Today Feels Hotter

Brittlebush with fresh leaves and dead flower heads

Greetings, dear readers, from the hot hot heat of Phoenix.  You probably heard that yesterday we had a record high of 119º F.  How hot is that you ask?  So hot that little planes were grounded at Sky Harbor.  So hot that you can smell the oil melting out of the creosote bushes.  So hot that you might swerve away from a shadow on the road because it’s so sharply defined it looks like a three-dimensional object.  So hot that you can dry a sopping wet sweater in a couple hours.  My laziness in washing all my winter woolens paid off: they are now baking dry in the afternoon heat.

Brittlebush with fresh leaves and dead flower heads
Desert plants like the brittlebush frequently look leggy after early spring

Today is a whole two degrees cooler, but somehow it felt hotter.  Perhaps this was because I actually left the house.  This is the second question I get asked by people who have never been to Phoenix in the summer: what do you do when it’s that hot?

You take your morning walk before seven, you water your plants before 7:30 (long rant to go with that one, centered around the pointlessness of xeriscaping with non-native plants, but I will save that for a different day), and if you have to go anywhere later in the day, you bribe yourself with an iced latte from a local coffee shop like Cartel.  They make a mean iced latte, but it was noon when I finally finished my errands and stumbled through their door so I had to up the bribe with one of their gourmet pop tarts too.  It was necessary.

For some of you, today may be significant for the Solstice.  For me, it’s the day Querido and I adopted my best girl Melba.  This year the anniversary is particularly bittersweet because we’ve got a new little girl in the house.  Meet Dorothy Parker, a.k.a. Dottie, a.k.a. Squirrely-Whirly:

Small black and white spotted Chihuahua mix dog and her shadow
This is the face of a dog who hopes you won’t be so cruel as to make her get out of the 117º sun

We love her, and she’s grown to love us, but it’s hard to not compare her to Melba.

Although they’re both Chihuahua mixes, there could not be two dogs more different.  For starters, Dottie has two eyes, and combined with her penchant for jumping I’m continually in fear she will poke one out on my knitting.  Melba very quickly taught us that walking was not a thing she did, whereas Dottie must be walked twice daily or woe betide (see above re: jumping).  Melba did had no use for toys, and Dottie loves anything soft and squeakered.

Black and white Chihuahua mix on a brightly printed Ikea chair
The face

Dottie’s not Melba at all, but she’s a good girl.

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