The holidays gave us time at home, cooking and baking, pulling out the dishes we always use for celery and baked squash, and figuring out where I left the other Christmas pudding. I’ve lived in this house for almost 10 years, far longer than I have ever lived anywhere, and during these inside months (we’re expecting another 18 inches of snow this weekend) I’ve been noticing how many useful household items have become old friends.

This blender, for example. It’s not a reproduction. It’s an original ‘osterizer’ and god knows how old. It cost $2 at a tag sale a decade ago and still works perfectly. How long would a modern equivalent hold out? Secondhand shops, tag and jumble sales, and friends and neighbors are a great source of friendly furnishings, and a way to reduce consumption and waste, too.