My heart goes out to them

Hadn't planned to paint a plastic heart on Valentine's Day, but it's worked out that way. It'll be part of my Artfest piece. Doesn't it look like a real one in miniature? Either that, or a piece of ABC gum.

I believe that God made chocolate because he loves us and wants us to be happy. (Apologies to Ben Franklin for that one.) But news this Valentine's Day reminds me to be picky about where a chocolatier buys their cacao beans. Jesus, I've been to Ghana. Some of the most beautiful children I've ever seen in my life live there. But endangering the health and lives of children is an acceptable cost of doing business for some corporations.

Maybe George Bush doesn't care about black people, but FEMA does. Today I also found out that FEMA loves black people in Louisiana. After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained that it's bad for humans to live and breathe in formaldehyde-leaching trailers, that is.

Surprise, surprise: I'm not much of a Valentine's Day person. I do buy cards, and I do like receiving flowers. But I'm no longer the type to make valentines for everyone, and I'm more interested in what those little candy hearts say than how many I can fit into my mouth. (Approximately 15.)

Plus, I used to work in TV news. That either cures you of velvet and lace, or it sends you into the deep end of the frilly stuff.

The Husband says he's not a Valentine's Day person either. But he bought me several sci-fi books (they're also for himself; we have very similar tastes) this week, including a sequel that I'm dying to read. And last night, he bought me a pair of avocados [mmm... drool slobber] and a small box of Dilettante chocolates -- the kind he brought me on our first date. He likes how appreciative I am of the just-because gifts he brings home.

It's probably sticking my head in the sand, but these little expressions of love in my life make me feel like there must be enough love in the rest of the world to change the big stuff. The chocolate-from-Third-World-children and formaldehyde-poisoning stuff.

The best Valentine's gift, hands down: The Husband's belief in me as an artist. He even made me an Executive Crafting Kit, which you'll see if you're going to Artfest. It's a briefcase he outfitted with wooden dividers for my supplies, and strips of Velcro and faux red velvet ribbon hold the contents in their respective compartments. Whenever I go arting somewhere, I get ooh's and aaah's and someone invariably says, "Ooh, he's a keeper!"

Yes, he is.