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Showing posts from October, 2017

Year Three, Day 172: Family Fun Night

I am writing this post from my daughter and son-in-law's home. We just returned from "Family Fun Night" at their church. When we left at 7:00 p.m., costumed kids were still poring through the front doors, their parents in tow. If I had to guess, I would say well over a thousand people showed up for candy, games and prizes!

My daughter and son-in-law had a sports booth with a baseball and basketball toss. So they dressed up in football jerseys. I went as the ref and Baby Gracie as a football! I was in charge of the football. It was so precious to watch her watching all the people and activities. I love this stage, when babies start interacting with the world. It is like God turned on a light in her brain!

There was a bit of a scare tonight. My son-in-law's sister and family called us as they left the church. They said there was a group of people in the parking lot causing a commotion. They were screaming at people walking in. "God hates you"! And other mean …

Year Three, Day 171: Slowly Breathing

I did it again!

I jog/walked 1 lap at the track this morning at sunrise. I had to get there early, before the school children started showing up. The public is only allowed to use the running track outside of school hours.

So I popped out of bed at 6:50 and headed over to the track. With my flashlight.

I was stiff and sore this morning.  I really need to start working on eating healthier.

I must sound like a broken record! Yesterday after my Baby Gracie shift, my son-in-law dropped me off at the Cascades Max Station. I was just going to have a cup of tea, but I hadn't really had dinner. So I went to Panda Express.

I did pretty well. I had veggies, beef and rice.

The problem is, I was feeling the need to just sit and relax and read.  I had held Baby Gracie for about 3 hours earlier. I love time with her, but I felt the need for some quiet pondering.  After my meal, I got out my Bible, prayer journal and devotional.

I did some lovely reading.  But I just wasn't ready for the ri…

Year Three, Day 170: I've Only Just Begun


I went jogging this morning. I did 1/2 of a lap. Then I walked the remainder of the lap.

Dang, I am proud of myself. It felt good to jog-walk in the early morning, unencumbered by a heavy backpack full of music, knitting needles, yarn, lunch, Bible, prayer journal, devotional and gym clothes!
But, I think I am in better shape cardiovascular, in spite of my COPD because of my daily walking with heavy backpack!
I thought about hooping in the field at the track, but the grass was wet. I decided to feel free by just starting my day jog-walking. I got the painful thing out of the way first!
Then I came home and did my daily hoop workout and daily piano practice session.
Today is day 134 of my daily hoop journey.

Still feeling amazingly focused! I'm digging it! My next hurdle to conquer is my memory.
My biggest handicap as a musician is my struggle to memorize. I have super monks sight reading skills. Always have. But my memory sucks.
So daily memorizing is my next project!

Year Three, 169: A Shift!

I am feeling a shift. Not sure exactly how to explain it just yet.

But I am feeling more focused.  Especially in my piano practice.  My mind is almost fully grounded in the present moment when I practice. I am more aware of musical patterns and conscious of fingering and phrasing.  My memory has improved too.

I am curious how this came about.  But mostly I am feeling very grateful!

I mentioned this phenomenon to my daughter. She suggested that spending time with Baby Grace has made me be more present in the moment.

Yes, I believe that is a big part of it!  Baby Grace is my absolute priority right now. Even when she is at her crankiest, time spent with her is totally fulfilling. And worth the sacrifice.

I believe relief has caused my anxious mind to calm down. I see my daughter blossoming in new motherhood. I see Baby Grace growing in love and plumping up with all that wholesome mother's milk.  I see her father embrace his role. I see my mother in her great grandma role. I see my …

Year Three, Day 168: Happy Morning People

I got up and out the door before sunrise thus morning. I did not hit the snooze button more than once!

I had promised my daughter I would watch Baby Gracie while she went to the gym. Gracie has been a good motivation for me to change some bad habits. Like oversleeping.

It was lovely to watch the sunrise from the Max train. I decided to stop st Cascades Station and have a London Fog at Starbucks. I also ordered oatmeal.

Then I sat and read a bit from my Joyce Meyers book. One of the questions she asks in her workbook is what your least favorite daily chore. She says as long as you have to do something, you might as well do it with a positive attitude.

Without hesitation, I wrote my answer on the line. In big letters:

"My most difficult task everyday is getting out of bed"!

I am commited to changing this bad habit. 

Especially after I had so many pleasant encounters with happy people! They must be morning people, I thought inside my head.

The first one was my first bus driver. It…

Year Three, Day 167: The Walking Taco

Yesterday after I posted my blog, I walked to my last student of the night's house. On the way, is a wonderful little taco truck. It's called "Tight Tacos".  I got one carnitas taco for $3.00. He asked if I wanted it for here or to go. I told him I would eat it walking.
So voila!
A walking taco!
It was delicious! I got a kombucha tea to wash it down.  My new idea about eating healthy on my teaching route, is to eat on the go.  It is much cheaper than restaurant eating and it de-emphasizes the food as reward or entertainment that I so easily fall victim to! 
My new mantra, from my wise daughter is: "It's just food!"

In that note, I would like to wish you a happy Thursday! I need to get some sleep. I have much grandbaby time this weekend. Won't be getting much sleep. But it is worth the sacrifice.
Good night!

Talk to you tomorrow.

Year Three, Day 166: Strong

I am glad I am wearing my "Strong" t-shirt today. I believe it represents my state of mind!

I did a nice long hoop workout this morning. It was a lovely, warm fall day.  The leaves are changing colors, a nice warm breeze was blowing and the sky was clear.

 I hooped near the community garden. Where I often see the little white bunny!

I saw him again today, as I headed out to catch the bus.  A young adult had gotten of their bike and was sitting on the ground, quietly with their arms stretched out. The bunny was sitting very close to this person.

I got a picture, but it's hard to make out the image. I didn't want to get too close and scare them!

After hooping, I had a wonderful hour long practice. I am finding that my practice sessions are more productive lately.  There has been a change in my focus.  I think it is because I have removed so many things from my life that weren't serving me. Like the search for romance.  That was a big time waster!   While I accept an…

Year Three, Day 165: Punching the Air or Telling the Devil to F Off

"I feel healthy! I feel happy! I feel terrific"!

I recalled the above mantra this morning as I lugged my sore body out of bed. I looked at my puffy eyes in the mirror and said my mantra, punching the air with with my right fist.  
I learned this from a hyper positive coach at life insurance camp as a young adult.  I sucked at selling life insurance. But camp was fun!  We would load up on coffee and donuts and stand up and scream our mantra every morning.  The studies were boring, but the after party of pizza and beer was always fun!  (Hence the need for coffee, donuts and mantras in the morning!)
The mantra worked! I smiled and went outside and hooped. It is a glorious day here in the neighborhood - 68 degrees, clear and sunny!

 My hip loosened up with my hooping. I stayed on the sidewalk in the backyard. I feared the uneven ground on the grassy hill might through my hip out of whack again.

Really, I feel about 80% better. I was thinking damaged joint, hip replacement, walke…

Year Three, Day 164: Baby Dancing Part II

I could hardly walk this morning. I felt like someone punched me in my hip. Really hard.  Luckily I seem to have walked off most of the soreness. I think I strained a muscle. Much better than pulling my hip joint out of the socket like I feared.

If you watch this video of me dancing with Baby Gracie and then imagine over an hour of this, well you can probably understand why I was in so much pain!

But it was worth sacrificing my comfort. Gracie had a good night's sleep. Her mom just called me and said she had a good day, complete with a four hour nap and a long period of happy awake time.

I'd better strengthen these hips!

I was so afraid I would not be able to hoop this morning. But I sucked it up! No pain, no gain!

I even went on a mile walk with my daughter and Baby Gracie. I found pushing the stroller helped the hip pain. I was like a granny with her walker!

And like a granny, I need to get some real sleep tonight.

Hope you had a happy Monday, my friends.

Talk to you tomorro…

Year Three, Day 163: Baby Dancing

I was planning on sleeping in this morning. I was most exhausted after teaching all day, and then rehearsing and concertizing until 9:00 p.m. I didn't get home until after 10:30 p.m. I pretty much walked into my room and dove into bed.

My daughter and her husband went to an evening service at their church last night. They were going to the horse races this morning. I was planning on a leisurely morning - sleeping in, hooping, breakfast and then a trip to my public storage unit to dig through some music and books. Planning my next performance.

Alas, my morning of leisure was shattered. My daughter texted me at 6:00 a.m. Apparently it was $1 beer and hot dog day at the horses. They were afraid it might be too boisterous a crowd for Baby Gracie. I agreed.  So the plan was for me to take the Max to Cascades Station. My son-in-law would pick me up and drive me to their house. And I would pull a double shift with my grandbaby.

I thank God for $1 beer and hot dog day.

Gracie and I had so…

Year Three, Day 162: Performance

It is after 9 p.m. Sunday night and I am just now posting about Saturday.
A busy weekend did I have!
These post will be short. I am spending the night at my daughter and son-in-law's home. I am on Baby Gracie duty. She has been sleeping since 6:30 p.m. I will need to get to sleep soon, so I can be there if she awakens in the wee hours.
First of all, the chamber music performance was delightful! I was focused and in the moment with nearly every note I played. I felt connected with the other musicians like never before. Chamber music is indeed "making music with friends", as the the music director always says.
We got a standing ovation. It was a small, but appreciative audience. The concert was held in a Methodist church in St. John's. The piano was old and the damper pedal was almost shot. It reminded me of a car with the brakes going out. I had to press the pedal all the way to the floor to make it function.
But it worked. I coaxed some beautiful music out of this i…

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."

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 …