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Showing posts from June, 2018

Year Four, Day 21: A Stellar Doctor's Visit, A Sleep Study Ordered, and Being Vigilant

I had a most extraordinary doctor appointment yesterday.  My hope is revived!  I saw an FNP  (Pulmonary Nurse Practioner) at the Oregon Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine.

My FNP was extremely thorough.  She spent a long time with me talking about my condition. I had an appointment to discuss sleep apnea, but a short while into our consultation, she said we needed to address my asthma. Interestingly enough, the clinic specializes in lung conditions and sleep apnea.  Both of which I seem to have!

She told me my asthma was not well controlled. She was not pleased that I had been given so my Prednisone at my PCP.  She was also surprised that I had not been tested for, or officially diagnosed with asthma. 

She asked me about allergies. I told her I seemed to have allergy symptoms year round, especially in the spring.  She asked me if I had been tested. I had not.

So she promptly wrote me an order to have blood drawn downstairs which they would test for allergies!  I couldn't b…

Year Four, Day 20: Cyborgs, the Zombie Apocolypse and Fred Flinstone Feet

This has been a glorious day! Bright and clear, with a gentle breeze. Not too hot!  High of 76 degrees.  I wouldn't mind the whole summer staying like this.

Weather wise, that is.  It was a strange day, people wise. 

I was up bright and early. Had a nice hooping session. Then I hopped on the bus and delivered a large bag of clothing and shoes to a drop off station near the mall. My move is nearly completed! One more haul with my nephew on Friday. 

To celebrate, I took myself out for a nice healthy breakfast, grabbed an iced tea at the corner Starbucks and then got on the bus headed  to outer southeast where I had four piano students.  It was getting late. I didn't want to be late my first day, so I pulled up my Lyft app and ordered a ride. He was there in 1 minute!

As much as I resist technology, I was most thrilled to be getting there early. And my driver was most engaging.  I told him I was on my way to teach piano. He told me he studied as a kid. But gave it up after a fe…

Year Four, Day 19: Fear of Scarcity

I know that moving in with my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter is the right decision.  First of all, look at that face!

I spent the afternoon babysitting Baby Gracie while her mom and dad played in a soft ball game.  Now that she is in a bigger space, she has started to explore and use her gross motor skills. At her last doctor's appointment, the doctor exclaimed that she was quite advance cognitively and with her fine motor skills. When the doctor gave a her a book to hold, she became very serious, turning the pages and examining it. The doctor was most impressed!  I was secretly quite proud since i have spent a lot of time reading books to her from her first day home from day one!
But the doctor says she is a bit delayed with her gross motor skills. She was not yet crawling or pulling herself up to standing. 
But she made up for it today!  In one afternoon she began pushing herself up on her arms and spinning in circles as she scooted.  Then she would reach her chubby lit…

Year Four, Day 18: My New Path


I have missed talking to you so much!

I have been deep in purging, packing, donating, storing and moving.

Not feeling particularly chatty. And didn't want to burden you the boring details!

But now that the end is sight, I am emerging.  I am feeling lighter. I feel like shedding a lot of items that no longer serve me has liberated me!

I have kept a storage unit. In it I have my most prized books, sheet music, pictures and momentos of my kids and journals.  I am only bringing the items necessary to daily living to my new place.  My piano was one of the first items I moved. My nephew, who is strong like a super hero, help me move it.  I was helping him at first, wheezing, and having to stop every few feet. My asthma has kicked up again.

Obviously stress induced!

My nephew took one look at my pale, wheezy face and said, "I can get it from here". And just like He-Man, he lifted it up singlehandedly and slid it onto the truck bed.

I was super impressed!

It is a digi…

Year Four, Day 17: The Vine and The Beginning of a New Era

I am finally getting a chance to sit down and post.  But only for a moment.  I am on my way to our final choir concert of the year. The adult choir I accompany is performing with the kids choir.  We are performing several pieces with them, and two selections from Bach's Magnificat.  
I am looking forward to it. There is a much more laid back vibe about this concert. It will be held at the music center where we rehearse (and where I teach piano).  
Last week I actually led the choir.  It has been so long since I blogged, I don't even think I talked about that!
I was extremely nervous as usual, but I told myself to just be me.  I am the accompanist. Not a director. I had director aspirations for a few brief years, but I quickly got over it after a few stints as a church choir director.
Not my forte.  Pun intended.
I have so much to say, and only 5 minutes to say it in.
So, here is an outline of my life at this point in time.
My daughter and her husband and Baby Gracie have sold…

Year Four, Day 16: The Greatest Commandment

Yesterday was my end of the year piano recital.  Nearly 40 of my piano students performed, including my mother and my niece.

I never tire of these recitals. I sit on stage beside each student, until they are ready to be on stage alone.  Even my more advanced students welcome my presence, if for nothing else but page turning.

Performance for me is one activity, where I can easily put myself in the present moment, and stay there.  It took some work to perfect this, but now, all I have to do is take a deep breath and I instantly enter my zone.  Nothing else matters, while I'm in performance zone.  The future is not important, the past is irrelevant.  All that matters is each musical note I am experiencing.

I've shared my technique with my piano students. We call it "Ninja Breath" or "Samurai Breath", depending on which image they prefer.

My heart would swell as each of my students would approach the piano with their sheet music, and wait while I adjusted the bench…

Year Four, Day 15: A Very Good Moment

It's hot today in Portland. 81 degrees.  My favorite place to be on a hot day is the air conditioned library.  Who am I kidding? My favorite place to be on ANY day is the library!

But especially on a hot day. Especially after spending all day in a very warm church.

It was a good day, nonetheless.  Tomorrow is my end of the year student piano recital. I love these pre-recital lessons.  I sit back and marvel at these young people I've taught. Did I have any part in releasing the music that is flowing through them?

I smile and relax. I usually close my eyes. I tell them the most important part about their performance is when they sit down at the piano. Right before they play that first note.

That is the time to take their "Samurai" breath, and focus on the present moment. Imagine how the first notes will sound. And own their time on stage.

My students are adorable.  They are all stellar piano samurais!

I feel good today. I've been sleeping better.  I tend to fall a…

Year Four, Day 14: No Worries!

Today was my "reward" day at Starbucks.  My free drink was a venti Matcha Green Tea Frappuccino with soy milk and whip cream, lightly sweetened.

I sat at the Starbucks at Cascade Station and got out my knitting.

It feels so peaceful to knit again.  My mind is finally clear enough to be in the present moment. I'm trying to limit my internet time, television, and worrying.

Instead, I am walking and praying, thinking, and daydreaming.  And I am knitting, praying and contemplating.

It is most therapeutic!

I have a new system in the morning. I pack a small tupperware container with Rice Chex, drop in a plastic spoon and pop on the lid. Then I pack a small container of almond milk. It is the perfect size for my morning cereal! Then I have breakfast at the Max station while I wait fir my train.

Way to life hack!

I am feeling good about my hooping. I am beginning to relax about the weight.  I am who I am.  I think I'm going to just focus on more exercise  - would like to sta…