Winter is coming, whether it’s supposed to be “mild” or not, so now is the time to prepare. As a kid, I always associated September, October, and November with fall, even though the official dates don’t quite line up, and that means we’re halfway to winter.
To me, heat is very important. I’m not a fan of cold weather at all. We use wood heat, so, as the leaves are falling, we start picking up deadwood as we go about our chores and pile it out back. We also note standing trees that need to come down, and in the next week we’ll be cutting those. After that, we haul out the log splitter and cut and stack.
We had a little incident with the clothes dryer not long ago, so in the course of fixing that, my husband also cleaned up the lean-to and got the furnace all ready for winter use.
Last year was our learning curve; this year, we know we need a lot more firewood! And we also figured out, about halfway through the winter, how to regulate the fire. I don’t mean with the flue so much as the size of the fire—at least once, we had to open a few windows to lower the temperature a bit.
And by “a bit,” I mean that the thermostat in the living room read 88 degrees!
I’ve already changed the bedding to the winter set—which includes a heated mattress pad, and those, by the way, are amazing—and I’ve packed up the spring/summer clothing for storage and brought the flannel and thermal items into the house.
Yes, I know that not everyone has external, on-site storage, but if you do or you can, it’s great when you have a small house. If you don’t, I just discovered this wonderful bedframe—takes only a mattress—that has 18 inches of storage underneath. That’s enough for a deep plastic tub for clothes storage, or for anything else.
Besides the wood furnace, we also have a space heater for my office and an electric fireplace. Yes, I would have preferred wood, but that would involve building a chimney.
We have enough projects . . .
To sum it all up, if you want to stay warm in the winter and be prepared for any scenarios, you should have multiple sources of heat: electric, wood, proper clothing, extra blankets. In a pinch, we can pile into a vehicle and run the heater for a short time—we also store gasoline, although this would be a last resort. Gas is needed for other things, like chainsaws, ATVs, generators, and so forth, which also contribute to heat sources.