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This past week has brought us record breaking heat throughout the west and in our part of Montana. Temperatures here have been in the 90s when they often are in the 70s. Down south of us a bit temperatures were hitting 100. It has been so hot that the finishes I was putting on our new flat box furniture were melting.

Some of our "box-lot" Waterford crystal glistening on the hand rubbed finish of our flat box table. The chairs are antiques found on ebay. After days of loving care, they are restored to use.

Some of our “box-lot” Waterford crystal glistening on the hand rubbed finish of our “flat box” table. The chairs are antiques found on ebay. After days of loving care, they are restored to use.

We turned the air conditioning part of our new single stage, variable speed heat pump system on. Now that the full HVAC system is installed, we have been very positive about the whole house heat pump. The mini split, or ductless, heat pump we have in the basement apartment is either very good and the apartment is an extraordinary challenge for climate control or it is not quite to our liking. We could never get the “cruise ship” apartment warm and when we finally did, we could never get it cooled back off. We kept different wardrobe pieces scattered across the 380 square feet of the apartment in order to accommodate our bodies to the environment.

The air conditioning in the main house on our full-size heat pump works great, just like the heating function does. We almost did not get a heat pump having swooned at the price compared to a furnace. We finally decided to proceed on faith that the heat pump would be greener and eventually save us money. Right off we had some savings as our local Electric Cooperative is giving a $1000 rebate and a reduced kwH cost. It is too soon to tell how the heating and cooling energy costs will go but we are hopeful. The thing we most like is that the air is well distributed across the house which is a challenge in a house with a vaulted ceiling and a loft-level floor.

The heating and cooling is perfectly distributed right onto my desk in our loft-level floor. For the 15 years we lived in our now deceased house I froze to death and sometimes it snowed on my desk. We never identified the source of the air infiltration but my corner had an air flow that constantly brought cold air and took warm air from my spot. When we built this new house we needed to put a duct, with a register, right beside my desk. I said, “Goodie! I won’t be cold,” knowing that a full register in the sloped ceiling three feet from my shoulder could be downright unpleasant. I thought about the warmth in winter. What I did not think about was the summer when cool air was supposed to be there.

After a long time away from the desk since I did not have a desk, now that I have one again, I thought it would be nice to do some work at my new desk. Every time I tried to work I would get cold and wander off to do something else, usually of questionable importance. Before I came up tonight and knuckled down to do some paperwork, I brought a big mug of decaffeinated coffee with me. I gathered up a prayer shawl the ladies at our old church had made for us after the fire and I marched with intention to my desk. After about 20 minutes I was shivering. Teeth chattering, I staggered over to a heap of “to be unpacked” boxes where I had espied a cast-off fleece jacket. Armed with the coffee, the jacket, and the prayer shawl now a lap robe, I thought for sure I could work. I was too cold.

I considered going to bed since it is late and the bed would be warm. I reconsidered the paperwork and a promise to a friend to get something back to her and knew bed was not the answer. I marched downstairs and replaced the coffee dregs with nice, hot tea. That should do it. That, and the blue painter’s tape and the bubble wrap I came upstairs with. Bubble wrap is one of the world’s great inventions. Tonight, the bubble wrap is held in place on the register with blue painter’s tape.

My desk is not warm but between the fleece jacket, prayer shawl, mug of tea, bubble wrap and the blue painter’s tape I am not shivering to death.

As the temperatures stabilized following the heat-pump induced attempt to cool the rest of the house, I realized that the new heat pump had a warm desk in mind for me. I won’t be cold this winter. Bubble wrap and tea in hand, now I won’t be cold this summer either.