My one word for 2015 is “Honesty.”

Let’s see how I did with Honesty in July and August. (I was recently reminded that I haven’t done much posting AT ALL this summer.)

My garden is still taking up a fair amount of my time. I’ve donated almost 40 pounds of cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes to the Fish Food Bank. That’s in addition to everything Al and I could eat. We’re eating a couple of tomatoes a day, and plenty of squash. I also supplied us with several weeks of green beans. The second round of beans that I planted around the middle of July are just about ready to be picked, so we’ll have those to enjoy. I got enough Serrano peppers to make pepper sauce, and a few small jalapenos to make pico de gallo.

It has turned cool this week (after temperatures consistently in the upper 70s to mid-80s). It’s also started to rain some (we had NONE – ZERO -ZIPPO since early June). The woods and fields were on fire all over Washington but the rains since the middle of August have helped. Folks here welcomed the early warm, sunny weather, but now they realize that we really need the rain that usually falls.

I’m still walking every Thursday morning with the group from the church, and I’m keeping up with my 12,000 steps a day as counted by my trusty Fitbit. I also continue to faithfully log my food on MyFitnessPal, although the scale isn’t moving. (sigh)

The racial unrest, typified by Ferguson, Baltimore, Sandra Bland, McKinney, and Charleston, finally got under my skin enough that I began to be more pro-active about seeking change. Another woman and I from the church curated and led a discussion on race for four Sundays in July and August. We talked about systemic racism, white privilege, white fragility, and racial appropriation. Then in August, I “attended” an online course entitled “Hard Conversations on Race.” I feel like I sharpened my antenna for veiled racial slurs, and I’m becoming more vocal about challenging them when I hear them. It probably isn’t endearing me to my associates, but I really don’t care if racists don’t “like” me. At least, I finally feel like I’m being HONEST!

In August, my team at Bethany hosted a neighborhood night out and the annual Church Picnic. At the picnic we packed school bags for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and Church World Service. (Sorry, I was busy enough that I didn’t get any pictures taken, but you can see photos from the last couple of years here, and here and here.)

Big Al and I are getting excited for our big 50th Anniversary trip. We leave Tacoma on Sunday, September 27th and return on Saturday, October 24th. We’ll take Amtrak from here to Vancouver, BC, where we’ll board VIA (Canada Rail) and ride to Toronto. We’ll spend the night in Toronto, and then take the train to Montreal where we will spend two nights before training to Quebec City and boarding the Queen Mary II for a cruise up the St. Lawrence, around Newfoundland and down to Boston, Newport, RI, and New York City, looking at the autumn leaves (hopefully). We’ll spend a couple of days in New York, sightseeing and visiting Harriet and Robert, before we board the Jersey Central RR for Philadelphia and a quick visit with Marianne. We’ll take the train from there to Washington DC where we’ll spend three nights sightseeing (we’ve both been to DC as teenagers, but we haven’t been back). Then we board Amtrak on the Capital Limited for Chicago where we’ll have a one-night layover before catching the California Zephyr, bound for Sacramento. We’ve traveled the Empire Builder so many times we know the route by heart, so we decided to see the central Rockies this time. In Sacrament we’ll catch the Coast Starlight and home to Tacoma.

I’ll be posting pictures from the trip on Facebook, and, possibly Stellar, but I’ll be sure to put a link here to those posts.

Don’t be surprised if I don’t do an HONESTY update the first part of October, but I’ll promise to do one in November. See you then.