Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Laughter Beats the Blues

I haven't been online much lately, but don't blame lilac season . . .

. . . or the beautiful wildflowers in our woods.

Our fridge died at the start of a heat wave. The new fridge won’t be delivered for 2 weeks. Yes, Maine is really that remote and does occasionally hit 90. We have been living out of two coolers, reloading them with ice daily.

In our short spring in May you can’t leave out any food. Our house gets over run by carpenter ants, foraging from the woods. The woods also produce the lovely wildflowers you see in this post so it’s not all bad. Or so I thought.

Then my itchy dog was diagnosed with scabies, which I’d thought was a medieval affliction. Wild animals pass it to dogs. It can pass to humans too. I had to vacuum and spray every room Stella inhabited and wash all the bedding (hers and ours) in hot, soapy water. I wore a medical mask, rubber gloves and Wellington boots. At least the insecticide finished off the ants too.

I’m still trying to use the few remaining school days to keep writing. My household misadventures might be amusing if they were happening to someone else. So I’m sharing.

It’s better to laugh than to cry. I watched a video clip of one of my husband’s former students who visited us recently. Hari Kondabolu (above) lives in New York City but does not work on Wall Street. He’s a comedian, with a masters in human rights from the LSE. No kidding. The degree works well for him when accused of being politically incorrect or insensitive. If you need a laugh too, watch him here on Jimmy Kimmel:

47 comments:

♥ bfs~"Mimi" ♥ said...

Yes! Laughing helps everyone! But so to those beautiful flowers you have there!!! Gorgeous photos, Sarah!!

Phoenix said...

Sarah, as always, I loved the pictures. Hope your dog recovers fast and good luck with the fridge.. the video was funny :)
Where you mentioned 'heat wave', I came back to my present coordinates on the globe... in Delhi, India, summer rules from April and poor me lives through temperatures in the 110 range... waiting desperately for monsoons!

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Sarah
Beautiful pictures! I love spring and all the pretty flowers and greenery that comes with it. To me I think of a new life being born.
Tracy

Mary Ellen said...

Without laughter, I wouldn't make it through the day, let alone my challenging life! I enjoyed the video - Hari is quite funny!

Living with no refrigerator is not fun, but at least the temperature has gone down. Wait - did I just say that like it's a good thing? Oh, well, the world's gone mad. Hope things look up for you, and enjoy your last days of school!

troutbirder said...

Ouch! Well, at least the wildflowers are pretty, the ants met their demise and the a chuckle was gained. :)

Keri Mikulski said...

Gorgeous flowers. :)

Sending hugs to your dog.

Cid said...

Only on a blog would I find - scabies, fridges, wildflowers and A Hindu comedian - at the same time. Thanks for the laugh.

Sarah Laurence said...

Mimi, good point. My lilacs have definitely been cheering me up.

Phoenix, welcome to my blog! Thanks for adding global context: 110! I’m better in extreme cold than in extreme heat so it’s a good think I live in the north. I wish I could send our current wet, cold weather your way.

Tracy, spring is glorious in Maine because it all comes in one month.

ME, last week my daughter complained that we jumped from mud season directly to summer without spring. I prefer these cooler temps and my garden needs the rain, but I still hope the sun shines this weekend.

Troutbirder, I love happy endings.

Keri, I’ll hug her after she’s scabies free. Ugh. Poor Stella.

Cid, ha! Yes, my life is more than a bit eclectic. This post reminds me of improv. theater where you are given some odd things to work into a short sketch.

tina said...

Hang in there Sarah. Poor Stella!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

As we say here in the South..."Bless Your Heart"!! What a double whammy...no fridge and a sick dog! A sick dog that requires vacuumning no less! You most certainly do need some laughter!

From the photographs however, it does appear that you are having a beautiful Spring....so maybe a little outdoor time is in order!!

Sarah Laurence said...

Tina, thanks!

Pamela, a fine recommendation only it is raining today. I still took a walk then cut some lilacs from my garden to take inside.

A Cuban In London said...

'he's going to embarrass us in front of the Martians'. That's quality stuff. Many thanks. Sorry to read about your misfortunes, but it's so nice to see that in times of adversity you still a lovely landscape to admire. I hope your fridge arrives in time, before the next heatwave and look forward to the next set of photos.

Greetings from London.

Bee said...

Trying to de-scabie-ize your house sounds similar to delousing . . . an unfortunate experience with which I'm acquainted. Laughing is always better than the alternative . . . Hari's video clip is funny!

Sarah Laurence said...

ACIL, there are more clips of Hari on YouTube and his website. It has cooled down and we found a bar fridge abandoned by students to tide us over. Even Stella is feeling better.

Bee, I’m sorry you had to delouse – it is lousy (couldn’t resist that pun.) Once I start laughing, I find it hard to stop.

Cynthia said...

Hi Sarah,so sorry to hear about your refrigerator problems. I can completely relate to the situation.

We also lived without a 'frige and used a cooler for a couple of weeks. In the tropics-access to cold in the summer is essential. My husband actually replaced the motor (?) in the freezer and everything started to work again! That was a couple of years ago...but the memory is fresh in my mind.

Your friend, Hari, is cute and funny. I listened to the video clip...what a laugh.

Too bad about the scabies and all of the work involved. I have to deal with problems along the same vein...lately, we have mites on two dogs. We have a treatment but it is bought at a back-country style animal store and sold without a name. (It's safe enough though I wish I didn't have to use it-but the bugs have to go!) I bet your area has something similiar at a feed-store. I found that the vets products were overpriced and didn't solve the problem.

For humans, tea tree essential oil (the real thing not mixed with anything) works as a preventive. (It also kills mites-some people are sensitive to it and may get a rash.)I keep a bottle at home and work because bugs thrive in the tropics. It's strong smelling but not unpleasant.


I love the flower photos and especially, the lilac bush. I can smell them now...what a consolation during your wait for a new refrigerator! It's getting hot here. Today, over 90 degrees (f) I imagine. Ugh! I have to take breaks in the air conditioned bedroom or else I would be completely out of energy. School just finished yesterday and all of the housework is seeking attention! (It's begging me really)
I'm laughing...and I agree that it 'beats the blues'! <3

Kelly H-Y said...

Love your pictures ... beautiful! Life can be so funny! Hope all is well with your pup!

Sarah Laurence said...

Cynthia, it must be nice to have a handy husband. I fixed our fridge last summer by defrosting the whole thing, but this time it only blows hot air. It’s old and the new model will be more energy efficient. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had mites. Our loved ones bring not so love visitors. Thanks for the advice. I’m hoping none of us humans catch scabies. It’s positively cold here now – high of 52. I lit a fire last night.

Kelly, welcome to my blog and thank you!

Elizabeth said...

This sounds like a chapter of accidents---better laughed at or written about than lived through.
They say that everything difficult that happens to a writer a grist for their mill so maybe it is useful in a battey sort of way.
And the lilacs stun as does the picture of the wonderful dog.....Buster had ear mites lately which drove him (and us) crazy.
So hope all will get better soon before your purse and your patience are much depleted.
All best wishes...

Elizabeth said...

errata:
...is grist......
batty

must work harder on proofreading....
sorry

Donna said...

Those are such pretty flowers you have around there. I'm sorry about your household mishaps! My life has been like that recently, only with various physical ailments.
Hari is funny! That's neat that he's a former student of your husband's!

Sarah Laurence said...

Elizabeth, isn’t that the best thing about writing? All of life’s misfortunes make for great material. Sorry to hear about Buster’s mites. I'm trying not to count how much $ I've spent on treatment. Doggie antibiotics, steroids and injections aren't cheap. Don't worry - I make comment typos too.

Donna, that’s too bad about your physical ailments. I hope you are feeling better. In another life my husband could be a comedian – he’s always cracking jokes during lectures and even got up on stage with Hari during his last performance at Bowdoin. Henry has been known to leave joke comments on this blog.

lakeviewer said...

Sarah, sorry to hear about your woes. But the woods,and the flowers do keep your heart smiling, no?

Cheffie-Mom said...

I'm sorry you are having a tough time. I hope your dog is feeling better. And yes, laughter does beat the blues!

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Oh I want to stroll among your flowers. So very lovely.

I am glad you are taking all of your trials with a smile on your face. You must have made quite a picture in your wellies, gloves and medical mask!

Les said...

Two weeks for a new fridge?!! Is it being shipped by row boat?

D.A. Riser said...

Hi Sarah, my condolences on the passing of your fridge. I love all the flower shots from your recent posts. Seeing the forsythias in particular brightened my day as mine didn't bloom this year.

Sarah Laurence said...

Lakeviewer and CM, flowers, laughter and sympathetic comments all help. Thanks!

JAPRA, Henry was laughing too hard to get a photo of me in my exterminator kit. I’m hoping there won’t be a second opportunity.

Les, ha! I asked the salesmen if the fridge was walking to Maine. My New York sarcasm didn’t go down too well.

DA, that’s too bad about your forsythia. I’m happy to share mine.

Anil P said...

The flowers are a big cheer, spirits on stems that sway to acknowledge our admiring glances,
standing ever so still until someone else comes along.

Is there a happy as a flower?

Neat pictures.

Sarah Laurence said...

Thanks, Anil, poetry cheers me up too!

Barrie said...

Scabies? Oh, poor dog. Great photos!

david mcmahon said...

Sorry to hear about the fridge. It's winter here, so you can share ours!

Sarah Laurence said...

Barrie, Stella isn’t itchy anymore and won’t be contagious after Thursday’s injection. Almost there!

David, thanks! I’ll start digging down to you.

Rose said...

Laughter does help, for sure, but being without a fridge for two weeks would sure get tiresome. And poor Stella--I hope she's doing better. Our cats got this once and passed it on to my daughter and me before we realized what it was; no fun!

Hari is very funny; you must have had quite a few laughs when he was visiting. I hope by now things are looking up at your house, Sarah.

Sarah Laurence said...

Rose, all is better: the heat wave broke, Stella will be scabies free by Thursday and our new fridge is coming Friday. I’ve very much enjoyed getting to know Hari over the years. I’m feeling much more cheerful lately, thanks!

Rikkij said...

Hi, Sarah- so happy to stumble through your door. Such beautiful pics and fine telling. Gonna have to make my way through the woods again! ~rick

James said...

Laughing ,taking a long walk in the woods and venting always helps. I'm sure things will brighten up soon

Sarah Laurence said...

Rikkij and James, thank you and welcome to my blog! I enjoyed visiting your blogs too.

Sandi McBride said...

I don't know, I think you had me with the Golden...what a beauty she is, even if she is mauling that perfectly lovely little sheep! The flowers are lovely and so is your blog. Congrats on Post of the Day comment!
Sandi

Sarah Laurence said...

Sandi, Stella is excellent comic relief too. Thanks, it was fun to get a Post of the Day from Author Blog for this post.

Fantastic Forrest said...

Appliance death is always a sad thing; I am relieved to learn that you have other things in your life to keep your mind off the matter. Nothing like a little Velveteen Rabbit Incident (that would make an awesome name for a band, wouldn't it?) to distract one from their sorrow.

The video was a hoot! :-)

Sarah Laurence said...

FF, I just got my new fridge yesterday, and I’m loving it – quieter and more energy efficient than our last one. Oddly enough we had to pay more to get a smaller fridge to fit our space. Doing without for almost a month makes me appreciate technology all the more. Stella has recovered too.

Mama Shujaa said...

Hi Sarah,

I am glad your new fridge is in. I can't imagine going without a fridge for two weeks, but then again, maybe I should think back to my days in the village with Grandpa and Grandma. Everything was room temperature, the water from the stream was cool enough. Of course this was off the slopes of Kilimanjaro, so we did not have 90 degree weather...

Anyway, I too have not been online for a while, so it's good to stop by here again.

Your front porch always has the best view of mother nature.

Hari is a funny guy. - loved the microsoft line.

Mama Shujaa.

Becca6296 said...

I clicked to your blog from authorblog, and just adore it. Your photographs are amazing, best of luck with your book too!

Sarah Laurence said...

Becca, welcome to my blog and thank you!

Sarah Laurence said...

Mama Shujaa, your comment reminds me of what I love about blogging. Thanks for the global context. I am trying to picture this village cooled by Kilimanjaro. I always enjoy the humor on your blog too.

Pejantan Tangguh said...

Mmmmm, you have read a lot of novels. May I ask you? Do you know about Postmodernism? I need the explanations. probably you can help me...

Sarah Laurence said...

Pejantan, welcome to my blog! Sorry, I’m a reader and a writer, not a literary scholar.