Don't we all wonder how people who work outdoors can STAND it when the weather's as brutally hot and humid as it was last week?  I sure do, so I stopped to ask a few people who spent the week working at Homestead Gardens' Davidsonville store, where fans like the one above were going full-blast.

First I asked perennials manager Lisa Winters, who's outdoors all day and looked so hot and sweaty, I took pity on her and didn't ask for a current photo.  (Here she is looking pretty cleaned up, except for the dirty hands she's proudly displaying.)

Lisa has lots of heat-survival tips for the perennials staff ("my people"):  mandatory hats, five minutes every hour in front of the fans, Gatorade, no heavy meals, and if they're really feeling the heat, cooling off in the air-conditioned Home Styles Department.  I asked about bothersome insects in her department and learned that no one's noticed any ticks, and that mosquitoes can be a problem but only in the early morning.  (Pollinating insects, not aggressive to humans, are always welcome.)

Good Techniques

Gene Sumi is demonstrating an important heat-beating technique in the photo above - taking in what looks like chilled water.  The other technique he used last week?  Taking vacation days! 

Above right is Sharon Sparrow in the Home Deco Department.  She told me she sometimes places a wet towel around her neck for relief, but best of all, everyone in her department is filtered through the air-conditioned Home Styles room, where they enjoy total relief.

Here's Heidi Jensen exhibiting the blissful state enjoyed by staffers during their coveted Home Styles rotation.

Personal Tips

And I have one more tip of my own to pass along - something I learned from an avid golfer I was once married to.  

We're always told to carry water bottles with us but honestly, I won't drink it unless it's cold, preferably ice cold.  So as illustrated by these photos of my own freezer, I save my water containers, fill them 1/2 to 2/3 full with water, freeze them, then fill them with tap water before leaving home with one of them.  That way, I have ice-cold water for hours. For longer periods away from home take the largest containers possible.  Just make sure they're upright in your freezer until frozen, after which they can be stored on their side.

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