Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Thursday Tree Love: Autumn Amber by Ayla

“We never fully move on,
We leave a piece of ourselves behind
Like leaves and trunks molded into the earth
And forest floor, we give what we know
And others take it up and use it to grow.

I stand under the shade of giants.”

― Eric Overby, Legacy

Photo by Ayla Likens

This photo was taken a few months ago by my daughter Ayla who gave me permission to share it. She has become the family historian working to discover the branches of her family tree. The tree in her photo lives on a hill near Hanging Rock State Park in the foothills of North Carolina.

Thursday Tree Love is hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursdays.

For more tree love visit Paurl at Happiness and Food.


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One-Liner Wednesday: Back to the Trees!

When I saw Linda’s post included a squirrel, I remembered this photo I took just after dawn last weekend. Being up close to dawn is extremely rare for me, but I was pet sitting the neighbor’s 17-year-old yorkie and had to get up early. The squirrel in the neighbor’s backyard seemed to be hurrying away from the utility pole back to the trees.

One-Liner Wednesday is hosted every week by Linda G. Hill.

For more one-liners, visit Linda’s blog HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for Jan. 10, 2023: Brazil’s First Indigenous Woman Chief in Key Position, Pledges for Pakistan, Miraculous Survival, and Two Bird Rescues

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Brazil to Have First Indigenous Woman Chief in Key Position

Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will appoint Sônia Guajajara to head a new Ministry of Indigenous Peoples. She was elected to congress in October and included in Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people. Read more from AP.

Over Nine Billion Dollars Pledged for Pakistan

Dozens of countries and international institutions pledged more than $9 billion to help Pakistan recover from devastating floods. The pledges came at a recent UN conference. AP has details here.

Four Survive Plunge Off 250 Foot Cliff

Last week, I mentioned an emerging story about a family of four who survived going over a 250-foot cliff in their car. In a disturbing twist, police took the driver into custody after determining he intentionally drove off the cliff. Still, it’s miraculous that all four passengers, including two children, survived. Here’s more from NBC News.

Kayaker Rescues Bald Eagle

Volunteer Jim Tibensky used his kayak to rescue a young bald eagle from the ice near Chicago

New York Residents Rescue Birds Stuck in the Ice

Buffalo residents Seamus Gallivan and Alex McArthur helped free 16 birds stuck in ice after the recent winter storm. They used a hammer, chisels, and screwdrivers. One had ice stuck to it, so they took it home in a box to warm up by their fireplace. “After a few hours … the bird looked more alert, so they took the bird outside and it flew away. That inspired them to keep looking for more birds to save.” ABC News has the details.

Got Good News?

Feel free to share in the comments!


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SoCS: Boxes, Boundaries, and Cat Dentistry

Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “out of the box.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think “out of the box.” Enjoy!

So many ideas swirling around the stream which is not a box at all, but there could be boxes of ideas riding along on the stream of consciousness bumping into one another.

The first thing I thought of what how my grown kids are still and always have been outside the box type of people. Can’t imagine how that happened. The things their father and I had in common were art and science fiction. But that’s a tangent to paddle back out of.

I’d rather eat Chinese food out of the box than the plastic. Boxes are easier to recycle as some plastics don’t recycle as easily. I have quite a collection of plastic. You’re supposed to flatten boxes first. That’s one of my soapboxes within the box of recycling. But the Chinese food I prefer comes in plastic mostly with the rice in the white box which I open, rinse and recycle. Been saving those wire handles for some kind of project. Actually used one to hang something once.

Boxes make me think of boundaries. Boundaries can be good protection. But some of them need to be flexible. Negotiables like swearing and non-negotiables like no hitting. We have lots of boundaries to keep Mama Cat and Marley separated. Marley is learning to respect those boundaries. One of the most important boxes in our house is the litter box. Well, there are other boxes that are also important, like jewelry boxes and boxes up in the attic with treasures or junk, depending on your perspective.

Mama Cat was happy to get outside the box – her carrier – after she came home from dental surgery a week before Christmas. She had five teeth removed! I was worried about the procedure and the possibility of having to give her pills post surgery. So I wrote a note to the vet when I dropped Mama Cat off. The vet ended up giving her long-acting pain meds and antibiotics, so I didn’t have to worry about giving her pills. It’s been a long time since I gave a cat a pill, like 30 years ago, and Mama Cat is skittish anyway, but getting better.

The long-acting pain medication was a form of buprenorphine which is prescribed at the facility I used to work for. Mama Cat was practically bouncing off the walls, very hyper, and very affectionate for four days. She also started eating a lot more and is more active since having her teeth pulled leading me to realize she must have been uncomfortable with bad teeth. It’s hard when animals and babies cannot tell you what hurts. She will still go into her carrier to get the food I place in the back, so that’s good, though I hope we don’t have to go back to the vet for a while.

Some cats love to get in boxes, but having spent most of her life feral, Mama Cat doesn’t seem interested. She does like her lean-to cave and small table we added sides to so that’s like a boxy cave. Small children sometimes like to play in boxes, too. When my son was a toddler, he’d sit in a box, and we’d pull him around on the carpet. Do boxes make us feel safe or are they confining? Depends on the situation. It’s usually good to step out of the box, but not roam too far, unless you have a tent or a camper trailer which I’ve been casually looking into. Mama Cat would probably prefer to stay home as long as she can go out on her catio and watch the squirrels.

Well, I’ve rambled on long enough. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for riding along on the stream of consciousness.

Here are some photos which may be related or not…

~~~

For more streams and rules,

visit out host Linda G. Hill

by clicking HERE.


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One-Liner Wednesday on Growing Up (or not)


“I was wise enough to never grow up

while fooling most people into believing I had.”

Margaret Mead

What does that mean that someone as accomplished as this famous anthropologist says she was wise enough to never grow up? She must have been a fun person to know. Still, she had intelligence, courage, and perseverance.

Growing up is a process. Anybody think they’re done with it? I don’t think so.

One-Liner Wednesday (and Just Jot it January) are hosted by author Linda G. Hill.

For more one-liners and jottings, visit Linda HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for January 3, 2023: Dog Therapy in Ukraine, Cellular Glue, Humpback Comeback, 2022 Good News Review, and Surviving the NY Blizzard in a School

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Dog Therapy for Kids in Ukraine

A special dog named Bice offers positive distraction and comfort to kids affected by the trauma in Ukraine. This story reminds me of how well dogs (and other animals) bring us back to the present moment. Click here to learn more.

New Cellular “Glue” Helps Heal Wounds

Scientists at the University of California have engineered molecules that act like a “cellular glue” to bond tissues. The research has implications for podetial of regeneration of nerves and tissues. The Good News Network has details.

Humpback Comeback

Humpback whales were almost wiped out by commercial whaling in the 19th and early 20th century and were one of the first species to be protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1970. But with global conservation efforts, the current population has rebounded from 10,000 to 80,000 in 2022. Here are the details from GoodGoodGood.

Good News Stories from 2022

Many news services are publishing a look back at last year’s good news. A short one from my 1440 email has a quick overview of ten topics including medical discoveries, earth work, the declining death penalty, LGBTQ rights, and more. (I opted to decline cookies and X’d the pop up and could still read the article.) Here’s the link: https://www.france24.com/en/environment/20221228-top-10-good-news-stories-yes-really-from-2022

If you really want to delve into the good news, a longer list of stories arranged by month is available HERE from Good Good Good

“Merry Christmas, Jay” Saved Lives by Breaking into a School in the NY Blizzard

A man named Jay broke into a school to survive the recent New York blizzard. Then he went out rescue more people who were stuck in cars and brought them inside. He saved 24 people and two dogs. Here’s the story from ABC News.

An unfolding story I’m following for next week:

A family of four apparently survived a crash after their car fell 250 feet off a cliff in California.

Got Good News?

Feel free to share in the comments!


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SoCS: If I Knew Then…. Does God Roll Her Eyes?

Today‘s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “new/knew.’” Use one, use both, use them any way you like. Bonus points if you use both. Enjoy!

Thanks for the easy bonus points, Linda, since we can use one to say, Happy New Year! and the other some other way. And also a big thanks to Linda for providing so many prompts for so many weeks and years and helping to create communities on wordpress including SoCS, One-Liner Wednesday, and Just Jot it January which I may or may not do. But Stream of Consciousness Saturday has been a good addiction/addition to my week.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have not made the same mistakes. Would I? But then, I would not be the same person. Mistakes give us compassion for others who make mistakes and hopefully, compassion for ourselves which can sometimes be harder. Forgiving the self…. sigh…. is a process, like most forgivings.

If I knew my high school sweetheart would return to me some day, many years later, would I have gotten married to someone else? I suppose so. Otherwise, I would not have become a mother unless I was a single mother, which I was (unexpectedly) for about ten years anyway. But someone knew. God knew. I guess. Wait. What about free will? That’s too complicated to explore right now.

What I know is that when I was 16, the lady I babysat for told me that if David and I were meant to be together, we would be. That really helped my pining heart and allowed me to go on about my life for 39 years until David and I were ready to meet again.

Some things we just don’t know. Sometimes, we have to put one foot in front of the other and hope for the best. But it’s good to know what we know and admit what we don’t.

I know there are a few things I want to do in 2023. Keeping it simple and realistic: Get back to painting with alcohol ink on tile, continuing the de-cluttering process, keep working out, walking, or doing some kind of physical exercise… and love. The word love keeps coming to me. I want to make time for it – romantic, familial, and platonic love. Having reclaimed my inner introvert in retirement, I tend to not seek friends out. With occasional exceptions, I am content to be home with the dog and cat much of the time. I want to listen to my loved ones more and remember that God has a plan for them. I don’t have to try to fix things for them.

A friend on FB shared a quote:

“If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.” – Anne Lamott

(Dang! Coulda used that for One-Liner Wednesday. Well, who says I still can’t just because it came along in the stream of consciousness…)

I like to think that when we tell God our plans, God will laugh but also say, “I’ll take it into consideration,” with a smirk or eye roll.

Does God roll her eyes? Is she rolling her eyes at me right now? Does God have eyes? Of course! In some form or other. All seeing eyes.

If my guardian angels knew how much work I would be, especially in my early twenties, would they have signed up? If I get to be someone’s guardian angel after I die, I’ll probably have someone difficult as payback. Oh, but mine haven’t had to work nearly as hard lately! Except when I ask them to look after my grown up children. I can feel my guardian angels rolling their eyes at that.

But here’s the real lesson: If I knew things were going to eventually work out okay, I would not have worried so much. Maybe I’m still learning to trust the timing.

Well, thanks for reading the ramble.

Recent photos from coastal Carolina:

May your new year be filled with peace, love, joy, and blessings!

~~~

For more streams and rules about SoCS:

visit our wonderful host, Linda Hill,

by clicking HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for Dec. 27, 2022: NY Bans Cosmetics Tested on Animals, International Aid to Ukraine Continues, Patagonia Profits for the Planet, Electric/Solar Powered Car Sets Record, and Giving the Shoes Off Her Feet

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

New York State Bans the Sale of Cosmetics Tested on Animals

New York recently became the tenth US state to ban the sale and manufacture of cosmetics tested on animals with the New York Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act. With so many alternatives and known ingredients available, there’s no excuse to cause animal suffering for a new shampoo or aftershave. Now, it’s up to the US congress to pass the Humane Cosmetics Act – to ban the sale and manufacturing of animal tested cosmetics throughout the US. Here’s more from CNN.

International Aid to Ukraine Continues

At a conference in Paris Tuesday, dozens of countries and international organizations pledged more than 1 billion euros (dollars) in aid to help the Ukrainian people as winter approaches. Read more from AP.

Patagonia’s Profits for the Planet

Back in September, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard transferred ownership of the 50-year-old company to entities that will use its profits to “protect nature and biodiversity, support thriving communities and fight the environmental crisis.” CNN has details.

Solar Powered Electric Car Sets New Record

An electric car in Australia made a record-breaking 621 mile (1,000km) trip on a single charge and powered by the sun. The car built by a group of “very smart amateurs” set a new world record by doing 240 laps on a track representing the distance from Sydney to Melbourne. Take a look in this article from the Good News Network.

Giving the Shoes Off Her Feet

Ta Leia Thomas didn’t expect anything in return when she impulsively gave a man her shoes. She was working at the liquor store in Minnesota when she saw him come in and get some boxes to put on his cold, shoeless feet. As the man started to shuffle out the door wearing the boxes, Ta Leia, aka, Ace, hurried after him and gave him her shoes. Now the store has started to collect clothes to help unsheltered people, and Ace is getting a lot of shoes. Here’s the story:

Got Good News?

Share your good news in the comments!


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SoCS: Cozy Candles, Music, Movies, and Cats, Plus a Sheep, Rooster, and Dog in the Mirror

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “cozy.’” Use it any way you like. Have fun! (And Merry Christmas if I don’t come back before then!) Linda was worried about losing power due to a big storm up there in the great white north as I think Canada might be known (as dubbed by a comedy team in the 80s). I have to interfect that even if we lose electricity, we still have power of some kind or other, like the power of prayer, song, laughter, lighting candles (but not near smoke alarms…) I hope Linda keeps her electricity and everyone else does too.

Lighting candles has always been cozy for me. My fireplace doesn’t work as it would need a lot of repairs to be safe, but I light candles in there to give the illusion of a fire. There will be candles tonight and Christmas night, especially since the lows will be in the teens and twenties which is unusual for the Carolina Coast. Where my son lives in the mountains, the low was -6 F last night. That’s minus 6 degrees Fahrenheit. Burr. Maybe I don’t want to live there year round.

I hope everyone who has animals keeps them warm and safe inside. Up North, it might be a three dog night, meaning that’s how many dogs to sleep with. But all dogs should be inside the house. Period.

Back to cozy. I’ve been listening to cozy music on Youtube. Sometimes it makes me sleepy. I’ll share some in a bit. Or why not now? You can always come back to it when you want to relax. I especially like the picture that goes with this one.

At the sanctuary where I volunteer on Thursdays, the sheep and goats were in the barn because of the heavy rain. I’m sure they’ll all be in there tonight. The pigs, too, and some of the chickens. Other chickens will be in their coops. I still wonder how birds survive the cold. Must be some miraculous design. And they can fly! Pretty amazing when you stop to think about it.

Here are pictures of Bennie, one of the sheep, staying cozy in the barn and studying his image, along with a rooster, Marley in the mirror before I donated it to the sanctuary, and Mama Cat being cozy on the couch.

Speaking of CATS, I saw some hilarious/cute photos of cats getting cozy in nativity scenes. Here’s a link from Bored Panda.

David said tonight after church he wants to take Marley for a walk around the neighborhood. He took Doodle for a walk on Christmas Eve years ago and it was wonderful, so he wants to revive that tradition with Marley. It will be cold, but David’s from Connecticut and Marley is half husky, so they’ll be fine. I’ll probably be watching a Christmas movie.

Watching old Christmas movies and singing Christmas songs makes me feel cozy. It’s a bit weird how often I can watch the same movies over and over, like Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, and more recently, Last Christmas which I just discovered this year. Last Christmas was inspired by the music of George Michael and Wham who I have paid little attention to until this movie enchanted me. I also like the starring actress Emilia Clarke who was in Solo, a Star Wars Story. It’s comforting to watch familiar movies again and again. They become like background music (like Star Trek) as I blog and do other stuff on the computer.

One of my favorite old Christmas songs was redone by James Taylor. I like how he’s changed the words just a tiny bit.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

May your heart be light

In a year our troubles will be out of sight…

Merry Christmas ~ Happy Holidays!

For more cozy streams of consciousness,

visit out host, Linda Hill’s blog

by clicking HERE!


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Thursday Tree Love: Still Hanging On

“Autumn is a second spring

when every leaf is a flower.”

– Albert Camus

It’s technically winter here in the US, but I’m still smiling at this cluster of leaves hanging on for weeks after the others have let go and become part of nature’s carpet. They’re still beautiful in front of the blue sky. Maybe the tree likes having them down there, protected from the wind. We’re getting ready for high winds and freezing temperatures, so I’m glad I captured these leaves to share.

~~~

~~~

Below is a bouquet of leaves I collected from my backyard and shared in a previous post

For more Tree Love, visit our host, Parul Thakur

at Happiness and Food.