2018 in Review

Persevere was my Word for this Year.

Looking at where I am in my life, I really didn’t want to take on anything new, but I did need to deepen my knowledge and commitment to the things I am doing.

  • Politically – I persisted in the resistance.
    • People Power – I worked hard (10-30 hours a week all year-long) as one of the leads for People Power. We sent texts to ACLU Members all over the country, and folks on voting rolls in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, and Wisconsin. We texted about threats to freedom and civil liberties. (Remember, the ACLU is non-partisan. When we sent score-cards for Attorneys General and Governors, we were often accused of being pro-Democrat, but the scorecards were based on public statements from the various campaigns.) The volunteers for PeoplePower sent 5,781,175 individual texts during the year (yes, sent individually, and answered if there were any questions/comments. Otherwise, it would be spam – no robo-dialing for us.) We sent 3,257,851 texts in October and November alone.
    • Wall of Us – I kept up with the Wall of Us actions through the mid-term elections.
    • I made donations to the ACLU, the SPLC, and the Poor People’s Campaign.
    • Although Initiative 1631 got enough signatures to get on the ballot, we lost in the election due to the billions in advertising money poured into the state by Big Oil.
  • Religiously – I had a really successful year as Moderator of Olympia Presbytery.
    • We welcomed new ministers into the Presbytery. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to install five ministers (four of whom were new to the Presbytery) in churches all over the Presbytery. Four of them went to churches who had been on the verge of closing because of declining membership, and we were able to provide enough help for them that they could call a pastor. 
    • We chartered Umoja Presbyterian Church as a fully fledged congregation. They had been a New Worshipping Community for at least 5 years, and they finally were able to call a minister. I ordained and installed their first session and diaconate in a wonderful celebration.

  • We called an organizing pastor, Rev. Laine Brubaker, for our New Worshipping Community at the Women’s Correctional Center for Washington.

  • Camp Soundview – after being on the verge of closing our camp three years ago, we hired a new director, and empowered the board to begin making improvements. The camp is located at the southern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula, and has had two successful summer seasons. It is also beginning to be self-supporting with grants, fundraising, and year-round Outdoor Education, open to schools and groups in the area.

  • Interfaith community – I continue to meet with the Interfaith Ladies once a month.
  • I was elected by the 223rd General Assembly to serve on the Nominating Committee for the Presbyterian Church (USA) class of 2024.
  • Creatively
    • I took three creative writing courses this year, and the instructor has helped me by editing some of my things. I love working with narrative poetry, particularly exploring little-known people in the Bible
    • I kept up with my knitting through the spring, and sporadically through the summer and fall. I was able to donate a couple of dozen pairs of socks to the homeless shelter in December.
  • Personally
    • I usually get 10,000+ steps a day, except on Sundays when I observe Sabbath. I try to keep my calorie intake in the 1200-1300 calorie a day range.
    • I have a personal trainer who I work with on strength training twice a week. I’m beginning to conquer my fear of stairs.
  • Socially
    • Gazebo Group – The Gazebo Group continues to thrive (particularly with the younger (less than 80 years old) members of the community).
  • Maintain congregational ties – I attend weekly Bible study and occasionally attend the Book Group.

Book Group Christmas Party

August – 2018

Persevere is my Word for this Year.

Looking at where I am in my life, I really don’t want to take on anything new, but I do need to deepen my knowledge and commitment to the things I am doing.

  • Politically – I’m going to persist in the resistance.
    • People Power – I continue to serve on the Texting Team for People Power. That means most days I send between 200 and 600 texts to people who have signed up with the ACLU People Power. Some of the texts are invitations to training for organizing. Some are invitations to organizational meetings, and some are invitations to write, phone, or email political representatives. They are all sent individually and answered individually (thank goodness, I have canned answers available – but we individualize everything as much as possible.) Remember, the ACLU is political but non-partisan. I am one of the texting leads on this team. There are four of us who try to take some of the burden off of the folks to do the real work of getting everything set up. We also TRY to deal creatively and nicely with other volunteers who may not be very understanding or kind.
    • Wall of Us – I continue to try to accomplish the four actions requested by Wall of Us every week. For instance, this week we are asked to Bet on Beto O’Rourke in Texas!Demand an End to Prison SlaveryProtect the Special Counsel, and No Supreme Court Picks for Criminals.
    • I have a recurring donation to the Poor People’s Campaign.
    • Initiative 1631. got enough signatures to get it on the ballot.
  • Religiously – I’m going to really work at being Moderator of Olympia Presbytery.
    • We didn’t have many Presbytery meetings in August – Leadership Council met early in the month, the Trustees and Finance Committee met, but there were no New Worshipping Communities Task Force meetings.
    • Interfaith community – I continue to meet with the Interfaith Ladies once a month.
    • I was elected by the 223rd General Assembly to serve on the Nominating Committee for the Presbyterian Church (USA) class of 2024. I still need to be trained, and am planning to go to Chicago in September for the training.
  • Creatively – I’m going to try to get down to working on my family history/memoir.
    • Fill in gaps on Ancestry.com – Still working on my genealogy (I don’t think it’s ever finished).
    • I finished the poetry course, and the instructor has agreed to help by editing some of my things. I’m looking into doing some self-publishing because I know I’ll never get anyone to publish a book of poetry.
    • Keep up with my knitting – I’ve slowed down on my knitting. The warmer weather made it less interesting.
  • Personally – I’m going to keep up walking, and try to add some resistance training.10,000 steps a day –
    • I’m keeping up with this, but not being obsessive about it.
    • 2-3 sessions of weight training a week – I’m doing my strength training 2-3 times a week. I’ve been at it for a couple of months now, and I’m beginning to see a difference in the flab.
  • Socially – I’m going to tend my current relationships.
    • Gazebo Group – The Gazebo Group continues to thrive (particularly with the younger (less than 80 years old) members of the community).
    • Maintain congregational ties – I attend weekly Bible study and try to attend whatever extra worship services there may be.

August was affected by weather and a visit from my son and granddaughter. The first couple of weeks were beastly hot (over 85 degrees every day and only down into the 60s at night). Then, the wind shifted to the north and brought two weeks of smoke from the wildfires in BC, followed by smoke from the fires in Eastern Washington, relieved by smoke from the fires in Oregon and Northern California. This last week has been blessedly cool, and smoke-free.

While the family was here, we celebrated my birthday, and spent three days in Portland, OR, and a day in Victoria, BC. We rode the Amtrak Cascade to Portland and back.

When we went to Victoria, we took the BlackBall Ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria – 90 minutes across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. While we were there we walked along the waterfront to the Fisherman’s Village, rode the “Bathtub Toy” boats around the harbor, walked through the Empress Hotel, and watched street life during a bicycle race.

It sure was nice to see family.

I would really appreciate it if you, gentle readers, would remind me of these intentions when you see me fluttering off after the latest cause du jour.

July – 2018

Persevere is my Word for this Year.

Looking at where I am in my life, I really don’t want to take on anything new, but I do need to deepen my knowledge and commitment to the things I am doing.

  • Politically – I’m going to persist in the resistance.
    • People Power – I continue to serve on the Texting Team for People Power. That means most days I send between 200 and 600 texts to people who have signed up with the ACLU People Power. Some of the texts are invitations to training for organizing. Some are invitations to organizational meetings, and some are invitations to write, phone, or email political representatives. They are all sent individually and answered individually (thank goodness, I have canned answers available – but we individualize everything as much as possible.) Remember, the ACLU is political but non-partisan. I am one of the texting leads on this team. There are four of us who try to take some of the burden off of the folks to do the real work of getting everything set up. We also TRY to deal creatively and nicely with other volunteers who may not be very understanding or kind.
    • Wall of Us – I continue to try to accomplish the four actions requested by Wall of Us every week. For instance, this week we are asked Help Colin Allred Unseat Pete In the Lone Star State, Make a Plan to Show up When it Matters the Most, Defend Women’s Reproductive Rights. and Act Now to Protect Mueller and His Investigation.
    • I have a recurring donation to the Poor People’s Campaign.
    • Initiative 1631. got enough signatures to get it on the ballot.
  • Religiously – I’m going to really work at being Moderator of Olympia Presbytery.
    • We didn’t have any Presbytery meetings in July – no Leadership Council and no New Worshipping Communities Task Force. It was nice to have a break.
    • Interfaith community – I continue to meet with the Interfaith Ladies once a month.
    • I was elected by the 223rd General Assembly to serve on the Nominating Committee for the Presbyterian Church (USA) class of 2024. I still need to be trained, and am planning to go to Chicago in September for the training.
  • Creatively – I’m going to try to get down to working on my family history/memoir.
    • Fill in gaps on Ancestry.com – Still working on my genealogy (I don’t think it’s ever finished).
    • I finished the poetry course, and the instructor has agreed to help by editing some of my things. I’m looking into doing some self-publishing because I know I’ll never get anyone to publish a book of poetry.
    • Keep up with my knitting – I’m turning out a couple of pairs of socks a week. So far this year I’ve turned out 40 pairs of socks and have yarn for 8 more.
  • Personally – I’m going to keep up walking, and try to add some resistance training.10,000 steps a day –
    • I’m keeping up with this, but not being obsessive about it.
    • 2-3 sessions of weight training a week – I’m doing my strength training 2-3 times a week. I’ve been at it for a couple of months now, and I’m beginning to see a difference in the flab.
  • Socially – I’m going to tend my current relationships.
    • Gazebo Group – The Gazebo Group continues to thrive (particularly with the younger (less than 80 years old) members of the community). We had a cookout on the 4th of July, and everybody who came seemed to have enjoyed themselves.
    • Maintain congregational ties – I attend weekly Bible study and try to attend whatever extra worship services there may be.

It feels like I didn’t do much in July, but my days were full and, generally, my life was placid – a perfect summer month – really hot for a while (in the upper 80s during the day, 60s at night). Now in August the seasons are beginning to turn, I think, and we’re back to 70s during the day and 50s at night. My calendar is filling up again, and I have family visiting for 10 days later in the month.

I would really appreciate it if you, gentle readers, would remind me of these intentions when you see me fluttering off after the latest cause du jour.

June – 2018

Persevere is my Word for this Year.

Looking at where I am in my life, I really don’t want to take on anything new, but I do need to deepen my knowledge and commitment to the things I am doing.

  • Politically – I’m going to persist in the resistance.
    • People Power – I continue to serve on the Texting Team for People Power. That means most days I send between 200 and 600 texts to people who have signed up with the ACLU People Power. Some of the texts are invitations to training for organizing. Some are invitations to organizational meetings, and some are invitations to write, phone, or email political representatives. They are all sent individually and answered individually (thank goodness, I have canned answers available – but we individualize everything as much as possible.) Remember, the ACLU is political but non-partisan. I am one of the texting leads on this team. There are four of us who try to take some of the burden off of the folks to do the real work of getting everything set up. We also TRY to deal creatively and nicely with other volunteers who may not be very understanding or kind.
    • Wall of Us – I continue to try to accomplish the four actions requested by Wall of Us every week. For instance, this week we are asked to honor Independence Day by Fighting the Muslim Ban, Tell our Senators to Block and Supreme Court Nomination until After Midterms, Continue to Support On-the-Ground Organizations Keeping Families Together, and Ask Greyhound to Stop Driving our Country’s Values to the Ground.
    • I have a recurring donation to the Poor People’s Campaign.
    • I’m also collecting signatures for a ballot initiative in Washington State, to tax carbon polluters and use the extra money to build more wind and solar power farms. It’s Initiative 1631. The petition drive ended last week and I haven’t heard whether we got enough signatures to get it on the ballot.
  • Religiously – I’m going to really work at being Moderator of Olympia Presbytery.
    • June’s Leadership Council meeting was held at Camp Soundview
      We met out at the camp and were treated to a wonderful lunch and a tour of the facilities.
    • Interfaith community – I continue to meet with the Interfaith Ladies once a month.
    • I was elected by the 223rd General Assembly to serve on the Nominating Committee for the Presbyterian Church (USA) class of 2024. I still need to be trained.

  • Creatively – I’m going to try to get down to working on my family history/memoir.
    • Fill in gaps on Ancestry.com – Still working on my genealogy (I don’t think it’s ever finished).
    • I finished the poetry course, and the instructor has agreed to help by editing some of my things. I’m looking into doing some self-publishing because I know I’ll never get anyone to publish a book of poetry.
    • Keep up with my knitting – I’m turning out a couple of pairs of socks a week. So far this year I’ve turned out 40 pairs of socks and have yarn for 8 more.
  • Personally – I’m going to keep up walking, and try to add some resistance training.10,000 steps a day –
    • I’m keeping up with this, but not being obsessive about it.
    • 2-3 sessions of weight training a week – I finally made an appointment for a personal trainer here and I now have appointments to do strength and weight training as well as my Fitbit steps.
  • Socially – I’m going to tend my current relationships.
    • Gazebo Group – The Gazebo Group continues to thrive (particularly with the younger (less than 80 years old) members of the community). We’ll be sponsoring a cookout on the 4th of July, since the staff will all be on holiday.
    • Maintain congregational ties – I attend weekly Bible study and try to attend whatever extra worship services there may be.
    • My brother, sister-in-law, and nephew visited the first of June. I tagged along with them on a trip to Victoria, BC. We had a great time.


I would really appreciate it if you, gentle readers, would remind me of these intentions when you see me fluttering off after the latest cause du jour.

May – 2018

Persevere is my Word for this Year.

Looking at where I am in my life, I really don’t want to take on anything new, but I do need to deepen my knowledge and commitment to the things I am doing.

  • Politically – I’m going to persist in the resistance.
    • People Power – I continue to serve on the Texting Team for People Power. That means most days I send between 200 and 600 texts to people who have signed up with the ACLU People Power. Some of the texts are invitations to training for organizing. Some are invitations to organizational meetings, and some are invitations to write, phone, or email political representatives. They are all sent individually and answered individually (thank goodness, I have canned answers available – but we individualize everything as much as possible.) Remember, the ACLU is political but non-partisan. I am one of the texting leads on this team. There are four of us who try to take some of the burden off of the folks to do the real work of getting everything set up. We also TRY to deal creatively and nicely with other volunteers who may not be very understanding or kind.
    • Wall of Us – I continue to try to accomplish the four actions requested by Wall of Us every week. For instance, this week we are asked to try to understand Ramadan, support the Muslim Blue Wave, commit to vote and ask others to commit, and build local power with “ActLocal”.
    • I haven’t been able to attend a Poor People’s Campaign action yet, but I’m still trying to clear my calendar for a day.
    • I’m also collecting signatures for a ballot initiative in Washington State, to tax carbon polluters and use the extra money to build more wind and solar power farms. It’s Initiative 1631, and I encourage all the voters in Washington who read this blog to sign the petition.

  • Religiously – I’m going to really work at being Moderator of Olympia Presbytery.
    • May’s Leadership Council meeting was pressed for time, and a little fractured, but the May Presbytery Meeting was great. The theme was “Blessed are the Hungry” and everything worked out wonderfully.
      • Our preacher for worship was Carmen Pimms, the Executive Director of Campbell Farms. People are still talking about her message.

      • We also had workshops by churches who have community gardens, churches who started a feeding program that grew into something much more, and a nature study by the Ecology Education director at Camp Soundview.

    • Also at the Presbytery Meeting, we were able to move our Kenyan Congregation, Umoja Presbyterian Church, from New Worshipping Community status, but the status of a congregation of Olympia Presbytery.
    • Interfaith community – I continue to meet with the Interfaith Ladies once a month.
    • At the last minute, I found out about an opportunity to apply to be on the Nominating Committee for the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Amazingly enough, I was accepted, and my nomination to the committee will be voted on June 22nd. I covet your prayers.
  • Creatively – I’m going to try to get down to working on my family history/memoir.
    • Fill in gaps on Ancestry.com – Still working on my genealogy (I don’t think it’s ever finished).
    • I’ve started a poetry writing course here at Franke Tobey Jones. Hopefully, I’ll be posting some of my poems here at this blog soon.
    • Keep up with my knitting – I’m turning out a couple of pairs of socks a week. So far this year I’ve turned out 32 pairs of socks and have yarn for 16 more.
  • Personally – I’m going to keep up walking, and try to add some resistance training.10,000 steps a day –
    • I’m keeping up with this, but not being obsessive about it.
    • 2-3 sessions of weight training a week – I finally made an appointment for a personal trainer here and I now have appointments to do strength and weight training as well as my Fitbit steps.
  • Socially – I’m going to tend my current relationships.
    • Gazebo Group – The Gazebo Group continues to thrive (particularly with the younger (less than 80 years old) members of the community).
    • Maintain congregational ties – I attend weekly Bible study and try to attend whatever extra worship services there may be. In May I served as Worship Leader on Sunday mornings.

I would really appreciate it if you, gentle readers, would remind me of these intentions when you see me fluttering off after the latest cause du jour.

April – 2018

Persevere is my Word for this Year.

Looking at where I am in my life, I really don’t want to take on anything new, but I do need to deepen my knowledge and commitment to the things I am doing.

  • Politically – I’m going to persist in the resistance.
    • People Power – I continue to serve on the Texting Team for People Power. That means most days I send between 200 and 600 texts to people who have signed up with the ACLU People Power. Some of the texts are invitations to training for organizing. Some are invitations to organizational meetings, and some are invitations to write, phone, or email political representatives. They are all sent individually and answered individually (thank goodness, I have canned answers available – but we individualize everything as much as possible.) Remember, the ACLU is political but non-partisan. I am one of the texting leads on this team. There are four of us who try to take some of the burden off of the folks to do the real work of getting everything set up. We also TRY to deal creatively and nicely with other volunteers who may not be very understanding or kind.
    • Wall of Us – I continue to try to accomplish the four actions requested by Wall of Us every week. For instance, this week we are working to take the blue tsunami to Pennsylvania on May 15, keep the pressure on for a free and open internet, demand that congress pass legislation to protect Robert Mueller, and make sure my senator stands against Trump’s transgender military ban.
    • (I know I asked you to fuss at me if I took on something new but…) I’m attending resistance training with the New Poor People’s Campaign. We’ll see where that leads.
    • I’m also collecting signatures for a ballot initiative in Washington State, to tax carbon polluters and use the extra money to build more wind and solar power farms. It’s Initiative 1631, and I encourage all the voters in Washington who read this blog to sign the petition.

  • Religiously – I’m going to really work at being Moderator of Olympia Presbytery.
    • March took off with a bang and a Leadership Council meeting early in the month to plan a Presbytery Meeting and discuss other business for the presbytery.
    • As Moderator, I welcomed and installed a new pastor to one of our churches in April. Greg Ikehara-Martin was called and installed at Long Beach Presbyterian Church. That church is in one of the remote corners of the Presbytery. It is arguably farther away from the center than any other church, but they are a faithful, welcoming group of people. It was a pleasure to be with them for the installation. They are also located (as the name implies) in a beach community, so their membership shrinks in the winter and blossoms in the summer. Big Al and I took the opportunity to take a mini-vacation and went down a day early and came back a day after. Unfortunately the weather was dreadful, but we enjoyed our time in a hotel, right on the beach.

So You Want to Talk About Race by [Oluo, Ijeoma]

    • Interfaith community – I continue to meet with the Interfaith Ladies once a month. This month the larger group that contains both men and women will gather for an Iftar.
    • New Worshiping Communities – I continue to serve on the Presbytery’s New Worshipping Communities Task Force.
  • Creatively – I’m going to try to get down to working on my family history/memoir.
    • Fill in gaps on Ancestry.com – Still working on my genealogy (I don’t think it’s ever finished).
    • I’ve started a poetry writing course here at Franke Tobey Jones. Hopefully, I’ll be posting some of my poems here at this blog soon.
    • Keep up with my knitting – I’m turning out a couple of pairs of socks a week. So far this year I’ve turned out 32 pairs of socks and have yarn for 16 more.
  • Personally – I’m going to keep up walking, and try to add some resistance training.10,000 steps a day –
    • I’m keeping up with this, but not being obsessive about it.
    • 2-3 sessions of weight training a week – I finally made an appointment for a personal trainer here and I now have appointments to do strength and weight training as well as my Fitbit steps.
  • Socially – I’m going to tend my current relationships.
    • Gazebo Group – The Gazebo Group continues to thrive (particularly with the younger (less than 80 years old) members of the community).
    • Maintain congregational ties – I attend weekly Bible study and try to attend whatever extra worship services there may be. In May I will serve as Worship Leader on Sunday mornings.

I would really appreciate it if you, gentle readers, would remind me of these intentions when you see me fluttering off after the latest cause du jour.

March – 2018

Persevere is my Word for this Year.

Looking at where I am in my life, I really don’t want to take on anything new, but I do need to deepen my knowledge and commitment to the things I am doing.

  1. Politically – I’m going to persist in the resistance.
    1. People Power – I continue to serve on the Texting Team for People Power. That means most days I send between 200 and 600 texts to people who have signed up with the ACLU People Power. Some of the texts are invitations to training for organizing. Some are invitations to organizational meetings, and some are invitations to write, phone, or email political representatives. They are all sent individually and answered individually (thank goodness, I have canned answers available – but we individualize everything as much as possible.) Remember, the ACLU is political but non-partisan. I am one of the texting leads on this team. There are four of us who try to take some of the burden off of the folks to do the real work of getting everything set up. We also TRY to deal creatively and nicely with other volunteers who may not be very understanding or kind.
    2. Wall of Us – I continue to try to accomplish the four actions requested by Wall of Us every week. For instance, this week we are asked to support the Campus Blue Wave, call for a Town Hall in our district on April 7, sign a petition for justice for Stephon Clark and let our local police departments know his killing was NOT okay, and try to convince our Senators that Mike Pompeo is NOT okay for Secretary of State.
  2. Religiously – I’m going to really work at being Moderator of Olympia Presbytery.
    1. March took off with a bang and a Leadership Council meeting early in the month to plan a Presbytery Meeting and discuss other business for the presbytery.
    2. As Moderator, I serve as one of the Trustees for the Presbytery.  The Presbytery voted to agree to co-sign on a $2.4 loan for the church I wrote about last month. They have already raised half of the money themselves with a capital campaign, and through grants and gifts from the community.
    3. Interfaith community – Last Tuesday, our interfaith community was hosted by the Temple for an Interfaith Seder. Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Jews, and Muslims all gathered for this ancient meal and ritual.
    4. New Worshiping Communities – I continue to serve on the Presbytery’s New Worshipping Communities Task Force.
  3. Creatively – I’m going to try to get down to working on my family history/memoir.
    1. Fill in gaps on Ancestry.com – Still working on my genealogy (I don’t think it’s ever finished).
    2. I finished the course here at Franke Tobey Jones on writing memoirs. I wasn’t too impressed with the leader, but I did get a few more vignettes about my life written.
    3. Keep up with my knitting – I’m turning out a couple of pairs of socks a week. I sold 5 pairs to someone here at Franke Tobey Jones. That will give me enough money to buy another batch of yarn.
  4. Personally – I’m going to keep up walking, and try to add some resistance training.
    1. 10,000 steps a day – I’m keeping up with this, but not being obsessive about it.
    2. 2-3 sessions of weight training a week – I still haven’t been regular with this (still a slacker on weight training.)
  5. Socially – I’m going to tend my current relationships.
    1. Gazebo Group – The Gazebo Group continues to thrive (particularly with the younger (less than 80 years old) members of the community).
    2. Maintain congregational ties – I attend weekly Bible study and try to attend whatever extra worship services there may be. In May I will serve as Worship Leader on Sunday mornings.

I would really appreciate it if you, gentle readers, would remind me of these intentions when you see me fluttering off after the latest cause du jour.