st. valentine's day

Friday, February 11, 2000

it's just a ploy to sell more greeting cards, courtesy of the card companies. Always has been. It's never been a altruistic motive holiday. And now the eCards are proliferating. "Be My Valentine." This is a phrase that conjures up a lot of different images associated with the celebration of Valentine's Day. Cards with hearts and little poems on them. Candy and flowers given to someone you love. And images of cupids flying around shooting their arrows of love into unsuspecting youths. Young and old alike expressing their affection for their sweethearts. February 14th for many means cards, candy, flowers, and cupids. Our Mothers and Fathers in the Christian Faith would be surprised at what has become of Valentine's Day. What we call Valentine's Day was at one time the Feast of St. Valentine. It was a religious holiday. They would be especially shocked at the use of cupid since he was a character from pagan mythology. For Christians in the past this holiday was a day to remember and celebrate the life and death of a Christian martyr. According to church tradition St. Valentine was a priest near Rome in about the year 270 A.D. At that time the Roman Emperor was imprisoning Christians for not worshipping the Roman gods. During this persecution Valentine was arrested. Some say he was arrested because he was performing Christian marriages, but others say it was for helping Christians escape prison. During the trial they asked Valentine what he thought of the Roman gods Jupiter and Mercury. Of course Valentine said they were false gods and that the God that Jesus called Father was the only true God. So the Romans threw him in prison for insulting the gods. While in prison Valentine continued to minister. He witnessed to the guards. One of the guards was a good man who had adopted a blind girl. He asked Valentine if his God could help his daughter. Valentine prayed and the girl was given her sight. The guard and his whole family, 46 people, believed in Jesus and were baptized. Because these people had come to know Jesus, Valentine praised God right there in his prison cell. When the emperor heard about this he was furious that Valentine was still making converts even in prison, so he had Valentine beheaded. Valentine knew that he might get caught in his Christian activities. He knew that if he told the court the truth about the Roman gods that he would be thrown in prison. And he knew that if he continued to witness to Christ in the prison he would make his captors angry. But he continued, because he loved the Lord and his fellow humans. He was willing to risk his life to free the prisoners and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who needed to hear it. The Bible Says: "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends."(John 15:13) God showed us this love by coming in Christ to die for our sins. And St. Valentine demonstrated this love when he died for his friends. This is the kind of love that Valentine's Day is really about.

Around The Garden Center.
Screw Valentine's Day; I have more pressing problems. Plowing and still more snow plowing. Jeeeez, for what I've spent so far to job-out the heavy duty work and Winter's a long way from over I could have bought a large-scale Case or John Deere frontloader and done the plowing myself. Oh well, such is life. The 675B SkidLoader that I have is okay for small detail plowing, but it just can't handle such voluminous snow as we've gotten so far. I'm sick of plowing snow. I'm sick of plowing anything.
I've been making crabmeat/ scallop/ mushroom-stuffed pancakes and crepes for both breakfast and after work these days something I haven't done in years. Wow, Aunt Jemimah's a good old gal and still good as ever. Usually, Eggs Benedict or poached eggs are the order for breakfast, but the stuffed pancakes are a wonderful change. Yum.
My chronic, dreaded inner ear infections have returned after a several year absence. This Winter, I've had 6-7 episodes, mostly after being out on the skidloader plowing snow. The cold air does some awful things to my inner ear. I've been wearing a knit cap, using prescription earwash and drops, but the ear problems persist. They're so painful at the onset, it's almost crippling and my equilibrium is severely affected. York ENT (ear, nose, throat) associates is working on it.
Last Saturday, a young couple came into visit and asked to reserve the Main Greenhouse for their wedding in Feb-Mar, 2001. I traditionally allow civic groups, garden clubs, DAR and other organizations to use the spacious and meticulous greenhouse for their meetings; private parties are charged a flat fee, after all rules and regulations are clearly discussed and agreed to. I don't even have a calendar going that far ahead, but they're "pencilled in" anyway.
It's been in the 40s all week and the snow is finally showing some signs of melting. We desperately need that "slow melt" to get the moisture back into the ground, so groundwater levels are replenished for the coming Spring. After three years of drought throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region, wells have either dried up and abandoned, or have had to be re-drilled much, much deeper.

February Gardening Chores.
As all the gardening catalogs continue to arrive, here's a list of things to do for February as you kick back and relax with that steaming hot cup of cocoa, in front of the fireplace:
»Order seeds,
»Sow seeds of warm-season annuals,
»Sow seeds for hardy spring-blooming plants ,
»Cut back on feeding houseplants (do not feed dormant houseplants),
»Sow seeds for cool-weather vegetables ,
»Sow frost-tolerant perennials indoors.

Execute Them!
Though I thoroughly abhor their politics and policies, I love China's execution record: 34 scumbags per week executed with a simple bullet to the head. So sweet, so simple, unlike the 10-30 year "waiting periods" the US criminals have to languish in, while the victims are still dead. Wow, 4,367 executions recorded in 1996! I love it, China.
Stopping executions is absolutely the wrong thing to do. If anything, it's long past time to move forward with an increased schedule of executions, unlike the idiots in Illinois who've stopped it alltogether. The simple fact that minorities commit more crimes is not a valid reason to halt executions. What about the victims and their families? Aren't they entitled to justice and seeing the murderers die? You bet they are!
Finally, victims of crime are getting some attention and a Constitutional Amendment to protect them against both the perpetrator and the (in)justice system. It's about time we executed the criminals and shoiwed a measure of compassion for the victims.
The only thing Atty Gen Janet "What's My Next Defense assignment, Bubba?" Reno has done of noteworthy in her almost-eight years as US Attorney General I had very high hopes when she and Madeleine Albright were appointed in '92. I cheered and said so. A major capital crime of triple murder has forced her to act. Nothing significant has either made it to, or made it past, her desk for proper review and adjudication.
Pennsylvania is finally cutting out premium pay CATV channels for the prisons, something which should never have occurred for those lowlifes. There are many honest, hard-working families who can't afford CATV, yet murderers, rapists and child molesters all have color TVs and premium CATV programming in their individual cells. Duh?
The United whackers of Benetton. A lowlife clothing maker from Italy features murderers, rapist whackers and child molester whackers my three favorite categories of subhuman filth primo for "termination with extreme prejudice" in ads for their garbage t-shirts and sweatshirts and they're crucified. And rightly so! I'd castrate the ad director and copyrighter in a heartbeat: forgotten was the graphic description and pictures, if possible, of the murder, rape, molestation victims.

My "Most Recent" Ephipany.
It took a lot to convert me from strident pro-choice to fervent pro-life, anti-abortionist. In the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, there was no one more vociferous than I on a woman's "right to choose". I'd been through several abortions with various women during that period, and abortions on demand were "convenient" and inexpensive. I wrote the checks. Shame on me.
There were times I was even a moderate on the subject, even acqiescing on the subject of propriety and morality, as if I even had knowledge of those subjects. Hell, I knew what condoms were, but I refused to use one. I contracted children, not diseases; I was fortunate, I was fertile. I was also stubborn and obstinate.
Then, one day I read a short story online about a 27-week-old fetus which grabbed the finger of a sugeon who was repairing a "uterus condition" the mother had. I was blown away by the picture. It is so powerful. I had always believed that the fetus was a

"parasite" on the female-human host, until after birth. (Technically, it is and fits all descriptors.) Actually, it isn't. No big semantic fight; it's a moral dilemma. But when I saw that picture thanks, Doug I was changed forever. Again. It feels good to "be back", yet I continue to be a strident and outspoken advocate of "the death penalty".
I'm glad to be back among the living.

Market Research. No one likes it. You get called up on the phone when you're sitting down to eat to see what jeans you wear. Every purchase you make at Safeway using their discount card gets sucked into a computer to compare your purchases to your profile to figure out why someone making $75,000 a year buys Velveeta. And all this info gets passed on to companies who use it against you, trying to sell you even more shit you don't need. Shouldn't we turn Market Research around and make it available to those who really need it namely, the homeless! Need.Com wants to use your input to help panhandlers figure out what works to get you to pry open your lint-filled pocket and give them a buck. Sponsored by PBS, so you "know it's legit". Sure, you do.

| b a c k  t o  j o h n ' s  j o u r n a l |