Texas in the winter is like playing blackjack with a card sharp. Just when you think you’re done with cold weather, Mother Nature plunges us into frigid temps.
We can manage for a few hours of bitter cold, but after that all bets are off. Pipes freeze, goats complain, and chickens lay egg-cicles.
Since we have farm animals, it’s a military operation to blow out all the water lines so that there is no water in any of the exposed pipes or watering troughs. Depending on how long it stays below freezing, we haul warm water to the animals at least twice a day. We also drape blankets and plastic sheeting as wind breaks, then we all hunker down and wait for normal temperatures to return.
I don’t like cold weather, which is why I use these tips to stay toasty.
- Wear long johns
- Drink something hot: coffee, tea, cocoa, soup
- Cover your head. It’s amazing how warm you’ll feel if your head is covered.
- Dress in layers, especially in Texas where the temperatures fluctuate constantly.
- Seal all drafts. Under the door and around the windows. Before we replaced our threshold sweeps, the cold air used to stream in. In a pinch I blocked the doors with old towels.
- Insulate your windows with bubble wrap. You can buy a big roll of bubble wrap for under $20.
- Wear socks. In the winter, I wear socks in the house all day long.
- Wear flannel to bed. Most of the time I want the lightest cloth on my body, but in the winter, it’s flannel, baby.
- Cook stick-to-your-ribs meals like chili, stew, pot roast, and casseroles.
- Exercise. I know. That’s a dirty word in most places, but moving around will bring your core temperature up. 15 minutes hauling water to animals and by the time I come in, I’m warm for the next four hours.
- Light a fire. We rarely get a chance to light up our fireplace, but it’s so nice when we do. It takes the chill off the room right away.
- Bake. The house is going to warm up fast, and smell amazing.
- Take a bath or shower. I like to warm up the bathroom first with a mini electric heater. It keeps the room the same temperature as the shower so there’s no cold shock. Once I’m dry I slip into my jammies and I’m good to go…
- Go to bed that is…pull the covers up and wait for Mother Nature to be reasonable.
It’s supposed to be quite mild all week. But next week? It’s anyone’s guess. In north Texas it’s not unusual to run the air conditioner and heater in the same day. We generally have several mini freezes in January and February. They don’t last long but they sure are inconvenient.
Does it get cold by you? What’s your favorite way to warm up?