Looking for answers to life's questions

I know, I know, it’s over and old news. Something kept gnawing at me that I should write about it anyway. There is a lot of flak about this supposed amorous day that has turned so horribly commercial. I would grouse about its commercialism as well since I didn’t have a Valentine.

These hearts are new after Valentines day for next year. I needed more bookmarks for friends

These machine embroidered hearts were made after Valentines day for next year. A positive experiment. I needed more bookmarks for friends

I’ve been alone for many years now and I like it. When I was married, Valentine’s Day was not high on our list. We were practical people and the price of a card could go a long way to filling the gas tank or buying a few groceries. Valentine’s Day just wasn’t in the cards.

This year was different. Not because I met someone special but because my friends and I did something special. Our hand sewing group of six became five last spring when one of our members was moved to a retirement home by her daughter. She is in her late 80’s and her daughter had to move so it seemed time. The Retirement home is in downtown Portland and access for most us is difficult.

I gave Dolly a bookmark for the book she is reading. She reads, knits, and quilts.

I gave Dolly a bookmark for the book she is reading. She reads, knits, and quilts.

I got a text the night before from Emily that we were going to see Dolly the next morning for Valentine’s Day and have lunch with her. We couldn’t get there at Christmas because of the snow. Several of us carpooled with Emily to Pattie’s. Pattie drove us all downtown to see Dolly. The light in Dolly’s eyes was so bright and she was so happy to see us all that it lifted all our spirits. I can’t say that I have ever had a better Valentine’s Day in my life.

She even made little paper heart decorations that morning when she found out we were going to come.

Dolly made one for each of us. What a surprise.We wore then down to the dining room for lunch.

Dolly made one for each of us. What a surprise.We wore then down to the dining room for lunch.

We brought our hand work, enjoyed the cheerful company and had a show and tell. Making someone who doesn’t get out often so happy was the best way to spend that day and hopefully we can do it again soon.

I think this will change how I look at that date on the calendar from now on. How about you? Did you do Valentine’s Day in an unusual way? Any ideas for next year?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

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Comments on: "Best Valentine’s Day Ever" (93)

  1. Well, it sounds to me like your Valentine’s Day was perfect, Marlene. I’ve never been a big fan. In our house, we try to make every day Valentine’s Day by treating each other with love and respect. All that other stuff…fluff. You did good! And those quilts…so beautiful! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love, no matter how or with whom it is shared, qualifies as a perfectly grand way to spend Valentine’s Day. The bookmarks are beautiful, as are the quilts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Deb. It was a good way to spend the day. Those ladies make some impressive quilts. I hope to have time to learn everything possible from them. Just wonderful ladies.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such heartwarming Valentine’s Day memories, Marlene! I’m so glad that you decided to share this story. 🙂 I love making handmade Valentine’s for my family and friends. It usually takes me several days. I think of each person as I make their card, so it almost feels like a little visit with special people so far away. ♡

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s something to keep in mind for next year, Dawn. Maybe if I look through your past blogs, I’ll see some you have made. I love the one I got from my blogging friend so I’ll have to figure out how to do it. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Your quotes are so lovely. I actually love bookmarks period so unique and special. Would love to be able to create something like that. Did you use an embroidery machine to do that?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Jan. I did use my embroidery unit that attaches to my sewing machine. I bought the pattern and the machine stitches it out after I download it to a USB drive. I love lace and this is as close as I can get.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, it attaches to your current machine. Now that something I might could look into. Thanks for the tip! I know those embroidering machines are outrageously expensive.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, they are outrageously expensive! Be careful. The one I bought 3 years ago is the same brand that I used for these designs. The new one was made in China not in Sweden and is a pile of junk. All machines are made in China now except a few high end Bernina’s. The one I use is 17 years old. It sews circles around the new one that sits in it’s box and holds down the floor. 😦 I can’t even sell it to someone else in good conscience.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the tips. I know I have two machines sitting around that are useless because they failed after only a year or so. A few years ago I spent a few extra dollars on a machine to get a metal frame and it seems to be worth it. I guess it’s true they just don’t make things the way they used to. My mother’s simple Singer machine lasted forever!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The old, old Singers were built here and well made. I think in the 80’s they started making them in China and the European machines have all sold out to them as well. It breaks my heart. I was not a well informed buyer with my last machine. So much to know.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Valentine’s Day was not something that we celebrated here when I was young, it is a recent arrival but really only attached to commercial hoo-ha. The real meaning of the day seems to escape the young folk. I’m with Jill, every day should be a day when we let the people we love know they are loved. I kind of feel this way about all these days that are put aside to celebrate goodness and kindness and fellowship and community. Walk the walk every day, not just now and again.
    I love how you and your friends spent the day. It must have been so lovely for her to hear you were coming and to sit and make those lovely little hearts to celebrate. Very special! The quilts are fabulous – my goodness, what a labour of love they are!
    Marlene I really love my bookmark, it makes me think of you every evening when I open my book for my nightly read. 🙂 I think the design you have come up with is just lovely and there are probably a million book readers who would love to mark their place with something so beautiful! I think the red hearts would also look lovely hanging on a Christmas tree. I am going to hang the little pieces you made me on my Dangler of International Happiness (remember that?) And I may transfer them at Christmas time to my tree if I decide to have one.
    I’m very glad you decided to share this post with us. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Pauline. You are so kind. Neither of my husbands had a romantic bone or much love for me any day of the year. But you are correct, love should be shown every day. I feel that way about Christmas too. I’d rather do gifts all year round than try to get gifts ready all for one day. It wasn’t my design. I can’t claim that kind of talent. I buy the designs and stitch them out hoping they are what I want. I can put the hearts on cards later or make them in any color I want. I’m having fun playing with color on these things. You can do whatever you choose with those things. I’m still playing too. When the ladies saw how happy our visit made Dolly, they are planning to do it more often. I’m going to see if I can get there on the MAX (our commuter train).

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh Marlene, what a perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day! We get fed what it’s supposed to be, when it should be a day of extending love to those we care about – friends, family and random others. I’m glad you got to be with your dear friends.

    Lonny and I spent ours eating tacos with old friends. Nothing sappy, just really nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eating tacos with old friends sounds like a great way to spend the day. 😉 Think I’m ready to change all my holidays to something more universal. I was jazzed the whole day after we got back. I will always see this day differently now. 🙂 Have a wonderfilled weekend, Missy. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Gee, Marlene, nothing like using spellchecker and proof- reading before hitting send! Sorry about that but it appears you got the idea of what I was saying! I really an amazed at how adorable the bookmarks turned out. I have considered getting an embroidery machine down the road. Just kept wondering if I would really use it to justify cost.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is the true meaning of Valentines Day! Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love does not need to be romantic to be shared and friendship love is immensely rewarding. Gotta love the girlfriends. 😉 So happy you had a good day Marlene.
    (and your hearts and bookmarks are beautiful)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Ellen. I’ll take friendship love any day. It’s taken me quite awhile to cultivate friendships here. Too many moves makes it hard to break into established groups of friends. I’m happy to have these ladies as friends. Glad you liked the bookmarks and hearts. I seem to be partial to free standing lace embroidery. Have a wonderfilled weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The Husband tells me he loves me every day, and brings me coffee in bed in the morning, every day. I find I don’t need flowers and cards and chocolate with that kind of positive reinforcement! I do admire your idea of taking the wider meaning of Valentine’s Day to show love and care for your wider circle of friends. Good work, Marlene!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are a lucky woman indeed to have a husband like that. I was married 42 years. (2 husbands) and was never that fortunate. My circle of women friends who are mostly single as well tend to take care of each other more kindly. Valentines day will be viewed in a wider perspective for me now. Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderfilled weekend.

      Like

      • I know it. He’s very different from any previous male partner… Good female friends are a treasure beyond price, and worthy of Valentine’s day acknowledgement 🙂 We’re off on our travels this morning, hurrah!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This sounds like such a great way to spend Valentinesday! Sounds like all of you had a day to remember and cherish!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a heartwarming post of true friendship and skillful crafters!!! And no…Valentine day is not something we grew up with and although I am usually in for a a party of any kind, this has become too commercial for my taste. But you and your friends show differntly!! xo Johanna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Johanna. It was never one of my favorite days but now I understand I can make it whatever I want it to be. It didn’t matter that we went on Valentines Day, we would have gone anyway but it made that day so much better so see her so happy. We love getting together to encourage each other. Have a wonderfilled weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I cannot think of a better, kinder, happier way to celebrate love on Valentine’s Day! I wish the holiday was generally more about all love, rather than romantic love. We need all we can get of every sort of warmth and affection!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Beautiful work the quilts and bookmarks.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hey that isa fabulous Valentine’s day and being surrounded by quilts here, I adore seeing others and their handiwork. The bookmarks are a treat too..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Geoff. The rest of the ladies wanted a bookmark after they saw the one I gave Dolly. They are a very talented bunch of artists in their own way. Appreciate you stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Wonderful, Marlene. Quilting is a remarkable art.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. There are many different people to love and many different ways to express that love but your way was one of the best ways I have heard about.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Marlene, this was just wonderful! I’m so glad you got to go the home to see your friend….I just know it made her feel ever so loved. What a great friend you are!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had been wanting to get there but the weather was so awful that a bunch of old ladies didn’t dare risk the drive. It is so congested downtown and the trek took an hour. Now that the weather is getting better, we will do it more often. They are a great group of women and I’m proud to be a part of the group.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. What a great way to spend Valintine’s day. The hearts and bookmarks are gorgeous. The quilts are stunning especially the one Dolly is holding. It would be nice to have a group like that to spend time with and share handiwork. No one I know does anything like that. I do some patchwork, embroider, sew, knit, make beaded jewelry, do calligraphy and tool leather, or did until everything ended up in storage (it’s been a frustrating year not having anything but the knitting to pick up and several projects packed up and unavailable). I’m glad your weather is better, it has been here too. The six inches of ice on the front hill walk is gone and the driveway is clear of ice and snow. There are some significant disadvantages to living on a hill in a place that has Midwest winters to get through. Have a beautiful day!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I know what you mean. I just got everything out of storage after 6 years. It’s so wonderful to have other things to play with. I did an online search of quilt groups finally finding one close enough. I I asked to join and have been busy over the last 3 years building friendships. It hasn’t been easy for me but it’s been worth it.They are a wonderful group of women. I cherish every moment with them even though I’m awkward socially. The snow that was supposed to come through here left nothing significant in our area. Only in the higher elevations. Spring is playing with us now. I think most of us are ready. Hang in there, it will get better.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. The quilts are beautiful but those hearts you made are spectacular!! I’m so glad you had such a lovely Valentine’s Day. I would much prefer the company of special friends to some expensive romantic gesture. Contrary to what others may think I don’t really have a problem with a holiday that celebrates love, and friendship, I simply get angry that it’s become so commercialized as everything else seems to be. Thanks for sharing these photos they made me smile!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. That sounds like a brilliant day 🙂 and Laurie’s quilt is gorgeous. I love it. We don’t do any schmaltzy kind of stuff whatever day of the year it is, although I will be honest and say that, when I was 16 and 17, being someone’s Valentine was quite high on my list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I too loved Laurie’s quilt! So colorful with lots of applique. It’s interesting to see the kinds of quilts that you are drawn to.
      I never had a schmaltzy man either. Didn’t have time as a teenager for boys so I think this new way to celebrate is so much better. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m so glad that you wrote about the day, Marlene. You mentioned it in a comment on my blog and it was such a lovely story. It deserves a whole blog!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Laurie. You twisted my arm. I’ve always had a hard time with Valentines Day. Now it has a better meaning.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with Laurie, and was so glad to see this whole story come out in a post!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks so much, Crystal. Was wondering how you were doing. This day lit up my week and changed my attitude toward the day. I’m still behind on my reading. I can sit in this chair for hours and not get done. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know what you mean! I’ve got over a thousand messages in my email, alerting me to WordPress posts and comments. It’s totally unrealistic to think I could get to it all. I’m thinking about changing my settings so I don’t get the alerts. I know who I read, and I’ll get to them when I get to them!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have decided if they write everyday, I’ll read at least one a week. The rest have to get deleted and many of those that write everyday, I have set up to show up once a week and I can decide from there. I just have to draw the line somewhere. Have a good week. Hope to see you as soon as the weather gets better. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh, that’s delightful Marlene – I’m still smiling!
    What beautiful crafts, your group is so wonderfully skillful.
    It’s just SO important to spread happiness, and that’s exactly what you did – lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Clare for your kind words and for stopping by. I’m happiest when I can bring a little cheer to someone else. I’ll be by to see you shortly. I don’t know how I always manage to falling behind on blog reading.

      Like

  24. Dearest Marlene.. You may have been late in posting it.. and I may be late as per usual in reading it my friend.. But Oh what a delightful read this turned out to be..
    How wonderful you got to visit your lovely friend Dolly.. And the joy can be felt in every word of your post..
    What beautiful hearts and bookmarks.. Such amazing embroidery skills.. I love them.. a true gift of love in the making..

    My own valentines day was spent food shopping in the morning, which hubby bought me a bunch of flowers.. 🙂 We then went to the cinema in the afternoon to watch La La land.. and a small meal afterwards..
    I didn’t rate La La Land… I would much sooner have had Singing In the Rain.. LOL.. but that is just me.. 🙂

    I hope all is still well with you my friend.. Sending Love, and Hugs your way..
    Sue xxx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, dear Sue for stopping by. I know your life is so much more full than mine and I’m barely keeping up here. I am so delighted my 17 year old machine can make such lovely lace things. My only talent is buying the design and preparing the USB drive and machine properly. I’m grateful to have some computer skills because they are necessary for this. Spending a lovely day with hubby bringing flowers to the table is a great way to spend the day. Especially if you still like each other. 🙂 Which I glean from your posts that you do. I won’t be seeing that film as I don’t think I would enjoy it either. Now I must ready myself for another sewing group day. Have a wonderfilled day and sending hugs back to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wise choice of not seeing the film The first five minutes had the best scene in .. And I was waiting and waiting for the story to get going.. And I must have missed something the critics saw.. 🙂 for I went to watch Hidden Figures.. A film about how coloured women first went into NASA.. and how they were treated.. I thought they all deserved Oscars.. 🙂 xxxx And yes…
        As for Hubby.. Yes .. Thankfully even after 42 years we can still make each other Laugh.. 🙂 lol..

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Those are BEAUTIFUL!!!! What a great idea to visit someone. It really makes one think about what is important in life when you see life shrinking for some individuals. Our life is so expensive when we are younger it is endless where we can travel and go each day…as we get older, our world starts getting smaller, but really it can get larger if we approach the way your group did!!!
    I really liked her gift for you, it reminded me of the ones my husband’s 90 yr old grandmother made us on valentines day back about 37 yrs ago:-) they meant so much more than the expensive cards today:-)
    thank you for sharing this lovely story:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Robbie. I did love the hearts Dolly made us and mine is in a photo album I have designated to keep all special cards. The internet has helped me keep my life from being small since I no longer drive more that 25 miles at a time and the highway is easier than the surface streets. Cars are all going the same direction. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Marlene, what a beautiful celebration. You warmed my heart with this loving story. Women friends are often the backbone of our emotional lives. I’ve come to realize how very lucky I am to have a loving, caring husband, a kind sister and many lovely friends. I’m rich beyond measure. I’ve had false friends in the past, and cold and distance boyfriends, but as I’ve aged and learned about life, I find that I attract a more substantive quality of people. Part of it is that we’re no longer willing to put up with the cr*p they dish out.

    I’m with you on gift giving year round and just because, but I do have fun marking some of the holidays (like Valentine’s day) with cards for special friends.

    Love and hugs to a remarkable, insightful woman. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for your sweet and generous words. When your card came, I decided I would find a way to do Valentines day different next year. Then the visit with Dolly cemented it. I’m with you on how you draw in a better class of partners and friends. We have to value ourselves more. Took me awhile to get there but it’s never too late. I too am counting my blessings of good family and great friends. Giant hugs.

      Like

      • It is never too late. True words, MH. And yes to valuing ourselves. Women are learning to do that more and more. It’s been an uphill battle in a male-dominate world. Something about this election has brought it home even more of late. I’m so aware of the crap we put up with living in female bodies. Enough. Giant hugs!

        Like

  27. This is the best idea! *BE* a Valentine instead of thinking about receiving one. You ladies are the greatest kind of friends.

    Speaking of older women living in a retirement home, I went to Lebanon, OR to visit my Grandmother for her 97th birthday on Wednesday. I found out I was just in time to discover a recent development in my lovely Grandma’s cognitive functions. She is no longer able to remember to take her meds properly. I spent the afternoon with her at Urgent Care because she hadn’t taken any meds and got an infection. Over the weekend she went to the hospital for accidentally taking too many meds. Many phone calls later, I am heading back tomorrow to help move her to the assisted living side.

    Grandma Trulove has resisted accepting help and didn’t want to move till this weekend. She has always been the one in charge, always the one who takes care of the details, and has never wanted help because she is so powerful and smart and capable. But I think she is able to ask for help now, so that she can feel safe. She has earned it. I hope she can see it that way, and not feel bad about it.

    What you did for your friend is what my Grandmother wants the most in life: visitors, and something interesting happening. You gave the utmost in gifts. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you are able to go see your Grandma. You are correct, they need company. I’m already thinking about where I want to be when the time comes. It’s good you can help your grandma get moved over. You have to capture those more lucid moments and run with them. Lebanon has a great quilt store. Only one of our group can still make the drive into downtown comfortably so we were happy to be able to get there. Thanks for the visit. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. How lovely, for Dolly and for all of you.
    Here’s to friendship.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. You’re right Marlene, you had the best Valentine’s Day ever! I shed a little tear reading your delightful post, oh what a beautiful gift of friendship and love. And those darling doileys and quilts and bookmarks. I love visiting you, you always make my day, thank you! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are too kind, Sherri. We have been wanting to get downtown to see her for quite awhile. The opportunity finally presented itself. When the weather gets better, I’ll try to take the train downtown to see her. It’s quite a schlep. Thanks for the visit. Hugs to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Omgosh, how nice of you all to find your way to downtown Portland to spend the day with your friend. I’ll take friendship over chocolates all day long. I’m ok with no celebration, it’s just another Hallmark day. The Mr and I didn’t go out on Valentine’s day. We waited till the weekend to treat ourselves to dinner out. We actually treat ourselves once a week so it was more or less the status quo, LOL. We made that deal when we moved into the city. It can be tempting to go out and not cook, so we said we’d go out only once a week. I find dining out kind of boring and look forward to stopping at the bookstore after for Starbucks and a good long perusal of the magazines, LOL. I’ve been cleaning today and just had a capucino to perk up. It didn’t work, ha. Your machine work is amazing. I covet my bookmark and have it nested in a special spot on my night table. It’s so special and so are you. Sending love xo K

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the idea of a once a week date night. Much better than a Hallmark day but it does bring appreciation to the awareness of those who have no clue otherwise.:) I’ll take friendship over many things and cherish each one. I’m glad you liked the bookmark. I made a yellow one for myself to do a test of the color. It makes me happy when I read my nighttime book. Glad you liked yours. They were a fun project. I count you as a special friend too. Have a wonderfilled weekend. I do lunch out with my daughter every weekend that she is not out of town. It’s our time together. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  31. That is so kind of all of you to drive and see Dolly. It sounds like she was very touched. And how nice of her to make a heart for each of you. It must have taken her some time to do it, and the one you showed looks so put together 🙂

    Reading the earlier comments, I really like it when Born To Organise said, “Women friends are often the backbone of our emotional lives”. This is so true. Women friends are the kind that have your back and the friends you can lean on when you have any kind of problem of complaint in the world. Sometimes, the men don’t get it….

    Valentine’s Day for me is just another day. I’ve always felt that each and every day, we show love to those around us who matter and to cherish each moment that we get to hang out together 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Mabel and for stopping by. I too agree that women friends are the backbone of our lives. I cherish every friend I have. We were lucky that one of our group was still comfortable making that drive into downtown. We are all getting up there in age so we take nothing for granted anymore.

      Like

      • “I cherish every friend I have.” So many of us can learn from you and your group 🙂 I try to appreciate all my friends too, and if need anything, I am always happy to help.

        But the best kind of friendship is where friends do the unexpected for you out of the blue, expecting nothing in return 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  32. Hi Marlene.. just doing the rounds as I check in on you.. Hope that Embroidery Machine is getting a good work out.. Hope you are well my friend.. and the weather is easing up where you are and getting warmer..
    Sending love. Sue xxxx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sue. I am so far behind in every area of my life right now. Sitting here listening to the rain pour down in sheets. Maybe by next week I’ll have a chance to get more done. We had some dry weather part of the day so I could run some errands. I’ll try to get a post done soon. Hope you are doing well too. Hugs.M

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you yes I am fine, Hubby had a virus cold last week but is better this.. Its raining here today, but its snowing else where further North than us, so the mildness of last week has plummeted. Lovely to hear from you, and take care, keep warm and ‘dry’ 🙂 ❤ Sue

        Liked by 1 person

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