A Happy High-Five

As a new month begins, a new post of five things that have been making me happy. Lately I’ve been thinking about focusing on moments of happiness, or enjoyment, or pleasure, and just savoring them when they come. Sometimes, when my mood isn’t great, I need to remind myself and just think about the current moment–rather than worrying about all the things there are to worry about.

It’s in that spirit that I share these lists.


My mom is an avid gardener. My parents’ house has a large yard, and the size of her garden might be as big as the whole yard when compared with where my husband and I live. She grows amazing heirloom tomatoes and all sorts of other produce–which requires a lot of hard work and time.

Since this is what I grew up seeing, I always assumed that’s what gardening was supposed to be: Lots of time and effort and physical work, and lots of beautiful produce. To be honest, though, I’ve never really gotten into this type of gardening.

It was surprising to me, then, over the past month, that I’ve gotten interested in our yard. It’s a complete disaster, and totally neglected–the idea is to eventually tear everything out and xeriscape it, and to not spend money irrigating it in the meantime. That won’t happen anytime real soon, though, and currently, it’s totally overrun with weeds.

My husband mentioned the other day that the weeds with purple flowers were the ones that would grow “goathead” burrs later in the summer, horrible things that puncture bike tires and stick by the dozen in the bottom of your shoes. I started thinking, maybe I could just get rid of those purple flowers.

I also started thinking about how green the yard is right now. They’re all weeds, but things are growing beautifully–that certainly won’t be true a few months from now, when everything that isn’t watered dries up in the summer heat. I remembered once reading about “wild flower bombs,” little balls of seeds designed to be scattered in open areas to grow wildflowers to attract butterflies and to help save the bees.

And so, I had an idea. First, to get rid of the goathead flowers, and second, to plant wildflowers in the yard–ones native to or at least tolerant of our dry Utah summers. My hope is that it will look beautiful (at least better than it currently does), and also be sustainable, and also help save those bees (whatever that means).

I got going at this just during the last couple of weeks, and it remains to be seen whether anything will actually grow (besides more weeds, which I’m sure will come back). In the meantime, though, I’ve enjoyed the project, and found peace and pleasure working on it.

weedy lawn

A “before” picture of the yard

2. House plants

Along similar lines as the yard, I have known for awhile that I love house plants–particularly the ones that survive on little sunlight (so they don’t have to be a window), and on little water (for when I forget to water them). A couple weeks ago, I had an assignment for the chemistry class I’ve been taking about radon. Utah has a bad reputation for air quality, and the assignment got me thinking about the air we breathe in our house, and how it’s affected by radon or pollution or other things.

I actually spent some time looking around online for air purifiers, but found out they are good for things like dust and pet hair, but not so much for things like pollution. But do you know what is? Certain plants. I just ordered several more house plants for our house that are supposed to help clean the air–and I learned that some of the plants I already have do so, too. They haven’t even come in the mail yet, but I’m already excited for some more green things in our home.

3. Tulips and daffodils

One more about plants. This one’s a shorter one. Spring is in full bloom, and I love seeing these flowers all over right now. So beautiful.

4. Zumba

I used to go to Zumba workout classes fairly often, but hadn’t in some time until just a couple of weeks ago. The class was much more sparse than it used to be, too, but I still really enjoyed it.

5. Time with family

In the last month, I got a chance to visit my sister and her kids in Denver along with my parents, and really enjoyed getting to see everyone. My mother-in-law also came to stay for a couple of nights, and I was glad to get time to chat with her and get to know her better. My two step-daughters also spent some time with us while she was there. I’ve also been helping out at my parents’ veterinary clinic a few days a week lately, and really enjoyed getting to spend some time with my dad there. I’m so grateful for family.

What has made you happy lately?

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