Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for July, 2013

GRASPING AT STRAWS

I wanted to write a couple of thought rambles before we went to the camper. But I had brain freeze –no ideas — so I asked “my friends in high places” for help. I suggested that if they wanted me to write, they needed to give me some ideas. No sooner said than done.

Before I went shopping, I stopped at the post office to mail a DVD to my Floridian daughter.  I’m on the last week of my 28 day eating plan and remembered that today’s snack was fruit. I thought of watermelon. When I mentioned that fact to the woman at the post office, she asked a couple of questions about the food plan I was following. I was happy to share — since this is the first time in many years when I have actually lost weight, not just in my little finger but in my belly.

At the grocery store, watermelon in hand, I shared the food plan information with the clerk who checked me out. By now you know that I talk to the people in the stores that I see on a regular basis and share bits and pieces of my life when appropriate.

Walking home, I saw a man picking berries off of a tree. I thought it was a mulberry tree but I was wrong.  I don’t know the name of the tree. The man showed me how to determine which berry was ripe. The fruit was tasty. I was intrigued by his accent. He was from London, and said we were having London weather — gray skies, damp conditions. When he first arrived, he couldn’t find any wellies. Wellies? I think they are rubber rain boots. Now they are available here.  Since my son is interested in visiting London, I learned that May is a good time to go, the flowers are in bloom.

Reaching home, I remembered that I had forgotten to buy more of the staples for my food plan. More shopping!

One of my stops was Whole Foods. A sampling station was set up with a salad dressing on the table. I was curious — no one was around. Before leaving the store, the person doing the demonstration had arrived. I was able to sample the dressing on greens. I was her first customer. She knew the ingredients in the dressing . They were allowed on my food plan. The dressing not only tasted good, it was low in sodium. It was mine!

On the way home, I stopped at a bead store. It was the first time it was open on a Monday. I needed earring stops for my hook earrings.  I almost lost a new earring at the camper. Mission accomplished.

Just yesterday, having lunch with a friend she told me that it was Senior day at Walgreen’s, that meant a discount. We stopped for shaving cream and I looked at Olay Regenerist Lotion 50 SPF. Not only was it on sale, I also got a senior discount. Saved more than $6. I like saving money on things I need.

Thanks to “my friends in high places” I had material to write about — since these happenings are normal in my life — to remember, I took notes.  I also had a VERY INTERESTING DAY!

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ONE STEP FORWARD

I was curious — how long ago was I at this weight? Looking back at my calendars, I tracked the low weight back to the summer of 2011. I knew that I had been trying for a very long time to lose some of my excess weight with no success. I’ve tried various diet options — tea, protein drinks, exercise etc. — the weight stayed with me or increased a trifle.

Therefore this current weight loss has made me very happy, hoping that it will continue — I have one more week of the set to go, and a bit scared that the weight will rebound.  Another pound lost, more looking back I discovered that I have been at this weight before and then regained the weight again. Life happened! Life will continue to happen! Hopefully this time I will be alert and catch the slight incline before it becomes major.

My “friends in high places” are beginning to nudge. WRITE — an article in the newspapers caught my eye written by an experienced author who has watched the world of publishing change. Now the author has more responsibility to promote the story. Watching television, I caught a story of a couple that is self publishing, earning thousands of dollars. Their field is sexy romance books. They won’t have any competition from me. My imagination is still asleep. Then a friend asked if I was starting a new book. ?? Hmm! Let’s not forget jury duty, the novena to St. Anthony. This morning I read a new article, different author — nudge, nudge.

NUDGE — “You used to paint! So you’ll never be famous, does it matter? You had fun, you expressed yourself.” Painting has risen to the forefront again. Downtown at Macy’s, the fashion designers who used art from the art institute for inspiration, the recent art faire at Botanical Garden. It is summer, art fairs are EVERYWHERE! I don’t think I’ve had an artist paint brush in my hand in over a year.

We are heading to the camper. More rain is predicted. Maybe I will take my paints and a few small canvases. I will take my computer and hopefully WRITE, nothing serious,  just a few thought rambles. Both will distract me from nibbling. A day seldom passes without some interaction with “my friends in high places.”  Unless the interaction really makes an impression, I’ve forgotten the details when I sit down to write.

NUDGE: Every year at the Mind, Body, Spirit expo I have admired the scarves with coins that are used in belly dancing. Every year, I look at the workmanship, the price and put the item back on the rack. This year when we were at the International Market in Oahu, a coin scarf caught my eye, it was the last one, it was affordable, it came home with me! When I arrived home, I looked through my VCR tapes and DVD’S without success. I thought I had a belly dancing tape. I WAS WRONG! But not for long. On a recent shopping trip, looking for an exercise DVD for my food program, I found a belly dancing workout. The coins don’t jingle too much — but I’m sure with practice I will add my own music to the dance. Losing a few pounds, the scarf FITS!

JURY DUTY

I know it is our civic duty but I REALLY DID NOT want to attend. My name was on stand-by and the location was in Chicago’s Loop. Not difficult for me to get to BUT I was following a NEW DIET PLAN. The idea of being on a jury, not having access to my refrigerator DID NOT MAKE ME HAPPY. Maybe, I thought, I won’t be needed. WRONG. The list of names not needed started FIVE letters from ours. NUTS!

Two days after receiving my invitation, my husband received one too. His court was located in a distant suburb, not easily reached from our house. He is older than myself, and no longer needs TO DO JURY DUTY. A quick phone call and he was released.

Tuesday, I walked through the electronic detection devices, setting them off. It was my jewelry this time. I took the elevator to the 17th floor and checked in, receiving a panel number. Seating choices were a line of chairs or a table. I chose the table and quickly realized that I didn’t belong there. The other three people sitting at the table were world travelers. The gentleman was studying French in preparation for his trip to France. And then there was me. They were highly educated and involved in their projects, not interested in talking.  Sometimes I’m at the right place, at the right time to help someone or be helped in return. Not this time.

I had learned that I could buy packages of sliced apples from McDonald’s. According to my eating plan, fruit was the snack of the day. I was set until lunch. Thankfully before lunch time arrived, my panel was released. We weren’t needed and I WAS NOT disappointed. On the train downtown I realized two things. First, it was Tuesday. Second, the novena to St. Anthony would be said at St. Peters after mass. Maybe that was why I was downtown. Before checking in, I stopped at the church only to learn that the next Mass would be at lunch time. Leaving the courthouse, I knew if I hurried, I would reach the church in time for Mass. If you are curious as to why I remembered the novena, I wrote about my involvement with St. Anthony in Who Is that Man, published July 7, 2012.

After mass and before heading home, I joined my son for lunch. Then I wandered to Macy’s — just to look around. I figured I was safe, I left my credit cards at home and only had a small amount of money with me. I stopped on the seventh floor and totally enjoyed a fashion display. Fashion designers had used paintings from the Art Institute for inspiration. If I said they were incredible, I would not be exaggerating. I wished I had my camera.

As I rode the escalators, admiring the displays, I remembered that I wanted a microplane zester. I decided to try the lower level and see if  one was in stock. Looking at the displays of kitchen gadgets, I didn’t see one. I waited for one of the sales clerks to finish with a customer before asking a question. She looked at the same display that I had previously checked out. Then she offered to check the stockroom. I was concerned that even if one was found, I wouldn’t have enough money to buy it. But you see, I have “friends in high places” — the clerk found THE LAST ONE and I had enough money to buy it, with a dollar left over.

/Every once in a while, I have picked up an artists paint brush and applied paint to canvas — oil, watercolor or acrylic. I have a feeling that I’m being nudged to do so again. I went to the Botanic Garden yesterday where an artist faire was in the process of setting up.

In case you are wondering — I’M EXTREMELY PLEASED with my weight loss. Not finished with the 28 days, haven’t lost 20 pounds, but I’m planning on taking a break, eating potatoes and cheese, with a glass of wine — then starting again. I don’t know what my goal weight will be but at least I won’t look more pregnant than my granddaughter who is expecting her daughter in September.

TRUST THE PROCESS

Haylie Pomroy, in her book, The Fast Metabolism Diet, writes that the reader should trust the process. Give up the alcohol, the dairy, the caffine, the potatoes, the sugar and allow the body to recover. I’m almost through with the first week and I have to admit, I’M EXTREMELY HAPPY with my weight loss. As I write this, we are at our camper were I do not have access to a scale, but before leaving, our scale at home showed a weight loss of anywhere from three to five pounds. That was two days ago. I’m not sure of the exact amount because when we arrived home from our youngest daughter’s, the pizza and gyros had raised my sodium levels, therefore my weight.

I have been trying for more years than I care to count to lose weight. I eat a healthy diet and exercise. Boosting my exercise didn’t work nor did limiting the food I ate. The SCALE DID NOT MOVE DOWN, just up! Having the weight melt off with no extremes on my part is a gift. To which I say THANK YOU!
I will admit that healing the sore on my left leg held priority. I didn’t go to extremes, limiting food or tough exercise — I did not feel the burn. I’m not feeling the burn now either. The amount of recommended exercise is low: Cardiac – one of the first two days, strength training – one of the second two, and either yoga, massage or a walk on one of the last three.

I told my family that I would give the first week a serious try. I will admit that I have had a cup or two of coffee a couple of days, and a small piece of Italian bread. Other than that, I have followed the eating plan. I miss my chocolate and an occasional cookie. I’m sticking to it for another week or the rest of the 28 days. Who knows, I might continue on until I reach my desired weight. I have no idea at this point what it is. As we were heading for the camper, I noticed that a fashion outlet mall is being built. I mentioned to my husband that I just might have to go shopping there — to replace my wardrobe. For the first time in a long time. I’M EXCITED. I can trust that it will happen as long as I FOLLOW THE PROCESS!

Enough about the process, except I must admit that I see hands working behind the scene to help me find the right food, especially that which is already hidden in our freezer. Eating breakfast 30 minutes after waking is tough, especially preparing the food. Especially since the food changes every few days. That is where I’m getting in trouble the most. I bought a whole watermelon thinking the fruit was legal and our grandchildren would be at the camper to help me eat it. Well, the food is only legal on the first two days and my grandchildren are not coming out. Best laid plans of mice and men —–.

I planned to go swimming in the pool — it rained, more is predicted for each day we are out here. I planted geraniums — they looked lovely, returning to the camper, I saw nubs. ?? Then I saw the reason for the nubs — Momma deer and her twins ran through the park across the street. I guess my flowers were a tasty treat, and just the right size, down on the ground. I’m planting more flowers, I also bought a bottle of deer fence, it is supposed to keep the plants intact and growing. I just need the rain to STOP!

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