Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


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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!


5 Comments

Love Songs with a Twist

agape-candle

When I was single, one of the things that helped me tolerate and even embrace love songs that came on the radio  was to sing them to God. I know it sounds corny, but it helped. One day, on a solo road trip, that old song came on the radio: “Some Kinda Wonderful.” I was about to change the station, when I got an idea. I substituted the name of Jesus for “my baby.” Later in the song, I sang about my sweet loving savior.
And I’m telling you, it worked. Singing love songs to or about Jesus helped ease my loneliness.

Just try it. When a love song comes on, but you don’t have a romantic interest, or if you have one who’s not good for you, substitute the higher power or ideal love of your choice. Think of someone who’s always got your back.

 

Can I get a witness?

I realized I could do this with any love song. I even sang love songs to my dog who was always there for me. Cause you know what dog spelled backwards is. Dogs are like mirrors reflecting unconditional love. Natalie, at Sacred Touches, agrees.

jesse-howling

 

As I write in Trust the Timing:

“The dogs provided more comfort and less stress than the men I dated after the divorce “

 

 

 

You can sing love songs to any body you want to. Because love is valuable and wonderful . It doesn’t have to be romantic love, though romantic love is pretty darn special. I’m talking about caring for someone else so much that their happiness is just as important as your own. (Love your neighbor as yourself, not more than yourself.)

Whether it’s brotherly love, sisterly love, parental love, platonic love, romantic love, self love, dog love or AGAPE God love, love is good.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love,

JoAnne/JoAnna

 


14 Comments

SOC/JJJ: A Fresh Coat of Paint

As you can see, I decided this blog could use a fresh coat of paint. Let me know what you think. It won’t stay exactly like this, because the colors won’t go with the book I’m going to be putting on the side bar. My book colors are more browns and tans, but for now, I’m staying with the blue cause I like my header photo.

Here are some ideas I have come up with for the book cover. (The one that’s just a road in the trees would be the border. I can’t figure out how to post the one I created in publisher)

ttt-3d4-jpg-dec-10

    Expert Services came up with this one. I like it but think it lacks color.
sun-path-through-trees-pixabay

I want to use this picture (from pixabay) as a border around the one above.

I’m working on a painting for the back cover that will be a silhouette with a tree and dogs at the bottom. I’ll show you that when I get it done. Dogs are big supporting actors in the book. If the painting turns out good enough, it might even be the cover.

This is all such a new experience, pulling these elements together. But it’s fun. And I love playing around with color. I am looking forward to something a little simpler, though. I just got two windows put in the back of my house which is old, and I’ll have to paint around the window where the drywall was repaired. But that will be fun.

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday and Just Jot it January was the word, coat. To learn more and read more, visit Linda Hill’s blog at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-and-jusjojan-jan-717/

SOCS   just-jot-january

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

Time and the Toilet Paper Roll of Life

socsbadge2016-17

This is the busiest time. No, wait. It’s not that busy. Maybe this is the busiest time since I started semi-retirement in June. Was that this past June? No way. I have to check that. Time is so strange. I think this is the fastest time has ever moved. It moves faster and faster the older we get, and also the busier we get. Just like the toilet paper roll goes faster as you get closer to the end. But then someone will hopefully replace that toilet paper roll with a full one. Usually a mom type person does that. Does God replace our roll when we get to the end of our life? Do we get another assignment? I like the idea of taking a rest for a while, in my idea of heaven being a cabin in the woods, running around with all the dogs I’ve ever loved…and then getting an assignment, as an angel or whatever God wants me to do. I just really want a rest for a while and to see my dogs.

I had no idea I was going to go there. That’s what I love about the Stream of Consciousness.

Though theses are the busiest times lately, they are also the best times. So I want to stop complaining and have some gratitude already!  My busyness has been writing, a little art, feeding feral kittens, puttering around the house in the never-ending busyness of things like replacing toilet paper rolls and de-cluttering.

The best things about this busy weekend are:

This afternoon, I get to read one of my two stories which will be published in the public library’s e-book about our coastal county. I should say, I get to read it out loud, in front of people! I’ll send you a link to the e-book when it is unveiled.

Tomorrow afternoon, I get to lead a guided meditation at a coffee house celebration of Recovery Month. That’s right, September is RECOVERY MONTH. We need to celebrate recovery because so many people don’t get how much work it is. We need to applaud people in recovery from addiction and other illnesses.

Both of these events are related to my work. The first, reading my story, is about my new work and my new creative life. Sunday’s event is about my old work as a counselor, which I continue to do one day a week. So this weekend is sort of an affirmation, that for now, I can do both.

Next week could be even busier. It might be the busiest week!

Monday I need to go cut my father’s hedges. And visit him which is more important. And then I need to go the old job on Tuesday as I get ready for a reunion trip with my high school girlfriends in Mississippi!

One thing’s for sure, I’m not bored.

And I am grateful.

 

Linda’ prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness post was, “-est” to be used as a suffix.

Read more SOC posts, and join in the fun at Linda’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/09/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-1716/

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!


12 Comments

Good People & the Good Shepherd Soup Kitchen

Ladles by Borja Fernandez via FreeRange Stock

On Monday, I attended a celebration of life for E. L. Nunn – a man who served his country and his community for most of his life.

E. L. and his lovely wife, Margaret, started attending my church way earlier than the 30 or so years I’ve been there. During his retirement, E. L. ran the soup kitchen which operated out of our church for many years, until the program grew into Good Shepherd Ministries and moved to a bigger location to include an overnight homeless shelter.

When my son got suspended from middle school for fighting in the late 90’s, I asked E. L. if he could come work at the soup kitchen. I didn’t want him watching TV at home all day. E. L. was fine with the idea, so I dropped my son off on my way to work. My son spent the next few days making sandwiches, serving lunch and socializing with older, retired volunteers. He said he liked working at the soup kitchen and thought the old people were cool. I think he would have preferred to continue there, but he had to go back to school after a few days. If my son hadn’t gotten suspended, he might not have had the positive experience of working at the soup kitchen with E. L.

At Monday’s life celebration, one of  E. L.’s friends told a story about the early days at the soup kitchen. There was a story about one of the guests causing a disturbance: E. L., who was a tall man, came up behind the argumentative guest, wrapped his arms around him in a bear hug, picked him up, and carried him outside. And that was that.

Another story was about E. L.’s wife, Margaret who still graces our presence. In the early days, they weren’t sure how many people they’d be serving at the soup kitchen and didn’t want to run out of food, so they started off with the rule that each person could have one sandwich and one bowl of soup until everyone had been served, then if there was enough, people could come back for seconds. Margaret was serving sandwiches when a tall Native American man asked for another sandwich. She said, “I’m sorry, but we can only give one sandwich per person until everyone has been served.”

“I want the extra sandwich for my dog,” he explained.

Margaret remembered seeing this man on the street with a shaggy dog. Then she remembered the hymn: “All things Bright and Beautiful.”

She smiled and gave the man an extra sandwich.

I love Margaret and E. L. Good People. Good role models.

 

The photo, “Ladles,” is by Borja Fernandez via FreeRange Stock photos.

 


25 Comments

Fifteen Years of Love

Beep

The fluff ball curled up next to the man on the seat of the truck and went to sleep. He hadn’t wanted another dog, but finally agreed. They named her “Beep” because her bark sounded like a car horn. When she was six months old, she snuck up next to the man on the recliner as he pretended to be asleep. They napped together like that often when the man was tired from being gone so long. She loved the man more than anything.

She ran like the wind with her long nimble legs as she chased squirrels, and balls, and anything that moved. She loved to help the man work in the yard by catching the wiggly worms he stirred up with his raking and digging. When they brought home a new puppy, she adopted him as her own. Beep and Oreo were best buddies, even though he grew up stocky and couldn’t quite keep up with her and couldn’t turn around as fast as she could. Beep and Oreo didn’t like the bossy hound dog that came to live with them. The hound wanted all the food. The hound thought she was the queen, but Beep knew she was the favorite, because the man always listened to her. She let him know when she wanted a drink of water, or a snuggle on the couch, and he always gave it to her. She could feel his love, and he could feel hers.

When the household split in two, he wouldn’t let her go. “The dogs stay with me. You can have the cats,” he said. Beep became his most loyal companion. As she got older and couldn’t climb the stairs, he carried her up to bed at night.

When the new woman came, Beep wasn’t happy with being displaced. She grudgingly accepted the mom as the new alpha female and adopted the daughter as her own.

They moved south to live with the new woman and her daughter and shared their new home with two new dogs. But Beep always felt loved.The warmer weather helped her move better and the winters were more bearable. She settled into a comfortable routine with her pack.

After a couple years, one of the new dogs, the old silky-haired one who slept a lot, went away. Then, her friend Oreo became very tired. He didn’t want to move. He went away and didn’t come back. She missed her buddy. The daughter wasn’t there much anymore and only came for short  visits.

Waiting by Ayla

But Beep still knew she was loved by the man and the woman. They both took care of her. They took her for walks and snuggled with her on the couch.

When Beep had lived 15 winters, her back legs got stiffer and didn’t work right. She fell down a lot. The man and the woman helped her up the back steps, and the man gave her shots. They kept loving her, snuggled with her almost every night, and took her to the vet a lot. Then her front shoulder stopped working. It hurt so bad she could hardly get up. She wanted to get up and walk, but she could only hobble. Her body hurt more than she could ever remember. She could feel that the man and woman were worried. She could also feel that they loved her. One day the man took her into the car and held her on his lap while the woman drove the car. She snuggled on his chest with her head on his shoulder just  like when she used to sleep with him in the recliner.

Gently, the man put her on the table. The vet came in and gave her a shot. She was getting used to the vet by now. The man and woman were very sad, but she couldn’t worry about that much because she started to feel sleepy – so sleepy she couldn’t keep her eyes open.

***

She felt strange, like when she woke up from long sleep. She shook her head. Her body felt good! She stood up, and she could walk! It didn’t hurt anymore! Where was she? The soft grass held smells of small animals. In front of her was a bridge of many colors – colors she had never seen before. Another dog appeared on the other side of the bridge. He yipped.   It was Oreo! Her good friend! They ran to each other and met on the middle of the bridge. He licked her face and yipped again, telling her to follow him across the bridge. She could smell wonderful things on the other side.

Suddenly, Beep felt like running!

You can’t catch me, Oreo! She shot a look back as she passed him.

She ran like the wind across the rainbow bridge.

_________________________________________________________________

In 2010, I asked God to send me a soulmate who loved dogs. We started our life together with five dogs. Now we have two left (Doodle and Marigold.) I believe we will be meeting up with quite a pack of dogs in heaven.

Our pack out back

Jesse the golden, Oreo the spaniel, Doodle the hound, Beep, and Marigold

 

All photos in this post are by Ayla Likens


11 Comments

How Not to Waste Food: Eat Leftovers, Compost, Share with Dogs

socs-badge-2015

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: “food”

If I hadn’t written about my efforts to be a vegetarian just a few days ago, I would have written about that…..

Do you know how much food is wasted in the US? A lot!

My mother used to say, “We don’t throw away food.” She grew up in the depression and didn’t throw away much. But sometime, when it has mold on it, you do need to throw it away, unless of course you can compost it. We keep our compost in the freezer until it piles up enough to carry it out to the composter.

Having dogs also helps us not to waste food. And we eat a lot of leftovers. Sometime we can make a whole meal of leftovers, two meals even. A thin friend of mine told me that she felt like when she ate too much, it was wasting food, so it’s the same as throwing it away. I don’t know. But it got me thinking about how maybe I don’t need to eat something just to keep it from going to waste when I’ve already had enough. But I still don’t like to throw it away if it’s usable, meaning eatable.

My husband’s dogs, who are now my dogs, my step dogs, will eat just about anything, including kale, broccoli, carrots, apples and bananas. My little mutt has started to eat some of those things, too, since her step sisters seem to enjoy their raw veggies so much. But when we toss her the kale, or a piece of raw carrot, she mouths it and then looks at us like, what is this? This is not food.

Yet, for humans, it is food, unlike things like potato chips and candy – food like products, right? Except that last night, I had some potato chips for the first time in a very long time, and they were good, sort of, not wholesome, yeah, they didn’t taste like food. Okay, so I won’t do that again for a very long time. I hope. Because it’s true what they say about weight gain and getting older. It’s not mandatory to gain weight as we age, but it does seem to be a trend. And then there are those people who get thinner as they get older.

But back to food. I’d really like to eat mostly what God made, through nature, for us to eat to be healthy. We are blessed and lucky to have so many choices in the modern world. But I do like dark chocolate, and that is not made by God/nature. Cocoa beans are though. I don’t recall ever having a cocoa bean. I think it’s about time. Because beans are good for you. And I want to eat food that’s good for me. I want to eat to live, not live to eat.

If you’d like to join in the banquet of Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2016/02/26/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-2716/

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.

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!