Saturday, January 20, 2024

Dressing in layers

OH -- I got a chuckle from an email someone sent me about dressing in layers. We all know that dressing in layers outdoors is a huge factor in staying warm. The extra air pockets between layers, as well as the extra layer, hold the warm. If you need ventilation, open a zipper and get some air. Then zip up when you need to. 

But what about in your house? This is hilarious, and yet it's not. There are people, and I will NOT name names here, that feel it's OK to just crank up the heat in your house on a cold day while they continue to walk around in shorts and a T-shirt. Are they the ones that pay the bill? I don't think so. 

There are a lot of factors to consider about how your house works to maintain a temperature. I'm finding that on the colder days, our thermostat struggles to keep the heat at the set level. But I also believe that the heating company can control our thermostat centrally, and they may lower the temperature by one degree to conserve energy. The same way they do with the air-conditioning in the summer. 

Even though our thermostat is set to 21, it goes as high as 20 during these cold days and sometimes drops to 19. I can FEEL that drop in temperature. There is no sun to affect the thermostat, and it's not in the sun anyway. It's only on really cold days when I notice this. Our house is also a bit big, and the one furnace isn't the most energy-efficient, although it is new. To be adequately heated, we should have a second furnace. 

What's with the temperature?

Should I crank up the heat? NO -- because that's not going to solve the problem. Guess what? I dress in layers! I have an extra sweatshirt that I can put on that makes me toasty. I curl up in a chair with a quilt, and I get out my hand warmers. I've worn these for years in the winter if my hands are cold, and I have a few pairs to choose from. 

My hand warmer collection

I even have a dollar store pair of gloves that I cut the fingertips off (when they got holes), and I can wear those. 

Gloves turned hand warmers

Someone knitted these for me years ago, and I thought I had lost one several years back, but all is good -- I have both and use them. Thanks - you know who you are! 

Hand-knit hand warmers

The other thing I find about being cold is that you will get cold if you are sitting around, on the computer, or reading. You need to get up and get that circulation going to warm up! 

How we can teach this concept to the younger generations is beyond me. I guess we just have to wait until they start to pay their bills to see. And I wonder if we are seeing a further drain on our electricity grid because of the number of electric cars that need to be charged in our neighborhoods overnight? What would you choose - heat? Or power for your vehicle? 

DH was away all week, and our car sat in the garage for almost the entire week. I went to the gym twice and once for a massage. It's 4 KM one way, so it's a bit far to walk. But I walked to the mall several times and to the doctor, and well, I haven't lost any independence or gained a desire to use the car since we went to one car. It's been almost two months, and so far, so good! 

I was a busy little beaver yesterday, and it felt GOOD! I got one of the writing assignments out of the way in the morning as I had plans for the afternoon. 

Yep -- it was National Popcorn Day, and you could get a free small popcorn when you went to the movies with your Scene Card. So I did! I went for the 1:30 showing and used Scene points for a free ticket. Then, free popcorn, but can you believe I paid $6 for a small drink? That's outrageous, and I don't usually buy anything, but since the rest was free, why not! 

The empty theatre when I arrived

I get that the theaters have to make money, but don't they think more people would buy if they dropped the price? The movie I wanted to see (The Beekeeper) wasn't showing at this theatre, and I wasn't going to drive to another theatre - I'm flexible. I saw a rom-com (Anyone but You) instead. It was a silly movie, but it was funny, and well, it was just a fun afternoon out. 

I do NOT need to do things with someone else. If I waited for someone, I would NEVER do anything. So, as an independent person, I just do what I want, when I want, and guess what? I LOVE it. When I was younger, the thought of doing anything by myself was terrifying. Sitting in a restaurant or going to a movie. But, seriously -- who cares if you're alone. People probably don't even notice; many do things alone these days. Yep --- I wait for no one! 

Then I walked back home and got to work. At the end of the day, I had walked almost 15 KM. Not only did I walk to the theatre, but I spent a couple of hours tidying up, cleaning, and sewing. Yeah!!! It was a FUN day, and sometimes, you just need that. It was glorious. 

I put those pills in the cupboard with the gummy multivitamins, but I needed a post-it note to mark the day of the week. I'll have to investigate when it is best to take the Vitamin D and joint supplements and all that fun stuff. I think I could go around in circles, but it's good to check it out. Someone mentioned that in the comments. I need to go back and reread that. 

My meager collection of pills

I gave away all the open packages of Post-it notes but knew there was an open one in Studio B. There was an open pad, and I found an entire package of the darn things. So they are all in the same spot in the drawer in the office. The same thing has happened with erasers. How many erasers does one person need? I'll have a few more things to donate once I round more stuff up around the house. 

MORE Post-it notes

Here's my bag of reading material! Yes -- it's full, but I like variety! So when I sit down to read, I can choose. I finished a book on organizing ideas for creative studios, and now I can choose something else today. I think the biggest thing for me is that the stuff has to be in a container that is easy to move around. If it's in piles, something else gets piled on top, and then it's lost. So, containers it is, and these little bags work well. 

My reading bag

My desktop by the computer is a total mess, and it drives me crazy. The desk is NOT the most efficient for a right-handed person. So, I did a clean sweep yesterday. 

My desktop got a clean sweep

And all the stuff got put into the basket, which is back on the floor. That basket is overflowing with things that need to be addressed. I MUST remove several things every day from it and deal with them. I have a few "urgent" things to deal with today, which are on the desktop. Tonight, I'll choose something exciting for tomorrow. Having too much in the basket is overwhelming, so I hope taking a couple of things out at a time will help. I've tried before and failed. But unless I keep trying and refining the process, I'll never find a solution that works for me. 

Bear is protecting the basket of crap! 

I got into tidy-up mode in Studio B. I had put some stuff on the cutting table and now had to put it away. I'm happy to report that ALL of this is put away! I know --- I was a busy bee!!! But it didn't end there. 

Crap on the cutting table to put away

Here's the "after" of the cutting table, and I managed to cut some projects this morning, ready for sewing later today - I hope! 

The cutting table this morning

I cleaned up the kitchen and washed (by hand) the few things that wouldn't go in the dishwasher. DH came home very late last night, and I wanted him to see that I wasn't a slob (which I'm not) while he was away. Everything is neat and tidy, and the counters are clean. The table is ready to play an EXIT game later tonight or tomorrow. 

A neat and tidy kitchen

Oh god --- I even cleaned the knobs on the stove. What was wrong with me? Some were pretty grungy on the outside and pretty gross on the inside (see the one on the left)!

Cleaning the front of the stove

With the help of a bit of elbow grease and my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, they are spotless now. 

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Oh -- I didn't take a picture of the knobs back on, but they are on. That's the one thing about DH. He's willing to clean up, but he just washes the dishes. He doesn't notice if stuff like the stove knobs are dirty. 

The stove front is clean now

But who designs all this stuff? Yes -- I know it's a panel that fits together, but these crevices? They are DIRT COLLECTORS. And don't even get me started on those bowl sinks for the bathroom that sit on a counter. How do you clean where the bowl sits on the counter? 

A nasty groove to keep clean

And that's about HALF of what I cleaned and tidied in the afternoon when I got back from the theater! Maybe I need to take a Friday afternoon off more often! I sure came home energized!!!

As I was walking to the theatre, it made me think of a couple that used to live on our street. They sold their house several years ago and moved to a snobbier town nearby. HEY -- everyone says it's a snobbier town! They were unhappy living beside the rental house with the neighbors from hell, but they said their new house was close to places where they could walk - 20 minutes to do things. I wonder how many times they have walked? Or was that just an excuse! 

I love my neighborhood, and while I appreciate the solitude some people have living in the country, I LOVE where I live, and I take advantage of the fact that I can walk to almost ALL conveniences. The gym is my biggest issue, but I see they are putting in a bike path, so that might become an option in the summertime. There is a gym within walking distance, and well --- who knows - maybe I'll check it out. 

Well, it's time to go. It's freezing out there again this morning! Oh yeah!! Lots of layers! 

As I was cleaning the stove yesterday, I remembered that I was supposed to be cleaning the drawers in the kitchen. Well, I totally got off track on that! I don't have time, so I'm good with what's happening. But I hope you are getting a chance to get something done!! If you're feeling cold in your house, layer up and start cleaning something. You'll be warm in no time!

Have a super day!!!!



  1. Plenty of people think I am nuts. Heat while awake is set at 66F and nighttime is 62 with 2 wool blankets and 2 quilts on our bed. I wear 2 layers inside and fleece lined leather slippers. Although I love being sloppy in shorts/t-shirts all summer, I refuse to pay for that luxury in winter. We spend plenty of time in the 10/20F range and stretches never above freezing. Team Elaine here!

    Happy Saturday ya'll!

    1. You are so right about the temperature in the house. I love to sleep with one quilt and two duvets (most of the night!). But over heated houses? Not for me - bundling up is great. Have a super day!!!!

  2. We keep our place pretty cool, too….68F….and get the fireplace (main floor) and woodstove (basement) going each day. Makes a big difference on how often the furnace kicks on.
    I love that burlap bag, btw. Wherever did you get that?

    1. WOW -- I'm surprised at how cool people keep their houses. I'm a wee bit warmer than most! Yes --- having a fireplace or wood stove can make the house toasty!!!! The burlap bag came from Saje.

  3. Our furnace is programmed for 67 during the day and 64 at night. We have a topsheet and 1 quilt on our bed. Sometimes we will turn it up 1 degree for visitors. We live in an Italinate style home built in 1880. It has the original windows and storm windows that have been well maintained over the years. It is also constructed of triple brick and is only drafty in the areas that are additions not made of brick.

    1. Good to know Mary -- I'll be bringing an extra sweater and wool socks if I visit in the winter!!! And at night? I'll be stealing SEVERAL of your quilts!!!!

  4. Oh geez, wish I could be as energy efficient as you ladies, but when the heat goes down below 70 I literally start shivering. I don't mind the lower temps at night but during the day I gotta be warmer.

    1. Anne -- I truly believe that the temperature is something we get used to. But I agree, that ONE degree difference is noticeable. You and I can visit, but I'm not going to the others!!!!