Five things that made me happy today – 8/31/22

Offering genuine gratitude comes from a willingness to take account for all you have been given and to understand that none of it was guaranteed. 

Day Schildkret

1. Another bright blue-sky morning with temperatures in the low 60s when I got up. We’re still under a heat advisory. I still have a hard time thinking of mid-80s as a heat advisory. That’s just great summer weather for me.

2. I spent most of the morning doing my Intentions Review for August.

3. I try not to delve into politics on this blog, but I’m pleased that some of the former President’s wrong-doings are catching up with him. I count that as one of the five things that made me happy today.

4. We had bratwurst and red potatoes for lunch today. I had leftover collards and leftover black-eyed peas, and Al had leftover red cabbage. I think everyone was pleased.

5. Perfect weather for sitting on the back porch and reading this afternoon.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Intentions Review for August 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
      1. August 11-13
      2. Cost – I paid for the boat tickets, Bill paid for a larger car, and we each paid for our own food and lodging
  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 or charcuterie plate during Football season
    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 – I have a regularly scheduled meeting with my personal trainer – one day a week. I use the same routine two other days.
      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 – minus 3 lbs – minus 3 lbs total
      2. July 2022 – minus .8 lbs – minus 3.8 lbs total – 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
      3. August 2022 – plus .8 lbs – minus 3.2 lbs total – The combination of my Birthday trip and hot weather that chased me inside set me back
  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 – Very similar to the discussion of Myanmar and Asean
      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
      2. In the Presence of the Enemy – Elizabeth George – finished
      3. Deception on his Mind – Elizabeth George – finished
      4. In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner – Elizabeth George – finished
      5. The Sacred Bridge – Anne Hilllerman – finished
      6. A Traitor to Memory – Elizabeth George – finished
      7. A Place of Hiding – Elizabeth George – finished
      8. From Rocket Boys to October Sky – Homer Hickam – finished
      9. With No One as Witness – Elizabeth George – finished
      10. Mother Lode – Gretchen Staebler – finished
      11. What Came Before He Shot Her – 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 have finished the bones and am working on adding dialogue and color
  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 – 8/30/22

You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can decide how you’re going to live. Now.

Joan Baez

1. Sunshine and low 60s when I woke up this morning. It got into the mid-80s this afternoon, but not 90 like they threatened.

2. The landscaping crew was here this morning and they either picked up or mowed up all the stuff Bill cut over the weekend.

3. The housekeeper came to day, and I have clean counters in the kitchen, clean bathrooms, clean sheets on the beds, and clean floors.

4. I was positive I had gotten a new jar of peanut butter at the commissary last week, but I couldn’t find it in the cabinet, or the pantry, or the refrigerator, so I got a tunafish sandwich at the Bistro for lunch.

5. Greisser Girls Gab this afternoon. It will only be Arkansas and Washington (state) represented. New York has been busy supervising the tree trimmers, and she’s ready for a shower and a nap.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 8/29/22

Intellectual humility = knowing what we don’t know.

Jan Edmiston

1. Beautiful blue PNW skies – mid 50s this morning. Low 80s this afternoon under sunny skies.

2. NYT crossword puzzle is finished!

3. The laundry is all washed, dried, delivered, folded and hung up.

4. Ham, and sweet potato with black-eyed peas for me and red cabbage for Big Al.

5. Gazebo Group this evening. I will enjoy seeing everybody and having a wine cooler with friends.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 8/28/22

The story of human intimacy is one of constantly allowing ourselves to see those we love most deeply in a new, more fractured light. Look hard. Risk that.


1. Pretty day today. Low 50s this morning, mid-70s this afternoon. Blue, blue PNW skies.

2. The sermon was about the man who sat at one of the best places at the table, and Jesus warned him he would be better off taking a lesser place so he wouldn’t be embarrassed by being asked to move. All righty, then.

3. #2 son texted both his father and me before noon and said, “GET YOUR STEPS IN TODAY. DON”T WAIT, DON’T SIT BACK, JUST DO IT, TODAY – NOW!” So I said “Yes, sir,” and Al and I took a little walk this morning. Now we can both sit back and relax through the afternoon.

4. Because we’ve been eating out A LOT, instead of going out for Sunday Dinner, we had tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.

5. I’m so ready for football to start! #GoDucks

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 8/27/22

We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one. 


1. 58 deg. and cloudy and breezy when I woke up. It felt positively autumnal this morning, although it’s supposed to change back to summer mid-week. The sun finally came out while we were eating lunch and the temperature topped out at 70 deg. just before sundown.

2. Bill worked like a Trojan pruning bushes for me and he did a great job. When I ask the landscapers, they slash indiscriminately. I can actually see to back out of my driveway, now.

3. He moved to the backyard and trimmed up the forsythia for me. Mama and Junior decided he had trimmed all of that just for them.

4. Of course, Bill wanted to visit Moctezumas for lunch, so we did. I had a Moctezuma’s chopped salad, Bill had two enchiladas (one cheese, and one ground beef), and Al had a chicken quesadilla.

5. We waved goodbye to Bill shortly after 2 pm, and went back to our mundane, everyday lives. <sigh>

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 8/26/22

There is no sin in failing. The sin is in never trying.

Paula Dean

1. Cloudy and damp feeling this morning – 60 deg. when I got up. The sun never came out and the temperature never got above 69 deg. all day.

2. Breakfast at McDonalds on our way to the Commissary to get a couple of things that aren’t available at either Safeway or on Amazon (at least at an affordable price.) Del Monte Red Grapefruit sections – no sugar added, and Bush’s Black-eyed Peas. Alas, they didn’t have either one, but Al special ordered the grapefruit, and they will call if it ever comes in. I ordered the black-eyed peas from Amazon and 4 cans will be delivered on Sunday.

3. I went over to the Wellness Center and finished off as much exercise as I intend to do today.

4. I would have had cereal if I had eaten breakfast at home this morning, so I had it for lunch.

5. My long-suffering #2 son is on his way over the mountains to help me with some yard work, and help his dad with some exercise.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 8/25/22

When our purposes are aligned, communication requires no words.


1. Clear and 62 deg when I got up this morning. We were threatened with a heat warning again today, but the temperature never got above 88 deg. Sorry, this Texas girl thinks that’s a cool spell.

2. I went to the Wellness Center right after breakfast, and Colin put me through my paces. I’m working on balance and strength, mostly, but it’s a good workout.

3. Then I worked out on the NuStep. I’ve been terribly slack about getting my steps for the day – no wonder I can’t seem to shed all the pounds that my birthday trip added.

4. Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwich for me and a Quarter Pounder (no cheese) for Al from McDonalds for lunch today.

5. FTJ hosted a Happy Hour for the Duplexes in the Gazebo this afternoon. We had wine and little skewers with a grape, a piece of pita bread, a mozzarella ball, a cherry tomato, a chunk of beef, a piece of sweet potato, and an olive.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 8/24/22

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

Thich Nhat Hanh

1. The beginnings of a beautiful day – 61 deg. first thing in the morning. Blue skies and sun all day. It may get up to 84 deg. today, but for the threatened Heat Warning, it’s a washout.

2. I’ve finished with the second pass through my memoir. I’m letting it sit for a while before I put it out in the world.

3. The new shoes I ordered because I’ve almost worn through the toe of the ones I’ve been using came today. I think they are going to be great.

4. We had Bird’s Eye Garlic Shrimp for lunch today – shrimp, pasta, corn and broccoli stir fry. Tasty and easy.

5. I’m due for a mammogram in November. I’ve spent a looooooong time today trying to schedule it. I finally persevered, although they didn’t have any appointments available until December (even though the letter I got today told me I should schedule for November.) Oh, well…

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 8/23/22

Our actions entrench the power of the light on this planet. Every positive thought we pass between us makes room for more light.

John Lewis

1. It was cooler this morning when I woke up – upper 50s – and a little foggy. The sun was out by noon, and it got up to the high 70s. Perfect weather.

2. I got some more work done on my “memoir” this morning.

3. I went to Safeway to pick up a “stop-gap” prescription for Al the renewal of which seems to have gone astray in the switch from one PCP to another. Now he has enough to last another two weeks until the regular prescription gets done.

4. Lunch was a Bistro Tunafish sandwich and a cookie.

5. Greisser Girls Gab this afternoon if my New York sister manages to track down the wee mousy who is trying to set up residence in her kitchen in the vacation home. Thankful for on-the-spot maintenance men who will deal with that if we have one.

How about you? What made you happy today?