Thrifty Thursday: Do Him Good…

Relax…no, you have not stumbled onto one of my Freaky Friday posts about kinky sex (that is tomorrow). This refers to a passage in Proverbs 31 that we looked at a couple of weeks ago as an example of the Perfect Woman…wife, 50s homemaker and submissive. This one is so important that it makes the top of the list…that should tell you something.

10 How hard it is to find a capable wife! She is worth far more than jewels! 11 Her husband puts his confidence in her, and he will never be poor. 12 As long as she lives, she does him good and never harm. (Good News)

I like the way that The Living Bible translates this one even better…

11 Her husband can trust her, and she will richly satisfy his needs. 12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life.

But the Expanded version goes even further by looking at not just various English and Latin versions of the bible but the original Hebrew as well…

11 Her husband ·trusts her completely [entrusts his heart to her]. With her, he ·has everything he needs [L lacks no plunder; C a military image].

12 She ·does [brings] him good and not ·harm [trouble; evil] for as long as she lives [L all the days of her life].

I’ll be honest…my kinky mind would go to town on verse 11. Richly satisfies his needs…has everything he needs… This is not a man who is having to get him some on the side to be ‘satisfied.’ But sometimes less is more…so I just challenge you to think about that one if it applies to you.

What I do want to focus upon is verse 12…does him good and not harm. We are not talking Lizzie Borden and hatchets here either. I am afraid women have a far more dangerous weapon in their arsenals.

Our tongues!

And these days social media too. I always hate seeing public arguments on Facebook. He said, she says.

That’s right I am talking about not airing your dirty laundry to everyone. Because here is a secret…your friends and family will remember that shit long after you have forgiven and forgotten it. After all…they probably only got your side of it to begin with.

I get it though…like I said…women need to talk. It is how we think…outloud and by consensus. The thing is…WHO you talk to is important.

And it certainly does not need to be everyone you both know. His friends and family are off limits. Be weary of who among your friends too. Do they share the same values/beliefs as you do? (i.e. 50s lifestyle/traditional ones) If not then they are not likely to ‘get’ your situation.

I am lucky to have a couple of those types of friends…who know the most important thing of all…how to keep their mouths shut. We deal with our shit amongst ourselves and we keep it there. No spreading gossip, no talking behind one another’s back. We lean on one another in the best way and keep confidences. That is true friendship. And it has saved my bacon a couple of times…theirs too.

The truth is that all men are going to fuck up sometimes…so do you. But when he does it is not in anyone’s best interest to throw the dirt all over the place. Find that one or two trustworthy confidants and seek wise counsel. You will be glad you did when things blow over. And so will he…if he can entrust his heart to you.

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REAL Woman Wednesday: Fitness 50s Style Pt. 2

A couple of weeks ago when I launched my new blog, I began a series on how those REAL working class 50s homemakers that I grew up with managed to avoid things like morbid obesity that plague our post-modern lives. We began with how little things like walking could make such a difference. Today I want to look at the way that fast food and processed or ready meals have truly ‘Super-sized’ us.

Growing up in the 70s, we had most of the same fast food vices that are available today…McDonalds, Burger King, KFC when it still had a Colonel and was Kentucky Fried Chicken and Long John Silvers for fish. The thing was those were rare treats. By rare I mean once a month on payday. I do not remember ever having a single happy meal as a child.

Today whole families live on nothing but. In London the worst was the corner chicken and chips shop. You could get a box with two pieces of chicken or six wings and filled to the brim with greasy chips/french fries for two pounds. that would feed two or sometimes three small children so for five pounds a single mother could feed her whole brood. And clog their arteries.

I am not judging her because I remember every Tuesday night when the older kids were teens. I was a single working mother with four teenagers and a toddler. Del Taco ran a special on Tuesdays…3 tacos for $1. I could feed the whole family for $10. And I did.

What had begun in my childhood as a monthly treat had become for my kids a weekly ritual. And during one really stressful time an almost nightly one because I was simply too tired to cook. Oh, I tried. By batch cooking on the weekends and even having them all take turns cooking. But fast food had just become so convenient and cheap that it was almost too tempting.

And there was always that magic question…’Super-size it?’ With three growing teen boys who always seemed to be starving what was an extra fifty-cents? Of course, there had been no super-size when I was growing up. Yet we managed to fill our stomachs on just plain old regular size fries.

There was something else too that had not existed when I grew up. It was called…all-you-can-eat buffets. They are temptation itself. When the older kids were really little there was a Mexican restaurant called Panchos. It was an all-you-can-eat buffet and kids under 5 ate for free. For a while we could all go there for less than $10. It became a rite of passage when you went from the small green ‘free’ plates to the red ones that cost $1.99 (those were for children under 12).

So while those 50s families might have had greasy spoon diners and drive-ins, they simply did not face this level of temptation. Those were occasional treats…like an ice cream Sundae on Friday night. While fast food was being born, it was in its infancy and certainly not on every corner in town.

Something else that was not readily available was the TV dinner…ready meals…processed/pre-prepared food. Those too were new…and even more unpalatable than the ones we have today. I remember in those final days when it was just me and Nanny. Her arthritis was getting worse and it made lifting heavy iron skillets or boiling pots too much. We had those old fashioned TV dinners in the foil pans a couple of nights a week. The potatoes would still be frozen in the middle while the meat and veg were overcooked and dried out.

Today microwaves do make those things moderately more edible. And yes you can get ‘healthier’ options. Stores like Iceland in the UK make it affordable too…with a family sized lasagna for half the price that it would cost me to make it from scratch…and no prep time. Thing is…you have no control over what goes in it. As the scandal a couple of years ago over horse meat in ready meals demonstrates. (Funny thing was it was the posh meals and not the value ones from Iceland…go figure.)

Today it is just too easy and tempting after a long day of work or chasing the kids, school runs and soccer practice to use the drive-thru or just pop something pre-cooked into the microwave.

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Batched cooked lasagna and spinach-cheese shells…home cooked from my heart with love.

But there is a whole lot to be said for fresh ingredients that you cook yourself. It gives you the opportunity to reduce salts, hidden sugars and preservatives that are common in those ready meals. It may take a bit more of your time but batch cooking or even purchasing pre-sliced vegetables can make it more feasible.

Like I said on Mommy Monday, there is something to be said for sitting down as a family around the dinner table to good conversation and freshly prepared food made with love. I do believe it was one of the biggest things that kept those families healthier and happier. I hope you will give it a try this week with yours…we are.

Teaser Tuesday: They’re Back…

Just what you have all been waiting for. My goal is to finish and post before we head back to London later this week. Fingers crossed for early next week?


Bjorn Windswept“Go ahead and finish stripping her without me. I am just going to have a look in the toy box and see if the Old Man left anything good in there,” Bjorn teased them.

“Surprisingly, I had very little I needed to restock before making this trip,” Mikael replied.

Bjorn’s surprise must have registered on his face, because his brother paused as he pulled the caftan style dress off over Kirsty’s head, “What did you think I would forget the important shit? Even in the rush? The gag ball is on top in the corner.”

His brother’s hand came down hard on her outer thigh and their wife jumped, letting out a high keening squeal. “I’m going to make damned sure we need it this time.”

He shook his head as he turned back to the chest that sat at the foot of the bed. He smiled as he remembered how she had greeted him that first night…totally naked and with every toy in the box laid out for his use.

Did she realize how hard it had been to restrain his urges then? But he had needed so much more from her than she was willing to give then. He was glad that he had had the will power and wisdom to choose the other path. To win her trust and her love before he took her body.

He knew that she loved his brothers, though he was still not completely comfortable with why or how she could Sven. But he knew too that the bonds of friendship that they had begun to forge that night in this cabin were what had carried them through the past few months. As trying as those fires had been they had come out on the other side wiser and stronger as a couple and a family.

And for the first time in their almost year of marriage…he was no longer jealous of the bonds she shared with his brothers. Because he knew the strengths of their own. And finally understood what Petrine had always taught him…the trick was to love them all the same but differently.

Their wife had seemed to know that one instinctively…even when he and his brothers were stumbling in the dark, trying to find their ways to her…she had known.

And like the ancient lighthouses that their ancestors had followed when it was too dark and stormy to see the stars, her love had been the beacon that had drawn them all home to her, that had forged bonds of brotherhood deeper than ever before, that had re-created a family out of broken pieces of men who had drifted apart on the turbulent waters of life.

They owed this woman so much. And he was going to spend the rest of his life repaying her for the gifts that she had given them all. Even if there were battles still to be fought…for the first time, he was certain that they would win. Together.

He found the gag ball…the rope…and his brother’s nasty looking tawse. He closed the lid of the toy box and opened his bag that sat on the floor next to it. He pulled out his favorite toys…the sons of Odin floggers.

He turned back to find a naked Kirsty rubbing against Mikael like an alley cat in heat, begging and pleading as she practically tore his shirt off him and started to work on the button on his jeans.

“Hand me the ropes, kid,” Mikael pleaded with mirth dancing in his eyes. “The woman has no patience. Good thing Mr. High Protocol is not here or she would be standing naked in the corner for an hour,” he teased as he laced his fingers through her long red hair and drew her head back for another kiss.

Bjorn wondered just who would have the upper hand this night. It might be two against one, but something told him that would not stop their wife. “I blame you, big brother. She is never this bratty with me.”

“And you, Kirsty, stop topping from the bottom or we can try orgasm denial. For the whole night,” he was barely able to hide the grin that would tell her it was only a bluff. There was no way he was denying them the pleasure of making her cum over and over and over again this night. They needed it probably just as badly as she did.

Mommy Monday: Family Meals

The most amazing thing has happened over the past couple of weeks. PanKwake has actually joined Cookie Monster and me for breakfast…at the table!

I know that may not sound like a big deal to some of you but this child eats what she likes, when she likes and where she likes…usually in front of the television or computer. She has since the time she escaped her high chair. Even at nursery and school getting her to sit still and eat with the others was a major struggle…that often resulted in meltdowns. The only time she sat down to eat at a table were those rare times that she wanted to eat out. And then only child-friendly ones.

So this is quite a big deal to me.

Growing up I remember the family dinner table…Nanny, my mother, step-father, brother and me. We always sat down for the evening meal together. Breakfast in our house was a cup of coffee…cereal if you must. Lunches were usually at school or a sandwich in the summer. But every night around 5 we all knew where we belonged. I can almost hear the yell… ‘Terri Lynn, supper time.’

When the older children were little, I tried my best to enforce this rule too. Of course, modern life sometimes interfered…jobs or university. But we had the loveliest huge wooden dining table with chairs at both ends, even a captain’s one for the preacher. What made it special though was the benches on both sides…perfect for little kids. Ironically, the kitchen table at Cookie’s reminds me of it…but it does not have chairs, only benches.

20160626_143936_resizedAnd it is on those benches that PanKwake has been learning some truly important lessons these past couple of weeks. The art of ‘dinner conversation.’  That is an important skill to have and one that is not easy for an autistic child to master. They tend to drone on and on about their interests…rarely giving anyone else the chance to speak. But a meal is the perfect answer to that dilemma. Teaching her the back and forth volley of speak then eat…so the other person can respond. Cookie has been so patient too. I am sure he has learned way more than he ever wanted to know about Minecraft and Roblox.

But it is not just autistic children that can benefit from conversation around the dinner table. Harvard, Cornell and Purdue among others agree. I could not find it but I remember reading once (strangely enough I believe in Hilary Clinton’s It Takes a Village) about a study that followed children through out their school years from pre-school to college. Do you know what the single most important factor of success was? No, not family income, or couples versus single moms, or even the education level of the parents. It was whether or not they ate dinner as a family.

I did though find plenty of other studies that show other benefits of family meal times, including:

  • Better vocabulary in young children
  • Less anti-social behavior in teens
  • Lower rates of obesity
  • Less stress
  • …and a higher opinion of parents.

Not bad for less than half an hour of your time…a bit more to cook of course but even that does not need to be elaborate.

Oh one thing…no electronics at the table…emergency calls only. And no demands either…is your homework done, room clean, that sort of thing. Those can wait. This is time for building up bonds not tearing them down. So keep it light and just enjoy these amazing human beings that you created.

Sensual Saturday: How to Talk…So He Will Listen

So last week we explored how challenging MOST men find talking about their feelings. But women are just the opposite…we don’t just want to talk about ours…we NEED to. Otherwise…

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That’s right…the absolute worst thing a woman can do is bottle up her thoughts, feelings and emotions. She needs to get them out. In fact, a preacher friend from that other life used to compare women to coke bottles. When we get shaken up by life, we start to fizz. If that cap is on…then watch out for the explosion when it finally does pop off.

Of course, as anyone who loves soda pop knows, there is another option…a controlled release. Slowly unscrewing that cap to release some pressure then recap then release some more. It allows the drinker to enjoy their beverage without the mess.

That’s what I want to talk about today…a way to share your emotion in a way that he can hear.

First of all, don’t just spew like that coke bottle. If you truly want him to listen and more importantly understand, perhaps even do something differently the next time…then take time to process your feelings.

Usually ‘conversations’ begin something like this…

  • How could you….?
  • You make me so mad!
  • You are so stupid!

Two things are wrong with that…besides the fact that he will just tune out and not hear a word you say…

  1. You have taken no ownership of the situation or your feelings. It is all his fault. And the truth is that is rarely the case. Even when it is…our reactions to their actions still remain totally and completely our choice. We can choose to be understanding rather than angry. We have lots of choices that we do not even consider.
  2. You likely have not even identified your true feelings, i.e. the REAL problem. Sometimes I think that men are actually better at ‘feeling’ than we are. They process it, identify how they feel and just deal with it. All too often we stew…we ferment like wine. We think and think and overthink until as my Nanny used to say ‘we make a mountain out of a mole hill.’

So the first step to a useful dialogue is to put those tendencies to good use and identify how you are feeling. And that is how you begin the conversation:

I feel…hurt/angry/scared.

For now…keep it simple. Begin with those three…they honestly cover most emotions pretty well.

Now that you know HOW you feel, let’s work on the WHY.

Without all that blame too. So he went away and did not phone or text you…or he went out with the guys and did not come back when he had said, maybe even stayed out all night. How do you say that without it sounding like the blame game?

I feel hurt. I missed hearing your voice and your little texts with silly jokes.

I was scared. I got worried when you did not come home. I was really afraid that something had happened to you.

Now the really tricky part…giving him control. Allowing him to come up with a solution. Yes, I know our natural reaction is to provide one…to tell him exactly what to do next time.

But men are problem solvers by nature. They love the chance to fix things. So let him!

Besides…he is much more likely to actually follow through on the plan that he came up with than the solution you gave him.

What do you think we should do in the future?

Pretty simple?

  1. How you feel…
  2. Why…
  3. What do you (he) think?

Will it always work? Does anything? So next week, options for when that cap comes off the coke bottle and you spew…

 

Freaky Friday: Open Legs Policy

Perhaps you have heard of the Open Door Policy? To build team spirit and employee morale, some progressive companies institute an open door policy that encourages workers to bring concerns to management.

Well, when it comes to relationships, I believe in an open legs policy. For pretty much those same reasons.

Sex is one of the most powerful forms of communication. Screw that…THE most powerful.

It says…

  • I love you…
  • I want you…
  • I accept you…
  • I value you…
  • You are desirable…
  • You are important to me…
  • …and loads more.

To withhold that from someone you care about is serious indeed. Yet, it is a game that women in particular (BUT yes men play it too…I know!) play all too often and too lightly.

“I’m tired.” “I have a headache.” “Can’t we just cuddle.” And it gets worse… “Is That all you ever think about?” “Sex addict.” “Pervert.”

Can you see how those things could whittle away at the trust which is the basis of good relationships?

The ‘average’ couple has sex around twice a week (we make up for a few of those once a month types).

The sex act takes on average 15 to 20 minutes from beginning to end.

So I ask you…

Can you honestly not take 15 to 20 minutes to communicate with this person that you supposedly care so much about?

You probably spend longer than that on your make-up in the morning. (And after glow of good sex is better than any cosmetics.)

I could go on and on for pages on how we have become selfish…the ‘ME’ generation. But rather than lose you in all that…here is the challenge…

12459814_1094049170629495_343893390_nFor one week make yourself totally and completely available for your partner. Forget the word ‘no.’ And make certain that he (or she) knows that you are available. Hell, seduce them once or twice.

See for yourself what a difference that one thing can make in your relationship. And for the brave…report back. Let me know how it went in the comments or email.

Go on…give it a go! What do you have to lose?

Mommy Monday: Not Me…

We have all done it…felt it…thought it. There is not a mother alive (or dead) that at one point or another has not had one of those moments. You are at the store, the doctors, an amusement park…or just your friend’s house. You hear screams or things banging and you tense up. You look…it is automatic, even if your child is not with you. And your first thought is…

Thank you, god(dess)! It isn’t mine this time.

That happened to me this weekend…twice. Once on each side of the aisle.

Saturday we went to some friends of Cookie for a barbeque. They too have an autistic daughter just a bit younger than PanKwake. I was just plan old lucky…PanKwake with the exception of when she misplaced her camera was on her best behavior (which is admittedly still a bit manic). But because so many people were invading her home, our friend’s little girl was on edge, high-alert and anxiety riddled most of the evening. A couple of times I admit I thanked my goddess for PanKwake’s relative calm.

12961494_2011635099062356_6064215122554110014_nOf course, Sunday it was my turn. The rabbit pie I had tried was just too large for two people so Cookie invited friends over to share the largess. Only one could join us…another mother of two autistic sons. But after a whole night of being her best, PanKwake had mischief to get out. A full blown meltdown…though not her worst. In the end, Cookie and our friend ate Sunday dinner together while I managed her. Sweetheart that he is, Cookie put mine in the oven to warm.

Like I said, ALL mothers feel this way sometimes. But for us special needs ones, it is an even stronger bond with these women. Though we had just met…we were sisters. Shieldmaidens toughened by battle, covered in the blood of war and always prepared for more.

So that feeling is not bad or judgmental. It is simply a badge of motherhood. Like some silent symbol of the sorority to which we now belong. A commonality. A bond of sorts.

It is empathy…truly knowing how it feels. And that is a glorious thing…

Thank you, my sisters…