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Charlie's Strange and Happy World
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Happy Valentine's Day! (Sunday Report) 
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First off, Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!

I know -- many people think this is ONLY a romantic holiday (if they see it as a holiday at all). But growing up our Mom saw it as a day that EVERYONE could express LOVE for those around them. So that included family and friends! Our house was decorated for the holiday, and she'd always make a special dinner that included a heart-shaped cake and heart-shaped red Jello (she had heart-shaped pans for this very reason). I recall dinners every bit as good as Easter dinner, believe it or not! And I actually think my Mom had it right. This doesn't have to be a day where people feel bad because they don't have a romantic partner (or fantastic love life). I know a lot of people who would be much happier if they could just celebrate all forms of love -- and share the day with others!

Having been sick recently, I didn't get out our own decorations (and, yes, we do have them). But I still enjoy the concept -- thanks so MUCH, Mom!

And, by the way, those Valentine parties from grade school were wonderful, too. They weren't about romance, either. Everybody gave everybody else a Valentine. We made containers of some kind (decorated sacks or bags, 'mail boxes' or whatever else) to put cards in. And then we had lists of every name of our fellow classroom students -- and the teacher -- and we went home and carefully wrote out a Valentine for each person. (You could buy boxes of those cute cards for so little that even in our poor part of town they were affordable.) And we made big paper chains to hang for the parties. Moms (Aunts and whomever) brought in cupcakes and cookies. And there was 'punch' (usually Kool-Aid). And we'd use lace paper doilies and red and pink construction paper (with Elmer's glue) to make cards to take home to our parents. I suspect that there are people who feel that was a big waste of classroom (education) time, but it was about KINDNESS. About everybody having fun and including everybody else. I remember clearly that nobody was left out or treated in a negative way. I didn't have anything but average teachers -- and there was a mix of kids (good and bad). But Valentine's Day brought out the best in people. (I'm always surprised to see negativity shown on TV shows... I'm NOT kidding.) And don't get me wrong -- I was around plenty of negative experiences in grade school as a rule!

Marilyn is better, I'm glad to say. She's even sitting up right now playing Zuma while I type this. A big deal, as she's been to wimpy to sit up. (I remember it well!) I'm concerned about her cough, but it's better than it was...

We tried to drive out late in the day to get more meds. But the tire light was on in the car! So we went right back into the garage. We'll go to Les Schwab tomorrow, and then shopping.

As for me, I've still got a tummy ache (I'm pretty convinced that's the antibiotic). And my arthritis is MURDER right now. Yes. I'm having a flare-up. But it's also tied to my medication. I've been on Naproxen for DECADES. I was originally put on it for problems about bleeding. But I've had issues with arthritis before I turned 30, so it seemed like a good solution for me. Recently my nurse practitioner wanted me OFF of Naproxen. I had some 'saved up' -- because for years I took less (often only half) of what I'd been prescribed. I'm sure glad I had those pills! So when I was DENIED the replacement medication she recommended months ago -- and could never get it worked out (I called and called about it), I just kept taking the Naproxen I still had. I've been out for quite a while. That's one of the reasons I believe I've had such bad flare-ups this winter.

This needs to be resolved somehow. Last year I was walking and hiking and getting more active. But when I'm this bad I move around like I'm made of glass! I feel not only in terrible pain, but I feel fragile, like I could 'break' if I moved the wrong way. I was lying down today and I was feverish and miserable and just wondering WHAT was going to happen. I know many people suffer from constant pain in their lives, but it seems like there might be SOMETHING that could be done for me.

Okay, this sounds VERY WHINY to me. I'm sorry. I know I'm much, much better off than so many people. I don't mean to complain like this. It's just disappointing that I made progress at one point in 2015. Then it went downhill from there...

I finished my book on "Blanche on the Lam (Blanche White series Book 1)." Those of you who used this link will have seen that it's available for free from Amazon for Kindle. Anyway, I enjoyed her writing so much that I immediately went and bought the next book in the series (which I started today). I'm fascinated by Barbara Neeley and her frankness about racism. Marilyn and I were just discussing it. There are certainly lots of ways people can be unkind and unequal with others...

We did watch "The Walking Dead" -- and then the beginning of the "The Talking Dead." They were calling this the 'best ever' episode. I guess I was watching a different episode than they were. Hahaha. I was put out by most of what I saw. But I won't spoil. People died. People were hurt. The same-old same-old, frankly. After the death, non-death of Glenn, I'm pretty sick of the whole show...

Well, one more day to pull it together before heading back to work. I really, really hope Marilyn feels a TON better tomorrow.

I have a bunch of emails I need to write to friends. I should have done that today, but I did nothing at all, really. I did make soup and baked cheese sandwiches for lunch, at least.

And we watched "Teacher's Pet," with Clark Gable, Doris Day and Gig Young (we especially LOVE him in the role of Dr. Hugo Pine!). That 1958 film just delights both Marilyn and me, I must admit. So entertaining...

I guess that's enough for today! Sorry to be so long-winded. So that covers our Valentine's Day (Saturday) for 2016.
February 15, 2016 (Monday) 03:43 pm (UTC)
Sorry you're so ill, dear. My sister has similar problems and it's no fun!

I get you about Valentine's Day. People snark that if you go the non-romantic route, you're just rationalizing not having a romantic partner. Piffle! Love is love, and while romance sells the flowers and chocolates and restaurant reservations, there's plenty of people who can enjoy the day. I consider it a day when people can reflect on who they love, and say it! Most people don't say it enough.

Your mother and mine would have gotten along splendidly! My mom did not have a happy childhood and made sure my sister and I did, and that meant celebrating every holiday with decorations and special things to do. :)

I remember Valentine's Day at school, too. Students were urged to give Valentines to everyone. As for taking time away from education, you are learning how to be compassionate and inclusive, IMO.
February 15, 2016 (Monday) 08:15 pm (UTC)
I totally agree: Education is often about teaching children how to CARE about others. (I especially think how lacking that is when I see 20/20 about the young people involved in shootings! So upsetting...)

Mom smiles when I put up decorations, I know! I'm glad to hear our mom wasn't the only one like that.

February 15, 2016 (Monday) 04:15 pm (UTC) - Hope you both feel a lot better.
It seems so strange to be after Valentines Day and I am not sure if there is school today or not. I just want you and Marilyn to both feel better right away.
February 16, 2016 (Tuesday) 12:12 am (UTC)
Happy Valentine's day!