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Thursday, June 28, 2012

PARCHED! HOT AND DRY



In my younger years I would hear old men cussing the weather out, sweat pouring from their brows as they pushed hand mowers."Its just too dam hot," were the adult words uttered on the street. Then came the invention of home air conditioning that helped old timers survive the heat. Now they could take breaks from the heat by jumping into the house ever so often to cool down.

Women were mostly housekeepers in the non-air conditioned days of the 1940's and 1950's. As women, their responsibility was to try to keep the house fairly cool.

Women usually found that opening windows early in the morning while it was still cool allowed cool air to creep into their homes. Long about 10 a.m. they scurried around shutting all the windows and pulled the blinds and curtains. This locked in the cooler air and kept out the mid-day hot air. The house interior became like a dark tomb until late evening when the women scurried around again to open the blinds, curtains and windows letting in the night air. This routine of open, shut, open, became a daily pattern during the dog days of summer when I was young living in Michigan.

Now many years later, I live in Kentucky without AC. I thought I could tough out any temperature Mother Nature sent my way. But alas, I have now cried "uncle."

Today, when the temperature is supposed to reach 102 and continue its hot streak for days -- I will be enjoying my newly installed window air conditioner. I still feel some guilt about installing it.


ADDEDUM
Temps starting today -- 102 ranging up to 106 by Saturday. Please remember the wild critters, like the birds and butterflies, for their lack of water out there in those shrubs, lawns, and tree areas. Try and set some shallow pans of water under the trees and shrubs to help them survive during this dry hot spell.



29 comments:

  1. That is VERY hot and, for your own heath, you were wise to get an A/C. The reminder to care for the wild creatures is a very thoughtful one. So far I'm very happy to live where I do with very comfortable temperatures -- at present anyway.

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    1. June -- I have heard that older folks cannot handle the heat as well as when they were young. I do remember a horrid heat wave in Chicago about 17 years ago where many older folks died. Don't understand the physiology of death from heat but if its out there I respect preventing it. Hope your temps stay in the comfortable zone -- thanks -- barbara

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  2. When I was a child in St. Louis, we had oscillating fans that blew over wet towels. Early air conditioning. And before that the Houston hots were dealt with by having an attic fan that was huge.

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    1. Barbara -- I think I do remember some of my relatives hanging a wet towel over an oscillating fan. Don't know what the Houston hots are??? I believe most of the country is devising ways to stay comfortable over the next few days while the temps try to sizzle us. thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  3. I have also had the routine of opening and shutting windows and drapes in several houses through the years and am still tempted, but love to look outside in the middle of the day. I feel a twinge of guilt when I use the central AC that was already here when I bought this place, but with Buddy I have a good excuse, I think. He relies on me to help him stay cool and sometimes hangs around one of the the floor grates where the cool air comes out.

    Thanks for the reminder of the birds and such. I will put out more water pans.

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    1. Teresa -- I know,that is the reason I seldom did the open-shut-open routine -- I too like to see out my windows. I have lived here 5 years without air and have run into some miserable temps during that time. When I heard the temperatures were going to be above 100 for a length of time, I knew I could not handle it well. Plus, like your dog Buddy, it is tough on them. I hose Sal down several times a day when it is hot even though he is an indoor dog. I plan on using the AC as little as possible. thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  4. Here in the Midwest, our temperature gauge read 100 degrees last eve at 7 o'clock. Dangerous heat indexes predicted. Toss your guilt out the window, sit back and enjoy your new air-conditioner.

    Where I live, a few 'summer kitchens' still stand next to the main houses. They were one-room structures where the women did their cooking on wood stoves during the hot summer months. Sweet specks of the past.

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    1. Nature Weaver -- Oh, you should take some pictures of the summer kitchens -- they would be great to see on your post.

      GEEZ -- 100 degrees yesterday evening for you! I think it sounds hotter where you live than where I live. I wonder how hot you will be today. At this moment the temp here at my place is just a hair under 100. Tomorrow will be hotter according to the Natl. Weather folks.

      I and my dog Sal are enjoying the AC as I write this. I hope you have a good AC system going to keep you cool.

      Thanks -- barbara

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  5. It's the same here in KC. I do my outdoor stuff early in the morning and that includes any foto attempts. I have 4 birdbaths and all are being used by critters. It's been so hot that I have to clean and fill them almost every day. Love the window pic!

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    1. turquoisemoon -- You really are in step with your bird baths for your critters! They will be eternally grateful for the drinks. Yes, the heat drys up the water fast in my pans I set around the yards -- even my bird bath. Nice that you are providing for them -- thanks -- barbara

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  6. I remember having no AC as a kid in the hot summers of Oklahoma. So hot, you couldn't sleep at night. I have no qualms about having AC now. None. Today is supposed to be 106 here. I truly think I would die without it. I'm glad you got an air conditioner. I've started putting water out for the rabbits but my neighbors are made at me, saying it'll draw skunks. Go figure. They just like to gripe is all.

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    1. Rubye -- Oklahoma is burning up with heat -- 106 temps are really high! You do need AC for sure. I am now enjoying my AC with a smile on my face. I will use it wisely and only when it is really hot.

      Nice to put out water for your rabbits -- water will help other wild ones too. Skunks don't bother anyone.

      thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  7. I'm in the northwest now and it is pleasant but will probably get hotter. I do feel for the critters.we at least are tropical animals and can adjust. A little a.c. can be a help though on those hottest days.

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    1. Hattie -- The northwest, as I understand, is really having some nice weather. I'm only using the AC only on very hot days. We are so dry and have been for quite awhile. We are under what is called a red flag watch -- meaning fire hazard. The critters are surely under stress. -- thanks -- barbara

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  8. This is more or less the post I've planned for tomorrow... yep, it's too dam hot.

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    1. Vicki -- I'll be sure to read your blog tomorrow. The days, over the next week, look very bad -- more heat and dryness. Not good for the farmers,animals, or wild ones -- barbara

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  9. I am glad to hear that you have a window unit to use during this heat wave. We reached 102 here in my part of central KY today. When the heat isn't too bad, I practice that ritual of opening our old farmhouse in the morning and then shutting in the cool air. It does the trick.

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    1. Hi Michelle -- it's 6:25 PM here and the temps are reading 104. I sure am thankful that I now have AC. Walking outside is like stepping into a furnance. I hope that your temps have stabilized some. Tomorrow is another hot day -- hold on! -- barbara

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  10. That is insane! Way too hot for this Canadian girl.

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    1. I agree with you birdie -- this is insane temps. To make it worst is the dryness of the plants and no water from the skies for quite some time. I worry about the wildlife. -- barbara

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  11. Normally I open the front door and put a fan to pull cool air from under the maple tree out front. This morning no cool air under the maple tree. Not only no cool air we are drier than a popcorn fart here in Western Kentucky.

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    1. Yes, KY is dry and hot. No cool air to pull in from outside. It is oppressive just to walk outside. Natl Weather showing more of the same for days to come. Stay cool -- barbara

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  12. I'm one of those who still closes up the house and scurries about to open everything up for the cool change in the evening - we don't have any air-conditioning, only fans.
    When we move to Dunolly in Central Victoria we will definitely have to invest in AC, as it gets hotter there in Summer and more freezing in winter!

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    1. Jayne -- Dunolly seems like a lovely town. If it gets really hot You will need AC. I don't think I have experienced 104 degrees (which it is right now) east of our Rockies mountains (where I live now) -- only in our western deserts. In addition we are very dry right now which sets up a fire risk. Stay cool --- thanks -- barbara

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  13. Barbara, please forgive me for asking this question, but what is the reasoning for avoiding air-conditioning. I ask this with due respect. Where we live, cooling our homes is a commonality, one we don't even think about. Is it related to preserving our resources? I'm just trying to understand the regional differences, or perhaps the personal preferences, whichever it may be. Just wondering. Thanks.

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    1. Nature Weaver -- the main reason I do not like AC is the emissions that they emit into the environment which contributes to climate warming. I found this good article in the New Your Times which should explain it better than I can. I will use AC only when the heat is severe otherwise I will shut it off. Thanks for the good question -- barbara

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47907346/ns/world_news-the_new_york_times/t/global-air-conditioning-boom-bust-climate/#.T-5CGReJeE0

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  14. Only 90s for us this weekend... cool compared to your 100s.

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    1. Birdman -- sounds like your having Artic temps! Today it got to 104 where I live. -- barbara

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