happy list

Happy List: #278

Hi! Welcome to this week’s Happy List. I’m glad you are here.

Today is Veterans Day in the United States. For those of you who served in the United States Armed Forces, thank you for your service.

Did you know that Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11 because it marks the end of World War I? The official end to that war was 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918. So, the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month and it became known as Armistice Day. Armistice Day became Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all veterans and was signed into law by President Eisenhower. (source)

Switching gears, this week on the blog I shared the dream team of pretty advent calendars. There are so many neat options this year! I also wrote about the new art I hung in our sunporch. That room is coming along nicely!

As always, thank you for continuing to show up here week after week supporting this little spot on the internet. Your engagement here and on Instagram or Facebook is important to us. Your support truly helps our family, helps restore this old house we live in, and keeps this blog running.

Here’s the Happy List!


How pretty is this room? It’s from Rosedale Farm in Australia where you can book a luxurious farm stay.

As a person who grew up on a farm that was not luxurious, I wouldn’t mind experiencing the luxurious farm life for a weekend. Ha!

Who wants to go to Australia with me?

rosedale farm australia on the happy list

(image: Rosedale Farm)


I’m adding pecans to my grocery list so that I can make this Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad from Chelsea’s Messy Apron.

Doesn’t it look delicious and like something we should be eating before we gorge ourselves on holiday treats?

autumn crunch pasta salad from chelsea's messy apron on the happy list

(image: Chelsea’s Messy Apron)


Uzbekistan has a novel approach to a lack of rural preschools. Take the preschools to the villages in the form of a classroom on wheels.

These literal schoolbuses have solar power and bathrooms on board.

Read more about it over at Positive News.

uzbekistan's mobile preschools via positive news on the happy list

(image: via Positive News)

P.S. Did you notice the ballcap on the bus? So cute.

P.P.S. We had such an interesting discussion around the dinner table about this idea. We hashed out the pros and cons of not maintaining a brick-and-mortar preschool. We talked about the lifetime advantages to kids who attend preschool. One of the perks of having older kids is being able to discuss ideas like this and get their perspective on things.


Need a puffer jacket for you or your kids?

I’ve bought this same Amazon Essentials puffer jacket for my son three different times as he’s outgrown the smaller sizes.

It’s water-resistant and lightweight, so he doesn’t complain (much) about wearing it. It’s held up well to all the abuse kids bestow on their jackets and it doesn’t cost a lot, so if he loses it at school, it’s not the end of the world.

They come in different colors, with and without a hood, and for kids and adults.

amazon essentials puffer jacket for kids on the happy list

(image: Amazon)


Imagine a whole wall of these paper cup Christmas trees that Handmade Charlotte made. It would make a great photo backdrop for a holiday party or family photos. A friend of mine works at a church and they do a photo backdrop every Christmas season for the families in their congregation, so that’s why it was on my mind.

You may need to paint your wall green or red to make it work, but it would be worth it! I suppose you could also paper your backdrop red or green then layer these hanging paper cup trees over the top.

Let me know if you try it!

hanging paper cup trees by Handmade Charlotte on the happy list

(image: Handmade Charlotte)


I thought this idea for a DIY hat stand using wood bowls from Sadie Seasongoods was clever! There are a bunch of ways you could take and make this idea your own.

Directions here.

diy hat stand from wood bowls via Sadie Seasongoods on the happy list

(image: Sadie Seasongoods)


In September, Lion Brand Yarn used our house and grounds for a photoshoot.

Some of the exterior photos are now on their website. These are photos only I would recognize because, as it turns out, this story is not about me. Ha! It’s about their products, which are VERY cool and include a collaboration with the Stranger Things tv show.

The below photo was taken in front of our Carriage House.

lion brand yarn stranger things eddie vest knit kit on the happy list

(image: Lion Brand Yarn)


Gatekeepers and Judgment by Seth Godin 

Infinity is seductive.

1,000 emails take up just as much space (and cost just as much) as one. An online bookstore can carry every book ever published. And the long tail of music gives every single person a chance to share their work.

The simplest thing to do is “let the market sort itself out.” No judgment.

That’s what the algorithms of the tech world purport to do. No judgment about taste, quality or standards. Hands off about sources, repercussions or impact.

It’s easier. And at some level, it seems more fair.

Without the scarcity of limited shelf space, it’s easy to embrace infinity.

But no judgment is still a judgment in itself. When a site publishes every idea on its platform, promoting each based on a non-published formula, they’ve made a judgment about the power of ideas and the way a community can evolve. This is new. Libraries, bookstores, radio stations–all of the keepers of our culture–danced with scarcity and influence and responded with judgment. If you can’t carry or promote everything, then judgment is the obvious response. Because you have to pick something.

But when companies demur and refuse to make a judgment, infinity and scarcity collide. Institutional reputation and knowledge have value, and by ignoring them, the big tech companies are making a statement about that value. Each seems to be trying harder than the next to help users fail to understand what’s worth trusting.

The fracas that is kindergarten has a useful function. It helps kids grow up. But if you need surgery, I hope you’ll go to the hospital, not the local elementary school.

(Read Seth Godin’s daily insight here.)

Thank you for reading today’s Happy List.

Be good to yourself and others this weekend.

I’ll see you back here on Monday.


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