Backyardsafari's Blog

Environmental Inspiration in Your Own Backyard

Summer Wishes May 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — backyardsafari @ 6:14 pm
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As I mentioned in my last post, my days are currently filled with nature outings with kids in a local school district. The school year is ending, however, and my schedule will change with it.

Almost 2 months ago I brought running back in to my life. My goal is simply to feel physically capable again. I am specifically going for this amorphous I’ll-know-it-when-I-feel-it goal rather than any kind of weight or calorie number. I feel weird about endorsing products, but the “Couch to 5k” program was really helpful in getting me started, especially one of the many matching iPhone apps. The app lets me play music from my phone but also counts down the time and tells me when to run, walk, and when it is halfway so I can turn around and end up at home. I don’t think I would have been able to keep up my motivation without this. It helped a LOT to have a set amount of time I would be running for and have a goal to work towards. I’ve recently switched to a more ‘barefoot running’ style (on the balls of my feet using a minimal shoe) and had to start over a bit with slower times, but I am still using the app.

I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying running this time around. I’ve gone out a few times here and there in the past but it never really stuck. Now I actually look forward to it. I think part of it was changing my goal to focus on being strong and capable.

Taking this one step has encouraged me to take more, and a recent post by travel blog Married with Luggage got me thinking about what I really want and what I can do every day to achieve it. Then I remembered fellow nature blogger Go Explore Nature‘s 2010 fall and summer nature ‘bucket lists’ and decided to make one of my own.

So without further ado, here is a list of things I would like to add to my life and work on this summer:


1. Get a road bike with a basket and start using it instead of the car for local trips (grocery store, downtown etc.).

2. Finally plant the tomato and pepper plants I grew from seeds in a real container (I probably should have done this a while ago–oops!). Remember to actually take care of them.

3. Turn our balcony into a place that is fun to hang out in, spend more time there. (Small table and chairs? Lanterns? More plants?)

4. Use running as a way to explore new places. (Try out local parks, trails, and explore on vacations. I recently went running while at a friend’s house in another state and it was really fun to see everything from that level!)

5. Try to add more evening walks to our week.

6. Start drawing/nature journaling again. Try going to a place specifically to draw.

7. Take better advantage of the many farmer’s markets that take place in my area

8. Local baseball team games! My husband and I love going to these and I am excited for the season to start again. Outside, deliciously bad stadium food, free giveaways.


We’ll start with those 8 for now and see how they go.  The one problem is the top 3 things I’d like to do pretty much all involve some initial money investment. As a person who tends to get very excited about things for short periods of time, I hate to put in the money if I’m not sure it will really stick. I will try to get creative with my planter boxes and balcony furniture and scour Craigslist for a cheap bike, but if anyone has suggestions for how to do these things more affordably, I’m all ears!

I’m glad to at least have made a list–I might not accomplish all of it, but if I never made the list then I definitely wouldn’t. What kinds of fun things would you like to accomplish this season? Maybe you’d like to take up fishing, learn how to cook a local vegetable you haven’t tried before, take a walk around the neighborhood, or climb that nearby hill you see every day? For our southern hemisphere friends, maybe you’d like to try to get out more even in the cold? As Married with Luggage asks on their blog, what can you (and I!) do today to make our lives happier?

So come on, summer! Let’s see what we can do.


5 Responses to “Summer Wishes”

  1. Debi Says:

    Great list! My current goal is to start exercising regularly, something I haven’t done since before my youngest was born (three years ago). My biggest problem is that I really don’t like to exercise, so this time around I’m trying to combine being in nature (which I love) with exercise (not so much). I’m taking walks (with friends), biking and hoping to add more to the list.

    • I know how you feel on not liking exercise! I love your idea of combining it with nature, and going on walks with friends. I did think of going for the whole calorie-counting-only-eat-healthy-stuff thing, but I am much happier with my goal of just being ‘capable.’ It’s very low pressure (as in, anything I do to get in shape is better than what I was doing before!) and I think that’s why I have actually stuck with it. This might sound weird but I try to think of my body as a tool, and the descendent of all of those years of human survival, and it inspires me.
      Good luck with your summer goal! If I am ever in California or you are ever in Pennsylvania we’ll have to go for a walk somewhere 🙂

  2. Betsy Talbot Says:

    Running is a great way to explore new places! One of my favorite runs was early morning on a trip to Victoria, BC. Everyone else was still asleep as I left the hotel and ran around this beautiful little city and watched the day begin. You can’t beat exploring a new place on foot – either walking or running. You just don’t see some of those things from a bus or car, and you definitely can’t interact with the people who love there.

    Love your list!

    • That run in Victoria sounds lovely! I have never thought of using running as a way to explore before and I am really excited to do more of it! You are right that you see things a different way on foot than you ever could in a car. Once my husband and I were in London and after a full night awake we had to walk for a long time through south London to find a train station. It should technically have been a ‘bad’ part of the trip because we were so exhausted, but that walk is actually one of my favorite parts–walking through the little streets before all the shops opened, seeing how people actually lived away from the tourist sights, etc.
      Thanks so much for commenting, and thanks for the inspiration! I love your blog and following where you guys are. Have a great time in Scotland! 🙂

  3. […] days are going by and I am working on my summer goals. So far I’ve planted green pepper and tomato plants out on my balcony and added some colorful […]

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