From: The Life of a Prairie Mom on Friday, 26 June 2009
Summer heat has settled in now. We are having temps reaching the low 100*s on a daily basis and often with very little breeze. The focus is becoming the issue of how to deal with summer's heat without fans or air conditioning.
One of the way we combat the heat is to drink lots of fluids! Water and lemonade are always available & kept cold in the refrigerator.
I have started the habit of having a cool bubble bath available for the kids all afternoon. In the late morning, I run about 2-3 inches of water in the tub with a bit of baby wash. At any time in the afternoon when the children are getting too hot, they play in the tub. This works out better than having a small pool outdoors. The wasps love the outdoor kiddie pool as much (if not more than) the little ones! This has been working out very well. The little ones are able to cool off and also we can wash off the sweat & dirt from their playing all at once.
The most strenuous work is done in the mornings only. This will help to prevent becoming overheated & sick from the high temps. The past few days, the radio has announced heat advisories and by early afternoon you can certainly feel it! I now understand the reasons behind the idea of taking a siesta in the hot afternoons.
A recent change that helps greatly with keeping cooler is to not cook in the warm part of day. We now are eating foods cooked on the grill, sandwiches, salads, and a variety of roll-ups instead of cooking a hot meal each day. Things like a layered bean dip (refried beans, taco meat, and assorted toppings common on burritos or tacos) can be made early in the morning then refrigerated until ready to serve. Homemade potato or macaroni salads also can be made in the evening and refrigerated overnight.
We bought expandable screens to put in the windows that did now have any form of screens. This goes far in helping to take advantage of any breeze that happens to be present.
One common tip that we have tried in the past is to put foil in the upper windows. The idea is to reflect the sunlight away from the windows. We take a large piece of cardboard that is large enough to fit the upper half of the window. The cardboard is covered in foil with the shiny side facing outward. The cardboard is then placed in the window. It is important to note that you do not want to fully cover your windows with foil. This will darken the room and turn it into a nice cool, dark enviroment that spiders love! For this reason, we only do the top half of the windows. The bottom half has the window screens which allow both light and air flow.