Three Things Thursday: Travel Gear!

Once again it’s time for [Three Things Thursday](

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

My husband and I are preparing for a trip that will take us walking over slippery, uneven cobblestones throughout Europe. I need new hiking boots, so off we went to the REI store to look for some. And while we were there, we found a couple of other travel goodies as well.


These are my new hiking boots:

my new hiking boots

Since I have weak ankles, I wanted boots with a high top to provide extra support. The fact that they are also a pretty color is an added bonus.


Travel ponchos, which my husband is displaying in the feature photo at the top of this post. They fold into a small carrying pouch:

packable poncho

Here’s the pouch, with a regular small post card next to it to give you an idea of the size. These won’t take up much space in the suitcase but may come in handy.


This is my new sun/rain hat:

my rain hat

It has a wide brim in front to shade the eyes and an even wider brim in back to prevent sunburn on the neck. The hat will pack easily because the head covering will lie flat in the suitcase.

I hope everyone will have a good week!

Last Week’s Links

Mental-health therapists see uptick in patients struggling with post-election anxiety

From The Seattle Times:

With the constant bombardment of information coming out of the Trump administration, local mental-health experts say a hefty number of their existing clients — and as many as 80 percent of potential new clients — are seeking help for postelection distress.

And this has been an equal-opportunity occurrence: “anxiety has been on the rise among people of all political leanings, therapists say.”

The Brief, Confusing History of Foam Packaging

I did not know that everything we think is Styrofoam actually isn’t:

We know that polystyrene is bad for the environment, that it’s frequently mistaken for Styrofoam, and that it’s kind of a crappy way of shipping food to people.

Best way to slow aging? Exercise, but not just any kind

A new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism noted that any kind of exercise is better than none, but it’s the high-intensity interval training that does best in reversing age-related changes at the cellular level.

Is It Harder to Lose Weight When You’re Older?

The short answer: “Yes, unfortunately.”

But there is some good news: Dr. Leslie Cho, an interventional cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Women’s Cardiovascular Center, suggests that older people focus on general fitness rather than obsessing about a number on a scale.

UW professor: The information war is real, and we’re losing it

University of Washington professor Kate Starbird works in the field of crisis informatics. After the Boston Marathon bombing she began looking at social media postings to see how those media might be used for the public good in crises. Unexpectedly, she found clusters of fringe conspiracy theories, what she calls “real tinfoil-hat stuff.”

Read about her findings in an article that seems especially pertinent in light of the current political current in the U.S.

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Weekend Coffee Share

It’s time once again for Weekend Coffee Share.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask for your suggestions on what books I should bring on vacation.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this weekend is a sports lover’s dream! It started Friday night with the two semifinal games of the women’s Final Four college basketball championship tournament. The second of those games produced one of the most spectacular results in women’s college basketball history: Mississippi State knocked off #1 University of Connecticut (UConn), which was shooting for its fifth consecutive national championship. The win by Mississipi State ended UConn’s 111-game winning streak. We’re UConn fans, but that game was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Right now, I’m typing this at the halftime break of the championship game. I’m pulling for Mississippi State to beat South Carolina, but SC is up 10 at the half.

The men’s Final Four is also going on this weekend, with the two semifinal games yesterday. In the first, home-state darling Gonzaga (out of Spokane, WA), won the opportunity to play for the championship. We were hoping for an all-Northwest final, but Oregon lost its semifinal to North Carolina by one point. Gonzaga plays NC for the title tomorrow night.

And it’s also time to … Play ball! Yes, it’s opening weekend for BASEBALL. Right after the women’s basketball game, ESPN will carry the Cubs vs. Cardinals game. If you’ve forgotten or don’t follow baseball, last fall the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. We lived in St. Louis for 42 years, and the Cubs and the Cardinals are serious archrivals, so I’m looking forward to this game. Our new hometown team, the Seattle Mariners, open up on the road (at Houston) tomorrow.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask what’s going on in your life right now.

I hope everyone has a great week!

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Once again it’s time for Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

One: How Many Do You Need?

how many studs do you need
how many studs

Two: Attagirl!

I have lost 9 pounds! And since my goal is to lose 40 pounds, I’m almost 1/4 of the way there.

I have done this by switching to low-carb eating and by just plain eating less food.

Three: History Lesson

On this site in 1897 nothing happened
history lesson

I hope you all have a great week!

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

What I’ve Been Reading

The 20 Most Satisfying Cries on This Is Us, Ranked
How to Learn New Things as an Adult
Critical thinking instruction in humanities reduces belief in pseudoscience
Will 90 Become The New 60?
Too Much Experience To Be Hired? Some Older Americans Face Age Bias
The Best Exercise for Aging Muscles

Weekend Coffee Share

It’s time once again for Weekend Coffee Share.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I have to hurry up and write this because I must get back to March Madness coverage. Yes, it’s the men’s college basketball championship tournament that gets about 98% of the press. I was glad to see Gonzaga (of Spokane, WA, my home state) win their game yesterday for their first trip to the Final Four. I was also glad to see the Oregon Ducks (#3 seed) defeat the Kansas Jayhawks (#1 seed) as another West Coast representative in the Final Four.

But I’m also big on the women’s tournament. My husband and I both grew up in Connecticut, and although neither of us attended the University of Connecticut (UConn), we do follow the women’s basketball team. They have been quite a dynasty for the last many years and are looking for another national title this year. They won their game yesterday and will play Oregon tomorrow night; the winner will go to the Women’s Final Four in Dallas next weekend. Right now I’m hurrying to watch the match-up between Baylor and Mississippi State.

I’d also tell you how much I am enjoying reading other peoples’ Weekend Coffee Share entries. I’m new to this particular weekly challenge, and I discovered a lot of new blogs by participating.

And I’d also tell you that I can’t believe we are already about to begin the final week of March. I’ll be happy to see spring arrive a bit more definitively here. We’ve had a lot of rain, which is usual here in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m ready for a few more hours of sun to allow me to get outdoors and look at everything that’s starting to bloom. And in the middle of April we leave for a one-month ocean cruise. Although all the big areas of preparation are taken care of, I still have several little things (like getting a new pair of slacks hemmed) that I need to tend to. (And yes, I do realize how lucky I am to have such things to worry about.)

And now I’m going to publish this post so that I can spend some time perusing other peoples’ entries before the next game starts. I hope everyone has a great week!

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Once again it’s time for Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

One: Civic Pride

I’ve been in Tacoma, WA, for almost four years now, and I still love learning new things about my new home town. And I’ve always loved being able to see Mount Rainier on clear days. So I was thrilled this morning to discover the article ‘Live like the mountain is out’ street stencils part of community branding campaign in the local newspaper, The News Tribune.

Our area is called the South Sound because, on a map, we are toward the bottom of Puget Sound. The news app from KIRO7, the Seattle CBS affiliate TV channel, offers sections dedicated to both South Sound news and North Sound news, but I’ve never heard the phrase North Sound used in any other context. It seems that the folks around here differentiate between the South Sound and Seattle, which includes that city and points north.

Two: Signs of Spring

It’s been raining so steadily that I haven’t been able to get out to take photos, but in the last few days I’ve noticed daffodils in bloom, forsythia bushes covered in yellow flowers, and the early-flowering ornamental trees and bushes beginning to display flashes of pink or white. The rhododendron bushes, the Washington state flower, that line the roads in our retirement community have big fat buds all over, but none have broken open yet.

But pretty soon they’ll be in bloom, along with the ornamental pear trees that also line our streets. I promise some photos when the weather lets me get out and walk around.

Three: What I’ve Been Watching: Beck

Our daughter got us a subscription to streaming service Hulu for Christmas. Lately my husband and I have taken to watching foreign TV series. We’re currently about 2/3 of the way through season 2 of the three seasons of Beck, a Swedish police drama. Shows like this offer glimpses into not only the legal systems but also the culture and local customs of other countries.

I hope everyone has a great week. See you next Thursday!

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown