Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘Exercise’

SHIRTS

Finally, after months, weeks, days of cloudy, chilly weather — a sunny weekend was forecast. My husband and I plus dog –” Robin”, planned to go to the camper. Our son planned to come out on Saturday. My cell phone rang Friday night. My son was very upset. I had taken his NEW shirts, seven in all to be dry cleaned. We have an old house — over a hundred years and the water is leaving a residue on our clothes when they are washed. Our son DID NOT want to wear spotted shirts on his new role.

On Tuesday, I had taken seven shirts to be dry cleaned. He stopped to pick them up on Thursday but they weren’t ready. We left for the Camper Friday morning. Friday evening the dry cleaner still didn’t have his shirts. To say that our son was angry would be an understatement. Not only did he not have his shirts — they were brand new. He would have to BUY MORE! Plans for the camper were CANCELLED!

Saturday morning the cleaner found his shirts. They had been there all the time, just were miss filed. But it was already late in the day. He was still going to stay home.

Saturday afternoon, Robin heard a noise behind a folding table in our room addition. She barked and scratched and raised such a fuss I asked my husband to pull the table away from the wall so she could investigate. NOTHING WAS THERE! He took her outside so she could inspect that too. They didn’t find anything. All day Saturday, Robin was camped out under the table. Waiting, watching, listening — BARKING, SCRATCHING. Making a ruckus.

Saturday night — Robin didn’t find anything, but she was DETERMINED — she was protecting us! She stayed on guard to capture it. She didn’t stay on guard quietly. My husband locked her in the camper part of the trailer. Instead of resting, going to sleep, it made it worse. ALL NIGHT — the barking, scratching continued. FIVE in the morning, I gave up, stayed up. Got dressed. Robin and I went for a walk. My husband laid down for a nap. I kept Robin outside until almost 10. We went for a long walk, we went for a drive. I had coffee with friends — we went to visit other friends. Every few hours I returned and left a note as to where we were going next. My husband got a few hours of sleep. Sunday afternoon I laid down for a nap. I was VERY GLAD our son had stayed home.

Sunday evening, at dusk — I saw a round, low to the ground being waddle across our lot. It was very round — tan and white. My husband thought it was a possum with babies in her pouch. I hoped it was leaving in search of a new, quiet home. Sunday night we got a quiet nights sleep. Robin was still alert, on guard but she also was tired. Ready for SLEEP, helped by an allergy pill.

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SQUARE DANCE

Looking back — it doesn’t seem that many years ago. Looking for landmarks — reality sets in. It was an EXTREMELY LONG TIME AGO! Our youngest daughter was a toddler. I’ve always loved to dance. The opportunity arose when I learned of square dance lessons in our neighborhood. It sounded like fun. My husband agreed to try it. It was fun! We learned the basic steps, then the opportunity arose to learn more — advanced to be specific. That also was fun. The caller announced he was going to teach lessons to introduce people to calling. I thought my husband would enjoy it. He liked to play chess — my reasoning — he would enjoy moving people.

AND HE DID. The problem occurred as he became more accomplished in calling. He LOVED to call, he didn’t want to dance anymore. I became extremely good at dancing the male part. I became his agent, handling bookings, and other assorted tasks. I learned how to call line dances. And life was busy. He added more equipment and records to his arsenal. I don’t know exactly why he stopped calling. We had gotten older, he wanted to take evening classes at college, being out at night so many nights of the week was tiring? What ever the reason — he gave up calling but kept all of his equipment and records. FOR YEARS!

Recently he redid his office and moved a lot of stuff to another room. Remnants of calling included not only his phonograph, but also boxes of records and three sets of speakers. The speakers were huge, and heavy. Since his equipment was still in working order, we didn’t want to put it out in the trash. The many square dance clubs that we had known, where no longer functioning. Their members like ourselves had aged.

I thought we could donate it to a music school. Every time we learned of a person who was still calling, for one reason or another the lead fell through. Our computer ended up being a great help. My husband put in a request for square dancing in our area and learned of a new club that was only minutes from our house. They had members who were interested in learning to call. They would love to have his equipment.

For the last time –he put some records on the turntable, hooked up his microphone and enjoyed calling. He sounded terrific. But we both agreed that it wasn’t something we wanted to go back into. I don’t think my knees would let me, not to mention if I would remember more than a couple of steps.

We were VERY HAPPY to donate the equipment were it would still be used.

SHRINKING

Its not FAIR! I’ve never been tall but I was able to reach stuff on the shelves. Okay! I’ll admit that my youngest daughter was taller than me and when she rearrange the dishes and other stuff I couldn’t reach them. But for the most part, I was able to reach the stuff in my cabinets. Then I noticed that I had to stand on my toes to reach some stuff. Then I noticed that I was afraid I would drop stuff I was putting away. Then I decided that for the safety of various cups and glasses, I had to rearrange the shelves.

I realized I was using the step I purchased for my grandchildren more often. I also realized that it wasn’t tall enough. Or had I shrunk again? My grandson who is twelve is taller than me. His sister will soon be. To make life even more interesting, my husband had shoes on — I was barefoot. I only came up to his chin! He is older, but he doesn’t seem to be shrinking.

I have a wider two step stool that I’m using more often. I hate to admit it, but I’m also using a 2 step ladder to reach the top shelves. I hate to admit it — but it doesn’t seem to be tall enough. Of course it doesn’t help that I have lost my flexibility. If I’m on the floor — sitting is better for my knees, getting up is a challenge. I try not to meet the floor on that level.

Shopping has also become a challenge. First off — I don’t have the strength that I had. Injuries and weight have caused some of that. Also laziness has played a factor. I’ll admit that I have time to exercise. I just don’t do it. Yoga is supposed to help with height. Somehow I don’t think my height will stretch out if I resume yoga. I have been doing Tai Chi on a regular basis. Some of it is muscle memory, some of it is distracted thinking.

I’ve become better at asking for help when I can’t reach a product on the shelf. I’ve become better at searching for tall people who can reach what I can’t. I’ve become better of asking for help when a product — 40 bottles of water is too heavy for me to safely move.

I might vow that I will begin again to do Jane Fonda’s strength training. And I might, it just hasn’t happened yet. I might also begin another exercising program. The pain in my shoulder seems to have diminished, as has the pain in my back. Am I scared to do any of the exercises that caused the pain in the beginning. Good question — no answer.

I’m looking forward to summer — the camper and exercising in the water. I’m also looking forward to losing a few pounds. I’ve tried most of the year so far without success. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I’m maintaining my weight. NOT GAINING. Hopefully I will stop SHRINKING!

NUMBERS

Until my body parts started acting up, I never paid attention to my age. Sadly problems with my knees, and getting up out of a chair or out of the car brought my age into my attention. Then I fell — twice within a very short time. Going up or coming down the stairs. Thankfully I didn’t do major damage to any of my body parts. Now I go up or down rather carefully — paying attention to what I am carrying. I also hold on to the railings more often. I think the first fall was caused by carrying to much weight in both hands. I’ve determined the second fall was caused by the surface of my slippers being worn. I’m not sure they were the real reason. I haven’t regained my confidence or my speed navigating the stairs. Most days my knees are working better depending on the weather.

Then I got sick and lost more of my balance and energy. I’m still surprised that walking up to our church was too far of a walk for me. I determined that I was going to take Robin for at least one walk every day. Then the weather shifted, the snow came and the ice. Safety became a factor. Each day brings us closer to Spring. I’m hopeful that while I won’t be able to run up and down the stairs like in previous years — they won’t become a major handicap. In order to remain in our house, I have to be able to do the stairs.

Age isn’t the only number I haven’t been paying attention too. I don’t remember the ages of my children or grandchildren but I have solved that problem. I have their age and birth date on strips in my daily calendar.
I have strips for the birthdays of some of my friends so I remember to send a card.

The last anniversary of my blog came and I underestimated the number of years I had been writing. Because of my daily calendar, I usually know what the date and day of the week is. When we are in the country it is easy to lose track. Especially when we don’t have any specific plans.

So by now you must be wondering why I’m going on and on about numbers. Recently I was at the store, getting ready to check out. The elderly woman behind me had a cart piled with one brand, one flavor of frozen dinners. I stared at the cart — I was amazed to see so many of the same kind in a cart. I didn’t count the exact number she had. When I asked if that dinner was really good — she replied that she didn’t cook any more. I answered that I still did. Even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to eat the same thing night after night. I can’t even eat the same foods week after week. I have a good friend, who is now on the other side — Thursday was pork chops and Friday was take out pizza. If I knew what the rest of the week was I don’t remember.

I mentioned that experience to my husband. He calculated that I have cooked over 20,000 meals in my lifetime. And I’m still cooking!

COUGHING

I did my best. When my son started coughing, I did my best to NOT CATCH whatever he had that was causing the problem. I was already coughing — admittedly it was a different cough — dry. I knew the cause — it was the blood pressure medicine I was taking. A friend of mine told me it made her cough too. At first the dry cough wasn’t too bad. Then since my blood pressure wasn’t decreasing, my doctor doubled the dose. My cough also increased. I was coughing so much my back started hurting.

Then my husband started coughing. The cough sounded similar to our son’s. My husband has emphysema, which often evolves into pneumonia. I didn’t like his color, I didn’t like the way he sounded. He didn’t think he needed to go to the doctor. Thankfully I had a well being doctor’s appointment scheduled for that week. He wasn’t better so he accompanied me. Meanwhile I didn’t like the way my cough sounded. It was no longer dry. Thankfully my husband’s lungs were clear but the doctor prescribed medicine for him anyway. My lungs were also clear — I got a new prescription for blood pressure medicine. I picked up the new medicine. The pills for my husband immediately worked to improve his condition. Sadly I was correct about the sound of my cough. It deepened and intensified. The weather in our area became much colder and snow was predicted. I thought the cough was just a cold and if I took care of it, drank plenty of fluids, stayed inside, it would soon be gone. I WAS WRONG.

Each evening the news announced the status of the flu — increasing in intensity, more people, especially children were dying. Both my husband and myself had gotten a flu shot in October. Neither one of us was running a fever. We were confident we didn’t have the flu. Normally I don’t take cough syrup but I went through ALL of the cough syrup in the house, even stuff I had for our grandchildren. For many reasons, I didn’t want to go outside — below zero temperatures and snow didn’t beckon. Except for coming downstairs for food or to cook I stayed on the second floor where it was warmer. Our Christmas tree remained up. When I was feeling better, I didn’t take it down because it occupied the space my son’s chair rested in. I didn’t want him by the windows. Then the tree stayed up because I didn’t have the energy to take it down.

Nine days of snow. Thankfully our son did most of the shoveling. My husband was feeling better, at 5:30 AM I was woken my the sound of shoveling. My husband wasn’t in bed. When I looked outside, I saw the top of his coat, dealing with the fresh snow. Under normal conditions, my husband LOVES to use the snow blower on the whole block. These weren’t normal conditions. But he took pity on our neighbors and didn’t start the machine. Both myself and our son expressed our opinion on his being outside shoveling. Our neighbors took pity on us. A few times our walk was shoveled. Once our front stairs were included. When all was said and done, we had more than 10 inches of snow. Normally I sweep the stairs. This wasn’t a normal time.

My back still hurt. I decided that Tai Chi — the gentle stretching would help it. Other than that — most days I got in less than 3,000 steps. I tried to get more sleep. Coughing didn’t help. Except for one day between the snow storms, I hadn’t been outside. When another big storm was predicted we traveled to the store for supplies — milk, bread ,and vegetables. Finally a littler bit of my energy returned. Enough to take off the ornaments and lights. To take down our Christmas tree. It was February — time for the tree to come down. I even got the stuff together to prepare for income tax.

I hadn’t been outside except for the store run in 10 days. I walked to our accountant — 7000 steps when I returned. I couldn’t believe how tired I was. His office was close to our church, a distance I normally walked. Both my back and knees HURT.

Caught — I was outside cleaning up the yard before the rain came. Working on the icy steps, shoveling a tiny bit of snow off our cellar doors. My son caught me. He had warned me not to go outside when the back was icy. Now he told me to put the shovel down. He would take care of the snow.

WARNING

Since I neither see nor hear “my friends in high places” — I try to pay attention. When I opened the bible to Isaiah 47:11 and read “Disaster shall befall you which you cannot allay,” I was worried. My youngest daughter and family were on the road, going to visit her sister. I wrapped the family in my prayers. I should have wrapped myself.

Late in the afternoon — both hands full — I headed upstairs, only to have my foot slide off the stair, causing me to fall backwards. I couldn’t stop the fall and landed on my back on the first floor. It was only a couple of steps up, somehow I turned the corner and sprawled on the floor. I aged my husband by 10 years and also my son. I was glad the disaster predicted was for myself instead of my daughter and her family. I wasn’t glad that I had caused concern not only to them but to myself.

THANK YOU LORD — I wasn’t seriously injured. No broken bones — slight injury to various body parts. I was lucky. Reviewing the fall, I surmised that wearing the slipper socks wasn’t in my best interest. They don’t have the traction needed for the steps.

This was the second time that I fell in December. The first was heading down the basement stairs, both hands full. I surmised at that time that I was too weighed down — out of balance. Thankfully that time I landed standing on my feet, injuring my side but no broken bones.

Two falls in one month, thankfully no bones broken but I didn’t like the direction I was going in. Was a message trying to get through and I wasn’t paying attention? My son, who lives in our home, had recently purchased a new blood pressure machine. I checked my blood pressure and was surprised at the reading. Extremely high. When the news was shared with the rest of my family, they were very concerned. Some thought I should go to the emergency room immediately. I determined to monitor the situation.

My readings over the next few days decreased but not into a zone that I liked. I promised I would go to the doctor. When I phoned for an appointment, mentioned my problem and gave my current reading, the person on the phone said it was too high, to come in that afternoon.

When my blood pressure readings were examined on the computer, I learned that they had been in the high range for some time. Even though I didn’t have headaches or other high blood pressure problems, meds were prescribed. Since I remember a time when my aunt had a serious stroke, I’m not against taking medicine. After all, I’m no longer young.

Making my children happy, I signed up for a well being check next month. I had promised my youngest daughter that I would schedule a doctors visit this year. A visit was arranged as well as a few other tests.

Heading for the pharmacy, I reviewed the past month. “My friends” listen to my problems, and often help. I’m hoping this was the action I needed to take. I really don’t want another fall. The next one might be more dangerous.

I’m taking other positive steps. I need to improve my balance and strength. Exercise is in my daily plan.

ABBEY

My youngest daughter invited me to go to a woman’s retreat hosted by her church. I have attended a few over the years and totally enjoyed each one of them. It is a chance to take a break from my life, spend time with my daughter and see if there are any messages that haven’t gotten through because I’ve been too busy.

Normally the retreat is held in September, this year, it was later, almost November. Cooler weather — winter coats anyone. Thankfully I had already switched my summer clothes for Fall. We had been at the Abbey before, but I had forgotten all the stairs involved in getting from place to place. In the warmer weather, we had just exited the building, walked through the grass and entered where we needed to be. Not wanting to carry a coat around, that wasn’t the option this time.

Thankfully my knees have improved. I don’t know how I would have managed if the retreat was held during the summer. Arriving at the Abbey, before dark, the parking lots were already full. Eight hundred woman had signed up for a refreshing of spirit. My daughter parked close to the spa. And we entered that door. It was building three of five — all of which are joined by hallways and stairs.

I had a pleasant surprise. It had been a four hour drive and since my daughter has an SUV, my knees didn’t hurt. As a matter of fact, I didn’t need the adjustment time that normally occurred when I had been sitting for more than an hour. Our next car might need to be an SUV.

The distance from where we had entered to the front lobby was interesting. Made more interesting when we decided to help a fellow member who was loaded down with luggage, bags and a cooler making her way to building five. We offered helping hands. Many hallways and flights of stairs later we arrived at the lobby, helped by the lobby signs pointing the way. Only to learn that our room was on the first floor, near the spa, in building three.

I was VERY GRATEFUL that I had been taking Arthocin for three months. I hate to think how I would have managed if my knees were still as painful as they had been in the summer. I have to admit that I shared my experience with the Arthocin with many of the woman at the retreat.

I won’t bore you with the minute details — just the highlights. The theme of the weekend was Grace Overflowing. And I noted many times that Grace was Overflowing. It started on the way to the Abbey. We stopped at a Barnes and Noble in Rockford — just to break up the trip. I found a mystery book by Donna Andrews that has given me many hours of laughter — two books in one, at a reduced price. I was unfamiliar with her books and plan to investigate further.

During the opening prayer, I closed my eyes and had a vision of many rosaries — the whole screen filled with strings of beads. Many people praying for not only the retreat but family members, our world and other concerns. The room assignment near the spa gave me signs to follow getting back to our room. We decided that since the car was parked so close to our room, to leave it there and eat at the Abbey. The food was excellent.

I opened the bible on Saturday morning to Psalm 107:21. “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and His wonderful works to the children of men.”
Snow showers during Saturday morning. I attended a session on the importance of taking care of your body and soul. The importance of celebrating the Sabbath — taking time to refresh, restore. I talked to the person who was leading the yoga and decided my time would be better spent in the pool and hot tub.

We crashed a party on Saturday of some of my daughter’s friends. The restaurant was completely booked, they had reservations for thirty five, not including us. The manager found a couple of chairs, we became a party of thirty seven and totally enjoyed the buffet of crab legs and prime rib.

Sunday morning, I opened the bible to Isaiah 6:8 “Whom shall I send and who will go for us.” And I laughed.

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