Tuesday, July 3, 2012

DO NOT put another log on the fire.

South Pork Ranch Sunflower Takes the Heat

Over the last 17 years my husband and I have adapted to life without AC. We made the decision with clear heads as clear as ones' head can be when you have four children under foot. We believed more activity would take place outside if we were not coddled indoors with cool breezes.

Today....I would've loved a bit of the coddling thing.

Last year it was easy to brag about our hot weather tolerance as the thermometer did not get over 100 even one day if I recall.

Pigs discover new cold water in their mud hole and jostle
for placement nearest the hose. Mud prevents sunburn,
 kills lice and adds  a certain Je ne sais quoi

This year, and we are barely into July, is thrice as bad. Many days without good rain. No rain in the near forecast. Many many days of over 90 degrees and several days of over 100. The sweat is no longer dripping off my face, instead it bubbles and sizzles and evaporates immediately before making it to my upper lip which is nothing more than a cracked lip desert anyway. We are getting worried. The pastures are done for. The hay we bought last month for this winter is being fed now. Additional hay will be in short supply and more expensive. Fortunately we have good wells.

Swimming pools pop up all over on the farm. Take one container,
add one hose. Done

We have a routine. We get up early and enjoy the 80 degrees chill for a bit before we close up windows and pull the drapes. Then it's outside to do as much garden and animal chores for as long as we can stand. We over water the animals, the veggie garden and ourselves in order to build up our hydration reservoirs. Usually we make it to noon. Today we caved at 11:30am.

I was ashamed for my weakness.

Hazy skies keep heat contained. Towels hang striaght down drying almost
before they are needlessly pinned to the line.

Keith then went into town helped haul old carpet out of the pastors house while I hit the computer. If I don't move much, keep the fan in direct aim at my face and shower ever 30 minutes, I can be pretty productive. Meat invoices done and 300 summer dresses (all promising to keep me daisy fresh) ordered on EBay,

At 4 pm we realize the homes internal heat is causing the drapes to spontaneously combust so we throw open the windows just in time for a blast of hot air equivalent to that of a crematorium, to roll through our rooms.

We head back outdoors. To water the animals, flood their mud holes and give drinks to those thirsty plants deemed special enough to live. Like tomatoes and potatoes. The perennials scattered about the farm are pretty much on their own.

Have you ever heard a lily plant cry? It's very sad.


  1. Oh geez, I have no idea how you put up with that kind of heat. I start whining at 80 and melting at 81.

    You're right about the mud on the pigs. It does have its own particular charm.

  2. I live a few hours north and we're in the same position--you just write about it ever so picturesquely. ....and July has just begun. We do have AC, but I am stubbornly (AKA cheaply) spending the week in the basement. I just read a tip yesterday that I plan on giving a try--when doing a sit-down job, keep your feet in a bucket of ice water. (And yes, that made me excited.)

  3. Well,Donna, you have succeeded in making me grateful for chilly wet north west England. The last summer I spent in the US many years ago was humid and in the hundreds every day for weeks and weeks (1980)and I was pregnant. Those New England clapboard houses are not much good at keeping the heat out in summer nor the cold out in winter! In Southern France the oldest houses are built of stone and in the case of our house have 30 inch walls; the newer houses are built of terracotta bricks which are also very effective; -- keeps the interior incredibly cool even through the hottest spells. Take care and may some, but not too much rain, come soon.

  4. I feel your pain; well, not about the lack of A/C, but for the weather. The only saving grace we'll have this year is that we were able to secure our year's worth of hay and we're picking it up tomorrow! It's going to be another bad, bad hay year. Hope you can find some without having to mortgage the house.

    We don't sweat here, we render.

  5. We were promised rain for today, but it's already 7am and no sign of a cloud. The pool is getting plenty of use.

    The first of our Summer guests arrive on Saturday, so it's bound to change!

  6. Did I hear you right? 300 summer dresses ordered on eBay? Is the hear taking it's toll on your state of mind too? Hang on - it's bound to rain soon.

  7. Hi Donna, I hear you loud and clear. It is around 35 - 40º celcius here but last week we had a heat wave and one of the days it went up to 46º. Hottest day of my life. But then, I remember back to the coldest winter of my life and a chilling 46º below zero in Ottawa and a vow I made to never complain about the heat. We don't use air conditioning either. We manage keeping the house cool by keeping the light out. Then we try to take afternoon naps and work late into the night. Hope you are managing okay in the heat and the animals too. xoxo Jen

  8. I am right there with you. But in our off grid house even a fan can be iffy since the solar does not work as well in these high heat. Calgon, take us away!

  9. We are told that by Friday we will be bordering on 100 degrees. Fortunately we have AC but there will be the distinct possibility of brown outs. Sadly, we pay for our water usage so there will be no mud baths for me.

  10. I came by to thank you for your visit to Mucky Boots, and now I'm perspiring in sympathy! This certainly seems to be a season of extremes, because summer hasn't even started here on Vancouver Island - just rain, rain, rain, and we're still in long pants and jackets! I'm beyond impressed that you manage to keep a sense of humour while all this is going on - I feel really badly about laughing at your misery, but you make it hard not to! I'll be back!

  11. If I remember from our visit last summer, the farm store has AC. I think I would spend a lot of time in there rearranging the freezers or doing some other cool task.

  12. You can still leave me laughing about stuff that I wouldn't find funny (though there are worse things than sweating, but STILL)!

    Catching up with your posts--I'm sorry about the thief. Why does someone always have to ruin it for everyone?

    This reminds me, I need to buy soap from you STILL--ok, but don't leave the money in the farm store

    Hugs to you!

  13. I nearly cried reading this, it brought back to me all the stress of hot summer (while in the middle of a freezing winter), I hope you'll have some relief soon. One thing that Ive heard about but not tried as we have humid heat, is you can hang wet sheets in the window, so the breeze is cooled by evaporating the water from the sheets. It only works in dry heat though. And the feet in icy water comment definitely works, I do that too. Good to hear that you at least have good wells, that's one less worry isn't it. Cheers, Liz

  14. Love the sunflower picture.

    I could not do without my swamp cooler. I do love your swimming holes though. Awesome.

  15. Now I know the identity of the person that has been out-bidding me on ebay for those summer dresses! Have mercy, woman! I am in El Paso....DESERT! Although weird weather abounds...we have had raIN FOR 3 days in a row. The goats are quite upset about this...they hate the rain. I love the cooler air.