Random Acts of Kindness, Week Three

dsc02270When there are cats and Christmas trees in the house, the inevitable happens. The cat hangs out under the tree. (Do dogs do this, too? Our dog was always too big to fit under there, but maybe smaller dogs like to get under the tree?) This behavior stops when we fill that space up with presents, but I have a thing about not putting presents under the tree until a few days before Christmas. In the meantime, Gracie’s spot is safe.  At least until Zoe – the other cat – decides it is her turn. Fortunately both of them leave the ornaments alone, and somehow, neither of them is interested in climbing the tree. I know.  I’m lucky. I think we’ll keep them.

Do you do appetizers or brunches during the holidays? Here is a good recipe that always go over well. (And it’s easy.  We all need easy during the holidays.)

dsc02269Bacon-Wrapped Waterchestnuts

2 cans of whole water chestnuts
1 lb of bacon, sliced into thirds


1 cup ketchup
1 cup sugar
1 Tbl. lemon juice
(OR your favorite BBQ sauce)

Wrap each water chestnut with bacon and secure with a toothpick.  Layer on a shallow edged pan and bake at 350 degrees for one hour, or until the bacon looks done.  Drain and then pour the sauce over everything. Put back in oven until sauce is heated through.

We’re hoping to be heading out of town for the weekend, but I’ll be back to emails on Tuesday. (Hoping, meaning we’re keeping our eye on the storms going across the midwest. We were supposed to be gone Friday- Sunday, but now we’re trying for Saturday-Monday. Email Susan if you need help on Monday – susan AT theloopyewe DOT com. Or call!) I can’t believe that next week is Christmas already. This month went WAY too fast.

Don’t forget to leave your RAKs in the comments today! We have another drawing for this week’s contest and I’ll announce the winner on Monday again. I love reading your RAKs!

Sheri hopingtogetsomegoodknittingdoneinthecaronourquicktrip


  1. I parked downtown on Tuesday and noticed the guy behind me had run out of meter time, so plugged some quarters into the meter for him. I noticed he was still parked there when I got back about 50 minutes later, so am sure he would have received a ticket if I hadn’t put the coins in.

  2. I shared the RAK’s that I’ve done the last two weeks, but I don’t have one to share this week…instead, I was the recipient of two RAK’s! In the extreme cold that we in Minnesota experienced this last week, my garage door wouldn’t open. I called the garage door company in our town and they came out right away, fixed the problem (it was minor) and didn’t charge me 🙂 Next, I noticed fluid leaking out of my van, so I took it right away to the shop. They looked at it for me and told me the problem (I need a new head gasket -ouch!), but that they couldn’t fix it…I’d have to take it to a full-repair shop. Again, no charge. I’ve learned this week that the universe really does shine upon the kindness we show to one another because it comes back to us 100 fold!

  3. I babysat for my wonderful neighbor who has 4 boys (two under age 4) so she could 1. Breathe and 2. Wrap presents for the kids. The kids helped me make breadsticks and we had a great time (even with flour EVERWHERE) and got to eat some tastee bread.

    Stay at home moms need support (that was me a few years ago and I remember how tough it was before the kids went to school.)! I was glad to help and she was so relieved.

  4. Last night returning to the car after finishing up some Christmas shopping, a woman approached us with tears in her eyes. She was totally embarrassed at what she was doing. She has a job, she has a roof over her head, but had no money to buy food for her and her daughter until her next paycheck. I dug into my purse and gave her $40 along with a big hug.

  5. Let’s see – RAK this week included making a donation to the Nashville Food Bank.

    And no, so far out dogs don’t do the Christmas tree thing, but we do have to secure the Christmas tree to the wall with fishing line and nails to keep the cats from tumping it over.

  6. It’s been lovely to read the RAK’s so far!

    Mine doesn’t feel that important, it doesn’t feel as a RAK at all, in fact, but I’ll mention it anyway. I’m teaching mathematics in high school, and last week I arranged a major test for my students. I gave it back to them on Monday this week with grades and comments. Two of the students was not very happy with their grades, and asked me to look at their answers one more time. It is not expected of me as a teacher to do that, but I did anyway. And I gave one of them a slightly better grade.

  7. I am so very fortunate in my life. My RAK were simple: I let a man juggling a head of lettuce, a couple cans of tuna, a jar of mayo, a couple jars of pickles and some pita bread (wonder what he was having for lunch?!) into the express line ahead of me.

    Then there was my newly finished tri-patterned, bi-color hat… In the grocery store, I kept running into the same woman in different sections and she always commented on my hat. She pulled into the checkout line behind me and again told me how she loved my hat. I finished paying and then gave the sweet little bagger my hat and asked her to give it to the woman behind me. “You’re giving her your hat?” I nodded. The glorious smile that transformed her face was enough to make me simply float home. It was her RAK for me.

  8. That waterchestnut recipe is an interesting idea! As soon as I find a great way to veganise it, I’m gonna give it a try! Thanks for sharing that inspiring idea!
    As for my RAK this week, it was giving my mom a hand with sorting through her mother’s belongings. My grandmother died last spring, and ever since my grandfather told my mom at the end of the summer that he was ready for grandma’s things to be cleared out of the house, Mom has been trying to gather all of her sisters and nieces so that they share the task while choosing what they wanted to keep. Everyone said they wanted to come, but no one ever made time for it. Mom was a bit desheartened by this, but the fact that I went with her (and that two of her sisters finally showed up) cheered her up a bit. At the end of the day, she was extremely happy that I came, because while she was sorting the clothes, I could take care of something that she hadn’t thought would need to be taken care of: grandma’s craft supplies. It was great that I could get it done so that Mom didn’t have to go and spend another day doing that. And to me, it was a real treat to go through grandma’s tools and supplies!
    Oh, that reminds me of another one: while doing this, I’ve found something that grandma had started crocheting for my grandfather, and it was *this* close to being done. I haven’t yet learned how to crochet, but I decided I couldn’t leave it like that, so I did my best to finish it – it isn’t perfect, but grandpa can now use the last thing his wife crocheted for him, and I’m happy there’s a little bit of me in it too.

  9. I love reading these posts.

    This week I did a few RAKs. I sent packages to two people in the RAK group on Ravelry fulfilling some of their wishes. I also sent a surprise care package out to my former coworker who moved away for a job opportunity last month. She’s happy with the new job, but it’s still been a hard adjustment.

    I also was the recipient of an amazing RAK yesterday. I’m in Buffalo and we got a ton of snow yesterday. There was a foot on the ground when we left work and the parking lot hadn’t been plowed at all. A good Samaritan appeared and helped us push the car out into a more well-traveled area so that we could get home.

  10. My yorkie Lucy would definately eat the ornaments and pine needles if we had a “regular” tree–so I’m sticking with my mini table-top tree again this year.

    For my RAK this week, I got gift cards for the two guys that work at the Blockbuster we go to. They’re always giving us suggestions and joking around with us, and a Chipotle opened up next door, so we got them Chipotle gift cards. Who wouldn’t want that?!!

  11. I bought Starbucks for all of the girls who work for me, just because I know retail is so rough this time of year and they deserve a special treat for working so hard!

  12. I forgot to post on Friday. It’s been a hard week for us – lots of Dr’s appointments for both girls – specialists and then the little one gets sick later in the week, so off to one for Dr (ped) – 3 Dr’s in 3 different cities – ugh. A fortune in co-pays and med’s.
    Anyway, my RAK this week were to be really nice to all the people who work in all the Dr’s offices. I also let anyone with fewer groceries then me to jump ahead of me in line. I didn’t really have much more time then that. My DH gets a RAK of kindness this week – he helped me get out of the house several times without the kids – always a good thing! Happy Holidays!

  13. I had a tree climber cat- it always cracked me up. I just made sure the tree was really sturdy.

    My RAK- I always sweep or rake the leaves on my neighbors walk if I’m out doing mine.

  14. My goodness, what a week!
    I’m back home after a week’s aftermath of an ice storm that took out power lines in a good part of central Massachusetts. Today, I’m home. I have heat and electricity. There are a few towns that are still with out power. I hope they are back up before the next storm hits, tomorrow.

    My RAK this week was a donation to a scholarship for students who are especially at financial risk set up at my alma mater.

  15. I flew today to be with our son for the holidays. Behind me a gentleman asked not to recline my seat because it would crowd his sleeping son. With a smile I spent the 2 and a half hours with my seat in upright position. Not very comfortable but I got a lot of reading and the child slept all the way.

  16. A former boss passed away last year. He was great at taking pictures of all of us employees and we even took a few of him. When our location closed, he sent all of those pictures to our corporate Human Resources director. After his death, she sent me those pictures. I have been slowly trying to find old employees, sending them their pics. I mailed out some more pics this weekend.

    By the way, my dog is too big to fit under the tree, but my cats love to lie there. Unfortunately, they also sometimes play with the ornaments and the garland, so some mornings I redecorate the bottom of the tree!

  17. My cats have always loved lying under the tree-but no tree for me this year! I have a new 6 month old kitty who is way too crazy to have a tree. Hopefully next year he’ll be a bit more calm and I can try it.
    My RAK this week has been that every time I’m in the grocery store (seems like every day!) I add a $5 for Harvesters to my bill. Tonight the woman behind me saw me do it, and she did too! We just smiled at each other and wished the other Happy Holidays!

  18. My dachshund does love the underside of christmas trees. And he’s shaped for it too, he can get under everything! My RAK this week – singing christmas carols with my choir at a cafe driven by a mission who works for the homeless in our town. It was such a nice hour, for us singing and for all the people who came to hear too, I hope.

  19. We were out the other night in the snowstorm, and came across a young woman whose car was in a snowbank. Not only was she not dressed for the conditions, she had no shovel. My husband stopped and dug her out, and made sure her car was unharmed. She kept saying that she wanted our address so that she could have us over for dinner, but we insisted that it was no strings attached and she should pass the kindness along.

  20. Hi Sheri!

    Well, we left colorado on Friday when the fog was freezing to the trees – beautiful. Our cats have never climbed up on the tree, but our Harley always has to check out the boxes and claim one or two hers. After they are opened she has to sit in every single one, then picks her favorite – where we find her snoozing later.

    We traveled to a warmer climate this year (HI) so luckily we are missing all the snow and freezing temps – at noon the temp on my computer says it is 7 F at home. Brrr.

    My RAK – I usuall purchase a book of bus pass tickets, and this year we had several left over – they expire every year. Since I know i will not be able to use them all, I handed them out to others that didn’t have the cash or lost their pass. about 5 in total.

    At least I know they will go to good use instead of the trash.

    Have a wonderful holiday!

  21. A friend recently told me about a pet rescue organization that she volunteers with. It is sort of like the underground railroad for dogs and cats. A woman at a shelter in KY drives a box truck full of dogs and cats to a stop in PA where the animals are then unloaded, walked and reloaded back into multiple vans, cars and trucks and sent on to either new homes or to other local rescues around the northeast that will then find new homes for them. I mentioned to her that I would love to help in any way I could. She gave me her email address and told me to send her an email if I was really interested. I emailed, and she told me I could help in a big way just by showing up and helping to walk the dogs as they got out of the truck.
    I spent an hour last Sunday walking dogs. It was the best time. The dogs were so excited to get out of the truck and walk on grass.
    Every two weeks this takes place.

  22. We just took a a visitor at our church to lunch. She’s a single mom with four kids, and she doesn’t often get to sit down and enjoy a relaxing meal. It was great to have time to chat with her and the kids!

  23. Luckily our dog ignores the tree. (Previous dogs used to drink out of the tree stand…yuck.)

    A very minor RAK…. did a little extra shoveling to free the snow bound fire hydrant in front of a neighbors house.

    Happy travels and Merry Christmas!

  24. My Rak was just a small one, but I hope one that will last into the future. I donated to the “bell ringers” as my 4 yr old calls them. We discussed what they were doing & why they are ringing the bells & he decided he needed money to give too =) Hopefully he continues this thoughtfull-ness in Christmases to come. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all.

  25. I don’t think this is a RAK but just something you do as a good neighbor.

    Since everyone in Seattle is practically snowed in, we went and checked on our elderly neighbor to make sure she was ok or needed anything.

  26. I had a bench donated in my late niece’s name on the local bicycle trail. Last year it got vandalized and the town had to replace it. This year the one next to it got hit. The man from the Public Works Dept. called me to tell me he had my bench moved to a more secure location. I thought that was so nice of him. I went to WAWA’s and got him a gift card as a thank you and mailed it off to him.

  27. I know that smaller dogs really do love hanging out under the tree because we used to have a dog when I was growing who thought that the tree was the greatest thing since sliced bread. He’d just hang out under the tree all day, whether there were presents or not. 🙂

    Also, I don’t know if this counts as a RAK or not but I was invited to a big knit night several miles from where I live. I was very tempted to go but I wasn’t really sure. I happened to be in the library the day of the big knit night and I overheard the librarian saying that she was the only person who attended the “Yarn & Yak” at our library on the same night. So instead of going to a big knit night I packed up my knitting and I surprised her by showing up to hers instead. She seemed so excited to have company and we ended up talking for hours. Needless to say, we’ll be our own two man knitting group from now on.

  28. I won a contest at work and gave the prize (a PlayStation 3) to my “nephew” for Christmas. My friend and her husband are dead broke, and it’s the thing their son wants the most. I could have chosen something for myself (it was a short list of prizes), but I would never have been happy with it, knowing I could have given him a good Christmas in tough times.

  29. Bought Starbucks for the man behind me in line this morning. Also sent five boxes for soldiers with items from the recommended list. It was fun doing that and included handknit socks for each made out of yarn from the Loopy Ewe.

  30. Our dog Ringo doesn’t like to lay under the tree but he does like to sniff the branches (In the spring he likes to walk around outside and smell the flowers).

    For my RAK this week I baked some cookies this weekend and gave them to a Co-worker that I knew wasn’t going to get to see a lot of family this year.

  31. I really only did one RAK this week. Our short day is Wednesday and instead of going home early, or getting more planning in, I spent an hour at the after school Talent show that the day care put on. I gave the kids some encouragement, and even helped to comfort one girl who was upset that her partner hadn’t liked her dress. Ahhh, the drama of third graders.

  32. Our dog is a little too big for laying under the Christmas tree, and I think he’s a little suspicious of the tree. He kind of ignores it and avoids it. Which is better than trying to eat it or climb it…

    RAK: I shoveled my neighbor’s driveway. (Well I actually used the snow blower…) They were out of town when we got socked with 12 inches of snow. At least they could find their driveway when they got back!

    Is it ever going to stop snowing?

  33. I let some harried moms with kids go ahead of me in line at the store. My kids helped some more senior members of the community unload their grocery carts into their cars while we were in the parking lot and it was waaaaay below zero yesterday. We recently had an ice storm and I sent goodies to my two elderly neighbors with the kids… but the real reason for the visit was to make sure their heat was still on. 😉

  34. Hope you had a good weekend! On Friday I was downtown and had to park at a meter. When I left, I filled the meter with quarters so the next person wouldn’t have to pay.

  35. I don’t know if I should post this but, what the hay!!
    Here in Gitmo we have lots of folks who rely on the bus system. I always feel for them taking “public transportation” when I practically live in my truck. Because my daughter is in daycare I have made great friends with the ladies that care for her. They are a great group of women who are by majority from Jamaica. Cidney loves them to death and looks forward to seeing them each day… so much that we have to stop at the “flower bush” every morning on the way in (sorry, I don’t know what kind of flower it is… but, it’s yellow!!) to pick a flower for someone everyday… it has changed from day-to-day but, is usually one of the same four people. She was told that she can only pick one flower a day that’s why she decided that she’d start giving leaves too.

    I thought I’d take a cue from her and her “flower delivery” to offer them a ride anytime they appeared to need one. I finally was able to give one of the ladies a ride home. It made me feel good even if it was only a few miles. 😉

  36. Yum! Those bacon-wrapped water chestnuts look so good! My mom always made those for parties, but we used brown sugar instead of white sugar and I don’t think we added the lemon juice. Delicious!

    I can’t think of a specific RAK I did from last week, but I did help clean up after our office Christmas party on Friday and even offered to carry garbage bags out to the dumpster in the rain.

  37. I brought a load of toys and children’s books for Toys for Tots last week. It is always nice knowing that some child is going to have a little brighter holiday for my efforts.

    At a party, myself and a friend filled a dessert plate to bring to one of our friends who couldn’t attend. She really appreciated the chance to get a little holiday chit chat along with the sweets.

  38. We ended up not doing a tree at all this year, because our cats would destroy it. So we skipped it entirely, and decorated other things. It actually worked out pretty nicely. 🙂

    My week has been spent mostly snowed-in, so my one little RAK was to put aside all my unfinished Christmas knitting, and whip out a baby blanket for a friend’s new grandbaby, who arrived early, and the new mom is barely out of her teens (new dad isn’t quite 18 yet) so they’ll have something warm to wrap the new little one in to bring her home, in the snowy crazy we’re experiencing.

    I did also purchase a couple books for Borders book drive for children on Sat while I was finishing up my last-minute shopping.

  39. I’m sure I am too late for this week, but what the heck, contests aren’t the reason to do RAKs anyway, right? Anyway, I overnighted my mom a pair of handknit wool socks(even though she lives in Florida and never really wears socks, except for golf socks in cotton, a pair of which I knitted for her for Christmas) becasue she was flying to Denver today for Christmas with my sister, and it is really COLD there right now. I didn’t want her to get cold feet in store-bought socks. Merry Christmas Sherri!

  40. Don’t get me started on cats and trees. Especially cats who find their catnip toys that Santa left for them under the tree. FPS…you’d think I’d know better than to let Santa do that!

    Here in New Hampshire, we’ve been struggling along without power for a week after the Great Ice Storm of 2008 and finally have it restored. I saw a crew working on my street late last Thursday night on my way home from work, so I turned my car around, went to the local Dunkin’ Donuts (hey, it’s NH…), got 4 large coffees and some muffins and brought them to the wonderful men from Hydro Quebec who had just restored my power after 7 days! The RAK was really theirs for giving up time with their families to be here in horrible conditions working 19 hours a day to bring power back to us. God bless them!! They were very happy to get the hot coffee and muffins and although they didn’t speak much English, the hugs crossed all language barriers!

  41. I hope it’s not to late.

    I want to tell you about a wonderful gift I received – I’m still gobsmacked from the experience.

    One of my friends (and one of your customers) sent me a camera. I’d broken mine while I was in NYC, and lamented online about my loss.

    I was so touched and encouraged. What did I do to deserve this?

  42. I read in Ravelry about someone’s total yarn reserves being stolen by an intruder. I am mailing her some choice yarns from my stash. Plus it’s her birthday right now, wanted to make her days a little brighter

  43. I have a contract where I shop for soft drinks and generally have tons left. I have donated some of the extras to neighbours for the fund raising events held through their jobs. Clears out my space and improves the amount they can raise.

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