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Showing posts from 2019

Year Four, Day 233: The Crazy-Go-Round: What If...?

''To be aware that you are watching the [mental] voice talk is to stand on the threshold of a fantastic inner journey. If used properly, the same mental voice that has been a source of worry, distraction, and general neurosis can become the launching ground for true spiritual awakening.''  ― Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself 
Michael Singer has changed my life with his book The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself. And I have not yet read the book! It is on hold at the library. I have been inhaling quotes from it and watching his videos.

I feel this opening up and awakening of my being.  I feel like I am ready to grow spiritually as never before!
I have made a conscious commitment to continue this soul work.  This work of honoring my authentic self and  not caving into the negative chatter in my brain.

Years ago, I realized (perhaps after reading something somewhere), that when someone asks me to point to myself, I usually place my…

Year Four, Day 232: The Untethered Soul and My Awakening

I am on fire.  I woke up at 5:00 a.m. this morning. I felt sad. I felt irritated. I wanted to roll over and get some more sleep. But my eyes were wide open. Almost like they were being help open with invisible tooth picks. I was home alone - the rest of the family had spent the night with other family members.  Honey Dog would need to go out. And I could do my hooping and cleaning without disturbing the rest of the household.

(When my granddaughter is asleep we all tiptoe around, holding our breath, so cherished is her sleep time!)

So I popped up. I felt so much energy.  I didn't even need caffeine. I felt strong. Not stiff and groggy as usual.  Irritable, yes. But otherwise good!

So I cleaned the entire kitchen, made my bed vacuumed, hooped and even practiced some music on the piano I planned on playing for church later.

I still had time to spare, so I decided to sit down and get a dose of Thomas Merton. He has proven to be a soothing balm for me. Like trees.

I pulled YouTube up …

Year Four, Day 231: Manic Me, More Merton, Mandalas and Less Meetings Please!

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” ~Thomas Merton

I need to read Merton everyday. I wish I could have met him, just sat with him and smiled at him for awhile. 

I am still feeling quite tense today.  Yet I have accomplished so much!  My heart has been racing all day. Is it too much caffeine? Too much worr…

Year Four, Day 230: Got Soul Suckers?


I have to get something off of my chest. Without naming names, or giving any clues, there is this person, who knows what I am dealing with in life.  I see her fairly regularly. I try to not despise anyone, really! I take the words of Jesus very seriously!

But this person gets on every single one of my nerves. I think I have narrowed it down to the pitch of her voice and what appears to be phony concern for me.

Every time we meet she says, "Zita! How ARE you?", in a high pitched, sing-song voice while trying to stare deep into my soul.

Usually I say, "Fine, how are you?" in a noncommittal, low growly voice.

I mean, she knows my son is in prison, my father is dying and I am on the verge of homelessness.  I know we all have our struggles, but I've been a tad overwhelmed lately. Suffice it to say, I was feeling the "Ho Ho Ho", Deck them Halls of the last holiday season less than usual.

However, I pride myself on my strength. I try to not wallow in s…

Year Four, Day 229: The Calm After Christmas

I am at the libary. I have never been so happy to be here in my life. And I have spent so many happy moments in so many libraries.

But it was closed the last two days for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Not that I would have had time to stop by either of those days.  Nope. I was knitting Christmas socks like a crazy woman, I played three church services, I made 3 dozen samosas and 3 batches of fudge.

I also made cilantro/mint/lime chutney at midnight on Christmas Eve and homemade gift bags at 1:00 in the morning.

I don't know what got into me. The only explanation I can think of was that I was home alone, unsupervised. Even Honey Dog was gone.  They were all staying with my son-in-law's sister for a big celebration.

It is all a blur. I feel like I have been run over by a semi truck.  I took two days off from my intermittent fasting. I ate a lot of meat and sugar.

I am in serious pain.

But I am happy. I am back to a good regular routine.  I made a lovely migas fritatta with sp…

Year Four, Day 228: The Mad Max Thunderdome Jungle Gym Thingie

The "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" is coming to a close. Today, our church choir sang a Christmas Cantata.  The accompaniment was canned (recorded), so instead of playing the piano, I sang with the choir! As I get older, my voice gets lower. So I sang tenor. And I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

It was a warming experience to be a part of the choir, blending with other voices instead of just accompanying. I finally get it. Singing in a choir gives one a sense of community, of belonging.

I wonder if my "lone wolf" personality is partially attributed to my career as a pianist. Or perhaps that is why I gravitated towards this career.

Nonetheless, today was fun!

Christmas Eve I will be playing two services. The culmination of the season will be Christmas morning. 

After that I will be just a normal person again. If that is possible!

I plan on spending Christmas day with my family.  First of which will be my 3 week old grandson!

I will be speaking by phone to my son. He to…

Year Four, Day 227: Aloo Bonda, Cilantro Mint Chutney and a Blue Christmas

Oy, I didn't get up early enough to hoop yet again! My granddaughter has been getting up super early, lately and has not be sleeping well at night. I am going to set the alarm earlier tomorrow. Must hoop!

Luckily I went to the gym last night after the "Blue Christmas" service I played.

It was a lovely service. I prayed for my son and family the whole time. And at the end, when the choir director played a video of the re-enacted birth of  Jesus, with Josh Groba

n singing "O Holy Night" in the background, I felt hot tears streaming down my face. I tried to control them, since my tears are generally acidic.  Especially since I had one more piece to play on the piano. But it was no use.

After the video, I wiped my face and stood to hold hands with the small group as we prayed the Lord's prayer. By the time the pastor offered the benediction, I had myself under control.  I played my last piece while people were trickling out.

The Blue Christmas service is inten…

Year Four, Day 226: Two Excellent Movies, and Oozing Joy at the Library

I got some much needed relaxation today.  And I found some movies I liked, at last!

 Last night after I finished my blog post, the lights were flickering at the library. It was our 5 minute warning before they shut the doors. As I headed out, I glanced at the DVD's and literally grabbed two that popped out at me.

One was "My House in Umbria". I saw Maggie Smith's picture on the cover, and figured I could not go wrong with her! In my middle aged years, I have been more and more partial to British films. 

This is a lovely, lovely movie. I was quite sleepy last night when I turned it on, and only made it halfway through. I plan on finishing it tonight after choir practice. 

I slept like a baby, which solidifies my theory that I should be careful what I read, watch on tv, look at on the internet, or think before I go to sleep.

The second movie was "My Life as a Zucchini". This one is so good, I may have to buy it. I wasn't sure if it would be appropriate for …

Year Four, Day 225: TOWANDA!

I felt exceptionally good Sunday morning.  It was Day 4 of my plant focused eating. I am loving it. I actually crave vegetables. Every meal finds me trying to get more in!

I had a lovely spinach/feta wrap with my Sunday morning coffee here at my favorite Starbucks, where everyone knows your name. Well at least my favorite barista does!

Here is me looking lovingly at my lovely spinach/feta wrap:

I am particularly joyful with my spinach/feta wrap because I almost broke my fast the night before. I had a long day teaching at the Music Center, getting my students ready for the end of term piano recital.  I had planned on heading out to my son's fiance's house to visit my grandbaby.  But her mom was in the hospital. She had fallen at work, cut her leg which had then become quite infected.  So they were keeping her overnight at the hospital, watching the leg and possibly doing surgery the next day.

I was feeling a little helpless. I wanted to be there to offer my assistance, but Sund…

Year Four, Day 224: Feliz Navidad, Decking them Halls and Counting the Days!

Time is marching on!  My son is sounding more positive and strong every time I talk to him. It is Day 10 of his incarceration. Many more days to go, but we are trying to just focus on the day at hand.

I do seem to like to count days don't I?  Well today is Day 3 of my plant focused eating.  Three days with nary a cheeseburger - high five to me!

I am still loving my lentil loaf and tofu. I took it to work today. I had a brilliant idea this morning. I have a wide mouthed thermos I got for soup, tea and coffee. It has kept liquid hot for up to 24 hours at a time! I found this out quite by accident, when I left my thermos of tea on the kitchen counter all day when I went to teach piano in Portland. Came back, and voila! Still hot!

I hesitate to take soup on the road though. I worry about spilling and mess.

But this morning, a light bulb went on over my head! I warmed a plate of brown rice, lentil loaf and tofu and then layered it in my thermos. I added a spoon of kimchi on top good pr…

Year Four, Day 223: Lentil Loaf Lockdown

My son has not called yet today. It is 1:04 p.m. But honestly I have been so busy, I haven't had time to worry.

As a single mom of two kids, especially when they were teens, I always told myself no news is good news.

And at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, no news usually means they are on lock down. Usually for 21 hours a day.

I have been praying for several friends that need urgent prayer. One surgery, one stroke and then the usual concerns of family and friends.  It does help to stay busy!

I even did two loads of laundry and my hooping! My daughter, soninlaw and granddaughter are out of town. I told her she should not leave me alone. She may come back to a home full of vegan foods!

She was shaking in her boots when I sent her a picture of my lentil loaf!

I had a very successful eating day so far! I ate all plant based food for breakfast and lunch. My lentil/spinach/walnut/mushroom loaf was so good, I sweat it tasted like meatloaf. The layer of walnut pieces I put on before t…

Year Four, Day 222: Quicksand

Today has been a much better day than most days this last week.

One week ago today, my son was sentenced and hauled off in handcuffs.

It has been a rollercoaster of emotions. For all of us.

But today, I feel calm. Probably because of a conversation I had with my son first thing in the morning.

Below is an excerpt of a post from my blog "13 Months" which is a daily blog about my son's incarceration. I may or may not publish it, so I am keeping it private. When he is released, I will print it out for him. We will decide then what to do with his story.
13 Months: Day 8: A New Level
Andrew called me early this morning. He sounded more cheerful. I was careful not to instill anxiety. I asked him how his evening was last night. He told me it was better. He said that he appreciates all I have done for him, but I don't need to worry. He's got this!
This is a new level. My son reassuring me.  I like it!
I asked him if he had eaten breakfast yet. He said he did, but he's no…