the all-inclusive ultimate guide to getting warm

08 Dec

You guys, it’s cold here.

Not as cold as some other places,  I’ll give you that.  I have a friend in Rexburg Idaho who is dealing with -20 windchill and rolls her eyes when I whine about that layer of frost on the grass.  But still, we Western Oregonians are a tender folk!  We are used to gently rolling rivers and soft summer rains.  We are not used to a life under 32 degrees.  Otherwise we would move to Eastern Oregon, and nobody wants that.

This whole ‘cold’ problem is very much exacerbated by our living conditions.  Taylor and I have finally started using our heaters.  They work pretty well most of the time, but they can’t compensate for the many leaks and weak spots in our walls.  No matter how high we crank the heat, it always slips away through the cracks and crevices around our windows, and we find ourselves in the same spot we were before.  We have found methods, though, of surviving.  Shameless, dark ways to keep our toes from turning blue, and I will share them with you.

God speed, my chilly friends.

1.  Create a nest. Bears knew what they were doing, you guys.  When it gets cold, they get all the food they need and go bundle up somewhere, which is precisely what Taylor and I have been doing.  When I get home from work, I change clothes, get any food/water I may need and bring it over to our coffee table.  I then proceed to wrap myself in several mummy-like layers of blankets, and refuse to move for the rest of the evening.  Even an incremental shift might expose some part of me to the elements, and this is unacceptable.  The key is to really get all of your necessaries next to you, although go light on the drinks because having to get up and get to the icy bathroom is a fate worse than death.

2.   Eat hot stuff.  This seems like a simple solution, but I have beaten myself over the head again and again for coming home and thinking, “Ah, now it is time for a delicious chilled salad,” and then I eat that chilled salad and I die because my insides have frozen.  Stick with the hot stuff, my friends!  Winter is not a time to slack on the actual cooking.  Roast that meat, brew that coffee, microwave those pizza rolls and get them in your belly as soon as possible.  The delicious sensation when something warm goes down your esophagus and lands in your stomach is how I imagine baptism to be.  God is all “Awww yeaah be blessed, little dudes.”

3.  Socks.  Lots of them. If I have discovered one divine truth through this cold snap, it is that your body is only as warm as your toes are.  If you get your toes warm, the rest of you will follow, so load on the socks.  I’m not just talking one pair.  I’m talking a PROCESS, my friends.  Start with tights.  Layer over those a pair of those ankle socks.  Then a pair of dress socks, and ski socks, if you have them.  Top it all off with knee socks that will cover all previous layers (except the tights, of course) and lock in that heat.  Sure, you’ll look like a Powerpuff girl, but you will be a WARM Powerpuff girl, and that is all that matters.

Blossom here actually HAS feet, they are just hidden through layers of cunning clothery.

4.  Be a heat vampire. Taylor is going to murder me for putting this on the internet.  What I am about to say will cause boundless relationship troubles, but my friends, it is worth it.  First, find somebody to cuddle up with.  Then?  SAP THEIR PRECIOUS BODY HEAT.  I find the best ways to accomplish this are to wheedle your toes under their legs and press your hands against their back.  This is especially effective in bed, where your toes are like icy daggers.  Pressing them up against your boyfriend (or girlfriend) will yield pleasant warmth and amusing noises.  My favorite is a sort of snowballing, “yyeeeaaaaAAAAUUUUUUUUUAAAAGHGHGHGH!” If you don’t get dumped or murdered, you will have found a constantly renewing heat source that will last you all winter.

5.  Put on a god damned sweater. I know this seems obvious, but believe me, there are people who come home and put on their post-work tanktop and then complain about their chilly arms.  A sweater will serve you well.  Layering them earns you more points.  Don’t be afraid to look like the Michelin Man.  Nobody is judging you here.

6.  Lock yourself in like it’s the Zombie Apocalypse.  A smaller area will heat faster.  This is what is known as science.  When you find a spot to nest for the night, make it the tiniest room you’ve got.  As you get warmer, you’ll heat the room, the room will heat you, and it’s a never-ending circle of wonderful, wonderful warmth.  In larger rooms, this never really seems to happen.  Once that sort of heat-nirvana has been achieved, do not, I repeat, do not for any reason open the door.  It will be like Hell’s icy hand reaching out and punching you in the mouth.  Sure, it means you can never leave, but friends, why would you want to??


Posted by on December 8, 2009 in Uncategorized


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8 responses to “the all-inclusive ultimate guide to getting warm

  1. Rebekah

    December 8, 2009 at 11:00 am

    A hot water bottle makes crawling into a cold bed FAR less tragic.

    You can also bake a clean brick, wrap it in a towel, and bring that to bed. It’s weird waking up with a cold brick, though. =)

    • sarahcbagley

      December 8, 2009 at 2:09 pm

      yeah, i was just going to say that a hot water bottle is totally where it’s at. i think it’s cool how putting a hot water bottle on the back of your neck or at the base of your spine seems to heat up everything else on your body. i like to switch between putting a hot water bottle on my stomach/thighs/chest for localized super-warmth, and then on my back or neck for all-over warmth. If you wrap it in a pillowcase, it will retain heat for longer; if not though, you can put it straight on your skin (as long as you just use really hot and not boiling water in it) and it will provide you with that nice “i didn’t think things could actually be this hot on my skin if i am this cold” feeling.

      i can also recommend using the hot water bottle with a pair of relatively high-waisted, not too tight but not-too-stretchy pants, because then you can just shove the hot water bottle halfway down the back of your pants and go about your business. i have ended up cooking dinner in short sleeves in a 50 degree house using this method.

      if you can’t find one in the drugstore (for some reason they can be hard to find) get one from amazon.

      also, if you can find some of the cracks, you could wedge cloth of various sorts into them. you can also get this plastic stuff to stick to your windows that make them more weatherproof.

      good luck!

  2. amanda

    December 8, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    My #1 trick: bitching. It starts out as a specific bitchfest about the cold and as I work myself up into a lather about how Al Gore is full of shit, if the world is getting hotter than why are my fingers blue and stiff, I generalize to things that irritate me in general. By the time I’m tapped out of subjects, I’m in a near frenzy and no longer freezing.

    Results may vary.

  3. Jena

    December 9, 2009 at 12:42 am

    To add on to the nest idea, if you’re bored or just as super cool as I am, build a fort. Yeah, just like you did when you were a kid. That will make your small space smaller and give you more centralized warmth. I mean, come on, you’ll be surrounded by blankets. And awesome.

  4. Jen

    December 10, 2009 at 1:04 am

    I fully support the build a nest idea and I have to say that much to John’s dismay, I am FULLY guilty of being a heat vampire! He can’t understand how my hands and feet are so cold constantly. 🙂

  5. Tess

    December 10, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    I have discovered a few tricks for commuting in the cold.

    1. Make sure your gloves are warm but thin enough you can move your fingers in them because nothing sucks more than having to take off your glove to be able to find your bus pass, cell phone, keys, etc.

    2. Keep moving! If you come to a corner and the light turns red before you cross, CROSS THE OTHER DIRECTION! Go around in a full circle if you have to. You will be warmer and you will probably have made someone’s day.

    3. The final trick I learned today. Our box office at the theatre is short staffed and they asked for help manning the ADA door. Basically standing outside and potentially helping disabled patrons into the theatre. At 7pm. In 17 degree weather. To distract myself, I put the movie Batman Begins on my iPod Touch but occasionally needed to pause it. The screen is heat sensitive so that meant having to take my gloves off to control the movie. Until I discovered that if you put your gloved hand over your face and count to 30, you can use your nose. You look like a demented woodpecker who fell out of the nest as a chick but your phalanges are protected.

  6. Vanessa

    December 18, 2009 at 2:58 am

    I’ve totally *ahem* heat vampired before, I just didn’t know such an awesome term existed for it. It’s not my best way of getting warm, though, because my boyfriend starts flailing around and screaming. It’s amusing for awhile until he threatens to sleep somewhere else if I don’t stop, and that would be even LESS warm than if I just kept my toes to myself.

  7. lotusbubble

    April 8, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    I do the same thing to my boyfriend and also call it being a heat vampire. Crazy.


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