Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day was always one of my favorites. As a kid in school, I looked forward to selecting Valentine’s Day cards, not individual cards, but the boxed variety with miniature envelopes and a selection of Valentine messages. I remember in elementary school making the pouches and decorating them with stickers and our art, hearts, lots of hearts and lots of red and pink. These would be our Valentine’s Day school mailboxes for the day.

It’s a little bit last minute, but I’m going to try and get a few Valentine’s Day decorations for the apartment. My significant other and I were going to go out for a special Valentine’s Day dinner, but at the last moment—yesterday—, I suggested we save a little money and have it at home in our cozy apartment. I would cook something—what I didn’t know. “Any requests,” I asked. “All that matters is that I’m here with you,” he said. I kissed him and told him that I feel the same and that I would think of something.

I see hearts wherever I can find them—in leaves, in the clouds, in the cement. I don’t necessarily look hard for them, but I do find them. The photo I posted is a heart I found in February a few weeks ago on one of my walks. I had my camera with me, prepared this time. As soon as I saw the image, I was taken. I knew that I would post it today, Valentine’s Day. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed a heart in a tree before. What a treat.

I wanted to prepare something different for dinner than the usual and I saw a soup recipe in Cooking Light that I’m leaning toward. I’m nervous because it will be the first time, but I think I’ll take a chance. It’s Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup. The photo in the magazine looks delicious.

“No flowers or chocolate.” That’s what I told my significant other as he was leaving for work this morning—meaning that I don’t want a Valentine gift—because we have each other and we’ll be cozy at home this time, instead of in a restaurant. Even though I said no flowers, I think I will pick a small bunch of freesia or other fragrant flower to put on the table, if I have time. If I lived near a field of pretty wildflowers, I’d rather pick those for our table.

So in my mind’s eye, I’ve set the table with red placemats and fragrant flowers in the center; a few chocolate kisses spread like rose petals; a tall candle, to dine by candlelight, and a little sugar and spice offered by the soup on this Valentine’s Day.

Cozy, loving simplicity, with a dash of pizzazz: A perfect recipe for an intimate Valentine’s Day celebration.

Happy Valentine’s Day.


keiko amano said...


Yes, I see the heart. How did that happen? It's so appropriate for today, but at first, I was wondering why you showed a tangled up tree branches until I noticed a heart in it. I have no good photo to show. Sad. I have to carry my camera around which I have been neglecting. I finally got a new battery for my old camera, so I'm ready.

Rebb said...

Keiko, I laughed when I read that you wondered why I showed tangled up tree branches. Hehe. I'm glad you see the heart. I'm not sure how it happened. Next time I go on my walk around that area, I'll take a look. I've actually walked by there many times and this was the first that I turned around to look at the tree and there was the shape. Things change shape a lot. Maybe it's not a heart anymore. Sometimes I take photos with my camera phone or iPod Touch, but the photos don't come out as good.

I'm glad you got a new battery and are ready!

Couple days ago I went shopping at Trader Joes and when I got out of the car, I heard "Honk, honk." I recognized it--Canadian Geese again! It was dark. I looked up and they were on the roof--two of them near the edge. I couldn't take picture because camera phone and other gadget don't have flash. I was so happy to see them there. All I could see was their outline in the dark. I went into the store and when I came out, they honked again! Wonderful nature moments.

keiko amano said...

honk honk
dark parking lot
who's there
not a car
honk honk honk
on rooftop
a couple canadian geese
honk honk honk honk honk

Rebb said...


I love it! You are having fun--that's great. Now next time you will recognize sound of the canadian geese when he flies overhead.

Honk, honk!


Vincent said...

I had the same reaction as Keiko, I saw your post on the day but set it to one side for later, inwardly puzzling over the leafless tree branches and their non-connection with Valentine's day. You captured the day itself with your description! K went to work as usual and my chores took me wandering into town and through two supermarkets, both of which were crowded with men holding bunches of red roses. In a department store the young women on the perfume counters gave me a look, as if to say "Don't pass without buying" and every spare space was cluttered with cards and trinkets proclaiming love in cliché and attempted non-cliché. We already had a beautiful vase of flowers from a few days ago. K had bought it. I felt our love needed no special gesture based on commercial prompts. Simple awareness was enough.

And I discovered from another blog that the significance of St Valentine's day was invented by the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer. He wrote a poem celebrating his observation that February 14th, which happened to be the Feast of St Valentine, was the day the birds seemed to start their wooing, & wove it into a ballad about human wooing. And that's how it all started.

Rebb said...

Vincent, I feel like I have a poem inside about the tangled branches and why oh why is she showing them to us on this day?!... I thought it interesting that both you and Keiko at first saw what is obvious—a tree, dry, dead, tangled. And I saw something else. Life, blood, heart, love, beauty. All sprouted from the same image. Both perceptions make sense, but that is what is so fascinating. I may not have seen a heart, but on that day, I did and it touched me so.

“Simple awareness was enough.” Yes, so true—to be practiced all days. It is difficult to get away from the commercial prompts. My significant other gave in. It was a nice gesture, but by golly he didn’t need to do it—flowers. Maybe I can work on him for next year.

I didn’t know that about St. Valentine’s Day and that it was invented by Geoffrey Chaucer. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

Vincent said...

Well, I gave in yesterday (the time lag being a protest against commerce) and bought a bunch of shocking pink tulips & gave them to K "for Valentine's day". She said nice, the other flowers are all withered, please throw them away. I have to do everything for the moment, she's had a cortizone injection in her wrist & can't use it. I refused to throw them away, because they've turned into a bouquet of dried flowers, perfectly viable, with no water left in the vase, & now have them in the study, till the sentimental mood dries up too or the tidying urge gathers strength.

Rebb said...

That's sweet of you, Vincent. I've heard that if you toss a penny into the vase, the tulips stand straighter--the copper. Hope K's wrist is recovering. My flowers have drooped and dried too. Still water in the vase, so now I must toss them out. The vase--another object to find a place for! I used to love hanging flowers to dry.