Thursday, February 11, 2010

hearth pants

this is the story of tim's dazzling pants and my husband, the designer.

our house is cold in the winter. we have an awesome woodburning stove that heats most of the house up really well, but we are lazy and keeping a fire burning constantly as the sole source of heat is a lot of work. well, it's more the wood collection that is the main issue, but, well, never mind. instead, we usually give in and rely on our inefficient furnace. at night, once the boys are tucked into their warm beds in their cozy rooms with thermostat controlled space heaters, we turn the heat way down.

tim does not get as cold as i do and gets tired of my whining and overall grumpy attitude about being cold. whenever possible i punish him for not collecting firewood by touching his bare back with my ice paws and wedging my cold feet into his knee pits in bed.

because tim is kind hearted, but still not motivated enough to get wood for a fire, we made me some "hearth pants" last winter. calling them hearth pants would imply that they are to be worn around a fire. not true. no, the hearth pants replace the fire. they are a pair of tim's sweat pants sewn together with the early 90's kstate rap pants i had gotten at the goodwill while in college. warm-yes. fashionable-no.

i resisted wearing them because nothing says frumpy quite like men's xL sweat pants worn under poofy at the top, tight at the bottom hammer pants. and they are heavy. wearing the pants was like wearing those subtle leg weights, but in bed. it was an effort to roll over.

(edited to clarify, per donkeyknight's comment about my "washcloth socks"--those washcloth socks are part of the hearth pants-the part i actually appreciate the most. they are the xL sweats that stick out the bottom of the rap pants and make for cozy slippers or booties. tim has to really stretch the pants to use the booties.)

but tim was off the hook. whenever i complained about the temp of the house, implying that he should get firewood, he would cheerily offer to get me the hearth pants.

i honestly only wore them a couple times-to bed when tim was gone and i couldn't stand shivering myself to sleep.

at some point tim realized that his fabulous creation was one size fits all and that he, too, could enjoy the luxury of such stunning pants. many a late night, the hearth pants warmed him as he gamed in the chilly family room. they are also his go-to pants for snow adventures, as shown in the previous post and the following picture.

(my guys preparing to go out into last winter's late march snow.)

this winter tim had somehow forgotten about the hearth pants, which i had buried in the bottom of his bottom dresser drawer. one night he was cold and was lamenting that he used to have a pair of sweatpants, but didn't know what had happened to them. when i reminded him that they were half of his glorious creation, the hearth pants, his eyes lit up. he gasped, "the HEARTH PANTS!! where are they??" he quickly unburied them and marveled at his genius for creating such wonderful pants.

the same night tim made the hearth pants, he also made me a "nursing tunic". again, my complaint was cold-based, chilled when i lifted my shirt to nurse max. so tim took an old undershirt of his (again size xL, hence the "tunic" part of the name, i suppose) and cut flaps for "easy access". the shirt was renamed the "booby buffet" but was never worn. absolutely no pictures were taken and i think i eventually cut it into rags.

tim has not added any more garments to his clothing line, but when he does, i will reveal them, and their wonderful names, here.


  1. Please do not share this with Matt. I can see him thinking that Tim's ingenuity is something he should strive for, and I fear his collection of XC t-shirts may find new life under such inspiration, and I'm sure some fabulous watching-TV-in-the-garage getup would result. I did enjoy reading this, but please, let's leave my husband in the dark about it.

    On a separate note, we have some firewood you guys are more than welcome to. Our old house had a wood burning fireplace, whereas the one here is gas. Our firewood currently resides at Matt's brother's house (which doesn't have a fireplace at all - I'm sure the rack of wood has his landlady puzzled). We need to find someplace to put it, and if you can get some use out of it all the better! We even have a truck to transport it in. If you're interested let me know.

  2. This was wonderful.
    Looking at your family photos is like a delightfully bizarre I Spy creation. What idiosyncratic items are randomly dispersed throughout? Are those washcloth socks on your feet for staying warm? Did Ben really play in the snow in a racecar helmet? So many potential future blog topics. If they're half as entertaining as hearth pants, you're set.
    "touching his bare back with my ice paws and wedging my cold feet into his knee pits in bed." That would have to be my favorite line. Although, I can totally hear Tim's vocal inflection and see the Christmas morning joy on his face saying "THE HEARTH PANTS!!!" You've got a funny husband, Mary. Thank you for entertaining us, Tim and for your ingenuity. I must create some hearth pants for Jackie next winter. On a final note, for the nursing tunic, I initially pictured a more snuggie-like creation, which was also quite amusing.

  3. love it, thanks for a good chuckle in my day :)

  4. what a great post! You've always got the best stories and a knack for telling them in the most entertaining way!!

  5. Oh my goodness! What a funny story! I laughed a good hearty laugh over this one!

    Have you ever heard of those sock things filled with rice that you heat in the microwave and then put under the covers for 30 minutes or so before crawling into bed? I hear they're marvelous...just an idea. ;)

  6. thanks for the comments. always happy to entertain.

    julie-yes, we have some rice bags. i'm just to lazy to use them and prefer to whine.

  7. I'm with Joel - my favorite words were "knee pits" and "boobie buffet". Thank you for making me laugh! :)