Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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More Than Surviving at the Farm Animal Sanctuary

Esther and Mira

Today’s prompt for Just Jot it January is “surviving.” Thanks to Wendy for the prompt and to our host, Linda Hill, for keeping us going! You can learn more about #JusJoJan at Linda’s post HERE.

Until I started volunteering at Blueberry Lane Farm Animal Sanctuary, I hadn’t had much personal experience with chickens, goats, or pigs. Now, the menagerie is like extended family. At the sanctuary, they are not just surviving, they are thriving, and they are loved.

Every Thursday, I prepare lunch for the sanctuary residents. I cut up produce and feed it to the pigs and roosters and check to make sure the goats have plenty of hay. The pigs were rescued from factory farms and the roosters from kapparot where live chickens are twirled overhead. The roosters get along fine for the most part. After feeding, I like to hang out with the gentle old lady goats. The goats were rescued from petting zoos or breeders where they were not well cared for. Esther is one of my favorites. It’s taken a while for her to trust me.

Esther’s stomachs are permanently distended because she was not fed properly. When she arrived at the sanctuary, Esther was secretly pregnant. Her daughter, Mira, short for Miracle, was a sweet surprise. Mira, being born on the farm, is friendly and assertive. Now, Esther gets different kinds of hay, forages in the yard, and gets lettuce and other greens as a treat. She loves it when I pick an occasional green leaf off of a tree for her.

Surviving is usually better than not surviving, especially if there’s the hope of something better. Animals living in small cages, enclosures where they cannot turn around, as with veal calves and lactating pigs, or living in terribly crowded conditions on factory farms, may be surviving, but their lives are miserable. We humans can do better. This is why I’ve progressed to being about 95% vegan and why I volunteer at the sanctuary. If you’ve thought about reducing your meat consumption, it’s now easier than ever. Vegan alternatives and restaurants are popping up in most cities. Consider meatless Mondays. It’s a great time of year for minestrone or lentil soup!

‘The most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest’ – Dr Michael Gregor (quote found here.)

Don’t forget to check out Linda and Wendy’s posts at the links above!


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No More Tempestuous Relationships!

Today’s prompt for Just Jot it January is: tempest. Thanks, Liz, for the prompt, and thanks to our host, Linda Hill for #JusJoJan! For details, click here.

There was a tempest in my gut, and in other parts of my body, too. It was almost 20 years ago, but I still remember how the tempestuous rebound from hell affected my body. Working a stressful job while being a single mom didn’t help either. Why didn’t I listen? I was wounded, vulnerable. But not anymore. Now I listen to my body, most of the time.

The older I get, the better my body gets at telling me, “Hey! chill out!” It might be acid reflux, or tiredness, or a spasm somewhere or other telling me to check in and examine my habits, particularly when it comes to stress. (Or eating too much sugar which happened over Christmas.)

Some stress is good, like steady regular exercise where we push a little harder depending on the day, again listening to the body. A little stress makes us stronger. Problem solving, watching Jeopardy, crossword puzzles, these are some of the brain exercises that stretch our skills. I want to keep doing those.

Training a new dog, who is both headstrong and physically strong, can be stressful, but David and I are in control of that. Sort of. Our first professional training session is Monday.

Marley is a big baby, most of the time.

Here are some good relationships I am grateful for at home and at the farm animal sanctuary:


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SoCS: A Lucky Pig’s Lullaby and Angel Clouds in the Sky

Here’s our prompt for today from our host, Linda Hill:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “luck.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

Is there really any such thing as luck? Anything is possible. But I think more times than not, we make our own luck. Regardless of whether we have good luck or bad luck, God can help us use the situation for something good. It might take a while. Was I lucky that my high school sweetheart found me so many years later at the perfect time? I don’t think it was luck at all. I believe it was meant to happen just that way and that my hopes and prayers nudged it along. Sometimes our prayers aren’t anwered. Or maybe they are and the answer is no, or not yet. Or wait and see. I had work to do to become ready and so did he.

Maybe animals can have good luck or bad luck. I don’t know. But the animals at the sanctary where I’ve been volunteering were lucky to be rescued from factory farms or petting zoos. Tuesday, I sang to a pig named Francis. He was trying to take a nap, but I think he liked the singing.

Do you rememember this song from the movie, Babe? It’s a sweet movie about a young pig who learns how to herd sheep. Maybe some day, more pigs will get lucky.

Was it lucky to see these angels shapes in the clouds at the beach? Maybe.

I enhanced the color to make it easier to see.

Sometimes they look like birds or angels, maybe even clouds.

For more lucky streams of consciousness, rules, and more, visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2021/08/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-aug-14-2021/


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Good News Tuesday: June 8, 2021: Animals X 4 and a Pregnant Mom Rescues Three Girls from Drowning

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

My Good Newspaper issue #24 which arrived last week is all about animals, so I’d like to share a sample of those good news stories with you. The paper focuses on a different topic every month. To learn more about the Good Newspaper, visit, Good Good Good .

US House Reintroduces Bill to Ban Shark Fin Trade

On Earth Day, the US House of Representatives reintroduced a bill to ban shark fin trade. The bill had previously passed in the house but stalled in the Senate. I’m glad they’re not giving up. Shark finning is a cruel and unnecessary act and illegal in the US though there are still places where shark fins can be bought and sold. Here’s more from the Humane Society.

Philadelphia Dims Lights to Help Birds

Philadelphia is joining 33 other US cities in dimming lights to reduce the number of birds crashing into windows at night. In this voluntary program, lights are turned off between midnight and six AM in the spring and fall when birds migrate. It’s especially important to turn the lights off in of tall buildings. Learn more here.

First Drug Without Animal Testing Submitted to FDA

Researchers in Jerusalem have submitted a cancer therapy drug to the FDA. What makes this drug unique is that a chip with human tissue was used instead of testing the drug on animals. Your can read more about it in this article.

Poacher Arrested

A long time poacher of Bengal tigers has finally been arrested and charged with numerous violations of wildlife conservation law. Here’s more from the Good News Network.

Pregnant Mom Rescues Children from Drowning at Lake Michigan

Alyssa DeWitt was considering whether to take her children to the beach at Lake Michigan on a windy day. It’s a good thing she went. Alyssa, who is five months pregnant, ended up saving three girls from drowning. She said in another interview that she doesn’t usually go to that part of the beach and that her medical check indicates everything is okay. Here’s the story:

Got Good News?

Please feel free to share your good news

or a link to your GNT story in the comments below!


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SoCS: Making a Difference Being Different

Here’s our prompt: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “difference.” Whatever the word “difference” conjures first in your mind, write about it. Enjoy!

Even though we’re not supposed to plan, I was tossing some ideas around after reading the prompt. I have a category called, “Making a Difference.” I don’t remember where I was going with that, but when I started to type a working title for this prompt, I thought about Temple Grandin and the article I read from my Good Morning America news email.

Temple Grandin has a PhD, so I should’ve typed Dr. in front of her name. She also has autism and has made a huge difference in our awareness and understanding of autism as well as in the lives of animals on farms. I hope you’ll read more about her fascinating life. Maybe I’ll post a video later.

In reading about Temple Grandin and autism, I wondered if the spectrum is much broader than we realize. Maybe it starts with social anxiety and awkwardness or slowness on one end, in which case I have traits. In school, I was almost always the last one done on tests. I’ve always been a slow reader. And an introvert who can force myself to be social, but then I need time alone. I have learned to think carefully before I speak and have a lot of pauses. Otherwise, I might say something inappropriate. which sometimes I do. But I also process slowly. When someone is talking fast and presenting a lot of information, I get lost. I don’t like frenetic music or any store with bright fluorescent lights and lots of stimuli. It’s only been in the past ten years or so that I’ve learned to honor these preferences in myself.

It’s okay to be different and honor our differences. We can help each other that way with everyone using their particular strengths. I have patience. I can paint and draw. My imagination is beyond imagination which can sometimes be a good thing, but I have to be careful not to imagine the worst. Or if I catch myself imagining the worst, I can stop. STOP! and imagine the best, or something different. Thoughts can make a difference.

Making a difference doesn’t have to be grand. We don’t have to save the world like I imagined when I was 11 and escaped into fantasy. We can make small differences with a smile or a kind word. We can make a difference in our own lives or the life of one person or animal.

When I looked up Temple Grandin on YouTube, this is the first video I saw, “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds,” so this is what I’m going with.

So then I went and looked at clips of the movie about Temple Grandin’s life which I have not seen. I was moved by this clip where she says, “I hate parties!” and she wants to be with cattle, and her mother takes time to tell, and show, Temple how much she loves her… I really want to see this movie! But for now, I’ll watch a couple more clips.

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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 10, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Changes

Here’s the prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ch.” Find a word that starts with “ch” and use it as your prompt word. Bonus points if you start your post with that word. Enjoy!

 

Ch ch ch ch changes.

“Turn and face the strange.” __David Bowie

 

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I think I spent too much money on this mask. But it is fun. There’s also one with a dog nose.  It’s rare for me to order stuff on line or impulsively, but some of the money went to animals.

But back to the prompt and changes.

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of change. I like routine. I’m not often spontaneous. I like comfort. But I also know that some changes can be good. Even better than good!

I hope that some of the changes that have come as a result of COVID become permanent even after the virus is long gone. For example, cities have made more streets car-free permanently as I wrote about in one of my “Good News Tuesday” posts.

I hope we permanently drive our cars less to give the planet more time and space to heal.

I hope we keep taking walks around the neighborhood. Me and my guy. It’s good to know your neighbors and the lay of the land within walking distance.

I hope we keep focusing more on healing and wellness instead of fighting wars.

I hope there will be no more “live animal markets” which have contributed to illness and suffering, and we realize that in most communities meat is not essential.

I hope we keep loving each other and helping each other and our communities.

I hope we keep appreciating health care workers, teachers, trash collectors, and essential services and remember the value of these people and what they do.

What changes do you hope will stay with us after COVID is history?

 

For more Streams of Consciousness, visit Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/05/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-23-2020/

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. I will post the prompt here on my blog every 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 will simply be a single word to get you 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. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! 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 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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Good News Tuesday, April 21, 2020: Support for Health Care Workers, Planet Earth, Living Kindly, and Captain Tom Walks the Walk

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Support for Health Care Workers

It does our hearts good to read about all the people supporting and donating to health care workers. Here’s just one example among many: To celebrate their birthdays, two teenagers had the idea to give free gasoline to first responders, police officers, doctors, nurses, and other health care workers coming to their family’s business, Harry’s Food Mart in Massachusetts. Delivery fees were also waved by J&S Transport company delivering the gas.

For Planet Earth

Tomorrow is Earth Day, and while we need at least a whole month to celebrate and honor Mother Earth, I wanted to include some good news about how people are working to help the planet.  Here are ways to be creative with solar panels in driveways and at church.

The Budapest-based startup, Platio Solar has developed a residential solar paneled driveway made out of recycled plastic bottles. According to the website, “a 20-square-meter (215-square-foot) driveway system has the capacity to cover the yearly energy consumption of an average household.” Or it The Good News Network provides details. 

A Polish priest inspired by Pope Francis used his own money to put a 70 foot cross of solar panels on his church. By day, the cross provides the electricity for the church’s lighting, heating, and air conditioning. By night, it provides a colorful neon light show.  Here’s more on that story which I found in my Goodnewsletter.

Living Kindly for Animals

The animal welfare group, Live Kindly, has an abundance of  good news for animals in the following video, like Dr. Fauci recommending an end to live animal markets, dogs and cats no longer being listed as livestock in China, a bill to ban ivory sale in Washington DC, sea turtles nesting freely, and Paul McCartney making sure Lisa Simpson is still a vegetarian before he goes on The Simpsons. If you love animals and the earth, this is good news.

 

99 Year Old Veteran Walks the Walk

In just two weeks, Captain Tom Moore has raised over 13 million pounds for England’s National Health Service by walking 100 lengths of his back garden before his 100th birthday.  Now, there’s a campaign for Captain Tom to be knighted. Captain Tom reminds us that we’re never too old to make a difference whether by walking or with a smile.

UPDATE: Thanks to Derrick for this update in the comments: “Captain Tom didn’t stop there. Stating that he would continue walking as long as people continued giving, by 18th April the total had passed £23,000,000.”

It was hard to pick just one video about Captain Tom, so I urge you to watch others too.

Got good news?

Please feel free to share in the comments!

It can be global, local, or personal.


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Good News Tuesday: Ebola, No Kill Shelters, Donating a Bonus, and Tiger Come Back

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

Ebola May Be Curable!

Two experimental medications appear to dramatically boost survival rates for this disease which was once thought to be incurable.

“From now on, we will no longer say that Ebola is incurable,” said Jean-Jacques Muyembe, director general of the Institut National de Recherche Biomedicale.

Here’s the hopeful article.

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paw print from pixabay

Delaware Becomes the First “No Kill” Animal Shelter in the US

Best Friends Animal Society announced at its annual conference last month that Delaware has become the first no kill US shelter. To be considered “no kill” a state has to save at least 90% of the dogs and cats who come to their shelters. I’m guessing this makes allowances for the animals who are terminally ill, etc. to be euthanized.  Best Friends Animal Society’s goal is to make all US animal shelters “no kill” by 2025. They’re off to a good start. We as individuals can all do our part by spaying or neutering our pets and always adopting from a shelter instead of a breeder. Here’s the story from Good Morning America.

School Superintendent Donates 10,000 Bonus to Seniors Applying for College

Grant Rivera, a school superintendent in Georgia, is eligible for a bonus every three years. In this CBS article he says, “I don’t believe that a bonus provided by the board should be earned on the backs of the teachers.” Maybe that’s one of the reasons he donated his bonus to help students pay college application fees.

 

Tigers Are Coming Back  in India

good news tigers in india

This Guardian article indicates that, while tigers seem to be reproducing more in protected areas, they need to be able to disperse into a wider range for the numbers to be stable.  That is one of the challenges. Still, the increase in numbers is a significant achievement. I would love for the US government to take notice and follow this example to protect threatened wildlife.

Here’s more about tigers:

 

Got good news? Feel free to share in the comments!

Or write your own good news post and link it back here. Good news can be global, local, or personal.


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#SoCS Ramblings on Social Justice and Being Social

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Today’s prompt for the Stream of Consciousness is the word, “social.” We can use it any way we want and have fun.

Social studies, okay. Social Justice, Yes! I’m not the most social person, especially in person. But I do believe in social justice. I can be social for a while, but when there’s an event that is purely social without any other goal, I tend to flounder. I’d rather be social for social justice – marches, meetings, volunteer work, picking up trash, protesting – it’s easy for me to be social when there’s a cause.  Years ago, I was pretty active in environmental and animal rights groups. Social justice should include animals and the earth. Trees, too. I find it easy to be social with trees. They’re such good listeners.

Not that I can’t be social with people at times. (And I can be a good listener – too good for my own good in times past.) There are people I enjoy being with. For a time. People are interesting. People are amazing. Social. Dogs are social. So are elephants, whales, dolphins, and pigs. They like being with family. They need social justice, too. What if ants are social, and bees too, in a different way?

Social justice is for everybody.

Just don’t make me be social too long.

Coincidentally, or not, I happen to be watching Steel Magnolias while I write this Friday evening.  It sure does remind me of the value of friendship and being social. It’s worth the effort for sure, both here on WP and in person.

For more info on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/06/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-15-19/

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. I will post the prompt here on my blog every 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 will simply be a single word to get you 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. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

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


19 Comments

Good News Tuesday: “Zoo”Rescue, Alex Trebek Update, & Art Saves a Town

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

Over 200 Animals Rescued from “Roadside” Zoo

“This is the first time in Quebec that animal welfare charges have been made by way of indictment – a type of prosecution reserved for the most serious offenses and which opens the door to more serious penalties.”

Alex Trebek: Progress Update

Alex Trebek is making progress in fighting pancreatic cancer, and it “has to be more than chemo.” He credit’s the tremendous love and support of family, friends, and fans for aiding in his progress. Some of his tumors have shrunk by more than 50%. Mr. Trebek, long time host of Jeopardy,  has vowed to beat the statistics. Here’s an overview from ABC news, and I found the following interview well worth watching.

How an Artist Saved His Town

This story might not be recent, but it’s never too late to make a difference. The government was going to tear down his town, but the “Rainbow Grandpa” started painting the buildings. Now, it’s a tourist attraction.

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/how-97-year-old-artist-used-doodles-to-save-his-beloved-hometown-from-being-torn-down/

Got good news? Please share in the comments!

Feel free to write your own #GoodNewsTuesday post and link it here!