Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: A Year of Challenge and Hope for Healing

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “day/week/month/year.” Linda also invites us to write about the past year of pandemic, “how we have coped or not, to share our common experiences as a way to connect, to feel a little less alone.”

As a citizen of the United States, these past 12 months have been heavy, not just due to the pandemic, but also with the political divide and the racial injustice of the murders of George Floyd, Breaonna Taylor and others. It has been strange and confusing to have stay at home orders, masks and social distancing recommendations along with protests and demonstrations.

My hope is that with the pandemic calming down and someone less inflammatory at the helm, we can move into healing. It’s going to take a lot of work. A lot of compassion, listening, compromise, and seeking common ground… or higher ground.

I find myself feeling tired as I write this. There are bursts of energy when things get done, but maybe it’s a tired that comes with age. Still, my personal life has not been bad. I’m the oldest one in my family – my parents and siblings are deceased. Even Aunt Ruth in Wisconsin crossed over last year after a full life into her 90s. I am thankful not to have to worry about my parents anymore and feel for those who do. I am thankful to have the luxury of time and the freedom to study my father’s letters from Vietnam, and to write and paint.

Staying at home doesn’t bother me, except that I have not seen my granddaughter, son and daughter in law since October. I miss the mountains. It was in October that I last visited the mountains and first brought mama cat home from the church. She has kept me company when David is at his woodshop, and she has become much less feral.

Mama Cat has a plate of food.
She wants attention while I’m trying to write.

Having a cat has been a big change after being a dog person for so long. The pandemic and people not being at church much was one of two factors that led me to bringing her home. The other factor was the abduction of her daughter, Gray, in June. I still go to the church once per week to see if Gray has shone up, but I don’t think this is likely. I talk to Saint Francis and pray my hopes and thanksgivings.

St. Francis with last year’s hydrangeas

Not going to church and choir practice is probably the biggest change in my personal life. We do zoom church and I’ve sung and played a little guitar for that, because music is my favorite part of church. My voice is way out of shape when it comes to singing anything challenging. My friend Anne, who is in her 80s and teaches singing, is helping me with that. I’m thankful to have had both vaccines, in spite of the side effects, I’m glad to have a little more confidence if I do want to go out. I’ll still wear a mask and avoid crowds.

Hopefully we won’t have as much to protest or demonstrate for or against for a while. Maybe things will calm down and justice will grow. Maybe we humans will wake up, bridge the divides, and focus on healing Mother Earth as we celebrate diversity in all it’s beauty and strength.

Thank you to our host, Linda Hill for the consistency of SoCS through the year.

For SoCS rules and more streams, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 13, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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A Hippie Pacifist who Respects the Flag

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is “flag,” to be used any way we want. I like the freedom of that any way we want part.

It still hurts to remember that on January 6, rioters tore down the American flag and threw it on the ground to replace it with one of their TRUMP flags. It hurts that rioters carrying American flags beat other people in their attempted coup of the US government. I don’t often write about such things, preferring to share good news in an attempt to bring balance to the force, as small as this attempt might be, like throwing a pebble in the ocean…. But some things we need to remember, even if they are painful. We need to not forget that this happened. We need to work for peace and also protect our democracy.

My father, being a Marine for 20 years, instilled in me a respect for the American flag. Even as a hippie and a pacifist, I maintained this respect. Never let a flag touch the ground. Fold it properly. If you have to retire it, the flag is to be burned in a ceremony. There are few man-made things that I have this kind of respect for.

When I was a child and we were driving on base when the flag was being lowered as signaled by a loud bugle, my dad would pull over, or everyone stopped in the road, and we all sat at attention. Even as an adult, just a couple of years ago, when David and I were walking along the riverfront and the Coast Guard ship sounded a bugle to lower the flag, it was not unusual for us to stop and stand silently as the flag was lowered. David used to have a flag selling business, plus his dad was in the military too, so he gets that stuff. It’s imbedded in us.

Reading my dad’s letters from Vietnam has gotten me fascinated by studying the Vietnam war. I can honor and appreciate our soldiers even if I disagree with war.

This just goes to show that a hippie pacifist can be patriotic. One of my former co-workers was surprised to learn that I was a democrat. She said, “but you’re so patriotic!” I was surprised to learn she was not a democrat, because she’s such a nature lover. Just goes to show we don’t all fit into neat little boxes. In fact, we have a lot more in common, and more diversity within our groups, than the news media or social media might have us think.

This reminds me of something I have in my drafts….. I didn’t plan this, but it fits here.

“For all of you who aren’t sure, it is possible to be gay and Christian.
It’s also possible to believe in God and science.
It is possible to be pro-choice and anti-abortion.
It is equally possible to be a feminist and love and respect men.
It’s possible to have privilege and be discriminated against, to be poor and have a rich life, to not have a job and still have money.
It is possible to believe in sensible gun control legislation and still believe in one’s right to defend one’s self, family, and property.
It’s possible to be anti-war and pro-military.
It is possible to love thy neighbor and despise his actions.
It is possible to advocate Black Lives Matter and still be pro police.
It is possible to not have an education and be brilliant.
It is possible to be Muslim and also suffer at the hands of terrorists.
It is possible to be a non-American fighting for the American dream.
It is possible to be different and the same.
It is possible to be spiritual and not follow a religion.
We are all walking contradictions of what “normal” looks like.
Let humanity and love win.”

(I found this on Facebook showing  it is possible to find something good on Facebook.)

All or nothing thinking divides us. The world is much more complex than black or white, or even gray. There are many more colors and color combinations. Even more than red, white, and blue. When we recognize, respect, and honor our diversity, the world will become more balanced and more beautiful.

Here’s my Unity Bird in alcohol ink on tile

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to us by our host, Linda G. Hill. For more streams, rules, etc, visit: The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 6, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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Good News Tuesday for Nov. 3, 2020: Chile Votes for Constitution Rewrite, Nuclear Weapons Ban, A Drop in Crime, and a KKK Leader’s Change of Heart

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

It’s a good day to take care of yourself. Get outside, do some exercise, consume nourishing food, drink water, pray for peace, watch a funny movie, and remember, good news happens!

Citizens of Chile Vote For a Constitution Rewrite

After a month of protests against inequality, “Right-wing President Piñera” agreed last November to hold a referendum on rewriting the outdated and “divisive” constitution. Due to the coronavirus, the referendum was delayed until October. BBC News reports An overwhelming majority of 79% … voted in favour of the new constitution.”

UN Ratifies Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons for Affirming Nations

On the 75th birthday of the United Nations, Honduras became the 50th nation needed to ratify The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which makes the creation, sale, maintenance, and use of nuclear weapons illegal for nations that have signed the treaty. This article from the Good News Network includes a moving account from 88 year old Setsuko Thurlow, one of the last survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima.

Crime Drops Significantly in the Philippines During COVID Quarantine.

In the Philippines, from March 17 to October 2, cases of robbery and theft decreased by 60 percent, and serious crimes, including murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, and theft, were reduced by 46 percent Read more from The Good News Network.

Former KKK Leader Works for Peace and Compassion

Army veteran Christopher Buckley is a former KKK leader who now volunteers with Parents 4 Peace helping others open their minds and hearts with empathy and kindness. You can read more about his journey here and watch the video:

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!


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SoCS: More of the Good Stuff

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “more.” We are to start our post with the word “more.” (And) Enjoy!

More listening with an open mind will lead to more understanding.

More singing will lead to more music.

More gratitude will lead to more contentment.

More days will lead to more nights.

More nights will lead to more days.

More work will require more play.

More work will also require more rest.

More rest will lead to more rejuvenation.

More and more rest will lead to atrophy.

More exercise will lead to strength.

More moderation will lead to balance.

More balance will lead to peace.

More peace will lead to prosperity.

More prosperity and more love

with balance and peace…

What a wonderful world it would be.

Here’s a pretty song with pretty pictures: Enjoy!

I’m not in denial. I just need something nice. More good stuff.

Okay, maybe just a little denial. Episodic denial. It’s called taking a break.

What more do you need?

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to us by Linda G. Hill.

For MORE streams, visit:

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!


15 Comments

Mayors Call for “Peace, Not Patience” (2020.May.31)

One of my favorite Gandhi quotes from Doggedly Yours:

Howling, Humor, and Histrionics.

A nation braces for another night of unrest.

Demonstrations Resume as Mayors Call for ‘Peace, Not Patience’ (New York Times 20/05/31)

IMG_5047 copy_1500x900

Some will draft letters to the government, others will create signs for protest demonstrations, I may do so tomorrow though today on this day of pain …

….I elect to write a post to this blog.

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

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One-Liner Wednesday: Calling for Peace, Not Quiet

 

“There’s a difference between those calling for peace and those calling for quiet.”

___The Rev. Al Sharpton in a Eulogy for George Floyd

 

When brutal racism has taken black lives, we cannot be quiet, and peace may be hard to find. But we can be non-violent.

 

2019 1linerWeds badge

 

One-Liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda G. Hill. for more one liners, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/06/10/one-liner-wednesday-june-10th-2020-moooommm/


24 Comments

What Flames are You Fanning?

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Today’s SoCS prompt is: “fan.” Use it by itself or find a word that starts or ends with it. Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

 

Fan the flames of peace.

Sing out to bring the dove.

The road might not be straight.

Let me start with my own heart.

 

Fan the flames of justice.

Not with violence, but with strength.

Be persistent.

We can’t always wait for Karma.

 

Fan the flames of love.

Speak your heart’s desire.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Remember we all belong.

 

What do we want to speak into existence? Our thoughts and our words are powerful! Focusing on what we want, not what we don’t want, brings our heart’s desire. Yet, there are times when we must vent to release and make room for something better. Just don’t linger in the darkness. Don’t let the negativity become toxic.

Imagine the best. 

That’s the fifth step in my new book, From Loneliness to Love, Five Steps for Finding a Healthy Relationship. The e-book will be available on Amazon tomorrow! (June 7) I’m still trying to get the cover right for the paperback. It looks good digitally, but the printed proofs….. Oh well.

I will imagine that this book will help people. The principles work not just for finding a healthy relationship, but for many other goals.  Here are the steps:

  1. Clarify Your Heart’s Desire
  2. Request Help from the Divine
  3. Love Yourself Well
  4. Focus on Friendship
  5. Imagine the Best

 

On another note:

Fan blades remind me of flower petals. So I’ve recycled ? upcycled a couple.

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Painted with alcohol ink and soon to be a sunflower

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This one spins in the wind.

 

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

https://lindaghill.com/2020/06/05/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-6-2020/

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!

 


16 Comments

Spay, Splay, or Spray Your Way to the Peace Train

72530873-4C03-4E67-80E2-39270B3FC76F

Today’s prompt for  Stream of Consciousness Saturday:

“…spay/splay/spray.” Use one, use two, use ’em all, it’s up to you. Have fun!

There’s so much I could write about, but I’ll start with the prompt.

Spay or neuter your pet. There are so many homeless dogs and cats, so many killed because they were abandoned….   I’m feeling tense right now and sad because of the news in the US, and now, thinking of abandoned pets being killed in shelters…. I don’t want this to be a downer post, but that’s where the stream of consciousness is going for me right now. Consciousness sometimes means being sad or angry or afraid because of what’s happening….

Going back to spaying and neutering, there aren’t enough homes for them all, so I don’t understand why people would find it acceptable to breed more dogs and cats when you can adopt from a shelter and save a life. If we get another dog, when we get another dog, I’ll be looking for a shepherd mix from a shelter. But who knows who will find me.

Doodle, our Treeing Walker Coonhound, may she rest in peace, was adopted from a shelter or rescue by my husband before we got married. Her big walker feet would splay out when she got excited. It was involuntary. I wish I had a picture of her feet splaying. Here she is sleeping on our bed with her big feet.

Doodle hiding on bed

 

Spray. The first thing I thought about with that was pepper spray. I’ve been watching news on the protests in Minneapolis over the murder of George Floyd. When I watched the video of the police officer kneeling on George’s neck for several minutes even after he became unresponsive, I was yelling, “get off him! Just put him in the car!” (He was already handcuffed!) But when I was watching the video George was already dead. Bystanders were yelling for the policeman to, “check his pulse!” and “He’s unresponsive!” Afterward, I cried. I don’t wish I hadn’t watched the video. It was important to see it. So many black men (and women) have been killed by police officers or “vigilantes.” This one was the worst I’ve seen. But they’re all horrible.

I’m usually optimistic, and I still have hope that we can do better. Sometimes things have a way of getting worse before they get better. I believe this is enough. My heart is heavy.

I know there are plenty of (?) some good cops in the world and in the US. I know at least one personally. There must be more. Police suicide in the US is very high. Some big changes need to happen. Police officers and cadets need a lot more training in de-escalation and community relations.  That’s an understatement. They need routine screening and supportive counseling.

Here’s my hope and vision for the future of my country where violence and injustice are concerned:

The US stays involved in the United Nations. We have a Department of Peace that gets just as much funding and status as the military. We have offices of peace and peace workers in every city and town that get just as much funding as law enforcement agencies. We organize for peace. We seek it diligently. We nurture peace and each other. It will not be easy. But it is possible.

I haven’t been smiling lately, but here’s some medicine:

Oh, yeah, my husband David just made a peace chair protoype. I’m going to paint some color on it. Painting is my medicine, too.

Peace chair unpainted

Peace Chair from Reclaimed Wood

For more on SoCS visit Linda’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/05/29/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-30-2020/

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!


6 Comments

Good News Tuesday for March 3, 2020: Peace Agreement, Blue Whales, Rescues in Delhi, and Inspirational Grace

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

US Signs Peace Agreement with the Taliban

To say that this is complex is an understatement,  but a peace agreement after 19 years if war in Afghanistan is good news.

“U.S. officials insist the troop withdrawal timeline will depend primarily on one condition: the degree to which the Taliban fulfills its commitment in the peace deal not to allow Afghanistan to be used as a base of operations by insurgencies such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State.” NPR

The agreement also includes release of prisoners.

Here are some details from NPR.

Blue Whale Numbers Rising

The BBC reports an astonishing increase in blue whales, the largest animal on the planet. These intelligent being are still endangered however, and the 1986 IWC ban on commercial whaling needs to remain firmly in place.  Here’s more from BBC

Father and Son Sikhs Rescue Muslims in Delhi

Sikh Mohinder Singh and his son used a motorcycle and a “scooty” to rescue 60 to 80 Muslims from escalating riots in Delhi on February 24.

“I did not see Hindu or Muslim,” said Singh, who runs an electronics store and is a father to two children…. I just saw people. I saw little children. I felt like they were my children and that nothing should happen to them. We did this because we all should act humanely and help those in need….” Mohinder Singh (Tribune)

Read more of this story from the Tribune here. 

 

Ballerina Returns to Inspire Possibilities

While this story isn’t recent news, it is uplifting. Aesha Ash grew up in the inner city of Rochester, New York. Though she didn’t see any black ballerinas as a child, she loved ballet and worked to pursue her dream. She joined the New York City Ballet at age 18. Since her retirement, she has visited and inspired inner city children in Rochester and Oakland as part of her Swan Dreams project. Enjoy!

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!


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Dr. Martin Luther King on Peace & an Old Song

Organize for Peace MLK

On Monday in the US, we honor the life and teachings of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This quote about peace is one of many gems he gave us. You can find more MLK quotes here.

I strongly believe that we in the US need a well-funded Department of Peace to focus on building communication and understand and to seek compromise rather than violence.

Anybody here remember this song?