1) A new coffee maker. A. bought a coffee maker for himself when we moved to Albany, back in the days before I even drank coffee. That would be ten years ago. He bought the cheapest model available at Target, in keeping with our economic station (that is, really damn poor). And it just kept going. Not, however, without some minor inconveniences as it neared the end of its life. It got incontinent, leaking water from mysterious and indeterminable places. The basket part, which swung out to the side, wouldn't stay shut anymore unless I put a rubber band around it. So I used a leaking, rubber banded coffee maker for at least a year, reluctant to throw it away as it was in fact still performing its stated duty of making coffee, albeit while annoying the shit out of me every morning.
And then, one day, I just bought a new one. Just like that. I upgraded to the twenty dollar model with programmable stuff and clocks and everything (not that I have used the programming feature yet, but I like talking about it), and my mornings have been better ever since.
2) A new sink strainer. Due to the fact that we don't have a dishwasher and do all our dishes by hand, a sink strainer is a necessity for us. A separate one from the one in the drain, I mean. When you have to pour a huge pan of really dirty water out into the sink, you have to strain it before it gets to the drain thing, or else that will just clog up and the water won't drain out of the sink. For years, a small plastic handled colander in the sink served this purpose. It got pretty gross, though, and while I was in Arizona in March, the MiL chucked it. In its place, she got a small stainless steel colander at the grocery store.
Except it was too big, taking up too much space in the sink and making it impossible to empty it into the compost pail without dumping grossness on the floor. The MiL remarked wistfully that when she was a girl and everyone still did dishes by hand, every hardware store carried strainers that fit into the corner of the sink. Well, every hardware store doesn't carry them now, but Amazon does. So I bought one, and though washing dishes certainly didn't cease to suck, at least valuable real estate in the sink has been restored and there are a lot fewer egg shells on the floor.
3) An iron-on ass patch. When I finally gave in and started wearing maternity pants, my wardrobe shrank to three pairs of jeans, two of which were brand-new and one of which was pretty old and not particularly attractive. So when I was climbing over the gate to let the chickens out about a month after buying those jeans, guess which pair I ripped a big, ragged tear in on the Satan's wire on that gate? Yup, my favorite of the brand-new ones. I attempted to mend them, but the belly panel (God, I hate that term) and my own shitty needle skills made it impossible. So then I was down to two pairs of jeans. Then, while I was helping A. with the shearing, the old ones tore from the thigh all the way up the crotch.
I can only hope I noticed before the shearer did.
Since I was then down to one pair of pants, I did go to the thrift store at that point and purchased one pair of maternity jeans that are a size too big and so don't fit that well, plus a pair of kind of odd-looking slacks. This is the trade-off to thrift store shopping: Your selection, if you're looking for something specific, can be kind of limited.
These three pairs of pants is still sort of limited and occasionally results in my having to wear a pair of A.'s sweatpants while I wash my pants. This is not a good look. But I'll be damned if I'll spend thirty dollars on another pair of maternity jeans that I can only wear for a few more months. And then, when I was out for my exciting Mother's Day jaunt, I stopped at a craft store and got one of those denim patches that can be ironed on. It took all of thirty seconds, and now I have another pair of jeans. Begging the question of why I didn't just do this two months ago, but never mind that.
4) The tiller. I really, really love the fact that when I'm planning on planting anything in the garden, my plans no longer include several hours with a shovel. Instead I just call in A.and his tiller and sit back while he prepares my planting beds.
5) Little boys in overalls. Much as I love it when little boys look like miniature men, overalls continue to be my favorite item of children's apparel.
They're especially appropriate when putting the animals to bed for the night in the barn. That's what he's doing, in case you were wondering.
I'm sure there are more, but this has turned into a crazy-long description of things that are probably only interesting to me, so we'll just end here with a question: What's making you happy lately, duckies?