Musings of an Old Hag (but an alive one) on her (almost) Birthday

First and foremost, massive hugs and love to all of you for your many emails, flowers and other goodies you sent to the hospital to cheer me up and the tons of prayers that most certainly kept me alive these last 4 1/2 months.

Also, thanks to the good Lord above for blessing me with a second set of doctors and surgeons who, quite literally, saved my life. I will forever be thankful to God and to them for their gifts of skill and determination to keep me alive.

While the last 47 years have been full of joy and laughter, love and lust, peace and grace, they’ve also been quite full of pain–both of body and mind. I sometimes startle when I think of it. And I think that’s the greatest blessing of all…that the bad hasn’t overcome the good and made my life one of sadness and fear. That I still am a bit shocked when I think of all the trials I’ve been through shows me that it’s not those trials that define who I am, but it’s those trials from which I’ve learned to be who I am.

Since January and the medical issues I went through and am still going through, I’ve endured more physical pain than I ever thought possible. And the emotional toll has been devastating. The fear. No. The terror of everyday life over the last 140 days has been stunning in its endurance. But, even with all that, and what continues to happen as a result of that, I know I’m blessed. And here’s why:

  1. My husband not only tells me he loves me multiple times each day, but he shows me. What’s he’s had to endure watching me go through this mess would have broken a weaker man. Instead, he tells me it’s his privilege and honor to take care of me. I didn’t know love that like existed. A person’s true character shines brightest not in the light, but in the dark. He lit up my entire world and continues to do so.
  2. My sister flew out and took care of me for almost 3 weeks. She made damn sure the doctors, nurses and everyone else that had to do with my care did everything that was required to keep me alive. Her dedication to my health, both physical and mental, was beautiful and more than I ever could have asked for. She was, and continues to be, such an amazing support and shoulder. I don’t know what I’d have done without her.
  3. My mom, God bless her, who is 78 and seen more pain in her life than 10 other people combined, managed to survive all of what has and is happening and not snap or give in to despair. She even makes me a batch of homemade spaghetti sauce every week to cheer me up and make meals easy for me as I’m getting back on my feet.
  4. My 2nd set of doctors and nurses did their damnedest to keep my ass alive. My nurses showed me so much love it overwhelmed my heart. I had one doctor in particular who made me feel safe every time he walked through the door. When you are living in non-stop terror and pain, that reprieve is more valuable than anything on earth.
  5. My home nursing staff breathed love all over me with every visit. I’ll never be able to thank my sweet nurse who managed my care enough. I think of her so often and how her tenderness, love, support and understanding helped me through one of the truly darkest times of my life. I’d never before been so sad and so frozen in fear, but she held my hand and told me I was going to make it through. On her last visit, we both got emotional for we’d forged a bond through pain and understanding that doesn’t go away overnight.
  6. My friends rallied like never before to pray for me, support me and send me love on a continual basis. My sister kept everyone informed over Facebook as to what was going on and the outpouring of tenderness still warms my heart. I still cannot believe the cards, flowers, blankets, teddies and other wonderful tokens of love that my friends sent me to cheer me up. And I still feel bad that somehow all the wonderful notes that came with the heart-felt gifts have vanished. I would love to have been able to reach out to every kind person that sent me a card or gift and thank them profusely–alas, I was very drugged and while I was overwhelmed with thankfulness when my husband read me the cards when delivered, for the life of me I can’t recall about 80% of who sent what–but a HUGE thanks to those of you who sent me reminders that I wasn’t going through this alone. And a HUGE thanks to all of you who reached out virtually to let me know you were praying for me. Those prayers made all the difference.
  7. My ability to forgive hasn’t weakened. For that I’m eternally thankful. Sometimes, the rage and the heartache and the sense of betrayal can be so overwhelming it feels like I’m sinking into a hole from which there is no escape. But before I get to the bottom of it, I remember to forgive. And that pulls me up out of it. Though sometimes that dark hole tugs back, I won’t let it gain purchase for that is place I never want to live.
  8. I’m still alive. Dammit! I’m forever thankful for that. I still get the privilege of loving my husband, my family and my friends. I still get to do my best to bring joy (often through sarcasm!!) to those around me. I still get the pleasure of petting my kitties and taking care of the chickens, hamster and hedgehog. I still get to go to Starbucks and chat with all the wonderful friends I have there (I drink way too many frapps!). I still get to giggle with my hubby about silly things and make my teddy bears have conversations of a most inappropriate sort. I still get to love all the things I loved before…that is truly a blessing. And, most importantly, I didn’t die and leave my family bereaved. The thought of hurting them even more than the last 4 1/2 months already have just tears out my heart. So, I’m forever thankful that they didn’t have to plan a funeral, decide what to do with my stuff, have holidays without me and mourn my loss. The feeling of pain for those I love is always more important to me than my own pain, and I’m blessed to have kept them from that particular kind of anguish.

For those people who’ve been around me, most of you likely think that all is good as I’m still cheerful, quick to giggle and have done everything in my power to stay strong and be thankful for the good things that remain. All of that is true. It’s not a façade. At the same time though, way down deep where fear is a living and breathing thing, I’m truly terrified of the upcoming tests I still have to face and what the results of those may be. I’m very lucky to have a brain that compartmentalizes very well…it lets me get on with life while wrapping up all the pain and fear into a little box that I only let see the light on rare occasions. If you are so inclined, I’d be ever so grateful for continued prayers and healthy vibes. I still have some icky things coming up that scare the ever-loving fuck out of me, so your positive thoughts are so very appreciated. 🙂

I know this hasn’t been my typical post, and I know it’s been a long time since most of you have heard from me at all, but I’ve tried to spend these last months focusing on getting better, reducing my constant fear, learning to live with unexpected consequences, and being thankful that I’m even here to write this.

After 47 years of life I know that the most important things have nothing to do with money, possessions, looks, position, power or any of that other superficial bullshit. What I do know is that allowing people to love you and loving them back with your whole heart is the greatest gift in the world. For that knowledge, I’m forever thankful and blessed.

May you all have a wonderful life and know that I’m always praying for you to be happy, healthy and safe.

Much love,

Jodi

FREE BOOK TIME AGAIN–Almost!

TGIMFF!!! (Yeah, there’s more than just TGIF in that statement.)

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Kindle eBook Giveaway, so I thought I’d do one in time for Valentine’s Day (too many dang holidays all bunched up on each other!).

I’ll do another post when I have the exact dates for the giveaway–it’s looking like towards the end of next week.

I made some teeny, tiny, almost unnoticeable tweaks, so technically they are all 2nd editions, but you probably won’t even notice them. I’m a crazed and insane editor and I simply had to tweak!

If you don’t know about my books or are curious, click on any of the book covers below to get the scoop.

You guys know that for me, it’s all about spreading the love, not about the bux, so enjoy the gifts next week when the promo starts.

XOXOXO

PS: I also had the price lowered for print version of the Cookbook and for the newly formatted print versions of the How to Have a Happy Life relationship books (Sex and Intimacy), so that regardless of your financial status, they are all affordable. HUGS!

Horribly sarcastic and naughty. NO ONE should read this, unless you like that stuff. 😉

Maybe slightly less mouthy, but still full of piss and vinegar (and tons of heart too).

Yum yum yummies! Slurp! This is for people who both HATE cooking with a passion and LOVE it to death.

Have a wonderful weekend! Luv ya!

 

When the Sex goes Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehen, Arrivederci, Buh Bye

Recently, I was very honored to contribute to an article on Prevention.com.

The article, by Meghan Rabbitt, turned out great and really provided some good advice for couples who aren’t enjoying too much nookie in their relationship.

While I really enjoyed how she pieced together thoughts from other “sexperts” and myself, I also wanted everyone to read the full breadth of what I sent over to her as sometimes it can help to hear a single voice too.

She had asked me to answer 4 questions and here they are, along with my answers. I hope it can help some couples out there who are struggling with a relationship that doesn’t include much sex.

  1. Why does stressing about infrequent sex make sex worse?

Hopefully, sex for you is a joyful, stress-relieving romp with your significant other. But if it’s not and sex has become infrequent, it’s natural to start stressing about it. One of the big downfalls to that particular type of stress is that you’ll likely start to connect negative feelings to sex, which can create deep resentment towards your mate.

When sex becomes a scarcity and is no longer that wonderful, intimate release with your loved one, it can turn your thoughts to, “Why don’t we ever have sex? What is wrong with me? What is wrong with him? Is this how the rest of my life is going to be? Is he having an affair? Does he not find me attractive anymore?” The list goes on and on. This type of mindset can breed hurt feelings, insecurity, a lack of trust, and an overall negative attitude towards the relationship as a whole. That negativity can easily spread into all aspects of your life if you aren’t careful.

Beyond all of the self-doubt and resentment that a floundering sex life can cause, it can also set up great expectations for when it does come time for sexual intimacy. It can be easy to think, “Well, when we do have sex it damn well better be amazing! After all, it feels like it’s been forever since we last made love, so why shouldn’t all that built-up desire and pent-up need make the sex just that much hotter?” Then, when the sex is similar to what it’s always or recently been, you find yourself let down and deflated, rather than thrilled and excited about the next time.

The constant hope that you’ll have sex…the letdown if it doesn’t happen…and the disappointment when it does if it isn’t particularly great, can put you on a rollercoaster of emotions regarding sex and your partner that seem to always leave you wanting more.

It’s hard on any relationship, no matter how strong, when those up and down emotions become pervasive. The more you stress about it, the deeper the anxiety and feelings of rejection can go. And typically those emotions lead to even less sex, so you’re existing in a self-perpetuating situation that it can be hard to find your way out of.

So, when you find yourself stressing about how much or little sex you are having, take some time to evaluate what might be causing the situation and then try and figure out some strategies for change. It never helps to point a finger of blame at anyone, and the Blame Game only causes further stress and embarrassment. Broach the conversation lovingly and if you just can’t find a way to talk about it, for whatever reason, then step up your game the next time you and your partner make love and see if that new special technique you bring to the bedroom does anything to reawaken the sexy passion you once shared.

  1. What are the downsides/detriments to talking yourself into having sex — even if you’re not in the mood?

This is a topic over which there is much debate. There are experts out there who will tell you to talk yourself into sex, even if you aren’t in the mood, because once you’re in the thick of it you’ll start to enjoy it. They reinforce that the act of having sex makes you feel sexier and will eventually lead to having more sex on a regular basis.

The flip side of that is that sex is hopefully some combination of a loving, wild, delicious, lusty, bonding, and exciting way of connecting with your mate. If you go into sex half-hearted, will the passion be there? Will your partner feel your apathy?

Having sex when one isn’t in the mood can feel at worst like a violation and at best like you’d rather be getting a root canal. Creating a sexual environment in which those are the emotions that you tie to sex isn’t healthy in either the short or long term.  When your feelings about sex are negative, your response to even the thought of it can become Pavlovian in nature, almost visceral. When that happens your desire can lessen even more, thereby exacerbating an already tough situation.

Sex should be the culmination of love, lust, need, want, desire and a whole host of other emotions. Not a Well, if I have to I guess I can endure it type of activity. Make love when it feels right to both of you for that is when you and your partner will achieve the closeness and satisfaction that comes with a healthy sexual relationship.

  1. Why is frequency not as important as intimacy?

It’s the old argument over quantity vs. quality. Is it better to devour a really good pizza once a week or eat some frozen cardboard pizza 3 times a week? I’d well imagine people could easily argue both sides. But here is why I’d vote for intimacy over frequency any time.

Think back to your most amazing sexual experience. Was it crazy and exhilarating? Was it loving and tender? Was it some yummy combination of both? I bet when you think back on it you can remember every tantalizing touch. Or maybe you only remember the overall feeling of “Wow. That was incredible. I need to sleep for a week to recuperate.” Either way, it left a delightful positive imprint in your brain about just how good sex can be.

Now, think back on the most boring sex you’ve ever had. How did it leave you feeling? I often joke with people that if the sex is not worth the cleanup, then I’m not doing it. Boring sex can be dreadful because it strips you of all the tingles and passion that we equate with good sex. It turns sex into a chore rather than feeling like you are tripping the light fantastic. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to think of sex in the same way I think of cleaning my kitchen.

So, if someone put the question to me: Would you rather have amazing sex once a week or ho-hum sex 3 times a week? I think the answer would pop out of my mouth lightning quick: Amazing sex!

It’s important to remember, especially in a long-term relationship, that your mate having sex with you more often doesn’t mean they love you more. And having sex with you less frequently doesn’t mean they love you less. It’s never that cut and dry. What you can do to show how deeply you love one another, when the sex isn’t particularly frequent, is taking the time to lavish each other with unbridled passion when you do have sex. Ensuring that both of you are happy, satisfied and feel wanted can help nurture a continued sense of closeness even when you are outside of the bedroom.

One of the most enduring results of good sex is the intimacy it breeds between lovers. Intimacy stretches itself into all aspects of life. It helps us feel loved, cherished, adored, understood, and safe. Those feelings create an overall sense of happiness and security that foster an environment where everyone knows they are valued, loved and respected.

  1. How can long-term couples invigorate their sex life, without the stress/pressure to have sex often?

I’m going to tow the company line here and suggest great communication. I know it sounds trite, but over time it’s easy to forget what your partner really likes in bed (or on the kitchen counter) and simply asking can remind us of the fun sexual things we did long ago.

It’s easy for sex to become rote. He kisses this. I rub that. I get into this position. Bang, we’re done. No one wants a script for sex that’s the same over and over.

If you want to liven up your sex life, try and remember the sex you had during the first year you were together.

  • Were there certain places you liked to have sex?
  • Were there positions you favored that you don’t do anymore?
  • Are there erogenous zones that either of you haven’t paid attention to in a while?

To start rebuilding your sex life without doing anything drastic, you can go back to what you liked to do when the relationship first began—that can go a long way to rekindling the spark. It’s amazing how just feeling wanted by your partner can liven up your sex life.

You can also try something new. I’m not suggesting that everyone goes out and buys a blindfold and handcuffs, but just easing into something you haven’t done before can be titillating and kick your sex life back into high gear.

For example:

  • Have you tried roll playing? If you haven’t done that before, start slow and warm into it.
  • What about lingerie or sexy costumes?
  • How about talking dirty?
  • Are their certain scents that get you revved up?
  • Do you romance each other outside of the bedroom to get revved up for fun in the bedroom?
  • What about a quickie in the bathroom or the back seat of your car?

Sometimes trying something new, even if you just barely dip your toe in the pool, can invigorate a sex life that’s seen better days. The thrill and excitement that comes along with new experiences can make us relive the butterflies in our tummies that we had when we first started out on our sexual journeys.

Ultimately, while having a satisfying sex life is important, it’s achieving a balance in a relationship that everyone can live with that’ll help you endure in the long run. For some people, sex just isn’t that important. For others it’s the be-all-end-all of life. Finding a way to communicate and compromise so that both parties feel loved, desired and safe is the real path to enjoying a lifelong adventure with the one you love.

Author Jodi Ambrose

jodiambrose.com | jodiambroseblog.com | @jodiambrose

Okay, so all that above writing was me trying to sound like an adult (and trying not to cuss or be overly sarcastic!), but the short and sweet reality of it is: Sometimes couples stop having sex. It just happens. It may totally suck, but it happens nonetheless. Whether there’s an inciting incident that somehow kills the spark, or it’s the kids, the job, being tired all the time, feeling like roommates, sexual laziness, someone’s porn habit, whatever it is, sometimes the sex just falls away.

Believe it or not, one of the things I get asked about most often is what to do when the sex stops. Or why do I think the sex has stopped. And it comes from just as many women as it does men. This is not nearly as gender-specific of a problem as you might assume. It’s not just the ladies saying no–it’s a good chunk of men too. I had one male friend ask me how I can help him get interested in sex even half as much as he’s interested in football. He is not unique in asking that question.

I think there are a million reasons why the sex can peter out to nearly nothing–but the real questions for your future are:

  1. Is it something you can live with?
  2. Is the relationship fulfilling in every other way (or most other ways)?
  3. Do you love and adore your partner to the point where sex being a rarity is tolerable because everything else is going so well?

If you are in this type of a relationship, know you are not alone. I can’t begin to tell you how many couples are in an almost-sexless relationship. It happens WAY more than you would think. But it’s typically something no one really talks about, even with their friends, because admitting you never get laid can be embarrassing and no one wants someone else looking at them like: “What’s wrong with you? Do you suck in bed? Are you that undesirable?” When the reality is that it’s probably (mostly) none of that.

I’ve also heard from men and women that they’ve already tried everything they can think of to re-kindle the spark. Boudoir photos shoots, lingerie, stepping up the foreplay, more romance, sensual massage, talking dirty, being the best lover they can possibly be, being spontaneous, buying toys, role-playing, losing weight, gaining weight, wearing make-up more often, dressing nicer, being nicer…you name it. And sometimes none of that works. No matter what you do, the sex still just limps along like it has a broken leg. And arm. And back. And neck. And dick. And muff.

It can be so incredibly frustrating and it can be easy to translate a lack of sex to rejection as a whole. And no one likes to be or feel rejected. It hits home down deep where all the worst of our emotions lurk and eat away at our happiness.

Alas, sometimes, sex just falls by the wayside. So, it’s up to you to either find a way to fix it (with some of my awesome suggestions above!) 😉 or find a way to live with it, or get out of the relationship. Walking around miserable all the time because you never get laid will only lead to resentment and pain that worsens over time. So your options are to fix it, forget it, or leave it. But you can’t mope about it forever. It will ruin all of your joy.

Of course, my hope for everyone is that they get the best damn nookie of their life as often as they want it. Three Cheers for Awesome Bang-Bang-Time! 🙂 🙂 🙂 But if that’s not you, know that you aren’t alone and that less sex is not a direct correlation to less love. Sex is just one way of showing love. If you can’t do it that way, make sure to show it in every other way you can.

XOXOXOXO

 

I’m trying something new…NO! Not bestiality! Ya bunch of perverts! ;)

Over the last few years I’ve had some requests to turn my blog into a podcast of sorts.

As I’m lazy as fuck (in reality I just work too damn hard during the day!), I’ve been putting it off. But with my last post I got a few emails telling me they want to hear it instead of read it. So, I’m giving in.

But I must warn you…I’m doing it in one take. So if I fuck up horribly, sneeze or decide to eat dinner while recording…well, you are just going to have to hear it all. 😉

Here’s my first try. It’s a recording of my last post, “I’ve HAD it,” which is a rant about dumbfuckery.

It’s not word-for-word, but it’s close.

Don’t be too hard on me and all my mess-ups.

🙂

 

Here’s the link if ya wanna see the last pic in the post. 🙂

 

Kick Butt Radio Time!

How do, everyone? I hope you guys are having a great week. It’s hump day! Yay!

So, as I may have mentioned one or a hundred times, I’ve been SWAMPED at the office.

Good grief, it’s like we have 10 minutes to run a marathon. And you guys know I’m not big on the running. 😉

But, I was lucky enough to carve a half hour out of my day today (I am allowed a lunch break at least once a year…right??) to go on SiriusXM with the wonderful Kim Power Stilson. She was so much fun to talk with–we dished about food for 30 minutes–no pun intended. 😉

Not only was she great, but her production staff is so nice too. It was just a great time.

So, because I’ve got nothin’ but food on my mind (which kinda blows as I’m on a diet, but I did lick the top of a cupcake today–I just couldn’t resist!) I’m going to do two things.

First, here is a link to the radio show. Click HERE to listen.

Second, I’m gonna share a recipe from the cookbook. Mmmm…food…yum…

This is straight out of Darn Good Eats, story and all. I hope you like it. It is my very favorite cake on earth. And, believe it or not, I’ve actually made it one or two times myself. Shocking, I know. ENJOY!!

Happy Birthday Coffee Ice Cream Cake

When I was 5 years old I met a wonderful little girl in kindergarten named Eden. Who would have guessed that meeting her would lead me to my all-time favorite cake? Her mom, Edie, hooked up my mom with this recipe and my sweet, precious mommy has made it for me many times over the years for my birthday.

My mom was shocked that as a little girl I liked it because it has coffee ice cream in it. I barely like coffee as an adult, but this coffee ice cream cake is perfection. And it doesn’t really taste like coffee. You know you are tasting something beyond chocolate, but it’s hard to put your finger on what that flavor is.

I hope that you love it as much as I do. Every time I take a bite of it, I’m pulled back down memory lane to my childhood where I’m blowing out candles and devouring this wonderful creation. I hope it becomes a birthday staple in your family too.

Coffee Icecream Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of white, granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (the REAL stuff…no imitation vanilla)
  • 1 can (16 ounces) of Hershey’s Syrup™ (use the stuff in the can if you can find it, it tastes much better than the syrup in the plastic bottle)
  • I cup of flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • A dash of salt
  • 1/2 gallon, or slightly less, of good coffee ice cream
  • 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips (use Nestle™)
  • 2 tablespoons of Crisco™ Shortening

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  2. Cream together the butter and the sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla and Hershey’s Syrup to the bowl and stir until well mixed.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl and mix everything together until well blended.
  5. Pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350 °F for 25 – 30 minutes.
  6. When it’s done, remove from the oven, let it cool and then cover it and put it in the freezer (not the fridge, but the freezer).
  7. Once the cake is frozen, let the ice cream sit on the counter until it is soft (not melted).
  8. Spread the ice cream onto the cake and put back in the freezer.
  9. In a sauce pan over low heat or in a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and Crisco™ Shortening together, constantly stirring until fully melted and smooth.
  10. Take the cake out of the freezer and drizzle the melted chocolate all over it.
  11. Put the cake back in the freezer.
  12. Serve frozen (it will be hard as a brick when you first take it out of the freezer but it will be perfect after the slices have sat out for a couple of minutes).

Not only is this cake simply fantastic, but it is so rich that it lasts for quite some time. As much as I love this cake, I only cut about a 2 inch x 2 inch piece when I eat it. It is incredibly flavorful and a small piece is usually all it takes to have a full belly and happy tastebuds.