Posted by Rebecca
We get hot summers here in Northern Nevada. Often we will get 90+ temperatures for a couple of months straight, without a drop of rain. The sun shines and shines and shines. I love it.
What I do not love, however, is my temperature-control-challenged home. The pink trailer was built in 1958, and I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure they insulated it with nothing more than fairy dust and butterfly kisses. I know you are probably sick of me complaining about my insulation woes, but bear with me. Usually my complaint is in the winter, when all my attempts to stay warm aren’t good enough and I still have to go to bed wearing a toque (yes, I’m Canadian). In the summer, though, life is great. I let the sun beat in the windows and on the top of the aluminum tube I call home, without a care in the world because my super-amazing swamp cooler is doing what it does best – keeping me cool. That is, until it goes down in a blaze of glory.
About a week ago I giggled to myself as I came home to a wet deck. It appeared that the neighbor had left his sprinkler on extra high and it was arching over my trailer and onto my deck. Being the ever industrious gal that I am ;), I even moved my potted plants so they would be hit with the spray. No need for all that water to go to waste.
I moved inside and noticed that the swamp cooler wasn’t running. Yikes. It wasn’t hot that day, but the heat was coming. My super-fix-it guy, John planned to come for a visit in 10 days, so I talked to him about it and he promised to fix it when he got here. Ok, 10 days. I can do this.
Through the course of the week I soon realized that the continuous spray onto my deck had nothing to do with my, as I thought him to be, water-wasteful neighbor, but was, in fact, spraying out of my split swamp cooler water line. Whoops. So the water to the cooler was turned off, and I continue to wait for repair day. And it really wasn’t terrible until yesterday.
Yesterday I came home to 99 degrees inside (yet it only got to 84 outside). So I did what any rational person would do – I aimed the fan towards Cassi and I, stuffed Otter Pops down my shirt, and laid, immobile, on the couch until the sun went down.
Today I am being proactive and researching more ways to stay cool and maintain a swamp cooler state of mind, until it can once again become a reality. Here are my favorite tips:
- Keep curtains, blinds, and even windows closed as soon as the sun starts to warm things up.
- Place a large bowl of ice or ice water in front of a fan, and adjust the fan to blow over the ice.
- Use a misting fan, or create your own by spritzing yourself with a spray bottle as the fan hits you.
- Avoid anything that creates more heat, like ovens, stoves, washer and dryer, dishwasher, unnecessary lights; even electronics like your TV or computer can put off some heat.
- Use silk, satin, or sateen pillowcases and sheets.
- Drink lots and lots of cold water.
- Place an icepack behind your head (or Otter Pops down your shirt :)).
- Run cold water over your wrists for about a minute every hour. This trick reduces your core temperature.
- Eat and drink minty things, and use minty toiletries. It’s refreshing, and leaves a cooling sensation on your skin.
- Eat spicy food. This one is my favorite. The heat in the food (from the spice, not the temperature) will engage your internal cooling system by making you sweat, which will cool you down.
I will be using more than a few of those tips tonight, as Reno is supposed to get even hotter today. And I will keep in mind, as miserable as I am, at least my tomatoes and herbs are thriving in this greenhouse I call home.