I immediately set to work on my next project, making a totebag. I saw that cat print fabric--with a picture of a cat reading a book...well, sleeping on a book--and knew it would be perfect for a certain someone. The finished product looks pretty good, I think. But if I ever sound like I'm expressing a serious interest in patchwork, someone please thwap me upside the head until I come back to my senses. The mixing and matching colors aspect I like, but it's definitely a hobby for someone with a much higher tolerance for tedium.
The totebag project took a lot longer than I expected. This is partly because putting the lining in turned out to be trickier than I thought. I guessed that it would be done inside-out, and then you just flip it like turning a grocery bag inside out. Boy, was I wrong. It reminded me of hearing about an animal that eats by spitting its stomach out to digest its food...it was kinda like that. I tell you, they need to use sewing to teach advanced geometry.
Anyway, I finally finished by around lunchtime on Sunday. I then had a whole avalanche of things to do and not nearly enough time. First of all, I was asked to do a Halloween party-lesson in my small class on Monday as well as for the English club, and I had absolutely nothing prepared. I had all kinds of intentions to make Halloween props to bring, but the most I ever made was a pumpkin potholder before I turned to other things. So I had to go to the store and hunt for Halloween goods. Second, I wanted to bring some pumpkin pie for the abovementioned classes, so I had to bake that...and that meant I had to buy two pie pans. Third, I got some patterns in the mail for some things I want to sew for my parents, and I wanted to buy the fabric at Kusatsu while I was shopping for Halloween things anyway. Fourth, several days ago I had been invited to a dinner party from 5-8pm hosted by a lady from the International Exchange group, and I said I would go, since at the time I thought "Hey, I never do anything but read Sunday evenings anyway..." Hah!
I did, in fact, manage to get my Halloween and sewing shopping done in Kusatsu between noon and three. I immediately set about making the pies. (I had cooked the pumpkin that morning. Rice cookers are so handy. Just pop the pumpkin in with a bit of water, push the start button, and when you come back later it's all done. It's soft all the way through, too, unlike my experience trying to steam pumpkin in the microwave, where it got hard crispy bits all over.) I had just put them in the oven to bake when I got the call from my ride to the dinner party.
I left the pies in the oven when I set out, figuring that they were on a timer, so the oven would turn off when it was finished. It didn't occur to me until about two hours later that leaving things baking unattended was probably a bad idea, just on the off chance something would catch fire. Everything was fine when I got back, though, so I breathed a sigh of relief there.
On a side note: While in Kusatsu, I passed a place with the name "Bar Sushi & Men" in bold letters on its sign. I terribly wanted to take a picture, but it was on the other side of a broad street and I was carrying so much stuff that I didn't want to bother crossing over to get closer.