Beat That Heat Right Back Where It Belongs

IMG_1411Portlanders looooove to whine about the heat. Boo hoo, it’s over 100 today. But really, who am I to judge? I’m sitting in my nicely air-conditioned 75 degree house with an icy cold glass of Hansen’s Root Beer. Yup, I confess I am using the A/C. Not exactly the “green” way to cool off, I know, but I do draw the line somewhere (generally when  my fellow Portlanders start to really complain, which is when the thermometer hits around, say, 81 degrees).

Actually though, the heat doesn’t bother me all that much. Really, I mean it. Yesterday I worked out in it, so there.  Our heat here is a dry heat so there’s not that horrible Midwest stickiness that means you can never cool off.  My husband and I justify our A/C because when Grace was a newborn her bedroom, which gets direct afternoon sun, would be at least 10 degrees hotter than whatever the outside temperature was (think 104 degree day, baby sleeping in 114 degree room – I kid you not).  So we got it installed and now are so grateful we did when the mercury climbs up and up and up in August.

I do what I can to help the A/C along – shutting all the blinds and windows in the house, keeping off lights and appliances – and we open our windows up at night to let the cooler night air in, although that’s not really going to happen this week with nighttime temperatures close to 80 degrees.

I’ve done my share of time without A/C though, including 2 1/2 years of high school in Australia where ceilings fans were the extent of cooling mechanisms at both home and school.  That polyester green school uniform did not help the temperature situation either.  So for anyone who’s still reading and not rolling their eyes at my use of A/C, here are my scorcher survival tips when you just can’t be someplace air-conditioned.

  • Keep an icy cold water bottle or other beverage always close at hand (Hansen’s diet root beer does the trick for me, as does Japanese mugi-cha).
  • Stay in the shade.
  • Shave your legs (I swear it makes you feel cooler).
  • Take a cold bath (great place to do the above).
  • Have a fan blowing directly on you.
  • Eat cold foods – salads, sushi, and of course ice cream. If you’re already sweaty, greasy food makes you just feel worse.
  • Run in the sprinkler or jump in a wading pool with your little ones.

My fellow Portland bloggers over at Enviromom and Urbanmamas have some other great tips to keep your cool when the temperatures are blazing. What are you doing to stay cool on this hottest week of summer?

Excuse me now, I’m off to actually go outside…to go to the ice cream shop.


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