A-Z Challenge…… H is for …..


H E A T!     H is also for hot, hate. horrible and hideous.

Emjay hates hot, horrible, hideous heat!

All words that can be applied to summer and apparently this year to some of spring. Heat and Emjay are incompatible.  I sweat in places I didn’t used to sweat and no, baby powder does not work;  I go bright red in the face,  I feel faint, dizzy,  nauseous; I’m convinced with each step in the sun that I might dissolve .  There lies Emjay,  a little puddle on the sidewalk – quick!  look before she evaporates!

I don’t like water much and I don’t drink soda or juices (exception: cranberry juice at breakfast).     In fact I don’t often feel thirsty so I’m probably either a camel or walking around in a perpetually dehydrated state to which I’ve become accustomed.

I’m also convinced that I have a bladder half the size of everyone else, or at least half the efficiency, a fact that deters me from drinking water  just for the sake of staying hydrated   – especially just before a commute.

I belong to Alert DC – a service you sign up for to receive email and text alerts of all sorts of things from terrorism to crime in your neighbourhood to downed traffic lights, changes in trash collections and weather alerts.

An alert I got today with an intriguing subject line………..    

Subject:  Protective Action

Residents and visitors  (do visitors really sign up for these sorts of things?)   in the District should keep cool by staying in the shade or air conditioning and keeping hydrated. Residents are encouraged to:

1.   Wear loose fitting, lighter colored clothing. Take a ride on the metro or bus which are air conditioned  (LOL – this must be the punchline of the email – I took 4 trains today and only one was adequately cooled!)

2.   If you don’t have air-conditioning, arrange to spend at least parts of the day in a shopping mall, public libraries, museums, movie theatres, or other public spaces that are cool.  (Yes, “theatres”  was spelt my way & yes,  I’d love to take a hot day off work and spend it  at the movies).   

3.    Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick refreshing spray to your face after being outdoors (a new fashion trend  for receptionists – the drowned rat look.   It’s not applicable in my case though as the bottle would be stolen out of the fridge)

4.    Combat dehydration by drinking plenty of water along with sports drinks or other sources of electrolytes. Avoid drinks containing alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar as these can increase dehydration. (Are they trying to totally ruin my day?  there’s nothing better than a glass of chilled white wine after work).

The next 3 points are a little serious to make fun of…   though I must say that the elderly people sitting on their front porches as I walked home from the metro looked to be in way better condition than me!!

5.    Remember that the elderly, infants and those with chronic illnesses can dehydrate more easily and are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Observe for signs of heat-related illness such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting.

6.    Observe infants for signs of heat related illness such as not producing tears when crying or fewer diaper changes.

7.    Don’t forget that pets also need protection from dehydration and heat-related illnesses too.

6pm in the shade on my back deck  – and the weatherman just told me that tomorrow is going to be even hotter!

A bloody hot spring day.


44 responses

  1. You and I both, Sister. It was 105F (granted, in the sun) today and 103 in the shade. It’s funny cos the STL official report (at the airport which is basically “on” the confluence of the MO and MS Rivers–way up there NORTH scores of miles away…if it can be 10F different due to elevation between 5 miles, how might that many miles be different for the rest of the region?) is something like 98F.

    Whatev. It’s hot.

    Too bad you don’t like water. I’m sure everybody has suggested a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange in it? That’s at least healthy…I’m trying to get The Duchess on that cos she NEEDS water with all her many RXs (including massive steroids) and she will NOT drink water. Tries doing diet soda. Erm, not the same.

    Keep cool!

    • Same here – our official recording station is at National Airport which is on the water so our backyard (definitely not on any body of water) is always hotter in summer and colder in winter than the “official” temperature.

      I’ve just started putting a tiny bit of cranberry juice in the bottom of a glass and filling it with water – it’s not too bad. Because I don’t “feel” thirsty though I really do have to make myself drink.

  2. I am with yu! I hate heat and it has been in the 90s for 2 days here. Very unusual in MI. We usually don’t hit the 90s until July or August…and then only sporadically. I have been drinking tons of water. And lemon flavored propel.. for the electorolytes and no calories!
    This could be on veyr loooong summer for those of us who easily get heat exhaustion.

    • We had another really hot day today – officially 102 – I’m not enjoying this “spring” at all! I will look for lemon propel – I’ve never heard of it but it might be something good for me.

  3. It’s scorching for sure! We don’t have central air conditioning, but we bought a portable AC for our bedroom and we have a wall unit for the familyrooom. So we are SET!!!

    We haven’t had AC in the bedroom for 25 years until last week. What a JOY!

    • We have central a/c but it’s pretty pathetic in getting the upstairs cooled down when it’s this hot – the bedrooms are about 10 degrees hotter than the ground floor. We are starting to think about a window unit – lots of our neighbours have them. I m jealous of your portable!

  4. The weathermen are not our friends. We also have cicadas. They are louder than I’ve ever remember them.

    Today we had our department picnic in the very hot park. It was hot, but really not that bad in the shade. It was my lucky day. I felt a bug crawling on my neck and grabbed it and threw it down, only to discover it was a wasp. Can you believe that??!! It didn’t sting my neck or my fingers when I grabbed it. Yikes!!

    Can’t believe your water bottle wouldn’t be safe in the fridge at work.

    • Cicadas! They are fascinating creatures but sooooo loud. Companies do strange things – it was officially 102 here today and our Company participated in the Real Estate Games – like an athletics carnival for charity. I didn’t envy those who were not in the office because they were running in the 1 or 3 mile race or in the tennis or volleyball. One guy came back and said that he doesn’t really swim but next year he’s signing up for that instead of running! 🙂 I hate wasps (and bees and hornets) – I can still remember the pain in my arm after it was attacked by a wasp that came back for more than a few stings while he was at it! Nasty creatures!

  5. good lord! We were jumping at excitement that we hit 70 with actual sun this past week. This morning I had to wear fleece though, to take the kid to school… back to cold and wet.

    Next week we are hoping for more than 2 days in a row with sun, all in the mid 60s. It’s like I live in Alaska. 😦 Heck, it’s even warmer there according to a dear friend of mine.

    But I could not handle the heat you guys have. One year it hit 103 in Seattle… the hottest ever recorded here… EVER! and I thought I was going to die.

    • I had 4 days in Seattle in 2002 when the city was having temps around 90 and the news was full of people having to be taken to hospital with heat stroke. It’s all a matter of what you are used to though I don’t think anyone gets used to the heat and humidity mix – I think those people that say they “love” it are lying! 🙂 I think 70 is the perfect temperature.

  6. Keep drinking water, my dear. Your nausea and dizziness are symptoms of dehydration. You may not think you need it, but your body does really need a lot more water in this kind of weather. Stay hydrated and healthy!

  7. Boston Margy beat me to it: the nausea and dizziness you feel in the heat are due to your body being dehydrated. When I felt like I was about to pass out in steamy Midtown, I knew I had to drink something immediately. At the restaurant we went to for lunch, I chugged one glass of water after another. Our waiter probably thought I was pouring it out the window, lol.

    And believe it or not, when you’re that dehydrated, you’re not going to feel like going to the bathroom at all. I was worried that I would need to use the restroom once I got on the subway, but it never happened. I actually needed to drink more water after we got off, and I still didn’t feel like going. But be careful—I’ve had heat stroke twice, once at a picnic when I was a little girl, the second time in Minnesota after mowing the lawn in high heat and humidity. The second time I had to be hospitalized and had an IV of glucose and water flowing into my body for 30 hours. The doctor said I was lucky I didn’t permanently damage my internal organs or brain. (Well, I don’t know about the second.) So don’t mess with Mother Nature: drink up and stay cool!

    • Oh I got heat stroke once – horrible vomiting and headache and down for the count for a couple of days. It’s funny now ….. I was out in the mid-day sun trying to help a neighbour put a field bin up (for grain). He was pretty hopeless and the mesh kept popping open and I was standing there getting more and more annoyed with my father for leaving me there with this idiot. I was getting weaker and dizzier and then had to ride a motorbike home – I didn’t stop to throw up LOL – I still remind dad of how Mr. X gave me sunstroke!

      I really hardly ever feel thirsty – I never have. I do make an effort to drink water in summer but if we are out walking and I drink a lot because I think I should, I end up feeling “really” sick in the stomach.

  8. It was hot in St. Louis today. We got to the doctor’s office on Grand about 1:00 pm. Glad I hadn’t heard the actual temperature! Dropped hubby off at the front door then parked the truck. I should have used the valet service.

    • LOL – sometimes it’s good not to know how unpleasant it is! I can imagine the walk from your truck – not pleasant! It’s a bit of work trying to keep all my pots watered at the moment! They dry out so quickly.

  9. Flamingo Dancer hates hot, horrible, hideous heat, too! Not that we have it at the moment, but when we do, I do hate it!
    However, a little heat for my feet would be welcome today as a bit nippy.

    • I’ll swap you some heat for your cool – I’d stick it on the nape of my neck! They’ve started predicting a long hot summer here – oh the joy!! (but I think they do that most years so I’m not panicking yet)….

  10. 7 degrees here today!
    Funny that you never feel thirsty – I don’t either. I often think I could go all day without having a drink. And I love water, I just don’t feel like it. I fill a bottle and keep it on my desk and make myself sip at it.

    • I think there’ve been many days when I’ve gone without having anything to drink other than my cranberry juice at 6am and my coffee at 10am. It used to take me a work week to get through a 600 ml bottle of water. I’m much better now – I might get through 2 bottles in a week 🙂 This time of year I do try harder ………….

  11. I’m with you – I hate heat too. I also don’t often feel thirsty but I make a point of regularly drinking a glass of water (or swigging from my water bottle if I’m not at home) when it’s hot. We’ve just returned from 2 weeks in northern Minnesota where it was lovely and cool! Bit of a shock to come back to this.

  12. That temp would be quite normal where I am from…Masha came to visit the first time in Aug and it was 97. “How do people live here!!”, he exclaimed. “Air conditioning, swimming”, I explained. But it is tough to handle if you are not accustomed to it.
    “Avoid drinks containing alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar as these can increase dehydration.” LOL then I would drink NOTHING! Not entirely true, I drink juice too but that has sugar in it, naturally occurring.
    Yep with the animals…including wildlife. I always have a birdbath with water for the birds and during our drought (it’s over now) I even put a bowl out for the hedgehog in our garden.

    • It’s amazing how many people don’t think about their animals. There was a story on the news last night about a woman who left her dog in the car while she went to a tanning salon!!!! LOL @ “how do people live here” – that’s exactly what I asked the manservant my first summer here.

  13. Any place with temperatures deviating outside the range of 15C – 34C is unsuitable for human habitation. (well for this human at least)

    Stay cool Emjay.

    • Your upper range is a bit warm for me GOF – my favourite temperature is 70 (22ish C)… and I could probably handle winters of 10 C comfortably. I often wonder what happened to the girl that grew up in horrible hot conditions without any problem!

  14. 100 degrees? That’s when it’s finally tolerable!

    Really though, how people can live in places where it’s hot AND humid is beyond me. At least here in Oklahoma it has the decency to dry up before it gets too hot – usually … not so much this year. But then we have the wind that helps.

    • Well, I think 100 at dinner time is unreasonable. I’m told that women benefit from the humidity – all that moisture plumps out the wrinkles – though I’m not sure that’s a scientific fact. I’m not sure how people survive here without air conditioning – the elderly man across the street only has fans and spends half the night sitting out on his porch.

  15. You crack me up! It has been in the high 90s and low hundreds here but our humidity is mostly 5 – 9% so you feel the sweat ti is gone before you know it happened. I hope the hot spell breaks soon.
    I could never live in AZ with AC in cars, shops and home.

    • Hi Maureen – I grew up in dry heat with no air conditioning and we always knew that outside we could just sit under a tree with a water bottle and cool down. Here the humidity is hideous and shade doesn’t make much difference – actually on the worst days the a/c is struggling to deal with the humidity. Our clothes get damp early in the day and never seem to dry out – I’m surprised we don’t have fungus all over us LOL.

  16. Ugh. I love your comments on those “protective actions.” Yeah, everybody has the luxury of taking oneself off to the movies or museums every day. Listen: if we could afford to ditch work like that, we could afford air conditioning. 🙂

    • “if we could afford to ditch work like that, we could afford air conditioning” LOL Kim, absolutely! And if I could afford to ditch work I’d spend summer in another hemisphere! 🙂

  17. …poor Emjay…but I think the hot weather is better than winter….I like the shot from…I think a very old thing!? I can see it 100 F is 38 degrees :-)-that is really hot….we have tonight a thunderstorm-that is not better…our weatherman say …rain, rain with a little bit sun….sigh…

    • I think the only good thing about summer Kerstin is that it doesn’t snow! 🙂 Yes that is my outdoor thermometer hanging on the wall on the deck. It’s just made to look old rather than really being old – I love it.

  18. When I was a child my Dad and I used to love to just take off to DC for the day. He often did research at the Folger Library. I had to sit outside but when he was finished, we could shop and look around. We went ONE time in the summer. Whew. We walked from the Monuments area to Tower Records, and then promptly decided we might die. I dont know what it is about DC< but the HEat is HORRIFIC. Hope it improves, I know a storm came through a bit north of you all…

    • How interesting your father researching at the Folger Library – he must be quite the academic. I doubt that many tourists visit it although it is open to the public (and it’s free). DC is built on reclaimed swamp and that’s exactly what it feels like in summer complete with big mosquitoes!! An Aussie friend’s son is planning a trip and when she said “July” I warned her that he might like to rethink that!

  19. Don’t worry about the water. I must be close to dying from dehydration before I voluntarily drink water. It’s something about it. Makes me queasy. Especially bottled water. If at all – it also has to be bubble-free. Stick what works for you, is my take on it.
    Good luck with surviving the heat spell.

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