- We make sure to turn all lights off in the day time. They produce heat! Some more than others. The ones over my bathroom mirror get particularly hot. So I will even remove those bulbs in the heat of the summer and just stick with the overhead light! Likewise we have track lighting over one of the kitchen counters. When it is cooler, you don't notice the heat when they emit, but when it warms up...man...you really feel every little thing that contributes to it! We still have some refrigeration that generates a GOOD BIT of heat from it's compressors. It is out goal to run electric out to our shed to house them out there next year.
- All of our cooking is moved outside. We have done different things in different years..working within our means. This is year is our most deluxe version yet! We have moved our summer kitchen into our new pump house! I have water from our well (YES!!) and I can shut the doors on it (which keeps curious cats and critters away while things are baking). Although we hope to build specific summer kitchen in a different location when we can...that will likely not happen for a couple years because of other priorities. The location is not ideal and we can not shade it because it has solar panels on the south side to run the water pump. It is also on the small inside (10x10) but we do have high ceilings and some vents. We plan to increase the vent on top though, by adding one of those "spinning "chef hat" vents. (As I like to all them.) :-) When we build our summer kitchen it will be bigger, shaded, screened and will use wood to cook with. But I am soooo thankful for the pump house in the interim! Cooking outside at the back of the house is cool - but dirty because of the trees that cool it. Cooking on the front porch gets warm and give me aesthetic twitches. :-) So I love that I can "close the doors" on the pump house! We use propane for our cooking fuel source (the portable tanks you hook up to a grill). DH has run a couple heavy duty extension cords out there for me to run portable ovens and crock pots as well. This is not ideal to have extension chords running - but it is fine compromise for now!! Here are some photos
|Here is our pump house/ summer kitchen. It was Amish built by a friend up the road.|
|This stove is not operating right now, but we hope to replace it soon! There is my running water and stainless counter/table. The portable ovens are what I use until we get the big one replaced.|
|I have put up two retractable clothes lines - that give me 100 lineir feet of drying space. It is the perfect place to dry herbs or hang clothes when it it raining.|
|Here's the old faithful camp chef., it is my original canning, camping and summer kitchen stove. She has served me well for several years and still does.|
- We also change what we eat this time of year. In the cooler months we LOVE homemade soups and stews and breads and eat them regularly. However, this time of year that ceases. We bake much less and eat a lot more raw. We do more on the grill and find ourselves eating more flat breads.
- We have also learned to eat outside under our shade tree that covers the back porch. Even when it is very hot Yah seems to provide us with a breeze bath there! (He is SO good!) We have learned that bringing hot cooked foods in for 8+ people, also generate heat...and heat lingers. So eating outside helps with that too!
- We have learned to work with our windows. What a difference it makes to shade the windows! We have build a porch roof on the south side of our house (which is the front). What a difference this made with the heat before and after!! We don't usually have to shut the blind on these windows. Which is good, because we need the natural light int he house so we can keep the lights turned off! :-) In the morning we are deliberate to shade the eastern windows and let the cool breeze flow in the Western side. Likewise, in the afternoon, we shade the western side and open up the eastern. The north side is always left open. Cross breeze and airflow is essential! We also installed ceiling fans when we added the second floor we use window fans when we can.
- We have been holding off on planting trees on the south side because of the work that needed to be done and making decisions to put in the driveway and some excavation for water flow...but I think we have come to clear line of site regarding these things and we plan to put (fast growing) shade trees on the Southwest corner and South side of the house this fall. I am SOO excited about this - because I know this will make a huge difference and lesson our reliance on the fans.
- Laundry is also dried outside (ONLY!). I still use my washer, but hang everything. Check out my new homemade clothes pin bag. I love it! I tie it on and have my clips at my waste. It is SO handy and kinda cute too. :-)
- We have also learned quite a few things about working in the heat that have been helpful.
- I used to think that keeping cool meant as little clothing as possible. This became a conflict when we decided to dress modestly as a lifestyle. But we have all found that by wearing lightweight natural fibers - that we are just fine!
- My homemade deodorant is also nothing short of amazing. I have used natural deodorants for 20 years but they always "fell short". The one I have been making and using for the past 4 years has been put to the test for sure (by many homesteaders actually) and found to out sniff them all!! :-)
This post was shared at Simple Lives Thursdays