Five things that made me happy today – 4/30/22

We can remember that today we can be a gift to each person we meet, just by looking at them with eyes of love.


1. It was in the high 40s with drizzly rain when I got up. The sun came out mid-morning, and it warmed up really nicely to the low 60s under mostly sunny skies, with scattered clouds.

2. I spent the morning writing my Intentions Review for April, and then writing my story for today.

3. I had planned lunch, and then realized we were almost out of milk, so I went down to Safeway and got milk for me and milk for Al, along with eggs and cereal, when I got finished at the Wellness Center.

4. Grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch today. That’s a great traditional Saturday lunch.

5. Next week looks like it’s going to be a busy one, with the weather improving and activities restarting. Maybe we’ll be able to go to the Commissary on Thursday or Friday.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Preparing for the inevitable

Al and I are both eldest children and we eventually became the prime caregivers for our widowed parents. After Al’s father died, we moved his mother to Dallas to be close to us – first in an independent apartment, and later. after a stroke, to health care. After Mama died, we moved Papa to Dallas, again to an independent apartment, and later, to health care.

Those experiences were one of the prime movers for us to come to Franke Tobey Jones – a continuing care community. We are currently living in a duplex – completely independently – but with additional care available if necessary. We are both realists and understand that nobody lives forever.

This last week we had both of our boys with us so they could become more familiar with our living situation and the plans we have made for our deaths. We wanted to reassure them that they would not have to upend their lives when one or the other of us had a health crisis or died.

When we moved to Washington we had our wills drawn up, along with durable powers of attorney, and health care directives – complete with Do Not Resuscitate order. While they were here, we got the legal documents out and had them read through them, so they were sure they understood what our final wishes are. We also encouraged them to “put their dibs” on any furniture, decorations, knick-knack, or art work they particularly wanted.

One day we went to Joint Base Lewis-McChord (the McChord portion), and met with the Casualty Assistance Officer. That’s the person who will help survivors (surviving spouse and/or children) wrap up our affairs including getting death certificates, notifying government entities, and getting any pay-in-arrears. If, by that time, we have decided to be in a National Cemetery, they will help us – including an honor guard for Al, complete with a 21-gun salute. If I’m the first to go, Al just has to swear that he will be in the same cemetery in order to for them to accept me (since I’m not a veteran).

On the way home, we stopped at the Neptune Society, a nationwide crematory, to find out what they offered. We were very impressed with their pre-planning, including the fact that we can make payments with the credit card. We can each have our body cremated very inexpensively (we know because our parents were cremated 20 years ago, and everyone knows prices of everything have gone up.) With monthly payments, we will have both of our plans paid off in 5 years or so. If one or the other of us dies before the plan is paid off, the survivor can just finish the payments in a lump sum.

The staff member who is in charge of resident placement at Franke Tobey Jones came and talked to all of us about what happens when we can no longer live independently. She went over the criteria for moving us around campus – assisted living, health care and/or memory care. She also gave us a tour of the other buildings (I was familiar with them already, but the boys had not seen the new Health Care Building).

All in all, I think we have done as much as possible to ensure that neither of us needs to worry about a family argument at the funeral. We have seen how those can split families, and we didn’t want that for the kids.

Intentions Review for April 2022

My Star Word for this year is Solitude. I’m taking it as an affirmation that my introverted tendencies are just fine.

“We are human beings, not human doings:”. I set these intentions for who I want to BE not what I want to DO. As with last year I will hold these intentions loosely, and may add new ones or subtract some of these as the spirit moves me.

  1. Traveler – partially completed
    1. Train Trip to Upstate New York
      1. Summer of 2022
      2. Cost
      3. Start saving now
    2. Northern Washington with Bill
      1. Because of the weather and traffic, we opted to visit Port Townsend instead of Leavenworth. We got pictures of the sound, the mountains, the shore, etc.
      2. Cost – lunch for two.
    3. Whale Watching with Al
      1. Early Fall
      2. Cost – minimal
  2. Content
    1. Habits to keep
      1. Exercise 1 hour a day 5-6 days a week – check
      2. Eat healthy food – I’ve gotten my A1C back down where it should be
      3. Stick to regular schedule of noon meals – because of holidays and visitors the schedule has been off a little this month, but in NORMAL times I’m doing well
        1. Sunday – eat out
        2. Monday and Friday – meat, starch, fresh vegetable
        3. Tuesday – feed yourself (sandwich, salad, pre-frozen pasta)
        4. Wednesday – soup of the week, or salad
        5. Thursday – pickup Fast Food
        6. Saturday – finish off leftovers
    2. Habits to change
      1. Focus on how I feel when I’m exercising and eating right and try to ignore the numbers – Check
      2. Really listen to Al instead of thinking I know what he’s going to say – It’s a work in progress
    3. Healthy – I finally got one of my cataracts taken care of. The second is scheduled for May.
  3. Learner
    1. Great Decisions – first Wednesday of every month
      1. Changing Demographics – Interesting, but nothing earthshaking.
      2. Outer Space – interesting perspective from others in the class
      3. Climate Change
      4. Russia and the U.S.
      5. Myanmar and Asean
      6. Quad Alliance
      7. Drug Policy in Latin America
      8. Industrial Policy
      9. Biden’s Agenda
    2. MasterClass – I didn’t renew my membership. It felt like I wasn’t using it enough to make it worthwhile.
    3. Read at least 24 books this year
      1. Finish the Inspector Lynley serieI
        1. In the Presence of the Enemy – Elizabeth George – finished
        2. Deception on his Mind – Elizabeth George – finished
        3. In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner – Elizabeth George – finished
        4. The Sacred Bridge – Anne Hilllerman – finished
        5. A Traitor to Memory – Elizabeth George – reading
  4. Writer
    1. 5 Things that Made Me Happy Today – I’m definitely keeping up with this.
    2. Stories from my Life
      1. Publish a story at least twice a week – skipped a week because of family
      2. Okay to use and/or expand other things I’ve written
  5. Friend – Remember the only person I can change is me.
    1. Accepting Mindset
      1. Try to give other people the benefit of the doubt
      2. Ask questions instead of jumping to conclusions
    1. Introverted actions to take
      1. Send a kind message to distant friends at least once a month – done
      2. Keep up with friends on Facebook – done
      3. Send an email to people who do nice things for me or for other people – done, but not as many as I should.

Five things that made me happy today – 4/29/22

Make a habit out of celebrating the small moments in healing, gratitude, and growth.


1. It was in the high 40s when I got up this morning. Cloudy after rain in the night. We had partly cloudy skies all afternoon with a high temperature of 59 deg.

2. #1 son got on the road to the airport about mid-morning. He had to return the rental car, and then go through all the pre-flight lines before his 1:00 pm flight.

3. Al and I spent most of the morning on the phone with the representative from the Neptune Society filling out electronic paperwork to pre-pay for our cremation when the time comes. That’s a load off of our minds, to know that the family won’t have extra expenses at the time.

4. I warmed up the leftover fajitas from last Sunday. They were very tasty, and now my refrigerator has more room.

5. I was able to go over to the Wellness Center before lunch and exercise. Then this afternoon I caught up on my e-mail and stuff that has been neglected while we had the boys here.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 4/28/22

When we come upon beautiful things, they act like small tears in the surface of the world that pull us through to some vaster space. 

Elaine Scarry

1. The temperature was in the low 40s and the sky was cloudy when I got up this morning. The sun came out sporadically before noon, and now we have scattered clouds, blue sky, and cool temperatures – 57 deg.

2. The boys felt like they absolutely HAD to make the obligatory pilgrimage to Redmond to worship at the Microsoft Mother Ship. They left after breakfast and I expected them back before 3:00, but they got a wild hair and took a run to the border (with Canada). They got there and decided not to cross the border, so they are stuck in 4:30 traffic on I-5 in Seattle. Serves them right.

3. #2 son will drive back to Central Washington this evening. #1 son flies back to Chicago tomorrow at noon, so he’ll leave here early in the day. I’ll be sad to see them go, and we got a lot accomplished while they were here. I think we are all more confident about what will happen in the “end times.”

4. With just Big Al and me here, we had Burger King for lunch.

5. Greisser Girls Gab is this afternoon. I love my boys, but I’m not used to having that many male bodies in my life at one time. I’m had a great visit with the sisters and some girl talk.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 4/27/22

Let us slow down enough to truly notice all that is presenting itself to us as blessing.


1. The day dawned cloudy and 41 deg. The sun came out after breakfast. We had sun most of the day but “they” are threatening thunderstorms in a couple of hours.

2. This morning the person who is in charge of settling people in to housing and moving people between buildings came over today and talked to the boys about what may/will happen as we become unable to take care of ourselves (hopefully many years in the future).

3. #1 son and #2 son got a tour to the Assisted Living building, and the new Health Care building. I went, too, and got a nice walk around the campus in the sunshine.

4. #2 son has been taught by his wife (a born Cajun) how to make gumbo. He spent the morning in the kitchen chopping “the Holy Trinity” of cajun cooking (green peppers, onions, & celery), and occasionally stirring the roue. I was able to find Andouille sausage at the commissary yesterday, and I had plenty of chicken and plenty of rice, and Cajun seasoning left from when he came after Big Al was in the hospital. Gumbo party at my house for lunch.

5. Together, the boys were able to rearrange Big Al’s room to give him more space to move around, and to keep the sun out of his eyes.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 4/26/22

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.

Theodore Roosevelt

1. It was in the mid 40s and mostly sunny when I got up this morning. We had alternating rain, clouds, and sunshine most of the day. It ended up sunny, and 53 deg.

2. Today we went to McCord AFB to acclimate the boys to the locations of places they’ll have to go to alert the gub-ment to Big Al’s demise in the event of his death (many years from now, I hope). I was able to run into the Commissary while I was there to get a few things that are not readily available at Safeway.

3. We had lunch at the RAM in Lakewood. Four different takes on sandwiches and burgers.

4. On the way home we stopped at the Neptune Society to check on cremation services. They purport to do all the services we might want, for a very reasonable price.

5. Once we got home, Bill helped me cancel a couple of recurring payments for things I don’t want to support any more. That is a load off of my mind.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 4/25/22

The abundant heart embraces our world, holding all its joy and fear, gain and loss, nobility and selfishness, enveloped in a field of compassion and love.


1. It was 51 degs and cloudy with wet streets when I got up this morning. We had peek-a-boo clouds all day, with the high temperature of 57 deg, even though it felt colder with the wind when the sun was under a cloud.

2. I managed to get the laundry all done, the DVD for Great Decisions class next week watched, and a trip to the Wellness Center for most of an hour while the guys did their things.

3. The boys stayed in the guest cottage last night and they had strict instructions to entertain themselves until after 9:30. Then the men in my life went to the bank, the liquor store, and Best Buy. The testosterone in the house was palpable.

4. We went to Mandolin Sushi for lunch. Good food, and more of it than ought to be legal. I had sushi, Big Al had Teriyaki Salmon, #1 son had a Mongolian Beef Bento Box, and #2 son had Teriyaki Chicken with mounds of fried rice.

5. We all went over Al’s and my wills and other legal papers to make sure everyone understood everything they needed to know.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 4/24/22

Something precious is lost if we rush headlong into the details of life without pausing for a moment to pay homage to the mystery of life and the gift of another day.

kent nerbuen

1. It was in the mid 40s with beautiful blue skies when I got up this morning. The weather was great, getting well and truly into the 60s with bright sunny skies.

2. #2 son and I spent the morning rearranging Al’s and my network equipment and getting it where it will be easier to manage.

3. #2 son and I made a quick trip up I-5 to The Container Store to get some additional pieces for my network setup.

4. #1 son landed at SEA-TAC shortly after noon, and made his way down to our house. He finally got here just as #2 son and I finished our project.

5. All four of us crawled into the car and we went down to Moctezumas for lunch. We had a fine Mexican Feast and then the guys went over to the guest cottage where they will be staying.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 4/23/22

Families are like branches on a tree. We grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one. 


1. Lots of clouds this morning, and back in the mid 40s. But it started clearing early and the sun came out as #2 son and I got to Port Townsend. We had beautiful sunshine today, and half of Western Washington had decided it was a great day to go out. Temperature around 60 deg. for a high.

2. We left the house about 8:30 and, after a stop for McDonald’s breakfast we headed across the bridge and up the Kitsap Peninsula.

3. We got to Port Townsend by about 11:00 and discovered the ferry to Coopville needed reservations. We thought about doing “stand-by” for the 12:30 boat, but then we decided to just explore Port Townsend.

4. We drove to look at the harbor where the Whale Watching Tours depart from. Then we drove out to Fort Warden and #2 son got some great pictures of the Stait of Juan de Fuca. Then we drove around the old portion of town and then through downtown.

5. We had lunch at a nice place right by the water. We each had a club sandwich and thoroughly enjoyed the view and ourselves.

We were home by 4:30! Great day!

How about you? What made you happy today?