14 Sure-Fire Ways to Stay Warm

Texas in the winter is like playing blackjack with a card sharp. Just when you think you're done with cold weather, Mother Nature plunges us into frigid temps.

We can manage for a few hours of bitter cold, but after that all bets are off. Pipes freeze, goats complain, and chickens lay egg-cicles.

Since we have farm animals, it's a military operation to blow out all the water lines so that there is no water in any of the exposed pipes or watering troughs. Depending on how long it stays below freezing, we haul warm water to the animals at least twice a day. We also drape blankets and plastic sheeting as wind breaks, then we all hunker down and wait for normal temperatures to return.

I don't like cold weather, which is why I use these tips to stay toasty.
  1. Wear long johns
  2. Drink something hot: coffee, tea, cocoa, soup
  3. Cover your head. It's amazing how warm you'll feel if your head is covered.
  4. Dress in layers, especially in Texas where the temperatures fluctuate constantly.
  5. Seal all drafts. Under the door and around the windows. Before we replaced our threshold sweeps, the cold air used to stream in. In a pinch I blocked the doors with old towels.
  6. Insulate your windows with bubble wrap. You can buy a big roll of bubble wrap for under $20.
  7. Wear socks. In the winter, I wear socks in the house all day long.
  8. Wear flannel to bed. Most of the time I want the lightest cloth on my body, but in the winter, it's flannel, baby.
  9. Cook stick-to-your-ribs meals like chili, stew, pot roast, and casseroles.
  10. Exercise. I know. That's a dirty word in most places, but moving around will bring your core temperature up. 15 minutes hauling water to animals and by the time I come in, I'm warm for the next four hours.
  11. Light a fire. We rarely get a chance to light up our fireplace, but it's so nice when we do. It takes the chill off the room right away.
  12. Bake. The house is going to warm up fast, and smell amazing.
  13. Take a bath or shower. I like to warm up the bathroom first with a mini electric heater. It keeps the room the same temperature as the shower so there's no cold shock. Once I'm dry I slip into my jammies and I'm good to go...
  14. Go to bed that is...pull the covers up and wait for Mother Nature to be reasonable.
It's supposed to be quite mild all week. But next week? It's anyone's guess. In north Texas it's not unusual to run the air conditioner and heater in the same day. We generally have several mini freezes in January and February. They don't last long but they sure are inconvenient.

Does it get cold by you? What's your favorite way to warm up?


Lately, our overnight temps have gone into the 40s - that's cold here in FL! It doesn't bother me so much during the day, if the sun is out, the sky is blue. But if it's gray and damp and dreary? Ugh.
Maria Zannini said…
Madeline: That is cold for Florida!

I can handle the cold, or I can handle the rain, but cold and rain together brings out the arthritis. It's miserable.
Sarah Ahiers said…
Yes. Yes it does get cold in MN
Maria Zannini said…
Sarah: Just a tad chilly up there, eh? :)

You gotta be made of sterner stuff to live in MN.
Jenny Schwartz said…
Cold isn't such a problem in my corner of the world, but you have my sympathies. Good tips. As for your blanket model, she's gorgeous (still planning on kidnapping her).
Maria Zannini said…
Jenny: I think that makes her a 'cover' model. Get it? Ha! I crack myself up.

I'm going to have to put one of those store security tags on her. :D
betty said…
This is the first winter in years that I haven't been bundled up like I have in other climates, LOL. In years past I would wear a tee-shirt and then a sweatshirt along with my jeans and heavy wool socks. And bedtime was fun, the sheets, blanket, quilt and then I would have 2 additional blankets plus wrapping a blanket around me and then still be cold sometimes. Now its just the sheets, blanket, and quilt :) Its what we pay for the extreme heat in summer, but right now I'm enjoying the "heck" out of the mid 70's :)

Maria Zannini said…
Betty: I know. I'd rather put up with the heat than the cold.
Michael Keyton said…
covering your head in cold weather also offers some protection against 'strokes'. Bit puzzled about bubblewrapping your windows. Wouldn't it spoil the view? We have double glazing. In Sweden they have triple glazing.
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: Most homes have double insulated panes, but older homes probably only have one pane. In which case, the bubble wrap could help.

It won't do much for the view, but we tend to keep our shades down anyway. :)