cross stitch american flag on a grain sifter 4th of july wreath
happy list

Happy List: #302

Hello! Welcome to this week’s Happy List on the kick-off to the Memorial Day Weekend in the United States. I’m so glad you can spend a few minutes of your day with me.

This week on the blog, I shared all the ways I’m lighting things up around here with solar landscaping lights. I also wrote about how the outdoor sofa on our deck came to be and the color scheme I chose.

Thank you for all of your comments, support, likes, shares, etc. here and on social media. If you want to connect with us, you can always comment on this blog post or send an email here. You can also reach out on Instagram or Facebook.

Now, here’s the Happy List!


Do you notice anything about this photo? How about how the playhouse in the back blends in with everything else?

That’s so smart if you’re not a fan of how traditional playhouses and sandboxes look.

backyard from via My Domaine on the happy list

(image: Ann.Living via My Domaine)


Pham Huy Trung takes the most captivating aerial photos of Vietnam that highlight Vietnam’s agriculture. There’s so much color!

Handy Husband visited Vietnam years ago and has the best stories from that time.

See more of Pham Huy Trung’s photos over at Colossal. You can also shop for his photos here.

Blooming water hyacinth in Hoi An, Quang Nam province. All images © Pham Huy Trung via This Is Colossal on the happy list

(image: Pham Huy Trung via Colossal)


The PBS National Memorial Day Concert airs this Sunday night, May 28, 2023, at 8 pm EST. You can also stream the concert online. You can find more info about the concert and the performers here.

Also, PBS has a Wall of Remembrance where website visitors can leave a note of remembrance for a loved one. It is very touching to scroll through the notes. You’ll need a tissue. The meaning of Memorial Day in the U.S. can get lost in the fun of the long weekend but for many families, too many families, their grief and loss are deeply felt.

pbs national memorial day concert 2023 on the happy list

(image: PBS)


Why did I just now learn that you can pan-fry lentils? Have you guys been holding out on me?

Molly from Yes To Yolks pan fries red lentils and puts them on soups and salads for a little crunch and added nutrients. I really have to try them soon!

Check out the recipe here.

pan fried red lentils to pair with roasted red pepper soup from Yes To Yolks on the happy list

(image: Yes To Yolks)


If you have noticed that older adults tend to wake up early and, perhaps, go to bed earlier, it seems there’s a reason for that.

It could be that our aging brains don’t respond to inputs like sunset, sunlight, meals, social cues, etc. like they used to according to Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy, the director of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Sciences at the University of Arizona Health Sciences.

For the record, I would like to point out that very young brains also do not respond well to inputs like sunset, meals, social cues, etc. when it comes to sleeping. If anyone has parented a baby or toddler, you know what I’m talking about!

It also could be that as your eyes age, you’re not taking in the amount of sunlight that you need, especially if you have cataracts. There are things you can do to help with that.

Read more about it here and talk to your doctor because one article and this blog are not medical advice.

indian rocks beach florida sunset on the happy list


This kitchen remodel by Claire Zinnecker Design is so pretty!

See all the photos here.

kitchen remodel Photos by Madeline Harper Photography Styling and design by Claire Zinnecker Design on the happy list

(image: Madeline Harper PhotographyClaire Zinnecker Design)


Platypuses have been reintroduced to Australia’s oldest national park after disappearing over 50 years ago, likely due to a chemical spill.

The platypus is a duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed, egg-laying aquatic creature native to Australia. (Say that 5 times fast!) Platypuses generally like freshwater but will venture into the areas where rivers meet the sea.

Because I know you need to impress your dinner companions tonight, here’s a fun fact for you. The male platypus is one of the few mammals that is venomous. It has stingers on the heels of its hind feet. Basically, it is cute but scary. Good to know. (source)

Learn more about platypuses here. Learn more about the reintroduction of platypuses to Australia’s national park here.

platypus credit WWF-Australia / Rob Brewster via smithsonian mag on the happy list

(image: WWF-Australia / Rob Brewster via Smithsonian Mag)


Black Cherries by W.S. Merwin

Late in May as the light lengthens
toward summer the young goldfinches
flutter down through the day for the first time
to find themselves among fallen petals
cradling their day’s colors in the day’s shadows
of the garden beside the old house
after a cold spring with no rain
not a sound comes from the empty village
as I stand eating the black cherries
from the loaded branches above me
saying to myself Remember this

Thank you for reading today’s Happy List.

Be good to yourself and others this weekend. If you are in the U.S. and are celebrating Memorial Day this weekend, I wish you the very best.

I’ll see you back here on Monday.



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