"Chop your own wood, and it will warm you twice."
Living in California has its benefits and our mantra is that we have no weather. Things were always pretty much the same and predictable. The weathermen used to get rather monotonous, so much so, it reminds me of the Hippy Dippy weather man, George Carlin, who remarked: "Weather tonight: dark. Turning partly light by morning." I might add, "and the sun will shine again today."
Well, that was close to the truth until recently. Seems like "global weirding" is changing things here every year. We are known as the land of “fruits and nuts” but this weather will also make us famous for the state of fresh frozen veggies (not to mention freeze dried clothes if you hang your clothes out to dry like we do,)
Now, gone are the cool wintery days where the sun still shone and there were only a few nights with temps below 32 degrees. F. This year has been especially brutal. The days are damp and rainy which makes the cold seem colder and the rain wetter. We are just not prepared for such uncharacteristic weather. People here don't even own umbrellas or rain gear. And –warning--stay off the roads during this type of weather--people just don't know how to drive in it.
There's a joke here in southern Ca--when the temps fall below 65 degrees the cry goes out to "Close the schools and save the children!" But this year it is like way too cold and the challenge is to keep warm and be creative about it.
We only have one Jotul fireplace in the house which keeps the house very nicely comfortable but, being frugal as we are we do conserve on the amount of times we fire her up. So, what is a (wussy) Southern Californian to do when old Jotul is not on?
I've blogged many a times about prepping for winter
Here are some of things we have tried:
1. Hot water bottles. I know it's taboo never to knit something for your significant "other" till you're hitched but think I am safe and deemed our relationship "steady" with Mr Hotwater bottle here so I knitted him two nifty new outfits. Yeah, I told you it was "steady" and he's a "hottie" to boot.
They work incredibly well as low tech as they are. You can place one in your bed with you at night and it is great for warming everything up and help you to go to sleep. If you use flannel sheets that is even better.
2. Bundle Up. Wear layers of clothing and be sure to cover your head. An old time adage but it certainly works.
3 .Sleep inside your sleeping bag--we often do this anyway and it does really help, too.
4. Wear fingerless gloves which allow you to use your fingertips for touch and delicate work but keep the rest of the hand warm
5.Use drapes on doors and windows to cut down on the drafts. This is a no brainer but the door drapes really work for us.
6.Invite friends over--when you have people on a room the body heat really warms things up.
7. Keep moving. Early mornings are when I sit on the computer( and you know how computers conduct the cold *shiver*) So when I find I can't bare the chill in my bones I grab a broom and tackle the floors. That gets the blood going.
8. Take a daily dose of coconut oil to raise your body temp. So good for you, too!
9. To keep feet warm put cayenne pepper in your socks .This works but be CAREFUL! Here are some instructions on how to do it properly.
A thought struck me as I was writing this post. Someone once said: In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?
Modern homesteaders, what's your fave way/tip to keep your home warm?
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