Tedious: adjective; Middle English, 15th century: Tiresome because of length or dullness. Webster's Dictionary Online.
The other day, I had a group of people come through the kitchen on a tour, and since I was in the middle of making the Spring Thyme Marmalade, I explained the process to them. One man said, "Whoa! Sounds tedious! And the others chuckled and nodded in agreement. And a few weeks ago, my friend Bonnie, after reading my blog entry on Loomy Tunes (tuesdayweavers.blogspot.com) said, "That sounds like fun. But tedious." And I remember my first impression of being a professional pastry chef: We make the same things over and over! How tedious!
It made me think about what that word means and how often I've heard it applied to things I love to do, which made me wonder about myself. The things that make me happiest are very technical, very repetitive and very unforgiving to those who don't follow the rules. Is one person's tedium another's bliss?
This week, I finished the lace hand towels I've been working on since before Christmas. I say I've finished them, but I really only cut them off the loom. This morning, I washed and dried them, and tomorrow morning, very early, I'll serge them, iron them and cut them apart to show my Tuesday Weaver buddies. I'd do that tonight, but it's day-off eve, and I've already had a beer. I'm not going to work on something for 4 months and ruin it!
I don't quilt anymore, not since I got my first loom, but I quilted for 25 years (impossible! I'm not old enough!), and what I liked best was hand quilting. I watched baseball while I quilted, during baseball season, because it was two really boring things combined to make one sort of interesting pastime! I made two quilts in my quilting career that were made completely by hand. One is too big to take a picture of in my small house tonight, but one is hanging in the hall:
I have lots of sweaters with fussy patterns and socks with complicated methods, but the most arduous knitting I have ever done is when I decided it would be fun to knit lace edging for pillow cases and make my nearest and dearest hand made pillow cases. I finished my mother's and my sister's, but didn't have time to finish my son's. I still have to sew one strip on:
And then, there's baking. How many times have non-bakers told me how much they love their bread machines? And how they just don't have the patience to make bread by hand? Here's my lunch yesterday:
I made it while I cut lemon segments, mixing the first sponge, setting it aside; mixing the rest of the flour and the salt in to get it to a lovely, elastic dough, then forming it. Four hours total time, but maybe 20 minutes of work, for a lovely, fragrant, hot lunch, made by my hands.
My life is filled with wonderful, creative tedium.