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Archive for August, 2010

Halfway There!

Well, actually, we are way more than halfway there, but with this entry, I will get halfway to my goal of 99 different Summery things. It’s harder than I thought it would be!

43. Arts or music festival: These abound where I live (outside a major metropolitan area), so I can have my pick of art or music or both. For the past two years, I’ve participated in a music festival. My choir sponsors a summer camp for high schoolers who like to sing and we spend each evening of that week rehearsing a piece that is performed that weekend. The kids also spend time taking music theory and voice lessons. One of the adult member of my choir attends a camp like this just for grown-ups each year. Sounds like fun!

44. Doctor’s appointments: OK, definitely not celebratory, but appointments are easier to get in the summertime, until you get close to back-to-school. By the end of the Summer, I will have spent a solid week at the doctors, either for myself, my child, or with a friend. Not fun, but easier to do now than during the rest of the year.

45. Grilling: Yes, I know this can be done year-round in some climates, but it’s almost necessary in this one. I like my meat cooked, and using the stove or the oven heats up the kitchen. Tonight there are mini sirloin steaks waiting to go on the grill. Sometimes I “jerk” them, but tonight, they are just going as is.

46. Christmas in July, Part 1: I started a new stitching project that has a Christmas theme. This actually gives me a chance to finish it in time for the holidays!

47. Christmas in July, Part 2: All those back-to-school sales are actually a great time to start whittling down your list for the holidays. If you don’t have a list, start one! If you do, think of the money you’ll save and the crowds you won’t have to face.

48. Bible Study: I did already mention taking a class, but I don’t count this as school. Many churches run “summer studies” — short, usually 6-week Bible studies. I found one on the web and “took it” with a friend who lives no where near me. It was great to catch up with her via IM and work together on something that strengthened our faith.

49. Ice cream pie: I already mentioned trying new ice cream flavors, didn’t I? Well, this is not a new flavor — it’s a whole different kind of treat. It’s also a great way to make a dessert without having to cook. My recipe involves Peanut Butter, a chocolate crumb pie shell (no baking — I buy this pre-made), Cool Whip, and cream cheese.

50. Ice cream stands: Many of these are open year-round, but I don’t think going out for ice cream is a fun date for December, at least not where I live. I’ve been waiting for my husband to ask me out to our local stand — so far no invite. Maybe I should ask him!

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Keeping Cool

We’ve been having heat advisories and keeping cool has been everyone’s focus. Here are a couple of suggestions:

33. A new water bottle: Everyone knows about keeping hydrated, but how to do that when the temperature is well over 100 F is another matter. I bought my family new 24-ounce double-walled tumblers with “sippy cup” lids, and they are making the job easier for me at least. The tumbler fits in the car cup holders, so they go where we go; we can refill them from our filtered faucet, so there’s no waste of money and resources with the gallons of bottled water we’d need; and each of us has a different design on our tumbler (mine is a dragonfly) so there’s no confusion. Easy Squeezy, Lemon Peasy!

34. Summer clothes: now is the time to buy a couple of new summer duds. Everything is on sale, you’re bored with what you’ve been wearing for two or three months now, and the stores are air conditioned!

35. Summer jewelry: don’t forget the accessories! I actually have a pair of beach bracelets: costume jewelry that can be worn to the beach without worrying about damage.  But anything lighter than what you usually wear is good. Silver shows up beautifully against a tan!

36. School supplies. How is this summery? Well, they all go on sale during the Summer. Woe and extra expense to the moms and dads who wait until after school starts to purchase needed supplies. Most schools publish lists ahead of time, and my college-aged daughter takes the responsibility to email her professors for the Fall Semester and ask what they’ll want. The stores do run out of popular items, so shop now.

37. Tax-free: Even if you are not buying summer clothes or shopping for school supplies, you can take advantage of tax-free shopping in many states. Where we live, the tax-free weekend is this coming one, and I know there will be a lot of adults out there buying for themselves. Just because it can be used for back-to-school doesn’t mean it has to be, and tax-free is definitely cool.

38. Beach decor: By the end of July, I am tired of my patriotic decorations and swap them out for “beachy” ones. I have sea shells in a crystal bowl, a “crabby” front door mat, and a cross-stitches pillow of a lighthouse scene.

39. Fishing: OK, you  have to go outside for this one, but you’ll be on, in, or by the water, and that’s cool. Plus you might catch dinner!

40. The pool: I haven’t done this one yet this year, since it’s usually my nieces who ask to go, but if I can find my pool pass, I might just go stick my toes in the water.

41. Toes in the water: Pools and beaches aside, there are other places to stick your toes in the water. To cool off after a hike in the mountains, I stuck my toes in the trail-side creek. Delightful. No creek? Try the kiddie pool or even soaking your feet in cool water in the tub. Extra points if you use bath salts!

42. Go underground: While on vacation, we visited some caverns. You know, stalactites, stalagmites, and all those cool rock formations? They really are cool, even chilly: you’ll probably need a jacket to be comfortable.