I recently posted this status update to Facebook: “Don’t offer to hold yard-sales for family. Or, at least wait until Fall. Or, offer burn ointment to shoppers. Or, discount your prices on all melty stuffs. Or, up your prices and proclaim them Modern Garage Art!”
Why? Because of this:
Saying it was hot is an understatement! And yes, I was holding this yard-sale as a favor for my sister who can’t do it herself, not because I couldn’t get enough of this summer’s record-breaking heat waves, nor that I had a death wish. I really didn’t mind helping my sister.
Why? Because of this:
It’s my recipe for surviving temperatures more fitting a tropical rain forest, sans monkeys and parrots. (Forgive the blur, hard to hold steady when you’re photo’ing yerself!)
When my husband and I were full-time farriers, the only time weather interfered with our work was when temperatures dipped below 15°. And in the Blue Ridge Mountains that occurred for most of December and January. Sometimes November and February, too.
Imagine! Working only 8 months out of the year!
I’ll trade you wallets.
At those temperatures you might as well be driving icicles instead of nails. Add to that the antsy 1200 pound animal already jerking you around trying to increase its body temperature, and the last thing one wants to do is drive an icicle into its foot. Times four. So, we wouldn’t shoe in the coldest depths of winter.
But summer? That was another issue. It’s rare for summer high temperatures to totally stop riding in the mountains. Devoted riders will find a way, early in the morning or even at midnight, but they WILL ride and they WILL need shoes for these gravelly trails. Besides, when you’re a farrier, you’re already used to working around a 2400° forge, what’s a few more degrees?
Starting in June I’d get in the habit of tossing a few wet washcloths into the freezer at night. The next morning, they’d get tossed into Ziploc bags and then into the cooler. Anytime we needed a refresher, we’d take out a washcloth, fold it into a triangle, and then fold again and mold the cloth around our necks. It would still be a little frozen, thus allowing the cloth to stay in place no matter how hard we were jerked or tossed. When the cloth warmed a bit, it was refreshing to use it wipe our whole face, then back in the cooler it went.
On the weekends tending our market garden, or even while canning in an over-heated kitchen, we’d use the cloths again to refresh us. And they stayed on no matter what we were doing.
How to Keep Your Cool:
Washcloths (any cloth will work though terry cloth is preferable for it’s ability to hold water)
Wet cloths and wring out until not dripping. Cloths need to be fairly wet. Lay in freezer already folded into shape (see photos below). As cloths dry out, re-saturate and refreeze.
I revived this technique for the yard sale, and I survived! So if you’ve got gardening, canning, cleaning out the chicken coop, or other hot work to do, try this simple cooling technique. You might like it!
Liz Pike blogs at Horseshoe Gardens.
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Great idea thanks!
I’d never heard of this one, and I’ve actively looked for keeping cool tricks.
We lived an hour from Death Valley for a while; very hot (120) and dry and then moved to Tampa.
On August 11, 2011 at 8:53 am
Kathi N says:
Good post, Liz.
You are a great sister!
On August 11, 2011 at 9:16 am
Liz Pike says:
Thanks Judi and Kathi! It’s a little thing to share, but oh so refreshing! Couldn’t keep it to myself!
On August 11, 2011 at 9:23 am
Another good use for the frozen facecloths is for teething….cold numbs their little gums and the roughness “scratches” their gums a little when they chew on it – good in a pinch when you dont have any ambasol!
On August 11, 2011 at 10:21 am
A good tip, Liz. Thanks!
It reminds me of when I used to work at an elementary school, we would freeze damp sponges in baggies to use as ice packs for when the kiddies would get a boo-boo. Washcloths would have worked too.
On August 11, 2011 at 10:33 am
I have a little item called a “neck cooler” that I want to send to you. I think there are two left and will send both. These don’t go in the freezer, just hydrate with cool water, pop in zipper bag and cool in frig. Take out and tie around neck and later when they are body temp, just refresh with tap water and tie on again. Not quite as cool as straight from the frig, but you will be so surprised at how long they cool you. They are filled with the small water retention pellets that are also used in potted plants. When not in use, just rinse well and hang to dry out; they will be almost flat. My daughter and I made these a few years ago. Contact me at [email protected].
On August 11, 2011 at 10:40 am
My mother taught me this, she is from Arizona and did not have AC growing up. I was about to pass out from heat in the yard one day and she put a wet cloth on my neck. It cooled me off so quickly! Love the idea of freezing them, can’t wait to try it out while doing yardwork this weekend! Another trick when you are in a pinch is to run cold water over your wrists.
On August 12, 2011 at 2:05 am
Liz Pike says:
I love the additional suggestions everyone!
And I emailed you, Dee!
On August 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm