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Showing posts from January, 2017

Year Two, Day 265: Killer Posole, and Paying Attention to the Birds!

Did I mention how good my posole was?  Oh. My. Goodness!

I had it for breakfast yesterday. And another bowl for lunch. The wonderful thing is that it is low carb. Those are not noodles on top. That is shredded cabbage.  Topped with avocado and a splash of lime. My digestive tract is singing a happy, healthy song!

This will definitely be a regular feature on our menu.  I just sauteed a couple pounds of cubed, boneless pork chops until they were no longer pink. Tossed them into the crockpot. Then I sauteed a diced onion, and three cloves of garlic in the same pan. Tossed those on top of the pork. Poured in a 19 oz can of enchilada sauce, and two cans of hominy. I added about 1/2 cup of water, salt pepper, oregano, paprika and cumin. Then I turned the crockpot on low for 6 hours. 

The meat is so tender and the flavor was quite harmonious!

Speaking of which, yesterday was quite balanced. I ate all of my meals home cooked. I was able to run home after my church office job and have the af…

Year Two, Day 264: Self Control and "War Dogs" with My Son

Finally, a good night's sleep! I was tempted to go straight to bed last night after my rather off day yesterday. But my son called and asked me to stop and pick up a Red Box movie for us to watch. I decided I needed some good quality time with my man child. We watched "War Dogs". Good choice. Based on a true story, so it made for good conversation. There were some action moments, suspense moments and silly monents. I left my cell phone in my room. Good life moment with the man child. I feel my attitude is sufficiently adjusted to face my day.

I have been walking a lot lately.  It feels wonderful. I've been wearing my running shoes nearly everywhere. I've been swinging my arms and lengthening my stride. But I need to get more gym time. I originally started this blog to get healthy by exercising everyday, and lose weight with healthier eating. I've come a long way, but I'm feeling stressed out again.  This impending move for one.  Finances.  The state of o…

Year Two, Day 263: Faithfulness, Insomnia, and a Lovely Posole!

I felt a little off all day today.

Like I was walking through mud.  It probably didn't help that I had a bout of insomnia last night. Woke up with a start at 3:00 a.m. Heart pounding.  Feeling of impending doom.

So to console myself I grabbed my phone and logged onto Facebook.  Big mistake.  I got even more stressed out with all the political posts. Then I felt guilty, because this is not about me. Passions are flying high right now.  People are suffering.  Who am I to get stressed out?

I took some deep breaths. Played some Words with Friends.

I have a Facebook friend, "N", who lives in Greece. We have never met, but we've talked a lot over the years. He teaches classical guitar. He has on occasion attempted to teach me a bit of Greek too. It is a most difficult language to learn!

He noticed I was online and we talked a bit. But when he realized what time it was here (3:30 a.m. in the US, noon in Greece), he asked me why I was up so late. I told him I couldn't sl…

Year Two, Day 262: Gentleness

I had to edit my life timer yesterday. And it did challenge my resolve to focus on goodness.  Every time the timer went off I cursed at it. Not good.

So, I reassessed. I needed more time. So I cut my gym workout.  Aaack! I could visualize my body ballooning up to what it used to be. Before I prioritized exercise. Back when I ate solely for pleasure and comfort. When I was under much stress and food was my friend.

But those days are long gone!

I needed to finish the laundry. I needed an extra 30 minutes. So I adjusted my timer.

I put in 20 minutes of piano practice. And I put the gym at the end of the day. I told myself if 7:00 p.m. came and gym was out of the question, for whatever reason, I would just walk briskly and stretch when I got home.

On a positive note, since I tracked my time yesterday, I ended up with a bit of extra time before I was due at the music center. It was a lovely day. I decided to sit outside at the neighborhood Starbucks and enjoy some quiet, peaceful time. I w…

Year Two, Day 261: My Life Timer. And Bagel Holes. Six for $7.99!

Friday at last!

Today I am going to make homemade clam chowder in the crockpot! I went to my favorite blog, "A Year of Slow Cooking" by Stephanie O'Dea. I've been reading her for years, before blogging was even cool.

And you know what? She was gluten free before gluten free was cool. She has a little one who is celiac.  Love her blog!

This is her recipe for clam chowder in the crockpot:

I am going to go to the gym, then stop by the grocery store for some clams and lactose free milk, then head home and throw it all in the crock before I head out to teach piano.

However, I did lay in bed this morning, thinking.  I stretched and pondered. My neck and shoulders feel much better. But I started worrying.  I was worrying about wasting time. 

When my schedule was freer, I spent too much time internally. Pondering, wondering, worrying.  When I was a busy, frantic single "super mom",…

Year Two, Day 260: Kindness Today, Longsuffering Tomorrow!

I did it! I am woman, hear me roar!

I made it through my first week in my part-time, "administrative assistant at a church" job!

I kept my head up, and didn't let nagging doubts bring me down.  Mostly I was worried about not getting up early, being late or being just too worn out to work as an administrative assistant, piano teacher and choir accompanist.

But I did it!

I have been focusing on the "fruits of the spirit":
Galatians 5:22-23New King James Version (NKJV) 22"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."
Monday when I felt myself allowing negativity to creep into my heart and mind, I focused on "love". I would just say the word over and over and again. Smile and breathe.
Tuesday, I added "joy". I would repeat "love, joy" over and over again. Smile and breathe.  The funny thing about that word combinatio…

Year Two, Day 259: No Coincidences! :)

I LOVE my new job!

And for your information, I got it wrong. I am not a church secretary. I am an "Administrative Assistant!"

I was alone again today. I absolutely love having my own little desk, being there to greet people and have little projects. Today I worked on the bulletin with the pastor's help. She was at a meeting downtown, but available for questions via Google chat.

Just think, I would be just barely crawling out of bed at home when I am already at my desk, full of coffee and ready for the day!  I was worried that the extra time on the job would zap me, but instead I am finding it energizes me!

I think I like a challenge.  This morning I actually popped right up, made tea and my lunch, did the dishes, sat down and wrote in my prayer journal and did a little bible study before putting on my eyebrows and heading out the door.

I caught all of my buses in time and even had time for a little reflective latte sipping at the Starbucks around the corner from the bus …

Year Two, Day 258: Abstinence

I am wide awake, brewing some Earl Grey tea and getting ready for my day. It is 7:20 a.m. and I even have my face on!

At my age, I feel naked without a little eyebrow pencil on. My eyebrows started disappearing when I hit menopause.

I am feeling good this morning.  In my quest to add more time to my life by waking up earlier, my standard mode of operation has been to hit the snooze alarm several times and then grab my cell phone. First thing I would do would be to check Facebook to see what my friends were talking about.

Then I would get irritated, and annoyed.  I would then go over to Words with Friends and try to conquer my son-in-law. I have only beat him once. I would feel my adrenaline surge.  And finally, when I score a victory against a friend, I would hop out of bed and curse myself for wasting so much time.

Essentially get up on the wrong side of the bed.

This morning I decided to refrain from looking at social media or even playing an online game.  I did hit the snooze a few…

Year Two, Day 257: Zita, Church Secretary :)

I'm in my library office. In between jobs.

I survived my first day on my new part time church secretary job! I think I am going to like it there!

I was mostly worried about waking up early enough to get there on time.  I was cutting it close. Should have gotten up earlier. I am really attached to my morning routine.  I had to cut a few things off of my usual schedule.

I missed my first bus, so I walked to my second bus. Second bus came right on time. My next bus came right on time. By then however I only had 15 minutes to make it to the church. I could have waited for my next bus, but was worried. It was the "iffy" bus I had heard about. If it was late, it would be too late for my to walk the 3/4 mile to the church.

It was a lovely day out. I even spotted a glowing orb in the sky behind a cloud. The sun!  I had worn my running shoes and packed my "church secretary" shoes in my backpack. So I decided I could make it to the church in time if I walked briskly!

So …

Year Two, Day 256: "You Have a Job?" :)

Wow, it is so nice to get back to a somewhat normal routine.  Walk on dry pavement. Not wear multiple layers of clothing!

One of my students cracked me up the other day. I asked him how he liked all the snow days. He said he loved staying home, watching tv and playing video games all day.  I told him I got bored being stuck at home. I said, "I'm SO glad to get back to work!"

He looked at me with a perplexed look on his face. "You have a job?", he asked.


You know you're doing something right in life, when people assume you don't work. You just go around visiting with people and sharing your love of music.

I do that!

I realized today, that in my own corner of the world, this is how I balance out all the negativity in the world. I just share what I know and love. And love the people I share it with!

Yesterday was the Women's March.  I was amazed at how it spread worldwide!
Saturday is my busiest day teaching, so I didn't even consider joining.…

Year Two, Day 255: Back to Tom's Restaurant! :)

Up early I am!

Today is breakfast with Mom day.  We had to miss the last two weeks because of snow.

So wonderful to be back to our normal schedule!  And I am continuing my birthday celebration.  This is the first time I will see my dear mother since before my birthday. :)

We are going to one of our favorite restaurants:  Tom's Restaurant on SE Division and Cesar Chavez. We have been meeting regularly for breakfast most every Saturday for several years.

I will post some pictures at breakfast. But I wanted to get this blog posted early as part of my breaking the chain of my oversleeping and regretting. Here is the proof! :) 

Before our Saturday Breakfast at Tom's, I would take my children to Tom's for dinner on the first day back to school.

We have been part of the Tom's Restaurant family for over 20 years!  We love Tom's!  The owners are from Greece and very lovable.  The food is very yummy and reasonably priced.  Breakfast food is standard, but for lunch and dinner…

Year Two, Day 254: The Martian on Inauguration Day

Confession time. I did not make it to the gym. Ok. I MADE it in. But to cancel my membership.  At LA Fitness. I am keeping my Crunch Membership.  Crunch is only $9.99 a month. LA was $30. But the good news is, I can still work out at LA until the middle of March since I paid first and last month's when I joined.

I explained to them that I am moving and need every last penny for rent.  All the young people at the front desk nodded their heads in understanding. Such is the rental environment in Portland, Oregon!

I was greatly relieved. But did not have time to workout before I went to the music center to teach.

But I did some good fast walking!

I walked on over to Starbucks first and had a butterscotch latte and tried their new "Sous Egg Bites.  One of my piano student families had given me a Starbucks card for my birthday. Still celebrating am I!

Those egg bites were incredible! I talked to the barista and she said they prepared them in a very "intricate French method of…

Year Two, Day 253: Horton, Eeyore and the Holy Spirit

Snow is gone.  Most of it.  Our neighborhood looks rather naked!

Don't get me wrong. I am happy to see the snow go. It was a lovely mild day today in Portland.  There was a feeling of anticipation in the air. Almost like spring was right around the corner. But here we are in mid January.  Not out of the woods yet!

I am feeling much better. I have been very diligent about keeping gluten out of my diet. It does make a difference. Both my son-in-law and I have pretty adverse reactions. He is a bit worse than me.  But one thing for sure, when I eliminate gluten, even if I have not lost weight (which I haven't lately...grrr...), you can see it in my face. Less poofy!

I slept in again.  But I am being kinder to myself. I did stretch a bit this morning. And I did a lot of power walking between bus stops and student's houses.

I am telling you right here and now that tomorrow morning I will go to the gym early and then come home and go through the rest of my routine.  The weather i…

Year Two, Day 252: "I Made it Through the Snow..." And Got Some New Books! :)

It felt so good to walk outside today with only one layer of clothing! Still a bit chilly and VERY WET!

The fresh air was invigorating. I found myself taking big gulps.  And it felt wonderful to stretch my legs and take longer strides without fear of slipping on snow and ice. There is still some snow piled here and there, but it is quite slushy. When I headed out to the grocery store this morning, there was no traffic on the side streets. So I just walked on the pavement in the middle of the road!

I am becoming quite bold in my middle age!

I got to the bus stop in record time and lo and behold, my bus pulled up shortly afterwards.  It was so wonderful to get on a warm, uncrowded bus.

That old Barry Mannilow tune has been running through my mind all day:  "I made it through the rain..." Except I've been singing: "I made it through the snow..." ;)

And that's how I feel.

In more ways than one!

I began chastising myself this morning for not waking up early eno…

Year Two, Day 251: The End Is Near...

...the end of Portland mild weather as we knew it.

No more can we say, "It never really snows here".

I got a severe weather advisory text on my phone as I was shivering at the bus stop waiting for a long overdue bus last night.

Apparently, the temperature is not going to warm up today as previously forecast. No, today we are in for some freezing rain.  Dave Salesky, Meteorologist on KATU posted last night on FB at 9:45 p.m.:  "NWS has updated Freezing Rain Advisory to Ice Storm Warning for Portland Metro area. Warning begins Tuesday at 4 AM and continues until 10 PM. Up to half of an inch of ice possible in parts of the city. Bottom line this just went from bad to worse."
I think I just heard all the parents in Portland groan!
So we still have snow on the ground. Most of the side streets are not clear. AND now we are going to have an inch of ice on top of that!
I got an email from the music center last night that the Mayor ordered all City of Portland offices closed to…

Year Two, Day 250: Getting My Healthy On! Look at that Lassi!

I continued celebrating my birthday yesterday. Alone.  
55 seems like a milestone birthday. I had a lot to think about. And a new piano student to get to in the icy snow!
I did get a little wiser though. I finally put on the snow cleats my daughter gave me.  Now that the snow will be melting soon, I have figured out how to get around safely!  I guess we humans are reactionary creatures.
So next snowstorm I will be prepared!
It was a lovely day yesterday. A little less frigid, but the snow was still on the ground.  I set out with the intention of going to the gym, having my birthday dinner at Sizzler, to my new student's house and then to Fred Meyer to buy mango, lime, coconut milk and cardamom.  I found a lovely recipe for a "Mango Coconut Lassi" in "First for Women" magazine (January 23, 2017.  The article is about healing your gut, eating healthy and losing weight using healthy fat, fiber, water and spices like ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cardamom.…

Year Two, Day 249: A Very Happy Birthday!

Best birthday ever! My daughter and I went to Dynamic Massage in NW Portland. One of my piano students gave me a gift certificate for Christmas. And I gave my daughter a gift certificate for Christmas!  Had a most healing massage with Ben. He specializes in Thai massage. Hence a lot of stretching. Which I so need!

I wish I would have taken a before picture.  We were a little stressed out after the drive down. There is still a lot of ice on the roads.

After our most relaxing massages, we walked down to NW 23rd in search of a good lunch spot.

We found a PHENOMENAL lunch spot!

The Matador.

OMG their lunches were incredible!  I had pork verde stew, a salad, and a beef carnitas soft taco on a corn tortilla.  With homemade chips and salsa and coffee. And the atmosphere was perfect!

It would be a great place for a date.

I may just have to dive back into the dating pool because I so want to go back to this restaurant!

We stopped at New Seasons in N…