Hi everyone! My Camp Nano project is going decently well; I’ve managed a few hundred words nearly every day this month so far.
Today was gorgeous out, so I took a break to get some of my garden beds in order. Two weeks ago we had some beautiful crocuses near our front steps.
But now the flowers are gone, so I needed to get the dead oak leaves and acorns out, and put mulch in. Because I was too lazy to do this in the fall.
Everything looks much neater now. I have some snapdragons in that bed that somehow keep coming back every year, so I pulled all the crocus leaves out of the way to give them some space and light.
Foliage from bulbs, like crocuses, can’t be cut right away because it’s producing the food that the plant will need to bloom and grow again next year. I tied mine in loose bundles with some string, which is still not ideal since it can limit the amount of photosynthesis the leaves can do. But as you can see, we have a lot of crocuses and I won’t cry if a few don’t bloom next year. I’d rather the snapdragons not die.
Do you ever find yourself coming back to a certain story at a certain time of year? I often re-read books during a specific month or season that I feel is inextricably tied to the book. Here’s what I’m reading right now to get in the spirit of the season.
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
Pride and Prejudice is probably the non-YA novel that I’ve reread the most. I have multiple copies of it, and it was one of the few English novels I took to Spain with me during my study abroad. I’ve even psychoanalyzed its characters.
I also associate the book with spring because that’s when I first read it in my junior year of high school. It was not actually my first Austen novel (I’d read Emma two years before), but it is the book that made me a Janeite. For my Brit Lit class, we had to do a multimedia group project, and one girl in our group was a talented artist, so we painted a big movie-poster-style piece of Elizabeth with Darcy and Pemberley in the background. I admit it was heavily inspired by the 1995 BBC miniseries, of which we watched all 6 VHS tapes, borrowed from the library, as we worked.
As the prototype of modern rom-coms, P&P is ultimately a happy, optimistic book–I think that’s another reason I enjoy reading it in spring, a time of new beginnings. Despite its cutting depictions of characters such as Lady Catherine and Elizabeth’s parents, and its sardonic quips about societal expectations, it still seems full of hope. It never fails as a pick-me-up, and hence I will keep rereading it whenever I’m in need of some cheer.
We visited Ecuador and the Galápagos in late May. But these regions have unusual climates, because despite being on the Equator, Ecuador is very mountainous and the Galápagos are fed by the Antarctic waters of the Humboldt current. The Humboldt is a prime reason the volcanic islands are able to support so much life.
The end of May is the end of the “wet season,” so there were plenty of things blooming and plenty of wildlife to be seen.
My grandmother recently celebrated her 85th birthday! Family and friends gathered for lunch, looked at old photos, and played Telestrations with secret words relating to my grandma.
It was a pretty low-key affair, but I helped spruce it up by making some table centerpieces.
The components, from the bottom up:
Books form the bases
Children’s Fables she gave to me and my sister as children
A dictionary–she’s a writer
River of Grass–she loves nature and has visited most of our National Parks
A copy of Heidi Grows Up that was hers as a child
Doilies on top of the books
Stemless wineglasses, which I already owned, for vases
Blue and white decorative rocks for inside the vases
Assorted small bunches of spring-like flowers, bought from Jo-Ann Fabric
Tags from Creative Memories’ Simply Beautiful collection
“Happy Birthday” with Scrabble tile letters, made digitally using CM’s Vintage Chic alpha set in Storybook Creator 4
I was going for form AND function, something that would look pretty but simple, and would also have meaning. I wanted them to be cheerful and springlike, since we are still having snow here in Ohio. I wanted them to not be obstructing any views around the table. And most importantly, I wanted them to have special meaning for my grandmother, which is why I tied in all the books and the Scrabble tiles (she loves word games).
I used a lot of supplies I already had, and the things I did buy at JoAnn were 1) under $20 total and 2) able to be re-purposed for my own crafts or decorating.
The party was great fun and it was nice to be able to put my crafting skills to good use!