Random Acts of "Kindness"

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MOMENT IN TIME

Walking Robin in the early morning in the country, I had a unusual experience. The morning was cool, I needed a jacket. I felt like I had stepped back in time to a morning when our children were small. I was trying to cook breakfast on a two burner propane stove outside of our apache pop up camper in the country. I wasn’t skilled. It took me a long time to make breakfast. Just for a short moment I felt I was there.

Later in the day, I had a similar experience. Years later, I was preparing to can green beans or tomatoes. Standing at the stove, pressure cannier ready, jars ready for filling. Caps and tops in hot water. I still have ALL my equipment — pressure canneries, jars, caps. I’m not quite ready to get rid of them.

I have read of people who have had similar experiences. Normally these are not a part of my life. Remembering, I often think of various experiences but I don’t feel as if I am experiencing them again. One was unusual. Two — I can’t comment. I think I was puzzled but not scared.

I NEVER felt my age, to be honest, I didn’t remember how old I was. Sadly time has changed that. I don’t know if it is because of the trouble I’m having with my joints and other body parts. I don’t if it because of my weight. Many articles are currently appearing on the benefits of a vegetarian diet. I’m happy for those who are able to do that. I like most vegetables and enjoy some vegetarian dishes. I have learned that my body NEEDS MEAT! After my children were born, I requested Italian Beef sandwiches.

I recently fell. Thankfully I didn’t break anything. I might have stressed certain body parts. They are making their presence known. We had a small, personal table on our deck. I was placing a dogs collar on it when it collapsed, putting me off balance. After a few forward steps, I collapsed, face down. I didn’t break anything. THANK YOU, LORD.

Since my fall I’m craving beef. Hamburger, steak — doesn’t matter. Evidently there is something in the beef that my body NEEDS. I have had pork, chicken, cheese and beans. Plenty of protein. Doesn’t matter. I’m reminded of the commercial “Where’s the Beef”.

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BOUNCING OFF THE WALLS

Recently I was asked two interesting questions. First: Take a moment to review the various environments you were a part of in the course of last week. Second: How did you show up? What quality of energy did you project?

I was reminded of last Monday. I felt like I was bouncing off the walls. I had received a new Fit Bit watch and had spent an hour with a person at Fit Bit trying to get the new watch to connect. After an hour I thanked the gentleman for trying and said I would try again the next morning. I tried again the next morning without making the phone call. I’m not sure what the problem was. The watch would connect with the Fit Bit site, load partially, then stop. Over and Over and OVER AGAIN. I’m not sure how long I spent with the watch and my computer — solving NOTHING. Finally I took my computer to a different area in the house. Maybe the internet signal was stronger, I don’t know. IT FINALLY WORKED.

We were only in town for three days. I had many things that needed to be done. I didn’t feel I had the time to waste setting up the watch. I don’t use my watch for all of the programs that is listed but I do rely on it to calculate the number of steps I take a day and the amount of sleep I get.

Frustrated, I took Robin for a walk. I met a neighbor who I enjoy talking too. Except I don’t think she was too happy to see me that morning. Normally I’m calm and collected. “Monday I was a wild woman!” Best description was bouncing off the walls. Pure Frustration!

The day continued in that frustrating vein. Normally I get “HELP” from the other side. If I was receiving any, it was hidden. I wanted to deposit a couple of checks into our bank account. Normally I go inside BUT I was already running late. I went through the drive through. Our bank had just switched ownership. The deposit slip I had was from the old bank. To make matters more interesting, I couldn’t reach the transfer site from my car. I had to get out to make the transaction. Then fill out another slip of paper? I left the car parked in the drive through and went inside.

Thankfully next stop was no problem. I needed to refill prescriptions. They were ready. Stopping at the grocery store, the cart was pushed by the wind away from me once I had unloaded it. Thankfully a younger man chased it and brought it back.

I was VERY GLAD to get back home. My husband not only unloaded our car, but parked it for me.

DOG SITTING

Our plans for July changed. Because of the change in plans our youngest daughter asked if we could watch their dogs while they went on vacation. Watching their dogs at our home is no problem because we have a fenced in yard. Watching the dogs in the country is a little harder. None of the property is fenced, leaving acres of open land for running.

To make life more interesting, the temperature for the week reached an all time high. Night time temps were maybe 70, daytime hit the high 90’s with humidity adding to the discomfort. Feel like temperature was in the triple digits. The air was very still, barely a breeze.

We weren’t alone. Most of the neighboring states had a high heat warning. Dangerous temperatures for the young and the elderly. My husband and I learned our lesson the year before when high temperatures made us aware that we needed to be more careful. Sun screen was advised for the dog’s paws.

We have a large fenced deck, partially shaded by a roof. The ceiling fan keeps the air moving making it comfortable to sit outside unless it is really hot.

Thankfully we have a working air conditioner and working fans. The dogs didn’t like the hot weather either. They were very happy to remain inside in the cooler air. We had two lines on the deck to attach to their collars when they needed to be outside, off the deck.

Luna is a growing black Lab who is full of energy. She likes to be up before 6 and have her breakfast. She is a good alarm clock. She also makes a good rug, sleeping by my side of the bed on the floor. She thought the bed would be more comfortable but we didn’t agree. She is too strong for me to walk her.

Tessa, on the other hand, is a smaller, lighter King Charles Spaniel who believes she NEEDS to SLEEP with us. Since she is smaller, she almost squeezed through the slats on our porch to chase rabbits. She did escape one time and had a lovely run. It was in the early evening, and I watched a black streak passing up the hill. Thankfully she returned when the rabbit escaped.

In the morning, after I let the dogs out on their rope, I served breakfast. Then Robin and I went for a walk. Next it was Tessa’s turn. Luna watched from the grass, keeping an eye on our progress.

THANK YOU ARLENE

I have to admit that I was undecided. I watch my sodium but when we eat out, I have NO control over the salt that is added for seasoning. I try the best I can to make smart decisions. Eating out caused my weight to go up 3 lbs. The temperature increased and the weight hung on. And MY KNEES HURT!

I’ve read that one pound of weight puts 4 pounds of pressure on the knees. In my lifetime I have tried so many diets that promised a lot and did not deliver. If I’m honest, I have to admit that when I’m stressed, I nibble. I try to stay with food that is healthy, but that doesn’t always happen.

I was trying to figure out what to do about my weight. Of course more exercise would help but my body parts are not helping right now. I decided that watching my food intake would be a good decision. But what should I do? Everything I thought of didn’t seem right. I DIDN’T WANT to start a diet.

In the midst of this turmoil, my husband’s sister phoned. She is older. She SUCCESSFULLY LOST more than 30 lbs in less than a year. Thankfully health problems didn’t cause the loss. She ate more vegetables and fruit. She walked more and stopped eating after 6.00 PM. She restricted her beverage after 6 to ice water.

Sounded good to me. Except I can’t stop eating after 6. But I decided to WATCH sodium, try to get more protein and walk more. Several health articles have emphasized additional protein for senior citizens. The amount of protein suggested is 100gm.

Restricting sodium is not EASY. If I have shredded wheat for breakfast, no sodium is in the cereal. Cheese is high in protein but it is also high in sodium. Thankfully Swiss cheese is lower but is still high in protein. Bread is very high in sodium, but some crackers are low and the new sandwich thins are also lower than bread.

Drinking more water helped. I LOST the three pounds of water weight. Just in time because the temperature heated up. We had a week of temperatures that were in the high 90’s.

Sadly once the water weight was gone, weight loss stopped.

MEMORY LANE

We came home from the camper on Tuesday. We weren’t home very long — maybe a half hour when our phone rang. It was a person that I have known for many years but don’t speak to often. I was happy that I was at home to talk to her.

Wednesday morning, I found a cookbook published in 2004 at our campground. A new one is being compiled this year and I was curious what recipes I had shared before. Looking through the cookbook, I found four recipes that I had submitted. One recipe for chocolate frosting I had forgotten. One recipe I had resubmitted. I also found many recipes submitted by friends who no longer camp there. One written for a rum cake brought laughter.

Back in the city, I had shopping to do. While I was at the store I overheard a woman mention she wanted to wait for the mother of a child that she had taught in school many years ago. She recognized the child. When I asked how she knew the child, she mentioned she had a good memory, the mother had posted pictures on Facebook.

Leaving the store, I passed a younger gentleman who asked me how I was, addressing me by name. He used my name two more times. Evidently he knew me. His face was vaguely familiar but I couldn’t place him. I mentioned that he looked familiar but I didn’t know where I knew him. He told me that he knew me from Unique, a clothing store that has been gone for more than 10 years. I did not work at the store, although I probably shopped there often. My memory is not what it used to be. I was surprised that he remembered me.

Later that evening, I found an exercise DVD that I had searched for at the camper and at home unsuccessfully. I also found two books that I had forgotten. Both books will go out to the camper for reading when the temperature climbs again.

While we were still at the camper, I realized I had NOT planned meals. The summer before, I had used our slow cooker often, keeping the heat outside. Making the supper when I had energy in the morning, having supper ready at night when I was tired.

INGENUITY

RAIN, Rain, rain and more rain. Just watch my garden grow. And IT DID! Because of the rain, we stayed in the city. Our neighbor’s rain gauge measured more than 8 inches in May. It measured more than 1 inch , one week in June. Our garden grew. So did the WEEDS.

Once upon a time I had no problem kneeling to pull weeds. Sadly that is no longer the case. If I get down, I have a hard time getting back up. Not to mention that my knees LOUDLY PROTEST kneeling on them. To make life even more interesting, the weather changed from comfortable temperatures in the 60’s to uncomfortable 90’s. When I was younger, the high temperatures didn’t bother me. Sadly my body isn’t as flexible as it used to be.

PROBLEM — WEEDS, FERNS, ground cover, thistles –EVERYWHERE. Even with the wet ground, they were not easy to pull. I needed equipment. I needed to get down into the ground to get the roots up. I needed to be able to kneel or sit on the ground. NEITHER was an option.

When we lost a huge tree in the tornado, we kept two pieces of the trunk. They stand on either side of the steps going up to the deck. When I stood next to the trunk, I used the tree for support and balance. Moving away from the trunk, my balance was a bit shaky. I decided to bring a cane out to the camper. While I was thinking about the cane, I remembered a walking stick my husband made for me many years ago. I found it standing right next to the microwave, waiting to be used.

The rain brought mosquitoes. I was forewarned about the problem in an e-mail. The person who warned me mentioned she used a hat, covered by netting to protect her face from the bugs when she walked her dog. Still at home, I ordered the netting and found a hat. I was set. Except at our campground they spray for mosquitoes. The second day we were there, I heard a helicopter spraying the lakes.

Mosquitoes might not be as big of as problem, but the flies still were. In fact they LIKED my ears. The hat helped. It protected me from mosquitoes and flies. It provided a little bit of shade for my face. I could easily see through the screening. The netting was long enough that I could tuck it into the front and back of my shirt.

The hat didn’t help with the temperatures. I tried to work in the garden before the temperature climbed. I quickly discovered that wind made a BIG difference. If a breeze blew, it was more comfortable. I got a timer and set it for 10 – 15 minutes. Sometimes I stopped before the timer went off. Sometimes I didn’t hear the timer. Sometimes the roots were too strong for me.

Thankfully my husband took pity on me and HELPED!

MAGICAL

Our oldest daughter challenged the family to spend five minutes each day drawing. She discovered an APP that provides a new subject for a drawing each day. Slowly the members of my family have signed up to play.

I probably helped when I shared a tidbit from Woman’s World that reported from the journal Neurology that woman who create art stimulate their brain cells, making them 79% less likely to develop degenerative brain disease such as dementia. Since my father had Alzheimer’s disease, keeping my brain active is very important to me. I’m already experiencing some forgetfulness. Words like to hide when I want to use them.

When I signed up, I didn’t know I would need a user name. Brain froze, couldn’t think of anything interesting or creative. Evidently as with this Blog, it was something I was supposed to do. Name was accepted.

I didn’t know that I could paint until I was in my 40’s. The campground provided an opportunity to paint — bring your body, they would provide instruction and supplies. I DID, I was so impressed by my painting, I was hooked. For years I put oil paint on canvas, exploring the world. I ran out of wall space, and my husband developed breathing problems. I stopped.

My family has been pestering me to start painting again. I’m trying acrylics which doesn’t leave an odor. It dries quickly. I have not finished many paintings. Subjects have been hiding. My imagination is asleep. I WAS NEVER GOOD AT DRAWING! A group in the country gets together to paint, but it has been raining and we have been in the city.

New challenge. I have looked at sketches submitted by my children and grandchildren and am impressed. Of course, my ability to sketch might improve if I practice. My daughters have reminded me that they have been practicing for YEARS.

Today’s theme was Magical. Magic to me is a baby. I tried to sketch a child — definitely nothing to write home about. I decided to submit it anyway. After I did, I received an award for my first sketch. I couldn’t pick out the subject. It was just a rectangle of color. I chose the colors I liked the best. I was surprised when the image surfaced of a black cat.

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