Spending More Time Outside

As if I don’t have enough to do these days, I am going to make some much needed upgrades to my back patio. I am outside a lot and often take a rest after gardening for a while on the comfortable chaise longue. I have a nice large area, so I have set up a conversational seating area for friends. I like to barbecue on nice spring or summer nights because it is so much easier than heating up the kitchen with a hot oven. Plus, I spent a bundle on a top-tier grill with all the accessories. It is a technological enhancement to the garden I have spent hours maintaining.

I love this chore and don’t even give it that negative name. It is my favorite pastime. If I can spot a flew stray butterflies, so much the better. My perfect day is complete. I know just the right time of year. Meanwhile, I clean the grill and set out the utensils of the trade. With a full refrigerator and a well-stocked freezer, anyone can drop by at any time and I am ready. They don’t come to see the butterflies, but knowing me, they will listen to what I have seen this week. They will comment on the gorgeous photos I have posted on Instagram or the images marked by Pinterest. Those most attentive to my interests get invited back! This is as it should be no matter what your particular hobby or ideal topic of conversation. I believe in surrounding yourself with the right people that compliment your personality and needs. Good friends make for great guests.

One of the important upgrades to the patio is the installation of a minifridge so I don’t have to keep traipsing inside to get what I need. Guests can reach in and grab a soda or beer. If I have a big crowd, I also put out an ice chest for bottled water and lemonade. A visit to my house is a treat. You sit with friends, sip an ice tea and converse as you relax. There is nothing like a grilled steak or hamburger. I don’t fuss and use paper goods all the way. The only problem is that my new outdoor ceiling fan blows the loose napkins around. It’s one that I bought on the internet from https://www.ceilingfanchoice.com/best-outdoor-ceiling-fan/. I can adjust it to a slower rotation speed. At night I turn on the central lighting fixture for ambiance. This is one of the best decorative additions to the refurbished patio. I can create a gentle breeze when the air is a bit too warm. Plus, it simply looks great on its own. It is easy to install yourself with a few tidbits from the hardware store to attach it to a beam or flat ceiling. You can run the wire along an edge to hide it. If you buy a cord in the color of your wall, you have instant camouflage.

The Things I do for Butterflies!

I find any excuse to garden. I will do it day or night, even if I am already tired from a long, challenging day. The best part is the feeling of relaxation and satisfaction you get after weeding a large planting bed and seeing a pristine expanse before you. I love to prepare the soil and spend hours kneeling to pull out and destroy every last intruder plant. I am usually okay and simply take a hot bath and lounge for a while to rest my back. However, the last time I had a binge outside, my toes were killing me as I had been frozen in an odd crouching position for so long.  I hope all this pain will lead to some gain and that the butterflies will once again frequent my garden. The things I do for butterflies!

What saves me are the images that arise in my mind of the planted garden in several months’ time when all the colors are radiant and the blooms promise more flowering ahead. Second best to this flight of imagination is the best foot massager I could find. In fact, they go together. I sit with my stiff toes immersed in warm, swirling water as I doze off in reverie. I bought a foot spa/massager that was highly recommended at https://www.highermassage.com/ with terrific reviews from dozens of happy customers. This is the one, I thought as I pressed the “sale” button. I was not disappointed. The home spa was convenient to use anywhere, could work with or without an electrical outlet, and produced immediate results. By that I mean complete relief.

A good foot spa will keep the water toasty as you indulge in an hour of soaking to alleviate pain. You can and Epson salts, essential oils, citrus fruit cut in slices, or rose petals from the garden. Looks matters as much as feel. Sometimes I put in a small bit of bubble bath and let the suds break up around my toes. More expensive units have jet sprays but I find the expense a bit prohibitive when I can get good results just with the effects of natural water moving in circular motion from a hidden pump. If you can’t get a foot massage, this is a good alternative or have both. This means a trip to the real spa, but so be it. Whatever it takes to restore your body head to toe.

I like having the foot massager/spa handy at home so I can use it at any time—most often it is spontaneously. I also have a small portable electric appliance that you can hold against the sole of your foot while changing the intensity setting. It has an attachment that fits between the toes and a rubberized pad that massages the ball of the foot. Combining the two treatments takes time but is well worth it after the fact. I never regret time spent on my feet after a long session in the garden. It is my reward for a job well done.