Valentine’s Day is coming!




“They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything”. Bill Keane

I will start with a report on how Sylvia the Subaru and I are getting along. We have made it up and down the driveway hill without any issues and Sitka, the dog, says it’s okay but the seat could have more room for his butt. I have figured out how to open the gas tank (and remember that it is on the passenger side) and how to turn on the back windshield wiper. This is not the best weather to be looking for one’s silver car in the parking lot. I am beginning to think that renting one of Dale Lewis’s critters to put on top with the roof rack would not be a bad idea.

Sylvia and I did a road trip to Cottage Grove the other day to see if I could get rid of some ice chunks around the wheels and check out HyVee and see what they have for Valentine’s day. Not sure why that idea appealed to me but I had to widen Sylvia’s world. My world got widened out about what is available at a “grocery store”. Wahlburgers are available (bring money) as well as a number of ready to eat foods. You would not need to ever prep any vegetable again as it seems it has been all done for you if you are willing to pay. You may just want to grab a pound of butter and hang out at the bread baking site and they will slice the bread to any size slice you may want. Bagels are close by with everything needed to enjoy them. And we will not even mention the bakery magic department that must have a million calories in every foot of space. They also have a huge area called “Candy Land” and a big flower and Valentine’s section. So if you need pink pineapple, Mexican soda, or a prepared charcuterie platter to enhance your life, this would be a good place to start.

Yes indeed – the Valentine’s Day is a coming! There may be some panic as to shopping for this special day and I will try to offer a few hints. The aforementioned grocery story, and I think all others, do have a selection of Valentine’s Day items in addition to food. Flowers, gifts, candy and cards are in stock.

If you are not eating out, do you have a theme for a special meal? You can just spend a little time on the Internet and you will have an overload of ideas. There are suggestions for almost any kind of meal you can think of. Just a small listing of the ones I found include 1950’s favorites, Southern style, New York style, Quick and Easy meals, Meatless and Vegan, New Orleans style, Make Ahead, Kids meals and Eating Local. I don’t know how many years it would take to just try one of each of a different class of desserts. They range from no bake to lots of hours of prep, chilling and baking.

If you are eating out or enjoying a homemade meal, I would like to share a thought or two about eating a meal. Husband Larry has been gone for over a year and since I have had most of my meals by myself. I never realized how “social” it is to eat a meal with someone else. You don’t need big, deep talk. It does not need a fancy, sit down setting or prime rib. It’s the human that counts. I have tried to be sure I do sit at a table and eat off a plate rather than do the eat out of the pan while draped over the kitchen sink thing. (Will say it’s easy cleanup). But it is missing the human part. Eating in a restaurant is somewhat better at times, but it also reminds me that I am by myself. I do realize we can use “by yourself time” but not a permanent basis. I hope I don’t get put away for sharing this with you, but on a few occasions I have sat on the floor and had a meal with Sitka, the dog. Of course he is a very fast eater and always does dessert first if that is offered with the meal. He takes care of any leftovers as long it is not a vegetable and the dishes are all ready for the dishwasher. He does “talk”, but I am never sure just what it is he is saying! I am thinking that Huskies always want to win any disagreements that might be taking place.

Stay warm, keep the shovels handy and the car gas tank full. Bea Westerberg [email protected]