OK, lovers of summertime. I need your help. Although I'm a native Texan and I love many things about our great state, I've never been able to handle the heat very well without falling into a state of sadness. Now, that sounds dramatic but I definitely struggle to find as much natural motivation to do things--especially outdoors. Now, I'm not talking about the normal levels of heat we experience in June and even July. I tell ya, though...when August gets here I start contemplating applying to live with the Eskimos.

So, here I shall wait to hear your suggestions to help this cool weather lover survive, dare I say, embrace these dog days of summer. Send all feedback forthwith to taraholley@classicrock961.com.

As I wait for my "phone-a-friends" to come through, I did a bit of light research to help any or all who can relate to my plight.

One area I struggle with in the summer is regarding exercise. I love to take walks--in fact those outdoor jaunts are one of my favorite parts of the day. The thing is, my habit was always to go about 1:30 in the afternoon, right after lunch. Most of the year, this works out fine. Come August--it's definitely not fine nor safe. The first part of the summer I douse myself in crazy high SPF and go for it. Yeah, that's not working anymore. Nor, for the matter, is thinking I could operate well as a human being with my normal water intake.

Yeah, this time of year we have to revise our schedules and drink even more water. I'm a natural night owl, but if I want to get the exercise in I'm going to have to get up earlier and get outside before the sun decides to set the world on fire--and I'm going to have to add at least two more large glasses of water just to stay hydrated. Either that, or I'm going to have to embrace the night even more and take walks after the sun goes down and hope I don't cross paths with a copperhead. *gasp* (Still need to put on that sunscreen though if the sun's up.)

Speaking of the "dog days of summer," we've got to look out for our pets, too. If you're going to be out, please take a friend if you're bringing your dog with you in the car. That way, you can keep the car running to keep everyone nice and cool. Seriously, even if you think you're only leaving them for a few minutes, this heat can cause heartbreaking tragedy quickly.

I'm certainly grateful that East Texas is known for its many large trees. I've definitely been taking advantage of the shade and as consuming as many Popsicles as possible. That helps. In fact I'm having one now.

Gotta go finish my letter to the Eskimos. I look forward to hearing from you. ;)