Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance


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Shortcuts and Coonhounds

SOC winner 2017

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is “shortcut or cut short.” The prompt is provided by Linda Hill. You can learn more about this weekly event and read other streams by clicking this link: https://lindaghill.com/2017/11/03/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-417/

And now, on with the stream of consciousness!

I took a few shortcuts in the corn maze last week in the mountains. The sign said to stay on the path. I usually follow rules, but lately, I’ve started taking a little glee in breaking minor rules like staying on the path. In the corn maze, I only got off the path and cut through the corn stalks when I could clearly see the path I was aiming for, just through the stalks a bit. My companions were hesitant but followed reluctantly, but I guess they trusted my determination. We still didn’t find all the mailboxes with the puzzle pieces, but I got some exercise in the great outdoors.

My problem step dog, Dixie Doodle, tries to take shortcuts to freedom by figuring out ways to break or squeeze through the fence. She can get through a surprisingly small space for a big dog. But she was cut short after David fixed the gate between the front and back yard so she ends up in a small space instead of squeezing through the outer gate which still needs fixing. I bet given enough time she would be able to get through anything. It’s not like she doesn’t ever get out. She has a big back yard and David takes her for a mile-long walk every night, except when we are out of town which does not happen often. But I don’t like to leave her. I’ve decided that I want to take her with us next time we are gone more than a day or two. Dogs are family, and we need to figure out a way to include her on our vacations. Our other dog, Marigold is old and doesn’t mind sleeping the day away. She is 15 and easy to take care of, easier than Doodle who is maybe 10 or 11 but shows no signs of slowing down. Doodle’s baying when anyone walks by the house and when it’s time to eat is LOUD. She has been called “The Mouth of the South.”

Doodle the Queen

Don’t let that stately look fool you.  She’s crazy.

 

Dixie Doodle is a Treeing Walker Coonhound who David rescued from starvation a few years before he found me again. She is serious about food. And her walks. He met someone recently who has a Walker coonhound of the same variety – treeing walker – who is named Dixie. She is also an escape artist. Are all Walker coonhounds escape artists? Once a dog learns that escape is possible, he or she will continue to try.

There were no shortcuts to my first love (who also loves dogs) finding me again. It took 39 years for him to become ready. Okay, I had some work to do, too. Or maybe there were cosmic shortcuts I don’t know about that could have kept 39 years from becoming 49 or 59. I don’t want to imagine having to wait that long. But the dogs kept me company in the meantime.

You can read more about the company of dogs and the 39 years it took for first love to return home in Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again.  I think my next book might be about Doodle, the crazy coon hound who I have come to love.

back cover painting (2)

This is the back cover painting for my book. You can spot Doodle easily.

PS: I’m writing this early because I’ll be a a writer’s conference all day Saturday. Will check in when I can.

Here are the Stream of Consciousness Saturday 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. 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!


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Do Fireworks Really Have To Be So LOUD?

The possibility of silent fireworks  has been tugging at me ever since it emerged in my   Stream of Consciousness on Saturday. So, here’s a follow up.

Tuesday night we went out on our friend’s boat to watch fireworks along both sides of the  waterway between the mainland and the beach.  I was surprised how many different shows we could see, from the city display in the distance to people shooting off fireworks from private docks and small islands. I delighted in the sparkling bursts of color, but even more than the fireworks, I delighted in the moonlight reflecting on the water and on the section of beach not cluttered with houses, docks, or hotels.

I kept wondering how sea turtles and birds would be affected by the boom and brightness of the fireworks. We thought our coon hound Doodle wasn’t bothered by fireworks like our other July 4th trembling dogs who’ve since crossed over the rainbow bridge. But when we got home, Doodle went right to the bedroom and planted herself on the carpet until it was time for her walk. After the walk, she went right back to the bedroom. We let her sleep with us, realizing that the neighborhood firecrackers must have upset her while we were gone.

Doodle sleeping

I barely noticed Doodle in the bed, because I had taken a Dramamine for the boat ride. It worked well, but the drowsiness hit me at about 10PM and took 24 hours to get out of my system.

The next day, I happened to come across an article about silent fireworks displays in places like Italy and California. It’s not just a good idea for dogs, birds, and other animals, but also for human ears. After all those years of listening to loud music in my youth, I don’t want to do any more damage to my hearing.

I emailed our city council asking them to please look into the possibility and sent them this article for more information.

http://www.themonitor.com/opinion/columnists/article_03faa4ea-5df9-11e7-95d8-7b944cf09335.html

If we can put a man on the moon, why not silent fireworks?

 


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Horses and Dreams

 

socsbadge2016-17

I got to thinking that I have not written much about horses here. I used to own a horse when I was in my twenties. Her name was Blue Babe, and we were both high strung at the time. I don’t know why she was high strung, but I was in my twenties, which for me was my messiest time of my life.

Horses have always calmed me and excited me at the same time. Something about their sturdiness, and being in control of something so large and powerful. Though today, I try to have a looser rein when riding.

JoAnne on Horse trotting (3)

Yesterday, I went to help out at a summer day camp at Ashton Farm where they have horses. I’ve ridden there when my church group goes once a year. But yesterday, we did not get the horses out because it was too hot. I wondered how I would do being out in close to 90 degree sunshine for most of the day. I arrived at 10 AM (there are advantages to being a volunteer) and stayed until about 2:30 when the kids were getting on the bus.  I helped out with a bee sting and other camper bug bites and wrote names on construction paper ribbons for winners of the long jump, chicken catch, and other camp games.  It was a good day, and I’m glad I was able to hang in there with the kids and the teen and young adult camp counselors.  Still, I think I’d rather go as a day camper and relax, ride the horses, and kayak on the lake.

IMG_1318.JPG

This small farm is my ideal. If I could live anywhere I wanted, it would be on a farm like this, with horses and dogs and a big farm house with a wrap around porch, where you can see the stars at night.

stars

Maybe it would be in the mountains, or the foothills, where it’s a little cooler.  Maybe I’d have art therapy and meditation groups, and yoga classes.

I would definitely have campfires, and singing, and drumming.

fire

Campfire at God’s Whisper Farm, another dreamy place where I went to a writer’s retreat.

In the meantime, maybe I’ll do some of those things

in my own back yard

of my little urban cottage,

until I get my farm.

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt, brought to us by Linda G. Hill is, “rain/rein/reign.”

You can find more SOC stories at Linda’s place:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/06/23/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-2417/

The rules for SoCS are:

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!

 


17 Comments

Animal Communication: Language Beyond Words

An animal eyes with wolf

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is, “language.”

The first thing I thought of was that animals have language though some snobs say they don’t. I didn’t mean to write snobs. But I wrote it right out of my stream of consciousness. (I don’t usually call names.) But I do love and respect animals.

In college, I wrote a research paper on the intelligence of dolphins and whales. There was plenty of research, even back then in the 1970’s, that suggested that dolphins and whales communicate in complex ways. This was based on their behavior. If you pay attention, you will see, hear, and sense things that you don’t notice when you don’t pay attention.  The songs of humpback whales are complex and change over time. Who’s to say that this is not language? Just because we don’t understand, just because it sounds different from human languages, doesn’t mean it’s not language.

Many animals have a keen sense and use of body language. They are more aware of it than we are as humans. My dogs have observed my body language very carefully. That’s probably the dominant way dogs communicate, but how do I know? They are probably way more complex than we realize. Who’s to say that a wolf’s howl is just a song? And song’s are language anyway.

great voices wolf pup

In Jean Auel’s book series that started with The Clan of the Cave Bear, the human-like tribes thought the Neanderthal-like tribes were animals because they did not speak. But we learned from the main character, Ayla (who I named my daughter after because I fell in love with these books), that this was not true. They did have a very complex language based on subtle body movements. Ayla knew this because the people of the Clan adopted her (even though she was one of the others) and she learned their language. Even though some of the Clan people thought she was slow and stupid because she did not have the “memories,” she learned healing from the woman who adopted her.

So, language is relative. Language is complicated and beautiful. Like The Five Love Languages which I’m mentioning in my May newsletter. There is the language of love that we communicate with our eyes, the windows to our souls, with no words at all. Perhaps a language without words (as we know them) has the potential to be even more powerful than simple words. Considering that, it’s pretty amazing that we communicate as well as we do, here on WordPress and other blog spots. I’ve made some good and meaningful connections with this language of words. So I’m not knocking language as we are accustomed to it. I’m just saying, there’s a whole lot more to language than just human words.

This video excerpt starts with lots of surface action which I recommend watching in full screen. The singing begins just after two minutes.

(The photos are from Pinterest.)

Linda G. Hill is our host for the Saturday Stream of Consciousness. Visit her blog to follow more streams at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/05/12/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-1317/

SOCS

Here are the SoCS 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. 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!


11 Comments

Time and the Toilet Paper Roll of Life

socsbadge2016-17

This is the busiest time. No, wait. It’s not that busy. Maybe this is the busiest time since I started semi-retirement in June. Was that this past June? No way. I have to check that. Time is so strange. I think this is the fastest time has ever moved. It moves faster and faster the older we get, and also the busier we get. Just like the toilet paper roll goes faster as you get closer to the end. But then someone will hopefully replace that toilet paper roll with a full one. Usually a mom type person does that. Does God replace our roll when we get to the end of our life? Do we get another assignment? I like the idea of taking a rest for a while, in my idea of heaven being a cabin in the woods, running around with all the dogs I’ve ever loved…and then getting an assignment, as an angel or whatever God wants me to do. I just really want a rest for a while and to see my dogs.

I had no idea I was going to go there. That’s what I love about the Stream of Consciousness.

Though theses are the busiest times lately, they are also the best times. So I want to stop complaining and have some gratitude already!  My busyness has been writing, a little art, feeding feral kittens, puttering around the house in the never-ending busyness of things like replacing toilet paper rolls and de-cluttering.

The best things about this busy weekend are:

This afternoon, I get to read one of my two stories which will be published in the public library’s e-book about our coastal county. I should say, I get to read it out loud, in front of people! I’ll send you a link to the e-book when it is unveiled.

Tomorrow afternoon, I get to lead a guided meditation at a coffee house celebration of Recovery Month. That’s right, September is RECOVERY MONTH. We need to celebrate recovery because so many people don’t get how much work it is. We need to applaud people in recovery from addiction and other illnesses.

Both of these events are related to my work. The first, reading my story, is about my new work and my new creative life. Sunday’s event is about my old work as a counselor, which I continue to do one day a week. So this weekend is sort of an affirmation, that for now, I can do both.

Next week could be even busier. It might be the busiest week!

Monday I need to go cut my father’s hedges. And visit him which is more important. And then I need to go the old job on Tuesday as I get ready for a reunion trip with my high school girlfriends in Mississippi!

One thing’s for sure, I’m not bored.

And I am grateful.

 

Linda’ prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness post was, “-est” to be used as a suffix.

Read more SOC posts, and join in the fun at Linda’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/09/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-1716/

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. 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!