Celebrating The Joys of Summer

Kook Sisters Summer Edition (Volume II)

Hello fellow Kook Sisters (and Brothers),

Thank you for becoming part of our circle of family and friends.

We’re excited about the summer season, and we hope you are too! The sun is shining brighter, the days are getting longer, and the air is filled with the sweet scent of blooming flowers and freshly cut grass. It's time to grab the sandals, break out the sundresses, and get ready for an epic summer. And we're here to help!

Our Kook Sisters team has been working around the clock, cooking up some fantastic features that will transform your summer from "ho-hum" to "holy wow!"

We added two new topics to our feature stories: one on preparing for natural disasters and the other on travel. We can't wait to hear what you enjoyed in this issue. We're on a mission to make this summer the best one yet, and we want you to be part of it. So grab your sunglasses, slather on that sunscreen, and let's dive into the season together. 

To better get to know each other, we started a Kook Sisters ezine Facebook group. We hope you'll join!

With sunny smiles,

Susan, Laurel, and Sarah Kook

P.S. Sharing is caring, right? If you enjoyed this issue, please forward it to your friends and family. 😉

Keep in touch. Just email us at sisters@kooksisters.com and join our mailing list

Growing up on the Gulf Coast, we really only worried about one thing: hurricane season (June through November). A couple of years ago, we had an eleven day freeze that crippled our power and water supply and left families without power for days. Flooding has worsened as our area continues to grow and storms gather strength. 

Now we must always be prepared for unpredictable and extreme weather. It's time we all get ready, and we have a To Do list for you.

Prepare to whisk away to Europe. We're covering everything you need to know about preparing for European travel and sharing insider tips to make your summer or fall journey a safe, easy, and memorable one.

Travel is a new feature for the Kook Sisters. We have some intrepid travelers and adventurers in our extended circle of family and friends, and we will bring our collective wisdom to make the most of your vacations and explorations. 

There is nothing more nostalgic than a summer picnic at the beach. 

We have some great beach reads for you:

For fans of Mysteries, Thrillers, and Suspense:

Killers of a Certain Age, by Deanna Raybourn

For lovers of Historical Amateur Detective Mysteries with a spicy side of Romance:

The Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn

For Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans:

The Murderbot Diaries series by Martha Wells

For lovers of magical realism and Historical Fiction:

The Murmur of Bees by Sofía Segovia (Author), Simon Bruni (Translator)  

Summer is in full swing, and swimwear has a colorful, retro feel this summer. Jump in now!

 The summer season brings with it longer days, warmer weather, and endless possibilities for entertaining children. These ideas will help you engage kids in stimulating activities that promote learning, creativity, and fun. 

Getting the safest, most protective products for your family's needs

A cool, flavorful salad for entertaining a crowd that goes from bridal showers to hosting your book club to dressing up chicken or turnkey leftovers for a family meal.

If only Lady MacBeth had the new enzymatic stain cleaners, her story might have ended differently.

In Part 2 of our series on upping your laundry game we share how to treat those nasty stains.

Kitchen Storage Solutions

It seems we never have enough kitchen storage because we are always freezing something or ferrying storage containers, full or empty, from one house to another. Here are some favorites.

Cool off and enjoy a vegetarian pasta salad full of summer flavors. Great for company and picnics.

Fresh Corn Salad

Laurie loves fresh corn, and this is her crowd-pleasing recipe. Make it when corn is at it freshest and a bargain. Serve cold or room temperature.

When the sun is shining, and nature beckons, there's no better way to celebrate than with a family outing and a delightful picnic. Some of our best memories from childhood were made at the beach with our parents. We would drive down to Galveston or Freeport, find an almost deserted stretch of beach, gather shells and play in the waves as they touched the shore until we were hungry enough for the picnic our mother had prepared. She would get up early in the morning and fry a chicken, then pack up the potato salad and cookies she made the day before. Watermelon was our favorite beach treat. 

One of our favorite things to do was to take the Bolivar Ferry from Galveston to Bolivar Island, which was mostly deserted. Daddy would hold us up near the railing so we could see the water. Laurie still takes her girls there to enjoy the beach. 

At the time we went with our parents (mid-'60s), you could legally build a fire on the beach. If we stayed until sundown, we would roast hot dogs and marshmallows on the open flames. If we complained about sand blowing into our hotdogs, Daddy said they tasted best that way at the beach. He liked tinned, smoked oysters with saltines, and we would reluctantly try them as we sat by the fire in our swimsuits.  Our beach blanket was a worn-out family crazy quilt made out of leftover scraps of calico flour sack material from the Depression Era. 

We hope this summer brings new and old memories of family celebrating the many pleasures of warm, lazy days.

We three sisters ages 7, 4, and 3 at our grandparent's weekend home in 1965. Photo taken by our father. Our mother and grandmother made our clothes.

Who Are the Sisters?

Susan, a native Texan, is the firstborn. Recently retired from a lifelong career in learning and development, she loves cooking, theater, and films, and is a voracious reader. Susan writes romantic fiction, journal articles, and Kook Sisters eZine features. In graduate school, classmates awarded her the Erma Bombeck Award for humor. In our family, she is affectionately known as Safety Susan for her vigilance. She lives with her tennis-obsessed husband of 43 years, her multi-talented daughter, and the family’s rescue cat and dog. 

 Laurie, the middle sister, went to college on a full music scholarship, where she continued her studies in vocal performance. Her education culminated in a job with the Houston Grand Opera Chorus for seven seasons. While still in college, Laurel met the love of her life, a home and garden magazine photographer. Through her husband, Laurel learned photography and worked as a photo stylist. They built their own business photographing editorial style weddings and events. Widowed, Laurel is raising her two big-hearted teen girls.

Sarah, the youngest, works as a Director of Product Marketing for a tech company. Her free time is spent socializing and attending music, theater, and cultural events. She serves on the board of a renowned community choir, where she lends her voice. An advocate for women’s rights and other social causes, Sarah enjoys volunteer work at a homeless navigation center. She strives to play an important role in the life of young people within our family, her circle of friends, and the community. Her son inherited her musical talent and is an aspiring game programmer.

Your Questions, Answered

Q: I see you are an Amazon Associate. How does that work? Where does the money go?

Thank you for asking. We want to be transparent about this. We decided to be an Amazon Affiliate as a fundraiser for a family member who recently went on dialysis and can no longer work. It takes time to build up a customer base to see profits from this, usually a year. The commission on purchases through our links is 1-5% of the purchase price. Once a shopper gets to the Amazon link whatever they buy in the next hour is credited to our account if Amazon pays commission on that item, and they usually do.  Whether or not you choose to make purchases from our links we hope you enjoy our content and will come back for more articles and recipes as we add them. 

For a quick list of our recommended products, go to the Shopping Links page.

Q: Can I suggest products for your reviews and links?

Yes, just tell us the products you like and why you like them. If your suggested products and your review is published, you will receive an Amazon gift card under the conditions explained in this ezine. Send suggestions and your own articles to sisters@kooksisters.com.

Q: Why should I sign-up for the mailing list?

We will send an update with new article previews before the next issue of the ezine is published. We are thinking of fun things to do with our subscribers, such as contests, social groups, book clubs, etc., and we want to include you in the fun. For our subscribers who sign-up and contribute content or ideas to the ezine, we will send you a $5 Amazon gift certificate. See the sign-up form below.