Happy Birthday Tibbi Girl! Oh Yes, And It Is Valentine’s Day Too!

Feb 14th

We made it! It’s Friday!  I am so grateful I could cry.  No, really, I could.  I’m still not feeling all that well.  I did make it until 2:00 at work yesterday and hit a wall.  My brain wasn’t willing to continue without calling a strike.  I needed what little mental strength I had left to drive home.  My entire thought process had been, IF I was still feeling  yucky this morning, that I would stay home and just have three days to regain my strength . . . and then I found out that three people are scheduled to leave early today, and I don’t know if my office mate will be able to make it in today since she was home with this crud yesterday.  I’m pulling up my big girl panties and going on in, but I’m taking it slowly and going in a little late . . . if I can’t handle it, well, we’ll figure out what to do with being so short handed and I’ll come home.  There was a certain beauty to being in self-imposed quarantine in my office – nobody barges in if they think they are walking into certain illness!  It turned out to be a very productive day!

MOM! No hats!

So before we kick off today’s celebrations I have to celebrate the best thing of all today.  Today is my “baby girl’s” 15th birthday.  Yes, my dog has a birthday today.  Well, actually my cat Pepsi also has a birthday today, but since Pepsi runs every time I get near her with a birthday hat, I make a huge production of Tibbi’s birthday.  Here’s my girl!   I was TRYING to get an awesome picture in her birthday hats . . . she had different ideas.  As you can see from this first picture, she was resisting my efforts.  After that I broke out the jerky treats.  Her eyes were open, but she looked like a demon dog with the eye shine. And at one point she got a excited and nearly took my fingertip off . . . she doesn’t usually do that.   You get the idea though.  She’s in her finery and ready to have her birthday cookie . . . but that will wait til we get home this evening.  Happy Birthday to the best dog EVER!

 I feel bad for not showing my Pepsi cat on her birthday (we got both pets at the same time, same age – neither one came with a specific date of birth since they were rescues so I picked today as the closest day we could to their real date), so here she is – the other birthday girl.

Ferris Wheel Day – Today we honor the man who made the first Ferris Wheel – George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr.  who was a civil engineer.  He made the very first one for the World’s Colombian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893.  If you have easy access to a Ferris Wheel, and have no issue with heights, maybe go on a ride today.  I know they have a really big one on the water front in Seattle – but I am not thrilled with how high it looks, so I’ll admire it from afar. 

 

National Organ Donor Day – today we are all encouraged to sign up to donate our organs in case there is an accident that takes our lives.  It’s very uncomfortable, and a touch subject, to think about our own death, especially if it is an early one.  However, accidents happen so think about it.  You could save lives by your very generous donation, and you won’t be using them anyway!  Yes, it’s a macabre subject, but one we need to seriously discuss. 

Valentine’s Day – Are you ready to celebrate the one you love today?  All across the United States and other countries around the world, this is a day of exchanging flowers, candy, gifts and cards, all in the name of Saint Valentine.  It is a day that most women hope their guy remembers and cares to get them a gift or card, and a day when hopefully she is doing something for her guy.  (hey, statistically guys buy the most on this day, and it takes two to make a couple!  Be fair!)  So here we are, celebrating this a month of romance, but what is it all about REALLY?  Where did it all start?  Who is this saint?  Are you ready?  This is interesting and you may actually re-think celebrating it afterward . . . well, maybe not . . . but you’ll never have another Valentine’s Day without at least having it cross your mind!  Valentine’s Day has bits of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition in it.  The trouble with the Christian portion of it is that the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine, or Valentinus, all of them martyred.  According to information on www.history.com, one legend says that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome.  He performed marriages when it was outlawed by Emperor Claudius II, who had decided that single men without families made better soldiers.  When it was discovered that he was performing secret marriages, the Emperor ordered that he be put to death.  There was another story that suggested that Valentine may have been killed for trying to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were being beaten and tortured.  One other legend says that an imprisoned Valentine was the one to send the first “Valentine” greeting after falling in love with a young girl who may have been the jailer’s daughter.  It is interesting that some people believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of the month to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death, others say that the Christian church decided to place the St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia, which was celebrated during the ides of February, or February 15.   Which of course begs the question, what was Lupercalia?  WELL. . . glad you asked.  There was a big feast of course, as all festivals in those days would have . . . but since this was a fertility festival, the “games” were about fertility related, um, celebrations.  For example, all the young women in the city would place their name in an urn, and the city’s bachelors would draw a name and pin it onto his sleeve.  The two would be paired up for the year, and often they would get married at the end of the year.  This is where the expression “wearing your heart on your sleeve” comes from! I didn’t know that!  Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity, and was later outlawed right around the end of the fifth century when Pope Gelasius declared February 14th to be St. Valentine’s Day.  During the Middle Ages, in England and France, February 14th was thought to be the beginning of birds’ mating season.  It wasn’t until much later that the holiday was connected with human love and romance.  The oldest known Valentine still in existence today is a poem that was written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans.  He wrote it to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London after he was captured at the Battle of Agincourt. The poem is now a part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.  By the 18th century it was common for friends and lovers to give each other handwritten notes, or tokens of affection.  In the 1840’s, Esther A. Howland started creating and selling the first mass-produced Valentine’s in America and she became known as the “Mother of the Valentine” for making elaborate creations with lace, ribbons and pictures.  She would probably be happy to know that, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the 2nd largest card selling holiday of the year.  Christmas comes in first.   So, did you know that while 75% of chocolate purchases are made by women all year long, during the days and minutes (I giggled at the minutes being added in with this one) before Valentine’s Day, 75% of the chocolate purchases are made by men?  hahaha! Over $1 billion of chocolate is purchased for Valentine’s Day. 

This Day In History

1929  – The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre occurred. During the “Roaring twenties(1920’s)”, mobs, crime and gangsters were at a height in many parts of the U.S. Alcohol was banned, spawning the rise of Bootlegging and mob activity. Chicago , Illinois experienced more than it’s share of mobs and gangsters. On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1929, four gangsters dressed up as policemen, massacred seven members of a rival gang.      

Food Celebration of the Day

International Quirkyalone Day – OK, this is an interesting one and NOT what I expected for Valentine’s Day!  This one seems to be for people who are single and still deserve a treat, so if you’re unattached, indulge and celebrate yourself with these single-serving treats.

Single-Serving Baked Bacon, Egg & Cheese
S’mores Oatmeal for One
Creamy Macaroni & Cheese for One
Hot Cocoa for One
Easy Omelete for One
Vegetable Stir-Fry for One
Single Strawberry Daiquiri

So there you have it!  The origins of Valentine’s Day, Ferris Wheels, the very important and generous act of donating organs, and last, but certainly not least, my very precious pets birthdays!  Have a wonderful day no matter what, or how, you celebrate!  God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!

 

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