Posts Tagged 'Summer'

It’s Too Darn Hot

This Room Is Too Hot!

It’s been a real struggle the last couple nights to get any sleep.  I’m that person who shuts the bedroom heat off in the winter because I fall asleep easier in the cold.  So having it feel like 90-degrees when I’m trying to go to sleep makes sleeping hard.  I know the heat and humidity make some people sleepy, but me?  I just get grumpy.  What do you do, on nights and days like these, especially if you don’t have air-conditioning and the fans just aren’t cutting it?

  • Get air-conditioning. This would be many people’s first solution.  “Why are you complaining, just go buy an air-conditioner!”  Well, since they cost $100 and not everyone has a good window to put them in, we’ll move on from this solution.  However, I believe that you shouldn’t complain if you aren’t willing to find a solution.
  • Swim. A lot of rural areas have ponds and lakes that are good for swimming, at a small fee to get in.  There are often a lot of free beaches, too.  Suburban areas often have neighborhood pools, and anywhere there’s a Best Western, you’re bound to find a pool.  Also, try your local YMCA.  If all else fails, I bet you know one person who has a pool you can dunk into for an hour.  If you don’t….
  • Take a cool shower. Just take about ten minutes and put the temperature to cold(ish).  You’ll feel refreshed when you get out… and it’ll wash the sweat away!
  • Keep the oven off! As amazing as those chocolate chip cookies seem (and believe me, I am a sucker for chocolate chip cookies), the oven is going to increase the heat in your entire house.  On those really hot days, grill some dinner instead of baking it.  And there aren’t a lot of people out there who loathe a good old picnic-style dinner.  Cold cuts and potato salad, anyone?
  • Eat fresh fruit and veggies! Not only are these incredibly good for you and should be eaten all the time anyway, but also all of them are fridge foods, and they’re juicy, and cold.  Personally, I had a slice of watermelon for breakfast.
  • Seek out air-conditioning. If you’re in a suburban area, this is a great time to go window shopping.  A lot of stores have air-conditioning, and as long as you aren’t obnoxious and are moving things around or refusing to leave when the store closes, staff don’t mind if you come in to cool down.
  • Eat out. This dilemma of the temperature around you and eating things.  You can eat whatever you want, and restaurants are usually have their air-conditioning turned way, way up.
  • Head into the cellar. Unless you have a nasty, infested sort of basement, it’s going to be much cooler underground, because heat rises  Bring a book downstairs and pull up a chair!
  • Avoid strenuous activity. If you’ve been thinking about skipping a jog, days like this are days to do it.  A lot of physical exercise on hot days puts unnecessary strain on your body.  Keep cool and relax.  You can do a little extra tomorrow.
  • Shut off the lights. Any electrical thing emanates heat.  If you can see without the lights, shut them off.  If you’re not using the computer or watching the television, shut it off.  It may not seem like much, but if you have a lot of electrical appliances and things running in your house, it will make a small difference.
  • Breathe deeply. It’s just like your soccer coach used to say, short breaths and panting will keep you alive, but that’s about it.  Breathing slowly and deeply (like meditating) will refresh your body and you’ll feel a lot more relaxed.  The last thing you need in intense heat is tension.

Most importantly of all….

  • Keep hydrated! You know, we’re supposed to be drinking approximately 8 10-ounce glasses of water a day.  Human’s are under-hydrated in general, but in the hot weather, it is more important than ever to keep hydrated!  Sweating is our body’s internal air-conditioning and if we aren’t drinking enough water, then we’ll get sick.  Sweating is going to happen one way or the other, but keeping hydrated will save on the stomachaches and headaches and dizziness that comes with the body using our “reserve water supply” in order to condition itself.  Really, you should be drinking water, but drink gatorade or powerade or lemonade or iced tea if you must.  Stay away from soda!  Although you may feel like your thirst is more quenched with soda, the carbonation is actually a dehydrator and it’s anti-productive!

Hope this helps a little, folks, and keep cool!  Goodness knows I’m going to be doing my best!  Personally, I’m going to go eat some more watermelon.  Do you have any additional suggestions to add to this list?  Please, share them!

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Melted Chocolate

John and Heather playing the waves.

Good morning sunshine. It’s 10:25 in the morning at the temperature outside is already about 93-degree.  Temperature inside?  Honestly, about the same.  I’m (not) looking forward to 12:30 when I head to work.  It’ll easily be over 100-degrees (at this rate) and I have no air conditioning in my car, and only one window rolls down.  That’s okay, though, because work has air-conditioning.  And there are Reeses in my locker at work.  So between the good ole a/c and chocolaty-peanut-butter-goodness, I think I’ll manage.

I am working on trying to see the good and the bad in everything.  Usually I swing one way or the other.  With my friends, I’m incredibly optimistic, trying to make them see that their situation isn’t all that bad, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  In my own life, I tend to see only the bad.  So I’m working on trying to be more balanced.  Actually, I want to be a more balanced person in general.  I need to balance work-stuff with relaxation (mostly, I do more working than relaxing, but my goal to change that.  I’m stopping my internship (little by little) and I have ever intention of taking Fridays off just for me this year.  To do homework, if necessary, to read a non-school-related-book (ha ha), to draw,, to write… to do something, y’know?  As I type this I keep looking at the massive pile of editing I need to do for my internship.  Aye-yi-yi.  I’ve got three weeks, though.  Heh.

I need to balance eating and exercising.  I thank God constantly that I grew up with a great metabolism, but I am up now, and that metabolism is no more.  I really enjoy eating.  I love the flavours and textures of different foods, so I eat not just because I’m hungry, but because something tastes good (Mexican Wedding Cookies for the win).  I dislike exercising because I find it a boring waste of my time.  I’ve tried exercising at home (only a treadmill, and my landlord is in the basement all the time and he’s a sketchy old man), at the school gym (they’re all athletes and I feel like they’re judging me).  I’ve settled on WiiFit, which I like, except the space to do it isn’t always there and I have to fight for the tele (we only have one television in my house and my family watches a lot of movies…all the time.  Also, the living room is relatively small and it needs to be void of other people to have enough space for certain exercises).  Despite all my usual complaints, though, today marks the first day since I got WiiFit that I haven’t exercised.  You know, I left my water bottle at work, and it’s 93-degrees, and I’m pretty sure that exercising without proper hydration in that temperature isn’t healthy anyway.  And I’ll be burning calories at work, so yeah, not concerned.

I need to balance social time and self-time.  I tend to fill my free time with too much of one or the other.  If I fill all my free time with social interactions, then I feel overwhelmed and I get really short with people.  If I fill it with too much self-time, then I get lonely and whiny and bored (even though I have plenty I’m supposed to be doing).

Those are my goals.  I think they’re fair enough.  I want to learn to appreciate everything I have instead of complaining about everything I don’t have.  Seeing the chocolate instead of the fact that it’s melted.  Hey.  In the end, it’s still chocolate.

Tastes Like Melting Plastic

The lake at Robin Hood Park

Very impromtu last night, I went to a co-worker’s house for a bonfire.  I’ve never spontaneous, but it was fun.  We got marshmallows and graham crackers and Hersey Bars and made s’mores.  Well, sort of.  It was mostly people from work, but they’re all nice people.  Parker played his music and even though he’s big into rap and hip-hop and I’m not… it wasn’t that bad.  Zachary, our host, was a terrible host in the sense that he’s just not experienced at it.  He provided the bonfire pit, but couldn’t find matches or a lighter to start it.  Luckily, someone else had a lighter.  He also offered us “lemonade” which was really Arizona iced tea.  He’s a good kid, but a little flighty sometimes.

He didn’t like getting too close to the fire because it was too hot, so his marshmallows either took forever to roast, or burnt to a crisp, which was kind of funny.  We all showed him the proper way to make marshmallows.  I’m a pushover and it pains me to watch someone do something wrong, so I made him a bunch of marshmallows.  See, I enjoy making them, but not eating them.  I’m weird.

Zach found this old-school retro chair-thing.  You know.  The lawn chairs with the plastic weave and metal frames?  The first time someone tried to sit in it, it broke right through.  Teehee, whoops!  We ended up throwing it in the fire later that night.  The plastic arms were interesting to watch cook, because they melted slowly so it dripped down and stretched out like bubblegum or melted marshmallows.  We just threw it on the fire because it was something to throw on the fire.  It was fun, and I wish I had my camera with me.

It was supposed to rain last night, but it didn’t, and it looks like it’s going to now!  Yikes.  Hope I get to work before it starts!  Still, the bonfire was a nice chance to see people I like at work in an outside-of-work setting.  Besides Zachary and Parker, Kate and Ben were there.  I work with Kate later this afternoon, actually.  Bryan was there too, of course (can I go anywhere without him?  Rarely), but he spent a great deal of his time and energy making fun of Zach.  …  I think all him tormenting is one of the reasons I feel the need to be so nice to him.  I mean, I tease him too, sometimes, but not over the top.  I just feel kinda guilty.  Everybody jabs at him a little (he jabs back, too) but none as hard as Bryan.  …  It’s sad.

Anyhoodle.  I had a lot of fun last night and I needed it after some of my customers, but you will hear more about the rude people of the world in tomorrow evening’s update!

Until then… ciao!

Sweet Summer Camp

Tube Tug

The summer after seventh grade, I went to summer camp for the first time. I thought I was the luckiest kid in the world- I never, ever thought I would be able to go to summer camp. My family was always poor, and we couldn’t really afford it. But somehow, some way, that summer, I got to go.

It was a religious camp, and I went with my youth group. I loved that group of people. The people who ran it were wonderful human beings, and they cared about each one of us as though we were their own children. I was friends with everyone there, both male and female, no matter how much older they were than me. We were like a small family, which is how any group should be.

First, each youth group was split into boys and girls (this was a religious camp remember, totally NOT co-ed) and we were put into the two separate dormitories. That year, the theme was military. Our girls were on the Navy team, and the boys of the Army (in future years we would be Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk; The Cunnighams or the Bradys). The entire week was a competition, smattered with everything from the evening activity, to daily bible verses, to daytime events. But all competition aside (the Navy won), the big deal was the End-of-Week Banquet.

The Banquet wasn’t so much a banquet as it was a barbecue. It was the only year I attended summer camp that we had one. The older girls in my youth group were absolutely determined to set me up with one of the boys – one of their brothers, in fact. I felt like Princess Mia in The Princess Diaries, the way they dolled me up. I didn’t mind being set up with Joshua; at the time, I was completely in crush with him. In the end, I think we only sat together, and we may have chattered awkwardly. It wasn’t one of those “sitting by the bonfire, sweet first kiss” kind of things (I wouldn’t get my first kiss for almost another four years).

There were other things that happened every year that made the camp awesome. There’s a game called Eniliation where everyone is on their hands and knees in the dirt and mud, trying to get a greased volleyball into a hole. And Tube Tug, which is pretty much what it sounds like; that was my favorite. The second and third year I was there, they had a mud slide and I remember competing with one of the boys from my youth group to see who could get muddier (because all freshman girls do that, right?). The last year I was there, we even had a mechanical bull.

And those are just the events. There are definitely a few people who stand out in my memory, too. Matthew, who was my pen pal for a year. Kaitlyn, who was deaf, but sung like an angel. Jessica, who was just crazy, goofy fun. Andrew, or “The Fonz”, who scared us nearly to death one night at activity when he got a concussion.

Summer camp at the Monadnock Bible Conference in Jaffrey was one of the things that kept me going through the year. Every summer, in the last week of July. If I wasn’t counting down to the next Harry Potter book, I was counting down to summer camp. In the end, not all memories are perfect. I remember being frustrated to tears with the girls I was staying with. But I wouldn’t trade a single moment for anything. Because those weeks, and with that group, I felt totally and completely accepted and loved for who I was. And I needed that feeling more than anything. It’s how every human being should treat one another, only we don’t.

If not for summer camp, I wouldn’t be who I am today.


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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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