Five Little Things


These guys make me almost as happy as the baby goats!

Sometimes it’s the little things. That’s what this blog is all about: five little things that are making me happy.

First…if you like baby goats (and who doesn’t?), check out the Sunflower Farm barn cam. I’m a little obsessed. Sunflower Farm is a pygmy goat farm near where I live in Maine. The cam shows baby goats being born and generally frolicking. It is (a) highly entertaining, (b) cute off the chart, but (c) a little stressful (for me) to watch. Apparently I’m either a goat wimp or cross-species maternalistic because I get very worried and protective of these baby goats. Warning: this site can be very addictive. And very dramatic. But you really should check it out. Hint: It’s much more exciting with sound turned up so you can hear all the goats bleating!


It doesn’t look like much yet, but just wait…and yes we do still have some snow

If baby goats are being born, then it must be spring, right? YES! Spring. We finally have spring! There are no leaves on the trees yet (and only a few flowers), but we went from snow last week to 70 degrees this week. Today I saw an Osprey and two Great Blue Herons flying over. Song birds are everywhere. Our temps (and winds) will be all over the place for a while, but I don’t think we’ll get anymore snow until fall—which is the important part—so we can get our garden area ready. This all makes me very, very happy. (Until I saw a fly in the house…no. I won’t complain yet.)

Parchment baked chicken breasts. I usually don’t write about food on my blog, but once in a while I need to. A few months ago I started baking chicken in parchment paper—I put (usually three skinless boneless breasts on a piece of parchment paper, squeeze juice of one lemon onto them, add a few tablespoons of wine, sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper, cover with another sheet of parchment, and crimp the edges. Bake until done (usually about 30 minutes), and you’ll have the moistest most delicious, healthiest chicken breasts you’ll ever taste. I’ve also used soy, balsamic, and lemon juice marinade, equally delicious. You can also use this method for fish and vegetables. Cooking Light has a better description of the method—you can find it in this article by Lia Huber.

In case you haven’t been to Google today…you’re in for a fun surprise. In honor of the 155th anniversary of the Pony Express, Google has developed a fun, easy video game. I’ve wasted spent at least half an hour on this today… and I’ve only collected 25 envelopes at best—you have to see it to truly understand. Check it out on Google.

After you finish collecting envelopes, check out today’s post on Writer Unboxed by Therese Walsh. It’s an incredibly helpful blog about multi-tasking—Therese’s third in a series. Therese says this: “If you multitask because you feel you have to in order to stay on top of things; if you’re overwhelmed with too much information and an inability to sort though it all; if you’re losing momentum on your writing projects because there is just too much on your plate… This post is for you.” She goes on to give methods for diagnosing what’s going on (or wrong) with your work habits, strategies for better productivity, and tips and suggestions to be more productive. It’s a really useful and helpful post….

Especially after you’ve been watching baby goats, cleaning your garden, playing Google’s Pony Express game, researching new ways to cook chicken, or generally trying to figure out how to focus more on writing and less on those other non-writing things.

What are some little things making you happy?




  1. Chris says:

    Friends who post pictures of beautiful parts of their world that I get to wake up to.

    • Thank you so much, Chris, you’re so kind! I’ll second that sentiment. (Btw, it’s shaping up to be a lovely sunset and I’ll be heading out soon to try and capture it!)

  2. Lisa says:

    The fact that I got to meet you this weekend.

  3. Micky Wolf says:

    Lovely post, Julia. Great menu idea. The goats are sooo cute. And some helpful info for staying organized and productive. The clincher? Shhh…the snow is going, going, gone…at least for a few months. Yeah!

    What makes me happy? Among other things…I’ll post a brief reflection on “buds” tomorrow. Buds, buds, everywhere, all leading up to an explosion of color and bright greenery in a couple of weeks. 🙂

  4. Baby goats! We were at the vet today and there was a baby goat in the waiting room having its bottle. :). I bet you hoop-n-holler at the site of crocuses. Yay for all of us. Spring is here.

    • Oh how cute to see a baby goat at the vet!! I’m going to go in person to the farm this coming week and can’t wait to see them in person. And yes, a LOUD hoop-n-holler 🙂 So happy spring is here for us all!!

  5. Yay! I’m so glad that you’re having warmer weather. Hopefully the snow will be gone soon. 🙂

    I can understand the addiction of the baby goats video. I was addicted to a video of baby eagles in their nest. Whole hours would fly by!
    Have a great day!

  6. Cherry says:

    I have two weeks left here in my rented cottage on a farm and I have lambs in abundance in the fields around us . It’s been a revelation staying here and being apart of the new life. But our 3/4 house is calling . It has come on in leaps and bounds since moving here 6months ago but unfortunately not finished . Who cares the weather is getting warmer and alfresco is the way forward because we have no kitchen however we do have a loo, a bedroom a hot shower on sat .
    This makes me happy.
    I am so glad you are coming out of the big freeze …enjoy Julia .

    • Your cottage sounds lovely, Cherry! We have unfinished portions of our (very old) house so I understand. As you say, alfresco is the way to go! Enjoy the cottage and new life.

  7. Oh, I LOVE baby goats!! My family has an ongoing joke about how they’re going to buy me one and sneak it into my back yard. 🙂 I’m so glad it’s finally spring up there. That chicken idea sounds simple and brilliant; I’m going to share that one with my husband. And Therese’s latest is already in my queue. Something that’s making me happy; hubs and I got a two-person hammock. It’s so much fun!

    • The baby goats were THE CUTEST! I went with a friend who has a four year old, and he was in heaven as he held baby goat after baby goat. I need to write a blog about the visit 🙂 A two person hammock sounds wonderful — what a great idea! Hope you like the chicken, let me know!

  8. Lisa Ahn says:

    Julia, what a great post! I will check out the baby goats, and I’m so jealous you’ve seen an Osprey. Love them.

    • The baby goats were SOOOO much fun in person… I visited with a friend who brought her four year old, and he got to hold one day old goats. It was amazing. I held a couple too and of course loved it. The Osprey are just wonderful, I agre, I love them too. Time for another trip to Maine? 🙂

  9. Susan says:

    Wow! So many links to click on. Thank you! We were up in Boston a couple of weeks ago for Easter and it was pretty desolate. Glad spring is finally springing for you. Now I wish the temperatures would stay consistently a little warmer. Even here in Virginia we can’t seem to stay warm.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Susan! And it’s so nice to “see you.” Yes, things are changing slowly for spring. I think Boston is always a few weeks ahead of us. I’ve heard they have more than just crocuses (that’s all I’ve seen). And I agree on the consistent temps. We’re a bit all over the place, still, with lots of 50s and down into the 30s at night still at times. BOO. I’ll be keeping my eye on the Virginia weather 😉