Friday, August 31, 2018

Book Review: Captured

The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier by Scott Zesch

This book, "The Captured" by Scott Zesch, was listed in the bibliography of "News of the World" by Paulette Jiles. Jiles cites it as a well-researched book which greatly influenced her own writing of "News of the World." I was intrigued, so I decided to read "The Captured" as well. The author himself is a descendant of a "weird great-uncle" in the family who was abducted and held for almost three years. The great-uncle was never able to readjust to white culture and remained aloof and unhappy for the rest of his life. Wanting to learn more about a little-known family story, Zesch is inspired to write the book.

Zesch follows the lives of nine children in Texas (including his great-uncle) who were abducted by Comanche and Apache Indians in the 1800s. The children stayed with the tribes for varying lengths of time, from six months to 12 years, before being reunited with their families of origin.

Zesch does an excellent job of telling the story from as many perspectives as he can reliably research and document. Almost to a person, the former captives (called white Indians) cherished their times with the Indians and kept some of the culture with them until their death. This was true even of children who were held captive for less than one year. Their re-insertion back into white culture was difficult; for some it was impossible.

The book is a fascinating read and a well-told true story of a unique chapter in American history.

Monday, August 27, 2018

More of My Quilts Sent Out to Serve

Wheeee! It's so exciting to see my quilts actually being sent away to help people. This latest batch was sent from QBB (Quilts Beyond Borders) to a place in Texas called The Door. It's for women and children who are recovering from abusive situations. I am happy to have my quilts help in these sad yet hopeful situations.

Here's one of mine that was sent. It took about a year from when I made this quilt to now, seeing it in the "these were sent to TX" display.

Here is a full picture of it:

Here are two more made and quilted by me. The blocks in these two were made by several members of Sunshine, and I assembled and quilted.
Here are full pictures of these two quilts:

Go, quilts, go! I hope whoever received each quilt loves cuddling up and feeling a little more secure.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Book Review: The 5 Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman

Next week Hubby and I will celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary. So it is not a surprise that at first, while reading this book, I felt it was rather basic and that I wasn't learning anything new. We have made our marriage work and are very happy. I guess we figured out the Love Languages thing over the years. In fact, the years keep getting better. We are doing something right.

When I neared the end of the book, I realized I was learning some new ideas and ways we could improve our marriage. Even a good marriage can be improved. So I read all the way to the end, and I took the little quiz for wives that indicated which love languages are my primary and secondary. I had already correctly guessed them. I am currently waiting for my husband to take the husband quiz and to see what his languages are. We both think we know how his answers will be revealed as well. It will be fun to see if we are correct.

While this book was not a big eye-opener for us, I think it is quite a helpful approach to all kinds of relationships and has the potential of being very eye-opening for those who need the help. One can learn something new about how to get along with one's spouse, children, friends, and neighbors. It's a common sense and very helpful approach to every day but potentially traumatic relationships. (Since writing this book Chapman also wrote The Five Love Languages for Children, Love Languages for Singles, and there is a special "for men" edition as well as a military edition.)

Friday, August 17, 2018

Book Review:

Book: I Married You for Happiness by Lily Tuck

Nina's husband suddenly dies. The rest of her book is her memories of their courtship, marriage, birth and rearing of their daughter. The language is beautiful. It moves at a slow pace which sometimes had me wishing something more would happen, but it is thoughtful and honest about a marriage relationship. Nina seems to have struggled with self-esteem throughout the marriage, for example, and keeps looking for signs of infidelity on his part. In fact, one of them does briefly have an affair. I don't think Nina ever accepted his undying love for her; she couldn't quite believe it, I think, until he had died. The ending lines are just beautiful.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Minnesota Politics - the Primary

I voted in the primary election, and attended an election party. I'm so proud of Minnesota - we had huge turnout for the primary, and blew all the other states out of the water with our attendance.

The person I voted for for the governor candidate position did not win, but I'm still so proud of her. One of these days we will have a woman governor. And I will be happy to vote for the person (a guy) who did win the candidate position. Crossing my fingers for "my" guy to win, because the other one is a Trump puppet. We do NOT need that in Minnesota!

Minnesota leads the nation again in that we have a Somali-American woman running for Congress (first in the nation), and she is in a district that nearly always votes her party, so she's likely to win. We also, in the past, elected the first Muslim member of Congress (he is currently running for Minnesota Attorney General), and in Minnesota legislature in past years, we elected the nation's first Hmong-American member of the House (a woman). I love our record of leading the nation in these ways.

The election party was fun, even though disappointing that our first choice did not win. I got my tiny brush with fame. Here is my photo gallery:

great-niece came from 150 miles away - she voted for the first time ever

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III - watch for him; he is surely a rising star -- very impressive

Keith Ellison, current member of Congress, running for MN Attorney General - I shook his hand

Erin Murphy - she is so impressive! I'm sad she did not win.

I think I was out too late and had too much excitement for someone my age. I was so tired today, I took two naps!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Quilt Show in Blue Earth!

Last Friday hubby offered to drive me down to Blue Earth, MN. It's a two-hour drive from here. Why go to Blue Earth out of the Blue? (haha) For a quilt show, of course!

The Blue Earth guild has an annual show in August, and I have been wanting to go. This was the year to go as my blogger/quilter idol, Julie P., was their featured quilter. Here is a link to Julie's blog, but she hasn't written much lately. Slow blogging is in the air, I guess. Hubby was nice enough to drive both directions, so it was a relaxing day for me. I really don't enjoy driving.

This is Julie P. and me standing in front of her Navajo Code Talker quilt. A small/medium group from the guild all made this pattern, with variations. It was fun to meet Julie in person; we both got kind of shy even though we had talked quite a bit via blogs and email. Life is funny!

Her quilts were among my faves at the show, and many of them I had seen on her blog, but they're even better IRL.
This is her weather quilt from 2016, recently finished, which is similar to mine which I also just recently finished except I still need to do the binding. Mine is on this blog a few posts back, at "Summer Sewing."

This one refers to her love of geo-caching.

Julie Sefton asked Julie P. to make a barn, to be included in Julie S's book, "Build a Barn."

This is Julie's Lego quilt, inspired by Tonya Ricucci. I have one, too, but Julie's inspired idea was the little flying geese units, which I love. Mine does not have those.

All the above quilts are Julie's. All the quilts pictured below are by other people in the guild:

They had free food at the quilt show on Friday night, so we nibbled on that instead of having dinner with our relatives who are a couple towns over from Blue Earth. We got home with still a decent amount of the night left for diddling around; our little road trip was quick and fun. I have not changed my mind about being a big fan of Julie and her quilts. I love her quirky and colorful style.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Book Review: A Sister in My House

A Sister in My House by Linda Olsson
Two sisters, after their mother's funeral, and after a long silence between them, finally get together again in the house of the older sister. They spend several days talking and thinking and learning about each other and themselves.

I found this book to be evocative in that it made me think a lot about my own two sisters and our mother, our experiences going through our mother's death and funeral, and memories of our growing up years. I also pondered the relationship I have with my adult daughter. It strikes me that we cannot ever really know another person. We may think we know their thoughts, but do we really? And how well do we even know ourselves?

A thoughtful book, a little sad, but also touching in several ways. 4 out of 5 stars.