Since the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish who host the weekly Top Ten Tuesday event are still currently on hiatus from Top Ten Tuesday, I’m continuing with my own unofficial TTT theme this week although I did scour the TTT archives for ideas. I wanted to go with a summery theme since we are smack in the middle of summer but change things up a little and do a theme that wasn’t bookish! So my theme this week is my Top Ten Favorite Summer Activities That Aren’t Reading!
- Have Friends and Family Over for Cookouts: There are two things I love most about summer: being surrounded by my family and friends making memories and making sure they are well fed since I love to cook and love to eat good food! I love to have a group of friends and what few family members who live close over and have a big cookout in the backyard with lots of really good food, some summery drinks, and fun. The younger kids will play or swim, the adults will eat, talk, have a couple of drinks, and sit outside around the fire pit and under the fairy lights that I have strung along the deck. We all laugh and have a great time making memories just like my family did in the summer when I was growing up.
- Hang Out by the Pool: I’m very lucky that we have a pool in our backyard, so I can swim, which is great exercise for people with fibromyalgia, or just sit out by the pool and watch my kids, well my daughter swim, whenever I want. An almost 17-year-old and almost 19-year-old do not need supervising in the pool! But it’s a lot of fun when the four of us are out there and the boys are playing with their sister, who they adore and she worships them. I admit that I love to spend lazy summer days sitting by the pool reading but since we have reached triple digit temps, I’m in the pool!! I’m not going to melt, and I love the feel of the water and being with the kids. Even more, I love moonlight swims when it is just me and my hubby!!
- Make Homemade Ice Cream: I’m an admitted ice creamaholic! I could eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream every day…..yummy! But nothing can beat fresh, homemade ice cream! Not only does it taste better but the memories of making ice cream with your kids are priceless! I remember making homemade ice cream at my grandparent’s house with my cousins, and that is a memory I especially cherish now they are both no longer alive. Even today, nothing tastes as good to me as my granddaddy’s homemade peach ice cream!
- Sit on My Front Porch and Drink Homemade Lemonade (or iced coffee): I love iced drinks but am strange and will only drink them in hot weather unless its sweet tea with lemon..yes, I’m a southern girl alright! So it’s a really good thing that it starts getting warm in NC in early to mid-April and it lasts through mid-October or later! I love making and drinking homemade lemonade during the summer and especially like to try new recipes for different flavors: peach lemonade, blackberry lemonade, pomegranate lemonade, of course, strawberry lemonade, and so far this year my favorite, watermelon lemonade! And I’m an iced coffee junkie, so I constantly have a container of cold brew coffee being made and another one in the fridge at all times! I could drink it all day with cream and some vanilla syrup or hazelnut syrup depending on my mood! But the best place to drink my favorite iced drink is sitting in the rockers on my front porch with either my hubby, a friend, a favorite neighbor, or by all by myself contemplating life.
- Attend Lots of Outdoor Concerts and Movies Under the Stars: I’m very lucky that the Raleigh, NC area has a lot of outdoor concerts at places like the NC Museum of Art, the symphony, and the amphitheater. One of my favorite concerts recently was the symphony doing The Music of U2 with a rock band-it was a fantastic experience! Then a summer night watching a movie sitting on a blanket under the stars is a lot of fun for all of us and great memories, at least I hope, for the kids although the boys are getting too old anymore for the movie since they both have jobs and girlfriends this summer….
- Stargaze on a Nice Summer Night: This has always been something I have loved to do during summer since my boys were little, and it’s just something we’ve always continued. We grab a big blanket or even a blow up mattress (and yes, I have fallen asleep stargazing 🙂 ) on a cloudless night and spread it in the grass and just lie back and stare at the stars. I can still only find the Big and Little Dipper, but I have fun trying!
- Catch Lightning Bugs in a Jar with My Daughter: I used to love, love catching lightning bugs when I was little, and I always knew summer was here when dusk was suddenly dotted with the flicker of lightning bugs flying through the air. It is just as fun now as it was then to see who can see the first lightning bug of the night, and I love to watch my daughter, and sometimes my boys, run around and put them in a mason jar (with holes in the lid, of course). After watching them light up the night sky awhile, we always let them fly home for the night 🙂
- Spend a Lazy Day In My Backyard Hammock: My hammock at home doesn’t have as great a view as the one at my beach house, but there are also no risks of an alligator swimming close to my toes either!! Just three rowdy kids 6 feet away in the pool! Still, it’s under my beautiful crepe myrtle, so that is a nice, shady spot. And although I do like to read there a lot, it’s also a perfect spot for a nap when it’s not 100 degrees outside!
- Have a Neighborhood Potluck Picnic: I am very lucky to live in an awesome town and in a fantastic neighborhood with wonderful neighbors, and a couple of times during the summer the neighbors on my street and the culdesac beside it get together and plan a potluck. Everyone is invited, and it generally ends up being a potluck for the entire neighborhood community. We all put our grills in front of our houses and grill burgers, hot dogs, chicken, or whatever, and everyone makes a couple of potluck dishes or desserts. Then we just go around and fill our plates with whatever looks good! It really invites a sense of community for the neighborhood and community for our town. I know that I can count on my neighbor next door or 10 doors down. It’s a really fun time! The adults talk, gossip, and eat, and all the kids just play way into the night.
- Visit the Local Farmer’s Market: I am in love with the Farmer’s Market all year round, but there is nothing like going to it during the summer! All those fresh vegetables and fruit! It smells so good! I have a thing for food, good food, really good food, and cooking with freshly grown fruits and vegetables make me a happy woman! Plus, there are fresh cheeses and homemade jams made from those fresh fruits! And the freshly baked loaves of bread with fresh butter! Oh my goodness! Now I’m starving…..
What are your favorite summertime things to do besides reading?? I’d love to hear about it!! 🙂