Hot Enough For Ya?

the magical keep-it-warm hot trayLet’s call this one “To Do List For a Hot Summer Day’ or… “Livin’ on a HotPlate’

  • 6:00am: Rise, run coffee IV. Shower, dress, and right now, while it’s still sort of cool, iron dress to wear for night’s dinner guests.
  • 7:00: If you really must serve broiled salmon on a day when temps are headed for the Self Clean setting, then broil it right now, before your eyes start melting and sliding down your face like they did yesterday.
  • 7:30: Hmmmm. Recall that you tend to smell like salmon when you broil salmon. Throw clothes off and shower again.
  • 8:15: Consider harsh penance of exercises your doc has you performing every morning. Not that you hate said exercises but so time-taking! Plan on doing later.
  • 8:25: Head for home office 20 feet away. Close door, to keep you in there.
  • 8:30: Get to work, first lowering window shades to keep out solar death rays.
  • 8:58: Ask self, “Why is it again that AC unit in window is off?”
  • 8:59: Remember: Electricity fizzles and fails with more than one such unit on. Must keep living room cool for dinner guests!
  • 9:00: Keep working. Drink from giant water bottle, stored all night in freezer.
  • 10:30: Recite pearls of Buddhist wisdom inwardly: To live is to suffer! Detach!
  • 12:00: Break for nourishment. Ask self what is a cool, easily-prepped lunch.
  • 12:05: Settle on couple of dabs of peanut butter spread on cool fluted columns of celery. Add sliced tomato, tangle of spring mix straight from the box. Toss back handful of almonds. Drink more water.
  • 12:30 Attempt penance of exercise now, the weights, the core work, the cardio.
  • 12:45: Epic fail on last. Nice try though! Take day’s third shower.
  • 1:30: Back in work space. Note small beads moisture gathering on keyboard. Automatic sprinkler up on the ceiling the cause?
  • Remember: IS no automatic sprinkler system.
  • 1:31 Slowly realize: Misty bits = own perspiration.
  • 1:32: Wipe off keyboard, keep on working. Write like the wind!
  • 1:33: If only there WERE a wind.
  • 2:55: Pause to peek out under window shade. Hallucinate sidewalk segments starting to slide, buckling and slipping like tectonic plates, one under another.
  • 3:00: Give up on going AC-less. Activate unit. Gulp down more bottled water, which is now body temperature.  4:00: Day’s final push in the writing department! Letters on the screen swarming. More hallucinations, or brilliant e.e. cummings-style invention?
  • 5:00: Conclude not likely the latter. Sigh. Close up shop and descend to kitchen to consider company dinner menu.
  • 5:15: Nix on steamed corn on cob. Nix on hot dinner rolls. Hell yes on cold gin. Pop same in freezer. Check on chilled wine.
  • 5:30:  Greet mate, home from nice cool workplace. Swallow envy. Fake a smile.
  • 6:00: Trudge upstairs for final hose-down. Climb into ironed dress. Brush teeth, bend to gulp cool water, right from the faucet.
  • 6:30: Guests arrive! Cold broiled salmon, unwarmed dinner rolls, greens right from the box – too hot to die from E Coli!-  and, just for laughs, raw corn on the cob, haha!
  • 9:00 Dress now all wrinkled, shoes now kicked off. Good times had by all! Good day in general, and what do the weather guys know anyway? Tomorrow just might be cooler, right?

dog cooling trick

  me once the guests left

IS This the End of the World?


So IS this the end of the world like that ridiculous funny movie I saw the other day? If it isn’t then why is the magnolia at the corner of our lot trying to blossom again when everyone knows that only happens in late March or early April?  Look at this picture. I mean really!

Also today I had to knock off work early to go to Mahoney’s Garden Center with a picture of my two new hydrangea plants. The more I water them the worse they look. “Is this too MUCH water?” I asked resident plant guru Carrie Kelly. “No,” she said, “in weather like this you have to water them every day. Their problem is they’re so hot that they’re trying to hide,” she said, doing a kind of duck-and-cover move in imitation of the poor suffering plants.

If they are trying to hide I can  identify. Here in my part of the world in the sixth and hottest day of the week I keep thinking of that first paragraph of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking bird when she says that by noon of an Alabama summer the talcum-powdered ladies would be melting like the frosting on a plateful teacakes.

By 6:00 last night I’d had three baths in less than 24 hours. (Our shower is not just broken, the whole floor is gone. You can step inside that glass door and look right down on the heads of friends and family enjoying cold drinks in the kitchen below.)

I don’t like to complain  – even though the probable HIVE of microbes living in our sad little air conditioner that hangs its boxy grey fanny out our  bedroom window is making me sick. I mean, I love the warmth – I think.  And look at the color of that magnolia blossom! And who cares if the bag if Tostitos turns instantly into something resembling a bagful of limp puppy ears the second you open them? Tostitos aren’t that great for you anyway.

It’s just that when I imported that picture of the magnolia I came upon THIS picture taken in our same corner six months ago. It just looks so delicious doesn’t it? I get light-headed just looking at it.


Cool Yourself

They say it’s gonna be another hot one and you can already tell that they’re right. Maybe today the candlesticks will give up the ghost again and wilt onto the dining room table like they did that crazy-hot summer in the 90s. Maybe my skin will actually slide off my face.

I don’t love air conditioning but I’d’ve been a goner without it this week. I step from our refrigerated box of a bedroom into the upstairs hall and it’s like an actual furnace, even at 5am.

I can’t imagine what it feels like to sleep on the third floor like the two family members living with us while waiting for their apartment to be ready. They refuse to let us get a little AC unit.

They moved here from Florida so they’re tougher than we are.

Some years ago, when the guy of the couple was a lad of 19 working toward the old Bachelor’s degree at RPI, he spent the whole month of July painting the trim in the upstairs study I use as my office, taking numerous breaks to hang out with our kids and their pals, natch. What’s summer for if not for hanging out with a fun crowd?

 (a typical day that summer . Painting-Man third from left)

Then, by night he climbed the stairs to that same hot room under the roof, turned on the two standing fans he had up there, stretched out in front of them both and sprayed himself at ten minute intervals with a plant mister.  

He always swore there was no nicer a feeling in the world and he kept it up all night long. I’ve just now tried the same trick down here on the screened porch where it’s already 85 degrees, just after sun-up or not and do you know what?

He’s right.

It’s almost as good as the cooling methods of yore. 🙂

I especially like the Baby Jesus rays coming out of the seated kid’s head. Catholic school memories!

AC is God

(I cut this out of a magazine beautiful sight that it is)

It just seemed like a good idea to the guy, to take the AC unit out of our bedroom window ten days ago. “What’s this?” I said coming home to find the three-foot wide 200-pound behemoth on the floor. “Summer’s over,” he said. “Yeah, but actually NOT,” I said back. “I didn’t like the look of it,” he then said – which made us both laugh since I’d been whining about ‘the look of it’ since it first went in on Memorial Day weekend. Why? Because (a) it was hanging out the window practically at a 45-degree angle – luckily there’s only a shed under it and no passing people – and (b) we never actually found anything but a couple of pieces of shirt cardboard to put on either side of the thing, so a good two-square feet of simmering air worked its way inside all the time. “Hmmm,” I said once. “Too bad we don’t know anyone in the foam business!” (This man has worked in the foam business SINCE THE BICENTENNIAL.)

Anyway he took it out and I sort of liked having the real air come in. Even last weekend when it was started to steam up I tried to embrace the change. (Just read the ridiculously romantic post I put up Monday morning.)  We slept with three fans these last three nights; peeled back the bedclothes and lay on our backs to cool our viscera.

But yesterday it was 95 and today it’s going to be hotter still. And our house was built in the 1890s and the crawl-space on the third floor, which is right above our room, has a temperature like the Planet Venus.

So I say Bring it back for God’s sake, husband of mine, bring back the AC! I can’t budge the thing or I’d do it myself. This is me in happier times with my hair looking better than usual. (I really am a lot younger than I seem. :-))