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Elizabeth Woodworth: Want to surprise your dad on Sunday? Try fresh flowers

By Elizabeth Woodworth
Contributing writer
updated: 6/12/2019 12:49 PM

The second week of June often brings a heat wave. Thunderstorms are likely as the full moon influences the June 15 weather system. Chances of hurricane formations increase (why not have a hurricane or two to go with all the tornadoes?). The Milkweed Beetle Mating Moon is full on the 17th. (Countryside)

June 14 is Flag Day.

Father's Day, June 16: My father-in-law's birthday was June 15. Always liked it when both coincided, could combine occasions with one gift. I did hit upon the greatest Father's Day gift, mostly by accident. I didn't know how it would be received, but his reaction was good enough for me to continue doing until he died.

When we were visiting in the spring, I went to the local florist and ordered flowers for Father's Day. As I remember it was an arrangement in a table top-sized wheelbarrow. Dad was so pleased, said it was the first time he had ever gotten flowers. I always had cut flowers delivered, they can be discarded when they wilt. One year they were visiting their daughter in upstate New York. I asked her to get flowers for me. She and her mom did, but artificial ones. Ada brought them home on the train. She, like my mom, could never throw out an artificial arrangement. So if you want to give your dad flowers, make them fresh.

Fun fact for Dairy Month. The ice cream sundae was first made in 1892 on -- what else? -- a Sunday, and then was given a different spelling at the request of church people.

Saw an ad for something made with "wild" honey. I can't imagine these people are out in the woods chopping down a bee tree fighting angry bees and more angry bears. But that is what the idea of wild honey conjures up. Think about it, isn't all honey wild? I have had bees, yes in a hive I put together for them and wax so comb-making was easier. But if they didn't like the place they left. A swarm in your tree is a bunch of wild bees looking for a home. Never have I been able to tame a bee, nor has anyone I know. You might think they like you, but get in their flight path or try to take their honey and you'll find out quickly they are wild. Like most advertising, it sounds OK until you think about it.

It's amazing what a few days of dry and hot do for crops. Between here and Massac there are several fields with corn up high enough to know it is corn and not beans. Maybe there is hope.

Sister says the gnats are taking over Minnesota. They had to cut their golf game short because of them. She is bitten on her face and other exposed skin. The wet weather has brought them out like the mosquitoes in Alaska and the "no-see-ems" in Canada. She has been told that they might have to put up with them all summer, unless the weather changes drastically. So far we seem to be OK, hope it stays that way. Evidently cold weather doesn't kill all the insects. Which brings me to this, a question to Marilyn vos Savant, "Alaska is host to trillions of mosquitoes. How do they survive so much cold weather?"

Answer: "The species that survive the frigid winter depend on 'supercooling,' a process by which they rid their body fluids of impurities what would otherwise trigger the formation of ice. Is there a way you can avoid mosquitoes without repellent while you're exploring this majestic land? Of course! Avoid June and July. But if that's when you simply must visit, your options are limited. You can go out when it's raining, mosquitoes don't like rain. Or take a cow along. Mosquitoes like to bite cows much more than humans." (LOL)

June is our family birthday month, more than any other. Food Network fans tell how they celebrate -- 70% make homemade frosting; 55% love surprise parties; 45% hate them; 77% go out for a birthday dinner. You really don't do this when your kids are young -- it means a sitter, getting dressed up, and being up late.

Favorite birthday cake flavor is chocolate by a long shot. Red velvet got just 9% of the vote. Never have made one, but as I recall, red velvet is just devil's food with a bunch of red coloring. Sprinkles: Chocolate 32% vs. rainbow 68%. Fondant looks great, but almost 75% won't eat it. The go-to drink: champagne. The bubbles don't really tickle your nose and it costs too much. Happy birthday to June babies!

"Movies show people kissing in the rain, but I want a guy who'll run out there and get the cushions off the porch chairs when the weather starts kicking up." (AnniemuMary on Twitter)

• Elizabeth Woodworth lives in Harrisburg.