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Showing posts from February, 2018

Year Three, Day 291: My Mr. Magoo Day

My eyes popped open at the stroke of 5 this morning. I glanced at my cell phone. I had forgotten to set my alarm. Most alarming!

I had promised my daughter that I would be at her trailer this morning by 8:30 to babysit the Schnood while she goes to a most important work meeting.

Must not be late!

6:53 a.m. Clackamas Town Center Max Station. Sitting on the Max train. It departs in 8 min. What better time to blog?


I am proud of myself. I did not go back to sleep. I got vertical and made my traveling salad, packed and caught the 6:40 a.m. bus. I even had some time to play a few rounds of Words with Friends. That wakes me up faster than a cup of coffee! Especially since I am finally winning most of my games! (With the exception of my son-in-law. I have only beat that rascal once!)

Getting off the Max soon.  Talk later...

Later:

I made it to Vancouver exactly on time!  I feel a little foolish for having taking Lyft for so many months when Baby Gracie was first born.  It was beyond my means…

Year Three, Day 290: The Eating Habits of a Mobile Piano Teaching Grandma

Hello Again!

I am blogging from my favorite place. The library.  The talk-text blogging is a nice back up, but I feel more comfortable in front of a computer, fingers flying.  I attribute my ninja typing skills to my piano lessons.  I was once timed at 140 wpm!

I also just love the vibe in the local library.  I feel comforted surrounded by books, people reading books, and the soft click of computer keys as other patrons access the internet.

I like being alone in a crowd.

But what I really want to talk to you about today is food.

My love/hate relationship with food has pervaded my entire adult life.  And now, I think I may have stumbled upon a solution!

Homemade instant rice noodle soup! I've been planning this for the last few days. I got the idea reading about homemade "cup o' noodle" soup in a mason jar.  It's all the rage on the internet.

Yesterday I bought a lovely glass pyrex bowl with a locking lid, some "Better Than Boullion Chicken" flavoring a…

Year Three, Day 289: Time - My Most Valuable Possession

Hello my most wonderful readers!




 My daughter and I have devised a new scheme. Since the Schnood will be 6 months old in a few days, I am not needed overnight anymore.  Three adults, one baby and one dog in a trailer is a bit too close for comfort, I might believe!

So today, I am meeting them at Starbucks at Cascade Station. I have become very fond of this location.  Lovely sidewalks for walking, shops, restaurants...but most of all, conveniently located between my daughter's home and mine. And on the Max line, to boot...what's not to like?



It is 11 a.m. I'm sitting at the Starbucks at Cascade Station with my daughter and the Schnood. My daughter is getting some work done on her computer. I am enjoying a Venti Blonde Soy Latte.  It's my reward drink for collecting 125 stars at Starbucks.  I certainly feel like I deserve it!

I'm entertaining the Schnood with a few books that I downloaded onto my Kindle.





Then we're heading over to Ikea for lunch. I am most excite…

Year Three, Day 288: Talk Text Blogging and New Bus Friends

I love progress.

Today I earned a free drink at Starbucks. Yesterday my Tri-Met HOP card registered a month pass for the remainder of February. I made it to church on time. With healthy snacks. I caught my buses to the Max Station to meet my daughter and the Schnood with less than a 5 minute each line. I ate reasonably sized, healthy meals, keeping on eye on my carbs and sugars.

I think I am starting to get the hang of this thing called life!

A little discipline goes a long way. My Code of the Piano Ninja can be adapted to my life!

A ninja is courageous. And in that spirit I am trying something new! I am talk texting this blog!

My brilliance knows no measure!  Although sometimes it takes me awhile to catch on.

The reason this is so brilliant, is that I spend so much time on the bus or waiting for the bus, that I try to use my time wisely. I often blog on the bus or waiting for the bus but typing on this little tiny cell phone screen is a bit of a pain. So I decided to try the talk te…

Year Three, Day 287: A New System! But, Sigh, No Pie.

I woke to the sound of rain on the roof heavy rain. I had planned on popping out of bed early and hitting the gym before my students. But the rain lulled me back to sleep.

I guess I will hit the gym after my students today. I have another bit if a break today. No breakfast with mom. No morning studrbts, including my mom. The church where I teach on Saturdays is holding a nenirial service. I usually teach my students on the grand piano in the sanctuary. A lovely grand.

But today that lovely grand is not available until afternoon.

My wheezing is gone. Cough is fading. God bless Prednisone.

But it does tend to give me disturbing dreams. So I got vertical, did my morning hoop session and headed out the door in search of breakfast.

It was a lovely walk to the bus stop. I decided to eat at Larry's this morning. And I am so glad I did! I got to visit with the server and owner, had a lovely, small breakfast (yes, that is toast on my plate. I am doing am experiment. I'm adding a bit of…

Year Three, Day 286: My Swelling Heart and The Ninja Code

Sometimes out of desperation, I come up with the most brilliant schemes!

Take my "Code of the Piano Ninja".

It has been highly successful so far with both my group piano classes and private students.

And this evening, with my family member in crisis.

We met for dinner. He shared with me some life struggles. Just then I felt like a light bulb came on above my head.

"Click".

I told him about the Code of the Piano Ninja list that I had come up with to help my students behave in piano class. I told him it even helped me in my private life. It reminded me of the tenets of Taekwondo.  (He studies Taekwondo as a child).

I asked him if he wanted to see the list.

He did.

Then it looked like a light bulb came on over his head.

"These are really good", he said looking up at me.  "Can you text me this picture?"

I told him I could.  Then he asked me if I had a pen.  I told him I could write them down on a piece of paper if he liked.

"I am going to writ…

Year Three, Day 285: Zma and the Schnood

What a peculiar day!

In a good way.  It is nearly 5:00 p.m. Earlier I stopped at Walmart pharmacy and picked up my newest (and hopefully my last!) course of Prednisone. It has started to snow again. But the roads are pretty clear. And the sun is shining!

After I got my prescription, I stopped off at Starbucks for a Citrus Defender. I am still feeling low energy, but today is a bit better than the last few days.  I have had nearly the whole week off from teaching. Monday was President's Day. So the music center was closed. I had spent the night in Vancouver and it had started to snow.  So I stayed there, in the little trailer with my daughter, Baby Gracie (her newest nickname is "Schnood". I'll tell you the story in a bit...) and my son-in-law.

I finally had a good night's sleep last night.  I really think the short workout at the gym helped.  I am hoping to get one tonight.

Tomorrow, if the weather cooperates, I will be back to work.  I took my meds at Starbucks.…

Year Three, Day 284: A Day of Firsts

Another snow day. And a day filled with firsts.

Baby Gracie's first ride on a bus. Baby Gracie rolled over from belly to back. And I hula hooped at 9:30 p.m in the falling snow.

I also discovered A 24-Hour Fitness in Vancouver that I could work out at, with no extra charge. A quick 20 minute, one bus ride from my daughter and son-in-law's trailer.


And just as exciting: we discovered a new pho restaurant within walking distance of the trailer.



A very good day today!

But now I must close bid you a pleasant evening and close my eyes. Sleep is just on the other side. I must take sleep when it is close by. Otherwise I stare with wide eyes and restless legs at the ceiling until the wee hours of the morning.

Talk to you tomorrow!

Love,

Zita



P.S. Here is today's hooping video. Day 243!




Year Three, Day 283: A Snow Day to Remember

Snow day!

We have done nothing but eat, watch movies and take care of Baby Gracie today.

It started snowing last night. We woke up to a winter wonderland. On February 20th!

Choir practice was cancelled. My students understood that I was snowed in. After all, Portland Public Schools released their students 2 hours early. The second round of snow was supposed to hit harder. And tonight we are expecting up to 3 inches of accumulation.

It is a blessing to have a few days off from life.

We started getting a bit of cabin - er trailer - fever.




So my daughter and I bundled up Baby Gracie and took her and Honey Dog out in the snow.



I am hoping this break from life will help get my health back on track.
But if not, it was a snow day to remember.
I even hooped when the snow began to fall - Day 242!


Talk to you tomorrow.
Love,
Zita













Year Three, Day 282: Leave Them Wanting More

11:33 a.m. Monday, February 19, 2018.  I am waiting to be seen by the nurse practitioner. I sat, feeling tired, but relaxed. I went to a lovely concert last night. A friend of mine from the choir I accompanied sang, accompanied by our choir director. It was a full house. I saw many familiar faces.

His voice touched me deeply. Some composers I was not familiar with. The Spanish songs were particularly moving, but the Hebrew song reached deep inside my soul. Achingly powerful. Especially with so much suffering going on in our world.

Music is indeed healing. And I need to treat myself to more live concerts!

I literally floated home. In the snow. I love walking at night in the snow. Most peaceful!

I had a nice commute this morning. There was a light dusting of snow on the ground from last night. And it was bitter cold. But the sky was blue and the sun was shining.

My daughter called me early this morning. She asked me if I would come keep her company after my doctor appointment. The roads…

Year Three, Day 281: Remothering

My heart is still aching.  I am reading about Nikolas Cruz. There is no question about his guilt.  It is a matter of life in prison or the death penalty.

He has been broken since childhood.  His life was an open plea for help.  Hurting animals, loner behavior, cutting himself, acquiring guns and ammo, posting on social media about his intentions to shoot up a school.

But apparently no one responded. He was like a voice crying in the wilderness.

I am wondering if he is indeed remorseful. I am wondering if now he will finally get help, if indeed they give him life in prison.

Our society bears the guilt for this.  No, we did not pull the trigger, but we failed him.

I saw an article which connects kids who grow up without a good father figure in their lives to men who commit violent acts.

Yet another strike against him.

I saw my son today. He grew up without his father.  My heart has ached for him since he was young.  He has a sweet spirit. But he has struggled.  Today I bought him a phon…

Year Three, Day 280: Healing the Wounded

It is late Friday night. Baby Gracie is sleeping soundly in her crib. Honey Dog is curled up in her doggie bed. My daughter and her husband have gone to bed.

I am sitting in a recliner listening to the rain bounce off the roof of the trailer. It seems to fit perfectly with the saxophone lullaby DVD that Gracie listens to at bedtime.

Usually I feel comforted by the rain. But tonight I am feeling restless. There is a forecast of possible snow tomorrow. And low temperatures in the 20's through Tuesday evening.

I am still processing this latest shooting. My daughter told me not to dwell on it; not to let the darkness consume me.

It has partially consumed me. I ache, not only for the victims, but for the shooter. It seems to me he was crying for help. But no one responded. And now it is too late. How many people feel isolated, lonely and misunderstood. People that are outcasts and misfits? Thankfully most of them do not resort to violence. But is it possible to reach them? To make them…

Year Three, Day 279: A Good Exhale

Today was a better day than yesterday. It was a day of comfort. I let go of all anxiety. I revisited the rituals that I have developed that are soothing to my soul. Very simple things. To keep me in the present moment.

I slept in. It was my day off of Baby Gracie duty.

I allowed myself the luxury of staying in bed, getting caught up on the news.

Of course there was more about the shooting; the victims, and the shooter. But I felt the need to know. It gives my prayers substance. As I declined in my pajamas, I took out my knitting. I had forgotten how calming knitting is.

I inhaled.

I exhaled. I can't remember the last time I had a good exhale.

I did a load of laundry. I made a few phone calls. I hooped.

Then I took myself out for lunch before an afternoon of teaching piano.

I got to work early. I noticed a difference in my students today. I noticed they all seemed more subdued. Perhaps even vulnerable. And more focused and interested in their lessons. Had they heard about the shoot…

Year Three, Day 278: Dark Times

Today is a low day.

My heart is aching for the victims of yesterday's shooting in Florida.  My mind is reeling from all the opinions being plastered all over social media. Debates about gun control, more help for the mentally ill, more work done to prevent bullying, more accountability from the community to report those displaying suspicious behavior...

But in Parkland, Florida, there are grieving families and friends of the 17 people gunned down. I cannot imagine their pain.

One positive note is that the shooter was arrested. Alive. 

Most of the shooters in recent history either killed themselves, or were shot by the police.

Perhaps understanding his motives, his mindset, his life, family and friends will shed some light on how to prevent further tragedies.

I know, I know: "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." Indeed.

But the continued slaughter of innocent life is incomprehensible.

I could go on and on. I have before. As many of you have.

I wish I could ju…

Year Three, Day 277: Hitting the Floor Running

I left home at 6:20 a.m. this morning. I do better if I hit the floor running in the morning.

I was particularly happy to discover an espresso stand at the Gateway Transit Center.





I am cutting back on Lyft rides over the 205 bridge to Vancouver. Most broke am I!

I can make the trip by Max and bus if I wake up and get myself out the door in a timely manner. And the C-Tran bus in Vancouver accepts Trimet bus passes.
Aside from money saved, my attitude is better if I get moving first thing in the morning.
I spent the morning with Grace while her mom went to work meetings. Then we went out for lunch and did a bit of laundry.


I am still experiencing crippling fatigue. Perhaps a bit less today, but still - most tired am I!
As we were bringing our cart full of dirty clothes into the laundromat, I greeted the attendant, who is normally very friendly, always coming over and visiting with Baby Gracie.
But today, she barely mumbled a hello. Her eyes were glued on the bug screen television on the…