Tag Archives: communication

Conference call

Despite being the only two people left in our household, my husband and I still tend to have three and four-way conversations. And nobody is on the phone. 

Richie went out to breakfast with his Mom yesterday and when he pulled into the driveway, I let our dog, Otis, know “Daddy’s home!” My husband talked with us for a minute on the deck and then went into the house to get another cushion (it rained the night before, so we bring them in). I heard my husband’s next conversation through the kitchen window screen. He was also confirming to “The Dude” that he was back. 

Other days we might acknowledge that we didn’t hear or understand what was said:

 “What? I didn’t catch that.” 

“I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to Kapper.”

Are the additional conversations no different than talking to houseplants? Maybe we’ve always talked to the pets but are only now paying attention to one another? Either way, I wonder if this post will get us more conversations with household visitors – or less?                     



A walk with the family dog after work usually makes my day.

Our pug, Otis, was following at my heels as I entered the kitchen, where my daughter was reading her book at the table. 

As I headed toward the back door I said, “you have to do poohs and pees before you get your dinner.”

My 21-year-old daughter muttered an “okay” as she looked up at me.

I broke into laughter and explained that I was talking to Otis.

“Wait, what did you say?”

I repeated myself as the dog and I continued toward the back door.

Tarah’s embarrassed sly grin, as she realized the humor in her response, is actually what made my day.
Photo credit: Disability Images


We rented a new car and my husband was the driver for our long weekend. We arrived home just before midnight on Monday.  My husband went to work early the next morning and I was responsible for returning the car. I found the key ring on our kitchen table and couldn’t believe my sleepy eyes. There was a key ring but no key. 

I phoned my husband to ask why the key was not on the agencies key ring? Where did he think he may have dropped it?!

There was a long pause.

He didn’t think there was need for concern.

“Yes, I’m serious. I just went to leave and there’s no key to put into the ignition. Only the black top of the key!”

He is a patient man. Often perplexed at me but very patient. 

“Is there also a black circle on the black top of the key ring? Press that.”

I must have sounded like an amazed little kid playing with a new toy on the other end of that  phone line. 

I retracted both my questions to him and the key. 

Who knew?!

I didn’t. We’ve had our car for over ten years and I’m old school. Unlike the key ring, I have nothing to hide. 

Ag – Au

My lifelong friend, Melanie, always turned the phrase “Make new friends but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.” The quote is spot on and my last few weeks can attest to it.

I met a new woman on the train. She lives in the town where I grew up and down the street from my in -laws. Somewhere along the way, we started sitting together and swapping stories during our long commute. I’ve since met her Air Force husband and young daughter and she’s seen pictures of my chia-pet-bearded husband and our two college-age girls. Maria is outgoing, ambitious, talkative and hysterical. We’ve chatted about challenges with our parents, children and life in general. Adding to that, we’ve also laughed about people on the train, our husband’s quirks and yesterday, winter laundry. She had me in stitches talking about clothesline-dried jeans that were stiffer than her husband’s military uniforms. She brought me right back to being a teenager in the 80’s. My sisters and I would want to wear our favorite jeans so badly that we would wash them at night and, since we had no dryer, hang them outside to dry regardless of the cold weather. They’d be stiffly standing at attention waiting for us in the morning. Maria is the silver lining to life’s problems and like the nanny in The Sound of Music – Maria, makes me – laugh!

I met an old friend in the subway station last week. Susan and I originally met in high school but have kept in touch in a variety of ways over the years. I was not only thrilled to see her but also glad she knew me under other circumstances. It was an incredibly hot summer day, I didn’t have on any makeup and I think she caught me cursing the subway car that closed its doors in my face. As a former teammate, she is familiar with my intensity;  she’s seen me sweaty and talking smack in the past. I think she also knows I can clean up pretty well (if I need to). We started talking a mile a minute.  We picked up where we left off  the last time we talked, updated each other on our families, talked about her recent house purchase, my new job and mutual friends in just a few green line stops. Seeing an old (longtime!) friend was, as we said in the 80’s, “awesome”! Sue always has a smile on her face, tells a great story and laughs at my jokes. Who wouldn’t want to keep a friend like that around?

Maybe Maria and Sue will be my lifelong friends too.  They hit the spot.  If not, maybe I can get them  bronzed?

The List (not quite The Notebook)

My husband and I have been married for 25 years. While that sounds like a major feat, it doesn’t result in improved communication skills. Despite knowing one another’s needs and having the ability to finish each other’s sentences, we are often challenged by the art of conversation.

I start talking to him from the other room. He begins a discussion as we leave the vehicle we’ve been silently riding in for the past hour. I enter his world of television and ask “what’s on tonight?” and he responds, “what’s on too tight?” If something was on too tight, he wouldn’t even notice … unless it was a noose.

Humor aside, we do work on our communido repertoire by leaving notes about where we are and when we left or by creating lists for weekend activities and chores. However, even the most basic tools, like a weekly grocery list, can trip us up from time-to-time.

Me anyway. When there IS communication and its actually received, I still find the ability to misunderstand or interpret incorrectly. Father’s Day was a great example. He was spending the day in various ways with our girls, so I offered to do his chores.

I know, right?

It’s even more impressive when I explain that one of those two chores was cleaning the bathroom sink drain. Unclogging a drain where three girls with long hair cohabitate with a man whose beard would make Santa Claus jealous, is no small task. When he saw me getting the plumbing underway he said, “I don’t want to watch, smell it or see whatever makes up that clog.” He proceeded to close the door laughing and happily leave me with my job at hand.

While that was worth some kudos on my part, I diverted from the list. Chore 2 of 2.

Grocery shopping, any shopping, is not something I enjoy. Even with a list there are too many choices, I don’t like spending money and there are a thousand other things I’d rather be doing. So, when I shop I try not to stray from the needs on the list.

I was as drained as my untangled bathroom sink after getting home and putting away said groceries. But I was glad I did it. Until my husband decided to put me through an unanticipated audit.

Did you get the filters?


The #2’s? We were all out.

Yes. It was on the list. 

Why did you buy baking soda?

Because it was on the list. I wouldn’t have thought to buy it otherwise.

No it wasn’t.

Dead-tired stare. 

Unlike me, his face lit up with an Aha! moment. He walked into the bathroom and returned with the toothpaste I’d just put away.

It wasn’t baking soda toothpaste.

25 years of humor, humility and  room for improvement.

A gal’s gotta smile.


Yes, this title is my new word of the day. 

It’s not a typo.

Commutication is the ability to read and retain information during a daily commute. 

The word should actually be in the mainstream. 

Electronics and social media feed information constantly. People use search engines, check apps and have photo conversations whether they’re on a train, in a plane or sadly, driving a car. 

I’m old school. I still use a yellow No 2, read a newspaper and enjoy a hard cover book. 

It was the later that just inspired my word of the day. I read an entire book on my way into work and, as I started another on the way home, texted hubby that I’d “see him in a few chapters”. 

It gives me great joy to read for pleasure on a daily basis. I love the characters and landscapes as I commuticate throughout the day.

It’s not a typo. 

Yes, word is, my new day included reading during my commute.

Blogging and the people you meet – – –

I met this fellow blogger guy once. I say once because after he learned I’d been stalking him for months, he made sure I didn’t follow him anymore. His expression when I introduced myself was like a bomb went off. Note to self: Do not tie everything you learn about someone into your first meet & greet. I have to say though, as shell-shocked as he looked, I think he was actually a little flattered.

I wish I knew a good advice blog where I could find some valuable self-help entries about blogging community etiquette. Does anyone have any tips?

If people could only see how hot I am after working out in my 80’s workwear, I think they’d want to spend more time on my page.

Did I say 80’s workwear? I meant my Crossfit outfit that I wear at strength training boot camp.

It’s the same outfit my kids wear when they join me. Did I say kids? I meant my roommates.

I misspoke because I haven’t seen them in a while. I was in Italy showing off my new car design. My other hot women friends met me there and gave me a great celebration that included more bottles of champagne than you can imagine.

I’m not sure how many glasses of the bubbly I have left to enjoy in this sweet lifetime.

I was REALLY starting to question that when I had a close encounter with a great white when I climbed back into my party yacht.

I love spending my disposable income on self-righteous things like that. I mean, who needs it more than I do?

It seems I am full of myself today. I’ve been reblogged twice and added to a recommended blogger reader list. I only found all that out after a boring day at the office and trying to settle my pets in near the wood stove, where I can build another fire and some more fiction.

RE: My response to, you guessed it: