I know, I know. But, school has almost started, and like parents throughout the country, we can now look back and calmly recall our worst or best summer vacation.
My vacation? Or like Tim Hunter said in last week’s Nosin’ Around the Northshore.’ What was the highlight of your summer?

Well, mine was a toss-up between going dozing in a beach chair and enjoying the warm sweet days of a carefree summer or putting in a new lawn. My spouse has a reputation for practicality, and that is where we’ve come to the heart of the matter. Because – Oh, all right – let’s face it, physical labor, and I have an understanding. We hate each other.

I can kill spiders in the bathtub and scrape hardened cereal out of the bowl, but do not make me rake.

And that is where a new lawn begins–with a lot of raking. But your professional (NOT!)lawn landscaper husband, on the other hand, does not even think about raking until he has conducted a complete study of the site. Then, checking it out from every possible angle, squinting and squatting, laying face down in the dirt to decide precisely the mathematical count of each pebble that HAS to be removed.

And suppose your raking is like mine–no offense intended–and the off chance one rock happens to fall out of those rake claws and this expert starts to constantly badger you with tips on rake management, carrying of the rake, and other trivia.

I knew I was in trouble right off when he came up off the ground for air. He looked me straight in the eye to see if I was going to violate the marriage code: Thou shall not look away when free labor is right in your yard.

There was a respectful silence, and then I popped a piece of spearmint gum in my mouth and set to work.
Dim now are the memories of the long, humid, tedious hours of hard labor. The flying dirt and dust that settled on top of cars, pets, and me.

The seven days of waiting, hoping that one blade of green grass would rise up in that ROCKLESS soil. The endless hours holding the hose gently spraying each seed. The nods to each other as we passed the hose and took turns on the morning shift, the afternoon shift, and the evening shift. Flagging the area to keep out all dogs and one obnoxious neighborhood kid.

Bright are the memories of that special morning. We cheered, sang, and jumped for joy. We grabbed the video camera, the camera, and the neighbors because in the middle of that familiar dirt was a blade of waving grass, even though it took only two seconds for the obnoxious neighborhood kid to step on it.

No matter because now summer is almost over and there is lots of grass. In fact, we even need to mow (hint). So I have decided on one last picnic before we bid summer adieu. So enjoy your lawn and this fun, easy yet elegant, and a special recipe for your outdoor soiree.

1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cream cheese
4 tablespoons sugar
2 cups fresh blueberries (Frozen/thawed, OK)
4 tablespoon blueberry jelly or apple jelly
3/4 graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoon whipped cream topping
Blend the first three ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth; set aside.
Combine blueberries and jelly and stir gently. Evenly divide the blueberry mixture into four parfait glasses or other decorative cups.) Layer with two tablespoons ricotta mixture, two tablespoons graham cracker crumbs, followed by two more tablespoons of ricotta mixture. Refrigerate for 1 – 1/2 hours.
Let’s see. If school starts now and ends in June…”What–“Nuh-uh it can’t be. But it is time again to come up with over 200 school lunches! Please share your recipes by e-mail to