Wednesday, February 7, 2024

 

First Wednesday

MARRIAGE WEEK-Ballet-Signing Day-Play More Cards Days

 Psalm 119, Verse 38

For your servant, fulfill your promise made to those who FEAR you.

 

This Psalm, the longest by far in the Psalter, praises God for giving such splendid laws and instruction for people to live by. The psalm glorifies and thanks God for the Torah, prays for protection from sinners enraged by others’ fidelity to the law, laments the cost of obedience, delights in the law’s consolations, begs for wisdom to understand the precepts, and asks for the rewards of keeping them. The Psalm is fascinated with God’s word directing and guiding human life. The poem is an acrostic; its twenty-two stanzas (of eight verses each) are in the order of the Hebrew alphabet. Each of the eight verses within a stanza begins with the same letter. Each verse contains one word for “instruction.” The translation here given attempts to translate each Hebrew word for “instruction” with the same English word. There are, however, nine words for “instruction,” not eight, so the principle of a different word for “instruction” in each verse cannot be maintained with perfect consistency. The nine words for “instruction” in the translation are: law, statute, commandment, precept, testimony, word, judgment, way, and promise.[1]

 

First Wednesday[2]

 Our Heavenly Father desires all three hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph to be honored. And so along with devotion to Jesus on First Fridays, and to Mary on First Saturdays, Our Father longs for us to add devotion to St. Joseph on each First Wednesday of the month. 

"The Sacred Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph have been chosen by the Most Holy Trinity to bring peace to the world." It is at God's request that "special love and honor be given to them" to help us "imitate" their love and their lives, as well as "offer reparation" for the sins committed against them and their love. 

The St. Joseph First Wednesday devotion is: 

1. Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary - remembering St. Joseph's love, his life, his role and his sufferings 

2. Receive Holy Communion - in union with the love St. Joseph had for Jesus the first time and each time he held him - his son, his God and Savior - in his arms. 

In the approved apparitions of Our Lady of America, St. Joseph revealed:

 

·         "I am the protector of the Church and the home, as I was the protector of Christ and his Mother while I lived upon earth. Jesus and Mary desire that my pure heart, so long hidden and unknown, be now honored in a special way. 

 

·         Let my children honor my most pure heart in a special manner on the First Wednesday of the month by reciting the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary in memory of my life with Jesus and Mary and the love I bore them, the sorrow I suffered with them. 

 

·         Let them receive Holy Communion in union with the love with which I received the Savior for the first time and each time I held Him in my arms. 

 

·         Those who honor me in this way will be consoled by my presence at their death, and I myself will conduct them safely into the presence of Jesus and Mary."

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·         Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

·         Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

 

Marriage Week[3] February 7-14 

Simon Peter and the other fishermen are astonished at the catch that reveals Jesus as Lord. Jesus’ response to Simon Peter is reassuring: “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men”. Once again, the fisherman of Galilee places his trust in the words of Jesus and leaves everything to follow Him. James and John also do the same; from now on, they will be ‘fishers of men’. Jesus invites them to share in His mission, the mission of the Church. As baptized, we all partake in the mission of Jesus Christ, priest, prophet, and king. As married men and women, the calling is lived out in a concrete home and family. How does your life as a couple, as parents, as godparents, or in another way, touch the lives of your family? How are you witnesses and bearers of the Gospel?

 

What Is Marriage?[4]

 

Marriage is a lifelong partnership of the whole of life, of mutual and exclusive fidelity, established by mutual consent between a man and a woman, and ordered towards the good of the spouses and the procreation of offspring. As the Second Vatican Council reminds us, marriage is not a purely human institution: the intimate partnership of life and the love which constitutes the married state has been established by the creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . .. For God himself is the author of marriage. Moreover, God has endowed marriage with certain essential attributes, without which marriage cannot exist as he intends.

 

The Church has taught through the ages that marriage is an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman. This union, once validly entered and consummated, gives rise to a bond that cannot be dissolved by the will of the spouses. Marriage thus created is a faithful, privileged sphere of intimacy between the spouses that lasts until death.

 

Marriage is not merely a private institution, however. It is the foundation for the family, where children learn the values and virtues that will make good Christians as well as good citizens. The importance of marriage for children and for the upbringing of the next generation highlights the importance of marriage for all society.

 

Conjugal love, the love proper to marriage, is present in the commitment to the complete and total gift of self between husband and wife. Conjugal love establishes a unique communion of persons through the relationship of mutual self-giving and receiving between husband and wife, a relationship by which ―a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body [flesh]‖(Gn 2:24).The Second Vatican Council speaks about conjugal love in words of great beauty: The Lord, wishing to bestow special gifts of grace and divine love on married love, has restored, perfected, and elevated it. A love like that, bringing together the human and the divine, leads the partners to a free and mutual self-giving, experienced in tenderness and action, and permeating their entire lives; this love is actually developed and increased by its generous exercise in conjugal love one can see something of how Christ loves his Church (Eph 5:25).


 

Resources 

·         On marriages in crisis –For Your Marriage list of ministries that help married couples in difficulty or crisis.

·         On healthy sexuality within marriage –Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae,1968.

·         On divorce –USCCB, Divorce and the Church’s Healing Ministry, 2010.

·         On lust and pornography –USCCB: Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography, 2015 and Clean Heart series of pamphlets, 2016.

·         USCCB, Pastoral Letter Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan, 2009.

·         USCCB, For Your Marriage website: foryourmarriage.org.

·         USCCB, Por Tu Matrimonio website: portumatrimonio.org.

Great relationships don’t happen by accident[5]

Just like that sweet little vegetable patch in your backyard, the more you nurture and nourish your relationship the happier you’ll both be. And what does that look like? Quality nourishment requires pausing, listening, and paying attention to your partner. It requires that you learn to love people in ways that are meaningful to them and listen when they tell you what their needs are.

Here are 10 ways you can nudge your relationship into a happier, healthier, more fulfilling version of itself.

1.      Stop pretending to be someone you’re not and just be yourself instead.

When we are who we really truly are – weird hobbies and all – magic happens. Being true to ourselves allows us to navigate life and relationships free of hang-ups, emotional baggage, or expectations. In the beginning stages of relationships, many of us focus on showcasing our best selves in an attempt to garner love and affection. We become ridiculously, painfully focused on making a good impression. But being who you really are and being who you think someone wants you to be – it’s hard to do those two things simultaneously. Take a deep breath, release those shoulders, and stop pretending and polishing yourself. Just be right here, who you are, today.

2.      Smile at your loved one

To the best of your ability, greet your partner with a smile when you see each other for the first time that day. Imagine how good that would feel – after a tough day at work and sitting in traffic, you walk through the door and are greeted with a smile and a kiss from the person you love most. Wouldn’t that be an amazing way to start your evening? This is not to say you’re never allowed to share the low points of your day, but maybe save them for dinner – rather than the first five minutes that you see your sweetie. Other great times to smile at your partner: across a crowded party, before you part ways for the day, when you know they need encouragement.

3.      Realize things change.

We’re living, breathing organisms – subject to the changing tides of emotion and circumstance. It can be emotionally crippling to get too attached to the “status quo” – not just in your romantic relationships but in life. Change is inevitable. Next week your partner might wake up and want to change careers, move to the east coast, or have kids (like, soon). Can you allow space for that? Could you create a new life with him while he pursued something new? And, of course, things will change for you – your passions, your career, your family, your health. When your partner tells you that they’ve got some big changes in mind – a new workout plan, a move to the country, no more dairy – do your best to listen with an open mind and heart.

4.      Work out together.

Exercise gives you energy and is a wonderful way to show your partner that you’re interested in your health and you want to stay healthy for them. Trying new workouts together also helps you bond! Take a couple’s yoga class, a hip-hop dance class, or try rock climbing. Even if you’re terrible, later you’ll be able to laugh together about his terrible downward dog or your total failure to pop ‘n lock.

5.      If you want quality time with your significant other, plan it.

You’ve heard this advice before and that’s because it works! Make time for thrilling exciting things – not just birthdays and anniversaries. As your weekend winds down, take a few minutes to schedule at least one fun date each week – whether that’s trying a new restaurant, going for a hike, or catching a movie at the second-run theater. Fun things happen when you make time and space for them.

6.      Express your needs.

Some people like to text every day. Some people need a lot of alone time. Some people want their partner to plan exciting dates. All of these needs are equally legitimate. But your partner will never know what your needs are if you don’t tell them. You don’t need to open a first date with a checklist, but once things are clicking along, it’s okay to say, “I want you to feel loved and appreciated. How can I do that?” and when you’ve heard their suggestions, you can share yours. When they do what you asked? Offer lots and lots of acknowledgement and appreciation.

7.      Give without any expectations.

I know it’s incredibly tempting (so tempting!) to keep a mental list of all the nice things you’ve done for your sweetie.

·         Picked up a new yoga mat because I saw hers was deteriorating.

·         Made a reservation for dinner Friday.

·         Bought his mom’s birthday present.

This mentality will only end in tears and resentment. We can nourish our relationships by removing the expectation that they to do the same things that we have done for them. Let your partner give to you because they want to, not because they feel as though they owe you.

8.      Don’t stop caring about how you look!

Male or female, we’ve all done this, right? Constantly hanging out in our old gym clothes and dirty hair, eating pizza for dinner three times a week. You want to find your partner attractive and – not surprisingly – they want to find you attractive. Help them do that by keeping up with your workouts and saving sweatpants for alone time.

9.      Cultivate intimacy and independence.

It might sound counterintuitive, but you can connect while also retaining autonomy. Don’t stop doing the things that filled you up now that you’ve found a partner. Keep attending those pottery classes, keep working on your novel – and keep telling your partner all about it and why you love it. Just as important? Give them the space to pursue a few passions without you. You’ll both be that much more excited to come home and tell each other about your adventures.

10.  Inspire your partner by loving yourself fiercely.

The more you love yourself; the more others will follow your lead. We’ve all witnessed it: the confident woman who maintains healthy boundaries always seems to attract amazing partners. Do your best to identify your needs and meet those needs yourself. Need creative inspiration? Rather than trying to date an artist or force your accountant boyfriend to take drawing classes, buy a DSLR and get to shooting. Crave a more active social life? Don’t hassle your introverted girlfriend into house parties and nights out. Call up your most outgoing friends and schedule a night out, complete with cute shoes and cocktails. We teach people how to treat us and when you nourish yourself with love and respect, the world – and your partner – take notice.


Ballet Day[6]Beauty is the Foretaste of Heaven


 

When life takes me on a new journey, I simply remember the smile my first ballet recital put on my face, and I move forward.
– Andrea Thompson

 

There’s something magical about going to ballet. The music, the outfits, the utter passion of the dance as the ballet artists lose themselves to the performance, all of it comes together to create a beautiful, otherworldly experience for those in attendance. There is an almost magical power in their graceful movements across the stage, like flower petals on a stiffening breeze. Ballet Day encourages you to get out and see the ballet again, or for the first time if you haven’t already. Ballet found its origins during the Renaissance throughout Italy and France, though it had yet to evolve into the form we know it today. There were no tutus, no ballet slippers, and the iconic pointe work of ballet were all things to come in the future. It found roots in court dances, and thus incorporated the proper dance dress of women at the time, formal gowns that descended to the ankle. Unlike modern performances, the audience would join the dance as it came to a close. Later, it would come to take influences from the French ballet de cour, a form of performance which were performed strictly by the nobility, and would blend dance with speech, music, verse, song, and a great amount of pageantry. Ballet was beginning to take the shape we know of today, and it was here that it developed into a true art form. Since then, it has spread throughout the world, from Russia to Germany, and is loved everywhere for its intrinsic beauty. Since then, it has been driven to new artistic heights and embraced multiple cultures, and Ballet Day encourages you to get out and experience its beauty for yourself.

 

How to celebrate Ballet Day


Go to the ballet! That’s the first and best way.
World Ballet Day is a yearly organized event that celebrates the beauty of ballet and what it’s become in the world today. Events are held all over the world, and videos are taken, so don’t think you have to miss out on this beautiful expression of the arts simply because you aren’t able to get out to see them. Ballet will come home to you! So, get out there and get yourself some culture!

 


National Signing Day

 

National Signing Day marks the start of the college football signing season. From this day forward, high school football players can sign a National Letter of Intent to play football for a university in the National College Athletic Association (NCAA). The National Letter of Intent is a binding agreement between a potential student-athlete and a NLI member institution. Once signed, the agreement requires the athlete to attend and represent the institution for at least two semesters or three quarters, and in return, the institution must provide athletic financial aid for the same duration.  National Signing Day marks the start of many football players' careers as they transition into more professional setting. National Signing Day was established in 1981 by the College Football Association in an effort to eliminate separate conference signing dates and force student-athletes to commit to only one NCAA institution.  Prior to 1981, NCAA football conferences required recruits to sign separate letters of intent since conference letters only restricted signing within the conference itself.

 

National Signing Day Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Get out to your local park and play a game of football with your family and friends to celebrate all those who are committing to playing in NCAA football today.

·         Watch the day's events of your favorite conference live.  Most are aired live across networks such as ESPN and they can often be found online.

·         Review some of the student-athlete rules and criteria in order to gain a better understanding of the players' responsibilities and duties in addition to playing ball. Some basic requirements include:
1) earn at least a 2.3 GPA in core courses
2) earn at least 9 credits per semester
3) adhere to amateurism requirements (limiting agent involvement, prize money, salaries and contracts with professional teams)

·         Watch a movie about NCAA Football. Our favorites are Friday Night Lights (2004), The Blind Side (2009), Rudy (1993) and The Express (2008).

·         Support a local high school football team. Your financial and time donations can mean the chance to get a scholarship for a high school student to pursue university studies.


Play More Cards Day[7]

Cards get a bad rap sometimes—and true, there are cards games that can be very addictive if not kept under control. But cards can also be the source of great entertainment for friends who just want to hang out and spend some time together, laughing and relaxing. In general, however, playing cards is fun, and as with most fun things that relax us, it’s typically a good idea to do more of them and let your brain take a break from the stress it’s used to for a change. This is where Play More Cards Day comes in. Play More Cards Day was created in 2013 by Bicycle Cards, the biggest producer of playing cards in the United States. The company began producing their cards in 1885, and they have since had sizable roles in various important historical events. For example, during World War II, the deck was designed as a puzzle, which when put together, became a map. This map was supposed to help potential prisoners make their way to safety once they escaped. Wars also prompted Bicycle Cards to create waterproof cards that would not peel, rip or fall apart after coming into contact with water or moisture. During the Vietnam War, the ace of spades printed on Bicycle Cards’ playing cards was thought to have severe psychological effects on the Viet Cong, which viewed it as a symbol of death and infinite bad luck for their activities. Initially, this rumor was false, but as time went by and American soldiers continued to use Bicycle Cards’ ace of spades as their symbol, it eventually did become a relevant part of Vietnam War psychological warfare symbolism.

How to Celebrate Play More Cards Day

The simplest, as well as the most fun way to celebrate this day, is to, in fact, play more cards. Do you have a favorite card game? If not, find out what you like best by trying out a few different card games. Some people find playing a card game in which you have no partner or team especially fun and challenging, while others prefer the company of another teammate to help them out if they get in a fix, like the Polish cards game Hola. If you’re a person who values peace and quiet above all other things, playing solitaire with real cards as opposed to just clicking on them could prove entertaining. Choose whichever card game you want to play on this day, the only requirement is that you have a good time. Another great way to make sure a party (even a small one) is a success is to have various foods to snack on. If you’re all to be touching cards, it would probably be best of the snacks you choose were not too greasy so as not to dirty the cards. With baked chips becoming all the more popular compared to regular deep-fried chips, that could turn out to be a much easier criterion to meet than it seems. And if all else fails, you and your friends can simply take a break from the game to fill up on something tasty, and them go right back to what you were doing.

Deck of Cards[8]

Song by Tex Ritter 

Friends, this is Tex Ritter with a strange story about a soldier boy and a deck of cards. During a North African campaign, a bunch of soldier boys had been on a long hike, and they arrived in a little town called Casino." 

The next morning being Sunday several of the boys went to church. A Sargent commanded the boys in church, and after the Chaplain had read the prayer the text was taken up next. Those of the boys who had a prayer book took them out, but this one boy only had a deck of cards, and so he spread them out. The Sergeant saw the cards and said, "Soldier, put away those cards." After the services were over the soldier was taken prisoner and brought before the Provost Marshall. 

The Marshall said, "Sargent, why have you brought this man here?" 

"For playing cards in church, sir." 

"And what have you to say for yourself, son?" 

"Much, sir." replied the soldier. 

'The Marshall said, "I hope so, for if not, I shall punish you more than any man was ever punished." 

The soldier said, "Sir, I have been on a march for about six days, and I had neither Bible nor Prayer Book, but I hope to satisfy you, Sir, with the purity of my intentions." 

With that the boy started his story. 

"You see, Sir, when I look at the Ace it reminds me that there is but one God. The deuce reminds me that the Bible is divided into two parts: The Old and New Testaments. And when I see the trey I think of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. When I see the four, I think of the four evangelist who preached the Gospel. There was Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And when I see the five it reminds me of the five wise virgins who trimmed their lamps. Ten of 'em; five who were wise and were saved; five were foolish and were shut out. And when I see the six it reminds me that in six days God made this great heaven and earth. And when I see the seven it reminds me that on the seventh day God rested from His great work. When I see the eight, I think of the eight righteous persons God saved when he destroyed this earth. There was Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their wives. And when I see the nine, I think of the lepers our Savior cleansed, and nine of the ten didn't even thank Him. When I see the ten, I think of the Ten Commandments God handed down to Moses on a tablet of stone. When I see the King, it reminds me that there is but one King of Heaven, God Almighty. And when I see the queen, I think of the Blessed Virgin Mary who is Queen of Heaven. And the jacks, or knaves, it's the devil. And when I count the number of spots on a deck of cards, I find three hundred sixty-five the number of days in a year. Fifty-two cards, the number of weeks in a year. Four suits, the number of weeks in a month. Twelve picture cards, the number of months in a year. Thirteen tricks, the number of weeks in a quarter. So, you see, Sir, my pack of cards serve me as a Bible, almanac, and prayer book." 

"Friends, I know this story is true, because I knew that soldier."

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

CHAPTER THREE-GOD'S SALVATION: LAW AND GRACE

Article 3-THE CHURCH, MOTHER AND TEACHER

IN BRIEF

2047 The moral life is a spiritual worship. Christian activity finds its nourishment in the liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments.

2048 The precepts of the Church concern the moral and Christian life united with the liturgy and nourished by it.

2049 The Magisterium of the Pastors of the Church in moral matters is ordinarily exercised in catechesis and preaching, on the basis of the Decalogue which states the principles of moral life valid for every man.

2050 The Roman Pontiff and the bishops, as authentic teachers, preach to the People of God the faith which is to be believed and applied in moral life. It is also encumbent on them to pronounce on moral questions that fall within the natural law and reason.

2051 The infallibility of the Magisterium of the Pastors extends to all the elements of doctrine, including moral doctrine, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, expounded, or observed.

The Ten Commandments

Exodus 20 2-17

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant or your maidservant or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.

You shall not kill.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or his maidservant or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's.

Deuteronomy 5:6-21

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt out of the house of bondage.

You shall have no other gods before me . . .

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain . . .

Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy. . .

Honor your father and your mother . . .

You shall not kill.

Neither shall you commit adultery.

Neither shall you steal.

Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor.

Neither shall you covet your neighbor's wife.

You shall not desire . . . anything that is your neighbor's.

A Traditional Catechetical Formula

1. I am the LORD your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.

2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

3. Remember to keep holy the LORD'S Day.

4. Honor your father and your mother.

5. You shall not kill.

6. You shall not commit adultery.

7. You shall not steal.

8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

9. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.


Daily Devotions 

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Holy Bishops and Cardinals

·         Religion in the Home for Preschool: February

·         Enjoy a hot chocolate today

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Make Minestrone

·         Rosary

 


FROM ONE YEAR AGO
This is from John Paul II


 

·       March in a Mardi Gras Parade Through February 13

Fat Tuesday — the day before Ash Wednesday — is the biggest party of the year in cities like New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro. If you can’t make it to one of those places, try Mobile, Alabama; Nice, France; Venice Italy or Binche, Belgium.


 

·       See Punxsutawney Phil's Prediction

o   February 2

Bundle up, grab some hot coffee and bring your lawn chair to Gobbler’s Knob before dawn on Groundhog Day. Then watch as Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, the Prognosticator of Prognosticators reveals his end-of-winter prediction.


 

·       Chill Out at Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

o   February 2-13

Party Adirondack style. Since its start back in 1897, the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival has grown into one of the oldest winter carnivals in America. The 10-day event showcases plenty of winter magic, from an ice palace made from blocks of ice to the coronation of a winter carnival king and queen.


 

·       Watch the Big Game

o   February 4

Head to Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium to see the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots go head to head for the NFL championship title. If you’re not lucky enough to score tickets, head to the Philly or Boston, you’re bound to find plenty of bowl-watching parties.


 

·       Walk the Runway at Fashion Week

o   February 8-16

Fabulous fashionistas stay ahead of the fashion curve here. Officially known as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, this biannual bash is New York City’s single-largest media event, attracting more than 100,000 fashion-industry insiders from around the world.

 


·       Watch the Winter Olympics

o   February 8-25

If you can make it to PyeongChang, South Korea, tickets are still available for the 2018 games. Six new events are being introduced this year including snowboard big air (men’s and women’s), speed skating mass start (men’s and women’s) and curling mixed doubles. This means that the total number of gold medal events will be 102, the most ever contested at an Olympic Winter Games.


 

·       Smell the Flowers at Tulipmania

o   February 10-18

Head to San Francisco’s iconic Pier 39 for Tulipmania. You’ll see over 39,000 blooming tulips and other garden favorites. Guided tours and gardening tips are provided by Pier 39’s landscaping experts. The tours start at 10 a.m. daily at the Crab Statue in the Entrance Plaza and end with a special treat from Trish’s Mini Donuts. The tulips typically begin blooming in early February and last through mid-March.


 

·       See the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

o   February 12-13

Celebrate man’s best friend at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The two-day event at New York City's Madison Square Garden features more than 2,700 pooches going tail to tail to win the coveted Best in Breed title.


 

·       Celebrate Valentine’s Day International Style

o   February 14

Many cultures celebrate Valentine’s Day, but they do it in a variety of ways. In Germany, not only do people exchange chocolate and flowers, they also give pigs (toy ones mostly) because they symbolize luck and lust. In Denmark, people send one another poems and rhymes on stationery cut into the shapes of flowers and snowdrops.


 

·       Attend a Horse Show

o   February 15-25

Visit the 63rd annual Arabian Horse Show in Scottsdale, Arizona to watch over 2,400 horses compete for a chance at winning the coveted gold title. In between the competitions, there are plenty of kids’ activities like an ice cream social, pony painting (ceramic ponies, not real ones), and art contests. And the best part, kids 17 and under are free. 






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