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November Comes and November Goes...

"November comes and November goes with the last red berries and the first white snows." .....................................

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Valentine's Day Strikes Fear!

Valentine's Day strikes fear into the hearts of strong men everywhere.      

Let's just address this head on:

For many people, especially men but women too, there is nothing pleasant about planning Valentine's Day. They don't know what is expected of them; they feel that the wrong thing will be held against them; they feel that they don't have enough money to plan a "proper" Valentine's Day... and they are really tempted to break up with their girlfriend or pick a fight with their wife the week before Valentine's Day just to get out of the whole thing.

Here's a question from a reader:
Q: Hi Jo... It's almost Valentine's Day, and I'm a nervous wreck. I've been with my girlfriend for about six months now, and we are talking about moving in together. We are getting more serious by the day. But I panic around Valentine's Day! My ex-wife always seemed disappointed after Valentine's Day, and we usually fought afterwards. I thought that dinner and flowers was an acceptable way to spend Valentine's Day, but she seemed to want something more or "different"...... How do I guarantee that my new girlfriend will be satisfied without breaking the bank? And what do I do if she seems displeased?  ... Scared
These oxidized Copper Heart Brooches by Rough Magic were found at Etsy a few years back, but they appear to be unavailable now.  
Answer: Have you tried a hot air balloon ride? Or a train ride on the Orient Express? What about 4 carat pink diamond earrings? O.K., I'm joking. Let's be realistic here.

Scared, if she truly likes you for who you are and things are going well.. and she's a decent woman.... there isn't much you can do to screw up Valentine's Day.... except perhaps to forget the whole thing.


It would probably be best to talk to her well before the big day. Does she expect a big production? A dinner and flowers? If so, a fancy dinner? Maybe she dislikes the Valentine's Day dinner scene (as I do) and she's planning on cooking for you. But don't let things fester.. If she's as great as you think and hope she is, she will be happy to talk about her expectations and what might be reasonable. Don't let your experiences with your ex-wife color your experiences with this one. The ex may have been spoiled, demanding, and petty. Perhaps that's why she is an ex?

My sense is that, for most women, flowers, a bit of candy, and perhaps a small gift (according to your budget), are more than enough.
By the way, she should be doing something for you as well.. A small gift, your favorite candy, a home-cooked meal. Valentine's Day shouldn't be a one way street!

(Cross posted from Love Stuff by Jo)

Friday, February 9, 2018

February 9: Pizza, Bagels, and the Beatles!


Snow Day!

It's snowing in the Midwest and that snow is supposed to be heading East. We may get 10 or more inches in Chicago. If you live in the Midwest or the Northeast, you may get a snow day.. or you may be able to work at home or leave early. That would be a nice way to celebrate February 9th!

And Happy Birthday Carole King!



If it is too snowy, you can celebrate National Pizza Day (see below) by popping a pizza in the oven, or, better yet, getting a pizza delivered, that is, if the roads are clear enough to let the pizza delivery guy get through.

Many places are having special deals for National Pizza Day; Google your city and the words "National Pizza Day" and see what you get. 

Is your birthday today?



If you were born on February 9th, you share your birthday with:

  • William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the United States, who caught a nasty cold at his inauguration March 4, 1841, and died of pneumonia a month later.
  • Carole King, prolific songwriter, was born in 1942 in Manhattan.    She is "the most successful female songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century in the USA, having written or co-written 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1955 and 1999.[3]"
  • Economist and Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitz (born in 1943).
  • Novelist Alice Walker of "The Color Purple" fame was born in 1944.
  • Mia Farrow, of Rosemary's Baby fame, wife of Frank Sinatra, long-time girlfriend of Woody Allen, and mother of many, was born in 1945.    
Other February 9th birthday babies are listed HERE.

Your birthstone is the beautiful lavender amethyst (Ancient Greeks believed that the stone protected the wearer from drunkenness and enabled them to keep a balanced mindset.) You were born under the sign of Aquarius. (I can't help hearing that song "The Age of Aquarius" whenever I write that.) I hope you are having a Happy Birthday!

How many hours of daylight now?


The sun rose this morning at 6:53 a.m. local Chicago time and it will set at 5:16 p.m., about two minutes later than it set yesterday.  We have two minutes and 29 seconds more daylight than we had yesterday.  (Other cities?  Continue below.)

We have 10 hours, 22 minutes, and 6 seconds of daylight today, so we've added back 1 hours 15 minutes of daylight since the Winter Solstice on December 21st. 

Countdown to Daylight Savings Time

Check out the exact time until Daylight Savings returns HERE!

One of my friends has been counting down the days until we return to Daylight Savings Time and get back an hour of evening light.  I can't say that I blame her at all.  That will happen on ---

Monday, February 5, 2018

February 5: Super Bowl Hangover, Spinal Tap, and Nutella

Here's an image from the movie This Is Spinal Tap.  What does that have to do with February 5th?  Read on!

From "Curious Creative" on Ultimate-Guitar  "11 Facts about Spinal Tap"
Is your birthday today?


If you were born on February 5th, your birthstone is the beautiful lavender amethyst .(Ancient Greeks believed that the stone protected the wearer from drunkenness and enabled them to keep a balanced mindset.) You were born under the sign of Aquarius. (I can't help hearing that song "The Age of Aquarius" whenever I write that.) I hope you are having a Happy Birthday!



It's supposed to be cold and snowy today in Chicago, a good day to work at home for those of you who have that option.  Especially those of you who partied and celebrated the Super Bowl.

Though it is cold and it's supposed to be snowy, we will still get an extra minute or more of sunlight... even if we can't see that sunlight through the clouds.

How many hours of daylight now?


The sun rose this morning at 6:58 a.m. local Chicago time and it will set at 5:10 p.m., about one minute later than it set yesterday.  We have two minutes and 25 seconds more daylight than we had yesterday.  (Other cities?  Continue below.)


We have 10 hours, 12 minutes, and 16 seconds of daylight today, so we've added back 2 hours 25 minutes of daylight since the Winter Solstice on December 21st. 

Countdown to Daylight Savings Time

Countdown to Daylight Savings Time as of 7 p.m., February 5, 2018.

One of my friends has been counting down the days until we return to Daylight Savings Time and get back an hour of evening light.  I can't say that I blame her at all.  That will happen on ---

Friday, February 2, 2018

Groundhog Day 2018: Groundhogs, winter, and narcissists

Six more weeks of winter...?


The "official" Groundhog Day rodent, good old Punxatawney Phil from Pennsylvania, may see his shadow later this morning, thus predicting six more weeks of winter.. or.. he won't!  And we'll have an early spring!

The prominent weather forecasters are predicting snow, cold.. and shadows tomorrow morning, Friday, February 2nd, in Pennsylvania.  That should mean that Phil won't see his shadow.. and we'll have an early spring?  Yeah, sure.  I'll believe it when I see it.

It seems that Phil usually does see his shadow and we get those six more weeks of winter.  Can you remember when he didn't?  (I had to look it up.. I was surprised to find that the various groundhogs actually HAVE forecast an early spring.)
Very cute book about Groundhog's Day for the wee ones.  Click on the link for more info.  



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