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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Winter’s Coming, Get Ready Now

It’s the middle of August, smack in the middle of summer, and it’s time to start thinking about winter. Yes, the cold air is coming. I have a hard time thinking about cold weather when I’m sweating and grumbling about where the breeze went… But there are little reminders about the coming cold, the sun is setting sooner and sooner each night. The evenings are cooling off nicely, it’s all but getting cold at night. Of course cold is relative, when it’s been near 100° F, then 55° or 60° feels cold, after it’s been in the 30°s, then 55° to 60° will feel like a heat wave. :)

I thought back to last winter as I was pulling a blanket over myself the other night. I thought about what I could do and/or buy to make this winter just a little more comfortable. Last winter we decided to not kill ourselves keeping the skycastle overly warm. When you heat with wood, especially in an uninsulated space, (yeah, I know, just add insulation, it’s easier said than done), no matter how hot you get the wood stove before you go to bed, by morning, it’s cold again. You go to bed with a light blanket and by morning, you need the heavy down blanket. So, in all honesty it’s just easier to go to bed in the cold and bundle up properly for the night in the first place.

My only complaint last winter was my feet being cold, you can only put on so many socks, since feet are the closest to the ground, and they tend to not have much in the way of insulation (fat), they are prone to getting chilled first. My hands come in second at being cold. I decided that I would not have cold hands and feet this winter. I just received 2 packages from UPS (thanks Bobby! You are the best!), the first package contained silk, long underwear, silk gloves and silk (& nylon) socks. I understand that ounce for ounce, silk is one of the warmest fabrics available. I remember my mother, who was forever cold, saying that one of the warmest things she wore was silk long underwear. So if it works for her, then I know it will work for me.





I ordered these from Sportsman’s Guide, along with a couple of other items, the price was right since I was renewing my Sportsman’s Guide membership, that gave me free shipping for the whole order, I also had a $10.00 coupon, it was not a bad deal! I highly recommend Sportsman’s Guide, and it’s very much worth the extra to join the club since they give such great discounts, especially on your first purchase, they give free shipping and an extra discount on top of the club discount.

I ordered nearly the complete set of silk long underwear, the only item I didn’t order was the balaclava, I might order one later, but for now, I didn’t get it. I tried everything on last night, it felt so good, it was warm, soft and comfortable. The fabric is very lightweight so layering it under other clothes will not be a problem. I (almost) can’t wait for the cold weather to hit. I chose the natural colored fabric, the other choice was black.

In that same package we got another on demand, propane fired water heater. It’s always good to have a backup of anything that is necessary, or at least a major convenience, would hot water be a necessity or convenience? You will have to decide that one. I call it a necessary convenience. We are going to use this one for the shower that Mountain Man Bob is building. It has been started, we have the space designated and it’s almost completely closed in. We chose to give up part of the deck on the north side of the skycastle, it will be a large, walk in shower, big enough for two people. I can’t wait to take my first shower at home! :)

The second package I received was a pair of boots. Also from Sportsman’s Guide (unfortunately they are out of stock on these boots, but you can order them from here, Women’s Itasca Ice Breaker Boots ). These are good, warm boots, they say they are rated to 20° below zero F, I doubt I’ll give them that kind of workout. As long as my feet stay toasty warm, or at least not freezing in 14°to 20°, I’ll be happy. I ordered these boots a full size larger than I normally wear, that’s to accommodate the extra socks I’ll be wearing. Last winter, my boots were a half size larger and once I had on a couple of thick pair of wool socks, my toes were cramped. Ladies, I know how hard it is to buy shoes a size larger than you normally wear, but when it comes to keeping your feet warm and comfortable, then you have to sacrifice a tiny bit of (perceived) dignity, besides, these boots are cute and they make your feet look more compact. No one need know what size your boots are. :)

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Wretha

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5 comments:

  1. Was kinda wondering what kind of snowfall if any, are you expecting this winter? We are in the high desert area too and our snowfall varys a great deal. We get a lot of skiff snow, a inch or two, and then its gone. We have had as much as three feet at one time, but that is rare. Mostly, it comes and goes. It will start to stay somewhere around the end of January, and be gone by March.

    I will have to try silk long johns. My feet always stay pretty toasty, but my bum is a block of ice by the time i get back in the house! lol
    Jen

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  2. This being our second winter out here, I don't really know what is normal or average, last winter we had a couple of dustings, less than an inch each. I know that the year before we got several inches of wet snow around Thanksgiving. I do know that when it does snow, it usually melts or dries up within a day or so. It gets plenty cold enough for snow, but it's very dry most of the year, so there isn't much of a chance for it to snow and it is gone pretty quickly when it does come around.

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  3. I like the Baja Bug. However, not exactly street legal. Don't know if you have a good relationship with the local county mounties there.
    I like the super magnet of the gas tank door cover. Think I will adopt it for my Honda Accord. Always getting out to pump and have to go back in and press the lever to release the stupid door.

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  4. Thanks TexasMan, yes, right now the bug isn't street legal, it hasn't been for a while, but fortunately, where I live, the roads in the neighborhood are considered private property until you hit the main highway... so no worries about driving anything out here. Anytime I need to go to town, I have to go with someone else for now.

    The magnet on the gas tank door was a necessity, the lever that releases it is either gone or doesn't work, I can't remember which, we needed a way to keep the silly thing closed so Bob used a magnet, have you ever taken a hard drive apart? If so, then you should recognize that magnet from inside one... :)

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  5. Thanks for the heads up Wretha. Couldn't find the exact boot you mentioned, but I did find these in stock on this site & got free shipping too:

    http://www.shoeannex.com/woiticinrudu.html

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