Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


16 Comments

All (or Nothing) Up in My Head

SOCS

Linda’s prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness is “all or nothing.” We get bonus points if we start and end our post with one (or each) of them.

All or nothing thinking is one of my pet peeves. There are so many possibilities between all and nothing. Just like there are so many beautiful colors between black and white.

As a counselor (and a parent) I encouraged people to watch out for words like always and never because they usually mean someone is not thinking accurately. But it does seem like I always have something to do. I guess that’s better than having nothing to do. But it’s nice to have moments of nothing to do but take a nap or watch the sunset.

River sunset orange and blue

Here’s one of my gazillion sunset photos.

I’ve had a busy week getting ready for the Silver Arts competition (part of Senior Games) which includes literary, visual, and performing arts categories. I entered a poem and an essay, and I’m finishing one of two paintings I need to turn in on Monday. All this is happening as my book is getting finished up. There was one final glitch in the typsetting. I say final with some eye rolling because I’ve thought I had a my “final” book cover and “final” PDF to upload more than once.

Gah! When it rains is pours.

Today, working on the painting of angels, which I will share with you next week when it’s done, I got keyed up. I feel emotionally tired after painting for a couple of hours. I want to relax more. But I talk to myself while painting, making comments on whether something is working or not. I spent about an hour on two angel faces trying to get them right.

Do any other artists feel emotionally drained after working on a painting? I don’t feel this from writing, unless I’m writing about something emotional. Which sure did happen writing my memoir.

I asked my gynecologist last week if it’s normal to feel mood swings after menopause that feel hormonal. She said it’s normal, but it’s not necessarily hormonal. She said it’s maturation. I think that’s the word she used. She said as we age, our nervous system doesn’t work quite as well as it used to, so some people get more easily frustrated and some, like me, get weepy. But then the next day, or the next hour, I’m fine. Or better than fine! Plus I realize that I have more time to think now that I’m not working that intense job I did for 30 plus years. Sometimes I have too much time to think, too many conversations in my head. It’s better when I talk to the dog.

So today, I used some mindfulness techniques and rode the old Schwinn I bought for $10 at a yard sale. I rode around my neighborhood with the wind in my hair and finding all the hills I didn’t know existed with my 61 year old knees getting a reminder of the old days. It was a good balance after all that painting and being all up in my head. Balance is something I will continue to seek to stay away from the all or nothing.

 

Doodle and bike

I just had to share my “new” bike (and my old dog)

 

 

Here are the rules for the Saturday Stream of Consciousness Post:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


11 Comments

Moo: A Stream of Consciousness Post that’s not just about Cows.

cows coming

The first think I thought of when I saw today’s Steam of Consciousness prompt, “moo,” was of course cows and how I’ve given up dairy for lent. It’s because I love animals, especially mammals, cause I’m a little biased being a mammal myself…..Where was I?

Ok, I’m not going to go into the bad stuff about cows on factory farms, but I will say that dairy has been hard for me to give up, especially cheese. (I cheated with cheese a couple weeks ago, and my digestive system is still not back to normal.) I’ve had no trouble not eating meat for over 40 years now, except chicken and fish, no trouble not eating mammals, but dairy has been hard. I’ve missed having pizza. I had a pizza with vegan cheese, it even melted, but yeah it wasn’t the same. It was good though.

I will probably indulge in cheese from time to time, but what lent has taught me, as it often does, is that it is possible to live without consuming mammal milk products. As an adult anyway. Lent stretches me outside my comfort zone, which is why I’ve done better over the years at not eating chicken. To be honest, I will probably go back to eating some fish after lent, mostly salmon or shrimp. I’m sorry shrimp and salmon. I will only eat your now and then, like once or twice a month, but during lent, you get a reprieve.

The second thing I thought about when I saw the moo prompt was my little Mary Moo. Her name was originally Marigold when I got her for my daughter almost 15 years ago. Marigold turned into Mary, then Mary Moo, then Mary Moodle, then the song that starts out, “Mary Moodle, you’re not a poodle, Mary Moodle, you’re just a mutt.” I’m not going to take you to the other lines my stream of consciousness has created over the years containing things that rhyme with mutt. Nope. Not going that far.

Anyway, Mary Moo will be 15 next month. She’s doing okay though she sleeps a lot and is deaf as a stone.

Do you have silly nicknames for your animal friends?

Here are two pictures of Mary Moo:

mary moo

Mary Moo on a road trip.

This one, below, is the painting I did for the back cover of my soon to be published book. Mary is the one all the way on the left. The littlest one.

back cover larger (2)

The Saturday Stream of Consciousness is brought to us by Linda G. Hill. who blogs at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/04/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-apr-1517/

SOCS

Here are the rules for SOCS:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


6 Comments

How To Learn a New Skill

practice-breathe-from-pixabay

How long does it take to write a book? Apparently, it takes a long time, for me anyway. I’ve always been a slow reader, so I guess it makes sense I’d be a slow writer. But good things take time, right? I thought I knew how to write, and I did well on  college papers and in journalism. Creative writing is a whole different animal – with wings, and squawks, and smells, and feathers, so it must be a bird of a different color.

But how does one become a writer, or anything else?

PRACTICE.

Writing is a skill like any other. Some people may be naturally better at it than others, but with practice, we can improve at anything. I’m terrible and learning to tie knots and things mechanical, but that just means I need more practice at those things than the average person – if that’s how I want to spend my time.

I spent a lot of time as a substance abuse/mental health counselor, at least 30 years as you may know. Asking how something happened, like a relapse for example, was important. What was the chain of events, or thoughts, that led to the relapse? Many of my clients desperately wanted to stay clean, but didn’t know how. You can tell someone to stop doing drugs, or stop eating potato chips, or stop smoking, in all kinds of ways. But some people really need skills. Skills like self-soothing (without illegal drugs) and assertiveness, self-care, meditation and relaxation, going into a new support group, applying for a job, helping family members or friends understand why they don’t want to be part of the drama anymore, and accepting when they still don’t understand – just to name a few.

How long does it take to learn new skills?

It depends on how often we practice.

Changing thoughts is a skill. I can still get caught up in ruminating about things I should have done better, or worrying about how someone is going to react to my boundaries. It takes a conscious effort sometimes to pull my mind back to the present moment. Asking myself, “Why do I keep doing that?” doesn’t help as much as, “How can I stop doing that?”  Or better yet, How can I catch myself sooner and re-direct my thoughts?

Sometimes I use sticky notes to remind myself to be in the present, or think positive. Sometimes I ask God to help me stop thinking about something that isn’t doing me any good to think about. One of my favorite things to ask God is, “How do you want me to handle this?” Sometimes I get an answer, like, “love her,” like when my daughter was 13 and melting down. Or sometimes the answer is, “wait.” Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be an answer, but I know God is going to help me work it out somehow.

SOCS

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is the word, “how,” brought to us by Linda G. Hill at https://lindaghill.com/2017/02/24/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-2517/ who instructed us to “Start your post with the word “How.” Bonus points if you end with it too. Enjoy!

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


6 Comments

Pigs, Chickens, and Almond Milk

pigs-from-pixabay

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is a touchy subject for me. The word is, “ham.” Being an “almost vegetarian,” I don’t want to get preachy because I am so imperfect. But ham is one thing that was never hard for me to give up. It has something to do with pigs being mammals and at least as intelligent as dogs. Why do we live with dogs and love them so much, but eat pigs?

Chicken and fish are another story. Is it right that I haven’t had the same success with giving up eating animals that are so much more different from me? But when I watch those videos about factory farmed chickens, that has given me strength. I’ve just about got the chicken thing down. A piece might slip in through a broccoli casserole, but most of the time, I’m done eating chicken.

I’ve been reading a book about raising chickens by Kelly Chripczuk, called Chicken Scratch, Stories of Love, Risk and Poultry. It’s a sweet little easy-to-read account of her adventures raising chickens. She makes them sound so lovable, or maybe it’s because she is so loving. I met Kelly at a writer’s retreat at God’s Whisper Farm where of course they have chickens, along with goats and beautiful Great Pyrenees dogs, but no pigs as I know of. I wonder if someone would write a book about pigs like Chicken Scratch. But the problem is, pigs don’t lay eggs, so…. let’s not get too complicated. Pigs could make good companion animals. They’re really smart, so they could be service animals -fetching things, letting you know when someone’s at the door…..or they could just be pigs for pigs’ sake.

So, yeah. I have no trouble not eating pigs or cows and most of the time chickens. Fish and shrimp are a bit of a challenge, but lent helps. During lent, I can be a strict vegetarian, knowing it’s just for 40 days. Dairy might be included this year in my abstinence plan for lent. Almond milk is pretty good once you get used to it. It tastes lighter somehow and seems to keep longer than cow milk. That reminds me of this commercial from a few years back that just tickled me. Let me see if I can find it.

I enjoy watching the new milkman keep a straight face.

Talk about ham!

(The pig photo is from pixabay.)

The Saturday Stream of Consciousness is brought to you by Linda G. Hill at

https://lindaghill.com/2017/02/17/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-1817/

SOCS

Here are the rules for SoCS.

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


11 Comments

Peace in the Stream of Consciousness

Peace.

The Peace that passes all understanding.

Peace that comes with a smile

Or a nod of understanding, or acceptance.

Peace like a river that flows freely

Nourishing life with sparkling waves

Peace of silence in an evening snowfall

When there is no wind – only the sound of snowflakes

Peace Will Come

An old song I loved in my youth.

 

Peace, Please.

flowers-close-up

PS: I’m planning to march in the MLK day parade Monday with a group I just joined: it’s called Grandmother’s for Peace.

Peace was the first thing that popped in to my head when I read Linda’s SoCS prompt to use a word that begins with the letter P. I get bonus points for beginning and ending with a words that starts with the letter P.

Come play in the Saturday Stream of Consciousness persistently provided by Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-and-jusjojan-jan-1417/

SOCS  just-jot-january


13 Comments

Thank You!

SOCS

First, I want to say thank you to my followers, my supporters, my encouragers. This has been possibly the best year of my life. It’s certainly been a year of transition, and I’m grateful to have the support of so many people on WordPress and beyond. I’m grateful to be approaching 1000 WordPress followers! Officially: 927 WP followers and just over 1000 total blog followers.

When I first started blogging, I couldn’t imagine having 1000 followers, but one day at at time, one post at a a time adds up. It has been so fulfilling to grow here and get to know inspiring people – ordinary folks – I mean that in a good way – working through life’s challenges with grace and learning from each other. I appreciate each one of you, even if I don’t get over to visit as often as I’d like. You are part of my blogging support network, and I am grateful and honored to be part of this community.

2016 has been a year to remember. I took my first steps into retiring from my career as a counselor, and as the year ends, I’m ending the job of 30 years to pursue my creative dreams. And it is because of my first love who is also my last love and, as you probably know, I”m writing a book about that. Almost finished with the writing/revising part and getting ready to send it off to the line editor – one of the last steps in writing this particular book which I started about four years ago. Hard to believe I’ve been working on it so long, but I’ve heard of people taking longer, which is more than okay. It has become a labor of love.

I wish you all abundant blessings in 2017. May the stars shine upon you and may you dance with joy, rest in serenity, and sing your song. I look forward to a lasting, laughing, loving life of creating with you.

And now, my Stream of Consciousness brings us to this song which I dedicate to all those who are lonely. You never know what wonderful surprises are waiting around the corner.  In the mean time, love yourself well and know that you are deeply and profoundly loved by your creator, forever.

 

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: “first/last,” with instructions to use one or both words, or find words that mean the same. Bonus points if you start your post with “first/beginning/start” etc. and end with “last/end” etc. Enjoy!

The Saturday Stream of Consciousness is brought to you by Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/30/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-3116

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

 


27 Comments

Does it Really Need to Be That Complicated?

frustration-from-pixabay

Photo compliments of Pixabay. Search word: “frustrated”

Linda’s prompt for this Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness post was: “moot.” I thought I knew what it meant: meaningless, worthless, not worth bothering with. But I’m glad I looked it up, because I was wrong!  Google’s first definition for moot was:

“subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty, and typically not admitting of a final decision.”

Maybe I was subconsciously thinking of the word, mute. Did anyone else think moot meant meaningless? Anyway, it’s good to get that cleared up. Thanks, Linda.

Moot is a good word to describe my relationship with a certain email marketing system. I spent a lot of time setting this up to send out my monthly newsletter. I like the creative aspects of this kind of work, and I’m not as low-tech as I used to be, but this particular system, the only one I’ve used so far, almost drove me crazy yesterday. Last month I spent more than a couple  hours figuring out about content boxes and where everything was to paste my newsletter parts into the template I’d created. Yesterday, I spent two hours figuring it out, but when I looked at the preview, there was stuff from November in the current template which was a separate template….Anyway, sorry to bore you with this.

I don’t want to deal with it anymore. It shouldn’t be this complicated. Reminds me of the rebound relationships I had after my divorce. Yes, they were good at fixing things around my house, and they seemed confident on the surface, but they were too complicated in ways that were too much work. Fixer uppers. I finally decided it just wasn’t worth the cost to my serenity. I didn’t need that much stress in my life. I could deal with it if I had to, but I didn’t have to.

That’s how I feel right now about the email marketing platform. Too much monkey business for me. So I’m sending out my December newsletter the old-fashioned way, as an attachment from my personal email. Maybe it’s a good thing my list isn’t that long right now. Someday, maybe I’ll try that monkey thing again, or another company. I don’t know. But right now, it’s moot.

Oh, I almost forgot. I believe I removed those pop ups asking if people wanted to sign up for my newsletter. I never really liked pop ups anyway. If you like them, that’s fine. But I felt uncomfortable with them being here. So if you see any pop ups here, please let me know. And if you want to get my monthly newsletter the old-fashioned way, just email me at the address on my contact page.

Thanks for letting me vent.

The Stream of Consciousness can be therapeutic! If you want to read more about “moot,” visit Linda’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-1716

socsbadge2016-17

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!