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

Glacier National Park (

 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 responsibility of caring for children, even as the mate parted.

But now they are grown.  I do not feel the need to put out roots. I feel the need to be free!  This concept of freedom I spoke about in a previous post is a big driving factor in my life.

Not sure I quite understand it. But a few years ago, when I was struggling with my living situation, I started considering living in a conversion camper-van. My friends and family were horrified and talked me out of it. Instead, I moved to Salem to be with my daughter as she prepared to get married. I am not sorry for that decision.  That was a good year with my kids.  And I made new friends in Salem.

But now, I am thinking about that van again. Well, probably not to LIVE in. But to travel about.  In between teaching terms I have between 2 and 4 weeks off from the music center where I teach group classes and accompany a choir. My private students usually take that time off to because it coincides with the public school schedule.

My new brewing plan is to save up for a camper-van and start taking road trips. I have seen very little of this wonderful United States. I especially am interested in National Parks.

While I'm at it, I can combine visits to friends and family. Maybe do a few church pianist guest spots.

I'll need a good sturdy dog for a companion.  I am getting quite excited just typing this! And it fits in with my self-improvement plan. If I want to hit the road for a cross country trip in a camper van with just a dog as my companion and body guard, I need to be fit!

Last week I rented a DVD from the library about National Parks.  They are all stunning and magnificant.  But Glacier National Park, to me stood out as most glorious! Perhaps that will be my first destination. I have a friend in Idaho I can stop by and visit.

Ah! 'Tis good to have a vision! :)

Today I am stretching to:  Chanson de Matin Op.15 No.2 by Edward Elgar.

I am quite sore in my arms, upper back and chest. Me thinks it is the burpees. I would rather be sore from exercise than from tension, stress and aging!

The Chanson de Matin is lovely. Have a listen!

I weighed in at 185 today.  I attribute the 1 pound gain to eating a bowl of lavender vanilla ice cream late last night.  And 1/2 a chocolate bar between students.  Not sure what brought on the sweet tooth. I felt the need for a snack, and thought dark chocolate would soothe my soul. Along with a cup of tea that one of my student's grandmas always brews for me. It was nice.

But my daughter is feeling under the weather. She called and asked if I would stp by the store and pick up a pint of Ben and Jerry's Half Baked FroYo.  While I was there, I noticed a "French Lavender" ice Cream by Snoqualmie.  I just couldn't resist.

This was seriously the best ice cream ever. I only had a small bowl. It was all I needed.

I visited Snoqualmie's website and discovered a recipe for "Lavender Fog", a spin on London Fog, one of my favorite hot drinks.  It calls for Earl Grey tea, milk, honey and French Lavender ice cream. I need to make this! Maybe it will help my daughter get over her cough and head cold! It will help me smile, that's for sure!

So, enough about food.  The hymn of the day is:

"All Creatures of Our God and King". Words by St. Francis of Assisi (1881-1226). Muisc from Geistliche Kirchengesang. (1623)

I am quite familiar with this hymn. I played the piano for a Presbyterian church when my children were young that sang this hymn every Sunday after the offering was taken.

But I have not pondered the words much. St. Francis is one of my favorite saints. We share a love for animals and nature.  In my hymn book, it states that St. Francis wrote these words in 1225. One year before his death.

Here are some interesting facts:

"In 1224, he received the stigmata, making him the first recorded person to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion.He died during the evening hours of October 3, 1226, while listening to a reading he had requested of Psalm 140. On July 16, 1228, he was pronounced a saint by Pope Gregory IX. He is known as the patron saint of animals, the environment, and is one of the two patron saints of Italy (with Catherine of Siena)" (

You can read more about St. Francis of Assisi here:

Today as I am reading the words of this old hymn, I am glancing out my window. The sky is blue, with puffs of clouds, but the ground is wet from a recent rain. I believe I will go on my trail walk today before I teach. I think I will read Psalm 140 and think about St. Francis and his legacy.

All Creatures of Our God and King
1 All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voice and with us sing:,
alleluia, alleluia!
O burning sun with golden beam,
and shining moon with silver gleam,
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
2 O rushing wind so wild and strong,
white clouds that sail in heaven along,
alleluia, alleluia!
New rising dawn in praise rejoice;
you lights of evening find a voice:
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
3 Cool flowing water, pure and clear,
make music for your Lord to hear:
alleluia, alleluia!
Fierce fire, so masterful and bright,
providing us with warmth and light.
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
4 Earth ever fertile, day by day
bring forth your blessings on our way;
alleluia, alleluia!
All flowers and fruits that is you grow,
let the his glory also show;
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
5 All you who are of tender heart,
forgiving others, take your part;
alleluia, alleluia!
All you who pain and sorrow bear,
praise God and on him cast your care;
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
6 Let all things their Creator bless,
and worship him in humbleness,
alleluia, alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
and praise the Spirit, Three in One:
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Psalm 140

 New International Version (NIV)

Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers;
    protect me from the violent,
who devise evil plans in their hearts
    and stir up war every day.
They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s;
    the poison of vipers is on their lips.[b]

Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
    protect me from the violent,
    who devise ways to trip my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
    they have spread out the cords of their net
    and have set traps for me along my path.

I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
    Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.
Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,
    you shield my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord;
    do not let their plans succeed.

Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
    may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
10 May burning coals fall on them;
    may they be thrown into the fire,
    into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land;
    may disaster hunt down the violent.

12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
    and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,
    and the upright will live in your presence.

Happy Friday!


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