Kate can be a little compulsive at times. And obsessive. Most of the time, these traits serve her well. Occasionally, she holds on to a plan so tightly that it takes a while to relax her self-made restrictions. Eventually, however, she adjusts and her ideas just take her farther down the road of interesting projects.
So for her 27th birthday, I’m going to share how these traits help her with specific hobbies and projects; specifically, pen palling, blogging, and some of the collaborating she does with me. You will see how often she takes an idea and runs a mile (or more) with it.
LAST YEAR’S BIRTHDAY
When Kate’s 26th birthday came around, she was asking me what kind of birthday post I was going to do on my blog. We came up with the idea of 26 memories from my 26 years with her. We brainstormed ideas, and it resulted in two posts: 26 Memories: 26 Years with My Daughter and 26 Years with My Daughter (Part 2)
Over 8 years ago, Kate started writing to pen pals. From the beginning, she set up binders to keep the letters she received. Initially, a year’s worth of letters fit into one binder. Each year, the time would come when she would tell me it was time for another binder, and we’d be off to Staples to pick up another one. I never minded these shopping expeditions, because A) Who doesn’t like Staples? But more important, B) I wanted to encourage this activity because it was clear she got so much enjoyment out of it.
Over the years, Kate has continued with her pen palling, eventually even adding a Facebook Group with her pen pals as members. On the group page, she posted about the mail she received and added contests, writing challenges, and other activities. She started the group so that she could post pen pal friendly things without boring the rest of her Facebook friends. She even wrote a post about the Facebook Group here.
HER BLOG: SINCERELY KATE
About a year and a half ago, Kate started her blog about all things pen pal. She shared the notebook she uses to track her pen pal activities, including when she’s received a letter, the stationery she uses, the questions she’s asked, and other interesting (at least to her) tidbits. If you don’t believe me, check it out here. She held contests, she ran a Pen Pal of the Month feature.
Of course, she included posts about other aspects of her life, including her husband, Gabe, Mr. Logan (my adorable 3-year-old grandson), and her other activities. But she has lots to share about pen pals and the way she manages her hobby, including a post about how compulsive she is about storing and organizing all her pen pal stuff. She wrote about it here.
She also did a series of posts on the Seven Deadly Sins. As I said, when she gets an idea, she runs with it. But at least she’s flexible, even if it takes a little while. When she started her blog, she wrote three times a month. The 10th, 20th, and 30th. She later increased it to include the 5th, 15th, and 25th as well.
She follows her schedule impeccably, but it goes deeper than that. She handwrites most of the drafts for her blog posts in a notebook. Every time she posts, whether for Pen Pal of the Month, a series such as the Seven Deadly Sins, posts in honor of birthdays–whatever it is–it has been scheduled weeks, sometimes months in advance of their posting. This worked well for her, until she started getting awards or until blog challenges came up that intrigued her. She got very creative in how she included some of those things in her posts in spite of her
reluctance refusal to shift anything that was scheduled for a specific slot in her publishing schedule.
But Kate is nothing if not resourceful, so at the beginning of 2014, she added a new feature to her blog, known as Miscellaneous Mondays. Now, if a Monday doesn’t land on any of the days she’s already publishing, it gives her a space to post something outside her scheduled features. You can see her first MM post here. It seems she has found enough flexibility to allow for her compulsive tendencies and still give her a way to add things that come up.
Most people might call them collections, but with Kate, collections take on a new meaning. Over the years, she’s collected Beanie Babies, key chains, shot glasses, Halloween village houses, and most especially–cows.
In her post, Pieces of Me, you can get a glimpse of some of the things that have captured her attention over the years. While she tends to be a little obsessive about the things she collects, nothing comes close to the obsession that fueled the cow shrine (see picture on right). In her bedroom, there was a built in cabinet that she soon took over to arrange her ongoing collection of all things cow. Even though the cow shrine has been dismantled, it is immortalized with this photo.
With Kate, you’re never quite sure, except for the fact that something will definitely come along. Actually, there are several other topics I could have included in this post. The way she took to collaborating with me on the musical themes, the coffee shop that she dreams about opening with me in a vacant building in Fairgrove, the ideas she has for other writing projects, the crafts she comes up with to send to pen pals and others. The list is kind of boggling sometimes. But, that’s ok. It leaves a few possibilities for her next birthday.
In the meantime, here is a picture of Kate with one of her newest obsessions. She has a few of these who have moved in with her and the guys. Luckily, they make smaller versions. 🙂