Some nights, you can’t win.

We’ve been so tired, that finally, we decided to go to bed early. For us, which means before midnight. Maybe just a little after it. I think I was out cold by 12:30 which for me, is definitely early.

Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up with a searing pain in my knee, both arms numb … and I was freezing.

It turned out, the temperature had dropped a lot — like 40 degrees — from where it was when we went to bed. I had wrapped both arms around my pillow under my head, so they were numb. AND I was sleeping with one leg half off the bed so the knee had twisted into a pretty strange position and wow, did it hurt!

I had to lift the leg back into bed, which was hard because both arms were asleep. I also needed to find a warmer nightgown, close the bathroom window, and take something. Like maybe the tranquilizer I usually take before going to sleep so I don’t just fall asleep, but actually stay asleep.

It took me an hour to get it sorted out.

Position the body to keep all limbs on the mattress with the rest of me. Do not put the arms doubled up under the pillow. Put on something warmer than a summer sleep tee and find a pair of socks. Close the window. Take a few Tylenol. Listen to a chapter of an audiobook.

Jacket weather – Photo Garry Armstrong

I proved that you don’t need to be sick to make yourself really miserable. All you have to do is dangle parts of you off the mattress while locking other under your body. And let yourself chill down to heart-slowing levels.

Who knew a dangling leg could hurt that much?

I’m working at keeping all of me in the bed. A couple of weeks ago, I fell out of bed. I have a habit of sleeping at the edge of the bed. I started doing it when I was really sick and it extremely difficult to get myself sitting up and moving.  If I slept along the edge of the mattress, it was easier to move. Now, though, I seem to be having trouble keeping track of all my limbs –and keeping them sensibly organized.

According to Harvey the weather guru, it’s going back into the 80s (about 27 for you Celsius folks) with extremely high humidity tomorrow. Not to worry because it will drop down to the 50s (10 Celsius) the next day, then back to the 80s by the weekend. Or maybe not. It’s New England. We have chaotic weather.

I’m not ready to turn the heat on. It’s too early in the year, especially with oil prices so much higher. It’s just September. Winter has been lasting through April and last year it was cold through the first half of May.

Getting chilly

I try not to turn the heat on until the end of October or early November. This means lots of sweaters and warm socks until finally, I’m sufficiently miserable to up the thermostat. We need an extra tank of oil at the end of April last year which cost us more than $300 and emptied out all the money we’d been saving for exactly that kind of event. It also meant that when we needed to get the boiler tuned and repaired in July, we had no money in the account — and that was another $300.

Snow – April 22, 2018

In the middle of May 2018, it was cold. Cold enough for snow to fall and stick to the ground. I didn’t mind the snow — it wasn’t heavy enough to be inconvenient — but I minded that extra tank of oil.

This year, I’ve got a plan. Instead of telling people we are too poor to pay the higher oil prices (thanks, Donzo Drumpf!), I’m telling everyone we aren’t turning on the heat until all the people in Lawrence and Andover who got blown up a couple of weeks ago get their heat turned on.

A political statement is less pathetic. Also, with a little luck, we’ll make it through winter without having to dig even deeper into our lack of money to pay for more oil. You never know. Winter might not be too bad.

28 thoughts on “PREDICTABLE RESULTS – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. What’s a night. We also have a temperature drop but still have the window open unless Mr. Swiss closes it, It needs a lot for me to get cold. We have floor heating, by gas although gas prices adjust themselves to oil prices, silly idea.


    1. There is not gas out here unless you buy it in a tank — which is really for cooking. Those tanks aren’t big enough to heat a house. So it’s oil or electricity. Electric heating is wildly expensive n a place where temperatures typically drop down in into the minus zeroes (below -18 for you)

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s how gas works here, too, but we don’t have any gas lines. We are too rural. So we have a choice of oil or electricity. By electricity, I mean ALL electric heating which is insanely expensive. Even our oil burner uses an electric starter and some kind of electricity to keep it working. I’ve had gas for cooking, but never used it for heating. I’m told it is very clean, but recently three neighborhoods exploded from gas problems so maybe we’ll just stay with oil.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. This old house doesn’t have central heating, not many places here do. In the coldest months I have the heat pump in the living room on to warm up that room and the adjacent one and put an oil filled electric heater on for an hour before going to bed as well as an electric blanket. I don’t sleep with either of those on they are just to make the room warm enough for me to go to sleep. I have a thick doona and wear old sweatshirts and track pants to bed. Now spring has begun I can put heaters on a little later and have almost stopped using the bedroom heater to save on power. It’s expensive here too but whether you use electricity, oil or gas it doesn’t seem to be cheap anywhere.


    1. We often get temperatures below zero (-18 to you) in January and February. There’s no way to get by without heat. Our here in the country, a lot of people heat with wood stoves, but wood isn’t cheap either. And it’s very dirty. It blackens all your walls and you have to get up at all hours to stoke the stove.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even in Tassie it doesn’t get that cold. minus 5 or thereabouts is about as bad as it gets at night. A lot of people use woodheaters here too We used to so I know about the dirt and dust plus of course carrying wood , stacking wood etc.


  3. Yep, keeping warm IS expensive. We have gas heating in our house but the majority of French housing is ‘just’ using electric heaters and I know many people who are literally freezing in their flats because they know they can’t pay for the electricity. I have given away a great number of any clothing warm enough to keep them going, because although we are Swiss (in France), we are by no way rich (or we wouldn’t still be here….) BUT in comparison to them we are seriously well off. It shows in the number of knitted jackets, vests or whatever they are called in whatever country (very annoying as in every country we’ve lived so far it means something other – I’m just talking about WARM garments) we can offer others without freezing our butts off ourselves. And we can still pay for our heating bill.
    I know those feelings of having to ‘lift’ oneself up, I do that too. I started now to go to bed with the windows closed – in order to get warm and then, when I wake up, I open the window – that works fine for most of the time and since I always wake up, it allows for a warm ‘go to bed’ – with a hot water bottle if needed…. Good Luck


    1. The primary reason we left Boston — other than the traffic and parking — was that our building was electrically heated. In THIS climate, our electric bill was sometimes higher than our mortgage payment.


  4. The temps here have been in the 50s to low 60s during the day, which means cold enough at night to need the heat on. The Battle of the Thermostat has begun again this year. I’m fat and like a cold room to sleep in, so I can snuggle under the covers. Hubby is thin and likes to sleep nearly naked, with few to no covers. No one wins. One of the reasons we eventually went to separate rooms – well, in addition to the snoring, of course. At least I can shut the heat vent off in my room (and open a window if need be), while he blasts the heat in his. I suppose the next step will be separate thermostats. Hopefully, it won’t eventually come to separate houses.


    1. We keep the house at around 67 degrees. Which is pretty comfortable if you wear socks and sweaters. I have a big selection of covers for the bed — lighter and heavier, but if I keep the bedroom door closed, it’s usually pretty comfortable.

      Garry also wears so little to bed, I don’t know how he doesn’t freeze. He used to pump up the heat, but eventually, the bilIs showed him the error of his ways. Persoanlly, I wear long sleeved gowns and occasionally a sweatshirt — and I’m still cold. A big turnaround for me since I was always too hot. I’m not thinner, either, but for some reason, I just get really COLD these days. Age?


  5. We had a few days recently where it dropped down into the mid to low 50’s, but it never got cold enough inside the house for the heat…. which for me, would be less than 67 degrees. I very rarely open my windows, so there’s usually lag between the temperature inside my house and the temperature outside. Unless the hot or cold is more extreme, a temp swing usually doesn’t force me to turn on the AC or furnace…


    1. We’ve been having crazy weather ranging between cool and delightful, cold, damp, and pouring rain. I don’t think we’ve had a single really fine week of the weather all season. You wouldn’t BELIEVE the mud everywhere. If it isn’t paved, it’s muck.

      I refuse to turn on heat this early. We just shelled out almost $400 for 100 gallons of oil … and that’s really a LOT. We’re going to wear a lot of sweaters this year!


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