Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Kinder, Gentler Motivation

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is starts with “u.” Find a word that starts with the letter “u” and use it however you’d like. Bonus points if it’s the first word in your post. Enjoy!

“Use it or lose it,” was the first thing I thought about after reading the prompt. I believe this is true, up to a point. There’s a fine line between use and overuse. With osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, scoliosis, plantar fasciitis, and heel spurs, I have to be careful and look for the right kind of use (exercise) without overdoing it. All those ailments sound like a lot, but they’re not that serious if I find the right self-care balance.

I’ve figured out that if I do my foot exercises (mostly flexing), wear shoes with lots of cushioning (love my Oofos) and don’t walk on pavement much, my feet are able to take me on walks around the neighborhood and maybe a little hiking in the woods or walking on the beach. If I overdo (overuse) my feet, I have to ice them and rest some.

The back balance between use and overuse is a little trickier. Regular exercise is important, but it’s easy to strain a muscle, especially doing yard work which I really enjoy. My daughter just started selling essential oils and I’ve found I love the Deep Blue stick which is a roll on with gentle cool/warmth instead of the burn of some popular topical analgesics. But enough on that. I don’t want to do a commercial.

Another motivational quote I’m reminded of is “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.” That may be true up to a point. Stress can kill over time. Stress can cause stomach and other gastrointestinal problems, all kinds of physical problems over time. Cortisol…. you can look it up. A little stress is good. A little stress here and there does make us stronger if we learn how to cope. That applies to both physical and mental stress, but too much can kill us. Being in an unhealthy relationship or toxic job can take years off our lives. In 2016 I had been saying for years, “I’m not going to let this job kill me.” Thankfully I got out in 2017. Now, I’m healing, reclaiming those years.

The “motivational” quote I really hate is, “Go big or go home.” Maybe I’m hearing that wrong, but maybe I did good to just show up. Have you seen this on a T shirt? I want one.

Sorry I’m late.

I didn’t want to come.

So far, I’ve never actually said this out loud, but I must want to, because it’s so funny. It’s an introvert thing.

I no longer have to make A’s on my report card. Thank God I don’t have job evaluations anymore.

It’s okay if some people want to go big and excel at a sport, or job, or talent, but we don’t need to make ourselves sick or crazy. Sometimes, I’m on time. Sometimes I’m late. Sometimes I leave early. Sometimes I don’t go. Sometimes, I do.

Instead of “Go big or go home,” how about,

Be nice or go home.

Be nice or apologize.

Okay, you don’t have to be nice, just don’t be mean.

Play fair or take a time out.

I like time outs. I can carry a blanket in my car for time outs. Or I’ll go play with the dog. Any dog. Or the goats and chickens….

Here’s a video of me at Blueberry Lane Farm Animal Sanctuary with Delilah and Amos who I keep calling Simon, but doesn’t care. I showed up and brought him lunch.

There are 2 pigs, 3 sheep, 9 goats, 11 roosters and one hen at the sanctuary. The chickens have various levels of rehabilitation and housing. Amos has a foot handicap and currently lives with matriarchal goats, Delilah and Esther. He can see and crow with the other roosters.

Photos from my walks with Marley:

For more on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit out host, Linda G. Hill by clicking HERE.


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CFFC: The Presence of Animals

This week our topic for Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge is celebrating what Connects you to the present moment.

Yesterday’s history

Tomorrow’s a mystery

Today is a gift

That’s why they call it the present.

All of nature connects me to the gift of the present moment, but animals are especially good at drawing me in. Maybe it’s because they are experts at being in the here and now. Walking and training my dog, Marley requires that I be present and vigilant as he is constantly wanting to chase or smell something. We’ve made progress. Stroking the formerly feral Mama Cat is soothing as I listen to her purr which gets louder over time.

The residents at the Farm Animal Sanctuary where I volunteer are always doing something interesting to help me focus on the now. At least once a week, I go there to cut produce and feed the two pigs and 11 roosters, then I hang out with the goats. There are also three sheep at the sanctuary who graze at will.

For more on CFFC, visit our host, Cee by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Trials, Losses, and How Do We Heal?

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “trail/trial.” Use one, use both, use them any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Have fun! ….

There’s a song I like, except maybe for a couple of lines, called “Blessings.” Which lines, I won’t go into. Never mind that. But the chorus goes:

“What if your blessings come through raindrops?

What if your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?

What if trials in this life, are your mercies in disguise.”

It’s about how trials, disappointments, and challenges bring us closer to God. The song works well when applied to my divorce which, as I wrote about recently, turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

The problem now is that it does not seem to apply to the loss of a child. My heart and mind go to the parents who lost children to brutal, needless, senseless deaths by an 18-year-old who should never have been able to buy a gun and certainly not a weapon of war, in Texas.

I cannot imagine how those worst of trials can be a blessing. I don’t even know if the death of my sister, killed by a drunk driver on her 16th birthday, could have been a blessing to anyone, even with my parents’ dedicating the family room at the shelter in her memory. I don’t know how the loss of a child could be a blessing. Anything is possible, yes, but I would not say that to someone who has just lost a child. I would imagine the anger and overwhelming grief would be too much to even think of blessings, right now.

The husband of a teacher who was killed died from a heart attack – a broken heart – while preparing for his wife’s funeral. Joe and Irma Garcia had been married for 24 years. They had been high school sweethearts.

It’s so wrong. Wrong upon wrong, upon wrong, as we are finding out in the investigation.

Other countries have done better than the US when it comes to gun control and this type of murder. That’s for sure. There is a sickness in the heart of my country. (I just struck through “the heart of” because we have good hearts. Mostly.) Maybe we can recover from this sickness. Individual states have and can pass sensible gun laws. We can improve mental health services, address school dropout rates, etc., but I believe it’s going to take some kind of bigger shift. It’s complicated. Or maybe not.

I hope the investigations will lead to improvements. My hope is floundering a bit which is not typical. It will come as no surprise to most of my readers that I believe we need more balance between bad news and good news. That’s part of the sickness – a lack of balance.

Healing. How do we heal? Look for the good. Look for the true heroes, like teachers who continue to teach in schools, first responders who do what is necessary, leaders who have the courage to make changes for a more peaceful country, and a more peaceful world, parents who keep going after heartbreaking loss. Look for the heroes. Hold them up. Hold them in your heart. Keep them in your prayers. We can all do our part to nurture peace.

I know this is a rambling rant. Sometimes that’s what you get in the stream of consciousness. I confess I have gone back and edited a little. It was badly needed.

Maybe I should’ve written about hiking trails. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll put some in a gallery. There’s something coming to me about “The Peace of Wild Things” – a poem by Wendell Berry.

Below are some of my most recent photos from the Farm Animal Sanctuary

~~~

For more streams of consciousness and rules, visit our host, Linda Hill by following this trail: https://lindaghill.com/2022/05/27/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-28-2022/


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SoCS: Things my Parents Said about Possibility, Goats, Food, Wishes and Spit

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “a phrase you grew up with.” Include in your post a phrase your mom/dad/grandparent/sibling used all the time when you were growing up, or just write whatever inspires you based on that phrase. Enjoy!

I have to start by honoring my father, Jim, who would have been…. 91 on May 2 if he was still in this world. You may have read that my father inspired the title of my blog by telling me when I was 12 years old:

“Nothing is Impossible.”

He was told that by his scoutmaster, probably in the 1940s and passed it on to me in the 1960s. He didn’t make this statement a lot, but the tone of his voice and the state of my impressionable mind made it stick. “Nothing is impossible” became “Anything is possible.”

My dad also said,

“Outstanding!”

I think that was a common military word. It felt good to hear that one. He also said things in what sounded like Korean or Vietnamese (he served as a Marine in both those wars), but I think they were curse words, so I’m not going to try to guess how they might be spelled.

Mom often said,

“Kids are baby goats,”

She said that whenever someone would call children kids. Dad picked that up, too. Sorry, Mom, but I sometimes say kids. Mom also said,

“We don’t throw away food.”

That came from growing up during “The Great Depression.” The other thing mom said a lot was,

“Wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one gets filled up first.

There are other versions of that saying which Mom would not want me to share. Still, I think there is some value in wishing as long as we do the footwork to make our wishes come true. Not that we can MAKE them come true every time, but we can manifest our dreams. We can move in the direction of our hopes and dreams, one step as time. Sometimes we manifest something even better!

As I look at that word, manifest, it conjures up all kinds of trash in the stream of consciousness. It’s not a pleasant-sounding word, but it has a powerful meaning. What would be another word that means nurturing dreams into reality? Well, I don’t know. But I know this:

Dreams do come true!

Reading these sayings from my parents, it sounds like my dad was more of a dreamer and my mom was stern. That was not the case at all, at least not on the surface. Dad was practical and hardworking. Mom was more romantic, though dad had his romantic side, too. Just for the record.

I could write a whole other post about goats. Summing it up: Don’t take baby goats away from their mamas.

Esther and Delilah came to the sanctuary pregnant. It was the first time they were allowed to keep their babies. I don’t have a good picture of Delilah, but Jack and Henry are her sons. Esther’s daughter was named Miracle, aka Mira, because she was a complete surprise, and her mama is so old.

Happy Mother’s Day to goat mamas, dog mamas, cat mamas, llama mamas and

all the mamas everywhere.

~~~

For more sayings, streams, and rules, visit our most excellent host, Linda G. Hill HERE.


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More Than Surviving at the Farm Animal Sanctuary

Esther and Mira

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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No More Tempestuous Relationships!

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

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

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

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

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

Marley is a big baby, most of the time.

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


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Good News Tuesday for March 2, 2021: Helper Drives from NJ to Texas, Weed-eating Goats, and Solar Power for Light and Clean Water in Chile

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Plumber Drives 22 Hours with Family to Help after Texas Snowstorm

Andrew Mitchell drove from New Jersey to Texas with his wife, Kisha Pinnock, their 2-year-old son Blake, and Kisha’s brother, Isaiah to help make plumbing repairs after the unusual snowstorm in Texas. Read more about it from CNN.

Sustainable Farm Uses Goats instead of Herbicide

A sustainable farm in Tom’s Creek, Australia uses goats instead of toxic herbicides to control unwanted weeds. Read about it here.

An Ingenious Invention Brings Light and Water

People living along Chile’s coastline have a shortage of affordable electricity and fresh water. A designer in New Zealand invented a system to work with what they have: an abundance of salt water and sunshine. Here’s the fascinating story:

You can read more about the design project and designer Henry Glogau, from this story in the Good News Network.

(In my personal good news, I have 95% recovered from Moderna vaccine # 2. It was a rough couple of days, but I’m thankful to have such a strong, active immune system.)

Got good news?

Please add your story or post in the comments!