Phoenix at 110 Degrees

It’s been hot early this year–while we generally hit 100 degrees for the first time in April, this year’s 106 and 107 in mid-May seems a bit early.

Frying an egg on the sidewalk–it works better in a pan. I’ve done it, and it does cook, but it doesn’t sizzle.

So how does one adjust to such high heat? If you live here, make the most of it. Toss your sweaty pillows out on the patio and let the sun bleach and freshen them. Don’t leave them outside for more than an hour, though, or they get dusty.

Have a desk chair mat? One of those plastic things that always turns up at the corners where it hits a desk or cabinet? Toss it out on the patio, and leave it for 15 minutes. The hard plastic softens and relaxes. Drag it to a shady spot before you bring it in. The heat makes it off-gas.

Dry your towels outside. OK, so they are a little stiff, but fabric softener makes towels resist absorbing water, and sun-dried towels smell great and dry you off better. It takes about 30 minutes for towels to dry completely. I once raced the dryer and with a light breeze before Monsoon Season starts (mid-June), the outdoor-dried towels win.

Still have plants in pots? You optimist, you. Starting now and going till September, water them twice a day, before dawn and after the sun is not longer directly on them. They’ll die otherwise, there just isn’t enough water-holding ability in potting soil. And if your plant pots are glazed and dark colors, they won’t make it past June 10. The roots cook if the pots are in the full sun.

While you are out early in the morning (after first light and before full dawn), change the food in the hummingbird feeders. Every day. At that heat, it sours in a day. The birds die quickly from consuming old hummingbird food, as it also grows mold.

Busy day? Core an apple, stuff it with bread drizzled with olive oil, a spoon of honey, a few raisins . Rub with flaxseed oil or olive oil, wrap in foil (shiny side in) and place in box in trunk of car when you leave for work. When you get home, you have a baked apple! (No cream or butter though. Hot car cooking requires some food-poisoning precautions.)

The Gladiator fire has decimated 10,000 acres of land that won’t come back for a generation.

Summers are tinder dry in the area, and brush fires easily get out of hand. The Gladiator fire has scorched 10,000 acres, and the land won’t be able to hold plants for 20 years. Unlike the East Coast, where a fire is good for the forest, our fires destroy landscapes. Please be careful with campfires and don’t play with fireworks, which are legal here. Legal and “good-idea” are two different issues. This fire was started by an unsupervised child.

–Quinn McDonald loves Phoenix any time of year, but not when it’s a dry hate. There is much healing to be done anyplace in the world, but she was called here.

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22 thoughts on “Phoenix at 110 Degrees

  1. It’s been raining heavily here in Kannus, Finland, a bit more that it usually does in May. And we had the first thunder for this summer last Friday. One house in our neighbourhood has its garden flooded, and I think that if the rains continue the flood may expand from their garden into their basement. Hopefully it doesn’t.

    It’s so interesting to read about living in an environment that is totally different from what I know. Our house is facing south and it gets really hot – considering that this is Finland – on our patio. Easily +50 degrees Celsius on a sunny day, and we have to keep the shutters closed for most of the summer to keep the heat out. Not a common trouble around here, I tell you. The heat did come handy two years ago when I acclimatised myself to heat before traveling to China 🙂 But it’s nothing compared to your heat!

    I always dry my laundry outdoors, even during the winter. It doesn’t dry completely then but it does a bit (especially when it’s really cold, -25 C and less, it gets rather dry). Nevertheless, I get soft, fresh smelling clothes without any fabric softeners. A bliss. Saves energy and harsh sunlight disinfects (and whitens) the linens. Though once one of the neighbourhood cats peed on my laundry. What a stench!

    • The idea of -25C (-13F) make me shudder. I’ve experienced that when I lived in New England, which is a major reason I don’t live there anymore. Flooded basements are such a problem, it takes them forever to dry out. And our patio sounds uncomfortably hot, even for me. How did you get the cat pee out of your laundry? Was washing it again enough? And China–when were you in China?

      • Thankfully I noticed the cat pee before the laundry had dried. I just washed it again while it was still damp. Just occurred to me: during winter I actually freeze-dry my laundry. How cool (sic.) is that!

        I spent two weeks in Beijing in 2010. Highly recommend it! If for nothing else but for the food. Cheap and from fresh ingredients. We had our dinners in a small restaurant and paid less that 4€ for ten courses. And the culture, of course. We actually got to see a Beijing opera for free in one of the leading opera houses thanks to a traveling buddy who had the stamina to wait (the tickets would have cost 350 yuans, about 35€, which is a fortune there). I think I have to blog about that some time. Anyway, it was a group trip of about 40 taiji practitioners. Our master or shifu arranged the trip, but we roamed the city mainly by ourselves or in smaller groups. The main reason for the trip was to take part in duan-examinations, the belt examinations in Chinese martial arts, which is something you can do only in China. I got my 5th duan there.

  2. This pretty much describes a lot of Australia too. So far our Fall has been very dry, Its winter in 11 days and I am still in t-shirts, though the nights are bitter. Its still car window or boot dying weather here.
    Its not just fireworks and matches; power tools can cause horrific fires too that destroy homes and threaten lives. Once a fire hits steep terrain its virtually unstoppable. I wish everyone a fire-free summer, we could all do with one, particularly our courageous firies who now fly around the world helping each other out!

  3. It was only 96 here in El Paso, but that is still really early for us. It seems we went from “winter” to summer without any spring. I can tell by which items in my wardrobe I am able to wear – A/C notwithstanding.

  4. The egg on the pavement reminded me of when my partner and I first moved onto our boat. It was the summer solstice and hot…for the UK! The roof of the boat was too hot to touch so we too tried the ‘cooking food in an unusual place’ experiment. We made cheese on toast!

    • I bet it tasted great! Using Mother Nature provided heat is an excellent way to appreciate the food. I know people cook in their car engines. I’ve never tried that, but I have done dishwasher cooking.

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