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Showing posts from October, 2016

Year Two, Day 175: Happy Halloween!

One of the best Halloweens ever! I agreed to help my daughter and husband with their pirate booth at their church carnival.

In exchange, they took me to the horse races. One of my favorite places!

My back is still a bit sore. And I ate way too much candy. And pizza. Sigh.

But I had fun.

And the gym will still be there in the morning.

Arrrrr...Happy Halloween ye scaliwags!

Year Two, Day 174: There is a Balance Here Somewhere

I was a very good girl yesterday.  I babied my back. Used alternating ice and heat.  Did not try to overstretch. And I went straight to bed after my bowl of Pho. I've been binge watching "Empire" at the suggestion of my friend H.  I am hooked on the characters. And I found myself inspired by the music.

I stayed in bed this morning. Did not try to get up and go to church. I think God understands. I needed time alone. Sometimes I need some humbling. Like a back injury.  I need to be reminded that time is precious.  Never to take anything or anyone for granted.

I finally got vertical about 10:00 a.m. And I immediately went to my piano. It has been many moons since I have been motivated to play.  And I wrote a small composition. It is an interlude for a piece the choir I accompany is singing in December.

It just flowed out of me. I recorded and sent it to the director.

I feel like I have my groove back!  I am feeling peaceful and balanced.

Well, my back is still a bit sore. …

Year Two, Day 173: Pain Sharpens the Mind

Flat on my back am I.

Laying on ice.

In much pain. It feels like my sacroiliac joint is out of whack.

I think I overdid it on the squats yesterday at the gym. I was getting impatient. And now I'm paying.

But slowing down has been good for me today. I prayed long and hard. And every little thing became a blessing. Making it to the bus with my slow shuffle step. Breakfast with my mom, niece and grand niece. All of my piano students.

And a hot steamy bowl of pho at the end of the day.

I am going to bed early. I may just take tomorrow off from church and the gym. Pamper my back and count my blessings.

Happy Saturday!

Year Two, Day 172: Introspection

Good Lord, it is a beautiful Fall day here in Portland. It would be difficult to be depressed on a day like  this!  I can feel the pull downward,but I am choosing to call my state of mind "introspective".

I just finished a good workout at the gym. I only had tea, coffee and an apple this morning. I feel better working out on an empty stomach.

I am having a substantial lunch at Happy Terriyaki before I teach.

Happy Friday!

Year Two,Day 171: Anything but Normal

Last night my daughter fixed my hair in a bun.  I like that looks of it from the rear view. But not so sure about my face with a bun.  I'm having a hard time looking like an adult. I like my hair long and flowing.  Adjusting to mid life is a constant battle for me!

But battle I continue to do.

I had a really good sweaty workout this morning and then returned home to a nice bowl of vegetable soup. I packed a hard boiled egg, a dill pickle and some gluten free crackers to snack on in between students.

I have a friend. I'll call him "C". He saw one of my dating ads. He knew me from back in the day. He is a competitive body builder. He is on my Theory of 9 list.  Just a nice guy to talk to when I am lonely. We just text. I explained to him my feelings about sexting. How I just don't go there.

So he is one of my "pocket fellows". I can just pull my phone out of my pocket when I need a friend. He usually always responds. Pleasantly. :)

We were talking about …

Year Two, Day 170: Eat Soup and Prosper!

Wow. I have so much more time on my hands now that I am not responding to incessant texts from HFNAR!

I made a killer vegetable soup this morning. One of my student's moms texted me yesterday and said she had some extra vegetables left over from their farm produce delivery.  Coincidentally I was very close to her house. She actually saw me walking, picked me up, and handed me a big bag of veggies!

Including a celery root. At first I did not know what it was. I asked some friends of my from choir. It looked like an alien life form.  My friend J said it was celery root, also know as celeraic.

I discovered it is good in soups.

So I trimmed and diced it up along with some carrots, bell peppers, cabbage, and sauteed onions, garlic and jalapeno.

Threw it all in the crock along with 4 cups of beef broth and a can of diced tomatoes. I seasoned it with salt, pepper, paprika and some lemon pepper.

The house was smelling divine when I left!

My son stopped by. He is being very responsible abo…

Year Two, Day 169: Hello 180's!

This morning I gave myself permission to sleep in. It was a good decision. I feel my old friend depression creeping up behind me, but I have tools at my disposal to keep him from pulling me down.

I feel like I have been on a manic, hormonal roller coaster ride for the last three months. Since my first encounter with HFNAR.

He usually would text me a "Good morning" every day. Early. I'm talking 4:30 or 5:00, which is when he gets up.

He didn't text me today. I'm ok with it.

But when I finally did rise, I was greeted by a pleasant surprise!

Hello 180's!

I also lost half an inch in my ankles.

I am smiling now. Take that, Depression, you dirty rat. You can't get me down when I feel good about myself!

As an added perk, Honey Dog has found a new spot to hang out. Beneath the beautiful painting of the circumcision of Jesus that belonged to my daughter's grandfather.

Look at that sweet doggie face. She could melt the heart of Putin!

Happy Tuesday!

Year Two, Day 168: A Day at the Races!

I had a lovely Monday morning. Usually it is mother-daughter day. Today it was grandmother-mother-daughter day at the horse races!  My daughter has a picture of all three generations on her phone. I will have her send it to me and share tomorrow. Above is my mom placing her first bet!

My daughter and I started the day with a quick workout at the gym. Then we drove over to Vancouver and swooped up my mom. We had a big lunch of cheeseburgers and fries and then spent the next several hours looking at horses, analyzing the stats and betting. 

We could only stay for three races, because my daughter and I had work this afternoon. But my mother took right to it. She is very intuitive. She won all three races.

Too bad we were betting so low.

But great fun! And good bonding and family memories were made.

I really should not have had that cheeseburger though. It was so yummy, but I crashed big time when we got home. I think it was the bun. I get depressed and sleepy after I have anything to ea…

Year Two, Day 167: Testosterone and the Man Pause!

I am in my library office.

I just returned the DVD "Man on Fire" with Denzel Washington that H, formally known as R recommended.

Stellar movie!

I picked up "Savages", another HFNAR recommendation.

HFNAR and I are proceeding nicely into platonic friendship.  Let's keep it that way.

So, anyway... I had a nice dinner with my friend D last night.

We met on one of the dating apps right before I deleted my account.

I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the dating apps.  I am feeling the need to come back down to earth. Be more authentic.

But I am still feeling shall I say this....vibrant?

My friend D is older than me. Very nice man. Very easy to talk to.  I think just friend material though.

But I confided in him.

And amazingly, I think he figured out the puzzle that is me!

You see, I went through menopause early. At age 40.  Almost 15 years ago!

And since then I have not really dated.

I had a hard time with the hot flashes and erratic mood swings. M…

Year Two, Day 166: Desperado

I recorded this on my break between students this morning. I dedicate it to my love life. Or lack thereof.

Happy Saturday!

Year Two, Day 165: Diversion

I accompanied my son to court today.

The judge ordered one year of diversion.

I can breathe again.

Thank you, God.

Year Two, Day 164: Lunch with My Son

I stepped on the scale this morning and smiled. One pound lighter!

And I even had a cheeseburger yesterday!

I am a tad bit sore from squat day yesterday. But not sore enough to stay away from the gym. I did 20 minutes on the stationary bike, calf raises and biceps curls.

Aftet that I met my son for pho. Then i accompanied him downtown to the public defender's office. Tomorrow he goes to court. They are recommending diversion.

I told my son that one good thing about this whole ordeal is that we get to hang out.

And we did. We had a lovely relaxed lunch and talk.

I have a feeling he will rise above. But for now, it is just nice to have my son back.

Happy Thursday!

Year Two, Day 163: You Can't Make This Stuff Up!

I had a wonderful day today. It sounds surreal and a bit like an action movie. But it involved an explosion, a train, a healing meeting a embrace with an inmate at the Oregon State Penitentiary, a spontaneous dinner in Salem with a new friend from Norway and her daughter, also at the OSP for the first time, and a retired attorney who visits inmates on death row. 
You can't make this stuff up.
I do love my life!
Happy Wednesday!

Year Two, Day 162: Recharging My Introvert Battery

Today has been a good, quiet day of solitude. I began with prayer. Finally feeling my mind and emotions have calmed down enough to feel the Spirit.

I had a good workout, alone.  And a nice healthy lunch at home. My daughter and I are doing a 21 day fitness challenge she found online.  She sends me a daily list of exercises to do. Today was mostly arms, shoulders and back. Lots of free weights. And cardio.

I added a hot tub soak.

We are focusing on eating as we know we should, but we don't always do: Lean protein, raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains. Plenty of water. I packed some baby carrots and hummus for my teaching route.

I also splurged on a Kombucha tea.

I really do need these days of quiet introspection. To recharge my battery.

As much as I love people, my introversion demands attention now and then.

And I am feeling about 80 % recharged right now!

Happy Tuesday!

Year Two, Day 161: Squats and Stats!

Today is mother-daughter day. We began early at the gym. We did legs and gluts.  In other words, squats!

I have a feeling I will be sore tomorrow!

No pain, no gain!

Speaking of pain, H, formally known as R informed me that we will not be working out together anymore. Oh, he was charming and sweet as usual. Told me I was a "beast and ready to go it on my own!"

Of course he texted this.  I had a few moments of pain. Almost shed a tear. But haven't I been trying to untangle myself from the web of H for several weeks now?

I decided that direct is best. I thanked him for his expert advice at the gym.  I really am grateful.  I told him of course I was fine to work out on my own, but asked if this means we were no longer seeing each other?

He replied that of course we would still "see each other, Momma!"

Lol.  Ok. I think it is best to keep it light.  I enjoy seeing him on the bus. He makes the drive pleasant.

I enjoy his chatty little texts. They brighten my day.


Year Two, Day 160: After the Storm

This morning in church we prayed in thanksgiving for the passing of the storm and for those who were affected.

And I offered up my own personal prayer to God for helping guide me through my own emotional storm.

I need to remember to just be grateful. You know, look at that old cup as half full rather than half empty. 

I have so many wonderful people in my life.  I've had so many rich experienced. And I am blessed in so many ways.

I leaped over buildings in single bounds raising two kids on my own, I overcame depression, anxiety and low self esteem. These still come back to haunt me, but I am a fighter.

I have my musical gifts. Which I tend to take for granted.

I may not have a life partner, but I have my freedom. And now I have several wonderful male friends in my life.

Just today, for example. I rode H's bus in to church.  The sexual tension and weirdness I initially felt from him has greatly subsided. I am happy for this now.  It feels like it could be a good platonic frien…

Year Two, Day 159: Stormy Weather

Crazy strong winds today. The power went out briefly at the church where I teach on Saturdays. Rather exciting hearing the wind howl and the rain beat down upon the church roof.

But that storm did not hold a candle to the storm that is brewing in my soul.

Do not have the words right now.

All I know is I need some solitude
 Time away from my life to talk to my heavenly Father. He will set me straight.

And God knows I need guidance right now.

Hopefully I will get my voice back tomorrow.

Happy Saturday!

Year Two, Day 158: The Return of Joy

My joy has returned! And I call it music.

I am reinspired to practice, perform and rehearse with friends again finally!

I owe it all to my friends J and J. I played a Mozart sonata at a music club at their retirement community downtown today.

As I was playing, a feeling of profound peace came over me. Suddenly i could breathe easier. It felt like a huge weight had been l lifted.

And my raging hormones subsided. Good thing too because my mom and daughter have both expressed concern and suggested medical help. My son-in-law has been praying for me. I guess he is suggesting divine help!

I could go on, but tired and soaked to the bone am I. I got caught in what felt like a monsoon earlier.

So I will continue this tomorrow.

Happy Friday!

Year Two, Day 157: Contestants 3 and 4

It is a wonderful rainy, blustery fall day!  I love these days. I purposely took the day off from the gym and allowed myself to stay in bed longer than normal.  I am starting to feel more grounded.

I did some stretching and then headed to the store to buy some lentils.  I also picked up a couple of dvd's for tonight. I plan on spending a few hours cleaning, particularly laundry whilst I watch a movie or two.

I am at my library office right now. I have a full load of students, but during my break I have an actual date. A real live date for coffee!

I will call him "A". He is contestant number 3.  I met him on a dating site app. We had chatted a bit. He was polite, respectful and friendly. Only a few years older than me, but I didn't feel any particular chemistry.

Then an odd thing happened. A crazy, odd, really cool thing!

I was feeling most blue on Tuesday. Still trying to shake myself of the H, formally known as R infatuation. In fact, I felt so low I decided to sto…

Year Two, Day 156: No Stranger to the Blues

Tomorrow I am going to take a day off from the gym. Most exhausted am I!

Today was a good day. A nice balanced, quiet day.

I need not only a day of rest from working out, I need some peace and solitude. My inner introvert is pulling at my gut, telling me to find a nice quiet spot to sit, think, read, pray and simply be.

Perhaps this is a sign that my overactive hormones finally settled down. Thank you God!

Perhaps the blues is settling in. And that is ok. I am no stranger to the blues!

Happy Wednesday!



Year Two, Day 155: A Gym Rat Junkie

I have had several senior moment's already and it is only 8:28 a.m.!

Oh well, at least I have cool, red Viking hair!!

 I am on H's bus right now. I made my famous breakfast burritos this morning. At 4:30 a.m. I might as well get a food truck the way I'm going!

I made two burritos with fried potatoes, jalapenos, sausage, bacon, fresh tomatoes and cheese on gluten free tortillas for my son-in-law, two with fried potatoes, jalapenos, bacon, fresh tomatoes and eggs on flour tortillas for H, and four with fried potatoes, jalapenos, sausage, bacon, fresh tomatoes, eggs and cheese on flour tortillas for my daughter, son and I.

I missed H's bus on the first go round. I got to our designated intersection early, but was waiting at the stop going in the wrong direction! So I ended up having coffee at Starbucks downtown and caught him on the return trip.

It was actually quite pleasant to watch the sunrise, sipping a cup of coffee downtown.

I managed to hop on H's bus finally. …

Year Two, Day 154: Like a Viking!

I love Vikings!  Good thing I graduated from PSU, home of the Vikings! But also, I became mesmerized with Vikings after watching Outlander.  Time travel, Vikings - what's not to like? :)
So today on mother-daughter day I mentioned to my daughter that my hair color was looking washed out. I asked if she could put a bit more red in it.  She told me she has been wanting to go redder too. Must be our upcoming Pirate Halloween booth at her church. We tried on pirate costumes and long red wigs last week.
So...we started our day with a good, vigorous sweaty workout at the gym. Followed by a nice steamy bowl of Pho. Followed by a trip to Sally's Beauty supplies.
I am so pleased with the results!  I told her we must remember this shade. I think it is a keeper!!!
I sent hair pics to most of my friends on my Theory of 9 list, and they all approved!
Tomorrow I am making breakfast burritos and working out with H, formally known as R. He is still on my list.  But a few spaces down.

Year Two, Day 153: Horse Races; I am in Love!

Went to the horse races with my daughter and son-in-law today. First time ever. Had a blast!!
Luckily my daughter and I started the day with a early morning workout, because pigout I did!!

After the gym, we went to their church in Vancouver. Another first for me. I really enjoyed the service. Frankly, I love spending time with family, but it was nice to experience a service at the church they are so involved with. The people were down to earth, the praise band top notch and the pastor delivered a sermon I am certain he wrote me in mind! The theme was temptation.

I immediately thought of H, formally known as R!

But about the races...!

After the kids walked me through the process, showing me how to research the horses- their trainers, jockeys and race stats- and how to place my bet, we walked over and viewed the horses. They were glorious! I soon developed a strategy: Iresearched the horses and then went to view them before their races. I would have in mind the horse I favored but woul…

Year Two, Day 152: The Theory of Nine

First order of business: H, formally known as R and I have redefined our relationship as "just friends". So far it is much more comfortable. After my emotionally stable email, he said he wanted us to be friends too, and that I was entitled to my opinion. He also expressed concern that my email seemed to suggest he had a narcissistic personality.
 I didn't answer him directly. I just deflected with,
"Is that any better than an emotionally unstable personality?"
And that was the end of that. He didn't protest me dating others which greatly relieved my conscience for even considering such a thing, serial monogomist that I am.
And we are getting along even better now without the pressure of a relationship looming over our heads like a rain cloud!
Now that I can breathe again, I am feeling more centered. I was actually able to play tthe piano today without checking my phone for a text message or having distracting thoughts about H. There is hope for me yet!! :)

Year Two, Day 150: A Letter to R

Here is the letter to R I wrote early this morning. Ironically, his real name is "H". I think "R" is his player name.

Dear R:

Ok. You gave me an honest assessment of my personality yesterday.

I'd like to return the favor.

And stop this game.

And I think since I do not want to play the game anymore, perhaps I should use your real name?

H. I actually like that name.

While you have been observing me, I have been observing you.

I still have not figured you out completely.

I would like us to be friends. Not sure if this possible

Because in order for people to be true friends they have to reveal their authentic selves.

Otherwise it is just a charade. And I think we are all guilty of this. We try to put forth the person we want people to see.

Maybe we are alike in more ways than I care to admit.

I think I understand what you meant by my emotional instability. I do get hyper. My friends and family get annoyed with me. They say I don't come up for air when I get excited.

When I …

Year Two, Day 149: A Very Good Conversation

Here I am again. On R's bus.  I brought us breakfast burritos again.  We are going to scarf them down before another killer workout at the gym.  He packed us turkey sandwiches for lunch.

I am not as sore as I thought I would be from yesterday's workout. In fact the only thing that really hurt this morning were my feet!

After all the passengers got off the bus in Gresham, we ate our burritos as we drove back to the garage.  We got to talking about random things and then suddenly R told me that he is really picky when women flirt with him. Does not tolerate too much perfume, smoking, drinking...He was giving me a list when I think he picked up on the energy shift.

He quickly covered his tracks and starting telling me how wonderful I was. I laughed him off and said, "There's got to be something wrong with me!"

I should have kept my big mouth shut!

Because he said, "Well since you asked..." And proceeded to tell me that he has picked up on a bit of "e…

Year Two, Day 148: Shhh!

8:45 a.m.


I am on R's bus. Right at this very moment. He does not know I am blogging about him. So let's keep this between us!

It is raining, So I am not talking to him. Safety first! Also, since he is driving, I was able to sneak a selfie. I am having a good face day. I think the rain helps. My eyes are not as puffy. I think the rain washes out all the allergens from the air.

I had suggested to R that we be friends. It just felt right. Feelings were too complicated before with our wild, manic text flirting. At least for me. This feels more comfortable.

But is comfortable what I really want? R is so dang handsome. And such a sweet talker. When I told him I would like to be friends and i had missed talking to him, he said. "I never left you, Sunshine".

Geez.  How could a woman not love this man?!

I am happy we are friends.

I made my famous breakfast burritos for us to eat on his break. Then off to the gym we go.

Actually we are at our destination. I will com…

Year Two, Day 147: Arrrr!

Today was workout with my daughter day. We are trying to start earlier, so we can get more done. Feat accomplished! Woke up at 6:00 a.m. Out the door at 7:00. Got a good one hour workout in.

However, I must be getting old. With the cooler weather, my joints are aching.

I need to start stretching before bed. And cutting back on the caffeine. A hot tub would not hurt either!

After the gym my daughter and I went out for our favorite breakfast- pho!

We discovered a place we had not yet tried on SE 82nd -

Pho Kim just north of PCC.

It was wonderful! Very rich, flavorful broth. The servers were very sweet and attentive. Might be our new after gym hangout!

After pho we went and tried on pirate costumes for Halloween.


Happy Monday you scalawags!

Year Two, Day 146: The Return of R

So I woke up early this morning.  It was raining. I love the smell of rain.  Fall has definitely arrived. And I am feeling invigorated! I love the Pacific Northwest.  I love change.  I could not live in a climate that was constantly the same, even if it were 80 and sunshine.

I stepped on the scale and did a happy dance. I am down yet another pound!  I will post stats tomorrow.

My daughter commented that my outfit looked nice, especially my new boots.  I had her take a picture. And then a little plan started formulating in  my mind.

Mind you, I intend to honor my newly rediscovered authentic self. But....R does drive the bus that I take every Sunday to church.

Would it not be inauthentic to purposely take another?

So I got on the R bus today. And was welcomed by a big grin!  He gave me a free bus pass. I tried to decline, but insisted.  It was just R and I for several blocks. We made casual conversation.

Then he mentioned that he had not seen me at the gym. I told him in a shaky voice …

Year Two, Day 145: Will the Real Zita Please Stand Up?

I made it!

One whole dang week, did I!

Last Saturday at 5:30 p.m. was the last time I talked to R.

I have kicked a habit.

The world is now my oyster!

I am feeling calmer and more centered than I have in many weeks.

I admit, I enjoyed the adrenaline rush that my text flirting and gym workouts with R brought. But now that a bit of time has past, I am embarrassed to admit that I fell back into a dysfunctional groove with him.  I lost a bit of myself in the hopes of gaining him.

Not sure if a relationship was ever in the cards, but if not I did fast forward whatever it was to its demise.

I was too clingy. Was  not firm enough in my boundaries.

I like myself. I am glad to have myself back. Even if I am a bit of a loner book worm.  An over thinker.

But I have learned that I am not quite as introverted as I originally thought. I do need people.  I just need to be transparently me.

It is not too late for the real Zita to stand up!

That said, I had a stellar day teaching.  Speaking of allowin…