Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday: Animal Cruelty Legislation, A Message from a Father, and Prison Reform’s Early Release

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

US House Votes to Make Animal Cruelty a Federal Offense

The US house of representatives voted unanimously to approve a bill to make animal cruelty a federal offense with a penalty of up to seven years in prison.

Republican co-sponsor, Vern Buchanan said in a statement that the bill’s prospects of becoming law were favorable.

“This is a landmark bill that establishes for the first time a federal offense against the malicious torturing of animals,” Mr. Buchanan said. He added, “We are optimistic it will pass the Senate, which has already supported the bill in two previous sessions of Congress.”

Representatives recognize that animal cruelty is closely related to abuse of children and domestic violence. We are making progress.

Here’s the story from The New York Times

 

Fathers and Daughters: A Comforting Answer Four Years Later

Chastity Patterson lost her father in 2015. She continued to send text messages to his phone number for four years about what was going on in her life: overcoming challenges, graduating from college, and her continuing love. On the eve of the fourth anniversary of her father’s death, 23 year old Chastity was ready to let go with a final message when she received a response. It was from a father who had lost his daughter.

Please read this story from the Good News Network.

Prison Reform Early Release

527 prisoners were released in Oklahoma yesterday. The release was part of the state’s criminal justice reform which made drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony. All the sentences commuted were for low level crimes like drug possession and property theft. Here’s more:

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!


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Good News Tuesday: Helpers, Fur, and Friendship

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Helpers after the Storm

This BBC article highlights some of stories of those who helped after Hurricane Dorian including six year old Jermaine Bell  who used  money he’d been saving for Disney to help feed evacuees.

Many cruise ships diverted to the Bahamas to become relief vessels after Hurricane Dorian. Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean provided supplies and free transportation to evacuees and those returning home. The Equinox, of Celebrity cruise lines, interrupted their Caribbean itinerary so that their kitchen staff could serve 10,000 meals Cruise guests volunteered to plate and pack them. Here’s their story.

And don’t forget Chef Jose Andres is one who jumped right in and went the extra mile.

California Bans Fur Trapping

California has become the first US state to ban trapping mammals and other non-game animals for fur. Not only is trapping animals for fur cruel to the “target” animals, but also to dogs, cats, and birds who accidentally get trapped. This article from The Good News Network shares how the ban will save taxpayers money.

High School Seniors Step Up in Friendship

High school freshman Cale Wrenn, 14, had a rough time on his first days. Classmates made fun of him for being short, and he ate lunch alone. After his sister, Leah, asked for help on twitter, high school seniors, including Demontez Canada, who is a member of the football and basketball teams, became his friends. Watch the video below and imagine a world where compassion and friendship flow easily.

 

Good news is out there!

Feel free to share yours in the comments

or write your own Good News post and link it back here.


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Dog Love: It’s Still Worth the Heartache of Goodbyes

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Where, oh where has my little dog gone?

She ‘s still here in body though her mind wanders and takes her body in circles when she’s not sound asleep. Little Mary Moo is the last of the 5 five pack. She’s a medium sized dog really, but the smallest one of the pack that was. She’s almost blind and virtually deaf and at the age of 17, slowly and steadily declining. She used to be a feisty girl, full of life. Her obnoxious bark and enthusiasm for catching little animals suggests a beagle/terrier mix. But she doesn’t bark anymore, and the only thing she catches is her bed which she attacks sometimes still to try to make it into a nest.

Mary and David

David is helping old Mary Moo settle down from her pacing.

The thing I’ve been avoiding writing about (besides politics) is the passing of Doodle Bug. She crossed over the rainbow bridge a few weeks ago. I’ve started two other posts about her passing. Maybe I’ll actually publish this one. Doodle was full of life, too. You might have read about her here on my blog – the crazy coon hound who learned how to open the refrigerator. We still have a lock on the refrigerator so her ghost won’t get in and eat the leftovers.

We found out several months ago that she had kidney disease and a mast cell tumor. The tumor shrank significantly with oral Prednisone pills which made her even crazier. I was still in the mountains taking care of my granddaughter when David called me and told me the tumor had grown to the size of a grapefruit and had opened up. The Prednisone wasn’t helping anymore. David had to say goodbye to Doodle without me. It seems unfair because she was so full of life until the last couple of days. But she was about 13 and a big dog, so maybe it’s more than fair that she went downhill quickly and didn’t suffer long.

Here’s a picture of Doodle being good.

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When Mary crosses over, there will be no dogs in the house for the first time in 30 something years. For most of my adult life, there has been at least one dog in the house, usually two, and for a while there was the 5 pack. It will really feel like an empty nest. Yes, there will be more freedom, but it will be strange. We’ll have to travel more. We’ll get to travel more. Sigh.

One thing I know for sure is that dog love is worth the heartache of saying goodbye. Every single time. It’s worth it. The happy joy, the unconditional love, the unquestionable honesty, the spontaneous antics, the comforting snuggle, these things make the heartache bearable.  I can’t imagine a world without dog love, or a heaven without dog love. So I’m counting on seeing them all again, some time, some how,  some where.

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Sun dog and dog shaped clouds. A Rainbow Bridge?

Here’s the prompt that got this post started:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “where.” Start your post with the word “where” and write whatever comes to you. Bonus points if you end your post with “where” too. Enjoy!   __ Linda G. Hill

To learn more about the stream, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/08/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-10-19/

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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Good News Tuesday: Grandma Prevents Shooting, Solar Powered Airport, A Frugal Carpenter, and Seesaws at the Border

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Grandmother Prevents Mass Shooting

The recent mass killings in Texas and Ohio make me feel sick, almost overwhelmed, and asking, what can we do to prevent this?  Joanne Corey at Top of JC’s Mind hopes we can  replace hateful rhetoric with “respectful conversation where people of differing viewpoints actually listen to one another.” She asks us to renew our commitment to respectful dialog.  I renew my commitment to seek respectful dialog and will ask others to speak with respect. It is within our power to ask and to work on own own behavior.

In the midst of fighting off despair, I found the following story about William and his grandmother. William who is 19, called his grandma from a hotel room in Texas where he had an AK47 and ammunition ready for a mass shooting. His grandmother convinced him to go to the hospital instead. What caused William to call his grandmother? Did they have a good relationship? Did it help that he was receiving treatment for depression. I don’t know. There are some things we cannot control, but we can work on keeping communication lines open. We don’t have to accept hateful behavior from toxic people, but we can offer a way back. We can move away from hate and toward love. We can speak with respect and ask for respectful dialog.

You can read more in the Washington Post story about William and his grandmother below:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/08/05/texan-planned-mass-shooting-his-grandmother-stopped-it/?noredirect=on

America’s First Solar Powered Airport

Last month, Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Tennessee became the first American airport entirely powered by solar energy. Read more in this article from Forbes.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/dandao/2019/07/30/chattanooga-first-solar-powered-american-airport/?fbclid=IwAR12Yo2khFc6FTaHn8gxrL9l4msd5c8yeoOGsq1s1EKtd9iVP-Kzb86izCA#34e3723f7957

Leaving a Legacy

Thank you to Theresa for this link about the “frugal carpenter” who left millions of dollars to pay for 33 strangers to go to college. https://www.wsbtv.com/news/trending-now/frugal-carpenters-3-million-gift-has-sent-33-kids-to-college/968225075

Positive Energy at the Border

Two California professors designed pink seesaws so that children and adults on opposite sides of the US/Mexico border could play together. It gives me hope that they were given permission to do this and to build these opportunities for positive connections.

“The wall became a literal fulcrum for US-Mexico relations and children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side,” he added.  Ronald Rael via Good News Network

Got good news? Please feel free to share in the comments! Or write your own Good News Tuesday post on any day of the week, and link it back here!


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Mini Vacations, Assertiveness, Forgiveness, and Catching Bugs

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Our instructions for Stream of Consciousness Saturday are as follows:

…”instructions.” Write instructions for anything you know how to do. As detailed or as rambling as you’d like. Enjoy!

There are a lot of things I could write about. None of them are mechanical. I shy away from mechanical things. I will not write about technical things which I have forced myself to learn.

First vacations. Linda said she needs a vacation. While I’ve never taken a glamorous vacation or been on a cruise, I know how to take mini vacations, which in some ways are better because then you don’t need a vacation from your vacation.  If you can’t get a week off, take a weekend. Until you can get the long vacation, take a day, or even 4 hours. Three might work, but, nah. 4 is a minimum. That might not seem like a vacation, but when I was a single, working mom, four hours off to do something I loved was very important. I wish I’d taken more “mental health days” when I worked in the mental health field.

Anyway, the first step is to schedule it. Well maybe you need to make arrangements for child care or pet care first, then schedule it. Write it on the calendar and put it in your phone. Put stars around it. Don’t let anything get in the way of it. This time is sacred. Plan to do something you really love or enjoy. You could take a nap, but then you might miss your mini vacation. Read a book. Put on some of your favorite music. You deserve this! Pretend you are a tourist in your own town. I read this thing once that if you have three days, pick a direction. Drive the first day, spend the second day exploring and drive home the third day. I’d rather pick a place. Something with a body or water. Be mindful of all the things around you in a beautiful place. A garden maybe would work. Not a garden you have to tend, unless you really love that.

Okay, enough of that. You get the idea.

I know how to be assertive, though sometimes I forget. The steps to assertive communication I used to teach in my groups were:

1. State the facts.

2. State your feelings.

3. Say what you want or need.

Of course you can be assertive with yourself about why you / we deserve a vacation for example:

I’ve been working x number of hours per day for x number of days per week. I feel exhausted/tired/worn out/ (whatever the feeling) and I want/need you to watch (child’s name) for a couple two days.  Be specific. If you’re talking to someone who is not a friend or who may be difficult, you can skip the feelings part, maybe even just state #3.

I know it’s not always easy, but I’m open to questions.

I was going to write about forgiveness, because I know how to be in that process which, for me, might not ever be finished. I’ll cut it short and say first I had to pray for the willingness to forgive.  I focused on compassion, kindness, and gratitude for my ex husband and his spouse for about a month before I saw them at my son’s wedding. Then I went right up to my ex husband who I hadn’t seen for many years and shook his hand and introduced him to my husband. I wasn’t trying to be anything. I asked how he was and wished him and his spouse a safe trip home two days later in the parking lot….. I am convince that God was with me during these encounters, prompting me, nudging me, because I asked God to do that.

Lastly, here is how you catch a spider or other bug you don’t want to kill and take it outside.

  1. In advance get a clear or semi clear jar or cup with a mouth about the width of your hand.
  2. In advance get a stiff piece of thin, slick cardboard or thick piece of paper (I usually use junk mail) bigger than the jar or cup mouth.
  3. Put the jar/cup and paper/cardboard in a place you are likely to need it.
  4. When you see the bug you want to catch, try to make sure your back door is unlocked. Quickly place the cup/jar over the bug. (Flies are really hard.) Be careful if it’s on a window. Don’t hurt yourself. Try not to hurt the bug, but you have to be quick with some of them.
  5. Slowly and carefully slide the paper/thin cardboard under the cup and under the bug. Sometimes I move the jar/cup at the same time.
  6. Carefully carry everything to the door. I usually put the bottom of the jar on my stomach if I have to open the door.
  7. Once outside and at least a couple steps away from the door, let the bug go in an appropriate habitat.
  8. An alternative that sometimes works for small lizards is to throw and old towel or sheet on them and carefully gather it up and hope they’re in there when you carry it outside.

Good luck!

Here are some bugs I’ve caught and released:

better yellow moth

 

glass wing moth with tail (2)

Glass wing moth on a dusty lamp. The posterior end was moving back and forth like some kind of alien.

 

spotted moth in bathroom

Sweet visitor in my bathroom.

 

spider on the ceiling

Spider on bedroom the ceiling. That was a tough one.

 

big mosquito in bathroom

This was on my brand new bathroom wall. No way I was gonna squash it.

SoCS is hosted by Linda G. Hill who will soon or now be on vacation. For more streams of consciousness and related rules, visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/07/12/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-13-19/


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One-Liner Wednesday: Nothing’s Off the Table

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On July 15, 2011, I had my second first date with my high school sweetheart. It had been 39 years since we last saw each other, though the second first date was preceded by Facebook messages, emails, and phone calls that lifted my 55 year old heart like I was a teenager again. The date started with dinner at a casual restaurant near the river. As we sat across from each other in the cozy booth, David reassured me of a guideline we established in an early phone call:

“Nothing’s off the table.”

The dating books said to not bring up past relationships or issues that might scare off a potential partner. But we’d both been unpleasantly surprised over those 39 years by people who  were on their best behavior at first. We didn’t want to waste time, and we didn’t want any BIG surprises. So we asked lots of questions and shared about our past successes, mistakes, and lessons learned – not all on that second first date, but over the next several months of a long-distance romance. We’ve been married 6 and a half years now. But I can still remember the butterflies of our second first date, the after dinner walk along the river, and the second first kiss.

You can read the whole story in Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again.

For more one-liners, visit Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/07/10/one-liner-wednesday-so-much-water/

Here are the guidelines:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our lovely new badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!


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#SoCS Ramblings on Social Justice and Being Social

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Today’s prompt for the Stream of Consciousness is the word, “social.” We can use it any way we want and have fun.

Social studies, okay. Social Justice, Yes! I’m not the most social person, especially in person. But I do believe in social justice. I can be social for a while, but when there’s an event that is purely social without any other goal, I tend to flounder. I’d rather be social for social justice – marches, meetings, volunteer work, picking up trash, protesting – it’s easy for me to be social when there’s a cause.  Years ago, I was pretty active in environmental and animal rights groups. Social justice should include animals and the earth. Trees, too. I find it easy to be social with trees. They’re such good listeners.

Not that I can’t be social with people at times. (And I can be a good listener – too good for my own good in times past.) There are people I enjoy being with. For a time. People are interesting. People are amazing. Social. Dogs are social. So are elephants, whales, dolphins, and pigs. They like being with family. They need social justice, too. What if ants are social, and bees too, in a different way?

Social justice is for everybody.

Just don’t make me be social too long.

Coincidentally, or not, I happen to be watching Steel Magnolias while I write this Friday evening.  It sure does remind me of the value of friendship and being social. It’s worth the effort for sure, both here on WP and in person.

For more info on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/06/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-15-19/

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!