Happy Memorial Day

I would like to wish all of you a very Happy Memorial Day weekend.

While you're enjoying the long holiday, I hope you take a moment out to honor those who gave their lives in defense of our country. Tell your children or grandchildren that Memorial Day is not just a three day weekend, hot dogs, fun in the sun and a family outing, it is the day set aside to remember those who lost their lives defending our way of life.

Below is a video of John Wayne reciting the history of the song 'Taps'. At the end you will hear a chorus singing 'Taps', a song that many are unaware has words because most of the time we hear it it is being played on a trumpet:

Peace and Prayers to all those serving in the military - May you return home safely to your family and friends.


SEX and the CITY - My, How Times Have Changed!

Every time I watched an episode of 'SEX and the CITY' on HBO I always came away laughing and shocked. Laughing because the show was funny and a slice of a single woman's life. Shocked because I grew up in an era where the language and sexual freedom of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda would have almost had them wearing a scarlet "A" on their chests instead of a pair of scarlet souled Jimmy Choos!

It's amazing to me how the world has changed for women, not to mention their wardrobes, in my lifetime. I was born in 1951, spent my childhood in that very conservative, sexually repressed decade and came of age in the world changing sixties. Had I been born a decade or so earlier or later I don't even know who I would have become.

It's hard for me to imagine myself as a contented housewife wearing drab shirtwaist dresses and acceptable pearls like June Cleaver. But it's also hard to see myself in Samantha's wild and sexual, naked-toed Jimmy Choos. I think I'm a cross-dresser between Carrie's creatively independent Manolo Blahniks and Charlotte's naive and conservative Ferragamo pumps with a pinch of Miranda's dry, cynical Gucci tennis shoes tossed into the mix. The funny thing is I find Samantha to be my favorite character on 'SEX and the CITY" and her close to street-walker clothing to be somewhat appealing. There is something to be said for the total freedom Samantha represents.

But I am still a child of the fifties, a young woman who grew up fighting the establishment, fashion and authoritarian, to make my own place in the world. I carry a lot of Fendi baggage from the eras in which I spent my formative years and I'm not quite able to hurdle that last bastion of repression that was pounded into my fertile little female brain as a child.

But I am going to see "SEX and the CITY 2" today. Just like I saw every episode (twice at least by this time) and just like I saw the first movie - twice. Because, even though I'm not quite at the Samantha stiletto stage, I've eased nicely into a Carrie five-inch heel niche over the years. I'm going to go see "SEX and the CITY 2", bask in their friendship, laugh at their sexually suggestive "bon mots" and revel in their freedom to be who they are.

And I'm going to have a few Pink Flirtinis and some excellent New York City style nosh at a chic bistro after with a BFF - because that's just how those "SEX and the CITY" girls roll.

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Happy Mother's Day - More on POPSICLES and some MOM Giggles!

It doesn't have to be Mother's Day for you to give your Mom something fun,
Check out this trippy MOM POP ART on T-shirts, Cups, Aprons & Other Gear

I hope you didn't forget it was Mother's Day - if you did pick up the phone right now and call her! For those of you, like me, who have lost their Mom take a few minutes today to remember her and tell her Happy Mother's Day in your heart!

For those of you who are mother's here's some fun Mother's Day nostalgia and fun for you!

M... is for the million things she gave me,
O... means only that she's growing old,
T... is for the tears she shed to save me,
H... is for her heart of purest gold;
E... is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
R... means right, and right she'll always be.
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"
A word that means the world to me.
--Howard Johnson (c. 1915)

Did/Does your Mom say these things to you too?
  • Always change your underwear; you never know when you'll have an accident.
  • Don't make that face or it'll freeze in that position.
  • Be careful or you'll put your eye out.
  • What if everyone jumped off a cliff? Would you do it, too?
  • You have enough dirt behind those ears to grow potatoes!
  • Close that door! Were you born in a barn?
  • If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
  • Don't put that in your mouth; you don't know where it's been!
A Few Mother's Day Facts:
  • Mother's Day ranks as the third most popular holiday in the world, after Christmas and Easter.
  • Mother's Day is the third-largest card-sending holiday and it is the busiest day of the year for restaurants. Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia wanted to honor her deceased mother ans she created a letter-writing campaign to create a Mother's Day observance.
  • In1914, the US Congress passed legislation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.
A Few of the Things Our Mother's Taught Us:
  • My Mother taught me MEDICINE..."If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they're going to freeze that way."
  • My Mother taught me ESP..."Put your sweater on; don't you think that I know when you're cold?"
  • My Mother taught me TO MEET A CHALLENGE..."What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"
  • My mother taught me about my ROOTS..."Do you think you were born in a barn?"
  • My mother taught me about the WISDOM of AGE..."When you get to be my age, you will understand."
  • And, my all-time favorite - JUSTICE..."One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like YOU -- then you'll see what it's like!"
I'll be Tweeting more MOM all day today too!

Happy Mother's Day - take your Mom out for a Popsicle - or at least make her an ice cream martini or two!


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Cards, Cups, Aprons & More Fun Gifts & Gear

James S. Merritt (founder of Merritt Foods) and D. S. "Doc" Abernathy (creator of Dole Frozen Dessert Bars and Mutant Ninja Turtles Ice Cream Treats) invented the Bomb Pop in 1955. When Merritt Foods closed in 1991, their partner, Morningstar Group, Inc., decided to stop producing and selling frozen confections. Wells Dairy bought the patent to the Bomb Pop and still produces it to this day.

Created at the height of the Cold War, the "atomic age" and the threat of the "Red Menace" the Bomb Pop was originally formed into a six finned rocket shape and layered in 3 flavors and colors: Blue - raspberry, Red - Cherry and White - Lime. Though the trademarked rocket shape has altered a bit over the years (thinner and longer), added new flavors and combinations, it is still one of the most popular ice pops (popsicles) being sold even today.

(Related Interesting Atomic Age Fact: Another iconic pop culture phenomenon was created during this same era of "nuclear threat" - The Bikini! Inspired by the A-Bomb and named after the Bikini Atoll where the original tests were conducted!)

The Bomb Pop Martini Recipe

More Ice Cream Nostalgia:
Ice Cream Nostalgia and The Cold War?
How Popsicles Became POPSICLES®

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How Popsicles became POPSICLES® - Ice Cream Nostalgia

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I've been off on a retro ice cream treat jag this week, all instigated by a rare visit by an ice cream truck driving down my street last week. Yesterday I was musing over Bomb Pops, Astro Pops and the Atomic Age and I've created several Ice Cream Martinis over at The Martini Diva based on some of my favorite frozen treats of the past. (Yesterday I posted the Banana Fudgesicle Martini - I absolutely LOVED Banana Fudgesicles and you can't get them anymore so a martini was a must on that one!)

It got me to wondering about how Popsicles came into being. They're such a simple concept but sometimes the simplest ideas are the ones with the most complicated histories. Not in the case of the Popsicle - it's beginnings were quite simple and humble for such an iconic part of our childhood.

Like many other things in existence, "Popsicles" were invented in 1906 by mistake. A young eleven year old boy named Frank Epperson left a glass of soda powder and water with a mixing stick in it outside overnight and the temperature dropped below freezing. When he awoke the next morning he discovered his soda had turned into a soda flavored icicle with a stick in it. He ran water over the glass to loosen it, tasted the frozen mixture and the Popsicle was born!

Originally he called his discovery the "Epsicle" but his kids just called it "Pop's Icle" as in "pop's icicle". Epperson patented his discovery as the "Popsicle®" and began selling them to the public in 1922. Epperson collaborated with the Joe Lowe Company to bring the treat to the public in movie houses and amusement parks and they formed the original Popsicle Company in 1923.

Epperson obtained a patent on the Popsicle® in 1924 and immediately sold it to a totally new Popsicle Corporation of the United States which set out marketing the frozen treat as "a drink on a stick"and turned it into the pop culture food icon it has become today.

Here in America the name "popsicle" has become identified with almost all frozen confections on a stick but if you live in Britain you might call them an "ice lolly" and in Australia an "ice pole". Popsicle has a much nicer ring, don't you think?

Some Fun Popsicle® Facts:
  • Cherry Popsicles® are the most popular (they're my favorite!)
  • The Popsicle® stick is made from birch.
  • The very first Popsicle® Ice Cream Truck was actually a horse drawn cart!
  • The "twin" Popsicle® was invented during The Great Depression so two kids could share one five cent treat.
Enjoy some retro ice cream fun & nostalgia with my Ice Cream Inspired Martinis:
The POP-A-TINI (inspired by the Firecracker Popsicle)

More on the history of the Popsicle and "popsicles" at the National Archives:
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Bomb Pop, Astro Pop, Creamsicles & Other Nostalgic Ice Cream Treats in the Atomic Age


"I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream"
(How perfect was that phrase in the 1950s?)

I was working away on some graphics on my computer recently when I heard a sound that I hadn't heard in decades - The Ice Cream Truck!

By the way - The Ice Cream Truck song is "Turkey in the Straw" for all you whipper snappers out there!

I swear I got as excited as I did when I was a kid, I ran to my purse, grabbed some money and ran outside just like an eight year old, lol. I was hoping the Ice Cream man had some of my favorites from the fifties - Bomb Pops, Creamsicles and my very favorite, the Banana Fudgesicle! I was happy to see they still had a version of the Bomb Pop and the Creamsicle is still a staple in the ice cream aisle as well as on the ice cream truck but, sadly, my wonderful Banana Fudgesicle had become a thing of the past.

As I giddily hugged my nostalgic frozen treats to my chest and raced back to the house to squirrel them away in my freezer I started thinking about some of the names given to treats for kids in the fifties and sixties. I realized we had a lot of candy and goodies with names that stemmed from our so called "atomic age". We had Milky Way Bars, Mars Bars, Moon Pies, Bomb Pops and Astro Pops. Though I never thought about it as a kid, as an adult I think it's kind of interesting that we were eating anything called a "bomb pop"!

During the fifties and sixties the Cold War was a constant issue. We had bomb drills in school (Duck and Cover!), television and newspapers were filled with stories about the "Red Menace" and people were building bomb shelters in their back yards. We were living in a nuclear age and even our childhood treats reflected the ever present threat of total annihilation! We grew up with the very real fear of having our lives, our families and our world blown to smithereens. Our poor little kid psyches were formed in an atmosphere of H-Bombs, radiation poisoning and the threat of "the end of the world".

Have no fear - The League of Sugar Rush Kid Treats is here! Good Humor Man and Candy Man to the rescue! With the sound of a catchy jingle playing from his truck and the help of liquid nitrogen this Good Humor Man would turn our fears into fun with a rocket shaped frozen confection of raspberry, cherry and lime and Candy Man would sooth our nerves with a binkie of pure sugar goodness!


The Original Bomb Pop®, created by Blue Bunny was an ice cream treat that was a combination of cherry, "blue" raspberry and lime flavors and looked like a rocket ship.

Some people even called them rocket pops because Nestle had a similar frozen confection called Rockets or Triple Rockets®. Popsicle® had their version too called the Firecracker® or the Mega Missile® but the original Bomb Pop was created by "Doc" Abernethy and James S. Merritt in 1955 and is now marketed solely by Blue Bunny. There's even a National Bomb Pop Day celebrated on the last Thursday of June!


Sadly, Astro Pops are no longer being manufactured. Spangler Candy of Bryan, Ohio (also the manufacturer of Dum Dums) introduced the candy in the late fifties/early sixties to cash in on our national obsession with astronauts and the space race with this rocket shaped confection.

Astro Pops were yellow, red and green, shaped like a rocket cone and the pointed end was the top with the wide end having the stick. I remember the flavor(s) being kind of a raspberry/cherry combination and I also remember that wax bottom! As kids we loved the darn things and used them as spears or lances, poking each other (and ourselves) with the very sticky pointed end.

In the late 1990s Spangler inverted the shape, putting the pointed end on the stick, reportedly this was a result of a lawsuit that claimed a child had been injured by the pointed candy - which actually comes as no surprise to me knowing what I used to do with them! Shortly after the sales dropped and the candy was discontinued.

I gobbled up my Bomb Pops and Creamsicles in a couple of days (I gave that ice cream man $20, lol!) but I will not be without the flavors of these nostalgic treats again - I have created several Ice Cream and Candy Martinis inspired by some of my all time childhood favorites! The flavor profiles are there but with a bit more sophistication and a little kick from some booze. So feel free to download the Free Candy and Ice Cream Inspired Martini Recipe Cards and enjoy a little updated nostalgia yourself!

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