Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Boxes, Boundaries, and Cat Dentistry

Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “out of the box.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think “out of the box.” Enjoy!

So many ideas swirling around the stream which is not a box at all, but there could be boxes of ideas riding along on the stream of consciousness bumping into one another.

The first thing I thought of what how my grown kids are still and always have been outside the box type of people. Can’t imagine how that happened. The things their father and I had in common were art and science fiction. But that’s a tangent to paddle back out of.

I’d rather eat Chinese food out of the box than the plastic. Boxes are easier to recycle as some plastics don’t recycle as easily. I have quite a collection of plastic. You’re supposed to flatten boxes first. That’s one of my soapboxes within the box of recycling. But the Chinese food I prefer comes in plastic mostly with the rice in the white box which I open, rinse and recycle. Been saving those wire handles for some kind of project. Actually used one to hang something once.

Boxes make me think of boundaries. Boundaries can be good protection. But some of them need to be flexible. Negotiables like swearing and non-negotiables like no hitting. We have lots of boundaries to keep Mama Cat and Marley separated. Marley is learning to respect those boundaries. One of the most important boxes in our house is the litter box. Well, there are other boxes that are also important, like jewelry boxes and boxes up in the attic with treasures or junk, depending on your perspective.

Mama Cat was happy to get outside the box – her carrier – after she came home from dental surgery a week before Christmas. She had five teeth removed! I was worried about the procedure and the possibility of having to give her pills post surgery. So I wrote a note to the vet when I dropped Mama Cat off. The vet ended up giving her long-acting pain meds and antibiotics, so I didn’t have to worry about giving her pills. It’s been a long time since I gave a cat a pill, like 30 years ago, and Mama Cat is skittish anyway, but getting better.

The long-acting pain medication was a form of buprenorphine which is prescribed at the facility I used to work for. Mama Cat was practically bouncing off the walls, very hyper, and very affectionate for four days. She also started eating a lot more and is more active since having her teeth pulled leading me to realize she must have been uncomfortable with bad teeth. It’s hard when animals and babies cannot tell you what hurts. She will still go into her carrier to get the food I place in the back, so that’s good, though I hope we don’t have to go back to the vet for a while.

Some cats love to get in boxes, but having spent most of her life feral, Mama Cat doesn’t seem interested. She does like her lean-to cave and small table we added sides to so that’s like a boxy cave. Small children sometimes like to play in boxes, too. When my son was a toddler, he’d sit in a box, and we’d pull him around on the carpet. Do boxes make us feel safe or are they confining? Depends on the situation. It’s usually good to step out of the box, but not roam too far, unless you have a tent or a camper trailer which I’ve been casually looking into. Mama Cat would probably prefer to stay home as long as she can go out on her catio and watch the squirrels.

Well, I’ve rambled on long enough. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for riding along on the stream of consciousness.

Here are some photos which may be related or not…

~~~

For more streams and rules,

visit out host Linda G. Hill

by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: If I Knew Then…. Does God Roll Her Eyes?

Today‘s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “new/knew.’” Use one, use both, use them any way you like. Bonus points if you use both. Enjoy!

Thanks for the easy bonus points, Linda, since we can use one to say, Happy New Year! and the other some other way. And also a big thanks to Linda for providing so many prompts for so many weeks and years and helping to create communities on wordpress including SoCS, One-Liner Wednesday, and Just Jot it January which I may or may not do. But Stream of Consciousness Saturday has been a good addiction/addition to my week.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have not made the same mistakes. Would I? But then, I would not be the same person. Mistakes give us compassion for others who make mistakes and hopefully, compassion for ourselves which can sometimes be harder. Forgiving the self…. sigh…. is a process, like most forgivings.

If I knew my high school sweetheart would return to me some day, many years later, would I have gotten married to someone else? I suppose so. Otherwise, I would not have become a mother unless I was a single mother, which I was (unexpectedly) for about ten years anyway. But someone knew. God knew. I guess. Wait. What about free will? That’s too complicated to explore right now.

What I know is that when I was 16, the lady I babysat for told me that if David and I were meant to be together, we would be. That really helped my pining heart and allowed me to go on about my life for 39 years until David and I were ready to meet again.

Some things we just don’t know. Sometimes, we have to put one foot in front of the other and hope for the best. But it’s good to know what we know and admit what we don’t.

I know there are a few things I want to do in 2023. Keeping it simple and realistic: Get back to painting with alcohol ink on tile, continuing the de-cluttering process, keep working out, walking, or doing some kind of physical exercise… and love. The word love keeps coming to me. I want to make time for it – romantic, familial, and platonic love. Having reclaimed my inner introvert in retirement, I tend to not seek friends out. With occasional exceptions, I am content to be home with the dog and cat much of the time. I want to listen to my loved ones more and remember that God has a plan for them. I don’t have to try to fix things for them.

A friend on FB shared a quote:

“If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.” – Anne Lamott

(Dang! Coulda used that for One-Liner Wednesday. Well, who says I still can’t just because it came along in the stream of consciousness…)

I like to think that when we tell God our plans, God will laugh but also say, “I’ll take it into consideration,” with a smirk or eye roll.

Does God roll her eyes? Is she rolling her eyes at me right now? Does God have eyes? Of course! In some form or other. All seeing eyes.

If my guardian angels knew how much work I would be, especially in my early twenties, would they have signed up? If I get to be someone’s guardian angel after I die, I’ll probably have someone difficult as payback. Oh, but mine haven’t had to work nearly as hard lately! Except when I ask them to look after my grown up children. I can feel my guardian angels rolling their eyes at that.

But here’s the real lesson: If I knew things were going to eventually work out okay, I would not have worried so much. Maybe I’m still learning to trust the timing.

Well, thanks for reading the ramble.

Recent photos from coastal Carolina:

May your new year be filled with peace, love, joy, and blessings!

~~~

For more streams and rules about SoCS:

visit our wonderful host, Linda Hill,

by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Feed Your Hopes

 

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “your favorite word.” Decide on your favorite word and use it in your post any way you’d like. Enjoy!

It’s not easy to decide one ONE favorite word. For a moment, I thought my favorite word could be, “possible.” Then I thought of hope. The meaning behind the word, hope, is one of my favorite things. Hope does not have the certainty of faith, but it can lead to faith. If you don’t have faith, look for hope.

I have a bumper sticker that I never put on my bumper. It used to be on a mirror. Now, it’s on my kitchen counter propped by the window. Maybe I’ll stick it on something one day. It says,

Feed your hopes, not your fears.

That’s where the top meme above comes from. Fears can roll around in my head like a crazy dance I don’t want to go to, but end up going anyway. Even knowing how to stop them and rethink takes remembering to do it. Questioning your fears would be like, what evidence is there to support that thought of a cataclysmic meteor hitting the planet? Sure, there are plenty of sci fi movies about it, but what are the chances?

Fear: But I want to be prepared just in case!

Hopes: Okay, so prepare some, but don’t dwell on it, especially at 2 AM.

Let’s hope it never happens. Let’s hope for the best, prepare for the worst, but not make a hobby out of preparing for the worst.

Let’s focus on things we can control or change. Like the serenity prayer says, “Courage to change the things we can.” We can change our own thoughts and actions.

Ten years ago, I quieted my fears of falling back into a sick relationship and focused on myself. I began to hope that there was a partner out there for me that would be a good fit. Not someone who had fits, but who would be compatible. In December, David and I will have been married for 10 years. He doesn’t have fits. He is compatible as in open minded, spiritual, practical (which I need) and he loves dogs.

I hope my dog Marley doesn’t catch the snake I saw this morning. It was a black racer. David says we won’t have a rodent problem with that guy around, meaning the snake which is not poisonous. I’m glad I spotted the snake before Marley did. My daughter suggested I put some big rocks out there the snake can hide under. There is already an old rain gutter embedded in the vines as you can see in the photo. I’ve tried to remove that old rain gutter many times, but it was too hard. Now, I’m going to leave it.

Black Racer

I hope the old rain gutter will provide refuge for the non-poisonous snakes and skinks that Marley likes to hunt.

I hope there are no poisonous snakes in our yard. Changing that to be positively stated, I hope the snakes in our yard are all harmless to people, beneficial to people would be even more positive.

Stating our hopes positively is important. I wrote about this in my very short how to book: From Loneliness to Love. (See sidebar.)

Instead of saying, I want a partner who is not crazy. I would say, I hope for a partner who is reasonably sane, stable, and dependable. Nobody’s perfect, but compatibility is possible. First, we need to get compatible with ourselves. God has a plan for when we are ready.

I hope we humans learn to respect planet earth and help her heal. I hope we clean up our messes. I hope we can learn to live in peace and work things out safely. I interrupted the stream briefly, like a nanosecond, to change the negative words in my head to positives. Flipping that switch gets better with practice. Not perfect. Better.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend full of hope!

For more hope, drop by on Tuesday for some good news!

~~~

For more streams of favorite words, along with the SoCS rules,

visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Washing the Woes Away with a Musically Inspired Meditation

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “wash/awash.” Use one, use both, use ’em any way you like. Bonus points for using both. Enjoy!

Wash is one of those words that sounds funny if you say it over and over. It’s fun to say…. washhhhh… extending the sh sound.

Washing machines are good. Can you imagine life without them? Banging clothes on a rock, using soaproot, maybe going naked would be easier, or at least keeping it simple.

When I was about four years old, maybe five, we were staying with my grandmother in Washington, DC. In the basement was a wringer washing machine with two rollers above my head that squeezed the water out of the clothes after they were agitated below. My mom got her thumb caught in the wringers once, feeding the clothes through the wringer, and it was never quite the same. Another time, I tried to help and put a whole box of powdered detergent in the washer. The soapsuds came to the basement steps. It was beautiful and amazing to my young eyes. That’s how I remember it, anyway.

The prompt also took me to this song: “I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta My Hair.” It’s from the musical, South Pacific, which I’m embarrassed to say, I have never seen even though I like musicals. It’s one of those odd gaps that I never saw it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if washing your hair got rid of unwanted thoughts, unwanted addictions, and uncomfortable feelings? They could all just go down the drain. Hopefully they would not get clogged up along the way down.

That could be a guided imagery thing while washing your hair, taking a shower, dancing in the rain, swimming in the ocean, or floating along the stream of consciousness, and letting the water wash away what we don’t want. Get out of my hair, you thoughts and feelings who shall not be named! I will let go of the negative thoughts and feelings, but the lessons learned from experience will remain. Everything will be all clean and fresh – at least for a few minutes, anyway – opening a path to something better.

Clean and open to possibilities

So, I went and looked at videos of the song about washing the man out and thought I might want to watch this movie some time with Glenn Close. Well, not with her unless she’s interested, but the movie starring Glen Close. After reading the synopsis, it sounds like the story contains layers of depth. Do you have a favorite version of South Pacific or a favorite song from a musical? “Singing in the Rain” comes to mind.

~~~

For more on SoCS, visit out host, Linda G. Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: My Personal Bag Boy, Mundane Tasks, and Wonders of the Universe Far and Near

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

I don’t remember exactly when it was that David first bagged the groceries. Maybe it was during the beginning of the pandemic that he started bagging regularly. It’s a habit now. An endearing habit. Some cashiers are still a little caught off guard by reusable bags. Some automatically go to the plastic out of habit. So, David heads to the bagging position before they can even get started. He enjoys the challenge of organizing groceries in one bag. Sometimes we bring two, but not usually.

Remember when they had bag boys in grocery stores who bagged the groceries and took them out to your car hoping for a tip? When I was a poor 20 something year old, I had to tell them I could take the groceries out myself, even a 50 lb. bag of dogfood. That was back in the days of youth. Now, I’m thankful for my own personal bag boy.

Every now and then, I’ll get a plastic bag if I forgot the reusable. I have a few blue or yellow plastic bags (from Food Lion or Dollar General) since those are my kitchen colors. Plastic bags can be reused for picking up dog poop, though I suppose I could carry some kind of scooper. Thankfully they are making biodegradable dog poop bags. When I traveled more, I used to put my toiletries in a plastic grocery bag, then I realized I could put them in an old (clean) pillowcase. Maybe someday, we won’t use plastic bags anymore. Except for dog poop. Until we get a waste shark for dog poop. That comes from my Good News Tuesday post which included waste sharks in the water picking up trash. Now I’m imagining a land shark going on walks with us to pick up poop. The stream is getting weird now. It would have to be a small shark. Not a shark. Something else. This is going nowhere fast. Quick take that fork in the stream to ~~~

Now I’m lost in the stream of consciousness. No, I am not going back to the waste sharks bagging dog poop. Stop it! Think of something profound. This post started out nice. Sigh.

Oh! how about those pictures from space?

From my friend Jana’s post

My 1440 daily digest brought the story to my inbox with this article from the Washington Post, about beautiful nebula where stars are born. What knocked my socks off were the labels showing how HUGE the universe is and that there are all these other galaxies! Seeing that perspective opens up so many possibilities. In one of those galaxies far, far away, could there be a woman (or some other being) picking up dog (or some other being) poop? Going about mundane or grand tasks – different, but somehow similar? Are there constants of life and death? Maybe on another planet, the trees are in charge, served by birds, connected by mushrooms in an underground network…

There are A LOT of mushrooms around here lately, thanks to the rain and steamy temperatures. That brings us to pictures of fungi including some strange things growing things in my little urban forest and a few roses from my dentist’s office below in the gallery.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, rules, etc. check out our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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The Second Amendment To The Constitution

Melinda is a republican who proposes common sense gun laws. She gives me hope as I wonder how many other republicans want these reasonable restrictions. We must not let the media focus on extremes and controversy divides us further. We must work together to protect our children.

What does the Second Amendment say about gun rights and what it does not say? 

The 2nd Amendment was ratified on December 17, 1791, along with the other nine amendments that make up the Bill of Rights. While it is a very short amendment, its exact meaning in terms of what types of weapons are protected and what constitutes a well-regulated militia is still in contention today.

Text of the 2nd Amendment

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

What it says is a WELL REGULATED militia has the right to keep and bear arms.

 It doesn’t say what the age limit should be.

It doesn’t say all guns.

It DOES say WELL REGULATED, meaning, or opening the door to background checks and regulated by the government.

I’m a…

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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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SoCS: The Power of Zero, Cat Stevens, and a “Submerged Object”

 The prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “zip, zero, zilch.” Use one, use ’em all, bonus points if you use all three. Have fun!

Zero is the number of romantic partners I had in the second half of the decade after my divorce. Five years doesn’t seem like such a long time now to be celibate or anything else. In the big picture, five years is not a long time when you have an abundance, a few quality friendships, dogs, and work to do on yourself. I had a romantic relationship with myself and with nature, and spiritual growth that required zero romantic distraction from other people. Of course, I didn’t know that at the time it was happening. There is power in zero, in solitude, in simplicity. Not to say my life was simple by any means.

One is not always the loneliest number, and zero doesn’t necessarily mean zilch. If you add zeros to a number, it increases the value.

Dave at Daily Ramblings shared a short Ted Talk on the origins of the number zero which started as a dot. It got me thinking of the old Cat Stevens/Yusuf album, Numbers, A Pythagorean Fairy Tale, which came out in 1975. The songs sort of told the story of the numbers one through nine and how everything changed when this new dude showed up named, Jzero. I listened to this album a lot in the second half of the decade that was the 70s. It was a confused time of my life when I kept getting distracted from college and from myself. My romantic partners during that time were distractions. I often felt lost or lost my sense of myself.

One of my favorite songs from the Numbers album was, “Drywood.” Part of it went something like,

“Like drywood takes to fire, the truth will come to you.

Like streams that seek the ocean, you will find ways through,

Like morning meets the moon, my love will guide the way.

It’s time to wipe your eyes now, and awake…..”

The song provided encouragement I needed and still holds a special place of gratitude in my heart.

Another of my favorite songs from the album was, “Home.” It’s a sweet song. Here’s an older Cat Stevens, aka, Yusuf, singing it. At the end he whispers, “Peace be with you.”

Well, time to zip up this post. Right after I add a few photos from the beach… Oh, there’s a video at the bottom.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, rules, and such, visit our dedicated host, Linda Hill, by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Healthy Relationships and Dog Treats

 Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “how.” Use the word “how” in your post. Bonus points if you start your post with it. Enjoy! Thanks, Linda!

How to read a “how to” book:

  1. If it’s a long book, skip to the chapter that actually tells you, how to.
  2. If it’s a short book, go ahead and read through.
  3. Come back to the other sections of the long book as needed.

That’s how I read a “how to book,” anyway. Maybe it’s not the best way, but that seems to work for me.

A short how to book that’s easy to read through would be my book, From Loneliness to Love, Five Steps for Finding a Healthy Relationship. (You can find it on the right sidebar.) And that’s all I’m going to say about that, unless I come back to it, because this IS after all stream of consciousness writing.

How to get up earlier: Go to bed earlier.

How to go to bed earlier: Turn off the TV.

How to turn off the TV: Push the off button.

How to push the off button: Set an alarm to tell you to. Nope. Not gonna do that.

How to get more exercise without hurting myself: Go to a physical therapist (appointment scheduled) and keep doing yoga, stretch regularly while watching TV and on the computer. Like right now….

How to strengthen a healthy relationship: Do fun stuff together.

David and I went to the beach last week. It was nice. We need to go more since it’s only 20 minutes away. I’m hoping we can walk the dog together in the evening, but he still needs more training to make it an enjoyable experience. (The dog needs more training, not so much David.)

I’ve been watching a lot of “how to” dog training videos and have scheduled a consultation with another trainer recommended by a friend. They use e-collars, though this is not required. At this point, I’m willing to give it a try since it’s a vibration I will try on myself first of course. If there was ever a dog that needed something like this, it could be Marley. His lunges make me worried concerned about things like shoulder dislocation. David has to wear his hand brace for several more weeks due to a Marley lunge.

Marley is making progress, but those squirrels still drive him crazy. A few days ago, there was a turtle or tortoise just on the other side of the fence minding its own business, and Marley went nuts over a turtle! He even barked at it, and he rarely barks. I was able to get the leash on him and get him to take some training treats for moving away from the turtle and get him back into the house. Fortunately, the turtle tortoise was not there when we went out back again. The videos I watch (from two different programs) use A LOT of training treats. So far, he still likes them.

I’ve been working hard in the backyard urban forest to get ahead of the vines and thin things out so I can keep an eye on Marley and hopefully nudge wildlife to move elsewhere. Oh! That reminds me, I learned at the farm animal sanctuary where I volunteer that hanging a paper bag up that looks like a wasp nest will discourage wasps from building nests. I need to put one on both of my porches.

Maybe I can find some related photos without going too far out of the stream.

Healthy Relationships include having fun together and recognizing strengths in spite of challenges. Marley is very sweet and well behaved in the house where there are no squirrels. He probably thinks I’m a nag for dragging him away from interesting things and not letting him eat the lantana or dig to China. But I’m the one with the training treats.

~~~

To read more streams and find out how to join in, 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: