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I have a new Favorite Thing In The Entire World, and it’s the rice pack Johnsy gave me for an Epiphany Present.  I’ve been a fan of rice packs for some time.  They’re essentially long fabric tubes filled with uncooked rice that you heat in the microwave.  Once they’re hot, the rice holds the heat for a nice, long time, providing warmth for sore muscles, etc.  They’re good for whatever ails ya, and pure magic on an aching back.

However, I have recently discovered that they are also wonderful as feet warmers.  One of the difficulties of living in an older house with all hard wood floors, particularly when you’re trying to keep the heating bills down, is perpetually cold feet and hands.  This is especially trying when I’m trying to sit out on the (unheated) sun porch to take advantage of the light while knitting or sewing.  Wool blankets and down-filled house boots help, but they can only go so far.  And then Wednesday it occurred to me that maybe if I heated up my rice pack and put it on the hassock with my feet, my feet would stay warm.  I tried it, and wonder of wonders, not only did my feet stay warm, but the rest of my was all snugly too.  I stayed out in the workroom all afternoon until it was time to leave for dancing, making huge strides on Hot Josh’s Christmas stocking, and my alpaca hand-warmers (which I finished last night – wahoo!).  It was kindof wonderful.

And then something else even more lovely occurred to me.  While I’ve been very warm at night under my quilts and wool blankets, it’s always hard waiting for the coverings to warm up around me.  Back in the day, people used to have heated cast iron pans that they swished around under the covers to warm them up before the sleeper climbed in.  Maybe my rice pack could do the same?  So before I went up to bed Wednesday night I heated my rice pack up extra hot, took it upstairs with me, and stuck it under the covers while I changed into my pj’s and puttered around getting ready for bed.  And let me tell you, it was a miracle!  Already toasty warm sheets and covers, and then when I pushed the rice pack down to the bottom by my cold feet… such bliss.  And now I’m full of all kinds of plans to make a bigger one that will warm up more of my bed, and maybe a second one for long afternoons working on the sun porch (so I can have one for my lap too), and why should I deny my roommates the pleasure I’ve found?

Rice packs, will you be my Valentine?