Monday, May 31, 2010

Scrapping a Life, Tea and Garden Updates

Okay, so why does every craft involve lots of supplies and a large mess? At least every craft I'm involved in seems to. And I'm involved in so many that the mess seems exponential. I decided a bare two weeks before my daughter's graduation that I'd make her a scrapbook. It started out as a scrapbook of her graduation, but wait!  I have lots of memorabilia from activities that aren't technically graduation, but could be considered part of it.  Okay, I'll scrap the last part of her senior year.  But wait! How about her acceptance letters to college?  How about the photos of prom and homecoming??? Okay, those will get scrapped as well. And how about pages devoted to her best friend since seventh grade??  And I'd love to make her a "Through the Years" page like the framed displays I have of her and her brother.  Hmm... You know, a High School Years page would work.  Then I could make her a Middle School Years page.  And then an Elementary School Years page. And you know her dance scrapbook from so long ago needs a severe overhaul.  For one thing, it's in a baby-themed book and neither of us like that book. For another, I put pressed flowers on one page and quite frankly, they look awful. As I was re-scrapping the flowers page and transferring the pages into a new book, I noticed that I'd made a mistake in one year and it will need to be redone as well. And there's no journaling on the pages.  Yikes!  Stories that she either never knew or doesn't remember will disappear if I don't remedy that.

The list goes on and on.  And well it should. Where there's life, there are memories. The challenge is how to preserve the memories. During a lull in my son's bout with a kidney stone this week, we had a wonderful reminiscence session. I was amazed at how much he remembers from childhood. And then, out of the clear blue, he tells me that he thinks it's important to have lots of photos because they help him remember. Such an obvious thing, but one I tend to forget. I never want to stop to photograph the moment because I want to live the moment, but the photographs are valuable. As always, it's a balance.

However, my dining room table is very unbalanced! There are piles of scrapbook paper I've collected over the years, piles of objects d'art to embellish the pages, glue dispensers, markers, paper cutters and scissors. Boxes of memorabilia.  Scrapbooking, like taxes, isn't so hard in itself. The challenge is collecting everything to get going. I lost a day searching for school photos.  Now if somebody can tell me why I put the eleventh grade school photos in the same envelope with the fourth grade school photos, I'll be grateful. I tore up the house several times looking for them. However, everything is more organized now.  Well... except that I left a stack of scrapbook paper on a chair instead of with the main stack. Arrgghhh!! And if I only had  New York themed paper for that jazz recital...

At least there's a scrapbook store within easy reach of the house. I walked over there yesterday and managed to walk home with all my purchases - a new college-themed book, pages and pages in all kinds of themes, and two new pairs of scissors! Maybe I'd better get myself one of those rolling baskets like they use in Europe!  But then I couldn't use it when I ride my bicycle over there. But the bike has a handlebar basket that can handle (no pun intended) many things, if not a full-sized scrapbook. Perhaps that might keep my purchases in check?  Probably not.

A Garden Update
I think I'm safe in saying that all the roses but one are coming back. A few days ago, I thought all the roses were coming back, but the leaf bud Penelope started was officially pronounced dead this morning when I tended the plants. I'm afraid she won't make it. There's strong growth on most of the others, so I think with babying this summer, they'll make it. I have to admit, I'll be more aggressive in pruning the roses back next winter. The sweetheart rose collection isn't as flush as it should be and I think it will benefit from severe cutting back (at the right time of year).

The weather is getting hotter, which is stressing the plants. I've officially decided to install a drip system at least in the herb and vegetable gardens. I had one years ago and they're a wonderful alternative to hand watering.  I need to be brave and clean out the garage until I find any remaining pieces of the drip system that I can reuse.

I'm seeing an interesting phenomenon. Every morning when I go out to put peanuts in the platform feeder, I notice that the fountain fixture in the herb garden is floating in the water. I pick it out of the water, rinse off the BT granules (put there to discourage mosquitoes) and put it back. The next morning, it's in the water again. I think some creature is coming at night to drink from the fountain, although I've never seen said creature, nor does Ming ever indicate there's anything out there. Hmm... There are two new cats who seem to have taken up residence outside. One is an orange tabby and the other a black-and-tan. I think both are probably feral as they seem a bit scruffy. I saw the black-and-tan with a white wing dove in its mouth, carrying it back to the back yard. Apparently, they regard our yard as a diner. The white-wings can't easily eat from any of the feeders, but they congregate on the ground and pick up seed that the other birds drop. Oops!

Yet Another Version of Fruit-Mint Tea
This one can't legally be called fruit-mint tea since there's no mint. From the basic recipe, omit the mint and use jasmine tea instead of black tea. I love the Jasmine Pearl tea from Teavana. The green tea makes the entire drink much lighter and the jasmine scent and flavor is wonderful.  It reminds me of the iced tea from my favorite Vietnamese restaurant.

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