Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Recreation’

Lessons From Our Journey

Last Sunday Greg had the privilege to speak in a small church while their pastor was on vacation.  And while Greg speaks all the time doing weddings and funerals,  speaking at a church is something he feels out of practice, having been away from pulpit speaking for a number of years.  Still he took on the challenge – and did a wonderful job!

He decided that the only way to really be effective was to take the congregation with him on the “Lessons learned from our Journey”.  He told personal stories of things we had gone through, all the different places we had lived and walking through “open doors” to get to the next place.

These 3 points are taken (borrowed) right from Greg’s message:

1.  The “decision” to move and the subsequent preparation seems much more difficult (at least emotionally) than the move itself

(So true.  We mulled this over and whether or not it was the right thing to do.  FOR YEARS.  Once we came to the conclusion it made sense to explore other areas, everything else fell into place.)

2.  The Longer you stay in one place, the more “stuff”, the more “baggage” you accumulate.

(Wow.  Isn’t this the truth!  As Greg started cleaning out the garage for one of MANY of our Open House events, he found boxes we didn’t even remember having!  And cobwebs and all sorts of dust and junk all the way up and back on shelves high up in the rafters.  Do we really need all this stuff?  Especially when we didn’t even know we had it?  But you never know, right?)

3.  When you make the decision to move (or just to downsize, or to “spring clean”), it sets a whole lot of things in motion.

(Yes and Amen.  One thing leads to another.  One empty shelf cleaned out to sell – leads to 3 others that aren’t.  Selling one piece of furniture leaves things uneven in a room.  Must sell.  We have way more than we need.  We found out that we can live in about half of the space we live in and it really makes sense to rent to a larger family needing our space and going somewhere else.)

And so he talked about the cobwebs and junk that we all carry around and how necessary it is to clean and remove them.  Things we don’t even realize we carry around.  It makes sense to lighten the load, let go of it and begin again.  Sometimes in life – you just need to do this.

After the service several people came to him and told him that he spoke right to them and their particular situation.  So many people on a similar journey.  So many finding themselves at a crossroads of sorts – waiting on the “next step” and that “open door”.

I believe, as does Greg – that if we are healthy, have our priorities right and the main things are in correct alignment, such as character, integrity, faith in God and kindness towards others, that it does not matter where you live and what you do – those things are secondary.  If we stay “open” to hearing what God is telling us, as we believe He does by working through our personality and gifts, then He will bring opportunities our way.  It is up to us to either seize the moment or pass it by.  And to be honest – when people ask me if we’ve heard what our next step it – I just laugh and say, “we don’t know anything – except who we are”   We are staying busy – preparing for the “unknown” and enjoying each moment.

It is much easier to steer a moving car than a parked car

Parked cars in San Francisco California

Parked cars in San Francisco California (Photo credit: Wouter Kiel)

What about you?  Are you also on a journey?  Does it take you out of your comfort zone?  Have you kept busy and in motion?  What lessons have you learned?

 

God Bless

My Wingman

A wingman (or wingmate) is a pilot who supports another in a potentially dangerous flying environment.

The traditional military definition of a “Wingman” refers to the pattern in which fighter jets fly. There is always a lead aircraft and another which flies off the right-wing of and behind the lead. This second pilot is called the “Wingman” because he or she primarily protects the lead by “watching his back.”

Wikipedia

I’ve seen movies where a “wingman” is very important to the pilot, such as “Top Gun” and “Pearl Harbor”.  I’ve always been fascinated with the concept.  That protection.  That feeling of safety.  Knowing someone has your back – priceless.

We all have humans in our lives that we think of in this way.  My husband Greg, for example is my “wingman” in every sense of the word.  He stays with me – protects me from unseen things, keeps me feeling safe, etc.

But I also have a canine “wingman”.  My puppy, Dexter.IMG_4259He takes his job seriously.  Barks at anybody near to me and gets agitated if he cannot get close enough so that he can protect me.  He is never far from me during the day.  When I’m in my office typing – he is at my feet or by my side – amusing himself with a toy or bone for hours at a time.  When I leave the room, he dutifully follows.  If I’m in the kitchen, he sits on the floor and watches everything I do.  When I sit to watch a movie, he joyfully jumps into my lap, his favorite place to be.  At night he cuddles up next to me – happiest under the covers with his head resting on my arm.

He is my “wingman” extraordinaire  🙂

Of course this togetherness can get a little trying at times – especially when I have students coming and going during the afternoon for lessons.  His sharp barking reminds everyone coming in the house that he is trying to protect me!  And although very endearing – it gets annoying and I have to be firm with him and tell him to stop that barking!  But it is also sweet and loyal – how angry can you be with an adorable puppy who just wants to be with me?

It’s funny.  Our Bichon has never had any concept of “protecting” me.  She is a loveable, complicated, high maintenance, beautiful, and independent dog.  But she never stays with me very long.  Her favorite thing to do is go for a ride in the truck – go for a walk on the trail – or go upstairs and hide from Dexter – sleeping for several hours at a time.   Dexter loves to run upstairs and find her – jump on top of her and wrestle.  She will play along most of the time – and it’s cute when they play together.  But other times she will give a warning growl when she has had enough!  Sometimes in the evening we won’t see her from 7:00 – 10:30!  Not so with Dexter.  He is happiest when he can see me and be beside me.  Oh he’s not a perfect dog – barks too much at the neighbor dogs and most of the time will not come when called.

But I have decided that the positive far outweighs the negative.  I do love my little “wingman”.

God Bless

I Can Hear The Leaves Falling!

Trail in the woods

Trail in the woods (Photo credit: blmurch)

 

Today we took another one of our walks on this trail near our house.  The path of the trail leads through a very wooded area, dense with trees, vines and bushes.  At times we have been lucky enough to spot a deer standing perfectly still like a soldier at attention.  Sometimes a bunny rabbit or squirrel will make its presence known.  And today a tree frog sang out to us as if to say, “look at me, look at me!”

English: The New England Tree Frog (Litoria su...

English: The New England Tree Frog (Litoria subglandulosa). Because this photograph concerns a rare and/or protected species, only an approximate location is provided: Ebor, Australia Français : Litoria subglandulosa. Ebor, Nouvelle-Galles du Sud (Australie). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were walking along, talking about this and that – when all of a sudden Greg said, “listen!”  I stopped and heard a rustling noise – more than the rustling of an animal stalking us in the bush beyond where we can see.  I looked up and to my surprise, I saw the MANY leaves falling from the tall trees far above our heads.  They made quite a demonstration of it – crackling and bumping the tree branches on their long descent down.  It was really breathtaking.

And so we continued along ever mindful of the change in the path, now covered with crispy newly fallen leaves – and the turn in the weather in the last few days.  The 29th day of August – it is official.  Fall is already here.

As I contemplated this, I must admit that I was sad.  I love fall – don’t get me wrong.  Living in the Pacific Northwest has been beautiful this summer but very short-lived.   I am sad that we have to wave goodbye too soon.

Still – I do love the crisp and cool mornings and the smell of the earth as things change in the weather.  I love the fall colors and the season that it precedes.

And there is nothing like falling leaves – full of color, as they float to the ground.  Sometimes they are silent and fall without our knowing.  Sometimes they make a BIG NOISE as they fall.  But they fall just the same.  It is a fact of life.  We can either accept them and their ultimate demise – even if we think it is before their time, or we can cover our eyes and ears and say, “NO!  I won’t accept this!”  Either way – it is going to happen.

Autumn leaf color

Autumn leaf color (Photo credit: INABA Tomoaki)

Fall is a time of death.  It is a resting time for nature.  It is a time to regroup and take a nice long nap.  The beauty of those leaves reach their final peak of brilliant color – just as they are about to die.  God designed that even death would have its own beauty.

Take a walk today – observe what is happening in nature. Another turning of events – another season unfolding before our eyes and ears.  And in the long winter months – we can be assured that just as things had to die – they will be reborn again.  Spring is coming.

God Bless

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

A Quick Fix

Today we made another discovery with our 7 month old puppy, Daisy.  She is not a normal dog.  She is picky like a cat.  She does not scarf down food – instead sniffs it and sometimes will eat it.  If it suits her.  She eats to live – not the other way around.

Because she is a small white Bichon Frise – she also has tear staining issues.  We’ve tried everything.  But since being on more of a raw diet (fresh meat, freeze-dried and air-dried raw) she is much improved.  We were also told to get stainless steel bowls for her water and food.  She had pink porcelain before – but just in case any dye could seep through – we decided to try them.

Well believe it or not – she was FREAKED OUT because she could see her reflection in the shiny new bowls.  We tried to coax her to drink her water but she would NOT go anywhere near those scary things.

So we returned them and got plastic.  With plastic there is no clanking of her tag against metal or porcelain – so a double bonus.

But with these new bowls – there was another problem.  They were scary and deep.

She simply would NOT put her face inside the bowl to eat her food.  Drinking was okay because she didn’t have to go as far inside the bowl.  But in order to eat – we would have to put her food on the floor beside the bowl or hand feed it.  Because she is still a puppy – it is important for her to eat – tough love doesn’t work for growing puppies.

But we made a discovery!  When we brought the food up higher in her bowl – she went right to it and ate it just fine!  So Greg got a plastic lid – and with a little hot glue – he glued in to the inside of her bowl.

Guess who is eating now? With NO PROBLEM.

It was such a quick fix – so cheap and very little effort. And now we can all relax and know she is getting enough to eat 🙂

It’s the little things in life – that cost nothing, that give the most satisfaction.

When was the last time you had a “quick fix”?

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

Are You Bored?

English: A bored person

Image via Wikipedia

What is your first thought when you see someone write on facebook, twitter or any other social media – “I’m SO BORED”?

Do you think it’s funny?  You’re one of those that can identify with this – and find yourself relating back with humorous chit-chat to relieve their boredom?

Do you think it’s lazy?  Are you one of the ones raised in my generation with parents who thought it was some sort of “sin” to be bored?  And would immediately create a new and “fun” project to keep you from ever saying “I’m bored” again?

Last night Greg and I were watching “Modern Family” – on the program Claire’s girls had been talking inside, while their mother Claire was outside.  The girls said they were ‘bored’.  And just like I remember from my childhood, Claire came in and immediately gave them the project of cleaning the kitchen cupboards and everything else in it.  Yes – it was just what I remember – which is why I was never bored.  Busy – yes – but not bored.

Too many times I see this online and I cringe.  Honestly when I read this I have this mental picture of someone staring straight ahead at a pasty white wall, mouth opened, with a little drool coming out – nearly stupefied and ready to PASS OUT!

Now that may not be what you are indicating when you say, “I’m bored” – but to those of us raised with parents from the “builder” generation whose value came from hard work – then to US it looks like you just need a project, chore or something to DO that’s constructive!

I’m sure what most of you mean is this:

1)  I don’t have anything pressing right now to do.

or

2) I have some free time (Yay for ME!)

or

3) I can chill for a while in my quiet place (if you’re a guy – your “nothing box”)

For me – these all apply – but you will NEVER hear me say or EVER write on social media that “I’m bored” – not EVER.  To me – that is a sign that my mind has ceased to function – that I am beyond the point of  enjoying  a good book, sitting quietly and watching a good movie – playing word games and puzzles to increase my word knowledge and ponder on the many things I need to prepare the next day or week.

How about you?

Are YOU bored?

God Bless

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