Random Acts of "Kindness"

NOT THIRTY

I don’t know if I will ever regain my flexibility. I don’t know if I will ever be able to get down onto the floor and easily get back up. I don’t know if I my knees will work like they did when I was young. A couple of years ago I DID NOT feel my age or even really remember it. Sadly the restrictions that I’m experiencing because of my aching body parts remind me that the years have flown by. I have discovered that water exercise is VERY GOOD for me. Our campground has it every weekday morning. If we are at the camper and the day is dry, temperature 70 or above, I’ll be in the pool.

The person who volunteers to lead the exercise has a GREAT routine that helps many of my body’s issues. Weights are available but I have learned that it is better for my shoulder to just use my body weight instead. I have also learned what leg exercises to do and which ones hurt rather than help.

Sounds positive right? Our instructor had to miss a session and arranged for a certified instructor to teach the class. She does water Zumba also. Her warm up exercises where high energy. I should have been paying attention. I WASN’T. I thought moving quickly the width of the pool would be okay. I WAS WRONG. It didn’t take much time before I had a pain in my knee. “You can do this”, I told myself. It wasn’t too much longer when I realized I could not keep up with her. I also wasn’t able to do the gentle exercises my body was used to. I hadn’t acknowledged my limitations. I left half way through the session. By then I realized that not only did I hurt my knee but the pain traveled down to my ankle. I’M NOT THIRTY ANYMORE, OR EVEN SIXTY. It has taken more than two weeks to get my body parts back into the shape they were before. Soon we are leaving for the city. We will be back but will there still be water exercise? I KNOW I’M NOT DOING ZUMBA.

Recently a man came in to the exercise hour. He did not WANT TO EXERCISE,. He wanted to swim — first in the deep by the diving board, then in the deeper water. Before we knew it, he was swimming in the shallower part of the pool, underwater near me. I told him if he wanted to swim, he needed to go into the deep. His actions brought back a memory. Last year a man swam underwater near me, catching my leg and almost removing it. I’m still dealing with the effects of that accident. That probably explains why I don’t go to the open swim. That also explains why I’m having more trouble with the knee — water exercise is helping make it better.

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CATS TOO

When I wrote a thought ramble about Barnaby, the cat which chose us on Independence day, I chose to publish it on Aug. 5. At that time I didn’t know that the local high school was planning for a three day performance of CATS, the musical. I’m familiar with the play and the music. I have enjoyed it performed by professionals on the stage two times. Watching Cats again sounded like a good time. CATS — the play was on Aug. 6.

If I said I was impressed, it would be an understatement. I had NEVER attended a performance in the high school before. I found the store that was selling tickets and was asked which seat I preferred. I didn’t know I would be able to chose a seat. I thought I would be seating on bleachers or folding chairs. I was WRONG. The person selling the tickets suggested that I might like an aisle seat. Worked for me! This way I could easily move for the others in my row. I was given D1. Four rows from the stage.

The theater vied with other professional venues. Seats were comfortable, temperature cool enough and audio excellent. The high school has put on summer performances for many years. Although we have spent many years at our campground — the plays at the high school didn’t catch my attention until now. I asked the director if all the cast were students — I learned the ages of the actors ranged from 14 to 70. It is a community enterprise.

One of the life guards at our pool was in the cast. She has performed in five previous plays. I knew which cat she portrayed and enjoyed following her character. I took the opportunity on Monday to inquire about other various performances that caught my attention. The woman who sang Memories had an amazing voice as did a few of the other performers.

I will keep my eyes open in July of 2018. If at all possible, I would love to go to another play at the high school. Great venue, professional cast and affordable seats — count me in!

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!

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