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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Keeping Warm

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Keeping Warm

With the return (and hopefully here to stay) of cooler weather last week, I excitedly selected a sweater from my closet! A couple hours later I decided that the “coolness” had gotten too cool for having all the windows open. This is a sad thing because I love the sound of leaves blowing in the wind and the little creek behind our home as a backdrop to my daily activities. Not yet willing to loose those sounds, I chose to close only the windows on the front side of our home (toward the street). Sadly, a little while longer (sometime after noon and 55 degrees) and the rest of the windows needed to be closed. Having a sick baby and a cold self forced the inevitable. It also pushed me to test my baking theory.

Last winter (a very cold one) with our newborn son, my husband and I decided our heater was not keeping it warm enough in the living areas of our home. The bedrooms, and even the bathroom, were quite cozy, but the living room and kitchen areas (one big room with only 2 vents) were still freezing. Life with an infant (in December) began with an electric heater in the middle of the living room. This helped quite a bit, but the electric bill that month was painful! Before long we had the “brilliant” idea to turn the oven on. This worked so well at heating the space we spent all our time in that we continued to do it. With the knob turned to 150 (the lowest setting) and the door cracked open I felt quite secure that our little one would not be too cold. Unfortunately this isn’t the most economical (we ran out of propane way earlier than usual—ouch!) or the safest method of temperature control.

This year I have modified last years heating plan. I simply plan to do a lot more baking. I figure that if I have a legitimate reason to be running the oven, why not let it make our home more comfortable in the process. All it takes is a little bit of planning. During the summer months all baking is reserved for the coolest days and done after the heat of the day is gone (you know… after 10 or 11 at night). Well, I’m planning to reverse that. Baking can be done in the mornings whenever we can’t handle the coldness anymore.

Taking this one step further… whenever I get really cold, I find that a nice hot, steamy shower does the trick. If the shower is long enough (not that there is always time for this) to bring my body temperature up, I can handle the cooler temperatures for a while. Using this plan on my DS (not the same hot water temperatures—be careful not to scald you small children) I put him in a nice warm bath, in a nice warm, steamy bathroom (provided by the heater and my steamy shower). After a while, when we get cold again, its time to pre-heat the oven!

Keep in mind that if you plan to try this at home, you may need to do some pre-planning. On bread baking day for instance, the bread machine needs to be started in time to be ready to go in the oven when you are most likely to be cold. :)

Depending on your home type, this may not be an effective way to add warmth to your home, but it works for me (us)!

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At October 31, 2007 at 11:32 AM , Blogger Kim said...

Kacie has some great tips today on keeping warm!

We just moved into a bigger house so I too am trying to keep heating costs down - am wearing my sweater and slippers and if home during the day I make a big pot of green tea and sip during the day - I find this really helps.

At October 31, 2007 at 11:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great tips! Thanks!

At October 31, 2007 at 12:00 PM , Blogger Martie said...

Mmmm. I just love a hot, hot shower when I'm cold! Of course, getting out is another story. Thank you for the great tips!


At November 1, 2007 at 8:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doing some quick exercise helps, too... a few jumping jacks and you're nice & toasty!



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