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Authentic Hawaiian foods

Posted by mandyf on March 18, 2013

One of the highlights of Hawaii is the many varieties of traditional Hawaiian food available. The states rich history of people from around the world adding culinary twists from wherever they departed before arriving on Hawaii’s shores makes their food truly unique. Over centuries what has been created is as diverse a dining experience as you will find anywhere. If your idea of Hawaiian food is pizza (Or anything for that matter) with a slice of pineapple on it, or just poi, which while traditional is not to everyone’s taste, hold on to your hats and get out your pens for some real authentic Hawaiian dining delights.

Something to remember when considering Hawaiian food is it’s role in society. Hawaii is known for it’s pineapples, mangoes, macadamia and kukui nuts, as well as it’s seafood. All are a part of most daily meals, however they are also integral industries that at one time supported the island prior to tourism, none more than pineapple. Also Hawaiians take their meals seriously. They view each meal as a gift and a time for sharing with family and friends. Arguments are to be left outside and aloha is the mood of the table. Oftentimes many of the senior Hawaiians do not even want to discuss business at the table and prefer instead to use the time to keep current with other aspects of the lives of the people sharing their table.

A particular favorite has always been Lau-Lau which never disappoints. The way it is prepared is by stuffing a pork shoulder with chicken and/or a vegetable filling. Sometimes butter-fish or whatever catch of the day you prefer is added to create a different flavor, and of course Hawaiian or kosher salt really tops it off well. The filling is then individually wrapped and tied in five taro leaves. The lau lau is then further wrapped and tied inside 2 ti-leaves. If you cannot get ti-leaves or just prefer not to use them as they are not edible, banana or spinach leaves work just as well and add a little bit of a flavor twist. The best, and only way to cook these according to traditionalists, are in an imu, which is an underground oven, hanging around in the backyard. Pressure cooking works almost as well as not everyone has an imu. The variety of natural flavors from the leaves and natural ingredients make this something that will dance on the tip of your tongue.

Perhaps the best known Hawaiian food is called Kalua pig or Kalua pork. This is usually the main course of all Hawaiian luau’s. Like Lau-Lau, it is best prepared in an imu, but you can prepare it other ways as well, just know that it won’t have that smoky flavor without an artificial additive. When preparing this it is good to remember to pierce the pork with a fork or knife to allow the flavor to seep in, and this should be cooked fat side up to allow the fat to drip down the sides of pork. It is tender and juicy and and melts in your mouth when properly prepared. Kalua pig has a distinct salty/smoky flavor that is hard to not fall in love with.

Lomi Salmon is a traditional, but not native Hawaiian seafood dish consisting of salted diced or cubed salmon with tomatoes, green onions, lemon juice, and crushed ice. If you like it spicy Tabasco sauce can certainly kick this up a notch without destroying the natural flavor. Lomi is a food that complements poi which makes it a mainstay at all luau’s. Usually it is served as a spread with crackers, however it is also excellent when stuffed in tomatoes or inside cherries. This is an addictive side that will keep you going back for more. Its great flavor and ease of preparation make this a very popular dish aside from it’s historical significance as a substitute for the fish kumu, which ancient Hawaiians used as an offering to the gods. Just be warned not to fill up on this, once you start diving into the Lomi it’s hard to stop.

Poi has been a staple food in Hawaii for countless years. It is made from the root of the taro plant. Poi is produced by mashing the cooked taro into a gluey thick fluid. While mashing this, you add water to achieve the desired consistency which can range from a paste like substance which is most common, or to something a bit more fluid and soupy which is a bit less popular. If it looks like grits you are probably doing it right. It is an acquired taste for most, one I honestly never did acquire. Many native Hawaiians believed the spirit of Ha-loa was a present in poi which makes it so special in addition to having been for some a main source of nourishment in past centuries. Kalo was the original ancestor of the Hawaiian people and was to be revered, so poi was therefore considered sacred.

Another delight is Poki. This is raw fish salad almost always made with ahi which is yellow-fin tuna. This dish is flavored with kukui nuts, seaweed, soy sauce, and sesame oil although most people enjoy variations of seasonings. I myself like a little Tabasco. In fact, there are probably well over a hundred or so variations of Poki served throughout the islands as most towns

and restaurants generally have their own style of making this dish. Raw fish isn’t for everyone, but one taste is usually enough to make a convert out of anybody. The good thing about this dish is if you don’t like one style it is prepared in you may find one you do like the next day as it is a very diverse dish. This dish is always a great starter with any meal, and being a lover of Poki I encourage everyone to try as many variations as possible. This is so good in fact you may find yourself requesting a large order to serve as your entree.

What discussion of Hawaiian food would be complete without bringing up a traditional dessert? Hawaiian banana bars are simple and tasty and a favorite of dessert lovers of all ages. This treat consists of mashed bananas, chopped walnuts, vanilla extract, brown sugar, lemon juice and a dash of cinnamon. Once this is mixed you just bake it for a half hour, let is cool, and cut it into bars or blocks as you would a brownie, you can’t make it much simpler than that. Some people enjoy adding other ingredients like a little coconut or macadamia nuts instead of walnuts which is what makes this so popular, it’s ease in preparation and versatility. If you need a quick and easy dessert Hawaiian Ambrosia is the ultimate. Ambrosia is prepared in a large bowl, preferably a punch bowl. First add in about eight ounces of pineapple and about ten ounces of mandarin oranges. Then add shredded coconut, mini marshmallows, cool-whip, milk, and cherries. Chill for an hour and garnish with cherries and you’re all set. It is as tasty as it is easy and goes over great with kids which is why this is a luau staple.

There is so much variety in traditional Hawaiian food you will find trying to sample a bit of everything a highlight of each meal. Keep an open mind as to trying new things. Don’t make meal time a rushed event, but rather look upon it as a reward and another part of your Hawaiian experience. You may go to Hawaii for the sun and sand, but the food will make you want to keep coming back!


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Growing up with a disabled mother

Posted by mandyf on March 7, 2013

Growing up with a disabled mother is only an issue if one of two conditions applies to it which are that they make an issue of it, or the child makes an issue of it. If neither of those applies then having a disabled parent is not that unlike having a regularly abled parent. Sure there are people that point out a disabled parent has things that perhaps they cannot do, but they rarely look to things that they can do which is far more important.

Having grown up with a disabled mother I never had the opportunity to dwell on it, that was just the way things were and I accepted that. There may have been times for instance that she couldn’t get in the pool, but that didn’t stop her from being at the pool. Maybe she couldn’t get up and teach me how to dance when all the kids were eager to learn because we all wanted to mimic the moves of our favorite character from Grease, but she could be there and tell me what to do and show me as best she could. There were times she couldn’t even get out of bed because the energy just wasn’t there, but that didn’t stop her from still spending time with me whether that meant I crawled into bed alongside her to watch television, read to her, knit an afghan with her, or just talk. Physical activities she may not have always been able to give me, but time was always available and in retrospect far more valuable.

A mother that is physically or emotionally challenged is in some ways a blessing to have. There are certain things they may not be able to do, but what they can, they give in abundance. They set an early example that we are not defined by our limitations, and the only limitations we have are the ones we accept. I learned very quickly that being a good parent did not hinge on being able to do all the little things that a perceived “normal” parent could do, but rather doing everything that could be done. There is no diagnosed impediment to giving love, support, or friendship after-all.

They say people can be cruel to the disabled, not they always mean to, but sometimes glances that linger too long, comments that weren’t meant to be heard, or any number of subtle things can cut like a knife. Growing up with a disabled mother I witnessed this first hand. What I also witnessed was the appropriate way to deal with such things which is a lesson that carried over to many areas of life. When someone was rude to her, she made them aware that their words or actions hurt, but she refused to allow that hurt to linger. If they didn’t care that they had hurt her she gave them her pity for knowing and still not caring. When someone did not understand her condition she took the time to explain it so that they next time they found them self in a similar situation they would know how to react and know that although there may be some visible differences, the unseen portions were just the same as anyone else.

Growing up with a disabled mother also goes a long way to teaching a child about self reliance, maturity, and in a way the realities of life. A child that sees a disabled parent that constantly does their best to care for them self and their family without regard to how the outside world may view them provides a child with a role model that there is no such thing as disabled really, but rather those that are differently abled. Anyone that has spent sufficient time with such people are often amazed at how many ways these people find to carry out tasks that most would expect impossible for them to do. Living with a disabled parent aids in maturing a child as it is quickly learned there is a right and wrong way to do things and to act towards others. It is quickly understood that there is a time for play and a time to be serious and to not mix the the two. Finally although some see it is a negative, learning the realities of life is not a negative thing for a child. Not everything comes wrapped in neat little perfect boxes with bows and ribbons. That does not however mean that those things do not hold great beauty inside. A child learns life is not always easy, but that it is worth living and it is what you make of it.

I used to spend time wondering if life would have been better growing up with a mother that didn’t face the challenges she did, I think all children in that position do from time to time. I wonder if my own daughter thinks that of me since as fate would have it I became a disabled mother too. I wonder if she is missing out on something that I otherwise could have provided for her had I been more able. Those thoughts though are quickly dismissed and the main reason is because I have an example to look back to, my own mother. While I certainly would have wished better health for her, I saw that she never allowed her challenges to stop her from doing everything she was capable of. I in turn use her example to do all I am capable of. If I am lucky, my daughter will continue to grow up healthy, have her own family, and do all she is capable of for them. Hopefully she will not face any disabilities of her own, if she does however i am sure she will still be equipped to be a great mother, She has had plenty of examples that being a good mother is about giving what you can and not dwelling on what you can’t.

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Being a parent isn’t about being popular

Posted by mandyf on March 6, 2013

Parenting isn’t about being popular with your kids, it’s about doing the right thing. It’s doesn’t always feel good to make decisions for our kids that we know they won’t like, but as they say, someone has to be the grown up. With that said, it seems as if kids are running the show more and more with each passing generation. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like more kids are calling the shots for themselves at a younger age that ever before. Far too many parents similarly seem content with that trend.

Today, I’m sharing a post by Tracy Madlener from Spicie.com called “I’m Your Mother… Not Your Friend” in which she offers her perspective on this as well. I found a portion in which she wrote the following really hit home, because honestly, how can you really argue with this point:

“A soothing voice, and a hug will always calm a crying child.  As for the child having a screaming tantrum?  Don’t give in and stay firm.  The tantrum thrower shouldn’t be rewarded because mom is fed up and doesn’t want to deal with her little firecracker.  Discipline is expected for bad behavior and needs to be practiced whether the parent wants to or not.  It’s a part of the job description when signing up to become a good parent.”

I really enjoyed this and wanted to pass it along. I do encourage you to give it a read and let her know what your take is on the topic as well.

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Sexy celebrity looks for eyes

Posted by mandyf on March 5, 2013

Getting sexy looking eyes just got simpler! Current celebrity trends have opened up a whole new wave of ways to get sexy looking eyes anyone can pull off at home. Bold colors and multiple shades are in vogue again and for all those fans of blue  – it’s back! Follow some simple steps and you too can have sexy eyes no one can resist staring into.

For a playful sexy look purple is the only option. Purple works with any eye color and is sure to separate you from everyone with the old traditional boring black eyeliner. Start with a purple eyeliner pencil – the bigger the better. Make a nice wide strip on the top lash line first and then repeat on the bottom.  The reason for this is you want  a thick bold line to tart working with – and remember to work from the outer to inner corner of your eyes.

Your next step is to smear the color on the top lid – use your finger for this. You want to make sure you work the color into the creases. Before you move on – grab that pencil again and make a second line over the original. This is going to help redefine things and set a multi-tone look.

To finish up hit your lashes with a dash of black mascara and you’re done. It really is that simple, and you have a look that is going to draw a ton of attention.

For an evening out that looks runway glamorous you’ll need to work with two tones – green and gold. Don’t be scared off by those colors, when used together they look fabulous. To get started apply a line of olive green liner just below the lower inner rim of your eye. Blink a few times to see how the color transfers to the upper rim, and then reapply the liner one more time to fill in where any color may have been lost.

Next you want to apply another olive green line along the lower lash line, Be very precise with this step. Now you want to switch to the gold tone and repeat the steps working around the green lines. Go slightly heavier on the top than the bottom.

To finish it off smudge the lines with a small shadow brush and apply mascara to top it off. In just a few minutes you have eyes that would rival the biggest start at the most glamorous of events.

For fans of blue that were dying for it to come back you are in luck – and this is the easiest look to pull off as it is just a matter of working below the eye – the top lid is left nude. The hot color this year is indigo blue so all you likely need to buy is a pencil in that shade. Make one thick line that runs the full length of the lower inner rim.

Next do the same but now do it along your lower lash line. Make sure this is a bold thick line. Then widen it out and make one more line just below the one you finished. Next smudge the lower line upward to your lashes so that any areas that are under-filled are addressed and the color looks like a solid block of sorts. Apply mascara and the look is complete. Simple, sexy, and sure to get raves!

While these looks may sound a little bold for some, don’t be bashful about trying them. The worst thing that can happen is you try one out and don’t like it. If you do not try on the other hand you’ll never know.

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Best mockumentary movies of all time

Posted by mandyf on March 4, 2013

Call me a traditionalist, overly narrow, or anything you want but great mockumentaries are the domain of one man and one man alone, Rob Reiner. Reiner brought to life something we had never really seen before with a cast of actors that was so star laden it could qualify as a galaxy. His follow up effort was just as strong in many regards. Number one on the list of great mockumentaries is and can only be the incomparable “This Is Spinal Tap.”

Released in 1984, This Is Spinal Tap became an instant underground sensation chronicling the decline of what was supposed to be the loudest heavy metal band in the world. The cast was assembled by picking out actors that were not just great comedic talents but actual musicians. No other mockumentary has ever spawned actual albums that sold, guest appearances as the Saturday Night Live band, The Simpsons, Hear N’ Aid, and been so convincing people actually believed this was a real band! Spinal Tap became a standard favorite on tour buses for most of the major bands of the era all the way through to today, each rolling their eyes always pointing out snafus they too experienced.

The band consisted of Michael Mckean (David St. Hubbins), Sir Christoper Guest (Nigel Tufnel), Harry Shearer (Derek Smalls), David Kaff (Viv Savage), and R.J. Parnell (Mick Shrimpton). The band manager Ian Faith was brilliantly played by Tony Hendra, and Rob Reiner, who to his credit encouraged ad-lib exchanges played the “mockumentarian” Marti Dibergi. The laundry list of stars hardly ends there though with appearances from Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Howard Hessman, Bruno Kirby, Fran Drescher, Ed Begley Jr., Vicki Blue, Paul Schafer, Fred Willard, and the always lovely Anjelica Huston just to name a few. That’s correct, just a few!

You’ll see the Tap embarking on their North American tour, in which everything simply goes wrong. Interviews give you a glimpse of the bands history along the way which are brilliant, and that’s an understatement. The performance clips and music are indescribable. Honestly, this has to be watched to be understood, and more than that you can honestly watch this dozens of times, laugh, find new things to laugh at, and then watch it another dozen times and still be entertained. You’ll see food problems, equipment problems, the challenge of fitting 9 people in a king leisure bed, makeup snafus, Stonehenge being trampled by dwarfs, and the ever puzzling deaths of drummers.

What made This Is Spinal so great is the wide spread impact it had on basically everyone. It’s catchphrase “But this one goes to eleven” was shortened to “up to eleven” and added to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. “None Blacker” actually became a point scientists debated and worked on trying to see who could create a surface that was actually the blackest known! This is the grandfather of every mockumentary out there, it was so convincing people honestly believed they were real. It was so accurate real bands thought they had their horror stories from the road stolen. It was so entertaining it spawned albums, tours, and television appearances. Watch This is Spinal Tap and just laugh yourself silly. It goes to eleven.

The Return of Spinal Tap released in 1992 chronicles the Tap’s return after a decade of self imposed isolation. You’ll see the band as in tact as possible, don’t worry the big three return, and as soon as Sir Bob Geldolf utters the words “Live from hell it’s Spinal Tap” the Sir Albert Hall swings with “Tonight I’m gonna rock ya!” you know this is something special. See the band back at home giving you a glimpse at their roots the way only they can.

You’ll see clips of the Tap sandwiched in between their actual live performance of all their “hits.” Rob Reiner is again simply brilliant and seeing him discuss the rift between him and the band over the “hatchet job” he did portraying them in This Is Spinal Tap is priceless. You’ll see Lady Jamie Lee Curtis, Martin Short, and Robin Williams all making appearances to testify to the staying power of the Tap, in their own unique way of course. Don’t think for a second everything runs smooth, the band is still plagued by problems you’ll see at every turn, even a mini golf tragedy with singer Kenny Rogers and a major chakra ball problem that can’t be explained with words.

The appearance of so many gifted musicians like Graham Nash, Paul Shaffer, Jeff Beck, Mel Torme, and Les Claypool made even more new initiates to the Tap believe this was a real band! What is amazing about this is where most sequels get weaker this stays as strong as the predecessor. The manner the cast works employing a free flowing ad-lib style with only a minimal outline to follow makes this feel just as real as This Is Spinal Tap. The cinematography is vastly improved, the sound quality is top notch, and this looks like a major budget feature but still feels very indie. Any lover of comedy, especially if they are a music fan simply has to have this in their library.

What makes these in my opinion the two best mockumentaries ever made isn’t just that they are among the first ever, but their staying power. Here we are 24 and 14 years later respectively still discussing them. The band that began as a joke is still performing at major benefits to this day including such massive events as Live Earth. These mockumentaries set the standard for every one that has followed and they have yet to be knocked off their pedestal. You can walk up to almost anyone under the age of 45, spout a Spinal Tap line and it’s likely they not only know it, but know where it’s from. That’s as big a testament to the massive audience these reached globally as anything as to why these are the best mockumentaries ever.

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Book Reviews: Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship by Cathie Beck

Posted by mandyf on February 28, 2013

Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship by Cathie Beck is the type of book I wouldn’t normally read unless it was free. The premise of this was however somewhat interesting in that it is a memoir that centers around two bipolar women that are elitist in that they see no fault in themselves, but plenty in everyone else. If nothing else I figured that this would deliver some witty humor and keep me marginally entertained while on the toilet which is all I generally expect out of books people that receive them for free to review, but give them away without reading a chapter, are apt to deliver. Still the story line seemed like it had promise even if it was all too familiar.

Initially I thought Denise was going to be a delightful character. She is mired in self defeatist thinking, because she has MS one would assume, and alienated me the more I read until I began wishing she would blow her brains out and the book would be over. Cathie is annoying at best, and a manipulative whiny woman with serious issues that gets worse the more you read. Why I read far enough to find that out I’m not really sure as within the first ten pages of this book I wanted to throw up, and actually may have done so in my mouth a little.

Right away we are introduced to Cathie’s belief that she and by proxy her children are the best and brightest beings to hit the face of the Earth as is evidenced by the following passage: “I knew that I, and subsequently my children, were far superior to the other women and kids sitting on the orange plastic chairs…. I knew I was better than everyone else in that office because I was the smart girl, the clevah one.” If that doesn’t want to make you kick someone in the ribs, especially in the first few pages of a memoir, I’m not sure what does. It’s not like we’re reviewing the memoirs of Elanor Roosevelt or Madame Curie and are predisposed to perhaps cut a little slack on the ego run amok.

As the book progresses we see that Denise is basically a loose woman messing around on her husband whom she, and incidentally Cathie as well, profess this deep emotional love for. They further cement that love by stealing his money to maintain their boozed up and pathetic partying lifestyle? Seriously? These are “characters” that show zero integrity, less self respect if possible, and not even a passing thought of showing basic human dignity or compassion towards another living soul it would seem. Rather than being troubled but endearing people, they just come off as arrogant self

intended pathetic…things…not even people. It’s hard to believe anyone actually lived this life and thought it worthy of pulp or bandwidth. It begs the question as to who in their right mind would want to share this?

It appears to be mostly well edited and the cover art is nice but hardly original. A pink caddy heading up the road, gee who hasn’t gone with that visual theme for a story of two women bonding? Within four chapters I knew I was never going to finish this book. By the start of the fifth chapter I didn’t even feel guilty for just skimming it lightly and then even giving up on that. Unlike most memoirs of this type I couldn’t find the redeeming quality that made me want to like these people. I didn’t want to turn pages, I wanted to tear them out and considered buying a bird so we could line the cage with them. I personally had a crossing thought that if these people were in the Von Trapp family in the Sound of Music, I would have been hard pressed not to root for the Nazis.

Overall my general impression is that if you really enjoy reading the thoughts of someone that obviously thinks she is better than you and is quite happy to point it out ad nauseum, this is a good book for you. If you think that making fun of people because they are different, or you just happen to think you really are the best thing to hit the planet since Christ walked Earth, maybe you will see yourself in this and enjoy it. If you really enjoy raunchily recounted “poor me” type memoirs this might be for you. Otherwise save yourself the time and watch Thelma and Louise or Boys on the Side, or anything this seems to be aiming for but misses successfully imitating.


Caf du Monde Publishing

ISBN: 9781439244395, 390 pp.

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An Open Letter to the Guy Who Thinks He Can Fix My Life in Five Minutes

Posted by mandyf on February 19, 2013

MT did an awesome job with this that literally had me lolol for a few minutes. He succinctly makes a very valid point that many of us think but rarely say. This is well worth your time and throw the guy a share too. He earned it with this one and had me wishing I wrote it first.


Thank you so much. When you asked if you could talk to me privately for a few minutes at that party, I totally didn’t know that you wanted to lecture me about my health. That was so unexpected and appreciated. It’s certainly not as though there’s been some version of you ever-present in my life. Uncles, friends’ dads, total strangers who “used to be [my] size.” So thank you; thank you so much.

via An Open Letter to the Guy Who Thinks He Can Fix My Life in Five Minutes.

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No thank you to Valentine’s Day

Posted by mandyf on February 14, 2013

People….. I am all for love. I think it’s awesome if you find it with someone or several someones or whatever it’s like for you. I’ve got no issue with that. The world could use a little more love and tolerance. What I do take issue with is a day that is for many filled with pressure to reach unattainable expectations.

Not everyone can afford gifts for the person(s) they love – but advertising tells us we must because that is how we prove our love and the bigger the gift, the more we must love. It creates unreasonable expectations of romantic expressions that quite frankly, you may not feel much like for whatever reason on that particular day.

It means that SOME single people often feel left out, somehow less valued because they don’t have someone to shower romantic love upon or be showered with it. It is a day followed by a day in which couples breakup in droves for often trivial reasons. People previously faithful explore or break the sanctity of their bonds with their spouse/partner because Valentine’s Day just didn’t live up to their expectations. Suicides…. love help us…. it’s a fucking tragedy.

So this is why I say fuck Valentine’s day! I don’t need this manufactured arbitrary day to tell the people I love that I love them. I do that already anyway. I don’t need this day to send flowers or a random gift just because I appreciate someone in my life. I feel sorry for anyone that does need an impetus like this to remember to or feel okay telling others they love them.

I’m not knocking anyone that enjoys the day. If it’s what works for you – awesome! But please, please, don’t look down on those of us who take no pleasure in realizing how much pain is incorporated into this day for far too many people.

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The abuse of Xanax among teens

Posted by mandyf on February 13, 2013

The abuse of Xanax among teens is a problem rapidly growing out of control. Xanax is a benzodiazapine primarily used for treating anxiety disorders. While when used properly it is highly effective it can become habit forming. When abused the effects are far more gruesome and take a tremendous toll on the mind and body, especially those which are still growing.

Xanax produces a tipsy type of effect in many users which is not much unlike what one might expect after having a few drinks. As such it lowers the users level of anxiety and in proper the proper dose allows the person to function at a reasonably normal level. Xanax is also used as a rescue medication for persons suffering from panic attacks. In a low dose immediate delivery at an attacks onset has a bit of a “magic bullet” effect nullifying much of the effects of the attack. With such broad uses and it’s consideration as a fairly harmless drug under FDA classification it is widely available.

The wide availability of Xanax makes it what we call a medicine cabinet drug in that for most teens it isn’t something they have to search for on the street but rather something many can easily find at home. This fairly ready availability combined with the combination of effects it can deliver ranging from easing tension to providing a feeling of inebriation of sorts makes this incredibly attractive to teens. it is so attractive in fact that as of 2000 the abuse of Xanax by teens was outweighing abuse by adults.

The next problem is Xanax along with it’s generic counterparts are easily obtainable on-line. For a teen with little more than a debit card and an address there are some pharmacies that will issue a “prescription” and fill that so long as the payment clears. This is a problem with most prescription medications not just Xanax. The Regulating agencies often have trouble keeping up with those operating illegitimately and when one closes another seemingly opens. Even though the person placing the fraudulent order faces legal penalties if caught this usually fails to scare a teen who wants drugs.

The trickle down effect of this is that it becomes available on the street at a low enough price a single dose is often cheaper than a bus fare. As such this is easily obtainable for even the youngest of teens, especially when compared to street drugs sold by quantity or that have to be illegally manufactured. With this incredible supply of Xanax available through so many venues at prices low enough for any teen to afford the problem is getting worse every year with no relief in sight.

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How exploring your own inner feelings can help save a marriage

Posted by mandyf on February 12, 2013

Two of the building blocks that must be present in any good marriage are honesty and trust. If you aren’t honest, eventually it is going to come back to bite you on the rear and when that happens the element of trust goes out the window with it. Being honest and having trust though doesn’t just relate to how you interact with your spouse, it is first and foremost a thing of self. As the saying goes if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else.

That last statement may sound odd, but the truth since we are on that topic, is that if you aren’t caring for yourself by being honest with yourself you cannot be honest with your spouse or care for them properly. If you are not being honest with yourself there will come a time you no longer trust yourself. You will question your judgment, motivations, emotions, and basically everything that runs through your mind. You find yourself asking the question “do I really feel this way, or am I feeling this way because it is how I think I’m supposed to feel?” If you can’t be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with?

As this issue becomes increasingly difficult to deal with for the individual, it begins creeping into their other relationships, none of which is more prominent than their spouse. The person failing to explore and come to grips with their inner feelings will often find they are asking them self a variety of questions like “when did we begin drifting apart?” or “when did things change so much?” The simple fact that a person has to ask them self such things is a sure sign they have issues within them self they have been avoiding. This is when it is ground zero in terms of getting in touch with ones inner feelings.

It is isn’t always an easy thing to do and it often requires professional help, which is recommended, but these feelings can be sorted out and honestly dealt with. It is human nature that we want to put a positive spin on things and only see the good and put the bad off to be dealt with later if ever. By making the choice to deal with these inner feelings the first step to saving a marriage has been taken because you are being honest with yourself that there is a problem you have to deal with. This first step is the hardest, but that in no way means the rest of the ride is smooth sailing.

Identifying your emotions specifically is the second step. This is far from easy which is way a professional therapist is invaluable in the process. We as humans tend to answer our own questions in the most convenient manner possible. While it feels good to do so and is easy it isn’t always correct. A therapist is able to objectively step in and question us further to see if a person is truly being honest. If it is determined they are not, they can then begin a series of exploratory questions to probe deeper and find the truth. One by one a persons inner feelings can be identified an dealt with in this manner until a full clear picture presents itself.

During this process the marriage begins healing itself because each partner is able to begin discussing the progress being made in an open and honest manner. Rather than keeping emotions inside and unresolved they are accessible and can processed as a couple. This demonstrates a heightened level of trust and shows that there is enough love and desire to save the marriage to do something most people would rather not ever deal with.

It is true that this does not save a marriage in all cases, sometimes even the best efforts fail to work. Even in those cases going through the process is of great benefit. Each person has had the opportunity to learn about themselves and what the want an need. It has been jointly determined in most of these cases that the marriage is not salvageable, but that it can be dissolved amicably. It further allows better odds for each person to move on to a new healthy relationship. More often than not though exploring ones inner feelings, especially with a therapist which is the best avenue and cannot be stressed enough, there is a very good chance a marriage can be saved and move from stagnation to a thriving relationship again.

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