Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I had a pair of worn out jeans...

Ever have a little decision turn into something huge? Well, this is what happened to me almost a year ago. I had a pair of worn out jeans and realized that I actually had several pairs. So, I thought I'd make a denim quilt....since you can never have too many of those. But I wanted this one to be different, something really unique.

I searched online and found a really neat pattern for a circle quilt....which I decided was what I was going to make. Twelve months later, I have finally finished the stupid....I mean lovely...quilt.

Here are some pictures of it. It is big enough to fit a queen sized bed....which may have been a mistake....There are 650 circles....I went through 11 spools of thread...I quickly stopped counting the bobbins I wound.

But it turned out really well (as long as you don't look too closely...like so many things in life).

Here is the front of the blanket...

Here is a closer detail of the front....

This is the back of the blanket....
A closer detail of the back (it is sown completely by machine...those are zig zagged edges on the circles).

So, there you have it. I apologize if I haven't emailed or called you in a while.....this has kind of taken over my entire life. I'm very glad to have it back! :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Did Some More Reading

Here are some more reviews I just wrote for work. The first, I Am Nujood, really was fantastic. Completely recommended! But the other two are optional selections.

I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
By Nujood Ali and Delphine Minoui

In an honest and heart breaking narrative, Nujood Ali tells of her escape, at age ten, from an abusive marriage. The story she shares is clearly from her point of view and readers are never allowed to forget that they are hearing this tale from a child, still in Primary School, just learning to read and discovering the world with all its beauty and cruelty. Nujood describes her rural childhood which was cut drastically short by her marriage to a man she had never met, the horrors of being trapped without a soul willing to rescue her, and her courageous escape and battle for freedom from a life she could not bear.

It is almost impossible for me to imagine the courage needed for a little girl, completely abandoned by family, to do what Nujood did. To fight for herself and her right to a childhood in the face of such pain, is an example of inborn grace and strength that few of us can claim to possess. I believe that the humility portrayed in Nujood’s short account is what gives it the power to inspire and uplift, despite the abuse and horror it brings to light. This would be a great selection for book clubs and I can easily recommend it to almost anyone.

Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire
By J. McIver Weatherford

Genghis Khan rose to power at the dawn of the 13th Century. He conquered a vast empire through bloody campaigns that spanned decades. Because his legacy is one of brutal conquest, you may be surprised to learn of his great respect for and dependence on women to maintain control of such an expansive territory. Not one of his sons was ever entrusted with governing any portion of his empire. Instead, he married his daughters to conquered rulers and gave them power to govern in his stead. Unfortunately, soon after his death, the empire crumbled and his daughters lost power. More amazing female leaders followed throughout the history of the Mongols and this book attempts to tell the stories of their strength and influence, which extends beyond what you may guess.

If you thought the history of the Tudors was filled with intrigue and scandal, you certainly have not read up on the history of the Mongols and the great Khans. I admit to having a difficult time remembering whose name belongs to whom, what their connections and politics were, and what their significance was, but if you get past that, this book is a wealth of fascinating stories about amazing individuals in a cold and inhospitable area of the world. I was completely swept up in the lives of these nomads and their proud history. A must read for anyone who enjoys popular history writing.

The House at Riverton
By Kate Morton

Grace Bradley began working at Riverton House as a maid before the start of World War I. She is now in her 90’s and feels a need to relive the years she spent in service to the Hartford family. As her mind visits the past she is again faced with doubts concerning secrets she has kept faithfully for decades. But now that she is the last living witness to the events leading to the suicide of a young poet in 1924, she feels compelled to share the truth before it is lost forever.

Kate Morton is the author of The Forgotten Garden, which I loved. Because of this, I decided to read Morton’s first novel. While The House at Riverton is not the worst book I’ve read this year, it certainly is not as enjoyable as her second published work. I felt like the first 450 pages slowly built to the last 25, which I admit ended the book with a surprise twist I had not anticipated. This is a decent suspense novel that does remind me of Du Maurier’s Rebecca, minus most of the suspense and an intriguing storyline.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Do I Look Tired To You?

Last week was really boring and I didn't have anything to blog about. This week is looking very similar. But, I'm sitting here at work, trying to think of something interesting to blog about and decided to rant about what I like to call...."The Curse of the Bedroom Eyes".

"The Curse of the Bedroom Eyes" can be summed up as: For some reason I always look sleepy to people and they usually feel to tell me about it. It's irritating. Seriously, if it's not "You look tired!" it's "You just need to smile!" Maybe it has something to do with how hard I work...I'm just too busy being productive to think about grinning all the time? No....I don't think that's it.

The other half of the whole situation is that people feel free to make the comment. It's like..."Well, hi there...you look terrible!" Didn't they ever learn to not say anything if they can't say something nice?

It took me years to come up with a proper response, because, what do you say..."Thanks." Instead I usually say..."That's not good." or "Why is that?".....I try to throw it back at them and make them feel uncomfortable (cause it's just more fun that way).

This morning I must really have been tired because I didn't even bat an eye before replying, "Well, that's a horrible thing to say." I think I really made they guy feel bad....I didn't mean to and tried to play it down. Anyway, I guess I need to work harder at looking cheery and alert all the time....but I get tired just thinking about attempting that...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thank Goodness I'm a Loser!!

My email in-box greeted me this morning with the happy news that I did not win the recent ULA (Utah Library Association) election for President Elect! I cannot even begin to adequately describe my relief!! I was nominated several months ago and accepted because I felt a combination of guilt and extreme guilt. So, for the past few months I've been a little worried about actually winning, it would have been a three year commitment...and you know how I am with long term commitments....I tend to avoid them whenever possible.

I've decided recently that I believe in signs...little things that happen, foreshadowing coming events or sending, sometimes cryptic, messages we can use in making decisions or preparing for what is coming. So, I believe that this election loss is telling me that I might not still be working in 3 years....maybe I will get married sometime. What do you think? Is that stretching for a meaning I want?

I like interpreting meanings to these little signs...it's entertaining and oddly comforting at times. For example, the Library just hired a new employee named...Carla. It's true...crazy, but true! That means that there are three Carlas working full time for the Provo City Library. Ten percent of the full time employees here have the same name....and it's Carla. Do I know any other Carlas? I do not...I just work with a whole posse of them. (I know a fantastic Marla.....but not a Carla.)

So, what does this mean? I have decided that this means...that if I wanted to, I could marry a guy named David. Did I lose you with my logic? Well, here it is. Two of my sisters have already married Davids and I had really just decided that was enough and so, I turned down all those Davids that were proposing. But, if I can work functionally with two other Carlas....I am sure I could be in a family with three Davids. Now I just need to meet a David who finds me fascinating and wouldn't mind being called Davy at family functions....

Well, that's enough deep thinking for the day. (It's probably too much!)