Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Perfection Will Not Have My Soul. I’ve been to the Grace Street Garden.

Ah, perfection, you devil,

driving dedicated dudes to delusions of grandeur,

or to early graves from stress.

Not me, though.

Perfection, you will not have my soul.

I will redefine you.

Not a hair out of place becomes wild and free ~

catching the wind and the sun.

The manicured lawn goes native,

A natural home for bugs and birds.

Business casual has become

Hoodies and yoga pants with clogs.

Take THAT perfection!

You have no power over me.

There’s a yard on Grace Street I often pass on my way home. Over the years, the person who lives in the house has collected more and more yard art. I suspect people in the community have also contributed. Some unenlightened people might consider this an eyesore. I think it’s perfectly magnificent! Recently my friend was driving and offered to stop so I could take pictures. That’s when I discovered this was not just a collection of funky yard art. This is the Grace Street Prayer Garden! Who needs perfection when you can have Grace?

~~~

To learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our host, Linda Hill

by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Resting is Not the Same as Giving Up and Why I Gave Up on The Rings of Power

Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “throw in the towel.” Use the phrase “throw in the towel” somewhere in your post. Enjoy!

To “throw in the towel” means to quit something, maybe give up on something, after having worked on it for a while. Where does this phrase come from? Is it a football term? Don’t those football guys carry towels around? lol. I’m not a big fan of football. Maybe that’s un-American to some folks. Okay, the sport itself is okay I guess, okay. Stop saying okay. But I never really got the huge national extravagant $$$ part of it. But I didn’t really want to go there.

In general, where does one throw the towel? In the laundry basket? If a towel is dirty, then you should throw it in. That brings me back to what I really wanted to write about, and that is that sometimes it’s okay to quit. If something is not healthy, if it’s not working, and you’ve tried to the point of insanity or toxicity, and the fate of the world does not depend on your endeavor, then throw in the towel.

As a side note, resting or taking a break is not the same as quitting. I made a meme for that a while ago.

But sometimes, you just need to throw in the towel. About a week ago, I made the decision to throw in the towel on Amazon Prime which I got for the sole purpose of watching The Rings of Power. This was not an easy decision, because I am a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings (like some people are huge fans of football.) I can watch those movies, and The Hobbit movies over and over again, usually while doing stuff on the computer and stopping to watch when my favorite parts come on, like the parts with the elves.

After much consideration, including the cost of Amazon Prime and that I still want to watch Season 2 of Picard and Star Trek, Strange New Worlds on Paramount which costs less by the way, I decided that The Rings of Power was too dark for me. There were some characters I liked okay, but the orcs seemed a lot scarier, and the series just felt continually heavy. The final decision was the episode (still in season 1) where things happen to horses. I will not go into details (except to say there is fire involved), and I know it’s just a movie and those things didn’t really happen to the horses, but when you love animals and have a good imagination, it can be traumatic. And sometimes horses do get hurt on movie sets. So there. It’s done. There are plenty of other things to watch and books to read, and when the old LOTR and Hobbit movies come on cable, I’ll watch them again.

I had to look up the origin of throwing in the towel. It comes from boxing. The trainer throws in the towel to save his boxer when it is clear he’s not going to win. That way, he can live to fight another day, which brings us back to the idea that it’s okay to take a break and rest a while before going back into the ring of life.

And now, a message from Gandalf.

~~~

To learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our host, Linda Hill

by clicking HERE.


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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: Pushing Through and Ready for Healing

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “starts with or contains ‘cel.’” Find a word that begins with or contains “cel” and use it in your post any way you’d like. Have fun!

The more tired I am, the more I forget where I put my cell phone. It’s been a strange couple of days out of the ordinary with back spasms, a visit from my son and granddaughter and our church artisan fair scheduled for Saturday. My cell phone got lost at least five times in the past week. It’s always in the house, and sometimes hiding in my purse, except for last week when I left it at choir practice. It always turns up eventually. Doctor/nurse practitioner wrote me a rx for a muscle relaxer and said it’s okay to take four ibuprofen, just not on an empty stomach. Maybe that will be enough to get me through the artisan fair for which I have reserved a table to share my wares and creations. We shall see…..

I wrote the above Friday. Made it through the artisan fair. My back pain was manageable. We had a good turnout, and I sold several pieces of art. Now it’s Saturday evening, and all I want to do is sleep after watching some easy TV.

There’s a meditation that a reiki practitioner gave me a few years ago. There were four steps which I don’t entirely recall, but the first line was, “I am open at the cellular level.” The rest of it included, expanding and then releasing, probably with some deep breathing along the way. Looking forward to some rest, cellular healing and releasing the tension in my back. I might not even make it to church tomorrow. Who knows? Was the push through worth it? I think so.

I’ll probably be slow in responding here on WP. It will take a while to catch up, but I could not, not do SoCS.

One of the pieces I sold today was a print I’ve had for a while. It was a zoom and crop of a bigger piece painted on wood.

Guardian Angel

I also sold some mermaids and mimosa angel ornaments like these:

~~~

For more streams of the cel kind, along with SoCS rules

visit our 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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Cure for Boredom: Be Excited about Small Things (or Just Take a Nap)

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “board/bored.” Use one, or use them both for bonus points. Enjoy!

Board: We still have plenty of lose boards in our fence we need to replace. Thankfully, Marley is not aware of our temporary reinforcements.

Bored: Boredom is rare these days. There’s always something to do or watch on TV or read, and naps! It’s wonderful to be able to nap at will now that I’m retired.

Marley our pitsky keeps me from being bored, though sometimes I think Marley is bored. Fortunately, he likes naps, too. He gets two long walks every day in addition to short potty breaks. I usually walk him in the evening and David walks him in the morning. But David walked him twice yesterday because I’ve been feeling run down by a UTI. It’s getting better, but my energy is low. Also, I didn’t realize that feeling dizzy or sleepy could be a side effect of the antibiotic till I looked it up.

Last week, I mentioned in SoCS that I was looking into alternatives for our compost so we don’t attract little animals that could become prey for Marley. The compost bin is fenced off, but animals can apparently get over or through the fence. So, the cool thing is that I just found out the nearby Food Co-op I’m a member of is offering members the opportunity to bring compost there on Saturdays! There might be a discount at the farmer’s market if I bring a pound or more of compost. Today will be my first compost deposit.

Being excited about having a place to take my compost explains why I’m rarely bored anymore. The most exciting thing is the timing. Sometimes we have to wait a while to get what we want, but this happened within two weeks!

Is there something that excites you that doesn’t excite most people?

Here are some other things that have excited me lately:

We have an abundance of these spiders. I hope they’re eating mosquitoes.

~~~

For more streams and to learn all about SoCS, 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 and Lessons Learned from my Pitsky’s Mountain Escape

 Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “—amble.” Add letters to the beginning of “-amble” to make another word or use it as is in your post. Enjoy!

I used to have a cat named, Ramble. She was the first animal my son lived with. One of his first words was what he called her, trying to mimic her meow. It sounded like, “avoo?” He called Ramble, “Avoo.” That was thirty something years ago. Longer ago than that, when I was five years old, my dad had a yellow Rambler. It was the first car I remember. Seems like it was a station wagon. I’m guessing a 1958 Rambler.

Rambling is common in the stream of consciousness. That’s what makes it fun. You never know where you’ll end up. Rambling is something I enjoy in the woods or on a walk through the neighborhood. Rambling is not what Marley did on his ten-minute escape, unless you can ramble fast. He did not have a plan that I’m aware of but saw the opportunity to slip through the door past my daughter in law on his first trip to the mountains.

Marley took off down the road at top speed. If I wasn’t so terrified, it would be cool to watch him run. I was terrified because he was 300 miles from home and had NO COLLAR on! I’d given him a break from the e collar. From now on, I will never have a dog collarless away from home. Dogs need to have ID if there’s any chance they might get outside. Like being scared of the fireworks. Lots of dogs get lost during fireworks and thunderstorms.

I don’t recall ever praying so hard as when Marley escaped, though I probably did when my kids were teenagers. As I followed him with the car, trying to keep up with him, Marley ignored my calls. I prayed, “GOD, I NEED YOU NOW MORE THAN EVER! PLEASE HELP ME!” It was intense to say the least. When almost to the main road, Marley turned on to a side road in the quiet neighborhood. I caught up with him at the top of a hill when he stopped to pee. Opening the driver’s door, I said, “Marley! Let’s go home!” He got right in and got stuck under the steering wheel/dash, so I had to move the seat back for him to climb to the back. (I had not wanted to take the time to open the back door.) Then we went to pick up David who was at the bottom of the hill – having set out on foot he’d walked up a previous hill to point me in the direction Marley had run.

My heart is beating fast just remembering this event. There’s always a lesson or two to learn.

  1. Always keep a collar with I.D. on a dog if there is ANY chance he or she can get out, especially away from home.
  2. Always let host families know if you have a hyper, escape prone dog.
  3. There’s no place like home.
  4. Oh, and I have been thinking if a dog escapes, it might be better to pass him in the car and stop ahead of him to offer a ride. That way, he doesn’t feel like you’re chasing him. (Just a theory.)

Good news besides being home safe is that Marley can see Mama Cat through the pet gate and stay in “PLACE” (with supervision) without going crazy.

Friday evening, on the way to the mountains, the clouds looked like castle mountains:

(Slightly edited for more color)

Saturday:

Husky tail

~~~

For more Streams of Consciousness, rules, and more, ramble on over to Linda’s blog by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: For the Love of Pets

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “a picture from wherever.” When you sit down to write your post, find a picture, whether in a magazine, newspaper, or even product packaging. Write whatever thought or emotion the picture provokes. Enjoy!

My daughter who is 29 has not lived here for years but sometimes magazines, like People, get delivered here for her that she did not order and does not want. I don’t want them either, but sometimes I flip through them. This ad at the back of the magazine stood out to me:

Can you imagine being in a domestic violence situation and not feeling you can escape because you can’t take your dog or cat with you? I don’t want to think about it too much, but this is a project I can get behind. Pets are family.

You can read more about The Purple Leash Project here.

I think if you donate, you get a purple leash. I don’t really need another leash, though I do like the color purple. I have a bunch of leashes along with collars, and other tools that a highly reactive dog needs. I never thought I’d want to try an “e collar,” but after David and I having injuries from Marley’s lunges, we’ve accepted this recommendation from the trainer.

We’ve made progress. Last night I walked Marley to the park by myself. On the way back, we saw a cat on the other side of the street. Marley was intensely interested. I could feel the tension in his body. My job is to stay calm and confident and to remember to use all my tools. He responded well to a firm, “LEAVE IT!” along with a collar vibration. The collar vibe goes to 100. He responds to 10 to 15 in the backyard but needs at least 20 to 30 on neighborhood walks depending on the situation. In time, we should be able to reduce these levels. It’s like a tens machine. I’m learning to be vigilant and avoid high risk situations. Without this tool, I don’t think we’d be able to safely walk in the neighborhood. Marley has pulled me down more than once, and David’s hand is still healing after surgery and ongoing PT after one of Marley’s lunges.

Speaking of healing, David is feeling better after eight days of covid. He still tires easily but is doing a little more every day. Miraculously, I have had two negative home tests and seem to have been spared any significant symptoms. We’ve been keeping our distance and, though we’re living in the same house, have missed close contact. I especially miss hugs which are about to resume. Marley has been getting more hugs lately since I’ve tested negative. I still don’t get right in his face yet.

Last week, I had stopped Marley from bringing his ancient, tattered ball in the house three times before going to get my phone to take this video. Each time he would drop the ball then pick it back up when I opened the door. The ball did not stay in the house.


And let’s not forget Mama Cat on her side of the house…

~~~

For more picturesque streams of consciousness, along with rules, etc.

visit out host, Linda G. Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Trials, Losses, and How Do We Heal?

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “trail/trial.” Use one, use both, use them any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Have fun! ….

There’s a song I like, except maybe for a couple of lines, called “Blessings.” Which lines, I won’t go into. Never mind that. But the chorus goes:

“What if your blessings come through raindrops?

What if your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?

What if trials in this life, are your mercies in disguise.”

It’s about how trials, disappointments, and challenges bring us closer to God. The song works well when applied to my divorce which, as I wrote about recently, turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

The problem now is that it does not seem to apply to the loss of a child. My heart and mind go to the parents who lost children to brutal, needless, senseless deaths by an 18-year-old who should never have been able to buy a gun and certainly not a weapon of war, in Texas.

I cannot imagine how those worst of trials can be a blessing. I don’t even know if the death of my sister, killed by a drunk driver on her 16th birthday, could have been a blessing to anyone, even with my parents’ dedicating the family room at the shelter in her memory. I don’t know how the loss of a child could be a blessing. Anything is possible, yes, but I would not say that to someone who has just lost a child. I would imagine the anger and overwhelming grief would be too much to even think of blessings, right now.

The husband of a teacher who was killed died from a heart attack – a broken heart – while preparing for his wife’s funeral. Joe and Irma Garcia had been married for 24 years. They had been high school sweethearts.

It’s so wrong. Wrong upon wrong, upon wrong, as we are finding out in the investigation.

Other countries have done better than the US when it comes to gun control and this type of murder. That’s for sure. There is a sickness in the heart of my country. (I just struck through “the heart of” because we have good hearts. Mostly.) Maybe we can recover from this sickness. Individual states have and can pass sensible gun laws. We can improve mental health services, address school dropout rates, etc., but I believe it’s going to take some kind of bigger shift. It’s complicated. Or maybe not.

I hope the investigations will lead to improvements. My hope is floundering a bit which is not typical. It will come as no surprise to most of my readers that I believe we need more balance between bad news and good news. That’s part of the sickness – a lack of balance.

Healing. How do we heal? Look for the good. Look for the true heroes, like teachers who continue to teach in schools, first responders who do what is necessary, leaders who have the courage to make changes for a more peaceful country, and a more peaceful world, parents who keep going after heartbreaking loss. Look for the heroes. Hold them up. Hold them in your heart. Keep them in your prayers. We can all do our part to nurture peace.

I know this is a rambling rant. Sometimes that’s what you get in the stream of consciousness. I confess I have gone back and edited a little. It was badly needed.

Maybe I should’ve written about hiking trails. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll put some in a gallery. There’s something coming to me about “The Peace of Wild Things” – a poem by Wendell Berry.

Below are some of my most recent photos from the Farm Animal Sanctuary

~~~

For more streams of consciousness and rules, visit our host, Linda Hill by following this trail: https://lindaghill.com/2022/05/27/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-28-2022/