When the dog bites, when the bee stings (when I’m feeling sad.)

April has been a tough month over here, Gentle reader.  I feel as though all those spring showers have not only flooded my yard, but they’ve soaked my soul a bit.  Too much distressing news, too much stress, too many emotional days, too little exercise, too many carbs:  it’s all combined to made me feel frayed at the edges and flat out sad.  In the words of Spock, I freely admit that I have been emotionally compromised.

I’m at the point when I want to shake my fist at the sky and shout (politely, of course) “Time out, please!  I call time out!”  However, I’m pretty sure that God and the powers that be don’t exactly grant time outs (or do overs, which really would have come in handy last week.)

So I’m doing what I always do when everything gets to be too much:  I channel my inner Julie Andrews (we all have one) and start appreciating the numerous, smaller bits of wonderfulness in my life while I wait (slightly impatiently) for the bigger items to get their act together.

Here’s what is helping me survive the blues today:


1.  Our peach trees has buds on it for the first time which means there is a good possibility of home grown peaches this year.  Those blossoms were the most ridiculously gorgeous shade of pink and they made life feel just a tad bit rosier.


2.  Without any watering, weeding, or working our rhubarb plants have sprung into action and have produced pounds and pounds of tangy fruit that is just begging to be put into a dessert of some sort.  So I’m getting my Great British Bake Off on and making a few delectable items to eat this week.

3.  We inherited some new bedroom furniture this weekend and the budget has enough leeway in it to allow for new linen (from sheets to comforter.)  Even better, the husband has agreed that for my birthday next month he will paint the room whatever color I choose.  After fifteen years of marriage I will have properly decorated, color coordinated grown up space to sleep in, instead of a hodge-podge of a room that acts as a catch-all for any item without a home.

4.  Our asparagus is out of control, in the most delicious way.  Today (thanks to the rain last night) all the spears are a good four inches taller than yesterday.  So for lunch we’re having bacon wrapped asparagus that was just cut this morning.  Bacon makes everything better.

5.  My daughter has discovered a few of the authors I loved when I was her age.  Trinity’s in love with anything by Mary Downing Hahn (Wait Till Helen Comes scared the pants off me, mostly because no one in their right mind wants Helen to arrive.)  My daughter just finished I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan and agreed with me that the biggest lesson learned there is if you run over somebody with your car, you need to get out and help them- not drive away dummies.  (Seriously, this should be mandatory reading in Drivers Ed.  Hit and run accidents would drop by 70%, at least.)

It’s nice that for all the differences between our two generations there are certain things that never change- like good books.

6,  My cat, sensing that I’ve got the blues, follows me around the house and whenever I sit down for a bit (even in the bathroom) he lays on my feet and purrs directly onto my toes.  It’s highly therapeutic (despite the invasion of my potty time privacy) and makes me feel loved from top to bottom.

7.  The blueberry bushes we planted two years ago are still alive, despite the harsh winters they’ve endured.  I’m convinced that it is solely because I did my best Daniel Day Lewis in Last of the Mohicans impression last fall when I urged them to “Stay alive!  No matter what occurs!  Stay alive!”  (I loved that movie in my college days and I’m convinced that part of the reason I fell in love with my husband is that not only did he own that movie, he had the soundtrack as well.)


8.  The wee birdbath that my mother gave me this weekend is absolutely perfect in my flower garden.  All the rain has filled it up and I find it so charming and so lovely that in moments of quiet desperation I just look at it, while taking deep breaths, and the world is suddenly bearable once again.


9.  My mother also gave me her spice stand, which enables me to see all my herbs (pronounced with the “h,” of course, to sound more like Martha Stewart) and spices at once, without having to turn anything or knock anything down.  It is absurd how happy I get seeing all my seasonings at one glance, but it’s the small delights that make life bearable.

Especially when it seems life is hellbent on making you do the ugly cry.

Gentle Reader, it’s a rainy Monday morning here (and I’m sure elsewhere) and no doubt there are many of you who are a bit down.  What little things are making you happy?

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7 Responses to When the dog bites, when the bee stings (when I’m feeling sad.)

  1. I sure wish you could send the rain my way and westward to CA. We had practically no winter and very little precipitation. There have been plenty of stresses in my life recently, but the joys have out weighed the sorrows! What a blessing! My sweet daughter went through the temple for the first time on Friday and will be sealed to her husband in a few weeks! She has so little, they just scrape by from day to day, but now her basket is full of spiritual blessings! By the end of summer my 2nd child will also go through the temple in preparation for his mission. It’s so hard to let your kids grow up and watch them leave home. My heart breaks just thinking about it. I don’t know how I will survive just wondering if I failed him or if he will remember what I taught him. But the joy of knowing he will also receive the blessings of the temple before he goes out into the world brings peace to my heart. (I’m bawling now.) And since I can’t keep anything alive, I live vicariously through you and all the gardening you do! It truly is the little things that are tender mercies to see us through the hard times. Go dance in the rain!

  2. susanrotter says:

    I’ve been feeling rather overwhelmed by the yuck in my life recently and I really enjoyed your photos and words of the things giving you hope. For me my list of bright spots includes:
    – the MOOC I’m doing on Laura Ingalls Wilder – I’m so loving rereading these books and the lectures are so interesting
    – my rhubarb! How can so much goodness spring from nothing? I made a strawberry rhubarb syrup from smitten kitchen or Brooklyn supper
    – the birds singing so early and eating so much seed from my feeders
    – the trees in the neighbourhood with all their glorious blossom

  3. Jen Robinson says:

    Sorry you are having a tough April, Ami. I can relate, having gone, in overlapping fashion, from dental surgery to cold/laryngitis to pink eye to (literally) a bad bee sting over the past 3 weeks. I’ve turned to middle grade fiction to keep me feeling positive. When I can manage it, reading outside on my balcony always helps me :-). I’ve also been doing this thing where every night before I go to sleep I focus on good things that happened that day. I find they are usually small things, like a spontaneous hug from my daughter. Hope things get better for you soon!

    • Is it weird that I would take dental surgery fourteen times before I’d take the pink eye? Eye stuff freaks me out. So you have my complete and deepest sympathy. I vote that May should be much nicer to both of us. But I also vote that we should read more middle grade fiction- it makes everything better.

      • Jen Robinson says:

        Not weird. We all have our own reactions. For me the dental surgery was the worst (my mouth is still sensitive). But I also found not wearing my contacts or eyeliner, because of the pink eye, difficult (especially the contacts because of exercising). Anyway, yes, here’s to a better May all around. And plenty of middle grade fiction! I’ve been re-reading some childhood favorites, mixed in with new books, and that definitely helps me.

  4. Karen @ The Food Charlatan says:

    I miss you, so I’m reading old posts. Hope your day is going better than the day you wrote this post! I’ve been sad lately myself, and seeing all the pictures of your garden cheered me up. We just bought our first home and I’ve been working in the yard…like every day. I never thought I would enjoy it. Ever. Maybe you are rubbing off on me Ami. (I hope so 🙂

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