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Plan a picnic

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Okay – so you'd like to do something special for Mom but breakfast in bed or taking her out to dinner again doesn't seem to be the thing.  Somehow you want to let her know you appreciate all of the wonderful things she does for you.  Why not take her on a picnic?  All you need is a little enthusiasm, an open mind and the participation of everyone in the family who's available.

Here are some important tips – if you follow them, your outing is sure to be a success!

1.  First you need to pick a good location – try a park, the beach or your local botanical garden – but if you're in a bind, your backyard will work just fine! And if it rains, why not do it in your living room?

2.  Be sure to bring a big blanket or a sheet – but make sure it's an old one so you don't have to worry about grass stains.

3.  Bring the Sunday paper or a copy of Mom's favorite magazine for her to read.

4.  Grab a frisbee or a football for everyone to play with.

5.  Take along an assortment of beverages – non-alcoholic for the kids, water for everyone and a bottle of chilled white wine, which is always a nice addition to any al fresco dining experience. Don't forget the corkscrew!

6.  Paper plates, paper cups, plastic utensils and paper napkins are a good idea: they are lightweight and cleanup is minimal.

7.  Include plastic bags to throw trash in.

8.  Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen – the sun can be quite strong in May.

9.  In addition to your main meal items, try bringing some bread and cheese, olives, dried fruit or any other easy, low maintenance snacking items

10.  Put everything in a picnic basket, or better yet, a cooler.  And make sure you pack everything with ice to keep food fresh during the day.