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Elizabeth Woodworth: Summer fire pit is perfect for a new spin on s'mores

By Elizabeth Woodworth
Contributing writer
updated: 7/1/2018 4:04 PM

The Turtle hatching Moon is full today. This could contribute to unseasonably cold and unstable meteorological conditions. Don't know about the cold, but unstable weather is a given.

The final weather system of June is often followed by the Corn Tassel Rains, a two-week period of intermittent precipitation that accompanies the Dog Days of Middle Sumner. The final two days of June are something of the colder of the year's midsection; highs below 80 degrees coming more than half the time above the border states.

Renovate strawberry beds, cutting off tops above the crown, then fertilize. The best part of the black raspberry season ends as the summer apple harvest gets underway. Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods or prolonged periods of soggy pasture are likely to occur with the July 3-8 window. (Countryside)

I had an idea for Christmas gifts. Went looking for space blankets. Couldn't find any. Of course not; they are what children in cages are using for bedding and comfort.

June 28: First issue of Daily Register, 1915. First Presbyterian Church, West Poplar Street (1940-1960 site of Orpheum Theater) was dedicated, 1884. June 29: First General Baptist on West Sloan Street dedicated, 1913. July 1: Gaskins Funeral Home founded, 1911. Harrisburg National Bank organized, 1937.

June 30 is the day for the famous cherry pit-spitting contest in Traverse City, Michigan. Unless you have a sour cherry tree, you probably won't have enough for a contest at your July Fourth party. In this area, we spit watermelon seeds, and most everyone has a watermelon on ice. To earn bragging rights, follow these tips: Check your decorum at the door. Select a large heavy seed. Place seed on your tongue like a taco (per spitting champ Davis Camacho), with the seed's tapered end facing out. Use lung power to propel the seed down the spitway for victory. (My tip, don't inhale before you blow.) Claim trophy. The Guinness World Record is 75 feet 2 inches.

If your party is sitting around a fire pit, try this spin on s'mores. Fill sugar ice-cream cones with layers of mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap tightly with aluminum foil and roast, using long tongs, over an open flame for about five minutes or until melted. Unwrap carefully and enjoy.

A nature lesson while you are waiting for fireworks and fireflies: There are 2,000 species of fireflies, which are nocturnal beetles. Many emit a yellow, green or orange glow. Three U.S. species flash in synchronicity, making for quite the light parade. I have seen a few flying in the backyard. Fortunately for them, I am past catching lightning bugs in a jar.

Want to camp out, but don't want to sleep on the ground or in a pup tent? You can pop up a backyard bedroom of your own in a roomy tent, no custom platform required. Measuring 13 feet in diameter and 8 feet 3 inches tall at the center, it easily accommodates a pair of twin bed plus a side table. That's what I said, beds and table. Just costs $695, I imagine shipping is not included. Want something better than that? Modeled after Boy Scout's platform tents, another custom-built permanent structure is made of canvas duck wall, wood floors and oak rafters. A picture shows it with two twin beds, a bedside table, desk and chair, rug on the floor and electricity. No dimensions or price. Have a feeling if you have to ask, you can't afford it. Really neat, I think I could do some summer living in this.

If you are not into backyard parties, will you take a picnic lunch and go to a park or lake? Do you have a picnic basket? I have a woven one that I got when we lived in Spain, some 50 years ago. Ron and I used it a lot, packed it when we went on day trips. If we were doing something cultural/museum it was stocked with china plates, crystal glasses, real tableware and cloth napkins. When we were going to New Salem, or The Home Place, it had blue Granite Ware plates and cups, two-pronged bone-handle forks (which were rather messy, or at least I was) and napkins.

Hot Wheels turns 50 this year. In that time span, most little boys and girls had at least one. It was the one gift The Boy always wanted, so was able buy the kit and caboodle at summer sales without worries. Santa even brought a racetrack set to Algeria. I still buy the cars for every young boy on my Christmas list. Nothing better.

While you are enjoying the Fourth, be it family and friends at a party, picnic, fireworks or the day around the backyard pool, remember why we celebrate. Be safe!