Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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JusJoJan: Wishes and Dreams, MLK’s Words: “I have dream…”

Today’s prompt is the word, “Wish.”

What’s the difference between a wish and a dream?

Making a wish seems somewhat passive, whimsical maybe. Nothing wrong with wishing, though my mom used to say her father used to say, “Wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one gets filled up faster.” (There are other versions.)

A dream seems more long term, deeper, something that calls to be nurtured and nourished.

Martin Luther King had a dream. He worked hard for his dream. He prayed. He envisioned it. He spoke about it. Below is part of his “I Have a Dream” speech:

…Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

You can read the entire speech here.

Or listen below:

For more on Just Jot January, visit out host, Lind Hill at:

#JusJoJan prompt the 18th – “Wish” | (lindaghill.com)


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JusJoJan: Update on Tahlequah, Grieving Mother Orca

I found a note in my drafts to “Check on Tahlequah, mother orca” who two years ago carried her deceased infant for 17 days. The orca population has been in trouble due to difficulty finding food which is primarily salmon. In July, CNN’s Good Stuff reported Tahlequah was pregnant again along with several other orcas..

So I checked and here’s the update: In September Tahlequah gave birth to a healthy baby boy. I hope he and the other orcas do well.

Today’s prompt for Just Jot January was, “check.” For more jottings and rules, visit our host, Linda at:

#JusJoJan prompt the 17th – “Check!” | (lindaghill.com)


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A Letter to My Past Self About Reasons to Keep Living

This post is inspired by Eliza at: https://elizajourneythroughlife.home.blog/

I’m sending this back in time to myself whenever it’s needed most, sometime in my late teens or early twenties when I had thoughts about suicide. 

Dear JoAnne, 

It’s me, your future self, writing this to you when I am 65 years old which doesn’t feel as old as I thought it would back then when I was 20. Believe me, there is plenty of life to live. 

I know this is hard time for you. I know you are confused and lost trying to figure out what to do with your life. I know your heart aches and that you’ve had thoughts of giving up. Don’t give up!  It’s very important that you know life will get better. There will be hard times ahead. There will be times when you feel your heart is breaking, but the good times will vastly, surely, and greatly outweigh the bad. When I look back at all the good times over the past 45 years, I am so grateful that I didn’t give up.

You will gradually gain the skills to navigate and overcome the hard times. Things that seem impossible now, will someday be easier or less important. 

There are good times, wonderful times, ahead with the constants in your life: nature, art, writing, dogs, horses, cats, learning, and spirituality. These are the things you need to focus on now – the true loves of your life that always nurture your spirit and feed your soul. There will be love. Love from men, friends, and family. Your parents love you very much, even more than you can realize right now since you haven’t had children, yet, but you will. The love of family and friends is important. For now, don’t worry about the men, especially the ones who act like boys. You deserve love that is kind and caring, mature and strong. It might take a while, but you will have it. For now focus on loving yourself. 

You are valuable! You are worth so much more than you know. You have so much to give to this world with all your gifts, gifts that are still being developed. 

I know you might not want to hear this right now, but God loves you deeply, profoundly and forever. Just trust me on this. Your family is praying for you every day. Let this knowledge strengthen you. I know your ideas about religion are eclectic and nontraditional, and that’s okay. That’s part of who you are. But understand that there is a Higher Power who loves you dearly and has a wonderful plan for you! Trust the timing.

So, forget about men for now.  Remember your dreams. Your dreams may change, but they will always be about helping others and Mother Earth. For now, focus on loving yourself and learning. Cut down on the drinking. Be safe. Go back to college. Feel free to explore different classes, different interests.

There’s a whole world of possibilities waiting for you!

I’m sending big hugs and abundant love across time to you. Be still for a moment and feel it. Then move forward with you wonderful life. I promise your life will be will be interesting, beautiful and full of wonder.  

I love you always, 

JoAnna

Today’s Just Jot January topic was, “Letter.” I’m thankful to E for her nudge and patience on this letter and to Linda, our JusJoJan host for getting me to go through my draft ideas to get it written.

For more on Just Jot January, visit: #JusJoJan prompt the 11th – “Letter” | (lindaghill.com)


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Just Jot January: Vegan Cheese, a Work in Progress

Today’s prompt for JusJoJan is “cheese.”

Cheese is one of the things that makes it hard for me to be vegan. That and seafood. I can be vegan for lent, but so far, not forever. There’s a book called, Breaking the Food Seduction, by Dr. Neal Barnard, MD which explains the addictive nature of cheese. I heard Dr. Barnard speak about this at a convention years ago.

There are many vegan cheeses, and I have not tried them all. Some are better than others. I believe they are getting better. My husband David doesn’t like the vegan cheeses I’ve tried, but he’s okay with this cheesy vegan chickpea sauce I’ve been experimenting with. It tastes kinda like cheese and works well for casseroles, pot pies and scalloped potatoes.

Chickpea Cheese Sauce:

¾ cup    Chickpeas (canned or home cooked with liquid)

¾ cup    Non-Dairy Milk (almond milk, oat milk or other, plain and unsweetened)

¼ cup    Nutritional Yeast

1 clove  Large Garlic

½ teaspoon        Salt

½ teaspoon        Turmeric

¼ teaspoon        Black Pepper (ground)

1 tablespoon     Fresh Chives (snipped)

Mix it in a food processor or blender.

I tend to be creative and relaxed about measurement and use one can of chickpeas, extra garlic or garlic salt, and added a few tablespoons of olive oil. I used this sauce inside my Christmas lasagna and it worked well. But I confess to using real cheese from whole foods on top of the lasagna. I asked the whole foods cheese person about the most humane cheese they had since they didn’t have any that was “humane certified.” She said she’d visited the farm of the brand I used, and they seemed to care a lot about the cows. I am a work in progress.

My daughter might have taken this picture in Virginia

My next venture is to figure out how to thicken the chickpea sauce for a pizza. (no oil?) I’m not going to use tomato sauce, but plan to put sliced tomatoes on top of the chickpea cheese sauce. We’ll see….

For more information on Just Jot January, visit out host, Linda Hill at the link below. Linda has shared some fun fictional tidbits for JusJoJan. It’s never too late to jump in!

#JusJoJan prompt the 10th – “Cheese” | (lindaghill.com)


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How Do We Heal as a Nation?

 We have much deep healing work to do in the United States. The tension that has been building for years has revealed itself at the level that I hope it wakes us up. What might help us heal as a nation and ultimately, as a human society? Here are a few possibilities I want cultivate in my own attitudes and actions:

1. Try to state facts without exaggeration. Don’t twist facts. For example, whole cities weren’t burned down during the 2020 “riots.” Maybe whole city blocks, but not whole cities. State opinions with words like, “I think,” or “I believe….” rather than facts. It’s a fact that Joe Biden was confirmed as the next president of the US. If you believe there was voter fraud, that is an opinion that was not substantiated by the courts.

2. Be respectful. Resist the urge to resort to name calling or write things that will increase division. I can resist the urge to “like” posts on social media that reinforce division. Try to speak and write words of healing and understanding. Part of healing can be to express our feelings and grief which can include denial, fear, and anger. Can we express our feelings without tearing down those that feel and believe differently? Yes. We can. it might be a challenge, but we are writers. We can figure it out.

3. Look for common ground. We can do this as individuals, asking questions for understanding. It might simply start with a love for animals or nature, or a common hobby, but we have to start somewhere. Look for the bipartisan issues.

4. Support media stories about healing and the goodness of humanity. I know they’re hard to find, but good news happens. Encourage media to make healing a priority. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to make healing a conscious effort, every day.

5. Find the courage to change the things we can, namely, our own attitudes and actions. Ask questions with the goal of understanding rather than debate. We can find the bridges that unite us, places where we can meet each other – sometimes in the middle, sometimes compromising at different points along the way.

For more information on healing division, visit Braver Angels.

Today’s prompt for Just Jot January was “twisted,” so I included the word “twist.” For more on JusJoJan, visit:

#JusJoJan prompt the 8th – “Twisted” | (lindaghill.com)


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One-Liner Wednesday/JusJoJan: From Icy Fingers to Joy and Hope

Photo from Pixabay by Coernl

When I read the title of Linda’s post containing todays’ prompt, “Icy fingers,”  I read it as “joy fingers,” because of the fancy font. Maybe that’s what I wanted to see – joy instead of icy. I do get icy fingers sometimes in the winter – a circulation issue perhaps or low thyroid, whatever. Joy fingers would be better. Joy fingers makes me think of massage for which I am way overdue.

Looking back over my drafted One-liner drafts, If found this quote on joy attributed to Hafiz, the poet of ancient wisdom. 

“You carry within your soul every ingredient necessary to turn your existence into joy.”

Hafiz 

 

Daffodils offer

Icy green fingers of hope 

With joy from their souls. 

JoAnna of the Forest

Just Jot January and One-Liner Wednesday are hosted by Linda Hill. For more information, visit: 

One-Liner Wednesday/JusJoJan the 6th, 2021 – Icy Fingers | (lindaghill.com)

 


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Jusjojan One-Liner on What January is Good for this Wednesday

January is a great month for making soup, socks with slippers, and staying home, but I have to suck it up and go buy some slippers and soup stuff.

candle in fireplace

My fireplace doesn’t work but I pretend with a candle

Dropping in to Jusjojan and #1linerWeds since I’m not volunteering today. I hope it’s okay if I drop in from time to time.

For more info on both of these writing excursions, visit Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/03/one-liner-wednesday-jusjojan-daily-prompt-january-3rd-2018/

https://lindaghill.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/jjj-2018.jpg

One liner Weds 2017

Here are the general rules to follow for Just Jot it January:

1. Just Jot It January starts January 1st, but it’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. I’ll post the daily prompts at 2am my time (GMT -5), every day except for Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness (SoCS) prompt–you’ll find that one on Friday morning at 9:30am. That daily post (i.e. this one) will be where you leave your link for others to find in the comment section. There will be a prompt for every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday.

2a. Since today is Wednesday, I challenge you to make your JusJoJan post a one-liner. If you don’t care to, or if you’ve already written your post, no problem. Remember, with One-Liner Wednesday you can write anything – it’s only a prompt to write one line, not necessarily to keep to the same theme as mine. The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

(i) Make it one sentence.

(ii) Make it either funny or inspirational.

(iii) Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

(iv) Enjoy yourself!

(v) Use our One-Liner Wednesday badge.


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I Always Come Back to Blue

blue-blue

Blue was my first favorite color as a child. Then I started liking purple around the time of puberty. In high school, it was green. Everything I wore was green from my ecology T shirt to my green woven Sagittarius purse. I like yellow and amber quite a lot, too. But when all is said and done, blue is still my favorite.

Here are a few attributes of blue that explain why I like it so much. Source: Artist Raetta Parker

  • Blue is the color of the sky and sea.
  • ¨ It is often associated with depth and stability.
  • ¨ It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.
  • ¨ Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect.
  • ¨ Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness.
  • ¨ In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.
  • ¨ You can use blue to promote products and services related to cleanliness (water purification filters, cleaning liquids), air and sky (airlines, airports, air conditioners), water and sea (sea voyages, mineral water).
  • ¨ Blue is linked to consciousness and intellect.
  • ¨ Blue is a masculine color; according to studies, it is highly accepted among males.
  • ¨ Dark blue is associated with depth, expertise, and stability; it is a preferred color for corporate America.
  • ¨ Avoid using blue when promoting food and cooking, because blue suppresses appetite.
  • ¨ When used together with warm colors like yellow or red, blue can create high-impact, vibrant designs; for example, blue-yellow-red is a perfect color scheme for a superhero.

Light blue is associated with health, healing, tranquility, understanding, and softness.
Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness.

Sounds good to me, except that I don’t need the corporate part anymore, and I don’t think blue’s necessarily a masculine color by nature. I think the blue/pink dichotomy is a learned thing. But I don’t want to get too serious, that’s where splashes of yellow help.

sunflower-yellow-at-chc

I didn’t realize that blue suppresses appetite! No wonder so many restaurants use red.

I love all blues: sky blue, blue-green, icy blue, true blue.

blue bottle (2).JPG

blue-light

Can you imagine the world without blue? Without color? Color is a treasure.

What’s your favorite color? I’d love to know what you like about it and how it affects you.

pier-at-dark-twilgiht

Just Jot It January is brought to us by Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/30/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-30th17/

For today’s prompt, “Blue,” thanks to John Holton at https://thesoundofonehandtyping.wordpress.com/

just-jot-january

The rules for Just Jot It January are as follows:

1. It’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. The prompts will be posted every day at 2am my time (GMT -5). You don’t have to follow the prompt word, but this will be where you leave your link for others to see. Make sure you link your post to the correct day’s prompt. There will be a post like this every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday, and Saturday, when you’ll find the prompt on my usual Friday Reminder post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS).

3. As long as your blog is on WordPress, you’ll be able to link via pingback. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! If you’re participating from another blogging host, just drop a link into the comment section. Note: The newest pingbacks and comments will be at the top.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. The prompts are here both to remind you and to inspire you to write. However, you don’t have to use the prompt word of the day. You can link any kind of jot back here. Even your shopping list. Note: If it’s 18+ content, please say so in a comment with your link.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge (above) in your post so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

If you’d like to look ahead to see the upcoming prompt words, click this link: https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2017-rules/ You can always write your post ahead of time and schedule it to come out on the appropriate day.


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An Extraordinary Man

joanne-and-dadIt’s been an extraordinary week.

The trip to see my grandchildren started out as an adventure since I don’t travel much by myself these days. The first night I stayed with my friend in Chapel Hill, North Carolina at her cozy house in the woods. Her sweet cat, Feather, slept with me. The next day was Saturday. I drove to the mountains to stay with my son in Boone. While my son was at work, I got the phone call from the pastor at my father’s church. He told me my father had passed away. They found him in bed, so I’m hoping he died peacefully.

My father served in the US Marine Corps for 20 years, and I knew he would want me to complete this mission to visit his great grandchildren. (He didn’t believe in calling children kids, because kids are baby goats.) So, I’ve been in Indiana making funeral arrangements by phone with help from my wonderful husband who’s back home holding down the fort. I’m so thankful to not have to go through this alone, though I could have.  As my father taught me: “Nothing is Impossible.”

It was good to have some time alone in my son’s apartment Saturday when I got the news. I went from cleaning his kitchen window, to crying, to cleaning something else, to crying some more. I thought of calling my dad’s older sister, Ruth who is 94 and in assisted living. But first, I called her friend Judy, who takes care of her fiances. Judy told me that Aunt Ruth had been more confused than usual that morning when Judy visited her. She said Ruth asked her, “Is my mother gone?” Judy told her, yes, her mother was gone.

“Is my sister, Margaret gone?”

“Yes, Margaret’s gone,” Judy said.

“Then I’m the only one left.”

“No, You still have your brother Jimmy.” she told her.

Maybe Aunt Ruth already knew, on some level, that her brother was gone. I wonder if he visited her.  Judy said she would go tell her in person the next morning.

Driving to Indiana with my son on Sunday, the clouds hung low in the Tennessee sky. The opening you see in the photo below made me think my dad was peeking through to tell me hello and that everything’s good.

indiana-2017

On Sunday afternoon, I called Aunt Ruth. I told her who I was (she forgets things) and asked how she was. Then I told her my father had died. “Oh, I’m so sorry,” she said. A bit later she asked how Jimmy was. I told her Jimmy had passed away. I had to repeat myself and explain that her brother had died. She said how sorry she was like she was was trying to console me. His death wasn’t a big surprise to her; my father was not in good health. He had a lot of pain from his old war wounds and arthritis and being 85. Aunt Ruth asked me a few more times, “Jimmy’s gone?”  “Yes, Jimmy’s gone,” I told her. “He’s with his wife, Betty. He’s with the Lord. That’s where he wanted to be.” I told her she still had me and her other niece who lives in Wisconsin closer to her, and her friend Judy. Aunt Ruth wants to go be with the Lord, too and can’t understand why she’s still here. Physically, she’s in great shape for 94. Mentally, she gets pretty confused.

My father was an extraordinary man. After serving in Korea and Vietnam and while living with with the horrible memories that haunted him from those wars, he and mom volunteered at their local soup kitchen and drove disabled veterans to the VA hospital two hours away. They led the church youth group on camp outs. Dad sang in the church choir until his voice started squeaking on the high notes. He taught an adult Sunday school class until just a couple weeks ago. And he taught me, “Nothing is Impossible.”

Dad missed mom terribly after she died. I’m glad they’re finally together again.

mom-and-dad-in-54-in-washington

Mom and Dad in Washington DC 1954

My visit with my grand kids, er… grand children, was a good one. I enjoyed the sweetness of holding little ones on my lap as we read picture books.  My dad is glad I’m was with them.

just-jot-january

Just Jot It January is brought to you by Linda Hill. I’ve been waiting for today’s prompt, “Extraordinary,” from Jetgirlcos to get back to blogging by telling you about my father. This post is longer than most of mine, but he’s worth it.


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Colored Glass

window-w-blue-with-stars

I have a love for colored glass, when the light shines through, especially blue. The first one you see above is a close up from a mosaic by Alice who goes to my church.

blue-bottle

I collect colored glass bottles to put in my windows. The light shining through blue glass reminds me of water.

The light shining through the red robe of the Good Shepherd reminds me of the red candles I adored as a child. A memory that brought me back when the time was right.

gs-vertical-2

Light through colored glass reflects richness.

We don’t need electricity to shine like jewels.

candles

Warm thoughts to you from my travels. I’m staying with my friend who lives in the woods and has many windows to see the trees. Tomorrow I go the the Smokey Mountains, then on to see the grand kids.

I’m glad I got to use my friend’s wifi to share these photos that came in my stream of consciousness from the prompt, glass, brought to you by Linda Hill at

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/20/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-and-jusjojan-jan-2117/

I’ll probably post early since I need to leave early tomorrow to continue my journey.

SOCS      just-jot-january

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!