Monday, July 27, 2009

Among other things, heat makes you stoopid

"...when I am an old woman I will wear socks in alarming colors combinations that don't match my clothing."

My friends Bill and Jen spent a few days here while working on a job over in SE; I took advantage of their visit to pick her brains about sock knitting. Yes, I've gone over to the dark side, and will join all my friends in knitting fun footwear. Given the temperature, socks seem like ideal "carry on the bus" handwork, and I seem to be able to do a bit more knitting lately before the carpal tunnel kicks in. My first attempt is also using up some of the thinner yarns in my meager yarn stash: some Harrisville yarns (navy and burgundy) and a slightly heavier magenta-fuchsia wool for the heels and toes.
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I have various strategies to deal with excessive ambient temperature. I use the portable fans to pull hopefully cooler air into the house in the evening before bed and in the early morning, before shutting the house up during the heat of the day. That works when if the air temperature cools down significantly at night. By the middle of this week I expect the indoor temperature here at Acorn Cottage to be up in the nineties, since the forecast outdoor temperatures are in the triple digits... I would love to someday have two solar attic fans (one for each section); that would help a lot more, sigh....

The windows that get direct sunlight mostly have mylar bubblepack wedged against the glass, to bounce the heat away. That helps a bit, though it makes Acorn Cottage look very odd outside. The new porch is a great help, shading the west window. I have been able to reduce the mylar in that window to only two of the six panels, just as needed to block the sunglare bouncing off the neighbors autos parked on the street. When I don't have guests, I keep all the curtains drawn as well, it really does keep the indoor temperature at least 10 degrees cooler than outside.
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For some peculiar reason, I always find myself needing to work on enameling during the hottest part of the year. I have been sharing some studio time here earlier this weekend with Leah, a talented returning student who is working on some new projects and also learning the additional technique of painted details. A day spent at the worktable and kiln is so much more pleasurable with another artist to chat with. The 1500 degree oven, though, is much more enjoyable in the winter. Nonetheless, I am catching up on my not yet completed work projects.
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Saturday night I was hot, and tired, and barely remembered to cook myself some dinner. A sausage patty, crumbled and cooked along with the last of the eggplant "meatballs" and some veggies. I grabbed what I thought was the half full canning jar of tomato sauce, and started pouring it over, when I realised that is was pink and not red. Sweet and tangy rhubarb sauce. Ummm, too tired to pitch it and start dinner over, I go ahead and add the tomato sauce as well. Mixed together and topped with a bit of grated Rumiano's dry jack, it is surprisingly not too weird to eat.
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I've been doing the time honored "soak a bandanna in cool water and use it like a kerchief" trick to keep cool. Last night I thought it would be a good idea to use the icy water drained from the cooler full of ice cubes to soak my feet (a tried and true camping trick). This is actually best done outside, as I found out... While it felt wonderful, when I stood up, I caught the edge of the pan holding the water and spilled quite a bit on the carpet next to the computer desk. And on the two balls of yarn attached to my sock knitting project. And when I ran about to get a towel, I set down the loose number 3 needle I was knitting with. Somewhere.

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