Five things that made me happy today – 1/31/23

While the news often features the worst of humanity, there are a billion acts of human kindness every hour of every day! Take another breath and sense this truth.

Jack Kornfield

1. It was 32 deg and purportedly snowing when I got up. I saw the snow once it got light enough to see anything. It quit before 9:00 am. Now it’s just plain cold – 40 deg – and the sun is shining sporadically.

2. We’re continuing in the Sermon on the Mount in Bible Study. We had a good discussion about what the people listening understood as “The Kingdom of God.” (This is a really old painting, but, unfortunately most people still think of Jesus and the disciples as light-skinned.)

The Sermon on the Mount Carl Bloch, 1890

3. I got most of my steps in at the Wellness Center, and picked up a tuna fish sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie for my lunch. (I PLANNED for the cookie.) While I was gone the housekeeper came and changed the sheets on the beds, cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms, and vacuumed and swept and mopped the floors.

4. I got my Intentions Review for January 2023 written.

5. Greisser Girls Gab is in a few minutes. It will be nice seeing the sisters and learning about their activities and lives. Although we’re all three in our 70s, I still feel like they are a different generation.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Intentions Review for January 2023

My Star Word for this year is REJOICING.

I’ve been struggling with setting some intentions this year. After my heart attack on December 21, 2022, I realized that I really don’t know what I want for this year, or even for the rest of my life. At age 78-and-a-half, I could have another 20 years left, or I could easily not even have another year.

I’m tired of the pandemic, I’m tired of politics, I’m tired of pushing myself to DO SOMETHING. I’m ready to just let life happen and observe for a while. I’ll keep on writing my “5 Things”, and I’ll stick with my regular groups and activities, but I’m ready to find out why I’m REJOICING. Maybe I’ll try just REJOICING about my regular, ordinary life.

Therefore, I’m leaving the same general categories that I had last year, and I’ll use them as a wish list and fill in markers for a “diary” of events and activities.

Health and Fitness

  1. Recovery – I’m feeling fine after my heart attack. Next is a blood test to make sure the meds aren’t bothering me
  2. Exercise – I continue to work with my personal trainer, and try to spend 55- 60 minutes a day, five to six days a week on the NuStep
  3. Diet – I’m trying to be much more proactive about the kinds of things I eat.
    • The dietitian who counseled me, said the same things the dietitian said when I lost the 70 lbs back in 2014. It was good to have a reminder.
    • Carbs, carbs, carbs
    • Weight
      • I’m keeping steady on the .9 lbs per month that I was doing in 2020

Friends and Community

  1. Gazebo Group – We meet regularly once a week
  2. Greisser Girls Gab – This is sacrosanct time for me
  3. Other Residents at Franke Tobey Jones
    • Lunch with Jett Brooks

Learning and Knowledge

  1. Great Decisions
    • January – we met and got out assignments for leading the discussions
  2. Creative Writing Classes – None scheduled so far

Travel and Culture

  1. Visit Harriet (upstate New York) and/or Betty (Texarkana)
  2. Visit Kennewick and Bill’s Family
  3. Visit Chicago and Ray’s Family
  4. Visit Victoria, Canada

Hobbies and Creativity

  1. Reading
    • This Body of Death by Elizabeth George – finished
    • Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver – reading
  2. Writing
    • I am still writing, but more sporadically. I’m noodling over a story about a 99-year-old friend who recently died
  3. Blogging – 5 Things that Made Me Happy Today continues daily
  4. Memoir


  1. Bible Study – I attend regularly on Tuesday mornings – We are studying the Sermon on the Mount right now
  2. Bethany Presbyterian Church – I attend via Facebook Live every Sunday
  3. PCUSA Nominating Committee – No meetings scheduled

Money and Finances

  1. Quit obsessing – I’m just about ready to start the 2022 Taxes
  2. Keep Al informed – I try to let Al know where we stand. Next month may be a challenge

Five things that made me happy today – 1/30/23

Time passes, seasons bring change, people die, and those of us left hold the memories in our hearts. 

Janice Stamper

1. It was 25 deg and clear when I got up. From sunrise to midafternoon the sun was out with blue skies. Now it’s clouded up, The high temperature this afternoon was 38 deg, but this is the end of the cold-cold for a while. It should be in the 40s again tomorrow.

2. I learned yesterday of the death of one of my oldest friends from Air Force days. She helped me learn how to be an Air Force wife – took me under her wing. We were stationed together in Louisiana and Texas, and near enough to see each other regularly in England. I had one of her daughters in my Girl Scout troop, and she babysat for my kids. Her husband died several years ago, but the two of them are still in my heart.

3. Good workout with my personal trainer today. We even got through a little early, which was good because I had to stay after to finish my steps for the day.

4. Ham, boiled potatoes and broccoli for me, with cauliflower for Al.

5. Gazebo Group later this evening. It will be good to see everybody.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 1/29/23

Only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars. 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

1. It was 31 deg and clear when I got up. The sun has been out all day with bright blue skies. High temperature is 40. It’s supposed to freeze tonight, but I don’t have to go anywhere tomorrow until late morning so it should have thawed out by then.

2. Annual meeting at the church, complete with Deacon and Elder installation and ordinations, and welcoming of two new members. I didn’t go to the potluck dinner celebration.

3. Al and I went to Royal Thai Bistro for lunch. I had Holy Basil with chicken and Al had Sweet and Sour Chicken. Very tasty.

4. We stopped at Safeway on the way home and picked up the order I made last night because I had forgotten to get bread for my toast. I also got grapes, cottage cheese and tomatoes.

5. I’m enjoying seeing pictures of Buenos Aires from #2 son. He seems to be coping with the Spanish well enough to get around town on the buses.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 1/28/23

For many years, at great cost, I traveled through many countries, saw the high mountains, the oceans. The only things I did not see were the sparkling dewdrops in the grass just outside my door. 


1. It was 41 deg with wet streets when I got up. It was cloudy and cold all day today until mid-afternoon, when the sun came out. The temperature never did get above 45 though.

2. #2 son has landed safely in Buenos Aires. I’m looking forward to hearing about all his adventures.

3. I went over to the Wellness Center and got my cardio done for the day – 60 minutes on the NuStep.

4. We had leftover turkey chili for dinner. I’m trying to be “heart healthy” and had carrot sticks and a few Bite-sized Tostitos with mine.

5. I wish I liked vegetable soup. There were what looked like great ones in the New York Times Cooking section today. I may try one or more of them, and freeze some to take with us when we have to go to temporary housing while they’re working on the refresh of the house. I can always warm it up in the microwave.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 1/27/23

Whenever one person stands up and says, “Wait a minute, this is wrong,” it helps other people to do the same. 

Gloria Steinem

1. It was 44 deg and cloudy with damp streets when I got up. This afternoon the temperature topped out at 47 deg and there were scattered clouds.

2. Our mail person is away for a while so we’re not getting our mail until late in the afternoon instead of mid-morning like I’m used to. Just another something to disconcert me.

3. I had a good workout with my personal trainer today. He’s going to get me in shape if it kills me or him.

4. I fixed pork chops, rice, and yellow squash for me, with beets for Big Al for lunch.

5. The geese who frequent our big lawn, and the pond next door have really been noisy today.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 1/26/23

Gratitude is liberating. It is subversive. It helps us realize that we are sufficient, and that realization frees us. 

Joanna Macy

1. It was 38 deg. and mostly cloudy when I got up. It got up to 46 deg under cloudy skies. For the first time since November, the sun will set AFTER 5:00 pm, instead of before. Sunset is at 5:02. It feels like we’ve turned the corner on the Big Dark.

2. Al had a doctor’s appointment at 8:00 am, so we were up and out of the house about an hour and a half before we were used to. All is well. They discovered Al hadn’t had a “Senior” pneumonia shot, so he got one of those while we were there. His blood work looked good, so next we visit the podiatrist and the pulmonologist in February. And I have a dental appointment also in February.

3. By that time we were starving, so we went to Pacific Southern for brunch. Al had two enormous pancakes and one egg, over easy. I had scrambled eggs, ham, grits, and a biscuit. BIG meal so we’re eating light the rest of the day.

4. Then we found our way to the Sherwin-Williams store to get paint chips so Facilities could order the paint for the refresh of our Duplex. They assured us that they wouldn’t be ready to start until after Bill gets back from Argentina (TBTG). I don’t have a clue about how to set up all the computer stuff for the network, so I’m happy that he will be back in country to take it apart and put it back together.

5. Now I’m starting to worry about what and how we’ll eat when we are in the “guest cottage.” We’ll have a small refrigerator, and a microwave. We can eat cold cereal, or oatmeal for breakfasts, and salads, fruit, and cheese and crackers for supper. I can take soups to warm up for lunches, but we really need at least three meals a week with meat, vegetable, and starch – and that’s pricy to eat out. But we’ll work something out. I remember when I was 12 years old, Papa was transferred from California to New Jersey, and Mama, Papa, Harriet, Betty, Bill and I lived in two motel rooms for two months. If my folks could do it with four kids, Al and I can do it without a divorce.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 1/25/23

If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work. 


1. It was in the low 40s and cloudy when I got up. The clouds continued all day, and the high temperature was 48 deg.

2. Today is my baby boy’s 51st birthday. He’s become our mainstay when either of us have a computer problem, or an illness, or need to have something reached on a high shelf. He’s only about 3 hours away in summer, and 6 hours away in winter. And now he’s traveling internationally for his job.

3. We had a meeting this morning with the fellow who is in charge of all the buildings and grounds at Franke Tobey Jones. He went over what we could expect for the 10-year refresh of our duplex. They will paint all the interior, and put down new carpets. They will patch all the places that have been bumped into. We’ll be living in a two-room temporary place for up to a month, but it won’t cost us any extra. We’ve stayed in worse places, I guess.

4. Lunch was turkey chili made with Wick Fowler’s seasonings. Very good and not much different from regular chili. It tasted great, and cut out a LOT of cholesterol.

5. I managed to get to the Wellness Center before lunch, and was glad when I came home that the chili was ready to eat. My head is spinning worrying about what to pack, and what to keep available when we have to vacate.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 1/24/23

It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless. 

L.R. Knost

1. It was in the upper 30s and cloudy when I got up, but it rapidly warmed up to the mid 40s, and there it stayed.

2. My spell of discombobulation continued today. I woke up to a message that Bible Study had been cancelled by the preacher because he was feeling unwell. Then, my breakfast was a little late because Big Al had to go to the clinic and get a blood test for his appointment on Thursday.

3. HCR is still having trouble with her electronics equipment, so no “Politics Chat” today at the regularly scheduled time. It will be this evening at 3:00 when Greisser Girls Gab is scheduled. I’ll watch it tomorrow.

4. I fixed myself a healthy peanut butter and jelly sandwich (Killer Dave’s Thin Slice Power Seed Bread, peanut butter that’s just peanuts (no sugar or other filler) and Polaner No-sugar Blackberry Jam with added fiber.) Also a handful of baby carrots.

5. I headed over to the Wellness Center and got my steps for the day, followed by Greisser Girls Gab (only two of us today because one of us had a board meeting.) Basically, nothing worked out as planned, but all was well in the end.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 1/23/23

I told my friend that I’m emotionally “hitting a wall” and she said “Sometimes walls are there so we can lean on them and rest.”

Brandon Kyle Goodman

1. It was in the mid 30s and cloudy when I got up. It topped out at 45 deg, and even though the sun came out, it still felt cold.

2. I slept longer this morning than I’m used to, so I’ve felt a little discombobulated all day. When I started to fix Al’s oatmeal for breakfast, I realized I had picked up steel-cut oats instead of old fashioned oats. So he had to have raisin bran instead.

3. I managed to do the New York Times Crossword puzzle in time to go over to the Wellness Center. Colin started me on a different routine, so I again I was a little out of sorts.

4. I fixed some asparagus that I got at the Commissary for lunch, to go with the little pork loin I disinterred from the freezer. It was wonderful. I always love to first tender little spears.

5. The laundry is finally finished, and I’m ready to go to Gazebo Group. WHEW.

How about you? What made you happy today?