Hump Day Happy–Artist’s Edition


Sorry to be so late with this today, but I have been, as my mother would have said, out ratting the streets. Errands to run. Happy ways to indulge myself. And especially enjoying another gorgeous Houston day before we either get dreary weather again or jump right into summer.

To compensate for being late, I photographed the happiness book in front of someone’s (not my) in-progress painting. Since it’s only a tiny fragment of the whole, I’m hoping she won’t mind. In any case, I know she won’t sue me. She’d be afraid the court would award her two wienerbrats.

If you want something to be happy about from this book, please comment with a page number between 1 and 611, and another number between 1 and 25. I’ll start dinner while I’m waiting for you. =)

Hump Day Happy


One of my new favorite places at The Compound: Tucked into a corner of the window seat, this box holds watercolors; charcoal, colored, and graphite pencils; sketch pads; angel books for coloring–one crafting location for those hanging out with us to get happy by indulging their creativity. If you want some happiness, too, please comment with a page number between between 1 and 611, and another number between 1 and 25, and I’ll give you the answer from the happiness book.

Hump Day Happy–Bridge Edition


Seriously? If these dolls are the true 2010 Harley couple, I could probably resist the Barbie, but I MUST HAVE KEN. I think they’re using the Twilight Edward face mold for this doll. Minus the sparkle on the paint job, of course. Team Ken!

For those who want to see how Meesh is meeting the weekly Project Runway challenges with style–and deriving one of her looks from one of my past designs!–you can see her high-end and affordable fashions right here. Tres chic!

Finally, what kind of person would get up in the morning, build a bridge, and risk the well-being of a unicorn named Charlie for YOUR happiness? Me, that’s what kind. Please comment with a page number between between 1 and 611, and another number between 1 and 25, and a trio of unicorns will float through these pages to find you some happiness.


It’s a bridge, Charlie!
A bridge that Becky constructed from toothpicks and burlap string!
She’s an engineer, Charlie! A civil engineer made of hope and wonder!

(Note: I realize Charlie’s in a perilous position due to the length of the bridge.
That’s because between these books is not the bridge’s real destination.
And also, everybody’s a critic.)

Hump Day Happy–Substitute Edition

Heidi Gunn here. Becks is busy finishing a project and getting her house back in order. Knowing that I’m often called upon to fill in for the ever-pregnant Heidi Klum, Becks asked if I could fill in for her. I agreed on the condition that I be allowed to wear something from her Edith Head Collection. So here I am! All you have to do is give me a page number between 1 and 611, and another number between 1 and 25, and I’ll give you something from the happiness book.

Also, while I have you–another designer, Meesh, is doing the Project Runway challenges with her beautiful model Merisel. You can see her “Back to New York” design here. As soon as she posts her design for “The Fashion Farm,” I’ll provide the link. Enjoy!

Hump Day Happy

I skipped Hump Day Happy last week; sorry. I’m hoping doing it this week will make my headache go away because I have too much to do to put myself to sleep with drugs. I suppose it could be paint fumes causing the headache.

Regardless, making you happy makes me happy. If you comment with a page number between 1 and 611, and another number between 1 and 25, I’ll give you something from the happiness book.

Hump Day Happy–Where Did the Day Go Edition

I don’t cook with grease for seasoning the way my mother and aunts did. It’s not healthy. I usually don’t cook my vegetables to death, either. But I do occasionally want some bacon grease for my cornbread skillet, and if there will be any old-school Southerners at my table, I like to add a bit of flavor to peas or beans with it, too. (Aside: After a hurricane, when you’re without power and have to cook all your food so it won’t go bad, if you fry your okra in bacon grease, even Mark G. Harris will eat it. Should any of you ever be in that situation when Mr. Harris is a guest in your home. Your hurricane-impacted home. Did I mention there was a hurricane?)

I have confessed on here before that I usually buy my own Christmas presents and tell Tom his part is to wrap them. I know that doesn’t sound exciting, so this year I decided to live dangerously. I told him to buy creative things to put the presents IN. Decorative boxes and such. Proving that men do, in fact, sometimes hear what we say, he remembered that I sometimes opined about the good old days when I, and other family members, used to keep little containers designed for filtering and saving bacon grease. Tom went to an antique store–this is NOT to say that my family members and I are antiques; I’m thirty-five–and found this adorable container to hold one of my presents, which I thought was quite clever.

If you would like to comment with a page number between 1 and 611, and another number between 1 and 25, I’ll find something in the happy book for you. Maybe it’ll be clever and adorable, as well. And it won’t clog your arteries.

Hump Day Happy–Wooden Heart Edition

In a unique homage to Gone With The Wind–movie version–Little Wooden Man poses with the love of his life, 2008 Holiday Barbie, in front of one of Lindsey’s paintings. Whatever works. If you give them a page number between 1 and 611, and another number between 1 and 25, they’ll consult this book for something you can be happy about as we say goodbye to the Aughts and look forward to 2010. (Which I’m expressing as “twenty-ten,” not “two-thousand-ten.” You?)

Hump Day Happy–Band of Angels Edition

Once upon a time–namely in December 2008 and November 2006–I talked about the tradition of the Christmas angels at The Compound. This year, the angels were put up by Tim, as usual, like so:

There were angels in the dining room:

Angels in the living room:

More angels in the living room:

Angels in Tim’s arms:

Wait; those are ears, not wings. Sorry, Puddles.

So many angels that it makes you ponder: How many angels can dance over the windows in The Compound? The answer is: MORE. Because there’s another angel named Marika who liked my story of the angels so much that she ordered some of the hard-to-find angel books. Then, in a gesture of the true spirit of Christmas, she sent the angels out far and wide to be adorned by friends…FOR ME!

Yesterday, these angels winged their way to Houston:

And from the back:

I couldn’t be happier that beautiful new angels from Lisa, David, Jeffrey P, Jeffrey R, Michael, Steve, Rob, Gary, and Chris will join all the angels from years past and become a part of all my Christmases future. You are all thoughtful and generous and so kind to share your energy and your COLORING SKILLS (amazing!) during this busy season. I’m so happy to know you all and can’t thank you enough.

One time when Greg and I were talking, I said that it’s a rare person who gives without expecting anything in return. And Greg said, “Marika does.” It’s true. Marika was so focused on making sure I got everyone’s angels before Christmas–both as a surprise for me and so that all their makers wouldn’t be disappointed–that she forgot to put the angel she colored in the package! It’s okay, Marika, the angel tin is never packed away with the rest of the holiday stuff. It stays available all year, so any new angel will always find a home there, whenever she arrives.

Also thanks to Marika, I now have several of the out-of-print books that feature these angels. So if anyone else ever wants to color one to join The Compound Band of Angels, e-mail me your address. Your work of art, like all of these, will always be as cherished as your friendship.

In the meantime, these nine angels stand ready to find something in the happy books for you, if you just provide a page number between 1 and 611, and another number between 1 and 25.


Happy Christmas!

Hump Day Happy

Oh no! It appears that someone’s bovines have found their way onto The Compound. They are not mine, but I hear their owners are looking for names for them. Any suggestions? While you’re pondering that, if you’d like to give the cows a page number between 1 and 611, and another number between 1 and 25, they’ll find something in this book for you to be happy about. And maybe when they have real names, they’ll find their way to their real home.

Hump Day Happy–Early Edition

I was sitting on the front porch Tuesday afternoon after I dropped all the rose petals into the flower bed. I was thinking about John Lennon and Riley and their eternal connection in my heart while I sang to the dogs. The dogs LOVE it when I do this; in their excitement, they run to distant corners of The Compound, probably hoping I’ll sing even more loudly so the world can share in the thrill of it all.

I wasn’t singing a John Lennon or even a Beatles song, but one of my favorite Neil Young songs, “Birds.” I was sad, and it occurred to me how one of Riley’s gifts was that no matter how crazy awful our lives were (and 1980 delivered a ton of crazy awful), he could always make me laugh. As I sang, I remembered Riley telling me a story about a day he was sitting on his front porch, singing and playing his guitar. He was working on a song of his called “I Saw the Light” about the rotten luck of his alter ego, the Mysterious Vagabond Poet. Each time the MVP thought his life was taking a turn for the better, another awful thing would happen. And as Riley sang, he suddenly realized that across the street, his neighbors were sitting on their front porch and laughing their butts off. That’s when he knew he’d accomplished what he wanted to with the lyrics: He’d taken all the crazy awful and made it funny. He came to my house a couple of days later to make sure the song would get the same reaction from me. Remembering how I laughed back then gave me a much welcomed lift.

And then came magic.