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Do you do little things to show your love?

We are mammals and don't forget that. Mammals need to be touched, esp. when very young. It's how infant mammals bond to their mothers (and dad's in some species) while also feeling safe. I watched a wonderful documentary about this. There were some mice in a lab that were taken from their mom's right away. One group was ignored by the lab rats (i.e. the folks experimenting on these mice) except to keep them alive by way of giving them nourishment. The other group was given nourishment plus were petted by the lab rats. The way they did this was to take those little paint brushes you use to paint a model car for instance to stroke the baby mice.

As expected, the mice given no petting were weird as adults. The mice that were petted seemed perfectly normal as adult mice...whatever normal for a mouse means.

I must confess that I can get into a rut sometimes for too long where I go to my office and work then come home (which for me is typically between 7:30 - 8:00 PM) eat some dinner, watch some DVR'd something like Rachel Maddow or Jon Stewart or the last Downton Abby which hasn't been seen...and then go to bed. Typically we're in bed anywhere from 9:30 PM and 10:30 PM.

We both do this nightly routine as there really are only a couple hours between arriving home and going to bed, but what this means is I don't give my lovely wife quality attention from the time I get home until we crash. This is just plain wrong and I admit it. I've simply got to get out of this rut and do better. I know being in a routine happens for us all. I also know after getting stuck in a routine, feelings of being taken for granted or even not really mattering start to creep in.

In the morning I get up first. I initially take our three dogs out for their morning business and a short walkabout. We come back inside and they go back to snuggle with smileycreek until she gets out of bed...about an hour later. Then I feed the two cats and commence making a fire in our wood burning stove.

First I clean the glass in the door of the stove with a wet paper towel that I dip into ashes from the stove. With the ashes on the paper towel, I scrub the soot off the glass. After that's done I take a dry paper towel to wipe all the glass clean. Actually, I use 1/2 of a paper towel for both. The wet one I then place flat on top of the stove to dry so that I can burn it later for a couple more BTU's of heat. The dry half of the paper towel is ready to be be burned.

Then I make the fire itself which requires scooping out ash from the night before prior to laying down the kindling. I use pieces of an old cedar deck plus maple and oak twigs for this. Most of the time there are still enough coals left over from the fire the night before so that I don't have to use any paper. After the kindling catches fire, I put some small pieces of walnut on to create a bed of coals. Once I have a sufficient bed of coals glowing I can add the heavy, dense wood full of BTU's. In my case its almond wood.

Next I make a fresh pot of coffee. I don't want to disturb smileycreek when I grind the coffee beans so I go out into our garage to do that. When smileycreek gets up there is a nice fire burning about 10-12 feet from where her computer hangs out so she will be nice and cozy while checking out DailyKos and other sites. Obviously she has fresh, hot coffee ready as well.

Why am I telling you all this stuff about how I start the day? It all has to be done for sure, but I also do it as a way to show love and attention for my wife. I want her to be comfortable when she gets up and starts her day. It all becomes routine as well as anything else, but I do have that feeling of appreciation and love for smileycreek as I do my morning routine.

When we go to bed to sleep I like to snuggle. There is a little bit of a problem doing this because two rat terriers are involved in the mix of bodies in the bed. One likes to get right between us. Even when we're not snuggling, I like to touch her with my hand, usually I hold one of her hands or her arm. A lot of time she is sound asleep when I do that, so she doesn't really know it. But my intention is there none the less to show her affection even if it's not cognitively being recognized.

What little things you do to show love and appreciation?

A lot of times it might not even be seen that you do it. Other times it may simply be part of your daily or weekly routine. Whatever it is I'm curious to know about it. so let me know!

Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of the evening around a virtual kitchen table with kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, and interesting videos, as well as links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate.

Readers may notice that most who post diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but newcomers should not feel excluded. We welcome guests at our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.

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