I don’t know what part of the country you live in but currently WV is being pelted by winter. Oh how it makes me long for the non-snowy, albeit freezing cold, winters of Southwestern VA! I’m so glad that we chose the worst winter in years to move three hours further north. The one advantage is that it gave me a timely topic for this week’s edition of Love/Hate.
I have to be honest though, I actually just flat out HATE winter. No love about it. But this weekly post isn’t called “Hate” so I suppose that I’ll do my best to come up with some Loves, even if most of them are winter food-related.
1) Soup. Truthfully, I love soup so much that I eat it year round, even when it’s sweltering hot outside. But soup is pretty awesome in the winter because it makes you feel all warm and toasty. Don’t believe me? Ask this Campbell’s Soup snowman… who turns into a kid. Weird. And totally not possible if you ask me. Mr. Mondoo got me this fantastic present for Christmas this year and I’ve already made two very different soups from the one stock. 98 more to go! He’s so gonna be sick of soup after this winter.
2) Chili. I love soup so it’s no surprise that I love chili. It’s just a more hearty soup. That you can later put on nachos. There are a lot of different kinds of chili out there. Texas chili, chili with beans, Cincinnati chili, super sweet chili also known as Hobo Beans, to name a few. And it seems that the world couldn’t be more divided on what makes (or doesn’t make) good chili. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s all good and it’s one of the best things about winter. There’s nothing more awesome than dumping a bunch of meat, peppers, onions, beans (yes, Texas, some people prefer beans in their chili, get over yourselves), and tomato products into a crock pot and then hours later, you have a piping hot bowl of goodness to warm you inside and out on those cold winter evenings.
3) Hot chocolate. I don’t have much to say about hot chocolate other than the more marshmallows the better.
4) Winter coats. A lot of people love winter because of the sweaters. Sweaters are nice and all but I love me a good, stylish winter coat. I mean, check out some of these winter coats at Macy’s. Simply gorge! I wish that I had enough money to buy a different coat for each day of the winter. That would probably make me love winter more. I’d also like to take this time to thank Motherhood Maternity for making cute maternity coats. I bought this one and have received many compliments on it. I truly think that people like it and they aren’t just being polite because I’m all fat now.
5) Snow is pretty. But ONLY if you’re looking at it from a window while you’re inside a warm and toasty house. The best looking snowfalls are hands down the ones where the heavy snow sticks to the tree limbs. A true winter wonderland. The only time that this presents a problem is when you live in West Virginia where the trees are poorly kept around power lines. Limbs break off, lines come down, and you’re without power for 30 hours to two weeks. Whoops, there I go, hating. My bad. For more on that topic, please see Hate #2. But for now, yes, snow is pretty.
1) Slush. Also known as dirty, melty snow. Not to be confused with this kind of slush which is awesome, specifically the blue raspberry or watermelon. Nothing is grosser to me than traipsing around in the slush and plus slush’s presence means that it’s warm enough for the prettiness of the snow to melt.
2) Incompetence. Nothing has made the incompetence of the state of West Virginia so blatantly transparent than that of winter. I’ve already mentioned the awful Blizzard of ’09 and its perils. To be honest with you, I thought that was a once in a couple years kinda deal. You know, an unexpected snowstorm pelts your city and things are kinda crazy for a couple days; the power goes out, the roads are slow to be plowed, annoying but understandable. Well, I’m here to tell you that this isn’t the case in West Virginia. They are at all times just wholly unequipped to handle any sort of snow. It began snowing here on Monday and our road wasn’t plowed until Wednesday evening. Because our road wasn’t plowed, the USPS could not deliver mail to our neighborhood for two days. (Yeah right! Even though my little Chevrolet Cavalier could make it through on the path worn by all the four-wheel drive vehicles. You worthless postman who didn’t even write me a thank you card after I gave you a $10 tip at Christmastime! No one even gives tips to postmen at Christmas anymore so you’d think that he’d actually acknowledge my act of kindness. Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t have even given him a tip if my father-in-law weren’t a postman. No one has ever tipped me for my job. Even when I had one). All of this is made even more annoying because when looking to rent this townhouse, we made a point to ask our landlord if the road was kept up in the winter. He assured us: “Oh yes, the school busses need to travel this road so it’s always plowed.” You know, unless it’s the weekend when school isn’t in session or when they close school for three inches of snow. At least I’ve been able to expand my list of jobs that I’m obviously overqualified for: Director of WV Department of Transportation, USPS Letter Carrier, and Landlord.
3) Salt stains on your jeans. Does this happen to tall people too? Because it certainly happens to short, little Mondoo. I make the mistake of venturing out in the cold winter, probably wetting my shoes in some slush, and because of the slush freezing and turning to ice, the sidewalks are covered with rock salt. The salt stains my jeans leaving an unsightly white stain on the bottom of my pant legs. And now I have to do laundry. How annoying.
4) Depressing. Man, winter is sooooo depressing! It gets dark at like 4pm, it’s perpetually cloudy, and it’s effing cold. Not to mention that you can’t do anything fun outside. Yeah, yeah, I know, people like skiing and stuff. Well I don’t. I don’t really even like the outdoors but at least in the summer I can plant flowers and a garden, open the house up and let fresh air in, and eat evening dinners out on my deck. You can’t do any of that in the winter. Boo winter!
5) I look like a boy in hats. It’s true. I’m so jealous of people who look so fashionable in hats. I have short hair and a big nose, put a hat on me and strangers are likely to say “Why is that little boy in a pea coat? And pregnant?!”