Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Keeping warm

I've always been cheap. Of course I like to think of it as frugal. I can't help it. It's the way I was raised.

Among our weekly chores, we all got a thick pile of coupons to cut and sort.

Clothes were found at thrift stores and garage sales.

And of course, when it got cold out, instead of reaching for the thermostat, my mom handed us sweaters.

So when it got cold this week, I looked deep into A's warm brown eyes, slid my hand into his, leaned in...and told him to put on a goddamn sweater.

Of course, I forgot that A has the unfortunate tendency to not only buy in to my frugality once I've had my rant, but to sometimes take it even further. So I woke up this morning with twelve blankets, two cats, a dog, a husband, and a cold nose. Because despite the freeze warnings last night and my flashbacks to Laura Ingalls Wilder writing about not sleeping if it was too cold because you MIGHT NOT WAKE UP, A decided we could totally make it another night without turning on the heat.

Look, I know it hasn't even gotten below 29 F yet and I do not live in Duluth MN like my mother did and lord knows she had to shovel snow higher than her car and still go to school to teach the ungrateful children and somewhere in the countryside my dad was carrying his two sisters on his back through the snow barefoot uphill both ways across broken glass and ice and blahblahfuckityblahblah....

But I have been cold. I reached out to the themostat before A stopped me about a second before I flipped the switch. I am wearing two pairs of socks, leggings under my pants, and two hoodies over my shirt. But my little toe was still going numb, so with no hope of sneaking the furnace on, I decided to warm it up the frugal way...

with hot apple cider!

And then I made it better with some caramel syrup... (50 cents at a garage sale)
And really better with some vodka I got for my birthday...

(Oh! Frugal alert - Organic cream for 95 cents!)
Which turns into whipped cream...
Which goes onto the cider with a dash of cinnamon...

And suddenly I have warm feeling about being cheap again.


  1. :) We turned on the heat and E is under a blanket. This is rare. Then we live in Minnesota. But still that's not an excuse is it?

    Yes, my dad likes to remind me that he walked "uphill" both ways.

    So here is to walking uphill both ways and hot apple cider!

  2. Ugg I wish my hubs would leave the thermostat alone. I am sweating. The heat in on and I live in TEXAS. It is not even close to cold.

    Yumm on the cider!!

  3. Ugh... guess what E decides to do?!?! He hears me read your blog post and he goes shut off the heat!

    And he thinks it is funny.

    Guess who won't be getting a share of the down comforter tonight.

  4. Haha, I TOTALLY remember the Little House on the Prairie series... they rode in sleighs to school during blizzards and had hot potatoes to warm theri hands... I remember her writing about not falling asleep in the cold too.... Way too funny. That's the first time I have thought about that in years! :)

  5. OMG you crack me up! I can't sleep and it's 3:40 AM - and now I'm LMAO. That cider looks delicious and oh so frugal. I don't know how you can do it without the heat on, you are one tough cookie! I'm a wimp, heat has been on for a month.

  6. mmm, cider looks good! I think you surpass me on the frugal (I have been called cheap many a time!) But I will need to catch up. Especially if the hub is serious about this stay at home dad thing. Hell- even if he's not!
    (I've gotten over half my wardrobe & 90% of the kid's puny start to a wardrobe- from Goodwill. The rest I've made. The kids, not mine- although I have attempted!)

    ps- my word verification is permis. I looked quickly at 5:30 am & giggled!

  7. you turn frugal into a fucking art form, m'dear! I am very impressed and kind of wish you had your own PBS show so that I could learn from you.

    also- in a crazy case of blogger being all up in your comments- the word verification is "unglam". They are SO wrong!

  8. I love to cuddle under blankets. We are in NM and it gets cold at night but during the day it is still in the low 70's.

  9. GOOD FOR YOU! I am such a sissy when I am cold. Personally, I'd much rather be hot. I am proud that we have yet to turn on the heat as it has been repeatedly in the 20s at night.

    We have our heat blanket (pennies compared to the furnace) and the dogs and lots of sweaters too!

    Great job on the cider! Looks delicious!

  10. MMmmmm, do you ship the cider overnight?

  11. Im a WUSS when it comes to cold...but I try to keep the heat bill low by drinking hot tea, sweaters, slippers and those lovely hot showers. Your cider looks YUMMY!

  12. yyyyuuummmmmm. the cider drinks look awesome -- and I totally hear you about growing up frugal. I still reach for the coupons. I hate spending more if I can spend less.

  13. I got a couple of nice pieces of silver plated serverware and a bona fide crystal serving dish this past weekend at good will. I love it when rich people throw out good stuffs for me to find!

  14. Oh, man, I'm a wimpy Texas girl. We just had our first real freeze last night, but of course, I turned the heat on a week or two ago. Granted, it's on a programmable thermostat, and so, unless the house drops below 65 degrees, it doesn't turn on (well, or below 60 during the day), but still.

    We got a new heat system (bye, bye oil heat!) and so I psyched myself out saying that we needed to "test" it before it got too cold. And I'm glad we did, 'cos now I know that with a heat pump, it takes forever for the house to warm up, so if it feels like it's gonna get cold, I had better get the heat going in advance.

    And YAY to apple cider! I broke out the crock pot and set a pot of cider to mull (cinnamon, clove, cardamom, allspice, peppercorns, bay, and orange peel with a bit of brown sugar) last Friday for my mom's visit. We had ours with a bit of Makers Mark. Yum!

    Actually, I don't know what the hell is wrong with me lately. I've pretty much quit drinking (except for the occasional binge), and I've never cared for whiskey, but suddenly, I practically crave Maker's Mark. And Maker's Mark in cider is really effin' good. REALLY.

    What's even better is when your mom drives past an apple stand in West Virginia on her way to visit you and brings fresh pressed cider. And you add that to the mulling pot.


    Maybe I'll make cider with whipped cream for dinner tonight. Food? We don't need no stinkin' food*!

    *This is also a great way to live frugally- just quit eating! Pretend to be characters in La Boheme, metering out doses of Absinthe, and have mock feasts (or when that grows old, go out to eat and charge it to your lecherous old patron while you fiddle around with your old boyfriend, the poor painter). Ah, la vie boheme!

  15. Mmmm... that looks good. And it was ALWAYS cold in our house growing up. While I don't mind bundling up under blankets when I get cold ... hubby doesn't. D*mn heat is already on and I'm sweating like a pig.

    At least if we layered, I could always take the layers off while he piles them on ....

  16. Man, that looks delightful. Can I have one?

  17. Yeah! We finally broke down and turned on the heat, but keep things nice and frigid at around 57 or so.

    I'll have to try your methods, though. So far, I've just been engulfing myself in a ginormous comforter and refusing to rise.

  18. Oh, yum! I want some! I had hot chocolate this morning, but that looks good.

  19. ooooh YUM! I too am a wimp in the cold but our thermostat has gone on the fritz lately and I've been wishing that its been cooler which is a miracle!

  20. Dear cold Io,

    I just spent three days in a place where the temperature reached 90+. The grass, yeah, not so green - actually its fried because of the heat. It was so hot in my room, I opened up the little mini-bar refrig in an effort to recieve some cool air.

    Please send cool weather to me, I will pay for shipping.

    Kara + all other Southern Californians (especially those whom reside in the Palm Springs/Indian Wells area)