Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for October, 2018


I first wrote about Robin when she joined our life. The thought rambles said we had her for three months. We have had her now for a few years. She has grown, in size and weight. I can no longer easily pick her up. When she sits on my lap, I feel her weight. She went to obedience training and we are the ones trained. She is extremely smart and listens when she wants too.

We thought she was a border collie. We now believe that she is a rat terrier with a mix of blue healer for good measure. She originally came from Oklahoma were that breed is popular. Robin is very good at chasing squirrels and digging out moles. She would love to run with the deer in the country if we would only let her.

At first I thought she had a food allergy and had her on a restricted diet. Because I had a hard time getting her to eat, I started putting cheese on her food. Now spoiled, she won’t eat her dinner without cheese. She has definite preferences in the food we eat — ice cream, chicken., pizza, to name a few. She is very vocal when we don’t share. My husband has always shared his food with whatever dog is in the house at the time, Robin is no exception.

She must have had a hard childhood. She DOES NOT like to be left alone. She doesn’t like loud noises either. And HATES FIREWORKS AND THUNDER. When she was young and smaller, she slept with us.
Now she prefers to sleep by herself — in her own bed or if it is noisy, under our bed.

When she was younger, we took her to the dog park. She LOVED to run and play with the other dogs. Then she was taken down twice, by other dogs and her life changed. Now she has a few dog friends — but not many. She prefers smaller dogs. She is very vocal when she sees other dogs. Protecting us or herself?

We spent most of the last summer in the country. Robin loves to go for a ride in the car and most nights pestered until she went for a short one. She doesn’t go for rides as often in the city.

Robin still runs like the wind. She hasn’t lost any of her speed which is a good and a bad thing. I would have a hard time catching her when she is running. Recently she added a good ten years to my age. I recently learned that two of my cousins passed over. The next day I was thinking of how death comes in threes. Robin was on a rope across the street in the park. It was extremely windy and Robin didn’t want to be there. She did her best to escape the rope, and was successful. Collar still on her neck, she ran across the street in the path of an approaching small black car. I heard the thump and was afraid we had lost our dog. Thankfully she was just grazed by the front bumper and knocked into the ditch. She quickly recovered and ran across the street to the porch for safety.

Examining her body, I only saw two small areas — one on her muzzle and one on her foreleg where she had tangled with the car.



I have two cousins. They are brothers. They share the same mother but have different father’s. We are four years apart. Roy, the older brother, was born on August 18. Bob, the younger brother, was born October 18.

Roy had extreme allergies when he was young which affected his mental capabilities. Because of his asthma he never learned to drive but he knew maps and the streets. When he was young, he endured many tests for allergies and was able to change his diet to manage his attacks. His mother took him under her wing so that when she passed, he was able to live an independent life. He loved to go to Great America and ride the Eagle or other roller coasters. He learned how to get there on the train. He also liked to take tour buses and visit various places. He had a few friends who traveled with him to the covered bridges and other tours.

Bob, was eight years younger and had his own challenges. He married, and had both a son and a daughter. Both of the children married and moved out of state. Bob had problems with his health as he aged and had a knee replacement which had problems. Bob helped his brother with tasks that were too hard for him.

I was in the middle, difference of four years. I would love to say that we were very close but sadly that was not the case. As the years passed, we drifted apart. It was hard to get a hold of Roy, he had trouble hearing and often didn’t answer the phone. I had trouble getting a hold of Bob also. Life was busy.

We were in the country when I received the phone call that Bob had passed from a massive heart attack when he was at Wal-Mart. I knew he would have had immediate medical help. I learned that Roy had fallen and been taken to the hospital. The day after Bob died, Roy passed away.

I thought that Bob must have discovered how beautiful heaven was and called his brother to join him. The double passing made it harder for Bob’s wife. The rest of the details of the passing are private and will remain that way.

I wasn’t able to attend the services. We were in the country, a hundred miles away and our car’s check engine light had come on. We had an appointment for service on the day of the wake.


I don’t know what happened. I used to be able to easily turn my neck from side to side. I don’t know when my neck stiffened. Now it hurts to turn my neck. It is not easy to see to my side, lets not even discuss seeing behind me.

In July, I hurt the hamstring on my right leg — my driving leg. I DID NOT DRIVE for almost a month. It hurt to walk, so for over a month I didn’t do much of anything. At first, I tried to continue with the exercise in water. I soon learned that was not to my benefit. In water, not thinking, I made matters worse. My knees don’t like cold water either.

Trying to loosen my neck muscles, I’m wearing a magnetic necklace. Hopefully it will help. I only wear it during the day, taking it off at night. It is too early to tell if it is working. I’m not seeing any progress with neck exercises either.

Working on various body parts — knees, neck — I’m trying to do Tai Chi daily and 15 minutes of yoga. I’m enjoying a cup of chicken bone broth. It has glycine, an amino acid that helps form collagen, improves sleep quality, and relax blood vessels. I found one that is low in sodium.

My watch had been giving me problems. I use it to track the number of steps I get, and how long I slept. The day before I had charged my watch. On a shopping trip, I left Wal-Mart, looked at my watch and saw a blank screen. I turned around, returned to Wal-Mart and almost bought an apple watch until the clerk told me I had to have an apple phone. I have an old flip phone. I bought a Fitbit Vegas instead. Although I don’t have a smart phone, so far I’m really happy with my new watch. It reminds me to get up and move, and has an app that can be used to relax — 2 minute breathing exercise. More apps are available but I would need a smart phone to use them. My watch thinks I should run but I think my running days are over. It has an app to coach with exercises but I haven’t investigated it yet. At home we have the internet. I might be able to connect to it without a smart phone. At the camper, we do not have internet service. I’ve decided to wait until we close the camper for the year before I investigate more of the apps.

Evidently I’m receiving “help” and nudges to exercise. An Olde English Faire is scheduled in a couple of weeks. Weather permitting, walking stick in hand — I WANT TO GO!


I have visited the prairie at Natchusa for more years than I care to count. When I first wandered there in the 80’s, the only directions were paper plates with arrows. I think the prairie was huge — 400 acres. Gazing out from the top of the hill, I could see miles of tall grass waving in the wind. The only hint of modern times were the tall electric towers. I was young — able to walk the uneven terrain.

Fast forward 40 years. To say that I’m no longer young is an understatement. Natchusa has increased in size — more than 4000 acres. Three years ago, Bison were reintroduced to the prairie. The herd has grown, more land was set aside for their range. It is no longer possible to walk the acres of prairie.

The third Saturday of September is set aside as Autumn On The Prairie. Knowledgeable people donate their time for tours, demonstrations are scheduled, food is available. I have attended many third Saturdays over the years and I wanted to go. I knew that if my knees prevented my participation, I would be very upset.

Paying attention to my restrictions, I actually took a walking stick to help with the uneven terrain. We arrived early. I was surprised when I learned that a shuttle was available to take us from the parking lot to the entrance. I was impressed — changes had been made. There was a pump for water, a new sturdy bathroom — still chemical but spacious. The entrance now had an open roof with photos of the prairie and a history of its development. The pump, bathroom and entrance were brand new — just finished for the day.

Tickets were being given out for tours of the Bison. My husband got 140 and 141 for us. A shuttle was available to take us down to the Bison fence. Various carts were in service to take us out to the Bison. A person knowledgeable of the herd rode with each cart. The cart we were on had a ramp with a handhold. I COULD DO IT.

I will admit that I didn’t push myself to walk down or back up the hill. It was early in the day, the bison were curious — “Who were we?” — and came close enough to see them easily. We knew the temperature was climbing. The past few days had been in the 90’s with no wind. I was happy that we had not only arrived early but also got an early tour. So many people had arrived, more vehicles were pressed into service.

We stayed for a presentation by the group that saves hawks, falcons and owls. I gathered up my courage and walked up the hill along a path to the top of the hill. Signs were in place naming the various grasses and flowers. I didn’t press my ability and returned down the same path instead of walking through the tall grass.

Seeing the bison was interesting. An area in their habitat was fenced off so that the prairie without the Bison could be compared to their grazing land. Their area had tall flowers and short grass. The fenced in area had VERY TALL grass.

I was grateful that we went, grateful for the shuttles and VERY HAPPY that I was able to walk a tiny bit of the prairie. It was a beautiful day!

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