Random Acts of "Kindness"

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EAT TO LIVE

It is no secret — I’m always trying to lose weight. It has every thing to do with my knees hurting and my desire to get some of my weight off of them. I continue to try new things that might help. Since I’m no longer young and eat a healthy diet, it is not as easy as giving up soda and snacks. Because of various body parts, I can’t do the exercises I did was I was younger and more flexible. I’m always looking for a new diet plan or cookbook that will help me attain my goal.

Before we went to the camper the last time, I saw EAT TO LIVE, by Joel Fuhrman at Costco. When I picked the book up, I was impressed by the nutritional information. The recipes were quick to prepare, high on protein and low on sodium. Everything I need in a cookbook.

So far I have made four recipes from the book of 141 — one was a soup, two were salads. The only one that didn’t work to my expectation, was my fault. the soup and the salads were filling. I wasn’t hungry after lunch, looking for other stuff to eat. Did I lose any weight? I’m not sure. When we are at the camper, we eat out regularly and I consume more sodium than I should. The temperature has been in the 80’s. Do I drink enough water? Many questions — no good answers.

I enjoyed everything that I made. I found it helpful to have a salad in the fridge, ready to eat when I came home from the pool. I have planned not only to make the same recipes again, but I have looked through the book looking for more.

I have been going to aquacize on a regular basis. As long as I pay attention to the exercises, make sure I’m not stressing my shoulder or my knee, it seems to be good for my shoulder and for my knee. I’m having an easier time walking.

I tried on a dress I bought in Aruba last year, I couldn’t wear it, my tummy got in the way. I tried it on last night, it is now a possibility. That is PROGRESS!

CAT

We have had a number of cats when our children were small. At the present time, our home belongs to only one dog. But she shared it for a couple of days with a cat. Let me tell you a story — that was very real.

We were at our camper in the country on Independence Day. I was just getting ready to go to bed, it was after 10 PM. I heard a meow, followed by another meow. It wasn’t very loud, just persistent. I turned on the outside lights by our room addition and saw a small black and white cat. I turned the lights back off, determined to ignore the voice. But it was persistent. My husband came to look too. Our dog was interested. It was such a small cat and crying. Both my husband and I have a soft spot in our hearts for animals.

I got some of Robin’s small beef dog food pellets. Cat ate it all gone — instantly. I brought out a small bowl of milk — gone. I thought since cat had its snack — it would leave. Go back about it’s business. Wrong!

I couldn’t fall asleep. About 1:00 AM, I was in the kitchen and I heard a meow. Cat was on our porch — Robin was barking at the door. My husband finally put Robin on a leash and took her out to meet cat. The meeting went very well. Cat rolled on its back and waited for Robin’s inspection. Cat stayed outside, Robin came inside and we went to bed. I hoped cat would continue on its way or go back to who ever was feeding it. WRONG!

I was up at 5:00 AM and curious, I looked outside to see if cat was still there. I saw a small black and white cat cross our yard, headed for the porch. So did Robin. She started barking and crying. She wanted her friend. I put out a bowl of food and a bowl of water. Both were instantly gone. I picked cat up to check for fleas and saw NONE.

Cat found a safe place to sleep on our deck. I don’t know how long life would have continued in that pattern but it was Wednesday and we had to go home on Friday. Cat didn’t act like a wild cat. It was too calm, too loving. I figured it belonged to someone so I called the gate to inquire if anyone was missing a cat. NOPE?
What to do with cat?

Finally 7:00 AM rolled around. I phoned our oldest daughter to see if they were open to adopting another cat — they already had two plus a dog. Thankfully they were. She suggested we take it to a Vet and see if it had a chip. Nope! Robin chased cat and it ran. I thought it had left. NOPE! Just hanging out under our trailer. Cat escaped from the crate I had it in, almost escaped from my arms. We discovered it didn’t have a chip, he was a male and had all of his parts. He found a safe place to sleep inside, in a corner under a table. Robin watched him sleep. We bought a cardboard carrying case from the Vet and took him to our daughter’s on Friday. He was so sweet, such a lover — he would have had a home with us if our daughter hadn’t said they would take him.

He is a VERY LUCKY CAT — He has a home with people who will give him the love he deserves. They even have a dog. The Vet inspection turned up infected eyes, ringworm, chipped tooth and sore toe. Even the vet commented on how loving he is. Now he has a name — Barnaby and is quarantined for ten days. Then he will get his shots and be neutered. Cats get angel help too! Welcome to the family!

CUT OFF

If there is an explanation for the sequence of events that occurred on the last Tuesday in June, I don’t know what it is. Maybe if I write it down, I can make some sense of it. Or maybe, it will just remain a mystery.

First, my husband had made an appointment to take our car in Tuesday night for repairs. We were in the country, with only one car. Friends who might have helped us had gone home. I thought we could use my son’s black scooter as a second vehicle. My husband could drive it to the garage and I would bring him back in the car. Then he would have a vehicle to drive back to the camper after dropping the car off. It would have worked. EXCEPT, the black scooter refused to start. I called for service on the black scooter.

Next, we learned that there had been a major hacking of the computer systems at some of the hospitals. That wouldn’t affect us because we had no health issues scheduled EXCEPT our cell phones went down. Neither my flip top nor my husbands smart phone had service. We don’t have internet at our trailer. When I went down to a place the internet was available their computer network was not operational either. ??

I have a small blue scooter that was made in 1987. I only ride it at the campground and it doesn’t go fast — but it doesn’t need to. My son DID NOT THINK my husband should ride it on the highway. I walked over to a friends and asked it they would be able to provide taxi service. I was very happy when they agreed.

My husband took my blue scooter for a ride. It shut off five times in a distance of a mile. I called for repair service on my blue scooter.

I was worried that one of our children would try to contact us and be worried when they couldn’t. Thankfully our campground sent out a message that cell phone service was down.

Normally I’m not tied to our cell phone or our computer BUT I had a different feeling when we were shut off. HELPLESS? ABANDONED? Thankfully we didn’t have any major problems at the time.

AWAKENED

I had a most interesting week — in a weeks time I have revisited many of the talents and interests I had over the years. Many of them slipped by the wayside without my noticing it. Too busy, too many other things occupying my time. Years ago, I belonged to the Nature Club at our campground. This week, Sunday, I attended a presentation on a wetland area that is only a few miles from our campground. Even though it has been there for quite a few years, I was completely unaware of its existence. The person giving the presentation had interesting slides of the plants, animals and insects that inhabited the area.

Two days later, I saw a member I knew from the Nature Club at a restaurant. The very next day, I ran into another person who had helped me with the float on a parade. The back to back experiences reminded me of not only the fun I used to have, but also how much I have forgotten. Too many years have passed!

That same day, I attended a colored pencil drawing program hosted by the nature club. I haven’t drawn in years — not that I have ever been very skilled. I picked a flower to capture on a wood panel. All the supplies and pencils were provided. The experience reminded me of when I first started painting 30 years ago. It was an invitational program put on by the campground. Bring your body and talent and we will provide the rest. My rendition of that painting opened up a new world for me. I didn’t think I could paint — I was proved wrong. Thankfully the technique I learned this week was easy to adapt and the flower I colored surprised me. Instead of hiding in a drawer, it is occupying a space on our wall. My family thinks I should pick up my paint brushes again. They may be right.

While I was occupied with colored pencils, I learned of nature activities coming up on the weekend. A nature hike and later, a nature presentation of life in early America. Both sounded interesting — I planned to attend. Then I WORRIED. Would I be able to walk on a two mile hike? Would my knees allow me to do it? I decided that I would hike as far as I could then walk back and leave.

I didn’t need to worry. I arrived at the prearranged spot and saw the leader putting down a plastic ground cover. The plan was to DRAW, then hike. I WONDERED HOW not only would I get DOWN on the ground, HOW would I get back UP?

I needn’t have worried. The leader asked me to wait, he had something in the car for me. HE DID! He had his mother’s wooden folding chair. I WAS VERY COMFORTABLE. I still couldn’t draw — a bird, copied out of one of his books. (My grandson could have done better!) A tree — some resemblance but nothing to brag about. I think I will try to pick up his suggestion and DRAW every day.

The presentation — EXCELLENT! I convinced my husband to accompany me. He was glad that I did. Brian “Fox” Ellis became Prince Maximilian in 1832. I was reminded of the many hours I spent in storytelling.

The only thing missing was writing. OH! I GUESS I’M DOING IT NOW!

Years ago we had bird feeders hanging in our yard. A hummingbird visited a few weeks ago — reminding me. This weekend, we hung up hummingbird feeders. We had a visit from either one hummingbird twice or two separate hummingbirds. WELCOME. ( I have plants that are beneficial for hummingbirds in my garden. The feeder is more permanent.)

TIMING

It never ceases to amaze me — too many times to count — I am at the right place at the right time to either help someone or be helped in return. Maybe I will accidentally meet someone on the street who I haven’t seen in a long time. Or I will hear something that helps to solve a problem or question that is bothering me.

We are at the camper. This week I took our dog, Robin, for a morning walk. Standing in the middle of the path, I came face to face with a yearling deer. (My best estimate of its age.) It was very interested not only in myself, but in Robin too. Now I don’t know if Robin saw the deer, she didn’t bark or pull on her leash. The deer just stood in the middle of the path and twitched its ears. Of course, I kept up a running conversation on my end. We got close enough that if I would have had a long shadow, it would have touched before the deer jumped off the path. Then Robin wanted to chase.

I will admit that I’m not sure what is occurring. Today is the anniversary of my Mother’s birth. Am I receiving “HELP?”
I haven’t put in special spacing or changed the font to italics but that is what is appearing on my screen.

Do I make God laugh? That seems to be my mission in life. I tell God my plans, LAUGHTER — things change.

Just because — I’m going to ramble on. I’m most interested in the formatting of the thought ramble! It will be most interesting when I publish it, to see what it turns out to be.

This morning, I took Robin for a walk. This time she didn’t refuse to walk, didn’t stop and lay down, but continued down the trail. This morning I totally enjoyed picking black caps (black raspberries)along the trail, freshly washed from the morning rain.
I stopped to fill my scooter with gas at the service center and said hello to an old acquaintance. As I passed him, I noticed that his face seemed thinner. I turned the scooter around and went back for a chat. I was correct in my thinking. He was 30 pounds thinner, having had surgery for a valve that was in trouble. It was allowing his lungs to fill up with fluid. He also had four blockages fixed. I can see his daughter’s “help” with this surgery. She passed more than fifteen years ago from Leukemia. I’ve known the family for years. It didn’t surprise me when he remarked that his mother in law was out, at 88 years young, pushing a broom on the deck this morning.

I think this thought ramble is long enough. It will be interesting to see how it saves and what formatting it publishes in.

One last thought, last year I heard that a restaurant had the best pizza. It was at the end of the year and since my husband does not like pizza, I didn’t stop. This year I had an occasion to stop. I ordered a personal pan pizza to share with my grandson. A) he is ALWAYS hungry. B) He would remind me of sodium, and help me stay relatively safe.
IT WAS DELICIOUS!

The strange formatting is still on the copy of this thought ramble before I uploaded it but it changed to normal on wordpress. I guess it was just for my confusion!

ON THE ROAD

We have a 2001 Ford Taurus. The mileage on the car is approaching 200,000. And our car is showing its age. Recently the low coolant light came on. We were headed for our youngest daughter’s house — 3 hours away. We bought a bottle of coolant at the gas station and proceeded on our way. We were at our daughter’s for a full week but we don’t have a relationship established with a repair garage down there. My husband thought that if we kept adding water, we would be okay. And we were. We even traveled to horse country — another 60 miles away.

Returning from our daughter’s we ran into HORRIBLE TRAFFIC. It was Friday, the Cubs had a game and there was a festival on the lake. It took over an hour, driving in the city, to reach our house. The low coolant light came on during the drive but the car continued to run, the heat register didn’t go into dangerous territory.

We were going to wait until we went out to the camper — 100 miles from home — to have the car fixed but the problem seemed to get worse. We needed a new water pump and a new hose. My husband thought we NEEDED a new car but he wanted to reach 200,000 miles. In spite of a few bumps and wrinkles, our car was in good shape.

We drove our fixed car to North Chicago, to visit a doctor. NO PROBLEMS. The next day my husband drove to get mulch for the back yard. The car was smoking on the return trip. I was at the EL platform, heading downtown to buy a sticker for our car when my husband phoned and told me not to go. I hadn’t brought my house keys with me. Returning home, I saw him cross the alley as I approached our block.

The NEW water pump put too much pressure on the OLD HOSES. More work needed. Hopefully that is all the repairs our car will need for a while. I’m hoping that it will continue to run well for at least a year.

FREE FALL

I don’t know what happened! Normally I’m very careful with money. When I use plastic, I note the charge in one of our checkbooks. I keep a running total of our Visa charge so I’m not caught off guard when the bill comes in. That is my normal accounting practice. That is NOT what happened this month.

I forgot to note the charge for our rental car when we drove to Texas. I forgot to note the charges we incurred for part of the trip. When I finally figured out how to cover those expenses, when I phoned the credit card to make sure their balance agreed with my records, I learned that the bill was $300 higher than I expected. Evidently the money I spent on the first of June must have been free because I did not record it anywhere. I found the receipts. They were where I always keep them. Why they were filed but not recorded is anybody’s guess. It is beyond me.

I know we were planning the next day to go to Central Illinois to watch our grandchildren for a week. That doesn’t explain why I would have neglected to note the charges I incurred.

The only thing that I can think of to blame was that all the traveling caught up to me and I was exhausted. Of course, I knew I was tired. I thought I was being very careful. Of course now I know that I was wrong. Hopefully that absent mindedness won’t happen again. If that is what occurs with Alzheimer’s disease I want no part of it. That I was so careless is scary.

I don’t think there is any way I can recapture my youth, but I can try to allow more days in between travel to recuperate. I can continue with my plan to try to lose weight, exercise and regain the use of more of my body parts. Thankfully my lapse involved a credit card — not the debit card and a bank balance. I don’t like checks to bounce.

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