Archive | Small Indulgences

For the Love of Gardening by Reese Ryan

Summer has never really been my season.

Sure, as a kid I played jump rope and hop scotch. Blazed a trail down the street on my Big Wheel. Had a fling with a playground swing or two. Rarely were such outdoor summer adventures my idea. Either a well-meaning adult sent me outside or a neighbor kid asked me to come out and play.

I preferred to stay inside to engage in the activity I loved most–reading. In my experience, reading and the great outdoors didn’t mix very well. A conclusion I arrived at after getting bonked on top of the head by a stray kickball while sitting on the sidelines with my face buried in a Judy Blume book.

Of course my kickball disaster wasn’t my only hang-up with spending summer days outdoors. There was the dirt that made its way into every crevice; the “fresh” smell I reeked with after venturing outdoors; the blood-sucking insects that considered me something akin to prime rib; and the unwanted, long-lasting tan.

Needless to say, my idea of a perfect summer day was a day spent at my local library checking out the maximum books allowed.

Had I married a fellow book nerd, by now I’d probably require a portable IV drip of Vitamin D and melt like the Wicked Witch of the West when forced to encounter the sun. Fortunately, I married someone who loves summer and the great outdoors. For the past twenty-six years he’s been coaxing me out to play in the summer sun.

Slowly I’ve learned to enjoy the outdoors.

Hiking, biking, swimming and kayaking have all become favorite activities. Still, l prefer to do most of those things in spring or fall. My true appreciation for summer didn’t come until this year, when I ventured into gardening.

I love farmers markets and the taste of fresh-picked fruit and vegetables during the summer. I expressed my wish to grow my own veggies to a gardening enthusiast friend. She encouraged me to give gardening a try. After all, she reminded me, we’re in the age of YouTube, where you can learn just about anything you need to know.

So, I went for it.

I watched videos on creating a raised bed garden, and my husband was kind enough to build me one. Then I went about purchasing plants. Lots of them. More than I should have planted in the space. Creeping plants that, unchecked, will happily take over your garden.

In a few short weeks my tiny plants grew considerably. After several weeks the tomato and cucumber plants produced flowers. The basil and thyme grew like crazy. I had plenty of parsley, thyme and rosemary.

Before long, several of my plants began to produce fruit. A fact that amazed this indoor-loving, city slicker. Soon I was sipping mint tea and munching on organic cherry tomatoes grown in my own backyard. I was the summer-lovin’ queen of my own little world. I even considered getting a tiara and sipping my peppermint tea in tiny teacups with my pinkies raised.

Then the bottom dropped out.

Or rather it rotted out. My lovely beefsteak tomatoes grew big, but then the bottoms suddenly rotted. I took to the all-knowing interwebs and discovered that it was a physiological disorder called blossom end rot, caused by a calcium imbalance in the plant. The emergency treatment was a cup of milk around the base of the afflicted plant. A later addition of crushed eggshells gave the plant needed calcium, rectifying the problem.

I encountered a few other problems along the way: splitting and cracking tomatoes, leaf spot and plants growing so wild I felt like Indiana Jones hacking my way through the jungle. Each problem was quickly identified and resolved via a few mouse clicks and the generosity of experienced gardeners who happily share their knowledge and wisdom with fledgling gardeners like me.

Despite doing just about everything wrong, I’ve managed to reap a steady harvest of fresh fruit and veggies. Several nights a week I cook something that features tomato, basil, rosemary, cucumbers, peppers or some of our other garden fare.

Cooking and eating food that I’ve grown makes me giddy with delight. I presented my first cucumber (the odd-shaped, creepy-looking, but delicious one pictured) to my husband with the same pride I displayed when I made a misshapen ashtray of clay in grade school.

Maybe it didn’t look so pretty, but it got the job done.

Through the experience of gardening I’ve developed a deeper appreciation for the earth, nature, the myriad of bugs that still find me utterly delicious. And for summer. The lovely season that made my garden possible.

For me, gardening is no longer a hobby. It’s an essential part of my daily life. Like cooking or going grocery shopping. It’s a part I just happen to enjoy very much.

Okay, maybe summer is my season, after all.

 

About the Author – Reese Ryan

ReeseRyanBioReese Ryan is an author of multicultural romance novels and women’s fiction. She serves as the current president of her local Romance Writers of America chapter.

Reese writes sexy, contemporary fiction filled with colorful characters and sinfully-sweet romance. She secretly enjoys torturing her heroines with family and career drama, reformed bad boys, revealed secrets, and the occasional identity crisis, but always rewards them with a happily ever after.

When she isn’t writing or working in her garden, Reese designs handmade jewelry and creates handmade and hand-embellished journals for her shop, Sinfully Sweet Handmade.

 

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Coffee: A Love Story

I longed to be a grown-up. Grownups seemed to have all the fun. They made the rules and stayed up late.

DinerCoffeeGrownups also had coffee.

We had iced tea with dinner every night and the fridge was always stocked with Coca Cola and Dr. Pepper – all drinks full of caffeine and sugar – but coffee was always off limits.

There was something about the smell of coffee that made me long for it. Either that, or simply being off limits made me want it. Especially considering my mom drank Folgers Instant at home.

The year we went on vacation to Florida, I finally saw my opportunity. In a diner outside Orlando, I asked for coffee, the waitress looked at my mom and she agreed.

I was overjoyed.

I happily flipped the heavy white cup right side up and placed it on the saucer. The waitress poured the steaming brew into my cup and I marveled at the tantalizing smell. I shook two packets of sugar into the cup like my father had in his cup and took a tiny sip.

It was strong and bitter.

Then I decided I should fix my cup like my mother’s and proceeded to pop open three little white containers of cream into my cup and watched as the color shifted from black to caramel.

I took another cautious sip.

This was perfection. This was heaven. This was why grownups drank coffee.

Though I still wasn’t allowed to have coffee when we were home, every vacation after that one to Florida meant I got to drink like a grown up.

One of the first purchases I made when I was living in my own home was a coffee maker.

My beverage consumption Is quite different from my childhood days; you’ll usually find me with a glass of water at hand and I can’t tell you the last time I had a Dr. Pepper. But I can’t imagine life without coffee.

That cup of coffee brings out the positive memories of mother; when she allowed me to play grown-up on vacation. It’s become my morning ritual, the mixing of magic beans with water. The two tiny spoons of raw sugar and a splash of whole milk until the liquid in my cup transforms from black to soft caramel. Just like she drank it.

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” –T. S. Eliot

About the Author – Debra Smouse

debrasmouse200x300 I’m Debra Smouse, a self-admitted Tarnished Southern Belle. I can help you detangle all your clutter, fall in love with yourself and your life, and unleash your inner sex kitten.

My truth? In order to live life the way you were meant to, you must fall in love with the day-to-day activity of living.

I spend my days writing and working with people who want to change the world, beginning with themselves.

Want to bring your dreams into your reality? Snag my FREE EBook You Can Achieve Your Dreams: There’s Still Time in 2015

A life coach and writer, me and my Gypsy Soul have stopped their constant roaming and have settled down in Dayton, OH where I share life’s adventures with the Man of My Dreams.

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Summer Flowers by Penny Luker

In my youth I remember a beautiful garden created by my father. He worked hard all week, did a long train journey penny in gardeneveryday and sometimes was in time to kiss us good-night. In summer the days were longer so sometimes we’d get half an hour in the garden with him before bedtime. At weekends I remember long heady days where he would do jobs round the garden and my sister and I were happy just to sit and listen to him as he worked.

He told us about flowers, shrubs and trees and there was always wonder in heart.

The flowers in the garden were always colourful and bright. He didn’t go for aesthetic colour schemes, but the grass was always cut and the borders full of dazzling beauty.

I remember one day, when the sun was beating down, my friend Pat and I decided to make some perfume. To make perfume you needed a bucket with a small amount of water, a drop of washing up liquid and the petals from as many different flowers as you could find. We worked tirelessly all afternoon; firstly plucking a few petals from each flower, but by the end of the afternoon the whole flower head was going in the bucket.

When we finished we carried the bucket to the garage so that the mixture could work its magic overnight.

poppiesWhen my father came home from work, I knew immediately that he was cross, but he didn’t rant and rage.

He said quietly, ‘I can’t believe you would spoil the garden for everyone by picking all the heads off the flowers.’

The next day Pat and I went to the garage and strained off the concoction into several clean bottles and I took him one of them to father. He sniffed it carefully and told me that although it was a shame the garden had no more flowers, the perfume was indeed beautiful.

Today my husband plants our garden with wonderful summer flowers.

They burst into splashes of colour, sometimes themed to go well together and sometimes planted for contrast of height and colour. As I wander round, often with a cup of tea, I smell the delicate fragrance and enjoy the waves of colour that every summer brings.

It’s the little things in life that evoke memories and give us a sense of well-being.

 

Images courtesy of Author Penny Luker

About the Author – Penny Luker

pennylukerbiophotoHi. My name is Penny Luker and I am a writer and a ‘learner’ artist. I used to work as a head teacher of a small school in Cheshire and later for the Open University as an associate lecturer in child studies.

I am passionate about writing and enjoy writing poetry, short stories and novels. You T F frontcan find my blog at www.pennyluker.wordpress.com

I have just finished a one year, level 2, diploma in fine art and design at Mid-Cheshire College and aim to go back and do a Foundation Stage art course next year.

I also play the piano and ukulele (badly) but I love both playing and listening to music.

The Truth Finder is my most recent book and can be purchased from Amazon. (If you live in the UK | If you live in the US)

The brilliant cover was painted by my artist brother-in-law Graham Luker.

Connect with me in a variety of spaces on the web.

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Summertime Blues and Books by Theresa Reed

“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” ~ Jeannette Walls

Although I was born in the summer of love, I’ve never had much of a love affair with the season.

The heat bearing down on my pale skin, freckling and burning every exposed part. The endless boredom that only a theresareedchildgirl who hated the outdoors and nature could understand. The bees, the allergies, the stupid neighborhood kids who wanted to play kick the can when I preferred to sit under the shade of a tree and play with my bendy monkey toy.
The garden, which Dad diligently tended to, and I avoided due to the dirt and “hard work” involved.

No, summer didn’t thrill me. I longed for the cool weather of fall and winter and going back to school.

Unlike other children, when school let out for the year, I was disappointed. No more could I linger in the library and hide away from the other kids, who were often more interested in rough play than I was. I knew that when the school year ended, I would be bored out of my mind and getting shooed out of the house by an impatient and busy mother who also preferred the school season because we’d be out of her hair. (Trust me, I wanted her out of mine just as badly as she wanted me out of hers.)

The one thing that saved me were books.

Even though the library was shut for summer, I had access to books through the little bookstore we’d visit when we went into the big town for groceries. I’d carefully save my allowance and invest in comics, magazines, and “chapter books” such as The Wind In The Willows or Charlotte’s Web. (When I was 13, I got my hands on Midnight Express, a brutal and graphic story of an American drug smuggler getting stuck in a Turkish prison, because my parents would not allow me to see the movie. Um…they should have paid closer attention to what I was reading at that age.)

I’d sit on the old Morris chairs with the lions carved into the handles with my stack of goodies and read for hours. I would lose myself in those make-believe worlds and pass my days sheltered from the sun and the other kids. This was a slice of peace and a haven for a bookish little girl who never felt comfortable in the sun or with her peers.

As I grew older, books remained my solace. I am still not a fan of the heat and I avoid it at all costs. I love to curl up during this balmy, lazy time of year with another stack of books (although I’ve swapped fiction for non-fiction) and just read, read, read.

Summer is my time to slow down and feed my mind. And that makes this season a delicious and cool escape from the world.

Blessings,
Theresa

About the Author – Theresa Reed

theresareed200x300Theresa Reed (alias: The Tarot Lady) is an intuitive Tarot reader, astrologist, teacher, mentor & yogi with over twenty five years of professional experience, industry street cred for miles, and thousands of clients in her digital rolodex.

She’s devoted to helping people make better decisions & lead happier lives — using Tarot as an instigational tool for confident, bold & emotionally-intelligent action — in life, in love & in business.

She is also a business mentor with a mission to help spiritual + metaphysical business owners get their sh*t together, build strong + profitable empires, and experience the freedom they want + deserve. Because running your own business is HOT — and even mystics gots to pay the bills.

She’s also the creator of Creative Coupling, a guidebook for entrepreneurs and the people that love them

You can find all the goods and deets at her online hub: The Tarot Lady.

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The Summer Smile Ten Dollars Can Buy by Melissa Bartell

For me, summer has always meant two things: the beach, and flowers.

bucket_of_flowersI was very fortunate to spend almost every summer of my childhood – until I turned sixteen, actually – at the Jersey shore with my grandparents. That was when I had a bathing suit for every day of the week. Actually, I had two for each day, because we had different suits for the ocean and the swimming pool.

That was also when I fell in love with flowers.

My grandmother had the ultimate green thumb. She grew backyard roses from cuttings stolen from friends and neighbors, she had a table full of African violets that seemed to be immortal. My grandfather, on the other hand, retired from the Army and decided to become a gentleman farmer, or at least, as much of one as was possible in a suburban New Jersey back yard.

His specialty was fruit – strawberries the size of my fist, grapes in soil that you wouldn’t expect to accommodate grapes, crops of raspberries that began wild on the edge of the compost heap and eventually took over the back quarter of the yard – but he, too, loved flowers. More than that, he loved bringing home fresh flowers, and presenting them to my grandmother, my aunts, my cousins, and me. He was a completely unaffected man, and the flowers he brought to us – usually things like sunflowers or tall stems of gladiolas – were offered, not in pretty tissue paper or a fussy vase, but jammed haphazardly into a galvanized steel bucket.

The point is, every summer I was surrounded by fresh flowers. Those back yard roses came inside and were floated in bowls, displayed in bud vases, scattered through every room of the house. Those sunflowers perked up the bathrooms and greeted us from the kitchen counter, becoming as ubiquitous in our lives as Grandpop’s crock of sourdough starter that lived above the dishwasher.

As I grew older, I learned that a house without fresh flowers is just as dismal as a house without pets. When I lived at home, my mother would fill the house with greens (spider plants, wandering Jews, ferns) and buy fresh flowers from time to time, and I picked up her habit.

In my dorm room, I always had flowers on my desk, even if it was just a few stems of carnations in a drinking glass.

In my first apartment, I had a bud vase on every windowsill – it was a studio; I didn’t have counters space or end tables.

Twenty years ago, when I got married, my husband and I went through the same budget struggles all young couples experience as we learned to balance the freedom of living entirely on our own recognizance with the requirement that we pay bills on time, keep gas in the car, and have money for laundry.

We learned that we each have minimum requirements for happiness. For my husband, to this day, sunflower seeds and fantasy novels are essential for his well-being. I, on the other hand, become bitter and cranky when I don’t have frou-frou coffee and fresh flowers.

More than once, I have spent my last ten dollars fulfilling that need – buying a bouquet of irises, indulging in five bunches of daffodils, filling the house with carnations – because those small joys that bring summer into the house are the things that keep me going, even when I feel tired, frumpy, and boring.

More than once, I have also advised friends, even those who, like me, are freelancers who often have incredibly erratic pay schedules, that indulging in those small joys – a coffee drink once a week, a basket of strawberries from the farm stand on the corner, a bunch of fresh flowers from the grocery store – is what makes life worth living.

When you spend your last ten dollars on flowers, I tell them, you’re not really buying just the flowers; you’re actually buying hope. You may take home tulips, but you’re also taking in that carefree summer feeling.

Sure, the flowers may have cost ten bucks.

But the summer smile that spreads across your face when you see them every day for the next week?

That’s priceless.

Photo Credit (for the bucket of flowers): Copyright: fotogestoeber / 123RF Stock Photo
(Used with permission)

About the Author – Melissa Bartellmelissabatellbiophoto

 

Writer, book reviewer, voice actor, dog-lover, and bathtub mermaid, Melissa can be found at her her website (MissMeliss.com) or her book blog (Bibliotica).

You can also listen to her podcast, “Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub” at Bathtub Mermaid or on iTunes.

 

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The Smell of Rain on Hot Concrete

Summers were a mixed bag for me as a kid. I loved the ability to read what I desired, stay up late chasing lightening Deathtostock_creativecommunity2bugs, and indulging in the menus that only summer brought – from ice cream and watermelon to juicy tomatoes and corn on the cob. The downside, though, were the hours upon hours of time alone.

For an extroverted gal, it could be frustrating. And, a little boring. Sure, there were some neighborhood kids to play with, but in the heat of the day, everyone stayed inside to stay cool.

Once summer got into full swing, my mother would pack me up and take me to my grandmother’s house in Waxahachie. Though there weren’t any little kids to play with, a change in location stimulated my imagination.

I learned to sew, though I never quite managed to make wearable clothes. I learned to crochet, which we would do as we watched my grandmother’s shows – the Young & the Restless, One Life to Live and General Hospital were musts.

We at Watermelon Popsicles bought at the Piggly Wiggly and sometimes went to Sonic for not just soft serve, but a swirl of chocolate and vanilla soft serve. I picked ripe figs from the fig tree outside her bedroom, always fighting the blue jays for the juicy goodness.

At my grandmothers, I got to help with household chores. Things my mother did since it was easier for her to do them. I dusted, organized the pantry, cleaned the bathroom, and hung clothes out on the line to dry.

And when I began to get a little antsy, she would usher me outside to play. There were rocks to find and the hope of catching one of Ms. Gentry’s cats (I never could). I could walk around the block or climb up in the tree with my books and read while I watched the world go by.

The only downside to my grandmother’s house was that she didn’t have air conditioning. Well, she had a window unit in the Living Room but didn’t like to run it. Instead, she had black oscillating fans propped up on chairs in every room along with one big fan on a stand in the living room.

We slept with the windows open. I didn’t like the heat, but I learned waking to the cooing of doves was one of the most comforting and loving sounds in the world.

When I was home, a summer thunderstorm meant being cooped up in the house with no chance to ride my bike or DANCE by HDC Photography Flckrgo swimming. But, thunderstorms were magical when I was at my grandmother’s.

Imagine a scorching hot day and the rise of the humidity levels. Air conditioned spaces were a welcome respite from the trickles of sweat flowing down your back and the beads of perspiration that always made my hair kink up.

It was hard to breathe on those hot and humid days because the warm wet air just took more effort for your lungs to process.

When the weather finally broke, and the first heavy drops of rain would hit the hot concrete, it created this magical scent that not only dropped the temperatures, but somehow robbed humidity’s grip upon your chest.

To this day, the smell of rain on hot concrete propels me back to summers ensconced at my grandmother’s house.

Then, like any other restless day, my grandmother would encourage me to go out and play in the rain. (Something my mother never allowed because I would get wet and dirty and hurt myself).

The rain created magical rivers in the valley of the curbs that I could cool my feet in as I splashed to the corner. Sometimes, I stubbed a toe, but it was worth every sloshing step. Every globule of rain seemingly rinsed away any blues and all of the restlessness.

Once I’d had enough, I’d be met at the door with fresh towels and told to go ahead and take my bath. I’d go into the pink-tiled bathroom and sit on the side of the tub with my feet firmly planted on the bottom and watch as the grime from the blacktop would first make footprints on the porcelain and then begin to ebb away.

What never left me, though, is the scent of rain on hot concrete brings and the unadulterated love of my grandmother.

*1st Image via “Death to the Stock Photo. 2nd Image Via HDC Photography (Flickr Creative Commons)

About the Author – Debra Smouse

debrasmouse200x300 I’m Debra Smouse, a self-admitted Tarnished Southern Belle. I can help you detangle all your clutter, fall in love with yourself and your life, and unleash your inner sex kitten.

My truth? In order to live life the way you were meant to, you must fall in love with the day-to-day activity of living.

I spend my days writing and working with people who want to change the world, beginning with themselves.

A life coach and writer, me and my Gypsy Soul have stopped their constant roaming and have settled down in Dayton, OH where I share life’s adventures with the Man of My Dreams.

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12 Reasons to Visit Your Local Farmers Market by Sue Ann Gleason

One – You can take your dog shopping with you.

Dog at Farmers Market

Two – You can take your kids and they’ll think it’s a street fair.

Kids at Farmers Market

Three – You’ll really begin to appreciate the terms ‘local’ and ‘seasonal.’ And who knows? You may even find a very good deal.

c. good deal_sm

Four – You’ll get curious about the health benefits of cultured and fermented foods. You may even sign up for my summer Eat Your Way to Gorgeous online adventure and learn how to make your own!

d. fermented_sm

Five – You’ll find yourself wanting to explore the meaning of phrases like ‘fair trade’ and ‘non-GMO’ and learn why it’s so important to be an educated consumer.

e. fair trade_sm

Six – You’ll meet wonderful organic farmers like Hana Newcomb of Potomac Vegetable Farms who has been growing organic vegetables for thirty-five years.

Hana Newcomb of Potomac Vegetable Farms

Seven – You may discover that bee pollen is a better alternative to the ‘protein powders’ you thought you needed in your morning shake.

g. bee pollen_sm

Eight – You’ll find healthy “convenience” food that doesn’t come in a styrofoam container or a can.

h. soup_sm

Nine – You’ll start looking for words like ‘ecologically grown produce’ and you’ll be grateful there are still people out there who take the time to figure out how to control garden pests without chemical intervention.

i. ecologically_grown_sm

Ten – You’ll meet not only the faces, but also the commitment (no extracts, no shortcuts, no compromises) behind the items you purchase. You may even give yourself permission to indulge in some homemade ice cream like Sin du Jour by Sinplicity.

j. face_food_sm

Eleven – You’ll find herbs that delight your foodie sensibility and spark your imagination.

k. choc_mint_sm

Twelve – You may even come away with not one, but two beautiful pieces of art, because you were drawn to the spirit and passion of the painter and you knew that someday he would famous.

l. art_sm

And finally, you may decide to take a walk on the wild side and prepare something really yummy like a seriously simple nectarine salad for picnic lunch!

Seriously Simple Nectarine Salad

(from the Sprinkle, Splash, Swirl & Savor™ Collection)

Ingredients

  • 3-6 organic nectarines (depending on size)
  • 1 lemon or lime
  • 1 cup raw organic salted pistachios
  • 1 handful fresh mint or basil, slivered
  • extra-virgin olive oil (lemon-infused even better!)

Instructions

  1. Slice nectarines.
  2. Drizzle with high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime.
  4. Sprinkle with salted pistachios and slivers of fresh mint or basil.

nectarine_600

About the Author – Sue Ann Gleason

sue_ann_gleason_bioSue Ann Gleason is food lover, food writer, food-based healer and champion for women who want to lead a more delicious, fully expressed life. She has been featured in Oprah and Runner’s World magazines and numerous online publications.

When not working with private clients or delivering online programs, Sue Ann can be found sampling exotic chocolates or building broccoli forests in her mashed potatoes.

You can connect with Sue Ann in a number of places. Delicious freebies await you!

Her Eat Your Way Gorgeous online adventure has two rounds this summer. Join one or both (for the same cost)

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Summer Love Notes Challenge #1

In the early 70’s, Mansfield, Texas was a one stoplight town, but it was far enough away from home that I never gave summer_love_challenge1it much thought.

What I did think about, though, were the train tracks: if a train was coming through town, we were stuck on our side of town until it passed. That meant we couldn’t get to my granny’s house or Lee’s Supermarket.

We could, however, get to Dairy Queen.

I loved the nights my mother didn’t want to cook and we’d get take-out. Our only in-town choices were the Fried Chicken place off of Main or Dairy Queen. I liked Dairy Queen the best.

We could get hot dogs with onions and relish on them, big juicy hamburgers with melted cheese, steak fingers served with cream gravy and thick buttered toast, and crispy French fries.

Best of all: Dairy Queen had ICE CREAM.

If we were picking up dinner, I’d beg for an ice cream sandwich or a Dilly Bar, treats we could pop in the freezer while we ate our completely delicious and perfectly greasy food choices.

What was even better, though, were the late summer evenings when my mother would get out a cake pan and send my dad and I to Dairy Queen to bring back Banana Splits and Hot Fudge Sundaes. (Her theory being that if anything melted, the pan would catch the drips.)

I fondly recall their “Banana Fudge Royale”. It was much better than the Banana Splits and that gooey yellow-ish pineapple concoction on the middle scoop; the Royale was all my favorite parts of a banana split: ice cream topped with bananas, hot fudge and whipped cream.

Though we regularly kept Ice Cream in the freezer, it didn’t compare to the soft, creamy goodness of Dairy Queen’s soft-serve with it’s thick, rich flavor and the signature Curly Q on the top of every scoop.

I learned, too, that going with my dad to Western Auto, to take something to Granny’s, or to hang out while he took the cars to the Car Wash typically meant we would drive through Dairy Queen for a Cherry Coke or Cherry Vanilla Doctor Pepper and an ice cream cone.

Do you remember their beautiful soft serve cones DIPPED in Chocolate?

We never fessed up to my mom or sister that we’d gotten a treat while we were out; I’m sure my mother suspected.

Summers meant an increase in ice cream consumption.

That’s my Summer Love Challenge to you this week: Go out and get ice cream.

Don’t calculate the calories or the points. Don’t look for the low-fat or sugar free versions. Don’t obsess over the fact that it isn’t “Artisan Made” with “Organic and Fair Trade” ingredients.

Go to an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor and get two scoops. Go to Dairy Queen for a Soft-Serve Dipped Cone. Indulge in a Hot Fudge Sundae or go for that Banana Split.

Allow your more sophisticated adult palate to play like a child.

And while you’re out indulging in your Summer Treat, snap a photo and share it in your Social Media Streams (Facebook, Instagram) and tag it: #SummerLoveNotes – That way, we can all share in the creamy deliciousness that is Ice Cream.

Here’s to Ice Cream on a Hot Summer Day.

Note: This Summer Love Notes Challenge #1 runs until July 1st.

About the Author – Debra Smouse

debrasmouse200x300 I’m Debra Smouse, a self-admitted Tarnished Southern Belle. I can help you detangle all your clutter, fall in love with yourself and your life, and unleash your inner sex kitten.

My truth? In order to live life the way you were meant to, you must fall in love with the day-to-day activity of living.

I spend my days writing and working with people who want to change the world, beginning with themselves.

A life coach and writer, me and my Gypsy Soul have stopped their constant roaming and have settled down in Dayton, OH where I share life’s adventures with the man of my dreams.

Get Social with Debra

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