Saturday, October 17, 2015

In my spare time

Since earning my BSc early this year, I have really enjoyed having that extra time back;  I used to devote up to three hours a day to studies--for the past six years!  Well, technically five years, as I took a year off when Franklin was a baby.  Some of my newly regained time has gone to just plain goofing off:  computer games, movies, sleeping...
Love apple appliqued quilt blocks
But really, I've got a bunch of craft projects under my belt these past several months too.  Most recently I'm hand quilting a full sized applique quilt.  The applique and the piecing took very little time compared to hand quilting!  I find it a meditative process, however, and am enjoying it;  and I can't wait for it to be on my bed. 

Main vegetable patch
I also have some time to catch up on six years of housework.  Slowly but surely I'm deep cleaning, decluttering, organizing.  It feels like a monumental task, but by doing a bit each day, little by little it's looking nicer and nicer. 
My gorgeous Sparta apples
Did I mention that I also have a new job?  Not, sadly, in any way related to my new degree though.  In fact, it's a bit of a demotion in terms of title and status.  However, it suits me and I enjoy it:  I work for the local school district, making and serving lunch.  It means no more evenings or weekends, and I only work during school hours--with holidays and summers off.  I had worked as a chef at the hotel for almost ten years, and was just plain tired of the evenings and weekends.  It's so nice to have a day time job, even if it's kind of a menial one, even if I am over-qualified and over-experienced.  And for the most part, it's good to be working with ladies again, instead of young guys who only want to talk about video games, football, and the women they wished they could sleep with.
Someone's been eating my figs
And of course, I have more free time to work in my garden, which has flourished this year.  I have a freezer full of vegetables, and although it's definitely slowed down, I still have a few harvestables left, like leafy greens, pumpkins, and runner beans.  My tomatoes (in big pots on the patio) are still slowly turning red, and not only did I get my first almonds this year, I even got two figs off my tiny fig tree.  So tasty too, even though someone else had a bite of them first.
Newly adopted chicken, looking bedraggled
I got an email from our hen charity, asking if we could please take a few more hens, as they had 500 and if they weren't rehomed that week the poor things would be made into pies (paraphrasing here).  I felt so guilty, I said we'd take five.  Although little and quite bare, they have integrated with our flock quickly and fairly painlessly, and are enjoying life outdoors.  We now have fourteen chickens!  And only our youngest, the four chicks we raised this spring, are laying regularly--we're getting about six eggs a day.  Still, it's worth it, seeing them grow into happy, normal hens--their previous life in cages forgotten.