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Showing posts from May, 2018

Year Four, Day 13: An Abrasion on My Soul

"The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them." ~Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

I am so happy to back back in posting mode.  Not only have I been mourning my uncle's passing and comforting my mother, but I also scratched my cornea

No big adventure story here. My allergies have been running rampant this spring. I had a particularly itchy-eyed night, and awoke to find myself vigorously rubbing my right eyeball.  It felt like there was grit in it. Upon awakening, I ran to the bathroom and splashed cold water on my face.

Too late. Damage done.  That was Friday night.

Saturday morning, one of my sweet piano students looked up at me and gasped, "What happened to your eye, Teacher Zita? It looks scary!…

Year Four, Day 12: Full Circle

My Uncle died at 1:40 a.m Sunday morning. I did not post about it until now out of respect for the wishes of my mother's family.  They posted his obituary today.

It is bittersweet, his passing. He was an important person in my past, although most of my childhood, I just heard colorful, loving stories from my mother. They grew up on a farm in West, Texas.  Three girls, one boy, raised by a widow and her sister, whose brothers and sister lived on an adjacent farm.  They were Czech by heritage.  They spoke Czech at home. My grandmother was a strong, capable woman who made a mean kolach!

I longed to be part of this family.  We had very little family ties to my father's family in Washington/Oregon. No farm. No homemade food. No sitting on the porch, drinking sweet iced tea and visiting with relatives at night. No catching fireflies and putting them in mason jars.

A pale existence in comparison, in my humble opinion.

When I was 13, my grandma was diagnosed with lympho…

Year Four, Day 11: Power Naps and a Chocolate Bar....

What do these two things have in common?

Absolutely nothing! But, the combination has lifted me out of the pit!

 Not completely out, my fingers are holding onto the edge, but I can see daylight, I can smell fresh air! Unfortunately that is all. I still have not regained my sense of smell.

I told my nurse practitioner that this morning at my appointment.  I don't know what I was thinking making an appointment for 9:00 a.m. I practically passed out on the Max train ride.

But it was good for her to witness my fatigue.

We talked about the results of my blood work. Apparently I have small veins. Her medical assistant told me that as she prodded and tried to find a vein big enough to fill several small vials. She kept make "tsk tsk" noises and telling me she didn't know if it would be enough.

Apparently it wasn't. I have to go next week to the lab after an evening of fasting and have more blood drawn.

The results that she had were negative for thyroid issues. My vitami…

Year Four, Days 9 and 10: A Remedy for the Blues

I am combining Tuesday and Wednesday.  If you haven't noticed, I do tend to get the blues. Especially after a performance.
I suppose I suffer from Post Traumatic Performance Syndrome.
Is there such a thing?
I am too blue to Google.
I also must admit that I ate gluten recently. One lovely whole wheat roll on Friday night at dinner before the Magnificat rehearsal.  One incredible, heavenly piece of rustic bread, toasted and slathered with smashed avocado, sliced cherry tomatoes and slathered with olive oil.
OMGoodness.  It was almost worth these symptoms.
Even more fatigued then usual, upset tummy and a heavy, depressed feeling.
But I carry on!

Life is too short to waste whining. I will just trudge through to the other side.  
It helps that my daughter has asked me to come watch Baby Grace nearly every day this week. Most days for just a few hours, so she can get some computer work done.
But today, I broke my Baby Grace sitting record. Five whole hours of babysitting so my daughte…

Year Four, Day 8: Perhaps...

I got a call from my son's girlfriend after church yesterday. I was on my way to spend some much needed time with my grand daughter.

My heart started to thud as I answered. She told me her mom and her were taking him the ER. He did nut seem right. He had lost his phone and wallet yesterday. He wasn't clear on where he'd been. He went to bed super early. Was depressed.

I asked to talk to him. He sounded tired. But otherwise his normal self.

I told him it would be good for him to be seen. I was frankly shocked that they had convinced him to go in. I encouraged him to write down all his symptoms (there are many). And tell the doctor everything.

I asked him if I could come see him after I got done babysitting.

He said he'd like that. But he had to go. They were at a restaurant. Eating breakfast.

Ah! They bribed him with food! I smiled.

I was relieved. Getting my son to a doctor usually took an act of Congress. I suspected much of his symptoms had to do with his head injury…

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.

Besides, I like their name.

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

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!



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&#…