I love Warm Things.
In our house, that’s a proper noun which describes a particular object, not a general class of items. A Warm Thing is one of those fabric bags filled with barley or rice or some such substance, which you normally heat in the microwave along with a glass of water (it needs moist heat, or else the barley pops like popcorn and smells weird).
We’re keeping the thermostat pretty low these days: we have the woodstove(s) to keep things warm and wood is free but natural gas is not, so we start the fire in the morning and let it help keep the house warm during the day. Still, at bedtime or periodically through the day I feel chilly anyhow, and I want to do something about that. I am making conscious efforts to keep my body warm this winter: my friend suggested that perhaps part of the reason I have so little energy in the winter is that I may be dealing with low level joint pain, and it’s a good theory. Particularly since my acupuncturist also says I need to be warmer (more spicy foods, more warm tea).
In addition to the kettle that stays on the stove all day now, we also have a big pot of water. The house gets really dry in the winter and the extra humidity is welcome. I realized, though, that I could use the pot to warm up a Warm Thing. It’s easy: just put a cooling rack over the top of the pot, lay the Warm Thing on the rack, and plunk a large bowl over the whole shebang. Inside the bowl it’s nice and steamy and the Warm Thing heats up nice and quick with good moist heat.
So there you go; another way to stay warm this winter, without using any electricity or natural gas to do so!