Thursday, November 30, 2006

Breathe In

I went to school yesterday and was told to go home and not come back until I was ready. I appreciate that. I need a little time to catch my breath.

Just as I was leaving the sun lit up the sky. The air was bitter cold after Tuesday's snow and the silhouettes of the trees were lovely. I'm glad I had my camera with me.


Old Main

The scene fit my mood on many levels.

I recently came across a website with an image that I also think is lovely. The Night and Day World Map shows you what part of the world is currently in darkness, and what part is light. In spite of my stand against light pollution I think images of the earth at night are gorgeous.


My family and I are doing fine. We're in that strange post-passing, pre-funeral limbo when no one's sure what to do. That will be over soon and then I'll have to get back to work.


Thelma Brierley Murdock of Kaysville, died Tuesday, November 28, 2006 in Logan, Utah following an extended illness. Thelma was born in Park City, Utah on February 6, 1923 to James W. “Bob” Brierley and Christy Clegg. She was the oldest daughter in a family of three boys and four girls. Thelma married John H Murdock on Feb. 5, 1945 in Alliance, Nebraska. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple. They are the parents of three sons and one daughter; Steven John (Cheri) of Logan, Kristine Murdock of Layton, Brent Heber (Mary) of Jackson, Wyo., and Alan James (Helen) of Black River, N.Y.

Thelma grew up as a young girl in Park City and later moved with her family to Heber City, Utah. She graduated from Wasatch High School, where she was active in many functions including serving as one of her junior class officers. During World War II she was a telephone operator and was awarded a War Service Certificate for working at the Heber Telephone Company. Following their marriage, Thelma and John moved to the town of Kaysville. This was to be their home for the next fifty-five years.

Thelma was a master of all the domestic arts and was an exemplary wife and mother. She especially enjoyed crocheting, knitting and cooking. She crocheted dozens of afghans and tied quilts that were given to people with special needs. She was an excellent cook and made sure that anyone who visited her home never left hungry. Her holiday meals were legendary. At Christmas time, her Santa Claus cookies were of such fine craftsmanship that no one dared eat them. Her home-made fudge was divine. Thelma was a very kind and considerate person who loved all her family and friends and was greatly loved in return. Her life was one of loving service to others. She met the needs of those around her before her own. She provided a secure and comfortable home for her family and a place where everyone was welcome. She will be greatly missed by all who loved her.

Thelma was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and throughout her life and served in various capacities in the Kaysville First Ward. For several years she sang in the ward choir, was a counselor in the Young Women’s MIA and held special positions in the Relief Society. She had a strong testimony and unwavering faith in her Savior and His Church. She now joins with her beloved mother and father and a sister and three brothers who proceeded her in death. For several years, she was employed as a cook at Kaysville Junior High for the Davis School District where she made friends among fellow workers, students and teachers. She used her earnings to help her children in their schooling and helped pay for one son’s mission. She was generous with her time, talents and money. She was very resourceful and her home was always neat, clean and organized. She is survived by her husband John of over 60 years, four children, thirteen grandchildren and eight great- grandchildren. Also surviving are two sisters: Bertha (Clark) Woodbury of St. George, Norita (Sharron) Winterton of Charleston and two brothers: Wayne (Leva) Brierley of Roy and Howard (Connie) Brierley of Layton. The funeral will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2006 at the Kaysville First Ward Chapel.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006



My grandma, Thelma Murdock, passed away about 12 hours ago. She was the perfect grandma. Her cooking was amazing. She always had a jar full of cookies and a purse full of Necco wafers. Thanksgiving and Christmas were events to remember. She crocheted beautiful afghans and made me a little kewpie doll in a pink dress when my mom gave birth to brother number three. I got my curly hair from her.

This is the first grandparent that I've lost, and while she is finally at peace it's a difficult time for the rest of us. It's comforting to know that she is with her parents and siblings and others she loved so much. The funeral will be on Saturday and I have family flying in from out of state. It will be good to be together, especially now.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Walking and Sketching

Inspite of an overwhelming amount of work to do before the end of the semester I took a break and went for a walk around campus. A storm is moving in and the ground is covered with a beautiful dusting of snow. I stopped by the bookstore and bought a new sketching pencil in terracotta to break out of my usual black and white mode.

I stopped outside the Merrill-Cazier Library and made a quick sketch to try out the pencil. It has a waxy feel, but the color lays down nicely and doesn't smear. It was truly a quick sketch - I was sitting on cold concrete.

library sketch

I was gone almost an hour and it felt good to get some fresh air. I think I may be able to get some work done now.

When I got back to my desk an envelope was waiting for me. It contained our IIDA (International Interior Design Association) Campus Center certificate. We're official! This is the first year our school has been a Campus Center and it's exciting to have proof of all the hard work.

iida cert

Saturday, November 25, 2006

If I were a state . . .

Oddly, this is my result!

You're Utah!

You are extremely busy, one might even say as a bee. With a fondness for salt and colorful rocks, you believe in marrying early and, if possible, often. You're not above going on television or door to door for what you believe in, no matter how many people think you're a little bit strange. Despite rumors to the contrary, you actually have nothing whatsoever to do with jazz.

Take the State Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

If I were a country . . .

Even more accurate . . .

You're the United Nations!

Most people think you're ineffective, but you are trying to completely save the world from itself, so there's always going to be a long way to go. You're always the one trying to get friends to talk to each other, enemies to talk to each other, anyone who can to just talk instead of beating each other about the head and torso. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, and you get very schizophrenic as a result. But your heart is in the right place, and sometimes also in New York.

Take the Country Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid

If I were a book . . .

I've always felt like I belonged in a Jane Austin novel, but I'm open to the possibilities. My tree is calling . . .

You're Siddhartha!

by Hermann Hesse

You simply don't know what to believe, but you're willing to try anything once. Western values, Eastern values, hedonism and minimalism, you've spent some time in every camp. But you still don't have any idea what camp you belong in. This makes you an individualist of the highest order, but also really lonely. It's time to chill out under a tree. And realize that at least you believe in ferries.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Design Crisis

I found this quote on a forum at Design Community.
"In many ways, the environmental crisis is a design crisis. It is a consequence of how things are made, buildings are constructed, and landscapes are used. Design manifests culture, and culture rests firmly on the foundation of what we believe to be true about the world."
— Sim Van der Ryn, quoted in The Philosophy of Sustainable Design, by Jason McLennan

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Bruce Mau.
"What if we could do anything? What if the questions surrounding design turned out to be the big questions? What if life itself became a design project? What if - as Arnold Toynbee once suggested - we were committed to an audacious, altruistic global project that imagined 'the welfare of the entire human race as a practical objective'? What if design turned out to be that project? What if we succeeded?"
The thought of "the welfare of the entire human race" as a practical design objective is intriguing. If it were true, then there is a corollary. Most of society's problems have been caused by bad design. If the problem is bad design, then the solution lies in good design. What if saving the world is easier than anyone realises?

Of course the next question is, "What is design?"