Random Acts of "Kindness"

SLEEP

When I was young, I seldom had trouble sleeping. As a matter of fact, I usually was able to sleep for 8 hours or more. Having children didn’t change my ability to sleep. I usually slept soundly, through the sounds of the city — fire engines, ambulances, police cars. I woke if my children needed me, but other than that, I slept on.

That is until my father was affected by Alzheimer’s disease. I became a light sleeper, waking at sounds in the household. I was still able to sleep through the street noise. Of course, working — needing to be on the road at 7:00 AM changed my ability to sleep late. Normal time to wake in the morning became 6.

Robin doesn’t realize that she is a dog. She thinks she is people — like us. We get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. She should be able to do the same. Sadly she has gotten into the habit of needing to go out almost every night. Of course we do too. I won’t write down how many times a night we get up. Robin needed to go out at 3:30 in the morning. She woke me up — I am under orders to wake my husband. He can go back to sleep. I have problems. And she did all of her business, no messing around. She has gotten older — she wanted to go back to sleep. BUT I DIDN’T.

I was still awake at 4:00. My right hamstring was hurting. I must have stressed it during the night. I tried the various rubs and pills I take to help me sleep. Next it was my left ankle itching. I tried various creams without success. It continued to itch. I took a couple of Motrin. It was 4:44 and I was still awake.

I laid with eyes closed on the bed and tried deep breathing. Hamstring felt better, ankle still itched. Then the corner of my left eye began itching. What do you do when an eye is itching? QUESTIONS! WHY? What is going on? Why can’t I go back to sleep?

Finally I was able to fall back to sleep. I stayed in bed until 7, an hour later than usual.

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MEMORY

I worry about me sometimes. I especially worry when I don’t remember where I put something or when I forget when it comes to money — checkbook, paying bills. I don’t get upset when I arrive in the kitchen or the pantry and forget why I felt I needed to get something. Usually if I relax and think for a minute, I’ll remember what I needed.

I’ve told myself that I need to start writing notes. Sometimes I remember and sometimes it works — especially at the camper. When we leave in the Fall and I’ve moved stuff — it is helpful to find a note telling me where the item is.

The forecast for the weather for the week after Thanksgiving was interesting. Two days in the 40’s, then the temperature drops below freezing, with snow. Time to put up the lights outside.

Finding the boxes that hold the decorations was easy. Our son brought them up from the basement for me. Taking off the lid contained the lights and the garlands. EXCEPT — I didn’t recognize the lights. I saw large bulb, multicolored lights — FOUR (4) boxes. QUESTION: Where did they come from? I didn’t remember buying them but I knew neither our son or my husband would have. There they were.

We use tiny cascading lights hanging on the porch. I found three bunches. They also were multicolored. I didn’t remember them either. We usually have either white or blue. I looked for a note reminding me of the lights in the box. I didn’t find one.

I have to admit that my notes to myself are not very complete. Either I forget to write things down or decide it is not important enough to remember. Maybe I thought that I would remember. Sadly, memory is marvelous — it must be full because it is VERY choosy about it keeps.

Recently our local public broadcasting station had a pledge drive to raise money. One of the programs that was included was music of the 60’s. It surprised me that not only did I recognize the name of the singer whose voice I heard, but just hearing the first notes of the song — I knew what the song was. Of course the 60’2 — it was my music and I was YOUNG! My memory bank was full and overflowing.

I LIKE the multicolored lights on the porch. Getting new strands to replace those hanging this year would probably be a good idea. Maybe that’s why we have 4 boxes of multicolored large bulbs that I don’t remember. I wonder what we were going to do with them?

SINGING

It is hard for me to put my relationship with God in words. To say that He/She has my respect and gratitude is a true statement. To say that I am ALWAYS GRATEFUL is also true. To say that I am obedient to the plans for my life is often up to debate. When I was young, I told God that I would have as many children as He/She gave us. I had three children born and a couple of miscarriages. I said that when the children were in school. That was it, I was done. And God laughed. Our youngest daughter was born.

Today is her birthday. All of our children have been a blessing. The job of our youngest was to keep me young and with her children, they are trying their hardest. I have to admit that I argue with God. I used to feel guilty but I read somewhere that God likes a bit of spunk, within reason. Well, I certainly have spunk.

My recent debate is my job of writing the blog. I have had a thought ramble publishing every week for OVER six years. The problem is that I always want it to have some influence of Spirit. The second problem is that my brain seems to be asleep or in hiding. I have suggested that I quit or at least take a break for a time. One of my suggestions was that I could reprint some of my earlier thought rambles. I’m not sure how any of my suggestions have been received. I have often mentioned that I neither see or hear “my friends in high places.” God is in the highest place!

Today is my youngest daughter’s birthday. I wasn’t in the mood to send her a sugary sweet card this year. I looked at many cards that made me laugh but she is TOO YOUNG for them. She told me I should have sent them anyway. I found a card that passed the sweet test and mailed it. This morning I sent her an instant message “Sing with me, ….” I don’t have a smart phone, just an old flip. I seldom access Facebook, looking at the thought of the day, not spending much time. This morning I followed suit. AND WAS AMAZED!

Just for me, balloons, music — “Happy Birthday with a picture of her daughter taken years ago when she had braids, eating corn on the cob.” Of course I sent it to my daughter.

The only words I had: “Thank You.”

TOYS

This summer I acquired a cookbook for my slow cooker which made planning meals an adventure. We were at the camper. The big question “Would my husband not only eat it but enjoy it?” Every new recipe I tried, he invited friends to eat it with him. Thankfully, each recipe was a success.

Now we are home, in the city. Lately the temperature is COLD. It is only November but the air feels like winter. Although I still use my slow cooker, it is more tempting to use the oven. My winter recipes I have made for YEARS. At first, it was like visiting with old friends — so happy to see them again. I hate to admit that I’m bored — wondering what I should cook for supper. In my defense — I have cooked for more years than I care to count.

To the rescue — a new toy — an instant pot. I have used pressure cookers over the years — for canning and also cooking dry beans. I never gave it a prominent spot on my stove. I debated getting an instant pot for over a year. I even bought a cookbook and looked at the recipes available. I successfully left the pot in the store. Until Aldi’s featured the pot at a more affordable price. Now it is MINE! I’m still learning how to use it.

I have successfully burned myself with the steam. I thought I was being careful! Not careful enough. I wasn’t sure how to set the pot for pressure. I couldn’t reset the time. The last time I used it I was successful. I learned that you can not set the timing lower than the regulated time for that item. Needless to say, I don’t have one of the more expensive models.

Still looking for a new recipe to try, I have acquired two new cookbooks. The recipes are outside of my normal range. I would like to eat the food of the world — my husband is content with the food of the United States — not spicy. The new cookbooks contain recipes from South America, Italy, India, Korea — the world. I can reduce the sodium, I’m not sure how I can substitute ingredients by I’m willing to try.

Since I got the new pot, we haven’t been home enough to try it. I made my recipe for chili — dry kidney beans, finished in an hour. LOVELY! I recently made a macaroni, beef and cheese dish. The entire dish cooked in less than an hour. Both the “boys” liked it. I have received the go ahead to make it again. I made a note to add more seasoning to the sauce.

IN TRAINING

I have to admit that I really don’t like writing things at the last minute. I’m really tempted to skip a week or two, maybe a month. Experience has taught me that not writing is not in my best interest. I like to have a couple of thought rambles scheduled so I don’t feel pressure to write. Hopefully that will happen soon. Right now I seem to be chasing my tail — not enough time in the day to get things done. Of course it doesn’t help that we spent most of the summer in the country. Lady of leisure — I cooked, I read, I watched sunrises and sunsets. Since I had a sore hamstring — I didn’t push myself to exercise and I’m still paying the price.

I shared with one of my daughters my frustration with the day. I should have gone back to bed and stayed there. NOTHING WORKED! I could NOT access the internet from the table in our dining room. I Could Not access my cell phone. I COULD NOT zipper my coat, actually looking at the coats in my closet, I wasn’t sure which was my new coat and ended up pulling out one which was a few years old. The first morning it zippered, the next day it did not. I went searching for a coat that had a zipper that would work! The coat fit, the zipper worked and I realized it was a coat that I bought a few years ago that fit when I tried it on but was too small the next day. It still is a bit tight, but it FIT and it was very warm! Of course, the zipper on the first coat worked. Now I have located the coat that was extremely comfortable last year. Its zipper works.

My daughter asked why I was having so many problems. I replied that the “blocks were on”. But I didn’t know why. This morning it dawned on me. “There are students in training.” Two of my cousins have recently arrived on the other side. I wouldn’t put it past my father and others to take them under their wing and give them suggestions on how to “help” their family here on earth.

I’m hopeful that having learned some of the ways to “help”, they will use their new found knowledge to “help” their other family members who are still on earth. I have no idea how many members are part of “my team”, but I’m sure it is more than three and some dogs and cats might be members too. I often end up at the right place, at the right time to help either a two footed human or a four footed.

Recently I attended a Chi Gong session at the hospital. I totally enjoyed it and made plans to attend on a more regular basis. UNTIL the next morning when my body parts objected STRONGLY. Hamstring — stretched again — hurt again. I thought I was giving it the exercise it needed . I was wrong!

CELEBRATE

CELEBRATE

Every birthday is important, celebrated. Another year has passed with its challenges and blessings. Somehow entering a new decade carries more expectations. “Life begins at 40” was a quote I used often when I entered that decade. And for me, it did. I learned how to cross country ski and also discovered that I could paint. I’m way past that decade now.

When I turned 50, I graduated from junior college with an Associates degree. I learned that I didn’t learn things as easily as I did when I was younger. I actually had to study and reread parts of the chapters. When I was young, learning was easy. I read something and retained what I had read. Sadly, passing years didn’t give me the same advantage. I also stopped working during that decade. The job was hazardous to my health and my husband told me to quit before the job killed me. For a change I listened.

Writing became part of my life when I was 60. I self published To Pap, With Love, a children’s book Treasure Chest, and Journey with me. As that decade came to an end, I started writing Wandering With Spirit.

Now I’m in my 70″s. My family wants me to pick up my paint brush again. This time in acrylic, since my husband has Emphysema. I’m reminded constantly to lose weight and to exercise. Especially since a pulled hamstring in July stopped my exercising and stiff muscles are the outcome. “My friends in high places” are always encouraging me to write. The blog is over six years old. I seldom miss a week except this time since we were on vacation and only home one day before we were gone again. I have three new toys to cook with and I’m excited.

Recently when one of my daughters celebrated her 50th year, the universe joined in the celebration. Her horoscope for that day was amazing. We don’t believe everything that is written, but the details are always enjoyed. For fun, the temperature of the day was the same date as her birth year. Another blessing. Just to put the topping on the cake, her first initial appeared in the sky a cloud in the radar.

ROBIN UPDATED

I first wrote about Robin when she joined our life. The thought rambles said we had her for three months. We have had her now for a few years. She has grown, in size and weight. I can no longer easily pick her up. When she sits on my lap, I feel her weight. She went to obedience training and we are the ones trained. She is extremely smart and listens when she wants too.

We thought she was a border collie. We now believe that she is a rat terrier with a mix of blue healer for good measure. She originally came from Oklahoma were that breed is popular. Robin is very good at chasing squirrels and digging out moles. She would love to run with the deer in the country if we would only let her.

At first I thought she had a food allergy and had her on a restricted diet. Because I had a hard time getting her to eat, I started putting cheese on her food. Now spoiled, she won’t eat her dinner without cheese. She has definite preferences in the food we eat — ice cream, chicken., pizza, to name a few. She is very vocal when we don’t share. My husband has always shared his food with whatever dog is in the house at the time, Robin is no exception.

She must have had a hard childhood. She DOES NOT like to be left alone. She doesn’t like loud noises either. And HATES FIREWORKS AND THUNDER. When she was young and smaller, she slept with us.
Now she prefers to sleep by herself — in her own bed or if it is noisy, under our bed.

When she was younger, we took her to the dog park. She LOVED to run and play with the other dogs. Then she was taken down twice, by other dogs and her life changed. Now she has a few dog friends — but not many. She prefers smaller dogs. She is very vocal when she sees other dogs. Protecting us or herself?

We spent most of the last summer in the country. Robin loves to go for a ride in the car and most nights pestered until she went for a short one. She doesn’t go for rides as often in the city.

Robin still runs like the wind. She hasn’t lost any of her speed which is a good and a bad thing. I would have a hard time catching her when she is running. Recently she added a good ten years to my age. I recently learned that two of my cousins passed over. The next day I was thinking of how death comes in threes. Robin was on a rope across the street in the park. It was extremely windy and Robin didn’t want to be there. She did her best to escape the rope, and was successful. Collar still on her neck, she ran across the street in the path of an approaching small black car. I heard the thump and was afraid we had lost our dog. Thankfully she was just grazed by the front bumper and knocked into the ditch. She quickly recovered and ran across the street to the porch for safety.

Examining her body, I only saw two small areas — one on her muzzle and one on her foreleg where she had tangled with the car.

THANK YOU LORD, THANK YOU ANGELS!

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