Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Fancy Hats, Plain Hats, Funny Hats… Improvise if You Have To

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “hat.” Use it literally or metaphorically. Have fun!

Nothing is jumping out at me, yet, except that I’ve never been much for fancy hats – the big ones ladies wear to church on Sundays some places but more so in the olden days. I don’t want to be snob about something I perceive as snobby sophisticated. I should be more accepting. If someone gets joy from wearing a fancy hat, that’s nice. I should leave it at that.

I should also wear a hat more often outside because I have fair skin. So far, so good. The cap I’m wearing in my profile pic is more my style, though it does sometimes leave my ears and jaw exposed. Sometimes I wear sunscreen, but most of them have chemicals that are harmful to the environment, so the free stuff from Medicare OTC store, well, it will last a while.

Speaking of the environment, our water here has PFAS contamination. Thankfully, I got a reverse osmosis system for the kitchen sink last year, but lots of people can’t afford that. Three private wells are contaminated in our area, and I hope the wells at the farm animal sanctuary are okay. They need to be tested, but the testing and research is being done by consultants connected to the company, Chemours, doing the polluting. I went to a hearing Monday about the well situation to speak for the sanctuary. Then I asked a question about how we can stop the release of contamination at the source. What I meant was, alternatives that don’t create PFAS chemicals. These are created in the manufacture of non-stick cookware, water repellant clothes (probably like my windbreaker) and I think sunscreen. The panel from the state didn’t get what I was getting at.

We do what we can with the things we can control. Eat healthy, exercise moderately, don’t stress too much, and wear hats outside. Fancy hats, plain hats, aluminum foil hats, cowboy hats, whatever. Here’s a very old picture of my husband David wearing something on his head that looks like a hat, but I think it’s a planter that sticks into the ground. Hats. Improvise if you have to.

Circa 1958

And let’s not forget my dad’s M*A*S*H hat.

~~~

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by our famous and fearless leader, Linda Hill. You can read more about it and find more streams by visiting Linda, HERE.


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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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SoCS: The Power of Zero, Cat Stevens, and a “Submerged Object”

 The prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “zip, zero, zilch.” Use one, use ’em all, bonus points if you use all three. Have fun!

Zero is the number of romantic partners I had in the second half of the decade after my divorce. Five years doesn’t seem like such a long time now to be celibate or anything else. In the big picture, five years is not a long time when you have an abundance, a few quality friendships, dogs, and work to do on yourself. I had a romantic relationship with myself and with nature, and spiritual growth that required zero romantic distraction from other people. Of course, I didn’t know that at the time it was happening. There is power in zero, in solitude, in simplicity. Not to say my life was simple by any means.

One is not always the loneliest number, and zero doesn’t necessarily mean zilch. If you add zeros to a number, it increases the value.

Dave at Daily Ramblings shared a short Ted Talk on the origins of the number zero which started as a dot. It got me thinking of the old Cat Stevens/Yusuf album, Numbers, A Pythagorean Fairy Tale, which came out in 1975. The songs sort of told the story of the numbers one through nine and how everything changed when this new dude showed up named, Jzero. I listened to this album a lot in the second half of the decade that was the 70s. It was a confused time of my life when I kept getting distracted from college and from myself. My romantic partners during that time were distractions. I often felt lost or lost my sense of myself.

One of my favorite songs from the Numbers album was, “Drywood.” Part of it went something like,

“Like drywood takes to fire, the truth will come to you.

Like streams that seek the ocean, you will find ways through,

Like morning meets the moon, my love will guide the way.

It’s time to wipe your eyes now, and awake…..”

The song provided encouragement I needed and still holds a special place of gratitude in my heart.

Another of my favorite songs from the album was, “Home.” It’s a sweet song. Here’s an older Cat Stevens, aka, Yusuf, singing it. At the end he whispers, “Peace be with you.”

Well, time to zip up this post. Right after I add a few photos from the beach… Oh, there’s a video at the bottom.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, rules, and such, visit our dedicated host, Linda Hill, by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Listen for the Lions, but Don’t Worry Too Much

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “too/to/two.” Use one, use ’em all, bonus points if you use all three. Extra bonus points if you start your post with one. Enjoy!

Two ears and two eyes would be an evolutionary advantage over one eye and one ear. Two ears makes it easier to tell where the lions are. With only one ear, you’d have to turn your head, always wondering where the lions are. I’ll come back to that. Two eyes and two ears look better, or is that just a cultural thing? What I was getting to, in a round about way, is that we have two ears and two eyes, but only one mouth which would suggest that we should listen and watch more than we talk. That’s sorta how the saying goes. Are there any animals that have more than one mouth? A Venus fly trap, but that is not an animal. Would more than one mouth be too many? I’m not going to worry about it.

Recently, I had another example, a lesson, reminding me not to worry too much. You might remember that I mentioned needing to step back from a group I was in, a weekly zoom meeting. It wasn’t a good fit anymore for my schedule or my energy. I worried about what and how to tell the friend who ran the group. I constructed an email with limited explanations of why I wanted to take a break from the group. I ended up texting or emailing something more simple – just that I was taking a break from the group. She didn’t ask why as I thought she would. What she wrote was that she had been getting tired of the group too (!). I didn’t need to explain anything! She has since decided to disband the group. The lesson (without the codependent notion that I caused the group to end) is that I spent way too much time worrying about how she would react to my absence.

How many times have I worried about something that never happened? Too many. Maybe writing this will help me remember, not to worry too much. Or maybe not to worry at all!

I think I’ll take a break from worrying. Maybe it’s a privilege some don’t have. But I hope there will be moments of peace here and there for everyone.

There are plenty of metaphorical lions, but I have nothing against actual lions. I just want to know where they are. Coincidentally, but not really, my CNN Good stuff newsletter has an article this morning about Tanzania’s Lion Defenders who just want to keep track of where they are. That might pop up in my Good News Tuesday post.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness and guidelines, visit out host, Linda Hill HERE.


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SoCS: Bummers, Blessings, and All I Need to Know Right Now

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “nose/noes/knows.” Use one, use ’em all, bonus points if you use all three. Have fun!

I don’t know if I can get to the fun part. There’s a saying or two about wisdom knows what it doesn’t know. The wise person knows they don’t know a lot.

I don’t know a lot about being a police officer. But I know we can do a lot better in training, screening, and being more compassionate in general. What’s got me going is trying to understand what happened in the fatal shooting of Patrick Lyoya by a police officer in Michigan earlier this month. I guess a lot of people are trying to understand. Why does this keep happening between Black men (and women) and police officers.

I know there are plenty of good police officers. I know at least one. But why did the police officer who stopped Patrick Lyoya, because his car had the wrong license plate, end up shooting him in the back of the head? The police officer was on top of Patrick who was face down. There was some kind of struggle for the police taser. But Patrick was face down with the officer on top of him. And the officer shot Patrick IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD.

I’ve been informed by one person on my FB post, that police “don’t shoot to wound,” and my officer friend commented, “we don’t shoot to kill.” They aim for the biggest body part – the torso. So why did Patrick get shot in the head?

Taking a deep breath. And another.

I’m writing this on Good Friday. Why did Jesus have to die on the cross so young? But he wasn’t really young, was he? He was trying to change the world. Trying to help people understand about love. And he did that.

Maybe we can keep on learning about love. Keep loving who we can. Support the good cops. Encourage those who are trying to do good. We can do the little bits of good where we are.

Tomorrow, I’m going to put cans of fruit cocktail, soup, and Chef Boyardee pasta in our church blessing box that David made and I painted with help from kids at church. We do what we can.

I’d like to add that the police officer I know is a blessing. I met her working on community murals. She’s been a cop for many years and does a lot of good.

When Jesus died on the cross, his friends thought things were as dark as they could be. They were filled with despair. But we can turn despair into hope that people will learn from mistakes. We can learn to love in small ways or in big ways. It’s not easy, but it is possible. That’s what I’m telling myself.

This song came to me this morning: “I Don’t Know Much, But I Know I Love You.” I like the sound and images even if the singing is slightly out of sync.

Wishing you blessings at Easter and always,

JoAnna of the Forest

~~~

For more streams and rules for SoCS, visit out host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE. She knows!


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SoCS: Healthy Relationships and Dog Treats

 Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “how.” Use the word “how” in your post. Bonus points if you start your post with it. Enjoy! Thanks, Linda!

How to read a “how to” book:

  1. If it’s a long book, skip to the chapter that actually tells you, how to.
  2. If it’s a short book, go ahead and read through.
  3. Come back to the other sections of the long book as needed.

That’s how I read a “how to book,” anyway. Maybe it’s not the best way, but that seems to work for me.

A short how to book that’s easy to read through would be my book, From Loneliness to Love, Five Steps for Finding a Healthy Relationship. (You can find it on the right sidebar.) And that’s all I’m going to say about that, unless I come back to it, because this IS after all stream of consciousness writing.

How to get up earlier: Go to bed earlier.

How to go to bed earlier: Turn off the TV.

How to turn off the TV: Push the off button.

How to push the off button: Set an alarm to tell you to. Nope. Not gonna do that.

How to get more exercise without hurting myself: Go to a physical therapist (appointment scheduled) and keep doing yoga, stretch regularly while watching TV and on the computer. Like right now….

How to strengthen a healthy relationship: Do fun stuff together.

David and I went to the beach last week. It was nice. We need to go more since it’s only 20 minutes away. I’m hoping we can walk the dog together in the evening, but he still needs more training to make it an enjoyable experience. (The dog needs more training, not so much David.)

I’ve been watching a lot of “how to” dog training videos and have scheduled a consultation with another trainer recommended by a friend. They use e-collars, though this is not required. At this point, I’m willing to give it a try since it’s a vibration I will try on myself first of course. If there was ever a dog that needed something like this, it could be Marley. His lunges make me worried concerned about things like shoulder dislocation. David has to wear his hand brace for several more weeks due to a Marley lunge.

Marley is making progress, but those squirrels still drive him crazy. A few days ago, there was a turtle or tortoise just on the other side of the fence minding its own business, and Marley went nuts over a turtle! He even barked at it, and he rarely barks. I was able to get the leash on him and get him to take some training treats for moving away from the turtle and get him back into the house. Fortunately, the turtle tortoise was not there when we went out back again. The videos I watch (from two different programs) use A LOT of training treats. So far, he still likes them.

I’ve been working hard in the backyard urban forest to get ahead of the vines and thin things out so I can keep an eye on Marley and hopefully nudge wildlife to move elsewhere. Oh! That reminds me, I learned at the farm animal sanctuary where I volunteer that hanging a paper bag up that looks like a wasp nest will discourage wasps from building nests. I need to put one on both of my porches.

Maybe I can find some related photos without going too far out of the stream.

Healthy Relationships include having fun together and recognizing strengths in spite of challenges. Marley is very sweet and well behaved in the house where there are no squirrels. He probably thinks I’m a nag for dragging him away from interesting things and not letting him eat the lantana or dig to China. But I’m the one with the training treats.

~~~

To read more streams and find out how to join in, visit out host, Linda Hill HERE.


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Tipping Points for Self Care, Peace, and Planet Earth

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “tip.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!

So many possibilities for “tip.” That’s why Linda is the hostess with the most-est, and best-est prompts.

The tip of the iceberg can seem to be what caused the tipping point, but there was a lot more underneath. Lots of straws under the last straw. It’s like when you are in a relationship that’s not a good fit, but you stay there because there are some good things. Maybe he makes you laugh, but not as much as he used to, because he makes you cry, too. Maybe he has a good heart, but a crazy mind – not good crazy – paranoid, jealous, controlling. And then finally, something happens to make you realize, it’s not worth it. You deserve better.

The tipping point can happen in a job, or any toxic relationship – one too many criticisms, one too many late nights, stomachaches and other signs of stress…. Our bodies tell us if we pay attention. Eventually the time comes to get out, and you realize you can.

(From Pixabay perhaps?)

Forgiveness can come later. But forgiveness doesn’t mean we have to have lunch. We can forgive from a distance.

What a relief when we step away from something that has felt like a suit that didn’t really fit. That’s happened to me recently. I felt obligated to be part of something that became more restrictive (mentally and spiritually) over time. Now that I’ve stepped away, I feel more authentic.

A tipping point can also go in the direction of something good! What’s it going to take to get me to take that bike sitting on the catio to get fixed so I can ride it? What’s it going to take to get me back to a gym, or maybe a physical therapist, for my occasional back spasms? Those back spasms (almost gone now) were the tipping point to get me to pay someone do a little yard work instead of trying to do it all myself.

I’m hoping for a tipping point that will make Putin really back off and give Ukraine the power to be free of tyranny. Can there be a tipping point for peace?

I’m hoping for a tipping point that gets us to take care of planet earth. Not another crisis, but maybe that’s what it will take. It could go either way.

From Facebook

Speaking of nature, I greatly enjoyed the perfect weather and company when my friend met me at Airlie Gardens to take pictures last week.

~~~

For more streams, rules, and tips for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit our host, Linda at:


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Swing to the Ledge and Wait for Dragons (A Naturally Trippy SoCS Ramble)

This might be from Pixabay. Who knows?

“If you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” So goes the encouraging encouragement.

If the rope is taut, it might be hard to tie a knot. But I guess it’s supposed to be more figurative than literal. I’ve never been good at tying fancy knots. I have to practice stuff like that over and over to learn it. More than the average person. But I did learn to tie a figure 8 knot on a bite.

I may have been a basket weaver in a former life since I like to make wreaths out of vines, but don’t do much after that. Maybe glue on a few shells and stick one of my mermaids in it, like this.

The most I’ve done with a wreath.

But getting back to being at the end of your rope. How about swinging? Yeah! Swing. Don’t ask me how to start. Let’s put a cliff in there to push off of. Swing around to a ledge, pull up on a root or a tree. Camp out on the ledge. Eat some grubs. Oh NO! I can’t do that, I’m vegan. Good thing you can make up whatever you want in the Stream of Consciousness.

There must be something to eat on the ledge besides grubs…. Looking around….. Mushrooms!

I like mushrooms, but never did the trippy kind. Just being on a ledge eating any kind of mushroom would be trippy. What would be even more trippy would be if one of those big bird-like creatures from AVATAR came a long and gave me a ride. But wait! I’m afraid of heights! But no, this is the stream of consciousness, and I can be brave and get over it.

Dang. They’re not birds. They’re DRAGONS! Youtube doesn’t want to show the video on this post. But maybe you can see it by clicking HERE.

If you didn’t see the movie Avatar, the color is one of the most amazing things. The dragons are multicolored – blues and greens, oranges and purples. They are bigger than horses but not huge, sleek with wide wings. I love it when they sort of peel off the ledge, swoop, and glide around the fantastic places with floating rock islands. The jungles of Pandora are lush green and turquoise with plenty of fluorescent purplish flowers. Who needs trippy mushrooms when you have imagination?

I was going to write something serious about being at the end of your rope. Something realistically inspirational. I still like the swinging to a ledge idea. Just chill for a while and see if a dragon comes along to be your friend. But then, after you rest a bit and have some mushrooms (or grubs if you prefer) you can climb up to the top or find a path down. There’s aways a way. Maybe not right away, but a way. You could even climb the rope. Personally, I’d go for the ledge and catch my breath first.

Now, I’m going hunting in my photos for dragons…

PS, if you’re a LOTR fan, wait for the Eagles! They’ll be along.

~~~~

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is…. “rope.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!

For more streams, rules and stuff, visit our fantastic host: Linda Hill by CLICKING HERE.


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Completing Herself

She had always said,

“He does not complete me.”

With disdain, she said,

“He is not my better half

And I am not his.”

We are whole people.

But when, after two decades,

He up and left,

A gaping wound,

Invisible to the naked eye,

Left her vulnerable.

It would have been better

If the wound was visible,

Bandaged with a white flag.

She thought it was healing well,

But the wound festered.

She tried to fill the emptiness with

Anything that remotely resembled love,

And the wound became infected.

Finally, finally, she stopped trying to fill the wound

With a person who would never be enough.

She looked for herself in the woods.

She looked for herself in the water.

She looked in friendship,

Human and nonhuman furry friends.

She looked to God who opened her arms and held her close.

Finally, finally, she felt completed by all these things:

The constants that had always been there for her.

And the wound healed.

She looked for herself in the woods…

I’ve shared this photo of me before, but it fits so well today, I had to share it again. It was taken by my daughter about 15 years ago.

~~~

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was:

“comp.” Find a word that starts with or contains “comp” and use it in your post. Enjoy!

For more streams and SoCS rules, visit our host, Linda Hill, by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Trip or Trek ~ Going Boldly into My Own Backyard

What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Trip is our prompt for today.

Have you ever tripped over your own two feet?

I have.

Mostly, I trip over vines in my urban forest of a backyard.

Working on clearing the paths now that we have a crazy dog.

I want to be able to see him and make sure he’s not trying to escape.

Plus, I don’t want to have so many hiding places for snakes that could bite him.

We’ve wanted to take a trip for a while, but it’s hard with a dog.

Did I mention he is crazy?

Oh, he’s a sweetheart in the house.

But if he’s outside and there’s a squirrel, or another animal, or a person, he goes crazy wanting to get at it mostly in a friendly way. He wants to be everybody’s friend. But maybe not so much the squirrels and outside cats. He needs work on his manners outside, as in calming down a few notches.

But maybe we will take him to the mountains one day.

David gets his stitches out from the dog walking injury on Monday.

He’ll still have to wear a brace for like ten more weeks! Really? That’s a long time for a pinky tendon.

No trips until after that. Unless they are short trips.

Meanwhile, my goal is to try to not trip over anything.

Mindful steps. That’s the idea.

If you have a good imagination,

You can go on a trip without leaving your home.

You don’t need drugs either.

There’s always Star Trek.

There’s a character on ST Enterprise named, Trip.

The thing I like about Star Trek bloopers, aka, gag reels, is that people who are usually serious (in character) get silly. I could watch them all day. But I won’t. This one has ?Spanish subtitles in case you want to learn Spanish whatever language that is. Or in case the subtitles are your primary language.

I wrote that last night. This morning is VERY windy, and limbs are coming down. A cold front is coming in. Guess I really will be going

….the electricity went out so i lost internet on my laptop. I didn’t realize my sentence got cut off til i just looked here with my phone which is acting wonkY. The wind has calmed but the electricity is still out. Time to get out the guitar or paint something.

For more trippy streams of consciousness, rules, etc. trip on over to our wonderful host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.
Oh, and the temperature is predicted to plummet to 24 tonight. Trippy weather.