Tag Archives: Relationships

Keeping the Home Fires Burning


Let’s face it stress, health, jobs, kids, pets, lack of sleep and a host of other distractions can have a negative impact on even the most romantic, chemistry infused relationships.

Sometimes it is necessary to take time out to make sure your sex life stays a priority.  The following list is designed to keep the bedroom hot on even the coldest of nights.

Get off the Grid  

Take a holiday together without pets or kids.  Give yourself the time to remember what it was like back in the early days of dating.  Unplug from the distractions of work and the internet and go some place that you both enjoy.  There is no doubt that a change of scenery leads to better and more connectivity of the non-internet speed.  Exploring a different destination and setting gets you thinking about exploring in other areas of your relationship.  Plus a little extra sleep does wonders, speaking of which…

Get Eight Hours

Going through life sleep deprived takes it toll.  Even the young reach an  eventual burn out stage.  We try for lights out by 10 PM to ensure a well rested work week.  Being tired also leads to the likelihood of snapping at each other and getting lost in criticism directed at ones partner.  With rest comes better conversations, more physical stamina and a desire to focus on the positive.  In addition, you are just more likely to feel like using the best natural form of sleep enhancement.

Get Positive

When you find yourself feeling that everything your partner does is wrong, sit yourself down and write out at least five things they did right with the last 24 hours.  Chances are you will realize all that criticism is petty and that their good qualities are right there waiting to be noticed.

Get Complimentary Towards Each Other

Tell each other that you look pretty, handsome, sexy or whatever.  It goes a long way toward making both of you feel sexually attractive to the other.  Men enjoy a compliment just as much as women.  If you are waiting around for that compliment, try turning the tables and pay the compliment first.  It will come back to you.

Get Over the Shame

Shaming your partner over their sexual desires and interests is a one way ticket to bed death.  Even if you don’t share the same inclinations, be open to listening and finding a way to pleasure.  Biting your partners head off when they try to express an interest leads to lack of communication and more and more distance from each other.

Get a Sense of Humor

Taking ourselves too seriously in the sexual arena is a waste of time and effort.  If you and your partner share a love of ribald humor then cultivate it.

Get a Goal

We set goals at work, about our budgets and in school.  There is nothing wrong with setting a goal about how often you both want to have sex.  It will get you talking and clue you in to your partners’ needs.

Get Exercise

Cleaning out the arteries through walking, swimming, running or a workout keeps the blood flowing and the endorphins firing.  Plus it keeps you feeling good and sexy about yourself and each other.

What tips have worked for you?  Please add to my list.  

In case you were wondering where I have been, the short answer is working or stressed about working, or having IVIG at home.  However, all that stress is ending July 2 as I become a real housewife.  So look for more from me, unless I am caught up in working on my book.  Let the games begin!

I Married My Mother


My relationship with my mother has a long and complicated history.  My father died of pancreatic cancer when I was nine.  Up until that moment he had been my whole world and then suddenly I was left with this loving caretaker whom I barely knew.  She had been busy, caring for all of us including my father before and after his illness.  Their’s was a marriage born out of post-WWII convention: the man who worked and controlled everything, and the subservient homemaker.  My mother had a career during the war in Army Intelligence and was assigned to the Pentagon, but after the war the only careers left to most women were teacher, nurse or secretary.  Many times if a woman had a career, she could not have a husband and family, and was dubbed a spinster.   My mother worked as a secretary for awhile and then became-you guessed it-a Real Housewife.  Since this role was forced upon her by society, she rebelled against it.  As a result she was many times angry and resentful.  She felt trapped in a role that left her little time for any contribution outside the home.  After my father was gone, she spread her wings again.  She was dragged kicking and screaming back into the workplace by my brother.  Her confidence had been beaten down after all those years, and she is an introvert. My brother encouraged her to run for local office, which she did, and won.  She ended up being mayor of our village for 24 years.  In 2004, she was selected as one of NE Ohio’s Outstanding Women.

At 88, my mother is a regular reader of my blog.  Recently she commented how much she thought we were alike.  I was stunned.  What?! Us!? Alike!? We are not alike, I thought.  I am like my father:  adventurous, an animal lover, brash, at times reckless, impulsive and extravagant.  My mother then added, “I wasn’t just a mother you know.  If I were young, I would be participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement.”  My mother camping out without a daily shower, wearing her make up and high heels-okay I doubt it.  However, I can see her standing up and participating in the political process and I think she always had a romantic dream of making a difference in the peace corps.  Her comment made me think further about our many similarities.  How many of our similarities were due to nurture and how many were due to nature?  Because whether we like it or not our parents have a profound influence upon our lives both genetically and behaviorally.  We all reach the realization where we think, oh my, I am turning into my mother or father.   No matter how much we vow not to repeat her same mistakes or personality traits, living 18 years with someone and having her genetic components has a powerful influence, whether we like it or not.  I can look at my brother and see my mother.  Sometimes it makes me cringe and other times it makes me smile.

Even though I wrote an award-winning essay in the early grades about my mother’s obsession with cleanliness, I have developed the same habit. Recently I beamed with pride when two different friends on two different days told me my home always looks like a page out of Architectural Digest whenever they drop by.  Everything is kept neat and clean and I am sure our housekeepers love coming here as there is not much for them to do.


As a little girl I loved playing dress-up in my mother’s room.  I can envision in great detail the designer black suede high heels, suits, dresses, pearls, lipstick and purses.   My mom owned a purple Jantzen swimsuit, and when she put it on she looked like a glamourous pin up star from the 1940’s or 50’s.  My mother wore high heels to the beach and sprayed on her Chanel No.5. However, I was proud of her.  I longed to be just as glamorous and be admired for my fashionable style.

When I decided it was time for my husband to meet my mother I prepared him for the trip home.  He was the first man in a long time that I deemed worthy enough to meet Her Royal Highness, as I refer to her.  I told him about her compulsive neatness, her interest in politics and community service and likened her current existence to that of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations, living in a house collapsing into itself with the curtains drawn.  It was always my father who enjoyed picking out furniture and decorating, my mother just enjoyed keeping it clean.  But age has kept her from cleaning as compulsively as she once did and Mother would never be comfortable allowing strangers into her private sanctum to clean.

To say my husband and my mother hit it off is an understatement.  They were able to connect easily and talk about a wide range of subjects.  Even though they are both introverts, they found that they could easily chat and share stories.  I believe their willingness to make an effort for my sake was an important contributing factor to the success of the meeting.  They both like to quiety influence others, and are not bold and brash with their opinions as I am.

As I watched them interact, I was struck by their many similarities.  As I mentioned both are introverts and have a degree of social anxiety.  The verb “to change” does not exist in either of their worlds.  They are both frugal and financially responsible.  Both share a love of grammar and the English language.  Both were influenced greatly by education and particular teachers.  My husband is not close with any of his siblings and neither was my mother growing up.  They both focus on practicing good posture and comment on it frequently.  For both a recipe is gospel and not to be altered. Neither of them like dog hair, however they both tolerate it for my sake.  Both are obsessed with weight and diet.  Growing up I was very influenced by my mother’s obsession with being and staying thin and keeping me that way also.  Now I am married to a man with the same goals.   What I wouldn’t give some days to be able to eat unlimited junk food and sweets!

Did all those years with my mother predispose me to fall in love with and marry a man with many of the same qualities?  I don’t know, but I do know that a girl could do a whole lot worse.   The one quality that they both share, and without a doubt it is the one I love the most, is that they both love spoiling me rotten.

What qualities do you share with your parents?  Is your partner like either parent?