Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for November, 2015


Driving home I thought of the PERFECT TITLE for a thought ramble. Of course I thought I would remember! Are you laughing yet? I think “my friends in high places” are. They just erased everything I have written so far. This is “help” in the extreme. Maybe it is not a subject that I should share.

Bit by bit I’m trying to do the best I can with each day. Although I regularly attend Catholic Mass, many years ago the message came through that my involvement with our church should be limited. I could detail the many occurrences that brought that message into my mind but I don’t know if those experiences would help you. It seemed that my stories would be better served with people outside of our church.

(Right now my mind is not remembering the theme of the ramble!) Today I joined a group of my friends at a retirement home where our parish priest was saying Mass. Arriving, I learned that one of my friends was in charge of setting up the refreshments and I knew that I would help out. I can still walk unaided and my arms and hands still function. Many of the participants use walkers or canes. I was right. I even surprised myself when I was able to carry some of the chairs. During Mass, I sat next to a woman who shared my maternal grandmother’s first name — Molly. Sadly I learned she is suffering from Alzheimer’s.

I had brought photos with me — of the summer — of the devastation from the tornado, of the Japanese Garden, of Natchusa and it’s buffalo’s, of the new nature park in the city. They aren’t able to wander as freely as they once where and I like to share. A friend liked a photo I had taken of the waterfall at the Japanese garden and thought she might like to paint it. I was happy to give the photo to her.

This has been a beautiful blue sky day. Arriving back home — we took Robin to the dog beach. She is very quiet in the car except now she recognizes the beach and starts to cry as we park. A female dog who recently gave birth tried to join me in our car. I learned she had eight puppies. The owner was keeping two of them. As we were leaving the beach, I commented that we had lost our female chocolate Lab a few years ago. He mentioned that he had lost his shepherd after 25 years. “You know she is fine on the other side,” I told him. “No, he didn’t,” he replied. At that I shared a short version of Shanae’s gift to me, — when I saw her spirit RUNNING through the house when we sent her home. I have to admit that that gift has made the passing of our other dogs easier to handle.


I remember when I had energy. I remember when I was able to sleep the whole night. I remember when I actually planned the things I wanted to do, or the stuff I needed to buy from the store. Sadly, my energy is hiding. Sadly although I get some rest, I still feel tired — my sleep is too broken. Sadly although I still make lists of what I need from the store, the list is often still sitting on the table when I leave the house, or it is missing some important items.

I’m hoping that this is only a temporary condition. I’m hoping that as we spend more time at home, I will be less fractured. I’m hoping that I will regain an interest in some of the activities I enjoy. Looking at our calendar, Thanksgiving is coming soon, and following after is Christmas. Today I have no interest in Christmas shopping and of course, no time to make presents. To complicate matters, many health appointments are now filling up our schedule. At least we had planned to stay in town.

I had considered checking out some activities at a near by senior center. I don’t know if I will have the time to participate. What I have learned as I try to surface from this fog is that if I ask a question, I’m often given an answer. The question seems to be jogging my memory or my “friends” are helping.

Just a couple of examples — standing in the pantry, I had come in with a purpose and the purpose had vanished. “Why am I here?” That question often provokes an answer. Recently while shopping, I knew that I had planned to go to a store to buy something. It wasn’t a store I normally went to, and I didn’t remember what I had planned to buy but I knew I thought it was important. It was on my mental list a few days ago, but I hadn’t had the time to purchase. Stopped at a traffic light, I threw questions out into the air. “Where do I need to go? What do I need to buy? Etc.” Thankfully I received an answer. I had wanted to buy a new calendar for next year. The one I’ve enjoyed this year is meant more for business people who have to keep track of their appointments. I’ve used it to track my food and other things. At the beginning of the month, it has a page for the whole month where I schedule appointments. As time gets closer to the new year, it becomes harder to buy specific calendars. Having a calendar for 2016 has already come in HANDY!


When my husband first retired from work, he thought about signing up for veteran’s benefits, but at the time our combined income put us above the financial limit. Time has passed and so has our resources, the year we were visiting a hospital on a regular basis because of the ulcer on my leg, he decided to investigate veteran’s benefits again. The VA center we visited was able to sign him up for enrollment via the computer. Even though he no longer had his dog tags and his military cards disappeared somewhere along the way, he was enrolled. He planned to get hearing aids but time passed and visiting the veteran’s office didn’t fit into our time table. I stopped in one time to inquire and left with a business card with their phone number. The last straw occurred this year when his company dropped health insurance and his prescriptions put him into the GAP. We were pleasantly surprised when he called for an appointment. He was given an appointment within two weeks of calling.

I’m sure one of the reasons he put off going for so long was because he remembered the waiting time when he was in the service. After getting the appointment, he had enough time to get copies of his medical records from his primary doctor. Since the VA hospital is more than 30 miles from our house, he is able to keep his doctors. That was one of my concerns. He has a good relationship with ALL of his doctors and it is important to me that we can reach medical assistance in a timely fashion if it is needed.

When we visited the VA clinic, the doctor determined that he needed to see other specialists besides his hearing aids and ordered various tests. She said we might not hear anything before a month passed. It was a VERY, FAST MONTH. The next day we had appointments scheduled for two of his tests. Sadly, all of the medications that he takes is not on the VA recommended list. We have an appointment with his primary to discuss our plan of action.

My main reason for sharing this information is to help anyone who is sitting on the fence wondering if they should sign up. We went to the VA on Tuesday, Thursday of that week we were at the lake enjoying the last 70 degree day — letting Robin play with other dogs. My husband sat on a bench talking to another veteran who had NOT signed up for health care. The man had heard good things about the hospital that is in our network. The gentleman didn’t know where his paperwork was and was happy to hear that because of the computer age, he didn’t need it.


It was a busy summer, which is putting it mildly. Because of the tornado and our granddaughter’s wedding and normal life, we visited our home on an irregular basis. We were home only long enough to pay bills, wash clothes, unpack and pack again. Usually we were at home base for only three to four days before we were gone again. And the constant travel has caught up with me.

Shopping at a store, shoes that were very comfortable began to hurt. If I was smart, I would have taken them off and walked barefoot through the store or cut my shopping short. I did neither and although I switched shoes as soon as I arrived home, the damage was done. Somehow I must have walked on the side of my foot and that area is SORE. I have tried walking in stockings at home, putting shoes on for dog walks and other outside excursions. I tried cushions on the foot — corn, bunion, — but my compression socks make it hard to put them, they curl and don’t lie flat. Sadly, although better, the soreness isn’t gone yet. When we were in the country, I averaged over 10,000 steps a day. Since then, my step count is in the 7,000 range. My sore shoulder had caused me to stop exercising, now the sore foot is causing me to stop walking. My weight which wasn’t good has increased.

I noticed that my eyes were watering more. It had been very windy and I don’t always wear glasses when I’m out and about. I don’t know if I’ve got a cold in my eye or if something else is going on. Years ago, I used a solution of Boric acid as an eye wash. In the stores, I found an eye wash solution that contained that product. It helped for a short time but then I went out again on a windy day without glasses.

At first I thought I had an allergic reaction to something when my hands started to itch. Then the itch started to travel — hair, ears, shoulder, back — etc. I put hydrocortisone cream on my hands to stop the itch but I can’t put it on my whole body. Various teas have helped but it the itch is still here.

I decided that I would stop taking all my vitamins and drink more water, trying to flush out what ever it was that was aggravating my system. Stopping taking the vitamins WAS NOT a good idea. After two days, cramps in my leg reminded me that I was low on magnesium. Vitamins are back. Itch remains.

My daughter suggested that it might be hives. Maybe it is a new variety. When I’ve gotten hives before they were raised bumps in various areas that I could treat with cream. This itch travels.

If it is nerves, hopefully staying in one place will allow my body to relax. My frog fountain has been cleaned and is operational again. I like listening to the falling water when the house is quiet. I have confidence that I will have the time to get rid of the pile of mail on the table.

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