Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I took a journey. Not one of choice, but one I willingly took.

At work I overheard several married men giving a single woman Valentines Day advice. All the men were complaining about their wives; about unreasonable expectation, about the wives bringing up things from the past, about not being appreciated. They were questioning the value of marriage. When they generalized to all marriages I finally had enough and joined in to tell them that I had married my best friend and I wouldn't have it any other way. The woman sounded relieved and the men said that I was an exception to the norm.

I didn't ask to be involved in this discussion, but it got me thinking.
white * Why are these men married?
white * Have they ask themselves the Ann landers question "Am I better off with her or without her?"
white * Why am I so lucky to have Dianne?
white * Beyond "Am I better off with her or without her", why am I better off with her or without her.

I can't answer these questions for anyone but myself. I don't want to be without Dianne so "am I better off" is easy. All I have to do is look above my computer and see her pretty face smiling at me. I can't answer "why am I so lucky...?" The question I can answer is why I am better off with Dianne.

white * Dianne is my friend and lover.
white * I enjoy her company.
white * Dianne is kind. She cares for people and for humanity. She cares for animals. She cares for plants. She cares.
white * Our bond is completely voluntary. We both could live without the other and be happy but each of us has chosen to be with the other. Our love enhances our lives.
white * She appreciates me. She appreciates our sameness and our differences.
white * I want to do things for her. I want to take care of her and appreciate how she takes care of me.
white * Dianne makes me happy, and I want Dianne to be happy.
white * I care about her. I want her safe. If I expect her to be home and she's not I worry about her.
white * Home is where Dianne is. When I come home the second thing I do is find Dianne. (The first is say hi to the dogs.)
white * I want to be around her. We both need our separate lives, but I want to share my activities with her and hers with me as soon as we are together again (though I sometimes don't shut up).
white * I enjoy looking at her. Her eyes twinkle. She has a cute nose. Her smile. (I'll keep this G rated.)
white * I want her in my future for as long as life will let me.
white * I love her.
white * Dianne loves me.

So, what's on the negative side? What annoys me is also part of what I love. For example she is organized, but she is ORGANIZED.

I didn't start this line of thought. It happened. But, it reminded me of how lucky I am. It reminded me of why the bed is so big and cold when she is not in it. It reminded me that I need to look at myself and insure that I maintain and build upon what I have. So, this is my unsolicited advice to myself.

white * Every day, without fail tell Dianne I love her and mean it. This is important for two reasons. One is to remind Dianne that she is loved, and the other is to remind myself how important Dianne is.
white * Kiss her daily. (If one of us is sick the cheek is OK.) This is a simple but important physical contact.
white * Be unpredictable. Over the years we fall into habits. Cards and flowers are nice, but how much nicer is it when it is unexpected. Think of new ways to show I love her.
white * Stare at my wedding ring. This little piece of gold and stone can be the heaviest burden or the lightest, prettiest jewelry. Remembering what is around my finger is easy when it is heavy. Remember it when it is its loveliest.
white * Never test or challenge love. Like jumping on a branch to see if it will hold me, the extra stress can't make it stronger but could make it weaker. If I ever have doubt examine why, and what I can do.
white * Put Dianne first. Dianne is the most important person in my life.
white * Put Dianne first in my actions. Last evening I was working on this and after writing the previous item I looked at the clock to see that I should have left for home a half hour earlier. Dianne was first in my mind, but not my actions.
white * Plan to do thing with her alone, be it a drive, dinner, romance, sharing house chores, or anything else. Without planning it is too easy to find my time filled with "my activities".
white * Each day is the first day of the rest of our lives. Love her today.
white * As important as today is, remember that love is not a one day feeling. It grew and if taken care of it grows. It has a history and a moment. I want this love to survive the rest of my life, so take care of it today.
white * This is not a one time exercise. Periodically look at my love and ask myself what I need to do grow our love. What am I doing right. What do I need to change. Remember that I can change only myself.

I took a journey. Not one of choice, but one I willingly took. Coworkers started the journey, though I don't know if they even knew it was a journey. I followed where it led me; a heart filling path of introspection. It is now up to me to convert this into romance and love.

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Monday, February 11, 2008


Before I start on what we have been doing, here are a couple of fun things.

I ran across this while researching auto parts.
Monkey Business

Ian sent me this link.
Nerd Sniping

Dianne and I have been preparing for a remodel of our master bedroom including adding square footage to the upstairs. The start date moved up recently so projects already started have come to a halt and we are concentrating on the preparation for construction.

One of the things we have done is clean out our wood pile. I put some pieces aside that I thought might be fun to work with. I stripped the bark off one piece. The picture at the top is a closeup of what the insects have done. Here's a picture of the complete piece of wood.

Our front door has been leaking air since we moved in. Before we owned the house someone had cracked the door frame, and the previous owners had installed the tile floor without raising the threshold. We bought a used door at an architectural salvage place and had it installed. Dianne is making curtains for the glass that will allow the dogs to look out, and provide privacy from people standing outside.

Until the curtains are up we have to remember to close our bedroom door when we are not dressed!

I have been working on refinishing a set of chairs. This is one of the projects on hold. I was going to wait until further into the project to post pictures, but that might not be until much later in the year. Therefore I will brag now.

These are bend wood chairs that we bought used several years ago. The finish failed and the chairs came apart at the joint. The seat is plywood which pushed all the joint apart as the wood dried out to Colorado humidity.

I'm stripping all the old finish off. I started with the worst chair which had a piece missing. If you look at the left tip of the picture below you will see the grain does not match. This is my first attempt at replacing missing pieces of wood on furniture. The next picture shows the patch from the back of the chair.

This weekend I took time to go the the Tri-State Swap Meet, a very large auto event that attracts people from several states, and vendors from across the country. I spent $16 to park and get in, and $15 on stuff. I won't talk about the economics of this. I did have fun.

If you were interested in some of the popular makes and models of old car (Mustang, bucket model T, some Chevy, ...) you could buy every part here and assemble the car in the parking lot.

This is the car corral where most of the for sale complete cars were. I'm guessing that this takes up less that a tenth of the total show space.

When I got home I went back to preparing for the construction. The dogs' sandbox will be in the way and had to be emptied. In the background next to the bench is the sand pile. The sandbox is 8 feet by 11 or 12 feet and averages 1 1/2 feet deep. THATS A LOT OF SAND! I finished Sunday.