staying hydrated and cheerful at Flintstone Manor

It was 107℉ in Manhattan today, and a mere 82℉ out here. The humidity is a draw - damp and sticky everywhere. Around 7 p.m. we went down to the beach, and the mere sight of all that water was cooling. Our pool feels like the kind of bath gently given to elderly invalids. I'll be ready for that soon enough, but not right now, please. An ambitious couple were building a wood fire with off-cuts from a construction site, in an iron tub on legs. No Boy Scout he, he was working with crumpled newspaper and a butane candle-lighter. They also had several bags of groceries. They and we and the Piping Plovers had the beach to ourselves. It's not legal to make bonfires on the beach, but when that law was enacted nice people would never have considered cooking in front of others, in a re-purposed African Violet Planter, no less! and so there's a handy loophole if your kitchen is too hot to roast a leg of mastodon for your beloved.

The Piping Plovers are not a family bagpipe band, as one might think, but small birds that make seasonal visits to the part of the beach that you have to walk on to get to where you can sit down and watch the kids at the water's edge or the guys taking their shirts off or other beautiful scenery or hilarious sights. And during these visits, the Piping Plovers build invisible nests and lay teeny tiny eggs, which many kinds of wildlife find irresistibly delicious. Whatever isn't consumed by house pets, marauding Goth raccoons or larger birds is at risk of being crunched by the feet of unknowing beachgoers. Kindly Town authorities put up little teeny protective fences around the nesting grounds to protect the nests from humans; as to other predators, I guess the plovers are on their own. The Piping Plover is protected under federal law as an endangered species, although in my opinion perhaps it wouldn't be in quite so much danger if it learned to build its nests up in the trees where most people don't walk.

It was very clear that Campfire Boy wasn't going to invite us to join them, and Plover Chowder wasn't on the menu either, so we decided the smart thing to do in this heat was to try to stay hydrated. This is what people have been telling us all week. "Stay hydrated" has replaced "Enjoy!" and "Have a good day!" and "You take care now!" Such continued concern for my well-being from total strangers makes me feel that I'm part of a larger community of caring, fretting neurotics, kind of like my family only without the requirement of getting stuck in traffic to visit them on days of national significance. Not sure I am worthy of all this worry, but I'm hydrating like crazy. If it's cold and has bubbles and is in a glass, mug or stein, I welcome its hydrating effect.
So much so, in fact, that I hear myself slosh as I walk, and that splash-y sound you're hearing is the noise my damp fingers make as I type. So just water or a water substitute wouldn't do this evening.

Fortunately on the way back from the beach, Himself remembered that our local Gazette had recently published a recipe for Mojito Popsicles. I've been meaning to do something about all that mint anyway, and the good thing about this recipe is that you don't have to "muddle" the mint leaves. You collect the ingredients, put them together in something with a spout, puree with stick-blender, and pour into popsicle mold. Or, if you're me and threw out the popsicle mold when it leaked orange-mango-disgust-a-bev all over the freezer, you can use the little 3-ounce paper cups from one of the guest bathrooms. If you do that, you need to put the sticks in when the stuff is has frozen to the point of being mushy. It freezes verrry slowly because it contains RUM, which is the IDEA. So our pops are still in the freezer and we have had to hydrate ourselves with the rest of the rum and the other cold things we found in cans and bottles in the fridge, and we are just as hydrated and cheerful as any well-wisher could hope. And tomorrow we'll see if the popsicles have the same merry effect. Oh, the Mojito is the one to the far right. The others sounded too much like work. And to all a good night.

Oh, and how are you staying hydrated and otherwise coping with the heat wave? Staying inside under a/c and shopping? Um, please share!


  1. Only the second day with heat here, so I am not at risk of becoming dehydrated. What I like to do is make ice cubes using sparkling water. They cool drinks much faster.

  2. Rose, I never thought of that! Great idea!


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