A Mom's Summer Countdown
Call me crazy, but I feel like the countdown to summer is already on. It’s probably because I’ve just come back from a long weekend at the cottage - I can remember at one point over the weekend reminding myself that even though being at the cottage makes it feel like summer, I still have to go back to work! Working at a school I know there is much that still needs to happen before another school year is over, but I also know from past experience that the last two months tend to fly by.
We had to be patient for warm weather and sunshine this year and typically when this happens I start to feel overwhelmed with all the responsibilities that are added to my already full plate. To stay on top of everything, I've created a Summer Countdown Checklist, along with tips for coping with accomplishing more in the same amount of time.
Banish Winter: Gear Be Gone
I put the winter boots away a long time ago, but the last time I washed winter coats it snowed the next day (typical). I’m never too quick to put all the winter gear away, especially since I can remember having snow on the long weekend in years past but, with five of us in the family and multiple pairs of mitts, hats and snow pants, it's a pretty huge task. My plan is to slowly plug away at the very large pile on the days when the weather is warm and everything can be hung outside with the rest of my laundry. I like to avoid using my dryer as much as possible!
Welcome Summer: Seasonal Closet Swap
We’ve had so few warm days that I still have my winter sweaters hanging on my clothes bar. I’ve been tired of the same old clothes for weeks, but if I was going to have to wear a sweater, why bring out my spring/summer wear? BUT, it looks like warmer weather might be here to stay (fingers-crossed), so this just happens to be on my to-do list for both my wardrobe and the kids’ clothes this weekend. Lucky for them, they managed to convince me to pull out a few pairs of shorts for them that very first warm spell we had!
Get the Garden Ready for Patio Season
Country living is definitely the life for me, but extra property demands more time. After reading about bees and butterflies over-wintering in the dead garden foliage of winter, I put off raking out my garden until just a few weeks ago. This time of year also brings rain and rain brings out the lawn mower. My big plan to cope with this? Let my husband do it! All joking aside, mowing the lawn does fall on his checklist for the warmer months. If I can get the lawnmower started when I’m off school I do try to help get some of it done (when I can).
Summer Activities: Get in the Garden
Often I have my veggie garden plan done months in advance, but I just finished it last week after having already planted my early vegetables like onions, carrots, lettuce and spinach. I know that planting veggies and flowers add a lot of work, but it brings me such joy to be in the garden that the extra work is always worth it! I’m happy to say we have already been reaping the fruits of four years of labour - this is our first year of a full harvest of asparagus! I can’t wait to get my hands dirty and plant the rest of my veggies and flowers. Tips: lay a soaker hose and tie straw between rows for easy-watering and a weed-free veggie patch!
Summer Activities: Family Fun
When I used to work with horses I once heard somewhere that you are always either training or un-training your horse and I think the same thing applies to dogs. I spent weeks in obedience training with our family dog and now that I’ve done two courses back to back, I’m not about to let that time and money go to waste. I like to think that my toolbox is now full and the training doesn’t stop now that I’ve completed my courses. It takes so much time and patience to have a well-trained dog and I’m encouraged by the progress we’ve already made. It’s more of a journey than a destination and my plan is to continue to take it one day at a time, to train intentionally and to take advantage of training opportunities as they arise.
The countdown to summer is on so bring on the warm days and even bring on the added responsibility. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!