The story of Jacob's Ladder is written in the book of Genesis. Jacob, a grasping sort of character who conned his brother into giving him his inheritance, is fleeing his brother's rage and going to a far-off land to live with his uncle. One night while he's on the run, Jacob puts his head on a rock for a pillow and tries to sleep. In a dream, he looks up and sees "a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!" From the top of the ladder, God tells him that He will keep the promises He's already made to Jacob's father, and will fulfill them through Jacob and his sons. (Not that Jacob deserves this grace, the cad! It's more about God's character than Jacob's.) When Jacob wakes up, he's stirred to make a monument to this special place where Heaven touched Earth, and he promises to serve God as long as God keeps His promise (and, oh--lets him return home safely without getting murdered).
Jacob's path back home isn't an easy one, but that's another day's story. For today, we have the story of Jacob's ladder, a symbol of God's choice to make connections with creation, and to reach down into our reality and effect it.
Jacob's Ladder is also the name of a string game, a wooden toy, and a quilt block. Guess which one this post is about?
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, several of my friends got married. Now they are producing little humans! Time to make people quilts. However, I have scant patience for stereotypical "baby" quilts... I don't like washed out pastels, toy or cloud motifs, flannel, or appliqués! (If I were fonder of appliqué work, I might be done my Dandelion quilt by now!) Instead, I am playing with patchwork, and enjoying the opportunity to play with color schemes I might not otherwise choose, in small sizes! I like the idea of the baby still using the quilt as they grow, long after the cutesy stuff is consigned to memorabilia. Today, I share a quilt for a co-worker who is adopting. The colors work for boy or girl.
Here's a brief update on my life. I last posted in October last year. I was stalled, trying to finish the appliqué dandelions for my self-designed quilt. I wanted to finish them soon, to have a quilt for the winter. *Narrator voice: She did not finish the quilt for that winter.* In fact, I still haven't finished the appliqués. I will... eventually.
Instead, I've been making other quilts, some of which I even bothered to photograph! More on that, soon.
On the home front, we lost Cutie Pie, and several months later brought a new kitten, Buckaroo, into the home. It was sad to say goodbye to Cutie Pie, but our li'l Bauckaroo is lively and adorable. He's also a bit more destructive than Pretty Kitty (who has now entered her dotage) or Cutie Pie, who was too shy to do much damage. Buckaroo loves string and fabric, but instead of staring and occasionally swatting at it, he jumps on it and scatters it everywhere!
On the work front, I have thoroughly loved my job as a caregiver/DSP (Direct Support Professional, but give it a few years and they'll re-name the job, again) at a group home. I love the five guys I support, and it's a joy to be there. Given that, it's sad to contemplate leaving... yet here I am, leaving. The reason is that working in that home has opened my eyes to a previously unknown field that I can be good at, and education I want to pursue. This is the first time in years that I have had anything like a long-term plan or career ambitions. I've mostly been trying various things without a sense of purpose. My ambitions were personal, not professional. Now I have a plan: short term, get my CNA-1, and work as one while applying for Mt. Hood Community College's Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) program; next fall and the next two years, work as an agency CNA (more flexible hours than being employed by one facility) while getting my PTA; long-term, get employment as a PTA.
Alas, I can not stay at my current job, much as I love it, and afford full-time college next year, and so becoming a CNA is my stepping stone. By changing jobs, I automatically give myself a $4 raise, with employer-assistance for college after a year of employment. I can expect to make a bit more with bonuses/incentives once I'm doing agency work. I also think having worked as a CNA will help me later, since I'll have experience in a variety of healthcare facilities with different populations.
Overall, I am excited to be walking a new path, with a destination in mind.
* Observant readers will notice that the Delectable Mountains Block is not yet sewn, so expect another post about that soon.
In Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park, Fanny's sailor brother visits while on shore leave and regales the family with the rigors of life at sea. Henry Crawford, a wealthy loafer, reflects as he listens...
He longed to have been at sea, and seen and done and suffered as much. His heart was warmed, his fancy fired, and he felt the highest respect for a lad who, before he was twenty, had gone through such bodily hardships and given such proofs of mind. The glory of heroism, of usefulness, of exertion, of endurance, made his own habits of selfish indulgence appear in shameful contrast; and he wished he had been a William Price, distinguishing himself and working his way to fortune and consequence with so much self-respect and happy ardour, instead of what he was!
He toys with these fantasies for a few minutes, before someone mentions hunting, and he finds is "as well to be a man of fortune"!
Per Austen's delicate genius, she tucks deeper meaning into the syntax of her sentences than the nouns or verbs: savor the careful past-perfects in this paragraph. Henry Crawford doesn't actually want to experience privations or work hard or prove his mettle; he wants to "have done" so! In the past. He doesn't want to build character, he wants to be on the other side of that building project, looking back with self-congratulation at what a fine man he's made of himself.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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