Five things that made me happy today – 7/31/22

God is in the traffic jam. God is in the unpaid bills on the counter. God is in the frustrations about the needed car repairs. And yes, God is in the toaster, if God is anywhere at all

hugh hollowell

1. Nice morning with temperatures in the mid-60s. This should be the last day of our mini-heat wave. The high this afternoon was in the 90s, but closer to 90 than 95.

2. Good church service this morning with lots going on. They are having a barbecue today for lunch but we opted out because of the heat(?). There were three members who had special birthdays – a 90-year-old, a 70-year-old, and a 30-year-old. The Birthday Cake was at the barbecue. Finally a long-time member who left the church back in the 1990s because of the PCUSA’s stance on gays (he came out as gay at the time) rejoined the church. We have supported him and loved him all this time and he returned. Thanks be to God.

3. I got my Intentions Review for July written.

4. Al sort of had his mouth poked out because Bill and I went and had Mexican food last week while he was in the hospital. So today, we went back to Moctezumas and both had Mexican chopped salad. YUM

5. Spending the rest of the afternoon inside, keeping cool, and working some more on my Memoir/Travelogue.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Intentions Review for July 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.

NOTE: *indicates intention added in June

  1. Traveler – partially completed
    1. Train Trip to Upstate New York – postponed until at least Spring 2023
      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 – Al may not go because of his recent medical set back, but we shall see
      1. August – for my Birthday
      2. Cost – tickets for the boat, two nights in a hotel in Port Townsend
      3. Bill and Erika will go with us
  2. Content
    1. Habits to keep
      1. Exercise 1 hour a day 5-6 days a week (see 3-C)
      2. Eat healthy food (see 3-C)
      3. Stick to regular schedule of noon meals – mostly good, but not obsessively so
        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. New glasses are in place and I see fine
    2. I’m double vaccinated and double boosted, and so are all my family.
    3. *My new Primary Care Physician gave me a new prescription for healthy living
      1. 5 or more fruits and vegetables daily – generally okay
      2. 1 hour or more of physical activity daily – usually
      3. 2 1/2 hrs of aerobic activity a week – check
      4. 2 days of strength building activity a week – finally got with my personal trainer this week for a program – started last week
      5. 0 soda & sugary drinks – more water – check
    4. *Lose 2 lbs a month before my 80th birthday (will complete the goal I set in 2014).
      1. June 2022 – 3 lbs
      2. July 2022 – .8 lbs – I was definitely on track before Al had to go into the hospital (had lost 1.8 lbs). Then, the combination of no time to cook, and having Bill here put me off
  4. 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. Putin’s Russia – interesting history, but mostly overcome by events and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
      5. Myanmar and Asean – interesting, I guess, but I’m really not interested in that part of the world (I probably ought to be)
      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 series
        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 – finished
        6. A Place of Hiding – Elizabeth George – finished
        7. From Rocket Boys to October Sky – Homer Hickam – finished
        8. With No One as Witness – Elizabeth George – reading
  5. Writer
    1. 5 Things that Made Me Happy Today – I’m definitely keeping up with this.
    2. Stories from my Life – abandoned
      1. Publish a story at least twice a week – current events have sidelined me often this month
      2. Okay to use and/or expand other things I’ve written
    3. Memoir (longer form) of our 50th Anniversary Trip – I’m taking a course in Memoir from Senior University – it’s a work in progress
  6. 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
    2. 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.
      4. Keep up with my sisters – weekly on Zoom – done (my lifeline for sanity)

Five things that made me happy today – 7/30/22

I felt in need of a great pilgrimage, so I sat still for three days…


1. Nice dawn, today – 65 deg. By noon it was 90 deg, and it’s only going up from there. It should top out at 95 by 6:00 pm. Thankfully it will be below 85 before I go to bed.

2. We were out early to go to the Commissary. After a stop at McDonalds for a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit for me and two breakfast burritos for Al we were on our way.

3. It was. amazingly, not crowded at all – although the shelves were pretty picked over. We finished by 11:00 and were back at the house by noon. I had the car unloaded and Al had everything safely stored in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry by 1:00 pm. We got almost everything on our list, and I was able to order the stuff we didn’t get, either from Safeway or from Amazon.

4. For lunch, I went back to McDonalds and got Deluxe Quarter Pounders for each of us.

5. I’m looking forward to an afternoon sitting quietly in my chair and reading, and later watching another episode of my Netflix show (new episodes of Virgin River.)

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 7/29/22

Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.

alice walker

1. Mid-60s this morning early. It never did get really cool last night, but it’s under 70 deg, so it’s still good sleeping weather. Inside the house was still only 80 deg when I went to get ice cream; I closed it up before I went.

2. I’m not quite sure why many/most of my blog pals seem to post a compilation of their writings during the week on Friday. I managed to get through all of them this morning.

3. I finally got with my new personal trainer this morning and he put me through a good workout. I’m beginning to have hope that I can improve my balance and maybe get rid of my Pandemic Pounds.

4. We had red beans and rice with little smokies for lunch today. Al loves that kind of stuff.

5. Ice cream on the front porch of Lilian Pratt today. They seem to finally be out of lockdown, and able to socialize. The heat made the ice cream particularly nice. I had a choice between butter pecan and strawberry, so of course, I had butter pecan.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 7/28/22

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.

John Lubbock

1. Cool, pleasant weather when I got up – 62 deg with blue sky. It didn’t get into the 90s until this evening, and the house stayed pretty cool mid afternoon.

2. Having grown up in the south before the days of air conditioning, I understand the trick is to open all the windows and doors early in the morning, and keep them open until the house gets warm enough for the A/C to turn on. I have my A/C set to a maximum of 80 during the day and 73 at night. Once the A/C comes on, I shut all the windows and doors, and shut the blinds and shades. It works very well.

3. I did a Trader Joe’s run right after breakfast, and got a cantaloup and my sausages. We’ll go to the Commissary some time this weekend to stock up the freezer, and the other stuff that comes from there.

4. Lunch was Pita Pit pitas. We both had souvlaki, and salad fixings. Cool and healthy lunch/dinner, with the added bonus of no cooking to help heat up the house.

5. Al continues to improve. We’ll see what the doctor has to say next week when he has a follow-up appointment. He’s being very intentional about walking a little bit twice a day.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 7/27/22

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

Henry James

1. 61 deg when I got up this morning with blue skies and a gentle breeze. We were threatened with mid-90s again today, but now it looks like it will maybe get to 90 for only a couple of hours.

2. Al has generally been able to keep his blood oxygen level up in the 90s, even without extra oxygen. He’s careful if he has been walking around to check it and get back on the oxygen if it’s low. Hooray for heparin and Eliquis.

3. A little bit of work on my memoir this morning. I didn’t get more done because I was busy catching up on all the news and blogs that fell by the wayside when I was taking care of Al.

4. Lunch today was pork chops, cinnamon applesauce, green beans, and leftover chicken fried rice from Al’s lunch yesterday.

5. I actually managed to get back to the Wellness Center after missing going there for several days.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 7/26/22

An awake heart is like a lighthouse helping others to find a safe way home.

Rolf van der Wind

1. Hot, summer day, today. It was in the mid 60s when I woke up. It was upper 80s by the time we got home from the movie. It’s going to mid-90s (WHEW) by night fall. TBTG for air conditioning.

2. Some friends here at FTJ rented one of the local theaters to see Where the Crawdads Sing. They were reluctant to go to a movie when they couldn’t be sure of people masking up. They invited 20 of us to go with them, and I was able to get a place on the bus. We had the whole theater to ourselves, so we were properly socially distanced. Bill is still here to keep Big Al company so I had a relaxing morning out.

3. I was not sure about the movie, having read several unflattering reviews, but I thought they did a wonderful job with it. I couldn’t figure out how they would condense that book into a 2-hour movie, but they did it well.

4. Bill and I hit McDonalds for lunch and picked up chicken fried rice for Big Al.

5. Greisser Girls Gab this afternoon. Looking forwards to it.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 7/25/22

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.


1. Low of 60s, when I woke up with lots of sun. The sun was out all day, and it got into the mid-80s this afternoon.

2. I was up, showered, dressed and breakfasted before 9:00. I was getting ready to go to the hospital to see Al, so I called to see if he wanted me to bring anything with me. He told me not to bother to come, because they said they would let him go home today. Whew!!! Bill went down before noon, but by 2:00 he was ready to chew his own arm, and they were still messing around waiting for the oxygen bottle for Al to take home with him. Bill is going to go back and get him.

3. I got busy with the laundry and was able to get everything washed, dried, and hung up before lunch. I also was able to attend my on-line class for the Memoir/Travelogue I’m writing.

4. I fixed myself a couple of ham and cheese wraps and a tomato for dinner. About the time I was ready to eat, Bill texted me to find out if I wanted McDonald’s. Oh, well, I probably didn’t need the extra calories.

5. We have Gazebo Group this evening. Al is home, and I know he will enjoy sitting outside visiting with the folks.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 7/24/22

Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.

parker palmer

1. Pretty morning when I got up. Temperature hovering right around 60 deg and clear. The temperature got to 80 degs. before sundown under consistently sunny skies.

2. I showered and had breakfast by 9:30, and drove down to the hospital to take Al’s toothbrush to him. After a short visit I came back home to “go to church on line.”

3. Nice church service about prayer. Shortly after the end of the service, Son #2 pulled into the driveway.

4. We went to Moctezumas for lunch leaving poor Al to hospital food. I had a Mexican Chopped Salad, and Bill had three enchiladas.

5. We then paid a visit to the invalid, and he’s in much better spirits it seems. He’s resisting being stuck anymore, but he’s generally behaving himself.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 7/23/22

On my darkest days, gratitude is my light.


1. Cloudy, cool morning – mid 50s when I woke up. Pretty day, after the clouds burned off with sunshine and blue skies.

2. Al has been having episodes of shortness of breath whenever he walks around. I finally convinced him that we needed to go to the emergency room and check whether he had another pulmonary embolism. He refused to go last night, but he gave up and let me take him to the ER after breakfast. His oxygen saturation was fine overnight (90), but walking from his room to the kitchen it dropped to 73.

3. They put him in a room and started him on oxygen while I was parking the car. They let me in to sit with him. They’ve taken innumerable blood samples, an X-ray, and a CAT scan.

Waiting in the ER for the next tests.

4. I finally came home about 2 pm to get his electronic plugs and other paraphernalia. I also stopped on the way home and got myself a Whopper. (My stomach thought my throat was cut.)

5. After all the tests came back, they decided admit him. He has another Pulmonary Embolism, so they are starting him on heparin, to see if they can get it to dissolve quickly. He’ll probably be there at least into Monday, and maybe longer. My long suffering #2 son is planning to come over tomorrow afternoon to be with me while we find out what he’s going to need in the long run.

How about you? What made you happy today?