Lot of scuttlebutt worldwide about a real cold winter combined with a fuel shortage, and a pocketbook-breaking rise in prices. These cold mornings that portend what’s coming remind me of all the tricks I’ve used over the years to keep warm.

If the birds at my window feeder are any indication, this winter may be long as well as cold. I had been filling the feeder on average of once a week. Now they’re emptying it every day. And rather than three or four feeding sessions a day, there is a great swooping and fluttering all day as the different birds — nuthatches, tufted titmice, chickadees and goldfinches — swarm the feeder. They use the window screens for a holding perch while waiting for an opening in the feeder.

Their pattern now is to perch on the rim and eat a couple of sunflower seeds and then just start a steady pattern of swooping in to grab a seed and zoom off to tuck them into the bark of some tree for winter food.

I have one lone little wren that seems to’ve decided to winter over under my porch. I’ve never seen her at the feeder. That may be because the feeder is on my dining area window which is a story off the ground and wrens are more of a ground bird, like robins. So I give her suet and varied seed and mealy worms.

She’s welcome under my porch, as wrens spend most of their time poking around for insects. They use about anything for nesting, so I’m leaving her balls of fur from my Shiba who is blowing his undercoat that is being pushed out by new growth. He looks moth-eaten. But the fur is like duck down so I hope my little wren can use it in her nest.

Whatever comes down the pike this winter, there’s not much I can do to stop it. The only way around it is straight through it.

But we Mainers are made of old stock. Tough stock. When life, or man, throws us a roadblock, we roll up our sleeves and dig in. We don’t just lie down and wring our hands. We did that back in the Carter years when he shut down working oil wells and otherwise caused a miserable fuel shortage. I remember — I was living in California then — the long lines at the gas station and being restricted to only being allowed to get gas on odd or even days, according to the last number of our license plates.

I came back home to Maine Christmas of ’79. Fuel oil prices were outrageous. But Maine folk cleaned out their chimneys and started using their wood stoves again. That frustrated the governor and he tried to outlaw any but the new airtight stoves. That was beyond many folks’ budgets so they fought back and stopped that edict. That was 42 years ago and many are still using them. Indeed, the young folk are using wood stoves now, too.

Many Mainers come from “old stock” with ancestors going back generations. They tend to be a sturdy lot that don’t “mind” very easy. Mainers have ingenuity. Throw us a roadblock, we don’t cower down, we find a way to solve or help mitigate the problem.

Over the years, and I’ve had plenty of them. I’ve picked up a few little tricks, that put together, can go a good ways toward keeping warm.

This time of year and in early spring, I use a little 6-inch-square “barn heater.” It actually keeps the whole kitchen/dining area warm. It’s decades old, made back when they made things to last. I use it mostly aimed at my winter office corner here in the dining area. My studio/office room, on the north side of the house, is too cold and dark come winter, so I keep it closed off. I also keep my bedroom closed during the day to save fuel. I keep the heat vent closed but the door open when sleeping. It’s both easier and healthier to sleep in a cool room.

The mornings have gotten downright nippy this week, so I said uncle and dug out my winter wardrobe of vintage wool sweaters and have started using the furnace to take the morning chill off.

As it gets colder, I’ll use a lap robe when I’m at the computer.

I have my kerosene lamps filled and wicks trimmed and ready against a power outage. One winter, before I had my wood stove, my furnace broke down on a Friday night of a three-day weekend. The thermostat read 70 inside, 20-below and howling outside. What now, I asked myself.

Experimenting, I lit two lamps in the kitchen/dining area, two in the living room and one in the bathroom. (These were the number of heat vents in those rooms.) I figured they would at least keep me from freezing. One hour after I lit them, the thermostat read 72 and it stayed there for four days when the furnace got fixed. It works because the lamp heat doesn’t go off and on like a furnace and the heat from the chimney is far hotter than from a heat vent. (I use the clear kerosene made for lamps.)

Come bedtime, I pull on my wool “bed socks.” Remember the line from  “‘Twas the Night before Christmas”: “…ma in her kerchief and I in my cap”? I don’t wear a “kerchief” as I have plenty of hair to keep my head warm and besides, I cocoon my comforter, pulling it over my head, leaving only a breathing hole. Then, if it’s a particularly cold night, you can get extra warmth by throwing a sheet over your blankets. The close weave of a sheet helps trap and keep in your body heat.

Then there’s always the hot water bottle or a couple of bricks heated up on the stove and wrapped in a towel for warming the bottom of the bed sheets. Oh, and speaking of sheets, up on the farm way back when, they had flannel sheets that were twice as long as regular sheets. You just folded them in half lengthwise, putting the folded end at the bottom of the bed. This helps keep out stray cold on the toes. (I’ve been thinking about sewing a couple of flannel sheets together.)

Another bed trick is wearing a light scarf around your neck. It keeps that sneaky cold air off the back of your neck and shoulders.

Come bath or shower time, I do what I call my ‘‘five-candle bath.” That’s the number of candles to keep an average size bathroom — and the bath water — warm.

When my kids were little, I used to worry about them in bed. Kids always roll over and get uncovered. Fortunately, at that time, “blanket sleepers” came along, complete with feet.

Get the youngsters fleece blanket sleepers. They are great. They make them for adults now, too. I had a pair once and they were great except for wee hours trips the bathroom. Remember, they’re one-piece. And stripping down in a cold bathroom is anything but comfortable. But the old-fashioned “long johns,” though they don’t have feet, have a trap door.

Then there’s ways to warm from the inside out — like a cup of good old homemade hot chocolate or mulled cider. Grab a mug and crawl into bed for a long winter’s night.

Bring it on, Winter. We can do this.

Marion Tucker-Honeycutt, an award-winning columnist, is a Maine native and graduate of Belfast schools, now living in Morrill. Her column appears in this paper every other week.