Sunday, September 29, 2013

Affordable Health Care

Republicans say that Americans do not want affordable health care and so they are doing everything they can to block the affordable health care that President Obama has tried to see implemented. Republicans do not want affordable health care because it is not in the best interest of big business and the wealthy. They do not want to spend money on health care because it would tap into their profits. It doesn't matter about the people who work for them that put the money in their pockets. All that matters is making sure they keep the high profits coming. It doesn't matter about real people who don't have enough money to put food on the table or have enough money for the health care they need.

When are ordinary citizens going to see that the best interests of the wealthy are not the same as their own? When are ordinary citizens going to stop voting for Republicans who only care about the interests of the wealthy?

Friday, September 27, 2013

HT Market

I enjoy shopping at HT Market on Aurora in North Seattle. I went there yesterday. I was so happy to see that they were selling persimmons. I wait all year for this season. I love them. I didn't know anything about them until a few years ago. They are the most popular fruit in the world. They are mild and delicious. I also bought papaya, dragon fruit, cactus pear, bitter melon, and more.

Global Warming and Climate Change

A study out of Stockholm by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced this morning that at least 95% of global warming is caused by human activities and that the resulting devastation will last for centuries. Already the health of the ocean and all water is threatened. Already animal and plant species all over the world have been eliminated or severely threatened. Weather has drastically changed and will continue.

It is urgent for our planet that big oil and all other major polluting giants are stopped.

It is urgent that all blocking legislation to solar power is eliminated.

It is urgent that public transportation becomes the priority and cars are parked in lots at the boundaries of every city. Some city streets should be used only by mass transportation and some city streets should be used only by runners, bikes, roller skates, roller blades, and walkers.

Do you want a better world for future generations? Then you need to be serious about changing public policy in the direction that will protect everyone's future.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

student driver

I saw a sign in the back window of the car in front of me while I was waiting at a stop light on Northgate Way that said student driver with nervous parent or something like that. I had to smile. I thought it was clever and cute. They must have made it on their computer and printed it out. It was written in bold black letters and I thought it was a great idea.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

$15 an hour minimum wage

I applaud Seattle for trying to push forward raising the minimum wage to $15. I've heard that in the SeaTac area, the minimum wage is or will be $15 an hour and there is a movement to increase the area where the minimum wage will be raised. I think that is great. People need livable wages.

"Cars losing grip on Seattle"

On the front page of the Seattle Times this morning was the headline, "cars losing grip on Seattle." To that I say, Cool! There are too many cars. Too many people are driving when they should be walking or running or biking or riding a bus. Public transportation should be the priority and so should be building safe trails away from traffic for walking, running, and riding bikes. I think it would be great if cars had to be parked on the perimeter of the city and everyone had to walk or bike or run or ride public transportation to get where they want to go. There would be fewer tragic accidents with pedestrians and bikes. It would contribute to the health of our planet, people in Seattle would be healthier and it would be a great example to cities around the world.

I love Seattle and I think it is great that Seattle is a city where on the front page of one of the best newspapers in the world there is a headline that says, "cars losing grip on Seattle."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Writer

I found the November 2013 issue of THE WRITER in my mailbox yesterday. I cherish writing magazines and I don't get rid of them. I have subscribed to THE WRITER and WRITERS DIGEST for years. Each one has nuggets of knowledge about writing craft shared by famous writers. It's rare to have a moment alone with the likes of these authors but you get to learn from them in THE WRITER.

The first article I read was "Cave Art" by Robert G. Pushkar. This is a great article and I enjoyed reading it. It's all about the writing process of Andre Dubus III. Andre writes in a "writing cave," a tiny room like a walk-in closet that is hidden away from the rest of his house. He writes using Ticonderoga pencils in composition books. His basic framework is a beginning, middle, and end. He allows characters to develop and surprise him. He doesn't share his work with anyone. He doesn't believe in writing groups.

"Dubus never shares a work in progress with anyone: 'No one. Ever.' It's a deeply rooted superstition he has always had. 'If somebody sees it before it's done, he will see its flaws, point out what could be better, point out 'well, that's been done before by so-and-so. It's needlessly discouraging' he says. 'I'm afraid of talk about what I'm working on."

"...Dubus frowns on writers' groups, believing they lead members astray from the work at hand. His father told him that a novelist is like a whale submerged in the ocean. You're down there alone, and you're supposed to be down there alone."

Every time I share my work or try a writer's group, I find out that my writing slows to a halt. I see everyone gifted and talented around me. I start to doubt my ability to put down a word worth writing. It's hard to be a writer because you're alone. I love talking to people and being around people but writing for me needs to be a solitary activity. I enjoy helping others and offering suggestions but I don't like to slash and cut someone else's writing. I don't participate in the process of some writing groups. I will only say what is good and what I appreciate about writing. Writers are sensitive and need to be encouraged. Life is hard enough as a writer. Writers are extremely self critical. If they read this and that and continue writing, they will learn.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Princess Cruises

Golden Princess at
Pier 91 in Seattle.
I went on the cruise from Seattle
on September 22.
This is the view after the
Golden Princess started off for Vancouver, B.C.
This is me. I was on an elliptical in the exercise
room when I saw I was missing out on photo moments.
I enjoyed Dixieland and jazz.
There was a great comedian
Rodney Johnson who had
everyone laughing.

This is the interior of the ship.
Shopping, great food, nice people,
music, everything you could want.
I love cruising.
I want to write cozy cruise
mysteries so I have to take
a cruise at least a couple of times
a year. I've already written one
but it needs to be revised.

This is my room. It was huge.
Dolphin 120
I would love to live or
work on a cruise ship or
at least take multiple
cruises every year.
The fitness center.
So much to see. So much to do.
Healthy food.
At dinner I sat next to a man named
Jim who was one of the
most interesting people I have ever
talked to.
Great people and great
conversation at my table.

This is the welcome at Vancouver.
Then I boarded a bus back to Seattle.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Cumbia is the first dance choreography I am memorizing for Zumba Gold to teach as an instructor. I was thinking about each step this morning and the meaning. Cumbia originated in Columbia. The slaves that were chained together were dragging their leg with the chains and dancing and being happy in spite of the reality of their life. The "sleepy leg" is the step where they drag one leg with the chains. It is also called the "candle step." I was thinking this morning that they must have danced at night and held candles in their hand to see.

I was also thinking that since they had chains on one leg, when they did the basic cumbia move, it could only be done on one foot.

I love cumbia. It's my favorite Zumba dance. The women wore long colorful skirts. They held the ends of the skirts and twirled the skirts around. It's a beautiful dance.

So much joy in a dance that covered a lot of sadness underneath. The people who market positive thinking tips learned from the slaves who were chained together and danced at night.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Zumba Gold

This is a great moment because I can see that I am going to be able to be successful at memorizing the choreography for Zumba. I've been watching DVD's of choreography picking out songs I want to teach. I have been listening to music but I didn't get serious until today.

I put an urgency in the process because last night I created the website for myself as an instructor on My web address for my website is Next I have to order business cards, insurance, and a headset.

Today I picked one song and did it over and over for ten times. The last two times, I turned my back on the television and just listened to the prompts on the TV from the DVD. I will have it nailed when I just listen to the music on my ipod and can dance the choreography over and over without any problem. I'm almost there. I know it. It feels great.

What song did I pick? I picked a cumbia. I picked a cumbia on purpose for several reasons.
  • Cumbia is Beto Perez favorite dance.
  • Cumbia is from Columbia where Beto Perez was born and the birthplace of Zumba.
  • Cumbia has dance moves called the "sleepy leg" which is based on the history of slaves being chained together and dancing dragging their chains in the fields.
  • Cumbia has the "sugar cane" dance move which is based on the history of slaves cutting sugar cane in the fields.
  • The choreography for the song I picked is easy.
  • This song and the choreography comes from the Zumba Gold training.
  • Cumbia is a happy music in triumph of difficult times and sadness.
  • Cumbia will always be my favorite for the above reasons and this is the reason why I picked it first.
After I memorize my first song, the second one will be easier and the process will go faster plus I will have confidence that I really can do this.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Zumba Gold

Here are some of the amazing Zumba instructors who took the Zumba Gold training with me today in Tacoma from Shonna Porter. We had an amazing time. I learned so much. I'm so grateful to meet all of these wonderful people. We need a reunion! I hope I see everyone again.

Zumba Gold

I'm so excited. I spent the day in Tacoma at the YMCA on Pearl Street to take Zumba instructor training from Shonna Porter. Now I am certified in Zumba Gold. I love the choreography of Zumba  Gold and this what I want to teach. I also want to teach Zumba Toning.

I had such a wonderful time and met so many awesome Zumba instructors.

Shonna has so much knowledge about strength training, the senior population, Zumba, the body, and so much more. I learned a lot and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from her.

It is important to me to go into my future healthy and fit. By teaching Zumba, I am doing my best to make sure this happens. I want to keep learning and I hope I get to teach soon. Now I can teach Zumba Gold for people in wheelchairs and Zumba Gold to active Boomers. I'm going to have a great time. I hope they like me and that I can teach several classes a day. That would be perfect.

My friend, Carmen is on the left. I've been to three Zumba training instructor workshops with her. In the middle is Shonna Porter who is the awesome instructor that teaches Zumba Gold in Washington. I'm so grateful to meet her, learn, and to take her training.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Jacob Barnett--Boy Genius

On Facebook, I found the most interesting story about Jacob Barnett, posted by Dr. Andrew Weil, one of my favorite people. I have several of his books.

I wanted to put the Facebook link into this page.

It is so important to focus on the good in children, on what they are doing well. So many gifted and talented and brilliant people are driven into the ground by parents and educators who want to continually focus on every little flaw. We lose the best and the brightest this way.

STOP! We need the most brilliant and the most talented and the brightest in the world to solve problems and to make the world a better place.

QUIT! If you have to find flaws, look for them in yourself and improve yourself.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Special Education Classrooms

I've talked to two special education teachers who teach in the Seattle public school system or in the Shoreline public school system in the last couple of weeks. Since I have a minor in special education, I have an interest in this area of education.

In talking to these three women, I learned that there are a full range of needs in one classroom. One teacher had kids in wheel chairs who were severely disabled with IQ's that could barely be recorded to a higher range of kids with autism and had behavior disruptive problems. I'm wondering if there are volunteers in these classrooms. I'm wondering what kind of learning is going on or is this a "day care center" to save the parents so they can go to work at tax payer expense.

Another teacher had kids who were in the upper range of IQ but had special learning disabilities. Einstein had a learning disability since he was dyslexic. Today he would be put in a Special Education classroom which has the stigma of being for those kids who are "retarded." I don't get this at all. This is laziness on the part of teachers and on the part of public schools who put kids who have dyslexia and other learning disabilities in special education classrooms. We have had so much knowledge about learning in different ways since I was in college back in the 60's so why isn't it applied? We keep teaching in the same way, using the same methods. Why? Some kids learn better by hearing. Some kids learn better by reading. Some kids learn better in a group interacting with the material. There are a myriad of ways to learn. Some are better than others.

Kids shouldn't be labeled. Kids have the right to learn in the way that is best for them and not get stuck in a special education classroom when they are intelligent and shouldn't be in there.

We still don't teach how to think in the classroom. Why? That's probably the most important thing we could be teaching. Learning to make a good decision and how to plan is important. In the Seattle Times the other day, there was an article that said that coding was one of the most important things that should be taught in the classroom. Yes. It's important to learn computer coding. It's important to learn several languages when you are young. It's important to learn math at a young age. Arts and music are essential. So much is important and we are so backward in this country.

What I can't understand is how private schools rake in money for having kids nap in the afternoon! That's a great way to earn money. They can come and nap at my place and I'll accept the money. And parents pay. I shake my head in amazement.

In college, I learned about the Institute of the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia. They deal with the full range of human potential. I remember learning about one young man with Down's Syndrome going to college.

Sorry, I don't get it. I don't understand it at all. After doing a practicum at Fairview Hospital and Training Center in Salem, Oregon and working with kids for three months trying to get them to learn how to put a chair under the table, I knew this wasn't a field that I wanted to work in. I need a little more hope in a situation.

All kids have the right to learn at their full potential, at their rate of learning for their ability. This means that the gifted and talented shouldn't be sitting and bored. They should be challenged and learning every minute of the day.

Le's Pho Tai

I ate dinner at Le's Pho Tai this evening before coming home. It's a few stores down from Joann Fabrics where I work. The food is delicious. I ate there a couple of days ago and Pho Tai is now my new favorite restaurant. I like eating food that is healthy. Pho Tai serves healthy cuisine.

Le's Pho Tai
Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

14210 Aurora Avenue N.
Shoreline, WA 98133

I ordered Pho--Vietnamese Noodle Soup.
I ordered #2 Beef broth soup with extra vegetables. It's delicious.

My son always orders this when we eat at a different Pho's downtown or the one
in Northgate. Now I understand why he orders it for several reasons.

When I went to this restaurant the first time this week, I spoke with a lady who was a dietician who was in the restaurant with her cute little girls. I asked the waitress what was the healthiest thing on the menu. This lady suggested the bone broth and said that it was so healthy. My son orders this all the time and he is very health conscious. I didn't understand fully until I was reading articles on the internet which basically say:
  1. It's delicious.
  2. Bone broth is an excellent source of minerals
  3. It's therapeutic for joints
  4. The nutrients in bone broth are easily absorbable.
  5. Bone broth is healing for the digestive system.
  6. Because it is an excellent source of amino acids, it reduces the need for protein.
  7. Extremely economical.
  8. Collagen in bone broth heals the gut.
  9. Bone broth helps with wrinkles and gets rid of cellulite.
  10. Collagen in bone broth helps to heal the skin.
It is suggested that you eat bone broth every day in your diet. Maybe then I will have great skin. I should eat here every day for my health and then I wouldn't have to cook and mess up my kitchen.

Go to Le's Pho Tai for outstanding healthy cuisine. I feel comfortable in this restaurant. The owners are so nice and it feels good there. The food is delicious and I know I am eating healthy food that is good for me.


I made a list of my top priorities. I try to move forward on each of my goals with an action step. If I am not able to move forward on one of them, then I move to another one.

1. Creativity Coaching
2. Memorize Zumba choreography
3. Screenwriting class at UW
4. Revise mystery novel
5. AFAA class
6. Coursera class
7. Exercise 1 hour a day
8. Declutter
9. Eat healthy

I try to reassess my life, my priorities and what is important to me every couple of months. I try to continue to learn and improve myself.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Zumba Glutes

I passed the Zumba certification for Zumba Glutes and will start receiving CD's and DVD's of choreography in the mail. I'm excited. Now I am Zumba certified in Zumba Basic 1, Toning, Core, and Glutes. I am taking a class in Zumba Gold this Saturday. Zumba Gold is for seniors. It's slower, easier, and more my speed since I am 65.

In all the reading to pass Zumba Glutes, I learned so much I didn't know before. I had no idea that any lower body injury is due to weak glutes. So all these knee replacements going on could have been prevented by strengthening the glutes. Shin splints and other injuries are a result of weak glutes, or glute amnesia because people sit too much.

I love Zumba. If I can ever get off the ground by memorizing the choreography, picking songs, and finding a place to teach, I should be healthier and more fit as I move into my future. Zumba makes me happy.