Everyone is all gaga over pumpkin spice this and pumpkin spice that, but I’m just sitting over here in my corner saying BOO to fall. I really don’t like it. There I said it! I know, haters are gonna hate on me, but that’s the truth in a nutshell, I can’t even pretend I love it. So, I won’t. Sorry not sorry. I’m not going to apologize that I am a summer girl and you can’t change my mind. Don’t get me wrong; there are some perks to fall that I’m A-OK with (like Halloween candy being sold in September and decorating for Halloween and then handing out candy to all the cuties in their costumes, that is assuming I have any candy left for them), but it usually takes countless pep talks to turn my frown upside down and by the time I do, it’s already winter and if it wasn’t for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’d be writing an “I dislike winter” post. Although I know that summer is difficult for many people with MS, I struggle more in the rainy and cold weather. The climate where I live is perfect for me in the spring and summer – not too hot, not too cold, but just right – like goldilocks porridge. I just don’t get the allure or appeal of fall (or winter for that matter).
I don’t know about where you live but I feel like summer just flew by – we went camping a couple of times but didn’t really venture out far for multiple reasons. But life goes on, seasons change and we are on to pants season here on the East coast of beautiful VI. And that there is reason # 1 why I dislike fall…..the fact that I have to wear pants again. Am I the only one who is happier living in shorts and cute summer dresses? Here are a few more reasons to support my case that fall is on my “don’t like it” list.
# 2 – Bulky sweaters. With my MS, my skin is sensitive. Sometimes it feels like I have little fire ants crawling on me, other times it feels like I am rubbing up against sandpaper and sweaters and pants only add to the discomfort. Plus, its cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon then cold again when the sun sets – its totally confusing. It’s like Mother Nature is PMS’ing, having an identity crisis or maybe she’s deep into menopause. Warm and sweating one minute and cold and clammy the next and she just can’t make up her damn mind. I don’t need any reminders about impending menopause, thank you very much.
# 3 – Spiders. Those 8-legged bas&%#ds are everywhere and with that is their damn spider webs. And, with every year that goes by, it seems like the spiders grow bigger. I walked into a lovely web yesterday that was like walking into a holey crocheted potholder. But this potholder had things hanging in it (bugs, leaves, etc) and I screamed like the little baby I am when accosted by a silky sticky dental floss like structure meant to catch prey and apparently, I was the victim of the hour. The terror didn’t stop there, when I thought I had sufficiently destroyed his handiwork by flailing around and dancing like an elephant in a tutu, I turned to go back towards the house and the little bas&%#d spider had another booby trap lined up for me. For a construction job done right people, save yourself some money and get a spider to do it.
# 4 – Leaves. There are leaves everywhere………just ask my neighbors. Because how the wind blows in our neighborhood, most of our leaves end up in their yard. I walk outside feeling guilty when I look next door and silently curse the wind and the trees which I love and will never cut down if I can help it. So, I’m sorry guys………. We did however buy a good leaf blower this year so there is hope that we will be the responsible neighbors that we strive to be and clean our leaves off your yard!
# 5 – PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. Yucky, nasty, gross. I don’t like pumpkin spice, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin yogurt, and I can’t even say that I like pumpkin pie, I just can’t do it. I don’t want to smell it, drink it, eat it or hear people talk nonstop about it. Even Tim Horton’s has gotten on the Pumpkin Spice train, someone please stop this madness. No thank you, I think I’ll pass. I do however, like pumpkin seeds. Oh right, I also like Pamela Pumpkin (https://youtube/kFFMAyE7Zdc), she is absolutely hilarious, check her out, you just may become a believer. So you see, I’m not completely heartless where pumpkins are concerned.
# 6 – Long dark nights. I love the early evening breeze of summer when we sleep with the windows open and listen to the crickets and frogs singing to us as we drift off to sleep. This makes falling asleep a lovely night time ritual that I look forward to (at least it is when sleep finally comes to me). However, when the nights get longer and the cold weather appears, windows are shut, heat is turned on, and there you are, trying to sleep with a silent, boring, stuffy room. Who in their right mind would choose these long, dull nights for the soothing summer ones?
# 7 – No more Village Ice. This is the saddest of sad – Village Ice is a small family run food truck type thing tucked in an alley in the little village of Cumberland. It’s a hidden treasure that us locals like to keep all to ourselves and while I am telling you about it, you may be hard pressed to find it. This yummy treat tastes just like better than we had on our trip to Hawaii. They make their own syrups out of fresh ingredients, and organic cane sugar and they are out of this world! We try to head there weekly through the summer so we can fill our bellies enough to handle the Village Ice withdrawals through the long fall and winter months!
# 8 – No more sandals and cute shoes. My toes again need to get locked up in boots and running shoes while all my nice cute sandals are shunned and stuffed in the closet all alone.
# 9 – No more hide and seek with the vegetable garden. I’m a little bummed that my morning no longer consists of finding sneaky zucchini, tomatoes or cucumbers. Oh well, the good news is that my veggie surplus will be lasting all year long because I canned as much as I could so I can put that sh&^ on everything; winter, Spring, summer and fall!
# 10 – Winter comes after fall. Enough said.
So, it’s probably obvious now that summer is my favorite season, but I hope you can see that there are a few things I can tolerate about this time of year so you can stop thinking I am a completely lost and heartless soul. However, trust me when I say that I wouldn’t mind living in a world where every day was 80 degrees and rain only happened on Thursdays. Luckily Arizona is again in my future for a couple of months!
If it’s still summer where you live, don’t worry the clock is ticking and your time will come but know that it’s ok if you aren’t dusting off your pom-poms to give it a special welcome cheer, because I am right there with you sister (or brother)!
Now, I’m sure you would all love the recipe for my Roasted tomato basil pasta sauce so you too can enjoy the veggies from your garden all year long, so here you go!
Canned Roasted Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
In the cold winter, you’ll still be able to taste the summer flavor of your garden in this tasty canned homemade pasta sauce
IngredientsYou will need:
Salt and pepper
Basil & Honey
- Halve the tomatoes and place them in a large bowl or roasting pan. Whatever kind of tomatoes you have will work but Roma tomatoes have less water in them and more meat.
- Add the garlic – at least a whole head peeled
- Add the onion – at least 1 medium onion depending on your taste preference and how many tomatoes you have. Cut in quarters and toss into the bowl.
- Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Don’t be stingy on these either.
- Dig your hands in and toss it all up until everything is coated then stick in a 400° oven for 35-45 minutes. You will want the skins shriveled and starting to look roasted or blackened in a couple of places.
- While the veggies are roasting, get out your canning jars. Sterilize 8 quart sized jars in hot water ( I run them through the dishwasher on the sterilize setting) and place new lids in a pan of simmering water. Screw bands need to be washed but not warm.
- When done cooking, transfer everything to a food processor or large pot. You may want to use a slotted spoon if you don’t want all the juices from the tomatoes.
- Add fresh basil, oregano and rosemary then blend it up adding more salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey (if you like) until it tastes how you want.
- Using a wide mouth funnel, add the sauce to each jar leaving ½” headspace. Wipe the rim of each jar with a clean, damp towel and add the lids. Screw the bands on
- Fill a water bath canner half full of water. Lower the jars into the canner and bring the water to a boil. Process the jars for 40 minutes, beginning the timing when the water starts to boil.
- At the end of 40 minutes, remove the jars from the canner using a jar lifter and place them on a clean, kitchen towel on the counter. Allow them to cool for 12-24 hours. Check to be sure each jar has sealed properly before storing them.