Warm BootsIt’s the middle of August, smack in the middle of summer, and it’s time to start thinking about winter. Yes, the cold air is coming. I have a hard time thinking about cold weather when I’m sweating and grumbling about where the breeze went… But there are little reminders about the coming  cold, the sun is setting sooner and sooner each night. The evenings are cooling off nicely, it’s all but getting cold at night. Of course cold is relative, when it’s been near 100° F, then 55° or 60° feels cold, after it’s been in the 30°s, then 55° to 60° will feel like a heat wave. :)

I thought back to last winter as I was pulling a blanket over myself the other night. I thought about what I could do and/or buy to make this winter just a little more comfortable. Last winter we decided to not kill ourselves keeping the skycastle overly warm. When you heat with wood, especially in an uninsulated space, (yeah, I know, just add insulation, it’s easier said than done), no matter how hot you get the wood stove before you go to bed, by morning, it’s cold again. You go to bed with a light blanket and by morning, you need the heavy down blanket. So, in all honesty it’s just easier to go to bed in the cold and bundle up properly for the night in the first place.

My only complaint last winter was my feet being cold, you can only put on so many socks, since feet are the closest to the ground, and they tend to not have much in the way of insulation (fat), they are prone to getting chilled first. My hands come in second at being cold. I decided that I would not have cold hands and feet this winter. I just received 2 packages from UPS (thanks Bobby! You are the best!), the first package contained silk, long underwear, silk gloves and silk (& nylon) socks. I understand that ounce for ounce, silk is one of the warmest fabrics available. I remember my mother, who was forever cold, saying that one of the warmest things she wore was silk long underwear. So if it works for her, then I know it will work for me.

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I ordered these from Sportsman’s Guide, along with a couple of other items, the price was right since I was renewing my Sportsman’s Guide membership, that gave me free shipping for the whole order, I also had a $10.00 coupon, it was not a bad deal! I highly recommend Sportsman’s Guide, and it’s very much worth the extra to join the club since they give such great discounts, especially on your first purchase, they give free shipping and an extra discount on top of the club discount.

I ordered nearly the complete set of silk long underwear, the only item I didn’t order was the balaclava, I might order one later, but for now, I didn’t get it. I tried everything on last night, it felt so good, it was warm, soft and comfortable. The fabric is very lightweight so layering it under other clothes will not be a problem. I (almost) can’t wait for the cold weather to hit. I chose the natural colored fabric, the other choice was black.

In that same package we got another on demand, propane fired water heater. It’s always good to have a backup of anything that is necessary, or at least a major convenience, would hot water be a necessity or convenience? You will have to decide that one. I call it a necessary convenience. We are going to use this one for the shower that Mountain Man Bob is building. It has been started, we have the space designated and it’s almost completely closed in. We chose to give up part of the deck on the north side of the skycastle, it will be a large, walk in shower, big enough for two people. I can’t wait to take my first shower at home! :)

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The second package I received was a pair of boots. Also from Sportsman’s Guide (unfortunately they are out of stock on these boots, but you can order them from here, Women’s Itasca Ice Breaker Boots ). These are good, warm boots, they say they are rated to 20° below zero F, I doubt I’ll give them that kind of workout. As long as my feet stay toasty warm, or at least not freezing in 14°to 20°, I’ll be happy. I ordered these boots a full size larger than I normally wear, that’s to accommodate the extra socks I’ll be wearing. Last winter, my boots were a half size larger  and once I had on a couple of thick pair of wool socks, my toes were cramped. Ladies, I know how hard it is to buy shoes a size larger than you normally wear, but when it comes to keeping your feet warm and comfortable, then you have to sacrifice a tiny bit of (perceived) dignity, besides, these boots are cute and they make your feet look more compact. No one need know what size your boots are. :)

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