Things I’ve Learned About Love

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

Recently I had a setback in my life which involved a repeat surgery on my right knee to resolve and infection that had set in.    This left me with 2 months at home, which is a long time to think and contemplate life in general.  Things once again were put into perspective and I found myself placing life and people back in their proper places.  Along my 2 month journey I realized just what a good husband is, and just how wonderful a respectful strong marriage can be.  This is a second marriage for both of us and we often discuss how the mistakes we made in our first marriages have  allowed us to build a firm foundation. I was married for 27 years and had 4 wonderful children.  My ex-husband and I just could no longer band together to fight off the challenges that the world threw at us.  You just drift apart and realize you are just 2 people living in the same house. I challenged myself this last 2 months to keep a running list of things that I have learned since remarrying a year ago.  I know many people who are struggling in their marriages/relationships and perhaps it’s never to late to learn from an others mistake.

These are the 9 p0ints that I realize that will help make a marriage succeed.

     1.  PICK YOUR BATTLES:  I used to think that if I won an argument then I was the winner.  WOW…there are no winners in an argument, especially one that escalates to name calling or violence.  One of you has to remain calm when the other one is fired up.  Take a walk, go into another room, just get away from each other. Take at least 15 minutes to calm down.  Is what you are arguing about really important?  Does it really matter if you win?

     2.  DO NOT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.  Trust me, there is bigger “stuff” that will come into your life and you need that soulmate to be your back up person.

     3.   BITE YOUR TONGUE!  Go ahead BITE IT….bite it until it hurts if you have to.  Don’t let those angry bitter words come out of your mouth. Sometimes words hurt so bad that you think being hit would hurt less.  Although I can not imagine being struck by another person, I know it happens, and either spouse can be the one swinging.  Come on, it can’t make you feel good, so try to stop and get help. Please……

     4.  DO THING TOGETHER.  Try to go out on a ‘date.”  When your kids are young they become your whole life and then they grow up and you look at your spouse and don’t remember how to be a couple again.  I have learned to share his love of guns, he has learned to share my love for different kinds of music. ( although I will probably never be a fan of TV cattle/bull auctions and curling)

     5.  BE A TEAM.  Support that person you married.  Life is so much better when you come home from a bad day at work and they will allow you to vent (but not too much because nobody loves a Debbie or Donnie Downer)  We have said that no matter how bad the day is once we walk into the house we know it will be a refuge.  A place to share the good and the bad, the worries and the achievements.  Often times you can’t do anything but listen, because they really don’t want your advise, they just need to share.

     6.  BUILD A BOND.  The two of you will have memories that no one else has, and you will have challenges that others may not have.  One has to be strong when the other is weak, and men…it’s ok to be weak.  A loving mate will step up to the plate and be your rock.

     7.  DON’T BE THE ONLY ONE GIVING.  If you find that you are the only one of the team that’s giving then you need to be open and tell him or her how you feel.  This is the way it should go: I do nice things for you and you do nice things for me.  Kind of like what we learned in kindergarten?  Nothing will kill a persons soul faster than giving and never receiving.

     8.  SAY: “I love you” and REALLY MEAN IT.  Look them in the eye and say it.  Say it often!  Can a spouse every get tired of hearing that they are loved?   Tell them how nice they look, even when it may be a stretch.  There have been times this past 2 months that I have looked like a train wreck and always have been made to feel like the most beautiful gal in the world.  This is something that I will always remember.

     9.  TRY not to say anything to humiliate your spouse.  And for heavens sake don’t say something and then say “I was just joking or I didn’t mean it”  Respect, respect, and respect. I can’t imagine ever saying anything to embarrass my husband, especially in public.  ITS UGLY and it makes you look ugly.

There are advantages to second marriages, your kids are grown, you both have hopefully learned from your past mistakes and are willing to correct them, and you usually you are better off financially.  Those days of scrimping to pay medical bills, groceries, school expenses, etc are usually gone.  Perhaps if I had followed those simple 9 steps years ago things would be different now, but I took the leap of faith and knew I would be emotionally healthier alone.  As for my second marriage, I can’t even explain the feeling of security, friendship and love that I have found.  My soul has come alive again and with the help of God and my husband there is nothing I can not do or handle.  My wish is that all couples (whether in their first or second marriage) can find this special gift at some point in their lives. ♥

FOOD FOR THE BODY

SMASHED POTATOES.

I try to find the bags of small potatoes in the produce section.  If you can find the ones in a microwavable bag that’s even better.  They come in all kinds of varieties, so choose the ones that appeal to you.

  Microwave or boil potatoes until just fork tender.  Don’t overcook.

Place potatoes on a baking sheet  (I always put parchment paper down first)

Gently press down  to smash each potato (I use the flat bottom of a glass)

Drizzle potatoes with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, garlic, chopped green onions, (there is no right or wrong, use what tastes good to you)

Bake about 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees or until the potatoes are lightly browned.

They are so sweet and excellent as a side dish.

Often we will use a big cookie sheet and add cauliflower florets, baby carrots, thinly sliced  peppers, or whatever is in the fridge.  Just drizzle with olive oil and season to taste.  Bake along with the potatoes.

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