Photo101 – Water

My relationship with water is a love-hate relationship. I love water and what it can do in my life, but I hate to use the valuable resource without a meaningful return. In my mind, since I live in a high desert region, this is truly a question of whether the glass (well) is half full or half empty when deciding on usage.

Many people in this area don’t seem as concerned about the water issues as others. In the warmer months, I see groups of children (and sometimes adults) having car washes as fundraisers. Or, people watering huge lawns when smaller lawns or xeriscaping would be more appropriately water-wise and just as attractive. To add insult to injury, many people haphazardly over-water said lawns so the precious water is running down the gutters – water we may someday wish we had to drink or water our crops.

I think it is past time for people to start thinking outside the box when it comes to their relationships with water. I live in an area that has been drought-stricken for more than three years so I wonder if they think the well will never run dry.

Ultimate Date Night?

Ultimate Date Night?

Yes, you got it, I’m referring to Valentine’s Day. At least, a lot of my friends and acquaintances seem to think of it as the ultimate date night – and here I thought I was past all of that – apparently not!

For those of you feeling the pressure of coming up with yet another unforgettable evening of fun and games for the ‘big day,’ relax, here are a few affordable suggestions to help take the pressure off:

1 – Compliments!!!
Whatever you do, remember to pour on the heartfelt compliments – focus on the positive. They’re appreciated and truly do help to strengthen the relationship.

2 – Dinner after the movie.
Plan to have dinner after the movie. This arrangement makes for better conversation for those in new relationships while giving those in seasoned relationships yet another opportunity to tune into each other.

3 – Go on your first date again.
This one is especially for those in established relationships: re-enact your first date. Re-enactments rekindle the original emotions (beware of this one if the first date was a disaster).

4 – Low tech please.
Ditch the phones…enough said!

5 – Date jar.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to launch a new traditional in an existing relationship: the date jar. Put fun and affordable ‘date ideas’ in the jar as you think of them. Pick any two when it’s time for a date and go for it! This adds a bit of fun and spontaneity back into the relationship without over-burdening the budget.

6 – Handholding.
Regardless of the activity, respectful PDA turns it into a date.

7 – Make it a double.
Maintaining a friendship with another couple helps solidifies each relationship and intensifies the attraction the individual couples have for each other.

8 – Leave sweet notes for each other throughout the day leading up to the date.
Build anticipation for the date by leaving notes on the mirror, in the car, in pockets, or in the lunch bag/box. This is also nice to do in general, not just on Valentine’s Day.

9 – Make it ‘Favorite Date’ night.
Do his / her favorite thing and vice versa. For example, she loves French restaurants (he, not so much) and he loves action movies (she, not so much) so they rarely do these things together. On Valentine’s Day, they go to an action movie then out to dinner at a French restaurant. Shared experiences build stronger relationships.

10 – Not just for ‘sweethearts,’ but also for the ‘sweet of heart.’
I like to think of Valentine’s Day as a day for those who are genuinely ‘sweet of heart.’ You know the people of whom I speak. They can always put a smile on your face, even on your worst day – maybe the pharmacy clerk who never gets flustered or the librarian who can always find the right book or the usher at church who never fails to get you to the pew on time. Remember them on this loveliest of days as well.

Happy Valentine’s Day!