Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Folly of Victor Frankenstein

I have never before read Frankenstein. I've seen the various movies based on the book. However, I have never actually sat down and read the book. Well, I have been correcting that omission. I was reading Frankenstein, well actually I was listening to it on my free iPod, and was struck by the following :
I wished, as it were, to procrastinate all that related to my feelings of affection until the great object, which swallowed up every habit of my nature, should be completed.

I then thought that my father would be unjust if he ascribed my neglect to vice, or faultiness on my part; but I am now convinced that he was justified in conceiving that I should not be altogether free from blame. A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind, and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility. I do not think that the pursuit of knowledge is an exception to this rule. If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections, and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind.
All of us have occupations, studies, hobbies or other interests that demand time, effort and attention. From time to time, these demands may overwhelm other aspects of a balanced life. Long hours of study may be required in educational studies. The pursuit of a career can require many overtime hours. Hobbies have a way of consuming time.

Do not allow these pursuits to weaken your affections in your relationship with your sweetie and your duty to family. The meaning of life can defined in terms of relationships, with the marriage relationship being one of the most important and lasting.

My sweetheart has been very supporting of my career. She understands when I have had to put in lots of overtime and held down the fort when I was traveling and only home every other weekend. However, although she understood the need, it was still difficult to keep the fire burning in our relationship. A relationship requires having the time to discuss the day to day issues as well as working on the romantic aspects. If there is little time for talking, the daily difficulties will dominate the discussion.

Another bit of wisdom: leave work at work. Your sweetheart deserves your full attention. Leave the problems of work at the door. Be focused on what your sweetie saying, not just half listening.

Strive to maintain balance between work, home and other interests.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The twinkie in my brown bag of life

A very clever blogger shared a great notion of a simple, inexpensive and romantic Valentine's gift. Over at Cleverly Blogged we read: "
I once sent [my sweetie] a card that said:

You are the twinkie in my brown bag lunch of life

She thought that was a very sweet thing for me to have said. So from time to time I'll buy her a twinkie as a reminder that she still is the twinkie in my brown bag lunch of life."
Good work and a good example for us all.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Canadian Valentine's Post Mark

OK, I know Valentine's Day is over, but I just saw this today. Just keep it in mind for next year, eh.
Here is what you do to send your Valentine's Day wishes to a loved one: you correctly address your greeting card and affix the appropriate postage. You then place your greeting card in a larger envelope, again with the correct postage that you send to the following address:

Claire Langevin
Saint-Valentin Post Office

There is also another one:
To receive a unique cancellation and Valentine cachet, just enclose your pre-stamped, pre-addressed Valentines in a larger 1st Class envelope and mail it to:

Love, Saskatchewan
S0J 1P0

Romantic Bible Verses: Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 9:9
Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life ...
Move beyond living together and live joyfully together. Make your sweetie laugh. Share your goals and dreams while helping your sweetheart to fulfill theirs. Smile. Express gratitude in word and in deed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I'm in hot water today

agua muy caliente
Originally uploaded by juano_maldonado.
As you are no doubt aware, yesterday was Valentine's day. Today, I am in hot water with my wife. You guessed it, its all over my Valentine's gift to her. In spite of my planning and scheming, Valentine's Day did not go off quite as planned.

The story starts three days ago on Sunday. We came home from church to the sound of an alarm blaring through the house. Due to a high water table in the area, we have water alarms on the floor in case water starts to seep into the basement. One of these alarms was squealing for all its worth. The problem is that they are so high pitched, you can't readily tell where its coming from. So we start hunting around the basement trying to find the water. No water in the usual places. Finally, we see the water heater has a small leak. Its 13 years old and probably due to be replaced soon anyway.

There go all my big, just-got-my-tax-refund, plans. This year my wife is getting a hot water heater for Valentine's Day. Never was there a more romantic gift given. I also got her the solid chocolate fish as well, as I told you Monday.

Monday night is spent installing this most romantic of gifts. The plan is to be able to enjoy a nice hot shower in the morning to celebrate the new water heater. That night before going to bed, she checks and sure enough there is plenty of hot water coming from the tap.

Valentine's morning: something has happened overnight. There is no longer any hot water. Its not that the water is not hot, its that there is no water coming out of the hot water tap at all. When the hot water is turned on, a whole lot of nothing comes out. The cold water comes out ok, and very cold.

Oh, this is not a good omen. A cold shower is not how I was wanting to start Valentine's Day. My poor son has to wash his hair in the sink using cold water. Brrrrrr.

So I stay home from work to get the hot water fixed. Finally, after a while I get it all figured out and the hot water is restored. I will plead the 5th on the reason it wasn't working. Suffice it to say the installation instructions could have been clearer on a couple of minor points.

Peace and harmony are restored. My sweetie is able to enjoy a nice hot shower. Something we daily take for granted but are more grateful for today.

Now we find ourselves alone as the kids are all off to school. This does not happen very often and we decided to take advantage of it by spending some time together running a few simple errands.

The first errand was to get rid of the old hot water heater. At the local refuse dump they have a place to drop off scrap metal to be recycled. So we ran down to the dump, my sweetie paid the 3 bucks to get in and I threw the old hot water heater on the pile.

As I got back into the truck, I realized what I had done. My wife's Valentine's had consisted of:
  • A malfunctioning hot water heater
  • A solid chocolate fish that says "You're a keeper"
  • A trip to the dump, where she had to pay.
As I pointed this out to my sweetheart, we both broke into laughter until tears came from our eyes. She was thinking of how she could brag to her friends about how romantic the day had been. This was one of those Valentine's days we will remember and enjoy laughing about for many years to come.

So that is how I got into hot water on Valentine's Day. I don't know how I'll be able to outdo myself next year, but maybe I'll think of something.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day Sweetie

johanna's eleven
Originally uploaded by johannal.
I love you!

Last minute ideas for Valentine's

Same-Day Delivery on FTD® Roses from Wal-Mart Yup, you can still get roses delivered.

Don't forget that a love letter is still a great last minute gift. Put it on some nice paper for added impact.

Surprise your sweetie by inviting your sweetheart to a long lunch. It make for a fun and inexpensive way to celebrate.

Most book stores sell "love coupons". They are a great way to let your sweetheart know you care. The coupons include things like "one night off from chores" or "go out to eat, your choice of restaurant". You get the idea.

Of course most stores have valentines candy, flowers and cards. I found some on sale yesterday.

Any other ideas? Go ahead and post them.

Monday, February 13, 2006

My wife is still a keeper

Last year I got my wife a chocolate fish. It says "You're a keeper" on it. She laughed and said, "This had better not be all my Valentine's". Today I found another one on sale. I just she is still a keeper.

I'll report the rest of Valentine's after the day. Its going to be a doosey.

Yahoo! News Photo - Yahoo! News Photo

Happy Valentine's Day

Yahoo! News Photo

Yahoo! News

Saturday, February 11, 2006

In the news: Altruistic Love Related to Happier Marriages

Originally uploaded by Curlylocks.

I came across an article, Altruistic Love Related to Happier Marriages that talks about alturism, marriage and happiness. The National Opinion Research Center conducted a study into alturism and published the results.

First what is alturism? The study asked questions like:
"I'd rather suffer myself than let the one I love suffer," and "I'm willing to sacrifice my own wishes to let the one I love achieve his or hers."
This is, are you more interested in your own well-being or that of your sweetheart?

What does this have to do with marriage and romance? The atricle states:
Among the more altruistic, 67 percent rated their own marriage as "very happy." Among those who were profiled as the least altruistic, only 50 percent said they were very happy in marriage.

We see here a paradox. The less selfish you are, the happier you are. Normally we persue happiness through selfishness. What do I want? What's in it for me? How does this benefit me?

Paradoxially, the road to happines is not "looking out for number one", but making sure your sweetie's needs are being met. Happiness comes from serving others, not in being served.

The article also states some othe interesting findings:
Smith also analyzed empathy, described as feeling protective of others or concerned for the less fortunate. Some of the findings:

* Women have a greater feeling of empathy than men.
* Children from two-parent homes are more empathetic.
* Girls raised by a single father are the least likely to develop empathy.
* Financial status bears little on altruism or empathy.
* People who vote are more empathetic and altruistic.
* Empathy is higher among those who fear crime.
* Empathy is higher among those who support increased spending on social programs.

Not exactly what I was expecting

I have to admit that even I don't think of Home Depot for Valentine's Day. Yet, there on their front page is a big Valentine's Day banner. I had to click on it. You know what, I was a bit surprised.

Did you know that you can order roses from Home Depot? Me neither. But I guess you can. They even throw in a free vase. Who knew?

Of course you can get your sweetie that romantic laser level kit. Or maybe the screwdriver. They do have a heart-shaped waffle maker. That would be fun.

Valentine's Gift Idea: Cookies

Ok folks, its down to the wire. I hope you have taken the time to prepare a gift for your, sweetie, be it husband or wife. My sweetheart saw an article on Valentine's Day gift giving. If said that the important thing is not the gift itself, but the apparent thought and time spent of getting the gift. Just getting a bunch of roses on your way home doesn't cut it.

But here we are with just a couple of days to go. Can you still get a gift in time for the big day? Of course! It is the Internet after all. Something different might be some cookies. David's Cookies not only ships cookies, but also cookie dough. Then you can spend some time baking cookies.
Valentines 300x250

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cost of Love

I was the Toastmaster at the meeting today and the topic was Cost of Love, in honor of Valentine's Day. One of the members, who has been married for 35 years, shared this thought:
The cost of love, I believe, is the effort you must make to be physically, verbally and mentally attractive to your partner. You can't just let yourself go, figuring it does matter if you look like a slob on the weekends, if you don't talk to him or her other than to nag or run him or her down, or if you don't take the time to develop common interests. The cost is not money, as in time and effort to maintain the relationship.
Think about the time, money and effort single people spend in preparing for dates. It is natural to want to be as attractive as possible in order to impress a potential mate. After marriage, that seems to disappear. Take the time to impress your companion.

Date Idea: Sharing a sundae

berry sundae
Originally uploaded by peggy..
Remember when you were a kid and your parents were trying to teach you to share? Or trying to teach your own children to share?

Sharing an important aspect of human relations, especially romantic ones. One of the most romantic things to share is food. One of the most romantic moments Lady and the Tramp is when they are sharing some noodles. Each is eating at one end of the noodle until they middle in the middle for a kiss.

When was the last time you share a sundae? For some reason the ice cream and yummy toppings are just right for sharing. For an inexpensive and fun date, go to the ice cream parlor and order one sundae and two spoons.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Valentine's Idea: Flowers

I know, I know.

There is nothing unique about giving flowers for Valentine's Day. Its is most standard, in the box gift to give. Floral arrangements cost a lot of money and die after a few days. The cost problem is even more pronounced at this time of year.

However, you can add a twist to the whole flower giving clique. It is possible to give flowers and be non-boring as well. You can even save a few bucks in the process.

First, consider giving some different arrangements. Add something to the flowers, like chocolate covered strawberries. Maybe include the flowers in a scavenger hunt. Deliver the flowers to your sweetheart's place of work. Use the flowers as dressing on the "real gift", such as a love letter.

Now cost. My sweetheart mentioned that Costco has 25 long stems with a vase for under $50.00. Shop around and look at non-traditional source like warehouse places. Also on the Internet you can get some discounts.

Banner vday06_468X60_v3.gifBuy 12 Roses, Get 6 Free!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Valentine's Idea: Write a Love Letter

{woman} love.letter.project #3
Originally uploaded by Haruka.
When was the last time you wrote your sweetheart a love letter? My sweetie mentioned that receiving a love letter would be a great Valentine's Day surprise. I say I must agree with her. Writing a love letter can be a wonderful excerise that moves the writer out of the ordinary rut.

Not sure how to write a love letter? Not to fret, here are some great ideas to get you started, followed by places you can find even more information on the subject. Isn't the Internet wonderful?

  • When stealing, steal from the best. Use freely from the bard, the lyrics to romantic love songs and poems.
    Doubt thou the stars are fire;
    Doubt that the sun doth move;
    Doubt truth to be a liar;
    But never doubt I love.
  • Hand written on specialty paper is nice. If your hand writing is not all that romance inspiring, consider having a professional calligrapher writing your thoughts for you.
  • Include compliments on all aspects of your sweetheart: physical characteristics, talents and accomplishments.
  • Express gratitude for the wonderful things your sweetie does.
  • Tell your sweetheart ways in which they make you a better person.
  • Remember shared times together
  • Include a little humor
Suggested reading:A final quote:
If I know what love is, it is because of you.