Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘Creative’

BITS AND PIECES

BITS AND PIECES

I have learned that it is helpful if I write myself notes. During the summer when we travel back and forth from the city to the country I never remember what supplies I have on hand at either place. I have to admit that I’m better at noting the food and supplies at the camper than at home. It helps for packing.

Since I’m determined to do more cooking at the camper this summer, I brought many of the spices that were called for in the recipes I planned to try. Finding a container to store the spices in and making TWO lists has been helpful. One list is in the container, the other travels with me. I also have to admit that spices hid, and I now have extras.

After the winter, I discovered that some changes I made during the last summer have skipped my memory. I brought painting supplies out to the camper, but it was only AFTER I bought new sketch books for my grandchildren that I found a container with colored pencils, water color pencils and sketch books hiding in a closet.

I recently pulled down a box that contained a cooking appliance that completely slipped my memory. I must have bought it when we traveled in the motor home. It is designed for cooking for two — omelets, steaks, sandwiches, even pizza. It not only has directions, cooking pans and a cook book. I must admit that it is repacked. Will I use it this year? Will I donate it? Good questions — no answers.

I remembered that we had a motorized air pump. I knew where it had rested, I didn’t know where it had moved. UNTIL I decided to pack afghans away in a tub. Surprise — the tub contained not only the missing pump but also the missing inflatable mattress.

When I moved a cookie sheet and a wooden cutting board that I use for cleaning fish, I wrote a note and put it on the frig. That was a few years ago. The note is still there but every Spring I look for the cookie sheet and find my note.

Our house is much bigger than the camper. Just think of all the things that are waiting to be discovered. It doesn’t help that over the years I have been involved in many crafts and have the supplies needed for each. Maybe this Fall and Winter I will explore the nooks and crannies in the house.

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SEWING MACHINE

I thought it would be EASY to fix a pulled seam on my husband’s shorts. It should have been. It should have taken me one half hour tops, including taking out the sewing machine and setting it up. The reality was that it took more than three hours. During that time I had to call on my husband two times for HELP!

Okay, first I’ll admit that I haven’t used the sewing machine in years. To tell the truth, I don’t remember how many years it has been since I last used it. I made Christmas presents — not sure which present it was. I used to use the machine often — square dance clothes, Halloween costumes, tote bags. It was my friend. Together we accomplished many things. The memories of those times kept me trying to get the machine to work right.

First the pressure foot didn’t seem to hold the material. I thought the machine might need to be oiled — first call to my husband. He knows how to oil machines. Thankfully we had oil that would work. I still had the instruction book that showed which parts needed to be oiled. A little bit of oil and the pressure foot held the fabric and moved it through. SUCCESS!

For a minute. Then a needle broke. I FOUND a new needle! The instruction book showed the steps for threading the machine. The newly threaded machine broke the thread. MANY TIMES! I could NOT figure out what I was doing wrong. Time passed. It had been a rainy day, then the sun came out. Opportunity’s to go out — Rib Fest — Blues Fest — beckoned.

EXCEPT — Have I mentioned that I’m stubborn. I did not want to put the machine away in pieces or not working right. I DID NOT WANT TO GIVE UP. Time passed. The thread traveled through the machine the way it was supposed to. Then the bobbin thread started to bunch up and tangle. I didn’t do anything to the bobbin thread! WHY? Taking the bobbin assembly out of the machine has NEVER been easy for me! SOME THINGS DON’T CHANGE.

Finally — machine back together, I adjusted the stitch length and it WORKED! Fixed my husbands shorts, fixed a pair of my own, and a blouse and a rain coat. SUCCESS! Of course it was too late to go out and play. Truth be told — my legs were sore from the day before. I had such an enjoyable time at the Blues Fest — there was no way I could repeat it.

I was able to put my friend — the machine — away in good condition. I always acknowledge that “I have friends in high places.” Evidently it was best for me to stay home and they “helped!”

LITTLE THINGS

It is the littler things that slip through the cracks!

Sunday was the feast of Pentecost — the day the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples in the closed room and changed their lives. I find that feast significant because I realized that I am celebrating my six year anniversary of Wandering With Spirit this month. I can’t say that the blog has changed my life — but maybe it has. If I don’t write on a regular basis, if I don’t have something scheduled to publish every week, my life becomes more interesting than I want it to. More things go wrong. I’m REMINDED that I have work to do. Since I am always on the lookout for a writing idea, I might pay more attention to my life.

One of my favorite sayings is: “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him/Her your plans,” I had been at the Garden the day before. I had many steps on my pedometer. I planned to do NOTHING. The phone rang at 8:10. It was I Dot — we have a transponder that allows us to speed through the tollway gates at a decent speed, not wait in line forever. It was a present to my husband a few years ago. Now I was told it wasn’t working. We would be charged a cash car rate any time we went through. Camping season is starting. We use the tollways a lot. I learned where an office was. I learned that the battery might have run out. The number I received for our credit card didn’t match. I had no idea where the number came from. The one thing I did know — WE HAD TO GO FOR A DRIVE AND SOLVE THE PROBLEM. It was an easy solution. The battery on our transponder had run out, we just needed a new one.

On the way home, I suggested we stop at Wal-Mart so I could try on some shorts. I’ve noticed that my old ones are slipping down. It is most uncomfortable. I planned to order from a catalogue, but in order to do so, I needed to know my size. I tried on a smaller size and IT FIT. My husband suggested I buy a second swimsuit for back up. I like to exercise every weekday at the camper. If my suit is still wet, it is too cold to wear again. I saw a swimsuit that I thought might work. It has to be one piece, two pieces DON’T WORK for exercising. The hanger had my size so I tried it on. I looked at the tag on the swimsuit — it was the smaller size. HAPPY!

I picked up frozen pizzas at the store. My husband put them in the downstairs basement for me — saving my knees. I found them on Friday morning in the fridge — not the freezer. When I asked him — he said I told him to put them there???? Saturday, we went to a steakhouse to celebrate Mother’s day. He drove a different way, and said that was how he always goes. ????

One plus one didn’t add up. I was becoming concerned. On Sunday — Pentecost — I said a couple of prayers — asking God to “help” my husband. My father had Alzheimer’s disease. I REALLY DIDN’T WANT my husband to be affected. I decided that I wasn’t going to worry. Hands off — God was in charge.

Walking home from church — I noticed a shiny lilac object lying on the ground. I almost passed by. Then I backed up and took another look. It was a lilac sparkling gem in a hanging earring. It had a stopper to keep it from falling out of the ear. It reminded me that the night before, I had lost the backing on one of my crystal earrings but luckily the earring had not fallen out.

THANK YOU! Enough said.

DAILY HELP

If you read my thought rambles on a regular basis you know a few things about me. First, you know that I am aware of “friends in high places” who help me with my life. Not a day goes by that I don’t notice their involvement if I am paying attention. Second, I have mentioned many times that I neither see nor hear them. Their messages get through in many different ways. I randomly open the bible each morning — eyes closed, pick a verse. I’ll admit that I’m not pleased when I open to Job, or to Daniel “in the furnace”. That usually means that there is trouble ahead or that I’m experiencing difficulties at the moment. Sometimes I open to one of the verses that remind me I have a job to do. Isaiah 42: “Here is my servant whom I uphold.” I don’t memorize verses so I can’t quote others that pop up regularly . But “Whom shall I send” or “I’ve known you before you were born,” are often in my sight. They usually are reminders that I have work to do, a thought ramble to write or — pay attention, someone needs your help.

My second book of the morning is Queen Of Angels by Janice T. Connell. I don’t remember the year I acquired it, it was after my father passed over. I attended a book signing at Transitions, met the author, listened to her stories and bought the book. I am often reminded that I am doing too much: “Cure For Overwork, or Suffering Turned to Joy — hello pain. Sometimes I’m reminded that I have “help”. “Angels Turned to Playmates and Confidants.”

My third practice of the morning is to open my Inner Reflections calendar randomly. It is comprised of 52 photographs with writing by Paramahansa Yogananda, a spiritual teacher of the 20th century. I also first acquired the calendar at Transitions and even though the store is closed, I regularly order a new calendar each year. Looking through it, I was amazed at the number of times I have opened to different photos with their words of wisdom. I always date the photo on the day it is picked. Some have many dates noted, others have only one or two.

Just for the fun of it I have just finished flipping through the calendar and noting the number of times I have visited each page. Of 52 photographs I have visited 14 photos a number of 214 times. I have many favorites, but I can state that they are not usually the ones I pick for the day. The highest total was 28, the day after my mother’s birthday. It is a photo of a glasswinged butterfly on oleander flowers. The message is: “Love only what is beautiful and pure … See, hear, smell, taste, and touch only what is good …..” Most of the messages revolve around LOVE or follow the path or helping others.

REMEMBER

Life is so busy, that it is very easy to forget things that have happened in my life. For the most part, I remember important stuff — MAYBE. As I wrote the last sentence I was reminded that I just forgot our anniversary. I wasn’t the only one. My husband did too. But I try to remember birthdays, and holidays.

This morning, I opened my Queen of Angels book to a holy card — St. Theresa. The number of people in my life that are battling cancer has increased — they are in my daily prayers. At the moment I couldn’t think of a special intention that I hadn’t been praying for. The state of our world is in my DAILY prayers. Then I remembered when I received a rose on the front porch — it had me confused! When I think of it, it still has me confused. I wrote the story in Journey With Me — ROSES WITH THE MORNING PAPER.

Remembering Journey — the reason I wrote the stories in the book was because my friend’s son asked me how I had become so aware. Could I teach him? Evidently I’m still trying to help people become aware.

I hope my experiences help you to notice the “help” you receive from the other side. I often remember the big things that happen in my life. I don’t always remember the little things. I try VERY HARD not to remember the hurtful stuff — sometimes that is harder to do.

I have read that many times one thing that occurred in the life of a saint, fed the rest of their life. Many things occur in my life, THANKFULLY — because I’m not like the saints. It seems that I need constant “help” or reassurance that what I’m doing is important. Or I need a constant supply of ideas to write about.

When I’m writing something that the editors do not like, and they interfere with the saving of the ramble it gets my attention. When I’ve taken a break from writing and the waters in my life become stormy, it gets my attention. Since I like peace, and calm waters, I try very hard to keep a steady flow of thought rambles ready to publish.

And I’m often reminded of Abraham — God’s promise to him. Why this promise is important to me, I have no idea. I’m sure time will tell.

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I wish you joy and happiness. I wish you health. I wish that we will have a world that is safe for not only us but our children, and future generations. I wish we will have clean air to breath and clean water to drink. There are times when it feels like the world is going in the wrong direction but I’m hopeful it will change.

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!

NOTES

Two phones calls arrived on Sunday. The first was from a friend sharing the sad news that her sister had passed. It was not expected. She hadn’t been ill — in the hospital for some procedure. The second was from my husband’s older brother. We knew he had lung cancer, we didn’t know that the cancer had spread to his other lung and he didn’t plan to get more treatment.

I decided to send my book JOURNEY WITH ME to them. The stories in the book were written when my father first passed over to the other side. I was just beginning to recognize “help” from the other side. Since I was writing my first book TO PAP, WITH LOVE — I became VERY AWARE of the fact that I had an unseen editor. Writing the book was challenging on two fronts. The first was in remembering the events that occurred in the right order. For the most part I hadn’t kept a journal during my father’s illness. Sometimes I wrote a few notes which were a great help but most of the events relied on my memory. The second front involved “my editors.” I had TROUBLE in the writing — sentences disappeared, computer shut off, printing a hard copy became impossible at times. I don’t know if I kept notes on all the fun I had writing and rewriting the book. When I finally finished I tried without success to get a publisher. I ended up publishing the book myself through IUNIVERSE — an online publishing company that only prints books to order.

The great thing about publishing through IUNIVERSE was not only the affordability and the professional help, but the books are still available. Not only TO PAP, WITH LOVE but also JOURNEY WITH ME from Amazon. I found TO PAP, WITH LOVE quickly — JOURNEY WITH ME was harder. I needed to add the author’s name to the search.

Before I mailed JOURNEY, I decided to read some of the stories I had included. Some were very familiar. I was in the process of taking a class in creative writing at our city college. Some of the stories were written for the class. Others came from incidents that I included in TO PAP, expanded into more of a story. Others were brand new — no longer in my memory. I realized that if I wanted to get the books in the mail, I needed to stop reading and mail. I decided to read the last stories before mailing the books. TaDum TaDum TaDum included my husband’s second cancer surgery. I included a sentence that stated I knew why he needed chemo again because of a dream I had. ?????? What dream? What message? CONFUSED!

Since the writing was at the end of JOURNEY I knew the timeline it might have come from. For many years I have kept a daily engagement calendar. I guessed on the date of the dream and thankfully found a tiny note. Because there was a long time frame from the discovery of the cancer and the removal, there was more time for the cancer to spread. I referred to it in my notes as weeds. There was also a note from the dream on eating more vegetarian meals to help control my weight.

I was glad that I found the note on the dream. It would have bothered me. I have to admit that I’m still not good on taking notes. I either think I will remember (WRONG) or hide them from myself. I thought that discovering the importance from notes might make me more apt to take them, but the reality is that it won’t.

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