Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘weather’

THWARTED

This word WAS NOT part of my vocabulary. It wandered into my mind. After checking to confirm that is was a word, I decided it was an excellent title for a thought ramble. Especially after the happenings in my life in January and February. Thwarted: “Block or Hinder. To keep from doing.”

Perhaps I should explain. In January I received an invitation to join Deepak Chopra for a 4 week meditation. I have tried to do his three week meditations in the past and although I still have trouble meditating, I thought I should keep trying. My schedule was clear — I thought I would be able to do it for four weeks. The first day, I connected to the meditation. That was the end of my success. Communication with the HELP desk didn’t help. From experience I knew I was being BLOCKED. WHY? No answer.

At the end of January the reason became apparent. Our 9 year old granddaughter’s migraines and thunder boomers had increased to such an extent that her mother took her to Diamond Clinic at St. Joseph hospital in Chicago. Her brother and their two dogs, one a black lab 4 month old puppy, stayed with us. When her father and brother returned home, I suggested the dogs stay with us. The puppy was excellent, just a puppy, forever hungry and wanting to play. All of Robin’s toys, in various states of togetherness, occupied the whole house. I quickly decided that exercise was NOT an option.

I was surprised at the number of states that the patients at St. Joseph came from. Diamond clinic must be very well known and we are blessed to have it in Chicago. Patients came from as far away as California and Georgia. Tennessee, Ohio and Missouri were also represented. Sadly the treatment didn’t get rid of my granddaughters headaches, although they might be better. I must admit that the house was quiet when the dogs left.

Our life returned to normal, right? WRONG! I’m still trying to catch up on sleep. Our winter weather mix is still continuing. Last Sunday was the first Sunday I attended Mass since Christmas. I don’t wander out when it is icy, nor do I drive. Watching the weather systems and shopping between them describes both January and February.

Shopping has presented its own challenges. I recently returned from Wal-Mart without half of my groceries. One bag was missing. Checking my receipt to get the phone number, I noticed that the items missing were not charged. ?? If there is an explanation, I don’t know what it is.

Sadly, I don’t keep good notes. I don’t write down the number of frustrations that are in each day. I read recently that I should note the co-incidences that occur in my life. I laughed. Co-incidences — DAILY? I don’t write down the number of times my brain doesn’t remember stuff. In other words, I don’t remember all of the times that thwarted fit the day. I’m sure it was a lot!

Advertisements

CHALLENGES

Often I can tell what kind of day it is going to be when I first get up. Sometimes the events of the day run very smoothly. My fingers don’t drop everything I touch. I don’t burn myself on the stove. My morning readings are encouraging. If I have to drive, the traffic is light. I find parking places and can get out of the car. Sometimes there are even bargains or sales of items I need.

Then there are the other days. I have trouble finding or putting on my clothes. My knees protest more. I drop too many things or my fingers forget how to work.

This morning I woke to challenges. It had snowed yesterday, we weren’t buried but I knew that I didn’t want to drive to church. Walking was out of the question. Ice? Distance? I planned to increase the distance that I walk each day, but it is still in the planning stage. I went back to bed.

Descending the staircase, my knees protested. Opening the back door, snow covered the stairs. Have broom, will sweep. Some of the stairs were very icy. I was very glad I decided NOT to go to church. Success! Stairs swept, salt poured down and I stayed upright.

I planned to make a pork roast in the slow cooker. Luckily my husband brought the cooker up from the basement and I had the pork roast in the refrigerator upstairs. Planning ahead, I made a low sodium soy sauce from a recipe in a cookbook from our first trip to Hawaii. I hadn’t read through the recipe, it required more steps than I planned, the challenges continued. Oops! Brown the roast — it almost fell on the floor.

I turned on my I-pad only to learn the internet was down. I asked my son for “help”. He said he didn’t have any problems. The internet was on. I was just BLOCKED.

I know I’m not the only one who has these kind of days. When they start like this, I pay more attention and SLOW down! I did. After breakfast which my husband cooked. I laid down to watch a couple of favorite cooking shows. I fell asleep.

I knew I had to write a couple of thought rambles. I had just read a story of the importance of telling your family stories. Although many of our stories have already been written and published, life goes on and so do my experiences.

I ordered new snow boots. They arrived yesterday — BEFORE the SNOW! I put on my boots and the rest of cold weather gear. I got Robin’s leash. She NEVER does her business in the backyard unless it is in the middle of night. I planned to take her for a walk. I was surprised when I noticed that she squatted and took care of business. I guess she didn’t want me to go for a walk!

As I searched for a title for this thought ramble, I opened a couple who shared the title I was thinking of. When I read them, I noticed most were written near the anniversary of the fire which sent my mother and brother home. SURPRISE– the anniversary is this week –FRIDAY!

BISON

I have visited the prairie at Natchusa for more years than I care to count. When I first wandered there in the 80’s, the only directions were paper plates with arrows. I think the prairie was huge — 400 acres. Gazing out from the top of the hill, I could see miles of tall grass waving in the wind. The only hint of modern times were the tall electric towers. I was young — able to walk the uneven terrain.

Fast forward 40 years. To say that I’m no longer young is an understatement. Natchusa has increased in size — more than 4000 acres. Three years ago, Bison were reintroduced to the prairie. The herd has grown, more land was set aside for their range. It is no longer possible to walk the acres of prairie.

The third Saturday of September is set aside as Autumn On The Prairie. Knowledgeable people donate their time for tours, demonstrations are scheduled, food is available. I have attended many third Saturdays over the years and I wanted to go. I knew that if my knees prevented my participation, I would be very upset.

Paying attention to my restrictions, I actually took a walking stick to help with the uneven terrain. We arrived early. I was surprised when I learned that a shuttle was available to take us from the parking lot to the entrance. I was impressed — changes had been made. There was a pump for water, a new sturdy bathroom — still chemical but spacious. The entrance now had an open roof with photos of the prairie and a history of its development. The pump, bathroom and entrance were brand new — just finished for the day.

Tickets were being given out for tours of the Bison. My husband got 140 and 141 for us. A shuttle was available to take us down to the Bison fence. Various carts were in service to take us out to the Bison. A person knowledgeable of the herd rode with each cart. The cart we were on had a ramp with a handhold. I COULD DO IT.

I will admit that I didn’t push myself to walk down or back up the hill. It was early in the day, the bison were curious — “Who were we?” — and came close enough to see them easily. We knew the temperature was climbing. The past few days had been in the 90’s with no wind. I was happy that we had not only arrived early but also got an early tour. So many people had arrived, more vehicles were pressed into service.

We stayed for a presentation by the group that saves hawks, falcons and owls. I gathered up my courage and walked up the hill along a path to the top of the hill. Signs were in place naming the various grasses and flowers. I didn’t press my ability and returned down the same path instead of walking through the tall grass.

Seeing the bison was interesting. An area in their habitat was fenced off so that the prairie without the Bison could be compared to their grazing land. Their area had tall flowers and short grass. The fenced in area had VERY TALL grass.

I was grateful that we went, grateful for the shuttles and VERY HAPPY that I was able to walk a tiny bit of the prairie. It was a beautiful day!

FIRE

I have to admit that I was puzzled. It was cool enough outside to make a meatloaf in the oven. After an hour, I didn’t smell meatloaf and opened the cold oven door. The flame had stopped sometime during the cooking process. I estimated about a half hour. My husband was able to light the pilot light, the oven regained 350 degrees and I finished cooking the meatloaf. The stove is old as our trailer, more than thirty years. What bothered me was gas escaping, the pilot light had gone out. My husband tried to figure out the cause — but our stove did not have automatic ignition. Too old. I phoned the person who repairs our trailer. As long as I didn’t use the oven, the pilot light stayed on.

My husband grilled a steak on our outside grill. We joined friends around their campfire. When we returned, I noticed heat coming from the grill. The gas had not been turned off.

Outside the temperature had risen, back into the seventies at night. Our furnace turned on TWICE during the night. Temperature on the thermostat was set at 70. Temperature in the camper was 80. ??
It was the weekend — our repairman was on a well deserved vacation. I vowed to call him on Monday.

Sunday night the light over our kitchen sink burned out. The number of fire — light appliances with problems was climbing. I’ll admit I was concerned. I’ll admit that I thought a message was trying to get through but I had NO IDEA what it was. We hadn’t been home much during the summer. I wondered if I needed to schedule a cleaning for our furnace at home.

After I called our repairman with the latest problem, we packed up to go home. My husband discovered a green frog on our bathroom wall. At first I thought it was one of our granddaughters toys until it moved. I was reminded — FROG — Full rely on God!

We stopped at an ice cream parlor on the way home. Since my husband was driving, I ordered a cherry ice cream soda and an order of French fries. I hadn’t had a cherry soda in years. I also ordered a chili dog and a chocolate shake for my husband. Carrying the tray out to their patio, the tray tilted — chili dog all over patio, ice cream soda all over the tray and me. Ops — WHAT A MESS! We cleaned up as best we could and I asked the people inside to run water on the patio to discourage the bees. Tiny bit of ice cream soda left — too sweet! My tastes have changed.

One of the first things I did when we reached home was call the furnace people and arrange for a cleaning.

CLIPPED WINGS

I had plans. They weren’t big plans or expensive plans. We were going to the country for almost a month. I planned to try to lose weight. I planned to exercise in the water almost every day. I planned to increase the number of steps — walk the short nature trail, add the trails I used to walk before my knees became a problem. I planned to do many meals in our crock pot — not only to save money but to control the amount of sodium I was eating.

God must have laughed. MY PLAN — did I consult to make sure my plans were agreeable? NO! I DID NOT! My plans quickly disappeared. Our first week, Robin and I walked the short version of the nature trail. I planned to increase the length the next week. I went to water exercise and maybe worked my legs too much. I made a pot of ham and beans in the slow cooker. My husband invited friends to help us eat it. Too high in sodium for me because of the ham but it was delicious! The temperature forecast was for 90. We went out for breakfast but I only ordered one egg, potatoes and rye toast. NOT WHAT I WANTED — I was watching sodium.

Returning to the car from shopping at the store — I pulled the hamstring at the back of my right knee. I don’t know what I did. I only know it HURT! ALL OF MY PLANS QUICKLY CHANGED. It hurt to sit down. In order to get back up — I had to have support to pull myself up. Thankfully supper was ready — in the crock pot. Even going to the bathroom was interesting. I couldn’t sit down. Thankfully the next day the swelling decreased enough so that I could sit in the bathroom.

I DO NOT MAKE A GOOD INVALID. My grandkids were at the campground — they were going to the pool. Sadly I decided to stay put, keep the leg up. It was hard to ice the leg since the pulled muscle was behind the knee. I finally put a bag of frozen vegetables on the chair and placed my leg on top. SUCCESS!

Having planned meals for the slow cooker — meal preparation was easier. I had the ingredients on hand. Thankfully my husband liked all the new recipes. So did our friends.

After almost two weeks — my leg is better — I have only gone to water exercise once. Doing too much — stressed the muscle. I have finally driven the car — but not the scooter. I have to remember to put my butt in the car, then add the legs. I still CAN NOT get up unaided. Our oldest daughter suggested I do Tia Chi — It is gentle stretching. Is it helping? I don’t know. But not hurting! I have walked the short nature trail — picked ripe blackcaps on the way.

SEWING MACHINE

I thought it would be EASY to fix a pulled seam on my husband’s shorts. It should have been. It should have taken me one half hour tops, including taking out the sewing machine and setting it up. The reality was that it took more than three hours. During that time I had to call on my husband two times for HELP!

Okay, first I’ll admit that I haven’t used the sewing machine in years. To tell the truth, I don’t remember how many years it has been since I last used it. I made Christmas presents — not sure which present it was. I used to use the machine often — square dance clothes, Halloween costumes, tote bags. It was my friend. Together we accomplished many things. The memories of those times kept me trying to get the machine to work right.

First the pressure foot didn’t seem to hold the material. I thought the machine might need to be oiled — first call to my husband. He knows how to oil machines. Thankfully we had oil that would work. I still had the instruction book that showed which parts needed to be oiled. A little bit of oil and the pressure foot held the fabric and moved it through. SUCCESS!

For a minute. Then a needle broke. I FOUND a new needle! The instruction book showed the steps for threading the machine. The newly threaded machine broke the thread. MANY TIMES! I could NOT figure out what I was doing wrong. Time passed. It had been a rainy day, then the sun came out. Opportunity’s to go out — Rib Fest — Blues Fest — beckoned.

EXCEPT — Have I mentioned that I’m stubborn. I did not want to put the machine away in pieces or not working right. I DID NOT WANT TO GIVE UP. Time passed. The thread traveled through the machine the way it was supposed to. Then the bobbin thread started to bunch up and tangle. I didn’t do anything to the bobbin thread! WHY? Taking the bobbin assembly out of the machine has NEVER been easy for me! SOME THINGS DON’T CHANGE.

Finally — machine back together, I adjusted the stitch length and it WORKED! Fixed my husbands shorts, fixed a pair of my own, and a blouse and a rain coat. SUCCESS! Of course it was too late to go out and play. Truth be told — my legs were sore from the day before. I had such an enjoyable time at the Blues Fest — there was no way I could repeat it.

I was able to put my friend — the machine — away in good condition. I always acknowledge that “I have friends in high places.” Evidently it was best for me to stay home and they “helped!”

HI BROTHER

I noticed this morning that I needed one more thought ramble to have something scheduled to publish for the full month of June. Hopefully we will be going to the camper where internet access while available is not as convenient. My recent experience with the heat doesn’t give me much hope for brain function.

As most of you know, when I was four, my mother and brother passed over because of a fire. Did I pass over too and be sent back? Does it matter? If I had any unusual talents at the time — in the late 40’s and 50’s, having extra talents was not safe. So I hid them and they disappeared.

Slowly some talents are surfacing, I’m sure why, maybe because of “help from my friends.” I have a job to do.

The day before my brother’s birthday, a phone call to my daughter ended in the middle of a conversation THREE times. The day of his birthday, before we left for the camper I NOTICED six iris where in bloom in the back yard. I successfully took a picture with the I pad and posted it on MESSENGER to share with my family. (I’m not skilled doing that.) I have a note that mention’s MAJOR HELP but I didn’t go into details. Sadly, I often neglect to write things down. Maybe it is a good thing I do thought rambles on a regular basis.

Are you AWARE? Has writing about some of my experiences “helped” you? What am I going on and on about? Is there a reason?

YES! This morning before going to Mass, I took Robin for her morning walk. Blue skies — not a cloud anywhere. We had a heavy rain during the night but all the clouds had moved on. Slightly chilly. I had on a light jacket that has a hood. Walking under a fully leafed oak tree, I received a shower. So heavy was the water, I raised the hood of my jacket. “Hi Brother.”

I really don’t know if he was the cause BUT who but a younger brother would tease his sister? I have MANY friends in high places, but only one brother!

Tag Cloud