Excessive Heat

Beginning on Friday and continuing at least through the weekend–although all this coming week the temps will be in the high 80s (F)–there are Excessive Heat Warnings issued for our area. In fact, I read in the news that this is the first time our local National Weather Service branch has ever issued an Excessive Heat Warning for Northern Michigan. As the woman at the bank who handled our mortgage told me when we first moved to Northern Michigan, Lake Michigan usually acts like an air conditioner that keeps the area cool. Apparently, Lake Michigan’s air conditioning is broke. 

Friday morning arrived with a cool, refreshing breeze but knowing that scorching heat was going to follow, I got to work. I turned on the sprinklers to water the garden and the fruit trees and evergreen trees we’ve planted. I also made sure the birdbath was filled and the butterfly puddler was moistened for the critters. Later in the afternoon I turned on the sprinkler for the ducks and gave the chickens a treat of carrots frozen in ice.

I did laundry and hung the wet clothes outside on the line. I could have waited a few days, but EJ has next week off from work and I wanted to start the week off fresh. The clothes dried very quickly in the heat.

I boiled potatoes and our chickens’ eggs, cut up celery, and diced some green onions freshly picked from our garden for a large potato salad. I also shredded half a cabbage and some carrots for coleslaw. Potato salad and coleslaw are foods we can eat cold. I plan to spend as little time cooking in the kitchen as possible.

I walked down to get the mail. I found a bill from our previous propane company charging us a $75 rental fee since we hadn’t bought propane from them for a year. I called them up explaining that we had switched companies a year ago and had called them at that time to pick up their tank and they hadn’t done so…I was prepared to battle them about paying the bill, but the woman told me that they’d send someone to pick up the tank and to disregard the bill. EJ told me later that whenever he called that company, the woman was rude to him, which is one reason he switched companies.

I called Lowes about our flooring. The woman who had measured our flooring had said that they would contact us within 3-5 days with the estimated cost. That was 8 days ago. The man I talked to–the same one we discussed flooring with at the store–said he would look into it. He found our file and emailed me the estimate. It’s more than we had thought, but we are going to do it anyway. Carpeting is actually quite unsanitary, especially when there are a lot of pets in the home, and we are hoping that getting rid of it will help EJ breathe better.

About mid-afternoon, the heat slammed into me and drained all the energy from me. The slightest movement drenched me in sweat. I tried to move as little as possible. I didn’t get much done once the heat hit. The only thing that made the heat survivable was the strong breeze outside–and the multiple fans in our house. Our house is heated by a geo-thermal system that brings up heat and cool air from the earth. (Propane is a backup system that kicks in if the temp goes below 20 Fahrenheit degrees.) Our heater works fine, but the AC quit working last summer. Since we have a huge ToDo list of more pressing projects, and since usually the outside temperature isn’t unbearably hot, getting the AC fixed hasn’t been high on the priority list. EJ has been watching Youtube videos to learn how to fix the AC. With our type of system, it might be a simple fix. However, it was even too hot to work on the air conditioner.

This morning when I went outside to do my chores, the humid heat slammed into me–and it’s only going to get worse later on. People always act as if northern winters are unendurable, insufferable ordeals, but I seriously don’t know how people in the South survive summers. Winters are much easier to deal with. There are many ways to get warmer if a person is cold–put on another blanket, warmer clothing, even heated hand-warmers or a hot cup of coffee to hold and sip. In the Southern heat, a person can stay cool if he stays inside air conditioned buildings, but outside there are only so many things he can take off before he gets arrested. Basically, it seems to me that Southerns are held hostage in their homes by the heat more than Northerners are by the cold. I remember a few years ago we attended EJ’s nephew’s wedding in Tennessee. Whenever we left the air-conditioned hotel, it felt as if we were walking into an oven–or Hell. I could hardly breathe. There is a town in Michigan called “Hell.” Let me tell you, Hell (Michigan) is much cooler than the South. It even freezes over. LOL. Paradise is also in Michigan–in the beautiful Upper Peninsula. I have been to Paradise, but never to Hell.

Ok, I’m beginning to ramble a bit….I imagine that Southerners have techniques to handle heat just as we do to handle cold/snow, but I’ll take cold over hot any day. I suspect that I have snowman DNA because I quickly melt in the heat.

Hannah Joy in front of the fan.

There is still a breeze today, but the morning started out hotter and more humid than yesterday. Ugh. I got the sprinklers running for the gardens and trees, I filled the birdbath, puddler, and saucers for the wildlife, and I gave the ducks and chickens have cool treats later of fruits and veggies frozen in ice water for them to peck at. I gave Hannah some ice cubes to eat. EJ said he read that the heat index (what the temp feels like) is 108 (F) today.

A couple of days ago someone posted in a local resale group on Facebook that he was looking for old mowers. After double-checking with EJ, I told him that he could have our two old ones. He came today and picked them up. He fixes them up and donates them to military veterans who are struggling. EJ talked to the guy for quite a while outside. He said he seemed like a really nice guy. We were glad to help out.

Tomorrow is also supposed to be very hot. I hope it is not this hot all week!

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