Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Let Them Wait! I’m A Klutz.

I didn’t fall. The floor just needed a hug.

Hatha Yoga Standing Balance Pose - Warrior 3

Hatha Yoga Standing Balance Pose – Warrior 3 (Photo credit: myyogaonline)

Tripping, stumbling and a little off-balance.  That’s me.  I have always been a little on the clumsy side – ok  – so I’m a klutz.   This could be why I was always picked last at  baseball when I was a kid.

 

That’s ok.  I was never going to be a serious athlete.  Playing a little recreational tennis and par 3 golf were more my speed anyway.  I just wanted to feel athletic.

 

But I have always had trouble keeping my balance.  Even when doing some yoga and Pilates, it was always a challenge for me to balance on one leg.  And I have lost my balance when getting dressed or undressed in my own closet.  I have done some weight training and core strengthening exercises – but they don’t help.

 

Years ago I had a couple of bad falls.  Once in California when goofing around with family on the rocks at the ocean, I fell and sprained my right thumb – leaving me unable to write or play the piano for about 6 weeks.  Then later I fell down cement steps at the church where my husband was on staff – and broke my right foot.  I had to wear a “boot” cast for 6 weeks and could not drive.

 

It was during this time that Greg was installing new stairs in our 2-story home.  The bannister was torn out and the only way for me to go up and down the stairs was to walk very close and hug the wall while being careful not to fall again.  It must have been hilarious to watch.  Wouldn’t you have just loved to be a fly on our wall during those days?

 

I remember riding to the store with Greg and then having to walk the short distance from the parking lot to the store.  Because it was also an intersection for other cars to drive on – Greg did not want the cars to have to wait for us – so he did what any sensible guy in his position would do – he dragged me across the road.

 

I remember feeling indignant.  I mean – good grief, I was the handicapped one!  “Let them wait”, I said.  Was I wrong to feel like that?  Shouldn’t we make allowances for the ones that are slower?  Less capable?  Visibly not able?  Are people really that much in a hurry?  Can’t we slow down for all the klutzy people – like me?

 

Here’s my prayer today:  That we will all remember to slow down – look around and give others much grace and allowance.  That we will use love as a guide as we prefer others above ourselves.

 

Remember – inside everyone – is a klutz waiting to have great balance who needs understanding and a wide berth.

 

God Bless

 

Using Laughter

As far back as I can remember – laughter has always been a part of my life. Even today while relaying a very funny story to my husband as we were traveling to an appointment out of town – I was reminded that humor plays such an important role in relationships. Without it, our relationship over the years would have been much too serious, too dry and stale – as humor seems to work like a balm of soothing medicine – breaking down misunderstandings and helping us from becoming too inwardly focused.

I’m sitting in a crowded Starbucks this morning while writing this. I forgot my earphones which turns out to be a rather fatal flaw in my attempts to fully concentrate – as I am sitting rather close to another table where two young men are talking really loudly about scripture, the bible and what they are learning about both. Normally it would be a curious thing for me to observe and silently witness those around me as I am a captive audience in a small room with many people – even humorous if you will – but today as I try to write it does not seem very humorous. In fact – the more intent I am about keeping to myself – the more they seem to talk even louder – as if, somehow – they are trying to witness to me and everyone around us. Funny. I’m afraid to raise my head up from my keyboard – even though it would be amusing to stop, and look right at them and say, “You needn’t try so hard – it’s okay – I’m already in”

Life has so many of the humorous “moments”. Laughter breaks any tension in a room – between people and removes awkwardness in a second. My students are so funny and I have spent much time over the years in my music studio just laughing. Yesterday one of my teenage male students was there with his guitar practicing with me for an upcoming recital in a couple of weeks. He was telling me a funny story about his brother and I’m still giggling about it today!

Another side note – I have a portable case and keyboard for my iPad 2 that I am typing from. It is wireless and for the most part works. However, once in a while I will strike a key and I get it repeatingggggggggggggg like this. So frustrating – not sure what I’m doing wrong for it to have that function and it takes SO MUCH TIME to go back and keep correcting! Once the repeating letter seemed to have a mind of it’s own and went for 6 lines before stopping!! Yikes. Not a good feature. But you’ve got to admit – it’s funny.

Well that is my blog article today. Between the distractions of the two young men trying “get me saved” and my portable wireless keyboard – that’s all I’m good for today. Both these things will make a great story to tell Greg later – can’t wait 🙂

God Bless

Before Coffee

Image

My eyes are blurry

I’m having trouble focusing

and being “present”

I’m stumbling around

running into things

the world seems sleepy

dull

boring

and listless

I remember a time

when I can write

put thoughts together

prepare for my day

do things

but right now

there is no coffee

no creativity

no spunk

moving slow

taking my time

wrapping a single thought

in my brain

is so hard

But after coffee

I shall be motivated

inspired

prepared

on task

sharp

patient

wonderful

beautiful

wise

loving

gracious

energetic

and just AWESOME

Yeah, maybe I need to get me some of that coffee soon.

Have you had your coffee today?

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

Finding My Sense Of Humor

A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.
Hugh Sidey

one of the most laughter inducing photos i've ...

Image via Wikipedia

I totally agree with the above quote.  Ever know someone who wasn’t on the same page with you – as far as humor goes?  Instead of smiling, or laughing and seeing the joke – they criticize and try to “correct” you?

Ah – the value of seeing the lighter side of life!  Sometimes the ones that have the best sense of humor are those that have been through much in their lives.  I’m reminded of stand up comedians – and very funny entertainers.  Usually there is a story there that propelled them into channeling hurt and frustration into laughter and making people laugh.  And usually it is those that have been through the most in life – that have the best grasp on it.

I don’t know why we are made the way we are – we all have different personalities, work ethic, family traditions and backgrounds – and yet, somehow we all have the ability to laugh and feel joy.  And when we lose that ability to laugh – especially at ourselves, we lose real meaning and our lives become very heavy indeed.

I believe that God created each of us with that special gift of laughter and conversation – unique to human beings – so that we could express and experience His nature to the full.

Do you ever find yourself losing your sense of humor?

If so – you are not alone.

There are MANY things in this life that will rob you and me of that joyous laughter and appreciation for the little things.

Life is hard.  There are bills.  And worries.  And illness.  And teenagers.  And aging parents.  And more bills.  And relationship problems.  And on and on and on and on it goes.

We can’t change them.  They just are.

But true joy comes from knowing Jesus as your personal Savior.  We were hopelessly lost in sin and death – and then Jesus…

That’s enough to bring a smile and a laugh – but if it’s not enough for you – try taking a walk today and looking around at the trees and nature.  Take a deep breath and whisper a prayer, “Thank you Lord – for all of this BEAUTY today – thank you for providing a release from stress and the burdens of life – and help me to find that laughter and deep joy that only comes from you – help me to find that laughter again – help me to find that much-needed humor that YOU created for me”

It may not change any of your circumstances – but it will change YOU!

I am praying for you today.

Laugh at something or someone today.  Take a chance.  Have a belly laugh.  Laugh down deep – laugh until you cry.  You will be glad you did.

God Bless

Can You Smell The Fall?

Soarin' Over California

Years ago we took our children to Universal Studios and California Adventure in California.  We decided to hit these theme parks and Knotts berry Farm because a few years before this we had done Disney Land and only Disney Land.

On this special trip (the last where we would share a room with our two children in a hotel)  we found the ride “Soarin’ over California“.  If you have been on this – you will immediately know of what I am referring.  Those of you that have not – this is similar to an IMAX experience – only you are strapped into seats that move up and down – high in the air, giving the feeling of actually being a part of the action on the HUGE screen in front.

What’s so special about this ride is this:  To enhance the enjoyment of all the senses they spray things into the air to make you feel like you are there smelling them in person.  On this particular trip they sprayed pine into the air during the part where we were soaring over pine trees.  It was an AMAZING sensory experience and like a wide-eyed little kid – I excitedly said to my kids, husband – and yes everyone around me, “Do you smell the PINE?”

I loved that ride so much – we did it again that afternoon.  It wasn’t until later in the day, on our way back to our hotel room that my own dear SWEET children decided to have a good time (at my expense) and tease me UNMERCIFULLY about my, “Do you smell the PINE?”  – imitating my voice in a much higher pitch than their own, all the while collapsing into fits of giggles.

Needless to say, they have NEVER let me forget about that trip – even though it’s been at LEAST 10 years since we took it.  And I’m so glad to be able to offer amusement to my now GROWN-UP children, every time they remember that trip to California.

I must admit though, I’m pretty much like a kid again when the leaves turn in the fall and when the first snow of the season happens.  If I have students here – I will be the one to stop what we’re doing and look outside, saying, “Look at the weather!  It’s SNOWING!!!”  And even though it has not happened yet – the fall weather reminds me that the seasons change and it will come around again – just like last year.

And like that trip where I smelled the pine – I can tell by the smell of the air that it’s going to rain, breathe in the cold, crisp air of fall and feel something else is coming – and LOVE the smell of snow in the air.

What do you love about this time of year?

Can YOU smell the Fall?

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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