Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Ready for Miracles

Today’s SoCS prompt is to find a word that starts with the letter, M, and base our post on it. At least that’s what I remember.

The word I’m going with is, Miracle.

I looked it up before I started typing this, because I was curious. The word comes from Latin among other languages of origin meaning “wonderful.” Some people think “wonderful” is overused. It’s one of my favorite words, and I’m going to use it whenever I feel like it.

We need some miracles in the United States and across the globe. Miracles seems to have to do with divine intervention, but there can also be an element or factor of manifestation, another M word.

It felt like a miracle when my high school sweetheart found me 39 years later when the timing was perfect. But I also worked hard to manifest a partner who would be compatible, while taking into account God might want me to stay single, and the compatible partner could have ended up being my dog.

I believe we will be successful in at least quieting Covid 19 and maybe even squashing it. Will that take a miracle? Maybe to get people to take precautions like distancing and wearing masks. But that brings me to a bigger concern: the political divide in the US.

It will be a miracle when we learn to listen to each other and accept our disagreements with respect. I am not neutral on very many subjects, though there may be a couple. I have made it clear on my personal FB page, and maybe slightly less clear here on WP, who I support for president. But I try not to call people names, like “idiot.” Though I occasionally give descriptions and might make a comparison. Here’s a hint of what I was watching Thursday night along with the debate.

I won’t say who Smaug reminded me of.

But I also try to post positive stuff and good news more often.

We need a miracle to bring our country together. And I don’t want it to be an attack from outer space. Let’s NOT manifest that. We need a miracle of understanding, compassion, and willingness to consider other points of view.

I admit, that if my candidate loses, I will be devastated and afraid. Very afraid. But I would like to be understanding, of my neighbors at least – the ones with the TRUMP banner in their yard. I have often shied away from intense political debates, though not in the format of Braver Angels where respect and listening are key components.

Right before I sat down to write this post, I listened to a podcast on NPR about this guy who is riding a bicycle across the continental divide of the US. He’s a journalist and wants to talk to Americans in rural areas. It’s called Facing West by Nate Hegyi.

One thing that stuck with me from this podcast was that Nate said we have more in common than we think and need to pay more attention to our own backyards (or neighborhoods) rather than the national politics to see the common ground. What I’m thinking that means is having, cultivating, grace and acceptance for my neighbors, even the ones with the T…. banner.

I’m reminded that one of my former colleagues used to say, “acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like it.”

We must have some common ground, even if it’s sharing the same sidewalk and living on the same street. I know my T banner neighbors like (or at least tolerate) trees, because they have a big magnolia tree in their little front yard. They also have dogs. One thing I’ve noticed is that a love of dogs seems to transcend politics. I only have a cat for now, but I will always love dogs.

Maybe dogs are part of the miracle. They don’t care about politics. Certainly cats don’t care about politics. They teach us to be in the moment, here and now.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill. For more streams and SoCS rules, visit:


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SoCS: Dog Collars, Feral Cats, and Classic Trek

Today’s prompt: “collar.” Use it as a verb, a noun, or metaphorically. Bonus points for using it in all three ways! Enjoy!

Add a couple letters to collar and you get collards. Collards get better after they get cold in the ground. I wonder if it’s too late to plant them. They do take up a lot of room. I like them raw in salad or steamed lightly.

Before I started adding letters to collar, I thought about the dog collars handing in what used to be the dog room. We have no more dogs now. They’ve all crossed over the rainbow bridge. But their collars, at least three of them, still hand in the dog room with tags and leashes attached.

Dogs probably would prefer not to wear collars to bed. I used to take them off when we were in for the night. But if you only get out the collars when it’s time for outside or walks, then collars would be very good things!

The dog room might turn into a cat room if I bring home Mama Cat from the church. She’s been there for over 4 years and will go crazy if/when I trap her, but she misses her daughter Gray who is still missing. I worry about Mama who has become less feral in her loneliness. I bet she would really hate a collar. It’s going to be a process, taming this feral mama, but we’re making progress. I might trap her and bring her home at the end of September or early October when I’ll be home for a while. She will probably hate the smell of the dog room. But I hope she will grow to like being here. I’m getting ahead of myself. Time will tell.

I haven’t given up on Gray. Must think positive thoughts that she is safe and loved, somewhere out there. When I get depressed about Gray or politics, Star Trek helps. I believe there’s a Star Trek episode about collars.

That James Kirk. A shock collar won’t stop him from kissing a woman. Or knocking her gently on the chin so that she falls into his arms unconscious. He could’ve talked her into helping him….. But it all worked out. And nobody really got hurt.

I don’t think I would ever use a shock collar on a dog without testing it on myself. Since I wouldn’t want to test it on myself, I wouldn’t use it on a dog.

Remove your collars! Run free!

For more Streams of Consciousness, visit our host, Linda G. Hill at:

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!


11 Comments

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

Sunflower w address

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.


23 Comments

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.

back cover painting (4)

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

 


42 Comments

From Un-packing Baggage to Dogs in Heaven

socs-badge-2019-2020

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.


5 Comments

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

 

Sunflower w address

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.

 

 


32 Comments

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

socs-badge-2019-2020

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!

 


9 Comments

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

Sunflower w address

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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