Suburban (Valentine) Sentiments

As room mom of my daughter’s fourth grade class, I’ll help plan and attend the class Valentine’s Day Celebration! The parents are sending in treats. We’ll play “Valentine Bingo,” using “conversation hearts” as markers, and the kids will stuff Valentine cards into each others’ “mailboxes”. Two years ago, my daughter and I made homemade Valentines for all her friends, and last year we found adorable Vintage re-printed ones. This year she’s chosen to go with classic “Snoopy and the Gang” valentines. Remember those grade school Valentine days?

I don’t think I’ve ever grown out of them! I love hearts, Valentines, and romance! I wouldn’t call myself a hopeless romantic, but I do enjoy a good romantic movie from time to time! One favorite is Hallmark’s “The Magic of Ordinary Days,” about a young mother-to-be, banished to a farm and an arranged marriage. Set in the 1940’s, it’s a sweet movie. I can certainly imagine worse places to be sent to than a farm! My sweetheart, whom I’ve been married to for twenty years this year, gave me the DVD one Valentine’s Day. He doesn’t always do “traditional” Valentine’s presents, and our first Valentine’s together, my newlywed heart sank when he let the day go by as a “regular” day. His excuse was that they didn’t celebrate it in Denmark (although now I think the holiday’s caught on). Let’s just say he’s never forgotten February 14th again…

I’m certainly sentimental! I have a small card, carried in my wallet the last twenty years. For my twentieth birthday, my sweetheart sent roses with this handwritten note attached. “Skat” is the Danish word for “Sweetheart”. We also call each other “Mus”, pronounced “moose”, Danish for “mouse”. Do you have a sweet name you call your darlin’? Do tell…

Valentine’s is a day to celebrate friendship, too. Nothing warms the heart more than love in the mailbox! I’m mailing out Valentine cards, and am thankful for my wonderful friends, especially those in my Sisterhood. This coming week marks the “anniversary” of when I joined the MaryJanes Farm Sisterhood, something that turned out to be life-changing and inspiring. The women on the Farmgirl Forum have become my “other” family, my soundboard. So many of you there have become close friends, no matter the miles between us. And, my Sisterhood Chapter, Connecticut Simpler Life Sisters, has found me surrounded by amazing, warmhearted women! 2012 marks our third year, and I’ve realized we’re no longer a few friends, but a true “sisterhood”, with a wonderful, strong bond, and the common thread of “Farmgirl Spirit”. I get asked frequently about how I started my chapter. If you’ve been thinking about it, go for it! You’ve got nothing to lose! (Get started here: http://maryjanesfarm.org/Chapters/Join.asp).


Our chapter’s January Get-Together got postponed due to a bad snowstorm. What would have been a large group of most of our members, turned into a smaller, more intimate dinner for four! Last year, we did a “Soup Swap” (read about it here: http://sfgblog.maryjanesfarm.org/default.asp?Display=45). This year, we changed it to a “Casserole Klatsch”. The invitation read:

It’s Winter and it’s coooooollllddd.  Let’s get together with warm friends and warm food!  Please come to “CT Simpler Life Sisters Casserole Klatsch”!  Bring something for our potluck dinner, either a main dish, side dish, or dessert…but here’s the catch:  it must be something made in a casserole dish!  Crack open those cookbooks and get those creative juices flowing! 

I set the table “Farmgirl Style” with plenty of red and roosters! I chose a bouquet of Alstroemeria, which symbolizes “friendship and devotion”. It’s fun to get together with the “girls”. (Kristen’s hubby affectionately refers to us as the “Ya-Ya’s”). The evening brought lots of laughs, and the dishes everyone brought were so good!

For my contribution, I made MaryJane’s “Farmgirl Saturday Cake”, as well as my Momma’s “Chicken Broccoli Casserole”. The original recipe, as shown below, calls for two cans of Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup. I’m devoted to eating organic, so I substitute the two cans of conventional soup for 1-½ cartons of the Organic version.

 

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

  • 2 cups cooked, chopped broccoli, drained
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, cut up in bite-size pieces
  • 2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped (about 3 or 4)
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ tsp paprika, for top

Mix all ingredients together (except paprika) well and turn into a greased 13X9 casserole dish. Sprinkle top with paprika and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Valentine’s this year falls on a Tuesday, so I’ll make a special dinner. Food’s one of my favorite ways to show love. Don’t walk into my door and not expect to eat something!

We won’t forget our “fur-baby,” either. She certainly gives us so much love. Here’s a photo of her waiting for the school bus. You can just see the love!

I’d love to hear from you. Are you doing anything special for your loved ones on Valentine’s? Do you belong to a Sisterhood Chapter, and if so what have you done with your ‘sisters’ lately? Whatever you are doing…

 Happy Valentine’s Day from the Suburban Farmgirl!

Leave a comment 11 Comments

  1. Ulla Bagh Christensen says:

    Dear Nicole.

    I have read your blog for Valentines Day, a day we just got a few years a go in Denmark.  I am so glad that our husbands finally get it, because it is a beautiful tradition! It came to Denmark very fast, but my husband ( your father-in-law) is not so good to remember it…(so like father, like son). I like to read your blog and the Farmgirls history… they are so good, and I like the organic way. Love and hugs from Ulla, Denmark

    Hi Mor!  Thank you for reading my blog!  Miss you all so much!  When I see you next we will have to "team up"  and remind our hubbies about what is so special about Valentines Day! (And birthdays, and anniversaries….). 

    As for the Farmgirls, you were an inspiration, too, when I started my Sisterhood Chapter!  My Farmgirls Chapter reminds me of your knitting circle group!  Love you!  Hugs to everyone there! – Nicole

  2. LAURIE DIMINO says:

    Nicole,
    As always I love your posts. Happy Valentines Day to you and your sweetie!
    Hugs,
    Laurie
    Farmgirl Sister#1403
    Little Henhouse on the Island

    Laurie, you too!  Farmgirl hugs right back at ya!  Thanks for reading and commenting!  – Nicole

  3. sharon says:

    Happy Valentines Day Nicole. I really enjoyed your post. I love cards. I love nice paper stock. Valentines Day is another reason to have fun creating something new to send to my family and friends. While I have been single for the past few years I have always been fortunate enough to spend the night out with friends. This year it’s looking like that won’t happen. So I plan to treat myself by getting a massage and then picking up a salad to go at Panera. I will enjoy that while watching a rom/com at home with my 2 cats. I hope everyone finds a way to make the day special for themselves.
    Kindredly,
    Sharon

    Sharon,

    Sounds like you have  a nice evening planned! 

    I love to create cards, too.  This year I am not sending homemade cards as I found some too cute to pass up! The sentiment inside is so nice, too.  Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a great, Happy Valentines Day! Nicole

  4. Debra says:

    I was married on Valentines Day 7 years ago. Sometime he is very romantic and then there’s the time he forgets. So you have a great Valentines Day.

    Debra, Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Anniversary!  -Nicole

  5. I’m not sure what I"m doing Valentine’s Day. I don’t have a sweetheart except for my dad 😉 :) So we’ll probably do something fun, and I’ll treat him to something nice :) :)

    Oh, I LOVE that movie "The Magic of Ordinary Days" It’s romantic and I love the 1940s era, too!!! That’s a great movie 😉 :)

    Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather – Farmgirl Sisterhood Member #2176

    p.s. I LOVED making/receiving VAlentine cards in grade school :) :) I still remember this really sweet card a boy in my third grade class made for me years ago :)

    Heather, I think it is great you spend Valentine’s with your dad.  Wish I could see my parents more often.  My daddy once bought me a "jigsaw puzzle" Valentine when I was very, very small.  You had to put it together to read it.  He signed it, and put it in a little manilla mailing envelope, with a hand-drawn cartoon for me.  I still have it to this day.  Have a great day! Thanks for sharing! Hugs, Nicole

  6. Nancy says:

    "The Magic of Ordinary Days"–what a special movie! Thank you for the reminder of it! Happy Valentines!

    Hi Nancy, yes, isn’t it a sweet one for this time of year?  Thanks for reading! -Nicole

  7. Jan says:

    I have been finding a lot of my folks’ old cards and keepsakes in the process of tending to my mom’s estate. I know that there are several valentines that my dad and mom received years and years ago. I took a jewelry class last year in which we learned how to use resin in bezel cups to create pendants, etc. I love the styles of the vintage cards and I am going to create some memory pieces for each of my parents. Basically, you cut out paper objects, seal them, and then pour the mixed resin over them. Lots of fun for winter evenings! Also just watched a tutorial on shadow boxes, which would be EXTRA cute for old valentines..
    One of my fave movies is ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’. Always makes me laugh and has such a happy ending…
    Oh yes! I finally joined the MJFarm Sisterhood! Now I just have to find a local group of members to play with!
    Have a wonderful Valentine day!

    Jan, thank you for the comment!  What a wonderful idea you have for your vintage Valentines, and such a sweet sentimental keepsake of your parents.  Making the jewelry would be a fun thing to do with a Sisterhood chapter, as well. 

    I love "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", too!  My father is half-Greek, and so much of it reminded him of his family.  It’s a funny film, great for Valentines!  Hugs to you!  -Nicole

  8. Rose says:

    Great blog! I loved the heart shaped craft items – did you make these?

    Thanks for posting the recipe for the casserole. It sounds yummy and I will have to make it next week.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your family!

    Happy Valentine’s Rose!  Enjoy the casserole!  -Nicole

  9. Hery says:

    – I need to come out and learn some phtography skills from you. Your clarity is fabulous. And you seem to have a few polished graphics skills too!

    Hery, thank you very much!  That’s quite a compliment and you’ve made my day! -Nicole

  10. Carolyn says:

    enjoyed reading this; I don’t have a sisterhood; but do get together with gal friends occasionally. For valentines; I’m thinking of sending cards to single Moms and single widows

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Carolyn, That’s a wonderful idea! Girl Scouts sent Valentines to the troops this year, too. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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