2017 Intentions – August

As I said here, I dumped my original Star Word in favor of COURAGE.

These are my intentions for the year. Let’s see how I’m doing showing COURAGE in each case.

I will resist hatred, prejudice, and evil, and speak out against all of them when I see/hear them.

  • I will resist evil, hatred, and reactionary government by signing up with Wall of Us. Each week you will receive a list of four actions you can take by writing to your elected representatives to ensure your values are being considered by the government. Some are local, some are state, and some are national. Often you will receive suggestions of products to boycott or hatred to call out.
    • I’ve consistently made phone calls – either in support of my representatives positions or to encourage them to speak out. I have both US Senators’ and my Representative’s number saved in my phone and I call, at least, weekly.
    • I’m still calling. Right now, I’m focusing on LGBT rights, global warming, and immigrant rights.
  • I’ve signed up with People Power – a grassroots organizing effort backed by the ACLU.
    • I’m on the local leadership team for People Power in Tacoma
    • I continue to text almost daily for People Power. We’re focusing on the possible repeal of DACA.
  • I have attended a City Council meeting where they were discussing eliminating fossil fuels from our port.
  • I attended a Washington Won’t Discriminate training, and will be working to bring Trans-101 training to groups I can influence. I’m trying to get the training here at Franke Tobey Jones.
  • I supported progressive candidates in the local city council elections.

I will exercise regularly and eat good, healthy food.

  • I will try to get 10,000 steps a day – so far, so good, for the most part.
  • I will log my food every day (and no cheating)  – I have lost the weight I put on since the first of last May. That includes the weight I gained while traveling to see the Alabama Watters and at General Assembly. Next milestone will be when I get back to where I was when we returned from our big 50th Anniversary trip in November 2015.
  • I will cook most of the food we eat from scratch, and will be careful of extra salt and additives in any packaged foods – check, check, and check.
    • I’ve also planted green beans and squash. The green beans are just about finished.
    • I have planted the tomato and pepper plants. The peppers are in decent shape after being chewed by slugs. The tomatoes did not well. I’m about ready to pull them up.
    •  I will continue to get Blue Apron meals whenever my schedule allows me time to prepare them. If you would like to try them, send me your email in a comment, and I’ll send you three free meals (I have at least 5 sets available).

I will make personal contact with at least half of the churches in the Presbytery.

  • I will meet the pastors for coffee and a “get-to-know-you” time. So far I’ve only connected at Presbytery meetings and events.
  • I continue to attend Leadership Council, and Administrative Council meetings, Trustee meetings, Taskforce for New Worshipping Communities meetings, and meetings of the Granting Team for distributing mission money to various churches. I’ve finished with my temporary assignment as Treasurer. Bernie is healing and back to full participation.
  • I will try to meet with the sessions and invite more participation by Ruling Elders in Presbytery meetings and commissions and committees.
  • I’m working on getting some money from the Leadership Council to subscribe to Mission Insight for the Taskforce on New Worshipping Communities. We need demographic data to explore potential new church plants in underserved areas of the Presbytery. There’s a meeting this Wednesday of the Taskforce. Hopefully out request can go forward from there.

I will work for more racial diversity and harmony in my city and church.

  • I will encourage a dialogue between Bethany and at least one historically Black congregation – no opportunities yet, but I’m working on it.
  • Our Interfaith Dialogue will resume September 26th.

I will pray for Big Al as he faces decreased mobility and increasing pain from his back problems. I will try to remember that he is hurting, and not push him to do more than he is comfortable doing – I’m doing pretty well with this one, but it means I often go places and do things that leave him at home alone.

  • My sister came to visit for a week, and we drove around the Olympic Peninsula, up Mt. Rainier, and spent 3 days in Portland for the Great American Eclipse. I didn’t realize how much I missed family until she was here, and then gone again. There’s some about having someone around who knows and understands all the ‘old family sayings”, and remembers the same places and things you do from your childhood. I’m here because I want to be, BUT, that doesn’t mean I don’t miss the people from past lives.

Nevertheless, it’s still summer

In the waning days of August, there’s a slight change in the weather. There’s a hint of autumn in the breeze, brushing my cheeks as I walk to the garden. It’s cooler today than it has been for a couple of weeks and I’m glad of the long sleeves on my sweatshirt. The smoke from the wildfires in British Columbia and central Washington that made my nose run and my eyes itch has cleared, thanks to a shift in the wind bringing a marine layer in the mornings and beautiful, deep blue skies in the afternoons.

Even so, the dry, hot weather of a couple of weeks ago, seems to have convinced the trees that it’s almost fall. The locust has been dropping golden leaves on the grass for about a week. Now, one of the oaks across the fence has joined it and the backyard looks like October. I hear the rustle of the leaves on the poplars, and it sounds more like the susurration of the surf than the wind in the trees. The grass on the big lawn is turning golden, as we try to save money on water.

Kids are outfitting backpacks, and breaking in new shoes. Throughout the South the first day of school has already happened.

At the farmer’s market, there’s still corn on the cob, and wonderful, vine-ripened heritage tomatoes. The peaches and apricots are at their peak, and my mouth waters at the smell. The cherries, bright red and golden, lure me to taste their tart-sweet goodness. It won’t be long before the new crop of apples and pears make their appearance.

I hear the chip, chip, chip of the sparrow, remarking that the birdfeeder is empty – oh, and by the way, there’s not enough water in the birdbath for a decent drink, much less, a real dive-in-and-splash bath. It seems like only yesterday that I was able to follow the sounds of the gentleman sparrows as they called for their mates before nesting season – “See, see, pretty, pretty me.” I trust they will be back next spring.

The dying of the summer brings with it nostalgia and a sense of loss. But we still have a few days to play in the sun, and travel, and enjoy ourselves before our world contracts into indoor activities of the winter.

2017 Intentions – July

As I said here, I dumped my original Star Word in favor of COURAGE.

These are my intentions for the year. Let’s see how I’m doing showing COURAGE in each case.

I will resist hatred, prejudice, and evil, and speak out against all of them when I see/hear them.

  • I will resist evil, hatred, and reactionary government by signing up with Wall of Us. Each week you will receive a list of four actions you can take by writing to your elected representatives to ensure your values are being considered by the government. Some are local, some are state, and some are national. Often you will receive suggestions of products to boycott or hatred to call out.
    • I’ve consistently made phone calls – either in support of my representatives positions or to encourage them to speak out. I have both US Senators’ and my Representative’s number saved in my phone and I call, at least, weekly.
    • I’m still calling. Right now, I’m focusing on LGBT rights, global warming, and immigrant rights.
  • I’ve signed up with People Power – a grassroots organizing effort backed by the ACLU.
    • I’m on the local leadership team for People Power in Tacoma
    • I continue to text almost daily for People Power. I think partially because of our efforts the draconian push by the Congress to repeal Obamacare was defeated.
  • I have attended a City Council meeting where they were discussing eliminating fossil fuels from our port.
  • I attended a Washington Won’t Discriminate training, and will be working to bring Trans-101 training to groups I can influence. We were able to keep the “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people off the ballot.
  • I supported progressive candidates in the local city council elections.

I will exercise regularly and eat good, healthy food.

  • I will try to get 10,000 steps a day – so far, so good, for the most part.
  • I will log my food every day (and no cheating)  – I have lost the weight I put on since the first of last May. That includes the weight I gained while traveling to see the Alabama Watters and at General Assembly. Next milestone will be when I get back to where I was when we returned from our big 50th Anniversary trip in November 2015.
  • I will cook most of the food we eat from scratch, and will be careful of extra salt and additives in any packaged foods – check, check, and check.
    • I’ve also planted green beans and squash. The squash isn’t doing very well, but I’m starting to harvest the green beans.
    • I have planted the tomato and pepper plants. The peppers are in decent shape after being chewed by slugs. The tomatoes are not doing well. It was too cold and wet early, and now they aren’t getting enough water, even though I turn the hose on daily.
    •  I will continue to get Blue Apron meals whenever my schedule allows me time to prepare them. If you would like to try them, send me your email in a comment, and I’ll send you three free meals (I have at least 5 sets available).

I will make personal contact with at least half of the churches in the Presbytery.

  • I will meet the pastors for coffee and a “get-to-know-you” time. So far I’ve only connected at Presbytery meetings and events.
  • I continue to attend Leadership Council, and Administrative Council meetings, Trustee meetings, Taskforce for New Worshipping Communities meetings, and meetings of the Granting Team for distributing mission money to various churches. I’m also starting a temporary assignment at Treasurer while the fellow who has that job recovers from surgery.
  • I will try to meet with the sessions and invite more participation by Ruling Elders in Presbytery meetings and commissions and committees.
  • I’m working on getting some money from the Leadership Council to subscribe to Mission Insight for the Taskforce on New Worshipping Communities. We need demographic data to explore potential new church plants in underserved areas of the Presbytery.

I will work for more racial diversity and harmony in my city and church.

  • I will encourage a dialogue between Bethany and at least one historically Black congregation – no opportunities yet, but I’m working on it.
  • Our Interfaith Dialogue has continued through May. I have attended all four sessions, one at Bethany Presbyterian Church, one at Temple Beth-El, one at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and one hosted by the Mosque at the Library. We have studied how each religion thinks about Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohamed. In July we will met with all the other faith communities for a women’s tea.
  • I’m serving on the steering committee for the next Interfaith Women’s Conference sponsored by Associated Ministries.

I will pray for Big Al as he faces decreased mobility and increasing pain from his back problems. I will try to remember that he is hurting, and not push him to do more than he is comfortable doing – I’m doing pretty well with this one, but it means I often go places and do things that leave him at home alone.

2017 Intentions – June

As I said here, I dumped my original Star Word in favor of COURAGE.

These are my intentions for the year. Let’s see how I’m doing showing COURAGE in each case.

I will resist hatred, prejudice, and evil, and speak out against all of them when I see/hear them.

  • I will resist evil, hatred, and reactionary government by signing up with Wall of Us. Each week you will receive a list of four actions you can take by writing to your elected representatives to ensure your values are being considered by the government. Some are local, some are state, and some are national. Often you will receive suggestions of products to boycott or hatred to call out.
    • I’ve consistently made phone calls – either in support of my representatives positions or to encourage them to speak out. I have both US Senators’ and my Representative’s number saved in my phone and I call, at least, weekly.
    • I’m still calling. Right now, I’m focusing on LGBT rights, global warming, and immigrant rights.
  • I’ve signed up with People Power – a grassroots organizing effort backed by the ACLU.
    • I’m on the local leadership team for People Power in Tacoma
    • I have attended a City Council meeting where they were discussing eliminating fossil fuels from our port.
    • I’ve added my neighborhood council meeting to my calendar and will try to attend.
    • I attended a Washington Won’t Discriminate training, and will be working to bring Trans-101 training to groups I can influence. I also signed this letter as Vice-Moderator of Olympia Presbytery.
  • I visited Gog-li-hi-te Wetlands at the Port of Tacoma and learned about reclamation efforts in the area. Birds and wildlife are thriving there. This is the site of an old town dump in the tide flats and it is amazing! That area was reclaimed only 5 years ago.

I will exercise regularly and eat good, healthy food.

  • I will try to get 10,000 steps a day – so far, so good, for the most part.
  • I will log my food every day (and no cheating)  – I have lost the weight I put on since the first of last May. That includes the weight I gained while traveling to see the Alabama Watters and at General Assembly. Next milestone will be when I get back to where I was when we returned from our big 50th Anniversary trip in November 2015.
  • I will cook most of the food we eat from scratch, and will be careful of extra salt and additives in any packaged foods – check, check, and check.
    • I’ve also planted green beans and squash, and the green beans have sprouted.
    • I have planted the tomato and pepper plants. (That’s the first bloom on the tomatoes).
    •  I will continue to get Blue Apron meals whenever my schedule allows me time to prepare them. If you would like to try them, send me your email in a comment, and I’ll send you three free meals (I have at least 5 sets available).

I will make personal contact with at least half of the churches in the Presbytery.

  • I will meet the pastors for coffee and a “get-to-know-you” time. So far I’ve only connected at Presbytery meetings and events.
  • I continue to attend Leadership Council, and Administrative Council meetings, Trustee meetings, Taskforce for New Worshipping Communities meetings, and meetings of the Granting Team for distributing mission money to various churches.
  • I will try to meet with the sessions and invite more participation by Ruling Elders in Presbytery meetings and commissions and committees.
  • I’m working on getting some money from the Leadership Council to subscribe to Mission Insight for the Taskforce on New Worshipping Communities. We need demographic data to explore potential new church plants in underserved areas of the Presbytery.

I will work for more racial diversity and harmony in my city and church.

  • I will encourage a dialogue between Bethany and at least one historically Black congregation – no opportunities yet, but I’m working on it.
  • Our Interfaith Dialogue has continued through May. I have attended all four sessions, one at Bethany Presbyterian Church, one at Temple Beth-El, one at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and one hosted by the Mosque at the Library. We have studied how each religion thinks about Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohamed. In July we will meet with all the other faith communities for a picnic and also for a women’s tea.
  • I’m serving on the steering committee for the next Interfaith Women’s Conference sponsored by Associated Ministries.

I will pray for Big Al as he faces decreased mobility and increasing pain from his back problems. I will try to remember that he is hurting, and not push him to do more than he is comfortable doing – I’m doing pretty well with this one, but it means I often go places and do things that leave him at home alone.

  • Al felt well enough to visit the Tall Ships Festival with me and we enjoyed a day in the sun at the waterway in Tacoma.
  • We also got to see some of the Museum of Glass that is located right by the harbor.