Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Maybe the heat has gone to my head

Ironically, after all that griping, yesterday turned out to be much cooler than forecast. I don't think the temperature even hit 80, and it was cloudy most of the day and rained in the evening (thank god for our lawn). And the house cooled down considerably, to the mid-70s, and became much more bearable.

Still, the hot days occur often enough (supposedly it's going to be 95 degrees tomorrow) that our interest in a swamp cooler is definitely justified. We made appointments with a couple companies for estimates so we can figure out how much it will really cost. I also did research into rebates and tax credits. It looks like, bizarrely, the federal government gives a tax credit for relatively energy-efficient, mainstream heating and cooling systems like central air, but not for swamp coolers (which use about 25% of the energy that a comparable central AC system would use). However, our local energy company does offer a $200 unit on energy-efficient models, so that would help subsidize the cost as well.

Anyway, we'll see. We'll see what the cost is, we'll assess our budget, and we'll figure out what we want to do. Well, we know what we WANT to do. We'll figure out what is feasible, and reasonable, to do.

And I know Torsten's parents will thank us if we install the swamp cooler, but given that they were too... frugal... to install any kind of cooling system in their home, and instead just sweltered all summer along with their child, if we don't have a swamp cooler by the time they arrive, they will have no leg to stand on when it comes to complaining about it. Still, it would be nice to have a comfortable home to welcome them into, you know?

Speaking of which... Torsten's parents are coming to visit THIS MONTH. They arrive in less than three weeks. And then they stay for three full weeks. But, they are renting a car for the full duration of their stay, and maybe I'm crazy, but I'm kind of looking forward to their visit. This will be the first time they've visited us in Denver, and the first time they've stayed with us as opposed to in a hotel, and I know there will certainly be adjustment issues and whatnot, but also, I think it will be a great bonding experience. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking.

But we are looking forward to showing them Colorado. They've never been out west, and they're big outdoorsy types, so we know they'll love the mountains, and all the beautiful sights and hikes there are around here. Denver seems like their kind of town, and hopefully they'll be relaxed because they don't have to pay for a hotel, and also they like dogs and have always wanted one of their own (and never got one because of the perceived expense of dog ownership) so I think they'll enjoy having Montana around as well.

I know, I'm crazy, looking forward to a three-week visit from the in-laws. But I think it will be good! At the very least it should be interesting. And I'm just so relieved that it's not the four weeks they were originally planning that I am inclined to feel charitable about the whole thing.

I'll let you know how I'm feeling about the visit as the date gets nearer, though. And of course I'll keep you posted during the visit as well. Though of course I can't promise I'll update every day. It's possible I'll be so drained/exhausted that I won't have the energy for anything other than the bare minimum, including blogging. But I'm seriously hoping that won't be the case.


  1. Oh, I think it's perfect that you're looking forward to it. Things that we're optimistic and excited about tend to turn out better than those we're dreading, I think. It definitely has the potential to be a great bonding experience, especially since you mentioned that they love the outdoors and have a car. I think you all will have a great time, swamp cooler or no. (Although you're right, comfiness would probably prevent some grumpiness).

  2. It is VERY good news that you are looking forward to their visit instead of dreading it! I hope it's a good one.

  3. I think you're going to have a fine time with the in-laws. If they start to get in your way or drive you nuts, send them on a walk or to the dog park with Montana. You guys will probably all get into a pretty good rhythm with them there for so long. In any case, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

  4. Oh, I think you're right--it will be fun. Exhausting, but fun. There are so many things to do and explore, and also lots of fun cold social drinks that are just perfect for hot weather + guests.

  5. If you do gripe about the in laws visit, we'll just direct you to this post. ;-)

  6. I think a swamp cooler is similar to the evaporative coolers that we have here. They kinda suck. With the dry heat it's actually pretty warm in our house during the day even with the multitude of ceiling fans we have running during the day and the fact that we run it at the coolest setting.

  7. Glad you have a positive outlook about the in-laws. It can be rough being in close quarters with people for an extended period of time, but I think the fact that they're now renting a car will help quite a bit. And it's great that you all share common interests in the outdoors, dogs, etc. I think they'll really enjoy the visit.

    Sounds like the swamp cooler is going to work out! Here's to a comfortable, cool summer - inside the house, at least! :-)

  8. ha, it cooled waaaay down here today too, and i was COMPLETELY unprepared for it.. wearing a skirt and a sleeveless shirt and shivering to death. WHOOPSIE. i hope the visit goes just as well as you're anticipating! i can't wait to hear about it :-)

  9. I'm glad it's cooled down a bit for you. Jason's parents are coming to visit us in July/August and it's going to be so weird having them HERE in our tiny flat with us. I hope it won't be too hot for them either! :)