Be Sweet to the Birds
Iridescent, fluttering hummingbirds are the closest that reality comes to fairies. Take six minutes and 37 seconds to make them a feeder
out of a soda bottle, fill it with cane-sugar syrup and re-wonderize your morning.
Take It Outside
Why is showering outdoors so much more blissful than indoors? Perhaps it’s the starlight? Perhaps the feel of the hot sun on you back? Perhaps it’s the fact that you don’t have to clean off the tile once a week, because the water funnels directly into the ground? If you’re not up to building one in the backyard
, visit these hot—and steamy—spots all over the world
Add a Slice of Lemon
To your tuna-fish sandwich. Slip in a very, very, very thin shaving of lemon, peel included. It’s light, refreshing and a just the wee bit classier than a soggy potato chip.
Add a Slice of Lemon...and Lime
5. Add a Slice of Lemon...and a Big, Fat Shot of Vodka
Take a Yes Day
Here’s the premise. Whatever anybody asks you, the answer is yes (except in cases of bodily harm). Can you take out the garbage, honey? Yes. Can we turn off all the lights in the kitchen and eat dinner by the glow of a green Star Wars light saber, Mom? Yes. Can we stay up until 4 a.m. watching reruns of Law & Order and eating popcorn with butter even though we have work tomorrow? Yes. Another way to think about it: Give yourself the rare treat of making people unexpectedly happy—including yourself.
Make a Dead-Bug Chart
I don’t care how great your window screens are. At some point this summer, mosquitos and flies are going to sneak in. Instead of lying in bed and cursing them, initiate a gleeful, rage-reducing session with your slippers each night. Tally up the specific numbers, and challenge family members, friends and neighbors. The first one to 25 by August gets an ice-cream cone. Extra points for leaping off a chair or a bed and hitting one on the ceiling with your bare hand.
Dance with Someone Much Older or Younger than You
This is behavior often captured on film during summer weddings. Imagine the surprise and delight, however, should you escort a 6-year-old—or a 96-year-old—through a waltz on a Thursday evening, when absolutely nothing marvelous was supposed to happen after the plain grilled chicken and green salad out of a bag?
Say Hello and Good-Bye
Remember when you were a kid and you used to wave out the window sometimes at other drivers as your parents zoomed by? The revolving-door game is not so different. When entering a shopping center or a busy office building, time your entrance into the door so you are going in as another person is going out—and wave as you both spin in tandem, your lives turning together for 1.2 seconds.
Slurp on a Drunken Ice Pop
There’s only one thing better than a Popsicle: a Popsicle with wine
Attend a Watermelon Festival
Because it’s a heck of a lot more pleasurable to watch a fruit-eating contest than a hot-dog-eating one.
Find a watermelon festival near you
Paper Airplanes for Grown-Ups
Here’s what results when a group of clever artists design a book of airplanes that you can cut out and fold yourself
: shark airships, miniature hot-air balloons and a backyard projectile that looks like a cross between a bald eagle and a Russian nesting doll. Whether or not you sit down and make these projects, let them inspire you to think outside the (sorry) cardboard box.
Take a Dip in a Salt-Water Pool
No red eyes. No green hair. It’s like an ocean, except without currents or friendly great whites.
The only time guacamole has ever made anybody sad is when there’s not enough of it. Ensure the snacking delight by making a rule for this summer: Quadruple the recipe
and serve in a monster wooden salad bowl.
7 ways to make guacamole (they're all delicious!)
Try This at Home
Needed: dog, pool, diving board, Frisbee. Directions: Throw Frisbee over the pool and watch as dog hurtles itself off diving board, catching Frisbee in mouth and falling into pool with a massive splat. Inevitable variation: In cases without a dog, or should the dog get tired, watch as various middle-aged men will offer to take the dog’s place.
Maximize Your Sunshine
No, you can’t take every day of July off work to sit in the yard, soaking up the rays (and getting melanoma). But you can hire a professional to wash your windows—which, like buying a new white toilet seat, is one of those small, not-very-expensive things that brighten (literally) your whole existence.
Photo: Kingsford Charcoal
Grill Up Some Lemonade