In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

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In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

Joanne Palmer: Summer-izing your life

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Joanne Palmer

Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at jpalmer@springsips.com

Find more columns by Palmer here.

What lazy days of summer?

I think I might be able to take advantage of one or two before the snow flies, but first I have to "summer-ize" myself, the yard, the dog and my bike. I need to buy more sunscreen, find my swim goggles, fix my summer sandals and do something about the brown spots in the yard. My to-do list is long, and my days are a flurry of hurry-scurry activities.

My back hurts and my neck is locked up from hauling flowerpots, hoses and lawn furniture out of a small, can't-stand-up-in-it crawl space. Once the lawn furniture is out, it has to be hosed and wiped down before I can finally flop down in it.

Let the scrubbing begin!

Closets must be changed over from winter to summer. This requires more hauling and the stacking and reorganizing of plastic totes. Even though I weigh the same, shorts that fit last year seem to have shrunk. My body parts appear to be spreading in new directions, most notably down and out.

Let the exercise begin!

Yard work. I have a love/hate relationship with dandelions, aka the Rocky Mountain State flower. They are sort of pretty and the occasional bright spot of yellow breaks up the monotony of green grass, but left unchecked, dandelions can keep spreading and growing until they take over the yard.

Let the dandelion-digging begin!

The dog. Stinky, yucky, gross matters are on the ground, and the dog must roll in every single one of them before she enters the house. Sometimes it's hard to recognize her because of all the leaves and twigs sticking to her fur - she often looks more like a plant than a dog.

Let the dog baths begin!

Bike tune-up. Is it wrong to accessorize my bike just for a pie? I found myself contemplating this question while discussing a tune-up for my ancient mountain bike. I want to use my bike more and my car less. To do that I had to eliminate my two excuses for not riding my bike: bike shorts and bike discomfort. I will not shrink-wrap my body in shorts that cut off my circulation, but I found a baggy pair that balloon nicely over key body parts. Now all I needed were new handlebars, a spongy gel seat and a rack to carry things on.

"This is the Sweet Pea basket," the nice bike shop man said. "It's perfect for picking up your weekly produce."

"It looks like just the right size for a pie, too," I responded with a smile. Who cares if the zucchini falls out? Transporting and protecting the pie is all that matters, and if I ride my bike to and from Sweet Pea, all pie calories will vanish.

Let stimulating the local economy begin!

Entertaining. During summer, entertaining moves outside, which means the deck and patio have to be hosed off, a solution found for the ants who have invaded the patio, the patio table must be set up and the propane must be refilled for the barbecue grill.

Let scrubbing the grill begin!

Bird feeders. Who gave all the birds in Routt County the GPS coordinates to my backyard? It looks like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie out there, and I'm going broke buying birdseed and hummingbird nectar. I have to confess, I tried to cheap out and dilute the nectar a tiny bit, but the little flirting fairies stopped coming immediately.

Let filling the bird feeders begin!

No wonder summer naps are so popular.

Let finding the hammock begin!

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