Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Happiness Project :: A Beautifully Illustrated Children's Book


I'm a sucker for children's books.  I started my collection long before The Man talked me into having kids.  For the most part I'm pretty picky about the quality of the story/writing/message, but I'll make an exception for a book that's beautifully illustrated.  The images in Augustus and his Smile are so scrumptious I think I could live off them.  Oh, to be able to draw like that!  And the story's sweet, to boot. 

Augustus the tiger has lost his smile. He goes on a journey to find it, and discovers it's right there under his nose - when he does things that he enjoys. As a person who loses her own smile from time to time, I appreciate the simple reminder.

So what's making you smile today?  I hope you'll hop, skip and jump on over to Leigh vs. Laundry and share a little of your happiness today.  Oh, and please, take a look at Catherine Rayner's amazing illustrations.  I'm sure you'll find something there to put a smile on your face...whether or not you've temporarily displaced yours.

A note to Ms. Rayner:
If by chance you stumble upon this post, you will know that I did not ask your permission to to use your lovely Augustus.  I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me rather than sue me.  We have been leaning upon him these last few days, and I just had to share him with my little corner of the world.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow (An Oxymoron)

Dear Slinky,

I am happy that that stupid coyote only got eight of your nine lives.

I am happy that a half crazy and very boisterous country vet declared, ‘We can fix her!’

I am happy that you were a fighter.

I am happy that I couldn’t bear the thought of putting you back in that barn where I found you.

I am happy that you were too mangy and scrappy and squirrelly and stinky for anyone to adopt.

I am happy that your scavenging rid my garage of its mouse problem – even if the same habit did result in other more complicated situations…like the time you got the spine from my salmon steak lodged on your canine teeth.

I am happy that you were not a “yacky” cat like the other two high falutin' pedigreed city cats you shared the house with. It’s hard to believe that in so many years I can count the furballs on two hands.

I am happy that the other two high falutin' pedigreed city cats taught you to talk - even though your voice was a bit shrill.

I am happy that the move to California didn’t kill you.

I am happy that the addition of two hairless apes and a move back to Texas didn’t kill you either.

I am happy that, at the end of the day, when the noise died down and the lights were low that you trusted me enough to snuggle up on my lap - even though you never completely lost your feral instincts.

I am happy that, although you knew the food supply was bountiful, you still felt the need to taunt, kill, and hoard your treats.

I am happy that on every vacation we took, the nervous look in the eyes of every bird, squirrel, and rabbit we passed reminded us of you -- and always will.

I am happy for the 15 years we had together.

I am happy for the millions of belly laughs you gave me.

I am happy that you are no longer laboring for each breath.

I am happy that you purred in my lap on the drive to the vet’s this morning.

I am sad…very sad, that you will not be sleeping next to me tonight, but I am happy that I found you and that you found me on that hot Texas day so many years ago.

Thank you, Sweet Slinky-Do, for bringing me so much joy.
Believe it or not, this kinda sad post was brought to you by Leigh vs. Laundry and The Happiness Project.  Sometimes the things that bring us the most joy also bring us sorrow.  I hope your day was filled with joy.  And if it wasn't...well, I hope you can find the joy in your sorrow.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Spent Ammo

Water balloon carcasses:

Evidence of a hard fought battle where both sides were victorious.
What's making you happy today?  This post is usually hosted by Leigh over at Leigh vs. Laundry, but she's got a sick baby today -- which is definitely not something to be happy about.  But you should check out her Happiness Project anyway.  Because it really is a very happy project.  And while you're there, drop Leigh a comment with some good mojo for her ailing little one.  A little positive energy goes a long way.  Oh!  And before you leave, let me know what's making you happy today.  I care.  Really!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Happiness Project :: The State Fair

The Texas State Fair.  It runs the first three weeks of Autumn, which is pretty much still summer here in the Big D.  But Big Tex can take the heat when he has to.  His 75 gallon hat casts a nice big shadow to keep him cool as a cucumber.  He's the scariest looking 52' tall vaquero this side of the Rio Grande.  The fact that his lower jaw moves up and down while he drawls out his greeting to fair-goers doesn't really make him any less frightening either.  That doesn't bother him any.  He knows he's there to scare the bejeezus out of all the kids.  That's how we toughen 'em up in these parts.  And after Big Tex gets 'em good and tough, we Moms & Dads head over to the coupon booth, buy our food tickets and soften our little buckaroos back up with stuff like this...

...Tornado Taters!  Mmmm, mmmm, GOOD!  Fried just doesn't get any better than this, people.  Unless, of course, it's Tornado Sweet Taters! Drizzled ever so lightly with marshmallow sauce.  Sprinkled with a dash of spicy salt.  (I didn't get a picture of those - they jumped into my mouth too quickly for anyone to capture.)  And if that's not quite enough fried food for you, there's always...

...Fried Fr....  Oops!

Oh!  There it is!  Fried Frito Pie!!  Frito scoops, filled with chili & cheese, dipped in cornbread batter and deep fried to artery-clogging, thigh-padding, belly-bulging perfection.  Good stuff!  You know, I hear washing it all down with a margarita (on the rocks, please) zeros out all the calories.  Seriously.  Hey, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

What's making you happy today?  Mosey on over to Leigh vs. Laundry and tell everybody about it.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Happiness Project :: The End of September

September's a busy month for me:  my wedding anniversary at the beginning of the month, The Man's birthday in the middle, and Buddy Boy's birthday at the end.  There are just too many important things going on in September.  Add to that, the start of school & fall soccer season...well, it always seems like more than I can handle.  Watching Buddy Boy rip through his birthday presents with wild abandon is a joyous way to bring 30 days of insanity to a close.  Watching a kid open presents is happy enough as it is, but when it's coupled with the knowledge that the madness is over for another 11 months...well, now that's nothing short of bliss, people.  Nothing short of bliss. 

And you?  What's got you happy today?  Jump on the happiness bandwagon over at Leigh vs. Laundry.