Going with Plan B

Around here, I think a lot of people are thinking about whether it makes sense to add a shed to their backyard to help get through a long, isolated winter. It can definitely be hard to concentrate on work with kids and partners Zooming for school and work themselves. Sometimes you just want to be alone with your thoughts.

I’m going to try to collect the most relevant of my shed photos and notes into one post sometime in the next week, I think, but this morning, it’s chilly, so I thought I’d run through the heat situation here.

It was 38F when I came out to the shed this morning — that’s pretty cold. I have a little space heater in there, and if I’m feeling really not up to dealing with cold, I come out, turn it on, and go back into the house, leaving it running for 30-60 minutes to warm the place up. (There was a little while where we had it on a smart plug that we could turn on from inside the house, but it kept tripping the breaker, and eventually fixing the issue seemed more trouble than it was worth — maybe we’ll try again at some point.)

I wanted to get started ASAP today, so I went with plan b, which goes like this:

– come out to the shed, nicely bundled up in a sweater + a cloak over it
– close doors, turn on heat, light candles (more for visual warmth than actual warmth, but if you have a forest of them lit, they do provide some heat too)
– plug in electric blanket and drape it over myself

– CAREFULLY position little space heater in the space between my chair and ottoman, UNDER the blanket, making sure it’s not touching any fabric, and settle in to watch a little TV on my phone while things warm up

NOTE: this would still be a fire hazard if left unattended, so I never do that, and in fact, within 15-20 minutes, it gets too warm, and I move the space heater out again to the open room, but for those 15-20 minutes, it’s super cozy, like a Japanese heater-table thing (kotatsu), which I’ve tried to find in the U.S., but haven’t had much luck with; I’m not sure I really have a good space for one anyway, but still

– after 15-20 minutes, it’s warm enough that I can stop watching TV, take my hands out from where they’re tucked under the blanket, and start typing
– after another half hour, I’m getting too hot, and I turn off the electric blanket

– usually at some point another half hour in, I’m too hot again (it’s also getting warmer outside), and I lose the blanket entirely, and maybe the cloak too.

I don’t usually get all the way down to t-shirt in the winter, but it’s quite comfortable temperature-wise in here, and my hands stay warm enough to type safely, which is key.

In a week or two, I’ll probably give up on opening the windows for the winter, and will tape some insulating plastic over them, which won’t be quite as pretty, but will seal it much more effectively for the winter.

And that’s the shed in winter.

Okay, now, back to my Zoom co-writing session (details in comments, if you want to join in today, going until 4 CST, or possibly later).

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