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Showing posts from February, 2017

Year Two, Day 293: Gut Shots

I am not as sore this morning.

I just had my morning tea, some yogurt and morning prayer.

I had a brilliant idea last night while walking between students houses.  Monday I teach piano in the Woodstock neighborhood.  There is a new "New Seasons" grocery store that I usually avoid because it is a bit spendy. But I really love New Seasons.

So, I was thinking about my new season of life.  I ended up not having to pay the exhorbitant rent prices and deposit I feared. I can practically roll out of bed and hop a few paces to my part time morning job at the church.  My kids are fending for themselves.

What I have been worried about is food.

I do seem to think a lot about food!

Which is part of why I started this blog. It helps me be accountable to have to write about my day. Not knowing who, on the other side of this computer is reading these words.

Kind of cool really.

It's kept me exercising nearly every day for nearly two years.

But alas, I am still obsessed. With food.


Year Two, Day 292: Zita, Volcano Walker

Oy, was I sore this morning!

Every bone, muscle and hair on body was in pain. All that lifting and moving of most of my earthly belongings yesterday contributed, no doubt.

Even so, I was determined to get my daily exercise in. And I figured a bit of cardio might just loosen me up a bit.

So I popped up, made some tea, and hopped on the treadmill in the gym in my new home.

I proceeded to walk up a volcano!

"Haleakala" to be exact.

This is the raddest treadmill ever. Do people still use the word "rad"? Well they should!

It has a touch screen on it. You can choose your virtual walk.I chose the volcano because of the steep elevation. I woke up late, in pain. I knew I wouldn't get much time in. So a steep walk up a volcano seemed like the ticket.

Indeed it was! I hardly noticed a quarter of a mile go by. So mesmerized was I by the virtual climb. It was so realistic, I found myself waving at a group of virtual bikers coming towards me on the road.

Yes. I did that!


Year Two, Day 291: A Very Moving Day

Here I am. Blogging in my new place!

What a whirlwind the last few weeks have been.

I will admit it. I was a tad stressed out.

But here I am.  With my piano, my books and my Beatles "Abbey Road" poster.

If it were not dark outside, I could look out my window and see the church a few yards away.  I am living in the "parsonage". I feel like I just stepped into a "Little House on the Prairie" episode!

It just feels so quaint.  I like quaint. :)

In the morning, I plan on making tea and stepping on the treadmill.

Next door to my bedroom.  No excuses for not getting my daily exercise now!

Then I will leisurely get ready. No racing for buses!  And I shall walk briskly...across the my morning job!

And the best part about today was that I spent 4 hours of quality time with my 22 year-old nephew.

I will admit that I was also nervous about that.  He is an introvert like me. I was afraid that spending all day moving his aunt across town might be awkward for …

Year Two, Day 289: The Space in Between

This will be a short post.

Most tired am I!

I started off the day securing a storage unit. The man who signed me up was really funny.  We had a grand ol time joking around!  Then he showed me my rental space, gave me a padl ovk and key,  and I was on my way.

I've rented storage units before. My last big major move was kind of a rush job.  Our home had been shot up and we were all quite eager to move out. My daughter was in college, my son recently graduated from high school.

We had a huge garage sale and then ended up giving away probably half of our belongings. Even with that, I had many boxes, mostly full of books, music and journals. I rented a U-haul, tossed it all in and packed into a storage facility.

Over the last few years, I have gradually gotten rid of most unnecessary items.  Still, many books remain.

 I suppose you could call me a book hoarder.

But this time around, I plan on being more organized.  Tomorrow, I am putting up some shelves and buying more plastic bins. Th…

Year Two, Day 288: I Found a Place!

This is truly amazing.

God is so good.

All the time!

I posted on Facebook my housing plight yesterday afternoon. And so many of my wonderful friends had helpful suggestions. Several offers for roommates came in.  But most of them so far from my work.

Then, I was heading home after teaching and just felt the need to sit and think.  Of course sitting and thinking go so much better with a cheeseburger on a rice cake, and what do you know...there I was getting off the bus in from of a McDonald's!

So I ordered a quarter pounder with cheese, ditched the bun and plopped it down between two rice cakes (I always carry emergency rice cakes in my bags these days).

I opened up Facebook and found a message from the pastor at my church job. She and her family have a room in their basement that they have been wanting to rent. But they were hesitant to put up an ad. They preferred knowing the person.

And here I am!  This is a blessing in so many ways! I will help them by paying rent and being a p…

Year Two, Day 287: Dreaming of a Camper Van

So, I didn't get the apartment.  
I really liked it - especially the location.  But the manager gave me a bad vibe. So I am a bit relieved. She was kind of negative. Even the voicemail..."We can't rent to you. Bad credit. Sorry." Click. I almost expected a cackle. Like the Wicked Witch of the West!
The thing is, it was the least expensive apartment I've seen. I talked to a lady from a property management company and she said with bad credit, sometimes they will take a bigger deposit.
Honestly, I can't afford to live in Portland! I told my son. I suggested he stay with friends for now. Work on building his credit. I have old marks on my credit bureau report, from ages ago. Divorce. Single mom. But I have almost everything paid off now.  So if I tried to get into one of the apartments that say "Bad Credit? Ok!", I would spend a fortune in a deposit.
My daughter suggest I rent a room from someone. I am really nervous about this. I am a bit of an in…

Year Two, Day 286: Hear Me Roar!

Today's fruit of the spirit is "faithfulness". This morning I really got this. How my emotional state is more balanced when I just let go of all the worries and "what ifs" and simply trust in God.

Because He is faithful. He continually opens up different, unexpected routes in my life when I feel I am trapped by roadblocks.

It is early yet. On a drizzly, gray Tuesday morning. It is fitting that I am sipping a London Fog. Gazing out the window at my regular Starbucks joint.

I love the rain: the sound, the smell, the sight of the drops making ripples in the puddles on the pavement.

After our big snowstorm recently, our roads are torn up. Many potholes to be seen. Which make an abundance of puddles! When I played the piano for the Penguin Musical last week, I laughed out loud walking near the playground. A group of boys were purposely seeking big puddles to stomp in. One of them actually looked up at me and said, "There are a lot of good puddles around here&qu…

Year Two, Day 285:My Day in Pictures

Long day. It is late. I need to hit the hay soon.

But I would not feel right about my life at this point if I did not submit my daily blog post!

At breakfast Saturday morning, my son-in-law suggested I post more pictures as I go about my day.  Guess he's tired of just seeing my face!

So, today, I took random shots throughout the day. Tomorrow I would like to get some selfies with people, but I do need to get their permission first!

This is perfect, because I do not have many words for you this late.  A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Year Two, Day 284: Say a Prayer for Me?

A bit poofy faced today I am. I ate Chinese food for dinner last night. I usually use entirely too much soy sauce.  And there is gluten in soy sauce.

But, hey,  at least I went to the gym afterwards!  Again, a short workout, but I will take what I can get!

I was also quite moved in church this morning. Moved to tears. Our usual pastor is in the hospital with blood clots in his lungs. I am praying for his healing. I really love our pastor and his wife!

But we had two guest speakers from the congregation. They were both very inspiring. And the fact that they did not have much time to prepare, made it very precious. The second speaker, an older gentleman admitted to us that he gets quite emotional. At least twice during his talk he was moved to tears. Which in turn moved me to tears!

But much good food for thought.

Which I will chew on at least for the remainder of the day.

But I will have to keep this blog short. I am at my library office. The manager of an apartment building in a super…

Year Two, Day 283: Putting Up With People Without Exploding

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23gentleness, self-control;against such things there is no law."
I am still focusing on the "fruit of the spirit". I am a teacher. I've learned that one of the best tools for learning is repetition. Let me repeat that. 
"I've learned one of the best tools for learning is repetition."

Simple. Old school. Effective.

Focusing on the fruit of the spirit everyday is internalizing it for me. I am beginning to feel like I am living it!

Today's fruit is patience.

Speaking of which, please be patient with me as I share two quotes from One short, one super lengthy. But worth the read.

"The fruit of patience should be understood as forbearance, that is, putting up with people around us without exploding." "Patience" (NIV, NRSV), "longsuffering" (KJV) ismakrothymia, "state of being able to bear …

Year Two, Day 282: Too Tired to Blog

A long day it was. I am too tired to talk, too tired to think, too tired to blog...

So I will just share a picture or two and wish you all a happy Friday!

Peace was my fruit of the spirit today.

So I bid you peace!



Year Two, Day 281: A Joyful Day and a Penguin Musical!

Having a good day today. Still feeling my allergies: Itchy, watery, poof eyes and sneezing. But not quite as tired as yesterday. The swelling in my lump (the lymph noted under my right jawbone), has gone done.  I still smell burning oil everywhere....that is the weirdest symptom ever. I know, I know. Dr. appointment will be made soon!

However, good news!

Drum roll.....

I made it to the gym!!

It was a short workout, but I got there!  I did 7 very vigorous minutes on the elyptical, bench press, shoulder press and lat pull down. 

I also managed to get one of my favorite comfort foods in the crockpot before I left. Tater tot casserole!

We are a gluten free household and I was horrified to discover recently that cream of mushroom soup has gluten in it, so I made my own! 

I layered tater tots on the bottom of the crock, topped it with grilled, chunks of boneless chicken breasts (I used Tyson frozen white meat, 22 oz), topped that with a 16 oz bag of frozen veggies, topped that with the homem…

Year Two, Day 280: Funky and Laid Back

Today is a tired day.   I have been having allergy symptoms. Itchy, watery eyes, snuffly nose. And oddly enough, I seem to quite often smell burning oil. No matter where I go. And the lump beneath my right jawbone is swollen again. I may have to go see a doctor. But hopefully it can wait until spring break. I uave to keep my nose to the grindstone. Moving day is only a few weeks away.

So I guess today has been an under the weather sort of day. Odd. The rain, which usually invigorates me, is just making me feel soggy.  I have a strong desire to make popcorn and lie in bed with a good book and/or movie.

My mom recommended the movie, "The Conflict" with Martin Sheen. I borrowed the DVD from her. Unfortunately it starts skipping halfway through. But I love this movie so much, that I ordered a copy off of Amazon.

I usually put it in at night before I go to sleep. I have watched it from the beginning until nearly the middle about five times now. It is about one of my favorite grou…

Year Two, Day 279: Forest Bathing, Chips and Chocolate...heh heh heh ;)

Now that the weather is warmer, I need to get back to the trail!

This picture on the left is
from one of my first days on this blog. May 13, 2015, nearly two years ago!  I miss the exhilaration I felt hitting the open trail! When I started out, I was just walking, but I began to start thinking about training for a race. Now that spring is in the air (I saw a bluebird yesterday!), I may have to resurrect that goal!

The Japanese have a long tradition of "Forest Bathing" (shinrin-yoku).  

There has actually been documented research of the benefits of walking in the forest:

All I know, is that I start feeling pent up if I am stuck inside, or walking in the city too long without some time in nature.  A trip to the beach, the mountains, the Columbia River Gorge or even the Springwater Trail, does wonders for my body, mind and spirit.

Today, I am focus…

Year Two, Day 278: ARRRR!

Up with the chickens this morning I am. But without chickens. I made a big, hearty breakfast for the adult children. Migas and O'Brien potatoes!

Today's fruit of the spirit that I am focusing on is "gentleness".
(Galatians 5:22-23 English Standard Version"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.")

I referred to again to research the etymology of  the word "gentleness". 
"Gentleness" (NIV, NRSV), "meekness" (KJV) is praut─ôs, "the quality of not being overly impressed by a sense of one's self-importance; gentleness, humility, courtesy, considerateness, meekness" in the older favorable sense. We see this word used to describe Jesus' character: "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle (praus) and humble (tapeinos)

Year Two, Day 277: Bach and Pho

It seems that I am needing a lot of "therapy" lately.  Music therapy. Massage therapy.  Comfort food therapy.  Walking therapy.  Gym therapy.  Vitamin D therapy - the sun is shining at last! 

It is fitting then, that the fruit of the spirit ("But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."  Galatians 5:22-23 ESV) that I am focusing on today is faithfulness.   My gut feeling was that God is faithful and if I allow myself to fully trust in Him and follow His ways, it will ease my anxiety and need for all this comfort.  In a sense, I am quite needy. But instead of always seeking these earthly comfort bandages, I am learning to turn to the Almighty. Open my Bible. Study, pray.  This is the ultimate comfort.  I am still learning. A baby spirituatlly.

I looked up a few commentaries on Galatians 5:22-23. One I like is from
" "Faithfulness&quo…

Year Two, Day 276: For Goodness Sake!

Today's fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22) is goodness.

For me, this is more challenging than kindness.  I consider being kind an active word. Doing random "acts" of kindness.  As I mentioned in my previous blog post, these acts of kindness often benefit me as much as the givee.

But "goodness".  That is who I am deep down for goodness sake! My core below all the layers that life has piled upon me...

And I struggle with low self esteem. I am trying to let God remake me and mold me into a kind, giving, generous, peaceful person. But sometimes I just feel rotten to the core! But I know that is my faulty Eeyore mentality. Underneath it all, I am pure, radiant goodness enveloped in many years of victim mentality

I fight it daily.

Today feels like a good day.  I did not hit the snooze button more than twice!

I started with some stretches and wall pushups. Since I have not had time for the gym lately, I'm trying to get exercise in my everyday life. I've been…

Year Two, Day 275: Mr. Magoo and "The Guidelines for Living"

Today my fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is kindness.

I like focusing on kindness. I find that no matter what frame of mind I'm in, that if I am kind to someone, it lifts me up.  It seems like the more random, the better. For instance, my very kind #34 bus driver.  I think both of us have better days from our brief interaction four mornings a week.  She sits at the light and waits for me. I greet her with a big thank you and a smile. We chat for all of 5 minutes to the church and then we wish each other a merry good day!

If only all of life's interactions were like that!

Yesterday, was a particularly smooth transition. I got off of the #33 at 9:44. I was waiting for the "walk"  sign to come on to cross the street to the #34 bus stop. Just as the light turned green, the #34 pulled up. She waved at me. I waved at her. I turned and waved good bye at the #33 driver.

(He is awesome too. He has been with Tri-met for many years. His uniform is decorate like a war he…