Monday, September 26, 2011

It's a beautiful time of year...

I have to say that I'm a HUGE fan of Fall and Winter. I know that I'm not in the majority here, but I love it and I'd like to explain why.

First there is the feel of the weather. I love to walk outside and feel the cool air and see my breath. It's just so invigorating. Not everyone enjoys cold weather, but it gives me energy and makes me feel alive.

But there is another reason that I love the cool weather of Fall and Winter. Have you ever noticed that winter weather tends to bring family together? In the summer, people generally spread out all over the place doing all sorts of activities. Whether it's vacation, sporting events, or simply being with friends, there are a myriad of things that keep people busy and more or less running from place to place and activity to activity. But in the winter, that changes. The weather keeps people from doing as much travelling and while some activities increase at times, many others are lessened.

When I think of cold weather, I don't think of coats and snow and bad roads. I think of family. In the winter, people tend to spend more time at home. Most of my best family memories have been made during the winter when we COULDN'T go somewhere or do something because of the weather. In fact, some of my best memories come from those times when we would lose electricity for an extended period of time. Twice, we've lost electricity for several days and during those times we would huddle around a fireplace for warmth and use candles for light. During those times we would laugh, play games, talk and generally just enjoy being together. When people are "stuck" inside because of the weather, they are usually more relaxed because they simply can't do anything else. So they allow themselves to enjoy their time with those around them without that constant nagging feeling that they should be doing something else. That simply doesn't happen in the summer.

Is it any wonder why I love the winter? Summer equals crazy schedules and people running every which way. Winter equals a forced slower pace and often the opportunity to spend time with family. In my opinion, there is just no contest.

Happy Fall and Winter everyone!!! May it be filled with making lots of good memories with your family.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Saga of the Peas - Part 3 "The Harvest"

EUREKA!!! I grew peas! And they said it couldn't be done! Well, I did it.

Before I left on vacation, there were three pea pods growing on my plant and when I returned, there were four! I know that probably seems like not much to be excited about, but you have to consider three important factors:

1) I have a black thumb.

2) I'd never attempted any type of gardening before.

3) Apparently you are supposed to plant peas early in the Spring because they don't do very well in the heat of summer. Something I was not aware of when I planted them at the very end of May.

So, my entire harvest was FOUR PEA PODS! However, once I opened the pods and dumped out the peas, there were more like 10 peas. Now, the problem became, how do I cook such a small number of peas? There wasn't enough to have them be their own side dish. So, I borrowed the smallest pot I could find and cooked them up and then put them into a casserole. Then not only did they look like there was more, but they added a bit of color to the dish.

They were pretty tasty, but I really wasn't able to judge if I would like them better than the fresh frozen kind that I buy in the store, so I suppose I'll have to try this experiement again next year. Who knows...perhaps I'll even double my harvest. :-)