Those Lazy Days of Summer

Do you ever have one of those?

I know for me, when the weather gets hot, it drains my energy.  But where I live, the evenings cool off so nicely and the cool air lasts all the way from 7pm until 7am, so we open up the windows and put fans in them to blow the cool air into the house.  Some nights it even gets cold enough to pull the blankets over your shoulders!  We have found that if we close the windows right away in the early morning, our house stays fairly cool until mid-afternoon and then we may turn the air on for a couple of hours if we can’t bear it…  there aren’t too many days like that, but for those of you who know where I live, it does get up in the 90s and can even get to 100º sometimes, believe it or not!

I thought I would share with you some of the ways I schedule differently in the summer to make the most of the cooler times of the day.

1. Wake up earlier to enjoy the cool morning

2. We limit our use of the oven during the summer and try to either grill, use the stove top or eat a lot of salads and shakes. When we need to bake something, we try to use the toaster oven instead of the big oven. This week we made quite a few delicious shakes using different combinations of kiwi, cantaloupe, our own fresh strawberries, bananas, homemade yogurt, lime, pineapple, kale and spinach.  I even threw in a carrot and a tomato once. =)  I found some great ideas for shakes at Incredible and Heart of Wisdom.  (I’ve been making shakes for years by just winging it, and what a difference it makes to have a recipe =}  Hello?!)

The best part is, I can cut an organic apple in half and throw it in my VitaMix, seeds, core and all, for extra nutrition.  I leave the tops on the strawberries, seeds in organic melons, etc.  The seeds are where the nutrition is PACKED in!

Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

The first time I ever saw a VitaMix was at Costco.  They were doing a demonstration and this guy had people crowded around him.  He would make all these delicious concoctions, from peanut butter to shakes to soup to ice cream and then give out samples.  I was hooked.  My blenders were always too wimpy to do most of that.  (I once had the blades break when I was trying to cut up Oreos for Oreo dessert… and that was even one of the more expensive blenders!)  After seeing all the things this Vitamix could do with ease, I called my husband, who said I could purchase one and I have never looked back.  That was maybe 5 years ago and it is still going strong!  I would say, aside from my refrigerator, the VitaMix is one of my top 5 favorite kitchen appliances and well worth the investment… I highly recommend it!  It’s also a wonderful and delicious way to eat lots of green leafy things that might otherwise be pushed aside by some children. (great for pregnant women too!)

3. If I have weeding or other gardening to do, I try to do it in the early morning or the evening.  This is a “Catch 22” because that is also the mosquitos favorite time of the day.  =) However, with a raised garden and using the square foot gardening concept, weeding is very easy, so I really only have to do it once or twice a week.  And the children are watering, since that is part of their schooling for the summer.

4. Sometimes I walk up and down our dirt road early in the mornings (not much lately).  At one end of the road, past the few houses in our neighborhood, are fields of grass and wildflowers, views of majestic mountains and a small pond.  It’s breathtaking and quiet.  I have used that time to pray, to listen to uplifting music on my iPhone, to spend time with my daughters or just to get some exercise.

5. This isn’t something I do in the cool part of the day necessarily, but I thoroughly enjoy hanging out laundry in the summer.  There is nothing like the smell of laundry that has hung in the sun and the breeze.  It also gives a great opportunity to pray for each person as you hang up their clothing.

6. Drink lots of cool water.  It’s very important not to become dehydrated.

7. On Wednesdays when we go to the Farmer’s Market, I decided that beginning this week we will leave early so we can go to the local indoor pool where we have a pass.  This pool is nice and quiet and seems to be unknown to everyone. =)  Most people go to the public pool which is outdoors, crowded and full of scantily clad women.  We rarely see anyone else when we go to the indoor pool.  Although I do have a modest swimsuit, it makes me self-conscious and I feel it would draw attention to me if I were in a public place, so I prefer to wear it at this indoor pool.  I found my modest swimsuit at Simply Modest Swimwear – (the prices have gone up considerably since I purchased it) Today as I was looking for this website, I noticed there are quite a few more places online selling modest swimsuits, but with the exception of Shelly Hitz, the one I bought is still my favorite.  You can try what Shelly Hitz from Find Your True did…  she has a whole page explaining her swimsuit dilemma and what she chose to do about it. (by the way, I don’t get any commission if you buy from any of these people… I’m just sharing my find with you!)

8. Following the Farmers Market we have a tradition to go to the local sandwich shop and buy ice cream.  My favorite is mint and dark chocolate.  There’s nothing like ice cream on a hot summer day!

9. My “Little Mama” specializes in making a mint herbal sun tea during the summer, which is very refreshing.  Cinnamint is even better!

What do you do to stay cool in the summer?  Share in the comments!

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