Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Projects, Books and Blooms

When I was a little girl, I remember asking my mom what she wanted for her birthday, Christmas or Mother’s Day.  The answer never changed. “Time! I want time. It’s the only thing I need.” As a small child, I was a) completely mystified by this answer, and b) still didn’t know what to get for her.  How annoying.  Now that I am a young adult who has gone through college, is now married and working a fulltime job, I completely understand this request. My understanding will continue to grow as I reach further stages in life.

I love free time. Who doesn’t?  Time to do whatever your heart desires.  I suppose some people get bored and would rather be at work.  Not me.  I work hard and I play hard.

It is so great not dreading my weekday occupation as a teacher. I love it. (I seriously can’t believe I am getting paid for this kind of work!)  The only time I wish I didn’t have to go is at yikes o’clock in the morning when an absurdly irritating noise jolts me back to reality from my cozy slumbering.

But my free time…oh! The fun to be had! I am so blessed to have this kind of schedule in my life; it allows me dive into my creative spirit. Or just simply relax. Whether it be playing the Wii with my husband, knitting, crocheting, writing letters, cooking, embroidering, studying Japanese (I am not a masochist, honest!), watching TV, blogging, reading, or surfing the interwebs; my free time is always satisfying.

Knitting and crocheting is something I wanted to learn how to do since I was a little girl.  My Grandma Mallory was a pro at it: as was my Great Grandma White. (She quilted and crocheted lace that was unbelievably gorgeous.)  I was always impressed with the things my Grandmna Mallory knit.  Afghans for every grandchild, Christmas stockings for every grandchild, hats and mittens for every grandchild…She knit everything from sweaters to dish clothes.

Grandma Mallory taught me how to knit when I was little. But I was quite young. Probably seven or eight. I tried to pick it up in high school without much success. Finally, in college, I got my knitting game on and made some scarves, a couple hats and (the big kahuna!) socks.  But I was crazy busy with my studies and jobs that I only finished a handful of projects throughout college. Pretty pathetic.

Now that I have significantly more free time, I knit or crochet almost everyday.  Here are a few of my recent projects. 

My mom taught me how to embroider when I was ten or so. For some reason, I really got into it. I made samplers and everything. This is a quilt square I am working on for one of my sisters. (It’s been a work in progress for far too long…sorry Erin!) 

Reading usually happens right before going to sleep. I just finished reading Julie and Julia. (The book the movie is based on.) It was a fast read. Very fun. I love reading cooking memoirs. In fact, I just plain love reading. I usually have a couple of books going at the same time. That way, I can choose a book based on what I feel like reading. Typically one of the books is an easy read. (ei. Julie and Julia) The other tends to be a bit more…mentally demanding, let’s say.

Herman Melville is extremely verbose. I have been trying to work my way through Moby Dick for the past few months.  I like the story well enough.  But one can only take so much philosophical talk about whales, boats or ropes for so long. The protagonist -Ishmael- is constantly having very deep and profound thoughts on those extremely stimulating topics. You should read it. Force yourself to appreciate and enjoy (and sometimes suffer through) great literature. It’s very enriching, I find.  Although I think I need an Austen for my next serious read. You know, balance the literary testosterone and estrogen. It’s only fair. 

One other thing I love to do in my free time is garden. In fact, during cleaning time at my schools, I usually try to go outside and water the plants or weed the flower beds. Just to be outside! Plus it is fun to say I have gardened in February. Tulips are just coming up now. Crazy. 

Well, we don't have a yard at our residence. Hail indoor plants! I have a nice collection of six potted plants. Here are a couple:

I have a couple of bonsai tree...this is one of them. Cute, huh? We are in Japan, having bonsai trees is mandatory. 

This is a gorgeous hyacinth I picked up last week. They are blooming and so fragrant...absolutely divine! I couldn't resist...
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  1. You knit blankets, too. :0) Don't forget to add that!

    Your life is wonderful, Kate. You really are blessed!

  2. Pretty square!

    And no Whale Rider yet? Le sad day! ;P

    And wait until you have kids. No more free time, AT ALL.

  3. Of course! I definitely knit blankets. :) I am thankful everyday for life!

    No Whale Rider yet...I am getting there. And yeah, I fully anticipate not having nearly as much free when children come along.