My “She-Shed” Improved my Marriage. Really.

techel writing cottage outside 1 - Copy

 My zen writing cottage or what others may call a “she shed.”

I’ve come across two articles recently about what they are dubbing the “she shed.” It’s a play on the “man shed” and that if a man is entitled to his own space, so is a woman.

Boy! Do I agree.  But I prefer to call my space my zen writing cottage.

Maybe for some ladies the word shed is okay, but when I think about my space and all I use it for, cottage fits me better.

And yes, just like the title implies, my space absolutely improved my marriage.

I have a place to call my own. A place I can come to when I want peace and quiet. When I want to write or read and not be distracted by the TV or John talking on the phone in his office.

It’s my place to center myself each morning with my yoga practice and other rituals I’ve incorporated into my life.

Three different whimsical cardboard cutout fairies hang from the ceiling in front of three of my long windows. They slowly spin catching my eye now and then making me smile.

My tabletop fountain trickles a slow meditative stream of water. Three fairy figurines surround the fountain and I swear that I sometimes hear them playing in the water.

Instrumental music plays softly in the background from my laptop and I’m surrounded by treasures of stones, candles, oracle cards, and gifts from others. Not to mention Frankie (and Joie and Cassie Jo) memories and many books on animals and self-help.

It’s been almost eight years since I helped John (Prince Charming) build this space just for me.

The best part about it is that he truly understood my need for a place to call my own. He supported my decision 100% and gave of his time in helping me with my dream.

He “gets it” and understands that by honoring and respecting my needs, in turn, it makes for a happy wife. Which in turn makes for a happy husband. And yes, a happy marriage.

Not to say we don’t have our trying times. And my cottage has served that purpose too. A place to go and just be and let everything settle when we have our moments.

I never lived on my own. Right from graduating technical school I got married and set up house with John.

Early on in our marriage I didn’t yearn for much time alone, but the older I get, the more I need time just for me.

Having my zen writing cottage has helped me in immeasurable ways. But I’d have to say that the best part really is having the support and understanding from Prince Charming.

And when your Prince Charming is also an excellent carpenter, well then, I’d say I’m the luckiest woman in the world!

But truly, it’s been a win-win for both of us and I have a feeling John would absolutely agree.

Here are the two articles with lots of fun and inspiring pictures that perhaps you’d like to show your very own Prince Charming as a subtle hint of what you perhaps would like.

Introducing “She Sheds”:  Woman’s Answer to the Man Shed

Have Your Man Cave, I’ll Be In My She Shed

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The Secret Surprise


Chico the donkey

Mix in a little of my friend, Marie, a ride through the country, a day of sleet, snow, rain, sun and clouds and you end up finding yourself at a secret surprise location.

My dear friend, Marie was quite excited to take me on a little adventure on Tuesday. She picked me up mid-morning and we headed east for quite a ways. At one point I thought we just might end up in Lake Michigan if we drove any further!

But alas, about 20 minutes later we arrived at Whispering Orchards. I’d been here before, but it was only my 2nd or 3rd time. It is a delightful little apple orchard with a quaint, down home country feel cafe that looks out over the orchard.

Little did Miss Marie know that I knew they have donkeys (and chickens and goats and llamas). As she pulled into the entrance I squealed as loud as a donkey (or would that be bray?).  I could hardly wait to get out of the car and ran to the donkeys like I was a 5 year old girl.

I must digress for a moment and tell you that Miss Marie and Miss Gidget are pen pals and often exchange emails back and forth. Miss Marie writes to Miss Gidget way more often than me!

But I must share what she wrote to Gidget the day after we went to Whispering Orchards (with her permission of course).

Dear Miss Gidget,

Let me tell you. We pulled into the parking lot of my “secret surprise” place and mom leaped out of the car and said “are the donkey’s still here!?” I have never seen anyone, ever, get so excited about donkeys! She could  hardy contain herself.

Needless to say, it took awhile before we actually entered the cafe for our breakfast.

It was, Miss Gidget, so wonderful to see her jumping up and down……so happy!

There is another story about Miss Marie…..regarding a rooster. I will let mom tell you THAT one. 

Much love,

Miss Marie

Miss Marie is telling it straight. I could hardly contain myself as I cooed at the donkeys, which I would come to learn are named Chico and Pedro. Though Pedro would only show his back end to me, Chico was all for the exuberant attention I gave him.

I rubbed his ears, looked into his big brown eyes, kissed his nose and then his sweet, soft lips. Yes, yes indeed – I kissed a donkey! I just couldn’t help myself. And I’d do it again in a heart beat.

And now let me tell you about the rooster story.  I had to have Miss Gidget cover her precious little ears as I relayed the story later that afternoon to John. But you see….


as we walked out of the restaurant our bellies full with all farm fresh ingredients of eggs, apple dumplings, bacon and toast, Miss Marie found herself not remembering how to tell the difference between a rooster and a chicken.

Just as she voiced this question out loud to me one of the roosters decided to make it quite obvious that he indeed was Rooster with a capital R as he well, um, well… well you know… did what roosters do!….He mounted a chicken.

I almost peed in my pants laughing at the uncanny timing. No doubt in Miss Marie’s mind was there now of who indeed was and is the Rooster. No doubt what-so-ever as we hopped into her car and laughed all the way home.

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Wednesdays with the Wisdom of Dog: Hope

gidget and dragonfly pillow

I try not to give too much thought to what I will write about and share for this weekly series about the wisdom I’ve gained from my dogs over the years, and wisdom that they continue to share with me.

I just try to let it come to me. Sometimes the wisdom comes easy and I quickly write it down. Sometimes it takes awhile to come to the surface.

Such was the case today. Until I wrote the word hope in an email to someone. Once I typed that last letter, e of the word hope, I knew this was what I wanted to share today.

A post I did earlier this month I shared with you that Gidget has had three seizures since January.

I’ve been working hard on staying positive and not carrying around the energy of fear because I do believe strongly that our pets pick up on that from us. I’ve also been practicing Reiki with Gidget to help keep us both grounded.

While at the same time, I do believe in educating myself and doing some research to see if there are other ways in which I can support Gidget– and hopefully help her not have any further seizures or as few as possible.

It’s taken some time, but I have hope in a holistic vet I found who is about two hours from where I live. She is also an acupuncturist and is well versed in Chinese herbs and has worked with pets with these modalities and seizures.  We will be going to see her on May 8th.

As I thought about hope and Gidget’s situation, it brought me back to the memories of Frankie’s diagnoses of Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). It was such a scary time for me then.

But one thing I found was hope through Dodgerslist and others who’d gone through this. And as many of you know, I went on to give hope to others whose dogs were diagnosed with IVDD – which I continue to do to this day because it brings me joy to help others.

And Frankie truly taught me the meaning of never giving up on hope as she went on to live a long, full, quality life spinning many miles in her wheelchair.

While I don’t yet know the outcome of what will be discovered during the appointment in May, I must say I feel better knowing I’m taking a proactive step in seeing what can possibly be done to help support Gidget.

I have hope and that is a beautiful thing.

I will also share what I learn in hopes that it can help others who may be dealing with seizures and their pets.

A special thank you to reader, Edwina, for reaching out to me and helping me give thought to Chinese Medicine.

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