Tip Tuesday — Cool It

Monday was another scorching hot day in rural Seattle with highs reaching into the low 90s.

Thou darest to call me a wuss?

Ha HA! Well it may seem a bit more scorcherific if you picture unpacking boxes all day in a house with no window screens that backs onto a lovely bug and Bambi infested forest. Seeing as we don’t want Bambi or the killer flies to enter our domicile, we kept the windows closed most of the day and let the sun bake us to a crisp.

Two weeks until the window screen maker guys can come out. We may try to make some of our own tomorrow. The Home Depot home improvement specialist did indicate that a hacksaw would be involved so I’ll keep you updated on the status of my appendages… not those ones!

And now for another installment of Conversations with Laylee:

Driving in the car
Laylee: AAAAHHHH!!!!!
Me: What!?
Laylee: That guy’s head is blowing all around in the wind!
Me [frantically looking, expecting to see some guy’s head hanging out the window, bobbing around like a balloon on a string in a wind-tunnel]: Where?

Just then, an older gentleman passed me on the left, driving a vintage convertible, his silver hair gently rustling in the breeze, like he was posing for a Vogue for Old Guys in Convertibles cover-shoot.

Laylee: That’s so FUNNY. His car has no lid on top of it!

Today please give tips for keeping cool this summer. First, I would suggest taking the lid off your van or at the very least cranking the air conditioning and blasting Bob Marley on your stereo. Also, don’t move (at all… just remain seated) if it’s hot where you live and try not to wear any clothes.

Man I wish I could still run around like a little muffin-bum in a diaper and a onesie.

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43 Responses to Tip Tuesday — Cool It

  1. mrsmogul says:

    Yesterday here it was cold, rainy and bleh!! Give me some scorchers over here from Seattle.

    I like that imagery, head blowing in the wind..no wait..that would SCARE ME!

  2. Jeana says:

    I don’t understand this at all. It’s almost like you are implying that there are regions where everyone does not have an air conditioner? I’ve heard rumors of such places, but I always assumed that was just gossip.

    Laylee is stinkin hilarious.

  3. surcie says:

    Rev up the AC and stay inside! Other than that, I got nothin’ for ya. It’s been Africa hot here, and the humidity is absolutely horendous. My hair really hates it.

  4. Wait a minute, you don’t have an air conditioner? For real? I didn’t know people lived that way!

  5. ABC Momma says:

    Freeze some grapes–they are a healthy, refreshing snack.

    Get a window a/c for one room, at least.

    Go to the free summer kids movies at your local participating air-conditioned theater.

  6. Nutella says:

    Popsicles! And don’t ever, EVER cook anything, unless it is in the microwave. I like this rule, my husband seems a little annoyed.

  7. Goslyn says:

    I second the no cooking on the stove idea. Also, drink lots of cold drinks and get some massive floor fans to cool your house, if you don’t already have ceiling fans and/or airconditioners. For the kiddies, set up a kiddie pool, a sprinkler or a slip-n-slide. If you’re really hot, you can play too, mom.

    The new house sounds lovely. I am so happy for you.

    Weeds, by the way, respond well to Roundup.

  8. Tess says:

    no ac – you poor deprived being. we run ours from mid may – september

    I would say wear light colored and cotton clothes. definitely set up a sprinkler. 🙂

  9. Suzi says:

    Take cold showers, including washing your hair, get out, don’t dry off, and get dressed. It takes your body a little while to warm back up. Back in the day when I lived in scorchingly hot San Antonio, Texas I would do that and hope I fell asleep before I dried off. It works.

    Window unit for one room. A small room. With something for the kids to do in it.

    Stick water bottles in the freezer for an hour, not completely full, and drink them every hour. You need to stay hydrated and the water will be super cold.

    Don’t wear socks or head coverings.

    Keep your hair pulled up off your neck.

    Don’t layer. (Or layer as little as you can get away with.)

    When you get too hot, run cold water over your feet for just a minute. It will cool you off quickly.

    Keep a wet washrag in the fridge. Whenever you think you’re going to pass out, use it to cool you off.

    If you find it too cold on your skin, lay it on top of your head and wear it like a scarf or hat. (As soon as it warms up, though, take it off or you’ll actually raise your temp.)

    Also just a wet rag swung around in the air is cooler than otherwise. But sometimes the heat of the water and the air doesn’t let it get much cooler.

    Get the kids those little fans with spritzer bottles in them and let them play with them somewhere with tile. They’ll be cool and busy.

    I’ve heard that wrapping your wrists in damp rags is good. I would assume the same would be true for neck and ankles.

    For going to sleep, keep those freezer bags for injuries, wrap in a pillowcase and stick at the bottom of your bed. When you get too hot, you can rest your feet on them.

    Yes, I have been hot before. Without air conditioning.

  10. melnel says:

    I just go the “how the body cools itself” lecture from a friend in medicine. Physiologically if you drink something warm your body will work harder to cool itself; and if you drink something cold your body will raise its core temperature trying to warm the coolness. So supposedly you’re supposed to drink hot chocolate? Yeah, it just sounds wrong to me too, but Mr. Medicine was VERY adament, and I guess he does have the appropriate credentials for such lectures.

    I like taking a short warm shower and soaking my hair. Then when I get out, the outside feels much cooler. And my wet hair keeps the chill going. 🙂

    Good luck!

  11. Naddin J says:

    I live several hundred miles south of DYM and out here in Elk Snout (aka the Pacific Northwest), some of us do indeed live without air conditioning. I have had people say to me, “No, we don’t have A/C… you only need it about 3 weeks out of the year anyway.”

    Those three weeks, I NEED THE A/C. But we can’t always get what we want, can we?

    I just posted about this yesterday. Funny… we must both be hot, eh?

  12. Living in south FL, I don’t think there are any tricks to staying cool… I stay indoors most of time anyway. I hate the hot weather- but merely hating it doesn’t keep me cool either… so there ya go…
    I would echo what a lot have said, though- keep yourself hydrated. Having said that, I don’t think drinking ice-cold drinks is the key, either. Just regular water will do just fine…

  13. jessica says:

    Ceiling Fans!!!! Lots of them. Here in the part of our lovely country where hot was invented, we have one in nearly every room. And let me tell you, when we’re in a room, the fan is on! The best part is that we got most of our fans from Home Depot for $20 a piece and even at that price they work great. Alexander put them up himself (with only mild under-his-breath-mutterings). Ceiling fans. If you don’t have them, get them! Oh, and since you’re buying a new fridge, I recommend the kind with ice and water in the door. I find myself drinking so much more water now that we have ours. And nice refreshing ice water too. Not lukewarm tap water. So ceiling fans and ice water 🙂 That is all.

  14. Nettie says:

    We lived without a/c during a heat wave that was killing off all the old people. I lived with a fan on me at all times, drank lots of water and took cold showers in the dark. (Light bulbs generate heat, too.) Also, visit all your friends that have A/C!

    My mom used to stand in a pot of cold water when she was canning in a hot summer kitchen.

  15. Amy A. says:

    I vote for the siesta. No work between 11:00 and 2:00. I also agree with the frequent showering, followed by sitting in front of the floor fan, where you can also amuse the kids by speaking in a robot voice. Absolutely, no cooking. I would also quickly make a friend in your new neighborhood who not only wants to swap dinners, but will also let you sit in their climate controlled house.

    That’s all I got.

    Wishing you cool breezes!

  16. Carrien says:

    We’re having a very hot and humid week here in Southern California. And I have an air conditioner but I hate using it, I don’t like the smell. ANyway, get wet, here we use the pool, but you can lie down in you bath tub, the key is to keep your swimsuit on or a tank top an put on overalls, or on of those light sundresses over top. You actually feel a little chilly for several hours even though it’s too hot for words.

  17. Emily says:

    it’s hot here too (SLC) and we try not to run the a/c —

    i have a bandana that i fold up to wear like a headband, and i dip it in water in the fridge (super cold) to get it wet. it helps to keep me a lot cooler. this is especially great when there are fans blowing.

  18. A Frequent Reader says:

    Hi! My name is Jenn and I don’t have a blog or website or anything, but my friend Margaret got me started with reading the blogs and maybe someday I’ll start my own…

    Anywho, I recommend washing your feet in cold water before you go to bed each night. This not only helps to cool your feet down, but if you leave your feet wet and set up a fan, you’ll cool off enough to need a blanket!

    Also, my little sis (3 years old) got it in her head that the best way to cool off is to get ice-cubes from the fridge and put them on her head to melt! She usually gets a washcloth and drapes it over her head to keep the ice cube on. She so cute, she looks just like a little Mary character with her dishcloth head! You could make a game with your kids to see who can keep the ice cube on their heads the longest!

    The only other thing I recommend (besides consuming large amounts of Otter Pops and ice cream) is to make sure that you drink a lot of fluids. It’s scary how fast you can get heat exhaustion or pass out from not having enough fluids in your system. Drink water, milk, juice, smoothies, etc. Eat water melon, cucumbers, anything with high water content and Good Luck! I wish you well in your screen endeavors!

  19. JD says:

    Large bodies of water. Our adventures will begin at the City pool. Evidently it is the cool hang out for the JR high crowd. The Mommies are taking over!!

  20. owlhaven says:

    Garden early in the day. Wear a wet t-shirt while working outside, And take frequent swimming pool breaks. Just don’t forget the sunscreen like I did yesterday

    Mary, frizzled momma to many

  21. I heart Laylee Conversations. She’s such a cutie.

    Being Mexican I have a good one for you: take a piece of paper, a rectangle works best, make a fold lengthwise, fold that fold back, continue folding, until you make a little fan. Make one fan for Magoo (you might have to help him with it), one for Laylee, your hubby and yourself. Voila! Your very own portable fans. Easy and inexpensive.

    You are welcome.

  22. Julie says:

    Lots of great ideas already. I’ll sometimes stand in front of the freezer.

    Running around in the backyard in the sprinkler is great fun.

    Popsicles, buy yogurt and freeze it.

    Best of all, don’t do too much work 🙂

  23. Kristen says:

    Yep, those little ones are lucky. I’m often jealous of them.

    I’m keeping the little kiddie pool full of water this summer and just letting them run the hose all the time.

    Yep, we’ll suffer when we get the water bill, but which is worse??

  24. Sarah says:

    I remember the days of no AC. Like Naddin J said, you might only need it 3 weeks of the year, but those three weeks can be brutal without it.

    So, here’s my advice: Costco has a big ol’ box of Minute-Maid frozen lemonade popsicle thingys – cold, refreshing, and delicious (Did you get a freezer yet? I guess that might be necessary.)
    Eat said cool refreshing treats outside in the shade while getting wet in the sprinkler or kiddie pool or hose.

    Windows open at night is really the only good way I know to cool off the house. So, here’s what I suggest for screens if you don’t want to hacksaw your way to freedom. Just buy some pieces of the cheapest screen you can find and tape/staple/nail them up until the window guys get there for the real deal. I have no idea if that will work, but it sounds like more fun than losing and arm.

  25. Sarah says:

    ..um, I mean “losing an arm”

  26. Keryn says:

    This is going to sound weird, but…cheesecloth. I mean, over the open windows. You can just staple it on, and then when you want or need to close the windows, just pull the cloth out of the staples on the sides, and close the windows. It looks funny, when the windows are closed, but it sure keeps the bugs out. (I don’t know about Bambi, though.)

    If you get desperate at night, you could damp your whole top sheet down, and then let the fan blow directly on it and you. My friend did this when she was in India, and she said it really worked!

  27. Spend lots of time at places with free air conditioning. The library, the meat department at the grocery store(my kids love the live lobsters), indoor play places (just order a milkshake, not lunch!), etc.

  28. Mama Darlin' says:

    The first summer of living in AZ, I had just moved from your area! Wow what a shocker, but I learned some neat tricks.

    Squirt bottles, with very fine misters. Fill them, and let your kids squirt themselves, you, the air…I think you get the point. The water is so fine that it evaporates before anything else can happen. Having a fan blowing also make this process cooler and faster. They are like portable-mini swamp coolers.

    Also I would stick all our fruit in the freezer about 1 hour before eating it, cool and yummy! If you want to make it extra fun for the kids, stick a popsticle stick or toothpick in them. (parental supervision suggested though.) 🙂

  29. appleseed says:

    I totally second rigging a covering over your windows and leave them open (with fans blowing cool air in) all night or when ever its sprinkling- not raining hard. And be sure to close up the house early before the sun gets too high- close windows and blinds! My mom taught us this while we were little before we had A/C!
    Also, we keep a pack of baby wipes in the fridge. After coming home from the beach, or just from out of the sun they work wonders when you wipe your face and neck with them!

    Try to find a $1 or discount movie theater… I also second the places with free air conditioning! It makes total sense to clear out of the house at the hottest part of the day and come home to work to a nice dimmed, cool house in the afternoon.
    Good luck… It’ll be winter soon enough!

  30. We’re in Newcastle.

    Admittedly, we do have screens. Before it got so unbearably hot as the last couple of days though we didn’t open our doors, just run the fan.

    Try to live in as few rooms as possible.

    Don’t run the oven. That’s what microwaves were made for 🙂 Eat cold foods (Salads, cream cheese on tortilla with sandwich meat)

    Go to G.I. Joe’s and buy one of their cool-down scarfs. You get it wet and chilled and wear it around your neck and it can keep you cooled down all day!

  31. Houston is where my parents live now and where I finished up High School. It was actually my 10 year reunion and so we went up there for a couple of weeks.

  32. Grammy says:

    Hi Honey. This worked for me. Once you get 2 windows at opposite sides of the house rigged with temporary screens, get 2 large (kid-safe) box fans. Point 1 inward (with a large pan of ice cubes in front of it). Place the other one pointing out. That way, the air blows in one side and then out the other, creating a cool breeze. Good luck! Let me know how it’s going.

  33. californiazenmom says:

    Yeah, I really don’t get the no screens thing. Our house didn’t have them when we first moved in either. I mean, there aren’t bugs here like those big-as-a-rodents-flying-things in humid climates, but, HELLO, there are bugs!!! I almost lost my cat out the 2nd story window in temporary housing before we realized there were NO SCREENS. What!?!

    It’s those 3 weeks a year that made me cry hard enough one summer while nursing a 10 month old sweaty man-child baby when it was 83 degrees INSIDE the house at 6:30 in the a.m. DH finally took pity on me and now nothing turns me on more than the hum of my a/c cranking up outside our window. Come on over anytime you can’t take it anymore!!! Or cry really, really hard — those are my suggestions. 🙂

  34. Lorraine says:

    We’re in Seattle, too and had the big air conditioner conversation yesterday. Settled for some fans because a/c is just so not done. Like owning an umbrella. But dang, it WAS hot.

  35. kyouell says:

    I think I learn as much by reading people’s comments as your posts sometimes. I am curious though as to why Amy A. says you should speak like a robot when sitting in front of a floor fan? Is this an inside joke?

  36. Jodi Jean says:

    kyouell, you’ve never talked into a fan before? the way the blades spin around it makes you sound like a robot, or darth vader (my personal preference). it’s just good silly fun to make your voice sound so different

  37. Caryn says:

    No lid–that’s priceless!

    As for keeping cool…If it’s not too humid, you can dip a bandanna or scarf in cool water and wear it around your neck, though it always releases a few drops down your back which will cool you off maybe a bit more abruptly than you’d like. Also, I’ve learned that if you hold your wrists under hot water from the faucet you’ll warm up quickly, so I imagine the opposite would happen if you hold them under cool water.

  38. Wow, you have a lot of comments here. We are scorching in AL. I hear though that today you got some relief, about 75 degrees I think I saw. Summer is just plain uncomfortable. Drink lots of fluids, stay by the water, and wear sunscreen. What a cute conversation with Laylee, by the way that is a cute name!

  39. Susan says:

    Charlie actually WAS running around buck nekkid today.

    And fortunately, Henry had my camera and was taking pictures.

    Because that’s what we do in Oklahoma.

  40. jennster says:

    you CAN run around like that! DO IT! i dare you! lol

  41. carrie says:

    Well, Kate, DYM’s the one to talk to! 😉

  42. “Kate” was a spam commenter I just deleted who was “looking for adult vacations.” She did come to the right place Carrie. She just needed to contact me directly for all the juicy info…

  43. Spunky says:

    Interesting suggestions, thanks for the tip. The cold shower idea is beyond me though. I hate cold showers. And I actually find that a warm shower nearly hot actually cools me off. When I come out the air actually feels cool for a little while. It may be totally warped but it works for me.

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