The Monday after my birthday our furnace died. Sort of. It would work, but when the furnace repair folks came to take a look at it? They told us explicitly that using it was dangerous until it was fixed.
Let me just say that while I would love to tell you that you haven't lived until you've showered in a bathroom that is below forty degrees, I really wouldn't wish that on anyone. Though the steam from the shower got the bathroom pretty darn warm. And I had no idea that the house was below forty until I got downstairs that morning and promptly left to supplement our space heater supply.
Until our furnace died, we only had one space heater. Now we have three. And we probably will not use them all but it's good to have them just in case.
So, how did we survive? Well, it took a week for the parts to come in and be installed, so that was a long week without heat. Except looking back, it kind of flew by. Even when it was slow, and cold.
For starters, our primary concern was keeping the pipes from freezing, so every faucet in our house was set to drip, and we did a little bit of directed heat under the sink in the kitchen and upstairs bathroom, along with working to keep the pipes warm where the water runs into the house.
Secondarily? Keeping us and the cats warm. As you can see by the picture above, Lessa decided that the best way to keep warm was to burrow. We joined her more often than not. There were lots of blankets. Lots of layers, and I didn't remove my Bearpaw boots at all unless I was in bed or in the shower. Seriously.
In addition to the space heaters, we had a couple warm spots set up just for the cats with heating pads, microwave heat packs, and bundles of blankets. The space heaters we moved from room to room as we went, but our primary goal was to keep the house above forty. Both for us and for the pipes. We were mostly successful at that, but until we got there? Well, it was touch and go.
Mainly it was touch and go because I am not a patient person. Like, at all. I can fake it well. And I do my best, but I wanted my house to be warm. And it was pretty chilly. So I ended up spending one night over at a friend's house because I reached overwhelmed, impatient, and tired of being cold. So when she told me to pack an overnight bag and come over, Allen encouraged it, and I went while he stayed home with the cats. And kept the house at fifty(!!!) degrees.
But when I was home there were layers. Blankets. The heaters. We were both very glad we decided to buy a duvet at IKEA back after Christmas. BUT when the heat was finally fixed, back on, and the house was a nice and toasty sixty-eight degrees? That was when we were happiest.
Except after a week of a fifty degree house? Now sixty-eight feels almost too toasty. Almost.
Would I recommend going a week without heat? Not really, if you have a choice. But if you have to go without heat in the middle of winter? Layer up, use your space heaters strategically, and employ blankets. When all else fails? Take up any offers for a warm bed.