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Winter Survival Items.

Survival may be a bit of an overstatement. Here’s a list of a few random things I like:

1. Handkerchiefs. As Kathleen Kelly educates us in You’ve Got Mail, in case you didn’t know, “A handkerchief is a Kleenex you don’t throw away.”

I came across two vintage handkerchiefs, I think my grandmother’s, that I’d put in the material-for-potential-future-craft-projects department. I’m mature enough now to accept the fact that I won’t be making pillow cases out of them any time in the next ten to twenty years (or doing this, which is really cute). But then I had a minor epiphany: Why not use them for their intended purpose? That sounds really dumb, but it was a revelation. I felt vindicated upon learning that handkerchiefs are in again. (Read that one for answers to your pressing handkerchief etiquette problems, like, “If you have offered your handkerchief to someone else, don’t ask for it back, no matter how nice or expensive it is.”)

They’ve really brightened up this sniffly winter time. (Please, wash often.)

2. Fabric shaver/sweater de-piller. I didn’t know this existed until Design Mom mentioned it. You can get one here or probably at your drug store. I’ve semi-restored two of my favorite sweaters that were looking dingy, as well as a coat that (I thought) was bound for the land where coats go to die. Maybe these sweater de-pillers are really obvious (or maybe you use some other method: razor? something else?), but again, I hadn’t thought of it. It feels great to be able to maintain my lazy dressing limited wardrobe philosophy by continuing to wear those sweaters over and over, without feeling too much like a bag lady.

3. Durham’s Bee Farm Wonder Salve. I had a jar of this stuff for several years, but ran out before this winter. Should’ve ordered more immediately; now I’ve learned my lesson. You can use it for anything on your skin—it heals and moisturizes—but in the absence of other skin needs, I’d just use it as lip balm. I cannot remember my lips ever being chapped, until this winter. Blergh. Bring back the bee salve!

What’s brightened up your winter?

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