Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for April, 2016


It is hard to explain the interactions between myself and “my friends in high places.” Often it is just a mystery. Many times I’m not even aware of their presence or their interaction but sometimes one and one makes two. Sometimes I’m given a hint, and sometimes, but not often I investigate.

So you have been reading this for over a minute now and I’m sure you are wondering just what in the world am I writing about. The reason for this ramble is that once again I’m amazed. I had a friend request this morning that I accepted. I seldom turn down requests because of the nudges I receive to write this blog. Since I’m not writing on weight loss, making money, raising children, a food blog or any of the other hot topics — I feel that if someone wanders into my life, there is a reason. Just maybe they need to become aware of the “help” they are receiving from the other side.

Now I’ll admit that I received a hint this morning, but I will also admit that I didn’t pay any attention to it. I read in Queen Of Angels: “Bear my son to the world.” This is not the first time my fingers have pointed to this sentence.

When I accepted this person as a friend, a few of her postings appeared on my screen. Now I will also admit that days go by before I read any of the postings on Facebook — or my emails. Why did I read the postings this morning? Your guess is as good as mine. A question popped into my head — who is she? Is there a reason she wanted to be friends? Good questions — curious, I made my way to her page.

Recently there have been a few deaths in my circle of family and friends. My son-in-laws younger brother passed, two people who were on dialyze or who should have been, passed and my husband ‘s sister lost her daughter. The person who wanted to be my friend also recently lost a daughter. This person passed over on my father’s birthday. “Hi Dad!”


Starting again. This morning I wrote the first paragraph of this thought ramble and saved it. So I thought. Evidently my editors didn’t agree with what I had written because it was ALL GONE.

I get SO MUCH help on a very daily basis, most of which I’ll admit that I don’t recognize. I guess that is why I get in so much trouble. The reason for the title of this ramble is that once again I’m being nudged to lose weight. I have tried numerous times, sometimes with success but sadly life happens and the lost weight comes back with interest. I’ll state that I have NO INTEREST in going on a diet. They are too restrictive and I end up required to give up food that I like: potatoes, corn on the cob, etc.

New plan — hopefully this time I will succeed. The first nudge came when my husband was encouraged to attend the MOVE nutritional group at the local Veterans clinic. I was allowed to join him for support. (I’m chief cook.) That led us into the exercise part of the program. Since then I’ve added evening stretches to my preparation for bed routine.

Second nudge — a couple of the volunteers are using a Fitbit to track their steps and sleep. Listening to their results, I learned that the Fitbit recorded more steps than the pedometer I had been wearing. About that time, the pedometer that I had been wearing stopped working. The Fitbit also records my sleep habits. I’ve learned that when I get less than 6 hours sleep I’m more tired. Recent articles in print and on the news have highlighted lack of sleep as a contributor to weight gain among other issues. I’m trying to increase my sleep hours to seven or even eight. One disadvantage: I wear the Fitbit on my wrist, in order to record steps my arms have to have movement — when shopping, arms on a cart don’t record steps.

Third Nudge: I’ve recently learned that the Fitbit will link to My Fitness Pal. When I tried to link them, My old My Fitness Pal program didn’t have the tools necessary. The My Fitness Pal program on the I Pad didn’t allow us to change participants. Since I don’t give up easily, I took out our lap top where I was successful. Not only was I able to set it up for him with a newer program, but that version allows us to change the path so we both can individually use the same program. Now I’ll admit that being lazy, I haven’t entered my food on My Fitness Pal for months although I do keep a food log — just no calories. Of course I had to add my food for the day to see if it would work.

Linking the two programs, I entered my food and was very surprised to see the calories acquired on Fitbit as well as calories expended. It will be interesting to see how the two programs influence my weight and sleep habits. I asked my husband if he wanted me to link his programs. He admitted that logging his food was more fun than he wanted.

Will I succeed this time. Good question. STAY TUNED!



Once again I’m trying to find our house. Time spent at the camper last summer didn’t allow me the time or the energy to keep up with many things. When we came home, I did the necessary things — paid bills, washed clothes, shopped for food. Most of the mail stayed on the table unless it was important. Don’t laugh when I write that I think I left my energy and possibly my mind in the country.

Recently I have taken the time to look at my cookbooks. They have overflowed their shelves and are piled in many places. I’m trying to shift through, eliminate some and make room for the new. I’m reminded at how much has changed. I found two books that where covered in dust — evidently not used in many years. They were both French cooking. I don’t ever remember making a recipe from either — they are going on to new homes. Not that I’m getting rid of my French style cookbooks — I still have two Julia Child, one Jacques Pepin and a huge, table sized book starring both chefs. Going through the books, I’m reminded of many changes in my life. Once upon a time I used to preserve food — I have many books on canning. I don’t know if I will ever use them again but I’m not ready to part with them either.

Weight loss is another subject that is well represented. Then I find all the books that are concerned with sodium and cholesterol. Nutritional information became an issue. I started adding more vegetables to my diet. We purchased a microwave and I had to learn a new style of cooking. More equipment joined our kitchen — a food processor, a wok, a clay pot, a crockpot, an electric grill, and a bread machine. Of course, there are cookbooks for each among my stash.

Recently I’ve been able to part with the electric grill, seldom used — they have grill pans now — much easier to clean. I still have my George Forman grill but seldom use it. Cleaning is the issue. I have sent my wok onto a new home — I use a large fry pan that fits beautifully on our stove without my upsetting its balance.

I have just begun the search through the books. Who knows what else I will find.

Time passes quickly — my father has been gone over twenty years. Today is his birthday. I recently bought a Fitbit Charger Hr. My old pedometer kept falling off. I was afraid I would lose it, then it stopped working. The Fitbit vibrates when I have walked over ten thousand steps. It also tracks the amount of sleep I get. Last night was only 5 hours — no wonder I’m tired.

About 9:30 PM, I glanced at the number of steps I had walked. The total was 9,930. The gauntlet was thrown down. Would I stay at that number of steps or reach 10,000? What do you think? Happy birthday Dad!


I have written that I’m never alone. I don’t see, feel or hear those that are with me. In fact, most of the time I forget that I have companions. Our youngest daughter invited my husband and I to accompany her family on a short trip to Aruba. Our passport was still good, we grateful said yes.

On the trip down, we arrived at the airport three hours in advance only to learn that the ticket agents didn’t start work until after 4:00 AM. Less than two hours before our flight. I wasn’t able to confirm our tickets because we were returning on a different airline. The ticket agent needed to see our passport. After going through security, I managed to lose my boarding pass. A through search left it hidden. Thankfully I was able to get a new one at the gate. My husband had a window seat on the plane, and I had the seat next to him for the short flight to Atlanta.

We had enough time to get lunch before boarding our next plane. On the five hour trip to Aruba, the plane wasn’t packed, we had an empty seat and our granddaughter was able to join us so she could watch the Star Wars movie.

Our grandson was celebrating his birthday — the personnel at the restaurant on site blew up balloons and made a banner for the occasion. Happy birthday and a cake with sparklers highlighted the occasion.

Arriving in Aruba, my son in law asked what fish was local. The response was barracuda. He asked the concierge to inquire with the various restaurants to learn were the fish would be served. Reservations were made at the Aqua Grill, only to learn on arrival that they haven’t had barracuda in over a year. When asked what other local fish was available, we learned that they had Wahoo. It wasn’t on the menu but the chef prepared it for our son-in-law. He graciously shared — it was delicious. At a different restaurant the night we were leaving, I had Wahoo. Sadly, although expensive, it wasn’t as well prepared as the first night.

I won’t bore you with the details of our trip, only the special experiences. A Food Store was located within walking distance. My husband and I took a rolling suitcase and wandered to the store. After getting directions again after going in the wrong direction, we followed a couple down the WET, rocky, narrow path to the store. I got a thorn in my shoe. The next day, my daughter and I visited the store again. This time we found a wider path, still rocky but not wet.

The night before leaving, I got lost returning to our condo, and discovered a chapel on site. It was locked for the evening, but I stopped for a visit before leaving for the airport on Good Friday. A beautiful statue of Our Lady graced table by the window. I don’t know Her title, but she wore a crown. I said a prayer for a safe return trip. We learned that Aruba, a Catholic country shuts down to observe Good Friday. Even the gas stations are closed.

We were advised to allow three hours to clear customs, security and the gate at the airport. We needed every minute plus more. The lines went on forever. I had hurt my little toe and my knee was yelling. Standing in all the lines didn’t help. We had 15 minutes before boarding to a completely packed airplane in order to get something to eat. I didn’t have enough time to buy a bottle of water. My husband and I had seats together but our daughter’s family was scattered throughout the plane. We exchanged our seats with our daughter so she could sit with our granddaughter. I had a middle seat, but arriving at the seat, I was asked if I wouldn’t mind changing for an aisle seat so her husband could sit with her family. Surprise, the aisle seat was located right next to my daughter. Thirsty, knee and toe hurting — I remembered it was Good Friday and offered up the discomfort.

Thankfully we had time to eat and buy water before our connecting flight. Still seated in the middle but thankfully my seat companions were slender.

Easter Sunday — I found $20 laying on the sidewalk when I took Robin for a walk before going to Mass where I learned that a friend had passed on Good Friday. I wasn’t surprised that he had passed, he had health issues for years. I was surprised that I had heard — they had moved out of our neighborhood many years ago.


Our youngest daughter invited her parents (US) to accompany them to an island offshore. We needed passports – luckily we had them, still good for two more years. The weather on the island is summer, the weather at home is winter. It will still be cool to cold when we return. All of our summer clothes are stored away for the cold months. While it is tempting to switch the clothes, we will need cold weather clothes when we return.

Planning is the fun part of the trip. Looking for clothes is NOT! Question: Will they fit? I wish I could say that my weight is down, sadly it is not. I’m going to try — very hard to keep the amount of clothes to a minimum. Spring clothes has appeared in the stores. Shopping anyone? And of course, I need to leave room in the suitcase for treasures found on the island.

Not only do I have to plan the clothing, I also need to plan for our diet needs. We have never visited before but I’m told they will have food my husband will enjoy eating. I don’t know what foods will be available that will fit our needs. My husband is diabetic, I buy a low sugar grape jelly for him. Will I be able to get it there? I’m sure I will pack a bottle of jelly as well as his sugar. I’m sodium restricted. What do I need to bring for me? I’m also sure I will bring an assortment of my herbal tea.

Talking about our trip at our exercise class, I have received some good information. I really don’t want to bring an extra five pounds of body weight back with me.

I called two of our credit cards to alert them to our travelling plans. I learned that one has an up charge of 3% on purchases. I learned that the other has no up charge. I think I know which one we will be using. My husband and I each carry a different card just in case one gets lost or compromised.

Planning, planning — flying — enjoying — flying — then quickly home. Planning extends the time for the trip. Just can’t go crazy.

I knew that I had planned to buy something from the store. I forgot to write it down. No surprise, I didn’t remember. I thought of stuff I might have needed. Even though I picked the stuff up, it didn’t feel that I had bought the missing item. Walking down the aisle, a mother asked her daughter to help her get tissue. I would say that a gong went off in my head but I would be exaggerating — BUT her statement reminded me that tissue was what I needed. “THANK YOU!”

I guess it is pretty evident that I haven’t traveled out of the US in a very long time. Still planning, I stopped at the beauty shop to get a haircut. The hairdresser mentioned the cost of phone calls offshore. I hadn’t thought of it. Later, calling the phone company I learned there is an up charge of $2.50 a minute. FOREWARNED. “THANK YOU!”

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