Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Sweat Lodge

Keep Yer Cool ChallengeI know a lot of you (especially those in Dallas and in the South) are totally sweating your buns off this week, but I am up here freezing mine off. Tomorrow we are due to have highs of a whopping 65 degrees.

So, while I have no fantastic advice for you since I'll be cuddled up in my fleece blinky tonight when it drops to 55 degrees, I do hope the rest of you are handling the warmer temperatures okay.

What are you doing to stay cool? Are you turning your air conditioning up just a little or using some other techniques? Are you able to stick to your original goal?

What's your favorite technique to stay cool?

39 comments:

arduous said...

Since I don't have a fan, and I'm leaving the a/c off, I've basically been relying on outside air. I open the window in my bedroom, and open the door in my living room and it creates a nice cross breeze. Haven't needed the a/c once!

Of course it helps that I'm in an air-con office during the day when it's really hot outside.

Nina said...

Yes, it is cold! I was just thinking I should turn on the the electric heater.

Robj98168 said...

Still sweating more than a chicken being chased by Col. Sanders

scifichick said...

I have not turned the AC on once, so I am sticking to my goals. We had some hot and humid days, those were tough. I put a bowl of ice in front of a window fan, so I have not been able to figure out if that helps or not. Other than that we just wear as little as possible around the house and drink some hot tea. A friend of mine is from a hot country and she said they do that traditionally - drink hot tea when it's hot. Something about equalizing inside and outside temperature makes you more comfortable. I am dreading August a little bit, it's usually the hottest month in my experience.

Oldnovice said...

We're in North Texas, but I didn't sign up for this challenge. We keep the ac in the mid-eighties and have since we needed it in May! It's extraordinarily hot here this year, so hot that I postponed the garden until Fall and bought a solar oven to capitalize on the sun after reading that for every hour I use the kitchen oven my cooling system works overtime THREE hours to get back to the set temp. Those experiments have worked wonderfully, including baked bread and cookies.

Rebecca said...

I wet washcloths and bandanas and freeze them. Just putting one of those on your neck or your arms makes all of the difference in the world.

We're on day 17 of 90+ and we don't use ac. We shut the windows and drapes during the day and open them in the evening. We run a fan in the bedroom.

The Purloined Letter said...

We've given in to the AC on a couple of nights. Son sleeps on the floor our our bedroom so he can stay cool too. We've also hit the bookstore and the movie theatre on unbelievably hot days.

Mostly, we drink ice water, melt even in the shade, and try to stay as still and quiet as possible. Very productive, I must say.

Tomorrow's high: 93. Wed's: 96. Very very humid.

Jennifer said...

We did not include central a/c in our home remodel. We live in Huntington Beach, CA where for the most part it stays nice and mild. We have a few hot, humid weeks in the summer and Sept., and we high tail it to the beach, or I fill the paddling pool up and I use the water for the yard after we've used it for several days. I have been keeping car a/c off, to the chorus of "Momeeee, it's too windy back here!" My son says we're reducing our carbon "shoe", ha ha. Great post! JenK

Crissy said...

I've been turning off the A/C as soon as I get up every morning and then turning it back on to 70* (or 72* when DH isn't looking) at around 8pm.

After years of keeping the AC at 65* I thought I would DIE of heat stroke with the indoor temps. now reaching an excess of 80*. It didn't take more than about a week for my body to completely adjust to the new norm though. In fact, I've gotten so accustomed to the warmer temps during the day that I'm huddled up under a blanket when the AC goes back on at night.

DH, on the other hand, spends his days in an uber-air-conditioned cubicle so 80* seems like the seventh circle of hell to him. He informs me at least once a day that this will be the death of him... heh, or me.

On those rare occasions when I get really hot I sit down with an ice cold glass of water or head to the basement where it's naturally cooler.

Kim from Milwaukee said...

I love hanging out my wash, hugging the cold wet clothes to my roasting body...seems kinda sustainable to me.

Been doing ok keeping the a/c off during the day, and at night, too, if possible. The humidity in Milw got horrendous yesterday, though, and I caved at 8pm, but kept the thermostat at 78. I turned it off when I went to bed, but woke up drenched at 4am, so back on it went. Yes, I'm a wimp.

Harper said...

I held off putting my small a.c. into my bedroom window until a week ago but just wasn't getting any rest even with three fans pointed directly at my body and another sucking air through the apartment. So, the a.c. is in now but I don't turn it on until my west-facing living room is unbearable, usually around 8 or 9 p.m. and it isn't on frigid -- more like tepid but still makes a difference.

RC said...

I am at 18 degrees north latitude. Very hot here. High nineties every day for 5 months. Or over 100 in August. I hate air conditioning, I don't have it in my one person office or the house. I've always been like that, so it isn't a new program for me.
I sit closer to the fan when it gets to be over 95.
At night I use no fan, it goes down to 85. Feels cool under the mosquito net.

RC said...

Forgot to mention the science of trapping the night air in the house or office and keeping it in all day.

Greenpa said...

Hey, you stole my topic! Deep Summer

No AC! No Fridge! No cooking for a bit, either. With a recipe, sort of!

Pop some corn and sip some hot cocoa for me!

BerryBird said...

We don't have AC to succumb to, so when it gets unbearable, I'll take a book down to the basement to read and cool off.

knittinandnoodlin said...

I can't wait until it gets cool like that here!

I freeze my buns off at work all day (I never put the winter wooly sweaters away), so I'm happy to come home and sit in the heat and thaw out. Although tonight when I was knitting I did wish it was a bit cooler so the yarn would stop sticking. *sigh*

Nessaz said...

It's fairly warm here in Maryland. AC set on 76 only when I'm home, 82 when I'm not. At night it's on 82. I have a big fan pointed at my chair in the living room, and I sleep on an air mattress in the basement. It's working - my electric bill is significantly lower than last year's.

Vanessa said...

65 degrees? See ya Dallas, Crunchy Chicken, here I come!

Texan Mama said...

All due respect crunchy, but I don't feel bad for ya. You can always put on layers but there is only so much we can take off. Getting down to skin, on top of sheets, still sweating.
Weather reports today: 18 days so far this year above 100 degrees. Usual for the YEAR is 17 days over 100, and we are only halfway through the summer.
Plus we have no basement to go to.
I have pumped up the AC to 80 degrees at night, that's the best I can do. And I'm not using the oven anymore unless before 9am or after 9pm.

Deann said...

Although the ac temp at work is set at 74, there's a great fluxuation in temps in the office. If I go downstairs to the main floor of the building that has a big door nearly always open to the 100+ degree temps outside, then the sweat starts. When I go back up to the office, I sit at my desk and have my personal 4" fan blowing the cool air on me until I cool off again. Going home actually feels good, warms up my bones - but burns my hands! If I don't put the window screen up in the car windshield I have to use any spare piece of towel or cloth like oven mits just to hold onto the steering wheel! Phoenix, gotta love it in the Summer!
At home I've been keeping to my pledge. 85 during the day, and ac lowest at 78 at night. One box fan is pointed at the bed to help the cool reach me. Basically, to keep cool, I go outside very little. Can't wait until September, when temps at night will begin to drop below 80.

Anonymous said...

We've been keeping the ac set between 80 and 82. When the outside temps are in the 80s and the humidity is not too bad or not raining buckets, I shut it off and leave the windows open all day. We have been using the ceiling fans more to circulate the air which helps. Also do most of the cooking in the crockpot, toaster oven, or skillet. Thankfully, we have not had any bad air quality days this summer.

--Ave

mudnessa said...

thankfully the last heat wave we had was right before you started the challenge and i used my ac and it basically destroyed my plants on my patio so i really dont wanna use it that much more. i am not sure what we are going to do when it does get hot, have good cross ventilation but when its hot out there isnt much relief we can get.

Jennifer said...

It's hot. I'll share with you.

No seriously.

No A/C here, so no choices. We have been running the portable swamp cooler almost all afternoon, though.

Segwyne said...

We have been going swimming in the afternoons after hubby gets home from work, or after an early dinner. The swimming hole is 3.5 miles away, and I started to wonder whether the gas burned to get there and back was more or less than the electricity to run an A/C. But then I realized that in our van (~20 mpg) we can make 3 round trips on one gallon of gas and stay however long we want, which is usually 1-2 hours. Those 1-2 hours of swimming keep us cool for the rest of the day/evening, so I am sure it is better than the A/C. If we had to go farther away, then maybe not, but 7 miles round trip is close enough.

Ellen said...

I'm in Colorado, so we have refreshingly cool nights but hot days of about 100. It's been this way for a month now. We keep the curtains closed, the fans on, and plenty of cool drinks in the fridge. I loved the technique someone posted here about soaking your shirt in cold water. I do that before going to bed if it's still too hot to be comfortable. Great trick!! So far, we've turned the air on 3 times, all 3 for my husband who works at home twice a week. The kids and I are doing fine. Lots of popsicles too!

Glenda said...

It was 105 here today, and that's not unusual for our summers; nighttime offers very little relief (mid- to high-80's). At least we don't usually have much humidity!

Hubby offices from home when in town, and kiddo and I are usually at home the better part of the day, so the A/C definitely gets used.

We have acclimated to running it about 4 degrees warmer during the day and about 5-6 degrees warmer at night, but in exchange we use box fans, in addition to ceiling fans, in the bedrooms. Without the box fans, the A/C would be set lower for sure.

Our electric bill, even with a rate increase since last summer, is averaging about $150 lower this summer -- that rocks!!

Even neater is that over the weekend I changed our electricity plan to one that is 100% renewable energy -- woot!! It's pretty neat to be supporting the Texas wind farms (we're in Texas).

We go swim 4-6 days a week. It's really the only way for kiddo (and us adults too) to burn off energy without having heatstroke. My mom has an in-ground pool, and she only lives 10 or so blocks away, so it takes very little gas to get from here to there and back. We usually go swim late afternoon to early evening -- a very nice way to end the day. I'll tell ya, the years we did not have easy and free access to a pool in the summertimes, it sucked.

Sonnjea B said...

We're having a cooler than normal July in So Cal, so it hasn't been an issue. We don't have a/c, so I couldn't use it if I wanted to, but we haven't even needed the fan. So I'm sticking to my goals, but not through any effort on my part.

Leila said...

I'm snuggling up to my hubby too. We're in Oakland CA and the fog was on the hilltops at 6 pm this afternoon. Good thing the littlest one is getting swim lessons down in the 'hood where the sun shines, and not up in the fancy schmancy redwoods where it's 60 degrees and dripping. I've learned my lesson.

No more summertime swimming in the redwoods, it may be where the rich people congregate but it's too cold! we're sticking to the westerly side of town, thank you. The pool is great. And we could even take the bus to that one if we wanted to. Rich folks' pool is of course also inaccessible by public transit.

maryann said...

The AC was on agian for about a week, which sucks but it was so freakin' humid you couldn't breath. Once the humidity broke it got turned back off. Hopefully it will stay this way for a while but it's been a very wet, humid summer here in the northeast.

Wendy said...

No AC, but our temperatures sound a bit like yours, Crunchy.

That said, it's supposed to be sunny (for the first time in more than a week) and in the 80s today. We're heading to the beach ;).

Tara said...

100+ during the day, about 75 at night, VERY humid. I am NOT a happy girl. I don't care what anyone says, I've never been able to "adjust" to a higher temperature very well. There's a certain threshold (around 80 degrees indoors and around 95 outdoors) where I just start feeling really ill.

We have two tiny window units, one in the living room and one in our bedroom. We run the bedroom A/C at night and keep the door closed. It stays off all day until about an hour before bedtime. Living room A/C stays off all day if we're gone, or on if I'm home working. It's set to 72, but it's way too small for the room, so it only gets the real temp down to about 78. We run ceiling fans in every room and an oscilating fan here and there. We turn the living room A/C off at night, open windows and keep the fans going. It's still uncomfortably hot in the house most of the time, but we deal.

MamaBird said...

I have left the thermostat up higher since your original post. We have our house in zones - the top floor is central ac, the bottom floor has wall units that are electric and supposedly energy efficient. We hardly ever turn on the 1st floor (living space). Upstairs we turn on at night for sleeping cause if we leave windows open it's tough to sleep (noise). We've tried a series of open window nights this summer but it's pretty loud where we live. My question to you is this -- is it worse to do what we are doing, cycling it off and on? We leave it on only while we are sleeping and then it's off during the day. Would it actually be more energy efficient to leave it on? ie does starting it up and needing to cool down the hot air from each day count more than leaving it on all day? i doubt it but was curious. we are hardly up there during the day so it seems a waste to leave it on.

Anonymous said...

From NE Texas, it is hot here!!!!!!!!!! How hot? Damn hot!!!! How do we stay cool? we don't

Love your blog, first time here but it won't be the last.

Thanks
jim

ruralaspirations said...

We're in the same weather region as you, and I've been feeling like a bit of a cheater having the A/C challenge logo on my blog. I've had fuzzy slippers and wooly sweaters on the last couple of days!!

angeljoy said...

would you guys just shut up! I was grilling chicken at 7:30 last night and felt like I was in a freakin' sauna! It was 100 degrees at 6pm
I'm in Georgia for pity's sake, not the middle of a desert (although if we don't get rain soon...)

Lisa said...

I bought a programmable thermostat a couple of years ago, while home, after work and in the morning, central a/c is set at 79, which is do-able (for me) with ceiling fans and box fans. At night and during the day the central a/c goes up to 84. We use a window unit in the bedroom at night. I can survive with fans, but boyfriend hates it. I got the window unit in 2005 when Hurricane Rita was heading this way, to plug into the generator if power went out. We'd at least have ONE cool room to retreat to. It works for us, as long as boyfriend doesn't set a/c to 74 or 76 and lets it stay there all day or all night. I've gotten acclimated to 79, when he cranks it down I start getting chilled with the box fan blowing on me.

Lisa said...

I bought a programmable thermostat a couple of years ago, while home, after work and in the morning, central a/c is set at 79, which is do-able (for me) with ceiling fans and box fans. At night and during the day the central a/c goes up to 84. We use a window unit in the bedroom at night. I can survive with fans, but boyfriend hates it. I got the window unit in 2005 when Hurricane Rita was heading this way, to plug into the generator if power went out. We'd at least have ONE cool room to retreat to. It works for us, as long as boyfriend doesn't set a/c to 74 or 76 and lets it stay there all day or all night. I've gotten acclimated to 79, when he cranks it down I start getting chilled with the box fan blowing on me.

Anonymous said...

I HATE THE COLD
Claire here, I live in the Uk and I am never warm.
When I have the house to myself, the heating gets turned to 30 and the fire on too, even in summer sometimes,.,.lol
I love to drive with the heat blasting too
At home, soon as hubby is home its freezing,.,.,.lol
Picked the wriong guy,.,.lol

Anonymous said...

my comment above...
claire xxx

mail me and tell me im not alone and need help,.,.lol

mabbutt10@yahoo.co.uk

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