Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: It’s Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood, featuring Raggedy Ann, Flo and Eddie

The Prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “yarn.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

My mom grew up during the Great Depression. I don’t know if that contributed to her depression as an adult, but she got better after menopause. She told me that when she was a child, she had to put pieces of cardboard in her shoes to cover the holes. As an adult she had a lot of shoes.

“We don’t throw away food,” was her mantra in restaurants. I remember her wrapping leftovers in a napkin and putting the bundle in her purse to take home. Did they not have “doggie bags,” in the 60s?

One of the things my mom wanted as a child was a Raggedy Ann doll. She never got it during her childhood. One year my dad got her one for Christmas. Seems like I was about 9 years old, so that would’ve been in the 60s, too. When she opened the present containing Raggedy Ann, she cried, because she had always wanted one. Maybe she got both Raggedy Ann and Andy from my dad. They both had red yarn for hair and red and white striped legs and Ann wore an apron if I recall correctly. Maybe they had red triangular noses like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.

Personally, I don’t see the appeal, though my mom and I both had red hair. Mine’s still reddish, blond with a little grey blended in. I’m trying to imagine wanting a doll that badly and not getting it until you were in your 40s. Maybe they were expensive, or maybe they were just that poor and the dolls were an extravagance. When I think about all the toys I had as a child and that my grand daughter has, it makes me wonder if we had/have too much. But I’m glad my mom got her Raggedy Ann doll later in life.

I only wanted a pony as a child, and did have my own horse for a while in my twenties. Horses are a lot of work, but they gave me a little stability during a crazy time of my life. Speaking of horses, my grand dog went to the dog park and met a couple of great Danes. Leilu is a husky, so she’s big, but not as big as the Danes, named Flo and Eddie, or was it Eddie and Flo? – They were named after the leaders of the old rock and roll group, The Turtles back in the 60s?

First I’m going to share some photos of Leilu, my grand dog, with Flo and Eddie who I could not tell apart, though one is bigger than the other. Leilu looks crazy because she has blue eyes and a big smile which is real, not enhanced. She just got her stitches out from being spayed, so we didn’t have to worry about any hankypanky from the boys. She lives with her two sons who are also bigger than her, but that’s another story, or maybe it’s a yarn.

And here’s a video of the Turtles, including Flo and Eddie, from when they were on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1967 singing, “Happy Together,” a song on the playlist for my wedding reception.

~~~

For more streams, yarns and rules for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS June 5, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Crocs, Gators, and a Birthday Hike

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “roc.” We are to find a word with “roc” in it or use it as a word all by itself, and enjoy!

Crocodiles are different from alligators. We have alligators here in North Carolina. I’ve seen them at the lake and less often in the creek not far from my house. Alligators are not as aggressive as crocodiles. I have to admit that I researched the differences before starting this stream. I was curious! But I’m still writing in SoCS style and did a minimum of planning. I think that’s the rule.

I used to think there were no crocodiles in the US, but read that southern Florida is the only place where gators and crocs coexist. Crocs have pointier snouts. I guess I thought gator snouts were pointy because that’s how they look in the water. Crocs live in South America and Africa. I’m glad gators aren’t that aggressive, at least to people, but you have to be careful not to let small dogs or cats run around gator territory. Don’t want to think too much about that.

How about this sign?

WARNING: Beware of Alligators

Is that sign just weathered, or did the alligators come up and rub those letters so you couldn’t read them? Why would they do that? Why would I even imagine that? Too much imagination. Let’s move on.

Crocs are a brand of functional shoes. I love my crocs sandals with lots of cushioning. The first pair I had lasted at least two years. Then each pair afterward seemed to last less time. It helps if I don’t wear them to do yoga outside. Seems I need more and more cushioning under my old feet. No more going barefoot. Maybe that’s a good thing. My feet will be a little safer from crocs, gators, and snakes when I go on hikes to the creek or my urban forest.

On Tuesday we went on a birthday hike for my daughter’s 28th birthday to a nature preserve across the bridge in the next county. There were places where alligators might have been hiding. No crocs though. We did see a turtle. (It looked like a turtle, but there was no water nearby so maybe it was a tortoise?) We hiked lots of varied terrain – woods, fields, and swamp. Not many rocks though like up north in the mountains. Glad it was too early for the mosquitoes to be out in force. I’ve only seen a few, but it’s been very dry here lately. It won’t be long…. Anyway, here a few photos from my daughter’s birthday hike.

~~~

Today’s prompt is brought to you by our SoCS post, Linda Hill. You can find rules and more streams of consciousness by clicking the link below:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 22, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Balancing Growth and Rest

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: to use the word, “growth” any way we liked, and to have fun!

Personal growth was a big deal once upon a time. I’m still growing, but I want to enjoy life, too. If you’re enjoying yourself are you wasting time? I don’t think so.

My energy level fluctuates a lot. The only thing even close to predictable is that I tend to have more energy at night. David is a morning person. He gets sleepy at about 10 pm. That was a good thing when we had the five pack of dogs. I could let them out at night and he could let them out and feed them in the morning.

When I was a mom, I had to get up early. Same with work. But now, I’m RETIRED. I can do what I want, mostly. Naps are a wonderful treat. I’ve earned them. Paid my dues. Left to my own devices, I’d probably keep vampire hours. But I do my best to get up and have breakfast with David.

Lately, there are times in the afternoon that I can barely keep my eyes open. Maybe 7 hours of sleep is not enough. Fatigue seems to come from nowhere. My bloodwork is “normal.” I guess I could just go with the flow and be grateful. I am SO VERY GRATEFUL I don’t have to go to a job at a scheduled time. However, I do need a schedule to get me to write and do art, so I don’t watch too much TV. Usually the TV stays off until after noon. I have a yoga class at the senior center plus silver sneakers exercise classes at the gym about twice a week. There are times when I get really into yard work and overdo it.

I like doing yard work – clearing the pathways through my urban forest where things grow lush and thick in the summer. Actually, they’re pretty thick right now. Not a lot of flowers, though. The amaryllis that gets the most sun is done blooming. The others haven’t bloomed yet. The Hydrangea has more blooms coming than usual on the way and the lantana is just starting. I guess that’s what happens when you let the trees do their thing in the urban forest and make shade. The good thing about tree shade is that it keeps the house cooler.

I guess I’m missing the Thursday Tree Love post. Unless I got the day wrong. It’s normally on the the second and fourth Thursday, but I didn’t see it. I hope our host Parul is okay. She lives in India. Feel free to join me in sending good thoughts and prayers to Parul Thakur and India.

Hydrangea Blooming

My urban forest is only on about one quarter acre.

From my kitchen window

Some of the wildlife visitors to my urban forest include hawks, geckos, squirrels, and an abundance of birds. Yesterday I saw a rabbit which surprised me because I don’t know how it got through the fence. I think the neighbor’s dog motivated it to find a way. Anyway, it was too fast for me to get more than a glimpse. Here are some old photos of backyard wildlife:

Challenges help us grow, but we need rest and relaxation, too.

~~~

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to us by Linda Hill. For more streams and rules, visit Linda’s blog:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 15, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Phones of Yesteryear

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is:

“…to your left.” When you sit down to write your post, look to your left. What is the thing closest to you? Write about the memories that thing induces. Enjoy!

To my left is my phone, quietly charging, waiting for the next spam call. Or something better. I’ve recently started getting spam texts. Nothing like in the old days, when we only got an unwanted call if we listed our female names in the phone book. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

When I was a teenager in the 70s, we had one phone for the whole family. It hung on the kitchen wall – a yellow phone on a yellow wall. Most of my phone calls with boyfriends, including my first boyfriend who much later became my husband, took place at the kitchen table. It allowed for some privacy if you didn’t talk too loud. I remember my phone number was 347-5359. Before that, when I was a young child, we had a black phone that sat on a table. They all had rotary dials that went, click, click, click. I vaguely remember having a party line which meant sharing a phone line with someone – you had to take turns, not just with your own family members, but with the other party.

“Is this the party to whom I am speaking?”

That’s what Lily Tomlin said as Ernestine on Saturday Night Live, right? Nope. It was Laugh In.

Look what I found when I went looking for Ernestine: It’s so random, just like SoCS.

Some people didn’t even have phones when I was a teenager. But they could use phone booths. In England, don’t they call them call boxes? Has anyone seen a real phone booth lately? Where have all the phone booths gone? They could be dangerous though. Back in the sixties, or fifties, well, in the olden days, there was a thing to see how many people, usually college students, you could squeeze into a phone booth. Then there was The Matrix phone booth scene. Is the Matrix really that old?

In the 70s, we didn’t have an answering machine, voice mail, caller ID, or any of that stuff. We just had to take our chances. If someone was already talking to someone else, we got a busy signal – buzz, buzz, buzz. No personal computers, no remote controls (not in my house anyway) and only three TV channels that went off the air around midnight most nights, at least in the early 70s. But it was better than the two tin cans with a string tied between them. That never worked for me. I found out just now watching this video that it didn’t work because I didn’t have the string tight enough. Finnovation demonstrates what type of “string” works best. Bright kids!

We’re never too old to learn. Just because something doesn’t work the first time, doesn’t mean it won’t work. Sometimes we just have to keep trying different ways.

Oh, and I finally got back in a kayak, making sure not to take my phone just to be safe. The first two photos are my son out on the lake in the mountains. The last one is a photo he took of me in my new kayak which is blue, green, and purple. These days, I take all my photos with my phone. In the 70s I never would’ve imagined taking photos with a phone that you carry in your pocket.

~~~

For more streamy streams of consciousness, and the rules, visit out host, Linda Hill, here:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 8, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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May It Be

The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “may.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

Maybe May will be a good month.

Anything is possible!

We’re in the mountains this weekend. I bought a kayak and we brought it with us. Maybe I’ll actually kayak on the lake which I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years since we first came up here.

The photo above is the lake in the mountains where I hope to kayak. Nice and calm.

The next photo is one I took recently in the lowlands where I live most of the time. I used to paddle this lake picking up trash years ago. It has alligators, but they’re not that scary, and I don’t see them often. Years ago, when I was cleaning up the lake with my daughter, an alligator was swimming in front of us, going the same way. It kept looking back over its shoulder at us and eventually veered off. It was probably only about five or six feet long.

There could be an alligator hiding down there and we’d never know.

Maybe Mama Cat won’t miss me too much and will sleep a lot. We have a good pet sitter. It’s the fist time I’ve left her since I adopted her in October. Mama Cat. Not the pet sitter.

Maybe I’ll got to bed early tonight which is Friday – when I normally write my SoCS posts. The wind is blowing hard here in the mountains. Maybe it will sing me to sleep. That would be something different since I’m usually a night owl.

Sometimes we hear owls at our house in the lowlands. Maybe there are owls up here, too. Once I heard a strange noise outside here in the mountains late at night. It was very dark. The noise started like a growl-ish noise. But then there were quacking noises. It was like nothing I’ve ever heard before. But that memory will not help me sleep early.

Maybe there won’t be any shootings tomorrow. Dag! What a thing to write or think. Don’t want to go down that stream. Maybe things will get better. Maybe we’ll figure out how to get along better.

Maybe I will start with me getting along with myself and those closest to me.

May it be an evening star…. It that how the song goes? I’ll look…

This is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.

Maybe it will help me sleep.


May your day and your May be filled with blessings.

~~~

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda Hill. Thank you, Linda for your consistency and perseverance bringing us together!

For more streams and info, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 1, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: When There’s Too Much Pepper in the Soup

Here’s are prompt: ….. for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “oop.” Find a word with the “oop” sound in it and use it in your post. Enjoy!

Oops. scoop. goop. soup. I like soup. Vegetarian, please. I like to experiment in cooking. Over time there are fewer, oopses, in cooking at least. We bought some cumin that is exceptionally strong and can only use like an eighth of a teaspoon, a pinch at most. Even if a recipe calls for a half a teaspoon, that’s too much of this particularly powerful batch of cumin. We learned this from experience.

Every mistake teaches us something. It was a big mistake to date a creep after my divorce. It was an even bigger mistake to keep on dating him for a year. But I learned more about codependency and how low I cold go. It brought me to my knees even more than the divorce. It gave me compassion for people who stay in unhealthy or abusive relationships. When it finally ended, it was like waking up from a bad dream. Where had I been? I had lost myself for a while there. Now, I appreciate being in a healthy relationship.

But first, I had to appreciate me. I had to learn to love myself again. Was that rebound from hell really a mistake? Could I have learned to love me without it? I don’t know. I wish I had not done it. I regret that rebound. But God can take a messy mistake and turn it into something good.

It’s like if we put too much cumin, or pepper, in the soup. God can put in other spices, other healthy vegetables, sweet nourishment, to counteract the mistake. The soup becomes rich and hearty.

Do we need to make mistakes in order to learn? Or to appreciate the good things in life?

Let’s hope we learn enough to not make more big ones.

Let’s hope we can heal the mess we’ve made of the planet, mend relationships, bridge the divide.

God help us. I know imagine you’re tired of our mess and want us to learn on our own.

Maybe we will. But could you just give certain people a nudge. You know, the ones who put too much pepper in the soup. Help them, help us, help me, be careful with the pepper – my irritability and critical thoughts….

Add some sweet corn, sweet peas, sweet potato, maybe even some mango. Nudge us to use a dash of compassion, a spoonful of empathy, a cup of kindness.

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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 24, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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M*A*S*H

 Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “mash. Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

The first thing I thought of was mashed potatoes which I really love if they are homemade. Then I thought Of the TV show M.A.S.H.

My dad loved M.A.S.H. and, watching it with him, I came to love it, too. Dad was in something like a MASH unit in Korea after he was wounded in the leg. It wasn’t a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, but something similar. He told me that the doctors there acted crazy just like on M.A.S.H.

Among my dad’s stash of MASH memorabilia is a hat he made to look something like Henry Blake’s hat. Henry was in charge before Col. Potter. Henry was a goofball, but he was a good guy. Here’s my dad’s hat which I don’t think I will ever be able to get rid of.

It was interesting to watch how the TV show MASH changed over the years with the characters growing deeper, yet still using humor. The show had a good mix of humor, drama, and thought provoking messages. The book was okay, but showed the characters as much more…. okay, my stream has been interrupted trying to think of the word to describe the men in the MASH book, because it was a lot more about the doctors who were somewhat lacking in integrity when it came to women more so than the TV docs. But the TV show was on CBS, so….

How many years was MASH on? Wait while I look that up… meandering down a side stream…. The show aired from 1972 to 1983. Eleven Years. I never get tired of watching MASH reruns.

Who was your favorite MASH character? It’s hard for me to pick one. Honeycutt was a nice guy. Hawkeye, was funny and had a good heart, but I have to identify with Margaret Houlihan who was the only female main character, though nurse Kelly was given more of a role over time. And Klinger, well, let’s not go there. Margaret, Hawkeye, and Radar where the only three characters who were in the whole 11 years of the show.

Here’s a scene from later in the series – as it started to mature – with Margaret and Hawkeye.

So as not to further disrupt the stream, I went back and looked for the photo of my dad in Korea. He was in an Able Medical Station around 1952. He’s the guy on the right in the first photo. Looks like he’s wearing PJs. I don’t know who the other guys are, but some must be medical staff.

* * *

SoCS is hosted by Linda G. Hill. For more SoCS posts and rules, visit:

Stream of Consciousness Saturday | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Making a Difference Being Different

Here’s our prompt: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “difference.” Whatever the word “difference” conjures first in your mind, write about it. Enjoy!

Even though we’re not supposed to plan, I was tossing some ideas around after reading the prompt. I have a category called, “Making a Difference.” I don’t remember where I was going with that, but when I started to type a working title for this prompt, I thought about Temple Grandin and the article I read from my Good Morning America news email.

Temple Grandin has a PhD, so I should’ve typed Dr. in front of her name. She also has autism and has made a huge difference in our awareness and understanding of autism as well as in the lives of animals on farms. I hope you’ll read more about her fascinating life. Maybe I’ll post a video later.

In reading about Temple Grandin and autism, I wondered if the spectrum is much broader than we realize. Maybe it starts with social anxiety and awkwardness or slowness on one end, in which case I have traits. In school, I was almost always the last one done on tests. I’ve always been a slow reader. And an introvert who can force myself to be social, but then I need time alone. I have learned to think carefully before I speak and have a lot of pauses. Otherwise, I might say something inappropriate. which sometimes I do. But I also process slowly. When someone is talking fast and presenting a lot of information, I get lost. I don’t like frenetic music or any store with bright fluorescent lights and lots of stimuli. It’s only been in the past ten years or so that I’ve learned to honor these preferences in myself.

It’s okay to be different and honor our differences. We can help each other that way with everyone using their particular strengths. I have patience. I can paint and draw. My imagination is beyond imagination which can sometimes be a good thing, but I have to be careful not to imagine the worst. Or if I catch myself imagining the worst, I can stop. STOP! and imagine the best, or something different. Thoughts can make a difference.

Making a difference doesn’t have to be grand. We don’t have to save the world like I imagined when I was 11 and escaped into fantasy. We can make small differences with a smile or a kind word. We can make a difference in our own lives or the life of one person or animal.

When I looked up Temple Grandin on YouTube, this is the first video I saw, “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds,” so this is what I’m going with.

So then I went and looked at clips of the movie about Temple Grandin’s life which I have not seen. I was moved by this clip where she says, “I hate parties!” and she wants to be with cattle, and her mother takes time to tell, and show, Temple how much she loves her… I really want to see this movie! But for now, I’ll watch a couple more clips.

For more streams of consciousness and the rules, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 10, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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Who But You…

Today’s prompt: “start with who/whom” Begin your post with either “who” or “whom” and go from there. Have fun!

“Who but you

could breathe and leave a trail of galaxies

and dream of me?

What kind of love

is writing my story until the end

with mercy’s pen?

That’s how the song starts that I will be singing Sunday morning in church, God willing. The song is “Alive,” as recorded by Natalie Grant. I hope I can do it some kind of justice and not get lost in the feeling, because I love this song. I love the words and the music, the rhythm and how it crescendos and softens.

Tomorrow will be the first time since Christmas that we’ve been inside the church for a regular service. We’ll be wearing masks and keeping safe distance, though I will not be wearing a mask when I sing. I’ve tried, and it’s too hard to get enough air on the inhale. But I’ll be tucked away in a corner behind the altar, at least 10 to 20 feet from anyone, I hope. All the rest of our music will be instrumental on the organ. I am honored, but mostly I hope people can feel the song.

Imagine the deep sadness, the agony Mary Magdalene felt watching Jesus die. Whether you believe Jesus was and is the divine son of God, or just a man who lived and was killed for his revolutionary ideas about love and equality, it was painful for those who loved him to watch him die. Imagine Mary Magdalene going to take care of his body in the tomb, wanting so badly to see him, but knowing he his dead since that dark day, the darkest day she has ever known.

Then, she sees him, and he is alive! I love how this video with the song shows her joy and the awe of the men she goes to tell about this miracle, that Jesus is alive!

I’m sure I’ve shared this song before, but this is where the stream has taken me today. May you feel joy and awe at this story and being alive!

Death has lost and love has won.

For more streams of consciousness and SoCS rules, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 3, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Forest Gump, Bullies, and a Happy Animal Video

Today’s prompt from Linda Hill:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “run.” Use it as a noun, a verb, use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

“RUN Forest, RUN!” was the first thing I thought of. I’ve watch Forest Gump how many times? At least 20, but who’s counting? It’s on tonight, and I might watch it again. Okay, I don’t really watch the whole thing every time. I’m also on the computer, or doing laundry….. but I’ll pay attention to my favorite parts, like when Forest and Jenny meet in Washington and everybody cheers when Forest in his army uniform embraces the hippie chick in the cement pond. If you want to just watch the reunion embrace, go to 3 minutes into this video:

Forest Gump is a movie about many things and has great music. In the beginning, Jenny tells Forest to run from the bullies so he doesn’t get beat up. Later, she tells him to run to save his life when he’s about to go to Vietnam, where he does run but also becomes a hero saving his buddies who don’t all make it.

Sometimes it’s good to run or avoid bullies. I admit that avoiding conflict is my default fault. Though why not avoid unnecessary conflict? Still, there are times when we need to face conflict with courage. There are times when we need to stand up for ourselves or someone else whether it’s a helpless animal, a child, or someone being harassed.

I recently read an article my friend shared on FB about what a bystander can do when witnessing harassment. (I had to type that word three times before it came out right.) The following article contains options about what a bystander can do when someone else is being harassed. It has something called the five Ds. (As an aside, there are four Ds for quitting smoking or other addictions: Distract, Delay, Drink Water, Do something else. I know it’s not that simple.)

The five Ds of intervention if we are a bystander go something like this:

Direct Intervention (after assessing for safety)

Distract by engaging the targeted person supportively

Delegate by enlisting help from a third party

Delayed response (this could also be debriefing)

Document

Okay, that’s five Ds. As you might guess, I broke out of the stream of consciousness for a brief period to go the article, but only because this is important. I can imagine being supportive of the person who is targeted easier than I can directly addressing the harasser. But I hope if I’m ever in this situation, I can be courageous and safe at the same time.

Here’s the article: SPLC on Campus: A guide to bystander intervention | Southern Poverty Law Center (splcenter.org)

I guess Jenny’s “Run Forest, Run!” is somewhere between direct intervention and distraction.
Now I wish I’d shared the video of Forest and Jenny here, because I like to end on a happy note. Well, you can always go back and watch the end of the video again. 🙂

Or you can watch this video of happy animals playing, running, and Jumping:

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, rules and guidelines, run on over to Linda’s blog:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 27, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)