Category: life

The Golem and the Jinni – a book review

Do you get emails from the big book chains telling you what’s new and offering free shipping? Well, I do and they lure me in big time. That’s how I came to order The Golem and the Jinni, Helene Wecker’s debut novel. I’m also a total sucker for first novels so I had no defences for this one. And it is so good!
www.nestinthewest.comOtto Rotfield is emigrating to America and wants to have a bride with him. Unable to find what he’s looking for in a real-life woman, he consults with a mysterious man who creates a golem for him – made of clay and programmed to serve her master. Otto awakes his golem/bride mid voyage but does not survive the journey. The golem arrives in 1899 New York with no idea how to behave, what to expect and how to mix with humans.

Across town in Little Syria, a tin smith sets out to repair a battered copper flask he’s been charged with by a neighbor. When he erases one of the designs on the flask, out comes a jinni who’s been trapped inside for thousands of years.

The golem and the jinni face similar issues. They, of course, meet and recognize each other as what they truly are. One made of earth, the other of fire, a friendship develops and a mystery unfolds. No spoilers here!
www.nestinthewest.comBrilliantly told by Wecker, this story hooked me from the start…as in, making time to sit on the couch on a Saturday afternoon! Great characters working their way through moral issues and an underlying mystery with the best of intentions. The mix of Jewish custom, Middle Eastern mythology and historical New York setting works so well to ground this fantasy in reality…like maybe it could actually happen. And the ending is perfect!

Family of friends

www.nestinthewest.comLast week sucked. Family drama. Migraine-inducing weather changes. Bad news. Financial stress. The kind of week that makes me want to cocoon away indefinitely. But I didn’t. My friends wouldn’t let me!

Like many others, I grew up in a dysfunctional family. We’ve come a long way but unfortunately we never seem to completely outgrow our old roles and hurts so spending time together can still be challenging. Thankfully I have some amazing friends! You know that old saying that our friends are the family we create? It really hit home for me as I made my way through a rough week. Unknown to each other, my friends showered me with support.

  • One coworker brought me a super thoughtful Valentine’s gift. Friends that remember their single friends on heart day are a special kind of awesome.
  • My unofficial-book-club friend sent me 3 books by a new author. So sweet and appreciated by this bookworm.
  • My far away bestie somehow knew that an email wasn’t going to cut it and called at the exact right moment. She has the uncanny ability to send love. A parcel or hand written card arrives with wishes straight from her heart to mine. So fortunate.
  • My close friend just moved into a new home and sent me off with fresh-baked cookies when I visited her new digs. We meet for coffee regularly and sort out all the problems of the world. Is there anything as heartwarming as a chat with a gal pal?

And it doesn’t end there. My neighbor sent an encouraging comment about the blog, which she has supported since it’s beginning. Ditto for my fitness friend and my new friend from my recent getaway. Another coworker gave me a little extra mothering and also encouraged me to work it out in the gym.
www.nestinthewest.comThank goodness for the kindness and understanding of friends near and far, new and old. I am so grateful for their support. The thing is, our friends see us as we are while our families tend to see us as we were. I hope you have a wonderful family of friends in your life. Now I’m off to show this week what I’m made of!

Saved a fave – t shirt upcycle

Do you ever find yourself emotionally attached to a piece of clothing? I know it’s silly but I have this long sleeve t-shirt that I just love. It’s the perfect weight to wear under a cardigan, on its own or over a tank. I’ve worn it a lot. So much so that I noticed this hole. Dang!
www.nestinthewest.comI just couldn’t part with this one. We’ve spent a lot of quality time together and travelled to London, Hawaii and Seattle at least. So, instead of throwing it away, I followed a whim and gave it a new life, actually two. I cut the shirt just under the armpits and presto-magic, had an infinity cowl. But wait. There’s more. I cut each sleeve, also just below the armpit and had instant leg warmers! These are great for keeping warm while letting newly painted toes dry or for an extra layer with skinny jeans or tights. www.nestinthewest.comwww.nestinthewest.comNo need to pull out the sewing machine, the jersey knit fabric doesn’t fray and just kind of curls in on itself making a finished enough edge for these casual projects. I wear the cut side of the cowl closest to my neck while the finished edge is at the bottom. For the leg warmers, the cut edge is on my foot and the narrower finished edge holds them up on the calf.
www.nestinthewest.comIt’s times like these when I almost wish my Scottish parents read the blog – they’d get a kick out of my resourcefulness. Must admit that I didn’t actually reach for the scissors until after I’d found this replacement!!
www.nestinthewest.comWhat about you?…any clothes you just can’t part with? How do you prolong their life?

All shirts are from the Gap.