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Showing posts from January, 2018

Year Three, Day 263: The Message of the Hummingbird!

I saw a hummingbird while walking to the music center the other day.  I stopped in my tracks as it hovered in front of my face for a moment, flapping it's little wings furiously.  Before I could blink, it whirred off into the sky. 
I felt blessed. I smiled. I have had several hummingbird encounters over the last 28 years that I have lived in SE Portland. Time always stands still as I witness this miraculous little creature. I can't help but feel that God is speaking to me.  Showing me His power in the creation.
I did a quick search for "hummingbird" online and discovered they are truly miraculous creations.  They are the smallest bird on the planet. They flap their wings so fast, which allows them to hover.  In fact the flapping of their wings creates a humming sound, and that is how they got their name!  They can fly in all directions:  up, down, left, right, and upside down!  
My faith in a creator is strong, but seeing this little creature gave me goosebumps. How…

Year Three, Day 262: A Spiritual Lyft!

Well, I didn't hoop last night after all. I didn't get to my daughter and son-in-law's trailer until quite late. Thought it would best to not alarm the neighbors!

I also did not get a real dinner last night. I ran into my son on the bus after my last students.  We had a nice visit. Always happy to spend even a small amount of time with him.  But we parted before I got to the Max station.  Usually it is less than a 10 minute wait for the Red Line Max to the airport. But last night the trains were off. I waited about 20 minutes.  By the time I got to Cascades Station, most of the restaurants were closed.

I decided to do the prudent thing and just drink a tall glass of water before bed.  Baby Gracie had just fallen asleep before I got there. So I went straight to bed. With a very empty, growling stomach.

But this morning, I popped up at 7:00 a.m. Feeling quite fine! Not as achy as usual.  Only a bit of coughing last night.  And feeling quite chipper!

I must remember that goin…

Year Three, Day 261: The Belligerent Man, The Bus Driver, and the Woman in a Poncho

I just had a most entertaining bus ride!

I had just gotten of the Max at the Hollywood Transit Center. I was coming down the steps, when I saw the #75 to Milwaukie entering the parking lot. That was my transfer bus!  I didn't want to miss it, because at this time of day, it might be a 20 minute wait until the next one.

I had just come from a lovely sushi lunch with  my daughter and Baby Gracie at Cascades Station.

The plan was for me to teach my piano students and then return to Vancouver tonight. My daughter has much work to do at home and we all know that working at home with a 5 month old baby is a bit of an oxymoron!

Anyway, I hurried down the stairs, being very mindful. The steps were slippery in the Portland drizzle. Slipping and falling would kind of put a cramp in my day.

I slowed down when I noticed there was a long line of passengers waiting to board. At the end of the line was an older, distinguished looking gentleman.  He was wearing a long overcoat and hat.  He nodded…

Year Three, Day 260: Grandmahood Agrees With Me

Sunday morning. Waiting for the bus. With a cup of strong gas station coffee. It is mild today. Lighter than usual. A hint of spring is in the air. I am feeling quite content. I do believe grandmahood agrees with me!

Oh! Here is my bus already. Talk later...

It is 9:35 p.m. Bedtime for Baby Gracie. My daughter gave her a bath. Then I read to her. Good Night Moon. One of the greatest bedtime story books ever written. I found myself getting sleepy as I read it to her.

I also read some poems from Classic Poems to Read Aloud. I am now finally able to finish this blog post while Gracie has her nighttime feeding.

Today was a very good day. My daughter, son-in-law and Baby Gracie went to church with me. I was so happy to introduce Grace to all my friends. She loves meeting new people. And I found that I didn't have my normal social anxiety with a baby on my hip!

Grandmahood does indeed agree with me!

After church we grabbed a quick lunch and then off to bowling league we went. I …

Year Three: Day 259: Sleep Training a Wild Banshee

What a lovely Saturday I have had so far. And it is not yet even 9 a.m.!  Perhaps I should take the plunge and shift from night owl to early bird!
I had a lovely breakfast early this morning at Valerie's Restaurant in Vancouver with my mother. Before sunrise even! Those "potato chunks" were divine!
Then we went to watch Baby Gracie while my daughter went in to work for a few hours.
My most sleep deprived daughter!
I spent the night in my daughter and son-in-law's trailer last night. My daughter attempted her first night of "sleep training" with Baby Gracie last night. We dimmed the lights, put on a CD of lullabies played by saxophone. Then she fed, had a bedtime story, we sang her a song and said a prayer. Then her mom walked around the room so she could say goodnight to her daddy, me and her stuffed toys. Then she placed her gently in her crib with a blanket. We all smiled. We sat and looked at each other. It was so quiet!
It was also short lived. Soon th…

Year Three, Day 258: Every Day a New Friend and Night Hooping!

It seems like lately I make a new friend.

Today it was "V" at the Starbucks in Vancouver, near my son-in-law's work.

Yesterday it was "J", at the McDonald's after the gym. The day before that, it was "H" on the bus. And that is just this week!

I love these random encounters as I wander through my life.

All three of these connections were with older people. V told me he is turning 79 in a week. He was truly amazing. I was with my daughter and Baby Gracie. I had baby-duty while my daughter caught up on some computer work.

We were sipping  creamy blonde vanilla lattes when V walked by. He told me he had been waiting for the comfy chairs behind us for about an hour. Finally the women who had been occupying them left. So he hurried over.

"It's my regular spot", he said with a wink.

"I'll be sure and keep the baby quiet then", I smiled.

"Oh, please don't", he exclaimed. "I'm a grandpa. I love the little…

Year Three, Day 257: There's a Man in the Women's Locker Room

I made it to the gym again this morning! Most proud of self! I am still operating under the theory that there is never enough time to really do anything right, so I do a little bit of everything each day. It's working for me!  If I ever do get a big chunk of time, however, I plan on a long workout, a long piano practice session, a long nap!

Today was a short workout. Upper body weights, steam room and shower.  
I was on a tight schedule. I needed to catch the Max to lunch and then home to repack my backpack. Tonight I am heading over to Vancouver after I teach. I have Baby Gracie duty tomorrow!
As I was lifting weights, I noticed a young man. He stood out, because he was slender with really developed lat muscles.  And a wig. A woman's wig. It didn't seem to fit him too well. He kept readjusting it. Forgive me this assessment, but it brought to mind Norman Bates in the movie "Psycho" when he dressed up as his mother. Before he killed people.
Anyway, I didn…

Year Three, Day 256: A Piano Lesson for My Grandbaby

Baby Gracie had her second piano lesson today. Her first was when she was just a few days old.

O.K. So it was not a "real" piano lesson. The first one, I just held her while I played her theme song (Amazing Grace).

Today, I set up the keyboard so she could touch the keys. She loved it!  She seems easily bored with us these days. She craves touch, sound, sight....she especially responds to music.

I stayed home with her while my daughter went to work meetings today.  My role in her life is to give her many activities. My mother's role is to rock her to sleep. My daughter takes care of feeding, bathing, nurturing. Her daddy is good at making her laugh.

It does take a village to raise a child. Especially Baby Gracie. She has us all taking care of her every need.

And I love every minutes of it! I must admit, I am exhausted at the end of the day, but by the time I caught the Max heading to my first piano student of the afternoon, I missed her deeply! I am even more committed …

Year Three, Day 255: My Definition of Sanity

10:00 a.m. Starbucks inside of Target, Mall 205

Another peaceful day. I need to post now in case this feeling of tranquillity dissolves later in the day!

 I am sitting at Starbucks, by the window. Watching the rain fall. I am sipping a Grande Blonde Soy Vanilla Latte with one pump of sugar. It is my free drink day. Lord knows I have earned it!

My hair is unwashed. I have zero makeup on. I am wearing  old sweats. But I am blissfully happy.

I am taking care of myself, so I can help others.

God told me this morning to keep MYSELF alive. I listen when the Creator of  the universe speaks directly to little old' me!

I was walking to the bus stop, praying for my family member in c.f. crisis. Feeling heavy with the weight of massive guilt on my conscience. The words of my friend from years ago flashed through my mind: "Just k keep him alive".

That's when the booming God-like voice interjected: "Keep YOURSELF alive!"

All my worrying and anxiety, shame and guilt hel…

Year Three, Day 254: I am the Female Don Quixote!

Today was a much better day. I felt the shift immediately this morning. Like a large weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  
We are trying something different with Baby Gracie duty.  Instead of spending the night in their small trailer, I woke up early this morning and took the Max to Cascade Station, had a leisurely Vanilla Blonde Soy Latte and a gluten free breakfast sandwich.

Then I opened  my Lyft app and order a ride over the bridge. As usual, had a very friendly driver.

Pleasantness all around this morning! I spent about 2.5 hours with Baby Gracie, so my daughter could get some work done. Gracie was in a very chipper mood.  We read a book, did some stretching, and tummy time to help her strenghen her neck. She finally got a bit fussy and let me rock her to sleep!

After my visit, my daughter, Baby Gracie and my son-in-law drove me back to Cascade Station, so I could get off to work. I decided it was a two Starbucks day, so I grabbed an Earl Gray tea and hopped on the Max. It…

Year Three, Day 253: Super Hero or Super Enabler?

There I was.

Waiting patiently for  my new drink of choice from Starbucks, a grande "Citrus Defender" with one pack of honey. 

Suddenly the barista called out "The Citrus Defender" in a most ominous voice. I walked up to grab my drinking and she was giggling. 

"I love the name of that drink", she said.  "It sounds like so...courageous!"

"Yes! I said. "Like a super hero!"

We both chuckled. 

But I sat and contemplated as I sipped. These little random encounters that I have do not seem random or coincidental. They all seem to be missing pieces in this big puzzle that I call life.

I actually do sometimes feel like a super hero. On my good days. 

Earlier this morning and last night, I was feeling rather down.  Worried about my family member in crisis. And feeling quite helpless in my role to help him. Deep down, what I want to do is save him.

Like a super hero!

But what I've done for the past several years has really been more lik…

Year Three, Day 252: Sleep Deprivation

Most exhausted am I!
My family member in crisis called me at 1:00 a.m. with a situation. Of course, after we spoke and I gave him my best advice, I could not sleep. Massive anxiety descended up in my being. I tried breathing and praying. Eventually I drifted off. But I am feeling the results of sleep deprivation. Irritable, jittery, dry, itchy eyes.
So, I am just checking in here briefly. Then off to the gym for a short workout and long hot tub soak.
Talk to you tomorrow!

P.S. Here is today's hooping video. In the pre-dawn, chilly morning. Day 214!

Year Three, Day 251: A Snoring Grandma

I am having Baby Gracie withdrawals!  I hadn't seen her since last weekend. She looks more like a toddler than a baby now. She is babbling and laughing. Smiling and sitting up straight.  She has a strong grasp. I know this because she was sitting on my lap earlier with her teething toy in one hand and other tiny little hand on my arm. She has not quite figured out independent hand movement. Because as she gripped her teething toy, she also pinched my arm.

And let me tell you, this girl is strong!

I spent the night last night. She fussed quite a bit before bedtime, but between my daughter nursing her, rocking her to sleep, putting her in the crib, and then her immediately waking back up, and my walking with her, she finally dozed off. And slept all the way through the night!  My daughter tells me she has not done this since the last time I was there. My theory is that she feels very secure sleeping in the same room with a snoring grandma!

This morning, she woke up about 7:00 a.m. …

Year Three, Day 250: A Little Bit of Everything

I was feeling a little paralyzed this morning. I have so much to do, but never enough time or energy for it all.

But I thought of all I have learned in the last nearly 3 years of blogging and introspection.

So I decided I will do little bit of everything! Otherwise I would have to deal with the crushing guilt all day. Nothing ruins my bday more than crushing guilt.

So I got up and hooped a bit, prayed a bit, ate a bit of grits, cleaned a bit, played a bit of piano. Ran to the bus. Played a bit of Words with Friends. Got on the Max. Had a nice conversation with  my daughter and Baby Gracie on a video call. Got off the Max.

Stopped at Starbucks for a "Citrus Defender"

Sat a bit. Sipped my tea. 

Went to the gym.  Actually lifted weights today! But I only had a short time before I had to hop on the Max back home and repack.  I am weary of toting half my life all over town. So I am living in short spurts.  I am trying to rise earlier - aaack! - and then come back, empty my pack …

Year Three, Day 249: The Citrus Defender

I skipped the gym today.  I will start with my weight training tomorrow.

I am feeling most sluggish today.  I spent the morning doing laundry, listening to a lecture for my online classical musical class, and stretching. I had a nice hoop session.

I am doing very well with my food for fuel eating plan.  I had grits for breakfast, with a few black olives on top. And green tea. For lunch, I hopped on the bus for my new favorite little Chinese lunch joint.  Hong Kong 97 Restaurant on SE King and Linwood. Near the Wichita Pub.  They have cheap lunch specials. And I can eat relatively healthy.  I had egg flower soup, steamed rice, black bean chicken, and barbecue pork. For $7.50! :)

Plus the servers are super sweet. They don't mind if I hang out and do my reading afterwards. They even bring me more water and tea!

Instead of the gym, I headed to the  mall and got a 20  minute chair massage.  It was worth it. I still feel sluggish, but very relaxed.

I am focusing on being very present in…

Year Three, Day 248: Inspiration

Inspiration 1. the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. 2. the drawing in of breath; inhalation.  (

 I am inspired! I find it interesting that the definition of inspiration includes being inclined to do something AND the drawing in of breath.  I have come to find breathing very important to focus, and of course to my health, since I have COPD.

I am inspired to finally lose the rest of the weight I set out to lose nearly three years ago.

I have decided to de-emphasize food, especially food for pleasure, or recreation.  To just see it as fuel.

Here is today's food diary:
FOOD DIARY 1/16/2018
1 green banana2  rice cakes with peanut butter and dried cranberriesRev up teaEgg flower soupSteamed white riceCashew nut shrimpOolong TeaDefense tea with lemon and honey Green salad with vinegar and oil dressing. No meat, cheese or croutons!
Here is my exercise diary: