From the Horse's Mouth


Posted in 1 by theskinhorse on July 10, 2010

The much overlooked essentials (besides the obvious):

Tea lights – Having these little blessings around can easily transform the ordinary to enchanting, romantic, or peaceful in minutes. A bag of 50 usually costs no more than $10 (scented or unscented), and they last for weeks to months, depending on use. Plenty of occasions call for warm lighting and gentle atmosphere. They add ambiance to dinner, softness to bathing rituals, and intimacy to conversation. And, hey, they’re a light source. (Note: matches or a lighter are an implied essential here as well.)

Cards – Whether with company or alone, having these portable, lightweight, cardboard rectangles can be a lifesaver. When minds need to be sparked with a game, mental steam needs to release or boredom needs to be broken, cards can make the passing time easier, smoother or funner.

Pen and paper – Creation can happen anytime, anywhere. The Muses don’t necessarily wait, and Murphy’s Law will ensure that fleeting inspirations remain fleeting.

Thrift Stores –  Local, that is. A treasure trove of nostalgia and an invitation for re-invention. Sometimes you don’t know the perfect piece for a room until you see it, and sometimes the trends lack heart.

Herbs and Spices – Anything from commonplace salt and pepper to fresh rosemary from the garden, crystallized ginger or well, you name it. A kitchen cupboard without spices has no personality. Sometimes the “dash of __” makes all the difference. Plus, spices are simple ingredients to revisit and modify old recipes. Some even have some healing quality.

The Comfy Blanket – Everyone needs the ability to pick up and wrap themselves in comfort whenever they please. Society doesn’t think much of adults with Teddy Bears, but a comfy-enough blanket, robe or pajamas serves the purpose pretty well.The blanket is also handy to have in the car, in case of roadside sleep emergencies or cold emergencies.

Bandana – It can act as a handkerchief, a washcloth, small towelette, temporary bandage, tiny bag, head-wear, tourniquet, or fashion accent. How is that not perfect?

Duct tape – Because, really, you can make just about anything with it. See here and here for just a glimpse of the possibilities.


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  1. jx said, on July 15, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Agreed, my current nomadic state makes many of these items cherished and necessary to create the feeling of a comfortable life. I have a little spice stash of paprika, cumin, coriander, rosemary and cinnamon, plus a couple of bandanas for when my hair isnt as pretty as Id like it to be, or I have to wrap up little treasures that will get lost in the abyss of my bag. There are black ink pens and notebooks stashed in all kinds of pockets, and a roll of duct tape in my skate bag.

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