Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Issue 39 - Planned Grumpiness

Quote of the Month


"Tolerance is a great trait to contain, but so is the ability to shut up."

 -- Unknown


Planned Grumpiness


Jim and I recently had dinner with our dear friends, Roger and Marty.  As sometimes happens in all long-term loving relationships, Roger said or did something that slightly annoyed Marty. She started to say something about it when he said, "Excuse me, it's Saturday."  Marty paused mid-sentence, laughed and said, "Oh, right."  Then she kissed him.  


I asked, "What was that all about?"


They explained their new ground rules.  On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, everything "is all love and light" no matter what happens.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are love/hate days when it's okay to be a little snappy as long as the love is there.  On Sundays, they can be as grumpy as they want to be.  It helps them to remain in a good mood about minor transgressions on love days.  


"How's that working for you?" I asked.


"So far it's been really fun," Roger said, "but it's only been two months.  Ask again in a year."


Any experiment that keeps people laughing and optimistic the majority of the week sounds like a good plan to me.  What would your life be like if you only allowed yourself to be grumpy once a week?


Kindness Payback


Did you see last month's Celebrating Our Lives Newsletter about kindness?  After my amazing friend Kelly performed an intentional and outrageous act of kindness for my mother and me, I challenged myself to pay it forward for someone else.  I'm tickled to report that I've got something in the works, but I can't tell you about it yet.  It's been set up, but the recipient won't find out about it for several months.  I'll let you know when it happens.

Art of the Spark Workshop Hits the Road


The next Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop will be on Friday, June 18 in Belle Plaine, Minnesota.  If you are in the Twin Cities, here's what you need to know. This highly interactive and entertaining workshop will be from 6:00 to 9:30.  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


For $60 per couple or $35 per person, you'll also get a copy of The Art of the Spark and an unforgettable romantic snack.  For more information or to schedule your own workshop, call me at 719 649-3201. 


Ronna, a recent workshop participant said, "On a scale of 1 to 10, the workshop was an 11. It was filled with substance and depth, yet still playful and easy. Thank you for your wonderful workshop that far surpassed my expectations. My honey and I left feeling even more connected and affirmed!"


Wedding Gifts

It's the wedding season.  And what do most newlyweds want even more than toasters or towels?  Lasting love, that's what!  If you have friends or family getting married this summer, The Art of the Spark would make a great wedding or shower gift. 


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


Celebrating with Food


We recently traveled to the Texas Hill Country and sampled some mighty fine food.  As expected the barbeque and smoked sausage was worth waiting in Texas-sized lines.  We discovered an unexpected delight at the sophisticated Circle K Café in Johnson City. These recipes are inspired by that tasty meal.


Opah with Pico de Gallo and Sweet Potato Fries


Chicken-fried tuna was on the menu. It sounded like a strange thing to do to fresh tuna, but the server assured us it was crisp on the outside and pink on the inside.  We ordered it to satisfy our curiosity.  Our joyful taste buds did a happy dance.  The recipe I'm sharing with you this month was inspired by that dish.  I didn't chicken-fry the fish, and I didn't even use tuna, but the food underneath and on top of the fish imitates their excellent creation.


Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries


Not only are sweet potatoes filled with vitamin A and fiber, they are tasty, too. Oven-baked sweet potato fries are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. For the opah recipe, I seasoned them with just salt, but I've also sprinkled other spices like cinnamon, cumin, red pepper, or oregano depending on what I'm serving with them.


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 


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