Sunday, February 14, 2016

Spreading the Love

Today was Valentines Day.  A veeeery cold Valentines Day.  I woke and it was way below zero.  This does not amuse me.  My idea of a winter hike would be walking on a beach in oh-say Hawaii or Orlando!  But despite the frigid temps outside and the not all that warm ones inside (the house was 52 when I got up and didn't get to over 60 till noon time) we had a great day.

I made a special holiday breakfast and then we lolled around till Rob came home from his friends house about noonish.  Well some folks lolled.  I was actually so cold that I was walking and jumping and actually acting like J*ne F*nda on speed most of the morning.  I wear a fitbit and had 10K steps before 10 a.m.  And I was not sweating. No lie.  Reynaud's is annoying in the winter in New England.

Rob got a text that they needed him back at the restaurant for 4 p.m. which meant we had to restructure our Valentines Day party.  This was important to all of us but it was extra important to me that we make sure that happened when Rob was here.  He had texted me last night that although he was spending the night at a friends house after work that he would be home for the party today.  It isn't that our party is anything all that fancy.  Decorations in the dining room, home made Valentines in a "mailbox" we made years ago.  And heart shaped pizza.

But it is a family tradition.  And it is fun.  Laughter rolls through the house (this year somewhat also punctuated by coughs and sneezes as half of the tribe are in various stages of recovery from a weird cold/virus thing. Gifts are small.  Tiny hearts of candy with a whopping 3 candies in each, and a chapstick (aptly timed since these were bought before the plague descended upon our home!) But it is not about the gifts.  It is about the love.

For years my wife kind of railed against Valentines Day.  She views it as a manufactured holiday.  Many people agree with her. And maybe they are right. But I don't care; a day to spend a bit of extra time showing love?  I'm so okay with that.

Happy Valentines Day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mardi Gras Birthday Fun

 Today was my wife's birthday.  She had asked to have a Mardi Gras themed party.  Because, well today is Shrove Tuesday and it just seemed to fit.  So last weekend the kids and I went to the Dollar Store and scored a plethora of Mardi Gras themed things.  Poor K, her birthday also always has a bunch of Valentine decor around as well because I am far too lazy  busy to take all the hearts off the chandelier for one night!  But we found feathered masks. And boas in many colors.  Beads galore for wearing and for decorating with.  And everything was only a dollar each.  It was a total blast!
 Masks festooned our main wall and I had a tri colored swag of boas underneath.  On the table there were sweet little faux lavender plants by each place.  I took one of  our vases, wrapped it in yet another dollar storeboan and put in pretty artificial flowers. (also from the same store)
The bright green plates and yellow napkins were funky and fit.  There were gold star plates for the cake--cake that was really my son Rob's fabulous cheese cake.  I need to walk about a zillion steps on my fit bit tonite!

Rob was able to get the early train home so he was here for the party.  A huge gift in and of itself.  We pooled our funds and gave my wife spending money for the trip she is taking in May to go and visit her dear friend in Louisville.  She treasures that time and I know that will be something she will really have fun with.

My poor wife has been very ill the past week or so and now Lissa has it.  A cold/chesty/ and sinus thing that is lingering on and on.  Yet despite all that the house was filled with laughter and joy tonight, and memories to treasure.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Be kind

It has been an odd day and I feel emotionally jarred.  Sometimes people can be so insensitive.  Like the auditor at my job today who wanted to know "why black guys always have pitbulls."  I just stared at her.   Then I pointed to the picture of my Rob and his dog Blake--Blake happens to be a Brittany Spaniel.

She had the grace to stammer "well there are always exceptions."  By this time I was ticked though. I think I said something like "no; stereotypes are inevitably disproved by reality."

Second upper level co-worker said she didn't believe in Narcan. (a call came in to me advertising a local training and I said we had all ready been trained.)  Coworker can't understand why I think it is valuable and why I would be willing to carry it and administer it. She thinks she would want to know how many people use again after receiving Narcan.

I said addiction didn't always allow for good choices and that for me, I would choose saving a life. Always. Because then there was always a chance.  Yup, there is no wonder that my career does not rise to the lofty heights I imagine on occasion.  On the other hand, I can sleep nights. There is no price tag on that.

I can't go through life believing that most people are out to lie and cheat.  People are often uneducated. People often have not had good role models.  Some people have had to lie and cheat to simply survive. A survival skill becomes a habit or a way of life.  Sometimes the better part of valor is to just assume someone made a mistake.

Be kind.  It isn't any harder to be kind. Really.