Don’t look so sad. It’s not so bad, you know. It’s just another night. That’s all it is.

Recognize those lyrics?

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Of course, it isn’t New Year’s Eve, but it is Valentine’s Eve. This evening, Barry Manilow isn’t speaking, singing, rapping, or partying. Complications from oral surgery put his life on hold.

It’s not the first
It’s not the worst you know
We’ve come through all the rest
We’ll get through this.

He’s had a series of health scares over the years. And he’ll get through this one. Prayers are coming from a fanbase that’s from here to the exosphere.

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I have a simmity for Barry.  Simmity, such an old word. It means a fondness for a person of the opposite sex.  Eons ago, Henri Misson used the word simmity in his memoir, Travels Over England. (Today, it doesn’t even come up in a Google search.)

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He tells about how on the eve of the 14th of February, young people in England and Scotland, by a very ancient custom, celebrated in a unique way.

An equal number of ‘maids’ and ‘bachelors’ get together, each writes their name on separate billets which they roll up and draw by way of lots.

(I love old words.  Like billets, those private letters folks used to send, filled with secret words.)

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The maids take the mens’ billets, and the men takes the maids’, so that each of the young men “lights upon a girl” that he calls his Valentine, and each of the girls upon a young man which she calls hers.

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The Valentines give treats to their maids and wear their billets for several days upon their sleeves.

There’s another custom, too, where the first young man or woman that chance throws in your way in the street or elsewhere on Valentine’s Day will be your true love.

 

Has chance thrown true love your way?  

Stevie Ray Vaughn (RIP) wants to have a little talk with you.

Toni 2/13/16

Attention to those of us who would like to lead a wider awake life: Do the Backyard Bird Count and Haluhala! You’re LTWAL.* http://www.birds.cornell.edu/citsci/take-action/2015/02/great-backyard-bird-count/

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YOU CAN EVEN GIVE YOURSELF (and all those little kids who do it with you?) a certificate.

Stand up and be counted, or rather, stand up, set those binoculars–or just use your naked eyes if that’s “all” (and that’s a gift, make sure) you’ve got–and take a tally of the birds in your “backyard.”  Become a Citizen Scientist. (It’s all the rage; next we can help find planets, mayhap gravitational waves. Who knows.)

Go to BirdCount.org. It’s simple. How can I say this? I participate. And I’m a bit timid around the ether and it’s tools. You’ll be surprised as to how many birds and species you’ve got that have escaped your notice up ’til now.

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/citsci/take-action/2015/02/great-backyard-bird-count/

https://www.audubon.org/content/about-great-backyard-bird-count

*Leading The Wide Awake Life