It was quite cold last night and I didn’t even bother to turn my furnace on; I haven’t done so all week.
Yeah, that’s what dish soap looks like when it freezes.
My secret to handling winter on the prairies is twofold. One is doing some ‘voluntary watchman’ duties at work. (they know and don’t care).
What I mean is that I get up when I usually do, get out of bed, dress quickly in the clothes that I have laid out the night before (complaining as I do).
I then grab my lunch and head to work. There I do what I need to do in the hours before work, but I never turn the heat up until it is time to start work.
Despite the thermostat at work being set at a lower setting overnight, it is a darn-sight warmer than my trailer (it was around -18C or so when I got up this morning).
I work my usual work and so on, on Monday through Thursday I then stay late and eat my dinner and putter around until it is time to head home and go to bed.
Friday is my early day, I finish work at one in the afternoon so I check my mail and do my weekly shopping on Friday afternoons.
Anyways, after work on Monday through Fridays I head home, pack my lunch, lay out my clothes for the next day, (in reverse order).
This is so I can just grab the underwear that is on top, put that on then, and then grab the socks that is under it, and so on with the shirt and pants.
I crawl into bed and complain about the cold (questioning my life’s choices as I do) and curl up in a ball (still wearing my toque of course).
The key is to keep your feet and head warm. The toque keeps your head warm.
To keep the feet warm I rub them together with stroking the top of one foot with the bottom of the other. You start from the ankle and stroke down to the toes. Then switch feet and stroke the other.
You need to do this because there is not a lot of meat on your feet so there is not a lot of blood flowing around them to keep them warm. Eventually your feet like the rest of you is warm in bed.
Warm socks don’t really help as all each foot has to get warm is just itself. If your feet are not covered they can bundle up together and warm up.
The fewer clothes that you wear in bed the warmer you will be; I learned that early on. Your body will heat up the pocket in the blankets around you and that will keep you warm.
The thick mattress was a big help, as it stops the cold from coming up from underneath, which did happen in the thin foam mattress that I came with Wanda.
I have four or five quilts on the bed at this time of year and they keep me warm (just not when I get into bed).
With water I keep two two-litre bottles with me and keep them tucked into the bed. On the really cold nights like it has been this week, I will keep them closer to me, just like my phone, wallet, laptop and other electronics.
The real trick is to know that the really cold weather does not last all that long and this too will pass.
So, I just tough it out and before long it is not all that cold again.
Which means that I can use my furnace again in the evenings and eventually have to turn my fridge on again (what’s the point turning it on when everything is frozen in it anyways).
I do what I have to do in order to get buy and get through this. I will do this during this last winter in Wanda. I will make it through, because I have a goal and a dream to motivate me.