my ‘right stuff’ for living
SORRY, NO PRADA SHOES or bling on this list to catch anybody’s eye. My must-have’s for living these days are more service-oriented than flashy, each performing regular duty to make life work better. Like the just-right “extra” little freezer with clever basket-like drawers (since I am the Freezer Queen), or the online spice and tea places for everything I can’t get nearby, or the only piece of exercise equipment I needed to create a home gym above my barn.
I admit that I love scoring really functional stuff. I was over the moon when my contractor neighbor showed me the super-bright (but not big) flashlight he uses, or the physical therapist revealed the brand of heating pad that actually does therapeutic-level duty, or when entomologist friends arrived to go “mothing” at night with their LED headlamps on–which turn out to be a hands-free light source for any nighttime or cellar chore.
The discoveries below (disclosure: some are Amazon affiliate links) are my old reliables of rural living, and maybe they’d work in your life, too, wherever you are.
BUSHNELL LED HEADLAMP: Entomologist friends at nighttime mothing events turned me on to Bushnell’s Rubicon 250-lumen LED headlamp, which turns out to be perfect for nighttime snow-shoveling and anytime you need light but have no hands free. Super-bright.
3 CUBIC FOOT FREEZER: I am the Freezer Queen. When I outgrew my home and office refrigerators’ freezers, I invested in a 3 cubic foot Energy Star model from Supentown with 3 basket “drawers” for orderly storage. Love it.
FIRE CIDER: As a daily tonic or to add zest to salad or juice, the zippiest apple cider vinegar ever, enlivened with oranges, lemons, onions, ginger, horseradish, habanero pepper, garlic, turmeric. And a little honey.
RISHI ORGANIC TEAS: All certified organic, from a Milwaukee-based company whose service and practices (and teas!) I like, including an exceptional selection of green teas. Get on their email list to get 15% off your first order, then watch for sale emails to stock up.
KALUSTYAN’S SPICES and more: If there is a spice, bean, specialty flour, chutney, or other ingredient I need, this 70-year-old NYC-based resource has it online and by mail, too.
RANCHO GORDO BEANS and more: Spectacular chili powder, and a selection of heirloom beans you won’t find elsewhere, for cooking (or sow a row of them!). Makes a great gift for cook friends.
JUMPSPORT REBOUNDER: After a year of rebounding, I upgraded to the Jumpsport, which is springier and has adjustable elastic cords (not fixed-tension metal springs like my first trampoline). Crazy fun. Stabilizing handlebar is optional.
MY FIRST REBOUNDER: I started rebounding with the Urban Rebounder, maybe $130ish (comes with stability handlebar), and have since upgraded. This is a great value for those exploring rebounding.
MICROWAVEABLE WRAP: Velvet-covered ample 9×28-inch wrap from Dreamtime is filled with grains plus cinnamon, clove and eucalyptus. Can also be frozen in a sealed plastic bag for cold therapy.
MICROWAVEABLE SHOULDER WRAP: The velvet-covered Dreamtime shoulder wrap is filled with grains spiced with cinnamon, clove and eucalyptus. Can also be frozen in a sealed plastic bag.
RADAR SCOPE APP from Weather Decision Technologies is definitely not your average dumbed-down weather radar (and I keep promising to do the whole tutorial and learn the advanced features). If you want to play weatherman, you can even use the “draw” function to mark up your map. An app for Apple or Android.
SUPER-BRIGHT FLASHLIGHT: The Slyde 250 lumen LED flashlight by Nebo, with built in worklight (you “slyde” it open to reveal the worklight, as in photo) has a magnetic end to “hang” it up. Uses 3 AAA batteries.
THERMOPHORE HEATING PAD: A physical therapist turned me on to this arthritis-strength pro heating pad years ago, and I’ve even given them as gifts since. An ample 14×27 inches; get the model with auto switch that turns off after 20ish minutes.
HOSER CLASSIC MUCK BOOTS: I got a pair of these the year they came out, and they’re still going strong. Finally got a new pair recently for wearing “out” (not in the yard, I mean).