Summer Daze

019For me, summer is a challenge.  I really don’t function well in heat.  That may be from living along the coast in Huntington Beach for many, wonderful years.  After transitioning to rural North San Diego County, I discovered my adaptability to the heat of summer challenging to say the least.  However, I have learned to use my ingenuity to work around the heat.  I look for the pearls, hunt for the treasure, or search for a star in the midst of the haboob of summer.  

I tend to do gardening in the evening as a treat after a hot day…or take a trip to the beach after the crowds and heat have gone.  You get to walk along the water seeing the remnants of sand castles, or take some wonderful photos of kites still flying, surfers out for their final rides of the day, a peaceful fisherman with his line cast, or couples walking hand in hand at sunset.  I take my camera, or phone along; it allows me to capture life, emotions, dreams, and the peace of the shore at dusk. The sound of the surf rolling in ad out is a soothing balm at the end of a hot day.

I just discovered that spring cleaning can be done in the heat of summer with the blessed air conditioning on!  This discovery happened quite by accident!  I had back surgery in mid-April with a 3 month recovery plan that has slipped into summer.  Now that I’m reaching that mark & planning on finding a path to normal, I’m using some valuable time indoors cleaning out cupboards, closets, draws, & more!  As I re-organize, I evaluate need.  I find it cathartic and much like having a fresh start for my back…my living “spaces” are getting a fresh start, as well.

Summer, can also be a great time to try new “light” recipes that require simple preparation.  Salads are a great staple, especially if you’ve started your own garden.  You can have pasta salads cold or warm (I’ve recently discovered uses for dried tomatoes) …and veggie salads with dried cranberries or blueberries, green salads can have shrimp, chicken or beans added.  I love simple cooking in the summer…and sitting outdoors in the evening with your simple dinner, a nice glass of wine, iced tea or fresh lemonade watching the sunset!

If you have kids or grandkids, you can make bird houses for the garden in a snap by pre-cutting the sides and roof, buying some paint and brushes in several sizes and glue and screws or nails to assemble!  That way they can paint and decorate them with gusto. The internet is a great resource for ideas.  There were also many easy and fun ideas on bird feeders.

Another fun project I saw was gathering stones at the shore (or buying a package of assorted sizes) and paint rocks…you can even make a “rock garden” by getting some paint pens and making your rocks look like cactus!  Then fill a small glazed pot with sand and “plant” your cactus stones! 

Making stepping-stones out of plaster of paris, or cement with hand or foot prints can also be fun!  They can be round, square or heart-shaped.  Make sure you have shells, beads, coins, etc. for decoration.  With projects like this, you can have as much fun as the kids and make great memories in the process!

One of my favorite past-times in the summer is reading…I love a good book store & recently found one on Coronado Island!  It’s called “Bay Books” and is a treasure for book lovers.  In fact, so is a trip to the Island!  We walked through the little town, and up and down neighborhood streets, along the shore and felt the breeze.  We found restaurants, and the Hotel Del, unique gift shops, candy stores, and more, but my favorite was Bay Books!  Sometimes I browse on-line and cheat myself out of the fun of a book store experience.  But it does give me the advantage of downloading a sample of the book before purchase. My tablet is light and portable, easy to charge up and takes pictures too, but it doesn’t replace that feel of holding a book, using a bookmark and putting it on the shelf like a treasure when I’ve finished it. 

I must share with you about my love for puzzles.  If you get a light piece of particle board and cover it with contact paper, set it on a table and buy a couple of awesome puzzles, it can be fun for the whole family …or just you!  It can sit waiting for the right moment, or friends to come by, or a relaxing moment, a break in your day…a date after dinner.  Puzzles are fun anytime of the year, but when it’s hot outside; it makes for fun inside….no pressure to finish, since half the fun is that special “time-out” with your puzzle.  This idea comes from a time in my life when my kids were around and neighbors were next door.  But thinking about it has resurrected nice feelings & happy memories to share.

I discovered drawing books at Barnes and Noble!  They had books with a suggestion and space to draw something new each day (or how often you want)!  What fun…you don’t have to be a great artist to play, but what a great challenge.  I just found the one I purchased and got out a set of pencils.  I’m going to take the plunge and explore the world of drawing.

One of my plans, for this summer was to take an art class!  I had to take a time-out for back surgery, but it’s still on my list.  If it turns out that it’s still a possibility, I will make sure the class is air-conditioned!  Check online or ask friends if they know of classes available.

It’s fun to start something new to stay fit, but that can be challenging in the summer.  However, there are options like a Yoga Class, or evening Tennis, or early morning Golf.  Since summer isn’t over yet.   I’m hoping to get the “OK” for getting back to Yoga.  I’ve also seen several runners along the beach in Carlsbad, as well as, walkers.  I find that exercise that is fun produces better results than the drudgery or chore of other methods. I walk better with music.  It starts my happy engine helping me put some pep in my step, and it’s a great stress reliever.  So far, I’m not in my usual peppy walking mode yet.  I do better on the tread mill, but not chalking up more than a mile and a smidge.  I won’t give up….better things are yet to come (I hope).

Originally, Tom and I had planned to learn to SUP this summer.  I figured we’d fall enough to stay cool!  Maybe that can be a plan for next summer or fall.   I’m glad I got up the courage to move ahead with the surgery, rather than continuing to delete some of my favorite activities.  I hope my ideas above prove fruitful in your life.  I try to plant seeds, hoping to hear that they are growing in the lives of the people I care about.  Sharing Ideas are like a community garden that brings blessings to everyone.

Until our next visit, 

Jackie 

Advertisements