Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Taking the Easy Trail on Thanksgiving Day

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “on your/my plate.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

You don’t have to eat everything on your plate in one sitting. You can save some for later. Put it in the fridge. Maybe even the freezer. This has been a weight loss strategy for me. Sometimes it works. I tell myself I can still have the rest of the food or a second helping. I will just have it tomorrow. (Unless I go back and get it at 9pm as a bedtime snack.)

The exception may be Thanksgiving dinner which traditionally has been a time when a lot of us overeat. I certainly ate more sweets on Thursday than usual since I usually don’t eat sweets… much.

There have been plenty of times when I’ve had too much on my plate and not always food. Responsibilities taken on due to interest, a sense of obligation, or not saying no, may need to be put in the frig, the back burner, or prioritized. Delegated maybe.

We packed a lot into Thanksgiving Day in the Appalachian Mountains and drove back home to the coast on Friday. Thursday morning, we went to Linville Falls and took the short, easy trail since my knee has been bothering me. I got a stretchy sleeve to put on my knee which helped a lot, though it falls down after a while which is better than being too tight. I also wore my compression socks to help with my heel spurs. I’m very thankful I was able to hike the half mile or so to the falls and decided not to continue on to the uphill climb to get the view further along the falls. That will be next time. That hike will go in the freezer maybe for next year.

That afternoon, my son cooked practically the whole dinner of mostly vegan food, while I helped my granddaughter with a school project on temperate forests. We ate too much and then went for a walk along the nearby river trail. Then we went back to the house and had pumpkin pie, macaroons, and vegan ice cream sandwiches. Everything was delicious! My granddaughter and I set up the nativity stable made by my father many years ago and then decorated the Christmas tree. Whew! It was a busy day. But not too much. I’m thankful to have been with family in the mountains. Still, it’s good to be home!

Now, to see if I can find the photos….

In the fourth photo, do you see the profile in the rock on the right? It has bushy hair.

~~~

For more SoCS rules and posts, put Linda’s blog on your plate.

She’s our persevering host.


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One-Liner Wednesday: The Best Years

“These, believe it or not, are the very best years of my life.” _ Mike Fremont

Mike Fremont is a 100-year-old runner. When he was 69, he was diagnosed with colon cancer and given three months to live. In response to that diagnosis and his research, he went “cold turkey” becoming100% vegan on a whole foods diet. I hope you’ll watch as much as you can of the inspiring interview below. Plus there’s an article from People here.

For more one-liners, visit out host, Linda Hill, by clicking HERE.


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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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More Than Surviving at the Farm Animal Sanctuary

Esther and Mira

Today’s prompt for Just Jot it January is “surviving.” Thanks to Wendy for the prompt and to our host, Linda Hill, for keeping us going! You can learn more about #JusJoJan at Linda’s post HERE.

Until I started volunteering at Blueberry Lane Farm Animal Sanctuary, I hadn’t had much personal experience with chickens, goats, or pigs. Now, the menagerie is like extended family. At the sanctuary, they are not just surviving, they are thriving, and they are loved.

Every Thursday, I prepare lunch for the sanctuary residents. I cut up produce and feed it to the pigs and roosters and check to make sure the goats have plenty of hay. The pigs were rescued from factory farms and the roosters from kapparot where live chickens are twirled overhead. The roosters get along fine for the most part. After feeding, I like to hang out with the gentle old lady goats. The goats were rescued from petting zoos or breeders where they were not well cared for. Esther is one of my favorites. It’s taken a while for her to trust me.

Esther’s stomachs are permanently distended because she was not fed properly. When she arrived at the sanctuary, Esther was secretly pregnant. Her daughter, Mira, short for Miracle, was a sweet surprise. Mira, being born on the farm, is friendly and assertive. Now, Esther gets different kinds of hay, forages in the yard, and gets lettuce and other greens as a treat. She loves it when I pick an occasional green leaf off of a tree for her.

Surviving is usually better than not surviving, especially if there’s the hope of something better. Animals living in small cages, enclosures where they cannot turn around, as with veal calves and lactating pigs, or living in terribly crowded conditions on factory farms, may be surviving, but their lives are miserable. We humans can do better. This is why I’ve progressed to being about 95% vegan and why I volunteer at the sanctuary. If you’ve thought about reducing your meat consumption, it’s now easier than ever. Vegan alternatives and restaurants are popping up in most cities. Consider meatless Mondays. It’s a great time of year for minestrone or lentil soup!

‘The most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest’ – Dr Michael Gregor (quote found here.)

Don’t forget to check out Linda and Wendy’s posts at the links above!


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#JusJoJan: Chocolate is a Vegetable

Don’t know where this came from. Thanks to whomever.

Dark chocolate is my favorite. 70% at least. I don’t even bother with regular milk chocolate. Not worth the calories or the sugar if I can barely taste the chocolate. Plus I don’t want to waste my 5% off being 95% vegan for regular old milk chocolate. Vegan chocolate is available sometimes. But there is some wiggle room in that 5%. Am I a chocolate snob? Maybe. To each her own. They say dark chocolate is good for you which makes sense since it’s a vegetable.

Hot chocolate in the mountains.
I miss the snow.

Thanks to Ritu for today’s prompt and to our host, Linda Hill for keeping us going with Just Jot it January!

Click here for more information on #JusJoJan!


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Good News Tuesday for Jan. 4, 2022: Housing Rights, Food Waste Recycling, Glitter from Fruit, Elk Rescue, and a 14-Year-Old Runner Pushes Her Brother in a Wheelchair Cross-Country

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Today I have two videos! They are both about generosity through hard work. Generosity happens to be the prompt for today’s Just Jot it January. Thanks, Sadje for the prompt, and thanks to Linda Hill for hosting Just Jot it January. Learn more about #JusJoJan by clicking here.

Housing Rights Protection in Lebanon

The nonprofit Housing Monitor in Lebanon offers support to tenants facing eviction through a hotline, legal representation, and community organizing. The service brings together refugees, migrants, and vulnerable Lebanese. Here’s more from GoodGoodGood.

California Launches the Largest Food Waste Recycling Program in US

This month, California will implement the “largest mandatory residential food waste recycling program in the US.” The program will cut down on organic waste in landfills and reduce methane emissions. (This encourages me to keep on composting.) The Guardian has details

Glitter Made from Fruit

Check out the story from GoodGoodGood on glitter made from fruit. It’s biodegradable and way less harmful to the environment.

Families Save Six Elk on Christmas Eve

As a 95% vegan lover of animals, I find this story interesting. It happened Christmas Eve when a hunter alerted his friends about 12 elk that had fallen through the ice on a river. Families were able to save 6 out of the 12 elk, and the six elk who died will be food for the rescuers. The story clearly shows that the hunter families felt compassion for the elk, particularly for a special calf. I am thankful for their compassion. It makes me wonder about the possibilities.

14-Year-Old Runner Pushes Brother in Wheelchair in Cross Country Races

Susan Bergeman, a fourteen-year-old from Wisconsin, pushes her brother Jeffery who has cerebral palsey in a wheelchair in cross-country races. Her strength, love, and generosity are phenomenal. Take a look:

Got good news?

Feel free to share your good news story or link in the comments!


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SoCS: Art Inspiration, Vegan Aspirations, Expiration Dates, and a Road Trip

Today’s prompt is from Dan who’s filling in for Linda. You can visit both of them over at the virtual bar at Dan’s blog today. Here’s what Dan came up with:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “inspire/aspire/expire.” Use them in any form you like. Use one, use two or use them all if you want. If you use two, you get bonus points! If you use all three, Cheryl will put your next drink on David’s tab. Enjoy!

I hope to inspire, but more naturally than in the past. Because I like to be inspired, too. In my art folder here on my laptop, I have a folder named, “inspiration.” It has ideas from nature and other people’s art that I want to, not copy, but be inspired by, taking my own spin on them. Clouds inspire me, like this one:

If you know a lot about clouds, you might be able to tell I turned this upside down. Originally it looked like a bird or angel diving down to earth. Turning it upside down makes it a rising mermaid or angel or something. I like rising better than diving, though I do love diving under water. So I’m going to paint it rising, whatever it turns out to be. The head will be different. We’ll see what happens. Do you notice the face near the very top a little to the right of center? It’s kinda eerie/cool. The face seems to be looking over a shoulder or wing.

Aspire. I have aspired to be and do many things. Maybe the best is to aspire to be ourselves. Our true selves, not what others expect. I think of myself as an aspiring vegan, inching closer and inspired by the vegans at the farm where I volunteer. Been doing better on not eating fish. Gave up chicken a couple years ago (the chickens on the farm reinforce that) and stopped eating mammals in my early twenties. Cheese though is sneaky. Dairy productus show up unexpectedly in granola bars or veggie burritoes. Anyway, I’m not perfect, never have been, never will be.

Expiration dates are subjective. My husband will eat (almost) anything that smells okay even if it’s expired. I might go a couple months out from when something was said to expire. Maybe six months. A lot of food is wasted because it’s expired or looks funny, but it’s still good to eat. I’m glad people are starting to rescue and redistribute some of that. I got some free almond butter that had expired at the new food co-op down the road. Almond butter is something I don’t usually buy, because peanut butter is so much less expensive, and there’s something about almonds production that’s a problem, maybe with bees. I don’t remember. But it was a nice gift, the expired almond butter.

My energy level expired Saturday when David drove home from southeastern Connecticut to southeastern NC. He’s a tough guy. Just riding in the truck all those hours was hard on my body. We took the scenic route close to the eastern shore, because it was less traffic and less stress, though more time (15 hours with our stops.) We had considered stopping for the night halfway, but David seems to have an amazing ability to keep going which only inspires me to take a nap or take pictures. Oh, the reason for the trip – we had gone to visit David’s mother who is 86 and doing very well except for some vision problems. (We have all been vaccinated.) She was very happy to see us after five years and told me all about her volunteer work at the elementary school when her kids were little. I’m going to write another post about that sometime – about how she helped start a kindergarten, school library, and got things done as a mama bear back in the 1960s. But that’s enough for now. Here are some photos from our trip. I hope to stay home for a while.

~~~

Happy October!

For more streams of consciousness visit Linda’s blog HERE. Be sure to look for Dan’s contribution at “No Facilities” in the comments.


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Just Jot January: Vegan Cheese, a Work in Progress

Today’s prompt for JusJoJan is “cheese.”

Cheese is one of the things that makes it hard for me to be vegan. That and seafood. I can be vegan for lent, but so far, not forever. There’s a book called, Breaking the Food Seduction, by Dr. Neal Barnard, MD which explains the addictive nature of cheese. I heard Dr. Barnard speak about this at a convention years ago.

There are many vegan cheeses, and I have not tried them all. Some are better than others. I believe they are getting better. My husband David doesn’t like the vegan cheeses I’ve tried, but he’s okay with this cheesy vegan chickpea sauce I’ve been experimenting with. It tastes kinda like cheese and works well for casseroles, pot pies and scalloped potatoes.

Chickpea Cheese Sauce:

¾ cup    Chickpeas (canned or home cooked with liquid)

¾ cup    Non-Dairy Milk (almond milk, oat milk or other, plain and unsweetened)

¼ cup    Nutritional Yeast

1 clove  Large Garlic

½ teaspoon        Salt

½ teaspoon        Turmeric

¼ teaspoon        Black Pepper (ground)

1 tablespoon     Fresh Chives (snipped)

Mix it in a food processor or blender.

I tend to be creative and relaxed about measurement and use one can of chickpeas, extra garlic or garlic salt, and added a few tablespoons of olive oil. I used this sauce inside my Christmas lasagna and it worked well. But I confess to using real cheese from whole foods on top of the lasagna. I asked the whole foods cheese person about the most humane cheese they had since they didn’t have any that was “humane certified.” She said she’d visited the farm of the brand I used, and they seemed to care a lot about the cows. I am a work in progress.

My daughter might have taken this picture in Virginia

My next venture is to figure out how to thicken the chickpea sauce for a pizza. (no oil?) I’m not going to use tomato sauce, but plan to put sliced tomatoes on top of the chickpea cheese sauce. We’ll see….

For more information on Just Jot January, visit out host, Linda Hill at the link below. Linda has shared some fun fictional tidbits for JusJoJan. It’s never too late to jump in!

#JusJoJan prompt the 10th – “Cheese” | (lindaghill.com)


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Run with Love (Motivation for a Plant-Based Diet)

“Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.”  River Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix quoted his late brother in his recent Oscar acceptance speech. It was a moving speech. Here’s more of my favorite parts:

“I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop, and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and the environment.”    ___Joaquin Phoenix

The whole speech:

 

In his speech, Mr. Phoenix reminds me about animals suffering in the dairy industry. This encourages me to return to my goal of becoming vegan which means consuming no animal products. While I’ve done fairly well in abstaining from most meat over the last four decades, I’ve found it hard to give up fish and dairy (especially cheese) for good.  The 40 days of lent starting next week give me strength to do better, to show myself what I’m capable of. Going vegan for lent in the past helped me be done with chicken and reduced my dairy consumption after lent. Maybe this will be the year I’ll be done with dairy. As far as seafood goes, we’ll see. For now, my goal is to be vegan for lent.

Here are three reasons to move toward a plant-based diet:

1. A plant-based diet is healthier as long as we don’t eat a lot of junk food.

2. It’s better for the environment because it takes way less energy to produce plants than to produce plants to feed to animals in an industry that adds more pollution. Animal agriculture is a significant contributor to climate change.

3. A plant–based diet reduces animal suffering and leads us in a direction of kindness and peace.

 

Factory Farming vegan diet

 

Please consider joining me in reducing our consumption of meat and dairy products. Every small step makes a difference and prepares us for the next step.

If you’re not already a vegetarian or vegan, you might want to consider something like Meatless Mondays.

Thanks for reading.

Avocado vegan pudding in blue cup (2)

Vegan Chocolate Pudding with cocoa, almond milk, and avocados. Delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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My “Dangerous” Yet Healthy Banana Bread Peanut Butter Bars

stream-of-consciousness-saturday-2018-19

Our prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “dough/d’oh.” Linda said, “Use one, use both, use ’em any way you like. Enjoy!”

Okay. Here goes. I’ve had plenty of d’oh moments if I’m reading that right. Too many to count. I’d rather talk/write about dough. If you take the u and the h out, you’ve got dog. I write about dogs a lot, because I love dogs. Know what else I love, besides dogs and trees? Cookie dough. It’s one of my favorite things. Raw cookie dough is better to me than cookies baked, unless they’re warm and doughy.

Right now, if I were to eat cookie dough, it would have to be vegan since I’m being vegan for lent. Doing pretty well on that most of the time. I have to read labels though since a lot of things have milk or eggs. I was going to buy some granola that said, “May contain  milk or eggs.” What does that mean? Then there are times when I don’t want to read the label, but we won’t go there.

Do you like to experiment with food? I’ve been experimenting with what to do with very ripe bananas. I’ve created a recipe except I haven’t written it down and don’t measure. That’s the experimenting part. I mash up a ripe banana or two and add peanut butter (crunchy) and almond milk if I have it, sometimes apple sauce, and mix all this together. Then I add in flour (sprinkling baking powder and baking soda on top of the flour and mixing that on the surface and/or oatmeal. Raisins might be good in there. Hmmmm. I add the flour and/or oatmeal until I like the consistency.  Am I forgetting something? Who cares? I don’t think so, but you could add any kind of fruit. Then I bake it. Yesterday it turned out like very moist banana bread brownies, and I got this idea to put peanut butter in between two brownies. I guess they’re more like bars than brownies because there’s no chocolate. Though I have used cocoa before, but then I can’t give any to the spoiled dogs. Anyway, so they turned out like banana bread peanut butter bars. And they were really good! My husband said they were dangerous (as in dangerously good.) Not exactly dough, but batter I suppose. That’s where my stream of consciousness flows.

peanut butter banana bars

JoAnna’s Banana Bread Peanut Butter Bars

 

If you want to join in the fun Stream of Consciousness Saturday or learn more about it, visit Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/03/29/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-30-19/

Here are the rules:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Have fun!