Items we’ve curated from the World Wide Web we think will help you find a happier life!

Stop and Smell the Flowers

On our blog for Valentine’s Day we suggested to “Stop and Smell the Roses.” Here’s an absolutely wonderful story and some photographs captured in June 2019.

[Article published on DIYPhotography.Net. Original link below]


by Ole Henrik Skjelstad

You know that humans enjoy smelling flowers, its not a big surprise. A squirrel enjoying an intimate moment with a flower is way rarer. In June, Dutch photographer Dick van Duijn had a close encounter with a squirrel smelling a flower. He was both prepared and in a position to capture this beautiful moment.

It was during a journey to Vienna, Austria, that Dick captured the squirrel which walked over to a flower and began sniffing it. It even gave it a hug, it seems like. That capture by Dick while the squirrel closed its eyes is absolutely priceless. Interestingly, Dick visited Vienna to shoot and observe ground squirrels, so only half a coincidence there.

On the first day we observed them and how they behaved,” Van Duijn explains. He continues, “On the second day, we photographed the squirrels the entire day. It was in the evening, just before sunset, when the light becomes soft and nice that one of the many ground squirrels walked towards the yellow flower and began to hold it and sniff it.”

Dick used the Nikon D810 and Nikkor 500mm f/4 ED VR to preserve what unfolded before him. After that shoot, Dick felt happy and very satisfied.

For several years I have had the pleasure of following Dick’s outstanding work on various social media platforms. In addition to capturing animals, he also enjoys shooting landscapes. You can find more of Dick Van Duijn’s work and follow him on Facebookand Instagram.

[Via PetaPixel]


Here’s something that will make you smile

Courtesy of some members who subscribe to the happiness blog. They’re currently on a vacation in Greece and came upon this store.


Small Acts of Kindness go a long way

In “Day 18” of Don’t Be a Cow! we talk about simple, small acts of kindness. Often we think of being kind or generous as something HUGE. Think Philanthropy or Anonymous donations that fund a museum.

But, small acts of kindness can go a long way. Maybe it’s just making a co-worker a cup of tea or remembering a relative’s birthday – even when it’s just an online card. 🙂

Remember the Ice Water challenge? This article will give you an idea of the difference it actually made.

This link to Goalcast and this campaign is proof that every gesture, no matter how small, can have a major impact on those in need of help.

The image of a man getting a bucket of ice water dumped on his head



How to Be Happy? A Nearly 90-Year-Old Has Some Advice

Judith Viorst, the author of iconic children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, has never loved her life more than she does now. She’s also almost 90.


Don’t Be A Cow and Follow the herd says Chicago Trib writer

We love that he is sharing our advice. BE HAPPIER. Don’t follow the herd. And have a happy Mother’s day.


Don’t be a cow and follow the herd. Stay home on Mother’s Day.

John Kass

John KassContact ReporterChicago Tribune

If you’re thinking about going out for Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday, gathering the siblings, in-laws and their kids to make the special mom feel special, you must do something first.

You must plan. Otherwise, Mother’s Day brunch will be a disaster.

And as a veteran of many such brunches, and as an American of Greek descent whose DNA affords him an insider’s perspective on the ins and outs of brunches and “relaxed family dining,” I have simple rules you should follow.

Everything will be perfection, don’t worry.

Before you gather your wife and kids in the car, with everyone properly dressed in their Sunday best, and with Mother’s Day flowers in hand, have them stand out on the driveway to take pictures.

While the kids are preoccupied with the only things they truly love — their phones — walk out on your lawn. They won’t notice you.

Now cut a big chunk of sod. Put it next to your lips.

And eat it.

Now feed some sod to your kids and more sod to your wife, since this is Mother’s Day for her, too, and to your mom, since, naturally, she’s your mom. Whether they like it or not.

Rush everyone back inside to brush their teeth. You can’t have gloppy eggs Benedict or “picked over” smoked salmon or bad steam table potatoes if you have sod dirt on your lips. Wipe that sod off. Rinse. Repeat.

And later, while at the crowded restaurant, be calm.

Don’t get upset (as usual) when all the in-laws show up late (as usual) and cop an attitude because you haven’t been seated yet.

Just remain calm as the extended family is jammed into the waiting area, also known as Mother’s Day Purgatory. I prefer the bar.

But that’s crowded too. Everyone sweats, the kids are hungry, and they’re fidgety. And a few announce they hate everything, and Grandma says, “Will you please have them put down those phones?!” and the kids stare at you.

Everyone hates you now. So just sit quietly. And when you’re told that it will take 45 minutes to an hour to be seated — even though you had reservations — don’t cry.

Merely pass out some extra sod for everyone to enjoy. Chew it. Chew it good. Use the back teeth, the molars, and chew like a mighty herbivore in a herd of mighty critters.

Notice your wife sitting there, in Mother’s Day Purgatory, whispering to herself, “Happy (bleeping) Mother’s Day,” or your mom; and then notice your sisters-in-law mouthing the same dang thing.

Happy bleeping Mother’s Day.

Eat some more sod, and say loudly so all may hear: “Moooooo!”

Because you’re cattle. Because you’re livestock. And you know it.

And if you’re going out for brunch on Mother’s Day, you’re nothing but livestock herded halfway to hell. How long will you wait for your table?

How long would it take to count all the grains of sand in all the beaches in the world?

“Oh, if only I had the wits to listen when John Kass warned me about Mother’s Day,” you might say, waiting to pay around $200 per person for the Mother’s Day brunch at the Peninsula hotel.

Moo cow. Moo.

You herded yourselves quite willingly, because you read something in the paper or on a website on “20 Great Places for Mother’s Day Brunch!!!”

But what will that get you? Nothing. It won’t even get you the Dutch Baby Apple Pancake.


No one in the restaurant business would go to Mother’s Day brunch for the thick, gloppy hollandaise and the cold toast and eggs as dry as your grandfather’s scalp.

Don’t go out for Mother’s Day. Are you crazy?

Go out the day before or days and days after and say it’s a Mother’s Day brunch. Your mom or wife will feel better.

I’m not going out. Because I hate being herded like cattle, in politics or food.

And the best chef in Chicago, Michelin star winner Carrie Nahabedian of Brindille (my favorite restaurant) isn’t going out on Mother’s Day either.

At Brindille, she’s having a Mother’s Day tea on Saturday. But it’s sold out. Sorry.

So book another tea on another date. If you haven’t the exquisite French-influenced desserts crafted by Brindille’s master pastry chef Craig Harzewski, you simply don’t know what you’re missing. Craig is a genius, and he’s from Buffalo.

Nahabedian’s family thought about going out Sunday morning. Her mom is 90.

“But then I thought, ‘Oh, no, wait a minute,’ I better cook for the family at home,” she said. “I just cooked two weeks ago for them at Easter, so what the heck?”

My easy brunch-at-home trick is to get a good coffeecake and serve killer Bloody Marys, but not from a mix. Make them from scratch.

And while they’re drinking, you make lunch:

Mother’s Day Roast Chicken and Potatoes ala Kasso. Don’t ask me for the recipe. I don’t have one. Just use the basic elements of all life: lemon, garlic, olive oil, pepper, salt, oregano.

Parboil the red potatoes, quarter, toss in the seasonings, in an aluminum pan. Put the pan on the bottom rack of the grill, with the live coals on either side.

On the top rack, set up chickens for, yes, Beer Can Chicken. Or go with roast lamb. The meat fat drips into the potatoes and bastes them.

It doesn’t taste like grass.

Give your wife some flowers, thank your mom for giving you life, watch some home movies when you and the kids were little. Laugh with each other. Enjoy each other.

And don’t forget:

Happy Mother’s Day.

Listen to “The Chicago Way” podcast with John Kass and Jeff Carlin — at

[email protected]

Twitter @John_Kass


Or click here:

Magnificent Silliness

Coverage of Punxsy Phil, the grand prognosticator

UPDATE: America's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, did not see his shadow on Groundhog Day and has predicted an early spring.Celebrity groundhog and weather forecaster Punxsutawney Phil exits his burrow to deliver his forecast.

Posted by Fox News on Saturday, February 2, 2019

Scottish Grandma reads “Wonky Donkey” and it is hysterical

Talk about happy! We guarantee this will bring a smile to your face. And it’s practically impossible not to join in the laughter. Watch and see.

From the Toronto Star:
Thanks to a viral video of Janice Clark reading Craig Smith’s The Wonky Donkey to her baby grandson, and her breathless amusement over lines such as “He was a honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” the 2009 picture book about a three-legged, one-eyed donkey has started flying off the shelves again, suddenly becoming No. 1 on the Juvenile list and the No. 2 overall bestselling print book in Canada, according to BookNet Canada. In the U. S., it sold more than 100,000 copies alone this fall, much of that in the past week, according to NPD BookScan.


11 BOOKS to read to improve your social skills

We are thrilled to be included in this list of books to read to improve social skills.

And we’re in very good company. Please take a moment to look at the list, make a comment or share. It will mean a lot to us. And if you don’t have a copy of Don’t Be a Cow! or would like to share with a friend or family, be sure and take a look!

Many folks have told us we have already empowered them to “find their own paths.