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Tag Archives: lifestyle

Secrets of Marriage

24 May

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A few years ago, I heard someone say that married people should not have any secrets from each other.

I disagree.

Some secrets are harmful, it is true — sneaky, deceptive secrets. Selfish secrets.

Other secrets are simply things you don’t talk to people about.

After nearly a decade, there are things I have not told my husband. At the same time, I know there are things he has not told me. I “know” this because there are subjects he brushes over or avoids…for example, some of his military experiences. I believe this to be completely normal, and I do not see it as a problem. Sometimes people have experiences that are either too unpleasant, or too personal, or simply too unusual to try to explain to other human beings.

I think the expectation that married couples “become one” is a false concept that leads many couples to divorce.

We have different names and separate bank accounts, and some might see those choices as a sign of a lack of commitment. Not so. After nearly ten years, I still think marrying my husband is the best decision I ever made.

When I was single I used to be more spontaneous. I would sometimes feel the need for a change of scenery and I would pack a bag and drive without any plan of where I would go. I would not tell anyone. I would drive in a random direction and stop when I felt like stopping or found an interesting place. I would find a hotel and check in. I would find a restaurant and eat. I might be gone for two or three days without any contact with friends or family — but usually no one would notice I was gone, because I spent a lot of time alone anyway.

A few weeks ago I told my husband I was going to the bank and the library and would be back soon. Along the way I decided to make another stop and I was gone for a few hours. My phone was off. My husband became concerned. This was very uncharacteristic behavior for me, in his experience.

My spontaneous self would be unrecognizable to him. The wife and parent I have become does not normally act in a spontaneous manner…she likes to know in advance what will happen in her life.

There are other versions of me. Sometimes I think about the different phases of my life and how I have become a different person many times over.

My married life is my longest phase, and my happiest. I expect it to be my last phase. I think the same is true for my husband. He does not need to know every part of me to understand me or trust me, and I do not need to know every part of him.

A decade is a long time, but in the case of my marriage, it does not feel long. It just feels like home.

 

 

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Ode to a Toilet

17 Apr

Despite the title of this blog, I am not a neat-freak or clean-freak. However, cleaner and neater is generally better, in my view. I just do not have the energy most of the time, and my family has a tight budget.

This week I decided to splurge on some new cleaning supplies to improve general home conditions, and more specifically:  the bathroom used by our teenage boys.

No photos for this post. Trust me, you don’t want a photo.

I try very hard to avoid strong chemicals. They are dangerous. To your eyes, your skin, your lungs, and your general health.

There are safe solutions that work, I promise! 

My big purchase is a Swiffer Bissell steam cleaner for floors. Very small and light and easy to use, for about $50.00, with a swiveling head like the standard Swiffer. I can steam clean behind a toilet without getting anywhere near the toilet. The ultimate goal is for the boys to use it themselves, in their bathroom, but I am taking one step at a time. It looks and smells so much better in there, and I did not need to torture my knees, back, hands…or nose!

Speaking of toilets… I once had a school friend who was part of a Mormon family with eight children. I was at the house only once. The family was very nice, and considering the house held ten people and a dog, it was pretty clean.

Except for the toilet.

It had stalagmites in it. Like in a cave.

Truly, it did. I have never seen anything so filthy or covered in mineral deposits. I was shocked and confused, not to mention disgusted.

Looking back, I think they had just given up on the toilet.

I have a policy of expecting our boys to clean up after themselves. They do pretty well. Except for the bathroom. I suspect they are too squeamish and too gentle to do a proper job of it.

After three years in our apartment, my boys’ toilet was starting to resemble that Mormon toilet to some degree. One of them was ill recently and I knew his face was close to the toilet during that sickness. It is partly his own fault the toilet was so bad, but I felt sorry for him. I think, like the Mormons, the boys had simply given up on the toilet.

I decided to take drastic measures. Either that or we could never allow a guest in that bathroom!

I found an item at the store that looked like it might be useful.  A Pumie scouring stick –basically big block of pumice with a plastic handle. It worked as promised, although I needed to grind down nearly the entire block to clean the one toilet. (Under normal circumstances, it is meant to be reusable, getting smaller with use.) The toilet is clean, white, shiny and nontoxic.

I feel so much better now!

 

 

Beyond Stories One Through Five

13 Jun

Several years ago my father made some comment along the lines of “There are only about five different movies in the world.” An exaggeration, of course, but when he explained what he meant I had to agree. Nothing new under the sun, as the saying goes. A handful of plots and some variations. Over and over. Sometimes blatant imitation.

The older I get, the more I feel like I have already watched what I am watching.

I read quite a bit, but television is very good for certain times and moods. When my husband and I married we agreed on using a particular streaming program/disc service that starts with an N, and avoiding cable or dish service. No commercials, so we save time and plenty of money, plus we control our own programing to a large extent. Nine years have passed, and frankly I don’t think we have missed much.

Recently, I have been enjoying Switched at Birth, a family oriented show. A portion of the main characters are deaf/hearing impaired and there are whole sections of the show that are performed in signed dialog, sometimes without speech or background noise of any kind. This makes it harder to go to the kitchen for a snack because I must watch the screen for subtitles, but I am thrilled to see something NEW on television.

I also like the BBC show Sherlock. It is odd and sometimes confusing. I feel challenged. How refreshing. Also, I like that one of the stars is named Benedict Cumberbatch. Best actor name since Randolph Mantooth.

If you have any favorite shows or films that don’t make you feel like you have already seen them, and are possibly even original, please share!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quality Across Time

1 Jun

Material possessions are not on my list of What is Important in Life. However, I like things made with care and quality, things that last.

There have been times in my life when I have bought “disposable” clothing or furniture, and I have always regretted it.

Thrifty as I am, I need to know that what I buy will continue to serve its purpose for many years, and hopefully look beautiful doing it.

NOTE:  I wrote these words many months ago and saved the draft, waiting until I had more to say. I have not been writing on this site, due to having less time and energy to write the kind of posts I want to write. I have decided to go ahead and post my occasional thoughts, however brief they may be.

In this case, I am writing about things made with care and quality and then telling you that I will publish writing with a little bit less care and quality. I do see the irony.

I think, right now, it is more important to bring some care and quality into my Real Life. I care about writing…and so, actually doing it– even in smaller pieces– improves the quality of my Life, if not my Blog.

 

 

 

 

 

The Soundtrack Matters

14 Aug

Recently I watched a 2011 New Zealand film called Love Birds. Frankly, I had low expectations. The title was dumb and the summary was even dumber.

The star rating implied that it was better than it looked, so I gave it a chance.

The best thing about this film, aside from the duck (which, according to a bird expert in the film, isn’t technically a duck at all) is the soundtrack. Queen songs were used so frequently and affectionately that the band felt like a supporting character.

This is not intended to be a movie review, although it is beginning to sound suspiciously similar to one, I will admit.

I felt compelled to point to this film as an example of how much of a difference a soundtrack can make.

Music can ruin a film when it is poorly chosen, heavy-handed, manipulative, or disconnected.

When film scores and soundtracks win awards we don’t always pay much attention.

We should.

Sound matters in film.

The people who made this film understood that… and so, what could have been a silly, forgettable cliché of a film became something else: an endearing, uplifting, and flat-out FUN film. It left me grinning.

I might even watch it again someday.

New Adventures

29 Jan

Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

— Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency)

wide open spaces

This year I am trying new things, taking more risks, and worrying less.

I am driving in snow storms.

I am taking photographs of sunsets through dirty car windows.

I am thinking a little bit less.

I am taking more action.

Life seems simpler.

14 Tips for Designing a Highly Productive Home Office (GTD Friendly) | The Couch Manager

13 Jul

I am awarding a special Clean Surface Gold Star to The Couch Manager for this inspirational post about a stunningly efficient home office.  I have never had a home office, but were I to create one for myself, I would want it to look something like this.

(A note to my WordPress readers: I found this through Freshly Pressed, so if it sounds familiar you have probably seen it on FP.)

14 Tips for Designing a Highly Productive Home Office (GTD Friendly) | The Couch Manager.