Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday May 19, 2020: Gifts for Health Care Workers, Car-Free Roads, Bella’s Back Home, and Sunshine for Grandma

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Free Gifts for Health Care Workers

Free vacations, crocs, and free rides are some of the gifts companies are donating to health care workers.  For example, JetBlue is giving away 100K pairs of roundtrip airline tickets to healthcare heroes. You can read more about the gifts here. 

Cities Around the World Make More Roads Car-Free

Bogota, Budapest, Paris, Milan and Seattle are among the cities designating more car-free roads and pathways for biking and walking and making many of these initiatives permanent. Read more about these “eco-silver linings” at the Good News Network .

Bella’s Back Home

Australian Shepherd Bella woke her family up the night of the tornado, but they couldn’t get her to come into the bathtub with them for safety. Maybe she was hiding under the bed. After the tornado, Bella was nowhere to be found. After 50 days, a church friend and dog rescuer spotted her in an alley and put out some really good food which led to the family reunion. Watch this video for details about Bella.

You Are My Sunshine

For mother’s day, a family sang “You Are My Sunshine” to their 87-year-old grandmother from outside her assisted living apartment. Other residents came out and joined in from their balconies.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!

*Update: Please see the link in Maggie’s comment below about portable sinks for people experiencing homelessness.


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Five Spirit Dogs

I started this poem many months ago after Doodle crossed over and updated it last week for Mary Moo. The waves of grief come further apart now. I no longer check Mary’s room every day. David and I reminisce about the pack, their antics, and individual peculiarities. Fond memories are starting to match the sadness. Maybe some day fond memories will prevail.

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Mary Moo, Jesse, Doodle, Beep, and Oreo.  (Back cover painting for Trust the Timing.)

 

Must love dogs, she said.

Be careful what you wish for.

My soul mate’s three joined my two

For a crazy blended family.

The five pack struggled to mesh.

Who was in charge?

The humans of course!

So we thought.

 

Little Mary Moo had been the boss.

Doodle, food-obsessed coon hound,

Taught her otherwise.

Possessive Beep and Neurotic Oreo were buds.

Golden Boy Jesse shared guard duty.

The five pack adapted.

Dog love flourished,

With episodic bedlam.

 

My golden boy was the first to leave.

He used to love to run on the beach,

But his old legs wouldn’t work anymore.

Then there were four.

 

Quiet Oreo left us next.

His lovable heart gave out.

No more thunder storms to terrify.

Then there were three.

 

Beep missed Oreo,

But she still had a pack to herd

Until she could walk no more.

Then there were two.

 

We thought Doodle would be last,

Being so loud and full of life.

I bet she took that rainbow bridge in a single bound.

And then there was one.

 

Mary Moo was once a feisty girl.

Almost 18, deaf and blind,

She kept looking for something she lost.

Maybe that squirrel she caught long ago.

 

Our five spirit dogs

Now live on the other side

of the rainbow bridge,

Not waiting idly.

 

Jesse swims in mountain lakes.

Oreo doesn’t have to be scared anymore.

He’s running with his friend, Beep.

Doodle is friends with everyone.

Mary Moo chases squirrels like lightening.

 

Jesse swimming (2)

Jesse

oreo (2)

Oreo

 

Beep

Beep

Doodle w foot on head

Doodle

 

Mary Moo at the Boone Dog park (2)

Mary Moo

 

Rainbow Bridge

 


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From Un-packing Baggage to Dogs in Heaven

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Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was: “(un)pack.” Use “pack” or its opposite in your post. Have fun!

It’s hard not to plan a little, though one of the rules for SoCS is minimal planning. The minimal planning takes place between when I read the prompt earlier on Friday afternoon and now sit down to write the post Friday evening while watching the pack of democrats debate. I haven’t watched the other debates, but figured I better tonight and there are no really good movies on.

Earlier I thought about writing about how our close friends, spouses, partners help us unpack our baggage, as in family history baggage, like my codependency for example. It  gets processed over and over at deeper levels with my husband. But there is healing as I let go of some baggage and accept that there will always been remnants in those zipper compartments of my luggage. But that’s okay. Progress is the goal, not perfection.

baggage unpacking

Maybe I’ll come back with examples. Probably not because I want to write about something else.

Dogs are family. They love to be with the pack.  I’m glad this is understood better now than when I was a kid. We didn’t always let our dogs in the house when I was a kid. Now, I can’t imagine not having a dog in the house. When Mary Moo’s gone, I’ll be traveling to see my grand dogs.

I finally got to see the movie, A Dog’s Purpose, on TV. Good thing I saw it on TV and not at the movies, because at the movie theater I would have to hold back my sobbing. There were hard scenes when the dog dies, bringing back memories. But the good news is that the dog comes back into as new dogs. In the movie, you get to see different lives the same dogs lives and how he or she is loved and part of a pack most of the time, but not always. It brought back some sad memories from my childhood.

There were also good memories like waking up early when I was about 9 or 10 and running with a pack of dogs around the neighborhood who had been turned lose overnight.  That brings us to my idea of heaven. I’ve written about it before, but the more we write about something, or speak about it, the more likely it is to happen, right?

When I get to heaven, I will say hello to my family members, hugs and smiles, and Jesus of course. But what I really want to spend most of my time running with my pack of dogs through the woods, diving into a lake, sleeping under the stars, or maybe in a log cabin. My husband can come there, too. Good thing he likes dogs, loves dogs. We’re going to have a big pack!  Here are some of our heavenly pack members who will be waiting for us.

Beep oreo (2)Doodle w foot on head

Jesse swimming (2)DobbsSarah Sandy   Mary Kaye and LoboHoppy

 

 

Why do I long for the dogs more than the people in the afterlife? Maybe because the dogs had such short lives, along with my sister (who is pictured above with Lobo in 1974.) We have unfinished business. Or maybe I just love dogs. A Dog’s Purpose Explains why. The love and the laughs are worth all the tears.  And dogs will help you unpack your baggage.

For more streams of consciousness, details, and guidelines, visit Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/02/07/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-8-2020/


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Reasons to Live

This post  was inspired by Eliza at Reasons to Live

IMG_1972 (2)

In 1976, I thought about suicide. I was in 21, my boyfriend had broken up with me, and I dropped out of college. Things weren’t working out like I had hoped. Not even close.

I didn’t act on my suicide thoughts because I knew how much it would hurt my parents. They had already lost my younger sister who was killed by a drunk driver. They didn’t deserve to lose another child. No parent deserves to lose a child to death.

Eventually, I went back to college and married someone who I had a lot in common with like art, science fiction, pizza, and beer. We grew up a little and made wonderful memories having two children who I love dearly.  If I had killed myself at 21, I would not have know the love and joy of a family.

Over twenty years of marriage, my husband and I grew apart. We didn’t seem to have as much in common anymore, but I still believed in our marriage. I believed we’d grow old together and travel across the country in an RV after the children were grown.  But that wasn’t what happened.

My husband left me around the turn of the century. I was in shock. Devastated. I didn’t want to live anymore with the pain of being rejected and “alone,” though I was never really alone.  Thoughts of suicide crossed my mind, but I knew I couldn’t act on them. My children needed me, my dogs needed me, and my parents loved me. I couldn’t abandon them.

Vulnerable and confused, I made things worse by allowing myself to fall into a terrible relationship, now dubbed “the rebound from hell.” But I survived and moved on, putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I got dragged.

Cartoon about footprintes

In time, I learned to love myself again. I rediscovered my value, my gifts,  and the constants in my life that have always been important to me like nature, animals, music, art, family, and God who has been with me through every heartache and every challenge.

Now, I am married to the love of my life who found me when the time was perfect. Together and as individuals we’re exploring creative ventures, living our dreams, and building wonderful memories.

If I had remained single, I am certain that I would have been happy in the company of friends and family, loved unconditionally by dogs and by God, growing in confidence, peace, and gratitude.

 

I would not have wanted to miss any of this life.

 

JoAnne and little Ayla on a horse at Ashton Farm (2)

Me and my daughter 1995

Jesse swimming (2)

Jesse 2006

Bride & Groom framed  by doors

2012 with my high school sweetheart

JoAnne painting rabbits

Painting on a community mural 2016

sunset scarlet with bird

So many spectacular sunsets…

birds on beach w blue

Walks on the beach…

Jess looking at hole in tree

…. and adventures with grand children.

 

 Miracles are everywhere.

Remember these words from Mary Oliver’s poem, “Wild Geese”:

 

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely

The world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –

announcing your place in the family of things.


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Good News Tuesday: Homeless Shelters, Pet Adoption Hero, Fighting Cancer, and A Police Officer’s Surprise

 

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Pope Francis Turns Vatican Palace into a Homeless Shelter

They could have made a lot of money turning this 19th century Vatican palace into a hotel, but instead, Pope Francis decided to make it a homeless shelter.  Be sure to watch the short video contained in this story from NBC.

In a related story, a non-profit in Denver, Colorado grabbed an old hotel to turn it into a homeless shelter.  Here’s that story from the Good News Network

….

 

Superbowl Winner Pays Adoption Fees for 91 Homeless Dogs

After his team won the Superbowl, Derrick Nnadi paid the adoption fees for the 91 dogs in Kansas City’s shelter. But this isn’t just a one time thing.

“Nnadi sponsored a program during the regular season in which he paid the adoption fee for one hard-to-adopt dog after each Chiefs victory. All of the dogs in that program found homes.”         Source and story:  ESPN

New Discoveries for Cancer Treatment:

Re-purposing Drugs to Fight Cancer:

Researchers have discovered that several drugs have more than one purpose. Medications for diabetes, inflammation, and alcoholism have been shown to kill cancer cells in the lab. Here’s the story from the Good News Network

Newly Discovered Immune Cell Kills Most Cancers:

British scientists were analyzing blood to find bacteria fighters when they “accidentally” discovered new type of T-cell that kills most cancer cells. You can read more in this article from The Telegraph.

New Police Officer Gets a Surprise Visit

At the age of 42, Erika Benning, an immigrant from Honduras, achieved her dream to become a police officer. But there’s more! Her son who has been stationed overseas for two years showed up for his mom’s ceremony. Enjoy the video!

Got good news? Please share in the comments!

It can be global, local, or personal.

 

 


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SoCS: Choices Matter. Except When They Don’t.

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Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was: “choices.” Base your post on the subject of making small, uneventful choices. Enjoy!

Hmmm. Are there really uneventful choices? Maybe what I eat or decide to watch on TV is relatively uneventful. But they do effect how I feel, a little or a lot. Watching Captain Phillips about the real life pirates was intense. I’m sure my blood pressure was up.  The choice to go to yoga class has become a habit that always makes me feel better.

The choice to start dating when my divorce was final almost 20 years ago seemed relatively uneventful, but it was a mistake. I was still much more vulnerable than I thought. It led to an addictive and unhealthy relationship. Is addiction a choice? Nobody, well probably nobody, starts out saying, I want to become addicted to whatever. Seemingly uneventful choices can lead to big events. Who we go to dinner with, who we text or call, what street we walk down, can lead to a chain of events that make a huge difference over time.

In 1971, my friend Caroline invited this guy from her class to Terry’s party. His name was David, and he turned out to be my first boyfriend. But his family moved back up north at the end of tenth grade, and I thought I’d never see him again. In 2011, David sat down at his computer 700 miles away from where I lived. Did he know when he found Caroline after all those years that I’d be on the top of her Facebook friends list, that he’d find me and we’d end up getting married in 2012?

Certainly he didn’t know this consciously. When we met for our second first date in July of 2011, I didn’t consciously know that saying yes to that date, or yes to his request to call me, would lead to us getting married. But we were SO excited. It was like on some level, we knew this was important. Extremely. Eventful.

Back to the prompt. Small, uneventful choices. Surely there must be some. Maybe it’s hard to think about examples because I often overthink things. I’m sure there have been many times when I stressed about a decision, and it turned out to be uneventful. And unrememberable.

Maybe singing a song would be a small choice when I find myself humming a tune without realizing it. Was that a choice? Not really, until I realize what I’m doing, then I can sing it out loud, dance in the living room like no one’s watching but the dog, but she’s probably asleep and can’t see well anyway because she’s very geriatric. Getting a dog is a choice not to be taken lightly. It’s a lifelong responsibility for the life of that dog or cat. Eventful.

mary moo

Mary Moo, last of the 5 pack.

 

I’m having a hard time trying to think of uneventful choices. Maybe what color clothes I wear. If they don’t match, I don’t much care anymore – not like I used to. I’m not working in an office anymore. I’m an artist and a writer. I get to wear whatever I want. Lately it’s yoga pants and a hoodie. Even when I don’t have yoga class.

coffee and yoga

(Except it’s usually green tea for me.)

 

I like wearing what I feel like. Yeah. Life is good. Simple. Even if you’re life isn’t good or simple, look for the moments when it is. That’s a choice. Like not watching the news, or being picky about what news you choose. But that’s another post for Tuesday. 🙂

For more choice streams of consciousness, visit Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/01/31/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-1-2020/

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: Dogs in Homeless Shelter, Indigenous Victory, Coding Prisoners, and a Good Deed

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Homeless Shelter in Glasgow to allow Dogs

The Glasgow City Mission in Scotland is partnering with Dogs Trust to supply items such as food, bedding and treats so that guests can keep their dogs with them.  Part of the decision involves the understanding that dogs (and other pets) can provide great comfort to people suffering from trauma.    This BBC Article provides details.

” We recognise the importance of dogs to some of our guests and want to ensure that those who own a dog will be able to get a good night’s sleep in the shelter knowing their dog is comfortable and warm beside them.”       Today News US video

 

Peruvian Indigenous Group Wins Suit to Block Oil Exploration

Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines and Perupetro had planned to develop oil zones within a national park, home to indigenous groups. But a Peruvian judge ruled in favor of protecting the region located in the northern Amazon.  Here’s more on the story.

 

Prisoners Learn Coding for Better Job Prospects

The Last Mile is a program started in a California prison that teaches prisoners coding to improve their chances of getting a job after their release. It just makes sense to teach practical skills to improve employability. Here’s the story from WTXL which I found on the Good News Network.

Package Delivery Plus

Here’s a simple good deed to warm your heart:

Got good news? There’s plenty to go around!

Please share your good news story in the comments!

It can be global, local, or personal.


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Awesome Stories 393- Holiday Edition

There’s plenty of goodness in the world. Thanks to Brad for keeping hope alive!

writing to freedom

Awesome Stories 393-Holiday  Edition

Awesome Stories Winter snow from my days in Colorado.

Welcome back to Awesome Stories. I’ve been feeling the pull to do at least one more collection for the holidays. I can’t promise that I will continue this series as it is very time consuming and I started my new part-time job this week. I’m back doing food demos, this time inside Wal-Mart stores. This marketing company seems more professional and I like my manager. Hopefully, this will be a good match, at least until I decide whether to work a few more years or retire in May. It’s important to keep hope alive, especially during our darkest hours. Many of you have helped keep that hope alive for me during my challenging times. I appreciate the love and support so many of you have given me. Thank you! Then we must add some goals and action into the…

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#WATWB: Homeless Dogs Find Love and Safety in this Brazilian Church

Father João Paulo Araujo Gomes of Brazil shelters stray dogs “in his rectory away from the dangers of the streets.” They come to church on Sundays to give and receive love and in hopes of finding a forever home.

Dogs have a way of mirroring the unconditional love of God. So is it any wonder that GOD spelled backwards is DOG? Dogs teach us about a very special kind of love.

Here’s an excerpt from the article in Bored Panda (link below) :

“Dogs provide us with unconditional love, laughter, and precious memories and it’s nothing less than fair to pay them back. Whether you are a faithful believer in God or not, as long as you believe in kindness and compassion, we can slowly make the world a better place.”

 

Click here for the story and sweet photos.

 

We Are The World Blogfest in white

“We are the World” Blogfest” aims to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts, Sylvia McGrath, Lizbeth Hartz, Shilpa Garg, Mary Giese, and Belinda Witzenhausen welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB comes on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE for more information. You are always welcome to join in!

You can find more stories of hope, light, and love on the WATWB Facebook Page.

Click HERE to be part of the Light.


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Good News Tuesday: Helpers, Food Choices, and Peace at the Ocean

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Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Helpers During Hurricane Dorian

Airbnb has activated their “open home policy” listing houses that are free during the hurricane in Florida and surrounding states. From my GoodNewsletter, here’s the link.

Airlines like Delta are waiving pet-in-cabin and baggage fees for hurricane evacuees and capping fees for flights out of Florida and other states. If you and your pets are evacuating the area, consider this opportunity and keep your pets safe.

Chella Phillips rescued 97 dogs in the Bahamas. They’re all at her house. She manages The Voiceless Dogs of Nassau, Bahamas.

Food Choices for the Environment

A survey commissioned by Sweet Earth Foods and conducted by OnePoll found that of the 57% of millennials who follow a special diet 44% do so because it’s better for the environment and 37% because it’s more ethical. It’s the environment that I want to focus on today, though ethics plays a large part in my own diet. Consuming a more plant-based diet is better for the environment for at least two reasons. One is that it takes less land and less energy to grow crops than it does to raise and process animals for food. The other reason is that rainforest destruction is often committed to make room for beef cattle.  I don’t know why they only surveyed millennials. Anyone can move toward a more plant-based diet. Eating local is better for the environment, too and something I want to work on. You can read more about the survey in this article from The Good News Network.

Israelis and Palestinians at the Ocean

Some Palestinians who live less than an hour away from the ocean have never seen it. That’s because they need a permit to travel across the Israeli military border. So, for the last four years, Robby Berman, with help from fellow Israelis, has been organizing trips to bring Palestinian families to the beach at Tel Aviv. Think about this: We are all made up mostly of water, so it makes sense that sharing this experience with the ocean helps create friendship and peace.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!