Friday, July 10, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things: Thankful for AC

W~h~e~w. Yesterday our outdoor thermometer registered 114.2 degrees. It's quite literally open the door here, step out onto
Our sturdy AC companion & back porch
herb garden (mums in front)
the porch for five minutes and slam the door again. We are sweltering here in eastern Washington, as is much of the Northwest. If this isn't global warming, please someone give me a different (intelligent) explanation. I think the argument is finally over.


We were briefly (4 am to 8:30 am) without air conditioning two days ago. It prompted a discussion on what we would do if it had lasted longer. We do have a generator attached to our camper, which means we could string an extension cord from there to our refrigerator in the house to keep the food frozen. That's a relief. We could also hunker down inside the camper and turn up the AC. None of that happened thankfully and with homes so well insulated these days, the house was a comfortable 75 degrees the entire time, but it does make you wonder how people managed before air conditioning. 

Sometimes you gotta laugh!

I have never experienced temperatures this high before, but do recall when AC in cars was an expensive option and a lot of us went without. If we had to travel in the heat, we relied on water, ice cubes in an ice chest, and towels over the windows. I can't imagine what it was like living down south in the U.S., but I read somewhere that air conditioning changed the deep south quite dramatically. 

One thing I've learned is that staying hydrated is critical, and that includes adequate intake of salt. With most of us concerned that too much salt is bad for us, this is one time when salt is a necessity. My husband lived in Turkey one year while in the Air Force. It was hot, arid and downright miserable at times. He remembers that salt tablets were dispensed at chow times and mandatory. I'm sprinkling salt in our water now. We started getting leg cramps (unusual for us) one day and I discovered online that this was possibly due to lack of salt. Well it worked....all cramping has stopped, and I'm a believer. Has anyone else experienced this?

Willis-Carrier-Inventor-Air-Conditioning
Willis H. Carrier (1876-1950)
 
Kudos to New Yorker Willis H. Carrier, who in 1902 invented the first modern air conditioner. Although few benefited from it at the time, this invention would help modernize the world and change the way we live. An interesting aside is that he struggled in school with learning mathematical fractions. His mother took on the challenge and taught him the concept by cutting up an apple. Willis later wrote that the lesson taught him the "value of intelligent problem-solving." I like that it also shows the power of a parent's influence :)  

In 1998 Time magazine listed Willis as one of the“100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century.” I couldn't agree more!


Happy Weekend!


Source: http://www.carrier.com/carrier/en/us/about/willis-carrier/ 



Celebrate the Small Things. To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is visit the Celebrate page on Lexa's Blog for the rules, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful for that week. It can be about writing or family or school or general life. This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! (Originated by VikLitCo-hosts are: L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Katie @ TheCyborgMom



24 comments:

  1. I second the celebration for the AC. My unit is a 1994 unit and ten years old when I bought the house. I know the day is coming to replace it but so far my AC boys come out each year and keep getting me "one more year" and I do so love them for that!
    Glad to learn about Carrier--I had no idea :)

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    1. Bless the AC boys who keep it going! Nice to hear from you, Catherine.

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  2. People get used to heat when there's no choice in the matter. But modern life sure makes summer heat more comfortable.

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    1. True. We really are spoiled when you think back to our ancestors. I didn't grow up with AC but never had heat like this either. So glad I have it now!

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  3. I have a fan at home. It's very old - a family member brought it from Europe when she came to Australia and gave it to my parents, who gave it to me. I am told that it goes back to the war years, when metal was scarce and needed for war things, so the sails are rubber. Yet it still works, and keeps me cool in summer. Another fan I keep in my room was given to me after my sister in law got AC for the children's rooms. It turns itself off, so I can get to sleep with it on.

    No doubt about climate change! Pity our prime minister can't quite get the notion into his head. If it's not of immediate benefit to the economy he won't believe in it. Of course, now that the Pope has said climate change is real, he might at least struggle with the possibility...

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    1. That sounds like an interesting fan. I have similar things with family connections that I love and enjoy for the same reason. I hope the wiring is sound!

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  4. That's very hot weather. Enjoyed your post, most interesting.

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    1. Boy is it ever. We're told it might cool off this weekend. We had a brief thunder shower this evening which helped. Thanks Yvonne!

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  5. I never salted my food in the US - or when I first moved to Egypt. That led to severe dehydration, anemia, and fainting. Followed by vitamin and potassium shots, followed by the discovery that I'm very allergic to potassium. (It wasn't pretty.) After 20 years over hear, I salt the heck out of everything and also eat "mekhalil" which are carrots and pickles soaked in brine. Yes, if my hubs and I get dehydrated, we start getting muscle cramps in our legs. Stay hydrated and healthy!

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    1. Hi Lexa. I'm really glad to have some confirmation on the dehydration problem I discovered. You just took it to a new level. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I hope others read your comment!

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  6. I'd kiss the inventor of AC, if he were here. We've been having some Southern scorchers, too - but not 114! Yikes! You're lucky you haven't burst into flames.

    Keep drinking and take advantage of that AC!

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    1. Ooh....I remember hot summers in Georgia and Mississippi, so I have an idea. That high humidity is tough even in the 80s. Stay cool, Cherdo!

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  7. Cramps! I had no idea of the connection. I was getting those and wondered what was wrong. It's been as hot or hotter here than in the Sacramento Valley (where I grew up) which is surprizing to me.

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    1. It does seem odd. My mother recently experienced the same and they are ten degrees cooler. I hope if there's another explanation we hear something. Thanks Dennis for stopping by!

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  8. I am behind! I have no idea what I would do without my A/C. I did not have it when I was in an apartment and since I have a hard time to sweat, my body would often over-heat. One night my ex felt my tummy and arm and I was so hot he brought a cold wash cloth and filled the tub up with cool water and I just sat in it until I felt back to normal. I dislike such heat.

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    1. I know the feeling. I'm behind too. I keep calling it brain drain from the heat. The inability to sweat is a problem for me too. I don't sweat sitting still, but physical exercise sometimes works. Problem is...who feels like working out in this heat?

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    2. My problem is even when I work out I don't sweat. I used to have a huge lawn to cut-took 2 days with a push mower. I would get all red in the face and see everything in pink. My dad brought me inside to rest. Heat stroke was on the way

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    3. Golly, that is a problem...You really need to be careful, Birgit.

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  9. I remember years ago taking over my husband's fancy Audi, with aircon. I didn't want an aircon as I was convinced it caused colds and sore throats etc and that open windows would do the trick. Of course now I couldn't do without aircon in the car. Here in South Africa we don't usually have air-conditioned homes.

    Thanks Sharon this was interesting. Keep hydrated!

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    1. I'm reminded of living in Malaysia. We lowered our AC in our home and car. I worried about mold and allergies in that very humid climate but used it when necessary. Some days were unbearable. Thanks for commenting Susan.

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  10. 114 degrees? And I thought 100 degree weather was bad. Thank God air conditioning was invented.

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    1. This is very different heat for me. I think it dries us out in the house too. I went around spraying everything with water one day. Not sure it helped but it sure felt better!

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  11. I can't imagine that much heat. I don't have air conditioning in my house, but I'd be getting it fast at that temperature. We've gotten up to the low 90s in the summer, and that's too hot for me. Thanks for the tip about salt. I always thought it was lack of water that caused muscle cramps. I'll keep more of an eye on the salt intake from now on. Have a great week!

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    1. I grew up without AC in western Washington, which is more humid. Days in the high 80s and 90s happened only occasionally and weren't comfortable. This summer temperatures have been in the mid-nineties, so all of the Northwest has been suffering. Temperatures are in the 80s this week, which I find absolutely delightful so loving the respite a lot :) Thanks for stopping by!

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