Friday, June 28, 2013

Hot Days Ahead

This old house needs a paint job and some other improvements but even in its current worn-out state, has a bit of charm.

Temperatures have been very high here, but the humidity is what determines whether or not I can think or concentrate on necessary tasks. Right now the humidity is very, very high, and at the end of the day I never feel I have done much. Regular housekeeping has kept my time so filled up that I still have not unpacked my suitcase from my trip to Australia, and I have been home for two weeks.

The lawn looks so dry and there is a rain storm coming.

I would like to report on the double-cream I was trying to make with the farmer's milk I bought from the farm just across the field from here. I let the cream set in a deep bowl with a lid, and each day I pulled aside a part of the heavy cream to pour off the liquid that had drained out of it. I did this for 2 days til no liquid was left. The result was as close to the double-cream as I experienced in Victoria. Still, the Victorian double-cream was smooth and shiny and had the texture of natural sour cream, shiny and thick without the whipped-cream look and was not grainy or bubbly in appearance. It was like the soft, spreadable cream cheese except that it did not harden when refrigerated and did not turn liquid when being used unless it was applied to a hot muffin.

The new cherry tree yielded a bowl of cherries that were so tasty,

and I found Pink Lady apples at our Safeway store. Victorians told me the Pink Lady originated in Australia, and often a Victorian friend of rellie would place a Pink Lady in the palm of my hand as a gift. These apples are pinker looking at the farm markets before they are shined, and worthy of having their portrait painted.

I have made progress using up my fabric, and this is one of the pieces I washed and hung outside to dry. It is all cotton, and has a texture somewhat like linen; from Walmart. This is the fabric I hope to use for a sewing tutorial in the future--shortly, I hope. Since it has a denim quality it might make a pretty denim style jacket and skirt, or a dress with jacket. I will be sure and label it as a tutorial when I get it posted, so that those who want to learn to sew can make something easy.

I have been enjoying the paintings of Dorothy Dent. She has instruction books here Above is one of her paintings. I like the way she managed to make the sunlight on the house boards and the rose bush.

In spite of the demands on my time, I am trying to make a new habit of doing something creative every day and something social each day. Today I began a sketch of the apple and went to the grocery store. The grocery store is one of my social centers because all the staff has seen me there often for the last couple of decades.

There is a week of very hot days ahead but I am trying to keep my mind off it and not move around too quickly. My suggestion for housework on a hot day is to clean the fridge and the freezer, and that way, you will also get a nice cool blast of air in the kitchen. Make sandwiches in the evening to prevent having to heat anything in the kitchen, and also cut down on dishwashing on such hot days. If you have a large family, those evening meals can be labor-intensive, plus the washing of pots and pans in a hot kitchen, so sandwich and salads make sense in hot weather.



Anna said...

When the weather gets trying I need to remember my own writing, see above!

living from glory to glory said...

Hello, I so can relate to your very hot temperatures. But we are so dry we have little to no humidity here. I also like to do a lot of my housework in the early morning. May you have a blessed day! Blessings, Roxy

LadyLydia said...

I feel the same way you do in the heat. It wears me out.

I learned how to cool a house fast and trap cool air inside when we lived in California.

My husband is a retired firefighter and he used to ventilate smokey houses after fires.
He shared with me that if we opened the house up early in the morning when the air was much cooler, we could trap that cool air inside by closing up the house when the temp went up later in the morning.
You could also create positive pressure inside the house by placing fans inside and outside the doors or windows to force air through the house faster. If you have no fans and there is a breeze outside you can open windows or doors from the direction of the breeze and effectively blow the cooler air inside and hot air out.

If the house is insulated the cool temps will stay longer in the space you have it trapped in. Once the attic heats, the cool temps won't last long.

We have installed an 18" attic fan with a thermostat. The fan kicks on when the attic gets warm. It helps keep the attic temps from getting too high.

Hope this info helps the comfort level.

Mrs. J.

LadyLydia said...

Tricia has left a new comment on your post "Hot Days Ahead":

Hi Lady Lydia!
Your home is just adorable! I love, love, love the pink!!! I hope you can find a way to cool off this week!


LadyLydia said...

anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Hot Days Ahead":

I really like your choice of fabric. Very pretty.

The hanging flower basket, ground flowers and ivy growing up the post is very cozy and inviting to the entrance to your home.

Love the pink eves over the door too!

Mrs. J.

LadyLydia said...

lynn m has left a new comment on your post "Hot Days Ahead":

OH OH OH...your front door area reminds me of your love of caravans...just as charming as can keep those vines growing..they add a wonderful, charming touch.
Your new fabric is a must-have for me....oh've done it again...always an inspiration!
the fruits are great...have to search for that apple it good? It is pretty if nothing else!
Humidity 'hurts'...move slowly as you plan as well...not too bad here lately,..but it's coming for sure.
Hope you don't have tooooo many bags to may feel like Christmas when you finally do. Remember your two pretty cotton cardigans are there somewhere! No need for them in the humidity...but maybe in the eve outside...
I just love your post today especially for some's cheery!!
Love and a hug,

Trish said...

Lydia, I hope you are coping alright with the high temps and humidity..I heard you're having 48 degrees in some parts over there!
My fair skin and red hair don't mix well with hot weather like that.
It can be so terribly draining!
It's one of the reasons we are glad to be out of Sydney and over the mountains these days.
A good crunchy Pink Lady apple is truly delicious and double cream is something we've become used to buying in the supermarkets now.
Hubby loves it and can "afford" to indulge more than me..I need to stick with the apples!

anonymous said...

I wanted to add that cool meals are helpful. Tossed green salads with bits of meat and nuts are satisfying and nutritious as are boiled egg and pasta salads.

On very hot days I often prepare a fruit salad with creamy fruit yogurt dressing for a meal. I add chopped nuts on top of the yogurt for added protein.

Toaster pizzas made from English Muffins, ground beef and cheese are fun, easy and nutritious.

Sometimes instead of a tossed green salad I prepare a large veggie tray with a Ranch Dressing dip.

Mrs. J.

Magnolia Tea said...

What an adorable house! Pink and white remind me of candy, delicious.

I live in the South so we get our fair share of days with high temperatures and high humidity, too. I can sincerely sympathize with you on that one, for sure. Hence the Southerners' love of iced tea, fruit slushes and crab salads.

Polly said...

Hmm, I am really liking the idea of trying to do something creative and something social each day.

These days I am longing for a backyard pool. I do like to turn the water hose on 'mist' and mist off after my gardening work, which feels intense lately!


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