Laughter is great medicine!

On October 5th, 2015, posted in: Uncategorized by

We just attended a great talk by Karyn Buxman! She wrote the book called “Lead with Laughter“.  During the talk she invited the entire audience to laugh hysterically for 2 minutes straight; then she described all the health benefits we just received.  We knew we liked laughing but now we know we cannot live without it!  Please pass this on to anyone you know especially those with a tendency toward diabetes and blood pressure problems! Our 2 minutes of laughter relieved stress so if you are or know a caregiver who is dealing with Alzheimer patients, view

With love and laughter,

Ed & Betty Coda

…that laughter is a barometer for your relationship! Sometimes life gets way too serious.  Yesterday we were laughing and joking a lot!  It was so life giving and refreshing.  Stress disappeared and we had fun!  How is your laughter barometer?

We have been told that we can’t do anything about the past, Worry about the future is silly because it’s not here yet. What we can do something about is this moment, here and now. We have decided that we will start blogging and sharing our lives again today. And even though it is April 1st- we are not fooling. Love, E&B


Lover Ben,

YMEQ is your soft loving way you asked me to slow down yesterday.  I truly appreciate when we are lovers first and business partners second!  Wow, don’t know where that came from, but that is at the core of “let’s have fun with it” for me.  When we are business partners getting the job done, we might be efficient, but to me that is not being a fine well oiled machine.  It is work!  At times it is stressful and boring.  When I think of having fun I think of being lovers.  Lovers give each other the benefit of the doubt, assume the best, build each other up and do what they can to make each other look good to others.  Then when we are lovers, playful teasing, dribbling and shooting clothes at each other, pretending to honk the horn when we are stuck in traffic etc. all make it fun!  Sweetheart lover pumpkin pie, I like the start we have made to being lovers and not just partners again.  I am feeling hope filled and mellow.  There is a sense of delight in my heart.  It is a fresh new day, calm still, sweet clear skies.  There is a lightness and grassy meadow floating feeling in my chest.  I see your smile and get little heart bursts of giddiness.  I can’t wait to share with you. ILYWMWHASAMAB,

Your Eddie



When I heard Eddies letter, I could almost feel the lightness and floating feeling.  I was feeling so loved and understood.  I could really feel my eyes light up as I looked into his eyes.  I knew I had the mental part, but he gave us the way to really make it happen and keep it alive. I love playing our silly games. I was really ready to share my letter with him.


Sweetheart Eddie,

Your MEQ this morning is to start our day off bright and early by focusing first on dialogue, and my first most significant thoughts go to affirming you and how it just changed my whole disposition. You are tender and loving and unselfish and I love your masculine quality of powering through and getting the job done. It is said that attitude is everything and these words about having fun come through strong and clear about not letting life get to me. It’s really just too easy to focus on the concerns of the day and keep saying, I don’t know how to handle that. But focusing instead, on how to lift it up to keeping focused on the joy of spending time with you and the others that we care about, and helping everyone feel supported. Fun brings a twinkle to my eyes and happiness to my spirit. I feel light and blue and yellow. There is no dread feeling in my gut – it’s mostly an airiness in my chest. Like taking deep breaths and feeling refreshed.

I love you, Ben


When Betty finished reading to me, I was both amazed and confirmed.  It amazed me that she could come to such a similar feeling by just looking at changing an attitude, and I came to it by thinking of what makes life fun.  I just wanted to drink in her beautiful sparkly deep blue eyes.  I felt so connected and loved.  I just wanted to take the day off and stay and play!

Apparently only about 16% of people age 25 today are “saving” themselves for marriage.  Stats show that 78% of those who waited are still married.  But that still seems better than the 50+% divorce rate for all others.  I know with my whole heart and soul that I am happy we gave that precious, once in a lifetime gift, to each other after we were married.  No regrets.  Love Ed & Betty

How often do I box myself in with this one? Understanding how to let go is especially important for us in our parenting.  Kids know exactly and precisely how a wedge works.  It seems like they know instantly when we are not agreeing on how to handle a situation with them!  If they divide, they conquer.

Because there is no manual for how to deal with every situation in parenting, we know that BOTH of us are RIGHT about our solution, so why is it that I would rather go to the grave fighting for my way than acting like a rational adult and working it out?  Sometimes it is as simple as trying your way this time and mine next.  Find great ideas for solving these and other mysteries with “Couple First Parenting” by getting our book, Passionate Parent Passionate Couple.

The realization that you can’t change others is huge and something I think I still don’t want to believe based on my actions. I always hope that sharing my expectations and dreams and caring for another will make them want to change for me. Ah ha! They have to change for themselves and my expectations will just disappoint me. Oh! I get it! So, all of that sharing is important so we can reveal what we envision but we have to let go ultimately and let the other be themselves.  The best thing I can do is figure out how I can change and be their model. This understanding was very powerful in the face of “You can’t make me do that!”  What is your first reaction when you hear that from one of your children? 

Find out more about this and other powerful parenting tips in Chapter 8 of Passionate Parent Passionate Couple


My sweetheart Eddie, Your Most Endearing Quality is helping us to carry through on our need to do this. Of course, I’m just racing with the excitement of the day and how easily I can get so distracted. Brother.

You need to know that I am a jumble – obvious, I know, but what is it deep down. I WANT to be capable about anything and everything, but right now what is deep down bothering me is my judging that I AM NOT capable. That was a backwards sentence which is typical of what is going on inside. Love that we have gathered others around us who are good in the places where I judge I am lacking. Now, to let go and let God and them. So hard for me – always has been and always will be. So that needs to be my personal first prayer. Let Go and Let God and Others. And yet I want us to be making choices together for those things. I don’t really want it to be you doing things independently of me. I want us to stay interdependent.

Getting this out of me and on paper feels so reassuring. I know my nature – bet God puts all these things of desire to do everything in me and then He makes it too much so I will get it that I have to choose AND do a good job of that so I can let go. Now to take the time to delegate. That is what our mind-dump must focus on. Saying this makes me feel still jumbled. It’s a tightness in my chest. A hotness in my pits. A shudder. Sweaty palms. It’s all of it-wanting to do it all and knowing that is impossible so move ON. What can I find to distract me from all of this decision-making!!! IDK! Hold me!!  Love, Ben 



Lover Benjie, YMEQ is your willingness to trust me to listen to you yesterday and your openness and vulnerability in sharing yourself with me.  You softened my heart and allowed me to feel open also. 

As I think about this question I realize how you keep sharing that you are in overwhelm and I logically say – Just do it, just get something done on our list.  But yesterday after your sharing I later, looked at our to do list for the day and realized that I had a sinking feeling of anxiety in the pit of my stomach.  So much to do. I started working on one thing and then in the middle of that I got switched to another and I don’t think I finished anything.  Then Dan came in and said he needed to go to get a signature on a paper and I volunteered to do that so he could keep working on what he was doing.  I RAN away.  It’s like I want to do anything but what I am supposed to do and I can justify it as important. 

Lover, it’s almost like a feeling of indigestion with clammy palms and pits.  It is like shallow breathing and having a fog in your forehead. Almost like somebody is sitting on my chest.  I find myself almost hoping for distractions to come my way.  Where is the cruise ship when you need it? 


Your  Eddie




After hearing Ed’s letter, I was blown away by how close our feelings were.  I was carrying the burden of thinking that there was something wrong with me, but just knowing that Ed felt that way too gave me such a relief.  It was like a new lease on life, even though all of the stuff is still out there. 



After hearing Betty’s letter, I felt totally empathetic.  It was an instance of intimacy and desire. I just wanted to get closer to her.  I felt a flood of relief come over me as I realized we were both being totally honest with ourselves and each other.  She loves the real me!  I don’t have to pretend to be strong and have it all together.  We can move forward as a fine well-oiled machine and tackle anything.

Putting negative labels on kids is one of the worse things you can do.  If you want a kid to be lazy, just keep saying, “You’re so lazy”.  If you want a kid to be stupid, just keep saying, “you’re so stupid”.  It can even be more subtle like, “he/she is good in sports but not so good in school”.  Trust us, that kid will NOT be good in school. 

Recognize the power of your words.  “Thoughts become things” is a truth, but speaking those thoughts out loud makes your thoughts a reality!  Always be conscious of what you say, especially when it involves your children.

We really started to enjoy parenting when we learned the “game” of the belonging tank.  Imagine that each of your children has a tank like a gas tank, but it is called the belonging tank. 

As long as that tank is full, your child is in full cooperation and your life is smooth sailing. As soon as the tank starts to go down, your child starts to feel the need for your attention. AND it does not matter to the child if they get that attention in positive or negative ways! 

That is when you start to notice bickering, whining, fighting etc.  You feel irritated and of course you turn your attention to your child!  (Negative attention giving)

Just think for a moment what it would be like if you proactively gave attention to the child before things fell apart!  We call that “Catching your kids doing something right” (positive attention giving), instead of waiting until something wrong happens.

 Give it a try and let us know if anything different happens. 

When I was a young parent I used to get irritated when one of the little one’s asked if they could help with something that was way over their heads or I could do more efficiently myself.  Now with grandkids, when they say, “Can I Help?”, I immediately say yes, then start thinking of some way for them to get involved.  Last night I was changing ink on our printer and of course the youngest, Jaydah the four year old, came over to ask if she could help.  I started seeing visions of ink stains everywhere in my brain, but I immediately said yes.  Then, as I was opening the new cartridges, I would push the release lever on the old and ask her to pull them out while I got the new ones ready to put in. She was so delighted to throw them into the garbage and it really did save me time!  What a great resource!

One of the key ingredients to peace filled parenting is when we see our kids as a resource instead of a burden and responsibility.  Our 17 month old grandson loved to turn on the blender to help me make smoothies in the morning.  One morning I was in a rush and I was a little irritated when I found him pulling on my pant leg.  I told him I was in a rush so please turn on the blender.  He pointed past the blender instead of turning it on. I asked again, but he still pointed at the stove.  Finally I looked at the stove and saw the top to the blender sitting there.  I almost scared him to death as I screamed, “you are such a resource!”  If you are looking for resources you will find them and if you are looking for burdens you will find them too!

What happens to me when I am feeling overwhelmed and HDIFSTWY?



Lover Benjie,

YMEQ is you’re your willingness to share your overwhelm with me. It allowed me to see my overwhelm too.

Lover when I am overwhelmed I find it easy to fly from one project to another without finishing any.  For me it seems that keeping busy and having no time for anything is the way I excuse myself for being in overwhelm.  Looking at it now I see how I also feel stressed and on edge.  I snap at little stuff and I’m not myself.  Lover, it is so ironic that when I’m like this, the last thing I want to do is our job list. I don’t want to just start handling things and clearing them, which is exactly what I know I need to do.

I almost feel ridiculous sharing this with you.  It’s like a “duh” kick myself in the pants feeling.  Why do I let myself suffer in overwhelm when most of the stuff takes way less time to finish than I think?  It’s like a stifled feeling in my chest and stomach.  Shallow breathing.  It is a greyish overcast day feeling.  ILYWMWHASAMAB Eddie

When Betty shared her ways of escaping I was awed and felt a deep sense of gratitude for her honesty to trust me so deeply.  I know that the last thing I want is for someone to know my weaknesses and be vulnerable or accountable.  Betty was so vulnerable that I felt like I had been given a hidden treasure that I must guard with my life.  I just had to kiss her on the lips in a gentle loving way.


 My sweetheart, your MEQ is challenging me and us as usual with a question that I would rather not delve into. I’d rather escape into no man’s land with FB – just visiting, not doing something constructive, TV, attending to our little garden, checking on things around the house without real purpose, etc. Instead of mind-dumping and creating a priority list, basically, wasting time. THEN I get that God-awful feeling of emptiness plus frustration that comes with not filling my energy-cell of happiness = getting things accomplished. Sharing this with you makes me feel nervous with my honesty. I sense your frustration watching me not get be on purpose and leaving so many things to you to take the lead on. You had us dialogue on this to save yourself, I’m sure!, – Bless you!!

My nervousness causes me sweatiness and a stiffness in my back. My head is achy – just a slight dull sensation. It makes me want to run away and definitely avoid you. For you it might me like when I ask you to – goodness – what does make you nervous? Do you just suck it up and be brave? This is a light gray or yellow feeling to me right now. Okay—–Let’s minddump and get my act together.

Love, Ben

After hearing Ed’s letter, I was sympathetic to his thought that he was being ridiculous, ‘cause it truly is ironic for both of us to say that we both stop doing or doing well or to completion which causes us more negative feelings. His honesty about how it makes him be irritable gave so much clarity to how we both are a little rough around the edges right now. This dialogue gives us a clear picture of what we need to do right now.


Has your child ever lied to you?  Remember trust CANNOT be earned.  Trust is a gift and a decision.  We all make mistakes in judgement and we will do it again because we are human.  Make the decision to trust and see what happens! Love Ed and Betty

“I’m sorry” makes you feel better.  “Please forgive me” lets the one you’ve hurt have a chance to feel better before forgiving you! Self centered vs other centered.

After you catch your kid/s doing something right…

On July 9th, 2013, posted in: Childcare, Children, Communication, Family, For Parents, Parenting, Passionate Parent by Comments Off on After you catch your kid/s doing something right…

When you find your kid/s doing something right, praise with sincerity. “Danny. thank you for helping Chrysy find her shoes – that was sooooo helpful.”

Get out of the parenting blahs!

On July 9th, 2013, posted in: Childcare, Children, Communication, Family, For Parents, Love, Uncategorized by Comments Off on Get out of the parenting blahs!

The easiest way to get things turned around when parenting seems to be a drag is to start catching your kids doing something right! You will be amazed!

Laughter Leads to a Longer Life

On July 6th, 2013, posted in: Childcare, Children, Communication, Family, For Parents, Parenting, Passionate Parent, Uncategorized by Comments Off on Laughter Leads to a Longer Life

What is your family movie? Ours is “The Three Amigos”

So many dark situations turn to laughter with a single quote. A great one…“Let’s just have fun with it!”

Kisses are more important than you think!

On July 5th, 2013, posted in: Uncategorized by Comments Off on Kisses are more important than you think!

Kisses are the spice of life and make everything better from healing hurts to passionate romance..I love Betty!!!!!

What happens to me and our relationship when we don’t dialogue regularly? HDMAMMF?

On July 3rd, 2013, posted in: Communication, Forgiveness & Healing, Love by Comments Off on What happens to me and our relationship when we don’t dialogue regularly? HDMAMMF?


My loving Eddie, Your Most Endearing Quality is prioritizing our relationship with this poignant question. Yes, it has been too long since our last dialogue and I notice that I just get irritated so easily when I haven’t been expressing my feelings to you. I don’t know how people do it without dialogue!! My irritation, too, isn’t really directed AT you, but, unfortunately, you are the major recipient of my irritable behavior. I have been noticing that my fuse is short! So I think our next dialogue question is – Has my irritable behavior gone away because we dialogued today?!!! Let’s see – a scientific experiment in human behavior. So, what happens to me – I put everything before US – I get so BUSY – email, grandkids, work, and the biggest robber of time – Facebook. (It’s a blessing and a curse!) This irritability slips into our relationship and I don’t have time for you or us. My answer makes me feel melancholy. It’s not an extreme feeling of sadness, just like a wake-up call to something that I truly believe in and technically want to do, but haven’t. Like Oh, yeah – I want to do that, but… It’s light gray in color and an overcast gray day like today. It’s like not taking the time to get a haircut and realizing that that means I’m not putting myself first or taking care of my appearance which in turn makes me not feel good about myself. But in this case it is transferred to us and not taking care of us – so not really feeling good about us. So happy to be here and doing this. Looking forward to listening to you.

I Love You, Ben

After listening to Eddie, it was reassuring and gave me a sense of secureness. Also, curiosity to see if dialoguing does really clear up this irritability that was springing up inside of me. Let’s see what happens today and yes, commit to dialoguing on the scientific experiment’s observation and result.. Interesting!


My lover Benjie, YMEQ is your laughter and giggle.  I just simply feel a joy burst when you laugh at my silly antics.  I love us.  Sweetheart, when I think of us going through three weeks without dialoguing, I see how those grating feelings pile up. For me, it is like scratching on a chalkboard lingering just below the surface.  We are great one minute and then some little thing triggers and either or both of us erupt.  All I think about is that when we are dialoguing we feel like a “fine well oiled machine.”  When we are not dialoging there are sticky, squeaky parts and every once in a while the machine jams totally.  Please forgive me for erupting in the car yesterday when you were trying to help me with my call and what to say to my client.  But that is a perfect example of where I took your loving advice as criticism instead of hearing it as a great way to handle the call.  When we are dialoguing as we should, I don’t hear things as much as criticism.

Lover, I feel such a sense of relief and release just writing this.  It is like a knot in my stomach just untwined.  Deep breath, letting go, a sense of quiet and peace.  My chest is airy and although I still have a mild sense of anxiety in my gut, I feel free and light overall.  ILYWMWHASAMAB, Your lover Eddie


As Betty read her letter to me, I could almost feel her sense of disappointment.  It was like a gloom entered by heart.  I too disappoint myself by not keeping my commitments.  I just felt connected and ready to start over as we sat together looking out at the overcast sky.  As we finished I could feel the energy of renewal already start to build in my chest.  How do people survive without dialogue?



My lover Betty, YMEQ is your openness and joy in our lovemaking. This morning I feel so loved. Sweetheart, when I think of being romanced by you I think most of laughter and fun. I love our private jokes, our secret under that breath kidding of kids and grandkids “Say hi to the boogie man for me!” I love your giggle and the way you laugh at my silly jokes. I love it when you put your arm around me especially when we are standing together in public. I loved how we played Rummy-cube just between the two of us last night! What I’m getting as I write this, I am easy to please. I find things that only we do, say or have to be very romantic and enticing. It’s our little world of intimacy. All of these little things open my desire for you and put a sparkle in my eye especially when I see the sparkle in your beautiful blue eyes. My sweetheart lover, pumpkin pie, just thinking of all of this puts a jizzy delightful warm feeling in my stomach. It is like walking into a candy store at the mall and getting that whiff of chocolate and caramel. I am smiling as I write and everything is smooth and creamy. The color would be mellow yellow and it is like laying in a field of wild flowers with a gentle warm breeze caressing your body. Thanks for being my lover. ILYWMWHASAMAB, Eddie

When Betty shared her letter with me, I could hardly contain the smile that seemed to be welling up in my chest. The thought crossed my mind as to how I think she will come up with things that are so hard for me to do, but as she wrote I realized that she is as easy as I am to please. As she described her feelings I was already feeling that sense of security and dreaminess. The more we talked the harder it was to capture and we both just realized it was better to sit arm in arm and just let the breeze caress over us. Enjoy the moment.


My most precious, Eddie. Your Most Endearing Quality is sometimes giving me space and then gently coaxing me back on purpose – to be organized to get ready on time. This answer is easy because we really lived it yesterday. A combination of loving our kids and grandkids together – with many loving glances to each other sharing how blessed we are. Having a romantic dinner at the Mexican Restaurant BAR! Talking about how to be Heroes for others. Coming home to a bubble bath and tender loving in candlelight to Barry White! And then playing a couple of games of Rummy-Q with each of us winning one game. So cordial! Finally, laughing and falling asleep to SNL. Romance is knowing glances, caring touches, giggly humor and dreamy tunes! Sharing this with you makes me feel overwhelmed with gratitude. It’s a gushing feeling bursting forth from my heart. Feels like the picture you see of Jesus of Divine Mercy only instead of mercy it’s just powerful, huge LOVE. It just makes me sway to the music of Nora Jones and feel the beat in my heart. I close my eyes and just let the dreaminess flow all over me like taking a shower of perfect warm water. For you it might be like slipping into a meditation or a nap and that euphoric feeling of everything being just perfect and safe. I love you so much…Ben

After hearing Ed’s loveletter and experiencing his idea of intimacy, I wanted to speak so he would know that I had heard his desire for intimacy with laughter and closeness and yet at the same time it was almost like I didn’t want to speak; I just wanted to drink in his visions. It was almost like words would ruin the essence. I just wanted to close my eyes and be and feel the mystery of the wind on my skin.


Lover Benjie,
YMEQ (Your Most Endearing Quality) is your love for and dogged determination to get back to Yosemite. I love your love for natural beauty. Honey, I do love our life of travel together. It is so awesome the way we love so many of the same things. Sweetheart, when I think of this question the first thing that comes to mind is when you dispute my competency. Anytime you mention even in a fun way that you want to get another financial planner, I feel a sense of deflation. A real sinking feeling in my gut. I can tell myself that you are only joking, but I have such a strong sense of being the provider and giving you security in your life, that I still feel that deflation like when you can’t get enough air or after someone hits you in the stomach. I would say that it is a 5 on a scale to 10. It is like a dark grey day. It definitely makes me want to be away from you. It is also easy to bury and get past, so I guess that is why I never shared this with you before. My sweetheart, ILYWMWHASAMABAS, Your Eddie

Dearest my Eddie,
Your MEQ (Most Endearing Quality) today has been your giggling and light spirit even though we are delving into an area that, I believe, is my biggest sin against you. Thanks, that helps.

It’s funny that I always think that I am the criticizor extraordinaire so it’s amazing to even be thinking about looking at your criticizing. I guess it’s what I am noticing this morning as we got ready, your little looks of “why would you do it that way” or “that’s a dumb idea” or just simple flashes across your face of disgust. You don’t have to say anything, ‘cause I’m a woman and I pick up on your non-verbals like a master expert.

I feel that grip in my chest – a tightness. It almost brings tears to my eyes. I second guess myself, feel hurt, and want to curl up in a ball. Mostly I just want to run away. It’s like a little kid being yelled at by her father for something not even that serious, but you can just see the little crushed heart inside of her. Thanks for listening.
I (heart) you, Ben


After hearing Betty’s letter I felt those stinging tears in my eyes. I know when I say things or react to her in ways that hurt her I wish at times I could just cut my tongue out. I felt my chest fill up with a sense of sorrow and compassion. I just wanted to hold Betty and make the pain go away. Criticism is such a downward spiral.


When I heard what Eddie said, I felt this overflowing and overwhelming remorse. Why do I let cutting things come out of my mouth? Why is it so uncontrollable? It just makes me want to cut my tongue out of my head!!! I feel this sadness that radiates out all over me. I just want to hold him and comfort him and ask his forgiveness a thousand million times.