Saturday, August 16, 2008

Keep cool!

A few more tips on how to stay cool, especially if you don't have air conditioning. I lived in New York City and Richmond, Virginia for years without air conditioning, mostly because I lived in old apartments with faulty wiring. Air conditioning + other electric appliance = blown fuse. I found several ways to stay cool on those hot, sticky, east coast summer days (and nights).

• Close windows, curtains, and shades during the day. Keep the hot sun out and the cool air in.
• When it cools off at night, open windows and position several fans to blow cool air in and hot air out. Cross ventilation is key. Ceiling and window fans work great to get air moving!
• My mom taught me a trick she learned when she was young: run cold water over your wrists. You can place a cool cloth on the back of your neck, too.
• Hang out in the basement (or any lower level room), because heat rises. I'm blogging from there right now. Usually it's way too cold down here in the rec room, but tonight I have a feeling it's gonna feel nice.
• Stay away from the beer! An icy cold alcoholic beverage might sound good right about now, but it alcohol is dehydrating.
• Use a spray bottle with water to mist yourself in front of a fan. Or use a spray bottle with a battery operated fan attached. It acts much like perspiration, cooling you off as the water evaporates from your skin.
• Public air conditioning...go to the mall. Or the public library, the movies, or a museum. Learn something new while you escape the heat.
• While it may be tempting to run through your sprinkler in your front yard, there are public water sources you can take advantage of without contributing to water waste. Check around your area for community center pools and recreation centers. In Portland, here are also public fountains that allow waders, just be sure to follow a few simple safety rules.

A few more cool things I stumbled upon this evening:
The Better Ice Cream Scoop
Watermelon salsa!

Finally, a reminder to bring your pets indoors and make sure they have plenty of water to drink. Check your local pet store for a cooling pad for your pet's bed or crate. There are a number of different brands, just use the Google to find a pet store near you. One company advertises their pad works for cooling off people as well! Here are some more hints from Martha Stewart's website to keeping your pets safe in a heat wave.

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