Thursday, November 19, 2009

10 Warming Winter Ways

The snowline is creeping down the mountainside and our new home is getting cooler and draftier. As a woman who's been producing her own heat-waves for a few years, this drop in household temperature is welcome change. However, for hubby, who prefers things warm, it's not a good feature.

So, there's been a minor battle waged over the thermostat. It goes against my frugal nature to turn the furnace up over 20 Celsius. There are other ways to stay warm, I argue. Here's my top-ten list of warming ways for winter living:

  1. Use weather-stripping and caulking to ensure all doors and windows are sealed against drafts.
  2. Sew/buy curtains of heavier-weight fabrics, or add a backing/liner onto existing curtains.
  3. Dress in layers and add or subtract pieces as needed for fluctuations in household temperatures.
  4. Wear slippers, warm socks, and/or indoor footwear – keep the feet warm and the rest is easier to warm.
  5. Close heat registers in and the doors of rooms that are infrequently used.
  6. Use ceiling or stand-alone fans to keep air moving rather than lying in hot and cold pockets around the house.
  7. Use throw blankets in cooler seating areas.
  8. Maintain moderate humidity levels with humidifiers or de-humidifiers, as needed.
  9. On chillier days, consider roasting or baking. An oven heated to moderate temperature is a great source of household heat that, through the use of those aforementioned fans, can disperse throughout a wide area, eliminating the need to bump up the thermostat, and all the while making something delicious.
  10. Another way of staying warm through food is to enjoy soups, stews, and warm drinks. The body's temperature rises during the digestive process anyway, but when that food is braised or boiled, the warmth spreads when you raise a steaming spoonful or mug, and swallow its hot contents.

There are other – ahem – more "adult" ways to stay warm, but those are outside the scope of this blog.

One adult favourite of a tamer variety, is the hot toddy. Like most hot drinks, the warmth begins as soon as hands grip the mug. When the toddy is consumed the magical heat begins, firing belly and body. If you'd like to try this "medicinal approach" just email me with "Hot Drink" in the subject line, and I'll gladly share my recipe for a simple and deliciously sweet mix for hot buttered-rum. It can be served with or without the alcoholic content.