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    DIY – How to Make A Swamp Cooler! – And Things to Avoid Doing in the Heat

    Summer time and the weather is .. HOT.

    The kind of heat we’ve been having is never a good thing. The humidity mixed in makes this once-amazing California weather feel like we just swapped places with, well, Florida. It causes fights, it causes impatience, it causes frustration. You know when you look at your spouse and you’re just mad at them but you don’t know why? You weren’t mad at them when you woke up. You weren’t even mad at them after your coffee. Actually, when my family sees me drinking a cup of hot coffee they are probably worried that I am trying to kill myself. But suddenly… you’re pissed. Yup. It’s the heat. You start talking crazy, the looney toon in you comes out. With the heat rising and temperature change you turn in to the MR. HYDE version of yourself, or the HULK version, whatever it is, the worst version. The hot weather is not only testing your body, but your temper.

    Things you should avoid doing in this heat:

    • Talking on the phone, you will sound like you are yelling at the person on the other line BECAUSE YOU ARE.
    • Driving with hip hop music, especially “gangsta rap”. I don’t know about you guys, but “gangsta rap” always makes me feel on edge, someone is yelling at you from your radio and you’re already like “damn! take a chill pill…” and then they start rapping about how much money they have and all their hoes and here you are stuck on the 15 south in traffic and the frustration just increases.
    • Making any important life decisions. Just don’t. Any important decision you wanna make right now, save it for later. You’re not thinking straight and you know it. Reach that decision in November or something.
    • Talking to your spouse. Really, it’s good to communicate but you just swatted their hands off you last night because how dare they put their sweaty big arms on you while you’re in bed trying to just snuggle up on the cold pillow that has 3 seconds of cold left until you have to flip it over to the other side for another 8 seconds of cold. Just avoid conversations.
    • Soup. I mean, most food should be served hot, but hot soup going down your throat when it’s 100 degrees out is telling your body and those around you that you just hate yourself.
    • Going for a walk. Don’t walk if you don’t have to. Unless it’s okay to end up at your destination looking your absolute worst.
    • Working out mid-day.
    • Staying home all day if there’s no AC. Goodness, if you can go out, by all means, hit the mall, hit the beach, go somewhere, any where that it might be 20 degrees cooler and you’re not paying for it. We killed 30 minutes at World Market the other day. Just cause. I had nothing to buy and no intention other than to go in there with my kids and kill time for half an hour. We sat in one of their made-up living rooms and pretended like it was ours and just sat and did nothing. Right after that we spend another 45 minutes in a grocery store. Just walking up and down the aisles and hanging out looking at every single ice cream they offered.

    What’s more annoying than this heat is the constant talk about it and the constant whining about it so I am gonna STOP RIGHT THERE.

    We thought: duh! Air conditioning! Why should we struggle in this heat when we have central air? Well, a couple of the rooms upstairs have no ventilation. Just none. It’s the way this place was built and so the only room in the house that gets any sort of cool air when it’s turned on is the dining room! That, and our electricity bill was pushing $400 from the AC being left on throughout the month. We had to find a better solution. One night while Googling mini AC units, we came across some “DIY Swamp Cooler” videos, like this one. : 

    Yes, yes I know it looks horribly tacky, but you know what’s tackier? Wasting $400 a month on AC that hardly works and all of us sweating in this place and wanting to choke each other.

    How to Make it:

    So I sent my husband (this is the FIRST INSTRUCTION by the way! Haha! Ladies.. make your husband do this.. but if he’s anything like mine, he watches videos like the ones above and laughs to himself saying, “psh! I can do that.”) to Lowe’s to purchase the little plastic piping ($3), the bathroom fan/exhaust ($13) .. and the coolers? Well they sell them there for $2 but we had a big cooler from the winter from when we purchased these amazing meats from Omaha Steak. That, some ice packs and you are set! Make sure you have an extra extension cord to plug in to the fan (since the cord is super small), pack up enough ice in to it and turn it on! Within seconds there is COOL AIR coming out and it’s like having a fan on all day. We have a second fridge in the garage, and we’ve since had plastic buckets of tap water turned in to ice that we use instead of having to go out and purchase it all the time. Just freeze your own if you have the space! We have two of these now, and seriously… love them. I don’t care how ugly they are, maybe I’ll have the kids decorate them and make them even uglier… the point is… it’s like plugging in a mini fan.. that blows out COLD air!

    Thought I would share this one with you guys! I would suggest getting a cooler that’s a bit thick, like the steak one we used. If you buy those $2 ones, you might wanna buy two of them, and stack the bottoms ones so they’re thicker/more insulated so the ice lasts longer. To those of you who try this, let me know how it goes! 🙂 Have a great week friends, stay cool! 😉


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    Photography by: Jeff and Talia Cruz

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