Valentines day is always a fun event in our home.
We have wonderful food, small special gifts, handmade valentines, desserts to die for and a fair amount of “give and take” in this celebration.
It is not just mom-sided. My husband always has a gift for me! This year I am hoping to get more grout – or, at least, the work that goes on making your investment a “home”. Grout is a particularly fluid form of concrete used to fill gaps. So far, I have been the master of adding more to Kevin’s to do list in Roatan.
But – this year something is missing. At first, I thought it was the hole in my heart where Jackie is missing. Or a hole in my heart where Grant is missing. I tell you when those kids go off to college, it is a new feeling for many of us. If you have not yet heard about Tina Quick’s Book “The Global Nomad’s Guide to Univeristy Transition“ on Amazon, and you are an Expat with a high school student, you should!
Yes, it is true I miss Jackie and Grant, but we are connected by electronic ways so we can support each other and be a part of each other’s life. It is more than that. It is the fact my Mom is missing and all that she brought into my life. Endless trips to Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma and her countless trips around the world to visit her grandkids. It is through all these trips that I got closer and closer to my brothers and sisters. I am missing them.
When we lived in Bangkok, I headed out on my staycation. My driver gave me a beautiful potted orchid from his garden. He had gone orchid shopping with my husband over the weekend to help Kevin get me a special valentine day gift. The Driver said, “Happy Valentine’s Day, you never have enough orchids.” That holiday I had two of the most beautiful orchids in Thailand.
Staycation is when an International School Counselor has a vacation, and she elects to stay in the host country to enjoy an “at home” time.
Then it hit me now I need to show Kevin all the places he can buy flowers in Roatan! We have so many friends to be thankful for and so many people fill our lives with love, but you never have enough flowers in your life.
I feel when you live in places that are remote or without some the finer things in life, you are often more compassionate. I feel blessed that my kids lived in places they could learn to be kind and compassionate to members in our host country.
Imagine a chocolate martini “drop and run” event.
Many years ago we lived in Duri, Indonesia and it was hard to get good food, interesting ingredients, and unique things so I made an afternoon run to the homes of my teacher friends. I convinced the maid in each household that I had permission to put two large full martini glasses in the owner’s freezer and that they would understand and “get” them after school. Then I left a nice little valentine day card on their kitchen table and went off in my Kejang to the next friend’s home location.
Things I learned that Valentine’s day.
It is easier to carry all the ingredients in an ice cold jug of chocolate martini‘s, chocolate fudge to rim the glasses, chocolate kisses to drop in the middle the glass and strawberries rimmed in chocolate to garnish the glass.
The first friend’s house I went to was a disaster. I had made their martinis in my home and put their martini glasses on a tray ready to go in the freezer. Yikes, I had forgotten about the Sumatran heat in February! I had to drink one of the “gifts” because the chocolate rim was dripping in the heat and I was dripping. I made their valentine note contain a cute comment about “love is sharing.” There was no need for them to know that they were missing one gift!
The rest of the homes were more successful because I mixed up the concoctions at their own kitchen table. The maids watched me and just looked, they trusted me. I had a good feeling about giving something that was impossible to get in the jungles of Sumatra. All of the ingredients had come back with me from an orthodontic trip with the kids to Singapore. This was when you could actually carry good stuff on the airplanes.
For you see, I am a serial expat. This is my third time to live in Indonesia. I have lived 1/2 as long in Indonesia as I have in my place that I still call “home.” Nine years in Indonesia and 18 years in Kansas.
Now, I just need to give more thought to my friends here in Roatan to see how I can show them “love or that I care” . . . hum
Perhaps when I prefect the heart wine pour, I will scoot around the island and share my talent! Or maybe I should find all the ingredients and share these on the pier.
Ingredients for Chocolate Martinis
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup clear chocolate vodka
- 2 cups clear Creme de Cacao
- 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- mint sprigs for garnish
- Directions for Mix:
- Measure the vodkas and Creme de Cacao and combine them into a clean glass bottle with a cap. Gently shake to mix and Then place the bottle in the freezer for at least one hour to chill.
- Directions for the glasses:
- Heat the chocolate in a double boiler until it is melted. Dip the rims of four martini glasses into the chocolate to coat, and then into a bowl of granulated sugar. Place glasses in the freezer to set up the chocolate.
- To serve:
- Straight from the freezer, pour desired amount of vodka mixture into a martini shaker and shake with ice to mix. Remove glasses from the freezer, pour chilled and shaken martini mix into each glass, garnish with a sprig of mint or a chocolate covered strawberry, and get ready to make a make a toast. Cheers!
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