Thursday, August 30, 2012

#378: Fields of Sunflowers

 Reasons to Be Happy #378:
Fields of Sunflowers
 One of the happiest flowers in existence, when they're gathered in great groups they're like a big ol' shot o' joy. It's nearly impossible not to smile when they gang up on you like this! It's their season. Go and find a field to play in!
 These great shots were taken by my talented friend Rick Flynn. Check out his blog called

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#377: Hot Air Balloons

 Reason to Be Happy #377:
Hot Air Balloons
 I have always, always wanted to go up in a hot air balloon. We sent my mom and dad up in one on my mom's 50th birthday, and it looked like so much fun. They both loved it! So, it's on my list.
 I love spotting them in the sky, and get a kick thinking of the lucky folks in the baskets—wondering if it's their first trip and if it's in celebration of some momentous occasion. (The only time I don't love spotting them is if I happen to be on the back of a horse. Even the most reliable horses in the world tend to be wary and freaked out by hot air balloons...)

These great pics were taken by my talented friend Erin Gross. She writes a funny, fantastic blog called Life in the Mom Lane: One Mom's Road Trip Through the Mother Hood. You should check her out!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

#376: Floating On Water

 Reason to Be Happy #376:
Floating On Water
 Whether on a raft, a noodle, your back, or a boat...floating on water is like being rocked to sleep when you were a wee little baby. So soothing, so relaxing, so...blissful.
One of the supreme pleasures of summertime...
These photos were all taken on Summersville Lake in Summersville, West Virginia. The boat is the Splendora, owned by the very fine Bill Anderson (and that's his spiffy poodle Ava at the helm).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

#375: My Gardening Assistant

 Reason To Be Happy #375:
My Gardening Assistant
 Meet Alice. She's my personal gardening assistant. Although I have no way of truly knowing if she is indeed a she, I can identify her by that distinctive little stripe on her forehead. Alice hangs out in my garden and we have an understanding—she knows I won't hurt her and I know she won't destroy my garden or take more than her share.
 She lets me get very close to her and doesn't seem at all afraid of me (but makes herself scarce when I have guests). Often, I'll be weeding or pruning and I'll look up to see her grazing less than a yard away.
 I've watched her nibble a few leaves of lettuce, then hop politely away. She never tears things up or destroys a whole crop the way those raccoon and squirrel thugs do. I catch myself looking for her when I'm out there, and I miss her and start to worry if I don't see her for a couple days in a row.
Somehow, a day always seems better when I get to hang out with Alice.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

#374: When Little Kids Dress Themselves

Reason to Be Happy #374:
When Little Kids Dress Themselves

You know what I love with all my heart? Little girls who wear skirts as dresses. Little boys who wear  argyle sweater vests (with no shirt underneath) with camouflage pants. Girls who wear their ballet costumes to school "just because." You know what I love even more? The parents who LET them. It's fantastic and fun and we should leave them alone to express their creativity in this totally harmless, highly entertaining way. The chicka in these photos is my sweet, wild friend Violet. I am honored that she often puts on costumes when I come to visit.

And you know what? You can never go wrong with a tutu. 
Or snappy boots.
Just saying...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

#373: Homemade Blackberry Sorbet with Peaches

Reason to Be Happy #373:
Homemade Blackberry Sorbet with Peach Chunks

Okay, so it's not very photogenic, but trust me. This is lovely. Watched a friend make it and it's simple as can be. Puree and strain fresh blackberries. Add juice of an orange. Add sugar and water. Chill and put into your handy dandy "sorbet spinner" (I must get one of these!). Less than an hour later, we were adding chopped up juicy peaches and staining our lips purple.


Even better on a muggy, humid summer day.