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Why I work outside in 100 degrees F plus

July 1, 2012

ImageI’ve been experimenting with a new problem-solving strategy for the past year. If I can’t seem to solve a problem, then I make it bigger than it was before and tackle THAT problem. I’m doing it with duckweed as a valuable feedstock in the US when only developing countries are finding it a viable resource, AKA International Lemna Association with some great friends.

Another example is last year when I realized that I was pathetically inept at fixing a leaking faucet and had to call a plumber. Consequently, I decided to plumb out my entire house by myself during last year’s retrofit to near zero energy. I made the problem SO much bigger, a leaking faucet is now laughable in my book.

So, on to the heat index. I tried to be a good, sane person and only work outdoors during this incredible heat wave from 6:00am to 10:00am and then again at nightfall. Unfortunately, those are the times I like to sleep, write, hang with my kids or get stuff done in the house. All that’s left is the heat of the day to get work done outside. Problem. What do I do ? Make the problem bigger. Force myself to get outside in the blazing sun and get some work done. Novel concept in my book so I thought I’d try it.

At first, walking outside without making a beeline for the car and air conditioning was a big deal. Over the past week, I’ve slowly become acclimated to the heat and can work outside for longer and longer periods without feeling like I’m going to collapse from heat stroke. Surprisingly, my body is handling it a lot better than my mind is.

Oh, I’m doing all the sensible things like drinking lots of water, wearing a sun hat, trying to alternate working in the shade and working in the sun. ONCE in a while, I sort of “fall” into my pool or get cooled off with a garden hose. It’s getting easier. Another tough thing is walking back into an air-conditioned house. Even that is getting easier to deal with. Making the problem bigger… Been working in the garden and putting up a pool using this strategy. Every day I can work out in that hot sun longer. Liberating!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan Munroe permalink
    July 1, 2012 11:47 pm

    I thought your first paragraph was indicating that you were going into politics…..

    But be careful. I was camping down in Arizona, near the Mexican border, in the summer, temp was 112º, and I didn’t think I was doing that much. Then I went into the first stage of heat exhaustion. Not too bad, as I recognized it, but it seemed to have ruined my ‘thermostat’. Now I can’t stand near as much heat as I used to when I lived in Southern California. After living in Washington State for almost 20 years, it would probably kill me now. Of course, with the heat and high humidity of the South, just driving through would probably knock me dead.

    Take it easy, don’t push. Nice pool, though.



    • July 2, 2012 7:17 am

      Thanks, Sue.Sorry to hear about your experience taking its toll on your health. Last thing I want is heatstroke. I know what you mean about the South. Alabama’s humidity in the summer left me paralyzed with exhaustion. However, people down there get acclimated to it. So, my thought is why can’t I get used to my conditions? Right now, we are experiencing a dry heat almost like New Mexico because of our drought. Much easier to deal with than an humid Alabama summer.


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