Tuesday, December 16, 2008


It's taken me all day to warm up to a post today ... literally. I have been chilled to the bones by this early abnormally cold winter temperature. Pete's Wisconsin born DNA seems to be kicking in. I'm asking a lot of myself to acclimatize to something I promised my body we'd never have to experience again. Well, I'm having to do some sweet talking to this dear old bod while I gather my wits about me, and re-learn some old-fashion solutions for keeping warm.

I like the sound of this 'old-fashion solutions' because the ones I'm finding most useful and non-toxic for me come out of the pre-industrial solution cupboard. Here's what I'm finding works to sweet talk my body into getting warm and staying comfortable:

1. LAYER UP. Everybody knows that. I didn't when I lived here 25 yrs ago, and I was miserable the first winters here. Today I know one layer ... even if it's my Duo-Fold "Working Peoples' Store" cotton and wool long johns, isn't enough to stay warm outside. Start with one or more light weight long sleeve cotton shirts or turtle-neck tops. The air space between the layers will act as an insulator. Then put the long johns on. And a sweater over that. Then a winter coat over that. On my bottom half I doubled up on the long johns and wore stretchy tights over that.

2. SOCKS. Wear more than one layer of socks. I have only one pair of boots, so one pair of light cotton under my wool socks is all those boots will tolerate before their already knotted in repair shoelaces split one more time.

3. GOOD HAT. If your feet are cold, put on a hat. Okay, I sorta knew that from some distant past wisdom, and I love hats any way. So, I do this. My favorite everyday hat is now a little light for the 28 degree temp outside. WOOL, I need more wool everything. Ear muffs would be good, too. Time to learn to knit again?

4. KEEP THE NECK AND WRISTS WARM. I read that these two places on the body lose heat easily, so I paid more attention to that today, kept my padded collar close to my neck, and pulled the cuffs on my long underwear down around the wrists. I don't have a warm scarf, yet.

5. GLOVES. Fortunately the small green mittens I've had for years still do the job for me.

6. HOT ROCKS. This is something I'm doing inside the kitchenette, and in my bed. My sensitivities include not being able to use a plastic hot water bottle or an electrical heating pad. Our ceramic infrared electric heater is great, and yet when the temperature dropped early in the morning my kidneys and adrenals were saying nasty things to me. When I showed up for my NAET treatment this afternoon, Chulan said, "TRY HOT ROCKS." Well of course...

The picture above is my very long time friend The Heart Rock. She and I have been friends from the days when she asked to be taken from the muddy shores of our Mukilteo home. The Heart Rock has cooled me when I was feverish, comforted me by being a lomi-lomi stone (Hawaiian body work) working a kink from a place fingers alone would not free. This afternoon, just before sunset I put The Heart Rock into my RevereWare pot, gave a soft warning to H.R., "There's hot water coming." And poured a slightly cooled kettle of boiling water over her and let H.R. soak up some heat. I'm here to report my old friend is a wonderful collector of warm, wrapped in a cloth napkin I lay on her for a few minutes, took her from the napkin to rest her directly on my cold and aching places.

And, to those of you who though HOT ROCKS meant something different ... and more like two bodies being warmer than one .... that works, too! Both forms of HOT ROCKS are old-fashion solutions that works for me.

Any other old-fashion or new fashion solution for keeping warm up your sleeves? SEND THEM MY WAY, PLEASE!


Anonymous said...

As a local girl who freezes her butt off in cold weather, I know exactly what you are going through! Brrrrrrr. You have all the tricks down! Love your use of the heart pohaku. My secret to warmth is one more thing you haven't mentioned: a cashmere wrap or shawl that goes around my neck. I don't know if you are okay with cashmere. I bought three cashmere shawls years ago at a Buddhist temple and I had to wash each one several times to get the residues of incense out of them, but once they were aired out, all is fine. They were pricey, but worth every cent. The main reason why I love them is b/c they are light, but bring instantaneous warmth. One of mine is long enough to stretch out in the bed with me and it reaches down to my toes. Well, that's my trick to staying warm in snowy weather, or even the chilly nights here in Hamakua! Stay warm, island girl. {{aloha hugs}}

Mokihana Calizar said...

Susie, The cashmere shawl sounds wonderful, I'm not sure of cashmere, wool is okay, so I'll check it out.Long, light and warm ... great combination. Mahalo for the honi!!Mokihana

Anonymous said...

I put hot water into mason jars, and drop them into socks so if I kick them out of bed by accident I'll only have water to clean up from the floor. This is the 2nd winter I've been warming my bed and myself up like this and so far so good.

Mokihana Calizar said...

Linda, This sounds like a great idea. Now, are your feet in the socks with the hot bottles? Small mason jars, yes? Let me know.

Anonymous said...

I use them to warm up my bed so that I can get to sleep, or place under my feet or in my lap during the day. I use larger jars with the 2 part lids and I shake them a bit to make sure they don't leak before placing in my bed.

Mokihana Calizar said...

Linda, thanks for the clarification. Nice use of jars! The temperature has climbed to a 36 degree high, and my feet are out of socks.

Liberty said...

I loved reading about your heart rock/hot rock!
I've been trying to find MCS-safe ways to stay warm too (in addition to ten million layers LOL)

I read about a woman putting boiling water into stainless steel (very carefully of course) and using that in bed to keep her feet warm. Keeping the feet and head warm really helps. So does drinking a hot drink, temporarily anyhow.

I have heated brown rice in a pot or in the oven and put it in a resealable cloth bag I made. it keeps the heat for hours but it is moist heat so that's contraindicated for some conditions.
I don't use a microwave so this was my substitute for all those great ideas online about rice or corn filled fabric bags.

Mokihana Calizar said...

Hi Liberty, Thanks for the great ideas. Glad you like the heart/hot rock. It really is a great way to get some nice heat. We've taken to setting the rock on the top edge of our stainless steel electric heater ... It works like a champ!

Now tell me, are you heating COOKED brown rice in a pot/oven, or raw rice. Raw rice heated that way really sounds like a good substitute for the microwave (which we don't have now use either).

Stay warm. Where are you, Liberty?