Author: maryabele (page 1 of 23)

Couple Culture

Being just the two of us, our couple culture has changed since our children grew up. Meals are really simple, I can afford more meat.
All the to-do list items have come down to just me and him. Our home is comfortable and fits the two of us.

Our couple culture are our patterns of relating to one another, such as our habits, also, who or what we spend our time with.

Each married unit has a couple culture, have you ever identified what that looks like for you two? What are some qualities that exemplify who you two are?
It’s important to think about because it enables us to be intentional in our lives.

Couple culture includes our minds, our hearts, and our souls. It’s the sum of each individual combined with the other. His distinct personality, his temperament, his spiritual development, combined with your distinct qualities of mind, heart, and soul come together to make your own unique couple culture.

Does your couple culture include a lot of humor, or maybe athletics, or maybe you two are readers? There are couples that have a beautiful garden or maybe a business they work together on. Some couples share entertainment together.

Are you the couple that has great intimacy and companionship? Do you relate to each other and understand without words? Maybe you are the couple we all kinda envy because your couple culture is based on your spiritually mature hearts, you serve with joy and as you work together our Father God looks at you with pride and says “Well done my good and faithful servants” If that’s you, WOW! Good job, not sure how you do it but keep it up.

For Don and me, our unique culture has had some troubles, you see, we are such opposites, I call him the Iron Engine, he’s like a strong, headlong train pulling heavyweights, determined to go the long distances, then there is me, the butterfly. I’m generally happy going from flower to flower without a care in the world.

We come together on things like hiking, or … HA! That’s all I can think of right now, I know there are other things we come together on, they just aren’t coming to me right now.
You see, Don and I have what we call, and as you read this imagine saying it with a twinkle in your eye and a voice inflection as if it’s a stinky condition, we have issues. We tend to be defensive with each other. Why we have those issues in another blog post but for here now, my goal is to explain that each couple has their own couple culture, to be aware of it.

Happily, for Don and me we are in the process of recreating our couple culture. We have a counselor we are going to, we are reading books together.
I can imagine that most couples that have been married many years, raised families and are now finding themselves as Happy Nesters meaning, just the two of them could be looking at each other wondering what in the heck happened? Did those 40 years really just fly by? And, who are you and what are you doing in my bedroom?
(That deserves its own blog post.)

That’s why we need to see that we share a couple culture, the just him and me in this world. There are so many different and important points that are necessary to consider but for now, my point is simple, we couples are the sum total of ourselves, our minds, our hearts, and our souls. Now is the time to ask ourselves what culture do we want to live in?

Been Five Years

Has it only been 5 years? It seems like a really long time ago that our baby got married and made us the Happy Nesters. Our four children are happily situated and independent so that gives my mind time to remember when we were first married when it was just me, him and the dog. Those are happy memories.

Back then we were young, horribly immature and broke. Let’s compare, what has changed? We aren’t young, we do have a little more maturity and there are a few bucks in the bank. What was that span of time between then and now? Was it all a dream?

I am recreating my life – again. Golly, that gets tiresome. We live in our small and affordable home for about 10 years now. I have a million things I’d like to do to make it better but as I consider actually doing those things I am content to sit, drink my tea and not spend the time and money.

For instance, as of right this minute, I sit in our private but small back yard. Looking past the weeds and trimming, I see the honeysuckle and recognize it’s sweet perfume as it fills my garden space with free essential oils. The weather is perfect this time of year, the humidity is low and the mosquitoes haven’t found me yet.

There are piles of To-Do in my house, and I have a family dinner to prepare for tonight. I have a several hour meeting this afternoon and still need to grocery shop, and yet, I sit here and type.

I have learned that things get done and if they aren’t perfect, things still come and go. My idealism has learned its place and that gives me peace, but I haven’t yet mastered the art of pacing myself. I still grab as much life as I can, spending my currency of time like a drunken sailor. I love being with people, it fills my spirit.

I know what will get the house clean, I will invite the ladies over for tea. Now that will put a fire under me to get moving, well, it will at least motivate me to clean up my piles. In fact, I have been meaning to have a few ladies over so we can play my Pride and Prejudice Game.

My tea is finished, my watch just reminded me I have a meeting and I’m hungry for lunch. Those will be my next steps. I will get those groceries on the way home, make dinner and open our nest to a few of the birds that will be coming for a evening visit.

This five years of being Happy Nesters has brought me to a good place.

((Hugs))

I See Patience

Two men, standing together in silence, forever bonded by an unconditional love for both, each other and this brand new, raw and pure soul who we would both go to the ends of the earth for.   Justin Baldoni 

This reminds me of our good and long-suffering God and Father.
We get out of control but He is ever with us. He is trustworthy to keep us safe.
See how the dad stands over the toddler? She’s safe. She’s an emotional mess but that’s OK, dad is big, strong and capable. When she settles down she will look up, see the love from the men in her life who will pick her up and go on from there. With that kind of security, there will be a lot of trusts and a lot fewer fits of rage.

 

 

 

Why I HATE The Zero Carb Diet

My friends told me “Zero carb! That’s not a good idea” 
But I was equipped! I read articles on the internet, there was a Facebook group too.  I had all I needed to legitimize my quest. 
Don and I were going to go on a 30 day zero carb diet. 
We grabbed the simple list of allowed foods

Protein
Fat 
Water 

How hard could it be? 
Our first stop was Left Bank Butchery  and Reverence Farms
I was inspired! Reverence Farm respects the animals, growing them in a healthy environment. Left Bank Butchery is full of fresh local meat,  you can see them process the meat through a glass window. Perfect. 

Healthy meat, healthy consumer. 
With arms full of meat I was ready for our new adventure. 

The Rules: 
Eat LOTS of fat, some protein and then drink water.

It was a GREAT success! Don LOVED it!! He wonders where this diet has been all his life.
Every morning is bacon and eggs, lunch is leftover meat, snacks are from a mason jar of ham pieces covered with salt, dinner is meat (often hamburger) Don has found his lifetime diet.

Meanwhile, my face was turning green from nausea.  BLEAH.
If I had to eat one more drop of grease I was going to die. 
I am a zero carb failure.
I need what I call … FOOD … 

I cheated, I ate celery. 
What bliss! Oh, how fresh! The celery brought hope back to my spirit!
You know it’s got to be a HATEFUL diet when your cheat food is CELERY! 
With that cheat door open I endlessly searched the internet for zero carb options. 
I found out that to be zero carb you can cook your meat this way or that way.
You can add the zero carb cream cheese or the really expensive zero carb raw milk cheese.
Let’s see, you can have bacon on bacon, or maybe ham and bacon, or as most advised a porterhouse steak every night for dinner. Full fat, full flavor.
By the end of the first week, there wasn’t a lot of hope for me, I cheated some more. I let in kale.

Once again, praising God for His beautiful creation of kale. What relief! 

The second week I was content to eat some protein, some fat and a huge pile of kale and celery. During the day I would drink straight cream, eat tablespoons of kefir made from cream, a couple of slices of cheese and then cheat eating celery sticks.
I drank quarts of mint tea.

Week three I was a NUT. I was panicked, looking for what I call food. I hated this diet and told everyone that came near me.
I started counting the days until July 1st.
I wanted SUGAR.
I wanted apples, peanut butter, tortilla chips, humus. I wanted my plain ole tea back … 1 cube of sugar and a dash of milk.

I wanted my afternoon cookie. I felt like the lioness in the zoo cage, pacing back and forth, searching, searching to find food but the bars of the diet confined me. 
I cheated some more. I added avocado. Once again a semblance of sanity came and I began to calm my nerves. 

During this diet, I have never gotten a surge of energy or a wash of clear thinking.
My legs cramp at night. OW!! That hurts like crazy.  HELP! Back to the internet for my counsel … eat more salt.  Sigh. More salt. 
I already take magnesium, I already drink plenty of liquids, I have increased my salt but still, nighttime leg cramping.
Another difficulty is being light-headed and feeling like I am going to black out. Yeah, real nice. 
If I understand correctly, according to my internet counseling, my body has not made the full transition to fat burning for energy.
If you would like to learn how to burn fat here is some … internet counseling … Ketosis  

Week 4 was just waiting. Eating my avocado, my egg salad, my piles of bok choy with celery and kale with a bit of meat, I watched the calendar. 

This last few days, surprisingly, happily, my sugar cravings are … WHAT? … gone.

EUREKA!

After that long battle, I think the desired effect has been accomplished. 
I’m not a zero carb girl, never will be, but my appetites have changed. 

I learned that in the past when I am searching for something to eat, I pick up that quick apple and peanut butter and I feed the sugar monster. Don’t get me wrong, I love God’s food He created but I have had a tendency to always go to a sugar to be satisfied. 
My body has learned to be satisfied with different foods. 
My new favorite … it was a cheat food … avocado with a tablespoon of salsa. MMM!!! I can be happily full on that. 

Where do I go from here? 

Don and I are determined not to go back into that sugar mess we suffered to get out of. 
For the next month, we will have about 20 net carbs.  We will, hopefully, further train our appetites to be satisfied with low sugar foods. 

My first food after this HORRID diet? 

MMM … ONE piece of toast smothered in butter with a dab of jam … 11 carbs and WORTH IT. 

Feelings are Flavors 

This morning I had been feeling out of sorts. Between this and that and worrying about money, Don and I chatted and we came to a conclusion.

Feelings are the flavor in life.
Feelings are not the anchor. 
God’s truth is the anchor.

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