Thursday, October 25, 2018

Diet and a Happy Marriage

One of the items that my wife and I have talked about a lot is our diet and fitness.  These are items we talk about because early in our marriage, about a half year into it, my wife expressed about how drastically I had changed.  All of that change was from a poor diet.  Some people will say this is our vanity, I would say it is taking care of yourself.  When I was in the Navy, one of my fellow sailors had a saying that unfortunately is hard to disprove.  "Being healthy is dying at the slowest rate possible."  After I got out of the Navy and didn't have to exercise by force, I kind of took this saying to heart.  When my wife got over here, she had trouble identifying me because of how much weight I put on.
Asparagus, Steak, Veal Steak, Veal, Meat
While we both work at the fitness, the bigger part of how we feel is our diet.  My wife spends a lot of time planning and cooking the meals.  We are pretty sure that it saves money, but the bigger benefit is that we limit how much of the junk we eat.  This is beneficial because it really helps out with not having to go to the gym as much.  While my disposition is such that I could easily see myself in a very round pear shape, I am only a mild pear shape despite not going to the gym as often as I would like.  Also she likes that the meals that she is giving me is helping out with our overall health.
Cooking Kitchen Woman Cook Stir Fry Stove
A side note is that I tend to agree with my wife that if I don't care about myself and how I look, and vice versa, then what is that saying a lot about how I feel for her.  We both work hard to be good partners for each other, and that includes every day decisions. 

In the long run we both agree that a healthy diet is best for the both of us and for the two of us to have a long happy relationship.  Hard times will come and hard times will go, but we look out for each other and plan to for a long time.


PS, wish we had that nice of oven in the second picture.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Is Age a Major Issue?

A couple weeks ago I was looking at the forums and I found a post where a young lady was asking a simple question.   "I married a husband who was significantly older than me, and now I am finding myself fantasizing about other guys, what should I do?"  I thought about this for a while because I was thinking about it in the husband's point of view of what do you do if your wife presents you with this issue.  Which most likely she would not.  I say issue because I have a relative who did marry in this scenario, and last I talked to them, they were still happily married.  The major difference is the culture.  One is a traditional Asian culture, while the other is a more western culture.
Coffee Drink Coffee Cup Cup Benefit From B
Obviously the culture is a big part of it, but as I thought about it and moved away from the perspective of his point of view, I would probably be in the category of what did I do wrong, and never correct it for the better, I began to wonder if it was the seduction she was fantasizing about or was it actually lust.  I know that many seem to think of it as the same, but I tend to think that for the women it tends to be the seduction that they fantasize about.  The intimate attention from others, usually of the opposite sex.  While for men it tends to be the lust, the conquest per se.  
Girl Vintage Red Seduction Vintage Vintage
Overwhelmingly the advice on the forum was that people tend to grow at a certain pace, and that is why you should marry close to your age.  If you marry a person significantly older, then they have already experienced "life," and there is a portion of life that you will be missing because of that.  I believe that there is confusing mixture in the middle of experience and also of care for each other that results in a happy marriage.  This confusing mixture works when both members of the relationship have decided to give the relationship their everything and are willing to do what is necessary for their significant other.
Bride Groom Matrimony Wedding Marriage Cer
At times both parties will be greedy and want what they want, but overall, if the two parties have decided to give it their all, then they will work things out.  Going back to the question above.  The major issue I see is the inability of one spouse being able to bring up their lack of fulfillment in the relationship, while the other, who has been through it all is satisfied with their relationship and doesn't think about what their spouse may want.  This is similar to the saying that was given during my wife and I's marriage counseling prior to our wedding, and that is the hardest goal for a couple is to keep the dating life as long as possible.  It takes both members of the relationship to keep that going.  After the dating life, then most couples just settle into a life of the status quo.  Raising the kids, going to and from work, and other menial tasks.  This is why many of the articles about relationships go back to expressing your love for one another, because the status quo is the easiest trap to fall into, and also the hardest trap to get out of.  Additionally it is only one or two misspoken words till the relationship is falling apart.
Bench Couple Romantic Love People Lifestyl
As always feel free to interject.  help-marriage.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Traditional Roles vs What's important.

As I was growing up, one of the phrases I had heard was a man marries with the hope of nothing changing, while a woman will marry with what she could change him to.  Another way to say this is that a woman marries with the idea of her spouses potential, while a man marries with the hope to not have anything change.  Obviously this is not always the case in today's society because of the expanded roles of women in society, but I think it still happens often.  Even in the older societies this was not always the case and sometimes resulted in disappointment.  There is an article about this here, and it is a long read, but the marrying for potential is actually the number 1 item to avoid.  I am glad that I did find a woman that is good with who I am, but at the same time she does gently push me to extend my limits.
Roads Split Fork Divided Dirt Decision Far
This goes along with a recent study about the marriage trends in society.  Traditional marriage trend is that the woman will marry across and up, while the man will usually marry across and down.  Researchers have noted that as more women get to the top, they are also doing like the men and marrying across and down.  Along with that is the increase in the number of men that are looking for women that already have an established income.
I'm from a more traditional family, and one of the items we were taught from my dad was that it was the man's job to support the family.  This is why there was a heavy emphases on getting a good job with benefits and working the way up in the job ladder.  In current times, I concede that this is a discussion for spouses, because it is possible now that the wife may be making more than the husband and may have better benefits.  Either way it is something for consideration, especially if there are plans for having a child in the relationship.
Man, Hurry Up, Going To Work, Running
I emphasize the child because one of the worst things I think could be done is to let the child be raised by the day cares and the schools.  If the husband and wife do this then they are putting some of the child's most formative years of education into the hands of total strangers.  After a while the parent's may be wondering where did they get these ideas, but they gave up their upbringing of the child by handing them off to others.  I do think there is value to a housewife, or husband, because of the ability to actually raise and educate the children.
Girl, Father, Portrait, Eyes, People
These are my thoughts feel free to comment.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Is Support Set Up to Help the Married Couple

I saw a news report recently that was about a married couple who have a daughter that has a rare disease, Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrom, and they have to care for her full time.  The highlight of this article was that the couple was considering divorce so that they could get more financial aid to pay for their daughter.  For the location the father was making a reasonable salary, however after the medical bill, it left them in a very fragile situation.
Investigation, Stethoscope, To Listen
Then there is a couple that I knew from several years back, and that couple had split up.  After the split up, saw a post on Facebook from the ex-wife about how she got her degree, and it was something that her ex-husband wouldn't let her do.  All the while she was still taking care of two kids.  I commend her on getting the degree, but I do wonder if there was financial aid that she was now allowed to get that before she couldn't.  I don't think I'll ever find out that answer, but I strongly suspect that there was because of what my brother has been going through to try and get a degree.
Financial Advisor, Consultant, Brokerage
One of the most dangerous things that our government has set up is the social safety nets.  This is dangerous because all people love free stuff, and it is even better when the free stuff provides you a minimal level for your quality of life.  After California passed a law raising the minimum wage, there were reports of people asking for reduced hours so that they would not lose certain tax credits.  My family members who did work in tax preparation had first hand experience of people asking where their dependents were so that they could get their tax credit (they had no children by the way).
Swimming Pool Safety Net Beach Ball Blue W
Many of the social safety nets are set up to go away after a certain income.  Also they do not always correct for married or not married, or the correction is so small that it is unreasonable.  That is why like in the case of the first story, the couple is considering divorcing.  This is very damaging to our culture because it makes it more valuable to not be married than it is to be married, and results in the children seeing it as marriage does not have the value that it once did.  I do have co-workers who basically live a married life, but they choose not to get married.  Most the time the reason is financial.

Hopefully in the future we will push to have the actual value of marriage recognized and the safety nets adjusted accordingly, but till then, this is what we have.

Friday, September 21, 2018

An Unfortanate Situation for a Cat

I went up to my parents house the start of September, and while I was there I got a chance to get acquainted with the cats that were there.  I didn't get too acquainted with them because I had my dog with me, and as expected they were not too eager to meet Musashi, my dog.  While I was there I ran into a rather unfortunate cat who was called Polio.  I later found out that he was called Polio because when he showed up he looked like he had been a victim of polio.  If not for the injuries he would have been a really good looking cat, much like the one below.
Blackcat Cat Black Pet Blackcat Blackcat B
Polio was a rather sweet cat that was three paws into his death bed.  By the time I saw him, he was already looking for a place to die in comfort.  Everyone who lived there, knew that they should take him in and put him down, but no one had the money or heart to do it.  They all knew this because he was past the point of being able to groom him self, he had a club foot, possibly from being hit by a car, and his teeth were literally rotting out.  Most people knew when he showed up because that was when the flies became more abundant.
Homeless Cat Full Of Fleas Cat Dirty Cat S
While I was there, he did try to move inside once.  I got a few scratches from taking him back outside.  Aside from that, he mainly was looking for attention.  Most of the time he was pushed away because everyone was repulsed at his condition.  However they were not repulsed enough to let him starve.

I asked my mom about his background, and to her knowledge, he acted like he had a home, but was left outside and got injured and was then just abandoned.  He would show up, go away, and then show up some time later.  Eventually he just kind of kept on staying.  Most likely because they were too kind to let him starve.
Stray, Cat, Orange, Animal, Feline
A couple days after I left, Polio disappeared for a couple days.  The next time they saw him was in the backyard in front of the shed, already stiff.  He now does have a resting place, and I hope a better situation than he had before.  Unfortunately reminding me once again about the saying, "pets are here to remind us of our own mortality," I would also add to remind us to love them while we can.  This was my one time to see him, and I am glad that I did, even if he was in a miserable condition.
Pets, Grave, Prayer, Dog, Animal

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Pleasant Encounter

Some time ago my wife and I went out to a Mexican restaurant and had a wonderful talk with the bartender.  It was a very pleasant because of how well he was committed to his family and also that him and his wife had been together for over thirty years.
Beer, Tap, Pour, Brew, Alcohol, Drink
One of the parts that was surprising was that he had actually met his wife long before they got married.  He would help her grandmother with doing some shopping and had first met her when he was still under ten.  They got married relatively young by most standards, right around 18, and had a child right away.
Wedding Dress Beautifu L Girl Irish Celtic
All the while he was taking care of his family while working most the time as a bartender.  I'm not even sure if you could pull that off starting today.  The two of them did have some misfortune along the way.  There were complications with the second child and the child did not make it.  After this they decided not to try for anymore children.  Along the way he decided not stop drinking.  This was because of all the times that he saw people doing stupid things while working.  Also he encouraged his family to do the same.  They went through their share of other problems like money.  In the end he did say that the hardest was losing the child for them.
By far the best part I liked is despite problems and challenges, the two of them stayed together throughout the entire time.  I have already seen so many of the people I know who have called it quits and gone their separate ways through divorce.  I wish them a many more years together.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

A Trip to Remember

Not to long ago my wife and I went on trips.  She took her mom back to Japan while I went up to visit my parents in Washington State.  My trip went much smother than her's but there was much drama because of her trip.

As I said in a previous post, I am spending a lot of time trying to get my mother in law back up to good walking condition.  We use a chair to assist her in moving around for longer distances, but that is only good in places where there is a long distance to navigate, and they let you take the chair.  This led to the first and most time consuming part of her stressful trip.  While on the plane, my mother in law fell down and broke a couple bones.  Fortunately there was an ex Emergency Medical Technician on board and was able to help her.  Also this got her a free upgrade to business class from some generous passengers, free as in at the expense of her arm.
Along the trip, the super typhoon Jebi was present almost the entire way.  So this resulted in very little calm flight and much rain.  She had to work with the lawyer about meeting times because her mom was in the hospital.  While she was there in Tokyo, the next part of the trip was put in jeopardy because of the largest recorded earthquake in Hokkaido.  A day and a half before her flight to Sapporo, New Chitose airport was reopened.  Up till then the two of us had been talking about how to go about rescheduling and if the airline would recognize a natural disaster as a reason to need a reschedule, especially if it is on a flight not attached to the first ticket.  Fortunately we did not have to find out.
Image result for typhoon jebi
All this while my in laws were in Sapporo without utilities or water for three days.  Fortunately they had a supply of bottled water.  On a previous trip I had gotten frustrated at the lack of a working flashlight.  This light was the only working light they had for the three days without power and water.  Also found out about a cool lantern trick after the fact.  Place a water bottle on top of a flashlight to get it to act like a lantern.  My wife made it to Sapporo, and my mother in law also made it.  Luckily there in Sapporo not much stuff got knocked down so there wasn't any cleaning up for them.
Image result for hokkaido earthquake 2018

Monday my wife made the trip back and I picked her up in Portland.  Something I had not been paying attention to, but it was still happening in the background was that the Shasta area of northern California was burning.  We missed that by half a day.  The I-5 was reopened the morning before we went through the area, and the only restriction was no trucks with flammable loads were allowed.  While passing through we got several great pictures of the burned out forest.  All the while our dog patiently waited out the trip sleeping in thee back seat.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Not All Cultures Are The Same

I was fortunate enough to find a wonderful woman while I was travelling abroad.  I was working in Japan for two years and met her after being there for a month and a half.  We dated for 14 months and she moved in after 4 months.  We got married a year and a half after I got to Japan.
During the time that we were dating, she was a professional woman.  She worked as an executive assistant and because of the number of foreigners working in Japan is a very required position to help out with some day to day activities.   After I came back to the US, she stayed over to finish the year and joined me after that.  

When she did get over here she spent a fair amount of time trying to get a new job.  The American job market is considerably different than in Japan.  Many of the companies don't make use of administrative assistants or executive assistants like over in Japan.  Initially she was able to get some temporary jobs through a recruiter office, and eventually she found a more permanent job.  Here in the US though, the value of that position was much less than over in Japan.  While she took the job very seriously and worked just as hard, she never did come close to her Japanese salary.
One of the earliest differences she had to deal with is the change in transportation.  In Japan, she had access to a full amount of public transportation including rail and bus.  Now in the US, she gets to get a driver's license and has to drive everywhere.  In Japan the company was allowed to cover the cost of the employee to go to and from work, so the company would cover the cost of the rail tickets.  Initially in her visit she was sure that she would be able to use the public transport, boy was she mistaken.
After a while we had to receive packages and had to have service calls to the house.  Over in Japan, the shipping companies would give a relatively tight window.  Here in the US, the companies would give a 4 hour window.  Many of the service companies would give a window, and to date most of them would show up after the window.  For her this indicates that the companies don't value your time.  Over in Japan, if the company was late, it was very common for them to call and let the customer know.  This has not been her experience here in the US.
The final difficulty that she has encountered is the language barrier.  She has had to switch to using English for almost everything.  Japanese is not as high of value for language as other languages are in the job market.  After a while she has been trying to learn some businesses to work from home, but again, none of them have Japanese speakers as teachers.  Because of that she has been heavily relying on me to help her through the course material.  Even though the courses are equally applicable in both the US and Japan, there is just no desire to provide that language for the courses.  This has made it very difficult for her to find something other than just being a worker.

Monday, August 27, 2018

What is your marriage about?

I put this question at the beginning because it is a major factor in everything that we do.  Even for those that are not married have this as a major part of their life.  Some people ask the question as "what does it mean to be a man or woman?"  All of this is about the simple question of what is your motivation.

Some couples I have met say that their motivation is their children.  Others say that their motivation is each other.  Still others I have met, more often those that have been burned in relationships, say their motivation is their job, or a past time.  I have a brother who found his motivation in a child that he would often visit and play with.  

My motivation for a long time was the same thing I would tell others when they asked me what I wanted to achieve.  I would reply that the best thing a father could do is provide a well raised child with a solid foundation for the world.  I married later in life, and by that time, I had already realized I was not likely to be a major world changing person.  I knew I was a good worker, but I also knew that being a good worker means that you are going to affect those who are around you and they will be the ones that talk about your contributions.  I was raised with a high value of family and because of that I actually looked forward to having a family of my own.  I found a wonderful wife, one who I knew would be a great mother.  She was gentle and loving and cared about everyone around her.  

Fate did not have a family in our story.  Without children we did the next best thing, adopted pets and began looking out for our parents as they enter into the later years of their life.  Both our fathers have already passed, so now we just have our mothers to look after.  My wife is an only child, while I am the sixth child of seven, so we have considerably different family requirements.  Her mom was one of those whose motivation was her husband, and unlike my mom, she became very inactive after her husband passed.  Now we spend much time walking with her and talking to her so that she regains the strength of body and mind that she used to have when her husband was still alive.  We are working to get her here longer so that we have more time to care for her because she often gets weaker when she is not here.

Some would say that this is too much family baggage, I say it is taking care of family.  I hope to be able to give her many good years of exercise, talk, and perhaps even a better living location for the years we have together.  Since she is 80, I don't know how many that is, but I don't plan to throw them away.  When the time comes, my wife and I will find a new motivation and we will go down that road together as well.

Help Marriage

Sunday, August 26, 2018

An unfortunate story for a co-worker

A little bit ago I had lunch with a co-worker who had been married for just a couple of years.  I thought their relationship would be stronger at this point, however it seems that initial impressions are not always correct.

Their initial relationship was met with hardship because of the wife being a foreign national, and the process taking more than two years from their marriage to get her over here into the US.  While there may have been a little delaying on the paperwork side by the husband, the bulk of the time was do to the amount of time for the immigration office to do it's paperwork.

After she got over here, things seemed well for a while, and got to see them every now.  She had a hard time getting a decent job here in the US, just like my wife, and it seems that all of this was wearing on her.

When we got back together, found out that the two of them had been reduced to minimal communication through email.  I asked him about what happened, and also had some feedback from a lunch my wife had with his wife.  One of the things that I found through my time with my wife is that showing respect for her is very important.  This goes all the way to a lot of the smaller actions that I often overlooked since I am American.  I am slightly more ignorant of these actions.

Early on in my own relationship there were sometimes when I would do something that I didn't think much about, but it would often result in some long quiet nights.  I eventually connected that these items had a thing in common.  She put an effort into it for me, and I didn't appreciate it.  While she is okay with criticism, she is not okay with just disregarding her actions.  This is what I perceived to be the problem here.

After talking to him and hearing what my wife had said, I believe him when he says that he loves her, but I think that like me he is a little ignorant of actions that were considered disrespectful.  Since their communication has all but stopped we will see.  My wife and I pray and hope that they can resolve this and that he is able to build a stronger bond with her.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A rough day for us

This past Thursday while I was at work, I got a call from my Wife.  She informed me that our loving dog wanted to play and injured her in the process.  The injury was most likely a broken finger and what should she do.  Fortunately a nearby worker helped her bring the dog home so she didn't have bring him and hurt herself more.

Since this was our first time using the new insurance I had to spend some time finding where to go, but eventually found out that one of the closest hospitals accepted our insurance.  After getting back from work, I finally saw the injury and it did look painful.  The middle finger was angled to the outside of the hand and very swollen.  We decided to go the the emergency room more out of ignorance, and was later informed by those with a little more hospital experience that we should have gone to the urgent care.

After checking in we waited for about a half hour to forty five minutes before she was called back.  They took her vitals and cleaned her wounds from the fall which was very nice and then we were sent back to the waiting area for about another half hour.  Finally they came to take her x ray, and after waiting for another half hour my wife came back and let me know what the x ray showed.  I didn't get to see it till later but this is what it showed.

The last thing that happened in the morning was a lot of struggling because we didn't pull of her wedding band and engagement ring at the beginning right after she fell.  I did get to find out about the string trick to remove a ring, but unfortunately it didn't work, so now we have to get her rings repaired from being cut off. 

Now that half the day had disappeared, I had to run and take care of the pets and my mother in law.  This is what my wife is usually doing and since she was unable to I had to go and get them food and make sure that everyone was okay.  Then after heading back, I got there just in time to miss the finger being set.  Now the only thing left was to get the follow up x ray.

Now that it is a full hour past how long the staff said we were going to be there, both of us was getting hungry, and with her still stuck there waiting for them to do the follow up x ray, I ran to get food, and came back with her sandwich.  I got there just in time for her to be taken  back for the follow up x ray, and for her to get one bite of the sandwich.  After about 15 minutes she was brought back to the waiting area and then we started to get our discharge briefing about 10 minutes after that.

Finally, 6 and 1/2 hours after getting there, the joint was reset, my wife had a finger splint, and we could finally leave.  All my co-workers who have already gone through this said the same thing. "Why didn't you go to urgent care?"  Unfortunately all I can say is I won't be repeating that mistake again, but at least my wife's hand is healing.  Her last comment was that she could not believe that in 6 and 1/2 hours she never once met a doctor.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Family Love

Part of the fun with any relationship is that it never is only the one you met.  That is if it is a serious relationship.  My wife and I married later in life by most standards, however in today's standards it was probably closer to the average now.

My wife had a senior mother, much like my own, however her mother has not taken good care of herself.  While my mom will walk every day from home to church, her mom will walk as little as possible.  This makes for a very long visit when she comes over because I spend a lot of time rehabilitating her.

We both spend time walking with her to rebuild her strength, and will try to work with her on strength exercises, but the whole time it's always depending upon her will.  Often she will complain of the soreness in her legs, or some other excuse, but we work through it.  As long as we have her here.  In the future that will hopefully be up to 6 months at a time, maybe longer.

In the end it is all about taking care of family.  I am lucky enough to have married into a family where every one gets along, but I know there are those who didn't.  One of the comments my dad made was that eventually all you have is family, and that is why I am glad that we have a good family bond.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A light heartted wedding story

Last year My Wife and I attended the wedding for one of our nephews.  It was a nice event and the location was in north western Washington state, so there was a nice green backdrop from all of the evergreen trees located there.  The church was not in the middle of a big city which gave it a nice personal feel to the event.

The wedding proceeded very nicely, with a good turn out for the grooms family.  The brides family had a very large gathering as well.  For my Japanese mother-in-law, she got to see a more traditional western wedding with the bride in white.

After the wedding we all left the church and went to the side yard where they had the reception.  The meal was simple, the DJ played nice music, and after a while some of the friends of the groom and bride got out and danced.  This continued for about 45 minutes until it started getting to the winding down and the more traditional wedding ceremonies.
Woman, Girl, Lady, People, Back, Events
The tossing of the bouquet is one that I will never forget.  My niece and her boyfriend were there and she reluctantly went out for the bouquet toss.  We all watched to see who would get it as the bride threw the bouquet.  The bouquet flew through the air and was going straight to my niece.  Straight to her as she proceeded to turn and run from the bouquet.  Of course for the guys watching all we could do was say sorry to her boyfriend, and later chide her about it.

That bouquet toss is definitely one that I will remember for a very long time.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Self Reflection is worth it

As much as I would love to say that I am a good man, I know that there are some things I am not good at.  Some of these over the past ten years has proven to be stresses on the relationship compared to others. While both my wife and I have good and bad faults, there is also a lot to be said about a spouse that loves you for what you are and don't heavily fault the bad.  It is good for self reflection to find those items that I'm weak at, and to try to improve it.
Reflective, Reflection, Photographer
One of the biggest faults I have is goal setting.  I have learned some tricks to make it easier, but even though they are tricks, they still require dedication.  Goals in work are easy because they have a lot of external accountability, but around the house, the only accountability is myself and my wife.  I have worked on writing them down, following the SMART system, even reducing it down to just make daily and weekly goals.  All of this to make myself more accountable.  If the goals are written down that a person is more likely to achieve the goal.  The SMART system breaks them down into goal, and steps to achieve those goals.  Finally pulling the goals into a time frame that is more immediate instead of vague in the distant.  My wife and I have some specific goals, and often she reminds me that we have not met them.  I have unfortunately not taken the comments to heart like I should have, and often will use the excuse of my regular workload at my employer's business requiring the extra time.  All of this is just ignoring the fact that I would rather rest after a long days work. 
 Checklist, Goals, Box, Notebook, Pen
These goals or inability to complete these goals have often been turned into attacks when relationships are not doing well.  I've heard from a couple of people now about how their ex-spouse made comment about how they were all lies, just a bunch of empty promises.  Often these comments are made after something else already hurt the relationship nearly to the point of no return, but they are still cheap shots with the intent of putting all the blame on one of the spouses.  Most of the people I have talked to that are divorced have a little blame on both sides.  Even though it may seem to be primarily one of the couple.  The other usually has a little something that contributed.

While this is one of my biggest faults there are others that I will probably talk about later.  Something that goes right along with this is one of the easiest to remember phrases... If you do something for 21 days, then it becomes a habit.  Simple enough, yet at the same time very hard.  When I overcome that then I will be better for it.  Till then my wife is gracious enough to recognize what I am doing for her, and for that I am thankful, but it does not mean that I should not self reflect and work to improve myself, and that is why I continue to work to give her a better life.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Pets, Loving and Troublesome

Many families have pets that are treated as an important member of the family.  At the same time there are a fair number of families that have pets just as pets.  Some families have pets instead of children.

I grew up in a family where cats have been a major member of the family.  We had a few cats that showed up and admittedly I treated them terribly, and then we had cats that lived a good long life and we had tearful goodbyes.  We had cats who had their lives taken much too early, and then also got to listen to immature dog lovers who bragged about their killing of cats.  Since I grew up a paper carrier I did not have the best relationships with dogs.  Over time we had a tortoise, some chickens, and we had a rat for a while.  All of which were pleasant pets.

After leaving home I was listening to one of the radio shows and the host said some very thoughtful words.  These words still stick to me several years later.  The words he said were "Pets are here to remind of us about our mortality."  Adding to that I would also say that they remind us to live in the now with them because they may be gone before you know it.

My wife grew up with a dog in her life.  She also had rabbits and chickens as well.  The later ones she was more involved with raising.  After we got married I convinced her that cat's were more independent and we adopted two cats as indoor cats since we live close to the edge of town where coyotes wander.  She very quickly felt that I deceived her with how much they bugged her for attention and food.  A lot different from the cats i grew up with.  While I chose to adopt the black domestic short hair female, Princess, in the end she chose my wife, while the bright and always seeming to be cheerful boy, Jichan, that she chose eventually chose to be with me all the time.

Six and a half years later the shy quiet Princess passed from cancer.  It was tearful, and my wife took it hard.  A month later, my first dog, Musashi, came into my life.  He is very playful and always cheerful, now.  When we got him, he was quite, and calm, and what we didn't know, he had pneumonia.  Several vet visits, and many antibiotics later he became what his breed is supposed to be like.  Eventually the only problem that came up was that the boys were boys and liked hanging out.  My wife missed her cat and her character.  This led to our most recent addition Vivi.  A beautiful grey domestic short hair that exhibits many of the similar characteristics of princess.  We'll see because every animal is it's own character, and that is part of the reason we love them.


Monday, April 2, 2018

When Opportunity Comes a Knocking

In the time that My Wife and I have been married, we have seen a variety of divorces.  One of the most interesting was a wife that claimed her husband had been keeping her from advancing herself.  After going their separate ways, she finished a degree that and put a proud post up about completing something her ex would not let her do.

While I admit to not knowing all the details, to me the post is part of the problem.  I know here in America more than any other place that opportunities are actually closed to people if they make too much.  Financial aid is no longer available and instead everything comes out of your own pocket.  This does not say that this is what happened.  Additionally, the post raises the question in my mind about how often did they talk about it.  Additionally just making a public post like that is spiteful.  Why not just highlight the good of look what I did.

When I was growing up my mom was a housewife until my brother and I started high school.  The two of us being the youngest got a fair amount of fending for ourselves because of being the youngest.  This big change was because my mom decided to get a part time job that later became a full time job and make some money on the side.  This was a decision that my dad and her talked about and so we were considered old enough and away she went.

My wife has been a corporate woman almost all her life after college.  After we had been married for 10 years she decided that she was tired of the extra traveling to and from work, the all too often that she had to work extra hours, and the many times trying to accomplish the last minute impossible task.  Taking all this into account she decided it was time for a career change and a change in lifestyle.  She stopped working and now is at home most all the time.  Along with that she still has a strong desire to work, but more on her own pace and schedule.  Because of that we have been pursuing other opportunities.  Some of which is blogging, and affiliate marketing.  Also been working on other opportunities.  I have been working with her because I respect her and love her, and I want to see here succeed.  I feel this is a strong part of our marriage.  Going back to one of the things that I firmly believe, which is that I think to many people forget that marriage is more like a team effort, and it takes both sides to succeed and last. 

PS The other articles written in Japanese are the opinions and thoughts of my wife.  Please feel free to read and check them out.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

In Sickness and In Health

Over the last few days my wife and I had the misfortune of going through this years cold.  It was miserable, and for my wife it is still on-going.  Finally after about six days of cold medicine, cough drops, warm soup and lots of water I am at the point where I can go back to my regular job.

Through it all to support me was my wife, and now I get to support her as she gets back on her feet.  She thought out some good soups to make, worked diligently to keep the house clean even as she is suffering herself.  She allowed me the time to rest to recover, even though I couldn't really rest.  Too busy coughing.

Now that I am the healthy one I get to remember that it is time for me to step up and make her life more comfortable.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

A few words go a long way

Many people know the power of word and how even well intention words can be misinterpreted and a long cold night can follow.  On the other hand a few well chosen words can lead to a very pleasant evening.  After all the fun of dating we then get to have the fun of talking serious life discussions.  This is when some discussions can really put a downer on your perspective.

The nice thing about dating is the flexibility, the lack of the serious commitment and the always looking forward to being together.  Even with all that you may find that there are times when you just can't find the right thing to say.  There are several times that I would attempt to compliment her, but it would come across more as an unfair comparison.  This would usually lead to back tracking and rewording, and eventually just shutting up when I realized that all I was doing was digging a deeper hole. Even though we had our back and forth we didn't embed it in our memories as check marks against each other.

After some time we got married and the terminology changed.  Now we were talking about more serious stuff like our finances, what to do about our aging relatives.  Also added to that the fun of pets.  We would sometimes ruin our evening over discussion of finances, but the big benefit was that I could have that discussion with my wife.  This however put me on some shaky ground elsewhere.  If I didn't take the time to remind her of how important she was and how much she helped us, then I would end up with a very exhausted and sometimes bitter wife.  After some time there were just things that I expected her to do and sometimes I would forget to remind her how glad I was that she did these things. 

While it's really important for the major dates, Valentine's day, Birthday, and Anniversaries, it is also good to remember that it doesn't need to only be on those dates.  Take the extra words to remind her your love and appreciation, it's worth it. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Prior Proper Planning...Yeah Right

Many guys all want to have that special evening that just makes your special someone go Wow!  I was planning on doing that for my wife's birthday a couple of years ago.

I had gone through looking for a nice locations close to Downtown where we could get out and enjoy our fine city.  I researched hotels and restaurants there in the area.  I had already narrowed down the restaurants to a few, so it pretty quickly turned into a restaurant and then finding the accommodations near by that would be a good finish.  My wife tends to like a mix of historic and also activities, so I settled on a nice relatively classic hotel that had been there for a while.  I checked the reviews and their website and everything looked like it would be a good evening.  Check in first, then go to dinner, and then later come back and have some drinks and then some room service.  Perfect.

The day of the event came and started out well.  We got there, checked in and was able to go enjoy the dinner.  The restaurant held up to it's reputation, and after enjoying that dinner, we came back, stopped by the bar for some drinks.  Then we decided to head up and checked about the room service. 

Hmm, I didn't think to check on this.  I just took it for granted that a hotel of this type would have room service, like it said on it's website.  When I called and found out that because their kitchen/restaurant was being remodeled that they were short staffed and didn't have room service, or the additional storage for the items that would be delivered.  After talking to the lobby I found the best choice was to go for a walk to a local grocery store and buy what I wanted there.

Now starts the walk of shame.  My wife being the kind wife that she is came along, and instead of us enjoying the evening with some wine delivered by room service, we were now walking a couple of blocks to a local grocery store to buy said wine so that we could take it back to enjoy it in our room.  Instead of waiting 10 - 15 minutes, we were now walking and shopping for almost an hour to get our wine.

Needless to say, when we got back the mood has soured a little and the wine wasn't as enjoyable as the wine we would have gotten from room service.  All this because I didn't think to check with a phone call to the hotel about a simple thing like room service.

Monday, February 19, 2018

If Only I had a Little More Money

By far the most viscous thing we have created in society is Money.  People work hard for it and others cheat and steal for it.  Once you have it everyone wants your money.

Growing up one of the things my father instilled in me is to take care of the family.  This involved getting a job and making enough to take care of my wife, and any kids we may have.  Then I married and moved into one of the more expensive areas.  Of course this only got worse as life's challenges came along such as home ownership, and high pressure salesmen.

My wife and I are fortunate that we are able to talk about money and we both are on the same page when it comes to money.  When we got married we decided that we would have a joint account and then either use credit cards or set up a small account on the side for the personal expenses like buying each other gifts.  We have gone through tight financial times and lucrative financial times.  Right now we are in a tighter time because of quality of life decisions we have made, but we'll get through it.

Often I hear some other couples talking about how when they get married there is no way they are going to combine the accounts.  This may sound like a good idea but it will only work so long as both are working and able to cover their part of the expenses.  I have also heard of couples that one member will set aside a little in a separate account based on the past history of the other.  Again, preparing to go their separate ways if the relationship doesn't work.  Sometimes the small account turns into a rainy day fund and may cover the tougher times, sometimes it really is an escape plan.

Remember that no matter how much you make, you'll figure out how to spend it and most likely be looking forward to getting more.  Budget and plan is the best way to make it last.  So if times throw tough financial situations, don't just give up, work through it together and you'll be stronger together. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Found a good offer.

We found this offer and put together a small collection of articles that we thought were useful.

Feel free to download it and check out the offer.

The offer is very good for those who are in a rough time in their marriage.  Highlighting that communication is often misinterpreted to be the problem.

When we saw this offer we thought of our co-worker who just went through a divorce.  So many times he would express his feelings and thoughts very well, but his wife at the time refused to listen.  Even with the marriage counseling the result was the expected and they are no longer together.

Again feel free to download the report and check out the offer, and share with anyone you may know that can use the help.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Gotta love Overtime

After the military I got hired by a very good company.  While I greatly appreciate the opportunities and rewards it has given, I have come to appreciate overtime in moderation.

The department I was hired into was not a large profit department and because of that we are a very lean department, and we have been working to get more headcount in line with our workload ever since I got hired.  This is nice when I want some extra money because I could usually work the overtime to get it.  While getting paid for overtime is nice, there is still the problem that I have to work the overtime.

Also there came the eventuality of deadlines.  These more than anything else started to drive the overtime regardless of my energy or desire to do overtime.  Eventually leading to the problem that my wife was married more to our residence instead of to me.

When the overtime was moderate, and only happened a little bit during the year, we were good with that.  Eventually it expanded to where about a quarter of the year we were eating out close to my work so that I could have dinner with my wife.  Since I have been more practical with it, working to limit it to only a couple weekends, and a couple extra hours a day, but this is only as long as I can keep up with the deadlines and occasionally still requires the much longer days.

I bring this topic up because I know of two people at my work who have admitted that the overtime was a contributing factor to their marriage falling apart.  If your relationship is strong then your relationship will endure the longer hours, but the final question is how long.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Marriage and the Military

My wife and I met while I was on active duty in the Military in Japan.  This was probably one of the best things to happen for me.

While we were there the command actually required pre-marriage counseling that was held on the base.  It was one weekend of seminars and talked about many of the problems that are experienced by young married couples.  During the course there was a questionnaire that was given to us and our homework was to ask each other those questions.  These questions ranged from everything from money to children.  The reason for this is because in the military especially there are many people who marry and think that their life is going to be one way only to find it goes a different way.  From unexpected moves to extended time away from each other.  All these questions were designed to get the couple to face the reality that will be and how to incorporate that into the vision that they have.  I'm still looking for it so that I can share it if possible.

During that time, I was on watch all the time, so except for the days off, or when my watch schedule lined up with my wife's work schedule I didn't really get to see her that much.  Also she was still working and since we had no kids, we didn't really have any problems, just the inevitable one of what happens when my tour is over.  The time came and we decided that it was time to get out of active military service.  My new wife came over to be with me a couple of months after I returned to the US.  Of course one of the first questions she had was are you my husband because I put on the characteristic post military weight (25 lbs) and beard.

A couple of years later when I was out of the military we had a similar sit down and talk.  This time it was about reserve duty and how it fits into our marriage.  When I married, the first commitment I decided to have was to my wife, and we continue with that commitment to this day.  That discussion is what led me to resign from reserve duty and now work completely in the private sector.

Saturday, February 10, 2018


Nice to meet you.

Todays society provides more and more life choices than many years ago.  This is also true for relationships.  Many are looking for someone, choosing to just live with them, and others choose to marry that someone.

Many people will find that after time their relationship is rocky, or too hard and will choose the easy road to divorce or going separate ways.  Later opting to remarry or move in with another person.

We set up this blog to help those who are in those tough situation with their marriage or relationship and may be looking for some advice. 

We have been married for a little more than 13 years now and during that time we have seen many of our friends go through their marriage all the way to divorce.  Some have remarried, but many have opted to just live with their new partner.

Along the way we will be sharing some stories and also articles and products that we find that may be of use. 

We look forward to your comments and feedback and in the future plan to take some time to answer your questions.

Diet and a Happy Marriage

One of the items that my wife and I have talked about a lot is our diet and fitness.  These are items we talk about because early in our ma...