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Showing posts from April, 2016

Day 357: Springwater Trail Occupation

I went for a walk on the trail yesterday, after the rain let up. I had not been on the trail in nearly a month. I was curious to see if the tent dwellers were still there. I have seen a lot of stories in the media lately about the people living in tents along the trail, but I wondered if anything had changed. It had.

There were more tents. I counted twelve tents in a quarter mile stretch of the trail. All several feet off the trail, many using an existing fence as a supporting structure.

Many looked permanent, complete with little walking paths. One tent had a small fence with a gate! But it looked cleaner than last time. It was like a little village. I saw several people walking amongst the tents. Someone was barbecuing. Nobody was walking on the trail, but me. I did see a couple of people on bikes.

I felt a little vulnerable, but no one bothered me.

I am curious what will happen in the summer. Last summer the trail was hopping with cyclists, runners and hikers.  Will the presence o…

Day 356: Running in Portland and a Racey Hat Story

I woke up to the sound of spring rain.  I opened the sliding door to let Honey Dog out. She just glared at me. Honey Dog does not do rain. But I do. I love the smell, the sound, how green it makes everything.  I feel a bit lazy today.  Like staying at home in my pajamas lazy.

I put in one of our prepared, frozen crockpot meals. On the menu today: Chicken fajitas. All I did was plopped the frozen meal in the crockpot, set it for 6 hours on low, squeezed a lime on top and then secured the lid. Dinner is done! And already the aroma wafting through the house is making my tummy growl!

I do not think I have time to get to the gym before I go teach. It is raining outside, but the temperature is mild. I think I might try a trail walk and some stretching.

 Nearly a year ago, when I first began writing this blog, I talked about running. This is a quote from my first post on Tuesday, May 12, 2015:

The Time is Now! "...the bottom line is that I need to take drastic measures if I want to re…

Day 355: Singing a Psalm

I feel rested today. I am officially cutting back on the caffeine. At least after 6 p.m!

I slept like a rock last night. Hit the snooze button multiple times.  But I managed to make it to the gym a little earlier than usual.I worked up a sweat on the treadmill, while watching the comedy called "2016 Election" on CNN.

What? It's not a comedy? Not a reality show?  It is the real news?

Ha! 

But it is quite entertaining to watch. And it makes my cardio go by in a flash.

I did 20 minutes on the treadmill at a faster pace than usual. (1.25 miles). Then I did some upper body strength training:  Lat pull down - 50 pounds, 1 set of 12; Bench Press - 50 pounds, 1 set of 12; Shoulder Press - 50 pounds 1 set of 12. Then I did about 10 minutes of stretching, 10 minutes in the sauna and a nice soak in the jacuzzi.


I haven't posted a psalm in several days. My psalm today is Psalm 33, a very uplifting one! It is very joyful, suggesting praising God with music.  I posted the King Ja…

Day 354: The Lavender Mocha

Day 353: The Voice

I am blogging from the Multnomah County Library in St. John's today. I was so thrilled to come out of the concert, walk around the corner and find a library. A library! One of my absolute favorite places to be. Ever!



Our chamber music group gave a little noon concert at St. John's Christian Church as part of the St. John's Tuesday Noon Music program. (www.saintjohnsmusic.com).

We had a small, but very appreciate audience. I was especially impressed by a baby boy. He was maybe 11 months old, but one of the most enthusiastic audience members I have ever seen. Especially on my piano solos, when I would play the high notes, or loud, booming chords, I would hear him singing along with me with gusto! I think a musician was born today!

St. John's is lovely. I had not been her for many years. The community is thriving. Many cute little restaurants and lovely old Portland style homes.  The bus driver recommended a little Mexican restuarant up the street. I think I will head the…

Day 352: This Thing called Life

 Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
"Let's Go Crazy", Prince http://www.lyricsfreak.com/p/prince/lets+go+crazy_20111277.html

I will admit it: I am still sad about the passing of Prince. The media is still going crazy.  The more I learn about him, the more it affects me.  He was just a few years older then me, but he accomplished ten times more in his lifetime. And it appears that he really embraced life!

I heard on a news program that he had composed at least one song a day and kept oodles of unpublished manuscripts in a locked safe.  He was only five foot two, but apparently quite the basketball player.

Geez, what are my excuses?  What will I leave behind?  No, we are not all superstars, or musical "geniuses".  But I am a musician. Pretty decent. Above average at sight reading.  But I have merely dabbled in composition.

I like to write, but I just blog away. Why not publish a book?

I keep talking about that marathon I…

Day 351: The Amazing Chorizo Plate!

Yesterday started out very calm and peaceful.  I made it to 8 a.m. Mass, then had the most extraordinary breakfast at Tecos.  The Chorizo breakfast. I often eat at this little Mexican restaurant after mass, but usually order the Huevos Rancheros. Which are also wonderful. But let me tell about the Chorizo breakfast! Oh, words fail me. Hunks of salty, chorizo and scrambled eggs, plump black beans, rice and guacamole with a steamy hot corn tortilla.  
It held me over until way past lunchtime. Which was a good thing since my mother was not meeting me for our weekly lunch. She is playing the piano in my student recital today and said she needed to stay home and practice.
Such a good student!
After breakfast, I taught a few piano classes. Then I stopped at the store and picked up a large container of fresh melon, some shredded, cooked chicken and unsweetened iced tea.  That was my lunch.  Along with a few homemade peanut butter power balls courtesy of my daughter.
I am happy to report tha…

Day 350: Why I Blog

Hellooooo!

A mere 15 days until my 1 year anniversary of this blog!

Time does not stand still.

I am so thankful that I have stuck with it. Some days it was difficult. But now, it is one of the highlights of my day.  I am often out and about, walking to students houses and something will occur to me or catch my eye. And I think, "I cannot wait to blog about this!"

I have found purpose.

It's funny, I do not even really know who is reading this. I know some people do. I have a few friends who tell me so.

It always surprises me. That I type what is going on in my head, and click "publish" and then send it out into the atmosphere. And soon others can read what was going on in my head.

I don't know what my outlet would have been if the internet had not been discovered!

I am planning on continuing after year 1. I don't know if I will call the day after "Day 366" or Year 2, Day 1.  I guess I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

It is interesting…

Day 349: Purple Tears

I was sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee when I heard Prince had died.  I was studying my bible. The sliding glass door was open behind me. There was soft, warm breeze ruffling my hair, the bird songs floating above me.  At first, I thought it was another social media rumor. But then I logged onto the internet and saw Google was in purple letters, with purple rain drops coming down.

Sudden deaths cause me to pause.  I always wish I would have paid more attention.  Of course, I never knew Prince.  But he did affect me. I was mesmerized by him. His face, especially those soulful eyes and the way his hair would partially cover one eye and the other, usually rimmed with dark eyeliner, would peer out in a soulful way. On his videos, when he would suddenly look straight into the camera, I would catch my breath. He was physically beautiful. And as a product of the 80's, I did love his music. I loved to dance.  Like it was 1999 all the time. I made my hair big. Put on scads of m…

Day 348: Starting Conversations with People Without Homes

"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" °Matthew 25:40. NIV version.
It has recently been brought to my attention that my daughter and her husband identify with the Republican Party.  I am ok with it. I just encourage them to vote.

I still love them. We can still live under the same roof, eat together, pray together, watch the Blazers and The Voice together. We are family.

We had begun discussing politics. Especially since the primary elections are coming up in Oregon.  They did not realized that Oregon has closed primaries. So they were facing a deadline to register with a party.

My son in law texted me yesterday and told me he had updated his voter registration. I was so proud!

"Republican?", I asked casually.

"Yes. I am terrified of Hillary", he replied.

My first thought was, "How will I break this to my mother?" She is proud to say that s…

Day 347: My Big Fat Greek Salad!!

I have perfected the art of making a Greek salad!  I have made two huge bowls in the last week. My kinds rave. Essentially the secret is f vegetables , good feta cheese, Greek olives and a homemade dressing made with light, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar,  and oregano. Here is my recipe:

MY BIG FAT GREEK SALAD Serves 4 hungry adults 4 cups greens (I used a "spring mix" from Fred Meyer)2 cucumbers6 roma tomatoesone small red onion1 cup cubed feta cheese1 cup Greek olives (pitted) Get out a big bowl. Peel a clove of garlic, cut in half and rub it over the interior of the bowl.  Wash the lettuce if it is not prewashed and packaged like mine was.  Dry the leaves, and tear into bite sized pieces. Throw into the big bowl.

Note: Romaine lettuce is good to include in the mix, because it is hearty.

Peel the cucumbers and dice. Add to bowl.

Cut the roma tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds (otherwise they make the salad watery. Dice and add to the …

Day 346: What Kind of Tree is This?

I am laying in bed with the window open, feeling the cool breeze and listening to the birds sing their morning song. I am also periodically bellowing my son's name. He asked me to help him wake up this morning. We all watched "The Voice" last night. It's our family television show of choice.

My son just bellowed back, "Those birds are annoying!" Lol.

 I  don't know, maybe it is just me, but I think an alarm clock going off every ten minutes, followed by the thunk of the snooze button is slightly more annoying than the bird choir we have assembled  outside in our big tree. I really should figure out what kind of tree it is. The birds in our neighborhood love it. It is in full bloom right now with tiny white flowers.

I am playing the piano this morning at a music club meeting. A Bach concerto for two violins and piano,  Vivaldi concerto for two violins and piano and two piano solos- the Chopin nocturne I played last week at another music club as well as …

Day 345: I Love My Asics!

My old Nikes were falling apart.  And I am feeling the need for more rewards, so I bought myself a new pair of workout shoes yesterday.  I tried on some Nikes, but the ones I liked did not come in wide. So I talked to the young man at Famous Footwear. He recommended Asics.  And they were on sale!

Even more motivation to keep on trekking to the gym daily! 



They are so comfortable and colorful! And the friendly shoe salesman told me about the "extra loop" for the shoelaces. It provides ankle support.  Like! :)

I had a wonderful workout today. Spent it all on the eliptical.  Unfortunately I forgot my bathing suit, so I did not do the sauna. But hey, it is supposed to be 90 degrees here in Portland today! I can just sit in the sun!


It's been a few days since I have studied a psalm. I woke up early again this morning and sat at the kitchen table with the sliding glass door open. The gentle breeze and the sounds of the birdsongs made a very peaceful morning. I had a lovely ba…

Day 343: My Day in Pictures

I am so proud! I popped right up this morning at 6:00 a.m.!  I wonder if I am turning into a morning person after all these years?

My new goal is to increase my exercise. I am aiming for one hour 5 to 6 days a week.  Year two is looming!  I do not have enough time in my day unless I rise earlier. There is just no way around it.

The unseasonably warm spring weather does help.

I did not get an hour workout in this morning. But I made it to the gym.  I did upper body strength training, crunches, yoga stretches and a sauna session.  Half of the battle for me is just getting there.

Oh, who am I kidding? MOST of the battle is just getting there.

But I am not settling.  I am going to raise the bar.

I ate pretty healthy today.  Started with apple slices smeared with goat cheese. And water.

Had an iced coffee before church. And a gluten free granola bar as a snack on our break.  The church I attend is 90 minutes with a short break after the first hour. It flies by. I love the pastor. I could …

Day 342: Shoes Over Food!

I bought some new shoes yesterday. Walking sandals. So comfortable. The weather is getting warmer and my old walking sandals had worn out in the fall. I decided I needed to reward myself for my hard work. Usually food is my reward of choice. But I am a changed woman! Shoes instead of of food! :)

And I deserve this reward! 342 days of self examination, improved eating, prayer, study, exercise and I've blogged about it every step of the way!

Yesterday was a very good day. I began with prayer and journaling. Then I spent about an hour practicing piano. After which I grabbed a few Apple slices smeared with goat cheese,and some water and headed to the gym. That's when I decided to stop off at Famous Footwear and look for some new walking sandals. I found them! On sale!

Got them. Did a quick upper body workout, stretch and sauna at the gym.. then back home I went for lunch with my daughter. She had made gluten free pasta with vodka sauce and Turkey kielbasa. We had a beef rutabaga …