Posts Tagged ‘LJ & Mr. J’s Story’

Bumpity-Bump-Bump

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

The bed creaked under us; bare skin slipped noiselessly between clean cotton sheets.

Our heads touched pillows only for a brief second before groans filled the air.

“Oh my,” I cried out, overcome with emotion.

“Yes,” he moaned, answering me in kind. “How long has it been?” he asked.

“Years,” I say, breathless from the pleasure.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” he asks his voice husky in my ear.

“I don’t know. I’m sorry….I had no idea it would be so good.”

“How old were you?” he persists, desperate to understand how I could keep something like this from him.

“Fifteen,” I say. “In my parent’s house.” I turn my head away. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner.”

“I tried asking you about it….” he lets his words hang between us, too overcome by the heaven we are feeling at this moment.

“I know. I know,” guilt overwhelms me now. “All of these years…all of these wasted years.”

While his head is cradled, childlike on the pillow his voice is strong, accusatory: “Jeez, Lara. If you’d only told me about heated mattress pads sooner it would have made all of these horribly cold winters in the North that much more bearable! I wouldn’t have been freezing my a$$ off like Frosty the Snowman!”

How many times can a girl apologize????

0

Again: Fact is Stranger than Fiction

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

I will not guarantee that this post is going to be “G” rated. PG-13, maybe.

100_0394

As Mr. J headed north for a day trip on our Anniversary we ran first into the “We Do Cows” sign. Pulling off the highway I just had to take a picture to share with my readers.

I’ll leave to your imagination what sort of comments we made as we yucked it up back on the interstate.
100_0436

Once we were at our destination we couldn’t help but see the Viking statute “Big Ole” standing at 28 foot tall. He had recently undergone a makeover and was no longer grey headed & bearded. Now a blond, Big Ole looks remarkably like the 4th season blond half of Starsky and Hutch!

I turned to Mr. J and said, “Now he could do cows!”

0

Muskrat Love: Glad Someone is Getting Some…

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Dining RoomPeonies

Our three day weekend started out lovely enough.

We’ve been calling our newly redecorated home: The Jones Bed & Breakfast.

Mr. J got up and made omelet’s w/his proprietary recipe of special ingredients and we sat down in our gorgeous dining room….for the first time in our married life we actually have a dining room table and chairs….drinking my favorite Caribou Coffee: Mahogany.

I stepped outside to our flower bed and carefully snipped off a few peonies: magenta and light pink, making sure the ants which are vital to opening up the blooms are nowhere to be seen; I settled into my favorite chair and contemplated what we should do for the day.

We decided to take a drive downtown to the Farmer’s market. We have an awesome outdoor market: over the years we’ve taken stunning pictures there of the flora, veggies and fruit available with just a little kitsch thrown in for good measure. My dad loves to go there and pick up leather work gloves for $10 a pair. I try to look the other way, afraid they have fallen off the back of a truck somewhere.

On the way downtown we saw two little critters sitting on the side of the road.

Ever since I was a child, when my father would point out wildlife to us during road trips, I always keep my eyes peeled for animals. Today we saw two little guys, who after some searching on the internet we decided were young muskrats. I doubled back and we sat and looked at each other from the car: us at them, them at us. They were so darn cute. I wanted to get out of the car, snatch one up and give them a cuddle but Mr. J put the kibosh on that plan.

Anywho – downtown we went. In and around the Farmer’s Market was a madhouse. No park to be had. After circling for fifteen minutes I gave up, discouraged and then missed my turn and ended up in Interstate Exchange Hell. I swear we “looped” the dang city five times before I managed to get us on the right road, headed back to the ‘burbs where I was going to stop at Trader Joes for some awesome chocolate “Expresso Pillows.”

If I’m drinking wine (which I plan to be doing this weekend) I want a little chocolate with it. These aren’t too bad calorie wise and they taste like sin!

Without too much hassle at TJ we went to my local Co-op where I found out they’ve discontinued my favorite line of Raw Food. What?? That is why I joined that silly Co-op to begin with!

Then to Target. I love and hate Target at the same time. Today mostly hate.

I fill my prescriptions there using their Target credit card: after every 10th prescription I get a 10% off coupon to be used all day at Target. Love that. Today, I go to the pharmacy to pick up my monthly prescriptions…seems like the quantity of those grow the older I get: go figure.

I swipe my card to pay for today’s haul of prescription drugs. The card declines. Or so the wet-behind-the-ears young man tells me. Funny: the electronic keypad in front of me says, “Sales Complete.” He has me swipe it again. And again. Finally he takes the card from me and swipes it himself, behind the counter.

I’m getting suspicious now and begin to wonder if I’m going to find that I’ve paid for my drugs like, oh, I don’t know: six times??

I finally give up and use my debit card. Miffed, I stalk up to the Guest Services counter and demand they tell me what the heck is going on.

“We have no information on your Target Credit Card.”

Of course you don’t.

“You can use our phone if you’d like to call them.”

“I have my own phone,” I say, barely civil at this point. The ineptitude of this place amazes me!

After another annoying five minutes wading through telephone Voice Recognition Unit hell, I finally hit “zero” so many times there is no choice to but “Get me to an agent”.

“What the HECK is going on with my card?” I bark into the receiver.

“We haven’t received your May payment. Your account is closed until such a time that we receive your payment.”

What?

“We didn’t receive your May payment. It was due May 20th.”

Dear God! Could it be that I’ve made a mistake??

I slink off back to Mr. J and tell him my sad tale of woe. Being in the banking field he assures me that since I’m only 10 days past due, my credit rating should not be damaged.

I spend the rest of the Target visit muttering to myself about how I can’t do anything right: can’t even pay my !!#$$%#$ credit card bill. I do all of my banking online through one financial institution. The Target credit card is the only one that I cannot seem to keep on top of and that is because it isn’t issued by my primary bank.

ARRGGHHH.

Just so you know: I did go back and apologize to the Pharmacy Clerk whose ears I’d pinned back 15 minutes prior. Clearly my karma has already taken enough hits for the day.

Then we were off to Costco. Costco on a holiday weekend should be empty, right?

Wrong.

Talk about total chaos! They had more food giveaways and more clearly starving people than were probably at the overcrowded lakes this opening weekend of the summer season here in the United States.

Every where you looked there were stations of food giveaways: marbled Colby cheese, golden pineapple, strawberries, sausage, crab dip, taquitos, chips and salsa, chocolate “protein” bars.

We picked up our standard fare:
• Avocados
• Tomatoes
• Gluten Free Crackers
• Orange, Yellow and Red Peppers

Once home, well after 2pm, we worked on fixing a quick lunch.

And in keeping with the theme of the day the quart of grape tomatoes we’d just purchased decided to jump out of the refrigerator and play 52-card pick up: spilling and rolling everywhere: under the refrigerator, into the pantry, under the cabinets. The cats were in heaven: soccer balls!

We are trying to corral tomatoes and cats, both bent on getting away from us and wreaking havoc to my otherwise spotless kitchen.

I kept taking long, deep breathes and trying not to scream. Mr. J had the decency to look away as he chuckled. Smart man.

Even still: I decided he could round up the wayward tomatoes himself. After all I had a delinquent Target credit card bill to take care of.

I tried logging on to their website to pay my bill. And tried logging on. And tried logging on: guessing (poorly) as to what my login and password might be until I had locked myself out of my Target account completely.

Really? Really?

Having had enough we decided to take a nap. I mean: surely it would all be better after some sleep. Kind of a level setting of the day: resetting expectations, etc.

Four hours later found us prepping dinner. I was slicing up pepper rings to grill on the brand spanking new George Foreman (with detachable plates) when I felt the knife slip and cut deep into my right pointer finger.

OUCH.

This is the reason my mother could never stand to see me with a knife in my hand! My left handedness sometimes makes for clumsy cutting….or at least: bloody cutting.

Who knew that cooking dinner was such a blood sport??

After a yummy dinner courtesy of Mr. J grilling everything that couldn’t get away from us, I glanced over at him, my eyes dropping suggestively.

Every couple has a short-handed way of asking if their partner would like to mix it up between the sheets.

I spoke our code word to Mr. J.

He promptly burst out laughing.

WTH?

“No way,” he said. “Not given the day you’ve had.”

“Not even if I promise not to take the knife to bed?” I wheedled.

“No chance,” he said. “That is equipment I can’t afford to gamble with.”

Loser.

I am sure Sunday and Monday will be better.

Really.

2

The Noise of a Lightning Strike

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

This week finds Mr. J and me together at our condo on a large lake miles and miles from either of our homes. We’re trying out something new: he is on vacation and I am working remotely. We brought the cats who absolutely love the screened in deck. We are literally over the water, the back of our condo lining up with the granite edge of the shoreline: no sandy beaches here.

We come here every year for Mother’s Day. My parents join us. It is the little things we do in life, such as always meeting on a certain day, at a certain place, eating at the same restaurants that create the history between people, isn’t it?

It is the remembered snippets of conversation and silly inconsequential things that we laugh about years later: the crazy house on the lake with more garden statues than trees!

Every year when we come back to the lake we eagerly await passing the house up the road from our condo because they’ve added some new whack-a-do outdoor décor: first it was mustangs, reared up. Then 12 foot pelicans which dwarfed the mustangs. Now they’ve added some interesting brick structure in-the-round reminiscent of something you would see on the road to Jerusalem during the crusades. Apropos I guess. I mean, we are smack in the middle of the Bible belt, don’t you know?

Since I’m actually working, I wasn’t really expecting to have the absolute best time of my life this week, but I was hoping it would be somewhat restful and rejuvenating. It started off well enough:

Day 1 – Saturday, we: Mr. J and I, our cats, my parents and two cases of wine arrived at our retreat at about 6pm. We had a little wine and a little nosh for dinner, catching up with one another and enjoying watching the cats nose around everything, noses on ‘high alert’ as they took in all of the smells and nuances of the lake condo. We watched a funny movie: “Along Came Polly.” I’m not sure it would have been so funny had we not had the wine, but who knows.

Day 2 – Mother’s Day dawns. Mr. J made his famous omelets for breakfast. We go “topside” which is a 15 mile jaunt on windy roads amidst tall, tall pine trees into town to run a few errands and pick up the makings of a BBQ cookout on the grill. It is cold and I have to keep reminding myself I’m 500 miles south of my home in the Snowbelt. I mistakenly purchase Beer Brats (Beer has gluten, so no brats for Lara) and beef burgers.

After dinner we watched another movie, “Time Traveler’s Wife” and a documentary called “King Corn”.

The premise behind the documentary is: “Behind America’s dollar hamburgers and 72-ounce sodas is a key ingredient that quietly fuels our fast-food nation: corn.” It starts out with the film students doing a hair analysis which shows that most people will test positive for a high degree of corn in their system.

Maybe we should have watched the documentary BEFORE we ate the burgers.

Apparently corn fed beef isn’t good for the cattle or for us. Who knew? Since no one really knows what’s in brats anyway (besides beer) I’m not even going to worry about eating those. Brats are known ‘eat at your own risk’ food, right?

I made scones and fruit salad before going to bed so I can feed my parents breakfast before they take off for home and I settle into work on Monday morning.

Day 3 – Monday night – Tornadoes develop all across the plains area where my family lives and where we happen to be located. On pins and needles we spend hours glued to weather radars, first watching them bypass my family, and then closing in on us, feeling like sitting ducks exposed as we are out on the water. Luckily around midnight all calms down and everyone seems to be all good.

Day 4 – Tuesday – Mr. J walks down to the pool area, trips and falls onto cement walk way tearing up his knees, hands, and hurting his back. I’m on a conference call when he returns and in between hashing out business requirements for a project, I’m cleaning him up and applying Neosporin and bandages. I get all bossy (which I know will come as a shock to most of you) when things like this happen: “Get into bed. Elevate that knee. Hold the ice pack here! Don’t move. I’ll get it.”

Day 5 – Wednesday. 12:42 am – A storm hits. I have never been so close to lightening in my life. Again, our condo is out literally over the lake. Howling winds, pummeling rains, and the most frightening sound I’ve ever heard: a lightning strike. I’ve heard the crackle before thunder splits your eardrums before but this was 100 times scarier.

This sound was like hitting sheet metal with a mallet causing it to reverberate with a high enough pitch that you feel it in your teeth and jaw. You wince while simultaneously slamming your hands ineffectively over your ears. The second time I heard it: I screamed and dove beneath the covers, reverting to being a scared six-year-old who thinks the blankets will protect her.

2:54am – Round two of storms. But these are so tame compared to the last two rounds I barely even notice it past the initial clap of thunder which, of course, wakes me up.

5:28 am – One of the cats is sick. I hear the telltale signs of his gagging: the beginning of him throwing up. I wearily crawl out of bed, headed for the bathroom sink, fumbling for a wash cloth to wipe up the sick.

7:45 am – Staggering from bed, knowing I have to be signed on at 8am, I walk to the kitchen to find two very disturbing facts:

First, we didn’t pre-set or pre-fill the coffee pot:
No coffee + no sleep =no bueno.

Second, the bar area is teeming with my favorite nemeses: ants. Really???
Didn’t I kill all of those little !@@#$%! at home?? Mr. J pointed out, “Where did you expect them to go given the biblical proportions of that storm last night?”

With no caffeine and no sleep under my belt I didn’t even have a single snappy comment in reserve for him. I just glared.

2pm – Migraine. I could spend an entire post ranting about migraines and how much of my life has been sidelined because of them, and maybe one day I will.

At this point I’m beginning to think the week at the condo is cursed.

10pm – We’ve killed another couple of bottles out of the cases of wine and enjoyed some awesome smoked turkey and burnt ends from our favorite local BBQ joint, so things are more mellow. So far, there are no signs of storms in our night sky.

Here is hoping that the last half of the week goes much better for Mr. J and me. And even more importantly here’s hoping that all of my readers are safe from the prolific lightening and thunderstorms and rounds of tornadoes that have fired up every night this week!

0

Packrat? Hoarder?

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

One of the main differences between my commuter hubby and me revolves around cable television: I don’t have cable. I think it is ridiculously expensive and frankly I’d rather spend my discretionary income on high speed internet and “presents” from my favorite home shopping network.

However, Mr. J, being very much of the male persuasion, has every cable channel imaginable in his apartment. When I’m ‘in residence” at his pad I admit to ‘jonesing’ (pun intended) for a few channels: A&E is one of them. In January A&E started a new season of “Hoarders.” In case you aren’t familiar with it, the name is pretty explanatory.

Each episode showcases two separate people whose inability to let go of things is so out of control that they are headed toward disaster: the house is unsafe and they might lose their children (‘lose’ as in: taken away from them, not ‘lose’ as in they can no longer find them in the mountains of junk); a loved one has fallen down stairs, breaking bones, and is now threatening to leave them unless the clutter is cleared. The show considers hoarding a disease and cleaning out the house is only the beginning step to change the person’s life.

After watching two episodes in February I turned to Mr. J and said, “We are about 2.5 steps from being hoarders.”

Now I might have been exaggerating just a little (and I hope anyone who has ever seen my house is nodding their head in agreement right now) but I am serious in my concern.

Both Mr. J and I are packrats. We tend to keep everything: books, plastic containers, electronics that are completely outdated, clothes from the 1990s and my personal bugaboo: paper.

Paper breeds in my house, multiplying like bunnies. Paper slays me: I don’t know what to do with it and I can’t let it go.

To piggyback on the problem of being a packrat partial to paper, I struggle with organization as well. Historically my bosses have complained about my desk being piled high with folders, industry magazines (an occasional copy of Oprah! thrown in as well, but they couldn’t see it, now could they?) and paper.

Yet, if anyone needed something I could lay my hands on it immediately. Eventually, tired of the comments, I’d give in and clean my work area. Of course, the minute I’d either tossed or filed something I needed it within days.

Like everyone who has been through any sort of time management course, you know the number one mantra: “only touch paperwork one time.” You are supposed to: Deal with it. File it. Trash it. All at the same time. Unfortunately for me, once it is filed it is lost to me forever, like a black hole: I have no idea where it is.

Just to pile on: I also have a family history of clutter: my parents’ house has been known (occasionally) to have a tiny, tiny bit of clutter. My grandparents who lived through the depression tended to stockpile non-perishable goods: coffee, aluminum foil, soap, etc.

With those two and one-half strikes against me (not even I would be so negative as to claim three strikes):
Predilection to hang onto everything
No innate sense of organization
Maternal (thus the one-half) family history of hanging onto or hoarding “stuff”

I felt justified in my comment to my hubby: we are about 2.5 steps from being hoarders.

We might not be hoarders today, but where would we be 5 years from now?

It was time for an intervention!

Stay tuned as my friend Cyndee first comes into our house and we begin to declutter what should have been an innocuous room: the mostly unused upstairs bathroom.

5

In the Shelter of His Eyes

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

I spent the first three weeks of the year in my husband’s tiny, tiny apartment. As I was working at home, I rarely left the apartment. I was cocooned in this warm safe “nest” with a full-length window out into the courtyard where daily I watched the snow pile up higher than the rails that should have led down to the complex’s swimming pool.

It was a wonderful way to start off the New Year. It allowed me to ground myself as I made some additional changes into my daily routine. I hesitate to call them New Year’s Resolutions as most resolutions are destined for failure.

I added yoga or Kettlenetics (modified version of working out with a Kettle bell) into my daily exercise routine. I also made additional modifications to my diet because the gluten free made me pack on pounds.

There is something funny about living with someone after you’ve been apart for two years. One day I almost had to chase Mr. J down after work: “Are you going to kiss me or what? Do I have to move back home for a week and then come back to get you to notice me?”

He had a few choice words for me, which I won’t repeat here. But it is interesting how quickly we fell back into taking each other for granted.

In all fairness I should point out that I wasn’t exactly model perfect when I was demanding a kiss. Sweatpants, no make-up, hair barely combed…..suppose that had something to do with it??

After the first few days of living with one another, our interactions quickly fell into those of an “old married couple.” While it wasn’t exactly “familiarity breeds contempt” I am here to say that “absence (really does) make the heart grow fonder.”

On the other hand, there is something to be said about having a warm body next to you in the middle of winter, about limbs brushing under the covers as you turn over half asleep, secure in the knowledge that someone is right there beside you: someone who loves you and whom you love in return.

I grew accustomed to long days spent on the computer and on conference calls, to quiet evenings of simple dinners and watching Criminal Minds or playing games together on the computer.

I enjoyed the stark winter scene outside our patio window, evoking the photography of Ansel Adams. For the first time since moving to the Snow Belt I appreciated the beauty of winter: the sheer unadulterated stillness of nature in repose was there whether I was working on projects for work or working on my Tree Pose during yoga.

As the time came closer for me to return home, I had mixed emotions. I was returning home because I had two new hires starting and I needed to be there to walk them through the onboarding process with our company. Yet, I knew that living “in the real world” wouldn’t be as comfortable as living in the sheltered world of my husband’s home.

I took the title of my blog today from a Don Williams’ song that my father used to play when I was a child. I hope Mr. Williams forgives any copyright infringement as I post a couple of stanzas of those lyrics here: For Mr. J.

“In the shelter of your eyes
I have finally learned the song
It took so long to realize
I just can’t make it all alone

And I’m, gonna stay,
right here ’cause I’m
In rhythm with your mind
Tune out the world
and rest my head
‘Neath the shelter of your eyes”

1

Shifting Sands

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

As someone who has been in a long distance relationship for over two years an odd thing has happened: the balance of power has shifted between my husband and me. I have now taken a job away from Mr. J. I’m now the one driving weekly to spend the weekend with him. The career path I’ve recently chosen has more fully made me responsible for the two of us living apart.

Another small shift in our perspective is now I’m the one offering comfort to Mr. J during a family crisis. Until this situation with my stepson it has always been crises in my family. We’ve cancelled vacations overseas due to medical emergencies in my family. Mr. J has burned up precious vacation time to accompany me home for the funerals of my grandparents, and my uncles.

Here is what I could not fully appreciate before now: living in two places is exhausting. The travel between two cities basically means I’m never settled anywhere, never in one place long enough to rest. I have a new respect for people who commute on a weekly basis or travel for their jobs weekly.

And offering moral support on a more long term basis? Also harder than I realized. Regardless of how tired I am now is the time for me to step up: to bite my tongue when Mr. J’s tone is sharp. I try to understand the stress he is under, even though I personally have no frame of reference. I choose my words carefully, wanting to offer up whatever comfort I can be during this stressful time. Curling around him while he catches a nap in midday, feeling his body relax into mine, teaches me that sometimes comfort comes in saying nothing at all.

To anyone who knows Mr. J and me as a couple I’ve always said Mr. J is the nicer one of us. As I transitioned into this new job, even with all his worry and concern about his son he has been phenomenally supportive of me. He listens to me as I explain the new culture of this company. He listens when I grouse about how hard it is to piece together a myriad of new systems, learning who is who in a corporate maze and how to handle my new challenging responsibilities. He soothes me, allaying my fears when occasionally it seems overwhelming. Mr. J reminds me that I can do anything I set my mind to.

I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t afford him the same courtesy when he started his new job two years ago. I was barely civil. Hurt beyond words, I refused to be supportive. I didn’t ask about his new role. I didn’t even know what he was working on the first six months we lived apart. I was the worst kind of spouse.

Frankly, I hope we never have to live apart again. On the other hand, I am optimistic. I believe I’ve finally matured enough that should we once again reside in different domiciles I could live the example I’ve had my husband live for me: to be more selfless, to encourage at every turn, to basically be the life partner everyone deserves.

2

When Bad Things Happen

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

In any relationship, but even more importantly in a long distance relationship, it is imperative that you have a plan for when emergencies arise. Because unfortunately, they will: that’s just life. Not to sound all Negative Nellie but we’re all only one phone call away from a crisis.

Since Mr. J and I have been apart I’ve lost two grandparents, three aunts, one uncle, and very painfully: my three cats (before Alex and Jamison, my current cats).

This last week we had one of the most feared phone calls that a parent could ever take:

“Your child is in intensive care and may not make it.”

Now I know that if you’ve checked my “About Me” page you’ll see that I said Mr. J and I were DINKS: Dual Income. No Kids. And we don’t have any children. Together.

But Mr. J has a son from a former marriage. And he got that dreaded phone call last Wednesday evening.

His son was in intensive care: H1N1, his lungs so filled up with fluid impairing his breathing to the point that his lips were turning blue. Because of his compromised situation, he was placed into a drug induced coma.

Mr. J’s son is in TX – far, far from where we live (either of us) in the Snow Belt.

To further complicate matters, Mr. J and his son aren’t on speaking terms and haven’t been since his parents divorced. But estrangement doesn’t mean that Mr. J has ever, for a single second, forgotten his boy. The pain I’ve seen in my husband’s eyes makes my own heart ache. The fear I saw when I arrived at his apartment, five hours after I received the call, made my blood run cold.

I wish I could say I empathize. But I can’t. I don’t have any children. Medical issues prevented me from carrying a child and ironically from being able to adopt one either. There is no way that I could understand what it means to get a call that says your child may not live. I didn’t even try.

I just held Mr. J while he tried to process this terrible truth and to understand how to act: should he go and risk upsetting his son still further? But there was really no question: he had to go.

Early the next morning Mr. J headed for the airport and I packed up his cat to bring back home with me.

Because of the estrangement from his father, I’ve never really considered Mr. J’s son my stepson. But that all changed the moment we got the call.

In a flash I was on Facebook, asking for positive energy and prayers. My parents, who’ve never even met my stepson, were on the phone around the clock, asking for updates, talking to Mr. J, worrying like he was their own grandchild. Over a hundred people Mr. J’s son doesn’t even know were pulling for him.

Thankfully, Mr. J’s son has made it “over the hump” per his pulmonary doctors. They believe he will make it now. But he has a long road ahead.

I hope that somewhere along the way, he and his father can sit down and work out their differences. I keep hearing a line from a Don Henley song in my head, “You see a lot more meanness in the city….the kind that eats you up inside.”

Meanness, anger, bitterness. Don Henley had it right: they will eat you up inside. My fervent prayer is that this crisis will open the door of communication between two men who haven’t spoken in over ten years.

If anyone has a spare moment, I’d appreciate positive energy sent my stepson’s way. May he grow strong in body and in understanding of how precious life and the lives of those you love is. May he open his heart to recognize how much his father loves him. And may he know that he has a whole community of people he’s never met who wish him love, joy, and sweet, sweet recovery.

2

You Do What??

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

I cook meals for Mr. J to take home with him. People look askance at me for this practice: like they think I’ve lost my mind. “Why would you do that?” I’ve been asked repeatedly.

Let’s be very clear on this point: I’m no Julia Childs. I’m cooking plain food that can travel well. Meat loaf, chili, beef stew, garlic chicken breasts. And I guess I should clarify: I’m cooking the entrée. He is responsible for side dishes and by side dishes I mean vegetables.

As we’ve already discussed in an earlier post nutrition is not Mr. J’s friend. When Mr. J and I met his eating habits were questionable at best. Everything was processed, and there was not a green vegetable to be seen. To him the four food groups were: sugar, whole milk, coffee and beef. Bless him.

I’ve spent years cleaning up his food act (along with my own) and I’m not going to lose ground by having him revert to Dinty Moore stew five nights a week. Has anyone ever even smelled that stuff? That goes double for Wolf Brand Chili. Yuck.

On the weekend he is home we shop and then I prepare him two entrees that he can take back and alternate and/or freeze for the next two weeks. We also discuss and then pick up which vegetables that will go best with the main dishes.

Cooking for him solves several problems:
1. Cooking for one is difficult and most people just won’t do it. Cooking for two is just easier.
2. I get to keep an eye on both of our diets and ensure that we aren’t subsisting on frozen meals or just snacking our way through the dinner hour.
3. It saves money and our diet by eating in instead of picking up take out on the way home.
4. Mr. J has said that eating something I have cooked for him is a little bit like me being there.

I will never be taken for Martha Stewart but at least I can say that I put together nutritious and (hopefully) tasty meals on both of our tables, states apart.

Bon Appétit!

P.S. I’ve very excited to report that my next blog will be a guest blog from a fellow LDR’r. In her own words you’ll get to hear her story of how she and her husband met online, met in real life and ultimately fell in love and married. Stay tuned!

1

Those First Few (Horrible) Days

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

The first days and weeks after Mr. J moved away were the hardest. It reminded me of my divorce. Every morning I’d wake up and the pain would wash over me anew. Going to bed alone was difficult.

The first thing I did was buy timers for lights in our house. That way I didn’t wake up or walk into a house that was completely dark. That helped in some small way.

The second thing I did (or rather someone did for me) was get new sheets for my bed. Over the years I’ve been told that women are ready to move on from a relationship when they go purchase new sheets. I was grateful to receive the sheets, not because I was ditching my hubby, but because it was, symbolically a new phase in my life.

What can you do to make it easier on yourself? Pick up cheap timers? Buy a new set of sheets – take it from me: splurge! You’re worth it. Do whatever it takes to be kind to yourself in those first few days of separation. And do everything you can to ease the transition for both parties.

Regardless of how the decision to be in separate geographic locations came to be, I can assure you that you both are hurting.

Change can be difficult. Do what you can to ease that burden: for both of you.

0