Thursday, June 30, 2011

Embracing the Season...Bugs, Worms and All

I woke up today and thought it was Friday. Needless to say, I was disappointed when I heard the sound of the Rumpke Recycling truck and soon after heard the sound of my recycling bin being emptied and realized as I lay in bed that it was, in fact, Thursday.

I decided to embrace the fact that I still had another day to go until the weekend because, well, I quite like Thursdays. They’re on the downward slide of the climb towards the weekend. Also, during the regular TV season, they’re good nights for TV. Also…I just like Thursdays.

When I got to work and we had our morning meeting, my boss asked if anyone else felt like it was Friday. I was surprised that several people said yes and not just me. It must be the anticipation of the three-day weekend.

Even though we do have to work tomorrow, I anticipate it being rather quiet. That’s the thing with holiday weekends. People leave early and come back late so the days before and after the holiday are pretty quiet.

I don’t mind. In there, for me, are three lovely days away from the office where I get to hang out with my mother and my pups and just enjoy the summer days.

Even though summer isn’t my favourite season, I’m finding ways to appreciate it. Obviously, the best way that I appreciate it is through food. I love summer food. I love going outside, picking fresh basil and tossing it with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella to make the perfect summer caprese salad. I love seeing the cucumber on my vine growing to the size of one you actually buy in a store and knowing that I had a part in that cucumber growing. I love the promise of my own fresh tomatoes as the first flowers on my tomato plants appear.

Most of all, I love that everything is so…fresh.

That’s the thing with winter food. While I love it’s heartiness and the comfort food overtones of autumn and winter flavours, it’s not fresh. It’s heavy as cold-weather food should be.

It’s why I love the seasons. It’s so nice that when we’re finally getting tired of salads and grilled fare, it’s time to bring out the pumpkins, winter squash and stewed dishes. Then, when we’re growing tired of heavier winter fare suddenly the first asparagus and fresh vegetables appear in the stores.

So, even though I’m not a fan of the heat and humidity of the lazy days of summer, I do appreciate the fresh produce it gives me. I love grilling a piece of fish quickly and having it with two sides of fresh veggies.

I also love that I can sit outside in the evenings and appreciate the summer nights. Granted, these evenings are accompanied by the gentle ‘whirr’ of my Off battery operated mosquito fan but it’s still a nice way to spend the evenings. I do think that the mosquito fan works. The only thing is that it only works on mosquitoes. There are still plenty of other irritating little insect life forms that circle but since they don’t bite like mosquitoes, it’s not so bad.

I like to sit outside until it’s just about to get dark when the fireflies first come out. I find there’s something magical about fireflies. One minute, it’s dusk and then it’s filled with these little sparks of green glow that flicker out so quickly you wonder if they were ever there.

My only problem with the fireflies is that I have to remind Sookie constantly not to eat them. Unfortunately, she’s got a certain fondness towards eating bugs. Well, she doesn’t actually eat them as much as like to catch them with her mouth for sport. Of course, she accidentally kills them at which point they’re no longer fun and she spits them out. Sometimes, she brings them as a gift. It’s a little vile but a dog’s got to do what a dog’s got to do.

Rory, on the other hand, doesn’t like bugs. Her preference is worms- dried ones. I discovered when we were out for a walk one night after it had been rainy for a few days and then the sun had been shining for a few more. The rain had caused a mass population of worms to be washed onto the paths and roads. Then, when the sun shone, they dried up and their little dessicated corpses were all that remained.

To me, they were rather yucky little additions to our nightly work. To Rory, they were a sumptuous feast. It took me a while to realize why it was taking my little dachshund so long to catch up to Sookie and I when I realized she was trying to eat all the worms.

Yes, again, this is a little vile. However…worms are supposed to nutritious…right? I did try and stop her for a while but unless we just stopped going for walks, the sheer amount of dried worms that were out there made it impossible. Also, we had some on our patio. I just made sure to give her some teeth cleaning biscuits after she’d had her ‘feast’.

I will say that the eating of the worms and bugs are not exactly one of the best things about summer but, well, in the winter, I deal with snow-covered dogs who like to go out and roll in the white stuff and then come in and roll on the carpet to get the snow off.

Each season has its merits. When summer gets really hot, muggy and comfortable, I might start looking towards Autumn but, for now, I’m enjoying the fact that the summer bring fresh food, long days and fireflies.

I also like that it brings us a nice long Fourth of July Weekend. I intend to enjoy mine. I hope you do too!

Happy Friday!

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