Tag Archives: heat wave

Keeping cool

5 Jun

We are having a heat wave. It was almost 100°F yesterday and will be so again today. What better way to pass the time, locked in the only room with air conditioning, than by reading about the Arctic.


The title tells you what the book, by Peggy Caravantes, is all about: Marooned in the Arctic:The True Story of Ada Blackjack, the Female Robinson Crusoe.

Goodreads Summary:In 1921, four men ventured into the Arctic for a top-secret expedition: an attempt to claim uninhabited Wrangel Island in northern Siberia for Great Britain. With the men was a young Inuit woman named Ada Blackjack, who had signed on as cook and seamstress to earn money to care for her sick son. Conditions soon turned dire for the team when they were unable to kill enough game to survive. Three of the men tried to cross the frozen Chukchi Sea for help but were never seen again, leaving Ada with one remaining team member who soon died of scurvy. Determined to be reunited with her son, Ada learned to survive alone in the icy world by trapping foxes, catching seals, and avoiding polar bears. After she was finally rescued in August 1923, after two years total on the island, Ada became a celebrity, with newspapers calling her a real “female Robinson Crusoe.” The first young adult book about Blackjack’s remarkable story, Marooned in the Arctic includes sidebars on relevant topics of interest to teens, including the use cats on ships, the phenomenon known as Arctic hysteria, and aspects of Inuit culture and beliefs. With excerpts from diaries, letters, and telegrams; historic photos; a map; source notes; and a bibliography, this is an indispensable resource for any young adventure lover, classroom, or library.

Fortunately for those of us in the Pacific Northwest, we won’t have wait as long as Ada for relief. We will be back to normal May temperatures by Wednesday.

My summer footwear dilemma – a Slice of Life Story

7 Jul


For me, footwear is pretty black & white: I either wear shoes and socks, or I go barefoot. There are a few exceptions. I have Birkenstocks, but usually wear them with socks. Yup.  I have a pair of heelless mules for dress up.  And I have a pair of old lined Crocs that I consider my slippers. During the summer, I am usually barefoot in the house. As we go into day 8 of our heat wave, I have encountered a footwear dilemma.

I have been limiting the girls’ walks. We take an early morning walk, but after that, I take them outside for brief potty breaks. Normally, I put on my slippers to do this. But, my slippers are too warm these days. I don’t like to be barefoot during a potty break, just in case. Putting on shoes & socks is a lot of work for a brief stint outside. So, I came to the conclusion I needed flip-flops.

So, I bought a pair. I decided to get this cute pair.


But, I don’t really like walking in them.They are comfortable enough, but I tend to curl my toes while I walk to keep them from falling off. This makes going down steps a little tricky. I’m not sure why I am so inept at walking in flip-flops. It shouldn’t be this hard, should it? I don’t wear high heels because I never really learned to walk in them, but I used to walk easily in flip-flops. What happened to me? Maybe it is just lack of practice. As the heat wave rolls on I hope I will become more adept.

Great weather….if you are a tomato

2 Jul

A few months ago, I bought two tomato plants from a friend’s fundraiser. I knew that they’d be Ok while I was away at ALA because everyone knows it rains in Oregon until the 4th of July. Except this year. We are experiencing something of a long-term heat wave and drought. Kind neighbors agreed to water my plants while I was away and they are thriving. I even have my first fruit.


I am not a fan of the 90+ degree weather we are having and I am thankful for my window air conditioner that makes sleeping comfortable. The forecast seems to indicate that we will be in the 90’s through Tuesday.

While I was at ALA, I got a ridiculous number of advance reader copies of novels. I got a few non-fiction arcs too. One of them was The Rain Wizard: The Amazing Mysterious True Life of Charles Mallory Hatfield by Larry Dane Brimner.


Publisher’s summary:In December 1915, San Diego’s leaders claimed the town’s reservoirs were nearly dry. Knowing the city would not survive and grow unless it had water, they hired Charles Mallory Hatfield, whose skills at making rain were legendary. But when torrents and torrents of rain came, disaster struck. Roads were closed, people drowned, and dams burst. The town elders blamed Hatfield and refused to pay him. Was Hatfield really a rain wizard, or simply a fraud? Renowned author Larry Dane Brimner examines the man and the myth by relying on personal recollections from growing up in California, as well as extensive research. Readers will be captivated by Hatfield—a man once known as the Frankenstein of the air—and his secret rainmaking formulas. Includes author’s note, source notes, and bibliography.

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