It was one of those moments of serendipity when a very good idea comes to mind while performing a mundane chore on one of those very cold afternoons. I was folding my laundry when I came across a favorite old funny pair of soft, woolen socks that had seen much better days. "I should toss these out," I told myself. But I hesitated, like I so often do over socks made from wonderful, warm, soft wool that are--save for one little spot on the heel--perfectly fine. And yet, that one little thin spot made them useless for protecting the back of my heel in my winter shoes.
A few hours later, I was back at my desk, typing away on the computer with cold hands and wrists--like you, I keep my thermostats down to save on the fuel bill. My hands were getting cold and stiff in the less then balmy room...and I kept tugging on the sleeve of my fleece pullover, trying to cover my wrists that always seem exposed. I was growing more miserable by the minute...But how can one wear gloves and type, or write, or dial a phone?
That's when the idea came to me: those soft, old warm socks could live a long and happy second life as "wristies" ... keeping my hands and wrists warm while I work on my computer, read a book in the evening, or knit a new sweater.
I grabbed the scissors, pulled the socks from the rag draw and in 5 minutes I had warm hands...and what a difference it made for the rest of my day!
It's hard to explain just how much warmer I felt all over, once my hands and arms were warm--and how much easier the workday goes by when I feel comfy instead of chilly and cranky.
Try it and you'll agree: warm hands make a happy heart!
To make your own: cut about 2 inches off the toe of an old warm sock--but be conservative--you can always trim off more if they are too long.
Next, cut a small slit in the center of the heel for your thumb. Don't bother binding off the cut edges--unless the fabric tends to unravel easily. (Click on the image to view a larger version if you like) I have been using my "new" wristies for a couple of weeks now and I
still have not bothered to bind off the cut edges. The cut edges are
just fine...just a few loose threads that are easily dispatched.
Yes, these are funky, but they make winter work so much more tolerable that I would not hesitate to wear them out and about when needed.
Don't have any old socks to recycle? Just type "wristies" into your favorite search engine...and you'll find lots of choices.
Over the past couple of hours the temperature crawled toward then just above freezing. In the sunshine the water in the birdbath has melted a flock of chickadees stops by and they take turns sipping and bathing.
i didn't wish to chance disturbing them water is a precious find for birds in winter so no photo. Sharing an old sketch instead
It's rare that we have long stretches of grey winter weather. Storms come, leave their offerings usually white in nature then get blown out to sea or down east. One needs good sunglasses in January around here.
Clarification: i do not consider a 2-3-5 day snow event "grey weather."
And, you know me...even if it was grey for a whole week, i'd be the silly one walking around with a grin on my face.
Don't get me wrong. i also smile when a fresh high streams in from the north and leaves us with stellar skies brisk, frosty air and then these:
Last weekend i was at Greenwood. It was cold. No, make that cold. air temperatures were in the teens and 40-50 mph wind gusts. The wind will get you every time nips at your fingers the instant you take gloves off and penetrates all but the best winter gear...unless you need to herd swans.
Greenwood covers 28 acres of garden and tended woodland. There's also a fun bunch of goats, geese, ducks, chickens, and a pair of swans living there. The garden and its animals are surrounded by 2000 +acres of woodlands where lots of other critters--some being predators--live. In the past, our old swans new to come up to the barn and pens for food and water when the ponds freeze over but those grand old birds are gone, and new ones were adopted this past spring. i was nervous for these new birds who love the ponds, even when frozen (this photos was taken when i was at Greenwood in November, when the ponds were still open)
so i thought i'd round them up and walk them back up to the barn. Only one problem: the swans thought otherwise and swans have wings. They humored me and slowly walked about 20 yards up the path then, with no effort at all took flight and glided back down the hill. After performing this exercise twice i was very warm inside my hooded coat insulated wellies, and waterproof gloves. By the time i gave up, the sun had gone down and i was reminded: even on a moonless night a snowy landscape never gets dark and on that ice and snow covered pond the swans would see any coyote that may come their way.
And, they have wings.
Those young swans can take flight with remarkable ease no long, running start the way our grand old birds used to do.
We've enjoyed a winter of beautiful snowfall. Only one snow-rain-into-ice event, so far. And after a light snow, this sweet little dogwood could double as an apple tree in bloom: