Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for April, 2017

NOTES

Two phones calls arrived on Sunday. The first was from a friend sharing the sad news that her sister had passed. It was not expected. She hadn’t been ill — in the hospital for some procedure. The second was from my husband’s older brother. We knew he had lung cancer, we didn’t know that the cancer had spread to his other lung and he didn’t plan to get more treatment.

I decided to send my book JOURNEY WITH ME to them. The stories in the book were written when my father first passed over to the other side. I was just beginning to recognize “help” from the other side. Since I was writing my first book TO PAP, WITH LOVE — I became VERY AWARE of the fact that I had an unseen editor. Writing the book was challenging on two fronts. The first was in remembering the events that occurred in the right order. For the most part I hadn’t kept a journal during my father’s illness. Sometimes I wrote a few notes which were a great help but most of the events relied on my memory. The second front involved “my editors.” I had TROUBLE in the writing — sentences disappeared, computer shut off, printing a hard copy became impossible at times. I don’t know if I kept notes on all the fun I had writing and rewriting the book. When I finally finished I tried without success to get a publisher. I ended up publishing the book myself through IUNIVERSE — an online publishing company that only prints books to order.

The great thing about publishing through IUNIVERSE was not only the affordability and the professional help, but the books are still available. Not only TO PAP, WITH LOVE but also JOURNEY WITH ME from Amazon. I found TO PAP, WITH LOVE quickly — JOURNEY WITH ME was harder. I needed to add the author’s name to the search.

Before I mailed JOURNEY, I decided to read some of the stories I had included. Some were very familiar. I was in the process of taking a class in creative writing at our city college. Some of the stories were written for the class. Others came from incidents that I included in TO PAP, expanded into more of a story. Others were brand new — no longer in my memory. I realized that if I wanted to get the books in the mail, I needed to stop reading and mail. I decided to read the last stories before mailing the books. TaDum TaDum TaDum included my husband’s second cancer surgery. I included a sentence that stated I knew why he needed chemo again because of a dream I had. ?????? What dream? What message? CONFUSED!

Since the writing was at the end of JOURNEY I knew the timeline it might have come from. For many years I have kept a daily engagement calendar. I guessed on the date of the dream and thankfully found a tiny note. Because there was a long time frame from the discovery of the cancer and the removal, there was more time for the cancer to spread. I referred to it in my notes as weeds. There was also a note from the dream on eating more vegetarian meals to help control my weight.

I was glad that I found the note on the dream. It would have bothered me. I have to admit that I’m still not good on taking notes. I either think I will remember (WRONG) or hide them from myself. I thought that discovering the importance from notes might make me more apt to take them, but the reality is that it won’t.

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WOMAN AT THE WELL

I’m a practicing Catholic. As I write this we are in the middle of Lent. Last week at the church in the country, the gospel revolved around the Samaritan Woman at the well. How she went into town and asked her town folk to come listen to Jesus. I’m rather familiar with the story since Peter, Paul, and Mary had a song Jesus Met The Woman. They are a favorite of mine. The pastor at the church in the country reminds me of the way our religion was practiced in times gone by. Saying the rosary, fasting, set prayers, preparing for Easter were all mentioned.

Today’s gospel revolved around the restoring of sight to the blind man. Today I was at our church in the city. The focus was on the upcoming Parish Mission and Stations of the Cross. The gospel homily reflected modern times. The contrast in the styles of the different homilies caught my attention. Now you are probably wondering why I’m spending time and energy writing about this. If you have read my last thought ramble titled OLDER, you might remember that I wrote about being confused — wondering just what I am supposed to do. Knowing that a message is out there, I just haven’t been able to decipher it. I had surmised that part of it concerns Angels as Playmates, another part concerns the importance of my family. I’m often at the right place, at the right time to share a story: Pap and The Pancake Turner: my father let me know that he was fine when he passed. Or the story of Shanae’s spirit running through our house. Recently I gave a copy of my book Journey With Me to a woman who had lost her only son and was trapped in grief.

My morning reading often refers to being chosen — the question is often asked “Who can I send?” So I’m wondering if I’m the woman at the well. If my thought rambles are meant to share information of life after death with anyone who wanders onto my page. This morning’s gospel: “blind but now I see” is interesting. I know that many years ago I crossed a bridge. I have a better understanding — I know that I’m never alone. I was blind, but now I see. I like that knowledge. My father passed over more than 25 years ago. I’m sure that he is often around. It is interesting how often I meet someone who is dealing with Alzheimer’s in their family. My mother was able to hide the fact that she “helped” me. Looking back, I can see times when I received “help”, especially when my father’s Alzheimer’s intensified. Since I neither see nor hear “my friends in high places” — my experiences might help you to recognize the “help” that you receive.

OLDER

I’m sure that something is going on. A message might be trying to get through but it isn’t clear. I haven’t the foggiest idea what, if anything, I’m supposed to do. Okay, have I confused you? Just what is it that I’m grumbling about?

In my morning readings I’m reminded “Trust God’s promises to you.” Abraham is popping up often. On the news — radio — TV — I’m reminded of people in their 100’s that are accomplishing amazing things. Recently on TV a 98 year old woman was featured playing Amazing Grace on a piano on the Grand Old Opera stage. She learned how to play as a girl, played for her classmates, got scared and NEVER performed in public again. I don’t know what program I was watching when I saw it. She was AMAZING — not only playing the notes but adding runs and other enhancements. Of course she received a standing ovation.

All of the people who are appearing haven’t reached their 100 birthday. I finished exercising one morning and turned the television back to a normal channel in order to listen to Jerry Lewis on his 91st birthday exercising his wit.

I get it! Age is not a factor in what a person can accomplish. My question is: “What am I supposed to do?” And of course there is no reply. Not that “I” hear — but since information comes to me in many different forms — I would think that I would get a hint of the task at hand. Instead I’m reminded that Angels are Playmates and Confidants or how important my family is to me.

And I agree to both of those statements but they don’t give me a hint as to the task at hand. Now I will admit that if I don’t have a thought ramble ready to publish my life becomes more complicated. Or I get hit on the head. Stuff still avalanches out of our freezer, sometimes falling on the floor, sometimes hitting me on the head or smashing on my feet — especially when I’m not wearing shoes.

So is the answer to my question that I’m just supposed to stay available to our family and make sure I have something written to publish once a week? I wish I could write that I have lots of energy and am accomplishing wonders in our house but I don’t like to lie. The truth is that the past few weeks have seen my lazy side. I’m exercising a little in the morning, a little in the evening. I’m walking Robin — it would be great to say 10,000 steps a day but I have trouble reaching 6,000. I could blame it on my knees — they don’t like the cold or the damp. For the most part I’m cooking — but if I can make something that lasts for a second meal I don’t mind.

Stay tuned — if I receive an answer, I’ll share.

CLOSET

When I was younger, if I wanted to lose weight, I would pick a diet, stay on it for a week or two and lose weight. Did you notice? I wrote when I was YOUNGER. Now I look at food, not even eat it and I gain weight. Heaven help me if I smell it. A slow cooker is a gift — prepare the food in the morning, set it to cook and eat it later in the evening when you are tired. Except — if you are home — the fragrance lingers in the rooms, promising good stuff to come. I have tried putting the slow cooker in the basement when Italian spices are included, as long as I stay out of the basement — it helps.

Weekly, monthly magazines always have a new plan, promising weight lose. I have tried a few — the weight loss promised never materializes. I haven’t given up though. Except I might FINALLY have realized what works for me. I wrote a few weeks back that the scale finally moved. It did — DOWN. It has been so long since my weight was down, I’m trying very hard to keep it off. But still live a normal (?) life.

I’m always captivated by a new recipe — especially for soup. Then of course I need to add my own spin. I usually end up with something that has no relationship to the original recipe but at the same time, I might not have liked that either. Since I’m sodium restricted, I eliminate salt and add spice. If I was smart, I would stay with the recipes I REALLY LIKE instead of experimenting with new stuff. Of course, I always say that when I’ve tried something new and missed the mark.

Realizing what works, noticing when weight has gone up and correcting immediately — I’m happy with the numbers I see in the morning. I’ve tried on a two piece bathing suit that I wore ONCE two years ago. Thankfully — this time I didn’t look like a seal AND I COULD GET THE TOP OFF. Last time I wore it, I was afraid I would be wearing it until it either fell off or I cut it off.

I’m still having 2 tablespoons of Braggs apple cider vinegar with honey in the morning and the evening. I’ve tried to increase the amount of water I drink. When I have too much sodium (ate out), I have a cup of dandelion tea — either root or detox. I’m still enjoying my red wine and dark chocolate along with 6 almonds in the morning.

Since I was so happy when I tried on the bathing suit — I tried on blouses that I received at Christmas that didn’t fit. Thankfully now — they DID. Caution to the wind, I tried on a jogging outfit that hung in my closet for too many years to count. IT FIT! I’m not giving up — I still would like to lose another pound or ten.

BELLY BAND

When we were at our daughter’s house in Central Illinois, I saw an advertisement on TV that caught my attention. The silhouette of a woman was shown who had tummy rolls similar to mine, another silhouette was shown of the same woman without the tummy rolls. At the time I just had caught a glimpse. I didn’t know what product they were advertising but I remembered the silhouettes.

Fast forward a couple of weeks when one of the catalogues had an advertisement for a belly band. When I investigated — seen on TV was mentioned. I thought it was for the commercial that had caught my interest. I learned it was available at Wal-Mart for a low cost. The next day the product was in my hands. On Tuesday the band was on my body. I wore it all day and needed a towel to dry off not only the band but my body. Wednesday I tried again. Only I only wore it half of the day. When I took it off both the band and my belly were drenched. I noticed I had a rash on both sides of my belly that ITCHED. My husband suggested I wear a tee shirt under the band to catch the water. I might try it.

For the time being, I’m going band less. The rash is getting better but I’m not sure if my whole body joined in the rebellion or the stuff I put on to control the itch caused a MAJOR REACTION. Either way I’m drinking plenty of water, avoiding creams, etc — giving time for my body to recover.

I would LOVE to lose what I’m laughing referring to as my inner tube. I don’t want to resort to surgery or other such methods. I would like my inner tube to melt. If I get down on the floor, I have an awful time getting back up. I’m not sure if tummy scrunches would work but I have added a few when I’m laying on the bed at night. That is where I have been doing my leg exercises.

I often share my successes, I thought I would share this pit fall too.

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