Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘weather’

BLOSSOMS ON THE WIND

Step by step, line by line — watch my thought rambles grow. My fifth year anniversary — 265 rambles — who would have thought I had so much to write about. Time passes so quickly, I thought this was my third year, then I divided 265 by 52. Didn’t quite believe the number I saw. Evidently I finally gave into the nudging in May of 2012 to begin to write. FIVE YEARS later my friends in high places still think I NEED to share the goings on in my life. If I don’t have a thought ramble ready to publish — I’m reminded that I have thoughts to share.

I enjoy going to the Botanic Garden in certain seasons of the year — daffodil time, crab apples in bloom, summer roses, fall asters, mums, etc. I probably would enjoy winter there as well, I just haven’t gone in a few years. I was at the Garden a few weeks ago — daffodils were in bloom — many plants were being planted — crab apple trees were waiting. After a couple of 70 degree days, I phoned to see if the crab apple trees were in bloom. The answer was negative — trees were in bloom in our neighborhood but the Garden was waiting. I phoned again this week — just starting I was told. So I waited a couple of days but rain was expected and I wasn’t sure how many blossoms would stay on the trees — how many would ride the wind. The Garden NEEDED a few more warm, dry days. White and pink crab apple trees were in bloom, red were still ladies in waiting. I still ended up taking more than 100 pictures. Trees, tulips, robins, frogs — many things caught my attention. Of course in that number I probably missed another one to two hundred photos. It doesn’t help if I remind myself that I have taken a picture of that same tree last year, I still capture the image. I will admit that some scenes DO NOT appear again. I have a lovely photo of a tree in bloom with different shades of tulips below that has not repeated itself.

More than blossoms have been on the wind — my eight year old granddaughter has been going through a very challenging time. Health issues have caused migraines to start. She is staying with us for the weekend. I had planned various things to do outside — GOD LAUGHED. Cold weather, storms are predicted. I found myself at Walmart, glancing at a basket with merchandise that was going to be returned to the shelves. I found a craft item that I thought she would enjoy. That reminded me to get a few new things for her. The item I found in the basket must be hiding in the store somewhere because I would not have found it. I did find a roll of stickers and an artists notebook. She loves to draw — crayons, markers, paint. I’m not ready for wet weather but I have a few things that hopefully will be fun.

ZOO

Sunshine — warm — the day was calling my name. “Don’t stay home — go out and play,” the morning seemed to say. And for a change I listened. Our granddaughter would soon celebrate a birthday and I needed a gift. She LOVES stuffed animals, ALL animals — dogs, cats, snakes, horses to name just a few. I thought a stuffed animal from the zoo would be a great choice. So I asked her what animal we should see for her at the zoo and she replied monkeys.

As a new member of the zoo we qualified for a gift. Hard choice between the tote bags, tee shirts and other items until we saw a child sized tee shirt with a snow monkey on the back. Decision made.

As we entered the zoo, the tiger was commenting on the weather, the sunshine, the warmth, the ??? I approached to share in the conversation and the tiger stopped, yawned, and stretched out for a nap. Hard work — got my attention.

We headed for the gift shop. I found a small stuffed snow monkey, a red fox and a tube of tiny monkeys. Both of the stuffed animals were on sale — making it possible to get more than one. Our granddaughter has had a rough year. Fever, sore throat — too many times. The tube of monkeys would be easy to play with when she was sick. Birthday solved. Since they were zoo animals, I didn’t think she already had them.

Beautiful day — we wandered the zoo. Most of the animals were outside, enjoying the warmth and sun shine, except for the polar bear who had had enough sunshine for the day. A new endangered primate baby had just been born. When we entered the primate house, the proud parents had the baby front and center. Very easy to see and photograph. The rest of the group were very interested in the new arrival. It didn’t take long until the mother moved the baby to a more secluded area. We were lucky to arrive when we did.

We also had good timing when we stopped for a cup of coffee. Because of winter hours the cafe was closing early — in half an hour to be exact. We had time for some hot chocolate and a snack. The zoo wasn’t closing early but we really didn’t want to play in rush hour traffic. We stopped at the gorilla house before we left. I was fascinated by a large ape who had a pile of lettuce within easy reach so he could lay down on his back and reach for a morsel without getting up.

We visited the smaller zoo in our area. Even though it is smaller, we still didn’t have the time to visit ALL of the buildings or animals. We will just have to go back.

HIDDEN TREASURES

I thought the appropriate title for this thought ramble was BURIED TREASURE. Oops, I already have one of that title. This title is just as appropriate. It just dawned on me that the anniversary of the fire is in a week. Both my mother and my brother passed over, I would have also except I guess I needed to stay here for my father.

“My friends in high places” are very good at what they do. A whole day can go by and I don’t become aware of their help. One day this week, I PLANNED to exercise — I changed into exercising clothes and put the dvd on the TV. Robin came downstairs, wanting to go out. I tried to get her up early, so we could go for a walk. She ignored me. I have to admit that she got me up at 5:00 AM, went outside, did her business and returned to the top of the porch. The pond of water on the sidewalk had turned to ICE. At 9:00, the pond of water was covered by snow. The snow seemed to be gritty, I thought if I was careful I could take her for a walk. Exercise plans went on hold. I put on my boots, hoping that their traction would keep me upright. I found a penny on our walk. “In God We Trust” it reminded me.

When we came back, it was too late to do the exercise that I planned. I did a fast Tai Chi and continued with the day. I had planned to make soup. I’ll admit that I didn’t follow the recipe, but the results were delicious. Of course, neither my husband nor my son wanted to try it.

Trying to salvage the day, I examined the contents of the drawer that holds our check books. I had many, many check registers and many, many unused deposit slips. I didn’t want to put the check registers back in the drawer. They moved to the filing cabinet, except there was no room. I had to pull out a handful of assorted paper. Looking at it, I have no idea why it was in the filing cabinet until I came across a couple of gems. I found the notice of a good friend of mine that passed away in 2003 at the age of 97. She is still often in my thoughts. I also found a letter from a friend of mine with a comic strip that gave me a good laugh. The person in the comic strip joined shopping anonymous and when she was tempted to go shopping, she call me and we went out to drink. I have to admit that I phoned my friend and arranged for a shopping trip.

Now I’ll admit that I realized that “helping hands” had influenced the day. I could detail the many things that have occurred this week, but I’ll try to keep this ramble on the short side. I was scammed this morning by a friend on the I-pad — only it wasn’t her. I asked a couple of personal questions that only she would have had the answer too and the person disappeared. I didn’t fall for the promised money. This afternoon, the mail brought prescriptions for my husband that I hadn’t ordered. One he would need in the near future — the rest, I’m puzzled. Knock knock — is anyone home? That is when I realized that an important anniversary is close.

THANKS EVERYONE.

WISDOM

I can not take credit for this. I recently discovered that my age is affecting some of my decisions. I had to buy a new pair of boots. Last year’s pair of boots had heels that were worn, not badly, just bad enough that my knees and hips were being affected. Buying shoes regularly is bad enough. Buying boots is even more of a challenge. I’m really not concerned about the fashion. First, they have to fit over my SLENDER? calves. Next they have to be warm. Since many of my hours spent outside are spent walking a dog — I NEED my feet to be not only dry but warm. Next they have to be reasonably priced. I was surprised when the first thing I did was to turn the boots over and look at the tread.

The first pair that I looked at had a sole that was rather smooth. The next pair was better — the sole wasn’t smooth, the tread was evenly spaced, and zippers on the sides would make putting them on easier. The last pair that I looked at had a much better sole, tread looked like it would be safer on slick and icy surfaces. They had laces instead of a zipper — roomier, I would be able to wear heavier socks plus they were designed for colder temperatures. Only then did I try the last two pairs of boots on. I bought the pair with laces and better tread. For a change, price was not my guiding issue.

I was surprised that the tread on the sole was my guide, not a fashion statement, or the price — my age is showing. I told a friend about my experience this morning. She said it wasn’t my age that is showing, I’m using my wisdom.

I like the sound of that.

Recently I was invited to a Christmas breakfast. I don’t remember when we first started this gathering. It was quite a few years ago. The ladies were still living in their own homes, now they live at Resurrection Senior apartments. The oldest of our group will soon be 95 at Christmas time. The hostess is a young 92. I’m probably the youngest. When she phoned with the invitation I was most grateful that I had the day available. In fact I arrived a bit early, just in case she needed some help. For the most part, the table was set, the casserole was in the oven and the tomatoes were cut. She was making coffee. And that is when I was able to lend a hand. Her coffee pot had issues — the filter blocked — coffee and grounds everywhere but in the coffee pot. Exactly how it happened we couldn’t tell, but it was a mess — all over the machine, and her counter. I was able to clean up the machine, the counter and the pot. I couldn’t figure out how to put the machine back together but soon coffee was perking again. Three walkers lined up in her bedroom, one an expensive Rollator — I was one of the most able bodied in attendance and I was happy to lend a hand.

Other gatherings might have surfaced in my memory, maybe that is why I was early. I might have remembered that my assistance was helpful before. I don’t know but I was happy that I was able to attend, grateful we could all get together again. And maybe that experience, and seeing their walkers helped guide me to pick out the safest pair of boots for this winter.

RECOVERY YEAR ONE

Last summer, I wandered the streets and nature trails of Woodhaven Lakes with a great deal of sadness and hope for the future. Most of the shady streets were now bathed in sunshine. Many of the nature trails opened up to bare landscape or fallen — twisted trees. The devastation from the tornado was every where.

A year has passed and the landscape has changed. Most of the tornado damage has been removed — trailers, sheds, porches, decks and trees. The nature trails no longer are bare — wild flowers and other plants have filled up the spaces. Some new trees have been planted.

New trailers, room additions, porches, sheds and decks are every where. Many new trees have been planted on the owners lots. It will be a long time before they provide the missing shade but progress is being made.

It is still very easy to determine what areas have been affected by the tornado. Shade and huge trees are missing. Some huge trees have remained, either because of stronger roots or the direction of the winds so the terrain isn’t bare.

I asked a real estate broker if there had been a large change in the population. Her reply was that although some owners have left, many new people have arrived. They came out to look at the after effects of the tornado, liked what they saw and bought property.

We lost more than nine trees at the front of our lot and many more on the sides and back. We now have sunshine and a new deck with a roof to provide the missing shade. The roof even has a fan to provide some air movement when the breeze is missing. I have to admit that I am spending a lot of time out on the deck.

I didn’t realize how much the tornado had affected me. I had a deep sadness that did not want to lift. It was very hard to explain, in fact I wasn’t even aware that it was there. Now that it has lifted — I DON’T MISS IT. Seeing all the new growth — the new changes must have helped.

Fall has arrived. Soon we will close up the trailer for the winter. Many years ago we spent time at the camper in the winter. Cross country skiing, walks in the high snow, Christmas shopping all were part of our winter. I had a small Christmas tree, wreath and lights to decorate the trailer. We haven’t wandered out there in the winter for years. Wandering in high snow is no longer as easy as it was when I was young. Staying inside, sitting in a warm camper doesn’t have the same draw as when I was younger. Lets not even talk about the ice that forms on the roads over night.

This year the small tree and wreath will stay packed away. We will turn off the heat and winterize. We will bring all the food home. I will admit that I miss the days when we left stuff out for the occasional weekends away.

LYMPH

I thought that one of the things I was doing might have been helping me to lose weight. Since I was doing at least two things at once, I wasn’t sure what was working. I was drinking organic apple cider vinegar in hot water — twice a day. A man at the veteran’s clinic suggested I increase the dosage to two tablespoons and add honey. It was good for arthritis. I was also drinking a cherry smoothie with protein powder and cocoa. I had read that it was good for pain.

Since I was drinking two concoctions, I wasn’t sure which was working. At about the same time, many of the woman’s magazines that I read, had the same subject line — our lymph system. It seems that as a woman ages, her lymph system thickens. Instead of moving nutrients smoothly through the system, the fat gets sucked into the cells and lodges there. One of the suggestions is to have the juice of half a lemon in hot water in the morning. I have heard this before, but I haven’t tried it.

We left home for the camper, and I had my plans in place. I planned to have a cherry smoothie for breakfast — soup or salad for lunch and a normal supper. My plans didn’t exactly work out. First — the smoothie — although I had one or two, for the most part we either went out for breakfast or I had a half English muffin with peanut butter. It was easier — my husband made mine. I did Tai Chi most mornings and my leg raises at night. Instead of Aging Backwards — I enjoyed water exercise. I didn’t use weights — just my arms but I thought it was good for my body, and I enjoyed the group. Since after exercising I was HUNGRY, for the most part I had some of my frozen soup mixes. I had read that walking 10 minutes three times a day helped lose weight. I didn’t do that either. I injured my foot and too much walking didn’t help. As a matter of fact — I seldom got more than 5,000 steps a day.

So I’m sure you are wondering what I an writing about. I’VE LOST WEIGHT! I have no idea how much I have lost — I used to look like I was 7 months pregnant. Maybe 5 months now — my husband says he is starting to see a waist. My fit bit used to be at the fourth notch when I woke in the morning, and I switched it to three as my wrists swelled. Today I hooked it at the 5th space and moved it to four as the day progressed. So not only is my belly shrinking — my wrist is also.

Soon we will go home. I’ll find out exactly how much weight I have lost. Hopefully I won’t regain the lost pounds. I won’t have my water exercise any more. I can still do my Tai Chi and leg exercises. Hopefully I will find other exercises that will help me.

Just HAD TO SHARE.

VIEW FROM THE PORCH

When we bought our property at the campground, we knew we were on the edge of the property. We didn’t realize how lucky we were. In the early days of the campground, cows were in the pasture across the road. I often walked across to visit. Various dogs of ours also crossed the road to visit the cows. I don’t think the cows were impressed. Time has passed and the cows are gone. Market conditions might have been the cause. Now the fields are planted with crop — grass, corn, beans, hay depending on the season and year. Our resident deer love to cross the road to graze on the various offerings. This year a mother and two fawn are going out for dinner.

Sometime along the way, a small park was installed across from us. Even though it is very small, it is a gathering place for many of the children. Last year when the tornado struck and demolished many trees, the second day we were allowed to return, I heard children’s voices coming from behind the trees. I wrote a speak up sheet asking that the park be replaced. I learned that the park hadn’t been in their plans but the speak up sheet worked. The park is even smaller — only a baby swing and a bigger swing, with a slide set. Last weekend 10 children were there at one time followed by other various groups. A red haired teenager took advantage of the swing and the quiet to have some quiet time of her own.

Our property faces south from which a breeze comes on most days. Thanks to the tornado, many of the trees are gone — the breeze isn’t blocked. When the temperature was in the 90’s, the breeze was a very welcome addition. Another advantage for us is that we are not close to the pools or the lakes. Even on busy weekends, our place is not crowded. Not having other campers across the road is also a blessing. Since it is so open, we can watch the lightening and the storms further south. Farmers cutting their crop. Once or twice a summer we are treated to crop dusting planes.

Recently we had the opportunity to purchase a self propelled used lawn mower. We have a service cut our lawn but not our son’s. The weed whacker my husband used was becoming too much work — equipment was needed. In the course of our conversation at the store, we learned that an antique tractor run was scheduled for the next day. Imagine our surprise when we saw the tractors on the back road, right across from our porch. I didn’t realize what I was seeing at first, so I didn’t count until 10 tractors had passed but I did get my camera for a couple of close shots.

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