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Showing posts from November, 2017

Year Three, Day 202: The 24 Hour Social Media Fast Experiment

I am tired today. And my cough is returning. It feels more like an anxious cough, like I mentioned last night. I am going to explore the connection between COPD and GERD.  My daughter astutely observed that when I spent too much time focused on the news, Facebook, and playing Words with Friends, I cough more.  I think she's right. I can almost feel my stomach acid boiling.

Last night, after walking with my new conspiracy theory friend, I felt really good. We had such a nice conversation. And, even though it was risky walking at night with a stranger (I left him off over a block from home and went the other way, in case you were wondering!), the conversation left me exhilerated.

I went home and looked up some of the books he recommended. I should have just stretched, drank herbal tea and gone to bed. But I was wide awake. I went on Facebook and checked into my groups that were followed the Mariah Kay Woods story. That was my first mistake.  It does warm my heart that thousands of p…

Year Three, Day 201: I Prayed and Prayed

My head is reeling.  I am also sleep deprived. I was up all night reading comments from concerned citizens about the alleged abduction of the three year-old Mariah Kay Woods in North Carolina.  Heartbreaking. I prayed and prayed.

Then, some time after midnight I got a text from my son's girlfriend. He has an unusual bruise on his head. His pupils are both the same size. He doesn't remember honking his head. No headache. Just weird bruise. She texted me a picture. Told them to call if he had any other strange developments.

I prayed and prayed.

Tossed and turned. Read about North Korea preparing to fire a missile at us. Prayed and prayed. Coughed a bit too. See, I think my cough is anxiety related!

Then, finally drifted off to sleep.

Only to be woken up at 6;30 a.m. to a text from my mom:

"They fired Matt Lauer"!

NOOOO!  I wanted to scream. I flipped on th me television. Just in time to catch Savannah and Hoda give the tearful announcement. Both visibly shaken. Me too…

Year Three, Day 200: Lethal Weapon II and the Weight Loss Train

I got brave this morning. I stepped on the scale. It wasn't quite as horrible as I had imagined. 184.6 pounds. About 5 pounds heavier than my last weight in.  This is after several months of too much late night eating, too many cheeseburgers (at least I've stuck with my bun ban! I am still gluten free.), and some moments of chocolate and potato chip comfort.

I'm ready to go back to clean eating. Fresh veggies, fruits, no grains except for rice. I just can't manage without my rice cakes!  I'm going to cut back on dairy and stay away from all things fried, processed and sugared!

I would really like to drop about 50 pounds.  I was inspired, strangely enough by a scene from Lethal Weapon II.  Mel Gibson hooks up with an attractive, petite blonde secretary to the South African consulate played by Patsy Kensit.

"Why does she looks so cute?" I asked my daughter. "No obvious makeup, boy haircut, jeans and a t-shirt! If I were to try that look, it simply woul…

Year Three, Day 199: Focusing on Joy

On the bus back to Portland this afternoon, I was feeling sad. I already missed Baby Gracie, my daughter and my mother! I spent most of the past 5 days with them, pausing only to teach some students on Saturday!

People who tell us to enjoy the precious moments of  babyhood, because they go by fast are correct. It is hard work, but well worth it.  But, actually all of life is precious and can speed by in a blink if we are not paying attention.

On the bus, over the I-205 bridge today, I found out a dear friend lost her mother last night. Suddenly. Unexpectantly. And her father had a heart attack. I do not know if he had the heart attack after his wife died or before. But my heart goes out to her. She is flying back home now as I type this. On Facebook she wrote that she at least was glad she got to say "I love you!" to her one more time. Just yesterday.

 Whenever I hear of an expected death, I vow to cherish my loved ones and my life more.  To live more fully present. To focu…

Year Three, Day 198: These Precious Baby Moments

My daughter and I tried a new bedtime routine with Baby Gracie last night. For her last feeding at 10 p.m., I gave her a bottle so my daughter could go to bed. The plan was for me to do her final feeding before bedtime and then rock or dance her to sleep. Then my daughter would wake up and nurse her at her next awakening, which we predicted would be some time in the 2:00 a.m. hour.

It started out well. She consumed an entire bottle and passed out. I rocked her for a bit and then tiptoed slowly to the crib and gently placed her in. I covered her with her blanket and kept my hand on her belly for a few moments. I put in her favorite CD (Walela) and began to tiptoe out of the room. And I almost made it! But then came her bellow of protest.

I scooped her up. We danced. I rocked her. Burped her. Changed her diaper. And repeated. She finally gave in and fell asleep at 11:00.

I lay down. Most exhausted. It really does take a village to raise a child!

But amazingly, she did not wake up at 2 …

Year Three, Day 197: The Princess and the Pee

Quite a long day. I am going to briefly blog while my daughter feeds Baby Gracie. It's just us girls again. Her daddy is out hunting.

Again, I have noticed how my granddaughter is good for my social life. After teaching all day, my daughter and Baby Gracie picked me up. We drove out to see my son, his girlfriend, and her mother. I had not coughed all day. Until the drive. Then I coughed and hacked for the entire trip.

Luckily I had picked up some lozenges earlier from the Chinese grocer next door to the church where I teach.  "Prince of Peace Honey Loquat Candy"

These are amazing!

  I am really wondering if this is an anxiety cough.  Not sure why I was nervous. I know his girlfriend quite well. A very sweet young lady. And I had met her mother a few months ago. Also very sweet. But I had not been to their home. And it was dark, raining an…

Year Three, Day 196: Removing the Bah-Humbug

We had a lovely girls day off today! My son-in-law went hunting with his dad.  We had no plans, except for perhaps some laundry and cleaning.  Black Friday held no appeal for us!  Baby Gracie was up quite late after her very social Thanksgiving.  She didn't fall asleep until nearly midnight! She woke up a few times to nurse, and then she let us sleep until 10:00 a.m.!  It was so nice to have a whole day ahead of us with no specific plans!  We ended up planning a cleansing food day.  We went to the grocery store about noon.  The crowds had died down nicely by then.  I bought two shirts and a package of socks that were on clearance. And then we bought the makings of a big spinach, mushroom, olive salad, topped with feta cheese and leftover turkey. The dressing will be my daughter's homemade vinagraitte. I am salivating just thinking about it!

After the grocery store, we talked about stopping at Starbucks. We both had hangovers. Not from alcohol, mind you. Neither one of us drin…

Year Three, Day 195: "G", The McDonald's Angel

My Thanksgiving was filled with so much joy. Yet it began with much trepidation!

As an introverted, slightly socially awkward person, holidays can fill me with a mixture of anxiety, guilt and happiness. I worry too much before hand, then feel guilty for not frolicking joyfully about, but then am happy for the time with family, food and then enormously relieved when it is all over.
Until the next year rolls around.

This year was different. Yes, I woke up filled with anxiety. But I then imagined my granddaughter. My role of grandma eases the pressure socially. I have a purpose. Guardian of Baby Gracie!
I also have a very successful morning routine of prayer, piano practice and hooping. Which I did. But I had a bit i3f a coughing spell last night. So after hooping, I took a brief nap before heading out. It helped.
My plan was to stop at McDonald's for coffee, Egg McMuffinless Muffin on a rice cake and hash brown. Then I would stop at the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for …

Year Three, Day 194: Baby Log

I had a full Baby Gracie shift today!  I spent the night at my daughter's house because she had to leave by 6:30 a.m. Thankfully, I did not have choir practice last night. So I taught a few students and then hopped on the Max to Cascades Station. Had a leisurely cup of "Peach Tranquility" tea at Starbucks. Even had a few moments to contemplate life before I opened my Lyft app and ordered a car to drive me across the bridge into Vancouver.

I had a lovely driver! He was from Ukraine.  He is a veterinarian. His wife is an MD. But his license is not yet valid in the U.S. and his English is pretty rough, so he is driver for Lyft until he can get licensed. I told him driving for Lyft would be a good way to practice his English. We spent a good ten minutes on the word "veterinarian", which he was pronouncing as "WETRONARIAN" lol!

Baby Gracie slept very well last night. I told my daughter to leave some milk for me and I would take care of her early morning fe…

Year Three, Days 192 & 193: My Blogligation

I have my shame face on.

I was so tired last night, that I fell asleep without blogging!  I woke up this morning with a start, realizing what I had done.  I felt most guilty!

I feel some consolation knowing that I am establishing good life habits, that I feel guilty about when I do not keep up with.

Like my hooping. I am most proud of my hooping!  Today is day 156! Here are the videos for days 156 and 155, since I didn't get around to posting yesterday:

I had a start just now. I have had such a nice, leisurely day so far. I hooped. I prayed and journaled. I practiced piano and started planning for my next concert. And then my old friend "J" the sign guy from the church I used to work out texted me and asked me to lunch!

We had a lovely time at the Chinese restaurant up the street.  When I am not stressed out, I truly enjoy friends!

Then I got on the bus and headed to my favorite Starbucks for tea and contemplation.

Then I got on yet another bus, to stop at the library a…

Year Three, Day 191: Sweet Success!

I had one of the best performance experiences in my life tonight! I am so happy! And I have hardly coughed since then! I wonder if it is indeed a nervous cough I have? Whatever. Success is sweet!

I am already planning my next concert. For some time in the spring. What made my heart sing was having my mother, daughter, Baby Grace, brother, niece, sister-in-law and about 10 of my students attend. I honestly did not feel sufficiently prepared. I have have been busy fighting the Battle of the Cough, plus Baby Gracie duty. But I did some good research on my composers and extra practice this week. Once I got on stage, I was like a fish in water. I will certainly sleep well tonight!

I hope you do too!

Talk to you tomorrow.



Year Three, Day 190: Nothing to Read Here

I'm taking the evening off. Nothing to read here. Need to rest up for my concert tomorrow!

I leave you with today's hooping video and best wishes for a pleasant evening and sweet dreams.

Talk to you tomorrow!



Year Three, Day 189: The Voice in the Shower II

Ok. Here it is. The story I was too tired to write last night.

Actually I'm pretty dang tired again tonight. I'm in concert preparation mode.

But if I don't tell it now, it might now get told!

So. There I was. At the gym.  I was looking forward to a nice hot soak in the jacuzzi, followed by a session in the steam room, followed by a hot steamy shower. My gym has strong water pressure and good heat.  Hydrotherapy at it's best!

I was determined to conquer the cough!  I'd been practicing pursed lip breathing and controlled coughing.  It has been working. Everyday I get better! Night time is still tough, but I've noticed improvement.

Anyway. I had my soak in the jazuzzi.  I had a nice steam room session. Then I got into the shower. I could feel much movement in my lungs! I did some pursed lip breathing. Then it occurred to me that the shower would be perfect for controlled coughing. Just bring that stuff up and wash it down the drain!

I was so happy. Got things mov…

Year Three, Day 188: The Voice in the Shower

I will have to tell you the story about the voice in the shower tomorrow. It is most amusing!
But I don't have the strength for words. My cough is a tad better today, but I am exhausted.
I will leave you with my hooping video and wish you peaceful, pleasant dreams.

Talk to you tomorrow!

Year Three, Day 187: Controlled Coughing

I am still fighting the battle of the Cough.

I am a warrior. I will fight it to to the death!

A few years ago, when my daughter, her then fiance, my son and I lived in Salem I had a similar cough. My daughter would twitch every time I hacked. It was a very dry, itchy, nervous sounding cough. She said she was going to direct a movie and call it "Cough".

So I guess the Cough and I go way back. I guess I've been in denial. Every time it would return I would think, "It's a virus, or nerves or acid reflux. My immune system is compromised because I have been under stress."  

I had my home remedies. I would usually eat much pho, drink tea, gargle with salt water, maybe suck on some cough drops. Eventually it would go away and I would forget about it. Until the next time it paid a visit. 

Well it's back now. I'm definitely paying attention! 

I am going to have to start charging it rent if it doesn't stopped hanging around!

So, in addition to raw ginger, honey,…

Year Three, Day 186: Breathing Exercises

I woke up this morning hacking like a chain smoker. I was most frustrated! I took my dose of Prednisone and got into cough kicking mode. I had a spoon of honey with minced ginger. I irrigated my nostrils with saline. I rubbed some Vicks Vaporub on my chest. Then I remembered the book I checked out from the library: Positive Options for Living with COPD, by Teri Allen.

I speed read through to the chapter on breathing exercises.Good stuff! I practiced pursed lip breathing and walking breathing all day! I even made a little video!

This is progress! I feel like I've had a double shot of espresso, but I've only had green tea with ginger all day!

I am also practicing "controlled coughing. But I will have to tell you about that another day. Most tired am I. And I need to be up early tomorrow for Baby Gracie duty. Hopefully as saying auf wiedersehen to this annoying cough!

On that note, I wish you a pleasant evening. Talk to you tomorrow.



P.S. Here is today's hoopi…

Year Three, Day 185: P-P-P-Prednisone!

It is quite late. So I will be brief. I felt like I was crawling across the Sahara Desert, hand outstretched. But not seeking water. Seeking Prednisone. This cough is destroying me! I was actually out of refills, but called the pharmacy hoping my doctor would approve yet another refill. He did!

Hallelujah!  I grabbed my prescription, swallowed my dose with a glass of water followed by a hot teach chaser and headed to the music center.

Still coughing, but my lungs do not feel like they are inflamed as much as earlier.

I made it through my day, with less attacks than usual.

I am still downing ginger, honey, tea and soup. I plan on revisiting my doctor after this course of Prednisone. After my concert.

Coughing aside, I had such a glorious time with Baby Gracie this morning
 My grandma activities seem to be helping her sleep. My daughter tells me Gracie sleeps deeper and longer after a day with Grandma Zita. Last night she slept a solid 7 hours, from 10:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.!

My routine i…

Year Three, Day 184: Sleeping When Baby Sleeps

I am so happy. I got to spend the whole day with Baby Gracie and my daughter. She has almost fully recovered from her cold virus. She is 11.5 pounds now. And she is laughing, cooing, smiling and interacting. I love this age.

I was able to hoop in the trailer while she watched from her crib. She got fussy after a few minutes, so I put on our favorite song and dance her to sleep.

Alas, my cough has returned. I went ahead and called for a refill of my Prednisone. To get me through this week. I need to get sleep and practice for my upcoming concert. Coughing all night kind of interferes with that plan. I'll pick up my prescription tomorrow when I return to Portland.

My daughter made me promise to make an appointment to see my doctor after this next course of Prednisone. And be more assertive about my health concerns.

I always keep my word.

But now, I need to get some rest. Baby Gracie just went to sleep. We've got about 4 or 5 hours before she wakes up for her next feeding. Always…

Year Three, Day 183: Getting Better...

...all the time!

"Everyday in every way I’m getting better and better."
– Emile Coue
I'm sure somewhere along your path you've heard the above quote. Today I found myself repeating it over and over again.
Because I am!!
My cough has subsided!
My hip pain is gone!
I made significant progress on my piano selections for my upcoming concert!
I ate a healthy lunch I packed!
I woke up early!
I did my prayer and bible study before I left home!
I found myself wondering about the origin of the quote. So I looked it up. And found a lovely article on the transformative power of positive thought. How serendipitous!  You can read it here:
I have to run. I am going to catch a free Portland Chamber Music Concert and then home to bed.
Tomorrow is my shift with Baby Gracie!
I can't wait!
Talk to you tomorrow!

Year Three, Day 182: Speed Bumps

I am sitting in my library office. It is 4:51 p.m. It is quite dark out. A light rain. But not too chilly or windy.
On the walk down from the bus stop, I realized that I was taking in deep breaths of sweet, moist air. It felt so good to draw the air deep into my lungs. I had a good night's rest last night. Still coughing a bit, but no more wheezing! My head feels clear.  Feeling quite balanced today!

Today is Veterans Day. And thanks to those who have served, I have a day off from teaching at the music center. I had planned on going downtown this morning to a music club meeting to perform a few of the pieces I'm working on. But I emailed my friend last night that I would probably be staying home to heal my lungs. Good thing, because she is also sick and will be missing the meeting. She has a sinus infection. Lots of that going around!

Speaking of illness, Baby Gracie has her first cold!  I am glad I have been staying home and working on my own health this week.  I may have ha…