Dog Days (of Summer) Are Over

While it doesn’t really feel like that here in central Indiana (my weather app has a cactus icon 7 days in a row), summer is ending. For many, the truest signal is the sound of morning school buses. Summer can be a time for family vacations and activities, but not for all. For some, the day to day schedule doesn’t really change with the seasons. Sometimes we don’t have the time, or maybe don’t we don’t want the stress, for summer vacations. Perhaps the idea of sweating all day isn’t appealing. But now and then we lament that we didn’t get to do anything this summer. Don’t fret! I have some last minute ideas for you.  

Local Memory

This is a great time of year where things are transitioning. Fall isn’t yet here, but many places are preparing for it. They’ll likely have a blending of summer and fall elements, since we’re right in-between, to make a local memory.

  • Try out a nearby park – check your city/county’s parks and recreation website for little gems you haven’t visited yet. Look for keywords like hiking, trails, history, and nature center to get a combination of outdoor time and learning. Our local parks partner with the library and do story walks where pages of a children’s book are displayed to read along a trail.
  • Get festive – Check your county or city calendar for local events and festivals. Things like Craft Fairs and Taste of the Arts or Taste of the Town are great ways to view and enjoy art, goods, and foods from all around without having to go to more than one location.


Smooth and Cozy

Summer is often a time to catch up on reading or try something new. Libraries run summer reading programs or offer classes to learn hobbies. The great thing about both is…you can do them year-round! So why not try some summer hobbies now? With two kids under five and my husband and me working, we don’t get to read or play video games as much as we used to. Which is why I’m loving the “cozy” genre of books and games. Cozy can help you relax and feed your craving, but without the need to invest long sessions. (Goodbye days where I spent an hour battling a boss to get to the next part of the RPG). Here are some cozy recs:

  • Witchy Life Story – This PC game is great if you’re in the mood for harvesting from the garden and you’re ready for fall witchy things. In this game, you’re the youngest (and slightly outcast) member of a magical family. You tend to your garden, collect plants for potions, and help the villagers get ready for their harvest festival.
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Figure 1 The house and spell table

  • Tea Dragon Society – If you liked the cozy fantasy book Legend and Lattes, you might like this graphic novel written and illustrated by Kay O’Neill. It’s for ages 8 and older! The webcomic is available here!It’s about tea dragons and their owners. The dragons grow tea leaves and flowers that can be harvested and brewed. The main character, Greta, is the daughter of a blacksmith but she isn’t really interested in the craft. One day she saves a little tea dragon. There are more books in the series, and it has a diverse character representation.

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  • Watercolor Painting – Of the many hobbies out there, this is one that can be relatively inexpensive and easy to get started with for all age levels. You just need some paper, a couple of brushes, and one of those washable watercolor palettes you might remember from elementary school. Check out your library as they might offer a class! Otherwise, there’s always YouTube. I recently watched this great video The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Watercolor. I also watched a few short tutorials on Instagram, like a slice of watermelon. My first attempt is below! The key to hobbies, I think, is finding ways to enjoy it and not looking at how good you are (or aren’t) at it. 

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You don’t have to invest a lot of time, or money, to find something you enjoy and make memories. Catch those last rays of summer!

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