Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Issue 37 - The Amazing Hidden Heart

Quote of the Month


"Love withers with predictability; its very essence is surprise and amazement. To make love a prisoner of the mundane is to take its passion and lose it forever." — Leo F. Buscaglia


The Amazing Hidden Heart


When Chad and Noelle Arbon attended one of the recent Art of the Spark workshops, I could tell they have a special relationship.  It was the little things -- the way they smiled at each other, their frequent touches, and how they talked to and about each other.  Newlyweds?  No, they'd been married ten years, but it was clear they haven't lost the spark.


When we talked about romantic traditions, they shared two of theirs. The first tradition started with a plastic "I love you" heart Noelle bought at Hallmark for $1.00. They take turns hiding it somewhere in their bedroom.  Since this has been going on for seven years, the hiding places have become more creative over time. The plastic heart has been hidden in a shoe, a slipper, the Q-Tip jar, a watch band, a vitamin jar, under the covers, behind the soap in the shower, and balanced on the edge of a picture, bed frame or mirror. Sometimes it takes weeks to find it.  Once Noelle hid the heart in a pocket of Chad's pants.  When he finally put the pants on weeks later, she was watching him out of the corner of her eye. She saw him put on the pants and feel something in the pocket. The look of surprise and recognition when he found the heart said, "Game on!"


Noelle said she gets a rush of love when she finds the heart. "It's an ongoing, almost silent game of love we play.  I think we are always on the quest to "out hide" each other."


The second tradition is simply a secret code they can use in front of the children.  "Do you think we should conserve water today?" is their way of suggesting Chad and Noelle shower together.  Even though the kids are old enough to know what's going on, they roll their eyes and smile.  No amount of eye rolling can hide the comfort and security they feel having parents who love each other. The warmth of the spark affects the whole family.


Comments from Recent Art of the Spark Workshop Participants


Here are a few comments from participants who attended the two workshops in February.


"Mary was wonderfully warm and approachable in her presentation. Everything she spoke of was put in a fun and useful way.  Very enjoyable workshop." -- Leslie N.


"It really opened up my mind to things I have never thought of before."  -- Les S.


"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 A.  


"A wonderful exploration of how to have more fun and deepen your relationship." — Nancy B.


"A wonderfully fun and informative way to renew our commitment and re-energize our romance." — Tamara B.


"It's amazing how easy it is to love." — Kevin S.


March 13 Art of the Spark Workshop

Early Bird Pricing Extended to March 7


There is still room for a few more couples to attend the Art of the Spark workshop at Old Town Guesthouse on March 13.  The workshops are highly interactive and entertaining.  Each couple will need a copy of The Art of the Spark, which can be purchased at the workshop or online at  In this workshop, you'll learn the following.


     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

Reconnect through massage techniques

Present gifts — large or small — in memorable ways

Express your love through words of affirmation

Have a complaint-free relationship


Special guest Jenny Domingue, an experienced massage therapist, will teach massage techniques as a way to help couples de-stress and reconnect.  Through caring touch, couples can learn to deepen communication, intimacy and their ability to express love and appreciation for each other.


The Old Town Guesthouse, named the best bed and breakfast in the Colorado Springs Gazette in 2009, is hosting a seven-hour Art of the Spark workshop and overnight stay. The cost is $89 (includes a light lunch) plus lodging if paid by March 7, and $109 after March 7.  Old Town Guesthouse is located at 115 South 26th Street. Call Old Town Guesthouse at 719 632-9194 or 888 375-4210 or go to to reserve your room. Register online for the workshop at or call me (Mary) at 719 649-3201.


Lodging is optional.  If there are no rooms available when you call Old Town Guesthouse for reservations, please call me for an excellent alternative.


The Art of the Spark


The Art of the Spark has lots of love-friendly anecdotes and inexpensive suggestions for expressing love and creating fun.  Couples who play together stay together. 


Consider Romance Bingo for a lively icebreaker for parties and showers.


Celebrating with Food


My dad, Jim Ross, was born in March, 1930 and died in March 75 years later.  He was a great father and a fabulous cook.  Since I'm missing my dad even more this month, I decided to share three of his favorite recipes with you. 


Salmon Quiche


My dad started making this recipe decades ago, long before we started cutting fat, cholesterol and gluten from our diets.  In a tribute to him, I'm listing his original recipe.  In consideration of various dietary restrictions (and my waistline), I'm showing my modifications in parenthesis.


Sweet and Sour Pork


Sure, it's easier to go to a Chinese restaurant, but it's tastier to make it at home.  I haven't ordered sweet and sour pork in a restaurant since my dad got this recipe from a Chinese co-worker in 1987. 


Buttermilk Fudge


My dad used to make large batches of this fudge to give to family and friends.  It's rich and delicious.  He'd cut the fudge in small squares, wrap them in aluminum foil and freeze them.  People always loved to get these tasty treats.

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 you a life of romantic adventure,

Mary Zalmanek 

Next entry     Previous entry     Newsletter menu     Home