Last year, here in the northeast, May and much of June were so out of character, I think we were all in shock. Constant rains, cool temps...just plays havoc on your need for summer. Fast forward a year, and we are not even at June yet, and we are already in the 90's.
We live in the 2nd and 3rd story of an old victorian. I don't have ac, and frankly, don't want it. I always end up sick from it every year. The drastic temperature changes from inside ac, and then going out into the heat always play heck with my sinuses. So, we are back to the old fashioned way.
Ideally I would have window quilts like these, and someday I will. I grew up in a converted summer camp. We turned it into our home, and gradually over the course of some 37 years or so, my parents pretty much have it the way they want it. One of my mother's solutions to keep the heat out in the summer, and the heat in during the winter was insulated drapes.
These are hugely expensive now, costing upwards of $25 for one panel. YIKES! I however, it a true stroke of luck, found some at our local Family Dollar over the winter for just $10 a panel. I bought 4 for the livingroom windows (they are wide enough to do one panel on each), and 2 for my bedroom windows. I wish I had grabbed more at the time. I didn't realize the kitchen would get the sun so badly in the afternoons. But I am making do.
For the moment I have kraft paper tacked up so when the afternoon sun comes around the house and blazes in the tops of my kitchen windows, it helps keep it out. Not gorgeous by any stretch of the imagination, but serves a purpose. Besides, someone outside will get a nice view, since they were previously the boys book report projects lol.
I have a bunch of those small, lap size, fleece blankets my mother has given me. None are a color I would willingly choose to put up on the windows, because I don't want it to look like a dorm room, but they do a good job of keeping the heat out or in. So my next mission is to find some sheets in my closet that we don't really use, something that doesn't hurt my eyes to look at, and use the blankets as a sort of quilt batting for the center of the window quilts.
Ah, as if my project list weren't long enough already, one more thing to add to it! I will see if Sam wants to help me, now that she has better sewing skills than I do :).
The plants in the garden are surviving since transplant, but don't look healthy by any measure. I watered last night using an improvised milk jug. I didn't get the chance to add an old garden hose to the bottom of my rain barrel (duh!), so I put some nice holes in the bottom of the milk jug. Fill it up, and water away. It works similar to a watering can in that it doesn't just dump all the water hard on the soil, but more gently, so it doesn't damage the sick plants or the hopefully sprouting seed. We will see how the garden looks in a week, I may need to do more seeds if the other plants don't recover.
Be blessed, and stay cool!