Do you ever think about your favorite childhood memories? I have many but this time of year the one that comes to mind was the annual summer trip to Connecticut to visit our paternal cousins. The two families of my Dad's sisters lived in a typical post-WWII suburban neighborhood. Their street was lined with bungalows in a neighborhood full of kids (it was the baby boom era) riding bicycles and roller skates with a key, families grilling out and playing lawn games in a quaint New England town. 

My brothers and cousins (me in front with geeky bangs) at my Cousin's 8th Grade Graduation - 1960

This was a time before air-conditioned homes were commonplace. Inside noisy fans oscillated back and forth moving warm air in an attempt to cool the houses in summer. So families would hang out on front porches and back patios. Aunt Dot and Uncle Bub (that's not a typo; that's what we called him and don't ask me where he got that nickname; no one knows!), had a covered patio in the back of their home that ran the entire width of their tiny house. Their front yard was shaded with mature trees where we played badminton. Although, most of the fun occurred on the patio, which was furnished with webbed chairs and mini side tables set out with plenty of goodies for nibbling. My aunt had those spreaders that looked like veggies (corn on the cob, tomato, carrot and peas in a pod), for the the soft cheddar in the brown crockpot. There was lots of laughter and giggles as my paternal family had a great sense of humor and plenty of knee tickles from our eldest cousin. The adults had their Tom Collins summer cocktails, while the old refrigerator in the dank basement was stocked full of soda bottles in every flavor you can imagine. Oh kid heaven! Then as dinner time approached Aunt Dot always drafted my big brother Ricky to husk the three dozen ears of corn for this crowd. We would tease him that as her Godson he was our aunt's favorite, while Mom in turn drafted the rest of us kids to help out. This task took place on the back stoop careful to remove every strand of silk from the cobs of corn. Complete with the all-American summer feast of hot dogs, burgers, potato salad and watermelon, the fun continued until after dusk, all the while making cherished memories of a simpler era and precious time spent with family.  What's your favorite summertime memory?

Watermelon Cookies
Candy Corn Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Lavender with AmeriColor Electric Purple
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Black with AmeriColor Super Black
Royal Icing for detail tinted Teal with AmeriColor Sky Blue and AmeriColor Lemon Yellow
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Wilton Petal Tip #101
AmeriColor Violet Airbrush Color
Airbrush Kit or Wilton Color Mist

Outline cookie with #2 tip in lavender icing
Flood cookie with lavender icing.

Pipe dots with #2 tip in black icing. Pull with toothpick. Let dry 60 minutes.

Pipe ruffles with petal tip #101 in teal icing. 

Let dry overnight.

Gently airbrush edges of watermelon with violet airbrush color. Let dry 45 minutes.


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With today's 24/7 news cycle, there are plenty of negative stories shown repeatedly on the airwaves. Yet, how often is there an upbeat news report that makes our hearts melt?  When do you see a positive story about those who serve our communities and good deeds done by those who run toward the danger, putting their lives at risk while protecting us?  Who are these courageous persons?  First responders such as police officers and firefighters, that's who. They are just like you and me but are extraordinary, in my opinion. They love their families, community and country and are out there to make this world a better place. Isn't that what we all strive to do?  Leave the world better than we found it.

The K-9 Unit of the Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department is such an example. They planned a magical day for a special little boy, a six-year-old who is battling brain cancer. Luke was made an honorary K-9 officer. Rather than explain the events of that day, take 6 minutes to click and view this video.

Source:  LukesSquad Facebook Page
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Hot Air Balloon Cookies
Hot Air Balloon Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Dark Blue with AmeriColor Navy Blue and AmeriColor Super Black
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Dark Green with AmeriColor Teal, AmeriColor Leaf Green and AmeriColor Royal Blue
Royal Icing for flooding tinted with AmeriColor Super Black
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip # 3, #2
Wilton Pearl Color Mist

Pipe three sections of balloon with #3 tip in blue flood icing.
Let sit 30 minutes.

Pipe two remaining sections with #3 tip in green flood icing.
Let sit one hour.

Pipe basket with #2 tip in black icing. 

Let dry overnight.

Gently spray cookies with color mist. 

Let dry 45 minutes.






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