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Spring cleaning in summer? And how to tell you're an Arizona parent.

Arizona Republic logo Arizona Republic 6/24/2019 Arizona Republic
a woman taking a selfie © Provided by Gannett Co., Inc.

This week, "I Meant to Tell You" how to tell you’re an Arizona parent, and how I live vicariously through other people’s vacations (without being grumpy about it).

I’ll wait while you get your wine. I’m having New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in hopes of holding on to that vacation feeling.

Oh, you’re on vacation? I couldn’t tell from your last 500 Facebook posts (Yes, I'm kind of jealous)

I know, I just got back from a vacation in New Zealand, so I don’t have much to complain about. But this time of year, it’s tough not to be jealous when it seems like everyone goes on vacation and posts their pictures on Facebook.

Susan and Tim are in Germany. Alia is somewhere in the cool pines. Rhonda and her family are heading to San Diego for three weeks. Three weeks.

But instead of murmuring hexes that it rain at the Altes Museum, or the lead in “Come From Away” in the West End comes down with laryngitis, or the AC goes out in the stateroom, I’ve started a Word document of the places I’d love to go someday.

I take note of the places my friends are visiting. The best shows. The cool hotels. The great restaurants.

My friends are better than any travel agent. Someday, I’ll get there.

Are you living vicariously through your friends' vacations, or taking one yourself? Tell me about it. I promise not to be jealous. 

READ: Nice place to visit, and I'd like to live there — or would I?

The three of us stood next to the car, no one willing to actually get in, staring out at the ocean. We were all tanned, our skin clear, and our hair wavy. "I look amazing here," Savannah lamented. I felt amazing there. "Why don't we live here?" Savannah asked.

READ: Hand-in-hand, for a lifetime

In San Diego, I watched as Ron put out his left hand and Virginia's right rose to meet it, as if there were magnets in their fists. The sweetness of it took my breath away.

READ: What was the best part of our New Zealand vacation? Not what I thought it would be

"What was the best part?" Mark asked when he picked us up at the airport after we returned from a two-week vacation overseas. Where to start?

Popsicles for breakfast, playdates after dark and other signs you're raising children in Arizona

Living in a place this hot lends itself to a distinctive parenting style. You can tell you're an Arizona parent if, for example, you serve popsicles for breakfast. (Hey, they're fruit.)

WATCH: 9 ways to tell if you're an Arizona parent

Kendra Kuchta in a car: Living in a place this hot lends itself to a definitive parenting style, particularly during the summer. © Karina Bland/The Republic Living in a place this hot lends itself to a definitive parenting style, particularly during the summer.

Behind the scenes: Everything I couldn’t fit in a column this week

I live in a magical neighborhood, where art seems to appear overnight. Actually, I found out, it does.

READ: Is the crow on the bakery wall art or graffiti? The baker and the painter see art

I tell people that Mark is my most successful long-term relationship. His wife, Marcy, is cool with it. She’s his. I like to think I come in second.

READ: My most successful long-term relationship? My work spouse

I finally found a fashion trend I can get behind: granny panties. Not my Nana’s granny panties. These are sexy.

READ: Underwear for grannies? Tell that to Rihanna and Lady Gaga

I got a lot of push-back on this column. But I’m sticking with my contention that no 4-year-old should be in the sight of a police officer’s gun, no matter what her parents did.

READ: How can a 4-year-old trust police when she sees guns aimed at her family?

Coloring away the stress of the day

I’ve always loved color as a kid, sprawled on the carpet with a box of 64 Crayola Crayons. As a teenager, I’d ask the kids I was babysitting, “Want to color?”

Kids are always up for coloring. They’re smart like that.

There was something almost meditative about it.

I was looking for something that could make me feel like that again. Something I could do at the end of the day that would help me unwind but didn’t involve a screen.

I bought a coloring book, different than the ones I had as a kid, with high-quality paper and intricate designs, and a pack of colored pencils, 50 of them in an array of colors even better than crayons.

It turns out what was once an activity that kept so many of us entertained as children has resurfaced as a pastime for adults. You can get coloring books of all sorts, from your favorite television show to great works of art.

When I color, I practically can feel my brain relax. My heart rate slows down, the tension leaves my body.

It doesn’t matter what color I pick - the trees don’t have to be green. There are no consequences if I screw up. It doesn’t matter if I go out of the lines. It’s just fun.

I suspect it is the same for people who run or knit or paint. I’m wondering what you do to relieve stress that doesn’t entail the use of technology? I’d love to hear from you. There's some Republic schwag in it for you.

Keep uncluttered and cool. Talk soon.

Best,

Karina

Please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Email me at karina.bland@arizonarepublic.com. Feel free to forward this to anyone you think might enjoy it. Sign up at karina.azcentral.com.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Spring cleaning in summer? And how to tell you're an Arizona parent.

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