Thursday, January 20

Traveling the world without leaving home!

That's right, I've been traveling the world and it's all thanks to books. I'll explain...........I had been thinking how much I'd love a vacation, in fact, I really need a vacation. The last time I went further than Iowa was in 2005 when my husband was on a business trip to San Diego. Hmmmm, I would love to go there again. Yes, I would love to visit someplace a little warmer and could really use the rest. But, no time for travel now. Lots of family stuff going on and seems like everyone has been sick, and now.........I've managed to do a number on my right shoulder/arm/elbow and have what must be tendonitis or tennis elbow (have never played tennis in my life). My problem could also be caused by too much of the following........ rotary cutting, hand-stitching, using the mouse/computer, glittering, glueing, finishing projects, starting more projects, etc., etc. Whatever the case, there's a muscle, sort of in the back of my upper arm, then down around my elbow that says it hurts when I move the wrong way. I tried ignoring it, then it got worse on Tuesday. So yesterday, I nursed it along with the heating pad and Ibuprofen and it was better by the time I went to bed. Hoping that today will continue that way. :-) I am going to make sure to relax as I have much I want to do and have no plans to jeopardize those plans!!!
So back to the books and travel. I figured if there is no vacation in sight, then maybe I could pretend I to travel. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had "taken a trip" just before New Year's. See that book cover? It's a gift I bought myself for Christmas. Actually, I bought everybody in our immediate family a book in the bargain bin at the Dollar Tree store. I've found there are some really good books that end up there. This one is set in the hills of North Carolina just before World War II. I thought of my mother-in-law when I read this as her family came to Iowa from North Carolina and she was a young wife and mother when the war began. It was a simple love story and I really enjoyed reading the book. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to go to the library that next week and check out a whole stack of books. I checked out the new books section and saw a number of western fiction novels. I picked two and read the one called Westward*the*Monitors*Roar , an exciting tale of gold mining and swindlers in northern California. This is not my usual choice in books but I looked at it and thought of my dad who used to enjoy staying up late and reading a western novel when he was a younger dad. And I remembered a book I read when I was a young girl about gold-mining and how it has stayed with me all these years. Can't remember the title anymore, but I recall that I enjoyed the book very much.
So, I was here in Minnesota and transported myself to North Carolina for a few days and then hopped cross-country to California and the gold mines. I took a break after I read those books and then dove into the next book in the stack.....Maeve Binchy's Whitethorn*Woods set in Ireland. I was easily transported to Ireland in this book just I like I was transported to Greece when I read her book Nights*of*Rain*and*Stars. These two books are written quite differently, "Whitethorn" being a collection of characters that at first are difficult to fit together and "Nights" is a story with characters connected by a tragedy, but both left me wanting more so I think that's the sign of a really good book and a good author! Someday I want to visit Ireland. It was home to my ancestors who came to the U.S. sometime in the late 1700's. One day I will get there. I've been fortunate to have visited Greece at a time when I was much younger and didn't mind walking up and down the hills of Athens. I wouldn't mind visiting again though. :-)
I took another break before opening the next book in that stack......... The*Aloha*Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini and away I went to Hawaii!!! Now, if you are quilter, you are most likely quite familar with Jennifer's books. They tell the story of two main quilting friends, Sylvia and Sarah, and their connections to quilts, quilting and their friends. If you are not familiar with Jennifer's books, I highly recommend them and suggest you start with the first one as they chronicle the lives of these two quilting friends, as well as ancestors in other volumes along the way. The first volume is The*Quilters*Apprentice and while I have enjoyed each of her books (I've read them all) this is my favorite. Oh, and I realized as I read the book that I definitely want to try a small Hawaiin applique project. Have added it to my "to do" list. :-)
So, where will I travel next? Well, the next book in the stack is by Catherine Coulter....... The*Valcourt*Heiress and it looks like it might be one that I will have a hard time setting aside once I start reading it. I will be escaping to medieval England and I can hardly wait to get there! Having been fortunate enough to have visited England and the countryside where dear King Arthur and Guinevere are supposed to have lived, I will thoroughly enjoy stepping back in time to the days of knights and lovely maidens. Luckily, though, I will be snuggled under a quilt as I read and very happy that I don't really have to live in a drafty castle. I'll let you know how I like this one. It will be good diversion since I need to let my arm and shoulder rest before I get back to my sewing projects. There are two more books in the stack, both are quilting books full of inspiration. More on them and some other books in my next post.
The Snowman Quilt project will get posted soon. :-)
Stay warm, folks! If you are here in the midwest we are going to have a couple of really cold nights coming up! Great time to snuggle under a quilt and read a good book!!!


Hillbilly Handiworks said...

I can't wait to read The Aloha Quilt. I am a big reader as well.

AND I have a similar problem in my shoulder/arm. Please don't use your arm for a few days lest you end up as I am. I can no longer lift my arm above chest level (can't style my hair even); nor can I reach behind me or straight out. Putting on clothes is a challenge; and quilting is very painful at times.

With a one year old son, I have no choice but to use it. (I throw this in only because everyone says 'go to the doctor'---at my husband's work spouse insurance is $400 per month; I am a stay at home mom--so I cannot get insurance right now). But, some days when I really try not to use it and it feels so much better.

After much internet research; it looks like if you don't use an area with tendonitis for 6 weeks then it will heal.

I am rambling..but only because I don't want you to end up as me. It really messes with your quilting time...and you don't want that! :)

Mamacessories said...

I love to read and also LOVE Maeve Binchy - you should definitely look at some of her other books.

Rest that arm and visit far away places!
Feel Better!

Mamacessories said...

I love to read and also LOVE Maeve Binchy - you should definitely look at some of her other books.

Rest that arm and visit far away places!
Feel Better!

pdudgeon said...

on a hunch, my guess would be the rotery cutting as the culprit that caused the pain, and the problem would be in the roter cuff of your shoulder. it functions similarly to the other joints in the body. too much repeditive stress in the area can cause an inflamation or even a tear of the area as the joints move. and yep, you guessed it; rest, ibuprophin or muscle relaxers, and ice to ease inflamation are the recomendations to follow. an x-ray will show any damage if there is a tear.
So now is the time to take your stay-cation thru the books. that's a very good idea!

Scrappy quilter said...

I agree, books take us to places we'd never go. I loved THe Aloha Quilt. Her new book The Union Quilters will be out in Feb. I can't wait. I also enjoyed The Lost Quilter by her too. Hope your pain goes away quickly.

Lindah said...

Thank you for sharing your book list. A good recommendation is always a pleasure to hear.

I do hope your arm is better soon. Please let it have a good, restful "vacation" so it won't suffer any lasting effects. I find holding a book quite tiring to the hands/arms, so I prop the book on a pillow or 2.

Running off now to check out your titles.

Carol said...

I do Love a good read and Meve Binchy is right up there - I have read most all of her books and once I get started can't put them down. I have also read all of Jennifer C's. Good - Good reads and yes it looks like winter weather will give us a good reason to stay cozy and rest. I am a new reader of your blog and send you this messages from the country side in Western New York State

Diane Wild said...

I just finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams. It takes place in the southwest, Arizona specifically. A good place to travel at a time like this. I'm also trying to rest my arm/shoulder. Sounds like we quilters all have the same affliction. Does that mean quilting is hazardous to your health? Will the FDA put a disclaimer on fabric?

Sunny said...

I am going to look for the Whitehorn Woods, as my ancestors also came from Ireland. Thanks for posting. Hope your arm mends well!

Micki said...

I love reading too. Whitehorn Woods should make you want to visit us here in Ireland.
I love Jennifer's books too!

Home Made Quilts By Granny said...

It is best to give yourself a rest so your shoulder will heal and not get worst. Trish

Anonymous said...

Quite a big reading list you have going on there! I just downloaded more into my Kindle, because I'm almost finished with the Game of Thrones saga. Unless there's a sequel! I'm going to look at some of the ones you mentioned that I haven't read.

random thoughts do or di said...

Funny how we can hurt ourselves crafting, but I know what you mean. I have spent many a day with ice, rest and ibuprofen after a crafting rampage. Just this passed weekend I hurt my back because I layout my quilts on the floor and I spent many hours rearranging quilt squares until I found just the right look. I love Jennifer's books about quilting and the relationships she creates in them are great. I have read most also, but must get the Hawaiian one now.
Feel better!

Pat said...

Now what am I going to do with you? I go away and you manage to hurt your arm/shoulder??? I hope it's better now. (I am very far behind on blogs, as you can sorry I didn't know about your arm sooner.)

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