February 10, 2008

NIBEM 10: The Plague

The plague has hit our happy home. Both Paul and I have been stricken by some sort of contagious crud that has us feeling under the weather, and coveting life under the covers. This has been a severe test of my long-held faith in the air-filtering power of my favorite plant, the leafy green pothos. My friend, Rochelle, introduced me to this theory, and I now have them scattered throughout the house and at work, too. This is my first cold of the year so I guess I should be thankful, but I was hoping for a 100% healthy school year. Greedy me. Unrealistic me, too, considering that my job includes daily contact with germ-ridden children.

The arrival of the cold put a definite cramp in my weekend plans. Today was supposed to include a trip to the Rose Bowl Flea Market, but that had to be postponed for another month. I am sad to have missed an adventure with the gals of the Walking Club and also sorry to have missed out on a big bowl of Dianne salad at Green Street. That salad is more than worth the two hour drive to Pasadena.

Instead, I've spent the weekend doing "sick" things. Long hours in my nightgown, web-surfing, sucking on cough drops, and being crafty. I am not without normal crafty urges, but they come in spurts. Crafts are not my life. During my web surfing activities I visited the home by sunset (a site sponsored by Sunset Magazine), clicked through housemartin and eventually found myself at the purl bee. That's where I happened upon a charming valentine craft.

Maybe because I work in a school sending valentines to friends is still enjoyable for me. I happened to have the essential materials on hand, the project wasn't too taxing and it seemed a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. Many hours later I had fifteen handmade valentines. With the addition of a single rubber stamp on the inside, I was done.

Or so I thought. I had cleverly chosen to use paper that didn't have matching envelopes. Part of the mystery of Valentine's Day is wondering who has sent you a card. If the valentine isn't well-packaged the mystery is solved too quickly. I wanted to prolong the experience so I wrapped each card as a gift in pink tissue. Perfect. Now I was satisfied.

Even though Valentine's Day isn't until Thursday, writing about it has made me remember a frequently recited Valentine poem from Nora's childhood. It's a Shel Silverstein poem that's included in The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, one of my family's favorite books.


I got a valentine from
Eva even sent me two
But I didn't get none from you.

I just remembered why we loved this poem. Nora's name is included in the rhyme. Her childhood was spent searching for souvenir trinkets with her name printed on them. Rack after rack she found Nicks and Nicoles, but never Nora. Shel Silverstein unknowingly compensated for all that by giving her a very special Valentine.

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