Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


9 Comments

SoCS: Contact Paper, DIY Lucy, and a Praying Mantis

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “wallpaper.” Use it however you’d like. Have fun!

My parents didn’t have wallpaper that I remembered, because I was probably too young. But I do remember they had “contact paper” in the kitchen over the sink. Contact paper was supposed to be easier wallpaper, I guess. Maybe it was a peel and stick thing. They loved it like the coolest thing since sliced bread. It had yellow, orange, brown, and maybe green flowers, with a 60s look. When we were getting the house ready to sell a few years ago, I peeled it off and painted it yellow. The buyers probably redid all the walls since the house needed a lot of work.

Early in my first marriage, we lived in a duplex that had different contact paper in every room. We had looked at the place in the dark since the landlord didn’t have the electricity on. Of course, that was a mistake, but the rent was low. The living room contact paper was similar to what my parents had over their kitchen sink. The kitchen had contact paper with lemon and lime slices on it. The landlord was proud of it and said, “it came all the way from New York!” He was probably in his 80s and had a thick German accent. Talk about a time warp. The contact paper was still tacky, even in 1985. I hung a lot of stuff on those walls to try to distract from the paper. One thing I hung was a large brown and white tapestry that I bought with the money I saved in a jar when I quit smoking cigarettes. It had a Native American design. I gave it to my son when he quit smoking cigarettes. Who knows where it is now. I still have a lot on my walls, but no contact paper or wallpaper. I do have peel and stick blue and white squares on the wall over my stove. They are meant to be temporary, until I get real tile, but I like them.

Below is a clip where Lucy and Ethel hung wallpaper. Lucy was always worried about Ricky being mad at her, but looking back, he didn’t get that mad. He had some patience. My mom was like a quieter version of Lucy – emotional and zany, but quieter. Come to think of it, Dad was often quiet, though when he used his Gunny Sgt voice, you paid attention and didn’t give him any back talk.

I bet Lucy would love contact paper.

Back to 2022, there have been a lot of praying mantis sightings lately. Besides the one below which I found walking upside down on my clothesline, a big brown mantis was on my shoulder at the sanctuary yesterday. They’re a good luck sign!

Praying Mantis on my Clothesline
I resisted the urge to help and let it be.

~~~

To learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit out host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


32 Comments

SoCS: The Conservation Kid, Osteoporosis, and Forward Bends

 Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is: “the first 2-5 words at the top of the closest printed matter.” 

There’s a Goodnewsletter open on my coffee table with a story I was thinking about including in my Good News Tuesday post but have not used in the month it’s been sitting there. Now I can use it and move it. Here’s the title on the open page: “Meet the Kid on a Mission to Pick up One Million Pounds of Litter in 2022.” Twelve-year-old Cash Daniels is known as “The Conservation Kid.” Cash and his friends spend “several hours each week picking up trash along the Tennessee River.” Kids like cash give me hope for our future.

(The above is all that would save Friday night when I normally write my SoCs post. The auto-save seemed to be circling, so I had a feeling…. This morning, I’m going back to try to re-create the second part but will try to stay in SoC mode.)

The other printed material nearby is from my medical folder and includes reports on previous bone density tests showing I have osteoporosis. This has not been addressed in a couple of years since my beloved gynecologist who was treating me went and retired. Like my beloved dentist retired. The nerve! Now all my doctors are clearly younger than me. Maybe it’s because I’m retired. (Yay!)

Anyway, I waited 18 months for an appointment with a rheumatologist. 18 months to get in! It gave me time to look up, rheumatologist. They deal with muscular-skeletal stuff and immune system issues, chronic pain, etc. Okay, good.

This rheumatologist said to me, “You’re pretty young to have osteoporosis.”

“Oh, really?”

“Did you ever smoke cigarettes?”

“Yes, in my twenties, for about ten years. A pack or two a day.” (Mostly a pack.)

“That could do it,” he said.

Sigh. “I thought I was over that. I thought my body had overcome that.” I don’t remember my exact words. I felt a bit deflated. He said something about smoking taking years from my bones or adding years. I looked it up. Smoking cigarettes decreases bone density. It just took a long time to catch up with me.

We can’t change the past, but we can do what we can now. (If anyone needs help quitting smoking, I have good experience.) I can look up exercise for bone density on YouTube as the doc suggested. I didn’t find anything that would be good to post here, but what I did find out (from multiple youtube sources) is that people with osteoporosis should NOT do crunches or forward bends. WT? We do forward bends regularly in my senior yoga class “Gentle Yoga for Back and Bones.” It’s not always gentle by the way. I’m good at forward bends. This needs more research and maybe I won’t push the forward bends. Maybe I’ll be more relaxed about them. This needs more research. Has anyone ever heard about this?

Maybe I’ll leave most (not all) of the trash picking up to the young conservation kids, or I’ll get one of those picking up sticks.

Below is one of the roosters at the sanctuary doing a forward bend in front a mirror.

~~~

For more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit our wonderful host,

Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


14 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh! how about those pictures from space?

From my friend Jana’s post

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

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

~~~

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


12 Comments

SoCS: Making Notes and a Strangely Beautiful Movie

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “make a note.” Do with it what you will. Have fun!

Making notes tends to become more important with age. It’s something I was good at in school. Even if I didn’t read my notes again, just writing them down on paper reinforced what I was trying to learn. “Is this going to be on the test?” determined if I should write it in my notebook. Now, I can understand how annoying that question might be to a teacher. Thank you, teachers!

Making mental notes is another matter. I don’t know if I was ever good at that and would not want to trust something important to a mental note unless I said it to myself 100 times. There’s only so much room left in my brain.

I made a written note on scrap paper (I have a lot of those) of quotes from a movie I watched earlier this evening on TV. (It’s Friday night.) Don’t know if I’ll share them, because I might use them for a One-Liner Wednesday one of these Wednesdays. The movie is called Wendy, and I’d never heard of it. Or maybe I did and just forgot perhaps after having made a mental note that it looked interesting. Wendy is kind of the Peter Pan story with a Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome feel at times. Wendy is the hero and there’s a lot about “Mother,” who lives under the water and lights up in hints of Tinkerbell but looking nothing like Tinkerbell. It’s kind of a gritty, bizarre movie about hope and believing.

They didn’t make notes in Never Land where thinking too much is discouraged. No, wait, they DID make notes – as in singing notes, not really words, but ohs, and oos, to a tune. Singing – making notes – saved the day!

Here’s a trailer for Wendy.

Here are some recent Photos starting with Marley who keeps me young: The first photo is him with his trainer’s dog who showed him how to get into the scary metal bathtub at the pet supply store on Wednesday. Next is the new toy he got for letting me give him a bath there yesterday.

~~~

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


16 Comments

SoCS: Produce and Productivity

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “product/produce.” Use one, use them both, use them any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Have fun!

The first thing that came to mind was produce. As in strawberries, squash, and little orange tomatoes from the farmer’s market that taste soooo good! Produce = fruit and vegetables – gifts from earth, from Creator. And from bees. Gotta have bees.

Every Thursday, I chop up produce for the animals at the sanctuary. Lately, I’ve been practicing cutting produce with my left hand, because my right arm is giving me some trouble. It’s gotta be a good brain exercise but takes longer. I would not want to be a waitress, but don’t mind doing this for the animals.

I hope I get a few more grapes out back since I have tried to cut back and drape the grapevine around a fence and keep the other vines from taking over. Of course, the birds and squirrels will have some, too. We’ll see.

Nurturing the grape vine and going to the farmer’s market are much happier forms of what some might call productivity. When I used to work in an office, the measurement of productivity changed in the last 5 years of my 30-year counseling career. The measurement changed to expect more direct services in spite of mountains of paperwork/computer work being added… Oh stop it! That’s history, and I’m soooo thankful it’s history. I don’t even like the word productivity anymore. How about creativity!

Now, I can feel productive if I make cookies from bananas, peanut butter, and oatmeal, or if I give Marley a bath – which is a lot of work! Taking down the old shower curtain was productive. I’ve washed it and scrubbed it enough times. Now, I have a new one. David can put that up. It’s supposedly “biodegradable and eco-friendly.” I have not thrown the old one away. It’s hanging on the clothesline because I might wash it. Might not. I don’t have to decide until I want to decide. More important things to do. Like getting ready to go to the mountains! More on that later!

Semi-random photos that may or may not be related to the topic:

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, rules, etc.

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


23 Comments

SoCS: Marley, the Bunny, and the Cat Under the SUV

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “iron(y).” Use “iron,” use “irony,” or use both. Use them any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Have fun!

First of all, let me get this out of the way: I don’t iron anymore. Period.

Now, to the story.

The bunny was just sitting there on the corner near the house that has been vacant for many years. I was surprised that Marley, my pitsky with a high prey drive, did not see the bunny. We crossed the street and waited. We’re supposed to be working on recall, still on leash, with all our training tools. Still, the bunny barely moved. He or she munched on some weeds. It vaguely occurred to me that God was doing me a favor, but my growing confidence led me to be less vigilant. There’s some irony in here somewhere.

The bunny looked like this
(from Pixabay?)

We moved on, heading back toward our house. I (again vaguely) knew there was a cat who lived in the vicinity, but I was confident and pushed the envelope. A cat would be an opportunity to practice recall. Marley realized before I did, that the cat was hiding under an SUV parked close to the sidewalk. Before I knew it, I was pulled to the SUV Marley stuck his head under. The cat’s hissing just excited him more. At some point, Marley must have suddenly responded to my commands, because I ended up falling HARD on my butt. Thank God I did not let go of the leash. And thank God I did not break a hip since I have osteoporosis. But that didn’t stop me from cussing which I rarely do in public. I’ve had coccyx issues in the past so falling hard on my butt is an “Oh —-,” experience.

The young couple of the house came out to see if I was okay, distracting Marley from their cat who had since run up a tree on the other side of the SUV. Eventually I got up and made my way home. That all happened last Saturday night. My butt still hurts, but not as much. I trust my body knows how to heal.

Lessons learned: Don’t push the envelope. BE VIGILANT. Beware of parked vehicles near our path.

The good news is that yesterday, when Marley accidentally got out of the kitchen while Mama Cat was in her safe corridor, he did not go crazy. We’ve been keeping them separated, though I’ve been thinking it might be almost time to let Marley see her on the other side of the pet gate while he is in PLACE on his cot – a command he is learning. While I was doing something on the computer, with Mama Cat in the dining area with me, I noticed Marley was whining and pacing on the other side of the gate.

What?! He’s supposed to be in the kitchen!

I called David to get him back in the kitchen, but at least Marley didn’t go crazy. He acted more like he does when he wants to make friends with another dog or person. So that’s good news, especially since Mama Cat and the SUV cat are both tuxedo cats. I’m hoping Marley will clearly understand that Mama Cat is part of our family.

“I was here first.”

Marley resting in PLACE.

~~~

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


17 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!


23 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.