Those without a loved one to share Valentine’s Day have more in common with the tradition of sending Valentine’s Day cards than those with a lover.
I thought the Victorians began the tradition with their sentimental, flowery, lacy, and cupid adorned cards:
The couple meets at a soiree where the fine lady’s heart beats like a caged canary. The gentleman wears gloves and even with them worries he’ll leave a thumbprint on the greeting card. He escorts her to a small chamber not far from the ballroom. Her cheeks flush with the touch of his warm hand on her back. It sends a thrill of which she is not accustomed. He pulls the declaration of love from his breast pocket and presents it with a bow. She smiles, rips it open and gasps when she sees two naked cupids complete with jiggly bits dancing in the sky. Underneath are the words “Be My Lover.” She drops the card and trounces from the room.
And that is when the gentleman became acquainted with the florist’s establishment around the corner which he frequented in years to come.
Sending cards began more than 400 years earlier with a French romantic poet, of course! It did not begin with the uptight Victorians, but the English had their part in history.
The French nobleman, Charles I de Valois, Duke of Orleans fought against the English and became trapped in his own armor. (How does that happen? “Help me! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!) In 1415, he took up residence as a prisoner in the Tower of London. Continue reading
The Chinese New Year begins Friday, January 31st. Some will begin partying on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Restaurants will be packed and fortune cookies will be cracked open. Predictions will be read. Most of the tiny pieces of paper will be tossed away.
Did you already biff your 2014 resolutions? Here’s your second chance, but before you make your new list, check out your horoscope with the Chinese Zodiac Chart below. It may help you fine-tune this year’s goals, or not, but it’s always interesting.
While growing up in Wisconsin, I had many opportunities to carve snow caves out of the snowy embankment at the entrance to our driveway. In leaner years, my sister and I built roofless forts to protect us from snowball missiles. Many years later, I watched James Bond’s Die Another Day and fell in love with the Ice Palace.
So when I drove back from skiing and glimpsed unusual lighting on some enormous walls of ice and snow, I had to check it out. Someone built an ice castle in Breckenridge! I had to go.
Each handmade icicle was combined with many others to build extraordinary archways, towers and meandering walls. Continue reading
Most people relocate from their family home at some point in their life, but they don’t bring everything with them. They leave something nice behind, something we all held dear as children even though we were reminded to keep them with us at all times. You may have even sung or watched programs about them. Do you remember? They are called manners.
Big cities have high density populations so people put on blinders to create personal space. Many have become glued to their cell phones for communication and entertainment. Highways have become parking lots. Many don’t use blinkers or stop at intersections. It can be stressful and frustrating. Continue reading
Tired of the same old slang? Does the word awesome sound far from awesome? Stacey Woods wrote a piece for Esquire.com called 27 Things to Leave Behind in 2013. She listed the expressions she never wants to hear again. Apparently, she is done with, “namaste, stoked, and hater,” to name a few. It left me wondering about replacements for the outdated words.
I came with some new ways to express yourself in 2014.
Replace, “She’s a strong amazing woman,” with, “She’s taking it downtown.” This is a unisex phrase that can work for men too. “Look at you. You’re taking it downtown!”
Replace, “Namaste,” with “Be pos.”
One year ago, I tried to shake off a strange trepidation, an ominous foreboding that unlucky number 2013 would be trouble. It appeared with many personalities just like any other year. On most days, it wore taupey beige, occasionally donning colorful ups and dappled gray downs. These clever disguises fooled me, but every so often it revealed a glint, a glimmer of brass knuckles clenched in its fists under the hem of its cloak. It lurked in shadows. I shuddered.
After flaunting a kaleidoscope of prismatic luminosity on my birthday in April, the bully bared its metal mitts. It punched my gut and flattened me. I never saw it coming. I caught my breath then stood. Nostrils flared, I stared hard into its cold dead eyes, (there were three of them). It laughed and receded into the shadows. Continue reading
As part of our family’s Christmas traditions, I shop, bake, decorate, and create homemade greeting cards. I am always up for adding something new to the list.
My son Kelly figured he would receive a Playstation 4, but he still expressed over the top happiness when receiving his gifts. That’s when I had an idea…
Kelly jumped for joy, but what happened to his feet? His new snow pants need a hem.
Then my daughter Courtney jumped! Continue reading
One year, I took extreme measures to find the perfect Christmas gift.
We used to own a wholesale toy and school supply business. On Christmas Eve, my husband Danny would come home with a trash bag full of toys. We would spend hours wrapping the little gifts. Our children grew up and we sold the business. Soon I received my children’s Christmas lists which took me on quests encompassing much of the Denver Metro area.
One year, my son Kelly asked for a Playstation 2. It was the only item on his list. I thought, “Wow! This will be so easy this year. I’ll pick it up and buy a couple of small presents. DONE!”
Not so fast. I walked into Target and stood in front of an empty shelf. I asked the salesman when the next shipment was due to arrive. “We never know when they’re coming in.” I drove to Best Buy and several other stores. The salespeople gave me the same response.
I started to panic. Where would I find the holy grail of Christmas gifts this year if they manufactured so few of them? I compiled a list of stores and started calling every day. I started recognizing the operator’s voices. Continue reading
Filed under Holidays, Life
Finding time for everything in daily life can be a challenge. The holidays add an extra burden to the growing list of things to do. This year marks the shortest amount of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Think you can do it all? You can’t. There’s no time to dink around people! You’re basically screwed unless you follow my tips:
No time to buy a host or hostess gift?
Recycle! Fill all those holiday mugs you’ve received over the years with your leftover Halloween candy. Everyone loves Snickers bars.
Don’t judge me. The candy canes are from last year. I ate all the Snickers bars.
No time to write for your blog?
Post office party photos. Make up funny captions like, “Bob always peeks into the secret Santa gifts and slips his name on the best one.” Then cross-post it on Facebook. Watch your Klout score soar! Don’t forget to tag your boss, Bob. Continue reading
Filed under Humor, satire