Tuesday, March 01, 2011

March Right In!

Funny how one's mood can somersault by simply turning a page on the calendar......winter will be drawing to a close in the weeks ahead, and I've gotta say that I'm ready.  

"Forgiveness is the fragrance
that the violet
sheds on the heel
that has crushed it."
-Mark Twain
March is sorta the threshold to springtime.  We start thinking about butterflies and violets, warm rain and planting crops, picnics and going for walks.  The life cycles start over again as the trees push out new buds, green grass covers the lawns, and the migratory birds come back to live with us.

My mother was born in the month of March.  In 1983, she and I went on a 3-week bus trip out to California together.  She had always wanted to see California, so we went in March.  The one night we were staying over in Stockton, Texas, and I remember her telling me that I should never feel sad if something happens to her because that trip gave her so much happiness.

March looks different to us depending on where we live in the U.S.  Going to California, meant I could pack shorts.  In Iowa, it was still too chilly to wear summer clothes.  My memories of March, in 1983, give me so much joy, especially when I think of the birthday party the bus drivers arranged for Mom in Oklahoma.  When our bus arrived at the motel, we were all greeted with a reception that included a big birthday cake with Mom's name on it, served with vanilla ice cream and choice of coffee or fruit punch.  My mother tended to never cry in front of anyone, but that night I saw her eyes were all watery.

March is also National Peanut Month.  Back in 1941, it started out as National Peanut Week.  In 1974, it was expanded to be a month-long celebration.  I did a bit of digging and found some good facts about the trusty peanut.....

  • One serving of peanuts is a good source of protein, Vitamin E, Niacin, Phosphorus and Magnesium.  
  • Peanuts are naturally cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat.
  • Peanuts aren't nuts.  They are legumes, like beans and peas.
  • The average American eats 3 pounds of peanut butter every year.  This totals up to about 700 million pounds, or enough to coat the floor of the Grand Canyon!
  • Researchers have found many uses for the peanut shells.  They can be found in kitty litter, wallboard, fireplace logs, paper, animal feed, and sometimes as fuel for power plants.
  • Two elected U.S. Presidents were peanut farmers......Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
  • One acre of peanuts will make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
  • Astronaut Allen Sheppard took a peanut with him on his trip to the moon.
My mouth is watering just thinking about a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup right now.  Guess I'll settle for celery with a bit of natural peanut butter.  Don't want the elastic in my pants to pop!