“Ring of fire”: Keeping cool when the August throttle is broke

“Ring of fire”: Keeping cool when the August throttle is broke

So, I recently relocated to Dallas from Houston. I dunno whether it's just This Year or what, but Dallas is demonstrably hotter than Houston. It's crazy hot here, and it being a "dry heat" matters not a whit. The weatherfolk say we're trapped in some kind of ring of fire and it's hot as hail for the foreseeable future. Joy. Though my home has central air, the unit is struggling to keep up in the afternoons, and I'm struggling not to cower under the bed in fear of the electric bill. I'm putting up heavy curtains and watering my house in an attempt to get it cooler. What do you do to keep your home cool and your light bill low?
Kitchen Details

Kitchen Details

morning glories…..

morning glories…..

Today I mourn…

Today I mourn…

Holy Crap! What the …

Holy Crap! What the …

Grossed Out!

Grossed Out!

A few pics and a few questions

A few pics and a few questions