This heat wave is pretty awful, especially if you’re very young, very old or if you are health compromised. Maybe you’re lucky and have AC that you can afford to run but if, like me, you have chosen to discard the AC or if you just don’t have it, you should make some plans about how you will handle the heat.

I begin each hot, humid morning by closing up the house. I shut the windows and doors and close the curtains to keep the hot air out and the cool, night air in. I put jars of water with lots of ice in a cooler on the counter. This prevents people from constantly opening the door to the freezer and the refrigerator to get something cold to drink. I put a pile of wash cloths in the same cooler and use those to mop the kids down from time to time.

I head out to the garden in the very early morning. Any work that needs to be done is finished before 10:00 or waits until late afternoon. I give any tender plants a good drink very early so the water won’t evaporate before doing any good. The heat of the day is not good for travel. You will use far more gas by running your AC and car trouble is no fun if you find yourself waiting on hot asphalt for help to arrive.

We move our bunny, Olivia, to a cool spot under the pine trees and check her water often. She’s pretty old and I fear this heat will kill her. I don’t have a dog but if I did I would be extra cautious about keeping her cool as well. We use to put our dog in the basement on days like this.

I keep Phoebe inside, even letting her watch TV just to keep her occupied and quiet. My kids don’t seem to wilt in the heat as quickly as I do but it’s still hard on little bodies. This is the day to put myself to work in the basement. I have a lot of chores down there to keep me busy and the cool, moist air is fabulous.

I also plan my meals first thing the in the morning. Food tends towards cheese and bread, fruit and cold salads, things that can be prepared without heating up the house. If I do need to cook, I try to use the solar oven. I will really appreciate that summer kitchen.

Maybe today I’ll use my weekend tag sale find. I spent $25.00 on a nifty hand-crank ice cream maker. An identical model in Lehman’s was $139.00 plus shipping and handling.