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Month: July 2012

Photo Friday: Camping in the Heat

Oh my!  Even the nights were hot. Thank God for sandy beaches and cool waters of Lake Michigan.   One night we substituted light-sabers for a campfire. Still, if you are camping, you must have S’mores.  We made ours with Reese’s peanut butter cups.  Yum-eee.   The blueberries are sort of small this year.  Too much heat and not enough rain.  Still, the flavor is wonderfully intense.     And what’s a camping trip without a rainstorm to drive us home?   Related articles 9 ooey, gooey, fantastic s’mores recipes. (Is it summer without them?) (coolmompicks.com) Camping it Old Style…

Hitching a Ride with “Craigslist Joe”

My oldest brother, six years younger than me, hitch-hiked across America.  He left with a back-pack full of clean underwear and a clean pair of jeans, a Bible, and $50.  He hitch-hiked until he ran out of money.  He got part-time jobs until he got enough money to hit the road again. My brother, Loren, was not quite out of college.  He took a break from studying.  By then I was a mother of small children.  I have a terrific memory, but if it happened during the 70s, I either don’t recall it at all, or the details are hazy. …

Old-Fashioned Fun at Blackberry Farm

Shhh…  Keep this a secret.  Part of the allure is Blackberry Farm is the unhurried pace and its freedom from crowds.  Blackberry Farm, Old-fashioned fun; the brochure lives up to its name.  The warmer weather gets me thinking about planning a trip to a simple place and time.

Located in Aurora, Illinois, Blackberry Farm is an easy drive from Chicago or the far Northwest Suburbs.  A quiet, easy-paced hike through a picturesque farm promises to delight toddlers, younger children, and grandparents.  Children older than seven and parents anxious to “do” something might not be quite as enamored as those of us who enjoy strolling along and taking as much time as needed to move piles of corn with toy trucks and tractors.

1, 2, 3, 4: Weed Free and Green

If you read my other blog, Once A Little Girl, you know I hate weeds, but I like to garden.  I love flowers.  I even love wild flowers.  With that kind of love-hate relationship, things can get out of hand pretty easily.

With my love of nature, of course I recycle.  I got involved in “being green” back on the very first Earth Day.  Yes, eco-nuts predicted global warming way back in 1970.  I remember a passionate environmentalist exclaiming, no one will listen for another 30 years, and then it will be too late to reverse the effects of green-house gasses.   I tore soup can labels off at the check-out counter exclaiming:  “Save the environment.  End needless packaging.”

Most of us recycle these days.  It’s easy.  Just put newspapers, cans, bottles and plastic in the recycle bin.  My village makes it easy; we don’t even need to sort anything.  Still, I came across an idea that fits with my green thumb (and mind) and it saves me money.

I hired my grand-daughter, Emma to help me out.  She’s happy to work for free, still, it’s fun to reward a hard worker like Emma.  Sure, it’s not enough to stimulate the economy toward recovery, but I might help Emma buy her Adele songs from iTunes.  Besides, doesn’t every bit help.

I found a way to have weed free flowerbeds, and recycle my newspapers.  Best of all, it’s easy as 1, 2, 3, 4.

Step 1:  Lay thick layers of newspaper over the area.

KNOCKDOWN: Emerson Doering’s New Book

Did you ever meet someone, who immediately left an impression on you that you knew would last a lifetime?  That’s what happened when I met Emerson Doering.  Who wouldn’t be impressed?  The lanky, young blond pulled a pear tree across a lot on a piece of cardboard.  The tree was no sapling.  Emerson dragged a tree with a 3” diameter trunk the length of a football field.

Holy smokes.  I believe Emerson Doering can do just about anything.  So, it’s no surprise that she’s impressed me again as an outstanding fiction writer.  I jumped at the chance to talk with her about her new thriller, KNOCKDOWN. Her characters are so believable, they are with me yet, and it’s been a couple months since I “turned the last page” on my Kindle edition.

A few of Emerson’s writer friends challenged her about

A Bitter Pill to Swallow

Harold Cole Watkins, PhD, overcome with remorse, killed himself one rainy night in late 1937.  A few months earlier, Dr. Watkins was on cloud nine. His new, sweet, raspberry-flavored, Elixir Sulfanilamide made it possible for parents to administer the bitter sulfa medicine to their children sick with Streptococcus infections, commonly known as strep throat.  A few months earlier, Dr. Watkins was on cloud nine. His new, sweet, raspberry-flavored, Elixir Sulfanilamide made it possible for parents to administer the bitter sulfa medicine to their children sick with Streptococcus infections.  Sore throats.

A pharmacist employed by S.E. Maassengil Co., Dr. Watkins met the company’s goal in response to public demand for a liquid form of the hard to swallow pill.  Now, over a hundred people were dead, most of them children.  Some children died in their mother’s

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