Three Crazy Things That Happen When She Becomes the Initiator

My husband and I do marriage seminars, in a few flavors to meet the needs of the local audience. But no matter what style of seminar we are presenting, the facts are the same. In general men initiate sex more than women. Men everywhere are having a moment of silence for this sad fact. In general, women will be shocked that it even matters. At the end of the day, it may not matter much as long as sex happens. On the other hand, most men get a thrill out of being the one pursued once in a while. It’s not without danger and risk though. Some crazy things can happen when women initiate sex.

1. She often becomes a dictator. When a woman initiates intimacy, she sort of skips that gentle flirtation mode and goes straight for the “we’re doing it right here and right now” mode. It’s a good thing that this is usually a turn on for men, after they catch their breath from being surprised.

2. She stands her ground. Sometimes a couple will agree to an intimate encounter out in the beauties of nature, but women generally crave security and privacy. This means she will decide where she feels safe and she won’t budge. If she decides a nice soft spot in between some trees is perfect, she may not be seeing your view – looking over the cliff’s edge. But she’s going to stand her ground for this safe place for her and you’ll never forget it.

3. Her “rules” don’t apply. Basically, she exercises the right to redefine previously set sexual boundaries when she is the initiator. Perhaps he has been wanting to try a new position, but she won’t budge until the day she takes over and initiates. Then she decides it’s worth a try. At this point, guys can get frustrated that the rules don’t apply to her, or be grateful that it happened. The good news is that sometimes after she rewrites the rules for herself, she’ll sometimes rewrite them for him as well.

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How My Co-Worker Got Three Heads!

Myself and two other ladies manage the front desk for six physicians. We try to be that friendly face behind the counter when you check in to see the doctor. But sometimes….

In actuality, its really quite simple. We just need a simple form filled out – front and back. The first dirty look comes when the patient doesn’t want to have to fill out the form. When we kindly point out that they missed the back side – they look at us as if we had two heads.

But today was the winner. One patient’s caregiver jerked the form back from my co-worker and glared at her – for merely indicating the back side needed to be completed. It was clear to see that this woman thought my co-worker was a three headed monster!

Being sick isn’t fun, and we try to serve with compassion the patients that come our way. Please don’t hate us for doing our jobs. You see, you may have had a relationship change and have a new emergency contact instead of your ex-boyfriend. If your test results show a major issue, we want to contact you right away! It’s a good thing your paperwork is up to date so we call your new emergency contact if we can’t reach you – instead of your estranged ex-boyfriend.

What if we quit treating people that ask a little from us as if we were banished to a penal colony? What if we respected people who did their jobs with thoroughness, instead of cheap, low quality work? What if we didn’t get angry with those who greet us warmly and connect us to vital healthcare?

Truly, we are not three-headed monsters!

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The Heretofore Underappreciated Value of a Complete Sentence

I had considered being a doctor as a child, but never a nurse. I just wanted to come into the room with all the answers and knowledge. I was never interested in giving shots or sponge baths. But somewhere along the way I fell in love with words and decided to explore writing and communication.

So when my mother-in-law, Edrine, broke her ankle and I was the only relative in near proximity and with a more flexible schedule, I ended up paying a visit to Georgia to assist her a little as well as my father-in-law, Klaus, (both are in their 70’s) in their primary caregiver duties to Edrine’s aunt.

Aunt Luella is 101! That’s quite an accomplishment. But age has taken its toll on her and she struggles with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Some days when you walk into her private wing at the end of my in-laws’ home, you never know what to expect. She’s latched on to a few words that are repeated over and over again along with a sprinkling of intelligible words. You have to understand that sometimes a gibberish word is standing in place of the other word that her mind can no longer get her mouth to say.

It took a couple of days for Aunt Luella to get used to me in the room assisting with care instead of my mother-in-law. I tried my best to follow instructions and keep to the exact same routine so as not to aggravate her. She spoke mostly to Klaus, but sometimes she would look at me and say a string of gibberish.

One day, as I cleared away her morning meal and brought her a nutritional supplement, Aunt Luella suddenly looked up at me and said, “I really like that shirt.” I was stunned and overwhelmed. I finally smiled and thanked her for her kind words. To hear that 101-year-old woman speak in a complete sentence was uncommon, but especially to someone new she was still getting used to. That simple sentence, a compliment about what I was wearing, is something I will treasure forever.

So here I am, full circle, realizing that I never wanted to be the one to do the sometimes nasty jobs of personal care on someone who couldn’t do it for themselves, yet that’s exactly what I was doing for Aunt Luella. Was it fun? No! I got peed on once and in one of her dementia aggravated moments, she thrashed and tried to get her diaper off – leaving quite the mess for us to clean up. But having that one interaction with her made it all worthwhile!

When someone speaks to you, take the time to listen. It may not be evident on the outside just how much it is taking them to speak in a complete sentence to you. Maybe it’s a child that is afraid to admit that they broke something. Maybe it’s a relative that has been distant for some years and is struggling to say that they want to be involved in the family again. Take the time to appreciate the value of a complete sentence.

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7 Ways to be a Better Santa Claus

So there is going to be a lot of gift giving during the Christmas season, right? Some will be doing so out of a sense of obligation, others out of love and connection. There are still others who just get caught up in the holiday spirit and shop till they drop. God bless their hearts.

Most of the time, we make a really lousy Santa Claus. Why do you think there are so many “Ugly Sweater Parties” at Christmas? The secret to being a better Santa? Well this is a blog about staying connected, so yes the answer is being connected. Take the time to know people and be a better Santa Claus. Here are 7 suggestions.

1. Get to know your neighbors better. They may not like fruitcake. Their house is already full of calorie laden gifts. Maybe they have a son in college that they miss very much. Stationery and stamps may be the best gift.

2. Get over the gift card. First of all, you’re paying taxes twice. You get taxed when you purchase the gift card and they get taxed when they buy something with it. If you must get a gift card, at least find out what their interests are and get one they’ll absolutely love!

3. Find the reasons they “don’t” do something. Have an aunt that used to bake all the time, but doesn’t anymore? Assumed she just got bored with it? Ask her way. Maybe it’s her arthritis, and mixing is difficult. Get a standing kitchen bowl mixer for her. You’ll be giving her two gifts in one, because she’ll also be getting back her love of baking.

4. Stop avoiding scrooge! Have someone that just isn’t into the Christmas spirit? Find out why. There could be a painful memory associated with the holiday season and each year they are reminded of a great loss or never ending battle. A gift that pays tribute to a lost loved one or a gift that says “I’m on your side,” could change everything this Christmas.

5. Give yourself. Time is one of the most precious gifts we have to give. Invite a friend or family member to spend time with you in a way that both of you would enjoy – a sports event, a concert, manicure, local community theater – and throw in a meal to make it even more meaningful.

6. Touch the saint’s heart. Is your family’s hippie driving you nuts about all the consumerism and commercialism at Christmas when people are going hungry? Pick a charity, pick a need and take them shopping for items for those in need. Not the shopping type? Visit http://www.adra.org and their really useful gift catalog. You can buy a goat for an impoverished family that will change their way of life, and you can have it done in the name of your friend.

7. Support and Encourage. Don’t know what to get that coworker for Christmas? Go to their kids’ school Christmas program and present a small gift to the child for a job well done. Grandma always works so hard to put on the great big family Christmas dinner, consider a personalized serving platter, “Grandma’s famous Christmas Dinner.” Give gifts that encourage people in what they love!

All these tips have one thing in common – taking the time to connect with people. The best way ever to be a better Santa!

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The #1 Enemy of Being Connected

Relationships require connection. You may pass the same newspaper guy on the street every day on your way to work, but there is no real connection, no relationship. However, if you always wave when you walk by, even if you don’t purchase a paper, there is some connection. Something is happening. Some form of recognition and awareness between two people.

Connection is important in all relationships from coworkers and distant, extended family to your best friend or your children. Because we are human, there are so many ways we can break that connection. We fail to stay involved in our kids’ lives then hit the roof when the principal calls and says little Susie is part of a bullying clique at school that caused another student to drop out of school. We don’t take the time to ask our coworkers about their families or how their weekend went and then wonder why they don’t invite us to their get togethers with other coworkers. Then there are the really horrible ways we break connections, like abuse, neglect and slander.

Painful as all of these are, they’re really not the #1 enemy of being connected. That “honor” is reserved for a false sense of security. Some may argue with me and say that couldn’t possibly be a contributor to broken relationships, but that’s their opinion. When you screw up, you pay the consequences. But what happens when you don’t even know you screwed up because you’ve been floating on the “I have arrived” cloud and stopped investing in your relationships?

It sneaks up on you like the iceberg on the Titanic. You’ve worked hard on your relationships and that hard work has paid off, so you just sort of check out and think, I’m done. I can just rest on my laurels now. I’ve arrived and now all I have to do is coast. Reminder, when you’re coasting, you’re going downhill.

The experts say that no fad diet is going to help someone lose weight, it has to be a lifestyle change. It’s the same with relationships. No little relationship booster is going to fix it for all time. Investing in your relationships is a lifestyle. This sneaks up on spouses the most. They think all is fine and suddenly they realize they don’t feel connected anymore. They stopped investing in their marriage.

This can be overwhelming to think about. You mean I have to invest myself in all of these relationships, from coworkers to my kids? Yes. That’s too much! It can be. That’s why you have to prioritize and decide which relationships you will connect with at a bare minimum level and which will you connect with at a much more involved level, such as your spouse or your children. You value what you invest in. Don’t stop investing in relationships. Make it a lifestyle and stay connected!

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Seven Disgusting Things about Moving

I’ve been unconnected! That’s what moving will do for you. Now that the settling in to my new domicile is beginning to take shape, time to get back to work! In this entire process, I didn’t find a single person who said they love moving. It seems to be a universal necessary evil. So here you have it folks. Seven disgusting things about moving!

1. Two times the work. Anyone who has ever moved knows this is true. Most moves don’t happen overnight, especially for a family of five like ours. Just because you turn in your two week notice doesn’t mean that you can slip into coasting mode. It doesn’t work that way. It would be lovely if you could wait until the last day of your current job before tackling paperwork for the Human Resources department of your new job, but again, it doesn’t work that way folks. Everybody wants a piece of you.

2. Packing in General. Really folks, where do you start? Unless you work for a place that will hire people to come in and pack your stuff and load it onto the truck for you, packing is a never ending nightmare! No matter how organized you are in your plan for packing (I had a four-phase plan on a spreadsheet), something will come up. See number one.

3. The house hunt! This is time consuming and frustrating. Again, refer to number one. You can’t house hunt at your new potential community for three months before informing your current employer you are resigning. They will eventually get suspicious of all the frequent trips out of state. This means most of us get stuck in a very short time frame of when we have to be out of our old house and into our new home. Some companies will pay for a few weeks in a hotel, but unless you go ahead and leave your family behind until you find a home, the hunt is a lot of work in a very short amount of time.

4. Boxes. Just what we need, pieces of cardboard everywhere to make us sneeze! Homes being packed start to smell like warehouses. It used to be that local stores were more than happy to get rid of their boxes to folks who were moving. As companies have become “greener” as well as leaner, we see more stores breaking down their boxes immediately and even recycling them. Have no fear, your local home improvement stores and even discount stores now sell moving boxes. That’s right, you have to pay for this torture! Then there are those, like my husband, who saves most original boxes for things we purchase. Up to the attic we go to get the boxes that still have the original packing material in them for everything from our large screen TV to an inexpensive set of champagne glasses. At some point, you have to wonder if those boxes smell too old and look too damaged to safely get your valuable possessions to their new location.

5. Change. Of course there is going to be change, it’s a move, right? You expect change. If you’ve had an opportunity to do a little bit of research ahead of time, you may have a good idea of what changes are coming your way. You poor deluded fool. You have no idea how many changes you’ll face. There is no way to be prepared for all of them!

6. Getting Reconnected. On this end, your phone provider tells you just transfer your service when you arrive at your new location. Upon arrival, you learn that your phone and DSL provider in your previous location can only offer dial up service in your new location. Dial up service? Seriously? It’s a great day when the lights are on, the electric is on, the internet is hooked up and life is good again.

7. Money Matters. Moving is expensive. It’s a pain. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have a nationwide bank that will be happy to issue you new checks with your new local address. But if you are moving to somewhere other than Dallas, New York City or Chicago, chances are you have to find a new bank. Each bank has its own rules, like a nine day holding on all new accounts. Then there is all that last minute stuff you just threw out, telling yourself you would buy new ones later. Of course the new house has things the old house didn’t and these have to be added in to the budget. Personally, I’ll take that extra cost for additional bathroom supplies. It’s worth it to have another bathroom in the house!

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Why I Spend More for Less Ice Cream

I’ve been accused of being from out of town. After all, who else would have an app for all the local grocery store chains and be able to shop savvy in the middle of the only incorporated town in all of Marion County, Texas? Yes, I’m that kind of person. I like to save when I can.

Am I an extreme coupon clipper? No! I did research on that and found out that part of the way they get their coupons is by getting online, finding coupons that are being used for a particular market for introduction and evaluation and changing their zip code to match so they can download that coupon. In other words: that $2 off coupon is only good in the Northeast where they are doing some market research, but if you change you zip code to a northeast zip code, you can get one of the coupons. My ethics won’t allow me to do such things. So, I save where I can and budget and do my best. I play the balancing game between how much my time is worth, how much gas would be spent going to different stores compared to the amount of savings I would get. It’s what you have to do when you’re on a budget!

So when in the world do I spend more for less ice cream? The answer is simple. I love my daughter.

Greta is going through that puberty phase where some girls get rail thin and others get pudgy and round. She’s going for pudgy and round. She’s also emotional, thanks to ADEM, so she gets attached to foods she loves and is sometimes a stress eater. Let’s see, her brother left for college and we are relocating to Mississippi. Nope, no stress in this household. On top of it all, Greta is dealing with habits and appetite binges she developed when on a huge dose of steroids to save her life during ADEM. She’s got a lot of things going against her right now. She needs all the help she can get. So I buy more expensive ice cream.

I’m not talking about buying the generic store brand versus those that claim to be the best ice cream in the country. I’m talking about spending more to buy those prepackaged ice cream cups. Greta loves ice cream! It’s a love language for her and it helps to calm her down in the middle of one of her ADEM mood swings. But I can get much more ice cream for my money if I just buy a half gallon of it and everyone scoops their own. That’s the problem. Greta scoops out way too much. Actually, we all do!

So I’ve come to the point where spending more money, to get the smaller and already packaged cups of ice cream is the best thing I can do to help Greta learn portion sizes with the treat she loves so much and gives her so much comfort. If you’ve ever been through a life threatening situation that leaves you emotionally scarred, you’ll understand how important it is to have a comfort item in your life. So yes, that’s why this budgeting and saving mom spends more for less ice cream. I look at the heart of the matter – a little girl going through so much at one time and I decided she’s more than worth it!

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