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Year Four, Day 7: Music, the Healer of My Soul

Note to self: If I ever start feeling down about myself ever again, relive the magic of last night.

My day started out quite pleasantly. I had cleared my teaching schedule for the day, so I could go to the event rested and centered.

I took my time getting ready. Then I even hooped in my performance attire. Then I stopped at Starbucks and had a lovely soy chai tea latte, lightly sweetened.

Then I hopped on a bus to the church I teach at Saturdays. I planned on practicing for an hour or so, and relaxing. Then I would hop on a bus downtown, where I would transfer to the #44 line, which would drop me off right in front of the Multnomah Art Center.

My plan was to have a nice, light supper, and then head over to the center to meet with my friend who owns the little portative organ. We were going to tune it and set it up. Then I would spend some time practicing.

It's so lovely to have a plan.

But plans don't always go as expected.

I had just reached the church, and had gotten out my…

Year Four, Day 6: Switching Brains

Here I go! On my way to the Multnomah Arts Center to play the organ in the Magnificat by J.S. Bach.

It is a sold out concert!

I am going to be a student today. A student of myself. And my teacher self is telling my student self that this performance is not a test or a competition. It has been a learning process. And I am look forward to the performance experience. Of being in the moment, surrounded by sounds of deliciousness.

It will be my supper tonight. Who needs food when you can injest music?

Sure, there are a few butterflies. There always have been. But what used to been huge Monarch butterflies are now just little Gossamer-winged butterflies. Apparently they can be quite small.

https://www.britannica.com/animal/gossamer-winged-butterfly

Besides, I like their name.

"Gossamer": "Used to refer to something very light, thin, and insubstantial or delicate"

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gossamer

I tell my students that when we are ready to perform a pie…

Year Four, Day 5: Fabulous Friday

This will be a short post.

It is 12 a.m. I am just settling down after a magnificent dress rehearsal of "The Magnificat" by J.S. Bach.

I am speechless. The choir I accompany has been working on this incredible work of music since the beginning of the school year.

We worked hard. We sweat blood. But we are still friends. And tonight we rehearsed with an orchestra. Made up of mostly music center staff. I know several of them. I played a small organn. I was nervous. I think I was sweating blood. I am used to playing a piano, a grand piano for that matter, at rehearsal.

Even though the organ is a keyboard instrument, it is quite different than playing the piano. Plus I have very little experience playing with an orchestra. But I felt prepared. And I felt upbeat. Not quite as high and giddy as I did yesterday. But still positive. Whenever I felt my spirit start to say, I just told myself to float on the surface. I found myself  myself looking at life in a different way. Looking a…

Year Four, Day 4: Manic Thursday

Help! Something is wrong!
I feel too good!

I want to break into song and dance on this here Tri-Met bus.

I'm thinking James Brown, "Yow! I feel good, (doodle doodle doodle do), I knew that I would  (doodle doodle doodle do)..."

And you know why?

Well that's the puzzling part.

I don't know why.

James Brown knew. It was "...'coz I got you! (Doot doot doot do!)

I'm always analyzing.  Trying to find answers.  Maybe I should have been a detective. Solving the crime that is me.

I have not had coffee in two days. I did have a cup of black tea this morning.

I took my blood pressure and pulse at home.  Good stats.



I've been trying home remedies to restore my sense of smell. No luck yet.  I've been using saline nose spray, doing breathing exercises, drinking tons of water.  I even tried a teaspoon of honey sprinkled with cinnamon on my tongue.

Every chance I get, I am sniffing things. Especially things I know have strong odors. Like eucaplytus oil, Vic…

Year Four, Day 3: Sweetest Thing in the World!

I felt different this morning.  It was still difficult getting vertical, as usual. But as I hurried to the bus I noticed that my joints didn't hurt. I'm not sure what to attribute it to. More vegetables and more water, less carbs?  Or just a good day?

I'll take it!

I spent the morning with my favorite baby in the whole world, my granddaughter Grace. She was in a wild mood this morning. We had many activities:  Books, tummy time, diaper changes, bottle feeding, pureed spinach, pears and peas (which she loved!), dancing and then about an hour of Baby Einstein DVD's.  She put her head on my shoulder several times. I thought with relief she was going down for her nap, but then she popped up and looked at me square in the face with a grin, as if to say, "Fooled you!"

When my daughter got home from her meeting, and my son-in-law from his appointment, we took a family walk in hopes of encouraging a nap.  No such luck.

Finally, after much fussing, she nursed and pass…

Year Four, Day 2: Singing in the Dark

It is 4:24 a.m. I woke up with a start about 3:39 a.m., with a very dry mouth and feeling like I had forgotten something.

My blog! I fell asleep without posting last night. The shame of it all!

So I drank big gulps of water and refilled my diffuser. I am using Eucalyptus oil to open my sinuses. And to attempt to regain my sense of smell.

Which has disappeared completely.

I mentioned it my nurse practitioner a few weeks ago when I was seen for my extreme fatigue and lingering wheezy cough. She told me it was normal with allergies.

In a way, it is a blessing. I ride the bus. Without a sense of smell, I am completely oblivious to offense odors. Which means my own as well. I am careful to apply deodorant every morning and use mouthwash.

In the downside, I miss lovely smells: Flowers, hot coffee, baked bread. Then again, perhaps not smelling fragrant foods will help my weight loss. My sense of taste does not seem to be affected.

Nor my appetite.

Speaking of senses, the power went out 30 mi…

Year Four, Day 1: Vegetables for Life!

So, here I am in the library. Blogging on the first day of my fourth year of this blog! Time does fly! Whether you are paying attention or not!

I have been feeling a little frustrated with my lack of progress lately. But, looking at the stats, I feel pretty good!



Monday, June 1, 2015 STATS Weight: 201 pounds Neck: 15" Chest: 47" Waist: 41" Hips: 48" Thighs:   23" Biceps:  14" BP:  109/76  Pulse: 78




Monday, May 14, 2018 STATS Weight: 187 pounds Neck: 14" Chest: 40" Waist: 37" Hips: 46" Thighs: 22" Biceps: 13" BP:113/79 Pulse: 86




Progress!  Slowly, but surely.  Like a tortoise.

I am pleased with my blood pressure. I am not on any meds, except an inhaler for my asthma.  My pulse is a bit high, but I have been drinking a lot of caffeine lately. And worrying a bit.

I downloaded the "higi" app for my phone yesterday. I will keep checking into the higi station when I shop at Fred Meyers. It will log my blood pressure, pul…

Year Three, Day 363: My Year Four Eating Plan

I am inspired to clean up my eating yet again.  My daughter is involved in a 30-day weight loss challenge at her church. Mostly vegetables, lean protein, a bit of yogurt and an apple a day.

My snack today was Greek yogurt dip, celery and radishes.

And I loved it!

I am most tired today, however. I will continue this thought on another post.

Talk to you tomorrow!

Love,

Zita



Here is today's hooping video: 


Year Three, Day 364: Welcome to S.E. 82nd.

This afternoon, after teaching piano all day, I felt the need to find a place to eat and think and pray.  I had a coupon for a free Whopper at Burger King, since I did a survey about my last visit.  I usually go to the BK near the music center, since it is on the way home.
But my son told me there was a fire there Friday.  And last time I visited, their AC wasn't working.  So I headed up to a location on  SE 82nd.
Wow, neighborhood does make all the difference! Their AC was working, which made me happy.  One of my sweet students and his parents gave me flowers and a Starbucks gift card for an early Mother's Day present! I thought about putting my flowers and backpack on a table, to ease my load, but looking around at the rough crowd, I decided against it.  I got in line.  It was quite busy. Busier then my usual location.
Finally, it was my turn to order. The cashier was a teenage girl.  She looked tired. She looked at my flower pot. "Oh! How beautiful", she exclaime…

Year Three, Day 365: The End of Year Three!

Happy Mother's Day to all mother's out there!

It is a beautiful, sunny day in Portland today!  My day started out on a high note. As I sat at the bus stop, on my way to church, I took out my cell phone. I was still determined to beat my son-in-law at Words With Friends.

That little rascal has beat me at nearly every single game so far. But I had a new strategy.  I learned from him. That little rascal!

Anyway, a few minutes before the bus pulled up, I played the final tile and won!  Final score:  Me 370, Rascally Son-In-Law:  348!

I about did a happy dance right there on the sidewalk!

Victory is sweet!

But as the day progressed, I sunk a bit in my spirits.  Now that I have won, I feel like I need to get back to real life.

I do fear that this game is an addiction. A means of escape. Like binge eating or binge television. Is real life so painful that I really need to escape. To numb?

Luckily, I got a phone call from my son and his girlfriend. They both wished me a happy Mother&#…

Year Three, Day 362: Focusing on Year Four

I am nearing the end of my third year of this blog. Year Three, Day 365 will land smack dab on Mother's Day. Perfect!

I feel like I am limping along, perhaps even crawling to the finish line. My energy is low. Motivation practically nonexistent.

Perhaps I should set some goals for Year Four. Need focus to keep me going.

My successful pot of beans did perk me up yesterday. I was thrilled with how easy they were to prepare. Not to mention the taste and texture.

Then there is the money saved, which is why I have been focused on beans lately.

I was going to sleep in this morning. I had one of my 2 a.m. bouts of insomnia this morning.

But my daughter called and told me to wake up. She and Gracie were coming to pick me up and go out for pho!

Of course, I could not resist.

Two of my favorite people, and one of my favorite lunches!

Gracie was in a good mood: cheerful and curious. She was mesmerized with the ceiling fans at the pho restaurant.




We went to "Pho Huy" in Clackamas Sq…

Year Three, Day 361: Heavenly Beans

I made the most heavenly pot of beans today.

In my crockpot. No soaking required.

They held their shape and made a lovely deep, brown sauce.

They are going to go in my brown rice bowls. But I couldn't resist a small bowl as an evening snack.

Just pinto beans, salt, pepper, a dash of garlic salt and red pepper flakes. Threw everything in the slow cooker.

Covered it with water, turned it on low and let it cool for about 5 hours. Perfection! I spent $1.47 on a pound of dried beans at Winco. I will get about 5 servings out of this pot.

Comes out to about $.30 a serving.

Yummy, healthy, easy and cheap!

I used this recipe:
https://www.momskitchenhandbook.com/recipes/slow-cooker-pinto-beans-make-a-meal/

My slow cooker cooked them to perfection in 5 hours. I think it cooks hotter than some slow xookets. Only thing I added was about 2 teaspoons garlic salt at the end.

Life does not need to be complicated, expensive or stressful.

Today, I am celebrating my pot of beans!

Talk to you tomorrow…

Year Three, Day 360: Time to Breathe

Hooping:  Day 311

Wow!  I have fallen way behind in my daily blogging!  I am most obsessed with practicing for the upcoming Magnificat performance. Plus, in continual prayer for my uncle and family in Texas, and my family member in crisis here in Portland.

 Not to mention babysitting Gracie, teaching piano, hooping, eating and sleeping.


Hardly time to breathe!

But I would not feel right if I did not at least check in.

Perhaps tomorrow the smoke will clear.

Talk to you then!

Love,

Zita




Year Three, Day 359: Busy Me!

Busy, busy me!  But I did find time to hoop....Day 310. Talk tomorrow! Love, Zita

Year Three, Day 358: Only a Hooping Video

Hooping:  Day 309

No time to blog today.

I leave you with my daily hooping video!

Talk to you tomorrow!

Love,

Zita

Year Three, Day 357: Walking with the Magnificat

Back in the hoop today!  It felt so good. And I slept like a log again last night!  I am still drinking about 2 liters of water a day.  And unplugging at night.
I am finishing up a course of antibiotics. My nurse practitioner is determined to break this cough/asthma cycle.  
It feels so wonderful to breathe deeply.
It also feels wonderful to be conscious the whole day!  
I had an interesting walk to the bus stop this morning.  Today I was meeting my mom for breakfast.  She is an early bird, so I needed to leave the house before 7:00 a.m. to meet her.
Unfortunately, the bus that runs in front of my house does not run after 6:30 p.m. weekdays. It does not run at all on the weekend!
So I have to walk 1 mile to the nearest bus stop.
I had been listening to my online Classical Music class that I was taking from  Yale University.  But I finished the course.  I am quite sad. It was an amazing class and a good way to pass a mile walk. I have a few other classes I'm dabbling in. But they …

Year Three, Day 356: Bus Talk and Precious Moments

Another day of feeling human! I slept quite deeply last night.  Woke up bright and early, but not early enough to hoop.  I may have to skip my hoop workout today.

I got packed and ran out to catch the bus. I was almost at the bus stop, when I saw the #34 appear on the top of the hill. I was hoping it would stop at the stop before mine, so as to give me enough time to jog to my stop.

No such luck. It was quickly approaching. So I turned around and wave frantically.  The driver, one of my regular drivers, pointed to the sidewalk near the bus stop.  He pulled over and stopped.

"Thank you for stopping", I panted. I was quite out of breath. But at least I was not wheezing or coughing!

"You're welcome", he said. "I was pointing to the curb because it is not safe for me to stop in the middle of the road".

"At least you stopped!" I said smiling.

"Yes, I could have just waved and kept driving", he smiled back. 

"But I'm sure you wo…

Year Three, Day 355: Two Liters a Day.

...that's eight 8 ounce glasses. Sixty four ounces. And I am committed to ingesting at least that much water daily!
I've just begun researching the recommended daily dose of water and benefits. There is a lot of conflicting information floating around. 
Pun intended.
For now, I am going with 2 liters. We'll keep you posted on my experiences.





It is 4:45 p.m. and I am on my fourth 22 oz bottle of water.

And the good news is that I have not felt the desire to "POOF" (Pass Out On Floor) yet today and it is nearly 5:00 p.m.!

Perhaps I was severely dehydrated?  My daughter is nodding her head knowlingly.

Ok. She's right. I have not been drinking enough water.

The downside to this is that I have visited the restroom at least 10 times today, and it is not yet 5:00 p.m.!

It's worth it to have my energy back.

I celebrated my new plan with a "Lightspeed Fit Slam" at Denney's this morning. (They have a Star Wars - "Solo" theme going on).





For …

Year Three, Day 354: Tackling My Dehydration

I felt very honored to travel with a police dog at my side on the Max this morning! I think they were involved in K-9 training. I had I found a seat on the train and gotten comfortable, looking forward to seeing my daughter and granddaughter. Suddenly a whole group of police men, women and dog boarded.

"Police dog boarding!" Boomed one of the male cops in a loud, powerful voice. Several people jumped, looking up from their cell phones in alarm as a beautiful, chocolate German Shorthair Pointer sniffed the floor and backpacks and feet of every passenger. Then he sat at attention on the stairs by my seet.

I was most impressed. When I transferred to the Airport Max at the Gateway Transit center, another K-9 unit boarded with me. This time the dig was a black lab.

It made for an interesting ride!



I then proceeded to my daughter's home where I  had some precious moments with my granddaughter.

I also had a fabulous hoop session.


I slept better last night.  I must admit, I am …