Sip summer – Coaxing Cretivity Tuesday Tip June 28, 2011

Summertime image from Dreamstime

Are you ready to sit back and sip summer? We’re heading into steamy temps with the 4th of July fast appraoching. I can’t imagine a summer celebration without tart lemonade and sweet watermelon.

Will you be making the cool drinks, or ordering them from room service?

Family picnic – does it create havoc or conjure sweet memories?

Summer is a favorite time of year for families to gather for reunions and as a child I remember attending the annual Underwood picnic in Blooming Prairie. Aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and various friends who became adopted family gathered in the church basement to trade stories and eat a covered dish lunch. The church basement was always clammy with the humid summer air even when you stood in front of the one oscillating fan in the place. Little kids with red Kool-Aid lips gave grandmas and great aunties big sticky kisses at the urging of laughing mothers.

One of my favorite stories from those picnics was about Kool-Aid. My Aunt Betty was my godmother and I loved her dearly. She was in charge of making the “punch” for the crowd who would not be drinking the gallons of thick, dark coffee she was so fond of. She filled the huge 5-gallon picnic thermos with water and poured in two whole packets of the mix and stirred until it had a pale orange tinge. She then invited us kids to have a taste. She was so pleased with herself and thought she was giving us some magic elixir. But it tasted like…like…well, water. She’d forgotten to put in sugar and

Aunt Betty, Little Mary and Uncle Dick

Aunt Betty, Little Mary and Uncle Dick

didn’t put in enough of the flavor packets. But it did us no good to say it needed sugar, there was no sugar to put in! They remembered the cream for the coffee, but no one used sugar.  That was before the days of sugar substitutes so no Equal or Splenda either.  Obviously, we survived and can laugh about it now – the year we had colored water at the picnic!




Jump into Your Creativity this June

Jump into Your Creativity this June.

Ah, June! Does it have you looking forward to transitioning from the routine of the school year to the carefree days of summer? Or, are the days of summer more of a challenge than a blessing with chaos from an overbooked schedule leaving you feeling anything but carefree. Instead longing for the reassurance of resuming a reliable schedule in September, let’s take advantage of this temporary freedom to create our own schedule.  Fill it with the magic of summer’s delights:   planting a colorful flowerbed/flower pot next to your front door; a weekday afternoon getting your feet wet at the beach (or park) when you can practically have the whole place to yourself; watching the 4th of July fireworks curled up on a comfortable blanket; taking a class to try your hand at a new skill, or enjoying the beautiful outdoors by taking in any number of concerts, festivals, or street fairs.

While there is a sense of security and a feeling of calm always knowing what to expect, it is good to shake things up once in a while. It gives us a chance to appreciate how good we have it when life is going along smoothly. My breast cancer diagnosis eight years ago really shook me up and made me step back and evaluate my life. I realized how much I could do to encourage my healing process with Creative activities.  Doing hands-on activities:  writing, planting flowers, painting a canvas, stenciling a wall, stamping a card, walking in nature, and even expanding my culinary abilities have all contributed to my well-being.

Summer is an excellent opportunity to expose your Wild side and become a little bit daring while not going over the edge. Try a new potato salad recipe, or bring mini Bundt cakes instead of brownies to the family picnic, visit a new exhibit at your favorite museum, attend your local Pumpkin/Garlic/Strawberry Festival, or indulge in an Ice Cream Sundae following the high school band concert.  I am especially looking forward to going to the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival in Golden Gate Park.

I wish you an absolutely delicious once-in-a-lifetime summer experience on your path to living a Simple Abundant Life.

Be well,