Thursday, May 26, 2011

Simple Summers

This post is coming to you a little early because of the Memorial Day weekend. I won't be home on Monday until later and couldn't even imagine trying to write and post my blog via my Android phone. That phone and I are struggling. I'm getting used to it, but it sure is touchy. Let me apologize to anyone that I may have accidentally dialed over the past couple of weeks. So back to making summer what it is meant to be---SIMPLE. Even more importantly, stress free and fun.

Let's start with the sun. I love it and can't get enough of it. In the summer I start my day off with sunscreen instead of lotion and try to be diligent about reapplying several times a day. I'm not always perfect at this, but I do try. I have sunscreen in the car, the truck and my bag. Yes, in the summer I carry a bag. It's always good to be prepared. I have reading material, water, granola bars, band aids, money and sunscreen at all times. Oh, and a hat.

Fruits and vegetables are around my house all days of the year, but more in the summer. As for meals, the easier the better. I try hard to not turn the stove/oven on at all in the summer. Lazy? Maybe a little, but they are the lazy days of summer, right? I buy meats that can be grilled or cooked in the crock pot. To make life even simpler, I marinate meat as soon as I get home. Take it out of the refrigerator just before grilling, or put it in the crock pot before starting your day. Toss a salad, cut up a few more veggies and you are set for lunch and dinner. The same goes for fruit. It is always washed, cut up and ready to eat on the fly.

Besides keeping the oven off, I do a few more things to keep the house cool and comfortable. I pull the shades early in the day. I love fresh air and keep the windows open part way almost all of the time. We are fairly energy conscious at our house. There is less need for lights in the summer with all of the natural light. Then there are the days that are unbearable and you just have to be able to sleep. Yes, I turn on the air conditioning. I keep the temp at 75 or sometimes a bit higher. Dry air feels cooler, of course, but I don't like air conditioning to be so cold that you need to grab a sweater. Speaking of sweaters, our laundry is less in the summer. I used to hang most of my laundry out to dry in the spring/summer months. Since our move to Madison, we haven't configured a clothesline set up for outside. Our yard is the size of a postage stamp, so I'm still working on this.

Type in "free stuff to do" into your search engine. Amazing ideas and deals will pop up for you. I'm sure you already have knowledge of some of these activities, but there are always new and unique events happening that you may not have known about. And there's the library. Great for a rainy day or any day really. Books, magazines, movies and music is plentiful and free. Often there are crafts available for kids to participate in. Then there are picnics. One of my favorite things to do in the summer. Ok, until August when the bees ruin all my thoughts of outside dining. Because of the earlier mentioned easy meal prep, I can pack a picnic in five minutes or less. I always have a blanket in the truck to dine on. We have Concerts on the Square in Madison during the summer months. People are welcome to spread out their picnic blankets and dine on the Capitol grounds while enjoying wonderful concerts on Wednesday nights.

The official kick off to summer is upon us. Have a fun and safe Memorial Day!

©2011 Ann M. De Broux

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