Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for June, 2013

NOT GIVING UP

This new eating idea is all my husband’s fault. We were at Costco. I have had the book in my hand many times without buying it. He told me he wasn’t leaving the store until the book was in our cart. So it came home with us. I have to admit that I have enjoyed reading it. The author makes a lot of sense. So as not to keep you in the dark, the book is THE FAST METABOLISM DIET by Haylie Pomroy. She is a nutritionist. (You might remember that I was counseled to meet with a nutritionist last March.)

Through the years I have tried many eating plans: Weight watchers, The South Beach Diet , and the Shred just to name a few. Some I actually lost weight on but recently, even though I eat healthy, walk and exercise, my weight loves me. I’m hoping that the author’s idea to awaken my metabolism will work.

Most of the food on her plan I already eat. Some food is off the diet and I will miss my caffeine, dairy, potatoes and wine. I really don’t snack on cookies, cake or pie. Nor do I munch on chips or drink soda. So  the eating plan will be interesting. I have to drink half my weight in water a day. That will not be easy! Trying to match the food my husband and son will eat with my eating restrictions will also be a challenge. Her book suggests making meals in advance and freezing them. That would work EXCEPT there is NO ROOM in the freezer.

Time is not a factor on the other side. “My friends” must have been aware of this plan for a while. I found some of MY frozen single sides in the freezer that will work in her menus. Speaking of aware, I tried to renew a prescription for a cholesterol pill UNSUCCESSFULLY. After many phone calls, I learned that my doctor wants me to get a fasting blood test. He placed an order for one refill but where the order went, I don’t know. The pharmacy doesn’t have it.

My plan, (don’t laugh now) is to try this 28 day plan, hopefully lose some weight, then do a blood test. Maybe my cholesterol will be in a healthy range and I will no longer need pills. I only have one prescription, but I take many vitamins and a few herbs. I’m planning to put them aside for the duration.

Her plan only calls for aerobic exercise one time a week, strength training once, and yoga, massage or walking once. I usually try to exercise a bit more. It will be interesting to see if my metabolism wakes up. I planned to start this coming Monday. I thought I would be in control of my eating. Laugh with me!
Monday we are taking our eldest daughter out to dinner for her birthday. Tuesday we are meeting friends for lunch.

Stay tuned. Either way — I will write about the results.

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TICK TOCK

It should come as no surprise if I mention that many years ago, I discovered that I was often in the right place at the right time to help someone or be helped in return. At least twenty years ago, I was instrumental in saving my neighbor’s life. When I realized the timing, goose bumps rose on my arms and whenever I told the story, they came back. The story was written in TO PAP, WITH LOVE.

Recently, timing was brought to my attention again. This time, it wasn’t a life changing event, just an ordinary day. And since it was a normal day, the timing on reflection, gave me a smile.

I had a few errands to run. At first, I was going to walk, but I was tired and when I thought of all the stops, I decided to drive. First the bank. It wasn’t that my transaction was difficult, I was tired, my mind was muddled. I couldn’t figure out the best way to cash a check, deposit money in the savings account AND transfer more money into the checking account so I could pay some unforeseen bills. Just how many slips did I need to fill out? Luckily, the bank clerk has unraveled my transactions before.

Next stop, the grocery store. In the parking lot, I met a woman whose daughter went to school with my eldest daughter. We won’t talk about how many years ago that was. Sun out for a moment, we chatted for a while. Heading for the store once again, I noticed an elderly woman was having trouble moving a cart. The braking mechanism had locked. I lent a helping hand which led to another discussion. This time about strength and leg ulcers. She had a sore on her leg that wasn’t healing.

Finally entering the store, I picked up the few items that were on my list. Heading for the check out line, a story in a magazine caught my eye. Since I didn’t want to buy it, I read the short article, half blocking the lane. A man asked if the station was open, and if he could pass. Following him into the line, I overheard his conversation about a sale item. Curious, I asked what was on sale. (We had just returned home from our daughter’s and I hadn’t looked at the sales.) I learned that boneless, skinless chicken breast was on sale. Once again, I planned to start a restricted eating plan and chicken breast was on the menu. I knew I could wrap them singularly, and only take out one at a time. Before purchasing a package, I confirmed with the butcher that the chicken wasn’t sodium injected.

My “friends in High Places” often have my best interest in mind.  THANK YOU!
Regaining my strength and energy, is high on my list. Possibly also on theirs.

DISCONNECTED

It is a very good thing that I get “help” from my friends in high places. My father had Alzheimer’s disease and my brain is not as dependable as it used to be. Words that I know  — are missing when I need them. Very Frustrating! Or I write down the simile for the word. It is a good thing there is spell check but it doesn’t always help. My automatic pilot kicks in regularly. I don’t mind except when I have forgotten what I am doing or where I am going.  One of my new phrases, used too often is “Why am I here?” I noticed this morning that I’m speeding through SPRING. I’ve lost a week. I thought my husbands doctor’s appointment was Tuesday, nope — its a week from Tuesday. Overtired? Overstressed? Overweight? All of the above.

Yesterday. I spent over half an hour looking for a recipe I found when we came home from Hawaii for Mahi Mahi. I have MANY recipe books. I was NOT successful. I verbally reprimanded myself for not writing down the source of the recipe. Looking at the back of a notebook later, I found my note on the recipe I had been looking for. I was reminded to “Detach From the Drama.” Shopping later in the day, a friend enjoyed my search and find story. It gave her a laugh.

I must have left my compass at home. Heading home,  I made an unplanned stop at Whole Foods. I remembered more supplies that I needed as I walked the store — they have many items that are low sodium. As I was leaving, I decided to make another stop, to get corn flake crumbs for baked catfish. Almost home, I realized I missed the store. Where did it go?  I realized that I should have made a right turn and drove South instead of making a left to go North. The store was were it was supposed to be. At the camper, I was surprised when a store I normally frequent was leveled, a new store is promised for the Spring of this year. Construction has not started yet.

Last night, I decided to share two recipes with my daughters. The computer did not give me their e-mail addresses when I typed their names and I DID NOT REMEMBER their e-mail addresses. I was told my address book was empty. I WAS IN TROUBLE. I shut off the computer and started again. LUCKILY, this time the computer had their addresses plus the rest of the addresses in my address book. I have to admit that as I typed the ingredients, I changed my mind, and decided to do something different.

Trying once again to lose weight — it is up since Hawaii — I decided to make kale and white beans. This time I bought packaged kale since it was prewashed. Last time I bought a bunch of kale that I didn’t rinse enough and ate grit. I needed three cups for the recipe. I looked at the label — 2 cup serving, less than I needed.  I just didn’t realize that there were five servings in the package. Oops!

It was extremely cold, and windy yesterday. Branches were down all over our neighborhood. I noticed this morning that a lovely pear tree is gone — blown over in the wind? Gale winds caused thirteen foot waves to  hit the shores. When we were at the camper, I was surprised that Lake Michigan affects weather so far away. Our camper is over 100 miles from the city but the lake effect is mentioned regularly in the weather reports.

This morning, I was advised “To Find the Blessing In Your Current Situation.” I’m looking! I went for a walk — that is when I noticed the pear tree, and thought of this title. I thought writing would help me find the blessings.

WHERE AM I?

My son and I were only home from Hawaii for a day when he and my husband went out to the camper to tear down a room addition on the lot next to ours. Luckily the man who camped behind us was available to help with the work. It turned out to be an extremely tiring job. It took all week and they filled three bins with lumber. They wouldn’t let me help, so I became the errand person. We learned that the lumber company in the neighboring town not only made blades for the chain saw but sharpened them too. I made many trips into town. On one of the trips, I found an angel statue holding a puppy in the store. I have many dog friends in high places. I will admit that I didn’t examine the statue. As I tried to pick the angel up, a stronger, older woman came by to help me. Not only did she carry it to the counter but she took it out to my car and safely stowed it in the trunk. When we placed it in my serenity garden, I was surprised to see the angel was a young boy, in overalls. I thought of my brother whose birthday is in May. He passed away with my mother in the fire when he was almost two.

I stayed in Chicago for a couple of days to get caught up and then I toured Botanical Garden in the city before heading for the camper. I love the crab apple trees and was afraid they would no longer be in bloom when I returned to the city. Sadly most of the trees were only beginning to bloom but I found a couple that where in sheltered, warmer spots.  I was surprised when I arrived at the camper to see our apple tree in bloom, also our crab apple tree, and azaleas bush. Our tiny lilac bush was also in blossom. Raking leaves, I noticed a Dutchman’s breeches in bloom. I didn’t remember planting it. Whether it came along as a guest with another purchased plant or volunteered to be in our garden, I don’t know.

A small old car show was held in a neighboring town on Saturday. Our son left for the city and both my husband and I were tired but we went anyway. It was a good thing that the car show was small but there was a good variety of cars, trucks and motorcycles.  My husband talked to an older couple — he was 86, his wife 89 — who had a 1950 Chevrolet. Stopping in a small store, my husband bought an angel pendant for me.

I decided to go to Mass on Saturday, so we could sleep in on Sunday. I was surprised when it was the feast of Pentecost. I was doubly surprised when I realized the tee shirt I was wearing was from Great America — red — words “light my fire”. Pentecost is represented as tongues of fire (the Holy Spirit) descending on the apostles and disciples in the locked room.

When we were at the camper, I bought a copy of the weekly woman’s magazine and was reminded of a tea I drank last summer that seemed to give me energy. When we arrived back home, I put a pot on the stove and made a new batch of tea.

Maybe my writing will reflect the events as they happen, maybe the writing will be delayed. I’m expecting my life to be busy. Either way, I hope my rambles help you become aware.

HOME AGAIN

Fair warning. I try to keep my rambles around 500 words but this one is a bit longer.

The last time we visited Hawaii , the trade winds were also on vacation and it was very hot. I packed for hot, not cool temperatures. SURPRISE — the trade winds were on vacation, the surf was flat and the sky was cloudy, and the temperature was on the cooler side. But you see, I have friends in high places that take care of me. Saturday, our first night, my camera stopped working. I took the battery out, wiped it off and replaced it. The camera worked but when my husband phoned and I told him about my camera, he strongly suggested I get a new one. I thought we would visit Costco on the rainy Sunday and check out cameras. Lost, wandering the streets via car we found China Town and the Ala Moana Mall. I was told there was a Foodland Grocery store in the Mall and I wanted a couple of items. Huge Mall, many high end, expensive stores. As we were leaving, I noticed a sign that the Sears store was closing — 50% off. An hour later, I had cool weather clothes — a new sweater, long slacks, a terry cloth hooded jacket and a long sleeve shirt — all at an amazing price. Thank You! We found the food store too, it was tiny but I got a couple of things.

Monday, another cooler, rainy day. We headed for the International Market. I won’t bore you with my purchases, let’s just say I’m learning how to bargain. A Post office is located in the Market. I bought stamps and mailed my post cards. Monday evening we chatted with a couple from Canada that drove the whole island in 2 days. They didn’t see any sea turtles on the North Shore, even though they stopped at four beaches but they found a shrimp truck that served delicious food.

Tuesday — sunny skies, we headed for the North Shore, hoping to see turtles. My son pulled into a tiny parking place off of a small beach. When we climbed down to the shore, a sea turtle slowly made his way up from the water. He was expected — two turtle watchers were on guard to make sure he was safe. I learned that Brutus came on shore to rest and warm up. Once he stayed 50 hours. One of the watchers shared stories with us, including how they knew his sex and name. THANK YOU!

While on the North Shore we visited Waimea Valley. Before leaving for Hawaii, I looked at my Hawaiian cookbooks. I decided that I only wanted to buy a new one if it had nutritional information and the recipes were on the lighter side. Even though I looked at the Mall and the Market, I didn’t see any cookbooks. At the store at the Valley I found what I was looking for. Thank You!

A shuttle is available to take visitors up to the water fall which is 3/4 of a mile up the trail but my son wanted to walk. It wasn’t too hot — since my energy had increased a bit, I thought I could walk it too. Right place, right time — as we headed up the trail, a tour just began. Needless to say, we joined the group. The guide told us she was known as the “bird whistler” when I asked if she knew the identity of the bird that was calling. An ancient village was located on the site — she was very knowledgeable about the culture of her people. Sadly, the tour ended at the end of the village and we still had a long way to go. The waterfall was smaller than I expected, the pool of water at the base was 30 feet deep, but we didn’t bring our bathing suits and now it was hot. I took the shuttle back down.

We didn’t find the famous shrimp truck but found another along the highway. On the North Shore I found a real supermarket. I wanted apple cider vinegar. I didn’t bring some from home and my tummy was acting up but I was able to restrain myself and only buy a couple of items. I kept reminding myself of all I had purchased on Sunday and how many days we had left. We got stuck in rush hour traffic on the way back to our hotel. Abandoning the highway, we got lost again and found Costco. Which was extremely crowded, but we also found Quiznos — sandwiches for a late night supper.

I call Wednesday  TEACHERS DAY. I gave the attendant at the small store in our hotel information on compression stockings, since I was wearing mine and he noticed. My son shared computer information with the owner of a store at the International Market whose computer was down.

Thankfully, I was able to go in the hot tub and the pool. My son went for afternoon walks without me and saw sea turtles feeding. Our last day — I went for an afternoon walk with him and saw turtles too. On the walk, my cell phone rang. It was a friend who was inviting my husband for dinner. I have no idea how I got included in their conversation. Neither phoned me.

Traffic was horrible on the drive to the airport. Luckily we had plenty of time but we had to find a gas station. My son turned off onto a side street which also had horrible traffic. He drove through the parking lot of a library and I saw a gas station a short distance away. Hawaii is supposed to have the worst traffic in the Nation. I believe it — our pilot and airplane personnel were late for take off — stuck in traffic.

Did I have “help” on this trip. Let’s see —  Lost — but found  — sale on clothes I needed; meet and greet a turtle; find a cookbook; join a guided tour; enough energy for most of the walks; saw sea turtles feeding; an interesting phone call; on time at the airport; — and I only mentioned the highlights, leaving out all the interesting people we talked to and meals I enjoyed. One last thought — I took over 500 photos, no more problems with my camera. Did I say Thank You?  –DAILY!

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