01 December 2016

Surviving winter in Minnesota

Since winter is coming, I decided to do a winter post to get us all ready. Maybe you need to change your mindset about winter. Or maybe you need some supplies to get your through it?

I've been in Minnesota two years now and although my first winter was a mild one, or so I'm told, I learned a few things to keep warm during those chilly winter months.

Here is my top ten tips. 
  1. I love wool socks and blankets. I need to get some more of them. A lot of people find them "scratchy" but I don't. If you do look for a wool blend instead. 
  2. Always wear socks, inside you an wear the socks with the rubber on the soles so you can have a little traction on linoleum, tile  or hardwood floors.
  3. Try to keep the heat at a constant temperature. I kept mine at about 68 most of the time. It helps the heater by not having to get the house up to a new temperature. 
  4. If you are chilly in your constant temperature house, put on a sweater or even a hat if you need it. Remember in the stories from last century, people wore stocking caps to bed? It holds in more of your heat. 
  5. Bake something yummy and leave the oven open after you finish and turn it off to let the warm air seep into the house. 
  6. Remember that the cold can dry you out just as much as the heat. You need to drink water or liquids. I like to make hot tea to get my liquids and have some honey. 
  7. If you have a pet, snuggle with them. It's amazing how much heat they can create. I trained my husky mix dog to sleep on my feet. That may not work for everyone, but it does for us. 
  8. If a dog laying on you doesn't appeal to you, and it doesn't to my DH, get a rubber water bottle and fill it with hot/boiling water and stick it in the foot area of your bed to warm it up. (be careful not to touch it with bare feet as it could burn you.) You can also knit/crochet/sew a cover for your water bottle to insulate the heat and so it doesn't burn sensitive feet. 
  9. Go outside and get some exercise. It will help your body to adjust to the changing season and you will feel better. 
  10. Wool Merino everything. This stuff keeps me toasty warm all winter long. A lot of people think that wool is itchy. This stuff isn't. Go to the store and touch it and you will see what I mean. It isn't thick and bulky under things so you don't look bigger than you are, a plus when you are wearing the long underwear versions. 

I love that Minnesota has four seasons. I can't wait to go through them all again. 
Each season has it's own beauty and faults, much like people. 

I love spring for the rebirth of the earth, yet the work cycle begins again. 
I love summer for the fresh fruits and warm sunshine, yet the sun can get overbearing and the mosquitos swarm all around. 
I love fall for the respite from the cool and the harvest time, yet colder weather brings an end to the fresh foods. 
I love winter for the quiet and serenity, yet it can be brutally cold in it's own way. 

I think if you learn to see the joy in every situation, life can be so much more enjoyable. 

Just a few thoughts from me today. 

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