Stay Cool This Summer

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.

Rebecca Knabe



9 thoughts on “Stay Cool This Summer

  1. get some white washclothes, wet them and roll them up and put them in the frig in a plastic container with a lid. When you get hot pop one out and wash your face, wrists, neck and everywhere. Also put up a chime, somehow the sound is cooling. Love your blog

    • Thanks, Suzan! Great ideas!! That sounds a little more civilized than my Otter Pop suggestion. 🙂
      And, what an interesting tip about the wind chimes. I’ll have to try it!

  2. Love your site; I’ve been lurking for a few weeks now!! After being financially devastated by a failed marriage 8 years ago, I am finally getting back on my feet. I have 3 kids (2 boys at home, one daughter on her own) am single with no help in any form from their father. I’ve been renting all these years and am finally able to get my own place. A trailer. I was not happy with the prospect at first…excited to finally have a place I can call my own, but not thrilled about being in a trailer. And that because of the negative connotations that “trailer” seem to carry with it. HOWEVER, I have discovered your site, along with a couple of others, and I must say that NOW, I am feeling rather excited! I will have a place of my own and everything in it will be new! My trailer is being built and should be ready in a few weeks. I have had a shift in thinking…less can be good! It can be freeing! I plan on planting flowers, adding a deck and having a place that I feel peaceful in!! My sons (13 and 15) aren’t very excited about a trailer, because they have heard people say “trailer trash” before…it is a term thrown around much too easily and is a catch all phrase. I tell them that it’s not what you live in that makes you trash, it’s how you act. I think they are getting it. I think all in all it will be a good experience for them. I will be in my cousin’s park and he keeps it nice. It’s mainly older folks. The good thing is that there is a 50 mile bike trail nearly in our back yard. I’m an avid bike rider…or was an avid bike rider years ago, and am finally getting back into it, and my sons are getting into it too. I think we will be doing lots of bike riding together, and I’m very excited about THAT! SO…thank you for your site and for sharing your enthusiasm for trailer life. You have made a difference to me…you’ve helped me adopt a positive attitude and change my way of thinking. I’ll keep you updated on when I move in and how it’s going. Right now, I’m decluttering…downsizing. YAY. Mostly getting rid of furniture that my ex and I used to have…time to move on, get stuff I like and make my own little piece of heaven! Again…Thank you!

    • Wow! Thank you so much!

      We started this blog, not so much to encourage others, but as therapy for ourselves. I knew this life choice I was making by downsizing and moving into a trailer could be a good one, but I was scared too; especially with all the negative opinions out there. However I learned that my place could be just as cool as anyone else’s place – in fact, this is THE coolest place I have lived. The other homes I lived in, whether rented or the house I owned for a while, were too big, and I couldn’t afford to do what I had envisioned. My trailer, though, is just right – it’s small enough to make big changes while staying within my budget. I love my home!!

      Congratulations on your new home!! And congratulations on simplifying and downsizing!! I’ll warn you, it’s addictive…. I have to stop myself from getting rid of things and reducing clutter now, and remind myself that I can’t get rid of everything. It is so wonderful to live without clutter and excess, and to not waste so much time on upkeep and housework. You will have time to do what you want to do, like ride your bike!

      I can imagine that this is hard for your kids. Teenagers are so worried about public opinion. But you are helping your boys learn a valuable life lesson – that you can’t judge a book by its cover, or a person by their home. They will be better people for it.

      I can’t express how much it means to me that my difficulties and resulting decisions helped someone else feel better about their life. You have truly made my day! And, yes, please keep us posted on your move, your landscaping, and your life. 🙂


  3. Love your site; I’ve been lurking for a couple of weeks. I just want to say thank you for your site…you have helped me as I prepare to move into a trailer myself. I was divorced 8 years ago and was left in a financial mess. I’ve been raising 3 kids totally on my own, without any help from their father in any way. I have rented all these years and was told a little while back I needed to move because my landlord was selling the house I was in. Not wanting to buy a house just yet, because I can’t afford it, and tired of renting, I decided to buy a trailer. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t thrilled but thought it was financially the best thing for me to do right now. I struggled with the thought of living in a trailer because of the negative connotation that it carries. My boys (15 and 13, who are at home…my daugher is 21 and on her own) are not real excited either. They have heard the term “trailer trash” and are a little afraid that’s what the kids will think of them (we are moving to a new town, my hometown, and they will be going to a new school). However, your site and others like it have helped me change my way of thinking. I am now excited to move in…excited to have a little place of my own, with all new stuff. I can finally get rid of the furniture my ex and I had…I can move on. YAY! My cousin owns the park and it’s nice…the good thing is that there is a 50 mile bike path nearly in our back yard. I’m a bike rider and my sons are getting into it so now we will be able to go out more often. I’m really excited about that. I plan on adding a deck to our trailer, planting flowers and having a nice little home to call my own!! So, thank you for your site…you have helped me shape a positive attitude about trailer life! They are building my mobile home now and I should be able to move in in about 3 weeks or so. I’ll keep you updated.

    Again…thanks for this site!!

  4. Haha…I thougth my first post didn’t go through…so I typed a shorter version the second time. I’m such a dork! Sorry.

  5. Hi, found your site through the Mobile Home Living blog. The transformations you ladies did to your homes are amazing. Not a lot of people would be able to see past the ugly ducklings you started with! I tip my hard hat to you both1
    I don’t know how a “canuck” can stand that kind of heat. I’m in southern Alberta and we very rarely have temps like that. We do gets days where it hits the high 20’s and 30’s (celsius) and I’m on the verge of melting. Thank goodness for A/C.

    Have a wonderful day!

    • Thanks, Shirlee! I grew up in Edmonton. I was so happy to get out of the harsh winters that I love the heat. I lived in Central Oregon first – in the desert – so was able to aclimate a bit before getting to Nevada. We still do get chilly winters, because of the high elevation here, but nothing like Edmonton.
      Thanks for reading!!

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