Intentions Review for November 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 6.2 lbs this year so far. Since my colonoscopy, on the recommendation of my gastroenterologist, I am trying to eat a minimum of 25 grams of fiber every day. Since fiber is usually paired with carbs, I’m not losing as quickly as I probably might, but I’m eating real food, not fast food.
  • Continue to average 150 miles a month on my Fitbit. – done. I’ve upped my step count target to 12,000 steps a day.
  • My personal trainer has scheduled me for 3 days a week instead of the 2 days a week I have been doing. She also wants me to add at least 5 minutes of brisk walking (even if it is laps around the gym) after I work out on the Nu-Step.

Emotional Health

  • I AM trying to remember “empathy” in my interactions with people I meet.
  • I have continued posting Five Things that Made Me Happy Today every day here on this blog. 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.
    1. The Library Book by Susan Orleans – finished
    2. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – finished
    3. Becoming by Michelle Obama – finished
    4. Womanish Midrash by Wil Gafney – finished
    5. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – finished
    6. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor – finished
    7. Entering the Passion of Jesus by Amy-Jill Levine – finished
    8. Silent Night by Danielle Steele – finished
    9. Autumn by Ali Smith – finished
    10. Winter by Ali Smith – finished
    11.  A Good Year by Peter Mayle – finished
    12.  Magnolia Nights by Ashley Farley – finished
    13. The Tale Teller by Anne Hillerman – finished
    14.  Wife of Moon by Margaret Coel – finished
    15.  Cleaning the Gold by Karen Slaughter and Lee Child – finished
    16.  Beyond the Garden by Ashley Farley – finished
    17. Everything is F*cked – a Book about Hope by Mark Manson – finished
    18. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd – finished
    19. The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford – finished
    20. There, There by Tommy Orange – finished
    21. Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf – finished
    22. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd – finished
    23. Calico Joe by John Grisham – finished
    24. The Nickle Boys by Colson Whitehead -finished
    25. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green – finished
    26. Kindred by Octavia E Butler – finished
    27. The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck – finished
    28. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – finished
    29.  No Winter Lasts Forever by Fran Tilton Sheldon – finished
    30. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates – 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.
  • Continue to watch the Rachel Maddow Show to feed my angst and resolve. – Check
  • Great Decisions discussion group here at Franke Tobey Jones – We’ve finished this for 2019. We’ll start again in January.

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.
  • Our Interfaith discussion group with the Muslims, Jews, Lutherans, and Presbyterians will meet again in November.
  • I post Morning and Evening Prayer on Facebook in Casa – An Experiment in Doing Church On-line on the 23rd of every month.

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.)
  • 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.


  • I’m trying to do a 20-day 360 Wellness Challenge. You can check out the requirements and how I did with them on my daily postings here.
  • I’m still in a Creative Writing class and still working sporadically on my memoir.
  • 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 – 10/31/19

1. According to Alexa, it was 36 deg. when I got up this morning, even though I have it on good authority there was frost/ice on the grass. A few more clouds today, and it warmed up nicely to 50 deg.

2. The staff at the Wellness Center went all out for Halloween. Here they are as the Village People. Y – M – C – A , anyone?

I’m glad they help celebrate things like Halloween, because we don’t have any little trick-or-treaters here.

3. I got my hair cut this afternoon. My father would say “Which one,” and I would reply “All of them.”

4. 20-day Wellness Challenge – Today my challenge was to call someone I love. I tried to call Harriet this morning, but I got her voicemail. I left her a message, but I haven’t heard back. I did call Betty this afternoon and we had a nice visit while she was on her way home from doing grandma taxi duty.

5. The maintenance guy finally came this afternoon to replace the gasket on the dishwasher. The gasket has been replaced, but it’s still leaking, and nobody understands why. We may be getting a new dishwasher, or maybe not. I should find out tomorrow.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 10/30/19

1. According to Alexa, it was 33 deg. at dawn. A carbon copy of yesterday.

2. I had my teeth cleaned this morning. That’s out of the way for the next four months.

3. Coming back home from the dentist I drove along Ruston Way next to the sound and was treated to views of changing trees, the Olympic mountains, and the Vashon Island ferry.

4. 20-day Wellness Challenge – Today I was supposed to take a walk outdoors. It was pretty cool, but with turtleneck, sweatshirt, and a jacket it was doable. This is one of my views from my walk.

5.I finally finished a pair of socks that I’ve had on the needles for almost a month. No reason I haven’t finished them except pure inertia.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 10/29/19

1. According to Alexa, it was 35 deg. at dawn. The sun and the mountain were both out all day, but the temperature never made it out of the 40s. Frost first thing in the morning, but no precipitation.

2. Good workout with my trainer. We also got our time scheduled for the whole month of November. Moving to 3 days a week.

3. I got permanent “I Voted” pins from I have suffered from not getting a sticker on Election Day, but Washington votes by mail up to three weeks beforehand. Now I can get my pin out and put it on as soon as I pop the ballot in the mail. We can either put the envelopes in Ballot Boxes located around town, or just put them in the mail. Postage is paid by the state.

4. 20-day Wellness Challenge – Post “5 Things that Made Me Happy Today.” (Obviously no problem. Here it is.) Remember my challenge for yesterday, I was supposed to go to bed 1 hour earlier. I was in bed with the light out by 10:20. Unfortunately, I was also up at 6:30 – wide awake. But according to my FitBit I got 8 hours of restful sleep, and 25 min. either going to the bathroom or restless.

5. There was a reception in the Resident’s Art Gallery this afternoon. Really professional photography, needlework, and painting. And wine, cheese, and other snacks.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 10/28/19

1. Today was a carbon copy of yesterday – 38 deg. when I got up, and about 52 at noon. It was beautifully sunny all day, though. And the mountain was out.

2. Laundry day, and I’m pleased to report that everything is washed, dried, folded and hung-up..

3. I have my personal trainer tomorrow instead of today because she had something else come up when we were supposed to meet. I DID go over to the Wellness Center and tackled my cardio.

(Old picture. I’m about 70 lbs lighter now.)

4. I’m going to try a new 20-day Wellness Challenge that somebody posted on Facebook. A lot of the things are activities I already do, so I’m setting myself up for success.  The one for Day 1 is “Go to bed 1 hour earlier than usual.” 😉 I’ll try that for the rest of this week because I’m going to have to do it after Sunday since we “Fall Back” then.

5. In a few minutes I’m heading out to Happy Hour with my tribe. That always makes me happy.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 10/27/19

1. Pretty cold today – 38 deg. when I got up, and about 52 at noon. It was beautifully sunny all day, though. And the mountain was out.

2. Oregon Ducks won the football game last night – 11:15 pm after the game started at 7:30. There were lots of reviews, and time outs, etc. They won on a field goal with 1 sec. left in the game. Final Score – Washington State Cougars – 35, Oregon Ducks – 37.

And as you can see we moved up from #11 to #7 in the AP Poll. One of the other polls has us at #8, and the third poll has us at #6. #GoDucks

I was so hyped up at the end of the game it took about half an hour for my pulse to calm down enough to sleep.

3. Good sermon on Mark 12:38-44. Take note of what Jesus has to say about the temple big wigs and the folks who rule by law. Instructive for us watching Washington, DC, and preachers who are way too full of themselves.

4. Lunch today was Mexican Chopped Salad at Moctezuma’s. Big Al had chicken fajitas.

5. Spent most of the afternoon in front of the fire, knitting and watching “The Gilmore Girls” on Netflix.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 10/26/19

1. Blustery and cold when I woke up this morning. Winter blew in on the wind overnight. It was 39 deg. when I got up, and even though it warmed up to 52 deg. when the sun came out it was still cold in the wind.

2. In honor of the colder weather, we had tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch today. Big Al and I said we felt like we were 7 years old again.

3. I’m so pleased to see the good work my former church in Dallas is doing. They are delivering sandwiches, water, and snacks to folks who are trying to clean up in their neighborhood from the tornados that swept through Preston Hollow last week.

4. I finally dug out some of my old yarn so I can change the names on Big Al’s and my Christmas stockings. Number 2 son’s family is down two stockings because, apparently, they left something in them that was interesting to the dogs, and a hole was chewed. Al and I decided last year that we’d rather not go to all the work of decorating and hanging stockings, so I’m going to “re-name” ours.

5. Football games are going on all by themselves without me watching them (although I check the scores pretty often to see whether teams ahead of the Ducks (number 11 in the rankings) are winning or losing. I’m not going to gloat over losses – at least out loud – because I understand Karma.) The Oregon Ducks are playing at 7:30 this evening. Keep your fingers crossed for them. I’ll be rooting them on to victory over the Washington State Cougars.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 10/25/19

1. Really cloudy and blustery this morning. From inside my house I thought it was cold, but when I went to the grocery store the car thermometer said it was 57 deg. The clouds hung around all day until about 3:30 pm when the sky made an effort.

But it didn’t get much farther than this, and we now have thick black clouds to the north and 49 deg. even though the computer thinks it ought to be 54.

2. We had ham, sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts for lunch today. Comfort food for me.

3. I play “Question of the Day” (Trivia) with Alexa every morning, and I’m pleased to report that I am 11th out of 173 players in Washington State.

4. I started reading The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I’ve heard many good things about it.

5. I’m over my goal of 12,000 steps for today already (and it’s only a little after 4:00 pm). I’m impressed with myself.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 10/24/19

1. Foggy and cloudy this morning when I got up. There was a slight chill in the air, but the sun came mid-morning and was out most of the day.

2. Amazon delivered the grocery items that I wasn’t able to get at the commissary before noon today.

3. I made tuna fish salad for my sandwich before I went over to the Wellness Center to get my steps in before my personal training appointment.

4. I did a review with my trainer to remind myself and her about why I was working out, and what I hoped to accomplish. My main reasons for doing the work are

  • to stay healthy and alive as long as I’m mentally capable,
  • to be able to travel comfortably,
  • to wear clothes that fit and are attractive,
  • to be available to my family.

We are planning to add the treadmill and/or walking outside to my routine, and also to up my sessions to three per week in November. I hope that will give me the boost I need to leave my plateau behind and start losing weight again.

5. Big Al and I went to our Creative Writing class this afternoon. I’m gradually making headway on my memoir, I think. It’s a process.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 10/23/19

1. Clear skies this morning when I got up. It was beautiful and it improved all day. There was a slight chill in the air, but the sun was out most of the day. Tomorrow is supposed to be even better.

2. We left early (about 9:15) to drive to Joint Base Lewis-McChord to go to the Commissary for our bi-monthly “stock-up” trip. On the way we stopped for breakfast at Starbucks and McDonalds. I had a vente skinny mocha, and a Mickey D’s bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit, and Big Al had a diet coke and two sausage burritos. Tasty.

3. The drive to the base was greatly improved by all the beautiful trees who seem to be showing off for us this year. This is an aerial view of one of the parks downtown.

4. We stopped at Bruno’s for lunch on the way home for good German food. I love German cucumber salad! And Wednesday is borscht day. Really spectacular.

5. I wasn’t able to get everything on my shopping list, but I ordered the missing items from Amazon while we were eating lunch. I’m all for “buying local”, but when it’s not available locally, I’m not sure what else to do. Besides, with Amazon Prime I don’t pay shipping and they will be delivering it tomorrow.

How about you? What made you happy today?