Tuesday, July 28, 2009

make it stop...

By 6 p.m. Monday, the high was 103 degrees at Portland International Airport, breaking the record of 102 set in 1958.

Today's forecast calls for a high of 104 degrees and 105 on Wednesday.
- The Oregonian

Monday night temperatures:
88 degrees outside, 83 degrees inside, 11:30 PM
79 degrees outside, 85 degrees inside, 2:38 AM

"Acorn Cottage is hotter now (at 3 AM) than earlier this evening. This is not good."

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I finally got to sleep around 4 AM, in part since I slept for about six hours during the middle of the day. At 8AM this morning I got up to let HennyPenny out of the coop and refill her multiple waterers.

12:48 PM update: I just set up the small chicken tractor in the small amount of shade on the side of the backyard, and moved HennyPenny over there. The radio is forecasting temperature today peaking at 105. My poor hen is panting in the heat (after all, she is wearing a down coat!), she seemed to be a bit happier in the shade.

2:36 PM update: looked outside to check on HP and the sun has moved... got the silver tarp and went outside to drape it across the west side of the enclosure. She is in the shade, but panting still. Temperature under the shaded front porch is 102. I may lose most of my garden to the heat. The kale and the squash are almost flat on the ground, tomatoes don't look too bad. I tried to bring some water to the kale, and a five gallon bucketfull to the new this year pear tree, but then had to go inside...less than ten minutes outside and I was nauseous. Just ran cold water over me again...

I don't intend to go anywhere at all today, my plan is to move the box fan with me from room to room, take mini-cold-showers, and drape myself with wet fabric. A human swamp cooler. It may not be pretty, but I intend to survive.

Even when I was a child, I did not like hot sunny days. About twenty years ago I was living with my boyfriend in Seattle, doing independent study contract work on my degree from Evergreen, and volunteering at Pratt. I did an all day enameling demo at Bumbershoot that year, and managed to give myself a nasty case of heat exhaustion. Ever since then I have had difficulty regulating my temperature when it is hot.

Fortunately, I have food in the fridge and pantry that can be eaten without cooking. I have some income-work that does not need either a 1500 degree oven or firing up the torch, and I don't have any housecleaning jobs till Friday, when (hopefully) it will not be quite as hot.

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Last night I started working on a commissioned sewing project, cushion covers and curtains for a new bakery opening up on Alberta, across the street from one of my favorite local fabric shops, Bolt. I was provided not only with the fabric, but with a new-to-me product, fusible piping cord. Well, you can imagine, I didn't want to fire up the big sewing iron...I remembered that months ago I had acquired a mini-iron (looks like a soldering iron with a tiny soleplate instead of a soldering tip)...It worked wonderfully, and didn't radiate anywhere near as much heat as the "big" iron. I didn't use the flimsy iron rest that came with the tool, but did as I'd read on some sewing message board, and set it point down in a heavy coffee mug. Better living through technology.
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Keep cool and carry on...


  1. My house also stayed at 85 for most of the night, even with fans trying to pull cooler air inside. I think the problem was that there simply wasn't any cooler air to be had.

    If the size and layout of your garden permits, soaker hoses are a good thing. They save on time and your energy, and if left on for a few hours after sunset, will keep your vines from dying. You also shouldn't be trying to water when the sun is still out---not good for you or your plants...

    glad to hear you can still sew. that's becoming a problem for me, even without the iron :)

    stay cool, stay sedentary as much as you can, stay safe...

  2. the above comment, signed by heather...

  3. And we used to get teased for having A/C when we lived there... =)

  4. Heather - I'd normally never water at all during the daytime, but seeing my poor kale plants flat, when they are what I plan on for eating greens all winter, just broke my heart. Eventually I want to be able to use some kind of watering system, and have enough raingathering barrels and bins to make that feasable. (For now it is a matter of siphoning out, one pail at a time, from the barrels that still have water, and hand carrying to the places needed, when that water is all gone, the garden plants get greywater.)

    Sharon - I can't imagine teasing someone for A/C; if I could afford to run one, I'd have the small room set up with a portable unit...I feel about it the same way I felt about the folks who oiled the unpaved road(to keep down the dust) along their land when I lived in Idaho: for those with enough resources to do that, it makes life soooo much more bearable.