Time to Get Outside

The first day of summer is June 21st!  It may be hard to believe on these chilly, cloudy days, but the heat is coming.  I’m not sure what you do to prepare for hot, sunny days.  But, here’s a checklist for last-minute summertime preparations that I go through:

1. Clean the pool.  I don’t have a heated pool and there is no way I’m getting in when it’s cloudy outside, so I generally cover it until this time of year.  But, no matter how well I cover my pool, it still needs cleaning.  It’s time to either find a pool person, or get updated on your DIY tasks.

2. Prep the deck chairs, pull out the awning and generally make the deck spiffy.  There’s nothing better than sitting under the shady deck with a cold drink and good book in hand.  Except perhaps spending the night stargazing by the pool with all the lights off.

3. Speaking of stargazing – make sure your lights are all in good repair and your neighbors didn’t install a light that points right at your face in the middle of the night.  Warm summer nights make us want to stay outside.  To do this, we need light, but not too much light.  Make sure your neighbors didn’t install a new light that points straight into your backyard.  My cousins had this happened and they almost went blind each time they went outside to enjoy the night air.

A simple solution to this problem is to install some kind of shielding, like a tree, a wall or a large bush.  It’s a good idea to talk with a landscaper to find out which option best fits your yard and lifestyle.

4. Dig out any weeds growing between cracks.  Those weeds really sneak up on you.  It’s time to look at your yard with a critical eye.  Do you have weeds growing out of your foundation?  Between the bricks or cement in your pathways?  In any bare soil occupying your yard?  Yank them up if you can, or try grabbing a spade or trowel and digging them up.

5. Break out the barbecue!  I love barbecues.  I just had one and I mean to have many, many more this summer. Now is the time to clean up your barbecue and prepare it for a summertime of charcoally deliciousness.

If you’re really into barbecuing, realize there is a possibility of making this a year-round activity in Southern Calfornia.  It may get chilly, but it doesn’t usually get so cold that you can’t cook some food out doors. 

To enable your barbecuing needs, you can always get a barbecue installed permanently.  Another option for outdoor cooking is outdoor fireplace or a firepit

6. Clean up your garden.  This includes pulling any dead plants, any last weeds and installing any last-minute plants. 

Here’s to a summer filled with fun!

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