Archive for the ‘Heat!’ Category

Temperature — Nashotah, Wisconsin, 6/28/12
94.3 °F
Feels Like 103 °F

Joe and I can’t stand air conditioning–it feels so fakey phoney!  Most of the summer we do well with our big open windows and ceiling fans.  But last night I awakened at 12:30 a. m. and could hardly breathe.  My asthma, long recumbent, had returned with a vengeance.  So we turned on the AC, and we’ve been more comfortable ever since.  Above you will see what ridiculous weather we are having, along with having been sans measurable rain for about a month.

I’ve been slacking off blogging because I love to be outdoors and have limited my indoor time to meal preparation and a minimum of household tasks.  But today, given AC, indoors is the place to be.  The above “Pink Lemonade” rendering seemed to fit today’s mood and climate. 

I have recently been super charged with collaging ideas, thanks to books by collage artists Nita Leland and Ann Baldwin.  My “Pink Lemonade” began as a watercolor painting (done five years ago) to which I recently added textural elements:  tissue paper, unryu, Japanese lace, and extra swipes and spatters of paint.

According to Nita Leland, there is no such thing as a “failed painting”, because something can always be done in terms of added texture, design, and color.  With a large “under the bed” box of less than wonderful watercolor paintings, I’m determined to prove Nita’s premise correct.  With “Pink Lemonade” as an affirmation, I’m encouraged to continue a summer of adventure in the world of collaging.

Then, to add to the fun, I ran the above painting through my Home Photo Studio—a low key and more economical version of Photo Shop—to produce “Pink Lemonade Enhanced”:

Margaret L. Been, ©2012

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Our outside thermometer registered 105° F this afternoon, in the sun.  Later in the day, near sunset, the reading dropped to 100°.  Perhaps the temperature gage (not showing in the above photo) is a bit off, as it was a “cheapie” sale purchase which I bought mainly because the instrument is encased in a cute crow which presides over that area of garden.  But give or take a little, 100° is HOT!

Yesterday Joe and I did something totally unprecedented for us:  we turned on our air conditioning.  We never had AC before we moved to our present home, and certainly never believed that we needed it.  For 30 years we had deep woods homes with large windows shaded by commodious overhangs, and rooms aired by ceiling fans.  Now we have plenty of lovely trees, but no deep woods on our side of the park.  We do have a ceiling fan in each room here, helpful but suddenly not quite helpful enough.  So we are running the AC.

At first it seemed downright eerie to me, being encased indoors with all of beautiful nature barred by closed windows and doors.  But every time I step outside, I realize that nature has gone a bit berserk.  Given the heat and Joe’s heart condition, cooler air has become a priority for us.

Still, we have early mornings and evenings to live outside.  For 2 mornings, I’ve pulled weeds and watered gardens at 6:00 a. m. when the thermometer registered a reasonable 75°.  At night I lie on the patio lounge for awhile, watching fireflies and basking in the warm night air which is pleasant in the dark.  (Happily, we have no mosquitoes!)

For two days I’ve been reflecting on our pioneer history, trying to imagine what it was like traveling west in a wagon train through places like Kansas and Death Valley, California.  Those intrepid souls contended not only with heat (or cold!) but with brutal winds, dust, potential hunger and thirst, realities of sickness and death on the trail without the comfort of a home, arduous labor, and the ominous possibility of getting scalped! 

I’m as comfort-loving as a cat!  I think I might have preferred to stay “back east” in a shady little town, rather than to venture into the unknown!  Yet who knows?  I love to read about the American West.  If I’d been a young wife in the mid 1800s I just might have gone there with my man!

Meanwhile if weather promises count, we’ll experience relief in the next 24 hours.  A forecast of 85° sounds WONDERFUL.  If and when that happens we’ll turn off the AC, throw open the windows and doors, breathe the outside air, and live beside our garden once more. 

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

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