My pumpkins seeds arrived in the mail yesterday. I’m excited to get them planted so that I can have all the pumpkins that my heart desires in October. I love the fall!
But, then again, I love summer too. Except for the heat.
And the mosquitos.
It’s hard to believe that June is almost half over. Every season has certain rituals and here are my favorite things that I need to do before Labor Day to make me feel like I got the most out of the longest days of the year. If you do at least half of these, you won’t be sorry!
10 Ways to Make Sure You Make The Most of This Summer
1-Pick berries at a local farm. I rarely miss a year picking blueberries because this is one thing in a field where you can work while standing up vs. bending over like you do to pick strawberries. I like to pick blueberries, but my hub LOVES to pick them. I think the main reason I like to go with him is so I can witness his sheer delight. I got strawberries at a local farm this week and last night ate so many as I was washing them that I went to bed with a stomach ache. I was doing a scientific experiment as to which shape berries were the sweetest….it hurt so good.
2-Get your body into a body of water. A pool is okay. But natural water is even better. The ocean (Oh, wait…a kid got bit by a shark off the coast of Delaware yesterday at one of our favorite beaches), tube down a river, or play under a waterfall. I love pool time, but water that is not contained by man has real stress relief for me. We have discovered kayaking this summer and I’m obsessed. Much to the hubs dismay. He already knows the answer to “What do you want to do this weekend?” Maryland has hundreds of water highways best explored without a motor and it’s been fun finding them.
3-Sit on a porch during a rainstorm. This has been almost a daily event for this week as we are experiencing high amounts of rainfall. I have several places to perch to watch the rain pour down. I prefer my back porch for rain, and my front porch swing for thunderstorms (so I can comfort our dog Cassie, who has hated thunder since she was a pup). Part of my heart is in Arizona, which is having a severe drought so I use the rain as prayer time too…I can not imagine a world without rain. Would you say a prayer for our folks out west the next time it rains at your house?
4-Plant flowers. Plant YOUR favorite flowers. My favorite summer flowers are hydrangeas and I have several varieties around our house and spring house, but my favorite summer annuals are geraniums. And lantana. No, it’s gerber daisies, No it’s…I can’t choose. I love them all. I love container plantings best. No I love my faithful perennials….Oh crap. I’m a flower mess. Love. Them. All.
5-Go to an outdoor concert. This might just be my #1 favorite summer activity. From free concerts in a local park to seeing U2 in a football stadium, music in the open air does it for me. Willie Nelson and Allison Krause are at an outdoor pavilion this Saturday night. Woohoo!!! Singing under the stars….oh yeah, baby…can’t do that in February.
6-Cool off with cold watermelon. I usually shun GMO altered foods when I can (when I know about it), but I love, love, love seedless watermelon. My family knows that at any given time from June to September, there will be a container of watermelon in the fridge on the sunporch. Nothing beats the heat of working the garden or mowing fields like cold watermelon with juice running down your chin.
7-Show your patriotism. I know it is currently uncool to love America (in the area we live), but I still do. I think Americans ARE exceptional in our mindset, and if you don’t agree, you need to travel the world. I am thankful for the people who died to give me freedom to state my opinion in every area of my life. I love the red, white and blue…on the flag, on my clothes, in flower combinations. You are free to disagree. Just don’t forget why you’re free.
8-Stop at a roadside stand and support your local farmers. Studies show that people prefer produce that is locally grown vs simply organic grown anywhere else (i.e. China) If you can buy local and organic that is a win, win. Make sure that what you think organic means is really what organic is. Go online and see what a farm has to do for their produce to be certified organic, and you’ll appreciate the cost difference. We are doing our personal garden fully organic for the first time and it is a lot more work than giving a good dusting of Sevin. You are good to buy nonorganic if you wash it well. Here’s what I do with all fresh fruits and veggies: I put one tablespoon of white vinegar in a large container of cold water to wash off the pesticide residue. Then I drain that into a large colander and rinse well with cold water.
9-Take an evening walk or bike ride with someone you love. A few years ago the hub and I hit our local trail in preparation for a trip we were taking abroad that we knew we would be walking a lot. We broke in our walking shoes as we talked about everything that had happened in our day, what our boys were up to, what clothes we should pack and life in general. Great memories were made that summer at the trail and on our trip because of those evening talks/walks. And it made climbing through pyramids in Egypt and the Acropolis a lot easier.
10-Eat foods that taste best in the summer. I can’t believe I didn’t put this higher on the list!! I mean fried chicken and deviled eggs are taken to a whole new level when they come out of a picnic basket next to the lake. Can I get an amen? Tomatoes! From bruschetta to a plain old tomato sandwich with a cold glass of milk (where one slice of the tomato fills the entire piece of bread) this is one thing that can not be done anytime outside of summer with such wonderfulness. Don’t even get me started on corn on the cob and fried okra.
What would be on your list? Have a great summer!