Are you one of the few hardy souls still remaining in the summer heat of Arizona? If you are, then you probably think 90 degrees F is cool.

After 15 years, I am told that my blood has thinned out and that I would feel cold at any temperature under 65 degrees F. The latter I have yet to find out.

I must admit there are compensations for staying in the dry heat — less people on the roads, more bargains at the grocery stores, two for one lunches and dinners at local restaurants plus lots of discount coupons for local attractions. My hubby avidly cuts out all these special coupons. Somehow we only get to use a fraction of them – "Let's stay in tonight," are the words he frequently says "and barbeque!" Invariably we don't, barbeque that is. It's too windy, too hot, there's not enough propane, or no foil for the grill. There I go again, cooking!

This summer, I have rebelled. No ovens. No stove top. Microwave? Forget it! Takeout? I don't think so! Choices offered are limited, cold pizza or cold Chinese, cold by the time we get it, that is. No thanks.

So what do we eat, and we have to eat, of course. Last resort is salads. Not too often, as these are considered "rabbit food" by hubby. So out comes the indoor electric grill. I have learned one can cook a lot of different foods on this, from pork chops to pancakes, practically anything but soup. Now that would be a challenge.

The deal is if I cook, I do not clear up.

After our meal, more often than not the wind has dropped off and I go and sit outside to watch the Catalina Mountains change to a blue-grey hue. I delight in our two young boxer dogs they have finally awoken from their day-long snooze. They zoom off all their pent-up energy chasing imaginary lizards around the yard. Hubby has finished his chores. He brings out a tray bearing a teapot, two mugs and two dog bowls. He pours out our tea. The dogs lap theirs up at an incredible pace. Hubby and I sip ours. We are all relaxed.

The mountains are peaceful, spiritual, awesome.

At this moment in time, I can think of no better place to be than here in beautiful sunny, dry heat, Arizona.

Mary Elizabeth http//:, home of Tea Break, your window to the World of Tea.

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