June 10th, 2008
04:43 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Catching up

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

You’ve seen the pictures of homes being swept from their foundations, broken in half, carried away by the flood waters in the Midwest. Imagine what it must be like for the people who once lived in those houses to see their homes final moments on a continuous TV loop. Some incredible accounts are coming in to us.


I walk by a poster for “Alicia in Africa” almost everyday, and keep forgetting to look it up. Lucky for me, CNN.com put it on the homepage today. A great read from Alicia Keys – it’s a preview of her upcoming documentary about her time in Africa and about AIDS. I can’t wait to see it next month. In the meantime, here’s that preview.

There are plenty of days when I’d love to grab a little power nap in at the office. Today is a perfect example - not exactly a solid night’s sleep chez us last night. This heat wave makes it tough for all of us to sleep because we are without A/C. We do have two air conditioners, but they’re in CT, scheduled to arrive in the City with my parents on Sunday. I thought we’d be fine with some fans until then, despite the rumors of a heat wave. I even said to my husband, “ We’ll be fine. People did this for centuries dressed in wool! Surely we can survive a few days.” That lasted about 24 hours. I don’t care about the people of yesteryear in wool; I care about my overheated brood.

My little guy was up at 4:30am this morning; it was just too hot to sleep. I can’t blame him. Our poor dog Jake – all 75 pounds of him – has never looked so miserable. My husband snuck him into a fountain (shh – don’t tell!) the other night and he was in heaven. Too bad for Jake he had to come back to our apartment sauna after that brief bit of heaven.

Anywho… after that 4:30am wakeup, there wasn’t a lot of sleep to be had. This is a day I’d LOVE to catch a few afternoon zzz’s, though it’s not something I’d do on the clock. For plenty of people, though, on the job naps are part of their daily routine. Of course, not all bosses are behind them.


I am so bummed about the tomatoes! One of the many things I love about summer is the delicious tomatoes…nothing like tomatoes fresh from the garden or local farmer’s market drizzled with a little olive oil and sea salt. Yum, yum, yum. I love tomato salads, tomato sandwiches, grilled tomatoes, you name it. I can only hope we’ll be able to enjoy some of those goodies in the coming months. There’s a great page on CNN.com to help you figure out which tomatoes to avoid.

Filed under: Erica Hill • Erica's News Note
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. michelle: Ont,Canada

    Hi Erica

    I here you on the tomatoes! What is is world coming to with e the rising gas prices the food supply is comaninted what's next?
    I hope you get some welcome releif soon and hopefully you have a cuple fans oing that should help a little ,maybe you could sleep in Anderson's office it's problobly cool in there and since he's not around to revel in the coolness although he's cool enough he doen't need it anyway ,well just try to get in three when you can.

    Michelle ,ontario Canada

    June 11, 2008 at 8:49 am |
  2. George Taylor

    It's OK John. Just eat this. I PROMISE you'll be feeling better in no time!

    George Taylor
    Vancouver Canada

    June 11, 2008 at 2:31 am |
  3. gregg peterson

    Just another public servant serving BIG OIL breakfast in bed!!!

    June 11, 2008 at 2:30 am |
  4. Julie San Diego, CA

    Lorie Ann,

    Go look up "the vapors". You'll get a good laugh...it has multiple meanings. My neighbor's dog gets the vapors all the time. He clears the room. He can make our eyes water.

    Hope YOUR tomatoes are doing OK. How big are they now?

    June 11, 2008 at 12:36 am |
  5. Bren from Atlanta

    I'm feeling totally spoiled in my older years! I never had a/c in my younger years. I grew up in the south pacific as a navy brat and slept on the porch if I got too hot or the lanai. In 1991 I moved to Atlanta from York , PA and 3 houses later, my house now has 2 a/c units. One up, one down. Same for the heat. Every thing is so cozy. I do mind the temps and am conservative however. I just turned it on this week and it is set at 75.

    Tomatoes? The best southern thing next to raw is the famous fried green tomatoes. I dare samella or any other nasty to make it through that process. I am not eating any raw tomatoes until the scare is over though.

    Your tales are the best and make me remember when my babes were little. Take care m'lady.

    June 10, 2008 at 11:29 pm |
  6. Diana

    Which country or countries in Africa did she visit?

    June 10, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  7. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Erica,
    Today it's tomatoes, tomorrow it will no doubt be something else. Makes you really wonder what on earth is going on with the food supply?
    Heat waves are a real thrill, aren't they? I'm with you, when it's too warm to sleep, I could really care less to hear how the pioneer women braved the heat in their 20 tons of clothing! Good for them, but they also had fainting couches for the vapors...Came in handy I'm sure! Good luck on getting some ac. Take Care

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    June 10, 2008 at 9:50 pm |
  8. Kiran

    Hey Erica!

    The image of that house being ripped in half and then crumbling is just crazy!!
    LoL, yea I agree with Pati! Just sneak into Anderson's office and take a nap on his sofa, since he'll be gone all week. Don't worry, we won't tell him...unless he reads this blog, but he's probably really busy, wherever he is! =)

    Hope you are anchoring tonight and all week Erica...we love watching you!!!

    June 10, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  9. Sara.Ro

    Wow! Your post today fits my son's tastes . He's 3 y o but he adores tomatoes, Alicia and P C Dolls. Actually he starts understand english listening them songs:)
    It's so bad without A/C, we need it for warmer night or days because in my area is still cold, still using a radiator. Most people use cold drinks when there are canicular days.
    In Midlest there is the custom to drink hot tea or ayran against the heat . I think it depends on DNA , tradition, or maybe on the first days when you get born ...:) If a person was born in summer for sure will bear up against the heat better than a "winter person" and will prefer specific fruits and vegetables . It's almost a syllogism:)

    June 10, 2008 at 9:41 pm |
  10. Annie Kate

    Hi Erica

    In the South in the old houses that pre-date the Civil War the ceilings are high and the house arranged to let whatever breeze there is blow through – that helped cool the house in those hot miserable days of summer, especially in August. I doubt it would cool it enough to meet our standards today and I am amazed that the people then wore wool – how did they do it?

    The houses breaking apart and floating off is so sad – the clip you showed last night on 360 was startling – you just don't think of a house breaking in half that way and the front floating away. I wonder how many memories and mementos went with it?

    Hope you get your air conditioner soon. A heat wave this early doesn't bode well for the summer does it?

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 10, 2008 at 9:37 pm |
  11. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Erica!
    I am with you on the tomatos. That is the biggest bummer I've had all summer. I like a little olive oil and balsalmic drizzled on mine. Kosher salt and little goat cheese. Darn, I am making myself hungry.
    Gotta go~
    Thanks for the blog girlfriend!

    June 10, 2008 at 9:03 pm |
  12. Erica

    Happy Tuesday Erica!

    I like Alicia Keys. I have always been fascinated about her life story. I use to play her Karma video over and over. Her music, her playing, and landscape was so enjoyable. She is beautiful both inside and out and this is evidenced by her charitable work. I wish her much success today and always. Thank you for highlighting recent news about her work.


    June 10, 2008 at 8:39 pm |
  13. Cynthia

    I can't wait to see the Alicia Keyes documentary and from reading the article it will be interesting.

    Nothing worse than trying to sleep in a hot place – you almost always wake up feeling sluggish. Next time, stick one of your feet from under the covers, that might help.

    June 10, 2008 at 8:28 pm |
  14. Karrie

    We finally have a break in the heat here today. It seems like the air conditioning will usually go out on the hottest day of the year or the heater on the coldest day at my house. So far I've been lucky. When I haven't had air conditioning I've actually gotten up in the middle of the night to take a super quick cold shower to cool off.

    I never really thought I would miss tomatoes until I couldn't have them on my sandwich today at lunch and it just didn't taste the same.

    June 10, 2008 at 8:08 pm |
  15. Eugenia

    People look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them I eat tomato, mayo and S&P sandwiches. My 19 month old eats cut up tomatoes.
    Nice to hear the madness is shared!
    Tomatoes are easy to grow – right now is the time

    San Francisco, Ca

    June 10, 2008 at 7:57 pm |
  16. Jolene

    Hi Erica: No napping for me on the job! Mostly because I can't really nap. If I fall asleep, that's it, I'm done for the day.

    It is interesting how this topic came up today. As a workaholic, I just recently got chewed out from my doctor because he wants me to get more sleep every night. That means I would have to miss watching AC360! No way! I'd much rather stay deprived! Besides, that's what weekends are for.....to catch up on the much needed rest!

    Hope you had a nice nap today Erica!

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    June 10, 2008 at 7:38 pm |
  17. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    When I worked outside of education I'd come home on my lunch hour and take a power nap. With teaching, that's not happening unless I want to get fired. I am all for instituting a nationwide siesta every day from one to two, though. The preschool naptime has its benefits in the rest of the world.

    I read this list of "safe" tomatoes. I'm not convinced. I think I'll just skip them altogether until this outbreak clears up. I really miss them, too. But I really don't think I'd want a case of salmonella, either.

    I am feeling empathy for the lack of air conditioning. Mine is running almost non-stop, and we're not even in the hell heat days of Louisiana August yet. It's going to be a long summer.

    June 10, 2008 at 7:36 pm |
  18. Lilibeth

    Hi Bill, you're right about Seattle not being all that hot. But you see, "hot" is a relative term. When the temperature gets to about 75 or 80 F, I consider that "hot"... LOL! There was one year my sister from Calif. came to visit me to get away from the heat, but when she came here, it got really hot (about 85 F or so). I considered it a heat wave...LOL! I told her she took the heat with her. But if it does get that hot, it lasts for only 2 months, then it's back to cool weather! Yay! That's why I live here. I live in Edmonds, too, by the water, and you're right, all you have to do is go to the water and enjoy the sea breeze or jump in...

    June 10, 2008 at 7:32 pm |
  19. Bill in Nebraska


    I lived in Seattle for nearly 20 years and it never got all that hot... I think the hottest I ever saw was about 98 like ten years ago. The really nice thing about the Seattle area is that the sea breeze off of the water will keep things in check. Even if they don't you can always go and jump in one of the lakes or ocean. It is the best place in the world to live though. I miss it like crazy everyday I am here on Nebraska.

    June 10, 2008 at 7:01 pm |
  20. Renee

    When you A/C dies in Florida, you head to the Ritz. Time for a good rest tonight!

    June 10, 2008 at 6:56 pm |
  21. Ruby

    Hello Erica, I wanted to tell you last Friday (6/6/08) that you did a great job, I think you should cover for Coop all the time..
    Alicia Keys is cool, speaking of try & stay cool in New York heat. see u.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:52 pm |
  22. Megan Dresslar

    Hi Erica!
    Wow! You don't have A/C in your office....... Oh no! I am sorry about that... I never sleep or nap at work..... no way I never nap at work at all.
    Well, I only have to focus work without nap...... Yes, I did see the house just split half the house all washout into the river. that is so awful for owner........ they were not lucky....... Oh well! I hope they will take a time to rebuilt maybe next year. I will see you soon tonight to join AC 360 blog and program....... See you there!
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, Wa

    June 10, 2008 at 6:51 pm |
  23. Lilibeth

    I like naps too. I know people at my work who drive their cars to a park at lunchtime and take naps in their cars. I wish I could do this because I’d rather sleep than eat. I haven’t been able to do so because I find myself working through lunch. Maybe when things slow down a little…someday…

    Sorry about the heat in NYC. Here in Western WA, the temperature is about 55-60 degrees F (sorry, don’t mean to make you jealous). Usually I dread this time of year because we get some nasty heat waves too, but it’s been good so far. I’ll send some of our cool weather your way… 🙂

    Yeah, too bad about the tomatoes…I love them too…thanks for the link.

    See you tonight.

    Edmonds, Washington

    June 10, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  24. Bill in Nebraska


    Another thing that I forgot. All else fails with the dog and even with the baby. Fill the bathtub with cold water and give them both a dunk or three before bedtime. It will really help with the munchkin and the dog will love you forever. Ice is good in the dogs water as well but watch to make sure that he doesn't choke on an ice cube. I have had it happen with a 160 lbs Rot and it is really hard to stop the choking.

    Other than that just stay in the AC at work as long as you can. All else fails kick Anderson out of his office and move in with the family until your AC units get here with your parents.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  25. Genevieve M, TX

    Erica, sorry to hear you all are so miserable up there in that heat wave and I bet the humidity makes it feel worse. Hopefully, the A/C will arrive this weekend.

    I, too, love to eat tomatoes. Any and all tomatoes! 🙂

    June 10, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  26. Bill in Nebraska


    The houses being taken down river is really sad. So is the fact that FEMA is taking there sweet time to get involved. I live in Omaha. The F2 Tornado that came through here a couple of days ago started 4 blocks from my nephews aunts house and hopscotched across town until it ducked back into the clouds just 2 blocks from my house. It was about 20 miles of it going up and down in the clouds. The rain was hell. So my heart goes out to those who have lost there homes.

    Power naps and heat. I am with you on the heat. I remember when I was a kid and came out here to Omaha to visit family in the summer. I lived in L.A. but spent summers out here. It never got to hot for me. Now if it gets past 75 and 60% humidity, I am toast. I have to have my window AC on all the time now. I am now on the edge of 40 and I can't handle the heat anymore.

    Tomatoes. There is nothing like fresh one for sure. Those and bell peppers. I eat them like apples. With this scare happening it makes me glad I decided to grow my own this year. They were getting too expensive to buy. So with any luck I will have plenty of both this year. If I knew they would get to you I would send you some overnight when they are ready. I can't live without my fresh tomatoes.

    June 10, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  27. John from Oregon

    My dad grows tomatoes every year and this year will not be an exception. Summer would not be the same without them.

    I do hope you get yours because it does seem to make things a little better!


    June 10, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  28. KAB

    Let's all think about those who don't get A/C on the job.... Firefighters, chefs, dry cleaners, garbage men, truck drivers and freight handlers. Life is good when you can nap in the A/C when your on the job.....

    June 10, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  29. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Good afternoon Erica,

    Girl, I hear you with the heat. I was in Philadelphia today and it was sweltering. Add to that a delayed train with no electricity. I cannot imagine that you tried to survive without AC. ( I mean the air conditioning, not Anderson – huh, on the other hand, him too! LOL). I could never, just saying. We will be wishing you luck til you rescue yours from CT. Poor doggie! Maybe you should all sneak out to the fountain, just don't get caught.

    Cannot wait to see Alicia Keyes doc. She is awesome – thanks for the heads up!

    Well, now that you made me hungry for fresh tomatoes! LOL. I love them, just the way you have described. I am bummed too. Between the gas prices and now this, they are taking all of the fun out of my summer. And I am bitter too! I guess I need to go find a fountain and drown my sorrows. Thanks for the idea.

    Also, I agree with the napping on the job. Not while on the clock, bad, bad. However, I also understand the hours that you all put in, so to me there should be exceptions. We have all heard the stories of Anderson napping on his office sofa. Hey, while he is away, why don't you sneak in and take advantage of that?

    Personally I have campaigned long and hard to get recess at my office. So far, no go. Drat!

    See you tonight Erica! Thanks for blogging.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  30. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi Erica,
    Our air conditioner went out on Saturday. It was so hot – very hard to sleep like that I know. We had a fan blowing the night air into our room – still it was too hot. Luckily, my husband was able to fix the A/C the very next day, he's so cool!
    I am totally with you about the tomatoes! A fresh tomato off the vine and a little salt is all you need. What a bummer about the bacteria. I have some tomato plants on my back deck; can't wait until they're ready! Anyway, glad to see your blog today. See you tonight.

    June 10, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  31. Kristien,Antwerp, Belgium

    Hey Erica,

    Gosh, I would sometimes love to take a nap at work and when you, like me, work at a store that sells beds, it's even harder to resist putting your head down! But for some reason we're are not allowed to test our own products...some bosses, huh!

    Anyway, I hope you get some sleep tonight and that the temperatures give you and your family a break!

    See you tonight! Kristien

    ps: thanks for choosing my caption last night!! When should I swing by the studio? ;p

    June 10, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  32. Cindy

    It must be extremely hard for these people to see their houses being carried away and ripped to pieces on TV. It is sad for us to watch knowing that someone just lost everything that they owned and worked so hard for. I can't imagine how they feel having to relive it every day on TV.

    Sorry to hear that you have no A/C!! Hopefully you'll be cool as a cucumber when your parents come with the gifts from heaven! LOL It is hot as fire here too in Georgia. All I can say is thank God my A/C works! It has been on non-stop! LOL It is near 100 today and it isn't even near the hottest it'll get here this summer! Yeah...I really can't wait! LOL Needless to say I'll be inside most of the time! LOL


    June 10, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  33. Heather

    I remember the days of living without a/c. I grew up on a hill overlooking the ocean and the heat waves of the early 80's. I had a round floor fan that I would literaly sleep around on the floor. I love having central ac! Put your socks in water ring em out and put them on .Put ice cubes in your pets water.

    June 10, 2008 at 4:56 pm |