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Showing posts from January, 2016

Day 267: Becoming Less Acidic

Extraordinary day in church this morning. And to think I almost missed it. I awoke tired, sore and cranky. And two pounds heavier. Arrrggg.

My desire was to stay in bed and "sleep it off". I didn't "feel" like getting out of bed, showering, getting dressed,etc. But then I recalled the words of our pastor last week (I am paraphrasing):

"I hear people say they don't 'feel' like doing something. Well, feeling is overrated. Be a seeker of truth!"

So, seeker of truth am I! I crawled out of bed and hobbled to the kitchen. I filled my thermos with boiling water and plopped in a Lady Gray tea bag. Typing this now, I am chuckling. Lady "Gray" am I with my undyed locks! :)

I set out for the bus stop. It was chilly and overcast. And as usual, info g praying to my senses. As was church. Which is more like a 90 minute bible study with a bit of prayer and hymn sing in thrown in. I hunger for this. I am so happy I battled the demon of sloth.

I …

Day 266: "All Day Long"

I am rising bright and early to make it to Mass this morning. I have been foregoing weekday Mass, because I am just too tired in the morning. Plus, I have been working on my daily piano practice.  I enjoy Saturday Mass the most anyway. A small, very devout group gathers.  A female lay minister presides.  We all join hands in a circle for the Lord's prayer. And we hug for the passing of the peace. It never fails to revive my faith in God and humankind!

Then I will teach piano and have chamber music rehearsal. I'm having lunch with my mom and teaching her a lesson too. My father is recovering from his stroke well enough to allow her some freedom.  He's been going to physical therapy twice a week and getting rave reviews. I do believe in the power of exercise!  My mom and dad are also receiving Meals on Wheels deliveries at lunch everyday.  What a Godsend this organization is. I was a volunteer deliverer in my early twenties. The people I served were so appreciative of a heal…

Day 265: Burpees, French Lavender Ice Cream, St. Francis and a Camper Van. Destination Freedom!

It was too wet out for a trail walk yesterday. And my piano practice session ran overtime, so no gym for me either!

I absolutely could not live with myself if I did not get some exercise in. So, enter the burpee!  I've seen people do these at the gym but I did not think I was capable.

But I am!

I did 4 in a row! With a pushup in between each one!

Do not judge me. I was sweating! And I did some pushups and leg kicks, and lots of stretching.

I walked extra between my students houses too.

Above is a video that I like. I want to be fit, but not injured!

On another note,I am feeling the winds of change starting to blow in my direction. I have developed wanderlust. It has grabbed hold and is really tugging at my soul. Actually, it has always been there.  I have the yearning to free myself of things that tie me down and see the world.  But when I was young, I was afraid. When I became a young adult, I felt driven to find a mate and have children.  Then I had the awe inspiring responsib…

Day 264: A French Chicken and Setting My Grey Free!

My reading log!

Yesterday I made a French chicken. A "traditional French roast chicken" from this site:

Best. Chicken. Ever! The skin was crispy. The meat was juicy. And the pan juices from the bird dripped down and coated the vegetables beneath. I took the carcass later and made a bone broth . I will have a mug this morning. Before my piano practice.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Despite my soreness. My left shoulder rhomboid area (underneath my shoulder blade) was aching. I tried stretching and ice to no avail. I am avoiding meds because they do not help much. Plus I worry about damaging my kidneys. A nurse practitioner friend of mine cautioned me about regular use of Alleve. It was the only med that took the edge off of  joint pain, but it is an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug). Overuse can lead to many problems. Which I choose to avoid. I'll keep my pain, thank you very much! https:…

Day 263: Passion

Today is Mozart's birthday.  But I am doing my stretching to Beethoven. Sorry Mozart. Beethoven has always been my man. I am stretching to the Piano Concerto Number 1 in C Major. Great way to wake up! I have always loved his passion.

However, the choir I accompany is working on the Mozart Requiem, which I have mentioned in previous posts. We had rehearsal last night. There are no words. I often break out in goose bumps or feel tears welling up in certain passages.  I think I should play the Requiem at night to help my sleep.

I am quite stiff and sore today. Since it is my last Wednesday off before I start teaching in Salem again, I gave myself a break. I allowed myself to take it easy this morning without too much soulracking guilt.

But having a plan does help.  I took a really hot shower and stretched.  I stepped on the scale.

I weighed in at 186 today.

The last two days I have eaten all food from home.  I know this is healthier. But I do love my restaurants!  Just need to perha…

Day 262: In My Own Backyard

Yesterday, I chose to cross Foster Road for my walk. The Foster Floodplain was the perfect destination for a warm, blue-skied January day. I didn't realize how scenic this area is. Usually, on any given drizzly Portland day, it is gray, soggy and marsh-like. Not a very inspiring outdoor experience. But yesterday it was lively. Birds were singing, a slight breeze was blowing and Johnson Creek was gurgling. I've been doing a bit of research. I discovered that the Foster Floodplain area was completely restored in 2012 - all 63 acres. I had no idea it was this large! Very excited for my walk today. Much to explore!

If you are interested in learning more about the Foster Floodplan, click here:

I stretched this morning to "Walking the Dog" by George Gershwin. This delightful little tune came in at number 252 on the Classic FM Hall of Fame for 2015. 
I weighed in at 187 pounds.  I set a new goal:  182 pounds by February 26.

Day 261: Moving Beyond The Birthday Cake into this Glorious Day!

Hit the wall this morning. Like a stubborn mule. Tired, a little foggy, sad and lethargic. I will blame it on the birthday cake. I had another slice after dinner last night. So this blog will be brief. I intend to still stay with my routine in order of priorities despite the fact I stayed in bed far too long.

I did do my stretching this morning. My stretching music was "Concerto Antico for Guitar and Small Orchestra" by Richard Harvey.  Simply sublime. I am feeling streams of life trickle back into my sad self.  This tune come in at Number 282 on the Classic FM Hall of Fame for 2015.

I opened up the curtains and gasped at the brilliant blue sky.  The weather is forecast to be clear and sunny with a high of 55!  Contrast this with our brothers and sisters on the East coast who are digging themselves out of a blizzard that dumped nearly 2 feet of snow in some places.  Isn't the weather trippy lately?

I think I will not dwell on …

Day 260: The Zita Roast

So yesterday my family came over to roast me, err celebrate my birthday. But it felt like a roast.I survived. And now I am lingering over a London Fog at Starbucks after church, chatting with my favorite barista, Josh. I asked him his secret for his sunny disposition. Without missing a beat, he said, "Its because I am a physicist!"

We had a lovely  chat about the universe, God and positive energy.  I finished my tea and told him to keep being wonderful. He looked back and smile and said, "And you keep being beautiful!"

If  all of our encounters could be so pleasant!

Like my birthday dinner for example. I am joking really. We had fun. My mother brought over a meatloaf. She even made a mini gluten free loaf for me. But that's when the roast began. My brother mocked my gluten free lifestyle.  Soon the whole table chimed in.

Later when we sat down to play a game of blackjack, someone asked if it was a gluten free deck.


Family. :)

But dinner was wonderful. Th…

Day 259: Thankfully Raining

I'm so grateful to be living here in Portland, Oregon. Skies are slate grey this morning, a light drizzle glistening on the ground. But it is not cold. Just a slight breeze. And the air smells fresh and sweet.

I got up reluctantly out of my warm bed this morning, put on my rainboots and hopped on a bus to Mass. I am now having a rice cake breakfast sandwich at McDonald's before my morning piano classes. I am reading about the "monster blizzard" that is pummeling the east coast.

My thoughts and prayers are focused on their safety.

Happy Saturday!

Day 258: Happiness is: Relief from Struggle?

Yesterday was one of my occasional very good, balanced, almost pain free days.  Is it just my biorhythm?  Was it the bone broth? The stretching? The giddy feeling of accomplishment? Afterall, I practiced several hours, lost one pound, and stuck to my schedule.

Or was it my new found fascination with hymns?  I printed one of Isaac Watts hymns and kept it with me when I went off to teach piano.  I read through it several times during the day.

It is called "Bless O My Soul the Living God" written by Isaac Watts in 1719.

Bless, O my soul, the living God,
Call home my thoughts that roam abroad;
let every power within me join
in work and worship so divine.
Lord God, how wondrous are your ways!
How firm your truth, how large your grace!
You take great mercy as your throne,
and thus you make your glories known.
Not half so high your power spreads
the starry heavens above our heads,
as your rich love exceeds our praise,
exceeds the highest hopes we raise.
Not half so far has nature pla…

Day 257: Signs, Bone Broth and One Less Pound!

This is what's going on at my house! lol

Yesterday, I had a day off from teaching. I lingered over my blog and made a new plan yesterday.

Then I made a pot of tea and I posted a sign outside my bedroom door and got to practicing!

On a bathroom break, I walked out into the hallway and noticed a sign my son-in-law had made. LOL!  I thought it was eerily quiet in the house. My son was at work and my daughter was on a job interview. I thought my son-in-law was watching a game. Apparently we have inspired one another!

Here is my list of accomplishments for yesterday:

Piano Practice  2 hours
Breakfast, prayer and bible study 1/2 hour
Email 1 hour
Piano Practice 1hour
Trail Walk:  1.5 miles
Shower, etc 1/2 hour
Made Dinner (roast chicken and cauliflower!) 1/2 hour prep
Laundry 1/2 hour
Stretched 15 minutes
Dinner 1/2 hour
Made bone broth with the chicken carcass 15 min prep
Stretched 15 min
Made popcorn 5 min
Watched movie ("Still Alice"- loved this movie! I also started to wo…

Day 256: UPDATE!

A watched tea kettle never boils, they say.

And so, as I was waiting for my tea water, I went and stepped on the bathroom scale.

And so I guess a watched scale never budges, right? :)  

Just had to share. No back to my piano practice.  I think I will start logging my practice time here.  Keeps me on track.  And that is where I want to be! :)

Day 256: Zita, Piano Ninja!

So inspired by my musical interactions yesterday! I gave it some thought. And I came to the conclusion that I need to do some shifting and prioritizing.  These past 256 days, I have been focusing on my health. I set out to change my eating habits, exercise regularly and draw closer to God. And I have done all those things. However, I am still heavier than I would like to be. I still battle depression and anxiety and procrastination. But my health has improved. I have tools that I draw upon daily to battle my demons.

I have been feeling rather frustrated lately. I wonder if I was somehow expecting my focus on diet and exercise to fix my whole life?  It certainly has helped. But after my performance yesterday in an environment of support and focus on our mutual interest- insanely playing music, and taking on new, challenging works, I realized I have been depriving myself of the joy that comes from the gift I have been given. I have never achieved my full potential as a pianist. A teach…