Thursday, January 12, 2012

Of Wool, Flannel, and Downton

This week I moved back to Chicago for school.  My roommate and I don't like to turn the heat on in our apartment to save money.  When the roommate is home this leads to long chats in the living room where we wind up eating ice cream because we've forgotten that it's cold.  When I'm home alone?  Not so much.  My mom's advice would be to "Put a sweater on", but sometimes that doesn't do much.  Once the seasons change and the temperature heats up, that will be all that's necessary.  In the meantime, here are some of the things I've been doing to keep from shivering.

1. Make Tea.  This is one of the more obvious ones, but certainly not wrong.  For me this is two-fold.  I get warm tea that is delicious and awesome AND when I'm really cold I'll stand over the kettle as I wait for the water to boil, soaking in the heat from the stove.  After which I'll go right back to the internet surfing, blanket wearing mode that I was in before tea was made.

2.  Cook or Bake.  Again, not the more original, but effective.  Along with the warm things eating, and the using of the stove, this one also gets you moving.  Movement means blood flow, means warmth.  That, and being holed up somewhere endlessly is much more enjoyable with a batch of brownies or a bowl of soup.  Or both.  And tea.

3.  Fold Warm Laundry.  Tell me I'm not the only one who will run the dryer again for five minutes to heat up the clothes/sheets/whatever that's in there so you can get the awesomeness of folding warm laundry.

4.  Curl Up and Watch TV.  I've found that what I really need when I'm cold is to be able to focus on something else.  Grab a blanket and the remote and cozy up for that NCIS marathon.  Or Friends if that's more your speed.  Whatever you watch, the more engaging the better, and you'll simply forget the cold.

5.  Get Some Exercise.  Pretty much the opposite of the last one, but once again with the movement, blood flow, and warmth thing.  Weather you play DDR on you Xbox or go run the treadmill in the shifty-looking exercise room in your apartment building, working up a sweat will make the cold less so.

6.  Wool.

7.  Leave the House.  Chances are that if it's cold in your apartment, it's colder outside.  That means that if you go outside and come back in, then the inside will feel warm by comparison.  Right?  This may work best if you walk to your destination as it offers you the most time spent outside in the cold.

8.  Invite a Friend Over.  Having someone else around doubles the body heat in the space, and also gives you something else to other than think about how cold it is.

9.  Go to Bed.  When all else fails, I've definitely gone to bed very early and/or stayed in bed very late.  What can I say?  Sometimes layers of flannel sound a lot better than a fifth cup of tea within an hour.  And not that I'm especially proud of this, but there was one time last week that I by the time I got out of bed the street lights were on.

This week a friend of mine is coming over for dinner.  We're going to be making lasagna and watching Downton Abbey (anyone else excited for the US premiere?  Bueller?).

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