Captain’s Log     5,228

I ordered an electric blanket.  I surrender.  I can handle 55 degrees in my house when I am awake, but trying to sleep is another matter.  Using the heat at night would raise my monthly bill by $200 or so.  The blanket cost $42.  I see that as a wise investment.  I looked into heated mattress pads, but they start at $250.  WTF?

I learned to use electric blankets from my mom.  30 minutes before bed, turn the blanket on medium.  Turn it OFF once you get into bed.  You will be toasty warm all night because your body heat takes over.  When I was a kid growing up in Iowa, I slept in an unheated upstairs bedroom.  I would scramble up to my room about 9:30 every night and turn on that blanket.  By the time I went to bed around 10:15 or so, I was uncased in a lovely cocoon of blessed warmth.

I have been called miserly for my views on things like this.  That doesn’t bother me at all.  I’ve been called worse.  The fact of the matter is I don’t mind not having creature comforts.  I don’t need the best of everything.  I don’t need a $60,000 car and I don’t need to order $40 entrees in a restaurant.  Nor do I want those things.  I am happy with very little, and if that makes me miserly……so be it.  I grew up emotionally and physically tough.  I grew up knowing how to survive and take care of myself.  I didn’t cry over everything and I knew better than to even tell my mom when a horse kicked me so hard it left a shoe-print on my thigh for months (just missed shattering my kneecap).  I wasn’t supposed to go near the horse, so I couldn’t tell her about the injury (since I was still able to walk).  I wore pants to cover it up.  It was suck it up or disappoint my mom, and I just could not disappoint her.

So more about the miserly thing……

When I was a touring musician, it was either feast or famine.  I got paid when I worked.  There were flush times and lean times, so I learned to manage my money wisely to make it stretch when things were slim.  I also worked odd jobs (putting together catalogs in a bindery, working as a server for a catering company, doing odd jobs for my sister’s home-based business, giving guitar lessons, etc.)  When those are the circumstances you choose, the benefit is learning how to manage your money wisely.  You become adept at discerning need from want.  I also learned to be generous during those times.  For some reason, poor people understand the joy of giving much more than people of means, and that was true for me.

I have the need part figured out.  I have everything I need.  And the want part seems to be disappearing.  The older I get, the less I want.  Basic needs seem to fit the bill.  I have a job, a car, a house, friends, family, a full fridge, books to read, cable TV, and a paradise patio that allows me to connect with nature whenever I want.

But about that electric blanket – the piece that started this whole thing.  I both need AND want it.  The blanket arrives tomorrow.  I know it will make winter easier to deal with, and I am grateful.  I don’t need to heat my entire house, just my nice bed when I am ready for sleep.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

17 responses to “Survivor

  1. Susanna

    As warm as I am at night in my bed piled with blankies and often wearing layers of clothing, I still need the fan blowing cold air in my face. Lola the Pom sleeps with me so I have a pile of blankies for her and a special blanket that goes over her. It’s cute,,,she stays under it.

  2. Cold temperatures are healthier for you — a nurse recently told me that germs can’t survive in the cold. I didn’t know that. We set our thermostat at 64 at night.

  3. I cannot live without an electric blanket. I’ve burned through countless ones. I just got a new one a few weeks ago. I need one all summer long as well because my husband keeps the house so damn cold.

  4. Interesting. I tried an electric blanket once and wasn’t impressed. However, at the time I was sleeping on a sofa bed with a thin mattress, and the mattress NEVER warmed up, all night long. It might be different with a real bed.

  5. Patty O'

    Only electric blanket I ever tried was so long ago that your only choices were ROAST and OFF. But I DID discover crochet and made “lap robes” that serve brilliantly as thermal blankets and can be ANY size as requested. I made one for each of my parents and children and they were ALL different. I made pretty ones of silk for baby gifts. The cost depended upon the choice of yarn. I also made some for myself and last night I had one on top of my “regular” bedding to add just the perfect amount of additional warmth. Now, however, my hands won’t handle nook or yarn any longer. Oh well…

  6. Valerie

    I love your posts.

  7. Carrie Duff

    Well said! i find i am hotter now, i find that’s working out well as i get older!

  8. bholles

    What a good idea. Never thought about doing that.

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