winter2Brrrrr! Yesterday, winter finally arrived in my part of the U.S. north. I truly shouldn’t complain. December and early January have been unbelievably nice with many days in the upper 40s and 50s (Fahrenheit) and plenty of sun. Instead of snow we’ve had rain. I’m grateful.

But yesterday when I woke up I discovered we had our first real snow of the season.  I was suddenly faced with having to use all of my old “stay warm in cold weather” strategies; I have one set for staying warm outside and another for inside.

Outside, there’s the obvious need to switch to my heavier winter coats (down was called for yesterday). Due to the snow (and lack of plowing on campus sidewalks) I put on snow boots with fuzzy warm lining. Thick ugly socks added a bit of toastiness to my feet (more about warm feet later). A thin pair of gloves topped by a larger pair of mittens helped keep my hands warm. Finally, a very wide scarf wrapped multiple times around my neck and lower face finished things off. I carried a small knit hat in case I needed it (usually only when temps are below 10). With all that on I was quite fine for tromping from my car to my office and later around town a bit.

But it was when I got home that I really needed to deal with the cold. I try to conserve energy so keep my heat set relatively low. But while I haven’t adjusted the thermometer in the last week my apartment felt absolutely frigid in comparison to the day before. Even my cat Princess was unhappy, and she has lots of fur. I tried a variety of things to warm up including multiple lawyers of tops, two pairs of socks, and a nice warm cup of tea.

While these all helped, I finally pulled out my tried and true I’m freezing technique. I heated up a microwave heating pad and put it over my feet. Within minutes I was toasty warm. I really don’t understand why this works. I’ve always heard that you lose heat through your head (hence the need for the hats I rarely wear). But for me, if my feet are warm, I’m warm. Last night before I went to bed I heated it up again and put it on my feet under the bed. Nice!

Today, in addition to periodically putting the heating pad on my feet, I’m planning on warming up my insides. Homemade black bean soup is already started.

Has it been cold where you live? What techniques are you using to keep warm?


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My first memory is sitting with my mother on a blanket in our backyard surrounded by books and she is reading one of them to me. My love of reading was encouraged by my parents and it continues to today. I’ve gone through a lot of different genres over the years, but I currently primarily read mysteries (historical mysteries are my favorites) and romances (focusing on contemporaries, categories, and steampunk). When I’m not reading or working, I love to travel, knit, and work on various community projects.