Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ringing in the New Year!

Happy New Year's Eve!!!

Here's hoping your New Year's Ever was better than this couple's from last year :)

    And some New Year's Resolutions, I think a guy wrote them ;)

  • Just for today, I will not sit in my living room all day in my nightdress. Instead, I will move my computer into the bedroom.

  • I will no longer waste my time relieving the past, instead I will spend it worrying about the future.

  • I will not bore my boss by with the same excuse for taking leaves. I will think of some more excuses.

  • I will do less laundry and use more deodorant.

  • I will avoid taking a bath whenever possible and conserve more water.

  • Assure my lawyer that I will never again show up drunk at a custody hearing.

  • I will give up chocolates totally. 100%. Completely. Honestly....

  • I will try to figure out why I *really* need nine e-mail addresses.

  • I will stop sending e-mails to my wife (husband).

  • I resolve to work with neglected children -- my own.

  • I will stop sending e-mail, ICQ, Instant Messages and be on the phone at the same time with the same person.

  • I will spend less than one hour a day on the Internet. This, of course, will be hard to estimate since I'm not a clock watcher.

  • I will read the manual... just as soon as I can find it.

  • I will think of a password other than "password."

  • I will not tell the same story at every get together.

  • I won't worry so much.

  • I will cut my hair.

  • I will grow my hair.

  • I will stop considering other people's feelings when they so obviously don't consider mine - if that unwashed fellow sits next to me again, I'll tell him he stinks!

  • I will be more imaginative.

  • I will not hang around girls - they think you love them and that sucks.

  • I will not ring the stewardess button on airplanes just to get her phone number.

Hope you are all partying it up for the New Year!!! If you stop by let us know of any big plans!!! :) Or is your plans more like these guys:


Shelle and all the Real World Contributors!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You deserve a break... so take it

For those of us lucky enough to be off work this week.


It does no good to take the time off if we spend that time worried about what is waiting for us when we return.

I say this because January proves to be an ugly one for me at work. I am forcing myself to enjoy this time and not pine over the inevitable hell that awaits...

This one goes son the fridge at my house!

Happy New Year everyone!

From Chief

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's a silent agreement...

My family is loud... or I should say LOUD. And sometimes it drives me nuts. We talk over each other, we laugh at inappropriate times, we fight, we make up, and we eat all.the.time while giving a Top Notch performance at the previous mentioned things. Any one of us want the center of attention and like hungry wolves we will do about anything to get the attention back on us.

Now some of us married spouses that fit right in, or should I say, are just as loud and attention hungry as the rest of us... which bodes well for them--at least when we are all on good terms and agreeing with one another.

For those of us, or me, that have a spouse that is appalled by all of this... it doesn't bode well for the guy. In fact, most of the time when we are hanging out with my family I rarely know where he is. He has gotten very good at seeking spots where he won't be bothered or should I say won't have to watch the circus that is my family.

I use to throw a fit about him going MIA until I realized I could do the same when I needed my space while hanging out with his family. And now this works for us. It's a silent agreement. One that hasn't had an official handshake, yet we both seem to know that the other will at some point (or in his case the majority of the time) will take time for themselves and may wander off and not be seen for some time.

But you want to know what I have realized this last week ... besides the fact that we have this silent agreement? I have realized that the very thing that drives me nuts about family (and I mean EITHER family)... is the very thing that endears me to them.

So all in all... I have had a very productive and enlightening Holiday so far and that counts for something!!!

How about you guys? How do you deal with family? Do you love it? Do you hideaway until it is time to go home or do you soak it all up and hate when it is time to part?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Some Funnies

Kids Are Quick

TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?
CLASS: Maria.

TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.

TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?'
TEACHER: No, that's wrong
GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.
(I Love this kid)

TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O..

TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.

TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.

TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with ' I. '
MILLIE: I is..
TEACHER: No, Millie..... Always say, 'I am.'
MILLIE: All right... 'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'

TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.

TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.

TEACHER: Clyde, your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his?
CLYDE : No, sir.. It's the same dog

TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?

HAROLD: A teacher

The awesome power of a wife's love

A very old man lay dying in his bed. At death's door, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookie wafting up the stairs.

He gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands.

With labored breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven.

There, spread out on newspapers on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.

Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?

Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table. The aged and withered hand, shaking, made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when he was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife.

"Stay out of those," she said. "They're for the funeral".

Hope y'all had an excellent Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Less Chex More Mix - The Mars/Venus Recipe Swap

Psst! Tysdaddy here. I'm taking over the blog today to engage in a bit of festive merriment.

How about a show of hands: Who likes eating?

Thank you, I see that hand. And that one waaay in the back. Hands are raised all over the internet.


Because we're an eating bunch. Especially those of us pursuing or already in committed relationships . . .

Pardon me. I opened a new tab in my Firefox browser and tried to find some research to back up that claim, but it's late, Google is overwhelmingly vague at the moment, and I really don't care. Just nod your head in recognition of my profundity.

So, allow me to start a new holiday tradition here at In the Real World: The annual "Mars/Venus Recipe Swap."

[insert whoops and applause]

We'll do this every year on the day before Christmas. Because I said so. And because I know that we're all either eyeballs deep in cookbooks preparing grub for the hoards that will come knocking within the next 24 hours, or we're eating said grub and, with a crowbar shaped like a wine glass, are attempting to wrest the recipe for the simply succulent chicken feet kabobs out of Aunt Nellie's arthritic grip.

Bottom line?

By the end of the day, you'll have a recipe that you're just dying to share. Whether it's for some animal or vegetable swimming in gravy or a cookie shaped like a reindeer turd, this is the place to spill the three-bean salad.

To kick off the festivities, here is my super-secret, better-than-sex, stick-to-your-ribs recipe for Chex Mix. This Chex Mix is on steroids and bench presses 350 pounds. This Chex Mix will kick your grandma's Chex Mix's sagging booty.

Tysdaddy's Chex Mix That is Less Chex and More Mix and Rules the World of Chex Mix With Its Mightiness

1 Stick Salted Sweet Cream Butter
2 Cups Corn Chex Cereal
2 Cups Rice Chex Cereal
2 Cups Wheat Chex Cereal
2 Cups Garlic Parmesan CHEEZ-IT Crackers (Or White Cheddar if your are a sissy and can't handle so much garlic!)
1 Cup Salted Pretzel Twists
½ Cup Mixed Nuts
½ Cup Whole Cashews or Pecans
½ Cup Sesame Sticks
1 Teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ Teaspoon Onion Powder
2 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

Preheat oven to 250º.
Melt butter in microwave (Two minutes or so, and please put it in a bowl or something!)
Mix all the big, dry stuff in an oven pan (The cheap kind that you can toss when you're done.)
Add spices to melted butter and stir.
Pour seasoned butter over mix and stir.
Bake in oven for one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.
Spread out and cool mix on towel.

And you will eat it, my friend. The whole batch. While it's still warm. And then your family or significant other will complain that they didn't get any. And you'll just laugh at their pain as you wipe the buttery crumbs off your Molly Hatchet concert tee.

'Cause that's how you roll!

Alright. Your turn. I know you've got a recipe you want to add to our first annual Mars/Venus Recipe Swap post thingy. So leave a comment already! And then you can go back to your party . . .

[Flickr photo is by foooooey and is protected]

11 years...and still nothing to that at all

It's funny how life can be...fleeting...or fickle...or temperamental...or unblinkingly brutal - and yet you'd get down on your knees, no matter how messed up they are, and thank life (or whatever you believe in) for giving you a shot at happiness.

Before I met my wife in 1998, I was never able to maintain a relationship for more than few months at any time. Why couldn't I? Nothing seemed "comfortable" to me every time I ventured out into the tricky domain of dating and relationships. After a while, I was beginning to think that maybe I was the one with commitment issues.

When I met my wife the first time, nothing happened. No lightning bolt. No magic. No love at first sight. The Earth didn't crack. She was someone's girlfriend and I wasn't the type to mess around. I didn't really get to talk to her - just the introduction and I just moved on. Came across her in a bar few months later and I found out that she was single.

I came over to her, basically ignoring her friends with nothing more than a cursory greeting to each, and introduced myself. She smiled and said, "I remember who you are." That did stop me in my tracks and she had my attention. I chatted up with her a little and found out that she lived just 5 miles from where I participate in a dart league on Wednesdays. So, I asked her out and I gave her every chance to back out because this is a dart league but she kept assuring me that she would be happy to watch me compete.

She showed up like she said she would. After chatting with her for a while, I learned that the opposing team had not shown up and had to forfeit. This meant that I had more time to talk with her and boy, did I talk and talk and talk with her. The bar owner came by our table and informed us that it was time to close. That surprised me because I had lost track of time, so I turned to her and asked "Since everything else is closed for the night, what do we do?" She suggested that we go to her house and talk some more.

I finally left her house at 6:30 am, having chatted with her 11 hours straight and we agreed that I wouldn't return tonight or the next day so we each could spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with our loved ones. I came to her house at 7 pm on the 26th and left her house at 8:30 am the next day, having chatted with her for over 13 hours. That's mind-boggling 24 hours total on TWO dates.

She ended up moving in with me just 3 months later and proposed to me 2 months after that. I asked her about her "I remember you" remark few years later and she told me that when she met me the first time, she mentally took note of this tall guy with glasses because she found me to be very interesting. She had been curious about me ever since then.

We celebrate December 23rd every year as the date we started our lives together...and she is still curious about me.

Nolens Volens he also writes on his personal blog Welcome to My Secret Spot (Not Safe For Work)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Baby Jesus Was a Girl

Have you ever been playing Barbies and found yourself with too many girl dolls for the double date you want to stage? And so you dress up one of the girls in a pair of jeans, stuffed her hair under a cap, and called her "Tim?"

Um . . . just me?

Ahem! Moving on . . .

This is my daughter, Zoe.

She's the little one, with the "Wake me up and I'll KILL you!" countenance. The fourth and final fruit of my loins. The other one is my wife. Both beautiful, no? And both of the female persuasion.

The date was Sunday, December 17th, 2000, a mere eight days before the big show that is Christmas Day. She entered the world on a dark and snowy morning just after 2:00AM. Or so I'm told; I think I slept through it. She didn't cry too much. My wife was drugged up and giggling maniacally when she wasn't snoring herself. We'd done this before, you see. Not a big deal.

We all loved holding her. Especially her big brother:

That's a death grip, people. That grin? Even at a tender eighteen-months, he is most certainly contemplating the havoc he will wreak upon her in the coming years. But darn it if she isn't just simply a cuddle bunny!

Fast forward one week. We're at church for the annual Christmas Eve shindig. The church famous for their live nativity. With live shepherds and sheep and donkeys and . . . people dressed up as angels. There is no shortage of live. And for the evening service, our friend Keith is going to sing a song by Michael Card titled "Joseph's Song." And because a live baby Jesus beats a plastic one any day of the week . . . and twice on Sunday . . . (sorry) . . . he asked if we'd be willing to let him hold Zoe while he sang.

(Holy crap! Show business! The crowds! The applause! The FAME!!!)

"Um . . . sure," agrees my wife. So she removes Zoe from her favorite pink blankie and we wrap her up in some brownish swaddling clothes. And there she was . . .

. . . swaddled, sashayed serenaded . . . and completely zonked. He kept rocking her and singing into her face, yet she snored and snored and refused to stir. They could have gone ahead and used the doll and no one would have known the difference.

Except for my wife and I. We stood in the wings and beamed with pride. Our little girl, the baby Jesus. That, my friends, is a helluva show . . .

So, it's Christmas week. Was Jesus really a girl? Scratch that . . . Do you and yours attend a live nativity? Or is that just too creepy, with all the hay and animal dung and all? With just a few days before the Big Day, what is one special thing you do to help bring it all together? And last-minute shopping doesn't count . . .

Monday, December 21, 2009

Guess what was in MY TIFFANY box!

This is a great little Christmas story from a few years ago. Let me set the scene.
Now, I’m a snooper. I always have been and I probably always will be. I remember snooping through my parents closet one year before Christmas and finding a Timex computer (OK, I know I’m dating myself here, but anywhose) and my parents found out that I knew and they didn’t give it to us. They held off until Valentine’s Day!

I was living with my boyfriend at the time and my parents had just moved down to Florida. We were planning on going to visit them for the holidays so we decided to exchange our personal gifts to each other before we left so we didn’t have to travel with them there and back.
As I was going through my trunks of summer clothes so I could start packing, I noticed this
Tiffany blue box
And my mind went here:
Tiffany engagement ring
What girls heart wouldn’t go pitter patter at the thought of a Tiffany’s box sitting there. I didn’t own anything from Tiffany’s at the time. So I was super excited and immediately one thought came into my mind….he’s going to propose! I was so psyched! Plus I knew that his brother had bought his fiancé an engagement ring from Tiffany. So I knew that he would do the same thing.
So the night before we were leaving to head down to Florida I made plans to go out with my friends from work for a little Christmas cocktail hour. Said boyfriend wasn’t going, but he told me that I had better not get drunk because we were going to open our Christmas gifts when I got home. After he said that, I knew for reals that he was going to propose. He never cared before if I was drunk or not when I got home. This was finally it, it was going to happen.
I was giddy the entire happy hour and followed his instructions. I didn’t drink much and got home at a reasonable hour. He had all the gifts out waiting and we started our exchange.

Except, I didn’t see the Tiffany box.

We get through all the gifts and still nothing. Then he goes into the other room and gets it. I thought this was it, he was finally going to do it.

He walks over to me.

Looks me in the eye.

Says I love you.

And hands me the box.

I’m all shaky when I’m opening it.

The blue box.

The black velvety box inside.

The creaky noise those type of boxes make. You know exactly what I’m talking about.

I open it and find this….
Tiffany earrings
(Ok, they were white pearls...but these are totally them!)

I don’t wear a poker face well. At all.

I’m sure he could see the disappointment from a mile away.

And that bastard.

Good thing he didn’t propose, he didn’t know me at all. I am so not a pearl type of girl.

Anybody else have a similar experience??? What do you think?

Donna also writes over at HER blog The Bare Essentials.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Going Overboard for the Holidays Venus Style

Hubman does not go overboard for the holidays. He is the voice of reason. I usually do not go overboard for the holidays, but I could. Picture me with a Hubman on one shoulder as the angel, and me, but wearing a big bouffant hairdo and a 1950's christmas themed prom dress on the other shoulder as the devil.

Hubman and I have an agreement with gifts that has been working for us for many, many years. I shop for, select, wrap and mail all of the gifts for everyone all year long, and he does not complain about what I buy or how much I spend. We have a chat about price limits and I usually stick to it which adds to the harmony. Hubman buys my gifts, and then usually cards for me and his mother.

If the gift is something that really requires a second opinion or a large vehicle to transport it (like a bike) I bring him into it. Otherwise I just tell him later what I picked out.

My danger point for going overboard at Christmas is not shopping. I don't want to spoil my kids with tons of crap. I also don't want to have to deal with cleaning up and storing said crap. We do not have a big place and it does not take a lot for it to get cluttered enough for Hubman to start grinding his teeth.

Anyway, despite the minor exception with trying to get everyone on my list, the perfect, thoughtful gift, gifting is not where I tend to go overboard.

Its everything else. Christmas brings out my inner Martha Stewart. Once we get close to Thanksgiving I get this urge to make home made wreaths and topiaries! I want to wrap gifts in clever paper with bows made from recycled newspaper dyed with organic dyes! I want to have a tree in every room decorated with its own theme! I want to send a heartfelt Christmas card with a personalized letter to everyone I've ever known! I want to make 20 different kinds of cookies and candies to give as gifts and remember the postman, the paper boy, the crossing guard, the people in my office, and any random stranger who looks like they could use some sugar.

I want to watch every Christmas movie and special with the kids! I want to decorate my house with enough lights that it is visible from space. I want perfect family pictures with everyone, including the dog in matching sweaters.

However, eventually I put the magazine down and I hear the voice of Hubman in my head. "Sweetie", he says. "You are an awesome baker, but do you really have the time to bake 40 dozen cookies. Also, doing those roll out cookies always makes you crabby. " "Honey, remember how badly your burnt yourself on the hot glue gun when my mom let you try hers." And my favorite, "Honey, you know you don't like heights. You're really going to get up on the ladder for 3 hours to hang lights?"

Thank god for his voice in my head, otherwise I would probably have hot glued myself to the ladder while the kitchen goes on fire from my leaving cookies in the oven.

The only thing I might go a teensy bit overboard on is charity. I do 'adopt' two kids at Christmas through the Salvation Army that are close to the age of my kids and get them stuff. I put a dollar in every kettle I pass. I take my kids to they toy store and have them each pick out an item they like and drop in in the Toys for Tots box. I can't help it. My kids are so blessed in the fact that they have six doting grandparents, that it makes me want to ensure that as many people as possible have a Merry Christmas as well. An example of this is donating money towards the fundraiser mentioned at the top of this blog.

So ladies and gentlemen, which of you are the ones to go overboard? What do you go overboard on?

Just as a warning if you visit my blog today, I am half-nekkid. If that sort of thing offends you, I understand and respect that. However, if you can navigate through the nekkidness, you will find some fun, inexpensive gift ideas and lots of holiday recipes, including a treat exchange. If you want to learn more about the wonderful Hubman, you can visit him here, but I have to warn you that he is not usually safe for work.

Also, the very Handsome Southern Sage is taking Mars' position on this, so please stop by tomorrow and see what is on his mind.

So ladies and gentlemen, which of you are the ones to go overboard? What do you go overboard on?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Group Therapy- A Resentful Wife

Welcome to Group Therapy:

"My husband lost his salesman job 8 and 1/2 months ago. I was lucky and was able to go back to a good job that paid well, has insurance, and keeps us relatively living the same as we are use to. It's tight but we are better off than a lot of people out there. Sounds great right?

Well here is my problem. This was to be a temporary fix, me working full-time (4-10 hour days), until he got another job, then I wanted to go to part-time or stay at home altogether like I have been doing for the last 5 years.

The longer he is out of a job, the less he looks for one and is content staying home. I'm not complaining one bit about the job he does as a stay-at-home Dad. He's actually quite incredible at it. The thing is, is it was not our deal and I am resentful. I want to be at home. Every time I approach the topic he gets defensive about it, saying things like, 'You think I like not being able to provide for my family?' Which in return makes me feel guilty for rubbing salt in the wound and then I go back to feeling resentful, I know he is running around taking care of our 3 kids all day, but I feel he is being lazy with the job search not at all giving it his full effort. This IS the only thing we ever argue about and it's starting to wear on me.

I need help on how I approach this with him. What's the best way to approach a guy who thinks I'm attacking his pride? Am I wrong for wanting our roles switched back to the way they were? Any suggestions for a resentful wife?"


***If you have any questions or problems that you would like to have addressed in Group Therapy please email me at blokthoughts@gmail dot com or realworldvenusmars @ gmail dot com.

Leave your advice in the comments, comment on other comments, and feel free to comment Anonymously.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Birth Control Pill, for Men?

The female birth control pill has been around for almost 50 years, yet we're still waiting for a safe, effective, reversible option for men.

Why are we still waiting? Biology people, biology!

Ladies, how many eggs do you release each month? One, right?
(Yes, I know some women release more than one, hence fraternal twins, etc...)

So that's a pretty easy task, stopping one egg.

Gentlemen, any idea how many sperm you make?

Millions upon millions! A normal sperm count is 20 million per 1 milliliter of ejaculate.

That's a lot!!!

Which is why I'm not so sure that I would be willing to take a birth control pill. It seems to me that in order to work, it would have to somehow mess with testosterone production, which when you get down to it, is what really separates the men from the boys, so to speak.

I came across a survey that reported that 66% of men would use an alternative birth control method and that 75% of women would trust their partner to remember to take a pill every day. I'm calling B.S. on that! How many men answered that truthfully? We all want to appear to be considerate, willing to take the burden off you ladies! But in reality, I suspect the truth to be a lower number than that!

Now I'm certainly willing to do my part, don't get me wrong. Once Veronica and I decided we were done having kids, I happily went off to the urologist and got a vasectomy. Okay, maybe not happily, how about willingly?

Here's the best part- even though I readily agreed to allow a doctor to take a sharp instrument to my balls and sterilize me, permanently, Veronica is STILL on the pill. Apparently, when her hormones are left unregulated, she's less-than-pleasant to be around, and we're all better off with her on the pill.

Which really is why I wouldn't take a male birth control pill. It's for contraception only, while for women there are numerous secondary benefits. From Wikipedia:
The hormones in "the Pill" can be used to treat some medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, adenomyosis, anemia related to menstruation, and painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea). In addition, oral contraceptives are often prescribed as medication for mild or moderate acne.[91] The pill can also induce menstruation on a regular schedule for women bothered by irregular menstrual cycles and certain disorders where there is dysfunctional uterine bleeding. In addition, the Pill provides some protection against breast growth that are not cancer, ectopic pregnancy, and vaginal dryness, and painful intercourse related to menopause.
Okay guys, be honest, pretend the ladies aren't listening and tell me, would you take a birth control pill?

Ladies, would you trust your man? You're the one who would end up pregnant if he messed up.

Discussion in the Comments section, please!
Some of you might recognize me as the husband of Veronica, from Another Suburban Mom. In the interest of full disclosure, I have a rather naughty blog, Hubman's Hangout. I regularly write about sex, post nekkid pictures (of myself, Veronica, and others), write sex toy reviews and erotica, and can generally be offensive. So don't say I didn't warn you before you visit. Veronica can be naughty on occasion, especially for Half-Nekkid Thursdays, but she's generally safer to visit than I am.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Man Pill

As a woman, the idea of a male birth control pill sounds appealing. How nice would it be to dispense with the condoms, gels, diaphrams, etc. and their distracting shortcomings (and less than stellar prophylactic performance), as well as not have to deal with the hormonal effects of the pill/patch/shot/implant. How freeing it would be to hand over the daily necessity of taking a pill to my man. Let him deal with the hassle of going to the clinic every three months for his hormone shot. And best of all, sit back and watch him experience the emotional roller-coaster that is one of hormone therapy's several gifts. It would all be rather validating I think.


If my partner is on hormones, I may still have to deal with the fallout. What would I do if my guy burst into tears over being reminded (again) to put the seat down, or turned all moody and passive aggressive when my mother comes to town? And what if he forgets to take his pill or postpones that visit to the clinic for his shot? I'm not so sure I'm willing to give up control over my reproductive powers to a guy who can't even remember to put the toothpaste back in the medicine cabinet.

Maybe in 10 or 15 years, after the first wave of unofficial guinea pigs have tested it and the long term effects are known, I might change my mind. But by then I'll be out of my childbearing years anyway, so it won't matter.

For now, I'll be keeping my IUD, thank you very much.

Stupid Smart Girl

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Who Am I, Really?

Hi everyone - I've been a reader here at Venus and Mars for a while and now I'm finally taking the plunge.

Have you ever noticed that you are a different person depending on who you're with? My husband made this observation about me recently, and I am unsure what to think about it. I don't feel like I change who I am... but if I do act differently around diferent people, is that necessarily a bad thing? Does that mean I am disingenuous? That I'm a hypocrite? Is the goal in life to be the same person regardless of whose company I'm in?

He said he doesn't like the SSG who is her parents' daughter so much as he likes the SSG who is his wife. Who I am when I've spent time with my best girlfriend isn't his favorite either. So now I wonder... who am I when I am with them, versus who I am when I am with him? What qualities about me does he like, and which traits that are influenced by them does he dislike? It is interesting information, this observation of his... but it only adds to my self consciousness. Now when i'm with him I subconsciously try to be the person he wants and not the person he isn't so crazy about.

And I've just discovered something else that bothers me more than a little bit. I think I like the person I am when I'm with my favorite girlfriend more than the person I am when I am with my husband. What does that mean?

Maybe it only means that I think too much.

What do you think? Please, be gentle on my first day. :)

Stupid Smart Girl

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Group Therapy-Does weight effect a relationship?

Welcome to Group Therapy

Do you think the weight of your partner, gain weight or lose weight, effects the relationship. If so, how? Does it effect women or men more? What do you think?

Feel free to comment anonymously and comment on other peoples comments. It is okay to have a discussion! Follow comments if you want to know what everyone else is saying.

If you have any topics or questions for Wednesday Group Therapy send them in to

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Eating healthy when your partner doesn't want to...

I remember the reaction on my wife's face when I told her of my decision regarding the eating habits 7 years ago. Shock and surprise...maybe even amazement. After the shock wore off, she asked me the big question.

Why? I was what you would call a steak and potato man. Literally. I would eat a plate of a 16 oz steak with a heap of potatoes and still ask for more. What did it? I had read somewhere in Reader's Digest that it was not beneficial to eat red meat all the time and I was getting desperate about my ever-expanding waistline.

I despise the idea of diets because the people who went on diets had wildly varying degrees of success and failure. People would lose 5, 20, 100 lbs and gain some of the weight back or all of that weight loss...or even gain back more than was originally lost. She asked the next big question.

How? I had a radical thought - why not call it "lifestyle change" instead of "going on a diet"? To me, the "diet" phrase meant a temporary measure to lose weight...and maybe gain all that back or more. By calling it a lifestyle change, you are committing to making the way you eat as part of your life.

My wife was intrigued by that concept, BUT...

She felt that it was too much to ask of her to commit to this change and did not want to make that jump with me. I told her that I understood and hoped that she would make SMALL changes to help me ease into this radical idea. She asked what I meant about the small changes and I said "we eat food with low or no fat and drink skim milk".

She did make the small adjustments necessary to help me with the transition, but she didn't really commit to my concept until she saw that I had lost 20 pounds without ever visiting the gym and I kept that off for 1.5 years without any effort. No gym, no daily exercise regiment, nothing. I even found myself waking up with more energy than before.

There is that weird side effect of not eating meat anymore...I discovered that my body couldn't handle much of meat anymore...not even at 6 oz. The meat would sit heavily in my stomach for hours and I found out that by walking for 30+ minutes, that helped alleviate the unpleasant feeling. I even was surprised to learn that by drinking water on scheduled intervals, that had effectively put an end to my ice cube body used to CRAVE for water and I associated that craving with the need to eat ice cubes.

With all the profound changes that were making a visible and positive impact on me, my wife realized this would not only benefit her but our family as well if we all committed to this lifestyle change. Our girls do not consume soda beverages or junk food on a daily basis. They wake up full of energy...sometimes too early in the morning. Hehe.

Sometimes, it's a good idea to incorporate the small changes in how you eat and drink if you want to make a major lifestyle change. What do you think when you hear "lifestyle change" instead of "diet"?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weighty Issues

I am a short and stout woman married to a tall and skinny man. You'd think that was no big deal... but sometimes I think it's like being a Mormon married to a Jew... it can work out, but it takes some work!

Add to that these facts:
1 - I come from a family that struggles Greatly with weight... I won't blame it entirely on genes or bad metabolism (though I like to think that is a factor) because I'll be honest - I didn't learn good eating habits from a father who thought it was okay to serve dinner by having the kids parade by the stove and spear a hot dog or three with a fork. Seriously - he called it "meat on a stick" night... when money wasn't so tight we might get a pork chop thrown in the mix. (still speared on a fork - Dad was all about saving on labor by not dirtying any plates) Mom's meals were more "complete" as far as the food groups were concerned - and I know that she tried to force us to eat our veggies... (just ask my sister who I think is STILL sitting at the table because she won't try her spinach) but the words "portion" and "control" were never uttered in the same sentence.

2 - Man Of The House comes from a family that has no weight issues. Seriously - his mom had 11 children and in the photos of her holding new baby - she's still a size 2 or 4... granted, a size 2 or 4 with glasses of varying ugliness, but tiny nonethless. His sisters have followed in her footsteps and are all tiny things... I would hate them if they weren't so darn nice. Do they eat well??? Well, they eat their veggies - but as far as whole grains and sweets go - it's amazing to me that a family that keeps M&M's in their bedrooms for quick treats can look so amazing!

A few years ago I looked at myself and decided that my own eating patterns had to stop. On July 1st of that year I started to write down everything I ate and limited calories/fat/sodium/etc... to a reasonable level. This was a MAJOR struggle for me.

I've always been "small" - I mean, I'm only 4'11" so a few extra pounds show up pretty quickly - I wasn't looking to lose a LOT of weight - I was pretty sure I was only 10-15 pounds over... (more about THAT later)

At first I didn't tell anyone - it wasn't hard for breakfast or lunch because I was pretty much on my own for those meals. Nixing between-meal snacks was a killer - and dinner... well, I spent two months being pretty creative about replacing our pasta with whole grains - cooking with ground turkey instead of ground beef - and all those little changes.

I'm not sure which change Man Of The House noticed first - my waist line or the grocery bill (hey, eating healthy ain't cheap!) but I'd like to think it was my body... and from then on I involved him in my struggle. I don't know why I didn't do it before because it got SO much easier! He certainly didn't have any weight to lose - but when we made it about eating more healthful meals he jumped on that bandwagon!

Of course... he was a little upset when he found out I'd been substituting ground turkey for beef without telling him (trust me, nobody noticed the change - I started with using both meats, then went 100% turkey - adding a little beef bouillon powder for the flavor if needed).

Working together made it a lot easier.

But wait... this isn't about successes - entirely... because what I neglected to do once I lost (way more than 10) a whopping 35 pounds is remember to keep up the portion control. So I'm starting over - and the first thing I did this time was to recruit the man... he doesn't wonder at all when I get up first from the dinner table. He doesn't complain at all when he needs to put away the leftovers (because I REALLY don't have that willpower yet). The best thing ever - he actually goes out of his way to make sure that there's a well prepared vegetable on the table and while we're making the kids eat it - I eat it too... someday I may actually grow to like it???? (My sister however will never learn to like them, so please Mom - can she finally just go to bed???)

by T - and T stands for Turkey burgers :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mommy is the Master of the Bathroom!

I will not share a bathroom with my husband or his offspring.

At our house we have two bathrooms. A guest bathroom and the master bathroom.

Approximately 6 years ago, after living life as the only vah-jay-jay in a house full of penises for 10 years I decided it was time for segregation! (Rosa Parks can kiss my arse, I refuse to get my butt cheeks stuck to the toilet seat whether it's at the back of the bus or right up front!)

Case in point:
I remember watching my son spin in circles while he was relieving himself, spraying into the bathtub, trash can and all over the walls. When I screamed at him he looked at me like I had lost my mind! I went in to his dad to complain and sure enough, I was met with the same expression. This is where and when I drew the line in the sand.

Mommy is the master, therefore she gets the master bathroom. Anyone with a prostate will need to make their way down the hall to the guest bathroom.thank. you. very. much.

No more toilet seat hinges, caked with brown dried urine. No more falling into the toilet in the middle of the night. Gone was the visions of enormous poops left in the toilet or better yet, giant skid marks circling the bowl. (girls don't leave skid marks, right?)

I know you are wondering how I can get away with this. Well, it has been 6 years and I can honestly say, I have only peeked in that bathroom a handful of times since... (when company comes, I like to throw a gallon of bleach in and push it around with a stick). For all I know, there are piles of excrement on the floor. Don't worry, every week I send Duke in to clean it and I have decided if it is clean enough for him, then it is OK by me. What I don't know won't hurt me and the immunity the boys are developing from the filth is something scientists would pay big bucks to get their hands on.

My family doesn't have to deal with the "girly crap" all over the bathrooms either. I have an in-home salon that holds all of my "war paint" and hair doo-dads. My feminine supplies go in the trash can in MY bathroom and my toothbrush sits alone on the counter in MY bathroom.

I feel it is the least I deserve for putting up with all of the testosterone fueled looks of confusion on a daily basis ~wink~

I would love to hear what you have to say. I will do my best to answer each one of your comments, so talk to me people!


(Hiding from the Kids)

P.S. I love having boys and I love my husband with all my black heart.  I can't imagine life any other way. (I especially can't imagine life forced to sit in urine.)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sharing a bathroom, things that drive me nuts!

Do I like sharing a bathroom with my spouse? Seriously…? That’s like asking if I like getting kicked in the nuts? No…no I do not. If I had enough money to make it possible that my house had a he and a she bathroom – it would be done by now.

To set the stage, I live in a three-bedroom, one-bath house with my wife and our adoring, perfectly well-behaved devil children (ages 5 & 7). Our last house was a four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath house. Yeah…talk about a downgrade.

The kids sharing the bathroom – I can handle that. Worst part is cleaning my sons piss off the toilet seat cause he’s too lazy to lift 2 things before unleashing his stream. But the wifey....let me count the ways she drives me nuts….

1) The Bow-Tie Toothpaste
I’ll never for the life of me understand why she can’t push the toothpaste from the bottom? Why? Every morning and night, the toothpaste container looks like a bowtie – fat on both sides, tight in the middle.
2) Here’s your 1 inch of cabinet space honey!
We have a Walgreens in our freakin’ bathroom and it takes up every inch of shelf space but one. It’s so packed, that EVERY morning when I get my deodorant or hair gel out, I inevitably knock one of her products out by accident.
3) Loofahs loofahs everywhere a loofah!!!
I am convinced this woman has a loofah for every significant part of her body, as well as back-up loofahs in case one goes on the fritz or, God forbid, touch one of my bodyparts. If only she knew what I did with the loofahs when I take a shower.
4) Where in the name of hell is my freakin’ towel?!!

This one really makes me batty. My lovely and talented bride goes to the linen closet, gets herself a fresh towel, takes a shower, gets out of the shower and wraps her gorgeous body with said towel. But she doesn’t stop there cause her flowing hair is wet. So she grabs MY freakin’ towel to dry it off with and never replaces it. So to recap…goes to linen closet – gets 1 towel, not 2 – uses mine for her beautiful hair – doesn’t replace it. Leaving me, hours later, naked and soaking wet to hunt for a new towel.
5) Replace the toilet paper roll? Why…you always do it..
That must be what goes through her mind because I can’t figure out any other reason. But it never fails….the few times I don’t look before sitting, I usually end up stranded and screaming for one of the kids to come hook a brother up.

So I guess five….five things drive me nuts about sharing a bathroom with the wifey. There’s no lacey panties laying around. Hand written notes to me saying how much she wishes she could take a shower with me. No sexy messages written on the fogged-up mirror. None of that. Just five…wonderful….amazing bathroom gifts that make me love her more and more every day.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Group Therapy-Religion, My husband, My son

Welcome to Group Therapy:

"My husband and I when we got married were the same religion, we both believed in God and we both were, I thought, devout in our religion. About 9 years ago my husband decided that he didn't believe in God shortly after we lost our first child. We were lucky enough to have our first son join our family a year after my first son's death. Although my husband had decided that God no longer existed or that he wasn't sure he existed, he still allows me to take my son to church. Coming up this year is a very special year in my church for my son he can be baptized, however, my husband is now telling me that he believes my son is not old enough to make an important decision such as this one and that he will not allow it until my son is an adult, which means 18.

I'm devastated and hurt and I feel a little betrayed. My religion is everything to me, my son has been allowed to be a part of that and I believe that what he receives with his baptism is important enough to help him through life. I know he will be fine. I know God understands, but it is more me and how I feel that my husband isn't holding up to his commitment with me when he told me that I could raise my child in the church regardless of how he feels about God. He says he is still holding up to his end of the bargain because he allows me to take him to church and he allows my son to be involved in all church activities. He just won't allow him to be baptized and without his permission my church feels it is best to have both parents give their blessing if living under the same roof.

I guess I'm asking your readers what they would do in my situation? Am I being over dramatic? Or am I validated in what I am feeling? Has anybody been in my situation? Any and all advice is appreciated.


***If you have any questions or problems that you would like to have addressed in Group Therapy please email me at blokthoughts@gmail dot com or realworldvenusmars @ gmail dot com.

Leave your advice in the comments, comment on other comments, and feel free to comment Anonymously.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Top 5 Ways my Hubby/High School Sweetheart makes my Life Easier

First, I’d like to admit that there are definitely more than 5 ways my life is made easier by my hubby, but these are the top ones that come to mind.
* He is an amazing stay-at-home dad to our two girls (ages 6 and 9) and he supports me in my career. I am able to go to work and know that the kids are well taken care of. This allows me to focus on my job while I’m there.
* He encourages me to write and has more confidence in me than I have in myself sometimes. (Although, he doesn’t quite get this blogging thing yet.)
* He makes amazing meals for the girls and I so that we don’t starve or eat burnt food all the time. (We met in a cooking class and I burnt the food. There hasn’t been a very high expectation of my cooking skills since. My kids even prefer that I don’t cook. Sad, but true.)
* He remembers to remind me that I need to take time for myself and not take on so many projects – sometimes I even listen…sometimes.
* He balances out my extreme optimism and brings me back to reality when I need it.
Thank you, Hubby!

How about you? How does your spouse/partner make your life easier?

I also write over at Domestically Disabled . Feel free to stop by.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Me Tarzan!

On behalf of Team Mars, I have a confession to make . . .

Men are babies.

We put on a good show most of the time. We puff out our chests and beat them like Tarzan, swinging on our ropes from tree to tree. We bear our teeth in the face of danger and roar all macho-like when we emerge victorious against some treacherous and snarling adversary.

Then we head back to the tree house and snuggle with Jane.

It's been over twenty years that my wife and I have been together, and it never fails to amaze me that she's still there waiting for me when I swing back around. Not just waiting, but also willing to engage. To ask me how things are going in my neck of the jungle. And to provide, in the midst of my constantly-turbulent surroundings, a setting that is familiar, stable, and welcoming.

She makes my life easier in some profound ways . . .

1) She remembers the cream. It's a subliminal thing, for I never put it on the list. She just seems to know when I'm running low on my International Delight Fat Free French Vanilla Coffee Creamer. It finds its way into her shopping cart, rides along in the back of the van, and there it is in the refrigerator door when I need it. And I need it, people. Coffee sucks without it . . .

2) She does my laundry. Back in college, she let me do it. And it all went in one load: dirty socks and underwear; jeans and sweat pants so filthy they could stand up on their own (or so my mom used to claim, though I've never actually witnessed such a thing); that itchy purple sweater I got from some well-meaning relative upon completing four years of high school; and my tennis shoes with Minnesota topsoil ground into the grooves. People knew when I washed clothes. Somewhere along the line, she recognized my ineptitude and took over. Now, my loincloth smells like a mountain breeze . . .

3) She is predictable. By and large, she's Grey's Anatomy, WWII historical fiction, anything smothered in barbecue sauce, Pepsi, and chocolate. Never dark. She does surprise me occasionally. Linger on something curious and new that causes a lifting of the eyebrows and a "Hmm. Really?" But after all these years, I find these to be only slight variations on familiar themes. I rest easier at night knowing that curve balls will be few and far between.

4) She doesn't nag. She could. Some say she should. And sometimes I wish she would. But for the most part, she lets me be me. When the decisions aren't of the monumental sort, she lets me swing away. Occasionally, she'll offer a simple "Is that really what you want to do?" And after all my muttering and justifying, she'll let me take my cut and deal with the consequences. The best part? If I go down swinging, she doesn't lay on the "I told you so!" Instead, she holds my hand and reminds me that I am more than the sum of my poor performances.

5) She listens. Regardless of the topic - and trust me, it can run the gamut from petty to poignant - she lends an attentive ear. She lets me reason things through by talking them out and providing her perspective for consideration. We don't always agree, but we come out with a stronger understanding of both the depths and the varieties of our unique points of view. In a world that seldom takes the time to hear and consider what I have to say, she is my faithful sounding board, my harshest critic, and my most passionate companion.

Yep. I'm a baby. But I'm man enough to admit it. And more than willing to confess that I'd be lost without my spouse. I'd be an unheard, beaten down, constantly confused dude sporting dirty knickers and drinking crappy coffee. And that would just be gross . . .

So let's hear it, Team Mars! How does your spouse keep your corner of the jungle running smoothly? And Team Venus? We love you. We'd suck without you. We thank you . . .

Brian (who blogs here)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday for you?

Did you get up Early for Black Friday???

See ya next week and back to our regularly scheduled posts! :)

Hope you had a good holiday or break! Have a relaxing weekend! :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Things you can say on Thanksgiving...

Naughty Things You Can Only Say On Thanksgiving......

1. Talk about a huge breast!
2. Tying the legs together keeps the inside moist.
3. It's Cool Whip time!
4. If I don't undo my pants, I'll burst!
5. That's one terrific spread!
6. I'm in the mood for a little dark meat.
7. Are you ready for seconds yet?
8. Its a little dry, do you still want to eat it?
9. Just wait your turn, you'll get some!!!
10. Don't play with your meat.
11. Just spread the legs open & stuff it in.
12. Do you think you'll be able to handle all these people at once?
13. I didn't expect everyone to come at once!
14. You still have a little bit on your chin.
15. How long will it take after you stick it in?
16. You'll know it's ready when it pops up.
17. Wow, I didn't think I could handle all of that!

If that isn't funny I don't know WHAT is! :) hehehe

Can anybody else add to this list?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey's lay eggs :)

Happy Thanksgiving EVE for fellow Americans!

For the rest of the week we will just have Jokes or Thanksgiving stories! Hope you enjoy!


Last year at Thanksgiving, my mom went to my sister's house for the traditional feast. Knowing how gullible my sister is, my mom decided to play a trick. She told my sister that she needed something from the store.

When my sister left, my mom took the turkey out of the oven, removed the stuffing, stuffed a Cornish hen, and inserted it into the turkey, and re-stuffed the turkey. She then placed the bird(s) back in the oven.

When it was time for dinner, my sister pulled the turkey out of the oven and proceeded to remove the stuffing. When her serving spoon hit something, she reached in and pulled out the little bird.

With a look of total shock on her face, my mother exclaimed, "Patricia, you've cooked a pregnant bird!"

At the reality of this horrifying news, my sister started to cry. It took the family two hours to convince her that turkeys lay eggs!

Any good pranks you guys have done on Thanksgiving???

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Splitting the Holidays-Venus' View

Before a woman gets engaged or married she often fantasizes about her future with her beloved. She may dream about the wedding day, the honeymoon, the birth of their children, and then being very old and walking through the park holding hands with her beloved.

I am willing to bet that none of us fantasized about sitting at the kitchen table going, "No honey, its fine if we spend ANOTHER Thanksgiving with your mother."

Thanksgiving is really the big social holiday on the calendar. The original inception of Thanksgiving was as a big dinner party, as opposed to Christmas, which has really been a smaller gathering since its inception over 2000 years ago.

Hubman and I have never really bickered about where to spend the holidays. When we were first married I worked retail, so the fact I had to be at work the day before and after Thanksgiving and the day before and after Christmas dictated that we would spend the holidays with his parents as they lived about 2 1/2 hours away, as opposed to my parents, who lived five hours away.

Once the kids became old enough to appreciate Santa, we determined that Thanksgiving would be our flexible holiday, while we stayed home on Christmas. We are also lucky that our families get along well and truly enjoy each other's company.

However, I often hear horror stories involving hurt feelings, fights or people going to five houses in one day in order to satisfy everyone, when in truth all you get is exhaustion with wired, sugared up, mildly nauseated children.

I find that the modern family in all of its permutations makes the holiday's even more difficult. With divorces and remarriages and the accompanying siblings and step and half siblings, it is not uncommon to have a minimum of four different family members to spend each holiday with. This is the case for us as well. Thankfully Hubman's Dad's girlfriend hates hosting, and I do not speak to my father, or we would be negotiating four or five locations instead of two or three.

Hubman and I are fortunate to not live right near our relatives since this keeps us from getting sucked into the holiday madness.

I think the smartest thing to do is sit down with everyone involved and schedule the holidays. Put everyone on a rotation and stick with it. Or decide that you will travel for Thanksgiving, and host people for Christmas Eve, but Christmas Day is a home day for all involved. If you have parents that had a nasty divorce invite one parent for one holiday with the in-laws and the other parents with the other in-laws the next year.

Without even dealing with logistics and hurt feelings of the relatives there is also navigating the preference of each member of the family. From stuffing choices, to pie selection to obnoxious Uncle Fred and his farting and annoying politics, the Thanksgiving holiday can be fraught with annoyances for everyone.

For the third year in a row, we are traveling to New York to spend Thanksgiving with my mom's family. (Hubman's mom is a 10 hour drive, so we are not going there-literally) While Hubman loves my mom and stepdad, Thanksgiving is a bit much for him, as he deals with the primary stress of the drive down. Another stressor is that my mom crams close to 30 large and loud people into a space meant for about 15. Combine those issues with the fact that my sister does not seem to discipline her kids and no one can remember exactly what Hubman does for a living, Thanksgiving can be a bit of a trial for him.

However, he knows how much I miss my mom, and how I crave the occasional loud family gathering with way, way too much food and he humors me because he loves me so much.

Personally, what I find more challenging than dealing with the logistics of where to spend the holidays is trying to pace the Christmas shopping so each parent feels that they are being treated equally, especially in the matter of gifts from the Grandchildren. But that is another post for another day.

So what is your experience with the Holiday's? Are you on a simple schedule or is it a time of year fraught with hurt feelings and stress? What is the one thing about your holiday plans or traditions that you would change.
Big thanks to Shelle from Blok Thoughts for letting me join the group. Some of you might recognize me as Veronica, wife of Hubman, from Hubman's Hangout. In the interest of full disclosure, Hubman has a rather naughty blog. On my blog, Another Suburban Mom I can guarantee naughtiness on Thursday since I regularly participate in Half Nekkid Thursday, and on the 15th of the month when I write erotica. However, with the exception of Friday's which is when I post recipes, I cannot promise that I might not be naughty on a random Tuesday or Monday. So enter at your own risk.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Splitting the Holiday

Got lots o' Turkey on Tap— want some…

For the past few years, my wife and I have been hosting two Thanksgivings— one on Sunday for the kids, and one on the day for family and other friends. One would think that because we host two Thanksgiving dinners, we would be stretched thin— but we seem to have this down to a science.

My wife and her family are pretty used to sharing the holidays. After their divorce, the children typically switched between their father and mother's houses for each of the major holidays— Thanksgiving at one, then Christmas at the other. This persisted for many years even after I met my wife. After we got married and the children moved out of the house we started to host two Thanksgivings and held a Christmas brunch for everybody.

I think that one quality that my wife and I both share is we are very accommodating. We try to consider everybody— especially my wife's children and their families. Unfortunately, something has to give and that something is my parents. We do try making it up to them by having them on Thanksgiving day rather than the Sunday before. Besides, the immediate family is getting larger and we only have so much room at the table.

We like to get two turkeys, but not at the same time. Note to self… do not order a fresh turkey to be delivered on Sunday. Two years ago I was outside the butcher's (cell phone in hand) trying to get a hold of the butcher who wasn't there on a Sunday to pick up the Turkey for that day. We scrambled and got a turkey from the grocery store for that Sunday's dinner instead.

Considering that we like to go to church on Sunday one would think this would put a dent into the amount of time spent prepping for dinner. Fortunately, we now have help in the form of our Grandson who likes to peel potatoes, arrange the crudité platter, and set the table…

My grandson peeling potatoes

Depending on when guests arrive we either put the turkey in the oven before we go to church, or immediately after we get back. Call my wife Martha if you like, but she always tries to have some sort of theme when we give a meal— and last year was no exception. We got some wood trivets from our Rummage Sale and incorporated them along with our many squirrels into a "Fall and Squirrel Theme".

Sunday's Spread (Fall and Squirrel Theme)

I know my wife and I both love to entertain— so we don't like things to be too similar especially for a similar event. On Thursday, because we wanted to be different— as well as use the China my wife inherited from her mother, we set the table differently. We tried to be more formal, but still wanted a fall feel. Last year we got extra help from our nephew who stayed overnight to help make two pies, stuff the bird, peel the potatoes, cut and arrange the crudité platter, and help set the table.

Thursday's Spread

This year we told our children to contribute with a dish for the Sunday meal so that we do not have to do everything ourselves. We still make the turkey, but this will allow the children to get in on the fun. Perhaps the day will come when my wife and I will be asked to attend one of the children's Thanksgivings— but that day hasn't happened yet. Our Thanksgiving day will be mixed it up a bit because my Brother In Law and his son are both vegetarians so perhaps we'll make the rolls in the shape of turkeys— but we will still make a turkey breast for the carnivores in the group. Now… time to get working on those leftovers.

What about you… do you split the holidays between family? Are you the one who does all the preparations, or is that left to one of your parent's homes? Do you ever find yourself attending more than one Thanksgiving meal, or is there one giant meal for everybody?


Friday, November 20, 2009

My Insane Sanity - Traveling Spouse

I or My partner travels all.the.time.
It is hard/good on our relationship because...

Hi, My name is Jules and my husband is gone all the time.

(say it with me) "hi, Jules".

Let me start by saying that my spouse is rarely further than 30-45 minutes from our house while he is traveling, and most nights he is home. That said. He i
s rarely home from the end of February until the end of November. I spend those months acting more like a single parent then not.

Now again - let me step back - as I know my hubby will be reading this too. Let me state, he is gone because he is working. He is not out with the guys. He is not 'doing his own thing, he is working. (well except in November for hunting season) He works a full time job (teaching) and then goes from work to do more work. He is busy running our business selling/ installing / removing/ repairing docks and boat lifts. He works therefore he is gone.

Alright - all bases covered? - moving on.

The question is - is it hard or good on our relationship.


(yes, I am delaying here. Stalling if you will)

insert pic from here
more stall time.

What to say? It is hard on our relationship in ways. But it is necessary. It is a lot less trying on our relationship then not being able to pay our bills would be. It is less difficult then issues other couples face in their relationships.
But, it is hard none the less, and although I like my space, and hate to feel like my every move is being watched and analyzed, there is a limit to the amount of time I want to be alone.

::The hardest part of it for my husband (I believe) is that when he is home he can not relax. The little bit of time he is here he notices what is not getting done around the house that needs doing. Like now - winterizing the summer equipment and getting the winter stuff out and ready is a task being neglected. So there is no down time. If there is down time it is done with frustration - frustration in wanting to just relax, yet not fully relaxing because all the stuff that needs to be done is on his mind. This makes it hard for him to be home.

::For me the hardest part is - well - being alone all the time. It is hard being the parent around, when
the other isn't. A lot of our parenting decisions have to be made with him on the phone - when I can reach him. (That is the other part. I can't reach him most of the day because he is in class. At night he doesn't have his phone on him because he is in a lake) The 1/2 hour we see him in the morning and the hour I see him at night ends up being a debriefing and briefing of the day and next day. Not much quality time in that.

::Then there is another problem. When he is finally around - say for a weekend or even a night. Or now, as the dock season is finishing and hunting is ending. I find his presence larger then it really is. He doesn't quite fit in the groove of what we are doing. He is unsure of the situation and what has been discussed before. He is unclear on why I lost it at that li
ttle issue, because he doesn't know it is a part of a whole big issue we have been dealing with. He has no idea what goes into getting them ready for school the next day or out the door in the morning. When he first starts being in the house more I find myself jumping when he walks around the corner - or that he is in the way in the kitchen. There is an adjustment period. A period where I am maybe even a little cold toward him. I try not to be (honey, I am sorry for this part of the process).

::Yet, it all goes back to money. I am blessed to be able to stay home with our children. He works and then works some more and then takes on another summer job (at a juvenile detention center as a teacher) so I can do this, for me, for our kids. (were those commas misplace?) So, when we get our $1112 house insurance bill or our $950 house tax bill in the mail it does not send us into a tizzy. When these
bills land in the mailbox at the same time as the tabs and insurance for the vehicles it does not send us begging to our parents - it comes out of the business account. When we can't take it anymore and we have to get out of dodge for a vacation we can. We use the extra cash from installing docks and we drive for a week or so. It affords us our cell phones and our internet. It pays the extras that we can't afford otherwise, and some of the necessities. So, while work = him being gone, it also = us being able to live.

::I used to cry when he would be gone a long time or when he was leaving. I would throw a fit at the fact that I was home sla
ving away and he was off driving around from lake to lake or at work chatting with adults and so forth. But, I came to realize that we both are sacrificing for our family - that is what parent's do. That is what we do. That is how it works around here. Now I walk him to his truck, kiss him, tell him I love him, and that I appreciate what he is doing for our family, and try to send him away on a good note. Because I have come to realize that he is making the ultimate sacrifice for us - his family. He is not having fun being away, he is not enjoying himself. He is working.

::However, if and when he retires he may die an early death at my hands ....
after all I have gotten used to him being gone (
Start thinking of a hobby now dear). It has become part of my insane sanity now ;)

You can read more of Jules' wit, wisdom, and incoherent babble here:
Just Jules

p.s. I just read Sage's perspective after my final proof read.
I want to state I wrote this whole post before reading his.
I say that because they echo each other a lot.
Scary.... be very very scared... I am

(p.s.s. I am not Sage's wife in disguise - promise - I can't be because I don't know how to talk Redneck, I have never eaten anything 'collard', I have never traveled further South than Iowa, I don't like biscuits nor do I know how to make them, I have all my teeth, and none of my relatives are married to each other.)