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Archive for July, 2010

Summer Habits

There are some things I do every Summer that aren’t really celebratory, but they feel like Summer nonetheless. Without further ado, my habits:

27. New sunscreen and apres sun lotion. Did you know that SPF loses its strength after a while? I didn’t, but I believe the ads and don’t want to find out the hard way. Very important when the SPF you need to stay out all day is 45!

28. New tanning lotion. No, not the baby oil used to fry your skin a gorgeous brown, but the “cheater” stuff. Again, essential for us pale folk. I like the new gel from Avon — no funny smell and a nice color.

29. New sandals. Flips flops are getting prettier and prettier, and some are more than nice enough to wear to dressy events. My new ones are red with nice silvery ornaments.

30. New purse: well, not really new, since I used this one last year as well, but since it’s only good for this season, it still feels new. Its’ also somewhat smaller than the purse I was using this Winter, so I’m traveling a little lighter now. That’s summery, too!

31. Cleaning in the basement: even with A/C, it just feels too hot to clean anywhere but underground. And you never know what you’ll find. See #32!

32. Summer art work: while unpacking a box of “what on earth is in here?,” I found a tiny cross-stitched design of summer houses and sailboats that I’d done for my husband a while back. It’s on a little easel on a dresser now, channeling Nantucket. Care to join me there?

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A Little Catching Up

Admittedly, I am way behind, and I will not be able to catch up today, but you probably don’t want to read 20-some entries at once anyway! There’s been a lot of Summer between my last post and this one, and I’ve enjoyed most of it. I hope you’ll enjoy some of these ideas as well.

22. (Adult) Beverages, Take 2: I made a delicious batch of iced coffee when a friend came to visit — the very friend who had taught me her recipe. I’ve since adapted that recipe to include flavors other than coffee and milk, but it is her recipe nonetheless. If you like Frappucinos, you will like these, and these you can make decaf. I do. The recipe is simple: 1 Cup coffee, 1 Cup milk, and 1 Tbsp sugar. For a flavored coffee, it’s 1 Cup coffee to 1/3 Cup flavored creamer. Serve poured over ice. The batch I made was White Chocolate Mocha.

23. And Take 3: Smoothies for breakfast. These are far more satisfying when the fruit is fresh and the day is already so hot you only want to eat ice cream all day. You feel like you’re having a treat for breakfast! No recipe: just yogurt, milk, fruit, and maybe some honey or sugar in a blender. Experiment. The day we got our new blender my daughter did just that. All afternoon. It was bliss!

24. More Fruit: Today a friend served me fresh blueberry cake. The cake was fresh and the blueberries certainly had been before they met their delicious end in cake batter. Thanks to freezers, we can have fruit pies and such all year round, but they’re so much better fresh. How many slices of cake do I need to eat to get in one serving of fruit?

25. Veggies, too: Yesterday I ate one of the first tomatoes off my own plants. Not the very first — the birds had take care of that (must buy netting!) — but an early one. And it was just grand.

26. Grow something: I garden mostly in containers, thanks to a restrictive HOA covenant, and I like to add new ones each year. This year my husband repaired a cracked clay fire bowl, drilled drainage holes in the bottom, and set it up in a newly cleared space by our front door. I filled it with colorful annuals, mostly non-flowering, in various shades of green and dark purple. Two of them are so pleased with their new space that they have new leaves already: green ones on the purple plants. I guess they start that way and change color? We’ll see!

Beat the Heat

You can’t really escape the heat unless you stay 100% indoors with the AC running, but that in itself says “Summer” to me. Over the 4th of July holiday weekend, I racked up the ways to celebrate Summer, including some very cool ways to stay, well, cool!

17. A Carribean island: No, we did not get away to land of rum and reggae for the weekend, but my BIL has a floating “carribean island” tied to a dock  —  seating for 5 adults plus numerous kids. Each seat has a mesh bottom, so we essentially sit in the water, and each seat has a convenient cup holder. Which brings me to #18.

18. Adult beverages: There is nothing like relentless heat and humidity to bring on a craving for cold drinks, preferably those of a slushy nature, doctored with whatever you have to hand. My BIL made pink lemonade “happy juice” for everyone, and happy we were.

19. The Fourth of July: This is traditionally celebrated with a parade, and where we were was no exception. Except our community has a boat parade. The boaters parade up and down the canal, soaking the observers with squirt guns, water hoses, and buckets. We observers obligingly return the favor. Males, young and old, find this a particularly essential part of the ritual.

20. Water pistols, water, guns, water fights. See above. It’s not Summer without at least one good soaking.

21. Family reunions: formal or informal, regular or once-in-a-blue moon, these events are very Summery, complete with potluck suppers and lots of catching up. Ours happens regularly around the 4th of July and we take turns providing the supper and the beer.