Warm Hearts

Clump # 154:  Clear paper pile number 13 of 28; make paper valentines.

Lesson of the day: so easy to tackle paper when it has been pre-sorted. Today’s pile was medical forms pertaining to either our younger daughter (the diligent paper-sorter) or to our cat Pumpkin; both easily filed.   Below, one from 2009 with a photo, and the new “Pumpkin” folder.


Confession time.  I previously posted about the clearing of our pantry, in all its scintillating detail.  One item I removed from the pantry floor was a box of valentine craft supplies, which had been stuffed in there for about a year. Here we are on Valentine’s Eve, and I cannot for the life of me find that box.  Very disheartening. Pun intended.  I have to remind myself that I’m in transition, and home organization (or lack thereof) might get worse before getting better.  Sigh.

Not to be discouraged, I purchased a pad of construction paper and made simple valentines with one sheet, each, of white and and red paper.  Cut each in half, then folded the red halves and cut out hearts.


Glue the hearts to the white background, like so …


And write a very simple poem.  Our family always exchanges hand-made valentines.  Our mom created the tradition that we continue. Simply start out the Roses are Red rhyme, think of something about that person, especially notable in the current year, then come up with a word that Violets are … to rhyme with the word you want at the end. Easier done than said.


For instance, if your valentine, Mary, has really gotten into yoga this year, you might write, “Roses are Red/ Violets are Ecru/ Our Mary has become/A Yoga Guru.”  The sillier the better.  When I see clusters of people crowding around the valentine card section of stores at this time of year, I always wish I could tell them how easy and personal this method is.  I’m a big purchaser of cards, but somehow a holiday celebrating heart-feelings deserves something from the hand of the sender.  My parents would write a poem to each other that could be a bit clumsy, not great literature, but very touching.  We have so many years of paper hearts that document the big events of our kids’ lives, and it’s a sweet record.

I hope everyone reading is safe, warm, and I guess, if you are reading this, you have power!  Here is my hard-working husband snow-blowing for the second time in a few hours this morning.


Some friends in snow suits kindly shuffled their way to the front door of a neighbor who hadn’t been shoveled out yet, so that I had a path to get to her door and visit for tea.


She made it worth my while.


This planter in her kitchen window seemed to be saying: Spring will return and melt the snow!


I do not know many sights more welcome on a cold winter day than the one below.  Note the bubbles forming a heart:


A very warm and happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!

Paper Tigers and Hearts

Clump #111: Clear out more of pantry floor.

Sometimes (certainly not always), a dreaded task turns out to be not nearly as bad as expected.  This box was a paper tiger, filled with, I’m embarrassed to admit, receipts from last year’s Christmas gifts.  I know exactly how long they’ve been stuffed in there.


And underneath were just plastic bags … piece of cake!  Just a small paper shredding job.

And then there were two boxes of valentine craft goodies which belong in the basement, to be ready for the holiday in February.  My mom started our tradition of hand-made cards.


For years I’ve held a Valentine’s Tea the Sunday before February 14th. Below is a photo taken at last year’s party.  It was the first one I held as an empty-nester, without the help of my younger daughter, the baking-phenom.  I was feeling very blue getting our traditional chocolate dipped strawberries ready.  I hadn’t done a very good job of inviting guests; it’s usually just an impromptu handful of neighbors, and friends of our kids. Up until the doorbell rang, there was a real possibility that no one would come.  I had to laugh, thinking it would be a great stanza to the Beatles song, Eleanor Rigby …  hosted her Valentine’s Tea, but it wasn’t the same / Nobody came …  “All the lonely people …”  Ah, just finding the link for that song reminded me that yesterday was the anniversary of the murder of John Lennon, 33 years ago.  Now I’m feeling old and sad!

Happily, a few die-hard friends did arrive for tea, strawberries, sweets, and valentine-making.  One guest wore a fancy red coat and white gloves!


So, not too much more clearing to go … chipping away the dread, along with the ubiquitous onion skins.


I just hate to end with an ugly photo … here’s one more from last year’s party.  What Valentine’s remembrance would be complete with out roses?