Monday, December 27, 2010

Romance Can Last

My husband and I will be celebrating our 33rd anniversary in just a few days and we've both been sneaking around. One of my girlfriends has been really "hinting" in non hinty ways all about what he's been doing. Actually she's just enjoying the fact that she knows what he's up to and I do NOT. When I was younger I would have pumped her for information, but today I'm looking forward to his surprise. I am working on his. I have one gift wrapped, his card made and am looking for more goodies to surprise him with.

After 33 years I can tell you that romance is alive and well and living in our hearts and in our home. My husband is so far ahead of me on the romance scale. IF we were keeping a list and competing he's have won long ago. I can also tell you we've had to work hard at our marriage. Marrying is like blending two colors of paint, but there is always someone who doesn't like the idea of two being one and will put himself in the way of success. Should a couple divorce the colors are somewhat blended so no one goes away without a part of the other person rooted in his/her soul. Comparisons will always be made and memories will be in the background influencing every action.

I love scrapbooking and my husband knows it. He visits a huge scrapbook store every time he goes on a mission trip. He has lists he fills and then brings to me. He also visits a particular tourist trap during his trips. He looks for gifts for me all the time. We aren't materially motivated people, but the little gifts we get for one another are just reflections of our love for one another. I on the other hand am always listening to hubby for tools he needs and wants. He has difficulty buying tools for himself, but I do NOT. I love thinking back to the first time we had a nice chunk of change in the bank. I went crazy buying him Craftsman tools and hiding them at a friend's house. I still remember the look on my husband's face as he saw all the huge power tools wrapped in paper with big huge bows on them. He was flabbergasted as he opened each one. My friends delighted in watching him as well. It was a great time for all.

We have a farm and each of us will take turns doing the early morning chores. There are days when I just don't want to move and he does it. There are days I can tell he needs to sleep in and I will get up and brave the cold to feed our animals and release the chickens to peck their happy way through the day.

Love isn't all about sex, though sex is a part of married love. Sex becomes less and less a part of life in older people's life. If it holds too big a place problems can develop. The human body changes and has times of weakness. Having unreal expectations about a partner can cause imbalance. Dealing with unreal appetites is also a part of marriage. Open communication is work. Transparency is a must for a long lived marriage. It is NOT impossible to be open and transparent, but it requires sacrifice of self. Marriage requires sacrifice of self. Hubby and I are blessed to have come to a place where we decided to work for the team of our marriage rather than fight for individual wants. We are a team and we are team players. Romance in marriage is about being for the team. Sometimes you're a player and sometimes you're a cheer leader, last of all sometimes you need a referee and sometimes you need a coach. Being open to that is a biggie.

I find it funny that I am using sports analogies as we aren't big sports people. I just realized that it applies in understanding marriage. Our team colors are yellow and red! How funny. I never realized we had "colors" until this moment. Hubby loves yellow so I use it in decor and when I want to demonstrate my love of him. I love red and hubby uses it to do the same for me. Our team motto, "Love never fails".

Romance is alive and well, but it takes work on BOTH sides of the cake. One can never make demands of the other partner, but must be willing to give 100% knowing that whatever is given will be received.

I'm looking forward to another few decades with my husband. He's my own personal man and I love him deeply. I need him and he needs me. We make an unbeatable team. We only play against the one who would try to separate us. We have God as our referee and coach and our "Ketubah" is the entire bible. We work for each other and look for opportunities to go the extra yard.

It's amazing how quickly 33 years have passed, it only seems like yesterday I say my man for the first time. I know when I see his silver hair that time has passed. I'm thrilled to see what's ahead.

Come grow old with me, the best is yet to be.

Happy 33rd Anniversary babe.

Love ya,


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Girl Fun

Last night was a lot of fun. We had standing room only and the store was humming with activity. Our guest speaker had to beg absense as she had a band concert rehersal she had forgotten. We were sad she missed out, but we carried on and had a fairly fun time of it.

I made gingerbread cookies and a gingerbread house as a door prize. Ann C took the cookie house home and each gal took a cookie home as my gift. We aren't allowed to have refreshments, but I wrapped the cookies and notified management that they were "gifts"!

The girls each made at least two art trading cards. I know it's hard to be creative on demand, but with a little encouragement they all made tiny reflections of their individual artsy selves on a card. The real fun came when they traded their cards.

Melinda B won the stamp and Debi S won the gift tags. Ammie brought her "Embellish Your Story" goodies and we each bought from her after the meeting. We missed several gals due to conflicting schedules and hope to see them next month.

We discussed January's tentative meeting subject (digital scrapbooking) and our guest speaker. I stayed after with one of the gals and had a nice warm Chai at the Barnes & Noble cafe. Great evening!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Duck Dodging

The air was brisk this morning, but nothing compared to the past few days. My routine is pretty much set in cement or should I say caliche being that I live in West Texas. I've been doing this for over two years now and I've become almost nonchalant about it. In the beginning, the naying of the goats, the quacking of the ducks, the crowing of the roosters made me panicky and I'd rush through it all. Of course in the beginning we had baby goats, bottle fed goats and their pleas would drive me to distraction. Now they all can scream and I'm OK with it. Those bottle fed goats are big burly guys who want to play rough with me. I now also carry a broom handle or pinata bat when I go out to the field with them. (For those of you who read that last sentence and are wondering, remember I live in West Texas and pinata bats are real things. No they aren't mammalian, but simply a carved and colorfully painted bat used to break pinatas or bean goats who want to jump on you.)

Buddy and Pal are now adult male goats. Their mama's owner needed goats milk for her show lambs and I ignorantly and I must admit stupidly volunteered to take ONE baby goat and bottle feed it. Of course when the blessed event happened there were two goats and the other taker backed out. So I figured (again ignorantly and stupidly) two goats would be as easy as one. I'm going to be up anyway feeding one. What I didn't know was that Buddy would be easy as pie and Pal had a weak constitution and everything but goat's milk would go straight through him. I won't even divulge the amount of money spent keeping him alive. But he's a lover and well worth the expense. I had NO idea how expensive animal rearing or garden keeping was back in the beginning. I now have a clue.

This morning I did my rounds and then talked to my ducks "Beaker and Squeaker". They let me know they were ready for fresh water in their pool. So I obliged my two Blue Swedish ducks and filled their pool. I sat on one of our heavy aluminum chairs as they discovered just what I was up to. First they sipped the water in the pool. Next they dunked their heads as if to see what was in the bottom. (Like it's changed since the first time I ever filled their pool.) Beaker is the alpha male of the two. He made his inspection and then climbed the cinder block to get into the pool. He swam a couple of laps and then watched as Squeaker dunked his head in the waterfall flowing from the pool. They love to do some sort of sand filtering routine when I fill their pools. It's weird, but knowing that chickens have crops full of grit in order to digest their hard cracked corn, I figure ducks must need sand. After a little sifting Squeaker made his way into the pool. He too did a few laps and then the preening routine began. They dunk under the water with a sort of wave motion. Then they swim laps really fast. They alternately dunk under and swim laps as fast as they can. This rounding motion causes a whirlpool and water goes everywhere. When through they do a tandem sort of bugling and squeak noise, throwing their heads back and then they quack, quack, quack. I know they are happy, but what they are saying only duck whispers know. The watery mess quickly spread onto the ground and approached where I was sitting some three feet away. It was time to turn the water off and return to my other duties. It's fun to watch their ritual, but life does go on and it was time to dodge the happy ducks.

I also love my chickens. I did what my sister lovingly refers to as the "Elmira mommy" thing with two hens this morning. I grabbed for one (I think it was Bingo; an Auracauna) to cuddle her. She was so freaked out she ran circles around the chicken house. There were only two hens in the house and I had shut the door so she had nowhere to go. She's on the end of her molting stage so she isn't flying too well these days. I eventually caught her and she flailed while I calmed her. I don't consider myself a chicken whisperer, but that didn't stop me from whispering in her ear, "It's OK baby". I cuddled and talked to her for a while and then eyed "Chicklet" on the shower curtain rod. We have shower curtains to divide the chicken area from the water well pump area. The chickens have claimed the rod as a roosting post. She has been "Elmira Mommied" many times before so she knew what was coming. I still had to grab her legs to get her and prevent her from flying into a wall and hurting herself. She screamed bloody murder, but it did her no good. I held her anyway. After I got my "chicken fix" I went in and here I am. I just love the peaceful nature of living in the country. Actually I only live ten miles from town in a smaller town, but it feels wayyyyy more country-esk than anywhere I lived in California.

I'd like to think of our life here as "Green Acres 101". I don't know much about farming, but what I do know I put to use. I actually have 42 pets that we feed. We've actually eaten two of our hens and umpteen eggs from our chickens. We plan on butchering "Lunch" and "Dinner" this month. It isn't easy to butcher animals you've loved and fed, but it's a sin to me to not eat what you've butchered so I'm forcing myself to get past it all.

I don't get to be farmer gal nearly as often as I'd like. Hubby is forced to take up my slack when I'm too busy with the financial end of living or some other endeavor. We're a team and we tag team whenever we must. That's what I like about being married to my best friend. When I'm too busy he dodges the ducks for me. I'll have to post the video of them trying to get him. It's a hilarious game they play with him. Love me some ducks. Next year we hope to find a couple she ducks for our boys. They are desperate for duck women. If anyone knows of a good duck dating service, please let me know. I am not opposed to mail order duck brides.