This topic contains 8 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Brittany Foster 7 months ago.

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  • #15724
     Kathleen Sheffer 
    Participant

    Happy February, everyone! It’s chilly even here in San Francisco. Everyone is flipping out about 40 degree weather and a chance of snow in the Bay Area. I love February because February includes Valentine’s Day!

    I didn’t always love Valentine’s Day. In fact, I kind of hated it. In high school I felt like everyone got Valentines except me. I longed for my elementary school days when every kid had to bring a Valentine for each classmate. Ha!

    Now I’ve rebranded Valentine’s Day to be a day to celebrate my hearts. Yes, hearts. Two years ago I hired my friend to do an illustration of the heart I was born with. A pathology lab had sent me photos of my heart right after it came out of my chest during my heart-lung transplant surgery. These photos aren’t pretty. I think they’re cool, but let’s just say…if the illustration below grosses you out at all, you don’t want to see the original.

    valentines

    Anyway, I thought this illustration was amazing, and I printed it on 100 postcards that I mailed all around the country to my doctors, friends, family, and other supporters. It was so much fun dropping a handful of cards covered in anatomical (sick) hearts into a postbox!

    valentines

    This year I’m gearing up to do something similar. I want to add to my collection of art inspired by my surgery. And a focus on celebrating my birth and recycled hearts certainly takes some of the romantic pressure off the holiday.

    Even so, I’m looking forward to having a quiet evening at home with my boyfriend on the 14th. Do you have any plans for the holiday? Going out for dinner can be exhausting and usually we need a reservation so the last couple years we’ve opted to stay in and cook. I think this year we might just order in to make it extra easy on ourselves.

    Do you do anything special for Valentine’s Day?

  • #15736
     Vanessa Vaile 
    Participant

    Valentine’s Day… not so much for years. I used to look for unusual Valentines for my Mountainair NM community page but haven’t been doing it here. Love the (re)branding idea. So I just dug out a couple of Valentine’s Day garlands that I picked up for the tumbleweed but never used and draped them on my oxygen tank and general utility cart.

    • #15738
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Vanessa,
      I love the decorating of the oxygen tank inspiration! I should decorate mine with some hearts! They also have battery powered string of lights that I might drape around it to make it real romantic 🙂

      • #15742
         Vanessa Vaile 
        Participant

        @brittany-foster, instead of using the usual tank cart, I often strap my tank into the corner of a standard laundry/shopping cart with brightly colored bungee cords. That way I can carry my folding seat, purse, extra items, etc and run errands on foot without worrying about carrying extra bags — the habit of a former NYC apartment dweller. This afternoon I draped a Valentine garlands with hearts on the cart — and after reading your comment, checked Amazon for strings of battery powered lights. Practical too in case I am out after dark. I’ll have to take a picture.

        PS Your boyfriend sounds like a real keeper

      • #15747
         Brittany Foster 
        Keymaster

        Vanessa,
        That sounds like a great creation with the cart! Especially using the bungee cords to keep the tank in place. One of the struggles I had with using a backpack was finding a backpack that didn’t make the tank wobble around in it. I finally came across hiking backpacks and use that when I go out for a short amount of time (especially because those small tanks only last so long!) I love the decorating and would love to see a picture of the finished product! Glad you looked up some of those lights, I think it would add a great touch to it!

        And yes, my boyfriend has been really great with all of this. It isn’t always easy and takes a lot of patience from both of us but I feel like after 6 years together we just “get it” more now. Especially after this long and knowing everything he knows about my conditions I don’t have as much of a fear of him not being able to “handle it”. It’s good to get to this point together 🙂

      • #15784
         Vanessa Vaile 
        Participant

        @brittany-foster,not quite finished yet but here’s a pic of the work in progress,https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tiQB8iSsnOezF9tNmjq8ytuUCkTvi5hP/view. The small hearts in the garland might not show up that well. My folding seat is in the cart too, battened down with a small bungee cord.

        I plan to hit the local dollar store for 💔 decorations on sale ~ larger, more visible hearts.

      • #15785
         Kathleen Sheffer 
        Participant

        Adorable, Vanessa! Can’t wait to see the finished piece.

      • #15786
         Brittany Foster 
        Keymaster

        I absolutely LOVE that idea Vanessa! You’re so creative with it. I believe I follow your Instagram? I remember seeing a photo and “liking” it with a cart and an o2 tank! Was that your Instagram account where you posted a picture of it?

  • #15737
     Brittany Foster 
    Keymaster

    Kathleen,
    I absolutely LOVE your idea with the cards !! That is awesome and so creative and NOT GROSS at all to me! I love all things anatomical 🙂 #nerd . Valentine’s Day is my anniversary with my boyfriend (cliche I know…gross! hahahaa) . This year will be 6 years together. Unfortunately I have been having that trouble with my esophagus being compressed my aorta which hopefully will be getting surgically corrected in the near future, but for now I am being tube fed and jello and broth doesn’t make for a romantic evening lol! I CAN drink coffee and tea though so my boyfriend and I will celebrate on the weekend and find a cute coffee shop that we haven’t tried out yet. He has been really creative with coming up with things to do that don’t involve food and that is highly romantic to me! Usually we used to spend the night out at a nice hotel and do dinner and drinks but this year, we are just rolling with the cards that were dealt to us ! Happy 6 years to us 🙂

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