MAKING MUD PIES ALONG THE MERAMEC
WHAT SUMMER WAS LIKE WHEN I WAS A KID
When I think about summer, I think about days spent along the banks of the Meramec River with my family, fishing, floating, and camping next to the water. As a kid, I had a blast covering myself in mud, rinsing it off in the river, then doing it all over again. That’s the best kind of fun when you’re a kid, right? Luckily, my parents were okay with it. In those days, we would camp out in my great uncle’s cow pasture in Doniphan, Missouri, right alongside the cow patties and next to the river. During the day, my sister and I made mud pies while my dad fished. At night, we had campfires and then went to sleep in our little red tent.
usually to celebrate the Fourth of July. It’s often one of the few times that Dave can get time off from work. My aunt and uncle drive down, and my sister and brother-in-law and their four kids join too. For a few days, we’re in the middle of nowhere together. In the evenings, we have a campfire. Sometimes we’ll rent a Redbox movie, but often, we’ll just talk or play board games or card games. There’s just a lot of food and hanging out. It’s a really good time. On the Fourth, we usually light some fireworks. Since my birthday is in the middle of June, followed by Father’s Day and my mom’s birthday at the end of July, we try to celebrate them all at once while we’re already together in Missouri. It’s nothing formal, but it’s fun to celebrate these milestones. None of us are big fans of birthday cake, so instead we have other tasty desserts. Some years we have homemade caramel brownies, other years it’s Mom’s sugar cookies (which she adds red and blue sprinkles to since it’s also the Fourth of July), and some years we have pie. Mom makes homemade pie crust and the fruit starts out as a whole piece of fruit — there’s no can of filling to be seen in her kitchen. I have some great memories from our trips over the years. Even if I’m not as excited about covering myself in mud anymore, I love being with my family, just hanging out, playing games, and catching up.
I remember one day when we got to the river, it had rained just before, and the banks were just pure mud. We already had
our swimsuits on, so Mom told us, “If you want to go play in the mud, go for it.” We loved having permission to get as dirty as we wanted to, and of course, the river was right there to wash it all off.
“We had cheap fun growing up, but
we didn’t think of it that way. My parents took us to state parks and fish hatcheries, and running around in these
natural areas, it felt like we had our own giant backyard to explore.”
We had cheap fun growing up, but we didn’t think of it that way. My parents took us to state parks and fish hatcheries, and running around in these natural areas, it felt like
we had our own giant backyard to explore.
What’s your favorite summer memory?
Over the years, my summer visits to Missouri haven’t changed all that much — except soon, it was my son Zachary covering himself in mud instead of me. We still try and all meet up in Sullivan, Missouri, once a year at my parents’ house,
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THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
to create “dreamscapes” tailored to different points in your sleep cycle. It’s a well-thought-out product with a clinical trial under its belt. Head to Pzizz.com to learn more or download the app through the Apple App Store or Google Play for a seven-day free trial.
On Sunday, June 20, the sun will stay up in Alaska until almost midnight, longer than any other day of the year. That’s because June 20 is the summer solstice, the day when one of the Earth’s poles is tilted so drastically toward the sun that light hits our whole hemisphere for a few extra hours. It’s a beautiful phenomenon, but it can also be disruptive — particularly if you’re trying to sleep. Life has already thrown a lot of stressors at us over the last six months, so if the extra daylight is the icing on the cake of your insomnia, it might be time to turn to your smartphone for some high-tech help. These two innovative apps can help you get your eight hours in spite of Mother Nature’s curveballs.
CALM: HAVE A CELEBRITY READ YOU A BEDTIME STORY
If you’ve been feeling nostalgic for the bedtime stories of your childhood, then Calm is the app for you. This award-winning application was named the world’s happiest app by Timewell and has helped thousands of people de-stress since it came online in 2012. Though it’s perhaps best known for its meditations, the app also has a library of “Sleep Stories” for adults and kids alike, many read by famous voices like Matthew McConaughey, Stephen Fry, and Alan Sklar. Head to Calm.com to browse the library or download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
PZIZZ: WANDER SCIENTIFICALLY CRAFTED ‘DREAMSCAPES’
Step aside, white noise machines: Pzizz is here to take background noise to the next level. Instead of simply playing ocean sounds or chirping birds to help you doze off, this app relies on a branch of psychology called “psychoacoustics” for its custom sound blends. Its researchers combine ambient sounds with narration
Good luck, and sweet dreams!
4 DRIVING TIPS TO KEEP YOU AND OTHERS SAFE THIS SUMMER
BELLA’S TIP: DON’T LEAVE ME IN THE CAR!
Summer brings warmer weather and some different concerns for our day-to-day travel. Similarly to how you prepare your car for winter, there are some steps you can take to make sure your car is summer-ready and that you’re staying safe while traveling in your community.
Bella wanted us to mention that Kentucky summers can get hot, and a car is no place for your pets or humans. Never leave children or pets in the car, even if you just think you’ll be stopping for a minute.
BE A GENEROUS DRIVER.
Warmer weather also means more pedestrians and cyclists will be out. Be on the lookout when you’re driving. Be aware of pedestrians at intersections. Focus on driving, not on sending a text message. Put your phone on silent and in the back seat so you’re not tempted to use it. Some people may be newer to biking, so give them enough space. Use the same approach with cyclists in rain or other inclement weather. If you notice kids riding their bikes as you’re driving, use extra caution as well. We all want to get where we’re going safely, no matter how we choose to get there. By preparing your car and keeping fellow passengers and commuters in mind, we can all enjoy our time in transit.
PROTECT YOUR BATTERY.
According to AAA, hot summer weather can be even harder on your battery than freezing temperatures. To lessen the impact of heat, clean off any corrosion on and around your battery. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda into 1 cup of water and use an old toothbrush to scrub any corrosion away. If your battery is more than three years old, have a technician check it. Most auto and repair shops will do this for free.
CHECK YOUR COOLANT.
Between flushes, check your coolant level. If needed, you can top it off with a 50-50 mixture of water and coolant.
If you do find yourself in a collision or injured by a driver while biking or walking, our law firm can help. Give us a call for a free consultation of your case.
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BARKS FROM BELLA
PERFECTING THE ART OF GETTING DIRTY
‘HOT DOG’ DOG BISCUITS
Inspired by Chewy.com
Fido shouldn’t eat scraps from the grill, but he can still enjoy a classic summertime snack! Get creative and whip up some “hot dog” dog treats. INGREDIENTS
You know what human habit confuses me? Well, besides those little rectangles they’re always talking to and tapping with their fingers. You’d think they were entering the top secret code to release a vault full of treats, the way they stare at them! But back to my question — it’s baths. I don’t get them. Why would you wash away all those perfectly good scents? It’s something Melissa makes me do after I play outside with my friends, and it just seems silly to me! I’m just going to go back outside and play again. Did I tell you I got a new friend? He lives right next door, and I get to go play with him when both of our humans let us outside. We have a great time together. His legs are a little longer than mine, so I have to run a little faster to keep up. He’s not as fast as with my really tall friends though. They are like dogs but have very long legs and hair that comes out of their backside and neck. They don’t bark, either. They make a funny sound, kind of sounds like they’re saying “neigh.” Strange looking, but I love to run with them! Sometimes with their hard paws they kick up some mud and it lands on me, but I don’t mind! I love running with them. Probably my other favorite outside activity is hunting down the creatures that make tunnels in the ground. It’s so fun digging around and finding them! They’re tricky ones, but sniffing them out is all part of the fun. I’ll admit, my nose does get a little dirty doing all that digging. So when I get home, into the bath I go. Good thing I’m only a run and jump away from getting all those good smells back!
• 1/4 cup water • Beef stick dog treats
• 1/2 cup flour • 2 tsp powdered Parmesan cheese • 2 tbsp natural, xylitol-free peanut butter
WE WANT YOU TO THINK OF US AS YOUR LAW FIRM. If you have a legal matter that needs attention, let us know. If we can’t handle the matter, we will refer you to a firm that can. Please feel free to refer us to your friends and family for their legal needs. We welcome the opportunity to help. 1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. In large bowl, combine flour and Parmesan cheese, then add peanut butter and water. Mix until mixture thickens and forms a dough. 3. Sprinkle flour on your workstation and roll out dough to form a long, 1-inch-thick cylinder. Cut dough into 3-inch pieces. Use the round handle of a wooden spoon to make a crease down the middle lengthwise of each dough piece, forming a hot dog bun shape. 4. Place “buns” on a nonstick baking pan. Cook in the oven for 7–10 minutes, or until hard. 5. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut beef sticks into 3-inch pieces. Place beef sticks into buns to create “hot dogs.” 6. Share with your dog during your next cookout!
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SUMMER MEMORIES FROM MISSOURI 1
CAN’T SLEEP? THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT SUMMER TIPS TO KEEP YOU SAFE ON THE ROAD 2
BELLA’S ADVENTURES NEXT DOOR SPECIAL CANINE COOKOUT 3
BOLSTER YOUR CHILD’S LITERACY WITH NEWSELA 4
BOLSTER YOUR CHILD’S LITERACY WITH NEWSELA
HANDS-OFF LEARNING FOR BUSY PARENTS
Unlike a newspaper or magazine article, though, the content on Newsela is aligned with Common Core educational standards, meaning that time spent practicing skills with Newsela’s learning exercises will help your child start the next school year ahead. Articles come with questions and multiple-choice answers already written, and kids can choose from over 20 different genres, including current events, sports, and even science. The platform publishes 10 new articles every day, and the level of reading and assessment difficulty is adjustable, so your child can practice reading texts that push them without being frustrating or too difficult. Newsela includes a functionality that allows parents or teachers to manually set a Lexile level — a text difficulty level the reflects your child’s reading ability — but if left unadjusted, Newsela will gather data about how your child performs on assessments to automatically set texts to the appropriate difficulty. Newsela collects data on how your child performs on the standards identified in each assessment, so spending some time looking at that data can help you understand their strengths and weaknesses and fill in any gaps in their learning. Whether you adjust text difficulty or Newsela does, learning about your child’s Lexile can be an excellent way to better understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses, which is essential if you are going to help bolster their literacy.
If you are looking for easy-to-implement strategies to improve your child’s literacy at home, check out Newsela. Newsela is a content platform that partners with sources like The Washington Post, Smithsonian.com, and The Economist to provide content that is relevant to the moment on a broad variety of topics.
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