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Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures…

This has been our first winter actually living in the store and what a winter it has been.  When we decided to do this blog we agreed to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly.  This winter we have seen the bad and the ugly.   I’m not gonna lie, for me personally winter has been bad, bad like I have fresh flowers on the table and I periodically hug them for some kind of contact with nature kinda bad.  I need spring and seeds and warm soil.  Most of my projects around here require decent temperatures.  I either need to be outside or I need to have windows and doors open for ventilation.  We DO have ventilation (we’ll talk about that in the “ugly” portion of this little rant about winter) but not quite the kind I need.  In short, my wintry days are spent wearing no less than eight articles of clothing, putting wood in the wood stove, feeling money leave my pocket every time the heater kicks on (propane is expensive), shuffling electric heaters around, and rejoicing if I can get the upstairs above sixty degrees.  Every. Single. Day.  I’m bored and I’m cold and I’m tired of spending money on propane and wood.

Now for the ugly.  Before we moved in we had insulation blown into the exterior walls, we put insulation in the attic, and we did some sealing and weather stripping here and there.  We’re good to go for winter!  Ha. Ha. Ha.  Remember when we took down the wall for the wedding?

removing the wall separating the store from the stairs

removing the wall separating the store from the stairs


Well that opened up the entire living space to the store portion of the building which is a wall of windows in front.  While standing on a ladder to remove Christmas decorations the air coming through the transom windows actually caused my hair to blow in the wind…I think this is where the ugly truly began.  There wasn’t enough weather stripping in the world house to fix this problem so I had to get creative.  That’s where the plastic grocery bags come in, yes those bags that we all have bags full of.  It’s a little embarrassing to admit this but if you use a putty knife and tuck those little bags in the crevices they do the job quite well in a pinch!


Notice the plastic stuffed in the corner.


Over the course of a month or so I have stuffed those bags in nearly every window in the house…

and then there’s this little beauty.  Notice the electric heater on the floor…they’re everywhere.


Door to basement.


Bedroom window.

When the howling winds hit and we had a wind chill of like 14 below we realized that our bedroom had bigger problems than some plastic bags could handle…that’s when this happened.

So instead of our room running about 45 degrees we now hold steady at a balmy 51 (we keep our door closed to keep the draft out of the rest of the house).

I left the curtains on the window so it would still look pretty.




Last but certainly not least, there’s a wee bit of cold air that comes up through the bottom floor from the basement…


The mats, etc are to keep it from billowing uncontrollably because as you can see, it will. IMG_1012








So that’s the bad and the ugly.  What is the good you ask?  Well, we have a plan.  This year we will have a heat pump installed, insulate under the downstairs floor, and reglaze all of the windows and seal them properly (meaning no plastic bags).  Also, winter won’t last forever and soon I’ll look out of my window and see this again.  Only better…wait until you see my garden this year!

Raised Beds

Raised Beds


What is your vote for the ugliest?  Basement door?  Bedroom windows?  Or those lovely plastic covered floors?




  1. Louise says:

    found you via your comment on little house on the corner. Cold draughty houses, tell me about it! Was just about to give you advice to install a heat pump but you beat me to it! Good choice! Ground heating is a very nice eco-friendly way to do it, Also you can use more without ruining your wallet or nature… I can recommen hamp insulation boards, they are good bc they do not itch, they are moist toerant and stops wind quite nicely!. It really is the wind that is the worst enemy! I hope you get a warm spring! /louise

  2. Heidi Wilbanks says:

    Thank you for the ideas Louise! Yes, wind is the worst and we are relatively close to the water here so we get our fair share of wind…blessing in the summer, curse in the winter!

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