summer list

June 22, 2011

Over at her Foothill Home recently, my friend Molly posted her summer to-do list. Inspiring. Mr. T had already started his list, so I combined his with mine, and here’s what we have so far.

Swim with friends and family. Often.

Have a puzzle going at all times. (Stolen from Molly. Check!)

Make good things with our homegrown ollalieberries and plums. Use Blue Chair for inspiration.

Collect rocks with Mr. T and learn about them. (And make some heart stones.)

Set up our tent in the backyard.

Visit an orchard and pick all-time favorite fruits–cherries. (Friday, M and A!)

Take out the sewing machine and finish those curtains for the office before summer guests arrive.

While the sewing machine is out, finally make a picnic quilt from the family jeans, saved for over a decade.

Go to the county fair (and spend a little time in my childhood hometown.)

Make stuffed and fried zucchini blossoms with the recipe learned from cute Italian nonna at Spannocchia (and enjoy every fried bite, without thinking of bathing suits.)

Read adventure books to Mr. T (another borrowed from Molly. Suggestions, anyone?)

Get better at pulling my own mozzarella, before the tomatoes come in.

Sketch with T. (Underway!)

Clear those sprawling rose shrubs and finally make a space for a hammock. When it’s hung, christen it by relaxing there with a tall pastis.

Get back in the habit of capturing it all through a lens.

What’s on your summer lists, my friends?

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Patrick Broderick June 22, 2011 at 9:14 pm

You’re making me feel lazy! Okay, here goes:
Swim with family (we just did that over the last few days at the river! now i feel better)
Read more (kids too)
build a patio overhead for my BBQ
Plant something
walk the dogs everyday (with the kids)


patricia June 23, 2011 at 8:28 am


Cut yourself some slack. You have a job.

“Plant something” makes it sound like something you’ve never done before. And I’ve seen your garden.

Advice: if that patio overhead is supposed to go over your head, make sure it’s tall. 😉



Carrie Pomeroy June 22, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Swim at least once a week
Start reading the Harry Potter series
Plant prairie blazing star, black-eyed susan, butterfly weed, and bee balm in the front yard
Pick strawberries and raspberries and learn to preserve them–canning jam, freezing, dehydrating
Learn to can tomatoes and pickle green beans
Ride the bumper cars and the mini-rollercoaster at Como Town amusement park
Go to the Minnesota State Fair at least three times
Go on a drawing date with my daughter to draw flowers at the edible landscaping exhibit at Como Conservatory
Ride our bikes as much as possible
See lots of outdoor concerts and plays
Drive to Montana to visit the in-laws and camp in Glacier National Park
Play board games with my son
De-clutter the house and have a blow-out yard sale
And if my kids get their druthers, they’ll spend lots of time swinging on our back yard ropes while I read out loud to them!


patricia June 23, 2011 at 8:33 am

I’d love to see a photo of your front yard, come late summer!

Outdoor concerts and plays: forgot to put on my list, simply because those are a summer tradition for us. Local musicals under the redwoods. Picnic dinners beforehand. Summer!

And swinging on ropes while listening to stories read aloud sounds like childhood at its finest.


Just Peaches June 23, 2011 at 4:15 am

Inspired by this article:
Hopefully I will be harvesting my own spuds this summer. I planted some fingerlings a couple of weeks ago and my plants are HUGE!

I’m loading up on rhubarb – chop and freeze (one of the easiest fruits to preserve)
See Aretha Franklin for free at the Toronto Jazz Festival
Make a cheese board out of a piece of maple at the cottage (and then use it!)
Morning paddles with my girls
Lots of photos
Eat as much farm stand fruit as I can – local cantaloupe is out of this world!
Poke around junk barns and outdoor markets
Scrabble, Yatzee and Headbanz
Enjoy the pace!


patricia June 23, 2011 at 8:36 am

Freezing rhubarb? Why did I never think of such a thing? (One more for my list.)

Had to look up Hedbanz. Looks like a fun one to bring up to our family 4th of July gathering at the lake…


Kristin June 27, 2011 at 9:19 am

It all sounds fabulous and I hope you can fit us in for a few swims at the pool, maybe before you eat the stuffed zucchini blossoms? I hope that’s a link to the recipe for those because I was just discussing making them with David and he was reluctant to use the blooms and loose the squash. My mouth is watering just thinking of eating that dish and that’s the beauty of being able to visually conceive of something, or the downfall.


patricia June 28, 2011 at 8:25 am

Alas, that link is not a recipe, but I can give you the one the nonna gave me–and some good tips as well, especially about how to do the stuffing and battering ahead of time. Very doable.

You don’t always lose the zukes when you harvest the blossoms. Some of the blossoms–the male ones, I imagine–don’t develop fruits, and are simply blooms. May as well use those! And it can be really tasty to harvest the female blossoms with tiny baby squash attached, and stuff and fry them that way. Extra yummy. Plus, if you harvest the blossoms, you’ll get more before you blink. Doesn’t David know about the ridiculous fertility of zucchini?

I plant zucchini plants especially for the blossoms. Organic zucchini are as cheap as they come at the market, but you can’t buy blossoms as big and fresh as you can grow yourself. The blossoms are the treasure to me.


molly June 29, 2011 at 9:39 am

weren’t those curtains on your to-do list last summer???? 🙂

we bought a second SF puzzle (couldn’t resist for 50 cents at the little Catholic thrift store) – i think you need it! which means you’ll have to come up here and go rock hunting with us down at the river. we might even find some heart shaped rocks to add to your collection.

as for adventure books, we’re enjoying some classics. finally finished twenty thousand leagues under the sea, tried to read kidnapped (a little too wordy in the 19th century way), and we’re now half way through indian in the cupboard.

i’ve got 11 pints of cherries, sweetened with sugar and memories of good friends, bound for our cupboard. xoxo


patricia June 29, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Those curtains have been on my to-do list forever. Partly because I made a mistake on them, which I’m procrastinating re-doing. But we’re having a guest in July, so I have to get them done!

We’d love to have that SF puzzle. So I guess we will have to come up and see you! Would be fun to see your town when it’s warm…

T wants me to read the third Percy Jackson to him, even though he’s read it more than once and listened to it on audiobook, more than once. He really wants to share the whole series with me, which is sweet.

I made cherry jam the other day–and a cherry pie is right this minute cooling on a rack. I may just go cut myself a slice before bed.

Mr. T is still reading over his foreign Jelly Belly menus. He is so thrilled that cherry picking turned into Jelly Belly picking! xoxo right back.


marta June 30, 2011 at 4:08 am

My 11 yo son is reading the third Percy Jackson (it has finally been published in Portuguese).

He is the kid who has only read seven books (Harry Potter, some of them more than once) and now two more (Percy Jackson; he’s already halfway through the 3rd). He says nothing beats Harry Potter (which he read for the first time between the ages of 8 1/2 and 10) but he thinks Percy Jackson is thoroughly enjoyable too.
He’s not interested in nothing more, so, I was wondering – do any of your readers have any suggestions? The 4th Percy Jackson is still being translated, so that’ll be a long-ish wait 😉

In the meantime, let me make a suggestion for girls. My 9 yo and her friends are all reading the Enid Blyton books on girl boarding schools – the original ones! – and the Countess of Ségur classics – don’t know if they’re famous in the US but they’ve been big for almost 200 years in Europe 😉 Oh, the classics!!!!

Marta from Lisbon, Portugal


patricia July 1, 2011 at 8:55 am

Marta, I wonder if the Gregor the Overlander books by Suzanne Collins are available in Portugal? That’s another series that both my boys enjoyed.

And can you get audiobooks easily where you are? I think you can access in Europe. The Gregor books are available via audio. One “trick” that’s often worked around here (not always on purpose) is to introduce a series on audio and then to discover that (oh no!) the next volume is not available on audio, but we can get the book. I check it out at the library and leave it lying around. That’s how Mr. T finally read a longer book–one of the Percy Jacksons. I wrote more about audiobooks here. Lots of great suggestions from readers in the comments!


Ms. Smoochy July 1, 2011 at 3:46 am

Hello Patricia! I found your blog by following your comment over from Soulemama, and I am so glad I did. What a lovely space you have here! I read all the posts showing and decided that you DEFINITELY deserve a bookmark. I will also confess to ogling your projects on Ravelry. Wow. Your long blue lace coat/sweater is breathtaking. Pretty sure I want to be you when I grow-up. 😉


patricia July 1, 2011 at 8:47 am

Aw, you made my day when I saw this comment at 6:00 am.

You have plenty of time to become me, Ms. Smoochy, because I’m OLD!

So nice to meet you!


suzee July 1, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Great list! Mine is more about *not* doing, but that’s how summer always is at our house. 🙂 We are going berry picking this weekend, and that will lead to baking…


patricia July 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Hooray for berry picking! I’m making a big ollalieberry crisp tonight, with berries we picked. (Although we picked them in our own backyard, so it wasn’t much of an expedition.)


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