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Personal Rewilding Pulse Newsletter, Issue #002 -- Midsummer Mood July 2023
July 03, 2023

Personal Rewilding Pulse Issue #002 - Midsummer Mood

Welcome to the July 2023 edition of the Personal Rewilding Pulse.

It’s July! The heart of summer, the season of sweat and sun and summer festivals.

It has been a busy late spring and early summer here for us. May and June were garden planting, yardwork, and some family travel. We’ve also spent plenty of time outdoors – hiking, biking, kayaking, and working on some ongoing projects.

We did some amazing summer travel to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, but we’ll save those details and photos for next month’s newsletter.

In some ways it has been a distressing few months. Here in Illinois we have been in drought since mid-May, and just in the past few days we received our first measurable rainfall in many weeks. We’re hopeful this much-needed rain will restore some life and color to our stressed countryside and signal a return to a more normal weather pattern.

Like many places in the US and Canada, we’ve also seen sporadic bouts of hazy skies and poor air quality from the widespread Canadian wildfires. While wildfires are a natural and necessary part of the forest environment, global climate change is making them both more frequent and widespread; and they give us another reason (if we really needed any) to heed the calls and take action both personally and politically to reduce our carbon footprint.

Enjoying the Midsummer

The cooler temperatures of spring are long gone and perhaps your enthusiasm and excitement for being outdoors went with it. We’ve settled into more time spent indoors to escape the heat and luxuriate in the air conditioning. Even though the temps are high, don’t let your spirits get low.

Let us share some tips to enjoying the outdoors all summer long.

The old saying “the dog days of summer” invokes a picture of hot, humid days spent fanning ourselves on the porch with a cold lemonade or iced tea. Some of our favorite moments have been spent under the shade tree, with a book and a cold drink.

We’ll pine for these days in the dark, frigid days of January so don’t let them pass by now. Seek shade! Even the hottest days are often comfortable – or at least tolerable – in the shade. If you cannot find any…make some!! Set up a canopy or large umbrella.

Get away from paved and dark surfaces that soak up and radiate the heat and visit your local green spaces or parks. Most will have mature trees where you can seek shade as well as open areas to provide more air movement and breezes.

Don’t forget the cold drinks! Cold water is a must but don’t underestimate the power of iced tea or a lemonade – or an Arnold Palmer which is a perfect combination of the two! Besides, they’re quintessential and romantic! Pack them full of ice into your favorite insulated cup to enjoy on the go. Added indulgence if you pack a picnic basket full of watermelon and cold salads.

Or plan a day trip to a nearby lake, beach, river, or wetlands for some water-based adventures. Whether it's fishing, swimming, paddle-boarding, kayaking, or building sandcastles, these activities will keep you refreshed and energized.

Wear light colored, lightweight clothing that breathes and wicks moisture away from your body. Cotton, linen, and cotton/polyester blends are great choices. It helps immensely. Top your outfit with a cap, bucket hat, or other wide brimmed hat for increased protection from the sun. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Our absolute favorite tip for staying connected to the outdoors in the heat is to plan on spending your outdoor time early or late in the day. Plan your daily gardening, your morning coffee, evening meals, daily walk, or your outdoor reading for the hours before 9AM or after 7PM. With the long summer days, there is more than enough time to utilize the day’s comfortable edges – rather than its stifling peak – for your outdoor adventures. The temperatures, the lighting, and even the scents are divine at that time of day.

We eat our family evening meals outdoors throughout the summer, and these meals are so much more meaningful and refreshing than indoor dining. If you have a quiet and shaded space to do so, we highly recommend it.

Zucchini, A Summer Treat

One thing that doesn’t seem to mind heat and thrives in the peak of summer are zucchini. Zucchini vines like to climb parallel to the mercury in a thermometer. Zucchini is a versatile and delicious vegetable, and tastes wonderful sauteed or grilled or even chopped raw in a salad, but one of our favorite recipes is Zucchini Bread!

If you are lucky enough to grow zucchini or get some fresh from your local farmer’s market, I cannot recommend this recipe highly enough:

Carrie's Zucchini Bread (Or "Zookie Bread" as the kiddos used to call it)

Preheat oven to 350 Grease two bread loaf pans

Mix Ingredients: 2 cups sugar 3 eggs 1 cup oil ¼ tsp salt 3 tsp vanilla

Add: 2 cups grated Zucchini (We use a salad shooter)

Mix, then add: 3 cups flour 1 tsp baking soda ½ tsp baking powder 2 tsp cinnamon

Divide amongst the two bread pans and sprinkle the top generously with cinnamon-sugar mixture before baking for 50-60 minutes. The cinnamon-sugar is seriously the showstopper here and creates a crispy, sweet top that is delicious. Freezes Well.

What the heck, while you’re at it and you’ve already made the mess, double the recipe and make four loaves. Share with friends and family and neighbors. Breaking bread is therapeutic and wholesome, and who doesn’t benefit from that??

Feel free to write in using the “Contact” form on the website and share some of your favorite seasonal recipes!

Until next month, take care and get yourself outdoors!

All Best, Adam & Carrie

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