Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Issue 48 - Genny's Hope

Quote of the Month

"Once you choose hope, anything's possible."  -- Christopher Reeve

Genny's Hope

Last spring I walked on Florida's white sandy beaches.  I felt the sea breeze in my hair and sand between my toes. I watched children build sand castles.  I heard sea gulls call.  The experience inspired me to order an umbrella drink at a nearby beach bar. 

Two months later, my friend Ann Haehn walked on that same beach.  She, too, felt sand between her toes, but that's were the similarity between our experiences ended.  When she watched children build sand castles, she thought of her 33-year-old daughter Genny who has a rare form of chronic leukemia known as myleofibrosis.  Ann prayed that a donor would be found to give Genny the bone marrow transplant she desperately needs to save her life.  Only then could Genny take her 8- and 12-year old children to the beach to build sand castles.  Ann heard God calling.  The experience inspired her to start a foundation that would save lives by getting more people to sign up for the bone marrow registry. 

That's the difference between Ann and me.  I heard the call to have a pina colada.  Ann heard the call to save lives.   When the call came through her, I joined her efforts.

Ann assembled a powerful group of friends, family and business associates to start an organization called Genny's Hope Foundation.  We are a non-profit organization whose goal is to recruit one million new donors to the bone marrow registry over 25 years.  What's more, the organization is raising funds to purchase the cheek-swab kits needed to register donors. That allows donors to be placed on the registry at no cost to them.

Go to to learn about bone marrow donation and find out how you can help save lives. 

Let me end with good news.  A match has been found for Genny.  Her bone marrow transplant is scheduled for January.  This has made Ann even more committed to Genny's Hope Foundation.  She remembers the elation she felt when Genny's doctor told her a match had been found.  She didn't want anyone to get the news that their loved one would die waiting for a match.  

Next time I hear sea gulls call or watch children play I will appreciate the beauty of life. I will also think about the power we all have to save lives.

Two-for-one December Special

For December, when you buy The Art of the Spark: 12 Habits to Inspire Romantic Adventures, you get one free. It's a book that shows you how to express your love in simple ways that your sweetheart will best understand.  That helps you build a foundation for romantic adventures.  You'll be inspire by the hundreds of examples to create your own romantic adventures, and see that it's possible on any budget. 

Buy one for yourself, and give the other as a gift.   

If you are hosting a party and want a fun and unusual icebreaker, try Romance Bingo.

After-dishes Kisses

One way couples express their love is through acts of service. Determining who washes dishes or takes out the trash can result in varying degrees of satisfaction -- or not.  

Debbi and Erik have a unique arrangement.  Erik does the dishes, and Debbi takes out the trash.  She thinks she's get the best deal since the dishes get done every day, but the trash gets hauled to the curb once a week.  The sweetest part of this deal -- and the part they both look forward to the most -- is what happens after the dishes are done.    The job isn't done until they share "after-dishes kisses."

Schedule Your Own Art of the Spark Workshop

Sometimes it takes courage and confidence -- plus a healthy dose of creativity and laughter -- to have romantic adventures with your sweetheart.  If you'd like to explore new horizons in your relationship, consider hosting an Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop.  These workshops explore love, romance, and fun for couples in committed relationships -- married, engaged, dating or partnered.  

It's easy to host your own Art of the Spark workshop tailored to your needs. You provide space for the workshop in your home, office or church, tell your friends about it and I do the rest. When a church or non-profit sponsors the event, twenty percent of proceeds will be donated to that organization.  

In this workshop, you'll learn how to:

    • Build a foundation for romantic adventures
    • Speak your sweetheart's Love Language
    • Know when surprise is wise ... or ill advised
    • Customize your own Couple's Playlist with six types of Couple's Play 
    • Plan romantic adventures ... on any budget 
    • Have a complaint-free relationship
    • Present gifts -- large or small -- in memorable ways

For information go to

Rave reviews from past participants

"I was deeply touched by the things that happened that afternoon.  My husband, who has always been a great husband but never particularly demonstrative, totally blew my socks off... He's been so warm and considerate since that afternoon -- I'm just elated!" 

— Linda Lauck

"On a scale of 1 to 10, the workshop was an 11.  It was filled with substance and depth, yet still playful and easy."  — Ronna Vigil 

"Mary has a wonderful presence and a wealth of information that is invaluable to any relationship." — David Thomas

"LOVED YOUR WORKSHOP!!!! Thank you for bringing an extra spark to our relationship. I know the next 10 years are going to be that much more amazing!!" — Noelle Arbon

"I not only endorse and recommend this class, but feel that Mary has put a creative and fun approach to a subject we sometimes take for granted in this fast-paced world of ours."  —John Daugherty, Doctor of Chiropractic

"The course brought together many new ideas and all the things that have worked for us but were forgotten."  —Tom Saponas

Food for Celebration

Halibut with Red Curry Sauce

Recently we ate at Earl's Restaurant in downtown Denver.  I had a fabulous meal of halibut with panang curry sauce, served with mushroom risotto and spinach.  I've tried to recreate the recipe.  My first attempts using store-bought curry sauces produced mediocre results.  I've played around with different sauces and finally came up with one worth sharing with you.  This one is very tasty.

Mushroom Risotto 

This risotto recipe works well with the Halibut with Red Curry Sauce or as a side dish with any other tasty meal.  

English Toffee

Each December, Nancy Bentley rewards the six other members of our Wednesday morning writing group with a tin of her famous English toffee.  We all look forward to this tasty treat.  Nancy refined Beverly Whittaker's recipe to fit Colorado's high altitude.

Until Next Time 

If you enjoyed this free newsletter, please forward it to friends.  I care about people and how they celebrate.  If you have any stories you'd like to share, please send them to me at

Wishing your a life of romantic adventure,

Mary Zalmanek

Next entry      Previous entry     Newsletter menu     Home