Monday, February 5, 2024

Winter Warmers

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Yes, it's that time of year again, that first full week in February, when the days are getting a wee bit longer but the weather (at least for most of us) is not cooperating. Although personally I can't complain too much–after the arctic blast that hit Texas a couple of weeks ago, we've had a week of unseasonably warm days, but winter for us isn't over yet.


So let's do some hygge!! There have been a few things that have warmed my toes and my heart through the cold season.


1) The mug warmer. My daughter gave me one last year and I loved it instantly, so much that I immediately bought another one for my second desk. Of course the downside is that I've lost most of the steps I used to get running back and forth to reheat my tea in the microwave every five minutes! 




2) Fluffy reading socks. The best thing ever! I first saw a pair of these in a bookstore during the Toronto Bouchercon, and have been addicted to them ever since. There is an arctic river that flows right over my feet when I sit in my morning spot, my sun porch desk. Even on the coldest days, these make life bearable.



3) Ditto pocket warmers. What a handy (excuse the pun) dandy invention. I keep one in my lap when I'm writing. Can't type when your fingers are frozen.


4) And now the heart warmer. The house felt so barren when we took down the Christmas decorations, especially the living room mantle. No matter how bright the fire, I missed the sparkle of lights. Hats off to whoever invented these little battery powered fairy lights. They even have remote controls and timers. Now every night is a cheerful one, and it's amazing how much that lifts the winter spirits. (I don't promise to take them down come spring, however.)






How about it, Reddies? What are your winter warmers, even if you aren't in cold climes?


HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: My darling family gave us this MASSIVE blanket. It is AMAZING! It’s light as a feather, and SO fluffy and silky and cuddly. So it’s a total-body warmer!



Also I have a great fluffy sweatshirt that says Optimism and Grit.  With a graphic of a campfire and a hatchet. (It might be an ax. Or is it axe?) Anyway. It is so cozy, and so unlikely! I adore it.



RHYS BOWEN: I’m normally back in Arizona by this time but health issues have kept us in California where it’s not too cold but rather gray and rainy. So  when I took my Christmas decorations down I left up this little tree and my gnomes. The tree is now a ‘Winter’ tree and it had lights that sparkle. That and my electric fireplace make the room seem cozy and I have a furry throw for watching TV.



JENN McKINLAY: I felt the same after the tree went down, Rhys. Then I was at IKEA and they had this faux birch tree with white lights for half price. Into the cart it went and I may keep it up all year round. 




Hooligan 2 is a barista at Dutch Bros and he gave me his knit beanie because we’ve had some chilly mornings during our dog walks! Of course by mid morning in AZ, I don’t need it but the early morning chill isn’t over yet! 


JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Other than a few really cold patches, we’ve had above normal temperatures this January and we’re expecting them this month as well. Of course, 20% warmer than usual in Maine means daytime temps that go a little above freezing and nights that don’t get down to the single digits. And in my eternally drafty 200 year old house, there are chilly spots everywhere! My recipe for hygge:



A blazing fire in the woodstove, fuzzy socks inside LL Bean sheepskin slippers, cozy blankets, plenty of hot tea and cocoa, candlelight and, of course, snuggling with two Shih Tzus! 




HALLIE EPHRON: I’m in for tea and cocoa. And just the feel of a hot mug held in two hands. I also wear layers, topped with a very soft warm scarf around my neck.


Am I the only person who can’t do hats? I think it’s the shape of my head. No matter what I do, a hat ends up trying to slip down over my eyes. 


Fuzzy socks: DEFINITELY. And warm slippers. Which hopefully if you wear them inside you’ll remember to take them OFF before heading off to the bank or supermarket or… Just sayin’.


LUCY BURDETTE: It’s even been a little nippy in Key West, though we’re not well known for needing hats and fuzzy socks. There is a certain blanket I sink into, and both of the animals love this too. It makes for very cozy snuggling. 


DEBS: I think we will all have to agree that Hank and Jonathan's photo wins the prize here--just how adorable is that??? But I love everyone's bits of cheer and feel very heartened by them.


Obviously, however, we've left out the most important thing--a good book!


What's your warming jam, dear readers??


PS One more! Here's our Lucy cat enjoying the fire!





104 comments:

  1. Give me fuzzy socks and warm slippers . . . a soft, plushy blanket . . . a mug of hot coffee . . . a good book and I'm all cozy and warm despite the winter cold.

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  2. I happened to buy the perfect robe last year, and it is nice and warm without being too warm. If I don't have it nearby, I grab the beautiful blanket that my dear friend LJ crocheted. I also have a Peanuts Charlie Brown throw I like to use. I don't usually do slippers or socks unless it's really freezing. I like to have a cup of coffee on my table next to me, but I do have to get up and rewarm it. Why do I keep forgetting about those little warmers, Debs? I need to get one of those.

    Hank, that is one adorable picture of you and your husband, and what a nice, big blanket. Debs, I love your fireplace. Jenn, that lit tree is a great idea. Julia, those doggies are certainly cuddle-worthy. Lucy, I've never tried a scarf inside for warmth, but I'm a great believer in nice thick scarves for outside, plus earmuffs. Rhys, I'm a gnome lover from way back. And, Lucy, snuggling with your dog and cat is the best way to keep warm ever.

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    1. They are, indeed, cuddle-worthy, Kathy. Now if I could just train my cat to drape herself over my slippers for added warmth...

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  3. Deborah, I love your lights. Now, I'm plotting where I could find something like that and where it would go in my condo. Because my condo always does feel a little empty when I take down my Christmas decorations.

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    1. You'll love them! Especially nice if you have something clear to put them in.

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    2. Ours are in empty gin bottles!

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    3. Lisa, perfect!!! Bombay Sapphire, by any chance? Those would be pretty.

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    4. No, smaller brands from Hawaii and Portland, but still pretty blue glass.

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  4. I had a warm comfy Godzilla blanket that I drag around with me, similar to Linus dragging his blanket. Nice pair of comfy slippers as well and of course of mug of hot chocolate and yes, a book by my side. Hank, you and Jonathan win the photo prize. I need those fairy lamps. Searching soon.

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    1. I use these little battery pack lights in my Christmas decorations, Dru, but these are even better than the ones we've had. They also have different modes, but I don't like the blinking or twinkling.

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  5. Living in SW FL we don't usually need anything to keep warm except for maybe 1 or 2 nights a year but this year has been quite cool compared to what we are used to. So I had to dig out my fleece outfits and fuzzy socks that I normally only wear when we go up north to visit family. I cover up with 2 throws on the couch when I watch the news and read my emails. My 2 cats love the throws too. I wake up early and Barnabas my big, black cat can be found sleeping on them on these cool nights and he doesn't want to move to make room for me.

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    1. Sometimes I think I'm coldest when we hover just above the temp when the central heating comes on.

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  6. I love big oversized sweaters and fleeces. I have two that I rotate. I wear one while the other is in the laundry. Then switch when the current one starts getting too covered in Kensi Kitty fur.

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  7. I'm all in for blankets! I have a lap quilt my mom made that lives on the couch in the winter. I can't wear socks higher than my ankles because of the itchy patches that plague me, but I found some loose leg warmers I can pull on that don't make things worse (except for making me feel like an aging out-of-shape Jane Fonda...). I also have a string of tiny white lights that I leave up all year long. Very cheering.

    Hallie, I only wear a hat outdoors when it's super frigid or a blizzard. I have a huge head (it's hilarious to see me try on a women's one-size-fits-all hat, because I am not included in that group), and hats are always too tight and annoying.

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    1. I am you head opposite, Edith--I'm a pin head, and hats are always too big!

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  8. I love the fairy lights! In my house we rely on central heating, felted wool slippers, wool sweaters and cups of tea.

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    1. I do have to dig the battery packs out of those hurricane lamps every couple of weeks to change the rechargeable batteries, but worth the fuss!

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  9. Debs, is that a Rookwood fireplace? It is GORGEOUS. We have been building fires in our (non-Rookwood) one a few times a week. I burrow under a cozy throw and read nearby. Bliss.

    I inherited two pair of unworn UGG boots from a friend who passed away. They are sheer heaven this time of year, as are the UGG slippers I got a couple Christmases ago.

    Steve never used to get cold; he worked outdoors in every weather. But the last ten years or so he likes to be warmer, so I have made several rice bags for him and myself, in different sizes. Just envelopes of heavy-ish fabric filled with cheap white rice and stitched closed. We heat them in the microwave; he lays his across his shoulders while he's working at the computer. I've laid mine across my lap if it's too cold to type without stiffness. You can buy these, too, filled with rice, flax seeds, field corn, and even cherry pits or cocoa hulls.

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    1. What a great idea!! And affordable!

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    2. I have some rice warmers--good idea, Karen.
      The fireplace is not Rookwood but a version of a Charles Rennie MacKintosh rose. We had them made by a company in Portland OR that makes vintage tiles. They did the tile restoration for the London Library!

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    3. They are really beautiful.

      I immediately thought of Rookwood, which was, and is again, made in Cincinnati, because there is a fabulous mansion in a historic district here, completely sided in Rookwood tiles nearly that exact shade of green. It really is stunning.

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  10. Debs, love this topic. I agree with Karen that your fireplace is GORGEOUS!

    On Social Media, I have been following this wonderful account by a woman who married a Scandinavian and she just did a reel about #hygge. I love that idea of hygge. I have "candles" - they look like candles and you just switch on the lights. No matches. I love seeing lights on dark nights.

    My Winter Warmers are Cozy Blankets, fluffy warm socks, and a good book. No fireplace use allowed with Spare the Air Days though. I also have a little Christmas tree up all year on my fireplace mantle. It is also an Advent Calendar where we put up an ornament every day in December. And I wear my UGG boots in the house when it is very cold. And I found my cozy warm knitted Irish sweater from an Irish shop in SF that my cousin and I went to in the 1980s.

    Love that photo of Hank and Jonathan.

    On another note, I hope that I did not offend anyone in the last few weeks with my comments. If I did, then a thousand apologies.

    Diana

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    1. Diana, love your "heatless" candles. Now that is cheery.

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    2. It is certainly fortunate to those of us who occasionally use our fire places, that there have been no spare the air alerts this winter.

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    3. Deborah, thank you. I agree that is cheery. Lights in the dark makes a big difference. Diana

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  11. Like JULIA, we only had 1 brief cold snap 2 weeks ago with highs of -19C/-2F. That is when the Rideau Canal Skateway briefly opened a small 1.9 km/1.1 mile section and closed 4 days later. SIGH :-( Those were also the only dates when I wore my North Face parka (good up to -40C/F) and my balaclava & sunglasses to protect my face.

    It's so warm I don't have to wear my warm winter boots, just my Merrell ankle bootlets, or even (gasp) regular New Balance running shoes in early February. Today's high is 0C/32F.

    But thanks to HANK's recommendation a few years ago, I just wear the thinnest UNIQLO long-sleeved HEATTECH shirts & am toasty warm. No fleece layer required (yet).

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    1. Grace, I learned about Heattech on this blog (thanks to the person who recommended them!). Even in California, I wear them every day under my sweaters in the winter weather. I think I need them more inside than outside! I wear the long-sleeved, scoop-necked style and just bought two more, which brings my total up to 10 . I used to use Cuddl Duds, which are great, but a little thick for wearing under clothes.

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    2. MARGIE: It was HANK who recommended the HEATTECH shirts on the blog. I used to wear Smartwool or Icebreaker tops but you can buy 4-5 HEATTECH shirts for the same price! Most winters I wear the ULTRA WARM shirts. Today, I am just wearing the thinnest HEATTECH shirt and am totally warm.

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    3. Definitely checking out the HEATTECH!

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    4. https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/special-feature/heattech/women
      Looks like there is a sale in the US. The thinnest HEATTECH tops are only $9.90!

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    5. Uniqlo is amazing and so affordable. I bought some tops and bottoms for my son, whose work takes him outside on ship decks in the winter - and even in southern Virginia, it gets COLD. I just hope everyone loving on their brand doesn't ruin it. Please, Uniqlo, keep the same quality you have now!

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    6. definitely checking out HEATTECH!

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  12. I recommend the 32 Degree Heat brand of base layer tops and bottoms. I have two different weights of throws and sometimes pile them both on. Laptop on my lap can be quite warming. Putting up the hood on my hoodie helps. But my absolute favorite is my fuzzy purple bathrobe that my sister gave me many years ago. I once wore it on pajama day to school where I worked in the freezing library and was the warmest day I ever had.

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    1. I put up the hood on my hoodie, too, and have been known to wear a beanie in the house when it's really cold.

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  13. A big, fluffy fleece blanket. I bought myself an Ember smart mug with some reward points from work (and bought another when I fried the first one in the microwave) so lots of hot tea. A fire in the woodstove, although it is a pain to keep the wood stocked.

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    1. Debs, it is very cool. It lets your beverage cool to the set temperature then holds it there - up to 1.5 hours on the batter, indefinitely if it's on the charging coaster. Not something I would actually pay money for, but since it was reward points from the day job, why not?

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  14. Mine is a heart-warmer more than a body-warmer, that is mostly a winter-thing, but can happen anytime.
    Picture this: fire is on, living room is warm. We only use one light so that is on. So is the telly. Two Lazy-boy type chairs are stretched out, as supper is now over (dishes are beside each chair, and have been suitably cleaned by the dog with the exception of vegetables and pasta that he doesn’t like). He is now behind my chair. Blankies are either on or close by.
    Now for the good part: On the chesterfield – one black/white cat on the top, 1 charcoal cat upside down legs sped-eagled on the couch part, 1 feral cat sort-of beside him, but definitely not touching, 1 grey avoirdupois cat belly exposed as close to the fire as he can get, striped cat in box, pink cat in sideways box, grey-tiger on other chair, tiger on back of my chair often falling off, and a really cute white deaf Sweetheart on a blanky on my lap. On the stairs watching over it all, an orange-y tiger cat – she doesn’t come downstairs for some reason.
    Peace and serenity reign supreme.
    Today’s weather update:
    It is now semi-raining and the temperature is just above freezing. The snow is now sublimating and shrinking. So far the door that was snow up to the roof, is now half way down the window. The snow itself is getting very heavy which makes it heart attack snow. The snow-blower is in the garage – with a snow drift in front of the door. A State of Emergency has been declared since mid-day yesterday, which means that Please stay off the roads. Everything is closed – school, hospitals except for emerg, everything. One gas station is open. Power is off for many people, but so far, we are lucky. Weather person says precipitation should cease mid-afternoon.
    For us – we are fine. Have lots of food even if it is only eggs and toast with lots of butter and marmalade. It is not too hard to pull the occasional stick out from under the snowbank on the deck. My son me a picture of a crocus blooming in his backyard – nice boy!!!
    Should anyone want some snow for your hot chocolate, send a stamped self-addressed envelope, and I will mail it to you – return post.

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    1. You big tease, Margo. You;ve already said you can't get to the mailbox! LOL

      Glad you're staying warm and cozy through the storm!

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    2. MARGO: I think this snowstorm deserves a name! I still remember how we studied the impacts of the "White Juan" 2004 snowstorm.

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    3. Margo!! Stay safe and warm!! And so glad all the kitties are cozy inside with you!

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    4. Margo, we need you to do play by play for our several inches of rain, and hurricane force winds here in the Bay Area of California. We lost ninety feet of redwood fencing on the north side of our property, that climbs a gentle slope of the hill. Received a third of our normal rainfall in one day. Normal here is only 14 inches. The power is still out for many. Of course now, the sun is out, temp is 65, and iI am going out for a run. Many fences and trees down, a lot of clean up today.

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    5. The news last night (which we could finally see) said that you were also having weather. IT makes my heart bleed to hear of beautiful old trees coming down.

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    6. Southern California was hit especially hard last week with 4-5 inches of rain in one day. Which is huge for our area as we are normally in a decades long drought. Hundreds of homes were completely destroyed, freeways submerged and not driveable for most of the day. Then we had sunny days and the heavy rains are back but so far not as bad as before. Right now Northern Cal is getting the brunt of the storm.

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    7. Apparently it is coming your way. We had three eighty degree days last week. We also had rain from the first storm, but only about three inches. The weather, as in dry is actually very normal for California. We had double our normal rainfall in the winter of 2023, over 30 inches.

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  15. A heavy Scandinavian cardigan sweater I wear over my usual ragg wool sweater and turtleneck and wool hiking socks. I keep the silk amaryllis plants on the mantle till Valentine's Day. The red is so pretty against the gray stone.

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  16. For those of you with chilly houses or arthritis, may I suggest that you either knit for yourself, or get someone to knit you a pair of fingerless gloves. These make a huge difference in making your hands/wrists happy while typing and also keeping you warm. I used to wear them even in the summer because the heat keeps your fingers more supple, and less tired. Use a wool almost as thin as baby wool as anything else is too bulky to let your hands work well.. Make sure the cuffs go up to your wrists, and the fingers just pass your knuckle. I got a set for Harumper last year for Christmas and he could not believe the difference.

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    1. One of the best gifts I ever got was a pair of fleece fingerless gloves from my boss. They have little "hats" that convert them to mittens as needed. Could not live without them for watching tv in the evenings or working on the computer on chilly days. For some reason temps above freezing with rain make me need them more than days below 20 that are sunny.

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    2. Great idea, Margo. I have an old pair of fingerless gloves that I used for walking the dogs, but they're too thick for something like typing. And my hands are always cold!

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    3. I have super-thin fleece fingerless gloves. They make a big difference!

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  17. Love the photos! For me, it's fuzzy socks, a sherpa lined sweatshirt, and sherpa lined yoga pants. That's a lot of sherpa, but I live in Northern Maine and my office is in the basement of our house. Yes, I have heat, but there's something chilly about being below ground! When all else fails, I pile the cats on my lap, those little guys are purring, vibrating, space heaters :)

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    1. Cats are the best! If I stretch out on the sun porch sofa, Lucy is right on top of me. So comforting.

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  18. I forgot to mention my robe. I love my fluffy pink robe. It really is the simple things isn't it?

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    1. I keep hoping someone will give me a really nice robe for Christmas some year:-) Although truthfully, I don't wear one much. I have to get dressed first thing in the morning to take the dogs out and usually stay that way until bath right before bed.

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    2. yes, it is the simple things. I love my fuzzy socks. Diana

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  19. Handwarmers! I bow to the person who invented them. Picture a snowy December day on an exposed blufftop. Piercing wind. Crew constructing makeshift shelters of screening stands and tarps over their excavation features. Me trying to take photos and notes and moving from one crew member to another. And I'm always cold. One of my crew offered me a handwarmer. Slipped inside my glove--instant bliss!! They were sold in the hunting section of stores--I'd never heard of them before.

    At home, now, layers, fuzzy socks, and youngest cat on my shoulder, ginger cat on my lap, words accumulating on the page before me--and I'm set for cold weather. And I don't like microwave-warmed drinks--they never stay hot for very long. Mug warmers are great!

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    1. A friend in Michigan carries handwarmers and bottled waters in her car to hand out to homeless people she sees on the street. That is so unbelievably kind.

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    2. We used to tuck them between my father's underwear and his pants, so that they would warm his painful arthritic hips. They stayed there until he stood up!

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    3. That's so kind, Karen. And I agree about the microwaved drinks--why is that, I wonder? Looking at my tea on my mugwarmer right now!

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    4. Karen, those handwarmers are nontoxic and heat for 8 hours when activated--what a great idea to hand them out!

      And Debs, I looked up the science behind microwave ovens---they heat everything, including the cup, so a convection process doesn't occur. The top of the mug's liquid is hotter than the bottom. When the heat source is at the bottom (like a teapot on a stove burner), the bottom heats up and rises, the cooler liquid sinks to the bottom, and eventually the entire liquid is uniformly hot. Hmmm--so our anecdotal observations were correct!

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    5. Flora, ever the scientist! I love it! And it makes sense.

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  20. During our recent ice storm, I luckily did not lose power, but my ancient radiator system couldn't keep the house warm with the east wind howling and temperatures in the teens. I'm glad that one is behind us and we are now warmer than usual--sunshine and almost 60 last week. I received a pair of big fuzzy socks for Christmas and love them! So comfy and warm. My bathrobe too is very fuzzy and warm. Great pictures, Reds. I feel cozy just looking at them.

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  21. I posted earlier but can't find my post now. So here I go again. UGGs are the best. We have a couple of the larger boots but I bought the ones that are shorter and have thick soles so I wear them outside. I love them and so do my feet!

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  22. Many, many years ago I had a cashmire sweater that was thin but super warm I mean like you get hot and sweaty type warm. I don't know what happened to it over the years but newer ones you buy today aren't anywhere near as good. Does anyone have any recommendations as to brands that are good quality?

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    1. I have a couple of cashmere pullovers but I always get itchy and sweaty. I'd love to have a really thin cashmere cardigan if anyone has a suggestion for good quality.

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  23. A lovely light, but warm down throw. A small fairy light tree that I have year round. Fingerless gloves when it is REALLY cold so I can type. And of course the cozy socks! A cozy lap cat. I love all your photos!!!

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  24. No matter what I do, or how many layers I wear, I’m never quite warm enough in fall and winter.

    Hallie, I can’t wear hats, either. I like the “idea” of hats, though!

    I keep my Christmas tree up all year now, and just change the decorations for each season. It cheers me up!
    DebRo

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  25. In the winter I revert back to the grunge look with wearing a long sleeved t shit under a short sleeved t shirt. Jeans instead of shorts and floofy socks + slippers. I was so lucky to choose to review an electric heated mattress pad. It is twin bed sized, has 4 heat settings and stays on for 10 hours with an auto shut off. On the night stand I have a special sober anniversary candle. The sentiment on the jar is not suitable for cozy mysteries, (big *** deal etc). I smile and agree. May we all stay warm.

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    1. forgot to say all the photos warmed the cockles of my heart. Snuggle well people snuggle on.

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  26. Best reason to have a fire: your pets will love it even more than you do!

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  27. Bathrobes! A wardrobe of them. Preferably from New England where they are experts in dressing for winter. The coldest room in our century old townhouse – not in New England – is the dining room, and as I walk downstairs for a cup of tea, early on a cold winter morning, I can feel the temperature drop with each step. The solution is a heavy duty fleece robe from LL Bean. Pricey but it does the job. And for those cold but not freezing mornings? A first-rate flannel robe.Usually garish plaid. My current one is also Bean but there are others. The look is “lumber camp” but so what? And for merely chilly AM’s or when we have company? Solid color, heavy duty jersey wrap. Slippers? Currently, wool on the outside, fleece on the inside and adorable penguins embroidered on the toes. They keep my feet warm AND they make me smile. The definition of hygge, I think.

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    1. I love garish plaid flannel, and if I wore a robe more I would definitely be hitting up the Bean catalog!

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  28. Yes to just about everything everyone said above. Especially little lights. I'm particularly fond of lining my windows with strings of warm white LED lights. I've now completed them all: front, back upstairs, downstairs. The last is in my kitchen, to make it cosy & bright while I'm cooking. On dull winter days and long winter nights they always make me feel cheery. I hope it's good for the neighbours too. On my street, and indeed, all over much of Toronto, everyone has been keeping their Christmas lights on to brighten the winter nights. I think more so than usual this year.

    Oh, and yesterday I just ordered TWO new sets of flanellette sheets: one for the city and one for the cottage, where the sleeping cabin can be pretty chilly on Spring and Fall nights. Ahhh....

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    1. Do you leave them up in the summer, Susan? Sounds lovely.

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  29. I buy a poinsettia every Christmas and keep it going as long s possible. It is a bright spot of color during dark winter days. I have battery operated candles that get flipped on when it is stormy, like this past weekend. I have no problem crawling under the lighter crocheted throw on my bed, with my sweats, on colder days, to enjoy a good book or an old movie or PBS cooking program.

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    1. We can't have poinsettias in the house, they're poisonous to pet, but they do add a cheery note.

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  30. I usually leave the holiday lights in the windows until the Equinox, but this year I didn't put them out, to keep the visiting toddlers safer. I moved breakables from the window sill and replaced them with coconut shells, books, and a little Tonka van from the MN zoo (1977 or so, durable). Their visits warm my cockles <3 For the rest of me, layers of clothing and mugs of coffee. ;-)

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  31. We have an electric blanket, but haven’t used it for the past few years. It just hasn’t been cold enough overnight in San Diego, plus we have flannel sheets on the bed. I have rice socks (bought from a chiropractor years ago for warming aching shoulders, backs, whatever) that I now heat before bedtime. One at my feet and one along my side and I relax and fall asleep. Our living room has really good lighting next to each seat so becomes a great reading room. And we have throw blankets for snuggling under while watching TV at night. Our pup is not a snuggler, but he’s very happy to take up his 2/3 of the couch which probably does mean he’s giving off some warmth! — Pat S

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    1. We usually have a cat between us, and sometimes a dog. And sometimes both if the dog will tolerate the cat walking on her...

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  32. What is currently helping me to get through a Swiss winter feeling cozy (besides our excellent central heating!): 1) the big blue candle on the table where we eat, which I light at all three meals; 2) my sheep's wool-lined slippers; 3) many, many layers of clothes that I can slip on and off; 4) the fact that all but one of the orchids on my windowsill are blooming their heads off; and 5) mugs of sweet, lemony black tea.

    PLUS: When I get into bed at night, the hot water bottle that I filled half an hour beforehand is already under the duvet waiting for me! Ahhh!

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    1. Thanks for reminding me about the hot water bottle, Kim! I have a proper English one, with a fleece cover. Must track it down before the next cold snap.

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  33. Right now, my coziness is due to Frank. I sit on the couch under a light throw, reading or watching TV (right now it is Monsieur Spade) and he pops up and brings me a drink or snacks to share. He's headed back to Texas later this week so I'll have to fend for myself.

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  34. A lot of the same things the Reds love, although for me, if the back of my neck is cold, I am cold, no matter what else I'm wearing. Hence, scarves and those woven circular ones. I prefer natural fabrics, so wool, cashmere in the winter. But my neck thermometer operates all year round, which is why every picture of me at a convention seems to include a scarf!

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  36. I also found a full body hooded fleecey thing..it's like a sweatshirt dress, with a front pouch and a hoodie. It's amazing.

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  37. Thanks for all of the sharing and kind suggestions for keeping warm. (1) We were always in a panic when a snowstorm was predicted as we live way out in the woods. So, we finally had a backup generator installed and hooked up to our natural gas line for fuel. Now, warmth is not questionable. (2) When we built our house, my husband had a toe warmer installed under our kitchen sink. Now, whenever the furnace turns on, the heater under the sinks blow hot air. So, just standing by the sink is a quick way to get my toes warmed up quickly! (3) We each have PolarTech fleece lap blankets with pockets for our toes which is marvelous. Thanks again!

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    1. A toe warmer? Ingenious!! — Pat S

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    2. Love the toe warmer! What a clever guy!

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  38. For me it is a nice fire in the wood stove, a hot drink (maybe hot cocoa with a bit of coconut rum), and a fuzzy throw.

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