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Showing posts from September, 2015

Day 144: Forgiveness

I thought a lot about my disappointment in myself yesterday.  I sat on the bus, looking out at the beautiful autumn sky.  I breathed deeply.  Trying to let go.  I have always been my harshest critic.

Aside from my father, that is.

Then it dawned on me.  Yesterday (September 29th) was my father's birthday.  We are not close.  It's easier that way. He was unkind to us when we were little.  He seems to have mellowed with age. But we are awkward around each other.

Thank God for texting! I pulled out my phone and texted "Happy Birthday Grandpa" to my mother's phone. He does not do phones.  I've noticed it's easier calling him Grandpa. That's who he is now. He was never "Dad".

But he is. My dad. He is now 75.  Maybe this is why the last week has been so rough.  I never have really gotten over not having a loving father.  That is probably why I pray so much. My heavenly Father more than makes up for my earthly father. 

That is why the Catholic ch…

Day 143: My Blog of Shame

No after picture.  Believe me, it was not pretty. ;)

I kind of messed up this morning. I admit it.  The above picture is my meal on Sunday at Pepino's.  Very healthy.  Yes, there is some cheese on that salad, but this is a nice gluten free meal.  And I felt good afterwards.

But today, I did not make a very wise food choice. And I am humbly confessing here on my blog to hopefully shame myself into making a better choice next time!  

Ok. So this morning I was so proud of myself for getting up early and making it to Mass, that I went out for breakfast at Teco's.  There was some nostalgia involved in this decision. Years ago, when I was going through some dark times, I attended the Novena of Grace at St. Ignatius.  9 days of Mass and specific prayer.  I would go to Mass, pray, cry and then crawl across the street to Teco's for a breakfast burrito and coffee. I was not eating meat at the time, so I would just have eggs and potatoes in a tortilla. And it was very comforting.


Day 142: Beginner's Mind

Today is a success!

I woke up early!

I am sticking to my revised schedule!

I sat down yesterday and wrote out a plan for every day of the week. Now this sounds a little OCD, which there is really nothing wrong with. But I have always valued freedom and flexibility to let the creative juices flow.

But without a plan, I am aimless and wayward.

So I am taking Benjamin Franklin's lead and attempting to stick to a schedule, with room for creative flow.

Here is today's schedule:

6:00 a.m.:Up/Tea8:00 a.m. Mass8:45 a.m. Breakfast/journaling10:00 Home/clean/pack dinner10:30 Walk 11:30 Blog12:00 Practice Piano12:30 Lunch1:30 Bus3:30 to 9:00 Students9:30 Bus10:00 Home10:30 bed

I feel quite accomplished!  I have been so inspired by Pope Francis' visit, they I have been compelled to start the day with Catholic Mass.  I go to St. Ignatius which is a Jesuit Catholic church. Pope Francis is a Jesuit.

Today the priest talked about "beginner's mind".  Good message.  Over a cup …

Day 141: The Complete Interior Makeover

Yesterday was a low day for me.  Low spirits. Low energy. 

I am feeling better today.  Had much food for thought! And much sleeping in!

I hung out with my daughter after I got home from rehearsal last night. We watched an episode of Outlander. I bought the entire First Season. I am so hooked!  Not to give the plot away, but the main character is a nurse during World War II. She and her husband are celebrating after the end of the war in Scotland in 1945. She is suddenly (I won't tell you how!) whisked back into time into the 1700's and becomes entangled with a Scottish clan.

I watched the whole season last year when I was dog-sitting for a piano student's family. They live near Movie Madness (on SE Belmont). A lovely couple recommended the series when I was there poking around.

I'm so excited to get my daughter in on my addiction.  It's more fun when shared! :)

So about yesterday. I had a long, weary day. Felt pretty low. I must confess, that after a long day of…

Day 140: Blue Saturday

Long day of teaching and rehearsal. I didn't get a walk in this morning,just a bit of stretching.I plan on more stretching before bed. I am feeling a little low energy. I am definitely walking the trail tomorrow no matter what!  I am a little bit worried about this coming week. It is very busy. I think maybe I'll just get some extra sleep tonight. I am thinking about finding a quiet spot to sit and journal tomorrow. A lot on my heart.

I did make wonderful paleo lasagne last night which I took for lunch. Instead of noodles, it had thinly sliced pieces of chicken. Scrumptious!

But I think I ate too much today. Kind of stuffed and feeling blue.

Oh well. Tomorrows is a new day!

Happy Saturday!

Day 139: Small Talk

I was so happy to see rain when I woke up this morning. All of our plants on the deck have perked up.  I did wake up at 6:00 a.m., but I made a conscious decision to allow myself a few hours lounging in bed before I started my day.

Next week begins fall term at the music center. My world will get much busier!

My meatloaf was superb yesterday. I will never go back to using bread crumbs again!  I used bison, grass fed beef and ground turkey. I chopped up about 1/2 cup canned mushrooms, and added some low sugar marinara sauce and 3 eggs.  Then I seasoned it with salt, pepper, oregono and paprika. 

It cooked up so nice and dense.  Didn't crumble when I cut it.  I just had a slice with Brussels sprouts and a salad for lunch. :)

I am going for a foot massage shortly and then to teach a few students. I feel very calm and balanced.

I am going to get some good piano practice in this evening.  I didn't do my trail walk. I had a bible study with some of my neighbor friends and it was ra…

Update: Dude!

Hey, my goal is to blog straight from the heart. No sugar coating.  As authentic as I can muster. And "dude" was the most authentic word that I could type at the moment! I did end up lying down for a nap after my early morning blogging and chores. But when I got up and made my tea, I felt light as a feather. I wanted to skip around the room.  So I headed straight for the scale. And, DUDE! I am down another pound!  I took my BP for the heck of it and it is still nice and low.   I had thought about bacon and eggs for breakfast, but in light of this dude! moment, I made the breakfast my mother swears by.  Low fat cottage cheese mixed with yogurt. And a slice of orange. Just had to share! :)  I am feeling very grateful and GREATful today! :) DUDE! BP: 95/82 Pulse: 70 Weight: 191 lbs Neck: 14" Chest: 42" Waist: 38" Hips: 45" Biceps: R 13.5"/L 13.5 Thighs: R 22.5/L 22.5" Calves: R 14"/L 14" Ankles: R 9"/L 9"

“To whom will you co…

Day 138: The Opossum: A Tick Killing Machine!

Good morning! I'm up with the chickens again!  My eyes popped wide open at precisely 6:00 a.m. Which is amazing since I had difficulty sleeping last night. I lay down at 10:00, but my heart was racing. I think I drank too much tea yesterday.

My daughter and her husband took the dog hunting.  So I do not have a dog to feed or let out. But I thought I would get some blogging in as the sun rises.  Then I'll do some cleaning and maybe catch a nap before my afternoon students.

Speaking of dogs and hunting, my mother always calls and tells me to remind my daughter and her husband to check for ticks when they come back from hunting.  I just read an interesting article about the lowly opossum.  Apparently they are tick killing machines!  Maybe we all need one in our backyard?

I am determined to conquer this sleep thing.  Hey, I am on my way to conquering the eating and exercise thing, why not conquer one more fundamental mechanism of human survival. :)

I plan on reading more about sl…

Day 137: What is Sleep?


I did it!

I woke up at 6:00 a.m.!

This may not seem like that great a feat to you, but to me this is huge!

I was pondering my sleep pattern as I journaled yesterday.  Something so basic for most living beings (Apparently scientists are hesitant to say all living creatures sleep". has been a stumbling block for me my whole life.

Wow.  This is huge!

I discovered that I am angry in the morning. Mostly angry at the alarm clock - how irrational is that?

So last night I redid my schedule. 

I wrote a big note by my alarm clock this morning:

6:00 a.m. WAKE UP
Weigh selfDog outMake teaWater plants 6:30 a.m. BLOG

Instead of waking up and cleaning and exercising, I will wake up, weigh myself and put the tea kettle on for tea. Then while it brews I let the dog out and water the plants. Then I will carry my steamy mug of Earl Grey goodness back into my room and log onto Blogger.

It worked!  Today at least. But I will just tak…

Day 136: There will be no more turkey ham served here! (Dedicated to Taylor, Andrew and Mike!)

A funny thing happened yesterday.  Everyone was home at the same time in the morning.  My son had the day off. My daughter and I both worked later in the afternoon. My son-in-law was going hunting around noon.

We are rarely all home together, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for a home cooked family meal!  I got to work. I scoped the fridge out and rounded up fixin's for a big fritatta. I LOVE making fritattas. I am a big fan of the humble, protein packed egg. With a fritatta you can throw in lots of veggies and make it healthy. I used mushrooms, green onions, red peppers, kale, cheese and turkey ham.

Then we all sat down to our breakfasts.  We had a nice conversation about how to work our food budget and cooking so that we can eat healthy home cooked meals.

I told them I enjoy making breakfasts. I make killer jalepeno/garlic/onion home fries. They all agreed. I asked them how they liked their fritattas.  They all too quickly said,"Great Mom" while kin…

Day 135: "Writing Down Your Soul"

Another wonderful, long day!

I hope to get back into my normal morning blog routine tomorrow.  I find by the time I get home and have my tea, I am ready for bed. Perhaps it is the cooler weather.  Which I love!

I did get a nice walk this morning.  Grocery shopping with the kids.  Ate well. 

And am reading a fascinating, inspiring book that I had downloaded to my Kindle sometime in the past - I don't really recall when. But I just stumbled upon it yesterday.  It is called
Writing Down Your Soul: How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within By Janet Conner.
I was meant to read this. 
I am actually inhaling this book. And I am writing. A lot. I am feeling the muse!  More on that later. For now, here are my weekly stats and then I am off to dreamland! :)BP,Weight and Measurements 09/21/2015 BP: 118/74 Weight: 192lbs Neck: 14" Chest: 42" Waist: 38" Hips: 45" Biceps: R 13.5"/L 13.5 Thighs: R 22.5/L 22.5" Calves: R 15"/L 15" Ankles: …

Day 134: Sweet Dreams! :)

Another wonderful, calm, serene day.

I don't know if I can take many more of these (I say, rolling my eyes)

It feels good to be healthy, happy and calm.

And sadly too sleepy to blog today.

But I did get a nice long walk in this morning with my daughter and her dog Honey!

I'll fill you in tomorrow.

Happy Sunday. Sweet Dreams!

Day 133: The Parable of the Scrahbby Apple

Another good day!  I have been feeling very calm and centered lately.  I like that. Maybe it has something to do with my lowered blood pressure, which I am certain has something to do with my healthier lifestyle.

Must continue on this path!

Today was breakfast with my mom day.  I walked up to meet her. Comically, we each thought the other was paying today.  So we had to cut back on our usual orders.  This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I had English Breakfast tea, black, 2 eggs scrambled, hashbrowns and fruit. She had the same, except with toast.

I also took my ukelele to work with me. On my break, I practised. What a fun, simple little instrument!  And a great conversation piece. I met at least 3 new people today because of my little friend!

I didn't have my normal 2:00 p.m. crash today. And I ate healthy all day.  About 4:00 p.m.  I began to feel a little panicked because I had eaten everything but an apple from my lunch.  I still had two students and a chamber music …

Day 132

I am having a very good day!

Fridays have been my "day off" for the month of September. Then in October, fall term opens up at the music center and I teach group classes.  I have one student Friday evening. And bible study in the morning with some wonderful neighbor ladies and their dogs. :)

After bible study, I went for a two mile walk on the trail. It was the perfect day for walking. A gentle breeze, sunshine, but not too hot. Nice long pockets of shade.

 I need to remember that I need this.

I need to walk miles a day. Not just for the exercise. For for my mental state.  I get time to ponder, to pray, to listen to music, to breathe to be.  I really need to remember this feeling.

After my wonderful walk,  I made lunch. Lately I feel like I have been eating too much meat. I was actually craving tofu! Who does that?  Crave tofu?! lol  Well I did.  I've also been reading the spelt flour is gluten free, and does not cause inflammation. So I coated cubes of extra firm tofu…

Day 131: Poetry and Pho

Taking a break at one of my favorite Pho restaurants. This one is in the Hawthorne neighborhood, where I am teaching today.  I stopped briefly at the library and picked up a book of poems: "Good Poems" selected by Garrison Keillor.

I opened the book to this one:
“At least

I want to get up early one more morning,
before sunrise. Before the birds, even.
I want to throw cold water on my face
and be at my work table
when the sky lightens and smoke
begins to rise from the chimneys
of the other houses.
I want to see the waves break
on this rocky beach, not just hear them
break as I did in my sleep.
I want to see again the ships
that pass through the Strait from every
seafaring country in the world -
old, dirty freighters just barely moving along,
and the swift new cargo vessels
painted every color under the sun
that cut the water as they pass.
I want to keep an eye out for them.
And for the little boat that plies
the water between the ships
and the pilot station near the lighthouse.
I want to see them …

Day 130: The Dovekeepers

I had a busy day. Taught in Salem. Back in Portland, got stuck on a trimet bus for nearly an hour. A bad accident had Foster closed off near SE 72nd. Our poor bus driver waited for the all clear sign, but finally was told to reroute. But they gave him poor instructions, and we ended up getting stuck on a dead end street! But he kept his cool and got us to our destinations safely. He apologized, but I thanked him for being so conscientious. 
Good thing I had a new book to read on my Kindle. The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. Well researched historical fiction. I am fascinated with this era of biblical history and love strong female characters.
But now, alas tis past my bedtime.
Happy Wednesday!

Day 129: Cyborgs

Today I started the day with a list.  A list of what I hoped to accomplish today.  It was a very peaceful time.  I think I will go back to morning lists. Usually I start with the internet. I lie in bed with my Kindle and check my email, my Facebook, my bank account. It gets my brain moving. And then I move my body.  But I have been feeling for sometime that too much internet time decreases my motivation in the real world. And last night as I rode the bus home, I put on my headphones and tuned into OPB. It was the "Ted Talk" hour. This week they have a series called "Screen Time"  Last night was part two.

The talk was by cyborg anthropologist Amber Case.  I couldn't resist the title being a bit of a science fiction geek.

I googled "cyborg".  Here is the definition from Mirriam-Webster Dictionary: "in stories : a person whose body contains mechanical or electrical devices and whose abilities are greater than the abilities of normal humans."

Day 128: Fat Bombs

Today I made fat bombs.  I got the recipe from one of my Kindle books, called "Fat Bomb Recipes" by Sara Givens.  Today's fat bomb consists of little morsels of coconut butter, unsweetened coconut, cream cheese, with a chocolate cream cheese glaze, topped with walnuts. The idea is to keep your body in a state of ketosis, which is burning stored fat.  These little bites keep you feeling satisfied and less prone to binging on simple carbs. I am packing a couple with my lunch.

I am finding I need to make more time for exercise. I went to bed early last night with my book, but stayed up late, having a hard time putting it down. Hence, I kept hitting the snooze this morning.

I had a  nice breakfast - a leftover mushroom/spinach frittata, turkey bacon and tea.

Then I made my fat bombs and stir fried some cabbage and onions. My lunch today is sweet potatoes, spinach, shredded chicken, carrots, red peppers, cabbage and a fat bomb.  Yum! :)  I actually prefer my lunches to almos…

Day 127: The Nightingale

I will be keeping this post very short.  I am sleepy. It is only 9:00 p.m. Sunday night.  But I am attempting to reprogram myself to go to sleep earlier and rise earlier. Yup. Still working on it!

I had a really wonderful, peacefully balanced day.

My last student of the day just began high school. She was feeling very overwhelmed and in tears when I arrived. We just sat and talked for awhile. Then I told her that she is amazing and I've seen her accomplish so much in her lessons. She sniffled and said thank you.  We started her lesson. I let her take the lead with what she wanted to play. She is quite musical.  I got goose bumps. I always do when I hear someone shift from just merely playing the notes, to that magical, intangible "making music".

She likes to sing while she plays. The last piece she played for me today was a lovely arrangement of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". And the lyrics hit me like never before.  And her sweet teenage, angst-filled voice me…

Day 126: Skinny Jeans! :)

Let me tell you about a good fitting pair of jeans. There is nothing like the feeling! I had forgotten how the denim hugs you. :) 

My last pair of jeans was a "relaxed fit" pair from Fred Meyer's. I bought them about a year ago when I lived in Salem.  I was happy to wear jeans again - tired of BBW stretch pants!  And my thighs were just too big for "normal" jeans.

Well, yesterday I went for a foot massage with Daniel (it's become a weekly thing now). Across the street is a little clothing store called "Top to Bottom". Trendy clothes. My kids love shopping there. But their sizes are on the small side. 

But I felt quite svelte yesterday. So after my massage, I headed over and tried on some jeans.  Skinny jeans!  I probably could have gotten a size smaller even, but they were a bit too snug around ye ol tummy.

I think I shall reward myself each month with a new pair of jeans! I got a new top too. :)

This simply act of buying a new outfit helped ener…

Day 125: Remembering

In honor of this day, I am reflecting and praying.  See you tomorrow. God bless.

Day 124: Good Food Here

It's getting a little bit easier.  My body seems to have adapted to this way of life.  I started the day with a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon. Then I headed to the trail for a brisk walk.

For breakfast I made a power salad of fresh veggies and a little bit of the leftover Mexican cauliflower rice from the other night. I made a homemade dressing out of olive oil, minced garlic, a bit of dijon mustard and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.

I don't think about food constantly anymore. Or munch mindlessly. But there are moments...

I feel like I have been too heavy on the protein and need more fresh fruits and vegetables.  I packed a light lunch, but for dinner between students I headed to the "Good Food Here" food carts on SE Belmont and 43rd (next to Movie Madness). I had a lovely Casa Salada with grilled salmon.  It was a fresh green salad with a yummy jalapeno vinaigrette topped with salmon.  I also had a limeade. Yum!…

That was then. This is now.

Amtrak bus to Salem. Now and then. What a difference three and a half months makes - when you're working it and planning! :)

Day 123: BFF or Not! :)

I woke up early this morning. And when I was brushing my teeth I noticed something odd.  I turned to the side and my shirt was hanging straight down. No lump.  lol I've been so focused on trying to diminish my belly fat that I've ignored my back fat!

Now let me tell you about back fat. It is a sneaky character. I didn't even know I had it until I started noticing pictures. Especially pictures other people had shot unbeknownst to me. A lump!  Like a big turtle!

I told my daughter once that I found out the real meaning of BFF.  We all know that abbreviation as "Best Friends Forever". :) Awwww.  But I know the truth. It stands for BACK FAT FOREVER!!!!

Or maybe not!

Anyway, I am heading down to Salem today. First time in almost 3 months. I am looking forward to the peaceful bus trip. I have many books loaded on my Kindle.

I didn't get up early enough to hit the trail, but I did some stretches. I will get a good walk in when I hit Salem.

And I think today would b…

Day 122: O Nata Lux

I woke up to a beautiful fall day.  The recent rain has brought out the brilliant green.  Lovely!  Soon the leaves will be turning colors and falling.  I have noticed that I like change. No wonder the fall is my favorite season!

I am eating my grapefruit and listening to "O Nata Lux" by Morten Lauridsen  This is such a sublime vocal piece.  It is part of a requiem called Lux Aeterna. Laruidsen composed this after his mother died. His mother would play the piano at home and was his inspiration for studying music. "O Nata Lux" translates to "Oh light born from light".

Morten Johannes Lauridsen is a composer who is still alive today!  He was born in Colfax, WA in 1943. He was actually a firefighter for the US Forest Service here in the Pacific northwest before he left for college at USC. . He began teaching at USC in 1967 and has been on their faculty ever since."(

O Nata Lux came in at …

Day 121: Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

I had a light day today, but several students were interested in still having lessons. I can't say no to that enthusaism! :)

You know, time does not stand still.  Even when you are working on losing weight and getting fit.  I am looking forward to the next 4 months! 

I may have to keep blogging the rest of my life. When life gets stressful and I feel the temptation to go back to my old ways, I think, "how would I feel blogging about this?"  It helps me to be accountable.

Thank you blog. Thank you audience. Thank you God!

I had a wonderful day. Started with a long walk on the trail. Grits, an egg and tea for breakfast.

I met a new friend at the Grotto before I started my teaching. It was such a lovely day.  The perfect temperature.

I didn't get a chance to meal prep, so I had an early dinner at Laughing Planet before my last student of the day.  Then I headed to Fred Meyer's to buy some groceries. Meal prep day will be tomorrow!

So, here are toda…

Day 120 = 4 months! :)

" In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

120 days. That is 4 months! I still have much fine tuning to do. But that is a life long process. Overall, my new lifestyle is working. 

I am going to do some good stretching this morning. I have students in the afternoon. This evening I am going to do some good meal prepping for the week.

This is the week when my life gets very busy with students. But I have a plan.  And it makes me feel more secure. 

Of course, plans do fail and I am learning to trust myself with wiser choices. Most of all, I am learning to let go and trust God's plan.

Tomorrow is weight and measurements day.

I look forward to this blog so much everyday. It is exciting to see my progress. I am proud of myself for sticking to it! And comments from my friends who apparently I have inspired are priceless!

Happy Sunday!

Day 119: Gluten Withdrawal

Ok. So yesterday I was EXTREMELY irritable and cranky. All day.  And felt a little depressed.  Like I really needed to go off somewhere by myself and cry. For a long time.

I had the wisdom to stop sulking and get myself to the gym.  I worked my legs and did a bit on the treadmill and some stretching.  But then I had to run off to teach a student.

The exercise helped somewhat. But all day I felt super sensitive to what people said to me, or even how they looked at me.

Interestingly enough, I stumbled upon an article about depression and irritability associated with removing gluten from the diet!  It was a quick read, but when I googled the subject, I found this one:

Aha!  It is very helpful to be able to relate these wild moodswings to something.  I kept trying to figure out what was bothering me. And I kept coming up with: Everything!

Gluten has some very serious effects on the body.  The a…

Day 118: Z Poof!

My head has not been on straight all day.  Filled with worries.  Luckily I had a bible study with my friends. This helped my attitude. Still a little cranky.

You know those kind of days when nothing quite works right. I need to record 8 minutes of piano lullaby music for a client for their baby lullaby youtube channel. Which is all well and good, but my recorder needs new batteries. I should really find a charger for it. But I don't think I have the patience.

I've been messing around with my hair. Great way to spend a day right? Wrong! I have so much more to do. But I kind of like how it turned out. A bit of a poof on top! So perhaps it was time well spent.

Last night I organized my closet and went through some music. This I need to do.  I have this fear that I won't be prepared once I get really busy.

But I had a new family of students yesterday.  I always get nervous with new students. Remember the introvert thing? But once I sit down and starting talking to them, askin…

Day 117: Putting God in the Heading

Yesterday I cooked up a storm!

I made prepackaged meals for the next 5 days.  Sauteed chicken breasts (with my own concoction of spices, including nutritional yeast, yum!), squash and broccoli. I also made a garbanzo bean curry in the crockpot. It had a nice spicy kick to it. (Garlic, ginger and jalapeno)

But wait! There's more ! My daughter and son-in-law were raving about my homemade protein bars. They took some with them on their last hunting trip. They went out again this morning, so last night I made up another batch: Almond flour, flax seed meal, walnuts, applesauce, pumpkin puree, raisins, coconut, eggs, and protein powder.  They are seriously addicting!

This morning, I woke up before my son even. 5:00 a.m.!  I was wide awake. So I made him some coffee, packed him a lunch, let the dog out and got to work on something I've been meaning to try.  Woven bacon! I saw it on youtube. You weave bacon strips together like a basket and then bake.  I used turkey bacon. It didn'…

Day 116: Waiting to Exhale

I had a funny moment at the gym yesterday.  I stepped on the scale. One of those old school scales you used to find in doctor's offices before the whole world went digital.  I have this feeling they are pretty accurate. So I took off my shoes and stepped on. The little markers (not sure what to call those thingamabobs) were at "zero".  So I slide one over to 200 lbs.  I stared at it a moment not comprehending.  Because the scale thingie tipped all the way to the right.

Then I realized that I am now under 200 lbs! So I set the marker at 150 and added weight in increments until I got to my current weight today which is 195.

Something about sliding that marker made it more real then staring at a digital number. Just saying.

I went to my foot massage guy today. It just seemed like a good day to do that after a good workout. While I was walking up to see him, my daughter called. One of the most thrilling conversations ever.  She had recommended a book to read on Kindle. Her h…