My first year as a teacher in Oregon is finished. Today marked the first day of my summer vacation. I will be working on curriculum development and policy writing for my school over the summer so it won’t be a completely responsibility free summer, but I will have more time at home. This worked out well today because our bark dust needed to be weeded. You’d think we lived in the Pacific Northwest where things grow like crazy by the amount of weeds I found out there this morning…oh wait, we do live in the Pacific Northwest, how could I forget?
This will be my first summer in five years where it is not over 110 degrees every day! That means I need lessons in what to do during the summer. I have started a list but would welcome any additions.
- Pick lots of berries-we have so many u-pick farms around here and berries are my favorite part of summer so this is a must do. My sister Taylor and I have plans to do this soon and I can’t wait.
- Make jam-I have never done this on my own and want to try it out. Plus, if I pick berries I need to find lots of ways to use them! Taylor and I will also be making an attempt at this, we are thinking of using this recipe
- Go to the beach at least once per month-Growing up, going to the beach was not a problem since I lived on the coast, but now I need to make the effort to get to the coast more frequently.
- Plant something- It could be flowers, veggies, fruit trees/bushes, I don’t care. I just want to start growing things. I have some ideas brewing in my head, I just need to put them into action. Which means more weeding. Yay
- Get a flag holder and flag mounted on our house- I really want two, but will settle for one…for now.
- Start a good exercising routine again-Whether I find a jazzercise gym, run around the neighborhood, use daily burn or a combo of all three I need to make exercising a habit again.
- Get outside every day-Oregon weather is weird. It can be close to 100 degrees one day and raining and 60 degrees the next. I need to make the most of the free time I have and the longer daylight hours to get outside as much as possible. I feel so much better when I do. I have been good about this so far and Anthony and I even threw a football in our yard and went and played some b-ball at the park by our house last weekend (my arm is still recovering).
- Have a house warming BBQ-We are still settling in at the house and seating is limited and unpacking will be slow because storage is a problem. By that I mean we are lacking a dining table and chairs and don’t have linen closets or tons of kitchen storage. But we have a cement patio, a BBQ (albeit an old one) and folding chairs and tables aren’t too hard to find! As long as our family and friends realize our house is a work-in-progress I think this is a must do!
- On a related note: Cook on the grill at least 3 nights per week-It makes clean up so much easier and the food is so tasty. Now I just need a vegetable grill pan…
- Ride a bike-I am not a very practiced bike rider these days, but want to get back into it. I used to love riding my bike in the summer, so for nostalgia sake I have to add it to my list.
- Visit Enchanted Forest-This I haven’t been to the Salem theme park in a long time, but I remember it being so weird that it was fun. Check it out for yourself to see what I mean.
- Attend events/festivals around the Salem area-Sometimes it feels like living in the Northwest means that kooky festivals are in your blood. I was a “princess” of my hometown’s festival my senior year in high school, so these things are not new to me. Every town, even the little ones, have something they are known for. I have a feeling a rodeo may be in my future.
- Order wedding pictures and hang some of them up-We have not been able to do this because of the move but need to get this done.
- Make Homemade ice cream-Some of my favorite food memories of my childhood (and I have a lot of good ones) include homemade ice cream, especially blackberry ice cream/milkshakes. So good.
- Go camping-This was hard to do in Phoenix because it was just too hot. The Pacific Northwest is camping gold and I need to take advantage of it.
- Have a picnic-I love eating outside and believe it or not, as long as they aren’t mosquitoes, bugs don really bother me. My husband is not as thrilled with them, but I have been meaning to make essential oil repellent and using cupcake liners to protect drinks from bugs so a picnic would be a good time to test them out!
- Go wine or beer tasting (or both)-The Willamette Valley is know for their wines and their beers are starting to gain recognition too! I want to go straight to the source and try some of them.
- Find a way to get involved and give back in my community- Volunteering at Vacation Bible School, or heading to the local animal shelter are high on my list, but I am open to other ideas!
- Paint my front door-This needs to be done before the rainy weather returns. Right now the grey paint on the siding and the wooden door are cramping my style.
- Explore someplace new-I am leaving this one very open ended. This could mean a new to me museum, art gallery or park. It could mean a part of Oregon I haven’t spent much time in. It could even mean take a trip to somewhere completely new. But this one will be a big part of my summer adventure.
So there you have it, my twenty item summer to-do list. I am sure there are many more things I could have put on the list so let me know what you’d add in the comments!
Until next time,
I love you more than painted front doors and sticky campfire s’mores,