Five things that made me happy today – 5/31/22

Look closely at the present you are constructing: it should look like the future you are dreaming.

Alice Walker

1. 50 degs this morning with scattered clouds and blue skies. High 60s this afternoon with plenty of sunshine.

2. I managed to get my Intentions for May written this morning.

3. A couple of us didn’t get the word that there was no Bible Study, so we just chatted, mostly about unresolved gun issues and our horrible feelings of impotence.

4. Fix-it-yourself for lunch today. I made a salad with the greens that my daughter-in-law brought me. I added a sliced, fresh peach, and some chopped ham with pecan halves for crunch. Very eclectic, but interesting salad.

5. Greisser Girls Gab this afternoon.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Intentions Review for May 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 – check
      3. Stick to regular schedule of noon meals – check
        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
      1. Both cataracts are done. I’ll be getting new glasses the end of June or maybe July
      2. I’m double vaccinated and double boosted, and so are all my family.
  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 – I led the discussion and everyone seemed to enjoy the conversation
      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 – still 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 – check
      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 or text message 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 – 5/30/22

May you seek whatever comforts you today finding hope in the presence of all that’s holy.

jan edmonson

1. Upper 40s and cloudy when I got up. It brightened up about mid-morning, and the temperature got up to the low 60s this afternoon.

2. I grew up in New Jersey, in a bedroom town for NYC. We always had a parade on Memorial Day – Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, the bands from both high schools. We usually ended across the street from the Presbyterian Church at the Revolutionary War Cemetery. I miss that.

3. In honor of Memorial Day, traditional beginning of summer (even though the weather hasn’t gotten the word), I fixed barbecued chicken (in the oven) and potato salad for dinner today.

4. The clothes are all washed, dried, delivered, folded and hung up (even on a “holiday.)

5. Gazebo Group this evening. We’ll be meeting outside, wearing jackets.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 5/29/22

I don’t think we have the option for despair. Hope is something we cultivate in our daily consciousness through our daily actions… my joy comes from the awareness that I’m part of the amazing earth.

Vandana Shiva

1. Drizzly, grey morning with a temperature of 50 deg. It brightened up a little before noon, but the wind blew all day. The high this afternoon was 57 deg.

2. We had a guest preacher today in church. She did a good job in a really hard week. Her sermon ended with some hope.

3. #2 son, his wife, and their youngest dog came to visit today. They stopped at a fresh fruit stand in Yakima, and brought us peaches, apricots, cherries, and asparagus, as well as some fresh herbs and salad greens from their own garden.

4. Wife and dog went to the dog park, and son helped fix the garage door opener, and a couple of little things on the computers. He also helped me with boxes and bags of old tax returns, and he hung up the wind chimes. It was a running trip – here shortly after 1:00 pm, gone before 3:30.

Percy at the dog park.

5. By the time they left Al and I were starving so we went down to a little Mexican bistro – Maria’s. I had a combination plate – cheese enchilada, beef taco, and chicken tamale, with rice and beans. Al had a green chili enchilada plate with rice and beans. Wonderful.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 5/28/22

A bit of hope can keep a person or a whole nation alive. It’s not nothing.

Sara Benincasa

1. Cloudy and cool (50 deg) early this morning. The best the temperature could manage was 56 deg. with a steady drizzle.

2. I spent most of the morning writing about the ghost that lived with us in the house in England. You can read it here.

3. I made another grocery order from Safeway to get my milk and Al’s Diet Pepsis. They had that, but they were out of Al’s peanuts. (That’s fine, he can do without peanuts.) I ordered it about 1:00 pm and it was ready for pick-up by 2:30.

4. I fixed tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch today. It’s cold enough that I changed my menu from tuna salad to soup.

5. I think I’m finished with all the errands and stuff, so I can now get my cover out and sit under it while I read my book and watch my series on Apple TV.

How about you? What made you happy today?


When our family of four lived in England, we moved into 1/3rd of a Manor House that had been divided into separate living quarters. The house was in a village in the Cotswolds on the edge of Wychwood Forest. It was U-shaped, and our wing had been built in the 18th century. The base of the U was built in the 16th century, and the other arm had been built in the 19th century. We lived on a lane off the main road from Whitney to Charlbury. There were also two small cottages on the lane that were occupied by retired farm laborers from the Estate.

The boys were 12 years old and 6 years old. We joked when we moved that maybe we would share the house with a real ghost.

We settled in nicely – my older son took the school bus to the American Air Force Base because he was in Junior High. My younger son went to the village school. Al and I became regulars, several nights a week at the Plough, one of the two pubs in the village.

Some new people have moved into the big house. They seem to be nice. I wonder if they can see me.

My younger son became good friends with his classmates and began to learn how to play “football” or soccer. He taught himself ball control by kicking the ball against the stone wall that surrounded our garden.

There’s a kid who lives here now, and he’s learning to play football. I remember I used to be pretty good. Of course, the best part was the beer at the end of the games.

As we settled in to village life, I began to hear strange noises in the house – footsteps in the hall, and bumping downstairs. Occasionally, I would catch sight of someone, or something out of the tail of my eye, and the boys started to remark on noises.

“Never mind,” I said, “It’s only the ghost we hoped would live us. Let’s call him Fred.”

I love parties, and these Americans have great ones.

We had a tradition of hosting a Christmas party every year. We invited everyone we knew – from the base, from the village, from the bridge club, etc. They may or may not have had anything in common, but they all enjoyed the free liquor, and the pates and sweets.

I think I’ll go and see all the folks from the village at the Christmas Party.

The first Christmas, there was a knock on the door, and when I went to answer it, there was no one there, but a cold breeze blew past me. One of my guests said, “Who was at the door?”

I replied, “It’s only Fred.”

The room got deathly quiet, and the guest said, “Oh, you know about Fred, do you?”

I said, “Fred is just what we call the noises in the house.”

The guest replied, “Fred Pratley was killed in your lane trying to cross the highway, about 40 years ago.”

I guess since they know about me, they aren’t scared.

* * *

The time came to leave England. We packed up all the household goods and shipped them back to the United States.

The evening the movers left, Al and I walked across the fields to the next village. As we crossed the stile and started down the footpath, I thought I heard someone behind us. Al and I both tuned to look and there was one of the farmers from the village on the hill. He waved at us.

I couldn’t let them leave without saying goodbye…

We waited, but no-one ever joined us. “Must have been Fred,” Al said, and I nodded.

Five things that made me happy today – 5/27/22

I need to not be completely immobilized by despair, because hope leads to action, and action can lead to any number of possibilities. 

david lamotte

1. It was cool and cloudy when I got up – 52 deg. It warmed up this morning, but around noon it started drizzling, and the temperature fell back into the upper 50s.

2. Haircut this morning. It was past time.

3. We picked up the Safeway order on the way home from the haircuts – they didn’t have any large bottles of Diet Pepsi. It looks like I’ll have to go again on Sunday or Monday. NO WAY Mr. Watters can go without his Pepsi.

4. Bratwurst and sauerkraut with potatoes for dinner today.

5. While we were out, Al’s fob that controls the car fussed about needing a new battery. He took both my fob and his and went down to the Toyota place to have the batteries replaced in both of them. Mine might not have needed it, but I’d rather replace it before it needed it than be out somewhere and not able to open the doors or start the car.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 5/26/22

So with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings radiating kindness over the entire world.

the buddha

1. Cloudy, cool morning, 53 deg. when I got up. The temperature got up to the mid-60s this afternoon, but it felt cooler. My phone said it was drizzling when I looked, but I haven’t seen any signs of it in person.

2. Early dentist appointment for a cleaning this morning. I also (finally) booked an appointment for a filling that I’ve been putting off until my eyes got better.

3. HCR continued on her History Talk today, talking about times when the trajectory of the country turned on a dime. In 1754, the colonies couldn’t agree on a mutual-protection pact. By 1776, the revolution was in full force and America was born. Similarly, in 1928 Herbert Hoover won in a landslide. In 1932 Franklin Roosevelt won in a landslide. The two men and the two parties were diametrically opposed. How did that happen?

4. I fetched Whoppers for Big Al and me for lunch.

5. I am close to becoming a single issue voter. (Or to put it another way, screw the Second Amendment as interpreted by the NRA.)

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 5/25/22

There are so many silences to be broken.


1. Mid 50s and clouds when I got up this morning. About noon it cleared off and the temperature rose to the upper 60s.

2. I spent most of the morning writing my story for today. Here it is.

3. I finished off the fried rice we brought home from the restaurant on Sunday. Big Al finished off some of the barbecue beans he made and froze a while ago.

4. Sorry, I’m having a hard time thinking of a fifth thing today, because (See #2).

5. We had Happy Hour for the Duplexes at the Gazebo this afternoon. We were served a baked apple a la mode, along with popcorn and all the assorted liquor we might want.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Social Media

I had planned to write a little story today about how social media had enriched my life. Then the news broke yesterday afternoon about ANOTHER shooting in a grade school by a disaffected teenage man (yes, according to the law an 18-year-old is a man – not a boy). One of my sisters asked “Is there a social media group of 18-year-olds that’s daring each other to perform a greater act of slaughter?”

Is the problem with social media that gives these gunmen a platform to “show off?” Is the problem with mental health services? Is the problem permissive parents? Is the problem schools who never teach empathy? What is the problem?

I was an early adopter of Twitter (2008) and Facebook (2009). I can remember connecting with far-flung members of my denomination the first time on social media. We talked about church business, mental health concerns, etc. Early in that time, one of my friends on Twitter, who we now know was bi-polar, committed suicide. The ripples through our little community touched all of us. Possibly the conversations with pastors there helped delay that dreaded outcome. Possibly not, we’ll never know.

I remember grieving with and for a young married couple, both active in church, who lost their newborn twins who were born too soon and, too soon, died. I defy anyone to say “you’re not really friends, because you don’t really know them face to face.” Virtual community is just as real, supportive, irritating, and comforting as “in person” community – sometimes more so.

Living all my life as nomad, I need the contact with friends who no longer live near me. Because of social media I feel like I have family all over this country and all over the world.

How did we let social media – this wonderful tool for friendship and community – become so corrupted that kids who need contact and help get sucked into the dark reaches of the internet?

What’s the answer? Shut it all down? Stronger regulation? More in-person contact?

I don’t know. If any of you do, please tell the rest of us?

I do know that I’m becoming a single issue voter – gun control, gun control, gun control.