Five things that made me happy today – 9/30/21

1. It never really cooled off overnight – temps in the high 50s when I got up, the same as when I went to bed. Cloudy at dawn after more rain in the night. The rain returned off and on all day, including a real deluge between noon and 2:00 pm. I don’t think the temperature changed much all day long.

2. I spent most of the morning finishing my Intentions Review for September. I hope you enjoyed it.

3. I started a pot of chicken noodle soup before I went to the Wellness Center. That’s what we had for lunch on this blustery, rainy day.

4. I was able to finish off my Inspector Lynley this afternoon, and got started on the next one, Missing Joseph.

5. The Congress seems to have found their moral compass and passed the continuing resolution to keep the government open. Now all they have to do is raise the debt ceiling to keep the country from defaulting, pass the voting rights bill, and finish off the President’s economic package. That’s all.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Intentions Review for September 2021

My Star Word for this year is “Affirmation”. The internet says an affirmation is a positive statement of agreement.

I am a child of God, holy and beloved.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Here are my intentions for 2021.

(After the dumpster fire of 2020, you’ll notice I’ve pared down my intentions for 2021, and I intend to hold them loosely.)

Physical Health

  • Eat real food. – Check
    • Eat more vegetables – Tomatoes are still okay, but I’m reduced to Roma instead of locally grown. New potatoes are still available. Sweet onions, peppers, celery, etc. are good for mirepoix.
    • Be sure to get 25 grams of fiber every day – Check
  • Big Al and I got our second Pfizer shots on February 13th, so we’ve been fully vaccinated since the first of March! We should be getting our booster in the next couple of weeks. They are trying to bring a clinic to FTJ for us.
    • I’m still minimizing my shopping trips. I would hate to succumb to COVID now that we seem to be (maybe, fingers crossed) approaching the end.
    • My grandchild is still unvaccinated, and still unwelcome at my house.
  • My blood work that showed my cholesterol and blood sugar were elevated was fine this month.
  • FTJ brought a flu shot clinic to campus and Big Al and I both got our shots.

Emotional Health

  • Remember that I am a child of God, holy and beloved.
    • If I can say it for me, I must grant it to every other person on the planet, whether lovable or not.
  • Continue to post “Five Things that Made Me Happy Today” every day on my blog – Check

Intellectual Health

  • Expand my leisure reading.
    • Major Pettigrew ‘s Last Stand  by Helen Simonson – finished
    • Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie – finished
    • The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie – finished
    • The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie – finished
    • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry – finished
    • A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George – finished
    • How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates – finished
    • Stargazer by Anne Hillerman – finished
    • Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg – finished
    • Beneath a Scarlett Sky by Mark Sullivan – finished
    • The House on Vesper Sands – Paraic O’Donnell – finished
    • Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven – Fanny Flagg – finished
    • Payment in Blood – Elizabeth George – finished
    • Well-Schooled in Murder – Elizebeth George – finished
    • A Suitable Vengeance – Elizabeth George – finished
    • For the Sake of Elena – Elizabeth George – finished
    • Missing Joseph – Elizabeth George – reading
  • I’m trying to keep up with the news without obsessing over it.
    • Listen to NPR – Check
    • Watch Rachel Maddow – Check
    • Follow Heather Cox Richardson for perspective – Check
  • Participate in Creative Writing classes here at Franke Tobey Jones – I’m giving this round a miss because they’ve got the professor that I really dislike teaching it.
  • I subscribe to the New York Times and try to work the crossword puzzle and read several columns regularly, including the cooking column.
  • I subscribe to the Seattle Times and read several of their newsletters.
  • I subscribe to the Washington Post. and read several of their newsletters, including Travel, Fitness, and Cooking.
  • Support aspiring writers via Patreon and Substack – Check
  • Participate in Great Decisions here at Franke Tobey Jones – Our class this month was The Role of The Who (World Health Organization). It was timely and interesting.
  • I subscribed to MasterClass. I’m still looking for a new series.

Spiritual Health

  • Continue to participate in weekly Bible study, and weekly Worship – Bible Study has resumed, and I’m attending regularly.
  • Worship is available on YouTube Live, and I’m regular in attendance from my living room.
  • I attended both the Mission Study meetings that were held outside in a park and socially distanced.
  • Continue with General Assembly Nominating Committee – No meetings yet

Social Health

  • Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones
    • Wellness Center – Personal training resumed this week. My trainer is seven and a half months pregnant, so we’re not working on anything very stressful.
    • Gazebo Group – We are trying to nail down a location to meet during bad weather. We will probably do ZOOM once a month, and meeting in person the rest of the time.
  • Tend the relationships I have at Bethany Presbyterian Church Bible Study – Check
  • Continue to connect regularly with the sisters, virtually – Our weekly chats are one of the things that keep me sane.

Social Justice

  • Participate in Town Halls and face-to-face meetings with elected officials.I follow my local, state, and federal representatives on Social Media and send messages about things that matter to me.
  • It never occurred to me that I would need to lobby the Congress to pass laws to make it easier/possible to vote, but here we are. I’ve gotten complacent living in Washington where we have easy registration, vote by mail, and non-partisan independent commissions to redraw voting districts after a census.
  • I have regular contributions to the DNC and my US Representative. I also contribute to reps in other states if they seem particularly outstanding.
  • Support the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and MoveOn – Check
  • Support the election of officials who are champions for Social Justice issues – Check
    • Climate action
    • Racial justice
    • Health Care Availability
    • Wealth Inequality

Five things that made me happy today – 9/29/21

The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.

John F. Kennedy

1. Cool, with clouds returning – low 50s this morning. It stayed in the mid to high 50s all day, with drizzle off and on. Lots more rain due in the next couple of days

2. Big Al and I got our flu shots this morning. FTJ brought the pharmacists at CVS here to inoculate everybody on campus.

3. I worked out and met with Sarah for balance, and stability training before lunch.

4. We had PF Chang’s Sweet and Sour Chicken for lunch. It is really SWEET. I don’t think we’ll get that next time we go to the commissary.

5. My next-door neighbor brought me some crab legs last night. I’m definitely going to enjoy them for supper. Big Al is not a fan, so I don’t have to worry about sharing.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 9/28/21

Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy – and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they will find guidance.

Lakota Code of Ethics

1. It was in the low 50 when I got up this morning and threatening more rain. I was thankful for the furnace that automagically kicked on and warmed the house to 70 before I get up. Off and on rain today, with a high of 59 deg. Brrrr

2. One of my fellow bloggers reminded me of Wendell Berry’s poem “The Peace of Wild Things.” I commend it to you when the news or your housemates or your isolation or life in general gets to be too much for you.

3. Good Bible Study on Zoom today. Our preacher is doing a pulpit swap with someone on Sunday, so we don’t know what the sermon is going to be about. But the OTHER church’s sermon is going to be about Elijah and communion.

4. I listened to HCR’s Politics Chat on Facebook while I worked out today. I’ve been really worried about the potential government shutdown. It’s easy to get worried when you have five government checks that are the only things between you a destitution, except for a really small 401k. Silly us, we thought that government retirement was a SURE thing. HCR did reassure me, a little, though.

5.  Greisser Girls Gab kicks off in a few minutes and those women reassure me, as well. BREATHE!

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 9/27/21

So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

1. After lots of rain in the night, it was mid 50s and mostly cloudy when I got up. The rain returned with a vengeance this morning and lasted until early afternoon. It settled down to drizzle and showers after lunch, but it stayed in the upper 50s.

2. While prowling through my blog mail today, I discovered this (H/T Hugh Hollowell). In Japan, during the Wawa Arts Festival they use straw to make these enormous sculptures.

3. Three weeks in a row I solved the New York Times crossword puzzle on Monday!

4. We had leftovers from yesterday for lunch today. I finished up a couple of dribs and drabs of leftovers in containers in the refrigerator, too.

5. I called an audible and cancelled Gazebo Group for this evening. We still haven’t nailed down an inclement weather meeting place. As usually happens, I hit send on the email cancelling the meeting, and the sun came out. Luckily for me, it wasn’t out long, and we’ve had more showers.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 9/26/21

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.

Mary Oliver

1. Cool and cloudy this morning at dawn – mid-50s. Drizzle and rain started about 2:00, and seems to have settled in for the afternoon – low 60s.

2. Nice church service on YouTube this morning. I like the remote service because I’m allowed to sing. Folks there in person are instructed to hum along, but to not sing.

3. Big Al and I went to Royal Thai Bistro for dinner. He had Pad Kee Mao, and I had Siamese Noodles. We each brought enough home to have for lunch tomorrow.

4. I think another member of the Gazebo Group and I have got a plan for how to continue to meet through the cold/rainy weather that’s coming. Trying to get it worked out under the premise that “you’ve got to do it before you HAVE to do it.”

5. Spent time this afternoon examining the inside of my eyelids – I was up late last night waiting for the final score in the Ducks game. Really pleased to see this morning that my Ducks are still solidly in 3rd place in the the polls, even though they had a few problems in the first half.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 9/25/21

Today you could be standing next to someone who is trying their best not to fall apart. So whatever you do today, do it with kindness in your heart.


1. Another beautiful sunrise this morning – temps in the low 50s. Mid-70s this afternoon. This may be the last day of good weather. Rain comes back tomorrow and hangs around all next week.

2. Yesterday evening, Big Al and I couldn’t decide on which streaming movie or series to watch. But we settled, finally, on Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. We both laughed throughout the movie. “Frau Bleuker…” “Ah, Sweet mystery of life I’ve found you.” “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Marty Feldman was a true comic talent – one of the great ones, gone too soon.

3. Safeway pickup early this morning to get milk and tomatoes, etc. Then Wellness Center for exercise before the football marathon began.

4. Hot dogs for lunch during half-time of the Arkansas-A&M game. Oooooo Pig – Soooie!

5. The Ducks have the 7:30 game, so I guess I’ll be up a little later than I usually am. They’re playing Arizona on ESPN. I’m not fond of the ESPN announcers, but I’ll live with them.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 9/24/21

The most precious inheritance that parents can give their children is their own happiness.

thich Nhat Hanh

1. Mid-50s and mostly clear when I got up – sunny when the sun got up. Sunrise is now after I’ve gotten up, and fixed my tea. Before long, sunrise will be after breakfast and sunset will be long before supper. This afternoon we had nice weather with temps right around 70 deg. Sunshine and blue, blue skies.

2. Paul Krugman had two columns in the NYT today – both of which made a lot of sense. Bill McKibben’s blog came today, so I got both economics and climate change information. I love Fridays.

3. Things seem to be changing with the changing seasons. I ran out of all the episodes of Friday Night Lights yesterday. I’m rewatching Longmire now, I think this is my third time through it, but I really enjoy it. I’ve found that I still get angry at Walt when he gets too much in his own head, and I still worry about the same things, even when I know the outcome.

4. I fixed individual pizzas on 10 inch tortillas. I added onion and pepperoni and called it good.

5. Alas, the ice cream socials have come to an end. Another sign that the seasons are changing.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 9/23/21

My husband John lived by a code: country first. We are Republicans, yes, but Americans foremost.

Cindy McCain

1. It was cool and foggy (mid 50s) when I got up. It warmed up nicely to the mid-60s this afternoon under partly cloudy skies.

2. I discovered I had a fair amount of free time this morning, so I was able to read some more on my current Inspector Lynley.

3. I fixed chicken parts in a casserole with rice-a-roni, and a choose your own vegetable – black-eyed peas for me, and beets for Big Al. I was able to put the casserole in the oven before I went to the Wellness Center, so I just had to warm up the veggies when I got home. Catering to Big Al’s desire to eat lunch later is hard but not impossible.

4. HCR kept me entertained while I worked out with her History Chat on Facebook Live. She talked about how the current situation, politically, is between two competing ideas on how the country should be run. The first feels that government should protect business and the people people in charge, and the second fells that government’s job is to provide a basic social safety net, regulate business, and promote infrastructure. That dichotomy has been around since Lincoln and the Civil War.

5. The leader for our Great Decisions discussion this afternoon on Zoom Is an MD who worked as an industrial physician with Weyerhaeuser before he retired. He brought needed expertise to the discussion on the World Health Organization.

A passenger looks on from a vehicle containing French citizens after their evacuation from the Chinese city of Wuhan, as it arrives at The Vacanciel Holiday Resort in Carry-le-Rouet, near Marseille, southern France on January 31, 2020, following their repatriation from the coronavirus zone. – A plane carrying around 200 French citizens evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, landed near Marseille, AFP reporters onboard the aircraft said. The passengers, who will be placed in quarantine at a seaside holiday camp for two weeks, applauded as the plane touched down at the Istres military base. None have shown any symptoms of the virus that has killed 213 people and infected nearly 10,000 in mainland China, prompting the World Health Organization to declare a global emergency. (Photo by GERARD JULIEN / AFP) (Photo by GERARD JULIEN/AFP via Getty Images)

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 9/22/21


This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.

Maya Angelo

1. Warmish overnight with dawn temperatures in the low 50s. Spectacular red sunrise over the Cascades. It was sunny around noon, but now it’s clouded up again, and in the low 60s.

2. I got a lot of little chores done this morning. Scheduled a Primary Care appointment, replied to a “quality” survey about my medical appointment yesterday, figured out what was happening with my USAA account log on, read several blogs I’ve been putting off for a while, got my Personal Training sorted out.

3. I did my Wellness stuff before lunch again today. Big Al is so fussy if I try to feed him at noon, so I may try to do that from now on.

4. We had red beans and rice with lil’ smokies for lunch. Al loves his over processed meat 😉 and I try to accommodate him occasionally even though a dietitian would stroke out.

5. Read my Great Decisions lesson for class tomorrow. The World Health Organization’s response to Covid-19. Lots of stuff in there that I had no idea about. Finally something that is topical.

How about you? What made you happy today?