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Friday, January 21, 2011

Flirt With Your Husband Friday: We NEED to Flirt.

First, let me confess -- it isn't just that I haven't been blogging about Flirt With Your Husband Fridays.  I haven't been doing that much flirting lately.  Or, to be more specific, we haven't been "dating" lately.  Everything is still good with us.  But we've gotten caught up in the other roles of our lives.
We've been busy being grandparents, friends, sons and daughters, ministers and more.  We've been busy.  Period.  We've been stretched out thin.  And that's the time that flirting with your husband is more important than ever.  Its also the time that is the easiest to neglect flirting with your husband.  Trust me, I know this.
So, I'm getting serious again.  I NEED to flirt with my husband.  Because being lovers is what we do best. And being totally head-over-heels in love with each other is what feeds all of the other stuff that we do and all of the other roles that we fill.
In our society, people in love date.  Yep.  That's what they do.  It isn't always grand or flashy.  But they date.  They spend time together just being together without being in any of their other roles.
I'm reminded of that song from Fiddler on the Roof --- Tevia and Golde sing "Do you love me?".  Golde keeps referring back to their other roles rather than answering Tevia's question --- "do you love me?"  That might have been okay for them --- in that time and that society.  But today, we do it differently.  I don't ever want to be giving the kind of answers that Golde gives.

I LOVE my husband.  I adore him -- yes, even when he drives me bananas -- I deep down really, really LOVE him.  And I need to spend time with him, just being his lover.  So, I'm going to flirt wildly with my husband.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Not a Diet --- But.....

I’m really not looking for another diet.  But anytime that life offers a helping hand in eating appropriately, I’m all for it.  So I really admired these plates from Slimware (  They are way out of the price range that I’d ever consider paying ---- $36 for just 4 dinner plates --- but the concept intrigues me and I’m thinking. 
The swirly design is set up so that you put your meat/protein on the smallest of the comma-looking thingees, your starch on the medium sized swirly, and veggies on the largest swirl.  Voila, an instant beautiful plate with a properly proportioned meal. 
Benefits??  Well, for starters, it puts your meal into balance --- mostly vegetables, a little protein, some carbs.  It also seems to automatically undo some of the super-sizing of portions that has occurred in the American mindset.  As much as we try to avoid it, the restaurant mentality of full, huge plates plagues our household at times.  We suddenly find that we’re overloading our plates, super-sizing our portions and wondering why we’re gaining weight.  This pretty plate seems to do a better job of managing portions than the usual eyeballing tricks or the tedious measuring and weighing all of the time. 
The down side??  Well, the $36.00 is a big down side in my world.  And the black and white color scheme is not great either.  I have white dinnerware that I love, but black and white just doesn’t make it in my kitchen world.   And the fact that they only come in sets of four isn’t rocking my world either. 
Creativity time.  Could I create a plate like this on a paper plate or even a charger and then set a clear, glass plate on top?  That would let me control for color and style without struggling over food-safe inks and dyes.  Could I stain the back side of the glass plate ?  Would it withstand the dishwasher? (I’m not volunteering to hand wash the silly plate) Could I disguise the pattern as paisley or as something other than the modern looking comma thingees??
I think I’m going to give it a try --- maybe I’ll use the old deck of cards, baseball, and other tried and true visuals to work out some kind of a pattern --- something geometric, maybe. 
I’ll let you know if it works out.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Project 333: New Year's Resolution??

Have you caught wind of Project 333 yet??? I read about it in the newspaper a while back.  I noted it, but it didn’t really pique my interest all that much.  I’m re-thinking it now --- as I’m making New Year’s Resolutions. 
Project 333 is the brainchild of Courtney Carver at 
While that sounds like my kind of a blog ---- this gal might have pushed me a little too far with Project 333. 
You commit to choosing 33 items as your entire wardrobe for 3 months.  I was okay with the concept ----- until I grasped that shoes, accessories, jewelry  --- everything all count in the 33 items.  (I presume that a pair of shoes only counts as ONE??)  Suddenly, that number was a little draconian and very scary. 
Courtney and her followers swear that its very doable --- that they haven’t even worn all 33 of their chosen items.  Wow. 
I’m trying to think it all through.  If everything counts – then I need to factor in the underwear issue. Which means I need to factor in the laundry issue – because if I’m cutting way back on underwear (cuz I am NOT even considering cutting my viewable wardrobe back enough to maintain my current underwear and laundry practices) – I’m going to be doing laundry A LOT more often.   Even if I take a free pass on the underwear, I’m not sure 33 items of clothing, shoes and accessories is going to make it in my life. 
So --- after you’ve gone and checked out Project 333 --- let me know ---- Is it something you’d consider for a New Year’s Resolution??? 

Friday, December 31, 2010

Flirt With Your Husband Friday: New Year's Eve

What are you doing New Year's Eve?  I love that old song

Since I firmly believe in flirting with my husband (great New Year's resolution eh??) we're going out dancing tonight.  He'll put on a tux.  I'll put on a slinky evening gown, some fancy jewelry and some drop-dead, stop-you-in-your-tracks perfume.
Our dance group rents out a country club.  We have dinner (most of mine will end up as left-overs for lunches this week -- there's always way too much food).  We'll have a glass of champagne at midnight.  And we'll dance until our feet fall off (or until 12:30 when the country club staff will close us down).
Fun.  Elegant.  Very flirty.  See you next year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Flirt with Your Husband Friday: Christmas Eve

This is my favorite date of the entire year.  (I say that a lot).  Try this --- it is the most fun you will ever have with $10.  This is a lunchtime date --- the mall should close by about 6:00 on Christmas Eve --- plus – we end this one by going to the Christmas Eve Service at our church --- perfect ending.
Take $10 and get it all in $1 bills.  Go to the mall.  Pick the mall that is on the not-so-great side of town. 
Now the mall will be all lit up with Christmas lights, the holiday music will be blaring, and the fake Santa in the main court will be ho-ho-ho-ing away.  And the folks in the mall will be frantic.  These are people who are under stress.  They are either trying desperately to get it all done before the stores close or they are trying to eke out every last penny they can manage before Christmas.  The store staff are not having such a great time either.  They would much rather be making the holiday for their own families rather than dealing with the cranky and crazed last-minute shoppers. 
Watch for all of these folks.  Watch especially for little kindnesses that you can do for about $1.00. 
We’ve bought a cup of coffee for a harried worker, paid the tax for a child shopping for something for mom, and made up the little bit of difference for a desperate mom who was struggling to decide what she would put back on the shelf.  We’ve left an extra tip for a waitress who was fantastic to a pair of wild toddlers and their weary parents.  We’ve even bought a bottle of cold water for a hoarse and exhausted Santa who was still smiling for the camera. 
You’ll be amazed at how much Christmas cheer can be managed for just one dollar.  And I guarantee you’ll be equally amazed at how the spirit of the Season settles in your heart as you slowly spend the whole $10 (its harder than you think --- and it takes longer than you think).  And when you go to church later on and start to sing “Joy to the World, the Lord has come”, don’t say I didn’t warn you if you find tears springing to your eyes and a renewed sense of joy and hope leaping in your heart.  

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas: Staying Sane

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's Here: Christmas Week has Come!

Its here, its really here.  (I can’t decide if the intonation on that should be child-like excitement or moaning dread)  Ready or not, Christmas week is here.  The final preparations are ready to be made. 
Here’s what I have left to do:
Write out the menus for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so that everyone knows what’s going on and no one eats something I NEED.
Clean the house --- one final serious cleaning so that everything shines.
Set up the extra table as a server in the dining room.
Bake the pies
Set out the canned goods and dry goods for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner. 
Set the table and label all the serving dishes
Defrost the frozen treats
Actually cook

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flirt With Your Husband Friday: Decorating the Christmas Tree

We flirted around decorating the tree this year.  We have collected ornaments from all of our travels.  Our tree includes, a German cuckoo clock ornament, carved wooden nativity scenes from Spain, a pair of traditional dolls from the Czech Republic, a kilted Scottish Santa, and cloisonné ornaments from Hong Kong.  Of course, there is the ornament from the Peninsula Hotel where we went for afternoon tea and made a donation to charity and received a gold Peninsula Hotel ornament to sign and hang on THEIR tree.  (we carefully wrapped it in a napkin and took it home for OUR tree).  We have the gaudy pink flamingo from our friends Jon and Em’s wedding in Sanibel.  And our latest addition to the collection, the set of bookmarks we bought on the street in Seoul last Christmas when we visited there. 
We made hot chai, pulled out a few cookies, and some crackers and cheese and took a long leisurely stroll down memory lane.  We laughed and talked and remembered all of the very, very good times that these ornaments represent.  We chuckled over the handmade ornaments given to us by beloved young hands.  We compared the photos of our dogs, same breed, such different dogs, that grace two dog ornaments on our tree.  We marveled at the melding of two family traditions, ornaments from each of our families that now live gracefully, side by side on our tree. 
In short, we connected.  And isn’t that what flirting with your husband is all about?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wrapping Party

I told you last week that I host a wrapping party.  This is one of the most fun events of the season for me.  Here’s how it works: 
Invite a couple of girlfriends to join you for this.  Not too many people.  I’ve found that 3-5 is a perfect number.  More than that , and it gets a little crazy. 
Everyone brings:
All of the holiday gifts they need to wrap
Rolls of wrapping paper --- how many is determined by the size of the family they represent --- be fair. 
A couple of rolls of tape (you’d be amazed how fast you go through tape)
Ribbons, bows and other embellishments (make sure at least one friend is someone sort of crafty – they’ll be able to make magic with some ribbon, a doily, and a cheesy dollar store ornament --- believe me, I know)

That’s it ---- then you all spend the evening  helping each other wrap gorgeous presents, chatting and enjoying the company, and oohing and aahing over the gifts you’re giving to your loved ones.  It makes the chore of wrapping all of those gifts into a fun girls-night-out. 

Since each gal is only bringing a few rolls of wrapping paper, you can afford to spring for beautiful, gorgeous, lavish paper.  We usually find that some drop-dead ribbons and embellishments arrive as well.  The craftier among us usually trade embellishing for basic wrapping duties --- in other words --- “I’ll wrap your gifts if you’ll decorate mine”.  Everyone ends up with fantastic looking Christmas gifts (even your husband will believe in elves again) and has fun in the process. 

As the hostess, I provide some basic refreshments --- a tray of cookies from the Cookie Exchange, some cocoa, some wine (every girl’s night out deserves some wine) and a small tray of cheese, crackers and fruit. 

I put on the Christmas music and rock the house.  Three hours later, the house is a disaster of ribbon scraps, sticky paper pieces, and abandoned projects.  But the pile of wrapped gifts is a sight to behold.  We’re all happy, in the holiday spirit, and able to move on and focus on making the rest of the holiday a joy.  What could be better than that???

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas: Wrapping Party

I got a couple of questions about what I do with the mountain of cookies that I take home from the cookie exchange. 
Three things:
  • 1.     I host a wrapping party for a couple of girlfriends.  I’ll give you all of the details on that one next week.  But for now --- the refreshments are taken care of --- we’re having cookies, of course.
  • 2.     I bag up little bags of assorted cookies and tie them off with some ribbon, a jingle bell, an a package of Land O Lakes hot cocoa mix (only because it comes in pretty colored foil packages that look beautiful)  Now I have a little gift to hand to someone who does me a kindness during the holiday season.  The mailman usually ends up with one, the UPS delivery guy, sometimes my neighbor who has rescued my blowing packages and receipts more than once – anyone at all.  They’re right there, beautiful and ready to go. 
  • 3.     We host an Open House after Christmas.  This is an easy gathering to host, and everyone enjoys the relaxed atmosphere after the rush of the holidays is over.  The bulk of the cookies from the cookie exchange go into the freezer for a couple of weeks until we’re ready for the Open House.  Then a platter full of cookies and great steaming mugs of hot cocoa make for a casual, fun and yummy dessert “buffet”.  

Friday, December 10, 2010

Flirt with Your Husband Friday: Build Gingerbread Houses

Build a Gingerbread house together --- yeah, just the two of you --- without the kids.  Or build a whole village out of graham crackers.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Are You Ready??

Are you getting ready??? I mean that both ways --- You can’t appreciate the wonder of Christmas if you don’t get ready in the physical reality.  At this time of the year, I always think about the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible.  Mary sat at Jesus feet and just drank it in.  Martha bustled around the house, preparing the meal, seeing to the needs of the guests, serving --- all the Martha stuff.  Finally, Martha had a meltdown.  She demanded that Jesus tell Mary to get herself in the kitchen and help.  Jesus didn’t.  He told Martha that Mary had made the better choice. 
What did he mean by that??? Did he mean to forget about hospitality and tradition and eating and being together??  I hardly think so.  But most of what was making Martha crazy could have been done ahead of time --- and then Martha could have relaxed and enjoyed Jesus and the rest of the company too.  Mary decided that good-enough was good enough.  She sat down, had a glass of wine with the Master and enjoyed the party.  Martha ran around like a chicken with her head cut off and then got all caught up in resentment. 
I really believe in the gift of Martha --- the talent and skill for hosting and making people feel welcome and wonderful --- without the grudging resentment that messed it all up.  I’m working on cutting back on some of my ideas about perfection and tradition for Christmas, but I’m not there yet.  So I’m working on getting ready.  I’m working on planning ahead and doing things ahead so I can sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy the party. 
Here’s what I’m tackling this week to be ready:
Baking and freezing some really yummy treats --- they’ll pull out of the freezer in a flash when I need them. 
Washing all of the Christmas dishes – just a run through the dishwasher when I don’t need them --- it will take the pressure off later. 
Plan the menu --- this is it.  I’m out of time to shop around for bargains for our celebration.  I need to take stock and start a serious plan. 
Make a playlist on the Ipod – I want Christmas music playing for our celebration, but I’m going to scream if Alvin and the Chipmunks starts playing ---- so I’ll make my own playlist and control that right up front.