Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer?

Yesterday's temperature was 17 degrees above normal, and I was wiped out before noon. I kept trying to get back outside all day, but I just did not have the energy. Spring came early to Illinois, and the temperatures never returned to normal. All of our perennials are two weeks ahead of schedule.

It looks like summer is arriving even earlier because yesterday's temperature hit 93 F. Turkeys are walking around with their wings held away from their body. All the animals are panting like dogs -- like the poor goat kid in the picture. The humans are sweating. And temperatures will be in the upper 80s and 90s for the rest of the week.

We do our best to adjust. We don't have central air conditioning, because we couldn't find a system that was not an energy hog when we started building the house six years ago. We have an attic fan, so as long as the temperature falls into the 60s at night, we can use that fan to pull in the cold air from outside overnight. We close all the windows in the morning to trap the cold air inside with the help of insulated window shades, which also keeps the sun out. If it gets too hot in here, we can always retreat to the basement, which stays naturally cool.

We try to do chores as early as we can drag ourselves out of bed, which is not as early as you might think. We're not crack-o-dawn farmers, however, if the temperatures get much higher, we will be. We get all the animals out of the barns, which will be up to 10 degrees hotter than the outside temperatures. I really don't like metal barns, because they're hotter in summer and colder in winter.  Too bad we couldn't find a farm with big, old wooden barns. In the middle of the day, we make sure everyone has plenty of water. Then we hibernate inside until a couple hours before sundown when the temperatures start to fall again. Or at least, that's what I do. Mike makes me feel like the ultimate wimp in all of this. He is out there working hard and sweating profusely all day. At the moment, he is scything and digging into the dirt around the perimeter of the garden, so that he can bury a rabbit-proof fence. (That's a post for tomorrow or the next day.)

We're having cold breakfasts, like yogurt and granola, and lunch is cold left-overs, salads, or a cold sandwich spread like hummus.  Dinner is cooked around 8 p.m., so that the temperatures are starting to drop, and we'll be able to open windows again and turn on the attic fan, which will pull the cold night air back into the house. Then we'll start over again in the morning.

8 comments:

Michelle said...

We're experiencing below-average temps here. On the news last night they said the LATEST it has ever taken to hit the first 80 degree day is June 6, 1991; we may overtake that record this year. I don't mind, but the garden does.

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

That was our summer last year. It was the worst year EVER for tomatoes and peppers.

clink said...

Don't you love the comments that people make when they find out you don't have a/c? Literally -- one guy offered window units. We had given the ONE window unit we had away.

It will ease up. After I have all the beds cleaned and neat and the mulch hauled. Till then -- I'm still outside.

Stephanie said...

We don't have ac in our apartment either, we are on the 2nd floor. I use insulated drapes year round, so that helps immensely. I have also gotten very skilled at which windows to open at which time of day, to maximize coolness :)

Hope you all get a nice little break from the heat soon.

Deb from Blm said...

Oh my poor baby Vegas! Does she need me to come and get her? ;-)Mine are out in the hot sun grazing right now! I think they have fried their brains ;-) I about melted half an hour ago just putting in one row of beans...you know...replacing the ones that got FROSTBITE in May! sigh.

Tammy said...

Same here in Missouri. I think 'they' said it's the hottest since the record high sometime in the 1930s.. It's pretty hard to adjust to, going from mild to cool days and nights to cut it with a knife heat and humidity.
Tammy

Chef E said...

Funny how I grew up in Texas, and grew up with no air, only a giant fan in the front window that at night my mom would run water in the bottom of it as we slept on a blanket in front of it to cool off. Now we are spoiled. I just throw water on my clothes turn on a fan, instant AC, with a little breeze outside if I am out running around.

I hope the tomatoes are not affected by blight from the drop in temps again, I have to have my home grown tomatoes!

I also like to swim, and if it stays cool and rainy, then the water is cold cold cold- okay are we ever happy. I think we are just in for weather changes because the earth does that every so many hundred years, or even 1000 I read...

Nancy K. said...

I'm not handling this heat and humidity well at all! I'm seriously thinking that animals that hibernate have got it all wrong. We should hibernate during the SUMMER months. One can always add an extra layer for warmth when it's cold but it's just not possible to remove enough to be comfortable when it's 90 and humid...

:-(

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