So…it’s hot.  Have I mentioned that yet?  Because it’s really, really hot.  This is already the kind of summer where I wish I was a snowbird and had a summer home in some much cooler clime.  Like Siberia.

I know, I’ve used this photo before on this blog.  I don’t care.  Non-Arizonans need to understand how painful this part of the country can be sometimes.
But!  The last few weeks, I have been testing out a brilliant heat-beating idea.

See, one of my jobs (and I feel sometimes like I have many many jobs) is petsitting.  And lately I’ve been doing a lot of dog walking, often during the hottest part of the day, since people who work all day will ask the dog walker (me) to come in the middle of the work day so that the dog will have some companionship while the owner is at work.  Now, I love walking, and I love my doggie charges, but…yowza, it’s hot.

But here is my solution: I make it, and it goes in a bottle like this:

It’s a cooling spray!  I take it along with me when I dog-walk, I spray it all over myself before I go out into the midday heat, and my clothes become an evaporative cooler.  It’s pretty neat.

But it’s not just water…no, it also has this:

Peppermint oil!  Now, please be cautious: you’re really not supposed to use this undiluted, so don’t just go pouring the vial of peppermint oil all over yourself.  If you use too much, it actually burns instead of cools and defeats the whole purpose.
I put several drops of it into the spray bottle (maybe twenty droplets, I wasn’t counting exactly…but not too many or it’ll be so minty it’ll burn), and then I fill the rest of the spray bottle with regular, cold water.  
You gotta shake it up before you use it, too – oil and water don’t mix, but if you shake them they can at least commingle and get to know each other a little.
My mint plant in the snow.  This is how cool this spray will make you feel.
Does it work?  Well, in such a dry climate, it does evaporate pretty fast unless you spray a LOT on yourself.  So if you’re out in the sun for up to an hour, as I sometimes am, it wears off after a bit.  But when you put it on it does produce a lovely cooling effect.  And it also makes you and your clothes smell like mint, instead of like a sweaty person.   Although I’m sure the dogs I walk don’t care what I smell like, as long as they get to go for walks.
So try it out, if you live in a hot climate and you have to be outside a lot!  I imagine it would work well for warm-weather craft fairs and farmer’s markets, too (and I may have a few more of those coming up, we’ll see!).  Test it out and tell me if it works for anyone else but me, or if it’s just psychosomatic.  And of course, if you’re going to be outside in the heat, please also wear sunscreen and drink lots of water.  But you knew that already, I hope.