Intentions Review for August 2019

My Star Word for this year is “Empathy”. The internet defines empathy as¬†the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Merriam-Webster says, “Empathy is similar to sympathy, but empathy usually suggests stronger, more instinctive feeling.”

Here are my intentions for 2019.

Physical Health

  • Continue to eat real food, and, hopefully, lose about 20 more pounds this year. – I’ve lost 3.2 lbs this year so far (I know, I gained some this month, *Sigh*). I blame my birthday, a trip to see the Watters Minor, and a trip to watch whales. Zero control when everybody else is eating cake and ice cream. ūüė¶
  • Continue to average 150 miles a month on my Fitbit. – Last week, I averaged 12,700 steps a day.
  • I’m back to doing pretty strenuous exercise with my personal trainer including walking outdoors (up and down hills), chest press and close grip row machines, shoulder strength, balance, core exercises, and sit-to-stands. This week I did 20 sit-to-stands in 1 minute. I felt pretty good about myself.

Emotional Health

  • I AM trying to remember “empathy” in my interactions with people I meet.
  • I have continued posting Five Things that Made Me Happy Today¬†every day here on this blog. I’m always surprised when I meet casual acquaintances who tell me how much they enjoy reading my list. I don’t do it for other people – I do it for myself – to remind me how much I have to be thankful for.

Intellectual Health

  • Expand my leisure reading from fluff mysteries to more substantial novels. – Books read this year.
    1. The Library Book by Susan Orleans – finished
    2. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens Рfinished
    3. Becoming by Michelle Obama Рfinished
    4. Womanish Midrash by Wil Gafney – finished
    5. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah Рfinished
    6. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor – finished
    7. Entering the Passion of Jesus by Amy-Jill Levine – finished
    8. Silent Night by Danielle Steele – finished
    9. Autumn by Ali Smith – finished
    10. Winter by Ali Smith – finished
    11.  A Good Year by Peter Mayle Рfinished
    12.  Magnolia Nights by Ashley Farley Рfinished
    13. The Tale Teller by Anne Hillerman Рfinished
    14.  Wife of Moon by Margaret Coel Рfinished
    15.  Cleaning the Gold by Karen Slaughter and Lee Child Рfinished
    16.  Beyond the Garden by Ashley Farley Рfinished
    17. Everything is F*cked Рa Book about Hope by Mark Manson Рfinished
    18. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd Рfinished
    19. The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford Рfinished
    20. There, There by Tommy Orange Рfinished
    21. Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf Рfinished
    22. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd Рfinished
    23. Calico Joe by John Grisham Рfinished
    24. The Nickle Boys by Colson Whitehead -finished
    25. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green Рfinished
    26. Kindred by Octavia E Butler Рreading
  • Continue to read the Washington Post and the New York Times for reasonably non-biased reporting. – I scan the headlines and read articles that interest me.
  • I subscribe to¬†Medium,¬†and read articles of current interest.
  • I also subscribe to¬†The New Yorker¬†magazine, digitally. I keep up with the east coast scene through it, as well as some pretty decent profiles of political figures.
  • Continue to watch the Rachel Maddow Show to feed my angst and resolve. – Check
  • Great Decisions discussion group here at Franke Tobey Jones was Cyber Security. We didn’t have a discussion leader, but Big Al found several more current articles to read.

Spiritual Health

  • Continue to participate in weekly Bible study, and weekly Worship.
  • Try to carve out time daily for intentional prayer and meditation. I’ve subscribed to several email “prompts” that arrive in my inbox every morning. The Upper Room has a couple of short reflections and/or devotionals every morning, and A Network for Gratefulness also gives me something to think about as I go about my day.
  • I’m lobbying for my church to become an Earth Care Congregation with PC(USA). I’ll meet with the Mission Committee in September to (hopefully) get the final go-ahead.

Social Health

  • Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones. –
    • I still regularly attend the Gazebo Group (the folks who meet on Monday evenings for Happy Hour.)
    • I¬† participate in the Wellness Center activities like the Owen Beach walk most Fridays.
    • Spent 3 days with folks from here and my granddaughter on a Whale Watching trip, an historical tour of Port Townsend and three nights in a hotel, meeting up for breakfast and dinner as a group. Generally a congenial group.
  • Tend the relationships I have at Bethany Presbyterian Church. – Check
  • Tend the relationships I have on Social Media. I’m making an effort to avoid posting or reposting political articles, although I do still try to call out blatant racism, sexism, misogyny, etc. when it comes to my page.


  • Participate in Town Halls and face-to-face meetings with elected officials.
  • Attend GA Nominating Committee meetings, both face-to-face and virtually. Next meetings are scheduled for an on-line meeting in November and a face-to-face meeting in March.
  • Support #BlackLiveMatter, #Me,Too, #ThePoorPeople’sCampaign, #ClimateAction, and other social justice movements. – I donate regularly to MoveOn, the ACLU, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. I attend rallies and marches if I’m available.


Five things that made me happy today – 8/17/19

1. Big Al and I left home before breakfast headed to Kennewick, Washington to see Watters Minor’s new house. It was cloudy and about 57 deg.

2. We had breakfast before we got on the road. I had a Starbucks Skinny Mocha and a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich. Then we went to McDonald’s and Big Al got two breakfast burritos and a Diet Coke. Real vacation junk food!

3. We had been threatened with construction across Snoqualmie Pass on I-90, coupled with the start of Freshman orientation for every college in Washington, so we decided to take the scenic route through White Pass on US 12. It was almost zero traffic, and a lovely drive. It’s spooky how the terrain changes once you cross the pass. We went from 65 deg, and green, green trees, to 82 deg, and barren, dry hills, all in about 15 miles. During normal times it would take about an hour longer, but on a day with construction and extra traffic we probably made time.

4. We had lunch in Packwood in a real biker bar! Good hamburgers.

5. Rolled into Kennewick about 4:30 and then checked into the Fairfield Inn for the night. Dinner with the family at Bud’s Broiler on the banks of the Columbia River. I had lamb chops and Big Al had Beef Wellington. Yum, yum, yum. Followed by Peach Slump with Peach Ice Cream. My diet will never be the same.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 8/16/19

1. In the upper 50s when I got up this morning, and it hasn’t warmed up that much yet today. Currently 66 deg. I started out in a T-shirt, and switched to a long-sleeved shirt about noon.

2. We decided to have a “picnic” for lunch. I was already planning to have corn on the cob and sliced tomatoes, and I ran to Safeway and picked up baked chicken, potato salad and macaroni salad. Very tasty!

3. I ran a load of laundry, and got it dried and folded. We’re going to Central Washington tomorrow to see the Watters’ new house, and pick up Miss Kate for a week. We’ll be back Monday. I’m all packed except for my toiletries, and the electronic plugs and paraphernalia – iPhone, iPad, Kindle, etc. I’ll charge up my Fitbit tonight, and it should last until Monday night.

4. Owen Beach walk with the Wellness Center folks this afternoon. Picked up 6000 steps while filling my soul with views of the sound and the forest. It was cloudy and cool, but still inspiring.

5. Ice cream on the porch this afternoon (it’s never too cool for ice cream). They had Tin Roof and Butter Pecan. Some day I’m going to have to catch that leprechaun that keeps eating all of mine…

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 8/15/19

1. Another beautiful day today, after the morning clouds burned off. 77 deg. with a light breeze. Did a circuit of the campus and enjoyed looking at the new grass and bushes around the new buildings.

2. I know it’s frozen food, but we really enjoy PF Chang’s home menu items. I like it because it’s quick and easy, and Big Al like it because it’s familiar. We had their Orange Chicken and Signature Rice today. Very tasty.

3. I was supposed to drive down to Lacey for a lunch meeting today, but it was cancelled last night at 7:00 pm. That’s why I was cooking out of the freezer today.

4. I had a “dish garden” that someone gave me as a gift. It was nice but whoever planted it put a succulent in with a spider plant and (I think) a dwarf schefflera. Consequently, I was either drowning the succulent, or starving the spider, so I put the succulent in it’s own pot today. Fortunately, the schefflera is happy with a wide range of water. I hope they all survive.

5. Spent the afternoon knitting and watching Netflix. I’m revisiting the Gilmore Girls. Nice, easy to knit through, sweet little love story that lasts for years.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 8/14/19

1. Another beautiful day today. 77 deg. with a light breeze. Perfect day for a walk or two.

2. This morning, I walked around the campus and walked by the “memorial wall” that has plaques for people who donated to the Capital Campaign for building the new health care/memory care facility. And there was Big Al’s and my plaque.

3. My trainer and I walked some during my session with her, but mostly we worked on balance, upper body strength, and core. I’m almost developing a waist again!

4. I treated myself to an apple fritter and a grande mocha on the strength of 11,000 steps before 1:00 p.m. (I hope the waist doesn’t disappear again tomorrow.)

5. Does anyone know what to call senior citizens who are closer to 75 than 95? Think Vietnam era rather than Korean War era. We’re all Medicare eligible, and still actively independent. I’ve done some generational studies and I know that we’re probably early Boomers, or late Greatest Generation. What would you think?

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 8/13/19

1. So much was going on yesterday, that I neglected to mention the gift from the universe that I got for my birthday. As we were standing on the bridge looking out over the sound, a bald eagle flew by – just about even in height and about 20 feet away.

I know there are three nesting pairs in the park, but I had never seen one so close in flight. The wingspan must be 7 or 8 feet, and you can hear the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of its wings as it flies. That’s not my picture – I was so awed that it never occurred to me to get out my camera – but the one I saw looked just like that.

2. Bible study this morning was Hosea. It had a lot to say for us as we live today. There’s a lot of Godly, righteous anger, but the passage we read ended with God’s decision that we, the people, are beloved. If God can see all our shortcomings and still love us, can we do less for the rest of humanity and the world.

3. The weather is warm and bright today after a couple of days with cloudy mornings. Today we had blue, blue skies all day. Took a nice walk around the campus. The sun was hotter than I expected and I worked up a pretty good sweat!

4. I spent some time this afternoon watching Netflix and knitting. Perfect summer afternoon activity.

5. Big Al had another appointment with a surgeon about his stye today. This was just a consultation, and we’ll see when we can schedule the actual procedure. They don’t seem to be too worried about it – not being treated as an emergency – so I’ll just believe that we’ll get to it when we can.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 8/12/19

1. I woke up to my phone buzzing with notifications from Facebook. I didn’t realize how many people would wish me a Happy Birthday. Many, many thanks to all those who did. I tried to, at least, “Like” all that I saw, but if I missed you, please believe me that I appreciate you.

2. I’m also really impressed that so many people were interested in my little fund raiser to clean the plastic out of our oceans. As of now, 13 people have donated and we’ve raised $306 – and there’s still another week to go. Our Southern resident Orcas in Puget Sound are suffering, as are all of our ocean wildlife. Just last week, several people worked for hours to free a grey whale that was hog-tied in nylon rope. I originally thought that maybe 20 people would give $5 each, but you, gentle readers, blew that goal away in the first day. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

3. My trainer and I took a long walk down to the new bridge. On the way back up the hill we took some time to sit on a bench and look at the park We live in a spectacular area. It is no wonder that I’m so fierce about ecology, and global warming, and plastic pollution.

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

4. Starbucks gave me a “beverage of my choice” as a birthday present, and I just finished enjoying a Venti Skinny Mocha to go with one of the scones from the Farmer’s Market last Saturday.

5. Now I get to pour myself a (small) glass of wine (I’m not sure where I would put a large one), and go to the Gazebo Group for Happy Hour with my tribe!

How about you? What made you happy today?