Still the One: Celebrating 35th Anniversary

Today is my 35th wedding anniversary. I met my husband on my 21st birthday, a short thirty-eight years ago. Yes, I know I’m dating myself, but that’s to give you perspective on just how long we have been together! The lyrics to “Still the One” by Orleans sums it up pretty good…

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Still the one by Orleans, 1976


You’re still the one — that makes me laugh
Still the one — that’s my better half

You’re still the one — that makes me strong
Still the one — I want to take along

Changing, our love is going gold
Even though we grow old, it grows new

You’re still the one — who can scratch my itch
Still the one — and I wouldn’t switch

We’re still having fun, and you’re still the one

lyrics by John and Johanna Hall, in hit song by Orleans in 1976

I do (pun intended) have advice to offer of course, in fact relationships have their own category on this blog. This previous post refers to ideal components of relationships and this one talks about the role of fate in many successful matchups.

As my husband is planning on retiring in the not too distant future, we will be starting a new phase in our lives. In anticipation of more time at the cottage and travel adventures, Gardens4u has been turning away new clients and cutting back on existing ones.

This blog will continue as that I can do anywhere!

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Men are from Mars

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus is the name of a best selling book authored by John Gray back in 2012. It is a great communication guide for couples, with the focus on understanding how the other thinks and feels. Far from rocket science, but important in the evolution and success of relationships.

I learned long ago, early on in my 34+ year marriage, how to get my husband to do the things I need him to do to keep our household running smoothly. The solution was/is simple. Ask for help and tell your partner how you feel. Communicate what works for you as a couple.

Men are learning a clean kitchen is the way to a woman's heart
The way to a woman’s heart is through a clean house

Many of us women were raised to believe we have to do everything (household chores) ourselves if we want things done properly. This may have worked early in the last century, but modern women are busier than ever and smarter than that. So are men.

In defence of the men in that generation, they were raised to believe similar rubbish. Chauvinism was rampant. My husband was one of them, so were my three brothers. My mother and mother-in-law were clones of June Cleaver, looking after their children and their homes while their husbands worked outside of the home. Things got more complicated, not to mention stressful, when both mothers went back to work as soon as their youngest child was in school. All of a sudden they each had two full time jobs. My sisters and I were recruited to help out, but the males of the family were exempt.

If I learned nothing else from that experience, it was that I would not accept that archaic mentality in a partner. Making that decision a reality was tricky, but we managed to figure it out. I used to slam cupboard doors and stomp around when I was angry and frustrated with his (perceived) inability to recognize necessary household chores.

I would like to say I straightened him out, but must admit he figured it out faster than I did. He did notice the slamming doors and stomping feet after all, so made the first step by admitting his need for me to communicate (verbally) exactly what I wanted him to do. This must be why “honey do lists” became so popular. He was quite happy to “help” although learned fast that he was pulling his weight rather than helping. This was especially important when our three sons were young and our household was very busy.

Men have (thankfully) evolved over the years, into caring and nurturing fathers, husbands and partners. And women have evolved by encouraging their men in these roles without losing any of their superhero powers. The moral of this story? Men may be from Mars and women from Venus, but we can successfully co-exist on Earth if we communicate!

Guilty or innocent, Patrick Brown is a ruined man

Is it just me or is something fishy going on?  Patrick Brown, the (resigned) leader of the PC party, is a ruined man, regardless of whether he is innocent or guilty. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?  He has not been my choice to lead the PC party, but I think the whole scandal stinks.  Here’s why:

  • the “victims” remain anonymous
  • who talked  them into coming forward and why did they not go to the police instead of the media?
  • why did they take so long (10 years) to come forward?  Oh right, an election is coming up and a smear campaign is the best way for the Liberal party to deflect from the mess they are in.
  • what was the under aged woman doing in a bar drinking in the first place.  I wasn’t born yesterday, I know it happens, but did Patrick Brown take her there?  No.  Was he drinking?  No.  Did he buy her a drink?  Yes, but is that a crime?  If every male that meets a woman in a bar and buys her a drink is persecuted, the heterosexual orientation is doomed.
  • why did the other woman go to his home? With another male to boot.  Then when in his home agree to go into the bedroom.
  • when she (a bit late in my opinion) said NO, he took her home.  How awful and ungentlemanly. (NOT)

 

These are just a few of the “facts” that are swirling around this scandal.    Regardless of whether Patrick Brown is guilty or innocent, he is a ruined man.  I feel very sorry for him and any other heterosexual male playing the dating game these days, especially the ones in the public eye.

 
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Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

 

Do you believe in fate?

The words fate and destiny are used interchangeably.  Do you believe in fate or destiny?  I definitely do.  So many things have happened in my life that I feel fate or destiny had a hand in.  A minor change in any of the details would have resulted in a totally different lifestyle.  Here are just a few examples, all major events in my life.

I met my husband on my 21st birthday when I was celebrating at a college pub in Kingston, Ontario.  Less than a month previous to that we were both in long-term relationships with other people.  A month after we met I would leave Kingston to return to my hometown of Cornwall to finish my college program.  Had we not met that night of my birthday, our paths would probably have never passed, and both of our lives would be very different now.

We dated for three years before marrying, but I knew within a month of meeting him that he was the one for me.  In our attempts to start a family, we suffered three stillbirths, all of which were boys.  We persevered, eventually having three healthy baby boys.  I have since written a book on the subject.

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One Sunday, because it was pouring rain and cold at my husband’s family cottage, we returned to Ottawa earlier than usual, stopping to view a model home in a new subdivision in Kanata.  We loved the house so much, we made a down payment on the house that same day.

These are all examples of significant events in my life that I feel were destined to happen.  A small change of detail in any of these events and none of them would have happened.  Without the first one happening, the next two would not have occurred.

The latest example of fate happened very recently.  To support a friend’s daughter,  I had planned to drive from Ottawa to Barrie to pick up my niece, then drive to Orillia to see the musical Chicago.  Because the weather was bad with snow and freezing rain, I canceled my plans for the long drive.  I was, however, able to phone the box office of the Orillia Opera House to transfer the tickets to my niece’s name.   She invited her college roommate to go with her, but those plans did not work out either.  She then asked a contact on Tinder to go with her.  They went to the show together, had a great time, and have been dating since.  She too had been dating someone else until recently but was ready for a new relationship.  If Mother Nature had not stepped in with lousy and dangerous weather for driving, I would have been her date that night.  She may or may not have connected with this new man on Tinder at some other time, but fate intervened to make it that night.

I’m a huge believer in fate, are you??

 

 

Can you be an orphan at forty-six?

Can you be considered an orphan at forty-six years of age?  The definition of orphan refers to a child, but I believe that when your second parent passes away you can feel like an orphan. No comparison to the pain that children who lose their parents at a young age must feel, but I can attest to the fact that there is still pain to be felt at forty-six and counting.

My father passed away eleven years ago today and my mother twelve years prior to that. Today I am reminded by the calendar. Other days it is a picture on social media, a commercial on TV, a precious smile from their newest great-grandson. Sometimes it is something I see that I know one of them would love or hate.  Yesterday I ran into a friend who is planning an 80th birthday party for her mother.  Although I am happy for her and her mom, I could not help but feel a pang of envy and longing.  I miss them both so much.

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my mom and dad

 

I grew up in Cornwall, Ontario a small city not far from Ottawa.  With my parents and most of their siblings passed away, I feel my connections or roots have slipped away from the Cornwall area.  It does not help that most of my siblings have moved away too.

If you are lucky enough to have one or both parents alive, give them a hug or a phone call to show you appreciate their presence in your life.  Trust me, you will miss them when you no longer have that opportunity!

Anger, laughter and your immune system

 

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It has been said that one minute of anger weakens your immune system for four to five hours, while one minute of laughter boosts your immune system for over twenty-four hours.   I’ve read these statements several different places recently; I believe scientists are on to something.

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Think about it for a minute.  When something or someone angers you, your blood pressure rises, your heart races, and you get a sick feeling in your stomach.  I know I do.  But did you realize that the sick feeling you get can manifest into something more sinister if it persists?  The sick feeling spreads throughout your body, causing stress on all of your organs.  It has been scientifically proven that stress has been linked to many health conditions and disease states.

Conversely, after a good laugh, you feel great and stress or tension is relieved, improving your mood, your outlook, and even your physical appearance!  I posted an article about the scientific benefits of laughter a while back.  Yesterday, when chatting with a dear friend,  I was reminded how anger can cause stress; inspiration for today’s post.

If you find yourself in any relationship that evokes prolonged and unresolvable anger, angst, tension, stress, or sadness, move on and let it go before you cause any permanent damage to your health!

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Diaper shower

Have you ever heard of a diaper shower?   Since Dads are much more involved in their childrens’ lives these days, a diaper shower is a modern, male version of a baby shower, to help the men celebrate their “dad to be” status.  What an awesome idea!

My eldest son organized such a diaper shower recently for his brother to celebrate our excitement to be expecting a new addition to our family.  Did I mention I am going to be a grandmother for the first time?

The event was a pool (billiards) tournament with a box of diapers as the price of admission.  My job was to collect and deliver the mountain of diapers to their new home…

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Daughter from another mother

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I am devastated this week after hearing of the sudden and unexpected death of a dear friend.  The initial shock is fading, but I am still having difficulty believing that she is gone from my life.

Although she started out as a client in my gardening business, ….. Continue reading

Learn how to yield is the best marriage advice

For some reason, many of the blog posts I have been reading lately are about marriage and how to make it work.  Although I am not officially qualified to counsel people on their marriages, I have lots of experience on the subject.  I will have been married (to the same man) for 32 years this coming May, so although I have a few pieces of advice on the subject, my best advice is stolen from a man of few words…

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Years ago, on the occasion of his 60th wedding anniversary, my grandfather offered these simple words of wisdom to family and friends gathered for the celebration: “you have to learn how to yield.”   My husband was present at that celebration, although we were not yet married, so heard the same words of advice. Thirty-two years into our own marriage, those words of advice have served us well.

When two individuals that were raised under different circumstances try to merge their lives without learning how to yield, disastrous results can occur.  Think of two vehicles on a road; when they try to merge together, one has to yield to the other.  If they don’t an accident happens and no one is happy.

Unlike vehicle drivers on the road that must adhere to traffic signs to avoid conflict, there are no such signs to prevent conflict in a marriage.  The trick in marriages is that you have to learn and decide what you are willing to yield to.  Both individuals must acknowledge the need to yield or compromise.  Viewpoints on religion, having and raising children, finances, education, careers, and even household decor are only a few subjects where opinions can differ between two individuals in a marriage.

Learning to yield or compromise is the key to success at merging different viewpoints into a lifestyle that works best for the two people in the relationship.

Cheers to yielding!

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The five languages of love

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Recently I heard about “the five languages of love” so decided to research the theory…

The thought process in the languages of love theory is that people vary in what they need from their partner to make them happy and content in a relationship. The five options or “languages” are listed as:

  • words of affirmation
  • acts of service
  • receiving gifts
  • quality time
  • physical touch

 

 

Simply put, if you want to be in a successful relationship, you have to know what your partner’s love language is and make sure your partner knows what your love language is, especially if they differ.  Since both people in a relationship can come from different upbringings, backgrounds, cultures etc, their individual love languages will often be different.  Acknowledging that your partner has a different love language than  you do appears to be the first step towards a successful relationship.

I would imagine that some people are content with just one language of love while others need more than one.  That’s where it might get tricky as your job in the successful relationship is to provide what your partner needs.   Some people are needier than others and needs do change throughout life. Be aware of changing needs on both sides and be prepared to adjust accordingly.  Frequent re-evaluation is highly recommended.

Do your homework.  Find out what your partner’s language of love is.  Make sure they know what yours is.  Be sure to ask them theirs and tell them yours so there is no room for misunderstanding.  Do not assume you know theirs or they know yours….

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:

Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE

and

be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW

My gardening website can be viewed at www.gardens4u.ca