Tag: Summer

The Hot Hot Heat

“It was luxuries like air conditioning that brought down the Roman Empire.  With air conditioning their windows were shut, they couldn’t hear the barbarians coming.”
– Garrison Keillor

It is a truth Americanly acknowledged that lack of air conditioning makes all other problems, including those of moving to a new country when said country has enacted new visa laws, pale in comparison.  Whiny?  Yes.  Wimpy?  Undoubtedly.  But the fact remains, kittens, that C.’s and 100 degree weather simply do not mix, and the effects on J.’s isn’t too much better.


The air went out sometime Thursday night and the repair guy has been over several times to.  The first time he inspected the cupboard where all the machinery is located and said, “The problem is that your unit is 30 years old, and that some of the wiring’s loose.”  So he tightened up the wiring, the air became cooler, and he left.

Thirty minutes later the heat was back and so was the repairman.  This time he climbed up to the roof and checked a couple of other flats’ units.  “The problem,” he declared, “is that your unit’s 30 years old, the coolant is about 2 gallons beneath what it’s supposed to be, and the wood holding up the roof unit is has rotted out from under it.  And the fan just exploded when I looked at it.”  Oh.  Goody.

Apparently he came back a third time to check out some other flats again and the real underlying issue is, “The unit – all the units – are about 30 years old.”  No one saw that one coming.  In any event, the cold (ha!) truth is that the only permanent solution is upgrading everything.  He’s going to fix our fan, hopefully soon, so that we can at least get some air moving through the flat, but it’s only a band-aid solution over the bullet hole.

We tried to hold out, we honestly did, but Saturday afternoon when the thermostat was at the end of it’s ability and incapable of reading any higher, we called my in-laws and begged to be allowed to sleep in their basement that night.  And like the wonderful people they are, they said yes.  Last night the blessed clouds rolled in so we went home and opened every window in the flat, regardless of rain and managed quite well, but if we don’t get this fixed soon there will be dark, dark consequences.  Or I may just throw in the towel, park myself on the bed with a glass of iced tea and a fan, and start speaking in an exaggerated Southern drawl.  You know.  Whatever comes first.

And after I've recovered from the vapors... I will END YOU.

Mother. Nature.

“Nature’s all well in her place, but she mustn’t be allowed to make things untidy.”
– Cold Comfort Farm

Pictured: Summer, after a particularly impressive bender.

Of course, summer is moving towards its inevitable end.  Though not quite in her death throes, she’s sensing that they’re not far off and so is  looking to have a last fling with a boy a third of her age, wear skirts that are far too short, and spend all her money rather than let her grasping nephew Fall get a penny of it.  In other words, generally behaving badly.

The other day J. called me up.
“Are you coming home for lunch?” he asked.
“Wasn’t planning on it.  Why?”
“Because you need to go to the store.”
“Again, why?”
“Because you need to pick up ant traps and spray.”

Summer's attack German Shepherd. And although I didn't catch a glimpse of this guy, I am sure he was lurking back behind the suitcases.

Augh!  Apparently ants had descended on our flat.  They were crawling in from a closet runner, bent on global domination (For the record, Mum, our flat is in no way in a state to attract the wildlife, please don’t wring your hands and bemoan anything).  Anyway, I dashed home armed with chemicals, J. vacuumed everything, sprayed and booby-trapped our closet to the point that those famed nuclear-resistant cockroaches of lore couldn’t survive, and we waited with baited breath to see if it had worked.  So far, nary a six-legged fiend has been sighted.

However, marshalling the ants to send them indoors was only Old Lady Summer getting drunk at her granddaughter’s wedding.  She finished the night by climbing up on the buffet table, shaking her bon-bon, and collapsing spectacularly into the punch.

That night we had a massive lightning storm.  I read later that in a half hour period we had nearly 150 lightning strikes in the area.  And unlike normal storms, where the flashes and rumbles are spaced out a bit, this was explosion after explosion for hours.  Neither J. nor I slept because every few seconds our whole room would light up and it would sound like someone had cracked a whip right next to our heads.  And this sort of weather has continued, with varying degrees of intensity, for the last three days now.  The power was knocked out yesterday, making getting home from work a nightmare.

Small Dog gets Summered-out.

Summer and I have a middling relationship.  Round about February of each year I whine and long for sunlight, but as soon as we’ve made it through July, I start glaring at bank signs along the road with their publicly displayed roasting temperatures and start mumbling things like, “October sounds good.  I could do October right now.”

*Photo of cracked old biddy, from mygutinstinct.wordpress.com
*Photo of the vile insect invader, still from the 1954 film Them!
*Photo of my approximate face come mi-August from: findavet.us/blog/2010/04/how-to-keep-your-dog-safe-in-the-heat/