Monday, June 30, 2008

Appreciative Living Book Review

This week's book review is a critique of a personal power enhancement publication titled Appreciative Living© by Jacqueline Bascobert Kelm. The book's primary purpose is to take us beyond the necessity of gratitude in everyday life for what we have, into the still modestly explored realm, first studied at Case Western Reserve University in 1980, of Appreciative Inquiry. In the authors' words, "AI is about the co-evolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them". In layman's terms, this means the envisioning of the best of what we want, steering clear of any thought or intimation for what we don't. In other words, think more about what we want than what we dread, empowering the positive in the process.
This has a direct application in caffected relationships. In psychology, the phrase 'unconditional positive regard' is used to denote a devotion one feels toward another, such as a mother for a child. Caffected couples have this as well, and AI allows further affirmation of that.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Road Trip

Is the great American Road Trip dead?  Maybe.  And maybe that's not such a bad thing, especially if you're one of the elite caffected couples out there.  High gas prices may keep a lot of families home, or close to it this summer.  Couples who already know how to spend time together, and actually enjoy each others' company won't mind.  Let's face it, stalled with an overheated radiator in Tucumcari, at nine at night, with a car full of hungry, screaming kids, and a spouse mentioning the engine tune-up that didn't get done isn't exactly the vision of serenity.  There's a lot be said for a night at home for a Coen brothers festival, popcorn, a decent white zinfandel, and bed by midnight knowing you can sleep as late as you want.  Or a kitchen table round of Trivial Pursuit with Chex-Mix, Mike's Hard Lemonade, old 70's & 80's hits on the stereo, and who cares who wins?
Caffection has many advantages.  High gas prices may as well, if we're willing to look for them. 

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Well Done Clance & Denise

There are times in every relationship when you can't see the forest for the trees, but you press on, trusting that you'll make it through because you have your best friend by your side. Denise was by her best friend Clance's side when he was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer 15 months ago. A long, exhausting battle ensued. Yesterday the routine doctor's visit became anything but routine; the doctor declared Clance to have had a Complete Response to his treatment!
"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible." Arthur C Clarke
Congrats Clance and Denise the sky's the limit.

Friday, June 27, 2008

HRC 25 years

The 25th annual HRC Gay Pride March is tomorrow.  This is reason to celebrate, rain or shine.  The Human Rights Campaign is working hard every day to affirm and establish basic human rights for all people, particularly our GLBT citizens.  HRC's goal is a nation in which all citizens enjoy basic human rights, with fair and equal representation from fair-minded elected officials.  HRC seeks to improve the lives of all GLBT, and all Americans by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law, and increasing public support for education and outreach programs.  

So come join the 25th annual HRC Gay Pride March tomorrow, and show your true colors.  Oh, and bring your umbrella.     

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Birthday flowers

Here's a great way to tell whether or not you're caffected: your spouse anticipates your birthday, makes reservations at the most shee-shee restaurant in town, takes care of all the details, and in the car you go. When you stroll into the place, there on the table, waiting for the birthday person, is a beautiful arrangement of orchids--just like we used to have in the house all the time in Hawaii.

Thank you, dear one. Be mine forever. They're gorgeous--and so are you. I love you.

Hanging out with your Best Friend

Just going anywhere or nowhere can be fun with your best friend. Many people we talk to are happily married to their best friend. When we ask, "Are you married to your best friend?" they suddenly realize how very cool and priceless that one commodity is. They begin to acknowledge this huge success and revel in the fact that being Caffected is an elite status.
So take some time today, go for a drive, a walk or just sit quietly together and celebrate the great company. You are worth it!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Touch of Caffection

Tender, non-sexual touch. It can be the most powerful way of bonding in a marriage. Here's a passage from our e-book, A Marriage of Caffection: Take a warm bath together. Wash each other all over. Let yourselves regress back to childhood, when your mom or dad gave you a bath and you didn’t worry about who saw what. Relax, let go, enjoy yourselves. Bathing together is one of the most intimate things you can do.

Then towel off, take massage oil or lotion, and retire to the quiet room. Take your time. Take turns. Touch each other all over. Release whatever inhibitions you may have, and trust the person you’re in love with to be as gentle and loving as you will be with them. Experiences like this bond people in a caffected marriage. Trips to Paris are a fine thing. New cars in the driveway are, too. Buying a new home together is a way to prove any relationship.

Try it tonight. It's a great way to escape the speed of life.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I love surprising you!

Love rituals

Having a tough time at the speed of life? Can't seem to make you or your spouse's schedules match up? Here’s an idea. Find a spare room--empty bedroom, walk-in closet, furnace room if need be, and turn it into a meditation room. Darken the walls. Furnish the place with very little--a stand for candles, a small stereo, floor pillows. Heavy shades will enhance the mood. Install a lock on the door. Better yet, make the room off limits to anyone under the age of thirty, or shorter than three feet. Make that four feet. And no pets, either. Take your hour per week, or day, or whatever you decide, and go there. Light the candles. Draw the shades. Put on some a cappella chant, or Tim Janis, Enya, or Secret Garden on the stereo. Stretch out together on the pillows, and just listen to each other breathe. Relax. Enjoy. Do this ritual more than three times in a row and we guarantee you’ll make it part of your sanity routine forever.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Success Principles


Weekly Book Review

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield with Janet Switzer

Just as chapter 55, Be A Class Act discusses, Jack Canfield is a class act, and his book resonates that page in and page out. Being a positive person, I love the underlying theme: what you focus on expands. In addition to the great material in the content of the book, there are numerous resources and tools provided in the last pages.

The Success Principles is one of my go-to books. I highly recommend purchasing your own copy, as you’ll want it on your shelf to reference over and over again.

Romantic Getaways

Nourishing your relationship keeps it healthy and alive. Remember special dates and important events with a note or gift. Enrich your marriage with romantic getaways, even an overnight at a B&B adds spice to life. Enjoy being married to your best friend.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I find them in the most interesting places--lunch bag, sock drawer, taped to the steering wheel, in a library book (how did she do that?), even scribbled on the bathroom mirror in lipstick, or toothpaste. SHMILY*. And I hide them for her to find, also. In pockets of her scrub pants, inside her sandwich wrapper, even once in a suitcase that she'd packed. (How did he do that?) SHMILY. See How Much I Love You. It's a fine, fun, free tradition that bonds us even more deeply, and maybe even cheers us up when we find the little notes on a crummy day at work.

There's a tale attached to the tradition. For the origin of the SHMILY you should Google the acronym, or go to
Try it. You never know where a SHMILY might show up.
*(©1998 Laura Jeanne Allen)

Just hold me


What does this photo say to you?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Love Love

Keeping company with other caffected couples with positive outlooks is a great way to spend an evening. Thanks HRC. We met a lot of wonderful people tonight. It's refreshing to feel a change in the air.

Journal across the sheets

One ritual we have that gives us a way to cement our relationship and aid our communication is a simple journal. We call it 'journaling across the sheets' and it can be downloaded from this link on the website. As the name implies, we keep a notebook on the nightstand, and take turns every night writing to each other. We're not obsessive about it; if we skip a day or two, no big deal. But we find it enjoyable, and a great way to share things that happen during the day, issues we need to work out for ourselves through writing them down first, and a terrific way to go back much later and see what was happening when certain decisions were made, or detours taken. In our eight years together we've likely filled over three thousand pages. It's not War and Peace. More like Run Spot Run, but it works for us.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Building Rituals

ritual |ˈri ch oōəl|a series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone (in your case, your best friend) Do you routinely celebrate monthly anniversaries, have your own language, know secrets about each other no one else knows, have a favorite vacation spot or restaurant? These are all part of the rituals we create. If you have them but haven't thought of them as unique, today's the day to begin. One of the best ways to infuse your relationship with new life is to pay attention to small details. If you'd like your mate to become more affectionate, teach them! Live by example, start with small things. Put a romantic note in their briefcase or in a sock, journal across the sheets*, mail them a card or put a S.H.M.I.L.Y.* on the mirror. Be patient, there's a learning curve here and remember what we focus on expands.
*stay tuned this weekend for details.

Couples Forever

We're all looking for that one, true, easy relationship that just fits. Easy, because the rest of life is too hard these days. We want easy in love, because a caffected relationship is a refuge, and a protective moat around us that keeps out the raucous world. We want easy because, in spite of all the admonitions about marriage being a chore, a task, a burden, we don't buy that. If we're in a caffected relationship it may take a bit of tweaking now and again, and we do on occasion disagree on some things, but the focus of our attention is on our mate, and we easily regain that focus and put things in perspective.
We all have the urge to couple up with someone. Whether for simple companionship, safety, protection, sex, or just help carrying groceries and doing laundry, we're attracted to the idea of mating. And caffection energizes that union. So get caffected--forever.
Congrats go to our friend 'L' and his intended. All the best.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Romantic weekend

Summer Solstice arrives this Saturday. The longest day comes on a weekend this year, so that affords us an opportunity to get away to a romantic spot with our caffected other. Funny how time seems to go faster when we're hanging around together. This weekend the hours may not slip away quite so fast as the sun hangs around a bit longer, too.
We have seasons on the calendar, and seasons in our lives. Making love is always sweet, regardless of the time of day. Making love in the winter is somehow sweeter, and more romantic.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Worth the Work

We appreciate the comment left on the blog yesterday, "If only it was that easy. After 12 years or so..."
Absolutely correct, not easy, but so worth the work. A great relationship is one that flourishes with continuous love and attention. As we noted in the May 24 blog, JFK's quote holds true for this, too. In this season of Spring, heading toward Summer we see many people tending their gardens awaiting the fruit of their work. We've all tasted fruit that's not quite ready, and the delectable taste of fruit that has ripened perfectly. A long-term relationship can be like that, too.

Hand-holding Comfort

When you see two kids walking down the street holding hands you know they're great friends. The same holds true with couples. People notice when a couple, young or old, enjoys being together. Holding hands is an easy way to show your connection + affection (Caffection!). Public Displays of Caffection (PDC's) are fun and bonding, try it today.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Assumptions can cause us trouble. One of the beauties of being in a caffected relationship is that there are important things we can make assumptions about, and be assured they'll turn out as we expect. Once you leave the house that's not necessarily so. But if we treat everyone the way we treat our caffected spouse the world will be a better place. This includes the necessity of assuming the other person is making assumptions, and trying to predict what they might be so we're able to meet their expectations. In business this goes a long way toward eliminating customer disappointment and negative PR. Of course between spouses it leads to better understanding, and a more open, fulfilling relationship.

You Know It

Do you answer, "Are you married to your best friend?" with an immediate & resounding; yes! We say, if you know it, then show it. Some couples write love notes in the sand. Tell us a love ritual you & your best friend share. Being married to your best friend IS fun!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Congratulations Californians

Congratulations Newlyweds!
California officials began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples today after a state Supreme Court ruling legalizing the ceremonies took effect. Gay and lesbian couples had lined up for hours to join the ranks of legally recognized full citizenship. We'll say it again: we believe in marriage to your best friend. It is not for any of us to decide who may take this wonderful, blissful, satisfying journey called caffection, and who may not. Our belief is that the one thing the world needs more of is love, and less of judgement and self-righteous intolerance. Every human being deserves to love and be loved according to their own definitions and desires. Caffection has no race, religion, creed, gender, age or other bias. Thank you for reading our blog, and all we offer in caffection. We hope you're married to your best friend.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Christ commanded us to forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven. His message was clear: there's no limit on the number of times we must forgive others, regardless of their transgressions. Caffected couples know this instinctively. We're far from perfect mates; our humanity is even more exposed in our caffection, because our spouses encourage us to be the real, flawed, fragile humans we are. Only in a caffected marriage can efforts toward true self-knowledge bear fruit, freeing us from limiting hesitations, doubts, and apprehension about our others' reaction and judgement.
Caffection is therapeutic in many ways; forgiveness is one of the more powerful. As Gerry said to Holly in 'P.S. I love you' after one of their rousing newlywed dustups, "I ain't goin' anywhere." Forgiveness is essential. It's the rock in a caffected marriage, always there in the palm of our hands.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Safe Inside


"Marriage, like a submarine, is only safe if you get all the way inside." Frank Pittman

Marriage is a big commitment. It can be overwhelming if you feel like you're in it up to your neck. When you're married to your best friend, you find the safety that comes from submerging yourself with your mate. Life's a grand adventure! Finding new and exciting things to do, places to go, other couples to meet creates flair in your life together. Enjoy the ride, climb all the way in and make your caffected journey fun.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Coming Attractions

Anticipating a wonderful event can be half the fun of the thing itself. The website is coming along nicely, and will soon be on-line. Patience is needed and will soon be rewarded, with one of the most engaging, useful, progressive and 'appreciative' sites to premier in a long time.
Stay tuned. Coming attractions to follow in the next few days. We'd love to tell you all about it, but, well... It's worth the wait, you'll see.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


We've all heard the expression "those two were meant for each other." Trite as it is, we hear it at nearly every wedding, or any time two people display their caffection in public. (is that called PDC's?) Given the fact that we intend things into our lives, there really are no coincidences. It's entirely possible that the expression is hard truth: that two people who are caffected, married best friends, didn't just stumble on each other. They truly were 'meant to find each other', and that's why they're caffected. There are no mistakes in the universe.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Opp-o-tunity: Rain? Or Rainbows?

The new (to us) theory of Appreciative Inquiry turns a lot of what we've heard, learned, and believed on its head. AI is a premise stating that it's not enough to mentally discount negative inputs and influences, we have to go beyond that and believe only in the positive aspects of all we want and desire. As an example, we all have a tendency to focus on mistakes, lapses, errors in our surroundings. Look at the word in the title to this blog. What do you see? Yes, it appears we forgot the 'R', a typo, how can that be?!
In zeroing in on the missed letter, we missed the Opp-o-tunity wrapped all around it! This is an illustration of the influence a constant seeking for errors can have. Rain, or Rainbows? It really is a choice.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


This is how we felt when we had
our first taste of
"Imagine Whirled Peace"
(see June 6 blog)
If you enjoy ice cream, give it a whirl!

seeing is..?

Antoine de Saint Exupery said, "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."
Saint Ex had it right; images are powerful. Leaders know that the best way to get people to follow is to create an intricate, vivid picture of the goal. The old saying is "seeing is believing". We need to start 'seeing' what we want, instead of hoping we get it. Our minds tend to form a path toward whatever goal we focus on most. Seeing is reality, even, or perhaps especially, mental visualization.

Monday, June 9, 2008


It's hot. And Summer's not even here yet. We do the same thing every year about this time, we go from discussing the unusually chilly, wet Spring to remarking how hot it is. Here's something else that's truly hot. Two people who really care for each other, and look forward to every change in season together. Sometimes heating up together is better in the Fall, or even the Winter of a relationship. The young have no lock on caffection. Winter's heat can be the warmest and most alluring, as two people's love for each other rekindles easily with every memory and every passing season.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Passion manifests in many ways. Finding your niche' or your passion in life allows you to release an entrepreneurial creativity which may otherwise go unharnessed. It's our dream that all caffected couples will find their passion together. When you act as a team your creativity isn't just doubled, it becomes energy squared!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Good Friends

Time spent with good friends is more valuable than any precious commodity. The simple fact that gold lasts forever somehow diminishes its value in comparison with friendship. Friends and time with them is fleeting, so it's to be savored even more. In the Simon & Garfunkel song Old Friends two old men are referred to as bookends because of all the stories between them.
When we share time with other caffected couples, the enrichment is magnified. How many stories are there between you and your caffected other?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Reality Check

"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination" John Lennon.
Life is all perspective. We each have our own view of reality and, as Lennon notes, it can be formed in our imagination. Imagine how exciting living a Caffected life together can be when you share a common mission & vision. Yoko still brings John & her mission of peace by sponsoring the new Ben & Jerry's "Imagine Whirled Peace" ice cream. The new flavor is a caramel and sweet cream whirl of chocolate-covered peace signs and toffee pieces.
Sweeeeet...I imagine we'll have to give it a whirl.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Book Review

The book review will become a weekly installment on the caffection blog. We'll preview books that we feel are relevant to couples who are married to their best friend. Today, we start with a book titled What Happy Couples Do by co-authors Carol J. Bruess, Ph.D, & Anna D.H. Kudak, M.A. This is a simple picture/maxim book that is well conceived, well paced, and filled with uplifting anecdotal information about happy couples and the joy they've discovered to, as the authors say, "form enduring bonds between two life partners." Through personal, shared anecdotes, the book addresses issues as serious as being newlyweds, to pet names (little sausage?), to being the captain of your relation--ship. The only drawback we found with the book was that it's too short, but a caffected marriage is, too, so...
Available from Fairview Press.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


We have too much going on. Our lives are filled with all manner of self-important tasks, engagements, shoulds, ought to's, better do's, have to's. The result is that all our focus is lost, and we do very little very well.
Here's an idea. Plan 30 minutes a day with your mate for sacred time, half an hour set aside with the cell phones off (OFF-not on vibrate), E-mail, Facebook, YouTube, FaceSpace, MyDate, SpaceBook, TV, iPod, radio, DVD, VCR, ETK (Electronic Time Killer--otherwise known as your computer), and every other distraction unable to intrude. Now just talk to each other. Imagine it! The focus this will bring allows all manner of good things to occur. Try it; you'll like it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


According to Jack Canfield and other highly-acclaimed motivational writers & speakers, we attract into our lives whatever we decide. If we live a life of class and discernment, we'll surround ourselves with classy, discerning people. If we seek out and emulate people with high standards and high expectations for themselves, we'll rise to a new, more exclusive level in our own lives. Class is contagious; exposed to it, we'll catch it.


A scene in the movie Grand Canyon shows a vivid portrayal of the action of grace in our lives, and the interdependence we all take for granted. Mack (Kevin Kline) stands on a busy corner waiting for the light to change. When the WALK sign illuminates, he steps off the curb to cross. Just then a city bus runs the light, thundering through the intersection. A woman behind Mack senses the danger. She grabs the tiny loop on Mack's shirt, jerking him backward as the bus barrels past inches from his face. Then, as if nothing happened, the nameless, anonymous woman who just saved Mack's life skips away.
It's true that the universe does provide, but it's equally true that we are often the universe, providing grace and meaning to each other.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Universal light

Many thanks to J from Brazil for her fun addition to the blog! She found us, read our entry, and responded that she "loved the word!" It just goes to show that caffection is a universal term for the love, affection, respect, and curiosity we can all have if we aren't afraid to light a candle and seek it out.
There's only one way to live fully, satisfy our yearning for connection, and enjoy the wealth that's available to all of us, and that is to let go of the suspicion and irritation we feel for those who are different. We're all different to somebody. Some days we're even different to ourselves.

So, from Ohio to Brazil, Muito Abrigado, J! Write again soon.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Paradigm Shift

Our culture is in the midst of a seismic shift in values, perspectives, and appreciations. It's an exciting time for looking at new possibilities and new endeavors, and a great time to shake the dust of our past from our boots and move on.
One way to interpret caffection is love in this new age; dedication to another person is always commendable, and is beginning to be viewed as a norm rather than a coincidence. This is a good thing. For all its looming crises, this new age will force us to confront who we truly are. It will reveal attributes we hardly knew we had, values we thought were lost. Years ago Robert Fulghum compiled a list of life rules we all learned in Kindergarten. One of them was to always "hold hands while crossing the street." We should never be afraid to ask for a helping hand, especially from someone who yearns to provide it.