Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘dogs’

HARMONICA

My father loved to play the harmonica. Thinking back, I really can’t remember the songs he played. I’m sure they were old favorites. My grandmother was a very religious woman — Methodist or ?. I’m sure she would NOT have allowed modern music. A music radio station played religious songs all day. Our dogs did NOT like the sound of the harmonica, it hurt their ears. So Dad did not play it often.

Why am I remembering his playing now. That is easy to say this morning. Yesterday I went downtown to the Blues Fest. I did NOT recognize any of the names of the performers. The transit worker at the train station told me that Friday had the best music. I thought I might stay later than planned.

Listening to the weather on TV before I left, I heard that it was 60 by the lake. I dressed for cool — sweat shirt and heavier jacket. I try not to carry a purse so I loaded up the jacket pockets with necessary items. I restricted myself to no credit card and only $10 in cash. My knees were yelling — Motrin and cream were necessary. This was Chicago’s 36 year hosting the Blues Fest. I LOVE MUSIC! I didn’t go for many of the years. Then I realized that the possibility of my husband going with me was slim and if I was going to go — I had to go by myself. My pins date back to 2007.

I ALWAYS have a good time. I knew that if I stayed home, I would be unhappy with myself. Sore knees, cool temperatures, I was going. It was NOT as cold as I heard on the TV. I was ROASTING! I would have bought a tee shirt BUT I didn’t bring enough money, no credit card either.

I found a comfortable place under a tent, with chairs! The sides were pulled back to let in the breeze. I did NOT recognize the performer but I was comfortable. One of my favorite sounds in the blues is the harmonica (harp). Credit goes to my father. The musician Grady Champion was a joy to listen to. As a matter of fact, when his set was over, I was ready to go home.

I decided to refill my water bottle and stop in the bathroom before the trip home. The program at the bandshell started at 5. Since it was after 4, I decided to listen a bit before going home. I had trouble understanding the words in the tent, I was hoping the sound system at the bandshell would be better. IT WAS!

Not only was the sound better, I could understand the words. My sweatshirt and jacket came in handy. I was comfortable. I got a fantastic surprise. The artist: Charlie Musselwhite was a MASTER at his craft. He played the harp EXTREMELY well. I would easily have bought one of his CD’s if I had cash or a credit card. I stayed for the entire set. Before leaving, I bucked the line to tell him how much I enjoyed his playing.

Advertisements

ELEPHANT

Spring — our son invited me to accompany him to Hawaii. My husband has gone to the island twice before but he DOES NOT LIKE the EIGHT HOUR plane ride. I can truthfully say that it is not something I enjoy, but I do ENJOY HAWAII. We left Robin at home with my husband. She is not happy when the whole family is not home.

My husband took her with him whenever he left the house. She slept with him most nights, right up against his side. He spoiled her as well as himself — cake, doughnuts, ICE CREAM. Whether he had any ice cream or not, Robin received a nightly bowl. He also shared his supper with her.

We were only in Hawaii 5 nights — short trip. About night two, I thought of Robin at home, and realized that a present was in order. We were in Waikiki, plenty of opportunities to shop, BUT no toys for dogs. I had a quest, which made shopping more interesting.

My son and I like to hang out at Waikiki beach, people watch — surfers and bathers — eat pork nachos and share. In other words, take a break from the get up and run. I asked many people if there was a place to buy a toy for a dog. In many of the shops I wandered in, I asked if they had dog toys. I didn’t get good information until someone mentioned Ross. In the park, I noticed a young dog running free. I also noticed a stroller waiting for the dog after he tired himself out. I wandered over, asked as few questions, and heard the name Ross. I saw many dogs in strollers on our walks. I also saw a woman on a motor driven chair with a dog on a leash.

Our son found the store on his morning walk. I did not hesitate, the next trip to the beach, we found Ross. I quickly located the pet department and found a lovely elephant. It is very similar to Robin’s favorite Zebra. Detagged and packed, it was ready for the trip home.

I’m happy to report that we were only home about half an hour before I pulled the elephant out of my suitcase. HAPPY, HAPPY DOG! Racing through the house at top speed for a couple of minutes. It is her favorite toy at the moment.

The last time my husband and I left her, I came home with a toy but she was MAD at us. In fact, ignored the toy for a couple of days. Thankfully this time was different.

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!

THWARTED

This word WAS NOT part of my vocabulary. It wandered into my mind. After checking to confirm that is was a word, I decided it was an excellent title for a thought ramble. Especially after the happenings in my life in January and February. Thwarted: “Block or Hinder. To keep from doing.”

Perhaps I should explain. In January I received an invitation to join Deepak Chopra for a 4 week meditation. I have tried to do his three week meditations in the past and although I still have trouble meditating, I thought I should keep trying. My schedule was clear — I thought I would be able to do it for four weeks. The first day, I connected to the meditation. That was the end of my success. Communication with the HELP desk didn’t help. From experience I knew I was being BLOCKED. WHY? No answer.

At the end of January the reason became apparent. Our 9 year old granddaughter’s migraines and thunder boomers had increased to such an extent that her mother took her to Diamond Clinic at St. Joseph hospital in Chicago. Her brother and their two dogs, one a black lab 4 month old puppy, stayed with us. When her father and brother returned home, I suggested the dogs stay with us. The puppy was excellent, just a puppy, forever hungry and wanting to play. All of Robin’s toys, in various states of togetherness, occupied the whole house. I quickly decided that exercise was NOT an option.

I was surprised at the number of states that the patients at St. Joseph came from. Diamond clinic must be very well known and we are blessed to have it in Chicago. Patients came from as far away as California and Georgia. Tennessee, Ohio and Missouri were also represented. Sadly the treatment didn’t get rid of my granddaughters headaches, although they might be better. I must admit that the house was quiet when the dogs left.

Our life returned to normal, right? WRONG! I’m still trying to catch up on sleep. Our winter weather mix is still continuing. Last Sunday was the first Sunday I attended Mass since Christmas. I don’t wander out when it is icy, nor do I drive. Watching the weather systems and shopping between them describes both January and February.

Shopping has presented its own challenges. I recently returned from Wal-Mart without half of my groceries. One bag was missing. Checking my receipt to get the phone number, I noticed that the items missing were not charged. ?? If there is an explanation, I don’t know what it is.

Sadly, I don’t keep good notes. I don’t write down the number of frustrations that are in each day. I read recently that I should note the co-incidences that occur in my life. I laughed. Co-incidences — DAILY? I don’t write down the number of times my brain doesn’t remember stuff. In other words, I don’t remember all of the times that thwarted fit the day. I’m sure it was a lot!

BACKWARD MORNING

Morning — what a lovely word if I have gotten a good nights sleep. Not so lovely when I am tired, want to stay in bed but know I have to get up. Or tired, but can’t go back to sleep. I have learned it makes no sense to lie in bed when the body is hurting. I don’t turn on the light when I get up. I always choose what I am wearing the night before. This morning everything I put on was put on backward. HOW? Clothes didn’t feel right. Took off and tried a different direction. Now often I’ll put on something backward or inside out but EVERYTHING? I was tempted to go back to bed.

If you have read my thought rambles for any length of time, you understand that my “job” is too share the happenings in my life, hopefully involving “spirit”. If I don’t write on a timely basis sleeping and life become more interesting. I often get hit on the head like I did this morning. I tried a couple of days ago but all I saw was a blank screen. I could NOT come up with a title. The title was given to me this morning when getting dressed became a challenge.

Since the morning was challenging — I hit my head on a hanging cabinet. I forgot the door was open. Oops! Oww! Rain was expected, arriving momentarily, I took Robin for a morning walk. Had a cup of coffee. Delayed starting the day — Bible, Queen of Angels. I usually plan the evening meal before getting out of bed in the morning. NO IDEA! I knew I’m in trouble. Have to write — no inspiration.

I acquired NINE (9) cookbooks since September — Instant pot, hot pot. I opened each one at random looking for an idea. The very first one showed a lovely picture of Apple Balsamic Chicken. but I continued looking through the rest. I found two more recipes that might work for our family — one a soup, the other meat I don’t have in the house. I’ll need to cook many more days. I was dragging my feet, delaying opening the computer.

Looking for a notebook to write the suggestions in, I found a notebook that I used in 2017. It had a few notes from 2018 also. I had wondered what was going on last Christmas. Why had I not baked cookies? Why had I not bought Christmas cards or lights on sale? Some of the answers were there. I would have gladly read through all of the written pages but that would not have solved the problem of needing a thought ramble to publish.

I received two gifts for Christmas that I didn’t mention. The first was laughter — I don’t know where it came from or who was responsible but I found a 2″ plastic minnow on the sink in our upstairs bathroom. ??
Christmas morning, Facebook picked, just for me, a lovely story about a little girl who wrote a letter to God about her Lab that went to heaven. A response arrived, along with a Mr. Rogers book. I don’t know who shared it with me, but I shared it with my family. My daughter’s golden retriever went home in October, her cancer had progressed.

ALARM CLOCK

A week doesn’t go by before someone in our household mentions how unique, Robin, our dog is. We took her for training when she first joined our household. She is too smart. She listens when she wants to. We are the ones who became trained.

We have had many dogs before Robin. I tried counting them a while back — eleven or twelve, not counting Tammy’s puppies that only lived with us until they found new homes. We have had many different breeds — most of them mixed. Parentage undetermined. All of them were special.

We still have our large home. My husband would like to sell our house and move into a smaller place in the country. We still have a bedroom for guests. Or should I say that Robin has her own room. She prefers to sleep by herself. Many of our previous dogs slept with us, on our bed or on the couch on the first floor. If we are in the country she sleeps either on the couch or one of the chairs or under our bed. She likes her bed to have the covers in place, so she can rearrange them to her liking. If the beds are unmade, she remains on the floor. Our son said she is imitating us. We curl up under the covers when it is chilly.

Robin doesn’t wear a watch. But she tells time. She knows when it is time for her supper. Her tummy is probably empty. She knows when it is time for our son to come home from work. Alert, she maintains a post on the radiator, watching the outside sidewalk. She also knows when it is time for our supper. She pesters our son until he comes down stairs to eat.

She is not old. We got her as a rescue when she was a puppy. She is probably five or six years old. But she lives with senior citizens. Our son isn’t a senior but he isn’t a young kid either. She still runs fast, but she doesn’t run as long. Nor does she play as long as when she was young. She loves her new toys but she often pulls out one of her beloved, chewed relics.

She LOVES to go for walks. Check out the neighborhood. Squirrel hunt with our son. She will do her business in the back yard in the wee hours of the morning if necessary, but otherwise, she has to be out walking. She knows the time for her walks. Early in the morning, unless she went out in the wee hours, then she has TO SLEEP IN! She will come down with my husband in the nine or ten o’clock hour. She has to go out around noon, after she has her supper, after we have our supper, around eight or nine o’clock and then before midnight. Most of those times is not to do anything of purpose, just to check on the neighborhood.

By now you must be wondering why I’m writing about her. The main reason is that she made me laugh the other night. She pestered and pestered our son until he came downstairs. She didn’t have to go out. She wanted our son to have his cereal before bed. So she could have his milk.

SLEEP

When I was young, I seldom had trouble sleeping. As a matter of fact, I usually was able to sleep for 8 hours or more. Having children didn’t change my ability to sleep. I usually slept soundly, through the sounds of the city — fire engines, ambulances, police cars. I woke if my children needed me, but other than that, I slept on.

That is until my father was affected by Alzheimer’s disease. I became a light sleeper, waking at sounds in the household. I was still able to sleep through the street noise. Of course, working — needing to be on the road at 7:00 AM changed my ability to sleep late. Normal time to wake in the morning became 6.

Robin doesn’t realize that she is a dog. She thinks she is people — like us. We get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. She should be able to do the same. Sadly she has gotten into the habit of needing to go out almost every night. Of course we do too. I won’t write down how many times a night we get up. Robin needed to go out at 3:30 in the morning. She woke me up — I am under orders to wake my husband. He can go back to sleep. I have problems. And she did all of her business, no messing around. She has gotten older — she wanted to go back to sleep. BUT I DIDN’T.

I was still awake at 4:00. My right hamstring was hurting. I must have stressed it during the night. I tried the various rubs and pills I take to help me sleep. Next it was my left ankle itching. I tried various creams without success. It continued to itch. I took a couple of Motrin. It was 4:44 and I was still awake.

I laid with eyes closed on the bed and tried deep breathing. Hamstring felt better, ankle still itched. Then the corner of my left eye began itching. What do you do when an eye is itching? QUESTIONS! WHY? What is going on? Why can’t I go back to sleep?

Finally I was able to fall back to sleep. I stayed in bed until 7, an hour later than usual.

Tag Cloud