Dog Days of Summer

It has been as hot as blue blazes.  That may not make sense to non-southerners, but that’s how we say it down here.  It’s a very accurate description of the heat – heat and humidity.  Things start cooling down after 8 pm or so and start heating back up around 9 am or so.

I am going to find a way to use the heat to my advantage next summer.  My neighbor suggested putting a vent in the gable of the roof and a hole in the floor.  Heat would go up and out of the vent and in the process pull cool air through the hole in the floor from under the cabin.  The only drawbacks I can see to that is that the incoming air will be very humid and the air won’t be much cooler than the ambient air temperature.  That got me to thinking…

If the humid air were to pass over a cool surface, then that would take some of the humidity out and provide clean water in the process.  Then I just need a way to drop the temperature of the incoming air.  I know how to do it.  The problem is that it is going to be labor intensive.  Holes, solar chimneys – I’ll post more about my plan later.  Suggestions are welcomed.

And if the heat isn’t bad enough, the fleas are worse.  They are everywhere, inside and out.  They are immune to flea foggers, so we are having a hard time keeping them out of the cabin.  They seem immune to the flea treatments that we give the dogs.  Baths remove the fleas for about as long as it takes to dry off.  Not us, the dogs – baths and drying times.  Again, suggestions are welcomed.

I finally broke down and fired up the refrigerator.  That’s an accurate description.  It actually cools by using a flame.  It runs off of propane or electricity, but it also needs a 12-volt battery to operate the thermostat.  I have been alternating between propane and electricity.  I just run an extension cord from the inverter on the truck and let it run.  The batteries on the truck will run the fridge all day.  30 minutes of idling recharges the batteries nicely.

I didn’t really want to use the fridge, but it makes more sense to use it than to buy ice. We can keep ice 2-3 days in just a regular cooler.  That’s fine when Jen is working, but when she is home for 4-5 days, then we were making a trip into town for a cooler full of ice.  It just wasn’t cost effective, not to mention the wear and tear on the vehicles.  It’s a 40 mile round trip, thereabouts.

So anyway, the fridge is up and running.  It’s great to be able to open it up and pull out a cold bottle of water.

Apollo’s mom, his sister, and three of his brothers came for a visit today.  For some reason they decided to stay all day.  They all ran off for about 20 minutes, but then they all came back.  They were all wet.  Guess they went swimming at Joe’s.

So, today has really been a dog day – 7 dogs all day.  Tomorrow will be another dog day.  Jennifer is bringing my mom’s two dogs here.  They are a little more than she can handle right now, so we are going to take them off of her hands.  She’s worried about them, but I’m sure that they will fit right in.

I suppose these really are the dog days of summer.

Our Trip to Harrison

We recently (about a month ago) we took our first trip to Harrison, AR.  The drive is only a little more than an hour, but in our year here we had never made it there.

The drive offered some gorgeous views of the mountains and valleys.  There were a couple of little towns along the way.  One little town had some rather eclectic gardens on both sides of the highway.

The first thing we noticed about Harrison was that the town has a very weird layout – almost haphazard – which made it hard for us to navigate.  We also noticed that Harrison is within a “wet” county.  I put “wet” in quotation marks because there are people in some parts of the country that have never heard the term “wet” or “dry” in regards to the people in a county voting to sell or not to sell alcoholic beverages.  In some places, people have never heard of not selling alcohol based on one’s geographic location.

Speaking of alcohol, I stopped at a rather upscale store that sold wine, beer, and liquor.  I have shopped at some very good stores of the kind throughout the southeastern states.  This store was almost as good as any of its kind that I have ever visited.  The selection was extremely wide and varied for its location and the population it serves.  While I have seen bigger selections, I’ve never seen such a good selection in a store its size.

Another thing we noticed was that Harrison has a lot of “Mom and Pop” type of businesses in addition to some of the larger chain businesses.  We like that.

There was a collection of younger type people who appeared to be homeless at a lake that appeared to be a city park.  We didn’t like that

We also noticed the Aldi supermarket.  I used to shop at one in Atlanta when I lived there.  Aldi is a great place for shopping if price is a concern but selection isn’t.  Bring your own bags – they don’t provide any.

We had to take a pit stop for the dogs to do their thing.  Jen had her hands full!