Welcome! Kick off your shoes, get comfy and join in as we chat about books, romance and the ups and downs of everyday life.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

For the Love of Romance



Love it or hate it, it's that time of year again.  Valentine's Day.  The day when lovers flood the stores...or internet sites...to buy flowers, fragrances, chocolates, underwear you'd never be caught wearing (I work in retail. I know this to be true.) or, if you're really lucky, romance novels.  Or even better, a gift card so you can go buy your own romance novels! What can I say, I'm easy to please.




I've been reflecting a bit on the Valentine's Day holiday and how it has transitioned for me over the course of my life.  As a child, I looked forward to making Valentine's "Mail Boxes" in school; gaudily decorated shoe boxes into which classmates would deposit Valentine cards.  Those were the days when I happily popped stale candy hearts with cute sayings stamped on them while waiting for my daddy to come home from work with my very own little-girl sized Russell Stover chocolate assortment, prettily packaged in a bold red heart.

High school  and college brought the peer pressure part of Valentine's Day to the fore.  Who has a date?  Who got flowers?  Whose boyfriend forgot that it's a holiday and he was supposed to do something romantic?  For the record, I received Valentine's flowers once during those years. They were sent by a former boyfriend (who lived in another state and I had not seen for two years) the same year that my current-at-the-time boyfriend forgot it was Valentine's Day (not an unusual occurrence).  Made for a very "interesting" holiday.

While my late husband wasn't big on flowers (though he did send me yellow roses on occasion), he never forgot Valentine's Day and always found creative, and romantic, ways to celebrate.  I cherish the letters and poems he wrote for me over the years and am happy to say he exhibited a fondness for jewelry along with great taste in the same. ::grin::




Not having a man in my life these past several years has once again taken Valentine's Day in a new direction.   It's not a romantic holiday for me anymore but has become a day when I celebrate people who are important to me for a variety of reasons and those who are in need of a little Valentine's pampering.  Earlier this week, Valentine cards went out in the mail to the munchkins in my life. Yesterday was spent making cupcakes and chocolates.  Deliveries this Valentine's Day will go to fellow volunteers at the hospital, co-workers at my part-time job, a friend whose husband is nearing the end of his life and others who have no Valentine to pamper them this year.  Bringing a little sweetness and light into their lives will make the holiday that much richer for me.








Do you celebrate Valentine's Day?  Has it changed for you over the years as it has for me?  How will you be celebrating this year?  Do you have a memorable Valentine's Day story (good or bad) to share with us?  What would be your ideal Valentine's Day celebration?  If you don't celebrate, how do you spend Valentine's Day?  Do you do anything special or just ignore it? What's your favorite flavor cupcake?  (My Valentines will get their choice of strawberry or white cake with vanilla or buttercream frosting and milk chocolate hearts on top!)

Because I love giving to others on Valentine's Day and because we all love romance, three of you who leave comments on today's blog will be receiving a package of books from us!  (U.S. only)  

Happy Valentine's Day!

~PJ

39 comments:

  1. Happy Valentine's Day, PJ and Andrea. It's not a super special day to us, but it is nice to receive some chocolate and/or flowers.

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  2. Hi PJ!

    When you mentioned that your late husband occasionally gave you yellow roses it reminded me how although my husband doesn't give me a Valentine's Day gift he does give me yellow roses on our Anniversary which is on February 7th as well as surprising me during the summer by bringing home daisies that he's found growing wild!

    Whenever I see a yellow rose or daisy I immediately think of him and your comments today have a special meaning because he is in the hospital right now but will be finally released tomorrow and me home for Valentine's Day!

    It really made me stop and think and remind me that it's the everyday "surprise" things he does which is the most important and not a holiday that someone has "thought" up to celebrate that is what I remember from over the years.

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    1. Jeanne, I think a man spontaneously bringing his lady wildflowers he's picked himself is one of the most romantic gestures out there. Sounds like you have a keeper there! ♥

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  3. Happy Valentine's day!! My husband and I started to go out in 2005 I was 17 and a junior in high school. Our first Valentine's day he had roses and a huge teddy bear with a balloon on it sent to the school office. I was so embarrassed lol! We had only been dating for a little over 1 month.... A super sweet side note the teddy bears name was Rufus and we now have a Puggle name Rufus in honor of that bear :). He took me out for dinner that night wrote me a really cute (if slight corny) poem. And then took me home and promised me we would always be together.

    Now 8 years later with 2 kids, 3 dogs, a house and way to much stress we celebrate V-day the night before... Which was yesterday. We get take out have my mom watch the kids and we just stay at home and watch tv. We watched a DVRed episode of Once Upon A time yesterday. And my hubby fell asleep on the couch. Its nice to spend the night alone with him and just enjoy each others company.

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    1. Happy Valentine's, Savannah! I like the sound of your celebration.

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  4. Happy Valentine's Day PJ! My DH and I usually just eat dinner together. My favorite tradition is what we do at school. I love watching my students pass out cards and get so excited about the day.

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    1. I have no doubt that you make it a very fun and festive experience, Cail. I still have fond memories of my grade school Valentine's parties more than fifty years later. Your dedication to your students today will burn brightly in their hearts for years to come.

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  5. Happy Valentine's Day! I love the idea of celebrating ALL of those that we love. What better day to do it than St. Valentine's Day?

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    1. I obviously agree! ♥

      Thanks for stopping by, Colleen!

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  6. Happy Valentines Day! It's nice to see soooo many people celebrating! EdyB

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  7. Sounds like you had a great husband. Sorry he is no longer with you.

    We went out to lunch yest and may go out to dinner Fri - the actual day at a restaurant is pricey and usually a limited menu and crowded. Have gotten yummy candy an beautiful flowers in the past.

    Chocolate is my fav flavor in cakes or cc's. Thanks for the contest.

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  8. As a child it was always my mother that did a little something for Valentine's day. Daddy never even noticed it for us or my mom.
    My husband always remembers with a nice card and a little something. One Valentine's day he built me a huge rose bed in my yard because I complained when the flowers he bought me died so soon.
    Now since my girls are grown I usually send them a little something. The one still in college gets a Starbucks card and the oldest who lives close has an affection still for the box of chocolates.
    We plan on an early supper at a restaurant tonight.

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  9. I was chatting with an author the other day who confessed on a blog that she does not care for Valentine’s Day. I understand what she means because I think the day is a bit overdone by the retailers. Of course, it’s a great money maker for them, but I also feel like some of the gifts and such that people receive are not necessarily given because the giver really wants to. They simply feel compelled to. That doesn’t mean someone isn’t loved but spontaneity goes along with sincerity.

    After 46 years of marriage, my husband and I prefer to do a homemade card for one another rather than a store-bought one. It’s usually funny and a bit risque and we always get a huge laugh out of them and treasure them.

    I hope I’m not going to get rocks thrown at me for my comments. I do like Valentine’s Day and hope that love tokens exchanged are done so because people WANT to not because they feel compelled to.

    I’m sorry you are not with your husband anymore, PJ. So, may I take a moment to sincerely wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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  10. Good morning, all, and Happy Valentine's Day! My husband and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day (with all the hoopla) except to say it to each other. In our house, it's more for the kids. :)

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  11. being single, i've gone out to lunch w/ other single friends on v-day, but generally avoid going out otherwise, instead relaxing at home. when I had my puppy girl, she was always my valentine, giving me lots of luvs & I'd give her an extra treat or 2 (in other words -- not to different from many other days) ;) No matter how celebrate (or don't) hope everyone has a lovely day :)

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  12. Being a widow, I don't celebrate unless I am with my daughter and her family. I do enjoy my chocolates and desserts.

    Thanks for this giveaway - there is not much better than a surprise box of books - thanks for being so generous.

    gmapeony@yahoo.com

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  13. Even though I've been married for almost 36 years my husband and I don't like to shop or go out to eat. I work until 7pm so we'll go for a long walk, talk about our day and then make a nice dinner together.

    I have a similar story to yours PJ. I became engaged to my future husband John. We planned a July wedding. On Valentine's day I received a dozen roses with a note that said Love, John. I called to thank him as he was in grad school. He said that he didn't send them. It turned out to be a guy from my hometown who I had dated during college. Weird that they were both named John. The hometown guy had seen an announcement of my engagement and tried to get me back.

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  14. Happy Valentine's Day, PJ! I knew when I started reading your blog that somewhere along the way baked goodies were going to be involved. LOL You're such a sweetie.

    We celebrate Valentine's Day but not in a big way. I've always bought a little something for the kids and my husband. It's usually just their favorite candy with a homemade heart waiting for them in the morning before they head out to school or work. It was never a big deal when I was growing up and I always remember the left out feeling, especially as a teen. I just wanted my kids to get at least 1 Valentine every year, even if it's just from their mom. :)

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  15. My hone is gone several years now and I miss him every day; he was a kind and loving man. I have a lot of things to take of today, but may have dinner with my girlfriend tonite.

    Patty B 43

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  16. I do have a memorable Valentine story to share....But, first, I want to tell you about what my husband wrote in a card to our daughter that she opened this morning when she got up (he left it on the counter for her). It said, "Shary, I hope I will always be your first Valentine because you will always be my sweet Valentine girl." Oh, my gosh, isn't that sweet?!

    The Valentine's Day I was expecting our daughter, (she was due in April and we knew we were having a girl), my husband sent me a dozen roses; 11 red roses with a perfect mauve pink rose right in the center of the bouquet. The card read, "To my Valentine and our little Valentine who will come soon."

    My husband left a card for me on the counter as well this morning. He told me he plans to put a roast and potatoes in the crockpot for supper and might even make dessert. :)

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  17. am going to dinner and a movie with hubby on weekend - today too hectic in restaurants.

    lovesthemets@yahoo.com

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  18. Your story was lovely and your gestures I am sure are appreciated. I too send out gifts to others who are alone and would enjoy this surprise. I love making others feel good. I will cook a special dinner tonite and relax with my husband.

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  19. We stay home and discuss our life and the future. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and am recovering so I am appreciative of each and everyday. I did send and bring goodies to friends who are on their own and this is meaningful and important.

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  20. Happy Valentine's Day to our favourite Dishy Dames! Oh PJ - wish I lived close enough to get some of your cupcakes - they look fab!

    My lovely hubby made me a surprise breakfast of a banoffee tart - yummy! I got him an antique silver teaspoon that was engraved with You're my Cup of Tea!

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  21. Happy Valentine's Day! It has changed for me with it being about family once we had children. This year our daughter will be having dinner with my husband and myself since her boyfriend will be working.

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  22. Happy Valentine's Day! Those cupckaes looks delicious.Some of the best gifts are those that come from the heart. It's the thought that counts :) P.S. I'm non-eligible for the giveaway. Good luck everyone.

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  23. When my mom was alive for Valentines Day he would make a Red Velvet cake in a heart shaped pan with this delicious frosting I still remember how she made Valentines day special...


    Donna

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  24. Valentine's Day has been different for me over the years since I've been married for 43 years. There have been flowers, cards, candy, dinners, lottery tickets and sometimes nothing at all lol. It use to melt my heart when my husband sometimes gave our girls flowers or candy but again nothing consistent lol. And I'm afraid I've been the same way. Sometimes we both do something, sometimes one of us and sometimes neither of us lol. I tend to go with the flow. This year it falls on a night that we usually meet with friends so we're going to have dinner and see a movie. Happy Valentine's Day to all.

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  25. I enjoy Valentine's Day. Hubby and I exchanged cards and small gifts this morning and will go out for a nice dinner this evening. What I like most about Valentine's Day, though, is the happiness. We're spreading all kinds of love around today--couples, kids in school, blog friends. It gives an extra oomph for everyone to be extra cheerful. (Chocolate, of course, helps with the cheerfulness.) Happy Valentine's Day, all.

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  26. I"m working a 12 hr shift today so not doing anything :( But BF has promised me a nice dinner this weekend. I'm kinda indifferent to Valentine's Day. Doesn't bother me if nothing is done but I'm happy if there is. Thanks for the fun giveaway!

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  27. Hi PJ, and Happy Valentine's Day to you, Andrea and all the followers of TRD. We do not put too much emphasis on the day because my DH isthe kind of guy who gives me flowers as a surprise many times during the year JUST BECAUSE! This is so much better than getting them because our culture says that they sould be given on certain days.

    Here is my best Valentine story: My husband and I had been dating for a few years when he got tired or waiting to be ready to get married. He had stopped calling me for about nine months when he called out of the blue for a date on Valentine's Day. I was schocked; we went out and were married the following Spring. Later I found out that my BIL, who had originally introduced us, was behind the whole thing!

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  28. Valentine's Day has stayed the same for us. We usually don't do anything. We did go and have our taxes done today but that is about it. I use to buy hubby and son a box of candy but didn't even do that this year, so maybe its changed a little.

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  29. Pretty low key.. we live in a college town and the retailers can really jack up the price and students are willing to pay... We do a nice dinner at home.

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  30. My husband has a real problem in February: first my birthday, then Valentine's Day, then our anniversary -- so we're going out Saturday for the first two and figure out the latter once we find out if our kids are planning anything!

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  31. I had a wonderful day today! Me, my mom, step dad, nana, uncle, aunt and cousin met for lunch and had a blast. It was weird, but everyone kept forgetting it was Valentine's Day, and instead wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Hmmm. I'm not sure what to do with that. In any case, it was a great Thanks-- Valentine's Day.
    ;-)

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  32. Great candy for me and love songs, love velvet cake thanks
    Have agreat week all, Great prize thanks
    Kimh

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  33. Am I too late?? Awww, yes I am, gosh. :(
    Happy Valentine's Day anyways!

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  34. Just wanted to drop by and say hello. To you lovely ladies and say thanks for keeping us entertained with your awesome books

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