Five things that made me happy today – 7/31/19

1. Big Al took the car to the dealer to get the oil changed and have it checked for any possible problems. (I hope to be using it more for longer distances since the Watters minor are only 4 hours away.)

2. Ham, fresh green beans, and corn on the cob for lunch today. I LOVE summer dinners. That menu brings back memories of summers at my grandmother’s house in Texarkana.

3. Super proud that my local state representative, Laurie Jenkins, was elected as Speaker of the Washington State House of Representatives. She is the first female speaker in Washington.

4. “They” said it was going to be cloudy today, but so far it’s been blue skies, and a light breeze. “They” also predicted it would be 80 deg. but it’s 74 deg. at 4:00 pm. I’ll take it.

5. The second day of the second round of Democratic Debates are starting shortly, so I’ll run in and see who has what to say for themselves.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Intentions Review for July 2019

My Star Word for this year is “Empathy”. The internet defines empathy as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Merriam-Webster says, “Empathy is similar to sympathy, but empathy usually suggests stronger, more instinctive feeling.”

Here are my intentions for 2019.

Physical Health

  • Continue to eat real food, and, hopefully, lose about 20 more pounds this year. – I’ve lost 5.8 lbs this year so far (if I took my lowest weight this month instead of my current weight today, it would have been 8.8 lbs). There were THREE parties / bbqs / special events last week, and I have zero self-control around a buffet.
  • Continue to average 150 miles a month on my Fitbit. – Last week, I averaged 13,854 steps, and walked 40.04 miles.
  • I’m back to doing pretty strenuous exercise with my personal trainer including walking outdoors (up and down hills), chest press and close grip row machines, shoulder strength, balance, core exercises, and sit-to-stands.

Emotional Health

  • I AM trying to remember “empathy” in my interactions with people I meet.
  • I still haven’t been billed for anything from my month with doctors and hospitals. I give thanks daily for good health insurance, and pray for folks who have less than adequate health insurance.
  • I have continued posting Five Things that Made Me Happy Today every day here on this blog. I’m always surprised when I meet casual acquaintances who tell me how much they enjoy reading my list. I don’t do it for other people – I do it for myself – to remind me how much I have to be thankful for.

Intellectual Health

  • Expand my leisure reading from fluff mysteries to more substantial novels. – Books read this year.
    • The Library Book by Susan Orleans – finished
    • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – finished
    • Becoming by Michelle Obama – finished
    • Womanish Midrash by Wil Gafney – finished
    • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – finished
    • The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor – finished
    • Entering the Passion of Jesus by Amy-Jill Levine – finished
    • Silent Night by Danielle Steele – finished
    • Autumn by Ali Smith – finished
    • Winter by Ali Smith – finished
    •  A Good Year by Peter Mayle – finished
    •  Magnolia Nights by Ashley Farley – finished
    • The Tale Teller by Anne Hillerman – finished
    •  Wife of Moon by Margaret Coel – finished
    •  Cleaning the Gold by Karen Slaughter and Lee Child – finished
    •  Beyond the Garden by Ashley Farley – finished
    • Everything is F*cked – a Book about Hope by Mark Manson – finished
    • The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd – finished
    • The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford – finished
    • There, There by Tommy Orange – finished
    • Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf – finished
    • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd – reading
  • Continue to read the Washington Post and the New York Times for reasonably non-biased reporting. – I scan the headlines and read articles that interest me.
  • I subscribe to Mediumand read articles of current interest.
  • I also subscribe to The New Yorker magazine, digitally. I keep up with the east coast scene through it, as well as some pretty decent profiles of political figures.
  • Continue to watch the Rachel Maddow Show to feed my angst and resolve. – Check
  • Great Decisions discussion group here at Franke Tobey Jones was Trade with China. The discussion leader added to what we read in the booklet by researching how the Chinese trade affected the Port of Tacoma, and our lives here. Good stuff.

Spiritual Health

  • Continue to participate in weekly Bible study, and weekly Worship.
  • Try to carve out time daily for intentional prayer and meditation. I’ve subscribed to several email “prompts” that arrive in my inbox every morning. The Upper Room has a couple of short reflections and/or devotionals every morning, and A Network for Gratefulness also gives me something to think about as I go about my day.
  • I’m lobbying for my church to become an Earth Care Congregation with PC(USA). I did pretty well with the Plastic Free Challenge. I wasn’t able to get all the one-use plastic out of my life, but I have reusable net produce bags that go to the Farmer’s Market and grocery store with me, and I’ve almost quit using baggies. (I have wax treated cloth wraps that do a great job of keeping leftovers.)

Social Health

  • Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones. –
    • I still regularly attend the Gazebo Group (the folks who meet on Monday evenings for Happy Hour.)
    • I  participate in the Wellness Center activities like the Owen Beach walk most Fridays. I enjoyed their mid-summer potluck last week.
    • My 3rd Annual 4th of July Potluck Picnic went off well, and we had a nice crowd.
  • Tend the relationships I have at Bethany Presbyterian Church. – Check
  • Tend the relationships I have on Social Media. I’m making an effort to avoid posting or reposting political articles, although I do still try to call out blatant racism, sexism, misogyny, etc. when it comes to my page.


  • Participate in Town Halls and face-to-face meetings with elected officials.
  • Attend GA Nominating Committee meetings, both face-to-face and virtually. Next meetings are scheduled for an on-line meeting in November and a face-to-face meeting in March.
  • Support #BlackLiveMatter, #Me,Too, #ThePoorPeople’sCampaign, #ClimateAction, and other social justice movements. – I donate regularly to MoveOn, the ACLU, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. I attend rallies and marches if I’m available.


Five things that made me happy today – 7/30/19

1. Bible Study this morning was Nehemiah 8:1-12. I’m eternally grateful that I don’t have to read the lesson on Sunday – it is chucky-jammed full of old Hebrew names.

2. I took Big Al to an eye appointment about 1:00. Apparently, one of the techs and one of the Ophthalmologists were out today, so he didn’t get finished until 3:00. He will have to return next week to have surgery on a stye that hasn’t healed with antibiotic ointment. I’m not happy that he has this problem, but I am happy that he is getting it taken care of. Once more I give thanks for our great medical insurance, and Medicare.

3. He dropped me off at FTJ to have my little snack of a mocha and a scone, while he went back to the pharmacy to get some more of the ointment.

4. The quarterly Art Show here at FTJ kicked off today with a reception of wine, and cheese. I was displaying my poetry book.

5. The second round of Democratic Debates are starting now, so I’ll run in and see who has what to say for themselves.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 7/29/19

1. All the clothes washed, dried, folded, and hung up.

2. Started reading “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd. It’s just as good so far as “The Invention of Wings”. How have I not known about this author all this time? I suppose I was aware of her, but I hadn’t read anything before.

3. Good, hard workout with my personal trainer. We talked about personal training today and she realizes that most of the things she pushes me to do, I could do on my own. But I will admit I need the accountability she gives me.

4. The new Health Care building is looking great (particularly since the landscaping has gone in, and all the construction equipment has been moved out.) It looks like it’s part of campus now.

5. Gazebo Group this evening. 

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 7/28/19

1. The sermon this morning was about finding God in silence. We even spent a little time meditating.

2. Today was the annual church picnic after the service. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and lots of potluck goodies. As usual, I have no, zero, none control when it comes to buffets and potlucks.

3. If you see my posts on Facebook, you may have noticed the picture of Big Al and me, posted by Franke Tobey Jones. They took the write-up from this article on their blog.

4. It’s another beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest. Perfect day for the picnic. 73 deg. with a light breeze and full sunshine.

5. Had lovely afternoon reading, and taking a little nap. Really great Sabbath.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 7/27/19

1. There’s a new art exhibit in the Franke Tobey Jones art gallery, and I contributed my little book of poetry and collage for display. It’s not like anything they’ve ever had before so I hope they like it.

2. Trip to the farmer’s market. Fresh corn on the cob, fresh beefsteak tomatoes, fresh green beans, cut flowers for the table, and, of course, lemon bars for Big Al and scones for me.

3. Recently, Big Al has been worrying that he won’t be able to keep up with all the bills and subscriptions if something happens to me (or if I follow my genetics and develop Alzheimer’s). Anyway, I created a spreadsheet that has all the automatic payments that I have set up on Bill Pay, both on my credit card and through the bank. I hope that keeps him happy for a while.

4. While taking a walk over to Lillian Pratt, I came across “the twins” getting a drink out of the puddles left by the sprinkler system.

(I’m happy because they weren’t in my yard eating my flowers.)

5. It’s been cooler today, high of 73 or so, with scattered clouds. Comfortable, even for taking a brisk walk.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 7/26/19

1. The Wellness Center had a potluck “Luau” today. I took pineapple and strawberries. There was fried chicken, salads, and desserts. I ate way too much.

2. Entertainment included a hula by two of the wellness staff and one of the residents. They did a really good job.

3. Played spirited game of ping-pong with Sarah, and then Colin took over. I’m not sure who beat who, but I do know we’re going to be searching for ping-pong balls in the bushes for a while.

4. Ice cream on the front porch – cookies and cream and/or lemon sherbet.

5. I’ve gotten a pretty good laugh out of the fact that everyone around here is complaining about the heat. It’s 80 deg., as of 4:10 pm, with 48% humidity. We have bright, blue skies, and the mountain is out. All righty, then…

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 7/25/19

1. Up, bathed, dressed, and breakfast finished by 9:30 am (hey, I’m retired!).

2. Walked over to the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the new Health Care Center, here at Franke Tobey Jones. Nice reception for the VIPs (I think Big Al and I got to be VIPs by donating enough to the Capital Campaign to get our names on a plaque).

3. Walked all over the new building looking at the designs of all the rooms. It doesn’t look like a “nursing home”. The rooms are all in neighborhoods. There won’t be any med carts in the halls, each person’s medications are kept in a locked cabinet in their room. Every room has views of the outdoors with gardens, and growing things. The halls are spacious; there are recreational rooms in each area where residents can visit with each other; dining rooms have kitchens attached so nurses and attendants can get food for them any time of the day or night.

4. I also took a tour of the new independent living apartment building. It’s lovely and the apartments are about the same size as the duplexes. They have great views of the sound and of the mountain, but I didn’t feel like we should move over there.

5. Big Al and I ate lots of the goodies the kitchen had made – French bread with cream cheese, bagels and lox, scones, cookies, lemon tarts, ham sliders, etc. THAT was lunch. I’ll fix “real food” for dinner in a little bit – pork chops, fresh green beans, applesauce, etc.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 7/24/19

1. The grandkids departed today about lunch time. (That didn’t make me happy, but I was really happy to have had them here for three days). Now I know that they are within about 3 hours drive, so I can see them pretty well whenever I want.

2. Good, hard, workout with my personal trainer. I’m going to get in shape or bust!

3. Moved around some potted plants today. I think some of them were being over-watered, and some were really thirsty. I try to watch them, but I think I really need an impatiens that will tell me when it wants water by curling up its leaves, and then recovering as soon as it gets a drink.

4. The Mueller Hearings were today. I didn’t listen to any of them. I figure Rachel Maddow will tell me most of what I need to know. I try not to feed my existential angst any more than it already is. I do know there’s spin on every side, and I don’t think anyone’s opinion has been changed. As my grandmother used to say, “There are none so blind as those who WON’T see.”

5. I have several friends both in person and on social media who are either bi-polar or clinically depressed. I’ve been thinking how truly happy and thankful I am that I have never suffered from depression. It’s certainly not to my credit – I guess I just got good genes and brain chemistry from my parents.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 7/23/19

1. Got the sheets and towels in the wash early today. They are all clean.

2. The housekeepers came today and I have clean sheets on the beds and a clean kitchen, and even the bathrooms smell fresh and clean.

3. Bible study this morning looked at the story of Elijah killing 250 prophets of Baal, and then running away from Jezabel. It’s hard to reconcile the blood-thirsty God of the Old Testament with the God of Love of the New Testament. Maybe what we’re supposed to learn is that while God doesn’t change, people’s interpretation of God does.

4. Great Decisions discussion group this afternoon. We talked about trade with China We didn’t come to any conclusions, but we did decide that trade was MUCH more complicated that simply trying to balance the cost of goods purchased with the cost of goods sold. We did decide that tariffs probably did more harm than good. and that people who only looked at the simple balance of trade weren’t seeing the whole picture.

5. The grandkids will probably be going home tomorrow. They are ready to get to some place that they can settle in (like a hermit crab in its shell). They’re both basically introverts, and while they can, and do, function in society, they need downtime and alone time.

How about you? What made you happy today?