Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tips for This Unseasonably Warm Weather

Wow!! Are we in the middle of a heatwave or what. British Columbia (where I live) has the dubious distinction of being the hottest province in Canada. Of course, Vancouver, very close to where I live has the distinction of being one of the hottest cities in British Columbia. Could I get any luckier?

The article by Rhett Butler is not finished yet - there are about two more installments - but, I felt it necessary to interrupt and do a "hot weather warning" blog. Some repeats of warnings; some new ideas.

1. Water, water, water. No, I don't mean water contained in coffee, tea, soda or any other drink. I mean real, unadulterated water. Your tap is full of it. Drink at least 10 - 12 glasses a day in this heat IN ADDITION TO anything else you might drink.

2. Sweating is nature's way of keeping us cool; but, sometimes your sweat glands can't keep up unaided. Stop every once in a while - drink, rest, cool down; otherwise, you might find yourself the victim of heat stroke or worse.

3. Your pets. I have one dog, three cats and five birds that are feeling it as much as I am. Replace their water several times a day with fresh, COLD water. When positioning fans, think of your furbabies as well. I place the birds under the ceiling fan. (These cages are roofed; so, there is no draft.) I have one fan placed directed at me. Yeah, baby!! I have one fan directed toward the floor for the animals.

All the birds have small bowls of cool water on the bottom of their cages for baths, etc. This water is replaced at least twice a day. For the dog and the cats, I either lightly mist towels; or, if I doing laundry, I dry them to nearly dry (but not quite). Then I pop them in the freezer for an hour or so. When they come out, they are lovely and chilled. The chill lasts quite a while and penetrates every fur known to petdom. The cats and dog lay around on them while I prepare the next batch.

4. Try not to fall asleep in a room with no air conditioning or fan when the temperature is rising in that space. With nothing to cool the air or keep the room a steady temperature, you might sleep long enough to become overheated, suffer heat stroke or worse.

5. Stand under a cool shower for few minutes. You will amazed at how refreshed you will feel for a long time afterward. Try to remember the water shortages when showering; and, save some for the next guy.

6. Take extra precautions with places that involve skin on skin contact (such as armpits). Moisture can accumulate in these dark, moist, warm places and; all of a sudden, the Fungus family comes to live rent-free. Take extra care to clean, dry and powder these areas: feet and toes; armpits; personal areas (front and back); and, if you are a size cuddly, pay special attention to under the apron.

7. Cover the windows not only to keep out any extra heat and sunlight; but, to allow you the privacy to wander naked. One of my favourites! Being naked in a place where you feel totally safe is a very freeing; not to mention; cooling experience. No matter how light the clothing, it traps some of the heat generated by your body next to your body causing you to be hotter than if you wore nothing at all. I have also found that walking naked in my home has helped me to become more accepting of who I am physically.

8. Apply ice cubes wrapped in a towel (never ice cube to bare skin) and place it on your wrists. This helps to cool the body very quickly. It is incredibly refreshing and the effects last for quite a long time after the application. The ice cubes applied to the back of the neck will help cool the blood headed for the brain.

9. Get a 1 or more 3 liter bottles, fill them approx. 3/4 full of water, freeze them, then place them in a large bowl (to catch dripping water). A bowl of ice cubes can be used as well. Position a fan to blow on them. As the ice in the bottles melts, the air cools around them. The fan will blow that air at you. The water in the bottles can be frozen overnight and used again, repeatedly.

10. Pop a bag of grapes, cubed cantaloupe, cubed watermelon or the like into the freezer. When frozen - enjoy. I understand that frozen banana is delicious.

Do not underestimate the heat, friends - it can be killer. Water, water, and more water. While you're at this, take note that your urine output will not seem to be any more than usual because you are losing so much water through sweat.

1 comment:

kathi said...

Very thoughtful of you to post this P. As a Southerner who has always lived in 100F degree summers, I was getting a tickle out of this until I remembered how many people died from heat they were not used to. Made me appreciate your blog even more. Thanks to global warming/climate changes, you guys got our summer heat and we're enjoying 50 degree nights, sometimes - unheard of in the deep South.

Ummmmm.... don't you mean 8 birds, G'ma?