1) Pull down the shades. Our south and west windows have had the blinds down most of the week. We feel like moles, but it helps keep the baking sun out.
2) Eat cold food. When temps in Paris reached 97 degrees, my niece and I went to a bakery and bought slices of quiche from the refrigerated case and ate them unheated. Later we had ice cream to cool us down as we walked. My husband and I have been enjoying ice cream here in Baltimore too, at Uncle Wiggly’s in Mt. Washington Mill and at Poulet, where they have homemade flavors.
I’ve had plenty of gazpacho, at least every other night. Cold grapes, cold blueberries, ice water and more ice water. For breakfast I’ve indulged in coffee yogurt. For lunch it’s been blueberry Greek yogurt with a few extra cold blueberries.
3) Find a counter-irritant. My husband has stuck to his hot chamomile tea routine, three cups a day with lemon, and occasionally a fresh sprig of mint from our garden. He actually finds it soothing in the heat.
4) Swim. The water in the deep end at Meadowbrook, where the NBAC swimmers practice, and in the indoor pool, stays cool, cool, cool.
5) Wear shorts. My middle-aged legs don’t look so great in shorts in public, but I wear them around the house. My husband, with nice thin legs, wears them in public too.
6) Cold bath water. From time to time I’ve stuck my feet under the bathtub faucet. It cools down the core. I’ve been careful not to let the water get too warm when bathing.
7) Water the garden early, before 8 a.m. Psychologically, it seems cooling to see the water shoot out of the hose and see beads of water on greenery.
8) Do not dry your hair. The slicked-back look has just had to do for me. I refuse to turn on a hair dryer when it’s 100 degrees outside. A hotter head is not what I need.
9) Pick up. A mess makes me feel warm and agitated. Trash makes my husband feel hotter, so he’s been picking up trash on Cold Spring Lane and cutting out dead parts of bushes. Dry, brittle branches do not look cool.
10) Go out to the movies and for dinner. Most movie theaters are plenty cool, not all, but most. We ended up at one that was “close.” We also encountered a similar restaurant. They offered everyone free cold drinks. Having fun makes the heat less obvious.