Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!


Welcome to my cyber neighborhood coffee shop! Grab a mug of your favorite
beverage and a cozy chair to read and comment a bit. Be sure to try a piece of

black forest cake or the tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

Contact Nani at chroniclesofnani@gmail.com
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Christmas Scrapbook Freebies

If you were visiting from Worldwide Christmas Scrapbooking Freebies, follow the
hyperlinks for Digitalegacies Designs' mini kit Christmas Cocoa
and the add-on Christmas Cocoa Flowers.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Interlude

See? I told you before that if I disappear for a few days check out the book listed as “currently reading” in the Good Reads app on the sidebar. I SO owe my cousins who recommended David Baldacci to me. The Innocent was just a fabulous book!

A good book is important when you have to try not to move a lot because you can’t shower and you don’t want to sweat. Okay, okay, the good news is that Monday night at 9:30 PM after 12 days we had running water again! I posted a few weeks of this year’s “So Random 2014” and you’ve seen that I do two pages for the week in quarters which always leaves an extra square for “something;” extra bits relevant to the week. Here is the extra square for this week posted right after the eighth day without water:


Taken For Granted

You don’t realize how dependent you are on water, specifically running water in the house, until you are without it for a week. Dirty dishes piling up, no clean underwear, having to get water brought in for the cats and for coffee or instant soup, toileting needs making the house septic for not being able to flush and hand washing, showering and teeth brushing only getting done when we spend the night at a hotel. Yes, that’s a first world problem, but living in a first world your situation declines faster as the rest of the population outside of your troubled bubble sees you not living up to that society’s expectations of cleanliness and your own psychological expectations, not met, drive you into an insecure place of discomfort.

I had WAY too much time to think about how wonderful running water is.

So now for the rest of this week I’m looking forward to washing dishes, showering when I feel like I want to shower (and not having to go to hotel for that) and folding all the laundry my wonderful husband is going to do. I also have a physical therapy appointment, groceries that I’m going to pick up and a trip to Dunkin Donuts to…to have coffee and a donut. There are many places that are closer to get donuts and coffee but Dunkin’ Donuts is comfort food and after 12 days without water in the house I think I deserve some comfort food.

Now, and I know you’re probably reading this in the morning on Wednesday, but for me writing this it’s very late Tuesday and I am going to enjoy one of those wonderful showers, ahhhhhh, and then head off to dreamland.

Book Review: The Innocent (Will Robie #1) by David Baldacci

Finished February 25, 2014

Synopsis from Good Reads

America has enemies--ruthless people that the police, the FBI, even the military can't stop. That's when the U.S. government calls on Will Robie, a stone cold hitman who never questions orders and always nails his target. But Will Robie may have just made the first--and last--mistake of his career . .

It begins with a hit gone wrong. Robie is dispatched to eliminate a target unusually close to home in Washington, D.C. But something about this mission doesn't seem right to Robie, and he does the unthinkable. He refuses to kill. Now, Robie becomes a target himself and must escape from his own people.

Fleeing the scene, Robie crosses paths with a wayward teenage girl, a fourteen-year-old runaway from a foster home. But she isn't an ordinary runaway-her parents were murdered, and her own life is in danger. Against all of his professional habits, Robie rescues her and finds he can't walk away. He needs to help her.

Even worse, the more Robie learns about the girl, the more he's convinced she is at the center of a vast cover-up, one that may explain her parents' deaths and stretch to unimaginable levels of power.
Now, Robie may have to step out of the shadows in order to save this girl's life . . . and perhaps his own.


My Review at Good Reads
5 out of 5 Stars

100+ pages a day is a lot of reading for me. This was definitely a book I just couldn’t put down. Right from the beginning when the hero of the book is an assassin I know it’s gonna be a book I probably like.

The first couple of sections of the book are the basic “craftsman practicing his trade” in this case how government-sponsored assassinations that the government will tell you it thing about our carry out by finding professional assassin. At this point in the book I didn’t like Will Robie. He was methodical, dark and well, he’s a killer. When it actually enters in the body of the book and you start to learn a little more about how Robie thinks he becomes more likable, even quite likable.

The supporting characters are well-developed. As the plot unfolds and you start to discover coverups and major government agencies that have been infiltrated the reader begins to miss trust and suspect everyone right along with Robie as possibly someone else wants to add him to the list of murders the book.

David Baldacci has yet point me and not only is the first Will Robie book another great Baldacci work but I can definitely say it’s the best one I’ve read yet.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Book Review: Gray Skies by Brian Spangler

Finished February 18, 2014

Synopsis on Good Reads

Centuries ago something catastrophic happened. Historians claim it was an accident that spilled the clouds out of the sky, leaving humanity behind a relentless veil of gray.

For young Declan and Sammi, all they've ever known is a world of gray skies and dense fog. Now, at odds about the past and uncertain of their future, they're of age, and it's time to build their lives together.

Yet the coming of the End of Gray Skies has been declared. For a world shrouded in the mysterious fog, the promise to fix a centuries-old accident brings new hope that they might one day see and feel the warmth of the sun on their faces.

But questions begin to surface. Questions of whether there ever was an accident. Questions asking what really happened that changed the Earth and what will happen if their world once again sits under the sun.


My review on Good Reads
3.5 of 5 Stars

I’ve decided that I’m going to award the half star on my blog even if I can’t add it on Good Reads.

The books in the Gray Skies series are short. I didn’t realize that before I started reading the first book but I accept it now. The first Brian Spangler book I read didn’t impress me but after checking out his blog and finding that his reading passions are in supernatural and paranormal fiction I decided that I should give his writing a second chance by checking out a book he’s written that’s more in the style he reads. Writing in the genre you enjoy reading makes a big difference.

Gray Skies starts by explaining how the gray skies started. It doesn’t explain in scientific detail how the clouds formed or exactly what is in them but it does let the reader know that the phenomenon is man-made. My guess is there will be more explanation in further books. The characters do not reappear after chapter one but they are developed enough that the reader is emotionally invested with the main character.

The rest of the book takes place a few centuries later. The description and explanation of the world the main characters, Declan and Sammi, live in does a wonderful job of painting that world in the reader’s mind. The main characters are developed well and I felt myself attached to them. The supporting characters were not as fully developed and in the end one of those supporting characters became the main character of the final chapter. Still don’t understand why that character was important but the synopsis for Blinded By Sight, book 2, suggests that character becomes a bigger player.

Why I gave Gray Skies 3.5 stars was that it seemed too short. What I thought was the main story ended and the new story within the story was beginning and I expected it continue. I guess it will in book 2. Well I wish the main story has been longer I am certainly intrigued enough that I will be reading Blinded By Sight.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Very Merry Unvalentine


I’m glad we don’t find it necessary to celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14 anymore. February 14 was not at all even remotely romantic. It still hasn’t been a romantic weekend either. Whew; lemme splain.

I usually shower in the evening or just before bed. It’s the MS thing; even mildly warm water knocks me out. After showering I take about an hour break to rest and regain strength and relax on the bed with my current book. If I fall asleep I read less but I love the fact that with an ereader I seldom lose my place! So Wednesday night before bed I showered and read until David came upstairs, brushed his teeth and joined me. Lights out, end of Wednesday.

Thursday morning I got up and turned on the faucet to fill a cup with water to take my morning pills. Faucet on, water not. I told David and he checked the sink in the kitchen; also no water. A little more Internet and phone calling and we discovered the main road several yards away from us was closed due to a water main break. Well, that explains the water problem. Only it didn’t.

At the end of the day when the main was fixed it was also mentioned that no residential customers suffered any interruptions associated with the break. What? Hey now, we’re residential customers! It seems that our water stopping overnight and the main break was a coincidence. A phone call to the water department revealed that there were over 80 customers who called in trouble (and the list keeps growing) and they’d call back to file my problem.

Just a note; if you’re married to the homeowner and the homeowner asks you to call the water department, just say you’re the homeowner. The woman who took my call asked where the meter is. I told her I didn’t know but I’m disabled so I really can’t physically search for it. She asked if I was the homeowner. I answered truthfully. I told her I wasn’t the homeowner but my husband was. He’s not here but is it possible for someone to come check it. She told me to call my husband if we’re on speaking terms and ask him if he’d come over and see if the meter needs warmed. She was setting up a call to have it checked but it would help if we warned the meter. If my husband and I aren’t on good terms don’t call him; it would just take a little longer to get the water running once someone comes out. All I could wonder was how many women get that upset with their husbands over problems they don't have any control over with water service? As it turns out when I said my husband was the homeowner she assumed he didn’t live here. I never imagined that if you separated from the person who owns the home you’d be the one who stayed if someone moved out.

We stayed in a hotel Friday night so we could take showers and the Water Department was here this morning to assess the situation. The freezing is not on our part of the line, but the city part. Seems the stone irrigation under the new pavement they put in our street a couple summers ago conducts rather than insulates when the ground freezes deeply. This is the first winter it’s really frozen this deep since the new road was put in and most of the many frozen pipe problems are homes on those new roads. We’re in the queue and they’ll service us in the next few days. I’m sure there’s another hotel night in the future for shower, shave, brush teeth etc. Right now David brings in snow by the bucketful to keep us able to flush the toilet a couple times a day. I’m trying not to use a lot of dishes as the sink and counters pile up. I’m really seeing how much water we use in a day!

--*--*----*--*----*--*--*--*----*--*----*--*--

I had a sweetheart of a cat that I found as a kitten at Noni’s when I was 17 and he died in my arms before I was 21. Ritchie loved eating popcorn that was left in the bowl from movie nights the next morning when it was stale and kinda tasteless, but was salty and had a decent crunch. He found a box of packing peanuts in the basement and ate a bunch of them, probably thinking it was popcorn. When I found him down there he’d already thrown up once and lots of pieces of Styrofoam were in the clear liquid. He was trying to hide from me, which cats do when they’re dying. His breathing was labored and he threw up again. I picked him up and held him because I knew what was happening. It was only a few minutes before he took his last breath. I was shattered. That was when I searched for all the Styrofoam in the house and threw it all away vowing that no Styrofoam would ever be left anywhere a pet could get it. It was sort of like the king in sleeping beauty banishing all spinning wheels after the princess was cursed. But just like a spinning wheel appeared (By evil magic in that story, but it still happened) so there would be a day that a Styrofoam peanut did not get packed away.

In the midst of the frozen pipes saga, Friday started with me doing the phone calling because David and Marco had to get the vet right away. As much as we try to keep any Styrofoam out of the house, Marco found a Styrofoam packing peanut. I shrieked trying to get him to put it down, David followed him into kitchen with it and he chewed it and it was a mess as David was fishing what he could get out of his mouth. He said it looked like about half of it; he must have swallowed the rest. I got on the phone with the vet to see if we should induce vomiting. They said to bring him in and they’d see him immediately. When they came back, Marco had a laxative and special diet food and instructions to watch for lethargy or vomiting. Thankfully 2 days later and he never had any symptoms of trauma. We remain ever vigilant in getting Styrofoam out of the house as soon as we can when something packed in it comes in!

That was our exciting weekend, one I’m glad to see end! Now it would just be nice to get the water back before the 3-5 inches additional snow we’re scheduled to get Monday night.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book Review: Ties That Bind by Phillip Margolin

Finished February 12, 2014

Synopsis at Good Reads

Success is fleeting; nobody knows this better than lawyer Amanda Jaffe, She had been the undisputed rising star of Portland's legal community, but in a cruel twist of irony, the same case that put her on the map -- theCardoni trial, which pitted Amanda against a brilliant sociopath (in theNew York Times bestseller Wild Justice) -- had left her traumatized, doubting her instincts, and shunning the limelight.

This reticence ends when Amanda agrees to handle the case no one else will touch. Jon Dupre, who runs an upscale call-girl service, is accused of murdering a U.S. senator. Dupre claims to possess proof of the existence of a secret society of powerful men who have banded together for a commonly held political agenda. The rite of passage that binds them together -- the initiation into this powerful brotherhood -- is murder.

To Amanda these seem the desperate claims of a man who will lie to save his own skin -- until she is pressured to walk away from the case. Determined to put a knife in the heart of the fear and psychological trauma that has plagued her ever since Cardoni, she refuses to abandon her investigation. It's a decision that will place her and those she loves directly in the path of a deadly juggernaut with ambitions that extend all the way to the presidency of the United State


My Review at Good Reads
5 of 5 stars

I really liked the first Amanda Jaffe book but this one was even better loved the way the story flowed with lots of players and what seemed like lines that didn’t go together until they did fit perfectly together. It’s definitely a story that demands the reader’s attention, but the action and logic make it easy to give it that full attention. This was definitely a book I couldn’t put down, really, I was irritated by a couple of meetings that I didn’t have to sit in a waiting room for a prolonged stay so I could read and there were a couple of late nights reading more than usual before bed. Excellent book and I’ll be adding more Margolin to my e-reader.

Wednesday Hodge Podge: A Penny For Your Heart?

http://www.fromthissideofthepond.com/
1. What makes love last?

The sake of argument I’ll assume we’re talking romantic love between life partners. I think making love last requires communication, a shared sense of humor, mutual respect and the ability to feel comfortable and enjoy your time away from each other.


2. The Beatles made their US debut fifty years ago this week. Are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite Beatles tune?

I think I'd say I’m not a fan but I don’t dislike them. I don’t really have a favorite but I sometimes enjoy when I get an ear worm of Eleanor Rigby or Norwegian Wood.


3. Valentine's Day-your thoughts? Do you celebrate in any way? Do anything special for the people you love? Expect anything special from the people who love you?

Some years I enjoy sending kid-Valentines to my friends in the mail but I really haven’t done that since 2002 when most of my Valentines were returned because I put single dark chocolate Dove hearts with a recipe card for “Antioxidant Hot Chocolate” with them and the US Post Office returned them because they were too thick.

Valentine’s Day was a wonderful holiday but not a romantic holiday until I met David. Now since our wedding anniversary is so close to Valentine’s Day he takes me out for our anniversary dinner and I take him out for Valentine’s Day.


4. Steak or burger...you have to choose. Now that that's settled, how do you like it?

Oh the steak or burger part is easy; I hate steak. With that out of the way, if I have to eat beef I prefer ground beef in sauce or chili but since I had to pick one or the other and the other choice burger as in a patty we'll go with the hamburger. If I’m eating a hamburger it must be cooked beyond well done. I usually call the way I like hamburgers “hockey puck.” Really, I like the little bits that fall onto the griddle and are crunchy without anything on them. Since it would take forever to cook a whole hamburger to crunchy I settle for well done and drowned in condiments; end to end coated with about a quarter inch of ketchup and an even layer of mustard. If we havr relish a half inch of that under the ketchup is nperfect. The milder the taste of beef the better.


5. The Hodgepodge lands on the birthdate (February 12th) of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America. Lincoln is quoted as saying, 'Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test his character give him power.' Do you agree? Why or why not?

Oh, the Hodgepodge lands on my friend Tracy’s birthday too, which she happens to share with President Lincoln.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRACY!

I have to say that I totally agree with the quote. We have too much evidence of it being true. Think of all the wonderful stories that you hear of men and women faced with incredible challenges that are doing well in spite of them. Heck even me with my occasional breakdowns behind closed doors can still remain smiling and optimistic. Now think of how corrupt most of our politicians and many CEOs are with all of their power.


6. Honest Abe's image is featured on the US penny (1 cent coin) so I'm wondering...what do you do with your pennies (or your country's equivalent)? It's been suggested the US stop making the penny, and two bills have been introduced proposing just that, but neither were approved. What say you?

NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Don’t stop making the penny! I collect pennies! I have books of both American and Canadian pennies. Those include pennies minted in San Francisco, pennies with wheat or maple leaf clusters and I even have a handful of Indian head pennies. They changed the penny again and I have a few new ones too; the 2009 Lincoln series and the current shield.

When I was little the wheat pennies were already rare in change, but I remember always thinking it was special when I got one and spent it last. It’s a small enough denomination that children have them and there are pennies on the dollar sales tax and prices that end .99 for the marketing value of not rounding up to the next dollar; we need them.

Think of the travels of a penny. I don’t collect mint sets or anything like that; I want the pennies that have history, even if I don’t know the history. I look at the well-circulated penny that was shiny and new the year WW2 ended and I can romanticize where it was on V-J Day. The Indian Heads are over 100 years old and when they were new they bought a lot. Looking at one of those makes me wonder what my great grandmother might have bought with one of them when she was a child. And the old Canadian pennies with the maple leaf sprays, well, how much Canadian Chocolate would they have bought when they were new?

We can’t get rid of the penny because of those cents at the end of prices, which are valuable marketing tools, but the penny is also an inexpensive introduction to the magic and wonder of history.


7. Do you think pop deserves serious study?

If you mean historic pop culture, absolutely! Understanding daily life, popular recreation and fads in the past help us better understand and appreciate our life now. It also helps us improve upon where we are by knowing what worked in the past. Should we study ur own pop culture now? Definitely. It’s the history of everyday life we’re sending forward.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

After 2 years of no snow removal needed, the guys from Rapid LLC have been here SIX times this winter! I was chatting with the driver on my way home from my monthly MS meeting last night and we agreed with a chuckle that this year has not only made it okay, but fashionable to “talk about the weather.” That’s good as I’ve just finished week 6 of Random 2014 and gee I’ve talked about snow and cold a lot! In a few weeks I’ll be talking about Florida and the fun I’m having reading Edna’s posts about the vacation I’m enjoying vicariously through her blog! But for now, I’ll continue to enjoy fashionable Toledo conversation\; BRRRRRR!!!!!!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Super Bowl Commercials

I haven’t written in a while. If you look at today’s first post you’ll notice a book review that got five of five stars. It also took just a week to read. I usually have enough on my plate that full books take couple of weeks. As a rule if I haven’t written in a while check out the “currently reading” book!

There were some things that I took a break from reading for. I did watch the Super Bowl on Sunday. I like Jon Stewart’s name for the game, the Seahawks’ “take your Broncos to work day.” I don’t really have a lot else to say about the game except that there were playoff games that were played better but I didn’t have to miss any commercials or Bruno Mars for a bathroom break this year. My opinion, the halftime show was great this year except that The Red Hot Chili Peppers could have stayed home. Bruno Mars was fantastic and I would love to torture David by making him go to will Bruno Mars concert someday.

As for the ads there were too many car commercials and the car commercials were not written as anything special. Super Bowl commercials are supposed to be either funny, shocking or moving. My number one commercial this year was M&Ms. I had to get another opinion to make sure that it wasn’t just that I love the M&M characters, especially Yellow. But David agreed and he doesn’t have a personal connection to Yellow.

The Tim Tebow ad for T-Mobile was fantastic. I loved his being able to laugh at himself with why “No Contract” is the best way to go. I also really liked the Chevy Silverado ad with the “sexy bull.

I thought it was very cool that there were two, count them, two yogurt commercials this year. I have to give the best yogurt commercial nod to Chobani for the bear trashing the store until it finds “natural” yogurt. But I’m still in Oikos fan. The Oikos ad was just a few seconds and couple of paid actors too long. The sexy ad with Oikos spokesman John Stamos had some serious innuendo but it ends with his two former Full House costars at the end giving the joke that the three still live together. It was a dumb joke and not funny. They could have finished leaving innuendo open or create a light joke-ending from that innuendo. There’s nothing wrong with innuendo; sex still sells.

It boggles my mind what people who have big mouths and little worlds find to complain about. There are complaints about the Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad with America The Beautiful sung in many languages celebrating our diversity and it celebrates the immigrants who added to our American culture. As the daughter of an immigrant I am offended that there are people who actually find that ad to be offensive. I don’t think I’m “better” than everyone else but I’m certainly “better” than someone who finds equality to be offensive.

I’d like to share a public service announcement that aired in the early 1970s when I was a very young child and that spot has never left my mind or the way I think.


That PSA is why I’ve often said that I’m not “politically correct,” politically correct is me. Not labeling people, being open and loving them for who they are has always made sense.

Which brings me back to how exactly does the average brain work and can we fix it? I generally don’t read a lot of the commercial reviews after the Super Bowl. I review them myself. But I do read the teasers before the Super Bowl. Going into this year’s Super Bowl there was already a lot of hubbub about Cheerios bringing back their interracial family. I wasn’t sure what spot they were talking about so I had to go looking to find that spot. Folks, I guess that PSA really stuck because I remember the ad but I didn’t remember that it was an interracial family. The original ad was a great ad and I remember the adorable little girl putting Cheerios on daddy’s heart while he was asleep because Cheerios are heart healthy. An awesome ad because I remember it, I remember the message and remember the product. I forgot to notice and be bothered by the fact that the little girl, Gracie’s, parents have different skin colors. This year’s Cheerios is a continuation with daddy using the Cheerios to let Gracie know she has a little brother on the way. Gracie adds a Cheerio to “bargain” to add a puppy in the mix. What I really took away, aside from brand recognition, was when daddy said “deal” the look on mommy’s face was priceless.

Book Review: Wild Justice (Amanda Jaffe #1) by Phillip Margolin

Finished February 7, 2014

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Seven years ago, Phillip Margolin seized the imagination of thriller readers everywhere with his chilling breakout bestseller, "Gone, but Not Forgotten." After five subsequent "New York Times" bestsellers, "Margolin" now returns to the haunting terrain of "Gone, but Not Forgotten" with a mesmerizing tour de force of psychological suspense, an electrifying tale of revenge and retribution that shows a master storyteller at the very peak of his craft.

Thursday: Subject is still combative after four days of applied pain, sleep deprivation and minimal food.

Vice squad detective Bobby Vasquez, for months on the trail of a slippery underworld figure, receives an anonymous tip that directs him to a mountain cabin. He races through the idyllic Oregon woods, expecting to close the book on a long-standing vendetta. What he finds instead opens a Pandora's box of horror that will haunt him to his dying day.

8:10: Subject bound and gagged and placed in upstairs closet at end of hall. Turned out lights in house, drove off, then parked and doubled back. Watched from woods.

Within hours, Vincent Cordoni -- a brilliant surgeon with a history of violence and drug abuse -- is arrested for a heinous crime. Facing a seemingly insurmountable wall of evidence, he turns to Portland's top criminal defense attorney, Frank Jaffe -- who, along with his ambitious daughter, Amanda, must put on an inspired defense. Amanda's first taste of criminal defense work is as intoxicating as it is chilling, but it raises moral questions she's loath to address. Is she defending an innocent man? Or is she using her considerable skills to set a monster free? Then Cardoni disappears under bizarre circumstances. Four years later, a second set of murders has begun ....

8:55: Subject exits house, naked and barefoot, armed with kitchen knife. Remarkable strength of character. Breaking her will be a challenge.

Has Cardoni resurfaced to ply his deadly trade anew? Is there a copycat killer? Or has the real killer been someone else all along? The police will do everything they can to stop Cardoni -- but they have to find him first.

Following a twisting trail of clues, including a harrowing diary that clinically records the killer's horrible deeds, Amanda Jaffe and Bobby Vasquez join the hunt -- and themselves become targets of the twenty-first century's first genuinely monstrous psychopath

My review at Good Reads:
5 of 5 Stars

Amanda Jaffe book #2 was the Nook deal of the day at Barnes & Noble.com and it looks like a good book so of course if the price was reasonable I had to get book #1 to read first. Wild Justice looked like a decent read and was reasonably priced so I bought book #1 and the $2 special book #2.

I knew who the killer in this book was by page 30. By page 60, I knew I was wrong because I knew somebody else was. I was sure I was right this time until about 20 pages later and I realized I was right to begin with. Then there was a third killer I was sure about. That’s what I loved about this book.

Wild Justice started with suspense and mystery and it’s took five years and many physical and legal twists and turns. The main characters had depth and I definitely knew who I did and didn’t like. What was fun in the end is some of the likable characters turned out not so likable while some of the more despicable characters were heroes. And yes, one of the characters I was initially sure was the villain did turn out to be the villain however I changed my mind about that character several times before the end of the book. The story is well-told and every turn that takes you in a different direction than you thought you were going makes sense.

An excellent read; book #2 is definitely next.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Roses Are Red


I gotta be honest; I’m not going to miss January this year. I’d like to sing “Thank God and Greyhound She’s Gone” for her, but the bus is stuck in the snow! January may be gone, but it seems she left little sister, February, with her ugly weather. Like I asked Mother Nature in the letter I wrote her “Is it ‘that time’ of the century for you?” Holy PMS (Plethora of More Snow) Mother Nature needs a BIG Midol!
 
Weather aside, welcome to February, the month of love! We’ll see Hallmark ads that will move us on TV, best of music collections all about being in love, 10% sales on items with hearts and flowers; items that have been marked up %25 for Valentine’s Day to begin with and the biggest true love sign of all; pitchers and catchers report to Florida and Arizona!

I had a burning question this morning when I woke up. I’m prone to waking up with silly thoughts, questions or earworms that make me wonder what the heck I was dreaming about before I woke up. Today’s odd thought was about “Roses are red, violets are blue.” That verse had really become an example of trite expression but at some point it was new and sweet. There was a time when it was an actual profession of love or at least a verse in a greeting card that was sincere and not funny.

As recently as 1962, Bobby Vinton had a hit song and album titled “Roses are Red” which included the lyric “Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet my love, but not as sweet as you.” In the song it was a verse that signed a high school yearbook, but that verse would be a joke-verse in a high school yearbook now

I did some searching and found an interesting Wikipedia entry about it that traced “roses are red, violets are blue” back to a 1784 English nursery rhyme:

The rose is red, the violet's blue,
The honey's sweet, and so are you.
Thou are my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou'd be you.

The Wikipedia article notes a form of that the verse in Les Miserables in 1862 that was more likely influenced by Sir Edmund Spenser’s stanza in The Faeire Queene in 1590.

It’s an interesting little pre-valentine look at the evolution of something that was once heartfelt and endearing that became:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Onions stink,
And so do you.

Okay so I gave you Bobby Vinton in 1962. When is the most recent time you heard or read about something that stared “roses are red,” that was sincere?