Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


16 Comments

SoCS: Fancy Hats, Plain Hats, Funny Hats… Improvise if You Have To

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “hat.” Use it literally or metaphorically. Have fun!

Nothing is jumping out at me, yet, except that I’ve never been much for fancy hats – the big ones ladies wear to church on Sundays some places but more so in the olden days. I don’t want to be snob about something I perceive as snobby sophisticated. I should be more accepting. If someone gets joy from wearing a fancy hat, that’s nice. I should leave it at that.

I should also wear a hat more often outside because I have fair skin. So far, so good. The cap I’m wearing in my profile pic is more my style, though it does sometimes leave my ears and jaw exposed. Sometimes I wear sunscreen, but most of them have chemicals that are harmful to the environment, so the free stuff from Medicare OTC store, well, it will last a while.

Speaking of the environment, our water here has PFAS contamination. Thankfully, I got a reverse osmosis system for the kitchen sink last year, but lots of people can’t afford that. Three private wells are contaminated in our area, and I hope the wells at the farm animal sanctuary are okay. They need to be tested, but the testing and research is being done by consultants connected to the company, Chemours, doing the polluting. I went to a hearing Monday about the well situation to speak for the sanctuary. Then I asked a question about how we can stop the release of contamination at the source. What I meant was, alternatives that don’t create PFAS chemicals. These are created in the manufacture of non-stick cookware, water repellant clothes (probably like my windbreaker) and I think sunscreen. The panel from the state didn’t get what I was getting at.

We do what we can with the things we can control. Eat healthy, exercise moderately, don’t stress too much, and wear hats outside. Fancy hats, plain hats, aluminum foil hats, cowboy hats, whatever. Here’s a very old picture of my husband David wearing something on his head that looks like a hat, but I think it’s a planter that sticks into the ground. Hats. Improvise if you have to.

Circa 1958

And let’s not forget my dad’s M*A*S*H hat.

~~~

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by our famous and fearless leader, Linda Hill. You can read more about it and find more streams by visiting Linda, HERE.


25 Comments

SoCS: Listen for the Lions, but Don’t Worry Too Much

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “too/to/two.” Use one, use ’em all, bonus points if you use all three. Extra bonus points if you start your post with one. Enjoy!

Two ears and two eyes would be an evolutionary advantage over one eye and one ear. Two ears makes it easier to tell where the lions are. With only one ear, you’d have to turn your head, always wondering where the lions are. I’ll come back to that. Two eyes and two ears look better, or is that just a cultural thing? What I was getting to, in a round about way, is that we have two ears and two eyes, but only one mouth which would suggest that we should listen and watch more than we talk. That’s sorta how the saying goes. Are there any animals that have more than one mouth? A Venus fly trap, but that is not an animal. Would more than one mouth be too many? I’m not going to worry about it.

Recently, I had another example, a lesson, reminding me not to worry too much. You might remember that I mentioned needing to step back from a group I was in, a weekly zoom meeting. It wasn’t a good fit anymore for my schedule or my energy. I worried about what and how to tell the friend who ran the group. I constructed an email with limited explanations of why I wanted to take a break from the group. I ended up texting or emailing something more simple – just that I was taking a break from the group. She didn’t ask why as I thought she would. What she wrote was that she had been getting tired of the group too (!). I didn’t need to explain anything! She has since decided to disband the group. The lesson (without the codependent notion that I caused the group to end) is that I spent way too much time worrying about how she would react to my absence.

How many times have I worried about something that never happened? Too many. Maybe writing this will help me remember, not to worry too much. Or maybe not to worry at all!

I think I’ll take a break from worrying. Maybe it’s a privilege some don’t have. But I hope there will be moments of peace here and there for everyone.

There are plenty of metaphorical lions, but I have nothing against actual lions. I just want to know where they are. Coincidentally, but not really, my CNN Good stuff newsletter has an article this morning about Tanzania’s Lion Defenders who just want to keep track of where they are. That might pop up in my Good News Tuesday post.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness and guidelines, visit out host, Linda Hill HERE.


14 Comments

SoCS: Bummers, Blessings, and All I Need to Know Right Now

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “nose/noes/knows.” Use one, use ’em all, bonus points if you use all three. Have fun!

I don’t know if I can get to the fun part. There’s a saying or two about wisdom knows what it doesn’t know. The wise person knows they don’t know a lot.

I don’t know a lot about being a police officer. But I know we can do a lot better in training, screening, and being more compassionate in general. What’s got me going is trying to understand what happened in the fatal shooting of Patrick Lyoya by a police officer in Michigan earlier this month. I guess a lot of people are trying to understand. Why does this keep happening between Black men (and women) and police officers.

I know there are plenty of good police officers. I know at least one. But why did the police officer who stopped Patrick Lyoya, because his car had the wrong license plate, end up shooting him in the back of the head? The police officer was on top of Patrick who was face down. There was some kind of struggle for the police taser. But Patrick was face down with the officer on top of him. And the officer shot Patrick IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD.

I’ve been informed by one person on my FB post, that police “don’t shoot to wound,” and my officer friend commented, “we don’t shoot to kill.” They aim for the biggest body part – the torso. So why did Patrick get shot in the head?

Taking a deep breath. And another.

I’m writing this on Good Friday. Why did Jesus have to die on the cross so young? But he wasn’t really young, was he? He was trying to change the world. Trying to help people understand about love. And he did that.

Maybe we can keep on learning about love. Keep loving who we can. Support the good cops. Encourage those who are trying to do good. We can do the little bits of good where we are.

Tomorrow, I’m going to put cans of fruit cocktail, soup, and Chef Boyardee pasta in our church blessing box that David made and I painted with help from kids at church. We do what we can.

I’d like to add that the police officer I know is a blessing. I met her working on community murals. She’s been a cop for many years and does a lot of good.

When Jesus died on the cross, his friends thought things were as dark as they could be. They were filled with despair. But we can turn despair into hope that people will learn from mistakes. We can learn to love in small ways or in big ways. It’s not easy, but it is possible. That’s what I’m telling myself.

This song came to me this morning: “I Don’t Know Much, But I Know I Love You.” I like the sound and images even if the singing is slightly out of sync.

Wishing you blessings at Easter and always,

JoAnna of the Forest

~~~

For more streams and rules for SoCS, visit out host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE. She knows!


20 Comments

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.


30 Comments

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:


27 Comments

Swing to the Ledge and Wait for Dragons (A Naturally Trippy SoCS Ramble)

This might be from Pixabay. Who knows?

“If you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” So goes the encouraging encouragement.

If the rope is taut, it might be hard to tie a knot. But I guess it’s supposed to be more figurative than literal. I’ve never been good at tying fancy knots. I have to practice stuff like that over and over to learn it. More than the average person. But I did learn to tie a figure 8 knot on a bite.

I may have been a basket weaver in a former life since I like to make wreaths out of vines, but don’t do much after that. Maybe glue on a few shells and stick one of my mermaids in it, like this.

The most I’ve done with a wreath.

But getting back to being at the end of your rope. How about swinging? Yeah! Swing. Don’t ask me how to start. Let’s put a cliff in there to push off of. Swing around to a ledge, pull up on a root or a tree. Camp out on the ledge. Eat some grubs. Oh NO! I can’t do that, I’m vegan. Good thing you can make up whatever you want in the Stream of Consciousness.

There must be something to eat on the ledge besides grubs…. Looking around….. Mushrooms!

I like mushrooms, but never did the trippy kind. Just being on a ledge eating any kind of mushroom would be trippy. What would be even more trippy would be if one of those big bird-like creatures from AVATAR came a long and gave me a ride. But wait! I’m afraid of heights! But no, this is the stream of consciousness, and I can be brave and get over it.

Dang. They’re not birds. They’re DRAGONS! Youtube doesn’t want to show the video on this post. But maybe you can see it by clicking HERE.

If you didn’t see the movie Avatar, the color is one of the most amazing things. The dragons are multicolored – blues and greens, oranges and purples. They are bigger than horses but not huge, sleek with wide wings. I love it when they sort of peel off the ledge, swoop, and glide around the fantastic places with floating rock islands. The jungles of Pandora are lush green and turquoise with plenty of fluorescent purplish flowers. Who needs trippy mushrooms when you have imagination?

I was going to write something serious about being at the end of your rope. Something realistically inspirational. I still like the swinging to a ledge idea. Just chill for a while and see if a dragon comes along to be your friend. But then, after you rest a bit and have some mushrooms (or grubs if you prefer) you can climb up to the top or find a path down. There’s aways a way. Maybe not right away, but a way. You could even climb the rope. Personally, I’d go for the ledge and catch my breath first.

Now, I’m going hunting in my photos for dragons…

PS, if you’re a LOTR fan, wait for the Eagles! They’ll be along.

~~~~

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is…. “rope.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!

For more streams, rules and stuff, visit our fantastic host: Linda Hill by CLICKING HERE.


23 Comments

Completing Herself

She had always said,

“He does not complete me.”

With disdain, she said,

“He is not my better half

And I am not his.”

We are whole people.

But when, after two decades,

He up and left,

A gaping wound,

Invisible to the naked eye,

Left her vulnerable.

It would have been better

If the wound was visible,

Bandaged with a white flag.

She thought it was healing well,

But the wound festered.

She tried to fill the emptiness with

Anything that remotely resembled love,

And the wound became infected.

Finally, finally, she stopped trying to fill the wound

With a person who would never be enough.

She looked for herself in the woods.

She looked for herself in the water.

She looked in friendship,

Human and nonhuman furry friends.

She looked to God who opened her arms and held her close.

Finally, finally, she felt completed by all these things:

The constants that had always been there for her.

And the wound healed.

She looked for herself in the woods…

I’ve shared this photo of me before, but it fits so well today, I had to share it again. It was taken by my daughter about 15 years ago.

~~~

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was:

“comp.” Find a word that starts with or contains “comp” and use it in your post. Enjoy!

For more streams and SoCS rules, visit our host, Linda Hill, by clicking HERE.


13 Comments

SoCS: Trip or Trek ~ Going Boldly into My Own Backyard

What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Trip is our prompt for today.

Have you ever tripped over your own two feet?

I have.

Mostly, I trip over vines in my urban forest of a backyard.

Working on clearing the paths now that we have a crazy dog.

I want to be able to see him and make sure he’s not trying to escape.

Plus, I don’t want to have so many hiding places for snakes that could bite him.

We’ve wanted to take a trip for a while, but it’s hard with a dog.

Did I mention he is crazy?

Oh, he’s a sweetheart in the house.

But if he’s outside and there’s a squirrel, or another animal, or a person, he goes crazy wanting to get at it mostly in a friendly way. He wants to be everybody’s friend. But maybe not so much the squirrels and outside cats. He needs work on his manners outside, as in calming down a few notches.

But maybe we will take him to the mountains one day.

David gets his stitches out from the dog walking injury on Monday.

He’ll still have to wear a brace for like ten more weeks! Really? That’s a long time for a pinky tendon.

No trips until after that. Unless they are short trips.

Meanwhile, my goal is to try to not trip over anything.

Mindful steps. That’s the idea.

If you have a good imagination,

You can go on a trip without leaving your home.

You don’t need drugs either.

There’s always Star Trek.

There’s a character on ST Enterprise named, Trip.

The thing I like about Star Trek bloopers, aka, gag reels, is that people who are usually serious (in character) get silly. I could watch them all day. But I won’t. This one has ?Spanish subtitles in case you want to learn Spanish whatever language that is. Or in case the subtitles are your primary language.

I wrote that last night. This morning is VERY windy, and limbs are coming down. A cold front is coming in. Guess I really will be going

….the electricity went out so i lost internet on my laptop. I didn’t realize my sentence got cut off til i just looked here with my phone which is acting wonkY. The wind has calmed but the electricity is still out. Time to get out the guitar or paint something.

For more trippy streams of consciousness, rules, etc. trip on over to our wonderful host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.
Oh, and the temperature is predicted to plummet to 24 tonight. Trippy weather.


35 Comments

SoCS: Saved from Ranting by the Ukranian President, Mama Cat, and Marley

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is “way to go.” Way to go, Linda for selecting an interesting prompt with many ways to go.

When we don’t know which way to go, we can check GPS on the phone. I miss the days of maps, folded up with red lines drawing the route on a trip. But GPS can be handy on a day-to-day basis. When we don’t know which way to go in life, we can ask God. Or we can wait. Waiting is okay. Except in traffic when other people want to go. Lately, I prefer to stay home.

The people of Ukraine cannot all stay home and stay safe. They have to go and become refugees. Thank you to Poland and other countries who are taking them in. “Way to go,” can be a confirming statement, as in good job. I’d like to say this to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who I am just starting to learn about. What I know so far, I admire. In the face of a horrible crisis, he is, from what I’ve read, doing a good job as a leader. To Vladimire Putin, (leaving that spelling as is) I would like to say, “Way to go to hell.” Just saying, cause, what goes around, comes around. You know, Karma will get you.

How can we still have morally corrupt people, so called leaders, like Putin in power at all? I don’t usually get political like this, but I just don’t understand why we are not further along by now as a species.

~~~

I had to step out of the stream momentarily, because it was time to play with the cat. No, really, I have been neglecting her, and it was her time. Maybe I should not have started the SoC, but my mind was streaming. I did not like where it was going. I’d rather feed my hope and acknowledge what I like. Good leaders are leading somewhere. Where’s that meme I just saw…..

~~~

My husband David is a good leader. He went to work Friday with his hand all bandaged up after getting his tendon repaired Wednesday after having got his finger twisted in Marley’s harness last week. David is one of those leaders who gets his hands dirty in a good way. He’s not afraid of hard physical work, though he’s supposed to be an “administrator.”

He did not go get the Rx pain medication called in to the pharmacy. He didn’t want it, preferring to use over the counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen. The nurse called and said that he might want to go get the opioid pain medication to have it on hand. WTF. Have it on hand? This could be another rant. But if someone says they don’t need or want an opioid pain medication, why push it? He says it doesn’t hurt that bad.

Okay. Enough of that. I’ll just say, I’m proud of David. But he does tend to work too hard. We secured the back fence enough so that Marley can run “free” in the backyard with supervision and does not need to be walked for a while, while David’s hand heals. In fact, it’s time for me to go supervise his backyard zoomies – Marley, not David.

Here are some Marley photos taken by my daughter a couple of days ago:

Marley and Neighbor friend:
There must be a way to get through!

For more streams of consciousness and SoCS rules, visit our host, Linda Hill HERE.

It’s the way to go!


21 Comments

Marley and Dave (It Feels Like We’ve Adopted a Teenager)

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, is…..  “rest” to use any way we like and enjoy!

Rest has become more important to me as I get older. That doesn’t always mean I get enough of it. There’s always something to do, but that’s nothing new. Rest, as in stretching my back out flat, is in some ways more important than sleep. But I’ve read that sleep is important, too.

The two “men” in my life, David the husband, and Marley the pitsky (husky/pitbull), have more energy than I do. They are often “on alert” and busy when awake, but they sleep well. Marley has made slow progress in his training. In the house, he’s a sweetheart – well-behaved and loveable, though even my golden retriever didn’t shed this much.

We are still keeping Marley and Mama Cat separated. Marley has a high “prey drive.” He’s getting better when I walk him in the back yard as we reinforce the fence and only occasionally lunges at squirrels out of his reach. I watch him closely to anticipate a lunge by planting my feet and holding on to the leash with both hands, but like I said, he’s getting better in the yard. He LOVES to play ball on the long leash, throwing the ball in the air and starting to let me get it from him if he gets a training treat.

A few nights ago, David was taking Marley on his nighttime walk and right out of the gate, Marley lunged at a neighborhood cat, catching David off guard and catching two fingers in the leash. The next day, David went to the doctor. They had to cut his wedding ring off. 😦 But that can be fixed. His ring figure has a small fracture, and his pinky finger popped a tendon. It’s good it’s his left hand, but still. On Wednesday, he’ll have surgery,

Apparently, Marley needs more serious training. I’m watching a video program for “reactive dogs” but I’m also researching more local training. We did five sessions with a woman who I like, because she is laid back and not bossy, but maybe I need someone more serious without being bossy. I bet dogs think we are bossy. No, we are just pack leaders. Huskies are notoriously headstrong, and pit bulls are tenacious. Both breeds are loyal and affectionate. Good thing David loves Marley. When I asked him how he felt about Marley after the injury, David said, “It wasn’t his fault. I wasn’t paying attention.” I’m sure glad I got my “must love dogs” wish from my soulmate wishlist. It makes me love him even more.

David is going to have to give those fingers a rest. Marley will probably chill out in a few years when he’s ten. Even though he’s six, he acts more like a two-year-old dog. I feel like we’ve adopted a teenager. At least I don’t have to worry about him going out and partying, especially since we got him neutered and keep close tabs on his whereabouts. Marley keeps us from becoming too sedentary.

Mama Cat, now she knows how to rest.

I’m trapped on the couch by MC while Marley and Dave are back in the man cave

I love this picture of Marley waiting for Dave to come home and take him for a walk. It was a few weeks ago. You can see the Christmas tree lights reflected in the window. I finally took the tree down.

~~~

For more on Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.