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July Is Ice Cream Month

July is Ice Cream Month, and I am excited! Bring on those waffle cones! Hey, with osteoporosis looming in a few years, I owe it to my bones. Don't we all?

And . . . in response to a "candy" prompt at Meme Express . . . my favorite candy bar is $100 Grand, especially frozen!

You Are Coffee Ice Cream

Energetic and lively, you are always on the go.

You're doing a million things at once and doing them well.

You tend to motivate others and raise spirits.

You are most compatible with chocolate ice cream.

What Flavor Ice Cream Are You?

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Why Try?

Love poetry? Check out Simply Snickers, a brand-new weekly poetry prompt. Try your hand with weekly prompts! Click here to visit Linda Ann Nickerson’s poetry and humor blog, Nickers and Ink.

Click here to subscribe to an RSS feed for this writer's helpful Helium content. If you wish, click here for a free subscription to this author's online AC content, so you won't miss a single post!

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Winging It

Somewhere it is written that parents who are critical of other people's children and publicly admit they can do better are asking for it. Erma Bombeck (1927 – 1996)

Winging It

A startled feathered crew a-chime
Reminds me of the fleeting time.
For as the flocks lift off and soar,
Who knows what life may have in store?
An independent spirit may
Fly in the face of fact one day.
But joy explodes, exultant sounds,
Where spontaneity abounds.

Tradition calls for stiffer sign,
For kids to stand and toe the line.
Still, some cannot be so contained,
Conformed, restricted and restrained.
For creativity is key,
Real life, it thrives in liberty.
And if my kids are jumping beans,
Please understand: it’s in their genes.
c2008 by Linda Ann Nickerson

Did you know?

July is Purposeful Parenting Month. It’s also National Picnic Month. But whoever said parenting was a picnic?

Posted for Camera Critters #12, Photo Friday ("flight"), Wordless Wednesday's Sunday edition and a Blog Talkers prompt on “independence.”

Photo c2006 by Nickers and Ink.
All rights reserved.
Used by permission. 

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Fourth of July Treats and Eats

Happy Birthday, America!

Independence Day is one week away in the United States. What are you bringing to the party or picnic?

Here are a few of our favorite treats and sweets for the Fourth of July, listed alphabetically. Click the links for full instructions.

(With most internet browsers, you can hold the CTRL key while you click the link to open a new window, so you won't lose your place right here.)

Bandstand Brownies

On Independence Day, Bandstand Brownies are sure to beat the band at your all-American celebration. This simple recipe will make a plateful of tasty brownies, but they sure won’t last.

Constitution Corn Roast

What could be more fun for a Fourth of July event than an old-fashioned all-American corn roast? On the grill or even an open fire, Constitution Corn Roast is a red-hot hit.

Fireworks Fruit Salad

The tangy dressing in this Fourth of July recipe makes Fireworks Fruit Salad stand out from the rest of the all-American salads you might find at an Independence Day gathering.

Flag-Waving Waffles

Here's a Fourth of July treat that is sure to please patriotic people of all ages. Although waffles are most often served for breakfast or brunch, they also make a delicious dessert. Flag-Waving Waffles are a simpler version of the popular all-American funnel cake, served at county fairs and Fourth of July festivals.

Fourth of July Fruit Skewers

Red, white and blue combine in this quick and easy recipe. Excellent finger food for an Independence Day barbecue, picnic or potluck, Fourth of July Fruit Skewers are an annual all-American favorite.

Freedom Fries

Fries are a favorite, especially at a Fourth of July event. Simple to prepare, using this quick and easy Fourth of July recipe, Freedom Fries are the ultimate all-American finger food.

Home-of-the-Brave Chicken

On the Fourth of July, you can celebrate the birthday of the home of the brave with all-American delicious barbecued chicken. Cooked on the grill, this Fourth of July recipe is a perennial favorite for the Fourth of July.

Liberty Lemonade

Johnny will come running, not merely marching, home for this delicious thirst quencher. Simple to make, Liberty Lemonade is a surefire all-American crowd pleaser.

Liberty Lollipop Tree

Everyone loves lollipops. The Liberty Lollipop Tree serves as an all-American party table decoration, as well as a super treat for your Independence Day event.

Minuteman Meatballs

During the American Revolutionary war, the colonists formed a home-grown militia. Farmers and tradesmen would drop their tasks, take up arms and head for the battlefield immediately to fight for freedom. They quickly became known as the Minutemen.

Meatballs are minute, but delicious, making them popular all-American fare for the Fourth of July.

Minuteman Munchies

This quick and easy Fourth of July recipe (essentially a trail mix) makes an ideal all-American appetizer, snack or finger food for kids of all ages at a Fourth of July barbecue, picnic or potluck.

Parade Cookies

True old-school patriots may decide to whip up sweet sugar cookies from scratch for the Fourth of July. For busier folks, a simpler solution is offered. (Try not to tell anyone how easy these all-American Parade Cookies are to make.)

Parade Popcorn

No quick and easy Fourth of July recipe could be simpler than popcorn, but what a surefire all-American crowd pleaser it is. Pop up a big batch of fresh kernels, in your popcorn popper or even the microwave, add your favorite festive toppings, and you will be ready for your Fourth of July barbecue, picnic or potluck.

Patriotic Potato Salad

No Independence Day party is complete without a delicious all-American potato salad, using this Fourth of July recipe. Of course, you could buy a basic potato salad in any delicatessen. Still, would you rather offer something a little zippier like this tangy all-American dish?

Patriotic Punch

Even the most patriotic party attendees get thirsty on a hot summer day, particularly after playing Fourth of July party games, sports or even just sitting in the sun at an Independence Day parade. Try this quick and easy Fourth of July recipe, a guaranteed all-American favorite.

Rocket's Red Glare Gelatin Mold

What's a Fourth of July party without a gelatin mold? This quick and easy recipe adds red, white and blue festivity to your all-American Independence Day feast.

Sparklers and Spaghetti

Although spaghetti may have originated in Italy, it seems to have become a universal favorite among Americans of all ethnic backgrounds. This quick and easy Fourth of July recipe, Sparklers and Spaghetti, is simple and savory for an all-American Independence Day gathering.

Stars and Stripes Super Sundae

This extra-fun all-American dessert is ideal for an outdoor party, as it echoes the traditional, old-fashioned, all-American Independence Day ice cream social.

Star-Spangled Sandwiches

Sandwiches may be the universal favorite all-American summer fare for outdoor events, particularly on the Fourth of July. Use your own quick and easy recipe, of follow these guidelines for super Star-Spangled Sandwiches on Independence Day.

Uncle Sam's "I Want You" Cake

The ultimate recruiter, Uncle Sam points your way to culinary success with this yummy cake, an ideal Fourth of July dessert and treat. Enlist the troops in your own home to help you create this Independence Day treat.

Uncle Sam's Super Salad

This hearty Fourth of July salad is practically a Constitutional requirement for an Independence Day celebration. At least, it ought to be. Toss in additional fresh vegetables, if you wish, for color and flavor.

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Games to Play at a Fun Fourth of July Party

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Wave of Glory

Love poetry? Check out Simply Snickers, a brand-new weekly poetry prompt. Try your hand with weekly prompts! Click here to visit Linda Ann Nickerson’s poetry and humor blog, Nickers and Ink.

Click here to subscribe to an RSS feed for this writer's helpful Helium content. If you wish, click here for a free subscription to this author's online AC content, so you won't miss a single post!

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My House Test

Just for fun, based on a tip from my sweet friend Skittles, I decided to try The House Test. By answering five quick multiple-choice questions, I was rewarded with the following report.

Here's what it said about me:

What the House Test Says About You

You consider yourself important, but no more important than anyone else. You love attention, but you don't feel like you deserve more of it than anyone else.

You aren't against being community oriented, but it's not really your thing. You tend to prefer to focus on your family and not the neighborhood around you.

You are a calm, contemplative, and smart person. You take ideas very seriously.

You take good care of your physical appearance.
You dress well, stay in shape, and do your best to look great.

You are moved by romance and love. You are optimistic about people, and you love hearing about happy endings.

What will it say about you?

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Untouched Items

Love poetry? Click here to visit Linda Ann Nickerson’s poetry and humor blog, Nickers and Ink. Click here to subscribe to an RSS feed for this writer's helpful Helium content. If you wish, click here for a free subscription to this author's online AC content, so you won't miss a single post!

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Convenience or Confusion?

Convenience or Confusion?
10 Inventions That Have Made Life Easier

(Posted for Ten on Tuesday.)

Technology seems to be advancing at a head-spinning, warp-speed pace these days. Here are ten of the top modern conveniences, listed alphabetically.

Automated Teller Machine

Need cash right away? The Automated Teller Machine (ATM) stands ready to spew greenbacks at a moment’s notice. Of course, this modern convenience has spawned all sorts of etiquette questions. (See Bank-in-a-Box: How to Behave at the ATM for more information.)

Cable/Satellite Television

With gas topping $4 per gallon and movie theater tickets selling for $8 to $10, it’s certainly a blessing to find recent-run films available at home. Movies-on-demand, available at the push of a button on cable or satellite, certainly bring entertainment with convenience.

Cellular Phone

The cellular phone has made local and long-distance communications available to nearly everyone, nearly everywhere. Friends and family members can keep in touch by cell phone, even from within the same building. On the other hand, parents may wonder whether cell phones are a good idea for a child or young teen. (See Preteen Pretext: Phoning’s Cool for Middle School for a comic look at this issue.)

Digital Camera

Photography buffs, both professional and amateur, applauded the arrival of the digital camera. Suddenly, images became almost free. Online photo storage eliminated piles of photographic paper. Instant image sharing arrived. Within a few years, manufacturers even began offering simple, inexpensive digital cameras for children.

Don’t have a digital camera yet? See Choosing and Using a Digital Camera for helpful hints.

DVD Player

Digital Video Disks (DVDs) replaced videotapes with a streamlined convenience that made movies affordable, accessible and storable for the masses. No more rewinding! Video rental companies, such as NetFlix and Blockbuster, began offering movies for rent through the mail.

Miniature personal players began appearing in airport terminals, bus and train stations, college dorms and everywhere. Soon, folks discovered they could actually watch movies on their laptops or personal computers.

Has the convenience of DVD technology turned you into a movie buff? Want to share your evaluations of the films you have viewed? See How to Write a Movie Review for simple, step-by-step instructions. Why not review films for Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Film Critic, Rotten Tomatoes or another online site?

Gas Grill

Cookouts could not be any simpler! With a gas grill, the cook need only switch on the flame and begin sizzling those steaks, crisping the chicken, roasting the ribs or barbecuing the burgers. No more waiting for coals to turn toasty red.

Did you know you can cook delicious baked potatoes on the gas grill too? See Super Spud Success: Make Baked Potatoes on the Grill for easy instructions.

Gift Card

Even the most spontaneous shoppers can find the ultimate convenience in gift card shopping. Most large-scale variety and discount stores display racks filled with gift cards from various stores, restaurants, spas and other establishments. A gift card fits neatly inside a greeting card or standard note, requiring a standard postage stamp and saving the giver a trip to the post office for shipment.

Plus, gift card recipients can use the cards to shop online or in person. (See Cybershopping With Confidence for helpful online security tips.) What could be more convenient?

High-Speed Internet

Flying fingers rejoiced with the advent of the warp-speed web. Through satellite and cable hookups, internet users gained flash-fast access. No more waiting for dial-ups. Instant-messaging could actually happen in an instant.

How many windows can one web-browser sustain simultaneously? That’s the challenge. (Ask any preteen.)

Want a few pointers for politeness online? Check out Email Etiquette. Also, an important warning can be found here: Unprotected Text Can Kill You.

Microwave Oven

The microwave oven enabled everyone to defrost in a dash, prepare popcorn in a jiffy and reheat leftovers instantaneously. Suddenly, spontaneous meal selection became possible. Families actually could choose an evening’s menu and sit down to eat within minutes.

On the other hand, in many homes, overloaded schedules have cut into shared mealtimes. Even as food preparation has simplified, the family dinner has nearly disappeared. See The Family Feast: Endangered or Extinct for more information and tips for encouraging family togetherness at the table.

Television Remote Control

Poet William Ross Wallace (1819 - 1881) said, “The hand that rocks the cradle, is the hand that rules the world.” In modern times, we beg to differ. Actually, in most homes, the hand that holds the television remote control seems to wield the ultimate power.

Who determines the family’s TV viewing habits? Who decides when to shut the box off? Ever since the arrival of the television remote control, the issue is clear. Of course, this handy invention may have spawned a whole generation of Passive-Aggressors; The Timid Intimidators.

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Unprotected Text Can Kill You.

Wrap Star

Love poetry? Click here to visit Linda Ann Nickerson’s poetry and humor blog, Nickers and Ink. Click here to subscribe to an RSS feed for this writer's helpful Helium content. If you wish, click here for a free subscription to this author's online AC content, so you won't miss a single post!

Add to Technorati Favorites


Fourth of July Games

Independence Day is just over two weeks away in the United States, and Americans are preparing for the patriotic parties and festivities. Are you planning a potluck, picnic or barbecue for July 4th? What fun activities and games can you offer for your guests? Here are a few of our favorite traditional contests and games for the Fourth of July. Basically, each is an adapted form of a familiar game.

All-American Army Training Course

Somewhat like television's Survivor challenge, the All-American Army Training Course is a challenging Fourth of July party game will test the agility and athleticism of all of your guests at your Independence Day celebration. Set up your own challenge, giant puzzle, maze, or obstacle course.

Bombs Away!

Bombs Away is an entertaining Fourth of July party game for participants of all ages. This water balloon toss is sure to be an all-American water-soaked hit at a Fourth of July party. 

Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag is a territorial team-building Fourth of July party game is an excellent ice-breaker, pulling together Independence Day celebrants in every generation.

Combat Trench

This crowd-pleasing Fourth of July party game truly brings folks together. Combat Trench is sort of like Hide-and-Seek, except an entire team hides together, while the other team searches for them.

Fourth of July Flashlight Tag

This adventurous after-dark challenge game offers mystery and fun as a Fourth of July party game. Gather your patriotic party guests to play Fourth of July Flashlight Tag after dusk, but before the Independence Day fireworks start.

Yankee Basketball

Get the ball rolling at your Fourth of July picnic or party with this sporty game. Who doesn't love to shoot a few hoops at an Independence Day gathering? Yankee Basketball is a peppy Fourth of July party game that will get your guests on their feet and bouncing. Unlike the familiar game of "HORSE," contestants spell out "YANKEE."

Adapt other traditional games for July 4th.

Use your imagination. Get the kids involved. You might be surprised how many of your favorite games and contests you can adapt for your patriotic Independence Day celebration. How about Stars and Stripes Croquet, 4th of July Frisbee Golf, or Bunker Hill Bocce Ball?

Public domain photo

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