Saturday, December 15, 2007

Strange Bedfellows

Hot on the heels of my post about global warming-induced marital discord, I have a confession to make: I have invited someone new into my bed and my husband isn't even jealous. No, in fact he wants to share!

It's not what you think. I'm talking about my cozy, new plush hot water bottle. You see, our house is cold. And by cold, I mean REALLY cold. We're participating in Crunchy Chicken's Freeze Your Buns Challenge and keep our thermostat at 65 degrees during the day and 55 degrees at night. That may not sound bad but, as in all brilliant designs (note sarcasm), our thermostat is located in the absolute warmest part of the house and our heater vents are located as far as possible from the usable living space in each room. (I recently closed vents in less used rooms which, according to Burbanmom, helps with heat distribution.) The result is a house that hovers at 55 degrees during the day and God knows what at night.

Mostly, we suffer through it. Mr. Green Bean wanders around the house in a robe with a cup of hot water. I wear my parka or, on warmer days, a downy vest. We double-bag the kids for bed time. Everyone sleeps in at least two layers.

We do Riot 4 Austerity so we're trying to keep electricity usage down. This means looking for non-electric solutions for staying warm (e.g., the electric blanket is out). Crunchy touted the cherry pit bed warmer which sounded a bit, um, bumpy to me. I found directions for making a bed warmer with rice on the Web but, when the rice we bought in bulk hatched little friends, I threw that idea - and the rice - in the compost bin. My good friend raves about cuddling her hot water bottle (inherited from her now deceased mother - a great example of keeping products in use!) and it sounded like the least strange bedfellow.

We invested in two, plush covered hot water bottles and, boy oh boy, have they heated up the old marital bed. Meow!


Mommy off the Record said...

Good for you guys! You are brave! We just got a new heater as our old one was original to our 1960s house and in need of replacement. I take solace in the fact that it is much more energy efficient than the old one - even though we are keeping it well above 55 degrees right now :)

Well, good luck with your energy conservation efforts. I would like to try this too someday - perhaps once my little guy gets to sleep with covers (he's still an infant).

Grant said...

My wife and I are not quite as brave as you are. our thermostat is set to 68* during the evening (6pm to 10pm) and 60-62* the rest of the time. I can tell you right now that 68* on the thermostat feels nothing like 68* in real life. Our house is pretty old and even with new energy saving windows it gets chilly in the winter. I don't have much hair left, so lately I've been wearing sweatshirts and my winter hat (with ear flaps!) inside. I've even got a scarf on right now. We've also found that rice-stuffed pouches can help keep us nice and warm. We've got several that are designed to sit on your shoulders/neck. Keeping the neck warm keeps the whole body warm and it only takes 1 minute in the microwave to keep it warm for an hour or more.

You might look into something similar. They're super cheap to make using scrap material and plain rice (though, I'll admit that we bought ours). They stay warm for a long time and there's no danger of spills or scalding water.


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