Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday for Jan. 12, 2021: Democracy Prevailed, Women in the Catholic Church, Rice ATM, A Returned Wallet, and Food from the Heart

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Democracy Prevailed

After domestic terrorists attacked the US Capitol building on Wednesday in an attempted coup, members of congress evacuated to safety. The coup failed. Lawmakers returned to their posts that same evening and finished their jobs. Working through the night, they certified the Electoral College votes confirming Joe Biden as the 46th US president. The announcement was made at 3:40 AM on Thursday. Later that day, Donald Trump stated for the first time that “there will be an orderly transition on January 20.” We don’t know what the future holds, but on the morning of Thursday January 7, democracy prevailed. This article from MSN provides details and historical perspectives.

Pope Francis Gives Women More Opportunity to Serve in the Catholic Church

 Pope Francis, “in another step towards greater equality for women in the Roman Catholic Church,” decreed on Monday that women will be allowed to serve as readers at liturgies, altar servers and distributors of communion. These things have been happening in some churches, but the decree formalizes and ensures the opportunity to be allowed even in conservative Catholic parishes.

Rice ATM

In India, Ramu Dosapati has spent close to $61,000 of his own money to create a ‘Rice ATM’, giving out rice and other necessities 24 hours a day, to those in need. Here’s more from the Good News Network.

Girl Donates Birthday Money to Homeless Man who Returned Grandma’s Wallet

Sean Curry, who has been homeless for five years, found a wallet in a dumpster behind a coffee shop. He found no cash, but there were credit, debit, and medical cards in the wallet. Sean arranged to have the wallet returned to the owner, Evelyn Topper. Evelyn’s grand daughter, Mikayla had planned her 12th birthday party to include a drop off for charity donations. She gave the several hundred dollars in birthday money, to Sean. For more details and a video from the Good News Network, click here.

Food from the Heart

The Sakina Grill has served rich and poor alike. When the pandemic threatened the business, the community rallied in support with over 65 donors contributing more than a quarter of a million dollars. You can learn more about the Sakina Grill and be inspired by owner/chef Kazi Mannan here.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!


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A Letter to My Past Self About Reasons to Keep Living

This post is inspired by Eliza at: https://elizajourneythroughlife.home.blog/

I’m sending this back in time to myself whenever it’s needed most, sometime in my late teens or early twenties when I had thoughts about suicide. 

Dear JoAnne, 

It’s me, your future self, writing this to you when I am 65 years old which doesn’t feel as old as I thought it would back then when I was 20. Believe me, there is plenty of life to live. 

I know this is hard time for you. I know you are confused and lost trying to figure out what to do with your life. I know your heart aches and that you’ve had thoughts of giving up. Don’t give up!  It’s very important that you know life will get better. There will be hard times ahead. There will be times when you feel your heart is breaking, but the good times will vastly, surely, and greatly outweigh the bad. When I look back at all the good times over the past 45 years, I am so grateful that I didn’t give up.

You will gradually gain the skills to navigate and overcome the hard times. Things that seem impossible now, will someday be easier or less important. 

There are good times, wonderful times, ahead with the constants in your life: nature, art, writing, dogs, horses, cats, learning, and spirituality. These are the things you need to focus on now – the true loves of your life that always nurture your spirit and feed your soul. There will be love. Love from men, friends, and family. Your parents love you very much, even more than you can realize right now since you haven’t had children, yet, but you will. The love of family and friends is important. For now, don’t worry about the men, especially the ones who act like boys. You deserve love that is kind and caring, mature and strong. It might take a while, but you will have it. For now focus on loving yourself. 

You are valuable! You are worth so much more than you know. You have so much to give to this world with all your gifts, gifts that are still being developed. 

I know you might not want to hear this right now, but God loves you deeply, profoundly and forever. Just trust me on this. Your family is praying for you every day. Let this knowledge strengthen you. I know your ideas about religion are eclectic and nontraditional, and that’s okay. That’s part of who you are. But understand that there is a Higher Power who loves you dearly and has a wonderful plan for you! Trust the timing.

So, forget about men for now.  Remember your dreams. Your dreams may change, but they will always be about helping others and Mother Earth. For now, focus on loving yourself and learning. Cut down on the drinking. Be safe. Go back to college. Feel free to explore different classes, different interests.

There’s a whole world of possibilities waiting for you!

I’m sending big hugs and abundant love across time to you. Be still for a moment and feel it. Then move forward with you wonderful life. I promise your life will be will be interesting, beautiful and full of wonder.  

I love you always, 

JoAnna

Today’s Just Jot January topic was, “Letter.” I’m thankful to E for her nudge and patience on this letter and to Linda, our JusJoJan host for getting me to go through my draft ideas to get it written.

For more on Just Jot January, visit: #JusJoJan prompt the 11th – “Letter” | (lindaghill.com)


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Just Jot January: Vegan Cheese, a Work in Progress

Today’s prompt for JusJoJan is “cheese.”

Cheese is one of the things that makes it hard for me to be vegan. That and seafood. I can be vegan for lent, but so far, not forever. There’s a book called, Breaking the Food Seduction, by Dr. Neal Barnard, MD which explains the addictive nature of cheese. I heard Dr. Barnard speak about this at a convention years ago.

There are many vegan cheeses, and I have not tried them all. Some are better than others. I believe they are getting better. My husband David doesn’t like the vegan cheeses I’ve tried, but he’s okay with this cheesy vegan chickpea sauce I’ve been experimenting with. It tastes kinda like cheese and works well for casseroles, pot pies and scalloped potatoes.

Chickpea Cheese Sauce:

¾ cup    Chickpeas (canned or home cooked with liquid)

¾ cup    Non-Dairy Milk (almond milk, oat milk or other, plain and unsweetened)

¼ cup    Nutritional Yeast

1 clove  Large Garlic

½ teaspoon        Salt

½ teaspoon        Turmeric

¼ teaspoon        Black Pepper (ground)

1 tablespoon     Fresh Chives (snipped)

Mix it in a food processor or blender.

I tend to be creative and relaxed about measurement and use one can of chickpeas, extra garlic or garlic salt, and added a few tablespoons of olive oil. I used this sauce inside my Christmas lasagna and it worked well. But I confess to using real cheese from whole foods on top of the lasagna. I asked the whole foods cheese person about the most humane cheese they had since they didn’t have any that was “humane certified.” She said she’d visited the farm of the brand I used, and they seemed to care a lot about the cows. I am a work in progress.

My daughter might have taken this picture in Virginia

My next venture is to figure out how to thicken the chickpea sauce for a pizza. (no oil?) I’m not going to use tomato sauce, but plan to put sliced tomatoes on top of the chickpea cheese sauce. We’ll see….

For more information on Just Jot January, visit out host, Linda Hill at the link below. Linda has shared some fun fictional tidbits for JusJoJan. It’s never too late to jump in!

#JusJoJan prompt the 10th – “Cheese” | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: With all the Infinite Possibilities, Choose Wisely

Our prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “sky’s the limit.” Write about something that has or seems to have no end. Enjoy!

Doesn’t everything have an end? Or maybe nothing has an end, it’s just transformed. There’s a law in physics that goes like, matter/energy can not be created or destroyed. That has stuck with me ever since I heard it in high school. This law suggests something about life after death. Our spirits have no end, in my belief, they may transform in the type of energy that goes on while our bodies decompose. Isn’t that cheerful?

Possibilities never end. Choices never end. There will always be choices for somebody, some being, even if the choices are made by amoebas or angels. Some organism or entity will exist in some form. But this is a bit esoteric. No, that’s not the word. But I do like how it sounds. Abstract maybe. Let’s move on.

“Infinite possibilities” is something that caught my attention in the following video offered by North Carolina representative Graig Meyer in responding to the attack on the capitol. I watched it Friday morning and was impressed by his sense of hope in how to respond to the craziness. I suppose if I watched it again to comment further, that would cross the line on minimum planning. If you’re interested in the question of how to respond and healing, you could visit my post from yesterday as well.

One of the main things I’m feeling right now is frustration at people who reinforce the divide. I have to look at myself though and notice if I ever do this. The goal is to bridge the divide. Don’t pour fuel on the fire. Put water on the fire. Water seems to have no end when you’re standing at the edge of the ocean, but you know what? Water is finite. Use it wisely. We need to use our words wisely. With all the infinite possibilities of word combinations, we need words of hope, peace, and cooperation.

PS. Okay, I went back and watched the video again after I finished writing this post, and I recognize he’s addressing North Carolina democrats directly. If you’re not a NC Dem, I hope you can overlook that part and glean something good from his message. I don’t think we need to get everybody to agree, we need to learn to disagree with respect, compromise, and find common ground.

For more streams of consciousness, rules and possibilities, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

The Friday Reminder for #SoCS & #JusJoJan 2021 Daily Prompt – Jan. 9th | (lindaghill.com)


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How Do We Heal as a Nation?

 We have much deep healing work to do in the United States. The tension that has been building for years has revealed itself at the level that I hope it wakes us up. What might help us heal as a nation and ultimately, as a human society? Here are a few possibilities I want cultivate in my own attitudes and actions:

1. Try to state facts without exaggeration. Don’t twist facts. For example, whole cities weren’t burned down during the 2020 “riots.” Maybe whole city blocks, but not whole cities. State opinions with words like, “I think,” or “I believe….” rather than facts. It’s a fact that Joe Biden was confirmed as the next president of the US. If you believe there was voter fraud, that is an opinion that was not substantiated by the courts.

2. Be respectful. Resist the urge to resort to name calling or write things that will increase division. I can resist the urge to “like” posts on social media that reinforce division. Try to speak and write words of healing and understanding. Part of healing can be to express our feelings and grief which can include denial, fear, and anger. Can we express our feelings without tearing down those that feel and believe differently? Yes. We can. it might be a challenge, but we are writers. We can figure it out.

3. Look for common ground. We can do this as individuals, asking questions for understanding. It might simply start with a love for animals or nature, or a common hobby, but we have to start somewhere. Look for the bipartisan issues.

4. Support media stories about healing and the goodness of humanity. I know they’re hard to find, but good news happens. Encourage media to make healing a priority. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to make healing a conscious effort, every day.

5. Find the courage to change the things we can, namely, our own attitudes and actions. Ask questions with the goal of understanding rather than debate. We can find the bridges that unite us, places where we can meet each other – sometimes in the middle, sometimes compromising at different points along the way.

For more information on healing division, visit Braver Angels.

Today’s prompt for Just Jot January was “twisted,” so I included the word “twist.” For more on JusJoJan, visit:

#JusJoJan prompt the 8th – “Twisted” | (lindaghill.com)


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“Everyday Miracles” in a Year of Clarity

Today’s Just Jot January prompt is: “caught.” One of the things that came to mind was “caught doing something good.” You’ll find some of that good stuff in my Good News Tuesday posts. Looking back at some of my drafts, the one sharing Jami Carter’s post caught my attention. Jami is doing a lot of good work. She’s a nurse and a writer among other things and blogs at My Journey to a Butterfly where these words gave me good chills:

“In the midst of loss, tragedy and fear, I’ve found joy, peace and accomplishment. And love.”

Jami Carter

Here’s Jami’s post: Maximizing by minimizing – My journey to a butterfly % (butterflyish.com)

Just Jot January is hosted by Linda G. Hill. I’ve been greatly enjoying her short fiction where some of the JusJoJan prompts originate. For details, visit:

#JusJoJan prompt the 7th – “Caught” | (lindaghill.com)


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One-Liner Wednesday/JusJoJan: From Icy Fingers to Joy and Hope

Photo from Pixabay by Coernl

When I read the title of Linda’s post containing todays’ prompt, “Icy fingers,”  I read it as “joy fingers,” because of the fancy font. Maybe that’s what I wanted to see – joy instead of icy. I do get icy fingers sometimes in the winter – a circulation issue perhaps or low thyroid, whatever. Joy fingers would be better. Joy fingers makes me think of massage for which I am way overdue.

Looking back over my drafted One-liner drafts, If found this quote on joy attributed to Hafiz, the poet of ancient wisdom. 

“You carry within your soul every ingredient necessary to turn your existence into joy.”

Hafiz 

 

Daffodils offer

Icy green fingers of hope 

With joy from their souls. 

JoAnna of the Forest

Just Jot January and One-Liner Wednesday are hosted by Linda Hill. For more information, visit: 

One-Liner Wednesday/JusJoJan the 6th, 2021 – Icy Fingers | (lindaghill.com)

 


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Good News Tuesday for Jan. 5, 2021: Homeless Man Rescues Shelter Animals from Fire, Tribe Reclaims Ancestral Lands, A Grocery Store on Wheels, and Inspiration One Step at a Time

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Homeless Man Rescues 16 Dogs and Cats from Shelter Fire

Keith Walker is homeless. He has arranged for his dog, Bravo, to spend nights at an animal shelter in Atlanta run by W-Underdogs – an organization that helps animals as well as underserved youth. When Keith arrived at W-Underdogs on December 18 to see Bravo, the building was on fire. Keith rushed in and saved all the animals in the shelter. Here’s the story from The Good News Network.

Nez Perce Tribe reclaims 148 Acers of Ancestral Lands in Oregon

Though the land was rightfully theirs,  the the US Army forced the Nez Perce to leave in 1877 in violation of a treaty.

“It’s not just some place our people visited. The very ground we walk on is made up of our ancestors. That’s how deep our connection is.” __ Nakia Williamson-Cloud, cultural resource program director for the Nez Perce Tribe

Click the link below to read the story:
https://www.opb.org/article/2020/12/25/nez-perce-tribe-eastern-oregon-reclaims-ancestral-land/

A Grocery Store on Wheels

A bus in Missouri makes the rounds with groceries and household items. Watch the grocery bus in action by clicking this link: Grocery Store on Wheels .

Step By Step

Paralympic International Medalist Blake Leeper was being fitted for his new running legs when he met 2-year-old, KJ, who was trying out his prosthetic leg for the very 1st time. Watch Mr. Leeper encourage KJ one step at a time.

Got Good News?

Please share in the comments!


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JusJoJan 4: Fingertips and a Movie Clip

Thanks to our host, Linda Hill, for informing us that today is World Braille Day and the links to podcasts by Kerry and her brother. Here’s Kerry’s blog, Her Headache, and here’s a sizzler for their podcast: Blind brother and sister help others ‘see’ their world | CBC News

There’s an interesting movie that relates to this post. I won’t tell you how, so maybe you’ll only have a clue and not a spoiler. The movie is, The Book of Eli. It’s a gritty post apocalyptical story with a spiritual twist. Parts of it look like a kung fu western, which is not normally my thing. The following scene is more my thing:

Yep. That’s Denzel Washington playing the main character. The female lead is played by Mila Kunis who played Jackie on That 70s Show. That’s versatility.

For more on Just Jot January, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

#JusJoJan prompt the 1st – “Fingertips” | (lindaghill.com)


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#JusJoJan 3: A Hawk is Not a “Servant”

It’s been a while since I did JusJoJan. It’ll probably have a lot of SoC writing but with editing allowed. So apparently the prompt is “servant,” if I’ve got this right. I could write something lofty about servant leadership. But there was a hawk in my backyard this afternoon. The hawk was not a servant. He or she is a predator. I might have seen this hawk before, eating in this same tree. This afternoon it seemed to be eating something stringy like a snake. If I wanted to be gross, I’d delve into this with a “dinner is served” take on the prompt. But never mind that or the video. I’ll stick with the prettier pictures.

It was so fascinating, I will have to work on counter stretches for my neck. The hawk stayed for about an hour and flew off in the moment when I wasn’t watching, of course. I’ll share some photos.

It doesn’t look that big here, but it’s about the same size as Mama Cat who will remain an indoor cat.

We went to a park earlier today. It was an okay park, but a little crowded since the weather was great today. Seeing the hawk was more interesting than the park which reinforces staying home and exploring my own backyard.

For more on Just Jot January, visit Linda Hill at: #JusJoJan prompt the 3rd – “Servant” | (lindaghill.com)