Say you come home in the rain and it's a little cold and the house feels a little unloved. What to do?
•Do a load of wash and then throw it in the dryer for a little heat, a little background noise, and of course, clean clothes.
•Fix something hot to drink--tea, cocoa, or water with lemon in a china cup.
•Music never hurts, but nothing too rowdy or too gloomy.
•Light some candles, preferably hazelnut.
•For showstopping instant cozy, light a fire in the stove or fireplace. Nothing is better. Of course you have thought ahead and have some dry logs in the mudroom (or at the very least a tarp over the woodpile). And naturally a big box of little starter logs. I am a late convert to these, after a childhood of starting fires from tinder and kindling. You know, I *can* do it that way, but that doesn't mean that I *want* to be shaving cedar chips off of anything when what I want is to be snuggled up by the fire in a rocking chair, playing Monopoly with the children. I call the thimble.