Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Perfection Will Not Have My Soul. I’ve been to the Grace Street Garden.

Ah, perfection, you devil,

driving dedicated dudes to delusions of grandeur,

or to early graves from stress.

Not me, though.

Perfection, you will not have my soul.

I will redefine you.

Not a hair out of place becomes wild and free ~

catching the wind and the sun.

The manicured lawn goes native,

A natural home for bugs and birds.

Business casual has become

Hoodies and yoga pants with clogs.

Take THAT perfection!

You have no power over me.

There’s a yard on Grace Street I often pass on my way home. Over the years, the person who lives in the house has collected more and more yard art. I suspect people in the community have also contributed. Some unenlightened people might consider this an eyesore. I think it’s perfectly magnificent! Recently my friend was driving and offered to stop so I could take pictures. That’s when I discovered this was not just a collection of funky yard art. This is the Grace Street Prayer Garden! Who needs perfection when you can have Grace?

~~~

To learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our host, Linda Hill

by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Resting is Not the Same as Giving Up and Why I Gave Up on The Rings of Power

Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “throw in the towel.” Use the phrase “throw in the towel” somewhere in your post. Enjoy!

To “throw in the towel” means to quit something, maybe give up on something, after having worked on it for a while. Where does this phrase come from? Is it a football term? Don’t those football guys carry towels around? lol. I’m not a big fan of football. Maybe that’s un-American to some folks. Okay, the sport itself is okay I guess, okay. Stop saying okay. But I never really got the huge national extravagant $$$ part of it. But I didn’t really want to go there.

In general, where does one throw the towel? In the laundry basket? If a towel is dirty, then you should throw it in. That brings me back to what I really wanted to write about, and that is that sometimes it’s okay to quit. If something is not healthy, if it’s not working, and you’ve tried to the point of insanity or toxicity, and the fate of the world does not depend on your endeavor, then throw in the towel.

As a side note, resting or taking a break is not the same as quitting. I made a meme for that a while ago.

But sometimes, you just need to throw in the towel. About a week ago, I made the decision to throw in the towel on Amazon Prime which I got for the sole purpose of watching The Rings of Power. This was not an easy decision, because I am a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings (like some people are huge fans of football.) I can watch those movies, and The Hobbit movies over and over again, usually while doing stuff on the computer and stopping to watch when my favorite parts come on, like the parts with the elves.

After much consideration, including the cost of Amazon Prime and that I still want to watch Season 2 of Picard and Star Trek, Strange New Worlds on Paramount which costs less by the way, I decided that The Rings of Power was too dark for me. There were some characters I liked okay, but the orcs seemed a lot scarier, and the series just felt continually heavy. The final decision was the episode (still in season 1) where things happen to horses. I will not go into details (except to say there is fire involved), and I know it’s just a movie and those things didn’t really happen to the horses, but when you love animals and have a good imagination, it can be traumatic. And sometimes horses do get hurt on movie sets. So there. It’s done. There are plenty of other things to watch and books to read, and when the old LOTR and Hobbit movies come on cable, I’ll watch them again.

I had to look up the origin of throwing in the towel. It comes from boxing. The trainer throws in the towel to save his boxer when it is clear he’s not going to win. That way, he can live to fight another day, which brings us back to the idea that it’s okay to take a break and rest a while before going back into the ring of life.

And now, a message from Gandalf.

~~~

To learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our host, Linda Hill

by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: You Can Count on It

From our host: Linda Hill: Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan the 21st and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “count on it.” Use the phrase “count on it” somewhere in your post. Enjoy!

The sun is up there shining even if you can’t see it.

You can count on it being up there behind the clouds.

Spring will come and things will grow.

You can count on it cause that’s how it works.

When you’re in a grumpy down mood, it will get better.

You can count on it. Feelings aren’t forever.

If you love yourself and others, good will come.

You can count on it, though it might take time.

God listens to our prayers and wants what’s best for us.

You can count on it because it’s happened before.

God’s plan might not be the same as yours or mine,

But God has a plan. You can count on it.

Life will keep giving us chances to learn.

You can count on it, again and again.

One day, each of us will leave our bodies behind.

You can count on it. Let’s make the most of today.

~~~

The last two Thursdays have blessed us with gorgeous 70 degree weather for lunch at the farm animal sanctuary. The goats and sheep enjoy munching on donated Christmas trees. I didn’t actually have any sheep in the video. The last two goats in the video are the old ladies I hang out with most – Delilah is white and butterscotch and then you see sweet old Esther. All the goats came from petting zoos. They ladies were covertly pregnant when they came to sanctuary and for the first time ever were allowed to keep their babies until they weaned naturally. The babies are grown up and live at the sanctuary. Before the video is a picture of Esther and Mira from a couple of years ago. Mira is short for Miracle because Esther was old to be having a baby. She has permanent distention of her stomachs due to improper diet at the petting zoo. The sanctuary staff didn’t even know she was pregnant until they discovered little Mira who is all grown up now and feisty in a friendly way. Yes, you might have heard this story before, but it’s in the stream of consciousness and I could go on and on about the sanctuary…. you can count on it.

Esther and Mira

~~~

For more on Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE!


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SoCS: Once Upon a Time in Newfoundland, The Moody Blues Song, and Animal Sanctuary Pictures

Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan the 14th and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “once upon a time.” Start your post with “Once upon a time,” then write whatever comes to you, whether it be fact or fiction. Have fun!

Once upon a time we didn’t have phones. Or even TVs. Computers were barely imaginable by the average person. In the 1960s, we had a party line and a phone that sat on a table with a chord. We knew the important numbers by heart. There were three TV stations in black and white. And we thought it was pretty cool.

Lassie and Captain Kangaroo were my favorite shows when I was barely walking and later in kindergarten. Except in kindergarten when we were stationed on the Argentia Naval Base in Newfoundland, Canada. There was only one TV station, and a lot of French was spoken. When my dad got orders to go to Artentia (pronounced Argencia) mom thought he said Argentina. For a city girl from Washington DC, my mom found Newfoundland remote, a bit boring, and of course, cold.

Cold reminds me of the “Cold War” that was going on then. It seemed like everyone was talking about The Russians. I must have picked up on the tension and said, “I hate the Russians.” My dad stopped what he was doing, probably spit polishing his boots, and said, “Honey, you shouldn’t hate the Russians. You should feel sorry for them.”

That was one of the things my dad said that stuck with me. Like “Nothing is impossible” when I was 13.

Don’t hate. and Anything is possible.

Well, mom made the best of being in the frozen wilderness by making friends with the other military wives. The men used to play pinocle. I remember going sledding down a hill out back and that there were wolves howling at night. We used to go on picnics and go out to see the blue icebergs. I would have appreciated the remote location more if I had been older.

Stepping out of the stream, or maybe the stream took me there, I looked up Argentia to make sure I was spelling it right. The base was decommissioned in 1973 and the land returned to the Canadian/Newfoundland government.

One of my favorite photos of that time and place was this picnic photo. I’m wearing saddle shoes.

Me with my parents 1961 or 62

Mom must be wearing Dad’s jacket. Probably a Marine Corps jacket of some kind because it’s red. But that’s just a guess. We went on a lot of family picnics when I was a kid. Why don’t we do that anymore? I wonder what lead me to write about this time and place which I tend to romanticize. These are some of my earliest memories.

And then there’s this nostalgic Moody Blues song and video about remembering an old romance.

More recent memories include the residents of Blueberry Lane Farm Animal Sanctuary where I prepare and serve lunch on Thursdays. Jake, the sheep had a peculiar way of smelling something interesting in the air. Once upon a time, most of these animals were abused or neglected. Now they are living their best lives. Ed, the big rooster in the third gallery picture, had been confined at county animal services (near barking dogs) and had attacked a woman to the point of her needing hospital care. Now, Ed has learned he can trust Debbie and the caretakers at the sanctuary.

~~~

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by author, Linda G. Hill.

For more streams and details, visit Linda HERE.


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SoCS: Boxes, Boundaries, and Cat Dentistry

Today’s prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “out of the box.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think “out of the box.” Enjoy!

So many ideas swirling around the stream which is not a box at all, but there could be boxes of ideas riding along on the stream of consciousness bumping into one another.

The first thing I thought of what how my grown kids are still and always have been outside the box type of people. Can’t imagine how that happened. The things their father and I had in common were art and science fiction. But that’s a tangent to paddle back out of.

I’d rather eat Chinese food out of the box than the plastic. Boxes are easier to recycle as some plastics don’t recycle as easily. I have quite a collection of plastic. You’re supposed to flatten boxes first. That’s one of my soapboxes within the box of recycling. But the Chinese food I prefer comes in plastic mostly with the rice in the white box which I open, rinse and recycle. Been saving those wire handles for some kind of project. Actually used one to hang something once.

Boxes make me think of boundaries. Boundaries can be good protection. But some of them need to be flexible. Negotiables like swearing and non-negotiables like no hitting. We have lots of boundaries to keep Mama Cat and Marley separated. Marley is learning to respect those boundaries. One of the most important boxes in our house is the litter box. Well, there are other boxes that are also important, like jewelry boxes and boxes up in the attic with treasures or junk, depending on your perspective.

Mama Cat was happy to get outside the box – her carrier – after she came home from dental surgery a week before Christmas. She had five teeth removed! I was worried about the procedure and the possibility of having to give her pills post surgery. So I wrote a note to the vet when I dropped Mama Cat off. The vet ended up giving her long-acting pain meds and antibiotics, so I didn’t have to worry about giving her pills. It’s been a long time since I gave a cat a pill, like 30 years ago, and Mama Cat is skittish anyway, but getting better.

The long-acting pain medication was a form of buprenorphine which is prescribed at the facility I used to work for. Mama Cat was practically bouncing off the walls, very hyper, and very affectionate for four days. She also started eating a lot more and is more active since having her teeth pulled leading me to realize she must have been uncomfortable with bad teeth. It’s hard when animals and babies cannot tell you what hurts. She will still go into her carrier to get the food I place in the back, so that’s good, though I hope we don’t have to go back to the vet for a while.

Some cats love to get in boxes, but having spent most of her life feral, Mama Cat doesn’t seem interested. She does like her lean-to cave and small table we added sides to so that’s like a boxy cave. Small children sometimes like to play in boxes, too. When my son was a toddler, he’d sit in a box, and we’d pull him around on the carpet. Do boxes make us feel safe or are they confining? Depends on the situation. It’s usually good to step out of the box, but not roam too far, unless you have a tent or a camper trailer which I’ve been casually looking into. Mama Cat would probably prefer to stay home as long as she can go out on her catio and watch the squirrels.

Well, I’ve rambled on long enough. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for riding along on the stream of consciousness.

Here are some photos which may be related or not…

~~~

For more streams and rules,

visit out host Linda G. Hill

by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: If I Knew Then…. Does God Roll Her Eyes?

Today‘s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “new/knew.’” Use one, use both, use them any way you like. Bonus points if you use both. Enjoy!

Thanks for the easy bonus points, Linda, since we can use one to say, Happy New Year! and the other some other way. And also a big thanks to Linda for providing so many prompts for so many weeks and years and helping to create communities on wordpress including SoCS, One-Liner Wednesday, and Just Jot it January which I may or may not do. But Stream of Consciousness Saturday has been a good addiction/addition to my week.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have not made the same mistakes. Would I? But then, I would not be the same person. Mistakes give us compassion for others who make mistakes and hopefully, compassion for ourselves which can sometimes be harder. Forgiving the self…. sigh…. is a process, like most forgivings.

If I knew my high school sweetheart would return to me some day, many years later, would I have gotten married to someone else? I suppose so. Otherwise, I would not have become a mother unless I was a single mother, which I was (unexpectedly) for about ten years anyway. But someone knew. God knew. I guess. Wait. What about free will? That’s too complicated to explore right now.

What I know is that when I was 16, the lady I babysat for told me that if David and I were meant to be together, we would be. That really helped my pining heart and allowed me to go on about my life for 39 years until David and I were ready to meet again.

Some things we just don’t know. Sometimes, we have to put one foot in front of the other and hope for the best. But it’s good to know what we know and admit what we don’t.

I know there are a few things I want to do in 2023. Keeping it simple and realistic: Get back to painting with alcohol ink on tile, continuing the de-cluttering process, keep working out, walking, or doing some kind of physical exercise… and love. The word love keeps coming to me. I want to make time for it – romantic, familial, and platonic love. Having reclaimed my inner introvert in retirement, I tend to not seek friends out. With occasional exceptions, I am content to be home with the dog and cat much of the time. I want to listen to my loved ones more and remember that God has a plan for them. I don’t have to try to fix things for them.

A friend on FB shared a quote:

“If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.” – Anne Lamott

(Dang! Coulda used that for One-Liner Wednesday. Well, who says I still can’t just because it came along in the stream of consciousness…)

I like to think that when we tell God our plans, God will laugh but also say, “I’ll take it into consideration,” with a smirk or eye roll.

Does God roll her eyes? Is she rolling her eyes at me right now? Does God have eyes? Of course! In some form or other. All seeing eyes.

If my guardian angels knew how much work I would be, especially in my early twenties, would they have signed up? If I get to be someone’s guardian angel after I die, I’ll probably have someone difficult as payback. Oh, but mine haven’t had to work nearly as hard lately! Except when I ask them to look after my grown up children. I can feel my guardian angels rolling their eyes at that.

But here’s the real lesson: If I knew things were going to eventually work out okay, I would not have worried so much. Maybe I’m still learning to trust the timing.

Well, thanks for reading the ramble.

Recent photos from coastal Carolina:

May your new year be filled with peace, love, joy, and blessings!

~~~

For more streams and rules about SoCS:

visit our wonderful host, Linda Hill,

by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Cozy Candles, Music, Movies, and Cats, Plus a Sheep, Rooster, and Dog in the Mirror

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “cozy.’” Use it any way you like. Have fun! (And Merry Christmas if I don’t come back before then!) Linda was worried about losing power due to a big storm up there in the great white north as I think Canada might be known (as dubbed by a comedy team in the 80s). I have to interfect that even if we lose electricity, we still have power of some kind or other, like the power of prayer, song, laughter, lighting candles (but not near smoke alarms…) I hope Linda keeps her electricity and everyone else does too.

Lighting candles has always been cozy for me. My fireplace doesn’t work as it would need a lot of repairs to be safe, but I light candles in there to give the illusion of a fire. There will be candles tonight and Christmas night, especially since the lows will be in the teens and twenties which is unusual for the Carolina Coast. Where my son lives in the mountains, the low was -6 F last night. That’s minus 6 degrees Fahrenheit. Burr. Maybe I don’t want to live there year round.

I hope everyone who has animals keeps them warm and safe inside. Up North, it might be a three dog night, meaning that’s how many dogs to sleep with. But all dogs should be inside the house. Period.

Back to cozy. I’ve been listening to cozy music on Youtube. Sometimes it makes me sleepy. I’ll share some in a bit. Or why not now? You can always come back to it when you want to relax. I especially like the picture that goes with this one.

At the sanctuary where I volunteer on Thursdays, the sheep and goats were in the barn because of the heavy rain. I’m sure they’ll all be in there tonight. The pigs, too, and some of the chickens. Other chickens will be in their coops. I still wonder how birds survive the cold. Must be some miraculous design. And they can fly! Pretty amazing when you stop to think about it.

Here are pictures of Bennie, one of the sheep, staying cozy in the barn and studying his image, along with a rooster, Marley in the mirror before I donated it to the sanctuary, and Mama Cat being cozy on the couch.

Speaking of CATS, I saw some hilarious/cute photos of cats getting cozy in nativity scenes. Here’s a link from Bored Panda.

David said tonight after church he wants to take Marley for a walk around the neighborhood. He took Doodle for a walk on Christmas Eve years ago and it was wonderful, so he wants to revive that tradition with Marley. It will be cold, but David’s from Connecticut and Marley is half husky, so they’ll be fine. I’ll probably be watching a Christmas movie.

Watching old Christmas movies and singing Christmas songs makes me feel cozy. It’s a bit weird how often I can watch the same movies over and over, like Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, and more recently, Last Christmas which I just discovered this year. Last Christmas was inspired by the music of George Michael and Wham who I have paid little attention to until this movie enchanted me. I also like the starring actress Emilia Clarke who was in Solo, a Star Wars Story. It’s comforting to watch familiar movies again and again. They become like background music (like Star Trek) as I blog and do other stuff on the computer.

One of my favorite old Christmas songs was redone by James Taylor. I like how he’s changed the words just a tiny bit.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

May your heart be light

In a year our troubles will be out of sight…

Merry Christmas ~ Happy Holidays!

For more cozy streams of consciousness,

visit out host, Linda Hill’s blog

by clicking HERE!


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SoCS: Birthday Hike and Pizza

 Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “start your post or one paragraph with the word ‘anyway.’” Bonus points if you start your post with “anyway” and regular points if you use it in a paragraph somewhere else in your post. Enjoy!

Anyway, is a useful word for getting back on track after tangents, so it could be useful in SoCS since tangents are common. Now, that I’ve mentioned tangents, none are coming to me. Stream on. “Anyway you want it” reminds me of a song. Not a song I love, but it’s nice to have options. Any way you want to go is okay, as long as no one gets hurt. There is more than one way to salvation, nirvana, happiness. Different pathways. Which reminds me that I have a lot of photos to share from my birthday hike at Carolina Beach State Park.

It was great to be back on those trails that used to be a traditional birthday adventure for me in years past. Not sure why I haven’t gone in a couple years. Maybe it was weather or maybe my feet hurt. Monday, which was my birthday # 67, we hiked for about an hour. We didn’t go to the giant sand dune overlook, but we did enough. The air was crisp and invigorating. It was Marley’s first time there. He was not interested in the water at all, but oh the smells! I think most dogs need to be introduced to water at a young age to be interested in it.

Anyway, my feet didn’t hurt and neither did my knee thanks to Nanosocks and my compression knee sleeve. It was a good day. After the hike, which was in late afternoon, we went out to dinner. My favorite birthday Thai restaurant is closed on Monday which was disappointing. BUT if it had not been closed, we would not have gone to Blaze Pizza for the first time which I liked a lot. It’s set up like subway, but the pizza is good, and they have lots of interesting toppings including vegan cheese, roasted garlic, and toppings like arugula after the pizza comes out of the wood stove. I love seeing a fire that gives the impression of a fireplace. Blaze Pizza is one of my new favorite places to eat.

Anyway, back to the hike which started along the intracoastal waterway and went into the maritime forest.

~~~

For more on the Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our persevering host, Linda Hill

by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Note to Self – Don’t Call That Number!

Today‘s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “dict.” Find a word that contains “dict” and use it in your post. Have fun!

Dictionary… Dictation…Dictator…vindictive… Going in a negative direction here. I try not to be vindictive or to write too much political stuff here. It’s obvious to me that a recent former president desperately wanted (wants?) to be a dictator. Yuck. I don’t want to write about that. What are some other words… Sigh.

Dictionary. Who still has one on a shelf? I do! Diction. I took a class in college called, Voice and Diction. That class, along with acting class, helped me get over some natural shyness and allowed me to speak clearly in front of people. Not that I want to do that now, but if there’s a good reason, it comes in handy. I’ve always had pretty good diction, but the college class gave me the ability to speak “Standard American English” if it was appropriate. Of course, it’s also good to have something relevant and true to say. Speaking from the heart is more important that diction.

It’s a good skill, speaking clearly, but not that necessary, like speaking to scammers is not necessary. It’s best not to speak to scammers at all. I made the stupid mistake of calling a number in an email that said it was from Paypal. As soon as the speaker mentioned that I had invested in bitcoin, I knew it was a mistake. I said the words “No” and “Never” very clearly. I’m not entirely sure what bitcoin is and, no, I don’t want to know.

Now I feel a bit paranoid. Sigh.

Getting back to topic of college, the first years at the community college were fun – being a big fish in a little pond and all that. Then I transferred to the university and got serious about finishing. I’ve never taken dictation, but I was good at taking notes. That was so long ago. Now, I’m retired. Yay!!! I only take notes if I feel like it or really want to remember something. If I start asking the same questions over and over again, say like 10 or 20 years from now, I’ve asked my husband to encourage me to write stuff in a notebook and carry it with me. But we’re not there yet.

Exercise is good for the brain as well as the body. After the scammer incident, I went to the Y where I recently started back with a personal trainer on Fridays, just for 30 minutes. It felt good and helped with the paranoia. Maybe exercise will help my memory and save on notebooks.

Note to self: DON’T CALL THAT NUMBER!

Sometimes we get to learn the same lessons over and over again. I will forgive myself for the mistakes and remember the lessons:

DONT CALL THAT NUMBER!

Now, move on! Find a pretty picture.

Here’s just one of my favorite Christmas ornaments from a musical friend:

David made the smaller one on the lower right from wood

~~~

For details on Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

and more streams, visit out host, Linda G Hill

by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Twin Flames, Soulmates, Dogs, and Cats

I had a great time collecting and arranging these leaves

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “twin/tween.” Use, “twin” or “tween” any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Enjoy!

A twin flame is a person (could it be an animal?) who shares your soul. Like the soul split into two bodies. That’s what I read somewhere. No scientific evidence to support this. Sounds kind of mythical. That doesn’t mean it’s not true. Afterall, anything is possible. Twin flames are said to share many qualities mirrored in one another. They also may share past traumas.

Excuse me, but I don’t really want to share a soul with someone. I much prefer the concept of soulmates. One difference between twin flames and soulmates, besides soulmates having their own souls, is that soulmates are not twins. They definitely have a lot in common, but not like twin flames.

My soulmate David and I just celebrated our ten-year wedding anniversary on December 1st. This is my second marriage and David’s third, so ten years gives me hope. Of course, the fact that we were high school sweethearts reunited when the time was perfect also gives me hope. I appreciate how he supports me and also gives me space, how he loves dogs and has come to love Mama Cat, too. We have a lot in common, but our differences complement each other well.

Meeting your twin flame could be exciting and helpful. A twin flame does not have to be romantic. It can be platonic or intellectual. To be honest, I’m no expert on twin flames, so feel free to add alternative information or ideas. From what I recall, a person only has one twin flame, but can have multiple soulmates (maybe not at the same time which could be complicated.) I’m okay with not having a twin flame, but I’m very happy to have a soulmate.

As I type this, Mama Cat is lying next to me on the couch making me wonder if a person could have a cat or a dog as a soulmate. They certainly can be good companions. When David and I reconnected in 2011, we had five dogs between us. That was quite a pack in our little bungalow. That’s what happens when you manifest your soulmate “must love dogs.” In our ten years together, each member of the five pack has crossed over the rainbow bridge. We’ll see them again and won’t need leashes.

Soulmates with the original “Five Pack.”

We’ve had Marley for one year now and brought Mama Cat home from the church about two years ago. They are part of our family, though they have limited contact with each other under close supervision.

It’s unlikely that a dog and a cat could be twin flames, but soulmates maybe. Anything’s possible!

~~~

For details on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, and lots more streams,

visit out host, Linda G. Hill by clicking HERE.