Friday, January 31, 2014

Cold Snap and Window Quilts

First, let me long winter's nap is over! Not that I've been napping since my last post...but my thoughts have been toward how to utilize this blog and be a blessing to those who read it.

Brrr! I don't think I have to tell many of you it's been a cold month here in New York! It sounds like another month of cold may be coming our way in February too! We'll see if the prognosticators (another name for those who predict the weather) are right or wrong as the days come and go.

The past years have had us spoiled... in our neck of the woods anyway. The mild weather made me forget how bitter cold and snowy winter can be. I've been forced to think about ways to get this place to hold heat and how to keep myself warm when the bitter chill wants to invade our living space. Then of course, I think about keeping my animals warm.

Have you been thinking of ways to cut heating and electric costs? I know I have. Our local utility company sent an email warning us of an elevation in rates...both gas and electric.

We don't use gas for heating. We have an oil tank, but it is empty (by choice) and we've used only wood heat for the past few years. In the mild winter weather, that has sufficed. This cold winter, it has brought some challenges and chilly indoor weather on the bitterest of days. When the sun shines, it does help keep it warm in here immensely, but there is always the necessity of feeding the stove. This is of utmost impotance if one wants to keep warm! There can be no forgetting or you will suffer later when the sun goes down! But Mr. Home-Sweet (Mr. HS for short) has informed me that we have used quite a bit of our wood stores this season already. I did noticed myself on a trip to the barn...that our wood pile did seem quite bare! Compared to this time last year...we really have made a dent in our shed! Going to the basement has been a treat because up here in the main part of the house, well, it's chilly. We have a blower on our stove...electric of there's more meter spinning...but some days it just cannot keep up.

Now there is a propane shortage. I'm not fully aware of just where this is happening...possibly the midwest, but it makes me think about conserving our own supply in the chance that it rolls over to our side of the map. We use propane for cooking and hot water. Our dryer is hooked up only for the very, very few emergency needs...or when I want to shrink fabric for a project. Definitely not used as a habit. You know I like to do laundry...the whole nine yards...hanging and even ironing. I's strange...but I do. Anyhow...I have a dryer, yet live as if I do not own one, really. We have a couple of electric ovens which, I do not believe, are the best way to cook. It is costing me money to cook our food, and that bugs me...A LOT!!! (I have dreams of a solar oven and cooking over the fire with my cast iron cookware this summer...oh and while I'm at it...a rocket stove to cook on...yes...I sure can dream!).

So with the utility company's email and the articles on shortages and storms and cold and what others are doing to keep their costs low in house and outside too...I thought I'd share my own ideas on what I've been doing to keep warm inside and out.

 I have been seriously thinking about window quilts. Links to ideas here and here. Definitely the second!

Here is a video tutorial that can be used as is or for a guide:

   Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Yeah...I know this is a long post, but I have them archived here when we want to look at them without too much searching around. As long as they're kept on Youtube anyway.

I'm also thinking about draft dodgers and window draft dodgers. My back door needs one for sure! Martha Stewart has a tutorial for a window and door dodger here that seems just about as good as any, so I'm going to be printing out the instructions for those too. I'm determined to get the chill out...and probably just as I get it done, spring will hit. But I'll be ready for next year!!!

Praise the Lord for the vast information on the internet! I'll keep you posted on my progress. Making a trip to Joann Fabrics to see what they've got, if anything, that I can use with a coupon! 

I do thank God immensely for warmth and food and shelter and all the blessings He gives us each day! Every good thing is from Him! Anyone who watches what's going on in the world can see our great need of a Savior and His Guiding Hand. We must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves in this age. Pray for wisdom every day and God will give it to you liberally!

Praise Him for everything that comes through His hands to us...good and bad. Acceptance with joy! God works all things for good to them that love Him and are the called according to His purpose. Amen!!

How will you be more frugal in your Home-Sweet throughout the rest of this winter?