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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Spending Less to Stay Warm

I just don't have the resources to stay even comfortably warm. So, I figure out other ways to keep my body warm. Wearing layers, closing off rooms, eating warm foods, baking, and other methods work.

However, when I get under the covers, about half a dozen worn out blankets, I am still cold because of sheets. Percale is like lying on a sheet of ice. Besides, I gave up using percale years ago.  Cotton is better, especially if it is not wrinkle-free. Flannel is the warmest thing around. But, even that was not working for me. Believe me, I need a less drafty bedroom and better quality blankets.

One night, my sheet shifted and I pulled up a blanket in my sleep. The blanket was toasty warm. So, now I use a blanket instead of a sheet next to my body. It WORKS! Try it. I don't have to warm up my blanket. Even with socks, pants, t-shirt, and sweatshirt, I can still feel a cold sheet but not a blanket. It feels cuddly to my body through clothing.

Over my pillow I put a small, cheap fleece throw, gotten as a gift last year, but like the $2.88 ones at Walmart. Then, I pull it up over my head, forming a complete barrier to air seeping in at my neck and shutting out drafts, keeping my shoulders warm. I do keep my nose clear so I can breathe fresh, cold air and not exhale under the blanket causing me to feel damp...lol.

Someday, I will make a blanket into a fitted sheet. Once last winter, I put a lightweight chenille blanket over my bottom sheet. That was before I started using a blanket instead of a top sheet. Right now, I am still using a flannel bottom sheet.

I went out Saturday night and found both hens in the same Rubbermaid box. Other than the second night Patsy Cline was here and a few thereafter, this is the first time they have shared a box. They were both cuddled together. It is so cute.

Your turn
Have you ever used a blanket instead of a sheet to make the layer next to you a little warmer to the touch?

23 comments:

  1. I feel for you - while envying your cooler temperatures. I have been prowling the house in the small hours, walking on the tiles in my bare feet trying to cool down. Himself snuggles into the doona - but it is already way too hot for me here.

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    1. Believe me, I would rather be cold than hot. However, this is just too cold!

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  2. We don't have any heating in the bedrooms in our Scottish cottage and in winter it can get arctic in there.I have used one of the fleece throws as a sheet in the past but now my secret weopon is one of those all in one pj's/onesie things made from fleece. I love it. It keeps my whole body toasty warm and even has a hood to pull up on those nights when the cold starts to hurt your head. You don't get any cold spots on your back from exposed skin, you don't get tangled up in it , and it just feels much warmer. I don't care it looks childish wearing one as I am snuggly and warm :)

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    1. dreamer,
      It is the cold spots that are painful. I tuck my tshirt into my pants to eliminate them. I would probably pee in my onesie trying to get it down and would freeze doing it...lol. Looking childish would not bother me either. I have a fleece throw that I use, 70 inches long, not long enough! So, I still freeze! Thanks for the comment.

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  3. I love my sheets but a trick I have is to cut the necks off of my husband's old turtle necks. I wear that over my forehead and pull it down to cover my nose. I can't sleep if my nose is cold and the turtle neck covers my eyes so it's dark. And my ears stay warm too!

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    1. Alex,
      That is a different thing to do. Good tactic. I solve the cold nose problem by pulling up lots of blanket, then raising it and making a little tunnel so the outside air is about six inches from my nose. That works for me. I like my eyes covered, but I keep a pair of black panties by my pillow and drape those over my eyes. My ears never seem cold when I make sure my long hair is over them. The back of my neck is where I seem to get too much breeze.

      That is a good trick you have. Thanks for sharing that.

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  4. I love wool. I often will spread a wool throw over the bottom sheet and sleep on top of it. My favorite way of getting the bed warm though is my rice bags. I use one for my feet and one along my back or by my knees. If you don't have a microwave, use hot water bottles. I have a couple of those also. Instant warmth, especially if you put them in the bed 30 minutes ahead of time. Another thing I used to do was heat up a clean frying pan on the stove with some water in it, when the water was boiling, I'd dump it out and go into the bedroom and slide it all over between the sheets. It would take the chill off them. The pioneers had bedwarmers with hot coals that they would use to do the same thing. I also have quilts and wool blankets. Nothing better than wool. I also have knit wool socks and will wear a wool sweater over my nightgown so my shoulders don't get cold.

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    1. Jane,
      I remember the wool army blanket from Mama's service. I loved it! I have a microwave and have tried the rice bags. They smell and I cannot sleep because I hate the smell. I don't have hot water bottles.

      To take the chill off the bed, I have put my pillow or a blanket into the dryer. Sometimes, I just fold the blanket and put it into my chair and sit on it...lol. Or, I have propped things in front of my space heater.

      My problem now is thin blankets, not long enough, and not wool. You seem to have the wool part covered. I have some fleece pants that are sort of warm.

      The skillet part is a good idea sort of a modern bedwarmer. My only cooking utensils are cast iron, not good for a bed. But that is an excellent idea. At first, I thought you said you poured the water in the bed.

      I need more wool. I have a small throw that is part wool.

      Your wool throw over the sheet is just what I need! Thanks.

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    2. I have one thin wool blanket that I remember my mother using on my parents bed when I was a child. It has been darned in many places. I have one Early Witney Point blanket (think Hudson's Bay) that I have had since I was six years old. It is 52 years old and still going strong. It is so warm and thick. It was on my daughter's bed when she lived at home and I've got it back on my bed now. They are horribly expensive (although I didn't know this as a child) but so worth the money. I don't wash it very often and then it is usually just a soak in the laundry tub with some warm water and soap, a similar soak to rinse it, and squeeze it out by hand and hang on a line outside to dry. My brothers' had similar blankets and their wives ruined and shrunk them by trying to wash them in the washing machine. I have quite a few yards of a wool fabric I brought home from my mothers and since it isn't anything I would want to sew up, I am thinking of using it to make a thin wool blanket, or else using it in the middle of a quilt. It seems it would be very warm. Of course, I would wash and dry it first so it would shrink before everything was assembled. My rice bags are plain rice with no scents. After a while they lose the rice smell. I was thinking a couple drops of an essential oil that I like (not lavender) on one might be nice. I was also thinking of sewing a nightshirt out of the wool to wear over a thin knit knitshirt. But for now the sweater works. It is a challenge to be able to sleep warm as my husband keeps the house pretty cool.

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    3. Jane,
      I only used plain rice, but it still smelled after months.

      That is wonderful that you have a wool blanket from when you were a child. I found a thick wool blanket that only cost $300. Of course, I can dream but not buy it...lol. I think a thin wool blanket would be good.

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  5. Ah, no. I cannot bear the texture of anything but 100% cotton sheets against me. All the sheets in our house MUST be white.)I also cannot bear wool or acrylic at all. So, years ago I found a king size down comforter! I cover it with a cotton comforter cover...white. To compromise with my husband, who loves blankets (seriously, the feel makes me crazy) I put many homemade patchwork quilts at the foot of the bed. I make my quilts with fabric I find at the thrift shop, worn out cotton sheets...and as they are white, they always work for backing, setting squares and binding. Kids have down comforters or homemade quilts on their beds. No blankets to be found in thus house. We heat with wood..at night the fire dwindles, so kids wear sweatpants or leggings and long t shirts....the kids' pajamas in the shops are no longer made of flannel so useless for warmth.

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    1. I absolutely cannot stand the feel of acrylic. Plus, it makes me so hot and sticky. It does not breathe. I am so picky about blankets and the feel. I know which ones I can stand by feel. Sometimes, they shed something that is unseen, a fiber, that makes my allergies act up. I really want a wool blanket! I did use colored sheets, then white. Now, as long as it is cotton and NOT wrinkle-free, I am happy.

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    2. My little grandson loves the flannel pajamas I make him. I am in the process of cutting out three new pairs as he has about worn out the three I made him last fall, and has grown out of them also. They are way too short in arm and leg. :) There is nothing like homemade flannel pajamas. My brothers and I loved the ones our mother made for us.

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    3. Jane,
      Flannel pajamas are so cuddly. Cuddly means warm and comforting to me. Did you think about cutting extensions for the arms and legs if that is all that is wrong? Of course, at some point that will not work. But, if might make it where you can skip a size, so the next pair is bigger. My kids wore Carters sleepers that snapped together and had feet. My son wore them until he outgrew the last size Sears carried--size 12. Then, he wore long underwear and socks. I made all the two girls' clothing and mine, so I was stretched thin and had no time to make pjs. Besides, the Carter's winter pajamas were so thick and warm. Now, I do wish I had made their pajamas.

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  6. I don't replace the sheet with a blanket, but pull a soft blanket up to my nose. I also have an electric mattress pad. When I'm alone I keep the house chilly because heat is too expensive. Fortunately, we don't have many cold days.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie,
      You are lucky it is not too cold. I am afraid of electric blankets and mattress pads. I like a chilly house, too, but mine is just tooooo chilly and therefore, damp.

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  7. Linda you should keep your eyes open for a down comforter or sleeping bag. I see them all the time at garage sales and thrift stores. People don't want to spend the $$$ to send the comforters to the dry cleaners so they donate them. The actual truth is that they are WASHABLE. Just think how wet ducks are. I sometimes take mine to the laundromat and use one of those giant machines but I have also used my home washer. At home you have to fill the machine and allow the comforter to soak awhile or it will be hard to get wet. The covers are so tightly woven ,to keep the down in, that they are practically waterproof. I promise you with a down comforter or two you will be snug as a bug in a rug.

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    1. Janet,
      I do want a down comforter, have wanted one forever, but going to a thrift store or a yard sale is practically impossible since I cannot walk to far or too long. Yes, a down comforter would make for a snug and warm bed. I would definitely wash one if I had a down comforter.

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  8. I made a quilt and used polar fleece for the backing. It is the kids' favorite blanket to use. I am hoping that this cold snap ends this week like the weather men are predicting. It has been down to 13 degrees with 30% humidity the last two days here. I sleep with several blankets on my bed. I don't like my room being hot- its easier for me to sleep when its cool.
    my hens have all been sharing boxes or huddled close together on the roost in the hen house. Its been so cols, their water freezes within an hour of me putting water in. I filled up their water dish 6 times while cleaning out their coop today. I think they finally got enough to drink. the sun hasn't even melted the ice here.

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    1. For the first time, we are using a chicken waterer with a heater in it. It seems to be working well and the hens have continued to lay well. I think the warm water is helping and it sure cuts down the work. I used to have to go out with boiling water in the morning before work to thaw their water, and if the weather was too cold (as it has been here this past week), the water would freeze again before my husband could get home late afternoon. The electric waterer has been worth it this fall so far.

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    2. J and M,
      I can imagine that fleece makes a wonderful backing. Do you just leave out batting?

      I made a chicken water heater with things I had around the house. I only bought a 16 x 16 inch piece of concrete to put underneath it.

      Jane,
      Poor hens! Mine, too. The water froze several mornings, and I do not get up early. Exbf could not find the light week before last. I told him it was in the basement, and he could not find it. I found it in the house and left it in sight but on top of a box of stuff I am packing away. So, last week, he snatched it up and said, 'I found the light fixture!" I had to admit that I made a mistake telling him it WAS in the basement, that he was not looking.

      At that point in the day, he had little time, so I told him the weather was going to be okay and that they would be fine. The water feels not even cool with a 60 watt bulb heating the water.

      I hate going out with hot water. And, the chickens have to wait for me to get up. I feel cruel.

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  9. My family each has their own down comforter. Simply heaven.

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