Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘HEALTH’

BOUNCING OFF THE WALLS

Recently I was asked two interesting questions. First: Take a moment to review the various environments you were a part of in the course of last week. Second: How did you show up? What quality of energy did you project?

I was reminded of last Monday. I felt like I was bouncing off the walls. I had received a new Fit Bit watch and had spent an hour with a person at Fit Bit trying to get the new watch to connect. After an hour I thanked the gentleman for trying and said I would try again the next morning. I tried again the next morning without making the phone call. I’m not sure what the problem was. The watch would connect with the Fit Bit site, load partially, then stop. Over and Over and OVER AGAIN. I’m not sure how long I spent with the watch and my computer — solving NOTHING. Finally I took my computer to a different area in the house. Maybe the internet signal was stronger, I don’t know. IT FINALLY WORKED.

We were only in town for three days. I had many things that needed to be done. I didn’t feel I had the time to waste setting up the watch. I don’t use my watch for all of the programs that is listed but I do rely on it to calculate the number of steps I take a day and the amount of sleep I get.

Frustrated, I took Robin for a walk. I met a neighbor who I enjoy talking too. Except I don’t think she was too happy to see me that morning. Normally I’m calm and collected. “Monday I was a wild woman!” Best description was bouncing off the walls. Pure Frustration!

The day continued in that frustrating vein. Normally I get “HELP” from the other side. If I was receiving any, it was hidden. I wanted to deposit a couple of checks into our bank account. Normally I go inside BUT I was already running late. I went through the drive through. Our bank had just switched ownership. The deposit slip I had was from the old bank. To make matters more interesting, I couldn’t reach the transfer site from my car. I had to get out to make the transaction. Then fill out another slip of paper? I left the car parked in the drive through and went inside.

Thankfully next stop was no problem. I needed to refill prescriptions. They were ready. Stopping at the grocery store, the cart was pushed by the wind away from me once I had unloaded it. Thankfully a younger man chased it and brought it back.

I was VERY GLAD to get back home. My husband not only unloaded our car, but parked it for me.

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DOG SITTING

Our plans for July changed. Because of the change in plans our youngest daughter asked if we could watch their dogs while they went on vacation. Watching their dogs at our home is no problem because we have a fenced in yard. Watching the dogs in the country is a little harder. None of the property is fenced, leaving acres of open land for running.

To make life more interesting, the temperature for the week reached an all time high. Night time temps were maybe 70, daytime hit the high 90’s with humidity adding to the discomfort. Feel like temperature was in the triple digits. The air was very still, barely a breeze.

We weren’t alone. Most of the neighboring states had a high heat warning. Dangerous temperatures for the young and the elderly. My husband and I learned our lesson the year before when high temperatures made us aware that we needed to be more careful. Sun screen was advised for the dog’s paws.

We have a large fenced deck, partially shaded by a roof. The ceiling fan keeps the air moving making it comfortable to sit outside unless it is really hot.

Thankfully we have a working air conditioner and working fans. The dogs didn’t like the hot weather either. They were very happy to remain inside in the cooler air. We had two lines on the deck to attach to their collars when they needed to be outside, off the deck.

Luna is a growing black Lab who is full of energy. She likes to be up before 6 and have her breakfast. She is a good alarm clock. She also makes a good rug, sleeping by my side of the bed on the floor. She thought the bed would be more comfortable but we didn’t agree. She is too strong for me to walk her.

Tessa, on the other hand, is a smaller, lighter King Charles Spaniel who believes she NEEDS to SLEEP with us. Since she is smaller, she almost squeezed through the slats on our porch to chase rabbits. She did escape one time and had a lovely run. It was in the early evening, and I watched a black streak passing up the hill. Thankfully she returned when the rabbit escaped.

In the morning, after I let the dogs out on their rope, I served breakfast. Then Robin and I went for a walk. Next it was Tessa’s turn. Luna watched from the grass, keeping an eye on our progress.

INGENUITY

RAIN, Rain, rain and more rain. Just watch my garden grow. And IT DID! Because of the rain, we stayed in the city. Our neighbor’s rain gauge measured more than 8 inches in May. It measured more than 1 inch , one week in June. Our garden grew. So did the WEEDS.

Once upon a time I had no problem kneeling to pull weeds. Sadly that is no longer the case. If I get down, I have a hard time getting back up. Not to mention that my knees LOUDLY PROTEST kneeling on them. To make life even more interesting, the weather changed from comfortable temperatures in the 60’s to uncomfortable 90’s. When I was younger, the high temperatures didn’t bother me. Sadly my body isn’t as flexible as it used to be.

PROBLEM — WEEDS, FERNS, ground cover, thistles –EVERYWHERE. Even with the wet ground, they were not easy to pull. I needed equipment. I needed to get down into the ground to get the roots up. I needed to be able to kneel or sit on the ground. NEITHER was an option.

When we lost a huge tree in the tornado, we kept two pieces of the trunk. They stand on either side of the steps going up to the deck. When I stood next to the trunk, I used the tree for support and balance. Moving away from the trunk, my balance was a bit shaky. I decided to bring a cane out to the camper. While I was thinking about the cane, I remembered a walking stick my husband made for me many years ago. I found it standing right next to the microwave, waiting to be used.

The rain brought mosquitoes. I was forewarned about the problem in an e-mail. The person who warned me mentioned she used a hat, covered by netting to protect her face from the bugs when she walked her dog. Still at home, I ordered the netting and found a hat. I was set. Except at our campground they spray for mosquitoes. The second day we were there, I heard a helicopter spraying the lakes.

Mosquitoes might not be as big of as problem, but the flies still were. In fact they LIKED my ears. The hat helped. It protected me from mosquitoes and flies. It provided a little bit of shade for my face. I could easily see through the screening. The netting was long enough that I could tuck it into the front and back of my shirt.

The hat didn’t help with the temperatures. I tried to work in the garden before the temperature climbed. I quickly discovered that wind made a BIG difference. If a breeze blew, it was more comfortable. I got a timer and set it for 10 – 15 minutes. Sometimes I stopped before the timer went off. Sometimes I didn’t hear the timer. Sometimes the roots were too strong for me.

Thankfully my husband took pity on me and HELPED!

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.”

AIR FRYER

I just have to share. I am having the BEST TIME! I have been cooking for more years than I care to count. I have developed many recipes that are staples in our house. Saying that, I must confess that I have gotten bored with many of the recipes I make. I have heard of two different cooking programs that two of our daughters are enrolled in. If I was working, IF I had more money, I might be tempted to enroll in one of the programs. They give you a list of meals that are available for the week. You pick out the meals that you want delivered, and the complete meal is delivered to your house. Most of the items needed are included with instructions for preparation.

So why am I writing such a glowing report on these programs? I looked at our daughter’s menu book and realized that although many of the meals looked DELICIOUS, my husband WOULD NOT want to eat any of them. Maybe it is a good thing that I don’t have extra money to spend.

On the other hand, I really like to cook. I just need inspiration. Enter a cookbook I found last summer for the slow cooker. Everything I made from the recipes was delicious. The slow cooker allows me to prepare the food in the morning when I have energy and finish it in the evening when the energy is gone.

Next appliance in our house was the instant pot — along with five (5) new cookbooks. Paging through the recipes, looking for ideas. MANY have been successful. The problems come when I don’t really read the ingredients or interpret the instructions. I have doubled ingredients or used apple cider vinegar instead of apple juice. I bought an Air Fryer in October. It sat in it’s box until March. I didn’t make anything in it until April. I made roasted chicken breast. It was fantastic! I was hooked. The appliance is easy to use and even easier to clean.

When we visited our daughter in Central Illinois, we visited Barnes and Noble. I came home with TWO (2) new cookbooks for the Instant Pot. One its the Healthy Air Fryer. It had a recipe for Blooming Onion. I remember having the onion when I was young at a joint that had peanut shells on the floor. It was delicious.

I made it last night. I had a couple of issues in the preparation but considering I was tired, I’m ready to make and eat it AGAIN. There are many more new recipes to try in my newer cook books. It is not one of the home chefs programs, doesn’t come delivered with ingredients ready to cook, but new ideas — hopefully ones my husband will enjoy. I promised I would only experiment with his tummy one night a week.

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!

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