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Take a peek at what my husband recently sent me. Gorgeous, isn’t it? No it’s not diamonds or rubies or a trip to Paris. It’s not even expensive chocolates.

It’s sunset at the pasture–a photo he took sometime when I wasn’t with him.

A view he knew I’d like.

And I do. I like it as much as all those aformentioned things. Probably even more.

You see, he gets me, and that my friends is worth everything. If you are in a similar relationship, you know exactly what I’m talking about.


Isn’t it wonderful?


To my way of thinking, having your partner understand you deep at your core is a huge part of a healthy relationship. A deal breaker, even. You’d think everyone would have it. But sadly they don’t.

Makes me all the more grateful.




P.S. Today is Friday the 13th and a full moon. Apparently this is significant and won’t occur again until 2049. So make it special!

This innocent looking gelding has turned our world of the pasture upside down. He’s teaching me that change is part of life, even though I drag my feet when it comes to learning this lesson. I don’t really like change. 

So lately it seems that the intensity of the romance has faded slightly. Beau and Pepper are no longer starry-eyed young lovers. In fact on occasion, we find them grazing with a pretty good distance between them. They’re still together, just not so crazy in love.

From a purely non-romantic, technical standpoint it probably means Pepper is no longer cycling. Not the bicycle kind, in case you were for a moment confused. I mean the reproductive cycle. And that’s all I’m going to say about that today.

On two separate occasions, Pepper has left Beau out in the pasture by himself, while she comes to get her feed.

And that’s where it gets interesting.

He doesn’t seem to notice that she’s gone.

Doesn’t even look up.

A good fifteen minutes or more can go by, with Beau alone in the pasture nibbling grass, and Pepper eating grain and hanging out with her old friends.

Last week on one particular night when Beau did finally notice that his harem of two was no longer with him, he panicked.

Started calling and running everywhere looking for his women.

Everywhere except by the gate where they were. And, I might add, it’s where we always feed the horses.

He ran to the far end of the pasture.

He ran back.

He ran to the shed and back.

He stood and called, but Pepper was too busy eating to call back.

Hmm? This was new.

At this point my husband said, “That boy doesn’t know about the prime directive.”

We developed this term early in our marriage and now it has become part of our relationship lexicon.

The Prime Directive is this: Pay attention to where your wife is at all times.

Here’s how it came about:

We were going to a movie with another couple and they were driving. We sat in the back seat. When we arrived at the theater, our friend pulled into a parking slot. My husband got out his side and was standing beside the car. I scooted along the seat, thinking I’d get out on the same side.

Just as I emerged from the car, he slammed the door closed. On me!

He wasn’t doing anything mean-spirited – just not paying attention. Later he said he assumed I’d get out using the door on my side of the car as I’d done many times in the past.

Let me repeat: He wasn’t paying attention.

I sputtered and fumed for a minute or so, and then finally blurted out this statement, which has become famous in our very small circle:

“Don’t you know you are supposed to know where you wife is at all times?”

After a couple of minutes, I realized how ridiculous my statement sounded. The men dubbed it The Prime Directive, and it has been actively in force ever since.

So Beau, buddy, you need to learn this one relationship maxim.

Yes, you’re young, and inexperienced, and I’m sorry to say, not the brightest bulb in the box. If you’re going to have a harem, which apparently you are set on doing, you must pay attention.

Prime Directive Beau. Remember the Prime Directive.

When I was recently out for dinner with some friends, I noticed something between the couple I was with that shot me right back to my childhood. She kept eating his salad. At first it was just a bite.  A little taste to see if it was as good as it looked.

Then she discovered she liked it.

A lot.

Which led to another nibble, and then another, and then another. She joked about eating most of his salad, and he responded by teasing her. He didn’t seem to mind.

When I was growing up, we rarely went to restaurants. We ate out for special occasions and when we were on vacation. It was our vacation memories that came to mind when I was with my friends the other night. You see my father always knew what to order. And once it arrived, it invariably looked and tasted better than anything my sister or I ever chose. Even our mother liked his selection more than her own. So we would all take “tastes” from his plate. I’m sure there were many occasions when we consumed more of his meal than he did. He happily shared, never seeming to mind our continual tastes. At least that’s how I remember it.

So now guess who’s gotten into the act?

Miss Pepper.

The last two nights when we were out feeding we noticed that when she was about two-thirds of the way through her grain, she’d innocently edge toward Bud and help herself to his grain.

He graciously moved over and made room for Pepper. He allowed her to share. Two horse heads munching away from one pan.

Now if the tables were turned, it wouldn’t be the same. Pepper does NOT share her grain pan. If Bud tries to get her food (and he does try) she simply walks away with a bit of an attitude.

So what’s the difference here?

I don’t honestly know.

It makes me wonder though if females engage in this “tasting” behavior more often than males. I know I’m guilty of snitching bites from my husband’s plate. He doesn’t often take food from my plate. So what’s up?

Do you find that your partner’s food tastes better than yours?

Do you actually take “tastes?”

Has it caused problems in your relationship? You know as a marriage therapist I had to ask!

slice of cherry pie

Courtesy of

“Would you like to split a piece of pie?”

It was these golden words that drew me to my husband like a magnet. Only he wasn’t my husband at the time. We were dating – just getting to know each other.

He also tantalized me with this golden phrase: “Wanna share an order of fries?”

Pies and fries are two of my favorite foods, though I don’t eat them much anymore. It’s an aging and taking care of my body thing. But when I met Rick, I thought I’d found a true soul mate.

Then reality reared its ugly head.

Rick is a much faster eater than I am. We have friends who claim they never see him eat. One minute their food is in front of them, and the next, after they salt their potatoes, or butter their roll, they look up and see that Rick’s plate is empty. Like it never had anything on it.

It has become one of the great mysteries of life.

The same thing happened with me and that shared piece of pie, or plate of fries. We’d each take our first bite; maybe even the first couple of bites. And then it would happen. I’d go back for the next tasty morsel and the plate would be empty.

Licked clean.

Well, okay, maybe not actually licked. But the plate would most definitely be clean. No more pie, no more fries.

I’m a slow eater and I could never keep up. I’d always lose out on what I thought was my fair share. I’d feel a little sting of resentment between us, which I knew wasn’t a good thing. Until I made “the rule.”

There’s an eating rule?

Yes, there is.

Divide whatever food you are sharing before any bites are taken. I also learned to move my portion to a separate plate whenever possible. If not, make sure you clearly mark what’s yours and what’s his. And then patrol your boundary.

I hope you’re taking notes, because this is another fantastic relationship tip. People used to pay good money for these little gems! And you thought this was a blog about horses.

Bud cleaning up spilled grain.

What of Bud and Pepper? Here’s the amusing thing. They have the same situation. They copy us.

Bud is a gobbler. He loves his food and has the dedication of an Olympic athlete training for the Gold when it comes to eating. Nothing gets in his way. He puts his head in the pan and eats steadily until every little crumb of grain is gone.

Then he looks up, and heads for Pepper’s pan, or starts to nose around the snack bucket trying to pry the lid up.

On the other hand, Miss Pepper is a nibbler. I’ve already suggested that she must have attended Weight Watchers sometime in her life, because she chews every bite at least twenty-five times. And while she’s chewing, she’s looking around. She watches the other horses, she stares out into the pasture, she looks at the other pans and buckets in the back of the car. She’s a dawdler. The time I spend feeding is nearly doubled because of Pepper.

We have to divert Bud or he would push her out of the way and finish her grain. Every time. When it comes to food, he is one big hunk of single-minded determination. He likes the same thing. Routine, predictability and no surprises. That’s on his menu.

Pepper also likes to know what she’s eating and isn’t keen on finding something new in her feed pan. But she has cravings. Some days, she only wants snacks, or just a bite or two of grain. And maybe one of those alfalfa cubes….

How about you? Are you a gobbler or nibbler? How does it affect your relationship? And do you find that your animals are like you when it comes to eating?

Inquiring minds want to know.

It seems I just can’t get away from being a therapist and asking intimate questions!




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