Archives for January 2015

It’s Thoughtful Thursday! How to answer one of the most important questions ever…

A young friend of mine answered a simple question with such grace and inner wisdom that I will never answer that question again without thinking of her and the gift she gave to all who asked.

My friend found herself in the middle of joy and sadness all at the same time.

  • Her new baby girl was bringing her and her husband immense happiness.
  • Her business was flourishing.
  • Life was so good!

And then without warning ,in the middle of all this euphoria,  came devastating news:

Her mother was ill with cancer and the  prognosis was not good.

So we all asked a very simple and natural question:

What can we do to help?

And she did something remarkable .

In the midst of all that was going on she had the presence of mind to ask for what she needed.

More importantly she also told us what she didn’t need.

I swear there needs to be a class in this…a whole class in asking for what we need.  Not what we want but what we need.  I know what she wants.  She wants her Mom not to be ill.  She wants her Mom to see her baby  grow up.  I prayed  and hoped that would  happen but at that moment  she had needs..she had big needs and she had littles needs and those of us who wanted to help could breathe a sigh of relief because we knew how to help.

And here is a little confession.  I am lousy at this.  I either don’t answer the question, or say I am fine or somehow manage on my own until I am drowning and have to make a desperate plea for some assistance.

I have no idea where this comes from but I know I am not alone.  I also know, for me, it is a deeply ingrained response dating back to when I was 5.  As I walked to kindergarten I stepped in a puddle and my shoes and socks got wet.  Rather than ask for help from the teacher I took off my shoes and socks and put them in the sunny window of the classroom to dry and then went to the dress up bin and put on a pair of high heels and wore them the entire afternoon. ( this was back when most of kindergarten was playtime) .

Yes I was resourceful.

Yes I was independent and solution oriented ( I laugh at this term when I think of being a solution oriented kindergartener)

Great qualities to have but not when things get bigger than wet socks and shoes.

Times when  I really need help.

Even when it might be something as simple as someone just being there with me and keeping me company.

Ironically I am the queen of wanting to help and giving help and being there.  ( guessing most of you are that way as well)

How very thoughtful of Valerie to give us a list, to be honest, to be open and what a relief to those that wanted to help.  It was roadmap to really being helpful and knowing it was what she wanted and needed.

So on this Thoughtful Thursday sit down and think how you will answer the simple questions:  How can I help?  What do you need?

It’s one of the kindest things you can do for yourself and those people in your life that really want to be of service.

Now go make it a Thoughtful One!

P.S. On a really amazing and awesome note, Valeries’s Mom underwent chemo and on Valerie’s birthday of all days they got the wonderful news that her scan was clean.  No cancer, nada, nothing and just recently a second scan with the same news. So happy for them!

Pretty cute for a "solution oriented kindergartner"

Pretty cute for a “solution oriented kindergartner”



Living Single while Very Married: Hellos and Goodbyes

One of themes throughout our relationship has been the many hellos and goodbyes !  I can best sum them up with this thought I posted on facebook when saying goodbye yet again:

The hellos get sweeter and the goodbyes get harder…

   Our first true goodbye after we were engaged  is still as fresh as when it happened on July 5, 1978 .  We knew it would be several months before we saw each other again.  I remember the date not because I have such a great memory but because when I went back inside the house after seeing Paul off I found this written in my “Nothing Book”.  What he wrote was really something!photo (20)

.…”goodbyes, however temporary are often painful…the months ahead will be rough but nothing in this world comes easy, especially the items we treasure most….

And so began a series of Hellos and Good-byes…Navy Deployments etc.  Most hellos were fabulous..the goodbyes not so much.  Out of it we learned to treasure our time together, trust decisions that needed to be made and made the most of what communication methods we had at the time which mostly consisted of the good old fashioned letter.

photo (21)

There was one deployment where the only way to communicate besides letters and the rare phone call was over some sort of radio frequency that came over the phone.  I remember how strange it was to say “I love you” “Over” but I hung on to it.  Plus Paul sounded just like Mickey Mouse.  When he finally called on an actual phone about 2 months later and I heard his real voice I cried.

And with goodbyes come some really sweet hellos.  I am fortunate to have a photo of one of the sweetest hellos we ever had.   February, 1984, Barbers Point, Hawaii  Our oldest was almost three, I was very pregnant with our second as in about 10 days away from having her.  The photo says it all:


That is a little of our story of hellos and goodbyes.  I would like to say we were well prepared for our present adventure but there have been adventures inside the adventure.  Most have been pretty funny ( so thankful for that) others not so much but holy cow have we learned a lot.

I’ll end with some wisdom from Winnie the Pooh.  For a bear he sure has a way with words!  pooh goodbye quote

Be on the look out for my next post as we start this new adventure with the quintessential ROAD TRIP!! Woohoo!


The Bike Trainer almost won…. The gadgets are taking over

It was one of THOSE days last Tuesday.

The New Year brought us new gadgets and inspiration to get the old gadgets up to speed.  So we found someone who actually knew what he was doing in the audio/video field to fix what many others had mucked up, and get the new stuff set up correctly.

And along with all that came a new learning curve for us  me.  I now know enough to write things down and try them out before I let the electronics wizard out the door.

And while I didn’t do any of the setting up I was answering lots of questions,  testing things out and running up and down stairs.  Considering what happened later with the bike trainer I  should have considered THAT my work out.

The next hurdle  in the elctronics adventure will be to get Paul on board since everything now operates differently.  Normally I would not think this would be a problem but since he claims Amazon is not user friendly ( WHAT??) I have some concerns.

So this evening with about 95% of my brain used up on new electronics I decided to go for my first indoor bike trainer ride since last year.

And  I couldn’t JUST go ride the bike ..NOOO I had to go get my Garmin watch to track my miles and speed.

From there it went like this:

  • Remember that I needed to put in replacement parts  on my bike so my Garmin birth control would sync with my bike
  • Find replacement parts
  • Find iPad so I could follow you tube video on how to do it
  • First video has no sound, find second video
  • Go get flashlight that actually works
  • Go get scissors
  • Go find glasses
  • Watch video, rewind, go get towel to clean off spot on bike to  replace sensor that I lost
  • Fool around and ruin 2 out of the 3 zip ties that came with replacement kit
  • Finally get it working
  • Lose glasses
  • Find glasses
  • Get water
  • Change clothes
  • Go get shoes
  • Fiddle with TV so I have something to watch
  • Get on bike, need glasses
  • Get off bike, get glasses ..fool with Garmin Watch
  • Get on bike, get off bike to find TV control
  • Get on is too hot
  • Get off bike turn on fans
  • Get on bike and actually start cycling and realize I didn’t cut off zip ties and they are rubbing bike frame
  • Off bike,find scissors,  cut zip ties, adjust bike on trainer
  • Ride bike for 10 minutes and realize I never started watch which if you recall STARTED this whole fiasco
  • Start watch and cycle for 3 miles

At one point I was about to throw in the towel and just give up but I perservered.  And now I need to find my second wind because I can’t find the paper that I wrote down the instructions on how to turn the TV off.  Its either going to be a long night or a noisy one.image


Living Single While Very Married….these photos say it all…part 1

So when I wrote my last post  Who are these people? I was trying to find photos to include from the very first time we met. Finally found them and they are  obviously pre-digital era.  I was amused to find that  our baby photos and the ones from the first night we met are pretty much the same. Paul has always hated getting his photo obvious.


As for me, I was obviously not so shy.  Although nowadays I tend to look for good lighting and a little out of focus is fine !


And fast forward to the night we met…Paul still not so crazy about having his photo taken. Of course it didn’t help that one of my college friends caught him off guard.


And me…quite the opposite and not much different from my baby photo!


Ironically (even those these photos don’t show it) Paul is way more photogenic than I am. Proof that opposites attract!