Yes, I live in Mexico which is substantially closer to the equator than the U.S. or Canada or Russia for that matter. However, it DOES get cold here. As most homes in Mexico are not insulated, nor do they have a heating system, well, that coldness seeps right into the bones some days.
I am a very lucky lady in that my husband made us a fireplace which in the most extreme weather conditions, we can light. In our area of central Mexico, that usually happens part of November and most of December. When my husband deems it is not sufficiently cold to light said fireplace, I have developed a few other ways to keep the chill off.
Hot tea is my constant companion during the colder months. I’m not too particular about flavors. I like hot jamaica, hot manzanilla, and hot yerba buena, either harvested from my little herb garden or already bagged up bought from the store. Hot tea keeps a body warm.
Hot chocolate is another favorite of mine. I like a nice hot chocolate, made with Abuelita circles, in the evening. When there is fresh goat milk available, even better.
Hot coffee is my morning drink of choice. We’ve been drinking Cafe Oro for years because I use the glass containers as food storage jars in my pantry. They are square you see, and fit nicely lined up on the shelf. However, we are trying out new flavors this month. Some have been amazing, others rather disappointing.
Soup is another requirement for cold days. Not only does it warm you from the inside out, but the long cooking process also heats the kitchen, which is where I am, in front of the fireplace. Bone broth, chicken soup, beef stew, pozole, even menudo on occasion can be found simmering in a big pot in our house.
Pajamas and Slipper Socks and Sweaters
I have quite an extensive selection of warm pajama bottoms and slipper socks. When I’m teaching classes online, my students can’t see my nether regions, so I swaddle them in furry jammie pants and fuzzy slipper socks. Sweaters work great to cover over that cute strawberry PJ shirt too.
Throw Rugs and Blankets
Most houses in Mexico do not have carpeting. The tile floor can get mighty cold even with slipper socks on. Strategically placed throw rugs can reduce the amount of time your little feet come in contact with the tile. Think of it as setting up your own giant board game, and you are the plastic piece that needs to move forward and backward only on those throw rug spaces.
Blankets can be used to wrap yourself up in, or hung in doorways and over windows to keep down the draft. I like to fashion myself an entirely separate living space by hanging blankets at all the entrances to the main living area (the kitchen) where the roaring fireplace is doing its best to keep me warm.
If there is nothing pressing to be done that cold, cold day, you might find me as snug as a bug in a rug in my bed piled high with blankets. I might have company, or I might be alone. My husband doesn’t allow the animals in the house, otherwise, they’d be right there with me, dogs, cat, and possibly a chivito or two. Isn’t that how the Eskimos keep warm?
When I must venture from my cocoon and work in my office which is farther from the fireplace than I would like, I plug in the space heater and put it under my desk. It uses quite a bit of electricity, so I only use it when I just can’t get warm, but it is an option.
Most houses in Mexico are made with brick or block, which means cold walls and indoor temps. It’s great on hot days, but on cold days, not so much.
If the temperature indoors is lower than the temperature outdoors, I go for a walk in the sunshine. A little bit of exercise raises my body’s internal temperature and I feel warmer, if only for a little while.
To keep that internal body temperature up, you can do some indoor activities as well. Sweeping, the job that never ends, cleaning the bathroom, and dusting are all great cold-weather chores. Some chores should not be done in frigid weather, like hand washing and mopping because getting all wet on top of the cold makes a miserable woman indeed.
These are some of the ways that I stay warm in rural Mexico. How about you?