Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Please note the crooked pool ladder in the background is one we don't use. It's shoved into an open shed so I don't have to mow around it. Also, don't go shopping for a hat like Terry's. It took several years to break down a straw cowboy hat to this condition!
Does your high school yearbook have twenty-five signatures that all say, "stay cool" or was it just me? Funny, I was probably the least cool kid in school, but I don't think my friends were being snarky.
It's HOT here this summer. We've had so many days of heat warnings and heat indexes (indices for you Latin experts) over 100. We can't remember a summer this hot for years. The corn is growing tall; the gardens are filled with weeds because no one wants to weed when it's this hot. We are trying to stay cool and yesterday I tried several new things which really helped our house stay cool when the temps reached the high 90s. I thought I'd share.
1) We never turn on the oven when it's hot outside. NEVER. If I can't figure out another way to cook something, we don't eat it until cooler weather.
2) Other ways to cook stuff include: toaster oven, crockpot (on the patio if it's REALLY hot like yesterday), gas grill (even baked biscuits in it Saturday).
3) Close window blinds and curtains to keep out the sunlight. Yes, it's like living in a cave but it's such a nice, COOL cave.
4) Ceiling fans and other fans circulate the air and help the window air conditioners work more efficiently.
5) On really hot days, we turn on window units in the bedrooms and leave the doors open to the hallway. It's not quite central air, but each window unit cools a bit more than the room so it does help overall. Plus, we don't have "hot pockets" of air in rooms on the main floor.
6) Use appliances like dishwashers, which generate an incredible amount of heat, overnight.
7) Do laundry as early as possible in the day, or on the coolest days of the week.
8) Turn off appliances and lights. Our large flat panel television puts off a lot of heat. I never have it on during the day anyway, but we now leave it off unless it's something we really want to watch.
9) Laptop computers also put out a lot of heat. Mine is on my lap right now but it won't be for long.
10) We eat more salads and lighter foods in the summer. I can't bear to eat soup or chili in the summertime.
11) Drink lots and lots of fluids. I've discovered Crystal Light tubes this year, the kind that flavor a bottle of water? I don't buy bottled water but the tubes make one convenient cool drink. Of course, plain water is best. Frozen margaritas aren't bad either, although alcohol is dehydrating and not really good for cooling in the long run.
12) Our backyard pool provides a nice cool dip before dinner and keeps us cooler all evening.
I still haven't figured out how to stay cool while mowing. I can't mow until the heat of the afternoon because the dew is so heavy in the mornings and I don't like to mow wet grass. I have been spreading out the mowing over at least two days so I'm not on the hot mower for five consecutive hours. I do wear a hat, which helps keep my head cooler.
What are your favorite "keep cool" strategies?