Antenna Guru

RF is not 'black magic' – It's Synthesis, Optimization, Analysis and Realization.

Tag Archives: Love

The Art and Craft of Love

I love my wife, Debi. She’s my best friend in this whole world, but that’s not what this is about. This is about how I love my wife.

I carry a field notebook so that I can jot down designs, thoughts, notions, numbers, and groceries. Here is an entry from last week…

I have been knowing you now for two years.

It has now come to the point where I hang onto everything you do –The concept of not liking something you do is meaningless to me– if you do it, I love it.

“If you do it, I love it.”

If you do it, I want to know about it, so I can appreciate you more.

I enjoy unpacking your mannerisms. It’s like Christmas morning to a child, except it’s every morning, every afternoon, every evening … of every day.

I first noticed this attitude during love-making… If you do it, I love it. So everyday life is like making love now.

You are sitting & talking to K___ with your legs propped onto my lap and I am turned on!

“I love you” is less descriptive than “You are my life now.”

You are my life now.

All your warts, all your scars, all your aches & pains.

The way you clasp your hands, the way your toenail polish goes only half-way down your toenails.

So life is like making love and making love is like prayer.

Praying is like conversation.

Conversation is like life.

Being – simply being – with you (when I am aware of it) gives me butterflies in my chest.

A couple separate events caused me to decide to share this:

  1. I discovered Debi sharing the journal entry with a friend. When I asked her why she would share my private note with another she explained, “I wanted her to know what it is like to be loved.”
  2. I happened to read a review for the couple’s how-to book, Slow Sex. (I chuckled at one reviewer’s comment, “Just not feeling it right now.” You can’t make this stuff up!)

We bought the book, by the way… (;

I love to make things; I love craft. It turns out that making a relationship is very much a craft (the way we do it, at least). The cool thing about my wife is that she too is passionate about crafting our relationship.

I hope everyone would know what it is like to be loved.


Woke up feelin’ bad… made breakfast for my sweetie… then she came into the kitchen and I said, “Lambie, I feel like you should be angry with me.”

“I’m not angry, just disappointed.” She smiled at me with love shimmering eyes.


Spent the day –except for church, the store and the brief blog entry– in the garage drilling and tapping holes. But when 6:30 rolled around, I was in the kitchen preparing Cajun chicken sausage pasta. It came out pretty good. I made sure there was a margarita in the freezer, Rx for the nurse.

Debi texted, “Headed home. Stopping for gas though,” at 8:09.

I texted back, “:] At least you don’t have to stop for pizza.”

Deconstructing the previous night’s bad performance, we agreed that I had fallen into the trap of wanting to please a stranger by borrowing from the comfort of my beloved. It’s not all that uncommon, but it’s not what I like to do; it’s not how I see myself behaving. Debi squeezed my hand and said, “You can’t be perfect; you don’t do that very often…

I replied that I had resisted the urge to buy flowers and so on to try to ‘make up’ for Saturday but that I decided to just sit with the past the way it was. I didn’t want to start an oscillation of missing an opportunity to show my love, then overreacting, and then missing another and so on. It would be best to just keep on task.


I knew a man who could perform amazing feats for his size. I asked him, “How did you just do that?”

He replied, “Well, you lift all you can… and a little more.”

Wow! I wanted to try that. I did. I made it a discipline as a young man. But I have since found out that “lifting all you can and a little more” borrows something from the future. Something borrowed has to be paid back. And what if you put all your effort (plus a little more) into something that turns out to be the wrong idea? You will have lost twice.


So yeah, I’m going down a different path nowadays. I’m mostly saving the “heavy lifting” for my beloved. I get distracted every now and again, but I don’t stay distracted long. That little scratch in our relationship is already on the mend.


My first wife, Edna, succumbed to ovarian cancer on Sunday, July 4th, 2010. I find that the pain is now a memory, but my love and respect for her is still fresh, even though I am very happily remarried.

Edna lived an amazing life. Edna was a great daughter, wife, mother, sister, cousin, aunt, and friend; she was the kind of person that stands by you when you need somebody to be there. Edna had a big, loving and giving heart.  It was the last thing to stop when she finally rested.

Edna’s death was not sudden. I remember when I heard the news about her cancer I did not want to believe it. Edna was too young.  I have slowly realized that Edna indeed lived her life wonderfully. In all her years of battling this terrible disease she never stopped living her life or caring for others.  She was a very spiritual person whose faith in God was unshakable.  She not only read the word and spoke the word of God but she lived it. She never tired of providing food, necessaries, advice, love or guidance to anyone who needed it, even though she was still battling her own illness.

 Through it all Edna continued to educate herself and graduated with honors from college.  She continued to write poetry and music, play the guitar, sing, and paint. Then, a year ago, she decided to plot a once in a lifetime month long trip around the U.S. which she embarked on with her beloved husband and son.  This was to be her last trip.  But thanks to the thousands of photos, her last adventure will never be forgotten.  Those pictures are presently being enjoyed by her family and friends.  But, we all have our snapshots of Edna in our hearts and memories; as long as we remember her, she lives.

 On that trip, they were camping on Lake Erie in Pennsylvania.  She wanted to share with strangers some Christian testimony so she cooked a gourmet meal on a Coleman stove for about 20 people who were also camping there.  Later they watched a beautiful sunset and fireworks.  That week she ended up in the hospital for a few days in Pennsylvania but asked the doctor to release her so she could continue on their trip.  Edna was not the kind of person who wanted to sit and wait for death.  She wanted to live and let death catch up to her.  That is the type of person she was, she loved to gather people around her, enjoy food, music, conversation and have a good time even though it could cost her healthwise later. People were her fuel; she gathered energy from being with a group of people.  She was like a magnet drawing people to her.

Her last wishes were to be able to hear the sounds of a party going on, children laughing, running and all having a good time and she almost accomplished it.  Edna went to heaven on July 4th when the whole country was having a party.  All night long the sight and sounds of fireworks were in the air.  How fitting for someone who loved to celebrate life.  From this year forward, we her friends and loved ones will think of July 4th as Ednapendence Day and celebrate her memory.

 Edna was well-loved; she had done so many things on earth and I’m sure she’ll do much more in heaven. I will forever be grateful to have known Edna. I will forever be grateful that Edna was my friend. All the memories we shared I will forever cherish and remember. Edna will forever live in our hearts… In my heart.

She wrote this poem ten years earlier.

It Could Have Been You

It could have been you that felt the cold, numb death at your lips.

The shock of the unknown, the unsettling tears dripping from your eyes not knowing what to do or how to react after the solemn news; “You have cancer”.

It could have been you that spent countless hours thinking about how you will leave this earth.

The memorial service and whom you should leave responsible to attend to all or nothing you have left behind.

Where should this body lay come that day once and for all?

It could have been you that lost all hope in finding hope again to help carry such a heavy burden.

The struggle to see the good in this wretched disease rather than the scary shadow enveloping so much fear and uncertainty.

It could have been you that lost all desire but the will to want a cure.

Seeking only meditation with God and cleansing of the heart and spirit, come whatever may come, wanting only peace and tranquility.

It could have been you who understood chemo would give you the extended days, weeks, maybe years; no one knows.

That this poison-medicine would take away everything but your will to go on. That it gives you no guarantees, no promises, yet offers no choices.

It could have been you that would take the crash course on cancer only to find out advancement is so far behind.

That the shock when realizing how many people suffer every day only brings you to tears while wishing you could find a cure for all illness.

It could have been you that prayed for many cancer stricken souls sympathizing in emotional pain and understanding their fear and struggle.

That this new union of friends and strangers all share one common ground, supporting each other, hoping that the other fights and succeeds with the uncertain battle.

But, it was me. It was me who learned all these things.

That all that has happened was part of my destiny. That while walking this journey, God has taught me strength, hope, and a deeper love for all mankind, understanding I am but a grain of sand among many of God’s beautiful people.

It was me who pleaded, asking God to give me more love for others rather than myself.

That in learning to intercede for others, God would bless me in His own special way.

It was me who felt blessed with all the special people coming to my side.

That all the notes, phone calls, flowers, hugs, books, and every gesture imaginable was shared.

It was me who felt lucky to be among God’s angels, to be the one honored with so many smiles and tenderness.

That all my bad days filled with pain, frustration, and tiredness were compensated by as many good days surrounded by compassionate and loving moments.

It could have been you, but I accept that it was me.

That I would have never known the magnitude of God’s love and mercy shared through His people.

That experiencing these blessings has been worth more than all the treasures this world could hold.

It could have been you, but in living all these things, I accept it was me.

copyright Edna R. Lopez 4/12/2000

[blank] Do You Love? finale

AntennaGuru’s Crawfish Étouffée

1c olive oil
1 lg. onion, finely diced
1 bell pepper, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
2tbsp minced garlic
1tsp paprika
1tsp cayenne
1tsp black pepper
5 cubes chicken bullion
7c water
2lb crawfish tails
2c light roux
1tsp butter flavoring
Tony Chachare’s Creole Seasoning to taste

Love risks all. 

My wife loves Crawfish Étouffée. She loves it her way, which is not like the Étouffée that’s usually on the menu. More like a bisque, perhaps. Spicier. We go around hitting Cajun restaraunts and if it is on the menu, she interrogates the waiter: Is it dark or light? How thick? What spices do y’all use?

A previous lover made Étouffée for her and –it was the only thing he ever did right evidently but– his Étouffée was perfect. I will mess around in the kitchen and cook stuff for her, but Étouffée?

Neaux Oués! :p

The other day I made crawfish artichoke bisque for her and served it over rice. She’s a nurse who works weekends, sometimes sixteen hours straight, and I like to have something warm and tasty prepared for her when she comes home. Good food helps her to tell me about her day. She spooned the bisque, spooned again thoughtfully and said, “This is pretty close to Étouffée! I want you to make me Étouffée!”

I shrunk from the challenge.

Last Sunday was “a sixteen.” She knew she was going to have a couple of challenging patients. Ten o’clock came and I began to be mindful that “The Nurse” would be home in an hour or two (or three). I said a prayer for her safety (I do that a lot for her… or me) and began moving about the kitchen, perusing pantry and fridge.

And I began getting this crazy idea that I should attempt Étouffée.

So I got down the Prejean’s Cookbook and found their recipe. It’s on p. 81 in Seafood, not in Soup, and it doesn’t show up in their index. I have made enough stuff in the Cajun kitchen that I can roughly recognize how something will taste like, based on the recipe. This wasn’t it. Oh, crap.

I started sautéing the holy trinity with the garlic and praying about roux. My Cajun is less French and more Mediterranean because I eschew butter for olio d’oliva, but then unable to transfer conviction for my heart onto my palate, I add back butter flavoring.  So my roux is olive oil and flour, like vegetarian brown gravy.

I had the rice boiled and the Étouffée thickened when my beloved dragged herself home at two a.m. “It’s not quite thick enough,” she said, “but the flavor is…”


I love her so!

I’ll get it next time; I’ll add just a bit more roux.

[blank] Do You Love? part II

Oh, crap…

Do What You Love and Starve?

I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve been sold a bill of goods when we’re told to “Follow your passion, “ or “Do what you love and the money will follow.” Fact is, if you do what you love, you’ll probably starve.

If you’re entrepreneurial, I recommend starting your own business. Yes, I know, only 20 percent of new businesses are still in business after five years, but you can beat the odds. Just remember is this one rule: Don’t innovate. Replicate. Copy a successful simple business.

Innovations are too risky: Your product might not work, may not be popular with the public, or a competitor could beat you to market. Why be a guinea pig? Unless you have deep pockets or are truly brilliant, the risks are too great. Many people have ended up in poverty because of their innovations. Even TiVo, a wonderful new product lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the first few years. Last I checked, you don’t have oodles of money to lose. Leave the innovations to corporations or the independently wealthy.

—Marty Nemko

Here’s my problem: I’m addicted to innovating.

Years ago, back when I thought an ‘engineer’ drove a choo-choo train, I tried to make a living as a cabinetmaker. I noticed that people (ladies, actually) seemed to crave dome-top trunks, so I designed a lapstrake dome-top trunk. The prototype, made from junk lumber, served as my son’s toy box. The first ‘production unit’ was built on speculation to display at craft shows, and then I intended to build them to order. I got enough orders, but never made the profit I could have, because I kept changing the design, searching for the ‘perfect’ dome-top trunk. I think I went through five revisions in a year and then went out of the cabinet business.

Fast forward a half-dozen years. I was a design engineer. Many of the ideas I had were not interesting to my employer so they never saw the light of day. On the one hand I was collecting a paycheck, so that was better than the cabinet business, but on the other hand many of my ‘children’ were stillborn as it were. This pattern continued over the next quarter century.

Nowadays I am potentially free to pursue my own interests. Only my interests are not ‘free’. Marty, I don’t believe your sensible rule… I hope impossible things will happen every day.

Crying in the Wilderness

So they said to him, “Who are you? We need an answer! What do you have to say for yourself?”

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