poetry and prose about place

keeping warm

with 15 comments

After some variable weather over the last weeks, the cold has arrived.

The birds at the feeder are plumped and fluffy, and look twice their usual size.   The cat curls up a little more tightly than usual, puts her paws over her face, and finishes off with her tail coiled across the paws.

Inside we use our electric fireplace more often and cover up with some of the little lap quilts I’ve made.  But outside is a different matter and another strategy is required.

I’m determined to stay warm this year, so I make the following pledge:

🙂 I will wear mittens and a scarf … you would think I would be past the ‘scarves-and-mittens-are-not-cool’ stage.

🙂 I will have a warm drink before I leave the house … my new discovery is real ginger root chopped into fine pieces and steeped for tea.

🙂 I will take a chair seat from the house to warm the seat of the car … I used to make fun of my Mom for doing this.

🙂 I will warm up the car before I leave … this is in the face of my usual ‘no-idling’ policy.

And so I would like to know, on these cold days, how do you keep your niche warm????



stay warm


two mittened mourning doves

sit on the ledge in sun, exaggerate

their approach to keeping warm

fluff the pillows, bar the doors, make a nest by the fire

spaces between feathers fill with air and fibre, energy from

sunflower seeds, cracked corn and cider



©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

January 16, 2012 at 9:34 am

15 Responses

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  1. I like the doves. We have lots of collared doves living nearby that look rather like these.
    I like ginger tea too, though I mostly use tea bags which come from an Asian supermaket. Very good for sore throats as well as feeling warming.

    For heating we have electric convectors which we try to use as little as possible. In our main living space we have an old fashioned style wood burning stove which you can also cook on. It gives out a wonderful heat. When we aren’t using it I use it as a work surface for all my painting materials!!

    Our house has wooden shutters which also help conserve heat (aside from keeping it cool when it’s hot in summer). It makes me wonder why they don’t have shutters in England for example – as a child I remember my bedroom windows being frozen with ice on the inside in winter! Still, none of the places I’ve lived sound as cold as where you are.


    Sonya Chasey

    February 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    • Hi Sonya. We are thinking about putting shutters on our cabin, but generally they are not used here, except for decoration. Our heating is electric, with a baseboard heater in every room. We also have a wood stove which can easily heat the whole house… when I retire, we intend to use it much more often. We also have a small fake fireplace which we turn on to warm up the living room when we are being couch potatoes. I like your note about using the stove for your painting materials. When I draw, I use our couch for placing my pencils and erasers, so they will be handy!! Jane


      jane tims

      February 2, 2012 at 6:50 am

  2. I am always amazed at myself, having lived all my life in this climate…and still forgetting to wear scarves and mitts on really cold days! You ginger tea idea sounds great. I’ll try it.


    Carol Steel

    January 23, 2012 at 1:25 am

  3. I enjoyed the Mourning Dove drawing and verse, Jane!


    Watching Seasons

    January 22, 2012 at 11:48 pm

  4. Oh how I love mourning doves! Your drawing is captures their essence so well. That’s the nice thing about getting older, comfort takes precedent over cool. 🙂

    We have electric heat which, although expensive – perhaps not in the long run it won’t be if solar and wind power become more common – enables us to keep the thermostat in each room turned way down except for the room we are in. My favorite indulgence is to turn up the heat in the bathroom, close the door, and come back a little later to take a nice shower in the warmed up air!


    Barbara Rodgers

    January 17, 2012 at 10:57 am

    • Hi Barbara. We have electric heat as well. We participated in an energy saving program… replaced our windows and installed digital thermostats. Now we program each room for when we normally use it and rarely adjust anything. Our heating bill has reduced by about 40-50$ per month (averaged over the year). However, we also have an adjustable heater in the bathroom and turn it on for comfort… we don’t always remember to turn it off!!! Jane


      jane tims

      January 19, 2012 at 9:04 pm

  5. How much ginger do you use for a cup of tea Jane? All wonderful ideas, you’re never too cool to be warm! 🙂


    C.L. Sostarich

    January 16, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    • Hi. I use the real ginger root from the store and peel a bit a little bigger than a cube of sugar. Then I slice it up (quite fine slices) and make a whole pot of tea (about 4 cups). I let it steep at least four minutes and then drink it. I like it hot and still love it as it cools in the teapot (I don’t remove the ginger until the tea is gone). I store the remaining ginger root in a baggie in the fridge. I think you could experiement a bit to get it to your taste. Enjoy! Jane


      jane tims

      January 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm

  6. Aww.. this is a really lovely post! 🙂



    January 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm

  7. Excellent drawing as well. 🙂



    January 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm

  8. Nice poem Jane.

    – Denis



    January 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm

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