Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Sanity Savers

Yay! It's summer. In between tornadoes and floods here in the Midwest, we are enjoying unseasonably nice, but cooler than normal temps. For those of you suffering (or enjoying, depending on your point of view) under the hot summer sun, here are some full-blown Summer Sanity Saver ideas just in time for the weekend:

Buy a new table cloth - summer theme. Mine is watermelons. I went to the dollar store and bought a fun, easy-to-clean table cloth that really perks up my table and makes eating dinner more fun - try your very own picnic in the kitchen or dining room.

In summer, I always take BATHS. There is nothing better after a hot, sticky day then a long cool float in the bath. But if your bathtub isn't sparkling clean, then do a thorough cleaning of it first. There's a wonderful link here on How to Get Your Bathtub and Surrounding Area Really Clean. I particularly like the suggestion about cleaning your shower nozzle with a plastic bag filled with a bit of white vinegar and tying it closed for an hour with a rubber band.

Make Chai iced tea. Along with some Chai tea bags, I use skim milk and lots of ice cubes. Delish and spicy. Yum!

If Chai isn't for you, how about filling a Sun Tea Jar full of orange slices and tea bags and making Orange Tea? That really quinches my thirst and is especially refreshing with the added citrus zing.

Porch lounging Can't make it to the beach? That's okay. Sit out on your deck, porch, or hammock.

Knit Lite. If you're a knitter like me, there are two perfect summer knits - socks and lace shawls. Often you can make a shawl out of sock yarn, too! Try out a different summer sock yarn than you normally use. And if you do, be sure and report back your favorites to me so I can try them too and share them with (all 5) readers. Note Added Later: Ellen and Lisa in the comments have both pointed out that dishcloths are great - as are afghan squares and small freeform scrumbles (to be assembled in cooler weather of course)! What are some of YOUR favorite summer lightweight projects - either in knit or crochet?

Read a summer beach book. My favorite beach books are the ones that are light, chick-lit type books. Over on Slate, I found this link to favorite beach books by well-known authors. It's really interesting to know that even the "big literary names" have their favorite brain candy reading too!! Can you believe Judy Picoult's beach book was Dirty Blondes?

For some reason, in summer, even those she's NOT a typical beach read, I often turn to Barbara Kingsolver. My favorite of hers is still Bean Trees. Who could NOT love a book about a feisty 19-year-old who leaves her Illinois home in a beat-up '55 Volkswagon bug seeking out her freedom who instead finds a newborn Cherokee baby in her passenger seat? With the baby in tow, she undergoes a series of road adventures and meetings with colorful characters who are simply hilarious. This is a heartwarming read that won't let you go until the very end!

Treat Yourself to An Inexpensive Bag - to carry your beach books, or for knitting projects, go to Bath & Body works to buy yourself (for only $5 with any purchase) this lovely Orchid Carry Bag. You can go to the link and read all about it.

Take a Stay-Cation. If you can't afford to go anywhere with the high gas prices and all . . . or can't get the time off to go, how about doing what some of the bobble-heads on CNN suggest and take a "StayCation"? That means, of course, stay in your hometown and explore some local sites that tourists typically visit and you never do? Here in Kansas City, my husband and I marveled at the fact that we have NEVER been to the Harry S. Truman Library. So we're going, probably this weekend.


Ellen Bloom said...

All excellent ideas! Sounds like a perfect summer to me.

I often knit cotton dishcloths during the summer. I call them "spa" cloths and they make great gifts, paired with fancy soap. Right now, I'm working on a tea huge washcloth!

Lisa said...

Great ideas! I like small projects in the summer, too. Like afghan squares for group afghan projects--that's what I'm working on now. And small freeform pieces to use in anything. Assembly can wait until cooler weather.
The Kingsolver books are great. I've enjoyed all the ones I've read.

PBW said...

Great ideas, Chelle! I love that tablecloth too.

Debi said...

What great ideas, thanks for sharing!