Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for May, 2013



I wish I could write that I have lost weight, that I have reached my goal — pipe dreams again. My metabolism is asleep — days, weeks and months of butt down, feet up must have put it in a deep slumber. I would be happy if I lost a couple pounds — I would know that I was heading in the right direction. Road blocks must be up, and so is my weight. Too much sodium always adds a couple of pounds. In a way, its not a bad thing. When we are traveling, I won’t have control over sodium like I do at home. I guess it is best to be prepared, even the food I prepare at home is not as low in sodium as I expect. Sometimes the sodium count is missing or the label has the wrong information. Too much sodium and my feet swell, I just need to be able to walk.

Speaking about walking — I won’t say exactly that my energy has returned but I have been able to walk distances again. Although the inclines at the Botanic Gardens have my thighs talking, I’m not giving up. There are not many hills in our neighborhood and I really don’t like walking on the treadmill. I climb stairs at home but it is not the same.

EXERCISE — I’m listening! Articles have appeared in magazines and the newspaper reminding me of the value of Tai Chi. Years ago I took a class and I still remember part of the routine, adjusted each time I go through it. I put it on the back shelf but I have revived it again. Yoga — another thing that I have been reminded of in many different ways. I even found my copy of the book A MORNING CUP OF YOGA which slipped off its shelf onto the floor, hiding against the wall. The book reminded me of various exercises that my body needs, that I don’t do. Both exercises can easily go with me on my trip. Years ago, I greeted the morning doing Tai Chi on the shores of Kauai.

Just how many purses do I need to take with me?  After I bought ANOTHER, lighter purse that wouldn’t clash with my clothes, I was reminded of a bag I bought last fall. It wasn’t where I remembered putting it. Memory — what an interesting concept. After another search, I found it hiding in a bag with many more purses in my closet. At least ONE of those has to come with me. Decisions, decisions!

Packing will be interesting. I have tried on various items of clothing that I thought would make the trip and decided to leave them home. I’m sure I have enough to wear, and if not — there is the International Market where a merchant told me: ” Momma, I’ve got a deal for you!”


I’ve tried, and I will continue to try. I’m NOT GIVING UP — but there is no way I’m going to lose the weight before we fly. My BODY LOVES ME just the way I am. Pressures off.

I wanted to increase my energy levels — I’m not at the former level yet but then again, I’m not fifty anymore either. My expectations are high, I have something to strive for. But I’m not upset with the reality.

The forecast promised sunny skies, temperatures in the 60’s. Too nice to stay inside. My husband and I wandered to Morton’s Arboretum.  When we entered the gate, I asked if any places were closed because of the recent rains. I learned that the park had been closed for FOUR days, the underpass was under ELEVEN FEET of water. Many places were still boggy, which meant watching your step when walking off path. Like the Botanic Garden, many daffodils were ladies in waiting, but some of their neighbors were excited to show off.  The difference in access to sunshine was noticeable. I found gentle hills and today my thighs aren’t yelling. I don’t think I’m ready for mountains, but I won’t need a nap after walking a mile or being up for two hours. PROGRESS.

Still preparing, I haven’t packed yet. Still adding stuff to the pile when I think of something. I could make a list and I still might. Watching the piles grow, I’ll have to do some serious cutting. Just how many purses do I need to take? How many pairs of shoes?

Shoes — I’m finally able to wear gym shoes again. PROGRESS! When we were at the Wisconsin Dells, I was unable to walk some of the terrain because of my shoes. I found a pair of new gym shoes that I bought before I had issues with my feet. Not only do they fit, but I’ve walked two miles in them just to break them in. They are definitely going.

We are hoping to go to Turtle Bay on the North shore of Oahu. I tried to do some advance planning on the computer which generated challenges of its own. I learned that the park on the North Shore is now run by the Audubon society. I’m expecting the terrain to be anything but flat. My son is thinking about climbing Diamond Head again. I have made some progress but I don’t think I’m up to the climb and I know my knees wouldn’t do the crawl through the tunnel. I’m realistic — some things aren’t going to change.

“My friends in high places” are excited. I KNOW they are going with us, or will drop in when we are there. I won’t need to be locked out on the patio. I’m sure “they” will have other surprises in mind.


New day, new month — for a short time, warmer weather. A snow storm is predicted for the North, I’m glad we don’t live up there. I’m writing this before we fly, but I will publish it while we are gone. Looking at my schedule, I realized that it wouldn’t hurt to write a few rambles in advance. From experience, I know it will take me a few days, or weeks to catch up. Hopefully not months.

It is hard to pack for 80 degrees when the temperature is 40. I get cold easily, and I don’t want to weigh down the luggage with cold weather gear. God took pity on me and gave us a couple of 80 degree days. It should come as no surprise when I write that I LOVE to be OUTSIDE when it is warm. I must take after my mother. My dad was very content to be INSIDE. In his later years, he walked to church or to the store but he wasn’t a person to go on picnics or to the beach.

Mother’s Day is approaching. I’ve heard that my mother liked pansies. I have been ignoring the opportunity to BUY flowering baskets or other plants. After all, I’m not going to be home — who will water them? I have to admit that I gave in yesterday. My younger grandchildren will be at our house while I am gone. At the store picking up more supplies, I noticed the price of the hanging baskets had been reduced. I’ll admit that they weren’t beautiful, but considering the price, three came home with me — pansies, begonias and geraniums. They tolerate cooler temperatures. Since they weren’t beautiful, I’m taking a chance that they will survive without me. I LIKE hanging baskets — the colors of the flowers greet my eyes when I’m coming and going. I don’t have to get down on my knees to take care of them.

Trips are over so quickly, but a lot of the fun is in the planning. I was at Costco yesterday, processing the film from my camera. By now you know I take A LOT of photo’s. I wanted the camera to be ready for Hawaii. Imagine my surprise when photo’s I had deleted from Botanical Garden were still on the camera. The memory card said that it contained NO PICTURES.  IT LIED. I deleted the pictures again, placed the card in the machine and surprise — all 580 were still there. This would never do. Repeating the sequence a few more times with the same results, I was frustrated! The person working in photo’s called for someone to help me. Thankfully, he knew how to reformat the card. My plans for today have changed. I PLANNED to stay home, get ready for the trip. INSTEAD I’m going out with my camera to play — we have another beautiful day,  flowers are in bloom, so are some of the trees. I’m sure I will have a few opportunities to take a couple of photos. I want to make sure that my camera is ready for the trip too!

I looked over my CD’s, writing down the names of the ones I have. I refreshed my memory as to the Hawaiian cookbooks I have. I thought I had two, SURPRISE, another was hiding next to them on the shelf. I’ve already found a new recipe to try when I come home. Maybe this time I won’t come home with a new book but I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities to shop. And I’m sure I will have PLENTY OF “HELP.”


It was a beautiful day — sunny, blue skies, warmer temperatures, but cooler near the Lake. Perfect day to wander. Both my husband and I had been having issues with our camera. His camera didn’t want to zoom. Mine didn’t want to delete its pictures.

We had already visited Brookfield zoo, but Lincoln Park is much smaller. Not as much walking, or so I thought. When we arrived home, my pedometer had registered more steps than our Brookfield wandering.

Outside the zoo proper is the Alfred Caldwell Lilly Pond, a Japanese style water garden complete with  a rocky edged pond and a Japanese style tea house. It was built many years ago, fell into disrepair  and thankfully recently restored. The path isn’t smooth, limestone rocks were used to allow bubbling streams of water to cascade from the hill top and ledges were created in the hill. It holds many memories for me — my two cousins and I visited many times in our youth. We tried to catch fish using sticks and string — NO BAIT — I  guess that’s why we didn’t catch anything. Thinking back, we might have tried pieces of bread. I have taken my own grandchildren there.

The gate to the area was open when we approached.  At the top of a rocky shelf, a young girl had a hula hoop and was exercising to music on her radio. A female goose had decided to take a nap on the path. I disturbed her slumber, suggesting she move to a more comfortable area. She didn’t agree, tucking her head back into her wing, resuming her nap.

I miss the elephants. Neither of our zoos have them any more. They are social animals and take too much room for the small zoo. Brookfield moved theirs to another zoo when their older one died soon after its birthday. Plans were made to expand the elephant habitat, but the falling economy interfered.

A polar bear is swimming in his pool. I didn’t read the information so I don’t know if there is only one. That is another spot that I always visit. This one has a big red ball that he likes to push up into the air. Trying to catch that exercise on camera was interesting. I was not successful but luckily my husband was. I like to see the places we wander to through my husbands eyes.

As we wandered past the African wild dogs, we heard the song Kumbya — guitar and voice coming from a woman sitting on the ground. I thought her choice of song was most appropriate for our approach.

We stopped to visit the gorilla house. The gorillas were taking a nap — the chimpanzees, after enjoying their outside habitat, seven played follow the leader, descending to their private space below.

As we left the zoo, we passed the African Wild dogs again. They were still sleeping but a couple of zoo rangers were standing there to answer questions. One of the young ladies shared information about the zoos interaction with Zimbabwe, in Africa. Personnel from the organization to which the zoo belongs are inoculating the wild dogs and the domestic dogs against rabies. This has allowed not only the people to be healthier, but also the African Wild dogs and the lions.  I was glad that we stopped to chat.

Walking down the path next to the North Pond, I saw a bench and sat down to give my feet a much needed break. My husband was watching fishing casting lessons on the pier. I noticed a small white dog’s head on the path below my perch. When my husband walked by, I got up to join him. I was surprised, the small white dog wasn’t small at all, he was large. Part poodle, part golden retriever, he always lays down to keep from scaring the smaller dogs.

Many people don’t recognize the personalities that birds and animals have. I have learned that they all provide interest to my life if I take the time to notice.

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