Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘thank you’


I admitted that I finally realized that I walk to a different drummer. Over the last 25 years, since my father passed, I learned that I have crossed a bridge — I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK. Remembering when I was young, I wanted to be normal. The scars from the fire were very prominent and I had a hard time making friends. I don’t know if I ever was normal, I know I’m not now. AND I’M EXTREMEMLY GRATEFUL.

Over the last 25 years, I have received “help” from “my friends in high places.” I have become better at acknowledging their “help.” The second book I wrote JOURNEY WITH ME contains 29 stories of the lessons I’d learned. I have been writing this blog for over 5 years. Well over 400 thought rambles, each describing a “new” experience.

Why am I going on and on about this? Good question. This time I have an answer. January 6, Epiphany,
“Little Christmas” I planned to meet my youngest daughter at the airport to transfer her dogs who had kept us company for a week. I phoned the airline, actually spoke to a person because the computer could not find the flight. Disconnecting from the call, I checked to make sure the cell phone had kept the phone number. A message crossed the screen: “Jesus calling. I am Your Lord! Trust me. ” There were a few more words to finish the sentence but they disappeared quickly and I COULD NOT FIND THEM AGAIN. “AMAZED. BEWILDERED. DUMBFOUNDED.” There are no words to express my feelings. HOW? WHY? WHAT?

To say that it made an impression on me is an understatement. Since my husband joined my team at the end of October, my life has become even more interesting. Evidently he learned that I REALLY need “their help.” And he is up to the job. As much as I’m trying to be strong, I’m floundering.

Yesterday, I discovered a black and white cutout of a picture of my husband and our dog resting on his chest, on top of a purse. ?? Where did it come from? I was happy to find it.

Today from a stack of CD’s, I randomly picked “Alone In IZ World.” Brought back good memories. My first trip to Hawaii and Kawai was with my husband. We went to Pearl Harbor. His oldest brother was on one of the ships, thankfully surviving the attack. At 4:00 AM a rooster woke me to greet the sun. My husband got sea sick sitting in a restaurant watching the waves. I discovered IZ’s world. His songs have greeted me each time I have returned to Hawaii. The album contains “Over The Rainbow.” It also contains “In this Life I was Loved By you.” Popcorn tears! The album ends with IZ’s reflection on how important oxygen is to life and his embarrassment in connection to the tank.



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.


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”.


I have learned that usually I am in the right place — at the right time — to either help someone or be helped in return. Sometimes I notice it more when it is a birthday, or a holiday. It doesn’t matter if the birthday is on this side or on the other. I knew my father’s birthday was approaching. Except when it arrived, I thought it was the next day. OOPS! It was only when I arrived home and looked at the date, I realized my error. and I have to give credit where it is deserved.

We journeyed South to our daughter’s to watch their children and I stopped at Wal-Mart to get some needed supplies. While there — I spotted a lovely dress with a lace over shrug. The price was right, they had the dress in my size but I didn’t have the time to try it on. While at the store I picked up a sleeping aid. A heavy woman was in the same aisle taking advantage of their driving carts. We struck up a conversation and I shared the brands that I have success with. She shared that her arthritis pain often kept her awake at night. It was only after I left the aisle that I remembered an essential oil roll-on that gives me success. Returning to the aisle, I shared more information.

I returned to Wal-Mart a few days later and was surprised to see that they still had the dress in my size. In fact, they had two different colors. This time my husband was with me. He liked the white lace better. Trying them on, they both fit. I’m have a short torso so Junior sizes fit me better. Even if I’m successful and lose weight, the dresses should still fit. My husband thought I should get both of them and for a change I listened.

I picked up a four pack of Merlot to enjoy a glass of wine at night. The check out clerk asked to see my ID. I was THRILLED! Really, I actually look young? (Of course it is the stores policy to check ALL wine and beer sales.) But then the warm feeling spread. When she saw my age she told me that the date must have been wrong — I couldn’t be that old!

When I returned to our daughter’s and saw the date, I knew where those roses came from. “Happy Birthday, Dad. Thanks.”

Our granddaughter’s birthday is in the same week. We stopped at Dairy Queen for lunch before going to a place of amusement. She was wearing a brand new, sparkly shirt and wasn’t at all happy when mustard spilled on the shirt. “Mustard stains!” She was in luck, the woman in the booth behinds us shared her Tide to Go stick. Four hours later when I soaked the shirt in cold water and used soap, most of the stain washed away.

A Tide To Go stick has to be one of my wandering companions.

When “my editors ” approve of what I have written, the thought ramble saves quickly. Today’s delay reminded me that I had EXTRA “HELP” this morning. I planned to go to the store but all of a sudden my tummy started acting up. I realized that I needed to take a time out before going. It was really a good thing that I did. On Sunday, the grocery store was featuring Paczki, a Polish treat only made once a year — before Lent. I bought a box to treat our grandchildren. They liked them so much, I planned to get more today. When I arrived at the store, the table was bare. When I inquired, I learned that they had just finished baking and were being packaged as we spoke. THANK YOU!



How do they communicate with you? The question took me by surprise. I answered with the first thought that popped into my head: “If I’m not paying attention, I get hit on the head.”

I was at the post office preparing to mail our monthly bills. Only two people were at the windows and I decided to wait and purchase a book of stamps. I was the first person in line. While waiting, I overheard a conversation about visiting the cemetery. The clerk went twice a year, weather permitting. The customer visited every other month, unless the weather interfered. I couldn’t help myself, I had to open my mouth. I told them that I was Catholic. We believed in life after death and their loved ones were with them if they needed to be. Hence the question and my off the cuff answer. Of course we talked about flickering lights and computer problems and other means of communication. And I ended with the statement: “I’m was here to overhear your conversation and share the good news with you!”

Some things can’t be explained. That statement summarizes my life right now. My father passed over more than 20 years ago. My mother has been on the other side a lot longer. My mother remained behind the scene so I wasn’t aware of her influence until my father’s memory began to slip. Even then I didn’t know where the help I was receiving came from but I can truthfully admit that I was extremely glad for any help given. Since my father let the cat out of the bag (so to speak) I have been learning. All lessons don’t come easily and many have to be repeated over and over and over again until they begin to sink in.

I’m still not sure that I have a complete understanding which is why I get confused OFTEN. Frequent question: WHY? HOW? WHERE? Recently a bracelet disappeared. I knew where it should have been, it slipped off my polar bear, sitting on my dresser. I watched it fall. I looked for where it should have been — it wasn’t here. Today I looked again, a week or more later and it was just where I thought it should have fallen. I just said “thank you for giving it back!” The bracelet was special to me — I found it at church on the anniversary of my maternal grandmother’s birthday. It is just a bunch of different colored beads — representing earth, water and sky on an elastic band. It gave me the idea to make Christmas presents for my girls one year.


“Pay ATTENTION! You are missing messages. How can we help you if you don’t pay attention.”

I didn’t hear those words but it wouldn’t surprise me if I did. Messages to that effect have floated in the breeze. I didn’t pay attention or I didn’t understand. Either way, I screwed up.

I was wondering why my weight has risen. Looking back at the past 6 months I can see a couple of reasons: WINTER — stuck inside, snow, cold, and not feeling well; STRESS, followed by depression. I don’t know if those are good reasons but that seems to be one of the causes.

So I’m battling back. Trying to pay attention — fireworks in the night weeks before the fourth. Robin DOESN’T LIKE LOUD NOISES. She was cringing by the side of our bed, trying to get into the closet when the bangs started. I knew we were in for trouble. She DID NOT want to go out for her nighttime walk. She stuck to my husband’s heel like glue.

The fourth was approaching. We would be in town. It would be LOUD! We tried to be prepared. I bought a thunder shirt — supposedly it works in thunderstorms and other stressful times. We got medicine from the vet. I took her for a walk before the sun went down. I fed her an early supper. The medication was strong. We took the thunder shirt off. I cleared a space in my closet with my husband’s shirt on the floor. Since I closed our bedroom door, she didn’t have many options. The medicine affected her back legs and I didn’t want her to get injured. The next night I cut the pill in half, thankfully rain kept the noise down.

Trying to pay attention: I wanted to make a left turn coming out of the mall — to go to the expressway. The traffic from the south didn’t let up — I could easily make a right and take the streets home. I gave in — turned right, and when I passed over the expressway, The cars below were bumper to bumper. Thank You!

I tried to turn off my cell phone. It WOULDN’T! Frustrated I kept trying. Before I succeeded, a phone call came through from my friend’s daughter updating me on her current health challenge. Thank You!

Grandchildren, fourth of July and other reasons dictated that we stay in the city instead of the country, we were home when the heavy rain brought water into our basement. Since we were home, vacuum cleaner, mops and clean water — then fans dried out the basement preventing more problems. Thank you!

My weight and the heat caused a heat rash that lasted for days — very uncomfortable. Nothing I tried really helped. Thankfully it is better now. I got the message — LOUD AND CLEAR — lose weight. I’m trying.

Hopefully I will be able to keep the stress down. Hopefully I will pay attention!


Fair warning. I try to keep my rambles around 500 words but this one is a bit longer.

The last time we visited Hawaii , the trade winds were also on vacation and it was very hot. I packed for hot, not cool temperatures. SURPRISE — the trade winds were on vacation, the surf was flat and the sky was cloudy, and the temperature was on the cooler side. But you see, I have friends in high places that take care of me. Saturday, our first night, my camera stopped working. I took the battery out, wiped it off and replaced it. The camera worked but when my husband phoned and I told him about my camera, he strongly suggested I get a new one. I thought we would visit Costco on the rainy Sunday and check out cameras. Lost, wandering the streets via car we found China Town and the Ala Moana Mall. I was told there was a Foodland Grocery store in the Mall and I wanted a couple of items. Huge Mall, many high end, expensive stores. As we were leaving, I noticed a sign that the Sears store was closing — 50% off. An hour later, I had cool weather clothes — a new sweater, long slacks, a terry cloth hooded jacket and a long sleeve shirt — all at an amazing price. Thank You! We found the food store too, it was tiny but I got a couple of things.

Monday, another cooler, rainy day. We headed for the International Market. I won’t bore you with my purchases, let’s just say I’m learning how to bargain. A Post office is located in the Market. I bought stamps and mailed my post cards. Monday evening we chatted with a couple from Canada that drove the whole island in 2 days. They didn’t see any sea turtles on the North Shore, even though they stopped at four beaches but they found a shrimp truck that served delicious food.

Tuesday — sunny skies, we headed for the North Shore, hoping to see turtles. My son pulled into a tiny parking place off of a small beach. When we climbed down to the shore, a sea turtle slowly made his way up from the water. He was expected — two turtle watchers were on guard to make sure he was safe. I learned that Brutus came on shore to rest and warm up. Once he stayed 50 hours. One of the watchers shared stories with us, including how they knew his sex and name. THANK YOU!

While on the North Shore we visited Waimea Valley. Before leaving for Hawaii, I looked at my Hawaiian cookbooks. I decided that I only wanted to buy a new one if it had nutritional information and the recipes were on the lighter side. Even though I looked at the Mall and the Market, I didn’t see any cookbooks. At the store at the Valley I found what I was looking for. Thank You!

A shuttle is available to take visitors up to the water fall which is 3/4 of a mile up the trail but my son wanted to walk. It wasn’t too hot — since my energy had increased a bit, I thought I could walk it too. Right place, right time — as we headed up the trail, a tour just began. Needless to say, we joined the group. The guide told us she was known as the “bird whistler” when I asked if she knew the identity of the bird that was calling. An ancient village was located on the site — she was very knowledgeable about the culture of her people. Sadly, the tour ended at the end of the village and we still had a long way to go. The waterfall was smaller than I expected, the pool of water at the base was 30 feet deep, but we didn’t bring our bathing suits and now it was hot. I took the shuttle back down.

We didn’t find the famous shrimp truck but found another along the highway. On the North Shore I found a real supermarket. I wanted apple cider vinegar. I didn’t bring some from home and my tummy was acting up but I was able to restrain myself and only buy a couple of items. I kept reminding myself of all I had purchased on Sunday and how many days we had left. We got stuck in rush hour traffic on the way back to our hotel. Abandoning the highway, we got lost again and found Costco. Which was extremely crowded, but we also found Quiznos — sandwiches for a late night supper.

I call Wednesday  TEACHERS DAY. I gave the attendant at the small store in our hotel information on compression stockings, since I was wearing mine and he noticed. My son shared computer information with the owner of a store at the International Market whose computer was down.

Thankfully, I was able to go in the hot tub and the pool. My son went for afternoon walks without me and saw sea turtles feeding. Our last day — I went for an afternoon walk with him and saw turtles too. On the walk, my cell phone rang. It was a friend who was inviting my husband for dinner. I have no idea how I got included in their conversation. Neither phoned me.

Traffic was horrible on the drive to the airport. Luckily we had plenty of time but we had to find a gas station. My son turned off onto a side street which also had horrible traffic. He drove through the parking lot of a library and I saw a gas station a short distance away. Hawaii is supposed to have the worst traffic in the Nation. I believe it — our pilot and airplane personnel were late for take off — stuck in traffic.

Did I have “help” on this trip. Let’s see —  Lost — but found  — sale on clothes I needed; meet and greet a turtle; find a cookbook; join a guided tour; enough energy for most of the walks; saw sea turtles feeding; an interesting phone call; on time at the airport; — and I only mentioned the highlights, leaving out all the interesting people we talked to and meals I enjoyed. One last thought — I took over 500 photos, no more problems with my camera. Did I say Thank You?  –DAILY!


Yesterday was the anniversary of my father’s passing. I have to admit that I didn’t remember. Lexie, our energizer Pug, woke at 4:30 – barking for assistance. I hate to admit that I didn’t come to her aid. The temperature outside was predicted to be frigid, in the single digits with zero wind chill. It was early and I could hear the wind howling. When I finally surfaced at 5:30, I had clean up to do: her blanket, her pillow and herself. Not her fault, she asked for help.

The wind continued all day — my husband strongly suggested I stay inside and for a change I listened. I took advantage of downtime and made chicken soup. I ordered a few books from Amazon. I began to pack for our trip to my youngest daughter’s to celebrate her daughter’s birthday. I pulled the bag from my closet and took out the sunscreen and other ointments — they were not needed in frigid temperatures. I have used the bag many times since our trip to the Wisconsin Dells in October. Not only have I used it many times since October but I have completely emptied it many times!

Why am I going on and on about the bag? I am still amazed. In October, I lost a cash card. Not only was the cash card lost, but the receipts for purchases that we made on our trip were with it.  It was very important to me that the envelope was found. I guess you can surmise that it WASN’T! I looked in our car, I looked in ALL the bags I had with me. I looked at our camper. I looked and Looked and LOOKED without success.

Yesterday, the anniversary of my father’s passing; the cash card and the receipts were returned. They were in the bag that I always use. I HAVE NO ANSWER! The envelope WAS NOT there before! NOW IT WAS! Thank you! THIS WILL REMAIN ONE OF THE MYSTERIES OF MY LIFE. I’m glad it was returned.

I might have mentioned that a vascular surgeon is putting a soft boot on my leg to get the ulcers to heal. Although the boot is working, it is causing other problems. The skin on my heel cracked. On my dresser, I had a couple of tubes of ointment for dry skin. One of them was Carmex healing cream. I didn’t remember where I had purchased it. But it worked. In fact it worked within TWO DAYS. I WANTED more. The pharmacy at the hospital didn’t have it, and couldn’t order it.

I tried CVS by our house. They had the lotion but not the healing cream. They phoned a store that is about a half mile away. They had one in stock. Rain was forecast but I thought I had enough time. Instead of returning home for the car, I walked. Moisture was in the air and I didn’t have an umbrella. It was 52 degrees under cloudy skies. After purchasing the cream, I started for home. On the way, I found SIX PENNIES on the ground. Thankfully, the rain held off until I reached home.


Early Saturday morning, I opened the curtains to gaze at the icy sidewalks, still frozen from Thursday’s sleet, rain, snowy mix and saw a rabbit sitting in front of our house. He was not bothered by the ice — making his way down the frozen path, stopping now and then to listen.

Usually I’m greeted by a cardinal’s song when I open the door in the morning. I was surprised to see a rabbit.

Moment’s later, I was glad that I had a quiet start to the day. Entering the kitchen, Lexie,  our senior resident Pug’s eyes were open, I would have to put on my coat and take her out. Usually she is asleep and I let her sleep until the morning warms up. She needs a bit of assistance since she is no longer able to walk up and down the stairs. She can’t walk on the frozen terrain either.

My normal practice is to put on my coat and quickly lift her from her pillow. Thankfully this morning I had a hard time getting my arms around her. I moved her pillow instead. That is when I noticed her back leg resting on the radiator grates. On closer inspection, I discovered her toenail was inside the grating, wrapped around to come out a few openings away. Taking off my coat, I gently maneuvered the nail, finally setting her leg free. I don’t know if I asked for help before starting, but I definitely said “Thank You” when Lexie was free.

Although Lexie was able to walk, she still couldn’t navigate on the ice. Warmer temperatures are predicted for Sunday along with icy rain in the morning. The frozen pond in the backyard might become a lake.



Our younger grandchildren are growing too fast. Daniel used to love Thomas the Train and other trains. He is into Transformers now. Isa has no interest in trains, unless her brother is playing with them. We have a few plastic trains that are sitting in a bin gathering dust. “CHRISTMAS IS COMING” The reminder is everywhere.

In the quiet years before more grandchildren joined our family, I collected quite a few Christmas Village houses. In fact I had a large display set up in the room off our dining room and a Victorian village on our dining room buffet. Once Daniel was born, the huge village remained in their crates in the basement but the Victorian villager remained on the buffet. After a few years, the Victorian village was retired and a fishing village took its place. Both Daniel and Isa LIKE to play with the people and horses in the village.

I gave their mother enough houses to set up a small village but the best space for them is too high for the children to play with. “Gramma, do you have some houses for me? Would you bring them to my house?”
This request found me digging through stuff in the basement. The houses were not that easy to get at but I did find a few. In the process, I also found a dump truck for a one or two year old child. More toys that were gathering dust.

How could I get them to some kids that would enjoy them? Questions, questions, questions — no answer. Until today. I had to go to the post office to mail a letter. On the way home, I decided to take a short walk, passing by a store that had a sign in the window about a Toys for Tots pickup the next day.

None of the toys I had were new, but they had received gentle love and were in good condition. I asked the woman in charge if I could donate them. She told me to bring them in, if they couldn’t be used by the Toys for Tots, she was sure they would be given to the Salvation Army. Either way, they would no longer be gathering dust in my house. Some kids would be playing with them.


I’ve mentioned that the Blessed Virgin Mary, in all of her names, appears to be involved in my life at various times. My mother’s name was Marie. I wonder if that is were the link comes from. Either way, tomorrow is the feast day of Our Lady Of Guadeloupe. My father had her face in a framed photo. I didn’t know who she was, but I liked the photo and clamed it for myself. Years passed and the photo became damaged. I searched in vain for a replacement. One day, I saw and recognized the face I had been searching for. It was on a photo of Our Lady Of Guadeloupe. Just another game of hide and seek.

While my grandchildren are getting too big, too fast, I am growing old too fast. I would blame it on the season, trying to get too much done. And hopefully that is all it is. Yesterday I was at the bank, taking care of business. I was at the teller’s window. The form I needed wasn’t at the desk. I reached for my glasses and  they were not in the case I keep them in. I looked to see if they were hanging from my neck. NOPE! I must admit I panicked. I gathered up my passbook, money and forms and told the teller I would be back. I NEEDED to find my glasses. As I left the bank, I realized my glasses were where they should be. On the bridge of my nose, over my eyes. Evidently the teller didn’t notice or just thought I was nuts. My story gave many people a laugh that day.

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