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I have spent the last 2 hours reading your newsletter and wonderful recipes. I have already printed a whole bunch I want to try. I love them because they are using ingredients one has on hand. I love that and just wanted you to know how much we appreciate all your hard work in putting together this newsletter. Thank you very much.


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       Volume I - September 27, 2006

Spice Up Your Relationship!
A Focus On The Family
by Larry Jordan

Illustration by Greg Brown

"Great attention should be devoted to ensuring that family members dine together at home, as often as possible."

Most certainly, the resurgence of this subject in all forms of the media.from magazines to TV news stories, is due to the ever increasing complex set of issues and problems facing today's families. With an emphasis on raising children they all go basically something like this:

"Eating together at the family dinner table permits the intimate interchange of everyone's lives, weaving the family bonds together. As children grow to become teenagers, communication becomes a greater challenge. Teenagers generally prefer to distance themselves from their parents. Good communication during the younger years minimizes the risk of non-communication during those critical teenage years."

Okay, this is pretty much what used to be known as common sense and we get it, especially now that we've been reminded. And not to minimize the importance of rearing children, but what about all us "empty nesters?" Those who haven't any children and those who have but now they are groan (ok, grown) and gone.

My wife and I, after spending 30+ years trying to round up the children for dinner and focusing on other efforts to raise our family were shocked one night last year when we sat down at the dinner table...alone...a few months after sending our last child off on one of life's inevitable milestones; the start of her very own life.

We didn't quite know what to talk about. Worse than that we'd forgotten how to have an intimate conversation. It was like a first date or...something even more awkward! We both realized what had happened. I forgot how pretty she was (worry lines and all) and she forgot what a hunk-a-hunk of burnin' love resided behind my middle aged "pudge." At first, without speaking, we both understood what needed to be done. And we both realized that dinner time could be used to our advantage.

Now, almost a year later our lives have changed. We've gotten to know each other like never before and have more than rekindled our love. The main catalyst has been dinner time. Even thought we are together in the same house for most of the day, she does her thing and I do mine. At the end of our busy day we both look forward to meeting in the evening for a wonderful dining experience. It's like when we were dating; she had her job and I mine and at the end of our shifts we couldn't wait to meet!

What makes dinner time so special? Us. I turn off my football, she turns off Extreme Makeover and we turn each other on. With engaging conversation and great food, alone in our little kitchen. As a side effect, cooking has become a hobby for us both and we've become very good at it, we take turns and revel in pleasing each other with new and delicious recipes. In addition, all the eating has lead to walking together!

Want to spice up your relationship? Give this a shot. Don't expect the magic to come all at once. Work at it. Eventually it will all come together and change your life. Whether you're an old "geezer" like me or a young couple caught up in the today's hectic lifestyle. Enjoy life my friends...enjoy!

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