happy list

Happy List: #135


We all made it to Friday! I think that deserves a pat on the back.

This week on the blog I shared a mushy story. Scratch that. I shared TWO mushy stories. This one about DIY and love and this one about flea market finds and love. The two most important men in my life each had a starring role in these stories. As it should be.

Here’s the Happy List!


I’m dead from the cuteness.

pioneertown motel on the happy list

(image: Pioneertown Motel)

This is the registration office for Pioneertown Motel in California. Back in the day Pioneertown Motel housed movie stars like Gene Autry while they were filming.

If you love old western movies, you might need to stay a night here!


I didn’t know who Rick Wormeli was until my daughter’s middle school principal gave each parent a copy of his essay titled “Living With and Teaching Young Adolescents: A Teacher’s Perspective.”

If you know someone with a middle school-aged child, take pity on them and send them this essay.

This quote from the essay had me nodding my head in agreement.

“Numerous young adolescents who gave me nothing but frustration and less than acceptable work in their middle school years went on to become wonderful students in high school and college. Somewhere inside them they were germinating the seeds of what they could become. With each one, we look past the frustrating years, and we do not hold their current state of development against them. What would we have become if we had been held to the labels placed on us as young adolescents? We’re farmers who trust that the crop will produce, even before the first seed has sprouted.”Rick Wormeli

This quote from the essay made me actually laugh out loud.

“Teaching young adolescents is a combination of serving in the Peace Corps, organizing an amoebae circus, competing in the Decathlon, being a salesman, and vying for an Academy Award. In no other job do you laugh aloud, ignite someone’s imagination, bring peace, pose conflict, kiss frogs, quell fears, affirm goodness, stand amazed, and read a crumpled love note that assures the end of the world by 3:00 that afternoon. And that’s just the end of first period. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.” – Rick Wormeli


Look at those doors against that blue backdrop. And the arch? Amazing.

The rest of this home designed by Kate Marker Interiors will have you inspired, for sure! I especially loved the bathroom sink and wall treatment combo.

sliding doors via kate marker interiors on the happy list

(image: Kate Marker Interiors)


I treated myself to a new paintbrush the other day. I know, I know. Sometimes I go crazy and splurge.

Actually, I had destroyed my old one because rarely does a day go by that I’m not painting something around these parts.

I like to use short-handled paintbrushes and decided to try the Wooster one with the rubber handle. HOLY NO MORE CARPAL TUNNEL, BATMAN!

wooster brush with rubber handle on the happy list

This rubber-handled paintbrush is so. much. better. than the regular wood-handled paintbrushes. First, it is lighter. You wouldn’t think that makes a difference, but when you are cramming paint into all sorts of nooks and crannies for hours a day, it does. Second, the bendable, rubber handle is more comfortable to use and it is easier to manipulate the brush to shove paint into nooks and crannies.

Clearly, I’m a professional with my sophisticated painting techniques. Please read my blog for incredible advice. Haha.

It occurs to me that I have dedicated a lot of words in praise of a paintbrush today. So…maybe I need to step away from the paint can and find a hobby?


Did you know that during WWII many raw materials normally used by U.S. manufacturers were diverted to the war effort? This happened to Steinway & Sons. They had to manufacture something else (coffins and parts for transport gliders) or go out of business. Then they had the idea to make a lightweight piano that could survive a parachute drop into a conflict zone.

These pianos were called Victory Verticals.

victory verticals via steinway and sons on the happy list

(image: Steinway & Sons)

This is a FASCINATING story, in part, because we’ve all seen the Looney Toons cartoon where someone gets crushed by a piano. But also because of the ingenuity that went into reengineering a piano for this purpose.

Read more about it on the Steinway & Sons website. You can also read about the Eastern Michigan University professor who has researched this topic and created a show that plays music from this era here.


I thought the doors on this Swedish home were happy.

Make sure you check out the greenhouse part of this house that is actually green.

green doors in sweden via desire to inspire on the happy list

(image: Desire to Inspire)


I’ve been finishing up the Presidential podcast while I’ve been painting all the things in my house. I’m up to the one about Richard Nixon. I like this podcast because it is a little less about policy and more about each president as a person: their personalities, what made them tick, the influence of their spouses, etc.

I read the essay titled An Open Letter to the Female Hat-Wearing Dog From “Go Dog, Go.” I have read that book to my kids 10,000,000 times – give or take a few. I never gave much thought to the girl dog that keeps asking the boy dog if he likes her hat. I was just focused on phonics and how quickly I could finish the book before bedtime. The essay is approached from a satirical perspective, but since I have a daughter who will be a teenager soon and who might want the approval of others, I’m bookmarking it for later.

That’s it for today’s Happy List. I hope you enjoy your weekend!


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