Five things that made me happy today – 12/31/21

Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.

Lionel Hampton

1. It was in the high 20s with another 1/2 inch of new snow on the ground when I got up. It’s supposed to get above freezing tomorrow, and stay there for a while. Sunshine all day and temperatures above freezing this afternoon let much of the ice and snow melt.

2. I spent the morning watching WSU and Central Michigan in the Sun Bowl, until a WSU loss became inevitable. Then I went over to the Wellness Center and worked out for a while.

3. I finished off my Year in Review of my Intentions for 2021. It was okay, and MUCH better than 2020. I’m contemplating setting some intentions for 2022, but I know they will be much looser, and much less specific.

4. We each fixed our own lunches today. Neither of us were anxious to eat a lot of stuff. I had some cheese and crackers and some German cucumber salad, Al will probably fix himself some ramen noodles.

5. The Cotton Bowl is on now, to be followed by the Orange Bowl. I don’t have a dog in either of those fights, but I’m loading up on college football while the watching is available.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Intentions Review for All of 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.

These were my intentions for 2021.

Physical Health

  • Eat real food. – Check
    • Eat more vegetables – I keep boxes of cauliflower and broccoli in the refrigerator to fix for dinner or to snack on raw. New potatoes are usually unavailable and I’ve started getting Yukon Golds instead. Brussels sprouts are good. I keep sweet onions, peppers, celery, and sweet potatoes on hand.
    • We have “soup of the week” on Wednesdays, particularly since the weather has turned colder.
    • Be sure to get 25 grams of fiber every day – Check
  • Big Al and I are triple vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. I’m still minimizing being around people, so I do grocery pickup instead of going inside the store.
    • All my family is vaccinated!

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.
  • I was very faithful in posting my “Five Things that Made Me Happy Today”.

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 – finished
    • Playing for the Ashes – Elizabeth George – finished
    • Better Off Dead – Lee Child and Andrew Child – abandoned
    • In the Presence of the Enemy – 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
  • 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 – Finished for the year.
  • I subscribed to MasterClass. I’m following Cornell West teaching Philosophy.

Spiritual Health

  • Continue to participate in weekly Bible study, and weekly Worship – Bible Study is on Zoom and I’m attending regularly.
  • Worship is available on YouTube Live, and I’m regular in attendance from my living room.
  • Continue with General Assembly Nominating Committee – No meetings were scheduled.

Social Health

  • Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones
    • Wellness Center – My personal trainer is on maternity leave. I’m trying to soldier on alone.
    • Gazebo Group – We are doing ZOOM once a month, and meeting in person the rest of the time in the Wellness Center. It’s not ideal, but it seems to be the best we can hope for.
  • Tend the relationships I have at Bethany Presbyterian Church Bible Study – Check
  • Continue to connect regularly with the sisters, virtually – Our weekly Zoom 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 was pleased to see that the President has appointed our REPUBLICAN Secretary of State (who is in charge of elections in Washington State) to a similar post at the national level.
  • 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 – 12/30/21

Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. It’s the only thing that ever has.

President Josiah Bartlett – the West Wing

1. It was 34 deg. with a couple of inches of new snow on the ground when I got up. Snow flurries made thawing difficult through the morning. The snow finally stopped about 10:00, and the drips kept on all day. It continued with the same temperature until after sunset. Here are some of the impressive icicles we grew.

2. Al and I are real Southerners and we’re scared of driving in snow or ice. I had made a Safeway order when I thought we were finished with the snow. I put out a plea to the folks from the Gazebo Group to pick it up If they were going out anyway. Two different people offered to do my pickup for me. We are forever grateful. We now have milk and cereal and eggs and soup stuff.

3. We accidentally got peanuts with shells on a couple of weeks ago. Al had wanted regular peanuts to snack on. So I’ve been putting the ones with shells out on the back porch. It didn’t take long for the Stellar Jays to find them. Now they are having to fight the squirrels for them.

4. I fixed red beans and rice with Lil Smokies for lunch. Easy and warming, particularly if you add some Tabasco sauce.

5. The landscapers brought a big plow and worked on the streets beginning about noon. Then maintenance came and plowed out our driveway and finally spread salt and de-icer. I’m still in for the duration. Maybe I can get over to the Wellness Center on Saturday. It’s supposed to be above freezing then, and to continue in the upper 30s and 40s for the foreseeable future. (I’m tired of ice and snow!)

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 12/29/21

The past has its own terrible inevitability. But it is never too late to change the future.

Heather Cox Richardson

1. It was 26 deg. under starry skies this morning when I got up. The sun was out most of the day, and it made good inroads into the snow and ice. The original expected high was 31 deg, but the car thermometer said 34 as I came home from the Wellness Center. – YES, I finally got to exercise today. I needed it.

2. I got my workbook for 2022 from MaryAnn McKibben Dana. She has created it to help us put 2021 to bed, and greet 2022 with expectation and hope. I will try not to rush through it, but to stop and really think about it.

3. They have adjusted to weather projection for tomorrow, now expecting a high of 34. It’s supposed to snow some more overnight, but then change to rain after daylight. I’ll finally be able to do a grocery store pickup. Most of the roads should be melted and clear by 3 pm.

4. I fixed pork chops. cinnamon applesauce, Stovetop stuffing, and broccoli for me with cauliflower for Big Al.

5. The Ducks are playing their final game of the year tonight at 6:15 PST in the Alamo Bowl against Oklahoma. I’m excited to see how they respond to the new coach.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 12/28/21

The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow benefitting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger – nothing ever comes out for the poor.

Pope Francis

1. It was 28 deg and snowing (again) when I got up. It quit before lunch time, and the temperature got up to 30 deg. which is warm enough to start melting on streets and sidewalks.

2. Maintenance came and plowed out the driveway mid-morning. Once they got the new snow/ice off, nature began melting what was left. I even walked down and got the mail after lunch.

3. The city came and picked up the recyclables about 10:00, and I took the garbage (including the leftover shrimp and shrimp tails that I froze on Saturday, and the bacon grease that had been in a plastic bag in the refrigerator since Saturday) out and put it on the curb, bringing in the empty recyclables container.

4. Even though I was around all morning, we still did “fix-your-own” lunch. Big Al thawed out some of his spaghetti sauce and noodles that are his go-to favorite. I got the last box of Bill’s Gumbo thawed, cooked some rice, and had that for lunch.

5. It’s Greisser Girls Gab in just a few minutes. I’ll enjoy talking to the sisters.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 12/27/21

I suspect that all of us — whether by choice or by circumstance, or both — have expanded the scope of who we are and how we deal.

Kelli Korducki

1. It was lurking round 20 deg. this morning when I got up to fix my tea. Needless to say, we are still snowed in. The sun came out for a little while around noon and it was SUPER bright reflecting off of the snow. Unfortunately, the best the temperature could manage was 24 deg.

2. Maintenance came about lunchtime and shoveled and salted our walk. Once they get around to plowing the parking lot across from me, I’lll finally get to go over to the Wellness Center. I haven’t had any exercise since last Friday. I got fussed at by my sisters for threatening to try my luck walking in the snow.

3. We had tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch today. I wanted something warming to the tummy.

4. Laundry day. Because I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything else, the clothes were all washed, dried, sorted, folded and hung up early in the afternoon.

5. Gazebo Group will be on Zoom this afternoon. A little bit of relief from the cabin fever we are all feeling.

How about you? What made you happy today?