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Showing posts from March, 2018

Year Three, Day 322: I Went to a Party. And I Liked it! :)

I went to a party. And I liked it!

Ok, I was actually hired. One of the altos from the choir I accompany was celebrating her one year of legal wedded bliss.  She hired me to come play piano for a sing-along.  But she made me promise to come early to have some lunch.

And what a spread! Salmon, dolmathes, feta cheese spread, hummus and even a gluten free plum cake!  I told her I was not expecting payment when she asked. The food was payment enough!  But she handed me a nice envelope as I departed.

I really had a nice time. At first, my normal social anxiety threatened to take over. But I just smiled and people started talking to me. It helped that I knew some people from the choir I accompany, and a few ladies came from a previous choir I had accompanied.

And then I sat down at the piano and people started calling out requests from their songbooks, and I was like a fish in water!

I even picked up a new, adult piano student.

I really should do more of this!

And I am pleased to report, I …

Year Three, Day 321: Life Must Be Lived!

My wonderful day yesterday
ended with a bit of a fright.

I was on the #72 bus, returning after an enjoyable sectional with the basses from my choir. I had my headphones in my ears, listening to a recording of J.S. Bach's "Magnifucat", the work we will be performing in May. I have become quite obsessed with this glorious piece and Bach himself. I find his music brings me inner peace.

So there I was, on a nearly empty bus about 9:30 p.m. Quite enjoying my inner peace, when something told me to check breaking news.

And there went my inner peace! Just minutes ago there had been a shooting at Clackamas Town Center, the very place I was heading to transfer to the #33!

I glanced at the bus driver. He was one of my favorites. Always upbeat and friendly, with an easy smile.

Just then, he abruptly pulled the bus over. We were just a few blocks from the mall. He hopped out and looked up the street as he made a call on his bus phone. He stepped back on and faced us.

"Hey, I…

Year Three, Day 320: Easily Amazed

3:22 a.m. Approximately the same time my eyes popped open yesterday. Which led to my passing out nap at my daughter's house yesterday. She actually took a most embarrassing picture of me slumped in the recliner, my mouth wide open, snoring away. I shall not be sharing that picture with you.

I am going to try and get 3 more hours of sleep. But I wanted to document this phenomenon. Talk to you later...

11:39 a.m. Willamette's End Coffee Shop. This is amazing!  Well, I am known to be easily amazed. But amazing!

I am pleased to report that I did get more sleep.  I woke up about 8:00 a.m. feeling most rested!  The tired feeling behind my eyes was gone. My heart was beating a nice slow thump.  I could breathe easily.

I must be doing something right.  So nice to finally have good day again!

I was even more pleased to see the sun peeking through my blinds. So, I took a quick shower and headed outside to hoop. Then I packed up and jumped on the bus. I am due to meet the director of the…

Year Three, Day 319: My New Favorite Activity

'Twas a sleepy day today. I got up super early, hooped before the sun rose and hopped on the bus to the Max station. I grabbed a cup of hot green tea at the Gateway Transit Center to keep myself awake.

I had Baby Gracie duty while her mom went to a meeting. Gracie has a little cold. She was also sleepy. After we read books, did some tummy time and I fed her a bottle, she put her head on my shoulder and promptly fell asleep. She was so sweet with her head on my shoulder. But I was tired too. I was thinking a nap sounded good!
So I slowly got up and tiptoe to her crib, slowly and gently laying her down. I covered her with a blanket and slowly tiptoe back to the rocking chair. No sooner had I gotten comfortable, when I heard her yelp. I sighed and picked her up, patted her back and put her over my shoulder. 
So precious to hold a sleeping baby. I decided to cherish the moment.
My daughter came home shortly afterwards with a cheeseburger on a gluten free bun for my lunch. 
She is a li…

Year Three, Day 318: Serendipity!

Today is a better day than yesterday. And I started out at the dentist!

I just had a small cavity in one of my back molars.  But I do get anxious before going into the dentist.  I am not worried so much about pain.  I can do pain. It's that high pitched whirring sound the instruments make.


So I came prepared today.  I stopped at Starbucks for a relaxing cup of oatmeal and green tea.  Then I brushed and flossed and calmly walked over to the dental clinic.

I greeted them all quite cheerfully, but informed them that I was highly sensitive to the sound of the instruments, so would they mind if I put in my headphones and listened to the radio?

They said that was fine. And if I was uncomfortable, I should raise my left hand.

It went pretty well. But now that it is over, I am quite happy. 

I have often said that my definition of happiness is relief.  I am relieved.

I do not have any work planned today. Other than piano practice, and a trip to the gym.  So after the dentist, I wal…

Year Three, Day 317: In Search of a Good Merlot

Finally starting to feel somewhat human again!

I am quite certain it was the gluten.  The brain fog and low grade depression is starting to lift.  I feel a bit more energetic.

I am so glad this is spring break.  It is hard enough trying to keep myself motivated, but creating the happy, supportive teacher takes a lot of energy when one can hardly get out of bed!

My best move, besides re-removing gluten from my life was to check out a good book from the library. It was the escape I needed.

A real book, with paper pages you turn and everything!  I think when I am feeling low that electronic devices are not healthy for me.

I have been inhaling this book. And I was pleased to discover the movie they made based on the book was available at the library!

So here I am, at one of my favorite places in the world - the library! :)

The name of the book is Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. It is a memoir based on her childhood.  I am so connected to her character, and fascinated by tales from her wil…

Year Three, Day 316: No More Bread for Me!

Still tired. But feeling a bit better. Spending the night in Vancouver at my daughter and son-in-law's home. I spent the whole day with them. The Schnood lifted my spirits.

I'm going to clean up my diet this week and go to the gym. I have been eating poorly lately. I had myself convinced I could eat sourdough bread on occasion.

Not! Most depressed have I been!

Life is a series of learning experiences. This lesson I need to remember.

On that note, I wish you a good night.

Talk to you tomorrow!



P.S. Here is today's hooping video. Day 270!

Year Three, Day 315: TTTB

Too tired to blog.

But I did hoop this morning.

Day 269!

Will try again to blog tomorrow.



Year Three, Day 313: BDT

Today was the Schnood's 6 month well baby check up. I went with my daughter for moral support. The Schnood had to get her shots.

I am glad I went. Even though I'm a bit shaky.

The pediatrician was wonderful.  My daughter and I both really liked her. The Schnood was all smiles.  She had a good checkup.  She hollered a bit after her shots, but that is to be expected. My daughter sat and nursed her for a bit afterwards to soothe her. Then she slept in the car.  We went to the drive-thru at Starbucks and then headed to the laundromat. My daughter did a quick load while I sat with the Schnood. She slept peacefully.

Then we went out for miso soup, sushi and tea at Cascade Station.  We did some research online while we ate.  The Schnood's doctor is a bit concerned that the circumference of her head is too large. It is in the 90% percentile for her age.  She wants to see her again next month.

I could feel my mind wanting to race and worry and go through the what if's. But for …

Year Three, Day 312: Old School Samurai

The gray sky has returned.  And a bit of rain.

Usually I thrive on overcast, drizzly Portland days. My head feels clear. I have more energy.

Not today.  It was a struggle to get out of bed. Then it was a struggle to get motivated.

But I refuse to succumb to the negative mood my brain is dictating to me.

Every negative thought that popped up, I swatted it. Like a bug!

I made some tea, cleaned up, hooped and then I spent several hours practicing the piano and the portative organ.  It was painful at first.  I think my illness and anxiety have created bad habits. I seem to want comfort before work.

But, the Samurai in me says work before play!

So I pushed forth.  I got some good work done.

Only then did I allow myself to go to Starbucks.

Good thing, because my family member in crisis called. He had lost his ID card on the bus several weeks ago. He has a lead on a job and wondered if I could pay for his ID until he got his first paycheck to pay me back.

I agreed.  But I told him I had stud…

Year Three, Day 311: Going the Right Way

I am devoting the rest of this mortal life to my health, my family kindness to others.

My harrowing experience with the hell flu scared some sense into me.

Fear can be a good motivator.

Ironically, I stumbled across the word "hygge" this morning as I allowed myself to stay in bed longer than usual. No Baby Gracy duty.  Just getting healthy duty!

Hygge is just what I need. Remember my Samurai stage? Well I need that too.  There is a middle ground somewhere, I believe.

So "hygge" is 'Pronounced "hoo-ga," this Danish concept cannot be translated to one single word but encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life. If you've ever enjoyed reading a book indoors on a rainy Sunday or a cup of hot cocoa on a snow day you've experienced hygge without even knowing it.'

So I've been hav…

Year Three, Day 308, 309 and 310: I'm Back...

...from the brink of death.

Most dramatic am I.  But I feel like I went to hell and back this weekend.

One mistake was to take over the counter medication (Tylenol, Thera-Flu and Ibuprofen) and drink massive caffeine in order to make it through teaching classes on Friday.

I felt really good until early evening. Then it felt like my head was going to explode. My cough returned with a vengeance, dragging along massive sneezing and nose dripping.

Then like a big dummy I downed another mug of Thera-Flu before bed. I didn't even consider cancelling Saturday breakfast with my mom. And definitely could not afford to cancel anymore piano lessons.

Oy, I felt miserable Saturday morning. But I managed to get up and stagger down the road to the bus stop just in time. I was halfway to our regular restaurant before I remembered it was St. Patrick's Day. I looked down at my outfit. Not a speck of my favorite color green. So, before I joined my mom, I stopped at Rite Aid in search of a little…

Year Three, Day 307: Cough, Eternal

I am feeling better today. Much better. My skin no longer hurts. The chills are gone.

It must have been that deep, acupressure massage. Or massive doses of water and tea. Or perhaps it was the 12 hours of sleep. Or the Thera-Flu. Or all of the above.

I still have a headache though. And the cough. The eternal cough. I'm kind of getting used to the cough.

So I leave you with another short blog. Hopefully I'll have more energy tomorrow. I miss telling my tales!

Until then...



P.S. I am proud to announce that I hopped this morning, achy headed and coughing. Bit I did it! Day 265!

Year Three, Day 306: My State of Mind

I am still sick.

But a little better than yesterday. I actually took the train and bus over to Vancouver to see my daughter and granddaughter. My daughter said she wasn't worried about me being contagious. Baby Gracie has a strong immune system since she is breastfeeding, and well...I have been coughing off an on for over a year!

So I dragged myself out of bed and sat shivering on the bus to Cascade Station. I actually ordered a Lyft ride. I was too weak to withstand the long bus ride.

It was rejuvenating to spend time with my daughter and granddaughter. My mother even popped in for a visit!

It was a short visit. I canceled my piano lessons and headed over the bridge to Clackamas Town Center after lunch. And had a most amazing, deep massage.  It was only 30 minutes. I could have used 3 hours!

It helped. And I am drinking much water.

I noticed though, that when I'm sick, my mental health gets wacky. I think dark, negative thoughts, mostly about myself.

It is for this reason, I …

Year Three, Day 305: The Lady Knitting on the Max Train, Mushroom Man and Me

I have two lovely tales to tell you. But alas, I am sick as a dog.

I drank tea with honey, and a mug of Thera-Flu. I am fading fast.

Talk to you tomorrow!



P.S. Here is today's hooping video. Day 264!

Year Three, Day 304: Say Hello to My New Little Friend!

My cough has returned.

And so has the rain.

However, I am most excited about my temporary new roommate!

I will be rooming with my friend's portative organ for the next two weeks!

If you are not familiar with a portative organ (I wasn't!), it is essentially a miniature pipe organ made of wood. It is small enough to sit on a table top. The keyboard is played with one hand while the other hand operates the bellows.

I have fallen in love with this little instrument. It has the sweetest tone! My friend brought it over to my home tonight. He is letting me borrow it for the next few weeks.

I will be playing a few short pieces on it for our choral concert in May.

Stay tuned! Pun intended! (My friend taught me how to tune the pipes - with a chopstick!)

I am going to end here. I got home a few hours ago, but was playing with my little friend. Now I need to get some rest before the cough takes over.

Ah music! You are such a good friend to me
A healer of  my soul. If only it could cure my…

Year Three, Day 303: A Good Face and Heart Day ❤

Such a gorgeous day in Portland, Oregon today!

Not just the glorious, warm sunny weather. I had a seriously stellar day, my friends!

I am proud to announce that I got up early, hooped, ate a small bowl of oatmeal and then hit the gym! It was a short workout, but it revived me.

Then I hopped on the Max back home to change, drop off my gym clothes and pack my backpack for an afternoon of piano teaching. I was super pleased to discover a quicker bus route home. Just the Max and one bus instead of the usual two. The trip from gym back home was a total of only 35 minutes!

This was especially relevant today, because a friend of mine had asked me to lunch. We talked about music, life and Words with Friends (she is one of most formidable opponents!).

And I had a blast! I have not had lunch with a female friend in way too long. It was soothing to my soul.

Hey, maybe I am not such a hermit after all!

Another pleasant part of my day also involved connection with people. Lately I have noticed th…

Year Three, Day 302: Dissonance

It is dusk. I am at the Gateway Transit Center, waiting for the Max green line and watching the sun set. The sky is filled with glorious colirs: tangerine, pink, and swirls of mauve. I tried to capture it in a picture, but my cell phone camera did not do it justice.

 I am looking forward to a good night's sleep.
I may not get it tonight. I am worried about my family member in crisis. I know I will be praying. But my heart is racing, and there is a lump in my throat.
I keep remembering the look on his face before tears spilled from his eyes. I don't know how to help him other than love him and pray for him. He has to make the decision to change. I can't fix this for him.
Sigh. Life is so painful sometimes. But then I see a beautiful sunset. Or the smile of my grandbaby. How can one exist with such extremes of heartache and joy? Perhaps it is the pain that makes the the joy fill us on a deeper level. 
I am reminded of how I explain musical dissonance to my students. 

Year Three, Day 301: Lost Pink Baby Sock and All!

My daughter, the Schnood and I took a road trip today. Just up north to Longview, Washington for my great niece's third birthday.

Oh, what a glorious day for a road trip! Sunny, low 60's with a gentle breeze. We stopped in the drive through at Starbucks to fuel up and then we were off!

I sat in the back seat with the Schnood so she would not feel alone. And also to soothe her if she got fussy.

But she was a baby from heaven. She fell asleep about ten minutes into the journey and slept the entire journey!

Traffic was light and the drive was scenic. I had done this trip as far as Woodland weekly for a few years when I was the accompanist for the Woodland High School choir about 7 years ago.

I have never really visited Longview. Wasn't sure what to expect. Coming into town, searching for my niece's house was a bit of a shock. Was this southwestern Washington or the ghetto in a small town in southern California?

We were quite early, so we decided to explore. Downtown Long…

Year Three, Day 300: Heading North

Tonight I am keeping it short. It is late. I had a long, but productive day. I am most exhausted! I spent the morning with the Schnood and my daughter. I spent the afternoon teaching piano. And I ended my day with a trip to the gym.

Tomorrow I must pop up bright and early. I am going on a day trip with my daughter and the Schnood!

We are heading north for my grand niece's third birthday. A tea party! I am taking the day off to spend time with my family. I have such wonderful students. Their parents didn't blink an eye when I told them I had family function and wouldn't be teaching. It feels so comforting to know they share my family first mentality.

Which reminds me. I need to send out reminder texts!

And then I am going to catch up on the news, including Megyn Kelly's interview with Vladimir Putin.

Most entertaining!

Talk to you tomorrow!



P.S. Here is today's hooping video. Day 259!

Year Three, Day 299: Back on Track!

I woke up feeling like a new woman this morning. I may need to change my name!

Naw. I like my name. I think I'll just change my haircolor!

I was starting to like my silver hair, but I noticed people starting to treat me like an older woman. Giving up their seats for me on the bus and such.

I am not ready for all that!

Enter the "Light Intense Auburn" by Garnier Olia:

I like that. "Light Intense..." Like me!

I decided since this is my morning off from Baby Gracie duty, and I am feeling energetic, that I should do some laundry. Time to wash the bedding. My allergies have been nearly nonexistent the last week. I think keeping the bedding clean will help keep that at bay.

I applied my hair color, through the bedding in the wash and then, feeling brave, I stepped on the scale. And did a happy dance! I have lost 3 pounds in two days.

Then I took it a step further and took my measurements.

Here are today's stats:

March 8, 2018

Current Mood:  8(On a scale of 1 - 10…

Year Three, Day 298: The Metronome

Today was a much better day than yesterday.

 I had far fewer moments where I desired laying down on the ground and passing out.

It helped that I was able to spend the day with Baby Gracie. She always makes everything better.

Also, my eating habits were much more refined today. I'm back to cutting out gluten, low carbs, low sugar, lots of vegetables, and lean protein. In addition, I am working really hard on upping my water intake.

I'm still tired, a little blue, and rather sore. But I have more energy, and my heart is lighter. I was able to make a quick stop at the gym. Only had time for a bit of weights, but even a little bit helps.

As usual, my piano students brought me a great deal of joy. My last student of the evening surprised me. She told me she had been practicing with the metronome all week! She was most proud of herself.

I was shocked. Most of my students hate the metronome. I was so pleased to see how much her playing had improved in just a week with regular practic…

Year Three, Day 297: Don't Think About It - Just Eat!

I am starting to feel gluten brain fog. And a bit of gluten blues. I wasn't too aware until my daughter called my attention to it.

The Schnood and I had a wonderful visit this morning while her mom got some computer work done. The weather is simply glorious today! So my daughter and I decided upon IKEA for lunch and a walk afterwards.

I had the salmon salad. I should have skipped the flatbread. But I didn't. Shortly after eating, my daughter looked up at me and said, "You're crashing."

"I feel like laying down on the floor", I muttered.

"I can always tell", she said with a knowing to be in her voice. And a trace of a smirk.

We know each other too well.

I explained to her I was in Words with Friends withdrawals. And I had been seeking comfort. Of the edible kind.

I asked her how her weight loss was going. She said she was down a few pounds. But could still stand to lose 10 more.

I sighed. "I'm up a few pounds. Could stand to lose at l…

Year Three, Day 296: Clearing My Cache

Today I learned how to clean my phone's cache.  I am determined to figure out this cell phone! It keeps giving me messages that I am out of storage.  Even after uninstalling my beloved "Words with Friends" and sending most of my photos to Google photos.

Most all of which are pictures of the Schnood.

The only apps I have on my phone now are Starbucks, Facebook Messenger and TriMet Hop.

Yet still it says I am dangerously out of storage!


I read up a bit on how to increase storage with my particular phone.  One recommendation is clearing the cache.

I did that. It helped a tad bit.

I must admit, part of my frustration is that I really miss playing Words with Friends.

I was considering installing it to play a few games on my bus rides and then uninstalling it again.

I'm honestly glad my phone has storage issues. Because that would be beyond madness!

I actually am starting to come back down to earth. I did much laundry today, hooped, practiced that piano and cleare…