Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Living out in the middle of an irrigated desert isn't too bad. We have city water that comes from wells drilled into the aquifer, irrigation water that comes from the mountains, and this lovely invention called "air conditioning" which allows our houses to be out in the open and yet still be habitable.

And all goes well until one of the technological supports fails.

Like yesterday morning, when I noticed it was getting increasingly warm in my room. I checked the temperature, and sure enough, it was rising slowly. Then I checked the air vents... uh oh. The air coming out was about the same temperature as the air in the room. Which meant the AC was broken.

I quickly moved my work space downstairs. I had too much to do to be delayed by heat. Then I suggested to hubby-Eric that we call the AC service. He was temporarily hesitant - money flow issues - but agreed when I noted that there was a really good chance they wouldn't be out right away, and getting a call in sooner would be better.

I was right, for once, as my first attempt to call resulted in a busy signal. My second attempt resulted in them scheduling an appointment for today, because they were all booked up for Monday.

So the only thing remaining was to survive THE HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR SO FAR with no air conditioning.

No joke, we had an excessive heat warning yesterday. And yes, the outside temps got to 106F (41C) according to our thermometer.

I worked in the living room, getting through as much of my stories as I could manage in a slowly heating house. We usually have the temp at 75F (24C) in the summer, and that's tolerable. I noticed that it was getting hotter about the time the gauge hit 79F (26C) upstairs. Eric made us a nice cool lunch (sandwiches) and we avoided using anything that might increase the heat of the house. Inkwell reveled in the comfortable warmth, although he drank a LOT more water than usual.

The temps were about 86F (30C) and I was unable to think clearly at about 5 p.m. I had already decided to go out to the town next door to get a story, and Eric decided that he would go with me. I'd go do my photos and interviews and then we'd visit a restaurant I'd been wanting to visit for a few years, but just hadn't had the opportunity.

We left the house just before 6 p.m., after feeding Inkwell and making sure he had extra water, just in case. He seemed amused, and stretched out on the carpet. I think he genuinely liked the heat.

Getting to the fairgrounds just after 6 p.m., I wandered around to get my photos and story and chatted with people and ended up in the wonderfully cool main office (oh, AC, how we missed you!). They gave us ice water. I love fair and rodeo people. They know how to take care of you. Then Eric and I headed to Eli and Kathy's restaurant. Again, wonderful wonderful AC in the store. It was the first time I'd been in the place, but I'd heard plenty of good reviews. It was a standard burger joint, with lots of shakes (Eric got a cherry shake, I got a chocolate peanut butter shake) and BIG portions.

After a decent meal, we got a banana split to share. It was HUGE. We weren't in any particular hurry to get home, so we took our time. My only complaint about the restaurant is that the booths were too small for me to sit really comfortably. There were some tables with pull out chairs, and in retrospect I wish I'd picked those to sit in.

We headed home after dinner. I fully intended to write up my story last night, but I was stuffed and overheated. Once in the house, I opened all the upstairs windows and we prepped the hide-a-bed downstairs to sleep in, since upstairs was just way too hot. About 8 p.m. I found myself unable to stay awake. It was 90F (32C) in the house and a couple of degrees warmer outside. I just opened all the windows and collapsed onto the hide-a-bed in a sweat.

Eric moved the floor fan to aim it at the hide-a-bed, and connected it up to one of the outlets controlled by a light switch. As it turned out, this was useful. very early in the morning it finally cooled down enough that I had to turn the fan off.

The house was blessedly cool in the morning, only 70F (21C) and I closed the windows facing the sunrise. I had breakfast and wrote my story from last night, then closed the rest of the windows because it was already 80F (27C) outside and getting warmer. The service tech for the AC arrived when the inside temps were just getting up to 80F.

The AC had a broken capacitor. Apparently a LOT of capacitors on ACs in town have been going out due to the recent heatwaves (we've had temps of just over 100F (38C) for a few weeks). Within minutes of replacing the part, the house started to cool down.

I ended up having to take a nap to make up for lost sleep due to the heat, but overall it was a painless experience. The house only got up to about 90F inside, which isn't too bad, and we made it through the night. Inkwell seemed unbothered by the heat, but then he's a cat. I haven't finished the work I intended to do, because I'm still recovering brain cells (I figured writing this all out would help the process) but otherwise I think I'm fine.

Yeah, it's not too bad, living in an irrigated desert. Not too bad.