Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘FRIENDS’

LOVE THE TIMING

My father passed over more than 25 years ago. He is still very active in my life. My mother passed over when I was four, she still helps me. I wasn’t aware of her help until my father let the cat out of the bag. I think the story is in Journey With Me. Until my father was afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, I thought I led a normal life. Since I have experienced their “help” on many occasions, I’m more aware.

Last Monday the large locust tree was removed from our back yard. The roots were strangling it and part of the tree had died. The loss of the tree meant that our west facing windows would be exposed to the sunshine ALL afternoon. In the summer those rooms would get very hot.

I like to shop at Aldi’s. I pick up the sales sheet for the next week when I’m in the store. I was very happy when I saw the announcement of energy saving curtains. Since we have an older home, our windows are LARGE. No matter the size of the curtains, I’m confident we can make them work. It will help keeping out the winter cold as well as the summer heat.

Also on the Aldi’s sale sheet was a pressure cooker. I have one at home and find it helpful. Having one at the camper would come in handy when the temperature climbs. Most of my cookbooks are at home. Thankfully I had just purchased a new one — Lose Weight — when we were home. I didn’t have time to investigate so it accompanied us to the camper. I have found a few recipes that I want to try.

Our oldest grandson, with his wife stopped by at the camper on their way to Colorado. They were able to spend a few relaxing days with us until they continued their trip. My radar must have been working. I spotted them fishing at the lake when I returned from town. His wife had caught 4 fish, he had caught 14. Thankfully they had returned the fish to the water so I didn’t have to clean them. Neither of them had the experience cleaning fish.

There is a new buffet out in the country — Pizza Ranch. I LOVE pizza, my husband DOES NOT! Plans were made with our youngest daughter’s family to try the ranch. I severely limited sodium that day to partake in PIZZA. Stopping in the bathroom, I was able to lend an arm to an elderly woman who was having trouble walking. I took her purse and lent her an arm until we reached her male companion.

I have said “Thank You” many times during the past few days.

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MISSING YOU

My husband is Robin’s main person. Although my son and I are important in her life, my husband is alpha. He seldom leaves for a long time without her. Except last week HE DID!

My husband spent five days with our grandson at his house so he could attend a daytime camp. His sister was at a week camp close to our campground. Because of her migraines, her mother felt she should
be close by in case she was needed. Although my husband felt I should go with him so I could cook, I declined. I stayed at the campground instead and kept our daughter company.

After my husband left, Robin took up a post by the camper door, watching for him. If she went out on the deck, she took up her post by the gate. Watching, waiting. EVERY DAY.

Robin is very particular about her food. Since my husband wasn’t home, I decided to try to make spareribs and sauerkraut in the slow cooker. The aroma must have been delicious. Robin decided she wasn’t going to eat her food until she received some of the stuff I had been cooking. When I finished eating, I pulled off some of the meat, sprinkled it on her food and shared. I had enough for two days of meals. Then I froze enough for two more meals.

I was under orders. My husband DID NOT WANT me to go out into the garden unsupervised. He was concerned that I would have trouble. For a change, I listened. I found a mystery book — one of my favorite authors and spent the time reading. I also made it a point to take Robin for a car ride every night.

Slowly, day by day the five days passed. My husband decided he would drive back on Friday night. Our grandson decided he would ride back with him.

Words can NOT describe the happiness that Robin experienced when she saw my husband’s car. Faster than the speed of light she ran. Around and around, back and forth, she sped. Then they went for a car ride together.

After my husband returned, our daughter shared a program she heard about dogs on the news. It concerned separation anxiety — many of the dogs experienced a time when their favorite person DID NOT RETURN. Robin is a rescue, she might have had a favorite person NOT return.

NOTE: I reheated one of the sparerib dinners from the freezer. Robin DID NOT eat her own food until I shared!

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”.

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.

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.

ROXIE

There is a line in a song from Wicked that describes Roxie perfectly: “Because I knew you, my life has been changed for the better.”

Roxie has been a crossing guard for 51 years. 41 of those years, she has guarded the crossing for our parish school and the neighborhood public school. This year they have given her the award for the Crossing Guard of the Year.

I would not have been aware of the award EXCEPT the actions of our NEW governor and NEW mayor have me intrigued. Normally we receive a newspaper every weekday morning. We skip the weekend just in case we are out of town. Because of the summer, I placed the paper on a vacation hold until October. But since we have a subscription, the paper is available on line.

I accessed the paper on Friday morning. Flipping through it page by page I was happy seeing Roxie stare back at me on page 4. She is retiring in June. She will be MISSED by the neighborhood.

Roxie was at her corner, crossing children when our kids went to school. She was at her corner crossing people when my father went to morning mass. They became good friends. When my fathers memory declined, she joined our team keeping an eye on him. She often pointed him in the right direction when he was confused. If my Dad went to an early mass at the Irish church, he went out of his way to tell her on his way back home.

Roxie was aware of a woman’s interest in my father. He sometimes joined her for coffee and listened to her problems. I don’t know if my father ever gave her money. When Dad went to day care, she asked if she could visit him there. I told her that wasn’t possible but offered to take my father to meet her for coffee. She didn’t take me up on that and dropped out of his life. Roxie gave me details that my father never would have.

After my Dad’s passing, I went to church every Friday for a couple of years. Mornings I stopped to chat with her before going to church.

Not only will the children miss her, but many other people in the neighborhood will miss her friendly face on the corner: “Because we knew you, our life has been changed for good.”

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