It’s still officially summer, but with school having started and temps mainly in the 60’s these days, it definitely feels like fall.
Between the long days, the beautiful colors, and the more relaxed pace of life, I absolutely adore summer. Each year is a little different, though, and these are the things I loved most this year:
Atypical Summer Weather
I’m pretty cold-intolerant, but I’m not a fan of extreme heat or humidity, either. Most years, we get plenty of days of hazy, hot, and humid weather. In fact, most of the months of July and August can be this way. This year, though, we had very little of it. In fact, I can think of only a handful of days when we had typical summer weather. The humidity has generally been low, and I don’t think we hit 90 degrees more than once or twice. This meant we barely used our air conditioning – great for the electric bill! – and being outside was quite pleasant.
Veggies and Flowers for the Picking
Gardening is one of the things I enjoy most in summer. Our growing season is pretty short here in upstate New York, so I try to squeeze as much out of it as I can. We have a perennial bed that requires little maintenance, so I focus my efforts on two beds where I plant annuals. I adore zinnias, and plant as many varieties of them as possible. This year I added a number of different kinds of cosmos, as well as other annuals. Perhaps my biggest gardening victory this year was that my sunflowers survived! Every year, I plant several packets of sunflower seeds, and never once have they come to fruition. (The chipmunks seem to be the culprit.) For whatever reason, they did not get to my sunflower seeds/seedlings this year, and I’ve had a plethora of Shock-O-Lat, Vanilla Ice, Moulin Rouge, and other sunflowers.
I also had success with my veggie garden this year. I use the straw bale gardening method for my veggies, and this year I planted 15 bales. I stuck to veggies I knew my family and I would eat, rather than branching out and trying new ones. We’ve been swimming in Sun Gold, Chocolate Cherry, and Tiger Stripes cherry tomatoes, for weeks! (I’m still waiting for my full-size tomatoes to ripen…) I also had a good number of cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash. My beets are making slow progress, and I plan to leave them in the ground for as long as possible.
I love stepping out into my yard and picking bowls of cherry tomatoes and armfuls of flowers to display inside my house. As fall becomes more and more imminent, I treasure these trips even more.
She Loved Camp (Mostly)
My daughter is an only child, so socialization over the summer can be challenging. As a result, she started attending summer camp several years ago. Over the last four or five summers, she’s attended five different summer camps. And every year, she’s complained or resisted at least somewhat. This is always a source of anxiety and frustration for me, because I know she benefits from attending camp.
This year, she attended two, two-week sessions of the local children’s theater camp. (She attended the same camp last year, but was placed in a younger age group, which was not the best fit for her.) She loved both sessions, and impressed me with her comfort with auditioning for parts each session. She made new friends, and clearly enjoyed herself during each of the shows. It was such a relief that she had such a positive experience this year, and she’s already informed us that she wants to attend the same camp next year.
She was less excited about her week of Girl Scouts camp, though. There weren’t any major complaints or problems; it just didn’t suit her. She even did do the one overnight at the camp, without incident.
Our Fire Pit
My husband is a pretty handy guy. He’s patient, and takes the time to do a lot of research on his various projects. His DIY-ing saves us a good bit of money, but I don’t always get excited about his projects. However, this spring he built a fire pit in our backyard, and I have absolutely loved using it. We’ve got a couple of Adirondack chairs and log benches around it, and we’ve enjoyed many times around the fire, most including smores, or at least marshmallows. It’s warm and relaxing, and I look forward to many more fires this fall and in future years!
Good Fiction Reads
In recent years, I’ve focused much of my reading on nonfiction books – some of which I’ve enjoyed, and some have felt like more of a chore. One of my goals for 2017 is to read 24 books that I really want to read. (In the past, I’ve been guilty of reading books that I’ve felt like I should read, even if I wasn’t really excited about them.)
I’ve read several nonfiction books this year, but I’ve also read several fiction books this spring and summer. (You can see all of my 2017 reads here.) With the exception of one, I thoroughly enjoyed all of my fiction reads, and I look forward to reading more fiction in the future.
What are some of your favorites from Summer, 2017?
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