I grew up in the hot Vegas desert and there really weren't many days in the summer where it was feasible to be outside during the hours of 10 am and 9 pm. I say that because even after the sun sets, it is still over 100 degrees. So when I moved to Colorado, I really cherished the evening hours of sunlight and the ability to bask in the sun without feeling like you are going to melt (most days at least). With that comes a love for my back yard, where I spend as much time as possible no matter the time of year, but during the dog days of summer, I cherish it just a little bit more. Here are my top 10 things I love doing in my back yard and things you should love for your yard space too.
1. Planting Flowers. I love flowers of all forms. Every year I plant the basic flowers that can withstand the heat in my window flower boxes and pots. It is so simple, cost effective and can turn my yard space from drab to bright in a few hours of work. Not to mention the tension release that you feel when planting something that makes you smile.
2. I love my porch swing. When I was a little girl, my favorite place on earth was sitting on an old wood porch swing that over looked a lake near my grand-parents property. I would sit there for hours just watching the waves in the lake and swinging. As an adult every home I have ever had, has had a porch swing and I still will sit for hours swinging and observing the surroundings and gorgeous mountain views.
3. Gardening. This is a funny one for me because I actually hate touching dirt. However, I have managed to find a way to play in the garden and make it work for me. I have two planter boxes that I grow fruits and vegetables in every year. My favorite part about gardening is watching all of the flowers turn into little produce. You can find me nearly every night in my garden checking out the newly sprouted items and showing them to my daughter. This is a luxury of living in Colorado that I never will take for granted.
4. Doing handstands in the grass with my daughter. My mom used to do this with me when I was younger and now I find myself doing it so often I with my daughter that it has become one of my favorite activities. It doesn’t matter how well you can do a handstand, forward roll or a cartwheel ; it is just about being out there in the grass with your little ones laughing and showing that you can’t take life or yourself too seriously. Laughing and sharing a memorable moment is well worth the head rush.
5. Watching the clouds with my husband. Do you remember being a kid and staring at the clouds and thinking about what each one resembles? That is one of the best summer day activities. Just lying in the grass, even just for a moment and watching the clouds slowly drift by describing what each one reminds you of to your loved ones. Taking a few minutes to slow down the normal hustle and bustle of the days and weeks that go by. If you have not done this one in awhile, I suggest you give it a whirl you will be glad that you did.
6. Listening to music on the patio under the gazebo with a fabulous glass of wine. This should be the way to end every day. How can you go wrong with 2 great things combined? It doesn't matter if this is your only minute to unwind from a hard day or if you are playing stay-cation this is the ultimate relaxation.
7. BBQ, with friends or just me and the family. Grilling is the epitome of summer. Most of our dinner planning involves grilling in some shape or form. Whether it’s a Friday night and your surrounded by your friends or it’s a Tuesday and your grilling some fabulous pizza (try it, it’s awesome) for your weekly dinner, our BBQ is a staple for summer fun.
8. Chasing the dog. We have been chasing our dog around our yard since long before our daughter joined the family. He always starts off in his own little downward dog with his tail wagging and the next thing you know we are all playing chase Tinsley (our Cairn Terrier) all about. It definitely gets some good cardio, he is pretty fast.
9. Pushing my daughter on the swing. My daughter has a swing set, just like we all had when we were little; metal with a slide, swing and teeter totter. Watching her laugh and play on it reminds me to always be present when I am with her. The little things, like pushing her on the swing are the pieces of her childhood that she will cherish always and hopefully replicate one day with her children.
10. Watching all the creatures (accept the mosquitoes and spiders). The other night we had an owl perched on our roof. My daughter is still talking about it, so much that I may classify it as obsessed! Then today I witnessed a beautiful and quite large yellow butterfly floating gracefully on by. These are only 2 examples of the amazing creatures that exist in our everyday that we often miss because we are pre-occupied with the normal business of life. I have a strong appreciation for all of the creatures that visit my backyard, except mosquitoes and spiders, we are not friends at all!