Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer 2010

Summer heat is upon us. Full force, my friends. I keep reading these chipper blog posts about how "summer photos are the BEST photos" and "summer is my favorite time of year" and I roll my eyes and wonder how these people could be living in such denial.

I've been trying to strategize about how to negotiate summer. It's already gotten the best of me a couple of times. And "gotten the best of me" is not pretty. It involves panicky phone calls to my husband who has to calm me down by saying things like "it's not always hot" and "you're not always irritable".

My plans for survival are:
1. Plan easy meals that get me out of that hot kitchen quickly.
2. Get up early to get a few things done before that sluggish feeling takes over. It's not so bad to feel sluggish when I have a few things to show for my day.
3. Get in sweaty mode. This is not the time to win a Mommy Fashion award. Go ahead, wear your old jean shorts to the playground.
4. Afternoon matinees are a-okay. Especially if they are viewed in one of the air-conditioned bedrooms.

5. Bring your camera to the playground. Those chipper summer lovers might be right. Summer photos are pretty good.

How do you get through the summer?


Julie said...

In Texas we stay inside in the air conditioning. Or we find a pool. I dont like summer either...too hot for me!

debs14 said...

Robyn, you need to move to England! I promise you that you would cope with our summers brilliantly!
Looks like the littlest ones in the family are enjoying it there though!

erin said...

I get by with iced coffee and hole up inside the sometimes freezing local library. What amazes me is that our cat finds a sun spot to hang out in in 90 degree weather. She crazy.

Deb said...

Hi Robyn ~

I just posted this comment reply in my blog thread, but I'll copy and paste it here:

We deal with the heat in Arizona like you deal with the snow in the New York winters! We just don't go outside a whole lot, and our air conditioning runs constantly. At our northern property (a 3-hour drive from home) we don't have a/c - or electricity for that matter. It tends to be about 15 degrees cooler there. This is probably the last time I go for a weekend until the weather cools down - maybe in September. One thing different about our heat in Arizona is that we don't have humidity like you do in New York, which makes it easier to handle in some sense I suppose. Hang in there! Summer will be over before we know it. xo

PS: I can never understand the chipper "hooray for summer" folks either. ;o)

Mama V said...

Old jean shorts?! What?! Trash any denim altogether in the summer! Invest in some light and flowy skirts to provide extra a/c ventilation for your body, soak your feet in the park fountains as much as you can, drink fun and cool drinks all day long, and keep making chipper scrap book pages about winter! Those are some of my little tricks. (Well, except the scrap booking part.)

And to be fair, June here has been brutal. Our minor heat wave has brought us a much hotter than usual start to summer. Our family has used our a/c units much more this month than we did all last summer! More tolerable weather is on its way. (I hope!!) And if not, just remember that summers here are much shorter than the winters!

P.S. I like that last shot of Andrew. His face looks like he's grunting and working hard to pump those legs! Well done, Andrew!

Firefly said...

I confess I am a summer lover. Even in our blistering 110+ degree days, I love it.

I was trying to think of why... And I thought of:

* summer smells (grandma's pool, lawns, green lawns, dry wild grass on the evening winds, farm manure in the hot sun, sweltering asphalt...)

* summer nights (long light, staying up late, eating outside, mid state fair, frog catching, night swimming, BBQs)

* summer mornings (jumping in the pool by 9am and then scrambling out and baking my shivering body on the hot concrete, eating outside, cold orange juice)

* summer fruits (mind you, Kirsten kept saying all this week in California, "You just can't find fruit this ripe in New York, but...): this month the blueberries, loquats, cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, oranges, and apriums have been heavenly -- like any dessert we've ordered in a restaurant has been a let down by comparison

Robyn, we didn't and don't use any AC even though it was so very hot where I grew up. We opened all the windows up all night, shut them and closed the thick curtains in the morning to trap the cool air in the house, kept the fans running all day, had lots of frozen and chilled drinks and snacks throughout the day and relied on water (pools, sprinklers, etc) to cool us off.

AC is enormously environmentally unfriendly, so I want to put in a plug for trying all the alternative cooling options first.

I think it is good to assign a few traditions to the summer that become seasonal delights you look forward to. We make sun tea as a special treat in the summer and have it on ice throughout the day. There really isn't any reason we couldn't make sun tea in every season, but we just don't for whatever reason. And so it makes it feel special in the summer. Maybe you could pick out a special fancy flavor that is just for the summer and brew it into iced tea. I often get this herbal mango brew that is delicious.

We also pick seedless grapes off the stem and put them in the freezer in the summer, and then we set them out in the hottest part of the day and eat them like tiny little popsicles. When I was a kid, my cousins and I used to be so excited for frozen grapes in the summer.

And we gorge on fresh stone fruits for as long as they are in season. And melons. I think eating seasonally is the primary reason I love summer.

I am so sorry it is so hard for you, though, Robyn. I truly feel for you. I wish I could be there in the afternoons to help out in the hardest part of the day. :(

Firefly said...

Robyn, maybe you could splurge on a pretty wide-brimmed summer hat and a few summer dresses that make you feel elegant in the heat?!

Dresses, or anything light-colored and well-ventilated. I actually like to have some white long sleeves in the summer to help with sunburn. That's what everybody wore when I was doing field study work on days approaching 120 degrees.

Firefly said...

I think that picture of Isaac in the sprinklers ranks up there with my favorite pictures you've ever taken. What a terrific photo!

Erin Leigh said...

I'm with ya! Iced coffee morning, noon, and night...flopping in front of the AC most of the day...salads for dinner every night...lots of cool showers (for me)/baths (for kids...and dreaming of October.
My hubby grew up like Firefly and always grumbles about the unhealthy air from the AC and all that stuff. But guess where he heads the second he gets home?

Melissa said...

Oh dear. I don't envy you. The heat makes me grumpy, but at least we can easily escape to the river. The kids and I just did a program at the Discovery Center ( a local museum). I often look for things like this- or the library- in air conditioning.

Also, yes- lots of fruit, lots of smoothies!, sprinklers, playing with water, reading books, slow/ rest time in the afternoon, and, like you said, accepting the sweaty look. Summer's much harder if I'm trying to look pretty/ presentable.

I'm just so glad I'm not pregnant! That's what I was thinking this morning (Enzo was born on July 30). I have been thinking longingly about last summer, when it was nice and cool and we got lots of rain.

Hang in there! Atticus and I are about to read books in the air conditioned bedroom.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

We hide inside in the heat of the day 2-5pm or I sit in the shade while the kids splash in the pool. I try to stick with stovetop meals or use the toaster oven to bake.

It's been in the upper 90s for almost 3 weeks now. I am not a fan of summer & winter. I prefer the milder spring & fall

MandiCrocker said...

When I was a kid, we had a pool. I miss that pool! These days I just lay on my bed, sit in front of the fan & play online poker. When it's exceptionally breezy I'll make a frou frou cocktail & pretend I'm at the beach.

Cold washclothes are awesome, too. I want lemonade.

EmilyRSPS said...

I am with you on the summer thing. I much prefer a cool crisp New England autumn day! I like cozy sweaters and a button up shirt! Beautiful changing leaves, caramel apple cider, pumpkin picking! Now thats what I call a season!

I have to agree with the dress thing. I purchased a few simple casual dresses from Lands End. With your hair pulled up and some cute simple shoes its easy summer comfort!

Iced Tea with lemon is a gift from God!!

Cat said...

As I get older, I find it more and more difficult to be out in direct sun. I try to find shade and always wear a hat. We visit our local pool on a regular basis. When it's really too hot, we stay inside.
Those winter pictures must have been taken during our visit (feb 14-18 2010) That was exactly the weather we got (too bad I didn't have my rubber boots...)!
Love the buttons as snow flakes!

Jennifer I. Walker said...

I'm totally with you, Robyn. I hate to be hot and will do almost anything to avoid it. I've spent the past 4 summers in a tiny little house without air conditioning in the San Fernando Valley of southern, hot, and miserably hot!
I would spend a lot of time indoors at the library, mall, Starbucks, coffee shops with wi-fi -- anything.
But this summer -- I have my own, new place with central air conditioning! It was a requirement when I moved. I know it isn't efficient, but I make other choices to support being environmentally conscious and being super hot and yucky all summer does not work for me.
I hope it is a very mild summer!

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

Great layout! I love the oversized picture on the right. And, FYI, don't move south! Its even hotter down here. :)

Ruth said...

Those photos of your boys are fabulous! Here, we have every window and outside door open, fans on the upstairs landing and a stand alone a/c unit in our bedroom.