Special gifts for Valentine's Day

Oops, only four more days before its Valentine's Day. Have you found the perfect gift for your sweetheart yet? Being kind of practical, I got out a tool catalog and found the best gift for my husband - a bench grinder to sharpen his tools. He'll really love that gift. But after 46 exciting years married to him, the romantic side of me came out with an even better gift of love this Valentine's Day - some flashy off-road motorcycle riding pants. I want to make sure that if he falls down, he'll be padded in all the right places.

Norbert's really a sweetheart and he's been very thoughtful in the gifts that he's given to me all these years. Only once did I almost return a Valentine's Day gift. Our children were young, ages 3-, 4- and 5-years-old and I was really tired out by the end of the day. I would have liked to have a baby-sitter and a delicious dinner out on Valentine's Day, but what I got was a fishing pole. I guess I didn't drop enough hints. But now I've learned how to do that.

I attended 12 years of Catholic schools but I don't remember much about St. Valentine's Day other than there were three martyrs whose feast day happens on Feb. 14. So one St. Valentine was a Roman priest and doctor who was beheaded, a second St. Valentine was a bishop who also was beheaded, and the third was a little-known martyr in Africa. Not very sentimental, huh? Here we are, all of us giving gifts of flowers, candy, jewelry, even dinner out. (Did you hear it Norbert? I dropped a little hint.) Happy Valentine's Day to us all. And Happy Birthday today to our wonderful daughter Christy. Everybody loves our "Cricky Sue."

Alice, the great horned owl

We received a very interesting e-mail from Karla Kinstler in Minnesota regarding the recent column I wrote about great horned owls. Karla knows about these big beautiful raptors "up close and personal" as a great horned owl named Alice lives with her. This owl is permanently injured and Karla is her handler. She reported on how Alice has been "dropping her belly feathers to develop a brood patch to incubate eggs."

"Every time Alice does a big rouse (puffing up all of her feathers and shaking like crazy), a small blizzard of feathers goes flying," Kinstler said.

Apparently, Alice lost interest in "hooting" together with Karla and now the big owl is starting to bite her. Heck, I love to go out on our deck on dark nights and hoot with any owl that's around. Their beautiful sound resonates all across Fish Springs. We really appreciate Karla for telling us about Alice, her very fascinating great horned owl.

-- Linda Monohan can be reached at 782-5802.


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