Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hot weather home keeping -- Part II

Cannot people realize how large an income is thrift? ~Cicero

This is a great time for me to be thinking about hot weather home making, as our heat indexes say it feels to the body like we're up in the 100's right now. If you live in a more temperate clime or are in the Southern hemisphere (with winter now), file this information away in case you need it later:

1) Did you realize that a clogged dryer vent or hose will blow hot air back into your home, raising the overall temperature? That is something I learned today and had never thought about.
2) Also, did you realize that if you plant a shade tree near an outside air conditioning unit, it will work more efficiently? I hadn't thought about that one, either. I learned these two hints -- appropriately on Father's Day -- from a site called Frugal Dad.
3) In the nineteenth century, changing rugs, bedding, and curtains at the turn of cold weather to warm or warm weather to cold was an important part of housekeeping. People changed from fabrics that were warm and richly colored to lighter weight, summer colored fabrics. Also, some applied light colored slip colors to furniture in hot weather and took them off in winter or threw down grass-cloth mats over their floors during prolonged periods of rain or dust. Since the advent of central heat and air conditioning and three-season type fabrics, that custom has largely fallen by the wayside. Of course, people still generally throw an extra blanket on the bed during winter and pull it off in the summer. And, people use picnic cloths for outdoor eating in warm weather. Other than that, however, changing from heavier curtains to lighter ones or pulling up heavier rugs for lighter ones is not as much of a tradition as it once was. For the modern home, it can be a boon not to have to keep up with different sets of bedding, curtains, etc., for each room. However, if you would like to give your home a cool and comfortable feel in the summer and a warm and cozy feel in the winter, this is something you might try. Also, throwing slipcovers on couches during the active summer months can not only protect your furniture, it can be a way to change a richer fall color to a fresh summery color for the season. It all depends on what your family needs and likes. Do be sure, though, to attend to the comforts of the beds. Your family will sleep more comfortably in summer if the bed linens are breathable and light.
4) Every child should be creating wonderful summer memories to look back on. In order to help summer be fun for children, it's helpful to establish summer routines and rules upfront, rather than to tussle about them as you go along. For example, will your children have a different chore routine during the summer, when there is less homework to do inside and more work to do outside in the garden? Do you need to establish a place by the door where children can place outdoor shoes, toys, and sports gear, as well as a time in the evening to put it all back in its true home? Do children need to remember to put sunscreen on at prescribed times? Do you need to help children learn how to play outside without running in and out every second? Do you need to encourage them to play creatively, rather than spending too much time with a WII? What supplies do you need to have on hand to make summer fun for children? What safety guidelines and boundaries do your children need to keep in mind while playing outside? What are expectations for a child's personal devotions and family devotions? You and your children will have expectations for the summer months. It's best to discuss these so that everyone will arrive at a common understanding for the warm weather months. While it's important to talk such things out at the beginning of the summer, it's best not to go to the other extreme and over-schedule or over-manage your children. Children do need some structure for the summer. However, they also need plenty of time for wholesome play. If you provide the right environment and loving supervision, your children's creativity and joy will flourish.
5) Update your home medical kit to take care of skinned knees, bug bites, poison ivy etc. Also, consider what foods you need to keep in the pantry and fridge to accommodate family and guests during the summer.

Happy home keeping!


Charlene said...

It's HOT, HOT, HOT here as well--I'm having trouble coming up with well-rounded meals that don't use the oven, or don't require standing over the stove a lot--I'm planning on pulling out the crock-pot which for some reason I tend to use more in the winter; and the bread machine, so we can have fresh bread without heating up the whold kitchen.

Buffy said...

What good suggestions, and I love the idea of creating wonderful memories for the children. It's sad to think of so many youngsters spending the summer indoors watching TV and playing computer games :(.