How to Keep Cool During the Dog Days of Summer

How to Keep Cool During the Dog Days of Summer

As we head into the Dog Days of Summer, I can barely see the calendar through the sweltering haze and stifling heat. I don’t think that I’ve ever been so hot that I don’t want to open my eyes, but I’m almost there. It’s so warm out that I had to move my hammock into the shade of the house so I’m out of direct sunlight.

The other day I was outside, laying down, squinting my eyes to help me focus on falling asleep and I noticed it. Peeling paint. After a rainy Spring and a hot, dry Summer, the paint is peeling. I knew that my castle needed painting, but I didn’t realize it was this bad. I remember when I painted it the last time, years ago. I thought I would have moved from this house by now.

I remember thinking that paint is paint. So why not go the cheaper route and do it myself?

Turns out that I didn’t save any money. I bought a lot of paint and all of the tools to help: rollers, poles, gloves, tape, apron, hat, two-story ladder (which is still like new, except for that paint spill…), delicious snack-packs (it was a really tall ladder) and any other tool that looked fun. It took me weeks to finish and I spent more time dangling on the ladder than a circus performer. It ended up costing a lot of money, a lot of time, and more aggravation than I ever thought possible! I decided then and there, NEVER AGAIN.

This time, I’m hiring a professional company. I looked around at a lot of companies. I had used Fresh Coat Painters before on my kitchen cabinets, they did a great job, were reasonably priced and the craftsmen who did the work were fantastic. They’re insured, bonded, licensed, they actually showed up on time and they didn’t “adjust” their bill. I’ve heard so many horror stories, that I shouldn’t have considered using anyone else. When you find a company that you trust, stick with them.

They have the tools to help me think about the right color, they understand the paint that I need and they have the training and skills to do it right. There are certain things that I will now leave for the professionals, painting and appendectomies are top of my list. (The appendectomy is a story for another day.)

I looked them up on the internet at, read their reviews, scheduled a quote and I went back to sleep.

Not exerting extra energy and relaxing are two of my hobbies. (Some might argue that they are the same thing but trust me when I tell you that I am an expert at both and my wife has heard my pronounced differentiation of them.)

The day that they were scheduled to paint, they arrived on time. Having craftsmen show up on time is such an unexpected event (this shout-out is for you cable technician). The way they went about their business, I knew that I could rest easy. So that’s what I did.

As I was lying outside, watching the professionals do their thing, I thought about how hot it would be if I had to climb that ladder. I started thinking of creative ways to keep cool. If you know any, please share them. I’m always looking for ideas to make my “Slumber Sling” more comfortable.

Here is what I’ve come up with so far…

Run cold water or ice cubes over your wrists for a few minutes. (I do not recommend using lemonade, it attracts bugs.)

Place a cold cloth on your neck and leave it there. (This seems so natural when I am reclined!)

Eat small meals rather than large ones because digestion raises the body’s temperature. (I like to call this snacking.)

Don’t turn on the oven! Cook outside using the grill. (I can rest quite comfortably while I’m grilling on low temperatures.)

Use overhead (ceiling) fans if you have them. Change the direction on the fan so that it is blowing down. For floor fans, place a bowl of ice behind the fan. This helps to cool the air.

Keep cool, stay safe, hire professionals to paint (and perform minor surgery) and don’t forget to share your chilly tips with me. 

Relaxing while the professional painters do the work

Ken Talum –