Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for May, 2014

AUTOMATIC PILOT

I had (past tense) a magnetic bracelet which used magnets to close. I wore it everyday to help my trigger finger work properly. Putting clothes away in the back bedroom closet — I felt the bracelet leave my arm. I searched the areas where I felt it leave — no luck. I pulled all the clothes out of the closet — 2 times — I was sure I would find it. WRONG! I removed everything that was resting on the floor boards, hoping to find the bracelet –still hiding.

Now I will have to admit that I don’t give in easily. It dawned on me that the bracelet could be attached to a hanger — after all it is magnetic. Just looking at the hangers did not release the bracelet. I decided that I could remove the clothes and wash them, taking the hangers out too — maybe find the bracelet but at least have the clothes ready to wear — I didn’t realize how many clothes I had.

I started with the lighter clothes, leaving the darker clothes hanging. When the basket was full to overflowing I stopped. I STILL HAVEN’T FOUND THE HIDING BRACELET.

For a change I separated the clothes into piles rather than just dumping them into the washer randomly. After two wash loads I decided that was enough for one day. The day before I had washed material to make a new seat for the garden swing. The material left stuff all over the drum of the dryer. Thankfully I realized that before I put the first load of clothes into the dryer. The residue was rough, scratchy. I would have had to rewash all the clothes. It would have been worse if the clothes were back in the closet. Wet towels drying for a few minutes cleared the drum.

Question — did I really want to wash the rest of the clothes lying on the basement floor. NO — I WAS TIRED! The next morning — I started the first small load of whites. Some of my long dresses dry hanging up. The last load of clothes consisted of blouses — light in weight. I decided to wash them on gentle. As I prepared to put all of the tops in the dryer, I looked at a label — wash by hand — hang dry. OOPS! Most of the clothes had the same instructions. Would the dryer have hurt them? Would they have shrunk? Thankfully I won’t have to answer that question. Thankfully, I have “friends in high places” that help when my mind is taking a break. They must like my bracelet because I still haven’t found it.

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NIBBLE

I’ve mentioned that I’m a pack-rat. It is a part of my personality that I’m totally aware of. I’m trying to get rid of some of the clutter — books not read, clothes not worn, stuff not used, paper and notes waiting attention.

When someone in the house is ill, it doesn’t matter how much care is taken to keep the germs isolated — members of the household often share the bug. I’m sharing my husband’s. I know that my immune system hasn’t recovered from this winter’s illness. It doesn’t help that we have had a week of cool and damp temperatures. It doesn’t help that I have walked our dog, Robin, many times in the drizzle. It doesn’t help that my mood is on the darker side. Once again I’m fighting a cough.

I’ll admit that my energy LEFT! I wanted to accomplish SOMETHING for the day so I decided to attack a pile of paper that has lived on our bookcase for too long. As a matter of fact it fell all over the floor twice in the last couple of days. (Was someone trying to tell me something?)

A couple of handfuls of envelopes, notes, pictures and other stuff joined me on the table. I found four pages of notes I took at the Body, Mind, Spirit Expo a few seasons ago. The notes concerned the importance of my writing on the blog. Now to my defense — even though I have trouble coming up with a title — I try to have something of merit publish once a week. Hopefully it is helpful to you.

I found a card from my cousin in Sweden with a postcard of the boat my great-grandfather took to America. He also sent in another letter a copy of my grandmother’s birth certificate. It reminded me of the chapter of my great grandfather’s book that he translated and sent to me. I now trace many of my talents to the Swedish side of my family.

I found a letter and picture of my mother’s brother — and a note of how changing to a vegetarian diet has prolonged his life. He has had multiple bi-pass surgery’s because of clogged arteries. For a short time, battling high cholesterol, I tried a vegetarian diet. My triglycerides went through the roof — didn’t help my cholesterol either. Evidently my body needs animal protein. Many of my cookbooks are low sodium, low cholesterol. Because of health issues, I limit my sodium intake to less than what is recommended — that might be making a difference to my health. Time will tell.

I found a card from a friend which contained along with a note, a memorial card from a friend’s passing. We were traveling, unable to attend the wake.

I also found many letters and pieces of paper that no longer need to be saved. Those that have value to me have been moved to a safer place. I just hope I remember where that is. The rest has either met the shredder or tossed for recycling.

This blog will publish Memorial weekend. Remembering my family and friends, alive and those on the other side is important. Not only on this weekend but throughout the year.

NOT AGAIN

When my husband was young, he didn’t feel the cold temperatures. His body was young, he stayed healthy when he went outside in the winter without a coat. If he caught a cold — stayed in bed for a day — he quickly recovered. Sadly we have aged. Recently he went outside in just a sweater. The temperature dropped, the cold wind blew and he came down with a severe cold.

In December, the same thing happened. I don’t remember what caused that illness, but I remember spending a day in the emergency room at the hospital — before we learned he didn’t have pneumonia and that his heart was okay. This time he got sick Saturday night, high temperature, chills on Sunday. His doctor is only in the office on Monday and Thursday. I wasn’t sure if we should wait until Thursday. I was told that because of his health conditions, Emergency Care at the neighborhood clinic was not an option, he should go to the emergency room at the hospital. Because of his emphysema, colds often become pneumonia. I decided not to wait and phoned for an emergency appointment at the doctor’s office.

When he came downstairs, I introduced myself to him. Saying that he just met a B—-, who would become a nag if the temperature was below 40 and he wasn’t wearing a jacket.

On the way to the doctor’s office he told me that he woke during the night, and almost asked me to call for an ambulance. His left arm had no feeling in it, but he decided that he was home in his own bed, and didn’t need to go. All during the night, he had the same dream. He kept seeming a screen full of screwdrivers. Everytime he closed his eyes, the screwdrivers were still there. He had a stent put in two years ago because of a blockage in his left arm. We are scheduled to see the doctor next month for a follow up. Is the stent blocked?

A nurse practitioner was on duty, his lungs are clear but when she learned about his problem during the night, she did an EKG. She didn’t see anything to worry about with the test, but to be safe, she also made an appointment for him with a cardiologist for follow up.

I’M SO GLAD I CALLED THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE. I’M ALSO GLAD I HAVE “FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES ” WHO WATCH OVER THE FAMILY.

JUST A DOG

When Robin joined our family, she weighed 25 pounds. Her fur was very coarse and she was always scratching or nibbling on her feet or legs. She was a lovely size, not too small, not too big. SHE HAS GROWN! Not only are her legs longer, so is the rest of her body. She takes up more room on the bed, not curling up in a ball but stretching out in the middle from side to side. She likes to lay next to either myself or my husband, but I think she is trying to touch both of us.

I don’t know how much she weighs now, I’m guessing at thirty pounds. She doesn’t fit as comfortably on our laps as she once did. I noticed that when she ate chicken, she seemed to scratch more. We changed her dog food to one for sensitive stomachs and skin. It is salmon based. Recently I discovered that her fur is not as coarse. It is silkier. I wonder if I ate more salmon, if my hair would be healthier?

We finally were able to visit our daughter and family in Central Illinois. Robin enjoyed being with the crew — two children, and two dogs. I was concerned because my daughter doesn’t have a fenced in yard — they have the wireless fencing but Robin didn’t have a collar. She stuck one foot in the pond behind their house chasing geese but came when my husband called. We put her on a long lead, stuck in the ground. I heard the poodle barking and investigated. I saw Robin running across two neighbor’s yards — she had pulled out of her harness. Luckily she came when I called and I adjusted her harness. .

She slept on a pillow on the floor up in our bedroom. I gave her Benadryl and she only woke the household two nights. Food wasn’t a problem. We separated the dogs when eating. Robin didn’t want to go home when it was time. Very tired, she slept for the rest of the day and most of the next. She really missed the crew, had no appetite for a few days.

I was worried, but thankfully I didn’t need to. Now we will have to see how she likes going camping. She has put so many holes digging to China in our backyard that we had to cover most of it with mulch. Cedar and pine are safe for dogs. Cedar has the added benefit of preventing fleas. Robin likes to eat both of them.

Lately the noise in the middle of the night has caused a problem. She is defending the house. Three men were across the street about 2:00 AM. Robin didn’t like that at all. She not only barked but went downstairs and growled for many minutes. Sadly the episode was repeated the next night. This time a man was having a loud conversation on a cell phone. There might be more Benadryl in her future.

The morning after we arrived back home, our son shared a dream with me. “I was visited by two friends last night — Pap and Mabel. Pap put on a red woman’s coat and put Mabel on a leash. I’ll be right back” he said. “I’m going next door.”

Pap is my father. I’m confident he always travels with me. Mabel is our chocolate Lab. When we sent her home, I dreamt she was with our daughter and family in Central Illinois. Maybe because of Robin, we need her help.

FACING THE DRAGON

I’m not a hoarder, but I am a packrat. I know many people, my husband for one, who have no trouble getting rid of stuff. I, on the other hand, have a difficult time — I might need it some day. Which explains why I have this problem. Sadly I came to the realization that there is no way in the world that I’m going to reread all the books that I have collected. Nor am I going to use all of my cookbooks — I’m sure they number in the hundreds.

I’ve also realized that I’m not as young as I once was, another decade past too quickly — I no longer have the energy or the strength. It is hard to face that fact. We will not be able to travel as we had hoped. Do I really need all of my travel brochures? It is hard to let go of the dreams.

I started going through my books — bag upon bag have left for greener pastures. Sadly, it doesn’t look like I have made a dent in the bookshelves. I still have piles of books in stacks on flat surfaces. I have shed the travel brochures. I’m evaluating the cookbooks. I’m parting with some of the magazines.

We had a 100 cup coffee maker that I donated to church. A thirty cup coffee maker met the same fate. We don’t give parties, when would I use them again? You would think that I would start to see some empty space on the shelves. I DON’T! I must have been very careful in my placement.

Our church had a bundle for the Saint Vincent DePaul society. Our priest suggested we go home from church, have breakfast and collect items to donate. I only had two days when we came home from Central Illinois but I managed to pack the trunk of the car with useable items.

If I can maintain my momentum, I might make some progress. But warmer weather is coming, the outdoors beckons. It will be interesting to see if I continue to make progress.

I’m fully aware that I have help from “my friends” but that doesn’t always mean that the “help” will keep me indoors — working — instead of outdoors.

My eyesight is also suffering from age. I recently realized that my far vision had deteriorated. I couldn’t see distance as clearly. Driving home from our daughters in Central Illinois, my eyes were bothering me. I didn’t know if air from the defrost was blowing on them, so I put my reading glasses on. That helped. When we reached home I looked for my distant glasses that I received a few years ago. Thankfully I found them and now wear them when driving. Things are just a little bit clearer. I have to remember which glasses I’m wearing because distant glasses don’t help in the store.

When I arrived home from shopping, I put on my prescription reading glasses only to discover that the arm was broken. I hoped that it just needed a screw but I’m not that lucky. A guided meditation has recently started — I’m still trying to meditate. The next morning, eyes closed I “saw” a verse in black letters at the bottom of my field of vision that slowly rose to the top. The words were so small I couldn’t read them. Now I will admit that glasses wouldn’t help but it is just another nudge from my “friends”. I don’t think I’m ready for bifocals yet. I have an appointment with the eye doctor, so we will see.

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