Valentine’s Day

My sister’s children sent us inexpensive pre-done valentines – the kind you get at any drug store. One of them came with a small tattoo. My girls have placed their tattoos on their ankles.

Oh, how I long for the days of my youth when the only tattoos I knew about were on the biceps of brawny sailors or scary motorcycle men, and my knowledge of them was gained through TV and movies and not real life.


For the first time ever, my husband took the early shift with Mary and let me stay in bed. She was most unhappy. “Daddy, go back to bed,” she ordered. In his defense, he was deployed for 6 months and our last house had a master bedroom right off the living area. Since I’m naturally an early riser, sleeping while people are talking (or babies are screaming) right outside my door is impossible. Last night I made sure my iTouch was charged and in my room. Not only did I get an extra 90 minutes of sleep, I got to check email and headlines without interruption. That’s a lovely Valentine’s Day gift.


Yesterday, my husband anchored our living room bookcases to the wall, and we unpacked the boxes of books and the knick-knacks that were on the bookshelves. When I saw that the packer had wrapped a small porcelain rose in a single piece of paper, I knew things didn’t look good for my larger porcelain rose grouping. Sure enough, a single piece of paper was used to protect this one as well. The small rose survived; the larger grouping was destroyed.

Other victims included my statue of St. Nicholas, now with an amputated arm, and my favorite statue of Mary, armless, handless, and decapitated. I’ve googled and been unable to find statues like these, so if you have any clues, let me know. The bodies are wood, the capes are metal and the arms and head are porcelain. Not only do I want to replace them, I want to claim their cost with the moving company.

While every move incurs some damage, this is over the top. I had more paper around inexpensive drinking glasses than I did around those flowers. It makes me mad. It’s not the attachment to the things as much as it is the complete disregard for my belongings. The flowers are irreplaceable. Bill gave them to me in the early 90’s when we were dating, and they aren’t made any more. I don’t want to replace them anyway. Bill has learned: you don’t give knick-knacks to an Army wife, especially not ones that break. I’ll take the money we get for them and buy a cookbook. Hardback. Useful and sturdy.


Speaking of cookbooks, with Lent approaching, I’m planning a menu and heading to the grocery store today. I like to go meatless for Lent, which doesn’t really fly in this house. I tend to make meals like tacos where everyone can have meat, but I use beans. This year, though, I’m determined to subject them to more meatless meals. I don’t know why, but they don’t like soup. Too bad. I’ll make bread or rolls, so they can fill up on that if they don’t want what I’m serving. For inspiration, I’m digging into two of Brother Victor-Antoine d’AvilaLatourrette’s books: From a Monastery Kitchen: The Classic Natural Foods Cookbook and Simplicity from a Monastery Kitchen. I do not own his Twelve Months of Monastery Soups, but maybe I’ll take the St. Nicholas and Blessed Virgin blood money and buy it. Most of the recipes in these books are simple. All are meatless.

10 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day

  1. I'm sorry you lost those things, but your attitude about it is spot on. I'm really shocked that nothing broke, got lost etc., in our move to HI. The packers did a pretty good job of wrapping stuff, but the labels outside the boxes were weird and misleading. I had an entire box of pictures . . . but it was labeled books and master bedroom stuff. So, for a while I thought, “Where are all our pictures?”

  2. I'm so sorry to see those statues. I think you should be able to claim the cost to repair them.

  3. I'm shocked and awed that my public library has that cookbook. I'm excited. Thanks for the tip.

    So sorry about your losses. Maybe the movers should pay the cost to have them repaired — no matter how much. Especially if they are irreplaceable. Not that they will, of course, but should.

  4. I'm sorry they broke some of those cherished items. You could use Milliput to repair the flowers. Milliput is used by modelers and sink/toilet repairmen. It looks like clay and can be smoothed. You knead the 2 parts together and it will bond to any surface. It becomes unworkable in about 30 minutes and takes 24 hours to cure. It will even cure underwater and can be used on porcelain. Some fine sanding may be needed. With Bill's modeler painting abilities it can be covered up. I got mine here:

  5. Just so eveybody knows, we will file a claim with Army Transportation and they will pay for any repairs or the cost to replace items – full value. I just need to show proof of damage (these photos) and an estimate to repair something (like the antique table whose spindle was destroyed) or an estimate to replace it (like the receipt for a whole new lamp to replace our missing lampshades or a print out from an online catalog showing the price of a new statue).

    It's just the hassle of it that would keep me from filing a claim for damage under about $100. The table will cost several hundred to repair, so I will definitely take the time to do a claim.

    Tom, I'll let Bill know about the Milliput. He's pretty good with Krazy Glue and other bonding agents. He's already assured me the statues will be fine (and he's already repaired them from previous incidents). But the flowers had way too many shards (not really visible) that I think repair is pointless.

  6. Tom:

    conversation with Bill: “Tom says there's this stuff called Milliput…”

    Bill: “Yes, I have some.”

    So there you go.

  7. Michelle, I'd love a copy of your menu plans if you're willing to share. I've thought of going entirely meatless this Lent too, but I'm a little stuck on ideas.

    Sorry about your losses. It's frustrating when people don't do their jobs right and you have to suffer for it.

  8. Should've known he had Milliput. 🙂

  9. So sorry about your stuff. What a pain!! I had to laugh about the soup – mine HATE soup, too. Even when it contains all the ingredients for stuff they love (i.e.chicken and noodles, for example). something about the whole “soup/broth” thing. They hate chili, too. But hubby and I both love it, so they get something else. I also make homemade bread or rolls, but you only get that if you try the soup…!!

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