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Showing posts from August, 2017

Year Three, Day 111: Helpless Versus Helpful in Difficult Times

I had a bit of a break down yesterday.

I am ok now.

I take that back. I am MUCH BETTER now!

I think I needed a good cry. And good look at myself.

I think humans respond well in life and death situations. Like the response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

I cannot get enough of all the videos depicting all the people helping people. Many of them sacrificing their own lives to save others.  Many of them volunteers.

In contrast, my life feels very bleak and small.  I felt helpless.  I was tired. I was worried about my son.  I was worried about my daughter. I was worried about finances. I was feeling lonely.

I was wishing I was in Houston helping save people.

Instead, I sat in a church office for three hours, alone.  Working on the bulletin. Answering phones. Feeling sorry for myself.

I have no students for the next two weeks. I had planned it this way. I am awaiting my grandchild. I thought I could take the time to rest, and prepare for my busy time.

But perhaps I have too much time on my …

Year Three, Day 110: I Like Change, But How Do I Help the Suffering?

I woke up in a bit of a panic this morning. I had planned on getting to the track by 6:30 a.m., because I thought today was the first day of school. You see, the public is not allowed to use the track when school is in session. Understandably so.
But alas, I overslept! I still headed out with my hoop, hoping it was before school hours at 7:30 a.m.

And I breathed a sigh of relief. The school looked vacant. And only one solitary jogger with her solitary dog was present.

I got busy in case the kids were due to arrive. Got a nice hoop workout in. No sign of children as I walked back to the house.

So I did what I should have done in advance. I consulted Google.

And most happy am I - North Clackamas School District does not start back to school until September 6th! Portland Public Schools start today.

But the elementary school next door to the track lists "student hours" as 7:45 - 2:00 p.m.

So I really am going to have to get an earlier start next week. I am aiming for 6:30 hoop …

Year Three, Day 109: Hanging Out, Catching Up and Enjoying Life

Still praying. Practically nonstop lately. My heart is swollen. With compassion for all the victims of the flooding in Houston. But also with pride in humanity. For all the people who sacrificed to save other people and pets.  I can't stop looking at all the videos posted on Facebook and twitter of the Cajun Navy, all the first responders, military, and especially just average citizens with boats and trucks hauling folks to safety.

It is humbling.  It is a good lesson for all of us. To set aside politics, race and religion and just help others survive.

I put up our church sign today. Our usual sign volunter, the "Sign Ninja" as I call him, had a pretty serious accident on his bike last week. He is at home recovering. In much pain. He texted me pictures of his bruises.

The Sign Ninja is on my prayer list.

I was happy when the pastor took my suggestion in mentioning that we are praying for Texas on our sign.  I said a prayer as I put up the letters.

O.K. I also uttered a…

Year Three, Day 108: Still Praying.

Most tired am I!

My very strange, but good day was quite exhausting yesterday.

After my wonderful, healing church gig, I went out for a breakfast burrito. A chorizo breakfast burrito to be exact. I went to Teco's on Powell yesterday. It is a nice, little family run restaurant.  It is quiet. A good place for reading a pondering.

I usually get the regular burrito, and open up the tortilla and just eat the innards.  I am still grain free and proud of it!

Plus, they have the sliced radishes, and slow cooked onions and jalepenos on the side. All for about $3.75!

While I was eating and pondering, my son called. He had an interview for a job in North Portland. But, he is living in Parkrose and was afraid he would not make it in time.  So, I went into hero, warrior mom mode. I ordered him a ride through my Lyft app on my smart phone. Then I hopped on the boss to North Portland. I waited for him at Starbucks. Then I got him a bus pass for the day and we hung out and talked.

I treasure the…

Year Three, Day 107: A Healing Service and a Good Face Day

It has been a strange day.

Not bad, strange. Just strange, as in different. 

Something has changed. Maybe it's me?

This morning I woke up early and did my hooping as usual. But I was worried about being late for my church pianist sub gig, so I left earlier than usual. Got to the bus stop and discovered the first bus did not come for 20 minutes. 

It was ok. I would still make it in plenty of time. So, I walked into the gas station behind the stop and got a nice hot cup of coffee.

I put the lid on and went to pay. There was a gentleman standing in line in front of me. A very distinguished man about my age.

Ok. He was quite handsome! Silver hair. Goatee.  Sparkling blue eyes.  I don't take much notice of men these days.  But, he was easy on the eyes!

He turned around and smiled at me. I almost dropped my coffee.

When it was his turn at the register, he told the cashier he was paying for gas and wanted a pack of "chew". 

"Nasty habit, I know", he winked at me.

Year Three, Day 106: After the Storm

Today was a long day. Good, but long. Most tired am I.

I started with a nice hoop session at 6:30 a.m.

Wow! Who am I? I almost sound like a morning person or something!

I had to leave the house early. Met my mom and pregnant daughter for breakfast. On Saturdays, the busses do not run often in my neighborhood. So I had to walk a mile to the nearest stop. With a backpack full of music books strapped on my shoulders. Plus my healthy lunch, my kindle, my gym clothes, my knitting, my Bible and my prayer journal. Must not get bored!

I looked like I was running away from home. I felt like I was in boot camp.

But this hard work is paying off. Two patents plus my own mother commented that I looked like I had lost weight and looked "great"!

A sucker for compliments am I!

Good thing, because when I'm tired, my willpower is weak. I seriously considered skipping the gym and going to an all-you-can eat buffet.

But I said no! I've come too far! No more eating for comfort, for comp…

Year Three, Day 105: Holy Manna: Praying and Playing Music for All in the Path of Hurricane Harvey

Today is Friday - Stats Day!

Drum roll...

Here are today's stats:

August  25, 2017 Current Mood:  6 (On a scale of 1 - 10, 1 being depressed, 10 being ecstatic!) Weight: 179.4 Neck: 13" Chest: 39" Waist: 34"
Hips: 41" Thighs: 21" Calves: 14" Biceps: 12.5" Ankles: 8"
Here are last Friday's stats:

August  18, 2017 Current Mood:  8 (On a scale of 1 - 10, 1 being depressed, 10 being ecstatic!) Weight: 182 Chest: 39" Waist: 34" Hips: 41" Thighs: 21" Calves: 14" Biceps: 12.5" Ankles: 8"
So, this week I did not lose anything in terms of inches, but I lost over 2 pounds! I'll take it!  Especially when I see how far I've come!  Look at my stats near the beginning of my blogging journey:

May 26, 2015
Weight: 203
Neck: 15"
Chest: 47"
Waist: 41"
Hips: 48:
Thighs: 23"
Biceps: 14"
 I feel better now! I just realized my hips are the same size now as my waist was 2+ years ago!
But I must ad…

Year Three, Day 104: I've Got My Size 12's On...

..and I'm not sucking it in!

Most exhuberant am I! Hard work, persistence, pain and suffering do pay off! Here I am, on Day 70 of my daily hooping experiment:

And I just got super good news! My daughter and son-in-law want to take me to the beach for a weekend so he can go hunting and I can stay with my daughter, and GRANDDAUGHTER.

This is perfect! Not only do I get to spend time with my favorite people and new grandbaby, but I had promised myself a trip to the beach when I could finally fit comfortably in my size 12's!

I can't think of anything else to say. Today is a very happy day!

I hope it is happy for you too!

Talk to you tomorrow!


Happy Z

Year Three, Day 103: Walking with Clyde

Hooping: Day 69
Today was Day 69 of daily hooping.  Above is my video.  And I was also finally able to edit my Day 67 hooping video.  You can see it here:

Hooping: Day 67 (Eclipse Day!)
Apparently the problem had to do with the internet service in my neighborhood. Which coincidentally had issues on the day of the eclipse.

Speaking of which, I spoke to the parent of my Monday night students after their lesson.  They had driven to Silverton to watch the eclipse. They were fortunate to have experienced it in totality.  The boys eagerly relayed their experience to me. But as I was leaving, I noticed I had a difficult time carrying on a normal, adult conversation with their mom.

I confided in her that I had been feeling odd all day after the eclipse. That I felt uncomfortable staring at the sun, even with eclipse glasses. And that now I felt a bit wobbly and dizzy. She told me her husband was laying down. He felt very peculiar since they had returned. She said she felt tired, but they had …

Year Three, Day 102: Out of the 80's!

....the 180's to be precise!  I want to shout this from the highest mountaintop!

Don't get me wrong. I am a product of the 80's. I wore my hair big. I danced the night away under a rotating disco ball. I played Michael Jackson records on my turntable. I had my own phone in my bedroom...that was plugged into the wall.  I drove a VW Super Beetle.  Life was pretty good back then. I graduated from high school in 1980. Graduated from college in 1985.

I had a high metabolism. My diet consisted of burgers, fries, pizza, chocolate, potato chips, and diet sodas.

But that was then. Things change.

Two kids, and many pounds later....look how far I've come in the past 7 years!

Today was Day 68 hooping:

I am still having trouble uploading my Day 67 hooping video to Youtube.  It is super long and awkward with me adjusting my dress.  So I attempted to make some cuts and add different music.  
You might be able to see the finished product here. Or you just might see awkward me adjust…

Year Three, Day 101: Solar Eclipse 2017 - Attempting to Grasp the Infinite

Well, we survived Solar Eclipse 2017!
I went out this morning, as usual for my daily hoop session. I wore a bright dress, that I thought would be appropriate for this day. 
But it was a bit awkward hooping in a dress. I think I'll stick with t-shirt and leggings or shorts from now on.

To make matters worse, I am having trouble uploading the video to YouTube. So if it doesn't publish, you will have to take my word for it.

I did indeed hoop today!
After I finished my session, my roommate invited me up to her deck to watch the eclipse. She said it looked like someone had taken a bite out of the sun.  It was only a little after 9:00 a.m. And I had planned on walking up to the gas station to get my coffee first.  I felt a little apprehensive about staring directly at the sun. Even with my eclipse glasses. After all, the fine print did say "limited to 3 minutes continuous use..."
So I told her I would join her after I got my coffee. I headed out and ran into our sign vol…

Year Three, Day 100: Signs

This is day 66, of daily hooping! Sorry about the dark video. I tried to offset it with adding disco dance lights. Not sure it helped.

Today I woke up with the resolve to pursue piano performance opportunities.  It is my new mission.

But as I hooped, walked, and bused, I pondered.

I let my mind travel back in time to my first church pianist position.  It was the beginning of the end of my stage fright. I had visited a small church in the neighborhood, at the suggestion of a woman I worked with up on "the hill" at Portland Center for Hearing and Speech. I was a single mother, with a baby girl. She told me her little church was just a few blocks from my apartment. And they had free neighborhood potlucks every Wednesday.

Free food, a loving community, and a path back to God.

As a struggling, single mother this sounded appealing to me. I bundled up my baby girl that week and walked to the church.

The ladies of the church fussed over us like mother hens. They ooed and aaahed …

Year Three, Day 99: Simple Gifts

What I am feeling grateful for today:

Dinner with son last night.

My daughter.

My granddaughter - coming soon!

Students eager to learn.

Friends wanting to play music with me.
Moving with strength, absence of pain.
Clear mind. Clear lungs.
Love of family, friends, life.

A cool summer breeze.


Speaking of which, I am at chamber music rehearsal. I am listening to a beautiful piece being played by a cellist, violinist and flautist. Trio #2 by Hiroshi. We are in the church I teach at on Saturday. It gets very hot in here. I have the side door open, box fan blowing slightly cooler early afternoon air into the sanctuary. I played the first three Russian folk songs with cello and voice. They asked me to fill in for their regular pianist who is on vacation. I've played with them before. The vocalist is my friend. I was having anxiety earlier. Hot church, worried about way too many things beyond my control. Wishing I had the evening free to do my library blogging, hit the gym, go…