Five things that made me happy today – 4/6/21

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day saying “I’ll try again tomorrow.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

1. It was 37 deg early this morning, with bright blue sky and sun. It got a little hazy in the afternoon, but it still warmed up to the upper 50s before nightfall.

2. Bible study this morning was interesting. We spent a lot of time talking about Thomas and how he gets a bad rap being called “Doubting Thomas”. He was really pretty brave to question Jesus.

3. I finished off the tuna salad for lunch in a sandwich. Big Al had a big bowl of salad.

4. I walked over to the Wellness Center after lunch. I’m going to have to get some new shoes if I’m going to walk a lot. These are about worn out. I have an almost new pair, but it’s not really wide enough (although it’s the widest they sell.) Those shoes caused a callous on the ball of my foot that I’ve been babying and suffering with all winter long. New Balance seems to have one style for women with Extra Wide. I’m ordering them. I hope they work for me.

5. Lots of birds and blooming trees around. I love seeing nature “break forth” after the awful year we’ve had.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Intentions Review for March 2021

My Star Word for this year is “Affirmation”. The internet says an affirmation is a positive statement of agreement.

I am a child of God, holy and beloved.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Here are my intentions for 2021.

(After the dumpster fire of 2020, you’ll notice I’ve pared down my intentions for 2021, and I intend to hold them loosely.)

Physical Health

  • Eat real food.
    • Eat more vegetables – Cauliflower, broccoli, and asparagus have reentered the regular rotation. I plan to return to in person shopping at the Commissary next week, so I’ll have a greater selection to choose from.
    • Be sure to get 25 grams of fiber every day – Check
  • Notice and report any unexpected physical changes (rashes, bumps, etc.) to my doctor.
    • My Mohs surgery was a complete success. The stitches are out, and I’m carefully rubbing the scar to help it blend in.
    • Big Al and I got our second Pfizer shots on February 13th, so we’ve been fully vaccinated since the first of March!

Emotional Health

  • Remember that I am a child of God, holy and beloved.
    • If I can say it for me, I must grant it to every other person on the planet, whether lovable or not.
      • My Lenten discipline is to “tame my snark”. I think I’ve done very well, refraining from posting “snark” on Facebook. Maybe it was that, or maybe it was the change in the administration, but I feel much less angst these days.
  • Continue to post “Five Things that Made Me Happy Today” every day on my blog – Check

Intellectual Health

  • Expand my leisure reading.
    • Major Pettigrew ‘s Last Stand  by Helen Simonson – finished
    • Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie – finished
    • The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie – finished
    • The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie – finished
    • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry – finished
    • A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George – finished
    • How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates – reading
  • Keep up with the national news daily without obsessing over it.
    • Listen to NPR – Check
    • Watch Rachel Maddow – Check
    • Follow Heather Cox Richardson for perspective – Check
  • Participate in Creative Writing classes here at Franke Tobey Jones – A new course starts next Wednesday
  • I subscribe to the New York Times and try to work the crossword puzzle and read several columns regularly, including the cooking column.
  • I subscribe to the Seattle Times and read several of their newsletters.
  • I subscribe to the Washington Post. and read several of their newsletters, including Travel, Fitness, and Cooking.
  • Support aspiring writers via Patreon and Substack – Check
  • Participate in Great Decisions here at Franke Tobey Jones – We had our second meeting and talked about the Persian Gulf
  • I subscribed to MasterClass and finished the Paul Krugman course. It was very good. I’m starting a course on thinking scientifically from Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Spiritual Health

  • Continue to participate in weekly Bible study, and weekly Worship – Check
  • Continue with General Assembly Nominating Committee – No meetings yet

Social Health

  • Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones
    • Wellness Center – Gradually opening up with appointments for two people at a time.
    • Gazebo Group – We meet regularly on Zoom and hope to start meeting outdoors when the weather improves.
  • Tend the relationships I have at Bethany Presbyterian Church Bible Study – Check
  • Continue to connect regularly with family, virtually – Check

Social Justice

  • Participate in Town Halls and face-to-face meetings with elected officials – Check
  • Support the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and MoveOn – Check
  • Support the election of officials who are champions for Social Justice issues – Check
    • Climate action
    • Racial justice
    • Health Care Availability
    • Wealth Inequality

Five things that made me happy today – 3/30/21

Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

Brene Brown

1. It was 34 deg and sunny when I got up this morning. With the sun shining all day, we got up to 54 deg this afternoon before sunset.

2. We had Bible Study this morning, but between breakfast and that, I was able to finish yesterday’s NYT crossword puzzle. It only took one time through and I got it without hints. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

3. For lunch, the Bistro had a special of 2 egg salad sandwiches for $5.25, so we had that for lunch.

4. The housekeepers were here today so I have clean sheets on the bed, clean floors, everything dusted, clean bathrooms and a clean kitchen.

5. Big Al had his follow-up appointment with the pulmonologist. Everything looks like it’s back to normal (or as normal as it ever is for him). He will stop taking the Eliquis the end of May, and go back for a further follow-up the first week in July. Also all the oxygen paraphernalia will be picked up this week (Thanks be to God).

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 3/28/21

There must be always remaining in every life, some place for the singing of angels, some place for that which in itself is breathlessly beautiful.

Howard Thurman

1. Still low to mid 40s, still cloudy. It started raining just before church (thank goodness, I’m doing church on Facebook live), and continued most of the afternoon. Still 45 deg.

2. Church service this morning was a combination of Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday. The pianist played Hey-sanna, Ho-sanna from Jesus Christ Superstar. More music than usual and a good sermon.

3. Big Al and I WENT OUT TO LUNCH for the first time in over a year. We went to our really favorite Japanese restaurant. Al had teriyaki salmon and tempura, and I had a sushi combo with seven assorted pieces of sushi and a spicy tuna roll. It was great and felt so NORMAL!

4. Unfortunately, the COVID numbers in Pierce County are going up, so the governor is threatening to shut us down again. Glad we were able to indulge before that happened.

5. We have Greisser Girls’ Gab this afternoon, but Harriet was unable to make it at the last minute, so Betty and I met on FaceTime.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 3/27/21

We are responsible for our own ignorance or, with time and openhearted enlightenment, our own wisdom.

Isabel Wilkerson

1. Low 40s (again) and cloudy (again) when I got up. It got into the mid- to upper-50s this afternoon. It’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow, but next week looks pretty decent otherwise.

2. I finished my MasterClass from Paul Krugman – Economics and Society. Now I’m getting ready to start one from Neil deGrasse Tyson on Scientific Thinking and Communication. I love the way each individual lesson is less than 15 minutes, and I can watch three in a row if I want or only one. My brain was going to mush, and, the cost of the yearly subscription lets me feel engaged with the world again.

3. I had planned to have red beans and rice with lil’ smokies for lunch, but, alas, no red beans and rice. So I fixed Bear Creek Creamy Potato Soup and floated the lil’ smokies in it. It was very satisfactory. Then I remembered that I had ordered red beans and rice from Amazon, and there were 10 packages in the garage. (sigh) But the potato soup was fine.

4. Oregon State men won their basketball game today. Oregon plays tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

5. The afternoon/evening springtime weather problems are blowing up in the Texarkana area. Just texted my sister and she was headed to the church to take shelter. The church has a basement and she goes down there when the skies threaten. Prayers appreciated.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 3/24/21

The poor tell us who we are. The prophets tell us who we can be. So we hide the poor and kill the prophets.

Gregory Jerome Bentley

1. It was in the low 40s and blustery when I woke up this morning. The wind seems to really be blowing the pollen around. (sniff) The rain started just after breakfast when I got in the car to pick up groceries from Safeway. Once again I was really happy that all I had to do was call and some kind soul brought them out and put them in the trunk. It rain sporadically all day and never warmed up.

2. I listened to a fascinating story on NPR at lunchtime about the velella velella or by-the-wind sailors. It’s a species of jelly fish that, in rare years, litter the beaches on the West Coast. Their habitat is the top 6-9 inches of the ocean and they travel around propelled by their sails. There has been a study for the last 10-15 years on statistics collected by the general public to figure out why they sometimes come ashore, but usually stay at sea. The scientists have discovered that they come ashore when the summer has been really warm. So I guess we won’t see them this year.

3. I fixed little pizzas on tortillas for lunch today. Big Al had an on-line safety class about ventilation in hospitals that stated at 11:00 and ran over, so the little pizzas were great for “cook ’em when you want ’em”.

4. I continue to peripherally follow March Madness. The Oregon Ducks are still in the dance and made it to the round of 16.

5. I’m really enjoying my MasterClass with Paul Krugman. He makes sense of Economics the same way HCR makes sense of history. And there’s lots of overlap on the things they say.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 3/20/21

You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep spring from coming.

Pablo Neruda

1. It was dark and stormy and 45 deg. when I got up on this first day of Spring. It’s supposed to be the vernal equinox, but for those of us in Tacoma, that came last Wednesday when we had sunrise at 7:16 and sunset at 7:15. Rain off and on all day, but 54 deg. during the sunbreaks this afternoon.

2. I went to Trader Joes to pick up some stuff that’s not really available at Safeway. It was pretty crowded, but everyone was masked (as was I) and *I’m fully vaccinated*. I can remember worrying after I came home, but not now!

3. We had leftovers from Wednesday and feasted on Chicken Tetrazzini for lunch today.

4. Seeing the news about the horrific killings in Atlanta reminded me that no place is free from that type of history. When we moved to Tacoma, I was shocked to discover the dark underbelly here that led to the expulsion of every person of Chinese origin or descent in November of 1885. I wondered why Tacoma is the only port city on the West Coast that doesn’t have a Chinatown. If you don’t know the story, Google Chinese expulsion Tacoma. It’s a terrible history that has been largely forgotten or lost among the many other stories of our mistreatment of AAPI residents.

Monumental stone depicting the expulsion of the Chinese in a rainstorm in 1885, located in Reconciliation Park on the waterfront in Tacoma. The Chinese were loaded on flatbed railroad cars in a driving rainstorm and sent off to Portland.

5. #1 son got his Johnson and Johnson vaccine today. I’m partially thankful that #2 son is not in a vulnerable group, and partially still worried about him, although he works from home and has no underlying conditions that would move him up in the line. His turn will come.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 3/19/21

It’s not quite boredom; it’s not exactly melancholy either. It’s acedia: spiritual malaise, apathy, and a listlessness that’s somehow combined with restlessness.

MaryAnn McKibben Dana

1. It was 46 deg and drizzly early this morning. It was cloudy and drizzly all day and topped out at 55 deg this afternoon.

2. Our old electric can opener decided to freeze up over the weekend, so we’ve been using a perfectly acceptable hand-operated one. But nevertheless, we ordered a new one, just like the old one from Amazon, and it came today. I may never go to a hardware store again.

3. Big Al only ate half of his pita yesterday, so he had that for lunch. I had a veggie lunch of black-eyed peas with salsa, leftover collards with raw onion, sliced tomato, and a Jiffy corn muffin. All the stuff that tasted like summer to me. I may be jumping the gun a little, but, too bad.

4. Big Al headed off to the doctor for his follow-up appointment with our Primary Care Provider by himself. When he he did this four months ago, he came home gasping for air. He made it home just fine this time.

5. My sister sent me about 5 pounds of pecans from this year’s crop. I hope I don’t over-dose on them.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Five things that made me happy today – 3/18/21

Our approach to gratefulness has to be big enough to embrace all the difficulties of the world.

1. It was in the high 30s and cloudy when I got up. There’s an alert for medium to high pollen count (sigh). Unfortunately, it seems to have hit Al harder than it hit me. He has been snuffling and coughing most of the day. It did ran this afternoon, so maybe that will wash some of the pollen out of the air. Didn’t’ get out of the 40s, though.

2. Granddaughter in Birmingham, AL, seems to have come through the storms with no damage. Thanks be to God.

3. I gave up worrying about “what’s for lunch”, and asked Big Al what he wanted. He chose Pita Pit, so that’s what we had.

4. For Happy Hour this week, we had St. Patrick’s Themed snacks. We had sausage rolls with cheddar-stout ale sauce, and a cute little snack cookie with gold chocolate candies. They also gave us Irish Cream or wine or soda. I fetched a mocha from Starbucks and added my Irish Cream to that.

5. The League of Women Voters gave a presentation about our regressive tax structure in Washington. Unfortunately, I was the only one who attended, and they were preaching to the choir.

How about you? What made you happy today?

Intentions Review for February 2021

My Star Word for this year is “Affirmation”. The internet says an affirmation is a positive statement of agreement.

I am a child of God, holy and beloved.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Here are my intentions for 2021.

(After the dumpster fire of 2020, you’ll notice I’ve pared down my intentions for 2021, and I intend to hold them loosely.)

Physical Health

  • Eat real food.
    • Eat more vegetables – I’m still trying. It’s hard in the winter. Soups are good for sneaking extra veggies in.
    • Be sure to get 25 grams of fiber every day – Check
  • Notice and report any unexpected physical changes (rashes, bumps, etc.) to my doctor.
    • My Mohs surgery was a complete success. The stitches are out, and I’m carefully rubbing the scar to help it blend in.

Emotional Health

  • Remember that I am a child of God, holy and beloved.
    • If I can say it for me, I must grant it to every other person on the planet, whether lovable or not.
      • My Lenten discipline is to “tame my snark”. I might “like” other people’s snark on Facebook, but I don’t repost it.
  • Continue to post “Five Things that Made Me Happy Today” every day on my blog – Check

Intellectual Health

  • Expand my leisure reading.
    • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand  by Helen Simonson – finished
    • Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie – finished
    • The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie – finished
    • The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie – finished
    • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry – (still) reading
  • Keep up with the national news daily without obsessing over it.
    • Listen to NPR – Check
    • Watch Rachel Maddow – Check
    • Follow Heather Cox Richardson for perspective – Check
  • Participate in Creative Writing classes here at Franke Tobey Jones – None currently scheduled
    • Work on my on-going story about my childhood – no joy
  • Support aspiring writers via Patreon and Substack – Check
  • Participate in Great Decisions here at Franke Tobey Jones – We had our first meeting and talked about the Global Supply Chain. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”
  • I’m exploring MasterClass to hopefully take a course in Economics from Paul Krugman.

Spiritual Health

  • Continue to participate in weekly Bible study, and weekly Worship – Check
  • Continue with General Assembly Nominating Committee – No meetings yet

Social Health

  • Tend the relationships I have at Franke Tobey Jones – it’s hard because we are not allowed to be in anyone else’s home or meet in a group
    • Wellness Center – Still restricted to only one person there at a time (Sigh)
    • Gazebo Group – We meet regularly on Zoom
  • Tend the relationships I have at Bethany Presbyterian Church.
    • Bible Study – Check
  • Continue to connect regularly with family, virtually – Check

Social Justice

  • Participate in Town Halls and face-to-face meetings with elected officials – Check
  • Support the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and MoveOn – Check
  • Support the election of officials who are champions for Social Justice issues – Check
    • Climate action
    • Racial justice
    • Health Care Availability
    • Wealth Inequality