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December 21, 2004



3M Plastic window kits. Takes 5 minutes or less per window, and stops a ton of drafts. My parents have been using it for years (they have an old, drafty house, too. In fact, ever year the Hanging of the 3M is an event at my parents' house.

I'm laughing about your conversation with your co-worker.


I hear you about the cold. I keep telling my husband that we should provide our guests with slippers and wrist warmers when they come through the door. My in-laws in particular have been known to bundle up for visits: long underwear, button down shirts, wool sweaters, etc. I keep expecting them to pull out the ear warmers, too. Now that my husband works for a big window company, I'm hoping that one of these years we'll get nice, toasty windows for Christmas.


We use a wonderful portable heater called a Vornado in Alaina's room, because we too have an old house. We've used it since we moved here when she was 2. I love it because 1) It heats very well. 2) You can set it at any temp or auto temp) and most importantly 3) The entire unit is cold to the touch!!!!! I am not kidding. We had it running full blast last night in her room and I decided to change where it was placed. I picked it up bare-handed and moved it. No burn, no heat. And your little angels won't get burned if they try to stick their little fingers inside either. You can find some good prices on the net, but I think they run about $70 or so. Back then I think we paid about $80 but have seen it much cheaper since then.

Loved the card you sent with the babes in hats! Of course, like I said before, I did not get around to sending out cards. I knew I wouldn't, but still feel guilty. Next year we'll have alot to tell people so I'll send them out then. But don't hold me to it lol.

Hugs to you and yours. Stay warm up there...but if it makes you feel any better we here in southern Ohio have had subzero temps and gale-force winds. Gawd I want to move south!! Obviously, that's NOT going to happen, darnit!

Merry Christmas!


I second the 3M window kits. They make a huge difference.

But then, so does leaving Michigan. I did it! Course, PA isn't all that much warmer, but it has less rain/snow (at least in my section!).


We did the 3M plastic (or something similar) in our living room. I now have seven lovely shrink wrapped windows. It's not pretty but it helps and it sure beats freezing our asses off while we watch TV. But - and here's where I'm scared - what happens when you take it off in the summer? It's taped on there pretty good. When you pull of the tape does the paint come with it? Becasue I'll take freezing over repainitng all that trim any day!

Jenn in AK

On the space heater issue: plug it in and turn it on in their room for an hour or more before bedtime. Turn it off and remove it when they go to bed. That should help a little in heating their room. That way they aren't with the plugged in heater all night.



We had an old, drafty, beautiful home for 10 yrs. My dingbat ex used to trail a space heater behind him. If he was in the living room, it'd be on while he watched TV. The lovely room had 2 sets of French doors, so it could be sealed off from the rest of the house and get very toasty.

Problem was that the thermostat was in the same f'in room. The rest of the house would turn frigid. Idiot.


Thanks for reminding me that your cold is worse than my cold. DC is balmy, compared to *any part* of Michigan. But I am such a Southern wuss, I think that if the temperature dips below 35 it's just fucking freezing.

I will take you up on the drafty/poorly insulated house challenge, though. Case in point: when we bought the house nearly 5 years ago, we ripped out the trash compactor in the kitchen, then used that empty space under the counter to store big things like coolers and jugs of water. With all that crap piled up there, we just forgot about the small matter of the wall being torn open at the back, a 1'x2' hole with the pipes exposed. I didn't rediscover the hole in the wall until our resident rat left a trail of brown rice leading into the hole. I sealed the hole up that day, with a piece of old faux-wood paneling, and marveled that there suddenly wasn't a breeze coming from that portion of the kitchen. I am a SPLENDID homeowner, not to notice GIANT HOLES IN THE WALL.

Dorian, luckily, has the warmest room in the house, right in the center of the house with only one relatively undrafty window. But my Russian MIL assures me that it's healthy for kids to sleep in a room that's cool, as long as they have lots of blankets. In Russia, I'm told, even in midwinter babies in their bassinets will be piled with furs and put out on the balcony to sleep. If Russians do that and manage to maintain their population, your twins will be fine in a drafty room.


The 3m stuff is great--we always ended up moving before we ripped it off the paint, so I can't comment on that.

I live in California, and I know I have nothing to complain about compared to MI, but our house is completely un-insulated and in our bedroom tehre is no ceileing, just the lovely beams of the roof.

The improvement to our lives this winter has been down throw blankets (bought at Costco for about $25 a piece). We are so cozy that it is hard to get off the couch and come to bed...


We have used the 3M window covering before, too. Yes, it can remove the paint. One thing I found that helped was to remove it slowly and/or use the hair dryer to warm it a bit. We still lost paint, but not as much. I didn't worry about it though. The curtains covered the missing paint so you couldn't see it.


Laura K.

My pieces of advice (I think someone's already mentioned the first): Send A out to gget that plastic window stuff from the hardware store on his way home from work. Annoying to look at all winter? Yes. Warmer and less drafty? Most definitely! Also, get those draft dodgers (not the people kind, the stuffed snakey-looking kind) from Bed Bath & Beyond and put them in front of your doors that lead outside.

Oh, and if you don't have a programmable thermostat, I'd get one of those. I love that I can justify turning the heat up during the day because it automatically turns itself down at certain times, like at night.

And speaking of shoddy work - I am SO with you! When we removed our kitchen wallpaper after closing to reveal holes in the wall patched with duct tape, I knew we were in trouble! We've been finding, um, interesting things ever since. Well, you've been in my house - you know of a few of them! But, the most recent is that in K's new room we went to take down the valance hardware (which we hadn't changed since moving in), only to find out that it was installed BEHIND the widow trip - BEHIND it!

We actually did get a visit from the son of the yahoo who did most of this work, 2 owners ago. He knocked on our door one day during dinner (he was probably in his early 20's) and told us he used to live there. After finding out that it was his family that "redid" the kitchen, it took all of Chris's restraint not to hold him for ransom until his father came and fixed all the horribleness he inflicted on that room!

Okay, enough from here. Have a WONDERFUL holiday! I'm sure that your entire family will be enjoying the girls' first Christmas!


Laura K.

P.S. Our window stuff has never removed our paint. We don't use the 3M kind, we use the stuff with the duck on it (it's in a green package).


Your post brought back the memories. I also grew up in West Michigan, about 45 minutes west of you right on Lake Michigan. I guess because I grew up there I never thought much of the bone chilling cold. Then I moved to New Jersey where just the possibility of snow has the schools cancelled and blizzard warnings issued. It's rather comical and makes me chuckle every time.

Stay warm.



har har - my house is a v v small split level, 950 sqfeet if that, w/ ei kitchen, lr, tiny tv room, three brs upstairs - 2 ok sized, one tiny and one bath. it's a little crowded, but i like it because it's cozy & warm although a little sweaty in the summer. if we move i want another little house, that way i don't accumulatea lot of stuff trying to fill it up. AND if the mil or my own mother tris to unload a piece of furniture on me i can say - i don't have the room!


Don't be cheap, crank up the heat!

From Linda:

Um, yeah, it must be nice to be able to afford a $300 heating bill instead of just putting on a sweater or making your home more heat-friendly. Send some of that moola my way, will you?

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