in Forest Gump. Back to the commentary.

Horses and freedom. My horse phase was more than a phase. I actually had my own horse in my twenties. I miss horses. And the beach. But there’s no reason I know of that we can’t go back to the things we love in some way or other – if it’s meant to be, we will find a way. Trust the Timing.

Spring is coming. With buttercups!

That was way more fun that writing about my awful side effects from Moderna 1 and 2. But that is over and done with, and I’m very glad. I survived, and I’m thankful for my strong immune reaction.

Buttercups! Daisies! Roses! Orchids!

Check out the orchids and other flowers blooming in time lapse from Nat Geo! They even have fairy tale like music to go with the images of Princess Bride riding her horse. That’s my stream of consciousness for this Saturday.

But wait!

I forgot all about sharing that commercial where they sing the buttercup song. Can I have three videos in one post? Let’s see! I’m not promoting the product. I just love TV commercials that use old songs like this. I’d totally be singing with her if I was in the store. It doesn’t matter that the lyrics are sorta sad. It’s got a good beat and it’s easy to sing to.

For more on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, like rules and stuff, visit our host, Linda Hill at the link below!

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 6, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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A Hippie Pacifist who Respects the Flag

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is “flag,” to be used any way we want. I like the freedom of that any way we want part.

It still hurts to remember that on January 6, rioters tore down the American flag and threw it on the ground to replace it with one of their TRUMP flags. It hurts that rioters carrying American flags beat other people in their attempted coup of the US government. I don’t often write about such things, preferring to share good news in an attempt to bring balance to the force, as small as this attempt might be, like throwing a pebble in the ocean…. But some things we need to remember, even if they are painful. We need to not forget that this happened. We need to work for peace and also protect our democracy.

My father, being a Marine for 20 years, instilled in me a respect for the American flag. Even as a hippie and a pacifist, I maintained this respect. Never let a flag touch the ground. Fold it properly. If you have to retire it, the flag is to be burned in a ceremony. There are few man-made things that I have this kind of respect for.

When I was a child and we were driving on base when the flag was being lowered as signaled by a loud bugle, my dad would pull over, or everyone stopped in the road, and we all sat at attention. Even as an adult, just a couple of years ago, when David and I were walking along the riverfront and the Coast Guard ship sounded a bugle to lower the flag, it was not unusual for us to stop and stand silently as the flag was lowered. David used to have a flag selling business, plus his dad was in the military too, so he gets that stuff. It’s imbedded in us.

Reading my dad’s letters from Vietnam has gotten me fascinated by studying the Vietnam war. I can honor and appreciate our soldiers even if I disagree with war.

This just goes to show that a hippie pacifist can be patriotic. One of my former co-workers was surprised to learn that I was a democrat. She said, “but you’re so patriotic!” I was surprised to learn she was not a democrat, because she’s such a nature lover. Just goes to show we don’t all fit into neat little boxes. In fact, we have a lot more in common, and more diversity within our groups, than the news media or social media might have us think.

This reminds me of something I have in my drafts….. I didn’t plan this, but it fits here.

“For all of you who aren’t sure, it is possible to be gay and Christian.
It’s also possible to believe in God and science.
It is possible to be pro-choice and anti-abortion.
It is equally possible to be a feminist and love and respect men.
It’s possible to have privilege and be discriminated against, to be poor and have a rich life, to not have a job and still have money.
It is possible to believe in sensible gun control legislation and still believe in one’s right to defend one’s self, family, and property.
It’s possible to be anti-war and pro-military.
It is possible to love thy neighbor and despise his actions.
It is possible to advocate Black Lives Matter and still be pro police.
It is possible to not have an education and be brilliant.
It is possible to be Muslim and also suffer at the hands of terrorists.
It is possible to be a non-American fighting for the American dream.
It is possible to be different and the same.
It is possible to be spiritual and not follow a religion.
We are all walking contradictions of what “normal” looks like.
Let humanity and love win.”

(I found this on Facebook showing  it is possible to find something good on Facebook.)

All or nothing thinking divides us. The world is much more complex than black or white, or even gray. There are many more colors and color combinations. Even more than red, white, and blue. When we recognize, respect, and honor our diversity, the world will become more balanced and more beautiful.

Here’s my Unity Bird in alcohol ink on tile

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to us by our host, Linda G. Hill. For more streams, rules, etc, visit: The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 6, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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How Do We Heal as a Nation?

 We have much deep healing work to do in the United States. The tension that has been building for years has revealed itself at the level that I hope it wakes us up. What might help us heal as a nation and ultimately, as a human society? Here are a few possibilities I want cultivate in my own attitudes and actions:

1. Try to state facts without exaggeration. Don’t twist facts. For example, whole cities weren’t burned down during the 2020 “riots.” Maybe whole city blocks, but not whole cities. State opinions with words like, “I think,” or “I believe….” rather than facts. It’s a fact that Joe Biden was confirmed as the next president of the US. If you believe there was voter fraud, that is an opinion that was not substantiated by the courts.

2. Be respectful. Resist the urge to resort to name calling or write things that will increase division. I can resist the urge to “like” posts on social media that reinforce division. Try to speak and write words of healing and understanding. Part of healing can be to express our feelings and grief which can include denial, fear, and anger. Can we express our feelings without tearing down those that feel and believe differently? Yes. We can. it might be a challenge, but we are writers. We can figure it out.

3. Look for common ground. We can do this as individuals, asking questions for understanding. It might simply start with a love for animals or nature, or a common hobby, but we have to start somewhere. Look for the bipartisan issues.

4. Support media stories about healing and the goodness of humanity. I know they’re hard to find, but good news happens. Encourage media to make healing a priority. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to make healing a conscious effort, every day.

5. Find the courage to change the things we can, namely, our own attitudes and actions. Ask questions with the goal of understanding rather than debate. We can find the bridges that unite us, places where we can meet each other – sometimes in the middle, sometimes compromising at different points along the way.

For more information on healing division, visit Braver Angels.

Today’s prompt for Just Jot January was “twisted,” so I included the word “twist.” For more on JusJoJan, visit:

#JusJoJan prompt the 8th – “Twisted” | (lindaghill.com)