History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day occurs every February 14. Across the United States, Canada and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine.

The holiday evolved from the ancient Roman ritual of Lupercalia that welcomed spring to the card-giving customs of Victorian England.

The history of Valentine’s Day – and the story of its patron saint – is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Still others insist that it was Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, who was the true namesake of the holiday. He, too, was beheaded by Claudius II outside Rome.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl – possibly his jailor’s daughter – who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and – most importantly – romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial – which probably occurred around 270 A.D. Others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity but was outlawed – as it was deemed “un-Christian” – at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance. The English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to record St. Valentine’s Day as a day of romantic celebration in his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules,” writing, ““For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.”

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

In addition to the United States and Canada, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.”

Family, Our Rock

Every family, it seems, has its black sheep. There’s the grouch, the boozer, the nay-sayer, the doper, the miser, the “me, me, me” and the just downright disagreeable.

But when you come down to it, they are with us in good times and in bad. They are our advocates, our defenders, our supporters when we’re up against the wall. They are family.

Mary Karr reminds us that “A dysfunctional family is any family with more than one person in it.” While it’s easy to agree with such cynicism, there are a multitude of reasons not to.

Country Living rounded up a plethora of quotes about family that remind us that family is, indeed, our rock.
“The memories we make with our family is everything,” said actress Candace Cameron Bure. Philanthropist Peter Buffett says “It didn’t matter how big our house was; it mattered that there was love in it.” Both of those quotes would be great to read to anyone in your family – especially on Thanksgiving Day.

Here are many more thoughts about family to ponder and cherish.

Lisa Weed — “Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.”

Pope John XXIII — “The family is the first essential cell of human society.”

Wanda Hope Carter — “Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them out and enjoy their riches.”

Marge Kennedy – The informality of family life is a blessed condition that allows us all to become our best while looking our worst.

Friedrich Nietzsche — “In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.”

Stitch, ‘Lilo and Stitch’ — “’Ohana’ means family and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”

Walt Disney — “Life is beautiful. It’s about giving. It’s about family.”

Lee Iacocca — “The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family.”

Jane Howard — “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”

‘Coco’ (2017) — “We may have our differences, but nothing’s more important than family.”

José Carreras — “I have a wonderful shelter, which is my family.”

Reba McEntire — “I don’t think quantity time is as special as quality time with your family.”

Trenton Lee Stewart — “Family members can be your best friends, you know. And best friends, whether or not they are related to you, can be your family.”

Kelly Clarkson — “My friends and family are my support system… Without them I have no idea where I would be.”

Barbara Bush — “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.”

Louis Zamperini — “The world, we’d discovered, doesn’t love you like your family loves you.”

Marjorie Pay Hinckley — “Home is where you are loved the most and act the worst.”

Marge Kennedy — “In truth, a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love…”

Leonard Cohen — “May you be surrounded by friends and family, and if this is not your lot, may the blessings find you in your solitude.”

Candace Cameron Bure — “The memories we make with our family is everything.”

Burmese Proverb — “In time of test, family is best.”

Michael Imperioli — “My family is my life, and everything else comes second as far as what’s important to me.”

Albert Einstein — “Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life.”

Peter Buffett — “It didn’t matter how big our house was; it mattered that there was love in it.”

Guy Lafleur — “When trouble comes, it’s your family that supports you.”

Maya Angelou — “I sustain myself with the love of family.”

Jodi Picoult — “My mother used to tell me that when push comes to shove, you always know who to turn to. That being a family isn’t a social construct but an instinct.”

Mother Teresa — “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

Elizabeth Berg — “You are born into your family and your family is born into you. No returns. No exchanges.”

Haniel Long — “So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty.”

Winston S. Churchill — “There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human, are created, strengthened, and maintained.”

Paul Pearsall — “Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family.”

Barbara Bush — “When all the dust is settled and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family, and friends.”

Anthony Liccione — “Everyone needs a house to live in, but a supportive family is what builds a home.”

Mario Puzo — “The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other.”

Richard Bach — “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.”

J.K. Rowling — “Family is a life jacket in the stormy sea of life.”

George Bernard Shaw — “Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.”

Barbara Bush — “To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.”

Alex Haley — “The family is link to our past, bridge to our future.”

Michael J. Fox — “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.”

Brad Henry — “Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.”

Les Dawson — “Families are like fudge – mostly sweet with a few nuts.”

Desmond Tutu — “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”

Rod Stewart — “You go through life wondering what is it all about but at the end of the day it’s all about family.”

George Santayana — “The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.”

Anthony Brandt — “Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.”

George Bernard Shaw — “A happy family is but an earlier heaven.”

John Wooden — “The most important thing in the world is family and love.”

Happy holidays to you and your family!

Words for THE Day

Valentine’s Day, the holiday for lovers young and old, is filled with flowers, candy and sometimes elaborate greeting cards. It’ also a day marked by considerable usage of specific images, words and phrases:

Be Mine
Bow and Arrow
Fall for
Secret Admirer

Express your love in your own way on Feb. 14 and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thoughts of Love

As Valentine’s Day nears, it seems a good time to look over some of the thoughts about love penned over the centuries.

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Emily Bronte

“Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove,
Of golden sands, and crystal brooks,
With silken lines, and silver hooks.” – John Donne

“Tis better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

“Who so loves believes the impossible. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he and I was I.” – Michel de Montaigne

“Love on through all ills, and love on till they die” – Thomas Moore

“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” – Aristotle

“I love thee with a love I seemed to lose with my lost saints,
I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life!
And if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.” – Euripides

“Who, being loved, is poor?” – Oscar Wilde

“Thou art all fair, my love, there is no spot in thee.” – Song of Solomon 4:7

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4

“Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers all transgressions.” – Proverbs 10:12

“Above all, love one another deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:8

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone.

Words of Wisdom, Source Unknown

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, died a billionaire at the age of 56 in 2011. Four years later, the essay below began circulating on the internet with the claim that it represented Jobs’ deathbed speech.

There is no verification that Jobs ever spoke or wrote the words in this essay. In fact his sister says his final words were “Oh Wow, Oh Wow, Oh Wow.”

But whoever did pen the essay below, gave all of us plenty of food for thought.

Here’s the essay:

I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success.

However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.

At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.

In the darkness, I look at the green lights from the life supporting machines and hear the humming mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of god of death drawing closer.

Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime, we should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth.

Should be something that is more important. – Perhaps relationships, perhaps art, perhaps a dream from younger days

Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me.

God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth.

The wealth I have won in my life I cannot bring with me. What I can bring is only the memories precipitated by love.

That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on.

Love can travel a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. Reach the height you want to reach. It is all in your heart and in your hands.

What is the most expensive bed in the world? – Sick bed.

You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you.

Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost — Life.

When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he has yet to finish reading — Book of Healthy Life.

Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.

Treasure love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends.

Treat yourself well. Cherish others.


Some celebrate Valentine’s Day the traditional way with flowers, chocolates, and dinner dates. And some chose to celebrate a like non-traditionally.  If you are a non-traditional person, here’s some ideas you might like!! WEIRD THING TO DO ON VALENTINE’S DAY:

Great San Francisco Pillow Fight
Walloping your sweetie with a pillow to mark Valentine’s Day isn’t the most obvious wooing technique. Then again, you’re guaranteed to get his or her attention. The Great San Francisco Pillow Fight is a favorite event for folks looking to vanquish Valentine’s Day angst – or maybe for lonely hearts looking to meet someone who shares their affinity for feathers. This year’s event happens on Friday, Feb. 14.
Cupid’s Undie Run
Need some motivation to finish a race in record time? How about this: You can’t put your clothes back on until you cross that finish line — and it’s February. Thousands of people will strip down to their undies and race around major U.S. cities this year for Cupid’s Undie Run. The races have expanded across the country in recent years, with 30 cities hosting Undie Runs for Valentine’s Day in 2014. Most races are scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 15.
Naked scavenger hunts

Yes, you can keep your clothes on for this one – it’s the art that will be naked. Museums in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., will play host to naked scavenger hunts Feb. 14 and 15, courtesy of Watson Adventures. As part of the hunt, museum patrons will have to locate art that’s … well, you know. Atlanta cemetery tour

If it’s possible to make a graveyard romantic, the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta is determined to make it happen. The graveyard is home to many famous Americans, including “Gone with the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell and golf legend Bobby Jones. Through Saturday, Feb. 15, the cemetery is offering a “love stories” tour that will explore “cemetery symbols of love and devotion and reveals poignant epitaphs that speak to enduring love.” Literary speed dating

Bookworms in New York had a chance to meet like-minded suitors at an event titled “I Like Your Glasses: Literary Speed Dating with CoverSpy” on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. Each person was expected to go on 10 six-minute “dates,” matched by book preferences and age. StopLight 5K

The dating world can get murky – just who’s single and who’s taken, anyway? It’d be nice if someone would color-code everyone … like at the StopLight 5K race in Provo, Utah, on Saturday, Feb. 15. Runners will wear red, green or yellow depending on if they’re taken, single or “it’s complicated.”   Shred Your Ex

Say goodbye to old relationships at one of the many “shred your ex” events happening the week of Valentine’s Day. It’s exactly what it sounds like: Bring photos of your ex for a cathartic and freeing shredding experience. Valentine Plunge

Nothing says “I love you” like a mad dash into the icy waters of the Atlantic. The Valentine Plunge is an annual tradition in Manasquan, N.J., with crowds racing into the frigid waters to raise money for charity. If you were hoping to prove your love to your valentine by joining in this crazy stunt, you’ll have to wait, because the 2014 plunge happened Feb. 7. Organizers are already planning for next year; you can start shivering in anticipation now. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY FROM DINO’S STORAGE!!!!!

Another year behind us here at Omaha’s Dino’s Storage!

This will be my last blog for 2013. It has been a very good year in the Downtown Omaha area. All of the beautiful Downtown Christmas lights are up and lit, and it is dark enough to enjoy them everyday as I leave work. It really is a beautiful and wonderful time of year.

We can all be very blessed that we have already dodged 2 major snow and ice storms, but we know that won’t be the case all winter. Even if we had gotten them, some of our best memories are being snowed in around the holidays.  Giving us chance to spend unscheduled extra time with family and friends.

If we do nothing else this season, let’s take the time to reflect, be thankful, and for those of us who can, be generous! The holidays are about giving. I do not necessarily mean buying gifts, but giving yourself….your kindness, your thoughts, your love, what makes you what you are. It will make just as much of a difference for yourself as it will for everyone you touch by it!!!!

To sum it up, take the time to enjoy the end of 2013……..live, love, and be happy………..enjoy your family, friends, strangers, your job, your pets, etc! It is all of those things that shape us into who and what we are. I will do this, and come back refreshed for 2014!!

Thank you all for taking the time to read my blogs, patronize my store, call me about the quotes and read the post weekly on my reader boards……….and for those of you who haven’t, see you in 2014!



Jose Beltran Most Positive

Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Lots of negative people have worked here, but they just need lots of encouraging talk to help deal with life. Jose Beltran is from Latin America. He has a suave accent, likes good looking cars, is VERY well dressed (probably doesn’t own a t shirt), and has dark hair. Everyone loved him and he loved everyone. Jose would always give people hugs and encouraged them. He was just a very positive person.