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Year Three, Day 161: The Looming Abyss

I am having a low day. I have been faking this smile all day. It is not difficult to put on a happy face for my students, but now it feels good to let go.  And say hello to the blues.



It's been awhile. But I recognize my old friend, depression. She is disguised as irritation today. But I see through her facade.

Because I can feel the looming dark abyss behind my heart. And unshed tears behind my eyes.

I am wondering if the Prednisone is a factor. I am quite certain it is playing a part. Prednisone works like espresso to the 4th power in my system. Amazingly I fall asleep easily, but last night I awake several times with vivid nightmares.

My heart was thudding rapidly and I had broken out in a cold sweat. It was difficult to go back to sleep after such a rude awakening.

I did get a nice hoop session in today. And productive piano practice before I headed out to teach. But I've felt off all day.

Heart still racing, and a vague feeling of impending doom is plaguing my thoughts.

Year Three, Day 160: This is Why I Ride!

5:00 p.m.

I've had such a stellar day today so far! And that is saying a lot. It has been pouring down rain all day, skies are slate gray. Not too cold though.

But the amazing thing is how my commutes have gone! I set out this morning after my hoop session to catch the Max to the Cascades Station Transit Station. Where I had a brief layover with a London Fog tea at Starbucks.

Then I ordered a "Lyft" ride over the bridge to Vancouver to see my daughter. I love Lyft! But alas, I cannot afford $13.00 every time I want to cross the bridge. Especially now that I do not have my church office job.

There is a bus that goes from the Parkrose Transit Center in Portland, straight to Fisher's Landing in Vancouver. From there, it is just one C-Tran bus to my daughter and Baby Gracie's house.

Her new nickname is "Gracie Belly" by the way. I discovered it by accident, actually out of desparation this morning. She was quite fussy when I arrived, so I made up a nonsense…

Year Three, Day 159: Me Too, Continued: I Choose Life!

"This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." (Deuteronomy 30: 19-20. NIV)

A good friend, whom I admire and look up to posted on Facebook this morning that she does not support the "me too" movement.  She thinks it is a shallow movement on social media created by rich celebrities for attention. She agrees there is a problem with sexual abuse, which has existed for a long time. But she thinks instead of sharing on social media, people should seek professional help.

I agree on a certain level.

However, I also disagree. Here is my response to my dear friend:

 I find the "me too" movement empowering. I am a s…

Year Three, Day 158: Sacrifice

I just got home a few minutes ago. Brushed my teeth, put on my pjs and crawled into bed.

Then I realized I had not blogged today!

It is 11:06 p.m. I spent most of the day with my daughter and granddaughter. Her husband is back to work, and my daughter is needing help adjusting to new motherhood. She is doing amazingly well, but my little granddaughter must be going through a growth spurt. Eating every few hours. Apparently like a wild beast! When I arrived this morning, my daughter was looking quite pale. I took the monster baby, changed her and sat with her on the rocking chair. She cooed and smiled up at me with a toothless, charming grin.

"A-goo!" she said.

"Don't let her fool you", my daughter mumbled as she stumbled out of her bedroom to take a shower.

After a few minutes of baby talk, Grace started to fuss. I burped her. Got out the piano keyboard and played some blues - her favorite. Her eyes got big. She stopped fussing. For maybe ten minutes. Then she …

Year Three, Day 157: "Me Too" United

I slept like a log last night!  Coughed and wheezed a little.  I was pleased to see that my bottle of NAC had arrived in the mail yesterday.

I am still researching natural methods of treating COPD.  I found this article which states:

"More research needs to be done, but some evidence suggests that supplements can help improve lung function if you have COPD, says Tanya Edwards, MD, medical director for the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. COPD is an inflammatory disease, and some vitamins and supplements are known to reduce inflammation, so that’s a good place to start, Dr. Edwards says." https://www.everydayhealth.com/conditions/best-supplements-copd/

And about the supplement NAC (N-acetylcysteine)

"NAC (N-acetylcysteine) is known to help clear mucus and has been looked at as a COPD supplement. It's an antioxidant available as a prescription drug and a dietary supplement.
According to a review of studies on its use, one showed that taking …

Year Three, Day 156: Thank God for COPD and 120 Days of Daily Hooping

10:00 a.m.

Today has been a very good day so far.

I am here at my daughter and son-in-law's church.


I have Baby Gracie duty. It is a pleasure! I had not seen her in four days. Such a difference those days made! I arrived at their trailer before church. I went straight to her crib and said,"Hi Gracie, your grandma is here!"

I scooped her up and noticed her looking intently up at my face. Like she was studying me. I continued talking to her and her face lit up with recognition!

My heart leapt for joy!

I danced with her around the living room, softly singing our theme song ("The Bunny Hop"). When I got to the "hop, hop, hop" part she would grin.




Earlier, I took the Max to Cascades Station. Had a cup of Earl Grey tea and a gluten free breakfast sandwich at Starbucks. It was such a beautiful morning. Clear, crisp and chilly. Sun shining brightly.

I love this time of year!  I did cough quite a bit last night. The Prednisone has taken the edge off, but does …

Year Three, Day 155: The Return of the Rice Cake

"Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11-13


Today was a good day. I had breakfast alone. It was refreshing to have some quiet time. I do cherish my weekly Saturday breakfast with my mother, but she had other plans. And I needed pondering time. I spent most of my time researching COPD, especially natural remedies. I reserved a few books from the library and downloaded a book on my Kindle.



In my studying, I discovered that Ginseng, Vitamin D and NAC supplements all had good results in improving lung function. I am already taking Vitamin D and Ginseng. I ordered a bottle of NAC online.

I drank my coffee black because dairy produces mucous. I also drank green tea with go ginger. I…

Year Three, Day 154: COPD and Me

I am in my library office. I made it hear just before the heavens opened up.  This library must have a tin roof.  The sound of thousands of raindrops pummeling us from above is most deafening!

I am struck by deja vu suddenly. It was just yesterday that I was blogging from another library before my afternoon students. I signed off and headed out.  I had my small umbrella with me. The kind that collapses. Perfect for my backpack.  I had walked a few feet away from the library when I looked up and noticed how the sky had suddenly darkened. And then a moment later I was hit by a deluge of heavy rain. I put up my little umbrella and pulled my purse up inside of coat, hoping to protect my cell phone.  And then hail!  Hard little pellets of ice pummeling me from above. I arrived at my student's house looking like I had just gone for a swim. With all of my clothes, backpack and purse on me!

This household is one of my favorite families. The grandma took one look at me and told me to put …

Year Three, Day 153: Poofy Face and All

This is a picture of the pizza I ate last night.  At Cascades Station on the way to my daughter and son-in-law's house to visit Baby Grace.  "By Design Pizza". You create your own pizza. Kind of like Subway. I had a gluten free crust. And many veggies.

But I ATE THE WHOLE THING!

Hanging my head in shame am I!

Time to regroup!

I think with all the change in my life recently, I have given myself unspoken permission to overeat again.  I aim to be as transparent as possible in the blog without entering the realm of TMI. 

But I have fallen off the wagon. I have been eating most of my meals in restaurants. I have broken my no food after 7:00 p.m. rule.  I have been eating junk food. 

No more!

Especially after viewing today's hoop video. My face is most poofy!

Granted, it was quite cold and wet outside my daughter and son-in-law's trailer this morning. And Baby Gracie had a most fussy night, waking up to howl like a hungry animal about every hour on the hour!  She was …

Year Three, Day 152: White Rabbit

I saw the little white rabbit again today. Twice. He is so cute! One of his eyes has a black circle around it. And he has a little black stripe down this back. He let me get quite close to take a video and picture.  I am wondering if he was someone's pet.  I don't often see white rabbits in the wild. I put up a post on Facebook. I may also put up a post on Craigslist.  I don't know if he'll come out again though. I'd hate to lead someone on a "wild rabbit chase".

But his appearance makes me happy. I feel like I have been visited by an angel.

Speaking of angels, I am heading to Vancouver tonight after my last student. I am going to spend the night at my daughter and son-in-law's house. Tomorrow I am going to the mall with my daughter and Baby Grace!  I am looking forward to seeing them.

I slept late again today, but once I got up, I accomplished quite a bit. Including 1 hour of piano practice, laundry, and prayer, devotional reading over breakfast.

I…

Year Three, Day 151: Who I Am

I could get used to this new schedule.  I think I have been quite sleep deprived. I have been just putting one foot in front of the other, hoping that I can get through.

My usual Monday - Friday schedule had been:

5:00 a.m. Wake up, check breaking news in bed to wake myself up. Drink water. Visit bathroom. Decide I am too sore and grumpy to get up yet.  Reset clock. Repeat this about every half hour, until:
 9:00 a.m.  Gasp.  Worry that I will not have time to hoop! Crawl out of bed. Grab hoop. Go outside and hoop myself awake.
9:50 a.m. Walk to church job. Make tea. Caffeinate.  Work three hours in the office. Take a short break at some point and make either grits or scrambled eggs in a mug along with some fruit.
1:00 p.m. Come home. Grab backpack full of music, books,  and gym clothes. Take bus to Starbucks. Re-caffeinate. Grab food somewhere.
3:00 p.m. until about 8:00 (or 9:00 p.m. on choir nights)Teach piano lessons, accompany choir one day a week. Grab a snack at some point.
8:00 p.m…

Year Three, Day 150: Happily Relieved

I woke up most cranky this morning. I got in late last night from Vancouver. I spent three hours watching Baby Grace while my daughter and son-in-law coached a church volleyball game. I always enjoy spending time with Gracie. But I was most anxious at the game yesterday, shielding her little body from flying volleyball. I decided next week to watch Gracie from the safety of her own home!
I was wishing I could pull the covers over my head and stay in bed as I hit the snooze button again and yet again.

Finally I dragged my sorry self out of bed at 9:00 a.m.

I was able to get a short, 5 minute hoop session before trudging the two minute walk across the field to the church office.

I got to the office a few minutes earlier. I was planning a making a big mug of hot, black tea before checking emails. 

But when I got there, the door was unlocked. The lights in the pastor's office were on. And I heard voices.

One of the men of the church heard the door open and poked his head out.

"O…

Year Three, Day 149: Ulterior Motives

8:00 a.m.

Sunday, my new favorite day!  I am at Starbucks at Cascades Station. I'm having a cup of coffee and some prayer time before I order a ride over the bridge to visit Baby Grace and her mom and dad.

I love Sundays! It is the only day I get up early without a fuss.

It must be the excitement of seeing my granddaughter.

I will continue this later. Time to order my Lyft ride to Vancouver!

6:00 p.m. I'm back!  Heading to the gym for a soak in the hot tub.

A long, but rewarding day was had by all!

I managed to get in a short hooping session at my daughter's house with my injured hoop. Today is day 113. I am thinking I need to increase my workout time. And add a few moves.


I went to church with my daughter, son-in-law and Baby Grace.  Instead of sitting in the nursery, Baby Grace and I hung out in the coffee area. She had just been fed, so she slept most of the time- on my lap and in her stroller. It was lovely. I even had time to read a bit from my Bible and Joyce Meyer …

Year Three, Day 148: I am the Hooper

I am at breakfast with my mom. At Tom's Restaurant. One of our favorite breakfast joints.

I brought my hoop along. It was still dark when I left home. I am committed to my daily regimen. But hooping in the dark is where I draw the line.

Today is my day to teach at a church in SE Portland. It has a lovely room near the sanctuary. Just perfect for hooping! I am looking forward to a nice session in between students.

I love my hoop. Not only is it a fun way to exercise, but it is also a wonderful conversation starter!
Take the table next to us. A table of very friendly middle aged men. They weren't here earlier, when I met my mom, who was already on her second cup of coffee. She had also ordered both our breakfasts. So I arrived at the same time as my two eggs, over medium, hash browns (extra crispy), hamburger patty and tomato slices.

I looked around for a place to stash my hoop. The table next to us, on the other side of a short walk was empty. Our server said I could lean it on…

Year Three, Day 147: The Baby Hop

I had such a lovely visit with my daughter and granddaughter last night. But I woke up most sore! I feel like I worked out in the gym for an hour.

Only I didn't. But I did dance and sing while holding Baby Gracie for an hour. She had quite a fussy time from about 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. when her mom and dad got home.

She had slept like an angel on my lap on the rocking chair for about an hour. My daughter had written out a schedule for us. At 7:00, I was to awaken her, change her diaper and feed her.  She had two small bottles ready.



I hesitated to wake a soundly sleeping baby. But I knew that if she didn't wake up and eat, that she would be fussy for my daughter later. I remember those sleepless nights from when my children were babies.  Sleep deprivation sucks!

So at 7:00 p.m., I woke her by changer her diaper. She let out a howl of protest.  I got her changed and wrapped in nice blanket. I grabbed her bottle and warmed it in a cup of warm tap water.

Then we got settled on t…