Button up your overcoat

It is wicked cold here. Single digits morning and night, and a little north of here it is well below zero. The landscape is white, and the driveways are covered in ice. It’s Yaktrax season.

The cold made me think about all the things we do to get ready for winter weather.Β There are the storm doors that are a necessity, and the covers on the outdoor water faucets to keep them from freezing.

Inside, there are draft dodgers on doors leading to cold closets and doors, covers on all the outer wall outlets, and a nice lap quilt or afghan when you sit down.

We have a lot of windows for a smaller place –Β we do love light. On most of the windows my winter shades go up in December and come down in March. They are made out of warm window fabric which puts another layer on the window to keep the cold out. They are very heavy, but I have them equipped with hooks so we can still get the light during the day.

Have you ever toured a historic home located in cold climate where there are carpets or quilts covering unused doors and walls? They used what they had, and it worked.

One of the best things is the attic stairway cover. It is technically a box that you set in the space on the top side, and it works great in keeping the cold air from sinking down into living space. From the same company, Battic Door, we have the dryer vent cover that keeps the cold air from getting into the dryer and the house.

We also have a Harmon pellet stove insert. It roars from December through March. It allows us to keep it very comfortable in lieu of using our propane furnace since propane costs $4+ a gallon.

A wood stove works better in a power outage because we have to use our generator in order to run the pellet stove.

So, if you live in a warm area, tell us how warm so we can all bask in your sunshine and heat. Or, if you are in cold country, tell us some of your suggestions for keeping warm.

Photo credit: Pinterest

 

There is an old joke up in these parts.

Why do New Englanders leave a picnic table outside in the winter?

So, they can gauge how much snow is out there. πŸ™‚

 

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About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
This entry was posted in New England and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to Button up your overcoat

  1. Katrin says:

    This summer I made us window coverings out of the warm windows fabric and they are making such a difference this winter! Such a great product.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Joyce says:

    I’m impressed at the care you put into feathering your cozy nest for winter – both inside and out! We only replace weather stripping on the doorways and then sit back and watch the natural gas heating bills roll in! The first has already arrived. We try to conserve (two big bedrooms upstairs are unused now and closed off, although I’ve heard that doesn’t make a difference.) Our biggest energy waster is 6 cats lined up at the deck door every morning deciding whether or not they’ll go out to sit for a bit. Usually the answer is “no thank you,” but it takes awhile for them to decide (while my heat escapes like a convict from a minimal security prison!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do always appreciate the smile and the chuckle you provide. πŸ™‚ I have a heated/cooled porch room which is over a first floor patio area. That room gets cold because the floor area is exposed to the outside, and it drifts into the rest of the house. We have been talking about the costs associated with changing over to natural gas – both the laying of the pipes to the house and then converting the furnace. It would be peace of mind to not have to keep watching the propane meter. Stay warm and keep those cats in line. πŸ™‚

      Like

  3. Murphy's Law says:

    Mainly I just complain a lot. I figure the hot air coming out of my mouth will help to warm things up….or not!

    Thermal lined drapes help.

    Fortunately, when we let Murphy out, she’s quick. Unlike with Joyce’s puttytats, no lingering required!! Lol.

    You and Dennis will certainly appreciate the warmer temperatures in SC.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dan Antion says:

    Thanks for this Judy. I’m sending this to my wife. She has thermal liners on the windows in one room, but was wishing she could get them for other windows we have several hard to fit windows. We have managed to stay warm and hold the heating bill down (of course, we speak less about the cost of AC in July).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s wicked warm here, at least for December–high in the mid-forties today. I don’t like it and will be glad when it gets cold later in the week. I don’t want plants to think it’s time to come up! I don’t have window covers like yours, but when it’s quite cold, I leave the blinds closed or the curtains drawn, even though I love light. I roll up towels, put rubber bands around them, and put them at the base of the two outside doors. Our younger daughter puts up plastic over the windows of her apartment. I try to use the sun for heating help when possible, opening curtains when the sun’s streaming in and then closing them later. I do miss the wood-burning stove we had inserted in our fireplace in Cleveland!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Laurie Graves says:

    Tee-hee! That’s a cute joke and so true.Another way we northerners adapt is to bundle up and not mind too much if the temperature inside is below 70 degree, at, say, 65. Winter is here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you can function at 65, I stand and applaud you. You Mainers are tougher than this Granite stater. My circulation must not be as good as yours – my fingers would snap off. πŸ™‚ If the furnace is running, we keep it at 68, but if the pellet stove is rolling I can get it up to 70. And, I still have two shirts on. πŸ™‚ Stay warm.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie Graves says:

        Right now, Clif and I have a strong tolerance for cool temps, but we both know we might not stay that way. Then, we will turn up the heat, the way you do. Yes, stay warm!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Almost Iowa says:

    Around here, people burn corn instead of burning pellets especially when the price of corn is so low. It smells delicious and the ash is tremendously fertile, people put it on their gardens.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Love the picnic table joke – that applies here in southern Alberta as well! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Judy, your house sounds so cozy for the winter. Here in coastal Georgia we had a few nights in the low 30’s but we are back to the 40’s at night. It’s been in the 50’s and 60’s at night. We do have to winterize our RV when we’re not using it in the winter. At our house we cover the outside faucets when below freezing is predicted. Stay warm! Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. tonytomeo says:

    Although we are finally getting frost at night, it had been to seventy degrees during the day just a few days ago. It will be cooler today, probably not sixty degrees. We are in the Santa Cruz Mountains between Santa Cruz and San Jose. It could be seventy degrees in Beverly Hills (in the Los Angeles area). In Trona west of Death Valley, where the weather is well over a hundred degrees for at least two months through summer, it is actually colder than it is here, but very dry. I do not know why their houses even have roofs.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Joanne Sisco says:

    I’m starting to believe that you actually get much colder and snowier weather than we do,
    Our weather changed last night and it’s much warmer now, with the bitter windchills gone. I hope you see some milder weather soon. Long stretches of really cold weather is tough and I’m glad that I’m now in a position to pick and choose the days I go out.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love Snoopy on your picnic table! Ha πŸ™‚ Also that’s what my backyard here in Ontario Canada looks like, mounds of snow on our chairs and patio table! Stay warm and cozy and enjoy the holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We still have just a covering of snow, though more is expected today and tomorrow. The sky is white and you can smell snow. I would just prefer it hold off until after the holidays, when all the packages are safely home and no one has to navigate our terrible driveway.

    We have an oil furnace that was installed about 12 years before we moved in here. That seemed pretty new, at the time, but it’s 18 years later and lucky for us, it still works. At some point, the electric company declared us poor and insulated our attic. Since then, our fuel bills are about half what they were before, but the snow never melts off the roof!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our furnace/ac ductwork is in our attic. So, we had some additional insulation blown in a couple of years ago, and then we installed extra in areas that we could reach. It does make a dramatic difference. We don’t have cold air drifting down from every vent which is what we use to have to deal with. It is snowing here right now. πŸ™‚

      Like

  14. We are so much warmer here in Shropshire the coldest county in England – we just put covers on our outside taps and that is about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh my, I can’t imagine being that cold and having your house so rugged up. Even in mid-winter here, it rarely gets to single digits Celsius. You should hear us complain when it goes below 15, (60F for you). We are having glorious summer days, with temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s. Today it will be 30C, which is 92F. On Sunday night I went with a friend to an outdoor Christmas Carols service. It was beautiful, sitting under the stars at a mild 23 degrees. Stay cosy over there!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. susurrus says:

    I’m a big fan of hot water bottles.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Rose says:

    We have about any type of weather you could want! Last week the wind was direct from the Arctic…we are supposed to have tems in the 50’s before this week is through. So take your pick.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. pastpeter says:

    Tho’ we sometimes miss NH, just reading your temps makes me feel cold! Here we have occasional snow and 20 deg nights, but can still hit 50deg on a day like this. A very mild November brought some forsythia into bloom ! 30y in New England was enough to cure us of plastic at the windows, heavy drapes, rolled up rugs, blankets or towels at the bottom of doors…! Mild oceanic Long Island is just fine at our age! By local standards it’s not even winter here until Dec 21. But I foresee a road trip to the Carolinas by Feb! Merry Christmas, Judy, and stay warm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the reality of New England winters is why there are so many retirees on the road heading south the end of December. You are lucky that when you became tired of it, you had family, friends and experience living in an area that has a more moderate climate. πŸ™‚ Just keep smiling and enjoy those 50 degree days. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Yikes! I know I’m a wimp but I can’t imagine dealing with cold like that on a regular basis. It was in the low 50s tonight and I bundled up like I was in the Arctic. I’ll stay happily here in California and enjoy all the pretty pictures of the snow.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Eliza Waters says:

    Haha, loved that joke. The shed roof works for me. πŸ˜‰ Stay warm, Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. KerryCan says:

    I wish I had better ideas of how to keep the house warm! We heat with propane and it’s SO expensive! Plus our gas insert for our fireplace is propane and that means we use even more. I keep thinking about solar panels on the south-facing roof . . . . I probably need to look into the window fabric . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Propane is like gold, and they even charge us more because we use so little. I always find that mind boggling. If you have an energy efficient car, you don’t pay more for gasoline at the pumps, but they can charge us more because of the pellet stove and an on-demand hot water heater. The window fabric is like a big layered blanket for a window pane. It really does work, and you can be as creative as you want with how you put it up. πŸ™‚

      Like

  22. Oddment says:

    As always, I find the comments a great part of your blog. I laughed out loud when I got to Susurrus’ hot water bottle — succinctly put! Sounds as though Rose and I are in the same part of the world: Arctic last week, 50s now. I do not envy you your cold, but I sure envy your creative practicality in dealing with it. Since this will be my first winter in this house, I am learning its drafty ways and I thank you for your ideas. You know, of course, that my sewing anything is out of the question. The mere idea of what it would look like warms me with the giggles.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Lovely post and sounds frigid! We’re experiencing the same here in Ky. We’ve had a couple warmer days here lately but I think were in for a cold winter. Its was in the low 20’s last week. I’ve got a basket of throws in my wicker basket in the living room already, we’ve put clear plastic on the windows and this year I can still actually see out. I tuck towers under doorways anything I can do to keep it warm. Oh, I dont like this cold weather! Stay blessed and warm!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. pastpeter says:

    Just to to rub it in a little – this morning at 50deg I finished my Fall cleanup – shrubs cut back, perennials now at ground level, all raked up and tidy! I have been feeling guilty that I didn’t do this in October, but I guess I have to learn to adapt my schedule to zone 7 gardening! Merry Christmas, New England!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. pommepal says:

    I cannot even start to imagine how it would feel to be so, continually, cold. I would certainly want to hibernate… I moan a bit about our heat and humidity, especially the humidity, but I think I prefer it. The weather over here is going to be HOT for Christmas, mid 30’sC and yesterday we also had hot drying winds, I worried for my plants getting blasted… Hope you have a warm, inside Christmas

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Mary says:

    Okay, single digits really does sound a bit too cold – our Christmas low is expected to be in the low 20’s (Texas, wow) but reading your post we can deal with it! Happy to see you Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. judy we had a week or two of extreme cold here but today it went up to 59 degrees / won’t last though 😦 Just the one day πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Denzil says:

    In general Judy over here the winters are neither cold nor warm. Often between 5 and 10 degrees (Centigrade that is: 40-50 Fahrenheit). I presume when you say below zero you mean Fahrenheit? If so, that surely is cold! I wish you a lovely Christmas, Denzil

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Annie says:

    My very first purchase when moving to New Hampshire in the dead of winter ice and snow was Yaktrax on the advice of a neighbor. What’s that? There was no reason to even know that word while living in Virginia. Now I keep a pair in the car. We’ve added attic insulation and the insulated attic door but we have a lot of catch-up to match your warm house. We keep our house at about 65-68. Love my fleeces! The best fix for a New England winter is a trip south and we’re looking forward to that, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Here in Southwestern PA, we’ve had some COLD weather off and on….for days on end, but then breaks ! For instance today it went up to around 40 degrees or so…we keep going off and on

    Liked by 1 person

  31. We just had a new front door put on and the house is a lot less drafty. And Saturday we are driving to Minnesota for the week. For some reason we are heading north instead of south for the winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. merb010 says:

    Hello from sunny Florida … no A/C, no heat , just perfect, open the windows during the day, close them at night. Do not miss the winters, getting chills just remembering.
    Time to go out and water the plants.
    ME and the Boss

    Liked by 1 person

  33. joey says:

    Snoopy is adorable, Pinterest is lucky to have him.
    We’re having a mild winter again. We had a wicked cold week, from which I thought we’d all be blown, but we made it!
    I really need a draft dodger for my back door but we use it too often. Perhaps just something we could put down with the night.
    I love the winter, so I’m happy. I’d be happier if we got some more snow! (THIS WEEKEND! lol)

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Nadezda says:

    Dear Judy, I live in a cold country, but this winter is not too cold, +1 ,, – 2 C. I have put thick cloth between the double window glass. It works well too.
    I wish you happy and healthy holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Karen says:

    Oh I do remember doing most of those things to keep our 1730 home in New Hampshire warm. You asked so I’ll just say that it is warm enough for me to wear shorts when I do walking each morning…sorry. Wish I could send some of the warm sunshine your way as I saw it was snowing this morning in New Hampshire.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Oh man the weather I think has topped the charts with it’s bone chilling temperatures.

    Like

  37. Donnalee says:

    We have a pellet stove here in the house we moved into this year, and it has been superhelpful. It reminds me of my college-ish days when we had to keep the stove full or it’d go out and freeze. I tell you, it gets me up early early these days just to make sure it’s stil on and fine!

    Liked by 1 person

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