Heat wave, Anchorage-style.

th-2It’s 77 degrees here and I’m melting, melting

Which is a little embarrassing to admit. Although I grew up in a hot-and-humid area and also sweltered through the occasional 100-degree heat wave in Seattle* my blood has done got thin.

Like many other Alaskans, I perceive temps in the 60s as warm enough, thanks. When it his 70 I start fanning myself. Now that it’s closer to 80 than 70, I’m panting like a black dog in the noonday sun.

Right now I’m pet-sitting a black dog (Rottweiler/black Lab mix), a furry solar collector whose solution is simple: When he’s not in the house, he spends his time underneath the deck attached to the greenhouse DF built

I’m the wrong size – and the wrong flexibility factor – to follow him under there, so I cope by staying out of the direct sun and drinking lots of water and iced tea. It’s supposed to be in the mid- to high 70s all week.


About that greenhouse: It’s a jungle of cucumber vines and tomato plants, almost all of them started from saved seed. We’ve eaten several cucumbers already but no tomatoes yet, except a few Tumbling Toms from a blossom-bearing plant we bought from a greenhouse in May. I also spent $1 to rescue a root-bound Supersweet 100 from a rack outside a Lowe’s store last month.

We wound up moving some of the tomato plants outdoors, because the thick foliage impeded proper air circulation and small spots of powdery mildew developed on a few leaves. First DF sprayed them with some all-natural anti-fungal product* and then he created a “tomato spa” outdoors, between the south side of the greenhouse and some extra windows bolted in place.

Two more plants went into the ground on the south side of the house. Here’s hoping.


Win a prize for complaining!

I’m fully aware that me feeling sticky at 77 degrees sounds a bit silly to those who are slogging through 90-something, high-humidity days. Or to desert dwellers; my daughter lives in Phoenix, where it’s arid but can still be 90-something at 11 p.m. Now that’s hot.

So kvetch away! Really. We’re all friends here.

To prove just how friendly, I’ll choose a winner from among all the weather-related comments and send a $10 Starbucks gift card to that person. He or she can trade it in for hot tea, which is said to have cooling properties but personally, I’d recommend something with ice cubes.

The winner will be selected at 7 p.m. PDT Tuesday, July 19.

*This wasn’t much fun in an apartment with south- and west-facing windows and no air conditioning.

**DF got this product for free last year from the city transfer station, where people can leave gardening products, paint and other items. Recently he brought home a Shout stain stick, two cans of spray starch and a small can of paint he’s using on a bookcase he found at curb mart. Can’t help lovin’ that man.


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  1. I won’t try to compete with people in the deep South of the U.S. but the MidAtlantic is a pretty steamy place. Sunday morning I reached for my cell to remind it I didn’t need to be awakened at 6:00 but checked local weather and it was already 82 degrees F and 68% relative humidity. The day grew hotter and wetter until at one point, my big dog (a 95 lb Briard with his fur clipped short for summer) stood at the door and decided he’d rather not come outside and help me water the potted veggies on the front steps. By 4:00 P.M. it was 95 deg (102 “real feel”) and it took a good hour of darkening skies before we got some rain. Mind you, the streets steamed and it was well into a hour of soft, summer rain (which did smell delicious if you were brave enough to go out and fend off the state bird – the mosquitos) but if I ever fantasized about going and living in the Rain Forest, I changed my mind that day. btw, Alaska has even bigger mosquitos – I’ve been there and I tell those I know “go during the winter!” Love you, Donna – keep up the great work!

  2. We have been sweltering in upstate NY too this summer! It was 92 today and they are calling for 95 tomorrow with a heat index of 100. It snowed a bit May 9th when my relatives were here from Germany to see our beautiful lakes and trees… A little more than 2 months later and we are baking, the grass is totally brown and we haven’t had any significant rain in over a month. The pool is 84 and sparkling blue though – a month earlier than usual, so we’ll take it!

  3. Sherry

    Here in Ketchikan I saw 72 degrees on my car thermometer today. Too hot!! haha

  4. Amanda L. Paige

    We have hot and humid and sticky here in Arkansas. Or as one weather man here likes to call it Arkansauna.

  5. Meghan

    I live in DC, need I say more about the heat and humidity? It’s miserable…like every summer here. The whole city is basically just a drained swamp. Temperatures have been in the 90s since last week, and that’s without factoring in the heat index. It’s a hot, sticky mess. At least we have beautiful spring weather and flowers to make up for it.

  6. CarolH

    We’re New England in a beautiful looking condo reconstructed from an old brick and metal factory building. Once the summer heat kicks in, the loft gets unbearably hot even with the air running. But don’t worry, once the fall/winter cold arrives, the main floor living space turns into a meat locker.
    Too bad hot and cold temperatures don’t average out. But the good news is that Starbucks is right around the corner.

  7. Here in Jersey, it’s business as usual – hazy, hot and humid! great for plants and mosquitos! stay cool!

  8. Jackie F.

    Upstate NY here. It has been unseasonably warm_ 93 yesterday- potentially 95 today. It could be worse….mud slides, forest fires….I won’t complain…until winter, that’s another story altogether! I truly enjoy your blog.

  9. Here in SE MN it has been hot and humid – 90 degrees on Monday and humidity – “the air you can wear”. Might get some relief over the weekend, but the temps will head back up next week.

  10. We live in Michigan and yesterday it was 94. We had a slight drought for awhile but I think we have come out of it. Finally we have had some rain and the desert weeds have disappeared.

  11. Deb coy

    We live in Northeastern PA and today it’s supposed to be in the high 80’s. Ok with fans running and a/c at night to sleep. What I really hate in working outside and the sweat is running down my back and side of my face. And the knats drive me nuts and hate bug spray and most don’t work.

  12. It’s been in the 90s all June and probably will be all July here in Georgia. How do we cope? As a SAHM we hang out shooting hoops at the YMCA or reading at the library. When my AC is running non-stop and struggling to keep the temp at 80, I use a tactic I perfected living in FL. I force myself to sit outside for 10-15 minutes. After that, returning inside to 80 degrees feels like a dip into a cool pool.

  13. Trixie

    We were in Achorage and Valdez the week of 13 June and had similar weather…high-mid 70’s. Was even in the 80’s in Fairbanks!
    I noted that you could tell the AK residents from the tourists. The tourists were inappropriately dressed (we expected it to be cold). Whereas Alaskans were in tee shirts and shorts!
    Not complaining so don’t put me in the mix for the gift card!
    And good luck with the tomatoes!
    Alaska was wonderful.

  14. Here in Southern Alabama it’s been in the mid to high 90s but as a transplanted Northeasterner I have to share my observation that you really do get used to it and adapt. Unfortunately you also “adapt back” which is the effect you are experiencing now. I’d be miserable in the cold now but if I had to I’d “adapt back” and get used to it. So the ultimate point is that the weather is bound to make you miserable no matter what it’s like where you are!

  15. Never been a fan of Summer heat and humidity. MA native but have lived in CT since ’86. Drapes/shades drawn, minimal lights on, fans blowing, windows closed and enjoying the central A/C (first time in my 52 years of having central A/C) but will cringe when the utility bills arrive. Air quality alert as well, so this asthma sufferer stays indoors.

  16. ro in san diego

    It’s been in the 90s in San Diego. I finally brought out my summer clothes. Same clothes as the rest of the year, just not black and all cotton. Love your curb mart reference. My favorite store! I follow you on Facebook.

  17. Cathy in NJ

    Hi Donna,

    It’s 73 degrees, 81% humidity and cloudy in the Garden State’s Lakehurst, NJ this am. I think the weather is wonderful with a small side of sticky. Tomorrow is supposed to be hot, 90+ and humid feels like 100+.

    I cool off with ice water or ice tea. I also press ice cubes against the inside of my wrists or have the sweating cup touch the inside of my wrists to stop myself from melting.

  18. Lisa O

    We in Upstate NY are roasting as well. It was 92 yesterday and expecting the same thing here today. Weather man is hinting that there might be a thunderstorm tonight after late afternoon….I am so praying for rain. Our drought here is not the norm and most lawns are brown 🙁

  19. I live in SE LA. It’s consistently in the high 90s with very high humidity and feels like it’s in the one-hundred-teens. I want to bring my Kindle to Costco, drag a chair into their cold room, and stay there until October.

  20. Glenda Bossow

    South central MN has had some horrible hot and humid days already this summer. I’m holding out for tomorrow, when the forecast high is only 76!

  21. I am in PA, and my hubby started complaining the minute that he woke up this morning. We are 66 and 68, and each year we seem to mind it worse. I wonder if some is the medication we take or just getting older? About 5 years ago, I could be out in the sun cutting grass at 90 degrees and it didn’t seem to affect me, but since then, WOW! We live in a double wide trailer and do not have air conditioning. We have fans and two air conditioners that help a little, but we only turn them on when it gets too bad because of the electric bill. I don’t remember it being this bad at this temperature years ago, but then, I maybe getting senile in my old age-LOL! Maybe it is this ozone layer thing? Anyway, I will keep trying different things to keep cooler, and reading your blog helps take my mind off the humidity!

  22. Hi it has been in the high 90’s here in central Texas. During the summer of 2011 we had 100 days of 100 or higher temp so 77 sounds cool to me.

  23. Last week it was 88 degrees. At 10:00. At night.

  24. Well, if you live in a really hot place, you probably have AC. Living in Alaska or or the Coast, the hot days don’t occur quite often enough to invest in AC. I find going to bed in a wet Tshirt with the fan going helps a lot. I do this when it gets to 90 or more.

  25. JoAn V.

    Like Abby, I live in central AZ. We’ve had over 100 degree temps for over a month now. That’s above normal even for us so I’m just trying to stay inside as much as possible.

  26. Cheryl

    I love the “Curb Mart”!! Sweltering at 95 in the shade with a heat index of 105 here on the Florida gulf coast – no hope for temps in the 70’s until November if we’re lucky!!! A cool drink from Starbucks would help a sweltering Sister out! 😉

  27. I grew up in the LA Basin heat of 100+ degree weather with no a/c and visited tropical climates of 80+ degrees plus ALL the humidity and I’ll wager that I complained less than I do now in the Bay Area’s high 70s and 80s temperatures 😀 There’s something about getting older and accustomed to cooler weather that is working the wrong way around for me.

  28. Christine

    Another comment from upstate NY. at lunch today my dashboard thermometer said 100 degrees. My AC window in my apartment is struggling to keep up with it., and as others have said, there has been no significant rain for a while. Maybe today.

  29. Vicky Fox

    Out here in California, the hot days are only fueling the drought, and after so many months with just a couple of tablespoons of rain and warnings that we have to conserve 25% or more water, it doesn’t help when you have hot flashes and need a cool shower. My kitchen faces the afternoon sun and can get so hot butter will soften straight from the fridge in about an hour. Plus, our HOA will not allow us AC units in the window. Sheesh, where ever you have rain, send some here!!!

  30. Juliannac

    I definitely know what you mean about a Seattle apartment with no air conditioning—I am a Seattle native and I’ve only had A/C in two places I’ve lived, three summers total in my 49 years of life thus far. The last place was 5 years ago. I LOATHE hot weather (which is anything over 70 to me) and the last two summers were super hot, way out of the norm for Seattle. After scorching temps in April (for crying out loud) luckily (knock on wood!), this summer has been cooler. Last week it rained a lot, too. Whoo-hoo! I was ecstatic. I hope you get back to your normal weather soon.

  31. South Jersey here. We are getting ready for another heat wave here. For those who don’t know a heat wave in NJ is defined as three or more days of 90 plus temps. Tomorrow starting at noon and running through Friday evening we are under a hazardous weather warning. Heat index will be 100 plus. It will be 90 or more for the next ten days according to my weather app. I am sincerely tired of it.

  32. It’s been in the mid-90s (and humid!) in Chicago. Unlike other places, we are getting a bit of rain every few days, but that just means it’s quite humid. Not enough rain to actually ever dry out the atmosphere. The window AC at home is doing it’s best, but basically just sort of takes the edge off. This morning the hot water didn’t work in the shower, and I didn’t even mind very much 🙂

  33. We have become Weather Channel whores since we bought our 13 acre “farm-to-be”. Twice a week, we review the weather to formulate the plan of indoor or outdoor work for the upcoming weekend. Nothing worse to have my thought-out plans to strip wall paper (rainy weekend) end up being mowing the lawn because it’s dry today, but wet the rest of the week.

  34. You all make me feel sooo good! Here in Central Oregon we are still waiting for summer and complaining all the way. I’m going to quit complaining and just enjoy that we need a jacket mornings and evenings. I know I don’t do well in hot, humid weather. Thanks for the reality check, Donna!

  35. Valerie

    So cute and funny Donna! 🙂 In CO we are praying for rain as always during the summer to prevent wildfires. Too bad about the Cold Springs one in Ned. 🙁

  36. I live in Iowa. I do not like the heat and humidity here. I spent almost 40 years living in the Denver area and could handle the heat because there wasn’t so much humidity and it got cooler at night. I have never liked heat and remembered why I hate summer when I moved back here.

    I know my friends in the Boulder area are wanting rain without lightning to get the Cold Springs Fire contained.

    • Valerie OConnor

      Praying for them and for everyone affected by wildfires this time of year. And of course their fur babies as well!

  37. Veronica Adrover

    Triple digits all this week here in Central CA – we stay in the A/C or the pool, but could surely use an iced tea from Starbucks!

  38. Here in east central Georgia, it is hotter than hell’s door hinges. We’ve had multiple days of 100 degree temps, 100 percent humidity, and summer is just getting started. It’s so hot your makeup just slides right off and steering wheels make you wish you kept oven mitts in the car.

  39. Athena

    I think the only difference between where I live and Abby is humidity. I’m in South Florida, so 90 degrees is “normal” for me. I’ve lived here all my life and I am curious what no humidity feels like! To try and survive the summer, I bought a snow cone machine. It helps a little and is fun to do with the kids. I don’t see how hot tea could help! Twice this summer so far, we’ve had to leave places because the kids were getting so hot they were getting nauseous. I need to look into those cooling towels you put around your neck. I think they’d be a wise investment down here!

  40. BurnedOutInTexas

    Forecast for the next week 101, 101, 100, 100, 99, 100, 100. Nuf said:)

  41. Make Do Mom

    Here in the Deep South we don’t really think about the heat, it just is. We park farther from the entrance to leave the car in the shade. We accept the AC running nonstop and the ceiling fans going too. We automatically assume iced (and sweet) when “tea” is said. We really do wear seersucker because those little ripples keep it from sticking to sweaty skin. 70 is coolish and 60 is downright chilly here. Enjoy your greenhouse veggies and the sun, Donna.

  42. Mirabella

    Living near the coast in southern CA, this summer has been relatively mild for us. However, last year was a scorcher due to a persistent high pressure ridge that kept any rain out of the area but did a really good job of retaining all the hot air. And of course our air conditioner broke down the first day of a record-breaking heat wave (temperatures pushing 110 F). All fans were kept on nonstop and the cats had to be constantly iced down because the little guys couldn’t take off their fur coats.

  43. Carolina Cooper

    Here in my “summer home” in New Hampshire the predicted high for today is 92 degrees—5 degrees warmer than the expected high in my “winter home” in the Dominican Republic. That is crazy! But I do prefer the warm to the cold—not a big fan of wearing lots of layers of clothes. In any case, I would love to win the Starbucks gift card.

  44. Cakester

    We had a heat wave with temps in the nineties a few weeks ago. The first day of my summer class was the first day it hit over 90. 98 and walking home was not fun! Now it’s mid nineties and upper eighties but I’m just bone weary of being hot all the time. Bleck.

  45. I can’t compete with areas of CA, but with 90 and “tropical” humidity, it was pretty miserable. It is due to come back next week, so the gift card would come in quite handy.

  46. 97 degrees here in Massachusetts today and I’m sticking to everyone and everything…. yuck

  47. jestjack

    True and crazy story…..DD2 flew in from out West to attend a wedding and visit for a week. When she arrived the heat and humidity hit her hard. She could not believe how muggy it was. To add insult to injury a DF of hers from back home sent a picture and a short news article that about an hour and a half from where she lives….they got snow… on July 11th and 12th. You can see snow on the mountains from her town now…in July….which just doesn’t happen. She can’t wait to go back to her adopted home and escape the sauna….

  48. This is the 5 day forecast for Hanford, California where I live:
    Saturday: 101
    Sunday: 100
    Monday: 97
    Tuesday: 98
    Wednesday: 101

    Ugh. Just ugh.

  49. Cynthia Richardson

    It’s about 90 degrees here in Tucson right now with lots of passing clouds. Hopefully, we’ll get some monsoon rain soon for relief.

  50. Diane C

    Okay, I’ve never lived in a cold climate, so please help me out here. I thought blood thickened in cold climates and thinned in hot climates? Is it the opposite? Or is that just a myth?

    I know I’m late to this party, and y’all won’t love me when I say I live in the SF BAY Area and have yet to turn on the A/C. It’s been hot, but we usually get fog at night which cools everything off. We did have to go to the Palm Springs area to work on a new rental property. With temps in the 115+ range, you bet we ran the A/C! We have to go back again next week and the forecasts are even higher. Happily, we’re just visiting for a few days, not living there.

    • Donna Freedman

      Oh, I’m pretty sure it’s a myth. It’s just something we say.

      And 115 is too hot for me. That’s the kind of weather my daughter and son-in-law get down in Phoenix all summer, which is why I generally visit in the fall, winter and spring.

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