Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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He’s Alive!

Anything is Possible!

Happy Easter!

As part of the completion of this series on, Jesus Christ Superstar, I offer the theme song:

I like seeing Judas hangin’ out with the angels. It looks like he’s been forgiven.

When I first thought of doing this as a series, I thought it was just a good idea.

But it turned into something more.

Listening to the songs and watching the scenes from Jesus Christ Superstar, reflecting on their meaning to me, more than 30 years after my first encounter with the movie, I’ve come to feel the story of Jesus more deeply. I was drawn back to the Passion of the Christ to relive some of that experience too.

I’ve come to realize that this project is not just from me. I am grateful to have been led this week by the spirit of the living Jesus.

To conclude this week, I want to leave…

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Fifteen Years of Love

Beep

The fluff ball curled up next to the man on the seat of the truck and went to sleep. He hadn’t wanted another dog, but finally agreed. They named her “Beep” because her bark sounded like a car horn. When she was six months old, she snuck up next to the man on the recliner as he pretended to be asleep. They napped together like that often when the man was tired from being gone so long. She loved the man more than anything.

She ran like the wind with her long nimble legs as she chased squirrels, and balls, and anything that moved. She loved to help the man work in the yard by catching the wiggly worms he stirred up with his raking and digging. When they brought home a new puppy, she adopted him as her own. Beep and Oreo were best buddies, even though he grew up stocky and couldn’t quite keep up with her and couldn’t turn around as fast as she could. Beep and Oreo didn’t like the bossy hound dog that came to live with them. The hound wanted all the food. The hound thought she was the queen, but Beep knew she was the favorite, because the man always listened to her. She let him know when she wanted a drink of water, or a snuggle on the couch, and he always gave it to her. She could feel his love, and he could feel hers.

When the household split in two, he wouldn’t let her go. “The dogs stay with me. You can have the cats,” he said. Beep became his most loyal companion. As she got older and couldn’t climb the stairs, he carried her up to bed at night.

When the new woman came, Beep wasn’t happy with being displaced. She grudgingly accepted the mom as the new alpha female and adopted the daughter as her own.

They moved south to live with the new woman and her daughter and shared their new home with two new dogs. But Beep always felt loved.The warmer weather helped her move better and the winters were more bearable. She settled into a comfortable routine with her pack.

After a couple years, one of the new dogs, the old silky-haired one who slept a lot, went away. Then, her friend Oreo became very tired. He didn’t want to move. He went away and didn’t come back. She missed her buddy. The daughter wasn’t there much anymore and only came for short  visits.

Waiting by Ayla

But Beep still knew she was loved by the man and the woman. They both took care of her. They took her for walks and snuggled with her on the couch.

When Beep had lived 15 winters, her back legs got stiffer and didn’t work right. She fell down a lot. The man and the woman helped her up the back steps, and the man gave her shots. They kept loving her, snuggled with her almost every night, and took her to the vet a lot. Then her front shoulder stopped working. It hurt so bad she could hardly get up. She wanted to get up and walk, but she could only hobble. Her body hurt more than she could ever remember. She could feel that the man and woman were worried. She could also feel that they loved her. One day the man took her into the car and held her on his lap while the woman drove the car. She snuggled on his chest with her head on his shoulder just  like when she used to sleep with him in the recliner.

Gently, the man put her on the table. The vet came in and gave her a shot. She was getting used to the vet by now. The man and woman were very sad, but she couldn’t worry about that much because she started to feel sleepy – so sleepy she couldn’t keep her eyes open.

***

She felt strange, like when she woke up from long sleep. She shook her head. Her body felt good! She stood up, and she could walk! It didn’t hurt anymore! Where was she? The soft grass held smells of small animals. In front of her was a bridge of many colors – colors she had never seen before. Another dog appeared on the other side of the bridge. He yipped.   It was Oreo! Her good friend! They ran to each other and met on the middle of the bridge. He licked her face and yipped again, telling her to follow him across the bridge. She could smell wonderful things on the other side.

Suddenly, Beep felt like running!

You can’t catch me, Oreo! She shot a look back as she passed him.

She ran like the wind across the rainbow bridge.

_________________________________________________________________

In 2010, I asked God to send me a soulmate who loved dogs. We started our life together with five dogs. Now we have two left (Doodle and Marigold.) I believe we will be meeting up with quite a pack of dogs in heaven.

Our pack out back

Jesse the golden, Oreo the spaniel, Doodle the hound, Beep, and Marigold

 

All photos in this post are by Ayla Likens


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I’m re-blogging this post in memory of my sister, Mary Kaye, and my mother. My sister’s birthday was March 7, and my mother’s, March 21st. I imagine they are smiling at me. I hope they like the Angels I’ve been painting. Still, I miss them. My big sister, Linda, is with them, too. I miss you, too, Linda. Thank you for your support during those lonely years.

Anything is Possible!

70s Family Photo

Dad told me a new and enlightening story today at IHOP about my Mom who passed away a few years ago:

Just one week after my 16 year old sister was killed by a drunk driver on her birthday, Dad’s minister told him they needed someone to take the church youth group on a scheduled camping trip because the regular youth group leader was pregnant and having some physical challenges. Dad wasn’t sure, but when he asked Mom, she said, “when do we leave?”

After a couple days the youth group kids were bored and ready to go back home because they’d already learned everything about camping.  Mom convinced them to stay so they could teach their skills to other kids. Against advice that they were asking for trouble, Mom got Dad to drive the church bus to the infamous Hay Street in Fayetteville, NC and gathered kids from a…

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Awesome Stories 263

I always love Brad’s “Awesome Stories!”

writing to freedom

This week Awesome Stories brings you Airstream dreams, lasting relationships, $20,000 homes, word power and evolving medicine.

Airstream Dreams

This is one of the coolest remodels that I’ve seen. I love his sense of style, efficiency and orientation for simplicity. I must admit to having Airstream lust. Maybe Jordan will sell it to me! Check out his awesome Airstream home.

Lasting Relationships

Sadly only 3 in 10 couples remain happy in their relationships. According to this article on lasting relationships, the key seems to be a spirit of kindness. Couples that enjoy each other and remain together practice two key things; kindness and turning toward each other. Relationships that fall apart have developed a habit of stress in the relationship. whereas couples that thrive have developed a habit of turning toward each other. This means they physically, mentally and emotionally move toward their partners, even in conflict. And underlying…

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Moving On from That to This

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“That was then, this is now.”

Can I learn from my mistakes and not dwell on them? Yes, I can!

I can learn that back then, I got confused and got into this rebound with some one who was all so very wrong for me. Now, I have more compassion for people who stay in unhealthy relationships too long. Now, I’m with someone who is good for me.

I used to worry too much about what other people think about me. Now, it still crosses my mind, but I remind myself, I don’t need to worry about that. Now I’m focused more on taking care of myself and being real, and authentic – that word keeps popping up in my mind lately. Authentic.

Don’t you just hate it when your mind goes to something you did that you can’t believe you did? I hate it. But I must forgive myself and remember, that was then and this is now. Now I know better. Does that mean I won’t make stupid or embarrassing mistakes every now and then. No. I’ll still do that sometimes. But I can laugh at myself easier and easier. I can allow myself to be human and imperfect.

I was just thinking yesterday of something I did that was stupid and embarrassing. Now, I can’t remember what it was. I’m not going to try to rack my brain about it either. I’m sure I have the lesson somewhere in my brain without recalling exactly what happened.

Now, I will still remember many of my mistakes, and I’m just going to roll my eyes about that. I’m not going to beat myself up about mistakes I’ve made in the past, because I’m smarter than that, I’m better than that, and I deserve better….than that!

I would be remiss if I did not admit I did not know the origin of the words, “That was then, this is now.” I looked it up to find the credit goes to Susan Eloise Hinton, aka, SE Hinton who wrote the book by this title which was made into a movie.

It’s also a song by Josh Wilson:

AND then I discovered it’s also the title of an OLD song recoreded by the Monkees!

Today’s Stream of Consciousness post prompt from Linda Hill was:

“this and that.”  Talk about this, talk about that, talk about this and that, but here’s the catch: make either “this” or “that” the first word of your post. Bonus points if you can end with “this” or “that.” Enjoy!

If you’d like to join this fun, visit this link:

http://lindaghill.com/2016/03/04/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-516/

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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 simply a single word to get your 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.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! 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 right 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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Computer Headache

Loving Me, Too

computer crack up-scrap-944452_960_720

Some days are harder than others. Tuesdays at my job have been particularly hard lately. I won’t go into all the details, but I’m amazed at how my time in front of a computer has mushroomed to unbelievable proportions over the past thirty years. Under the current system, it has become necessary to spend absurd amounts of time typing to a computer screen in order to justify the authorization of funds to help people who otherwise would not receive help. The typing has taken a toll on my hands over the years. Now my eyes, head and neck are begging me to ease up.

Tuesday night, I came home and and spent even more time on the computer.By 10 pm, my eyes felt more tired than I can remember. They ached and burned from looking at a computer screen for much of the day.  Yet, I pushed a little more…

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How Not to Waste Food: Eat Leftovers, Compost, Share with Dogs

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Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: “food”

If I hadn’t written about my efforts to be a vegetarian just a few days ago, I would have written about that…..

Do you know how much food is wasted in the US? A lot!

My mother used to say, “We don’t throw away food.” She grew up in the depression and didn’t throw away much. But sometime, when it has mold on it, you do need to throw it away, unless of course you can compost it. We keep our compost in the freezer until it piles up enough to carry it out to the composter.

Having dogs also helps us not to waste food. And we eat a lot of leftovers. Sometime we can make a whole meal of leftovers, two meals even. A thin friend of mine told me that she felt like when she ate too much, it was wasting food, so it’s the same as throwing it away. I don’t know. But it got me thinking about how maybe I don’t need to eat something just to keep it from going to waste when I’ve already had enough. But I still don’t like to throw it away if it’s usable, meaning eatable.

My husband’s dogs, who are now my dogs, my step dogs, will eat just about anything, including kale, broccoli, carrots, apples and bananas. My little mutt has started to eat some of those things, too, since her step sisters seem to enjoy their raw veggies so much. But when we toss her the kale, or a piece of raw carrot, she mouths it and then looks at us like, what is this? This is not food.

Yet, for humans, it is food, unlike things like potato chips and candy – food like products, right? Except that last night, I had some potato chips for the first time in a very long time, and they were good, sort of, not wholesome, yeah, they didn’t taste like food. Okay, so I won’t do that again for a very long time. I hope. Because it’s true what they say about weight gain and getting older. It’s not mandatory to gain weight as we age, but it does seem to be a trend. And then there are those people who get thinner as they get older.

But back to food. I’d really like to eat mostly what God made, through nature, for us to eat to be healthy. We are blessed and lucky to have so many choices in the modern world. But I do like dark chocolate, and that is not made by God/nature. Cocoa beans are though. I don’t recall ever having a cocoa bean. I think it’s about time. Because beans are good for you. And I want to eat food that’s good for me. I want to eat to live, not live to eat.

If you’d like to join in the banquet of Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2016/02/26/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-2716/

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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 simply a single word to get your 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.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! 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 right 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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Giving Birth, Now and Then

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Isn’t it great when you are finally about to do something you’ve been excited about, and they you’re nervous as hell? Well, I’m not as nervous about the art show as I was, I’ve got everything organized and the last little painting done. But I do hope I will relax and enjoy this weekend as an artist.

It reminds me of getting ready to have a baby. My paintings are a little like my babies. Not a lot, but a little. I created them. Okay, God helped. But I worked on them, and now, I’m going to sell them, or offer them for sale. They can spread love and joy and whatever if I sell them, or give them away, like the books I’m done with or the clothes I don’t wear. They’re not doing anyone any good in my closet. But I can’t help but have a little attachment to my paintings. Hey, I can make more though, unlike babies. I can’t make babies anymore. And that’s a good thing.

I remember the first few contractions as labor started, remember like it was yesterday and not 22 and 30 years ago. I remember how the contractions got worse and worse. No let’s just say stronger and stronger. I had decided to go all natural with my first baby – no meds at all. Ha! After several hours of labor, I was having some doubts about my plan. After about ten hours, I realized: I can’t do this. Not without some medication. The contractions were starting to feel like my hips were coming apart.

Now I know that technically, it would have been possible for me to have a baby without any pain medication. Women have done it that way for a very long time through history. That’s why after the first shot of stadol started to wear off, and I was told it was too late for another shot, I took a deep breath and started getting ready to push. That was with my first baby. With my second, I knew I’d probably get some drugs. My water broke before labor, and after walking for a couple hours to see if labor would start, I finally let them give me some Pitocin to induce labor. An hour or so later, the nurse came in and said my contractions weren’t very strong, so she turned up the pitocin. Then, a few minutes later, I knew they were plenty strong. When it was time to push, the doctor wasn’t there yet and they told me not to push. Ha! Tell that to my body.

I could go on and on about childbirth that happened 22 years ago. Now, I’m birthing my creativity. It didn’t exactly hurt to paint, except my neck and hands do ache just a tiny bit, but I have poured my soul into some paintings, just a little. Fortunately, my soul is also fed by creativity. And art can be therapeutic. I can finally make good on the promise I made to paint an angel helping the person I saw sitting on the curb outside the fast food restaurant a couple of years ago. I didn’t have time to stop and buy him a chicken biscuit, but I said a prayer asking angels to help him and made a plan to paint that some day. Here’s the sketch I did a year ago:

IMG_2664

And here’s part of what came out a few days ago:

IMG_2658

From  a yet to be titled painting by JoAnne Silvia

Well, you never know what’s going to come out of a stream of consciousness post. Today’s prompt was “contraction.” That’s when I thought of contractions during childbirth/labor. Then Linda clarified: “Make the first word of your post a contraction.” 

To join in the fun and adventure of Saturday SOC, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2016/02/19/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-2016/

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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 simply a single word to get your 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.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! 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 right 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!


25 Comments

Angel Art

Art quote by Kurt Vonnegut

Of course, I’d love to make a living as an artist. But it takes some pressure off to just create art to make my soul grow, for heaven’s sake.

I’m getting ready for my second year in a community art show this weekend and trying not to be nervous about getting everything together. You can read about my first art show here. It will help me to remember that the show I participated in last year was ultimately a spiritual experience for me. It’s something I was meant to do since I was 10 years old and spent much of my free time drawing dogs and horses. But now, I’m mostly painting angels.

For years, I’ve heard myself say, “I’m supposed to be painting angels.” So, I’m taking more time to honor that message which could be from my mom who collected angels until she became one.

Most of my work is done on pieces of re-claimed wood. I did the painting below about 10 years ago, but just added the little angel on the flower a few days ago.

little angel on purple flower tree

Little Angel on a Purple Flower, by JoAnne Silvia

This next one, “Forest Angel” I also painted on reclaimed wood. She’s one of my favorites.

Forest Angel ligher

Forest Angel, by JoAnne Silvia

 

The next piece, I call “Convergence.” I’ve been working on it for about a month now. I use the knot holes in the wood for the angels faces, or a halo. One thing led to another, and another.

IMG_2656

Convergence, by JoAnne Silvia

 

This post was inspired by the angels and by Lorrie Bowden who writes about claiming her identity as an artist this way:

“…..as I lift the veils that shroud my eyes I feel a certain power emanating, flowing, rising to the surface of my world.  I embrace it with open arms and welcome a lost lamb home.”

Thank you, Lorrie!  I celebrate with you as we welcome home our creative arts, and our creative hearts!

 


12 Comments

How long can you work “tirelessly” ?

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I get really annoyed when someone says/commends me or someone else by saying he, or she has worked “tirelessly” when we were damn tired.

There I said it.

If someone really worked tirelessly, they would be on a lot of caffeine, or manic, or maybe just passionate about the work, but eventually, we get tired. All of us.

So what would be a better commendation?

She worked really hard. He worked from sun up to sun down. You did a good job! Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?  I’m sounding a little negative here, which I don’t usually do on this blog. But hey, I’m human and this is a little pet peeve of mine.

It is possible to work tirelessly – but not forever. Okay enough of that.

There are some things I would never tire of. Things I’ve not had the chance to get tired of anyway, like a massage. Can you imagine a massage that goes on as long as you want it to? Maybe a tag team of three massage therapists. Could a person overdose on a massage that went on and on into blissitude? Could your muscles actually get tired from a massage? I’d like to find out.

Other things I don’t think I’d get tired of are: stained glass windows, soft and gentle music if it’s varied enough, the oatmeal I have every morning with fruit and walnuts, (though I wouldn’t mind pancakes for dinner once in a while). I don’t think I’d get tired of Star Trek, which I rarely watch anymore. I doubt I’d ever get tired of the color blue, though of course anything is possible. It would take a long time for me to get tired of dark chocolate.

And I truly don’t think I would get tired of God’s love. Agape. The unconditional love that never ends.

What do you never get tired of?

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: “tire.” So far, I’ve not gotten tired of the Saturday Stream of Consciousness prompt and post. In fact, I look forward to it. Thanks to Linda Hill.

If you’d like to join in the fun, visit :

http://lindaghill.com/2016/02/12/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-1316/

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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 simply a single word to get your 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.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! 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 right 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!