Posted by Donna MacMeans Feb 23 2012, 2:04 am in Cherries, Donna MacMeans, February, Hearts, Library Lovers, Spunky Old Broads
The other night I went to Pilates class wearing a lightweight long sleeve Tshirt that proudly proclaims that I’m a Hopeless Romantic. Yeah, that’s true. I’m both hopeless (especially in Pilates) and romantic . Thus I consider February as a sort of honored month as it’s synonomous with Valentine’s Day.
However, when I was reminded that Mardi Gras is celebrated in February, and that National Margarita Day was yesterday (the same day as the beginning of Lent – was that astute planning, or what?), I wondered what other causes might be celebrated in February. Let’s face it – you gotta love a month that starts with Groundhog Day.
February is American Heart Month – a good time to consider healthy lifestyle adjustments to protect this vital organ. Hopefully, pro-active measures will keep you from celebrating February’s other moniker – National Mend a Broken Heart Month. Perhaps that title wasn’t meant to be taken literally. That’s okay as February is also Relationship Wellness Month (as well as National Condom Month).
Sounds like a whole lot of lovin’ is anticipated in February – and why not? We all need something to warm us up in what is traditionally a cold, snowy twenty-eight days (twenty-nine this year).
What else is there to do in the cold? Why go to the library, of course. February is Library Lovers’ Month. Wouldn’t mind having that on a Tshirt as I truly love libraries and librarians. I wonder if some of those librarians would like to join me in celebrating Spunky Old Broads Month (also February). Spunky Old Broads is a month long celebration for women over 50 who are interested in living a regret free life. I wonder if the person who coined the phrase regrets that Spunky Old Broads could be abbreviated to SOBs?
You know – I don’t why Hallmark doesn’t have cards for these causes.
A good month for writers, February is International Expect Success Month, and Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month. For writers that receive one of those ever present rejection letters, don’t forget that
February is also Boost Self-Esteem Month. Take measures to celebrate it. On the other hand, those trying to have a life, a family, and a publishing career might want to honor National Time Management Month, otherwise known as (you guessed it…) February.
You might know that February is Black History Month, but did you know it is also Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month? (which explains all the wobbly wheel carts that appear in February). It’s National Bird Feeding Month, which makes sense sense as our feathered friends might be having a hard time finding food in a frozen landscape – but don’t stop with the birds. February is Bake for Family Fun Month, National Cherry Month (Anna – didn’t you blog recently on your love of cherries?), and Fabulous Florida Strawberry Month. If you bake too many yummy sweet goodies (and maybe drop some on the floor for the four legged
members of the family), remember February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and National Pet Dental Health Month. And if in the process of doing all that baking some accidents occur…February eleventh is “Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day.”
See – there’s something for everyone in February (especially Jo as she’ll be celebrating a birthday later this month). Now that you you can see there are infinite ways to celebrate the uniqueness of February – you won’t want the month to end…or maybe you will. Afterall, March is National Craft Month (Tawny, are you listening?)
So how about you? Any plans to celebrate any of these special causes? Anything in particular you’d like to celebrate in February? Are you planning to give something up for Lent? Did you feast on something wonderful for Mardi Gras? Any librarians out there? How about Spunky Old Broads. Let’s Celebrate!
Every celebration has prizes. Someone leaving a comment will have the opportunity to receive one of my books – their choice.
Posted by Anna Campbell Jan 10 2012, 12:02 am in Anna Campbell, Australian Summer, Cherries, fruit, writer's life
by Anna Campbell
I love, love, love cherry season. Here in Australia, the local cherries aren’t around for very long so I always make an utter pig of myself over Christmas and New Year with them. Over recent years, a lot of shops have started sporting American cherries out of our season, but there’s something not cricket about buying expensive imported fruit, I always think.
Right now, a bowl of my favorite (and sadly very short-lived in terms of growing season) St. Margaret cherries is sitting at my elbow. They’re the big, luscious, black, sweet ones. YUMBO! Nothing could be nicer.
Did you know cherries were terrifically good for you? They help with arthritis and gout and heart disease and one site I found even claimed they helped you lose weight. Probably not in the quantities I’m eating right now!
Cherries are a fruit associated with some lovely memories for me. When I lived in London in the mid-80s, I used to work at a perfume stall in Covent Garden market and make my lunch of the luscious summer cherries they sold from nearby costermonger barrows. Always felt I was getting the genuine London experience there!
I remember a glorious day touring the Napa and Sonoma valleys in 2008 and sitting in a lush glade and gorging myself from cherries from a market. By the way, that experience nearly bought me to grief. I flew home not long afterward and the scent ended up clinging to my backpack. The airport sniffer dog wouldn’t leave me alone – clearly a beagle has a good nose for my favorite fruit!
When I went to Colorado for RomCon in 2010, I was delighted to see that this was clearly America’s cherry capital. There were even specialty cherry shops that sold cherry jam and cherry wine and cherry lip balm. Not sure how much actual cherry was in that!
When I lived in Sydney before I started to write full time, I worked up the road from a big Asian market that had a huge fruit and veg section. I remember buying 2kg cases of special quality cherries (about 5lb) that were as big as plums. Oh, man, they were the most splendiferous things on the planet!
Cherries were always a special Christmas holidays treat when I was a kid. These days, a lot of things that had a short season back then are pretty much available all year (watermelon and chocolate biscuits spring to mind) but cherries are still only available for those few short weeks around the solstice. I can remember my best friend from primary school and I rubbing cherries on our lips and pretending we were wearing lipstick. It’s actually quite a becoming shade!
We used to get cases of peaches and nectarines and apricots and mangoes to take away on holidays with us (my dad was a bit of a fruit fanatic although my mum wouldn’t care if she never saw a piece of fruit). But my faves were always the cherries and I can remember being so disappointed a couple of years when they were just too expensive. Sigh.
So I’m a cherry tragic. I even at a pinch will eat maraschino cherries although they’re not a patch on the real thing. Madame (Christina Brooke) always looks utterly revolted when I start raving about the delights of a local chocolate bar with dark chocolate, coconut and dried cherries called a Cherry Ripe. It turns out it’s Australia’s oldest chocolate bar, so as a history buff, she should definitely overcome her revulsion!
If you must have chocolate for breakfast, Cherry Ripe would be my choice! Think of all the vitamins. Snork.
So do you have a favorite fruit? Is it seasonal or available all year? And am I the only person in the universe who likes preserved cherries? Please say it isn’t so!