It is brutally cold out there! I am not a wintry person, but armed with the right tools, I am not completely miserable during the Freeze Seaze. Here is my list of winter must-haves:
1. Waterproof snow boots
Cold wet feet breed ill will. I went a few years without a warm pair of boots and that was probably the root of any misery I experienced. I remember how my spirit would dampen right along with my socks when I would feel the icy cold snow sliding down into my shoes.
Wetness aside, you also want your feet to be warm. This might be controversial to say, but Converse are worthless in the winter. Cold air blows right through them.
That is why I say waterproof snow boots for president. I ordered mine two winters ago and figured it would never snow again. Wrong! It has snowed so much. I am a different person in my snow boots. No longer do I tiptoe around snow drifts and puddles. I storm right through them, as though I was on a catwalk, modeling the most bad-ass snow boots of all time.
My lips chap up big time in the winter. They get so dried out that occasionally when I smile, I feel my lip flesh split apart. I’ll also get this ring around my lips that is about five shades darker than my natural lip color. It looks like lip liner but is actually the chappedness extending past my lip line. In our beauty-obsessed culture, chap-sores around the lips will never be sexy.
Without this miracle drug, I’d spend my winters applying layer upon layer of random brands of chapstick that would provide a) temporary relief and b) smell so much like artificial strawberries or Dr. Pepper or vanilla cake that I would have to lick it off in hopes that it smelled as delicious as it tasted and be disappointed when it didn’t and then have to reapply.
With Carmex, I apply and my chapped lips are healed. Samaria introduced me to this wonder drug when we were in the 6th grade. She was surprised I’d never heard of it, but when was the last time you saw a Carmex commercial on TV? Never. When was the last time Carmex was one of Oprah’s favorite things? Never, even though it is such a superior product that it should be Oprah’s only thing.
What if Carmex is the real Secret? The Secret, according to The Secret’s website: Passed down through the ages… coveted, hidden, lost, stolen, bought for vast sums of money, and known by some of the most exceptional people who ever lived: Plato, Galileo, Da Vinci, Beethoven, Edison, and Einstein, to name but a few.
Yep, that’s Carmex, alright. Now that I’ve figured out this ancient riddle, I wonder if the Freemasons will finally accept my application.
3. Cuties/Clementines/Little Oranges that are easy to peel
These sweet baby oranges are a great way to combat the winter blueses, offering a taste of the tropics in small portions. Cuties’s website says they are available November through April, but I find that they taste the best now through January. Towards the end of the season they get smaller and less juicy. I hate unpeeling a Cutie only to find a dehydrated corpse. I won’t throw it out, but I won’t be smiling as I eat it.
I can easily eat 6 Cuties in a row if I get a good batch. Not only are they easy to peel, but they are seedless and not as sticky as a regular orange. They fit in your pocket and make a great snack. A couple years ago, I bought some regular oranges because the store was out of my beloved Cuties. It was awful. I couldn’t peel it with my hands and I ended up getting juice in my hair. I remember saying out loud, to nobody except myself, “Oh my god, I hate this.”
I don’t think I look good in most hats. Samaria used to have one of those Blossom hats with the sunflower on the brim, and with her spiral perm and plastic turquoise hoop earrings, Samaria looked adorable in it. I didn’t look nearly as cute.
Around that time I got a purple t-shirt that came with a matching baseball cap. I wanted to wear the baseball cap with the shirt so badly, but I felt that the hat made my head look too small and round. Into the furnace it went.
Conversely, I recently acquired a nice set of headphones. I’m not sure what they’re called but they’re the big heavy duty kind that cover your ears completely. I let my co-worker Thad borrow them for his shift (he works nights) and I’ve noticed that every morning when I go to put them on, I have to re-adjust the headband band because it is way too short for my head. Thad’s head is no Clementine, so it lead me to believe that I have a really big head. This made me want to go back and watch So I Married an Axe Murderer in order to empathize with the character Head who gets yelled at for having a gargantuan cranium. I mentioned this to Cher and she suggested that maybe Thad is the one with the huge melon and he is adjusting the headband to make it smaller for me.
This then takes me back to the concern that my head is actually disproportionately small.
Anyway. I’m not into stylish-type hats (like Blossom hats or baseball caps) but I do love a cold weather hat. Look at how happy I am to be wearing a hat.
Stocking hats are the bomb. I have discovered that wearing stocking hats to bed are really cozy-feeling. It makes me feel extra secure and safe, even though I wasn’t necessarily feeling vulnerable before. Wearing a hat to bed must remind me of being in the womb, assuming that I wore a hat in the womb.
Oh, and lord, Brent’s Renaissance Festival hat. For somebody who bellyaches every time I drag him to the Renaissance Festival, Brent sure does find his share of artisan-crafted goods to buy. Like his $175.00 hand-cobbled leather shoes.
Here we are: me, Brent, and Brent’s artisan shoes. Brent doesn’t like this picture of him. He says it makes him look like he has doll’s legs. I think this is a very nice picture of us and don’t see the doll’s legs at all.
The shoes are nice and I would wear them if they fit me (Brent, that reminds me, I saw shoes just like this in Target last week! You are ten years ahead of the curve!).
However, Brent’s wisest Renaissance Fair purchase by far was the wool-lined hat he got. You know those super thick, luxurious, fluffy wool socks that make your feet feel so cozy and warm? The kind of socks that make you glad you have feet, not just so that you can stand and walk and stuff, but also so that you put on socks that make you feel you’re in heaven? This hat is like comfy wool socks for your head.
5. My Adult Blankie
I’m not talking any old blanket. I’m talking soft and fluffy. The feeling of being swallowed whole by the Snuggle Fabric Softener Bear and living in his belly. One of the things I appreciate most about winter is that, unlike the other seasons, I can put on a movie and nestle into the couch without feeling like I should be outside engaging in nature. So I don my pajamas, my wool socks, Brent’s Renaissance Festival hat, and grab my ultra deluxe super soft blanket that was a Christmas present from my sweet mother-in-law. This blanket is my adult blankie. I take it with me on car trips and will throw a tantrum if Brent tries to wash it. Just kidding, I wash it once a week. This blanket fresh out of the dryer could stop a war.
I have theory, we just roll a bunch of dryers on dollies to the war zones. Load the dryers with soft blankets and dryer sheets. If electricity is not available, we’ll need to bring along electricians. Then, we distribute freshly dried soft blankets to all the major war players. I don’t think anybody could proceed with war while wrapped up in an adult blankie.
If you don’t have a blanket that you love as much as I love my blanket, I recommend getting one soon. It may prevent you from starting a war.
6. Ingredients for Chili
Chili tastes extra good in the winter time. Need I say more?
7. Extra Strength Gas-X and Glade Plug ins
Needed on account of increased intake of chili. Chili yields large servings and the flatulence that results from three days of Brent and I eating leftover chili for lunch and dinner means our house smells like my finger did that one time I picked up a kitten and accidentally touched its anus right after it had gone poop.
8. Multiple Ice Scrapers
This one’s kind of decadent, but trust me. My dear friend Melissa’s mom worked at a place that produced ice scrapers, which meant that when I turned sixteen and got my own car, I was rich in scrapers of ice. Every time I went over to Melissa’s, her mom or dad or both gave me an ice scraper. I had a pile in my backseat, but the three main kinds were:
- The long stemmed kind, with the scraper on one end and the brush on the other, good for brushing off sprinklings snow and “spot scraping” small patches of ice.
- The shorter scraper with the thicker head. This is best for power-scraping, when you’re dealing with thick layers of ice and need some muscle.
- The shorter scraper with muff. If it’s brutal cold outside, you need that muff, but if it’s only moderately cold, the muff isn’t needed and only serves to slow you down.
Having to scrape ice in the cold is one of the the worst parts about winter. Having an arsenal of tools makes it a little less awful.
This brings us to the end of the road. Do you have any winter must-haves?