Summer Bucket List – 2017

Like most of you, we have a busy summer ahead.  There are plenty of things on my must-do list (including a house to sell) and too many reasons excuses to push some things aside to just enjoy summer.

So when Leslie Roberts Clingan invited her blogging friends to make a Summer Bucket List, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to establish some goals.

The calendar says summer starts TODAY, June 21st.  In my brain, it began with the last day of school…so mine has been underway for a month already.


Here’s what I have planned:

Make/finish new roman shade window treatments for six oversized family room windows

Good Lord…get them done already!  I have the fabric and it’s all cut and ready to sew.  I just need to do it!


Learn to make pizza on the grill.


Make the yard all sparkly using less energy with warm white LED lights.

I had fun uplighting a lot of trees in our yard last year.  I really LOVE how that looks and am adding more uplights here and there…but I’d love to add some market-style lighting.

Swap out the incandescent lights in my Pachysandra berm with LED lights.

I do love the golden glow of the incandescents lights, but LEDs have come a long way!  I hit an after-Christmas clearance and bought about 20 packages of lights, so I’m looking forward to updating this area.


Start a new berry patch.  Mmmm…raspberries and blackberries


Add some inside details to the outside screen room.

See this big black box?

I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not remotely as pretty as when we had our umbrella tables outside.  But let me tell you, we are loving the mosquito-free life, enjoying the patter of rain and thunderstorms, and a having shady spot to eat dinner (reasonably fly free).

I’d just like to make this outside space look a little more inside-ish.


Find a weekend where all 6 of us can get away together.

With our adult kids’ college schedules, work schedules and plans of their own, we can’t find a summer vacation block for the entire family.  We’re shooting for just one weekend…and even that will be a challenge.


Ground cover, ground cover, ground cover

Mr. and I are not getting any younger.  We have too many places to mulch and a finite number of years in which we can continue to enjoy working as hard as we do in the summer heat. We need to plant ground cover today in anticipation of tomorrow!


Host a game night with extended family

We used to do this a lot when our kids were little…  I’d love to do it again… with our kids and some friends.


Entertain non-related adults (i.e. friends) ….even if it means I have to cook them something.

Life here revolves almost entirely around family…we need to reconnect with friends!


Help Mr. D&D with this summer’s what-doesn’t-kill-me-makes-me-stronger adventure.

We have a skid steer rental planned for the weekend…I LOVE this stuff!  Can’t wait to try it!


Tackle at least one other project on my decorating/DIY hit list:
– Paint living room and dining room
– Make window treatments for living room and dining room
– Recover the wing chairs in our kitchen
– Refinish this orange-hued table


Take my parents to early Sunday Mass and morning coffee at Canalside

After Sunday Mass, we enjoy having a quiet cup of coffee at Buffalo’s Canalside area…it’s beautiful and quiet on a Sunday morning and so nice to visit before all the people arrive!  My folks would love it but will never get there on their own.

This photo of Canalside is courtesy of TripAdvisor


Repaint the squares in the chess set black

The grey just isn’t doing it for us 🙂


Redo the mailbox.

This old one looked so pretty when it was new…but after two years it REALLY needs a makeover!


Keep a positive outlook!


That’s enough for now!  I have other things, but I think I need to set realistic goals.  I can always add on…or save the rest for my autumn list.  🙂


Looking for more summer ideas?  Be sure to visit Leslie’s blog for links to other blogger’s Summer Bucket Lists.









  • mommyhon333

    Confession. Had to take a vitamin mid-way through reading your ambitious list. Makes my humble list look like a walk in the park. You, my friend, are an inspiration.

    You mention Buffalo canalside. Is that Buffalo as in New York? I tried to find another reference to said city in your About page but didn’t see anything more and lost my original comment while off looking. I am just curious because I was born long, long ago in Buffalo, New York.

    We have recently planted solar lights around our pool deck. Stand-alones in the ground and garlands of roundish lights around our pergola. I love the soft glow they provide. Something like our strands of lights would be pretty in your screened room. And maybe some potted plants? And patio furniture. But I am sure you have lots of ideas of your own.

    Yay for family game nights. We try to play at least one rousing game of Pictionary with our kids when they visit or when we are get together for a vacation. We don’t have a lot of friends to hang out with and no family in El Paso where we live so game nights are rare. Hope you figure out the family weekend getaway. As the kids get older it becomes increasingly more difficult to make those kinds of things happen.

    So thrilled to have you join us, Em. Thank you for the mention above and for your inspirational list. Looking forward to getting to know you better this summer.

    • Hello, Mom! Thanks for the warm welcome to your group.

      Yes! Definitely Buffalo, NY!

      Don’t tell anyone, but you probably wouldn’t recognize the whole area where the Aud used to be. It’s really exciting to see things finally start to happen here…

      I have some catching up to do on my reading (only made it through seven of the lists so far). And happily, I did get a jump start on the lighting as there have been some changes around here in just two days 🙂

      Thank you for introducing yourself! I think it will be fun seeing everyone’s progress!

    • EmDirr

      Hello, Mom! Thanks for the warm welcome!

      Yes, I did mean Canalside in Buffalo! We’re all so excited about all the changes that are taking place in the city and on our beautiful waterfront! Canalside is where the Aud used to be…
      Do you still have family here?

      There’s been a new development since I published this original list, but I hope to still get ‘er done. Luckily, I had already tackled some of the lighting, because I think I’ll be off ladders for a while 🙂

      Looking forward to reading everyone’s lists (I think I’m at 7 so far) and getting to know you all better!

  • Jo

    Oh my goodness I love that mailbox! There’s something about pizzas cooked at home outdoors that screams summer. Enjoy your summer, and here’s to checking off some of those items on the list!

  • Looks like you’ll be busy this summer, Em! We’ve pulled out literally our entire front yard and are starting from scratch. I guess I should have included it on my bucket list, but since hubby’s doing most of the work, I’ll leave it for his list. I wish I was close enough to enjoy coffee at Canalside. It looks lovely.


  • Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

    We love grilled pizza! We grill the dough first, right on the grill rack. Flip both sides. Then add toppings and re grill to melt the cheese. I have sewing valences on my home projects list! I think I’m going to add game night with my big kids too!

    • EmDirr

      Hi Sheila, welcome!

      I never thought to grill the dough on both sides that’s a great idea… more flavor!

      I already mentioned game night to our kids…they’re excited!
      It’s one of their happy memories from when they were little!

  • Good bucket list! That roman shade project sounds like a big project! Good luck!

    • EmDirr

      Thanks! All of a sudden luck is exactly what I’m going to need… More on that in my next post!

  • A very busy summer planned Em! I know what you mean about the curtains. I have some in the bedroom that are hung but only with the hems pinned you have reminded me to get out the sewing machine and fix them. Enjoy your summer and look forward to reading about it. It is Winter here in Australia so my list was a little different although our weather is gorgeous at this time of year so still plenty of time for outdoor activities.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    • EmDirr

      Hello, Sue, thank you for your comment!
      Since it’s winter down under, that will be a great time to get the hemming done… Then again you already had a pretty full list. Good for you! 🙂

  • You have some great things planned for this summer! Way to go! I look forward to seeing how you decorate your screened space. I’d like to work on my screened porch too!

  • Jodie

    I loved seeing what’s on your list, Em!!
    We’ve grilled pizza many times and love doing it!! Rob thinks it’s helpful to grill the dough first, then add the toppings, and grill again!!
    As for your mosquito free porch—I know you can make it look fabulous!! I can’t wait to see the result!!

    • Hi, Jodie!

      Thanks for the feedback 🙂 Does Rob use a pizza stone?

      I’ve spend way too much time looking at DIY cobb ovens…not on my list for THIS year, but it does make me crave pizza. Then again, I always crave pizza!

      Thanks for introducing me to this group 🙂