Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Feelings From My Eleven Year Old Self

Writing my family history from my parents’ perspective is emotionally hard right now. The idea that it could some day become a novel is distant. I’m writing about the time when my dad was in Vietnam and my mom was trying to cope with her anxiety and depression and what do to with the family dog. That is the gigantic issue for me. Hoppy.

Hoppy 1967

I was 11 years old. Hoppy, a Newfoundland/Shepherd mix was my confidant. We had moved from Philadelphia to Michigan to New York staying with other families while Dad was in Vietnam. That summer we would stay in Quantico until dad finally got stationed at Camp Lejeune again.

Hoppy had been with us through each move. But something happened to him that spring in New York. I don’t know the truth. My mom made up as story about a sick little girl who needed him more than I did. I believed it. I suppose it could be true. Now, at the age of 65, I wade through my dad’s letters from Vietnam with fear as I approach the possibility of more clues. Any day now, I could read a letter that tells me more about what happened to Hoppy. My parents loved each other very much. It was a terribly hard time for them. I’m trying to look at the big picture and have compassion for all. I wrote this note to myself in my work in progress:

Note to self: Step back and look at the big picture with compassion for all. Allow your feelings. The truth is you don’t know what happened You might was well imagine something good.

So I tried to imagine Hoppy being adopted by a loving family. Then the grief broke through from that 11 year old girl who was me.

I LOVED HIM.

The sobs came and I prayed for guidance, for comfort. All I can do right now is reach back across the 54 years to that eleven year old girl whose body was changing in crazy ways, whose father was in Vietnam, whose mother was on the verge of another nervous breakdown, the girl whose dog was gone – and wrap my arms around her and hold her and tell her she is going to get through this.

In 1967, that eleven year old girl learned to shut down her feelings. She focused on school work and escaped into Star Trek. But she still had that pain and confusion buried all those years ago trying to accept the story her mother told her about her dog.

I guess that’s enough writing for today.

Here’s a family photo from happier times. Probably right after Dad got back from Vietnam since he’s pretty thin.

I’m the big girl on the right wearing hushpuppies.

I wrote this before checking the prompt for Just Jot January which is “button.” I guess we never know when we’re going to bump into a button that takes us back to our childhood, for better or worse, offering an opportunity for healing.

Linda’s Just Jot January story looks interesting. Click the following link for details:

#JusJoJan prompt the 15th – “Button” | (lindaghill.com)


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Blue Wave Dream

 
blue glass wave 2

Can you guess how I got this photo? I’ll tell you later.

 
 
 
We walked across rolling hills of rich earth.
One woman ran far ahead, the other still in sight.
I followed slowly
wiggling my toes into layers of red-brown soil
that turned into golden sand
then into a slope of lush green grass.
My friend Dorothy sat down on a piece of cardboard
And slid down the hill with a smile on her face.
Having no cardboard, I did not want to get grass stains on my white skirt.
So, I danced and skipped down the cool grass,
ran up the next rise, and stood on a hill.
 
The beach below was deserted
except for Dorothy wading
into the royal azure water.

A swell as big as a house

Rose slowly in front of her.

She started swimming up the blue wave
that crested and then stood still,
Huge, peaceful, translucent.
 
I waded into the water
and saw her way up near the top of the wave.
She pointed below her at a hound dog
swimming under the water
like a fish, or a dolphin dog,
completely comfortable paddling
through the liquid blue Jello,
The dog breached occasionally to say hello,
while the giant wave just hung there waiting.
As I swam up the swell, I saw the hound dog
turn into a statue and drift down
to become an underwater memorial
 
Dorothy and I swam in the luxurious blueness
as we watched out feet wave like kelp
And the dog statue, now far below,
faded from sight, though not from memory.
We did not want to see beyond the swell, wanting it to last forever.

But finally, we reached the crest

On the other side a bridge
led back to “civilization.”
We swam that way because we knew it was our destination.
A soft beach rose to meet my feet.
I must have been dawdling
Because my friends were way ahead.
I followed their trail into a building
But didn’t see them.
I  desperately wanted to talk about our experience in the water,
To hold on to it, and know that it had really happened.
 
Then I realized I was in a hospital
walking down a hallway.
Confused, I thought I saw a room with a pool.
but when I looked in I didn’t see a pool,
Just a couch.
It was like a waiting room.
Children with light brown skin
Sat in the corner.
I wanted to tell them a story about a big blue wave
That lifted us up in the air and held us
For a moment when time slowed
And gave us a glimpse of something deeper.
But that’s when my dream ended.
 
 
 
….
 
There have been many times in my life when I dreamed about giant waves that were frightening. This dream was very different. This giant, mysterious wave was patient and peaceful. I enjoyed seeing my friend Dorothy in my dream. The hound dog was Doodle who we lost several months ago. For a beautiful underwater video of  Christ in the Abyss, click here.
 
 
blue bottle (2)
 
 
I created the top photo by turning this bottle upside down and cropping the photo. Colored glass bottles are some of my favorite things. I collect mostly blue bottles, but also amber, green, yellow, and a couple red and purple ones. 


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SoCS: Joint Efforts/Getting Ready to Say Goodbye

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Today’s SoCS prompt is “joint.” We can use it as a noun, an adjective, or a verb– or any way we like. And of course, Linda says we are to “Enjoy!”

My husband and I are finally getting back to having a backyard garden. It’s a joint effort. So far we have zucchini, pepper, and cherry tomato plants. We’ve planted butternut squash seeds and sunflower seeds. We cleared out some small trees and dead vines to let more light in our jungly backyard. I hope it will be enough light. We plan to also have basil and sweet potatoes. I planted a basil plant that I got from Dollar General for a dollar in the fall which made it through the winter inside. It’s a little puny, but it’s alive!

Another joint effort has been taking care of Mary Moo who is still with us. She’s the oldest dog I’ve ever had coming up on 18 years. We’ve been close to saying goodbye, but since Benadryl has been helping us all sleep through the night, and since she was wagging her tail today (Friday), we’ve decided to save our goodbyes for another day. Mary and I are the ones taking the Benadryl. David doesn’t really need it, though he does take daytime allergy medicine.

Joint efforts are what our country and planet need to fight off COVID 19 and evolve into a healthier human race. We need to find out common grounds. Not coffee grounds, though maybe that would help. Just meet for coffee and get to know each other. But wait, we’d have do to that virtually or on Zoom or something.

I finally Zoomed for church Sunday and Maundy Thursday. We’ll zoom for Good Friday service and Easter. Zooming is a joint effort to maintain meetings and church while social distancing. It’s strange, but it was nice to see these familiar faces on the screen. It’s hard to do music or sing as a group because of the delay, but I did sing and play guitar yesterday for our zoom church and today by myself in my living room. Maybe I’ll see if David can record me for an Easter song. Now that I’ve typed that, I have to try it. That will be a joint effort. I’ve been trying to get him to play a drum while I play guitar. We’ll see……

Here’s an update on my amaryllis:

Amaryllis in Boom 2020

I don’t even fertilize them or anything! It must be the earth worms.

The above was written on Friday night. It’s Saturday morning now at 8:30. The Benadryl didn’t work for Mary Moo last night. She woke up crying at 2am because she had to poop. She’s gotten to the point where she can’t poop without me holding her back legs or she falls down, so it’s time. We have an appointment with the vet at 9:30 to say goodbye. Except we have to say goodbye outside the vet office because they’re not letting any people clients in the building because of #—%–@ COVID 19. Good thing I trust our vet. We’ve been loving on Mary Moo a lot in the past few days. Here’s a picture of her and my Golden Boy Jesse years ago running at a dog park on vacation in the mountains. Mary Moo will be with Jesse soon. Running like the wind.

Jesse and Mary at Boone dog park

Sorry it’s blurry, but you get the idea. 

I’ll try to check back in later. Sorry for the bummer ending, but that’s the circle of life. Mary Moo had a good one.

 

For more streams of consciousness and details, see our host, Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/04/10/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-11-2020/


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Prayer for a Lost Dog

Today is the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment. You can read my favorite Saint Francis story in this post about Saint Francis and the wolf.

The following events happened just a few days ago.

dogs running Pixabay (2)

 

On the way to the laundromat to wash my 17-year-old dog’s favorite bed, I saw a dog running down the busy street in the opposite direction. It was a dark grey dog, maybe a hound/pit bull mix, running with that panicked, I’m lost gait. Without thinking, I pulled onto a side street to turn around and fished out the leash I kept in the console. I couldn’t see the dog, but traffic had slowed considerably, and people were honking ahead of me.

I prayed out loud: “God please help that dog! Please get him off the road! Help him Now! (I had no idea if the dog was a male, but that’s what came out.) Within a few seconds I saw the dog, several cars ahead, make a right turn into an apartment complex. Okay, he’s safe. You have things to do, I told myself.  But somehow, my car turned into the apartment complex. He’s not safe; he’s scared.  Maybe he’ll come to me, said my other voice, brushing aside thoughts of then what are you going to do if you catch him?  I parked my car and started walking through the apartment complex carrying the leash. A guy near the pool house asked if I was looking for a dog.

“Yeah but it’s not mine. He was running down the street. I thought I might be able to catch him.”

“He went that way,” the pool guy said pointing further into the complex.

I kept walking, past the dumpsters and around a corner, seeing no sign of the dog.  He’s gone. Let it go. At least he’s not on the street. Maybe he’ll find his way home, I told myself. But for some reason, I kept walking through the unfamiliar apartment complex.

Then, I saw a young woman walking toward me. She must have seen the leash. “Are you looking for a dog?”

“Yes, but he’s not mine. He was running down the street,” I said pointing in the direction of the busy road.

“He’s in my apartment. He came right to my boyfriend.”

“Oh, good. Thank you. I’m glad he’s safe.”

“I work for a vet,” she said. “I’ll take him into work so see if he has a microchip.”

“Thank you so much for taking him in,” I said bowing slightly with praying hands.

“Thank you for looking for him,” she said.

“Of course.”

I walked back to my car feeling grateful that the dog found a safe place and someone in a position to help him, and that I’d kept walking long enough to find that out.

Back in my car, I said to God, “I didn’t mean to be rude with that, now! part.

God just smiled.

(The photo from pixabay reminded me of the dog.)

 

Happy Saint Francis Day!

st-francis-of-assisi-and-birds from Robert Kennedy's book

This picture is from the book Saint Francis of Assisi, A Life of Joy,

by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.


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Good News Tuesday: K-9 to the Rescue, Robocalls, & Two for the Planet

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

K -9 Bane from Powhatan Va

K-9 Finds Missing Children

Parents looked for the two 8 year olds for 45 minutes. Then as daylight faded, they called for help. It took “Bane,” 15 minutes to find the two children who got lost while playing in the woods.  Here’s the short and sweet story from msn.com containing a video from WTVR-TV Richmond.

Good Work FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has shut down four major robocall centers for illegal activities. In doing so, they are protected the vulnerable.

 

 

Converting Plastic to Fuel

Renewlogy, a company in Salt Lake City is turning plastic into diesel fuel. Boise has a contract with the company just in time. China has stopped accepting plastic since being inundated with it. The video below has a funny clip from an old movie that shows how relatively new plastic is in the grand scheme of things and how quickly it has become a problem. Make no mistake: We still need to reduce and reuse plastics.

 

… and one more for the planet (It is earth month after all) :

The Great Green Wall

It might not be new, but it’s news to me and it’s good. More than 20 countries in Africa are joining together to build a “wall” of trees across the continent, and they’re making progress! We still must continue to change the habits and policies that harm the earth. What if, like the people planting trees along the desert, we all focused more of our efforts on healing the planet? You can read more about the Great Green Wall in this article from The Good News Network.  Plus check out this hopeful video.

Got good news? Please share in the comments!


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Good News Tuesday: Stories to Lift Your Spirit

Police officer Celeste Ayala was on duty at a hospital in Argentina when a malnourished and neglected baby was brought in by a social worker. Knowing she could help, Celeste asked if she could breastfeed the baby and was given permission.  Later, she was given a promotion. Here’s the story:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/celeste-ayala-baby-breastfeed-photo-viral-berisso-argentina-buenos-aires/

Next up: Did you hear about the rainbow that appeared during a moment of silence honoring Aretha Franklin?  She was a powerful lady.

I can’t resist a good news dog story, especially when there’s a reunion involved.  Bently was lost in an accident far from home. After seeing the lost dog story, a Colorado man went looking.  He knew it was a long shot, but he found Bently who is back now with family.

In other good dog news, England is taking an ethical lead in banning puppy mills where dogs are over-bread in poor conditions.  You can read the details here.

Sunflower w address

Seeking balance, one Tuesday at a time.

 


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Homeless Man Finds Dog and Gives Her to His Grieving Friend. But that’s Not the End!

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After giving the dog to his friend, James noticed the dog had a tag with a with a phone number. Click the link below for the story about good deeds, compassion, and gratitude.

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/man-is-determined-to-thank-grieving-homeless-angel-who-cared-for-his-lost-dog/

The picture is accompanied by an electronic sounding voice, but it’s nice to have a visual too.

 

Good News is more abundant than we might think. What’s your good news?

 


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Are You Going to Eat That?

Dave and Doodle on sugar loaf (2)

You stopped eating! That means you’re done. My turn!

I’m not done eating, Doodle.  I’m looking at the computer.

But you stopped! You must be full. I’m starving. Give me the rest!

People don’t eat like dogs. We take our time.

Maybe that’s because you never been starving. I thought I was going to die in the before time.

You’re okay now, Doodle. David says you’re getting fat.

Bowooooo!  No way! Are you going to eat that or not?

I’m still eating. Be patient.

You’re staring at that thing like there’s food in there. You’re gonna save me some right? You have to. That’s the deal.

I’ll save you some Doodle. I always do.

Because I’m a good dog.

Yeah, right. Okay.

Save me all of it. And let me lick the bowl.

Just a minute. See, I’m eating.

Well, why are you taking so long? Just give me a bite.

You know you’re not supposed to eat from the table. I’m almost done.

Don’t let Mary have any. I’m the best dog. See, I’m in my room. I’m waiting.

Marigold’s sleeping. I guess you can have the rest in your room.

In my room! Yes! See, I”m sitting. I’m good!

Okay, Doodle, here you go. Clean it up good.

Yes! Yes!

_________________________

My step dog, Doodle, was rescued from the streets of starvation nine years ago by my husband David. When she watches me eat, her eyes shift back and forth from my food to my face. She does the same thing looking at the dog biscuits on top of the refrigerator when she thinks it’s time for a “cookie.” (Yes, I know she’s spoiled.) She loves people, but being obsessed with food, she is competitive with other dogs. Her coon hound baying is so loud, it can even wake up Marigold the mutt who is 16 and practically deaf.

If you like dogs, you’ll find a pack of ’em (including Doodle and Mary) in my book,

Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again.

Doodle and Mary

Doodle w foot on head (2)

Did I hear the refrigerator door open?

This post was inspired by Mary Melange and her talk with Ziva:

https://maryjmelange.wordpress.com/2018/05/19/socs-miss-downtrodden/


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Ella Finds Help Getting Home

Rescue workers didn’t see the dog. After the accident, she collected what she could find of her family’s possessions and waited. Two weeks later,  she asked a stranger for help.

 

Read more of this story here:

http://coffeebreak.theepochtimes.com/animal/dog-car-wreck-into-the-woods.html

Got good news? Please share! It can be global, local, or personal.

Sunflower w address


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Moo: A Stream of Consciousness Post that’s not just about Cows.

cows coming

The first think I thought of when I saw today’s Steam of Consciousness prompt, “moo,” was of course cows and how I’ve given up dairy for lent. It’s because I love animals, especially mammals, cause I’m a little biased being a mammal myself…..Where was I?

Ok, I’m not going to go into the bad stuff about cows on factory farms, but I will say that dairy has been hard for me to give up, especially cheese. (I cheated with cheese a couple weeks ago, and my digestive system is still not back to normal.) I’ve had no trouble not eating meat for over 40 years now, except chicken and fish, no trouble not eating mammals, but dairy has been hard. I’ve missed having pizza. I had a pizza with vegan cheese, it even melted, but yeah it wasn’t the same. It was good though.

I will probably indulge in cheese from time to time, but what lent has taught me, as it often does, is that it is possible to live without consuming mammal milk products. As an adult anyway. Lent stretches me outside my comfort zone, which is why I’ve done better over the years at not eating chicken. To be honest, I will probably go back to eating some fish after lent, mostly salmon or shrimp. I’m sorry shrimp and salmon. I will only eat your now and then, like once or twice a month, but during lent, you get a reprieve.

The second thing I thought about when I saw the moo prompt was my little Mary Moo. Her name was originally Marigold when I got her for my daughter almost 15 years ago. Marigold turned into Mary, then Mary Moo, then Mary Moodle, then the song that starts out, “Mary Moodle, you’re not a poodle, Mary Moodle, you’re just a mutt.” I’m not going to take you to the other lines my stream of consciousness has created over the years containing things that rhyme with mutt. Nope. Not going that far.

Anyway, Mary Moo will be 15 next month. She’s doing okay though she sleeps a lot and is deaf as a stone.

Do you have silly nicknames for your animal friends?

Here are two pictures of Mary Moo:

mary moo

Mary Moo on a road trip.

This one, below, is the painting I did for the back cover of my soon to be published book. Mary is the one all the way on the left. The littlest one.

back cover larger (2)

The Saturday Stream of Consciousness is brought to us by Linda G. Hill. who blogs at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/04/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-apr-1517/

SOCS

Here are the rules for SOCS:

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. 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 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!