It is fairly evident that J&K enjoy most things geeky: sci-fi, fantasy, movies and shows in those genres, and video games to name a few. But we have some interests we think you’d never guess.

J If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a few hints about my hidden interest. I have been a huge automotive enthusiast from a very young age. Any time I’d fly somewhere, I’d stop at the magazine shop in the airport (remember when people read magazines?) and grab the latest copy of Car & Driver, Road & Track, or Motor Trend. I had a Hot Wheels and Matchbox Cars collection that rivaled the Hertz rental fleet in size. And yes, I had a Ferrari poster prominently on display in my childhood room.

While Hot Wheels and car posters are no longer a thing for me, I still keep up on automotive news. I worked for a couple of luxury automotive manufacturers, which only served to further stoke the fires of my interest. One of them even sent me to their driving school, which was an incredible experience! Listening to the snarl of turbocharged inline sixes and the bass rumble of V-8s as different models scorched their way around the track was pure bliss. I am particularly proud of winning the wet skid-pad contest that my training class participated in. Growing up driving in the snow paid off!

You might be wondering, then, which cars are my personal favorites? I’ve owned a lot of different cars (an expensive habit that I don’t recommend), ranging from my first car, an old Buick, to my current ride, a 3-series. There’s something I’ve loved about every car I’ve called mine, but some standouts were the Toyota Corolla, the Mazda Mazda3, and the BMW 3-series. The Corolla is not terribly exciting, but with its bulletproof reliability, great fuel economy, and surprisingly comfortable ride, it’s like an old friend who’s always there for you, and never lets you down. Mazda’s Mazda3, on the other hand, possesses many of the same virtues, but with a sportier demeanor. It feels and looks effortlessly athletic, and the Soul Red Metallic paint is stunningly good for an economy car. And that brings us to the 3-series, my first and ongoing automotive love. I think BMW struck a Faustian bargain of some sort, because the way the 3-series drives is pure magic. The high-speed stability is extraordinary. On the highway, you have to keep an eye on the speedometer lest you think you’re going 65mph and the needle is actually at 90. There’s nothing it doesn’t do well. That being said, BMWs have a well-deserved reputation for being expensive to own and somewhat unreliable, which is why I strongly recommend leasing them instead of buying.

The new BMW G20 3 Series 330i M Sport in Mineral Grey
2020 BMW 330i (J’s current ride)

K I’m a flower gardener. I absolutely love flowers and plants! When my husband and I bought our first home, I completely redid the side flower bed (goodbye non-native, ugly, decorative grass clumps). I think the daylilies and geraniums are all that remains of the previous owners there. The following year I proceeded to put in a rose garden in the backyard and an arbor. Then I dug a new rose bed in the front yard lining our driveway and extended the back patio’s existing plant (yes, one plant. there were two random peony bushes and I connected them with a true bed and additional plants). I put hostas around our tree in the back. And on a whim started another flower bed lining the opposite side of our driveway this year. That one is still a work in progress. They all are, honestly. I’m kind of addicted to planting more! I’ve added spring, summer, and fall-blooming plants so it’s almost year-round.

I love color, and I want to help out our pollinators who are in danger, so I did research and added local plants and plants that butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds would like to eat. The colors in bloom just make me happy. My favorite plants are Roses and Gladiolus. But this year I had to battle rabbits for the plants! Spring came, and so did a little pack of baby rabbits (birthed and raised in our backyard!) But then baby rabbit stuck around and grew to an adolescent rabbit and decided to disrespect me and my space. It ate most of my roses in the backyard! And then worked on some of the new plants I got in early summer. It was a constant battle. I tried human hair and this anti-rabbit natural spray that had red pepper in it, and I tried blood meal. I think blood meal worked the best but… in the end, I’m down four roses, a delphinium, and a columbine. We’ll see if they come back next year and if the rabbits continue to be an enemy of my garden.

Oh well, that’s part of the fun of being a gardener, right? I get out there and pull weeds which oddly works as a very therapeutic activity for me. I can clear my head as I clear the unwanted growth. And when I step back and appreciate how beautiful the flowers are – how beautiful life is – and how I had a hand it making something bursting with colors which helps the little critters like bees, well, then I walk away feeling like I’ve done something meaningful and impactful and in my control. And that’s a great joy to me. And if you follow my Instagram, you get to see me share the blooms of my labor.

K’s Magician Rose, arbor, and reading frog

What are some interests of yours that others are surprised to learn? Tell us in the comments!

The Creative Doldrums
Against the Grain

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