Wisps of whispers…

cotton candy pink sails in a sea of blue…


Can you feel it on certain days? Spring inches ever closer, and I can’t think of many who don’t welcome her balmy embrace. The snowdrops have their green stems poking out of the soil, asking if it’s time to show up. I told them to sleep a bit longer; a freeze was coming our way. They aren’t listening. Spring’s impatience tugs at them and me.

Spring and love seem to go together, and Valentine’s Day is making her rounds, so I heard. The local grocer has so many floral arrangements, I feel like I’m in a summer garden, lush and fragrant, and since the flowers perch next to a Starbucks, I am in heaven every time I need a tea. So this begs the question. What to do on the day of love?

real flowers gracing a rough wooden table…

If you’re lucky enough to have love in your life, then the answers are easy. Send cards, give flowers, buy candy and catch the kisses cast in the air by those who love you back. But what if you’re tethered to a love who doesn’t think about flowers and candy? Talk about the upcoming holiday. Will we go out to eat? Yes? Will we spend a bunch of money on presents to show our affection? Not for me. Flowers and chocolate (and ice cold teas, please) are tokens of love. If you want something romantic, ask. Tell your love what you love. And give your love back, freely.

simply beautiful…

If you want something, sometimes you have to ask. Be specific. If you want a certain bottle of bourbon, ask. Hopefully, they just want to give you love wrapped in a box, tied with strings that might be attached, but then, those are the best kind. Don’t you want a string luring you toward your love? One Valentine’s Day, so very long ago, I brought six red and pink frosted cupcakes to a boyfriend’s apartment. He did not acknowledge my gift at all, rather he stood in his kitchen washing dishes. I had classes to attend, but he didn’t take my frugal (in college, on a tight budget) present. He didn’t tell me he loved me. I emotionally ate my way through two cupcakes.

a lovely new painting we bought recently, see, winter is beautiful (if you’re looking at it and not living in it:)…

And rather than make him notice me, I left the rest of the cupcakes and left him. That afternoon, another guy I had met and had been studying with since we had the same classes and major, sent me a beautiful arrangement of flowers! I found him and thanked him, and the man I married, has never forgotten a Valentine’s Day since that first one, and he still romances me with flowers and chocolate. And much more.

I decided the guy who paid attention to me, made me feel valuable, loved, and liked and appreciated was the man to go through this life with. What does this mean for you? The people or person who makes you feel valuable and important is the one. Love them. The good guy who loves you? And you think he’s beautiful? Him. Choose him. Choose love. Choose laughter, love and life.

aren’t real fires cozy? the warmth, the crackling logs are a part of our winter nights…

On Valentine’s Day, or anyway this week, if you want flowers and aren’t in a relationship at the moment, buy them for you. Pick out the candy you like and enjoy it. Light a candle and enjoy the beauty of being able to buy flowers in winter, and buying sweets. We are lucky. We are blessed. Wrap a blanket around you and enjoy your company. But the icing on the cake would be to make the day sweet for another human. Bake brownies. Send a card that you made with a note inside. We all want to be noticed and not ignored. It took years and that one Valentine’s Day for me to figure that out. I hope you have a week full of laughs, love and beauty. I have to finish my iced tea before the Grammy’s end! Until next Sunday…

light snow will be rain tomorrow…I’m not complaining one bit…

Smile…

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Champagne, anyone? Is it simply for celebrations? Weddings, graduations, promotions and that certain holiday that is ahead of us. You know what I’m writing about. Yeah, Valentine’s Day. I always thought the way we looked at that day depended upon our relationship status. Do you have a partner? Are you married, dating, or in love? Then Valentine’s Day is your day! Celebrate. Revel in love.

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But if we’re single, divorced, going through a messy break-up, then maybe Valentine’s Day is fraught with self-pity, loneliness, sadness and FOMO. (Fear of missing out.) But…I discovered a little secret, while going through this life. You can be single and love this holiday. (You can be married and miserable, but I’m not going there today. Soon though.) The secret is in doing those celebratory things you like and choose. Don’t wait for some guy to bring you flowers! Buy them yourself. The kind of flowers you love. Me? I really dislike red roses. So you see the pink ones I bought for myself.

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I arranged these yesterday. They’re mine. For Valentine’s Day. What about buying some chocolates for yourself? Just a few. And go ahead and enjoy a slice of cake. It is lovely to be in love. To have someone who makes your heart flutter. But so many of us do not have that. So go and shower love on your siblings, friends, and anyone else that could use some happiness.

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I didn’t want to bring this up right before Valentine’s Day, but here goes. Working out, in any form, gives us happiness. Those endorphins really do kick in. When I could run, and I loved the feeling of running, I felt terrific. It’s difficult to be unhappy in the middle of a run, a Zumba class, yoga or pilates. While we want to have our cake and eat it too, someone needs to tell us it takes a very long run to make up for cake, chocolates and champagne. Maybe have one piece of chocolate. Every day. And share the cake with a neighbor. I don’t have two hours to work out every day, but I’ll tell you this; a little exercise goes a very long way. Walk farther to that store. You’ll start to feel happier.

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Another secret to happiness? Fake it. Seriously. I put a smile on my face and pretty soon other people are smiling back at me! Maybe I look super goofy at the grocery store or Starbucks, but I’m okay with that. Besides, I just read that our brains believe we’re happy even when we start out by faking it. So smile! Right now. I know, life is tough, rough and bad, but just start with baby steps. Smile. See? You’re better looking when you smile, too.

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One last thing. Think of the good stuff in your life. Do you live in Florida? Lucky you! Great weather is right out your door this minute. Don’t think of the negatives. Force your brain to see the positives. Are you in Maine? Lucky you! You can walk out your door and make a snow fort, and the ocean is so close. Just a short drive and you can see the beautifully wild seas of winter. Step out of your house, car, or apartment, wherever you are and smile. Try it for the next three days. I’ll be back on Wednesday with more happiness.

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Until next time…

Sunflowers in winter…

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Happiness. We all want it. Sometimes we go to great lengths to attain it, and somedays we pursue our happiness at the expense of someone else’s. Their happiness. The flowers I really wanted to bring home this week were beautiful tulips, those harbingers of spring, but my husband really wanted the bouquet with a sunflower in the middle of it. I calmly explained sunflowers, to me, belong to late summer and fall, but he steadfastly remained fixed upon the sunflower. I bought the happy little sunflower, and it’s nice. Look…

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I had my hot cinnamon tea with his sunflowers, and a side of sugar. So what is it that makes you happy? Truly warm to the tips of your toes and singing in the shower kind of happy? For me, right now, I just noticed the slant of the sun is higher. We’re almost six weeks past from the winter solstice, and at that point the temps begin to rise a bit and the sun swings her way higher and longer each day.

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While I sipped my tea and thought about what book to delve into next, my mind drifted to you. Are you as affected by the weather as I am? Do you suffer with cabin fever too? We can have days where we stay inside and hibernate, but going out is a great remedy for winter doldrums. That and finding little celebrations in life. Valentine’s Day? Oh yes, please! Ever since Andy made me a huge homemade Valentine back in fifth grade, I’ve loved Valentine’s Day.

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Now I send Valentines to all of my family, and not just the one I love romantically. Spread the love. As soon as that holiday passes, I’m onto St. Patrick’s Day. Seriously. Give me Mardi Gras, Easter, Boxing Day and I’m on it. Life’s little celebrations bring happiness.

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I just came across an article about people in India who use their cell phones to wish all their friends and family, “Good Morning!” along with an image or a motto for the day. They do this every morning, wanting others to know they are thought of! How cool is that? I say that knowing full well my friends are sweet enough to wait until I am fully awake and properly espresso-ed before wishing me a “Good Afternoon”. I think all those people in India sending greetings out is a fabulous way to celebrate the day.

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Find something to celebrate this week. An event. A day to enjoy. A small bouquet of flowers you give yourself. Even if it has an out of season flower right smack in the middle of it. Eat a cupcake this week. Watch good t.v., something inspiring. You can have little celebrations throughout this week. And no, it hasn’t escaped me that it’s Monday. Save some time for you. Take a bath, a run, read, sing, laugh, even on a Monday. Especially on a Monday!

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Wherever you are, feel happy.

Until next time…