Monthly Archives: March 2013

Wedding Update: Invitations! (and a Minted Giveaway)



When your daughter is planning her wedding, your thoughts often go back to your own big day.

Holy Matrimony!  Have weddings and wedding products changed since then!

Check out the festive invitations you can find at

Thirty-some years ago, non-traditional invitations were just coming into fashion.

But my mom and I stuck to tradition and what we thought was proper:  engraved invitations on cream colored paper.

Years later, they seem oh so boring :

Wedding Invitation

We thought the butterfly stamps made the RSVP envelope look festive. This was as cutting edge as we got:


Nowadays you send out Save the Date cards too.  (A quite practical innovation, especially for a destination wedding.) Laura had a wonderful time designing the one in the top photo  from the selections at Minted.

Although the bride won’t let me show you her actual wedding invitations yet, I can promise you they bear no resemblance to my cream colored invites.

A few days ago, I met another mother of the bride.

It’s always fun to compare notes.

“All I  asked of her,” the mom said, drawing out her wedding words, “is that she use traditional invitations.”

Not me.

I’m rolling with the times.

The more festive the better!

Giveaway:  Minted sells all sorts of colorful and creative paper products from invitations to journals to note cards to party decor. They’re offering one Friend for the Ride reader a fifty dollar credit toward your next order. No other purchases required.

To enter the giveaway, simply post a comment by April 10 saying that you’d like to win. Winner will be chosen at random.

Invitations Below: If I could pick my wedding invitations all over again, here are some I’d consider  from Minted.










The Menopause Bunny—NOT!


Henrietta Bunny

Since Mrs. Claus has taken an interest in Friend for the Ride.


And since there are Menopause Pumpkins.


And since you can buy a Magic Guilt-free Holiday Wand.

Holiday Wand

I thought, perhaps, there might be  a Menopause Bunny to help women out, especially in the springtime.

So I asked the bunny above, who lives at my house. Her name is Henrietta.

“No, honey,” Henrietta said, shaking her long ears.  “There’s no such thing as a Menopause Bunny.”

Her nose twitched.

Then she added, “There’s  just the Easter Bunny.”

More twitches.

“He’s got menopause covered though,” she said. “Why do you think he brings so much chocolate?”


Thanks for the info, Henrietta. I hope the Bunny fills up your baskets, too.


Happy Birthday to Charlie, a Menopause Miracle!



A post by my friend Jan McKelvey. Her son Charlie turns 17 today.  Happy Birthday to Charlie!

Jim and I both grew up in Michigan, met at college (Eastern Michigan University) in 1973, married in 1977, and lived for many years in Howell, Michigan, where 3 sons were born:  Josh, Ben and Mike.

Sadness hit when we lost 3 babies, 2 to miscarriages and one son lost to stillbirth at 34 weeks gestation.

We decided to move to North Carolina to be closer to my parents when their health started to fail, and came here in 1992.
Despite keeping busy, I was starting to be bothered by hot flashes and hormonal surges at age 42. It was a little early onset for menopause, but my mother had started menopause early, too.

I got Gail Sheehy’s book,The Silent Passage, and read through every page and every chapter to learn more about menopause symptoms and what to do about them.

At that time in the mid 1990s, women were still readily taking hormone replacement medication.  So, I made an appointment at the doctor’s office to discuss menopause, and maybe get a prescription.

A few months later, on the way home from choir practice, I started to wonder, “Gail’s book didn’t say ANYTHING about feeling nauseous.  I’m having hot flashes and nausea.  What’s that about?”

Because of my history of needing to redirect to more positive thinking, I thought, “OK, I’ll just go to WalMart and get one of those pee-on-a-stick tests, to shut my mind up.  I can’t be pregnant.  I’ll take the test, and that will be that.”

Did I mention that my husband had a vasectomy 9 years prior?

And I was having hot flashes?

I stopped at the store on the way home from choir practice, went home, and feeling very foolish, took the test.

My husband had no idea why I was waving something in his face when I woke him up.

Later, he told me he wondered if there was a menopause urine test!

It was positive!

After this surprise, I went to the doctor’s office the very next morning.  That urine test was positive, too.

When I asked the doctor what were the chances that both the WalMart test, and the clinic urine test were wrong, he responded, “They’re not wrong.  Congratulations!  You’re pregnant!”

I burst into tears.

The doctor thought I was upset, and I had to quickly explain my history and why I was so happy.

He whisked me down to the Ultrasound machine, where he showed me the tiny little fetus with a steadily pumping heart to convince me.  Such joy!

I was followed in the High Risk group, which I refer to as the” Geriatric Pregnancy Group,” and delivered a healthy baby boy when I was 43.

Charlie has been an additional blessing to us, just as our other children have blessed our lives.

We are so thankful for all of them.

So that empty nest?  It has to wait!

Now, we have grandchildren, and more opportunities to play with precious children!

Charlie at the Fair

Charlie McKelvey as an infant in 1996

From Top:  Charlie just before he turned 17;  Charlie,  age nine, at the North Carolina State Fair; Charlie in his infant seat crunching the newspaper; Jan on a recent cruise to Alaska;  the whole McKelvey family with Charlie as a baby in 1996.

Jan on Alaskan Cruise

McKelvey family picture with Charlie as a baby in 1996

Jan McKelvey writes:  “I continue to work as an Occupational Therapist, now thankfully working with our veterans full time at the Durham VA, with weekend work at Duke Raleigh Hospital.  We are thankful for all of our friends and family and many blessings.” Jan lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina and still sings in the church choir!

Thanks to Jan’s husband Jim, photographer extraordinaire, for the photos.

My Love of Fabric Yesterday and Today



A post by artist and seamstress Marilyn Petersen:

My love of fabric began at a very early age.  My mother, my grandmother, and my great- grandmother all sewed and made their clothes and anything else needed in their homes such as drapery, tea towels, and hot pads.

I used the name “tea towels” to give you a bit of information about my family. My extended families always included the grandmother living with the next generation.

My mother married my father the day before World War Two ended. She was 29 and he was 42. They thought that they were incredibly old to start a family, but within several years they had two daughters. Five years later my grandfather passed away, and my grandmother moved in with us in 1955.

This began my thorough lessons in fabric and sewing. My mother and grandmother never thought about going to the store and buying any clothing for themselves or for my sister and me.

Going to the stores and looking for fabric was a regular occurrence. On many occasions, my mother’s older sister joined in the search. Fabric stores were in almost every neighborhood and fabric could be found at very affordable prices.

We were three females and two little girls moving from one section of the store to the next. As my mother ran her finger through the cloth, I came behind her to repeat this action. She crinkled it in her hands to see is it wrinkled, and I did the same.

When it came time to sew, we went into action making the latest styles.

With intensive training from my mother and my grandmother, I was making my own dresses by the age of twelve.

Now I am sixty- two, and I have never lost the love of fabric. Thanks to recent technology and the love of design, I have now found a way to not only use fabric, but to design it!

Small businesses have opened to make it possible to print designs that you submit to them. You can purchase the fabric in sizes as small as an eight square to as many yards as you need  for you project.

This Easter egg design above is based on a small swath in an antique quilt. I have come full circle from a quilt that belonged to the generation of my great- grandmother to the present.

The fabric below is inspired by Matisse:


And bunnies and other creatures in honor of spring:


I’m very happy that so many more people are again interested in fabric. This new interest allows creative people to join together with small business (often run by women) to make endless numbers of beautiful projects.

I design my fabric through Spoonflower.  To find my page, CLICK HERE. 

The Easter Egg design is part of a weekly contest between Spoonflower designers.

For the Matisse, we were to design a fabric that would be comfortable and part of the décor of a room in Matisse’s home.

The designs were to be limited to four colors. I created my design referencing a group of life drawing sketches that I call “My Dancers.”  The dancers are free and full of movement.

Here are the baby animals. I’ve received some nice comments on this design!

Marilyn Petersen was born in Dallas Texas and has lived in Laurinburg, NC since the year 2000. She majored in Fine Arts while attending Austin Community College and the University of Texas at Austin, and she’s had a long career as an artist, working in enameling, jewelry, fiber arts, and visual arts.

While living in Mexico the previous five years before moving to North Carolina, she also studied painting and drawing in San Miguel de Allende and in San Juan del Rio.  All these experiences in her life have given her a rich background in color and design. Here she is below, in an outfit she made in Junior High!

Clothing for Jr. High Assembly 001