Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘husband’ Category

The Real Protector

We have a puppy.  A little dog who will never be much more than 10 or 11 pounds.  She is a lot of fun – and to be sure, so much more than I ever thought possible because she seems so human.  But I will never feel protection from her.  Just a lot of love.

This is our 10 month old Bichon Frise named Daisy. 
She is a wonderful dog.  She likes to cuddle and play, be silly – and loves to make us laugh by dragging a shoe or slipper off and then turning to see our reaction.  She is not destructive like I’ve heard so many breeds of dogs can be – especially when left alone for long periods of time.  When we come home from being gone – nothing is disturbed – and we know she just runs upstairs to our bed and sleeps.  She is gentle and LOVES people – sometimes too much and gets TOO excited when first greeting them, but then soon calms down and enjoys just being near anyone.  She follows me everywhere – my little shadow, hanging on my every word.

But Daisy is NOT a watch dog.  I’m glad I was somewhat prepared for this before deciding on the right breed for us.  I wanted a companion dog – Greg works a lot at night and knew it would be important to have the right kind of dog to keep me company.  And having a dog around I just knew I would be safer as the dog would alert me,  bark or growl and scare away prowlers and the like – at least I thought.  

However, Bichons are lovers not fighters.  Alas – that sweet cottony white angel is too gently and timid to be much of a menacing presence to scare anyone.  But they like to think they are.  For example:  she will be out in the yard playing, something will spook her, like the dogs barking next door and she will run in the doggie door and look through the french doors to the backyard and BARK AND BARK her head off.  Even occasionally HOWL and GROWL with such LOUD DETERMINATION – all the while safe in her own home.  It is quite humorous and this can go on for a very long time – until she feels the danger has passed – or that she has exerted herself for long enough to tell “them” a thing or two.

Unfortunately for me – she also feels the need to “alert” me – or “them” of her superiority in the “wee” hours while Greg is out and I am trying to sleep.  It can be very alarming to be awakened out of a deep sleep with Daisy barking before even raising her head and then flying off the bed to tell “whomever’ or ‘whatever’ that she is the boss of this house.   This behavior puts me in such a state of panic – I actually think there really is someone in the house – especially when she won’t stop growling standing firmly on the upstairs banister – staring straight down into the dark downstairs.   Yikes.  The first time it happened, several weeks ago, I was quite alarmed, thinking there really was someone in the house.  I turned on my iPhone and called Greg.  He said it was probably nothing – and sure enough – it was.  It did freak me out a little though, if I’m honest.  It does not happen every night – just enough to throw me off, keep me a little off-balance and really mess with me!

Last night it happened again.  But by now I have realized what makes her jump thinking the neighbors have probably just come home and opened up their garage door, which sounds a great deal like ours when it opens.  Daisy is waiting for “Daddy” to get home and is always sleeping with one eye open – waiting for that glorious moment when she can fly down the stairs to meet him :)  We both know the real protector of our home -

It’s Greg.

God Bless

How Do You Love?

Last night Greg and I watched the movie “Three Men and a little Lady” – made some 20 years ago or so. In the last part of the movie – the leading man finally finds the courage to tell the leading woman how he feels about her. She wonders what took him so long (5 years later) in fact on her wedding day to another man – he finally confesses that he loves her, not just for her 5 year old daughter, but for himself alone. Complicated? Yes. Self serving? I’m not sure. Does he have the right to love for just how it makes him feel? With no regard to how anybody else does? Because it brings him happiness to love her?

This has always been a topic of conversation around our house. Greg has always claimed that love in its most stripped down mode – is selfish. I’m not sure I have always agreed. I’ve had my share of relationships (in the love department) gone sour and very bad. And though I agree with the premis – I have trouble coming to grips with loving someone just because it feels good or because they love me. Aren’t people worth loving even when they don’t love back? How about those who choose to walk away? Are we to stop loving them?

The Bible tells us that God loved us while we were still sinners – and far from Him – Christ died for us. That kind of love is far beyond our comprehension. We as human beings have trouble with it. Most people who hurt us, mistreat us, stop loving us, turn away, love someone else, stop speaking, etc. – we write off as being unlovable and unreachable. Even when we have had relationship with them that has been good at one time. How different we are from the heart of God. God loves even when it is not returned.

Marriage – especially a long-term one is a great example of unconditional love. You don’t always feel like loving all the time. There are disagreements and differences. There is not always romance. You don’t say: “I will love you as long as it feels good for me and as long as you love me back – otherwise all bets are OFF!” Love is so much more than that – it is a choice. 7 days a week, 12 months, 365 days a year. Every year. Through rain and shine – thick and thin – in sickness and in health. Even when the person does not love you back in the way you think they should. Even when they don’t always understand you. Even then.

How do you love? Does your love have conditions? Is your love a selfish love that says: I will love you only if you love me back? I will give of my time only if I get something back from it? Are people worth loving just simply because they are?

I think they are.

 

God Bless

Southeastern Sneakers

Yesterday while driving to an appointment something to the side of the road caught my eye.  An older gentleman running in the above rain boots.  It was especially comical because it was not raining yesterday – and he was wearing shorts.  Yup – not making it up.

My husband spent a good deal of his life in Alaska, and after we were first married we lived in Juneau for a year.  The common foot attire was – and still is this:

That’s right.  They are affectionately known as – Southeastern Sneakers.

When I saw that man running along the side of the road – it took me back to years ago when this is exactly what you would see in Juneau.  People work in them, play in them and even run in them.

What funny sites have you witnessed lately?  Anything that made you stop short and just stare?  Did it conjure up a memory from your past?

Take care and God Bless

Things That Go SQUEAK In The Night

I am used to unusual noises in our home – especially at night.  We live in an older home and it likes to POP and CRACK at the most inconvenient times – like when I’m all alone.  When we first moved in – almost 10 years ago, I was downstairs in my office – and the wind blew a door shut upstairs.  I was SURE there was someone in our house!  It sounded creepy like footsteps above me!   And going to sleep was difficult at first.  But over time I have become accustom to it.  When we have guests here – often they will hear something above their heads and then look at us quizzically, and then ask, “are you sure there is no one home”?   We will then nod and look at each other with knowing looks (we could really have fun with people if we chose to) and say, “it’s just our old creaky house – it likes to settle.

It is also not unusual for Greg to be gone until the wee hours of morning.  He is a contractor in his “other” job, moonlighting for a company called “Northwood Construction” and they are contracted out to many Starbucks stores in the greater Seattle area.  So his job includes, and is not limited to:  window washing after hours, high dusting, pressure washing and light maintenance.  Last night it was another late one.  He has become an expert at slipping in very quietly – that is until we got a puppy. Dogs have an uncanny way of smelling and hearing you before you arrive – and our puppy is always looking for someone to come and see her and is listening intently – especially for Dad to come home after working.

So Greg can not exactly slip in unnoticed anymore.  Daisy will jump off the bed, and I will hear her running down the hall, clickety click – down the stairs and then to the back door wagging her tail madly and waiting for that magic moment when Greg opens the door.  Last night was no exception.  But Greg was very quiet and soon I drifted back to sleep.  The next thing I remember was hearing a very loud SQUEAK from one of Daisy’s toys and wondered to myself, “why is she playing with her toys in the middle of the night?” and then I heard a very LOUD CRASH – which had me sitting straight up in bed yelling, “Greg?  Is that you?  What’s going ON?”  This was accompanied by Greg laughing out loud and saying, “well – first I tried to turn out the light down here, I stepped on this blasted squeaky toy and then in the dark, I knocked over the coffee table!”  We had a good laugh as I accused him of playing with Daisy’s toys and telling him I was sure it had been her!

It’s the little comedies in life that give an extra sparkle to relationships and have us looking at ourselves and others with humor – as we all try to  take ourselves a little less seriously.  And folks, if you can laugh at things even in the middle of the night – then I would say that you have passed the test and have found the little things are some of the most important things, after all.

Here’s wishing you and yours a little more comedy and a little less tragedy as you discover laughter and the true medicine it is :)

God Bless

Never Assume

English muffin on a salad plate with table knife.

Image via Wikipedia

It all started with a simple english muffin.  A misunderstanding and an example for my blog today.  But first – I have to go back a few years…

I remember taking classes on the subject “never assume” when I worked for a cable company years ago.  The simple concept stuck with me – and I try to be clear in my intentions and words to people.  But I am not always successful.

In my own business, I have a written contract stating the obvious, things like payment, make-up lessons and what is expected and have students and parents sign it.  I learned the hard way that when it is business – you must never assume that everyone can read your mind and know what your intentions are.   Before using a contract – it was very difficult to collect the monthly fee from those who would start and not finish out a 3 month period – which I now require in my contract.  I would “assume” they would understand and just somehow know my heart.  Yeah right.

In the cable company, where I was office manager – it was important to train our staff to speak clearly and never assume that you had covered an issue – or that others could read their minds – when things like payment and appointment times were in question. Many times we were caught in the “I thought you knew that, sir” – and the  “you never said that” game.

At home and with our families – this concept again came into play MANY times – especially with young children.  Greg and I thought we had told them something – and they were quick to say, “you never said that” – on many issues regarding school, friends coming over and just about everything else you can name.

It puts me in mind of the Brady Bunch show of the late 60’s and early 70’s – where the eldest son Greg wants to go out and his dad asked him to rake leaves or some chore before he left.  Greg didn’t do the chore but went out – got caught and then proceeded to tell his father that he was not very clear about the exact time that he had to do the chore and insisted that he was SURE his dad had meant before bed – and it was still before bed and he had planned all along to do it when he got home.  It baffled and confused his dad so much (all teenagers are good at letting us thing that WE are the crazy ones) that he decided to make a deal with Greg and have him live by EXACT words.  He warned Greg that living by this method is difficult to live up to – but they made the bargain and it ended up costing Greg in the end of the program as he had to miss something important with his own exact words to do a chore for his dad.

I have tried to use exact words with my own children – but every once in a while – we too would do the same dance that Greg on the Brady Bunch did with his own dad.

I have found that it’s not just limited to children either.  Yesterday morning I was making a big breakfast, hash browns, ham, eggs, the works and got the english muffins out of the freezer.  Greg was standing over by the toaster making coffee.  I placed the muffins on the counter right beside him and said, “do you want english muffins with breakfast?”  He mumbled something that sounded like “Sure – Okay” – what I really meant was: “please take the muffins out of the package and place them in the toaster and PUSH DOWN”  Greg did not read my mind – or catch my drift and just walked away to another room.  A few minutes later when I was dishing up the breakfast on plates – I looked around for the toasted and buttered muffins – and to my surprise – they were STILL in the package where I placed them!

We had a good laugh over that one – and I should know by now that I can never assume that people (Greg) understands even the hints that I drop – when it seems more than reasonable to me.

When was the last time you assumed someone understood what you meant?  Were you baffled by their response or lack of one?

God Bless

Finding Better Things To Do

Yesterday in keeping with my article theme of “Finding My Sense of Humor” – I will recount our yesterday’s activities in full.

The “plan” was to go with Greg to Snoqualmie Ridge to help him set up a table for a wedding venue event hosted at the hotel for the next day.  Then we were going to take advantage of the sunshine and find a nice little trail – and go for a long hike.

I’ve lost about 25 pounds since last August – and I’ve been having trouble losing that last 15.  I’ve been just stuck – no matter what I do.  Granted – it’s winter, colder weather – not enough nice days to do a 2 mile walk (like we used to everyday)  But that’s no excuse as we DO have an elliptical machine.  It’s just that I really hate it.  No I mean REALLY HATE it.  I still use it – but I prefer getting out and walking.

So when the weather is nice (no rain, ice or freezing temperature and wind) then it’s a perfect day to go walking.

So we finished up at the hotel and Greg drove to a spot where they have these cool old trains and a cute little museum in the town of Snoqualmie and we parked the car and started walking toward the little trail.

Did I mention there were cute old trains?

Yeah – well we found some.  And I will blame Greg for distracting us from our “plan” – because he just had to climb on all of them – and I being the photographer that I am (or try to be) just HAD to take pictures.  It was a must.  I would be negligent if I didn’t take them.

After exploring those for a while we decided that we really SHOULD go for our walk.  We went to cross the street and right in front of us was a candy shop – with homemade fudge and salt water taffy.  I told Greg we really HAD to go in.  He said, “what about our walk”?  I told him I was cold and really needed to go in there to warm up – and look at the candy :)  So we went in – and came away with only one milk chocolate turtle, one milk chocolate peanut butter cup, one large piece of a toffee nut bar and several pieces of salt water taffy.

As we left the store we saw this cool sign:

We chuckled because our church name is “LifePoint” and I had to stop and text this picture to our pastor, Stephen – who I knew would enjoy it just as much as we did – (and he did – so it was worth it!)

By then I had run out of excuses for taking the walk – but we were in a town higher in elevation than I was used to – even though it was sunny and clear – and suddenly it was freakishly COLD.  I had my mittens on – but no hat or warm socks and my ears and toes were freezing.  I told Greg I couldn’t possibly walk with it SO cold.

We crossed the street and decided to look around in the old train museum and eventually came to the little gift shop – where an elderly man dressed like a train conductor was behind the counter.  He was cheerful and full of ‘one-liners’ and puns about all sorts of subjects and had us laughing and feeling very good that we did NOT take our walk after all.

Life is short.  Sometimes – there are just better things to do.

When was the last time you had a ‘plan’ and life took another turn?

God Bless

Talking In Code

Description: Coffee cortado (An latte art exam...

Image via Wikipedia

The other day I was out with Greg after a long exhausting day – first to a friends’ memorial service and then to a wedding – back to back.  Talk about the range of emotions!  And the day before that we had taken a long road trip to visit our new puppy.   So we went from happy to sad back to happy in a very short amount of time.

At the end of the wedding – we decided to stop at Forza, a coffee place in Puyallup, for a coffee and muffin to share.  While there, seated at a high table with matching high chairs – we were sipping our coffee and we began reflecting on the couple of days.  Because there were other customers in the coffee shop, one that was directing behind Greg’s left shoulder, I had to talk to him in “code”.

You know – the “code”.  The kind of talk that two people should understand when living with someone as long as we have.  It’s “talking” – but not really saying anything.  Smaller words – hand gestures, eye contact and facial expressions.  And because the subject was delicate and sensitive – especially the memorial service – I was trying to be “discreet”.

Women totally understand this “code” and use it often.  For example, when I’m with my daughter in public – all we have to do is look at each other – or she raises her eyebrows and looks at something and I know EXACTLY what she means.  All in a “look”.

What I forgot when using this “code” on Greg is that he most definitely is NOT a woman.  Nor does he understand the “code” at all.  It was disheartening and hilarious at the same time.  Here I was trying to be “discreet” and all sly, using gestures and silent communication – thinking, “he will get this – he looks interested, but puzzled – but I’m sure he’s just mulling it over” – so I kept going.  Only to have him (some minutes later) say to me, “Huh? – I don’t get it”

I realized that this “code” works only for women – and occasionally I forget that Greg is NOT like me – but he’s a MAN.  Oh – I know that he’s a man – and believe me – I wouldn’t want it any other way – but sometimes it’s frustrating because he doesn’t use the “code”.

We ended the conversation with much laughter – all the way out to the car – me explaining that I didn’t want the WHOLE coffee shop knowing what I was trying to be discreet about.  And  S P E L L I N G   I T   O U T  wouldn’t exactly have been the best way to do this.  It was a great moment for both of us – and showed us that as much as we get along and are great friends – he will NEVER be able to think like a woman – and I will NEVER be able to think like a man.

No, I will need my daughter and woman friends – if I want to talk in “code” out in public – and maybe it’s better this way, after all :)

Have you ever used a “code” when talking in public?  Has someone used the “code” on you”  And if you’re a man reading this, you’re probably saying, “What is a “code”?”

God Bless

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