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The many faces of June

Published June 06. 2011 05:00PM

We had a simply fabulous Memorial Day weekend, didn't we?

Harry and I spent two back-breaking days working in the yard, planting shrubs and flowers and getting the pool ready.

I got poison.

I'm stiff in places I didn't even know existed.

My back is aching.

I got bug bites where no person should get bug bites.

But boy, does our yard look beautiful!

My reward was, on Monday, I spent the entire afternoon floating in my crystal clear swimming pool. In very cold crystal clear water. But by gosh, we spent all that time getting it ready for Memorial Day and I was determined to be in it. Thankfully it was hot enough to enjoy the cooling effects of the frigid Arctic water.

And now here it is June and it is bustin' out all over!

According to the Cultural Calendar site on the Internet, June is the Great Outdoors Month.

Makes sense. It is the beginning of summer and what greater time to be outdoors than now? This is a super time to visit our local state parks for walking on nature trails, camping, and swimming. After winter and our very wet spring, it's a great time to go biking, golfing, kayaking and all those activities we couldn't wait to do. And you can also enjoy the Great Outdoors by simply sitting in a lawn chair reading a book (my favorite outdoor activity.)

But, did you know that June is also National Accordion Awareness Month? (Would I kid you?)

It was established to help spread the word about the resurgence in its popularity (really?) and to educate people about it.

Like, the accordion is:

*the instrument most likely to put a smile on your face.

*the official musical instrument of the city of San Francisco.

*Actress Lucy Liu, Billy Joel and Barry Manilow also play the accordion.

*The accordion is a member of the reed family, not the keyboard family.

*Isn't the accordion just being used at weddings and Bar Mitzvahs? Heck no! Shania Twain's immensely popular "Come On Over" CD has accordion on a couple of tracks. Bruce Hornsby plays the accordion and uses it in shows. Counting Crows use accordions a lot.

*China is the largest manufacturer and exporter of accordions in the world. (Big surprise.)

June is National Bathroom Reader Month. Jack Kreisler, president of Red-Letter Press and publisher of "The Bathroom Library's" books of "The Super Bowl Book," "Sports Quiz," "Baseball," "Game," "Trivia" and "Joke Books", says the bathroom reader is like royalty-they both occupy the throne for long periods of time.

Here are some of Kreisler's Top Ten Reasons Why People Read In The Bathroom:

*more socially acceptable than yodeling

*tank-top is tailor-made for bookrack

*no pain-in-the-butt librarian "sssshhhhsshing" you

*elastic band around ankles increases blood supply to eyeballs

*keeps mind off irrational fear of snakes inhabiting plumbing fixtures

*unlike reading at the beach, involves no deadly cosmic rays

And the #1 reason why people read in the bathroom good supply of 2-ply bookmarks always close at hand

June is also Turkey Lover's Month. (Why wouldn't that be November?) It's promoted by the turkey industry and encourages everyone to combine their love of turkey with summertime grilling. It's website even offers delicious recipes like Grilled Spicey Turkey Tenderloin and Black Bean Salsa. I plan to try this recipe this weekend, minus the jalapeno peppers.

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. salt

tsp. cayenne pepper

1 lb. turkey tenderloins

cup onion, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

2 tsp. olive oil

1 can (15-ounces) black beans, rinsed and well drained

1 can (8 -ounces) corn, drained

cup tomato, chopped

2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 lime, quartered

In small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper; sprinkle one half of mixture over turkey.

In medium, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onion and jalapeno pepper in oil 2 to 3 minutes, or until onion softens. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, remaining chili powder mixture and cilantro. Cook 25 to 30 minutes or until mixture is heated throughout.

Meanwhile, preheat charcoal grill for direct-heat cooking. Grill turkey 15 to 20 minutes or until meat is no longer pink in center and meat thermometer reaches 160 degrees F. Allow tenderloins to stand 10 minutes before serving. To serve, squeeze lime wedge over each serving.

June has many faces and the Cultural Calendar website offers 44 special events that are celebrated, some serious and some silly. June also has Flag Day, June 14 and June 19 is Father's Day. But my favorite date in June is the 21st-the first day of Summer! Yeah!

June has 30 days in it and here's hoping you find 30 great ways to celebrate it. Let me know how you spend some of your June days.

(NOTE: The amount of brown sugar and sugar were omitted in last week's column for Instant Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies. The amounts are 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup sugar. Sorry!)

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