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Year Four, Day 186: Jane Hawk - My Escape

I need a vacation from life. Everything feels so dang serious and too intense. I want to take a long walk in the wilderness. Or sit by the ocean.

But that's not going to happen in the near future. Even the thought of escaping my responsibilities leaves me short of breath.

I have a granddaughter to watch, piano students to teach, a church to provide music for, a mother to visit with, a son to advise and a new grandson on the way.  Plus all the myriad chores of daily life.

But I do feel the need for a break from the news, the noise from the internet and inside my head.

Basically I need a break from reality.

I am not much for television. I put it on at night to catch up with the news. Or put in a documentary to enrich my mind. On rare occasion I binge watch a series - especially British shows. Or even rarer yet, a movie. But I often read while the television is on.

What I really need is a good novel. I haven't picked up a good novel since I finished  The Walk series by Richard Pa…
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Year Four, Day 185: "¡Hola! ¿Como estas?"

I am so excited! I had my first real conversation in Spanish. And it was totally spontaneous!

I was walking across the street from our apartment complex, when I spied an elderly man with a cane walking on the path to the park.  At first glance, he looked like the mariachi trumpet player that I often run into at the bus stop. But when I got closer, I realized it was not him.  

I nodded and smiled when he glanced my way. 

"Hello", he said in a thick Spanish accent.

I ran with it!
"¡Hola! ¿Como estas?" I said excitedly."¡Hola! Estoy bien" he said, with a big grin. "¿Y tu?""¡Muy bien!" says I. I smiled back and waved. "¡Adios!""¡Adios!" said my new friend, waving.I practically skipped to the bus stop. I had a real conversation with a kind stranger! In Spanish, no less!On that note, I am going to skip off to teach piano.¡Feliz jueves! (Happy Thursday)¡Hablamos mañana!Con amor,Zita Here is my daily hooping video. Day 128! :…

Year Four, Day 184: ¡Hasta Mañana!


I just discovered how to type a tilde on my cellphone!  ñ 😎

And I discovered how to use an online Spanish keyboard. That's how I was able to type  ¡Hola! 

I am having fun studying Spanish. I enrolled in a free course on Coursera. If you are not familiar with Coursera, you should check it out. Especially if you are an education nerd like me. I never get tired of studying!

My beginning Spanish class is through University Of California, Davis.  The teacher encourages us to join an online language exchange to practice our skills.  I signed up with My Language Exchange It's free. And I already have a new friend in Lima, Peru!

¡Estoy muy emocionado!As usual, I don't have long to blog. I have students at 5:00 p.m.But I wanted to also mention that I purposely gave myself a cheat day from my intermittentfasting lifestyle yesterday. And I lived to blog about it!It was my niece's 23rd birthday. We bought her a cup…

Year Four, Day 183: Bach Chorales, Estudiando Español and Stuff!

I am having a good day today!

We had a guest preacher today in church - little Lutheran church where I have been hired to provide piano and organ music every Sunday.

I liked his sermon. He opened referring to George Carlin's talk about "stuff".
I have to admit, humor works with me.  I will always remember this sermon. Plus he made it interactive. I think the congregration (myself included) said the word "stuff" about 50 times when cued. 
Here's the George Carlin video:

I also really liked the hymns we sang. We opened with "Lift Every Voice and Sing".  When I accompanied the Roosevelt High School choir, about 10 years ago, I learned that this hymn is sometimes called the "African American National Anthem".  I also discovered that if people love a song, they can truly sing. I never heard these kids sing until they sang this one for me.  
Chills and goosebumps even as I recall the experience.
We ended with "Go Tell it On the Mountain&…

Year Four, Day 182: Live Streaming My Consciousness

I am still fasting. I usually eat from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

I am needing to eat healthier during my eating window. I know this because I am achy and grumpy this morning.  I know Grumpy was one of the Seven Dwarves. But Achy?  I think they need to make and 8th Dwarf!

And I attribute it to too much sodium. Probably those french fries.

So today I had opened my eating window with brown rice, one half of a sweet potato, broccoli, kim chi and black beans.  And hot tea. That was about 10:45 a.m. Then 30 minutes later I had tuna and rice crackers.

 My window closes at 2:45 today.  Lately, I get a panicked feeling about 1:30, knowing the window is closing soon.  And usually that is right before I start teaching.  So I dive into a nearby fast food joint to get my last meal.

I could pack my lunch. Sometimes I do. But then I have to lug it around.  And I seriously have this ritual of stopping somewhere for coffee, iced tea or a small meal before I teach. It gives me time to recharge, think,…

Year Four, Day 181: The Kitchen Table

I am so burned out from feeling so much. Worries about health and safety of my family, worries about finances, worries about me saying the wrong thing, worries about not sticking to my weigh loss program, worries about our country falling apart, worries about young men turning to white extremism, plotting to kill as many people as possible, buying weapons and then killing as many people as possible...

It used to be I just worried about what to wear to school and if anyone would talk to me.

I have moments of peace.  Moments of pure joy. Moments of sanity.

Those usually happen when I am working. Whether I am teaching, practicing the piano or playing the piano, I can usually set the troubling thoughts aside.  They'll be there later.

This afternoon I had an extremely joyful peaceful hour with an adult student of mine. She is retired and had some health problems that forced her to quit the choir that I accompany.  She contacted me for piano lessons about a year ago. She is such a joy t…

Year Four, Day 180: Know the Enemy


Not long to blog today. I am on my way to a meeting at my church job.

I am trying to pry myself away from Twitter.  The mass shootings of this weekend are weighing heavy on my soul.

My daughter scolds me for posting too many of my political opinions online. Since she and her husband are my friends on Facebook, I've wandered with my more liberal opinions over to Twitter. I feel more at home there. I've found I can hear many different sides of an issue with less memes and more raw emotion

I am a sucker for raw emotion.

I do understand where my daughter is coming from, however. Especially since she has a young child.

When my children were young, I gave away all my Stephen King and Dean Koontz books. I could no longer read horror novels when I had two precious lives that depended upon me. And the enormous pressure that the responsibility for them created would keep me up at night. Worries about health, strangers, finances, their school work, and social interactions were enoug…