Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Crocs, Gators, and a Birthday Hike

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “roc.” We are to find a word with “roc” in it or use it as a word all by itself, and enjoy!

Crocodiles are different from alligators. We have alligators here in North Carolina. I’ve seen them at the lake and less often in the creek not far from my house. Alligators are not as aggressive as crocodiles. I have to admit that I researched the differences before starting this stream. I was curious! But I’m still writing in SoCS style and did a minimum of planning. I think that’s the rule.

I used to think there were no crocodiles in the US, but read that southern Florida is the only place where gators and crocs coexist. Crocs have pointier snouts. I guess I thought gator snouts were pointy because that’s how they look in the water. Crocs live in South America and Africa. I’m glad gators aren’t that aggressive, at least to people, but you have to be careful not to let small dogs or cats run around gator territory. Don’t want to think too much about that.

How about this sign?

WARNING: Beware of Alligators

Is that sign just weathered, or did the alligators come up and rub those letters so you couldn’t read them? Why would they do that? Why would I even imagine that? Too much imagination. Let’s move on.

Crocs are a brand of functional shoes. I love my crocs sandals with lots of cushioning. The first pair I had lasted at least two years. Then each pair afterward seemed to last less time. It helps if I don’t wear them to do yoga outside. Seems I need more and more cushioning under my old feet. No more going barefoot. Maybe that’s a good thing. My feet will be a little safer from crocs, gators, and snakes when I go on hikes to the creek or my urban forest.

On Tuesday we went on a birthday hike for my daughter’s 28th birthday to a nature preserve across the bridge in the next county. There were places where alligators might have been hiding. No crocs though. We did see a turtle. (It looked like a turtle, but there was no water nearby so maybe it was a tortoise?) We hiked lots of varied terrain – woods, fields, and swamp. Not many rocks though like up north in the mountains. Glad it was too early for the mosquitoes to be out in force. I’ve only seen a few, but it’s been very dry here lately. It won’t be long…. Anyway, here a few photos from my daughter’s birthday hike.

~~~

Today’s prompt is brought to you by our SoCS post, Linda Hill. You can find rules and more streams of consciousness by clicking the link below:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 22, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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Good News Tuesday for May 18, 2021: The Dogs are Back, Baby Turtles, Brain Power, and a Persistent 9-Year-Old Chooses Her Hero

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

The Dogs are Back in the White House

After the Biden’s younger rescue dog, Major, caused minor injuries to a secret service agent who who surprised him, the dogs went away to training. Now they’re back in the white house with plans for a feline sister. One thing I love about this story is that the Bidens didn’t give up on Major. They got him the extra help he needed to come back and be part of the family. Here are details from USA Today.

Baby Turtles Rescued from Storm Drains

Over 825 baby diamondback terrapin turtles have been rescued from storm drains in New Jersey and are being cared for at the university until they can be released into the wild. Here’s more from CNN.

Paralyzed Man Achieves New Record Writing with His Mind

Using a “brain-to-text” system, a paralyzed man typed 18 words per minute – more than doubling the the previous record for typing with this type of interface. CNN explains how the process works.

Honoring All Our Heroes

Nine-year-old Noa was assigned to write about Amelia Earhart. But Noa wanted to write about Bessie Coleman, the first black (and Native American) female pilot in America. Since there were no opportunities for Ms. Coleman’s training in America, she saved her money and went to France for her pilot training. Like her hero, Noa was persistent. Here’s what happened:

Got Good News?

There’s plenty out there!

Please share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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SoCS: Balancing Growth and Rest

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: to use the word, “growth” any way we liked, and to have fun!

Personal growth was a big deal once upon a time. I’m still growing, but I want to enjoy life, too. If you’re enjoying yourself are you wasting time? I don’t think so.

My energy level fluctuates a lot. The only thing even close to predictable is that I tend to have more energy at night. David is a morning person. He gets sleepy at about 10 pm. That was a good thing when we had the five pack of dogs. I could let them out at night and he could let them out and feed them in the morning.

When I was a mom, I had to get up early. Same with work. But now, I’m RETIRED. I can do what I want, mostly. Naps are a wonderful treat. I’ve earned them. Paid my dues. Left to my own devices, I’d probably keep vampire hours. But I do my best to get up and have breakfast with David.

Lately, there are times in the afternoon that I can barely keep my eyes open. Maybe 7 hours of sleep is not enough. Fatigue seems to come from nowhere. My bloodwork is “normal.” I guess I could just go with the flow and be grateful. I am SO VERY GRATEFUL I don’t have to go to a job at a scheduled time. However, I do need a schedule to get me to write and do art, so I don’t watch too much TV. Usually the TV stays off until after noon. I have a yoga class at the senior center plus silver sneakers exercise classes at the gym about twice a week. There are times when I get really into yard work and overdo it.

I like doing yard work – clearing the pathways through my urban forest where things grow lush and thick in the summer. Actually, they’re pretty thick right now. Not a lot of flowers, though. The amaryllis that gets the most sun is done blooming. The others haven’t bloomed yet. The Hydrangea has more blooms coming than usual on the way and the lantana is just starting. I guess that’s what happens when you let the trees do their thing in the urban forest and make shade. The good thing about tree shade is that it keeps the house cooler.

I guess I’m missing the Thursday Tree Love post. Unless I got the day wrong. It’s normally on the the second and fourth Thursday, but I didn’t see it. I hope our host Parul is okay. She lives in India. Feel free to join me in sending good thoughts and prayers to Parul Thakur and India.

Hydrangea Blooming

My urban forest is only on about one quarter acre.

From my kitchen window

Some of the wildlife visitors to my urban forest include hawks, geckos, squirrels, and an abundance of birds. Yesterday I saw a rabbit which surprised me because I don’t know how it got through the fence. I think the neighbor’s dog motivated it to find a way. Anyway, it was too fast for me to get more than a glimpse. Here are some old photos of backyard wildlife:

Challenges help us grow, but we need rest and relaxation, too.

~~~

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to us by Linda Hill. For more streams and rules, visit Linda’s blog:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 15, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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Good News Tuesday for May 11, 2021: Ten Year Old Refugee Chess Champ, Ocean Conservation, Removing Anti-LGBTQ Language, Elephant Sanctuary, and Aging Out of Foster Care into Adoption

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Ten-Year-Old Homeless Refugee Wins Chess Championship

In 2017, Anitoluwa Adewumi—aka,“Tani” – and his family were refugees from Nigeria. They came to the US and lived in a shelter in Manhattan. Tani learned to play chess in school. At ten years old, he has won the state championship becoming an official Chess National Master, Read more about Tani in this article from the Good News Network.

Australia Commits $100 Million to Ocean Conservation

In April, Australia announced it will commit $100 million to protect oceans. The Good News Network reports: “Much of the funding will go towards ecosystems that involve seagrass and mangroves, which play a key role in drawing carbon out of the atmosphere.” This report from GNN specifies the benefits and distribution plans.

Alabama Governor Signs Bill to Remove for Anti-LGBTQ Language from Curriculum

A new Alabama state law which goes  into effect July 1, “removes the requirement that educators teach that homosexuality isn’t an acceptable lifestyle and that being a homosexual is a criminal offense in the state. The law also will require schools to notify parents about their intent to provide instruction about sexual education or human reproduction.” Here are details more from The Hill.

Former Circus Elephants Get a New Home with Natural Habitat

Ten Asian elephants who were freed from the circus are settling in at their spacious, natural home in Florida. This is progress toward a more compassionate culture:

After Years in Foster Care, 19 Year Old Monyay is Adopted

Monyay didn’t like her foster care caseworker at first. But over the years, they developed a special bond. The caseworker, Leah Paskalides, “gave her all the support her job would allow. When Monyay “aged out” of the foster care system, Leah found a way to adopt her proving, it’s never too late. This one brought tears to my eyes:

Got Good News?

Please share your story or link in the comments!


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SoCS: Phones of Yesteryear

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is:

“…to your left.” When you sit down to write your post, look to your left. What is the thing closest to you? Write about the memories that thing induces. Enjoy!

To my left is my phone, quietly charging, waiting for the next spam call. Or something better. I’ve recently started getting spam texts. Nothing like in the old days, when we only got an unwanted call if we listed our female names in the phone book. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

When I was a teenager in the 70s, we had one phone for the whole family. It hung on the kitchen wall – a yellow phone on a yellow wall. Most of my phone calls with boyfriends, including my first boyfriend who much later became my husband, took place at the kitchen table. It allowed for some privacy if you didn’t talk too loud. I remember my phone number was 347-5359. Before that, when I was a young child, we had a black phone that sat on a table. They all had rotary dials that went, click, click, click. I vaguely remember having a party line which meant sharing a phone line with someone – you had to take turns, not just with your own family members, but with the other party.

“Is this the party to whom I am speaking?”

That’s what Lily Tomlin said as Ernestine on Saturday Night Live, right? Nope. It was Laugh In.

Look what I found when I went looking for Ernestine: It’s so random, just like SoCS.

Some people didn’t even have phones when I was a teenager. But they could use phone booths. In England, don’t they call them call boxes? Has anyone seen a real phone booth lately? Where have all the phone booths gone? They could be dangerous though. Back in the sixties, or fifties, well, in the olden days, there was a thing to see how many people, usually college students, you could squeeze into a phone booth. Then there was The Matrix phone booth scene. Is the Matrix really that old?

In the 70s, we didn’t have an answering machine, voice mail, caller ID, or any of that stuff. We just had to take our chances. If someone was already talking to someone else, we got a busy signal – buzz, buzz, buzz. No personal computers, no remote controls (not in my house anyway) and only three TV channels that went off the air around midnight most nights, at least in the early 70s. But it was better than the two tin cans with a string tied between them. That never worked for me. I found out just now watching this video that it didn’t work because I didn’t have the string tight enough. Finnovation demonstrates what type of “string” works best. Bright kids!

We’re never too old to learn. Just because something doesn’t work the first time, doesn’t mean it won’t work. Sometimes we just have to keep trying different ways.

Oh, and I finally got back in a kayak, making sure not to take my phone just to be safe. The first two photos are my son out on the lake in the mountains. The last one is a photo he took of me in my new kayak which is blue, green, and purple. These days, I take all my photos with my phone. In the 70s I never would’ve imagined taking photos with a phone that you carry in your pocket.

~~~

For more streamy streams of consciousness, and the rules, visit out host, Linda Hill, here:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 8, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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Good News Tuesday for May 4, 2021: Teacher Appreciation Deals, Adaptive Pants, Trash Collecting Sailboat, Good Gardening, and Two Baby Rescues

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Teacher Appreciation Week: Deals, Freebies and Discounts

These restaurants and stores are giving special deals to teachers this week: Sonic Drive In, Buffalo Wild Wings, McAllister’s Deli, McDonalds, Taco Bell, Office Depot, Costco, and SheerID which provides deals to verified teachers, students and first responders. Visit Good Morning America for Details. THANK YOU, TEACHERS!

Adaptive Pants for Amputees

Many of us have never thought about the challenges of putting on a pair of pants with a prosthetic leg. Erica is a successful entrepreneur who has not only thought about it, but experienced it. So she created pants that work much better. Click here to meet Erica.


“The Manta” Sailboat Collects Plastic to Use for Power

A professional yacht racer designed a boat powered by the waste it collects. A conveyor belts (along with shallow nets) collect trash which is sorted and incinerated. Gases from melting plastic are used in a turbine to power the electric motor. Read more about the innovative vessel at the Good News Network.

Gardening and Wellbeing

A study from Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) shows a connection between regular gardening and wellbeing. This might not be news to some of us, but it is reinforcement. Here’s more from GNN.

Gentle Husky Finds Baby

Terry Walsh was walking with his dog, Hel, at a Birmingham park in the UK on April 22 when the husky found a baby. Mr. Walsh said he thought it was just a blanket, but Hel ran over and lay next to the baby who then started crying. The dog nudged him gently with her nose. Here’s more: “Gentle giant” husky dog praised for finding abandoned newborn baby in Birmingham park | Central | ITV News

Bystander Jumps off Bridge in to Save Baby after Crash

A man who wants to remain anonymous was rescued with the baby he rescued after jumping off a bridge into a bay in Maryland.

Got good news?

Feel free to share your good news or a link to your GNT post in the comments!


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May It Be

The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “may.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

Maybe May will be a good month.

Anything is possible!

We’re in the mountains this weekend. I bought a kayak and we brought it with us. Maybe I’ll actually kayak on the lake which I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years since we first came up here.

The photo above is the lake in the mountains where I hope to kayak. Nice and calm.

The next photo is one I took recently in the lowlands where I live most of the time. I used to paddle this lake picking up trash years ago. It has alligators, but they’re not that scary, and I don’t see them often. Years ago, when I was cleaning up the lake with my daughter, an alligator was swimming in front of us, going the same way. It kept looking back over its shoulder at us and eventually veered off. It was probably only about five or six feet long.

There could be an alligator hiding down there and we’d never know.

Maybe Mama Cat won’t miss me too much and will sleep a lot. We have a good pet sitter. It’s the fist time I’ve left her since I adopted her in October. Mama Cat. Not the pet sitter.

Maybe I’ll got to bed early tonight which is Friday – when I normally write my SoCS posts. The wind is blowing hard here in the mountains. Maybe it will sing me to sleep. That would be something different since I’m usually a night owl.

Sometimes we hear owls at our house in the lowlands. Maybe there are owls up here, too. Once I heard a strange noise outside here in the mountains late at night. It was very dark. The noise started like a growl-ish noise. But then there were quacking noises. It was like nothing I’ve ever heard before. But that memory will not help me sleep early.

Maybe there won’t be any shootings tomorrow. Dag! What a thing to write or think. Don’t want to go down that stream. Maybe things will get better. Maybe we’ll figure out how to get along better.

Maybe I will start with me getting along with myself and those closest to me.

May it be an evening star…. It that how the song goes? I’ll look…

This is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.

Maybe it will help me sleep.


May your day and your May be filled with blessings.

~~~

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda Hill. Thank you, Linda for your consistency and perseverance bringing us together!

For more streams and info, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 1, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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Good News Tuesday for April 27, 2021: Earth Restoring Conservation, Paying it Forward Hero Highlight, Sneakers on the Red Carpet, and Samurai Trash Collectors

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

This post turned out longer than I expected with the extra videos, but I hope you will at least watch the last one about the trash collectors.

Conservation Projects Working to Restore the Earth

CNN brings us nine conservation projects working to restore the earth. Click here for photos and project summaries.

The Pay it Forward Effect and a Hero Highlight

I just found “The Pay it Forward Effect” on Facebook. They also have a website: The Pay it Forward Effect where you can read about the organization and the cards they send you to encourage others to pay it forward. Some of the stories on the FB page are the one where a mom pays for someone’s birthday cake every year on her deceased son’s birthday. the one where the retired math teacher helps a dad on the subway trying to relearn fractions to help his son with homework, and a story from seven months ago about teenager Justin Gavin who rescued a family from a burning car. (See below.)

I know Justin got more than a “special coin.” He got to be on the Drew Barrymore Show where he received a proclamation and some surprises. You watch that happen here:

The Oscars: Women Making History

Chloe Zhao became the first woman of color to win the award for best director for Nomadland which also won best picture. Many other women won awards, but I had to mention Chloe Zhao, because I love that she wore sneakers on the red carpet and didn’t conform to the typical glam standards. You can read more here.

Japan’s Trash Collecting Samurai

Street performers in Tokyo have fun picking up trash and entertaining, but they are also serious and caring young people. Learn more about this “new generation of samurai,” and their inspiring teacher, in this subtitled video.

Got good news?

Share your good news or GNT post link in the comments!


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SoCS: When There’s Too Much Pepper in the Soup

Here’s are prompt: ….. for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “oop.” Find a word with the “oop” sound in it and use it in your post. Enjoy!

Oops. scoop. goop. soup. I like soup. Vegetarian, please. I like to experiment in cooking. Over time there are fewer, oopses, in cooking at least. We bought some cumin that is exceptionally strong and can only use like an eighth of a teaspoon, a pinch at most. Even if a recipe calls for a half a teaspoon, that’s too much of this particularly powerful batch of cumin. We learned this from experience.

Every mistake teaches us something. It was a big mistake to date a creep after my divorce. It was an even bigger mistake to keep on dating him for a year. But I learned more about codependency and how low I cold go. It brought me to my knees even more than the divorce. It gave me compassion for people who stay in unhealthy or abusive relationships. When it finally ended, it was like waking up from a bad dream. Where had I been? I had lost myself for a while there. Now, I appreciate being in a healthy relationship.

But first, I had to appreciate me. I had to learn to love myself again. Was that rebound from hell really a mistake? Could I have learned to love me without it? I don’t know. I wish I had not done it. I regret that rebound. But God can take a messy mistake and turn it into something good.

It’s like if we put too much cumin, or pepper, in the soup. God can put in other spices, other healthy vegetables, sweet nourishment, to counteract the mistake. The soup becomes rich and hearty.

Do we need to make mistakes in order to learn? Or to appreciate the good things in life?

Let’s hope we learn enough to not make more big ones.

Let’s hope we can heal the mess we’ve made of the planet, mend relationships, bridge the divide.

God help us. I know imagine you’re tired of our mess and want us to learn on our own.

Maybe we will. But could you just give certain people a nudge. You know, the ones who put too much pepper in the soup. Help them, help us, help me, be careful with the pepper – my irritability and critical thoughts….

Add some sweet corn, sweet peas, sweet potato, maybe even some mango. Nudge us to use a dash of compassion, a spoonful of empathy, a cup of kindness.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda Hill. For more streams and rules, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 24, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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Thursday Tree Love: Fringes for Earth Day and a Poem of Glad Awakening

Fringe Tree

Meet “Grancy Graybeard” also known as grandfather graybeard, granddaddy’s beard, old-man’s beard, snow flower tree or flowering ash, and Chionanthus virginicus. Botanists call it a fringe tree, and while I’m not technically a botanist, I’m going with that for now.

I discovered this tree with it’s delicate fringes and fragrance at Greenfield Lake Park on Saturday. What a delight to discover something new! The earth is always showing us new and wonderful things!

This poem was nearby in the fragrance garden:

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Please join me in sending prayers to Parul’s home of India where the second pandemic wave is hitting hard.

For more Tree Love, visit:

#ThursdayTreeLove – 108 – happiness and food