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Showing posts from March, 2017

Year Two, Day 323: A Piece of Heaven at Fogo de Chao!

Today was a real, honest to goodness day off.

I allowed myself to sleep in. But then, of course, rebel that I am, my eyes popped open at 6:30 a.m. Wide awake.  Even though my mind was awake, my body was bone tired.

So I stayed in bed.  I played a little Words with Friends. I checked in with my Facebook friends. Then I dozed off for a bit.  A few hours later, my eyes popped open again. Still bone tired. I reached for my phone.  But it was not there.

I told myself to sleep a bit longer, it couldn't have gone far. But I knew it was on vibrate. And what if there was a family emergency?  My worries started to spiral. So I hopped out of bed.  Through off all the blankets, pillows and sheets. No cell phone.  I pulled the bed away from the wall.  No cell phone. But I found my missing library book!

There it was against the wall, my lost library book. I had looked through every box in storage, gone through all my things here at my new place. And there it was.

But no cell phone.

Don't y…

Year Two, Day 322: Hara Hachi Bu, Nin Jiom Candy and Me!

I am digging this "hara hachi bu" way of life!  I stepped on the scale this morning, and I am down 2 pounds.

Now mind you, this 2 pounds is part of my yo-yo 5 pounds. So it really doesn't count towards my permanent weight loss.

I have been avoiding posting my weight for some time now. Because I have fallen off the wagon so to speak.

But now that my two year blogaversary is approaching, I am ready to jump back on!

Being more conscious of my eating has been a focus for quite some time now. But eating until I am still a bit hungry (or 80% full as the Okinawans do), seems to really keep me on track.

When I reach Year Three, Day1, I will post my weight, measurements and new weight loss and exercise goals.

My allergies seem to be calming down a bit. I need to get another bottle of Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa from the Chinese grocery store. That stuff is liquid gold!

I've been reading more about it online.  I have only read good reviews. It is natural, herbal and tastes quite yumm…

Year Two, Day 321: No Soup Tonight!

I am enjoying this break from teaching week. After my little office job, I took myself out for Thai food for lunch. Then I stopped at Goodwill. I was looking for a brooch.  I must be embracing my little old-ladiness. I like long sweater vests. But the one I was wearing did not have a button. So I found some lovely brooches at the neighborhood Goodwill. Today I wore a butterfly.  Tomorrow I think I will wear the dolphins. The Snoopy, I put on my book bag.

I got to the cash register and the clerk asked if I was over 55.  I said I was exactly 55.  So she gave me a senior discount.

I was not offended!

Then I headed to my neighborhood Starbucks and had coffee with my son. We chatted about his new job, life.  He gave me a hug and took off. I sat and enjoyed my latte. And then packed up and headed towards the bus. And there was my housemate/boss!

I'll have you know this is very busy SE Portland. Off of SE 82nd, which is like a freeway with lots of restaurants on either side. And yet, at…

Year Two, Day 320: "Hara Hachi Bu"

My Monday perked up significantly after I blogged yesterday.

I met my daughter "pho" lunch. We shared a large steamy bowl of #6 which is round steak and flank. We ordered green onions in warm oil on the side, along with the bean sprouts, fresh lime wedge, fresh basil and jalapenos.  I sniffled and snorted my way through lunch, trying not to complain. Because these lunches with my daughter (and grandbaby to be!) are precious. Since I do not cohabitate with her and my son-in-law, I want to cherish our time together.

She was tired today too. They had just moved into their friends' home this last weekend.  So we had a nice, quiet lunch. After lunch we were going to make a quick stop at the grocery store. But she told me that the little mini kitchen attached to their living quarters is bigger than she imagined. "It has a real stove!", she exclaimed.

They had put most of their cooking utensils in storage when they moved. So, she was considering stopping at a thrift s…

Year Two, Day 319: More Light, Less Dark

Going to the doctor tomorrow.  My cough is gone, but I woke up with a snuffy nose again this morning.  Most annoying!

I have had a history of hay fever.  But over the years it diminished. Only to come back with a vengeance this year!

Nothing over the counter really works. My brother, who is a pharmacist told me years ago that he takes a low dose pseudoephidrine daily for his hay fever. So I did that for many years. Until pseudoephedrine was banned for over the counter sales in Oregon. It turned out that it was used to manufacture meth.

One of the church members came into the office this morning and heard me sniffling and snorting. He told  me he took prescription Sudafed for his allergies and it worked like a dream.

So off to the doctor I shall go!  I am tired of suffering. And I'm sure people are sick of hearing me snort!

I finished the novel, The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield last night. Wikipedia describes it as a "Gothic suspense novel".

It was a good read. I…

Year Two, Day 318: Happy Me - Serendipity!

The ancient Chinese remedy("Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa") is working!  I woke up this morning with a clearer head than I have had for many weeks!

I almost stayed in bed this morning rather than go to church. I just felt so good. And a day in bed sounded heavenly!  But no sooner had I turned off the alarm, and dove back under the covers, than my eyes popped wide open. I was not sleepy!

This in itself felt like a miracle!

It was drizzling this morning. 2017 may be known as the year of the endless rain in Portland.  But it was a nice, soft spring rain. I enjoyed my walk to the bus stop. I left a little later than I should have because of my dive back under the covers and moment of hesitation. So I missed my first bus.  As I was about to hop off my first bus and transfer, I noticed my second bus whiz by.

But I was not going to let that dampen my spirits.  I decided to ride the first bus down to the Milwaukie Transit Center. I had only been there once before, and it was dark then.


Year Two, Day 317: "Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa"

My allergy symptoms seem to be improving.  The apples are helping my tummy. My nose is less plugged.  But I have this persistent scratchy, itchy throat.  It makes teaching awkward, because I talk a lot when I teach!

But I had an "aha" moment today.  The church I teach at on Saturdays is situated next door to a Chinese grocery store. On my break, I ran next door to get some Fuji apples. I was also thinking about getting some ginger tea. I remembered I had gotten some good cough drops there in the past. So I asked the cashier if she had anything for a cough. She pointed to a large bottle.  
And all of a sudden, I remembered!  
My brother's ex wife's brother is married to a lovely lady from China. She is studying Chinese medicine. Her daughter studied piano with me for about a year, a few years back. And during that time I had a similar nagging, itchy, scratchy cough.  
She excused herself, went next door to the Chinese grocery store and brought me back a bottle of &quo…

Year Two, Day 316: Laughing in the Rain!

So after my sluggish start to yesterday, it ended with a flourish!

I was leaving my last student's house. It had begun to rain.  I had not brought my umbrella along. When I left the house earlier, it was warm and dry.  I did hesitate, thinking I might need it - I mean that 3/4 mile walk home at night would be mighty sloshy without an umbrella.

But I was tired and cranky. And I wanted to travel light. So I took off sans umbrella.

And there I was. The end of my day, facing a sloshy commute home.  I had felt so proud of myself. Instead of stopping and buying a packaged snack, I did buy my apple. It was a Fuji. Most crunchy and delicious it was!

My last family of the evening, is like a real family to me. The grandma always makes me tea. Sometimes they invite me for dinner. She also told me her door is always open, if I am in the neighborhood and want to just stop by and play her old upright piano. And I occasionally do!

So when she saw my face as I was prepared to leave, she offered t…

Year Two, Day 315: Treading Water

2:45 p.m .

Sinking again. Or maybe I should say treading water.

I have so many tools at hand.  I am breathing. I am praying. I am trying to just be in the moment.  Trying to relax and let go. Let God.

Thankfully, I have some time off during the next week. I may take my bike out for a ride.  Perhaps go to the Grotto and walk the labyrinth. Definitely spend some time in the gym.  Time with my piano and time with taxes would be good too.

I think I am seeing a correlation between anxiety and depression. I have some things looming over my head.  Taxes. A few piano performances. Perhaps if I just keep chipping away at things, it will ease my worry.

Today is Thursday. A typical day. I did get up in time for 20 minutes on the elyptical while watching "Person of Interest".  I pushed myself to up the pace, and "ran" for a few minutes. Worked up a sweat.

Then it was church office day.  Quiet day in the office.  It was welcomed since the rest of the week was quite busy.  I …

Year Two, Day 314: "Mind the Gap"

Today was overall a very pleasant day.

I popped up at the last possible moment and was able to get in my 20 minute elyptical workout while watching "Person of Interest". This routine is really working for me. Yes, I am bribing myself.  I don't allow myself to watch any television at night for the time being, while I am in "training". So when I open an eye, hit the snooze and contemplate sleeping in, I start craving my time with my new show I am binge watching.  Then, once I am vertical, I am awake!

Today I had a bit of a breakthrough. I was so engrossed in the plot, that without realizing it, I was actually "running" on the elyptical! Broke a sweat did I!

After my shift at the church, I stopped in at Starbucks and had a green tea latte with my housemate before heading off to lunch.  I decided to try a new place: "Sunny's Diner" in my new hood. I've heard good things about it.

I was greeted by a friendly server.  When she came to tak…

Year Two, Day 313: Most Excited Am I!

I almost started today's blog with my standard, "Most tired am I"

And I am.

So tired. And ready for spring.  But tonight when I got home, my wonderful housemate told me that I had a package waiting for me on the counter.  So I ran in and found the book I had been waiting for:

Open Mind, Open Heart, by Thomas Keating.

Most excited am I!

I put a bag of popcorn in the microwave, filled my water and was heading downstairs to open my new book - but I had to detour around the cat who had just killed and attempted to eat a spider. Good kitty! :)

I ordered this book the day that I was inspired to turn my introversion into a positive. To use it as a stepping stone to a deeper relationship with God. To go up to the next level in my spiritual path.

Thomas Keating is known as "The leader within the Catholic world in the task of recovering our Christian contemplative heritage" Ewert H. Cousins, General Editor, "World Spirituality, An Encyclopedic History of the Religiou…

Year Two, Day 312: Quicksand

Gratitude was the focus of my daily devotional today. Specifically gratitude to God for His forgiveness of my sins.  Today's reading struck me deep inside. I paused. I exhaled a long sigh. Then I inhaled what felt like new life.

I need to spend more time reflecting on what I am thankful for.  It is so easy to be obsessed with the negative.  Perhaps not really enjoying the negative, or even complaining. But maybe, like me, constantly worrying over what is wrong and trying to figure out what is right.

But in the process, I become engulfed in negativity.

Time to pull myself out.

My father used to warn me about quick sand when I was a child.  Why he focused on quick sand here in the Pacific Northwest, I will never know. But I developed a deep fear of falling into quick sand and sinking down, down, down until I disappeared. But there is a technique, apparently, according to my father, in surviving a quick sand plummet.  Gravity pulls you down. And if you flail around in a panic, you si…

Year Two, Day 311: My Favorite Monk, Trees and Me

Today I cleared the rest of my belongings out of my daughter and son-in-law's garage.  

Packed it up and put it in storage. With the help of my handy nephew.  I spent some time yesterday organizing my storage unit,  so the rest of my boxes fit in nicely.  After the trip to storage, we went to our weekly pho. At our usual pho after moving restaurant, "Pho Kim" on SE 82nd near Division.

But instead of pho, I had rice with pork and shrimp.  I felt like I needed to celebrate.  In our family, we have a meal to celebrate nearly everything in life. Finishing a move seemed a good enough reason!

But I felt sad.  I am going to miss my nephew.  Silly, I know.  We will see each other at family gatherings. We have a couple of birthdays coming up in April.  

But we have had nice talks.  It's been nice to connect with him.  I worry that we will lose this connection.

I am in a worrying mood today.  Perhaps after the news of my father's cancer.  Perhaps with this move.  Perhaps with m…

Year Two, Day 310: The Right Side

I woke up smiling this morning.

I felt hope.

In the morning!

This is huge!

I made two changes in my routine last night:

I read in bed rather than watching T.V.I kept my radio on all night tuned to K-Love. I am reading The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield.  Mesmerizing is the word that comes to mind.

I so needed to get lost in a good novel. It has been a long time.

Today my fruit of the spirit was "patience".  I picked out a book from my storage facility today.  Out of Solitude, by Henri Nouwen.  He says:

"The mother of expectation is patience...Without patience our expectation degenerates into wishful thinking. Patience comes from the word "patior" which means 'to suffer'. The first thing the Jesus promises is suffering: 'I tell you, you will be weeping and wailing...and you will be sorrowful.' But he calls these pains birth pains. And so, what seems a hindrance becomes a way; what seems an obstacle becomes a door; what seems a misfit becom…