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Year Three, Day 232: 2018 Additions

Happy New Year's Eve!

There is a palpable excitement in the air. The moon is full and the sunset was divine. I pointed it out to my daughter and son-in-law as we came out to the parking lot of the grocery store.

"Look!" I said. "God is giving us a sign!"

"A sign of what?" asked my daughter.

"That 2018 will be a very good year!" I proclaimed.

Seriously, there were the most glorious shades of deep purple, magenta, pink and blue.

Speaking God, I finally made it to Portland Bible Church this morning. The last time I was there, Baby Gracie was still in the womb. At least 4 months I've been away.

I almost slept in.  Was very tired this morning. And sore. But no coughing still....I'd better find some wood to knock on!

I found some internal motivation to get vertical, with just enough time to get a quick hoop workout in before I walked to the bus stop.

It was a glorious day. Clear and sunny, but chilly.  The air smelled fresh and crisp. And something…

Year Three, Day 231: The Eagle Who Thought He Was a Chicken

I was tired today. I felt the blues breathing down the back of my neck. But I did not give in. I was expecting him to come calling. 
I attribute it to my unfortunate food indulgences over the last 2 weeks. I have eaten gluten, dairy and sugar.  But I am back on track today. I had a nice breakfast with my mother this morning. Scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, tomato slices, orange juice and black tea.
For lunch, more tea and a huge salad.
For dinner, cajun shrimp, rice and veggies.
I had a few students today. It was a light day, as many are still on winter break. Good thing, because about half way through the day, I wanted to just lay down on the floor and pass out. I was that tired.
But one of  my family members in crisis called just about that time. So instead of laying on the floor in the church sanctuary where I teach on Saturdays, I got on my knees and prayed.  After work, I headed to the gym. I sat in the sauna. Then took a nice hot shower.  My family member in crisis and girlfriend c…

Year Three, Day 230: Her Grandma's Red Hair

My winter break is drawing to a close. I have a full day of teaching lined up tomorrow. 
I decided to spend the night again with my daughter, son-in-law and Babie Gracie again. I will not be able to spend as much time with them once winter term begins officially on January 2nd.

I just finished my last course of Prednisone. I have barely coughed this last week.  My son-in-law works in mattress sales.  He let me try out one of the top of the line models when we visited him in his store in Battleground a few days ago.

I was in heaven. If I had a mattress like that, I might not ever get out of bed! He knows about my struggles with the cough. He had me lay down on a mattress with an adjustable base and massaging unit. He used a remote control to raise the head. 

I think that is a big piece of this puzzle. I have been sleeping on a recliner in my daughter's trailer. When I finally made it to my rented room, I placed a wedge under the head of my mattress. It looked like a hospital bed. …

Year Three, Day 229: Happiness

I love the sound of the rain. It sounds like a monsoon on the roof of the trailer. Half of our country is experiencing extreme cold, with sub zero temperatures and several feet of snow.

We just have the rain. I feel safe and warm with my family.  I am here at my daughter and son-in-law's trailer overnight again. Baby Gracie is snoring softly in her crib.

My son-in-law convinced me to watch

"Pursuit of Happyness" with Will Smith. At first I declined. I had heard it was sad
 I didn't want to be sad. But he persisted. He predicted it would be one of my favorite movies.

As I wipe away tears, I think he might right. It brought up a lot of feelings. Of the struggle just to survive. It struck close to home. I remember the times as a young single mother. Just when I thought things couldn't get worse, they would. But there was no giving up.

My daughter and I sometimes talk about those days. Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes we don't. She said I should write a book. Maybe …

Year Three, Day 228: Eating Chips in a Trailer

Yesterday was a wonderful, but exhausting day!  It was still rather icy in the morning. My daughter's husband had to work in Battleground. My daughter and I decided to spend most of the day out there, since their truck had a bad tire.  If hubby took the car, we would be confined to a trailer. For 10th hours.

We bundled Baby Gracie and we drove out to the lovely town of Battleground, WA.

Battleground has changed  since I'd been there last. Oh, say about 30+ years ago!

We were all quite worn out, from a weekend of family activities.  So the first thing we sought was a Starbucks.  Good ol' Starbucks. There were two on Main Street near his work!  We grabbed our coffees and dropped him off at work. Bundled up Baby Gracie and put her in her stroller and took off on foot, to see where we would end up.

We were looking for a breakfast spot, but the restaurant we had found online was closed.  Something told me to go around the back of the building. I had seen a little coffee shop.

&…

Year Three, Day 227: Medium Popcorn, Extra Butter

I'm blogging at 4:25 a.m. Wednesday morning. I set out to do it last night at 10:30. But I passed out. Most tired was I. From a long day with my daughter and Gracie. A long, happy, productive day. Complete with icy roads, laundry, walking and babysitting.

But before I talk about yesterday, I want to tell you about my Star Wars adventure!

Don't worry. I won't spoil it for you if you have not yet seen it.

It was the extraordinary! I was in the edge if my seat the whole time. I loved going to the theater alone! I was able to relax and focus on the screen. I didn't have to make awkward awkward conversation. Just the movie, my popcorn and I!

Ok. About that popcorn. I was so excited to have my own bag. With no one to condemn me for the extra butter. I like butter on my popcorn. Let's out it this way: I like my popcorn SWIMMING in butter!

So after I purchased my ticket, I trapsed merrily over to the concession stand. A young bespectacled man took my order.
"One mediu…

Year Three, Day 226: Christmas Hallelujah

Merry Christmas my dear reader!

Something amazing happened last night. I was out walking in the fresh snow, heading to Starbucks. I passed a church on the corner, near my daughter's house. It was right behind the bus stop, where I sought shelter from the snow. I ducked in, adjusted my scarf and stared at the church. I wondered if they might have a Christmas day service. I was essentially stranded in Vancouver for at least another day. I would really like to go to church.

So I looked up their number and gave them a call. Amazingly, a voice answered on the second ring. He sounded as surprised as I to find someone on the other end.

I asked him if they were were holding a church service Christmas day.

He told me no, not Christmas, but they had two Christmas Eve services. One at 5:00 and one at 7:00 p.m.

I thanked him and hung up. Just then, the bus pulled up. And then deposited me a block from Starbucks.

I enjoyed my time there. I sat looking out the window, watching the snow fall, wh…

Year Three, Day 225: Hallelujah

I am sitting alone at a Starbucks in Vancouver, Washington. A most moving rendition of Hallelujah, sung by Pentatonix is flowing through the speakers, and into my heart.

I can't remember ever feeling so content. Soon I will walk out into the snow and catch a bus to my daughter's house where she, her husband and Baby Gracie are getting ready for dinner.

Our traditional Christmas Eve pho was cancelled. So was the candlelight service at their church.

Snow on Christmas Eve! So lovely. And so wonderful that I have been given this gift of solitude. No place I need to be, but family who I love and who loves me, always welcoming each other.







Salmon encrusted with herbs at McGraths Fish House We started a new tradition yesterday after my homeless concert. Girl lunch at McGraths Fish House with my daughter, Baby Gracie, my mother and I. We had a wonderful time. It's my mother's favorite lunch spot in Vancouver. I followed her lead and ordered the salmon encrusted with herbs. It d…

Year Three, Day 224: The Little Drummer Boy or Third Time's a Charm!

Today was my third and final homeless holiday meal performance. And it was the best yet!

A jolly good time was had by all!

But my morning started out with a rude awakening. Or perhaps I should say a late awakening.

Call time for our concert was 10:00 a.m. I had set my alarm for 6:30 a.m. I had planned on hooping, practicing piano, praying and grabbing a cup of coffee at Starbucks before our concert.

But I slept like a log last night. I don't remember any coughing. I woke with a start and grabbed my cell phone. It was 8:33. My heart began to race. The bus did not come down my street on the weekend. So I had to walk 3/4 mile to the next bus stop. I usually allowed an hour and a half to any destination to allow for the bus schedule. If I didn't hurry, I would be late. I jumped out of bed and got ready in record speed.

Then I calmed myself. I took a deep breath. Call time was 10:00, but we weren't scheduled to play until 11:00. I could call one of the other musicians and tell …

Year Three, Day 223: Chickens

Up with the chickens I am!

Hey...that reminds me of a musical joke I tell my students.

"Why did Mozart hate chickens?

Because they walked around saying "Bach, Bach, Bach!"

Lol!

I know. Lame

Feeling so much better today.  One indication is that I am up before sunrise. I only hacked a few times last night.  We'll see what happens after I am through with this course of Prednisone.

My nurse practitioner also prescribed inhaled steroids.  When I am done with my Prednisone, if I am still plagued by the cough, I am to use the inhaler twice a day as a preventive measure.

I am still taking L-Lysine and Ginseng.  As well as following the Reflux Diet.  I had a bit of a backslide last night, though to be honest. I decided to stay home instead of spend the night at my daughter's.  It was cold and I was tired.  I finished my Uninvited book by Lysa TerKeurst. I told one of my FB friends that I plan on rereading it. I do.  I think I will just go right back to the beginning and …

Year Three, Day 222: Pneuma

My cough is easing up. But I was plagued by the blues all morning. Luckily it was my day off. I only had a few items on my agenda. First of which was my morning hoop session.  Second, lunch with my son. I am also heading to Vancouver shortly to spend the night with my daughter and Baby Gracie.

I woke up very early - the Prednisone works better than coffee!  But 5:00 a.m. was definitely too early to get vertical. Especially when I would be helping with my granddaughter later on.

So, I checked emails, played a few games of Words with Friends, checked out the breaking news and drifted back off to sleep.

I finally dragged myself out of bed about 9:00 a.m. I practiced a bit of piano. I have one more homeless party to play for on Saturday. This one I am quite looking forward to. I have played this one twice. It is a lovely homeless meal/party put on by members of an Episcopalian church. They even give them gifts!  Since it is a church, they welcome sacred music. We have a bit different gro…

Year Three, Day 221: What a Difference a Day Makes!

Prednisone, I love you!

However, I do hope this is the last course I need to take. Apparently you have many bad side effects.

But I coughed much less last night. And I woke up filled with energy and most of all: HOPE!

Looking back on last night's post, I admit I was depressed. I was also humbled and humiliated.

The performance at the homeless shelter left me feeling inept, left out, insecure and less than.

The shelter itself was lovely. The staff friendly and accomodating. The facilities clean and new. The piano - a decent grand piano. What's not to like, right?

I was filled with toxic negativity.  Plus, I am not part of the group. I used to be. But now I am a sub. And my good friend who directs the group is in Russia. Tragically both her parents passed away a few weeks ago.

I've played with two of the three members before.  But the acoustics were weird. I could hardly hear a word they said. They were sitting in a little group off to the side. Me, all by my lonesome at th…