Five things that made me happy today – 11/30/20

Thanks for this day, for all birds safe in their nests, for whatever this is, for life.

Barbara Kingsolver

1. The wind and ran returned in the night, but thankfully the sun came out and the temperature topped out at 50. (not freezing).

2. I got all of my blogs written this morning – Intentions Review, Advent Word, and 30 Days of Gratitude. I’m finished with 30 Days until next year, and the Intentions are just monthly. WHEW.

3. I fixed Big Al his leftover burrito from last Friday for lunch, and I had noodles with some pre-cooked shrimp I had in the freezer. As we were eating, the nurse from Puget Sound Home Health came and checked his vitals, etc.

4. The laundry is all washed, dried, folded and hung up, including all the extra stuff from switching out my closet, and extra towels that didn’t get washed last week.

5. We have Gazebo Group this evening. I’m pleased to have folks to talk with. Al is great, but he’s tired of my stories, and I’m tired of his.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Intentions for 2020 – Review for November

My Star Word for this year is “Encourage”. The internet says “encourage” means to give support, confidence or hope to someone.

Here are my intentions for 2020.

NOTE: We opened up a little and now we’re closed down again with the rising COVID-19 rates. The Wellness Center is open, but you have to sign up for a time to use the equipment – only one person at a time and only 30 min. three times a week. No fitness classes and no personal training. Still no dining rooms open, no Happy Hour because it’s too cold to sit outside. Still no gatherings, including Senior University, Gazebo Group, although we meet by Zoom. Still no visiting in any of the other buildings. Masks at all times outside the house. Shopping is still of the on-line variety. I go to Trader Joe’s about once a month, and to the commissary about once every six weeks – otherwise, I order from Safeway and they bring it out and put it in my trunk – no contact, or from Amazon – again no contact.

Physical Health

  • Continue to eat real food, and, hopefully, lose about 15 more pounds this year. – I’ve lost 4.4 pounds since 12/31/19. The weight loss in the last month is directly attributable to worry about Big Al.
    • Minimize chocolate, including mochas. – I’m trying to limit my consumption to no more than 3 or 4 a week, but Starbucks keeps luring me with specials and “free” stars.
    • My endocrinologist wants me to get more calcium (preferably from food or drink) and she told me it’s okay to count the mochas towards my calcium intake.
    • Be sure to get 25 grams of fiber every day.
    • My cholesterol was a little high when I had my blood tests for my annual physical. I cut down on the number of eggs I eat weekly – no more than 4 per week, and I’m keeping the cholesterol under 350 gms on the days I eat eggs, and under 150 gms on the other days.
  • Continue to work with my personal trainer for strength, balance, and endurance.
    • Still no personal training but my trainer worked up a routine for strength and balance that I can do by myself – I managed to do that routine for about a week before they shut us down again, and cut access to the Wellness Center to three times a week. Hopefully, I’ll get a new routine this month.
    • I’m walking outdoors when the weather is decent, although now that it’s turned colder, I have a hard time encouraging myself to go outside. Because of the new schedule I can’t walk the indoor track at the Wellness Center.
  • Notice and report any unexpected physical changes (rashes, bumps, etc.) to my doctor. – my dermatologist diagnosed rosacea and prescribed a cream. She also froze several places of precancerous actinic keratosis.
  • My mammogram was completely clear. The bone scan showed that I have a little bit of osteoporosis in my left fibula – 1.7% chance of a broken hip in the next 10 years.
  • In the light of COVID-19, I’m trying to be much more intentional about washing my hands regularly – ALWAYS after I’ve been out of the house. – Wash Your Hands, Don’t Touch Your Face. We carry Lysol wipes in the car for complete sanitation for our hands.
  • A third case of the virus was reported by a staff member at Franke Tobey Jones, one in July, one in September, and one in October. We’ve had a total of 11 cases here, all limited to either staff or residents in the Skilled Nursing facility. They have a quarantine wing there, and everyone who was infected is now moved out.

Emotional Health

  • Remember that excessive encouragement can be nagging. – I’m trying to remember.
    • Say it with a smile.
    • Al knows what he should do (he has exercises to do between PT visits) but he is unmotivated to do them. I’m having a hard time NOT nagging him.
  • I’m becoming more resigned to this enforced confinement. The promise of vaccines is wonderful, but I’m trying not to pin my hopes on that with case counts and deaths rising.
  • Continuing to post “Five Things that Made Me Happy Today” every day on my blog helps me.
  • I’ve returned to my Meditation practice, daily. I’m using the Oak app. It fits my needs, and helps with my mood.

Intellectual Health

  • Expand my leisure reading. Read 50 books this year (not just “fluff”). I don’t think I’m going to make it.
    • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – finished
    • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo – finished
    • Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy – finished
    • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – finished
    • On the Bright Side by Melanie Shankle – finished
    • 142 Ostriches – by April Davila – finished
    • Pretty Girls – by Karen Slaughter – I gave myself permission to quit after 25% of it
    • The Tuscan Child – by Rhys Bowen – finished
    • The Victory Garden – by Rhys Bowen – finished
    • Carrying Albert Home – by Homer Hickam – finished
    • Clair de Lune – by Jetta Carleton – finished
    • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek – Kim Michelle Richardson – finished
    • Educated – by Tara Westover – finished
    • Shameless – by Nadia Bolz-Weber – finished
    • All American Boys – by Jason Reynolds – finished
    • When We Believed in Mermaids – by Barbara O’Neal – finished
    • How the South Won the Civil War – by Heather Cox Richardson – finished
    • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson – finished
    • The Lakehouse by Joe Clifford – finished
    • The Sentinel by Lee Child – finished
    • The Wonderboy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg – reading
  • Keep up with the national news daily without obsessing over it.
    • Listen to NPR. I’m a member of my local Seattle station, and have started taking advantage of special on-line interviews they offer to members.
    • Watch Rachel Maddow
    • I subscribe to The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, and CNN’s 5 Things You Need to Know, and I try to read most of the important news once a day.
    • I’ve subscribed to Heather Cox Richardson’s daily letter. It’s helping keep me sane.
    • I’ve also recently subscribed to WTF Just Happened Today? A daily newsletter that arrives at 3:00 pm.
  • Participate in Creative Writing classes here at Franke Tobey Jones. – Creative Writing is on hiatus until sometime in the new year.
  • Participate in Great Decisions here at Franke Tobey Jones. – The new season will start in January or February.
  • I’m listening to Heather Cox Richardson on Facebook on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’m excited to learn what she will talk about now that the election seems to done and dusted.

Spiritual Health

  • Participate in virtual weekly Bible study on Zoom.
  • Participate in virtual weekly Worship on Facebook Live.
  • Our interim pastor’s last Sunday was yesterday. We’ll be fine through Christmas with our parish associates. Our new transitional pastor will start with the new year.
  • Participate in Interfaith Dialogue – No meetings because of COVID-19
  • Continue with General Assembly Nominating Committee – Nothing happening for a while

Social Health

  • Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones.
    • Wellness Center – The center remains open, and I use it. No other people there.
    • Gazebo Group – We continue to meet weekly on ZOOM.
  • Tend the relationships I have at Bethany Presbyterian Church.
    • Bible Study – Fewer people attend via Zoom than attended in person.
    • Earth Care Congregation – we have been certified as an Earth Care Congregation.
  • Keep up with family.
    • My sisters and I have an Instant Messenger group set up and we check in on each other every morning, and through the day.
    • My sisters and I continue to do a Zoom call every Sunday afternoon. I’ve seen and talked to them more since the COVID than in years. I hope we continue that even after all this is over.

Social Justice

  • Participate in Town Halls and face-to-face meetings with elected officials. I try to participate when there are virtual meetings.
  • Support the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and MoveOn.
  • I have regular donations going to my US Representative, and to the Democratic National Committee.
  • Support the election of officials who are champions for Social Justice issues.
    • Climate action
    • Racial justice
    • Health Care Availability
    • Wealth Inequality
  • We vote by mail, exclusively, in Washington State.

Five things that made me happy today – 11/29/20

The very least you can do is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under its roof.

Barbara Kingsolver

1. It was in the mid 30s with a dense fog advisory early this morning. I’m so happy I don’t HAVE to go anywhere today. About noon the sun came out and burned off the fog. It didn’t warm up any though.

2. Today is the first Sunday in Advent – Hope! We sang two of my very favorite hymns – this one, and this one.

3. I LOVE pizza, and I know it’s super fattening and not good for me in so many ways, but I ordered one from Papa John’s for lunch today. Big Al and I split it, so I guess it’s not too awful, but it was soooo good.

4. It’s after Thanksgiving, so I switched out my sweatshirt wardrobe, from fall to Christmas. I’m a traditionalist and I won’t wear winter-themed clothes until after Thanksgiving. Also, it’s nice to have a “new” selection of things to wear three to four times a year. I almost NEVER buy new clothes, so I consider the change of seasons my time for new clothes for school.

5. The Greisser Girls solved all the problems of the world this afternoon in our Zoom conversation. I’m so glad COVID forced us to reconnect in ways we haven’t for so many years. I’ve said before that November and December are really hard for us. It seemed like for years we were at funerals during this time – my grandfather, my mother, my sister’s husband, my husband’s brother, etc., and we were so busy with our lives we only met at funerals. It’s great to get together when we aren’t grieving.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 11/28/20

Moving through dark days is the only way to reach the light.

Sabra Boyd

1. It was in the mid 40s when I got up (again today). Today was a carbon copy of yesterday – weatherwise..

2. After breakfast, I did a Trader Joe’s run for Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage, my go-to breakfast choice. Surprisingly few people there.

3. I fixed tuna fish salad for lunch. I had a sandwich and Big Al had his on a mixed green salad. I would have had salad, too, but I had a big one for lunch yesterday, and I wanted something a little more substantial.

4. I got to go over to the Wellness Center today, and spent my time on the NuStep. I’m certainly glad because it’s really raw and cold outside. Damp and 48 deg.

5. I finished The Sentinel, the Jack Reacher I had been working on for a while, and started The Wonderboy of Whistle Stop by Fanny Flagg. I’ve been reading a lot of “heavy” books and it’s nice to be able to read a little fluff.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 11/27/20

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.

Dennis Waitley

1. It was mid 40s at dawn today, (Sorry, do I sound like a broken record? Welcome to my world.) The sun was out most of the day, although it’s clouded up in the last hour or so. It managed to get up to 50 this afternoon.

2. My #1 son came back today to check of Big Al, and to do a few of the little tasks that we’ve realized need to be done (and neither of us is tall enough, or strong enough, or skilled enough.)

3. Because Moctezuma’s had a special going of buy one/get one free, we had Moctezuma’s for lunch. I was good and had a salad, and Big Al had a burrito.

4. The Christmas boxes were retrieved, and I got minimal decorations out. That will be enough for me for a while. Maybe I’ll do more later, but for now the pillows and fireplace décor is enough.

5. Also Bill solved my “space” problem for backing up my iPhone and iPad. Hopefully, that will take care of it, and Apple will quit nagging me to buy more storage..

How about you? What made you happy today?