Losing Mom: Vintage Linens

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Iron

My mother was a collector’s collector. She went nuts over vintage linens, buying them for herself and for yours truly.

Soon after Mom died in March, my friend Nancy and I hosted a bridal shower at my house.The younger me would never have believed I could spend hours with Mom’s things within days of her death. I would have expected tears to hit the eyelet napkins like raindrops.

Nope!

Ironing those napkins and slipping them into Mom’s silver napkin rings put me in happy spirits after a gut-wrenching five weeks. (Mom went fast with cancer.)

Napkin Rings

Getting ready for the bridal shower helped me mightily

Table

and introduced me to the concept of active, and yes, even festive grief.

In this article on grief, the writer states that “healthy grieving results in an ability to remember the importance of our loss—but with a new found sense of peace, rather than searing pain.” Active grieving, be it ironing beautiful linens or hiking a beloved trail or starting a scholarship fund, helps us move to that new sense of peace.

My brother found drawers filled with linens as he cleared Mom’s apartment. He shipped them to me a few weeks ago.

Box

I’ve been having a grand time sharing them–more active grieving as my friends admire and select the hand towels, napkins, tablecloths, or bureau scarves they like best.

If I experience a more searing loss, I have no clue if the concept of active grief will help me. But in the case of my mother, who accepted her death and told us she had lived a good life, using and sharing her collections has been restorative and rewarding.

What about you? Thoughts? Impressions? Suggestions? Experiences?

Photo Below: Mom starting out on her linen journey, her wedding day in April of 1946.

WeddingBook Giveaway Winners! Congrats to Pam, who won Barbara Crooker Selected Poemsto Carol and Karen, who won Judy Holland’s Moody Bitches; and to Lisa, who won June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling’s Toasts.

Sex after Menopause: A Vibrant Nation Webinar

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webcast

Vibrant Nation, a leading online community for women 45+, held its first ever Live webcast discussion on March 31, 2015.The topic of the event was Sex After Menopause. Dr. Barb DePree, a Vibrant Nation sexual health expert and blogger, led a panel of women in sharing stories and advice for getting the spark back in the bedroom.

Best take away analogy? The menopausal vagina can be compared to a pencil skirt:

Pencil Skirt

A vagina before menopause is more like the relaxed, carefree pleated skirt:

Pleated Skirt

Dr. Depree gave insightful and practical suggestions as to how to get your flare back! The webcast was excellent, with clear explanations and plenty of information.

And if you missed the broadcast, you can view it right now! Take it away, Dr. DePree (and thanks to you and Vibrant Nation).

What Is Menopause?

Using Lubricants

Is there a Viagra for Women?

Use It or Lose It: Tips on Sexual Maintenance

Can Estrogen Help You?

How Can We Be Proactive & Prevent Painful Sex?

Pleated Skirt

Here’s the link to these videos on the Vibrant Nation Site.

Disclosure: I’m participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Vibrant Nation. I’m receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I’m not affiliated with Vibrant Nation and don’t earn a commission or percent of sales.

Downsizing: Spare the Pig?

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Piggy Bank

I bought Piggy at Pier One when I was in high school. He lived in my bedroom, and I filled him with quarters.

For the last twenty years or so, Piggy has resided on a bookcase in our upstairs hall. Cliff’s been feeding him loose change.This piggy bank is loaded! There’s no way to open him up to retrieve the money.

Piggy Bank

How tempting to take a hammer and liberate all those coins. I could treat Cliff to a beer or two at one of Hillsborough’s watering holes or buy myself a few bars of elegant soap. Maybe both! Better yet, I could donate the coins to our church’s collection for the hungry.

I’m fond of my piggy bank, but he’s not on my Keep Until I Die List. I’ve got other mementos from high school. The downsizing project continues! So smash and retrieve the coins? Or give Piggy away? Let someone else make that difficult decision?

Piggy Bank

I’ve finally got my answer (I think), but I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Anyone else have a similar downsizing dilemma?

The Ladies Room Door Art Series: Part Nine

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Truckyard Outside

More doors!

Above is is the outdoor ladies room at Truck Yard, a beer garden in Dallas, Texas. My daughter Laura and her husband Matt live there and know all the funky places to go. There’s great bathroom door potential whenever I visit!

Below is another door at Truck Yard.

Inside at Truck Yard

This lovely door graces the ladies room at Urban Taco, also in Dallas.

Urban Taco

I thought this sign at the Tampa Airport was prettier than most airport signs.  And let’s hear it for airports–it sure is easy enough to find the ladies room.

Tampa Airport

From Matt’s sister Chelsea comes this door at O’ Sullivan’s Bar in Arlington, Virginia. Love those swirly legs!

From reader Lilly Stevens, The Corner Table Restaurant in Houston, Texas. The restaurant, Lilly reports, is in a wonderful old house and has quite a European feel.

Of the Americas Restaurant in River Oaks, Houston. Lilly writes,”This is one of the most creative bathrooms I’ve ever seen. I suspect people come just to gawk and take photos! ”

The door is somewhat ordinary…

But open the door and wow! The stall doors are mirrored, and each stall has its own sink. And, as Lilly tell us, “What a sink it is!”

Thanks, friends, for the photos. Do keep them coming as you travel about this summer. Reader Carol is on a cross-country trip and is snapping doors across America. She says it’s added even more adventure to her journey!

And finally, here’s one closer to my home from reader Judy. The Table in Mebane, North Carolina.

The TableAlthough this lovely lady looks a bit blue, she might just be the life of the party in that swirly dress!