Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: RESPECT

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“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ect.” Find a word with the letters “ect” in it, and base your post on that word. (Not to be confused with “et cetera,” which is “etc.”) Enjoy!”

This might be short. My computer is in the shop with a dying hard drive and its info being transferred to a newer model. It’s been a long time since I did a post from my phone….

I’m not perfect, but I deserve respect. RESPECT. Doesn’t everyone deserve respect? My short, PC answer is, “Yes.” But I’m not 100% sure. There are few things I’m 100% sure of, because, after all, anything is possible.
I could say respectfully, “No thanks. I’m not interested.” But if someone keeps bugging me after I’ve said, no, I might say, “Hell, no.” Or Leave. Me. Alone. If I don’t call them demeaning names, that’s somewhat respectful.
You know who deserves respect? Mother Earth.  I don’t have respect for people who disrespect her.
A long time ago, I read a book called, Ecotopia. It was about a culture of sustainability and respect for Mother Earth that took hold in a big way in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington state. It was a eutopian novel. So Northern CA, Oregon, and Washington state divorced the United States and formed Ecotopia. Maybe this book was ahead of its time. Or maybe we’ll all start waking up and unite for our planet and no body will need to get a divorce from the country. Either way, I hope it’s respectful. Could we have a respectful revolution? They had a “civil war” once. No, let’s not go there. The times they are a changin’.  That’s for sure.

My Saturday morning will be spent planting trees in the inner city. Because that is something within my power. Little pockets of Ecotopia. Tiny but teeming with possibly.

It’ll probably be late Saturday afternoon before I get my new computer and catch up with all the interesting ect streams.
Happy Saturday!

Ha! I just realized that Ecotopia does not contain ect. Well that’s the way the stream of consciousness tumbles, fumbles, and flows.

Here’s a picture from my phone:

EB69FE88-24A3-4288-814A-28FA268DDCCDRaindrops Hanging from Cedar

Here’s a song:. RESPECT

SoCS is brought to us by Linda Hill. For more information, click here.

 


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From Un-packing Baggage to Dogs in Heaven

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Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was: “(un)pack.” Use “pack” or its opposite in your post. Have fun!

It’s hard not to plan a little, though one of the rules for SoCS is minimal planning. The minimal planning takes place between when I read the prompt earlier on Friday afternoon and now sit down to write the post Friday evening while watching the pack of democrats debate. I haven’t watched the other debates, but figured I better tonight and there are no really good movies on.

Earlier I thought about writing about how our close friends, spouses, partners help us unpack our baggage, as in family history baggage, like my codependency for example. It  gets processed over and over at deeper levels with my husband. But there is healing as I let go of some baggage and accept that there will always been remnants in those zipper compartments of my luggage. But that’s okay. Progress is the goal, not perfection.

baggage unpacking

Maybe I’ll come back with examples. Probably not because I want to write about something else.

Dogs are family. They love to be with the pack.  I’m glad this is understood better now than when I was a kid. We didn’t always let our dogs in the house when I was a kid. Now, I can’t imagine not having a dog in the house. When Mary Moo’s gone, I’ll be traveling to see my grand dogs.

I finally got to see the movie, A Dog’s Purpose, on TV. Good thing I saw it on TV and not at the movies, because at the movie theater I would have to hold back my sobbing. There were hard scenes when the dog dies, bringing back memories. But the good news is that the dog comes back into as new dogs. In the movie, you get to see different lives the same dogs lives and how he or she is loved and part of a pack most of the time, but not always. It brought back some sad memories from my childhood.

There were also good memories like waking up early when I was about 9 or 10 and running with a pack of dogs around the neighborhood who had been turned lose overnight.  That brings us to my idea of heaven. I’ve written about it before, but the more we write about something, or speak about it, the more likely it is to happen, right?

When I get to heaven, I will say hello to my family members, hugs and smiles, and Jesus of course. But what I really want to spend most of my time running with my pack of dogs through the woods, diving into a lake, sleeping under the stars, or maybe in a log cabin. My husband can come there, too. Good thing he likes dogs, loves dogs. We’re going to have a big pack!  Here are some of our heavenly pack members who will be waiting for us.

Beep oreo (2)Doodle w foot on head

Jesse swimming (2)DobbsSarah Sandy   Mary Kaye and LoboHoppy

 

 

Why do I long for the dogs more than the people in the afterlife? Maybe because the dogs had such short lives, along with my sister (who is pictured above with Lobo in 1974.) We have unfinished business. Or maybe I just love dogs. A Dog’s Purpose Explains why. The love and the laughs are worth all the tears.  And dogs will help you unpack your baggage.

For more streams of consciousness, details, and guidelines, visit Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/02/07/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-8-2020/


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Reasons to Live

This post  was inspired by Eliza at Reasons to Live

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In 1976, I thought about suicide. I was in 21, my boyfriend had broken up with me, and I dropped out of college. Things weren’t working out like I had hoped. Not even close.

I didn’t act on my suicide thoughts because I knew how much it would hurt my parents. They had already lost my younger sister who was killed by a drunk driver. They didn’t deserve to lose another child. No parent deserves to lose a child to death.

Eventually, I went back to college and married someone who I had a lot in common with like art, science fiction, pizza, and beer. We grew up a little and made wonderful memories having two children who I love dearly.  If I had killed myself at 21, I would not have know the love and joy of a family.

Over twenty years of marriage, my husband and I grew apart. We didn’t seem to have as much in common anymore, but I still believed in our marriage. I believed we’d grow old together and travel across the country in an RV after the children were grown.  But that wasn’t what happened.

My husband left me around the turn of the century. I was in shock. Devastated. I didn’t want to live anymore with the pain of being rejected and “alone,” though I was never really alone.  Thoughts of suicide crossed my mind, but I knew I couldn’t act on them. My children needed me, my dogs needed me, and my parents loved me. I couldn’t abandon them.

Vulnerable and confused, I made things worse by allowing myself to fall into a terrible relationship, now dubbed “the rebound from hell.” But I survived and moved on, putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I got dragged.

Cartoon about footprintes

In time, I learned to love myself again. I rediscovered my value, my gifts,  and the constants in my life that have always been important to me like nature, animals, music, art, family, and God who has been with me through every heartache and every challenge.

Now, I am married to the love of my life who found me when the time was perfect. Together and as individuals we’re exploring creative ventures, living our dreams, and building wonderful memories.

If I had remained single, I am certain that I would have been happy in the company of friends and family, loved unconditionally by dogs and by God, growing in confidence, peace, and gratitude.

 

I would not have wanted to miss any of this life.

 

JoAnne and little Ayla on a horse at Ashton Farm (2)

Me and my daughter 1995

Jesse swimming (2)

Jesse 2006

Bride & Groom framed  by doors

2012 with my high school sweetheart

JoAnne painting rabbits

Painting on a community mural 2016

sunset scarlet with bird

So many spectacular sunsets…

birds on beach w blue

Walks on the beach…

Jess looking at hole in tree

…. and adventures with grand children.

 

 Miracles are everywhere.

Remember these words from Mary Oliver’s poem, “Wild Geese”:

 

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely

The world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –

announcing your place in the family of things.


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SoCS: Choices Matter. Except When They Don’t.

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Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was: “choices.” Base your post on the subject of making small, uneventful choices. Enjoy!

Hmmm. Are there really uneventful choices? Maybe what I eat or decide to watch on TV is relatively uneventful. But they do effect how I feel, a little or a lot. Watching Captain Phillips about the real life pirates was intense. I’m sure my blood pressure was up.  The choice to go to yoga class has become a habit that always makes me feel better.

The choice to start dating when my divorce was final almost 20 years ago seemed relatively uneventful, but it was a mistake. I was still much more vulnerable than I thought. It led to an addictive and unhealthy relationship. Is addiction a choice? Nobody, well probably nobody, starts out saying, I want to become addicted to whatever. Seemingly uneventful choices can lead to big events. Who we go to dinner with, who we text or call, what street we walk down, can lead to a chain of events that make a huge difference over time.

In 1971, my friend Caroline invited this guy from her class to Terry’s party. His name was David, and he turned out to be my first boyfriend. But his family moved back up north at the end of tenth grade, and I thought I’d never see him again. In 2011, David sat down at his computer 700 miles away from where I lived. Did he know when he found Caroline after all those years that I’d be on the top of her Facebook friends list, that he’d find me and we’d end up getting married in 2012?

Certainly he didn’t know this consciously. When we met for our second first date in July of 2011, I didn’t consciously know that saying yes to that date, or yes to his request to call me, would lead to us getting married. But we were SO excited. It was like on some level, we knew this was important. Extremely. Eventful.

Back to the prompt. Small, uneventful choices. Surely there must be some. Maybe it’s hard to think about examples because I often overthink things. I’m sure there have been many times when I stressed about a decision, and it turned out to be uneventful. And unrememberable.

Maybe singing a song would be a small choice when I find myself humming a tune without realizing it. Was that a choice? Not really, until I realize what I’m doing, then I can sing it out loud, dance in the living room like no one’s watching but the dog, but she’s probably asleep and can’t see well anyway because she’s very geriatric. Getting a dog is a choice not to be taken lightly. It’s a lifelong responsibility for the life of that dog or cat. Eventful.

mary moo

Mary Moo, last of the 5 pack.

 

I’m having a hard time trying to think of uneventful choices. Maybe what color clothes I wear. If they don’t match, I don’t much care anymore – not like I used to. I’m not working in an office anymore. I’m an artist and a writer. I get to wear whatever I want. Lately it’s yoga pants and a hoodie. Even when I don’t have yoga class.

coffee and yoga

(Except it’s usually green tea for me.)

 

I like wearing what I feel like. Yeah. Life is good. Simple. Even if you’re life isn’t good or simple, look for the moments when it is. That’s a choice. Like not watching the news, or being picky about what news you choose. But that’s another post for Tuesday. 🙂

For more choice streams of consciousness, visit Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/01/31/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-1-2020/

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: 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

Sunflower w address

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.

sun dog with dogs

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!