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Valentine’s Day facts and gures E

very year, couples get together on Valentine’s Day to express their affection for one another. This February 14, consider the following interesting facts and figures when celebrating Valentine’s Day: •According to research from Hallmark, more than half of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased within six days prior the holiday. That’s especially interesting as Hallmark research also indicates more than half of the United States population celebrates the day by purchasing a greeting card. •There are more single men than single women. For every 100 single women in their 20’s, there are 119 single men in the same age group. •Dating service establishments continue to be popular means for meeting a prospective soulmate. Nearly 1,000 dating services, which include online dating Web sites, exist and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue annually. •Hallmark research indicates that more than 140 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year. •43,322 people were employed by establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2004. California was home to 136 of those establishments, leading the nation. •The average American consumed 25.7 pounds of candy on 2005, which actually represents a significant decline from 1997, when Americans consumed roughly 27 pounds of candy on average. • There are roughly 2.2 million marriages per year in the United States. •In 2005, there were slightly less than 5 million opposite-sex cohabitating couples in the United States, reflecting a growing trend of couples living together

before walking down the aisle. •Men and women in the northeastern United States tend to get married for the first time later than their male counterparts throughout the rest of the country. For example, men in Massachusetts were a median age of 29.1 years of age at first marriage, while women were 27.4 years old. In Utah, however, men averaged 23.9 years of age at first marriage, while women were a median of 21.9 years. •Seventy percent of men and women between the ages of 30 and 34 in 2008 had been married at some point in their lives.

Candy facts •1,317 - Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2008, employing 38,369 people. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 146, followed by Pennsylvania, with 115. •422 - Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionary products in 2008. These establishments employed 16,860 people. California led the nation in this category, with 47 establishments. •$12.2 billion - Total value of shipments in 2008 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products. Nonchocolate confectionery product manufacturing, meanwhile, was a $7.1 billion industry. •3,375 - Number of confectionery and nut stores in the United States in 2008. •24.3 pounds - Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2009. (www.census.gov)

He loves me, he loves me not

Flowers

•$359 million - The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut owers in 2009 for all ower-producing operations with $100,000 or more in sales. Among states, California was the leading producer, alone accounting for about three-quarters of this amount ($269 million). Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1072>

•$18 million - The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut roses in 2009 for all operations with $100,000 or more in sales. Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service <http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1072>

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•18,509 - The number of orists nationwide in 2008. These businesses employed 89,741 people. Source: County Business Patterns <http://censtats.census.gov/cgi-bin/cbpnaic/cbpdetl.pl>

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re you looking for a meaningful Valentine’s Day without spending a dime? Share the gifts below. •Compliment Your Mate Inside and Out: There are two types of compliments: those that address a person’s outer appearance and those that address a person’s inner character. Surprisingly, our research shows 84 percent of people prefer to receive a character compliment as in, “You are an incredibly kind person.” over a comment like “your hair looks great.” Start sharing character comments with your honey today. •Show You Care: We all experience unique events during our busy days so when our mate shows interest in our day’s happenings it creates an immediate loving bond with him/her. Find something in your mate’s schedule on Valentine’s Day (and other days too) such as a special meeting, an important errand, A doctor’s appt., and call/text/email mid-day to specifically ask how it went. •If you want to have a special Valentine’s Day, it’s important to persuade your mate that he or she is special to you every day, not just on Valentine’s Day. Do this by “talking forward.” Take charge and make a thoughtful plan for the future. On Valentine’s Day, say, “I’d like to make a special plan for us next month. Let’s go to _____. (fill in with something your mate enjoys, such as a museum, the theatre, shopping, a road trip, etc.)? What do you think?” •If you want to receive instant love and appreciation from your honey, volunteer to do something for your mate before he or she asks you to do it. For example, offer to pick something up at the store, offer to repair something, prepare dinner or offer to put your kids to bed (if you don’t usually). A surefire way to boost your

you because….”. You will spark love and romance this Valentine’s Day (and the year through) by showering your sweetheart with the priceless gift of words. Visit www.fightlesslovemore.com and pick up a copy of my bestselling book Fight Less, Love More for more astonishing love-building advice and information.

love life is to make an offer. It says to your mate, I care about you and when you’re happy, I’m happy. •Be Memorable: Do and say memorable things this Valentine’s Day and year round. Instead of dining out, create a candlelit indoor picnic. Sing karaoke together. Arrange for a massage-together. Post love notes in surprise places. Buy a lasting plant instead of flowers. Phone your mate to give a heartfelt comment during the day like, “I love

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Be a great Valentine give the gift of words A

Laurie Puhn J.D., is a Harvard-educated lawyer, couples mediator, relationship expert and television personality who frequently appears on Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, Fox News Channel and CNN. She is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Fight Less, Love More: 5 Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In. Visit www. fightlesslovemore.com for more information.

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Men, learn how to cook for your sweetheart

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or guys who want to do something extra special this Valentine’s Day, the Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel is offering a complimentary cooking class for men on Thursday, Feb. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. to teach them how to prepare a truly romantic Valentine’s Day dinner for that someone special. According to Executive Chef R. Tyler Murray, the cooking demonstration will show participants how to prepare a Shrimp Cocktail Martini, a Field Green Salad, Chicken Milanese; and Chocolate Covered Strawberries. The class is complimentary, however, advance reservations are required and can be made by calling 843-534-0300. Complimentary parking is available.

Celebrate a love-themed night Michael Viljac as the “King” and Preferred Choice DJ Services

843-345-9084. Additional tickets will be available at the show. Glenn L. Jeffers VFW is located in Mount Pleasant. No outside bever-

ages are permitted. Cash, or personal checks only. Glenn L. Jeffers VFW Post 10624 is located at 1411 Stuart Engals Blvd.

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Tired of the cold, lonesome nights without any fun? Plan to celebrate a night of fun-filled entertainment and music with your favorite Valentine “Teddy Bear” on Saturday, Feb. 12, 8 p.m . at Glenn L. Jeffers VFW Post 10624 in Mount Pleasant. Guests will enjoy a night of musical fun via Michael Viljac, “Elvis the King style,” dancing and singing some of your favorite rock and roll songs. Additional music will be courtesy of Preferred Choice DJ Services. Tickets for the show are $10. Michael Viljac performs a mesmerizing act with a dynamic voice so powerful you will be certain Elvis Presley is singing. A resident of Mount Pleasant, Michael Viljac performs music from the era of Elvis Presley, combining his unique stage presence, with an amazing voice, stunning costumes, and talent that brings the style of Elvis the King back to life. Viljac shakes, rattles, and rolls with the energy and vocal talents he has performed since 1996 in his Concert Ultimate Elvis Tribute, To purchase tickets, phone

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Surviving Valentine’s Day after your sweetheart has passed away Although Valentine’s Day is meant to celebrate love, it can bring bittersweet memories and pain to anyone left alone in this world of couples. Joni Aldrich offers some heartfelt advice to help comfort those who are grieving a lost loved one this Feb. 14. For kids, Valentine’s Day is a time to exchange funny cards and eat boxes of chocolate. For adults, it’s often much more than just a time to send flowers and buy heart jewelry, chocolates, and cards—it’s a time to rededicate your love to one special person. But when you’re a widow or widower, or have lost your love due to any unfortunate life circumstance, Cupid’s arrow can pierce your heart in a very different way on Feb. 14. What was once a holiday of “warm fuzzies” can turn into a sorrowful day to overcome. Yet, says author Joni Aldrich, most grief counseling focuses on the holidays in December, not the one in February. In 2006, she lost her husband Gordon after a two-year battle with cancer.

In her book about surviving grief - The Losing of Gordon: A Beacon Through the Storm Called “Grief” Aldrich tells the inspirational story of her own rebuilding after losing her husband. Each chapter begins with a touching, yet inspirational letter to Gordon that Joni wrote during her grief “process.” If you are facing this Valentine’s Day by yourself, perhaps for the first time, Aldrich offers some thoughts that might make the day easier to navigate. •Prepare in advance. Maybe it’s true that ignorance is bliss. Even if you wanted to forget about the existence of “V-Day,” though, our consumer-driven culture wouldn’t let you. There is no secret formula—we’re all different—but try to focus on the fact that it’s just one day.” •Know what to avoid. “Stay away from restaurants,” Aldrich advises. Along those lines, avoid any of the ‘old favorites’ that might be painful. Order take-out or cook at home, but don’t fix that special dinner you used to make with the person you loved.”

•Stay busy. If you’re dreading the rush of painful emotions and memories that Valentine’s Day will bring, try to plan an activity that will take your mind off of things. Instead, focus on a new project that you really enjoy, such as redecorating your home.” •Allow the emotions to come. Grief never fits into a neat timetable, and that it’s unhealthy to pretend that everything’s okay when it’s not “Try not to focus on the flowers and hand-holding and candy. Remember that it’s okay to cry. Let the emotions come—just try to keep them from overwhelming you. It’s okay to remember those whom you loved and lost.” •Turn your love to other treasures. “Buy a box of the old, simple Valentines you distributed as a child and send one to each of your friends? Every day is a good day to tell those whom you love how you feel. And don’t forget to love yourself in the process.” To get more information on getting through this romantic holiday without a loved one, visit www.thecancerlifeline. com and www.griefbeacon. com.

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Taste Of Italy To Your P A g n i g late.” ”Brin

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12B.MOULTRIE NEWS ___________________________________ www.moultrienews.com _____________________________ Wednesday, February 9, 2011

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Valentines Day 2011