happy list

Happy List: #53, Happy Birthday Dad

Hello, hello! You are joining me on a very special day.

It’s my dad’s birthday!

If you know him, feel free to give him a call today. By “call” I mean leave a message without any expectation of a call back – that’s a true gift.  Or honk when you drive by his house. The neighbors will love that! Or maybe just bake him a pie. That’s what he REALLY likes.

Now on to some other things making me happy today!


This was just too fun not to share. Can you spot the bear among the reindeer?

Here’s the original image by Budapest-based illustrator Gergely Dudás . Here’s the solution.


Did anyone get an Instant Pot for Christmas?

Whenever I hear someone talk about their Instant Pot, it’s basically one big love fest. People are very passionate about this machine created by Robert Wang, PhD. According to this article on The Kitchn, the feeling is mutual.

Promotional photos of the Instant Pot always show the timer’s device set to 5:20 and that’s on purpose! Apparently if you say five-two-zero out loud in Mandarin, Wang’s native language, it sounds like “I love you.” Here’s his actual quote.

That’s kind of sweet.


I think I’ve found someone who takes pie even more seriously than my dad does.

Check out this masterpiece…

Or this one emulating Vincent Van Gogh. Can you even?!?!

I think it’s cool that you can find joy and art in most anything – even pies.


Guys. This is shameless promotion of Handy Husband’s blog. Yep, he finally got in on the blog action. Probably because I made it look so fun.

Since Handy Husband doesn’t do anything halfway, the pictures and layouts are fantastic.

His latest post is about run commuting on the shortest day of the year. His other posts are topics that we don’t cover on this highly intellectual blog – machine learning, computer-y stuff, uh, more computer-y stuff. Definitely check it out!


I just adore the windows in this kitchen by Oh! Farmhouse.

Also, I love their comment about moving the dishwasher over to the right to give the sink space to shine! Smart thinking.


I like this idea of anchoring a simple frame with some decorative wood pieces from The Simple Farmhouse.

I was going to call them corbels, but I don’t think that’s what these are. Let’s just pretend I have all my words and am using them today, okay? Thanks so much.


I just read an article about NBA players going vegan or vegetarian and because I have so much in common with professional athletes I think to myself, “I should really try to cut meat out of my diet.”

Then the VERY NEXT article I read is a recipe with meat in it and I start wondering if it’s time for dinner yet.

I guess I need to work on my willpower a little more, but these Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from Not Enough Cinnamon look delicious!

(image: Not Enough Cinnamon)


Here’s me and my dad when we both had a lot more hair.

My dad is a man of few words, but I know without a shadow of doubt that he loves me. He loves my kids. Heck, he probably even loves Handy Husband.

My dad is a quiet constant in my life. Never demanding, but always available. He’s steadfast and reliable, yet surprises me with his sense of adventure. He never pretends to be someone he isn’t and he is liked and respected because of it. He’s smart, funny and the hardest working person I know.

He’s probably feeling a tad bit uncomfortable with all these mushy words, so I’ll stop now while I’m ahead.

Happy birthday, Dad! I love you!

And Happy Friday to all of you! I hope your holiday week has been nothing short of amazing!



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  • Sandy Smith

    Happy Birthday to Nels! You are right on as far as your comments go concerning him. He is one steadfast man. He was a good neighbor when we lived on Bridgeport Roas. Like you say he is quiet but he has a great sense of humor. He is one nice man! You are blessed to have him as a dad.

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