Thursday, June 30, 2011

Planning ahead for HOT weather!

My favorite season of the year is Summer and Summer has arrived in Chicago. I love love love summer, but I am wise enough to take precautions for predicted Heat Waves and prepare ahead for them. I believe there is no use in complaining about HOT weather because it is a part of the season and we can't change the weather, but we can prepare for it! A small heat wave is on the way for tomorrow, with heat indexes as high as 105°. Time to PREPARE for the Heat Wave!

We live in a basement apartment and you would think it would be cool down here, but it is not. It can get pretty "muggy" inside our apartment. We only have 1 wall air conditioner unit in the entire apartment, it is in the front room. The 3 bedrooms and the kitchen have ceiling fans in them.  We also have 2 Tower Fans and a Pedestal Fan. I personally like air that is blown directly on me, rather then ceiling fans. The ceiling fans don't seem to do a good enough job, so therefore we purchased the fans. We make sure the blinds are keep closed for the day, as then the sunshine is not beating into our apartment. Windows are closed to keep the "heat" from coming in.

My oldest son, Josh, has asthma therefore during "ozone action days" he cannot be outside because the heat will cause breathing problems, so we really have to prepare and make sure he doesn't go out during the daytime hours. Tonight we will go to the library and get some books and DVD's so that we can have a "movie marathon" during the day. Josh loves loves reading and will probably enjoy relaxing with a book tomorrow during the day. We will congregate in the front room where the A/C unit is and relax with movies and books. We will go outside for an hour or so after dinner and after the temps begin falling.

One of the first things I do is make sure the boys and I are wearing light clothes, such a gym shorts and t-shirts or tank tops. The light clothes makes sure the body is getting enough fresh air and keeps you cool better.

I will also go grocery shopping this evening and get some fresh fruit, especially melons, which are really good for HOT days. Melons are one of those "refreshing and cool" fruits. I will grab some lunch meat and a pasta salad.  I am going to make sure we have plenty of water bottles for the day also.  We will have a low maintenance and cooling lunch tomorrow. I also try to use the crockpot or the toaster oven on HOT days, the oven does not go on in our apartment on HOT days.

Another great "trick" I do too cool down is I get a dish towel wet, twist is around and around and then stick it in the freezer for about 10 minutes. It gets is just frozen enough and then I wrap it around my neck. It truly does cool the boys and I down quite a bit. I used to have a Fabric Neck Cooler and it was AMAZING, but it got a tear in it and it was no good anymore. I hope to get another in the near future, but until then I have my "makeshift" neck cooler. The wet towel works well that it cools down my body quite well. A bandanna works well also.

In addition to drinking water, we have some favorite "Cool Down Treats" that we make. I personally love Sun Tea, so I tend to drink lots of that on a HOT day and all summer long for that matter. I have Popsicle molds that I purchased at Dollar Tree and I make Pudding Pops, Fruit Bar Pops, Yogurt Pops. Just make up some pudding as directed or a homemade version and fill the molds and freeze. A couple years ago, I googled and found a site that has lots of recipes for Popsicles: 50+ Homemade Popsicle Recipes.  I just recently found another site online that looks really good: Homemade Popsicles. There are plenty more all over the internet, just google for them.  Homemade Slushies are another family favorite here. I do sometimes use Sugar Free Drink mixes, like a Crystal Light or the generic version for making slushies and they are very good. Homemade Fruit Smoothies are a hit year round, but especially on a hot day! Magic Milk Shakes is something we just started making last year. I had seen the recipe online for a few years, but was always too chicken to try it. A friend of mine from our homeschool group was telling me how great they are, so we finally tried them. We love love love them. They taste quite a bit like a certain "Frosty" treat.  These are a favorite "Cool down drinks". I am always looking for new and fun treats, so if you have any feel free to share.

I know we can't change the weather, so there is no use complaining about it. We have just learned to "make the best of it" by preparing in advance!!

Also, for that might not have A/C or Fans, remember that libraries, police stations and Village Halls are most of the time used a Cooling Centers.  Also, other Public places that have A/C are a good way to "cool off". Make sure to check on the elderly and make sure to keep babies and those with respiratory issues inside!

STAY COOL everyone!! It is getting to be HOT all over the country!

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