Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for April, 2019

AIR FRYER

I just have to share. I am having the BEST TIME! I have been cooking for more years than I care to count. I have developed many recipes that are staples in our house. Saying that, I must confess that I have gotten bored with many of the recipes I make. I have heard of two different cooking programs that two of our daughters are enrolled in. If I was working, IF I had more money, I might be tempted to enroll in one of the programs. They give you a list of meals that are available for the week. You pick out the meals that you want delivered, and the complete meal is delivered to your house. Most of the items needed are included with instructions for preparation.

So why am I writing such a glowing report on these programs? I looked at our daughter’s menu book and realized that although many of the meals looked DELICIOUS, my husband WOULD NOT want to eat any of them. Maybe it is a good thing that I don’t have extra money to spend.

On the other hand, I really like to cook. I just need inspiration. Enter a cookbook I found last summer for the slow cooker. Everything I made from the recipes was delicious. The slow cooker allows me to prepare the food in the morning when I have energy and finish it in the evening when the energy is gone.

Next appliance in our house was the instant pot — along with five (5) new cookbooks. Paging through the recipes, looking for ideas. MANY have been successful. The problems come when I don’t really read the ingredients or interpret the instructions. I have doubled ingredients or used apple cider vinegar instead of apple juice. I bought an Air Fryer in October. It sat in it’s box until March. I didn’t make anything in it until April. I made roasted chicken breast. It was fantastic! I was hooked. The appliance is easy to use and even easier to clean.

When we visited our daughter in Central Illinois, we visited Barnes and Noble. I came home with TWO (2) new cookbooks for the Instant Pot. One its the Healthy Air Fryer. It had a recipe for Blooming Onion. I remember having the onion when I was young at a joint that had peanut shells on the floor. It was delicious.

I made it last night. I had a couple of issues in the preparation but considering I was tired, I’m ready to make and eat it AGAIN. There are many more new recipes to try in my newer cook books. It is not one of the home chefs programs, doesn’t come delivered with ingredients ready to cook, but new ideas — hopefully ones my husband will enjoy. I promised I would only experiment with his tummy one night a week.

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SEARCH

Since the end of February my husband has been searching for a new car to replace our Taurus. The Taurus is a 2001, with over 200,000 miles. It has served us well and I’m not really ready to get rid of it. But my husband is concerned on many issues. First it is the mileage on the car. Second it is my trouble getting in and out of the car. My knees don’t work as well as they used to. It takes me longer to get out of the car.

He has been searching for a SUV. He thinks I would have an easier time getting in and out of the car. The Internet and the computer has made the search more interesting. Not only can he look up the make, model and mileage of the car. He can also see the rating of the dealer.

For many reasons I have NOT been in a hurry to get a new car. First of course is money. Our budget is already strained and car payments would not be easy. I spent some time examining our resources and really did NOT come up with a good solution. Our son suggested to his sister’s that they help us get a new car. His suggestion was picked up by one of our daughter’s and my worries concerning money ended.

Still searching my husband spoke to a couple of car mechanics whom he trusted. They shared their knowledge, removing a couple of cars from my husband’s list. Cost of repairs being one.

And the search continued. I planned to go with my husband to look at a couple of the cars he found. The day he picked to go hunting, I only had three hours sleep and I was TIRED. Our son went with him instead. He said it worked out to their advantage because they told the salesman that I had to approve the car and I wasn’t with them. Therefore no high power sales pitch.

As it worked out, I wasn’t with my husband when he bought our new car. We were visiting our daughter in Central Illinois. After shopping in horse country, I stopped at a local store to get some supplies. My husband spoke to the woman in the car next to him. She used to sell cars and recommended he talk to a friend of hers at the Ford dealership. She spoke highly of the Ford Escape which was on his list.

I was tired from shopping when he and my daughter went to look at the cars. They came home with a beautiful red Escape. I had the pleasure of driving it half way home. I probably could have driven the whole way but once again I was TIRED! We stopped at the Ford dealership to get some information. I met the saleswoman and shared information on some of the things that is helping my arthritis: Arthocin, bone broth and tart cherry juice. I also saw a flyer on the play: Sound Of Music, at a high school in their area. Our granddaughter was singing one of the songs when we visited.

I LOVE shopping with our friends in high places. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!

LOST GIRL

Don’t be alarmed. This thought ramble is not about a person who is actually missing. It is about me. I wonder who I was in the seventies.

What brought this up? You might ask. The answer is very simple. While our son was on a cruise with his sister and niece, I took advantage of the time and cleaned out the space under the stairs going to the attic. I found MANY TREASURES. So many in fact we scheduled a run to the Salvation Army store. Our trunk was completely FILLED. And now there is more stuff ready to go.

It must have been in the seventies. My father was attending a weekly auction. He also had rented a space at the flea market. He picked up stuff to sell. He stored the stuff under the stairs going to the attic. I just FOUND 3 lamps. I also found a bag of wrapped beverage glasses. The glasses are fine, the bag ripped when I picked it up. They are now waiting in a box to go to a new home.

I found a football. I found a basket ball. I found 5 rolling suitcases and a suit bag. Some stuff left. Some stuff remained. When we were in square dancing, I made many of our outfits. I found bags upon bags of material. A woman of many talents I found zodiac signs embroidered in yarn — not a complete set — 5 or 6 finished. I have NO IDEA what plans I had for them.

I also found bags upon bags of yarn. Some contained projects that were in the works but not finished — a western vest? Lovely wool! A cobalt blue sweater, with huge needles, not finished. The magazines for both projects packed with the yarn.

I also found an interesting dazzle yarn coat — fringe — tied in the webbing. The colors are BRIGHT — hot pink, orange, golden yellow, avocado green made to fit a much smaller person than I am now. I couldn’t get rid of it then, I can’t get rid of it now. I have NO IDEA what possessed me to make it. The coat is FINISHED. Like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon — I have changed. I used to be very shy, not going out of my way to speak to people. I’m definitely NOT that person now. I can’t imagine myself, in the 70’s wearing that coat. If it fit, I don’t know if I would have the courage to wear that coat now!

In the 70’s, I wasn’t aware of the extra gifts I possessed. My father was alive and healthy. We had four children. I was working, adding to household money. We had a camper, escaping to the country on weekends. Recently my husband realized that I have been a caretaker all my life. And he is absolutely right! My mother, brother and others were probably busy helping behind the scenes but I was unaware of their presence.

On a beautiful Saturday, I took a walk to our park. I’m still trying to increase the number of steps to be ready for Hawaii. I heard music on the air and searched for the source. A retired gentleman was playing an alto sax. A woman was standing near by when I approached and told her I was going to interrupt his playing. I wanted to tell him how much I enjoyed it.

He has only been playing for 6 years. It was one of the things he wanted to learn to do when he retire. He also thought about writing. I mentioned that I was a writer, by this time the woman had joined us. She was a professional writer, writing for magazines and a newspaper. When I mentioned my crazy coat, she remembered that fringed yarn was all the rage in the 70’s. Answer — I guess that is why I made the coat?

HELPING HAND

I’ll admit that I was TIRED. VERY TIRED. We were watching our daughter’s dogs : Tessa, A King Charles Spaniel and Luna, a young black lab puppy while our daughter’s family took a much needed vacation. Luna was FULL of energy and wanted to go out about every two hours. Tessa LIKED to sleep with us. Her breed is a lap dog, very good for keeping bodies warm. Luna, on the other hand, is everything a puppy should be. Loving and full of mischief. We were able to convince her that she should sleep on a dog pillow in the room off our bedroom, NOT ON OUR BED! It worked out fine. She could find me in the wee hours of the morning when she needed to go out. The first day she was with us, we let her have access to too much water. The second day we started restricting it. By the time they went home, Luna only needed to go out once in the wee hours.

Thursday the day had begun challenging. I wanted to pay our electric bill. I didn’t remember receiving it and phoned. I had an old bill to get our account number and the phone number. When it came time to pay the bill, the old bill had disappeared. ?? I found an even older bill in the shredding bucket. Both my husband and I had doctor appointments later in the day. I had trouble paying for parking at the meter. I finally decided that walking a bit further was a good option. I was concerned that my blood pressure would be high. I knew I was already stressed. Before leaving home I had Tension Tamer Tea, then a cup of Chamomile Mint for good measure. I was concerned that my blood pressure would be HIGH! My children wanted me to ask our doctor about my knees. Confirmed — I have arthritis. I also asked about my stiff neck. He showed me an exercise to do to help loosen it and also prescribed a muscle relaxant. Thankfully my blood pressure wasn’t high. I received a few prescriptions that I needed to pick up on Friday. Since we had extra dogs, a young one that liked to get into trouble, I went by myself.

I must have looked extremely OLD and very tired. Before leaving home, I tried to boost my energy with coffee and tea. It didn’t really work. My plans called for two more stores besides Costco. At Aldi’s, I thought I picked a parking space that would allow enough room to open the door and exit. I had TROUBLE — my legs didn’t want to bend. They got stuck. The woman in the car next to me must have noticed my problems, she started her car, backed up enough for me to open the door completely, then moved back into her spot. Amazed, I was EXTREMELY GRATEFUL!

Trader Joe’s was my next stop. No problems finding a parking spot that allowed me to exit the car. Still room to get back in the driver’s seat when I returned from shopping. I decided to take the cart back. Returning to the car I realized I should have exited at the ramp, instead of the higher curb. Assessing the situation, I decided to move back to the ramp when TWO ASIAN woman came by and offered me a steadying arm to descend. Once again, I was EXTREMELY GRATEFUL. I LOVE it when I have help shopping. THANK YOU!

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